September 1, 2014

I Love...

Here's a rather big list of things I've been loving in July and August 2014 x

Pita Pit

I make my lunch at home pretty much every day during the week but we often buy our lunch in the weekend.  We often alternate between sushi or Pita Pit.  I can't speak for the rest of the menu (it all looks fabulous!) but I've never had anything else from their extensive selection except for the Chick N Fala.  Chicken, falafel and bursting with fresh salads in a light wholemeal wrap - it's a seriously tasty, healthy and filling lunch option.  And for an extra $1 you can upgrade your pita to a salad.  Love it!

I've always been a big fan of using tin foil and baking paper for healthier cooking options and easy clean up.  The new Mono Magic Foil has been a welcome addition to my baking supplies.  Whether its sticky teriyaki chicken nibbles or baking a cheesy lasagna, nothing seems to stick to this fantastic product.

Daniel Tigers Neighbourhood
This animated cartoon is a spin off of the popular American show, Mister Rogers Neighbourhood which began airing in the 1960's.  Both Mr Rogers and Daniel Tiger are characterized by "their quiet simplicity and gentleness".  What has really struck me about Daniel Tiger is that Maddie is really taking in what they talk about on the show.  She will often repeat what she has heard and understood from the show.  When she uses the bathroom I often hear her sing the little ditty "If you have to go potty STOP and go right away - flush and wash and be on your way".  Or when she is drawing a picture for someone she'll sing "making something is one way to say I love you".  And she now understands what it means to be frustrated.  I love this show because it was obviously hit a chord with Maddie and she is soaking up it's positive messages.  It airs through out the day on KidZone.

Wallace Cotton Storage Baskets
I purchased a couple of these versatile baskets for my girls playroom to hold all the play food and pretend cooking utensils.  They are reversible so I turned them green side out.  They are a generous size without being too bulky and their soft construction means they are really flexible.

Maddie was excited to be invited to a birthday party at the Seedling Store in Remuera in August.  I am very familiar with the Seedling brand but I had no idea they had a store or that they did birthday parties.  I was totally impressed from start to end with the service.  The theme was "fluttering butterflies" but there is also beautiful princesses, darling dollies, daring superheros, brave knights and ruthless pirates to choose from.  The parties are 1.5 hours long and that time is packed with crafts, activities, games and a wee photo shoot with props.

You can customise all of the party packages to suit your needs - everything is itemized out so you can add in or take things out as you like such as face painting, take home aprons, cupcake decorating, create your own Seedling snack boxes or individual treats such as Molly Woppy cookies, standard or deluxe Seedling goodie bags, hot beverages for the adults etc.  You can really mix and match things just how you like them to suit your budget.  There are two dedicated party rooms, one which is beautifully decorated to in your chosen theme, plus a dedicated kitchen should you wish to cater the party yourself.

And afterwards we browsed the gorgeous store and picked up a few little goodies to bring home.

Little & Loved were offering a special on Pana Chocolate last month so I jumped at the opportunity to try this amazing product which has been plastered all over my Instagram feed.  Pana Chocolate is raw, organic chocolate made completely by hand using sustainable processes - and it's good for you!  Just look at the base ingredients - cacao solids, virgin cacao butter, dark agave nectar, raw cacao powder, virgin coconut oil, wild carob, cinnamon and pure Himalayan crystal salt.

It totally lived up to all the hype.  It was amazing!  The smoothest chocolate I have ever tasted.  Raw cacao was hands down my favourite.  At $8.50 for a 45gm bar, it is definitely not cheap but it's quite dense and fudgy so I found one square at a time pretty much did me.  If you are really passionate about buying hand made, consuming a high quality product, care about the origins of ingredients and production methods then I think the price is totally worth it.

A great alternative which I really enjoy is Green & Blacks 85% Dark Chocolate.  If you are trying to curb your sugar cravings or be treat wise then this is a great choice.  It is quiet different from Pana Chocolate in that it is very firm and very bitter on first taste.  But stick with it!  The bitterness will disappear and you'll develop a real taste for it.  Green & Blacks 85% Dark Chocolate is "self limiting" - you won't scoff the bar down in one sitting.  A few squares and those sugar cravings will vanish.

Another brand that keeps popping up in my instagram feed is Frank Body.  Their coffee based scrub is designed to work "from the outside in" targeting cellulite, stretch marks, psoriasis, varicose veins, eczema and acne.  I don't think I've ever felt my skin so smooth.  I'd recommend using it in a shower with a detachable shower head as it can get pretty messy.

Last month I came across Genie Bean on Facebook.  Gina hand makes the most beautiful baby shoes.  Just look at these!  Aren't they just adorable!!!  And they're only $35!  I wish I'd known about them when my girls were babies.

She also makes a whole range of stunning accessories.  I grabbed the gorgeous mustard scarf (only $12) and grey headband (only $8) in the photos below for my girls.

I'm absolutely loving that I figured out how to clean the filters on our Fujitsu Heat Pump.  It seemed to be running really hard but not producing much heat (we were running it at 30°C with the fan on full speed).  We had it installed at the end of last summer but it never occurred to me to clear the filters (the manual says to do it every 6-8 weeks!  Whoops!)  Tonight it's running at 21°C on the lowest fan speed and the house is roasting.  Definitely make this one of your spring cleaning jobs so your heat pump runs efficiently!

I'm loving these three catchy tunes at the moment and have them on constant repeat while I sing-along and learn the words :)

We Are Done - The Madden Brothers

Ugly Heart - G.R.L
Totally not my usual style but I find it really catchy.

Chandelier by Sia
I'm sure everyone knows this song by now but I have had it on repeat for weeks.  I love it!  That little 11 year old Maddie Zeigler is a stunning dancer.

And finally, I would LOVE to be in a dancing flash mob and to be involved in one like this would be the pinnacle of my life.  I love 1940's big band music and I trained as a ballroom dancer for 12 years so this one has my name written all over it!  Aaahhh... a time when dancing was classy :)

I was not compensated for promoting any of the products or services above.  All opinions are my own.

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