Saturday, December 31, 2011


There have been 2 years in my life, where the course I thought I was following has been inexplicably altered though no act of my own doing. The first time was in 2000 when this happened. The second time was this year when the Christchurch earthquakes sent our lives onto yet another, different, unexpected route. 

The earthquake, within a few seconds destroyed a lot of the community in which I lived. It caused grief and anguish to many who lost a lot more than I did. But on a personal level, it caused my girl to become very reclusive, frightened and withdrawn, as her little 3 year old mind tried to come to terms with the situation she found herself in. 

In amongst all this, she turned 3. We had an impromptu party and for that day, everybody smiled. It was beautiful.

Shortly after her birthday, she got her first pair of glasses, teeny tiny glasses. I never knew they made them so small.

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, we spent serval weeks in Golden Bay, enjoying the idyllic beaches and relative normality of life there. But upon or return to Christchurch, we made a big decision. The right thing for us, for our family, was to move away. Leaving was scary. It had never been in our plans. But as it turned out, it was a good thing.

We found our selves here. Five hours from home in this beautiful alpine lake village. We found ourselves welcomed here. And slowly, we have built a new life here. 

Holly started preschool. I still find myself stunned that my baby is big enough to give me a quick kiss before she rushes off to play with her friends each day.  She started swimming lessons, ballet classes and had her first haircut. This girl of mine is growing up!

And this little girl? Over the course of this year, she has grown from a baby to a toddler. She talks non stop, she loves to dance, she loves to cuddle and she is mad on thomas the tank engine. She has the biggest character. She makes me laugh out loud so many times a day. And as 2011 drew to a close, this littlest girl of mine turned 2

Sadly, in 2011, we also said goodbye to a loyal friend. Our lovely old dog Tim died. We had him for 15 years, he was a good gentle pet and we still miss him a lot.

2011, what a year eh?
Bring on 2012. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Seasons Greetings

Christmas under the southern skies.
We are up in Christchurch for Christmas, to share this time with our families. Sadly, yesterday the City was hit by another two large earthquakes, a 5.8 and a 6.0. So for many here, it will not be such a merry Christmas this year. Please, hold in your thoughts this Christmas all those who are struggling and suffering. In particular, I will be taking a moment to think of the 165 families who lost a loved one in the February earthquake here. This will be a difficult time for them I am sure. 

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, I hope you all have a beautiful day tomorrow xxx

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Summer Solstice

Today, in the southern hemisphere, it is the longest day of the year- the summer solstice.

Early this morning, we went out to look for fairies. We where pretty sure they must have been out celebrating such a day. We where not disappointed. We found by the fairy house, under the rosemary bush, signs of a fairy party. The area was strewn with flowers and they had even left some of their feast behind- yummy strawberries. We didn't see any fairies sadly, we figured that they must have celebrated at dawn while we where still sleeping... maybe we might see one next year if we are very lucky.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


My girls are animal mad, as our poor perpetually patient cat will attest too. 

In our household, a little ritual has emerged in recent months. Instead of our usual bath, book, bed rhythm, on a sunday night, once the girls are all rugged up in their PJs, we snuggle up together and spend half an hour inthralled in watching a local wildlife vets show. 

So, when we knew we where coming up to Christchurch for the little ones birthday, we took the opportunity to take them to the local wildlife park. The girls had a blast, they saw all their favorites- lions, tigers, zebras and monkeys. They watched in awe as the lions play fought each other. They laughed with glee as the monkeys came right up close to greet them. We all stood in amazement when we saw the usually reclusive native kiwi bird. 

It was such a fun way to spend the day and celebrate Isla's birthday, even the rain could not wash the smiles off their little faces. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011


The little one turned 2 today!

Hard to believe two whole years have passed since she entered our world. Oh how we love her. Her cheeky smile, her infectious laugh, her boisterous personality. She has bought such joy into our lives. Everyday I am grateful that I am lucky enough to call her my daughter.

Love you little one xxx

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Road Tripping

Road Trip- two words that can set fear into the hearts of any parent with young children. 

Yesterday, we made the long drive up the spine of this beautiful country so that we can spend christmas with our families. It was a long drive, full of the stunning scenery, the kind that causes tourists to travel this route in their droves. But with a 1 year old and a 3 year old in the car, I was apprehensive about doing this drive again. But, surprisingly, my girls where really good. Playing together, reading, singing, talking, for the whole 6 hours. The littlest one has, in recent months, completely moved to using the potty and is out of nappies. So, that was another thing I was anxious about on this trip. But, again she surprised me. Telling me every hour or so "wee wees mama". We would pull over, she would do her business and we would be on our way again. Easy. In hindsight, I wonder why I worried so. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Flea Market Finds

This is a slow work in progress, it is my crockery shelf. I have been collecting one piece at a time whenever I spot one in an op shop. I have plates, side plates and bowls from Crown Lynn in this beautiful duck egg blue/green colour. I picked up several more pieces in the last few weeks so my collection is finally big enough that I have been able to dispose of my boring white plates! I think that is the cool thing about thrifting for a collection, it takes a long time to get there but it is so much fun hunting them out! 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Things I Am Loving

This week I am loving just one thing. I am loving her last week as a one year old. Where oh where did the last 2 years go? I feel like it was just a heartbeat ago that she was this tiny baby. But oh my gosh she is so excited to be turning two. I ask her "who's birthday is it next week?" Her prompt reply "ME!".And then I ask "how old will you be?" She tries to hold just 2 of her little fingers up as she relies "TWO!"

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Creative Space

I told you a few days ago about those lovely vintage sheets I found. Well, with a little bit of work, I transformed them into 2 equally lovely duvet covers for the girls beds. Whats more, I finally got round to making these vintage sheets, which I bought ages ago, into 2 fitted sheets also. So now my girls are sleeping surrounded by vintage floral loveliness! When Isla saw her new bed linen, she jumped into bed, calling out "New bed Mumma! New bed"- very heartwarming. I think she liked it!

And here is a little funny I thought I would share. On the back of the vintage sheet packet was the original care instructions-

Soak in warm sudsy water using reliable soap or detergent. 
Rinse twice. 
Do not allow drying sheets to flap in the wind. 
Minimum ironing required. 

So now you know my friends, do not let your sheets flap in the wind! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


"I like puddles. Do you like puddles Mumma? For jumping in?.... It's quite fun"
Holly age 3

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Flea Market Finds

I always wonder when I find items in op shops that are obviously vintage, yet in near perfect condition. I wonder why didn't the previous owner use them? Where they a wedding gift that was not to their taste? Did they have so many that they just didn't use them that often? Or did they simply get forgotten, left in the back of a hallway cupboard? 

Twice in recent weeks I have found 2 sets of sheets, both in tip top condition, in 2 different op shops. Which I find baffling myself. But, none the less, I am happy. Someone else's lack of interest in these items has been my gain. 

These 2 sets are destined to be sewn together to make duvet covers for my girls beds. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The First Week Of Advent

The first week of advent is almost over. How quickly the days seem to move at this time of year. It is nice to take time to stop and reflect. 

Many people don't realise that advent traditionally starts on the 4th Sunday before Christmas, as most popular advent calendars tend to start advent on the first of December. Under the traditional advent, each week celebrates a 'kingdom' of life. This first week's kingdom is the mineral kingdom. Put simply, the earth we live upon- the dirt, the rocks, the ground under our feet. 

Last advent, I wrote this post about the first week of advent. Re-reading it today, made me so sad. The reverence I paid to the rugged landscape around where we used to live. Little did I know that a few short months later, those same cliff faces that formed a ring around my community would come crashing down, instilling fear into my heart, destroying homes and ending the lives of several people. The memory of watching those cliffs fall before my eyes, will, I suspect, haunt me for the rest of my life.

So this year, we have kept our advent celebrations simple. Our favorite stones, scattered within the wooden ring on our dinner table... Sometimes simple is good.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Things I Am Loving

The abundance of lovely fresh fruit and vegetables available at the moment- yum!

How it already feels like summer and we are only 2 days in!

The fun of christmas preparations with 2 preschoolers. No really, it is fun.

Watching my kids dancing in a freak hail storm this week. 

Joining in with PaisleyJade again this week. More things I am loving here

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Creative Space

2 little fairy friends.

These where such a fun little knit. They really are quite tiny, standing only 2 inches tall. Both these little fairies will be finding their way into my girls stockings this christmas.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I have a very big christmas list but all I really want is a fairy dress and a wand.

Love Holly (age 3 and 3/4).

Oh how I love that little girl in all her sweetness. 

And just quietly, it seems Santa must be very smart as he already has a fairy dress and wand,  ready and waiting for the big day to arrive. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Flea Market Finds

6 blue mugs. 

Funny story behind these mugs. I spied them in a charity shop in a town about half an hour away from here. Only when I spotted them, it was a Sunday and the shop was closed. I went home and thought about those mugs all night. The next morning I got up and drove back to the charity shop- an hours return trip. But, I did come back the proud owner of 6 lovely blue mugs.

And how much did they cost me?
Mugs- $6.
 Petrol driving to get them- hate to imagine!
 How stoked I am to finally have some decent coffee mugs- priceless!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Things I Am Loving

The smell of the wild thyme that is growing like mad all over central otago at the moment.

Warm days that remind me Summer is almost here.

Listening to my girls shreaks of happiness as they play on their new trampoline (even if it is well past bedtime!)

Visits from family.

A bargain find at the op shop.

Linking up with PaisleyJade for more Loving things here. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

On Buying Locally

There is a little shop I like to stop at. It is in the middle of nowhere, on the road which if you follow it long enough, would eventually take you to Mt Aspiring. Holly calls this little shop "the farmers shop". It operates on an honesty box, selling organic free range eggs, vegetables, herbs and seeds. The kids get a real kick out of stopping there. All of us squishing in while we choose what to buy.

It is the truest form of buying locally produced goods. You can't really get more local than the farm gate now can you? 

Monday, November 21, 2011

And Just Like That.... She Grew Up

I am not sure how it happened so fast, but my little one is growing up. My baby, my little tiny baby, is now a little girl. And so we hit another mile stone... the big girl bed. I knew the end of our cot days where in sight when she preferred to climb into her big sisters bed rather than her cot, much to her big sisters frustration. So we decided it was time to put up bunk beds. Oh how happy it made her, she grinned from ear to ear when she saw her big girl bed. She has taken the transition from cot to bed all in her stride. But when I sneak in at night to check on her, she looks so tiny, curled up in her big girl bed. And as I tuck her back in,  prying all the books out from around her, I understand what people mean when they say "she will always be your baby". 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Flea Market Finds

2 lovely, warm, pink and cream coloured pure wool blankets. To keep my little girls snuggly and warm next winter. In perfect condition, $5 each from the salvation army store. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Creative Space

The last month or so, most of my crafting focus has revolved around 1 project. I am making a rag rug for my girls bedroom. It is a long, time consuming and repetitive job. 

It started with a whole lot of cutting-

Followed by a whole lot of sewing the strips together-

Followed by a whole lot of plating-

Like I said, a whole lot of repetition! But it has been worth it. I am 90% finished now and I am over joyed at how it is turning out. Fingers crossed, all going to plan, I will get it finished in the next week and I will be able to show you the results of all my hard work. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Enjoying Simple Pleasures

Today has been one of those lovely hot late spring days, the kind of day which fill you with anticipation of the summer to come. I made the most of the beautiful weather to enjoy an impromptu ice cream in town with my girls, followed by picking wild flowers down by the river. Simple pleasures that make for a very happy day with my girls. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Flea Market Finds

I found this wee gem recently at our local recycling centre. I must admit it was one of those very rare holy grail kind of thrifting moments where you cannot quite believe your eyes. A lovely vintage horn sewing cabinet in near perfect condition, with a price tag of...... $35! I pretty much did a little happy dance there and then before promptly paying for it before they could change their minds.

More lovely finds to be seen here.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Little Lady Of The Lake

I love how our days pan out here. A lazy lunch followed by an afternoon beach combing at the lake. This little girl of mine, just loves the water. She spends long periods sitting and playing quietly by the waters edge. She loves to throw pebbles into the water, taking joy in the plopping and slashing as they hit the water. 

Today this little girl of mine really made me smile. There is something about preschoolers and costumes, they are like moths to a flame, and my little Holly is no exception to that. Lately, I rarely seem to see her out of costume and todays choice was a butterfly fairy. She flittered along the waters edge, testing the water and enjoying the freedom to unleash her little butterfly fairy along the empty beach.

And as usual for my little girl, we spent time collecting the prettiest of the treasures to take home.

Gotta love days like this.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

I Came Back

I never intended to leave this space but, well, life just got in the way.

As many of you know, my family survived the horror of the February earthquake in Christchurch. We lived through the aftermath before deciding to move hundreds of miles away to start over. To be honest, I have found this whole year a little bit mind blowing and I have been working hard to find my bearings again and establish a new life here. We are 6 months into our new beginning and I am pleased to report that things are going well. We are happy. We have made new friends. We have been welcomed. We have embraced the change. Life is good.

And now, I am looking forward to returning to this space and sharing a little bit of this goodness again.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Creative Space

I have lots of projects on the go at the moment, probably too many. I think I am the kind of person who prefers to finish one or two projects at a time. But none the less, I am enjoying all the creativity. 

I bought a little bracelet kit, I was hoping Holly would be able to make it. But, it is a little too complicated for a three year old so I have been making it for her. Surprise, surprise, she picked the colours pink and red- such a little girl! 

Finishing off a gift for a new baby. I love the cute little tail on this elephant. 

A couple of merino tops for my girls. I had intended on them being dresses but they really are too short. I am still undecided as to if I should cut them shorter into tops or add a contrast band onto the bottom and make them dresses. 

And as always, I have a project on the needles. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Light Play

We have discovered a new 'hit' in our house- the light box. Both my girls can spend hours absorbed in creativity on this little box. I bought it a few weeks back, getting a great deal on a local online auction, after being inspired by a lovely blog called Play at Home Mom. Since then, we have come up with all kinds of creative variations, from coloring and tracing to playing with shells and buttons on it.

Holly in particular is a big fan of putting the buttons on it. She sits for long periods arranging the buttons in to patterns and shapes. The other thing she enjoys doing with it is pretending it is a hot stove and cooking on it.

I love watching how their little minds work, how they are able to create this whole world with just a few simple objects. Who would have thought my eclectic button collection could bring hours of joy?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Creative Space

It is getting very chilly here now as winter truly kicks into gear. So I have knitted the little one, this wool jersey to help keep her snug. It is a quick little knit with a cute tab neckline, made using this touch yarns pattern. I made a slight modification to the pattern adding extra length to the selves as I wanted them to have fold over cuffs. Really happy with the results, thinking she needs a red hat to go with her new red jersey now.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Creative Space

I started this spring butterfly a wee while ago for Holly, and I am pleased to say I finally finished it for her today. It is a unique design and perfect for a little girl, so sweet and feminine. Holly is over the moon to see it finished, she wanted to put it on straight away. Makes it so rewarding to make things when they are so well received!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

On Going Home

Last week was my first visit back to Christchurch following our move south a couple of months back. It was nice to be home. Nice to spend time with family and friends. Nice to see my girls playing with their cousins. Nice to be able to buy a few bits and pieces from the bigger chain stores we lack down south. It was not so nice to be around for another 5.4 quake but I was relieved my girls both slept through it.

Coming back to our new home, I am grateful for the easy life we have here. Life is so normal. My children behave normally here, they go to playgroup, pre-school, they play at the playground. All the things I used to take for granted, but never again. We are happy here.

And a little update on Holly's eyesight. While we were up in Christchurch, Holly saw the specialist. Her eyesight appears to be on the improve in the eye that was deemed blind. We will continue occlusion therapy and she will have more testing in another three months but things are looking good!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another First

I told you this little girl of mine has a lot of 'firsts' going on at the moment.

This week she had her first day at preschool. She was so excited about starting, wanting to know when her first day was going to be.  The morning of the big day, she excitedly packed her new bag and was eager to get going. When we arrived, I got a quick kiss and she was off to play with her little friend whom she had spied across the room. I was meant to go back after an hour but the centre rang me to tell me she was having fun and in her words "did not want to go home yet". When I did pick her up later, she couldn't stop chattering about painting, play-dough, the slide and the animals.

Today was her second day and she still appears to be feeling the preschool love. She came home to proudly tell me she "made a little boyfriend"... gotta love 3 year olds.


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