Daily Look | Our Easter Mantlepiece

I haven’t put up any Easter decorations for years, usually because they are in the Christmas storage boxes and who can be bothered digging through those in March!  However this year I remembered to pull the Easter stuff out as I was packing away the Christmas Tree, voila!  How cute is that bunting? $2.50 from Kmart!

Giveaway {closed} | Even Better Easiyo!

We have just made our second, DELICIOUS batch of EasiYo and our whole family is totally hooked on both the process {so, so simple} and the result – thick and creamy yoghurt in the yummiest flavours!  I’ve wanted one of these simple, effective kitchen helpers since I was a little girl, so was totally stoked to have been gifted one to try in our home, and, you can try one too!  Thanks to EasiYo, we have one $100 prize pack to giveaway which includes a new, improved EasiYo yogurt maker, ten yogurt sachets, two serving bowls and two large jars!  Keep reading to find out how to win.

Mommy Blogger New ZealandEasiYo’s new and improved yogurt maker has been made-over with a stylish new look and more compact size that fits better on the kitchen shelf. An easy-grip handle and non-slip feet have been added, while smooth surfaces make for easy cleaning. A new shape jar makes it easier to spoon the last of the yogurt out. Designed and made in New Zealand, the maker is also insulated with 100 percent New Zealand wool.

Real yogurt real easy, simply add water and wake up to 1kg of the freshest, tastiest yogurt. Made from the best New Zealand milk with billions of live cultures in every spoonful, making it fresh means there’s no need for the artificial ingredients, additives and stabilisers often used in store-bought yogurt.

Delicious and nutritious, vegetarian and gluten free, EasiYo is available at all major supermarkets nationwide or at easiyo.com.

EasiYo yogurt maker RRP$30, EasiYo 1L yogurt sachets RRP$4.50

 www.easiyo.com  |  EasiYo Facebook

To enter to win, just head to the EasiYo website, pick your favourite flavour then let me know in a comment below or follow the instructions on the contest image posted on my FB page – you are welcome to enter both ways.  Entries close Sunday 5th April at 10pm.

 

Hello Nixon | 20 Months “BUBBY-do”

Mummy Blog NZ New Zealand Blogger These are the days you wait for.

I also have a feeling these are the days you miss the most when they are gone.  My faithful sidekick, with me every minute of the day, screaming “BUBBY-do!!” at every turn, at every milestone throughout the day – laundry, meal time, bed making, dog walking, potato peeling, unloading the dishwasher……..son, your domestic training has begun early!

I have never felt so utterly happy and at peace as I did today while I was mowing the back lawn.  Weird, I know, but when a little person is just radiating joy because the two of you are out in the yard, mowing and pretend mowing together, it’s a nice little reminder of how simple life can be – and should be?  I know every parent believes in their child and loves them more and more with each passing second, and I’m totally having one of those ‘my kids is the shit’ moments, but I just wish every single person I know could experience how hilarious and smart, loving and amazing Nix is at this special age.  So close to two, and yet so far from the baby he’s grown out of.  He’s one of those kids whose personality is so huge it takes over the whole house and has everyone wrapped around his little finger, hoping to be next in line for big, slobbery hugs.

The things that make Nix happy are many, varied and random;

  1. Favourite book – Tiddler
  2. Favourite food – Beetroot and avocado
  3. Favourite toy – Trucks
  4. Favourite person – Ethan + E’s friends
  5. Favourite show – Little Einsteins
  6. Favourite jams – The Wiggles
  7. Favourite Soft Toy – Leapfrog Puppy & Sharky
  8. Favourite topic of conversation – Diggers 
  9. Favourite pastime – Helping “I help it”
  10. Favourite weirdo habit – carrying his baby powder around ‘PowPow’

The things Nix hates are also many;

  1. He still hates having his diaper changed.  I don’t blame him, an unfortunate side-effect of Hirschsprungs Disease
  2. He does not enjoy the locks on the pantry
  3. He does not enjoy following instruction at swimming lessons
  4. He is still fighting his battle with Sandpit Rage, it’s a long, hard road
  5. He hates it when we drive somewhere that ISN’T the Nor’Western Motorway ergo no diggers, this makes Nixon very, very angry
  6. He hates it when his mash is late and taking too long to cool down
  7. He very much dislikes getting out of the shower
  8. He appears to be very afraid of spiders and bugs
  9. Despite being filthy and playing outside most of the time, he dislikes his hands being dirty
  10. When he is with his Dad en masse, ie the weekends, he hates being out of reach of him.  Dave can’t easily go swimming, or disappear from sight.  Nix loves his daddy.

Mummy Blog NZ New Zealand Blogger

 

Beauty review | Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

Garnier Micellar Water Beauty Blog Review

Gosh I was excited to review this new beauty product.  Let me tell you, I am the Laziest Lazy Girl there is when it comes to cleansing my face and removing makeup.  More often than not I will collapse into bed way later than I should with zero energy or inclination to put any more obstacles between me and my pillow.  I really, really dislike splashing around in the sink using traditional cleansers before bed, especially when its cold, plus my skin doesn’t cope well with the residue left behind by cleansing wipes, so I was crossing my fingers and toes that I would fall in love with Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water.

So, the verdict.

I have been using this miracle in a bottle for about 3 weeks now, and haven’t slept in makeup once over that period!  This is HUGE news people.  It’s one of those products that is really satisfying to use.  The results are instant and visible, in fact, I’m even going to say that my skin looks the cleanest it ever has after a few gentle swipes with Garnier Micellar Water dotted on a cotton ball.  I’ve also been using it after running if I can’t take a shower right away and love how fresh my face feels (even if the rest of me is totes stinky and gross lol).

The science behind Micellar water is impressive, micelles are suspended in the formulation and act as little magnets, easily capturing impurities, makeup and sebum from the skin.  Because nothing is left behind, this 3-in-one cleanser is perfect for all skin types, even sensitive skin!

 
Basically, I’m calling this a life changing product, it’s shown me how clean my skin can and should be and how easy and NOW inexpensive a micellar water is to use. Previously only available from high-end, luxe brands (think $$$), it’s super exciting that mummy supermarket warriors like me can pick some up from a trusted brand like Garnier for only $12.99 RRP! Expect excellent value for money as one bottle should see you through 200 applications – unless of course Ethan is doing your makeup every day!
Love, love, love it! Add it to the grocery list right now!

Beauty Review | Manuka Doctor ApiRefine Radiance Serum

WELCOME TO THE MUMMY MAKE-UP PROJECT!  I’M FIVE YEARS SHY OF 40 AND AFTER 20 YEARS OF CLUELESS MAKE-UP APPLICATION, 2015 IS THE YEAR OF TURNING DRAB TO FAB.  I’M GOING TO FIND THE BEST SKINCARE AND MAKE-UP PRODUCTS, SHARE THEM WITH YOU AND ACTUALLY LEARN HOW TO USE THEM.  I WOULD LOVE YOUR ADVICE ALONG THE WAY AS WELL AS YOUR SUPPORT – I’M SURE I’M NOT THE ONLY MUMMY OUT THERE WHO IS COMPLETELY CLUELESS ABOUT MAKE-UP!

Oh I love, love, love serums.  They are just the best, most magical wee potions ever.  If you’ve never used one expect a light, non-greasy formulation that spreads easily and can be worn underneath make-up.  These are usually super concentrated and pack a power punch of luscious goodness for your skin.

I headed into the city a couple of weeks ago to visit The Manuka Doctor Concept Store for the first time.  Located downtown Auckland, across the street from the Ferry Building, this is definitely a destination for the skincare conscious.  I left with a couple of gifted products to review, and a little more knowledge about the use of bee friendly products in the Manuka Doctor Range.

The ApiRefine Radiance Serum RRP $35.95 (30ml)

Beauty Blogger Manuka Doctor Radiance Serum Review NZFirst impressions – this was so hard to capture but the lovely, refined texture of the serum has the most amaze opalescent hue, totally what you want in a product that claims an “instant illuminating effect”.  It goes on like a charm and a little goes a long way which is what you should expect from these concentrated formulas which can be super expensive per ml.

Beauty Blog New Zealand Manuka Doctor Serum ReviewI have been applying this after moisturising every day.  On days when I’m heading out I pop my L’Oréal BB cream on over the top, or most days, when I could care less, I’ve been sporting the serum with a naked face and maybe just some mascara.  So, back-up.  Did you pay attention there?  A naked face!  This serum delivers.  I have pretty uneven skin tone from years of sun damage and the Radiance Serum worked beautifully to counteract the blotchiness.  There are so many wonder ingredients in this stuff (Organic Cactus Extract, Purified Bee Venom, Manuka Honey are just some)  I don’t know what’s responsible for what, but, my skin feels and looks brighter, hydrated, dewy and younger.  

The serum also provided an excellent non-greasy base for make-up application.  It felt good to know that there was a product actually doing my skin some good underneath the camouflage layer!  Long term I’m definitely planning to continue using this product.  I’ve used bee venom based skincare products for years and I’m totally on board with the statements that it’s clinically proven to refine fine lines and wrinkles.

So, I’m impressed.  ApiRefine Radiance Serum is a keeper, plus I’m pretty excited to try more products from the three Manuka Doctor ranges; apiclear, apinourish and apirefine.

Beauty Blogger Manuka Doctor Radiance Serum Review NZ

Giveaway | School Holiday Fun at The Bruce Mason Theatre with Mrs McGinty’s Garden

Get the kids out of the house and into Mrs McGinty’s garden this April school holidays.

Mrs McGinty is known around the neighbourhood for being a grumpy old lady, but deep down she longs for friends. So when the kids next door get bored during their school holidays, Mrs McGinty is the perfect target to play pranks on – you will always get a rise out of her. They spend the summer shooting arrows in her cabbages, hiding rocks in her letterbox and coming up with new tricks to drive her crazy.

But all that is about to change when Mrs McGinty grows a plant in her garden that just keeps growing and growing. Overnight, Mrs McGinty goes from being known as cranky to the talk of the town.Mrs McGinty and the Bizarre Plant was a finalist of NZ Children’s Book of the Year, 1982, and has gone on to bea New Zealand favourite for children 4 to 12 years old. The story is brought to life from the page to the stage with the use of fabulous sets, clever puppetry and great songs composed by Luke Di Somma (Chief Conductor of the Christchurch Youth Orchestra, Artistic Director Christchurch Pops Choir). The fantastic set features iconic New Zealand architecture such as a 1950s bungalow and the classic Edmond’s Sure to Rise factory sign.

Don’t miss this wonderful children’s story and visual feast at the Bruce Mason Centre for six shows only.

TREASURE TRAIL:

Come early and enjoy the treasure trail from 9.45am featuring the Imagination Playground, face painting and fun activities and crafts.

Mrs McGinty and the Bizarre Plant plays Live at Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna Thursday 16 – Saturday 18 April, 2015

Two shows daily, 10.30am and 1.00pm

TICKETS: $15 per person*(service fees apply)

BOOKING THROUGH www.ticketmaster.co.nz or 09 970 9700

Show duration: 60 minutes

To win a double pass head over to my FB page and help the rest of us out by commenting on the competition post with a school holiday idea for the kids

School Holiday Activities Auckland Mummy Blog NZ

3 Tips to Push Through a Running Plateau

If you follow me on Instagram you may be aware that over the past month I have hit a bit of a wall with my running.  Despite a long and distinguished career {I began running way back in December 2014!}, I had never hit the wall like this before and to tell the truth was beginning to lose interest.  I SO want to keep going, my body hasn’t felt this strong and fit in years and I was achieving something I had always wanted to master – the simple act of running for fitness.  My head has always been the weakest link.  I was counting the minutes and landmarks along my route until my run was over.  I was opting for the half km shorter route more often than I was completing the full 6k.  I was beating myself up over increasing pace and failing to improve over both distance and time.  I had plateaued hard and hit the ‘beginner runners hump’.

I *think* I may have cracked it this weekend though.  I tried a few different things and after this morning’s run I’m feeling pumped and looking forward to tomorrow’s workout – I haven’t been able to say that for about 6 weeks!

Though I’m no running expert, I thought I’d share these 3 simple tips which helped me get my ass into gear and enjoy running again;

    1. Run with a friend – Since I began I have always run on my own, aside from a few family runs where E rides his bike, Dave pushes Nix in the buggy and we both wear headphones anyway.  Even with the 15kg Nixie + Mountain Buggy handicap Dave kicks my ass and burns off into the distance, not to be seen again until I arrive home  w a y  after him.  Last week I cornered a Mum who lives nearby and also runs regularly and suggested we run together over the weekend.  It was just what the doctor ordered!  Having someone to chat with to got me out of my head, shifted the focus off the minutes and km’s and Map my Run and before we knew it we had hit 5.5km and had enjoyed a killer workout.
    2. Change your route – I am a freaky weird creature of habit so naturally had carried my boring ways over into my running.  I have run the same route every day since the New Year, tacking extra 1/2 kms on every now and then to bump up my distances.  The problem with this is, ahh, many things!  My body had become totally used to the route, my thighs knew when the hill was coming, all of me cringed when it was time to do the 1km around the rugby field {why is running on grass SO hard?} and I mentally hated the little add ons at the end, all I could think was “I can do the extra bit or go straight home like I used to”.  Having a mental ‘extra bit’ qualifies it as optional.  My head does better when a run is a defined 6km, rather than a 5.5km with an optional extra.  The second benefit of running with my friend was that she showed me a whole new route to explore and work in to where I was running.  I hit the new course again this morning and felt so good!  From here on I’m going to try to have three routes in my arsenal and alternate them throughout the week.
    3. Run to a goal –  My friend Penny from Little Housewife posted on Instagram how stoked she was at running her first 5k under 30 minutes.  I had never considered setting a goal prior to a run so set myself the same target as Penny this morning and what do you know, 5k in 28:39!  Though getting hung up on metrics isn’t a good idea for me, I like the idea of having a long term goal to work towards, which is why by the end of 2015 I want to be running 10k regularly.  So aiming to get 5k under 28 minutes will be something I look at achieving over the next month.

Not mind-blowing stuff, but changing things up a bit will help me keep me focussed and maintain running frequency throughout the year.  Got to get through winter yet though!  eeep!

Running Blog Fitness NZ

 

 

 

The Mascara Showdown | Benefit They’re Real! v Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara

Welcome to The Mummy Make-up Project!  I’m five years shy of 40 and after 20 years of clueless make-up application, 2015 is the year of turning drab to fab.  I’m going to find the best skincare and make-up products, share them with you and actually learn how to use them.  I would love your advice along the way as well as your support – I’m sure I’m not the only Mummy out there who is completely clueless about make-up!

Best Mascara Benefit or Eye of Horus NZ Beauty Blog

So, a couple of weeks ago I kicked off The Mummy Make-up Project by asking for your opinions on the BEST mascara on my Fb page.  You guys were into it!  Many had strong favourites but even more of you were also looking for advice on a new lash BFF.  The only mascara I have ever used is ye ol’ faithful, Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof mascara.  After 20 years of service it’s time to retire the old girl in search of something a little more ‘new millenium’.

Overwhelmingly you all recommended I try Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara and the Goddess Mascara from cruelty free brand Eye of Horus.  I purchased both of these products with my own husbands hard earned cash, so rest assured this is not a sponsored review.

I ordered both mascaras online, the Benefit from Smith & Caughey’s RRP$45 + $5 shipping and the Eye of Horus from their website RRP$44 +$4.50 shipping.  Both were despatched super quickly and received in excellent condition.  During the trial week I wore the Benefit mascara on my left eye and Eye of Horus on my right – 7 days of faffing around with two different products!  See what I do in the name of science!  You.  Are.  Welcome.

Benefit They're Real Mascara Review Beauty Blog NZ

Benefit They’re real! Mascara

Ok, this mascara has some huge fans out there, ladies love this product so I was expecting BIG things.  I wasn’t disappointed. They’re Real! delivers some long lashes on initial, one swipe application.  The brush is a rubbery, spiky looking thing which is WAY different to the bristly, brushy Great Lash and this, I have come to believe over the past week, makes all the difference.  I had no problem with panda eyes, even after a swimming lesson with Nixon involving huge bombs in my face, I barely had any black under my eye.  I also had no trouble removing this mascara at night with the miracle product that is micellar water.  Though, in all fairness, I doubt there is much that could withstand a few cotton ball swipes of micellar! {review coming soon}.  

One thing which irked was that big clump on the end of the brush – you can see it in the image.  There are bristles right on the end of the brush which serve no purpose to me but to exacerbate clumping.  This was honestly the only negative in an otherwise amazing product.  I particularly loved how quick drying it was so no black marks on your lids from blinking.

Eye of Horus Review Beauty Blogger NZ

Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara

Like the Benefit, Eye of Horus mascara has it’s own cult following.  I’ve heard professional makeup artists swear by it and those cruelty-free gals get quivering knees at the mere mention of EOH!  So what’s all the fuss about?  Again, the brush is brilliant.  Same rubbery, spikey stylus, but…..look at that concave in the middle of the brush!  I have no idea why this makes a difference, but to my very unprofessional hand, it feels easier to apply, like I’m less likely to slip and smear it around my eye.  After more than a week of daily use, almost zero visible product on the brush.  That’s pretty impressive I think.  Overall I had less clumps with the EOH than They’re Real! but, it takes a few seconds longer to dry so I did have to fix a few lash marks on my lids over the week.  It doesn’t go on quite as long with one swipe, however after a couple more strokes there is no difference between the two products.  Again, I survived swimming with no panda eyes and was easily able to remove EOH at night with my Garnier Micellar water.

Overall, both mascara’s are just light years ahead of the Maybelline Great Lash I was using, check out the vintage brush on pinky!  Ugh.  Her only saving grace was her staying power, but these new generation mascaras can definitely hang without the specified ‘waterproof’ formulation.

Maybelline Great Lash REview Beauty Blog NZ

Mascara comaprison and Review Beauty Blogger NZ

So which would I purchase again?  The Mascara Showdown has been won by Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara.  I SO loved this product, the formulation is 10/10 with NO clumping plus that brush has curves in all the right places.  My lashes have never looked better, or longer.  If you were wondering, I am convinced that mascara is definitely one beauty product worth spending a wee bit more on, those brushes don’t lie ladies!

 

 

 

The lost art of “getting shit done”

Today I crossed one task off my to-do list and added 4 more.

One.

The tasks on my list are not even that onerous or time consuming.  They simply require my undivided attention for a small period of time.  Therein lies the conflict.

Nixon is also small but requires my undivided attention ALL of the time.  Resisting the yellow-haired dictator results in tantrum after tantrum and much headbanging on floors and walls – I am actually counting the seconds until this precious phase is over, as a legitimate, albeit self-inflicted ‘boo-boo’ drags a tantrum into a whole new level of pain, for both of us!

The confounding truth about parenting a toddler is that change is constant.  What is working perfectly for us on Monday defies all laws of reason on Tuesday.  I had us settled into a great morning routine which allowed me a small window – measured by Peppa & George Pig – to sit down, reply to some emails, edit some photos etc, maybe do some paid work {WTH!} or at the very least attend to some yawny household admin like re-registering my truck, changing electricity providers or just cleaning up the damn place!  This week, Peppa has lost her mojo and she’s taken mine with her.

Everything I do manage to get done has a price.  The vacuuming gets done because the tupperware drawers have been emptied.  I get to brush my hair because Nix is throwing the contents of my bedside drawers out of the window {brushing my hair takes a L O N G time btw}.  The laundry gets hung on the line while the three dog bowls are hidden in the garden.  If you don’t laugh you cry right?

I’ve got to lower my standards a bit otherwise Nix and I never get out of the house, which isn’t healthy for either of us and buying in to the cycle of cleaning constantly with a toddler on the loose is a recipe for madness I’m sure.  We have decided that painting our new skirting boards whilst Nix is still crashing ‘vacuuming’ with his wooden trolley and racing his plastic motorbike through the house is an exercise in futility.  I’m going to try and apply this sort of pragmatic thinking to my days as a SAHM in general.  

Nap time is pretty solid right now, 1-3.30, Ethan gets home at around 2.45pm so I have 1 hour and 45 minutes to sit, think and do.  And by do, I don’t mean housework – that shit never ends and no-one really cares if the laundry is put away on Wednesday or Thursday do they?  So, welcome to my new ‘ME’ time.  So far I have shopped online for a new pair of Nike Roshe, text a friend and I’m going to finish writing this blog post after only beginning it last night!  Miracles occur every day apparently and this, my friends, is one of them.

If you have any tips for finding your daily rhythm, I’m all ears because I feel like I’m floundering in a never-ending groundhog day – or is that just how all mothers feel?

Toddler Baking New Zealand Mum Blogger