31 December 2013

Happy New Year!

From our house to yours, Happy New Year!

Love from the Drakes (minus our girls who are staying at their Nana & Poppa's for the night!!).

Clipboard Styling

It's amazing what fun a simple thing like a clipboard can bring to a space in your home.  

With our recent Kitchen Renovation, Symon surprised me by adding a few little additions he knew I'd love while I wasn't around - one of these was a simple (and cheap) clipboard on a hook above my kitchen bench.

A great idea to add to any space in your home.  All you need is a hook and a clipboard (I spotted one for $2 in town a few days ago - most D.I.Y stores or craft stores stock these).

Ideas for your clipboard...

Hanging pretty pictures, posters or used calendar pics in your room to brighten up the space (I love that I can change this whenever I want).

Clipping your recipe cards up while you bake.  Usually my recipes get flour or splashes of water all over them while I bake, so I love this idea (obviously you wouldn't use your clipboard for this in other rooms of your house, but maybe a chore chart in a child's bedroom or a times table chart would be a great idea).

Reminder list!  I'm a list person, so having somewhere prominent to put reminder notes, shopping lists and the like is a great idea for me!

Artwork display.  With 4 children, I'm often given precious pieces of artwork to display.  Our fridge doesn't have a magnetic front, so occasionally clipping up one of my favourite pieces for a few days or a week is a special way to enjoy these creations.

There are so many other ideas it could be used for - hanging a scripture verse up that you've been meditating on, displaying quotes, pinning up a journal for writing things in as they come to mind (most of my inspirational moments happen either in the kitchen or out by the washing line believe it or not!).

Here's to a more inspirational and organised New Year - Happy 2014 everyone!!

For more "How To" posts, visit here.

30 December 2013

The year that was...

At the end of each year I love to look back at what has happened, what has been created, the adventures we've been on and the memories that have been made.  It's amazing how you can forget the good stuff - being thankful is so important!

Here's a quick look back at some of my favourite moments and creations of 2013...

Meeting up with awesome bloggy buddies!

This year was filled with various blogger meet ups, but the highlight would have to be getting to travel to Christchurch, for the first ever New Zealand Blogger Conference - heaps of fun (plus my first time travelling to the South Island and going on an internal flight - yep, embarrassed much).

Blogging has opened up a door to some amazing friendships all over the country (and world).  So thankful for this strange technological phenomenon called blogging!

Travelling to Australia

Another awesome adventure in 2013 was heading over to Brisbane, Australia with Symon to stay with his brother, wife and son.  We had so much fun, and on top of visiting family and going to an awesome conference, I also got to catch up with one of my besties Anya, as well as Wezza and Leonie! When these girls get together, there is always fun!

I wouldn't have said 2013 was a very creative year compared to past years, but looking back there have been some fun things made!

Here are some of my favourites!  Click on the images to visit each blog post...

Pink & Grey Granny Square Blanket

Plaid Softie

Cloth Napkins

Floral Softie

Deer Blanket Cushion

Ripple Blanket

Blanket Bunny

Space Invader Cushion


I've loved the different road trips our family has been on this year.  Sometimes I forget about the beautiful country we live in and some of the amazing trips that are just an hour or so away.

Wherever we travel, we seem to be a bit of a sideshow, like the time we visited our local Museum.  I loved visiting Little & Friday (cause I'm a cafĂ© loving girl!), and for some strange reason, we've visited Dargaville twice this year!

Despite have not much of a kitchen to work in this past year, there have been a few delicious things whipped up in my kitchen.  Here are a few of my favourites (click on the image to visit the blogpost)...




Coconut Iced Chocolate Slice
Favourite Coconut Loaf

There have been moments of reflection here in this space during the year - reflection about Parenting (and staying sane), Tips for Fighting off the Winter Blues, How to Mine for Gold (figuratively speaking!), and the fact that you make the very best you!


There have been 3 renovations in 2013!  Massive thanks to my hubby who does most of the work while also being a fabulous Dad to his four kids, awesome husband and hold down a full time job being my most favourite Pastor ever.

Click on the photos below for more!

Kitchen renovation!
Sleepout renovation for our big boy
Son's bedroom makeover

But wait, there's more...

There has been so much other good stuff that has happened in 2013 - thing's like organising a special little surprise for my Mum's 60th, preaching my first proper Sunday morning sermon at our church, celebrating each of my children's birthdays (see Special Celebrations), getting a little spot in a British crochet magazine, plus so much more.  

A massive part of my life that doesn't appear in this space too often is my church (and our role as the Senior Pastors).  I love this place so much, and am excited to be able to be more involved next year in helping out. My faith in Jesus is a massive part of who I am and how I live and breath - cause without Him I'd have no hope.  So thankful for God's love that is available for everyone who is willing to receive it.

I'm looking forward to a fresh new year, filled with more precious memories to be made, crafty makings and bakings to be created and many adventures to be had.

I hope you have had a great 2013!!


To see all Year in Review posts, click here.

29 December 2013

Northland Roadtrip...

Yes, it was a good day today to take a road trip.  After a night filled with heavy rain that somehow splattered rain drops all over my wooden kitchen bench in the night (eeek), a sunny morning with blue skies gave us the green light to grab the moment and take the kids up north.

We ventured up to Opua and crossed over to Russell on the car ferry (a first for the kids) and did a bit of exploring, a swim at the beach then returned back over to Opua to travel to Paihia for ice creams and a nosey around the shops, then over to Kerikeri for some more exploring (and Red Velvet and Coconut Ice fudge from Get Fudged).

A great day - especially if you delete those moments when the kids were fighting in the car and I buckled my ankle walking down a touristy lookout track.

I do love New Zealand.

28 December 2013

Our Kitchen

Quite a few months ago we started renovating one of our final rooms to our house - the kitchen.  Our house is an old bungalow which has needed a lot of loving to restore (including a lot of time, money and sweat as well!). 

Let's just say that the kitchen was very small, and really horrible.  When we moved in there was hardly any cupboards (so we bought some cheap ones to use until we got around to tackling the kitchen), not much bench space, and laundry appliances to add to the mix (common in England, but not so much here in New Zealand!).  For a girl who loves to bake and cook, it's been a bit of a nightmare of a kitchen!

Mid renovations (4 months of it!!)...

In New Zealand, we take shoe safety seriously...

Finally, with the kitchen pretty much finished in time to spend Christmas with family at our place on Boxing Day, I can say it was totally worth it!







Our whole kitchen has come in at a really low price.  The cabinets and sink/tap was bought online for $400, the bench tops for around $250, the dishwasher given to us, skilled friends and family helping (thanks heaps Dad Drake and Matt Pyle and Dad L for taking away our rubbish pile) with the extra work and lots of fun bargain hunting for the rest.

I love my kitchen!!!

For more renovation posts, go here.

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