What I Love Wednesday: Sunshine and Blue Skies

Can’t believe we are well over halfway through the year! The rain is easing at least for a few days, sun is shining and it’s Wednesday! Here’s what I’m loving :)

The smell of laundry drying in the sunshine // sunshine sparkling on the ripple water at the beach // beautiful views near my house // snuggles in bed with my favorite kiddos // post workout bliss // singing in the car // burning sunshine on my cheeks through the glass of the car // blue skies and crisp morning // homemade soup with lots of carrots // 

Though we’ve got a winter vacation planned for September down to Wanaka, I feel like spring is just around the corner.

My favorite view of Rangitoto Island just minutes from my house.

How’re you staying upbeat through winter?

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Rainbow Popsicles: 100% Fruit and Veggie Recipe

Who doesn’t want to get more vegetables into their kids? My Mr 6 is relatively easy to feed, he’ll eat anything. Dinner is a little more drawn out then usual when brussel sprouts and spinach are involved, but in the end he chokes it down. Little Miss who is 2 and a half has proved to be a much pickier eater. She will eat broccoli and carrots and loves to dip them in hummus. Tomatoes, potatoes and just about any fruit she will devour no problem, but that’s about it. Somehow we haven’t managed to evolve her little picky palette beyond less than a handful of different veggies. She sniffs and nibbles on the tip of a yam before making a grotesque face and spitting it out. I’m hoping that she will grow to be more agreeable with vegetables, but for now I have to get creative.

I’m not a big advocate of sneaking vegetables into food, or tricking my kids into eating foods that are good for them. When I make my amazingly chewy chocolaty black bean brownies they are fully aware of the main ingredient. But with these 100% fruit and veggie popsicles the kids love the look of them so much they don’t even ask what’s in them. I mean, who doesn’t love a popsicle! I’ve found in the past that if you can make foods colorful, and in fun itty-bitty shapes, kids will love them (and adults too!)

These bright popsicles are layered with pineapple, blueberries and spinach – your perfect immunity booster for the kiddlets no matter what the season. I don’t know about you, but my kids don’t feel the cold so a popsicle in the winter is totally normal in their world.

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You can make these with just about any combination of fruit and veg, but I find these 3 layers work really well for a mix of sweet from the pineapple, tart from the blueberries and the milld almost non-existent flavour of blended up spinach.

6 Simple Ways I’m Losing Weight

Some of you may know that around this time last year I was finishing up 6 months on the  Shaklee 180 program where I lost 25lbs along with the help of my fellow bloggers. We started out strong as 60 women all looking to lose anywhere from 10 pounds upwards to 50 pounds plus. I originally was aiming for 10, but once I got started the reality of how much more weight I could actually shift and feel stronger and healthier, my goal changed to 20 pounds.

I must have been ready to lose the weight, because I never suffered any major setbacks. I stepped up my running once again and stayed on the program and smashed my goals. I finished off the 6 months feeling confident that I’d be able to keep the weight off, after all I’d gone from 2 smoothies a day, healthy snacks with a sensible dinner to only 1 smoothie a day at the start of month 5. I was even able to go to Disney and Sesame Place without majorly overindulging.  The next year was a little crazy, and I’ve already beaten myself up about not maintaining. But as my sister reminds me, I did live through my husband’s mysteriously illness that had me calling an ambulance in the middle of the night fearing for his life and 2 hospital stays for him in less than a month; a gigantic cross the world move from New York city to New Zealand; settling the family; working nights back to the US for 3 months and then going straight into a job that was not quite what I wanted (can you say high stress?). 

I haven’t actually weighed myself since being here – my trusty scale no longer works. I’m not sure if it broke in the move or whether being in NZ is screwing up the mechanics, you know, like how our toilets swirl the other way downunder ;) I admit taking measurements and weighing myself were definitely great motivators last year as I shed the pounds. Some weeks the inches melted off my hips, some weeks the pounds fell off at a respectable 2-3 pounds per week. But, I’ve always gone on how I “feel” in my clothes. When my pants are a little tight, when my pooch hangs over my jeans, when I start to tug at my tops, those to me are all signs that the weight is coming back on. Emotionally I start to feel not as fit as well, my mind starts playing games and what I see in the mirror is not necessarily the reality.

What I Love Wednesday: Thinking, Celebrations and Breathing

Rainy wet winter has finally arrived in Auckland and I have to admit it has been a struggle to stay motivated (and at times warm) over the past week. Not a day passed that wasn’t full of rain. The days that are the worst are the ones where it buckets down for about 10 minutes solid then stops and the sun never comes out – this repeats itself every hour non stop for 24 hours…yep, we had a few days like that last week. I kept it positive by getting to the gym first thing in the morning – great way to get the blood pumping and keep temps up for the day. I also  know I feel more positive when I’m creating, doing, being part of something. So apart from my 2 lovely bright sparks who always bring a smile to my face, I made sure to keep busy both physically and mentally to bust through the dreary days. So onto what I’m loving right now!

Everybody wants happiness and nobody wants pain…But you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain.

Recipe: Better Than Nutella Chocolate Almond Butter

It seems that everyone including my kids love them some Nutella! I’ve never tried the stuff as I am allergic to hazelnut (as well as peanuts and some other tree nuts). But luckily for me, I am not allergic to almonds. Almonds are a full of fats and omega-3s which are good oils and fats that the body uses to clean the bad fats. Fats are also filling, so if you can include the good kind in your daily diet then you’re onto something good. I’m sure if you are trying to lose weight or have done so in the past, you’ve heard all about proteins role in assisting with weight loss. Almonds equal protein, protein equals feeling full, feeling full helps with curbing you’re appetite. Get it?

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So now that you know almonds are good for you, besides eating a handful as a snack, what are the other ways you can get almonds into your diet? Almond milk, is a smooth, protein-rich, lactose-free and healthy alternative to whole milk. If you’d like to make your own, check out my delicious homemade almond milk recipe. Another tasty way to full up on this tasty snack is with almond butter, and if you’re prone to a sweet tooth attack like me, why not give this chocolate almond butter a whirl! Super simple in my Optimum blender and with the addition of chocolate, its just like Nutella (so I’m told!) but better. Creamy and smooth, its easy to spread on toast for the kids, to dip apples in, or any other fruit and even pretzels – the possibilities are endless. If you’re feeling really decadent you could dip biscuits right in….um…yum.

What I Love Wednesday: Eyebrows, Hammies and Cosy Toes

Happy Wednesday! What better way to get through hump day and middle of the week slump than to recognize all the great people, spaces and places that are bringing sunshine to an otherwise rainy winter in Auckland. So without further ado, here goes!

Cheap and cheerful ugg boots (fake ones!) to keep my feet warm // Eyebrow threading to rejuvenate my tired eyes // Superfruits tea on a  cold morning // Clipper Organic White Tea with raspberry as a warming afternoon drink // My high powered Optimum 9400 blender is making baking, smoothies and all kinds of healthy treats mega easy to create // #radicalselflovejuly with @galadarling // Joining up to a friendly new gym, setting new fitness goals and finally strengthening up my hammies and glutes with the hopes of less run injuries // Planning fun things to do with Mr P over his school holidays //

An honorable mention for the powerful #LikeAGirl campaign – watch the video below and see what you think. I’m definitely inspired to choose my words wisely especially in front of my son and daughter. After all, actions speak louder than words.

What’s rocking your life at the mo’?

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KiwiCanadian expat adventures with my husband and 2 kids from life in New Zealand to New York and back again. Adventures in inspired family living, travel, health & fitness.Read More »