24 November 2015

Family Health Check

It's wise to get a regular health check every year or so isn't it? Whether it's seeing your doctor, dentist or optometrist, a regular check up often lets you know if there is anything that needs addressing, fixing or keeping an eye on.

The same type of thinking is really important when it comes to your family. Life can be flying past, with family members being like ships in the night.  No matter what age your children are, it's really important to stop and take account of how things are going every now and then.

Are we getting into a bad habit as a family of watching television too often? Would it be better to have more meals together at the dinner table and conversations with each other? Are we respectful in the way we are all talking to each other?  Is our child tired or have they closed off from us more than usual? Are my husband and I setting a good example for the kids in the way we speak to each other? Who is actually not putting the toilet seat down?  Just kidding on that one! Every now and then it's good to stop and think, and ask yourself some of these questions or similar questions.

No family is perfect, and it shouldn't be a stressful or negative thing to take a good healthy assessment of your family/marriage/friendships every now and then. 

Some people have a health query and are off straight away to the Dr to see what it's about, and others would rather stay away and pretend it's not there, often fearing the worst. Sometimes I think I can fall into the latter category.

It's risky to be honest and open with how things are going in your life, but it's the only way you can stay healthy and develop great relationships, whether it's your marriage, friendships or family.

Hiding away from the truth never does anyone any good.

Some tips and ideas:

Sit down with your spouse and check in with each other as to how you feel things are going in your relationship. Don't just focus on the things that need improving, but what you are both loving and hoping to continue to develop.

Have a family meeting (keep it light hearted but real) and ask your children what things they love about your family and things they'd love to see changed or worked on. Make sure you let little ones have their say - sometimes they have fabulous insights and ideas!

Think about the different friendships you have in your life - are they healthy relationships or detrimental? Encourage your older children (especially teens) to think carefully about the friendships they have in their lives as well.

As we learn to keep an eye on the health of our families, marriages and friendships, we can learn to grow and thrive, while gaining the confidence to face challenges and issues honestly and openly - the best way to grow healthy children, marriages and friendships.

I'm all for that!

17 November 2015


Ambrosia is a classic Kiwi dessert favourite!  Apart from being extremely easy to make, the thing most people love about Ambrosia is the fact that you can make a wide variety of flavours and combinations, depending on what fruit is in season, or what you have available in the cupboard. Imagine Strawberry ambrosia with chopped white chocolate and shortbread crumbs or Blueberry ambrosia with milk chocolate pieces or Apricot ambrosia - drool!  The choices are endless - have fun.

To start, think up the kind of flavour you'd like to make, then follow the simple recipe base below to create this delicious dessert.

  • 500 mls of cream.
  • 1 litre of yogurt (choose flavoured yoghurt to compliment your fruit)
  • Fruit (a can of fruit with most of the juice drained or you can use fresh fruit (1-2 cups chopped) ie. blue berries, strawberries.  Frozen fruit works fine as well).
  • 1 bag marshmallows (whole or chopped).
  • 3/4 block large chocolate or 2-3 small bars (get creative here with either white/milk/dark chocolate or you can use other novalty bars like moro, cherry ripe, flake etc).
  • You can also add other items like crumbed biscuits, etc.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form, then fold in all of the yoghurt.
Stir in your chopped fruit, marshmallows and chopped chocolate/biscuits (can save some for garnishing later).

Chill for 2-3 hours in a large bowl or separate dessert bowls/glasses, and before serving garnish with more chopped chocolate, or a swirl of berry juice.


For more delicious recipes visit here.

26 October 2015


Here are a few things I've been loving lately (cause we all know the power in keeping a thankful heart)...

Loving celebrating my second born son's birthday recently - 14 years old!!  You know what that means don't you... two sons old enough to baby sit now!  Yeeehaaaaah!  We celebrated with family and this Ice Cream Cake drizzled in caramel sauce.  So good!

Loving the roses that are blooming at our house at the moment.  The gardens are a bit of a shambles here and we can't really do much to them until we've finished the re-piling, but thankfully the roses and other pretty blooms don't mind!

Have loved baking with my girls - I really must make more of an effort to do it more often. Recently we made Coconut Mice - basically Coconut Ice shaped into mice and cheese segments! Fun and delicious.  They only took about a million hours to shape and decorate, but it was worth it.

Speaking of coconut, loving this new drink!  If only it was around when I was young, I could have avoided having to drink goats milk!!

Loving making Pita Bread Pizzas when an easy dinner is called for, and a great meal that people can get involved with (if you have fussy pizza topping people in your household)...

Loving girl time... not loving that we could have just bought a few tubs of ice cream at the supermarket instead and still come away with a saving... but you live and learn!

Loving this neat dinner idea that our friends Jackie & Les had - a "sticks" themed night with all food items (entrée, main and dessert) to be served on sticks.  There were so many delicious items to eat! We brought an entrée of cherry tomatoes, basil and mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar, a main of shrimp, chorizo sausage, potato and red onion kebabs and a dessert of marshmallows, brownie and strawberries on a stick drizzled with chocolate!  Drooling right now as I write.

Finally, loving our girl Boo.  She's getting older, but is still such a sweetie (most of the time)...

Here nickname should be "Ball Wrecker".

Have an awesome week!!!

For more Loving/Lately posts, go here.

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