Sunday, May 30, 2010

My first iPad post!!! Yay!

Well this is the first post from my iPad, which I really am liking!
It's a very rainy and cold sydney monday. I am feeling reflective as I make myself a cuppa coffee and blog from my new toy :)

So today I am wondering what you like about the blog. What do you come here to see and what do you use most??? Please post a comment with your favorite things/ posts on "Homemade by Lauren". I do this for my own reference, but also to share ideas. No sharing stuff people won't use - right?!?
Thanks lovlies x

Saturday, May 29, 2010

It's feeling more like winter - Fire Pit Time :)

It has been feeling alot like winter for a while now, but i just loved this post from "Shine your Light". I hope you enjoy the idea of the fire pit like I do!

Lauren x

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Imagination play time

Something inside me smiles when I cast my eyes on my boys playing with their wooden blocks and toys. Too often in these times the toys are leaving the imagination aspect out of play. But there is nothing like the 'chicnking' (just made that word up....hehe) sound of wooden blocks turning into people, cities, a bbq, a castle or even simple towers that tumble with a CRASH - the options are endless!!! Well, I found a few websites that have these kind of toys and just had to share.....nothing like pure play!
Enjoy :)
Lauren x

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Celery Juice --- Super Healthy Kids

I love this post from Super Healthy Kids about
celery juice. Apparantly it was used for medicinal purposes before it was a food and there are MANY benefits to the humble celery. As soon as I get a juicer again (since mine broke) I will definitley be adding this to my families diet.

I actually do remember hearing Dr Oz saying that he has a 'green juice' every morning with celery and adds anything green he has (i.e. cucumber, apple, kiwi and spinach making sure to balance sweet/ savoury so it tastes nice) and the benefits are MASSIVE for your health.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vegetarian Curry......KID APPROVED!!!

I remember as a child being served 'kids curry' that simmered in a pot next to the grown up's curry. I guess this is a similar style to what we were served years ago.
I whipped this Cauliflower and Potato Curry up last week while the boys were napping and it simmered on low till dinner time. You could easily do this with meat, but i like the challenge of cooking a few meals a week meat free.
I tried to find the curry paste - but as it wasn't available, I just chose a Korma or a Rogan Josh instead (It is also pretty easy to make it yourself which I do quite often).
I caught these pictures of my 11 month old eating his SECOND serving and it made us LAUGH SO HARD!

To make it adult friendly (i.e. spicy) I added extra chilli once the kids meals were dished up. DEEEE-LISH!
I hope you try it and enjoy like we did;
Loz xox

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rainy Day Activity - Paper City

There are just some things that are perfect rainy day activities.....we have done two of these today. Playdough and a paper city inspired by a favourite blog of mine 'Made by Joel'.
Joel has putup on his blog, different printable components for his paper city. The best thing about this is it is a cheap activity and we were at it for hours!!! We did something similar ages ago and these are great activities that store well and entertain for hours....the options are endless.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Menu Monday

Today is usually a 'get the house back into order' kinda day. Weekends can usually be a little hectic for us, so it is my day to re-gather, plan for the week ahead, spend time with my boys and also shop for the groceries. I am one who likes lists, I always have. One way this translates into my regular routine is my menu plan. I don't shop for food without this step because I find it helps me plan my cash too. I always start off with a template much like this one here at Super Healthy kids. This way it gives me an overall balanced view of what we are eating and I can get a good variety of meals between things like vegetarian, crabs, fat, red meat etc...
I always work out my menu and then I transfer the ingreadients onto a template I have printed out with the headings *Cold/ frozen *Fruit/ Veg *Groceries *Cleaning/ personal/ other
This helps me while in the supermarket to be efficient and save $$$!

Here are some of the ideas that are often on our menu.
Breakfast Staples:

* Smoothies - cheap as i buy frozen berries on special and all you need is milk, natural yoghurt and some honey. I have also freeze bananas sometimes and it makes it extra cold in summer.
*Pancake {tuesdays} - I make a pancake batter on monday nights and have electric frypan ready to go so it doesnt take an extra long time. They are cheap and easy to make. I like making chocolate by adding cocoa and a little veggie puree like pumpkin, carrot, beetroot make it extra healthy.

*Eggs - usually scrambled but i like making an 'omelet bar' which gives you a great opportunity to chop up a few ingredients and get kids to pick and choose what they want in their omelet. I use things like cheese, capsicum, spring onions etc.... My 3 yr old loves chopping with plastic knife and mixing it up too. You can also add puree to eggs for extra nutrtition (i heard someone adding a green veggie puree to it and made their kids "Scrambled Shrek Swap Eggs")
* Porridge - I always mix the plain oats with honey, cinnamon, honey, sultanas and a little ground cloves. I like keeping it healthy and cheap.
* Weet Bix / Toast - I factor in 'normal breakky' for crazy mornings which in our house is usually wednesdays and fridays.

Some Snacks Ideas:

* Veggie plate : I usually make a rainbow of veggie stcks and serve it with hummous to dip. Baby corn, capsicums in all 3 colours, carrots, cucumber, zuchinni etc....
* Fruit Rockets : I have a packet of pop sticks (safer than skewers for little ones) and thread fruit onto them. Serve with yoghurt dip (stir in some honey, cinnamon, vanilla if you like too).

* Banana wraps : Miz cream cheese with cinnamon and honey. Spread onto a mountain bread or other flat bread. Slice up bananas and roll up to a wrap. Place on frypan/ grill press and lightly toast.

* Apple snow : Grate an apple into a bowl and give them a spoon....they love it. Can add yoghurt dip on top if you like.

* Muffins : these are a GREAT snack as you can bake with the kids and get them involved with cooking. They love tipping the ingredients in and mixing it through (especially if they have a kids apron like my little precious). You can even make a base batch (in sweet or savoury) and make a few different flavours. They are cheap and freeze very well making them very handy.
* Nibble mix : never know what to do when you get that little bit of cereal in the bottom of the pack thats not enough for a full serving? I usually add these (cheerios are good for this) to some sultanas, dried fruit, a few mini marshmallows and put it into a little bowl. They love it.
* Choc fruit bites : Melt some milk or dark choc on stove and mix through dried fruit (apples, sultanas, apricots, craisins etc), some nuts but not peanuts....almonds are good, a few mini marshmallows and blob onto baking paper in bite size pieces. sprinkle with a few sprinkles or coconut and pop into fridge.

I might pop back with some of our lunch and dinner staples later. Have a great Monday everyone :)

Lauren xo

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Healthier foods every woman should know - Part 4

We are finishing the series on healthier foods for women today (managed to do it in 4 posts rather than 5). Below are foods that will help you to reduce your cholesterol.
* Wholemeal bread: get rid of white bread and switch to whole meal/ grain which lowers cholesterol
* Oatmeal: a great food for reducing cholesterol, oatmeal also has lots of vitamins E, C, potassium, and Omega 3-EFA's.
* Soy: soy has been shown to not only significantly lower bad cholesterol, but also to raise good cholestoral. Use soy milk, tofu or edamame for best results.
* Almonds: with lots of polyunsaturated fatty acids, almonds will help to lower cholesterol in your body.
* Fish: find fish rich in omega-3 EFA'ssuch as mackeral, salmon, tuna and trout.

* EVOO (extra Virgin Olive Oil): this variety of olive oil is less processed, and will help lower cholesterol and is high in anti oxidants.
* Unsaturated fats: replace saturated fats in your kitchen. try using canola, corn, safflower, or soybean oils.

* Garlic: raw garlic (and lots of it) will help you lower your cholesterol. Make sure your partner is sharing WITH you though - lol ;)

* Cranberry-grape juice: Cranberries raise good cholesterol while grapes slow down the bad cholesterol's oxidation. * Pomegranate juice: reduces cholesterol plaque build-up and reduces plaque in your arteries.

***Thanks to the "Hills LIfe" magazine and for running this article. I found it fascinating and have learned lots of new little facts :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Healthier foods every woman should know - Part 3

Achieving a Healtier Cadiovascular System:
* Skinless Poultry: leaving off the skin will greatly reduce the fat in poultry, making for a more heart smart diet.
* Cabbage: This vegetable is a great food for a healthy cardiovascular system. Eaten raw is best.

* Grapes: Easy to get and loved by most, this fruit is also good for a healthy heart.

* Raspberries: High in anti-oxidants this fruit offers benefits to your heart too.

Bone Health:

* Leafy greens: the calcium in leafy greens absorbs much better in the body than calcium in dairy products.

* Beans: beans are low in fat, high in fibre, inexpensive, and have a high amount of non-animal proteinthat helps prevent calcium loss.
* Low fat yoghurt: it is high in calcium and is easier to digest than most other dairy products. It also contains lots of vitamin A and protein.

* Tofu: Also high in protein and a great source of nutrition for your bone health, tofu is very versatile.
* Eggs: not only are eggs loaded protein, they are also full of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcuim more efficiently.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Healthier foods every woman should know - Part 2

For Healthier Looking skin:

* Avacadoes: they have ots of B-complex vitamins and are an anti-inflamatory, which is great for the skin.
* Green Tea: technically a drink, green tea has polyphenols which are an anti inflamatory.
* Carrots: full of vitamin A which helps your skin to repair itself
* Spinach: it is loaded with vitamins and minerals. especially high concentrations of vitamins K and A and manganese and folate. It also helps fight against osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, ovarian cancer and arthritis.
* Rockmelon: plenty of vitamins A and C - two vitamins your skin needs to stay healthy.
* Citrus fruit: oranges and grape fruit are full of vitamin C which helps to keep wrinkles at bay.
* Bananas: these have the B vitamin biotin, which helps build healthy skin, hair and nails and helps to prevent skin irritations such as dermatitis.
* Tomatoes: like bananas, tomatoes have biotin and also lycopene, which helps prevent cancer.
* Hazelnuts: Another great source of vitamin E which also offer protection against cancer andf heart disease.
* Olives: these provide both vitamin E and anti-inflamatory properties which help promote healthy skin. Also very high in iron.
* Brazil Nuts: these are high in selenium, which can reduce the chance of sunburn on the skin, slow down the aging process and aid in treatment of skin cancer.
* Cottage cheese: Eat this to get loads of calcium and selenium for your skin. You can use in place of ricotta in recipes.
* Walnuts: these are packed with omega-3 and omega 6 EFA's which promote skin repair and elasticity.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Healthier foods every woman should know - Part 1

I found this article in a local magazine that comes into our letterbox. When flipping through I found this article entitled "Healthier foods every woman should know..." I was fascinated reading about this stuff. Some of it i knew, but it is interesting anyway. This will be a 5 part series with chapters on how to have younger looking skin, healthier cardiovascular system, reducing cholestorol, bone health and healthy desserts. I can't think of a better way to be healthy than eating your way there!!!! I might use some of these articles to post some healthy recipe ideas later. I hope you learn some new things here like I did.

Overall Health:

* Flax Seed: high in omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids and lingnans (an important fiber for women)
* Pumpkin : beta carotene in pumpkin reduces risk of breast cancer and helps body repair its own skin
* Sweet Potatoes: Full of vitamins A and C and well as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and iron.

* Dark Meat: Lean red meat and dark meat from poultry are high in iron, which is essential for women of child-bearing age.
* Broccoli: High in calcium, potassium and B vitamins.
* Salmon: this super food is high in omega -3 EFA's and protein, low in cholestorol and contains lots of B vitamins, calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium.
* Mangoes: high in Vit A and C and help harm against cervical cancer.
* Figs: high in fibre, B vitamins, iron, potassium and calcium.

* Kiwi: These tasty fruits pack more vitamin C than oranges.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

AussieGrown Garlic

I was recetly informed that a lot of our garlic sold here is actually imported from china. We buy lots in our house and I never knew the difference. The garlic without roots is from china and the garlic with roots is locally grown here.

Aussie Garlic

Chinese Garlic

I like buying local produce, and now am going to be paying attention for the Aussie garlic with roots. Garlic is so good for us and to find out more about the health benefits, take a look here.
I hope that you find this helpful anyway :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Homemade Tea Bags

A wonderful gift idea for Mothers Day that can be tailored to your budget. I loved this idea that I think I will use it again for other occassions too!

Homemade Tea Bags.

What you need:
1. Cheesecloth or thin muslin ($4/meter at spotlight and my half meter made about 55 bags)
2. Cooking string (found in normal supermarkets)
3. Loose Leaf Tea in varieties (if you don't have this on hand in the flavour you want, you can always cut open normal tea bags).
4. Buttons or die cut shapes of paper/ fabric.
5. Presentation box


1. Wash Muslin and Dry. Cut into squares about the size of 10cm (don't have to be neat as you won't see the edges once assembled). Fill with a heaped tsp of tea.

2. Bunch up into a little parcel and tie with a length of the string

3. Cut a seperate and smaller length of string, pulling it apart into 2 thinner lengths and thread through the ribbon

4. Tie the button onto the end of the string.

5. Present in a box with the other teabags. I used a different button for each tea flavour. Then I stuck one of each colour onto the inside of the lid with double sided tape. I wrote the flavour next to it as a code to tell them apart.

The great thing You can adapt this to any budget. Why not present it with a teacup/ mug, tea bag squeezer and/ or some treats like some homemade biscuits. If you have a big bigger budget, you can play around with the presentation box too, why not try a rustic looking wooden box or something vintage looking.

Hope you enjoy
Loz x

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The "Mother Heart"

To all of you out there in blog land that are natural mothers or emotional/ spiritual mothers to's to you! The world is a better place with the love radiated from that of the "MotherHeart". It is a lifestyle of sacrifice, love, comapssion, mercy, laughs and probably a little mess on the way. Bless you for all you do for the children in your life.
Here are three pictures that I believe summarise for me a perfect Mothers Day:



......and a good cuppa tea {XOXO}

Have a Great Day
Loz x

An Aussie Dinner Favourite

Like many of you I am sure, a lot of my significant family celebrations were maked with the carrying of that amazing roast to the table ready to carve. Whether it is lamb, beef or chicken; the accompniments of gravy and roast veggies usually make up this beautiful meal.
However, meat can be tricky to get right. How long do I cook it for? What cut of the meat is best? Do I marinade it?

Well, tonights post has some links to some helpful 'go-to' info on roasting. I hope you find it useful and please feel free to leave comments on your favourite ways to roast :)

Loz x

1. How and When to tie meat
2. How to carve a beef roast
3. Matching cuts to cooking methods
4. All about resting meat
5. Cooking Times
6. Gravy making tips
7. Other roasting tips

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mothers Day Breakfast Idea

One of my absolute indulgences is French Toast. Something I cook for my family alot but only have every once in a while....too tempting!!! Try this delicious recipe for a truley special mothers day breakfast or brunch dish for your mum. I don't usually add cream to my egg mixture, but why not for a special occassion and try some vanilla extract for a little something extra :)

If like my Mum, your not into sweets. Try the homemade baked beans I posted recently or maybe splash out on some gourmet bread
and rub with garlic clove and toast it. Then top with some smoked salmon, wilted spinach, a poached egg and some hollandaise and a sprig of dill.

Sweet or savoury, either way, celebrations are a great reason to upgrade breakky from weet bix or vegemite toast!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hearty Winter Stew

Again, another recipe from The Biggest Loser recipe data base that got rave reviews from us and our kids (3yrs and 11 mths). Who says you have to put on weight in winter....with meals like this you might even shed some kilo's like I did ;)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Made By Joel - LOVE IT!!!

I came across this blog "made by joel" that is by a guy called Joel (derr) who has 2 gorgeous kids and makes lots of things for his them. I love that he sews, but his projects are simple and things I could attempt since I am on my L-Plates.
What I love about the creations he shows, are that the toys are fairly basic and let the kids imagination use them in all sorts of settings. The applications for these "kid-powered" toys are endless and want to try a few of these when I get a machine at home :)

Slotted building discs to create anything!!!

"Toy Bench" satisfies my love of simple wooden toys that can create anything and modern simplicity decorating in one!!!!

This toy zoo mat allows the kids to get out toy animals and create a world of animal fueled imagination.

These wooden cars are adorable as they all fit into the cute little tin and would provide many hours of entertainment!

I saved the best till last!!! With two boys in the house that love 'playing house' this modern house would definitley be a welcome addition to the "role play" that we do so often but without the 'tissy' pink touched synonomus with typical doll houses!!!! Must show hubby and send SUBTLE hints ;)

Saturday, May 1, 2010


It doesn't atter what type of craft it is - paper craft, scrapbooking, card making sewing (very new to this) or even knitting (I don't know how to, but was veeeerry tempted in spotlight the other day). I am just feeling very much like locking myself in my study/ craft room and staying there for a long time ;) Of course that isn't possible...craft time is usually found somewhere between nap time, making vegemite sandwhiches, putting band-aids on 'ouchies' and changing nappies.

Since I got my supplies out of storage, I had a card making morning and taht satisfied the craft urge. They are bad photos because I took them on my phone before I gave them away to people and realised I hadn't taken a photo yet! lol ;)

I am not sure if your the crafty type, but it is taking over my world :)))
Lauren xo

I would love a stampin' up wheel stamp, but i used flower stamp with pink ink on pink paper to create similar effect for the back ground.

I just love this blue/ grey colour against the deep red and the button with the happy birthday stamp. The little monkey was a perfect choice for a little boy birthday card.

{ p.s. Appologies for the blurry photos, will use proper camera next time! }


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