Coughs, Colds and Comfort – Hydration

For the last two weeks our little house hold has been consecutively struck down by a nasty little cold.
First DinoGirl, then Husband now myself, then still Husband.
True to form DinoGirl gets a little fever, runny nose, a few sneezes, doesn’t want to eat and then the next day its almost all over except she is left with a cough and phlegm in her system for about another week after. Around this time Husband gets it, after feeling like he’s been fighting it off for a week already.
And because of his shocking sinus issues already, it compounds the symptoms and makes his cold a thousand times worse and goes on for double the length. A true Man Flu.

Then while DinoGirl is almost over hers and Husband is towards the end of his, that’s when I get it, usually after one of us has jinxed us and said something like “oh well it’s good you haven’t got it yet”.
Almost immediately my nose starts to run. Every time.

I have had it on and off for the last two weeks.
Yuck. I don’t get the sinus-y stuff like Hubs but I get the body aches and headaches and sore throat.
Husband is a dripping tap and is literally blowing his nose for the entirety of winter, and then also spring.

So I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help out at these woeful times and to help comfort us all.
Over the next few posts I will give ideas, recipes and tips on my Winter Flu Fighting methods!
They don’t always keep the colds away but they certainly help in minimising and containing them and help in getting through them.

My first post is about HYDRATION.

Obviously, drink lots of water, as it helps to flush your system. I like to think of water as the oil or WD40 for our organs, keeps them well lubricated and helps keep them working at their best.

It’s a great thing to drink a glass of room temperate or warm water with fresh lemon juice in it first thing in the morning before you do anything else.
It helps to wake your organs up after their little rest (cause while we sleep, while our body keeps working, our organs do have their own version of ‘rest’ too and slow down a little, so you gotta think about waking them up too!).
Having the water warm or room temperature means it won’t be such a shock on your system as cold water. Imagine having a cup of cold water thrown on you while your still resting in the morning… That would be a shock! You would tense up and get cranky- think of your organs like that too. They would act the same.
I’d probably punch someone.

But I digress.

Tricks to help you drink more are keep a bottle of water with you as much as you can, a glass or bottle of water on you desk at work. I find of its there, you’ve drink it. Choose water over pre bottled juices or sugar drinks.

Teas can be wonderfully comforting, hydrating and certain herbal blends can help certain ailments. Good quality herbal and white teas can really help fix your wagon.
White tea- but isn’t that just black tea with milk in it, I hear you ask?
No, it’s is actually its own category of tea and leaves.
White tea is very young green tea leaves, picked very early off the tea bush. There is very little processing, they are left to wither in natural sunlight and then lightly processed to prevent oxidation. They are the ‘purest’ form of tea leaves.
Their name – white tea – comes from the silvery grey/white fur still on the leaves due to them being very young and often some of the leaves haven’t even unfurled yet into a leaf shape.
And isn’t everything that is a baby fury and soft? Puppies, kittens, ducklings, even freshly born babies often have a soft down still on them.
The benefits of white tea are wonderful.
It is full of antioxidants and has the highest amount of antioxidants of any tea leaf. It also has the lowest amount of caffeine, only containing around 1% caffeine.

(NB:Contrary to what some people believe, green tea DOES have caffeine in it, it is just a much lower amount than black tea or coffee.)

Antioxidants are the soldiers of our body that fight off free radicals in our body to help keep us healthy and help prevent a lot of age related diseases. Also, antioxidants have anti aging properties and are great for your skin.

So white tea helps with your health and fighting of nasties in our system – win! It tastes very mild and delicate in flavour and needs to be brewed delicately too. Fill a ratio of 3/4’s boiling water and a 1/4 cold water in your cup first, THEN add your infuser with your white tea leaves and leave for about 2-5mins.
This is also a perfect way to brew green tea to stop it from burning and going bitter, bit just let the leaves steep for around 2 minutes.

Herbal teas can be wonderful too!
Some of my favourites for battling a cold are Lemongrass and Ginger (I love the T2 blend), which is dried lemongrass and ginger pieces – not to be confused with ‘lemon and ginger’ flavored tea. Serve hot with a little dash of honey and maybe a little squeeze of lemon juice to help soothe a sore throat, break up phlegm and mucus and warm you up.

Hibiscus is also wonderful for sore throats as it is rich in antioxidants and personally I have found the fact I am drinking something rich in antioxidants that goes straight onto my throat always seems to ease and help a sore throat.
It’s is very tart, almost like a grapefruit and a rich, dark pinky, red colour.
It is also beautiful as a base for iced teas on hot days. Hibiscus tea is also believed to be very beneficial in lowering blood pressure.

Rooibos is my next favourite for fighting colds and flu’s.
Again, Rooibos is jam packed with antioxidants! But is naturally free of caffeine. It’s needle like leaves are a burnt orangey red colour and require a very fine mesh infuser so the leaves don’t leak into your cup.
It has a similar taste to black tea, just not as strong and a little sweeter.
It also can be drunk with milk, like black tea, or on its own as a herbal tea.
(NB: once you add milk to any tea or coffee, it immediately cancels out/kills off the antioxidants present in that tea. So If you are really wanting the health benefits from your tea drink it ‘black’, on it’s own. Also, green tea or white tea is to never be served with milk, it’s a big no no, it is not processed or ‘designed’ to be drunk with milk. The flavours don’t match and it would be like eating your cereal with a nice dash of tomato sauce…. Just no.)

There are some beautiful flavour blends of all of these mentioned teas.
Drop into your local tea store or jump online as search for some tea companies.

As many of you know I have worked for Australian tea company, T2, on and off (before and after baby) for around three years in total. Working for them I have developed a life long love and passion for tea (and tea cups and teapots), and I genuinely love educating people about the amazingly delicious and healthy variations of teas that are out there.

Another little, well known, favourite is Chai tea.
And not to be confused with a chai latte that is usually made with an artificial powder or syrup.
You want actual black tea leaves chai.
The real, chunky spices are beautifully warming on your system and all of the spices have health benefits, like cinnamon- its great for lowering blood sugar levels. I add extra ginger and cinnamon pieces to my chai, as I like it stronger and more zingy.
Again, beautiful with honey, served with or without milk.

Generally when you have a cold, you need a good rest to help fight it off.
There are many teas that can help you relax and promote sleep.
Try herbal blends after your meal and when your getting ready or bed like chamomile, lavender, peppermint and some beautiful blends that contain a selection of herbs perfect for drifting off to sleep.
My personal faves are Chamomile and two blends from T2, Relax and Sleep Tight.

Hope this has helped in anyway and look out for my next post on more things to help get you through the winter months.

Happy Sipping,

Liz x TJC x

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Blogging in The New World

I’ve been a bit quiet with my blog the last two weeks.

My apologies for that.

We have had a fairly pressing family matter and it’s consequences that has taken up the majority of my mental capacity lately (I’ll post about that at a later date, soon).

Also, because I’ve been blogging more, I’ve been researching it a little more too.
And I gotta say, it’s a little scary… I feel like If I really commit to this I don’t know what I’m getting myself in for, good or bad.

There can be some hurtful people out there who use the veil of the Internet to dish out their daily dose of hate, presumably just to get it off their own chest as it’s usually how they feel about themselves.
And I am thoughtful about how much I share of myself and my family. But when your blogging as a mum and wife (alongside my other interests) its a requirement to be a little over-sharey.

Internet trolls and judgement as a mother or wife do concern me.
I don’t know about other Mums but I’m my own worst critic and question myself every day, so I know I don’t need, and couldn’t deal with much more from anyone else.

But I’ve always been an open and pretty honest person and love having a chat and sharing my stories, and I’ve always loved to write, so blogging to me seems like a good fit.
It’s just an area that I will have to take each post at a time and be mindful the whole way through.

I feel like the blogging community could be really welcoming, yet also very judge-y. It is largely populated by women and being a woman myself (checks pants- yep), I know how clique-y and bitchy us ladies can get. And I’ve seen it on the Internet and Facebook as well.
Heck, I’ve even deleted and blocked someone (ok two people) from my personal Facebook account because of our…let’s say…differences?

But mostly I’m pretty happy, and very including and like others being happy and promoting openness and understanding and being creative.
So I’m hoping that shines through in this blog and my posts, and attracts the same.

I’m also really enjoying the rise in Daddy Bloggers, like Reservoir Dad and Dad Down Under, and Jason Good.
It’s nice getting a guys perspective on a side of society and life that is majorly a ‘woman’s domain’.

I hope you can follow me on my blogging journey, and please if you’ve read this or any of my other posts feel free to share with a friend, or many friends! And press follow.

Cause it’s all about sharing, right?

Liz x TJC x

Hallmark Expectations

It was Mothers Day on Sunday.
Such a lovely day…. Kind of…

I don’t know about you but after enjoying four Mothers Days now, I have decided that it’s actually not the greatest of days for a Mum, and am not enjoying the barrage of media, store sales, signage, rows and rows of cards in news agents and subsequent pressure it puts on Mums and families just for this one day.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a cup of tea made for me and enjoyed whilst still in bed in my p.j’s, and the yummy food that I get to eat because of the usual luncheon that takes place on such a day.

But it kind of defeats the purpose of trying to raise a well balance child when trying to explain Mothers Day to a four year old you are using sentences like; “so Mothers Day is a day where it’s all about Mummies, and Im your Mummy so today is all about Me”, and “so today you have to be a really good girl for Mummy and not be naughty or loud etc etc”. But tomorrow go nuts and be your normal crazy, loud four year old self, but just not on Mothers Day.
Go figure.

We went out to lunch to a favourite cafe and it was super busy and packed, loud cause of all the families, and spent half my time telling Dino Girl not to be so loud, to speak with her inside voice (even though we were sitting in the outside area) and maybe she could choose something else on the menu other than a cheese toasty sandwich, which she had requested for breakfast too, and has every day cause it’s one of the only things she’ll eat right now (fussy faze, always happens when we have upheaval and change).

Phew!!

I figure every weekend day that I get to have both my Husband and my girl around me to spend the day with is Mothers Day. And there’s no stress or pressure for everyone to “be good”.

Since moving to Melbourne, DinoGirl hasn’t been to daycare (today is her first day of new kindy actually!) and it’s been me and her all day everyday.
Which has been great.
But as any parent knows, you need some alone time, some time to sip a cuppa in peace, some time to not have ABC2forKids playing in the background, and your head, all day.

So as an extra Mothers Day treat to me, husband took DG across to the beach for an hour and a half.
She got to play with some other little girls that were there and he wore her out running along the beach, so she was asleep earlier than normal that night, which meant we got to sit up, alone, drinking wine, watch a shoot ’em up movie, Expendables 2, in our p.j’s and giggle together at the ridiculous awesomeness of it, and the fact we had a few hours alone together, and the kid was getting a good, long nights sleep.

So my Mothers Day ended up turning out pretty great. And it looks like I’ll have another ‘Mothers Day’ this weekend too. Yay!

Liz x TJC x

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Pink Hair: I want it.

I’m becoming increasingly obsessed with the thought of colouring the ends of my hair pink.

And I think I’m going to go do it over the weekend.
A mothers day present to myself!

I think I will just try out the hair chalk that I’ve seen around at first.
If I love it, and my Husband doesnt flip, I may do it more permanently, maybe.

But here’s some colour inspirations for you.
Would you do it? Have you done it? Let me know!

Liz x TJC x

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New around here

I’m new around here.
In so many ways.

I’m new to blogging. I’ve read blogs and commented and even started a wedding blog a few years back, but this is the first ‘real’ time writing my own blog, about me and my feelings and my life, amongst other things.

And I’m also new to Melbourne.
A whole new city I’d barely spent any time in before moving here permanently.

I’m also back to being a Stay At Home Mum. I worked full time all of last year, and had a pretty full on ‘casual’ job thr year before that (where i was actuallu working closer to 20-30 hour weeks instead of 2-3 shifts a week, but thats another story!) and I’ve got to admit, it was tough.
I had all these expectations that I felt I wasn’t meeting, by spreading myself too thin. I never had time to see any of my friends and felt so bad about not nurturing friendships, let alone my marriage. It felt like my Husband and I were always arguing. Never seeing eye to eye, never on the same team.
We coped, but we didn’t bloom and it didn’t serve us well.
In some ways it was good and did help us, monetary wise and it did actually help With some of my anxiety I had been suffering and had been progressively getting worse since becoming a Mum, and I enjoyed it, mostly, and loved the social side and friendships.
But I felt like at the end of the day I was so worn out and had been talking all day that I had used up all my energy and didn’t have enough left over to be the best Mum or Wife I could be. I didn’t feel healthy or strong and was lacking severely in vitamin D because I was inside a shopping centre all day from morning to night.

And in Brisbane, for so many different reasons, I felt so many expectations of me. Mostly my own expectations I had on myself, but they were expectations I thought others had of me. And wether they had those expectations or not were irrelevant. I accepted the expectations and let them fester and grow and weigh on me.

So in Melbourne I feel very free.
Not just because I’m not working at the moment, but because for the first time I can truly be myself again.

Like most Mums, when I had my daughter, for the first 2 years it was just all about DinoGirl (her nic name as she is quite obsessed with the extinct creatures), and as it should be, I was learning on the job!
But while it was all about bub, I realised I had lost a lot of me. I was trying to be Mum, working out my place as a Mum. Was I a young, funky Mum ( I was 23 when I fell pregnant) or as soon as you become a Mum do you have to automatically be that eternal Mum figure, who always seems around 40 and doesn’t wear makeup anymore and gets her hair cut really short cause it’s easier to manage and doesn’t fuss with things like fashion and how She looks anymore? (which, by the way, is totally fine if you are already that person and have never cared for such frivolous things such as makeup and clothes, but I most certainly wasnt already that person. I lived and breathed fashion and makeup and dressing up and being experimental with my look).

I was so confused.

In the last 2 years I had slowly been making my own personal headway with balancing and finding that middle ground of who I was.

But since being in Melbourne I have felt a lot more centred, and in control and felt comfortable as ‘myself’.
Even down to my personal style and fashion.
It’s like the moment I touched down in Melbourne, the city itself welcomed me with open arms, comforted me, patted my head and said “its ok, you can be yourself here”.

I’m loving that feeling of possibilities again.

I had a chance at being a SAHM and doing things I enjoyed and revelling in my role as Mother and Wife and starting my own business and blogging and being creative again, but I blew it by letting anxiety and expectations take a hold.
This time I feel so much stronger, and grown, and aware and most importantly I feel like ME.
I have the support of a wonderful (occasionally frustrating!) Husband and this crazily incredible little kiddo who just want me to be happy.

And hello, the shopping, we can’t ignore the happiness that the fashion capital of Australia and its shopping possibilities can bring!

So I’m new around here. I’m new in myself, in this city, with blogging and I feel like a new, improved Mother, Wife, daughter and friend is emerging too.

High Fives!

Liz x TJC x

Quick Post- week of outfits

Jut a quickie post!
Here are some of my casual ‘Mummy’ outfits for the week.
I’m loving nautical stripes and sneakers at the moment.
Navy/white stripe long sleeve tee from sportsgirl.
White sneakers and indigo blue skinny jeans from Cotton On.
Orange skull scarf from Kmart.
Pink 7/8 jeans from Dotti.
And the total surprise find, which I would never have found myself, but we’re given them as part of my Christmas present from my Mother In Law – floral patterned jeans which are super comfy and have just the right amount of stretch to them, from ICE!

So it definitely goes to show you don’t always have to shop at all the best brands to find some cute pieces that look more expensive than they actually are.

Have a great weekend and happy shopping!!

Liz x TJC x

I’m a bit of a bargain hunter.
I love having a few key pieces that I spend a little more money on that are classics, and mixing them with vintage and cheaper options.
The skull scarf was either $12 or $15 – you can go wrong! It works with so many outfits.

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A lovely little surprise

Whilst still in my pyjamas a few mornings ago (the ugly pygama’s too, when its just some ratty old greyish white singlet with a pair of house trackpants, and by ‘house’ trackpants I mean the kind that should only ever be worn inside your house, not the cool kind you wear outside and look hip.) there was a swift knock at the door. I hurried to find a bra to whack on underneath the grayish white singlet but with two more hurried knocks it appeared that whoever was at the door wasn’t going to hang around long enough to notice I had no bra on.
So I open the door (hugging myself so as to not offend or shock anyone with a possible sighting of my boobs) and there’s a huge box sitting in front of me and a smiley delivery driver. I quickly signed the electronic device and relinquished the guy back to the other million deliveries he probably had that day.

Well hat do we have here.
I see the senders name on the box, it’s from my Sister In Law.

I yank the box inside and DinoGirl and I get to work on ripping it open.
I thought it would be a gift for DG as it was her birthday about two weeks earlier.

But to my SAHM delight, it was a brand spankin’ new Sunbeam Slow Cooker .
Score!!

We already had a slow cooker, but it was a very cheap one, that was fine, but not great, I always had to use the High setting and it would still take a good 4 hours if not longer. After one attempt using the Low setting which was meant to be the all day setting, after a couple of hours the pot and contents was luke warm, so who knows, dinner probably would have been ready next week.

I was pretty stunned to receive something as big and as heavy as a slow cooker in the post, it would have cost a fortune in postage!
My SIL said it was a house warming present to help keep us warm throughout the cold Melbourne winter and ofcourse I was pretty happy to have a shiny new slow cooker, which works a treat. Ive obviously been slow cooking it up quite a lot lately and thought I’d share my fave recipes.

We love using the MasterFoods Beef and Red Wine casserole recipe base to make a hearty, tomato-ey stew.

Also the Master Foods Lamb Shank slow cooker base is a fave too, which we serve on a bed of creamy mash potato. A glass of red first go astray either.

We have also tried a rough, slap up, throw together chicken drumstick stew too, served over rice, that was delicious, if I do say so yourself.
We also do a Tuscan meatballs in there too. The sauce and meatballs get so much more flavour from slow cooking.

What are your favourite recipes?
I’m on the hunt for new and interesting ones, so if you have any, please share!!

Liz x TJC x