30 November 2012

Things I'm Loving 30.11.12

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.

School Fair
Being recently lacking in mobile photography since my iPhone is away getting fixed after I dropped it on the garage floor, I've found it quite hard to remember to take another camera out and about. So no surprise then that I totally forgot to take one with me to the school fair on Saturday, it was just lucky I had a trusty companion in Jackie to snap a couple of shots of the boys with the Rugby World Cup for me!

We were so lucky with the weather, it was warm and no wind, and we spent a good 2 1/2 hours there soaking in the atmosphere, eating way too much good food (I suffered horribly afterwards after eating too many pork buns and burgers), and enjoying all the games and revelry.

There was face painting, bouncy castles, paintball, gumboot toss, lucky duck dip, ring toss just to name a few. The funniest game though was the plate smashing. Noah had a turn first and did OK with his 3 shots rebounding off a plate here and there (the game was throwing a hard cricket ball at a bookcase with plates stacked vertically to aim at). Then Mylo stepped up and smashed 3 different plates clean off the bookcase one after another  That boy sure has some great hand-eye coordination.....which he totally doesn't get from me! The people running the stand couldn't believe it and said it was the best effort of the day. High fives all round for Mylo!

Hawaiian Pulled Pork
Loving this awesome recipe that Ange from Tall, Short and Tiny shared the other week. We made it, and I loved it so much I may or may not have had nearly six small helpings...ahem! It also made for a yummy addition to fried rice the following night.

Hawaiian Pulled Pork  by EclecticRecipes.com #recipe

New windscreen wipers
Isn't it funny what you put up with and then wonder how on earth you did? I'd noticed for ages that the windscreen wipers on the old Camry I run around in were getting a bit past it. I mean the sound of metal scraping on the windscreen was probably as good a clue as any right?! But for whatever reason it took me ages to mention to Mark, and when I did I was most surprised that he said he had a spare pair hanging around in the garage, installed them that night.

Even though it wasn't a rainy day, I made sure to give them a good work out on the way to town the next morning, it really did feel like a case of  'I was blind but now I see!'

Hobbit Baggage Carousel

Loving how much Welly has embraced hosting The Hobbit premiere this week. Mark came back from Christchurch last Friday and said the baggage carousel was just as cool as it looked in these photos. And the life size Gandalf outside the Embassy theatre watching over proceedings is further proof of how much we love to show off Middle Earth.

I see these funny quotes all the time, some make me laugh more than others. This one is uncomfortably close to the truth though! Of course I can go without coffee, I just choose not to! Ha ha.

Summer is here
It's officially summer tomorrow....yee ha! And the countdown is on to Christmas! We have a list of fun pre-Christmas activities to make our way through, and lots of building excitement with various family here from overseas this summer!

Here's how you can join in this week:

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!

28 November 2012

MNM's Make: DIY Christmas Wreath

If you've been pinning like crazy like me on Pinterest, you'll have seen a zillion combinations of pretty wreaths out there to make for Christmas. Like these ones.

I loved the idea of a wreath made totally from baubles (to begin with anyway) and so started with this as my inspiration. However, upon closer inspection and a bit of rough calculation, I realised that a wreath like that would use an AWFUL lot of baubles = an AWFUL lot of time and money!

So I came up with my own version.

1 polystyrene foam ring (about $8 at Spotlight)
2 x 2m fancy red/green tinsel ($6 each)
1 x 20 pack of standard size baubles (I chose a red/gold mixed combo - $10 at The Warehouse)
2 x mini packs of baubles ($4 each at the The Warehouse)

Total cost = $38

So still not that cheap to make, but something that will last for years and years to come. If you were cleverer and more patient than me you'd have waited till after all the Christmas sales and bought everything when it was discounted to make for next year. But was there any chance I was gonna wait another year to make this? Like heck!

This was very simple to make but it was a little time consuming waiting for the glue to dry.

1. Wind the two lots of tinsel around the foam ring evenly and attach with either tape or glue.

2. Remove the string and bauble holder that the string is attached to.

3. Using a hot glue gun (and I christened my own hot glue gun for the experience I might add....so blimin addictive), put glue around the open hole of the bauble and connect this firmly to a spot on the polystyrene ring.

4. Hold firmly in place until the glue is fairly well set and the bauble isn't moving around much when touched. This is a good minute or two!

4. Repeat about 20 times using all the bigger baubles. This is the bit that takes the most time standing there holding the bauble onto the ring until it's set! It's best to do this when you have a good hour up your sleeve and no little people nearby demanding you play cars, wrestle, build lego, or play a board game etc!

5. I found the little baubles were much easier to secure, and could just be glued into the tinsel as they were lighter and didn't need to be secured to the ring itself.

6. Once the glue has fully dried, find a lovely spot to hang your wreath in the house and sigh a happy sigh as the first Christmas creation of the year brings the joy of the season ever closer.

27 November 2012

Polar Bear Bingo {Games for kids this Christmas}

Polar Bear Bingo is a great game for kids who can recognise and sound out letters to make word combinations, so is perfect for kids in years 1-2 at school, and can be played by 2-4 players.

The game is simple but straight forward. Each player has a 2-sided bingo board and you choose before starting the game whether to all play on side 1 or side 2 (harder).

Then choose which side of the spinner you want to play Level 1 or 2 (harder).

Quite often when we play, we play one 'easy' game and then a 'harder' game. With both the spinner and the boards having two sides it means you can mix it up really well for 4 different combinations of games.

Spin the spinner and whichever letter (or combination) comes up, you match with a word 'ending' on your board. In this example, the spinner is on 'sh' so on my board, I could put a token on 'show' 'shin' or 'shop'.

On the next turn, the spinner landed on 'sl' so I could now choose to put my token on 'slat' 'slop' 'slay' or 'slog'.

The goal is to get 3 tokens in a row (horizontally, vertically or diagonally) to win the game!

We got this through a Scholastic Book Club Order at school just before Christmas last year and it was a great stocking filler!

26 November 2012

Encouragement for the week

As I grow older I want to be known as.....
thoughtful rather than gifted
loving versus quick or bright
gentle over being powerful
a listener more than a great communicator
available rather than a hard worker 
sacrificial instead of successful
reliable not famous
content more than driven
self-controlled rather than exciting
generous instead of rich
and compassionate more than competent 

That's my prayer, is it yours?

23 November 2012

Things I'm Loving 23.11.12

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.

Little helpers
Chalk it up, I had not one but two volunteers for putting the washing into piles and in the right bedrooms the other day. I nearly fell off my chair!

Flashback Friday
I have this revolving desktop background on my computer which flicks up different collages in the background every half hour or so. The other night I literally stopped in my tracks when I exited all the programs I'd been in to see this gorgeous wee poppet smiling back at me.

This was Mylo at a few months old - look at that smile and those big ol brown eyes....I could just smooch those kissable cheeks all day long. Gosh to think this was only 3 years ago is quite mindblowing!

Draw A Stickman
Loved finding this cute little interactive time waster the other day - Draw A Stickman.

Easy enough for kids to play too, definitely one that you only need to spend five minutes on, giggle and move on.

64 Birthday Cakes
Loved these fantastic 'Kiwiana' birthday cakes created by the chef at Government House for Prince Charles' 64th birthday bash with the 63 other lucky Kiwis picked to join him, all of whom happened to be sharing the same birthday - November 14th. And each attendee got to take away their own mini cake. Flippin cool!

Boys about town
Last week I'd promised to take the boys down to Capital E to play on the indoor playground. Well blow me down if they hadn't gone and closed it because of earthquake risks - every other building in Wellington seems to be like that at the moment - half of Noah's school has moved out of their main block whilst they spend six months doing strengthening as well. Anyhow i digress.

So we made the most of the warm, fine weather and wandered through town on 'amble time'. No real hurry to be anywhere, just enjoying the sights and sounds of the city. And when we realised that Capital E was closed, we just turned it into an opportunity for roly polys and acrobatics instead quick as you like.

Hubby hearts me
Loving a hubby who left a secret package under my pillow to find once he'd gone out last Friday night. There were six gourmet Bohemein chocolates for me to nibble away at while enjoying a glass of vino. They really are heaven in a mouthful.

Loving the same hubby who, together with 2 wee poppets one even bearing a rose, surprised me with breakfast in bed on Sunday morning.....oh my word, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world!!

All quiet on the backseat front
Friday afternoon grocery shopping sessions aren't my favourite time of the week. It's the end of the week, and if I'm honest we're all a bit tired and scratchy with each other. So to see a New World employee wandering around handing out little Whittakers snack bars was a welcome sight.

Although I should have been a little more worried about the silence in the back seat, when in reality I was just enjoying the peace and quiet on the drive home. This was the sight that greeted me when I finally turned around to reverse into our driveaway.

Boys in bed
Loved the rare sight of seeing our first baby (that is the furry one) curled up with Noah in bed the other night. Murphy didn't stay very long after I took the picture, but it was lovely to be able to capture the moment.

Crafting like a crazy person
It seems like every November a crazy crafting bug hits me hard. I'm sure it hits me early because I like to be organised and because we have to get our UK gifts into the post by mid November. Last weekend, I spent most of the weekend on and off crafting up a storm.

This year's Christmas card design

My very own homemade wreath - tutorial to come!

Doesn't Mr Wreath look happy hanging up there?!

And a little bit more Christmas cheer for the walls because why the heck not...another Pinterest idea!

I'm gonna have to apologise in advance if I go a little Christmas crazy for a few weeks - it is my absolute favourite time of the year - and such an easy theme to be inspired to create a little homemade joy!

Here's how you can join in this week:

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!

22 November 2012

And the funniest caption award goes to....

........Jackie (aka Jacksta B).

Now I promise it's not rigged, despite Jackie being the one to suggest the competition in the first place!

I read the comments out to my hubby in a completely random order without him knowing whose was whose and he chose Jackie's from the whole great bunch of them.

Her caption was:

"Are you Meghan from the M&Ms blog? I read it all the time! Next time you visit London, come over and have a cup of tea."

Runner up went to Miriam's caption:

'Camilla this is the hair cut I was talking about. It really is time to wave goodbye to the Farrah Fawcett and hello to this lady's haircut'

Camilla Parker Bowles HRH Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall laughs as she visits Treorchy Comprehensive School on June 23, 2009 in Treorchy, Wales. The Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales are on their annual 'Wales Week' visit to the region and will be staying at the recently refurbished property.

Thanks to everyone who participated. Mail me your address Jackie and some homemade goodies will be coming your way!

21 November 2012

MNM's Make: Chocolate Lip Gloss

Anyone who is a chocolate lover will love the divine smell of this lip gloss. It couldn't be easier to make and makes a greet wee gift for a loved one or friend.

Plastic containers
Vaseline (100g tub) - one tub will make approximately 10 pots of lip gloss
Cocoa powder

Glass pouring jug
Cute smoochy labels for the lids

Take one full tub of Vaseline and empty it into a glass jug (ideally one that will pour well).

Heat in the microwave in 15-20 second increments and stir between each time. You will need to do this for up to a few minutes in total, as you need the jelly to be totally liquid to work with.

Be careful when you get the jug out each time as it will gradually get quite hot after all the heating up.

This is what the Vaseline should look like once fully melted. It should flow steadily off the spoon.

Take 1-2 teaspoons of cocoa powder and sift into the hot Vaseline. Stir really well to get rid of any lumps until really mixed in.

It's up to you how strong you want the cocoa colour to develop. Just add more cocoa powder if needed.

At this point, your mixture should still be liquid and easily pourable. If it's not, pop it back in the microwave for another 15 seconds or so. Then pour it into your wee plastic containers that are ready and waiting to receive the chocolatey goodness.

Note: I got my plastic containers from Storage Box at about $2 each.

Take your printed labels (which you can download here) or using the file embedded below and glue (I used Mod Podge) to the lid.

Now step back and admire your handiwork whilst pondering the hardest part of the whole project - figuring out which lovely people in your life are going to be the lucky recipients of your creativity.

 But make sure you keep one aside for yourself too!

Original idea pinned here and posted here on Meet the Dubiens.


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