Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Project Life – Week 3

Hi there… this week I’ve also got a couple of inserts so it’s a pretty full on post!  Here’s an overview of the week:FULL_1

Carey moved to Katherine Australia during 2014.  Luckily she was able to come ‘home’ during the school holidays so we’ve been able to spend some quality time together.  Carey wanted to make a book, showcasing Rotorua so the week started off with Carey and myself taking LOADS of photos. 


On Monday we travelled around the outskirts of Rotorua getting the photos we wanted followed by a late lunch at Brew.  Brew make the best salads I’ve ever eaten and they’re also really reasonably priced.  We did have a bit of a splurge though and ordered dessert.  I’d never had a crème Brule before but the one I tasted at Brew was pretty fantastic!

On Tuesday we went into town early in the morning before it got too hot and carried on with our photography.  We discovered a sculpture exhibition during all our walking and it was amazing!

I decided to create an insert (6x12 size) for my Project Life album.  Click on the images to make them bigger:

Day 1_1   Day 2_1

After we finished taking photos on Tuesday we went to Lime for lunch.  Carey loves their mince on toast, which did look pretty good!  I had the mushrooms with marsala and it was delicious!

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


After spending two days taking photos I realised how much I love photography.  I took hardly any photos at all during 2014!  Now that I’ve got access to great quality printing again I’ll be taking lots more photos. 

I’d actually looked at investing in a DSLR camera before but this time I decided to go for it and I’m thrilled with my new camera.  There’s lots to learn and I’ll be doing some photo challenges with Carey during this year.

On Wednesday Chris, Carey and I all went to visit our friend Wendy and then we carried on out for lunch.  Unfortunately I didn’t make such good choices this time around so I went for an extra walk in the evening!!

Since I’ve moved back to Rotorua I’ve been making some changes at home and one of the things that has become evident is that I seriously LOVE white as an accent colour.  Farmers were having a sale so I popped in for a look and managed to find some gorgeous white photo frames for my living areas.  Now I just need to select the photos to go in them!

Here’s a look at the second half of my week:RIGHT_1

Nina and I spent Thursday working on our Project Life albums together.  I made us a healthy wrap pizza for our lunch and my the afternoon we were both caught up on our albums.

Water has been a big priority in my life lately.  I’ve been easily managing to drink 2L per day and I’ve found the smaller bottles really DO work for me.  Countdown have a great deal on packs of bottled water so I had to get some!  I also bought Toby a brand new water bowl and he thinks he’s pretty flash with it… as soon as I’d finished assembling the frame for the bowl he was into it!

On Friday Krystal and I took Toby for a walk through the Redwoods and then we met up later to do some things in town.  After walking around all the shops we decided a mother-daughter pampering session was in order so we bought some nail polish, face masks and eye masks.  Then we turned my lounge into a spa retreat and had some fun.  It was super relaxing and I’m looking forward to our next spa session!

On Saturday I finally got a chance to really ‘play’ with my new camera.  Auntie Daphne was having a wee holiday with Mum and they invited me to join them on their trip to Hobbiton.  What an A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. experience.  It’s a really magical setting and fantastic for all ages. 

We all had our cameras with us.  Auntie Daphne took a modest 53 photos… Mum is famous for being a ‘shutter-bug’ and she took 184 photos… and then there was me… but remember I was trying out my new camera!… I ended up taking 276 photos!!  Thank goodness for digital cameras!

I had so many photos that I had to do an insert (Design G) but I also used some of Cathy Zielske’s templates (Labeled photo sets 1 & 2) so that I could include the maximum number of photos.  Here’s the front of the insert:FRONT_1

And here’s the back:BACK_1

Sunday was a much quieter day.  It was the Country Music in the park event and I enjoyed catching up with some of my friends that I haven’t seen for a long time. 

So that’s been my week.  I’m really enjoying these school holidays and getting quite a lot of things done. 

I hope you’re all enjoying 2015 as much as I am xx

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Project Life – Week 1

I thought I’d better get my Week 1 pages blogged before I put up Week 3!

This year I want to focus on getting healthier, fitter, stronger and more balanced.  It’s something important that I need to do for myself and I’m definitely focused on achieving my goals!  In spite of a couple of indulgences this week… crème Brule (Monday) and chocolate brownie (Wednesday)… I have actually managed to shed 500g and it feels good!

Here’s an overview of the first four days of 2015:FULL_1

Right now my mind is filled with making some changes to the way I live my life… mainly in the form of exercise (walking) and drinking water.  I’m also focusing on making smarter food choices and maintaining my non-smoking, non-V-drinking status.  Joining Cathy Zielske’s Move More, Eat Well Jumpstart is a massive step in the right direction for me!

Here’s a closer view of the start of the week:LEFT_1

If I’m going to do lot of walking then I definitely needed some new shoes and with Rebel sport having their New Year sale there was no better time to buy… love the touch of pink too!

This year I’m using images with my date cards that relate to being more healthy… in Week 2 it was nectarines and for this week I chose blueberries… I’m loving blueberries at the moment!

I’ve been making a lot of pizza wraps… super simple and using a wrap for the base gives a perfect crunchy base to put toppings onto.  My current favourites are spinach, capsicum, chicken, and a light grating of parmesan cheese.  I also love adding some cucumber, mint and yoghurt dip to the side for a bit of flavour.

Toby and I have discovered a dog park near the Redwood forest where we can walk without Toby having to be on the lead.  He loves it!!!  We quite often meet other dogs running through the park and so far everyone has been very friendly and well behaved.

Now it’s time for some gardening!RIGHT_1

When I moved back to Rotorua I knew that I was going to need to put a lot of work into my gardens.  Since this garden is small… by the front door… it seemed like a good place to start!

First up I had to get all the weeds, weed matting, bark and rubbish out of the garden.  It turned out to be a fairly quick job really. I filled up two big sacks really quickly and then it was time to go and have lunch with Chris and Carey.

Carey made some delicious pinwheel scones and I took some strawberries around.  We had a great time catching up and having a girly chat. 

After lunch I headed down to Bunnings and bought some supplies and then I got busy!  I added two big bags of organic compost and another big bag of manure.  Digging it all over was a bit of a workout too!

Then I planted all my new purchases… chilies, capsicum, tomatoes (x3), basil (regular and purple), parsley (Italian and regular), sage (x2), oregano, chives and mint. I added some snail bait too because I know from past experience that the snails absolutely LOVE that front garden!

Next, I hooked up an irrigation system to make watering a breeze and by 6pm Sunday night I had a brand new garden!

So that was the start of 2015 for me… things are looking up!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Project Life – the beginning

As  you already know, I’ve decided to get back into Project Life this year.  It feels good to be taking photos again and recording the everyday goings on in my life. 

Of course every album needs a cover page and that’s what I’ve got to share with you today.  I decided I wanted something simple but meaningful and here’s what I came up with:

Title page_1

There were definitely a lot of lessons learnt during 2014 and I’ve grown both personally and professionally during the year.  Best of all, 2015 feels like it’s going to be a great year!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Project Life–Week 2

Well I’ve actually made a start on my Project Life album for 2015!  I still have to do last week and the title page but I’ve worked out HOW I want to work things this year… and I’m pleased with the results.  Here’s an overview of the past week:FULL_1

As I was putting my photos together this weekend I realised that FOOD seems to feature heavily in them… healthy food for the most part too!  That’s probably because I’m so focused on the Move More, Eat Well course I’m doing with Cathy Zielske.

I’m definitely moving a whole lot more these days… in fact I’ve racked up almost 92,000 steps in the past 7 days!  Some of those steps come from the 4km walk Toby and I do each day.  He’s actually looking pretty fit and healthy these days! I’m also incredibly happy to report that I’ve downsized by 800g this week so it’s a feel good day for me today!

Here’s a closer look at the start of my week:LEFT_1

On Monday morning I went walking with Toby and Nina and she mentioned that the lady who does her nails had a vacancy for 9.30 that morning.  Next thing I know I’m booked in for a manicure!  I have to admit that I LOVE getting my nails done… and the pinky-purple glittery nail polish is really cool… normally I go for a French manicure so the glitter is a real change.

On Monday afternoon Esther and Liam arrived from Wellington to stay for a few days.  We hadn’t seen each other during 2014 at all so it was a big catch up!  Esther made some of her pate and I made us some margaritas and we chatted away out on the patio… was a lovely way to spend the late afternoon.

I’ve been making lots of wraps lately and I’ve discovered that they make awesome pizza bases… especially if you like crispy bases!  They’re so quick and they make very healthy lunch and dinner options.

Along with eating healthy food I’ve also started drinking lots of water… at least 2 litres every day!  Each day as I drink the bottled water I put them up on the microwave as a visual reminder to myself of how much I’ve had and how much I still NEED to have.  Then at the end of the day I refill the bottles from big 3L bottles I buy from the supermarket and I’m all set for the next day.

On Tuesday night Chris and Carey came for dinner and I made us a lamb tagine in my brand new tagine pot.  I’ve been really looking forward to trying it out and it’s fantastic!  After dinner Carey helped me put up some of my artwork… including the fab triptych painting I won at the art auction two years ago. 

Here’s a look at the second half of the week:RIGHT_1

Esther and I went out to Third Place for brunch on Wednesday.  She’s heard all about it because it’s one of my favourite places but this time she got to try it for herself!  After brunch we went to Kuirau park and I got Esther to take a few photos of me for my Move More, Eat Well album.  Thankfully the weather was perfect… just a little bit cloudy which was brilliant!

On Thursday I spent some time at school and then Krystal and I met up for dinner.  We ended up going to Leonardo’s Italian Restaurant and had a brilliant platter… delicious breads, salamis, olives, bruschetta, dips and more… we love sharing platters!

On Friday I got my hair done and just for a change I went for big spirally curls!  Actually I quite liked them and will definitely try them again.  I got home just in time for the HRV blokes to install the extractor fan in my bathroom… yippee no more steamy mirrors!  They also installed a heat transfer system to keep the lounge warmer in winter.

On Saturday Mum came over for lunch and we ended up going to Brew which was fabulous!  Mum had a grilled fish salad which looked awesome and I had the bourbon beef salad… absolutely to die for!!!  The beef was super tender and just melted in my mouth!  It’s great being back in Rotorua and being able to catch up with all my friends and family again. 

Today I had a big catch up with Tracey on the phone…the big downside about leaving Gisborne is not seeing Tracey and the kids each week!  Tracey was showing me some stuff on Trade Me that she liked and I came across a gorgeous bookcase that I knew would be perfect for my lounge… and it had a Buy Now price that was perfect for my budget! 

Within three hours I’d bought the bookcase, hired a trailer, driven out to Lake Okareka to pick it up, driven back and installed it in my lounge!  It fits the space perfectly and will look great with books and photos all set up on it!

So as you can see it’s been a busy… and eventful… week. 

Yesterday was also a special day for one of the teachers I worked with during 2014.  Kat worked in the classroom right next door to me and we got on really well and yesterday she married her lovely Tom in Gisborne.  I know they’re going to be super happy!

Kat wedding

So that’s all my news for now.  I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend and you’re ready for the week ahead. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year… even if it is a little late :)

Hi there and welcome to my first post for 2015!

So what happened after December 7th? Well I finished teaching at Te Hapara School in Gisborne… packed up all my worldly possessions (and my boys) and moved back to Rotorua… unpacked ‘some’ of the great many boxes and filled up my garage with the rest… caught up with some of my friends… had a mother/daughter lunch with two of my best friends and all of our mums!… hosted Christmas (thankfully it was a pot-luck style Christmas so I only had to do the desserts)… started making net curtains for my entire house… did some gardening and mowed some lawns… did lots of cleaning and saw in the new year… whew! 

Actually I’ve packed quite a bit into the past three weeks!

I’ve also signed up for Cathy Zielske’s Move More Eat Well Jumpstart because sometime during 2014 I actually lost my waistline!  There was a VERY worthy reason for it though… I have officially been a non-smoker for 369 days!!! 


For those of you who have met me in person you will know what an achievement that is… especially since I used to smoke 25 cigarettes a day!  But wait there’s more!!!  Not only did I pump nicotine into myself but I also drank V drinks in copious quantities… and I can honestly say that in the past 372 days I’ve had ZERO V either!!!

Remember when I photographed my fridge back in 2012 and a few people commented on the amount of V drinks in there?

groceries copy

Well now my fridge looks more like this:


There’s loads of GOOD food in the fridge too… trust me, I’m not starving myself!

So getting back to the reason I’ve lost my waistline… when I went to the doctor for my checkup and to get a prescription for Champix (which worked brilliantly for me!) he told me that ‘on average, some people gain 1kg per month after they quit smoking’… what my brain actually heard was… ‘go ahead and gain 1kg per month’!

12 months later I am 11.5 kg heavier than when I was smoking and drinking V… so now I’m working on drinking lots of water, exercising and eating much more healthy food… and it’s going great!

I bought myself a Fitbit Flex… totally recommend them!


My Fitbit fits snugly on my wrist and it monitors every step I take (every move I make la la la – remember that song?)… it also measures the amount of ‘very active’ minutes I have per day, how far I’ve walked, how many calories I’ve burned, how much sleep I’ve had and how much water I’m drinking!

One thing this new lifestyle has done is reminded me that I really enjoy taking photos and creating my Project Life albums so I’m going to make an album for 2015.  I’m still thinking about how I want that to look for 2015 but it will definitely involve blogging on a regular basis!

So from me to you… I wish you a happy and healthy 2015 xx