28 July 2016

Winter shelf

I'm enjoying my understated winter-themed shelf :) The quote in the frame says, "What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?" John Steinbeck

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21 July 2016

Staying Healthy as a New Parent

This is a sponsored post with text provided.

Becoming a parent is the experience of a lifetime. Even though you’re bursting with pride and joy about your new addition to the family, it can be difficult to stay healthy during your baby’s first year of life due to major time and sleep constraints. Here are some tips for new parents to stay healthy.

Stay Hydrated 
This tip is especially important for breastfeeding mothers. When you’re running around the house all day caring for your baby, you might forget your own basic needs, like adequate food and water. Your body depends on hydration to perform vital functions, and you might notice symptoms like headaches and sluggishness when you’re low on water. Make sure to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning to rev up your metabolism for the day and provide your cells with the water they need.

Make Time for Exercise 
For the first few weeks or even months after your baby is born, exercise probably won’t be possible. However, as soon as you feel ready, it’s important to start back on an exercise routine. Not only is exercise good for your cardiovascular health, but it’s also a great stress reliever. It’s not realistic to expect to exercise for an hour per day when you have a new baby at home, so aim for shorter workouts, like 20 minutes each day. Taking your baby for a brief walk around the neighborhood is a wonderful way to start.

Use Healthy Food Alternatives 
After you have a child, family members and friends often chip in with home-cooked meals to save you from having to cook. While this incredibly kind gesture is often a lifesaver, several weeks of eating less than healthy meals can quickly take its toll. When you’re ready to find a normal routine again, opt for healthy alternatives to old favorites like mayonnaise and salad dressing. Try the eggless, plant-based versions from hampton creek. These healthier alternatives to condiments can help you start eating more veggies.

Take Naps 
Sleep deprivation can lead to a host of negative side effects, but it’s pretty much unavoidable when you have a new baby. The good news is that one day, the sleepless nights will be a distant memory. For the time being, try to take a nap when the baby naps to log some precious hours of sleep. While you can’t sleep bank, a quick nap can help you feel refreshed. Although it’s tempting to get started on chores while the baby sleeps, sometimes, a nap is the best use of your time.

Meal Prep 
When you can, try to meal prep as much as possible so you always have healthy food on hand. If both parents are home and one can be with the baby while the other parent preps food, that’s great. If that’s not possible, call in some outside help from friends or family. New parents need to care for themselves as well as their child, and that includes paying attention to their own health. A lack of sleep and poor diet can quickly lead to a weakened immune system, so eating healthy (at least some of the time) is a must.

Protect Yourself 
As mentioned above, healthy eating is vital to a strong immune system. To protect yourself and your baby from getting sick, make sure you’re both up to date on vaccinations. Vaccinations against the flu and whooping cough can go a long way in making sure your family stays healthy. In addition to vaccinations, snack on nutrient dense foods like berries, apples, and leafy greens.

Get Help When Needed 
Being a new parent is one of the most exhausting experiences imaginable. It often feels impossible to get everything done: caring for the baby, keeping up with household chores, and eating healthy for yourself. When you’re falling behind and need some help, don’t hesitate to call for help. If you live near family or friends, seek their support. Ask your parents or in-laws to come over for a couple of hours to watch the baby while you get some rest. Don’t feel guilty about asking for help, because everyone needs support from time to time.

New parents often fall victim to illness due to lack of sleep and poor diet. Boost your chances of staying healthy by napping when the baby naps, prepping healthy meals in advance, and asking for help from others when needed. Although it’s overwhelming at first, you’ll adapt to your new role as a parent before you know it, and find ways to stay happy and healthy even through the sleepless nights.

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15 July 2016

Fresh Jams

I'm currently wearing Jamberry Trushine gel enamel in Black Cherry on my fingers:

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My toes are sporting Gelato wraps with nail polish:

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And my last jamicure, which I forgot to share here on my blog, was Dusty Rose with Sorbet on my ring fingers.

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14 July 2016

South African dinner

I decided to throw a South African themed dinner party for close friends of ours (Paula and Richard, and Jess and Haydn). I had lots of fun setting everything up and cooking the dishes, and we all had a very enjoyable evening. I thought I'd show you how I decorated the table and my little shelf.

While I have actually worn it as a scarf, the reason I bought this scarf when I saw it at a thrift store months ago was to use as a table runner for my SA dinner!

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I decorated with bits of wood and candles adorned with twine and leaves.

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I decided flowers in sunny hues would be perfect ...

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... and even managed to track down pretty much the only Protea bloom in south Taranaki!

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Each place setting had a brown napkin, a menu, and a placecard.

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I made the latter out of stones, leaves, twine, and letter stickers.

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This is what I served. To drink we had litchi juice and guava juice, and after dinner we had rooibos tea with koeksusters and karringmelkbeskuit (condensed milk rusks).

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Of course I had to theme my little shelf too!

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4 July 2016

Latest Blurb book offer

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

It's July 4th today, which means fireworks and fun for my American friends! Have you ever considered putting your favourite family recipes together in a book? Your traditional Independence Day fare would be a perfect place to start, and if you can compile your book quickly I have a deal for you to snap up: 40% off your book! It doesn't have to be a recipe book, it's any book you like.

"Go All Out" with the July 4th Sale at Blurb - 40% off

This offer is valid until July 6th, so hurry!!

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1 July 2016

2016 Books - June

I read 3 books this month, and listened to 1 audiobook.

If a book makes it to this list on my blog, you can assume I enjoyed and would recommend it (unless otherwise noted) - if I'm not enjoying a book, I stop reading it and move onto the next one. Life's too short and there are too many great books in the world to waste time reading ones that I don't enjoy! (Contains affiliate links.)

A Promise for Ellie (Daughters of Blessing 1) - Lauraine Snelling

Sophie's Dilemma (Daughters of Blessing 2) - Lauraine Snelling

A Touch of Grace (Daughters of Blessing 3) - Lauraine Snelling

Visits from the Afterlife: The Truth About Hauntings, Spirits, and Reunions with Lost Loved Ones - Sylvia Browne

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29 June 2016

Fresh Jams

I'm hosting a South African dinner on Saturday night so of course I had to theme my nails! This is Jamberry Trushine gel polish in Crushing on Coral with Spot On transparent wraps on pinkies and pointer fingers, and Zebra wraps in between.

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21 June 2016

Opunake walkway

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