For the thirty days of this month I’m gifting myself with the time and space to breathe in gratitude.

Day 4

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Gammon cooking, grateful that I can feed my family happy wholesome food. Food we all love and that makes us strong and healthy.

There is  funny story with this gammon, it involves a broiling gammon, us going out for 30 mins and not enough water. Fire alarms, smoke and a pea and gammon soup that had a slightly BBQ flavour to it for tea.

It was a delicious soup though.

November 5, 2013 Homelife

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I’m joining another blogger over at Little Coffee Beans for 30 days of gratitude this month, 

In her words

Hello, November!

For the thirty days of this month I’m gifting myself with the time and space to breathe in gratitude.

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My first 3 days (I’m aiming to do daily from now on)

Day One

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Sunshine and spring days, warmth on my face.

Day 2

Photo 4Woods that we can enjoy so close to home, a little slice of cool and leafy heaven on the flat and often windswept Canterbury plains

Day 3

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Peas growing in my garden, gratitude the frost, hale and bad weather haven’t killed the plants and that we will soon be eating home growns daily

November 4, 2013 Homelife

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We had a nice weekend, relaxed time together with friends, lunch out and a new market we explored (I’m going back sans little person and WITH my camera!) These pictures are just a little excerpt from the weekend, captured on my trusty phone (must charge the LX3 tomorrow – phone is not cutting it)

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This week I am focusing on being mindful, yeah, thats me using a self awareness term. I know, its like pigs are soaring over rainbows being chased by unicorns right now. But seriously, the principal has merit and I’m desperate to try and break away from feeling like each day/week/month is passing as if I’m simply a helpless passenger. I’m taking tiny little steps; slowly. 

And I figure living in the moment is better for raising Moo too. Being right there rather than lost in my own thoughts so much of the time. AndI want to enjoy the days and weeks, not feel like they are just flying by as the scenes do when your sitting in a speeding train.

Anyway.

October 23, 2013 Homelife

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Since coming home we have been settling back into the season, our weekly rhythms and getting back on top of the garden. Wow grass can fly up in 10 days! But so can flowers and seedlings.

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I dashed out this evening with the iPad to take the pics – unfortunately my camera is still making its journey back to me since I had a major blond moment and left it with our family on the boat in Fiji. Dohh! Thank you guys for getting it back to me – both sets of family!

There are SO many pansies, for a ‘annual’ they sure do reappear in spring! Quite a few of my other flowers are through too – the mini beds by the veggies have come away and in the background behind the onions (and right along behind the peas too) there are little sunflower seeds coming up. Hopefully around that area my generously sprinkled strawflowers, echinacea and cosmos will come up. And borage, I vaguely remember sprinkling borage!

My direct sew lettuce, onions and carrots are coming up and my tomato and courgette seedlings are coming up and beginning to look stronger. Nim has a little mini runner bean trellis next to my oregano and there are kale and little broccoli seedlings in the back bed by the trampoline too.

My cherry trees are blossoming which makes me happy, and the fruit trees are coming to life. And weeds, there are weeds everywhere! 

And there was baking, there has been lots of baking.

October 18, 2013 Homelife

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So I have been prmising a peek at the garden for a while, meaning to join in with both Little Mountain Haven and Soule Mama with their weekly garden tours, not to mention the awesome garden of Little Coffee Beans.

So, anyway, I’ve been procrastinating. Mostly ‘cos it’s winter here, and my garden does not look like the other luscious green productive gardens, its more a brown and grey affair with little or no productivity at all. Seriously even my winter Kale have given up the ghost. And also because grey damp weather does nothing for making a grey damp garden look any better.

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But we had good weather this past week, the garden has been given some love and attention. TLC it needed. It still needs more. 6 bales of pea straw arrived and were used within a few hours. Sacks of peat are distributed and barely make a dent on the beds that need topping up. But slowly little by little its coming together, beginning to look like a garden, something that might, one day, with a wish and a prayer, might just give something back. May be.

August 27, 2013 Homelife

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This weekend was great. Seriously a lovely epic awesome weekend (not counting poor hubby having to work both saturday and sunday afternoon and most of saturday night)

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But truly it was fun, both days were filled with family time and mini adventures, time outside – well bundled up for little miss snotty – and lots of letting her lead the way and create her own journeys. Even if they were just through the farmyard or the dinosaur exhibition. It tired her out but she was so dignified with napping it off in the afternoon and rising cheery – and a little manic – for book time and supper.

Orana wildlife park on Saturday morning was busy but fun, we walked round, rode on the tractor train and played.  It is incredibly well catered for with swings and trampoline as well as the animals, and there is acres of space. Highlights included having a Kea try and steal my camera while trying to take photos and Moo starting to ‘pose’ when you take a photo. 100% adorable. And hilarious.

We hit the city on Sunday. The museum was fascinating, Moo had a great time and then ran off steam in the gardens afterwards. They have ‘fossil’ digs and so many things for the kids to look and touch. Very refreshing from a lot of displays which are look only and touch on pain of  death! The ‘leafy’ floor where the leves reacted to her standing and twirling around on was probably her highlight – she lay there for a long time, just moving her hands watching the ‘leaves’ dance away.

 

August 26, 2013 Homelife

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With broken nights and illness in our house we are having a quieter reflective week, enjoying the sights and sounds around our home and locale. It’s been great and we have had a great time hanging out and enjoying quiet activities and letting madam lead with her own suggestions. Like feeding the pony apples at the front door.

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I love these signs of spring, they make my heart happy. Splashes of colour and brightness that make the place come alive after months of brown and grey.

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Lily comes too, someone to cuddle when it gets to much for tired legs and minds. While expensive this Waldorf doll was the most wonderful buy for my girl, an expense we have never regretted. She has other dolls but none even compare to Lily with her warm wool hair and stuffing and beautiful face. 

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Baking with the thermomix – Moo requested ‘pink’ so we made pink cupcakes. I love this machine – it makes everything so easy! 

August 22, 2013 Homelife

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We were graced with another wet cold weekend  this week. Yeah, another. Hello spring, feel free to come in soon. 

Some instapics form the last couple of days

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Cats being used as babies, cakes, more cakes, laundry basket den, signs of spring, some crafting, some cooking and more signs of spring.

We are finding some new fresh ideas and calmer but firmer approaches are seeing off the terrible two challenges and have restored us back to a happy peace, more listening, more understanding. I am blessed with friends who understand, who get it, offer great ideas at just that right moment and share the delights when it all comes together.

Best quote of the weekend 

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The little blip we have currently is her getting up before her glow clock lights up. 

Daddy “stay in bed until the sun comes out and you can have 2 tictacs in the morning” – dont ask, they are the ultimate treat *faceplam*

moo ” 5 tictacs”

daddy “no, 2”

moo “5”

daddy “2”

moo “4”

daddy “2”

moo “3”

daddy “ok”

Love this girl.

August 20, 2013 Homelife

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After a busy (wet) weekend we have tried to slow down this week. We are finding ourselves stuck in a cycle of toddlerisms, battles for control and the upper hand. Simple things are becoming tedious and hard. We need some time, some love and some strategies. 

In that quiet we found a lot of lovely moments 

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I think Moo finds it hard as we try to make sure that she is allowed freedom to make decisions, steer herself as much as possible. To be herself. Unfortunately for me her current ‘self’ is strong willed, opinionated, loud and stubborn – the last one, seriously. She’s always been a great listener but suddenly I’m finding myself being ignored, polite requests are rebuffed and she’s mastered the bottom lip pout (which is adorably cute!). I find that as she ignores me I get frustrated and snappy and she then ignores my increasingly desperate and cross ministrations and it all goes south really fast!

This weeks highlights include having to leave a store with her screaming under my arm, and screeching her way round 1/3 of the grocers. While I know for some that’s pretty normal – for me they were both firsts and left me feeling out of my depth and blindsided. Suddenly weekly tasks we usually breeze though have become fraught.

And while I would really love to bring the smack-down (proverbially not literally) I know that for the most part the blame, or perhaps a better word is responsibility lies at my door and how I respond to her. 

This book will be entering our home, as recommended by Little Coffee Beans – thank you!

And we are slowing things down, taking time to enjoy the little things. Focus on affirming her good behaviour (of which there is a lot) and our communication. Hopefully remove the pressure that exacerbates the behaviour – from us both. 

August 15, 2013 Homelife

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This was going to be a weekending post, but since I have no weekend pics – literally zero, zilch I decided to make it a ‘things Ive done’ post instead.

Things I do that me me, well, me. Bits of my life that define me and how I live.

I love to cook, Im not sure I’m a great cook, serviceable for family meals may be. We are passionate about trying to make our foods wholesome, tasty and healthy. And budget friendly. We are not vegetarian but we do aim to be low gluten wherever possible. I have a Thermomix which I love. Its not a ‘solve all’ that many expect but it does exactly what it says it can do and within those boundaries its great. I’m particularly fond of its risotto making capabilities! 

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So yeah, I cook (and currently take bad Instagram pics as I’m still sans camera) In order you are looking at; Crockpot cooked chicken, the stock made from it, banana apricot cake, black bean brownies – which are madams current favourite sweet treat. 

Hubbies favourite healty treat – raw food date and coco balls

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When I’m not toddler wrangling I can be found in the garden and I also try to run at least twice a week – try being the most telling word in that sentence. Before you go away and go ‘wow she runs’ I will admit I’m no ‘runner’. I jog at best and its a slow huffy puffy affair where I look like Im working extremely hard while not really going anywhere. Low points include realising that the dog is trotting, really trotting – no panting or tongue lolling in sight, along side me, and being overtaking by a 60+ something OAP who politely encouraged me to ‘keep it up girlie, your doing great’ as he sailed past.

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The garden is a happy place for us all. We have a decent sized plot which keeps us (me) busy. We are extremely fortunate that we have enough grazing for our mini – supplemented by a little feed and occasional visits to friends for R and R. Since we moved in 3 years ago there have been loads of changes and hubby built 5 raised veggie beds out the back as well as 2 by the back door. We inherited a lot of ‘borders’ which I’m learning to fill in and look after in a low maintenance high colour way (its a steep learning curve that Im not on the top of yet!).

Some of our other garden projects include re-seeding areas of muddy/weedy grass, re-stoning by the sleep out and moving the path boundary. Not to mention relaying and edging the driveway.
I have firmly advised hubby that the edging (with washed river boulders) is his job!
This weekend we had a lovely morning at the local wildlife park on saturday (in between rain showers) and a quiet afternoon as hubby was working. On sunday Moo and I drove out to Oxford for the weekly market and a garage sale trail which was a great laugh. She behaved so well all morning, tripping form one garage sale to the next, looking for treasures. Our haul included a couple of wicker baskets, a bread board, tray and lovely table centre with hand embroidery.
I do love a good garage sale/bargain hunt. After mum died I realised that despite the best efforts of myself while I was there to see her (for a week with a high needs baby) and by my awesome uncle and his wife after her passing, many of the ‘treasures’ that made up her home had found new homes with other people, bypassing them and me completely.The family china and silverware included.

It doesn’t bother me in the sense of possession. It just saddens me that some of the ‘old’ and ‘loved’ bits and pieces I remember from her home have missed out on furnishing our cupboards and tables. So I’m trying to rectify that in the way my mum did for so much stuff. Little by little finding treasures for a bargain. Bits and pieces that remind me of my childhood. Not to mention finding our own new treasures and memories.

Oh and in other news …. we are going to be going to Fiji on holiday in September, YAY. Can’t wait!
Sorry bombshell to end on, more later 🙂

August 6, 2013 Homelife

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