Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween

I love all things spooky and supernatural and so I love Halloween.  Not the annoying trick or treating part but the costumes.  When else is it acceptable to dress up like zombies and vampires and walk the streets mumbling and groaning?  Having said that, these ones were very last minute.  We headed to Motat for Olde Hallows Eve and it was great fun.  They had ghostly horse and carriage rides, coloured lights, fog machines, face painting, actors in Victorian garb and free freaky photos (yes that's B's head posing with us).  For the late night visitors (we left around half eight) they also had a steampunk band playing.  It was a good free night out.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


One of the favourite things to do was collecting eggs on the farm.

I wish we had the room to have chickens like these lovely ladies.

Monday, October 24, 2011

down on the farm

There are many stories but I'd rather just share the photos I took while we away.  The kids were out every day doing/watching farming things, shearing, riding, eeling, hunting rabbits, rounding up stock, collecting eggs, spotlighting, fishing...

The boys loved the horses.

I'm amazed how these two look so alike in this photo.   Her mum and I are first cousins but we don't look alike at all.  I'm not sure what relation the kids are officially but we just call them cousins, keeps it simple that way.  They got on brilliantly.

There was a fair bit of farm biking involved (with helmets).  Check out the city kid gumboots!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


We found some pools of bubbling mud and the jury was out on the stench.

"Ewwwww this is the most disgusting smell in the world" (M7)
"This is the best smell ever! I love it!" (R5)

On our way South we stayed overnight in (smelly) Rotorua and it was really great.  Our fancy motel (a tiny step up from a youth hostel), had it's own spa which  the kids thought was awesome.  We managed three swims that afternoon!

Our first was in the natural hot river near Wai-O-Tapu, the second in the boiling hot mineral pools at the motel and the third in the spa above.  B and I were introduced to the hot river when we went to Rotorua many years ago.  Back then we stayed at the YHA and spent our money on an amazing day tour... which included scree running, a bbq lunch in the bush and a blissful soak in the hot river. Maybe the polynesian spa is nice but you really can't beat the beauty of nature.  Bliss.

It hadn't occurred to me that the boys have never stayed in a motel/hotel before.  I think in the past seven years every one of our family holidays has been to Christchurch or camping.  They were pretty excited.

The next morning we headed to the local markets where we bought coffee and the boys had a play.  That's also where we found those boiling mud pools fenced off in the park.

Before we left for Masterton we took the gondola up the hill...

and the luge down (a couple of times).  It was so much fun.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

scenic lookout

Just a scenic lookout on the way... we live in such a gorgeous country.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

we're back

I know you probably didn't miss us (the beauty of being able to schedule blog posts) but we've spent a lovely week with our farm cousins in the Wairarapa.  Such a fantastic time was had by all and us townies got to have a heap of farm experiences.  Our kids all got on beautifully (thank goodness) and we look forward to having them all to stay with us sometime soon.  I have lots of photos to share but for now here are my favourites of the girls... Mum you can click on the photos to see them bigger.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

this moment

{this moment} -  A single photo  - no words - capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 
Thanks SouleMama

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

this week I learnt...

that if a recipe says "shortcrust pastry" it doesn't mean flaky puff pastry.

I didn't know if it would make much difference but it really did.   We had to smash holes in the top of the puffed up pastry circles so we could put the jam in.  Oops.

Of course the boys still liked them... they'll eat almost anything.

From a cute book the boys brought home from the library.

Monday, October 10, 2011

viva la france

Sometimes being forced to try somewhere new is a really great thing.
We went to Cosset with Nana and Poppa recently and it was so crowded that we had to go elsewhere (but not before I grabbed a piece of cake for our youngest as most cafes have nothing dairy free).

We've been to Les Pyrenees French deli several times before but had forgotten how good their food is.  This delicious eclair was sticky and sweet.

The Cosset coconut slice was pretty great too.

French cuisine is amazing.  Just check out these drool worthy desserts.

 And of course la fromage (cheese).

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Auckland is awesome

Where else in the country can you go on a class trip and get to touch a three month old crocodile?

Then get to travel on a tiny train with your friends?

And who said crocodiles and bunnies can't happily coexist?

Auckland is so culturally diverse, so different from Christchurch where I grew up.  This is our boy and his classmates on their school trip last week.  There are boys in his class too but they went on the zoo trip instead (they got to choose).  The wee sweetie that he's standing beside is his "girlfriend" he says with a slight blush and a shy smile.  It's pretty gorgeous.