28 March 2015

How to make bone broth

I've been trying out the auto-immune protocol (AIP) diet (click here for more information) and part of it includes nourishing the body with as many nutrients as possible. One way to do that is to include bone broth (click here for more information). It is extremely nutritious and helps heal a compromised gut, which is the aim of the AIP.

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I start off with my slow cooker and a couple of chicken frames. The frames are the part of the chicken that is left after the butcher has removed the wings, legs, thighs, and breasts for sale. I buy them in bags of 4 for $1 at Countdown (local supermarket). I generally start my broth with two frames and freeze the other two.

Sometimes I buy a rotisserie chicken and once we have picked what we want off it, I throw the frame into the crockpot to start the broth.

So the chicken bones are in the crockpot - then I fill the crockpot up with filtered water and set it cooking on low. I leave it simmering all week long, adding bones as they come along (for instance the bone from a roast pork joint that we might have had for dinner.) You can also throw vege scraps in, or add herbs.

I use the broth as needed and top up as needed. As the broth cooks it will reduce, even with the lid on the crockpot.

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Simply top up with filtered water.

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The broth is amazing in gravies, soups, and stews or when sweating down onions, etc. And so good for you! You can also drink it - it tastes better with a bit of salt added. 

At the end of the week I freeze whatever broth is left (to use in soups or whenever a recipe calls for stock) and discard the bones before starting a fresh batch.

After cooking for a week, the evidence is in the bones. All of the nutrients and minerals have leached out into the broth, leaving the bones soft and crumbly. Here's a little video clip I made showing how soft they are.

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27 March 2015

Fashion Friday and the latest Blurb book offer

This is what I have been wearing all summer: a lightweight patterned skirt and a plain t-shirt with sandals. Skirts are so much cooler than shorts!

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T-shirt: thrifted
Skirt: made by me
Sandals: Kmart (on sale

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Skirt: thrifted
Sandals: Hush Puppies from Stead and Simpson
Earrings: a Mother's Day gift from my boys

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T-shirt: thrifted (SaveMart)
Skirt: thrifted
Sandals: Pierre Cardin from an outlet store
Earrings: Matalan

Latest Blurb book offer (contains affiliate link)

Offer: 20% Off All Blurb Print Books
Valid: Until 31 March 2015 

Promo Code: 2015BLURBMAR


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25 March 2015

Quick tip: baggies in the bath

Here's a quick tip for you: when using your phone in or near the bath to listen to music, browse the internet or Pinterest, read an e-book, or whatever, you might want to pop it into a ziplock bag. This gives you a little safety in case you drop it into the water :)

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24 March 2015

How to Teach Your Kids the Value of Family Heirlooms

Family heirlooms are priceless items handed down from generation to generation. It can be a special Ruby engagement ring, a beautiful Victorian antique chair, or a set of delicate china wares. Whatever it is that your family has, teaching your children about antiques is a must. It is natural that you would want your children to have the utmost respect for heirlooms and their value especially those that your family owns for generation.

#1: The Family Jewellery 
Your family jewellery is priceless and your children have to understand this. These jewels may have been in the family for generations, and these are not objects to be squabbled. Rings, necklaces, bracelets or brooch – eventually these handed down priceless items from generations before will eventually be theirs.

#2: Family China 
Antique china and silver is another heirloom that children often overlook. Young kids do not realise the value of these items at home. For them, the delicate porcelain is nothing but ordinary plates used during special occasions. China wares are made of porcelain. There are different types – it may be bone china, ironstone china, and many more.

#3: Books and Papers 
You would be surprised that there are many books and papers that your family will collect over the years proving to be priceless. These books and papers often carry immense sentimental value for your family and you want your children to understand their importance. Teaching your children to be careful with books and papers is a way to show them that your family is filled with heirlooms that they must treat with incredible care.

Training your children to love and appreciate antiques is not just about owning these things. It is not even about the amount it costs. It is about teaching the value and importance of your family and history. Children must understand the reasons why these items should be treated with the utmost care as they will be handed down to the next generations.

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23 March 2015


“The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.”
- Ashley Montagu

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22 March 2015

Three Things to Consider When Planning Your First Trip to France

This is a sponsored post with provided content.

France is a great destination for a vacation, but if this is your first time visiting a country outside of the United States, there are a few things to keep in mind as you plan your trip. A trip to a foreign country is much different than traveling within the United States, so you must give some thought to particular things that you would not normally need to be concerned with. The following are a few of these things to remember.

Make sure that your passport is in order and make copies
You need to make sure that your passport is valid for several months. A good number is six months. You never know what will happen, and you don’t want any problems after you have left the country. Make at least two copies of your passport. The first copy you should keep with you in a separate place from your original passport. You want to be able to get back home in case your passport is lost or stolen. The second copy you should leave with a relative or friend back home just in case of an emergency. Do this for each family member who will be traveling with you as well.

Purchase travel insurance
This type of insurance covers a wide range of problems that you may have during your vacation. Examples include a flight being cancelled, lost luggage and medical emergencies. Many policies will cover emergency evacuations due to political unrest or natural disasters. Travel insurance is often overlooked, but once you leave the United States, you will rest easy knowing you have this type of protection in a foreign land.

Shop online at comparison website for hotels
Not only Paris hotels, but also your airfare and activities you may be interested in doing once in France. It is also possible to compare vacation packages that include everything that you would want on your first trip to France. Keep in mind that currencies will fluctuate, so it is often better to delay the purchase of your hotel and airfare if the dollar is getting stronger. Of course, hotels understand this, so they will often offer substantial discounts to book your room in advance.

There are many comparison shopping sites to use to find the French hotels that interest you most and will provide the best prices. One example of this type of website is Hipmunk.

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20 March 2015

Fashion Friday and the latest Blurb book offer

I wore this outfit to church.

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Cardigan: thrifted or eBay, I can't remember
White top: Tesco

Skirt: thrifted
Shoes: TK Maxx (on sale)
Necklace: Primark

Latest Blurb book offer (contains affiliate link)

Offer: 20% Off All Blurb Print Books
Valid: Until 31 March 2015 

Promo Code: 2015BLURBMAR

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18 March 2015


“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.”
- Amy Bloom

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16 March 2015

An open letter to teenage girls

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Dear precious teenage girl

So you want bigger boobs / a thigh gap / shiny hair / a flat tummy / whatever. You want it so badly that it's always there in the back of your mind. You just don't think you can be happy if you can't have it. Without it, you're just not good enough - or at least that's how it feels.


You've chosen an arbitrary feature or figure, that happens to be in fashion right now, and you've decided that if you don't have it you're not quite good enough. You've chosen to let this goal, this quite possibly unattainable goal, determine whether or not you are happy, whether or not you accept and love your body or yourself, when it's a luck-of-the-draw, random chance of having it or not having it.

So, society / the media / your peers have decided that this particular figure or feature, bigger boobs / a thigh gap / shiny hair / a flat tummy / whatever, is better than the many alternatives. And if you don't have it, you don't get to be happy.

Who do they think they are?? Who gave them the authority to decide how you should look? And why on earth would you give so much power to someone / something so shallow?? If you meet society's / the media's / your peers' standard you get to be happy and accepted and if you don't you don't? What a crock.

Okay, so let's say that through some lucky fluke you happen to have bigger boobs / a thigh gap / shiny hair / a flat tummy / whatever. You meet that standard. You look just how society / the media / your peers have decided you should look.

So what? Does that make you a better person? Do you get a medal? Will it help you meet your goals in life? What difference does it make??

You put so much emotional energy into something that is beyond your control and, frankly, doesn't even matter. Or shouldn't matter, anyway.

I would love to see you spend less time focusing on the parts of your body that don't quite meet this random, currently-in-fashion standard, and more time appreciating the beauty you possess. The warmth of your smile, the shine in your eyes as you talk passionately about something that excites you, the grace and mystery of your changing body as you evolve from child to woman.

I'd love to see you put less importance on how your body looks, and more on what it does. Appreciate the strength and health you have. The energy that you possess. The way your body helps you to do the things you enjoy, that you are passionate about. Nurture your body, just as it is. Honour it, be amazed at the wonder of your body and what it allows you to do.

I'd love to see you care less about how fashion decides you should look, and care more about the kind of woman you're becoming. Foster the empathy and kindness within you, know that you are strong, develop the intelligence you possess, share your sense of humour, help others, be generous and kind. Have dreams, set goals, and work towards them. Dreams that are bigger and more important and certainly more life changing and relevant to your long term happiness than whether or not you possess bigger boobs / a thigh gap / shiny hair / a flat tummy / whatever.

This ridiculous one-size-fits-all standard, this impossible dream - you are so much more than that. It's beneath you.
What if you loved your body anyway, despite your small breasts / shapely thighs / crazy hair / rounded tummy? What if you chose to respect and honour the body you're in, rather than long for the body you don't have? What if you chose to treat yourself and think of yourself as being just right the way you are - that you're in just the right body for you. What if you enjoyed and celebrated the differences we all have, and revel in your uniqueness, rather than trying to be a clone? What if you gave up comparing yourself to anyone else, and just focused on trying to be the best version of you that you can be? What if you chose to believe that you are good enough, that you are beautiful, and that having bigger boobs / a thigh gap / shiny hair / a flat tummy / whatever just plain doesn't matter?

What would your life look like then? Can you begin to imagine the freedom and peace?

It's a choice. I know it doesn't feel like it, but it is. You can choose to engage in the games and give your power away, or you can take it right back and walk your own path. A path on which it doesn't even matter whether or not you have bigger boobs / a thigh gap / shiny hair / a flat tummy / whatever. Because you know you are so much more than that.

I hope you begin to choose a path of freedom and happiness. I hope you can choose to let go. It probably won't happen right away, but it won't happen at all unless you decide to make some changes in the way you think and the things you care about. I really hope you do. Because you are so worth it and you deserve so much better than the dissatisfaction you live with now.

With love,

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14 March 2015

Black and yellow

How cool are these plants, which I saw at the Auckland Botanic Gardens - the stems and leaves are black and the flowers are yellow.

"Humble enough to know I'm not better than anybody and wise enough to know that I'm different from the rest."
- Anem

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