Month: July 2017

Easy Fried Rice

 


Easy Fried Rice

My husband and his family have been making fried rice for a long time, so when I first met him I was introduced to it (my parents made it way different). Not only is it easy, but it’s a great meal to have when you want to have a meat-free night.

We usually use day old rice – which is apparently better to make the fried rice. HOWEVER you can use freshly cooked rice too. If you wanted to use day old rice, simply cook it in the morning (or the night before) and refrigerate until you need it.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups cooked rice (which is 1 cup of uncooked rice)
  • 2 TBSP sesame oil (if you don’t have this, regular oil is fine)
  • 3-4 eggs, beaten (depending on how much egg you want in with it)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen mixed veggies (thaw them first)
  • 3 TBPS soy sauce

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat a large pan (or wok) to medium.
  2. Pour the sesame oil, and once heated, add the onion, and mixed veggies.
  3. Fry until tender.
  4. Remove to a bowl on the bench.
  5. Pour the beaten eggs into the pan and scramble them.
  6. Once cooked, mix the eggs with the vegetable mix.
  7. Add the cooked rice to the veggie and egg mixture.
  8. Pour the soy sauce on top.
  9. Stir and fry the rice and veggie mixture until heated through and combined.

PIN ME:

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Oi! YOU! Yeah you …


© Can Stock Photo / szefei


 

I have a message for you…

THANK YOU. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following me.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting me.

Thank you for clicking right now.

Thank you for all the clicks you’ve given; for all the likes you’ve given; for all the shares you’ve given.

Thank you.

You have no idea how much I appreciate it.

YOU are the reason I’m successful. Seriously,

You are connecting with what I talk about, which a lot of the time I feel like is nonsense but is what I go through daily,

Depression is not easy at all and neither is parenting.

I share what I know, and you guys connect with it – and for that I am grateful. We all know that regardless if you have depression or not, PARENTING IS HARD.

So thank you; from the bottom of my heart. For all the liking, commenting, and sharing that you do, because it means the world to me.

You are the reason I am at this point. The reason I am nominated for a New Zealand Social Media Award.

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My Netflix Suggestions (Part 2)


© Can Stock Photo / damedeeso


My Netflix Suggestions (Part 2)

Stuck on a movie to watch tonight? Or a show to start? Here are is a list from me to you … I have either seen these, or want to see them and are all available on Netflix right now.

Click on the title name to go to the IMDB listing which has the synopsis and rating.

TV SHOWS:

MOVIES:

These are just some of the many that I want to watch and/or have watched and recommend. Netflix is FULL of amazing shows and movies to watch.

To check out my other recommendations, check out My Netflix Suggestions list.

What are you watching tonight?

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How To Lose Weight: Parent Edition


© Can Stock Photo / monkeybusiness

 


How To Lose Weight: Parent Edition

Not going to lie, losing weight as I get older is becoming harder and harder.

Also, my love for food deepens each year.

After having kids, exercising is the last thing on my mind, and eating healthy often takes a back seat. Then there’s the fact that parenting is stressful so we tend to stress eat, or stress drink.

So here’s a “real life” guide as to losing weight as a parent … only six easy steps!

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STEP ONE:

Stop eating your kid’s leftovers. Seriously – that shit adds up in our system and before you know it the kid’s leftovers become you adding extra just so you can eat it at the end. Start a compost bin and throw the leftovers in there, or keep them in the fridge for later and make your kids finish them off.

I always make my kids eat it before having anything else. If they come home from school with lunch left, then it becomes their afternoon tea.

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STEP TWO:

Just go for a walk. Seriously, f*ck running; just go for a walk. You could walk 20 paces down the road from your letterbox and it’ll be better than what you’re doing. Park far away from the supermarket so you can walk a little extra bit. “Going for a walk” doesn’t mean you have to kit up in your active wear and walk for an hour – it simply means do a little bit extra.

If I’m feeling extra cooped up with the kids, sometimes we just walk to the end of the road together. Exercise for everyone. You don’t have to get your heart racing for it to count.

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STEP THREE:

Don’t eat shit food. Really simple guys, just make better choices when it comes to food. You don’t have to be a salad-eating-sugar-free Mum (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but just make better choices.

I still have sugar in my coffee each morning – I’m not a monster. I try and cut down on takeaways, and eat smaller portions. Don’t make your life a misery because we all know food is life. Just make better choices. Eat fruit instead of biscuits (Bleugh I know but just do it haha).

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STEP FOUR:

Save the wine for a Friday. Give yourself something to look forward to during the week and save that wine for Friday evening. I know it’s hard because kids / parenting drives us to drink most days, but believe me when I say having something to look forward to (like wine on a Friday) helps me get through the week.

AND if you do have a shitty day: drink that f’ing wine. Some days just call for it.

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STEP FIVE:

Just f’ing eat less. Oh and drink more water. Have one helping instead of two. Choose a small Big Mac combo instead of a large. Keep it real, just eat less shit.

Choose water instead of a coke. Or limit your coke to once a day. Baby steps.

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STEP SIX:

Have a treat day. Make it Saturday and f’k the rest of the week. Not only will you eat less during the week but it’ll also give you something to look forward to. I find as a parent, getting through the week by having something to look forward to is a great way to get along.

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Let’s be realistic here: you don’t have to make big changes to lose weight. You’re still a parent, and as I said above, parenting is hard. Take SMALL steps. Make small changes.

Don’t criticise yourself if you have a bad day and end up eating more than you should. Start fresh tomorrow; each day is a new day.

ALSO: I do realise that losing weight shouldn’t be the end goal. Being healthy should be. Which is why if you try hard and take baby steps, you will be healthy because of the choices you make.

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Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Pork

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I put this dish together using whatever I had in my pantry – but of course I needed it to taste sweet and sour. If you don’t want to use a slow cooker, simply cook it in a pot on the stove, covered and on low.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g diced pork
  • 440g can, pineapple pieces (don’t drain)
  • 1 x Green Pepper (or a handful of green beans, or green vegetables of any kind really)
  • 1 brown onion, quartered
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 3 TBSP Brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Cider Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar
  • 4 TBSP tomato sauce
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 TBSP Cornflour + 2 TBSP Water (to thicken later if necessary)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In your slow cooker combine the pineapple juice (save the pieces for later), the brown sugar, vinegar, tomato sauce, soy sauce and 1/2 cup water.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Next add your pork, pineapple pieces, green pepper (or beans), brown onion, and carrot.
  4. Give it one final mix and then turn the slow cooker on.
  5. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours, or on LOW for 6-8 hours

If necessary, you may want to thicken up with some corn flour and cold water. Serve with rice or mashed potato.


Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Pork

Raine Beau Lunch Box Review


Raine Beau Lunch Box Review

YOU CAN ENTER TO WIN A WATERMELON RAINE BEAU HERE!

Phunky Bento here in New Zealand sent me two Raine Beau lunch boxes – one to review, and the other to giveaway. I took the Kiwi Fruit one and gave it to Ronan, and have comprehensively tried it out …

Price: $49.50
Rating: 9/10

My Thoughts:
The Raine Beau is a large(ish), sturdy lunch box that holds a decent amount of food.

The overall capacity of the Raine Beau is greater than that of the Yumbox (although I haven’t tried the new Yumbox Tapas yet, so I can’t comment on that). Because the compartments seal individually, I could include yoghurt if I wanted to.

The only issue I have is that the box itself is a bit stiff to open – which meant my 3 year old did struggle from time-to-time. He eventually figured out how to pry it open, but it wasn’t as straight forward as I originally though.

Durability:
Very durable – my boy dropped it on concrete a few times.

Cleaning:
A bit of a pain to clean, but no more than any of the other ones.

The Apple / Yoghurt Test:
YES you can fit a small apple, but sadly NO not a yoghurt pottle. HOWEVER because it’s got sealed compartments, you can empty the contents of the yoghurt into one of them, and it will be fine.

Can my 3 year old open it? Sometimes
Can my 5 year old open it? YES

What age would you think this lunchbox was suitable for:
Definitely preschool / kindergarten. I think my 5 year old would also be ok with it.

Where To Buy:
You can buy the Raine Beau lunch box range from Phunky Bento.

Watch:
Check out the review of both the Raine Beau Lunch Box either on my YouTube channel, or below:

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If there is a particular lunch box you would like to know about, or have reviewed, then please let me know below.

Be sure to check out my Bento-Style Lunchbox Stockists page for stockists of lunch boxes in both New Zealand AND Australia. As well as my ultimate guide to filling your kids’ lunchbox.

BACK TO MENU

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When Kids Can Finally Play Board Games!

 


When Kids Can Finally Play Board Games!

So finally your child has reached an age where they can play games. ANY kind of game really that isn’t you hiding and them never finding you. Or them hiding and you realising they’re just standing in the middle of the lounge with their eyes closed.

Any kind of game that ISN’T on a device.

FINALLY you can actually crack out the board games; you can crack out the classics.

When you first start introducing board games to kids, it can take them a while to pick up the rules. So patience will need to be had when teaching them. Remember that they’re only young, and that you’ll probably have to repeat yourself a million times.

FIRSTLY here are OUR guidelines with board games …

  1. No electronics (phones, tablets, TV, etc etc)
  2. Everyone has a go, and if necessary we all help each other
  3. Snacks
  4. Have fun
  5. Try not to fight (this is a hard one with young kids)

Now whether you decide to have a games night, or just pull out the game to help change it up a bit at home, here are my three favourite (and probably the most classic) board games.:

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Operation

We LOVE Operation in our house as it is simple to understand and provides lots of fun for the kids. We all giggle and laugh when the buzzer goes off, and reassure each other that it’s ok if we don’t get it the first time. I’m not going to lie though – the kids do fight a bit about how to play it, but that’s an age thing. The game is aimed at children 6+, so technically my kids are a little young but they still enjoy it!

Operation is about extracting organs from a body without touching the edges of the body – if you touch the edges it makes a buzzing sound and it’s the next person’s turn. Operation is such a classic – just have to remember not to lose the pieces.

TIP: Keep the pieces in a snap-lock bag rather than just add back to the box loosely. I have found my kids randomly opening the box just to make the buzzing sound, and the pieces can get lost if not in a secure place.

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Twister

Twister is SO much fun with the family. We usually save this one for the Friday Night Games Night, because we end up falling over in fits of laughter.

With Twister you spin the wheel and put your hand/foot on the corresponding colour/spot that the marker lands on. You keep doing this until you fall down. Again, the game is aimed at children 6+, so technically my kids are a little young but they still enjoy it!

It’s a little harder for the kids to reach some of the colours/spots, but it’s all about having fun so don’t stress too much about that!

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Connect 4

The biggest issue for us with Connect 4, was that the kids didn’t fight over how to play it. Ronan (3) always wants to just line all of the colours up, whereas Chloe (5) understood completely that she had to connect four in a row.

Connect 4 is super simple – each person takes a turn with their colour chip, and drop it into the chosen slot. The first person to line up four chips in a row (of their colour) wins! It’s that simple!

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Hasbro have lovingly sponsored this post to help us all understand that getting kids off devices and playing games is SO much fun. We LOVE it in this house, and having the classics Connect 4, Twister and Operation really help make it easy to put those devices down.

These games are great for the WHOLE family!

Have your kids started playing board games yet? What do you play?

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The Apps My Kids Use

 


The Apps My Kids Use

I get asked this question a lot: “Maria what apps do your kids play with on the iPad”, and up until recently I couldn’t answer because they really didn’t play anything.

I mean, sure they watched YouTube Kids, but that’s about it.

HOWEVER, once Chloe started school, things changed a bit as they gave us a list of apps that would help support her learning whilst at home. So I downloaded those apps, and along with a favourite of ours (you’ll see that below) they became the staples in my kids “app list”.

For me personally, I prefer the kids not to play game games … if that makes sense. I would prefer them to play a game that is educational. So that they’re learning whilst enjoying the device.

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SCREENTIME ALLOWANCE:

I only allow my children to play on a device AFTER the bath at night for about 30 minutes. UNLESS they’re sick, or it’s the weekend and we’re feeling extra special.

What you choose to do is your business – you know what works best for you and your children!

POLICING THE TIME:

I usually use a timer on my phone, or just a regular egg timer. It’s especially good if one child wants to have a turn, and then you need to remember to give your other child a turn.

FAVOURITE APPS:

Here are my personal favourite apps for my kids to play (or have on the device):

  1. YouTube Kids
  2. Reading Eggs (my kids’ favourite)
  3. Block! Hexa
  4. Candy Adv
  5. Cookie Jam (a game)
  6. Slither (a game)
  7. 10FrameFill (school recommended)
  8. Eggy 100 HD (school recommended)
  9. Eggy Alphabet (school recommended)
  10. Slide 100 (school recommended)
  11. Ollies Handwriting & Phonics (school recommended)
  12. Epic! (school recommended)

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If you follow me on Snapchat (happymumnz) you sometimes see my kids playing on these, which is why I thought I’d share here.

Do your kids play on devices? What apps do they use?

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My Labour Stories

 


My Labour Stories

Let me start of by first saying – I don’t deal with pain very well. So even before I got pregnant, I knew I wanted pain relief during birth. I made sure my Obstetrician knew I wanted one early on too – so there were no surprises.

I had an OB (instead of going through my GP / Midwife) because I am a worry-wart. I worry about everything, and my parents kindly paid for me to have one to help alleviate any fears I had. Then when I was pregnant with Ronan, my insurance covered it.

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CHLOE:

39 Weeks Pregnant – I woke up one morning, the day after shifting a whole heap of furniture, and found my waters had broken (a slow leak). After consulting with my OB, we decided to leave it 24 hours and see if anything happened. When it didn’t, I was booked in for an induction.

I was induced the following morning at 7.30am. I feel because I was already on my way to giving birth, my induction went quite well.

The pain wasn’t fun, at all.

I tried walking, didn’t help. Sitting, didn’t help. Lying, didn’t help. NOTHING helped.

When active labour kicked in (10 hours later), I was on the gas. That wasn’t helping – just making me feel sick, so I said “EPIDURAL TIME”.

The epidural was the worst. It hurt to put that bitch in. Plus I had contractions throughout the whole thing.

My husband was feeling a bit woozy from the whole “epidural-going-in” ordeal, so he had to sit down while the epidural went in and suddenly amongst all of this drama my waters broke.

It was like the flood gates opening up; I actually thought I had shit myself.

Everyone got wet – Phil, the midwives, me.

After cleaning up, my epidural had kicked in and it was wonderful.

We put music on, and my OB came in with Burger King and we chilled out until I suddenly felt like I needed to do a poo.

Then it was time to push. After an hour of pushing, Chloe was born.

7lbs 14ozs at 9.45pm the night that I got induced.

I had an episiotomy, and yep, I pooped myself. Although I worried about the pooping myself part, I had no idea it had happened. Phil didn’t tell me until way after the birth LOOOLLL

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RONAN:

42 Weeks Pregnant – Ronan didn’t want to come out, so I was induced. 

After 12 hours of painful contractions (Ronan was posterior so the contractions were way worse than with Chloe), my waters finally broke when I stood up to go to the toilet. FINALLY things were starting to progress (at that point I was over it).

The contractions were starting to kill me, but were still irregular, so I got put on syntocinon to help speed things up.

This was when I asked for the epidural.

This time, not only did it hurt but it didn’t really work properly. One side of my body still felt things, which started making me worried.

Then the monitors started showing that Ronan was struggling a bit, so after my OB checked him he realised he wasn’t coming down.

Ronan wasn’t coming out of this stressed state (his heart rate was low), so I was taken in very quickly to have an emergency c-section performed.

I was the most scared I had ever been in my life. I had no idea what was happening.

I pulled the anaesthetist in close and said “I better not feel this” and then pulled my OB in and said “I’m really scared”.

Thankfully they were both great.

Ronan was born via emergency c-section at 5.30am the following morning.

9lbs 6ozs.

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I worried during each pregnancy, and the labour/birth always scared me. Especially the first time. The unknown is the worst. I was actually petrified

I got through it though, and I’d do it again in a heart beat if it was to happen.

My OB was amazing, as were the midwives who worked alongside him to help bring my children into the world.

I birthed at Middlemore both times, and both times I was treated extremely well.

I also had a stay at BirthCare after Chloe was born, sadly couldn’t make it there after Ronan but only because of the recovery.

How was the birth of your child/children? Care to share? 

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The Post From Last Night

 


The Post From Last Night

Right let’s clear one thing up – I did not write those nasty horrible comments (that are written below). That was someone else.

I made the fatal error of leaving my own page tagged in at the beginning, and I unknowingly made it look like I wrote it.

Basically I received a comment on a post last night saying “Happy Mum Happy Child every second post your children are in this same room sick and or you are having a mentally break down because you forgot your medication and the children are left to there own devices, I totally admired you for a while but finally I have to get this off my chest, you suck at being a parent and the poor me all the time, there are thousands of mums out there who have it way worse than you, so get your shit together or go back to your doctor and try something else” … that was verbatim (including all of the errors).

The person has since been banned, and her comments removed – not only because I didn’t want her on my page anymore, but I don’t want people knowing who she is.

At the time a shit tonne of people thought that I wrote that comment to someone. They then proceeded to leave my page in HUGE numbers.

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Guys, if you know me by now you would know I would never write a comment like that.

It was a screenshot that I took, and I removed the poster’s name. Simple as that. It just so happened my page was tagged at the beginning of the comment.

I agree that my post to my Facebook page could have been worded better (I used the word c**t) however I was trying to get the point across that there’s no reason to have a comment like this.

I wrote “it’s ok if you don’t like me but you don’t have to be a C about it”.

I know a few people said that “you shouldn’t have posted this because it makes you no better than her”, and I’m not sure if I agree or disagree with that, but I’m of course happy to have a conversation about it.

The original poster should not have said what she said – however I feel I have every right to stand up and say “that’s unacceptable, don’t be an a-hole”.

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I do, however, apologise if my language offended anyone as that was not my intention. My belief around swear words is obviously different to others (which I have expressed before), and of course I would never mean to offend.

I simply thought her comments were a bit shitty and mean; my choice of words could definitely have been better.

However when it comes to posting a comment like that, and saying “no this is not ok” … am I not allowed to do that?

Do you think I’m “stooping to their level” for wanting to stand up for myself and show what is unacceptable?

I have been messaged a few times saying that I “instigated bullying” by posting the post. That I should simply just have removed the comment instead of talking about it. That I basically set 150,000 people on this person and had them attack her.

My question for you is: where do we draw the line? Her comment was unacceptable, but do I not have a right to say “this type of post is not on guys, that’s not the way to do it”?

Do I not have a right to stand up for myself?

If there’s a better way I could have done it, then please enlighten me but I truly believe those types of comments are the reason us parents suffer so much and there’s no way I will ever accept that it is ok to write them …

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