Interview with Apollo & Artemis Kid’s

Artemis and Apollo Kid’s is an Australian designed and owned children’s textile label by Isabella Colman. Her designs are inspired by bold, fun, exotic and magically detailed illustrations and techniques. Artemis and Apollo captures the gypsy, carefree spirit without compromising comfort and style. Bella’s clothing label has a strong emphasis on having eco friendly printing, an ethically minded business approach and letting kids be kids! Read on to hear about this emerging, young textile designer with a heart and passion for design, vibrant patterns and music!

 

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Hey guys! My name is Bella and I’m a 25 year old Melbournian Textile designer! 

Tell us about your textile label, Artemis and Apollo Kids and what inspired you to take the step into this industry?

While studying a Bachelor of Arts – Textile design at RMIT university, I nannied part time and really grew an obsession for baby/kids patterns! I was always pattern obsessed but honestly never thought much about kidswear until that point. I’ve also always been very passionate about the world and our environment but never really understood how I could make a difference with my passion for textiles until I decided to start Artemis and Apollo and therefore control every aspect of production. I also hope to one day run projects through Artemis and Apollo to help children who are less fortunate. 

Bella and two little gypsies.

What are the biggest trends you are seeing in the kid’s clothing industry at the moment?

To be honest, I don’t really follow the baby wear/kids wear trends. When I first started thinking about doing Artemis and Apollo I decided I didn’t want to be constricted. I wanted to just design whatever I wanted and just let myself be inspired by my travels and worldly textile history (ignorant 22 year old!) Luckily so far so good haha! But currently there seems to be a lot of basics, which is possibly good for me as most of my pieces are very far from basic, I think kids need to be kids – and kids love crazy and colour.

What do you love the most about your work?

Just getting to do whatever I want, whenever I want to (within budget obviously). It is a bit risky/scary ordering shipments of my designs without knowing how they will go. It’s always a surprise really, things I think will go crazy are calm, and the things I nearly cancelled go crazy. Working for myself also means I can spend the afternoon at the beach and work into the night instead, which is great for me!

Artemis and Apollo’s designs are made for kids to be kids!

Who inspires you and why?

Obviously Spell… Camilla, Arnhem, anything pattern crazy really! 

What are 3 things you can’t live without?

I hate myself for the first two – but phone, laptop, beach and boyfriend (can I do 4? That’s too hard to condense!)

What do you do for self care?

I am pretty beach obsessed. I also love reading, time with my cat, looking after my plants, yoga and obviously drawing! My partner and I make a lot of time for each other, we love adventuring or going to trampoline parks/water parks and being big kids. We are also very into music and spend way too much on gigs/concerts/festivals.

Taking some time out for self care at the beach

When is your favourite hour of the day and why?

Too hard to decide between sunrise and sunset! Either way, if I am home I will always run across to the beach to watch the sunset over the sea.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a business in your industry?

There’s way too many of us, unfortunately its gone a bit mental. You’ve got to stick out or else you’ll just get left behind.


Thanks to the beautiful Isabella for sharing her journey as the owner, designer and visionary for Artemis and Apollo Kids! Check out her website! For more details about her design process, patterns, photoshoots and more, go to Bella’s Blog. Don’t forget to show her some love on Instagram too! Let’s be women who support women @artemisandapollokids

Create from your heart

Birth Story – Olive Part 2

It had been 41 weeks and 1 day. My baby had made itself pretty comfortable. Nourished, sustained, thriving and still not ready to make an entrance despite all the signs and symptoms foretold by my baby app! So it was time, to be hooked up to the monitors, waters artificially broken and a syntocin drip commenced for induction.

The last few years I had been somewhat in control of my life. I liked the schedules, to do lists, my diary, my calendar and organising as much as I could to minimise the unknown! I even had an excel spreadsheet for all our connecting flights, hotels and itinerary for our Europe holiday! But as many would know, raising children can be challenging, tiring, messy, confusing and definitely unpredictable! It was a new way to think, process and feel. It was going to be a new season in life and I had those common worries that I’m sure all new mothers or mothers-to-be think about. But I felt like I couldn’t shake the fear and doubt. It was playing on my mind daily and in the quietness of my home. While Steve was at work and I had started maternity leave. I napped and nested while I waited for the days to pass.

My obstetrician had given me all the details. The play by play. The steps of action to be taken if my artificial labour didn’t progress appropriately. If the baby became distressed. If the labour stalled. All the options for the “choose your own” ending for a birth. For someone that was nervous about the whole baby evacuation process, this was helpful. I liked having information. I liked knowing what was going to happen. But the unknown direction the birth could take terrified me and I couldn’t stop thinking of the what if’s. From the minimal reading that I did, it appeared that inductions were usually fast and intense. My sense of being in control was on rocky ground. At the mercy of the syntocin speeding up a labour which my baby was not ready for.

I took a photo of this poster at my birth preparation class.
The lady’s expressions are so realistic?!

Surprisingly, I didn’t have a birth plan! Which went against my usual organised, “need for control” state! My main hope was to go with the flow and follow what was recommended for the safety of my baby. As much as it scared me, I hoped it would be a drug free, natural birth.

So back to the labour room…It’s a strange feeling, meeting a woman who will help guide and support you through a special moment in your life. A woman who will see you at one of the most vulnerable, raw times of your life. Being pushed physically and emotionally. I didn’t feel at ease with this woman. And upon reflection, I probably should have spoken up. My nurse was an experienced clinician but her matter of fact approach was patronising. I didn’t feel comfortable with her and there’s no other way to put it but “the vibes were off!” So as my anxiety continued to bubble, this nurse checked and told me I was already 3 centimetres dilated and the syntocin was ready to go.

When I reflect back about my first birth experience, I wish I had spoken up and shared my worries. That my pounding heart didn’t stifle my voice to speak up. I remember friend’s telling me once you enter the hospital, “you leave your dignity at the door.” And I left it at the door, and my confidence, courage and voice too. I was attached to an external fetal monitor and was confined to a bed. I wanted to move, rock, pace around like I did while in pre-labour at home. I didn’t realise I could request a mobile monitor and it was never offered as an option. As I waited for the syntocin to kick in I remember feeling bewildered and helpless. Just a pin cushion where procedures were done to me but no explanation given. My nurse reclined on a couch directly in front of me. Kicking back with a bored expression. Staring at me, waiting for the show to begin. I had Steve sitting on a chair beside me. He could see I was anxious and tried to reassure me. Glad to have him by my side, I tried to focus on him and all that was familiar.

An hour or so went by and things started to intensify quickly. Before long, the nurse reported that I would be having my baby by lunch time! The contractions were rolling in repeatedly and I could barely catch my breath. I felt so overwhelmed that I suddenly panicked and knew I needed an epidural. Firstly, they offered me the happy gas, then the pethadine injection. But neither brought relief and my anxiety was spiking. “Get me the epidural! I don’t know how much longer I can do this!” I desperately said to Steve.

I had to sit up and lean forward over my belly for the anaesthesiologist to administer the epidural. It was a relief knowing that strong pain medication was on it’s way. The thought of a huge needle going into my back did not phase me as I hoped that it would take the edge off. I remember my anesthesiologist. I found his calm, clear explanation of what was going to happen helped me feel reassured and informed.

After the epidural and catheter were put in, my ever delightful nurse told me, “You can go to sleep now.” Silently rolling her eyes as she watched me grimace and try to “breathe”. But the relief didn’t really come. I felt a bit numb, but soon things intensified again and it felt like bone pressing against bone near my spine. It was excruciating and surprised me that it was not really a pain I could “just breathe through”. I had dilated to 10 centimeters pretty quickly after the epidural and it was time to push! My nurse tried to show me where to focus my energy, but I was feeling dazed and confused. My back was burning with sharp pain and lying down didn’t help. I felt the panic continue to bubble up my throat and tried my hardest to listen to the instructions she was giving me. But I cringed in fear and felt baby was not budging! I soon explained “I have so much pain in my back and don’t know where to push!” My nurse was clearly annoyed and replied, “How can you feel pain? You have an epidural.” She was so belittling and I felt weak, embarrassed and ashamed that I couldn’t do what a woman’s body was supposedly meant to do. The negative thoughts continued to flood in and I hung my arms around Steve’s neck, telling him “I can’t do this..I don’t think I can endure this anymore.”

Baby’s head was stuck. Every time I pushed, she would tuck her chin in and return back to her safe place! The nurses had their staff changeover and my tired, grumpy nurse was replaced by a beautiful, encouraging soul who made me feel less ridiculous and more supported. Before their hand over, both nurses held one of my legs each as I tried to push baby out. I was trying so hard, I nearly kicked them across the room! Due to baby’s posterior position and prolonged second stage, the nurses realised that I would need an emergency c-section. The next few moments are hard to remember as the room suddenly filled with many people. Steve quickly changed into scrubs and a hairnet. I remember seeing his wide eyes, confused by what was happening and the lack of information given to us. We didn’t even know why I needed to be prepped for a caesarian!

I was wheeled into a room with about 12 other staff members present. They gave me a spinal block so that I was numb from belly to toes. It was surreal. What was happening?! Thankfully, the reassuring anaesthesiologist was back again and calmly spoke next to my ear. He explained what was happening with the spinal block, how my legs would feel and not to worry. I look back and learnt so much about patient client interaction, informed consent and clear communication from this positive example. My obstetrician started to prepare for surgery and I lay there in shock. Still unsure what was going on. Thankfully, my obstetrician knew how much it meant to me to try for a natural birth. She wanted me to try pushing one last time to see if the baby could be assisted with a vacuum cup. The anesthesiologist was by my head, Steve by my side holding my hand, nurses and a paediatrician surrounded the bed. All in unison, they said “PUSH!!!!” Despite having no sensation in half my body, I tried to push and after 2 pushes, my baby was born!

She was here. What a relief!

Relief washed over me and all I could do was exclaim, “Thank you God, thank you Jesus!” Steve cut the umbilical cord, they quickly checked her over and then passed her to me. It was a baby girl! My eyes were clouded with tears from relief, shock and disbelief. I couldn’t believe she was real. She looked familiar, but I didn’t know her. I didn’t feel the overwhelming love that I had heard of. But I was so glad that the birth was over. That she was out and she was safe, healthy and here. Steve was over the moon and turned to me and said, “We will name her Olive, yeah?” and that was her name Olive Mary.

After Olive’s birth, I lay there waiting for my obstetrician to repair the effects of a fast, posterior labour. No one had explained what had happened and why I had been rushed to the theatre room. So in the silence, my mind started to fill with negative conclusions. The main one being that I was so incompetent, they had to pull Olive out of me. That I had failed and my hope for an empowered, calm birth did not come to fruition. I was so hard on myself, and in hindsight I feel the exhaustion, my personality, fast labour, trauma, poor communication and lack of birthing debrief was part of my misinterpretation. It was a scary first experience and not as empowered as I had hoped. The joy of meeting my child was soon clouded with irrational thoughts, confusion and anxiety. The silent bubbling had started to overflow and in the quiet night on Day 2 of Olive’s life, I had my first panic attack.

My sweet girl was so placid and a dream baby!
But I look at this picture and see I’m not really myself. My eyes say it all.

My darling Olive, born on the 26th of March in 5 hours and 53 minutes! Our precious daughter and blessing we received with gratitude. I love her so much and know my mental instability did not reduce how much I love her. But the story of my illness and recovery is where I learnt more about myself, mental illness and God’s faithfulness through it all. Read more about this next part of my journey soon.

If this story raised any concerns for you or you notice someone close to you may be needing help, please reach out to someone you trust. For anyone needing assistance, you can visit the Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) website or call their National Helpline on 1300 726 306.

Interview with Urban Gypsy Collective

Gerry and Rachelle. The bohemian queens who are the face of the online store, Urban Gypsy Collective. Both ladies inspire the online fashion community with their whimsical, effortless style that is practical yet luxurious. Their entrepreneurial spirit and passion for fashion led them to create a beautiful store that can be shopped from anywhere in the world. Sharing their experiences from Sydney to Singapore, I had the pleasure of interviewing these two ladies.  

We would love to know a bit about the two founders of Urban Gypsy Collective! Tell us about yourselves.

Gerry: Hey, I’m Gerry Capablanca. I’m a Sydneysider who’s been living in Singapore for the past 7 years. I’m mumma to 3 awesome boys, Jack, Jedd and Judah, wife to Joey and co-founder of Urban Gypsy Co.

Rachelle: I am Rachelle, the other half of Urban Gypsy Co and I am a born and bred local Singaporean.

Rachelle and Gerry – Urban Gypsy Founders

Urban Gypsy Collective is an exciting new venture for you both. Tell us more!

Urban Gypsy Collective is an online store based here in Singapore which stocks some amazing Aussie boho and coastal labels like Arnhem, Rowie, Lack of Color and more. We launched Urban Gypsy in July 2018 so we’re still fairly new and still navigating our way through being business owners and running an online store.

What led you to start your own business?

Rachelle and I are both fashion fanatics and opening a store was something we’d both thought about for as long as we can remember. So one day we got to talking and decided we should just do it! We wanted to stock products we’d love to wear ourselves and we seemed to always be ordering everything from Australia. So we decided we wanted to be the first in Singapore to start stocking these Aussie brands.

It has always been at the back of my head, but at that time I wasn’t ready to start a business alone. Once I met Gerry, as they say “the rest was history”. We’ve always wanted to bring the concept of quality and sustainable bohemian and coastal fashion to Singapore, and then we decided to just take the plunge and do it!

Gerry, how do you balance mumlife, business and self care?

It’s tough, I won’t lie and I’m still trying to learn how to balance everything. Being a mum sometimes leaves no time for anything else let alone running a business and finding time for self care. But I’m extremely blessed to have a very encouraging and supportive hubby and I’m really thankful to have a great business partner in Rachelle. I think the most important thing I’ve realised becoming a Mum is that I need to take the time to look after myself. A friend once said to me ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’ and it really hit home for me because it’s so true. I’ve come to realise I first need to look after myself to be able to be the best I can be for my family (and also in business). I find when I’ve made the time to simply go for a run or swim, or to just take some timeout, it’s rejuvenating for the body and soul and then I can be a much better Mum and wife. I’m able to give more of myself and get things done.

Rachelle, how do you balance work life, business and self care?

Compartmentalise, no matter how busy it gets, always don’t let it get in the way of self care. Everyone gets tired out– it’s always important to pamper yourself and be refreshed with new ideas!

Who inspires you?

My family are my number one inspiration. They make me want to always do my best. And there’s so many women out there who I’ve never met before but I know through social media whose posts, blogs and stories inspire me daily. It’s so uplifting to see positive and empowering messages from other women doing what they love, standing up for what they believe in and just keeping it real.

Victoria Beckham has always been the longest fashion inspiration for me. I have always admired her passion for her work and her dedication to her family while juggling a fashion empire.

What are 3 things you can’t live without?

My family, chocolate and Summer.

Family, friends and candies.

Rachelle & Gerry at their first Pop Up Event

Gerry, what has motherhood taught you about yourself?

It’s taught me I’m really much stronger than I thought I was and that I’m capable of loving unconditionally. It’s also taught me to savour every season because these days go way too fast.

What does a typical day in the week look like for you?

Well it depends what day of the week we’re talking about but generally Monday to Friday I’m running around on Mum duty – making lunches, driving my kids to classes, helping with homework and trying to squeeze in a workout here and there. Weekends revolve around food and relaxing!

The typical adulting stuff, I go to my day job and then usually wind down after work with dinner and drinks with friends!

Any tips for someone starting out in your industry?

I’m no expert but my biggest tip would be to take the plunge and ‘just start’! Start researching, start reaching out to people, start asking questions, draft out a business plan… just take the first step and start. There’s really no better way to start than diving in head first.

And starting your business based on a passion, something you believe in or what you love, I think is the key – the benefit being you’ll know why you’re doing it and its essentially your passion that will get you through the more challenging times.

Do not be afraid of failure, give your best in something that you love to do and you will eventually find your way and flow.

So for my jet setting readers, any hot tips of where to go, eat or shop in Singapore?

Food is life. I really love eating and Singapore has an abundance of amazing foods. If you ever find yourself in Singapore a must try is Singapore chilli crab and my fave place for crab is Jumbos. On nights out we’ll usually hit Ann Siang Hill and Club Street areas for intimate restaurants, bars galore and hidden speakeasys. Weekends we love going to Tanjong Beach Club to just chill, drink cocktails and listen to cool tunes while the kids swim in the pool overlooking the beach. They also do yummy seafood!

For a true Singaporean experience, I would highly recommend going to Tiong Bahru Market in the morning where they have a selection of hawker stalls that sell a wide variety of affordable local food.

Thanks to Gerry and Rachelle for their insight into starting out in the fashion industry, following their passions and finding the balance in it all! They have kindly offered 15% off your first online order at Urban Gypsy Collective. You can use the discount code NATASHA15 at checkout to receive this generous offer. Thanks ladies!

You can find their online store at www.urbangypsy.co/ and on Instagram at @urbangypsy.co Follow them to find out more and join their journey!

Singapore fondly referred to as the “Little Red Dot.”

How to make the perfect Grazing Platter

We have just made it through one of the busiest times of the year – end of year parties, Christmas, New Year’s Eve… but Summer kicks on in Australia for a bit longer! And with Summer comes with many opportunities for socialising and enjoying the brighter days! Grazing platters are a great way to feed a large group of people or for an intimate dinner party with your closest friends.

Grazing platters have been taking over the hospitality industry and I can see why! The visual impact of a colourful buffet of delicious food intertwined with the option to pick and choose what you like – I can’t think of a better way to feed a group who may have diverse food preferences!

My beautiful friend, Libby, and I have had the delight of arranging grazing tables for a few special occasions and events. Through these experiences, we have refined our skill in creating maximum impact, on a clear budget with plenty of delicious treats for all the guests.

A Vegetarian grazing platter we created for a warm family reunion.

Here are the tips to creating a grazing platter of your very own!

THE PLATTER

We have used different serving ware to showcase our grazing platters. My absolute favourite is a 1 meter long timber board which has been oiled and seasoned to hold an array of delights. Alternatively, there are options around the kitchen which can be used. For example, wooden chopping boards, glass platters, baskets, wooden boxes, ceramic plates, cake stands or even a large table covered with a table cloth. Using a few different options can make the food area interesting and unique.

COLOUR

You want to make your guests feel like they are at a royal banquet! Maximum visual impact will be achieved with the mixture of cascading colours from fresh seasonal fruit, crunchy vegetables, antipasto, bread, cheeses, small goods, dips and dippers. Choose items which are of varying colours because you ‘eat with your eyes!’

HEIGHT

Varying heights help with the visual appearance of the platter. Using similar coloured jars, glasses, dishes, little bowls and serving ware can help with a cohesive finish. If you are going for a more eclectic look, using an assortment of ceramics or glass ware can turn your classy platter into a bohemian feast. Arrange these serving dishes on the platter before putting out your food so you can vary the heights and design of your platter.

TEXTURE

This is one of my favourite parts of constructing an eye catching platter! Using a variety of textures from the glistening olives, to crunchy bread sticks, the oozy soft cheeses to the grainy crackers and always, always, some decadent dark chocolate snapped and scattered throughout the gaps on the board. Ensure you have a blend of different textures to encourage people to dig in and not get “taste fatigue”.

Candles and fairy lights to add some ambiance to this platter.

AMBIANCE

Setting the mood for your event is everything. You want your guests to feel free and comfortable to attack the grazing platter! But in a polite way of course…! Providing bowls or plates near the platter to encourage people to load up their plates and then move on is helpful. This allows others to come forward to investigate the hard work you have gone to constructing a platter. Using foliage, flowers and candles around the platter can elevate the ambiance of the event and provide a stylish setting for your guests.

EATABILITY

Make sure all the beautiful items on the platter are easy to pick up and eat with minimal intervention! Pre spreading pieces of crusty bread with dips and spreads can help minimise mess and time spent hovering around the platter. Providing cheese knives, dip and fruit paste spreaders close by to their items makes a pleasant experience for the guests.

FILLER

So we gotta be real. We have budgets to meet and you want your guests to feel full after enjoying the platter. Filler items are a necessity to help ensure that there’s something to soak up the cocktails and to dip into all the luscious condiments you have prepared. Great fillers include nuts, dried fruits, breads, biscuits and crackers.

Texture. Height. Colour. Just a few things to make your platter pop!

CONSTRUCTION

So this is where you can get creative! And even if you aren’t too confident with visual arts or cooking, you will be able to create an incredible platter following these easy steps.

  1. Choose your base for the grazing platter.
  2. Lay out the serving ware along the platter. A symetrical distribution can make things easier.
  3. Fill each of these dishes with an assortment of colourful items. Using tall jars for grissini or lavosh sticks and small dishes for antipasto.
  4. Place the feature cheeses along the board. Keep them apart so that there’s plenty of space around them to decorate with other items.
  5. Use biscuits to curve around the cheeses, fanning out in semi circles.
  6. Use dried fruit to scatter over the cheeses in a cascading line.
  7. Roll up shaved small goods and layer in small sections or beside little dishes.
  8. Scatter the rest of your dry items, dried fruits, nuts and keep fresh fruits last to distribute the colour evenly. Try to place colourful items throughout the more neutral areas to make the platter appetising.
  9. Break up any chocolate you have into rustic pieces and wedge in small groups around the platter.
  10. Stand back and admire your work! Check if there are any gaps or areas which need more vibrancy and add what you need to. There’s no right or wrong!
  11. Lay out the candles at either end and foliage on the edges of the platters.
  12. Enjoy your grazing experience!
A classic grazing platter for a beautiful wedding.

A few textures and varying flavours you can add to your platter shopping list

  • Creamy/Oozy/Matte – soft cheeses, hard cheeses, goats cheeses, dips, hummus (see my homemade hummus recipe here: https://natashawilton.com/2019/01/12/recipe-homemade-hummus-crispy-pita-chips/
  • Grainy/Crunchy/Hard – rice crackers, plain crackers, ancient grain biscuits, water crackers, flavoured biscuits, lavosh bread, bread sticks, bread, grissini sticks, nuts, seeds, raw vegetables including carrots, celery, cucumber, cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh – seasonal fruit cut into easy to eat portions (seasonal fruit is budget friendly), crunchy vegetables
  • Zesty/Acidic – citrus fruits cut into rounds, dill pickles cut into chunks, sundried tomatoes, antipasto – olives, capsicums, eggplant, artichokes
  • Flavoursome/Spiced – small goods such as salami, proscuitto, smoked hams and thinly shaved cured meats
  • Sweet/Lush/Decadent – dark chocolate, dried fruits including cranberries, apple, apricots, fruit pastes, freeze dried fruits such as strawberries or raspberries for a pop of colour.

The fun part is investigating all the hidden treasures throughout the platter!

Coming Soon

New posts arriving soon…

Topics include:

  • Going through Post Natal Depression, Twice
  • Adjusting to a growing family
  • How to help siblings deal with a new baby on the scene
  • What PND isn’t
  • “This too shall pass” – what is the difference between sadness and depression?
  • Where is God when we are suffering?
  • Recovery and Relapse
  • Small things are still good things
  • Self Care for the busy woman.
Staying in the moment.

Hey Girl

We all wonder, how does she juggle it all?

Mum life, the side hustle, the drop off and pick ups between grocery runs, coffee dates and caring for her indoor plants.

How does she run a business from home, have a day job and function?

How did she come up with that business plan, clothing design, make that meal to feed her tribe?

How did she survive that terrifying experience?

Why does she believe in a God who we can’t see? How is He relevant to her life now?

How does she seem so centred all the time? What is her secret? Or is she silently freaking out?

How did she say goodbye and keep going on with her life while her heart was breaking?

How does she deal with hardship, grief, blessings and blessings in disguise?

Oh and where did she get those shoes? Now that is what I want to know.

I have some amazing interviews with women who inspire, captivate, motivate and have a story to share. Their interviews will be shared on the blog regularly. So grab a glass of prosecco and get comfy! Click follow this blog to get email updates of when a new interview is up!

If you have a story to share, label, business, passion or even a great recipe to share with us. Feel free to contact me to have an opportunity to be a featured guest. I would love to hear from you!

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A few amazing women who inspire me.

Recipe: Homemade Hummus & Crispy Pita Chips

This recipe is a favourite of mine. It is part of my cooking classes and nutrition demonstrations around the northern and western suburbs of Melbourne.

A quick, easy and healthy option when you need a delicious starter or snack. This dip is rich in protein and unsaturated fats which helps with feeling full, nourished and energised. This is a great one for those 3pm tummy rumbles or for the kids when they come home famished from school.

It doesn’t take long to make and most of the ingredients last in the fridge/pantry for ages!

Photo by Hari on Unsplash

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of whole chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini paste (sesame paste)
  • 1 fresh garlic clove or 1 teaspoon (or more!) of minced garlic
  • Wholemeal pita bread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 fresh lemon or bottled lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Spray oil

Method for the Hummus

  1. Drain liquid from canned chickpeas.
  2. Place chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and pepper in a small food processer.
  3. Blend until smooth. Add more pepper or lemon to taste.

Method for Pita Chips

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Rip pita bread into small pieces. Place on baking tray.
  3. Spray with olive oil
  4. Bake in oven for 5 minutes or until browned.
  5. Serve with Hummus and an assortment of fresh carrot sticks, celery, cucumber and your toasty warm pita chips!

Next Level Hummus

Want to get a bit adventurous?

Add a can of drained beetroot or 1 avocado to mix in the food processor and revamp your standard Hummus dip.

Sprinkle with some ground coriander, cumin, smoked paprika or black sesame seeds to enhance the flavour profile.

You can also drizzle the top with olive oil to keep the dip lush and golden!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Birth Story – Olive Part 1

I can see the fear in my eyes. The uneasy, wide eyed look you get when something is coming towards you but it hasn’t hit you yet. That feeling you get when you anticipate something challenging is just around the corner. You are bracing yourself, but the hard part is, you don’t know when it will happen. You don’t know how you will cope. You don’t even really know how it will feel. Because you have never done it before. It’s the unknown. It’s intense. It’s child birth.

I remember my Mum telling me that it took her 4 years after she was married to face her fear of child birth. She wanted to have a child, but the thought of intense pain, blood and all the fun stuff involved with labour stopped her from starting her motherhood journey. But, in the end, her experience was so positive she exclaimed “I want another one!” the moment she gave birth to me.

My Mama and I

“Just breathe” she told me. “Focus and breathe through the contractions when you are in labour.” I had inherited my mother’s fear of childbirth. I was so anxious at the thought of labour. I wasn’t a sporty kind of girl, I didn’t like the feeling of my heart pounding after a run. I didn’t like to push myself to the physical limits that I knew so many of my friends enjoyed at the gym. The moment I felt any indication of stress or exertion on my body, I wanted to stop! I told myself I wasn’t built for labour! I just wasn’t fit enough for that kind of marathon! What if I don’t know what to do? I have never even changed a nappy before. What if I fail as a Mother? I could just imagine my child raising their eyebrows at me with a look saying, “do you even know what you are doing!?” These were a few of my thoughts prior to falling pregnant with Olive.

We had walked through hard journeys with some of our close friends. Their hearts desiring a child, but their hopes not fulfilled. It was heartbreaking and we grieved with them and for their losses. Steve and I had been married for over 3 years and just returned from our first ever trip to Europe. We hoped to have a baby and start a new season together. And thank God, I soon fell pregnant. We were so nervous. Praying that this glimmer of life on the ultrasound screen would thrive. I remember feeling scared to accept the miracle as I didn’t want to have to say goodbye. I would carefully protect my belly, only eat a pregnancy appropriate diet, I even felt like I walked a different way! But thankfully, the little bean grew, changing into the size of an apple, orange and finally a watermelon! My pregnancy was smooth and I felt overjoyed, more stable in my mood than ever before.

Hello Child. These are your parents!

Not only was a new life growing within me, but I also grew a stronger backbone. My confidence and assertiveness increased at work as I felt the urge to protect my health, energy and outlook for the sake of my baby. I started to feel more sure of my boundaries, saying more “no’s” and putting the wellbeing of my unborn child first. I had always looked out for our friend’s children, my nieces and nephews. I had loved working with kids in our kid’s program at church, babysitting, creche, playgroups… So what happened next really hit me and made me question what sort of woman I was.

My baby was overdue. Multiple stretch and sweeps (if you don’t know what that is, I don’t know whether you should look it up…! But do if you dare!) but this little bub was not budging. I had twinges and false labour for about 3 weeks in the lead up. Waking in the night, pacing next to my side of the bed. Not waking Steve as it was “early labour”, only to be disappointed by morning because nothing had happened. I felt on edge. I was worried my waters would break, so I sat on a towel on my long commute to work. I overanalysed every niggle, every rolling movement, every kick down in the pelvis. I anxiously wondered if this was it, was it time to face my fear of having a baby? I was scared.

I look back on photos from that time in my life, I see the fear in my eyes. Tired lines circle them and highlight the anxiety I felt. But I didn’t say anything. I kept it to myself because surely that’s what all pregnant women feel. Now I know it’s not uncommon to feel this way. It’s normal to be anxious about uncertainties and there are so many support systems available. I didn’t have to go it alone. I was extremely scared and kept telling myself “Suck it up! You are on this train, and you can’t get off. So just get on with it.” My self talk was so encouraging!

38 weeks pregnant. Silent anxiety in my eyes.

On the 26th March, Steve and I woke up early. The sun hadn’t risen yet. We took a photo in our baby’s nursery before we left. I was going in for an induction. The air was crisp, sky was clear, the sun was just coming up as we slid into the car. This was so weird! Today was the day we would meet our baby. We didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl. We had names for both. As we drove to the hospital, I thought of all the times I had imagined the car ride. Of course I imagined a high speed, pedal to the floor kinda ride, me screaming in agony and Steve driving on the tram tracks to bypass traffic! It would be peak hour and I would almost give birth in the car. Given Steve comes from a farming background, (tells me all the time he knows how to deliver calves!), he would be catching the baby as we rolled into the hospital carpark. But my imagination was a bit more dramatic than real life! We parked at the hospital, wandered in and announced at the desk “Um, we are here to have a…. baby?”

Morning of the induction – Nursery Selfies

We went to our birth suite. It was surreal going in there now, heavily pregnant. The last time we had been in the room was with a group of couples on a tour of the hospital. Giggling and making sarcastic remarks about whether our husbands can use the “happy gas” on D-day. I changed into a hospital gown and a monitor was wrapped around my belly. As we waited for my water’s to be artificially broken, a food service staff member came in and asked me to fill out a menu for breakfast and dinner… It threw me. I couldn’t think about food! It seemed so casual and insensitive at the time. I think I’ll order a Valium thanks! I sarcastically thought to myself. I hastily ticked a couple of boxes and then tried to get back into the zone. This little one was coming out today and my heart was pounding with fear and excitement!

Part 2 will be up next week. Thank you for reading. Feel free to subscribe to read the 2nd part of Olive’s journey earthside!

 

 

And so it begins…

Welcome to my blog. Oh my, I don’t love that word! “Blog.” But I guess that is what this is… but not just another Mama Blog.

It’s a potentially coffee/champagne induced conversation.

A close community for storytelling and memory sharing.

A place to share my thoughts, experiences and motherhood journey.

An online collection of my treasured recipes to inspire and ignite your everyday meals.

The diary of a mama who is learning how to live with the ever changing faces of anxiety and depression.

The notes of a wife, mother, daughter, friend and oversharer who is walking in Faith, loving her Family and rediscovering life as a Mother of two.

The interviews of women who inspire, captivate and motivate. Sharing their experiences as entrepreneurs, fashion designs, mothers, girl bosses, creatives, artists and more.

I have written these articles from and with my heart. It is raw, honest and real. It is our story.

Enjoy reading. And I would love to hear from you if you find anything in my blog resonates, encourages or challenges you!

Tash x