31 May 2013

Things I'm Loving 31.5.13

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.

Crazy Zebra building
Love this cool building that's in downtown Wellington - it must have taken a fair effort to paint it though don't you think?!

Beautiful people
Loving this quote my Dad sent me last week. Especially the last sentence.
Young love
Loving the lovely friendship Noah has developed with a young gal in his class. Loving seeing their sweet interactions with each other the two times she has been over for a play date at our house. We've been realistic with him that feelings come and go at this stage, and all we ask is that he always be kind no matter what.

Cowboy Jake
Loving finding this dress-up on special at Spotlight. Loving how cute this guy makes Cowboy look.

And every cowboy needs his own horse right?

Len Lye Exhibit
Loving that whilst running a whole bunch of errands in town last weekend, Mylo and I managed to squeeze in a quick look at the last weekend of the Len Lye exhibit at the City Gallery. He makes some amazing sculptures that combine both sound and movement to amazing effect. These photos were taken just before I was told 'no photos sorry' ...oops!

Someone was also pretty pleased with their 60 cent kiddy cone from Macca's that I treated him to after dragging him all over town for the whole afternoon. It's not really as big as it looks, just how close I was holding it to the camera!

Loving that we are currently away enjoying a wonderful family weekend up country as we celebrate my mum's 60th with all the family gathered around in Hamilton. No doubt there will be photo overload afterwards as there always is!

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!

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29 May 2013

Three strikes....{not lovin Bloglovin...how about Feedly?}

OK so I jumped on the bandwagon with all the rest of you a few weeks back. Set myself up on Bloglovin - put the obligatory 'Follow my blog with Bloglovin' at the bottom of my post.

But I gotta confess. I really don't LIKE Bloglovin. For a start it wouldn't show my own Things I'm Loving posts properly in my feed, nor Paisley Jade's posts either for that matter. I figured out it had something to do with all the weekly Things I'm Loving blog posts from way back all being named the same thing. Which is why I've been naming each one with a date recently, if you'd care to notice.  Strike one against Bloglovin in my opinion.

In Bloglovin I also can't import other news feeds like Stuff Headlines which I currently also read in Google Reader. Strike two.

In Google Reader, you can mark items as starred which means you can come back to your starred items later. This is how I mark blogs that I know I want to comment on later which means I can *star* them while I'm out and about and then I can sit down in the evening and go back to my starred items and comment. Or I can save them for re-reading or pinning to Pinterest for my favourite craft and photography blogs. As far as I can tell, Bloglovin only has a 'like' feature and nothing else. Dumb if you ask me. Strike three and you're out...Bloglovin.

Despite having installed Bloglovin, I was pretty much having a silent protest over here and continuing to use Google Reader even though I know its days are numbered. So I figured there had to be a better way.

Enter Feedly.

Feedly is sexy. It's well designed, looks good on the page and has so many more options than Bloglovin.

You can view your feed like this...looks just like Google Reader.

Or like this - more like how Bloglovin is set out.

Or even like this. So much choice people! Do you see it?!

And hey would you look at that, you can save all your favourites to go back to later to re-read, pin, comment on.

You can import your Google Reader information straight into here and it will turn your old starred items into new Saved items. Hallelujah!

Much, much better, in my humble opinion.

Oh and just wait until you see the lovely mobile app version.

The categories show up in lovely colours (mine don't here because I had no new blogs to read). And the blog lists look just like they did in Reader with people's icons etc.

And this little mobile view is just lovely, don't you think? So much nicer than Bloglovin where one blog post preview takes up the whole screen.

So you might have fallen in love with Bloglovin. And good on you if that's the case. But if you're like me and you're not really feeling the love, you've got nothing to lose. And I just know that my funny little brain is WAAAAAY happier viewing the world through Feedly-tinted eyes.

If you are looking for an alternative to Bloglovin, try Feedly. Don't take my word for it....have a go and see how friendly and well-designed it is! 

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28 May 2013

If only....

If only life was made up of more moments like these. A journey around the Greek island of Kefalonia would cause almost anyone to believe in God, because when He made Kefalonia He was smiling. Smiling his virgin light to sparkle in the azure water.

To reflect off the vast moonscape of rocky outcrops.

And to sink deeply into the infinitely slender and graceful native pines.

Kefalonia promises much and delivers still more. Clearly an enigma, even its name is spelt many ways, Kefalonia, Kefallinia, Cephalonia to name but a few. It endured a particularly turbulent twentieth century, including occupation by both Italian and German forces in World War II. In 1943, the island was witness to the horrific slaughter of some 5,000 Italian soldiers as the Germans tried to take control of the island, this poetically portrayed in the film adaptation of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, recently released.

The largest of the Ionian Greek islands, Kefalonia is an island of contrasts with much to discover. Driving around the island is a delight, but not for the fainthearted as most of the roads are rock faces on one side, and hundred foot drops to the sea on the other. It certainly made the drive from the capital Argostoli to the most northern village, Fiskardo breathtaking. Only 30 miles, the journey still took just over an hour due to the extreme hairpin bends we encountered. Upon reaching the pretty fishing village of Fiskardo, we were able to imagine how other parts of the island may have looked, were it not for the cataclysmic earthquake that destroyed much of Kefalonia in 1953.

Fiskardo was the only village to escape the destruction, and it has been unkindly described as ‘twee’ due to the pretty pastel facades of the buildings lining the harbour, but I prefer to think of it as a glimpse into the Kefalonia that would have been.

Another landmark that thankfully escaped destruction is Myrtos Beach, a sheltered cove only really accessible by car, unless you fancy the incredibly steep 4km walk down from the main road. There, exists water that is arguably the clearest, and most aquamarine in Greece. In October, an afternoon spent here is more than pleasant. The water laps barely noticeably against the shore, not even loud enough to drown out the twittering of birds and the clanging of goat bells from the cliffs high above as the goatherd guides them home.

So what of the goatherds and other islanders who inhabit this picturesque place?   Well, they have many stories to tell. After the war followed ten years later by the earthquake, those who did not leave to seek more settled climes in places such as the US and Australia, stayed and rebuilt the island with their bare hands, and this has made them a hardy, resilient people who have learnt to overcome adversity and discover the meaning of ‘Carpe Diem’ – Seize the Day.

Their generosity extends perhaps further than natural hospitality because they have learnt to be blessed with so little. The most recent example of this is allowing the island to be overrun by film crew for the filming of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin in early 2000. A whole town fa├žade was skilfully erected in Sami to portray the real capital, Argostoli, in the movie. Thankfully, once filming ended, Sami was just as skilfully restored to its former glory as a pretty port town serving the nearby islands of Ithaca and Zakynthos.

Despite the mass of publicity the island has received since the film’s release, Kefalonia appears to be blissfully ignorant of all the fuss it has caused. Undoubtedly, there has been a rise in visitor numbers, but on the island, life goes on timelessly as it has for hundreds of years. The goatherd still herds his flocks, the beekeeper still tends to his honey, and the islanders continue to appreciate life knowing that living on a major fault line will always bring some uncertainty to their lives. As for the island itself, it is almost as if Kefalonia does not realise how truly unspoilt and desirable it is. Truly a jewel of the Ionian, if only it can stay that way.

This is an excerpt from a travelogue of our trip to Kefalonia in 2001. To be continued.....

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27 May 2013

Fast forward please....

First weeks should be banned. Quite frankly they suck big fat kumaras. I had honestly forgotten what it was like walking in somewhere and that feeling of knowing absolutely nothing. Nix. Nada. Zip. Zero.

Uggggh, it's not a feeling I enjoy. To be honest, I don't know anyone who would say they do either. Here are just some of the questions I had to ask/dilemmas I faced this week:

'What's the passcode for the toilet'

'How do you turn the computer back on'

'Why are my emails bouncing back'

'How do I get some more stationery'

'Where do I post this letter'

I'm just so pleased to have that first week behind me. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting and whether this week exceeded those expectations or not.

I think, on reflection, it probably went as well as it was ever going to, and definitely helped by some lovely supporters on the sidelines at home.

Look at what my sweet hubby surprised me with on Wednesday.

These gerberas are pretty much identical to the ones I had in my wedding bouquet.

I really needed that mid-week pick-me-up this week. Bless him for knowing that and being my knight in shining armour coming to my rescue.

If I could fast forward a couple of months until I felt less awkward and more on top of things I so would. But instead I will just have to lean on my Heavenly Helper...and let Him be my strength, to help me face each new day with a smile, and with enough grit and determination to make it through to the end of the day. 

So onwards and upwards to Week Number 2, and I pray it may it be easier than the first! 

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24 May 2013

Things I'm Loving 24.5.13

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.

Being a mama
Loving that being a mama meant I could enjoy spending a lovely quality day with my boys on Mothers Day. Starting out with bouncing boys coming up the stairs at 6.30 am desperate to give me their homemade cards and treats. Daddy had arranged a rather lovely cool all-singing, all-dancing number with a gorgeous dessert wine too!

Loving that I could help the kids at church creche make some cards for their own mums to celebrate what they loved about them.

Loving that straight after church I could go and watch this guy in his first Little Dribblers football game of the season. Even though he played one season before Christmas, he is so much more confident now. He didn't need Daddy on the field with him at all, and scored 2 goals and to be honest bossed the field. There are 2 and 3 year olds playing so he is one of the oldest there which has a lot to do with it. Loved seeing how much he enjoyed being out there getting amongst it!

Update: and then this week he scored six goals in the first half of the game and pretty much stole the ball off all the younger kids and scored a goal after each kick-off....oops. So we decided we'd better put him up a grade into the age 4-5 kids. He played with half a dozen other 4-year olds and they were a much better set of opponents!

But the best part of my day by far was spending the afternoon at Otari Wiltons Bush taking a walk with my favourite people. It's the scene of the Enchanted Wood storybook I put together 2 years ago, and it never fails to deliver a beautiful experience.

The very hungry caterpillar
Loving watching Mylo make several trips to the kitchen to pull out all the supplies he needed for his cafe.

Loving this circle of food prepared for Mama to eat. As a friend on Facebook said, I felt a little bit like the very hungry caterpillar  having to work my way through it all!

Losing and finding
Woke up with the sickest feeling last weekend at about 4.30am on Saturday morning realising my ring was missing. The night before at my team farewell where we'd been ten-pin bowling the night I had taken my ring off as it kept catching on the bowling ball. We'd had to move lanes after our first game, and I hadn't remembered it to pick it up in the melee of moving all our belongings over.

This ring is very special, as Mark gave it to me in Santorini on our honeymoon, so it's really like an eternity ring I guess. I called the bowling alley the minute it opened at 10am and was just.so.thankful. that someone had handed it in. I never usually take my rings off, not even for bed so I was pretty blimin grateful to have it back!

No wet feet for me
Having made it 10 years back in NZ without having a pair of gumboots, I was pretty chuffed to find this pair of pretty funky-looking ones at Countdown for $20 the other week

No excuse for wet feet watching winter sports now!

Loving these two who exude so much energy especially at 6.30am. When I peer at this sight with bleary eyes, I can't but help smile!

Heavenly treats
Loving half an hour of me time to go and enjoy a massage which was kindly gifted by my friend Andrea for helping her out at a baby show a couple of months back.

And as Sarah Lee pointed out, that angel on the left does bear somewhat of an uncanny resemblance to me...strange! Loving that I still have enough left on the voucher for another massage in a couple of month's time too!

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!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


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