Monthly Archives: March 2013

Chocolate Coconut Kiwi Fruit Icy Poles – Yummo!

Dark Chocolate Chips, Coconut Oil and Kiwi Fruit. All Organic and Vegan!

The other day while online I stumbled across Cathy the ShowFood Chef’s Blog. While I haven’t explored Cathy’s blog so much, I was totally inspired by her Kiwi Fruit covered icy-poles and decided to try them out for myself.

My 2.5 half year old LOVED this icy treat and literally tried to eat 5 of them at one time, which was very cute! They are really really easy to make, and a great activity to have your Little One help you out with. They are also a healthier alternative to most icy-poles you would buy in a store. Of course, I used all organic products and I love that it is all vegan.

Five at a Time

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Organic Kiwi Fruit. Peeled and Sliced in 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup of organic dark chocolate
  • A half cup of coconut oil
  • Wooden Icy Pole Sticks

WHAT TO DO

  • Peel and cut kiwi fruit into 1 inch pieces
  • Place Icy Pole stick into the center of the fruit

Sticks in the kiwi fruit

  • Place on tray and place in freezer until frozen (I left mine overnight to be sure)
  • In a double boiler, (or just a metal bowl placed in some boiling hot water), place the chocolate and coconut oil and stir till melted

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Miles Storm’s first 3D Movie – The Croods!

Sandy, Ugga, EEP, Grug, Guy, Thunk, Gran and Belt the Sloth make up this wonderful tale.

Last week, as a guest of the Mummy-Duo The Moms, Miles Storm and I had the opportunity to see a private pre-screening of the children’s movie The Croods at the AMC Theater on the Upper West Side in Manhattan.

It was my 2.5 year old’s second movie ever, and his first 3D-movie experience and he handled it surprisingly well. At first he did not really understand why he had to wear the glasses to see the effects of the 3D, but after me gently reassuring him he finally figured it out. From there on in, he was smitten. He happily sat through the whole movie, laughing at times (which was adorable) and throwing in a few “Wow Mummy, look at that” at some of the effects. He was particularly enthralled by the flying birds and butterflies throughout the movie and put his hands up, like many of the children in the Theater, to try to catch them.

The Croods is a wonderfully animated adventure comedy about a very interesting prehistoric caveman family who, are well stuck in a cave. It is indeed a mere existence. Eventually, by ways of a tragic natural disaster destroying the cave, the group is forced to move on. Although scared stiff, with the help of a mysterious boy named Guy, they are led on a spectacular journey through the many wonders of a world they had no idea existed – jungles, water ways and mountain landscapes. They are also met by many unthought-of-before hybrid animal characters that compliment the scenery. Not forgetting the genius concepts such as fire and tar pits that really throw everybody for a sixer (Australian for confuse the hell out of everybody)!

Father “Grug”, (voiced by Nicholas Cage), is beyond traumatized when his daughter “EEP”, (voiced by Emma Stone) falls in love with Guy. Of course, Daddy doesn’t approve and a power struggle erupts, well in Grug’s mind anyway.

As well as a spectacular movie to watch as far as special effects, there are hidden life lessons highlighted in the form of a struggling Father/Daughter relationship, coming to terms with in-laws, first time love and bonding together for the sake of survival.  All of these elements make The Croods an insightful, as well as entertaining, movie to take your family too. There is something in it for everybody – younger and older.

Of course there is a happy ending…… but you are going to have to go and watch the movie yourself, rather than me ruin the surprise for you.

The Croods starts showing today, March 22nd, in Cinemas across the United States. I have included below an official trailer of the movie, and to make it easier to find tickets in your area you can visit HERE.

Hope you love it as much as Miles Storm and I did!

Miles Storm and I hanging out with one of the stars of “The Croods”, Belt the Sloth

The 4th Annual Maya Tulum Mexico Yoga Retreat 2013 – Guest Blog Post by Sarah Willis Founder of SVARA Yoga.

Yoga on the Beach

Hi my name is Sarah Willis. I am a Mother of a 1-year-old Son, and an advanced certified Yoga teacher. I host a Yoga retreat in the beautiful Tulum Mexico every year. I have traveled to the Yucatán in the South Eastern part of Mexico since the 90s, and the magical beauty of this ancient paradise captivates me and draws me back again and again.

MY STORY

On the auspicious occasion of New Year’s Eve day 1999, the dawn of the new millennium, I was in Tulum with a group of adventurous women. We had decided to go on a jungle tour of an incredible emerald-green cenote (swimming hole) and experience an all women’s Temazcal (ritual Mayan sweat lodge ceremony) guided by a female Shaman who only spoke the native Mayan tongue. It was a special experience, truly a lifetime highlight. We worked with letting go of old patterns and behaviors, and making room for light and love in our hearts. Some of us were struggling with attachment to regrets or relationships that were no longer serving us, others with overcoming addiction and low self-esteem, others struggled with identifying who they were in the world and what they wanted to do. The ritual of the Temazcal offers us the opportunity to connect and support one another and then to set the intention to move forward embracing our dreams, creativity and making space for nurturing the soul’s progress, our Dharma, as it is called in Sanskrit. I remember feeling deep love and respect for the women with whom I shared this experience. Some are still close friends, others have drifted a bit, and others I never saw again, but I feel that we will always be energetically connected.

MAYA TULUM RESORT

A beautiful place to practice yoga

It was also during that trip that I discovered the Yoga retreat center and spa, at the resort Maya Tulum. Walking down the beach after a lazy morning, I stumbled on the most beautiful stretch of beach jettisoned by a stone formation extending into the water. The glimmering white sand is combed clean of the black hair-like seaweed that washes up on the shore, and chaises with white towels and beautiful natural palapa-style huts dotted the bluff above the beach. Venturing onto the property and winding my way through the manicured sandy paths connecting all the edifices and areas of the resort, I found the front desk and was able to get a tour. What a gorgeous spot! Beautiful rooms, with all the details—hibiscus flower and lily bouquets, mosquito netting draping from above the beds and some have luxurious bathrooms with views of the Caribbean. There are 2 high-roofed Yoga practice spaces with some resident Iguanas who like to lazily walk the perimeter of the structural beams, as if they were our ancestors supervising practice. The restaurant has ocean breezes and view, a juice bar, and gorgeous locally sourced food. Upon first sight, I was determined to bring my own group there some day.

Well, I am happy to say that I manifested that dream, as this April I am returning for our 4th Annual Maya Tulum Yoga Retreat!

THE FOURTH ANNUAL MAYA TULUM YOGA RETREAT 2013 IS UPON US

I feel that it is hugely important to take vacations away from our modern chaotic world. Especially as Women and Moms! So often we are running around taking care of everyone else’s needs and neglecting ourselves so much that we can start to feel very off-balance.

It is essential Read More Willy B Mum

Roasted Cauliflower Soup garnished with Kalamata Olives

First step – Cauliflower, Onion, Rosemary and Garlic into the oven to roast

I love cauliflower, it is absolutely one of my favorite foods on the planet. I love it roasted, as a salad and mashed just like potatoes. I have always wondered about making it as a base for a soup and this week while on the Treehugger Website I saw a recipe for “Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Aged Cheddar” and it got me thinking…..

The thing is, the recipe on TreeHugger calls for dairy products and I am not a fan of eating any animal products in my diet if I can help it. My Son also develops eczema when he has cow milk or cheese, and because of this, my husband and I stopped giving either to him a long time ago.

So, I decided to create a non-animal-product twist that is better suited to my family needs by using unsweetened coconut milk and a vegan cheese substitute instead. For my first go at it, it turned out really delicious, and because of the thick consistency can easily be substituted as a pasta sauce or even as a dip (like hummus) with veggie chips or raw carrots.

Total cooking time with preparation is around 2.5 hours and serves 4 generous adult servings.

Cauliflower has many health benefits including being a great food to eat if pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant. Cauliflower is full of folate B9 which protects from birth defects and low birth weight in babies.

It is also high in important B vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and thiamine, can aid in weight loss and has been proven to considerably help prevent certain kinds of cancer like prostate, breast and colon.

This is just to start, there are also many other positives about eating cauliflower like aiding the body with digestion, supporting in anti-inflammatory issues like arthritis and being chock-a-block in antioxidants.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 1 whole organic cauliflower, cut into small chunks
  • 1 medium organic onion, cut into small chunks
  • 15 whole organic garlic cloves
  • Small handle of fresh rosemary leaves (remove main stem)
  • 4 tablespoons of organic olive oil
  • 3 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup vegan shredded cheese (I used GO Veggie!™ Mozzarella Style Shreds)
  • 2 cup of unsweetened coconut milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (easy on the salt)
  • Sliced organic Kalamata olives to use as a garnish

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Resource every Mum & Dad in NYC should be aware of – City MD

Having your first child is a wonderful experience filled with Up and Downs. Highs filled with wonder and joy, and Lows where you are in frightening situations where you are at a loss and not sure what to do. One of the most frightening experiences personally is when Miles Storm is not physically 100% and we have to take him to the hospital ER. In the last 2.5 years this has happened say 6 times for a variety of reasons like high fevers, falls and vomiting. One fall even lead to him have a precautionary cat scan. Scary right?

My family divides time living in New York City during the week, and 2 hours North of NYC upstate in the quaint little town of Rhinebeck on weekends. We have been doing this for 7 years. Contrastively, we have the best of the city and country living.

The Northern Dutchess Hospital is located a few miles away from our home in Rhinebeck and is nothing short of exceptional. Thankfully, all the visits to the ER with Miles have been upstate and not in New York City. We were actually there this past weekend as my Son had a stomach bug and could not stop vomiting. We have always been placed in a room immediately, and the staff and Doctors are wonderful. Every experience has been reassuring, thoughtful and patiently explained.

But, in New York City a friendly small country hospital is not an option that is available. Due to the amount of people here, the Emergency Rooms can be horrible experiences. I have been a patient in hospital emergency rooms in NYC a few times and neither was a pleasant experience. First of all, insurance seems to be the most important thing when you walk in. Even having insurance, I’ve been made to feel like I am a criminal while it was checked and double checked before going any further. And, the waits!! You will wait hours and hours to see a Doctor. I once had a blood clot in my leg from a fall and I waited at NYU Hospital downtown for 3 hours before I was seen – a blood clot is an extremely volatile situation. Obviously, I was okay. I did stay overnight but as they had no beds available in rooms I was on a stretcher in a corridor. It makes me shudder to think about it. The hospitals feel very impersonal, and like the Doctor is always in a rush to get on to the next situation. I dread ever having to take my Son to the ER in this city.

This is why I was excited to be invited to a Mummy Blogger Q&A event recently to meet the Doctors and team that are behind City MD which is a walk-in emergency care center in Manhattan. I had never heard of City MD before and now have this as a reassurance that if  somebody in my family does have a mini-emergency, when in the city, we have an alternative to a hospital ER room.

At the moment there are 6 locations with more coming soon – Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Columbus Circle, Union Square, East 67th Street and Flatiron. The majority of the Doctors who work at City MD are experienced Emergency Room Doctors who are affiliated with Cornell University. I took a tour of the facility on the Upper West Side and it is very clean with state of the art equipment. City MD assure that you will be seen by a Doctor in no later than 20 minutes ; which is amazing. The are open Monday – Saturday 8AM – 10PM and weekends from 9AM – 9PM.

City MD definitely beats going to a New York City hospital any day!

**Please see below for a little clip showing the facility. This is to be used on the community site Romio which is a local website with recommendations from friends and neighborhood experts.

Left to Right – Me, Jessica who writes the Blog “Mommas Gone City”, Serena who writes the Blog “Mama Goes Natural”,  Tarik Sansal CEO of Romio, Dr John Kahoun of CityMD, Wendy who writes the Blog “Mama One Two Three”  and Calvin Hwang the Chief Branding Officer of City MD

For the Love of the little “True Blue” character known as GRUG!

GRUG began his life as the top of a Burrawang tree (Macrozamia communis) that looks more like a Grass tree (Xanthorrhoea). Resembling a small, striped haystack with a face, he is fascinated by the world around him and solves everyday problems creatively and without fuss. When dancing instructions are too difficult to understand, GRUG  invents his own dance and calls it “The GRUG” — Wikipedia

This August, I will be torn-hearted in both celebrating 10 years living in New York City and saddened with the realization that I have not lived in my beautiful Sunburnt country of Australia for 10 years. It brings to the surface a lot of emotions, especially now being the Mother of a small child who technically is half Australian and has barely spent any of his time living there.

This is why, I was so very excited to hear that the production of the legendary Children’s character GRUG is showing at my favorite Children’s Theater in New York City – The New Victory Theater. The New Victory Theater is a place where storytellers reign alongside daredevils, puppets, rock stars, break dancers and—most of all—kids (quote *NVT).

My little 2.5 year old Son and I were there last week, with bells on, to watch the performance of GRUG and we Both LOVED it!! But I mean, what is not to love – for my Son it was colorful, fun, inviting, innocent and engaging. And, for me, well, I was just proud to reunite with a memory I revelled in growing up and thus sharing it with my Son. I love GRUG and the The New Victory Theater performance was nothing short of charming, magical, whimsical, cute, fun, joyful and most importantly simple!

To back up just a little bit – GRUG was created by legendary Australian Father of 3 and Icon Ted Prior who wrote the first tale of GRUG back in 1979! Since 1979 Ted has produced around 25 different episodes of GRUG, with each story teaching valuable lessons to our precious Little Ones; like the tales of “Grug learns to swim”, “Grug goes to School”, “Grug Learns to Dance” and “Grug at the beach”.

So how did GRUG even come about? Well rumor has it that Ted was living on a farm, in the Australian State of New South Wales, reading to 2 young children when it dawned on him that he would love to write stories himself about an imaginary animal who lived in the BUSH (Australian terminology for Forest). After drawing a few pictures, the lovable GRUG was born. Thanks Goodness for that!

**Fun Facts – Burrawang seeds are extremely poisonous but, because they contain starch, are also highly nutritious…. Figure that one out! Burrawang is also a town located in the State that Ted Prior lived in Australia, New South Wales, where he created GRUG!

GRUG is showing at the New Victory Theater in NYC until March the 17th. The duration of the show is 45 minutes without intermission, which includes an interactive element (at the end) where children can meet GRUG and experience the set. Tickets are $20, yes I know a bargain for such a wonderful vibe. If you cannot make GRUG this time around in NYC, there are plenty more wonderful shows coming up 2013 at The New Victory Theater. You can sign up for their mailing list to keep up on that HERE.

If you do not live in New York City, GRUG is moving across the USA through Memphis & Nashville TN, Des Moines IA, Washington DC, Palm Beach FL, Cleveland OH and Fayetteville AR. Not forgetting Canada with dates in Surrey, British Columbia and St Albert, Alberta. To find out more information about showing times and locations you can go HERE.

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