Being The Mother Of A Son

by Kate on June 21, 2013

Alfie & I

This photo was taken in March 2008, when we finally got to take Alfie home from the hospital. He was 4 weeks old.

When Lex invited me to write about ‘Being the Mother of A Son’, I was thrilled. My excitement, however quickly gave way to mild panic and the question, what shall I write about?

I got to thinking and realised I could write oodles about the gorgeous, sensitive little guy I have on my hands. About his rocky beginning (born at 31 weeks) and the small but nonetheless difficult challenges that he faces every day.

But, instead I want to talk about love.

While I was thinking about Alfie. About him and I. I realised something important about the various men in my life.

I realised that Jason, my Dad, my Pa and my brother all adore the women in their lives. I have been a recipient of their love, whether as a partner, a daughter, a grand-daughter or sister. I cannot begin to express how incredibly lucky I feel. To have experienced, throughout my childhood and during my adult life, so much love from these men.

So, where did all this love come from? Is it intrinsic in each of us? Are we taught it?

I don’t know the answer. I suspect it is a combination of many things but I like to think that love begins in the home.

I firmly believe that a loving and secure environment gives each and every one of us the belief and confidence that you can tackle life head on. It has certainly been that way for me.

Now, you might be thinking where I am going with this? I am, after all supposed to be talking about being a mother to Alfie.

I guess what I am trying to say, is that the most important thing I can do for Alfie, is to love him. To love him so hard that he feels like he can take on all the good and the bad things that come his way.

That he can take my love and shower the world with it and when the time comes, he will know how to love that special (and very lucky) woman in his life.

Oh gosh, how very sentimental of me! What do you think? Do you think love begins in the home? Is it something we can teach our kids? Do they even love in the same way as us, their parents?

The gorgeous ladies below are writing about their own experiences of ‘Being the Mother of A Son’. Grab yourself a cuppa and settle in.

meetmeatmikes
PottyMouthMama
Checks and Spots
Mrs Smith
Kootoyoo
Sadie and Lance
Pigeon Pair
Mogantosh
Hugo and Elsa
Gourmet Girlfriend
mamabake

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The Big Squeeze

by Kate on May 31, 2013

Untitled

This scarf has been one of my most satisfying projects yet.

Luscious chunky wool that is wonderfully soft and which knitted up very quickly. I bought the yarn from Purl when I was in new York and I am now kicking myself that I didn’t get some more. These scarves would make the perfect gift for just about anyone.

I used two skeins of Purl Soho Super Soft Merino, cast on 18 stitches with 9mm needles and kept knitting until the wool ran out.

It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Ravelry

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The week that was…

by Kate on May 26, 2013

view from the Met

On Thursday I arrived home after ten very full on days in Manhattan. That place never ceases to amaze me. It is so full of energy and from the moment you arrive, you get swept up in the frenetic pace of it all.

I walked, ate, shopped, walked, ate, went to a few favourite places, then walked, ate and walked some more.

Exhausting but brilliant.

Highline

The real standout of the trip was the Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity exhibition. Wonderfully curated, breathtakingly beautiful and very inspiring. I feel really lucky to have seen it.

I am creature of habit so you can imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon Juice Press. It is important for me to maintain some semblance of normality when traveling and I got my green fix from these guys on a daily basis.

Juice Press

If you are heading to NYC, you can find my ‘to do & see’ lists here and here.

There really is no place like home, it is good to be back x

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Haiku

by Kate on April 29, 2013

Haiku

Haiku

It has been lovely reacquainting myself with the hook and Haiku was the perfect project to ease back in to crochet. Mindless repetition which became mediative.

I ordered the pattern from Quince & Co, along with two balls of tern. Calico & Ivy stock a gorgeous brushed suri alpaca from frog tree yarns, it is so wonderfully soft that I ended up using it, held double with tern.

The result is wonderfully soft and drapey.

I gifted this number to a wonderful lady I have had the pleasure of working with over the last twelve months. I am very sad to say that little Calico & Ivy (Balmain) will be closing its doors this Saturday *sob*.

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daily green : recipe

by Kate on April 22, 2013

Daily Green

The last few months have seen me make a concerted effort to eat lots of greens on a daily basis. I’m a big salad girl but sometimes time gets away from me and on those days I whip up a green drink.

There is nothing quite like whacking a few ingredients into a food processor and minutes later knowing you have a cup of goodness in your hands.

Serves 1-2
200ml coconut water
large handful of baby spinach
large handful of fresh mint
one peeled kiwi fruit
half an unpeeled cucumber
half a peeled grapefruit
half a peeled avocado
one teaspoon of white or black chia seeds
one teaspoon of spirulina powder
handful of ice

Throw in all ingredients and whizz for a few minutes until you have a smooth consistency.

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Nutty Quinoa Salad

by Kate on April 15, 2013

Nutty Quinoa Salad

I have made versions of this salad on a few occasions and it is always a winner with the crowds.

Prior to quitting sugar, I used Israeli/pearl couscous in place of the quinoa and chopped dried apricots instead of diced green apples. Whatever your dietary requirements, both versions taste great.

I generally serve the salad as a side dish but by adding chicken or tuna as well as some leafy greens, you have a substantial lunch on your hands.

ingredients
1 cup of quinoa (or 110 grams of israeli/pearl couscous)
2 green apples, diced (or 85 grams dried apricots chopped)
170 grams mixed nuts, such as almonds, cashews, brazils, walnuts
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
5cm piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
large handful of fresh parsley, chopped finely
juice and zest of 1 orange
slat and pepper

method
1. cook quinoa (or couscous) as directed on label
2. Mix together nuts, apple (or apricot), parsley, ginger and orange zest in a bowl.
3. Fork cooked quinoa (or couscous) to separate the grains. Add quinoa to nut & fruit bowl. Dress with olive oil & orange juice. Season

Serves 6 as a side dish

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Toasted Coconut Butter Bon-Bons

by Kate on April 10, 2013

Toasted Coconut Butter Bon Bons

Over the weekend, Meg and I were ‘chatting’ about our experiences with quitting sugar and she sent me over a few links to recipes she had tried at home. I was immediately taken with her banana bon-bons, they just looked so delicious.

As well as cutting out sugar I try to limit my daily intake of fruit to two servings of low fructose fruit such as green apples, raspberries, kiwi’s, mandarins and strawberries. Banana’s are quite high in fructose so I knew I would have to substitute the banana for a low fructose fruit.

I made up a batch of Meg’s toasted coconut butter (which was mind-blowingly amazing!), dunked in bits of fruit and topped it off with some shredded coconut.

Complete deliciousness but not a winner with the kids?! I couldn’t quite believe they didn’t like these (so typical though, right?) as the coconut butter has a wonderful caramel flavour to it. I was tempted to eat the whole batch straight out of the food processor.

Whether you are sugar free or not, you must try the coconut butter for yourself.

Meg’s toasted coconut butter recipe here and her bon-bon recipe here.

Thanks Meg!

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i quit sugar : week 5 & beyond

by Kate on April 9, 2013

iqs wrap up
Photo : Sprouted Kitchen

If you have been stopping by here for a while, you have probably gleaned that I am an ‘all or nothing’ personality. When I discover something I love, I’ll tell anyone who will listen just how fantastic said discovery is. I get so excited and passionate (and also a little consumed) by the things that have had a positive affect on me.

I’m sure my friends and family find it tedious and no doubt you may too! And with that in mind, this is going to be my last post on my experience with Sarah Wilson’s 8 week quitting sugar program.

You just need to know that because of the program, I have made a heap of changes to how and what I eat.

If you think you have a problem with excess sugar consumption, then I cannot recommend Sarah’s book enough. Once you have completed Sarah’s 8 week program, your body (and you) will have well and truly kicked the refined sugar habit.

Moving forward, you will be able to make informed choices about what NATURAL sugars (think honey, maple syrup and fruit) that you may want to reintroduce. The beauty of doing the 8 week program is that you realise just how sweet the said natural sugars are. A little goes a long way and you will no longer be grabbing a bar of chocolate or smashing back a pastry to get your sugar fix.

Use Sarah’s book as a starting point and then check out these wonderful blogs for further inspiration: The Holistic Ingredient, Sprouted Kitchen, 101 Cookbooks and Inspired Edibles.

And in the words of a very good friend, just “have a crack”!

*edited to add* Last week, I came across the ebook ‘I didn’t quit sugar’ and it is a fantastic read. I do think the title is a little bit of a marketing ploy but if you can get past that you will find it jam packed with a heap of nutritional advice and facts around sugar and its sugar consumption. Whilst Katie & Cassie do not advocate the complete reduction of natural sugar intake, their message is one of including the natural stuff (honey, maple syrup & fruit) as part of a balanced whole-food diet.

I think there is a place for both methods. I found it a lot easier (and became more educated) to kick my sugar addiction by first doing Sarah’s 8 week program. I now feel I am at a really good, clean place to reintroduce small amounts of sugar, in the form of fruit, on a daily basis.

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i quit sugar : week 4

by Kate on April 2, 2013

Coconut Oil Tips

Photo : Sarah Wilson

J and I are on the home stretch!

Although we have just finished week 4 (because we skipped the first two weeks of ‘operation cut back on sugar’), we are at the equivalent of week 6. This means we have introduced low fructose fruit back into our diet (raspberries, kiwis and green apples) but I am taking it very easy when it comes to my fruit intake. I just don’t want to get back into the habit of making fruit the ‘go-to’ snack.

I was slighted concerned about the Easter break, we had lots of social engagements which translates to a fair amount of food and wine but it all went quite well. The raspberry ripple came out at two dinners and the crunchynut cheesecake was a huge hit with my family on Good Friday. J and I both resisted the lure of chocolate eggs.

I just haven’t had the urge to have chocolate. If anything, I would much prefer to indulge in some of Sarah’s sweet treats…the almond butter bark is one of my favourites.

Anyway, I have been feeling really good. I have lost two kilos which I find remarkable as I am sure I am consuming more calories now than I was before cutting out the sugar.

Sarah mentions in her book that coconut is a really important element when cutting out sugar. If you are doing ‘iqs’ or thinking about trying it you should have a look at this post. It has some great tips on how to use coconut oil.

Oh and you may have heard that from July 1 the folk at Google have decided that google reader will be no more and like many, I have popped over to bloglines.

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i quit sugar : week 2 and 3

by Kate on March 24, 2013

Raspberry Ripple

Photo : Sarah Wilson

I meant to check in last week but uni got a bit out of control. The busy-ness of last week actually made me re-assess just how many units I can commit to while I still have Alfie at home. After a lot of soul searching, I came to the decision that one unit at a time is all I can manage at this point.

It is Alfie’s last year at home before he heads off to school next year and I want to make the most of the time we have together before the little guy gets corrupted by the school yard. As soon as I made the decision and withdrew from one of my two units, I felt like such a weight had been lifted.

On the ‘i quit sugar’ front, things have been going really well. We have had a few people over for dinners and it has been really nice to try out some of the sweet treats from the book.

The avocado and chocolate mousse was so easy to make and was a real hit. It has such an intense chocolate flavour so I would recommend serving them in espresso cups as overall it is a very rich desert.

Yesterday, I made the raspberry ripple which was such a hit with our guests. I served it alongside a cheese plate and it was the perfect accompaniment.

The recipe can be found in Sarah’s book but it also sprung up in a google search via channel 10′s ‘The Circle. You can get it here.

If you are interested in reading a little more on the sugar and fructose debate, you should head over to Sarah’s site. It contains so much information but I found this post really interesting.

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