Flavours and Flair

Monthly Archive: August 2014



August 2014




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Maralina Leaitua is a Crossfit trainer at Ludus Leaitua in Sydney’s Inner West (www.facebook.com/AdrianLeaituaStats) which she operates with her husband Adrian.

Maralina runs quite a few classes aimed at mums and enjoys helping other women achieve their fitness goals.

She is a mother to four girls, Leticia- 15, Leasi- 9, Lily- 4 and Lyla- 3.

Here she tells us how she manages work and a household with 4 kids- plus shares her tips on staying fit and healthy.

ML&S: How do you find balancing work and being a mum of 4?

Maralina: I think it’s very challenging to find a balance and I am constantly trying to achieve that. Sometimes the scale is tipped in favour of the kids and sometimes in work. I try to work my hours around my children- as they are my priority.

ML&S: What surprised you most about motherhood?

Maralina: How much it changes your view on life. BC (before children) you are so care-free and think you are indestructible. After children, you have these little beings that depend on you- so you start driving your car a little more carefully.

ML&S: When did you begin working as a trainer?

Maralina: My husband and I started doing CrossFit training in 2012. Adrian has many years of training experience at an athletic level in different sports- including swimming, rugby and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). I had never done any type of serious training before but once I started CrossFit- I became addicted. Now we train and coach others with the same fitness goals as us- from our box.


ML&S: What are your tips for mums who haven’t exercised for years since having children?

Maralina: Just get there! The hardest part is to actually turn up to training. A lot of people feel intimidated to start because they are not fit or may not be at their ideal weight. Just remember that everyone started exactly like you and have the same goal- to get fit!

ML&S: What do you think is the most beneficial part of exercise for mums?

Maralina: There are so many advantages for mums who exercise. Not only is it great for fitness, it’s also beneficial to your health and well-being. Exercise releases endorphins in your body that increase self-esteem, energy levels, your sex drive, reduces anxiety, helps with sleep and is wonderful for stress relief.

ML&S: What are your tips for women training post-baby?

Maralina: Post-baby I would firstly make sure you have your doctor’s approval before starting. Next I would recommend to ease into exercise. If you can, try to find a training buddy as this can help with encouraging each other and making each other accountable (even on those rainy days) and stick to your exercise regime.

ML&S: How many hours a week of training should mums aim for?

Maralina: It really depends on the type of training you are doing and what your goals are. People who are training at athletic levels are training 3 times a day and others may train 3-4 times per week. Training a little bit each day is ideal.

ML&S: How do you keep your energy levels up?

Maralina: Keeping your energy levels high can be hard when you have so much going on in your life. For my family, we try to eat healthy to help sustain our energy levels and get the best recovery from our workouts. We follow a “mostly” Paleo or clean eating plan.

ML&S: What would you like your girls to learn most from you?

Maralina: I would hope that my girls grow up to know their worth so they can achieve whatever they desire in life.

ML&S: What activities do you enjoy most with your kids?

Maralina: Our life is usually pretty crazy busy. Our kids are very active and do a combination of CrossFit, tennis and soccer- so I really love our down time with my family. My kids love putting little singing and dancing shows on for us. Sundays we usually try to relax, snuggle up and watch movies together.




August 2014




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The Emmys red carpet looks this year ranged from white cocktail dresses to fire-red gowns.

Here are my top 10 picks of the best dressed mums at the 2014 small screen awards- these celeb mums have lotsa style!




August 2014




Written by , Posted in Savoury


Pastitso is the Greek version of lasagne and this classic dish is full of richly flavoured meat, pasta and béchamel sauce. I’ve eaten a lot of Pastitso in my time- but I can confidently say my Mum’s has to be the best I’ve ever had.

Here is her delicious recipe- that has been in our family for generations- and we just can’t get enough of it.


The Meat Sauce

- 1/2 kilo of beef mince
- 1 large white onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 5 fresh grated tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- salt and pepper to paste

The Pasta

- 6oo grams penne pasta
- 2 x eggs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
- salt

The Béchamel Sauce

-1.2 litres of full cream milk
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 x eggs
- salt and pepper to taste



- Heat the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the diced onion over medium heat. Add the beef mince to pan and break it up thoroughly. Keep stirring constantly over a medium/high heat for 5 minutes or until meat is browned.
- Once the meat is ready, add the garlic, fresh tomato juice and tomato paste to the pan along with salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. Bring to a boil and make sure to immerse them in the sauce, then reduce the heat to medium/low. Simmer for about 30 minutes or so. Stir the sauce occasionally. When ready, the meat will have absorbed the liquid.
- Bring a large pot of water with a tablespoon of salt to a boil, add the pasta to water and boil until soft but not fully cooked (about 3/4 of the suggested cooking time on the package).
- While the pasta is cooking, make the béchamel sauce. Start by melting the butter in a deep saucepan filled with the milk over a medium heat, then, using a whisk slowly incorporate the dissolved flour (dissolve with a dash of milk) by adding it to the melted butter in stages while stirring continually to avoid the formation of lumps. Continue to constantly stir the butter and flour to ensure a smooth consistency. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the grated Parmesan cheese and eggs while continuing to rapidly stir the mixture. Set aside when smooth.
- Drain the water completely from the pasta pot and return pot with pasta to the heat, add olive oil to the pasta and mix well. Remove the pot from the heat, let stand for a few minutes to cool and then add the egg to the pasta, along with the ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese and mix well, then set aside.
- Rub a little olive into the sides and bottom of your baking dish, and then add about two-thirds of the pasta to the dish to form a bottom layer. Make sure to spread the pasta evenly in order to completely cover the bottom of the dish, make sure not to leave any empty spaces.
- Spread the meat sauce over the pasta layer, ensuring to distribute it evenly and right to the edges of the dish.
- Add the remaining pasta overtop of the meat layer.
- Pour the béchamel sauce over final pasta layer, make sure to cover the entire surface area of the dish.
- Place the dish uncovered in an oven pre-heated (180°C) and bake for approximately 50 minutes, or until the béchamel sauce is golden brown.
- Allow it to cool before cutting and serving.




August 2014




Written by , Posted in General

Some of our fave celebs love matching their outfits with their tiny tots and so do we!

Here at Mummy’s Life & Style we think the twinsies look is so darn cute- don’t you agree?



August 2014




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My beautiful sister-in-law and brother have welcomed their third boy into the world and I’m one very proud auntie again.

I can’t wait to see my gorgeous little nephew but it won’t be for a few days yet, as I’ve come down with a cold. And the last thing I want is to pass my germs on to a newborn or my sister-in-law, who as we all know needs as much strength as she can get right now!

This moment has brought back so many memories of when Nikoleta was born.

I also gave birth in winter and being our first, we had lots of visitors. Steve and I have a fairly large group of family and friends who were very excited to meet our new bubba- and for that we are very grateful.

However, the truth is it does become overwhelming- especially considering we had over 300 guests coming through the door in the first month.

The worst thing was at around week 4, our little girl ended up with a terrible cough and we headed to the paediatrician. Straight away he sent us to pathology to have her tested for whooping cough.

Now just imagine- here I am- a new mum trying to recover from labour, struggling with breastfeeding and now I am told my baby needs to be tested for whooping cough!

I vividly remember the pathologist poking Nikoleta’s nose and throat to take a swab for testing. Nikoleta screamed and I cried the entire time we were there- I was a real mess. It takes one week to receive the results and this felt like an entire year. Steve and I were so worried and hardly slept- we both jumped every time our little girl coughed. Thank the Lord, it wasn’t whooping cough- but the scare was awful.

This experience changed my views on visiting newborns and made me realise, although it is the happiest time for parents- it’s also a delicate one. So nowadays, these are my thoughts on visiting a new mum:

- I never visit a newborn if we have been sick. Whether it be a cough, sneeze, runny nose, sore tummy or any kind of virus- I give it a few weeks to ensure it has completely left our system. Newborns have fragile immune systems and even a minor cold can make a baby sick- which I feel is unfair for baby and mum (who will have to mend their bubba back to good health).

- I always wash my hands before picking up a newborn. Even if I have done so before we enter a home, out of courtesy I’ll do it again to give the new mum peace of mind. Exposing babies to germs is not my job and I know from myself and mums around me- we can all become germaphobes as soon as a newborn enters our life.

- We make our visit a short and sweet one. As much as I would love to hang around and spend time with my friend and their new baby, I know now is not the time. New mums need to do things like feed, put their baby to sleep in a quiet environment and rest up as much as they can.

- I avoid wearing strong perfume, as they may linger on for hours after a visit and are often overpowering for baby and mother- who have a heightened sense of smell.

- I no longer ask to hold a baby. Yes this is a hard one, as new babies are so adorable and everyone loves a cuddle. But now I wait for the mum to offer and if she doesn’t- I completely understand and would never be offended by this- I totally get and respect it.

- I only offer advice if I am asked- and even then, I always tell parents- I’m no expert. All I can tell them is my first hand experiences with Nikoleta and hope they can gain something from it. But every baby is different, as is every mother. So I would never force my opinions on others and tell them there is a “right” or “wrong” way. What works for one mum, may not work for another.

- I never judge another mum, it’s not what I’m there for- I am there to visit and congratulate them. The way they decide to parent is 100% their choice and I am 100% behind them. This can be a challenging time for new mums and my best piece of advice has always been – “Do what works for you and your baby.”

So as I sit here writing this, I’m hoping I feel 100% better asap because I just can’t wait to meet our new little prince.