Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Healthy Food Options - Kids Birthday Parties

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

My daughter recently celebrated her 4th birthday - it was an awesome high energy event that left me and my man absolutely exhausted at the end of it!  We sat down after the party and were left wondering if we had made the right food choices for our 3 and 4 year old guests. 

We all know that sugary highly processed foods and pre-schoolers do not make a good combo, especially with 12 of them running around! So with that in mind I have been on the hunt for some fun and healthy treats for the little ones that are available to purchase for the busy mum who doesn't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen as well as some images from Pinterest that offer some great ideas for easy to prepare healthy option party snacks.


This ice cream is divine!  This is a firm family favourite in our household and as if this stuff wasn't good enough OOB have recently launched birthday party friendly 120ml one serve pots of ice cream perfect to fill goodie bags, as a party snack or as a treat to go with the birthday cake.  Made from raw organic suger OOB Organic Icecream is gluten and egg free which is a bonus if you are catering to children with allergies!  Sweetness without the sugar rush  –  a perfect pick me up for any party!

This little pots of goodness would work in with any party theme and the array of flavours is amazing!  We love the Peppermint Chip flavour - it is so creamy and my little ones had no problems demolishing an entire 470ml pot between them!
The 120ml pots come in packs of two and have an RRP $3.99 each.
They are available in the following flavours from leading supermarkets and speciality stores nationwide:


I discovered these little beauties when I was looking for an alternative to your traditional yoghurt pots, our children tend to get bored with things easily and the same old yoghurt in their lunchbox day in and day out resulted in a quite a few unopened yoghurts returning home in otherwise empty lunchboxes! 

Conveniently packaged in an easy tear 70gram pouch these yoghurt Suckies are the perfect addition to party snack packs as can be seen here in the snack packs I made up for my daughters party. These tasty little treats are full of beneficial probiotics, vegetarian, gluten free, gelatine free, preservative free and handcrafted. 

The Collective Suckies come in three delish flavours - Bonkers 4 Banana, Sassy Strawberry and Bouncing Berry.  These are available at leading supermarkets throughout NZ and are  RRP$5.99 for a box of 8.


These look amazing and would be delicious served fresh or frozen (which is awesome as you can prepare in advance).  You could either serve these on cake pop sticks, popsicle sticks or on a coloured paper straw, our favourite party sites to purchase these from are The Pretty Baker and Pop Roc Parties

To make you simply cut a banana into a few bit size pieces, dip in either chocolate, yoghurt or peanut butter and then roll in your favourite toppings, we love sprinkles, chopped nuts, and dehydrated chopped fruit!

Image sourced from

Image sourced from


This is a fun and super easy way to introduce fruit to children's parties without them thinking it is too boring.  We love the idea of serving these in cute cupcake cases or even served on a popsicle stick cut into heart shapes, triangles, or circles.  I find that if you take a little extra time to make healthy food fun children don't hesitate to gobble it up!

Image sourced from

Image sourced from


Along the same concept as above except with vegetables, ham and cheese!  These are a gorgeous idea, I swear kids love anything that is put on a stick and if it is accompanied by a dip even better!  In our household we love to serve vege chips or kebabs with hummus!  You could also use cottage cheese, spinach and feta dip or even natural yoghurt.

Image sourced from Pinterest

Image sourced from Pinterest

Monday, 26 May 2014

Reviewed - Skinfood Skincare

Happy Monday everyone!  Over the past month I have been trialling out Skinfood products in a bid to try and clear up my problematic pores so I thought I would share with you my findings and how I enjoyed the products.

Skinfood Cleans All

With Manuka honey, kiwifruit, limeflower extracts, sunflower oil and aloe vera.  Skinfood's Cleans All is a paraben-free facial cleanser gentle enough for make-up removal and leaves skin soft and supple.

Cleans all is a beautiful natural cream cleanser, whilst I prefer to use a foaming cleanser in the morning I have been using cleans all on a makeup remover pad every evening for the past month and it is true to the product name, it definitely cleans all!  From day wear makeup to a full face of evening make up cleans all did exactly what it said it would with minimal effort, I found it to be very gentle and I did not have to scrub into my skin to remove all traces of make up.  I initially tried using the product by massaging into my face with fingers and rinsing off with water, however I found that using cotton make up remover pads to remove the product worked best for me.

The natural oils in the formulation left my skin feeling soft, supple and clean without that 'squeaky clean' feeling.  The natural anti-septic properties of Manuka honey helped to control breakouts, I always have hormonal break outs during 'that time of month' but found that when using this product the breakout was very minimal. 

Cleans All swatch and make up removed from one eye

Skinfood Exfoliating Scrub

With walnut shell, cucumber extract, Manuka honey, aloe vera, sweet almond and lime to cleanse, Skinfood Exfoliating Scrub refreshes tired skin.

Oh I am in love with the exfoliator, I exfoliate at least every second day in the morning while showering and this product does not disappoint.  I love that the exfoliant in the product is natural walnut shell rather than those horrible plastic microbeads that have gained so much media attention lately.

The product is very thick and creamy which helps to give an even application, there is also a fairly decent amount of exfoliators in the product which I love, so many scrubs out there have very few exfoliant particles in it compared to the solution which means you have to scrub for quite a while to get the desired result.

This product delivered on all promises, it cleanses, removes dead skin cells and debris whilst leaving my skin soft and smooth without irritating the skin, I can most certainly say that I have noticed a small reduction in my pore size and the amount of whiteheads on my cheeks which I can only put down to this product.

Exfoliating Scrub swatch

Skinfood Mud Masque

Our masque is rich in natural minerals found in the volcanic muds of New Zealand.  The masque works as a deep cleanser to soften and relax the skin.

This is a very affordable masque that actually works!  The formulation is smooth and smells really good, I have used clay and mud products before and found some of them to be a little gritty with I did not enjoy. To apply I use an old foundation brush which really saves time and ensures and even application, as the product dries you can literally see it working its magic, I noticed tiny dark spots appear where my pores are which was the masque drawing all the oil/debris out, it was like a vacuum effect! 
Unlike some other face masques I have used this product did not crack a lot when I made facial expressions, it certainly did crack a small amount however not to the point that when you smile small tiny powdery specks fall off your face onto your clothes! 
To remove I used a damp face cloth and placed it on my entire face to dampen the product, I found that by doing this the masque was a lot easier to remove.  The final product was beautifully smooth skin, clean pores and well balanced skin.
Mud Masque swatch and close up of dried masque showing debris being pulled from pores.
Skinfood Light Moisturiser
Rich in peach oil, manuka honey, avocado, elderberry and marshmallow extracts with a light orange scent, Skinfood Light Moisturiser is a non-oily and paraben-free facial moisturiser that gently refreshes leaving skin silky smooth and hydrated.  It contains ingredients that help repair and restore collagen and elastin.

Out of all the products listed above I get the most use out of this product as I use it in the morning and also at night, I was pleasantly surprised by the formulation as a lot of other moisturisers I have used in the past that claim to be 'light' are quite watery and not all that hydrating.  This light moisturiser was definitely not watery, it is creamy and feels amazing on the skin.

In the morning I use this right before I apply my primer and BB cream, I use a small amount and really work it into my skin concentrating on the drier areas of my face, I have found that I don't need to use as much primer and BB cream as I did before as this product really aids in preparing the skins surface for other products.  In the evening I apply this after using my cleans all and when I wake up I have noticed that my skin is not as oily as it used to be when using other products.

Light Moisturiser swatch.

Overall I have to say that I have really enjoyed my Skinfood experience, their products are all cruelty free, natural based and paraben free and well as being made in New Zealand.  They are extremely affordable and great value for money with products ranging from $2.89 to $14.99  Their product range also includes body bars, body butter, lip balm, facial cleaning wipes, tanning moisturiser, nourishing hand cream, SPF facial moisturiser, nourishing facial moisturiser and shaving gel.

I highly recommend you check them out online and discover what natural products can do for your skin.

(Disclaimer:  This post is not sponsored in any way by Skinfood NZ, I purchased these products at full retail price from the Skinfood NZ Website.  All opinions are honest and original)

Monday, 19 May 2014

Brookes 4th Birthday Party

Hey guys!  Well it has been a while since my last post, mainly due to the fact that I have been incredibly busy organising end of financial year accounts for one of my clients (yawn) and also prepping for my babies 4th birthday which was an absolute blast! 

I am thrilled with how it turned out and just love it when plans come together and the end result is just as you had imagined.  I thought I would share a few photos of the decorations, the images aren't the best quality as they were taken with my iPhone in a hurry whilst I had 12 little people running around but you get the idea ;)

Want to know where I picked up all the gorgeous party products from?  Check out my blog post here


Friday, 2 May 2014

Winter skincare - Our top picks

Hello May! 

Autumn has well and truly arrived, the days are getting shorter and colder and as the weather changes so to does our skincare requirements.  Products that work well with your skin for most of the year might suddenly irritate your skin during winter due to the lack of humidy in the air which causes your skin to dry out. 

To keep on top our your skincare game we have rounded up our top skincare picks to keep your skin looking and feeling fab this winter. 


During winter skin can become more sensitive, if you find your skin itchy and dry you might want to consider switching to a cleanser, soap or body wash suitable for sensitive skin, our top picks to keep our skin clean and free from irritation include a bar soap specifically designed for sensitive skin, a body wash that is super hydrating and a cream facial cleanser. 
Dial Coconut Water Body Wash
The first of its kind to contain coconut water, this body wash delivers a fresh infusion of moisture, every time you shower.
 Purchase from:
RRP:  $5.99

Simple Bar Soap
Cleanse and gently purify your face and body with Simple Pure Soap Bar for Sensitive Skin.  Its mild formula means it doesn't irritate and is suitable for the whole family.
 Purchase from:
RRP:  $2.39
Skinfood Cleans All
With manuka honey, kiwifruit & lime flower extract, sunflower oil and aloe vera, Skinfood's Cleans All is a paraben-free daily facial cleanser gentle enough for make-up removal and leaves skin soft and supple
 Purchase from:
RRP:  $13.99


Dry winter air can really draw the moisture out of your skin leaving it looking dull and dry.  Lock in the moisture with a product specifically designed for dry skin, our top picks for keeping our skin smooth and supple this winter are thick luxurious body butters and oil based facial moisturisers.

Ecostore Body Butter - Rose & Cardamon
A rich plant-based moisturiser with shea butter and olive oil extracts to nourish and nurture the skin. 
 Purchase from:
RRP:  $21.50 

I love... Mango & Papaya Body Butter
Coconut Oil & Shea Butter leave your skin feeling gorgeously nourished & silky soft, while the gorgeous perfume leaves your skin beautifully fragranced.
 List of stockists available here:
RRP:  $19.95

Essano Rosehip Regenerating Facial Moisturiser
Active natural botanical extracts deeply moisturise, condition and regenerate your skinRich in certified organic Rosehip Oil, vitamins, organic Jojoba Oil and Shea Butter.  Use it daily to hydrate and nourish your skin at a micro-cellular level.
 Purchase from:
RRP:  $19.95
Tailor Moisture
Made with the finest New Zealand grown cold pressed oils and hand selected essential oils and extracts, each providing unique benefits to the skin.
 Purchase from:
RRP:  $38.00


Exfoliation is the key to keeping your skin smooth and free of built up dead skin cells.  Our top picks for body and facial exfoliation include a gentle facial exfoliant and scrubs for your body.
Dr Lewinn's - Facial Polishing Gel
Provides gentle, yet very effective exfoliation action to the skin's surface. Produces excellent polishing effect.  Removes oil from the skin's surface.  Helps clean out skin pores, suitable for women and men of all ages.
 Purchase from:
RRP:  $45.90
Fat 2 Fit NZ - The Scrub
The Scrub has been carefully handcrafted from the best quality organic ingredients. It is designed to target cellulite and stretch marks, smoothing out those problem areas and leaving your skin feeling revitalised.
 Purchase from:
RRP:  $19.95

No Show Ponies - Combat Scrub
A modest scrub that combats cellulite, stretch marks and accelerates the skin renewal process, energizing tired and dull skinAwaken the skin you always wanted, using our unique combination of natural oils, vitamins and hydrating ingredients.
 Purchase from:
RRP:  $16.95


Even though the sun may appear to be MIA over winter it is still there radiating damaging ultraviolet rays, your best defence against this is to slather on the sunscreen as you would do in summer, our top pick for protecting your delicate facial skin from the sun is a natural based NZ made sunscreen.
Oasis Sun SPF30+ Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
Oasis Sun SPF30+ has been protecting New Zealanders against sun damage for many years.  Formulated for sensitive skin and suitable for the whole family.
 Purchase from:
RRP:  $39.95


So you have your skincare regime sorted, you are clean, hydrated, exfoliated and protected against all that winter can throw at you, so what happens when you get ultra dry flaky skin or chapped skin/lips?  Repair balms are the perfect remedy for those unpredictable skin conditions that pop out of nowhere, we have you covered with our top picks for repair balms.
Trilogy Everything Balm
Beauty multi-tasker for everyone, everywhere with rosehip, marula and manuka honey.
 Purchase from:
RRP:  $24.90
Oasis Beauty - Rhino Repair
Trusted over 10 years and pharmacist recommended, Rhino Repair is your top-to-toe potent natural healing remedy.
 Purchase from:
RRP:  $39.95