Thursday, August 28, 2014

Germany's beautiful Mosel Valley


We recently returned from a fabulous week away in Germany's beautiful Mosel Valley.
The Mosel is a wine region located near Germany's western boarder and is famous for its steep slopes overlooking the rivers, which the vineyards are planted on. The area is filled with cobbled towns, storybook castles, picturesque medieval streets tucked between steep vineyards and gorgeous scenery.
We stayed in a cute little German style cottage and spent our days sight seeing and taking in all the beauty surrounding us. It was so nice to have some much needed relaxing quality family time and the Mosel was the most perfect place for it.

The Mosel is most famous for it's delicious Riesling wines! 
Just like a fairytale!

Stopping to take in all that beauty.

Bremmer Calmont the steepest recorded vineyard in the world. 

Strolling through the streets of Cochem. I adore this charming, romantic little city! 

My loves
Peakaboo!




Strolling through the adorable city of Zell.

Enjoying the stunning view. 






Antoinette x

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sugar free, gluten free, dairy free, banana pancakes (just two ingredients!)

Banana pancakes served warm with unsweetened natural yogurt and warm raspberries. 

I was beyond excited when I heard about this amazing  sugar free, gluten free, dairy free, banana pancake recipe with just two ingredients. It sounded a little too good to be true so I gave it a try and they seriously exceeded far past my wild expectations! These pancakes are so delicious and super healthy not to mention quick easy to make. 


So what are these two magical ingredients?? 
Egg + banana. 
Don't believe me, try it out for yourself. 

I made the pancakes above using two free range eggs and a large ripe banana. 
  
1. Mash the ripe banana in a bowl with a fork until it is smooth and free of lumps. 

2 .Add the eggs and mix together with fork or whisk into a batter. For extra smooth consistency you can use a blender. (I added a dash of cinnamon but this is totally optional)

3. Lightly grease a frying pan with butter or coconut oil and heat stove top to medium. 

4. Add a thin layer of batter to the pan depending on what size you you prefer your pancakes. Once the first side is lightly brown, flip and repeat.

5. Serve warm with topping of your choice. (I added natural unsweetened yogurt with warm raspberries)

(Serves 2)

Enjoy!!

Antoinette x

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Our extended breastfeeding story

This photo was taken shortly after Emilia was born. The beginning of our long beautiful breastfeeding relationship. 

Emilia is now almost 19 months old and still breastfeeding 1-2 times a day, always first thing in the morning and sometimes after her nap. If she's not feeling well or teething she will breastfeed a little more. These are our special moments together, our one on one time, cuddle time, our quiet time. 
I was determine to breastfeed Emilia for a whole year but after her first birthday I just knew she wasn't ready to be weaned.  Lately she has been wanting to breastfeed less frequently and I know that this chapter is slowly coming to end. It's bittersweet for me but it's definitely time and I am content in knowing that Emilia is almost ready.

I had an interesting conversation today about extended breastfeeding with a good friend of mine who also breastfed her little boy for well over a year. We were talking about how society puts so much pressure on women to breastfeed for six months to one year but as soon as the child turns one the pressure is on to wean as quickly as possible, as though breast milk is bad and suddenly losses it's nutritional value, which I think is just ridiculous. 
Many people seem so shocked when they find out i'm still breastfeeding Emilia at almost 19 months and I always get the same reaction ''you're STILL breastfeeding!!?'' In the same tone as ''You STILL have that horrible flu!?'' I have even had someone tell me that Emilia was going to be ''less independent'' because I was still breastfeeding her. Well actually it's quite the opposite, Emilia is very independent, strong willed and confident. This has been one of many annoying comments and I normally don't worry about other peoples opinions and I consider myself confident in my parenting decisions, but  I must admit that for some reason these types of reactions did start to get me down. So much so that  when Emilia was around 15 months I decided I was going to try and wean her cold turkey. After reading an article online I tried a pretty funny method of putting sticky plasters over my nipples and pretending they were sore. Well to cut a long story short this method actually worked (kind of) and Emilia did not want to breastfeed for a whole day and night. By the morning my breasts were so sore and engorged that they felt like they were going to burst. The whole morning Emilia was really irritable, emotional and just not herself which I knew deep down was because of my attempt to wean her cold turkey. I quickly realised that abruptly stopping breastfeeding was definitely not the right way for us to go about it. I also realised that my sudden decision to wean Emilia didn't come from her being ready, it came from me being made to feel bad for breastfeeding longer than what society thinks is 'normal' and 'accepted' 

Well right now I really couldn't care less about what anyone else thinks and I'm happy and proud to say that I am still breastfeeding my almost 19 month old. We are slowly starting the weaning process because I feel that she is truly ready not because I'm being told by anyone that she should be ready. 

Antoinette x

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Healthy gluten free lunch ideas for busy mamas

As a busy mama I always try and make it a high priority to eat a healthy nutritious lunch.  It's so important for me to have the energy to keep up with my very active toddler and when I eat well my body really thanks me for it!
As soon as Emilia go's down for her nap around 12 pm I make lunch for myself  and I'm always searching for delicious, healthy ideas which are easy and quick to prepare. Sometimes I'll do some preparation the night before to save me time because lets face it, no one wants to be slaving in the kitchen during our precious nap time break. 
Here are some of the lunches I have had this week. 

Salmon and Chickpea Salad. 


This is one of my favourite salad combinations and is packed with nutritious super foods which give me energy and make me feel fabulous. 


Chickpeas, cured salmon, rucola lettuce, sweetcorn, grapes red bell pepper and chopped herbs topped with an olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and wild honey dressing. 
I love to add chickpeas to my salads as they are a slow burning carbohydrate which fills me up and gives me the energy I need. 


Omelette vegetable wrap


These delicious omelette wraps are such a great gluten free alternative to wheat tortilla wraps and are packed with so much protein. 
To make these wraps I combine 3 free range eggs, a dash of milk a little sea salt and a T spoon of all purpose gluten free flour. I then whisk the ingredients together and fry the wraps in very thin layers with a dash of olive oil until they are golden brown. This makes about 6 wraps.
To save time I like to make the wraps in the evening to last me a few days and all I need to do is add my favourite fillings the next day.  


My wraps above are filled with avocado, tomato, cucumber  iceberg lettuce, green bell pepper, fresh herbs and Greek yogurt/garlic dressing. 

Seasoned roast vegetables


For an easy, healthy lunch I always enjoy a big bowl of crispy seasoned roast vegetables with some sweet chilli dipping sauce for that extra zing. I like to rotate my vegetables depending on what's in season or what I feel like. In autumn I absolutely love roasted pumpkin and sweet potato's. 

In the photo above I have roasted carrots, potato's, zucchini, red pepper and onions in a little canola oil sprinkled with sea salt, black pepper and rosemary seasoning. I wash and dry the vegetables then chop them up in small pieces and roast them for about 30 minutes at  200°C until they are nice and crispy. 
For extra nutrients and flavor I like to keep the vegetables in their skin but always make sure the carrots and potato's have been well washed.

Enjoy!

Antoinette x

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Popping in to say hi
















Its a hot, sticky summer's evening here in Bavaria Germany. Emilia is fast asleep, Rob is watching a movie which doesn't interest me and I'm in the mood for blogging.
Last time I updated my blog this little curly haired toddler of ours was just 14 months and now she's 18 months old and still the light of our lives and constantly amazes us. 
This last year and a half has been a wonderful, crazy, adventure and I have learnt so many valuable life lessons. I would be lying if I said that motherhood has been all smooth sailing but I can honestly say that my heart has never been full with so much love and appreciation for my husband and our little girl. 

I know that my blog posts have been few and far between lately and to be honest I really don't know whats happening with this little blog of mine or where its going. Blogging use to be such a huge part of my life and such a fun, therapeutic outlet for me and part of me still wants to hold onto that. As I briefly mentioned in a previous post  I fell right of the blogging bandwagon as soon as Emilia was born as my attention totally shifted and I found it hard to make time to blog. Maybe I will get back on a roll and start blogging regularly or maybe I will pop back once in a while but all I know is that I am definitely not ready to let go of blogging altogether so if anyone out there is still reading my blog, please bear with me. :)

I'm not going to write a huge update as I don't want this post to turn into a novel but I wanted to share some words that best describe Emilia's character and spirit. 

Loving, fun, friendly, affectionate, joyful, confident, Inquisitive. (I'm aware that I'm probably completely bias but I don't care, I adore this little girl ;)


Oh and last but not least here is a fun little family clip I threw together about a month ago. It was taken on a hot summers day in W├╝rzburg Germany. 
Enjoy!



Antoinette x 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Emilia's 14 month update











So much has happened since my last post I don't even know where to start! Emilia is now 14 months old and I know I mentioned in her 9 month update that I wanted her to stay that age forever but that's because I didn't know her at 14 months. This is seriously the most fun we've had yet!

Walking 
I now have a professional walker or should I say runner! At around 9 months Emilia started using furniture and anything she could pull herself up on to walk around. At 11 months she built up enough confidence to take her first steps on her own. She was a bit wobbly for the first few weeks but now she whizzes around everywhere at 100 miles an hour.

Language
She can only say a handful of recognizable words but she's constantly babbling and experimenting with different sounds. She understands so much more then she can actually say, for example if I say to her ''where is Layla?'' (her baby doll) she will point to her or go and pick her up. Or if I say ''where are mamas shoes?'' she will point to my shoes or ''where are Emilia's shoes?'' she will point to her shoes. Her favourite game is walking around with us and pointing to different objects and wanting us to tell her what they are, she then tries to imitate the word we are saying.
We are raising her bilingual, I speak to her only in English and Rob speaks to her only in German as we want her to be fully immersed in both languages. Right now she is understanding a little in both languages but definitely more in English as she spends more of her time with me. Her Oma and Opa speak to her in a mixture of German and Polish and her aunty (Robs sister) who is deaf has started teaching her sign language so her little brain must be working overtime trying to process all of this information. I do worry a little sometimes that all these languages might be confusing her too much, but everything I read about raising children with multiple language reassures me that we are doing the right thing. Toddlers brains are like sponges and they are capable of leaning far more at this age than we could ever imagine. I am so interested to see how Emilia's languages progress.

Personality
Emilia's such a happy, friendly, confident little girl and I just love her spirit. She has always been a really cuddly baby but recently she has started coming up to me out of the blue and giving me kisses and cuddles which is pretty much the best gift I could ever receive! I have also caught her giving her baby doll little kisses and rocking her in her arms which is the sweetest thing ever. I hope she always stays so kind and loving.

Antoinette x

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Emilia is 9 months!













It's been so long since my last blog post and I feel so out of touch with the blogging world!  I don't even know where to begin as so many exciting things have been happening. I  really wanna try and blog more regularly because it's such a great outlet for me and something I miss so much.  

Emilia turned 9 months last week and I wish she would stay this age forever. Yes I know I say this about every age but seriously 9 months is the absolute best! She smiles and laughs so much and just loves her little world. I'm trying to take it all in and enjoy every moment cause she's growing and changing so unbelievably quickly. This little girl brings me more joy on a daily basis than I ever thought was possible. 

Emilia's milestones 
Emilia went from commando crawler to professional crawler in no time and boy does my baby love to crawl! She whizzes across the room in two seconds flat and I need to have my eye on her all the time because she's into absolutely everything.

She recently started pulling herself up into standing position and uses furniture to walk around. Rob had to adjust the setting on her cot to make the bars higher so she doesn't topple out when she stands up in there. 

She now has two teeth at the bottom and her two top teeth cut through last week. 

She babbles all the time and hums along to music. She can say dada and baba but i'm still waiting for her to say  mama. She loves to wave, clap her hands and play peekaboo. 

I'm not really sure if this is a milestone but she loves books. Rob reads to her every night in German, I read to her in English and when we visit her Oma and Opa they read to her in Polish.  Sometimes she just sits by herself with a book and looks at all the pictures. 

Sleeping
Our little girl is a great day sleeper and a terrible night sleeper. She usually sleeps for a solid hour mid morning and another hour sometime longer in the afternoon. She's mostly in bed by 7pm every night still wakes a few times a night for her milk and lately she's been more wakeful than usual because of teething. She has never once slept through the night, but we're working on it!

Eating
We are still going strong with breastfeeding and I'm not planning on weaning her any time soon. She started solids when she was 6 months old but she still prefers breast milk over anything. Meal time is always guaranteed to be an extremely messy event as Emilia is little miss independent and insists on feeding herself. She doesn't like to be spoon fed and always grabs the spoon off me so she can feed herself. We are currently experimenting with 'baby led weaning' which is basically self feeding and seems to suit Emilia so much better. It was a completely natural progression and I actually just went on my instincts with this one. She loves any type of sweet juicy fruit and I always have to mop the floor afterwards. 

Gosh I feel like this blog post could go on and on as there is so much more to say after so long not blogging. I think I better stop here so it doesn't get too long and boring. 

Antoinette x

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Emilia's first time in New Zealand!

We arrived back from Germany a few weeks ago after spending 5 weeks with family and friends in New Zealand!
It was wonderful to spend so much quality time with loved ones and for everyone to finally meet baby Emilia.
Parts of the holiday were just amazing but other parts were kinda stressful. Basically flying for 24 hours into different time zones with a baby is not ideal and I definitely don't recommend it unless its absolutely necessary. The huge change was pretty tough on poor Emilia and she spent the first two weeks confused and recovering from jet-lag! Thankfully she has slipped into a pretty good sleep routine since we have been back in Germany and the jet-lag hasn't effected her as much as it did when we arrived in New Zealand which we are so relieved about
The hardest part about living overseas is having to say goodbye to people I love over and over again. It rips my heart out every time and never seems to get easier. I wish I could have a big Germany and New Zealand all rolled into one!

Here are some highlights from our trip...

As a child my family spent around two weeks every summer staying at our beach house at Waimarama. I have some of my fondest childhood memories swimming, making sandcastles and running around on the beach. I was so excited to take Emilia to Waimarama for the first time and it felt so surreal and wonderful being there with my little girl. 

It was a beautiful sunny day without a cloud in the sky and it felt like we had the entire beach to ourselves. It's hard to believe that these photos were taken in the middle of winter! Sunny winter days like these are something I really miss about living in New Zealand.

I couldn't think of a better way to spend the day than at Waimarama beach with my two favourite people.

I adore this little face!

Emilia wearing her polka dot outfit from her grandma Maree. 

Emilia loves showing off her tricks so everyone. She's not quite crawling yet but has figured out how to do multiple rolls and drag herself along the ground to get to where she wants. 

Spending precious quality time with my darling mum and seeing her and Emilia together was hands down the best part of my holiday.

Harper-Lily and Emilia finally meet for the first time! One of my best friend Darriennes baby girl was born two weeks before Emilia. These two hit it off straight away and seeing them together was just priceless!

Chelsea and I have been friends since we were babies and her little girl Miller is 6 months older than Emilia. It was amazing and so surreal spending time together with our own daughters!

It seems like just the other day Fran Darrienne and I were on the bus to high school and now we are married with babies!

Fun times with Darrienne and our girls. 

Emilia and her handsome big cousin Peter.

Emilia and her gorgeous niece Georgie.

Emilia enjoying her pureed pears.  

Multi tasking papa! 

Emilia absolutely adores her great Poppa and seeing them together brought tears to my eyes.

The hardest part about our New Zealand trip was having to say goodbye to my darling Nana and Poppa who are both in their late 80's. I'm so grateful for the  special, quality time we had together while we were there. 
Antoinette x