30 September 2014

Poppa's Camera

Recently my two girls got their hands on Poppa's camera and took a few shots... well, let's just say there was quite a few shots. I was intrigued, amused and rather impressed with their photography skills as well as their eye for detail (including feet).

Here are a few of my favourites - I love seeing photos through they eyes of kids.  Enjoy!



 








Some talent right there huh?

 







28 September 2014

Coffee Sack Art



Our awesome niece Alex and her husband Hans (owners of Coffee General & Merito Roasters) generously gave us some of their empty coffee sacks recently!  The creative part of my brain has been whirling with ideas of things to create (totes, cushions etc.), but in the meantime, Symon had his mind made up to frame one of the sacks as a piece of art for our bedroom wall.

First he chose the most suitable sack...



Then he made up a simple frame from timber and cut the sack to fit...



He stretched the sack evenly over the frame and gun stapled it in place at the back...



Done!  So simple and we love it (Symon really does love it - but he wasn't really in the mood for photos when this was taken.  Haha!)...



Stay tuned for more coffee sack creations!

For more crafty makings, go here.
For more recycled creations, go here.

25 September 2014

Loving...

I am just hanging out for the school holidays to begin!  These last couple of weeks have been busy and difficult, with sickness throughout the family and the death of my Pop.  But like I always say, no matter what is happening, there is always something to be thankful for...

Thankful for my crazy, funny family...





I had the privilege of hanging with an amazing bunch of girls from my church as we travelled down to a women's conference in Auckland a couple of weekends ago called Sistas!  Amazing guest speakers this year, and thankfully we didn't break anything like a couple of years ago!!!





Sadly my Pop passed away while we were down at Sistas.  There are so many emotions surrounding the death of a loved one, but the most precious thing is the gathering together of family, remembering the good memories, and re-evaluating what is truly important in life... everything else pales in comparison when it comes to what is really important: eternity and loved ones.

For some of my children this was their first time experiencing a funeral, and so as you can imagine there were a lot of questions...



Really thankful for good health and starting to feel normal again!


Loving this new book by the awesome sisters at A Beautiful Mess... heaps of inspiration for crafty creations around the home.  Totally loving it... and my 15 year old boy is as well!



Loving after school biscuit decorating for the whole family (originally panned for the girls, but the boys took over!!)...



As Dr Caroline Leaf (one of the awesome speakers at Sistas) says, "We can't control events and circumstances, but we can control our reaction to the circumstances of life".  In a not so fab couple of weeks there has been lots to be thankful for as well...


xoxo




22 September 2014

Quick Chocolate Pudding



We don't usually do puddings in our house... although sometimes we all feel like something sweet after our evening meal.  I love a quick pudding, and this one below found via Budget Bytes is very quick, easy and cheap to make.  I do not keep cornstarch in my house, so replaced that with corn flour, and it turned out fabulous!

Quick Chocolate Pudding
Ingredients
  • ½ cup white sugar 
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch (or 2 tablespoons cornstarch)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the sugar, cocoa powder, and corn starch. Whisk to combine and remove any lumps. Whisk in the milk until everything is evenly mixed.
  2. Microwave the mixture on high for three minutes. Remove the bowl and give it a good stir. Microwave for one minute more, then whisk again. Continue to microwave and stir at one minute intervals until the pudding has thickened (about 3 cycles of cooking/stirring).
  3. Stir in the vanilla extract. Either serve warm or refrigerate until chilled. Press plastic wrap over the surface of the pudding before refrigerating to prevent the formation of a thick skin.

Very tasty, especially topped with chocolate chips!

For more delicious recipes visit here.

09 September 2014

Big Weekend Away (Number 2!!)



It's that time in our family life again where another child was due for his Big Weekend Away!  You may remember my blog post here in 2010 when Symon took our older boy away for his big weekend.

These weekends away are so precious and important to us as a family - a time for our kids to go away with their mum or dad and have some good quality one on one time to talk about adulthood (you know, growing up, the birds and the bees etc).

Thankfully Parents Inc. have made the job easy for us by producing an awesome CD series that you can just pop on in the long car ride away, and pause to discuss anything during the CD.  A fabulous resource for families.

Our youngest boy loves everything science and computer related and also loves adventures, so Symon and him had a great time exploring Auckland war tunnels, catching a movie together, checking out an arcade gaming parlour and getting to see the Mythbusters Live show amongst other things.  



Somehow Symon managed to get VIP seats for no extra cost at the Mythbusters show, and then the most awesome thing happened... our boy got to actually go on stage with the Mythbusters and take part in an experiment involving a high speed camera.  How cool is that!?!?




Growing up into an adult can be rather daunting for kids (and us adults!) and so we both feel it is so important to be involved in guiding your child through this process as best as possible.  Rather than ignoring or redirecting the growing up questions to other people, peers or school, us parents need to take the bull by the horns and get involved.  Mixing it up with some quality bonding time and fun makes it so worth it, and really memorable.






Symon is a pro at this by now, and I'm a bit nervous now that it's my turn to do it for our 2 girls!  I am looking forward to planning some fun girly adventures and pampering though.

Here's to raising fabulous adults!!



Here are some great resources to assist in your Big Weekend Away:

The Big Weekend with Parents Inc. 


Feel free to email me if you have any questions or would like more information!  


p.s. A massive thank you to Shelley (Symon's big sis) for being an amazing hostess!










07 September 2014

Happy Father's Day!



Sending my love out there today to all the Fathers, especially the 3 guys in my life that are all amazing Dads (my Dad, my Dad in-law and the dad to my kids, Symon).


There are a lot of absent Dad's around these days, so I am ever so thankful for these 3 men who have stuck by their wives, and stood with their families to create secure loving homes - something that is so rare, and even more valuable!



Even if my guy is sometimes absent in mind, at least he is present in body...

Happy Father's Day!!




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