{Delicious} Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

Soooo, this probably, maybe, definitely isn’t likely to be the best help for any health new years resolutions you have made in the last few days but this was just too pretty/delicious/cute not to share.

33 cakes

Buzzfeed has compiled 33 of the best cakes you are likely to see in a while. You can find the link here -> Buzzfeed – Cutest Cakes of 2013

cake

There is everything from cheesecakes to ombre to gummy bears.

As they say, “If you ever doubt that the world is a beautiful place, just remember: We’ll always have sugar, butter and flour”.

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Happy sugar loading Nesters!

{Raising Little Girls} Your words matter to those who matter most.

Daily Life recently published an article written by Kasey Edwards.

daughter

This was a powerful piece written to her mother. It is worth reading – Especially if you have daughters.

I cannot actually stress how important this is to read if you have little girls in your life.

Do you realise the impact every single little word has upon their tiny, impressionable ears? Do you see what they see? What will they learn about themselves from you?

Please read this and share it.

Your words matter to those who matter most.

{Review} Valco Zee Spark Duo

There is absolutely nothing better than local knowledge. Someone who has actually tried something before you want to buy it. Knowing the good, the bad and the downright annoying features of a pram prior to buying one can save many tears and hormonal tantrums.

Now add in the fact that you are buying for twins and everything gets just a little bit tougher.

Our pram reviews are one of the most popular sections of the blog and today Joanna tells us about the Valco Zee Spark Duo. valco dup

Family:

I have twins who are 11 months old.

The Pram:

I have a Valco Zee Spark Duo.

Why the Zee Duo?

I have had this pram for about 12 months now. I chose it because I wanted a twin pram that enabled me to have parent facing options. It was also the slimmest side by side that allowed this.

Also, I wanted a pram I would have from birth until I didn’t need it anymore.

I particularly liked that it came with bassinets that then turn into seats, so I didn’t need extra parts. Some other brands I would have to buy the bassinet attachment as an extra – costing quite a lot with twins. This pram was well priced as well, under $650.00

Additional attachments:

It has a drink holder section included on the back of the seats and a basket underneath.

It also comes with two boot covers, which was fantastic for my little ones in winter.

Favourite feature:

To me it looks to have all the features of a Bugaboo Donkey side by side, without the price tag!

It has fantastic canopy cover over the pram as well, which is great for keeping the sun of newborns and kids, but they can still see out!

Plus, it was handy to be able to remove the bassinet style seat easily to put a baby down to sleep if I was not at home.

Least favourite feature:

There are a couple of old buildings in this town where we don’t fit through the doorways – but generally I can go everywhere in town. It is large though, but I don’t know many twins prams that aren’t!

Is it easy to fold?valco_baby_pram_stroller_zee_spark_duo_raisin_waffle_02_1

Yes, a quick lift of the tabs and it collapses down. You can collapse it with the seats on also, making it super easy to set up again later.

Would you recommend this pram?

I definitely would, it’s been fantastic for me and I’d buy it again in a second. I know at least 5 other twins Mums that have it also!

It’s relatively new, only came out in August 2012 I think, but I’ve also found Valco to be amazing for customer service.

Pricing:

I paid $639.00 for it.

You can find more information about the Duo at http://www.valcobaby.com.au/product/spark_duo

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Thanks to the wonderful Joanna for taking the time to help review her pram – We appreciate your ongoing support of the Central Nest.

{Cook this} Roll me in sprinkles and call me chocolate balls

Let me start by making a public service announcement. These are not good for you. AT ALL. Not even in your wildest ‘but chocolate comes from cocoa which comes from a tree that makes it a plant, therefore is pretty much the same as a salad‘ justifications will this ever be good for you.

BUT. THEY. ARE. EASY. POPULAR. DELICIOUS. LITTLE. TREATS

The chocolate balls are super simple (like even I can make them, okay admittedly the three year old little birdie did most of the work) but we made them for a party we had and they went quicker than Miley Cyrus’ Disney Contract.

chocolate balls

You can find the original recipe here at the fabulous -> The Organised Housewife blog.

Feel free to live dangerously and perhaps even roll them in coconut.. or honeycomb… or more cocoa…. or milo…. or really anything that you think will add another 40bazillion calories.

Just remember Nesters that these are simply a sometimes food… Like sometimes you just neeeeeeeed them.

Happy cooking Nesters!

Tears for my not perfect baby

Every now and then you stumble across a piece that is so well written it feels like you are standing right beside them. This is one of those articles. Bath-8-Days-Old

Have you thought about what you would do if your baby wasn’t born perfect?

You spend so much time preparing for your child to enter the world often blind to the chance that it might not quite be as you expect.

IVillage has published a piece by Kellie Turtu who describes exactly what that feeling is like. You can find the link here -> ‘My baby wasn’t born perfect and I cried’

It is well written and honest.

Sometimes life doesn’t quite go the way you expected.

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Final note: If you want to read more from the wonderful Kellie you can see more of her material at her blog:  Mama Pyjama

{My story} Post Natal Depression Awareness week

This week is Post Natal Awareness week and it is important that you, I, everyone support this.

I look at her now and can't even imagine the feelings I once had

I look at her now and can’t even imagine the feelings I once had

Post Natal Depression affects everyone. It is not discriminatory. It doesn’t care if you are rich or poor. Black or white. Young or older. It doesn’t care.  It affects about 1 in every 7 new mothers (and those results are based on people who actually seek help).

I have never really spoken about my post natal experience. Whilst I was never diagnosed with Post Natal Depression I felt panicked. I felt isolated and lost.

I remember feeling extremely guilty because I was unable to soothe my new child. I wondered if she knew I felt like I didn’t love her enough. Is that why she screamed?

Did she know I was lost? That I felt all alone?

I often asked myself if I loved her enough. Shamefully about three weeks in, wondered if I would miss her if someone else took her home.

This led me to feel more guilt. I felt inadequate and hopeless.

I had grown this little child in my body for over nine months. Before I met her I was excited. I envisioned hours of long cuddles and midnight breastfeeds. I would supplement her with my milk, as I believed nature intended. The truth is, I was unable to nourish her alone. My baby could not solely rely on me to provide for her. I felt worthless.

I felt guilty each time I used formula. I felt sad each time I used the bottle steriliser. I cried often as I tried to offer my breast but she refused me.

I was dark and alone. She cried. I cried.

I felt like my guilt was surrounding me, almost, some days drowning me.

I had also been diagnosed with Bells Palsy weeks before having my baby and felt ugly and different. My face still hadn’t returned to normal. I still had pains in my dreams. I felt low and sad.

On top of this, I felt like I wasn’t doing a good enough job. Like deep down my daughter expected more. I was constantly exhausted, not only with the battle of looking after my newborn but with the battle I was fighting each day in my head.

My turning point was a Tuesday. I had spent the day listening to my child wail from her perfect bassinet in her perfect nursery.  After lunch I called my husband and told him to come home. I needed him to close his workshop for the day and come home and save me.

I needed to be saved from this screaming child. I needed to be saved from the heavy expectations of being a new mother. I needed him, above all else, to save me from myself.

He came home and held me. I let him cradle me like a baby. I finally realised I needed to let go. Let go of my expectations. Release my guilt. Free myself.

Then one day, when she was not very old. The clouds above me parted. I looked at her with love. I felt immediately attached to her, like I needed her more than my desire to breathe. I realised that she was mine forever and that was not conditional upon me being perfect. She was me and I was her, a part of our souls intertwined forever.

I have an amazingly supportive husband and great family and friend network. I think that saved me. I think they saved me from myself.postnatal depression

I can look back now and see that dark period as a time of great character building for myself. I tell myself that without experiencing all those emotions I may not have realised how much I am actually capable of. It allowed me to realise that I need not be so hard upon myself but rather enjoy the time without necessarily aiming for perfection.

It is so important that you speak up. If you are a new parent and experiencing any of the following symptoms (for two weeks or more) please ask for help.

  • low mood and/or feeling numb
  • feeling inadequate, like a failure, or feeling guilty, ashamed, worthless, hopeless, helpless, empty or sad
  • often feeling close to tears
  • feeling angry, irritable or resentful (e.g. feeling easily irritated by your other children or your partner)
  • fear for the baby and/or fear of being alone with the baby or the baby being unsettled
  • fear of being alone or going out
  • loss of interest in things that you would normally enjoy
  • insomnia (being unable to fall asleep or get back to sleep after night feeds) or sleeping excessively, having nightmares
  • appetite changes (not eating or over-eating)
  • feeling unmotivated and unable to cope with the daily routine
  • withdrawing from social contact and/or not looking after yourself properly
  • decreased energy and feeling exhausted
  • having trouble thinking clearly or making decisions, lack of concentration and poor memory
  • having thoughts about harming yourself or the baby, ending your life, or wanting to escape or get away from everything.

Take the time to drop in on new parents. Ask if they are okay. Let us support each other, for every person is fighting a battle you may know nothing of.

Please seek help – You can get through this:

Beyond Blue – http://justspeakup.beyondblue.org.au/

Panda – http://www.panda.org.au/

parents

 

Hide some vegies in this wonderful slice

Sneaky zucchini, hidden carrot, less obvious onion.

This zucchini slice recipe from TASTE is a big hit in our little nest.

photo source: Taste

photo source: Taste

We don’t always follow the recipe exactly. This is the place to hide those lonely leftover vegies at the end of the week before the next shopping trip. We have often added mushrooms, capsicum, corn and peas. The variations are endless.

Ingredients

  • 5 eggs
  • 150g (1 cup) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 375g zucchini, grated
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 200g rindless bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 30 x 20cm lamington pan.
  2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl until combined. Add the flour and beat until smooth, then add zucchini, onion, bacon, cheese and oil and stir to combine.
  3. Pour into the prepared pan and bake in oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Happy cooking (and sneaky vegie hiding) Nesters!

Oi, mumma – a new perspective

Sometimes everybody needs to be reminded that your best is good enough. You are doing so much better than you realise. While parenthood is hard and testing, it can also be the most rewarding experience of your life.

Do you think you aren’t patient enough? Are you not understanding enough? Are you not doing a good enough job?

You are enough.

This very clever video posted on Vimeo shows mothers sharing their worries, their concerns and reflecting on their parenting abilities. Then their children explain what they actually see in their mothers.

Take the time to watch this. Grab the tissues. Then forward it to all your friends who might need a little reminding that they to are enough.

Perch a bird on your goodies

The smell. The sense of achievement. The delicious calories.

Nothing beats homemade goodies such as cakes and muffins. They taste different to the boxed ones and when you display them beautifully you can appreciate your effort for just a little while longer.

These Nel Lusso Gelato cake stands are beautiful. Available from Lime Tree Kids for $39.95. They would make a great Christmas present (to me, from me). cake stand lime tree kids

Plus – we love the little birdies!

Happy cooking (and shopping) little nesters!

{Make this} Leather wrapped vase

I love the idea of DIY but I am one of the least creative, ridiculously uncoordinated people who have ever stomped across the planet. creature confrots leather

So when I find a quick, easy(ish) way to decorate your home using basic supplies I get a wee bit excited. Creature Comforts Blog have put together the perfect little weekend task.

DIY Leather-wrapped Vases and Votive Holders.

They are pretty. Delightful. Do-able.

You can find the full instructions over with the brilliant, clever people at Creature Comforts.

pencils creature comforts

Happy making Nesters!