Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A day with Krystal

I’ve got LOADS of photos to share so you might want to grab yourself a coffee for this one! Last Wednesday Krystal came over to Tauranga to spend the day with me and see her Grandma.  Her bus arrived before 8am so I went down to pick her up and we got from breakfast from McDonalds. 

Toby got very excited when he saw the paper bags of food… and Grandma was quite happy when we gave her some hot cakes with syrup for breakfast as well.  Of course Toby was disappointed that no food seemed to be coming his way!

Hey Grandma… what you got??20141001_083201_1

This is hot cakes Toby… do you like hot cakes?20141001_083206_1

I LOVE hot cakes Grandma… hey that was supposed to be for me!20141001_083208_1

Krystal do you have hot cakes to share with me?20141001_083259_1

Grandma can I PLEASE have hot cakes???  I’ve been really good!20141001_083403_1

Nom nom nom… I REALLY LOVE hot cakes Grandma… thank you for sharing!20141001_083405_1

After breakfast we left Toby supervising Grandma for the day while we went into town.  Krystal is in her first year of teacher training and I thought she might enjoy going to the Teacher Resource Centre… besides it gave me an opportunity to get a few things for my classroom.

We both loved this wall display:


I’m always on the lookout for cool certificates I can use for my kids… I know I can make my own but they seem to really appreciate the bought ones just a little bit more.


I also got some more borders for my classroom walls and a few prizes for my treasure box.


Then Krystal and I spotted a really great book that will be a welcome addition to my writing programme:


It’s made up of lots of cartoons and the kids get to write in what everyone is saying in the speech bubbles.


Next we headed over to Bayfair for a bit of a look around and I found a couple of books to add to my growing classroom collection:


Then we headed to the Warehouse for a look and I found these books.  I think my kids will really love the twists and turns in the All Black book!


I also found some neat little ice cube trays for a couple of dollars each:


As we were heading towards the checkouts I spotted something that I’ve been waiting to see come out… super pleased to have this one!  I watched the whole series and loved every episode so now I’ll be able to watch it whenever I like.


After all of that we stopped for a late lunch and a hot chocolate.  We were very impressed with out cronini’s (combination of a croissant and a Panini). 


We spent quite a lot of time trying on clothes and Krystal managed to pick up a couple of good bargains but to be honest I wasn’t in the mood for clothes shopping and nothing seemed to appeal to me.

Then it was back to Grandma’s to pick up Toby and pack my gear before heading over to Rotorua.  It was certainly a couple of full-on days but spending time with Krystal and Mum was wonderful.

Take care xx

Monday, October 6, 2014

It’s the school holidays again!

Term 3 has whizzed by in the blink of an eye and it’s the school holidays again.  I had planned on going to Rotorua on the first Tuesday of the holidays but things didn’t go quite to plan. 

Over the weekend Mum got a virus/stomach bug that really knocked her around.  She couldn’t keep food down and was downright miserable.  I knew she was really sick when she rang in sick to work for three days in a row so Toby and I decided to head over to her place and take care of her.

We (in other words me) packed up the car and headed off to Tauranga on Monday and got to Mum’s in time to have dinner… or at least Toby and I had dinner. 

The next morning I booked Mum into her doctor and took her down there.  Turns out she was ‘over the worst of it’ according to the doctor but he did give her some anti-nausea meds which really helped.

Since we were out and about I decided to visit a few of my favourite stores that I haven’t been able to get to since the last holidays. 

First up we went to Spotlight and I bought a couple of little things with the idea that I might actually create a December Daily album this year!


Next up was the Culinary Council in the Gate Pa shopping centre… I absolutely adore this place and always come away with new ideas and things to try!


I love finding cookie cutters and this time I bought a pear and a funky heart:


Then I spotted a cool pot mitt… really needed one of these!


Then I found a silicone mold and cutter set to make little flowers to go on my cupcakes:


I also found a fabulous cloth for Christmas… I’m going to use it to line a basket for bread rolls to go in… fancy schmancy LOL


Then Mum found a couple she liked… one of the ones she picked was PERFECT for me but it was the last one… so after a bit of haggling and coercion I managed to snaffle it for myself!  Thanks Mum!


I also found a great little chocolate making tray featuring sea creatures… yep more embellishments for my cupcakes!


Next we headed off to Mum’s work to drop off her medical certificate and then on the way home I realised I hadn’t bought any icing to make flowers so I went back for another look at the Culinary Council.

After we got back to Mum’s I immediately tried out my new flower maker and it worked BRILLIANTLY!!


Oh yeah… we did make one other stop!  We called into Warehouse Stationery to pick Mum up a new set of Cuttlebug plates… just the regular size.  I had bought a couple of my new dies with me and they needed long plates so I was going to buy them and then I realised I would have to buy the spacer plate as well.  Oh dear… it was starting to get a bit costly.  Then Mum said she would buy them because she had one die at home that needed the long plates.

That night we got out the Cuttlebug, my new die and some cardstock and as it turns out I didn’t need the spacer plate at all because the die was the thick kind… oops!  Oh well, at least Mum has the plates she needs now.

We started by cutting everything out with the die and then we had to tape all the tabs… we even managed to watch a bit of MKR while we were working.  Toby was quite happy snuggled up on his bed too!



Ta da!!!  A luminary light… no decoration on this one… we just wanted to see how it all worked.


The next morning Mum found a balloon in her garden… no idea where it came from… anyway she brought it in for Toby.  Toby was less than impressed because he’s been caught out with balloons before and got a hell of a fright when a red one popped on him.

He was super funny prancing all around it and I couldn’t resist taking a wee video of him.  Very entertaining!

Toby and the scary balloon at Grandma’s house

So that’s the start of my holidays! 

Friday, July 18, 2014

During the school holidays…

Forgive me… it’s been a LONG time since my last post.  2014 is turning out very differently to how I imagined it to be…  not necessarily better… not necessarily worse… just different.

There have been a few events lately that feel like they’re worth sharing so here’s what’s been happening during the school holidays. 

During the first week I was in Rotorua catching up with Krystal and a couple of friends.  Toby came with me and he loved seeing everyone again. 

My friend Chris had literally moved a couple of days before we arrived so we spent a few days with her catching up and checking out the house.  Toby loved ‘most’ of it… but he wasn’t too keen on being put outside while we were cleaning the carpets:


Toby did like napping in front of the fire though!  And he loved that we took his bed with us… such a good idea because it helped him stay in his routines.

Krystal invited Chris and myself out to Valentines for lunch.  We had a pretty nice time eating, chatting and just spending time together.  Krystal and I also made some time for a bit of mother-daughter pampering when we went and got our eyebrows done after lunch!


Even though I ‘know’ that Krystal is an adult it still seemed weird when she brought a bottle of wine with her to have with our dinner that night.  Her wine of choice was this little number from a wine maker in the Nukuhou Valley.


True to it’s label… it REALLY does taste (and smell) like a bunch of grapes on a sunny day.  I’m not much of a wine drinker but this one was quite delicious!  Here’s a link if you want to check out Celestial Wines products.

By the end of the week it was time to head back to Gisborne which was just as well because on Saturday I had a ‘date’ with my niece.  We went to the Farmers Market and drank freshly squeezed orange juice which my niece said was “deee..licious!”  We also treated ourselves to some dutch doughnuts called Oliebollen.

Oliebollen - 077

Then we went to the library followed by a quick visit to another local market.  As we were leaving my niece wanted to get some photos of her ‘like the ones we did at school Auntie’.  This made no sense to me until she started running around like a mad thing trying to explain.  She was calling it ‘alliteration’ which is definitely the wrong word… but we got there in the end.  Here’s the photo she was most pleased with:


This past week has gone by in a bit of a blur and to be honest I don’t feel like I’ve achieved much at all.  One thing I did finally do though was to get busy labeling all my Distress Paints.


I printed off all the labels and then got busy punching them out with my new 3/4 inch circle punch.  Then I put them through the sticker maker and finally onto the lids of the paints.


It’s going to be so much easier to find the colours I want now that they’re labeled.  Since this worked so well I figured I might as well do my Distress Stains as well:


I don’t have a full set of stains yet but I’m loving the colours I do have.  I also re-discovered a very cool way of keeping track of my Tim Holtz supplies.  A couple of years ago Tim designed an app for I-phones and Androids which you can programme your own inventory into.  Then at the end of last year he did a big update:


After moving to Gisborne I bought myself a ‘fancy’ phone which does lots of cool things… but until this week I’d completely forgotten about Tim’s phone app.  Sooo… I downloaded the FREE app onto my phone and got started building my inventory (this is not my phone but you get the idea).


Meanwhile, Mikayla is all the way down in Invercargill getting started on her new life.  She posted a couple of photos to her Facebook page and there was one that I really liked. I know I’m biased but I think she looks really lovely in this photo:


Now it’s time for last night… and what a fun night it was too!  July is a ‘big deal’ in Gisborne because it’s ‘Gizzy Food Month’.


There have been lots of events on during the month and you’ve probably already guessed that I’m a bit of a ‘foodie’.  Luckily for me, my sister is also a bit of a foodie! 

There were lots of free events during the month but there’s also demos and things you can go to which you need to get tickets for.  My sister and I worked out a few events we really wanted to go to and were lucky enough to get tickets to two of the things we wanted… the tickets sell out FAST!!!

Last night we went to a cooking demonstration by Nici Wickes (she presents the World Kitchen cooking show).


Funnily enough ‘World Kitchen’ was on TV yesterday afternoon and my sister and I watched it together while we were on the phone with each other… strange but true! 

The demonstration was due to begin at 6.30pm so we headed down early so we could get some good seats.  As it turned out we had Nici all to ourselves for nearly 15 minutes before anyone else arrived! 

Nici was really friendly and within a couple of minutes my sister and I felt like we’d known her for ages.  She’s got a great sense of humour and has some interesting tales to tell about her travels and experiences. 

Neither me or my sister are into the ‘selfie’ photo thing but I did take this photo of Nici’s demo kitchen while we were waiting for everyone else to arrive.


We came away from the evening with a couple of recipes to try… some helpful hints… and we also got to taste samples of what Nici made right in front of us… as my niece would say: deee..licious!

We weren’t quite ready to head home at the end of the demo so we decided to go out for dessert.  There’s a new restaurant in town (Sato) so we thought we’d check it out.  As soon as we walked in the door I liked this place… great atmosphere!


Sato’s serves mostly Turkish and Mediterranean food although there’s lots of other things on the menu too!  My sister had the Baklava which she said was divine… meanwhile I had the profiteroles and they were wonderful.  Huge servings!!!  Don’t know if you could finish a dessert after having a main!  Next time I go there I want to try the Seafood Tortellini.

So that’s been my holidays.  I’m off to light the fire because it’s freezing here this morning. 

I hope life is treating you all well xx

Sunday, June 1, 2014

It’s been quite a week!

So much has happened during the past week… and for the first time this year I’ve actually ALMOST FELT like I wanted to give Project Life a go again.  I’ve even opened up my Photoshop programme for the first time in months!

Last weekend I went on a day trip up the coast.  I have previously lived in Gisborne – in fact my daughter Mikayla (now 19) was born here in Gisborne but we moved away just before her 2nd birthday, but I’d never actually seen much of the coast.  So last Saturday we set off and went up to Tolaga Bay (45 km northeast of Gisborne).  Tolaga Bay has New Zealand’s longest wharf and we walked all the way to the end of it:


It’s actually a pretty nice walk and the scenery looking back towards the bay is pretty stunning:


Next it was back into the car and a drive 30 km north until we got to Tokomaru Bay.  I’d never been to Tokomaru before but it was beautiful!  It’s got a really different ‘feel’ to Tolaga.  I was really captivated by the old brick buildings out by the historic wharf but forgot to take any photos… obviously living in the moment!

I did get some great shots out on the wharf itself though:


Then we started to head back towards Gisborne but we took a little detour to have a look at Anaru Bay.  The colours of the sky were gorgeous but unfortunately my phone decided to ‘fix’ the colours for me so they didn’t come out quite as brilliantly as I’d hoped they would:


You definitely have to be willing to take a few detours on the coast to get to some of the more special places… but so worth it!


Within ten minutes of taking this photo it was practically dark and we travelled back to Gisborne without seeing any more sights.  Fabulous day out!

I’ve been visiting the markets quite regularly since I moved here and most weekends I buy myself some flowers for the dining room table but just lately there haven’t been many flowers available and it seems that others are quicker at getting them so I resorted to buying some from the local supermarket… and they really brightened the place up a bit!


On Monday night I was involved in a Pub Quiz night at ‘The Rivers’ raising money for the local Breast Cancer foundation.  All up there were 18 teams involved and the place was pretty packed. 

We put in a couple of teams from school and some of us met up at The Rivers early and had dinner before the Quiz.  Totally loved my steak sandwich! 

There were some pretty gnarly questions but by the end of the night my team had come SECOND!!! We were pretty pleased with ourselves!

On Wednesday it was Miss Krystal’s birthday… can’t believe my girl is now 22!  I thought she might like to receive some flowers from me this year so I organised with my girlfriend Chris to deliver them for me.  Krystal definitely got a lovely surprise when she got home to find them waiting for her… and a big THANK YOU to Chris for helping me out – and sending me the photo of the flowers xx


During the week I had a parcel of goodies arrive for me… some lovely little Tim Holtz stamps.  These stamps would have come in handy when I was doing ATC’s!  Most of them are only around an inch high/wide and they’re really detailed!


I also got the rest of the Distress Paints!  I’ve now got all the colours and I’m looking forward to using them.


On Friday we had Alphabet Day at school and my class got the letter ‘S’… one of my favourite letters!  We brainstormed all sorts of things we could come as and then on the day we had Smurfs… Laughing Samoan’s… Singers… Spies… Santa… Soccer players… and a small band of Soldiers!


It was super cold when I got home on Friday… not quite as cold as Rotorua but there was a definite nip in the air.  It certainly reminded me that I hadn’t organised any firewood yet so I got onto the newsletter my nephew had brought home from school which had a school fundraiser for firewood and yesterday my firewood arrived!


My nephew is coming around later on today to earn himself some money stacking my wood in the garage for me!  In the meantime I’ve used a little bit of the wood to light the fire and the house is now toasty and warm… although Mr Toby thinks that it is completely for HIS benefit!


Gosh this almost feels like a Project Life blog post :)  I hope you’re all having a fabulous Queen’s Birthday weekend…stay safe and warm xx