Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Make a Statement

You have already seen my ideas on wearing statement necklaces, but what about rings?

Statement rings are a great idea to add interest to outfits, especially since you may not have much skin on show during the winter months, and it is nice to draw attention to those parts of your body that are usually overlooked.

The first suggestion I have with a statement ring is to wear one on your next night out!

Here, I wanted to keep the front of my outfit quite neutral as the back of this top has a low cowl back. In keeping with the monochrome feel, a large black and silver statement ring paired perfectly with the greys and blacks of my outfit.

This gorgeous cocktail ring would pair perfectly with your Little Black Dress too!

Mixing metallics is a huge trend this season- so if you are unsure of how to mix and match, get a ring that does it for you!

I love the leaf pattern on this ring, and it blends silver and gold so well. This ring looks great with gold, cream, black and purple hues.

Having fun with textures is another great way to wear a statement ring. My clever friend Miriam made me this necklace, and another blogger, Lauren, sent me this ring as a gift. They match together wonderfully and provide some textural interest.

Look at the intricate detail on this ring- isn't it pretty!

As a Stay At Home Mum, I have days where jeans and a knit jersey are my wardrobe staple. Adding a fancy ring and some red lipstick always makes me feel put together and glamorous, even if I am om only folding laundry!

A bold stone or gem ring can be great to pick up a colour in your outfit and make it the star, or simply perk up a neutral colour palette.

I would love to know what your favourite ring is!

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Man of Substance

I have been very lucky to have a close relationship with my dad- both growing up and now that I am an adult.

He was pretty hands on for my early years when he wasn't working, and I have lots of memories of fun weekends with him and the rest of my family.

As the youngest (by five minutes) of four children, my Dad still took the time to have one-on-one time with me throughout my childhood. He definitely was busy with work, and I remember annoying him with my constant requests to go on bike rides!

We continued to be close even through my parent's divorce, and even though we lived apart through the last couple of years of my schooling and some of my university years, I still saw him regularly. I remember he would drop everything if I needed him, even if I was a six hour drive away.

My Dad gave me away on my wedding day eight years ago, after making sure my future husband lived up to his standards!

I lived in different cities and different countries from 16 to my mid twenties, but have now ended up living just down the street from my Dad. We have coffee together at least once a week, and it is so nice knowing that he is only a couple of minutes away if I need anything.

Now, my Dad is an awesome Granddad to my two sons. He isn't afraid to get down to their level and play with them, joining in with their games and doing lots of piggyback rides.

He was so excited when he found out I was going to be a mum, as he had been told I would lever have children. I know he was a bit shocked at first, as it took a while to sink in, but he loves my two boys and it is great being able to see him a lot so that my boys have another strong male role model in their lives.

We might have different tastes when it comes to music and cars, but we both love running and have done a lot of events together such as The Color Run- even the torrential rain didn't stop us from smiling and having a great time.

I know that I am very lucky to have my dad close by, and it is awesome to be able to see him all the time. I think that Dads don't get a lot of recognition, and so I wanted to share some reasons why my relationship with mine is so special. My Dad is definitely a Man of Substance!

Tommy John has chosen NFL legend Steve Weatherford as their first annual Man of Substance. He embodies characteristics that should be celebrated- family oriented, confident and a deep care for his community. This month, Tommy John will be donating 10% of all second skin boxer brief sales towards the Steve Weatherford World Champion Foundation.

Who is your Man of Substance? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

WCW- Feijoa and Apple Bundt Cake

I love a great fruit cake with icing, and this cake was no exception. I ended up making two of these in three days as it was so popular with my family and friends!

This cake is drizzled with a decadent cream cheese icing, which makes it hard to resist.

The fruit inside this cake helps to keep it moist, and provides a lot of sweetness.

Enjoy a slice today if you have an abundance of feijoas! If you cannot get your hands on feijoas, you can replace them with 3 grated pears instead, and add 1/2 cup walnuts.

print recipe

Feijoa and Apple Bundt Cake
  • 125 grams butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 10, mashed feijoas
  • 2, grated Granny Smith Apple
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons hot milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 250 grams cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
Preheat oven to 180°C. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add mashed feijoas and grated apple, and mix lightly so there are still lumps of it throughout the mixture. In another bowl, stir baking soda into hot milk mix into creamed mixture. Sift in flour and baking powder, fold into the mixture until combined. Turn into a greased and lined 20cm (approx) round cake tin. Put into preheated oven for 50 min or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Leave in tin for 10 mins before turning out onto a cooling rack.To make the icing, beat together the cream cheese and icing sugar until light and fluffy, then spread over the cooled cake.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 cake

Friday, June 17, 2016

Top Twelve Gluten Free Favourites

Eating gluten free can be easy when you eat fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products. But in today's busy lifestyles, sometimes it is necessary to have convenient snack and meal ideas at hand with minimal prep or cooking.

These are my top twelve gluten free favourites availabie throughout New Zealand at local supermarkets.

Diamond Gluten Free Instant Lasagne Sheets are perfect to recreate a delicious lasagne- either a meat or vegetarian filling. These also work well in the slow cooker.

Kraft Cheese Wedges are perfect on their own, or you can spread them onto crackers, rice cakes or even toast. These are great for a lunchbox snack too.

I struggled to find a gluten free fruit bread that had enough spice, but I have found it with the Burgen Spicy Fruit Bread. Gluten and dairy free, this bread still has a warm spicy taste and lots of plump dried fruit throughout the slices.

I was missing my normal muesli bars, and then I came across these Mother Earth Nut Bars. These are very filling, and don't taste too sweet. My favourite is the Cranberry flavour but there are other options with chocolate, almonds and yoghurt.

My son and I can't get enough of Lisa's Pumpkin and Kumara Hummus! So good with carrot sticks, rice cakes, parsnip chips or spread on seed toast.

I have been craving soup in the winter weather, and these pouch soups are fabulous to have in the pantry. No chilling is required, making them great to take to work too. The Laksa and Chicken and Corn flavours are my favourites.

These Sunshine Fruits from Meadow Fresh take me straight back to summer, and the Braeburn Apple in particular is amazing with gluten free cereal in the morning.

Another work staple, this Sealord Satay Tuna can be served cold straight out of the tin. I have had this on salad leaves, rice crackers, stirred through cold rice and even in a toastie made with gluten free bread.

I always used to have licorice to snack on for movie nights, and so this Irish Moss has been a good substitute. Made by the same company as my preferred licorice, these little morsels are great to nibble while watching TV or have in the car on long journeys.

Yes, you can make your own energy balls, but these packs of Frooze Balls are a bargain at around $2 a pack. Banana is yummy, and I also love the Cranberry and Original versions.

My family eats a lot of rice, and this Sunrice Rice and Quinoa Blend is a fun change for more protein, and fibre. I can cook this in a pot or rice cooker, and it is great hot or cold. My favourite way to serve this rice is with Pineapple Chicken, and it has made a great cold rice salad with beetroot and smoked salmon too.

I try to have eggs in the morning for breakfast, but sometimes I am in a hurry and so this cereal is one of my staples for busy mornings. Great with yoghurt, sliced fruit or just milk, this cereal has a nice berry flavour and isn't bland like other gluten free cereals I have tried.

If you follow a gluten free diet, I would love to know which snacks you always have on hand.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

WCW- Oaty Caramel Slice

Winter always means, to me anyway, a hot cup of tea and a delicious treat on the side after the kids are in bed and my favourite show is on.

This Otay Caramel Slice is full of gooey, decadent caramel and a crunchy, chewy base. The chocolate icing on the top gives this a sweet flavour and helps to cut through the filling. Perfect for winter nights and just as welcome in the school lunchbox in smaller slices.

I recently won a Chelsea Sugar pack, and so the chocolate icing, icing sugar and soft brown sugar are the perfect ingredients for this slice.

The base has a secret ingredient- rolled oats- which gives the base a nice texture.

After the base has been cooked, it is time to add the layer of caramel and then the chocolate icing.


A generous layer of caramel and the textural base makes this slice chewy, gooey and an absolute delight to eat.

print recipe

Oaty Caramel Slice
  • 150 grams butter
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • icing sugar 2 cups
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups Chelsea Rich Chocolate Icing Sugar
  • 5-6 tablespoons hot water
Melt the butter, golden syrup and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add the flour, baking powder and rolled oats until combined. Press into a slice tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 180 degrees C.For the caramel layer, combine the second measure of brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk and butter in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Add icing sugar and hot water then spread over the base.Mix the chocolate icing powder with the second measure of hot water and mix to combine. Spread over the caramel layer and leave to set, then cut into small slices.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Leather for Less

I love the look of leather, but on a strict clothing budget I can't afford a drool-worthy $600 leather jacket. I have been searching for some touches of leather or leather-look items to add some luxury to my winter wardrobe.

Leather for Less

These items all feature leather detail (real of leather-look) and will be perfect teamed with neutrals or a fun pop of colour.

If you aren't brave enough to try a full leather pant or skirt, adding accessories such as a clutch, bracelet or even your footwear in leather can be a perfect step into this trend.

Two of my favourite leather items in my wardrobe are shown below.

This black top has leather-look panels on the front pocket and sleeves, bringing some interest and texture to a monochrome outfit.

This leather jacket from Just Jeans instantly lifts any outfit and makes the biker chick look easy!

Do you have any leather in your wardrobe?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

WCW- Curried Cashew and Cranberry Coleslaw

Potluck dinners are a staple event in our family, and now that I am gluten free I want to take something that I can enjoy, that also brings a freshness and some vegetables to the table!

This coleslaw is delicious, easy to put together, and goes well with a variety of different meats and other side dishes.

The salad is simple to transport, with the dressing on the side ready for mixing through before serving.

Full of yummy bits, this coleslaw is sure to be a crowd pleaser at your next event.

Try this at your next potluck and let me know what you think!

print recipe

Curried Cashew and Cranberry Coleslaw
  • 1 bag broccoli slaw mix
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup roasted, salted cashews
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
Mix the olive oil, vinegar, curry powder and sugar together in a small bowl. In a large salad bowl, toss together the coleslaw mix, cranberries, nuts and seeds. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and stir through to combine.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Pinterest Resolutions June-September

I am still goal setting with my Pinterest Resolutions- taking ideas from each of my Pinterest boards and actually doing them! Every three months I choose ten pins to focus on, which I then delete when I have accomplished. This saves me fro having too many pins and it is less overwhelming.

Layered Jell-o Cups

First up for this round are these Layered Jello Cups by Yummy Healthy Easy for a Dr Seuss themed party I am having in July. I have done layered Christmas jelly before so I am familiar with this technique, but I think it will look adorable with the whipped cream on top as part of the birthday celebrations.

Family fun night is all about simple and frugal fun for everyone. You'll love these easy games for any fall themed fun night!

Next up is a Fall Family Fun Night, inspired by these ideas at Not Consumed. I love that these ideas use things such as leaves that i will already have on hand, and it not Halloween themed as our Autumn is not in October.

Here are my favorite 12 freezer meals for new moms - vegetarian, whole foods, paleo, traditional and more!

My sister is due to have her baby in a couple of weeks, so I am definitely making these Freezer Meals for her!

Great Organizing Ideas for your Bathroom! Cabinet Bathroom Organization Makeover - Before and After photos. LivingLocurto.com

I am making progress in the bathroom, but these Organisation Ideas will be perfect for under the vanity cupboards as that area is still currently very messy. I love the idea of having my hairdryer on the inside of the cabinet. 

My kids need guidance on their screen time, and this idea for Technology Tickets is a perfect way to help them feel in control of their screen time, while I can still be the one ultimately having the final say.

August Books for 4 Year Olds with Extension Activities

My boys love doing arts and crafts and other activities based on what they are reading, and my soon to be four year old will have a lot of fun with these extension activities as well as reading these books over and over again, especially at bedtime.


As well as reading, my four year old needs other times of quiet and so these Quiet Time Bins are something I have been meaning to create for a while.

Half Up Bun

I need to get better at doing my hair, and this hairstyle looks easy enough for a hairpin-challenged person such as myself. Braids, middle parts and big buns are all out of my comfort zone but this Half Up Bun looks cute and easily achievable.

This is my new favourite pineapple! Such a quick and easy tutorial, this will be created for a few birthdays I know are coming up.

Lastly, I really want to create this key holder as I am constantly asking my husband where my keys are!

Come back at the end of September, when I will be sharing how I accomplished all of these ideas!
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