Flavor of the Month {Christmas}

It’s coming up to one of my favorite times of the year, so I thought why not dedicate this month to all things Christmas

Sure Christmas time can be stressful & busy (I use to work in retail & hubby still does so, I KNOW) then there’s lots of running around trying to see all the family, which in this day & age can mean up to 4 or five sides to keep happy & that can be full on! There’s the expense of it all & every year I say I’m going to be organised & stick to a budget (but I LOVE to shop & so that NEVER happens) & it can also be a hard time of year for those celebrating without their loved ones, for any number of reasons. 

But, it’s Christmas. Its magical & special & for the most part people are generally happy & kind to one another (you know, goodwill towards men & all that

If you have young kids it’s extra special because you get to re-live  your childhood Christmas joy through them. Kids are wide eyed & innocent & still believe in the magic of it all & aren’t concerned or aware  of any of that other stuff I just mentioned above. To them Christmas means fun, family time, kindness, presents, Santa & yummy food. And that’s exactly what it should be about. 

So to get us all in the festive mood & help us celebrate some of the joys & traditions of Christmas, I’ve put together some of my favourite Christmas finds for this flavor of the month installment.

  
 

1. Santa Key- if you live in an apartment or house without a chimney & you have kids who worry or wonder how Santa will get in to deliver the presents, then this beautiful key available from Finnlee & Me is a sweet little fix to that problem. 

2. Santa Sack- we always had Stockings growing up & I’ve continued that tradition for my own family, but I always loved the idea of finding a big bag of presents left at the end of the bed. If I was to change to this method, then this beautiful Santa sack available from Limetree Kids is what I’d pick. 

3. Elf on the Shelf -some think it’s cute, some think it’s creepy, but I’m on team FUN & am so excited to be starting this tradition for my boys this year & hope they get a lot of joy out of finding our elf & the antics she gets up to every morning. If it also helps curb a few behavioral issues for the month, knowing Santas watching, then that’s not a bad thing either πŸ˜‰ I found the Book Depository to be the cheapest place to buy them & they ship worldwide for free too. 

4. Felt Ball Wreath – I’m loving all things “feltballs” at the moment & am lusting after so many of Nats amazing creations over at Little Puddles, but for this Christmas theme flavor of the month I couldn’t go past this traditional coloured Christmas wreath. How AMAZEBALLS would this look on your wall. 

5. Cinnamon Stick Christmas Tree Decorations- Our family has a tradition of giving an ornament to one another each year. It’s so nice when decorating the tree to hang up those special decorations from years past & think of the person that gave it to us. I love our eclectic mix of meaningful decorations & would love to add one of these sweet little trees from Song of the Seam to our collection. 

                          Lozzie x

Are you ready for Christmas? Do you have any Christmas family traditions? Are you a stocking or Santa sack family?

I’d love to hear all about it, so leave me a comment here or come say hi on Instagram or Facebook



*this is not as sponsored post nor any affiliate links. These are just items I’ve seen during the month that I love & think you might too.

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Chia Pudding- 2 Ways

I’ve only just recently jumped on the chia seed bandwagon (yes I’ve been living under a rock!) & I have to say my 1st attempt at making chia pudding was a huge success. It was so quick & easy to prepare, it gave me breakfast for 3 days & even Pumpkin, my little 1 yr old loved it. Peanut, Mr 4 on the other hand needs more convincing, but I think option two might just win him over. 

Almond, Maple & Berry Chia Pudding – serves 4 

 

Ingredients

3 cups Almond milk- sweetened or unsweetened 

1/2 cup chia seeds

Pure maple syrup- to taste (I used 3 decent splashes) 

Frozen berries & coconut to garnish – optional

Method 

Whisk all 3 ingredients together & leave it to sit for 10 mins & then whisk again. 

Cover & refrigerate for at least 4 hrs but overnight is best if you can. 

Give it a good stir before serving into bowls & top with a handful of blueberries & cherries (I used frozen berries, defrosted) & a sprinkle of coconut. Delish!

Cherry Ripe Chia Pudding– serves 4

 

Ingredients

3 cups coconut milk unsweetened

1/4 cup Raw Cacao or cocoa powder works too

1 cup Frozen pitted cherries

1/2 cup chia seeds

Pure maple syrup- sweeten to taste 

Coconut yoghurt, cherries & shredded coconut to serve- optional 

Method 

Blend coconut milk, cherries & cacao or cocoa in a blender until well combined. 

Pour milk mixture into a bowl & add chia seeds. Whisk, adding maple syrup to taste if required.

Leave to sit for about 10 mins & whisk again to help break up any lumps/clumps & refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours, but overnight works best. 

Stir well before serving & spoon into bowls. Can eat as is or top with fresh berries, yoghurt & shredded coconut.

These recipes make a yummy, protein packed breakfast or a delicious healthy dessert.

Enjoy.

                     LOZZIE X

What’s your favourite way to eat chia seeds? Do you have a chia pudding flavor combo I should know about? 

Want more MessyRainbows in your life? Come join me over on Facebook & Instagram 


Fan Girl Friday #3

This week I’m highlighting two parenting blogs I’ve just recently discovered that are fast becoming my favorites. I think what I love most about them is that they say the stuff that most people are thinking (or at least I’m thinking) & want to say, but don’t. They’re both honest, hilarious & relateable & that’s why I love them.

1) The Notorious Mum

  
It was love at first sight/read of Lisa’s blog. Her “about” page just drew me right in & that was it, I was hooked! I love the way she writes-truthfully but with sarcasm & humor & I often find myself laughing & nodding along with all of her posts. 

I have a huge fangirl crush on her, I feel like she’s my spirit animal. I can relate so much to her stories, I feel like she is living my life, but she writes about it in a much funnier & more eloquent way (yes swearing & all) than I ever could.

Reading about her family & her life, it really feels like you’re sitting chatting with a friend. I’ve never met her or spoken to her but I can just hear her as I read. She has a distinct way of writing & you just get the tone & context & I love that!

But don’t take my word for it- go & check it out for yourself. Start with her “about” page (which for some reason I can’t seem to link to, sorry) & I guarantee you won’t be able to stop there. 

Some of my favourite posts of hers include : 

banana willies and buckets of sick

the day the swearing died

feeding time at the zoo

But honestly I could just list them all, so REALLY, go check out her blog!! 

2) The Unmumsy Mum

  

Following along the same kind of theme of real, relateable parenting, I discovered Sarah’s blog, The Unmumsy Mum.

She tells it like it is, is honest about her parenting style & days spent with the kids, but again brings humor into it when applicable. Because let’s face it, this parenting caper is pretty full on & if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry!

Some of my favourite blog posts of hers are

An alternative Peppa pig script 

lesson 53 its okay to lose your shit 

lesson 19 what youre not allowed to wish for 

Again I find myself agreeing with so much of what she says & writes about. Its refreshing to see someone being so open & honest about life as a mum. You can read so much more over on her blog & she also has a book coming out next year, which is definately going on my “to read” list! 

Can you relate to these mums? Do you find parenting to be the hardest job you’ve ever done? Do you wish more people would just tell it like it is? Who’s your blog crush?

                             LOZZIE X

Have you missed any of the previous Fan Girl Friday series? You can check them out below

Fan Girl Friday #1

Fan Girl Friday #2

Note to Self

Sometimes when the people in your life who should be telling you these things aren’t, it’s ok to tell yourself. Because sometimes it’s nice to be reminded AND because it’s TRUE! 

  

*YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL

YOU ARE. WE ALL ARE. Sure we all have our flaws but that doesn’t make us any less special or any less beautiful. Everyone has their own unique beauty, just like a snowflake & we should embrace it.

Of course we all have our “bad hair days” & I know I often wish I was a few kilos lighter (but I can’t seem to give up chocolate or donuts long enough to make this happen!) but we need to learn to love the skin we’re in, because it’s all we’ve got. 

Besides, beauty is so much more than what’s on the outside too. You may have a fabulous smile & flawless skin but even if you have a few extra pimples & a crooked grin, as the quote by Roald Dahl says

 
& that’s true, if you are a kind & thoughtful person, you’ll radiate that beauty from within & shine.

*YOU ARE IMPORTANT 

YOU MATTER. Your wants, your needs are no less important than anyone else’s. Of course there are times when you will need to put other peoples before your own (you do that daily if you’re a mum) but this doesn’t mean you aren’t just as important or that you value yourself any less. 

I know as a mum we often put ourselves & our needs last, while we look after the family- the kids, our partner, the house, our friends etc, but it’s OK to take a step back once in a while & take the time to do something for ourselves. Something just for us. Go get that pedicure, go for a run or to that dance class. YOUR time, health, dreams, goals & sanity are just as important as everyone else’s & it’s ok to treat yourself like it is. 

What you think, what you say, what you do, IS important. Everyone deserves to be heard, to have a voice & to be true to themselves. You are worthy of respect & you are IMPORTANT. 

Remember this old nugget of wisdom too when you’re feeling like you are insignificant or don’t matter 

  

*YOU ARE ENOUGH 

Sometimes it’s easy to feel like we’re juggling A LOT of balls in the air, trying so hard to be everything to everyone – a good friend, daughter, sister, mother, colleague & partner, yet still feel like we’re not giving enough or doing the best we can in these roles. 

I definitely feel guilty sometimes for not measuring up as I’d like to in many areas of my life. My boys watch waaay to much tv (so I can get stuff done) I spend waaay too much time on my phone (when I’m suppose to be getting said stuff done) I don’t call or check in with friends & family as often as I should & there are days I find it hard just to get out of my pjs & showered (let alone getting outside to go walking) But sometimes we just have to accept that we can’t do it all & that’s OK. 

   Somedays you just have to do whatever you can to make it through & take care of you. As they say you need to put your own oxygen mask on first before you can help anyone else, so be kind & gentle on yourself. Look after you, even if that means saying NO on occasion to friends or the kids so that you can do what you need to. 

There are times we just have to acknowledge that we’re doing the best we can, with what we have, where we are. And thats good enough. YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Do you hear or tell yourself these things as often as you should?  What other positive messages would you add to YOUR Note to Self? Do you know someone who can benefit from hearing these things right now? Tell them, or better yet, share this post & share the love. 

                               LOZZIE X

As always feel free to comment here or come say hi over on Instagram & Facebook 

“Peanuts”- Cute Crap my Kids Say

  

  

My eldest son Peanut comes out with some of the cutest & funniest sayings & words ever (as do most kids) but as my memory isn’t as good as I’d like it be, I know I won’t remember all these little moments in years to come (heck I forget them 10 mins later if I don’t write them down) so I’m keeping a record here of some of the things the boys say that make me laugh, so that I can look back on them & share with them when they’re older some of these little nuggets & the words they mispronounced.

So here are some of the latest “Peanuts” from the mouth of Mr 4.

Lello – Yellow

Effalant- Elephant

Camamel- Caramel

Krizzbee- Frisbee

I hurt my thumb toe – big toe

When I’m a big daddy…

When I grow up & get my real webs (the kid really thinks he’s spiderman)

Upon telling him to eat his veggies & meat so he grows up big & strong “well I don’t want to grow up mummy because I’m having too much fun as a kid”

When calling him sweetheart or by his actual name “I’m not sweetheart, I’m Spiderman”

Reading a book about animals & I asked him what do you call a baby duck? “Ummmm, a waddler”

“Last night was like sleeping in a clam shell” he exclaimed when he came out to the lounge room one morning

After little brother destroyed the  train tracks he’d been making & I told him it was ok, he could rebuild it “I don’t want to build one more train track in my life!”

“Mummy, you’re annoying me”. OR “Mummy you’re frustrating me.”  Whenever I ask him to do anything like pack away his toys, eat his dinner, get dressed, get ready for bed etc etc

On growing his hair long “I want it to be like Keith Urban” & when I said we really need to give you a haircut “no, I like my big hair”

Calling his brother “little mate” when he talks to him

                         LOZZIE X 

What are some of the funniest things your kids have said? Have you got the memory of an elephant or a goldfish? Did your parents keep a record of all the cute crap you said or did?  I wanna know it all, so leave me a comment or come join the discussion on Instagram & Facebook 

Fan Girl Friday #2

Hello Bright Ones, 

Well another weekend is upon us, what have you all got planned? Are you busy, busy & starting to get ready for the Christmas rush or are you enjoying a relaxing weekend at home? 

After being out all of last weekend, I had a fairly low key week which was nice because it’s been so cold & wet here. Spent a day catching up with family & having lunch out at a local pub & then the rest of the week was just hanging out colouring & playing at home with the boys & a little bit of housework thrown in. I’m looking forward to doing more of the same this weekend.

Anyway first up for this installment of Fan Girl Friday I’m highlighting a colourful character I stumbled upon quite a long time ago over on Instagram. 

1) MarkPitt3101

  

He plays along in a lot of photo challenges so I’m sure it was through one of them that I found his eclectic account. He is a dad of two & he’s that awesome, he let’s his daughter paint his toenails & they all enjoy coloured pancakes for breakfast on occasion. 

He takes great photos of his work on the railway (in black & white of course) because as per his hashtag #workstufflooksbetterinblackandwhite

I love seeing his drawings/doodles for those challenges he partakes in. He’s quite a talented artist & so many of his images have me going “wow” but my favorite is keeping up with his cute little creation “Simon the Goat” & you can follow his story & adventures under the hashtag #theadventuresofsimonthegoat

  

You should definately go & check out Mark’s gallery here as there’s really something for everyone. 

2) #Iamnotabigdeal & #instagramunedited {hashtags}

  

These hashtags are pretty new to Instagram but I just love the idea & message behind them. 

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up looking at all the perfectly styled photos & the picture perfect lives portrayed over there & feeling a bit flat or down because your own life doesn’t seem as exciting or colourful, and your house doesnt look like it belongs in a magazine spread.

But remember most people only focus on the good & beautiful or as I like to say, their more “polished moments” Instagram is an escape & creative outlet for many so their pictures & captions will reflect that. But behind each square snapshot there is a real person, with real life struggles happening off camera just like you. 

These hashtags are trying to bring that side to light, to say hey, I’m not perfect & neither is my life, here’s what you don’t see from my posts & it’s really worth checking them out & having a read of everyone’s captions to see there’s so much more going on behind the scenes of what we see & that we’re all just doing the best we can. 

  

                        Lozzie x 

Do you sometimes feel less than or envious of what you see on social media? Do you have your own hashtag series that I should check out? Are you following MessyRainbows over on Instagram? If not you totally should be & you can do that here or find me over on Facebook here 


Super Simple Chicken & Sweetcorn Soup

What happened to the warm sunny days of spring? Mother Nature must be taking a nap or washing her hair because these past few days she’s let things slip & it feels like we’ve been taken right back into winter with this cool & rainy weather.

I don’t know about you but I love to eat warm comfort foods in the colder weather & I LOVE soups! There are so many different varieties so it’s hard to get bored & they can be decadent, rich & creamy, chock full of veggies or as light & healthy as you like. So while it’s still cool enough I’m taking advantage & knocking out this quick & delicious soup, because come Summer, I’m all about the salads. 

Hubby’s not a huge fan of soup (give the man meat) & he’ll often ask “so what’s for dinner?” after polishing off a bowl or two, because to him soup is an entree or starter but not a main meal. 

However, I find I can get away with the occasional soup for dinner IF it has some meat in it & IF I serve it with some lovely crusty bread or salad on the side. 

If you’re anything like me, (time poor, not the best cook, hate slaving over a meal & doing lots of dishes) then you’ll love this one pot, super quick and easy chicken & sweet corn soup. It’s really tasty & filling too & you can make it two different ways. 

Now just for the record I feel it’s important to point out here I’m no masterchef (far from it) nor am I a food stylist & I don’t have a big beautiful dream kitchen perfect for photographing (although I do wish) so my cooking/foodie posts may be a bit basic (or “rustic” if you will) and just a little bit “messy”, but they’re real & that’s how I cook. I like quick, easy & tasty meals that require minimum ingredients & processes (with two hungry kids underfoot and the constant cries of “where’s dinner” & “I’m hungry”  every few minutes  they need to be) so my recipe posts & photos that accompany them will reflect that more often than not.  

Chicken & Sweet Corn Soup.   Serves 4. 

Ingredients

1 ltr of chicken stock (salt reduced or even veggie stock is fine)

400-500gms chicken breast or thigh (I use breast meat) 

2 tins Creamed Corn

1/2 bunch of spring onions/shallots 

Optional extras- soy sauce, 1 egg whisked, chilli & coriander 

Method

Wash & slice shallots diagonally using whites & a little bit of the green, keeping a handful of the green to the side for garnish 

Bring the stock, shallots & creamed corn to a boil in a large pot, stirring occasionally 

When boiling, turn down heat a little & add raw chicken thinly sliced or cut into cubes (it will cook in the hot stock) continue to stir frequently & cook until chicken is cooked through (approximately 10mins, depending on size of chunks) you could put in the whole breast or thigh (to poach) remove & shred with a fork once cooked through, this will make it more authentic & like what you’d find down at your local Chinese but it will take longer & I ain’t got time for that. Besides the chunkier pieces make it more “meaty” & it gives hubby something to chew so he’s less likely to complain about “soup.”  

Alternatively you could use BBQ chicken shredded up & thrown in for an even quicker dinner & if you’re a Martha Stewart type you could totally make your own stock from scratch too. 

Season with a little cracked black pepper & serve in bowls with reserved spring onions to garnish on top. I find it especially tasty served with some garlic or herb bread to dip in & soak up the yummy broth. 

That’s how our family has it (due to hubby’s allergies, his low threshold for anything spicy & a dislike of corriander) but if you want to kick it up a notch & make it a bit more gourmet you can follow the steps above & then just add a whisked egg in the final minute of cooking, being sure to stir constantly to avoid it scrambling. You could also add a splash or two of soy sauce & then garnish with some chilli & corriander leaves. Yum!! Enjoy.

 
  
   

Do you have a favorite flavor soup? Do you think soup can be a main meal or is it not filling enough for you?  If you give this recipe a try let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

                             Lozzie x

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