Tuesday, 31 March 2015

5 lessons from my daily walks

If you follow me on instagram or facebook, you'd have seen these purple-clad feet appear a few times over the past weeks. And if you're a long-time reader, you'll know that this isn't the first time I've declared a health journey in this space. But what you may not realise is that I've stuck with it. Procrastinator-Cate, the biggest excuse maker ever, has embraced BRAVE, and ended up somewhere new and exciting.

Along the way, I've pondered many thoughts. None of them are new ideas, but many of them are the sorts of things that you need to figure out for yourself, because you don't listen when others tell you.

  1. I've learnt patience. Even knowing change doesn't happen quickly doesn't stop you from thinking that you might be the lucky one who sees it quicker than others.
  2. I've learnt celebration. The small victories are sometimes more important than the big ones. I was so excited the day I realised I had walked all the way around our path, and talked the whole distance without puffing.
  3. I've learnt perseverance. It takes a lot to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I've been lucky so far, of a possible 45 days available to walk, I've walked for 42, but 40 of those required effort to get out the door. I keep reminding myself to take it one day at a time, and the best bit is I keep listening to me!
  4. I've learnt routine. I haven't done anything with great regularity since Sophie was born. But the routine required to get out the door each day has been a little bit of calm in the chaos of our days.
  5. I've learnt about a new friend. Sometimes sharing the journey can be pretty inspiring. Caitlin has been along for the ride for 7 weeks now, and she's noticing differences, too!
Now that the school holidays are looming, I need to figure out how to keep putting one foot in front of the other with an entourage.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

review | my lil pouch reusable pouches

I was gifted these items. All opinions are mine.
We go through lots of yoghurt in this house. But it only occured to me about a year ago to buy big tubs and decant it, before then I was buying the 12 packs of small tubs, and constantly picking up empty tubs, lids dropped on the floor, and sometimes unfinished tubs.

But finding the perfect container to carry yoghurt to daycare (where there was a fridge for lunch boxes) and school (with no fridges) has been a nightmare. Anything works for daycare, but we admited defeat about six months ago, and stopped sending yoghurt to school. Now that Riley is at school, though, I needed to come up with a solution to the problem.

Enter reusable pouches from My Lil Pouch.

A Queensland-owned and operated company, My Lil Pouch was started by Sarah, a busy mum of 2 sets of twins, after a family camping trip saw her drowning in inconvenient packaging and hungry toddlers. After only 3 years of operation, My Lil Pouch is the number one reusable pouch brand in Australia.

I made up a mix of 100ml pouches and 200ml pouches. I made up this peanut butter banana smoothie for Douglas, and some yoghurt pouches for Riley. Riley said the 100ml pouch "wasn't enough", but I think he just wanted to blue camo print. Douglas has decided he doesn't need to use lunch boxes, so putting the pouches in the freezer means the contents are melted but still cool by morning tea.

I over-filled a couple of the pouches, but you can see from the bottom right photo that the fill line is quite easy to see when filling. The double zip seal is quite strong, I tried pushing and squishing to make it pop but couldn't do it, so they will survive school bags.

Riley said the small regular lid was a bit hard, so I swapped over to the choke safe lids, and he said they were much better to open. The pouches fit easily into lunch boxes, and now that it's a little cooler during the day, we don't use ice bricks if the pouches are frozen.

The pouches are top shelf dishwasher safe, or easy to wash under the tap. Make sure you pre-wash before use, and expand the bottom gusset to make filling easier!

You can also buy ebooks for pouch recipes and ice pop recipes, something I need to get, because I can't see past yoghurt!

If you'd like to try My Lil Pouch reusable pouches, Sarah is offering readers free shipping until the end of April, using the code FREEPURPLE

What else could you put in these pouches?

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

5 things I wish I knew about high school in grade 8

I have the most amazing guest post today - from Chloe. She has a way with words, my girl, and I'm amazed at how grown up she has become.

1. It isn't actually THAT scary and no one is judging you.
Yes you're a lot shorter than all the seniors, yeah you're hair isn't right and you have to wear glasses/braces/etc. but guess what? Absolutely not a single person cares. High school isn't scary and no one is judging you. Especially not anyone older than you. I'm already a term into my last year and I promise you the only thing I notice about anyone younger than me is the fact that they're bloody tall and some of them are taller than me. And if you are getting judged then it doesn't matter anyways, why? Because in four/five short years it's over and you're going to be out in the big wide world.
2. DO NOT follow the crowd.
In your first year your friends are probably going to act up in class but if they're doing that now they're definitely not the right friends. One year they're acting up in class and the next they're asking you to go and get absolutely blind, rotten drunk at a party on the weekend. No way. If you value your education at least a tiny, little bit then you'll step back from those friends and find some new ones. It may seem drastic but seriously if your friends are awful human beings (treating teachers badly, acting out for attention etc.) they aren't worth your time or care. High school is hard but with the right sort of friends you will get enough support to help you through the bad times.
3. Please don't procrastinate.
So you have an assignment due tomorrow and you haven't started it yet? Yeah that's not good. High school is all about time management. I'll tell you a secret, time management is difficult. Parents are going to tell you it's easy, because they've done it before but for a first timer it's hard as heck. As soon as you get an assignment piece start it, do not put it off till the last minute. If you can get time management down pat in your first year at high school you are going to do beautifully for the rest of high school, I'm not even joking.
4. Boyfriends/girlfriends aren't worth it.
There is no point in being consumed by a boyfriend/girlfriend in your first year of high school. I'm going to be real here; from all of my friends I have there is only ONE person who is still with their boyfriend. And they've been friends since childhood. Being in a relationship shouldn't be your one goal of high school.
5. School is only a small start to the rest of your life.
Yes, high school is tough. A teacher told me that some of the tests I'm doing in my last year of high school are harder than the tests she did during her last year of university. But leaving high school is exciting, planning your future life is exciting. I get giddy just thinking about the things I will be doing next year, your life can only go up and if you think that high school is the worst thing in the world just remember that following it through and keeping your head up high is going to get you so many places.

{linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT}

Monday, 23 March 2015

hello monday

hello, broken washing machine. It wasn't the problem we thought it was, now we might need to buy a new machine.

hello, 2nd-person narrative. I haven't done it since high school, and I'm a little scared of it right now.

hello, summer storms in autumn. Sophie doesn't like storms or rain, making some evenings not.much.fun.

hello, scrapbooking. I'm off to a crop this weekend. I'm going to take my time this week, and plan to create.

hello, baking. With Steve going away for work, and 3 kids at school, buying snacks is getting expensive again. Time to fill the freezer with home-baked goodies.

hello, Easter and school holidays. I can see you peeking from the end of next week.

hello, camping. Won't know until the end of the week if Steve is off, but we've got our fingers crossed for a camping weekend over the holidays.

hello monday, a new start every week.

Friday, 20 March 2015

creamy prawn and macaroni salad

Food has been a struggle lately. I've been fed up with eating the same things over and over, it's been hot, the kids have been fussy. One day last week, I asked Steve what he wanted to eat. "Salad" he said. "I know just the thing, but the kids won't like it"

I showed him the recipe, and then headed out to buy the ingredients. (and the kids ate mac&cheese)

300g macaroni
300g cooked prawns
1 capsicum, chopped
2 celery sticks, finely sliced
1/4c chopped dill
1/2c sour cream
1/3c mayonnaise
2tsp lemon zest
2Tbs lemon juice
few drops Tabasco
1/4c fried shallots

- cook macaroni
- combine pasta, prawns, celery, capsicum, shallots in a bowl
- whisk sour cream, mayonnaise, juice, tabasco and dill together
- pour sauce over pasta mix and combine
- serve with fried shallots and extra zest on top

- we're not fans of celery, I'd leave it out next time
- I didn't have tabasco or fried shallots
- I didn't add all the lemon juice
- we would definitely make this again

{linking up with Create.Bake.Make., Zamamabakes and BakePlaySmile for Fabulous Foodie Friday}
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