Friday, 31 August 2012

wedding month...

We've had 2 weddings in 2 weeks, this hasn't happened for us in a long time.
It's exciting, fun and so romantic for those getting married, very sweet really! 
For me though it's a chance to catch-up with various friends that have moved away, and you don't see them much anymore only at occasions like a wedding.
Then there is the other side for a lady...where you get to dress up! this is most exciting and sometimes an excuse to buy a new dress or a new pair of shoes.
I have done the latter this time, I had dresses in the wardrobe that needed an excuse to be worn and having two weddings in a row means they've been worn.

But alas a girl needs to try the outfit on before wearing it for the first time, so that is what I have done this evening.  It would be a disaster to have a wardrobe malfunction on the morning of an event, so always try on the outfit with some time spare.

Here we are, my blue dress which I bought for a steal price because it had a stain on it.  Totally pays to bargain sometimes, this was originally priced at just under $300, was on sale for $50 and I paid $30!!! 
I then took it to the dry cleaners and paid $15 and you wouldn't even know there was a big stain in it. 

I love it!! and my new shoes (which took a bit to find.) 
Now I can't wait for the wedding tomorrow, it's going to be so much fun, and the 2nd Saturday night out childless.  
Thanks to some great friends offering to look after grateful to them!!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

a little green bag...

Last a week a friend asked if I could make her a nappy (diaper) bag from an old dress of her's, so I said "Yes".
The fact is when I was pregnant I couldn't bring myself to pay $100 plus for a bag that was to carry all this stuff you were expected to cart with a newborn, realising that the phase would pass quickly. I went on a hunt to find some cool material and a pattern, neither of these proved too difficult to find.

As I've mentioned before in blogs I found my material at a interior design shop, this is my favourite place to buy from Turton Oliver. All up my bag to make cost roughly $25-30 a lot cheaper...although there were some stressful moments when sewing it!! with gritted teeth, broken needles, and some poor stitching (which required unpicking..dislike!!) at times the bag became finished.


I'm making my second bag which is going a lot better, I found my pattern here, and made changes to make it more personalised.

For this bag I've used material from my friends kilt dress (a NZ fashion label) and paired it with a black (indian cotton), and I am super happy with the end result.

One day I may even draw up my own bag pattern and make more of these it is actually really fun.

One thing I have learnt in the last year with my sewing is, pressing your seams is worth the effort and time it takes.  It makes the world of difference to your final product.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

a day of blessings..

Today is my 31st birthday, and it has been a blessed day.

self-portrait for the 31st year my of life.

Here a few snippets of the blessings that have made my day even better than your average day at home.

1. Blessed to have a beautiful daughter.

my first birthday card from Summah, she even drew in it for me at 11mths old,
my heart melted when I opened this.

2. Blessed to have a loving husband.
this gorgeous necklace from my amazing husband.

3. Blessed to be apart of a beautiful family, with 2 older sisters...yay for sisters!
cake from my older sister and her lovely children.
Thanks for making my day even better by coming and hanging out for a bit, it was the best.

4. Blessed to have an amazing Mother
a super fun retro flour sifter from my Mother, love it!!
always needing a sifter and never had one.

5. Blessed to have beautiful flowers around that brightened my day.
a walk at the Hamilton Gardens, where the magnolias were in full bloom.
I'm glad I was born in August when the magnolia's are flowering as this is my favourite tree flower.

6. Blessed to live in a beautiful country

to finish the day off my lovely husband made a yummy duck breast mango salad and we headed down to the Hamilton Lake for a picnic dinner right on sunset.

It's been a fun birthday and if you don't already do this always take your birthday off work.  I decided to do this about 5 years back because your birthday is your own personal 'public holiday' so to speak, and you shouldn't have to work.  It was the best thing I had ever decided to do when I was working full time, and I haven't had to spend a below average day at work on my birthday since.

Next birthday take the day off.


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

the grand finale...

Way back in May I started a project with my Mother, who is an amazing seamstress  quilter, and crafter, she is always exploring new ideas.  

Any how we started a quilt for my little girl, the idea is that it's to be a comfort quilt for those days you feel sick and just want to cuddle on the couch.  Every one needs a blanket like that and some arms that will hug you to make everything seem so much better.
To be honest I don't think I can have this quilt put away just for those moments, it needs to be on display as I love it!!! so I have popped it on Summah's bed where we can all appreciate it.
I love the colours and patterns in the material!
 (I'm a little bit of a sucker when it comes to material to be honest)

Thanks Mum for machine quilting this quilt and helping with the piecing, it has been fun working on a project together.

the end result...

Summah loves her new quilt, Austin doesn't mind it either.

 now on the bed and ready for sleeping under.

(in Summah's room we have bed from Farmers, homemade bunting on cot, wooden rabbit from Red Current, fabric picture from Tiny Eyes, selection of Peter Rabbit books, and op shop draws re-painted).  We like it simple.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

cheeky monkey...

my cheeky monkey is 11months old!! I've almost been a full fledge mother for a year.
Time really does fly past if you blink too quickly and forget to embrace every moment that passes you by.

we've had a great 11months together and 1 month till this girls 1st Birthday!!!

so here we are at almost 12months old and ....

... I love this cheeky monkey more and more everyday.
I love the way she brings a smile and giggle to my day by just being herself.
We always have fun, no matter what we are doing.
There are tears, screams, and hair pulling moments but that smile erases all of those memories instantly and replaces them with the joy it is to be a mother. 

so here's to a fantastic 11months my beautiful girl.


Thursday, 16 August 2012

a little exploration...

Earlier this week Summah and I rugged up and went for a wee adventure, after what had been a very wet weekend it was nice to get out and about.

Needless to say there was  a massive puddle under the swing, so I was hoping like heck I did slip over pushing Summah or she pop off the swing into it...could have been entertaining!! 
The ducks were loving the puddles which brought giggles from Summah.

the queen of swings, absolutely loves them!!

climbing on and off the slide was no worries,
just a minor challenge for this adventurous crawler.

oh! and because sliding down the slide isn't enough,
 we attempt crawling back up the slide.

My daughter's personality and character is really starting to show through now days, she is one determined child.  Will get where she wants to go.
This can be a great attribute and one that will require good coaching, I have my work cut out.

And I love her so much, thanks for the adventures today and every day Summah.

me time...

Today I had some me time!
It was fantastic and I really enjoyed a bit of time out to think and regroup my own thoughts.
For me to have me time is usually to get outside enjoy some fresh air and burn some energy.
This is usually in the form of a run. 
I love to run and blow the cobwebs out, to make room for new ideas, new thoughts, and it's away to break up the daily routine. 

This morning after I dropped my daughter off at kindy I dashed home to put my running gears on, and out I went.
I had 35mins for a run, so I knew how far I could comfortably run in that time and I pushed myself further than was great!
I'm one of those people who likes goals, when I accomplish a goal I need another and this is how I  plan my run.
I put a landmark in my mind that I can comfortably run to, then push myself further to strive for another goal. 
Doing this constantly reminds me that I'm running a spiritual race too.
It had been a long time since I had been able to get and do this so I absorbed every aspect of this time out today.  
Right down to noticing just how beautiful rain drops can look on a blade of grass in the morning sun.  Have you noticed how much they sparkle lately? simply gorgeous

So for me to have 'me time' is important as it keeps me grounded and helps to keep all aspects of life in perspective.  Even before becoming a mother I liked my 'me time', but I relish it, and appreciate it so much more now I am a mother.

It's important to take time out for yourself, what ever it is that you do for 'me time' make sure you do have that time for yourself and don't feel guilty.  

It's good for the mind, body and soul.

the final leg of my morning run.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

bathroom DIY...

Finally 3 1/2 yrs later our super blue bathroom is getting a do over...yeeha!! 
I'm very excited about this and yet I do realise that it will be a working progress over the next month as we are doing everything ourselves. 
We will be re-wallpapering, never tried this before, tiling the floors and around the bath, we have done this before and it was successful.  We have already replaced and re-plumbed the shower so that is a bonus,  next step is to rip out the vanity and replace that with something newer. 
I think the biggest and best challenge is that we are a tight budget for doing over these rooms it makes you think outside the box and you become more inventive with your ideas.
So this is a fun little side project at the moment along with painting the hallway, I'm thinking my husband may send me back to work soon as I'm starting to tear the house apart doing DIY projects.
At the moment we are hooked on this t.v show called The Block and we figure if the couples on there can do over houses we can!! 

Wallpaper stripped...yay!!

shower about to be ripped out, & an example of the hideous blue.

Fun times ahead doing up our bathroom, it will hopefully be a lot more pleasing to the eye than it is currently.

I best get back to work,  and watch this space for progress updates.

to move or not to move...

Over the last month we have toyed with the idea of moving house.


1. we wanted more section for our daughter
2. we have a backyard that largely consists of a swimming pool...not safe for a toddler
3. our house isn't most NZ houses!
4. I wanted a salon at home
5. wanted a newer house...blah, blah,blah etc

But then there was this moment of realisation, when I stepped back and reflected on what I thought we wanted as a family,  we already had.
Our house is fine, our section is fine (needs a few changes), our house is warmer than what some have, I don't need a salon at home, home is home not work.  As for a newer house, then we'd lose the quirky 70's style that our current house has, and I love the quirks it holds.  Finally it is soooo incredibly private for a suburban house and quiet...which I love!!!
So all in all the last month has been spent searching deep with in to find out what is the right decision for our family, and I've learnt a lot.

May the moulding and learning continue as it is good to be reminded and brought back to reality from time to time.  It's easy to get caught up in thinking that you need more than what you have,
when in reality all you need and all I needed to do was appreciate what you have more.

Good lesson learnt.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

orange cakes...

Lately we've had lots of oranges given to us as Summah loves!!! to eat them, but we have so many we can't keep up with the amount we are given.  They are amazing sweet oranges, you really can't beat home grown produce, so instead of wasting them I've been making this simple Orange cake recipe.

Beat and Eat Orange Cakes:


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Grease and flour 2 - 8 inch round cake pans. In a measuring cup, combine milk, 1/2 cup orange juice, oil, beaten eggs and 1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest. Set aside.
  2. Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Mix in sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  3. Divide batter into 2 - 8 inch pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.
  4. To make Orange Butter Frosting: Cream butter until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 tablespoons orange juice to bring to spreading consistency. Stir in vanilla and 1 teaspoon orange zest.

I make these as muffins, recipes makes 12 deliciously big muffins and cook for around 15-20mins on fan bake at same temp as stated above. 

As we have an abundance of tangelos and oranges at the moment this recipe has become a household favourite, so try it out and see what you think. 

Also you feel a little less guilty eating something sweet when it has fruit in it...right?!


(p.s I'm thinking this would make a great cake for a first birthday party that is coming up.)

Thursday, 2 August 2012


Pleading eyes.

Happy eyes.

Eyes are beautiful, expressive and unique to each person which makes them even more beautiful.
As a mother of a baby I have learnt very quickly to read my child's eyes as this is one of her forms of communication with me.  She can't vocialise properly what she is trying to express to me, but by looking into her eyes I have learnt to understand what she is trying to tell me.
From this I have re-learnt the importance of eye contact as adults and especially when talking to one another, you can get so much more from the conversation when looking at the eyes. 
Even more now days as cellphones take over and I find myself texting while talking to is really rude actually!! it displays I'm not interested in what the person is!! I will attempt to not be so rude and reconnect with eyes when having a conversation.  
It's not that easy to do but does show who you are talking to, they have your full attention.

Food for thought for me this week anyhow. 

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