Mermaid Smoothie Bowl Recipe

It’s nearly my baby girl’s birthday, and I’m so excited! Well, she’s technically not a baby anymore as she will be turning two...I still can’t believe it! To celebrate her birthday we are holding a small family gathering with a mermaid party theme. My daughter loves swimming and she loves all things sealife at the moment so in this household we are currently obsessed with sparkly fish, bright octopuses and glittery oceans!

To celebrate her birthday we have been enjoying mermaid themed activities throughout the week. I am an avid Instagram fan and user, and I follow an extremely talented foodie, Jose (otherwise known as @naturally.jo). Jose creates the most stunning and beautiful works of art with food. One of his favourite themes is also mermaids, so we decided to try our hand at creating the @naturally.jo mermaid smoothie bowl (pictured below). Here’s a version of the recipe:

Mermaid Smoothie Bowl Recipe 

Simply blend 3/4 cup almond milk (or coconut milk if you prefer), 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 frozen banana, half a chopped organic apple, 1 kiwi fruit, pinch of blue spirulina powder, and 1 tablespoon maple or agave syrup to sweeten. Decorate with blueberries, chopped banana and other pretty items of your choice. Serve and enjoy! 

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Valentines Day Vegan Chocolate Cake - Recipe by Thrive Market

There’s nothing better than chocolate on Valentines Day. Here, in time for the big day, we share our favourite chocolate cake recipe - a rich vegan chocolate cake  (recipe by Thrive Market).

 Ingredients (for cake):

  • 3 cups gluten free flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 heaped tablepoons cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoons salt  
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil  
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 & 1/2 cups cold water

Ingredients (for frosting) :

  • 6 avocados
  • 1 & 1/4 cups maple syrup  
  • 1 & 1/2 cups cacao powder
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract  
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Time:  

1 hour and 30 minutes

Method: 

Preheat oven to 180. Grease two 9-inch cake tins. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt. Make three wells in the mixture and pour coconut oil into one, vinegar into another, and vanilla into the third. Pour coffee and water over everything and mix until just combined. Divide the batter between prepared cake pans and bake in oven until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan.

To Make the frosting:
When cakes feel cool to the touch, scoop out the flesh of the avocados and place them in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until creamy, then add maple syrup, cacao, vanilla, salt, and coconut oil. Process until well combined.

To Frost the cake:
Remove the cooled cakes from their tins and place one of the layers, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake stand. Frost the top with a knife or offset spatula. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake.

Thanks to Thrive Market for this delicious recipe.  

Bon Appétit! 

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Cafe of the Month - This Is Life Family Wellness Emporium

This Is Life Family Wellness Emporium sure is my idea of heaven! Located in Elwood, Victoria, they have everything my lil family, and yours, could possibly need to be well and stay well;

  • Wholefoods Cafe
  • Retail shopping
  • Chiro
  • Naturopathy & TCM
  • Yoga
  • Children’s Classes
  • Wellness Workshops

This is Life Family Wellness Emporium are open from Tuesday - Sunday, so why not visit them with your family?!

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The Fourth Trimester

My baby boy recently turned three months, and I have cherished this time in our fourth trimester, bonding and getting to know one another. 

The concept of the fourth trimester is no secret. It is a term used by medical professionals and parents alike, and entails the first three months after the birth of your baby. It is an important and almost sacred time to bond with baby, and to nurture your little miracle as they transition from the safety of the womb to the big wide world. 

During this time in particular, baby has a primal instinct to be close to mum. Skin on skin, especially for the first few weeks, is a good way to introduce baby safely to the world - he, or she, can hear the sounds and see the sights all while having the comfort of being close to mummy - and it also helps to build supply, helps mum and baby rest and recover from birth, and keeps mum and baby relaxed through the release of hormones.

As much as the fourth trimester is a time to rest, it is also always nice to venture out into the sunshine and to get some fresh air, even when baby is oh so little. When you are out and about baby will still want to be close to you too. A wrap or a carrier is perfect for this (and is also good for keeping germs at bay when your baby is oh so little!). I personally love going on outdoor adventures with my little ones, and enjoy keeping baby close using my ergo carrier (or you could simply use a homemade babywrap). My baby boy is always so comfortable in the carrier, and often falls asleep for the whole outing as he is soothed by my familiar scent, warmth, voice and presence. 

The fourth trimester is also a time for you to really get to know your baby - and get to know yourself as a mother. A time for you to learn your baby’s unique likes and dislikes - how do they like to be held, do they experience wind and need to be burped often or not, what type of carrier do they enjoy being in (if at all) - the list goes on,...and every baby will have different preferences, as well as every mother having different preferences too. There’s no right and wrong, it’s all down to you and your baby. 

Additionally, the fourth trimester is a time where the whole family can bond, especially in the first weeks home with baby - Dad and baby, and baby and sibling(s) too. It’s great for siblings to have some (supervised) time from the get go to get to know their new brother or sister. 

Lastly, and most importantly, the fourth trimester is about learning to trust your own instinct and experience the amazing role of being a mother. Remember to have confidence in yourself - you are your baby’s mother and no one knows baby better than you!  

Thanks for reading!  

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Homemade Ice Lollies

With the heatwave continuing in Melbourne, I thought I’d share a recipe for our favourite treat to help keep our toddler cool. 

Apple, Mango and Banana Ice Lolly Treat 

Simply blend 1 roughly chopped apple, 1 banana, 1 roughly chopped mango and half a cup of water. Place mixture into NUK ‘Fresh Freeze Pop’ Ice lolly molds. Leave overnight in freezer. To serve; firstly run mold under warm water, release lolly from mold and provide to toddler (tip: make sure you have a bib for them as it can get messy!).

These ice lollies can also be used for little baby once they are onto solids - or you can even freeze breast milk in the molds instead, to help ensure they are getting all those natural nutrients. As a bonus, these treats don’t only work well in the summer, but they are great all year ‘round for when baby is teething too.

Thanks for reading!  

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Newborn Must Haves

My baby boy is now three months old, and although I think in ‘official terms’ that now makes him no longer a ‘newborn’ *wipes tears* he will always be my baby. Time to share my newborn “must haves” - a selection of the items I found I personally couldn’t do without during the first three months. 

Rattle

My little one is at that stage where he loves to grip rattles so I keep one in the nappy bag and one near the change table to encourage this skill. He also loves the noise they make and enjoys turning his head toward the sound.

Bibs 

Let’s face it, the first three months and beyond are messy for a baby (and for a mummy!). My little one has minor reflux so a good bib is never far out of reach in this household. For us, Bugsey Bee are the bibs of choice. Australian made with bamboo fibers, these bibs are soft and gentle for my newborn’s sensitive skin and by buying Australian made you are supporting local trade - win win. 

Swaddles 

Swaddle wraps help baby sleep and keep them warm. They also come in handy as burp cloths, and could even be used as make shift change mats in a pinch. Our favourite swaddles are from Aden and Anais - they are made with bamboo fibers so they are beautifully soft and gentle on baby’s skin. As a bonus, this company was founded by an Aussie and they have many gorgeous designs available.

Wipes 

With my youngest having eczema, Water Wipes are the wipes of choice in our household. As the name suggests they are made using purely water with a dash of essential oil (grapefruit), so they can be used from birth. No nasties on sensitive skin is always a good thing. You can also make your own version of ‘water wipes’ - keep an eye on the blog for more on that later. 

Creams 

This mummy loves Moo Goo for her own beauty needs but we also use Moo Goo for baby too. My little one is at the stage where he has started to get cradle cap so Moo Goo Scalp Cream has been our cream of choice to help combat this. 

Nappies

As much as we would love to do cloth diapers all the time, I find it somewhat impractical when we are on the go and also with a busy toddler. We have recently tried TOMS Organic newborn nappies and we love them - good for the environment and for baby’s bot! 

What are your ‘must have’ newborn items? 

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What’s In My Nappy Bag - Part Two

With two little ones to call my own (the eldest still in nappies, being almost two), I thought I’d share what’s in my nappy bag for two bubbas.

The Bag

First things first, a good quality nappy bag is a must. I knew I needed a bag that was durable enough to be plonked down in the tanbark at a playground, or thrown into the car at a moments notice. This time around I also wanted something functional and it was important to me that it still be stylish enough to double as my own bag - something that wasn’t your obvious logo embossed nappy bag. Being budget conscious I also didn’t want to spend a fortune, but wanted something that would last. With all that in mind, I opted for the Witchery ‘Harry Nylon’ tote and it has been fantastic.

Functionality

As a busy Mum of two, I need to be able to access certain items quickly - especially when I am out and about. This is where bag inserts came in handy. I use these from Target as they are water proof (not very sustainable, but very inexpensive and practical!), or you can purchase more of an insert style such as this one from amazon.

All The Essentials

I always keep my nappy bag pre stocked and ready to go, as you’ll never know when you will have to head out. I simply fill one of my bag inserts with snacks and a couple of medicinal needs (such as panodol and teething gel) and the other with all the nappy change essentials (think spare nappies, wipes, nappy disposal bags, nappy rash cream, disposable gloves for change time, change mats and hand sanitizer).

Speaking of essentials here are a few other items we always carry with us:

Small Toys

It is a good option to throw a few small toys in to keep the little ones amused when out and about. If you have a teething baby a good teething toy is a must.

Bibs

Our all time fave bibs are from Bugsey Bee. Bugsey Bee are handmade bamboo bibs, made in Australia.

These bibs are amazing and are the only kind I like using on my babies. Our eldest had quite bad eczema, particularly from the age of three to six months, and these were the only bibs that didn’t flare up her super sensitive skin. She still experiences tiny flair ups of eczema now and then, especially in the heat or if someone with strong fragrance cuddles her. I am praying that our youngest does not have to go through the pain and discomfort of eczema but time will tell.

I continue to use these bibs all the time, especially for my youngest who is just three months as he is still at that posseting stage - and in a few months time he will be starting solids too.

Change of Clothes

This is vital! All mums live in fear of a ill-timed nappy mishap so it is essential to carry a change of outfit for your little ones. We pack a whole outfit for our youngest and a change of pants for our eldest. You never know when they will be needed!

Thanks for reading!

Postpartum Essentials

Admittidly I let my health slide down the priority list after my first bubba was born. As a result, my first postpartum recovery was longer than it should have been - both physically and mentally - but, as the saying goes once you know better - do better! It was so important to me to look after my own health this time to ensure a quick recovery from birth, a good supply and a healthy Mum!  

Nutrition 

For me it all starts with nutrition. Your body can’t start the massive job of healing tissues, supporting the reproductive system as it returns to ‘normal’ and making the milk it needs to nourish a beautiful growing baby without being adequately nourished. Ultimately it’s important to start focusing on nutrition and wellness prior to conceiving but it really comes into the spotlight again in the ‘fourth trimester’ (or those three healing and bonding months after giving birth). I knew my body needed plenty of water, some sunlight (haha I am making myself sound like a plant here!) and good food to heal from the massive miracle of pregnancy and childbirth. Even before I had two under two I knew that preparing and cooking meals was going to be next to impossible (let’s not kid ourselves here!) so I pre-ordered some delicious, and super nourishing, meals and smoothies from My Goodness Organics to last me the first few weeks home from the hospital, stocked the cupboards with healthy snack options, and also made sure to always have a bottle of water with me. 

Exercise 

It is a task to get out of the house with two little ones, even more so in those early days as your newborn feeds every few hours. I always feel better once I get out of the house and get a little sunshine and exercise, so I knew I had to concentrate on this again this time around (once I received the all-clear from my obstetrician postpartum). My husband and I made it a priority to go for a walk around the block every afternoon (apart from when it is raining, or when there is a heatwave - which is more likely because it is summer here). I also manage to get a good amount of exercise in by heading to different parks and walking trips over the weekend.

Rest 

Lastly, that brings me to the point of rest. As a busy Mum of two it is sometimes hard for me to get my rest in, but it was particularly important in the first 6 weeks after the birth to not only allow my body the respect and recovery it deserves, but to have that quiet time to bond with the baby. I was lucky to have friends and family around to take our gorgeous toddler on adventures and play with her at home to help her have a fun filled month - which really helped her adjust well to becoming a sister (without the sibling rivalry) and it also afforded me some one on one time with my newborn, plus some downtime to rest. 

If you are reading this and are pregnant or in your early postpartum stage congratulations and I wish you a happy and healthy recovery!  

Disclaimer - I am not a medical professional, so please do not take my post as medical advice for your postpartum, this is purely my own experience. 

Thanks for reading! 

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