31 October 2011

Have wheels, will travel

The training wheels are off!




Even though we could probably count on one hand the number of times we've had Noah's pedal bike out since its inaugural outing as a Christmas present (two slack parents and a hilly neighbourhood our excuses!), the last time probably being here on the waterfront where we didn't even attempt to take the wheels off, and the time before that here at Karori Park where he wibbled and wobbled and wasn't too happy about being buffeted around in the Wellington wind whilst trying to gain his balance without the wheels on, and so gave up pretty quickly.

Like always, you wish the best for your child learning a new skill, but quickly come to realise you can only encourage them so much without becoming too aggressive and pushy and putting them off trying altogether

But like most new experiences with Noah, it was just a matter of time and confidence.





So today the wheels came off and it was as if he'd been riding forever.

How about that!

29 October 2011

I see red, I see red, I see red

Red is the most emotive of colours. It's fascinating that it is not only the colour of love, but also of anger. It is the colour of the life flowing through our veins, but also one associated with evil. 

And even though each season has its own unique hues, if you look, you will find red. 

Taking its place.

Amongst precious new life in Spring


A crisp, fresh scent in the dry, hazy days of Summer


Tenaciously clinging to hope in Autumn


And an unexpected surprise in the depths of Winter



Participating in Kristi from Live and Love Out Loud and Alicia of Project Alicia's Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge with this week's theme of Red.



Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge


28 October 2011

Things I'm Loving 28.10.11

Spooks
In the small pockets of spare time we've had in between watching an oval ball flying round a paddock non-stop these past six weeks, we've been enjoying going back to the early seasons of Spooks. Totally cool, MI-5 spy show with great characters, and gripping storylines. And they're not afraid to kill off good characters to keep the suspense and intrigue going...boohoo....but I gotta say it makes for very good watching!


And..oh did I mention the guys on the show are kinda easy on the eye too *wink*

Tempted by Temt
I'm sure I've mentioned before how much I love love love this shop. Actually I try not to go in too often, since it's not often I'll walk out again empty-handed. But when this cutie is only $15


and this lovely number was pretty reasonable too


really, I ask you, how is a girl expected to say no?!

The boys are back in town
On Wednesday I was just one of the 100,000 battling a drizzly and dreary Wellington day to celebrate our boys, our team, and that elusive Cup that has been 24 long years in the making.


And you know what I suddenly realised apart from of course...It's big and it's gold.




It's all ours for the next four years. Yeeeeeeeeee blimin haaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Droids pic
You know you've turned into a Star Wars Mama when pics like these really tickle your fancy!



Labours of love
In between bouts of gale force winds and rain, we made our annual Labour weekend pilgrimage to the plant centre for our summer plant booty. Butter crunch lettuce, perpetual spinach, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and courgette seedlings are all happily ensconced in their new home. This year, we're also trying to grow radishes and baby beets from seed. We haven't had great success growing anything from seed, so we shall see if they decide to sprout.

I'm also glad I spent the time and effort to stake the peas and tomato plants properly, I'm just hoping it was enough to survive the current battering wind we've been experiencing these past few days!


I can't wait to taste the first fruits (or should that be veges) of our labour. Grow well little garden!

The Help
Thanks to the loan of a friend, I finally got my hands on a copy of this book. And after hearing how much some of you have loved this book (Ange, PJ, Stacey), I  cannot. wait. to. read it.

Head on over to PJ's for more great Loving there!

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26 October 2011

For the wild animal in you

Y'all know how much I love Coldplay.......

well how flipping cool is their new video for Paradise..






Flippin cool.

Having lived in London and travelled to the wilds of South Africa, I watched this with such nostalgia. Love how the story starts with the concept of being so far away from loved ones, but finding a way back to be with those we love in the place we call home....Paradise indeed.

I cannot ever imagine being in more in love with a band than I have been, am now, and forever will be with these guys.

That is all.

25 October 2011

Yeah!

I reckon the one emotion everyone in this country is feeling right now, even more than the ecstasy of winning, even more than basking in glory of being crowned world champions, is actually pure relief.

Relief at not choking, relief at not having to face being the laughingstock of world rugby yet again. Relief that those 30 men who have given their heart, soul and bodies to this bruising game finally got the chance to celebrate being the best team in the world.

You have done us all proud.

It doesn't matter that it wasn't a beautiful game to watch, or even that the scales were only just tipped in our favour at the end. None of that matters now.

For now we'll just applaud. Our team. Our boys.

And enjoy a confetti angel or two.



23 October 2011

through the looking glass

Friday 3pm. Outside its an unseasonably still and hazy October day.

But outside is not our destination today.

Instead we go in through the looking glass, into a whole other world.

A world that promises to be larger than life, but stranger than strange. Where our names are now backwards, and Nahgem, Haon, Olym and Yramesor stand outside, looking at two doors. Do we go through the blue door, or the yellow door?

We choose yellow.


It's an assault on the senses in a good way. Instead of one of us, there's hundreds of us to be seen disappearing off into never-never land.

We linger and look, exclaiming and turning in circles this way and that.

Emerging into a world where we are big and the world is small. We crawl into a space made for a Mad Hatters Tea Party and merrily take time for tea.


Full of some imaginary cha, we spy a just-abandoned game of flamingo croquet and decide to try our luck.


Before celebrating our 'unbirthdays' in this Curious Wonderland decorating and eating a delightful chocolate cupcake each.


The sight of a huge Cheshire cat grinning at us from above proves the motivation to make our own crazy looking masks and suddenly we feel as if we fit right into this crazy world.


And adorned in our masquerades, we depart once more through the yellow door.


Back to that other world. Leaving behind a topsy-turvy, larger-than-life experience.

Returning to the world more known, but still, a paler shade.

Thanks to A Curious Wonderland at Capital E  for the fantastic fun.


21 October 2011

Things I'm Loving 21.10.11

Star Wars Spellings 
I just love how Noah is willing to 'give' it a go. These are his favourite Star Wars characters with their light sabers in order: Quo-Jin (Qio Jn), Obi Wan Kenobi (Ob One Cnobe), Darth Vader (Dapada), Darth Maul (Dapmol) and Luke Skywalker (Looc Sciwocka).

I hope you never lose that 'give it a go' attitude when it comes to learning my love!


Nellie the Elephant
Mylo quite likes to get a laugh out of us at dinnertime..I rather think it's because he's trying anything to distract us from eating his dinner (we're going through a bit of a 'I not like it' which is then followed by said mouthful coming straight back out again phase). I must say it is rather hard to maintain a straight and disciplined face when met with this 'Nellie the Elephant' look.


Boys will be boys
When even the big boy of the house can manage to turn any kind of implement into an imaginary gun...what hope do I have but to go along with the boys and their games?!


There's just something about fountains
I love seeing fountains in all their splendour, there is something romantic, exhilarating, and renewing about that constant surge of water reaching for the sky. I could watch them all day.


In fact, one of my favorite movie endings is in Oceans Eleven when they're all standing watching the Bellagio fountain in Las Vegas accompanied by that beautiful classical piece Clair de Lune. You know the one?



Barely contained excitement
I just love the look of glee on Noah's face and those little clenched fists of excitement after making a particularly big splash in the river.


To be fair, it's hard to decide which one I like more between that one or the one below which looks like Mylo has somehow popped up out of nowhere and superimposed himself into the picture



Big Air
Watching the kite surfers at East End beach the other week made me long for the adrenalin highs which must come with that feeling of the air lifting you effortlessly above the water. It must be as close as you can get to flying without actually having to get on a plane. There's only two minor details stopping me from living this dream...the fact that I am a useless swimmer and the fact that I have next to no upper body strength (as I found out after that child-swinging session last week). But a girl can surely dream right?!



Kevin from UP
Doesn't this Lady Amherst's pheasant we spotted at Brooklands Zoo totally remind you of the bird Kevin from UP?



Quintessential Kiwi
To me, there is nothing more Kiwi than a picture of toe toe blowing in the breeze, and I loved capturing these young shoots doing just that.


What things are you loving in your part of the world this week?


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19 October 2011

Book Review: Press Here

I seem to be in the zone for finding great children's books at the moment, so I'm just gonna roll with it if I may.

This lovely book first caught my eye when it was reviewed over at Juggling Motherhood a couple of months ago. When I walked past our mini library at work today, I stopped in my tracks when I saw the cover as I thought I recognised it, and sure enough it was THE book.



Once I picked it up, I was hooked. I mean come on, a book that asks you actually interact and do stuff on each page? How could that not be the epitome of fun?!

Here's the official book trailer on YouTube.




So imagine me as I stood in our little kitchenette at work today waiting for my lunch to heat up while pressing pages, shaking the book, tilting the book, blowing on the book and giggling away to myself. I'm sure my workmates must have thought I was nuts (or more than usual at least!)

This book would appeal to preschoolers who know their colours right through to crazy mamas who love both the simplistic beauty and fun of it all.

I found it on Amazon for NZD $12.67 (not including shipping), Mighty Ape for $23 (not including shipping) or Book Depository for $19.30 (including shipping) and I've already decided I'm going to give it to a special little 3-year old whose birthday it is next week on the other side of the world - God Bless the power and ease of Internet ordering!

Happy pressing, people.

18 October 2011

Recipe: Fabulous Foccacia Bread

It seems you're all desperate for this recipe, so instead of waiting until we next make it I'll post it right now (alright already!) and you'll have to make do with just the one picture of the finished product. Here's what I loved about it....

  • totally moorish and I had to have more and more and more (although that could also be a bad thing!)
  • it was really easy to make (a humble bystander's opinion since it was hubby who cooked it!)
  • you could combine any number of different herbs in the ingredients
  • the crunchy base
  • it tasted as good as it looked and THEN some
Foccacia Bread
4 cups flour
2 – 3 teaspoons salt
¼ cup chopped fresh rosemary (or other combination of herbs)
2 cups very warm water
1 teaspoon honey
4 teaspoons dry yeast
½ cup olive oil
sea salt (for the top)

In a large bowl combine flour, salt and finely chopped rosemary (whisk till evenly mixed).

In another bowl/jug dissolve honey in 2 cups of very warm tap water. Add yeast and stir just enough to get it wet. Leave until hydrated (approx 3 – 4 mins).

Pour into dry ingredients and mix with metal spoon to combine.

Pour the olive oil over the top. Do not mix.

Cover the bowl with a tea towel and place in the hot water cupboard or in a warm spot for 1 hr (45 mins if you’re in a rush). The dough should double in size.

With a metal spoon try to gently mix some of the oil into the dough. Plop onto a tray lined with baking paper (I use a slice tin 30cm x 25cm and make sure the baking paper goes up the sides about an inch and a half).  Gently press and stretch the dough with your fingers until it covers the entire base of the tin. Dimple the dough.

Put back in the hot water cupboard or somewhere warm for 30 mins to rise again.

Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees celsius while you wait for the dough.

After 30 mins is up, dribble a small amount of olive oil on the top and sprinkle with sea salt (you can also sprinkle more rosemary on top if you like).

Put in the oven and bake 15 – 20 mins (or until golden) on a rack slightly below half way in the oven (to ensure a crispy base).


 ENJOY!

 And a big thank you to my lovely friend Sally for sharing the recipe...although I'm not sure my waistline is going to be quite so thankful!


17 October 2011

Rain, sun, rain, sun


Such was the order of the few days we just spent in the Naki. One minute the rain would be belting down all torrential like, and then NEK MINNIT (sorry couldn’t help myself!) the sun would be out drying out the sodden lawns and making the roads steam as if they had suddenly developed some kind of thermal heritage during the passing shower.

The inclement weather certainly kept us on our toes and had me dragging around enough gear to be prepared for any eventuality, although in the end we only got caught in one real shower.

After making a dash to the emergency doctor to get some eyedrops for my conjunctivitis, we popped around the corner to Fresha cafĂ© for coffee and scones. Fresha reminds me a little of our Moore Wilsons specialty store in Wellington, only smaller. We picked up some gnocchi which I cooked for dinner (yes I know, me, I cooked dinner, don’t faint!) . As the sun made its first appearance of the holiday, whilst Mylo had his afternoon nap, Noah and I took a little expedition down the Te Henui walkway.


 I am absolutely in love with this walkway. We discovered it a few years back one spring weekend, and in particular I had remembered a particularly beautiful grove which I was sure was a short way into the walk. We walked for a good fifteen minutes and I kept promising Noah it would be ‘just around the corner’. Till I actually began to wonder myself if it was even still there. In the end I had to give up, and we took a detour back through Awanui cemetery (I was also a little concerned at the heat of the sun and the fact I’d completely forgotten to apply any sunscreen on Noah’s face - bad mummy!).

Noah was most intrigued by the cemetery ‘where all the dead people are’ and asked me to tell him some of the names on the headstones and also wanted me to explain how they had passed on. It made for an interesting conversation about Heaven and the afterlife for a Thursday afternoon.

Later, I took the boys down to East End beach for a walk along the stunning coastal walkway. There were about a dozen kite surfers making the most of the wind and sunshine catching some great somersaults above the waves.


Noah was begging to go down to the beach so we found a spot amongst the iron sands that was perfect for some rock sliding. Which then naturally lent itself to a whole lot of rolling down hills.


I was, however, still determined to find my little secluded grove so the minute the boys were in bed, I snuck out back to the cemetery and down the walkway. Along the way, I spent a quiet moment at my dear grandad’s memorial stone.






And you can be the judge of whether it was worth the effort in the dying light of the day to find that special spot from my memories.

Spring was just as evident on Friday when we went out for a family lunch to Pukekura Park. As much as I love this beautiful spot whenever we visit, I can’t actually recall ever visiting in the height of spring bloom. It was simply breathtaking.


We rounded off the afternoon with running races and football on GeeGee’s super soft lawn. The most fun was when I took it upon myself to spin the kids by their arms in mid-air round and round. Super fun at the time, but I was super, super sore and achy the next day.  Quite apart from the fact that if I’d thought about it I was actually swinging 12 and 20kg round for quite some time, I also reckon they don’t make thirty-something year old bodies like they used to as I also felt terribly dizzy after each round and had to stop to let the giddiness pass between each turn. Can you remember being able to spin around like crazy as a kid and never getting dizzy?! Oh those were the days.


Mark then surprised the boys by arriving a few hours earlier than expected on Friday night (right on bedtime). Noah had literally uttered the words ‘I wish Daddy was here’ when I heard the car pulling up in the drive. The little sneak,  I had a feeling he’d do something nice like that to surprise us all, and he was greeted by two super excited naked little boys who’d just jumped out of the bath and literally threw their damp bodies at him.


We rounded out the weekend together with a trip to the free Brooklands zoo, a catch-up with the extended family at Gee Gees, and a walk on the waterfront successfully dodging the awfully black looking weather all around us to indulge in more grass rolling (which is clearly becoming the new favourite past-time).



It's a good thing we had such a lovely few days together making wonderful memories, those memories having to get us through what's felt like more than our fair share of ailments lately. Mark came down with tonsilitis over the weekend to add to his bung knee which he hyper extended at football last week, so he made a dash to the after hours doctor upon our return to Wellington. Just as my conjunctivitis was easing, my sore muscles seemed to take on a whole new level of pain overnight on Saturday night which coupled with a case of run-to-the-toilet itis made for a very subdued trip home. I dozed most of the way home in the car and put myself to bed for a couple of hours the minute we got home. 

So ends a very mixed bag of  a week, both in weather and in health. Here's hoping for a little more plain sailing next week!


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