Friday, July 3, 2015

Project Life: Week 21

Hello again - Today I’ve got my album pages from Week 21 - May 18th to May 24th

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This week when I took my class to the school library I discovered a really lovely little story book about a ‘big bad wolf’ wanting to eat a ‘poor innocent little duck’ but by the end of the book we were all feeling just a little bit sorry for the wolf… it’s definitely a book worth adding to my collection.

While we’re on the subject of books, my last math book arrived this week.  I’d ordered it (along with three others) at the end of Term 1 but this one was in the process of being reprinted.  I did have a little bit of a giggle of it having a ‘fragile’ sticker on it though!

Remember how I took Mike to Vetro on the weekend?  Well we totally forgot to take a photo of our goodies so we got out the camera and took it this week before we’d eaten too much of what we bought…those salamis are super tasty!

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

It must have been my week to receive parcels because along with my math book I also received my brand new Butter Bell crock.  I was really impressed with the one Carey’s mum had so I finally got around to ordering one of my own… and it works brilliantly!

Mike and I have both been in the kitchen this week… I’ve been making cupcakes and Mike has been ‘perfecting’ his baked potatoes.  The kids at school were really happy to see my cupcake containers arrive at school and they definitely enjoyed being able to taste them!

This week at school we had Bernie and Harold visiting from Life Education.  The kids loved their visits to the caravan and they learnt quite a lot about reading food labels.  It’s quite surprising how many of our ‘healthy’ food are actually loaded up with sugar!

After a busy week at work it was so nice to sit down with some cheese and crackers on Friday night and simply relax. The weekends have been getting really busy, especially with hockey taking over Saturday mornings so it’s nice to take some time out together and just chat about the week.

On Saturday morning we took the Harley down to the bike shop to get a new front tyre fitted.  While we were there the rain came bucketing down… not so great for going home on the bike… but it was so heavy that hockey was cancelled which helped free up the rest of the morning!

In the end we went into town and I bought myself a Kitchen Aid mixer… just like the one Nigella uses!  I’ve wanted one of those mixers for years but could never quite bring myself to get one but now that I’m doing plenty of baking it seemed a lot more worthwhile!

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

As soon as we got home from town I got stuck into the baking… I made a really yummy carrot cake loaf and then I found a recipe for a spicy chocolate torte that I wanted to try.  Both things turned out brilliantly and I even made the icing using the Kitchen Aid.  I know I’ll be using it LOTS!

On Sunday Mike had to do some work over in Tauranga with Mark so I went along for the ride.  I managed to find myself a quiet little space to do my school work on my laptop which kept me busy for a few hours while the guys got down to business.  At one point Mike asked me if I’d like to come and take some photos of the work they were doing and of course he just HAD to pose for the camera! 

By lunchtime they were finished painting so they got themselves cleaned up and then they took Rattaya and myself out for lunch.  We decided Mexican would be nice for a change and we headed into town.  The food was absolutely fabulous and we even had a couple of margaritas… super great way to spend time with friends!

After lunch we headed home, went to the launderette to get the washing dry, did a few chores and then headed out to pub quiz night with Krystal and Chris.  We got off to a great start with me winning us a free dessert and then we ended up coming THIRD!  It was a fabulous way to end the weekend.

So there’s another week in our lives… thanks for stopping by xx

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Project Life: Week 20

It’s definitely time for an update.  The end of Term 2 is upon us and I’m so looking forward to having some time to re-charge the batteries and do some things on my ‘to do list’… including getting my art room sorted out!

Meanwhile, here is Week 20 - May 11th to May 17thFULL_1

The week after school camp was filled with post camp activities, lots of talking about camp and viewing the hundreds of photos taken on cameras and ipads.  In my class we also painted the backgrounds for our Autumn poetry.  We were also the proud winners of ‘Class of the Week’ at school.  The kids were really proud of the trophy!

On the home front, Mike has taken it upon himself to master the art of making mango lassie’s.  We had one at an Indian restaurant during Easter weekend while Mum was staying with us and Mike kept mentioning how nice it was.  Several weeks later he was still going on about it so I suggested he have a go at making one.

Keep in mind that it was a ‘suggestion’ and not a ‘challenge’!  Mike quickly jumped onto Google to find out how to make a good mango lassie and he went ahead and bought fresh mango as well as canned mango, yoghurt, cream and milk.  He’s in his element experimenting with ratios and quantities… and meanwhile I get to be the taste tester… not a bad job at all in my opinion!

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Meanwhile, I was doing a bit of Googling of my own and stumbled across a blog that I really enjoy… it’s full of great recipes and wonderful photography and the woman who writes the blog is down to earth. ‘Little Box Brownie’ is exactly the sort of blog you can spend hours reading and I might just have to keep an eye out for her book as well!

In my own kitchen I’ve been adding some more magnets to my collection by Suzy Toronto.  I love her uplifting quotes and the artwork is fabulous.  They really do brighten up the fridge!

The cold weather really hit this week and we had a few frosts.  I didn’t think there was any chance of the tomatoes to ripen so Mike and I got stuck in and picked them all before they got spoilt.  We ended up with several kilos of green tomatoes and thankfully Google provided me with a fantastic Green Tomato Chutney to try!

I’d never made this particular recipe before but it worked brilliantly… I followed it pretty strictly since it was my first attempt and the resulting chutney is extremely moreish! Just right to go with cheese and crackers… or on a ploughman's platter.

First thing on Saturday morning we went down to the local market.  We hadn’t been for ages due to hockey but this weekend we made a real effort to get there.  There was one man selling guavas… the little ones just like my grandmother and great grandmother used to grow. 

When I was a little girl I would pick as many as I could reach and then I’d have to rely on someone helping me get the ones that were up higher.  I absolutely adored them although it’s probably good that I only got to have them once a week.  Anyway back to the market… I spotted the guavas and bought a bag to share with Mike.  He tried one and wasn’t keen at all so I got to have the whole lot… lucky me!  One bite of the little fruit and I was instantly transported back to my childhood memories.

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After going to the market I took Mike to Vetro.  He’d never been before and there were a few spices I wanted to get for my chutney.  While we were there they mentioned that a ‘salami tasting’ was due to start at 11am… exactly the sort of thing Mike likes!

Since we had to wait a little while we bought a little tub of chocolate gelato to share and my oh my was it good!!  The salami was also delicious and we bought a few home with us.

On Sunday we decided to go for a ride on the Harley.  I mentioned to Mike that I’d always wanted to go to the cheese factory at Waharoa and he was keen so off we went.  We had a wonderful ride over and did a couple of stops along the way. 

Every time I’ve gone past this cheese factory it’s either been closed or I’ve been on a time frame to get somewhere so I’ve never stopped but it really was worth it.  We shared a cheese platter and I was really impressed… great value for money!  I also loved the atmosphere! Here’s what it looks like inside (photos from the internet):

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Of course we HAD to bring some cheese home with us!  As we headed home on the bike I was thinking about what a great life I have… it was definitely one of those ‘feel good’ days.

To end the weekend we joined in with Krystal, Chris and Julie (Chris’s sister) for pub quiz night.  We had an absolute blast!  There were lots of questions we just had to guess at but there was also quite a few we got right.  It was a wonderful way to finish the weekend!

I’m planning on getting myself all caught up during the term break so keep an eye out for the updates. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Project Life: Week 19

I’ve had a bit of time to catch up with my photos this weekend so here’s my pages for Week 19 May 4th - 10th
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This was a really big week because I was away at school camp.  Before I went to camp though I managed to capture a sign at the local shops… at first I couldn’t quite work out WHY this sign stood out to me… and then I noticed the spelling mistake… ooops!

Camp was a real experience… the kids totally loved it although it managed to rain on us (sometimes really heavily) pretty much the whole time we were away.  The first day wasn’t too bad until about 4pm and then from that moment on we were wet constantly.

There were some pretty cool activities for the kids… air rifle shooting, archery, BMX bikes, confidence course, giant swing, abseiling and water slides!

Here’s a close up of the first page:LEFT_1
I will admit that I went up to the platform at the top of the abseiling to take some photos and felt absolutely SICK when I looked down… I moved back down the stairs as quickly as possible!  The kids were super brave!

I’ve never really been one for heights but a few years ago I did the swoop at another school camp.  This year there was a ‘giant swing’ instead.  Basically they put you into a cocoon that’s a bit like a bulky sleeping bag… then they pull on a rope to raise you into the air until it clips onto another rope… then you have to pull the release cord and away you go!

One of my boys REALLY didn’t want to do it but in the end I managed to talk him around and he was super thrilled with himself.  The next minute the parent in charge of his group said I should do it and before I knew it the kids had talked me into it.  I’m not sure who took it (it was definitely one of the kids) but it turns out there is a video of my giant swing adventure:



By the time I came home from camp on the Friday afternoon I was ready for a long, hot shower and a good nights sleep!

On Saturday I had to go to hockey in the morning and then Mike and I took Mum to the home show over in Tauranga.  There wasn’t a whole lot there that we were interested in but Mum did buy herself a cool hose!  We had lunch at Bayfair and then browsed around a few shops before dropping Mum off and heading home. 

On Sunday it was Mother’s Day and Toby REALLY spoilt me!  I woke up to a small present and balloon by the bed which I thought was really sweet… especially when I discovered that they were my favourite chocolates!

I was even more stunned to come out to the dining room to discover a whole table of presents and balloons!  There was even a card… I think Toby may have had Daddy’s help!

Here’s a closer look at the photos:RIGHT_1

The surprises didn’t end there though… Mike took me for a drive to Hamilton and we went out for lunch.  We both love bread and garlic bread is even more of a favourite so we had to have that for our starter and when our mains arrived they were so delicious we got stuck in and forgot all about taking photos until the end.  It really was a great Mothers Day!

I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend xx

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Project Life: Week 18

I’ve finally got April done and dusted!  The weeks are rolling by much too quickly!

Here’s an overview of the week - April 27th - May 3rd:FULL_1

Monday 27th was a public holiday so Mike and I headed over to Hamilton for some lunch.  We found a great little cafĂ© place at The Base and thought we’d try out a couple of items on the Chef’s menu… turns out we should have asked for the prices because our extremely average lunch cost us $71!!!

There were a couple of ups to going to Hamilton though… we spotted a very cool ATM machine supporting the ANZAC Day celebrations and we also discovered a little chocolate shop.  We had quite a lot of fun selecting a few treats and then after having our Wellington chocolates melt on us we promptly sat down outside to eat them!

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

Toby has been enjoying some big bones lately.  Mike has discovered a butcher that he likes and he keeps coming home with treats for Toby… which Toby is very happy about!  The only downside is that Toby isn’t quite so ‘sleek and slim’ anymore LOL

I didn’t take as many photos during this week but I had found some cool things as I was traipsing around the internet so they got included in this weeks pages.

I DID manage to get a screen shot of April’s Daily Challenges with Solitaire.  I really love playing cards and the huge advantage playing on the computer is that there’s no cards to pack up and shuffle!  I enjoy the monthly challenges too because there’s lots of variety although some of the ‘expert’ ones have me going insane at times!

Meanwhile the hockey season got underway this week.  I’ve been given a Year 3 and 4 team to coach although it’s been YEARS since I’ve actually played hockey myself.  Thankfully a lovely Mum approached me to say that she’d love to coach the team and run the hockey practices so I’m more like a ‘silent partner’ in the whole process and just go down to watch them play on a Saturday morning.

Here’s a close up of the second part of the week:RIGHT_1

Toby makes the most of weekend mornings when Mike tries to catch a bit more sleep.  He’s quick to make himself comfortable on the bed and snuggle!

The third big tree in our backyard is now cut down!  It’s really opened up the backyard and there’s so much more light coming in now!  Mike loves cutting up all the wood with the chainsaw too!  We’ve got quite a bit of firewood ready for next winter which will be awesome!

In between hockey, Toby and tree cutting we managed to find a shop selling all sorts of products that we haven’t tried before.  It’s one of those discount stores where most things are really close to or just over their expiry date.  We decided to try some grape juice and crackers and they were pretty good.  It certainly made for a nice pick-me-up!

So that was our week and now I’m finally into May LOL  Thank goodness for calendars and dated photos on the camera!

Wishing you all a great week xx

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Project Life: Week 17

Despite the fact that I have been a very slack blogger lately, I HAVE been taking lots of photos so at least I will be able to catch up again.  For this post I’ve got Week 17 which was April 20th - April 26th. 

Here’s an overview of the week:FULL_1

This week it was all about ANZAC Day!  We started Term 2 at school and it was all go!  We knew we were having a special ceremony on the Friday to commemorate the centenary of the ANZAC military campaign on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey.

Over the school holidays one of the teachers had organised for us to have wooden poppies made for every child in the school.  I brought home my class set along with another set to prime ready for painting.  Mike and I managed to do one side of primer before watching Game of Thrones and then we did the second side afterwards… and it’s true what they say… many hands do make light work because we seemed to have all 60 poppies primed in no time at all!

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

At Glenholme School we are lucky to have Roz on our staff.  She’s a retired teacher that now works as a teacher aide and her knowledge is amazing!  She often gets called on to help out with running records (for reading) and other testing. 

During the war some of her relations sent home postcards and letters to other family members and they’ve kept them all safe.  Roz brought in her very special folder of family memorabilia along with several medals for the kids to look at… they’re super lucky to have such an amazing lady share her stories with them.

During the week we researched ANZAC soldiers, the history of the poppy, painted poppies and lots of other bits and pieces.  The kids were really immersed in history.

Meanwhile, the only ‘history’ Toby was interested in was the box left over from our pizza dinner!  He could smell the remnants of cheese and proceeded to eat a perfect circle out of the base of the box.  When Mike walked past him after his shower Toby was on guard duty!  He was super protective about ‘his’ pizza box… but it still ended up in the fireplace by the end of the night!

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

The kids really enjoyed making poppy flowers out of crepe paper and they turned out fantastically well.  They look beautiful and were actually quite simple to do.

During the week the school leaders made ANZAC cookies to sell to help raise money for their trip to Wellington later on this term.  They took orders every day and then had the cookies ready to sell on Friday… and they were super delicious!

On Friday we had our special ceremony in the morning and it was very moving.  After morning tea each class was able to have a photo taken with our special memorial and it was pretty neat for the kids to see all the poppies laid out together.

Mum got involved in the ANZAC celebrations this year too and spent several hours selling ANZAC cookies over in Tauranga.  Thankfully the newspaper people were there to capture the moment so I was able to get a photo!

Meanwhile Mike got busy in our backyard and cleared up the second tree that he’d felled.  Toby of course had to go with ‘Daddy’ to get rid of the rubbish!  He actually does try to ‘help’ but this generally involves him bringing sticks inside and shredding bark off them all over the carpet!

I’m so pleased that I’ve been documenting what’s been going on in the backyard because it looks really different now compared to when I moved back in December!

So there you have it… Week 17 done and dusted!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Project Life: Week 16

Hi there :)

Well my blog is well over-due for an update so here’s Week 16: 13th - 19th April

This was the second week of the school holidays and looking back on it I definitely got a lot of things done during the week.  Here’s an overview:FULL_1

On Monday night Game of Thrones began it’s 5th Season.  Krystal and Chris are really into Game of Thrones as well and since Mike and I subscribe to the SOHO channel and they don’t we asked them to join us to watch each episode.  We also decided that Monday night would be ‘dessert’ night. 

Since I had a bit of time to ‘play’ in the kitchen I came up with a ‘deconstructed passionfruit and lemon cheesecake’.  It was actually really simple to make but it looked (and tasted) pretty amazing!

Meanwhile, Mike made us American hot dogs for dinner which happens to be one of our favourite ‘easy dinners’.

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

Mike and I had been looking for a ‘winter’ duvet set for our room.  We looked in heaps of different places but couldn’t find exactly what we were looking for and then we popped in to Harvey Normans and there it was… and it was on sale too!  For now we’ve teamed it up with the black Euro pillows from another duvet but Mike REALLY likes the red ones that actually go with the duvet.  I like the red ones too but they’re $45 each so for now they can stay in the shop!

On Tuesday night Mike brought home his new painting gear and did a little ‘show and tell’.  He’s really happy with the new gear but Toby didn’t like it at all… he barked and growled and tried to hide and then barked again.  As soon as Mike took off his head gear Toby was a happy puppy again LOL

One thing Toby did have right though was sunbathing outside his ‘day room’ on Wednesday.  It was actually warmer outside than it was inside and Toby made the most of it. 

While he was busy sunbathing I got busy finishing off the travel album I started at Autumn Escape. You can check out the album HERE if you missed it.  It now sits proudly up on the bookshelf and I really love how it turned out.

While I was busy making my album Tracey rang to ask if she and the kids could come through and stay for a couple of days.  I knew I was going to Tauranga on Thursday to visit the Education Resource Centre but it worked out perfectly because they weren’t arriving until at least 5pm.

Toby was super excited to see Auntie and his cousins again!  He’s really missed the kids since we moved back from Gisborne and he spent most of the night following them around and keeping an eye on what they were doing!

Here’s a close up of the second part of the week:RIGHT_1

Mike ended up working a short day on Friday so when he got home by mid morning we decided that it was time to go and get some firewood.  Luckily we still had the big trailer because we ended up doing a couple of loads of wood. 

Then we all headed into town for some lunch.  We decided that Brew would be a good place to try and I had the eggs benedict which was totally delicious.  We definitely enjoyed spending a bit of time eating out as a family and Brew has a brilliant menu for the kids so it was a perfect choice.

After lunch Tracey and the kids headed into the shopping mall to have a look around while Mike and I did a couple of jobs from the ever-growing ‘to do’ list.  While we were at the chemist we spotted a pretty perfume display and I was quite taken with the ‘Kimberly Glitz’ perfume.  It’s a knock off of Kim Kardashian’s Glam perfume.  I haven’t actually seen her Glam perfume but I really like the Glitz one!

On Saturday, Tracey and the kids headed back to Gisborne and Mike and I went shopping for a sofa bed for the family room.  Now that it’s colder and we’re lighting the fire at night it’s quite nice to sit up in the family room to watch TV in front of the fire. 

Mike had to work on Sunday so I went into school for the day.  By 5pm I was totally over it but I still had my big whiteboard to do.  I was trying to create sections using masking and washi tape but my eyes weren’t really seeing straight so Mike came down to help me out.  In the end the board turned out fantastically well and all the lines are straight!

So that was our week.  Lots of interesting little things with plenty of family time as well… it was a perfect end to the school holidays!

I hope you’re all having a fab weekend xx

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Project Life – a couple of inserts!

I’ve gotten a little behind on my blog again but not to worry… I’ve still been keeping the calendar updated and I’ve got loads of photos so I’m sure it will happen as soon as I get a chance.

In the meantime, I had so many photos from Autumn Escape that I decided to do an insert.  Here’s the front of the page:insert front_1

The set up at the candy table was gorgeous! There were so many things to see and I loved the vintage feel of it all.  It was definitely luxurious at the resort and a gorgeous setting for taking photos. 

Here’s the back of the insert page:insert back_1

Miss Jane gave Esther a hair cut on Saturday night and did an amazing job… I didn’t get the courage to have my hair trimmed until Sunday morning by which time we’d already handed in our keys to our rooms so I had mine done outside!

While we were looking for somewhere to do the haircut we came across some beautiful toadstools so I had to get some photos… even if I did have to get down on the wet grass LOL  We also met a very friendly little fantail!

The following week Jodi sent me a copy of the group photo so I’m going to use a 5x7 insert as well… that’s a first for me!

Here’s the front of the mini insert:5 x 7 front_1

And on the back I’ve got a couple of mementoes from the weekend:5 x 7 back_1

It was a really fabulous weekend :)

Now to catch up with the rest of April!  Have a great day xx