31 December 2009

Things I Love Thursday...

Here are a few things I am loving at the moment...

The coolest Christmas pressy from a dear friend...



Seeing my kids enjoying my Aunty & Uncle's animals...



The joy simple things like a new ironing board cover can bring (I'm training my girls up early)...



Seeing the joy your own creations can bring to others (thanks Sienna for the photo)...



Little wintery stories written with love (in the middle of our hot summer)...



The feeling a fresh new diary for 2010 can bring - new hopes, dreams, plans and challenges ahead...



Happy New Years everyone!!

29 December 2009

Star Dad...

You know you've got an awesome husband when...

He lets all the kids hang off him in the pool...



He doesn't mind being asked to hang 'paint with water' pictures on the line every 5 minutes for his little girls...



He's offered to do the dishes more than once in the last couple of days (and there's been quite a pile of them)...



He's manly enough to snuggle with bunnies...



Love you so much honey (that's me moving in for a kiss).


27 December 2009

Together again...






After a great Christmas day with my side of the family we spent Boxing Day with hubby's side... and for the first time in two years everyone was together - which of course meant we just had to have a large family photo of us all (thanks to the handy dandy automatic timer on my camera!!).  Miss 2 wouldn't let go of her new puzzle book for the photo either.

It was so special spending time together, some over from Australia and others up from Auckland.  Who knows when we will all get together again like this.  My kids are totally loving hanging out with their big cousins.

Hubby is now on holiday for a month so we are all kicking into 'relax' mode which is wonderful - and with having family tenting on the lawn it feels extra 'holiday-ish'.

Hopefully I'll get some time to pop back in and say hi... if I can tear myself away from my novel, the giant puzzle on our table and the cute cuddly bunnies that is.

Happy Holidays!!

25 December 2009

Merry Christmas!!!



Merry Christmas everyone!

p.s. the bunnies were a hit!




24 December 2009

Peppermint Bark



 I've 'officially' discovered my favourite Christmas treat - Peppermint Bark (thanks to SouleMama's inspiration). 

It's so good that after making one batch last night I decided that we just had to make another in time for Christmas - so I was crazy and decided to enter town today with all the other crazy Christmas Eve shoppers (it was actually quite fun) to buy some more chocolate and candy canes.

Apparently this stuff is really expensive to buy in the shops (well, I've never seen it for sale here in New Zealand) but if you want to make your own home version without tempered chocolate, it's rather easy and just needs to be kept in the fridge.

It is super delicious and looks so pretty!

You can either follow the proper recipes all over the internet (like here, here or here) or do my super quick and easy version:

Melt a block of good quality milk (or dark) chocolate in the microwave and spread it into a tin lined with baking paper.  Put this in the fridge to set.  While this is setting, wrap 10-20 unwrapped peppermint candy canes in a tea towel and bash with a hammer or rolling pin (it's rather fun).

Next, melt a block of white chocolate (or bag of white chocolate chips) in the microwave and when melted stir in some of the candy cane dust (leaving the larger chunks out) and a few drops of peppermint essence.  Spread this over the milk chocolate layer (that has hopefully set in the fridge by now) and press the larger chunks of candy cane on top.  Place in the fridge to set hard.

Once set, cut into small chunks and store in a container in the fridge!  So tasty.

♥ And Merry Christmas everyone - Happy Jesus' Birthday.  I hope you all have a wonderful time tomorrow with your friends and family.

Some people find this time of year rather hard... it can rub in the fact of their lonliness, loss of loved ones or family tensions.  I definitely miss my brother at this time of year, and am so thankful that I have other family to spend this time with, but some people don't - so don't forget to include, love and reach out too.

Thanks for all of your comments, encouragement and friendships built over this year!

♥ Kristy


For more delicious recipes visit here.

23 December 2009

Christmas Tree Softies





It's pretty crazy around here - for some reason we decided that it would be a wonderful idea to finish renovating our dining room in time for our family Christmas (on Boxing Day).  It hasn't really been 'we' doing all the hard work... mainly 'he'.  And while he has been painting, building, sanding, replacing broken and lost bits and pieces, I have been cleaning, cooking and trying to distract two little girls from a particular part of our property where two cute little bunnies are hidden in the bushes waiting for Christmas morning (in a cage of course)... as well as sneaking in a couple of sewing projects on the side when I can  while trying to look SUPER busy with other stuff *ahem*.

I have nearly finished making five of these little Christmas tree softies, thanks to this tutorial at LucyKate Crafts.  They are so cute.

Here's hoping all of your Christmas plans are coming together smoothly, that you aren't forgetting the real reason that we celebrate Christmas... it's not really at all about Christmas trees, presents and food, but love coming down to earth to give us hope and peace...

♥ Jesus ♥

22 December 2009

Things I'm loving...

Here are a few things that I'm loving at the moment...

The excitement that a few Christmas lights can bring. We were out late on Sunday night after having been to the Christmas Concert at our church, so we decided to take the kids on a quick drive around some of the Christmas lights in the area - Miss 2 was SUPER excited. It is starting to become one of our family traditions - much to hubby's delight (said with slight sarcasm).





Receiving packages in the mail... like this cute little Gratitude Journal that I won over at Sweet Tidings - thanks Christy!!  Check out her cute packaging too.




My super cool Dad who recently took part in his surf club's annual dress up Christmas doo (thanks to Micro for the great photos).  This year he was a businessman surfing with his laptop bag, pink suit and newspaper (laminated of course).  My Uncle was also dressed up as a shark (you might be able to spot him in the link).  My favourite is the guy with the pirate ship surfboard.



Totally loving Owl City thanks to the very cool Stephen Garton's recommendation!  Check out the website and have a listen... I could listen to it all day.



And I am loving the fact that a couple of pressies put under the Christmas tree a few days early are bringing so much excitement to the house!  There has been some shaking and guessing... rather expensive guesses too.  I don't have the heart to tell them that they are only cheap mini packets of cereals... oh well.



I hope you all have a great week - and find some things to love and be thankful for no matter what your life is like at the moment (just as my friend Arna recently wrote).

21 December 2009

Friend are precious...

Today I had one of my close and special friends over to visit (along with her very cute boys).

Anya and I don't get to catch up as much as we would like (due to a rather large chunk of ocean separating us) - so it has been extra special to spend time together while she is over visiting her family for Christmas!

The kids hit it off rather well (we already have a couple of arranged marriages sorted between them all) and Anya suggested we sneak off to my special hiding place for a cup of tea while the kids all played together.






I suppose since Master 10 and Miss 5 helped take the photo's it isn't much of a secret anymore!

Love you lots Anya!!

20 December 2009

Nativity Softies





Last year while wandering around one of my favourite stores (Spotlight of course!) I spotted this fabric with nativity figures printed on it.  It came with instructions on how to sew it all together to make your own nativity set - and since we've always wanted to have a cute nativity set but could never quite afford one, I decided this cheaper option looked pretty good.

Alas, Christmas came and went in 2008 and although I had cut out the figures, I never quite got around to sewing it all together... so this year I decided I just had to finish it before Christmas 2009!

Today, it was finally finished, and the kids have enjoyed playing with it - even Master 10 who was a little embarrased when I caught him on camera having a play.

Baby Jesus has been thrown around the room a few times (I hope he doesn't get lost) - but other than that I think it's been worth the effort.

19 December 2009

I love weddings!




Today my hubby and I went to the most beautiful outdoor wedding.  The weather was perfect, the place was beautiful and the couple were so special.

Low and behold a couple of my blogging buddies were also there too!  Lisa was a bridesmaid and looked absolutely stunning, and Anya was there looking as lovely as ever too.



After the ceremony we sat under shady trees and had a beautiful wedding picnic (including sushi).  A pity we forgot to put sunscreen on before we left home... hubby is as red as a beetroot!

Here's hoping your weekend was an awesome one without too much stress (or sunburn).

18 December 2009

I hang out in dark alleys...






Last night we had the coolest group of people around for a BBQ... they are the youth leaders we work alongside in our youth ministry, and they are all amazing.

Youth work has it's ups and downs, so these people are extra special.  Each one has something different to offer - some are administration machines, others are often serving behind the scenes, many are great at talking with and mentoring youth, and the list could go on and on.  It's not just what they do that makes them special, it's who they are - people who want to make a difference with their lives, and to do that they give up their own time and wants to give out to others (we love you guys!!).

So as you would imagine when a group of youth leaders get together, we sit down and talk about the awesome young people we work with and pray for each one we dress up in Hawaiian themed clothes, chuck some meat on the BBQ and try hitting a piñata!

I wasn't too keen to have a go at first, but after watching a few others have a turn I decided to give it a go... and I broke it open (hopefully their wasn't too much bias with hubby holding the rope).

I  had so much fun (and let out all my pent up parenting anger since the anti-smacking bill was passed... just kidding!)... and after watching the clip of myself (below) finishing her off, I wouldn't even want to meet me in a dark alley!

Such a cool time together... I think I need to make a Santa piñata for Christmas!





17 December 2009

Martha is famous!



Well, sort of!  Martha has been getting a bit of publicity lately with being mentioned on Cuteable (here) and Sweet Tidings (here)!

She is rather cute... and still awaiting adoption here!

And some more mentioning here from Li'l Magoolie.

*blush*

16 December 2009

15 December 2009

Photo shoot... Take 2

After my amazing day yesterday with my blogging buddies (which included a bit of a photo shoot with some crazy poses)... I think my girls caught the photoshoot bug!

With their new hats on and turns at taking photos with the camera, things got a tiny bit crazy at our place this morning...














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