Monday, 8 December 2014

Homemade Pot Noodles, for when you are super busy and need an easy nutritious meal

Turbo likes his homemade pot noodle 'plain'. I don't mind because all the nutrients comes from the bone broth
16 days till Christmas, already! Where has that time gone and where have I been? I certainly have not been paying much attention to Nic Nurtures blog. Time seems to have sped up and reflecting on the past few weeks looks like a bit of a blur with loads of coffee and catch ups.

SO what have I been doing? I've been super busy with my massage business, catching up on admin and book keeping and inducting and orientating my new employee. Oh and doing the laundry. On top of my own mountain of family washing, there is the 30 plus massage towels that needs washing each week. I'll be glad when I can hand that over to my new Massage Therapist in the New Year. 

We've had trips to Perth, and 7 year old Birthdays and Christmas Party's and functions. The Corporate Lawn Balls season has started again, so that means that Mr Man is out from 4pm till 8.30pm on a Wednesday evening. I make this our 'easy dinner' night. As you should on a hump day. I make Homemade Pot Noodle.

Ever since I decided to cut back on dairy a couple of weeks ago, I have been paying even closer attention to the foods that I put into my body and the foods we eat as a family. And with this comes a synchronicity of information needed at the right time; like stumbling upon Well Nourished and discovering the fab local ladies behind Real Food Revival.

I have have been embracing the bone broth concept and making litres of the stuff each week. I use it to cook Baby P's vegetable purees, in place of stock in risottos, frozen cubes as stock cubes, in soups and now for my pot noodle. The kids love squiggly noodles, and I love the fact they are getting so much gut loving nutrients from the humble bowl. 

Here is my take on the Homemade Pot Noodle:

4 cups of bone broth 
3 packets of dried squiggly egg noodles
3 garlic cloves crushed
2cm piece of ginger grated
2 carrots finely diced
1 cup of frozen peas
1 cup of corn kernels (fresh is best, but frozen works too)
1/4 cabbage shredded
a good lug of soy soy (to taste)
a good lug of sweet chilli sauce (to taste)

Heat your bone broth in a large wok or saucepan. When boiling, add your noodles and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, carrots, peas and corn, cook for another 2 minutes. Add cabbage and soy and sweet chilli sauce, simmer for 1 minute. 
Serve in large bowls with a fork and spoon. This amount serves 2 adults and 2 children well.

So there you have it. Easy, nourishing Homemade Pot Noodle. Keep some bone broth in your freezer and you will always have an easy meal on hand.

Nic Nurtures

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Things I know - pregnancy and birth

I've had three babies, one of them turns 7 tomorrow. One is 11 and the other just 6 months old. Thats quite the age gap. It was not exactly planned that way, but then, Mr Man and I have never really been one for planning...we prefer challenges and risks and spontaneity. After three pregnancies and births, there are many things that I know, and this is the biggest thing of all...

There is no right or wrong way to conceive, to be pregnant, to birth, feed your baby or be parent. The only way is the way that works for you and your family. The way that makes you feel safe and secure, which ever way that is. And no matter how many pregnancies and babies you have, each experience is unique, as is every human.

There must be something in the water in our town, or so I am to believe. There has been a substantial increase in third and forth babies over the past couple of years, along with firsts. One only has to look at the waiting list for our three childcare centres in town to know this. Or is it just that I am in contact with these women and families more through my massage therapy business and the school community and circles we move in? We are of the child rearing age after all.

Speaking to different women who have had babies over the past year or so, there is a common theme - guilt and fear of being judged. The mother who feels guilt for accepting intervention during birth. The mother who felt judged by medical professionals and community for choosing to bottle feed her baby after 6 weeks of no sleep...her baby turned a corner and began to thrive. Then there is the guilt and judgement of the disposable versus cloth nappy, and not being 'Eco' enough. And the guilt of the mother whose baby sleeps all night and feeds well, also known as the 'good baby'. Don't you despise that question..."Is your baby a good baby?". All babies are 'good babies'. 

My final comment on things I know, or perhaps it's more of an observation, is that women and communities need to support each other more and judge each other less on the decisions that pertain to pregnancy and birth and the parenting experiences that follow. 

Communicate more, talk, listen, share cups of tea, cook for each other...nurture and accept one another. 

Nic Nurtures

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Another great muffin

This morning I woke up to yet another morning of not having prepared the kids lunches the night before. We've had a busy weekend and there was none of our usual Sunday baking and food prep for the week. Fortunately the two boys were already up, dressed and fed. Baby P was sound asleep after her 5am feed and play. 

I made myself a double shot soy flat white and stared into the cupboard. It was bare. Well, full of food but bare of home baked goodies. This is what I created, from scratch off the top of my head, and they are delicious!

Carrot cake muffins

2 cups of spelt wholewheat flour
1.5 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
2 eggs
200ml coconut oil
1 large carrot, 2 purple carrots, coarsely grated

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and prepare your muffin tins.
Sift all your dry ingredients into a bowl and stir through sugar. 
In another bowl, whisk eggs, oil and vanilla. Stir in carrot.
Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients, being careful not to over mix.
Spoon mix into muffin tins, bake for 25 minutes.

These taste so good! Moist muffins, crunchy tops, so yum and easy to make.

Nic Nurtures x

Monday, 10 November 2014

My kind of Sunday...weekend stills

1. baby wearing selfie. thats a sculpture behind me of a woman breastfeeding a baby whale
2. rock pools between surfers point and the river mouth
3. climbing rocks, hot underfoot
4. exploring rock pools, looking for crabs, trying to catch little fish with hands
5. thunderous waves breaking on the rocks
6. the best place to chill

Is there anything better than natures playground? As a kid I loved exploring and playing at the beach. Rock climbing and hunting for crabs was a favourite past time, and my boys love it too. Baby P happily snoozed in the Ergo as we clambered over hot rocks on the first real hot day of Spring. We saw plenty of crabs scurrying in and out of rock formations and lots of little fish swimming in the rock pools. It was a truly magic day.

Nic Nurtures

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Taking Stock...October

Making : cacao rough, by Well Nourished
Cooking : chicken broth
Drinking : my coffee with soy milk
Reading: Granny Squares...I'm determined to learn to crochet
Wanting: a new juicer, one that extracts all the juice
Looking: at the wind blowing the trees and washing outside
Playing: bubble mania on my smart phone, sad I know, but it's addictive!
Deciding: what to make for Christmas feast
Wishing: that I had my mum or MIL just around the corner
Enjoying: discovering old favourite board books with Baby P, like 'Peepo'
Waiting: for November 28, Aunty Kiki arrives from Melbourne
Liking: connecting with people on Instagram
Wondering: how to afford a house cleaner
Loving: my $10 satchel bag from the opshop, it holds so much stuff
Pondering: a holiday, where, when, how much
Considering: buying a new juicer
Watching: The Code on Iview
Hoping: my herb garden thrives
Marvelling:at how much Baby P is changing everyday
Needing: to reorganise my pantry again
Smelling: the lingering aroma of our green chicken curry
Wearing: pj's and a top knot
Following: Nikki fisher @ Wholefood Mama
Noticing: that I procrastinate the laundry A LOT
Knowing: that I have always procrastinated the laundry...I'll wash it, bring it in, but dang it, I just can't seems to put it away!
Thinking: about a homemade Christmas - food gifts, photo gifts, craft gifts to make and do
Admiring: Two Mad Rabbits
Sorting: Lego, we have so much and have now moved it into Turbos room in anticipation of Baby P moving about
Buying:mason jars of all sizes to make chutneys and jams for Christmas gifts
Getting:excited for summer and the festive season
Bookmarking: raising children network - great resources for parenting all three of my kids
Disliking: baby p biting me during feeds...ouch!
Opening: packages, my instagram shop purchases are arriving, yay!
Giggling: with Turbo making up silly songs
Feeling: a bit tired, but getting used to broken sleep as being the norm
Snacking: on indian spiced almonds
Helping: Turbo learn to tie his shoe laces
Hearing: birds singing

We had so much going on in October, this is a nice way to reflect on the month that was. And how cool is this photo of the family and I at the beach? You can just see the outline of Baby P's head above my shoulder, peeking out from the!

Nic Nurtures x

Monday, 3 November 2014

Easy as ...Sunday night dinner

We've had a super busy weekend. Junior cricket on Saturday was a 40 minute drive away so that meant we had to be up and at em by 6.15am. This also meant that I'd miss our local farmers market. Fortunately, the cricket oval was across the road from another fortnightly farmers market, and I managed to stock up on fruit and veg as well as some good old country preserves.

Sunday was spent at Xscape at the Cape, an adventure/waterpark, where Turbo ran amuck with his 2 best mates for a birthday party. I drank coffee with the mums and dads, and we all shared the baby around. 5 hours later, we returned how to an exhausted Mr Man and Junior Hoges. They'd spent the day spring cleaning the garden and renovating the small patch of lawn we have. 

No one could be bothered making dinner.  After a cup of tea, I quickly threw together these super easy zucchini fritters. And we ate them with the three leftover salads from the BBQ the night before. 

Zucchini Fritters

Grate 2 zucchini into a large bowl. Remove all the corn from its cob and add that too. 3 large eggs, a cup of SR flour and some salt and pepper and your ready to cook. 

I cooked mine in a pan with rice bran oil as it has a high burn point. The fritters took all of 10 minutes, in batches, to create a plate full. 

They were gobbled up with sweet Chilli sauce and natural yoghurt. I wish I'd made a double time.

Nic Nurtures x

Monday, 27 October 2014

Baking, making, eating

It always feels good to start the week off right with good food. 

1. Lucky Almond and Chia Choc Chip cookies
2. Gluten free banana and blueberry muffins with sneaky avocado
3. Sweet potato, zucchini and pumpkin slice 
4. Cacao rough balls
5. Chicken and vegetable soup
6. Chia choc pudding

We had a lovely Sunday spent at home. Junior had a friend over and Turbo busied himself with a marathon Lego building Fest in his room. Baby P slept well during the day or was happy to chill out on the floor watching her mummy and daddy busy in the kitchen.

It was a reasonably hiccup free day, except for the quick trip to the hospital after Turbo got hit in the head with a cricket bat by his brother. It was an accident, of course, and fortunately, the cut on his eyelid looked A LOT worse than what it was. Funny though, I was immediately taken back to when I was 6 and got hit in the head with a cricket bat by my own older brother. I wanted to be wicky. I stood way too close. My injury was pretty bad, a deep cut to my left eyebrow resulting in stitches and panicked parents. And a broken cricket bat...

Never the less, it was a very productive day in the kitchen. Mr Man even made chicken terryaki and vegetarian nori rolls for lunch. And a HUGE pot of popcorn was popped on the stove for the kids lunch boxes and snacks throughout the week. 

Nic Nurtures x

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Cutting out dairy

image source - wellnourished

Baby P has been experiencing baby eczema. Poor little pet. Her skin has been rather dry since birth. I wondered if it was the water, seeing as we live in the country...perhaps it's a tad hard. I've tried different lotions and creams from coconut oil to sorbolene. A visit to the local doctor didn't turn up much, a quick look over and a prescription for hydrocortisone cream. I don't want to give my baby that...she's too new. 

So after much research and chatting to other mums I've started her on Moo Goo and decided to cut dairy out of my diet. According to the Eczema Association of Australasia, dairy can be a trigger for eczema. This was further backed up by my Naturopath friend and other mums. There is something about the protein in cows milk that can irritate the digestive  system and create allergic reactions, like eczema. And, this can be crossed over from mum to bub through breast milk.

Now, I don't consume a lot of dairy, or so I thought. But when you consciously take note of your intake, it can be surprising. I have been consuming 500grams of cows milk (2 coffees per day), cheese at lunch, butter and about 200grams of yoghurt. Not to mention the chocolate one just has to consume when breastfeeding. 

So it's now three days in, and I've cut out 80% of my dairy intake, switching cows milk for soy or almond milk, and no cheese at lunch...I have feta in the fridge for when I feel the cheese need. The switch in milk means that I am only consuming one coffee a day and enjoying plenty of peppermint and green tea and bucket loads of water.

I've been making alternative sweet treats for myself using raw cacao and coconut oil. I have also cut down on my bread and wheat intake as these too can provide an allergic response in some people. I find great inspiration from Georgia Harding at Well Nourished. Her recipes are easy to follow and the ingredients are easy to get hold of. The easy peasy fruit whip  is one of her recipes, and it went down a treat with the kids and I. Her chia berry ripe (pictured) is my choice of breakfast for the week.

I am feeling pretty good, if not a touch lighter. I'm sure Baby P is feeling a bit better too, although she is teething, so it's hard to tell. However, her skin is improving. Using the Eczema and Psoriasis Cream a few times a day is helping the red patches behind her knees and elbows and under her neck and chin. We are also massaging her twice a day with Skin Milk Udder Cream and this is helping her dry skin immensely, she is getting that lovely soft baby skin back. I am also using this cream on my face and far so good.

I'd love to hear your experiences with baby eczema or going dairy free.

Nic Nurtures x

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Weekend Stills, Show Time

1. Riding the mechanical cow
2. Getting a cuddle from the GWN 7 dog 
3. Freestyle BMX, totally rad!
4. Watching the cow tamer judging
5. This guy carved a crocodile out of wood with a chainsaw.

It's that time of the year again, Show time in our neck of the woods. The boys were lucky enough to go to the Perth Royal Show in the school holidays. My big boy had his first game of Under 12's cricket this morning, so I took the Turbo and Baby P along to check it out. It was a very overcast and windy morning, but we had such fun checking everything out and bumping into friends.

How did you spend your Saturday?

Nic Nurtures

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Make mine a double

A few weeks back I wrote about sleep and how Baby P was sleeping through the night. Oh how all that changed when she hit 4 months. It's like as soon as that fourth trimester was over and she hit 16 weeks, she became a different baby.

Some nights are good, she'll go down and wake once, around 1am and then again at in the wee hours of the morning. Thats ok. I can cope with that.

But the last three nights have been extremely tiresome for me...Baby P is waking every hour from about 10.30pm to 4am. It's hard work, this getting into a good sleep and waking every hour.

So you start thinking about what is going on for her. Is she too cold? Too hot? Is it teeth? Is she really hungry still? She's not really upset, but she is whingey, tired too, she just wants to go to sleep and not wake up. Like me.

At 20 weeks there is a lot going on developmentally. She is 'talking' so much more making lots of lovely new sounds. Her movement is coming leaps and bounds. She rolls from front to back and nearly from back to front. Her muscles are getting stronger, in a few weeks she will be able to sit (supported) upright. So much going on, so many new brain connections forming and processing.

No wonder she is not sleeping well. It must be one of those wonder weeks. I feel far more patient and relaxed with my third baby though, perhaps it's because I've been here before, I know this phase will pass. Perhaps it's because she is my last and I am savouring the midnight snuggles and cuddles. 

For now, I'll make mine a double. Double shot of coffee that is, and be grateful for my espresso machine. 

Nic Nurtures x

Monday, 13 October 2014

Lazy days, Rivermouth stills

1. The Rivermouth looking towards the surf break.
2. Dig dig digging. No matter how old they get, the boys love playing in the sand. 
3. Testing the water, refreshingly chilly.
4. Junior Hoges takes a break whilst Turbo digs out a moat. 
5. Baby P enjoys the texture of beach sand on her feet for the first time.
6. Building a sandcastle up the side of a rock, cooperating together.

The last day of school holidays meant sleeping in, scrambled eggs for breakfast, coffee and an adventure down at the Rivermouth. The sun was shining a warm 22 degrees and the sky a brilliant blue. I've loved having the boys home and they have learnt to enjoy each other's company with minimal fuss and fighting. 

May you have a super week, 

Nic Nurtures

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Saturday tea break

Gosh has it been two weeks already? The school holidays seem to have just flown by. I've loved the break in the school routine and the kids have enjoyed each others company too. There has been so much going on down here...

Trips to the city and Royal Show
An overwhelming Ikea shopping trip
Negotiating city traffic 
Unwell mother in law - Deep Vein Thrombosis, not fun. Not. Fun. At. All.
Viral Tonsilitis for me - ick!
Baby P not sleeping well during the night
Baby P nearly rolling over all the way - so much developmental stuff going on with her right now at 20 wonder she is not sleeping well
Grandma Molly (my mum) comes to stay for 4 days...yay!
Sorting, organising, decluttering of the bedrooms

And one of the lovely things to happen in the these two weeks - the Kangaroo paws have begun to flower! It is so lovely to come home and see them reaching up to the sun. 

I'm currently savouring a big cup of tea and cookie whilst the boys are down the road, Mr Man is snoozing on the couch to the sound of Bathurst and Baby P is asleep in her pram - the only place she seems to day sleep these days. I should probably catch some zzz's too...but there is too much internet to catch up on and Sunday baking to plan.

Hope you've enjoyed your kids these holidays,

Nic Nurtures 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Community Garden Stills

1. Community veggie plots
2. mosaic art on the garden path
3. high vis scarecrow next to the potato mound
4. veggies grow next to the chook pen
5. no waste, large compost recycling station
6. rainbow windmill
7. earl grey tea, banana smoothies and chocolate cake
8. the boys sharing a book

We a took a trip to Busselton to pick up a delivery from a local courier company and discovered the Busselton Community Garden across the street. This place is an eco green thumbs haven. And to top it off, the sweet vintage inspired Pepi Cafe complete with mini op shop inside provided us with the perfect morning tea! In the middle of the light industrial area, this place is a community treasure.

Nic Nurtures

Monday, 29 September 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies

Term three school holidays have arrived....ahhh. A time for routine and structure to stop. Sleep ins, staying in pjs till midday, adventures, the royal show time, trips to the city. Two weeks of no homework or school lunches. Fantastic. School holidays also mean the kids and I bake stuff they can't normally eat at school, like peanut butter cookies. And peanut butter sandwiches on fresh baked bread. And just nuts in general. I think it's fantastic that our school is a nut free zone, but I do like to make healthy nutty treats for the kids.

Mind you, these cookies are a little more indulgent than healthy. It is the holidays after all...

Peanut Butter Cookies

125 grams of softend butter
250 grams of crunchy peanut butter
200 grams firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup unsalted peanuts roughly chopped

Pre heat oven to 180 degrees and line a couple of baking trays with baking paper. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and peanut butter until creamy. Then add the brown sugar and beat until pale. Add the egg and beat until well combined.

Next, grab a wooden spoon and mix in the dry ingredients and chopped peanuts. Lightly flour your hands and roll tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough. Place on the baking trays, about 4cm apart. Flatten each ball to about 5cm diameter and 1cm thick. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes, bandstand on tray for 5 minutes before devouring with a cup of coffee.

Nic Nurtures

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Breathe Deep

It's one of those mornings. It's raining, the traffic is heavy making you feel late for the school run. The baby is crying - she just wants to go to sleep. The moon is full and the kids are behaving like lunatics. One child hits another. Game on. You feel your shoulders tighten. Hands grip the steering wheel a little firmer. It feels like it takes you hours to get out of the car and across the road to school, all the while it is raining and those kids just won't let up. You just want to SCREAM!!!

Sound familiar?

We've all been there. This used to be me. Especially if I had worked late the night before. The unrelenting stress of being a parent. It doesn't go away. But the way in which you react to the stressors determines the way you cope.

My solution? Breathe. 5 deep full breaths. In and out. In through the nose, and out through the mouth with an audible "haaa" sound. It works wonders. You can even get the kids in on it too. Ask them to pretend that you are all trying to blow up the biggest balloon in the world. They will have a giggle at seeing you doing something so silly in the midst of their squabbling. Seeing you taking full deep breaths and blowing out with full puffed cheeks will get everyone laughing. 

And we all know that laughter is the best medicine.

By demonstrating positive coping skills during stressful times, we are teaching our children valuable tools, that they too will mimick later on.

Having a new baby in the house with two school kids certainly poses many a stressful situation at times. Fortunately, my two big kids are old enough to lend a helping hand and from my breastfeeding chair I can feed the baby and direct the flow of the morning or afternoon. Sure, I still feel stressed from time to time, or overwhelmed...usually by the amount of laundry...first world problems. 

How do you cope with parental stress?

Nic Nurtures

Monday, 22 September 2014

Fridge Porridge

Pease porridge hot. 
Pease porridge cold. 
Pease porridge in the pot nine days old. 

Some like it hot.
Some like it cold.
Some like it in the pot nine days old.

This week I am loving eating my porridge cold! Thats right, cold! Also known as refrigerator oats, this breakfast is super quick to make, healthy and ready to go first thing in the morning, so it is perfect for a busy breastfeeding mum who also has to get two big kids off to school.

Fridge Porridge

1.5 cups of oats
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp LSA
1.5 cups Greek yoghurt
1 cup milk of your choice

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until well combined. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight. In the morning you will have a beautifully creamy, healthy and delicious breakfast. This amount makes 3 - 4 serves. Add your own toppings. Today I used blueberries, chopped almonds and a drizzle of maple syrup. Honey and banana works well, as does tinned cherries. Enjoy!

Nic Nurtures x

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Best Banana Bread

I've tasted and baked many loaves of banana breads over the years. This particular recipe is a trending favourite in our house right now, in fact, I had it for breakfast this morning with my coffee! And you can throw it together in about 5 minutes.

Best Banana Bread

2 cups wholemeal SR flour (substitute for GF if need be)
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
100g melted butter
1/2 cup of milk (I use almond milk)
3 over ripe bananas mashed
1 cup dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs

Preheat oven to 170 degrees and prepare loaf pan. Melt butter and allow to cool. 
Sift flours and bicarb, stir in sugar. Whisk eggs, vanilla and milk together, then add to dry ingredients with butter and banana. Stir until just combined and fold through chic chips. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean. 

It's that easy.

Nic Nurtures x

Monday, 15 September 2014

Weekend Stills

1. Show your colours. The strip down the middle of down town Fremantle.
2. Green smoothie, flat white, the start to any good Saturday.
3. Love this place - Ootong and Linton, South Fremantle. 
4. Spring magic down at the Youth Plaza at the Esplanade. 
5. Round 2 coffees, courtesy of awesome Barista Tom of Studio 37.
6. Go Freo! Dockers love everywhere.
7. Freo heave ho!
8. South Fremantle - Turbo getting into Parkour, flipping and climbing all over town. 

A glorious weekend had in Fremantle, our old stomping ground, fueled with food, coffee, football and fun. Sometimes it's nice to get out of town.

Linking up to twins plus one
Nic Nurtures x