How I shopped the H&M Launch in Auckland

If you’re a fan of global mega-brand H&M you’re probably already planning your first look and the new store at Sylvia Park that opened it’s doors for the VIP shopping preview last night.

Guests were not disappointed.  The red carpet was rolled out, shopping bags, champagne flutes, gorgeous canapes and wonderfully helpful sales assistants were everywhere in abundance.  Mum and I were among the first through the doors so we got straight to work before the 500 other guests rolled in!

The store is huge, do not visit if you’re in a rush or have small children – you will either lose them or wish you could lose them lol.  I’ve been to H&M in Sydney in a hurry and left feeling overwhelmed and far too old to shop there, when in reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  You just have to have time to look and be selective.  The Auckland store is spread over two spacious floors, Ladies and Menswear on the ground floor, more ladies, intimates, activewear and kids on the 2nd floor.

Mum and I were methodical and brutal, if we weren’t sure on size we grabbed two so we wouldn’t have to hit the changing rooms more than once – that’s where the lines were.  I’d say most things are true to the sizes that we know here in New Zealand.  I loved the women’s wear, the little boys section was cute but I wasn’t wowed and the men’s department was pretty great to be honest.  Not entirely to Dave’s taste but this is where I’ll be bringing Ethan to shop from now on.

The price?  Ah-mazing, pretty much exactly what you’d pay in Aussie.  My favourite pair of jeans are from H&M and they were in stock at $29, the same price I paid in Sydney earlier in the year.

The Best Nest Shops H&M

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family H and M Auckland

L-R Off-the-Shoulder Dress $29.99, Chiffon Blouse $29.99, Jersey Top with Perforations $24.99, Skirt $59.99,  Vest Top with Frilled Sleeves $24.99,  Jersey Top with Puff Sleeves $14.99, Jersey Top $19.99, Patterned Cotton Cap $12.99, 5 Pack Socks $14.99, Printed T Shirt $12.99Blue Hat $7.99, Mustard Skirt $59.99,  Palm Tree Shirt $19.99, Cactus Shirt $29.99, Men’s Cap $14.99

So here’s most of my H&M Auckland haul, the red dress and Mustard skirt are definitely the stand-out pieces for me, the rest is mainly just comfy casuals.  Little things like nice socks for little boys that aren’t in goofy colours or overdone with patterns was a welcome respite and I LOVE the scorpion, desert-themed tee I picked up for Nix!

It was a really excellent opening party and I’m pretty sure 99% of those attended had a fab time – Mum and I sure did!

Good luck if you’re heading out tomorrow, it’s going to be absolute bedlam!  Have fun!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family H and M Auckland

The Best Chocolate Chip and Macadamia Cookie Recipe

Chocolate Chip Macadamia Cookie Recipe

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Chocolate Chip Macadamia Cookie Recipe

Having the kids home for the school holidays is the perfect time to try out some new recipes (Chocolate Chip and Macadamia Cookie anyone?) and get the kids comfy in the kitchen. Learning to follow recipes, prepare and serve food, clean up (!) and share the kitchen space as a valued and useful member of the family are life skills that we need to pass on to our young boys and girls.

Sparkinn ongoing interest in cooking is as easy as picking a recipe that will inspire young bakers and keep them wanting to make it again and again!  I’ve called this one The Best Chocolate and Macadamia Cookie recipe – I know, I know, that’s a pretty big call but just wait until you taste these!  Even the cookie dough will have you agreeing with me.  This is a genuine Best Nest original recipe that Dave and I have mucked around with for years and I think we’ve got it just about right.

You can go crazy with variations on the classic chocolate chip cookie recipe, but there is no denying that chocolate and nuts are a match made in heaven. I love macadamias but if they’re not to your taste, or you’ve got nut allergies in the house just leave them out, the cookies will still be super good.

If these cookies are not your cup of tea, you can find more recipe inspo right here, or better yet, let the kids choose!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Chocolate Chip Macadamia Cookie RecipePin for later!

 

The Best Chocolate Chip and Macadamia Cookie Recipe

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Chocolate Chip Macadamia Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups flour

175 grams butter softened, not melted

½ cup Chelsea White Sugar

½ cup Chelsea Soft Brown Sugar

1 cup chocolate chips

70 grams whole macadamia nuts, slightly crushed

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

Pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 180?.

Cream butter and sugars using electric beater until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and egg, beat well.  In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Gradually add dry ingredients to wet and fold in chocolate chips and macadamia pieces.  Mix well.

Cookie dough should be firm, not really soft as the butter will melt too quickly in the oven and burn.  Refrigerate before rolling if necessary.

Roll balls from 1 tablespoon of mixture and place on baking tray – don’t crowd as these guys expand!

Bake for 10-15 minutes.  Upon removing from oven, let cool on tray for a couple of minutes as they will be soft.  When firm, move to cooling rack.

If you whip these up make sure to let me know in the comments below or on Facebook or by tagging me (@thebestnest) on Instagram x

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Chocolate Chip Macadamia Cookie Recipe

Win with Chelsea Sugar!

If you’re keen to get in the kitchen these school holidays, comment below with your favourite thing to bake and you’re in the draw to win a $50 Chelsea Sugar Prize Pack!

Competition closes 9/10/16 NZ residents only.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Chocolate Chip Macadamia Cookie Recipe

My Mum Body

Like many (MANY) Mondays, I woke this week determined to pay for the excesses of the weekend.

Tell me I’m not the only repeat offender who does this?

There was a bit of carb-fest on Sunday as we hibernated, watched a movie and lazed around with the kids after a fairly epic Saturday night farewelling the 2016 rugby season with Dave’s team formal at the club.

So, in full My-Body-is-my-Temple-mode, I punched out a steady 5.5km run on Monday with Dave pushing Nixie in the stroller.  I’m always about 15 paces behind Dave and was harassed by a retired gentleman who noted that it looked like Dave was doing all the hard work!  Bastard!  I tried to think of a snappy retort but let’s face it, even if inspiration had struck it wasn’t like I had any puff in me to yell it over my shoulder at him.

He’ll keep.

It wasn’t the fastest run, I did get a little distracted by Pokemon along the way, but I did it.  And I felt quite good!  Knowing that I’d be writing a blog post for Berlei this week – you’re reading it now fyi – I thought, this is the perfect time to get an authentic, subtle, Mummy-appropriate snap of one of my new Berlei sports bras.

Instead, and all my self-conscious sensibilities are screaming at me NOT to post this image on the internet, I got this picture;

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Kids Berlei Sports Bra

Nixon, having a fan-freaking-tastic time (I mean LITERALLY almost in tears he was giggling so much!) investigating the momentous squishiness of Mummy’s Big Boom-Boom Tummy – his words NOT mine!  I’m a toddler stress ball I guess.  I would add that to my Linkedin profile if I actually thought anyone looked at minor Mummy Blogger profiles!

So, here’s the truth, I HATE that belly, I despise my thighs and I really, really dislike the bingo-wings that have shown up recently.

I have a Mum Bod. And, it’s not one of the Beautiful Mum Bods either.  But it’s mine and it still likes, and is able to run and play touch rugby and surf and dance on a Saturday night every now and then.

Mums and their Mum Bod’s need sports bras too.  There’s a lot of wobbling that goes on when I decide to work-out and this makes me feel even more self-conscious.  The secret to minimising my wobbles and therefore maximising my exercise motivation is twofold; compression tights and a really, really amazing sports bra.  Which is where Berlei come in, I mean if they’re the only bras Serena Williams trusts then who am I to argue?

By removing some/all of the factors that can cause you to be self-conscious you can focus your mental energy on the task at hand – actually completing your goal distance, making it to the next lamppost before you stop running, getting out there day after day in the pursuit of health.  Not a thigh-gap, or abs, but simple health.

If my boobs are protected and aren’t bouncing and my thighs aren’t rubbing together and eating a pair of too short running shorts, then I feel comfortable and that means that I’ll get back out there the next day, and hopefully, the next day after that.  That’s a Mum win right?

Berlei is the #1 sports bra brand in New Zealand and their new range is both totally gorgeous and serious about reducing breast bounce, up to 60%! I breast-fed two kids and am now a c-cup so I’m pretty keen to minimise the trauma my boobs have to go through on a day-to-day basis – Mums need support too!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Kids Berlei Sports Bra

These are my two faves from the new range and the bras I’ll be wearing this season for touch rugby and running; (L) Shift Contour Bra (those straps are SO wide and comfy!) and  (R) the Electrify Underwire Bra.  Both have convertible straps which is awesome for those hot summer touch rugby games and killer runs where you have to wear a tank top or pass out from heat exhaustion!

Both are available now from Farmers in store and online.

Toddler Snow Gear – Warm, Dry and Super-Cute

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Kids ski wear

Last week we braved the long drive, the blizzardy weather, the LOUDEST two children on earth and made a family mini-vacation in the snow happen.  I’m going to need a whole year to recover before I attempt that again so I hope our little guys loved every second of it lol!  (Secretly I did too x).

Getting your family snow-ready is really an exercise in layering.  Dave and I have plenty of snowboarding gear – enough to outfit Ethan, so we just needed some updated thermals to get the 3 biggest Jacks packed.  This would be Nixon’s first visit to the snow so we needed to outfit him from the ground up.  Much easier than it sounds when your scheduling means you’re shopping for snow gear in Spring!

I found some little snow boots for Nix in a clearance sale and picked up everything else at Macpac.  They launched their new Spree Kids Ski range this season and it’s filled me with envy – I want his ski jacket and pants in an adult size, they are seriously amazing!

 

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Kids ski wear

Spree Ski Jacket Kids $199.99, Spree Ski Pants Kids $159.99, Kids Mitts $29.95, Geothermal Crew Top Kids $29.99 (Now 2 for $30!), Geothermal Pants Kids $29.99 (Now 2 for $30!), Ski Socks Kids $19.99

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Kids ski wear

The first day we headed up to Turoa was in gale conditions, but, as the kids were jonesing to see snow we headed up the hill for a little play.  It was freezing!  I’ve never been so cold in my life.  Dave and I had neglected to put on our new Macpac Geothermals that morning but thankfully the boys were toasty and warm in theirs!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Kids ski wearI couldn’t believe that despite making snow angels in those conditions Nixon remained completely dry and warm – he pretty much spent the whole time we were there crawling around on his tummy in snow drifts so the waterproof membrane on the Spree pants and jacket passed the toddler test really well!

Our second day on the mountain was much improved.  Nix got on skis for the first time and had a blast, Ethan nailed his snowboarding lesson in the morning and charged hard all day with a friend he’d made in the class and I rented some skis for the first time (after snowboarding for 14 years!) and loved it!  Dave got the solo-mission and headed way up the hill for some good runs while I hung out with the kids and cheered Ethan on throughout the afternoon.

Our final runs were made with blue skies overhead and big smiles on everyone’s faces.  An awesome day made super-easy as neither of the boys ended up cold or wet, which meant no complaining!

A parenting win!  

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Kids ski wear

Things I LOVE about the Macpac Spree Ski Wear

  • The Spree Ski Pants come with the ‘Space to Sprout’ system meaning Nix will get two seasons from one pair!  You just unpick the red stitching in the lining to grow each leg by 4cm!    
  • Both jacket and pants have a waterproof, breathable membrane with insulation
  • Available in sizes 4-12
  • The hood on the jacket doesn’t fall down!
  • Waist snow gaiter on Spree jacket – perfect for preventing cold tummies during snow angel sessions
  • The Spree pants have velcro waist adjustment tabs
  • Nixie’s Mitts stayed on all day with no fussing from the little guy – snowballs ahoy!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Kids ski wear

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Kids ski wear

Super Grains Simplified

whats-so-great-about

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Super Grains

If you haven’t yet stumbled upon the goodness that is the super grain phenomena, fear not.  It’s not as hipster/foodie as it sounds and, it could be as simple as switching your white rice for brown.

There’s been a very defined consumer shift in the past 18 months or so, with both singles and families driving a movement towards less processed, packaged foods and welcoming a return to whole, simple foods which pack a massive nutritional punch with minimal additives.

Enter the super grains!

Also known as ‘Ancient Grains’ or ‘Heritage Grains’, super grains hark back to civilisations of old, where nobody had the time nor the technology to hull their grains.  Thus, they were simply eaten in their whole (unprocessed) form – which is what makes these little pantry super-heroes so nutritious.

Iconic kiwi brand Tasti have just launched their new range of SuperGrains Bars which I’m loving because of the low sugar content (the three varieties are all under 6g per serve!).  As I’m quite a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants Mum who’s always in need of quick, convenient and nutritious options as the kids and I are racing out the door lol, I was keen to find out what was so special about the ‘special’ ingredients used in these new bars – quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, brown rice, oat and millet.

Ready to Level-up on your foodie knowledge?  Read on!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Super Grains

Super Grains Simplified

Quinoa

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Super Grains
Quinoa

(Keen-wah)  Guess what?  Quinoa is not even a grain!!  It’s a seed, a pseudocereal as it’s not a member of the true grass family but is grown and harvested the same way as grains.

Quinoa originated in Peru, is a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids, is high in dietary fibre and is a low GI option. Quinoa is yum!  We switch it out for rice or add it to salads.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Super Grains
Amaranth

Amaranth

Like it’s mate quinoa, Amaranth is actually a seed.  It’s also a complete protein, is a great source of vitamins and minerals – calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and 1 cup contains around 80% of your daily recommended iron intake!  Again, to use at home, substitute your rice for more nutrient dense amaranth.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Super Grains
Buckwheat

Buckwheat

You guessed it – another super seed!  Like quinoa and amaranth, buckwheat is a great source of protein but also boasts higher levels of B vitamins, copper and magnesium.  Buckwheat flour is one of the key ingredients in Japanese Soba noodles and the groats can be used to create textural, delicious salads.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Super Grains
Brown Rice

Brown Rice

Exactly the same as white rice, but subject to less processing.  Brown rice only has the outer hull removed whereas white rice has the outer hull, the bran layer and the germ cereal removed.  The ‘wholeness’ of brown rice results in a grain that offers proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and potassium without the artificial enrichment that white rice is subject to.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Super Grains
Oats

Oat

Oat is a grain that has been grown for its seed for generations.  Though it has been touted for it ‘healthfulness’ for years now, it has experienced a renaissance as Bircher Muesli and Oatmeal have become popular (again!) as part of increasing consumer value being placed upon whole foods.

Oats are lauded for their cholesterol lowering effects and are an excellent source of protein, dietary fibre, B vitamins and numerous other vitamins and minerals including manganese.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Super Grains
Millet

Millet

A popular replacement for gluten-containing cereals, millet is a seeded grass, thought to have originated in Africa and is present throughout history in many ancient civilisations, particularly in Africa and Asia.  Relied upon as a dietary staple in many parts of the world Millet is high in starch, B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, healthy fats, protein and dietary fibre.

Phew!  Got that?

Finding a snack option that I can add to my grocery list guilt-free, is a rare coup these days – the fact that the Tasti SuperGrains range are chewy, moreish, and delicious and are loved by both adults and kids in our household is even more awesome.  The winning combo of between 34-38% whole grains in each bar, low sugar and three kick-ass flavour combos (Pepita, Chia and Manuka Honey, Almond, Cranberry and Linseed, Cocoa, Toasted Coconut and Quinoa) makes this new range from Tasti a lunchbox/purse essential.

Available in-store at leading supermarkets now.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Super Grains

WIN!

One reader will win a box of each flavour from the new SuperGrains range from Tasti.  Enter by telling me which flavour (Pepita, Chia and Manuka Honey, Almond, Cranberry and Linseed, Cocoa, Toasted Coconut and Quinoa) sounds like a bit of you in the comments below.

Competition closes 9/10/16. NZ residents only.

Winter Rugby – Our Great Kiwi Saturday Morning Ritual

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Rugby

The 2016 rugby season has just about wrapped up for us.  Ethan’s J1 team played their last game together on Saturday, a huge milestone as 18 out of the 22 boys are heading off to high school next year.  Saying goodbye to the rugby club and teammates you’ve played with since you were 5 (or younger!) is a big deal for both parents and players alike – whether the boys would admit that or not is a different story of course!

Ethan’s played rugby for 6 years now, and I’ve managed his team for most of those seasons.  Saturday morning is for rugby.

End of story.

This year our family was even more committed to the oval ball as Dave joined our friends and played his debutante year in the President’s (Over 35) division.

Edit:  Saturday, in it’s entirety, is for rugby.

One of the perks of running the rugby gauntlet all the way to J1 is that kick-off is at the leisurely (when you have kids!) hour of 10.40am.  That leaves plenty of time to enjoy a slow start to the day – complete with a hot breakfast of oats and a warm MILO – and just enough time to laze in your pajamas a bit too long, so even though you had plenty of time it’s always a mad rush to get everyone ready and out the door. Ahhhh Saturday, you’re actually just like every other day but with a different uniform lol.

As Saturdays stretch from 10am when Ethan’s warmup begins to 4pm when Dave’s game wraps up, Ethan’s rugby bag needs to be well stocked with LOTS of food and water.  He is usually one of the Touch Judges for his dad’s afternoon game and would fade like a flower if he hadn’t managed to refuel properly after his own game.  As part of his Saturday lunchbox, I’ve been slipping in a MILO ready to drink to keep him going for the afternoon.  Ethan’s not a big milk drinker so as well as ensuring he’s actually taking on-board enough calories for the day, I’m stoked because I know he’s going to get 50% of his daily calcium requirement from one 200ml Tetra pak.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Rugby

I have really busy, really active boys.  If Ethan and Nixon are barely slowing to eat it’s really important to me that what I can get into them is nourishing, addresses at least some of their nutritional requirements and gives them the energy they need to get back outside/on the field/in the mud!  If food is not fit-for-purpose then young boys simply won’t stop to eat.  When Ethan’s on a rugby bender all day on a Saturday, he’s going to opt for quick, convenient and ‘attractive’ options that don’t slow him down for too long.  MILO ready to drink has an impressive 4.5 star health rating and when combined with the other nutritious components in Ethan’s packed lunch, it ticks all the boxes and 99% of the time pre-empts the call of the greasy chips at the rugby club tuck shop.

That’s a choice I’m happy with.

Choosing wellness and teaching our kids to do the same is an integral part of modern parenting.  Encouraging active play, participation in fun, outdoor activities and getting bums off couches is something that unites all parents as we strive to do the best we can for our kids and ourselves.

Check out the new Nestle Choose Wellness website, take the Wellness Quiz and gain a little perspective on how you might be able to integrate small, meaningful changes into your daily life.

Win with Nestle!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Rugby

If you would like to win an amazing Nestle Choose Wellness Prize Pack valued at $150 , just share a wellness tip in the comments below.

NZ residents only, competition closes 15/10/16.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Rugby

Thanks so much to the MILO team for sponsoring this post and treating our rugby team to MILO after their final club game for 2016!

Kid’s Choice – Easy Egg Burrito Recipe

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Egg Burrito Recipe

Friday is always the best day of the week when you’re a kid and this winter Dave has started a new breakfast tradition that has the boys getting to the breakfast table even faster than usual.  

Ethan is a kid who has remained true to his birth-place of Southern California in that we can chuck anything in a tortilla and he’ll freaking love it!  Breakfast, lunch and dinner – tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas……..if you can wrap it up, he’s all over it.

Breakfast burritos are a San Diego staple and they are now on the menu every Friday morning at our house, complete with the MOST quintessential breakfast ingredient – eggs of course!

We are a family of egg lovers, going through a tray of 30 per week, sometimes more, so eggs for breakfast is nothing unusual.  I think the routine of having the same breakfast every Friday is what makes ‘Egg Burrito Day’ so anticipated – it’s definitely not because it’s elaborate, time consuming or ‘fancy’!  It’s also a great meal on the go, just roll your burrito, wrap it in tinfoil and you have a super nutritious, whole-food based breakfast that’s packed full of protein, vitamins and nutrients.

Give it a go this week, the variations are endless!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Egg Burrito Recipe

Easy Egg Burrito Recipe

You will need;

2 eggs per burrito

2 tbsp milk

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup (ish) grated cheese

Additional fillings (use whatever you have on hand – this doesn’t need to be time consuming!)  Try; chopped ham, bacon, chorizo, capsicum, tomato, onion, mushrooms, spinach, refried beans, potatoes, hash browns, potato pom poms, avocado, sour cream, salsa, cilantro.

Tortillas


Spray the frying pan with cooking spray.

If you’re using them, cook chopped bacon or chorizo first, drain fat if necessary.  Spray pan with cooking spray and add any veges you’re including (I added onion, red capsicum and mushroom).  Give the veges a 3-5 minute head start to soften.  Whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper and cheese.  Add to pan with your vegetables and stir constantly until your eggs are fluffy and cooked.

Warm tortillas in microwave for 20 seconds (they will break if you try and fold them when they are cold).

Spread tortilla with a thin layer of sour cream.  Place bacon in a strip down the middle of the tortilla leaving a 5cm gap at the bottom.  Place egg/vege mixture on top of the bacon.  Dress with hot sauce, salsa, cilantro, jalapenos etc (again, just whatever is easy and already on hand!)  Fold bottom edge up towards middle, then each side in towards the middle.

Wrap in foil to eat on your commute on devour right away.

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Egg Burrito Recipe

Everyone in our family has different egg preferences.  Dave likes poached eggs, Nixie likes fried or boiled eggs, I like anything that’s quick – a microwave scramble or a fried egg is totally fine with me and Ethan, well he likes eggs every way.

Tell me which way you prefer your eggs in the comments below and go in the draw to win a $50 supermarket gift voucher so you can stock up on delicious eggs and kick start your day with an awesome breakfast.

Competition closes Sunday 18th September, NZ residents only.

You can’t beat eggs for breakfast. For more delicious recipes with eggs, visit Eggs NZ

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Egg Burrito Recipe

French Toast Recipe with Almond Milk – An Easy, Healthful Change

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Dairy Free French Toast Recipe

Having an indulgent, ‘treat’ breakfast is one of life’s little luxuries whatever age or stage you’re at.  By getting a bit creative with the ingredients, you can help reduce the ‘guilt’ factor many of us feel and make an easy family-friendly meal that can be adapted to meet many specific dietary requirements.

We’ve been using Almond Milk in our smoothies for a couple of years now and I love it.  I do find that life gets in the way however, and I’m often throwing out a half-finished carton that’s been open for longer than it’s recommended 5-day fridge life.  I am way too frugal to be doing that – it kills me!

Plus, to be perfectly honest, I have zero time for soaking my own nuts and whipping up homemade nut milk.  You can chastise me and tell me a thousand times how easy it is, but it’s just not happening lol.  Ain’t nobody got time for that – in my house at least!

Convenience is key right?

So, for this recipe I switched the dairy milk I would normally use for French Toast for organic Almond Milk Powder from Stir it Up and the results were amaze!  Creamy milk and zero waste as I made up exactly what I needed plus the prep was completely unfussy and quick.

French Toast Recipe made with Stir it Up Almond Milk Powder

1 heaping tablespoon of Stir it Up Almond Milk Powder

½ Cup of warm water

3 Eggs

6 Slices of bread

1 Tablespoon of Harvest Rice Bran Oil

Icing sugar, maple syrup, fruit to serve

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Dairy Free French Toast Recipe

  1. Mix Stir it Up Almond Milk Powder with warm water in a bowl large enough to dip bread in.  Add three eggs and stir to combine.  Heat oil in pan and add dipped bread.
  2. Cook through until each side is a golden brown and beginning to crisp up.
  3. Remove from heat, add sliced fruit, (or bacon for a savoury option), syrup and dust to serve!

What do you think – on the menu this weekend?

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Dairy Free French Toast Recipe

Here’s something interesting I noticed, the almond content of my usual carton milk is only 2.5% compared to 20% in the Stir it Up powdered milk product!  That’s a BIG nutritional win.

You can find Stir it Up’s range of plant based milks which includes Oat Milk Powder ($12.99), Coconut Milk Powder ($15.99), Soy Milk Powder ($12.99) and the Almond Milk Powder ($15.99) I used in the French Toast recipe in leading supermarkets in the long-life section.

I have an amazing prize pack to give away from the awesome people at Stir it Up!

Simply comment below with your ideas for simple ways to switch dairy for plant milk and get in the draw to win the following;

  • 4 Stir it Up products
  • 3 cooking oils from the cooking oil experts, Harvest oils
  • $50 Supermarket voucher

Yay!  Competition closes 18/9/16 NZ residents only.

For more information on the Stir it Up range, head to:

www.naturalsugars.co.nz

Stir it Up on Facebook

Stir it up on Instagram

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Dairy Free French Toast Recipe

Head to Toe Spring Shopping – Toddler Lookbook Part 2

Last week I shopped online at The Warehouse* and was able to pull together a super cute spring outfit for Nixon in literally, a matter of minutes (you can check it out here).

This week, for Part 2 of my Head to Toe series, I shopped in-store at The Warehouse as I wanted to take a good look at the whole Spring range and check out the new arrivals in person.

I mixed-and-matched a series of outfits from the boys aged 3-7 range that form a pretty comprehensive Toddler Capsule Wardrobe for the season ahead.  

Spring can be notoriously tricky for styling due to it’s transitory weather, fleeting showers and sudden cold snaps.  Layers are your secret weapon here as you can easily add warmth and long sleeves while doing away with the bulk of winter outerwear.

All of the pieces I’ve picked will do double duty in the Summer months ahead.  The long sleeved shirts and pants are lightweight enough to wear once the sun goes down and the drop-hem tees and denim shorts won’t be going out of style anytime soon.

Shop The Look

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family Toddler Style

Jeans $29, Denim Shirt $25, Lumberjack Shirt $20, Wide Stripe Tee $15, Yoke Mesh Tee $15, Hi Canvas Shoes $20, Cap $12, Chino Kanga Pants Pants $29, Yarn Dyed Printed Tee Shirt $15, Zip-Thru Hoody $10, WZ Denim Shorts $20, Velcro Shoes $15.

WIN

If you’d like a $50 Gift Card from The Warehouse to kick-start a Spring Style make-over for you or one of your Little People, just comment below with your favourite item featured above and you’re in the draw to win!

Competition closes 15/9/16. NZ residents only.

*This post was sponsored by The Warehouse.