Monthly Archives: October 2012

Smoothie a Day ~ November

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November

Smoothies are full of goodness! They are packed with lots of nutrients. Fruit, Veggies, and superfoods: there are endless ways to make a different smoothie every day. This actually made it extremely hard in choosing only 30 ideas, but I tried to choose a variety as well as a few that I know will be a bit more challenging. I also tried not to use too many ingredients that not everyone stocks in their pantry, but with only one ingredient listed you can feel free to get creative. I am going to be creating smoothies that I have never made before, and I look forward to seeing everyone else’s creativity.

If you are following us on Pinterest, there is a new Smoothies board which I will be adding lots of pins to as I come across them. I will post this photo so that you can re-pin. Please like and share this photo on Facebook as well so that as many people as possible can be involved in creating and drinking smoothies this month. Each day we welcome any way you wish to contribute whether it is a photo, recipe, or your thoughts. If you post a photo on our wall, you can re-share on your own. Thanks for all of your support, and I look forward to all of the smoothie bliss in November.

Trick or Treat?

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Halloween

Okay so it isn’t quite Halloween yet, but between sorting through Zaedyn’s room and finding his lion costume to all of these chocolate recipes, it seems like Halloween! When looking online, everything seems to be about pumpkin and Halloween treats. Do you celebrate Halloween? It does not seem to be popular where we live, and I think it would be pretty hard to celebrate Halloween the typical way, but I could definitely see us being able to create our own vegan Halloween.

When thinking of something yummy we could make our friends, I instantly thought of vegan mocha-peanut fudge. Seeing as I know that people who are not vegan have enjoyed this chocolatey treat, I knew that I would be safe in making this. When ordering a few things online from Angel Food, I decided to order 2 cans of caramel condensed soya milk as there were a couple other recipes that looked yummy. Plus, I still have two cans of condensed soya milk to make some more vegan mocha-peanut fudge or something else yummy.

I made the mocha-peanut fudge and decided to make the caramel brownie. I replaced the flour for gluten-free flour which was not very successful. I was disappointed, but I didn’t have time to make anything else. I am not sure where I went wrong. Maybe the measurements of gluten-free flour were not quite right. I used a basic gluten-free flour mix rather than a baking mix which I normally use. As the recipe only calls for 1/2 cup caramel condensed soya milk, I still had another half. Through Pinterest, I ended up looking at recipes and through clicking on links, I stumbled across a photo of a caramel apple. Perfect! It is amazing how much time you can spend clicking on links which by the way I am still busy pinning, but I seem to be making progress.

apples

Okay that might not have been what you were thinking, but slices dipped in caramel and peanuts seemed a lot better than a whole apple. If you are wanting to make raw caramel, you could also look at making your own with dates. Anyways, I still had heaps of caramel left though. What else could I try?
Vegan

Mixed nuts, caramel, and covered in chocolate. I continually heard the fridge opening with chocolates disappearing as David loved them. David loves caramel so I was quite happy to make him some vegan caramel chocolates. Still with one can of caramel sweetened condensed soya milk, I decided that I would try the vegan caramel slice recipe from Angel Food. I used gluten-free flour which turned out great. After cooking the base, then the caramel, and covering with melted chocolate, this slice was a huge success! David absolutely loves it. For someone who is not that interested in caramel, surprisingly I loved it, too.

I know that it may seem like I am always busy baking, but this isn’t usual. Besides gluten-free recipes not always being successful, I have always tried to be a healthy vegan. It is absolutely possible to recreate almost any food as vegan, but I still think of these as treat foods, especially since I cannot resist eating it all.

vegan

Besides caramel, I could not forget the Peanut Butter cups. These were amazing. Before I covered them in chocolate, Zaedyn was eating the frozen coconut oil ABC peanut butter mix. I used ABC butter & Almond-Peanut Butter and was inspired by this raw peanut butter cup recipe. Yum!
vegan

If you could recreate a milk chocolate or candy as vegan, what would it be?

Smoothie Challenge

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spirulina

Are you up for a smoothie challenge? With the cold weather, we have not been very consistent in making our smoothies. As summer is coming and lots of new fruit is in season, I was thinking about smoothies. I asked David if he would be up for a bit of a challenge, and surprisingly he is keen. He is usually not that impressed when he sees me with spirulina! However, Zaedyn and I love it. You can read more about the benefits of Spirulina in Nutritional Discovery.

I have mixed feelings when it comes to smoothies. They can be a great way to combine a lot of ingredients, and it can often be  easier to drink than to sit and eat the amount of fruit and vegetables compared to drinking them. You can pack a lot of greens into your green smoothies. For children, this can also be a great way to fill them up with a lot of nutrition and add in fruits and vegetables that they may not eat whole. Nuts and seed milks, LSA, chia seeds, and spirulina also add nutrition. What else do you add?

On the other hand, I love to sit and eat fresh fruit. Over the past few years, I have really come to love eating lots of raw veggies as well although they usually must be paired with hummus. There are also some ideas that different types of fruit should not be eaten together. So if you decided that you wanted to eat watermelon, you would eat as much watermelon and only watermelon until you were full. I have also often had my fair share of smoothies where I packed as much as possible into one and realised that too much can make them not taste very yummy.

Anyways, we have decided to take on this smoothie challenge as it adds a lot of nutrition into our bodies. I often find it hard to come up with exact recipes for smoothies as I often add in what is around or what I think at the time. Everyone also has their own preferences with consistency. I am more than happy to share estimated measurements if people show interest though. We may not always have something new or exciting to share as our basic smoothie with spirulina, banana, and almond milk is often a favourite, but I will be looking to make sure we benefit from lots of veggies and fruit and will keep you updated on anything interesting. Zaedyn does not seem to eat as much fruit as veggies so smoothies are a fun way for him to sip his fruit.

Who else is keen to join in our smoothie challenge? The challenge is not based on an exact amount of time as smoothies should always be a part of lives, but we are challenging ourselves and you to take part in making more smoothies on a regular basis. Please feel free to comment below or share feedback with us on Facebook. We would love to hear about your favourite smoothie recipes or photos of smoothies you make. Do you have a main base that you use in your smoothies, or a superfood that you use? Keep in touch through our Smoothie Challenge: drink your fruit and greens. As inspiration, we might even have a smoothie theme challenge next month…

Zaedyn Tai’s Yoga

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Bright orange and rolled up, Zaedyn was keen to roll the yoga mat out last night. He seemed to like the texture and was all over the place rolling around smiling and making up his own moves.

This morning, we rolled the yoga mat back out and put on our Yoga Masters music. From Zaedyn’s bookshelf full of amazing books that he loves to read, we found Little Kiddy Yoga by Jahri Jah Jah.
Jahri Jah JahZaedyn was busy flipping through the book and learning all of his yoga poses.
YogaWith just a bit of help, he was so clever in beginning to learn poses. I do not have photos of everything, and I did not capture him almost perfecting poses as he wasn’t too impressed with me taking photos. Fair enough though!

He started out swinging his arms and centering with prayer.
YogaThen he stood tall like a tree and moved his fingers to his feet….well, almost.
Fingers to FeetCrocodile poses, cobra, mountain poses ~ Zaedyn was trying them all. One leg is bent in the photos below, but he did have both his legs out straight for the splits.
YogaThen, he put his feet together like a butterfly.
Yoga A couple more action shots…
Arohanui

At almost 18 months old, I am very impressed with Zaedyn’s yoga poses. When I was first pregnant with him, I was going to a Pilates class. He continued to wriggle around lots throughout my entire pregnancy. From birth, we have always encouraged stretching movements as he also initiates his own. He is very flexible. With his huge interest in the yoga mat, book, and body movement, I look forward to seeing his continued yoga practice. Over time, I am sure that we will both develop our flexibility, strength, coordination, and meditation. I will continue to model and help incorporate this powerful art for holistic health.

The book finishes by talking about Yogi food for children. I love how natural organic foods are being promoted for health and environmental awareness.

Made in Aotearoa, this local book provides a great basis for children to learn about yoga and basic poses. There are also many more books that can be found on Kiwi Kids Books by Jahri Jah Jah. We also own Little Kiddy Māori, Little Bub! & Kiwi Bub! which promote language and visual development. I have a couple other yoga pregnancy books as well as a Yoga for Surfers DVD that a friend gave me. Yoga really supports surfing on many levels. I look forward to our learning journey together.

Is yoga a part of you or your little one’s lives? Do you recommend any books or have any tips to share?

Super Grains

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Ceres Organics Super Grain Mix: White, red, black quinoa, & amaranth

Gluten-free, nutritional powerhouse full of endless health benefits…

Mixed with pumpkin, kumara, cauliflower, red & green capsicum, carrots, onion, cashews, & pine nuts. Asparagus is in season now!
Vegan

Leftover pumpkin pureed to make vegan pumpkin cookies. Yum!
Vegan

There are many ways to eat quinoa. We ate it with vegetables as we needed to make a pumpkin puree for our cookies. You can eat it in place of rice as a variety of side dishes, make vegan quinoa sushi, mix with kale or other greens, use in baking, or mixed with avocado. Quinoa can easily be added to almost any meal. We made some up and had leftovers in the fridge to add to all of our meals for protein and nutrition.

You can buy quinoa as a grain or mixed grain, quinoa cereal, and even quinoa puffs.

How do you eat quinoa?

BeBops

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Zaedyn was super excited about trying his new BeBops nappy we received from the Nappy Lady!

As a OSFA nappy, this fits from birth to 17kg+. With a bit of adjusting snaps at the front, the BeBops nappy fits perfectly.

Nappy
nappy

As previously mentioned in CLOTH vs. Disposables, I love the idea of using a combination of inserts. BeBops uses 2 layers of microfibre and 2 layers of bamboo fleece with a very clever snap to keep them together. As a combination, these fabrics work together to create high absorbency and help prevent leaking. I did not keep track how long Zaedyn had the nappy on, but with a big sleep in between as well, he wore this nappy for quite awhile with no leaks at all.

When I took it off, the microfleece lining which sits against his skin felt dry which is exactly what I would expect. It was great to find that wees were not sitting against him. Then I pulled the inserts out and was quite surprised. Both inserts were saturated, however there were no leaks and the lining stayed dry. I only washed it once as well before our first use. What a fantastic nappy!

I am very impressed with how this nappy worked for us, and I hope that you will check out the BeBops website for a more detailed description of their one size pocket nappies to see if they might suit your needs. They also have other products including Rockin’ Green which is currently on sale. If you are following BeBops on Facebook, you will be able to keep up with current sales. Plus, there are variety of posts about yummy gluten-free, dairy, and vegan food at the moment due to Tash’s elimination trial for her breastfed baby.

As I was about to post this earlier, I came across a very cool video on How to use BeBops One Size Pocket Nappies which tells you pretty much everything you need to know! After watching it, I learned that I should be folding up the bottom of the inserts a bit as we have the nappy set on Medium at the moment. Thanks to the Nappy Lady and BeBops for this opportunity to try a very effective NZ made nappy.

Mocha-Peanut Fudge to Mooloo

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Vegan

Dairy-free dark chocolate, soy condensed milk, Olivani (dairy-free margarine), instant coffee powder, & peanuts. Yum! I first came across this recipe when looking for ideas for Zaedyn’s birthday back in April. The photo above is from his Very Hungry Caterpillar 1st Birthday Party. I made it again Thursday night, and I think that this rich soft fudge is very yummy. Vegan or not, most people seem to enjoy it. Check out Angel Food for the recipe and other vegan products.
Vegan
Vegan

So why did I decide to make this mocha-peanut fudge again? Zaedyn and I wanted to share something yummy with our friends on our last day at our early childcare centre. I have worked with some amazing teachers over the past four years, met some lovely families, & have enjoyed my days playing, teaching, and learning from tamariki. I started out working with toddlers 18 months to around 3 1/2 year olds and began working with infants 3 months to 18 months when returning from maternity leave. Although I will not be working at the centre anymore, my passion for teaching has definitely not ended. I look forward to spending more time with Zaedyn at home and will continue to share my research, knowledge, and development on learning.

Thank you so much for all of our lovely gifts. Below are some photos as well as a lovely bowl that will be very useful in our kitchen and a creative painting for Zaedyn from his friends. We love and appreciate them all. We also look forward to finding a place to plant our feijoa tree. Can’t wait until we can eat our home grown feijoas!

FeijoasWith a very busy week, we enjoyed an evening out in Hamilton to watch the rugby. Waikato played Hawke’s Bay at Waikato stadium, winning 28-3 to retain the Ranfurly Shield. Zaedyn spent the game giving cheeky smiles to everyone around us, looking around for the noise of the cow bells, and watching Mooloo. He also thought that he could get some iPhones by looking at his new friends behind us and saying “ta”.

In Zaedyn’s eyes, Mooloo was the highlight of the game. He was constantly pointing him out and even learned some dance moves from him. Toward the end, we made our way down so that Zaedyn could see Mooloo. By now, the rain had washed some of Mooloo’s face paint off. He came over to see Zaedyn, but Zaedyn actually decided that he was a bit uncertain about this cow now that he was in front of him. Luckily Dad knew that a high five would change things. David said, “high-five” to Zaedyn, and of course he couldn’t resist that. I also couldn’t resist taking a photo of the boys in their Waikato gear. Then we made our way back to the top as the game was just about over. We found David’s brother, the Waikato technical analyst, in the coach’s box. Zaedyn wanted to tell Mark about Mooloo as he pointed out to him. I definitely think Zaedyn loved Mooloo more than the rugby!
Rugby

Don’t forget to stay up to date with us on Facebook. At the moment, you will be able to find our cloth shot a day posts and scroll down to find links under the Babywearing Photo a Day. I am slowly adding photos to the wooden toys album, too. Please share our page with others who may be interested. Thanks to all of you sharing, posting, and following us! 🙂

From Arnica to Vegan Chili

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Zaedyn

Our little lamb has been limping the last few days, and unfortunately he seems to be putting less and less pressure down. I brought him inside last night, and he ended up cuddling in and falling asleep. He is just too cute!

I am sure you are wondering where the black toe comes in. We do not usually eat anything from a can, but I had bought a few varieties of Ceres Organic beans to make our vegan chili. Zaedyn was trying to help me cook. He picked up a can to bring over to me, but instead he dropped it on his toe. He is usually pretty tough when it comes to getting hurt, but I could tell something was really wrong by the sound of his cry. Ouch! His big toe looked pretty sore. I gave him cuddles, and David went and grabbed the Arnica. With a couple sprays, he managed to return back to his cheeky happy self, but throughout the night he seemed to hit it or put pressure causing him to get a bit upset again. So now I have two little guys limping. Maybe Zaedyn just wanted to be like his lamb? Luckily both of them seem to be a bit better now.

Although I did not get any more help in the kitchen after all of the commotion, I still managed to finish making our yummy vegan chili which Zaedyn and David both happily enjoyed with some organic corn tortilla chips. Yum!

Garlic, Onion, Celery, & Green Capsicum


Chili

CLOTH vs. Disposables

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On Friday, my friend Ieva and I attended one of The Nappy Lady Workshops held in Hamilton. It was like the excitement of cloth nappy week all over again. I left the workshop feeling so inspired and loving cloth nappies even more which I didn’t think was possible.

As part of the Council Nappy Scheme, The Nappy Lady first discussed the environmental impact of disposables. It was really fascinating to hear figures about the average nappies used a year ending up in landfill. The numbers are unbelievable. As a family, we are very conscious of the products we buy, but there are still definitely things that we can continue to be mindful of so that we are not producing a lot of waste to go to landfill. As a society, we are taking up the limited space we have by filling it with unnecessary products and packaging. I am going to challenge myself even more to make a conscious effort of what I buy. Yes, eco-friendly products are often more expensive, but you also end up paying more to get rid of all of your rubbish that cannot be recycled or composted. When I go shopping, I automatically look for eco-friendly and vegan products, not at the price. The more people begin using products, the cheaper they will become. It is amazing how many eco-friendly products are available now, and there are always better choices to make, or even reusing and composting everything yourself when possible.

Something that I already knew, but not everyone realises is that even the poos in disposables are supposed to be discarded. How many people take the nappy off and quickly discard it in the rubbish still with poos? Everyone that I know! So if you were to actually follow the directions on the packaging of disposable nappies, you might as well be using cloth. What I hadn’t completely realised was the fact that biodegradable nappies are not necessarily any better for the environment as they cannot break down in an airtight landfill. So as far as the environment is concerned, cloth nappies definitely win over disposables.

Look at the two new awesome modern cloth nappies we received in our pack from attending the workshop.
Nappy Lady

We mostly use pocket nappies so I am really excited to try out our new itti bitti all in one. I love the colour! Cloth nappies are definitely more stylish than disposables. BeBops are made with love in New Zealand. I think it is important to support local companies, and it looks like a great nappy. I also love the combination fabric insert.

Have you ever wondered about what fabric insert is best? Cotton, bamboo, hemp, or microfiber? Kate Meads, The Nappy Lady, explained the properties of fabrics in a way that made a lot of sense and why I am pretty sure a combination of inserts such as microfibre to retain a higher quantity of wees along with a natural fiber such as bamboo for its anti-bacterial and soft properties as well as keeping the wees in would be very effective.

Another interesting idea was the fact that often people have problems with pocket nappies leaking around the leg and that we sometimes think adding more inserts will solve this when in fact it makes it worse. With a pocket nappy, the more inserts you add, the bigger gap you create making the ability to leak increase. I remember when we went through a period of time where Zaedyn’s nappies leaked, and we did not really know how to solve the problem. Especially since we were only using two inserts. Another option could have been to try 1 insert, use smaller nappies, try a different style, or just pop on a waterproof outer. The main type of nappies are fitted, pocket, all in one, birth to potty, and pre-fold. Do you notice the difference between the two types of nappies in the photo below?

cloth nappies

The itti bitti is an all in one because the insert is still attached. The snaps underneath allow you to easily add more inserts when needed. The BeBops nappy is a pocket nappy because the inserts go inside and can be pulled completely apart. It also has lots of snaps on the front to adjust sizing and get a perfect fit.

It is often easy to not know who to ask or how to solve problems such as these when they come up, but there are actually a lot of simple solutions. If you haven’t already, I suggest that you visit The Nappy Lady website as pretty much everything you need to know is explained. If you have the chance to attend a workshop, I highly recommend going. You will gain so much information and walk away with cloth nappies to try. Feel free to ask me anything as well as I will do my best to answer any questions or concerns you might have.

Our pack also included other samples and lots of deals to use on products. One sample that I was really excited to find was a small bag of SoapNuts. A few years ago, I bought SoapNuts from Huckleberry Farms to use with our regular washing. I had even looked up their website and found out that you could plant your own tree. We had considered this, but at the time we were uncertain of where we were going to be and whether it would be worth planting as we would not benefit until almost 10 years later. As some of you may have seen on our Facebook page earlier, SoapNuts are fruit that grow on trees and are environmentally friendly and effective as a sustainable cleaning product. They can be used in the washing machine, dishwasher, or even as a liquid soap for a lot of household purposes. As they are not sold where we live, I had forgotten how useful these little nuts are, and I am really excited to try them again. These few SoapNuts will wash up to 4 loads of laundry! Isn’t that amazing?

sustainable

This has ended up a very long post, and I could really go on and on about cloth nappies for a very long time so I think I will leave it at that for now. There are heaps of brands of cloth nappies as well as styles and choices to make, but every nappy will be a favourite to someone. We all have different preferences for why we like certain nappies or what might suit our babies the best.

Also, if you noticed a photo go up about wooden toys last night on Facebook, I am starting an album to promote natural, sustainable toys. Feel free to add or share information. I will get onto organising that album as well as a few other new exciting albums that I have been waiting to put up. Thanks for following along, and I really appreciate everyone who takes the time to read this site, Pinterest, and Facebook as well as like or comment on posts. Thanks heaps! x

In case you missed the poll when I first started this site, please take a second to go back to my post about The Nappy Lady and let me know how often your bub is or will be in cloth nappies. Just out of curiosity as well, please  answer below the answer that suits the best 🙂