Over the past few years, it has definitely become more apparent that the amount of sugar we consume is greater than what we put into our teas and coffees. Sauces, bread, baking and many other things have secret sugar hidden within the ingredients.
Being aware and reducing the amount of sugar in our diets can keep us and our whanau healthy.
WHOLE EARTH Sweetener Co. uses stevia a natural leaf found in South America used for hundreds of years to sweeten herbal tea.
Their Baking Blend uses a mix of stevia and raw cane sugar to allow the look and baking ability of sugar but with 50% fewer calories than regular sugar.
WHOLE EARTH Sweetener Co. gave me the challenge of finding a recipe and using their products.
These Apple Crumble Cookies are easy to make and perfect lunchbox additions for little people and in our case, not so little people.
I double the recipe for our baking loving family of 5, otherwise they would last 2 days if I’m lucky!
You could also substitute the dried apple with any dried fruit e.g. apricot, figs or dates.
Apple Crumble Cookies
100g dried apple
200g plain flour
1.5tsp baking powder
100g butter (cold)
100g WHOLE EARTH Sweetener Co. Baking Blend
1 large free-range egg
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius
Line 2 trays with baking paper.
In a food processor put apple and blitz until finely chopped.
Add flour, butter, Whole Earth Baking Blend and a pinch of salt.
Blitz till fine breadcrumbs.
Remove 3-4 tbsp of mix and set aside.
Add egg and combine.
Divide into large teaspoon sized balls, roll and flatten lightly.
Sprinkle over reserved mix.
Bake for 8-10 mins until lightly golden.
Cool on tray for 10 mins then transfer to a wire rack.
I’ve got a few more of my Lady Lifesavers for May.
The may not specifically be for the ladies but they may make your life 100% better!
Wicked Sensation Children’s Magnesium Cream
This little pot of magic soothes muscles, frightens monsters away and makes children SLEEP! I have been using this on the kids feet to protect them against “monsters” BUT really I have been helping them sleep! Granted I have pretty great sleepers but it takes them along time to get to sleep. The lavender and magnesium helps to soothe them into a blissful sleep. For us it’s been that winding down post dinner ritual. Bath, teeth and a foot massage for the small ones. They love it! I have also been using it on tight shoulders and for my tension headaches. MAGIC!! Made in NZ and full of natural goodies.
So Simple Retinol + Lycopene Face Serum
So Simple Skincare work on the waterless skincare approach. Basically this means by no water in the product there is more active product. Also by having more active ingredients you need less product!!
By using this under my night cream EVERY night I have seen a reduction in the large pores around my nose which in turn means less blockage and congestion e.g. blackheads.
This serum is quickly absorbed and the active ingredients of the retinol and lycopene help kick the butts of fine lines (very important in your 30s) and evens out skin tone.
Frankie Apothecary Breathe Roll On + Kawakawa Body Oil
I cannot rave enough about Michelle and Frankie Apothecary. We only used the Frankie Sunscreen SPF50 this summer and the whole family loved it. Frankie Apothecary have launched two new products this winter. Breathe Roll On takes Kanuka for decongestion, Kawakawa and Eucalyptus oils as well as Marjoram and Lemon oil for headache relief. This has been a godsend with winter approaching and the snots and sniffles that have been bouncing around. With the snozzles snot free we can focus on keeping the moisture in our skin this winter. I don’t know about you but I get such dry skin during the winter. Cue the Kawakawa Body oil. Soaks in quickly so it’s not an oil slick in your pj’s, I love the fact it’s fragrance free as I get a bit funny with overly botanical fragrance in products. It can also been used as a massage oil for mum and baby or as a bath oil.
This year is flying by. Before we know it will be dare I say it Christmas!
In life and adulthood there are winners and losers. Now I’m not talking about winning a race or a game of monopoly. Life is full of outcomes good and bad.
That job you really want. Sometimes you are successful and sometimes you are not. The hot guy that you have been seeing turns out to be a bit of a douchebag, you learn and move on. As Grandma would say plenty more fish in the sea!
A paper you have slaved over for weeks sometimes you pass and sometimes you have read the brief completely wrong and your lecturer wants you to re-write. Sitting your driving test and speeding and you get back to the depot only to be told “I am sorry I cannot pass you”. Life it FULL of ups and downs.
Why am I writing this?
Tonight I saw Maria from Happy Mum Happy Child shared a moment from her life on Facebook and it got me thinking …. We as parents try not to let our children fail or be disappointed but are we doing them a disservice in doing so?
Our choices and actions teach us boundaries. Even when they are small, children push those boundaries to learn how far they can go. It’s nature. Failure and disappointment is a natural part of life and in allowing our children not to experience this natural yet shitty part of life are we not teaching them a valuable life lesson.
Imagine getting to 18 and never experiencing disappointment or failure? You would not have the coping mechanisms and strategies on board to realise THIS IS NORMAL. You would not know what was happening and you would feel like your world was ending.
Now I am no expert but looking from the outside in I am seeing a generation of kids who have never experienced disappointment or failure. Never lost a game, race or been told no. There are always “winners” and “losers” in this world. Maybe the words are not the nicest but they are reality.
Are we setting our kids up to “fail” by not teaching them the crucial life lesson?
It saddens me when I hear of schools not allowing “winners” in a race, because the other children will feel disappointment. Does this also not allow the winning child to feel a sense of pride and achievement? It also allows us to be apart of society that cuts achievers down with extreme hatred ….. Tall Poppy Syndrome anyone?
Here in NZ our teen suicide rate is high, too high.
As a mother with a child heading into this turbulent time I hope that I have given him the foundations of life lessons to get him through. I hope I have instilled in him that there is more to life than what can seem like the end of the world.
I would love to hear others thoughts.
Like I said this is only my opinion. I am not a parenting expert or child psychologist. Just a mum speaking as I find.
For a twist on the traditional sweetcorn fritter.
3/4 cup of plain flour
1 egg (free range if possible)
440g can creamed sweetcorn
can whole corn kernels
2 tablespoons chia seeds
4 -6 kale leaves (chopped)
1 pinch chilli flakes (more if you like it hot)
salt and pepper to taste
- Place flour, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Add the egg.
- Add both tins of corn and chilli.
- Mix till WELL combined.
- Add chia seeds.
- Add kale.
- Oil large flat plan and cooking over a medium heat til golden.
- Serve with salad and sauce of your choice.
I served my fritters with Lisa’s Carrot and Cumin dip and dry toasted sunflower seeds.
School holidays. Love them or hate them they happen 4 times a year.
For me if my kids are occupied and I can sit down for 15 mins with a coffee and not be interrupted then I am in heaven.
As a parent these are the small things that get you going!!
I will fully admit I suck at doing the educational play thing. I don’t make play-doh, I don’t make macaroni animals and I certainly don’t get amongst the messy play. Call me selfish, call me a bad mother but I don’t have the time or the patience for that kind of shenanigans.
One for my best friends is a Early Childhood educator and she is amazing. The simple things she does with the kids gets their brains firing and your can see them drinking in the learning experiences. I wish I could bottle her, turns her into a tablet and take my “GREAT PARENTING PILL” once a day!
I discovered Busy Bags last year at the Takapuna Baby & Kids Market. These bags take the idea of learning through play to a whole other level. For months I had been meaning to get some for Archie as he is one of those kids who loves sorting, matching and patterns.
Aimee sent me 3 bags and we loved every single one!! The Busy Bags came with instructions and a breakdown of the learning opportunities your child will get. It also (MY FAVOURITE BIT) gives the parent little tips, tricks and advice so your little one will get the most out of the bag! I actually felt like THE best parent!!
The other great thing about Busy Bags is that you can do the learning activity outlined but you can also try different things depending on your kidlet’s ability. We took the Bead Threading Kit which comes with pattern cards and then Archie decided to sort the colours and the shapes. Two in one learning = parenting win.
By far our (I say “our”, I should say Archie) favourite has been the Order and Eat bag. For us this has been kiddy crack. He can’t get enough of it. We write the order on the menu, then Chef Archie gets to work and makes our pita. The felt tomato, carrot, pineapple and lettuce gets piled into our pita and then plated up with Gordon Ramsey efficiency.
Then we eat!
Every single part of each Busy Bag is well thought out and allows the kids to have multiple learning opportunities.
We will definitely be adding to our new Busy Bags collection because they make me feel like a flipping great parent and I am down with that. The kids learning is just a bonus!!
There is a moment as a parent where you have to let go.
Where you have to release that grip on your kids that you have fought so hard to gain.
Unfortunately growing up is part of life and although we want our children to learn from our mistakes and cock ups. They can’t or won’t. They aren’t their mistakes. They aren’t their cock ups. They must learn for themselves.
We all want our children to do their best but do you remember your mother saying to you “if you just knuckled down and focus, you would do so much better!” Did you listen?
I struggle with Mr 11. Essentially he is me and we do probably rub each other up the wrong way. Unfortunately I have to have the last word and it really takes all my capacity as a parent to ignore his attitude and walk away.
I read a really great article about how children are just trying to “fill their cup”. Essentially what this parental guru was saying is that kids have an unexplained need to have a full emotional cup. This cup becomes full from both positive and negative interactions. For example asking a child to empty the dishwasher and them bitching, moaning that you are a slave driver is quite normal because they want their cup to be filled. Now my normal response would be something along the lines of “just empty the bloody dishwasher , your acting as if I asked you to chop your legs off” then this launches into a vicious cycle of bitching, arguing and the job taking 10 times longer.
Child 1 – Parent 0.
His cup is full.
I’m just pissed off.
We can all relate?
As a parent I need to learn how to stop him from “filling his cup” in a negative way. Easier said then done. Back to emptying that sodding dishwasher. His immediate response is to launch into asshole mode to fill his cup. My response SHOULD (this is still a work in progress!) be …… “OK but please realise if you don’t do the dishes you won’t be allowed on your …… (insert some beloved device, toy or activity here)”.
Stick to your guns.
Stop them before they launch into the “I hate you monologue”.
Repeat the expectations calmly and reasonably.
Don’t let them see they fact that you really want to see them do every single dish by hand and make them really cry about something.
Now like I said for me this is a work in progress and if your child is anything like mine they will know exactly how to play you.
Just remember don’t let them fill their cup but remember to fill yours with wine.