Wednesday, 27 November 2013

three candles guest post

Today I'm sharing with you a little local business by a lovely friend of mine Cara, called three candles'.
I'm all for hard working ladies, juggling children, study and business, so I'm more than happy to help promote small business's that encompass my way of life.
As summer approaches and their long balmy evenings we often spend nights outside enjoying the extra daylight hours. I love these nights, but loath the mosquitos that the warm days bring out, buzzing and biting me and my family.
I will not put mosquito repellant on my children- if I don't know an ingredient, I'm not going to lather my little ones' skin in something unnatural that will possible be rubbed off by their little hands and popped into their mouths.
Cue Cara and her homemade soy candles and melts.
You can check out her Facebook page here, or her website here.

Tell us about your business and why you started 
  • I think it’s fair to say I ‘fell’ into business rather than ‘went’ into business! My daughter has chemical allergies, and being on a farm with the wet year the mozzies and blowflies and bugs are CRAZY, we were going through a stage where we couldn’t even be outdoors and the kids were being eaten alive at night.  I decided to make some natural mosquito repelling candles and melts to use myself, which I’d dabbled with in the past, and had wonderful success. After painstakingly experimenting and perfecting the balance of essential oils for several months, I started selling to a few Facebook friends, and it just snowballed! A week later I had a nearby business call me asking if I could make them some fragranced melts, and I thought why not? Through word of mouth the wholesale enquiries kept coming, and I took on what I could at the time. I have 3 young children and so the idea of working from home is hugely appealing. The business is still in its infancy at only 3 months old and I’m just going with the flow and seeing where it leads. Currently I have an online store, five stockists, and will do my first market stall on the 30th November. 
Why soy (why are other waxes inferior?) 
  • Soy wax is sustainable, renewable, 100% derived from vegetable oil and is not tested on animals. It’s also superior in that it burns slower, cooler and cleaner, making it safer in the home and around children. The scent throw is strong and clean, and soy wax is water soluble, making spills easy to manage.
3. How do your products differ from other products? 
  • Candles can be labelled as ‘soy wax’ even if as little as 25% soy wax is used. There is a huge lack of regulation in this area. Also, many ‘100% soy wax’ candles contain chemical additives. Although I do make fragranced candles as well as essential oil candles, my soy wax is pure, of the highest quality, and contains no chemicals or additives. Also, I use 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils. Yes, I could order ‘pure essential oil blends’ made especially for candles for half the price, but I honestly believe the quality and effectiveness of the end product is worth the cost of sourcing the best quality oils and perfecting my own, unique blends. I use cotton wicks, and the jars are so gorgeous they are able to be reused as a vase, tea light holder, you name it. 
4. Who can your products help? 
  • In the next month I will be launching a range of pure essential oil candles and melts that are separate to the ‘mozzie’ range. The therapeutic benefits of pure essential oils are well documented, and, having studied nursing, I personally wholeheartedly believe in the benefits of aromatherapy, as do many in the health field. Many medications are based on natural remedies and extracts. Also, lighting a gorgeously scented candle is enough to make anyone feel better after a long day! 

5. What is your typical day like? 
  • I don’t have a ‘typical day’! But generally, I’ll get my daughter off to school, then get the boys ready for the day. We play and I try to get some work done in the morning, be it housework, study or candles! After lunch we often go into town to do errands or otherwise the boys have a nap and I get some more work done. After school pick up it’s homework, kids tea, baths, reading and the whole bedtime routine with the 3 kids. After that I try to get some more work done while my hubby cooks tea if he’s home from work, then we eat and I’ll pack lunches, sometimes do some study and then fall into bed! I honestly could not be a housewife, mother, University student, employee and candle maker without my incredibly supportive husband! We really are a great team. 

6. What inspires you?
  • In terms of this business, the overwhelming support and feedback I have received is what has inspired me. It’s what’s given me the courage to pursue it and to have faith in my product and my values. Seeing my products sitting on the shelves in store is a massive thrill, I must admit! It goes without saying that my young family are my main inspiration for everything in life, they are why I’m working so hard to grow something that is successful, flexible, and ultimately a brand that has integrity and substance.

 7. Future business goals
  • As I said, I’m just going with the flow and riding the wave right now! I will be launching the pure essential oil candle and melt range very soon, which is really different to any other candles I’ve ever seen personally so I hope they’re well received. To my utter surprise, the business seems to be growing toward the wholesale market, so I think getting a few more stockists on board in the next 12 months would be amazing. I have just invested in eco-friendly packaging for the Mason Jars to enhance their retail potential. I would also like to eventually expand on the candles a little bit, and produce a chemical free sunscreen. My daughter is allergic to the myriad of chemicals found in commercially made sunscreens, and I’d love to share the beautiful, chemical free sunscreen I am making for her on a larger scale... But one step at a time! Growing the Facebook following is always a priority, as the business is essentially based around that. I try to keep it fun, and I have had a great response so far. Fingers are crossed for the future, and if I crash and burn, I’m proud that I had a go!

Cara's business is partly named after her first husband Brett who was tragically taken when their daughter was only 1. Cara's amazing zest for life is an inspiration. She has found love again in Josh and together brought two more little cherubs into the world.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Sneaky vegetable salad with spiced chicken

Sneaky vegetable salad with spiced chicken
This salad tastes so good, you'll forget that it's packed with vegetables full of delicious nutrient to nourish your body and soul.
Inspired by the veggies I had just picked from my garden and some delicious tahini I had the previous night, I threw them all together and the result was mouth watering!
Freshly picked baby kale, broccoli, beetroot, lemon and spring onion out of my garden, adding in some carrot and pear for sweetness and the tahini for a creamy nutty dressing is delicious.
For all you vegetarians, you can easily omit the chicken, or replace with tofu coated in the same spices. 

Kale leaves, (baby ones if possible, or else massage leaves until soft, see tip below). If you can't get your hands on kale, baby spinach would suffice. About 1 cup chopped.
1/4 beetroot
1 small carrot
1/4 pear
1/4 head of broccoli, 
1 whole broccoli stem
1 spring onion
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 chicken breast (either whole, or chop it up into bite sized pieces)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayane pepper (omit if you can't handle hot spices)
1/4 teaspoon ground corriander seeds
1 teaspoon coconut flour
salt and pepper to taste
coconut oil for cooking.

1 tablespoon Tahini
1/8 teaspoon cayanee pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste 

Prepare salad
Cut stem off broccoli and put aside, then cut up the head into very small florets. Steam for 2-3 min, remove from steamer, put in bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Once cold, drain, and spin in salad spinner to get rid of all the water.

Massage kale leaves with a little lemon juice and salt until they ‘wilt’ and go darker. Massaging kale is important to reduce the bitter taste and soften the leaves. The acid in the lemon helps break down the cell wall in the kale, making it softer and sweeter. This may take up to 5 min, depending on your kale. I used baby kale fresh out of my garden and it was soft and palatable as is.
Chop up kale.

Peal the outer layer off you broccoli stem, much like you do a carrot. The outer stem is fiberous and stringy but the inner flesh is soft, crunchy and delicious. Slice up the stem finely. 
Grate your pear, carrot and beetroot (I use a mandolin with a fine julienne attachment)
Finely slice spring onion.
Toss all your salad ingredients together with lemon juice

Prepare Chicken
Mix spices and coconut flour in a bowl, coat chicken breast in mix.
Heat coconut oil in a pan and cook chicken until golden.

Mix spices and olive oil in the tahini paste. 

Plate up salad, top with sliced chicken breast and top with tahini dressing. Sprinkly sesame seed ontop for a bit of glamour ;)

Tip: Cook up twice as much chicken and freeze it for a day when you can't be bothered cooking. It can easily be added to a quick salad or steamed veggies in no time.
Preparation is the key to healthy living, having nutritious foods on hand all the time and you can't fail. 
"Fail to prepare, prepare to fail".

Friday, 8 November 2013

One Nourished Life guest post with sweet-spud and coconut coleslaw recipe

For those who follow my Instagram account, you'll often see me posting pics of food by a lovely friend of mine Jodie. This wonderful lady is a foodie extraordinaire and health yogi and has just had her first book published. She encompasses everything I believe in regarding food, exercise and holistic health and I cannot recommend her book highly enough!

You can buy it HERE or follow her on Instagram HERE or also on Facebook HERE

I asked Jodie to do a guest post for me, so here she is to tell you more about her wonderful book. 

Hi, my name’s Jodie and here’s a little introduction to my book One Nourished Life…

"When friends started suggesting I turn my healthy cooking passion into a book I thought they were crazy! My reaction was always, “But I’m not famous!” Golly, I’m not even a qualified chef or nutritionist. I’m just an everyday person! I work, sleep, and endure the same life stresses and trivialities as much as the next person. My respite from this however, is in my love of food, food that nourishes the body and satisfies the taste buds. Sourcing it, preparing it, cooking it, and of course, eating it!

As a full time gym owner and personal trainer, working in the health and fitness industry has inspired me to take this love of food and use it to complement my efforts in the gym. My passion is to enhance the health outcomes and fitness goals of not just myself but clients too, ensuring optimum nutrition as part of a holistic healthy lifestyle. I gain incredible satisfaction from what I do, helping people to reach their health and fitness goals, but have found the battles of my clients are often only half won. The imperative of diet and quality nutrition often fall by the way side compared to all those hours spent in the gym.

One Nourished Life highlights the ease and simplicity with which nutritious and delicious foods can be incorporated into your everyday life menu. These foods will not only liven up your dinner table and lunch box with new delicious and exciting tastes and textures but will nourish you from the inside-out! Nourishing your body will ignite a new, vibrant lease on life. One which nourishes self, mind, body and soul to permeate a new, healthier way of living."

I’d like to share with you Clair’s favourite recipe! This is just one of my Nourishing recipes:

Food Styling & Photography –

sweet-spud with coconut coleslaw

This is my DIY version of the much loved festival ‘baked jacket potato’ with healthier flavours that really pack a punch!
Sweet potato is a superior nutrition alternative to the traditional white potato and boasts a lower glycaemic index (gi) and carbohydrate content while containing greater amounts of fibre & vitamin A.

Serves 1

1 whole small sweet potato
½ cup red cabbage, finely shredded
½ cup fennel bulb (or green cabbage), finely shredded
½ cup carrot, grated or noodled
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup organic coconut cream
1 teaspoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1 small (or ½) clove garlic
1 tablespoon raw almonds, roughly chopped
drizzle of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

Pre-heat fan forced oven to 200 degrees. bake whole sweet potato (uncut and skin on) on baking paper lined oven tray for 1-hour.
Meanwhile, throw shredded veg into a mixing bowl and squeeze with lemon juice. Leave to sit while completing the next step.
In a separate bowl, mix coconut cream (tip: shake can well before opening), mint and garlic. Add to veg mix and combine well.
Once cooked, remove sweet potato from oven and cut in half. Top with coleslaw veg mix, sprinkle with almonds and drizzle with olive oil.

Feel free to add your favourite palm size portion of sustainable and organic fish, chicken or meat for added protein!

Nourishing your body from the inside-out will allow you to give more positive energy to your days and enable you to live a One Nourished Life! xx