Outdoor Activites To Take Up This Summer

One thing I am really looking forward to is taking my kids camping. We haven’t done it yet.

I used to love camping when I was growing up. We would pack the brown Volvo with the trailer attached every Boxing Day and head to either Eden or
Merrimbula. It was all about the fishing. Dad loved it and somehow made us love it too.

With Summer just around the corner, there are so many great outdoor activities that you can take up as Alex Chisolm writes below.

This post is in collaboration with MOTackle.

Summer is fast approaching and that means it’s time to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. What better way to make summer even more fun than partaking in some new and exciting outdoor activities?

Here are five great activities to get you out and about this summer.

Kayaking

Why not get close to the water by spending your summer days kayaking down some of Australia’s finest rivers and estuaries? Kayaking is also a great way to keep fit whilst enjoying some nice scenery and serenity. If you’re game enough, you can also take on some of the stronger currents or rapids around the country as well, but this should only be done if you’re an experienced kayaker.

Stand up Paddle Boarding

Stand up paddle boarding is an activity that is certainly more first-time participant-friendly than most. It is one of those awesome activities that can be done in the surf, on lakes or even on rivers. Stand up paddle boarding is certainly an exciting activity that everyone can get involved in this summer and makes for a great day out with friends and family.

IMG_7484.JPG

Spear Fishing

Do you easily tire of throwing a line in and sitting there bored out of your brain? Well it may be time to try spear fishing, an activity that gets you up and about. Spear fishing gets you under water where you get to pick your target and catch it with a variety of different methods. This is an activity not for the faint hearted, but certainly an exciting one to join in on this summer. For all your fishing needs, remember to check out an online supplier such as MOTackle.

Snorkelling

If you live near an area where there are some reefs offshore, why not take up snorkelling? It’s an activity that does not require a lot of equipment yet allows you to see the beauty of natures wonders underwater. You will no doubt be amazed at what you see. Just make sure you have an underwater camera handy to take some incredible photos that you can share with your friends and family.

Body Boarding

The warmer weather brings people out in droves. Beaches are packed and what better way get amongst the waves than with a body board. Body Boarding is a lot easier than surfing, so it’s ideal for beginners. You don’t have to be an expert, just make sure you follow the surfer’s code of not stealing anyone else’s wave.

What other outdoor activities could make this list? Do you have a unique outdoor hobby?

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Au Revoir & Whole30 Update

Whole30 finish

As my Whole30 experiment comes to an end, I thought I’d give you an update on mine and my families wellness progress over the last month.

If you missed my last update, you can find it here.

So here goes:

The Kids:
All of my kids suffer from eczema. The worst being my second (daughter) and our third boy (14 weeks).

I wanted to see how much diet played a part in this painful and frustrating condition.

Overall, I found that our 3 year old girls skin improved somewhat but not to the extent that I would have hoped.

Her skin is still very dry but it’s fair to note that I didn’t go strict Whole30 with her however did make several changes to her diet. I also saw little change to my baby’s skin as a result of the food that I consumed.

I replaced the kids cereal with a hot brekkie most mornings and when time wasn’t on my side, a fresh fruit salad filled their little tummies.

I found it particularly difficult to eliminate dairy from their diets and within a week I re-introduced cheese, milk and yoghurt.

I was extremely conscious of preservatives in everything the kids ate. I found this to be a really interesting exercise.

You should try it. The next time, you give your kids something to eat, do me favour. Turn over the box, packet, tin, container and take a look at the label.

You will be blown away with the amount of preservatives there are in so many day to day foods that you think are good for you and your family.

The Hubster
The hubster also did the Whole30 and was doing exceptionally well for the first two weeks until he unexpectedly lost his job without warning.

It was a real blow for him and on the day that it happened, his Whole30 experience went out the window.

It was interesting to see how an unexpected life experience can influence our eating behaviours.

Me
Going without carbohydrates, sugar, dairy and OMG, alchol for one whole month was actually easier than I thought.

Probably because part of the reason was to see whether it would have an impact on my son’s eczema who I am currently breastfeeding.

Sadly it didn’t which surprised me a lot as I was convinced that it had everything to do with food.

Interestingly we visited Perth for a weekend whilst I was doing the Whole30 and our took our son with us.

To my astonishment, his face cleared up in 2 days. When we returned to Melbourne, it reappeared when we started using the ducted heating. I think we have finally found the culprit.

Did I mention I went without alcohol for 30 days? Ah yes I did. I even declined tasty cocktails at a party that we were at whilst in Perth. I’ve changed.

For someone who keeps active regularly and relies on bread, pasta and rice to get me through my long runs, I was pleasantly surprised that my energy levels were actually higher without these foods.

I replaced pasta and rice with cauliflower rice and zucchini noodles (done with a julienne peeler) and I have now been converted. In fact, I don’t think I could eat rice or pasta again.

A huge shout out to my mate Rhian who not only kept me on track during the 30 days but also flicked across a number of awesome recipes throughout the month. You can head over and say hi to Rhian at The Only Way Is Melbourne.

The Whole30 states that after 30 days you can slowly re-introduce the foods that you have eliminated. If you haven’t missed certain foods then don’t re-introduce them. It’s as simply as that. One thing I have missed like crazy are my skinny capps. I have had long blacks for a whole month and this was probably the most challenging thing I found on this program. Bring back the skinny cap I say. As for the carbs, I have no desire to start eating them again but I will not deny a craving if it happens.

So I guess you’re waiting for some results right? Without further a do, here goes.

Day 1 – Monday 16th July, 2014
Weight: 75.5.kgs
Chest: 98.5cm
Waist: 94.5cm
Hips: 107cm
Right Leg: 61.5cm
Right arm: 31.5cm

Whole30 1

Day 30 – Monday 10th August, 2014
Weight: 69.4kgs
Chest: 94cm
Waist: 88.5cm
Hips: 102.5cm
Right Leg: 60.5cm
Right arm: 30cm

Whole30end

In summary, I found the Whole30 experience to be great from a wellbeing perspective.

I haven’t had as much energy in a long time and the inflammation in my stomach and the constant bloating has gone.

Sadly, it has had little impact on the children’s eczema so I will need to do some more experimenting there.

Sure, you need a bucket load of commitment but it’s worth it. It has made me a lot more aware of what I put into mine and my families mouths and I have been a lot more creative in the kitchen. Who would have thought?

My family and I are heading over to Perth for a month tomorrow due to family commitments so I will be taking a little break from the blog. You will still be able to find me on my Facebook and Instagram page.

See you in a month!

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A Letter To My Mum

It’s a freezing Saturday night in Melbourne and I can’t stop thinking about my mum. I don’t know why as I speak with her every single day. I just have a burning desire to write her a letter.

I rang her today to ask her where she got her fry-pan from as we are in desperate need of a new one. Within a couple of hours she had turned up at our place with a new fry-pan, some homemade yoghurt and stewed pears for the kids. She lives an hour away. That is just the way she rolls.

Dear Mum,

I was going to start working on a new website tonight but instead I have decided to write you a note.

I loved our chat today about me turning 40 and finding a grey hair. For the first time ever, I am starting to feel old.

Schools are a hot topic here at the moment and I never forget the time that I made you drop me off a block from school because I thought that you were an old mum. You were 26. I am going to be 45 when my third starts prep. That’s karma.

Every single day I think about how lucky I am to have you as my mum. I really do.

You have always believed in me more than I have believed in myself.

You have given me guidance and supported me through the good, the bad and the just damn ugly times. I am truly sorry that I ran away from home when I was 17 for two nights. As a mum myself, I now know how terrified you must have been.

Thank you for allowing me to buy “Babe,” the undernourished horse when I was 16 and for letting me wag school so I could pick up my new saddle with my tax return money from Safeway.

Leaving dad after so many years of marriage must have been so bloody tough. I will never understand how difficult that must have been for you. I just know that you are a happier person for it.

You know that movie, the Bridges of Madison County that we used to watch with the handsome Clint Eastwood? We should watch it again some time.

Taking on a share trading course at 54 was very impressive. I mean, who does that? I was so pleased that you finally decided to do something for yourself after raising 4 kids and working ridiculous hours with your dressmaking business. All for us.

I still remember the time that you invited me around for dinner to tell me that you were moving to Sweden. I thought that you were going over there to work but instead you told me that you’d fallen in love. With a man that you were having a cyber relationship with and had never met. I was mortified.

Yet fifteen years later, you little peas in a pod are still going strong. I love good news internet dating success stories.

"Sven" from Sweden

“Sven” from Sweden

Erling’s a good man mum and we are very lucky to have him in our lives. I love the way my kids never play up around him and he has never once raised his voice. I wish I had his patience.

I saw this picture and thought of you.

Sewing

I don’t think there is a time that you have come around and not shared a nifty little practical tip with me. Thanks to you, I now know how to grow a herb garden. I’m still working on the carrots and the broccoli but I’ll get there.

Your cleaning ability puts mine to shame. Is it my generation or am I just plain lazy?

Your generosity goes beyond anyones expectations. Always has and I know it always will. You have such a big heart. You continue to give and give. This is how I have always known you mum.

A giver. You would buy groceries for the Laskovsky’s when we were growing up who had six children and were struggling. You gave your time endlessly to Christine and her disabled son. Your countless trips to Bali where you would support those less fortunate than yourself. You truly are an angel in disguise.

Your unconditional love for your children has taught me so much as a mother myself.

Mum and Jacob

Mum and Jacob

Mum and Harper

Mum and Harper

Mum and Toby

Mum and Toby

The next best thing about having you as my mum is my children having you as their grandma.

I love you mum. How about that movie soon?

Neets x

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Surfcoast Century and Magellan Echo Review

This is not a sponsored post. I was given a Magellan Echo watch to review and all opinions are my own.

With just 43 days to go until I take part in the Surfcoast Century with 3 other women, I’m getting a little nervous. I don’t normally get pre-race jitters but I’m just a little concerned that I haven’t put in enough training.

Surfcoast Century

There are three key runs scheduled into my training each week that incorporate a tempo run, some interval training and a long run. The longest I’ve run so far has been 8kms. I’d better get moving hey?

Admittedly, I’ve missed a couple of runs due to a couple of sleepless nights but that’s to be expected with a newborn.

Now I’m a bit of a gadget junkie when it comes to my fitness. I have my own section in one of the cupboards at home that is full of my gadgets. Anything that makes a run easier, warmer, faster, I’ve got it.

Whilst in training for the Melbourne marathon back in 2012, three things really did my head in on my long runs.

My headphones that kept falling out, my iPhone4 that would completely die at the 24km mark (which meant that my music would completely stop and so would my legs), and having to pause my iPhone every time I got to a traffic light. I always seemed to get the red ones.

The only way I could pause my run would be to pull my iPhone out of my arm band, manually pause it then re-start it and place the phone back into my arm band.
VERY. VERY. FRUSTRATING.

I still haven’t sorted the headphones out yet but I have found a watch that lets me control my music and pause my runs through the actual watch. I’d like to introduce you to my new bestie – the Magellan Echo.

Image Source - Magellan.com

Image Source – Magellan.com

Some key features of the Magellan Echo include:

-The watch pairs with popular apps (Strava, Mapmyrun) that then streams data from your smartphone straight to the watch. (Via Bluetooth technology).

-At a glance, you can see your time, distance, pace, and much more.

-The funky style of the watch allows you to wear it as an everyday watch (which I just love).

-Comes with a heart rate monitor so you can track your heart rate on every run.

-With your phone tucked away in a pouch, (protected from the elements), remote controls make it easy to perform app functions such as Start, Stop, Lap as well as Music controls like Play/Pause, and Next Song.

-You can also tap the screen to turn the page to see additional data screens.

-The battery runs on a coin cell battery which is as cheap as a protein bar to replace. No charging! I love it. The battery life is 6 months depending on how much you use it.

-The watch is waterproof

Overall I have found the Magellan Echo to be a clever little watch that serves its purpose to me as a runner.

The watch itself has very basic functionality so it doesn’t have the vibrating or beeping function to notify me of key checkpoints but I’m ok with that. All I’m really interested in is the number of kilometres, my pace and my heart rate. Perfect.

The only minor issue I encountered was connectivity whilst at the gym. As the Magellan relies on the brains of the smart phone, if there was no GPS service available, then it can not easily track the run.

If you’re new to running or, like me, a casual/social runner, then I highly recommend the Magellan Echo. Oh and go the blue, it’s the best!

3

Going Coconuts

Coconut tree

I’m casting my mind back to our honeymoon in beautiful Fiji in February 2013. Ahh the serenity, the crystal clear waters, the beautiful coconut palms, the welcoming coconut lei, the coconut oil massages, the cocktails being served in, you guessed it, coconuts.

Back to reality and fast forward a year and a half. If you open my pantry you’ll find coconut flour, coconut oil and shredded coconut. Open my bathroom cupboard and you’ll find coconut moisturizing cream, coconut balm and coconut hair serum.
You see, there is more to the furry brown nut than meets the eye. Here are a few fast facts.

-Coconut is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
-Otherwise known as “The Tree Of Life”, the coconut palm is a main source of food for the Pacific Islanders and is also well known for it’s healing qualities.
-Coconut Oil has been described as the “healthiest oil on earth.
-Coconut reduces sweet cravings. The healthy fat in coconut slows down any rise in blood sugar (good bye 3pm sugar fix)
-Coconut is gluten free, contains no trans fat and makes cauliflower rice taste AMAZING.

Pete Evans

Now I’ve saved the best for last. If you ever find yourself in my kitchen, open up the fridge and you’ll find boxes of coconut water. Lots of it.

Someone introduced me to coconut water a couple of years ago and I just couldn’t seem to acquire the taste for it. It took me some time to re-visit it and I’m pleased to say that I have found one that I absolutely love.

Rawc prides itself on providing 100% coconut juice with no added nasties in it. The fact that Pete Evans is a member of the Rawc team and happens to appear on the side of the box is an added bonus. Hello Pete.

As a busy mum to 3 littlies, there is nothing better than whipping up a healthy juice packed full of goodness with fresh fruit and rawc coconut water.

Coconut smoothie

I was provided with a box of Rawc coconut water to review but I was already a big fan so writing this post was a walk in the park.

Are you as mad on coconuts as I am?

Resources

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Copyright 2013 Fit Mother Hubbard

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