And now Summer, I’m ready for you
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Simply because I found the perfect bikini — cheeky, without being too cheeky, high waist and stunning textured matrrial. I’d been looking for ages but not found one that felt ‘right’, as soon as I put this on though I felt so comfortable. I feel like that’s thee most important thing when choosing a bikini, that YOU feel comfortable.  So now, out of office is on, I have the perfect bikini and Summer, I am ready.

Bikini, Thrills via Crystal Cylinder.

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Nana’s Bathroom
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When we first moved here I wasn’t very fond of the wallpaper but now I absolutely love it. I feel like I’ve stepped out of my ‘everything must be white’ and just come to realise that sometimes patterns and colours are beautiful in all of their mess.

 

Tonight my darling heart showed me how he could balance on the edge of the bath in the vortex that is Nana’s patterned bathroom. We’ve created some pretty special memories while living with Nana Barb over the last six months.

 

I can’t believe it’s been six months already, we said we’d stay for 10 weeks. I’m so excited for our next chapter.

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Almond meal & orange Christmas cake
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This year I wanna bring something gluten free to the Christmas table so I set out to create a fruit cake made with almond meal and it turned out absolutely delicious!! It’d actually make the perfect gift for a kindy teachers morning tea but we couldn’t help but try it first.


INGREDIENTS |

700 g mixed dried fruit, I used raisins and sultanas

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract or paste

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

zest and juice from 1 orange, juice from a second orange (for after the cake has cooked)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

30g butter

5 organic eggs

2.5 cups ground almonds

50 g walnuts

HOW TO |

1. Soak your dried fruit, pop the fruit in a bowl and cover in boiling water for 15-30mins then drain.

2. Preheat your oven to 170°C on bake.

3. Prepare a 20 cm round cake tin with baking paper lining the sides and the base.
4. Combine dried fruit (make sure it’s well drained), cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, orange zest and juice, olive oil, eggs, soft butter, almond meal and walnuts in a bowl and mix well.

5. Spoon Christmas Cake batter into your baking tin. Smooth out the top using the back of a spoon and make sure there isn’t any gaps, you want the mixture packed in well.

6. Bake for an hour. Check with a skewer to see if it comes out clean, if not bake for another 15 minutes and check again.

7. Once cooked through, remove from oven, and poke small holes on the cake, pour the juice of the second orange over the top and leave to soak though the cake.

8. Leave to cool, then remove from the tin, sprinkle with roasted slithered almonds and top with candied of dried orange. 

To serve add whipped cream or coconut yoghurt. YUM! 

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#crazyinlove
vincent

“Vincent” - My 4th Bali tattoo, I got this while on a ‘Mum’s gone wild’ holiday with a girlfriend. I returned home to Vinnie with his name tattooed on me, I told him it was his present “for our three year anniversary”, he thought I was crazy but I’m sure it’s not the first time he’s thought that!

It’s been nearly two years since my last tattoo, I feel like I might need to add to my collection soon. The hardest thing is choosing what to get and where… Any ideas? 

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#socialsunday 1

Nine cool things I did over the weekend, instead of scrolling on instagram.

  • Had pancakes for dinner and watched a movie with Cas - this is our new Friday night tradition, we just started it. YAY! I’ve always wanted a tradition but I’m pretty sporatic so we’ve never had one, but now we do. We found a family movie for both of us and stayed up until 9pm and then we went to bed at the same time - it was the best!

  • Rented a bike and went for a ride along the foreshore in the sunshine with Cas on the back of the bike. He was saying “Mama this is so much fun!!!” and had the biggest grin on his face the whole time. It was probably the best.

  • I watched Minimalist, the documentary, It’s really really good. I’ve actually seen it before but well worth another watch and it got me thinking about minimising again. Goodness, stuff just stresses me out. I love a clear space, I find less things create less clutter in my mind - it’s like with less stuff around me I can see clearer, breath deeper and feel freer.

  • Did something for someone else. I went over to Mum’s house and help her clear out her wardrobe. I helped her earlier this year but she needed to do another clear out and i knew she wanted my help so I set aside time to pop over and help her.

  • Played all the lego. I hear all the time “Mama, wanna play Owen and the dinosaurs” - Cas loves his lego and he loves playing out little games with the characters. Normally I don’t play. I’m boring and find myself all too often saying, “yea just after I’ve done the dishes” or “I just need to send this email”. So I allowed myself to imagine and play.

  • Went for dinner at my brothers house. Isn’t it funny how you can live so close to people and get so caught up in your own life that you don’t speak to or see each other?! I’ve lived in New Plymouth for coming up three months now and I think I’ve seen my brother and his family like once or twice - I normally see them that amount when I’d come down from Auckland to visit for a weekend. we cooked fresh fish, the most amazing roasties and a beautiful salad. It was so nice.

  • Had a bath. Can you believe I’ve lived in this lovely home, WITH A CLAW BATH, and haven’t even had one. Well this weekend I had two, one with Cas, he’s been asking me ever since we moved here and then I also had one by myself - bliss.

  • Spent time, listening to music, thinking, dreaming and I would say pondering my life. After all I am 31 this week. Because we’re at the end of our “10 week saving holiday” AKA spending time helping my Mum and we don’t really have a plan I actually allowed myself time to dream about what i might like to do next. I don’t have a plan but I do have some exciting ideas.

  • Made a daisy chain on the deck in the sunshine while listening to music and Cas was enjoying watermelon - it really is the simple things that get me.

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2 ingredient pancakes
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These babies just overtook my ‘everyday pancake recipe’ because all you need is TWO INGREDIENTS and they are SOOOO DELICIOUS — with food this good I kinda feel like I’m cheating this cleanse but the fab news I’m absolutely not and I haven’t felt at all like I’m missing out! ♡

RECIPE | 

1 banana

2 eggs

optional, but i like to add 1 teaspoon cinnamon 

METHOD | 

Pop all ingredients in the blender and blend on low until all mixed up. 

Heat up ya pan and add a little coconut oil — I find cooking them on a medium-highish temp works well and they cook super fast.

Cook until golden and flip.

With the banana they’re naturally sweet so there’s no need to top with maple syrup but they’re lovely with coconut yoghurt, berries and cacao nibs.

Thanks to my babe @beingwell_ for the the recommendation!

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Reducing plastic, WORK IN PROGRESS
 
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I’m not really one for making grand commitments anymore (aside from marriage, that’s an exception!) so I haven’t committed to the full Plastic Free July, it feels a bit overwhelming for me right now....

That doesn’t mean I don’t care or I’m not doing anything, for me reducing plastic is an everyday work in progress kinda thing.  Every day I do what I can, nothing that overwhelms me, I don’t need more stress in my life, but I know that every bit counts.  Here’s just a few things I use day-to-day, they’re simple and have been easy for me to transition to like switching out plastic cotton buds for ones that are made of bamboo. I carry all the reusable things in my bag/car—spoons and straws, reusable coffee cup, drink bottle, bags and baskets. I love bubbly water so I invested in a sodastream machine, I also check the labels of clothing and like to choose natural fibres like linen/cotton/wool over plastic fibres like polyester and nylon.


When people ask me what they can do I always encourage them to choose two things they’re passionate about, my first two were not using plastic bags and swapping my plastic toothbrush for a bamboo alternative, and once your first two things fit seamlessly into your life then you add in another and then another.  Take it slow and let them become your normal, this isn’t a quick fix kinda thing, we’ve gotta be in it for the long haul and changing habits takes time and practice.

I also think it’s important to inspire and encourage rather than shaming or putting down others, you never know what others have going on in their lives and I like to believe we'll all there there some day.

It’s been a few  years in the making but the things I’ve adopted to reduce my plastic consumption come naturally to me now and if one day I forget I don’t beat myself up or give in, I let it slide and keep doing my best, whatever that means on that day. Be aware, be kind and start where you can.

My real butt
 
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I overheard a convo in Bali that really stuck with me, a couple of gorgeous girls were saying "you know what I just don't even know what a real butt looks like anymore after all these tuned insta butts on my feed".  So here it is, my real butt.  Some days I'm a little self conscious about it, weirdly more so in a shorter skirt that in a bikini, but just incase you too have forgotten what a real butt looks like here's my version, soft, curvy, dimpled and peachy!

And who doesn't love a good before and after? I just wanted to add the before (on the left) to show you that I didn't apply my filter to hide anything, if anything bringing up the shadows makes it look more dimpled/like real life. Lots of love XO 

Last minute getaway
 
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On Thursday Cas and I were hanging out when we spontaneously decided to book flights to New Plymouth, we packed out bags and called Vinnie to tell him we were off on our way out to the airport, I love last minute getaways like this, totally in the moment.  We've been to the beach every day, ate lots of delicious food and walked all over town, I actually love hanging out with him when I don't have work to do and can just spend time with him.  Can't wait to go back! XO