The Big 5

And suddenly she was 5 ✨🎈

This time 5 years ago, this little girl entered the world and pulled our hearts right out of our chests. She wears her heart on her sleeve, loves fiercely and has a wild soul that I hope forever remains untamed. Love you more than the moon and all the stars, Happy birthday Willow xx Today marks the start of new adventures and the transition to school. Here’s a few photos I took yesterday to celebrate.

Balloons from Pop Roc Parties NZ

Tutu Du Monde dress from Beaumonde Babe

Jacket from Cotton On Kids

Enjoy ! x

 

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5 “Man Friendly”Crockpot Meals

Ever stuck for ideas on what to make for dinner? Want to make something yummy and nutritious that doesn’t involve spending too much time in the kitchen? This is literally me every time I meal plan for the week. I look on pinterest all the time to find easy dinner ideas that work for my family..and I always lean towards the ones that you can throw in the crockpot/ slow cooker without too much effort.To be honest, I don’t think I could live  without my trusty crockpot! I probably use it too much, but the less time I spend preparing dinner.. the better!  While I love my crockpot, my partner just hates it .. He says that food just doesn’t taste the same, and after reading a few forums I started to realize that it wasn’t just my man that isn’t a fan..its seems to be most of the male population.

Below are 5 of our favourite crockpot meals.. That the man of the house ACTUALLY likes (and he’s the fussiest eater I know)..Most of these meal hacks are just meat, but I could serve them up every day and the other half would be happy. I like to prep any veges to go with the meal while I’m prepping the meat for the crockpot, and then I do rice in our Tupperware rice cooker (another life saver) if that’s what we’re having. Not only are these meals delicious, they’re also a great way to make meat stretch further and lower the grocery bill.

Crockpot Favourites 

  1. Pulled Pork – Super easy to prep. I like to serve this with coconut rice and veges, and then the left overs can be used for sandwiches or buns the next day. If you use a shoulder pork roast you can make enough meat to freeze for at least 2 more dinners and 2 lunches.

    Crockpot Pulled Pork
    Photo sourced from http://www.laurengreutman.com
  2. Pulled Beef – Another crowd pleaser, this goes with anything! Whether it’s with veges and rice, potatoes, cous cous etc You name it, Ive tried it. You can use the cheapest cut of beef for this meal as well, and you’ll still get amazing, soft meat.

    Slow Cooker Pulled-Beef
    Photo sourced from paleoleap.com
  3. Teriyaki Chicken – I use 4 chicken breasts and manage to get 2 dinners ( rice & veges one night, pizzas the next), and 2 man sized lunches out of it!

    This crock pot teriyaki chicken is INCREDIBLE. The honey teriyaki sauce is out of this world and it only takes 10 minutes to prep! The perfect easy, healthy dinner. @wellplated:
    photo sourced from http://www.wellplated.com
  4. Lamb casserole -A winter favourite that can be made using cheap chuck steak.I love making dumplings and adding them into the crockpot as well.  Just place tinfoil over the top and pop the lid on half an hour before the meal is ready.

    Slow-Cooked Lamb Casserole recipe
    Photo sourced from http://www.bestrecipes.com.au
  5. BBQ and honey drumsticks– A new favourite of ours! The meat falls right of the bone and you actually get a decent amount compared to if you were to bake them.
    These Slow Cooker Honey BBQ Chicken Drumsticks are WAY EASY, but so delicious! Serve them on gameday or for an easy family dinner!
    Photo sourced from http://www.wineandglue.com

     

I hope you enjoyed these recipes! Comment below with any other crockpot meals or hacks that you love as well.

xx Kristelle

The Boy who wouldn’t sleep


As parents we all have stories to tell about the lack of sleep we’re getting at night, and how often our child is or isn’t sleeping. Some babies sleep soundly through the night at an early age, while others take a bit longer. Then there are the babies that grow into toddlers who still aren’t sleeping through the night. We seem to put up with this and once we’ve exhausted all techniques and advice, we accept that we will just have to wait until our child starts sleeping through the night ..even if that day never comes. A few months ago we decided to see an Osteopath, and it has been one of the best things we have done so far. If it is something you’ve been wanting to do but weren’t sure about, I hope this story encourages you to give it a go and see what happens.

Our little boy Luka is 11 months old and has never been a good sleeper. From birth he would consistently wake at 11pm, 3am and 5am.. and that pattern never stopped regardless of our efforts. Up until a  month ago we were up at least 3 times a night with him, rocking him and putting him back to sleep. He would kick and scream for an hour at a time on the worst nights, Some nights we were up every few hours! Aside from this, Luka was a very happy baby and could put himself to sleep during the day. Physically he was thriving and he was reaching all milestones in record time. Countless doctors appointments told us that it was just teething, our boy was perfectly fine otherwise and it was literally something we would just have to endure. Sleep routines and cry it out methods weren’t working, calm baths and massages before bed did us no favours either. All the natural remedies you can think of, we tried. It’s like our little boy became immune to everything that we tried with him, and slowly I felt like I was losing my mind because nothing was working. The constant sound of a crying baby makes your heart ache like nothing else. You don’t realize how important sleep is until you’re not getting enough of it.. and we definitely weren’t getting enough of it.

As a parent, you know when something isn’t right and you keep pushing for answers. Our decision to go to an Osteopath was made after a few days of no sleep through the night, and Luka’s resistance to sleep during the day. We felt like there was something internal going on that just wasn’t being seen. The first visit was a consultation. From the many things I was told, I learnt that Luka is hyper vigilant, super sensitive and also had some digestive problems that were affecting him. Everything started making sense and I felt like finally we were getting somewhere.  The week that followed was literally the week from hell. Nothing had improved (obviously), but the recommended oils for sleep hadn’t worked either and not only was Luka not sleeping at night.. he was fighting his sleeps during the day as well. He was happiest in our arms and out and about, but we all know how difficult it can be to keep that up all day every day!

Our second visit to the Osteopath couldn’t come soon enough.  While we were there I was shown some massages to help Luka with his digestive system, and techniques to help calm him when he gets agitated. She also recommended giving Luka some herbal tea to help with his tummy at night. I went to the health shop and was made up a herbal remedy made up of chamomile, milk thistle and Nettle leaf that I give Luka 3 times a day. Along with the regular massages,  THIS has been our miracle solution. It’s been almost two months now and the boy we have now is totally different to the baby I described earlier. He goes to bed by 7:00/7:30pm and sleeps through until 5:30/6am . If he wakes before that it’s only to put his dummy back in, or give him an extra rock and cuddle while he has been teething. He has had 6 teeth come through in the past month, and is still sleeping much better than he ever did before. We still have a few rough nights here and there, but we have finally had our little boy sleeping through the night successfully and consistently. There are no signs of internal pain anymore and we have a much calmer, content baby.  I’m kicking myself for not going to see an Osteopath earlier and would highly recommend one to anyone who is struggling with a sleepless child. Sleep is so important not only for our health but our emotional well being. As parents we shouldn’t have to accept that our child isn’t sleeping well, there is always something that can be looked into even if you feel like nothing is working! A well rested baby equals a well rested family and parents.  I have a link here to an article with more information on the benefits of an Osteopath. I hope this helps any parent out there struggling through the sleepless nights. 

xo Kristelle

 
 

 

 

Tailor Skincare- My top 3 must haves!

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A few weeks ago, I was sent a pack of Tailor minis to try out. The mini pack had the dry cleanse, oil cleanse, hydrate,  moisturizer, balm and the Tailor Masque. I am a long time fan of Tailor Skincare and have purchased their products a few times. I love that everything is made from natural ingredients, and also made right here in New Zealand! The mini packs are a great way to try out each product if you’re new to the Tailor skincare range, and are also great for travelling. As a mother of two, I like to buy good quality products that will last a while. Tailor skin care is quite pricey, but the quality speaks for itself and each product lasts a lot longer than similar products available in supermarkets. Below I will share my top 3 faves and why they are a must have in anyone’s skincare routine.

  1. First up is the Oil Cleanse. The oil cleanse is great for removing makeup and dirt that can get trapped in our skin and pores. This by far is the best oil cleanse that I have used for removing stubborn waterproof mascara, while still being gentle on the eyes. I also really love the smell of this and would recommend this as the first product to try if you haven’t tried tailor skincare before! It doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily and is easily removed using a warm face cloth.
  2. Next is the Dry Cleanse. What I love about the dry cleanse is that it can be used every day without leaving your skin dry like an exfoliator normally would. The magic in this product is the betonite clay, and I find that it leaves my skin feeling so soft and clean. I can’t even explain in words the different kind of “Clean” this product gives my skin, but it does really feel so clear and almost brand new again. My pores have been noticeably smaller as well, which is always something I struggle with skin wise.
  3. The last favourite is the moisturiser.  It’s light, smells great and leaves my skin feeling fresh and hydrated. You only need a small amount of this moisturiser so it lasts quite a while. I also love how easy it is to scoop every last drop of moisturiser out of the container!

The packaging of each product is gorgeous. If you are wanting to try Tailor Skincare but don’t know where to start, then these 3 products are what I would recommend trying first. I have oily skin with a few dry patches and these 3 products suit my skin perfectly, they also haven’t caused any breakouts that can usually occur when trying new skincare. Next on my list to try is the new Tailor Serum! You can buy Tailor Skincare from  here. I hope you love these products as much as I do!

xo Kristelle

 

 

 

 

Like Mother, Like Daughter.

There is no one in this world that I could ever clash with as much as I do with this little babe. She’s confident, defiant and strong willed. She has an opinion on everything, and once she has her heart set on something there’s no changing her mind. As she grows, so does her defiance. I know that one day she will be a fierce leader, she just needs a bit of guidance along the way.

I didn’t realise just how true the phrase “Like mother, like daughter” was until I had a daughter of my own. We are alike in so many ways, and although that is something I adore about our relationship, its also something that makes me want to tear my hair out. Too often I see myself in her, I can see what she’s thinking and feeling as she tells me over and over that she doesn’t want to do something. She’s adamant she doesn’t want to do it, and she has plenty of reasons as to why she doesn’t want to. We bounce back and forth, some times arguing for longer than any parent in their right mind would argue with a child.

Raising such a strong willed individual can be a challenge on a good day, and on a bad day I am left feeling emotionally exhausted. Tonight I gave in to Jam sandwiches and cheese for dinner, I’m picking my battles and saving us from another meltdown. These are the days where I truly learn what it means to be a parent. To be selfless, to love unconditionally, and most of all to be patient and kind even when I don’t want to be.

While my little girl is learning who she is, she is also teaching me about who I am and the kind of mother that I want to be. I want our clashing personalities to strengthen our mother/ daughter relationship rather than divide us in the future. I hope my daughter always knows just how inspiring she is to me.

While there is still  plenty to learn on this parenting journey, it’s one of the most important journeys we will ever make. Let’s do all we can to raise our daughters right.

 

Engagement Party on a Budget

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Cake topper from lovefromseventeen, Napkins from Poproc Parties and Flowers from The Warehouse.

A few weeks ago, my partner and I had our engagement party with close friends. After getting engaged in December, we knew straight away that we wanted to have  a low-cost party with all of our friends,  we definitely wanted to hire a venue and a kick ass cake was a MUST HAVE.

All together we spent $408 for our party. We had an amazing time with our friends, the venue was perfect for us and took a lot of the stress away from planning and organising everything. Budget and time management are always big stress factors for me, and for this party I really wanted to relax as much as possible.  Below I will share some tips on how we kept costs (and stress levels) down and what helped us stay on track with our budget.

  1. PLAN:  First, decide who you will be inviting to your party and how much you are wanting to spend. We wanted to invite the “younger” members of our family and our close friends (Sorry Fam !), this was because we really just wanted to have a big rave with everyone :D. We also didn’t want to spend anymore than $450 including venue hire.
  2. SHOP AROUND: If you are planning a party in advance, its always good to shop around or purchase specific items you are wanting when they are on sale. I grabbed our napkins from here and cake topper from here when they had sales on as I knew these were things I already wanted when planning our party. We also paid for things bit by bit so that it didn’t feel as though we had spent that much in the end!
  3. INVITES: We invited everyone through Facebook, it was free and also made it easy to manage who was coming, share information and remind everyone of our event. We gave a few weeks notice so that everyone had time to RSVP, and give us a fair idea ofhow many people would be attending etc. There are also loads of ideas for personal invites online (by that, I mean Pinterest) if sending out invitations is what you prefer.
  4. VENUE: Look around and see what venues best suit your budget, and what deals are on offer as well. We weren’t fussed about decorating the venue and just wanted something nice and simple . We had our engagement party at our local sports club. Drinks were discounted and we signed up to become members, meaning we only paid $70 to join and hire the venue. We also paid to hire two bar staff for the night which came to $195 for 4 hours.
  5. FOOD: Provide snacks and easy to prepare foods instead of a meal. We provided cake, snacks and pizzas to keep everyone fed and happy.. and we also knew that realistically everyone would want to drink rather than eat.
  6. FAMILY & FRIENDS : Say YES to offers of help. We had some amazing family and friends who offered to help. My sister in law made our AMAZING cake, my wonderful friend did my makeup, and we had plenty of helping hands through out the night.
  7. OVERALL : Enjoy yourself and have fun! Everyone is at your party to celebrate with YOU the host, they’re not going to be bothered with how many balloons you have hanging up, and what you did or didn’t provide etc. Host an event that is as stress free as possible xx

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Our stunning cake! I found inspo for this on pinterest.

 

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Glam Makeup by @facesbypilky

 

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Dress from Glassons, Shoes from The Iconic

 

 

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Managed to grab Fiancé for a quick photo that night 😀
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End of the night group photo

 

GIVEAWAY !! I am doing a giveaway of $30 store credit  from lovefromseventeen . Head over to my Facebook or Instagram  for more information xx

Nude by Nature Pro Brush Collection- Event and Review.

Recently I was lucky enough to attend the Nude by Nature event show casing the new Pro Brush Collection that they have come out with recently, at this event they shared the goal and vision is for this new line of brushes. I learnt so much and will share a bit about the brand, their new brush collection and what I think of the brushes I have tried so far.

The Brand

Nude By Nature is committed to creating natural and cruelty free products for the everyday woman. Their makeup brushes are made from high quality, natural fibres and claim to give precision, control, as well as provide a flawless finish. They understand that women are more informed about makeup these days, and tend to know what they like, what they want and what they need. With this in mind, Nude by Nature has designed their products to suit everyone and their own personal knowledge. Along with brushes, Nude by Nature also sells mineral powders, foundation, concealer, bronzers and primers which can all be found here or at your local Farmers NZ.

The brushes

The Pro brush collection consists of the Concealer brush, Liquid foundation brush, Contour brush, Finishing brush, Angled blush brush, Kabuki brush, Buffing brush, Mineral brush and the Travel brush. We were given this collection at the event and it came with a lovely travel set case. I really like that Nude by Nature aims to inform women about these brushes and isn’t just trying to sell a product to everyone and anyone.

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From left to right: Mineral brush, Finishing brush, Buffing brush, Kabuki brush, Foundation brush, Concealer brush, Contour brush, Angled blush brush and the Travel brush.

 

The Event

At the event we had the pleasure of meeting Owen Allison, an amazing makeup artist who gave us tips and tricks on how to use each brush from the new collection, some of which I will share with you later on. Here are a few photos from the event that was held at the Pah homestead Art gallery in Auckland. It was a beautiful setting and a perfect spot for a makeup event.

 

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Liz Reilly introducing the event.

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Owen Allison sharing his tips on the concealer brush.
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Makeup artists at work, sharing tips on bronzing the skin.
 

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The lovely models and makeup artist.
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Nude by Nature product stand.

 

 

Favourite Brushes

So far, I have tried the buffing brush, contour brush, kabuki brush and the concealer brush. I’m really impressed with these brushes! They are EXTREMELY soft, they blend everything beautifully and really do give a flawless appearance. The prices range from $19.95 to $34.95 each and most brushes are multi-purpose so you don’t need to buy the whole set, you only buy what works for you.

These brushes are available exclusively at Farmers NZ, and there will be a “petting zoo” available. This is a little brush station that allows you to touch and feel each brush, test them out a bit and make a more informed decision on which brushes you prefer. In my next post I will share my personal opinions on each brush and which brushes I would recommend to anyone unsure of where to start when it comes to the types of brushes that suit their lifestyle.

I hope you enjoyed this and remember to check in next week for a further review on the Nude by Nature Pro Brush Collection xx

Pineapple Heads- No baddies allowed! 

As a mum, I’m always looking for natural products that are child friendly. The Pineapple Heads range ticks all the boxes when it comes to skin and hair care! Not only is everything made from natural ingredients, but each product smells amazing.. The kids leave the bath smelling like tropical fruit and lollies 😁.
Products that are available in this range include : Shampoo, conditioner, detangler, bodywash, bubble bath, sleepy head bubble bath, hair gel, hair wax and a cute little bed time story.

Not only am I a sucker for cute packaging, but I also love anything that smells eatable! In this post I will do a quick review on two products that I have been using over the past 5 weeks, how they have worked for us and what we love about them.

Devo Body Wash 

– Smells like Mango and Papaya (or as my daughter would say- LOLLIES!).

– Doesn’t lather up too much, and you only need a small amount at a time.

– Gentle on the eyes

– Leaves skin feeling soft and smooth.

– Prevents rashes and irritation, great for sensitive skin!

– Cleans everything quickly and easily..especially things like paint and felt markers (no need for scrubbing here!).

– Retails at $16.99 (NZD) for 375ml.

Peaches Conditioner 

-Has a yummy lemon scent.

-Leaves hair feeling super smooth and smelling delicious.

– Gets rid of knots and makes brushing easier after bath time.

– Great for sensitive scalps and helps prevent itching.

– Makes your hair feel like “mermaid hair” (wise words from a 3 year old).

– Retails at $15.95 (NZD) for 250ml.

Overall Opinion 

All together, I paid $38.40 (including shipping) for the bodywash and conditioner and felt this was quite a lot to pay for two products! But after 5 weeks of using these, there’s still loads of product left, my daughters skin no longer gets itchy and irritated and the kids always smell so delicious after every bath. Compared to other natural brands like eco store, I find that you get a generous amount of product in each container,and end up saving money as you’re using less product.

If your children have sensitive skin, or you are wanting a more natural range of skin care and hair care, I would highly recommend Pineapple Heads! You can order online from www.pineappleheads.co.nz

 

My body and I- Part 1

My son is just over 7 months old now, and I have STRUGGLED to lose the last bit of baby weight. I ran dry in the milk department 2 months ago and was continuing to eat like a starved breastfeeding woman.. Carb overloads and all 😅. I knew that the first thing that needed to change was my diet! 

I have been told by many that I look “healthier” now, or that I look great with a bit of weight on.. But I’m looking in the mirror each morning and seeing things that I want to improve on personally. I enjoy being fit, and I love seeing results. We all have our own body goals, I’m aiming for my personal best. Healthy body, healthy mind 😉  xx

The diet: Over the past week and a half I’ve cut out starchy carbs and sugars. I’ve kept my diet pretty clean and have added more protein into my meals to fill me up for longer throughout the day.

The thing I really struggled with was to come up with meal ideas that are quick and easy, and can be prepared in minutes. Below are some meal and snack ideas that I’ve been loving. I crave bread like craazy and I found that cucumber sandwhiches did a great job to satisfy those cravings 😅.

  
From left to right: Overnight chia with banana, Avocado and tomato on whole meal crackers, Pizza on spinach wraps, Clean nachos, Cucumber samdwhiches with feta and tuna, Quick chicken salad, Home made pork mince burgers on lettuce cups, Roast vege and tuna spinach wraps, “Banana bread” smoothie (my new smoothie obsession, the recipe can be found on Pinterest).

I found that roasting a tray of Veges while cooking dinner was the best way to get a few days worth of Veges for quick wraps and salads during the week, also cutting up all my Salad Veges and storing them in containers saved me a lot of time in the morning when preparing my meals for the day. Meal planning before writing the grocery list is also a key part of staying on track with healthy eating! I usually do this just before I go to bed at night and then head to the supermarket in the morning with my list.

Another huge craving of mine is chocolate, and a HUGE help in that department has been OMG Tea. I will have a review up of this soon, but after a month of drinking the chocolate tea, I don’t get cravings at all.. I don’t even really like chocolate any more (coming from a chocoholic that’s major!).
The body: Along with a change of diet, I’ve also been doing a bit of cardio in the morning and toning exercises at night. I have so much more energy after I’ve exercised and have noticed the difference it has made to my body already. Here is a progress pic, the first was taken last Monday morning and the second photo was taken this morning. 

   

I hope you all enjoyed this post, if you have any helpful advice, tips, favourite meal ideas etc then comment below. I would love to hear them 😘 xo 

“Talk Beauty NZ” Bloggers Event.

 Yesterday I attended a beauty bloggers event called “Talk Beauty NZ”, it was the first beauty event I’ve ever been to and I loved meeting new bloggers from around the country. The event was organised by the lovely Brittany, and there were some amazing sponsors and ladies there with a wealth of knowledge and tips to share with us. We learnt hair tips, beauty tips and were introduced to products we hadn’t heard of before. 

The venue was gorgeous , the bloggers were all so lovely and the goodie bags were AMAZING!! Below I have shared some photos of the event and what we received, I had a fantastic time and made so many new friends. I would highly recommend this event to any beauty lovers out there and will definitely be attending next year! If you want to see more of the event you can see updates here

   

  
     

  
    
    
  
    
    
 

   
    
 

The goodie bags
We were so lucky to receive products from some amazing companies. Below I have posted what we got in our goodie bags and will be reviewing these as I get through them! Thankyou so much to all the wonderful contributors and sponsors xx