Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Today's Paleo kai

Bacon is such a great way to start the day isn't it?

Bacon, scrambled eggs with coconut milk, and mushrooms fried in butter

Last nights' leftover vegetables all mashed together with a tin of tuna then fried in butter to make a great big messy hash. Delish!

Lasagne using courgettes as the pasta sheets, with grated vegies, a white sauce from Seaside Kitchen, and some Parmesan cheese sprinkled across the top. For some reason I couldn't get the sauce to thicken this time so used a little arrowroot to rescue it. Served the lasagne with steamed broccoli and cauliflower too.

Snacks for the kids
Carrot sticks dipped in almond butter, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, walnuts, raisins and a banana, plus a small amount of yoghurt with a little raw honey drizzled on top.

(We make our own Greek style sugar free EasiYo yoghurt and we got the raw honey from Bees Blessings which are at the Harbourside Market on Sunday mornings in town. Delicious!)

Here is Gus devouring his bacon and scrambled eggs. The bacon is by far the best we've ever tasted - it's from the Riverside Market in Lower Hutt and is called Pirongia Bacon. Proper smoked bacon the way it used to be!

Monday, 29 April 2013

Our 30 day Paleo Adventure

On Wednesday we commence a nutrition clean up that sees us (mostly) following the Paleo Diet, which briefly means that we eat only real foods - meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds plus we will still have a limited amount of dairy products and the only drinks we will consume will be water, tea and coffee (the kids will still have their wee drink of milk before bed). Grant and I, our four year old and two year old are all taking part in this challenge in the hope of seeing and feeling a real difference to how we feel - for the boys the motivation is health issues and for Grant and I it is about being healthier. We have already been loosely following this diet but the next 30 days will see us strictly adhere to the rules!

I know that when Grant and I first started talking about Paleo in January I had a great many reservations, but as the months have passed I have read more and more, built up a selection of tried recipe ideas and weaned us off the last of the foods that we won't be eating and I am now at a point where I feel confident that we'll manage the next few weeks alright.

I have also managed to convince my parents to take part in the challenge so I thought to help them with kai ideas, and for anyone else who is interested in what we're doing, I'd share our daily meals.

So although the challenge hasn't officially started, I will share our kai of the day.

Breakfast - eggs and mushrooms fried in coconut oil
Lunch - last nights leftover smoked fish pie - the white sauce recipe I use is from Seaside Kitchen
Dinner - pumpkin and kumara mashed with butter, lamb and steamed broccoli and cauliflower
Snacks - just a few cashews and almonds for afternoon tea and the kids also had a banana and apple in the morning.

Here is Felix wolfing down the smoked fish pie at lunchtime.

A belated thank you

Many, many thanks to the wonderfully talented ladies who took part in Maze and Vale's fabric swap. It was exciting to await the arrival of the postie each day, impatient to open the next parcel of fabric and to see where it had originated. There were many difference influences and approaches apparent in the printing in terms of colours and techniques. Such fun to be a part of a international community event. I look forward to next year! Xo

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Happy birthday our gorgeous Gus!

Four years old! Wow, where has the time gone?  You are growing up to be such a cool, courageous, spirited, sensitive, cheeky, generous, boisterous and considerate little boy.  We are so very proud of you Gus and "love you for all the stars in the night of the dreams".

What a whirlwind of fun times it has been since last weekend when we stayed at the hotel while Daddy worked and we had a blast! Room service in bed, swimming in the hotel pool, pepi cino's with marshmellows and buffet breakfast in the morning.  What more could you want?

Gus' first present brought home the fact how much television plays a role in our lives when he said "There's Australia where I was born and Nemo is from, where is Madagascar, where is Finn McMissile from, where does Lightening live, is that one where Rio the manu lives?"  I suppose it is all learning in some shape or form!

The joy on Gus' face is evident as he unwraps his Lego.  Yes - we got it right!

Every time there is a birthday I try to get a family photo, and every time Grant doesn't smile and we inherit an extra child that has to be cropped out of the photo. Ha!

I love this photo of Gus and I - he isn't smiling as he's to busy chewing on a snake lolly!

When Gus' good friend turned up wearing cowboy attire, Gus decided to dress up as well.  He looked fabulous wearing his builders suspenders and my gorgeous fedora that he has now claimed as his own by writing his name on it!  (I took that hat all around Europe and now it has GUS written on the top since he decided that it is his.  Argh!) The homemade rocket ship pinata was great fun and proved just a little scary when the children launched themselves at the bouncy balls the spilled from it.

The rocket ship birthday cake was awesome (a huge thank you to my sister-in-law for making it). The cake looked incredible until that hammer came crashing down and the children attacked the cake.  I feared for my life as I stood there trying to recover the cake from the clawing hands that were coming from every direction to grab a handful of lollies.  Fun, fun, fun!

What a wonderful day we had with our whanau and friends.  Thank you to everyone for sharing Gus' special day and for your extremely generous gifts. Our love to all. Xo

Saturday, 27 April 2013


'A portrait of my children once a week, every week, for 2013'

Gus - playing the clown

Felix - "heeping in the big bed at Daddy's hotel"

Saturday, 20 April 2013


'A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, for 2013'

Gus - thrilled to be asked to go out in the rain to pick carrots for dinner.

Felix - still buzzing about his new bike.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

I've become that Mum!

You know the one who says no to sweet treats for their child, questions the contents of everything, and just generally finds food problematic.  A few moons ago now, when I was working in childcare in Melbourne there was a particular mother whose name would inwardly make me cringe because she was just the same. I feel terribly guilty now for how frustrated I used to feel (not act though) with her as I am now asking the same questions, placing the same restrictions on our children's food and raising the same concerns.  Isn't it funny how time and knowledge changes how you feel about life.

Because of Gus' eczema, Felix's tummy troubles, and Grant and I wanting to have a healthier diet, we have committed to follow a grain free, legume free, sugar free diet, with limited dairy products, plus Grant and I will also avoid alcohol, for the month of May.  We will evaluate things at the end of the month and see how we all feel and decide what to do after that.

It is a tricky and time consuming business this wholefood stuff - I find I have to be so organised and feel like if I am not cooking then I'm washing dishes. There is no quick open a can of spaghetti or pop out for McD's for dinner. And if I'm not in the kitchen then I'm either tending the veggie patch or researching either recipes or food sources.  It is a big commitment to undertake and one that we don't take lightly as it is very important to us that our children to grow up knowing what food really looks and tastes like, and how different foods make them feel - for worse or for better! I just sure hope it is worth all this effort! Xo

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


'A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, for 2013'

Gus - his enthusiasm for the arts continues and he was particularly pleased with this self portrait which is now proudly stuck to his wall.

Felix - finally a bike our wee possum can ride. His pleasure at finally being able to ride is written all over his face. Bless him!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

To crochet or not to crochet

I am very proud to announce (with only a little confidence) that after two years of being on my 'Things to do this year' list, I have finally learnt to crochet. I attended a fantastic little class on Saturday at Holland Road Yarn Company that was taken by Sofia Moers. She was so incredibly patient with all of us as we struggled to get our fingers, hook and yarn under control. We came away with a handy little information pack and homework, which being the little-bit-too-organised person that I am, I completed straight away.

While it was all fresh in my mind, I decided to get stuck into a project and gathered up my supplies to make what Gus has named the Rainbow Blanket. I knew that stash of wool I've had hidden away was for a reason! I found a wonderfully easy to make beginners blanket on Ravelry, aptly named Simple Baby Blanket by Kate Dixon. It is really so simple that I'm powering through it! I really love the repetition of crocheting - the constant counting is so soothing (and I'm a person who really doesn't like math). Now my trouble is do I continue working on my four other knitting projects or my crochet. What to do, oh what to do! Many thanks for the teachings Sofia. Xo

Monday, 8 April 2013

What to do for our two plus two?

Our gorgeous Gus will be 4 years old in two weeks time.  This time four years ago I was visiting the hospital every other day to ensure Gus' safe and healthy arrival (I had developed pre-eclampsia).  Those three weeks' of traveling into Gosford every other day, plus a couple of overnight stays when my blood pressure wouldn't cooperate, felt like a lifetime.  I remember feeling so impatient with the whole situation and desperate for our baby boy to arrive.  I can now look back with gratitude to those hospital stays as not only did our Gus arrive safely and healthily but I can now knit - had to do something with my time!

Anyway, the reason for this post is that with Gus about to turn four we have no idea what to get him for his birthday.  He has a bike - he's actually onto his third one now as he has outgrown one and thrashed the life out of another.  He has a scooter and a sandpit, balls, board games, blocks, a cape and many, many other things.  Aside from Lego which we are luke-warm on the idea of, we are stumped with what to get him.  (Our hesitation is that because Felix is in a I'm going to bug Gus until he loses the plot phase, we can just see Lego causing all kinds of conflict - but then maybe we're just overthinking things.)

What have you brought for your four year olds' birthday?  Would love some ideas. Xo

Sunday, 7 April 2013


'A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, for 2013'

Gus - playing pirates in his wardrobe with Felix. Fun times being had!

Felix - "Playing pirates Mummy, oh ho oh, not trouble"

Monday, 1 April 2013


'A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, for 2013'

Gus - loved drawing pictures in the sand while in Gisborne visiting my wonderful sister, her partner and daughter.

Felix - relaxing on Pop after a dip in the ocean.