Saturday, 28 April 2012

dinner party for 5...

My mother's birthday was 4 days ago but we couldn't stick around to cook her dinner, so tonight we are doing just that.  



freshly baked ciabatta bread

main meal

pork belly served on pureed parsnip & caramelized apple wedges 

with sides of-
watercress, walnut & parmesan salad with citrus dressing
whole grain mustard potato mash (for Dad who loves mash)


poached pears cooked in red wine 
maple walnut ice cream 

That is our delicious dinner menu for tonight, also love to cook with what's in season so pears, apples, parsnip, citrus and walnuts are great in seasons foods.  

What's cooking in your house this Sunday evening?

(photo's to come watch this space)

DIY: high chair make over

I'm a little bit opposed to big chunky looking furniture and the thought of buying a white, plastic high chair with some crazy pattern print on it did not excite me.

I was inspired by an article in a NZ House & Garden magazine (around May/June 2011 edition I think), where there was the background of a picture a super cool high chair.  At the time I was pregnant and thought that would be a cool idea for when the time came to purchase our high chair. 

What did I do?

My sister Dee found the perfect old school high chair for me, cost $20!!! bargain. 

Before photo:

1. I painted the chair in a dark charcoal grey then got a sweet wallpaper cut off from the local home design shop (bonus).

2. cover the sides and back of chair with your wallpaper, cut to size and paste with wall paper paste.

3. Allow to dry and then varnish with a high gloss polyurethane to get a nice glossy finish on the chair.  I did 3 coats to help seal the wallpaper and avoid little fingers picking at the edges in the future.

This was a fun little project that took little time at all, and now I have a high chair that sits neatly in the corner unnoticed.   

Thursday, 26 April 2012

motherhood & working... I made this decision last week (whether it is good or bad I made it), that I would go back to work 2 days a week put Summah in Kindy (which is awesome) and I'd work 9-4pm each day.  WELL, after 2 days in the salon I remember why I don't actually miss it everyday, not only because I now have this gorgeous wee girl that entertains me daily but there is just so much cattiness in a salon...big thumbs down!!! 

Then we have the factor of cost of sending Miss Summah to kindy for 2 days for little gain, so really looking back I've made the decision based on keeping my clients happy and not being able to let them go.  Reality check...they can find another hairdresser (most of them, some I do at home), my season of doing their hair is over and I'm on to new things.  This is exciting and will be a fun new adventure where I learn to retrain in being a mother (which take me the rest of my life) and other projects along the way, yes I will still be a hairdresser just not in someone else's salon.  At the moment I will pursue my wedding hairdressing business as this suits our family at this point in time.  Which is why I set it up 2 years ago, so when we had a family I could still work but hours that don't require child care.

So looking back to last week...I made a decision that wasn't sitting right at the time but I still went against what I knew was the right choice.  You live and learn and now I know what is the right choice for sure, no questions asked.  

Motherhood and working full time works for some and doesn't for others, those that don't work and are committed to being a stay at home Mum, are a dying breed. It is nice to be able to make that choice for your children's sake and make it work for your family, where you can live on one income.  People say times are tough now, but was it really any different for our parents (financially speaking), maybe we just think we need more and want to have everything brand new all the time.  At the end of the day time put into a small person is not wasted time, it's an investment and a blessing, and I need to embrace this more and not throw my days away by being too busy.  

And really how could I not want to spend my days with this gorgeous girl and her smile....

Enjoy your day xxx

(For the record I'm not opposed to working Mum's, some need too to survive, and I take my hat off to those who are solo Mum's with kids and making it work, bless you)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


ANZAC day is a day where we remember those that lost their lives fighting for the freedom we have in our country today...I am thankful for those that did.  But on the other hand ANZAC is a day to celebrate with my Mother as it's her birthday and that is exactly what we did this year.  

Tuesday Summah and I baked a delicious carrot cake and bought Mum a present, then we packed up the car Wednesday morning and drove out to Mum's (1hr 10mins drive). We had an amazing day with Mum, enjoying the beautiful weather, and relaxing in the gardens, taking in the gorgeous view as we dinned outside for a picnic lunch.  It was just brilliant and so much fun to celebrate another year with Mum.  

Here are some pic's from our day out:

(Because it's ANZAC Summah had a photo shoot in Dad's WWII replica jeep)

(what did I just hit???)

So Mum we hope you had a blessed day because we had a blessed day spending it with you. xxx 

Monday, 16 April 2012

what to cook?

I love food...(surprised I'm not bigger)...I always have, even since a child according to my parents, and now days I love to cook/bake and create yummy meals (which can be time consuming)

Tonight when dinner prep came round I was faced with lamb spare ribs, only a few vegetables (carrot, pumpkin, kumara, & red onion).  As I'm trying to only do a grocery shop every 2 weeks so we are getting low on vegetables, I really didn't have much to work with.

The challenge begins...


oh! and my sister gifted us with a HUGE!!! packet of Halloumi...yum!!! not just any halloumi either, but halloumi made from sheeps milk.  I lost my mind when she left it in our fridge after visiting recently.


This is what I came up with, a simple and tasty couscous roast vegetable salad, with fresh baby spinach and rocket from our wee garden (yay!! love home grown).  Then slices of halloumi, cooked in fry pan to heat and tossed through the salad. I added lemon zest and juice to the couscous too, and no dressing was needed.  The spare ribs had fresh rosemary finely chopped and sprinkled with sea salt, and cracked pepper then baked in oven at 200C for 20mins.  Serve and eat.

It was delicious if I do say so myself! 

(On a side note I'm thinking my blog is going to feature food lots, as I love to cook and create yummy dishes to eat, so if you are a foodie enjoy).

Saturday, 14 April 2012

with love from Singapore...

August last year my husband got to spend a week in Singapore for work, people asked why don't you go? ... let's see I was 8 months pregnant and the thought of spending 7 days in Singapore with HOT weather didn't excite me too much.  Otherwise "YES!" I would have jumped at the idea, Singapore is a fantastic place to visit, with some delicious food.  

I think I have been given the best gift from my husbands trip to Singapore though and that is he had this black olive fried rice dish while over there and he came home and has recreated it.  Now it is a regular meal in our house, super tasty and so easy to make, so I asked Steve's permission if I could share his little 
Singapore treat with my blog readers.

Here is it:

Kao Pad Nahm Liap (Black Olive Rice)


1 Cup rice - cooked and rinsed, set aside

250 grams minced Pork meat
1 clove garlic - finely chopped
2 cm Ginger - finely chopped
1 Cup Shrimp
8-10 Black Olives - finely chopped
2 Fresh Chillies - chopped
1 Green Mango - julienned (can be hard to find in NZ, look in your local fruit vege shop)
1 Lime - quartered
Mung Bean Sprouts - handful
Cilantro/Coriander - handful finely chopped
1/2 Cup Cashew nuts (pan fry if you want) - chopped
1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce


Heat oil in pan (wok), add garlic and ginger, brown to flavour oil.  Add pork, season with salt and pepper and then cook through.  Add rice, black olives (add chillies if not fresh), cook through, add shrimp, soy sauce and oyster sauce.

Place in middle of plate, garnish with coriander.  Serve with fresh chilli, spring onion, green mango, mung beans, cashew nuts and limes on the side.  Season to taste.  When eating mix it all together for an explosion of flavours.

Serves 2-3
(it looks kind of boring in the photo but it is really tasty)

My new favourite meal, and it's easy to make on the weekends when you can't be bothered with fussy cooking.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

feijoa love...

With Autumn comes feijoa season and I love feijoas!!! so I have been baking up a feijoa storm to use the ample supply that I have at the moment, as there is only a certain amount one can eat before feeling ill.  

A feijoa cake baking adventure:

1. Collecting the feijoa's for baking...they taste good Mum!

2. Feijoa's ready for eating or baking with....yum!

3. Mix up your standard Banana cake recipe mix, but replace the banana with feijoa's (mash these to break them down a bit), add vanilla extract if you like too.  Mix it all up and then we poured the cake mixture into a muffin tin to make mini cakes.

4. Important step (or naughty step), licking the baking utensils of left over goodness.

5. Baked feijoa cake iced with your favourite butter icing flavour, we went with lemon and then sliced feijoas to decorate the top.

6. Invite a friend over for tea/coffee to share the feijoa love with or simply devour them yourself.  These are delicious and super easy to make, and stay nice and moist when baked in muffin tin size as a opposed to in a cake tin.
These could be freezed for treats outside of feijoa season too (non-iced of course).

A simple way to use your supply of feijoas.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

sand between the toes...

The joy of experiencing the beach and sand between your toes for the first time, must be so exciting.  It would be super cool to be able to remember some of those first experiences you have as a baby, because the pure excitement on their face as they explore and try to work out what they are discovering is beautiful.
On our latest adventure as family we went to Pauanui beach, the weather was gorgeous for one out of the 2 days away so we hit the beach.  

Summah's little toes were scrunched up with pure excitement with feeling sand between her toes for the first time.  Along with picking up handfuls of sand and letting it slip through her little fingers, both of these new experiences were most intriguing to her, and it was beautiful to watch.

It made me wonder was I this excited about the beach when I went for the first time?, for Summah though she couldn't have been happier.

It has been a great Easter Weekend.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Mini holiday...

Returning home after 4 days away is always hard, you have to unpack, wash, clean, get groceries, and of course up date your blog (that's the fun part), but it has been relaxing.

Steve was away for 4 days with starting a new job this week, so Summah, Austin (cat) and I packed up the car and headed out to my parents for a wee was awesome! We've had heaps of fun being out of town and surrounded by fresh country air with beautiful views of the ocean, and rolling green hills... am I making you all jealous yet? 

What did we do? Summah  cut her second tooth...yay!! a little miss grizzly pants to start the week off, but after that tooth came up she was back to her usual happy self.  We helped Banny (aka.Gran) with her garden, pruning, cleaning up weeds, and then mowing lawns, and that's hard work because the lawn is HUGE! Then for the next 1 1/2 days I had sewing lessons on quilting, and Summah entertained herself with toys or sitting on my lap watching me sew, it was great and the best bit is the conversations one can have with her mother.  I can only trust and pray that Summah and I will have as a great a relationship as Mum and I have.  It really is a treat to be able to sit and sew with Mum and just chat about life.  I love these moments and will always treasure them, and I totally appreciate them so much more now I am an adult and mother to Summah.   


(happy girl playing in her 1/2 finished quilt)

Life can throw you curve balls at any stage so I love to live in the now and appreciate the special moments every day brings, it's easy to get caught up in the stress of life and forget to stop to appreciate what is right under your nose sometimes. So it was nice to pause for a few days away from life in town and relax enjoying the company of my parents and not be rushed trying to get lots done. 

Hope you all have had a fun week too.
Happy Easter!
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