Oct 31

Happy Birthday Ivan

Horribly fuzzy and bright iphone photo from Saturday night after a bit too much sake and wine. Apologies. Ivan is holding the greenstone necklace we all pitched in to buy him.

I was going to write a poem about how amazing Ivan is, but I stopped half-way through coz it was a bit lame. I’m sure he doesn’t want the world to know how sweet and wonderful he is to me.

But just quietly, between you and I – this man has the largest, most considerate heart I know. Mika is a lucky little girl to have a papa who would rather spend an afternoon singing made-up songs, blowing raspberries on her belly and giving her shoulder rides than doing much else.

She will soon learn from her papa that:

  • she should not ever feel sorry for herself.
  • life is wonderful and she has a choice every day as to how she sees the world.
  • nothing tastes better than pancakes and bacon. except pork belly.
  • it is important to be nice to everyone, within reason.
  • she must love with all her heart, especially her family, who will always love her no matter what.
  • font choice is very, very important. as is character spacing.
  • dream huge. and chase the dreams, don’t follow them.

And soon she will be old enough to sing him ‘happy birthday’ and cook him pancakes and bacon and tell him how much she loves him. But for now, just hearing it from me will have to do. I love you Ivan! Happy birthday x

Oct 31

Mixed Tape V2 – Pete

Despite having a little girl who won’t sleep, leaving us as two zombie-like-barely-functioning-when-will-this-madness-end adults, we totally enjoyed the sun this weekend. It was seriously sunny. And the lack of sleep/2 glasses of wine on Saturday night left me feeling completely hungover and awful as we lay like two basking (hungover) cats in the sun on Bethell’s Beach on Sunday.

We enjoyed a celebration dinner with friends & family on Saturday night for Ivan’s birthday (not til Tuesday). We hung out with 1-year-old Quinn in the park on Saturday morning (more birthday celebrations) and we spent the afternoon as I mentioned, almost-dead on the gorgeous Bethell’s beach.

I don’t want to complain, but then I also don’t want to trick you into thinking things are all happy dances around here right now when if I’m completely honest – they’re not. If there were to be any dances around here right now, they would be danced to the tune of ‘please go the fuck to sleep child‘ and they would probably involve less movement than the dances you’re used to.

Her tummy bug is just slowly coming to an end. We hope like crazy that her inability to sleep right now is somehow linked to this bug and once it has passed then sleeping will resume. We are starting to dread night time. This can’t be healthy.

Anyway – my friend Pete has curated a seriously delightful mixed tape today. It is the perfect weather for listening to it right now as I dream of our future train travel, our flights over oceans, our little cottage that we have booked by the sea, and our hopes for a peaceful night’s sleep.

I’m moving to a place called Scotland, London has pushed me away for a few months, so I’m going to explore a new place on my own for a wee while. I’m actually packing my bag right now, my train out of the capital leaves in a couple of hours, so I thought I’d share the playlist I made myself this morning. It’s full of songs that make me smile, and some that follow the theme of leaving somewhere. There is a lot more vocal stuff in here compared to last time, that’s because I like singing along when I’m occupied by something instead of just sitting down and listening ‘properly’. whatever.

The highlight of this mix is Maria Callas,WHAT A VOICE. Even though in French, there’s a line in the aria that translates “Far from a morose winter, let me slumber and breath in the rose before it dies”. My winter will be cold, but there’s room to chase Spring within the dark months and keep all faith in all things. I like that, yes I do. Her character wants to live in a dream that is eternal Spring, and I do too, yes I do.

any day now – elbow
our prayer/gee – brian wilson
heroes and villains – brian wilson
hit the road jack – ray charles
diferente – gotan project
la vie en rose – louis armstrong
je veux vivre dans ce reve – maria callas
creeque alley – the mamas and papas
look for the silver lining – chet baker
welcome – balam acab

Oct 28

Baby rice.

I just got a serious telling off from my doctor’s receptionist (his wife, who is also a nurse). She called to discuss Mika’s upset tummy and asked me what I was feeding her. My response: Breast milk and baby rice. She asked: Baby rice? From a packet? I said: Yes. From a packet.

She was horrified. Do I not have time to cook some rice? Would I feed myself dehydrated and packaged plain rice for lunch? Why on earth was I not making it myself? She said my name over and over as if it would help get the message across: Pamela! Why are you not cooking her rice yourself? Pamela? Why not Pamela? And I suddenly felt very silly.

Truth is, I’ve been quite confident when it comes to preparing vegetables and fruit for Mika, but rice just seemed…too hard. I didn’t even really like the idea of serving Mika rice at all. But when this tummy bug hit and everyone said to feed her rice, I just figured the prepackaged baby stuff would do the trick. Easy.

But as I stood over the stove heating up some real rice for Mika today, I cringed in hindsight. First of all – brown rice is much better than white rice. Brown rice naturally has more vitamins (B1, B3 and B6), iron and essential fatty acids. No need for the iron-fortified packet stuff. Secondly, it is so freaking easy to make. So easy that I am going to share with you the process.

Brown Rice Porridge with Fennel (a natural colic reliever)

  • Brown rice (I use Ceres Organics Basmati Brown)
  • Fennel seeds
  • Water
  1. Using a coffee grinder, grind up some brown rice with a few fennel seeds until you get about 1/4 cup of fine powder.
  2. Boil 1 cup of water. Add 1/4 cup of powder and whisk for about 10 minutes (turn the heat to simmer)
  3. Let cool and serve.

This actually makes quite a lot. It will refrigerate for 2 days in an airtight container or freeze for a couple weeks. Alternatively (and preferably) make all the powder but only cook what you need. Store the powder in an airtight container in the pantry where it will keep for a couple months. 10 minutes each day to cook up some baby rice is nothing too daunting in my opinion.

This girl agrees:

Oct 26

Hump Day Links

It’s official! This little girl can fly! And she’s actually the only one of us that has a NZ passport, how cool is that?

Happy hump day – here’s some cool stuff to see you through the rest of the week.

Some excellent advice and ideas on what to feed your baby and your toddler.

Freelancer? Win a one year subscription to Solo.

Natural lighting photography tips.

My friend Stacey’s new blog.

My latest inspirations on Tumblr and Pinterest.

I wonder if these guys would come paint Mika’s wall for us 😛

Check out my latest family shoot.

We need a new diaper bag for our travels. I’m looking at this onethis one and this one. Any other ideas?

You need to see this movie. Ivan and I went to the premiere last week courtesy of The Department Store. It’s probably my new favourite movie (not to talk it up or anything…)

I made this for dinner last week. Leeks aren’t in season, but I had a craving for something light and delicious and this totally hit the spot. I made it for Ivan and my Dad and they both loved it. I think that makes it a repeat dish! We didn’t serve it with anything, but if you have a bunch of hearty eaters it could be a good side salad to fish or chicken. Or add more chickpeas if you’re vegetarian!?

I’m right in the middle of this book. If you haven’t read it – start reading it. If you’ve read it, isn’t it the best?!

I also read this article courtesy of Cup Of Jo. It begs a juicy discussion after reading it…

Oct 25

Let us live longer

Grains will kill you or maybe they’ll make you live longer. Sugar will make you fat, but only a certain type of sugar. Soy is a good dairy alternative – but be careful because it can be dangerous for women. Coffee is a great natural stimulant – but it’s also an addictive drug. Eggs are bad for you – but no maybe they’re good for you. Olive oil is really good for you – but don’t cook with it because it becomes toxic. Eating meat is a great source of protein and fat – but it’s also murder. Dairy is a good source of calcium, fat and protein, but it’s also bad for the skin. Fruit has too much sugar so don’t eat too much – but the fibre and nutritional content is so great that you must eat it! If you want to lose weight you should cut out carbs. Or maybe you should snack all day. Or maybe you shouldn’t eat after 6pm. Or maybe you should just exercise more and eat what you like. You shouldn’t eat that food if you have that blood type and have you considered the acidity of the foods you eat?

Confused? Yeah, so am I. But is life too short to really give a shit about this stuff? Should I just eat and be merry? Probably. And to an extent, that’s what I do. But I also believe life is too short to not give a shit about this stuff. I don’t want to be hugely overweight by the time I’m 40. I don’t want to suffer the consequences that decades of mindless eating may bring in my old age.

So I’ve decided to write about my thoughts on food over the next few weeks. I’m no expert and please don’t take anything I say as gospel – but most things I talk about will be from my own experiences and where I am talking about the experiences of other people I will say so.

On the menu:

  • Sugar
  • Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Raw
  • Alkaline & acidic foods
  • Fat
  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Breakfast, lunch & dinner

To kick things off, here are a few rules that I try to live by.

1. Drink water. First thing in the morning (with lemon), between meals, with meals and with dinner. Green tea boosts metabolism so drink twice a day. Stay away from juice. Coffee black each morning, no sugar. Sometimes with full fat milk.

2. Avoid sugar. I’ll go into more depth as this is a big one for me. Sugar includes fruit and all things sweet (for now) but a piece of fruit each day is OK.

3. Limit grains. This includes all grains – rice, wheat, spelt, oats etc. Ideally I would cut them out of my diet completely, but for now I am allowing a few (mainly rye bread and occasionally some oats) because I am breastfeeding.

4. Eat more veges. Quite seriously, do you get 5+ servings of vegetables each day? My main goal right now is to aim for 7 servings of different vegetables every day.

5. Don’t fear fat. I’ll go into more depth on this, but fat is my friend. If this sounds strange to you, consider this: We have more ‘fat free’ foods in supermarkets than ever before but we’re still fatter than we’ve ever been as a society. Also consider this: what makes you feel fuller faster: juice or full-fat milk?

So I’ll be sharing recipes, menus, blogs and websites that I find interesting on each topic. I’d love to hear your thoughts, how you eat, what concerns you, what works for you etc. Everyone is different and I think eating is all about finding something that works for you, makes you feel great and will ensure you live a long life. More soon!