To many photos, sorry.

Dog, mints and herbs, blueberry bushes, peppers (sweet banana). Carrots (paris market)  and beets (bulls blood). Peppers and cherry tomatoes (sweet 100). Cat (Binkie). More peppers (California bell). Tomatoes (copia, yellow pear, black Cherokee). Carrots (rainbow blend) courgette (gold rush) beets (choggia) Mostly hidden squash (pattypan). Insanely big pumpkin (no idea – seeds where a gift), onions, courgette plants in the background looking worse for wear. (costata romanesco, gold rush, black beauty). Winter brassica bed broccoli – (sprouting) cauliflower (little cloud) A single sad lonely kohl rabi – they didn’t do at all well this year.

The garden is doing well, still producing as much as we can eat. Sadly a epic fail this year for the majority of brassicas, we had a few cauliflowers but little else. I have seedlings coming in hopes of some late autumn revivals, kohl rabi, kale etc. The courgettes are slowing down a lot (need to plant a few more mid season next year for a more continuous supply). The squash is lovely – will do some proper summer and winter squash next year as we are loving eating it. Who knows what that pumpkin plant will produce – need to think about planting arrangements if that always get that big!

Strawberries still giving us lots (when madam doesn’t get there first). Tomatoes would have done better if I hadn’t mucked up their planting and staking.

Live and learn. This garden has given us huge amount of joy as well as produce this year. We enjoy it, it challenges us, but I think for the first time since we moved in 4 years ago we are actually in charge. We are running the garden its not running us!



March 14, 2014 Food




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Prima Ballerina is a ironically appropriate term for my little lady at the moment. She rocks, but oh my. She rocks attitude as well. She is a complex mix of independence and bluster and awareness of how big the world is and insecurities about her place in it.

Ballet has been on her ‘to do’ list for a while. But I’ve ben dodging it for a number of reasons. Her age. The cost. Concentration span. Timidity with new places and people. But it all come together, A class mama didn’t mind the cost of, friends in the class, a leap in concentration. Boom.

Well, mostly – see that little person coming for a hug? Yeah, her. She does that every few minutes throughout the lesson. But she was smiling and happy and chatting to her teacher – who, incidentally is the sweetest girl. Just lovely.

So as that falls into place, we are working towards a similar ‘eureka’ moment with understanding and impulse control. Its coming, and we are trying to make sure we are calm and consistent. always supportive while maintaining those pesky boundaries that currently our little delight is tackling in a ‘head down and charge’ manner. She so want’s to be right, and in charge. Its so tough to discover that at 3 – however sure you are about it. However hard you go for it. You are not the master of your own destiny yet.

We try to soften the disappointment. And perhaps a glass of vino at the end of the day for mama?

Darn she’s cute though 


March 12, 2014 Homelife


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March 9, 2014 52 Project

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March 8, 2014 This Moment


I bought this book a few weeks ago and I have tentatively tried a couple of the patterns.





Nim calls the shirt her ‘tree top’ and although its super simple (looking at to make) its quite fetching when on. I followed the pattern and only put 3 closures in the top 1/3rd so it does need a singlet or skivvy under it. I made it when my machine was still at the shop so there is a fair bit of hand sewing on it. My poor fingers. It’s got a very basic rolled hem and neck using the overlocker. I adore the fabric, its just so pretty.

The blouse was today’s make. With a bit more of the tree fabric and some adorable chicken print. I have to say that I really like the pattern – my sewing leaves a bit to be desired (doing things in the wrong order, silly mistakes, overlocking teething issues) but I’m itching to do another (in the right order, with a hot chocolate to keep me focused, after sorting the overlocking!)

Both are sz4 but with no seam allowance added, the shirt is roomy but I’m not sure how the blouse will fit. I have read that the patterns are ‘generous’ to say the least.

Over all I really like the book, I’m not all that keen on ‘add your own seam allowance’ – hence the sz4 cut straight out. The patterns weren’t hard to sew, fairly logical and came together fast. I actually really love the picture guides – at least on these simpler patterns. They are deceptive. I found looking through the book they all seemed rather simple and perhaps a little dull, but sewn up I”m delighted with both. Can’t wait to make a couple of others. Blouse B is next O think – its already cut out ready to go.

March 7, 2014 Crafting





The garden is beginning to look ‘autumny’ – that is to say the climbing beans have come down. Onions are coming up and being hung, as is the garlic. The tomatoes are slowly – slowly ripening. Strawberries by the bucketful. Courgettes are slowing down but the squash are coming through great guns. The pumpkin plant is enormous (must get some pictures) but very few fruits so far. I pulled the first of the rainbow carrots today. So exciting. Nim was delighted to see ‘pink’ carrots. Peppers are big enough to eat. 

The seedling trays are looking dull – we’ve had a few days of really cool weather (single digits at night, cold and rainy in the day) which have slowed them. My planted out seedlings are slow to come away – poor things went in a just the wrong moment weather wise.

Its delightful out there at the moment, there are weeds and dead bits and we are trying to get on top of it all, but it feels real and alive and where we want it to be. Today hubby and i were chatting and stood by his office door, looking out, we both used the term ‘oasis’. 

“As you walk through the desert of life, may you always find your oasis – a place where you can find safety and sustenance.”
Although the literal meaning of oasis is a green spot in the desert, it can also be used to describe a peaceful area in our everyday lives.

March 6, 2014 Food


I was lucky enough to win this course through Kim’s wonderful blog Mothering with Mindfulness

Halina runs a wonderful 6 week course with weekly essays, suggestions and comprehensive explanations. its chock full of information, links and ideas. She has also created a fantastic workbook to go with it. (Ive already printed off 3 months worth on pretty coloured paper. Yeah, thats how I roll. I felt we had a pretty good pattern to our days, and we have more ups than downs, but the course has been really illuminating ~ and its not finished yet!.

It’s helped me to put in more gentle structure, more actively fun time and activities that we can all enjoy – rather than her enjoying and me winching as paint spatters the entire kitchen, or that I enjoy and she gets bored of within 30 seconds. Great ideas for those slightly wobbly dodgy ‘wheels about to fall off’ times.

It’s also made me realise that we are not far off the parenting path we endeavour to follow. It’s helped me to refine the edges, fill in a few blanks. It (and Halina) have also helped to clarify a few things I’ve read about but that have muddled and confused me. Made me realise that you can mix and match what works and doesn’t work for you. There is no rule book, or time frame. Just great ideas and suggestions.

I’m enjoying it, and throughly recommend it to anyone who looking for some ideas and inspiration.

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Completely unrelated picture of my amazing little lady.

I’ve not been paid or given remuneration for this review. Opinions and thoughts are entirely my own. Ooh its exciting though – my first ever review of anything!

March 6, 2014 Homelife









Today was wet and windy. Pre-school in the morning while I ran and met a friend. Quiet coffee and chatting, other friends passing by with hello’s, hurried words and greetings. My run was cold and gusty. Big fat splatters of rain. An afternoon inside, fire blazing, hot chocolates. Baking sprinkle cookies. Funny little wonky shapes. Brightly coloured sprinkles. Quiet activity with her threading beads. Books to read and share. Happy peace.

*We use a simple cookie dough recipe. 100g butter, 50g sugar 175g of flour. Mix, knead a little. Roll out. They egg free and really easy to do gluten free or dairy free too. Although I like the butter! You can add citrus zest, or spices, or coco powder. The sprinkles were an add hoc addition curtsy of a 3yr old who can reach the shelf in the pantry and a mama who wasn’t looking! Cook for about 10 mins – but look in and check them – these little shapes cooked fast and ended up a touch ‘well done’. 

March 4, 2014 Food








Queens town pano

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A trip up the Gondola in the cool morning as the fog burned off the hills. The chair lift. Luge runs. Gosh that was chilly! A well earned hot chocolate. The view. With mama. The walk down – starting with a lovely well groomed forestry track. Which wound through trees and shrubs. And gnarly beech forest. Steeper and steeper. No pictures of the bottom 30 mins as it turned into a slip slide down through a forest while simultaneously holding tree branches to stay upright and your child’s hand to keep her from plummeting downwards. Over 90 mins of walking. 10 mins on dads shoulders in the first few minutes and the rest on her own two feet. Hugely proud parents. 

Aoraki Mt Cook on the way home. A welcome rest stop. Food. Blocks to play with. Running about.

It was a wonderful weekend. A slice of holiday. Beauty in all corners. Pause, breath, recharge. We are blessed with our girl who is a delight. Fun, cheeky, easy in almost all respects. We travel as a trio of explorers, drinking in the experiences and sights. Taking only pictures, leaving only footprints. Well. We try.

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Her ‘thinking’ face

March 2, 2014 52 Project

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