Wednesday, November 25, 2015

WCW Festive Pasta Salad

It is the season for celebrations over food and wine, and what better way to celebrate than with a colourful pasta salad? Best of all, this is so quick and easy to put together. so you can spend more time socialising and less time in the kitchen!

Festive Pasta Salad

2 packets fresh green filled tortellini
1 jar green pesto with cashews
1 package dried cranberries
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the fresh pasya according to the package directions. Drain and return to pan. Add pesto and dried cranberries, toss to coat. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Chill for at least two hours then serve.

Quick and delicious, perfect for your next Christmas side dish.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Appreciating my Family for NFCM

As some of you may be aware, I recently took a short break from my blogging to focus on my health. I had laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis removal in January, where steps were also taken to treat some of my symptoms. However, these symptoms continued, and in some cases worsened, and the only other option was a major surgical procedure. The incidental discovery of a rare rectus sheath hernia was also found, and so it was agreed that I have the hernia repair and a hysterectomy at the same time, requiring a full cut along my abdomen.

This was major surgery, and I had my doubts. I was worried that I would be away from my boys for so long, how my recovery would be, and there were also the fears of going under general anesthetic. I am no stranger to surgeries, having had major hip surgeries as well as three other laparoscopies, but each time I still get nervous. However, my symptoms had forced me to stop exercising, and some days I couldn't even leave the house. For two weeks out of every month I was in constant pain, and when I couldn't even walk my son to school and back I knew that something had to be done. The surgery was booked in, and I started to prepare for my hospital stay.

You can imagine that this is not something I can recover from overnight, and in fact I spent an entire week in hospital recuperating. Throughout this time, my family pulled together to help with meals, looking after my two boys and making sure that I still had everything I needed to be comfortable.

November is National Family Caregiver Month, and I wanted to highlight how important family can be when you are dealing with illness. I am so grateful to my husband for being the parent at home for the next few weeks, and he did an amazing job while I was in hospital. He still is doing most of the work around the house as well as helping with the boys, and I cannot give him enough credit.

My parents and in-laws have also been amazing, helping with transport, meals and housework. Sometimes just having company is enough, and a cup of tea with my mum is guaranteed to get me to forget about my pain for a while. My mother-in-law especially has been so helpful, taking time away from her day to help out and make sure I have everything I need.

I am taking each day as it comes, and hope to be back on my feet by Christmas!

I am truly amazed at the amount of people who look after their spouses, parents or other family members long-term. Six weeks seems like a long time for me, but those who do it every day are often under-appreciated and may not have the help of anyone else nearby. I am lucky in that I will recover with time, whereas others may have to deal with a lifelong illness or a sudden diagnosis that brings about major change to normal life.

I also wanted to share the story of Heather Von St. James, who made me aware of Natioanl Family Caregiver Month. This woman is so strong, and her health journey had me in tears. If you have a moment, I encourage you to read her story and find out why she is now fighting to change the law.

My blogging will be back to normal this week, as I can at least sit down and type now without being in pain. Feel free to come say hi on Facebook or Instagram!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A brief break

Things have been a bit quiet here recently- I am currently undergoing some major changes and will be undergoing surgery next week with a lengthy recovery.

I hope to be back at the end of November, bringing you more recipes, children's activities and SAHM stories, but in the meantime I hope you all have a wonderful lead up to the festive season.

I will have so much to share with you when I get back- Christmas is going to be big plus I have a 6th birthday party and some craft markets, so I have no shortage of ideas and tips.

In the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram.

Hope you have a wonderful month!


Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Frock Feature 4

Another Friday, another frock!

I had an opportunity to wear my LBD as part of my birthday celebrations. This dress is a bargain from Ezibuy- so easy to wear and comfortable. the material is a bit thin so I wore a nude slip from boohoo underneath.

I paired this dress with some strappy blue, green and black high heels, and added my new Portmans crop jacket for some warmth and colour.

My sister and I had a great time celebrating our birthday at the newly re-opened Yamagen restaurant, complete with a chef who was skilled at upside down salt writing!

Don't forget to check out the reasons behind Frocktober and donate here.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Frock Feature 3

Today I am sharing a fun party dress that I can dress down for daytime events.

This Heidi Heavy Embellished Chiffon Skater Dress from Boohoo has been great for both day and night occasions, and I love the extra sparkle that the top adds, and the gathered waist gives me shape but is still really comfortable to wear.

The back also has gorgeous detailing, with a button clasp and slight gape to show off your skin.

I wore this dress with flat sandals to a daytime children's birthday party, but it is also beautiful paired with wine red lips and black pumps for a night out.

Unfortunately this dress has sold out online, but I have found a similar one here.

Remember that I am wearing a dress each Friday for Frocktober, to find out more about this and to donate to a great cause please click here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

WCW Caramello Peanut Truffles

      Sometimes you have those recipes that turn into a disaster, and yet sometimes they turn into something salvageable and amazing! This is what happened to me with this recipe- I originally tried to make a slice but it crumbled as I was cutting it so I made it into truffles, and they were delicious. I have streamlined this recipe for you to try at home without the slice disaster step!

      Caramello Peanut Truffles

      250g block Caramello Chocolate, melted
      115g butter, melted
      200g Marie biscuits or other plan vanilla biscuits
      3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
      1/4 cup coconut flakes
      1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
      200g milk chocolate melts
      1/2 tub Cheesecake Filling

      Melt the butter and Caramello chocolate together with the sweetened condensed milk in a microwave safe jug.

      Crush the biscuits and combine with butter mixture, coconut flakes and peanuts.

      Spread into a baking tray and allow to cool.

      Melt the milk chocolate and pour over the biscuits. Leave to set in the fridge for at least two hours until the chocolate is hard.

      Crush the base and chocolate layer in a food processor or by hand in a Ziploc bag, then mix with the cheesecake filling into balls. Leave to set in the fridge for at least two hours, then enjoy!

      You get bites of hard chocolate, peanuts and softer cheesecake filling in every bite. One is not enough with these truffles- deliciously decadent and great for entertaining!

      Monday, October 12, 2015

      A ZooMoo Movie Morning

      Our family was very lucky to attend a special preview yesterday of a new kid's show called ZooMoo. ZooMoo is an interactive TV show that entertains and educates kids about the animals of the world. With puppets, animation, and incredible wildlife footage, ZooMoo is all animals all the time!

      My boys were very excited to get some facepainting done when we arrived, although my 5 year old decided to get Spiderman painted on his hand instead.

      The Zoo Moo photo screening was fun for the boys too!

      While we waited for the show to begin, each child was given a colouring book and pencils filled with Lightbox characters such as SpongeBob and Dora, which helped to keep the wriggles at bay.

      The icecream and popcorn helped keep the boys occupied as well, and I know my husband appreciated the snacks.

      We had an iPhone out during the screening, as there is an app for ZooMoo that encourages you to look after 150 animals on secluded ZooMoo Island. You can care for your animals, watch real life videos, learn animal names and sounds, feed, wash and create friends for your animals and take photos. The best part is it also works with each show to collect more animals and content, so the boys were excited to get some penguin cards throughout the screening. The ZooMoo App includes a Parent's Page where parents can learn about their children’s playing sessions, which animals are played with most, when animals were unlocked, and tons of animal facts. These facts help parents engage with their children, talking and learning together, which I think is a fabulous tool in our digital environment.

      The show kept my boys entertained throughout the entire hour screening, and the interaction between the characters and those watching was also fun and lighthearted. I even learnt a few things about penguins! The storylines jumped a bit, but they were all easy to keep track of and the different mini-stories kept the show from becoming too dragged out. My 5 year old loved the Ninja Gorilla scenes, and my 3 year old was especially entertained by the story read by Mom Orang' to baby DJ.

      ZooMoo’s schedule is built one hour blocks with five themed strands: explore time, create time, play time, puzzle time and quiet time.  These provide consistency and structure, something educational experts stress is critical for learning and skill-building in young viewers. The one hour show may be a stretch for little ones to sit through, but as it does keep changing I found that my three year old's attention did not wander too much- especially as he kept being excited by each animal earnt on the app!

      Overall, I think that ZooMoo is a fantastic show for my two boys, who love technology and learning about the world around them. It has convinced me to sign up to LightBox, where there are currently 20 episodes of ZooMoo available to watch.
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