Uncategorized

We are what we eat…

Getting older sucks… I have gained weight and I haven’t changed the way I eat, your metabolism slows down and the middle age spread begins… are you kidding me? Really?

Ok, so I admit I really do need to excercise more, but I’m a busy Mom of 8 children, I include my older ones too, from first thing in the morning until I sit down with that much needed glass of wine I’m on my feet rushing from here to there, but according to my OBGYN that’s not the type of excercise that is going to burn off those calories at my ripe old age, well he didn’t mention the ripe old part, I’ve just added it in so you get the picture… he says I need at least a 20 minute cardio routine per day that will get my heart racing, so even my gentle morning yoga routine does not fit the bill for getting my heart racing I’m afraid. Food is also important and consistency, 4-6 healthy small meals a day, well the small portions are not a problem for me as I’ve never eaten large meals, but 4-6 is a huge problem, I can go hours and sometimes forget to eat… ok so here we go, new me, I am determined to beat this middle age spread.

I love healthy foods, I love salads, I love soups, I love fish, I love veggies, I even love radishes too, so how hard can this be? 4 to 6 small portion meals/snacks a day together with a low impact cardio workout, just to start me off and some yoga to keep my joints supple. The hardest part of a carefully thought through menu plan is the prepping, to have a healthy menu for Paul to go to work with is the planning a prepping the day before… this week we are keeping it simple and doing a ‘let’s see what we can make with what we have in’ using up supplies in our refrigerator, freezer and pantry… so next week we can start a fresh in an organized way… does anyone else do this once a month, to clear out the old ready for the new?

Let’s start with Breakfasts that I can easily prepare in advance… healthy banana, oats and honey waffles, perfectly preprepared and easily transported if you have to go out…

Serves 2
One cup of gluten free oats
I cup of dairy free milk, almond or coconut (if using coconut I suggest 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup water)
1 egg
1/2 a banana
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of raw honey
1 egg
1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon of extra virgin oil

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend for about 1 minute… add 1/4 cup of the batter to a lightly oiled waffle maker and let it cook for 2-3 minute.
Serve with fresh fruit, Greek yoghurt or for a dairy free option a tablespoon of almond butter 😋

My next easy to prepare breakfast is raspberry, coconut chia pudding…

Serves 2
1/2 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries
1 cup of coconut milk
1 tablespoon of raw honey
2 1/2 tablespoons of chia seeds

Take the first three ingredients place them in a blender and let them blend for 45 seconds, divide the blended fruit milk into two mason jars then add 2 1/4 tablespoons of chia seeds, place the lid onto the jar and shake to mix the chia seeds, place in the refrigerator over night… top with a few raspberries and a tablespoon of sliced almonds 😋

Now if I’m staying in I love a slice of whole grain gluten free bread with avocado and grape tomatoes drizzled with balsamic glaze and if Paul is going to work I make him a super healthy veggie omelette ready to cook in the microwave for a couple of minutes and a piece of fruit. Another healthy on the go breakfast is a smoothie served with a hard boiled egg for protein.

Lunches are much easier when you are at home, your choice is endless, I love salad, cheese, eggs, veggies, homemade hummus and steamed veggies, but planning a healthy portioned out work lunch takes a lot of prep… 5 meals, 5 healthy carbs, 5 healthy lean proteins and plenty of veggies ready for a busy week of working… quinoa, brown sprouted rice, sweet potatoes, ground turkey meatballs, oregano chicken and Cajun pork, all leftovers from a past week dinners and lots of veggies, but when you are home you can quickly bake some sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper, add in a little arugula and a lightly fried egg, finally whip up a Harrissa dressing… so good 😃

Heathy fish and chicken tacos are my favorite dinner option, polenta crisped salmon and chicken tenders served with warm corn tortillas, salad and a healthy mango salsa, easy healthy and filling. Dinners are always a challenge in my house, some of us need GF carb options, some of us don’t like veggies, some of us are mainly vegetarian, except for a little fish and some of us are such basic eaters that meat and plain pasta is all they will eat. Salad is my friend, I can add a protein and then a healthy carb and it covers most diets in my house… but soup season is on it’s way, although I love Summer, I personally love soups they are so versatile, healthy and can stretch your budget sideways.

Snacks are my biggest challenge for planning ahead, each time we eat we are meant to have a complex carbohydrate, a protein and a fat, so getting that right in a snack is a huge headache for me… protein bites were simple and nutritional for a snack, gf oats, almond butter, honey and then I added chopped nuts dried fruits and seeds. Another idea is brown rice cakes, and almond butter, or fruit and a handful of nuts… but with all the planning snacks still remain something I think about last and quite often forget to eat myself… I am working at it though… slowly 🙃

… and then we always need an occasional treat, I try my hardest to make these treats as healthy as possible, like lemon muffins made with yogurt and honey… light and delicious 😋

Whatever you eat, try to make it nutritional, delicious and make sure you drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated throughout the day.

Uncategorized

A blatant plug for Florrie’s Attic on Etsy!

My house is so unorganized at the moment, I hate it, but with my lack of energy all I’ve managed to do is crochet and sleep… Adding to the chaos are so many doctors appointments, it’s just crazy, appointments for iron infusions, appointments with my OB and appointments for ultrasounds, in between my own appointments there has been Florrie’s checkups and vaccinations with the pediatrician… Just madness, but in the last week we have gone from a three car family, with 5 people scrambling to share 2 cars to a very comfortable 5 car family, less taxi’ing around for this tired momma!

On the subject of crochet, I have been concentrating on my Etsy shop and trying to add new products in the hope I can attract some new customers, I would love it if you could help me out and share my shop to others also my Facebook page… I would be very grateful if you could help me out!

Here are some of my new products…

20140126-085425.jpg

20140126-085444.jpg

20140126-085451.jpg

20140126-085459.jpg

20140126-085508.jpg

20140126-085517.jpg

20140126-085527.jpg

All of these newborn hats are just $10 each and ready to ship!

I have several new items I am working on, another baby blanket with the crochet edge, I am totally in love with these, they are perfect for the warmer weather of spring and then into summer, I love that they are very different, so with that in mind I am going to make some burp cloths, I love different looks that are not generic like shopping in Target, so I wanted to create an unique look for these… Watch this space!

20140126-085645.jpg

This is a newborn baby blanket, made with a very soft shirting fabric, it has a crochet edge… It is $18 ready to ship!

20140126-090204.jpg

Inspiration…
I am officially 32 weeks pregnant today, but I will leave you all with a belly shot from 29 weeks!

20140126-090505.jpg

Uncategorized

Snow Day…

It’s cold and it’s snowing on this Saturday in December, due to children needing our cars today, we have no cars on our drive, so no getting out and about for us today… SNOW DAY! Luckily I planned ahead, my cupboards are stocked with food and I’m prepared for a warm winters day worth of comfort foods… On the menu today for dinner is another flat apple pie and a easy caramel sauce courtesy of the Pioneer woman, a cheesy fondue from Trader Joes and my favorite bread of theirs too, ciabatta together with a wholefoods recipe of pumpkin chili, converted to slowly cook in my crockpot!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for us, not only is Christmas approaching too fast and presents need buying, organizing and then wrapping, my parents have arrived to stay with us, the older boys have all had final exams for this semester and have been working extra long hours due to the festive busy season in retail… Life has been chaotic, busy and just plain exhausting recently! Coughs, colds and sneezes are currently circulating our house, so we have not only had pregnancy doctor visits but doctors appointments to check on the coughs too, thankfully just winter colds, but still not very nice to have… I am not a fan of pumping drugs into my children or myself until I’ve tried more natural remedies, and thankfully my children’s pediatrician agrees with me, so my remedy healthy eating and lots of fluids… Fingers crossed for a germ free Christmas Day!

20131214-101906.jpg

Now for a shameless plug for my Etsy Shop Florrie’s Attic, In between all the chaos of the run up to the festive season, I have been crocheting for my shop… Please stop by and take a look Florrie’s Attic on Etsy

20131214-102402.jpg $30.00 for the set!
This is a crochet hat and scarf it is made in a size that would fit any 8 to 12 year old girl, it is made in a charcoal gray yarn with a beautiful cream flower attached to the scarf! Although this item is ready to ship it can be made in a variety of colors and in three sizes, toddler, girls and ladies, please message me for details! Also these items can be shipped anywhere again message me for a shipping price!

Uncategorized

Trying to stretch a dollar or two…

This year has certainly been financially difficult for us, we have had several car accidents costing us a lot of money not only with paying the first $1000 but also with insurance rates increasing dramatically. We also had a chimney fire and parts of our roof were damaged with the hurricane that came last year… All in all 2013 has been a little bit of a struggle in many ways… But on the positive side, we still have each other and I firmly believe that positive thoughts breed positive behavior!

With that said with things the way they are at the moment I am all in for trying to save a little bit of money, I particularly love this time of year food wise, you can really make your dollar stretch with hearty, healthy meals, soups and stews are perfect fall money saving meals, lots of root cheaper veggies fill out all those fall meals, last night I made a delicious potato, green bean and chicken soup, served together with a rustic sausage, apple and sage stuffing bake, I estimate the cost to feed a family of 6, and I say 6 as that is how many people ate this dinner was $2.65 per person… Hearty, warming, yummy and very cheap! With this in mind, I am challenging myself to make healthy fall meals for less than $15 a night… Can it be done? Who knows but I am going to try, I love a bargain and I do love a challenge!

Very quick chicken and potato soup… I found this recipe on the whole foods App, I did tweak it a bit, so no link…. I love this app for healthy recipes, I use it a lot!

2/3 packet of frozen hash brown potatoes ( a trick I got from the Pioneer woman, when you just don’t want to peel and grate potatoes or just do not have time)
1 finely chopped onion
1 stick of celery chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons of paprika
4 cups of chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
6 ready cooked chicken tenderloins ( these are another of my short cuts, Costco have a large bag for $14, and are perfect for very quick healthy meals)
2/3 bag of frozen green beans ( the recipe actually said frozen peas and although I love peas my children do not, and as I wanted them to eat it, I changed to something we would all eat)

Place all of the ingredients into the pot, placing your chicken tenderloins on top, cover, bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes, then take off the chicken and chop or shred the meat, place to one side whilst you blend the contents in your pot, add in your green beans, top up with a little bit more water if you think the soup is too thick, bring back to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes then add your shredded chicken and simmer for a further 5 minutes… Time to serve… Delicious!
(Of course this recipe would also work well in your crock pot, I would place all the ingredients as stated in the slow cooker and cook on high for two hours, then follow the instructions for adding shredded chicken and beans but this time together, switch to a low setting and cook for a further hour).

I have always been a fan of repurposing things, I love Antique shops, thrift stores and flea markets, you can find so many hidden treasures… I don’t get to go nearly as much as I would like to these days. There was a time not so long ago when we used to spend Sunday afternoons in a little town called Lewis, near Brighton browsing the antique shops then drinking coffee in the quaint little coffee shops, of course this was when my boys were much younger and we just seemed to have far more time on our hands… Oh how I hunger for those lazy Sundays right now! I really think in this economy many people have turned to making and repurposing things within their homes… In the days of Margaret Thatcher, life became about the money and the possessions you had… Keeping up with the jones’ was the phrase of the day, and for some this is still very much the way things still are… I have never been like that, my style is shabby chic, I don’t care if something is designer and expensive or cheap and second hand… If I like it, that is all that counts! All this is a very fortunate trait , as right now I am very keen on making, creating and repurposing to create things I love for those that I love!

On a side note… Florrie’s Attic has taken a back seat in the last few months, due to the dreadful first trimester sickness, it was as much as I could do to get out of bed and cope with my family let alone think about my beloved Florrie’s Attic… But now 16 weeks later I think I am finally feeling a little bit better and my head is buzzing with all things Florrie’s Attic… First I have to complete some projects I had already started and post them up, then I will be moving on… Look out little boys things will be being added very soon… Some things are just meant to be!

20131010-084617.jpg

Uncategorized

Blueberry Mojito time…

Paul has converted me over the last couple of years… I officially love mojito’s, I wasn’t sure about them at first, but Paul’s love of a nice ice cold Mojito has totally got me addicted now. Father’s Day in our house has come to mean, the last of the spring soccer games, followed by a cocktail or two on the deck all served with a nicely cooked BBQ and a slice of cake to finish everything off… Father’s Day our way!

So, I received my weekly zip list email last week and there was a gorgeous photo of blueberry Mojito’s, I followed the link and was inspired for our Father’s Day cocktail this year, but of course I forgot to bookmark the recipe so I had to wing it by adding blueberries to our Mojito recipe;

For each glass …
1/2 lime cut into 4 wedges
10 mint leaves
1/8 cup of white sugar
A small hand full of blueberries
Place all of these into the glass with a pestle grind the ingredients so that the juices and sugar make a nice paste, then add ice and 4-5 whole blueberries, top with 1/4 cup of white rum and 1/2 cup of club soda… Stir and enjoy!

We also had a BBQ this year, I had no back up plan if it rained, which it has done a lot this year! On the menu… Philly cheesesteak bar, grilled rubbed steak, grated cheeses, onion, peppers and toasted rolls, take your pick and create your very own Philly cheesesteak! We also had Italian inspired freshly made burgers… To your ground beef add 1 cup of freshly made breadcrumbs mixed together with a handful of chopped rosemary and another handful of thyme, then mix in one tablespoon of red chili flakes. In your blender add a bunch of fresh parsley, some freshly sliced Parmesan cheese, a clove of fresh garlic and a half of a red onion… Blitz until finely chopped then add into your ground beef mixture… Mix together thoroughly then cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, mine sat around chilling for 4 hours whilst we went to our soccer games! Finally heat your grill, shape into patties and cook to your desired taste, grill the buns, then top the burgers with cheddar cheese, tomato and lettuce… Enjoy, Paul said they were the best Father’s Day burgers he had ever eaten… Maybe an exaggeration but they did taste good!

Finally on a Florrie’s Attic note… I spent my Monday morning wandering around Jo Ann’s Fabric store, possibly one of my favorite things to do, inspired by another order… Yay, I wanted some thinner cotton yarn for my hat flowers, I then had the idea I could sew little pillowcase dresses and add my crochet flowers for decoration, keeping in a theme of combining crochet with all my products. So totally inspired I bought the cutest yellow and gray fabric… All I need now is a spare hour or two and hopefully my vision will be ready to launch in my shop… So watch this space Florrie’s Attic!

20130618-081857.jpg

Uncategorized

My shop is now open…come on in and take a look around!

After months of thinking, saying and procrastinating over opening an Etsy online shop, I have finally taken one giant leap for this craft loving mommy and actually opened, announced and advertised my shop, I’ve created a page linked to this blog and another one on Facebook… Florrie’s Attic is now open… It may work, or it may not, who knows but it is officially open selling sun hats at the moment!
Please take a look and see what you think, say hi, or stay a while and browse around, everyone is welcome at Florrie’s Attic

20130615-215206.jpg

If you also have time come along and join me at my new Florrie’s Attic facebook page and if you love my page please click like and join me along on my new adventures!

My plan is to follow Gordon Ramsey’s advice, I know he is a chef, but his theory for a menu in a restaurant, is to keep it simple, I am thinking this applies to opening a shop too, a few key products to sell in different designs, simple and fun! I have opened my doors with my beloved sun hats, I love creating them and hope that all though there seems to be a lot of competition out there, my hats will stand out for design and quality among others!

My doors are always open… So come on in!