Writers: Alayna Flighty

Alayna Flighty

Alayna lives in Pukerua Bay with her husband and two beautiful children, where she runs Laynescreative.com. She's a qualified primary school teacher with a passion for the arts. Alayna believes when children engage with the arts they develop their language, fine motor and problem-solving skills, and improve their overall confidence.

Curried Roasted Pumpkin Soup – Gayel Pitcorn, Sweet Louise Member

Curried Roasted Pumpkin Soup - Gayel Pitcorn, Sweet Louise Member

This Curried Roasted Pumpkin Soup is another recipe from our Sweet October collection in support of Sweet Louise. Throughout the month of October we will be sharing a few delicious recipe that you can find in the The Sweet October Cookbook.

The Sweet October Cookbook was created by Sweet Louise, a national organisation supporting Kiwis with incurable breast cancer. The organisation has launched The Sweet October Cookbook, a collection of 31 recipes for 31 days.

All proceeds from Sweet October will enable Sweet Louise to continue its work supporting New Zealanders living with incurable breast cancer.
Each year, Sweet Louise members receive $500 worth of vouchers to redeem on practical support including meal delivery, garden and home maintenance, wellness experiences and family outings.

Sweet Louise also provides emotional and psychological support through regular contact with the charity’s Support Coordinators who are out in the community connecting with those that need them.

Sweet Louise gives social support and creates connections between members through monthly member meetings, regular social events, and an online support group.

If you would like to support this wonderful cause you can buy the Sweet October cookbook from the here

Curried Roasted Pumpkin Soup

“I’ve enjoyed this curried pumpkin soup recipe for many years and have adapted it over time. As an art teacher, I also love taking some in to work and sharing it with my colleagues as a winter warmer!”


1⁄2 whole orange fleshed pumpkin, skinned and diced (approx. 650g)
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large potato, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1⁄2 tsp curry powder
1⁄2 tsp ground turmeric
1⁄4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp honey
750ml chicken stock
1⁄2 cup milk, cream or coconut cream
Salt & freshly ground pepper
1⁄4 cup sour cream or coconut cream
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves, parsley or crispy shallots

Heat the oven to 180°C.
1. Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread out the diced pumpkin. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and bake for about 20 – 30 minutes – this helps to intensify the flavour of the pumpkin.

2. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan and gently sweat the onions for about 5-10 minutes then add the ground spices and fry for a further 2 -3 minutes.

3. Add all the remaining ingredients including the baked pumpkin and cook gently for about 30 minutes or until cooked.

4. Cool slightly and then process in batches in a food processor until smooth.

5. Finally add either the milk, cream or coconut cream depending on your taste, and heat through gently.

6. Season to taste.

7. Garnish with the whipped sour cream or coconut cream and garnishes of your choice.

Healthy Date & Cacao Bliss Balls From Jan Martin, Sweet Louise Member

Healthy Date & Cacao Bliss Balls

These Recipes are from a special collection of 31 recipes for the 31 days of October launch to support Kiwis living with incurable breast cancer.

The 1st of October, Sweet Louise, a national organisation supporting Kiwis with incurable breast cancer, has launched its inaugural The Sweet October Cookbook, a collection of 31 recipes for 31 days.

Featuring sweet and savoury concoctions from Al Brown, Sarah Gandy, Jesse Mulligan, Matilda Green, Shavaughn Ruakere, Karla Goodwin, Jordan Rondel, Angela Berrill and Hannah Barrett as well as members of the Sweet Louise community, The Sweet October Cookbook has something for everybody – no matter what cooking ability.

The e-book will be a highlight of Sweet October and builds on last year’s successful culinary events at various locations around New Zealand. This October, Sweet Louise aim to raise a milestone $100,000.

“This year we wanted to acknowledge members of Sweet Louise – New Zealanders living with, or those that have passed away from secondary breast cancer – with a beautiful book filled with nutritious food and comforting culinary delights” says Sweet Louise CEO Philippa Reed.

Throughout the month of October Kiwi Families will bring you a small taste of the delicious treats you will find in this wonderful cook book. If you would like to Find out more or support this wonderful cause check out sweetlouise.co.nz

Healthy Date & Cacao Bliss Balls

“I found this recipe on Google and have added and adjusted it to my liking. I try very hard to be refined sugar free. This is my ‘sweet treat’ after dinner in the evenings – but only one of course!”

MAKES: 16 balls
12 Medjoul dates, stoned and cut in half
1 cup almond meal
1⁄2 cup shredded coconut and 1/3 cup extra for rolling
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup cacao powder
1 tbsp chia seeds
1⁄2 cup dark chocolate chips, optional

1. Place the dates in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for 15 minutes and drain well.
2. In a food processor, process the dates, almond meal, shredded coconut, coconut oil, cacao powder and chia seeds until the mixture comes together. Transfer to a bowl and leave to stand for 20 minutes to soften.
3. At this stage, add the chocolate chips to the mixture if using.
4. Place remaining coconut in a shallow dish.
5. Roll the mixture into balls (about 30g each) and then into the coconut to coat.


“Drink first thing in the morning – this juice saw me through my 2000 breast cancer recovery and again this past year. It has enabled me to overcome tiredness and has boosted my immunity”

2-4 carrots
1 apple
2 kiwifruit
1 orange
1 handful of parsley or kale (optional)

Juice all of the above ingredients together. Enjoy!!

Egg Carton Crafts – Kākāriki Masquerade Mask

Egg Carton Crafts - Kākāriki Masquerade Mask

Find out how to make your own masquerade mask from an egg carton. This egg carton craft is perfect for kids of all ages. And there’s no end to the different types of birds, animals and creatures that you can create. Continue reading »

Robot Craft – BlockBots

Robot craft-blockbots

Kids love robot crafts! This craft activity is one I run in my art class during the school holidays. Find out how your kids can make their own wooden robot craft, using old wooden building blocks at home. Continue reading »

Father’s Day Card – Abstract Boat Painting

Fathers day card abstract boat 6

This activity is inspired by a session I ran with my afterschool art class. The kids were aged 8 to 13 and they had a wonderful time exploring paint with a pallet knife. I thought these abstract boat paintings would make amazing Father’s Day cards. Continue reading »

Carrot Muffins

Carrot muffins

Carrot muffins are a really tasty treat that you and your kids can enjoy. They are so simple to make, which makes them, a great recipe to bake with your kids. Continue reading »

Acrylic Pour onto Upcycled Toy Chest

Acrylic Pour onto Upcycled Toy Chest

We have an old wooden toy chest that we acquired from my Poppy some time ago now. It’s been one of those must-get-around-to-doing projects for a long time. As I’ve been playing around with the acrylic pour technique, I thought ‘why not an acrylic pour onto an upcycled toy chest?’ Continue reading »

Paper Mãché Volcano

papier mache volcano

Paper Mãché Volcanoes are such a fun activity for children of all ages to make. But they’re especially fun for young kids, who’ll love playing with the goop once the volcano has ‘exploded’. Continue reading »

How to Make Painted Rocks – Fruit characters

How to make Painted stones - Fruit characters

I don’t think painting stones and rocks will ever get boring! There’s just something fun about painting on a surface that isn’t paper and is found in nature. These painted stone fruit characters are a fun little project for kids of all ages. Continue reading »

Michelle’s Gluten and Dairy Free Lasagne

Gluten free and Dairy free lasagne

Michelle Wooley made the change to go gluten and dairy free with her family. Continue reading »

Welcome to Kiwi Families

We bring thousands of families together to learn from each other.

Join a community raising great kids: