First Impressions of the Optimum 9400 Blender

The Optimum 9400 blender has been recognized as the No.1 Vitamix rival. So I was excited to be invited as a Friend of Froothie by the New Zealand distributor of the Optimum 9400 to put this powerful blender to the test. In just a few days I have created so much more than just smoothies – everything from black bean brownies, to sauces, soups and desserts.

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I’ve only had it for about a week, but this is what I’m digging about the Optimum 9400 Blender so far:

  • The BPA Free 2L jug, big enough to create large batches of healthy soups, desserts and smoothies for the whole family
  • The tamper tool
  • Everyone’s fruit and veggie intake is up, its easy to blend anything from spinach to beetroot right into a smoothie
  • The amount of time saved, a soup takes about 10-15 minutes from start to finish and it comes up smooth, creamy and warm
  • The simple to use variable speed control
  • Easy to clean, just whizz on variable setting 8 with 1L of water and a drop of soap
  • How easy and quick it is to create healthy and tasty snacks, meals and smoothies
  • The free book of inspirational smoothies, soups and desserts that comes free with every blender
  • This blender is crushing ice like a boss! Many blenders claim to do this, but not all truly do!

To find out what else I’m digging about the Optimum 9400 blender and to hear my first impressions, check out the video below. Hint: I loooove this blender – it’s changing our entire family’s lives!



The Law of Attracting Memorable Moments

Do you live in the here and now and create memories from doing? Or do you spend energy collecting so many ‘things’ that you don’t live in the moment? Which one are you? I’m the former, I’m all about collecting memories. Call it Law of Attraction, living amongst the locals, sowing what you reap or whatever you like, but I have learnt through my travels that the more you live in the moment and the more you take the time to enjoy what is going on around you, the more lasting memories you create.

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We visited Disney in Florida last year, it was my first time as well as the kids’, Mr BAM had been to Disneyland in LA but agreed this was an altogether different situation being able to experience Disney through the eyes of our kids.

I remember seeing families in the various gift shops arguing over which pins to buy to build their collection. In a nutshell, Disney pin trading involves talking to other Disney guests as well as Disney crew to look at trading one of your pins for one of theres. Sounds like a great way to meet other people and “bring home the magic”, but alas I saw many more people just buying up pins and alot less interaction. Other parents were buying heavily overpriced Disney autograph books and pens so they could collect signatures from their favorite Disney characters. I cannot tell anyone one way or another how they should enjoy their family memories and places they visit, people they meet and things they see. But, what I noticed was that the THINGS (autographs and pins) were making moms and dads rush around disney and dragging screaming kids behind them to collect more and more things. Instead of enjoying the most magical place on earth, talking to others and even just engaging with the characters, the collection of THINGS had become a struggle.



Healthy Breakfast: Quick and Easy Overnight Oats

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Overnight oats are a tasty, nutritious and quick breakfast that anyone can add to their daily meals. Truth be told, I can eat overnight oats for days on end without it feeling boring. The great thing about overnight oats, is that the variation to toppings is only limited by your imagination.  You can make them sweet one day by adding fresh fruit and natural sweeteners, you can eat them plain jane, make them savory with the addition on nut butters or add-on extra protein like yogurt on a heavy workout day. Just think of anything that you’d add to hot oatmeal, the difference being you can whizz a bowl of these bad boys up in no time at all!

One of the many things that I learnt coming off my 6 months weight loss program with Shaklee 180 is that breakfast is so important. I know we’ve all heard it before, but for some reason this mantra has really stuck with me. I ate 3 balanced meals and 2 snacks per day and I lost 25 pounds and 16 inches (and it is still off  5 months later!). I think it is the noticeable increase in energy that I experience when I don’t starve my body. After several hours without food overnight, breakfast is needed to jumpstart a body’s metabolism for the day.

I’m always on the lookout for breakfast options that are no-brainers and protein rich, so the overnight oats is a winner in my books. If you like oatmeal and haven’t tried overnight oats yet, all I have to say is GET.ON.IT! You will love it. Just like you I am busy, making lunches, getting kids to school, getting myself off to work and then trying to fit exercise in there. Not only are overnight oats easy, but you can take them with you if you absolutely must rush out the door before eating breakfast.



The Newbies Guide to Bikram Yoga

If you’ve never been to Bikram Yoga, you may be wondering what to expect. You’ve heard it is a 90 minute yoga class in intense sweat inducing heat, so why do people either love it or loathe it?? I’m on the love it side of the fence for so many reasons…The most obvious reasons being the physical – increased flexibility, weight loss and strength, and the mental benefits – have you ever experienced a yoga high? No? Try any yoga for this euphoric sense of lightness and peace.

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I met the owner of Christchurch’s only Bikram Studio about 10 years ago at a Women’s Lifestyle Expo. She offered me a pass to come as often as I wanted over the course of a week. She said if I made it to the studio at least 2 times I would have made my my money back. If I made it to the studio within 3 times in 7 days, she promised I would be hooked and my body would love me for it. My husband happened to be away on business that week, so I made it in for a class 4 times that week and I was instantly hooked. The weight dropped drastically at the beginning, sugar cravings lessened, my skin looked great and at night I slept like a baby while by day I had a ton of energy. 



Kitchen Stuff and Memory Recall

Our boxes and boxes of stuff arrived this past week! Hurray! It is a bittersweet feeling, having all of our personal belongings finally all under one roof….All under one roof…packed up in hundreds of boxes labeled office, toys, clothes and kitchen, waiting for us to go through them. We did a good job with the labeling and packing but no matter how meticulous we were, it is still an overwhelming job at this end. Poor Mr P just wants us to build his bed, the loft bed that doubles as his secret pirate boat hideaway – its hard to explain to this excited 6 year old that this bed will take a solid weekend to rebuild from flat pack.

I’ve been unpacking mostly kitchen boxes and clothes items. The clothes items take the longest to get through because they need to be washed. Even a box of clothes that seems as pristine as it was when the clean clothes were put in, need to be washed or hung on the line to air out at the very least. I’m enjoying having a wardrobe that has now expanded beyond just a handful of outfits. The kids have been snuggling their teddies and dollies, claiming new favorites from amongst the pack of toys – it’s like a second Christmas!

Unpacking the kitchen has been fun, I’ve been baking just because I now have all the tools and I can, making home made pizzas and recalling memories conjured up from glassware items and coffee mugs.

Cups from places I've been, cups that tell a story

I pulled  the Cafe du Monde mug from New Orleans out of the box and smiled fondly, recalling the wonderful people I met and the instant connections, the amazing learning experience and our evening on a second floor balcony right on Bourbon Street throwing beads at men walking by and shouting to them “Show us your moneymaker!” All mothers with young kids, it was definitely  a night to remember.



Can a Mom Have it All Working Night Shift?

Working nights is no joke. It is a double-edged sword in that you can enjoy your children by day while continuing to work  your brain and further your career by night but, and it is a big ‘ole BUT, how you manage your sleep and what little free time you have is an art form in and of itself.

Some have said working a night shift is the perfect solution for the mom looking to have it all…or is it?

My coffee date after a night of work.

When I left New York, I struck up a deal to continuing working back to the US with the advertising agency I was employed at. A fantastic and trusting team with wonderful flexi-time and work at home options, they were glad to keep me on while our family adjusts to our new life in New Zealand. We agreed that I would finish up with them by the end of January, in just a little over 2 weeks from now. I thought I’d figured out the piece to a puzzle many moms before me tried to put together. I would wake at night, work then stop when my kids woke, get Mr P ready for school, drop him off and spend the morning with Little Miss before she went down for her nap. Sounds like a good plan, no? Especially over New Zealand summer where the country sorta dozes off into a snooze while families vacation and businesses go on slow-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 »