Perisher Blue

Sep 4, 2014
Perisher Blue

If you caught my post last week about tips for driving with children, you'll know that we've had a little getaway down to the NSW Snowy Mountains. We stayed in some lovely accommodation in Jindabyne and traveled up daily to one of my favourite resorts, Perisher Blue. Perisher is a fantastic resort with trails that cater for everyone in the family, from your very beginners to your experts.
Perisher Front Valley has some fenced off beginner areas with easy 'magic carpets' (which are a kind of flat snow escalator) back to the top of the slope. My daughter skied for the very first time this trip, and at only 3 years old, she quickly worked out how to get herself on, ride, and get off the magic carpet all by herself. My five year old got to ride the Village Eight Express Chair for the very first time and absolutely loved 'zooming' up the hill and watching some of the professional riders perform tricks in Front Valley's Terrain Park below.

My husband and I have been riding for many years so one of our favourite places to ride is the Leichardt Terrain Park, it is a great medium sized terrain park catering for skilled riders and usually has two size options for the jumps.

perisher blue leichardt park

With school holidays being over, lift lines all moved very quickly and we could always get a table at lunch time which is a huge bonus when your have tired, hungry children! The main building at Perisher has a great variety of food outlets, including good coffee and healthier options for those of us trying to stick to our new Paleo-ish diets while travelling.

Excellent snow, beautiful sunshine and pleasant conditions resulted in a wonderful holiday for all the family. My very favourite part was watching my children enjoy the snow, something that has been such an important part of my life for a long time. Hearing them say 'can we go skiing again tomorrow',  and 'Can we come back again next year?' was music to my ears.

Lake Jindabyne

Gym or Sports Bag Essentials

Aug 28, 2014
Gym bag essentials

When exercising or playing sports, it is important to be prepared and as comfortable as possible, it incredibly frustrating to arrive at the gym or your game, only to realise that you've left your equipment, your towel, headphones or water at home. To help you prepare for your workout by making sure you've always got all your essential items tucked safely into your gym bag, I've teamed up with Rexona Clinical for men to bring you today's post.

Here is a list of ten workout essentials that you won't want to leave at home:

1. Sports equipment

You should always start here. This is the specific equipment you will need for your sport, for instance, those of you playing soccer will need your uniform, boots and shin pads, swimmers will need goggles. Start with your equipment as it is amazing how easy it is to forget these things once you are concentrating on the rest of your bag.

2. Water or sports drink

Hydration is absolutely vital when exercising. If participating in mild exercise, a bottle of water should suffice, however if you will be sweating a lot, performing a high intensity workout, or exercising in the heat, you might needed the added benefit of some coconut water or a sports drink to replace electrolytes. If you aren't sure which to choose, coconut water is a natural alternative and is very high in potassium which will be beneficial for those completing moderate workouts. If you are sweating profusely or engaging in a very high intensity workout, you might want to choose a sports drink as it is higher in sodium which you will be losing through your sweat.

3. Towel

If you are working out in a gym then you will be required to bring a towel. Most gyms won't allow you to workout without one. To save space, you can invest in a sports towel. Sports towels are much smaller than regular towels, are highly absorbent, fast-drying and often have antibacterial properties. Even if you aren't working out in a gym, a towel will always come in handy.

4. Deoderant

Choose a good deoderant that will withstand the pressures your body will place it under during exercise. You don't want to be that person in the gym that makes life uncomfortable for those around them by not wearing deoderant, or wearing an ineffective deoderant that doesn't stand up to the requirements of exercise.

5. Music and headphones

I love to workout to music, good beats help push me along and keep me motivated. Not only do I enjoy my workout more with music, but I've found that I actually perform better too. Headphones are a must though as not everyone will enjoy your personal choice of music!

6. Snacks

For optimum performance and comfort during exercise, the Australian Institute of Sport recommends that large, healthy meals should be eaten no closer than 3-4 hours prior to exercise. If you need to eat after that here is a list of recommended snacks you can pack into your gym bag:

For consumption 1-2 hours before exercise:
  • liquid meal supplement
  • sports bar
  • cereal bar
  • fruit-flavoured yogurt
  • fruit
For consumption less than an hour prior to exercise, or during exercise when required:
  • carbohydrate gel
  • sports bar
  • jelly lollies

The AIS does note that a small percentage of people will experience an extreme reaction after eating close to, or during exercise which is due to a drop in blood glucose levels. If you experience fatigue, shakiness or dizziness during exercise then you might need to avoid snacks close to exercise, experiment with your meal times to find what works for you, or eat snacks higher in carbohydrates.

7. Strapping tape

Band Aids, sports strapping tape or electrical tape is good to have on hand in case of injuries, blisters, or equipment problems that need a quick and temporary fix.

8. Heat cream or gel

For niggling injuries or aches, a good anti-inflammatory heat cream or gel can work wonders. Apply it before and during exercise always taking care to follow the specific directions of the brand you choose.

9. Anti-inflammatory medication

When you have a strain or injury, ideally you should rest and let it heal but those of you who play competitive sport know that sometimes that is not an option. At these times, taking an anti-inflammatory prior to your game or event can help reduce pain, inflammation or swelling. Just be sure to always follow the guidelines or recommendations of your medical practitioner.

10. Hat and sun cream

These are absolutely essential for outdoor exercise, especially in our climate here in Australia. Choose a sweat or water resistant product with high, long lasting protection as sun cream can become less effective with profuse sweating and wiping with towels.
So there you have my top ten essential items to pack in your gym or sports bag. Having all of these items handy will help get you ready for an excellent workout, so get out there and enjoy!

driving with children

Aug 26, 2014
driving with children

We really love to travel but anyone who has travelled with young children knows that it can be quite a stressful experience for all involved if you aren't properly prepared. However, I have found that with a bit of extra preparation and organisation, travelling with young children can be a great experience and a wonderful way to spend time together as a family. As we are currently getting ready for a holiday to one of Australia's beautiful ski resorts, I have partnered up with Ford Fiesta to share with you some of my tips for keeping children happy on long drives.

1. Plan your stops.

Take a look at your entire trip, then carefully plan your stops to coincide with meal times, or at least every few hours. Try to pick rest stop locations that offer a park or area for the children to run around and burn off some energy.

2. Choose healthy snacks

During long drives it can be tempting to give the children junk food or sweets to keep them happy, but avoid it wherever possible as these kinds of foods are just a temporary fix, usually resulting in a sugar crash and worse behaviour later on during the trip. Alternatively, have a lunch bag full of healthy snacks available to keep them happy between meal stops. Also consider food that is safe and easy to eat in the car as you don't want big spills or messes to clean up.

3. Pack an entertainment 'goody' bag.

I pack each of the children a little bag full of entertainment. It might include their favourite toys, their toy laptops and some books. I also usually like to buy a few little activities like sticker books that the kids get to open as we start the trip. These bags usually keep them entertained for the first few hours of the trip.

4. CD books

As the novelty of the toys and activities wear off, books narrated on CD are another great way to entertain the kids. If the children have personal CD players with headphones, then they can choose and listen to their own stories, otherwise playing it over the car CD player will do the trick it will just mean Mum and Dad get to 'enjoy' the story too!

5. Music

I have a range of children's CDs in the car and songs downloaded onto my Iphone for car trips. It's amazing how long kids music like Playschool, The Wiggles, and now the Frozen soundtrack will keep my munchkins happy for. I use the Spotify app for music and it really is worth every cent as there is such an amazing range of music available.

6. DVDs or Ipads.

Towards the end of the trip, when all else is failing, I put on a movie for the kids, or allow them to play on my Ipad. We have a personal DVD player for the kids so that we can either hook them to the back of our chairs, or they can hold onto them to watch. As a rule, I never put these on early in the trip as they tend to end up with media overload by the time we arrive at our destination, and I've found that the trip is much more enjoyable for all of us if we work through the activities as listed above.

So there you have some of my favourite driving tips that will hopefully help your next driving holiday go smoothly. Do you have any of your own tips? I'd love to hear them in the comments below!

Paleo Banana Slice

Aug 22, 2014
banana slice

My banana and sultana slice recipe is gluten free and Paleo.  It is easy to make and it turns out very moist and absolutely delicious. It is combination of a family sultana slice recipe, and some Paleo energy bars that I will share with you soon. For this recipe I used rice malt syrup as the sweetener in order to entice the kids to eat them.  The good thing about rice malt syrup is that it is glucose only, no fructose. If you aren't worried about fructose you could use honey instead.  I am not a huge sweet tooth so if I was making this for just myself, I would use less syrup.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a small loaf tin with baking paper.

1 large banana
1/2 a cup of rice malt syrup (or honey)
1 egg
1 cup of sultanas
1 cup of almond meal
1/2 cup of tapioca flour

In a large bowl, mash the banana, then add your syrup, sultanas and egg, mixing well between each ingredient.
Add your flours to the wet mixture, mix well and pour into your loaf tin.
Bake for approx 20-30 mins checking frequently. The slice is ready when it is firm and springy.

paleo sultana slice


Aug 18, 2014
paleo book

I have been quite busy the last few weeks totally overhauling my family's diet and turning what can probably be best described as Paleo.  You see, despite my supposedly 'healthy' diet and active lifestyle, I have been having some ongoing health problems for quite a while now including an inflamed gallbladder, some serious skin issues and a very low immune system.  Despite my best efforts to get and stay healthy, it all just seemed to be getting worse.  Then a dear friend of mine recommended that I read a book called Hard To Swallow by Julie Van Eps.  This book changed, and possibly saved, my life.  You see, all the things I had learned about Nutrition while at University - for instance, staying away from animal fats, using vegetable oils instead of animal fats, and eating a healthy amount of calcium from dairy daily, they are most likely the very reason my health has been so bad.

If you have any niggling health concerns, I really recommend reading Hard to Swallow, and another fabulous book with information and recipes called I Quit Sugar for Life by Sarah Wilson.  After reading these books, I have had to make huge changes to the way I buy and cook food.  I didn't set out to become Paleo - I am usually the type to steer well clear of fad diets and I thought this whole Paleo 'thing' was probably just another fad.  However, I have always loved the idea of eating natural, healthy foods and after eating our new diet for a few weeks, I am feeling a lot better than I have in a long time. I have also noticed that my skin is improving, I am sleeping better and I am not getting as fatigued as I usually do.  So I started researching my new diet a little more and I have realised that I am actually following most of the rules of a Paleo diet, so I have kind of become a Paleo advocate by default I suppose!

The good news is that you get to come along for the journey with me, as I find great new recipes, I'll be sure to share them with you so stay tuned.. Oh and I'd love to hear about your own experiences about becoming Paleo.  If you have any great resources/recipe books please share them below!

Firmoo Glasses

Aug 16, 2014
Firmoo glasses

One problem with living a physically active lifestyle and having active children, is that my glasses tend to have a very low life expectancy. If I am not dropping them myself, then they usually get a bit of help from my children playing or bouncing around with me. Replacing glasses can become quite an expensive exercise, so when Firmoo contacted me to see if I'd like to try buying my glasses online, I was excited to give it a try.

I have never bought glasses online before, as I was always a little hesitant to buy glasses without being able to try them on first, but when I hopped onto the Firmoo website, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could upload a photo of myself and 'try on' any pair of glasses that I liked. Once I found a pair of glasses that I liked the look of, I simply placed in some measurements and my prescription and my order was complete. I really couldn't believe it was that simple. I was used to hurriedly trying on glasses in an optometrists, while simultaneously trying to stop my munchkins from also 'trying on' glasses too - never a relaxing experience, so doing all of it from the comfort of my own lounge room really was a pleasant change!

To be honest, it all seemed a little too good to be true, I mean - inexpensive glasses from the comfort of your own home... surely it couldn't be that easy? I was still a little doubtful that when my glasses arrived they would fit comfortably, that my prescription would be correct, and that they would really look like they did when I tried them on virtually. I really shouldn't have doubted though as Firmoo went above and beyond all of my expectations.
The first thing I noticed was the beautiful hard case my glasses came with, the quality was absolutely fantastic. They also came with a cleaning cloth and a small tool for adjustments.


When I opened the case and tried on my glasses, they were not only the most comfortable glasses that I have ever worn, but my prescription was perfect and they looked exactly like they did when I uploaded my photo and tried them on. I was over the moon ecstatic about the whole process and my Firmoo glasses have quickly become my new favourite pair. I will absolutely use Firmoo again in the future and really recommend giving them a try.

If you are considering giving Firmoo a try, they are currently offering a 'First Pair Free' promotion for new customers which allows you to get selected frames for free (you will still need to pay for the cost of the lenses).

So thank you Firmoo, I love love love my new glasses..

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