29 July 2011

I'm Dreaming of my Green Christmas!

If you've been following the blog for longer than six months, you might well remember this post.

About the day I thought I was going to attend a famed Ruth Pretty Christmas cooking class, and instead found myself on a magical adventure in Narnia. If you don't live around these here parts, I can possibly forgive you for not knowing who Ruth Pretty is (but no longer after reading this and checking out the Ruth Pretty Catering website I presume!)

Or you might also remember how when on a return visit to Ruth's kitchen shop on our summer holiday with Mark's parents, Ruth happened to stop by the shop whilst we were there, and remembered me from the blog I had written. She very kindly shouted us all coffees from her kitchen shop whilst we shopped up a storm...and by the way we're still loving the apple peeler, slicer, corer gadget that we picked up from the shop - it's become the ONLY way we eat apples on the weekend!

Anyhow I digress...

On Thursday I got an email from one of Ruth's staff asking if it was OK to link up my Narnia blog post to promote Ruth's new 2011 Christmas Cooking class themed I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas. Well of course it was!

But wait for it people, the best is yet to come.

This was promptly followed up by another email asking would I also like to come along to one of the classes as Ruth's guest?

Um hello.........would ANYONE in their right mind turn down an opportunity to experience a day like that again? I don't think so!

So......here I am, with the date on the calendar circled in a big FAT marker, and I'm already Dreaming of my Green Christmas to come.

What a lovely surprise to end an otherwise pretty ordinary week!

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Things I'm Loving 29.7.11

I'm having to dig really deep this week. Which is exactly the reason why it's so good to stop and really focus on what there is to love in this life.

It's been a ......(insert any number of horrible words here) week with my workload being incredibly overwhelming with no end in sight for the foreseeable future. One day I might elaborate in much more detail, but for now I'll just say that up until 4-6 weeks ago, I was in a pretty good space feeling that my workload was about right. But due to staff changes in my team (my boss left in mid-June and my direct report is also leaving Friday), our financial year-end and audit on right now, and an integration of another company into our financial system also happening right now, I feel as if I'm barely treading water. But it's not all doom and gloom as I have managed to recruit Jackie (that's she of famous friend and nearly sisterhood status who doesn't mind me picking her up from town in my pyjamas like I did on Wednesday night!) to come and work for me to replace my staff member who is leaving. We used to work together at another company a few years back, and so I know how bright and capable she is, so right now I'm totally hanging out for her to come on board at the end of August.

On top of the work stresses, I've been battling the pretty uncomfortable physical pain of an incredibly stiff upper back and neck (I've had to roll out of bed as I couldn't sit up from lying it had gotten so bad) and tight leg muscles to the point I could barely bend my legs and it's all been adding up to NOT MUCH FUN. In the past week I've had an osteo and physio session  including acupuncture and a prescription for some magnesium. The physio reckoned the tight muscles could well have been brought on by all the work stress, but my legs still feel like I have climbed to the top of Mt Taranaki and back again in one day. And I do know what that feels like since we did it in 2005!

So enough of the things I am not loving and moaning about, and onto what I truly am loving.

♥ Family Visits ♥
We don't often get to see my brothers, with one in Sydney and the other busy running his 3 bike shops in Hamilton, Cambridge & Te Awamutu. So it was a nice surprise to get a call from Sam saying he was going to a conference in Sydney and is flying via Wellington so is coming to spend the day with us on Sunday. It'll be so great to hang out even if it is just for the day....yippee!

♥ Mummy and sons time ♥
So one of the things I have really been looking forward for ages to is cutting my work hours back (only from 40 to 35). By juggling my work hours around a bit, it means I can leave at 2.30pm every day to do the school pick-up, which I've been wanting to do since before I went back to work full-time last year. However, in light of the current work situation, the timing of cutting my hours isn't great, and I'm not entirely sure how this is actually going to pan out over the next couple of months, but even the thought itself is pleasing, knowing that I might be able to have a couple more hours with my boys each day!

♥ And then he was five ♥
It's Noah's Happy Last Day (he picked the Pyjama Day theme) today, and so ends a very big chapter in his and our lives so far. I think I could turn into a blubbering mess come pick-up time tonight. The great thing is that at hopefully 1-2 days a week he'll be able to pop in to say hi to the teachers when we pick Mylo up in the afternoon, so it's not goodbye forever. Yesterday we baked Mark's famous Chocolate Brownie for the teachers, as well as a cake and some goodies for the kiddies.

On Monday, Mark and I are both taking the day off to spend with Noah. So far on the agenda for the day is buying his school stationery (oops yes I know we are a bit behind the 8-ball given he starts on Tuesday!), going to see Kung Fu Panda 2 at the movies, having lunch together and just generally giving him a special day to remember with his mummy and daddy.

♥ London Calling ♥
Nikki (of Life's Wonderful Happenings) and I have gotten into a pretty regular habit of skyping most weekends between London and Wellington, sometimes nattering away for up to an hour about everything and nothing. I love and look forward to this part of my week. If you haven't already, go and check out her blog - she is truly a breath of fresh air! Love ya babe!

♥ Building Momentum ♥
So I feel like I have done a lot to prepare for this Star Wars party but as always there seems to b e still more, more and more to do. Loving the easy-peasy cheaper-than-bought party plates I mocked up on Wednesday night. One week and counting!

Hope that everyone else's weeks have been full of loving. I for one am absolutely HANGING out for this weekend!

Be sure to check out all the good things that others are loving over at PJ's place!


25 July 2011

While you were away...

While you were away Daddy.....

we finally had haircuts...don't we look swish?!

 we ate nachos for dinner one night (thanks for making the mince before you left) and heated up a left-over casserole the next (thanks for making that one a week ago). We're pretty pleased to have you back though cos you cook WAAAAY better than Mum. Sure she can bake, but her cooking isn't a patch on yours!

we made a balloon man after reading about one in Noah's reader from daycare

we visited the pet shop and spied on bunnies, rats, birds, fish, dogs and cats

we came home with a free cuddly cat heat pack/bean bag for Murphy to match the one we already had stuffed in the cupboard. But suddenly these 2 cuddly bean bags are the best thing since sliced bread. So we've both been taking them to bed with us ever since.

we visited a friend and her new bubba a half hour drive away taking some carrot muffins we'd baked (sadly they looked nothing like your version Paisley Jade, I'm not sure quite where I went wrong and I'm too ashamed to post pics of the evidence!). They tasted ok, just weren't very pretty to look at.

we ate breakfast in our sunnies

and then the motorbike gang hit the road

we both had a playdate with friends from daycare while Mum went to church

we lost count of how many times we got in and out of the car in the rain this weekend but...

of course we braved the elements one more time to come and pick you up from the airport.

Thanks for bringing us home Dunkin Donuts Daddy, we missed you!

And that you came home no worse for wear after your boys' weekend away in Auckland...well that was even better!

24 July 2011

Wordless Sunday: Liquid

We've had rather enough of liquid falling from the sky this weekend. It has been the wettest, wildest and coldest weekend of the year for certain, and snow is expected to 200m around these parts tonight. Brrr.

So instead, here's the after effects of that same liquid on another day, after a more graceful and gentle affair.

22 July 2011

Things I'm Loving 22.7.11

 Superhero PJ's ♥

How cute are these - OK so it's completely the wrong season, I know, but the thought of getting into these puppies on a warm summer's night is something to look forward to. And at a quarter of their normal price, these were a bargain just waiting to happen!

♥ Giant worm balloons 
Turns out these balloons sent over from Grandma in the UK are pretty good for lightsaber battles! Mind you I reckon pretty much anything in our house could be turned into something resembling Star Wars at the moment, with the party only 2 weeks away, it's somewhat on the brain!

♥ Water chestnuts 
Discovered a love for these whilst at Red Ginger last weekend having the scrummiest of Asian meals with hubby. We bought a can and devoured them in a stir-fry dinner this week.

♥ Wristies 
Am I feeling the love or what? Be careful what you wish for - now I have wristies coming out my ears, or should that be up my arms?! It's all good though, and thanks to the lovely Grandma & Nana who knitted up a storm to get both of these to me in quick-smart timing.

♥ Discovering 
This week we've got not just one moon mad boy but two. Noah has been asking lots of questions about the moon, so I did my bit by swinging by the library today on the way home to hopefully help answer some of the gnarly questions we've been asked. So far I've added to my knowledge - did you know that the moon travels around the Earth at about 4,000kph - that's four times faster than a jumbo jet!

♥ Conquering 
Noah isn't naturally physically confident when it comes to adventure playgrounds - funnily enough slides and flying foxes are no problem, swings are ok although not too high or too fast, see saws sometimes depending on his mood, and the rest well I think it's always seemed a bit too daunting up until now. So to see him run up to all 3 heights of bar on Sunday at the park and confidently flip around them was warming to this mumma's heart.

♥ Roaring 
Anybody lost a baby tiger? I think he found his way to our house by accident *smiles*

Happy weekend one and all - I'm off to throw some 'loving' into my weekend, just me and my 2 gorgeous little treasures while the big treasure enjoys his roadie to Auckland with the boys. Not only have they managed to get a big 7-seater Ford Territory for the trip, but I caught sight of a mirror ball that Mark is planning to hang up in the car for the trip...um....what?! Not sure I want to know what else they're gonna get up to, just as long as it doesn't end up like The Hangover! :-/

Link up your loving over at PJ's place


20 July 2011

Mid-week late night randomness

So it's way past my bedtime (as usual), and I'm ridiculously tired but, of course, I still feel the need to share some utter randomness with you all:

  • Our crazy cat has taking a liking to eating foam letters and numbers. We'd been making words in the bath at night with the letters and leaving them in a pile on the bottom of the bath afterwards. And now all of a sudden, I'm finding these half-eaten letters lying on the bathroom floor. Apparently the 'S' tasted good though, and the '9', and a couple of other letters I have yet to determine that are missing. Not entirely sure what the appeal is, but all I hope is that they're coming out the other end!
  • Last week I burnt my forehead on my hair straighteners. It hurt. And it left a mark. Doh.
  • I'm flying solo this weekend as Mark and a few mates are heading up to Auckland for the ice hockey. And not dreading it as much as I thought I would be? Which is a good thing!
  • I am utterly convinced that the few days after a full moon are THE most settled days of weather in the month - our summer holiday at the beach was also during this time, and the past few days here have just been magical, not at all reminiscent of the usual wild and windy Welly winter.
  • Work is crazier than crazy right now and I can hardly think straight for the amount of stuff flying around in my brain. And when you add on an upcoming change of routines with school just around the corner not to mention a big party to plan, it's no wonder I'm feeling a little physically pooped. Lots of random aches, upper back, tight calves, mouth ulcers, oh yeah - they're all throwing themselves at me at once. Thank goodness for the osteopath is all I can say. I'm already HANGING out for the appointment tomorrow.
  • I am craving sushi hard out this week...I never buy my lunch, it's usually homemade soup 5 days straight, so I just might have to treat myself for lunch on Friday!

Like I said, total randomness. That is me right now. All over the place.

P.s. Has anyone got a tried and tested plain cupcake recipe they could share? We're gonna do a dry run for the party cupcakes by making another batch for Noah's Happy Last Day celebration at daycare next week, so all  recipe ideas gratefully received!

18 July 2011

Where the air is clear

Take a walk

To where the sky is silhouetted by air in motion

Standing right beneath the 'whump whump whump' of giant blades slicing through the air

We are on top of the world

Looking down on creation

 Standing so close to the sky, we are free to dream bigger dreams

Standing close to Heaven, the light is more radiant

And we can defy gravity

Take one winter's afternoon spent with friends

 Followed by one golden sun setting on snow speckled hills

And when the golden fades to salmon hues

The lights of the city begin to twinkle

As the day slips slowly under the blanket of night.

16 July 2011

Easy on a Saturday Morning

It's easy to forget that sleep-in feeling. But for us waking up and seeing the time was 7.30am was a feeling of pure unadulterated bliss. Particularly after a late night date night with hubby, starting with dinner at Red Ginger followed by a final farewell to our epic hero Harry (Potter).

But there was one good reason for the sleep-in. We were missing a child last night.The one whose body clock seems to be permanently set to spring out of bed raring to go at 6am these days. He wasn't literally missing, just not physically in the house, enjoying a sleepover with a friend last night, and by all accounts he was going to have a whale of a time eating Hell Pizza and camping out in the lounge in a tent overnight!

I had forgotten how easy time with one child is...Mylo got to come and jump all over us in bed this morning, keeping himself amused by turning the lights above the bed on, off, on, off, on off, on off, on off. He then enjoyed helping Daddy open up the curtains, which got my lazy body promptly jumping out of bed to grab the camera at the sight of the winter's sunrise.

The little guy is such a happy camper at amusing himself, much more so than his big brother who always likes to do things with someone. Mylo will quite happily wander off and amuse himself with one activity after the next for a good length of time.

Note the special friends bunny and giraffe taking a ride on the pirate ship as well as poor mini bunny whose head you might just make out. He must have done something very naughty to find himself relegated to hitching a ride on the sails!

Aah Harold the helicopter. You are so much fun to play with....that is until your batteries start to go, and then the constant whirring sound you make is less than music to our ears...especially after twenty solid minutes on the go!

It only took four months to get you interested Mylo, but we are so glad to see how you love your horsey now kiddo. You love to point out both your eyes and his, your ears and his, your nose and his.

And that's what's called an Easy Saturday morning in our house.

But we have missed our biggest little guy, so come home soon!


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