Thursday, 12 April 2018

RECIPE: Gluten Free Buckwheat Pancake Stack


Wow. It's been a while since I've written on this little platform. Sorry for the neglect, but you know, I've just had my 4th child so I'm just living in complete chaos. This morning though, we made a fun pancake stack that was a huge hit so I thought I should quickly pop on here and share it with you guys. Our beautiful Miss Mabel turned 2 today and my husband is away so our plan was to "pretend" her birthday is tomorrow BUT the big kids got a bit excited this morning and started wishing happy birthdays all around and nagging me for pancakes as that's what we usually do for birthday breakfasts. In my sleep deprived state I actually said no about 3 times before mother guilt set in and thought I needed to get my act together. Baby went into the Manduca wrap and off we went to the kitchen to whip up a simple, yet delicious buckwheat pancake stack, candle and happy birthday songs and all. This followed by a birthday kitchen dance party and lots of laughs. What a special way to start the day, we had fun and it was so worth the extra effort to get out of bed that bit earlier. So here you go, gluten/dairy free pancakes for you... 

Now, until tomorrow for her "pretend" real birthday. ;)


Ingredients 
1 cup water
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1.5 cups buckwheat flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder

Coconut oil for cooking
Honey, Raspberries and Banana for decorating 

Makes 12

Method 

Whiz all wet ingredients in a food processor or Thermomix until combined.
Add dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
Heat pan with some coconut oil and pour some mixture in to make a medium sized circle. Fry on medium heat a couple of minutes each side until cooked through.
Make a stack with the cooked pancakes and drizzle one tablespoon of honey over the top so it melts down the sides. Decorate with fruit. 

Add a candle and sing happy birthday. Haha ! Enjoy together ;)


Saturday, 27 January 2018

My Baby Moon in a Private Hospital


This post is supported by APHA

I never thought I would have a 4th baby. I just didn’t see myself to be cut out for such a task of raising 4 children! I have always been a believer that that universe gives you what you can cope with and as I move towards the end of my fourth pregnancy I wonder what the heck the universe was thinking when they decided I was going to have 4. I mean, 2 kids was more than enough for me to give love to. I was really done at 2…then 2 years later life got that little bit easier, we fell in love all over again and we just had to add one more. But 4? Really? I really worry that I just don’t have the energy inside me to give all four little humans everything their beautiful little minds need. I guess that’s where all the personal growth comes from though right? When the universe sends you something you’re not ready for to make you leap out of your comfort zone!

As the end of this pregnancy is drawing near, I’m exhausted and spending a lot of time at home, I’m not in the nesting phase yet but I’m definitely in the phase where I can’t be bothered going out much and just enjoying my own time in my own home. Life is going fast but the pregnancy feels like it’s going slow and I haven’t had time to think too much about having the actual baby or adding another child into our home as I was finding it a bit too overwhelming.

In the last few days though, the reality of it all has finally started to hit and the logistics of having the baby are things we need to face and plan for. The excitement of actually having a new baby is slowing trickling in and the happy hormones are flowing. I’m preparing for birth with yoga and supplements and I’m excited to be supported by my amazing obstetrician and have the baby at the private hospital where I’ve had my previous babies. I know what I’m in for and I know how caring and supportive all the midwives are and what great resources they have on hand in such a great facility.

What I’m most really looking forward to though, are those first few days after giving birth and that love bubble that us Mums fall into; I call this the “baby moon”. It’s that week you have your baby, the first time you have with your newborn, the time when mum and baby get to bond and spend every moment together just staring into each other and feeding on demand. It’s the special time for learning the ropes and the first start of motherhood with baby on the outside.


This time together is so very precious and that’s why I believe it’s so important to be in a supportive environment in your own private room and this is why I’m such an advocate of private hospitals. I have had such amazing experiences post birth, being in a private hospital, having my own room and loving on my newborn. It’s so blissful to have the peace of knowing no one is interrupting you unless necessary and having the support of the same doctor see you the following days for check ups.

It’s lovely knowing that you have the room for your visitors to comfortably meet your new baby and that you’re not disturbing anyone else by chatting to friends or ringing the bell to ask for help. At private hospitals, there’s also great resources like lactation consultants on hand, breast feeding classes that you can wander down the hall to attend, physiotherapy classes where they teach you the exercises that you need to do after birth to gain the muscles back in all those areas that it gets lost. I remember after having both Sunny and Mabel how beneficial attending those in-hospital classes were and how happy I was to be in a private hospital where I got to experience this. The physiotherapist checked our stomach separation and gave us tools to take home with us to recover after pregnancy and childbirth.

The food is also great, they offer an upgrade to a larger room with a queen bed that your partner can stay in overnight and they even give you a “date night” in hospital with your partner. This is so special after having a baby as you know you don’t get to go out with your partner much when you have a newborn attached so the hospital puts on a special dinner for you, very close to the maternity ward and they mind your baby in the nursery while you enjoy a meal together. Isn’t that incredible? The list is endless really and it’s such a wonderful experience after such a big event; child-birth.

Having a baby isn’t the most comfortable thing, so if we can treat ourselves with a loving and supportive environment full of fantastic resources, I’m all for it and I can’t wait for my baby moon in a private hospital in less than 7 weeks!


For more information on private hospitals, visit http://privatehospitals.org.au 

Thursday, 25 January 2018

RECIPE: AVOCADO CRAB ROLLS


It’s well known that after the silly season, trying to get back in to the swing of things and keeping on top of your 2018 health goals is not for the faint-hearted.

The good news? KitchenAid have a range of attachments for their iconic Stand Mixer, and have shared some quick and healthy recipe ideas that will help you prep your lunch for the busy work week ahead and keep your taste buds delightfully satisfied.

These delish recipes are made with KitchenAid’s Stand Mixer Attachment range, each unique Attachment giving the iconic KitchenAid Stand Mixer versatility way beyond baking. They have shared this fun recipe with us all below, which uses one of the attachments, the vegetable sheet cutter.

The KitchenAid Vegetable Sheet Cutter slices your veggies and fruit into thin, flat sheets and can also be used for peeling. This Attachment features a thick and thin blade depending on your recipe and preference, simply attach it to your Stand Mixer, skewer the fruit or veggie on to it and voila! You’re ready to go. Better yet, this Attachment allows you to replace your usual ingredients with a healthier AND more delicious option, such as swapping out lasagna sheets for zucchini sheets, or replacing a wrap with cucumber sheets.

RECIPE : AVOCADO CRAB ROLLS

Spend a fortune on sushi during your lunch break? Make them at home AND more nutritious than ever with this Avocado Crab Rolls which aren’t as difficult as you think thanks to the KitchenAid Vegetable Sheet Cutter Attachment!

Makes 24 pieces

INGREDIENTS
1 large zucchini, ends trimmed and
cut into 4-inch sections
8 ounces lump crab meat, broken into
smaller pieces
1 small cucumber, julienned
4 sheets nori (seaweed)
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice

OPTIONAL
Soy sauce
Wasabi


METHOD
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350° F
Attach Vegetable Sheet Cutter Attachment to KitchenAid® Stand Mixer. Insert the food holder and zucchini/cucumber adapter in the center of both ends of zucchini section, aligning the red marks. Secure zucchini and food holder onto attachment. Insert food skewer through zucchini/cucumber adapter and all the way through zucchini. Attach Thin Blade to attachment. Position bowl under blade to catch zucchini. Turn Stand Mixer to Speed 2 and position blade against zucchini to process. Repeat with remaining zucchini. Cut zucchini sheets into 6-inch pieces, yields about six sheets. Spread sheets out evenly on work surface and absorb liquid with paper towel, if needed. Place nori in oven and heat about 10 minutes to soften. Cut nori to fit zucchini and place on top of each sheet. Drizzle lemon juice over avocado. Working from one end, divide avocado and cucumber slices horizontally across each sheet, about 1 inch from opposite end. Top with crab meat and roll tightly. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate 10 minutes.
Cut each roll into four pieces and serve immediately with soy sauce and wasabi, if desired.

ENJOY!

Nutrition Information - 1 Serving (0.9OZ)
23 calories
1.3g fat
1g carbs
2g protein
7mg cholesterol
29mg sodium

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

8 things to look for when choosing the perfect school shoes for your School kids


This post is in collaboration with Colorado Shoes 

Schools back in 2 weeks and it’s that time of the School holidays that we need to start organising what we need for School to survive that daily rush that we have so delightfully enjoyed to live without. School terms are hectic right? Personally, I just made it through the end of last year with all the drop off’s, pick up’s, concerts, after school activities, the list is endless. This year I’d like to feel a bit more on top of everything before we start, especially with a new baby coming soon. I need to make sure we have everything for school ready to go for the first day and beyond so every day runs as smooth as possible; School shoes, lunch boxes, drink bottles, hat, school bag, pencil case, school books and necessary accessories and lots of pairs of socks! Getting new school shoes that fit well and are super comfortable for our children have been the priority this past week.

Fitting this in before the School rush starts for the year again is so important and we’re really happy finding Colorado shoes for our kids as they’re really built to last unlike other shoes on the market that we have tried. What is great about Colorado Shoes is that they work with a team of leading Aussie podiatrists and experts to develop and design their range that focus on 8 critical points of school shoe construction to create a range that delivers everything that kids feet and school shoes require. I want to share these 8 points with all Mums as I think they’re such important factors to look for when choosing the perfect shoe for your child, to last the big year at school. I really think there is nothing worse that replacing school shoes before they are outgrown or children wearing shoes that don’t support them in the right way. Children grow and I really believe their little bodies need to be supported in the correct way from the ground up and that means wearing good quality shoes.


Here’s what to look for when choosing a school shoe for your child and the 8 point podiatry check list from Colorado Shoes:
  1. Removable insole : This customises the amount of room in the shoe to ensure a personalised width fit. 
  2. Heel Support : Secures the ankle and orthotics for controlled motion and movement and reduced irritation.
  3. Contoured arch : Supports various shaped feet for added comfort and less ankle, knee, hip and lower back pain.
  4. Torsional Stability : Allows for normal motion while restricting excessive twisting that leads to tired feet and legs.
  5. Secure fastening : Keeps the foot in place, eliminating irritation from feet sliding within the shoe.
  6. Forefoot Flex : Enables the shoe to flex, following the natural movement of your step.
  7. Shaped Toe Box : Ample width, depth and height to give toes room to flex and move irritation-free.
  8. Impact Cushioning : Reduces impact that causes stress to the ankles, knees, hips and lower back.

With all these points in mind, our Princess Pia chose the GLORY school shoe  and Sunny will be wearing the REFLECT Jnr E school shoe. We love both of these shoes also as there’s no struggle with laces, super easy to  put on and off with the Velcro strap, which makes life much easier for me too.

So are you ready to get back into the school term? What do you have left on the list of things to do before School goes back?


Shop the Colorado range and make the most of their current back to school SALE – 20% off PLUS Get the second pair of shoes half price {use code 2NDPAIRHALF at check out}. It includes sports shoes too which is handy. Click here http://bit.ly/coloradoschoolshoes18 for more info.

Disclaimer: This Post is in partnership with Colorado, but all words and thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

My knee surgery experience in a private hospital


This post is supported by APHA

I have always been active, I’m obsessed with Dance, love most sports and would jump into any team to get out of doing ‘homework time’ at boarding school while I was growing up. I was 18 years old when I had my first knee pain. I’d moved home for uni holidays and had been doing a lot of aerobics and my knee suffered a lateral meniscus tear. I saw quite a few different health practitioners about it and I was led in every which way. What started as pain in my knee, led to pain in my ankles and hips from allowing my body to over compensate for the original injury that I thought would never be fixed. Until months of things getting worse, finally an amazing physio suggested it was the meniscus…Thank goodness for him because I was so over the whole thing and I thought my active lifestyle would be over forever by such a trivial injury. Once we got the scans, we were referred to a knee specialist.

Growing up around the snow and having quite a few skier friends who had suffered the worst of knee injuries, my mum and I researched, taking some amazing recommendations of who the best person to see for my knee would be. This is the bonus of having private health insurance, we get to choose which doctor we want to see and know he or she is the best for us or our condition.
Within the week, we road tripped up to Sydney to see this Doctor that was perfect. The appointment was great, my knee was moved around a little and he confirmed that is was the meniscus and it would be best to operate for me to have the best movement going into the future and my life would be pretty much back to it’s old, active, young self.
The Doctor put my mind at ease, but the punch line of the whole appointment was; “Ok, so would you like to come in on Thursday?”
HUHHHHH???? Thursday? Like Thursday in 2 days? It was Tuesday! That blew my mind. I knew friends that had waited on lists for years for their knee surgeries through the public system. YEARS! And I could get mine done with only 2 days waiting period??? All because of private health insurance! I couldn’t fathom how incredible this was and how grateful I was to have been in private health insurance.

My mum had always made it a priority in our family. And I can tell you we didn’t grow up with a lot of money, but Mum had priorities for us kids and private health insurance was one of them. Growing up in the country, we have access to doctors and a public hospital but it’s considered rural so if anything goes wrong, we need to be taken straight to the bigger hospitals for the better resources. I don’t know whether, because of that, a lot of people in the area believe that they don’t need private health insurance, simply because we don’t have a private hospital down here. It confuses me as it makes me believe that it’s all the more reason we need to make it a priority so we can have the choice and not be limited to the long waiting periods that some may think they have to endure. We all have choices and it’s ok to travel.

So Thursday morning came, I fasted, and Mum and I headed over the bridge to check in to my hotel room … hmm hmm I mean hospital room. The whole experience was amazing; from entry, the waiting room was just beautiful, the staff were so welcoming and lovely and I felt so at ease going into my first every surgery as it can be a really scary thing. I just didn’t feel like I was walking into a big, overworked hospital, but instead walking into somewhere that I felt like I was someone and they cared.
I remember waking up from surgery with happy smiles by the incredible nurses and being looked after really well. The whole experience was really great and even though I definitely don’t recommend injuring your knees, I do recommend using private health insurance and the benefit of private hospitals.

For more information on private hospitals, visit http://privatehospitals.org.au 


Sunday, 17 December 2017

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE : Last minute gifts !

Nothing like last minute gifts to make your loved ones feel super special right? Here are some of our favourites. Happy shopping!

Fitbit Alta HR
Fitbit Alta HR is the world’s slimmest wrist-based, continuous heart rate tracking device combining the benefits of PurePulse® heart rate technology, automatic exercise recognition, sleep tracking, battery life of up to seven days and smart notifications in a slim, versatile design that is easily customised to fit your style.  (RRP: $249.95 BUT IN SALE RIGHT NOW for 40% OFF!) 
https://www.fitbit.com/


Aussie home-grown headphone brand Audiofly has released its new wireless Bluetooth headphone range. Perfect for everyday Australians who are always on-the-go and are after a pair of durable earphones to fuel their run or workout, the offerings from Audiofly are sweat resistant, lightweight and durable. Sitting comfortably in your ears, while remaining stylish and out of the way, the headphones recreate your favourite tracks in clarity so you can run, walk or lift weights alongside your favourite artists and more!
AF33W – RRP $59.99
https://www.jbhifi.com.au/


Woodfolk Tote Bags | RRP $85 each from woodfolk.com.au 
Made in collaboration with a women’s co-op in Kathmandu, these 100% cotton, hand-loomed bags are roomy, light-weight, and comfortable to wear. Available in a range of gorgeous colours including Strawberry & Stone, Demin & Charcoal and Blue & Stone, these handy tote bags are perfect to carry your active wear, beach belongings or shopping items for when you’re out and about. This is a must-have gift for the fashion forward and ethically inclined!


Belkin Fitness Armband for iPhone 7 + 7 Plus | RRP $59.95 | Belkin.com.au
Go the extra mile this Christmas with the slim and stylish Belkin Fitness Armband. The perfect stocking filler for any fitness buff, the Fitness Armband features a slim and breathable strap, highly reflective safety strips and a built-in case. Quick and easy access to your iPhone makes this ideal for snapping a scenic photo or changing your playlist on the go. Sweat-resistant and easily hand washable, this armband was built for everyday use and any type of workout! 



Milky Foot, a luxurious at-home pedicure treatment, which removes hardened skin through its intense peeling action after just one application.
Their range is formulated with milk ferment filtrate and mandelic acid (derived from almond milk), and it’s ideal for people wanting to avoid the time (or money) for salon pedicures, or seeking to prolong the benefits of pedicures. 
https://www.yourchemistshop.com.au



CameLife Skincare - a new premium skincare range in Australia, using the world's oldest Superfood, Camel Milk, to nourish and revitalise your skin. 
The CameLife Skincare range introduces a gentle cleansing bar, nourishing body mousse, as well as restorative eye, face and night creams. The range is blended with natural ingredients including Avocado, Argan and sweet Almond oils ensuring essential vitamins and proteins are efficiently absorbed into theskin for amazing results. 


Chandon S is a sparkling wine which has a refreshingly unexpected twist on the classic champagne cocktail. Created following the traditional French methode traditionnelle champagne making process, Chandon S adds a unique twist and has been created using seven natural, high quality, local ingredients including blood orange and navel orange peel, gentian root, fresh ginger, vanilla, cinnamon and green cardamom. The distinctive hand-crafted orange bitters in Chandon S were developed and made by the winemakers at the Chandon winery in the Yarra Valley. To develop this, Chandon Australia winemakers experimented with a range of herbs, spices, citrus rinds and berries before settling on orange as the primary flavour as it was the most refreshing! The process took many hours of trials and more than 300 kilograms of hand peeled oranges!!
Available at Dan Murphy’s, BWS. You can also enjoy Chandon S at a range of great venues around the country, find a location near you http://chandon-s.com/.
RRP: $29 per bottle

Monday, 11 December 2017

Why I’ve decided to have my baby in a private hospital

Our Beautiful Sunny at 8 days old.

This post is supported by Australian Private Hospital Association

Having three beautiful children and now being pregnant with my fourth, it’s safe to say I’ve had a mixture of birth experiences. From the public hospital experience to the private hospital experience, from C-section to induction, to natural birth, I’ve been lucky enough to experience them all and this means I know what I love and don’t love at all.

When I became pregnant with my third baby, Miss Mabel, we were pretty tight for cash. My husband was about to leave his job of 15 years and we were about to take on a huge move to the country side. After having an incredible private hospital experience having our boy Sunny a couple of years before;  I loved having a private room as it allowed more time to rest and gave more private space for all our visitors and the food was much better. Along with that, it was such a high quality of care, the midwives and nurses were all on the same page with their advice and knowledge and were so supportive with my personal needs. I felt truly cared for and not just another number on the list.

I remember telling myself that it was ok to go public to have this baby to save the money and that I’d had my private experience and it was just selfish of me to do the private thing as it was only so I could have my private room afterwards. But then I went to my GP who I loved, and I was weighing up my options. She looked at me straight in the eyes and said; “Cass, this is your third child, you’re going for VBAC (vaginal birth after Caesarean), you have to do this properly, you’re going private!”.

It all made sense then, I had to look out for the best interests of my whole family, not just myself and this meant I had to bring a healthy baby home and a healthy Mum. That was it, there was no question, I was to go back to my reliable obstetrician that I trusted so dearly and have my baby through the private system. Doing that wasn’t just because I wanted my own private room, post birth, even though that was nice, but it was for the care I knew I would receive through pregnancy, birth and beyond. When you have a baby in a private hospital, you choose your doctor. This was so important to me - I wanted to feel supported and guided in the best way possible to have the most successful VBAC experience.

VBACs aren’t easy and they need to be carefully monitored and not all doctors are supportive as VBACs can be dangerous. If for any reason it was not going to end up the way I wanted it to and I needed another C-section, I wanted to know the doctor that would be performing the surgery. The thought of anyone cutting into me and not knowing their background totally freaked me out. It’s major surgery! This meant I needed a doctor that knew my history and my needs and could support me with what I wanted to do as it’s my body after all.

The obstetrician involved in Sunny’s birth performed the original C-section so she knew what my body could go through and could support me in this. I wanted every chance for a VBAC but I also needed to know we were in safe hands for a healthy outcome, whatever that would end up being.

This meant we needed to keep our private health insurance obstetrics cover and make it a priority. The reality is that health insurance is an expense, having a baby is an expense, especially with a tribe of children in tow, but in our family life there are expenses we can’t live without and this is one of them. Health is so important, and we just didn’t want to risk anything now or in the future for ourselves or our children. For us, private hospital cover is a necessity!

Now that this is baby number 4, there is absolutely no question, we will be heading back to the 'big smoke’ to birth our next little bundle. It’s not easy to organise but it’s every bit worth it for our peace of mind and the incredible care that we receive!

Where did you have your babies? We’d love to hear your experiences.
For more information on private hospitals, visit http://privatehospitals.org.au 
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