Stingy August

Mama's Style ~ Stingy August

So I tried doing Stingy July and unfortunately it didn’t work out so well. I only brought a few treats… a replacement plain long sleeve tee and a few MUD nail polishes that were down to $5 each. We even managed to put $130 into the kids trampoline fund. Where I did slip up was with food. I went to too many cafes, brought too many work lunches, hot chocolates and we had a few takeaways. It’s amazing how easily these small spends add up!

I’m putting July behind me and starting over with Stingy August. I’ve got my clothes spending under control (I’m still sorely tempted though) and now that I’ve realised how much I was spending on unnecessary food I know I’ll be much stricter with myself. No trips to the cafes, no extras from the dairy and definitely nothing that’s not on our grocery list. I had a test today when I was craving a hot chocolate… I shook it off by picturing the kids bouncing on their new trampoline instead. It’s Miss 4′s birthday at the end of September so I’m really hoping that we’ll be able to put some money away for presents, a party and ‘off to school’ supplies.

Obviously there are some exceptions… birthdays, school trips, doctors visits/medicine etc. Also we’re going to one of my best friend’s birthday party tomorrow so I’ve factored in a meal each and some drinks. I’ll do a few updates during the month to let you know how successful we’ve been.

I’d love for you to join me! Comment on my future Stingy August posts to let me know how you’re doing.

My Favourite Things ~ 31st July 2014

This week’s MFT’s post is getting a kick up the butt by the latest Sara active wear range from Ezibuy. As usual with plus size active wear, it’s not scintillating, but then again I guess it’s not really supposed to be. One thing that did catch my eye however, was the printed crop pants. Yes that’s right… a PRINT in PLUS SIZE! Woohoo! I’ll definitely be popping into my closest store soon to check out the range so will let you know what the fit’s like.

Pictured are the Crop Pants, V Neck Tee, Active Tank and Zip Jacket, all of which are available in the print.

Mama's Style ~ My Favourite Things 31st July 2014

How cool are these guitar pillows from Etsy store Vox and Dolly?! They’re a fab decor piece but which kid (or adult for that matter) wouldn’t also take part in some serious thrashing with these. The signature pillows can be written on to make a fun keepsake.

Featured are their Classic Rock n Roll Guitar Pillow, the Rainbow ClassicWonder Woman, Pac Man Electric and the Electric Signature Pillow.

Mama's Style ~ My Favourite Things 30th July 2014

These Kate & Kate blankets and throws from Let Liv are just divine. Each one is 100% cotton knitted loveliness and would be perfect to snuggle with in front of the telly. Of course I’m partial to the chevron prints but the geo (bottom left) has also taken my fancy.

Mama's Style ~ My Favourite Things 31st July 2014

Holy crap… I’m loving the Riders In The Sky Biker Jacket from Aussie label Harlow! Check out the gorgeous snakeskin-esque print. This stunning jacket is available in sizes 12-24.

If anyone has a heap of spare cash lying around and wants a partner to stock some amazing plus-size labels… please get in touch! These likes of Harlow desperately need to be brought here so us Kiwi gals can get our fab fashion fix from a local store.

Mama's Style ~ My Favourite Things 31st July 2014

My last favourite thing is this wonderful cupcake and cake pop birthday cake. It’s made from cupcakes that are lined up to form the trunk then smothered in icing. More cupcakes are used to create the foliage. Don’t you just love the wee owl cake pops!

It’s apparently from Sugar Tree Bakeshoppe but I can’t find a website or even Facebook page for them. If anyone knows anything about Sugar Tree please leave a comment so I can give them a proper credit.

Mama's Style ~ My Favourite Things 31st July 2014

 

Style Stars ~ Suger Coat It

I decided that I wanted to shine a light on one of my favourite blogging Style Stars this week. I’ve been following this gorgeous lady almost since she started her blog and am always blown away by her fun outfits, relaxed and honest writing, and her ‘two fingers up’ attitude to what people think curvy women should wear. She does fashion her way… and it’s pretty f*cking good!

Mama's Style ~ Style Stars (Suger Coat It)

Mama's Style ~ Style Stars (Suger Coat It)

Mama's Style ~ Style Stars (Suger Coat It)

Mama's Style ~ Style Stars (Suger Coat It)

If you haven’t come across her before, let me introduce you to Suger (real name Melissa). Her blog is Suger Coat It and I strongly encourage you to pop over for a read. She’s hilarious. I’m sometimes asked which fashion bloggers I would like to meet and she’s always on my list. You just know that you’d be meeting a funny, warm, open person who you’d have an absolute blast with.

When I think of Suger, I think of stripes, chambray, harem pants, prints, monochrome, colour, legs, pencil skirts and the biggest shoe haul. She has quite a few of all of these and puts them to good use.

Her devotion to stripes is well known. She’s the stripe queen.

Mama's Style ~ Style Stars (Suger Coat It)

She rocks a printed harem pant… no boring plain pairs here!

Mama's Style ~ Style Stars (Suger Coat It)

She’s a little bit country in chambray. Ok I’ll be honest and say that this is one of her obsessions that I’m not on board with. I think I must have worn it too much as a child and now I’m rebelling against it. But Suger always rocks it!

Mama's Style ~ Style Stars (Suger Coat It)

I think we were monochrome sisters in a previous life because she loves the stuff just as much as I do!

Mama's Style ~ Style Stars (Suger Coat It)

She’s not too shabby at pulling off a serious print either…

Mama's Style ~ Style Stars (Suger Coat It)

Then there are the pencil skirts. I’m not surprised that she likes them as they show off her toned legs perfectly.

Mama's Style ~ Style Stars (Suger Coat It)

There is one item in Suger’s wardrobe that I covet above all others… her 17 Sundays Take Me Away Jacket. Isn’t it gorgeous?! I’ve wanted one for aaaaaages but I’m such a wuss when it comes to buying online. I love how Suger styles hers into so many different outfits.

Mama's Style ~ Style Stars (Suger Coat It)

She has even written an e-book called The Budget Fashionista Workbook. It’s all about creating a fantastic wardrobe on a limited budget. You can get your own copy here.

Thanks Suger for being my Style Star this week! For more fab fashion and witty musings check out her blog.

No Bake Energy Balls

Mama's Style ~ No Bake Energy Balls

So this afternoon I was craving some chocolate, but Mr Mama had polished off the rest of the Whittaker’s Hundreds and Thousands block that he brought home last week (just as well really). Then I remembered that I’d seen a recipe for these energy balls on Maiko Nagao’s Facebook page and had to try them.

I’m not the best baker in the world so I’m on board with anything that doesn’t involve using an oven, and I had to buy a whole bag of linseed the other week when I only needed a couple of tablespoons so I was glad to find another recipe to use them in. The balls are really good and I’m going to make more batches adding different things… I might even try dipping them in yoghurt and freezing them. I’ll try making mini yoghurt dipped balls and see if the kids eat them.

Maiko adapted her recipe from Natural Noshing’s Cocoa Kissed Chia Energy Bombs.

  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • 2 Tblsp peanut butter
  • 2 Tblsp cocoa powder
  • 1 Tblsp olive oil
  • 2 Tblsp honey
  • 1/2 cup seeds of your choice (linseed, pumpkin and sunflower seeds)

Mix all the ingredients together. Roll into balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Easy!

 

My Journey to Health ~ Weeks 39-43

Mama's Style ~ My Journey to Health Week 39-43

Once again it has been a while since I’ve posted a MJTH update.

The last weeks have kicked my arse. Mr 7 got chicken pox in the last two weeks of the school term which meant we stayed home a lot, and when I did drag him to the gym I went at times when I hoped there wouldn’t be anyone around. As soon as he started getting better Miss 4 come out in spots and Mr Mama got tracheitis. You can imagine that with two kids at home and a pathetic husband unable to fend for himself, I hardly left the house. At least I wasn’t tempted by all the fantastic cafes around us and I had plennnty of time to make good meals.

Mama's Style ~ My Journey to Health Weeks 38-43

I tried a few new recipes from Jamie Oliver (who else… honestly, I’m obsessed with his food). I made his Mushroom Soup (I wasn’t a fan of the texture from the rice), Flaked Fish with Wilted Greens and Tomato Ciabatta, and the Pukka Yellow Curry. I also made garlic, lemon and honey chicken drumsticks with a yummy baked vege salad, and Mr Mama surprised me with an impressive pork roast!

I’ve been attempting a ‘Stingy July’… basically not spending any money on anything that wasn’t a necessity. One of the reasons for Stingy July was to stop me from popping into cafes… we’d save money and I wouldn’t be tempted by the cakes, slices or anything smothered in hollandaise sauce. Win-win! Things were going really well until the bugs left our house and I was free once again to roam the streets. I found myself grabbing ‘something small’ for lunch which usually turned into a large serving of mac n cheese, lasagne or a pasta. I did some extra days at work and just grabbed something for lunch on the way and a sweet treat usually found its way into the bag. Don’t even get me started on the mouth-watering hot chocolates from Bohemein!

Mama's Style ~ My Journey to Health Weeks 39-43

So I’m feeling pretty shit and annoyed with myself. I’m glad that I didn’t go clothes shopping (I was sorely tempted by a cropped leather jacket at K&K), but I’m bummed that I substituted food instead. I’m started afresh with ‘Stingy August’ and am determined to do much better next month!

I finally started BoxFit classes with Nikki at O2 Exercise which I’m really enjoying. I can definitely feel the punches and squats the next day! One week was turned into a circuit class with Reno which almost killed me. It was probably the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done (apart from giving birth) and I felt pretty embarrassed to have struggled so much. But I did it! The classes are a nice break from my usual cardio and weights routine and I look forward to them each week.

I’ve only been managing three workouts each week and haven’t been in the pool in ages. I’ve picked up another cold but I hope to manage at least some cardio tomorrow and make it to BoxFit on Thursday.

Is anyone else over winter already? Roll on the warmer weather!

Fashion Trend ~ Ponchos

I have to confess that I never used to like ponchos. I admired women who wore them but assumed they would swamp me and look terrible, so I didn’t bother with them. Then winter hit and I decided I wanted a warm layer that wasn’t a coat, at the same time the Inspire Poncho arrived at TS14+. I loved the pattern so tried it… and haven’t looked back!

Mama's Style ~ Fashion Trend (Ponchos)TS14+ Inspire Poncho $79.95 (approx) ~ also available in Cream/Grey

Ponchos are warm, stylish and so easy to wear. They’re perfect when we have those ‘fat days’ and can cover up items that aren’t in such perfect condition. I generally wear mine with a favourite short chiffon top underneath, unfortunately the stitching’s come away along the neckline and I haven’t gotten around to fixing it. Poncho to the rescue! They look fantastic with slim jeans and pants, and short skirts. If you want to wear a long skirt with your poncho choose a straight style and pop on a pair of killer ankle boots.

I’m already seeing ponchos, capes and wraps in stores, but get ready to see lots more. You’ll find chunky warm knits now for winter, and lighter fabrics when the spring styles arrive in the coming weeks.

Here’s a round up of some fab styles in stores now…

Mama's Style ~ Fashion Trend (Ponchos)Left ~ Crossroads Metallic Fringe Poncho $38.40
Centre ~ Ezibuy Capture Drape Poncho $59.99 (currently on sale for $29.00)
Right ~ Virtu Fabled Fields Poncho $90.00 (approx)

Mama's Style ~ Fashion Trend (Ponchos)Left ~ Surafina Nero Cape AU$179.00
Centre ~ Decjuba Remi Knit AU$119.95
Right ~ TS14+ Laser Cut Jacket $154.95 (approx)

Mama's Style ~ Fashion Trend (Ponchos)Left ~ Decjuba Blanch Cape AU$104.95 (via The Iconic)
Centre ~ Ezibuy Sara Knitted Poncho $69.99 (currently on sale for $49.00)
Right ~ Just Jeans Salt N Pepper Poncho AU$79.95 (currently on sale for AU$39.95)

Mama's Style ~ Fashion Trend (Ponchos)Left ~ Virtu Rosmore Cape $145.95 (approx)
Centre ~ Farmers Ruffle Knit Poncho $59.99 (currently on sale for $41.99)
Right ~ ASOS Sessun Reina Cape Poncho Coat $457.05 (approx)

 

My Style ~ 26th July 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 26th July 2014

I’m ever so slightly obsessed with my Virtu Inspire Poncho. Actually I seem to have become obsessed over all ponchos (watch out for a poncho trend post coming soon)! What’s not to love… they’re stylish, easy to wear and warm. It has been so cold here in Wellington so I’ve been wearing my poncho a lot over the last couple of weeks!

Here’s how I wore it today…

Mama's Style ~ My Style 26th July 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 26th July 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 26th July 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 26th July 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 26th July 2014

Inspire Poncho ~ Virtu
Decorous Body Tee ~ TS14+
Neck Plate Tunic ~ City Chic
Panelled Pencil Skirt ~ Virtu
Razzamatazz Curvaceous 120D Opaques
Fur Snood ~ TS14+
Samauri Ankle Boot ~ Overland

 

My Style ~ 19th July 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 19th July 2014

I really could have titled this post ‘brrrr’ because it has been so chilly in Wellington this week. We’ve been pretty lucky with the weather so far this winter and have managed to dodgy the worst of the storms… it hasn’t even been that cold. So I think Wellingtonians were shocked when the southerly chill descended this week.

Out came the scarves, gloves and thick coats. Out too came a plethora of broken umbrellas… obviously left in offices for just such emergencies. I’ve never seen so many sad and droopy umbrellas as I have this week watching train commuters try to stay dry on their way to the station (the commuters were also fairly sad and droopy to be fair).

I’m a little bit in my element when it’s cold as I have an excuse to really bust out the layers. My favourite winter colour combo is black, white and red, which I happily wore today thanks to my gorgeous coat and boots. Apologies once again for such shitty photos. I really should remember to take them in the morning.

Mama's Style ~ My Style 19th July 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 19th July 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 19th July 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Style 19th July 2014

Kore Hi Lo Dress ~ TS14+
Decorous Body Tee ~ TS14+
Origami Gilet ~ TS14+
Tape Jacket ~ TS14+
Duplicate Coat ~ DeNada
Fondant Necklace ~ TS14+
Scarf ~ Virtu
Buckle Up Boot ~ TS14+

 

My Favourite Things ~ 18th July 2014

I’m starting yet another new feature on the blog! Each week I’m sharing my favourite things… it could be a gorgeous piece of clothing, the new wonder cosmetic, fab craft project or recipe, handy hack, home interior idea, something fun for the kids etc. Whatever makes me stop and say wow!

Let’s kick things off…

Lush have just announced their Christmas in July limited editions… and they sound good enough to eat! Pictured is the Snow Fairy Shower GelCandy Mountain Bubble Bar and Iced Wine Shower Jelly (top), Rose Jam Shower GelAngel’s Delight Soap and Maple Taffy Lip Balm (bottom).

You can go ahead and treat yourself knowing you’re purchasing from a environmentally responsible and fair trade company .

Check out the entire range here.

Mama's Style ~ My Favourite Things 15 July 2014

Speaking of lush… I found this delectable looking Caramel Banana Upside Down Bread over at Truelifekitchen. I’m such a sucker for anything with banana and caramel. Anything that tastes like banoffi pie gets my bloody big tick!

Mama's Style ~ My Favourite Things 15th July 2014

I’ve just been introduced to the newish Australian based plus size label… Nyata. Their pieces are stunning and they’re all available from size 14 to 30!

The range is pretty much all black which suits me as I’m obsessed with black and monochrome at the moment. Pop over and check out their collection here.

Mama's Style ~ My Favourite Things 15th July 2014

Mama's Style ~ My Favourite Things 15th July 2014

I’ve been following Wendy Blume for a while and as a Mum to an Asperger’s child I know how hard it can be getting kids to try something new and eat their veges. It’s great to see that Wendy’s released her second Vegie Smugglers cookbook.

 It’s packed with recipes that sneak veges into everyday meals, lunchboxes, party food and more. The book even includes recipes for food intolerances! Order your copy here.

Mama's Style ~ My Favourite Things 18th July 2014

I just had to share these cute creations from the Valek Rolling Pins Etsy store. You can choose from one of the ready-made patterns or go for a custom design. You’ll have the best looking biscuits on the block!

Mama's Style ~ My Favourite Things 18th July 2014

Jamie’s Pukka Yellow Curry

Mama's Style ~ Jamie's Pukka Yellow Curry

Chicken drumsticks were so cheap at the supermarket the other week so I grabbed a huge pack. I generally make the same meals using drumsticks so I wanted to find a new recipe and came across Jamie Oliver’s Pukka Yellow Curry from his Save With Jamie cookbook. Perfect!

It’s a very easy recipe. Whiz up a bunch of ingredients into a paste (I really need a food processor), brown the drumsticks, add the paste and other ingredients and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. I let it simmer for too long so there wasn’t as much sauce as there should have been, but it still tasted great! I added some sliced beans to the rice for an extra vege serve.

  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 2 yellow peppers
  • 1 cube chicken stock

  • 1-2 fresh red chillies
  • ½ a bunch of fresh coriander

  • 1 teaspoon runny honey
  • 1 level teaspoon ground tumeric

  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 8 higher-welfare chicken drumsticks

  • Olive oil
  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas

  • 1 teaspoon tomato purée
  • 320g basmati rice

  • 1 lemon
  • Fat-free natural yoghurt to serve (optional)

Peel the onions, garlic and ginger and deseed the peppers. Put 1 onion, 1 pepper, the garlic and ginger into a food processor. Crumble in the stock cube and add the chilli (deseed it first, if you prefer a milder curry), the coriander stalks, honey and spices, then blitz to a paste.

Place a large casserole pan on a medium-high heat and fry the chicken drumsticks (pull the skin off first, if you prefer) with a splash of oil for 10 minutes, or until golden, turning occasionally with tongs. Remove the chicken to a plate, leaving the pan on the heat. Roughly chop the remaining onion and pepper and add to the pan to cook for a few minutes, then tip in the paste and let it cook down for around 5 minutes. Pour in 500ml of boiling water. Drain the chickpeas and add along with the tomato purée and a pinch of salt and pepper, then stir well. Return the chicken to the pan, pop the lid on, reduce the heat and simmer gently for around 45 minutes, or until the sauce darkens and thickens.

With 15 minutes to go, put 1 mug (320g) of rice and 2 mugs of boiling water into a pan with a pinch of salt and simmer with the lid on for 12 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Serve the curry in the middle of the table with a few dollops of yoghurt (if using) and a scattering of coriander leaves, with lemon wedges for squeezing over and the fluffy rice on the side.

Mama's Style ~ Jamie's Pukka Yellow Curry