Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December Daily: An update finally!

Hi everyone :)

I’ve been MIA for several days… to be honest I just haven’t been feeling all that good and have barely left the sofa.  This morning I’m feeling a bit better so I thought I’d ‘make hay while the sun shines’ and catch up on my December Daily project.

December 23

The 23rd turned out to be a really busy day.  Esther and her elf (Raz) arrived on Monday morning and we spent a bit of time catching up.  Then we were off to pick up Mikayla from the farm.  It’s 120 kilometers there and back so it took up a fairly big portion of our afternoon.

Dougal decided that he wasn’t coming with us because he didn’t like the ‘smells’ in the country.  He’s such a city boy!  Toby on the other hand was NOT going to be left behind.  He wanted to see Jazz (the dog) and Midnight (the pony) and the new little kittens that had been born.  Unfortunately for Toby, Mummy cats don’t like the idea of great big dogs looking at their kittens so it was out of luck on that score!

Esther and I went to Lone Star for dinner which was really great and then we headed to the supermarket.  I figured that it wasn’t going to get any quieter than late in the evening and to be honest I’ve never done my groceries at 10.30pm before but it wasn’t too bad!

Text_1When we got home from Pak’N’Save it was really late but Dougal and Raz were quiet happy to help us out with the groceries… I think they might have been hoping for some treats!

Dougal also helped me with my teriyaki marinade for the chicken nibbles and in spite of me telling him that it wouldn’t taste nice until it was cooked he just couldn’t keep himself out of trouble!  He has now decided that teriyaki should in fact be called ‘teri-yucky’ because it’s horrible!  I bet he changes his mind when he sees (and smells) it on Christmas Day!

Photo_1By that stage it really was late and Raz was getting grumpy so we all headed off to bed.

December 24

Christmas Eve was great.  Esther and I spent a little more time together before she headed off back to her family and then the boys and I got stuck in with all the food preparations.  I tried to make it as easy on myself as possible and getting all the marinades done ahead of time worked out brilliantly.

We also made a yummy white chocolate rocky road for the kids and I’m pretty sure Dougal and Toby were pinching the marshmallows as we made it! 

While the boys were having a little afternoon nap I got all the presents wrapped and hidden away again… I’m not trusting Dougal this year after he renamed all the presents for himself!

By the time the boys had woken up again it was pouring with rain so Mikayla and I sorted out some Christmas movies to watch and we had a lovely time being entertained.  The boys snuggled down on the sofa with us and it was wonderful.

There was also a fair bit of ‘wondering’ going on… you know what kids are like! 

I ‘wonder’…

  • what Santa will bring me?
  • what Grandma will bring me?
  • if Mumma will like what I got her?
  • how many presents will be under the tree for me tomorrow?
  • what time will we have Christmas lunch?

After dinner they had ‘wondered’ themselves out so Mikayla got out their December story from last year and they all settled down by the tree to read it.  It was such a lovely time to watch them all together.


Of course, once Toby heard the click of the camera he HAD to pose for me!


Dougal was very happy with this page because of all the red glitter!!!  He went off to sleep dreaming of sparkly things :)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Feel Good Friday

Hi everyone :)

Today is the last Friday for 2013!  I’ve got the music to ‘All is Calm, All is Bright’ stuck in my head so I went looking for pictures of ‘calm’ and kept coming back to one of my favourite blogs so this week all the images are from Honeycomb Creative.


The blog is by Courtney and here’s how she describes her blog:  This blog is mostly about my adventures in decorating, a passion of mine since I was a little girl. I'd describe my style as farmhouse industrial with a touch of vintage minimalism. I try to achieve this look on a budget and hope to share some of my tips and tricks for thrifty finds with you. I love things that are light and airy and strive to use neutrals in most of my decor.

I really like her home d├ęcor ideas, her use of neutrals and her budget conscious ideas.  I picked several of my favourite images from her blog for this weeks Feel Good Friday:

week 52 - calm

I don’t know about you, but these images whisper ‘calm’ to me.  My album is almost full… there’s just the back page to do and I’ve got an idea in mind for that which I’m hoping to share with you before 2014 begins.

For those of you missing the ‘Dougal updates’ aka December Daily, I’m planning on doing a big update on the last few days later on today.

Happy Friday everyone xx

Monday, December 23, 2013

Project Life: Week 51

Hi everyone :)

What a busy week!  This time last week I had just finished my last day at Selwyn School and now I’m ‘almost’ prepared for Christmas with my family.  There’s still a million things to do including actually buying all the food at the supermarket and preparing it before everyone arrives… but I’ve still got time!

Here’s an overview of my week:Full_1

I’ve already told you about heaps of the things in this weeks photos through the December Daily project… like packing up my classroom and the flowers that Maia’s mum made for me so I won’t go into more detail about that today.

On Tuesday I went to Tirau for a look at the shops and there were some fabulous window displays!  Santa was everywhere and there were lots of quirky ideas!

Krystal arrived during the week and we got busy in the garage throwing things out.  It’s been really good to get rid of junk that’s been hanging around for a long time… and we did recycle as many items as we could!

Here’s a close up of the start of my week:Left-web

Carey presented me with a gorgeous book about a local Rotorua myth and the illustrations are absolutely amazing.  I know it will definitely share this story with my 2014 class!

Poor Toby has been really suffering in the heat.  He gets himself all worn out and the other day he lay on the sofa with his head on a cushion… was too cute not to get a photo!  Today it’s cooled off heaps and he’s a much happier boy!

Our place has been like Grand Central Station this week with friend dropping in and every time Toby hears the knock on the door he gets himself all excited!  He especially loved Krystal coming home for a visit.

Here’s a closer look at the second part of my week:Right-web

In amongst the rest of the Christmas madness I had a calming couple of hours being pampered at the hairdressers.  They’ve re-touched my colour and got rid of all the blonde bits which is great! 

Then it was onto some Christmas decorating.  Toby seemed quite confused that there was a tree in the big box… it looked like a tree but it didn’t smell like a tree.  He’s quite fascinated with the diffusing oil though and quite often goes up to sniff it!

I’m really pleased with the tree… yes I know I keep saying that but I really am over the moon with how lovely it looks… especially at night!  The vintage Santa and lamp post made their first appearance and I’ve finally been able to do the table up with the Santa runner I bought. 

The flowers Maia’s mum made me went perfectly with the colour scheme on the table and I’m thrilled to bit with my stars too.  It looks lovely at night with the candles lit!

We’ve got a full house here at the moment since Esther has arrived from Wellington to share some Christmas time with us and today I took her and Toby with me to go and get Mikayla from the farm… that’s a 120 kilometer round trip! 

Mikayla is home until early January so I’m sure I’ll be able to get her to help me with some packing and sorting!

I hope you’re all having a great day and getting your preparations done.  I’d better go and finalise my list for the Christmas menu so that I can get all the goodies sorted.

Have a great day xx

December Daily: Dec 22

Hi everyone :)

We had a really busy time here yesterday and the before I knew it the day was over so I’ll be back later today with an update for Project Life!

In the meantime, I’ve been busy doing lots of Christmas decorating.  I’ve opened all the boxes of decorations now and it’s all ready for when my family come on Christmas Day.   I asked to host Christmas this year not knowing that I’d be moving to Gisborne but it’s worked out perfectly because we’ve never had a full family Christmas in this house before which makes it a bit special for me.

I’ve had to change a few things around this year to accommodate the new tree… totally worth it though because it really is gorgeous!  The train that usually sits under the tree won’t quite fit so it’s found a new home on the mantle piece.


As I mentioned in the journaling there was a little drama with my vintage Santa and lamp post… and if there’s going to be dramas around here you can be sure that Dougal is involved!  It seems that while he was in London EVERYBODY peed on lamp posts… that’s according to Dougal anyway.  So what did he do??? Yes you guessed it!


Poor Santa nearly got his boots wet thanks to Dougal!  He was definitely not the most popular person around here after he did that I can tell you!  He spent most of the afternoon whimpering and clutching at his wee behind like he’d been done a real hardship instead of just a quick smack!

Toby was pleased though because Dougal has gotten him into a few problems this December and he was quite happy to see Dougal having to deal with the ‘consequences of his actions’. 

p.s. In spite of the whimpering, Dougal is back to his old self again today… although he’s a little bit more careful about where he’s lifting his leg!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

December Daily: Dec 21

Hi everyone :)

I’m in a really happy place right now!!  I finally have my Christmas tree up and I’m so thrilled with how it turned out!  I’ll admit that I spent HOURS doing it but Toby and Dougal were great company and I had the Christmas music playing so it was a lot of fun!

On my final day at Selwyn School they presented me with a card which enclosed a voucher to spend at Farmers.  I did take a minute or two to think about buying ‘practical’ things for the house… or maybe some new clothes for work… or presents for Christmas… but then I realised that what I REALLY wanted was that big, lush Christmas tree that I’d seen there last week.  So… Chris, Carey and I all went down to Farmers and there was just ONE 7 foot tree left… it must have been meant to be! 

Chris and I had quite a few laughs getting the tree from the second floor of Farmers into my car… including Chris making the ‘beeping’ noises as she ‘reversed’ into the lift in the shop.  I’ve promised myself to NEVER take her to those expensive shops!!  LOL

My tree is festooned (cool word!) with 500 tiny bud lights, LOTS of baubles, the popcorn garlands the boys and I made, all the stars, wired bows and scrabble letter ornaments that I’ve made as well as all the precious ornaments I’ve been collecting for the past several years… and I’m THRILLED with the results!Photo_1 I really love how the tree turned out!  It looks like all those ones I see on the movies and when I finished late last night I just sat there with the boys staring at the tree.  Dougal of course LOVES the tree because it’s all twinkly and sparkly!  Toby has had a few sniffs of the popcorn but he’s just happy that I’m happy LOL

I’ve also finished working on my wreath and I’m really pleased with how it turned out.  The plan for today is to get it up on the wall above the fireplace as well as doing the table, mantle and getting out the vintage Santa and lamp post I bought a few months ago.


The Christmas spirit has finally arrived so I’m off to do some decorating!

Have a wonderful day xx

Saturday, December 21, 2013

December Daily: Dec 20

Hi everyone :)

Well in the end there wasn’t much Christmas decorating here at all yesterday… although I did manage to do some creative stuff with my new wreath in the morning while Krystal was here.  She’s gone back home again now and it’s kind of weird to not have her company.  We were getting into a nice little routine of her arriving early in the morning when Chris went to work and then staying for the day… loved it!

After lunch Nina came over for a visit.  She’s been wanting to make some collage frames using my templates for ages and I promised her that once school was finished we’d get together and do it.  She arrived with her computer and I got her started in between carrying on with dismantling the old sofa that was in Mikayla’s room.  I can’t remember how we actually got it in there but this beast didn’t want to come back out and it was pretty ruined so taking it apart worked out fine.

I got started with a crowbar, hammer and a saw but to be honest it just seemed to be taking a long time so Nina asked her son (Dion) to come over and help.  Like a lot of teenage boys Dion was totally up for a ‘Demolition job’!  It wasn’t all plain sailing but we managed to dismantle it enough to get it outside and then we literally threw it over the side of the garden.  Then we let Dion loose with the axe and he had it completely dismantled in a short space of time and into the skip!


While all this was going on Toby was staying right out of the way.  He didn’t like the loud noises at all so he sat with Auntie Nina while she worked on her computer.  Dougal on the other hand was quite fascinated by the whole thing… so long as he didn’t have to life a paw to help… he’s got a real avoidance to work that boy!

He was quite happy to get in a photo with Dion at the end though… he’s never one to miss out on the camera that’s for sure!


Once the sofa was gone I was able to give Mikayla’s room a good vacuum and then put all my school resources in there so now I’ve got some room for my Christmas tree.  Hopefully today will be the day!

Wishing you all a very happy Saturday xx

Friday, December 20, 2013

Feel Good Friday

Yes I’m back again with another post!

I’m having to keep a careful eye on the calendar so that I don’t lose track of the days!

I’m seriously hoping to get my Christmas tree up and decorated today.  I’ve still got a few things to do to make room for the tree but fingers crossed there will be some serious decorating going on here later!

As I’ve been looking around the internet… and especially Pinterest I’ve discovered lots of Christmas decorating ideas that you can do at home.  If you’re looking for ideas it’s a great place to look!

Here’s my page about Christmas decorating:

week 51 - christmas decorations

I made lots of scrabble letter ornaments last year so I’m looking forward to getting them out again.  I think next year I might decorate the tree at the START of December so I can enjoy it for longer!

Happy Friday xx

December Daily: Dec 19

Hi everyone :)

Yesterday turned out to be really busy and although we had several moments of ‘non-motivation’ by the end of the day Krystal and I had pretty much cleaned out the garage.  It was a mammoth job and the mini skip is pretty much full now!

While we were in the garage we came across the OLD computer… the very first one I ever bought way back in 2001!  We also discovered a second screen although we have no idea where that came from as well as the stereo I bought in 2000 that hasn’t worked in years.

We had a quick look on the internet and found a place that takes ‘e-waste’ so we filled up the car with all the computer and stereo stuff along with a huge amount of cardboard boxes… where did all that come from??  Before we left young Dougal decided to hop in the car and check out what we were up to and I managed to snap a photo of him:


When we got back Krystal opened a pack of Neenish Tarts (one of her favourites) and Toby really wanted her to ‘share’.  She broke off some tiny pieces of the pastry to give him but he whined… he moaned… he begged… and it didn’t do him any good because she wasn’t giving him any more!

Can’t say I blame her either because he definitely doesn’t need sweet treats!  The funniest part was when she kept calling him ‘fatty’ and he just wags his tail like it’s a term of endearment!  It’s the same with Mikayla… she calls him ‘fluffy’ and he always comes running!  It’s all about the tone of voice I guess but I really do wish he wasn’t so gullible sometimes!


We’ve got one last job left to do before the mini skip guy can come and take the bin away… and hopefully we’ll get that done this morning.

Wishing you all a great day xx

Thursday, December 19, 2013

December Daily: Dec 18

Hi everyone :)

Well yesterday went by in a bit of a blur!  Time is disappearing so quickly!

I spent some time yesterday morning helping a friend and then Krystal arrived just before lunch.  Toby and Dougal were both excited to see her again and they both wanted cuddles and pats. 

We spent a bit of time just hanging out, catching up and waiting for the mini skip man to arrive.  Now that I know I’m definitely moving it’s time to have another clean out.  We had the mini skip put into the backyard this time so that we don’t have to trek all the rubbish and junk up the stairs.


In the afternoon we went to visit Carey and she gave me a stunning book as a farewell present.  It’s called ‘Swim’ and it the story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai which is really special because it’s based in Rotorua.  The illustrations were done by Andrew Burdan and they are really magical.

When we got home I read the story to Toby and Dougal and then I had to get some more jobs done.  I popped back into the lounge a few times and each time Dougal was re-reading the story and looking at the pictures.  He really loves the story!


Now it’s time for me to get into the garage and get some jobs done!  Have a great day xx

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December Daily: Dec 17

Hi everyone :)

It’s been quite a while since I’ve had a general check up and with the move to Gisborne coming up it seemed like good timing to go and do it before I have to find a new doctor.  Dougal insisted on coming with me as HE hadn’t had a check up either!

Rosalie checked his ears and his eyes and then he ‘declined’ to have his temperature taken… clearly Toby told him all about how that do that!  Next up with his heart and pulse rate.  After a thorough check up Rosalie said that he had a mild case of ‘hypochondria’ which was brought on by Dougal not getting as much attention as he feels HE deserves LOL


After the doctors I headed into town to do some jobs and then decided to head to Tirau which just happens to have a Christmas Heirloom shop… surprise, surprise!

I bought myself a lovely big wreath that I’m looking forward to decorating along with three ornaments for the tree (which still hasn’t been put up yet!) 

When I got back to Rotorua I headed to Spotlight to buy some ‘filler baubles’ and I was really pleased to get them at a great price.  I also bought some cinnamon sticks, cane balls, berry sprigs and ribbon for decorating the wreath.

As soon as Dougal saw the bag of goodies he was into it!  I’d forgotten how strong the pull of glitter and sparkly things is for him and within seconds he’d almost disappeared into the bag completely!


Last night the boys and I made some popcorn strings for the tree… in other words I made the popcorn strings and the boys went to bed with very full tummies!  They’re going to have to wait just a little longer for the tree to go up though because I’ve got to do some sorting and organising first!

Catch you all tomorrow xx

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December Daily: Dec 16

Hi everyone :)

Well the Selwyn School chapter of my life is completely finished.  It’s a bit strange to think that technically I’m ‘unemployed’ until the end of January.  My contract with Selwyn has finished and my contract in Gisborne doesn’t start until school begins in 2014.

In all my years of teaching I’ve never finished school on a Monday before and only EIGHT children turned up for school.  We had a good time though and got all the furniture, computers and resources stacked in the classroom.

I was actually a bit emotional when I first arrived at school and had that feeling of ‘I don’t want to leave’… but by the time we’d packed everything up and cleaned all the tables and benches I was ready to hand my laptop and keys back.

Text copy_1

To  be honest I do feel a bit scared at the moment… and from what everyone has said it’s completely ‘normal’ LOL  There’s still a big long list of things I need to get done before I move to Gisborne so I’m just going to tackle it a bit at a time until it’s all crossed off.

Yesterday one of my girls turned up with a BEAUTIFUL bouquet of woven flax flowers that her Mum had made for me.  I’ve had Maia in my class this year and I’d previously taught both of her older brothers so when she said this bouquet was from her family I knew exactly what she meant.

Photo copy_1

I’m really thrilled and feel so lucky and blessed to have had these people in my life.  I had quite a few parents through today to thank me and wish me well and it’s times like this you really realise how many lives you touch as a teacher.

It’s been a BIG day!

Monday, December 16, 2013

December Daily: Dec 15

Hi everyone :)

I must admit that I really enjoyed not having to spend my weekend planning, marking and making resources this weekend.  Of course I had the trip to the farm on Saturday which was awesome and then I spent most of Sunday morning relaxing at home. 

In the afternoon I met up with Chris at school and we got busy packing up all my personal teaching resources.  I’m so pleased I had her to help because it really did seem like an overwhelming job at the start!

Over the years I’ve collected a lot of teaching resources and things I use with the kids and all of a sudden I had to take it all home!  That’s going to be the next mission!!

When we were finished Chris and I headed back to my place to unload everything and the boys were just beside themselves with excitement!  Toby reacted like he hadn’t seen Chris in weeks rather than just yesterday… but he has learnt not to try and jump up to say hello… now he just licks her instead LOL

Dougal on the other hand waited for his very first opportunity and then pounced on her!  Poor Chris had JUST sat down when a small puppy came flying at her for a cuddle!!

Photo copy_1

Last night I was just looking at the huge pile of stuff that I’ve accumulated and wondering if I really do need all this stuff… but I think I probably do!

Text copy_1

We’ve got a half day today followed by a shared lunch at which point I’m going to have to hand over my school keys and my classroom laptop.  It’s going to be quite weird only having my home keys on my key ring… for a little while at least!

Have a great Monday everyone xx

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Project Life: Week 50

Hi everyone :)

Well I’ve had my last full week teaching in Rotorua.  I’ve still got a half day to do tomorrow but basically it’s all done… I’ve even spent most of the afternoon cleaning out all the cupboards and getting everything ready for whoever takes over my class.

Here’s an overview of my week:Full_1

This week has been really full with school things.  We had some practices for various assemblies and prize giving events plus I had to get all the kids clear files in order.

Of course Dougal managed to get himself involved in the photocopying as well!

The highlight for the first part of my week was having Krystal arrive home and spending some time with her.  She was looking really happy and she’s feeling much better than she did a couple of months ago.


It was quite different having our Year 6 Leaving Ceremony in the early evening but it really made it just a little more special.  The kids really enjoyed it too!

This week I’ve been blind-sided a couple of times!  First there was the bouquet of flowers at the Leavers Ceremony and then on Friday night I received a beautiful piece of greenstone from my team.  The emotions are starting to kick in about leaving Selwyn and I’m sure tomorrow is going to be very emotional for me.


My flowers look gorgeous… and the lily has opened right up now and has a beautiful perfume!   Glenn also gave each of the senior teachers a hard-cover diary for next year.  It will be nice to have because it will remind me of them all through the year.

Yesterday Chris, Deidre, the boys and myself all headed out to the farm to visit our girls and we had such a nice time.  I love all the photos I took and it was so neat to see all of them feeling happy and relaxed together.

So that’s been my week… not a lot to write about really because I’ve been telling you all most of it via the December Daily project LOL

I hope you’ve all had a fabulous weekend xx

December Daily: Dec 14

Hi everyone :)

First up I’ll show you the greenstone I received from my team:

Greenstone copy_1

I’m absolutely stoked with it and can’t wait to wear it to school tomorrow for the final day!  To receive something like this is really special.  In 1997 my grandmother bought me a gorgeous bone carving with a piece of Rimu and Paua inlaid into it and I wore it constantly for years. 

Just after I moved back to Rotorua (2007) it literally broke into three pieces and I remember the roaring in my ears.  It was a very surreal experience and straight away I rang Auntie Bubby and asked her to have the pieces blessed for me.  She was able to tell me that the carving had ‘done it’s job and I didn’t need it anymore’.  There was a lot more to it but that’s the basics of the story. 

I know that this piece of greenstone is really precious to me and I’ll wear it with pride so thank you so much to my team xx

Now onto yesterday!  Earlier this week Casey (Chris’s daughter) and Mikayla invited us to go out to the farm for dinner.  Chris, Deidre (Chris’s Mum), Toby, Dougal and myself all met up in town to head out into the country.  The girls live on a farm (with Casey’s 4 year old twins) and it’s actually closer to Taupo than it is to Rotorua but what a beautiful spot!

Chris and I decided to make the girls a ‘care package’ filled with goodies and they were thrilled to bit to receive it!  They both grabbed for the chocolate first! The kids were really happy to get some chocolate Santa's from Grandma too!

We spent the entire afternoon outside enjoying each others company in the sunshine.  Laura showed us how well she is learning to ride her pony ‘Midnight’ and Toby was super interested to see such a little horse and was very keen to say hello.

Midnight decided that he didn’t really want to do what Laura was asking him to do and was being a bit naughty so Casey got on him… what a scream!  Her feet were almost touching the ground and Midnight certainly knew he’d been doing the wrong thing!

Mikayla is so happy living on the farm.  She’s relaxed, contented and constantly smiling!  It’s really wonderful to see her enjoying life and just being herself.  The kids obviously adore her and you can tell she loves them too.

As much as Toby enjoyed being out in the country, having everyone around him and the new sights and smells Dougal was completely out of his comfort zone!  He’s definitely a ‘Bright Lights – Big City’ kind of boy!  He was worried about getting ‘dirty’ and he didn’t like the smells at all!  Toby on the other hand was in his element!

Here’s my first page for my album:Text copy_1

So funny seeing Mikayla doing ‘girly’ things like painting Laura’s toenails… but she really seemed to be enjoying herself. 

I took so many photos in the afternoon that I wanted to do something a little different for my photo page and here’s what I came up with:Photo copy_1

We had a fantastic dinner too!  Casey really put on quite a spread and by the time we had dinner we were all famished… must be that country air!

I have to admit that I went to bed last night feeling really great… especially seeing Mikayla so happy and content!

Wishing you all a great day xx

Friday, December 13, 2013

December Daily: Dec 12 and 13

Hi everyone :)

I’ve got a ‘double date’ post this time around! 

December 12

Yesterday was a significant day at school because it we held our Year 6 Leaving Ceremony last night.  It’s a pretty formal occasion as it’s pretty much a graduation ceremony to farewell our senior students off to intermediate schools for 2014.

Krystal actually spent most of the day with me and we got heaps done around the classroom.  We had a rehearsal for the school prize giving and the kids also found out which classes they were going to be in next year.

When school finished for the day the kids left with all their good work from the year including all their artwork and then Krystal and I headed home so that I could get ready for the ceremony.

Since Krystal was here I thought she might straighten my hair for me because she’s quite good at it.  We got the hair straightener turned on and went to get a couple of things and THEN… I heard a yelp!  Yes you guessed it… Dougal!

Dougal decided that he wanted his hair straightened too… but his fur is so short that there was nothing to be straightened.  Not to be outdone by this little fact he decided to straighten his EAR instead!

Photo copy_1

The silly boy ended up spending the rest of the night with blocks of ice on his ear and whining that his ear was sore… honestly… what did he THINK was going to happen??

Meanwhile, Krystal straightened my hair and then I got changed and headed back to school.  Most of my Year 6 students turned up on time so I took the opportunity to grab a couple of photos with them.  Then we did a ‘silly’ photo and it ended up being my favourite LOL

Text copy_1

I also got ‘blind-sided’ at the ceremony.  We’d practiced everything and it all went off very smoothly until the end.  In a little ‘change to the programme’ Glenn did a thank you and farewell speech for me.  I honestly wasn’t expecting that at the leavers ceremony.  I was all prepared for that to happen in the staffroom on Monday.

Then he called me up on to the stage and presented me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.  Luckily he saw my eyes glistening and didn’t ask me to do a speech!

It was a really memorable night :)

December 13

This morning I got a photo of my flowers and as soon as I put them down Toby came rushing up to investigate.  This boy seriously loves pink and he quite likes flowers as well!

text copy_1

We had our final assembly and school prize giving today and it went really well.  It was so nice to see our top students being acknowledged in their various fields… academics… cultural… sporting… and the arts.  The kids have worked hard to achieve their goals.

Although school doesn’t officially end until lunchtime on Monday many of the students had their final day today and I received some lovely gifts… plenty of chocolate and other tasty treats along with a large box with doughnuts in it… kind of like the sort you see on police programmes LOL

I brought home another load of stuff from school today so I was busy bringing things in from the car when I heard Toby yelling for help… of course I had my arms full and he was getting more and more urgent so I rushed inside to find… Dougal had been ‘attacked’ by a chocolate doughnut!!  Well it is Friday the 13th after all!

Photo copy_1

Dougal was trying to wrestle the doughnut off his snout but the doughnut was staying firm!  In all honesty I almost didn’t save him just to teach him a lesson… but that just seemed too mean.  I’m really hoping that he has learnt to keep his nose out of other peoples’ business… after all he’s still got a sore ear from last night!

Tonight I went out for dinner with my team and we had a fabulous meal at Lone Star.  I really enjoyed chatting with everyone and we were all much more relaxed than we’ve been in ages… and then I got ‘blind-sided’… AGAIN!

They got together and bought me a stunning greenstone… and they’ve even had Auntie Bubby bless it for me already.  I was absolutely blown away!  Glenn said that the one they’ve chosen signifies ‘New Beginnings’ and 2014 is certainly going to be all about that!

I’ll share a photo of the greenstone with you tomorrow as the lighting is shocking right now… but a HUGE thank you to the wonderful team of teachers that I’ve had the privilege to work with in senior school this year… I’m really going to miss you guys xx

Feel Good Friday

Hi everyone :)

Today is a significant Friday because it’s the very last one I’ll ever do at Selwyn School.  The reality of leaving is really starting to hit me and it’s a bit overwhelming at times.

Last night we had our Year 6 Leaving Ceremony and it was fantastic… I even got ‘blind-sided’ but I’ll explain more about that later when I update my December Daily project.

In the meantime I’ve come up with a page for my album dedicated to Christmas baking.  I really enjoy baking and I’m looking forward to getting into the kitchen to do some creative stuff.  I’ve found a few new recipes I want to try out like ‘Cranberry and Pistachio Shortbread’! 

Here’s something to tempt you:week 50 - christmas baking

Wishing you all a fantastic Friday xx

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December Daily: Dec 11

Hello again :)

It’s been  a super eventful day here!  This morning I headed off to school knowing that we were having an official powhiri for the new Assistant Principal who is starting next year.  It’s been a long time since we’ve had anything like this happen at our school and the children were excellent.  The whole event went off without a hitch!

At lunchtime I was on duty and one of the students got tackled playing rugby.  She’s a pretty tough cookie and often gets mistaken for ‘one of the boys’ but after this tackle she was in a lot of pain.  We did everything by the book and felt that she needed some specialist treatment so we called the ambulance.

Everything was going smoothly… the ambulance arrived just after the end of lunch bell went… and then we hit a snag.  The student needed to have a neck brace put on before being put on the backboard and she suddenly ‘freaked out’.  She was pretty distressed so I ended up having a ride in an ambulance and staying with her at the hospital while she was treated by the doctors.

Thankfully everything is alright… although she’s going to have some good bruises to show for her efforts.  I ended up staying at the hospital with her until her grandparents arrived.  It wasn’t quite what I had planned for my afternoon.

By the time I got back to school just after 4pm I had to rush around and get my stuff so that I could get to the chiropractors by 4.30… and in the meantime someone special to my heart was waiting for me there when I arrived.

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Yes, my lovely Krystal was waiting for me and we got to spend a little bit of time together.  She was looking absolutely fantastic and is almost back to her old self after her run in with glandular fever earlier this year.  She still has her tired/exhausted days but she’s having lots of good days now too.

One of the reasons that she was looking so good was that she’s just become a Nutrimetics consultant and she’s super excited about it.  She bought her case of goodies with her and took great delight in showing everything to me. 

Since she’s staying at Chris’ place tonight she decided to leave her makeup with me until she comes over before school… which may have turned out to be a BAD mistake! 

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After arriving home I went to get changed and while I was up in my room Dougal couldn’t take the suspense and got into Krystal’s makeup case.  Toby started barking so I  came out to investigate what was wrong and found Dougal trying to get INTO the case to get the rest of the stuff out!

He was quick to tell me that he knows all about makeup because he used to wear it when he was on stage… but in a ‘MANLY’ way! LOL  He certainly knew what eye shadow and lipstick were but I can’t quite envisage a ‘manly’ way to wear either of those products!  Priscilla Queen of the Desert springs to mind though!!

There’s more events tomorrow including a practice for our school assembly and our Year 6 Leaving Ceremony in the evening.  Oh yes… and tonight I have to make chocolate brownie for a morning tea tomorrow… darn I knew I’d forgotten something!

Best I get going and whip out my ‘Domestic Goddess’ skills before it gets too late!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December Daily: Dec 10

Hi everyone :)

It’s been a relatively calm day around here today.  The boys both stayed at home and from what I can tell they have behaved themselves really well.  I suspect that there’s been a lot of running around and playing going on because both of them are sound asleep on the sofa right now LOL

At school today I got the kids to help me with their clear files.  It’s actually a MASSIVE job to do on my own and I figured the kids might finally get over their curiosity about them if they knew how ‘boring’ they really were.  Sure enough… most of them were over their curiosity within minutes!

Unfortunately lots of the kids were finding it difficult to follow instructions today.  Most of my Year 6 students are suffering from the I’m too cool for primary school bug!  So, after morning tea I got a few of my really organised children to help Barbara and myself put the clear files in order.  It didn’t take us very long and we all worked together as a team pretty well!


One of the things we’ve been doing a lot lately is reflecting on the year… the learning… and how much everyone has changed since we started the year.  As most of you know I’ve been doing a lot of Professional Development to do with teaching writing and I’ve worked my butt off to make my writing programme really interesting so it was especially rewarding when a LOT of the kids say that writing was becoming one of their favourite subjects.

Several of them even mentioned that they considered their best pieces of work this year to be things they have written.  It certainly made me feel like all the hard work was really worthwhile… and their writing samples certainly reflected how much they have learnt.

When I got home from school today there was a couple of pieces of mail… mostly boring stuff but one of the envelopes had an extra stamp on the back of it.  It’s a very cool Santa stamp and Dougal took a real liking to it.

He was all for opening the envelope for me but he relented when I said that he could have a photo with it instead because it was actually addressed to me.


Both of the boys were keen to see what was inside the envelope and when it turned out to be a very cool gingerbread man shaped card they thought that was pretty neat too!  Both of the boys LOVE gingerbread dough LOL

Thank you Brenda for the lovely card… it certainly brightened up our day :)

I have to admit that I love days when my boys are well behaved and there’s no dramas!

Monday, December 9, 2013

December Daily: Dec 9

Hi everyone :)

Well it’s official… Dougal has a BIG crush on Auntie Chris!  Today he came to school with me… in fact, he was trying to wake me up before the 6am alarm went off so we could get ready! 

All through the day he’s been finding excuses to go and visit her classroom… aka making a pest of himself!  The funny part is that he’s so cute about it all so it’s hard to growl really.

The day was pretty full on with end of year school stuff including a practice for our Year 6 Leaving Ceremony which is happening on Thursday night. 

At the end of the day I had some things that needed photocopying and Dougal offered to come with me (hoping to see Chris I suspect).  I’d finished the first lot of copying and turned my back for just a few minutes and when I turned around I got a HUGE shock:

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I turns out that Dougal thought he could give Auntie Chris a ‘smile’ to take home with her… silly boy should have given her a photo instead!

This morning I actually did a tiny bit of work on another one of my Creative Chemistry tags.  This one involved covering die cut grungeboard pieces with Distress Crackle (Clear Rock Candy).  I’m never patient enough to let the stuff dry on it’s own… in fact I’ve ruined many projects over the years putting my fingers into crackle medium and Dimensional Magic to see if it’s dry!  This time I figured that if I got it all done before school it would be completely dry and ready for the next step when I got home.

I hooked up the video to the TV and watched Tim apply Distress Paint, Ink and Stain to his pieces and really liked the effect.  Since it’s pretty close to Christmas I used that as a theme for my tag and I’m super happy with the results.  I especially like the paint and stain together… very effective!

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Here’s a better look at my tag… just because I’m super happy with it:

So there you have it… another day… another tag… and another stunt from Dougal!

Catch you all tomorrow xx

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December Daily: Dec 8

Hello again!

I’m back again LOL  This time I’ve got another update for the December Daily project. 

I’ve been having such a good time today.  I started off making lots more stars and I’m really thrilled with how they’ve turned out.  I ‘might’ make some more yet but I’ll have to wait and see.

After a while I wanted to try something new… there’s something quite exciting about learning new techniques and seeing how else you might use them in the future. 

I hooked up my laptop to the TV using the HDMI cable and then clicked onto a couple of the videos.  I don’t know how I got by before because now it’s like having Tim right beside me showing me how to do each technique.  The bigger screen means I see WAY MORE detail and the sound is crystal clear!

So far I’ve done the Industrial Metal technique which is pretty similar to how I did my stars except that you use paint instead of alcohol inks.  It gave me a comfortable place to start.

Then I had a go at the Eroded Metal technique.  My first attempt didn’t really work but I figured out why so I gave it another go and I’m pretty thrilled with how the second tag turned out!  I think it would be a good technique for the background of an art journal page… I’m processing that idea so I’ll have to see what I come up with.

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I didn’t actually look at the time while I was working on my tags but when I checked it was definitely time to get going to Deidre’s afternoon tea party.  Deidre is ‘Mum’ to Auntie Chris so she’s practically family LOL

I thought Dougal might enjoy going to a party and he certainly did.  He managed to get around everyone for some cuddles and chats.  They heard all about his travels overseas and his love of glitter.  In fact at one stage I almost had to ‘pat him down’ when he saw some sparkly jewelry on one of the guests!

When Dougal spotted the pavlova there was no way he was going to miss out… in fact he got the very first slice!  He also managed to get a good sampling of the ambrosia thanks to Auntie Chris!

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By the time we left he’d made several new friends and was feeling quite pleased with himself.  On the way home he talked about everything he’d seen… everything he’d tasted… and everyone he’d met… but mostly he talked about Auntie Chris!

Looking back on it, he did spend a LOT of time sitting right beside her and just staring at her… I think he may have a wee crush on her!  I’ll have to wait and see if he tries to come to school with me this week since he knows that Auntie Chris works with me LOL

So that’s been our day… and it’s been a good one!

Project Life: Week 49

Hi everyone :)

This has been the best weekend I’ve had in a long time… mostly because I’ve been able to get my fingers inky and have a bit of fun learning new techniques!  I’m having a blast!!

Here’s an overview of this week:Full_1

This week I’ve made a start on packing up my classroom… and when I say a start I mean a start!  Initially I thought I didn’t have that much of my own stuff in my classroom but a closer inspection tells me that I’ve got quite a bit there!

One thing I’ve been really conscious of since Mikayla has left home is taking good care of myself.  I’ll admit that some nights I just don’t feel like cooking and a toasted sandwich is fine… but earlier this week I really felt like having some steak.  I did ‘cheat’ a little though and bought myself some salads from the deli to go with it!

I’m so pleased I was able to get home early the other day and get Toby all sorted out with his annual check up, vaccinations and ‘pedicure’ before Christmas.  Now I don’t have to worry about his medical stuff for another year!

Here’s a closer look at the beginning of my week:Left_1

Cornwall Park School came to give us a concert this week and these kids are really talented.  I was very impressed with the Year 4 boy who effortlessly played a piece of piano music that I never got right when I was learning… he was amazing!

While I was in town the other day I popped into Dick Smith and picked up an HDMI cable.  Basically it hooks my computer up to the screen of my TV and now I can watch all my Tim Holtz videos for the Creative Chemistry classes on the big screen.  It’s so cool and the sound is fantastic as well!

On Friday I finally got myself organised and went to get lots of photos printed.  I had three weeks worth of Project Life along with several weeks worth of Feel Good Friday photos to print and now my albums are all up to date again.  It’s hard to believe that the year is almost at an end!

Here’s a closer look at the second part of my week:Right_1

My poor fridge is really on the way out!  The ‘iceberg’ at the back of the fridge is growing daily and all my condiments are getting encased in ice.  I’m definitely going to be going to have a look at all the whiteware specials I’ve been seeing on TV lately!

As you know, I’ve been making stars.  I was so happy with the ones I made yesterday that I got busy this morning and now I have three large stars and FOURTEEN small ones!  I’ve branched out and used some other alcohol ink colours too… but those ones are for the tree.  My ‘Vintage Christmas’ theme is really coming together now.

After making all my stars I was ready to tackle something different and although I was thinking about doing my art journal page for the One Little Word project I actually ended up making a couple of technique tags from the Creative Chemistry 102 class.  So far I’ve done the Industrial Metal  and Eroded Metal tags.  I really like the techniques and I’m pretty sure I’ll use them again.

This afternoon I took Dougal with me to an afternoon tea party and we had a wonderful time.  As soon as Dougal saw the pavlova he got excited… he’s got a really sweet tooth!  As for me… I enjoyed some of the wee savouries… really delicious!

So that’s been my week!  Thanks for stopping by xx

December Daily: Dec 7

Hi everyone :)

I got so caught up in doing all my creative stuff yesterday that I forgot to post my December Daily.  It was totally worth it though because Saturday was a real ‘food good’ day!  I got to spend some quality time with my boys and then I got to do some creative ‘food for the soul’ stuff… and as an added bonus… all the washing is dry despite a few rain showers!

Dougal has finally gotten around to showing me the contents of his suitcase!  It was PACKED with postcards from all over the world… and he’d even written on them.  So why didn’t he sent them??  In a word… GLITTER!  If you followed my December Daily last year you might remember that Dougal is a little magpie.  Anything sparkly, glittery or shiny is not safe when he’s around.  Well he’s learnt to use a little less glue… and a little more glitter… and he’d decorated every single postcard to send me… and then he couldn’t bear to part with them!  Oh dear!

He was quite happy to pose for the camera with his suitcase of postcards… I’m still not allowed to have them because of the glitter!  In fact he was more than happy to pose for the camera when he saw me making my stars and agreed to make him ONE with gold glitter… it had to be the BIG one of course but he’s super proud of it!

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Those stars are actually really cool and I know my die is going to get lots and lots of use!  I’ve got a multitude of ideas for different ways to use it already. 

Here’s my page dedicated to my creative adventures yesterday:

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Actually I’d left my stars on the table overnight and when I got up this morning I was still super pleased with them… and that has to be a good thing!

I’m thinking I might even get my One Little Word art journal page which I was meant to do in October done today… you just never know what the day is going to bring!

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone xx