DIY Cereal Mix

Our little man is a foodie. He loves his food, there are not many things that he doesn’t like. We are not sure whether it is all in the genes (we’re really into our food), or it was because we started him on “adult food” pretty young. We also gave him the opportunity to choose what he would like to have as often as possible. Most of the times, he chooses good healthy food, though obviously, just like any other 2 year olds, he’d ask for pizzas and “chippies” for breakfast too πŸ™‚

Img src: Woolworth’s Online

One of his favourite fun times is choosing his cereal at the grocery shop. His favourite of all cereals is the Uncle Toby’s Plus cereal “with blueberries!!!”. We have been getting these for a couple of months now, until I realised that we go through the box within a week or so (with Mr E’s help). At $4 a pop, weekly, it certainly does add up. We’re madly saving up for upcoming house renovations and holidays at the moment, so I am trying my best to get the best bang for our buck, without affecting our lifestyleΒ too much πŸ™‚

So here’s what I did recently:

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I made my own “Uncle Toby’s Plus Cereal” as what they really are, are just pre-mixed bits of cereal and dried fruit. Super easy and does not take all that much time for me to do πŸ™‚ I already had the dried fruit in the pantry, so our current “box” of cereal only cost us AUD1. If I had to buy the fruit, it would be about AUD2 max with lots and lots of fruit leftover. If I want to be even more cost-savvy, I could also buy Homebrand “Corn Flakes” and Homebrand dried fruit. However, I prefer Sunbeam dried fruit as they’re still nice and plump and juicy (and Australian grown too) πŸ™‚ There are some things I’d rather “splurge” on but the options are there.

Mr E said that it isn’t the same as the Uncle Toby’s cereal, but still yummy nevertheless. We are already half-way through my premix, so I think the boys really do like it πŸ™‚

What do you guys do to save up that is easy to do? Please share, I want new a bathroom pronto!

HealthIER Chocolate Fudge Brownies

If you can’t tell already, I am an emotional eater. When I feel down and sad, baking is my escape. I try to give away most of my baked goods, just so that we don’t eat them all ourselves. Last night, I tried a new recipe I found online and tweaked it to make it slightly healthier.

Healthier Chocolate Fudge Brownie

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Ingredients:
1 well mashed avocado
3 beaten eggs
1 cup of self raising flour (can use Gluten Free option)
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla essence
300g dark chocolate chips (can use Lactose free option)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup sugar

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Method:
Preheat oven to 180C.

In a pot, heat coconut oil and chocolate chips until well combined, take off heat.

In batches, add flour, sugar, essence and baking powder, continue stirring the whole time.

Stir in avocado until well combined.

When mixture is cooled, stir in eggs.

Pour into baking tray then in the oven for 25 minutes.

Cool for 20 minutes before serving πŸ™‚

The original recipe uses almond meal, but I didn’t have any. You can’t taste the avocado at all, but it must add moisture in the brownie. I love having a piece of the brownie warm, Mr E said that when cold, it is more of a fudge texture πŸ™‚

Enjoy!

Fruit peels, snail goo and charcoal mask

Here’s another reason why I love Japan.

If you remember my post on skincare (read here if you missed it), I get “holiday” skin. Pimples, oily and dry patches and extremely enlarged pores. But not in Japan, and I’ve been there in autumn, winter and summer.

I eat just as badly, though my idea of “going all out” in Japan meant eating an ocean of fresh sea urchin and roe. Fresh vegetables are hard to come by, unless you want them as tempura (deep fried). Fresh fruit is exorbitantly expensive. With the number of vending machines and convenient shops selling hundreds of different drinks, water is the last thing I buy (and why would you, if you can have this drink instead).

I put down my lack of “holiday” skin to two things:

1. Onsens: perhaps the minerals in the water and the heat bring out the badness and detoxify your body? Maybe?

2. The extremely accessible and large number of skincare available. I got three “wins” this trip:

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The pink bottle is Detclear fruit peel, it comes out like gel and you massage it on your dirty skin. After a while, balls of supposedly dead skin and gunk will start to form and you just have to wash it off. The result is clean soft skin, it’s awesome! Quick, effective and fun way of washing my face.

The black tube is a charcoal mask that comes out like black super glue. You put it on clean skin and wait until it dries. When you can’t move your face, it’s time to peel peel peel. I love this part of the process, it’s so satisfying. If I read the pictures correctly, it is supposed to lift up the gunk in your pores. Or something. Whatever it is, I like this mask, clean and soft skin afterwards!

When I first put this mask on, my inlaws did double takes and said a couple WTF comments lol with no previous exposure to “girly things” like these, seeing it would be pretty weird πŸ˜‰

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A snail goo mask, I am excited to try this one. I’ve tried their “pearl” mask before and it was awesome. This brand is Korean but is everywhere in Japan. I wanted to buy the “snake venom” one too, but Mr E vetoed it lol

Have I told you that I love Japan? πŸ˜‰

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of “beauty”?

Fussy Little Eaters: Homemade muesli bar

I went to Woolies the other week looking for one of those fruit strips for Little E, but couldn’t find any. I did, however, found and bought these. Little E had it for the first time this morning and liked them. I actually quite like them too but I don’t like the price. I bought a pack of 6 for AUD2.39, which isn’t too bad, however, they’re AUD3.23 full price. So today, I decided to try in making my own πŸ™‚

There are lots of recipes online, each are quite different, but most contain a lot of sugar! Even ones that are supposedly for kids. I basically chopped and changed different recipes and come up with my own – based on what I have in the pantry and least amount of sugar possible. Here it is!

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Muesli Bar (with Gluten Free alternative)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 60g butter
  • 1/2 cups rolled oats (see note for gluten-free option)
  • 1 weetbix
  • 1/2 cup sultanas (I also mixed through some dried fruits and dried apples I have on hand)
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates (can also use dried apricots)
  • 1/4 cup gentle fibre (can also use dessicated coconut)
  • 1/8 cup nuts or seeds of your choice (I used a mixture of pistachio, peanuts and almonds)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Melt butter and honey together in a pot
  3. Using a food processor, blend all the other ingredients together until fine
  4. Stir the melted butter and honey slowly and blend until all combined
  5. In a lined tray (I used a loaf tray), press the mixture firmly
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden
  7. Cool before cutting into sticks (makes about 12 toddler-hand-sized sticks)

Note: for a gluten free alternative, you can use crushed cornflakes and rice bubbles πŸ™‚

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When kept in the fridge, these should be fine for a couple of weeks. I guess the good thing about store bought ones is that they last longer and so you can keep them in your nappy bag for emergencies. However, these would be a lot cheaper and if you have older kids as well (or husbands), they can get on these too πŸ™‚