Friday, May 31, 2013

Feel Good Friday

Hi everyone :)

Well it’s finally the weekend and it’s a long weekend too so that’s a bonus!  Tomorrow we’re celebrating Krystal’s 21st birthday by playing paintball and lazer tag.

She’s come home today and been using my kitchen while I’ve been at work… it seems that while the ‘cat’ is away the ‘mice’ will play, bake and ice cakes LOL

I had a Feel Good Friday all lined up for this week and then this morning I got all inspired with ‘pink things’ and got my layout done but didn’t have time to blog before heading in for our 8.15 admin meeting at school… but I’ve been thinking about it all day so here it is:

week 22 - pink things copy

I love all the cake pops which is great because my cake pop moulds arrived today so guess what I’ll be doing tonight!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend xx

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Project Life: Week 21 and a MAJOR event!

Hi everyone :)

I’m a couple of days late with this blog update but it ended up in the ‘I’m just too tired to do it’ basket!  I’ve had a hugely eventful weekend at Creative Escape Downunder and it was totally awesome!  Of course I will show you all the project… but not today… and I’ve got an insert as well… but not today LOL

Here’s an overview of last week:Full_1

I’m a big fan of Masterchef Masterclass and I like to pretend I’m right there with the contestants… I’m sure I’m not the only one… although the little voice in my head says I might be one of the few to admit it!

Last weekend Josh showed everyone how to make a very decadent and grown up bread and butter pudding and I decided to give it a go.  I did make a couple of changes like adding cranberries instead of raisins and changing the alcohol to white chocolate syrup but the final pudding was pretty delicious!

We’re right into the whole cooking thing at school now too and on Monday we made hokey pokey in class which the kids thought was pretty awesome!

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

I finally got all my preparations done for my big weekend.  I ended up making 18 swap pins which I was pretty pleased with and then I decided to make some large tags to label all my stuff.  I totally love how they turned out… and then I got a bit carried away because I had just a little more paper scraps so I made two smaller tags as well.  I have now used all the Graphic 45 paper that I had for this project but still loving the collection!

I also realised that my old jeans just weren’t going to stand up to another wash so it was time to get a new pair.  While I was trying them on I spotted some cool socks so I got them too because Mr Toby has a tendency to ‘borrow’ aka STEAL socks!!

On Thursday morning I got the car all packed and ready to go and to be honest I was pretty impressed with myself.  I also had a list of what I needed to take and managed to have everything on the list labelled and packed and just for once I didn’t forget anything!

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

Since it was raining on Thursday afternoon we couldn’t do our senior school sports so the kids and I opened up the gingerbeer we made the week before and they LOVED it!  They actually drank every last drop of the 5 bottles we made.  It was super fizzy and had a great flavour too :)

I did a quick trip to see my chiropractor on Thursday since I’d woken up with a ‘kink’ in my neck and then I was off to Auckland for three days of creativity!

I’m not going to put too many details here because I’ve got an insert with photos to share later on in the week but I will say it was absolutely fantastic!

Mum came with me and we met up at the hotel.  Registration closed at 7pm and she knew I wouldn’t get there before then so she registered me and the goodie bag was pretty cool… lots of neat things to use over the weekend and beyond.

Our first class was with Donna Downey and she is hilarious!  We laughed all through the class which lasted from 9am until afternoon tea.  She also gave my Mum a nickname which ended up sticking for the whole weekend… I’ll tell you more about that with the insert.

We did two classes each with Teresa Collins and Heidi Swapp and these women are both hugely inspiring story tellers as well as being humble and generous women. 

It was a huge event and one that I’m so pleased to have taken part in… and I honestly do promise to share lots of photos and details with you later in the week.

And now for a MAJOR event… I’m such a proud Mumma today… and to be honest I’m also a little bit teary about it… but today my ‘big girl’ is 21!

I don’t know where the years have gone… I still have such vivid memories of the day she was born but 21 years have flown by and now my precious newborn baby is a woman in her own right.

Krystal 21_1

Happy 21st birthday Krystal… you are beautiful on the inside as well as the outside, super talented, kind, generous and totally unique.  I’m so proud to be your Mum and I love you very much xx

So before I need another pack of tissues I’ll wish you all a great week xx

Friday, May 24, 2013

Feel Good Friday

Hi everyone :)

Well this week I’m really feeling good about Friday!!  There’s a few reasons for it:

  1. I’ve just had a great nights sleep at the Ibis in Auckland
  2. This morning we start Creative Adventure Downunder… in fact in just 3 hours it will all be underway!
  3. I don’t have to go to school… don’t get me wrong… I love my job but there are still days when it’s nice to not have ‘children’s chatter’ around LOL

In spite of that fact that I lead a somewhat busy life it’s actually very rare for me to go away from home… and even rarer for me to stay in a hotel so that inspired this weeks layout:week 21 - vintage suitcase copy

Trust me… our luggage doesn’t look anywhere as battered as that… but there’s an awful lot more of it!  Luckily Mum and I don’t mind being ‘cosy’ because the rooms are pretty small.

So happy Friday everyone xx

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Something to share

Hi everyone :)

Back in April we had our Scrapbook Dreams mini retreat and one of the participants (Jacqueline) spent the weekend working on some very cool digital projects.

Afterwards she gathered in some of the photos and set about creating digital layouts celebrating the weekend.  On Sunday I got a lovely surprise in my ‘inbox’ when she sent me a copy of what she created and she very kindly let me share it on my blog… so here you go:

Rotorua Retreat #1_1

Rotorua Retreat #2 smaller_1

Thank you Jacqueline for letting me share your layouts… I might just have to print them off for my Project Life album :)

Have a great week everyone xx

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Project Life: Week 20

Hi everyone :)

I’ve had some fun events this week like our school cross country and dinner at John and Wendy’s… along with some not so fun stuff like stacking firewood and an NZEI training day… but you have to take the good with the not so good right??

Here’s an overview of my week:Full_1

This week got off to a great start with our school cross country which we do at the Redwood Forest.  It’s a beautiful setting and the kids really enjoy running the race… well some of them do!  I’ve got a couple of good runners in my class this year and the boys each got 1st in their age group!  Go Room 4!!!

On Tuesday night I finally did the last canvas night class and they were all gorgeous.  Unfortunately these dark nights don’t allow for such good photography but I did get a neat one of Anne working on her canvas.

Here’s a close up of the start of the week:Left_1

During Term 2 my class will be doing a focus on FOOD!  The kids are obviously really keen because they know they are going to learn heaps as well as taste lots of different things.  On Wednesday afternoon we made gingerbeer following an Alison Holst recipe and we’re hoping to be able to drink it next week.  I’ve made it loads of times before so it was a ‘safe’ way to start of the cooking!

In this weeks’ school newsletter Room 4 were the ‘Star Class’ so I decided to go with a photo insert showing lots of the different things we do in Room 4 and it was a bit of a hit with the parents as well as the students.

Toby is very happy at the moment because we’ve got firewood which means he’s lovely and warm… but he wasn’t much help putting it all away… actually I wasn’t much help either because it arrived on Wednesday (Mikayla’s day off tech) and I was still at school until 8pm so she stacked most of it by herself… but I did bring KFC home for dinner LOL

Here’s the second part of the week:Right_1

On Thursday I was on an NZEI training day and it was pretty intensive so I was pleased to be going out to John and Wendy’s for dinner.  After working on the computer with John for a couple of hours we were ready for Wendy’s coq au vin and it was absolutely delicious!  For dessert she did layers of jelly with panna cotta topped with fresh berries and ice cream… absolutely divine!

This week I managed to find the matching teapot to my sugar bowl and milk jug I got a couple of weeks ago and it arrived safe and sound.  I really love the design on it :)

We’ve been without our computers in our room for two weeks now while they sorted out how to keep them safe from the radiators.  Hopefully we’ve got it all sorted now and we’ll be able to use them tomorrow!

Mikayla often shows me funny things she’s found on the internet but when she showed me this photo and said we should get an outfit the same for Toby I was definitely thinking NO!


Meanwhile, Mikayla decided that Toby’s ‘baby’ HAD to go!  I’ll admit that it smelt pretty manky but he really loved it.  She gave him one of her old bears that has got something stuck to it’s fur but before she did she gave him a little talk. 

Toby was all good with that… and then he saw his ‘baby’ get put into the fireplace and he went mental!  He wanted his baby back and he was not going to take no for an answer.  Fortunately he doesn’t have much of an attention span and after side tracking him with one of his biscuits it was all good LOL

Krystal phoned me last night and she’s been bitten by the baking bug again.  She decided to experiment with some ‘flavour profiles’… LOL picked that one up from Masterchef last night!

Here’s what she came up with:IMG_0979_1

They are chocolate cupcakes with cameral icing and homemade hokey pokey… she even sent me a close up!


Go Krystal!  I bet they taste amazing!

So that’s been my week… and now I’m off to clean up some more of my stamps… loving organising them all at the moment!

Have a great week xx

Saturday, May 18, 2013

52 Lists: Week 15 and 16

Hi everyone :)

Today’s post is actually inspired by the fact that it’s raining outside and curling up with a good book seems like a great idea… although there’s too much to get done to actually do it LOL

Some of Moorea Seal’s lists take a bit of thinking about… and some come together in a matter of minutes really… and the prompts for Week 15 and 16 pretty much wrote themselves!

Week 15 – List your favourite quotes

I don’t know about you, but I love quotes!  I keep quite a good collection of them and often refer back to my favourites.  My current favourite was one that I saw somewhere and it really ‘speaks to me’:

I have gotten to that age where my brain has gone from 'you probably shouldn't do that'... to... 'what the hell, see what happens'

I also came across this one the other day and I have to admit that over the years I’ve tried really hard to find my ‘happy place’ in times like these:


Here’s my list for this prompt:

Week 15 copy

I know some of those quotes are long… but they are ones that I go back to time and time again.

Week 16: List your favourite books

I’ve always loved reading… and it’s something I look forward to at the end of each day.  It’s my own personal way of winding down from all the events of the day.

Obviously my job as a teacher requires me to do a lot of reading as well but one of my favourite times of the day (and also one of the quietest in my classroom!) is when I read the next instalment of the chapter book we’re reading.  We’re currently reading ‘The Mouse and the Motorcycle’ and the kids are loving hearing all about Ralph’s adventures in Room 215.

Here’s my list for this prompt:

Week 16 copy

I actually own most of the books on that list and some of them have been read several times. 

Hmmm, maybe I will go back to bed and read ‘just one more chapter’ LOL

Have a great weekend everyone xx

Friday, May 17, 2013

Feel Good Friday

Hi everyone :)

Well we’re coming to the end of another working week.  This time next week I’ll be in Auckland anxiously anticipating the first class at Creative Adventure Downunder!

But back to this week!  I’ve been watching the changes happening to the toadstool in my backyard.  Over the past week it hasn’t grown any further… but it has changed colour to a more subtle dark apricot.  The spots on the top seem to be getting smaller or maybe that’s just my eyes LOL

Mother Nature certainly has provided me with some wonderful moments this week so I decided to create my layout about toadstools and here’s what I came up with:

week 20 - toadstools copy

Happy Friday everyone and I hope you all have a fantastic weekend xx

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

52 Lists: Week 13 and 14

Hi everyone :)

It’s about time I did another update in Moorea Seal’s 52 Lists project. 

Week 13: List the things you want to make

This list was EASY!  Like many crafters out there my list of projects I want to make far exceeds the time I have for actually making them!  I’ve always got projects going around in my head and I do tend to go off on tangents at times LOL 

I’ve actually got a few of these projects already ‘on the go’ and of course as soon as a project is done… or often, during the making of it… it sparks off an idea for yet another project. 

Here’s my page that’s in my album:Week 13 copy

Week 14: List your childhood and current dream jobs

I definitely had a very clear idea of what I was going to do when I was a ‘grown up’… I really did think that I was going to be a farmers wife… and that all the other wives would be coming to me for advice on cooking, sewing, gardening etc!

There are so many career opportunities out there now and there’s never enough time to do all the things you think you’d like to do… but it’s good to have dreams!

Week 14 copy

So there’s a little insight to the ‘inner workings of my mind’… no wonder I get side-tracked all the time!

Have a great week everyone xx

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Project Life: Week 19

Hi everyone :)

My mum had to work today (Sunday is her ‘Monday’ if that makes sense) so there was no chance of a sleep in and breakfast in bed for her… but Toby actually did let me sleep in a bit this morning and Mikayla made me a yummy ‘breakfast’ (at midday LOL).

To all the Mum’s out there… I hope you had a really lovely day!


Well we’ve had our first week back at school and it was a busy one!  My class had to get to grips with losing a class mate… and we had two new students start on Monday… and we hosted this weeks’ school assembly as well!

Here’s an overview of my week:Full_1

Early this week I got the chance to make my own chilli jelly following Nigella’s recipe and it was wonderful!  We’ve tried it on lots of things… even the fish and chips we had for dinner last night!  I love how it tastes and it looks pretty neat in the jars as well :)

I also received a lovely little parcel from my niece.  It was a total surprise but very much appreciated!  Super cute to have a piece of her handwriting as well.

Here’s a close up of the beginning of my week:Left_1 

In other news… Mum and I have booked ourselves into the Creative Adventure Downunder and we’re super looking forward to it!  Having the opportunity to learn from Heidi Swapp, Donna Downey and Teresa Collins was too good to miss!  And there’s also going to be a class with  Maggie Armstrong which I know will be good because I’ve done a class with her before and loved her tutoring.

I’ve been busy gathering all the things on my ‘to bring’ list and I’ve even made a few swap pins.  Some are completely done and some are still waiting to be finished off with their resin hearts.

One of the things I’m most looking forward to is being on the ‘other side’ of the scrapping table.  It’s going to be cool to learn some new techniques and not have to worry about all the ‘little details’ for a change!

Don’t get me wrong though… I love teaching scrapping classes and on Thursday night a few of the girls came along to finish their mixed media canvases and they turned out so neat!


By Friday night I was really ready for the weekend.  On Friday night it was REALLY cold and since we hadn’t done anything about the firewood we had a fairly chilly night here so on Saturday morning I dragged Mikayla out of bed and we went out to get some firewood. 

Then I ‘forced’ her to push the wheelbarrow while I mowed the front lawn.  Since I was on such a roll I also trimmed back lots of the blackberry and did all the back lawns as well and then I found this:


I’ve seen these kinds of toadstools before but never quite as big as this.  Tomorrow I’m going to go out with gloves and carefully pick it and take it to school to show the kids.

Last night we decided to have fish and chips for dinner… a pretty rare thing in our house because I don’t usually like them but last night they were perfect.  After dinner we were being silly and Mikayla put the hat on Toby and I managed to get a quick snap… poor Toby!

Today of course was Mother’s Day and I’ve had a lovely ‘breakfast’ and gotten quite a few bits and pieces done.  I even managed to get two loads of washing dry on the line so I feel quite lucky not to have to visit the laundrette this weekend.

Now I’m off to light the fire and snuggle down on the sofa to watch Masterchef… a great way to end the weekend.

I hope you all have a wonderful week xx

Friday, May 10, 2013

Feel Good Friday

Hi everyone :)

Earlier this week I got busy making Nigella’s chilli jelly… and it was awesome!  One thing I like about Nigella’s recipes is that they always turn out exactly as they are meant to be.

I’ve been sampling my chilli jelly with lots of things… but it’s at it’s best when it’s put with cheese :)

Here’s this week’s layout:week 19 - chilli copy

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend xx

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Project Life: Week 18 and a couple of layouts

Hi everyone :)

It’s been another busy week in our household… and one filled with lots of different things.  Here’s an overview of the week:Full_1

With the weather turning into winter I’m going to have to go back to drying my washing at the laundrette again.  It’s actually not a bad experience at all… but it can be a bit of a pain when you suddenly realise on Sunday afternoon you’ve got no clean towels left!

On Monday I went to Matthew’s funeral and actually managed to do my eulogy for him.  The rest of the day was a bit of a write off really but I did have a nice dinner with Mikayla to thank her for all her help with the retreat.  It’s good to know she can help out when needed.

On Tuesday I got lots of ‘little’ things done… just the every day stuff like going to the bank, the chiropractor, the supermarket etc and then Nina came around with her computer which needed fixing.  Thankfully it was just a small job that needed doing.

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

On Tuesday I headed over to see my sister and her kids and it was lots of fun.  She hasn’t been able to get her hair cut since opening her shop so I volunteered to be her ‘shop assistant’ for the afternoon. 

Between visiting her shop and a couple of others I ended up with some really neat scrapping supplies so I’m looking forward to spending some time doing projects this winter!

Poor Toby missed me while I was away.  He was very put out that he wasn’t allowed to go with me to see ‘Auntie’ but it just didn’t work out for him this time. 

Apart from the usual excitement when I got back he was surprised to see that I had a wee visitor for him.  After asking me ‘how far is it to Rotorua’ every time I visit my sister and I decided that he could come back and stay with me for a night.  Reece loves Toby and Toby is pretty keen on Reece too so it was a good thing!

Here’s a close up of the second half of the week:Right_1

I’ve been having problems with the colour in my hair going that ‘horrible brassy blonde’ colour… in Rotorua we call it ‘Whaka blonde’ so I decided that it was time to go back to my natural colour. 

Reece spent quite a bit of time taking photos of me getting my hair done with the camera on my cell phone and then he went home with Mikayla on the bus… another big adventure for him!

On Friday morning Reece woke up at 5.45 am and then told me that I had to get up as well!  Having a little face right up close when you wake up in the morning isn’t really my idea of fun!

I got Toby and Reece settled down on the sofa with their blankets and they were quite happy… for 5 minutes!  I know I didn’t let my own girls watch TV in the mornings but quite frankly ‘Auntie’ really wasn’t prepared to be the entertainment police at that time of the morning!

After breakfast we got ready and headed over to see Krystal.  We all met at her place and went out for lunch to Keystone and it was fantastic! 

I had Seafood Tagliatelle - Rich tomato sauce with shrimps, fresh mussels and smoked bacon, finished with Italian parsley, rocket and parmesan:Shelley's Lunch_1

Mikayla had BLT Sandwich -  Grilled streaky bacon with cos lettuce, tomato and parmesan on a Turkish bap:Mikayla's lunch_1

Mum had seafood chowder which I can tell you was absolutely delicious while Krystal and Reece had Chicken Tacos with fries.  The portions were absolutely amazing for just $12 and we left there very happy diners!

On the way home Mikayla and I called in to Tirau for a quick stop and I found the perfect cake stand for having my ‘High Tea’ party… it’s definitely going to happen one day!

We’ve actually spent most of the weekend doing very little but we did go to the library, get photos printed and get all our groceries yesterday so having a little down time today is just what was needed.

A few weeks ago I showed you one of the layouts for the retreat we had last weekend but with all that has happened I’d forgotten to show you the other two layouts from the classes.

This one uses some gorgeous Graphic 45 papers from the French Country collection…. definitely a favourite for me!  These photos are of my niece Jessie and her ‘Uncle Tony’ who she absolutely adores.

IMG_7242 copy_1

The final layout used some more Graphic 45 paper as well as some My Mind’s Eye paper and I really like how it turned out.

IMG_7241 copy_1

Well that’s my update… it’s raining here today so I’m heading up to the laundrette as soon as the washing is done LOL

I hope you all have a wonderful week xx

Saturday, May 4, 2013

One Little Word: April update

Hi everyone :)

It’s time for another One Little Word update.  I’m still really enjoying the prompts… and I’m really pleased that I take so many photos because  the April prompt was all about photos!

April title for blog copy_1

Here’s what Ali wrote in this months OLW email:

This month it’s time to use our cameras to see our word working in the world. How does what you see through the lens inform your relationship with your word?

At first I thought I wouldn’t have enough photos for this prompt… not because I don’t take a lot of photos (I’m definitely a snap-happy photographer!) but because I didn’t think my word ‘CHOICES’ would be easy to translate into photos… how wrong I was!

It turns out that I actually do have photos of lots of things that relate to my word… although I wasn’t consciously thinking of my word at the time.  In fact, during the process of putting together my April pages I’ve come to realise that ‘CHOICES’ is very much a part of my every day life.  It’s apparent in both my conscious and sub-conscious thoughts.  Have a look at my pages and you’ll see what I mean:

page 1 copy_1

page 2 copy_1

page 3 copy_1

Ali encouraged us to ‘add a bit of text to give added meaning and context to each photo’ and it was a good idea because without the text the photos don’t really show how they relate to my word.

My April intention was ‘Understanding Choices’ and I’ve been thinking a bit about that too.  I’ve seen how some of the ‘choices’ I make are just really routines or old thought patterns that I need to change to move forward with my life.   I’ve been making a lot of conscious choices lately… some have been positive and some still need a bit of tweaking to get the desired results! 

I’m still surprised at how well the intentions I set in January reflect what happens in each month… I’m so pleased I trusted my gut instincts even though they didn’t make much sense at the time!

I hope you all have a great weekend xx

Friday, May 3, 2013

Feel Good Friday

Good Morning everyone :)

Today is a real ‘Feel Good Friday’ for me… I’ve got my nephew here and today we’re heading over to see Krystal for lunch.  I’m really looking forward to seeing her and sharing some time with both my girls and Mum.

Here’s what my house sofa looked like at 6.10am!!  I should have time stamped the photo!


The ‘boys’ have now had breakfast and thankfully it’s almost time to get ready and go.  I’d forgotten how many questions little kids ask… sometimes they just go on and on.  Clearly Auntie is out of practice! LOL

Now onto this weeks Feel Good Friday.  Last week I was able to pick up some Mason jars to do some more preserving… although that hasn’t even come close to happening yet!  I saw a few good ideas for other uses for Mason jars on the internet and after a bit of searching I came up with this weeks layout:week 18 - mason jars copy

I’m quite liking a few of these ideas… the soap dispenser really appeals at the moment!

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday xx