Sunday, 31 August 2014

Sunday morning adventures

1. Rock climbing at Redgate Beach.
2. Climbing down.
3.The river mouth is flowing out to sea.
4. The boys and mr Man want to cross the river mouth.
5. Driftwood.
6. Clouds in the sky.
7. Baby wearing selfie.
8. Loot found whilst beach combing.

31st of August, the last day of Winter, also happens to be the wedding anniversary of Mr Man and I. Twelve years ago we said "I do". Funnily enough, the day had both slipped our minds. We remembered late last night and decided to hit the beach with kids early to explore and head out to lunch to celebrate.

It was a cool and breezy morning, with lots of weed and treasures. The boys and Mr Man waded through the water to cross the River Mouth and collected a bunch of stuff.

These are the best Sundays.

Nic Nurtures x

Friday, 29 August 2014

If life throws you lemons...

One of the joys of living in the country is the fruit trees. There seems to be an abundance of lemon trees in our part of the world. Five for a dollar is the going rate, written on cardboard and perched next to a crate at the end of driveways. My fruit bowl is always full. Not only are lemons a versatile ingredient, they make a great decorations too.

Lemon Jelly

8 - 10 lemons, juiced and finely grate the rind
130 grams caster sugar
400ml lemonade (sugar free)
6 gold strength gelatine leaves

Place the rind, juice, sugar and lemonade in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, soak gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Squeeze out excess water, then add gelatine to the lemon mixture, stirring to combine. Leave to cool, then strain into a large jug. Pour into six 1-cup (250ml) moulds, then refrigerate overnight to set.

It's that easy, and tastes delish! Especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Nic Nurtures x

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The luxury of sleep

We have a baby in our house. Baby P, fourteen weeks old. Being our third baby, we knew what we were getting into. Sleep deprivation. Ask any parent of young children. They are tired and survive on copious cups of coffee.

Well, to our surprise, Baby P SLEEPS ALL NIGHT! And when I say all night, I mean all night. Ten hours. Solid. I don't know why or how this has happened. I haven't done anything different. She just started sleeping through from about 6 weeks of age. 

I keep waiting, expecting this to change. The two boys never slept all night as babies. In fact, they both from time to time still wake in the middle of the night. The youngest often creeps into the middle of our bed.
The trade off to Baby P good sleeping is that she doesn't want to sleep much during the day, unless it's in the pram or car or Ergo. 

But that's ok. 

Babies don't stay babies for very long. And I treasure the time I get with Baby P during the day when the boys are at school. 

I am grateful for all the sleep we are getting. 

Nic Nurtures x

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Sundays are for baking

Sunday afternoons are for baking at our house for the week ahead. It's been a little hard to bake all items on the list since the arrival of Baby P...baking often spills over into a Monday afternoon too.

Recipes to come!

Nic Nurtures x

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Go to muffin mix

Home baked muffins are an absolute staple in our house. They are easy to make, healthy and delicious. The kids love them in their lunch boxes and I often have one at that early morning breastfeed. 

Blueberry and dark choc chip is a favourite at the moment, but you can use just about any berry or fruit flavour combination. I love this recipe, it makes lovely moist muffins.

Go to muffin mix

1 1/2 cups wholemeal self raising flour*
1/4 cup raw sugar
2 tbsp rice bran oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup natural yoghurt
1 cup frozen berries
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 180 and grease 12 hole muffin pan
2. Combine flour and sugar in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix through until just combined. Spoon into pan holes.
3. Bake muffins for about 30 minutes. Stand for 5 minutes before turning out.

Nic Nurtures x

*you can easily substitute for a gluten free flour if needed

You know you grew up in the eighties when...

You know you grew up in the eighties when nature reminds you of planets from Star Wars. 
There is this section of damp, swampy bush land just next to the BMX track that we walk past frequently. It is dark, and a stream runs through the middle in winter.

I always think to myself "Yep, that's the Dagobar System. Yoda is in there somewhere". 

Nic Nurtures x

Friday, 22 August 2014

Mine Craft madness

Turbo is sooo into Mine Craft right now. Yet we don't even own it at home. At his school, the library lets the year ones play Mine Craft at lunch time. On Thursday, library day, his class has Mine Craft time after choosing their books for the week. 

I don't know a lot about this Mine Craft business, just that there is "Steve" the wood cutter (pictured), some "creepers" and Creative. And ever since school went back to Term 3, Turbo is obsessed.

Should I be worried?

At first I was a little concerned, that my middle child had become so into a computer game. I wondered why the library teacher would even let them play such computer games. Back in my day, library class involved having a story read, maybe some colouring in or craft and learning to use the catalogue.

After chatting with another school mum, I decided I would speak with the teacher the next day.

However, that same evening, I happened to catch the tail end of Good Game on ABC2. Mine Craft is in the Top 10 computer games of all time, and players bandied around words like "best indie game ever" and "could be the retro game of our time".

That did it for me. I decided to check it out. And now I get it. Sort of, but not enough to rush out and get the game for home.

What I have noticed though, is that Turbo has been using his imagine to play Mine Craft in the 'real' world. He's been gathering cardboard boxes and using imaginary tools to build and create things. And he tells me he has a group of five classmates who have been playing Mine Craft (imaginary) at lunch time by the big tree.

So, as far as computer games go, it's not all bad.

After school today Turbo decided to spend his Toyworld gift voucher that he won last term for his Spellathon. As soon as he saw "Steve" he was sold. 

Nic Nurtures x

Thursday, 21 August 2014

DIY: nurturing face scrub

Here's a little nurturing face scrub I use once a week. It's simple to make and has no nasty chemicals in it, giving your skin a lovely gentle exfoliation. I like to use lavender and lemon essential oils because they both contain healing, antibacterial properties which are fantastic for blemishes and impurities. Coconut oil also has antibacterial properties and adds moisture back to the skin. It is also non greasy and won't stain your clothes. 

DIY: Nurture Face Scrub

2 tbsp organic raw sugar
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp water
2 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops lemon essential oil

Gently combine your ingredients in a small bowl. In the shower, wet your face and then massage your entire face, neck, chest and shoulders with your nurture scrub. Using small circular motions to masage, taking care around your eyes. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry. Apply another tablespoon of coconut oil to your face and other scrubbed areas to moisturise. 

Nic Nurtures x

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Breakfast of breastfeeding champions

I reckon I've spent the best part of the last three months eating. Eating and breastfeeding. With Baby P feeding every 1.5 to 2 hours I was just so hungry all time. Chocolate and muffins (homemade of course) have starred in my diet along with endless cups of tea, jaffle sandwiches and reheated left over dinners. 

Four meals a day, plus snacks and fruit. Thats a lot of food. 

Now that Baby P and I are out of the Fourth trimester, I decided it was time to adjust my food intake and eat healthier and smarter. My Breakfast of Breastfeeding Champions does just that. It's a large bowl of porridge with lots of goodies added and a flat white coffee*.

Breakfast of Breastfeeding Champions

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup dried fruit - I'm currently using a dried blueberry and cranberry mix
2 tbsp LSA
2 tbsp slivered almonds
2 tbsp pepitas
1 tbsp dark choc chips
1 cup rice milk

Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan. Heat over medium - high heat, stirring constantly as the oat mix gently comes to the boil and thickens*. Spoon into a bowl and add a large dollop of yoghurt. Serve with a hot beverage.


Nic Nurtures x

* I own a fantastic manual espresso machine and spent years working as a barista...I can't get by without my daily dose of coffee.

* Like me, you may be holding your baby whilst making porridge and pouring cereal and cooking toast for your other offspring. Take care not to burn the bottom of your saucepan as you multi task.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Bubble Fun

The kids arrived home from school yesterday and began their usual after school routine - get changed, unpack school bag and lunch box and eat afternoon tea. Homework gets done and then there may be a quick chore before they can play. 

Monday's job was to tidy the garage from the weekend, there were balls, bikes, scooters and shoes everywhere. Whilst tidying the boys found some bubble sticks that I'd bought from the local discount store ages ago. And that is how the rest of the afternoon panned out.

Bubble fun. 

Nic Nurtures x

Sunday, 17 August 2014

A lot can change in a year

Baby announcement as posted on Facebook 11/11/13

This morning I realised that it was about a year or so ago that Mr Man and I (unknowingly) conceived our third baby. And here we are, twelve weeks after our birth, navigating our way through breastfeeding, nappies and endless piles of washing. Along with parenting our pre teen son and first grader. 

Life sure has gotten busy.

But, I wouldn't change it for the world. The joy that Baby P has brought into our lives cannot be measured. Mr Man is smitten with his new baby girl. Hoges Junior has matured in ways we never thought possible. And Turbo, he provides the perfect entertainment to his baby sister when she is needing a feed and I just can't get there for a few minutes.

As for me, life's gotten busy, but it's also slowed down. I am enjoying the quiet and stillness that breastfeeding brings. There is nothing like a new baby to bring you right back into present time - it's mindful at it's best (at least during school hours. when Baby P is day napping I'm madly sweeping the floor or hanging out washing or catching up on social media).

I used to Blog, when Turbo was a wee babe. But as he grew up, I went back to work and then started my own massage business. Writing got left behind for a while, until I started up this blog here to compliment my massage practice. When I discovered I was pregnant with Baby P, I knew I would get back to here I am.

Nic Nurtures x