Running Skirts

Most of my friends don’t exercise- well at least, not that I know of. I don’t have any real running pals (except my husband)- well, let me clarify, my one running partner I had a few years ago up and moved 2 hours away..so this hasn’t really been a topic I have discussed much in person.

A lot of ladies I know are comfortable enough just wearing tights and a t-shirt when working out or running but I prefer wearing a skirt. There are a select few companies around that make running/workout skirts with appropriate length (I’m meaning to the knee or lower). My mum buys hers from a manufacturer in Israel (crazy..I know). I’ve had a few U.S. companies bookmarked for years- just keeping an eye on what they’re making and I have to say year on year they are getting better and better!

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Flash Back to 2014 (I think) with my favourite Nike tights (that I still wear) and a Suzanne Grae stretch skirt from my frugal grandma!

Surprisingly Nike and Lorna Jane have both brought out below the knee running skirts in the last 12 months that look fantastic as well! I’ve linked three of the top ones on my list as well as some comments on each below.

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From Left to Right:

  1. Lorna Jane– I came across this skirt just last week! The material doesn’t have much stretch but the fabric feels nice. There aren’t any splits on the sides so I wouldn’t recommend this one for any long runs! Definitely recommended for walking or athleisure as they like to call it now.
  2. Nike–  This skirt has good sized splits on the sides to allow for running. With a large pocket in front it’s suitable for carrying keys/credit cards etc. The length is also great if you are looking for something longer than the knee! The con for me would be the minimal drawstring waistband- If you’re upwards of a size 12 sometimes drawstring waists are unflattering!
  3. Snoga– Snoga tops my list every day all day! My favourite at the moment (which mimics my current running set up) is a knee length swing skirt with built in tights! At the moment I’m using a H&M Teen girl swing skirt and Nike tights (not built in). It works well but the skirt sometimes rides up over the tights which can be frustrating. We’re heading to the U.S. in a few months- the plan is to purchase a Snoga skirt and have it delivered while we’re there! Also, Snoga have heaps of great modest designs so check out their website!

All three shops mentioned above ship to Australia (and worldwide for that matter!).

I hope this is helpful in your search for modest running wear!

 

His- Birthday Gift Ideas

Father’s Day in Australia isn’t till September, but I do know that Father’s Day in the U.S is this coming weekend.. Greg’s birthday was just last Saturday so I’ve done a mish mash of gift ideas for Father’s Day/His birthday!10.png

For Papa/Nanoo

Generally you are buying a completely different gift for your grandad/nanoo and papa (as known in our family). I heard an ad for Storyworth on a podcast I listen to and was absolutely intrigued, so for my first gift idea I have:

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  1. Storyworth– Each week your grandad/dad will receive an email with a question from the guys at Storybrand. They answer one question every week for a year- at the end of that year Storybrand compile the answers (and even pictures you can send in) and send you the completed memoir! What an amazing idea!

Now, over to the father of your children!

Untitled2.png2. Hey! Dad Subscription Box– Unlike your normal selfish (ha) subscription boxes this box has activities (not crafts) that can be done with dad and his kids! From superhero adventures to around the house spy games!

3. Alexa Lane Custom Cufflinks– I have bought two pairs of these already and I love them! Not only are they great quality but to have something special to wear day-to-day in the office is a whole new level of sweet..

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4. With my Daddy, by Jo Witek- in a world where it’s almost unacceptable to call a dad a dad (insert eye roll) when I found this book at a bookstore recently I knew I had to get it! From the same author as “In my heart, the book about feelings” Jo writes a beautiful book about a baby girl and her dad.

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5. NikeID Custom Shoes–  If the father of your children enjoys long runs in the blazing hot sun or the freezing cold winters (oh wait is that only my husband?) this is a great gift idea! He can custom design his own pair of Nike shoes!

IMG_5544.JPG6. Custom Embroidered Tie Patch– For Greg’s birthday this year I DIY’ed a few of these for his ties with special messages from Ava using the tagged tutorial. If you’re not super fiddly or perhaps on a bit of a time crunch you can order custom iron-on patches from etsy (here).

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7. Chatbooks– Do you have sweet photos of your little family or perhaps just your partner with the kids- Chatbooks are a great way to put all these together in a beautiful keepsake! You can load up to 360 something images if you like! I think it would be a neat little project to take photos of your kids spelling certain words out, or making the chatbook an actual story or message to their dad!

8.  Coffee Gift Card- This one is super practical but super easy and thoughtful! Find out their favourite coffee shop and get a gift card to cover their next week’s worth of coffee’s!

Hapy Socks.png9.  Happy Socks–  While walking through a boutique in Newtown a few weeks ago we found a store that stocked Happy Socks! While they are on the expensive side (for socks) they are definitely unique and fun and would make a great Father’s Day gift!

Last but not least, while this isn’t a physical thing I think it almost counts for more!

10. Time- I heard it discussed recently on a podcast (coffee & crumbs) that Dad’s are very much portrayed as the goofy/have no idea what’s going on/wouldn’t know what to buy from the grocery store kind of dad’s. They gave examples of different shows such as Phil from Modern Family and Homer from the Simpsons. I don’t know about your husbands and partners, but Greg (in addition to working outside of the home full time) does so much at home, especially with Ava.  A lot of mum’s request a few hours off from ‘mum duty’ or a weekend away to just have a breather for their birthdays or Mother’s Day weekends- I think dad’s deserve the same option if they are really active in the home!

I’m not endorsed by any of these companies, I just really really love their products!

Happy Father’s Day Dad’s!!

The Best of- Breakfast (Sydney)

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Ever since Greg and I married (7 and a bit years ago) we have enjoyed going out for Saturday Breakfast. During the work week we tend to rush in the mornings so breakfast is an on-the-go/ how-fast-can-I-eat-this event. We have tried a number of places around Sydney (i.e. barely scratched the surface of all the places we want to try) so I have a few great recommendations that I wanted to share!

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  1. Black Elk Espresso– Carnes Hill

We tend to visit Black Elk at least twice a month! It has great food and a great atmosphere! There is a kids playground behind the cafe which makes it a double hit. The cafe has outdoor and indoor seating making it kid (and pram) friendly!

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2. Ristretto & Co– Liverpool

Being directly opposite a carpark makes Ristretto & Co a great little cafe in the heart of Liverpool! Ignoring the fact that we once got a parking ticket (on the street) while grabbing coffee, this place has amazing breakfast options! The breakfast bowl feature image on this post is from Ristetto & Co. While I normally stick to smashed avocado or a variation thereof, the breakfast bowl and coffee are a great combination.

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3. The Grounds of Alexandria– Alexandria

If you are okay with an unpredictable wait for a table in the main restaurant area- Grounds should be one of your go to places. For delicious food every time you visit, I cannot recommend this place highly enough. I usually get the smashed avocado while Greg gets the breakfast burger. You can pick up some great desserts afterwards from the cafe. If you’re looking for a bit of exercise and breakfast- Sydney Park, down the road from The Grounds has a Park Run every Saturday morning.

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4. The Rusty Rabbit– Burwood & Darlinghurst

While it’s not on the main strip (Burwood), you’ll want to make the effort for their great food, fantastic service, and their great coffee!

5. Toco Fresh–  Concord

I’m not going to lie- the staff are intense at this cafe, but their food keeps bringing us back! This is a favourite for our family when we’re in Concord- you won’t be disappointed. Their lunch menu is also fantastic if you’re there after midday.

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6. Social Hideout– Parramatta

We stumbled upon this cafe (it’s hidden from the main roads in Parra) and were blown away by how good the food was! We lived 5min from this cafe for almost 4 years and never discovered it! I tried the Arabian Plate, and Greg picked the Americans (typical..) The food was so, so , so good!FullSizeRender.jpg

7. Big Tree House Cafe– Rydalmere

I was introduced to this cafe by my best friend. Nestled on a very suburban street you definitely wouldn’t come across this Cafe unless you were looking for it! While the cafe is not very pram friendly, and does not have a change mat (I learnt this the hard way) they have great food and coffee!

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Easy Kale Chips

My Nan normally gives us a large bunch of kale every week. She’s very informed as to the health benefits of Kale! We’re not a huge fan of the vegetable in salads or smoothies (it’s quite bitter) so I normally end up making Kale chips! For some reason the olive oil and salt offsets the bitterness!

Kale Chips are super super easy to make and a great low calorie snack!

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*I put this ziplock bag in our pantry and it stunk our pantry out.. so I would recommend eating straight away!

Free Activities in Sydney- January 2017

Hello there friends! I cannot believe we’re already into 2017!! I’m so excited at what 2017 is going to bring in! If you live in Australia and have kids you may be going crazy.. the Summer school holidays are so so long!

Below are my top picks for events going on in January for kids. On a side note- I would recommend clicking on the clicks to make sure you don’t need to register in advance for the event!

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January 2017

Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
 01 02  03 04 05 06 07
 
Children’s Play Bus– Redfern
 
Little Darlings Night Owls Kids’ Film Festival Begins- Darling Harbour
Zootopia on the Boulevard Movie Screening- Sydney Olympic Park
Balance Bike Clinics Begin– Alexandria
08 09 10 11 12 13 14
Captain America: Civil War Movie Screening– Sydney Olympic Park
The Good Guys Super Hero Academy begins- Sydney Olympic Park
Children’s Play Bus– Redfern
The Rocks Discovery Program Begins– The Rocks
Heroes and Villains Craft Challenge– Dulwich Hill
Hollywood Movie Magic– Marrickville
Design a superhero badge– St Peters
Storks Movie Screening– Sydney Olympic Park
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Free Totem Skate School– Carnes Hill
Children’s Play Bus– Redfern
Free Totem Skate School– Carnes Hill
Free Totem Skate School– Carnes Hill
The Lion King Movie Screening– Sydney Olympic Park
The Good Guys Super Hero Academy ends- Sydney Olympic Park
The Jungle Book Movie Screening– Sydney Olympic Park
The secret life of pets movie screening– Sydney Olympic Park
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
 
Children’s Play Bus– Redfern
Little Darlings Night Owls Kids’ Film Festival Ends- Darling Harbour
Balance Bike Clinics ends- Alexandria
Australia Day Celebration– Liverpool
Children’s Festival– Sydney
 The Rocks Discovery Program ends- The Rocks
29 30 31
Birds of the Armory Walk– Sydney Olympic Park
Children’s Play Bus– Redfern
 
 

Special Mentions

Raw Banoffee Pie

I am a sucker for Banoffee Pie! I hate cake, muffins and most sweets in general.. but banoffee pie.. something about the caramel, banana and whipped cream hits my dessert spot!

Last week a friend of ours made miniature banoffee pies that were absolutely amazing, but the amount of calories I consumed (partly due to how many I ate..haha)..oh my goodness.. Well fast forward to earlier this week- I discovered an app called yummy. It consolidates thousands and thousands of recipes.. well.. a recipe for a raw banoffee pie popped up!!

We tried the recipe from Deliciously Ella last night and it tasted so good!

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Raw Banoffee Pie (modified from Deliciously Ella)

Serves 4

For the first layer

– 1/2 of a cup of pecans (70g)

– 1/2 of a cup of almonds (100g)

– 4 regular dates

– 2 teaspoons of honey

For the middle layer

– 2 very ripe bananas

– 2 tablespoons of almond butter

For the banana layer

– 1 banana

For the top layer

– 8 dates

– 4 tablespoons of almond butter

– 4 tablespoons of water

– 1 over-ripe banana

Consolidated ingredients needed

– 1/2 of a cup of pecans (70g)

– 1/2 of a cup of almonds (100g)

– 12 regular dates 

– 2 teaspoons of honey

– 4 very ripe bananas

– 6 tablespoons of almond butter

– 4 tablespoons of water

How to

Start by making the base. Place the nuts in a food processor and blend for a minute or two until a crumbly mix forms, then add the honey and pitted dates. (I couldn’t find the blade for my food processor so I chopped these by hand)

Fill the bottom either of several small containers or one big pie dish with a layer of this nutty mixture.

Next make the banana cream layer. Place the bananas and almond butter in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Put this on top of the nutty layer and place in the freezer for about 20 minutes to set.

While this freezes slice the layer of plain banana.

Next make the Caramel layer. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor until smooth, if you’re mixture is too thick you may need to add more water.

After twenty minutes remove the pie from the freezer, place the layer of sliced banana over the glasses and then cover with the caramel.  Enjoy!

 

 

City Elite Baby Jogger Review

I work in an area where there are quite affluent families- let me tell you- the price some of those families have paid for their prams is astronomical! When I was pregnant I would write down the names of prams I saw, especially travel systems (the capsule which clicks into the car and the frame) and have a look at their prices hoping to find one that was affordable! We knew we wanted a jogging pram, but not something super running-intense (cue the super huge wheels..) We initially set our sights on the Mountain Buggy however the 2016 model was not compatible with the capsule we were given by a friend so the next bext option was the City Elite Baby Jogger.

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Here are the pros and cons that I have found:

Pros

  • Easy to fold up (when you have the normal pram seat on it)
  • Sturdy (can off road a little) and when running
  • Can lock the front wheel in place when running
  • Spacious baby seat
  • Has a great harness system
  • 3 storage pockets near the top of the sun-viser (I love some convenient storage)

Cons

  • When the normal pram seat is on, the bottom mesh storage area is not easy to access
  • Heavy to lift into boot (trunk for those Americans)
  • Bulky to fit into boot if you don’t have a large boot (we have a Hyundai i30 and it just fits)

Overall this pram has been great! This is the pram liner we bought (also featured in the first photo)- I wanted to keep the colour of the pram streamlined with the liner.

If you have any specific questions let me know!

Working out – post baby!

Prior to getting pregnant with Ava I was running 3-5 times a week.. I was also unofficially competing with my husbands father every  month on the Nike app to get more km’s/miles than him.. I’m not sure if he was actually aware of it which is why I saw “unofficially competing!”

When I miscarried late last year I thought it may have something to do with me continuing to run, so I stopped all exercise.. from memory I only started running again well after 3 months.. I stopped again at the 7 month mark- it was getting to awkward.. I take my hat off to all those women who compete in marathons at 8 months pregnant- good for you!!!

While I was pregnant, I continued wearing my normal gym wear- I was dying for maternity tights but couldn’t find them anywhere!! Only recently I noticed Cotton on had a maternity active wear range– say what?!?!

What I’ve also noticed is that active wear has gotten so so expensive! Greg and I are Nike fanatics- I love the feel of their clothing and their designs- but honestly, who is spending $160 on tights.. TIGHTS?!?!?! I made it my mission to find similar looking items for a lot less! You can definitely look great, have good work out gear and not break the bank!

If you just had a baby I would recommend going and getting new work out or running gear. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but a new pair of tights or a new pair of shoes will go a long way in getting you back into it- trust me!!

I picked two companies that have pretty expensive items- Nike and Lorna Jane and found similar looking items for A LOT less.. I hope the below is helpful!

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Nike- Tights and Top // Cotton on- Tights and Top

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Lorna Jane- Tights and Top // Kmart- Top // Cotton On- Tights

As for actually working out or running, my recommendation is to do what you feel comfortable with! I’ve walked a lot since Ava was born- I highly recommend walking- it’s a lot less strenuous and you can go a lot further. I struggled to run for 25min last week but can walk for upwards of an hour on any given day. If you live in Australia there is a company/facebook community called Running Mums Australia– I highly recommend joining the group- it’s a great support network! If you were somewhat of a runner prior to baby and you don’t have the motivation to start again I would recommend downloading the Nike + Run Club app- you can set goals to run a certain distance by a certain time and be “trained” by a coach on each run. Whatever you decide to do- remember- you just carried and brought a baby into this world- and that is an amazing achievement!