30 September 2010

Recipe: Lemon & Thyme Pasta - how its meant to be!

It's not often that I cook. Our resident chef is streets ahead of me when it comes to whipping up fantastic meals on the fly.

And tonight things went a little awry. I think its because I had it in my head that I was going to do a blog post on it, and I was too busy taking photos, thinking about the post and not concentrating hard enough on what I was doing...that'll learn me.

In the process, I think we ended up with twice as much salt and I completely forgot the lemon zest. It still tasted fine (a little salty), but I know I've definitely made it better.

So here's the recipe - but how it's meant to be made...LOL!

Lemon & Thyme Pasta - ready in 20 mins!

Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 garlic clove or 1 heaped teaspon of lazy garlic
4 sprigs of thyme (1 Tbsp of stripped leaves)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons of Maldon sea salt (not 1 Tbsp like I used!)
3 Tbsp grated cheese
Veges of your choice for frying (broccoli, onion, courgettes, celery etc)
1 sausage per person or 1 large chicken breast
Spaghetti noodles

1. Bake sausages in oven 200 degrees for 20 minutes. Once cooked, chop into slices.
2. Fry veges
3. Mix lemon juice/zest, thyme, garlic, salt and olive oil together
4. Cook spaghetti noodles in boiling water until cooked
5. Pour spaghetti and sauce over veges
6. Stir in grated cheese

Serve and enjoy!

29 September 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Who Knew?

Who knew that a door could provide so much entertainment?



27 September 2010

Loving....not Loving again

My new word discovery, starrify. I found a cool link to some ultra-hip words on Save the Words - on a link posted by Angela from Striking Keys recently. I LOVE the meaning - to decorate with stars, and the sentence that is used to show how it could be used in conversation is hilarious!

'If you work in an astronomical observatory, never starrify the ceiling with glow-in-the-dark stickers'


And I even found a great example - the mosaic bowl starrifies the ceiling every time the sun comes out!

NOT LOVING........
Adjusting to daylight savings. A long overdue night out with daycare parent friends for dinner and not home till midnight (1am adjusted for daylight savings) + Noah having a friend to sleep over and the 2 chirpy early birds getting up at 6.30 (5.30am not adjusted for daylight savings) = A recipe for next to no sleep and 2 very tired parents! Needless to say, Sunday was a very quiet day for us!

Little brown mouse. Meese. Mice. Whatever! A cute hat sent over from Grandma & Grandad in the UK that fits both boys..just. When Mark suggested they could pass for Ewoks I knew we'd been watching far too much Star Wars in this house lately!

 Spot the difference!

The starlings that have returned to our eaves, to roost. Again. For the fourth year running. They make such a din from the minute it gets light in the morning, squawking and skittering around. They sound much more like a herd of elephants than tiny birds. And the chicks haven't even hatched yet. That's when the fun really starts. And lasts pretty much from now until Christmas. I can't wait.......

I've contemplated a bird exterminator (is there such a thing?), as we just can't reach up high enough on our  very high, angular roof - to get anywhere near them. But I haven't quite decided if I could be that cruel......

It doesn't make me any happier when I read that starlings are considered a pest in NZ and the species they come from is known as vulgaris...sigh..........does anyone have a pop gun I could borrow?

The flexibility this boy has. I think he gets this pose from me. I can still sit like this...for a few minutes anyway before the old joints start to complain. And him? He can sit for hours like this. Got to love those genes. I'm just stoked that he didn't inherit my hair twirling gene thus far. Only a girl could really get away with that one!

having an itchy scalp. And no, I don't have nits! I've had it on and off for about 3 months, and some days it's worse than others. I've been using sensitive shampoo and conditioner (which cost a fortune by the way!), but it just isn't going away. I might have to look into some 'erbal remedies and see if they might help. I think it is more than likely stress related as it does tend to flair up when I've got a lot on. I'm not silly enough to believe that this working full-time and being a mummy-of-two lark was ever going to be a walk in the park!

Putting on a brand new pair of work pants this morning and finding a giant hole in the crotch. OK, so they were only $10 down from $40 but they didn't mention anywhere that they were damaged. Grr. Thankfully, my limited sewing skills do stretch to the odd bit of mending on the fly. Off I went to work as good as new!

Little boys' imaginations. This pirate treasure map of Dinosaur Island drawn very carefully, joining all his own dots and with the prerequisite 'X' marks the spot. Very Jurassic Park!

That our camera needs to be sent away to be looked at. It has been saying 'Change the battery pack' even with a full battery. Best send it off now though so we have it back by Christmas. Eek, did I really say that.... Christmas is well and truly coming when it starts getting mentioned in conversation.

A helpful Harry in the garden. Each year, his ability to help rather than hinder grows.

What things are you loving...not loving....lately?

24 September 2010

RAW(e) Smiles & Laughter

This is something new for me. I've not entered a link-up to RAW(e) before. The theme for this week is Smiles and Laughter.

Smiles are one of the most beautiful moments we can ever capture, and I just love, love, love capturing them on camera.

Smiles are beautiful. It's like being enveloped in warmth and light. And then there's LAUGHTER. Deep, bubbling and overflowing from within a joyful heart.  The sound alone can energise an entire room, and make you giggle infectiously because your soul connects and responds at the deepest level, and you just have to join in.

I love the post I read earlier on Sarah from Chez Lee's post and the link to the article which discussed how children can laugh up to 300 times a day while as adults we only laugh about 15 times a day. Where did that childlike constantly joyful feeling go? Oh to be as carefree and unencumbered as a child once again. To laugh without reserve. To smile at strangers without a thought for the consequences. To live as if there were hundreds of pleasurable experiences to be found in every day.

Let me be open to experience more of the pure childlike joy my children share with me daily.

22 September 2010

Wordless Wednesday: That Freedom Feeling

The boy loves to shed. And go wild. Loves it. Just loves it.
Note: Boy at warp speed = many blurry shots. All taken within five minutes.

And my favourite......

Oh to be so footloose and fancy free.....sigh.
P.S. Can you guess the rather famous movie playing in the background?

A Few Firsts

My fingers have been itching to write for days, but AAAAAAH so little time. So I'll attempt to make up for it now!

First Birthdays
We had a little celebration on Sunday afternoon with Mylo's nearest and dearest attending.

After the stressful experience of being unexpectedly left to ice Noah's birthday cake a few weeks ago, I had declared that Mylo would just have to have an easy cake, a simple round chocolate cake with no bells and whistles.

But then I took it all back. How could we not make an effort for our little dude's 1st ever birthday celebration? And given that Daddy went to all the effort to make an awesome pirate ship for Noah's 1st birthday, we could hardly whip up Mylo a second rate cake. So this is what we came up with.

He  has a few cuddly penguins he's quite fond of, so it seemed very apt. And it was a joint effort in the end, with Mark doing the baking the day before, and me in charge of decorating on the day. It looked like it would be pretty easy to decorate, but in the end it took 2 hours from starting with the rectangular cake out of the tin! I'm not sure if that's a long or short time in the world of cake decorating, but it did feel like an age when I was sat at the dining table concentrating hard! Even the bow tie was home made from some of our wedding ribbon I had stashed away in the cupboard for a 'rainy day' such as this!

Mylo was a little nonplussed at all the attention he got when it was time to blow out the candle, and put on one of his trademark frowns, but otherwise he and we had a blast.

He also enjoyed the opportunity to merrily smush some cake once everyone had gone home.

First Football Game
Noah got to watch his Daddy play indoor football for the first time. The timing was perfect as Poppa was here for the weekend, he was able to be courtside with Noah and keep him company. Noah has been quite fascinated with football and rugby of late, wanting to wear his black Phoenix football t-shirt all weekend and declaring that that made him an 'All-Black'. We didn't have the heart to tell him he had his sport codes a little confused, we were just stoked by his sudden interest!

First Blog Award
Last week I got my first ever lovely blog award from 2 fellow bloggers Leonie at KiwiatHeart and Leesh from Life is a Highway. I was rather chuffed, as I haven't been nominated for anything like that before. So I'll be paying it forward very soon in a future post...watch this space.

First time for everything
Most of the country was caught in the grips of a horrible spring storm over the weekend. But not us. It is probably the first time I can remember that Welly has cruised through dire weather warnings as if we were sailing through the eye of the storm. Sure it was windy here. But no more so than normal. And the sun shone each day, defying the odds. We made the most of it.

First Kaka in the Garden
Tonight I heard the familiar, and growing more familia,r sound of kaka. They are often heard flying overhead in pairs or groups around dawn or dusk on their journey to and from Zealandia. But tonight they sounded tantalisingly close. And they were. I tiptoed into the garden and found myself right up close and personal with 2 gorgeous birds in the tree just behind our fence.

I searched on the ever trusty Wikipedia, and found the article on kaka. Apparently they are breeding rapidly at Zealandia (the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary) which is less than a kilometre away as the crow flies. There have been over 100 chicks hatch since they were reintroduced 8 years ago. I hope that these feathered friends choose to come and visit again soon. What an unexpected and fantastic experience for a Wednesday evening.

Have you experienced any 'firsts' lately worth sharing?

18 September 2010

A year in the life...

As we head towards the momentous occasion of a wee man's 1st birthday, here are a few of our most memorable Mylo Moments.

The Grand and Speedy Entrance
Even though you weren't actually due for 5 more days, you decide you want a memorable birthdate.


It is crisp and frosty. We drive through the quiet and still city in the early hours of the morning to get to the hospital. Just before 4am, and I have been having good contractions for 4 hours. Although the journey is blurry, I remember seeing young people walking the streets coming home from a night on the town. And thinking rather lucidly given the pain that my night is going to surpass anything they might have experienced.  We park in the underground carpark. It is still and echoing, not a soul in sight. By this time, I cannot stand through the contractions and I drop to my knees supported by hubby to get through the next one that comes. He later tells me how glad he is that the carpark was deserted as my cries of pain could easily have been mistaken for cries of passion something else?!

The birthing pool is a welcome relief from the pain. It is so much easier to listen to my body this time. Taking over and telling me exactly what I need to do and when. I listen and obey. I only have to push for a few minutes. And then suddenly there you are. Less than an hour since we came to the hospital, and you arrive -  desperate to see the world with your brand new eyes. Welcome Mylo. It is 4.56am.

We stay just long enough for me to recover and for you to feed. I remember you being so alert and hungry. I get some energy back eating toast and drinking an altogther different kind of Milo - I'm so ravenous after that adrenaline surge! We bring you home to begin our new adventure as a family of four. It is 8am.

Mylo's full birth story is 

Discovering His Reflection
Imagine the excitement when Mylo discovered that there was another baby who had just as cute a smile as him!

Escargot Anyone?
Taking a love of French cuisine a little to the extreme, I found you with a whole snail (shell and all) in your mouth munching merrily away at 7 months old. It was only the crunching sound (ew ew ew!) that gave your game away. Though it is still a mystery to me how it even got inside the house in the first place?!

The Pose
This is your trademark 'I know you're telling me off right now, but I can soooo stare you down, just try me' look. And how you have already figured out how to lower your eyebrows that far is what really gets me!

Big Cuddly Cats
We watch you seeing the tigers for the first time at the zoo. And oh how you giggle! I could make a Tui billboard out of what you're clearly thinking: 'If only I could get in there and play with them, it'd be just like playing with my fluffy cat Murphy, only ten times as much fun!' Yeah right.

Those Fiddly Fingers
I think those wayward little fingers are going to get you in more trouble than you or we know.

Mylo Makes Music
Any which way he can.


Splish splash Mylo's having a bath. At the start, it took him about 2 months to even begin to enjoy bathtime. We endured quite a lot of screaming in those early days. But once he had the hang of it, there was NO turning back.


I got this one Dad
Forget buying earbuds. I can clean your ears out for free!

And.......pause for Contemplation
And even with the never-ending abundance of energy you have, you still find time for quiet. For taking it all in. And you do. Stopping thoughtfully to ponder the great mysteries of life as you know them.

And so here we are....one year on.

I often have to pinch myself. Because I can't believe we got so much love, cuteness and pickleness all combined into this one pint-sized package.

So, a new year awaits you Mylo. It is yours to explore and enjoy.

We are so blessed to be able to love and guide you through the many wonderful and varied experiences that are to come.

We cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own - Ben Sweetland

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the love of an adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in - Rachel Carson


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