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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Souffle Omelette

I love to cook. It is something that I do quite well. I also love to eat!  However, I am also pretty time poor. It is not always easy to cook something yummy when you are juggling two children, or when you are working. I think I have become the master of cooking yummy, nutritious food that is also quick to prepare.

I like to cook using as many basic, unprocessed ingredients as possible. I no longer use packet mixes, and rarely use ready-made sauces. I just like knowing what goes into my food, and I also find there is too much salt in many packet mixes. I have recently been diagnosed with insulin resistance, and I am having two carbohydrate free days a week on the recommendation of my dietitian. So, most of the food I make is cooked from scratch.I don't think this means it has to be time consuming though.

I have decided that I would share some of my favourite recipes with you. For the next few weeks I will share 2 recipes a week with you. The focus on these recipes will be healthy and made from scratch.

My first recipe that I will share is one of my favourite breakfasts. I eat this on my carb free days as it is high in protein, tasty and filling. It also looks super impressive. The quantity for this is for one. If you want to make more than one omelette I would just repeat the process for each omelette you want to make, so you ensure the quantities are right.Otherwise, this is a treat best made just for yourself.


2 eggs - separated
2 tablespoons Milk
Salt & Pepper to taste

Filling
2 Ham slices
1/4 cup shredded cheese
1 handful washed spinach leaves

Put a non-stick frypan that has a lid on to medium heat (I actually use a non-stick flat bottomed wok)

In one bowl quickly whisk the egg yolks and milk until combined. In another bowl whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the yolks into the whites and fold through.

Spray the fry pan with oil. Pour the mixture into fry pan. Put the lid on and cook for 2 minutes and let it cook. The base will turn golden while the eggwhites will puff up. Take the lid off and put the remaining ingredients on one half of the omelette. Put the lid back on and let it cook for another 1-2 minutes.

When you are ready to serve slide a egg flipper under the omelette. It should be able to slide easily. Lift one half of the omelette while tilting the pan slightly and fold the omelette in half. Slide it off onto a plate and enjoy.

You can add some hot buttered toast to make it extra filling.






Monday, 24 March 2014

Aussie Curves - Wedding

In a fit of nostalgia I shared all the details for my Hydrangea and Apple Garden Wedding earlier in the year.

In this post I talked about all The Details. The Dress, The Flowers. The Cake. (Yes, capitals are required)
In this post I shared about the Ceremony and Reception. 

Go have a stickybeak Go on, you know you want to!


 I just loved every bit of my wedding, and I jump at any excuse to look at photos from the day.

Ahem...



I love going to weddings too. They are wonderful days, and are full of hope and promise. My Husband and I often hold hands during the vows. We always steal a look at each other, remembering our own. Between the Ceremony and Reception we often reflect on our own marriage and life together so far.

The thing is though, it is so important to remember that a wedding is about marriage. On that day a vow is made, and a marriage is started. Sometimes we can spend so much time focusing on the details, and forget what it all is really about.



I can honestly say that I am even more in love with my Husband today as I was on my wedding day. I know that sounds sappy, but it is true. My Mother always told me to marry my best friend, and that is exactly what I did.

What I have found is that sometimes love, true love, is not demonstrated by the epic romantic gestures. You don't find those 'take your breath away' moments in the bouquet of flowers (ahh.. but send them anyway), the surprise dinner or the sparkly jewelry. The moments I have known I was loved, and love in return, are in some of the less 'pretty' moments.

Love is bringing you home your favourite magazine because they saw the latest edition was out and they know how much you love it

Love is tucking the sheets around you after they get out of bed earlier than you, so that you stay warm

Love is making you cups of tea and coffee every time you ask, and sometimes even when you don't.

Love is offering to cook dinner because they can see you are tired

Love is when you partner sleeps next to you on the floor all night and holds your hair back as you heave into a bucket, then takes the bucket and empties it

Love is running errands for you after a long day at work, just so you don't have to do it.

Love is having an argument, but then still sitting down together later to work through it

Love is hard work, the requires negotiation and compromise at times

Love is the shared tears of joy after the birth of your children, knowing that together you created this whole new being.

I am blessed. I know every day of my life that I share it with a Man that loves me, flaws and all. I love to look back on my Wedding Day because I know that it marks something great. My life with my Husband is everything I had hoped it would be. Together we have made a home, are raising two children, and planning our future.

It is everything that movies say it is, and then some.




Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Aussie Curves - Picnic

As I was putting on a pretty dress for this week's challenge I thought about what I do on a picnic. It used to be that Hubby and I would head off for a picnic, I would have on a pretty  dress and we would take a basket of antipasto.

However, I realised that that is no longer really the case. Our picnics have changed. Here is why:


Our kids. Picnics are now much more complicated. They require more food (especially because Abbie is an Olive thief), and a whole manner of other paraphernalia. Scooters, Sunscreen, Shade, Prams, Nappy Bags.

 The clothing required has also changed. I now wear something I can move around better in. I need to be able to bend over, run after my Daughter, climb on play equipment and just generally be active.


This is more what I am likely to wear. Shorts so that I can move around (and avoid any chafing should it be a hot day), A light weight kimono that looks pretty while also protecting me from the sun. I wouldn't wear a necklace as it might become cumbersome. Instead I accessorise with earrings, so I can still look nice if I decide to put my hair up. Flat shoes that are comfortable are also a must.

Shorts - Best & Less
Top - Big W (Maternity)
Kimono Shrug - Supre
Shoes - Corelli
Earrings & Bracelet- Birthday gift 


While picnics are no longer the long, luxurious affairs they once were, they are still pretty special. We are now making memories as a family. I think that beats any pretty dress any day.

Want to see more?

Check out my 'Picnic' post from the first year of Aussie Curves. This is actually one of my all time favourite posts.

Want to read more about my life?

I recently shared a personal post about my (un) successful breastfeeding journey.

Check out what the other ladies in Aussie Curves are wearing to a picnic this week


Monday, 17 March 2014

My (un)successful breastfeeding journey



I have previously shared how I was unable to breastfeed my first child, and wrote an informative post about bottle feeding. Despite being content with bottle feeding my first, I was keen to try breastfeeding my second. I wanted to experience what it was like. After all, it's what a woman's breasts are designed to do.

Through my pregnancy I tried to encourage my milk production by expressing colostrum. I produced a very small amount early on. This made me feel excited, as I felt this was a sign that my milk supply would be better this time. I had almost no other breast changes through my pregnancy though.

When my Son was born he successfully latched on for a first feed, which further made me feel that I would be successful. The first day after his birth I then proceeded with trying to learn how to feed him. I was having difficulty getting him to latch. He didn't seem to like most of the positions I was holding him in. He showed very little interest in actually sucking. With the help of the midwives I would struggle to get him on, then he would take 3 draws... then nothing. No amount of stripping him down, tickling his cheek or rubbing his lip could encourage him to try any more.

The midwives at my hospital were fantastic. I expressed my wish to feed in the room when possible and have help in private. One would come in and assist me for as long as it took. They were encouraging, but not forceful. They patiently showed me how to hold him, latch him and how to express what milk that I could then syringe into his mouth.

My second day I spent on the electric pump between attempts to feed. These did not work on me at all. Not even a drop of milk would come out when I pumped. When I hand expressed I would get less than 2 ml in total, and that was after several breaks in between.

I finally cracked in the morning of the third day. Early in the morning I tried for over an hour to encourage my Son to latch and feed. A midwife walked past my room and noticed me struggling and sat with me to help. Eventually she suggested I give it a rest and try again later. She came back past an hour later and saw me struggling again. This time she advised I head into the Nursery, where other midwives were there helping feeding mothers.

I found this room so hard to be in. I know that the purpose is so that a few midwives can be there to give support to all the nursing Mums. However, all I could see was lactating women. Sure, some were struggling with various elements, but all had milk. When I was in that room I realised just how little I was lactating, and how much I was struggling.

A midwife came and sat with me and helped me try to feed Marcus. He simply wasn't interested. He just wanted to sleep. She looked over his chart and we saw that over the 2 days since he had been born there were only 3 successful feeds, but none of them lasted long. The amount I had expressed was only a few mls. I had given birth to a whopping 4.3kg baby boy. He needed more than what I was producing at that point. We then opened up his nappy and saw pink stains. The midwife explained that it was not blood, but it was crystalised urine, and it was a sign that he was possibly dehydrated. He had dropped a bit of weight, and was sleeping a lot. Further signs that he was failing to thrive as well as he should. A glucose test showed his sugar levels were starting to drop.

It was then that she discussed my options with me. It was clear that at the very least he needed a formula feed right away. The midwife spoke to me about her concerns. I was starting to become stressed and tearful. Marcus was starting to decline. My milk supply was woeful and pumping had not made any improvement. She pointed out that I had almost no breast changes that usually occur through pregnancy. She pointed out that a big boy like my Son would need even more milk than most babies.

She assured me that if I wanted to I could eventually breastfeed. I could go on medication, I could pump after every (attempted) feed and keep doing so until supply picked up. In the meantime I would formula feed. At minimum this would tae a few weeks to build up my supply to be what he needed.

I thought on that for a moment. I thought back to when my first child was a newborn and I tried going down that path. I remembered the day of sitting connected to a pump and still not getting more than 20 ml. I thought too about the vivacious 2 year old I had waiting for me at home, and I considered how I was going to possibly give both my baby and my child attention they craved when I was attached to a pump between every feed.

I knew what my answer was to be, I knew I had a very healthy child who thrived on formula. I know it does not have all the benefits of breastmilk, but nutritionally it will still nourish my child. I knew that continuing to breastfeed was simply about my own pride and desires. Quite simply, I refused to let my own pride cause my children to suffer.

I told the midwife I felt it was best to just formula feed. She gave me a cuddle and whispered that she really felt I was making the best decision.

When I fed my Son his bottle he drank it hungrily. Bottle feeding allows you to gaze into your baby's eyes, and at that moment, as he looked into mine I felt the weight lift from my shoulders. I knew that I had made the right decision in that moment. He looked happy and content, and for the first time since he was born he had that glorious milk drunk look of a content baby.

I continued to hand express while in the hospital, to see if I could encourage supply. The most I ever got in one go was less than 2 ml. I also tried a few more times to see if Marcus would latch. He would not. So by the time I left to go home I admitted defeat. My breastfeeding journey ended before it ever really started.

***


I still have feelings of regret at not being able to breastfeed. I know that to die hard breastfeeding advocates I should have tried the regime of attempt to breastfeed, bottle feed then express. I cried when I told inquiring friends that I was not successful in feeding. At my lowest times I bitterly think to myself that I seem to have failed in the one thing that a woman is designed to do. 

I am content with the choice I made. I am sharing this because I know how difficult it is for a Mother when she has to make the choice to formula feed. I am not against breastfeeding. I know that there are so many benefits to doing it. Yet, the reality is that, for a number of different reasons, not all women are successful. There are hundreds of stories on the internet about successful breastfeeding. There are so few about not being successful. I am not ashamed. I refuse to be shamed or made to feel guilty. I want to share my story in case another Mother finds it one day, and finds solace in knowing they are not alone in their struggles.

My Son is now 4 months old. He is a beautiful, happy, content baby. He has slept through the night since he was 2 months old. He has steadily put on just the right amount of weight.  I am in love with my handsome Little Man. I know that being a Mother is about far more than how you feed a child.  I am a Mother to two beautiful, healthy, thriving children.


In the end, what more could I want?


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Aussie Curves - Secondhand

I love op shopping. I love never knowing wht you might find, and there is noting like snapping up a great item for a few dollars. 

I remember my Mum buying her work clothes from a second hand store when I was a child. She had worked in childcare, but after suffering nervous breakdown and depression she retrained. She completed a tafe course where she learnt how to use a computer and programs tat made her employable in schools. This meant a new wardrobe but after having time off work she didn't have the money to spend on expensive work wear. I remember her delight at finding some great quality skirt and jacket sets in a variety of colours from some big brand names in her favourite op shop. I was embarrassed that she wore someones old clothing. 

Now I am older I understand why, and appreciate her delight in finding such gems. This dress is one of her ecent finds that she picked up for me. It is an Autograph dress and fits perfectly. It features my favourite colours to wear, coral and purple. The cut is perfect, the pattern is great, and it is a dress I know I will get a lot of wear out of when I head back to work as well as now.

Dress - Autograph
Necklance - Old
Shoes - Kmart

You can also check out my other posts I have written about buying secondhand items. 



Sunday, 23 February 2014

Aussie Curves - Sequins

Top - Made by Mum!
Skirt - Target Moda
Sandals - Target
Headband- Diva
Clutch - Secondhand


I nearly did not participate this week as I really don't have a lot of sequins in my wardrobe. I am not keen on them on clothing as I generally don't want to have a lot of hand wash only items in my wardrobe, and sequins are very delicate.

However, as I was getting dressed this morning I spied my headband with sequins. I realised that you don't have to wear a whole dress made with sequins, you just need to be inspired by them in some way. I find sometimes if you like a trend, but don't want to go all out, just having a little accessory can be a great nod to a style without wearing it head to toe.I also added a glomesh handbag, which I figured added to the sequin look.

I really love the print and colours of my top. After I purchased a similar top at Supre my Mum and I looked at the simple cut and decided we could easily make it ourselves. The benefit of doing it ourselves was that it could be made a little smaller, so the top wasn't quite as baggy.

My Mum has made me 3 tops, but in different prints. They are really beautiful. I am hoping that I will get wear out of them through winter too. I can see them layered up with a long knit top underneath and a blazer or jacket on top, or just a scarf.

I wore this outfit to Yum Cha with my Sister and her partner. He had never tried Yum Cha so we decided we must introduce him to the joys of this Asian cuisine. I find it is best not to wear anything too restrictive and tight when going for a marathon Yum Cha session. What I love best about Yum Cha is that you get lots of little dishes, so you can try different tastes and textures. We usually go at 11am, having it as a brunch. My favourites are Pork Buns, Asian greens with Oyster Sauce, and Pork Sui Mai. We also love the desserts, with Hubby and I sharing Mango Pancakes and Mango pudding at the end.

I am pleased to say my Sister's Boyfriend really enjoyed the food too!

What is your favourite cuisine to eat, and what are you 'Must Try' dishes for the uninitiated?


*

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Aussie Curves - Boho

I have not been sharing many blog posts lately. I have had a cranky Little Man to tend to. At 3 months old he seems to be teething. My placid chilled out boy had turning into a grizzly bear that chews madly on his fist.
He also takes great objection to being put down. SIGH...

I spent all of last week cooped up in the house as I did not want to spend money and it is so time consuming to go out now days. Finally I decided I needed to get out of the house so I arranged to pop down to the shops for a coffee with my Sister.

It was nice to put something on that was not just lounge pants. No foundation though, as my skin was looking rather good, so I just chucked on mascara,blush,  undereye concealer and some gloss. 
Jeans & Boots - Autograph
White Shirt- Kmart Alexia
Knitted vest - Target
Necklace & Bracelets - Very old! I *think* Diva & Equip

The weather has suddenly turned miserable and I am having to think about what on earth I am going to wear during winter. This outfit was one I was rather pleased with and it may get a few outings if this weather keeps up. To me boho means shades of browns, chunky knits, leather and beaded necklaces. It can also mean fun, colourful fabrics, but for today I kept it very simple.

I have been learning how to braid so I experimented with this lovely braided hairdo. I was rather pleased, but sadly it loosened up as I was shopping and fell out. More practicing is needed I think. I have been putting my Daughter's hair in braids. We have always had a huge amount of trouble getting her to let me do her hair,with Abbie preferring to channel her own inner boho, and let her curly hair be wild and free. Until, that is, my Mum had a stroke of genius. She told her that when her hair wasn't done she looked like the trolls in Frozen, but when it was done she looked like Queen Elsa (Abbie's favourite character). Sure enough, she thought on this for a moment, then came to be with a brush and a hair tie. Since then she has happily had her hair braided each day so she can be like a Queen.

I confess, I sometimes worry bout the messages I send my daughter regarding beauty. I don't want her to think beauty requires make up or clothing. Yet, I also want her to look nice when we go out. It is a dilema at times, however I think in this instance I am relieved she now lets me brush her hair and get dressed without an argument.

What does Boho look like to you?