Saturday, March 28, 2015

perfect fridays...

Friday is MY day. My day to do whatever I want, for the 6 hours E is at daycare (I put her in for a short day on Fridays). And what I want, usually goes a little something like this...

Breakfast and coffee out somewhere I can't go with a small person in tow - at a relaxed and leisurely pace...

Quinoa and coconut Bircher with rhubarb and strawberries, courtesy of the new Humber bar - awesome spot, not one to take the teeny human though! 

It wouldn't be a Friday without a trip to the produce markets in the mall. My opportunity to stock up on fresh, seasonal goodies. Usually with my gorgeous mum in tow, this week I was lucky enough to have her AND my nana - three generations out for brekky and a shop! Perfect.

Friday laundry day is my chance to wash all the bedsheets - is there anything more  blissful than clean, sunshine-dried sheets? Even though we live in an apartment, an outdoor clothesline is a non-negotiable for me.

Friday is also my meal-planning and prep day. This week, I stewed up some fruit for our breakfast porridge...

Made some herbed rye breadcrumbs in the trusty Kitchenaid and used them to crumb some chicken breast and make about four dozen mini meatballs, which I froze. Having dinner prepped and ready to go is essential when I get home after work with a seriously hangry toddler!

I also have the luxury of a nice big clean of the house, which is a near impossibility when the kiddo is home. Our place is small enough that anything noisy done while she naps is sure to wake her - and when she's awake, there's just no chance! Her favourite game is following me around and switching off the vacuum when I'm not looking, then running away while laughing hysterically. Why can't she be scared of the vacuum like normal kids?!

Throw in the chance to take a yoga or ballet class, or go for a quiet walk, and you've got my ideal Friday. With a husband who works long hours and often weekends, that one day is a little investment in my sanity and the smooth running of our household. Priceless!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

everything was beautiful at the ballet...

A few weeks ago, my lovely mum and I had the absolute pleasure of seeing Graeme Murphy's Swan Lake in Sydney...

I managed to nab pre-sale tickets last year, and we were three rows from the front - it was absolutely magical. Loved it. And it awoke my ballet obsession afresh and I found myself dyyyying to get to a class! 

Sadly my old class just doesn't work for me anymore, time-wise, now that I have the tiny human at home, but one of my girlfriends found a new studio for us to try. So early this morning, the two of us kitted up and headed off for an hour-long class (after dumping our respective kiddies with their respective grandparents heh)

It was I have ever taken. Hands down, bar none. The teacher looked and moved like a professional, with the most amazing feet and port de bras. I came away so inspired and fired up for more classes! (although I anticipate being very sore tomorrow).

Here's to reawakening old passions and making time for what you enjoy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

february beauty finds...

kevin murphy angel wash + angel rinse
I always use whatever products my hairdresser tells me to haha This stuff is the best for my new short 'do, and smells divine. Definitely hooked.

grown alchemy handcream
I adore the orange/vanilla variation of this cheap-and-cheerful little gem, and actually love this scent even better! It's not really rose scented to me, it's got a lovely herbal top note.

nuxe reve de miel lipbalm
This stuff is SO good. Unbelievably good. Grabbed it in the recent Priceline beauty sale after reading beauty blogger rave reviews, and I am officially hooked. I get such dry lips, especially in winter, and this lipbalm is doing a stellar job of keeping them smooth and hydrated.

bourjouis luminous primer
I have never previously used a primer (I know, bad!) and recently picked this one up on recommendation of a girlfriend. I love it, it's light and gorgeous and seems to protect my skin from the foundation, as well as making it glow. Winner!

clinique anti-blemish range
I have blogged about my post-pregnancy skin woes previously, and will do a detailed post soon - but in a nutshell, I am finally comfortable going without makeup, for the first time since I had E, and am confident these products have played a role.

Any new favourites for you lately?


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

in which I review the FoodSwitch ap...

Please note, this is a sponsored post

Last week, I was invited to review Bupa's recently updated FoodSwitch ap. The ap has a built-in scanner which lets you photograph/scan the barcode of a selected product, and provides you with a breakdown of the amount of fat, salt and sugar, as well as suggesting healthier options of a similar nature.

I have actually used the previous version a fair bit in the past (and mentioned it on here!), after reading about it in Choice magazine a few years back. So I was excited to get the chance to road-test the new and improved version!

Bupa sent me a $100 grocery voucher to give the ap a whirl, and I headed out last Wednesday with my trusty minion/shopping buddy, and my gorgeous mum in tow...

One of the reasons I don't use the FoodSwitch ap on a daily basis is that I don't tend to buy a great deal of "packaged" food, ie muesli bars or biscuits. Things like raspberries or lemongrass don't really require nutritional comparison! But for things like crackers or yoghurt (which Evie eats a lot of!), or even just tinned tomatoes, it's quite handy to have on your phone.

The new ap has options for SugarSwitch, EnergySwitch and FatSwitch - I think the GlutenSwitch one would be particularly useful if you were allergic, as so many products contain traces of gluten! I kept things simple and left it set on FoodSwitch, which provides healthier alternatives in all categories.

I like the traffic light system for rating products, very easy to read and understand!

The Greek yoghurt baby squeezies that my daughter is obsessed with, weren't actually "rated" as they didn't have a category - but the ap provided a breakdown anyway which was useful. I don't stress about fat for her, she's only 1! And as my mum pointed out, people tend to be very brand loyal, and even if their favourite product is a bit high in fat/salt/sugar, they may chose to stick with it rather than switch to a healthier suggested alternative. It's all about knowledge is power, really - giving you the information to make the call. I am pretty set on the yogurt brand I eat every morning, and even though it read as one of the higher fat options, I can't see myself switching anytime soon.

This photo simply had to be included by reason of the hilarious barcode - my mum and I were in hysterical giggles (with her insisting, "that can't be the actual barcode! Keep looking!" It wouldn't scan at all, which I was disappointed by, as E has VitaBrits most mornings for breakfast and I know they are a low-sugar, low-salt option, but it would have been very interesting to compare to other similar products. 

This is clearly not a defect with the FoodSwitch ap, and is down to Uncle Toby's bizarre barcode - but I think it would be good to have an option to manually search for a product if you can't get the scanner to work. There were a couple of other items which were difficult to scan due to shiny packaging, so this would have been a good option.

Another reason I only used the FoodSwitch ap infrequently in the past is that not all products are included in the database. I kept finding that my favourite products were not recognised. There is an option to scan and send the product details to Bupa/The George Institute for inclusion. I did generally try to do this. I am pleasantly surprised to report that many of the products that were not included a few years back, have now been added to the database.

The ap can be downloaded for free from the Ap Store on your iPhone. I would definitely recommend it. It's not perfect, but is extremely handy, quick and easy to use, and provides a good informative reference point when you are out shopping!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

monday musings...

I have become a person with allergies! Aargh! Nary a sniffle from me pre-pregnancy, no seasonal sneezes or hayfever - but this summer, I have been a mess! I officially called it when I lit up a trusty candle this afternoon, and had to promptly extinguish it after I become unbearably itchy and sneezy.

Not sure what to do about all my half-used Glasshouse candles! *sadface* 
(Eek have just realised that I haven't finished that book club book sitting on top there yet!)

How hot has it been??? Crazy! I am longing for autumn and cool breezes, even a nice downpour. We have been hanging out indoors under the aircon far more than I care to admit - indulging in homemade fruit ice blocks...

... and general indoor play. The kiddo looooves jigsaw puzzles! Loves them! And is pretty good at them, to my (admittedly biased) eye. Hopefully she has inherited her father's hand-eye coordination rather than mine hahaha

V is away this week, waaaay out west, so I can't really complain about the heat to him, it's about 5 degrees hotter where he is!

I am currently watching If You Are The One and indulging in a mint slice biscuit (or three!) Le Jia is kind of my hero <3

See you next time! (hehe)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

sunday at the zoo...

Seeing as the weather was looking promising, we packed the kiddo up nice and early this morning and headed off to Symbio wildlife park. We arrived just after they had opened, so it was nice and quiet and not too hot.

I honestly think she would have run and jumped on top of a kangaroo if we had let her - we were having to restrain her from getting too up in their faces (a couple of the bigger males were quite aggressive!) She just adores them, wants to feed and pat and cuddle them. If one of them started jumping, she was delirious with joy.

The reptile house would have to be her favourite spot, with the cotton top tamarin monkeys a close second (she cried when we walked away from them!) Unfortunately, the tiger was sleeping out the back somewhere so we missed out on seeing him, which was a pity as Evie loves the tiger (or "meow" as she terms all cats, big and small).

The highlight of the day was watching her talk to the echidnas and reach out to pat one - at which moment V and I both realised that yes, her arm was in fact small enough to fit through the bars, and we just about knocked ourselves out grabbing her in time. That would have been a major ouch, for Evie and the poor echidna!

We stopped off for coffee and gelato at the top of the mountain, before scooting home and bundling the kiddo into bed for a nap.

Now I am currently making Hay while the proverbial sun shines (geddit?), and meal planning for the week - loving the special Donna Hay fresh+light magazine! The miso-glazed salmon and brown rice parcels will most definitely be featuring on the menu.

Hope the weekend has been good to you all!