Tuesday, 31 December 2013

52/52....it's a wrap


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Week 52 - done and dusted.  A project complete. 

I did have some other photos in mind, photos of the kids in town, but decided on these as we are in the same spot in the Far North on holiday the same time as last year, when I was getting ready to start week 1 and wondering if I would make it to week 52........


I have loved this project but I'm not sure if I'm going to do it again next year.  Have you done the 52 project this year?  How did you find it and will you have another go in 2014?
 Happy New Year lovely readers, may 2014 be an abundance of happiness and good health.
See you in the New Year!
Elaina xo

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

A very Kiwi Christmas

Merry Merry Christmas dear readers!
Happy holidays and safe travels where ever you are in the world.
Thank you so much for visiting this space and leaving such encouraging comments.  I love writing here, sharing my photographs and my family life with you.
I can't wait to see what 2014 brings.  I will be back for the final 52 portraits this weekend, then I will be taking time out with my family for the summer holidays.
Looking forward to a New Year.
Elaina xo


Monday, 23 December 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."
Summer holidays are here!  Merry Christmas lovely readers! xo


Very happy to be joining in with Jodi's "52 project".

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Things I'm loving......

Wellington! Three days and two nights away with Mr H. Lots of exploring the city and shops, eating, eating and more eating, Te Papa museum an art gallery or two and plenty of cocktails. I missed the kids but it was so nice to have some time away.

Artwork by Tom and signed. He has never been one for sitting down and drawing so it was really great to find this on the blackboard. As we are preparing him for school in January he is starting to draw and write his name more and more now.

This was our first Christmas tree made from some branches we trimmed from a tree in the garden. After coming back from our trip it was all shrivelled and stinky. So we actioned another non perishable tree.

All dressed up to party. I swear these two have a busier social life than me.

We spent Sunday afternoon at a local winery have a few drinks and listening to a great local band. Kids were welcome and they had a great time running around outside and playing in the cubby house.

We have had crazy weather this week. Hot and humid days and then rolling thunder and rain (and sometimes hail) in the afternoon. I have been loving the fact that it cools everyone down, waters the garden and fills our water tank.

Homemade Christmas mince pies and preserves from Em. I love the tin. The late Queen mum wearing a very fabulous yellow number.

My Advent Swap partner Kimberley from Creative Chaos sent me these gorgeous wash cloths as a thank you. She is so crafty and clever! I'm hoping to photograph my amazing Advent Swap goodies given to my by TracyP tomorrow and share them with you. I'm so blown away by her generosity and attention to detail. I swear she has been in my head!

Have actioned Nigella's chocolate fudge recipe. I made it last year and it is so delicious. It is in the fridge setting as I type and will be cut up and popped into these Christmas ramekins and wrapped up with cellophane and bows. Tom and I stamped labels for them too. He is really looking forward to handing them out to his Kindy teachers tomorrow.

And for the Kindy Christmas party I have made Rice Bubble slice, adding marshmallows this time. Yum!

 So that's me lately. I have the last two Christmas parties tomorrow and a few pressies to wrap. We are packing up and heading North for Christmas in a couple of days. I will be cleaning madly as we have friends coming to house sit and enjoy the music festivals that happen down our way over the New Year. How we will pack up and leave the house spotless in time for them to arrive I am still trying to get my head around. I swear there are naughty fairies who undo all my good work as I go!

Merry Christmas!

"I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful for..no matter how simple it is."

Joining in here.


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A bloggy good read

I've come across some really lovely blogs lately and wanted to share them with you.  I have stumbled across some and others I found through comments on my posts.

And at this time of year I love reading these old favourites for Christmas inspiration:
It's no surprise that these last two are from the Northern Hemisphere.  When I'm Christmas decorating and gift wrapping with the fan blasting cool air, it's no wonder I enjoy these blogs from cooler climates.  There are some wonderful Christmas ideas and inspiration here.

If you don't know them already, go take a look!
Have you stumbled across some great bloggy finds recently?
Any old favourites you would like to share?

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Vintage lace and buttons..........a Kiwi ornament swap

I joined in this years Kiwi Christmas Ornament swap organised by Dione from Mrs Sew Funky.

My handmade decorations were Christmas Stockings, blanket stitched and hand sewn with vintage cotton lace.  A few had button detailing and a couple with a Merry Christmas tag sewn on.  Each a little different in their own way.  I decided not to stuff them but keep them open.  They look sweet with candy canes sitting in them.

I loved making these and hope the recipients like them.  I'm hoping to join in again next year.  And will start ALOT earlier next time.  Sewing is still new to me and they took a lot longer than planned.  I would also like to make some for our own tree too.

And below are the handmade Christmas decorations that I received.  Aren't they great?!  Looking at these makes me really want to have another try at crochet.  Imagine the possibilities for next year!

Thank you again Mrs Sew Funky for organising the swap!

Linking in with Leonie too!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Little Anahera fairies.................custom giveaway winner!


Things around here have been a bit busy.  The silly season is well and truly here.  Thankfully most of the Christmas events for our house have been and gone.  Bell has finished school for the year and we have Tom's kindy farewell this Wednesday and then the kindy Christmas party Friday morning after the final swimming lesson of the year.  Neighbourhood drinks on Friday night and we are pretty much done.

I'm looking forward to catching up on some blog reading this week and writing a few catch up posts here.  There was not a lot of time for either last week.

But now I get to tell you who the lucky winner of the custom Little Anahera Fairy is........drum roll please......

Please email me your contact details to alittlebitcountrynz (at) gmail (dot) com and I will organise contact for you with Em to discuss your custom fairy.

Thank you again to my wonderful sister n law Emma who makes these magical felted fairies.
And if you haven't already - pop over to Em's Facebook page for a look at the beauties that come out of the studio.

Sunday, 15 December 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."
Bell - taking a peek at the grapes.  They are plentiful this season.  Loads of sun, the right amounts of rain and no October frosts have made for prime growing conditions.
Tom - so much growth in the vineyard.  Perfect for ducking under the vines and playing "find me mum"!
George - he loves hanging out in the vineyard.  Anywhere really with wide open spaces.  His hair looks so long in this pic but to spare him and the hairdresser any further grief I now trim it myself.  But only his fringe.  In this heat he really needs shorter hair and he often gets mistaken for a girl.  I wonder what my dad will think at Christmas.  He likes a good old fashioned "short, back and sides".

Very happy to be joining in with Jodi's "52 project".

Monday, 9 December 2013

Little Anahera fairies..........and a custom giveaway!

These fairies are just beautiful aren't they?

My clever sister n law Emma (Em to my regulars) makes these wool felted fairies by hand.  I have mine still from last Christmas although I have it hanging in our room all year round.

They are lovely for a little girls rooms, perfect as a "keep you safe" sleep angel and a few hung along a twisty branch make for a magical mobile.

Little Anahera is the name of Em's business and you can visit the Facebook page here to see all of the beautiful fairies that fly out of the studio.  You can make contact through this page too for custom orders etc.

One lucky reader will win one of the Little Anahera fairies.  You will get to choose your colour combinations (subject to what is available from local wool suppliers).  Keep it for yourself or surprise someone special with their very own Little Anahera fairy.

To enter the Little Anahera Fairy giveaway all you need to do is:

"Like" Little Anahera on Facebook and comment below.

(Not on Facebook?  Just comment below to enter.)

Feel free to share this giveaway via Social media (Facebook, Twitter, blog).

This is an International Giveaway.

Giveaway closes on Sunday 15 December at 8pm (NZ Time) - and will be announced the following day.  The winner will have 1 week to get in touch or a new name will be drawn.
This giveaway is now closed.  See who won here.

Thank you Emma from  Little Anahera and good luck!


Sunday, 8 December 2013




"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."
I've hired a school pool key for summer and we started swimming this weekend.  I think we are going to be spending a lot of time here over the summer holidays.  We are thinking of having dinner in the evenings under the trees here then cooling off with a swim before heading home..........

Bell - highlight has been finding the huge rubber rings in the shed.  Notice she has TWO rash vests on?  Always feels the cold before anyone else.  Has asked for a wetsuit for Christmas.......seriously!
Tom - tentative toe dip to test the water..........COLD.
George - Happy to sit on the side or cling to me.  Not water confident yet but it is something we will work on over summer.

Very happy to be joining in with Jodi's "52 project".
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