Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Project Life: Week 15 & a mini album

Hi there :)

Last week seems like such a long time ago… mostly because so many things have happened since then.  Here’s an overview of our week:FULL_1

This week marked the start of the school holidays and of course with Easter thrown in there as well Mike and I both had Monday off work.  Originally we were going to meet up with a couple of my friends down in Taupo for brunch but there was a last minute change of plans so Mike and I met up with Carey for brunch at the Fat Dog in Rotorua.

I decided to try their eggs benedict since it’s one of my favourites but Mike couldn’t make up his mind so he just said ‘surprise me’.  One thing I know about Mike is that he LOVES waffles so when I saw waffles with bacon and banana on the menu it was a bit of a no-brainer really.  We ended up sharing our breakfasts so it worked out well for us.

We also scoffed the chocolate Easter Bunny that Mum gave us… very delicious!

Here’s a close up of the start of our week:LEFT_1

Mike had a change of jobs last week… well to be more accurate he’s actually doing the same job but with a different company.  He had his last day on Wednesday so now there will be no more TBS shirts hanging on the washing line.

On Thursday we had planned on going for a bike ride over to Hamilton and spending the day together but the rain decided to get heavy and we weren’t too keen on getting cold and wet so we did a few jobs around the house and then headed into town to do a few jobs.

Since we’d missed out on our lunch in Hamilton we went to Brew instead and I had the Bourbon beef salad for lunch.  It was totally delicious and is still one of my favourite things from their menu.  Mike had the big breakfast (surprise surprise) but he said it was delicious!

Later that day Esther arrived from Wellington so she came with us when I had to go to my doctors appointment.  I’ve had a horrible cough for several weeks now and to be honest I thought it might have become a bit of a chest infection but after a check up with the doctor it might just be a little more than that so for now I’m having to use an inhaler and I’ve had blood tests and a chest x-ray this week.  I’ve also got a Spirometry test tomorrow.

After we’d been to the doctors we headed down to the supermarket to pick up some fresh seafood and fish and Mike and I made our seafood chowder to share with Esther for dinner.  We’ve got it down to a fine art now and Esther gave it her seal of approval.

Here’s a closer look at the rest of the week:RIGHT_1

On Friday Esther and I packed up our cars and headed down to Taupo for Autumn Escape.  Esther talked me into going to Autumn Escape around October or November last year… AND it was in the school holidays so it worked out well for me.  I booked myself into a couple of Teresa Collins’ classes and the first one was on Friday.  She’s a great tutor and a lovely person.  Esther and Jane both joined in on the class as well and we had a blast… PLUS I’ve actually finished my album!

Meanwhile, while I was away catching up with some of my scrappy friends, Mike had Brody and Lane around and with chainsaw in hand they cut down one of the big trees we’d decided needed to go.  There were three HUGE trees in the corner of the backyard and since I bought the house over eight years ago they’ve grown… and grown… and grown some more and they were blocking off a huge amount of light.  Plus they made a fairly big area of the backyard pretty unusable. 

We’d had someone come and look and he’d said he would cut the trees down for us but Mike had just borrowed a chainsaw off Mum… and he’d had it serviced and a new blade put on it… SO he HAD to test it out!!  Well that’s what he tried to tell me LOL

Brody and Lane arrived just at the right time so they all had a bit of ‘boy fun’ (Toby included!) and got busy in the back yard.  On Friday the first tree came down and on Saturday the next one bit the dust.  There’s still one more to go but I’m sure that won’t last long once the weekend arrives.

When I got home from Taupo on Sunday afternoon Mike and I decided to head over to Tauranga to get a few t-shirts for Mike to wear to work.  We called in to see Mark and Rattaya and they invited us to join them for dinner at a local Indian restaurant.  Mum came with us as well and we had a great night catching up, chatting and trying out new dishes.

I know I haven’t told you much about Autumn Escape but I’m working on an insert for my Project Life album so I’ll share it when it’s finished.

I got the basic travel album from Teresa’s class done on the Friday night of Autumn Escape but I knew I wanted to add some more photos to it so yesterday I got busy selecting photos and went and had them printed.  This morning I put them all together and added the finishing touches so now the album is done.

Here’s the front cover:

Album cover front

We used Teresa’s Wanderlust collection featuring black, white and gold designs and I love how it really made my photos pop!  I decided to make my travel album about our trips on the bike so all the photos feature the bike, places we’ve visited and food!

Here’s a selection of the inside pages… there’s flip ups, envelopes, tags, fold outs and all sorts of things to make the album quite interactive.


There’s heaps more pages than this in the album but this gives you the general idea.  I’ve added stickers, stamps, and plenty of bling to the album as well.

On the back page I decided to use a photo that was taken during the class along with my little ticket. 

Album cover back

So there you have it!  One finished project and a whole lot of fun!

Thanks for visiting and I hope you’re having a great week xx

Monday, April 6, 2015

Project Life: Week 14

Another week has flown by and it’s now the school holidays.  I’d like to say that I’m actually having a holiday but I’ve still got loads of paperwork to do so I’ll be going to school for a few more days yet.

Meanwhile, here is a look at the overview for Week 14.FULL_1

The week started off with men doing concreting in the driveway.  Several weeks ago when they had to cut into the driveway to fix the water toby they said they’d be back ‘later’ to redo the concrete… and it seems like ‘later’ meant this week.  They did a good job and it looks great now!

This week was really packed at school… we had two nights of parent-teacher interviews, Whaea Hiria had her last week with us, we finished our camp fundraising (hopefully) and we had the draw for the Easter raffle.

Parent-Teacher interviews are always interesting… you DO get to meet a lot of parents but often the parents you really NEED to see are the ones who don’t come.  I did get to meet the parents for 22 of my children so that was pretty good going!

Here’s a close up of the start of the week:LEFT_1

It was Whaea Hiria’s last week with us as she’s taking up a teaching position at another school.  We’ve been so lucky to have her with us and she has made a real impact on the kids.  On Wednesday Hiria bought in pizzas for lunch and the kids enjoyed having a picnic in our classroom… especially when they found out there were chocolate treats as well!

On Wednesday we also had the Easter raffle draw and Madison from my class was lucky enough to win one of the baskets of goodies.  I’m sure her family will be really thrilled with all the chocolate!

My kids also surprised me with an Easter egg and a beautiful card that they’d made for me.  I was so touched by their thoughtfulness.

Here’s a close up of the rest of the week:RIGHT_1

On Friday Mum came over to spend the Easter weekend with us.  The plan was that we were going to attack the blackberry and attack we did!  Mike had organised a trailer and it really didn’t take long to fill it up.  We had blackberry going in all directions and we found the roots were actually quite easy to pull out.  One thing we hadn’t planned on though was finding a wasp nest!

Mike was right up at the top of the retaining wall and the next minute he came flying over the side… shirt coming off as he ran… straight around the garage… hooked up the hose… and washed himself down.  In his own words… ‘There were a PLATOON of wasps’ after him!  He suffered stings on his back, stomach, arms, legs and a really sore one on his ankle.  He felt a bit better after having a shower and luckily we had some arnica cream to help with the soreness.

Later that day we went to the Redwoods to take Toby for a walk and thankfully Mum took her camera with her because we came across a whole forest of toadstools.  They were absolutely stunning to look at and Mum took heaps of photos.  Luckily for me she let me borrow her camera so that I could get a few shots of my own.

On Saturday we carried on in the gardens and then we did two loads to the dump.  The fees weren’t too bad either.  It’s only a single axle trailer but with the high sides we were able to get a LOT into it!  Our first load was all the blackberry along with the rubbish left behind in the garage… $30  We did three more loads over the weekend but they only had green waste and at $10 per load it worked out pretty economically.

On Saturday night we also went out to dinner with Krystal and Chris.  We all like Indian food so we went to the Chimney for dinner.  The food was great but it took a LONG time to arrive and the service was pretty shocking.  I have a feeling we won’t be going back there again.

We did make a new friend over the weekend… Mr Weta decided that he was going to come and see what we were doing in ‘his’ garden.  I’m not a huge weta fan and we don’t normally see them in our garden but this guy was quite impressive!


Mum headed off on Sunday morning to see my sister (it was her 11th wedding anniversary – Happy Anniversary Kate and Simon!) We did our loads to the dump, came home and Mike kept on clipping away at the privot roots and then we got cleaned up and watched a movie together.

It’s been a pretty productive Easter weekend and today we’re heading off to Taupo to have brunch with a couple of my girlfriends.  We definitely feel like we’ve earned a break.

I hope you’re all enjoying your Easter weekend xx

Friday, April 3, 2015

Project Life – Week 13

Hi everyone :)

I got a bit side tracked last weekend and didn’t get my photos organised until this morning.  It’s been a busy week in our household!

Here’s an overview of last week:FULL_1

On Monday after work I took Mike to Sulphur Point to check out where we were going for our school trip on Wednesday.  I knew the area vaguely and just wanted to make sure that things were how I remembered them being.  Mike had never been to Sulphur Point before so it was neat to share it with him.  I took my camera with me (of course) and managed to get some pretty cool shots.

On Wednesday when we went back for our trip I took more photos of the same area and it’s amazing how much the landscape and wildlife changes during the day.  We had a pretty good trip and the kids learnt quite a lot.

Mike decided that he’d better get himself a Rotorua library card this week… not so much because he wants to get books out of the library… but because locals can visit the Museum for FREE if they can show their library card!  There’s lots of places in Rotorua that have special discounts for locals when they have their library cards.  I wasn’t expecting Mike’s card to look so much nicer than mine though!  Maybe I should get myself a new card!!

Here’s a better look at the start of our week:LEFT_1

At the beginning of the year my team leader (Molly) went to Hawaii and when she came home she gave me a box of chocolates.  Mike and I decided to ‘save’ them for Easter and they’ve been hiding away ever since. But… this week we both had hard weeks at work and the chocolates were opened… and they were SCOFFED!  We actually had them over two nights and they were totally delicious!  Thanks Molly xx

On Thursday, Mike and I went to the night market but nothing was really appealing to us so we went to Lady Jane’s and bought ourselves some waffle cones with Kapati ice cream.  If you haven’t tried Kapiti ice cream yet I highly recommend it.  I had vanilla bean which was totally delicious and the other flavour was apple crumble which really did taste like apple crumble!  Yum!

While we’re on the subject of food… Mike and I love seafood chowder.  We often order it if we are out and it’s a firm favourite.  This week I decided to have a go at making my own chowder.  I went through lots of different recipes to get the basics and then went from there.  At the moment we’re trialing different recipes and seafood to see which combinations are our favourites and Mike is a very willing ‘guinea pig’ when it comes to taste testing!

Poor Toby has been needing to have his toenails clipped for several weeks now but unfortunately the place where I usually take him has closed down.  He hates getting them clipped at the vets and he finds it all very traumatic.  Mike decided that we could do it ourselves so we went and bought a pair of clippers… I’ve got a really good pair but they’re in one of the many packed boxes I still need to go through.

On Saturday morning Mike tried to have a ‘man to man’ conversation with Toby about his toenails which ended up being more of a ‘man to difficult teenager’ chat about the ‘edibleness’ of Mike’s arm!  In the end I held Toby while Mike talked calmly to him and within a short amount of time the nails were clipped and done.  Score Toby 0 – Mike 1

Here’s a closer look at the weekend:RIGHT_1

Mike and I spent most of Saturday busy around the house.  Mike and Toby got busy with ‘tree chopping’ in the backyard.  We’ve got a couple of Taiwan Cherry trees that have literally popped up from nowhere!  They are a real pest and difficult to get rid of.  Mike decided that a chainsaw would be his tool of choice and now we have loads more sunshine and so do the neighbours!

After doing all the ‘man work’ in the garden Toby and Mike came inside and Mike had a shower followed by a hot cross bun.  Toby was so sure that he should have a hot cross bun too and reminded me of a couple of those pics you see on the internet:

1  2

Here’s Toby and Mike’s version:


I just couldn’t help myself with that one!

Along with more sunshine we also lost a bit of privacy in the family room so I got busy on the sewing machine and finally got the net curtain ready to hang.  I’ve still got quite a few nets to make but I’ll save them for another day!

Unfortunately the weather decided to pack it in on Saturday afternoon and it was still raining on Sunday so not only did we have to go to the launderette to get the washing dry we also missed out on our bike ride.  We did go over to Tauranga on Sunday but it was in the car instead… although Toby was able to come with us so he was a happy little camper.

So that was our week… I hope yours went well and that you’re enjoying a lovely Easter break xx