Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Seed Family and Friends 30% Off!

You know that you are a bit of a Seed fan when your local store sends you a message on Instagram to let you know when there is a discount day - fantastic customer service!!
 
30% off is a HUGE discount for one of my favourite chains, too good not to share...
 
 
The online code is 10402 and this kicks off tomorrow (Wednesday 25 May) and runs until Sunday 29 May. I am not affiliated with Seed but gee I wish I was - that place is a money pit for me!!
 
Happy shopping :-)


Monday, 9 May 2016

Part 2: Miss C's Pink and Gold Minnie Mouse 1st Birthday Party!

Thank you so much for the lovely comments on the Part 1 of Miss C's First Birthday post. If you are wondering what Part 1 was about, you can catch more details about the party, why I chose the theme, who designed the printed materials and just view more photos of the event here.

Today I am going to share a few more details about the food and drink side of things!
 

The main feature of the event was the Dessert/Candy buffet table that I designed and put together ( a little under the weather with my pregnancy sickness mind you!).

On this table we had an assortment of candies/lollies, wrapped chocolate, cookies and cupcakes- all that matched the soft pink, gold and white theme.


I don't think you can have a party without jelly - so we had some pots of pale pink jelly on the table with super cute Minnie spoons created by Merc and Jones.


The personalised wrapped chocolate bars were simply Aldi Choceur bars that were wrapped with a personalised wrapper by Mint Imprint. This design co-ordinated with the candy jar tags, banner and table signs. More details on the printed materials over in the Part 1 post if you missed it.



 
I had someone ask me specifically about the lollipops on the table. These were purchased for $1 from Kmart. They weren't a perfect colour match, but with a cute little sticker they easily tied in with the table theme.

 
The cake was made by BJ Cakes who also did the super cute mini cupcakes too. The inside was a Chocolate Mudcake and it was divine!

The cake topper was designed by Merc and Jones who used the same font as the printed banner to ensure a consistent look (I am a sucker for matchy, matchy!). They also did the little 'Chloe' and Minnie Mouse head cupcake toppers too.


One of my favourite things on the table has to be these cookies created by Sweet Creations by Sharms - how adorable are they?! I have had the pleasure of working with Sharmila on nearly every single party/event I have had over the years (big or small) and she is just beautiful to work with and a pretty darn handy cake maker too!


Sweet Creations by Sharms also made these divine macarons. I always love to have macs on my table and inevitably they are the first thing eaten, especially when they look this good!


We also had a second, less styled table at the party. This table was primary for beverages, but also had the plates, cutlery etc.
 
You can see below that there were some empty spots for the little dishes friends and family kindly donated to the party - some hot finger food, fruit skewers and an amazing cheese platter were added to the table after this picture was snapped.

 
Pink and gold bubbles for the adults were very popular. Unfortunately this mamma (being 9 weeks pregnant) had to go without.
 
 

My beverage dispensers were filled with water and my Festive Fizz punch (non alcoholic version). If you are after a crowd pleasing drink at your next event - this is it! You can grab the recipe here, never lets me down!


Another super easy sweet treat that I put together were these rice krispie treats - so easy and so yum!


Also on the table, my strawberry mouse with super cute Minnie spoons. I always try and stick with items that can be made ahead the night before so that on the day all I have to do is set everything up and enjoy the party.





I think that covers all of the food and drink details. Don't forget if you want more details, feel free to check out Post 1 here.
 
You can also check out some of my other parties on the blog here including Mr B's Peter Rabbit Baptism, Miss C's Glitter and Lace Baptism, Mr B's Elephant Themed 1st Birthday and Mr B's Modern Farm Yard 2nd birthday- there have been a few celebrations!
 
All photos have been taken by the amazing Emma from Haven Lifestyle Photography. Emma is also a regular fixture at every single milestone party we have hosted and just captures the most beautiful images.
 
Of course if you have any questions, please feel free to comment below. I cannot believe I am now just over 3 months away from having Mr T's 1st birthday. Time to get cracking on that... 

Monday, 25 April 2016

Part 1: Miss C's Pink and Gold Minnie Mouse 1st Birthday Party!

Yes, yes I know that she is now 2 years and 4 months old but better late than never!
 
So WAY back at the start of 2015 (sounds positively ancient huh?!), Miss C turned 1.
 
 
And unfortunately for me, I was feeling super under the weather as I was around 9 weeks pregnant with Mr T at the time. Still I pressed on and tried to give her a pretty special little celebration...
 
 
 


 

 
So why Minnie Mouse? Honestly - no idea! I just wanted something cute and girly! I also wanted to do something a bit different to the traditional hot pink, so I went with a soft pink and gold glitter theme.
 
 
 


 
To create the printed materials - banners, tags, chocolate bar wrappers and invites - I worked with the AMAZING (and ever so patient) Ally from Mint Imprint. I shared my vision with Ally and she developed the printed range to absolute perfection.
 
 

 
 
 
The other paperie - spoons, cupcake and cake topper, and the ONE sign were all created by Merc and Jones.
 
All of the stunning photos were yet again captured by Emma from Haven Lifestyle Photography who also snapped Mr B's 1st birthday bash too.
 
Stay tuned for Part 2 as I share all of the food and drink details from the day.
 
 
Love to know what you think....
 
 

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Healthy Gluten Free Chickpea Chocolate Chip Brownies (Thermomix Version Included)


These Brownies are fool proof. Not only are they super easy to make, but they are delicious and gluten free, contain no refined sugars (depending on the choc chips you use) and packed with the goodness of Chickpeas.

I live for chocolate or sweet things in my diet each day, so at least I don't have to feel guilty about tucking in to these when I need my 3 pm sugar hit!

The recipe does contain nuts, so if you are planning on making this for kids, please be mindful of your lunchbox regulations.

You'll Need

  • 1 Tin of Chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 Cup of Natural Peanut Butter (or Almond Nut Butter) - see notes to make your own!
  • 1/3 Cup of Maple Syrup (or Honey)
  • 1/3 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips or Lindt 85% Cocoa (see note)
  • 1/4 Cup Almond Meal
  • 1 Tbs Cacao Powder (love the Living Earth one!)
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Bicarb Soda
  • Sea Salt for Sprinkling (if desired)

Normal Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees (350 degrees F)
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender apart from the chocolate chips
  3. Blend until smooth
  4. Fold through the Chocolate Chips/Chunks
  5. Spread batter in a small pan with a spatula
  6. Sprinkle on a few extra chocolate chips
  7. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes (test with fork/toothpick)
  8. Try and resist eating (I dare you!) and let cool down, sprinkle with sea salt if desired 

Thermomix Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees (350 degrees F)
  2. Place all ingredients in a bowl apart from the chocolate chips
  3. Blend on speed 5 for 20 seconds (you may need to scrape down bowl half way through)
  4. Place Chocolate Chips/Chunks in bowl and Mix on Speed 1 on Reverse or 10 seconds
  5. Spread batter in a small pan with a spatula
  6. Sprinkle on a few extra chocolate chips
  7. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes (test with fork/toothpick)
  8. Try and resist eating (I dare you!) and let cool down, sprinkle with sea salt if desired 

 Notes

  • These are absolute at their best when eaten while warm - delish!!
  • You can omit the raw cacao and make these 'blondies' if desired
  • Make sure you go for a natural peanut butter, or better still whip up your own, it is so darn easy with this recipe
  • I absolute love Lindt 85% Cocoa Dark Chocolate cut in to chunks as a 'healthier' option to commercial dark chips. You could also use cacao nibs if desired too.
Love to hear how you go with these at your place...

 
 

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Get organised to reduce stress

{Post brought to you in conjunction with Compare the Market}
 
A recent study from Compare The Market looked at just what is stressing us Australians out. The infographic here broke down what is causing the stress, how Australians are coping and how it all impacts our lives.
 
We all have different types of stress and ways to manage that stress. One of the best things I have done to reduce stress in my life is to get more organised. This has definitely become more and more essential with each and every new addition to the family!
 
The study showed that two main things causing us all the most stress were financial issues and health issues. I must admit both of these (along with missing out on a Kmart bargain!) definitely ring true for me.
 

Financial issues

 
Finances sound scary, but are surprisingly easy to get organised with. Create a budget and stick to it. Its a simple as that.
 
A budget doesnt need to be complex. You need to spend less than you earn, but it is the spending aspect that you need to be across first. 
 
 
If you have never done a budget before, it is probably best to track your spending for 3 months to give you a clear idea of where your money is going. Write out all your expenses, compare them to your income then ensure you dont overspend in any area. This enables you to stick to your budget, save money and be less stressed financially. 
 
If you find you are spending more than you earn you need to either find ways to cut back or increase you income. Ideally, do both.
 
To get the ball rolling, some super simple ways to cut back are:
 
  • Menu planning, shopping with a list and cooking accordingly. I have a little post here on why I love (and need) a shopping list, as well as some free printables too.
 
  • Compare your insurance to make sure you are getting the best deal on each on including health, car, life, home and contents, any insurance you have
 
  • Compare providers for your phone, internet, electricity, gas and any other service. Doing a quick comparison and switch can save you thousands of dollars a year
 

Health issues

 
Getting organised with your health is crucial for quality of life, especially as I am nearing the 'wrong' side of 30! I dont know anyone who hasnt had some sort of health issue. If  your health goes, everything else goes and even something as simple as us having gastro over Easter definitely makes me realise that!
 
Health is important to me and I try and stay as fit and active as possible by scheduling time to exercise each week. Saying you will go to the gym today is not as effective as the act of physically writing it into your diary - trust me!
 
 
 
I have set gym classes that I go to every single week and these are diarised and non negotiable appointments I make with myself. For example, if I need to get my hair done (once in blue moon!), then I won't make it on a day or a time where I am going to be at the gym.
 
Keep all health matters together. Create a file, get copies of your medical history, keep copies from every test and treatment you have in a file to enable you to have all the information you might need for any future health issue. If you dont get digital copies when you go through treatments, make your own by scanning the paper copies and storing them on your laptop.
 
Create time for yourself - yup I know easier said than done with kids! Not enough people schedule in time for themselves. Being healthy and organised is all about doing what is best for you and creating a life you love. If you dont schedule in time for self care you will burn out, cause health issues and wish you had slowed down. I personally find that even getting out of the house (solo) for a grocery shop for 30 minutes can give me the refresh I need! Get organised, schedule it in and thank yourself later.
 
 
When health or finances become a burden, there are usually things you can do to reduce the impact. From my experience, most of it comes down to being organised, or the lack thereof. What do you think? Are finances and health causing stress in your home? How do you manage it?