Katrina Cool Banana’s Guide To Juicing

I’m nearly three months into my ‘all-new’ healthy eating thing (imagine me doing jazz hands as I say that) and while I’m really happy about all of the junk that I’m not putting into my gob, I’m aware that I need to be better at putting super healthy things in there. We’ve been eating lots more vegetables but something I really want to try is juicing. However I don’t know the first thing about which juicer to buy and what to do. So I asked my friend, fellow blogger and juicing pro – Katrina – for a beginner’s guide to juicing. So here’s her guest post for me – and check out her fab Cool Bananas Blog too! Over to Katrina…

Katrina Cool Bananas

Beginner's guide to juicing

Whether you want to juice for a detox, as an aid to slimming: or simply for a lifestyle boost to up your intake of those all-important 5-a-day fruit & veg portions, there’s no denying that juicing gets my seal of approval. In fact, it’s an integral part of my daily routine (along with being a toddler tamer). I suffer with several food allergies & malabsorbtions so for me juicing is a way to aid digestion function, increase my intake & absorption of essential vitamins & minerals, & besides they taste delish (honestly, they do!)

Have you toyed with the idea of juicing, but found it all rather baffling? Fear not! My mission today is to introduce you to this wonderful world & show you just how easy, tasty & fun it can be. Now, I’m known for rambling, so I’ll try my upmost to keep this short & sweet, to ease you in gradually.

The basics: What do I need?

1. A machine & compostable food waste bags (or similar). Don’t scrimp on this or, I can say from experience, you’ll be disappointed. Originally I purchased a cheap machine, it juiced badly & I spent far too long preparing food to feed through the tiny shoot. Admittedly the juicer market is highly saturated market so it can be tricky to choose one. My weapon of choice is the Sage Nutri juicer (if I had the money, I would most definitely invest in the next model up, the ‘pro’)

Ta Dah!

Juicing machine

Use a food compost bags to line the caddy-it’ll save you so much time, & there’ll be a hell of a lot less mess to faff with (ah, the great faff)

Lined Sage juicing caddy

 

2. Fruit. Some fruit will juice better than others – although it’s been reported that you can pretty much juice anything. But WHOA! Easy cowboy….don’t go spending large, buying up the entire fruit & veg section. Start slowly, just make a couple of juices: get the hang of your machine before you dive into the deep end & go cold turkey on food. If you decide to undertake a ‘cleanse’ or ‘detox’ (I do highly recommend these now & then) you’re far more likely to succeed by easing in gradually.

Which juices should I make?

Lets keep it simples (said like a meerkat), here are my three favourite juices:

Carrot, orange & ginger

4 carrots, 2 oranges & a slice of ginger. All blitzed through your machine on the high speed. This lot should give you at least 500-600 ml of juice (Carrot will juice surprisingly well). For fruit with skin, like orange, I advise you peel them. The result, if you don’t, is extremely bitter!

Carrot, orange and ginger Continue reading

The Day My Three-Year-Old Stayed In A 5* Hotel

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Kids today, hey? *rolls eyes* London Edition Hotel family style package

That phrase is usually used when talking about kids wearing hoodies and tearing it up in a shopping centre or two, but I mean it in a ‘These kids! They don’t know how lucky they are!’ way. Yes, I fully realise this makes me sound 55. But it’s true.

There are so many things that my three-year-old has experienced in her short little life so far, that I didn’t experience until I was an adult. She’s been to the Royal Albert Hall (something I didn’t do until I was 22). She’s been abroad (something it took me until I was ten to achieve). She’s been to a festival (my first one was V97 when I was 18).

She has also now stayed in a five star hotel.

My posh hotel habit has had to go slightly on the back burner since having my daughter. Aside from the money aspect – we’ve been spending more on nappies, small boxes of raisins and entry to London Zoo than extravagant mini breaks – I’ve never considered 5* hotels as being particularly child-friendly. Until now, that is.

A few weeks ago, we headed into central London to stay at the London Edition. The Edition group of hotels is a new concept from Ian Schrager, the man behind The Sanderson in London, The Mondrian in West Hollywood and The Delano in Miami. He knows his hotel stuff. As well as being brimming with luxurious touches (and an awesome bar and restaurant… more on that later) the London Edition has a Family Style package which looks after the little ones as well as you.

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London Edition Hotel room

London-Edition-Hotel

London Edition hotel books

What the three-year-old loved…

She had attention lavished upon her from the moment we arrived. At check-in, the staff used her name and chatted to her, complimenting her on her Rapunzel dress. The fact that she had a room of her very own went down well (we were given a Loft room with a connecting room) and you should have SEEN her excited face when she realised she had her own bathroom (“If you need a wee, you can use your toilet. But if I need a wee, I’m going to use MY toilet”). Continue reading

Memories Of Being A New Mum

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

New mum

There are lots of things that remind me of having a small baby. The theme tune of Waybuloo. Walking past the church hall where Baby Sensory classes are held. The music that our baby monitor plays to soothe a child to sleep. The smell of fresh laundry. I cuddled my friend’s seven month old son today and he smelled of washing powder. It immediately transported me back to a time when we seemed to be endlessly washing baby clothes. Our washing machine often got a thrice-daily workout as we laundered muslins, vests, babygrows, bed sheets, t-shirts, pillow cases. You name it, we laundered it.

I distinctly remember walking into our kitchen one day (where our washing machine and clothes dryers live). My daughter must have been only a week old, and the warm damp air hit my face. It smelled – and felt – like an actual laundry! It was the strangest sensation, but no stranger than the whole new reality of being a mum to a tiny, wrinkly, yawning baby.

Another memory that always comes back to me is laughing to myself that our laundry had done from being lots of dark loads – jeans, black tops, dark dresses, black gym gear – to whites and pale pinks. Our drying racks were fit to burst with white muslins, white sleepsuits, pale pink sleeping bags, pale pink vests. We were those totally stereotypical parents of a daughter who had pale pink ‘everything’.

Now, our laundry drying racks look very different again. We’re back to the jeans, the gym clothes and our (nearly four year old) daughter’s wardrobe is filled with bright fun colours. Yes, there’s a bit of pink there, but there’s also red, green, purple, blue…

Our laundry

Our laundry

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Win £100 River Island Voucher!

Every day this week, my three-year-old asks ‘Is it the weekend yet?’ because she knows that on Saturday, we’re heading to a festival. I’m not sure she even knows that a festival is, because I’m pretty sure her memory won’t stretch back to last year’s Camp Bestival or Lollibop.

But she knows that a festival sounds fun, and that’s good enough for her. So each morning, when I tell her, ‘No, it’s only Thursday… two more days until the weekend!’ she puts on a really sad face and says ‘Awwwww!’ in a dramatic way. It’s so cute how excited she gets about our weekend adventures.

The festival we’re going to on Saturday is Lollibop – in its brand new home of Hatfield House. With acts like Justin Fletcher and Mr Bloom (hey-lo Mr Bloom!) plus a storytelling area, foodie treats and Titan the Robot, there’ll be plenty to keep us busy. I highly suspect Mr P will sneak off to watch Sam and Mark too (he is a secret fan of their CBBC show – ha!)

We were very lucky to be invited to Lollibop 2014 by River Island, who have an area at the festival and who are leading the way when it comes to affordable trend-led kids’ clothing (see my current faves below). We’ll be checking out their design area where kids can get crafty and then show off their designs on the catwalk. If you fancy going along, there are still tickets available to buy for £22 (£25 on the day).

 

River Island Kids

River Island have also given me a £100 voucher to give away to one lucky winner. Ooooh! To be in with a chance of winning:

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The Circus Is In Town!

Is anyone else as obsessed with the new Mini Rodini AW14 kids’ clothing with the strong man on it, as I am? I discovered it last week while browsing Scout & Co Kids (one of my favourite online stores) and it reminded me how much I love circus themed stuff for kids. And there are lots of things to choose from at the moment – the big top is having a bit of a ‘moment’. Here are a few of my favourite circus buys for kids …

Circus buys for kids

 

1. Mini Rodini t-shirt and leggings, from £23

2. Zara Kds Home cutlery, £4.99

3. Maileg wooden circus mice wagon, £16 and ringmaster mouse, £14

4. Great Little Trading Company circus play tent, £25

5. Missus Print circus print, £25

6. Make your own big top party hat with this tutorial from Oh Happy Day.

Which is your favourite? I vote for Mini Rodini and Maileg…