29 July 2013

Mining for Gold

A while back at a parent/teacher evening at our school I received a challenge - the challenge was to look for the gold in my children.

I've thought a lot about this phrase over the last few months and have not only pondered searching out the gold in my kids but also in my marriage, my job, my community and my every day life.

Boy it's easy to focus on the negative stuff isn't it?!?!  Sometimes I find it easier to go coal mining than gold mining.  What my kids are doing wrong, their flaws and imperfections... doing the same thing with my husband... my home... the every day ups and downs of life.  Taking the time and effort to actually look for the gold and even verbalise it and point it out to others is life changing.

Try it... I dare you to find some gold in your kids/spouse/job/home/neighbour/that annoying person at work and verbalise it to yourself and them (obviously your house won't be impacted if you point out it's 'golden' points, but you never know!).

I want to be someone who is realistic about life, but knows how to focus on the good stuff at the same time.

Keep looking for the gold in your life - and remember to verbalise it to those special little ones around you (including the lanky 6ft ones) - because there is plenty of gold sitting right there, you just sometimes have to do a bit of digging to uncover it.

26 July 2013

Deer Blanket Cushion

I finished this deer cushion cover this afternoon from the recycled woollen blanket I bought a while back - and I am so loving the deer!!

Thank you so much to everyone who gave advice re easy zip/opening options for my cushions.  I took your advice and tried the envelope opening using the blanket binding that was already there and found it such a simple and great way to do a cushion cover.

This is the youtube clip that I watched before I got going - make especially for any novice seamstresses out there like me!

Watch out thrift stores - the blanket lurker is about...

Go here to check out my other cushion covers and recycled creations!
For more crafty makings go here.

24 July 2013

We were a sideshow at the Museum...

Our family had a really awesome time recently exploring our local Museum/Kiwi House/Heritage Park (yep, there is a lot going on at this one place).

As a family of 6, we don't really get out to things like movies, museums etc in one big group because of the cost, but after finding a good deal online for a family pass we took up the offer.

Along with the cost of taking a larger family on an outing, comes the "sideshow" status that we often portray.  Now don't get me wrong, our kids are pretty well behaved in public, but even just walking along in one big group tends to attract stares and side way glances (I can't imagine what it must be like for families with more than 4 children!).  Combine that type of reaction with some of the shenanigans below and you definitely could claim sideshow status and start charging people just to watch us...

Introducing, the chicken whisperer...

and his trusty sidekick, Super Trooper...

Who by day disguises his superhero identity by looking after olden day wedding dresses...

Should I be worried at how fascinated my son is with this "oldenday telephone" and that I had to show them how to use it?

We did love the old homestead...

and these two handsome young school boys...

We found the local Minister's sermon riveting...

Along with the old women's prison that Symon was only too happy to lock us in...

The microscope with cases of lizard skin and other insects soon turned into a "hey, lets look at your hair... eye... ear... nostril..." experience.  We quickly ushered our family out of the building soon after this.

Actually, after writing this post and loading up the photos, it appears that the main culprits that give our family it's "sideshow" appearance seem to be the two boys and their parents.  The two girls sweetly got on with exploring quietly...

All in all we had a great time.  Our local Museum isn't the biggest, but it's interesting and carries some rich history.  The highlight of it all would have to be that for the first time ever, our cute Kiwi was actually out in full view for the whole time we were in her enclosure!  Since I've been a young child the Kiwi have always been hiding away, so this was a bonus not only for the kids but the adults as well.

If you are up our way feel free to pop by and visit the Whangarei Museum/Kiwi House/Heritage Park, and every third Sunday there are train rides and tonnes of other fun things!

21 July 2013


Lately I've been...

Making: Working on three main projects at the moment!  Loving my Ripple Blanket (awesome pattern on Pip's blog Meet Me at Mikes), a giant granny square blanket and still have to finish my deer blanket cushion!

Reading: A tonne of books - mainly autobiographies.  I need to stop reading bits of many books and just commit to one at a time I think!  

Listening to: Absolutely love this song at the moment, and also love the latest album by Citizens (especially this song).

Eating: Whittakers new L&P chocolate.  Most people in our family think it's pretty good.

Drinking: Love drinking from these mugs - when I saw the Mr moustache one I just had to get the pair.

Enjoying: The school holidays - loving my crazy family and the shenanigans we get up to.

What have you been doing/enjoying lately?

18 July 2013

Tips For Fighting Off The Winter Blues

It's the middle of winter here in New Zealand, and we've had our fair share of frosty mornings and long wet days. 

We've found that the key to beating the winter blues is to keep warm and cosy when the weather is miserable, and make the most of any sunny days by getting out and about and soaking up the sun when you can, and appreciating God's awesome creation!

Here's a few photos of our recent adventures...

A family trip to one of our local Northland Beaches called Ngunguru - a beautiful crisp sunny day.  I love where we live!  There is nothing like getting a bit of fresh air, Vitimin D and also taking some time out to hang with the people you love.

Another great thing to help fight off the winter blues is spending time with special friends.  

Recently we had the privilege of catching up with the awesome Miriam (from Create Hope Inspire) as she and her family passed through our city to check out our beautiful backyard (Northland). Miriam is so much fun. Check out more details of our night over at Jacksta's blog here.

We also made sure we caught up with Leonie (Kiwi at Heart) while she was up in our neck of the woods. These girls are fabulous to hang with - never a dull moment and always lots to talk and laugh about (oh, and delicious food too)...

p.s. If you live in Whangarei and are into Scrapbooking, you just have to visit Tracy's store (The Scrap Heap).  She has a tonne of awesome stuff!

Other things to help beat the winter blues include random acts of silliness, 

Checking out your local parks and shops...

Taking up a new (or old) hobby/project or pulling out the board games...

And don't forget to get plenty of rest... 

Yup, #husbandnaps is alive and well on instagram!

And if all else fails, remember to Keep Calm and Carry On...

Happy Winter to all you Southern Hemisphereians!

14 July 2013

Citrus Slice

It's citrus season here in New Zealand at the moment, and this recipe is such a good one to use citrus fruit in. This slice is so delicious and the bonus factor is that it's a no bake one too.  I'm not sure of it's original source (given to my by a friend), so if you do know where the original recipe came from, please let me know so that I can give credit where credit is due!

100g butter
¾ cup (½ can) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup coconut
grated rind of 1 or 2 citrus fruit
1 (200g) packet wine biscuits

1 cup icing sugar
2 Tbsp soft butter
citrus fruit juice

Melt the butter.  Add condensed milk, coconut, finely grated rind of one large or two small lemons, oranges, mandarins or tangelos, and the crumbs made from biscuits.

Mix well, then press into a lightly buttered or sprayed square or rectangular dish.  Mixture need not fill dish but may be pressed to desired depth.

Mix icing sugar with soft butter, then add juice, a few drops at a time, to icing consistency.  Spread with a knife and decorate with fork if desired.  Refrigerate until firm.  Cut in squares or rectangles and store in the refrigerator.

I love this slice - and it can easily be doubled to create a thicker slice.


For more delicious recipes visit here.

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