Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Project Life: Week 34

Late yesterday afternoon, Mike and I got really busy painting the primer onto the walls and ceiling of the art studio… and I’m desperate to show you… which means I really do have to catch up with my Project Life album so here’s Week 34 – August 17th to 23rd.


This winter we’ve had so much rain… and we’ve also had lots of really cloudy days so we’ve been doing our washing once a week and taking it to the laundrette to get it dry.  I’m super looking forward to just being able to hang things on the line again!

As you probably already know, Toby is quite partial to ‘treats’… which usually come in the form of things he probably really shouldn’t be eating but Mike has been buying big bags of brisket bones and Toby loves them!  Mike wraps each one up in glad wrap and then pops it in the freezer and now I’ve discovered that he warms them up a bit in the microwave before giving them to Toby… my boy is so spoilt!!

There’s been more baking going on as well.  While watching TV one night Mike mentioned that he felt like something sweet so I decided to bake a batch of peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies.  I experimented a bit with the shape of them and Mike posted them onto Facebook.  One of my friends mentioned that the ‘rustic’ cookies looked a bit like a dog turd… so now I’ve gone back to shaping them again!

In other baking news… Krystal found a recipe on the internet for gingernut cookies and gave it a go… the results were delicious!

Here’s a close up of the start of the week:LEFT_1

Dad has a few friends who get together on a regular basis for Friday lunches.  They call their little group ‘The Last of the Summer Wine’ so when I saw a card with lots of ‘more mature’ men sitting on the park benches I knew it would be perfect for Dad’s birthday… plus I actually got it posted on time!  Dad really loved the card too so that was a huge bonus.

This week it was the floor of the art studio to get all the attention.  Over a period of a couple of days Mike got to use lots of ‘man tools’ to prep the floor.  First up he ‘sanded’ the floor with an industrial grinder which was attached to a large vacuum… perfect for catching the bulk of the dust!

Then he managed to score some paint that was perfect for painting onto the concrete.  It was a two-part paint which means it’s going to be really strong.  The paint had been sitting around for a long time so Mike grabbed a big paint stirrer that attached to his electric drill and it worked the paint together without Mike having to do all the work… actually it did it so well that I’m looking forward to having a go with it myself!

Next up Mike used a brush to do all the edges and tricky bit of the floor and then he was able to do the rest with the roller.  The floor got a sand down in between and it’s now had two coats put on it and it’s fully cured.  The colour is a very neutral grey and it’s going to be super easy to wash down and clean.

While we’re on the subject of paint… I’ve finally found some ‘vintage paint’ to use on my desk.  I also bought some ‘vintage wax’ to put on top of the paint to protect it.  I’m looking forward to starting work on my desk but first I have to find somewhere to actually do the work!

Here’s a close up of the rest of the week:RIGHT_1

On Saturday we went around to visit Krystal and drop some stuff off to her and she was busy in her garden.  She’s been really getting into growing seeds lately and she’s got them growing in all sorts of containers.  She’s even drilled holes in the bottom of a couple of buckets to use for growing garlic and vegetables.  She’s quite industrious and has strawberries growing as well.

After we’d visited Krystal, Mike dropped me off to Third Place to have lunch with Chris, Carey and their mum’s.  It was Chris’ birthday so it was lovely to meet up for a late lunch together.  I’ll easily be able to remember both Chris and Dad’s birthday’s now!

Getting back to painting the art studio floor… poor Toby really wanted to be involved and he definitely didn’t want to be shut in the house on a lovely day… but he just wouldn’t listen to instructions so in the end we parked one of the cars outside the art studio and put Toby on the backseat.  Problem solved!

He was most put out when we placed the chairs in front of the doorway to create a barrier because he just wanted to go IN… he was even more put out the next day when Mike was inside the art studio and we kept telling Toby NO!

On Sunday we headed out for our first bike ride since we got back from Dad’s at Labour Weekend!  It had been about 2 1/2 months of bad weather and busy weekends so it was wonderful to head out together for a day.  We headed over to Tauranga because Mike had a few hours of work to do at the Mount and I took my book to read. 

After Mike had finished work we went to Columbus Cafe at Gate Pa and had brunch.  I ordered French toast with bacon and banana and Mike ordered himself a Big Breakfast and he was pretty stoked with it!  We had a great trip home on the bike and it was a lovely end to our week.

All in all it was a busy and productive week :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Project Life: Week 33

It’s been a horrible, wet and rainy day today… absolutely perfect for working on my Project Life pages!  Here’s an overview of Week 33 (10th – 16th August)


This week started off with some bartering!  Mike made a deal with the guy from the second hand place to exchange our old roller door for some demolition firewood… he even managed to get them to do the pick up and delivery!  When they turned up with the firewood the guys offered to stack it all up in the woodshed for me so who was I to complain about that?

I also took the locking mechanism from the French doors down to a local locksmith to see if he could help us out.  The keys were missing and the lock was full of paint, dust and spiders webs.  I left the whole mechanism with them for a couple of hours and when I went back it was opening and closing beautifully plus they’d cut me two keys… and all for $20!

Here’s a better look at the start of the week:LEFT_1

I’ve been enjoying baking and cooking lately and Mike is actually quite a fan of the whole ‘meat and three veg’ thing… definitely not my style!  I have to admit that I’ve been perfecting my sausage casseroles and mashed potatoes and peas (Mike’s favourite!).  This week I made meatballs with spaghetti and Mike LOVED it!  Of course we had some grated cheese on top and I even made a little guacamole which I really liked.

On my last visit to the library I picked up some recipe books for making ice cream.  I’m definitely drawn to cook books with beautiful pictures and this one had some great recipes in it… along with the most gorgeous photography!


I haven’t shown Mike the recipes in the book yet but I think if I served something like this for dessert it might just blow his mind!

imageMadagascan vanilla ice cream between oatmeal and raisin cookies

Best I get back on track again…  This week I’ve heard from both my girls.  Mikayla sent me some photos of her latest hair colouring.  She quite often sends me photos and I love to see what she’s up to down in Invercargill… she’ll be coming home for a visit in just a few short weeks and I can’t wait to see her again!

Krystal also came around for a visit this week.  She was feeling a little under the weather which was probably due to the huge amount of pollen there seems to be at the moment.  She fancied some Indian takeaways for lunch and Toby was more than happy to share with her. 

I also found some time to work on my project album.  Working at the dining room table is actually pretty good because I’ve got an excellent view over the park and there’s plenty of light.

On the weekend things went rapidly ahead with the art studio as well.  Toby has this thing where he has to tell on ‘Daddy’.  He’ll come and tell me what Mike is up to and if I think it’s a good idea Toby acts like he’s part of it too… but if I’m not so sure Toby acts like he was trying to help me by telling me… basically he’s a big nark who’s just looking out for himself!

Mike went down to get some more wood on Saturday.  He’d decided to build something in front of the French doors to help make it look good and also cut down on the mess going inside… mostly from Toby I suspect! 

At first he called it a patio… an area, usually paved, adjoining a house and used as an area for outdoor lounging, dining, etc. but that didn’t seem quite right…

Then he called it a deck… an open, unroofed porch or platform extending from a house or other building. But it was too close to the ground for that.

I was trying to explain to my sister what Mike was building and she said… “Oh that’s called a LANDING”… Mike was quite taken with that so now I have a ‘landing’ at the front of the art studio!

Here’s a closer look at the rest of the week:RIGHT_1

On Saturday afternoon I got busy in the kitchen and made a roast for dinner.  We had rolled roast beef with gravy… roasted vegetables… roasted garlic and Yorkshire puddings.  Mike had never had Yorkshire puddings before but he’s definitely keen on having them again!  The best part was that I was able to save half of what I cooked so that we could have the rest for dinner on Sunday night!

On Sunday morning Danny came around to help Mike do the gib stopping.  They decided we needed to do a bit of a trip to Bunnings for some more supplies so Toby and I went along for the ride. 

Mike had been telling Danny about how we’ve had a few sausage sizzles at Bunnings so he bought us all one… and one for Toby as well.  In spite of what the photo looks like Toby absolutely loved the sausage sizzle and now every time we mention Bunnings he gets quite excited!

While the guys were busy in the art studio I got busy in the kitchen and did some baking for them… chocolate chip cookies and a pavlova roll.  I also tried out one of the recipes from my new ice cream book… rum & raisin!  Mike would tell you that it’s absolutely delicious but then he might have to share it!

While they were taking a break from the art studio Mike and Danny started making up a ‘tool wall’ in the man cave.  I jokingly asked him if he was going to draw around all his tools at which point Danny said ‘I TOLD YOU!’   It does look pretty good having his tools on display like that and it’s certainly easier for him to find what he needs!

So there you have it… another week in our lives.  I hope you’re all having a good week and managing to stay out of this crazy weather!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Project Life: Week 32

It’s definitely time for another update so here’s Week 32 – August 3rd – 9th.  It was a busy week with lots happening with the new art studio.FULL_1

On Monday Krystal came around with her laptop so that I could help her with her Professional Portfolio.  It was really nice to be able to spend some time with her and we did quite a few things that day including baking some delicious new cookies… chocolate chippie with a touch of salt!  It’s basically just making a traditional chocolate chippie cookie and then grinding some salt on just before you put them in the oven.  I loved the salty-sweet thing although Mike wasn’t quite so fussed on them.

Krystal and I also went to the paint shop to pick up some sample colours for the art studio.  I’m thinking about making the whole room very neutral so that my artwork stands out… soft greys seem to be top of the list right now.

Mike was really thankful for the art studio this week too because he ended up with a snapped fan belt coming home from work the other night and he just put the front of the car into the art studio and used all the lights so that he could see what he was doing.  It worked a treat because within about 10 minutes he had the new fan belt on and the car was running fine!

Here’s a close up of the start of the week:LEFT_1

Mike and I don’t watch a huge amount of TV but we have a few shows that we really like… including My Kitchen Rules.  Mike has been cheering for Steve and Will right from the start so he was super happy when they won the final!

While the final of MKR was on the Big Wednesday draw was also on and this week we got to have a small share of the winnings… but as the saying goes every little bit counts!

I’ve also been working on a big project and had come to a major stumbling block involving the album so I had to do a bit of a re-think and now I’m going for a more Project-Life style album and I fell for this mint colour in a big way.  I think it’s going to be perfect for what I have in mind.

This week we also found the perfect doors for the art studio.  Mike knew that he wanted to replace the roller door with glass doors and he was originally thinking about a ranch slider but it wasn’t really what I wanted and they also turned out to be really expensive.  We saw a couple of second hand ones but they just didn’t seem right either.  Then we came across some French doors that I liked straight away and they were also the perfect size so now I’ve got French doors in my art studio!

Here’s a closer look at the rest of the week:RIGHT_1

Mike spent several nights/days thinking about how he was going to put the doors in and by the time it came to actually install them he had it all worked out.  He even let me help… even though it was only priming some of the wood for around the door.  It turned into a bit of a family affair because Toby ‘helped’ Mike to roll up the old garage door after it had been removed.

Mike didn’t want to just have a plain front wall though so now he’s added some ‘detailing’ so that it will look a bit more interesting.

While all this was going on Mike brought ALL the boxes from the garage upstairs and I went through them all.  Most of these boxes had been sealed shut from when the packers came before I moved to Gisborne so after 18 months in storage it was a bit of a treasure trove to see what was inside each box.  Each box was labelled… but when there are approximately 20 huge boxes labelled ‘Art and Craft misc.’ you really have no idea what’s inside!

We ended up with several boxes of junk and several more of newsprint paper from all the wrappings and it felt quite good to get rid of some of the clutter!  A couple of weeks on and the ‘good stuff’ is still in the lounge because there’s nowhere else to put it for now!

After doing all the unpacking I got busy with another new recipe.  This time it was for peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies and Mike LOVES them!!!  They’re his new favourite and I’ve made the recipe several times now.

On Sunday morning we decided to go out for breakfast which is something we haven’t done for a  long time.  We headed up to Third Place and had a lovely breakfast together… and then real life set in and we did the groceries, the recycling and all sorts of other jobs!

This weekend I also found the perfect clock for my art studio.  I spotted it in a local paint shop and as soon as I saw it I knew that it would be fabulous.  Here’s a closer look:


You can’t tell from the photo but this is actually a good sized clock.  It stands 12 inches high and the clock face is 8 inches wide.  I really like the soft green colouring and the distress look of it… very Tim Holtz style!  Now we’ve just got to finish the art studio so that it has a home to go into.

So that was our week… I hope you’re all having a good week too xxx

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Project Life: Week 31

Hi again… I’ve got Week 31 which was July 27th – August 2nd.  Mike’s been pretty busy with another D.I.Y. project.  This time he’s creating an art studio for me.  It’s consuming quite a bit of time after work and on the weekends but he’s making pretty quick progress.

Here’s an overview of the week:FULL_1

The Council have been working in the park behind our house cutting down all the eucalyptus trees because they’re causing all sorts of problems… blocking out sunlight and interfering with TV reception and power lines.  While it’s been quite interesting to watch it hasn’t been much fun to listen to because each time another tree falls Toby starts barking again!

We’ve had the fire going 24/7 for the past few weeks so when we woke up to embers in the fire the other day Mike decided that it was time to clear out the fire box a bit.  It certainly helped the fire to run more efficiently.

Here’s a close up of the start of the week:LEFT_1

I got a lovely surprise this week in the mail.  Esther sent me an ice cream cookbook which is going to be very useful… especially once summer arrives!

Mike had a day off this week due to bad weather so he spent the day working in the garage.  He’d already had a big clean out and the next job was putting up a wall right down the middle of the garage to separate it into two halves.  He did a great job and recycled as much as he could.  By the end of the day he even had the workbench and shelving moved over to ‘his’ side of the garage.

We did stop for some lunch at some point and I had a Jester’s pie which was really delicious!

The rest of the week went by in a bit of a blur although we did have Tracey and Danny around for a pizza dinner one night which was a great way to end the day!

On Saturday Mum invited us over to Tauranga to see the brand new Hairy Maclary sculptures down at the waterfront but Mike was itching to get back into the garage project so I went over on my own and left the boys at home.

The sculptures were absolutely awesome!  We met up with my sister Katey and her family down at the waterfront and they even brought their dog, Murphy.  I did consider bringing Toby but to be honest he tends to get a bit overwhelmed when there’s too many dogs and people around him so he was better off staying at home with Dad. 

It was a pretty nice day in Tauranga and there were loads of people out looking at the sculptures and just enjoying the park.  Here’s an insert I made for my album:INSERT FRONT_1

The girls loved climbing over all the sculptures and Jessie was really taken by the stilt walkers!  They even had a doggie ‘selfie’ stand and Murphy had his photo taken.  While we were down at the park someone handed me a voucher for lunch at ‘American Rye’ and it included FREE meals for all the kids to celebrate Hairy Maclary Day!  Since we had four kids with us we decided that it was an awesome idea.  In fact it really was awesome and we all decided that we’d go back again… GREAT food and GREAT service! Here’s the back of my insert which totally focuses on lunch… and some camera fun!


While all this was going on in Tauranga, Mike was very busy back in Rotorua working away on his project.  I was telling Mum all about it as we were driving back to her place and I suddenly noticed a cabinet outside a store that was exactly the look I was thinking about so I stopped and took a photo… turns out Mike thinks it’s pretty cool as well so I might be giving my desk a bit of a makeover!

Here’s a close up of the rest of the week:RIGHT_1

By the time I got home on Saturday night Mike had a total wall up dividing the garage and he even had the ceiling started.  I was really wondering HOW he’d gotten the Gib up on the ceiling so on Sunday he showed me… there’s nothing like a bit of kiwi ingenuity!

Mike is really loving putting his D.I.Y. skills to good use and he’s certainly not work shy that’s for sure.  He’s put in a new power socket unit with four outlets so I’ll be able to have my heat gun, glue gun, computer and silhouette cameo all going at the same time!  He’s also put in EIGHT lights which will give me excellent lighting for creating!  I’m getting quite excited about my new crafting space.

We do take out time to just relax together as well and one of our current favourite shows is ‘Banished’.  It’s set in Australia in 1788 and it’s got a great story line.  Mike’s favourite argument is ‘why don’t they hunt for food instead of relying on their rotten rice?’… I guess we’ll just have to keep watching and see what happens next.

So that was our week 31.  I hope you’re all staying safe and warm xx

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Project Life: Week 30

I’m back again with another week from our life… (July 20th to July 26th) and this week was pretty life changing.  This week I went back to the doctor again and we’ve finally figured out what’s been going on with my health and wellness and in essence it’s pretty simple… after 18 years in the teaching profession I’ve hit professional burnout.

Apparently professional burnout happens to a lot of people and I’m just the latest statistic but right now it’s pretty intense.  It certainly explains all the little colds, and aches and pains etc… it was my minds way of telling me that I needed to take a break.  Unfortunately just having a week off work isn’t going to fix it this time and after a LOT of thinking, talking and discussing I made the decision to resign from my teaching position.

At this stage I’m ‘unemployed’ and I’m taking some time out to look after myself and figure out what I want to do from here.  It’s scary but it’s also incredibly necessary.

Here’s an overview of the week:FULL_1

This week I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time with Krystal and along with coming with me to the doctor she also took me out for afternoon tea which was wonderful.  She’d said quite often that she thought I’d like a little place in town called ‘Be Rude Not To’ and she was absolutely right.  We shared a Banoffee Muffin and it was delicious.

Krystal also shared some wonderful photos with me that she and Chris had taken.  They bought some brightly coloured fabric and made their own Brady Bunch inspired photos.  I’ve seen the entire series of photos they took and they’ve used loads of props and colours with stunning results.  Luckily for me Krystal shared some of her favourite photos in a collage so that I could include it in my album.

Collage for mum

Love the photos with the umbrella!

Here’s a close up of the first part of the week:LEFT_1

While I’ve been at home I’ve been doing a bit of baking and cooking.  This week I made some lovely herb bread and some chocolate chippie and M&M cookies.  I’ve also made some treats for Mike to take to work and share with the others at morning tea time which has been very popular!

Toby has been loving having Mumma at home… especially since it means that he’s able to be inside by the fire all day.  He gets quite excited when Daddy comes home from work because they go down to the woodshed together to fill the wood basket.

Speaking of gathering fire wood… Mike and Danny spent Saturday morning chopping up wood in our backyard and they’ve completely filled the wood shed.  Toby wasn’t too keen because Uncle Danny had the axe going and Daddy had the chainsaw making a lot of noise so Toby decided he would be much safer staying inside where it was quiet and warm.

It would seem that my computer is also suffering from burnout because it’s decided it doesn’t want to work anymore.  We tried everything and luckily for me I had most things backed up on my external hard drive before it completely crashed on me.  Krystal’s partner, Chris, is now trying to see if he can save it for me.

Here’s a closer look at the rest of the week:RIGHT_1

On Saturday we took Toby for a lovely long walk at the dog park and he was in heaven… smelling all the autumn smells and chasing leaves.  It was a really lovely way to spend some time together and the fresh air did us a lot of good.

On Saturday night Mike decided he was going to ‘help’ me wax my legs.  I’ve never done it before but I figured it couldn’t be that difficult.  Mike said I’d need some fabric strips so he quickly found an old sheet and ripped it up.  Then he heated up the wax and covered a big patch on my leg.  Next he applied the fabric strip and told me to ‘hold on tight’.  He ripped the fabric off and… NOTHING happened!  The wax was still there but it hadn’t stuck to the fabric at all.  Turns out that this particular wax doesn’t need fabric and Mike had done it all wrong… epic fail!  It was quite funny though!

One thing Mike didn’t fail at was making his fabulous hamburgers.  He’s discovered that he loves experimenting in the kitchen and he’s getting more adventurous too!

Mike is also getting more adventurous with his DIY skills too!  He’s been busy sorting out the garage because he got an ‘idea’ that he wanted to try out.  It turns out that he wants to build me an ‘art studio’ in the garage so he’s going to halve it right down the middle… half as an art studio and half as a man cave/workshop.  More news on that next time!

Meanwhile, Carey gave me a call on Sunday afternoon and invited me to join her for afternoon tea.  We did a couple of jobs in town and then headed to Capers for a coffee and chat.  I had a delicious brioche treat and a wonderful hot chocolate and it was great to catch up with Carey and all the news.

So that was our week… thanks for dropping by xx

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Project Life: Week 29

I’ve got another update on Project Life… Week 29 which was July 13th to July 19th.  Here’s an overview of the week:FULL_1

Although Monday was the start of the new week it was also the end of Roxanne’s visit with us.  We were actually quite lucky to have had an extra few days thanks to the weather but she really did need to head back home.

Mike and I hadn’t been sure what to get Roxanne for her birthday and she wasn’t sure what she wanted either but when I took her and Krystal to Bayfair the previous week she spied a signet ring she liked and said that she used to have one but it had gone missing years ago. 

When we got to Te Puke we saw a jewellers and went in for a browse and Roxanne spotted the most gorgeous signet ring and she was really taken with it so we had it resized and engraved for her.  It only took them a couple of days to get it ready for us too!


The top of the ring has a ‘21’ on it and on the bottom of the heart we had ‘Love Dad’ engraved on it.  Roxanne was pretty thrilled with it.

After the bus left Mike got a call to say not to come into work for the day due to the weather so he got busy in the garage organising things.  He decided that my paper racks were taking up far too much space so he’s now tied them up to the ceiling and actually it has given us HEAPS more room!  p.s. if anyone is wanting to purchase any paper racks let me know!

After tidying up the garage Mike’s next project was to get a wood shed made to store all the wood he’s gathered from chopping the trees in the backyard down.  He decided that Danny would love to help him each night when they got home from a full days work… actually I don’t think Danny minded too much going on the conversations I overheard!

Here’s a close up of the start of the week:LEFT_1

We had to purchase a couple of posts for the new shed but Mike was determined to reuse and recycle as much as possible for his project.  Toby was quite keen on helping and doing ‘manly things’ with Danny and Mike but I suspect that was because he likes the fire so much.  In fact I strongly suspect that Toby thinks the fire is solely for his personal enjoyment.  So long as he’s warm and snuggly inside he’s a happy boy.

Speaking of warm and snuggly… we had an insulation man come to give us a quote this week.  There are so many more options available these days and we’ve been doing some research into possible insulation ideas so it was nice to have a professionals advice.

I also went back to the doctors this week as the headaches had continued and I still seemed to be super exhausted all the time.  In the end he decided that I might need a little more time off work so I’m taking the first week of the term off to try and recuperate.  My health has been a bit of a worry lately and Mum decided that she’d come over on Friday and spend some time with me.  When she arrived I was in full cleaning mode.  The bedrooms had all been spring cleaned, clean sheets on the bed and not a speck of dust in sight!  I’d also cleaned the toilet and bathroom to within an inch of it’s life and vacuumed the hallway.  I even managed to get the lounge finished as she was getting her stuff in from the car so we were totally ready to enjoy some time together.

Here’s a closer look at the rest of the week:RIGHT_1

Mum’s been teaching herself to do mixed-media art and she’s having some great results.  She brought over some stuff with her to get ideas for a canvas she wanted to create… actually she brought over just about EVERYTHING from her craft room I think!  Mum worked on her canvas at the dining table while I took over the family room to work on a special project for Mikayla’s 21st in October.

Of course we stopped for lunch and Mr Toby decided that he was quite partial to ‘sticky date loaf’ and was very keen to try it at every opportunity!  Thankfully we also took him for a lovely long walk that afternoon because he’s not looking quite as ‘sleek and slim’ as he used to!

On Saturday afternoon I made some fresh bread in the bread maker and then I made a seafood chowder for our dinner… complete with mussels in their shells.  It was definitely comfort food and we loved sitting in front of the fire together all talking about our day.

On Sunday morning Mum headed off home and Mike got stuck into the wood shed.  He took apart the old garden shed that was in the backyard and reused the aluminium for the new shed including using the door which looks super professional.  You have to take photos quickly around here because Mike works FAST!  One blink and you’ve missed it half the time!

I did manage to entice Mike inside for some lunch though… left over chowder and some freshly baked walnut and butterscotch muffins.  Toby was VERY keen to help Dad share his lunch and of course Mike gave in so it was a win-win situation for Toby!  And that was our week.

I hope you’ve all had a great weekend xx

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Project Life: Endings, Beginnings and Week 28

Hi there :)

I haven’t done a post for a little while now but I’ve had quite a lot going on lately which I’ll share with you in the next week or so.  In the meantime I’ve come to the end of my first album for the year and I’m ready to start my new one.

This is my third year of doing Project Life (I skipped 2014) and each year I’ve filled two albums and this year is no exception.  This time around I decided to do something different with my end and start pages… nothing dramatic… just different.

For the end of my first album I looked around the internet for pictures of ‘relaxation’… spa treatments, aromatherapy… candles and white towels.  I’m sure I can smell lavender too!  Here’s what I’ve come up with:END_1

For the start of my new album (which hasn’t actually arrived yet) I’ve chosen one large image… added some text… and then broken down the photo into the various sizes to fit the pockets.  I’ve had all the photos printed at my friendly photo lab today and I’m really liking the finished effect:album 2_1

So that’s the end of album #1 and the start of album #2 which brings me up to Week 28 which was July 6th to July 12th.  This was the week that Mike’s daughter Roxanne spent with us.  Here’s an overview of the week:FULL_1

Mike took a couple of days off work to spend some quality time with Roxanne and we definitely enjoyed just hanging out together.  Toby loved having a new big sister to love him and Roxanne was especially good at rubbing Toby’s ears and talking sweetly to him so he was in seventh heaven!

On Tuesday night we went over to Tauranga to visit Mum and then we all went to the Flying Burrito Brothers for dinner.  Mum and I have been there before so we knew that a ‘Plato Gordo’ would be a good idea.  We got two of them and Mike and Roxanne agreed that it was awesome!  There’s lots of delicious Mexican treats to try :)  I even managed to get a photo of Mike and Roxanne together.

Here’s a close up of the start of the week:LEFT_1

Mike got up into the roof to check out the insulation.  He was quite intrigued with our ‘attic space’ complete with a heat lamp.  We decided to remove the ‘walls’ so that we could get an expert in to have a look and advise us on the insulation.

On Wednesday Mike had to go back to work so I took Roxanne and Krystal for a girls day out.  We went over to Bayfair and did a little shopping… including buying some new creative goodies!  After all the shopping we started looking for somewhere to have lunch but nothing really appealed to us.  In the end we headed towards home and as we drove through Te Puke we came across Molly O’Connor’s.  If you live anywhere near Te Puke we highly recommend it!  We didn’t actually sit outside because it was a bit cold on the day we went there but their open sandwiches and burgers were super delicious.

In other shopping news… I bought a new printer.  I haven’t had a printer at home for a long time and I haven’t really missed it but right now I’m working on a special project that requires the use of a scanner so it became a high priority.  The new printer is fabulous!  It prints wirelessly and most importantly it scans photos extremely well.

Roxanne and I also taste tested the new Jaffa chocolate and decided that we quite liked it.  Poor Mike didn’t get home in time so he completely missed out!

Roxanne was quite taken with the large frames I’ve got with photos of my girls in them and she was asking me about when they’d had their photos taken.  I told her that I’d done the photo shoots with the girls and she was super keen to have a photo shoot of her own so she did her hair and make up and off we went.  We actually did the photo shoot twice… Once on Friday which neither of us were happy with so we went to another park on Saturday and the photos turned out great!

Here’s my favourite photo which we’ve got framed in our family room:


Is anyone else seeing the resemblance Roxanne has to Mikayla??  When I first saw Roxanne’s photo my first thought was that she and Mikayla could pass for sisters… check this out:

Roxanne & Mikayla

These are the girls photos from Facebook and I was struck by how similar they looked… in fact they have more than just their looks in common.  They’re only three months apart in age too.  It will be super cool when they finally get to meet each other! 

Before I get myself too side-tracked here’s a close up of the second half of the week:RIGHT_1

Roxanne and I really enjoyed doing a few things together which was just as well because her plans changed when the buses were cancelled due to the snow.  Instead of leaving on Friday night Roxanne ended up staying for the entire weekend and leaving for Wellington on Monday morning.  It was nice to have the extra time with her and we spent a bit of time in the kitchen.

I made us a tagine for dinner and Roxanne was really impressed.  I used some of the new pomegranate sauce I’d bought on one of our trips and it was excellent… absolutely packed with flavour!

On the Sunday Mike got busy changing the doors over on the fridge and it turned into quite a mission but it’s all working great now… and so much better having it open the opposite way.  He also made us a delicious lunch of toasted ciabatta bread, cheese and chorizo sausage!

I think he might have been trying to impress his daughter because on Sunday night he made his ‘world famous’ nachos for dinner and Roxanne loved them.  We even washed them down with home made margaritas.  It was a great end to our weekend.

So that was our week 28… lots of family time!  I hope you’re all having a great weekend xx