29 June 2012

Things I'm Loving 29.6.12

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful for..no matter how simple it is.

Coffee to bring a smile to your dial
There's nothing sweeter than being served up your favourite hot drink (in this case I broke out of my usual Trim latte mold and had a Chai Latte) than when it is so nicely zhushed up that you catch your breath at the loveliness of it as it arrives.

Winter sunrises
OK I know I'm such a sucker for a good sunrise. But can you blame me when they are this good?!

While you were sleeping
It's not often I get the chance to sneak a quiet pic of a sleeping boy. Love that he obviously sneaked a bit of extra reading time after I'd left the room too!

How to speak New Zillund
Classic and oh so true!

Gail's Gooey Lemon Slice
I finally got around to making this last weekend. If you can ignore the mind-boggling amount of sugar that goes into this slice then you can just eat and enjoy. Crunchy on the outside, gooey on the the middle. A little bit like a lemon meringue pie in a slice, only better if you ask me! Recipe found here over at Delightfully Diva-ish.

Been to see the queen 
Loving that our English mum and dad recently took an overnight trip to Windsor (a birthday gift from us) that nearly coincided with all the Jubilee celebrations. Loving that they had such a great time seeing Windsor Castle and other sights, and that they were generous enough to send us a wonderful souvenir from their time there. Looking forward to a quiet moment to sit down and have a proper look through!

A cuppa and cake
Loving this gorgeous new tea set and cake stand that we found at Briscoes the other day, and loving that Mark was just as keen on it as I was - good man! We'd barely gotten home before I had the kettle on so I could try out a vanilla rooibos tea in the cup and saucer. And then I was totally motivated to make something scrummy to put on the cake stand - hence one reason why I found an excuse to make Red Velvet Cupcakes!

I really wish you all lived close enough that I could invite you over to have a cuppa and cake with me!

Here's how you can join in:

Link up below with your blog post telling us what you're loving, and grab the Things I'm Loving button below for your post too. Don't forget to share the love by visiting all the other lovelies who have joined in - the linky is open till same time next week!

27 June 2012

MNM's Bake: Saturday Favourite {Spaghetti Bacon Cheese Rolls}

When your five year old declares these the best lunch ever, who am I to try and argue with that? These are often found on the menu for Saturday lunch in our house, and are as easy to make as 1-2-3!

4 rashers of bacon
Bread rolls cut in half (we used 5 whole rolls for 4 of us, so 10 halves)
Tin of spaghetti
Grated cheese

1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees, whilst frying the bacon in a pan.
2. Spoon spaghetti, cut cooked bacon up and add to each roll. Top with cheese.
3. Bake in oven until rolls have crisped up.

Eat and enjoy!

And note if you will the lashings of tomato sauce on top. I never used to eat tomato sauce until I met Mark but he has well and truly converted me. When I was pregnant with Noah, I found myself adding it all the time  without even thinking about it (I reckon Daddy's genes coming through the placenta!) and now I love a bit on food here and there. Funnily enough, Noah isn't the slightest bit bothered about having it though!

For more yummy recipes, go here.

26 June 2012

Where I Come From: The Martian (Marsh In) Me Vol 2

I am fortunate enough to have a few memories and stories of Gordon and Gladys Marsh - my great grandparents on my mum's side. Apparently I used to sit on my great-grandad Gordon's knee and call him "Dordon" when I was about two. He died not long after that. My great-granny who I used to call Granny Marsh lived till I was about 13, and I remember going to visit her in her lovely big old house on their farm, and then in her little unit in Inglewood as she became more elderly. Sadly in her later life (she lived to about 90) she suffered from Alzheimers and I remember being quite offended that she called me a 'boy' when I was about 12 - funny what stays with you isn't it, not such a big deal really, but when you're that age, it's a bit mortifying at the same time.  

Anyway, I digress. When the family were going through Granny Marsh's things, they found the wedding cake and thought to donate it to the museum. And there it stayed until it had it's little day of fame in the local paper recently.  

Upon reading the article, my gran got in touch with them and is going to provide the wedding photo below which is from the big day. 

It's hard to believe that piece of cake is ninety years old and still intact, they don't make things like they used to hey!

25 June 2012

Midwinter Christmas mash up

This weekend was a right royal mash up of fun and activities.

It started with the most glorious of sunrises. No matter how long I live in this house, I hope I never take for granted the unusual and unique start to the day we are privileged to be invited to each and every morning.

Not long after this sun rise (which felt awfully late at 7.30am), Daddy and Noah headed off to football where Noah scored 2 goals and got player of the day - Dad was there to watch whilst Mylo and I played football, golf, basketball and motorbike crashes at home. They were pretty lucky to get their game in as by 9.30am the rain had started and the wind was beginning to really get going and it didn't let up all day.

After a quick coffee and change of clothes we headed over to the other side of town to Chocolate Fish cafe for brunch. I couldn't tell you the last time just the four of us went out to a cafe for lunch so it was rather nice. We'd also never (shamefully) eaten at the Mark II version of the cafe (it used to be round the other side of the headland in Seatoun). It's a funky setting, and I've always loved the eclectic chairs and artwork they have scattered around the place. Having reinvented themselves upon re-opening, their speciality is now BBQ sammies - Mark had a corn fritter sammie with mint yoghurt and bacon, while I went for the parmesan crusted pork with greens, aoli and apple sauce. Golly me they were good! Oh and there was the odd chocolate fish served up with the kid's meals - of course!

We will definitely be back in the summer when Mark's parents are here to enjoy the lovely setting in (hopefully) more settled weather!

The mini Interislander ferry outside provided a quick bit of entertainment before we popped across the road to enjoy a self-guided tour during one of Westside Studios rare open days - where all manner of fantastic scenes awaited us.

There were some immediately recognisable scene rooms such as Finding Nemo and the Simpsons.

Even so, the spaceman and NASA rocket quite took my fancy.

But as you can imagine the Star Wars figures were by far the biggest hit with my boys (all 3 of them!)

And the weekend wouldn't have been complete without all the mid-winter Christmas festivities, which we could barely wait to get into! As soon as we were home from school pick-up on Friday we got stuck into decorating the tree to the tunes of The Wiggles - Christmas. That was until Noah told me if he heard Feliz Navidad one more time he was going to go nuts so I duly switched over to some more upbeat Christmas pop songs. Here's some of the fun we had that afternoon....

Friday night we kicked off festivities with lasagne by candlelight, then on Saturday we cooked one of our all-time favourite meals Sticky Maple Chicken (recipe here) and ate it while watching We Bought A Zoo together - a very heartwarming movie. Sunday was the main event though, roast chicken followed by my first ever attempt at making Red Velvet Cupcakes for dessert.

I'd been wanting to make them for AGES, and decided that with the red Christmas theme and a gorgeous new cake stand to display them on, I could wait no longer. They took a bit of extra effort to make (especially with the cream cheese frosting) but I think they looked pretty festive.

We ended our weekend of festivities with a green bath filled with paper snowflakes. And that reminds me, I still have a pile of pulp to go and clean up from the empty bath! 

A very Happy and Toasty Midwinter to you all!


22 June 2012

Things I'm Loving 22.6.12

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful for..no matter how simple it is.

Wild Wellington at its best
There are days when the biting wind we get does my head in living here, but this day was not one of them. Instead, we parked up at Lyall Bay on our way home from a Friday afternoon supermarket expedition and simply marvelled in awe of the majesty and power in these white beasts.

These were some of the biggest swells I've ever seen on the south coast.

Exhilarating to see one brave soul getting out amongst it kite surfing.

Brave or completely crazy I couldn't quite decide.

I wouldn't have wanted to be on the ferry that goes between our island (the North island) and the South Island in these seas. Imagine being rolled up and down in that!

But loving watching from the safety of dry land, and loving how much the boys enjoyed seeing nature at its fearsome best.

Grizzly Beer
I think this is going to become my new beer of choice. I love a good Radler in the summer with a BBQ, but this is oh so easy to drink, you might as well be drinking non-alcoholic ginger beer. Which on second thoughts could be a little dangerous if you got a bit carried away.

Anyway, it is a delicious drop, and oh.....note the dishy accessory lurking in the background of one of these shots. I wonder who he belongs to?!

Crisp moonlit mornings
One of the only things I love about starting work at 7.15am each morning is that I sometimes get treated to still, crisp moonlight mornings with deep azure blue skies. I enjoy walking through town when there is hardly a soul about, and the lights already on in the business buildings exude a very warm welcome from the cold outdoors.

Monkey boys
Loving boys just being boys.

The untimely watch
Loving my new watch that finally turned up. This was meant to be a birthday present and was ordered back in early April, sent from a site Mark had used before in the Netherlands. Of course it's a Swatch, you wouldn't expect anything else knowing the love affair my husband has with Swatches - although I did get to select the design from a shortlist of 5 he put together! And so after ordering, we duly waited and waited for it to turn up. And then waited some more.

After a good few weeks had passed, we then followed up with the store who had to put a trace on it. And proceeded to wait some more. Then when they had finished investigations at their end and could find no sign of it, they finally said they would refund us the money or send a new watch.

Hubby had literally the same week said yes to getting a new watch sent when lo and behold a 'Card to Call - 2nd notice' turned up from NZ Post in our mailbox. Well, we clearly never got the 1st notice or we wouldn't have gone through the rigmarole of chasing the watch down to the other side of the world now would we!

In any event, I am one happy bunny. I've always worn a watch and have felt quite bereft without one these past three months or so. Despite the fact this watch has had pretty poor timekeeping skills up until now, I think I'll forgive it and keep it. It's pretty cute don't ya think?

Promoting Pea Pods
Loving doing something a little different last weekend and helping my oldest friend Andrea on the Pea Pods stand at the All About Kids expo. I helped out in August last year when the show was run for the first time, but this year the show was much better run (at a new venue) and the sales were way better as a result. I could be biased but I think our stand was one of the best looking on the day! Lovely hanging out with Andrea for the day and meeting her sweet little 4-month old Mia for the first time. When I stopped for a moment this weekend and it dawned on me that we've been friends for nearly 25 years, it was such a lovely feeling to know friendships can last that long, albeit it did make me feel somewhat ancient at the same time!

Mid Winter Christmas
Loving that it's officially half way to Christmas this weekend. Loving that we have created a family tradition of celebrating a mid-winter Christmas these past three years, you can see our previous mid-winter Christmases here and here. For one, it helps wards off any SAD (seasonal affective disorder) winter feelings as we head into the coldest month of the year. Two, it helps hubby feel as if he gets a traditional Christmas celebration with the weather all chilly outside (being more used to this, having growing up in England). And three, it's a grand excuse to pull out the Christmas tree, make some Christmas crafts, indulge in a delicious roast with all the trimmings, and sing our favourite Christmas carols. And who says Christmas can only be once a year? If it were up to me, I'd celebrate the birth of our awesome Saviour every day of the year!

Here's how you can join in:

Link up below with your blog post telling us what you're loving, and grab the Things I'm Loving button below for your post too. Don't forget to share the love by visiting all the other lovelies who have joined in - the linky is open till same time next week!


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