Raw Avocado & Cacao Mousse


Dear Ladies,

Today’s healthy recipe was given to me by the lovely ladies at About Life in Port Melbourne, after I tried this yummy dessert treat at their recent opening. Simple to make, tasty to eat, and you completely sugar and guilt-free.

What more could you want every afternoon?!




What you need:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao powder (I use organic, and even Coles has it these days)
  • 1⁄2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds (white, black or whatever mix you have)
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar (or maple syrup or rice malt if you don’t like it too sweet)
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoons coconut flakes (quickly pan fry it for extra crunch!)
  • 6 raspberries


What you do:

  1. Combine the avocado, cacao powder, coconut milk, chia seeds, agave and water in a blender and blitz until smooth.
  2. Divide the mousse into four small bowls.
  3. Top with the raspberries and sprinkle with coconut flakes.

DIY Toothpaste


Dear Ladies,

This is perhaps the easiest and cheapest recipe of all the ones I use, and also the first I started with on my zero waste journey – toothpaste. It has only two ingredients, two steps, and will replace about $2 worth of spending every week…which is an extra 25 coffees a year.

Save that money and your health and make your own! You don’t need all those other ingredients and packaging to look after your teeth.



What you need:

  • bi-carb soda – a couple of tablespoons will be enough
  • a dash of water – to make a paste
  • an empty glass container – wide enough to fit your toothbrush

How to make it:

  • Place all ingredients in container.
  • Shake or stir together with your toothbrush and use twice daily!
  • A little note: after many years of eating ‘minty’ toothpaste, you will no doubt be used to this taste and the sweetness manufacturers add – if the plain bicarb taste is too much to handle at first, add a couple of drops of peppermint DoTerra essential oil (or any other edible brand) or any other flavour you like and munch away! After a while, you probably won’t bother.

STORE REVIEW – About Life, Port Melbourne


Name of store: About Life

Where is it located:  Port Melbourne, Victoria (with other stores in Sydney and NSW)

What did you like about it: It is full of healthy, organic, ethical and sustainable food options, plus a juice bar and lots of other take away food options.

Would you recommend it to friends/family and why:

Yes, definitely! In fact, I have already visited its sister store in Surry Hills. I love all their homemade dips, meals and jams (especially the Chia & Raspberry one), plus their nut butter range.

Who do you think would like to use it: Anyone looking for healthy, conscious food, that is sick of the lack of choice at other supermarkets for real food.

What three words would you use to describe it:  Healthy, Creative, Delicious!

Want to try it for yourself? Check out the About Life website for locations.



(in the essence of full disclosure, we list this so you know where they come from!)

Name: Collette Swindells (AYLA Maternity Founder & Designer)

How do you spend your days? Working many different roles within AYLA Maternity – designer, writer, stylist, accountant, manager, the list goes on!

How do you spend your weekends? Sleeping in, catching up with friends and at the occasional market, selling AYLA Maternity‘s clothing.

If you could have dinner with one person, who would it be and why? My favourite architect – Oscar Niemeyer. He worked almost until he passed away, aged 105 and is a great inspiration in life and design to me.

DIY Surface Spray

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-DIY-Surface-Spray-Ingredients copy

Dear Ladies,

It really doesn’t get any easier or cheaper than this! I don’t care how many times Coles reduces the price on your Spray’n’Swipe, if you wouldn’t dare drink it, why are you putting it on your food preparation benches?



AYLA-Maternity-Blog-DIY-Surface-Spray-Final-Bottle copy

What you need:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 4 tablespoons of castille soap
  • empty spray bottle
  • 15 drops of your favourite essential oil – optional, but oh-so-lovely!

How to make it:

  • Combine all ingredients in spray bottle.
  • Shake to mix, then spray to use!

Celebrating Your Amazing Self – Caitlin Fitzpatrick



Dear Ladies,

Today’s post from Caitlin’s blog is a great reminder for us all about the need to slow down and recognise out achievement. Too often, we get caught up looking forward, we don’t have time to look back and see all that we have already experienced.

Take a moment for yourself today!



Celebrating Your Amazing Self!

Often we are so busy thinking about the future and what we need to do to become successful that we forget to acknowledge how much we have evolved. When was the last time you truly acknowledged your processes that have led you to be where you are now in life?

I have recently been dedicating an enormous amount of time and energy into getting my business up and running online.  I have even been dreaming about it! When I recently shared with an old friend of mine everything I’d been working on, I also found myself explaining to her that I should be closer to reaching my goals and that I needed to work even harder to get there.

As I continued to talk about what I still needed to do to be successful, my friend kindly interrupted me: “Do you realise how much you have achieved Caitlin? Do you realise you are now able to help others?”

I was shocked a bit at first and didn’t really get her point however she continued to remind me.

  1. I was reminded of the times when I stayed at her house, how I felt so much anxiety if I had forgotten to bring my anti-depressants, as I knew it would follow a few days of hell if I missed one single dose.

  2. I was reminded of how I was the one who needed much SUPPORT to get through life.

  3. I was reminded of all the effort I have put into learning about myself, learning how to meditate and how to live a natural and HOLISTIC LIFESTYLE.

I suppose there was part of me that didn’t want to remember those years of sadness, insomnia, pain, aches and meeting with endless useless conventional therapists.  But I am glad my friend reminded me because it has made me realise that I’M DOING NOT ONLY ALRIGHT, I ‘M DOING GREAT! I have definitely come a long way! I am now able to assist others with their health and wellness journey. I would never have thought that might happen over 10 years ago.

So today, I encourage you to acknowledge how WELL you have done in your life!! Celebrate your growth and your amazing efforts in life that have led you to become the amazing person that you are today!




The Growth in Fashion’s Ethics


Dear Ladies,

It is no secret that I am very passionate about ethical and sustainable production in fashion. Essentially, my clothing label, AYLA Maternity was set up to prove that it is still possible to balance the needs of people, the planet and others – that we don’t need to exploit any of these elements just to turn a profit.

At first, this was a very unfamiliar concept, but probably not for the reasons you might assume. Only a year and a half ago, it was uncommon to find open criticism of the fashion industry and its dirty underbelly. But this wasn’t because people didn’t agree. When I spoke to people about just how bad things were, most had no idea what I was talking about. They hadn’t ever stopped to consider how and where all their cheap t-shirts were actually made, and the impact that it was having on the world.


But then things started to happen. Screenings of The True Cost began popping up. Fashion Revolution‘s ‘Who Made My Clothes‘ campaign gained traction, and it became common knowledge that workers were being drastically underpaid and overworked, while millions of tonnes of clothing were being thrown into landfill and their fibres polluting our oceans.

Ethics in fashion has proven, since then, to be more than just a buzz word, with brands and consumers alike finally starting to question how the fashion industry operates. Initiatives like Slavery Footprint now allow you to track the numbers of slaves who might work for you. Campaigners like Livia Firth have challenged celebrities to a Green Carpet Challenge, and asked everyone to wear their clothes more than 30 times. Designers like Tom Cridland have proudly made claims that their clothing will last more than 30 years.


So where does that leave us now? Will the fashion industry actually be able to change its dirty ways? I like to think so – I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing if I didn’t – but it is going to take a lot of work, and consumers will need to drive this change. It is no longer acceptable to claim ignorance – it is up to us to use our wallets to support those who are fighting hard to make positive change.



DIY Washing Powder

AYLA-Maternity-Blog-DIY-Washing Powder-Ingredients-Flatly

Dear Ladies,

I must admit, that while I know it is not the best use of water, I do love washing things. But when you add in all the chemicals you are sending down the drain, it can be an expensive habit for both you and the environment. So why not save yourself some money and be kinder on the world?



AYLA-Maternity-Blog-DIY-Washing Powder-Final-Product copy

What you need:

  • 420g bar of soap (or approximate size) – I like goats milk or olive oil ones
  • 1 cup of washing soda
  • 1/2 cup of citric acid
  • 1/4 cup coarse sea salt

What you do:

  • Grate soap.
  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Store in an airtight container and use 1 to 2 tablespoons in each wash.