Month: August 2017

Chilli Con Carne Recipe

Chilli Con Carne Recipe

This chilli con carne recipe has slightly been adapted by my husband and is based on Jamie Oliver’s Recipe. It has become one of my favourite dishes. This spicy dish is delicious and if you want to make it slightly mild for kids to eat – hold on the chillis.  A healthy alternative to your usual mince meal. It is a one pot wonder. Best served with a baked potato or nachos, sprinkle of grated cheese or gaucamole.

Chilli Con Carne

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A spicy Mexican dish best served with a baked potato or nachos.


Prep time: 15 min

Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients

    • 2 medium onions, chopped
    • 2 tsp olive oil
    • 600gr lean beef mince
    • 4 chopped chillies (deseed if you serving to kids)
    • ½ tsp chilli powder
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 2 celery sticks, chopped
    • 3 large carrots, chopped
    • 1 can chopped tomatoes
    • 2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped
    • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
    • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    • 1 can red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
    • salt and pepper to season
    • ½ bunch fresh corriander

    Directions

    • Place a large non stick pot over a medium heat on the stove. Heat the oil.
    • Add chopped onions,carrots, celery, chillies, red peppers, garlic, cumin, cinnamon and season with salt and pepper.
    • Cook for 10 minutes.
    • Then add tomatoes, black beans, red kidney beans and 300ml water and cook for 5 minutes.
    • Add the lean beef mince.
    • Cut the coriander stalks and add with the balsamic vinegar.
    • Season with salt and pepper.
    • Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 45 minutes with lid slightly adjar.
    • Serve on a baked potato, nachos or rice, sprinkle with cheese and chopped coriander.

 

 

Raising Born Free Street Smart Children

Raising Born Free Street Smart Children

Street smart is a skill learnt generations ago but can we pass it on to our children

My parents would always tell us tales of their upbringing in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. They could walk the streets of various suburbs to visit family and friends during the day and late at night. Back then they were raised to be street smart children. They knew everyone and no matter where they were, knew their way back home.

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DIY Peter Pan Costume

Easy DIY Peter Pan and Slightly costume

DIY Peter Pan Costume

Every year my daughters’ school have a dress up day to mark the end of book week.  This year, the theme was “Fantastical Faraway Places”.  Their choice of costumes were that of Peter Pan and Slightly. Slightly (fox) is one of the lost boys from Neverland.  I usually give myself two weeks to figure out how I’m going to make the costumes.  This year, I only had 2 days to put these costumes together. This diy Peter Pan and Slightly costume was super easy to make.

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Natural Looking Makeup Essentials

Natural Looking Make Up Essentials

My natural looking makeup essentials

I’ll let you in on a little secret.  I am not big on wearing makeup and don’t wear any at home.  Minimal makeup for work and a full application when I go out. As I never had a problem with acne, oily or dry skin, there was simply no need for me to cover my face in makeup.

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Surviving the morning rush

surviving morning rush

Getting through the morning isn’t always a breeze

The alarm clock sounds and you tell yourself just another 5 minutes and hit the snooze button. It sounds again and eventually you get up just to be in a flat spin. For most the morning rush is crazy not to mention a panic. Trying to wake the kids for the umpteenth time, pack lunches, avoid arguments and finally making it out the door only to be stuck in traffic. Leaving you exhausted by the time you get to work. This is what happens in most households.

Not all of us wake up in a good frame of mind. And having a crappy start to the morning, will determine how your day will turn out. Some people loath the morning routine as it turns into total chaos and madness.

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Creamy Sago Pudding

Creamy Sago Pudding

Winter is a time for comfort foods and there is nothing more delectable than having a warm dessert. My mom’s creamy sago pudding is definitely a winter favourite. Served with custard this winter dessert is on my list of comforting desserts along with chocolate, bread and butter, apple crumble, sticky toffee and ginger pudding.

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Pub Date Night

pub date night

As a married couple with kids we are not so fortunate to have a date night every week.  Therefore we try and schedule one at least once a month.   However last night was not scheduled and was just a spontaneous last minute decision. The girls were sleeping over at their grandparents and this was a perfect opportunity for a date night. Brent and I decided to do something very casual and ended up up going to Foresters Arms Pub and Restaurant. Please note this is not a paid or guest review of Foresters.

Scheduling a date night when you are married is very important but it doesn’t have to be fancy and doesn’t always have to be romantic. So last night we decided to do something very casual and ended up at the pub.

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Good night, sleep tight

good night sleep kids

Saying good night, sleep tight kids happen at 19h30 at night in my house.

Our kids retreat to their rooms at 18h00 and are in bed by 19h30 Sunday to Thursday. Yes this is not a typo and you are reading the times correctly.

Fridays and Saturdays are an exception then they can stay up late.

Please don’t judge, this rule works for us.  So, each to their own.

Implemented three years ago, this rule is working well.  They display discipline when it comes to their bed time routine.  Touch wood, no tantrums has been displayed regarding this issue as yet.

Their bedtime routine

We have come up with “quiet time” which starts at 18h00.  During this time they can read or write but must be in their own rooms.

At 19h30 they are tucked in and saying their prayers, followed by the usual saying good night, sleep tight and sweet dreams.

This is something that I am very strict on during the week.  And I will not budge or divert from this time.

Believe me by 19h45 both of them are fast asleep. It just shows you how tired they are.

Why they go to bed early

Let me explain why they go to bed early. Ou girls have a very early start to the day. They wake up at 05h30 during a school week and we leave home for the latest 06h30 to do the school run.

Our children are past that stage where they take afternoon naps.  They have a full 13 hour day since the time they wake up in the morning.  During this time they need to focus at school, come home to do their homework and have play and family time.  Without napping in the afternoon, this is a real long day without any rest.

Children need at least 10 – 12 hours of sleep during the night.

Sleep is extremely important for growth and development. During sleep the body releases growth hormones which helps them grow.

Getting enough sleep is vital for their health as it boosts their immune systems.

They need to have optimal concentration at school and not getting enough sleep at night will hinder this.

Enough sleep gives them energy to participate in sporting activities and will prevent unnecessary injuries.

Not getting enough sleep leads to moodiness and behavioural problems.  Adequate sleep helps manage these emotions.

This also leaves quality time for my husband and I to connect and catch up on what happened during the day and have a meaningful adult conversation.

Remember as mentioned before, this routine works well for our family.  We believe that quality sleep = happy kids = healthy kids. Whatever your kids’ sleep routine is, I hope it works well for you.  Sleep tight and sweet dreams.

My first mammogram

first mammogram

What my first mammogram experience was really like

Turning 40 last year, I was all ready to embrace this new milestone.  I also knew that it was time to undergo a mammogram.  My gynaecologist scheduled an appointment for my very first mammogram.

She managed to book me in for a 09h00 appointment on 8 August 2016.  I was instructed not to wear deodorant, powder or perfume on the day of the screening. Apparently this leaves a shadow on the X-ray.  I’ve heard so many negative stories about how painful it is.   With that in mind, the procedure scared me.  Nevertheless, even though fearful, I adhered to the appointment as it was for my best interest.

After completing the paper work, the radiologist directed me to the changing room.  I had to remove all my clothes from the waist up and covered myself with a white robe.  Four ladies sat in the waiting room waiting for screening.  Everyone seemed so tense with their eyes just focused in the magazines they were paging through.  And I must be honest the suspense was killing me.  The four ladies screened before me, received their results, got dressed and left.

Then it was my turn.  The radiologist was friendly.  She explained the procedure and ensured me that should I feel discomfort at any time I need to tell her.  So many thoughts rushed through my mind at that moment. What if they detect an abnormality and how will I deal with it? I also looked at the machine and from what I imagined based on stories I heard, it would be metal plates that will squeeze and squash the living daylights out of your boobs.  This machine was different though and there were no metal plates in sight – to my delight of course.

The radiologist positioned me in front of the machine.  Checking my comfort levels at all times.  Before proceeding; she explained the procedure to me.  My left breast was first placed between the two plastic plates.  The top plate came down and compressed my breast for detailed imaging or should I rather say X-ray.  She took three images of each breast. I swear the screening of both breasts didn’t even take 5 minutes and it was pain free.

After examining the images, the radiologist couldn’t get a clear view of any abnormalities. I then had to go for an ultrasound.  At that moment, I started to panic as to why they couldn’t see anything – once again so many things raced through my mind.  Something had to be wrong that I need to go for an ultrasound.

The doctor performing the ultrasound explained that I have dense breast tissue and they couldn’t make a clear analysis from the mammogram images. Although dense breast tissue is normal, it is very difficult to detect breast cancer via a mammogram and therefore the risk of having cancerous lumps is higher as you can’t easily feel it with self-examination.

I kid you not, the ultrasound was more painful than the mammogram.  The ultrasound probe pressed my breasts, making it extremely painful.  Long story short, the results were clear and both my breasts were normal.

I wouldn’t have been aware that I have dense breast tissue if I didn’t go for a screening. Knowing what I know now, I will not hesitate to make my next mammogram appointment.  I suggest that if you never had one, make an appointment immediately.  Don’t let your own fears stand in the way of your health and don’t believe everything that you hear about mammograms.  Your experience might not be the same as someone else’s.  Get screened, early detection can save your live.

This is a third post focusing on women’s health.  If you haven’t read my other posts on this feature, please have a read Love your heart and Know your numbers.  You might find Are you covered? an interesting read as it links up with previous health related posts.

Smartphone – why our daughter doesn’t have one

 

Smartphone

Smartphone usage for kids

My eldest daughter will be turning 11 next month and doesn’t have a smartphone.

We bought her a tablet for educational purposes only. It contains educational apps and a few games. This tablet has no social media apps on it.

She can use our laptops or her tablet to access the internet for information. Sourcing information for projects or assignments but this is also monitored by us. But having restricted use of a tablet or laptop is not the same as having your very own smartphone.

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