Nutella Christmas Tree

Last year this Nutella Christmas tree had been doing the rounds on the internet and I always said I wanted to make it. Well a year later I finally made it.

It was super easy and you only need 3 things. You will need:

2 x Edmonds flaky puff pastry sheets

Nutella

1 x egg

Pretty much to start you need to make a Nutella sandwich, so cover one sheet with Nutella (not too close to the edges as it becomes messy when twisting). Then place the other sheet on top.

Measure out the trunk and mark the shape of the tree out.

Once that’s done cut strips along the side to make the branches and then twist each one and top with a cut out star.

Now don’t throw away any of the scraps because you can still bake those p.s you will notice my first attempt of a star amongst the scraps, it’s a shocker.

Egg wash the pastry and bake in the oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes. When it’s cool dust with icing sugar so it looks like snow and I used red and green M&M’s to give a bauble effect.

There you go, the Nutella Christmas tree dessert.

Hope you have a go at making this!

Happy holidays

Ronell x

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Wonder the Movie

WHEN GIVEN THE CHOICE BETWEEN BEING
RIGHT OR BEING KIND, CHOOSE KIND.” 
― R.J. PalacioWonder

Well, let me just say one thing, this is the first movie that I have actually cried from the start to the finish, and I completely forgot take any tissues with me (amateur move).  It is very hard for your heartstrings not to be pulled watching this, and more so for parents because you automatically put yourself in those parents shoes or you think about your own kids and all that they go through at school.

For me it really hit home because, my oldest has had the shittiest time at primary school, because whether we like it or not there are mean kids in every school, but on the flip side there are also true gems that can be found too, you just have to look really really hard for those.  It showed me how having really good friends makes all the difference to a child’s life especially at school because they spend so much time in school and to be able to have that person you know will always be there to pick you up when you are down, stand up for you and never leave you behind, when others are being mean to you, well that is true friendship. The emotions that August went through at school made me think about the struggles my daughter has had and all the tears that we have to wipe away to this day.

“It’s not enough to be friendly. You have to be a friend.” 
― R.J. PalacioWonder

I am grateful though for her having the amount of empathy, kindness and sensitivity that she has because that gives her the courage to always stand up for the those been mistreated, and if I am being really honest I wish there were kids that did the same for her.  She has a few good friends now but I hope one day she truly finds her best friend who I know will be there for her always, because I tell you what you would want her by your side as a friend.

“Don’t try to fit in, because you were born to stand out” – R.J Palacio, Wonder

As a Mum going into school I look around and see other kids with their friends who have known each other for a few years and I can clearly see the close bond that they have, and every time my heartbreaks a little because I so wish that she had that too.

Friendships at school seems to be a number game, what’s the saying two’s a company three’s a crowd. Well she has always been the number 3 in any friend circle so she is always on the outs unfortunately. Anyway that’s another blog post!!!

Leaving the cinema tonight she said to me, “Mum if there was a child like that in our school I will play with them everyday.”

As parents you would want your child to take care of the Auggie Pullman’s of this world.

“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.” 
― R.J. PalacioWonder

I would seriously watch this movie again and again, and I will probably cry every time.  I urge everyone to watch it and if you have kids definitely take them to see it to too.  However my 6yr old was getting pretty restless towards the end (so I wouldn’t take a child younger than 6) but she did say she loved the movie!

Right time for bed now!  Hope you enjoy the movie too, and I would love to hear what you though of it.

Ronell x

Perfectionism In Children

Why is it that, we are so quick to say to others, that it’s okay, you don’t have to be a perfect parent, or you don’t have to have the perfect body etc. yet we expect our children to be perfect in all that they do (whether we are doing this intentionally or not)?

This topic came up because a friend and I were talking about our kids and the things that they have to face each day etc. and that as they enter into the next phase of schooling with intermediate and high school, the pressure and stress that comes with it.  Well it got me thinking about my family, especially my older daughter.  She is a perfectionist in everything that she does, and I don’t think this is a good thing.

She hates trying new things and would put it off out of fear of not getting it right the first time.  She get’s frustrated and gives up easily too.  In turn this frustrates me, because I know she can do it, if she just gives it a go (not a great combo – frustrated child + frustrated parent = everyone is having a meltdown).  I always say to her, don’t compare yourself to others, because everyone is different, and each person has different strengths and weaknesses.  Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability and if that is in the middle or last it doesn’t matter, because it’s the best you can do and you gave it your all.  I want her to just be a kid and enjoy school and her friends while she can, with no added pressure or stress, because we know that shit piles up when you’re an adult.

This got me looking at ourselves and how we parent, and I started questioning how we do things.  Trust me we don’t always get things right, but that’s okay because we are still learning.  There is never a finish line with parenting, just a few hurdles that come up every now and again.  I thought is there anything we are doing unintentionally that is giving my daughter the message that you have to be perfect.  The biggest culprit I think is ME! I don’t say to her, you have to be perfect, or do things perfectly, however she must be picking things up from observing me.

I myself am a perfectionist, I didn’t really have this issue when I was in school,  but when I think back I was always really tidy, I loved cleaning my room and would usually rearrange everything all the time.  This got worse as I got older and had children I believe.  In regards to my house, I need to have it super tidy all the time (not ideal with children) and when it is messy (or any mess in general) my anxiety starts up really bad, so I just clean all the time. I know it is really unrealistic, but I do it anyway.   Messy play gives me heart palpitations, that’s why I loved daycares.  Growing up my mum let us do all sorts of crazy stuff, even messy things, and we never were told not to do anything because she didn’t like it.  So I am not sure how this came about in me.

I know I need to relax and ease up a bit, however it’s not as easy as it sounds, but foremost I need to help my daughter around not being a perfectionist, and I want to break the cycle and better ourselves as parent’s.   So please don’t judge me!

I am sharing this because I hope that there are people out there that can help me and others with tips or strategies that have worked for you.  If you are in the same boat as me, what are some of the things that you are doing to minimize the effect of perfectionism, in both yourself and your children.  Desperate parent right here, so I will take all the help I can get!

I came across an article from She Knows about Raising excellent, not perfect, children and it was very interesting.

Here is the link:  Raising excellent, not perfect, Children

Another good article is from the Anxiety BC.

Here is the link:  Overcoming Perfectionism

Ronell x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Migraines! Is there any escaping them?

What is a migraine headache?

A headache of varying intensity, often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.

That is what a migraine is in a nutshell.  But it can feel so much worse that just that simple explanation.  I have suffered with migraines for a long time but off course they have gotten worse over the years.  My migraines vary from tension migraines, where it feels like someone is squeezing the hell out of my brain and I can feel it get tighter and tighter.  Then I sometimes get cluster migraines, where those are right in and around the eye.  The other night I was sitting in the lounge and my husband looks at me and says, “Oh no I think you have pink eyes, as they are really red”, well I didn’t have pink eyes, it was my migraine that was right behind that eye and the pain was extremely intense.

Then after I had my second child I experienced vertigo migraines.  I had no idea what they were at all or that there was even such a thing.  I remember it was in the middle of the night and Chloe had woken up in her cot and was crying.  So I got out of the bed only to sway to the left and fall on bay window seat.  Seriously if someone had seen me, they would have thought I was drunk as anything.  I couldn’t walk straight at all,  but I managed to make it to my door.  Then I walked down the hall pretty much leaning into as it was propping me up, instead of falling.  In the back of my head I thought, shit something is gone wrong with my brain!!!!  I made it back to my room and then straight to the dr’s the next day! Now and again, when I get migraines my vision is also blurred by thousands of stars flying around.  So I pretty much get all the types……unlucky me!!

Type of headache

The worst part is when I have a migraine, and someone’s ask’s,  “what’s wrong?” and I go on to say that I have a migraine.  I always have this feeling of guilt like it’s not a valid illness and that they are probably thinking migraine…pffft you’ll be fine it’s just a headache.  But it’s so much more than “just a headache”, it’s hard for people who don’t get migraines to actually understand what a migraine is and the pain you experience.  I always say to my husband, “I wish that one day, you get a migraine, just once to fully understand what it is like”. But I think over the year’s he now knows how bad they get.  It is completely debilitating.  I can hardly open my eyes because of the light and the pain, all I want to do is sleep in a very dark room.

Unfortunately though as a mum, I never always get time to just lay down and sleep it off. I use Nurofen Plus as it’s the only thing that seems to help get rid of them, but because I still have to go on with everyday things like going to work, kids, cooking etc my migraines seem to last longer as I never take the time to really just rest and do nothing. There are so many things that can trigger a migraine, for me it can be lack of sleep over a few days, I can manage one or two days of broken sleep but after that, hell no!!!!  Also, if I don’t eat at regular times and skip meals because I am too busy that’s when I get them too. Recently I have noticed that my migraines are also hormonal, because every time it’s you know, that dreaded time of the month, well hello…… here’s a migraine to go with that too! So over the next few months I will be skipping my inactive contraceptive pill (the white pill) and I will see if that makes a difference to them or not!

There is no cure for migraines, like so many other things in the world.  So if you suffer from migraines, I would love to hear if you have any tips or is there anything that you do to manage them better.  At this stage I will take all the suggestions and tips that I can get.

To all the migraine sufferers out there, I truly feel your pain as you do mine!

Ronell x

 

 

 

 

Despacito Lyrics

Okay so I love this song, and every time it comes on the radio we crank it up in the car and try really really hard to sing along.  If you guys are like us, and just make up the words as we go then fear not, here are the lyrics to the song.  I may not know spanish but at least seeing the word and trying to read might actually help my singing ability the next time this song comes on.

Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee feat Justin Bieber

Come on over in my direction
So thankful for that, it’s such a blessin’, yeah
Turn every situation into Heaven, yeah
(Oh, you are…)
My sunrise on the darkest day
Got me feelin’ some kind of way
Make me wanna savor every moment slowly, slowly
You fit me, tailor-made love, how you put it on
Got the only key, know how to turn it on
The way you nibble on my ear, the only words I wanna hear
Baby take it slow so we can last long

[Verse 1: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee]
Oh, tú, tú eres el imán y yo soy el metal
Me voy acercando y voy armando el plan
Sólo con pensarlo se acelera el pulso
Oh, yeah Ya, ya me está gustando más de lo normal
Todos mis sentidos van pidiendo más
Esto hay que tomarlo sin ningún apuro

[Coro: Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber]
Despacito
Quiero respirar tu cuello despacito
Deja que te diga cosas al oído
Para que te acuerdes si no estás conmigo
Despacito
Quiero desnudarte a besos despacito
Firmo en las paredes de tu laberinto
Y hacer de tu cuerpo todo un manuscrito
(Sube, sube, sube
Sube, sube)

[Bridge 1: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee]
Quiero ver bailar tu pelo
Quiero ser tu ritmo
Que le enseñes a mi boca
Tus lugares favoritos
(Favorito, favorito, baby)
Déjame sobrepasar tus zonas de peligro
Hasta provocar tus gritos
Y que olvides tu apellido

[Verse 2: Daddy Yankee]
Si te pido un beso, ven, dámelo
Yo sé que estás pensándolo
Llevo tiempo intentándolo
Mami, esto es dando y dándolo
Sabes que tu corazón conmigo te hace bang-bang
Sabes que esa beba está buscando de mi bang-bang
Ven, prueba de mi boca para ver cómo te sabe
Quiero, quiero, quiero ver cuánto amor a ti te cabe
Yo no tengo prisa, yo me quiero dar el viaje
Empecemos lento, después salvaje

[Bridge 2: Daddy Yankee]
Pasito a pasito, suave suavecito
Nos vamos pegando, poquito a poquito
Cuando tú me besas con esa destreza
Veo que eres malicia con delicadeza
Pasito a pasito, suave suavecito
Nos vamos pegando, poquito a poquito
Y es que esa belleza es un rompecabezas
Pero pa’ montarlo aquí tengo la pieza
¡Oye!

[Coro: Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber]
Despacito
Quiero respirar tu cuello despacito
Deja que te diga cosas al oído
Para que te acuerdes si no estás conmigo
Despacito
Quiero desnudarte a besos despacito
Firmo en las paredes de tu laberinto
Y hacer de tu cuerpo todo un manuscrito
(Sube, sube, sube
Sube, sube)

[Bridge 1: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee]
Quiero ver bailar tu pelo
Quiero ser tu ritmo
Que le enseñes a mi boca
Tus lugares favoritos
(Favorito, favorito, baby)
Déjame sobrepasar tus zonas de peligro
Hasta provocar tus gritos
Y que olvides tu apellido

[Verse 3: Luis Fonsi]
Despacito
This is how we do it down in Puerto Rico
I just wanna hear you screaming, “¡Ay, Bendito!”
I can move forever se quede contigo
¡Bailalo!

[Bridge 3: Daddy Yankee, Luis Fonsi & Justin Bieber]
Pasito a pasito, suave suavecito
Nos vamos pegando, poquito a poquito
Que le enseñes a mi boca
Tus lugares favoritos
(Favorito, favorito, baby)
Pasito a pasito, suave suavecito
Nos vamos pegando, poquito a poquito
Hasta provocar tus gritos (Fonsi)
Y que olvides tu apellido (D.Y.)
Despacito

So, go on and sing along!!!

Ronell x

source: Direct lyrics

 

Book Review – The Golden Child by Wendy James

goldenchild

This book is about looking into how bullying can effect a family but more so from the family of the bully rather than the other side.  Funnily enough I bought this book before I even watched 13 Reasons Why and so two heavy story lines in row.  This book is more around cyber bullying and the extent of it and off course the repercussions.

Beth and Dan have it all, a great life in America with their two girls, who are doing well in school, they seem to have it all.  Their girls are Lucy and Charlotte.  Lucy is the oldest daughter, she isn’t remotely close to being popular at school compared to her sister Charlotte who is the youngest.  Lucy does great at school, is truly the perfect child in the eyes of anyone really. Charlotte the younger, outspoken daughter, for her it’s all about being seen with the right crowd.

There has been a couple of bullying incidents involving Charlotte, the first saw the family leave America and head back home to Australia for a fresh start.  Off course Beth was a bit shocked at first but realised it was all an accident, and not intentional.  Soon they settled in Newcastle, they found a house and the girls started at a private all girls school.  It was all going well, Beth who is a blogger, found a job at a local politicians office, the girls were enjoying school, Charlotte was once again the popular girl, and Lucy was well Lucy, who throughout the book always seemed to be in the background.

Beth and Andi another mum from school, became friends in the hope of their daughters also becoming friends.  Andi’s daughter Sophie didn’t really have any friends, and wanted to fit in with everyone else.  The idea of being friends with Charlotte was beyond her wildest dreams!  She was ecstatic, except, Charlotte didn’t think being with Sophie was great for her reputation but their mum’s constantly had caught up forcing the girls together.

Then things once again went downhill, with Sophie being bullied over social media sites by lot’s of other kids in her school, including Charlotte.  In one of these post’s someone said to Sophie, “Why don’t you just go and kill yourself?”  Well, Sophie who was only 13 decided to try exactly that, she overdosed on sleeping pills.  Luckily she survived. But the incident, opened a can of worms.  Beth was beyond shocked, she was at the point were she believed she didn’t even know her own child, and she questioned herself as a parent where did she go wrong or where did she fail!  This not only effected their family but her friendship with Andi.

Sophie survived and had a new look on life, and she saw things a bit clearer now.  Slowly she started to notice things about her friends, including Charlotte and Lucy, and she put the pieces together.

Well the book bloody ended so abruptly, that I even asked my kindle WTF? Is that it? There is quite the twist at the end and I really wanted to know what happened next! But alas the book ended.

Happy reading!

Ronell x

 

Social Media Detox

I have been meaning to do this post for a while now and I’m not sure what has held me back but I am doing it now.  The whole thing might sound like I am just having a big rant and maybe I am.  I signed up to Facebook many years ago whilst living in Australia, and for me it was a great way to stay connected to my family and friends back home in South Africa.  However, over the years how we use social media has completely changed and I’m at the point where I am kinda getting over it.  To me it seems like now you have to disconnect to actually connect with people.  Make real connections.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, you name it, it all just seems to have become a bit competitive.  At one stage I too was a social media addict and posted photos of everything and anything, like seriously who cares what I eat for dinner not many people to be honest.  I eat food just like everyone else.

People just seem so superficial now and that’s just my opinion, you can choose to agree or disagree that’s your choice.  When people post stuff now,  I don’t even know if it’s real, or is it just there so everyone else can think that their lives are just so amazing and awesome, compared to everyone else’s normal lives.  I think it has become a platform for people to show off a bit, look at my kids dressed in “Country Road” clothes or whatever designer wear, seriously I dress my kids in Warehouse, Kmart or Cotton on and even hand me downs, really whats the point dressing them up in expensive stuff when they grow so fast!

IMG_2005.PNG

If you look at your “friends” on Facebook, how many of them are truly your friends, and when was the last time you actually spoke to any of them?  I know there are some that I have not spoken to in years!  Every so often I go and do a clean out of who I actually share things with and now I am going to do an even bigger clean out, please don’t be offended if I remove you, it’s nothing personal, but if we haven’t engaged in a long time then it makes sense.

Here’s a great little video that you should watch!  Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?

I think there is definitely a place for Facebook, it can be very good for community pages, businesses, support groups, school groups.  Those are exceptionally useful.

Instagram holy moly, I mean there were days that I spent ages trying to bloody do a flat lay photo, or raid the house for black and white stuff so I could do a monochrome photo. It all has just become far to time consuming.  Again, these little tiles of square can sometimes get you feeling a bit down, because you look at other people’s feed’s and think wow look at the stuff they have or the places they go (admit it you feel that way too, it’s called being human), but then reality slaps you in the face, and reminds you once again, it’s all styled and edited.  We cannot go through life with everything being styled or in the perfect light, and don’t get me started about Instagram stories and Snapchat…for fucks sake, like seriously, how long do some of these people spend recording themselves talk???

Imagine, if people actually didn’t spend hours looking at themselves talk all day about what they are doing, and how they wish their hair was straighter or had more body, or about them getting their eyebrows feathered.  They will be astounded at the amount of spare time they have up their sleeves, try it people you might be surprised.

The worst one is when people are out walking/exercising and they are videoing themselves talking for such a long time and I think to myself, have they ever thought what they look like to onlookers, here they are walking holding a phone out in front of them talking!  It’s fucking hilarious and ridiculous.  I am so sick of seeing people constantly going on about all the packages that are arriving at their doorsteps, I got a few things given to me to promote by brands, but I am so glad I don’t get a shit load of stuff, because quite frankly I can’t be arsed. There are some people who spend all day running from one PR event to another, it’s just crazy to me, but hey they love it and so that’s their thing.

It sort of all came to me when I was at Adele’s concert and I was standing there in the rain and spending so much time taking videos of her singing, and I am watching her through my phone screen.  I thought to myself like seriously what the hell is wrong with me, I didn’t pay $150 to watch Adele through my phone screen.  I put my phone away and was completely present, and I sang and danced with my daughter for the rest of the time.

I have slowly stopped posting much on Instagram and yes I might have lost some followers but I am at the point now where I don’t really care, I don’t post much on my private Facebook account now either, because I want my life to be mine, and not for everyone else to have a look in on.

Instead now I spend more time reading, listening to music, and dancing it out with my girls!

Happy detoxing!

Ronell x