Friday, 7 March 2014

My UK holiday part 1

am excitedly posting from a divine bed'n'breakfast Corsham Field Farmhouse, just outside Stow-in-the-wold, in the Cotswolds.  My sister is marrying an Englishman and the wedding is in Bath.

We were very lucky to have enough frequent flyer points to fly first class on the big A380 all the way to London.

We excitedly picked up our little car and headed west.  We decided to stop in Oxford and luckily we did as our car started spilling out smoke from the engine and it turns out the oil cap was missing. We spent 2 1/2 hours sorting out the issue thanks to the lovely help from Jim from the AA who made many phone calls and drove us around Oxford to get a new cap.

So we missed out on seeing Oxford on this day, but may go back.  We arrived in Stow at 2pm and checked into the exquisite little b'n'b known as Corsham Field Farmhouse.  Robert and Julie-Anne have been extremely helpful and generous with their time, offering suggestions for day trips from the area.
Best wishes

Friday, 14 February 2014

My first shift back - valor essential oil

Well I am back at uni and still loving my degree, however was a little distressed to be thrown back into birth suite.  I was hoping to ease my way in with a few antenatal or postnatal shifts to get my rhythm back.  The only shift left for me was a night duty so after much justification to myself I decided to cancel the shift.  When I really looked at the reasons behind cancelling my shift it was that I was nervous about starting back on shift.  So at 8:45 I decided I would do my PM shift.  I was starting to get quite anxious on the way there so I pulled over and pulled out valor.  I put a couple of drops on my palms, rubbed my hands together and cupped them over my nose so I could inhale the delicious smell, before continuing on my way.

Valour is a blend of Rosewood, Blue Tansy, Frankincense, and Spruce Essential Oils to instill courage, confidence and increase self-esteem, all to balance the body in "emergency" situations.  When I arrived at shift I also added some stress away just to shoo the last couple of butterflies still fluttering in my stomach.  I had an amazing shift supporting a woman labouring in the dark and the midwife supervising me commented on how confident she felt having me in the room with the woman and her family.  It really restored my confidence and eagerness to get back in.  On the next shift I had 3 catches so really getting into the swing of it now.

Warm regards


Disclaimer:  by clicking on the link above you will be directed to my own Young Living page.  I earn income from any sales made on that page, however I would not put on here anything I did not use and endorse

Sunday, 19 January 2014

A small case of shingles

img src: Young Living essential oils
Last year I woke up with what I thought to be spider bites on my forehead.  Fast forward four days and my eyes so swollen I was admitted to hospital for IV antibiotics and head scans (sorry I can't remember exactly which one).  Turns out (through a mistake of the nurse) I was diagnosed with shingles and ended up with a secondary infection that caused the swelling.  I was extremely lucky that it was isolated to a few small spots just above my left eye and there is was only some tingling and no pain.  I ended up taking lysine and zinc and eliminating nuts and chocolate from my diet until the sores had completely gone and the tingling had subsided.
img src: Young Living essential oils

You can then imagine my concern when I noticed tingling and a small blister on my forehead only a week before I was due to go overseas for my sisters wedding.  It was too late in the day to stock up on lysine so I put a drop of peppermint and lavender essential oil on the blister as a quick fix.  Imagine my joy when I woke the next morning to find that the blister had reduced considerably.  It was still tingling, however after starting my course of lysine that has now gone too.
img src: Young Living essential oils

I love my essential oils and have recently become a distributer of Young Living Essential Oils (my disclaimer here).  I have a diffuser (that I received for free from family buying oils) in my children's bedroom that I put peace and calming (which contains a blend of Tangerine, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli, and Blue Tansy essential oils), plus lavender in every night and Duey is sleeping past the sunrise in the morning and is only taking 3-4 attempts to stay in bed instead of an hour plus.

Warm regards

Mands xox

Disclaimer:  I am not claiming that any of these remedies cured my shingles, just pointing out what happened when I did something

Friday, 17 January 2014

Menu Plan for the week of the 20th of January - 26th of January

So I have done one up for the next week.  I am still sugar free and it is going really well.  I have lost 2kgs, which is great, but more importantly I have people commenting on how healthy I am looking and I feel that the fog is lifting....

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with bacon and vegetable hash browns
Snack: Caprice salad
Lunch: Turkey salad
Snack:Spinach and artichoke dip  and vegetable sticks
Dinner: Beef satay skewers with rice and vegetables

Breakfast: Ham and cheese omlette
Snack: Caprice salad
Lunch: Beef and broccoli salad
Snack: Pumpkin hummus and vegetable sticks
Dinner: Chicken romanesco with salad
Breakfast: Mexican breakfast bowl
Snack:  Turkey with avocado and lettuce rolled
Lunch: Cobb salad
Snack: Spinach and artichoke dip with vegetable sticks
Dinner: Beef and mushroom open burger

Breakfast: Huevos rancheros
Snack: Tomato slices with ham and cheese peices
Lunch: Turkey Salad
Snack: Taster plate
Dinner: Chicken stuffed with goats cheese and rocket with salad

Breakfast : Scrambled eggs with sauteed mushrooms and spinach
Snack: Caprisse salad
Lunch: Cobb salad
Snack: Broccoli, capsicum and cheese bits
Dinner: Sausages with potato and salad

Breakfast: Bacon and spinach omlette
Snack: Cheese and vegetable sticks
Lunch: Chicken salad
Snack: Dip and Quinoa and chia flatbread
Dinner:  Haven't planned yet as I will see what is left over in the fridge

Breakfast:Mexican breakfast bowl
Snack: Almond bread with ABC spread
Lunch: Tofu and edamame salad
Snack: Ricotta stuffed capsicum
Dinner: Chicken with sauce and salad

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

{School Lunches} Gluten free Scroll

I am so excited.  I have always wanted to send off scroll on my son's lunch but was told that it couldn't be done as gluten free bread is always a batter not a dough.  Well today I have done it.  I am soooooo excited.  I usually don't include brand names, but I have today as gluten free flours can be different and behave differently.  I have adapted from the basic bread recipe in the thermomix every day cook book.


100 grams buckwheat (flour if you don't have a thermomix or something to mill in)
2 tsp yeast
300 ml water
2 tsp xanthan gum
20 grams olive oil

Thermomix method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees fan forced.  Mill buckwheat for 1 minute, speed 9 and set aside.

2. Put in yeast and water and heat 1 minute, 37 degrees, speed 1

3.  Add remaining ingredients and mix for 6 seconds, speed 6.

4.  Knead 2 minutes, on wheat setting.

5. Sprinkle a bit of gluten free flour on the bench and shape into a ball.  Put into a container for about 30 mins (I am not actually sure it got a lot bigger though).

6.  On a floured bench roll out until about 1/2 cm thick.  Spread on the toppings - anything you like -, cut in long strips about 3 cm wide and roll.  Stack them next to each other on a baking tray (I used the square tupperware baking thingy) and bake for 30 minutes.

7.  Let cool on a wire rack
I have used gluten free vege spread and cheese on the bottom ones and cheese and ham on the top ones.

What is more exciting is that the texture is decent and the boy LOVES them.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Mexican style sweet potato and sausage scramble

I love Mexican flavours, maybe because I love smothering organic sour cream and avocado over it.  I am a bit over eggs for breakfast so decided to cook up a sausage scramble.  This can also be eaten as a lunch or dinner if you don't like dinner foods for breakfast.  For those who want to make this more budget friendly serve with rice.


1 clove garlic
1 onion, quartered
1/2 red capsicum, quartered
10 grams EVOO or coconut oil
500 grams of gluten free sausages made from grass fed beef, sliced into coins
2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped into small cubes
2 tomatoes, diced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp parsley
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
chilli flakes (optional)

Thermomix Method:

1. Add garlic, onion and capsicum and chop for 4 seconds, speed 5.  Add oil and cook 3 minutes, varoma, speed 1.

2. Add remaining ingredients to thermomix and cook 15 minutes, varoma, reverse, speed soft.

Non-thermomix method:

1. Dice onion and capsicum and crush garlic.  Heat large pan on medium heat and saute onion, garlic and capsicum.

2.  Add remaining ingredients and cook for about 6-7 mins without stiring on a moderate heat.

3. Gently stir through and cook again for about 6-7 mins. 

4. Check potatoes to see if they have soften, if so serve, if not repeat previous step until cooked through.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Menu Plan for the week of the 13th of January - 19th of January

I am still on the I quit sugar plan - week two here I come...

Breakfast: Sugar free granola with yoghurt
Snack: Vegetable and salmon rissoles
Lunch: Quinoa salad
Snack: Raw hummus and vegetable sticks
Dinner: Vegetable, tomato and cheese risotto

Snack: Quiche cups
Lunch: Club wrap
Snack: Quinoa sushi
Dinner: Steak with herb-ed butter and steamed vegetables

Breakfast: Baked beans with avocado and baby spinach
Snack:  Quinoa sushi
Lunch: Quinoa and chia flatbread with avocado salsa and rocket
Snack: Capsicum and Sundried tomato dip with vegetable sticks
Dinner: Spaghetti bolognaise with hidden vegetables on vege noodles

Breakfast: Sausage with Sweet Potato pot
Snack: Quinoa sushi
Lunch: Chicken rissoles with noodles and asian salad
Snack: Taster plate
Dinner: Roast lamb with roast sweet potato, pumpkin and steamed green vegetables

Breakfast : Baked beans with avocado and baby spinach
Snack: Vegetable muffins
Lunch: Club wrap
Snack: Cheese plate with vegetables and crackers
Dinner: tasty bite curry as our "takeaway meal" for the week

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with bacon, grilled tomato and baby spinach
Snack: Vegetable and salmon rissoles
Lunch: Mexican quinoa with salad
Snack: Dip and Quinoa and chia flatbread
Dinner:  Haven't planned yet as I will see what is left over in the fridge

Breakfast: Sugar free granola with yoghurt
Snack: Almond bread with ABC spread
Lunch: Steak sandwich
Snack: Guacamole with vege sticks
Dinner: Devilled sausages

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