Noodle Evening

We don’t usually spend much time in the city but this year we have made a real effort to go in when there are events that interest us. Good food is always a draw for our family!

Last month we had a lovely trip into town for the Noodle Market, we walked through the botanic gardens and along the river and it was hot. We had Pad Thai, Satay. Pineapple smoothie (in a hollowed out pineapple) and some lovely dumplings.

A Little Sewing for Myself

I’ve been slowly making my way back into sewing, not helped by my overlocker and I having a bit of a disagreement regarding tension and then refusing to be rethreaded. After the super easy skirt (which I’d abandoned the overlocker for) I decided that I’d try and sew a little something for myself.

I wanted a easy to wear Dolman top similar to a few that are already in my wardrobe. I had a good scout about for free patterns – the Halla Slim Dolman looks awesome. In the end I decided to self draft for the sake of speed and my inherent laziness.

I layered my existing top on my fabric (folded in half with fold over fold) and simply cut round with an added 1cm to allow for my seam allowance. Copied the neckline. Cut my neck binding a couple of cm shorter than the neck opening.

I have another on the table just needing cuffs hem band and neck binding. And another planned. I think when hubby lovingly suggested I treat myself to some fabric and re-start my hobby he was hoping for something less slapdash and a touch more time consuming. May be the next one I’ll cut a pattern and do it properly! I’m thinking the M4M Paige Piko might be next.

This and That

A lovely trip to town a couple of weeks ago to explore the Monarch Butterfly house in the community area and the new Library.

Making homemade granola. To get the rations I want – because let’s be honest everyone is different, I put everything I am using into the jar its going to be stored in. I make small batches so it stays fresh and crispy. In this one I did sunflower and pumpkin seeds, whole oats, coconut thread, almonds and cashews. I like mine weighted towards more coconut, seeds and nuts with not to many oats. coated in an oil, maple syrup and rock salt mix then baked in a low oven until golden

A wee trip up to our now favourite river spot, a way to decompress and relax as the term gets going and the initial tiredness sets on. Also grabbing into summer with both hands and wringing the life out of it for as long as we can. While simultaneously complaining about the heat and the hot nights and broken sleep.

The Easiest Skirt Ever

I’ve not been sewing much of late. The kid has been requesting I make her something for ages but a combination of a lack of motivation form me and the knowledge her wardrobe is not lacking meant it got put off and off.

Being my daughter and a bit like me, she doesn’t give up easily when she wants something. So she plonked the fabric she chose in front of me and suggested a ‘super easy’ dress. I declined that invitation on the grounds she has LOADS of dresses. So we compromised on a skirt. Being lazy and lacking any oomph I decided printing out a pattern was to hard so I opted for a easy, self drafted skirt that is tried and tested and works every single time.

The recipe goes like this …

  • Measure child waist to knee, add approx. 4 inches for seams. Then divide that length into 3 to give you each tier’s depth (or length if you prefer to think of it that way)
  • Cut 5 selvage widths of chosen fabric(s) the depth previously worked out by taking over all length +4inches divided by 3.
  • Tier 1 is one selvage width and will include the fold over waistband casing you will make.
  • Tier 2 is two selvage widths sewn together and gathered and stitched onto the bottom of tier 1.
  • Tier 3 is 3 selvage widths gathered and sewn to the bottom of tier two.

You can attach each tier however you prefer – since this skirt was knit and the kid requested ‘ruffle edges’ I sewed the gathered edge to the right side of the bottom edge of the fabric of the tier above so the edges showed. See below.

This suited me fine as I was not enthused to try and make everything ‘perfect’ – I do so love sewing with knits! See below … not pretty on the inside … but also not going to fray either!

You could also sew right-side to right-side for a cleaner edge. And finish all seams on an overlocker .. if you felt fancy. Or are sewing with woven.

Construction wise I created each tier first, sewing the widths together where needed. Then I gathered the third tier and attached it to the second tier. I then gathered the top of the second tier and attached it to the first tier. This gave me a ‘flat lay’ of the three tiers all attached to each other.
Then I sewed up the side seam from top to bottom.
Fold over approx. 1 inch of the top tier to create an elastic casing. Stitch round leaving a small hole to add the elastic into.
Measure recipients waist and cut elastic accordingly. Feed elastic in, sew elastic together, stitch up hole.
You’re done. Feel smug.

Little Bits

The summer holidays have really flown by and I am so sad they are coming to an end. I love having the kid about – totally drives me bonkers some days, but I love her company. We have been squeezing out as much as we can, evenings in the garden, watching the baler go round the field behind our garden.

A trip to a new river spot with friends and finding the most lovely place to picnic, swim and slide down rocks. I think it was the kids first time really swimming in a river rather than just paddling. It was cold, but she had a ball.

Gym holiday programme and finding Simone Biles dismount mark on the new beam at the gym (the apparatus has come from Doha where the world Championships were held). New skills that are so close to being there. Slowly adapting to a new gym and new coach and new squad. Stepping up to WAG competitive hours and expectations, taking time and being gentle.

With only a weekend to go I am determined to smoosh every possible special moment and memory out of these holidays. To try and enjoy each moment and no be grumbly and grouchy even when I’m tired or have already answered a hundred question. Because I know next week, when the house is quiet at 10am, I will be missing her fiercely.

Town

I realised today that this post has been sat as a draft for nearly a week. We had a great trip into town to see the acts at the Buskers Festival this year and had fabulous time. We don’t usually spend more than a couple of hours in the city but we ended up spending a whole day pottering from one act to another while snacking on street food and enjoying the pace.
It was a hot day but relatively overcast which was a blessing as it slightly lessoned the fierce strength of the NZ sunshine. Things not captured on camera include a Mexican doing handstands up a high pole, a Japanese acrobat/contortionist and some giant gnomes.

Hello 2019

We welcomed 2019 in our usual understated way. Barely staying awake until 12am and having a quiet New Years day. I was scrolling through social media and seeing all the ‘intentions for 2019’ and the ‘my 2019 word is’ buffered with the backlash of ‘I am good enough as I am, I don’t need to be a new me for the new year’ and it made me feel rather tired.

We didn’t make resolutions as such. But we do start the year with a ’shakedown’ where we evaluate where we are figuratively and physically, what we are doing, spending and feeling and then we try and make a plan to move forwards.

As I mentioned in my last post we have been pretty quiet on the blog. It lies squarely at my door and is predominantly because I haven’t picked up my camera in months. So as part of our January shakedown we have made some changes to that side of life too. We have sold our big cameras and lenses and are moving to a small but powerful Sony. It’s a camera we have owned before, liked and feel might fit better with our day to day life. Hubby treated himself to a video gadget thing which he’s excited about and we still have the drone so this year is about utilising what we have and taking a moment to capture the moments.

With changes in my working and our income we are focusing on managing the household in a tighter way and planning ahead more. Meal planning, holiday planning, setting aside for bills and unexpected costs. Working out some goals. I am excited to start work again and hopefully do some training later in the year as well.

If I did have to pick a word for 2019 it would be ‘brave’. Within the first fortnight I have seen the dentist for a check (something I’ve put off for 18 months) had then booked in to have the work that is needed. I’ve seen the Dr and had necessary blood work etc. I am adulting up and doing the hard things.

Hubby is embracing the shakedown. After years of injury and niggles stopping him from running and exercising like he used to (he was running sub-2.35 half marathons) he is back at it with determination and tenacity. We are both approaching 40 rather fast (although in denial about it) and I tidied my wardrobe the other day and was horrified by the amount of clothes that I adore (they do indeed ‘spark joy’) but that I cannot wear as I am to big for them. I don’t want to hit 40 and not be able to keep up with my kid. I don’t want to worry about my health and fitness. I do not wan to have to donate all those lovely clothes!

The kid is doing hard things too. She moved gyms over the holidays, leaving behind her adored coach and a great squad of fun and supportive girls. There were tears, and quitting thoughts. But she has put her best foot forward and is pushing through, this week she has done the holiday programme at her new gym and come out beaming. She’s making new friends, discovering wonderful coaches and support from all who surround her.

She killed it at swim lessons this summer and is doing swim club twice a week until the pool gets to cold and closes at the end of summer. There is a triathlon in February she’s signed up for and she’s starting new dance classes soon. We couldn’t find a class at the usual dance studio for the coming year (the disadvantage of full on gym training is a lack of free time!) so she has decided to try tap dance. I am so proud and also kind of dreading her banging about ‘practicing’!!

This is 2019 and it’s looking good so far

Festive 2018

I would like to pretend that the lack of festive pictures was some sort of intentional commentary about social media in our lives or something equally thought provoking and insightful. The reality is that its actually a testament to the fact I’ve not picked up my big camera in months and I snap the odd (badly composed and often fuzzy) picture on the iphone more often than not. Even my instagram was quiet. It has made me ponder whether I move entirely to the small squares, but at the same time I really like blogging, I like the intention of writing a post. Of having more than just the odd snapshot.

Last year we plunged into the world of Chatbooks as a way of making Instagram work better for our family, and I have to say I really like it. I do take time to collate the pics, not all make it as far as the books as sometimes while I like a picture in the moment I don’t need it in a book (video covers, coffee pics, bored gym mum sat in a car etc). We do one for the kid as well and she loves getting books a couple of times a year too and I like that she has her special memories and events recorded (easily!) in one place.

Christmas was a lot of fun, we had hubby’s brother staying, did lots of day trips and all ate, drank and received a massive amount. The kid had a brilliant time, she adored her uncle and was spoilt rotten by all the family. She got a KiwiCrate subscription for her birthday and that’s been wonderful for activities to keep her busy, as well as her Christmas present of Nintendo Labo and board games.

The school holidays have flown past and we have been trying to savour the last few weeks while also filling the days with swimming, gymnastics, walks and meeting friends. She’s drawn, played, practiced and relaxed. It’s been full and fun and makes me miss having her at home all the time. The kid on the other hand, while having loads of fun on holiday, is looking forward to school starting again and seeing all her friends!

City and Beach

We were lucky enough to have a weekend up on Waiheke Island in mid December.
A couple of days relaxing on the beach, walking, eating gelato and exploring Auckland city as well.