Joolz

20.11.17

I was treated to a decadent morning of ‘me time’ in my active wear last week with a group of lovely Mum’s at the gorgeous La Porte Deux space in Rosebery.

Hosted by Emile Kuenen, who is the the founder of the sleek Dutch pram brand Joolz, we were taken through a pram pilates class with fabulous instructor Kirsten King to celebrate the impressive pram company turning 10 years old.

Following the Pram Pilates class (which was actually a good little workout), we enjoyed some good coffee and a light brunch while we listened to a really interesting panel discussion, hosted by the gorgeous Phoebe Burgess, Dr Preeya Alexander and nutritionist Zoe Bingley-Pullin.

I enjoyed hearing about the story of the Joolz brand, Emile is passionate about design and the environment. For every Joolz pram sold, there is a tree planted in the Joolz Birth Forest, which helps to fight deforestation and climate change.

Made in the Netherlands, the ergonomic and comfortable Joolz-Day2 pram was gifted to me to take home to one lucky baby boy, Raff. We’ve been testing it out the past few days and I absolutely love it for the super smooth folding, the easy access storage basket, not to mention it’s ultra light. I can tell Raff is really comfortable in his little seat, he’s up high and I can wheel him straight in to a cafe to be at table height instead of transferring him to a highchair. Overall, it’s got a solid and safe vibe and the magnetic buckle is also really impressive. Don’t get me started on the actual look of this pram. In a classic grey with stitched tan leather details, Raff and I are getting around town in style!

Briar x

Clean + Lean

14.11.17

I promised I’d check back in with you to let you know how I went on the 20 day CLEAN + Lean food plan with Eat Fit Food…Well, what can I say? I miss it so much! It’s been just over a week since the boxes of delicious fresh meals have arrived on my doorstep while we’ve been sleeping, and now I am left wishing that living off the gourmet meal service could be a daily occurrence. I’ve been utterly spoilt for life!

Pictured above is the weekend menu and a little postcard with an inspirational quote, which always arrived with the food. It’s simply a case of popping everything in the fridge once it arrives and pulling meals out as the day goes on. No shopping, no cooking. Everything is covered! I love that snacks are also included in your daily menu –  the cocoa, mama and mesquite balls pictured above were really delicious for a morning snack.

Pictured above is one of my favourite lunches from the program. Oven baked ocean trout with vine ripened tomatoes, pea puree and asparagus.

An added bonus to the 20 days of clean eating and regular exercise was a 3kg weight loss for me. I have always thought of myself as a relatively healthy eater who occasionally over-indulges, but after completing the 20 days, I did realise it’s definitely portion sizes I need to keep in check. Basically, my plate has been too  full and I also realised I’ve developed a silly habit of grazing on pointless calories form picking at the food the kids are eating. I’m definitely a work in progress, but it’s safe to say Eat Fit Food could be pretty much life changing.

Briar x

I love cacti

09.11.17

I’ve had big love for cacti since working in my Aunt’s garden centre nearly 18 years ago, and lots of gorgeous Palm Spring homes shared on Pinterest and Instagram has been responsible for another spike in popularity for these sculptural plants. I had high hopes for my very own mega cactus garden when we moved, but I had to park those dreams once I discovered how much established plants actually cost these days. Pretty astronomical unfortunately!

I was so excited to spot these ‘Mother in Law’s Tongues’ and ‘Columnar Cacti’ in a seconds pile (literally a pile) at a local garden centre today, I snapped up a handful for a steal so I could test out my propagating skills before committing to some more serious purchases.

You can propagate columnar cacti by slicing pieces with a sharp knife, you then leave to callous over and then plant. Here are (very) detailed instructions I came across after doing a bit of research. It’s very wordy, but the process isn’t at all difficult:

  1. Disinfect the blade of a sharp knife using a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol. Lay the knife on a flat surface. Allow the blade dry completely before using it.
  2. Select a piece of columnar cactus to root (around 20cm in length is a good size). Put on gloves to protect your hands. Steady the top of the columnar cactus with one hand. Sever the cutting using the disinfected knife. Cut at a 45-degree angle without sawing the flesh of the plant.
  3. Place the cutting upside down in an empty pot so that the cut end is exposed to the air. Set it in a warm, dry spot out of direct sunlight. Allow the end of the cutting to dry out for at least three days, or until the wound heals and takes on a hard, whitish appearance.
  4. Fill the bottom half of a pot with succulent potting mix (or a good mix of sand and regular potting mix).  Make sure one-third to one-half the length of the cutting is below the edge of the pot.
  5. Hold the cutting upright while filling in around the edges with more potting mix. Shake the pot slightly to settle the soil. Gently firm the mixture around the cutting. Add more, as needed, to fill the pot close to the top.
  6. Water the columnar cactus cutting two days after potting it. Drizzle water onto the growing mixture until it feels slightly damp. Maintain light dampness in the growing mixture, but allow it to dry out slightly in the top inch before applying more water.
  7. Set the potted columnar cactus cutting where it will receive very bright but indirect light Shelter the cutting from direct sunlight, which can cause the flesh to dehydrate and make it likely the cutting will die.
  8. Check for roots four weeks after planting. Firmly hold the base of the cactus, and gently try to lift it; if the cutting does not move, it has produced roots.
  9. Transplant the columnar cactus cutting into a permanent pot filled with succulent potting mix or directly into a sunny garden bed four weeks after it has rooted. Water it sparingly.

Wish me luck! I’ll let you know how I go, I’m aiming for a Columnar Cacti forest at the front of the house within a year.

Briar x

PS. Spot Baby Raff ; )

Wertheim Wonder

08.11.17

I’ve been testing out the most powerful vacuum I’ve ever used, which is also making Rafferty happy…After all, it is a new machine that he’s never seen before, it’s also on wheels and makes a noise.

I promise you the Wertheim 7 Series from Godfreys is not just another run of the mill vacuum.  This baby has power, and it looks good! I’m going to sound like a corny informercial but I was honestly so surprised at how much dust it collected after going over our carpeted bedrooms. I truly thought the floors didn’t need a vacuum, how wrong I was! It’s actually been proven that the Wertheim 7 Series  removes 36% more dirt than the best selling bagless vacuum cleaner*. That’s a bagless vacuum cleaner I’ve actually owned for the past 8 years, so I can vouch for that statement!

You can feel and see the quality when using this vacuum, it’s just so solid and sturdy. It’s also a bit fancy with it’s wireless control handle and the digital power control on the body of the vacuum. The suction power can be regulated to suit a particular cleaning task, everything from mattresses to curtains. The dust bag indicator will also continually flash red to let you know when the bag requires replacement. So clever!

The vacuum comes with a big range of accessories, my favourite is The Powerhead, as it’s exactly that – the power pulse technology deeply cleans carpet by lifting and removing embedded dust and dirt, and the dust bag has a generous 2.5L capacity (you can purchase replacement bags at Godfreys, $20 for a pack of 4). The Combination Floor tool attachment  is also handy as it can take you straight from carpet to hard floors (perfect for our floorboard/carpet combination in the house). What can I say, I love a vacuum – and the Wertheim 7 Series from Godfreys is a clear winner in my opinion. I also really like the thought of sucking up all that invisible dust, especially with two kids in the house that are prone to asthma.Happy cleaning, folks!

Briar x

*Independent laboratory tested 2017. GFK Australian Sales Data May 2017.

Eat Fit Food

09.10.17

I woke up to an exciting delivery that arrived on our doorstep in the early hours of this morning. I’ve kicked off a 20 day CLEAN + Lean food plan with Eat Fit Food. The chilled boxes contained my first two days of food, which includes three meals and two snacks. I’ve also got dinner included for Mark, so we can eat together in the evenings (and we can ease up on cooking a little). If you’re not familiar with the brand, don’t for a second think this is your run of the mill diet food in a frozen box that you whack in the microwave. Delivered three times a week, the food that comes out of the Eat Fit Food kitchen (with fresh produce grown at the Eat Fit Farm) is next level gourmet and totally delicious. Before Sunday was born, we completed a similar program with them when we were both really busy at work, and I’m pleased to say the standard is still just as amazing, if not better!

Case in point. My breakfast. Eggwhite omelette with sweet potato, goats cheese and rocket. I don’t know about you but I’m not really getting the diet vibe from a dish like that.  As it’s name suggests, the CLEAN + Lean program is based on unprocessed whole foods with a focus on lean protein for appetite management and to support a more active lifestyle. I’m combining the eating program with ramping up my exercise regime at my local F45 gym, and I’ve already cut out alcohol for the past few weeks. I thought I’d never say this, but I’m not missing the drinks. My head is clearer and I’m sleeping better, it’s just about making this lifestyle a way of life for me, as I know how much better I feel. I also think the simple switch to drinking a lot more water is helping with energy levels too.


I’ll be checking back in on the blog once I’ve completed the 20 days to let you know how it’s gone. I’m assuming/hoping my body will have adjusted to more sensible portions (I believe that’s half the problem, I’m way too generous with my serving sizes) – so I’ve hopefully dropped one or two kilos as a bonus just in time for the silly season.

Briar x

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