Monthly Archives: July 2016

The Sugarfree Box won me over (I didn’t expect that…)

Full disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. Stephanie from The Sugarfree Box sent me a free mini-box to review. She has also offered to provide readers with a $10 discount (code below), which I will not financially benefit from.

So in the interest of being honest, I have to say that I was a little skeptical about the idea of The Sugarfree Box. My sister and other friends have subscribed to various ‘sample’ style boxes over the years, especially for beauty products, and it seemed like they often ended up giving more away than they kept.

I’d seen promotions for The Sugarfree Box on social media and thought it would probably fall into the same category. When Steph offered to send me a box to review, I was hesitant. I don’t usually review products, and the current blogging trend to provide positive reviews in exchange for freebies makes me feel a little uncomfortable. I felt so conflicted about it, I consulted with my husband. After rolling his eyes at what he considers to be my ‘over-thinking about everything’, he pointed out that this particular product sits firmly within my blogging niche, with its focus on low sugar, and that hey – since it wouldn’t be a sponsored/paid review, I should actually just try it out and then write an honest review that others could benefit from. Continue reading

Hearty Chicken Casserole with Sweet Potato Dumplings

This past week has been a very tough one for some of the people in my life, and will continue to be for some time. Thank-you very much to those who generously donated last week to the campaign to help Mel and her family, after their house burnt down.

My heart is also with my dear friend, whose father passed away on Thursday. My friend is the most resilient person I know – I am in awe of her seemingly endless capacity to give, including through her work. But I also wish she didn’t have to be. She is a beautiful mother (to the cutest, most chilled out little baby, who gives cuddles like a koala bear) and a wonderful friend, and I’m sending her lots of love.

Hearty Chicken Casserole with Sweet Potato Dumplings

I first made this for Miss Marzipan’s Food of Thrones Challenge back in April, dedicated to the Starks of Winterfell. A few people asked for the recipe … and then gently reminded me a couple of months later … I’ve finally gotten my butt into gear to finalise the recipe. It first came about as a bit of an ‘all in’, using bits and pieces I had in the fridge – so feel free to replace the vegetables and herbs with whatever you have. Continue reading

Please help, if you can: Helping a family that always helps others

Melanie Greenhalgh and I worked together a couple of years ago, and we also crossed paths professionally for several years before that. She is a warm, funny, generous lady; a wonderful storyteller and fabulous cake-maker. She has dedicated her career to ‘helping’ others: as a youth worker, advocate, sexual health educator, social policy advisor, social researcher, and currently, as a health promotion officer in a women’s health advocacy service. She’s a fellow blogger and passionate about supporting parents to raise their kids.

In addition to being all these things, Mel and her husband Mick are parents to four children, including their two nephews who they have cared for as their own, since Mel’s sister passed away seven years ago. Mel is an incredibly resilient person – they are a resilient family.

A few days ago, the Greenhalgh family home burned down, and they lost everything. Fortunately, no one was physically hurt, but the loss of their family home – one that Mel and Mick had carefully and thoughtfully provided for their four children – is devastating. In true Mel form, she is already reflecting gratefully on the offers of help she has received, and looking toward a way through this dark time.

I know that Mel’s first priority would be to support and care for her kids, to continue to provide them with a sense of safety, stability and love while they grieve and come to terms with everything they have lost. In the meantime, Mel and Mick need help from others.

Some of Mel’s friends have started a Go Fund Me campaign, to help this family get through this time and back on their feet. If you can, please consider donating at the link below.

Click here to visit the Go Fund Me Campaign for Melanie and her family.

 

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