Culinary

Crunchy Mama Vegan Lasagne

September 21, 2016
vegan, dairy and gluten free lasagne

Crunchy Mama Vegan Lasagne

Yesterday I posted a picture on my Instagram page of a vegan lasagne I kind of made up on the spot.

Who knew it would be so popular – I have had so many requests asking for the recipe so I decided to quickly write it down so I can share it with you all. Sorry if it seems rushed…because it is.

Quite a few years ago, ok back in my teens, I was a vegetarian/ wannabe vegan (wannabe simply because non-dairy cheeses back then were unheard of) so I am very familiar with the ‘crunchy’ lifestyle. People immediately tend to think of rabbit food but in actual fact I found it made me a more adventurous budding young cook and I surprised my family quite a few times with divine earthy creations.

These days I am slowly embracing the lifestyle again but more towards a pescatarian diet. I want my children to have the healthiest possible start to life and for me that begins with proper nutrition. At the supermarket I spend 3/4 of the weekly shop on fresh fruit and veg alone, and it raises a lot of eyebrows at the checkout. “Wow, that’s a lot of fruit and veg!” Is that really so strange? Yes I agree it can be expensive to buy healthy food but that is a small sacrifice I’m willing to make. It’s called priorities!

On a whim I decided to put my skills of master chef disguise to the test to see if this full blown vegan meal would get eaten and not picked apart to see what the hell I had put in there.

I partially made it in my thermomix, only because I made such a huge batch it would simply not all fit in at once. I really love not having to chop up anything anymore, such a time saver. #mumhacks

If you don’t have a Therminator you are going to have to cut the vegetables by hand. You can also use the same béchamel recipe but you will have to make it in a saucepan, and stir baby stir!

Basically you can put whatever you like or have to use up including left over roast vegetables which would make such a great flavour.

So here’s what I did, hope you love it too!

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Product Review

My Family Photo

September 15, 2016
blog pic

My Family Photo

I remember it well. A beautiful crisp sunny autumn day with clear blue skies late in the sun drenched afternoon…and my two little darlings were in fine fierce form.

The then Fournado was particularly revved up, super excited to be in the big city with energy bursting from the depths of his boyish soul. Even after my verbal prepping for weeks, days and then again minutes beforehand, it went totally out the window. Nothing was going to stop him and his cheeky little cheerleading sister from running amok, yet again.

“Please look at the camera” I begged,  “and smile!”  I did not like my chances.

I remember leaving feeling so very frustrated and cross because the children had not listened at all – they just wanted to run around exploring the park and not sit still for the photoshoot. I was so sure there would be no decent photos. I was feeling like a failure of a parent because my kids were dressed as angels yet running around like little devils, totally ignoring all direction from me. Magnified, of course, because I hung around just long enough to see the next family arrive for their photo shoot – they were calm, quiet and picture bloody perfect.

Pffftttt, robot children.

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Diamonds

Father’s Day

September 4, 2016
father and daughter,father's day

Father’s Day

It’s Father’s Day!

For us it’s been a day of fun, love, adventure, free spirits and quality time. Time is what’s truly important in any childs life.

Anyone can be a parent, but it takes a special man to be a great father or ‘Tata’ as we call him. Strong enough to protect and provide for his family yet gentle enough to connect with his children at a softer level and not be afraid to show unconditional love and affection.

With the knowledge that one day he will be the father of your children, picking the perfect life partner is a huge responsibility. I know I chose well and everyday I get to see my little family grow, enriched with love. I am one of the very lucky ones, because my husband is a fantastic father to his children and we celebrate that everyday, not just today.

Kind, considerate, interested, helpful, loving, supportive, funny and generous; these are just some of the fatherly qualities that I love about the man I married. Without him I would not be a mother and for that I am eternally grateful. I just can’t imagine doing this crazy gig without him to be honest!

Fatherhood is journey. Unlike us mothers they do not have the prior 9 months connection with the baby growing so slowly in our belly. For the first few months of our sons life I’m sure he thought he was going to break him! But with time, patience and perseverance I have watched him grow from a rough bachelor with no paternal clue into a thoughtful, gentle and wonderful Tata that would do anything for his beautiful offspring.

When our daughter came along 2 years ago I saw him evolve again. Little girls have a certain effect on their daddies soul that strips them back even more and it is so beautiful to watch. It literally melts my heart.

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Watching them all snuggled up reading stories before bedtime, practicing sport out in the yard, taking the dog for a walk together, dancing like dorks with music blaring, teaching them everyday life skills – the list is endless. At the end of the day, family is all that matters so I am so very blessed to have mine.

So a huge ‘Happy Fathers Day’ to my hubby Mr Diamonds, the love of my life and the apple of my children’s eyes; and also to all the other amazing dads out there.

x

Product Review

Lookielookies

June 1, 2016
lookielookies

Lookielookies

I just love getting sent fun things to test and this time I am featuring this very clever little gadget called a ‘Lookielookies’ which was invented by a fellow mama and total #mumpreneur called Janice, while she was on maternity leave with her first child. No excuses for baby brain any more ladies!

Janice was struggling to get her daughter to look directly at the camera and with nothing like it on the market an idea was born. She came up with the fabulous idea of attracting babies (and older children’s!) eyes to focus on the camera. Hard work and determination made that very idea a reality and now her business is growing across the world.

The concept is simple, press a button and the Lookielookies character flashes lights to attract the attention of your child to look directly at the camera lens. Genius.

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Diamonds

Happy Birthday Son! But really, it’s the day you rocked my whole world!

May 6, 2016
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Happy Birthday Son! But really, it’s the day you rocked my whole world!

Today is my sons birthday, and also the birth of me as a mother and adult woman with real purpose in life. It has made me reflect back to when he was first brought into the world and the baby bubble I was so lovingly wrapped up in. The most magical moments of discovering each other, getting to know his little personality, learning together and flourishing as the woman I was destined to be. It was also the start of some big changes and huge appreciation for life and creating a new one in which was the start of our family.

Having a child is a beautiful, empowering experience; especially the excitement of your first born. The unknown, the anticipation, the free time to sleep and ‘nesting’ in the nursery in preparation of the impending delivery. There is so much time spent wondering about how they will look, what the gender will be, what their future holds and who it is exactly that has been hiding in your swollen.

It really is a magical time, one that I reflect on with great pride and I know it was a huge turning point in my life. This little person was responsible for making me a mother, was responsible for making me think beyond just myself and was totally responsible for making me a better person, without a doubt.

The joy that he and all children bring is indescribable. After having my own children I have found the true meaning as to why I am here on this earth.

Motherhood, it fits me like a glove. I love it and my children more than life itself.

Nothing can quite prepare you for the overwhelming flood of emotions you will feel when your tiny little baby is placed on your chest, with or without a dramatic entrance. Having my child reach a special milestone like his 5th birthday today is pretty special, and as a mother it is a time of bittersweet reflection.

The boy I have gained and the baby who is no more. Baby clothes packed away and school decisions being made. Glimpses of a young adult about to bloom, with the whole world at his feet. As mothers we want them to always be close, but as mothers we want them to fly free and achieve great things.

The cord may have been physically cut but it is still very real and alive in my mind.

Childbirth is one of the most natural most natural events in the world, yet at the time it felt totally unnatural and just plain painful. To say the least. Honestly it hurt so much so that I actually forgot there was even a baby involved. Many, many colourful words were sprayed around the birthing room that night during my completely drug free labour, true grit, determination and focus was pulled from the very depths of my body that even I didn’t know I had. It’s hard, long painful work, but you will be more than rewarded at the end.

I thought I would be able to handle it. After meeting with girlfriends to discuss their thoughts on the whole process, I was sure I would have a higher pain threshold then them and thought to myself  ‘it cant be that bad can it?’

Wrong.

Mother Nature had different plans for me. It was like nothing I have ever experienced or can even begin to describe, but now it all makes sense although it wasn’t until I had my second child that I discovered my first born was a compound birth.

Compound

Compound presentation means prolapse of fetal extremity alongside the presenting part it is three types: 1.prolapse of the hand in cephalic presentation. (most common) 2.prolapse of the lower extremity in breech presentation. 3.prolapse of lower extremity in cephalic presentation. (relatively rare) compound presentations uncommon occur only 1 in 1000 pregnancies.

means prolapse of fetal extremity alongside the presenting part it is three types: 1.prolapse of the hand In layman’s terms, he was born with his arm up along side his head. Just to make it that bit more epic, and to teach me that I shouldn’t have thought I had a stronger pain threshold than my friends I’m sure. And being nearly 9 pounds didn’t help much either. Ouch.

The midwife exclaimed “Oh your the lady that had the compound birth!” “Sorry, what do you mean?” was my reply when I was about to give birth three years and two weeks later to the day, for the second time, with just as much anxious fear as the first. But there it was written in my notes, and that explains a LOT of things now.

Why I couldn’t sit down for a week after. Why the thought of sex made me run for the hills. Why I thought I would have an only child.

The following is an extract from a note I wrote shortly after birth, in those magical whimsical early motherhood days.

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So the birth went like this:- 7:00pm, Gentle contractions, similar to period pain begins so I ran myself a spa bath, shaved my legs, (and other regions) put on a face mask and relaxed in the candle lit bubble bath thinking of the beautiful and amazing changes my body was about to go through. I pondered the gender, and meeting the baby for the first time.

At 1:00am I ring the local hospital who calmly reassure me with “stay home if your comfortable”

Well it turns out you can stay home comfortably for too bloody long because next minute my pain level absolutely shoots through the fucking roof and I begin climbing the walls like a crazy woman trying to escape the zombie apocalypse, within 45 minutes my waters break everywhere!

Cascading over the bedroom carpet like the Niagara bloody falls, shit hits the fan and leaves a  very freaked out husband and equally panicked soon to be new mother. Wearing the most amazing outfit (husbands boxer shorts and tent like t-shirt) we race to hospital and so begins the prudish nightmare. “Legs up, let’s have a look” 8cm on arrival…! 

“I need an fucking epidural NOW!!!”

My doctor laughs this creepy little laugh with the midwife which tells me it’s way too late and I’m on my own. “Start pushing honey, this baby is nearly out” Argh, mortal dread realisation sets in, and as much as the doctor and nurse are here to help – I know this is something I have to do by myself.

I am crippled in pain, fear and the unknown. But mostly pain. 

Somewhere in the background I can hear the CD I chose gently playing calming songs and all around it’s dark, quiet and dim. Thank you baby for deciding to come so early in the morning so nobody has to see me like this.

Hearing that music helps me to gain my laser like focus and really concentrate on the effort I am going to have to pull out of my ass. Almost literally.

Meanwhile Mr Diamonds is looking very pale and understandably nervous, anxious and down right out of his comfort zone. I think I’m breaking his hand and there’s no way I want him down at the business end.

Frankly I’d rather have no bloody one (ever!) gawking down at my business end.  Pfttt. No modesty allowed in this entire damn hospital wing. As a last resort I am offered gas in the old school way by means of the claustrophobia causing face mask “YUK it tastes like fly spray get it AWAYYYY!” 

My son is Chava Jimi Krsto is born at 3:28am.

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Nothing can describe holding that baby for the first time.  Marred by legs up and getting stitches, but still holding the baby for the first time none the less. I have a adrenalin rush for the rest of the day, how can I possibly sleep now? Wanting to show this gorgeous little fella that I made off to the whole world is a very overwhelming feeling, but so is feeling like a mother lioness raging with protection for this delicate little darling. You would do anything for them.

(And I’ve nearly forgotten the pain!)

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This beautiful baby is mine for keeps and today he is five years old.

So Happy Birthday my handsome son, but really it’s the day you broke my vagina.

Culinary

9 Vegetarian Meals across the Globe

May 5, 2016
vegetarian meals from across the world

9 vegetarian meals across the globe

Last month I teamed up with 8 other bloggers from right around the world to create a special post sharing traditional vegetarian meals from our respective countries.

You may not know this about me but I was a vegetarian for 8 years and pescatarian for 2, throughout my mid teens and early twenties much to the inconvenience of my mother.

Back then vegetarian options were little to none, and people thought it meant eating lettuce each night for dinner and or starving.

Not so.

Here is a beautiful selection of traditional vegetarian meals, drinks and sweets from as far away as India, USA, UK, Jordan, South Africa, Korea, Russia, Hawaii, and of course mine from right here in the land down under to show you that choosing to be vegetarian does not have to be flavourless and boring!

The clever lady who put this idea together is Priya from the blog Cookilicious, where you can find the full post. I definitely recommend you check out her website because she has so many other amazing mouthwatering recipes!

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Culinary

Anzac Biscuits

April 6, 2016
anzac biscuits, recipe

Anzac biscuits

Talk about organised!

Anzac Day isn’t until the 25th of April this year so I am getting in nice and early with my recipe that I am sure you are all going love. As you are probably aware this is a very traditional Australian biscuit dating back to the first world war.

anzac day

Anzac floral wreath

But did you know that they were originally known as an Anzac wafer or tile? The biscuits were included with rations instead of bread as they were made with ingredients which were less likely to ‘spoil’ and therefore had a longer shelf life that kept well during naval transportation. There are even stories that soldiers used them to ground down into a type of porridge! After the war they were still very popular because the ingredients were quite affordable in such hard times.

This is my families recipe, which is a pretty standard representation of most recipes out there, however I like to change the way I cook them to enhance the flavour and texture. For this recipe I have made the softer, chewier version (= less crumbs to clean up after my children discover them!) but for myself I prefer squashing them very flat and baking them for 5 – 7 minutes longer to get a lovely thin crunchy golden brown biscuit.

Either way they are very extremely bloody good, and the cookie jar has been totally raided at my house already.

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Product Review

L’ovedbaby

April 1, 2016
l'ovedbaby

Looking for some beautifully made and superb quality baby clothes or a special gift?

Organic cotton you say, super soft and stylish? Here’s my perfect match!

For the last few weeks while the weather has been somewhat cooler we have been lucky enough to be testing out the deliciously darling hoodie and leggings set, complete with the matching headband from the organic cotton loving company L’ovedbaby.

I first discovered them on Instagram when I was searching for some earth friendly choices that didn’t sacrifice on comfort or fashion.

They have gorgeous outfits and designs to pick from including some great basics and blankets as well as some fantastic gift baskets filled with all sorts of different items so the hard work of deciding on a baby present is already done for you; just pick a gender, a size and you are done!

Coming beautifully packaged, we received this 3 piece lavender set and there are many other colour combinations also available. Little Miss 1 loves it!

L'oved Baby 3 piece organic cotton lavender set

L’ovedbaby 3 piece organic cotton lavender set

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So comfy for lounging around!

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Culinary

Best Banana Bread Blog

March 14, 2016
banana cake, best banana cake recipe, easy banana cake, banana,

Best Banana Bread Blog

Listen up lovely readers…this is the only Banana Bread recipe you will ever need so be sure to save it and then share the love around!

I’m about to spill some family secrets here because this makes the most delicious, moist and flavoursome cake that smells so divine and I’d love to share it with you all.

Besides, If I’m going to be getting fat by eating so much damn cake, then you should be too. 

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