Monday, January 31, 2011


It is interesting (to me anyway!) how many memories are tied up in the 'things' around us. When I think about some of my childhood memories it is a real assortment of experiences, pictures and feelings. It is sometimes the smallest things that remain etched in our minds. For example, see this cute little footstool? It belonged to my grandparents and I have many memories attached to it. I remember sitting on it to watch TV with my Papa, I remember turning it on it's side and rolling across the floor. I also remember trying to reach it with my short legs in an attempt to be just like my Grammy and Papa.
 Over the years I have often thought of this little stool and recently my fantastic uncle kindly gifted it to me. I was so thrilled to receive something that holds such special memories for me and now my own children can enjoy it as much as I did. I love that everytime I see it, I think of my grandparents and it is a great reminder to me of the importance of sharing these memories with my two littlies.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Valentines Day Print

Something has come over me in the last few months and I am finding the urge to seasonally decorate. :) I know it is very 'un-kiwi' (is that a word?) of me to get into this type of thing but I actually really enjoy it! It isn't so much about the commercialism of these holidays, but more about taking the idea behind it and thinking about how you can apply it to your family.
In the case of Valentines, showing our love for our family in small but special ways. I found this Valentine Subway Art on Eighteen25 and decided to jump in with the holiday decorating and replace my Christmas Print with this one.
I printed it out at a photo kiosk to get a better quality print and it is now displayed on our hall table for a bit of Valentines cheer. I love having these little visual reminders and looking around our home, they make me smile, especially at the end of a long day. :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My First DIY Furniture Project

It is no secret that one of my favourite things to do is op shopping. I love it! I love that you never know what you will find and that is all part of the fun. Lots of the time you find nothing but then sometimes, just sometimes, you hit the jackpot.
Now I'm not saying that this chair is the jackpot but it is the subject of my first attempt at revamping an old piece of furniture. I have been inspired by a couple of blogs (I will share them at another time) and so many talented woman that I really wanted to give it a go. I have no idea how it will turn out!
Rosie (my fellow op shopper) and I set out this week to find an inexpensive chair and we found this beauty for $10 at a West Auckland Salvation Army. I usually don't venture far to op shop but I definitely will in future as the shops out West were fab!
I loved the shape of the chair, it was very sturdy and looked like the upholstered parts would be easy to recover. I have no idea what to do but after a bit of research I am hoping to make a start on my new chair project. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

That Time of Year

I admit it, I love school stationery. I always have.
I remember the joy of a brand new pen and a clean exercise book. I remember making sure that my handwriting was the best it could be on the front page of every book.
Now it is time to share the joy with my daughter. :)
This week Rosie and I had a bit of bonding time together in the form of stationery shopping. We got our list, visited the mall and had a great time choosing all her goodies for the year. Several times she commented to me how much fun she was having, it appears the apple doesn't fall far from the tree on this one!
We covered her books (let me know if you have any tips as this job never seems to get easier!), labelled all her pencils and felts and had a lovely time together while we were at it. Now she is all set to start the year and believe me, she cant wait. :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

School Routines Chart

Yes, it is that time of year again. Back to school preparations are upon us and this year I am trying to introduce some firmer after school routines for our little ones. Working full time, it is fairly hectic in the afternoons when we arrive home. There is washing to deal with, dinner to cook and homework to be done. I think my two littlies sense that during this time, my attention is spread thin with all the jobs I am trying to deal with. They then target me for food, hoping that I will give in and they can fill themselves up with crackers and fruit before dinner!
I found this helpful free printable after school routine chart over at Living Locurto and I am hoping it will help make our after school routine run a little smoother. They can visually see that before they can have their snack, they have their own responsibilities they need to fulfill. While they are doing their jobs I can prepare their snack and have more control over the quantities they are consuming. I can't tell you how many times I come up the stairs after getting the clothes off the line to find an almost empty box of crackers! I have laminated the routines chart and will put it on their door so that they can access it easily. I am looking forward to trying it out. :) 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Recipe Organisation

Folders for mains, desserts and baking
 Just a quick organisation tip for your recipes. If you are anything like me, you enjoy tearing out recipes from magazines to try at a future date.
Oh dear, not a good look at all
I didn't have a very good system for these tearouts and it wasn't long before they were becoming a menace everytime I opened the cupboard.
Calm is created out of chaos!
I popped out and picked up these three folders on sale and spent a few minutes organising them into categories. Now they are easy to find when I need them and my cook book cupboard is all pretty again! :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our First Camping Trip

Well, we survived our first family camping trip!
The weather was beautiful when we arrived and after a bit of team work, our new tent was erected. I have to say, I am in love with our new tent! It was spacious and clean and in my opinion, preferable to staying in the baches at the campground. While we were there we saw some mattresses being transported around the grounds and let's just say, it was hard to tell their original colour due to the stains. Ewww!
It was very much a novelty sleeping in a tent and Rosie and Harry loved every minute of it. Amazingly, they were asleep within 5 minutes of being put to bed, it must have been the sea air. :) The beach was very tidal so the campground offered alot of alternative activities.
Rosie was particularly keen on the good old fashioned rope swing and gained more confidence in going a little higher each time. They were also able to have an evening swim and kayak once the tide came in!
All in all, I really enjoyed myself and it was great to spend time with family and friends without the distractions of home. I was able to read and chat for hours and I surprised myself at how much I enjoyed it. In saying that, there were a few things that I was not so keen on and memories of school camp came flooding back.
Firstly, the communal ablution block. This is nastiness personified. I actually think this campground was pretty good by campground standards but ewww, it wasn't fun in there. Showering in jandals, concrete floors and wait for it, clumps of other people's hair around the place. I found myself trying to avoid having a shower! Being smelly was definitely the lesser of two evils. I also wasn't keen on the communal fridge, in case you haven't guessed already, I have a mistrust of any shared facilities!
Sadly the weather turned nasty and was forecast to stay that way for several days so we decided to pack up early. Rosie and Harry were most upset and we had barely got up the road before they were asking when we could go camping again. Lucky for them, we have another trip planned soon with friends so fingers crossed for beautiful weather!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Harry's New Haircut

Just a quick post today. :)
Check out Harry's new haircut. I am a fan of short hair and this is very short!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thoughts on Taking Photos

As I have been making the effort to capture more photos of our family, I have been thinking about why this has become so important to me. Recently we packed up my beloved grandmother's home as it was being sold and we came across a small stash of photos. She passed away six years ago now and many of the photos were ones I had never seen before. We had a wonderful time looking through them and recalling precious memories. I loved looking at all the little details in the photos, as well as the people in them.
 The clothing, the furniture, the landscape, the cars and homes, it was all fascinating to me and I love that photos capture a moment in time that will never be repeated. It is for this reason that I feel it is important for me to snap as many moments of our life as I can, not just the big things, but the little things too. For many years I have taken photos of special events and nothing in between and as I reflect on this, this is not a true reflection of life in our family. Our life is not just about the big events, but the everyday seemingly mundane things. I want to remember what life was like in our sometimes hectic household in an honest way, and that includes messy floors and overflowing laundry piles.
 At first it felt very odd to be taking photos of anything and everything but now it is second nature to me and it doesn't feel strange. I want to remember my kids rolling in the grass, as well as a beautiful trifle for dessert. I want to remember all the little things that make up our busy life and help me to recall the memories that are attached to each one. I am really enjoying doing this and encourage everyone to capture more of their everyday life through photos. :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My First Project Life Layouts!

My beautiful Amber Edition album
I have finished my first few layouts for Project Life 2011!
I know it is early days but I am really enjoying assembling my album and the journaling aspect of the project.
I love writing a few words about each snapshot and recording our memories in this way. I am even considering getting a second kit so that I can organise all my 2010 photos into an album as they are all still on my hard drive and none are printed out!
Already Rosie and Harry enjoy looking at the snapshots and I can see them flicking through the album on a regular basis. It is a great source of discussion too. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011


I love making furnishings for our home such as cushions and bedding and I am always on the lookout for sources of great fabrics. We don't have a huge choice here in NZ and the nicer options are often expensive as they are usually imported from the UK or USA.
A few months ago I discovered Martha's Furnishing Fabrics in Newmarket and fell in love. :)
If you are after beautiful fabric for any of your home furnishing projects then go no further than Martha's. They are really helpful and also stock the feather cushion inners I love so much.
Check them out for your next furnishing project. :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Off Camping

We are off on a camping trip today so I have prepared some blog posts for while I am gone. :)
Yes, I know I am the girl that coined the phrase, "Camp is a four letter word" during high school and yes, I have actively avoided camps ever since, however I am braving the elements with my family for the next 3 days.
We will be at a "family friendly" camp ground with good friends so that will soften the blow of the elements I hope.

We picked up our new tent on sale a few weeks ago and are yet to put it up and test it out, so wish us luck! Bring on the shared facilities, communal toilets and air beds, hmmm I can barely wait. Remind me again why I am doing this? Oh that's is for the kids. :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Family Friendly Sofas

I know many may find this crazy, but I have a philosophy when it comes to decorating our home. Yes, we have two small children but I haven't let that stop me from painting the walls in light colours and buying white furniture. :)
Our new sofa arrives
I figure that if we wait until they are older to buy the furniture that we want, then that day might never come! I really enjoy working on our home and picking up little bargains here and there. It is my hobby and I love it.
Soil Shield is a good investment with kids
Of course, I am under no illusion as to the mess kids can create and accidents do happen, so there are some things we do to try and minimise the impact on our furnishings, especially our new beige sofas!
First of all, I recommend scotch guarding/soil shielding your sofa, regardless of the colour. Spills and marks come off very easily and it is great for kids. We also have a strict 'no eating on the sofa' rule which we have emphasised since they were little and this has saved many a disaster.
Rosie playing on the throw rug
My best tip though is to invest in a nice throw rug for your sofa and use it at all times! I chose a white waffle blanket and it stays on permanently...until we have guests over. :) Kids will be kids though and we have had several items of furniture drawn on with felt pens and I only have one tip here...Jif is your friend. That stuff is amazing and will get almost anything out of hard surfaces.
I think my best tip of all though, is that you can't be too precious about your furnishings. They are just things at the end of the day and they aren't worth getting upset about. My kids climb all over our sofas with grubby feet and play for many hours with their toys on there too. At the end of the day, we are a family with young children and this is a way we have found a balance between having the furniture we want, and not driving our kids crazy with unreasonable rules and restrictions. :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


These holidays we decided to visit MOTAT as a family. It has been years since I went and Rosie had visited most recently with her school, so she was our "expert".
I must say, it has improved a lot since I last went a few years ago and we loved it!
The weather turned nasty while we were there (heavy downpours and all) but there was still a lot to do inside and we spent a couple of hours looking around all the exhibits.
I particularly loved the trip down memory lane with the vintage sofas, the bach and the little items of kiwiana.
Rosie and Harry's favourite part was the old schoolhouse and since no one else was in there at the time, we had a little role play with me as the teacher up the front. :)
Now that the kids are older it is so much fun visiting places like this and it was especially nice to go as a whole family. Holidays are awesome!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Craft Totes

Since starting Project Life I have been looking for a suitable way to store my large album, journaling cards and other craft paraphernalia. A couple of weeks ago I found a solution that I thought might work for me...these cute craft totes from Grant Studios.

I got a couple of them for a bargain price (long story) and they are a great size for scrapbooking albums and have an extra pocket for my stamp pad, pens, etc.
By having my supplies organised and close at hand, it makes it a lot easier for me to grab my craft tote when I have a spare moment and catch up on my journaling.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Why I Blog...

Although I have had a blog for a while now, it really wasn't until mid last year that I became a regular blogger. Since then I have been thinking about why I blog and why it has become an important part of my routine. I have come to realise that writing down my thoughts has really helped me to recognise the blessings that I have in my life, especially in my most important role as a mother. Motherhood is a joy, a challenge and something that I am constantly reflecting on.
There is so much I want to teach our littlies and at times this is overwhelming, especially at the end of a long day and when you are exhausted. By writing down my thoughts on my blog each day, it helps me to remember what is most important and motivates me to work harder to improve myself and be the kind of mother my kids deserve. I love those few minutes I have in the evening to record my thoughts for the day and how they have helped me. I am looking forward to continuing with my blogging as long as I am able. :) 

Saturday, January 15, 2011


We have two sick littlies in our house at the moment. After partying with their cousins for 10 days, they are exhausted and have fevers, coughing and lethargy.
There has been a lot of Pamol, Brufen and cuddling on the couch. Yesterday I was tackling more of my holiday washing and couldn't find the kids. I ran to the pool and around the house and found them both curled up on their bunks...asleep.
Bless them, they had taken themselves off to bed and had a 2.5 hour nap. It has been a long time since they had day naps but I remembered how much you could get done while your kids are napping! Hopefully they are on the mend soon. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011


  Taff has been reading a book called Growing Great Boys: How to Bring Out the Best in Your Son by Ian Grant and there was a great suggestion regarding helping around the house. Ian believes that one of the things that little boys enjoy doing the most, is helping their dads. :) 
A few days ago Harry brought the pool lounger to Taff to inflate so they decided to turn it into a little father and son project. They got the air pump from the garage and Harry pumped up the lounger all by himself...and loved every minute of it.
He was so proud of himself that he decided to come and help me clean the garage and soon Taff and Rosie joined us too. We turned it into a whole family project for a few hours and the kids loved taking out all the rubbish in their wheelbarrows, sorting out items for charity and sweeping the floor. These experiences are one of my favourite parts of being a parent. :)