31 January 2014

Things I'm Loving: On yer bike, Copper butterflies, and Making the best of it

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.

On yer bike
Mark has been promising for a while now to take Noah out on his first mountain bike ride (now that he has a bike with gears and both brakes). So last weekend while Mylo and I were wasting wiling the afternoon away at a birthday party, they got out on the bikes, up the hill and into the bush. I'd made sure to tell Mark to be patient as I wasn't sure how Noah would cope with the up the hill bit let alone getting into the bush. But he nailed it. And loved the whole experience. My heart swells to see my wee guy so enjoying getting into his daddy's past-times.

The picture on the right is Noah standing at 'Lone Pine' , appreciating how far he'd come

Copper butterflies
Loved spotting these two beauties up at the park last weekend. When I first looked at them I instantly thought they were monarch butterflies but then realised they weren't. We googled 'NZ butterflies' and realised that this copper butterfly was in fact a completely different but just as gorgeous native butterfly.

A few runs in the rain
Last Sunday while Mark was out doing the Akatarawa Attack the boys and I went up to the park. We'd seen the weather forecast was looking a bit grim, so high tailed it up there just before lunch for an hour. When we arrived, it immediately started spitting but we persevered and managed nearly a whole hour of 2-over cricket fun. Love seeing these two getting their sport on.

Can't complain about the cafes
If there's one thing that Wellington is known for, it's great coffee and cafes. Espressoholic is a bit of an institution, I remember it being in Wellington right from when I first lived here back in 1998 (how old does that make me feel?!) although in a different location. Catching up with my dear friend Marie (she blogs over at itsmariemade - go and check it out - she's a crafter and baker extraordinaire!) the other night made me realise just how hard it can be to actually choose somewhere to meet in the city - we are so spoilt for choice!

Favourite things
The boys have always been into dress ups. Well ever since we bought the first pirate dress up when Noah was just a wee tacker. We now have a great selection in the cupboard - although some are well and truly grown out of now even for Mylo -  and there aren't many days that go by when they don't disappear into the bedroom and come out transformed into their desired hero of the day. Occasionally I get asked to add some additional accessories like face paint into the mix. I love that they don't seem to care that I'm about as artistic as a shaky spider.

Nice to see you again
The summer in Wellington so far has not been much to write home about. Days like these last year were a dime a dozen, this year - not so much. So it was a moment to remember last week when I opened the curtains and finally saw a cloudless, blue sky before me. And a double reflection of me taking the photo to boot!

Lazy days
This whole finishing work everyday at 2.30pm malarkey is still a novelty - one that I'm hoping is never going to wear off. Last Friday I went to pick up Mylo from daycare - he didn't want to come home as they were just about to have a 'happy last day' afternoon tea. So I picked Noah up and headed home and straight out onto the trampoline with pillows and a magazine while Noah read more of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series - his current reading frenzy. It didn't last too long though as he heard the next door neighbour playing in the driveway and soon abandoned me for a scooter trip up to the park. So then it was just me and my magazine in the afternoon sun. Rather than feeling resentful at having being abandoned by both the boys, I tried to consciously go with the flow, let myself relax and just enjoy this rare moment of peace.

The chosen one
How cool that the picture on Google the other day was chosen from a national competition won by a Kiwi kid in Canterbury? Even cooler is his own personal story of being rescued from Bolivia and adopted by a Kiwi lady.

Making the best of what you've got 
I love this amazing story I saw this week on A Holy Experience. About this rag tag bunch of Thai villagers who decided to put together a football team, but living on a floating village with no land there was nowhere to play. So they improvised. A wonderful example of making the best of what you've got to make life better. This story was the beginnings of one of the best football clubs in Southern Thailand. Enjoy!

Now I don't want to scare you people but did you realise that a month of this year has already gone now?! Yikes - how did that happen?! So hold onto your hats people because it's February on the morrow!

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!

29 January 2014

Ginger & Honey Roasted Muesli Recipe

Ginger & Honey Roasted Muesli

I am head over heels in love with this new toasted muesli recipe I came across. The combination of honey and ginger is so welcoming on the palate and it is so easy to make!


2 cups of oats (use a wheat-free version to make this a gluten-free recipe)
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 to 1 cup nuts (I used raw peanuts but you could use any combo and I didn't really measure just poured in roughly)
1/2 to 1 cup of seeds (pumpkin/sunflower)
4 tsp ground ginger
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp coconut oil
Dried fruit - sultanas, cranberries

 Add all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together.

Melt the 3 tbsp of honey and coconut oil together and then mix into the dry ingredients.

Pop on an oven tray and roast at 180 degrees for 10-20 minutes. Do keep an eye on it and take it out and stir every 5 minutes or so to make sure the muesli gets evenly cooked.

Once you have removed from the oven, mix any dried fruit you want to add in through the muesli - I used cranberries.

Store in an airtight jar.

ginger honey roasted muesli

For other tasty recipes, visit here.

28 January 2014


A portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014.

Noah: it doesn't matter that it's the height of summer. He still loves getting into his onesie - or snuggle-monk as he calls it. Just as an aside - have you ever cuddled one of your kids in a fleecy onesie - it is the best experience ever - I swear it is like cuddling a real-life soft toy - something I was super into doing as a youngster. Noah is just like I was as a child. He sleeps with a great big collection of favourite soft toys beside his pillow. On cold nights he likes to stuff them under the blankets so they don't get cold. He is such a caring soul. But his all-time favourite is still his first monkey George, the first toy he ever got attached to at about 5 months old. And they've been everywhere together since including to the other side of the world and back again. Twice. I'm pretty sure they are BFF (best friends forever).

Mylo: There was a time there where I couldn't get a look in edgewise to be the one to tuck him into bed and read a story. It was Daddy all the way. But I tried not to let it bother me. So you can imagine my delight that right now we are in a Mummy phase and I get picked to be the story-reader every.single.night. Yusssssss! Mylo's current favourite story is Pooh's Mailbox - it's fun because there are little treasures awaiting in envelopes on each page. He loves the funny voices I put on - slow and dreary for Eeyore, bouncy and giggly for Tigger, high-pitched and squeaky for Piglet. When we turn off the light, I sneak in a few minutes of extra cuddles in his very small single (and not that comfortable!) bed. These are truly the favourite moments of my day.

Joining in with Project 52 here.

27 January 2014

'Simplify' and 'be'

These are my words for this year.

There's a whole lot more knocking around within the walls of those ten letters than you might imagine. For me it's all these things:
  • Less is more
  • Don't be afraid to say no
  • In fact, say no more often
  • You don't have to be all things to all people all the time
  • Think twice about my reasons for doing something - is it adding value to my family's life or creating undue stress and busyness
  • Declutter heart, mind and home
  • Be present in the little moments of life
  • 'Doing' is not the same as 'being'
  • Protect against busyness and over scheduling
God also put a phrase on my heart loud and clear recently:

Love me and everything else will be....

I've thought a lot about what that phrase means. It's a simple statement. But everything else will be.......what? Good? Better? OK? Amazing? For some one who likes to put things in their rightful place neat and tidy, it's enough to drive me to distraction that it's left so open to interpretation.

The point is I think the word 'be' is deliberately and purposely meant to be left that way. I believe He's saying if you really truly love me and trust me, I'll take care of the rest. Everything else will happen as it is meant to happen, and there's no need for striving and trying to do it all in your own strength.

One of my ongoing failings is that. Striving. I've had words in the past telling me I don't need to strive. That He's got my back. But when it's inherent in my personality to be a perfectionist and an over achiever, it's pretty hard not to fall into a habit of striving as a normal mode of operation when I approach any given day and any given task. I know full well that I try to engineer an outcome that I desire by trying my best, my hardest, doing whatever it takes to make it happen, or to get a task done, an event completed, or a situation resolved and ticked off. I'm NOT very good at  leaning into Him and giving it over and saying 'in your time, and in your will'.

This year I find myself the opportunity to trust Him with something BIG. There's this impossible dream in my heart that I'm believing for. I'm almost scared to because it's going to take a lot of faith, and so much has to fall into place to turn this dream into a reality. It's all too tempting to focus on the things I could do, must do to try and make it happen instead of trusting that if it's His will, it will come to be.

There it is that word again. BE. 

I get a sneaky feeling me and BE are going to become much better acquainted this year.

24 January 2014

Things I'm Loving: Oceans, Webers, A Flamingo and a Stilt Walker

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.

Stilt walker

Mylo was MOST excited to show me his new-found skills when I came to pick him up from daycare last week. It's not the easiest skill to learn so I was most impressed at his efforts. Apparently he told me afterwards that the only reason he took a tumble at the end was because 'the sun was in my eyes mum'.

Accidental flamingo in coffee

Mark got given a set of coffee froth decorators for Christmas - so I've had dolphins and hearts adorning my coffee some days. But I thought this totally random and accidental flamingo was quite choice.

Pineapple and Mint Sorbet

 So we are loving trying all manner of sorbet out in the new ice-cream maker - we are still yet to make any ice cream though - ha ha! So far we have tried raspberry (still the best in my opinion), watermelon and pineapple/mint.

So refreshing on a summers day - not that there's been many to speak of around here of late!

Whizz bang Weber

Our old faithful BBQ had seen better days exposed to the elements and Mark had been dead keen on getting a Weber which pretty much does everything except wash the dishes afterwards. Case in point, the first day we had it Mark cooked a sensational lamb roast in it that only took 1.5 hours - veges and all done under the hood!

You can even cook pizza in it if you get a pizza stone. And of course it does actually BBQ too no surprise there! I think the reason it's so great is that it gets up to temperature really fast and keeps the heat in so well. I'm sure Mark could give you a big spiel on all the benefits - but all I care is if the food tastes great which it sure as heck did! 

Embassy Excellence

We'd been to watch the first Hobbit movie at the Embassy a year ago with Nic & Kim when they were in town and so we really felt we must return to the same cinema for the second movie - in my opinion it's one of NZ's best cinematic experiences - an older style theatre so it has stunning classic decor and ambience but with amazing sound and comfortable seats - none of the old flip style dodgy chairs from back in the day.

We were hoping for a shake-free experience - after another 6.3 quake rumbled through town only 2 hours before - and thankfully we got it. Although at times the booming bass in the movie had me wondering whether we were in fact having another shake.

I'm not sure what was scarier that day - being home alone during the quake which sent me running for the doorway (the boys were up at the park playing while I cleaned some windows) - or the terrifying dragon Smaug in the Hobbit movie - either way I spent a good part of the day with my heart in mouth!


Loving his song that Kristy shared a few weeks back which has become my new favourite. I've since downloaded the album and am listening to it loads. And loads. And loads!

It is so beautiful. Take a listen.

And here's hoping for a beautiful weekend wherever you are. Peace out peeps!

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 January 2014

Up close and personal

Every so often it's good to get out and about in our cool capital city. On a very windy Sunday afternoon we ventured somewhat gingerly out in the 100 km/hr winds to the Marine Education Centre in Island Bay. At $5 per adult and $2 per kid it's great to be able to support the local efforts to look after our sea life.

The touch pools are great for young and old alike (well if you're actually brave enough to touch anything and not a completely wuss like me!). 

This guy (Mr Octopus) is quite the star and can actually get a crab out of closed jar by opening the lid and does regularly in front of an audience.

It was mega, mega windy as you can see by the wind in the flags. So much so that when we arrived Noah's fedora flew off down the road at 100 miles an hour, spinning on its side. We had to shout at the boys not to run on the road to chase after it. It narrowly missed being run over by a car and I think it may well have ended up in the sea were it not for the fact it came to rest under a parked car. Phew. Noah would have been devastated - he's rather in love with his $2.50 hat!

The walk back to the car afterwards (only 100 metres) was insane - the wind was whipping sand up off Island Bay beach, and it was like being in a Middle Eastern sand storm - I found myself biting down on sand and wiping sand off my face for hours to come!

Next stop Wellington zoo. We hadn't been for nearly a year and loved the opportunity to get up close and personal with our favourite animal friends. 

Someone really likes the eating the crackers first and then licking the cheese up afterwards!

Speaking of tongues - I love how purple the giraffe's tongues are - this guy was super friendly and happy to show his off to us.

Our favourite part of this day's visit was the new Australian walkabout enclosure that recently opened.

Recognise any of your favourite Aussie soaps here?

Bigger than a dingo, smaller than a kangaroo!

And nearly as tall as the Brolga. 

In the new enclosure the kangaroo, emu, wallabies and Cape Barren geese can freely roam so if you really wanted to you could probably touch one although there are signs asking visitors to stick to the path.

Still cool to be so up close and personal though.

The dingoes have a new enclosure and on their side of the glass they have a wee sandpit that mirrors the one the boys were playing in safely on the other side of the glass. Not today though, the dingoes were happily snoozing in the sun from on high.

And after we'd exited our local Aussie neighbourhood, these guys kept us all enthralled. They are amusing at the best of times, but today even more so all sitting in a row like old men waiting for a bus stop.

This guy was new to us too. Noah fancied himself into Harry Potter riding on the back of a dragon. 

Wee baba cuddling his mama high up on his perch, and having a little frolic as you do.

Our last visit of the day was to this guy. Aren't his colours simply stunning? But even more curious is the little tag-a-long who was being very daring in trying to knock this guy off his perch - can you spot him? I did wonder exactly how long it would take before Mr Iguana would snap, turn around and take a chunk out of him.

Despite the terribly windy day, it was rather a lovely treat to spend this afternoon out together. In the city, our city, together.


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