Tuesday, January 31, 2012

last play date of the holidays

Yesterday the boys had friends over for playing, and fruit eating.  The table is so beautiful now.  Yes I will post a wide shot one day when I remember to take one.

If it had been dark they'd have been enjoying our new backyard lighting made from a bit of garden hose and fairy lights.  We may upgrade it to a hula hoop if we find a cheap/free one around.

When everything got a little crazy... 4 player wii cart racing action sorted them out.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

just doing it

A few months back I joined the local YMCA and am loving the classes there, and the fact that it's usually filled with school mummies and oldies when I go.  But with the school holidays I needed to find some other way to get my exercise in... so I'm on week five of a "first day to 5k" running programme.  I haven't actually signed up for any sort of 5k race/fun run but I would like to... maybe.  Maybe I need to Just Do It Simoney?

On Thursday the boys scooted and I jogged the 3km to our local mall.  They were so cute and encouraging (most of the time).  It was a pretty hot day and all three of us were disgustingly sweaty by the time we got there.  Thank goodness we only ran into one person we knew (Hi Hannah!).  We bought popsicles and relaxed in the bar by the cinema.  I love the sour tongue twister ones, yum!

Yesterday I thought we could go a bit further a field.  So on the recommendation of another Auckland blogger (thanks Stacia), we headed to Pakuranga, to this place.  It was lovely.

B dropped the boys and I (with their bikes) at the start of the walkway and drove the 5km to the other end.  Then he hopped on his bike and rode to meet us.  Being right by the water most of the way was lovely, although the kids had to be really careful not to ride into the sea once or twice!  So perhaps not the best ride for kids just starting out, or for nervous parents.  I was running most of the way and so no photos of the coastal track bits sorry.  Got these photos on my phone camera afterwards.
There is a really cool snakes and ladders playground with slides, ladders and numbered steps.  A massive game board really.  The boys made a wee friend and they played for a while before we settled down for a picnic lunch on the grassy area right by the playground.

 You can't see it but there was a wee shelly beach behind us.  We'll be going back there again with togs next time, and towels.  It looked very shallow and maybe not really great for swimming but perhaps a bit of a paddle.
 I think the best part though was all being out and active together.  I'm loving the boys at this age.  So able and independent, and yet still so sweet and cuddly too.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

welcome home

The boys flew back this morning and it's so nice to have them back.

 I realised this afternoon that I had actually missed them more than I thought.

Our house feels whole again.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

pickled red onions

Delicious Pickled red onions from one of the Moosewood cookbooks.
Great in salads, sandwiches, on pizza... even the kids love them.

1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water
2-3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp peppercorns
4 red onions thinly sliced
  1. Mix the marinade ingredients together and stir till the sugar is dissolved (I used a big jar and shook it up).
  2. Place the sliced onions in a colander and pour a jug of boiling water over them so that they soften a little bit. Drain.
  3. Place the onions into the marinade and refrigerate for several hours before you use them.  They'll last for ages in the fridge but if you're anything like us you'll be gobbling them up.

Monday, January 23, 2012

when the kids are away...

The boys have been away in Christchurch for the week.
A whole week!
They're having a wonderful time being spoiled and loved.
We're enjoying the peace and quiet.

I've read three fiction books (some selected from the library due to the cover photos
(I have a weird thing for photos of the backs of heads)).

The two of us went to see the seriously awesome movie Hugo.  You must see it in 3D.  We saw Tintin with the boys before they left and although it was really good, our consensus is that the 3D wasn't really worthwhile. Hugo on the other hand... AMAZING!

We've watched lots of blu rays,  
and I haven't cooked dinner once.

It's a little crazy to be a childless couple again.
Thanks to Vitek for the photos from yesterday's (belated) work Christmas party.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Our 7 1/2 year old decided recently that he wanted to make himself an elephant.

 NanaD was here to help.

He loves to whistle while he works.   The elephant turned out great but I don't have a finished photo of it sorry.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


 At the age of 36 I recently bought myself a colouring book (and one for my mum too).

 The boys and I spent some time outside one afternoon near the end of term.

It was wonderfully relaxing.

Monday, January 9, 2012

holiday loving

 Today we got to have lots of snuggles with this charming young man.

We have a big time baby lover in our house.

 Oh he's just far too cute (5 months old).

 And I received this somewhat cryptic note. 

 Apparently he was unable to ask for himself.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

game on!

Last weekend we taught our littlest how to play one of our favourite games... Dominion.

All four of us played together and the kids totally beat us.
Uh oh.

This weekend it is wet, wet, wet.  We made a big list of games (wii, cards and board games) with each of us contributing two or three games we'd like to play over the weekend.  So far we've played Dominion, Race for the Galaxy, Super Mario Galaxy and Animal Crossing, with a round of Skip-Bo scheduled for after dinner.  If it was a bit warmer we might venture to the school pool but it's not quite feeling tropical.

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

Thursday, January 5, 2012

seriously good chocolate chip cookies

I found this recipe on Good Magazine's "the vegan baker"  blog.  I've been trying on and off for years to find a good chewy/crunchy dairy free cookie. These are really great as they use oil instead of egg and butter. Give it a go but please don't blame me if your jeans get tight!  I really should be deleting this myself rather than blogging it for future reference, I have eaten far too many of these. Nom nom nom.
  • 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • ½ c firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¼ c white sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 c dairy-free chocolate chips (I use Pams brand)
Preheat oven to 150°C.
Mix the oil and sugars together in a medium sized bowl.
Add the water and vanilla. Mix well until the wet ingredients are fully incorporated.
Sift dry ingredients straight into the bowl of wet ingredients and mix.
Fold in the cup of chocolate chips. You can use more chips if you like. Nuts are also a nice addition. You can pretty much add anything you like.
Using a tablespoon, measure out the dough onto two  baking-papered trays. Leave 5 cm between each drop of dough to allow for spreading.
Bake for 15–20 minutes or until the edges are brown and the centres are pale.  Bake less time for chewier cookies.
Leave to cool for 10 minutes before devouring.  Makes about 20 cookies.

The ones in the second picture are made using chopped dark chocolate and walnuts... anything goes really.

Monday, January 2, 2012


 Sewing stockings from the cheap Spotlight fabrics.

Cooking dinner and eating it outdoors (at the newly stripped and oiled table)

Baking awesome vegan chocolate chippies... recipe to follow soon.