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November 30, 20200

Download the Recipe Here!

Serves: 12

The Rudolph’s will keep the family happy this Christmas with their festive flavours and chocolate coating!

The sneaky bit… There is a hidden CARROT inside, so these treat are super healthy too! Don’t stop at the carrot! Experiment with other fruits and vegetables!

Ingredients

FOR THE MUFFIN BATTER:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup trim milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 carrots peeled, grated
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
FOR THE ICING:
  • 100g dark chocolate melts melted in the microwave.
FOR RUDOLPH’S FACE:
  • 2 bananas, sliced into banana rounds (Rudolph’s eyes)
  • 24 raisins (Rudolph’s pupils)
  • 12 glazed cherries (Rudolph’s red nose)
  • 24 pretzels (Rudolph’s antlers)

Methods

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C.
  2. Line tin with muffin cases.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in the Greek yogurt and whisk again until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
  5. Pour in the maple syrup, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat the mixture again until smooth.
  6. Add carrots, whole wheat flour, baking powder, and cinnamon over the wet ingredients. Fold the wet and dry ingredients together just until combined.
  7. Divide the batter into the 12-cup muffin tin.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, until the muffins have risen and set. Cool before icing and decorating.
CREATE RUDOLPH:
  1. Dip muffins into the chocolate
  2. You’ll need to be super speedy here… (as the chocolate sets fast)
    a. Add banana slices (rounds) for Rudolph’s eyes NUT)
    b. Place a cherry underneath the eyes, for Rudolph’s nose
  3. For the antlers, stick 2 pretzels onto either side of each muffin
  4. Then place the raisins onto the banana pieces for Rudolph’s pupils
  5. TIP: use a small bit of melted chocolate to stick the raisins onto Rudolph’s eyes and antlers onto Rudolph’s head.

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November 30, 20200

Christmas is a time of getting together with loved ones, enjoying the great Kiwi summer, some favourite foods and taking a well-earned break — especially this year! But this time of year can also bring extra stresses, particularly financial.

We want to take away some of that pressure by helping you create thoughtful, special gifts for family and friends, that won’t hit your wallet too hard. All of our eco gifts can be bought for a small price from New Zealand businesses, or made by you. Best of all, they’re good for the Earth. What’s not to love?

So get the kids together and start looking around the house for some common items that with a little love, you can transform into gorgeous gifts. Let’s get Christmas crafting.


1. Beeswax wrap

These clever little reusable food wraps have gained huge popularity in recent years and it’s not hard to see why. Beeswax wrap is a super useful product that can be used again and again to keep food fresh, so it’s gentle on the planet and your pocket. Buy it at a local market, online or through a local distributor, or make your own! We love Lilybee, which sells readymade and DIY kits. https://www.lilybeewrap.com/?gclid=CjwKCAiAnvj9BRA4EiwAuUMDf3u6AleWAfZLUG_V0UqA4GPWl1n6ZiEPdxartxokryTsdi_izuPOfBoCtkQQAvD_BwE

If you want to try making your own wrap without a kit, add almond oil and beeswax to a double boiler and heat slowly to melt the wax. Next, lay cloth pieces flat on a clean baking tray and bake at 80deg on fan bake for 10 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and use a paintbrush to paint each piece of cloth with the wax and almond oil mixture.

2. Stainless steel drink bottle

Inexpensive, safe to drink from and long-lasting. These eco-friendly drink bottles are the perfect gift for any family member on the go, who wants to keep their drinks hot or cold.

https://promovision.co.nz/152-metal-bottles

3. Homemade soap

This is a thoughtful gift that everyone finds useful. Homemade soap is just as good at washing away the germs as any store bought version, with some added love. To make your own soap, you’ll need a few ingredients including, animal fat or vegetable oil, distilled water, fragrance oils and moulds (plastic containers work well). There are several different recipe you can try, such as https://thisnzlife.co.nz/diy-make-your-own-soap/

The great thing about making soap is even when you make a mistake, you can reuse it and try again!

4.  Herb garden

Have a green-thumbed family member? Why not give them a DIY gift that will keep on giving… everything they need to start their own herb garden. For the gardener in your family, you could put together a gift basket with seeds of their favourite herbs and some pots (these can be small so they can grow the herbs in their kitchen), and growing instructions. Add some handmade labels for an extra special touch.

5. Recycled bag

A cotton tote bag is the must-have gift for everyone. Whether you’re going to a market, fair, picnic or the beach, a roomy recycled bag will come in handy. You can buy these from local markets, shops and online. To make your gift more personalised, why not add the recipient’s name or your own design?

6. Candles

Nothing can replace the ambiance of beautiful candles. These are inexpensive to buy and can be found in shops and markets everywhere. Or try your hand at making your own. All you need are a few items which can be found at your local craft store: soy or beeswax, a wick, essential oils and glass jars, vintage tea cups or other pretty vessel. https://www.candlecreations.co.nz/knowledge/candle-making-tutorials/make-a-scented-soy-candle/

7. Bath bomb

These are a great stocking filler and will please even the pickiest family member. You can find these rainbow coloured fizzers everywhere, especially during the festive season. Opt for bright colours for children, or beautiful scents and healing properties for adults.

Christmas is all about spending time, not money. These are just great a few of the fabulous eco gift options that you can enjoy creating with loved ones for meaningful gifts.  Best of all, you’re taking care of the Earth at the same time! Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and festive season.


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November 2, 20200

Diwali is the Hindu Festival of Lights that takes place over five magical days and is celebrated by millions of people around the world. Held in October/November, it marks new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil, and light over darkness.

At sKids we love celebrating this special time of year with our children by exploring its colourful traditions, learning new skills and having the opportunity to engage with our local communities.

In this blog, we speak to sKids franchisee Purity Misquitta. Originally from India, Purity runs five sKids centres with her husband Ferdilin, is a mother of two and an avid observer of Diwali. She explains why the Festival of Lights is so meaningful to her and why it’s something when we can all celebrate.

What is the story behind Diwali?

The name Diwali is from the Sanskrit term ‘dipavali’, meaning ‘row of lights’ and the celebration has a rich history attached to it. The festival is particularly associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity. As told in the Diwali story, it marks the day Hindu God Lord Rama and his wife Sita triumphantly return to their kingdom in northern India after being exiled, following the defeat of demon king, Ravanna. Villagers welcome their return with thousands of oil lamps on a moonless night, which is why lamps and other lights are used during the festival. This story is depicted in the Ramayana — one of the two great Sanskrit epics of ancient India, written in poem form.

When is Diwali held?

The five-day festival takes place between mid october and mid November, depending on the cycle of the moon, and marks the beginning of the financial year in India. Diwali is observed on the 15th day of Kartik, the holiest month of the Hindu lunar calendar so the date changes each year. This year, Diwali is on November 14.

How is it celebrated?

In preparation for Diwali, the house is cleaned and the entrance is decorated with colourful rangoli — decorations made from rice, sand or flowers. Indian families dress in traditional outfits and women decorate their hands or feet in henna. Spending time with loved ones is an essential part of the celebration. Families cook and eat together, exchange special sweets or gifts with friends and relatives, and enjoy song and dance. Some families start the day with prayer. During Diwali it is customary to make offerings to the gods. At night, homes are decorated with lamps and candles, and fireworks are set off.

How does sKids celebrate?

Around New Zealand communities celebrate traditional and contemporary Indian culture as part of the festival, for example with bright lights, energetic dance performances, Indian delicacies and spectacular fireworks. It’s the same at selected sKids centres, where we include some exciting Diwali celebrations as part of our daily programmes. This year for Diwali our centres will celebrate during the last week of October, when we will have colouring competitions, chalk art, teachers will wear sari and henna, crafts and children will learn to make some special Indian snacks.

 

Why is Diwali so meaningful to you?

I love the feeling of it and the fireworks during that time, and the joy it brings. Diwali is a time when the whole family gets together to celebrate; it’s really a family event — like Christmas or Thanksgiving.

There’s something for everyone!