Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just a quick post tonight...

I love this saying and it sums up many of my friendships at this busy stage of my life! Tonight I had the opportunity to get together with some old friends and despite it often being months between seeing them, it is still so fantastic to get together when we get a chance. There is nothing better for the soul than to have a good old (no pun intended!) laugh with great friends. :-)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Check out this Inspiring Makeover!

If you are looking for a little Monday interiors inspiration, feast your eyes on this brilliant makeover from Kim over at Desire to Inspire. This was an interim mini makeover of an old bathroom that will be completely remodelled at some point, but needed a freshen up in the meantime.
Isn't it incredible? I would never have believed that this was the same room and I absolutely love the black and white. All the little details, from the mirror to the vanity curtain are all beautifully thought out and work so well together.
I have to say though, my very favourite item is the yellow chair. I have been keeping an eye out for a bright yellow chair for a while now, after missing out on a roughly painted old Bentwood chair on Trademe some weeks ago. I think that shot of bright colour really makes the whole space come alive.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sibling Love...

Although they have their moments, Rose and Harry are actually the best of friends. They build "tents" (I call them huts) together in the lounge room most afternoons while I am preparing dinner, share their treats with each other and play together happily for hours on end. The older they get, the stronger their bond becomes and I love hearing them chatting away to each other and role playing 'schools' (Rose is the teacher and Harry is the student naturally!) and other games together. Rose is currently trying to teach Harry how to play the 'Guess Who'? game.
This week since they have been sharing a room, we hear the chatter and giggles start just before 7am each morning. It is music to our ears to hear this lovely sound! When we go into their room, this is the sight we are greeted with...
Rose and Harry cuddling each other on the bottom bunk, laughing and talking together. Rose also enjoys reading to Harry. I am so happy that their bond continues to grow and I hope that they will always have this special connection with each other.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rose and Harry's New Shared Space: Part Two

As you can see, Harry is pretty chuffed with the new room. The first week of sharing has been going extremely well and the kids have adjusted very quickly. We had our doubts as to how it would go as Rose likes having her own space but they really seem to be enjoying it!
It is always a challenge to create a scheme that will suit a boy and a girl so I chose red and varied a few pieces to try and make Rose's space look more girly, and Harry's more boyish.
I picked up a matching pair of red Ezibuy Tulsa Quilts which are plain red on one side and red and white stripes on the other. They are channel stitched and come in a variety of other colours too. They are also fairly reasonably priced for quilts. 
For Harry's bed I added a red and white striped pillowcase which I found a while ago from an Op Shop for $1.00, as well as his red and charcoal Thread Design motorcycle cushion.
On Rose's bed I used a red and white polka dot pillowcase that I made for her (from beautiful Tom Tom Jak fabric) a few months ago to create a more girly look, together with the Wallace Cotton red and white star cushion which I have owned for years now.
One thing I love about the bunks are the slatted ends. Although I probably prefer beds with solid ends, I think that beds with slatted ends make the room seem a little more spacious and the furniture less imposing. This was important as having bunks in a room is always going to dominate the space due to their size.
I added the second hand bedside table unit I picked up a few months ago and have displayed some of Rose and Harry's toys to personalise their room further.
This is Rose's little corner of the room. We have kept her crystal drawer knobs on, added an old lamp, her 'r' letter from Allium, her set of Russian Dolls and an inexpensive polka dot suitcase for all her hair bands. Harry's corner is still being worked on. :-)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Rose and Harry's New Shared Space: Part One

Our other main project last weekend was to create a shared bedroom for Rose and Harry. With the water "issues" downstairs, we have had to reorganise the house to make the best use of the space we have upstairs, whilst planning (and saving) for the work downstairs.
The best solution was to have Rose and Harry sharing a room and the most efficient way to do this was to get bunks. This was a last minute decision so I only had a few days to research and find a set of bunks that would work well in the room.
Naturally, the nicest ones were hugely expensive and I wasn't willing to spend that much. In the end I tracked down a white Ava bunk set (we had to travel to Manukau to get the last set in stock in Auckland!) from Beds r Us and I am pretty happy with them.
It took Taff and I a long time to assemble them last Saturday (we are talking hours) but it was a good communication and team building exercise! The kids checked in on a regular basis to "help" us out and watch the progress of their new beds coming together. They were surprisingly very excited to be sharing a room.
Rose invited Harry up to her top bunk to watch while Taff attached the ladder.
Tomorrow I will share photos of the finished room and how the first few days of sharing have been. :-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Zoo Trip

We had a fantastic day at the zoo today. After my late night at work and exhausting last few days, I wasn't feeling that enthused about the trip. The weather was originally forecast as wet and nasty and with 180 'emerging adolescents', that is never a good combination at a zoo.
I was over the moon to wake up this morning to sunshine and warmth! Due to fantastic parent help and great zoo educators, we actually had a very calm and relaxing day. We checked out the new alligator enclosure (I am interested to see how Rose and Harry will react when they see it on our next visit) and had a leisurely walk around the zoo.
I also went to the Kiwi and Tuatara house for the first time, although the highlight was learning how some of the keepers have trained a diabetic Cottontop Tamarin to get her insulin shots and respond to simple commands. Amazing! All in all, a great day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

MasterChef Australia

It is official. I am addicted to MasterChef Australia. Not only that, so is my 6 year old daughter. I have missed all the MasterChef hype in the past and have never seen a series prior to this one. I can't describe how much I love this show! It is no secret that I love to cook and I am absolutely blown away by these amazingly talented cooks. Every episode is a visual feast and so inspiring.
I also love these three judges, Gary, Matt and George. They are tough nuts but definitely have a softer side and are actually very caring underneath it all. The only thing I don't like is the time the show is on! The 5-6pm slot is madness at our place as I race around preparing dinner, dealing with Rose's homework and other household tasks. It is just not practical to sit down and watch the show at that time. Thank goodness for TVNZ on Demand!
I am able to catch up on the show once the kids are in bed and Rose likes to catch up on her missed episodes on the laptop too. We have great conversations about the ingredients used, who might be going home and why, she is definitely a budding little chef herself. Hopefully in a few years she will be able to cook for us!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Yes, it is one of those weeks this week. You all know the ones I am talking about. The ones where you have things on every night and don't stop all day until you collapse from exhaustion...and in my case, that is late at night! It is very hard to train a night owl to go to bed earlier than midnight! I may be a little "light" on my blogging this week. I have so much to do and my head feels a lot like this...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Our Guest Room Makeover

This was one of our major jobs this Saturday...to convert Rose's room into the guest bedroom. Until we get downstairs sorted out, we needed a place for our friends and family to stay. We also have quite a bit of painting to do in our own bedroom and wanted somewhere for us to sleep while we are working on the room. By having the spare bedroom upstairs, we don't have to worry about paint fumes and a mattress on the floor in our own room. Phew!
It was a pretty simple task and we moved all the furniture from the room downstairs, up to Rose's empty room. Thank goodness everything fitted in nicely and I was able to set the room up using items we already had. I was even able to bring out my old home made cross cushions again as they have been in hiding for a while! I blogged about them a while back here.
I picked up these great bedside tables from a Farmers Clearance Sale a couple of months ago for $99 each and I much prefer them to our old Freedom wood and rattan ones (which I sold on Trademe for more than the cost of these!). These are much more simple and less imposing, great if you have a smaller room.
The only new thing in the room is the Thread Design duvet set, also purchased from a clearance sale. Thread are deleting their Peacock Home range so had 50% off. It is a lovely summery looking set which I am tempted to claim back for our own room once it is done!
It was a great fun project and I am pleased with how it turned out. It is a sunny room and a perfect reading spot which I fully intend to test out very soon. :-)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Harry's Sunday Suit

I have been searching high and low for a suit and tie for Harry for a while now but they seem to be very hard to come by here in New Zealand. Then a few weeks ago I popped into our local baby store and found a brand new suit, heavily reduced and the perfect size for Harry!
It came with everything from the trousers, jacket and waistcoat, through to the shirt and tie. Harry is very chuffed with his new suit and has been proudly wearing it to church for the last few weeks.
He isn't super keen on the jacket but tells everyone that he has a suit like Daddy's and that he looks just like a missionary. He looks a bit like Michael Jackson with those white socks though! Happy Happy Sunday everyone. :-)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mmm, Pancakes...

Rose has been looking forward to today, all week. Taff is great at making pancakes but we don't often have time for long, leisurely breakfasts. This morning was an exception! Taff whipped up a batch and Rose and Harry were pretty pleased. :-)
Of course, their preferred toppings are golden syrup and maple syrup, very easy to please! Next time I think I would like to try the blueberry and syrup combination you can see above. :-)
We had a lot of work to do at home today as we rearranged a couple of the rooms in the house to create a spare room upstairs. We have agonised over this (ok, ok, it was mainly me that agonised!) for the last few weeks and decided to make some changes. We have had some leaking downstairs which we are in the process of investigating and this has been quite stressful at times, especially when it rains! lol. Our guest bedroom is currently downstairs and largely unaffected by the leaks, but as we have Hollie arriving soon for a visit, we wanted a warm and dry place for her and our family members to stay. This has meant a drastic change for the kids in their sleeping arrangements. I will be blogging some of these changes in the next few days and sharing some photos of our busy day!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hot Chocolate Friday

It has been a tiring week and tiring weeks dictate a relaxing night on the couch and a hot chocolate.
We have a few things on the go tomorrow but for now, I am going to sit back and enjoy that hot chocolate!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rose and Harry's Favourite Chicken Laksa Recipe

Being a busy working mum, I am always on the search for quick and easy recipes that our whole family can enjoy. Rose and Harry's favourite is Thai Chicken Laksa and it is super quick, inexpensive and easy to prepare. This recipe comes from Sophie Gray's Stunning Food from Small Change and is mild enough for the whole family to enjoy. Luckily, both our kids love spicy foods (within reason!) and are reasonably adventurous in trying ethnic dishes.

Chicken Laksa

  • 1 large single chicken breast

  • 1 tablespoon oil

  • 3 cloves crushed garlic

  • 1 tablespoon crushed or grated ginger

  • 1-2 teaspoons of Thai sweet chilli sauce (I use a little more!)

  • 100g green beans (I use frozen beans or a frozen stir fry vegetable mix)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk or cream (1 can)

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • 750ml chicken stock

  • 300g noodles (I never measure these, I like a thick laksa so often use fettucine noodles)

  • salt and pepper
Slice the chicken into thin strips and cook quickly in a little oil in a wok or saucepan. Remove and set aside. To the pan add garlic, ginger, chilli sauce and beans. Cook for a minute or so. Mix in the coriander, coconut milk and fish sauce, then add the stock and chicken. Bring to a simmer and add the noodles. Simmer for a few minutes until the noodles are cooked. Season and serve in bowls with a spoon and fork.

I cooked this tonight and Rose and Harry had three bowls each! If I have frozen prawns on hand, I throw in a handful or if you prefer a seafood laksa, just substitute the chicken for seafood. It is also a nice lunch dish. Enjoy!