5 things I wished to be when I grew up

I’m turning twenty-five next month. I am at a stage now, where I question my life. My thoughts have been philosophical and shit for me lately; I am officially and truly a twenty-something, but slowly approaching thirty something, which is a bit weird to me as everywhere I go, when there are no kids involved, I am almost always, the youngest something.

Reflecting on my life, as one often does when approaching their birth anniversary, I thought about my childhood and then I thought about my likes and dislikes as a child. Then I thought about what I expected my life to turn out as when I became an adult. Then I thought about that some more, and basically it came to this; me writing this post.

So here’s a short list of some of the things I wanted to be growing up:

The 5 things I wanted to be growing up

Lara Croft

I watched my mum (yes, my mum) play Tomb Raider as a child. I watched poor Lara get squished to death by moving spiky walls, I saw her jump (sometimes swan-dive) off cliffs screaming on the way down before she splatted on the ground below.  I watched Lara get bowled over by a giant rolling boulder, I watched her plunge into large protruding spikes and get mauled by animals and finally, I watched her get shot multiple times.  All these deaths were usually followed by my mother exclaiming “Ah, balls

Despite this, I wanted to be Lara Croft.  Lara was spunky smart and really athletic.  I was not. This dream became unfulfilled pretty quickly.

 

Archeologist

 

My admiration for Lara Croft evolved into a occupation far more realistic, though for me, still pretty far-fetched. I wanted to be a archeologist in Egypt. I was mildly interested in Egyptian artifacts and hieroglyphics and I once made a paper mache canopic Jar. But mostly I wanted to wear cute shorts and dust things with a paintbrush on a archeological dig site. (I could still wear cute shorts and dust things with a paintbrush I guess…)

 

 

A gorgeous bohemian traveller/gypsy/hippy chick

 

This stuck with me in the back of my mind for some time, and I’ll admit now, it still knocks on my subconscious minds door, a quiet knock that you don’t really hear if your busy, but when you are asleep it sounds like a 747.
I wanted to be a quirky, fun and adorable bohemian chick who goes to Europe frequently…
Sometimes dreams are just dreams.


Journalist

I just wanted to be Rory Gilmore.  Except I wanted to write for a trashy teen magazine rather than a classy newspaper. I also thought Journalism was the best option if you liked writing.  I still like the idea of journalism, but I’m not doing years of handing out muffins.  Although I doubt they do that these days.

 

Mum

While I was happy to tell people I wanted to be a journalist, I felt less proud of the truth, that I really wanted to be a mum.  I wanted to get married have kids (as It happened, it worked out the other way around, kid first!)

It would seem, I have achieved one of my many dreams, probably the one that meant the most to me and that’s kind of cool.  I’m pretty pleased with this and just maybe one day, I will look back at this list whilst being a Lara Croft/Archeologist/Journalist/Mum super cool hippy chick.

Anyway,
To suit the theme of this post I thought I’d share a pic of me from when I was younger:

Happy Birthday to me,

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What it’s like to have two kids (for those who are thinking of or are having a second)

What it's like to have two kids(2)

It’s all about the poop.
If your toddler is not toilet trained and you have accepted that you will be changing him for a long while yet, because the prospect of toilet training him has been dramatically thrown into the ‘too hard basket’ after many failed attempts.  Be warned, It would probably be easier to toilet train your first bub before having another.  Unless you want a new collection of decor items in the form of poop nappies.

You wont have time to love the older one anymore.
At least that’s how it will probably feel like to your older kid. Between establishing breastfeeding, crying when you remember the horror miraculous experience of childbirth and being in general after-birth related pain, it will be really hard to fit in doing normal things for your other kid.  This is when having someone else around to read to them, put them to sleep, bring them juice etc is very handy (ie a husband/partner)

You will have a built in little helper.
If you have trained your kid to respond to simple commands, you will have a little helper during the day when no one is around. It might take them up to an hour to get the nappy from over there, but better than nothing right?

Your little person will fall in love with the baby
Unless of course they don’t and they begin a lifelong grudge against this baby, but hopefully you will get a kid like mine who seems extremely entertained by the baby. As you are worrying about whether or not your baby has had enough to eat, your older kid cracks up at the baby because the baby makes a weird baby noise and it is just hilarious to him!

Sometimes the older one will hit/want to hit your baby.
That’s normal as jealousy is totally a thing and you will constantly be telling your older kid ‘No billybob! Be gentle! The baby is only small!”

It will all fall into place.
Before you know it, you will have a routine set in place. Everything will just feel right and you’ll accept the new normal. Don’t be afraid, you got this.

Happy baby-having everyone

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How I lost the first five kilos with low carb eating (and how you can too!)

So our wee challenge has finished now and has gone pretty successful, we have both lost about five kilos each. (Amazing!)

It does take a bit of dedication and it really does mean changing old habits. It’s eating real food, which means, cooking. I’ll say now though, I am not going to live the rest of my life without the odd bit of creamy pasta, fresh homemade bread and a quality chocolate cake.

It’s all about making lots of good choices, not depriving yourself and leaning to enjoy real food again. The focus should not be on “Giving up carbs” but eating less crap, the stuff your body doesn’t need.

Here’s a wee guide on how I lost the initial five kilos.

Flora & Fauna

I did my research first.

I joined a Facebook group, warned my husband how we were going to eat for the next couple of weeks and looked over a couple good low carb websites. This helped give me a good idea on what to expect and what we should and shouldn’t be eating. It gave me a good grounding.

We started in the weekend.

It’s way easier to start in the weekend when you have time to prepare your meals or write some sort of eating plan down. Having a plan helps keep you on track and doing it in the weekend makes the process a little easier as you generally have more time to organise things.

I put my flour and sugar out of sight.

I put them somewhere I could not see them everyday. I didn’t feel as though I could biff them out but I didn’t need to be tempted by them. Maybe one day we will give them away but for now I’m just not ready to do that!

We shopped up.

We brought lots of low carb groceries. I picked out some good recipes from low carb island which made meal planning painless. We went to the shop when we were due to go and replaced our normal groceries with ingredients we needed to make the recipes. We just ate things we knew we would like, easy.

We weren’t perfect.

We didn’t exactly fall of the wagon, but we did grab some kfc one night when we were out, we treated it as a treat and it was ok. Life happens. All we did was carry on with low carb eating as per usual the following days.

And that’s it really. I cooked normal food, replaced potatoes with pumpkin or cauliflower mash. (They are yum by the way) we had gravy made with full fat cream and a stock cube, no flour required.

The next step is adding some healthy carbs back into the diet.
I do recommend this way of eating to people who need to lose a lot of weight as it forces you to change your eating habits from eating packaged high sugar products to more real food.

Happy Low Carbing,

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The sweetest little kid cartoons

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliated links from Amazon, meaning, if you click on a link and buy something off amazon I get a small commission.  I only link things I want to share with you 🙂

Being a stay at home mum, I see a LOT of little kids shows, the tv is on probably too often; stuck on Disney jr. or Nick jr.  I often catch myself watching these shows as much as my 3 year old son.

I’m not talking about yer ‘Paw Patrol’ or ‘Sofia the first’, (I actually really love that show, the little girl inside me adores it and the the whole step family representation is really nice to see…to be honest I’d watch it by myself, but that would be weird.)

No, most of the shows I am about the talk about are British (I find the accent makes these shows, sweeter and cuter)

Nor will I mention Peppa pig, even though the show fits my one criteria of being British, I just find the character Peppa herself really annoying. Sorry guys.

If want a break from your stock standard kid shows you may want to expose your kids to one of these. Unless of course you have a child like mine who just says “Moe” (no)  to absolutely everything ever when picking out something to watch. Thankfully the following shows are shows he watched before he had the ability to choose and now he actually chooses them because he is used to them and knows them.

Summer style guide(2)

Ben and Holly’s little Kingdom is one of my faves, it is made by the same people who do ‘Peppa Pig’.

The cartoon is about, well, the two characters Ben and Holly. Ben is a Elf and Holly is the Kingdoms’ Princess. All the fairies seem to be better off and the elves appear to be working class, the elves live in a tree which resembles a apartment building.  Where as all the fairies live in a little village made out of toadstools, except for Holly’s family which live in a castle.

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There are two characters which really make the show, the Wise Old Elf and Nanny Plum. The Wise Old Elf is voiced by this actor called David Graham He has this over the top theatrical voice which is very suitable for his character and just sounds really funny on a kids show.  Nanny Plum however is voiced by Sarah Ann Kennedy who just has this monotone voice and just sounds so bored with everything. She has some great funny lines.  The two characters constantly bicker and either one will be rather happy if something unfortunate happens to them.  They always end up reluctantly helping each other.   There is def something between them…or perhaps I am reading too much into a kids show.

The Day Henry Met… I just love this show because everything has a face. Every single thing. Even the things Henry doesn’t interact with.  Which is kind of funny when it’s a toilet or something.

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The show is about this wee Irish kid that goes and meets something. Sometimes it’s a broccoli, sometimes it’s a balloon sometimes it’s a whale.  The best part is that the character he meets is just called whatever it happens to be.  So the broccoli character is just called ‘Broccoli’ which I just find adorable. Plus each episode is only 5 minutes long and in those 5 minutes the show teaches kids something quite useful which is pretty cool.

Sarah & Duck this show is very odd and beautiful. It has the most simple theme song (if you could even call it a song) ever. It consists of the shows narrator repeating the words “Sarah and duck” and that’s it.

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The show is set in it’s own world where wool comes from ‘weeping woolen trees’ and buses go under water to fuel up and there’s a girl called Sarah who shares her house with her pet Duck (who seems to be a duck type brother than pet)   The show can be quite psychedelic, for instance, there is one episode where Sarah falls asleep and has a dream about being inside of a strawberry souffle and Clair de lune plays.  There are a few weird characters like the cake Sarah made that came alive and has a Mexican accent. There’s an umbrella who doesn’t like to get wet. There is Scarf Lady, who can knit everything and carries a grumpy handbag with her.  This grumpy handbag tends to correct Scarf Lady when she mispronounces something and often says “Ah, my contents!!” when he has been tossed about (like you do with a handbag).

It’s weird and wonderful.

And finally, Hey Duggee

For some reason the character Duggee doesn’t talk. But he is a wonderful cubs/scouts leader. The show is about a bunch of kids in some sort of scouts type group where they earn badges for the things they do/learn which usually involves some sort of adventure.

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The narrator is voiced by Alexander Armstrong (aka that guy from pointless). He often announces at the end of the show, “Ah, and here are your parents!”, a phrase of which has been adopted by my parents when we pick the wild child up from their place.

I know it’s kind of frowned upon to let your kids watch telly.  But I find with my little boy he might watch 10 minutes at a time then go do something else. I think that’s fine.

Using the telly to babysit your kids while you sit in the kitchen stuffing your face with brownies and crying over (literally) spilled milk, while burning dinner, well that’s probably not fine.

If that is the case though, you could probably learn a thing or two from kids programs.

Happy viewing,

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Revelations and epiphanies

As I wrote the title of this blog post I thought to myself, Is that really spelt correctly? How come I can spell ‘epiphanies’ but not rev-el-la-tions? then I thought, perhaps it’s time to get some sleep, that’s a revelation of sorts I guess.  The children will awaken soon and my sleepless brain is not prepared for the wrath that is a hungry/angry child. My head hurts. But I just had to write this now.

I am a crazy lady, I get overwhelmed easily, I get upset easily and I suffer from ‘mum brain’ quite a lot, it’s a very sad joke nowadays about the relationship I have with my phone. I lose it all. the. time. It’s really embarrassing and in fact, I have to admit I am not 100% sure where it is right now. It might be on the couch… I’ll find it tomorrow.

motherhood

 

For months now, whenever I “explain” to my loving husband about how overwhelmed I feel with the kids, (by “explain” read; cry-talking in a high pitched voice, with snot bubbles forming from my nose.)  he often says, “You don’t have to do it all by yourself.”

Every bloody time he said something a long those words, I always either, shrugged it off and felt sorry for myself or I argued and said, “Well, I HAVE to do it by myself, it’s my responsibility to care for them as I am the one at home.”  usually followed by a wipe of my gross ass tears and snot. I am a ugly crier.  But something happened this last time, something weird.  I actually listened to my dear Husband. He had more to say.

I don’t have to do it by myself.  This is, for whatever reason, something I did not previously consider; that I did not have to do this by myself.  I shouldn’t feel as though I have to do this by myself.  This mothering lark is hard business and for some unknown reason I always felt as though I had to do it all on my own.  All the every day stuff, the chores, the baby cares, the training my wild child to grow into a not so wild child, and basically instead of nourishing and teaching and enjoying my boys, I was simply coping until my husband came home, until I could have a “break”.

Even though it was obvious I never, ever was alone in this; but I had always felt I needed to be wonder woman. I felt like other mum’s must do all this stuff by themselves, so why couldn’t I? Why wasn’t I coping at this mum stuff?

The thing was, as my husband explained to me, that If I never ask for help, I will always, always end up worse off.  I’d end up burnt out and grumpier and  just a big mess. Previously, I’d end up asking for help when I was completely worn out, when I could no longer go on, I felt like asking for help was weak, like I needed to say to the world “Look! I can do this!” and then of course just falling apart after a week or two caring for my kids 100% of the time each day.

The pressure would build up.  I began to resent it when they grizzled or wanted something, I never liked to do anything for myself, even the basic human needs, I became like a zombie, an angry, tired zombie.

While I was living this way, my health would deteriorate quickly.  I got sick fairly easy and stayed sick for a long time.  I felt immense guilt when I had to spend a day in bed as I was feeling so ill. If I went to have a shower while my husband watched the kids I felt a huge amount of guilt if I came back and one of them was crying when my husband was more than capable of settling the baby. Moments like these was multiplying and I felt like I had to sacrifice my own needs in order to be there for my kids as often as humanly possible.

My mental health was suffering too. I ate badly, grabbing high energy snacks (ie chocolate) as I felt I needed the energy, but of course my energy would always slump and I would fill myself up with more sugar products and it was a vicious circle. I would eat in attempt to make myself feel better as my mood was always low, I was always irritable and even had moments where I would just break down.

However, recently the giant weight I was carrying on my shoulders was relieved.  I stopped and listened to my husband.  I don’t have to carry all the load all of the time.  I am lucky to have many support people more than willing to help.  I knew now that I needed to reach out to them more often, and that I don’t have to be sick or mentally drained to ask for their help.

I always felt like I needed a really good excuse to ask for help or to go to them for support.  But one thing my husband said was this, “It really does take a village” and of course it’s true, it really does take a village to raise a child, or at the very least a good few loving adults.

Of course to some people this revelation of mine seems so silly and many of you may be like, ‘well, duh.’   But for me it has taken three years for me to truly realise, I am never really, truly alone in this.

I feel like I am ready for a new approach to my mothering style, I need to stop thinking, just because I am a stay at home mum, does not mean I have to take so much on, all at once.

Being a stay at home parent is a big job. But it’s not one anyone should have to tackle by themselves.

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Day 6 of our 14 day low carb challenge

I’ll admit today was a bit, ugh, low carb diet wise. It sounds lovely on paper; We went to the park with our gorgeous 3 year old son, it was a lovely (a bit chilly) sunny day, we smiled at the ducks and seagulls and their semi frozen pond, we walked merrily around admiring the birds in the aviary. I had a delightful (however short) conversation with a cockatoo (who’s a pretty boy?) and we had a nice wee picnic at the picnic table by the duck pond. The thing is though, I couldn’t help but wonder to myself if the picnic and our outing would be better with a high carb coffee and a gooey caramel chocolately muffin.

Today was a day of weakness, but we fought through.  Changing the way you eat is a million times easier when someone is doing it with you.

We did go to the supermarket and went to the deli section before hand, it was a little spur of the moment and I think next time I will simply grab some items from our fridge.

Here is what we had at our picnic:

  • Shaved ham
  • Salami sticks
  • Cream Cheese (as a meat roll up filling)
  • Cottage Cheese (for dipping)
  • 4  chicken drumsticks from the deli
  • A bottle of coke zero (a treat)

I think a good addition to this picnic would have been some pork rinds as I felt like we needed a bit of crunch/salt somewhere.  Lower carb vegies would have been good too. The 3 year old even tried the salami sticks and also munched on one of his favourite foods, ham.

Anyway, we packed up our comestibles and headed for the park. It was a nice late afternoon activity, and the picnic really was good and cost about the same as a big feed of kfc, (except some of the items we brought will last a great deal longer than kfc ever would).

Next time I def will be putting more thought into it, but I feel proud that we still managed to stay away from the CARBage.

Happy low carbing people,

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{RECIPE} Low carb Pumpkin and Cinnamon smoothie

I am kind of smoothie mad lately since I brought a new blender last week. It’s pretty and glass and was fairly cheap. My old blender that came with the food processor no longer works, the plastic was pretty delicate and cracked easily.

Anyway, I am from New Zealand and so pumpkin as a sweet ingredient is a bit weird for me.  It is usually served up as a savory side, with butter and hearbs and spices etc. I have never had pumpkin pie (but it is something I really want to try one day)

I saw the inspiration on the web somewhere  awhile ago and I know there are loads of recipes for pumpkin smoothies, but this one is very simple and sweet and had approval from my 3 year old, you know you are onto a winner if the little people respond with ‘mmm num num’. Having said that this kid likes to eat cat food, so perhaps not the most reliable review.

Anyway, here we go:

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup almond milk or water
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp or 2 of pureed pumpkin (depending on how much you like the flavour)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • Splenda/low cal sweetener to taste

Method

Whizz up in blender and pour into a tall glass or beer mug and enjoy.

This didn’t taste bad at all! I’ve never had any sweet pumpkin type things but I get it now, creamy and flavorsome a nice alternative to the usual.

Happy smoothie making, people

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Roasting pumpkin

Pumpkin was recently on special at the supermarket and so I had to buy some.  I really love pumpkin and I think it is wonderfully versatile vege.  You can use pretty much every part of it if you really want.

It is a higher carb vege so you do need to be a tad restrictive when eating it on a low carb diet.

Here’s how I roasted the pumpkin for versatile use:

I distracted the children so I wouldn’t accidentally chop their hands off. One watched tele and ate his breakfast, the other sat in his exersaucer and plotted his escape.

I switched the oven on I turned the temp to around 200c and put it on fan-bake

I chopped the pumpkin in half I used the biggest knife I had and whacked that mo-fo in half. I then got a really big spoon and scooped out all the seeds.

I put the pumpkin halves on a oven tray (lined with baking paper, less clean up) cut side up, drizzled olive oil on and sprinkled a mixture of spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and ginger.

I put it in the oven and went to do other things. My husband came home 40 minutes later and turned off the oven. He informed me the pumpkin was just starting to go black. Turns out I had actually put the oven on grill, oops.

I took the grilled pumpkin out of the oven it smelt fantastic and looked great.  It wasn’t  burnt just nicely grilled. I got the big spoon from before and started scooping it out like ice cream into a bowl and kind of squished it all up in the bowl, not quite fully mashed and then scooped big spoonfuls into ziplock bags, about 4 spoonfuls per bag. I got 5 bags worth (one I made mashed up with some made up formula for the baby). Hopefully each bag will do for one meals worth of pumpkin. I froze 4 and kept one in the fridge for tea.

Dinner should be easy tonight. Beef sausages low carb gravy (beef stock thickened with cream) and mashed pumpkin. Easy-peasy.

Pumpkin is good to use for a mash, you can mash it with cauliflower or just have on it’s on. Of course you can make pumpkin soup or make a hash/bubble and squeak with it too.

It’s day 4 of our low carb eating. Has been going pretty well. Already feel pretty great.

Happy pumpkin eating,

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A not bad green smoothie

I found a recipe for a green smoothie that doesn’t taste bad or look gross. It tastes a bit like a lime milkshake which is nice. I found the recipe on Diet Doctor and I took inspiration from it and adapted it as I didn’t have all of the original ingredients.

Here’s my version

 

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp of full fat cream
  • Half a cup or so of almond milk
  • 1 cube of frozen spinach
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • A pinch or two of ground ginger
  • Some Splenda to taste

Method

Blend all the ingredients in a blender.   Serve in a tall glass or beer mug.

It is very fresh tasting and wonderfully creamy and you cannot taste the spinach.  Of course you can add more lime if you loove lime flavour. A nice way to have a green smoothie, if you must have one.

 

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A short one (or so I thought)

My gorgeous husband seems to be very on board with the low-carb way of eating which is very exciting for me.  Having a partner to diet with you is a game changer. I have tried and failed many times by myself with hubby on the side lines cheering me on, but ultimately I always fell off the wagon fairly quickly.

He seems to enjoy the fact that we can eat loads of meat and fat, I sort of think LCHF way of eating really suits blokes…most of them seem to love their meat.

So this morning I had a bullet-proof coffee which filled me up and I didn’t even notice any hunger pangs for ages as I happened to be quite busy today, (out with my in-laws in the fresh air)

This is how I make a bullet-proof coffee,

Ingredients

  • Made up Coffee (some people use fancy ground beans and wot not, I don’t really know anything about ‘real’ espresso type coffee, I just make instant)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp butter

Method

Put all the ingredients in a blender or use a stick blender and whizz it all up. You can’t just stir it ’cause that would be gross. You gotta blend it as doing so will make a frothy creamy coffee. When I whizzed mine up today the little cap that goes in the middle of the lid (a tiny measuring cup I think) flew off ’cause my blender doesn’t seem to like hot things. The manual did warn me about that but I chose not to listen.

I really love bullet-proof coffee because I don’t much like many low carb breakfasts and it doesn’t take very long to make.  I know it seems like a lot of fat, but that’s the wonderful thing about this way of eating is that fat is our friend.

For lunch we had these Rissoles I made a big batch and stuck the left overs in the fridge, I am hoping they will make a good couple of lunches. I served them with some aioli, spinach and a couple slices of cheese.

While I was making the rissoles the Husband made some bacon and egg pies made with a low carb crust to have for his smokos. They are yummy and in fact the crust on their own is delish.  If you are wondering, the crust recipe can be found  here

We are trying to keep thing super simple by just following the recipes on that website, they all seem very doable and relatively cheap.  I really think ‘keep it simple sweetheart’ (KISS) is the key to this way of eating, don’t over complicate things or else you’ll just get bored and angry and nobody wants to be around bored, angry fat people.

By the way, it’s been 2 days and we have already used a Christmas days worth of cream. Everything has cream in it.

So, that is day 2 over and done with, bring on the next 12!

Happy eating,

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