Friday, January 31, 2014

Loving being on holidays

We had a great family day at Hamilton Zoo on Monday (that'll be a whole post in itself)

We've been rearranging and sorting (with  A LOT more to go). I am determined to cut the crap this year.

On Wednesday I saw my surgeon and got great news! He walked in the room and the first thing he said is 'its not cancer'. YUSS!! very happy. It was another benign papilloma.. and it's all healing well.

Our pool is the best thing we ever bought I think. It is getting used constantly and is such a perfect size.
We bought this old beauty on Trade me for a whopping $26. It was a bit of a drama getting it in the house when the castors fell off but we used one of the kids skateboards to wheel it in (nothing like a bit of Kiwi ingenuity!). It needs a tune but this little Miss is excited about starting piano lessons. Me too! I plan to learn as well.
Lots of zucchinis turned to marrows overnight ended up as the yummiest pickle! (and homemade curry powder to make sure its gluten free - didn't think to read the spice packet labels. Here's a hint, buy the Eco brand not Gregg's for spices)
I finally joined the hexie bandwagon. I need to work on my joining but LOVE these!!

Back to work next week - boo!

Have a great weekend.

Joining up with the lovely Meghan

Friday, January 24, 2014


It's been a challenging two weeks. I had surgery last week and was feeling pretty lousy afterwards but this week, every day I feel much better.
A trip to the beach yesterday has grounded me and cleared my head as well as time with a dear friend.

Loving this week is bought to you by the letter C

Cookies (from a thoughtful, lovely friend)

Clever Poppa's that make bows and arrows
Confetti!!! (from another lovely friend .. the confetti had me giggling for days)
Crazy phone photos by my crazy kids
Cobweb clearing walks on the beach
Crazy cats doing Yoga
Cauliflower Salad (would you think I was weird if I told you cauliflower was my favourite food?)

Linking in with the lovely Meghan

Friday, January 10, 2014

Loving in pictures

happy mail 

road tripping


new projects

one of my fave books as a movie - LOVED it.

more happy mail

my first Kombucha brew ready for secondary fermentation

Rainbow nesting fabric wrapped rope baskets. Whats not to love?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

For the lovely Tammi : Easy Chocolate Cake (GF option)

This post is especially for Tammi!!

Years ago a friend gave me this chocolate cake recipe and we recently changed it up to make it gluten free.

Because of the dairy and eggs I can't try it but I am assured by all it is SUPER tasty!!!
(you could easily make it dairy free as well by using a dairy free substitute - Olivani in NZ or Nutlex in Oz)

Chocolate Cake

2 C Sugar                                              
2 C Flour (we replace this with Healtheries Simple Gluten free Baking Mix)
1/2 c Cocoa
1/2 c melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs well beaten
1 c hot chocolate (or coffee)
1 c milk

Combine the dry ingredients.
Add milk, butter, egg and vanilla.
Mix together then add the hot chocolate/coffee
Line a large round tin with baking paper.
Bake 180C for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean

When cold ice with your favourite chocolate icing ... or you can do what we did with the cake at the top - cut through the middle and fill and ice with caramel filling and dust with shaved chocolate! Yum!

It makes a decent sized cake!
Miss 8 made this one herself! she was so proud!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My creative space : A retreat in our backyard

When we looked at our house last April, it ticked a lot of boxes for us.
Close to school (behind the house)
close to the city (3 km)
huge backyard
Good 'bones' (with lots of renovating potential)
quiet neighbourhood

It wasn't until we were about to leave the viewing that we asked to look inside the garage. We were impressed there was a utility room off the garage but wondered what the second door was for.

The minute we opened the door, I was sold on the house. Hidden behind the garage was every crafty girls dream!  A craft room!

There is a little wardrobe that had an ugly green curtain that was too short. It was the perfect opportunity to join all my favourite thrifted linens to make a new curtain. Once I find more I think I might even make curtains like these for the windows.
And there's even room to put a queen sized bed in when we have guests

My favourite part of this whole room is the bi-fold window... so beautiful to have open when the sun is pouring in
just needs a lick of paint!
I feel so immensely blessed to have this space and now that its organised it is my retreat from the craziness of life, work, family.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Crochet Mood Blanket 2014

I'm joining in with this great challenge for 2014 - Crochet Mood Blanket!

Started by Mummy_Stacey (on instagram) this challenge has pretty much gone viral with huge numbers of people joining in from around the world.

You can check out the hashtag #crochetmoodblanket2014

You can make a granny square a day (365) or one a week (52).

I kept changing my mind but finally decided to do one small square a day. Miss 12 is doing it too so its going to be so much fun to do it together!

We have a box of wool from my stash and we have both agreed to just pick a colour we feel reflects our mood that day.

The inspiration to choose small squares comes from this blanket
That guy does the most amazing crochet ^^^^^

I've even learnt to 'join as I go' from this tutorial 

Are you joining in too???

Monday, January 6, 2014

Christmas Gifts : Handmade Cleaning gift packs

Leading up to christmas this year I spent many an hour making gifts.

My favourite handmade gift for giving has to be the practical, yet pretty, crochet dishcloth.

I usually give these with a jar of Peppermint cleaning paste.

This year for my Mum, Mother in law and sister in law I decided to make them a dishcloth each, a bottle of our homemade laundry liquid and a container of cleaner.

I was racking my brain on what to put it all in!

And then I remembered these fabulous baskets Mel was making (tutorial from here).

I had already bought some cotton rope and it didn't take long to make three baskets.

These will be my go to gift this year and I plan to try dyeing some too!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmas Cracker swap 2013

I joined up with a fun little swap for Christmas, from Tracy's blog here.

I was so excited when my swap arrived in the mail.

My swap partner Gilly was so kind and generous! Look how beautiful it was all packaged.

Thanks Gilly! I love it all!

Friday, January 3, 2014

On my bedside table

I love books. I am a total library geek.
Whenever we move somewhere new the first thing I do is get a library card.

I've spotted a few blog posts around the internet where people share what they are reading/ library books and I thought this year I'd like to join in.

I'll share the books I borrowed and talk a little about a couple of them.

My recent trip to the library was quite a good one. I went to a different library and was excited with the books I found.

For Christmas I received Bellagrande by Paullina Simons. I have hunted everywhere for Children of Liberty (the prequel) and was so pleased to find it at the library - free to borrow!

And we love Jamie Oliver in this house. This book is FAB!! today I made one of the 'jar dressings' for my salad. So easy! I plan to make more from this and maybe even buy a copy.

What books are on your bedside table??? What library books are you reading?