No More Shopping!

Mama's Style ~ No More Shopping!

This is painful to write… but I have a serious problem. I just can’t quit! The pretty things call to me and I can’t say no. I try to fight it but I have no willpower. I tell myself that this is the last time, but it never is.

So I’ve staged an intervention of sorts!

I don’t need any more clothes, shoes and jewellery. I shouldn’t be buying clothes and shoes while I’m losing weight anyway… I’m already making a nice pile of clothes that have gotten too big for me. What a waste of money to buy clothes I may only be able to wear for a few months. Anyway, I need to save up some cash for when I reach a healthier weight and really do need a new wardrobe. Squeeeal!

So there’s the truth. Hopefully I can kick this habit. Wish me luck!

Family-friendly Recipe ~ Broccoli Casserole

This is another of Kristen’s recipes that I’ll definitely be trying, because I absolutely love broccoli!

I can see it turning into a complete meal with some chicken and other veges. Even on it’s own it would be a nice winter ‘pot luck’ dish!

Mama's Style ~ Family-friendly Recipe (Broccoli Casserole)

Broccoli Casserole

Hi everyone, hope you all are having a good week despite this cold weather! The fog sitting over Wellington much of this week has helped to feed my current mood for winter comfort foods so I decided to try and recreate my grandmother’s broccoli casserole.

I remember eating this at all our family dinners and it was a staple for the winter months. I don’t have the original recipe so I did some experimenting with recipes I found online as well as my memory of the casserole. I haven’t quite hit a perfect imitation of her casserole just yet, but I have managed to make what we all thought was a pretty tasty broccoli casserole! I’m pretty happy with this for the time being and thought it was worth sharing with you all to help keep you warm during this cold weather.

This is a great old-fashioned dish that works well as a side dish or as a main meal. It’s an excellent way to get broccoli into the kids as well!

Makes:

1 casserole, enough to serve 6 people as a side dish.

Time to prepare:

1 hour (15 minutes hands-on time and 45 minutes to bake).

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (I used Campbell’s as this is what I grew up with but I’m sure any other brand would work just fine)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup grated tasty cheese
  • 2 tsp mustard (I recommend Dijon)
  • ½ cup dry bread crumbs, either pre-packaged or make your own

Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 200C degrees and grease a baking pan or casserole dish. The size does not matter overly much – if you like lots of crispy topping opt for a larger baking dish whereas if you prefer a thick casserole go for a smaller dish or even a loaf tin.

Begin by lightly steaming the broccoli florets for about 2 minutes just to help them soften up a touch. I recommend using some of the stalk finely diced as well – it adds a bit of a different texture and is just as tasty as the florets.

Mama's Style ~ Family-friendly Recipe (Broccoli Casserole)Casserole mixture

Lightly beat the eggs in a mixing bowl then whisk in the milk, mushroom soup, and mustard. Stir through the tasty cheese, holding back a handful to sprinkle on top of the casserole. Mix in the steamed broccoli and stir thoroughly. Pour the mixture out into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the remaining tasty cheese. Evenly sprinkle the bread crumbs over the casserole and pop it all in the oven.

Mama's Style ~ Family-friendly Recipe (Broccoli Casserole)Ready to put in the oven

Bake the casserole for roughly 45 minutes, checking to see that the cheese on top and the bread crumbs are browning. I got a bit impatient so for the final 5 minutes I turned the oven up to grill and cracked the oven door just a touch.

Enjoy!

Mama's Style ~ Family-friendly Recipe (Broccoli Casserole)

Variations:

  • You could swap out the cream of mushroom soup for another condensed soup you might have in your pantry. Cream of chicken should work well here.
  • Add in cauliflower (or other chopped veggies) for a more varied casserole.

 

My Journey to Health ~ Week 29

Mama's Style ~ My Journey to Health Week 29

I am so bloody sore! I’ve finished my first six months with O2 Exercise so I had an assessment with Nikki on Wednesday and she kicked my workout up a notch. After initially gaining weight while my body got used to working with weights, I’m pleased that I’ve since lost almost 4kg and my body fat % has decreased by 1.3kg. It may not sound like a big change but I’m happy as long as the numbers are heading in the right direction!

It turns out that I’ve plateaued so Nikki increased my cardio and weights to kick start things again… I’m now doing the interval level two programme on the cross-trainer for 10 minutes which I know doesn’t sound like much, but for someone who was in agony after only 30 seconds when I started it’s a pretty big achievement! We put the treadmill up to interval level three, increased my weights, added new weight exercises and changed my ab work.

I’m excited to have signed up for another twelve months at O2 Exercise! I can not speak highly enough of Nikki and Reno and of the friendly supportive health club they have created. It’s a little out of the way (it’s in the Maungaraki shops in Lower Hutt), but if you’re looking to join a gym in the Wellington area I definitely suggest having a chat to them! I just love being a part of a small health club where people are looking out for you, and some days you even have the place to yourself!

Mama's Style ~ My Journey to Health Week 29

Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the pool this week. Daylight saving totally screwed me up (was anyone else affected more than their kids?) so I had a nana-nap on Monday afternoon instead of going aqua-jogging, and I was just too buggered on Wednesday after my assessment with Nikki. I’m looking forward to getting back to the pool this week!

I did have a few naughty treats this week. Some of the Aussie Curves girls had a fun catch up at Chow on Friday night and I had my share of cocktails (my favourite Ginger Nashi), fantastic fresh platters and a slice of brownie with ice-cream for dessert.

Mama's Style ~ My Journey to Health Week 29

Mama's Style ~ My Journey to Health Week 29

Despite the cold southerly and rain, we had a fun family day out today which included a stop at one of our favourite cafe’s… Chocolate Fish in Shelley Bay. Their chocolate cake is THE. BEST. IN. WELLINGTON!

After looking at the treats I’ve had this week, I’m really glad that I had four sessions at O2 Exercise. No treats next week!

Mama's Style ~ My Journey to Health Week 29

I’ve had next to no heart palpitations. I had one today but I think it happened because I let myself get a bit stressed about being photographed in a very public place. I have another blood test next week to check my cholesterol levels but I’m not too worried about it.

That’s all for now.

My Style ~ 12th April 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 12th April 2014

Thanks to this week’s Aussie Curves ‘pattern clash’ theme I’ve found myself clashing patterns all week, and today was no exception!

Not only am I mixing it up again, I’m also showing off a couple of new pieces that I picked up on sale from Crossroads… the fab ponti Zip Biker Jacket and super comfy Stretch Skinny Pant. You all know that I adore monochrome so I’m sure this will become a regular outfit.

Mama's Style ~ My Style 12th April 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 12th April 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 12th April 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 12th April 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 12th April 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 12th April 2014

Zip Biker Jacket ~ Crossroads
Equinox Top ~ Virtu
Super Stretch Skinny Pant ~ Crossroads
Chevron Scarf ~ Millie+Boo
Chandelier Earrings ~ Voon
Maya Neera Wedge ~ The Warehouse
Epiphanie Lola Camera Bag ~ Camera Style

 

Aussie Curves ~ Pattern Clash

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Pattern Clash)

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Pattern Clash has come to Aussie Curves! Unfortunately, crap weather has come to Wellington! I had another outfit picked out for this week’s theme, but I despair of taking any decent photos this week with the wind and rain we’re having. When I realised that yesterday’s ootd pretty much fitted the brief I jumped for joy! Upcycling… wahey!

Of course the photos this week are shit. I had to take them in between rain showers, and as you can see from the water spots on my mirror I wasn’t exactly successful. Fuck it. It’s hard to take good photos inside as we have an old dark villa and unless bright sunshine is streaming in the windows, it’s kind of like living in a dungeon (I’m sure anyone who lives in an old house in Wellington will relate).

I love the combination of the stud ‘stripes’ on the skirt, delicate crochet pattern, chevrons and a hint of geometric from my necklace!

Follow my Instagram feed to see outfits that don’t make it to the blog.

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Pattern Clash)

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Pattern Clash)

Sexy Stud Skirt ~ City Chic
Long Sleeve Scoop Neck Merino ~ Max
Breezy Overlay ~ TS14+
Geo Bead Necklace ~ Hello Lovely
Samauri Ankle Boots ~ Overland
Chevron Bag ~ Lucy Lou

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Family-friendly Recipe ~ Peanut Butter and Banana Energy Bars

I can’t believe that I’ve never thought about making my own muesli bars! Thanks to Kristen for sharing her Peanut Butter and Banana Energy Bar recipe.

I hope you’ll try making them.

Mama's Style ~ Family-friendly Recipe (Peanut Butter & Banana Energy Bars)

Peanut Butter and Banana Energy Bars 

Hi again everyone! Phew, I’ve had a very busy week and been pretty low on any cooking inspiration. To be quite honest this week was an awful lot of dinners from the freezer and some naughty takeaways. Finally today I got up at least a little motivation to mix up something healthy from scratch so I made these light and chewy energy bars.

This recipe developed through trial and error in experimenting with making snacks for our toddler that weren’t too messy, could be kept for at least a couple of days, and were easily transportable and good for eating on the go. I used to (and sometimes still do) buy the ready-made muesli and cereal bars from the shops for our daughter. I always felt just a bit guilty though as I knew they were packed full of preservatives and often added unnecessary sugar. Not to mention they are expensive! These are a great alternative that are exceptionally quick to whip up, are very tasty, and are nearly as easy to carry around with you. They’re easy enough to make that you can get kids involved in making them as well.

While these started out as a snack for our daughter, we soon realised that actually we quite enjoyed them as well. They are definitely great for toddlers but I do recommend making some extras for yourselves! These are excellent to bring tramping or as snacks on long car rides and give a good hit of energy. They will keep for several days in a sealed container.

Enjoy!

Makes:

6 bars

Time to prepare:

10 minutes hands-on time, 25 minutes to bake

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ large bananas
  • 1 ½ tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp flaxseeds (also called linseed)
  • 5 diced dates

Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 200C degrees.

Use a fork to mash the banana in a bowl until it is smooth with as few chunks as you can manage. Mix in the dates, oats, flaxseed, and peanut butter and stir thoroughly until it is the texture of a thick paste. Add a few more oats if the mixture feels a bit too liquid-y.

Mama's Style ~ Family-friendly Recipe (Peanut Butter & Banana Energy Bars)Mix the ingredients into a thick paste

Mama's Style ~ Family-friendly Recipe (Peanut Butter & Banana Energy Bars)Form the mixture into bars

Use your hands to separate the mixture into six roughly equal portions. Place each portion in a blob on a greased pan or baking tray and gently form each blob into a bar shape. Bake for roughly 25 minutes, until the bars are firm. Pump up the heat a bit at the end to 220C degrees to get a crispy touch to the top.

Enjoy!

Mama's Style ~ Family-friendly Recipe (Peanut Butter & Banana Energy Bars)

Variations:

  • Substitute or add any other dried fruit instead of or with the dates. Good options are raisins, diced dried apricots, or small pieces of dried apple.
  • Add in chocolate chips for a bit of decadence!
  • Experiment with shapes other than bars – I have used cookie cutters before to make fun shapes. Just put the cookie cutter on the pan and fill with the mixture, pressing the mixture into all the corners then remove the cookie cutter and the shape should hold.
  • Substitute peanut butter for almond or other nut butter.
  • If you have a nut allergy you can omit the peanut butter altogether. If you still want that extra bit of moisture try adding just a touch of maple syrup or honey instead.

 

My Journey to Health ~ Week 28

Mama's Style ~ My Journey to Health Week 28

Phew… it’s been another tiring week!

It felt good to do four workouts again this week at O2 Exercise Health Club, and I went aqua-jogging twice. I actually went to O2 Exercise four days in a row which I think was a bit much, by the fourth day I was really struggling to finish the session. On Monday and Wednesday I also went aqua-jogging, which meant that I exercised for 2.5 hours each day. I. WAS. SHATTERED!

The ankle I twisted a few weeks ago is still giving me gyp. I spoke to Nikki at O2 Exercise about it and she said ankles can take a few months to come right (oh yay), so she’s given me a balancing exercise to do each day to help strengthen it. The up-shot is I’m uncoordinated and have no balance, but I’m working on it.

At work today I needed a wee pick-me-up so I grabbed a Sante bar. I had a couple of bites before remembering that chocolate is one of the things I need to avoid as it can bring on heart palpitations. I haven’t had any palpitations this week which I’m absolutely stoked about, and I’m trying my best to keep it that way! It looks like Mr 6 and Miss 4 will get a wee chocolate treat tomorrow.

I’ve started taking milk thistle capsules to help my liver adjust to my changing cholesterol levels. Oh and I seem to be addicted to apples.

See you next week!

Aussie Curves ~ Green Take Two

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Green Take Two)

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I can’t help but be happy when I’m wearing green. If the weather’s crap or if I’ve been feeling a bit blah, I tend to bust out something green to lift my mood. It’s the colour of nature, which I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by in NZ.

This is the second green theme for Aussie Curves (you can see my first look here). I’ve used the same cardi and teamed it with a different dress, killer gold ankle boots and a fab green handbag.

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Green Take Two)

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Green Take Two)

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Green Take Two)

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Green Take Two)

The more I look at these photos, the more I love this outfit! Make sure to check out the other AC girls in their green get-up.

Northern Lights Dress ~ TS14+
Luna Nero Body Dress ~ TS14+
Debut Cardi ~ TS14+
Jewel Of The Nile Necklace ~ Virtu
Samauri Ankle Boot ~ Overland
Handbag ~ Strandbags

 


My Journey to Health ~ Week 27

Mama's Style ~ My Journey to Health Week 27

I’m pleased that this week has been much more positive!

I was worried after being told my cholesterol levels were elevated, but after getting my full blood results and talking them through with Nikki at O2 Exercise, it’s not actually as bad as I thought. Nikki discovered that my good cholesterol level shows a low risk, and my cholesterol ratio shows no risk at all! I’m really keen to see what my levels will be after my next blood test next month, but for now I can help things by continuing to cut out carbs. Carbs are definitely my weakness!

I’m putting the crap that I’ve had in the last few weeks behind me. Being a stress bunny definitely won’t help my heart palpitations (I had a grand total of one last week which is fantastic)! Onwards and upwards!

Mama's Style ~ My Journey to Health Week 27

It felt so good to have done four workouts at O2 Exercise this week… the first week in many that I’ve been able to go more than just a couple of days. Unfortunately with Mr 6 being home sick last week I only went aqua-jogging once. It’s almost the end of my first six months with O2 Exercise which means I’ll be having an assessment with Nikki next week. I’m excited to know what progress I’ve made and I’m sure Nikki will kick my program up a notch!

Mama's Style ~ My Journey to Health Week 27

I’ve enjoyed some yumminess this week…

While I was in a funk during the week I treated us to a batch of my Chocolate Chip Cookies. They aren’t exactly healthy (just like Cookie Monster says… cookies are a sometimes food), but these are sooo good I just had to share my recipe. You’re welcome!

  • 225g butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time.

Mix together the dry ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, then add the dry mix to the butter. Stir together. Add the chocolate chips and stir again.

Place large spoonfuls onto trays lined with baking paper, leaving plenty of room to allow the cookies to spread. Bake at 180C degrees for 15 minutes (a couple of minutes less or more depending how soft or crisp you like your cookies).

 

Aussie Curves ~ Wedding

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Wedding)

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It has been fantastic to see so many Aussie Curves ladies looking gorgeous on their wedding day, as a bridesmaid or a guest. I’ve done a mish-mash this week… my own wedding dress, what I wore to a family wedding in January and an outfit I would probably wear next time.

I’ve been pondering my own wedding lately and what I wish we’d done different. Am I the only person who would love a ‘do over’?

It was just too darn big. I don’t mean the actual size because we had less than 50 guests, but I wish it had been simpler. We had planned to be married at our local Percy’s Reserve (which is one of our favourite spots) and have a casual reception of canapes and bubbles. Unfortunately earthworks were planned on our wedding date so we had to switch venues. We still had a lovely outdoor ceremony among nature, but the venue didn’t hold any special meaning for us. Instead of simple canapes, I felt obligated to feed our guests a proper meal so we had a sit down three course dinner… it was a gorgeous dinner but oh so expensive.

I fell in love with my dress, especially the beautiful red embroidery, but I would definitely choose a different style next time. I had never bared my arms up till that point, so I was very self-conscious the whole day. It was also a freezing cold day and I’m so thankful that my step-mother-in-law had a lovely pashmina to keep me warm.

When I look at our wedding photos I struggle to remember some of our guests names. Some people we invited because we thought we should, but others were good friends who we’ve since drifted apart from. I can understand why couples want to renew their vows. I would love a ‘do over’ surrounded by our family which has grown much more, our gorgeous children and wonderful friends we’ve made in the last almost eight years.

Maybe one day we’ll exchange vows again… I can’t wait!

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Wedding)

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Wedding)

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Wedding)

Dress, Shoes and Jewellery ~ Astra Bridal
Pashmina ~ borrowed

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Weddings)

I wore this outfit to a beautiful family wedding in January. It was held in the middle of nowhere in the Coromandel so it had to be a cool and comfortable outfit that looked good with flats. I’m so glad that I decided to wear flats as the wedding was held on grass at the end of a gravel path, and some chasing after children was involved.

Summer Haze Dress ~ TS14+ ON SALE!
Basiks Frill Me Cardy ~ TS14+
Millicent Necklace ~ TS14+
Handbag ~ Coach
Sandals ~ Crossroads

Mama's Style ~ Aussie Curves (Wedding)

I’m cheating a wee bit with my ‘what I would wear to the next wedding’ outfit as it’s the look I put together for Sequins Take Two week. I couldn’t be *rsed taking more photos.

Paisley Rose Dress ~ Annah Stretton
Sequin Bolero ~ Farmers
Fondant Necklace ~ TS14+
Sequin Clutch ~ TS14+ (gifted)
Maya Neera Wedges ~ The Warehouse

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