Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Images of Christmas

Here is just a few images of Christmas in my part of the world.  I hope yours was a joyous time too

(The credits for this page can be found here)

Wordless Wednesday 28 December

Finally the last Wednesday of 2011.  It has been a magnificent challenge taking a photo a week to share with you all.  I hope next year to keep up sharing photos with you all. I might just be able to improve my  photography a little too.

These are my favourite photos from Christmas Day.  My children and some of their cousins spent all afternoon fishing for native eels.  It is a catch, look and release project.  They are plentiful in the creek at the bottom of my parents place success is almost guarenteed.

  I usually link to my Little Drummer Boys

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

My Little Word 2011

Essence was my word for this year.  You can read about my intentions here.

As I sit here and reflect on the year that was in the context of Essence I know honestly the moving of house did make me loose some focus in the middle of the year.  I have been trying hard to step outside my usual comfort zone, go places and do things that I would usually choose not to do but would really help me realise what I really am deep inside.  You know what I mean....I am trying to search for the me as Tamara, not Haydens mother, a hockey mother, my teacher etc etc.  Sometimes I really have not have any energy to push myself into discovery mode, do things I know would embrace life and me a little more.  Moments like this it is easy to use Hayden as an excuse for not paying attention to myself a little more.  But in the last three months or so I have made a concerted effort to be out there a little more and rediscover me.  No excuses acceptable.  I can see that from this effort life can be more joyful and happier.  Finding the true essence of me.  Long may it last.

(The credits for this)

Monday, 26 December 2011

Monday Menu 26 December

With it being just after Christmas I thought that I would try this week and do recipes that involved using my leftovers.

Monday   freezer meal  (need the container so it needs to be eaten)

Tuesday  Ham and feta quiche

Wednesday  zucchini, ham and feta pizza (scroll down the link to see the recipe)

Thursday  Grilled ham sandwich

Friday   cold ham, new potatoes and salad

Saturday  (time for a break from the ham) grilled chicken with a grilled vege salad and new potatoes

Sunday   Left overs.

I am linking this to I'm an Organising Junkie

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Where ever you are what ever you are doing I wish you all a very merry Christmas.  For me it is Christmas Eve in the evening so it will be my last post for a couple of days.

I hope you all enjoy the festive season and look forward to a very prosperous New Year.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Chefs in Training.

We had a family barbeque today, and this happened.

Yes you saw it here, my three boys all with their aprons on were managing the barbeque.  Each with tongs, each managing the turning of the food.  Chefs sure were in training today.

Life is good when I don't have to be in the kitchen on a hot summers day.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Wordless Wednesday 20 December

Nothing like a little group of fun photos all of McKenzie just after she had her first official visit to a hair dresser (birthday present).  So I have been made redundant.  Just as I was thinking I was really good at cutting straight lines.

I am linking this post to My Little Drummer Boys.

Christmas Party Menu

Here is my menu for this Thursday.  It is our celebration with one part of the family for Christmas day.  Thankfully the weather forcast is for a sunny day so we will be happy that all little people can play outside.


cheese board
fruit and vege platter with chocolate treats with hummus

Main Meal

lamb cutlets
cranberry sauce (made with lite sour cream, cranberry jelly, mustard powder and spring onions)

new potatos
hot salad (topped with feta cheese and lite Italian Dressing)
salad (x2) provided by guests




fruit salad (fresh pineapple, strawberries, grapes)

berry compote ( berries mixed with honey and lemon rind)

ice cream

lemon meringue pie

Christmas minces

Afternoon Tea

tea and coffee

Christmas Cake....I don't ice my fruit cake.


I think that is all. 

Fingers crossed all goes well.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Monday Menu 19 December

Oh my this time next week Christmas will have been and gone and I guess we will be eating leftovers.

So taking all things into account here is my plan.

Monday  Corn fritters and Advocado Salsa

Tuesday  Beef stew in the crockpot

Wednesday  coconut beef stirfry on egg noodles

Thursday  We are having a family Christmas lunch at our place.  Here is my menu

Friday  ham and salad

Saturday   using leftovers to clear room in the fridge

Sunday  Christmas day buffet at Mum and Dads house. 

I am linking this post to I'm an Organising Junkie

Look what Toothpaste can do.

Yes I have been cleaning the windows in my house.  In fact I shifted into this house in September and it is the first time they have been cleaned since then.  Sadly I notice that next time I clean them I will need to leave a little more time because there are pain splatters all over them which will need to be removed.

Today, though, I came up with another problem, water stains on the glass.  The usual cleaning technology (vinegar and water) did not remove it.  Good old fashioned elbow grease did not work either.  So the internet then became my next best friend in the hope of finding a solution.  Of course you can't believe everything that is put into type and published on line but bearing this in mind a searching I did go.  Well every solution from highly toxic chemicals to house hold chemistry was to be found.  Me will I wanted to started at the house hold chemistry level and the easiest solution with all the necessary 'things' found at home.  You guessed it toothpaste.  In fact the post I saw on line even mentioned a brand which I also had.  I also needed a paint scratching blade thingy which I also had.

Oh me oh my it works a treat.   I bit of finger action to rub the toothpaste on the glass, a quick going over with the blade then some water and a cloth to wash it off and wow the stain was gone. 

The toothpaste on the window.

Me in action cleaning the window.

There is my clean window

So all you out there who have water stains on your glass look no futher than tooth paste.

Friday, 16 December 2011

The Summer List

With summer here (well it is raining and feeling terribly summery today) and the school holidays have just begun so I thought a list of things to so will be the best way for me to collate my results.  My mind is jumbled with lots of things I want my little family to try and things that I must do while the weather is warmer.

So it would be fun to
  • find some more walks through the reserves similar to Hunia
  • take the children to an off road biking venue
  • take Andre to the beach to help improve his confidence in sea water
  • take Andre fishing I think we all can go
  • Have a go at surfing after some lessons
  • Playing some board games.  I especially like Cranium but any fun games will do
Then maybe we could make
For the house I will need to
  • work out what kind of edging I will need to do around the gardens I will have soon.  The flower need sorting and start working on that
  • think about lighting and try to improve the quality of light inside and out.
  • decide on the paint colour inside and out so paint can be purchase and curtaining can be decided on
Getting ready for the new school year
  • sort out McKenzies musical instrument she has to learn this year.
  • stationary will need to be ordered on line
  • the last school skirt for McKenzie will need to be purchased when in stock
Craft things with the children
This looks like enough for the moment.

I can't wait to get started. 

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Birthday Party for an 11 year old

Do you have any idea on how hard it is to come up with a party idea for your soon to be 11 year old daughter?  I find these kind of thing incredibly difficult to plan because I am trying to be realistic and entertaining in an age appropriate way.  Maybe I am a bit of a prude and fussy about what type of party an 11 year old girl might have.

After a lot of soul searching and suggestions from DD that she should have '.........' kind of party because her friends have had them we finally came up with a short list.  This list ranged from everything including a sleep over for many and a pool party.  Finally DD decided it would be really good to go rock climbing.  I raised my eyes upwards and thanked them up stairs for providing me with the perfect birthday party.  One that was easy to organise, with an area for a party and of course plenty of time for a bunch of girls to talk, giggle and have fun.
We picked the rock climbing venue (just take a look at the fun climbing environment) just perfect for children of all ages from preschoollers to adults and sent the invites.

(all products come from Weeds and Wildflowers)

The day arrived and fun was had by all.  Here are just a few photos showing a couple of the climbing walls.

Here is some cartoon show (gosh I am showing my age.)

(Dinosuar bones)

(Jack and the Bean Stalk)

Now to start planning DS3 birthday which is just after Christmas.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Wordless Wednesday 14 December

Here is my photo.  McKenzie is the pink t'shirt you can see up high on the rock climbing wall.  This is what she did with her friends to celebrate her birthday.

I am linking this to My Little Drummer Boys

Monday, 12 December 2011

Monday Menu 12 December

Can you believe that it is nearly the middle of December already.  School is in its last week before the summer holidays and in our house we are all very tired.  Roll on the end of the week.

Monday   Chicken with baked potato and salad

Tuesday  stir fry beef with noodles  (thai I think i will try this week)

Wednesday  Meatballs on noodles with green salad

Thursday  chicken and vege asian style noodles (I will blog the recipe)

Friday  blue cheese chicken burgers

Saturday  honey ginger chicken and vegetables on rice

Sunday  leftovers

I am linking this post to I'm an Organising Junkie

A busy Weekend

Nothing like a busy weekend.  So here it is in summary

McKenzies birthday party was a rock climbing party.  Here are McKenzie and Andre climbing.

You can see McKenzie right at the top in the pink t'shirt.

After delivering the girls home there was a couple of hours break and off to my BIL's 40th birthday party.  No photos there sorry.  Finally on Saturday there was the lights down Franklin Road, Ponsonby.  My photographer (7 years old) did not know about night photography so I got some really good special effects

Sunday was just as busy with us off to the Champions League Mens hockey tournament being held in Auckland.  The worlds top 8 mens team were here playing so off to see the one game that we could fit in.

Then off to collected hayden from respite care so we could take him to the Kids First Christmas Party at Sky Tower.

Hayden was scared of all the people and entertainment.  He spent most of the time out in the foyer and being carried.  This being his happiest moment.  I think he liked the idea of seeing Santa and getting a gift.  Nothing more.

Finally as we left here are the family.

Phew so this week we all will be recovering for all the fun things that we did. 

Today being Monday I have been taking some me time to relax just a little.  Of course I needed to fit in a run, my hair got attention today with a cut and colour and then the inevitable snooze on the sofa while listening to my favourite music.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

My Photobooks have arrived.

I am so excited to finally see some of my scrapbooking pages printed.  so without delay here is a little look at the final product.  Sadly I have not worked out how to photograph this well but well you get the idea.

Here is Project 365 2009

Now Project 365 2010

Now I wonder why I did not get these books done earlier.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Wordless Wednesday 7 December

I thought that this week I would put up my very difficult Christmas card photos....well just about a third of them.


I am linking this post to My Little Drummer Boys


At this time of the you it can become difficult to retain some focus on the positive things in life.  So with that I came up with this list of things to be joyful about.

My little pearls of joyful moments.
  • looking out the window on a crisp winters morning.
  • the sound of my children laughing
  • my husband wishpering in my ear.
  • the sight of new life in spring
  • the sound of waves lappnping on the beach while I read a book.
  • celebrating my families special moments
  • date night
What does your joyful list look like

(credits    Awesomeness kit by Lindsay Jane Designs Page mask a blog freebie by Lindsay Jane
Font is CK Bookworm)

Monday Menu 5 December

I cant believe it.  December is well and truely underway.

Here is my menu

Monday  Steak with baked potato and salad

Tuesday  Beef Wraps

Wednesday  individual fritatas with salad

Thursday  flafels on rice with cucumber salad

Friday  Birthday Girls Choice

Saturday  Out to a barbeque

Sunday Cold meat with potato, fresh corn and salad

I am linking this to I'm an Organising Junkie

Sunday, 4 December 2011

My Faith in Human Nature is Restored.

As I am out in the general stream of life sometimes I wonder exactly where the fabulously kind things in life happen.  I never seem to hear of them (except on TV) and yet there seems that there are the needy out there.

It just so happened last week the needy person was me. 

Hayden and I were at Starship hospital for an appointment latter in the day. When it was time to leave the appointment he decided that he did not want to go where I was going and do what I was doing.  No way.  Instead he packed a proper 2 year old tantrum and there I was having to carry my 22.0 kg strong child all the way to the car while carrying medication in one arm and him in the other.  I thought I would give him a chance to walk and at the chance he prompty sat on the footpath and refused to move.  All the people about just stood and stared at me.  Hmmmm I was thinking as I stood there contemplating what my next move would be.  So I had another go at carrying everything and everyone.  Only able to move a little further an angel appeared from behind me and asked if I would like some help.  Of course I accepted this help and the lady carried the medication to the car for me leaving me with two hands to carry Hayden.  she walked out of her way to do this.  I am ever so grateful for her help

I am sure my faith in human nature has been restored.  I am going to make sure I provide help when needed unasked for unexpected.  No thanks required. No recognition just the thought that someone has been helped will be enough for me.

(credit for photo photobucket)

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

I am worth it

I want to get fit and healthy.  I  have work hard all year to loose a few kilograms and to be able to run 5km around the roads.  Not fast understand but at my gentle pace.   I was truely prompted to do this when in November 2010 I got seriously sick.  I then realised that I couldn't afford not to look after myself and set out on this journey.

Now 12 months later I am finding my balance weight and can run as I wished.

I have done it.

I am worth it.

(credits Fragile Strength by L Grier)

Wordless Wednesday 29 November

Here is my photos for today.  Spring (well almost Summer) is such a beautiful time of the year.

I am linking to My Little Drummer Boys

Reaping the Rewards

There is nothing more satisfying than sitting outside on my deck after a hard days work reaping the rewards of all that labour.  It all started looking like this

and here we are now, well for the moment.  (Of course there is still work to be done but it is somewhat of a long term project.)

Peace reigns and I can briefly sit back and enjoy.  Long may it last.

Monday Menu 28 November

Can you believe that it is nearly December.  Thankfully there is only 2 1/2 weeks until the end of the school year and then we can relax, well that is after I have organised one birthday party and a Christmas party.

Here is my menu for this week.  I am linking this post to I'm an Organising Junkie

Monday  Quiche with salad

Tuesday  freezer meal

Wednesday  Meatloaf and salad

Thursday  Beef Stirfry

Friday   Hamburgers

Saturday  Leftovers

I hope have a great week.

Sunday, 27 November 2011


I have to honest I don't get to go out in the evening so much.  This is for an number of excuses reasons so this year the opportunity to go to an end of the year function came my way.  DH was away so I organised my baby sitter (thanks Dad) worked out how to manage Haydens needs, and off I went.  I had a lovely time and have promised myself to embrace these opportunities that come my way just a little more.

(credits  bug trail from Happy Garden from WW
scatter elements from SS4 from WW
paper and butterfly from Midnight Magic by Digi Illustions at Nuts4Digi

Font is Brown Bear)

I have to admit that it is a terrible photo of me as I forgot to get a photo before I went out so you get to see the really tired me.

As DH is away working much of each month it is pot luck as to whether he will be home to accompany me out and about.  So if I am to do this some more then I will have to plan for him being away but hope he will actually be rostered home.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

I voted

It is not compulsory in New Zealand to vote at a General Election but I always feel that I can't sit here and complain about the state of things if I don't vote.  So with the children in tow off I went.

Excitedly the children spotted the signs tells me where to go to vote.

Of course a technical hitch meant I had to make a special vote.  Five minutes of paper work, naturally Hayden needed a toilet break at this time, and McKenzie asking me full volume what I was voting for in the referendum.   30 seconds later the voting done and I am out the door.