Tuesday, November 29, 2011

things I'm loving

We had a great weekend with NanaRobyn and Grandpa coming to stay.  They were only here three nights but we had a lovely time and got so much done!  I'm almost done with the living room repainting (one lot of window sills to go) and look what B and his Dad made for us...

They made us this wonderful outdoor dining table at the weekend. From a door B bought on trademe.  We ate our roast mutton (from the farm) dinner on it with NanaRobyn and Grandpa and it was fantastic.  No more sitting with your plate on your lap in the backyard yay!

 Afternoon tea was eaten there today too (just without the table cloth and wine).

I made these neighbour gifts after being inspired by Your Home and Garden magazine.

I loved watching the boys decorate their tree with Nana at the weekend.  We got a larger (fake) tree a year ago and so the little one became the boys' tree.  We let them choose a new decoration every year and they're got a pretty big collection now.  I like the idea that one day they'll be showing them to my grand kids (fingers crossed).

Big brother chose one to remind him of GG this year and little brother chose the angel.

He's loving making chocolate Lego Minifigures for his upcoming 6th birthday party.  NanaD and Poppa brought the ice cube tray in a Lego store overseas and it's perfect for chocolates.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Next year I'll be gong to two different athletics days...  junior and middle school.  I'm trying to ignore the fact that my blog may be permanently busted and just post some new photos.  Busy and tired though.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


So I changed the privacy settings on my online photo album, changed them back again and still no photos on the blog. It's so annoying! Any suggestions or ideas on how to repair it would be welcome.

I'm in bed blogging from my cell phone. Technology is awesome. I might even find a photo to add from my phone...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

is my blog broken?

On my computer most of the images (and the header) on my blog are just big black squares with white circles and minus signs.  Oh dear.  Please leave me a comment and let me know if you can see my pictures!

dairy free cream (easy and cheap)

1. Put a can of coconut cream in the fridge for a few hours, the fat will come to the top.
2.  Chill your beaters and a metal mixing bowl too.
3. Open the can and scoop out all of the solid coconut cream. You can use the remaining liquid in a smoothie or something else but the solid stuff is what you'll whip up.
4.  Beat it till it's like whipped cream (I added 1T of icing sugar and a few drops of vanilla). 

Oh yeah this stuff is really, really good.  It'll be going on the pavalova at Christmas this year.  It stayed thick and creamy for a couple of days (till we gobbled it all up).  I'm not sure that it'd be any healthier than cream from a cow but we can all eat it and that's amazing!

Saturday, November 19, 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 for the inspiration.

Friday, November 18, 2011

things I'm loving

Getting some Christmas things under way in the hope that there won't be too much to organise in December.

 I adore that this wee guy is loving reading.  He's so keen to get stuck in each afternoon and has stormed up through the levels in his first year at school.  I think books are just in our blood.

Loving having finally painted our living room after more than ten years living with grubby looking walls.  It's so clean!  Also pleased that I took the neighbour's advice to ditch the ugly glass light shades on the old chandelier.  One was broken anyway and I've never liked them.  I don't love it now either but it's a big improvement.  Once we get our things back on the walls it'll be lovely.

Finally on the domestic front I'm loving using the washing line in the car port.  I've been avoiding it all winter but really it's such a good option for the unpredictable Auckland weather.  I even sewed myself a peg apron from an old op shop skirt that I bought purely for the fabric.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

after school snacking

 Milk, cookies and apple for afternoon tea today before we headed out for some kite flying.

Yummy oatmeal and raisin ones from Smitten Kitchen (such a cute name).  I love the Internet.

Someone didn't want to share.  No this shot is not set up.

So greedy (and cheesy).

 The boys agreed that the neighbours might like to try some.

We're still doing our intentional acts of kindness but we haven't made it once a week like we had planned to at the start of the year.  I wish I'd kept a proper record.  Maybe next year?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


At dinner we were talking about what we're grateful for.  It's a thing we usually do and frequently I'm surprised and delighted by what the boys come up with.  Sometimes we say what the best or worst part of our day was, but usually it's just nice to be thankful.  Thankful to daddyB for working to earn money, thankful for the people who grew the produce on our plates or the animals that died for our dinner, and we always thank the cook (usually me).

Tonight big brother was thankful for his little brother... and the berry crumble that he'd made for pudding.

Little brother said "I'm grateful for mama for being our big home worker."
I had to write it down immediately, it's so nice to be appreciated by a five year old!  I've been reminded this week how much they need me around and how little they still are.  I'm grateful that I can be a stay at home mum, even now that they're both at school.

I do struggle with feeling like it's not enough, like I should find work outside the home to make me a proper contributing member of society or something.  Simultaneously I feel like what I do is so important and I wouldn't particularly want to entrust the care of our two lovelies to someone else.

Being at home means that I have time to bake bread, I can do regular parent help (I get to know the boys' classmates), I can be there for school events and pick them up each afternoon.  It also means B can work his long hours without the stress of finding a babysitter for the boys.  I never get bored at home but sometimes a little lonely if I don't make an effort to get out.  Having no extended family nearby is hard going, I imagine having a Nana or Aunty to call on would be amazing.  There are things I could find to grizzle about but really why bother?  Life is what you make it after all and ours is pretty sweet.

What are you grateful for today?
Leave me a comment, I'd love to know.  x

Monday, November 14, 2011

free stuff for families: the gardens

Being a single income family I'm always on the lookout for cool free stuff to do and we really have such a wealth of options here in Auckland.  Perhaps I might blog about it a bit more as I know lots of friends/other bloggy mummies are in the same boat. 

Sculpture in the Gardens is on until the 12th of February 2012.  If you go on a Sunday there is live music from 11:30 - 2:30.  Sadly we just missed it when we went but we had a lovely afternoon there.  Next time we'll take a picnic and maybe a ball to kick around.

If you have kids make sure to check out the Potter Children's Garden while you're there.  It is awesome and has expanded a lot since we last visited.

Saturday, November 12, 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 for the inspiration.

Friday, November 11, 2011

halloween disco

I took the boys to the school disco tonight, a belated Halloween affair.  I dressed up as Pippi Longstocking.

Grrrrrr argh!!

Didn't get a photo of my odd stripy socks but got one of the boys to get my pigtails.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

things I'm loving

Wookie Cookies from this Star Wars Cookbook.  Cinnamon and chocolate chips.  
Be warned they are very yummy!

The toadstool fabric which I sewed into a monitor cover.

This cute badge I got from Plastic Fairy at KraftBomb. I also got this lovely Christmas bunting too.  
Thanks R&I for the birthday spending money.

There are many other things but I'm not in a bloggy frame of mind (isn't that a Billy Joel song?) at the moment.  I used to feel like I needed to post every day but these days I'm quite okay with my sporadic posting.  Another busy week.  Thanks for all your lovely comments about GG, we appreciate all of your thoughts and good wishes.  I especially love my Aunty Dianne's quote from Prince William "grief is the price we pay for love".

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

we miss you Nana GG

Our most dear, lovely Nana passed away early on Saturday.  She was 89 years young.  We are all missing her but so lucky to have known such a kind, wonderful lady.  I am reminded of a quote I saw in the staff room at school... "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."   There have been many tears and also lots of talks about the good times we had with her. She was "GG" to all of her great grand children, and Nana to us bigger kids.

She had only been my Nana for 17 years, she adopted me as one of her grandchildren when B and I started going out in our late teens.  Or maybe I adopted her?  Nana always made me feel so welcome and loved.

She loved to knit for others and made us this wonderful blanket/shawl.  It's from such lovely soft wool and was so stretchy and warm for our winter baby back in 2004.  We used it daily as she told us that it wasn't to be kept for special occasions.  This is the obligatory coming home from the hospital shot.

Whenever we'd go to Christchurch to stay, she'd come up from her home in Geraldine to see us.

A couple of times she even made the long trip up to Auckland to visit.  Once we took her to the Sky Tower and to visit my work (TV3), where she got to meet John Campbell and Carol Hirschfeld.  They both thought Nana was delightful (they told me later).

When the boys were 2 and 3, we went and stayed with her in Geraldine.  I went to a conference and GG, B and the boys had lovely times hanging out and playing together.  She read to them from her old books and sat and watched while they ran around being silly in her garden.  One night we took her out for a pub dinner.  I think GG enjoyed the boys even more than her meal.  She was always smiling.

I feel so fortunate to have known Joan, she really was a special person.  And no I can't write this without crying no matter what that quote says.