Chicken Dumplings

Food

Dumplings

Okay so trust me when I say these are the easiest dumplings you will ever make. I got these from one of Matt Preston’s cook books, and let’s be honest he isn’t even a chef (Sorry Matt, I still bought all your books).

The only thing you might struggle with at first is folding them, but I have included a link to the ‘Dumpling Sisters‘ who give a tutorial on how to pleat the perfect dumpling. I admit make the ugliest dumplings cause I suck at folding them but at least they taste good 🙂

Note: This did take me a few attempts to perfect, things that I noticed made a big difference were making sure you placed them on a floured board when making them as that helps the bottom go a bit crispy when cooking. We also added coriander so our last batch and it was delish!

INGREDIENTS

  • 400g chicken mince
  • 227g can water chestnuts, drained, rinsed, finely diced
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 3 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 40 fresh flour wonton wrappers (these are also sold as Gow Gee wrappers in some supermarkets, click here for Woolworths link)
  • Sweet chilli sauce, to serve
  • Soy sauce, to serve
  • Fresh ginger, extra, to serve
  • Chinese vinegar, optional, to serve

METHOD

  1. Mix the first seven ingredients together in a ceramic or glass bowl. Do not overwork, just pull it all together. Now place in the fridge and leave the flavours to develop for a couple of hours.

  2. Then, on a floured board, lay out six wonton wrappers and place a heaped teaspoon-sized dollop in the middle of each square.

  3. Gather up the opposite corners of the wrappers and pleat the dumplings so the filling is full encased and the pasta tightly encloses the filling. If you leave air in there you risk the dumplings bursting. This is more of an issue when you poach the dumplings in a broth.

  4. Boil a kettle. Place a high-sided frying pan on the heat. You need one that you can fit a saucepan lid over to contain steam. Splash in some vegetable oil.

  5. To cook the dumplings, place them in the hot oil with their bases sitting on the bottom of the pan. Leave for two minutes until golden. Pour in a cup of boiling water and pop on the lid. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook for five minutes. While the first batch of dumplings is cooking, make the next batch.

  6. Now check the dumplings. If they are cooked remove them and repeat the process.

  7. Serve the dumplings immediately with chilli sauce, Chinese brown vinegar mixed with a little water and caster sugar, or soy sauce with finely julienned ginger.

ENJOY!! ❤

It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas!!

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So I must admit I am one of those annoy “theme” mothers, who dresses there child head to toe in Christmas attire on Xmas day. Here is what I’m thinking this year…

1: Mocs Made With Love “Scarlet Lace Bow”. I love these little mocs, and how perfect are the red leather and lace special editions for your little one to wear over Xmas. Make sure you get your Christmas pre-order in by Sunday to secure them. Click for website here.

2: Chuck & Taz “Charcoal Cross Christmas Stocking”. I love anything monochrome, so couldn’t go past this stocking. make sure to check out the other amazing stockings and pram liners they have. Click here for website.

3: Shorties “Del Ray Bodysuit”. Adorable soft cotton jersey perfect for an hot Aussie xmas. Only $39.95. Click here for website.

4: Branche Kids “Juan Bow”. So you have prob guessed I am a little obsessed with Branche! I am absolutely obsessed with their amazing kids accessories and have gone bow crazy. These bows are so amazing and only $6.50 each. Make sure you also check out Branche owner Tara’s blog, No Cake For Breakfast, one of my top mummy blog crushes. Click here for website.

5: Coopy Choo “Reindeer Bib”. The Perfect addition to any chrissy outfit, cause let’s be honest it’s gonna be a messy affair. Click here for website.

Chillin’ with my beautiful girl

Kids

Sorry for the lack of ‘Belle’ posts lately hehe but we have had a bit of a tough week and just been keeping it low profile lately. Today we got to spend some quality time together with our bestie PJ, just keeping it simple in this cute Big W tee ($6) and Kmart 3/4 leggings ($5) and little leatherette bow (two pack for $4) hehe while I’m a sucker for brands and pretty frocks, sometimes you just gotta accept your child gonna be filthy by the end of the day (especially on daycare days) so we just throw on whatever.

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Summer Essentials ♥

Fashion, Kids

SUMMER

So summer is finally here, and what better way to mark this splendid occasion that shopping for some summer essentials. Here is Annabelle’s top picks!

1: Coco & Ivory “Summer Lovin'” Tank. Okay so super sad that it’s currently sold out because I mean how more perfect for summer can you get? And it’s only $26.00! I have my name down as soon as these are restocked. Click here for website.

2: Blake & Leo “Tiger Swimsuits”. Okay so I’m a tad partial to cats, big or small. Absolutely loving this swimsuit for my little babe. Passing on my cat obsession. Pick one up for $50. Click here for website.

3: Love Mummahh “Gypsy Sandal” in black. Err maa gerdd, how can you not love these. They are hand made with love from genuine leather and also come in Gold, Tan and Pink. I need them all, and only $40 (currently sold out but soon to be re-stoked). Click here for website.

4: Branche “Woolen Black Hat”. Absolutely obsessed with the Branche accessories for kids range ATM. So many amazing bows, hats and sunnies all essentials for summer. This black felt hat is so adorable. Click here for website.

5: Arlow Loves “Copper Denim Bloomers”. Haha okay so I’ll admit I think I love these because I am a bit of a Kylie Minogue fan perhaps. But every little girl needs a few cute pairs of bloomers to run around in on those super hot days! And they are only $19. Click here for website.

My Breastfeeding Experience

Kids, Pregnancy & Baby

Firstly I just wanted to say a HUGE thank-you to everyone who has emailed or messaged me about my posts on Belle’s birth story and weight-loss journey post baby! It has been amazing to have so much positive feedback from people and I am so grateful you all took the time to read.

So I also want to share my experience of breastfeeding! Firstly, during my pregnancy I was an ‘early leaker’, around twenty weeks (FML). I had to wear breastpads all the time because otherwise my nipple would stick to my bra and I’d have to peel them off at the end of the day because they’d glued themselves together (yup OUCH!). Leading up to Belle’s birth I opted to not do any pre-natal classes, including the breastfeeding class. I figured that my mother-in-law was a midwife and I could just directed all questions to her. I told myself that when it came to breastfeeding I’d just give it a crack and see how we went. I really tried to stay realistic about it all as I had heard so many stories from friends about their disappointment or stress surrounding breastfeeding. However, that was a lot easier said than done!!

When Annabelle was born via Caesarean it meant my milk took a little longer to come in, and for the first few days I was feeding almost every hour because she obviously wasn’t getting enough to fill her. In the end we topped her up with formula once or twice just to tide us over until my milk came in. By the third or fourth day it was starting to stress me out wondering if my milk would ever come in. I started to try things to help it along like pumping, massaging my boobs, feeding constantly, drinking milo you name it I tried it. By the fifth day, HALLELUJAH, it finally came in! Yet it definitely didn’t mean I was out of the woods yet.

I know i’ve heard a lot of people say “oh baby knows what to do“, but trust me sometimes baby DOESN’T know what to do and I spent my first few weeks having to get my husband to awkwardly pinch my nipple in such a way it was easier for Belle to latch. Not to mention, my nipples became tender, dry and even cracked with no time to heal between 3-4 hourly feeds. Thankfully, someone quickly suggested using nipple shields, and god am I glad I got those. I ended up feeding with them for almost three months as it was so much easier for Belle to latch and of course protected my flesh from being mutilated.

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Anyway, once I started to get into the swing of things I began pumping breastmilk after feeds and building up a supply in the fridge and freezer. From day dot Belle took a bottle and the boob with absolutely no confusion. It was great because it mean that over night my husband could do the feeds to give me a break. Pumping was also good as it kept my supply up, but bad because if I left them longer than 3 hours I felt physically ill from them being so full. Then, when Belle was about three weeks old, thanks to my overly full boobs, I started to feel REALLY sick one night, I pumped my boobs and it was super painful so I rang my MIL and explained my symptoms, before I could even finish she told me what I really didn’t want to hear, I had Mastitis!

She went on to explained that I would need to get antibiotics as soon as possible as it would only get worse, however, being an absolute IDIOT and because it was really late at night I figured I would leave it until the morning. Well that was stupid, I really should have rushed myself to the hospital demanding like a crazy woman they give me antibiotics because by the morning I was in absolute AGONY! I could hardly move and in an attempt to try and alleviate the pain I tried to feed Belle and pretty much ended up screaming the entire time. I rang the doctors pleading that they got me in as soon as possible and drove myself down. When I saw the doctor she told me it was pretty bad and that she needed to try to massage the block out. She then viciously started squeezing and pushing on my poor boob, trying to work the blockage out. It was definitely up there on my ‘most painful experiences ever’ list, I almost died (not even joking). Eventually, I started to feel some relief but the damage was done and I was scarred for life. She then gave me my antibiotics and sent me on my way. Amazingly once I started taking the AB’s I felt better almost right away, it was gone within 3-4 days completely. I made sure thought that I had a repeat script so I could be on top of it in case it ever happened again!

Then the next hurdle came around the 8-10 week mark when I noticed a significant drop in my supply. I started to have to make a really conscious effort to eat energy full foods throughout the day and drink plenty of water because if I didn’t then I wouldn’t have enough milk by the end of the day. For the remaining 4-5 months I breastfed it was like this and I was constantly searching for different way to try increase my supply. It started to really consume me and it’s all I ever seemed to think about and I told myself that I had put much effort already that I should keep going. That pressure I had promised not to put onto myself had well and truly taken over and I found myself always asking others “are you still breastfeeding” or “how long did you feed for” while searching the internet all the time for ways to increase supply. I was so worried that if I stopped, it was too early or that it wasn’t fair to Belle or that I would regret not trying harder.

Finally, I realised what that I had done the exact thing I didn’t want to do and that while breastfeeding can be an amazing bonding moment between mother and child, it can also be a really stressful and sometimes even isolating experience. Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to have an extremely supportive network of people helping me throughout, and only was it with their help I feel I got as far as I did. No one close to me ever made me feel like I HAD to keep going, no one put pressure on me that I should keep trying. That was all myself, comparing myself to other mums, listening to the hype that ‘breast was best‘, for some reason fearing i’d be doing a huge disservice to my baby if I put her on formula. I had convinced myself that I was was some kind of a failure if I didn’t keep going. Finally, I came to my senses and told myself that I could only do what physically was possible and ultimately what was most important was that my child was fed, clean, warm & loved.

By the 5 month mark I started to give Belle a bottle of formula at night because I just couldn’t produce enough milk by the end of the day. It was also starting to become clear that Belle was starting to get over it herself and began weaning herself. She literally only saw me as a meal ticket these days and didn’t care if it was boob or bottle. There was no cuddles looking into one another eyes anymore, she just wiggled around and showed very little interest. So at 6 months mark we went entirely to formula and we were both absolutely fine with it. I felt really proud of how far I had gotten and felt that I had let Belle decide when to stop rather than calling it quits myself.

I realise now looking back that while I absolutely do not have regrets about how long I breastfed for, I do wish I hadn’t put so much pressure on myself and enjoyed it a little more since I was lucky enough to have an opportunity some don’t even get. And now for any mums who ask me those same questions I found myself asking all the time, I tell them that exactly! And as long as your baby is happy, healthy and has a full tummy, then what does it matter how you choose to feed them anyway?! It’s your own decision how you choose to feed your baby and don’t let anyone make you feel different!!

Raising tiny people is a tough enough job and we don’t need to make it any harder on ourselves by adding these pressures on ourselves over how our child is fed. I notice sometimes when talking to other mums that often when you talk about it people will give a ‘reason’ or try justify why they didn’t breastfeed or why they stopped, but no one needs to justify anything! They are fed and your doing an amazing job, just enjoy the ride! The end. ❤

What’s in my cart…?

Home, Kids

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1: Homely Creatures “To The Moon And Back” Banner. This is a popular one I have seen hanging in many cool kids bedrooms, but it’s so adorable and only $25! Click Here for website.

2. Bun & Friends “Tyrone The T-Rex”. I have started to see these around a bit and think they are the cutest addition to any little ones bedroom. Our pick is ‘Tyrone’ The T-Rex in gold, and he is only $25.95. Click Here for website.

3: Rock & Pebble “Pear House”. This will be so perfect for housing our Sylvania Families! There is also and Elephant and apple, and all made from sustainable materials. The pear House is $110. Click Here for website.

4: Maiko Nagao “Shine Bright Like A Diamond” Wall Art. These wall art quotes are all the rage, but this one cannot help but catch your eye! Made in NZ and printed on environmentally responsible and chlorine free white paper. LOVE!! You can purchase from Collected ED, Click Here her for website.

5: Arlo & Co Personalised Name Mirror Plaques. I absolutely love anything personalised, enough said. Plus they are only $30. Click Here for website.

6: Le Petit Renard Rouge “Rory The Lion”. Every needs a little handmade love to cuddle at night, and these lions are too cute to pass up. Rory is my fav but there is an entire adorable family to collect and only $30 each. Click Here her for website.

I am always looking for amazing quirky décor and handmade love. If you have any suggestions or hot tips we simply MUST know about feel free to comment or tag us on Instagram at @houseofwhite_

Post Baby Weight Loss

General, Pregnancy & Baby

Okay so this is always a hot topic, and most mums will agree to at least feeling a little bit of pressure to drop the weight after having a baby, especially if your like me and gained over 20kg! Seeing social media darlings post photos only days postpartum looking just as, if not more amazing than they did before baby! Weather they are naturally blessed with skinny genes like Bec Judd, or they have worked their butt off like Rozalia Russian, most of us are guilty of stalking their Instagram accounts, wishing that was us. Unfortunately this was the furthest thing for me and just over 12 months post baby I’m still battling along trying to reach dem goals!

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39 weeks pregnant!

So here is a little about my own weight lose journey post baby! During my pregnancy I gained almost 25 kilos, I’m not even sure how that happened as I couldn’t really eat that much but I did. I started out around 60-62kg and for the first few months I was pretty happy with my weight gain, only gaining a couple of kilos by the 20 week mark. Then slowly but surely the weight came rolling in and by the last month or two it just seemed i was sucking fat off people around me and it stuck to me like a magnet, before I knew it I was like 85 kilos!

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Two weeks post Belle, so puffy!!

Granted a lot of that was fluid and I did have a reasonable sized baby (8p 1oz), but it didn’t just go away after birth. In fact, in the week or so postpartum I actually got puffier and it wasn’t until two-three weeks later this started to subside. I was worried they may have forgotten to take Belle’s twin out, because I still looked 6 months pregnant. Then over the next 3-4 months I slowly started to shed the water weight thanks to the hot sweaty flushes that felt like I was going through early menopause. I just loved waking up in the middle of the night in a pool of stinky hormonal sweat, mmmmm. During this time I dropped down to about 70-72kg and here I would remain for what felt like an eternity.

In the meantime,  one of my best friends who was also pregnant, maybe 3-4 months behind me, was just about to have her little girl. During her pregnancy she continued to teach classes at the gym, take PT’s and was still looking amaze-balls right up until her labour. She literally took her last class a few weeks before her due date, and her daughter decided to make an early arrive a day or so later! She then was back on the bike (literally, RPM) 4-5 weeks after birth. This is point I made a decision to join the gym, because if she can do it, I felt like I really had no excuse.

To start it was hard to find a rhythm as I was still breastfeeding Annabelle and I found working out really effected my supply. Also timing around naps and feeds was hard to get used to but the girls at the gym crèche were amazing and it soon became apart of our routine. By the time Annabelle was 6 months old and I was mix feeding, I started to attend 3-4 days a week. And I will admit I’m pretty surprised that up until now we have continued to make a weekly classes and even pushed all the way through winter.  While there have been the odd week or two we’ve missed due to sickness etc I have my 2-3 classes a week I never miss (mostly my GF’s classes cause I’m more motivated with a buddy).

As for food, there really isn’t much I can report there. I love food and I have never been on a ‘diet’ in my life unless you count the three weeks before my wedding where all I ate was chicken and took a bunch of laxatives (DO NOT DO IT). I have, however, tried to make a conscious effort to eat healthy and not indulge in too much naughty stuff. That being said I’m guilty of eating McDonald’s on the odd occasion because I have a weakness for chicken nuggets!

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Few weeks ago in Palm Cove, getting there!

But anyway, here I am almost 13 months post baby and only in the last month or so have I started to lose a few more kilos, now happily sitting around 66-67kg. I have absolutely no idea where those few kilos went as I recon there was a week I stepped on the scales and that’s just how it was. And while I would be keen to lose a few more I’m not really stressing about it as I am totally happy with the way things are going. I think the most important thing is to create an environment for Annabelle that promotes a healthy and active way of living.

That all being said I have compiled a list of things I think will help you on your weight lose journey…

My tips & hints to helping you lose baby weight…

  • Get a spray tan. Everyone feels better when there tanned, and it takes at least 5 kilos of in my opinion. It’s also great for covering stretch marks 😉
  • When you having a shitty day post a Throw Back Thursday or Flashback Friday, that way people can flatter you with adoring ‘MILF’ comments on your Instagram saying how good you looked and then you’ll feel better about going to get Macca’s for lunch! But if it’s Monday don’t bother though, cause you’ll be flooded out by ‘i hate monday’ quotes and people are usually too emo to care.
  • post4Remember that big butts are in! Hello haven’t you been listening to Kim, Nicki or JLo? The booty is back so embrace it. But remember, Kim also showed us last week that the bush IS NOT back, so please don’t drop the ball on that one.
  • kim-kardashian-nude-naked-butt-paper-magazine-coversTreat yourself. I know it can be pretty depressing when your entire wardrobe doesn’t fit and you find yourself just schlepping around in your trackies and spew covered jumpers all day. Go out and buy some clothes that fit and that look good and just accept you might not be that size again, cause then if you do lose weight you’re over the moon about it!

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  • Don’t look at the scales. Okay so i’m guilty of this, and i’m always sad when the numbers don’t change. BUT have faith my friend, just because the numbers don’t change doesn’t mean you are not. As mentioned I’ve hardly had massive claim to dramatic weight lose but I feel better and I have noticed the physical changes to my body.
  • Don’t let it consume you. These days I feel like there is so much aimed at new mums wanting to lose their baby weight quickly like fad diets, detox teas and pills but realistically there is no quick fix for any sustainable weight lose. Depriving your body of fuel and energy is only going to make taking care of a newborn harder as you will be tired and miserable. You made a baby, your body is awesome!

Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Kids, Pregnancy & Baby

So lately I’ve been asked by friends for suggestions on baby showers gift. And while I know there are heaps of websites and blogs out there with millions of suggestions I thought I would compile a list of practical and affordable ideas if you find yourself lacking inspiration.

Bonds. Bonds. Bonds.

Any mum will tell you that Bonds Wondersuits and singlets are the best thing ever. They are the best quality, wash and wear for an eternity and will see you through 100 kids. Newborn babies pretty much just live in these things, so keep the pretty dresses and designer threads to a minimum in the smaller sizes and buy up big in suits and singlets. Bonds often has big sales on their website so you will more than likely be able to get up to 20-30% off, as well as free postage.

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Sophie the Giraffe/Fan Fan the Fawn

So if you already have kids I’m guessing you might already know about Sophie and her friends. These are adorable 100% natural rubber teething toys by Vulli, created in France in 1946 and have been helping little ones ease their teething woes ever since! You can grab one from Big Dreams for $39.95.

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Cotton On Body Plush Dressing Gown.

Okay so it doesn’t have to be a Cotton On one but I found these were the softest and snuggest in an affordable price range. They are perfect for during your hospital stay and of course through all those late night feeds. Trust me your mumma-to-be friend will forever thank you!  Available on-line and in stores.

Burt’s Bee’s Baby Starter Kit

So these days it’s definitely all about the natural and organic, especially when it comes to baby. And here is one of my top picks, the Burt’s Bee’s Baby Starter Kit. It’s all natural, Australian owned and made and smells amazing! And at the moment you get a free gift when you purchases before Christmas! The kits start at $24.95.

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Love To Dream Swaddle Suit

So I had never heard of these until my friends started having babies and I would see all these cute pictures of babies in these ‘angel’ suits. Then I had a baby of my own, sucked really bad at swaddling and I realised why these suits were so popular! Absolute life saver and a must for new parents who suck just as bad as me at swaddling!

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Pedicure/Spa Treatment

Its definitely hard to tend to your own feet towards the end of one’s pregnancy. Trust me, treating mum to be to any kid of relaxing spa treatment is a great idea. Most beauty salons and day spas will be more than happy to put together a cute little package/voucher pack for you.

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DIY Newborn Essentials Kit

This is one I have given to a few friends now, having received one at my own shower. It has been an absolute lifesaver, especially when i’ve realised in the middle of the night it had exactly what I needed rather than having to wait till the next day when I can’t get to a pharmacy. You can also get quite craft with this one, and there is heaps of ideas on Pinterest on how to present it and what to include.

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Newborn Photography Voucher

I know this one can perhaps be a bit pricey, but if you have a few friends chip in it would be a great gift. Every new mum wants to capture those adorable moments with their new bundle so this would be a much appreciate gift, especially as there can be heaps of big costs leading up to baby. Just make sure you let the new mum know that most newborn photos are taken within the first few weeks, and perhaps just get in contact with the photographer to let them know when your due, as they semi schedule it in.

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Baby Milestone Cards

Last but not least, my absolute favourite baby shower gift idea. I think they are such a great idea to use to take photos and mark milestones and these Mimosa Design cards have such adorable & unique designs.

There are 32 individual designed cards to help you capture the special moments in your baby’s first year. Your journey starts with a ‘welcome to the world’ card, and you’ll then mark 30 key dates, including monthly milestones, and big achievements such as your baby taking their first steps. Check out their website here.

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To grab yourself a set of these cards just pop on over to our Instagram (@houseofwhite_) or Facebook Page (facebook.com/houseofwhiteblog) and check out the competition running. All you have to do is regram the competition photo, tag @houseofwhite_ and @mimosadesigns with the hashtag #whitemimosacomp. Competition will run until Midnight on Sunday, December 6th with winner drawn and announced that Monday! GOOD LUCK!!

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