Thursday, 29 November 2012

Sunraysia Organic 100% Juice! Clean juice for kids (and grown ups!)

Now I know that water is the best drink you can give your kids, but lets face it - it's pretty boring!!  I grew up not being allowed to drink any of those cool, brightly coloured and fizzy drinks because my mum said they used to send us loopy!!  Every time we chose a drink in the shop, she would look at the back of the packaging and say "No, you can't have that one - it's got too may E's in it!" or "Absolutely not, that just full of 'this' or 'that'!"  I can still hear her now as I'm typing this.  Little did I know at the time, but she was actually doing us a massive favour as all those E's and other chemicals found in the 'cool drinks' can do some serious damage to our health.  I still couldn't help having 'drink envy' as a child though, and it took me a good few years to realise that I wasn't being totally deprived or that I didn't really have the meanest mum in the world.

As a mum, I now find myself in the exact same situation as my mum was all those years ago.  I have Miss H, who can literally go an entire day without drinking a thing just so she doesn't have to drink water, and Master J who has just discovered the lure of 'fizzy drinks'.  I could take myself off on a fabulous day of pampering if I had a dollar for every time I've heard "Mum, can I have a coke today?"  "No!"  "Oh but muuuum, I'm the ONLY one at school that never gets to have one!  EVERYONE else gets a coke when they go to the canteen!"

I tried going cold turkey and giving them both nothing but water to drink as I was starting to get concerned by the amount of sugar nasties they were consuming.  (Especially as the warmer climate in Sydney has meant that they were drinking so much more 'juice' than they did in the UK).  Well........the amount of whinging I got from that just gave me a headache, and as the stubborn little mini-me she is - Miss H just refused to drink altogether!  Great!  Well that one totally backfired on me, so I had to go to plan B, which was juice at meal times only!  Poor Mr D was just as confused as the kids by my ever changing juice rules!!

Please tell me I'm not the only mum out there with these problems??

So when Blogs and PR approached me and asked if I would like to come to a 'bloggers brunch' to celebrate the launch of a new Organic 100% fruit juice by Sunraysia, I jumped at the chance.

We met a fabulous Organic cafe in Sydney's Rozzelle called About LIfe and as soon as I walked in I got a great feeling about Sunraysia.  Of course, the first thing I was offered was an ice-cold Sunraysia Organic 100% Juice Pouch (which I gladly accepted as it was so horribly hot and humid I was gasping).  I chose the tropical flavour and it was DELICIOUS!

It really does taste as yummy as that fruit looks.
While having a yummy brekkie we were lucky enough to listen to a talk from Amy McKendrick at My Nutrition Coach about healthy eating choices and learning how to spot and avoid nasties when buying our groceries.  Now I thought I was pretty good at buying the 'right' foods for my kids, but listening to Amy was a real eye opener!  I learnt so much and will definitely be blogging about it all soon.

SO having just tasted Sunraysia Organic 100% Juice, I was so excited to learn just how 'clean' they really are.  I couldn't wait to take some home for the kids to try.  I learnt from Amy that when reading a products' ingredients list, the top 3-4 generally make up most of the product!  Quite scary when you see how long some of the lists are.  A little task for you all:  take a look at at the ingredients list of your most favourite product and note of the top 3!  Let me know your thoughts!!

(here is a link to the Sunraysia Organic 100% Juice web advert.  It really does make you think!!!)

When you read the ingredients list on a Organic Sunraysia 100% Juice drink ALL that's in it is fruit!  Thats it!!  Seriously not another thing!!  So in the orange juice, for example, the list of ingredients just says "organic orange juice".  How cool is that??

The packaging is pretty awesome too.  It's 100% BPA free (even the straw) and it very cleverly does not allow any oxygen into the juice keeping it fresh fresh fresh without the need to add any preservatives or nasties!

Miss H was my first taste tester and she had to open up every singel one to check which one she liked best!  Can you tell by her smile that they were ALL a hit? (especially the 'purple' berries)
So now that you've heard from me and why I was so impressed, the real test is WHAT DID THE KIDS THINK??

I think Miss H was just so excited that she was allowed to have 'juice' instead of water, she drank almost three in a row.  "So what do you think?" I asked her "YUMMY" she said, with a huge smile.  And that was all her fruit portions for the day in one hit too - so another point to mummy (and Sunraysia)

I took a bunch of samples that I had into the school playground that afternoon and gave them to the boys.  They were such a hit that I had a small crowd of thirsty (and grubby) little Kinders around me before I could blink!  They told me they were "SUPER YUM!"

Here is our top 5 ways to enjoy Sunraysia Organic 100% Juice:
  1. Drink it chilled straight out the fridge.
  2. Freeze it and put it in your lunch box (the squeezy pouch means it fits into just about any space).
  3. Freeze it, cut open the top and eat it with a spoon as a slushy (a firm favourite in our house).
  4. Mix a little with baby rice and it makes a delicious meal for any babies' who are weaning.
  5. If you are lucky enough to have a thermomix (you know how I love mine), you can wizz it up with some frozen milk cubes and it makes the most delicious ice-cream.

So all that's left is for you to try it for yourself.  You can find them in just about any supermarket and they are so reasonably priced at only $1.49 each or 5 for $5!!

If you would like to win a supply of Sunraysia Organic 100% Juices for your whole family for the ENTIRE SUMMER SCHOOL HOLIDAYS, then just sign up to my blog and watch this space.  Competition details will be coming very soon.................................

Thanks to Blogs and Pr, Birds of Prey PR, Sunraysia and About Life for a yummy brunch.

**I have not been paid to write this review!  I just  love the product - it's the new 'cool' juice in my books and it certainly got the seal of approval from the kids.   I was therefore more than happy to promote it**

six months gone in a flash!

Exactly 6 months ago today little Miss L was born!  Happy half year baby girl.  I feel like we waited so long for you to arrive and in the blink of an eye six months have passed.  A sure reminder to treasure every minute of my three precious bundles as time really does fly.

My little spring roll, just a few hours old.
Proud big brother.  It's quite amazing how instinctive the sibling bond is.
A picture says a thousand words
First day at home
First smile
Still smiling
and more smiles
Six months today!!
Here is to the next six months - please don't wizz by too fast!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

My week in Pictures! Love Instagram!

Today is the 25th November and that means just one thing!!  Christmas is exactly ONE month away!  Gulp!!!  I have not even started my Christmas preparations yet?  How is everyone else doing??  Organised??  Or hoping that if you close you eyes tight and then open them again, it will all be done??  Actually I am quite looking forward to all the Christmas prep, especially seeing how excited the kids get - thats the best bit!!

Here's my week

Far more organised than mummy!!
Master J and I had 'the chat' this week about whether or not Santa is real.  He is only just 6 and I'm not ready for him not to believe yet.  "Everyone at school says Santa is not real mum!  Did you know he is a fake??"  Double gulp!  "Well...." I say, stalling to think of a good story.  "It's all about what you believe darling" I tell him. "If you believe that Santa is real, then he really is."  "Oh and your friends are also right" I quickly throw in for authenticity, "but they're talking about the Santa in the Mall.  He's just a pretend one as the real Santa lives in the North Pole.  So don't tell Miss H, because she doesn't know yet!!"  Phew!  Lucky save mum.  He bought that one hook, line and sinker!  Well, for another year anyway.  In England we called him "Father Christmas" and in Australia he seems to be called "Santa", so Miss H has decided that he should be called "Santa Christmas".

My little darlings
Homemade salmon and brocoli quiche!!  How clever am I? (and yes, it was made in my kitchen princess, aka the thermomix)
Cute as a button
My daily alarm clock!!  I think he actually stopped and posed for this picture

Exhausted after a full on morning of barbies and fairies with her little BFF
A gorgeous Sunday morning stroll around the Lake
worn out!
A Pelican and a Palm

Saturday, 24 November 2012

A VERY quiet house

This weekend Mr D has taken Miss H and Master J away on a "dad and kids' camping trip, leaving me and little Miss L at home for TWO WHOLE DAYS!

They left first thing yesterday morning and I wasn't even involved in the packing!  So who knows what they are going to get up to........I have visions of a scene from Bear Grylls.  I don't even know where they went!!  Mr D said he had it all under control and that they will only be an hour away.  I had to stop the control freak part of me from saying "Don't let the kids get sunburn, and make sure you watch them near the water, and have you got an extra blanket in case it's cold in the tent.....oh and please don't let anyone get swallowed by a  python!!"

For the first hour that they were gone, I didn't know what to do with myself!  It was so quiet in the house and I thought I would really relish the time on my own, but I found myself missing them.  I tried to call but there was no cellphone reception where they were, so I just sat on the sofa for half and hour and watched telly.  (Something which is just totally unheard of in my world!)  

That was obviously all I needed because it suddenly dawned on me that I had the WEEKEND OFF!!!

people watching
I popped Miss L in her stroller and walked down to the beach cafe where I ordered some brunch, an ice cold smoothie and read the paper.  She chatted to everyone and anyone who gave her a smile and I (at last) savoured every minute of the peace and quiet.

An early evening walk around the lake watching the sun set - beautiful

All ready for bed and looking as cute as a button
 I normally 'dream' feed her around 10:30pm each night to make sure that she goes through the night without waking.  However last night I was just so exhausted (from doing not much at all can you believe?) that I decided to go to bed early and just let her wake me up when she was ready.  At 5.10 this morning I woke up with a shock and rushed into her room to check that she was still alive!!  (I hope I'm not the only one that has those mad moments of panic!!)  And she was still sleeping like a little angel - it was as if she knew that mummy needed a good sleep.  I went back to bed and she eventually woke me at 7:30!!!!!!!  What a luxury!

Look how happy a whole nights sleep makes me mummy!!  Should I do it again??
I think my most favorite part of the weekend was staying in bed as long as I wanted this morning without two (very sweet) but totally over-enthusiastic kids climbing all over me with 500 questions and bickering over who is going to sit next to Miss L first, and who gets to hold her bottle and who makes her laugh the most!!

Sunday morning walk (after a trip to the bakers for a coffee and a croissant)
Time to head home and use this time to finish up my jobs before the chaos arrives home!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Traffic Light Scrolls (thermo-style)

I will happily admit that I am hopeless in the kitchen.  To the point where I have (on several occasions) been known to burn a pot of water!!  I've always liked the idea of cooking but just never really managed anything other than a good old spag bol or a meat and three veg type of meal!  I am pretty awesome at baking though, but I have to be honest and give most of the credit to Betty Crocker!

This week I have had so much fun with my new Thermomix.  It's like having a beautiful silk orchid in the window - no matter what you do, you just can't kill it!  I made these fabulously fun scrolls for the kids dinner one evening and they loved them.  They worked perfectly for lunch boxes the next day too.  So here's the recipe for those of you that fancy giving it a go - I PROMISE you won't go wrong!

500g Bakers flour
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
20g oil (I used vegetable)
300g luke-warm water

1 carrot
1 courgette/zucchini
1/2 tin sweetcorn (you could also use frozen)
2 tbsp green pesto
1/2 red pepper/capsicum

Starting with the dough: (I still can't get over how easy it is)

  • Add the flour, water, yeast, oil and salt into the thermomix bowl and mix on speed 5 for 5 seconds.
  • Set the lid to the 'closed lid position' and mix on interval speed for 1 minute and 30 seconds (yep, that's all).
perfect dough in less than 2 minutes!!
  • Take the dough out of the thermomix bowl and mould it for a few seconds and then wrap it up in your thermomat.  If you don't have one, 'cling film" will do the job just fine.  Let the dough rest somewhere at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to rise (I leave mine on top of the microwave) and it should rise to double its size.  I should say it WILL rise to double it's size.  Trust me, this recipe is fool proof because I didn't get it wrong.
You can even see me proudly taking a picture of my perfect dough ball!
The fillings are just as easy too.  As I'm doing traffic lights, I needed red, yellow and green, but really you could mix up anything you like!

  • Pop your pepper into the thermomix, set your dial to speed 7/8 and "whizz whizz whizz" as Miss H says, for about 5 seconds.  Set aside in a bowl, give the thermomix bowl a quick rise with water and then proceed to 'yellow'
  • Roughly chop your carrot into quarters (no need to peel it) and pop it in the Thermomix bowl with the sweetcorn and whizz whizz whizz!  Repeat as above.
  • Roughly chop your courgette into quarters and repeat as above.  Once in a separate bowl add your pesto and give it a quick mix with your spoon.
This whole process should take you no more than 5 minutes, so you have plenty of time for a cup of tea or in my case a load of washing and a Kindergarden home reader, before you need to turn the oven on to 180 degrees to preheat.

The amount of time you whizz whizz whizz will determin the consistency of your veg.

Final Prep:
  • Roll out your dough and cut into three strips (the thermo-spatular does a great job of cutting dough)
  • On each strip spread a think layer of each colour and dust with a tiny bit of grated cheese.
  • Roll each strip up (like a swiss roll) and slice into approx. 2cm sections.
  • Lay each one on their sides on a baking tray.  Dust with another sprinkle of cheese and pop into the oven for approx. 25 minutes (or until golden brown)
  • Serve hot with a few carrot and cucumber sticks on the side (or a lovely salad but unfortunately my kids don't eat leaves!!)
Don't worry about being 'neat'.  Once they're cooked they look (and smell) beautiful.
Don't they look fab??

So easy to prepare and the kids loved them!  Mr D was happy not have ham sandwiches in his lunchbox the next day too!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Beware! Swooping birds in the area!

At lunchtime today I wanted to make a new salad in my lovely thermomix (yes I know, slightly addicted) but the main ingredient, fresh beetroot, was not in my fridge!!  So, I popped Miss L into her pram and off we went to Woolie's to get some.  We were just walking along the pavement, having a chat, when out of nowhere there was this loud "clicking or popping" sound in my ear as this huge bird literally flapped its wings right over my head!!  I got such a fright I nearly jumped six foot off the ground.  Before I had a chance to work out what had just happened - it happened again!!  Whooosh! and POP! (the kind of popping sound you get when you click your tongue again the inside of your cheek).  This time I saw the flash of black and white and thats when I realised I was being attached by a magpie!

I've heard so many stories of people being attached by them and I've had a few tried to dive bomb me on the odd occasion but I've never before been purposefully attached by one.  As it landed on the balcony opposite the pavement we were standing on, I saw it shift from one leg to the other, staring at me (seriously, it really was) and I just knew it was going to come back.  As it took flight again, I did the most sensible thing, which was of course scream like banshie and throw my arms over my head for protection.  I then dived behind some scaffolding that was up against the building behind me to take cover and called Mr D.

"Hi", he says, "what up?"  "I'm being attached by a crazy bird" I yell, almost breathless from fright (not that I'm dramatic or anything).  "Help!  What should I do??"  I could hear the slight snigger in his voice as he tried really hard to take me seriously.  I don't know what I thought he was going to do sitting at his desk in the city, but still - right now he needed to make a sensible suggestion!!

The whole time I was on the phone I could see the bird perched on the balcony on the other side of the road, still shifting from one foot to the other and staring at me.  I stared back!  After a long while (well, probably only a few minutes, but it felt like a long while), I decided to be brave and head out.  The only way to Woolies from where I was, was down a steep hill, which would mean that I would have to turn my back on the bird.  I was too terrified to take my eye off it, so I decided to walk down the hill backwards - still pushing the pram!  I must have looked like a total nutcase!!  A few people walked past and I felt the need to tell them that I was being attached by a bird and that I didn't normally walk down steep hills backwards!!

After getting my shopping and of course the beetroot, I decided to walk the long way home in the opposite direction to avoid the bird.  Thinking I was safe, I nearly jumped six foot in the air AGAIN when either the same bird (or its evil twin) dive-bombed me from behind.  This time its beak went right into my head and actually drew blood.  Yet again I scream and ducked for cover and luckily a nice man came to my rescue with an umbrella and fended the bird off until I was safely around the corner.

I rushed back home and guess what????  As I was unpacking the shopping I realised that I had left the beetroot behind in the shop!!  Aarrrrgghhhh!!!

If only I'd seen this sign first!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Another week in pictures. Love Instagram!

Phew, I don't even know where to begin with this week!!  Well.........actually I do - My THERMOMIX arrived!!!  For those of you who have know idea what one is (don't feel bad, I didn't either until a few months ago), have a look at this post - The day the Thermomix visited my kitchen.  So far I have used it about 5 times every day and I just LOVE it.  I have seriously gone from the worlds most hopeless cook to being able to make just about anything!  And I'm having so much fun with it too!!  Mr D even baked his first ever cake (coconut and orange) and it was delicious.  I'll try my best to not be one of those annoying people that just go on and on about what exciting things they've made in the thermomix, but I'm not making any promises!!

Isn't she pretty??
I made cheese and red pepper (or capsicum as the Aussie's call it) scrolls for lunch the other day - from scratch!!  They were SO delicious and so easy
Delegating!! He's not as neat as me (carrot everywhere)  but at least I had my hands free!!
An absolutely exhausted and very grubby little lady.  She'd been building fairy gardens' outside - something that I used to spend hours doing when I was her age.
A very happy Miss L being entertained by all the little school girls in the school playground at pick-up time.
A baby minor bird that fell out of the tree in the school playground.  Master J was desperate to take it home but I convinced him that if we put it back in the tree it's mummy would come back for him.  I'm surprised the poor thing didn't die of fright
My lovely parents enjoying the English Autumn.  I miss them so much 
Such beautiful ballerina's
I could stand and watch my babies sleep for hours (if I had the time)

Miss H's most favourite thing to do - painting!!  I just wish she'd spent less time painting her body!!!

A typical school morning in the DB house  My two best babysitters helping me to get ready in the morning

How cute are these two??  Best friends since birth.

On Saturday night I had 7 kids on my own!!  I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a little hectic.  I had three boys, two little girls and two baby girls!!  At one point I was feeding Miss L and rocking Miss Y at the same time as reading little Miss H and Miss J a story.  I take my hat off to all mums of twins!!  I think the boys thought they were in 7th heaven because none of them went to sleep before midnight!!!

Four gorgeous girls in my bed!
On Sunday morning we were up with the cockatoos as I was taking Candy Bows to the Market.  I had the most beautiful spot right overlooking the lake and after my crazy Saturday night it was just what I needed.

Mr D and the girls helping me set up my market stall
Pretty CandyBows at the market 
By the time Sunday evening arrived we were all so exhausted that ALL 5 of us were asleep by 8pm!  That's 11 hours sleep!!!!!!!