Saturday, September 27, 2008

Nautical Spring

Spring has sprung here in Perth, Australia - well, almost! Even if the weather is not quite cooperating, sending some chilly, rainy days, I have been inspired by all the new clothes available in stores now. The nautical theme is a recurring one each year, and it's not hard to see why. It's crisp, classic and always stylish. It is also a very easy look for Chic Mummies to achieve, and can really help take a basic jeans and top outfit from something boring and run-of-the-mill to something chic and elegant. In this outfit, you could be running your kids to school, having a coffee with your chic mummy friends, or strolling down the French Riviera (hey, a girl can dream, can't she?!!).

This outfit starts with basic wide leg jeans. Add in a simple navy top, and you have the basic uniform of many SAHMs. Swap out your usual trainers for a red of wedges. The wide leg jean really needs a wedge, a chunky heel or a ballerina flat (if you have long legs) to look balanced. I like a wedge heel because they are more stable and comfortable than a chunky heel; I can run after my toddler in wedges, and they are comfy enough to be on my feet all day. Add on a couple of red bangles, grab a casual tote (I like the Coach one above because the navy colour ties in with the rest of the outfit, and stash a striped cardigan like this J Crew one in your bag in case the weather becomes a bit cooler. This outfit is stylish, but best of all, just as comfy as your usual jeans and tee.

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check out my page on polyvore to see the details of the clothes featured

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Case of the Sweat Suit Substitute

I have loved Laura Bennett ever since I saw her on Project Runway, and her style is one that SAHMs can easily emulate. Laura combines being a mother to six with designing while always looking impeccable. She writes a charming little series for iVillage, called Case Clothed, and her latest one is called The Case of the Sweat Suit Substitute. It has some great little tips, nothing earth-shattering (but it is great to be reminded), so check it out here.

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image: source

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Orangeade and Lemonade Recipes


Today there were some beautiful blood oranges at our shop, so I brought some home and made some orangeade. I know that traditionally lemonade and orangeade are summer recipes, but I love them all year round. They are a great way of getting your kids to up their vitamin C intake as they are just so yummy!

Fresh Orangeade

To make about three litres of old fashioned fresh orangeade, add the rind of three lemons to half a litre of water, and bring to the boil. Add 200g sugar and stir to dissolve. Leave to cool. Strain, and add the juice of 10 oranges, the lemons and 2 litres of water or soda water. Chill until ready to serve.

Fresh Lemonade

Take the juice of 12 lemons and add 250-300g of caster sugar a cup at a time, stirring continuously until dissolved. Fill a glass or jug 1/4 full, and top with water or soda water.


Add-ins

These add-ins are a great way to jazz up the basic recipes.


  • Ginger: fresh ginger root and ripe pear slices

  • Watermelon: watermelon puree and a watermelon slice

  • Lavender: dried lavender, fresh lavender leaves

  • Peach Tea: equal parts lemonade, peach nectar and iced tea, peach slices

  • Kiwi-Melon: sliced kiwi fruit, honeydew puree, honeydew slices


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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Handmade Baby and Kidswear

I love handmade items for my kids. You can't go past the detail and the uniqueness of handmade items, and I feel it harks back to an earlier era when not everything was mass produced. If I could, I would spend all my time making things for Stephen and Irini. I have made beautiful patchwork quilts for them both, as well as their window treatments various artworks for their room and I've started on summer clothes for Irini.

Unfortunately, there are not enough hours in the day to make eveything I would like myself so I am always on the lookout for sellers of beautiful handmade baby and children's items. I am a huge Etsy fan - there are so many great sellers listing all sorts of handcrafted items. Today, i wanted to share with you some of my favourite places:

Hiccup Decor

Aren't these vintage style blocks just gorgeous? You can either buy them ready-made, or in kit form to make them yourself. Ashley is lovely and friendly, and her items are too cute. She also does adorable photo frames that look like giant jigsaw puzzle pieces.

3redbuttons

This Etsy seller from Tasmania does the most adorable little girls bloomers. How can you not smile when you see a little baby's bum clad in all those polka dot ruffles?

Boys Don't Wear Bows

Just the name of this wondeful site is enough to make mother's of little girls smile. Here you will find hundreds of beautiful bows to finish off your little one's outfit.

Red Plum Linen

Sura makes these amazing bed linens. She has a great range on line, but you can also contact her to custom make items for you. Both Stephen and Irini's rooms have linen sets from here. Stephen's are a mixture of Sage Green Stripe, Sage Green Spot, and Aqua Confetti, and Irini's are in Candy Stripe, Candy Check, Petite Fleur Pink and Earth Rose.

Made By Miffy

These wonderful outfits by Miffy are full of wonderful details just not available in mass produced items. Check out the piping and ruffles on this adorable dress.

Also check out the blog AussieKidsBoutique; Kathryn searches out wonderful Australian craftpeople creating handmade children's clothing.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Top 10 tips to keep stress away

Instead of reaching for the dessert, here are ten tips to keep stress away!


  1. Say no - delegate tasks to others; you can't do it all.

  2. Focus - do one thing at a time and forget the multi tasking.

  3. Turn off - one night a week turn off the phone & the TV and close the newspapers.

  4. Breathe - the old "count to ten" can do wonders to ease your stress.

  5. Create a routine - organize your chores for the week (check out Flylady's system).

  6. Start a to-do list - and use it! Enjoy crossing off each task as you complete it.

  7. Stop worrying - especially about things you cannot change or have no control over.i

  8. Plan ahead - plan out a week's worth of menus and shop ahead. You'll save money and the last minute "what's for dinner?"

  9. Don't bottle it up - share your feelings with your partner, other family or friends.

  10. Exercise - find some time for some exercise. Even a quick, brisk walk will give you more energy and help to take away some stress.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bone Health

Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease which is caused by the body not absorbing enough calcium. This lack of calcium causes the bones to become brittle, making them more prone to breaks and fractures. According to Osteoporosis Australia, 1 in 2 women over 60 in Australia will have an osteoporotic fracture. However, putting steps in place now can hopefully prevent you from becoming another statistic.

Three simple steps can help you achieve good bone health, and therefore help you to enjoy a healthy and active later life. Just remember CES: Calcium, Exercise, Sunshine.

Calcium

  • Making sure you eat enough calcium is probably the most important step. Low fat dairy products such as skim milk, yogurt and cheese are obvious choices, but don't forget the other sources such as leafy green vegetable, soy products, fish with edible bones (such as tinned salmon), nuts & seeds and calcium fortified foods such as OJ.
  • After the age of 25 your bones start to demineralise, losing calcium and other minerals. To slow down this loss, consume at least 1000mg of calcium a day which is approximately 2-3 serves of dairy.
  • After menopause, you can lose up to 20% of your bone mass from a combination of the decreased estrogen, and decreased intestinal absorption. Increase your calcium to 1300mg; you need to add another serving of calcium-rich food

Exercise

  • Your bones need constant weight bearing or resistance exercise to maintain their strength, or they will start to break down
  • Walking is a great weight bearing activity for the whole family
  • Swimming, cycling and aqua-aerobics are great for their cardiovascular effects, but they are not as effective at maintaining or building bone density. Make sure to add in weight bearing exercise as well.

Sunshine

  • UV rays are vital for our body to produce Vitamin D, which assists with calcium absorption.
  • You need to expose your face, hands and arms to sunlight for about 6-8 minutes a day to produce enough vitamin D.
  • Make sure to stay out of the sun between 10am and 2pm in summer, as the cancerous effects of the sun at this time will outweigh the vitamin D production benefits.


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Monday, September 1, 2008

Monthly Breast Exams

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women today. While many of us probably used to associate breast cancer with older women, over the last few years a number of high profile young women such as Kylie Minogue, Anastasia and most recently Christina Applegate have fought off this devasting disease. For women of all ages, the breast self-exam is a useful tool that is easily learned. It is used to look for unusual lumps, skin changes, or discharge and should be done once a month. The best time to check is a week after your periods. Starting today, I will post a reminder on the first of every month to jog your memory. Like today, it will include a guide to check your breasts, from http://www.healthfirst.net.au./ Please take five minutes a month to do this important check. Early detection could mean the difference bewteen life and death.

There are two important ways to check your breasts. The first is by looking. A mirror should be used to check the breasts for pulls, dents, odd colouring, or lumps. The best positions for inspecting are leaning forward, arms on hips tightly, or standing upright with both arms over your head. When checking the breasts, keep in mind that both breasts should look the same, especially around the nipple.

The second way to check the breasts is by feeling. There are two ways to do this part of the exam and it is best to use a different one each month. One method uses water or oil on the skin to help fingers glide over the skin more easily. The shower can be a good place for this kind of exam. The second way is to use a thin T-shirt or sheet over the breasts. In both of these ways, the little skin lumps and bumps are less noticeable. Feel the breast tissue for any areas that feel different from the rest of the breast. Sometimes a difference will be a ball or lump. Yet other times it will be a thickened band or a deep, hard area that does not move like the rest of the breast.

When feeling the breasts:

  • Check the breast in two or three positions, such as lying down, standing up, and even leaning forward.
  • Use the palm surface of the fingers, not the tips, to move the breast.
  • Divide the exam into parts. Examine one part from the outside of the breast into the nipple, and then from the inside to the outer edge. Realize the breast tail goes into the armpit, so the exam needs to include that area.
  • Remember the nipple is important, too. There is less breast tissue right under the nipple, so any lump there is a concern. The value of checking for discharge from the nipple is a debate since regular, hard squeezing of the nipple alone can cause a discharge. The gentle exam done towards your nipple is usually enough to show if there is a discharge. Any blood from the nipple needs to be evaluated by a doctor.

Breast self-exam is not a substitute for mammography or for regular exams by a doctor. Be sure to keep regular appointments as recommended by your doctor.

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