Please place on your own mask before assisting others

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As a kid who was lucky enough to experience air travel, I never understood why during the safety demonstrations, they would tell you to place your own mask before assisting others.  To be honest, I thought it was a pretty selfish suggestion.  Wouldn’t you want to make sure your loved ones are safe and protected before yourself?  I carried this belief well into my adulthood and into motherhood.

When we think of our Mum and the ‘maternal ideal’, we think of warmth, affection, nurturing and unconditional love.  As mums, we do this without a thought, in a split second.  Self sacrifice is a given and almost a rite of passage.  Yet, when it comes to ourselves and making sure our needs are met so we can best love and serve our families, many of us often fall short.  In my case, it was close to a year, until I had so much as a day to myself.  While I thought I was being a ‘perfect’ mother by self sacrificing, I now know that it’s just the opposite and that it does indeed serve a greater good (you’ll hear why shortly).

So why is it that we struggle to show ourselves the love, nurturing and respect we show our loved ones?  Could it be that we are just time-poor, emotionally and physically drained, hormone raged and just simply exhausted?  Maybe.  Or they could be a deep rooted psycho babble explanation but let’s just focus on a way forward.

For me, it’s been about starting to put myself first.  I’m not talking all the time, but just sometimes.    My intention this year, is to do something for myself, daily.  Nothing too grand…not a weekly infrared sauna treatment, hot stone massage and pedi with a champagne lunch (though who would I be to knock that back, should I be presented with a weekly opportunity to do so ).  Just something small, something I can treasure to show myself a little bit of love, that I am ME and that I matter.

Here are a few things that I hope help pave the way to a smoother road of self care:

Just say NO!

I think as women this is a tough one, especially people pleasing,  A-type personalities, like myself.  Once in a while, just say NO to your kids, your husband, your friends/family or colleagues or whoever is placing demands on you.  Do something only because you would love to do it, not because you feel obliged which leads to resentment, anger, guilt, self loathing and so the cycle continues.  Show yourself some love by respecting your own boundaries and by just saying NO once in a while.   Who would you rather piss off, yourself or someone else?

Prioritise Yourself 

Sure, it’s nice have a clean house, neatly made beds and a roast cooking in the oven but what’s really important, playing Holly Homemaker, or having some down time while your little one naps?  I used to frantically clean up toys and books that were strewn all over the house throughout the day before I went to bed  and while there is a satisfaction of going to bed knowing there’s a clean slate to start off the next day, nowadays, I have other plans for my ‘free’ time.  I would rather use whatever precious time I have left in my day/night to do something for myself;  get an early night or read, chat to a friend or just put my feet up with a movie, or even just paint my nails.  I know it’s not a big thing, but you would be amazed a big difference this small change makes.

Be A Mum to Yourself 

If you were watching your daughter, for example, treat herself the way that you are likely treating yourself, what would it do to you?  It would be sad, heart breaking and you would want to shake her silly to take some time out for herself.  Try and take a step back and look at yourself and be a Mum to yourself.  What would you say to your daughter?  Say it to yourself.  Tell yourself, you are doing the best job you can do and you deserve some time out.  It’s normal, healthy and necessary.  Kids model what they see, and although it has taken me some time, I realise self love and self care is a valuable lesson for Miss A and unless those healthy and wise habits are modelled early, the cycle can easily perpetuate.  I want her to grow up knowing she is the most important person in HER life and that taking care of herself (emotionally, spiritually and physically) isn’t selfish or self indulgent but showing herself true love and respect.  What better way to teach her than to demonstrate it!

You want me to eat what? – Let’s get raw! (part 1)

The wellness revolution has sparked mass changes in the way we look at food, nutrition and our health.  With so many different paradigms; vegan, paleo, raw, etc.  it is hard to know what they all mean so I decided to do a bit of investigating to see what the hype is all about.  Here is my first in what is to be a series of posts around these now mainstream food philosophies.

I find the best way for me to get my head around nutritional theory is to test them where it counts…in the kitchen and in my mouth.  I’m starting with the raw food movement.  Pretty self explanatory.  Raw food is exactly that, unprocessed and uncooked (or low temperature heated) fruits, vegetables, grains, eggs, fish, meat and some dairy.  The premise being that heating the food destroys many of the natural enzymes, vitamins, minerals and macronutrients that greatly benefit our bodies.

A raw dessert sounds as tempting as a day old piece of gluten free toast but here is proof of just how delicious a raw sweet treat can be.  Enter the humble lemon slice.  This is so delicious and SO much better than any traditional afternoon tea recipe you would find in your run of the mill cook book!  Miss A and I along with my sampling guests couldn’t get enough. Apologies for no pictures but I’m working on it.

Lemon Slice – Raw Stylin’

1 cup unsalted cashews or almonds

1 1/2 cups pitted dates (use less if using Medjool)

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 1/4 cups shredded dried coconut

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

METHOD:

Place nuts in food processor and process until very fine

Add dates, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest to food processor

Process again until well mixed.  Set aside

In a large mixing bowl, place dried coconut and salt and mix well

Pour your lemon mixture from your processor into the coconut.  With slightly damp hands, mix well until it forms together

Put the raw slice dough into a rectangular or square dish and press the mixture firmly into the dish

Place the lemon slice in the fridge for a couple of hours so they are firm and easy to cut.  Store in an air tight container in the fridge.

Recipe adapted from  The Rawtarian

It’s not Just For Guacamole…

Avocado

Lately I have discovered the diversity and deliciousness of avocado.  I always knew they were delicious but had no idea that with a dash of this and a pinch of that, they could be my saving grace come 10pm.  Enter Raw Chocolate Mousse.  Apart from the health benefits and the pure deliciousness of this sublime dessert, you only need a small amount and feel totally satisfied not to mention guilt free.

Here’s one of the many recipes I have seen and once you’ve made it a few times, it’s easy to play around with.  This is courtesy of Teresa Cutter, The Healthy Chef (www.healthychef.com.au) and it’s amazeballs.  I mix it up and add a dash of cinnamon, or peppermint extract, chilli powder or even some orange rind.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup honey (or 4 medjool dates, brown rice syrup, organic maple syrup, stevia)
2 ripe avocadoes (see notes )
1 ripe banana (fresh or frozen chopped)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pods from 1 fresh vanilla bean
1/3 cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
Pinch of sea salt and cinnamon

Combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender adding the honey first, followed by the avocado, vanilla and cocoa.
Blend for about  30 seconds until smooth and creamy.
Add a splash of water or coconut water to make a lighter mousse
Spoon into a bowl and allow to set in the fridge.
Enjoy – serves 12.

What’s good for the goose

In my numerous efforts to quit sugar, I have gathered zillions of sugar free or sugar alternative recipes in a last ditch hope to still be able to enjoy something sweet and delicious, without putting myself into a sugar coma.  They’ve all been stored away waiting for the next time I decide to indeed quit sugar.  It wasn’t until my daughter began her journey into the food world that I seriously considered and analysed what was in food and realised just how much unnecessary sugar and preservatives are added to many foods, especially those marketed towards babies and kids.  It was from here that I decided (and even now 3 years on) that I would make most of what she eats.  There are some amazing sites, books and blogs dedicated to this very topic, but here are some of my daughters favourites and once you know the basics you can easily adapt to suit your own tastes.

The Humble Icey Pole or Popsicle:
3 or 4 ripe bananas
1/4 cup Greek yoghurt (plain or vanilla)
Dash of cinnamon

Blend till smooth and creamy, pour into moulds, freeze and serve.

You can use any fruit and for dairy free you can add coconut water or water.

Some great combinations are watermelon and kiwi, pear and strawberry.

Museli Bars:
Muesli bars are quintessentially kid food and these ones are courtesy of Brenda Janschek from Natural New Age Mum.  They are the household favourite and kick butt of ANY store bought.   I use mostly organic but it’s your call.  I also vary the flours (coconut and quinoa) and add a sprinkle of quinoa flakes to boost protein.  You can add LSA or nuts for home and keep them out for a school friendly snack.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 cups of oats

1/2 cup spelt flour

1/2 cup dessicated coconut

1/3 cup sunflower & pumpkin (pepita) seeds

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

1/4 cup raisin, craisins, goji berries or dried apple (you can choose any dried fruit)

2 teaspoons of cinnamon (Miss A loves ‘helping’ and uses her creative license to add in more)

90g butter

3 tablespoons natural greek yoghurt (or vanilla greek)

1 tablespoon honey

METHOD:

Grease a lamington pan or baking pan (16cm x 28cm)

Pre heat oven to 175 degrees C

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl

Melt butter and add honey and yoghurt and stir well.

Add wet to dry ingredients and stir until mixture stays together

Pour into pan and press firmly.

Bake for 15 – 20 mins or until golden.

Cut bars while hot and cool completely.  Once cold remove cut bars from pan and store in air tight container.  These freeze really well too!

Mumpreneur Monday – Scrummy Bunny

 As an aspiring Mumpreneur, I have been doing a bit of research into how other business owners go about starting up, what inspired them and how they pushed through the fear.   I was a little surprised to come across some entrepreneurs not very willing to share their learnings in order to help a fellow sister out.  So, I thought I would use this opportunity to do it myself and share these stories with you.   Enter: Mumpreneur Monday.   I’m aiming to feature a business run by Mums, young women and perhaps (Papapreneurs) to help promote their businesses and to inspire those of us who may not yet have the confidence and trust in our own talents and abilities.  I hope you enjoy this and if you would like to be featured then please get in touch.  You just never know where it might lead!

Gorgeous! Unique details are like special secrets between you and your bunny :)

Gorgeous! Unique details are like special secrets between you and your bunny :)

Scrummy Bunny is the creative and passionate handiwork of Abby Galvin, an artist who has been selling her creations for 20 years.  Although Abby is most comfortable with a paintbrush
in her hand, she recently rediscovered her sewing skills and has fallen in love with creating mini works of art from treasured clothes of our little ones.

Like us all, Abby found it difficult to part with all her sons gorgeous outgrown outfits, so she came up with the idea to use them to create something that could be kept, appreciated and always treasured.  After returning from maternity leave, Abby was made redundant.   Instead of rolling over and giving up, Abby took this as a sign to reignite her creative genius and used a gift voucher to purchase a sewing machine and designed a pattern.   A  friend volunteered to have the first Scrummy Bunny made from her little boy’s clothes.   Abby started a Facebook page with the first pictures and within a week she had 3 orders.   Six months later, nearly 1500 ‘likes’ and Scrummy Bunny is fully booked until May!

Thank you so much Abby for sharing the Scrummy Bunny story.   Check out Scrummy Bunny’s Facebook page to see more of Abby’s gorgeous creations and to order a one of a kind keepsake.

Scrummy Bunny

Scrummy Bunnies are one of a kind

Scrummy Bunnies are one of a kind

In case you couldn't get enough cuteness!

In case you couldn’t get enough cuteness!