Thursday, 30 January 2014

Eight little things

Everyday simple things can often be the best things..................

A trip to the garden centre for pretty plants to fill empty pots.  Courgettes for the vegetable garden and basil, coriander and parsley for a new herb garden.

Chai lattes and fluffies in town with my side kick.  Good coffee drunk while George digs around in the toy box feels like such a luxury these days......small pleasures that I will never take for granted.

Big shoes, small shoes.  Loving my Saltwater Sandals.  I also love the fact that even though Mr H hates them he still buys them for me.  He calls them my granny sandals.  Bell is also not a fan.

When we were at the beach on the weekend there was a pile of items outside one of the houses with a "FREE" sign.  We wandered over and found a box of Lego pieces.  Score!  We took the box home and I soaked and washed them all up.  Here they are drying in the sun.  Tom loves Lego after receiving his very first set at Christmas.  I looking forward to the many years to come of standing on and sucking the pieces up the hoover.

Library books.  I love everything about them, the smell, the yellowed pages.  I'm working my way through this pile and have just finished "The little Princesses", published in the 1950's by Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret's childhood Governess, Marion Crawford.  Loved it.  It caused a bit of an up roar when it was first published.  The Queen mum apparently never spoke to "Crawfie" again.

Good old fashioned simple baking.  We had a bowl of very brown bananas so I made a cake and loaf.  These went down a treat.  A beautiful light crust on the outside and very moist in the middle.  Perfect with a cup of tea.

Tom's first day of school.  How did that happen?  He was so excited and loved his first day.  So happy for him, and to see his smile at the end of his first day was priceless.  And I didn't cry!

Notice anything?............Yep, George finally got a very overdue haircut.  It is a bit dodgy due to him thrashing about but it's done and he will be a lot cooler for it.  And despite the tears and screaming we got there in the end.


Why didn't I do it sooner?  Things like this are never as bad as you think they will be.  I feel like a new women after two consecutive nights of unbroken sleep!

Happy days!
Joining in with Em too.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

To op shop we go

I popped into a couple of op shops while in town last week and came away with some bargains.  I come across quite a bit of Crown Lynn and other treasures but only buy it if it is a bargain price or I really "need" it. 

Crown Lynn cup and saucer.  A bamboo print on the saucer and my favourite tulip shaped cup.  $1 for the set!

Two sweet embroidered napkins for my growing napkin stash.  Only 50cent for the pair.

A round retro basket - love the lining!  50 cents.

A patchwork sewing basket.  Perfect for odds and ends.  Only $1.

Hooray!  Two souvenir linen tea towels for $2 each.  These are both huge.  I'm thinking of including these two in the Travelling Linen Stash when it heads to Australia - it is currently somewhere in New Zealand.........
(if you are in Australia and want to add your name to the list for the Travelling Linen Stash - you are welcome to join in as it is still making it's way around the NZ list.  Just drop me an email with your address details).

Found anything great lately? Pop over and share it with Max.

Sunday, 26 January 2014


"A portrait of my children together, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Last days of the school summer holidays.  It has gone too fast.  Today was cloudy, hot and humid.  A run round at the beach first before heading home to chill and catch up on some sleep in the afternoon.

Bell - so glad she wanted to be included in this years portraits.  It will most likely be the last year she likes to be here in this space.
Tom - after almost a whole year of not wanting his photo taken, this year he is more than obliging.  Cheesy smiles all round.
George - Monkey. End of story.
Joining in with Jodi's "52 project".


Saturday, 25 January 2014

Grow your's here!


Hello! I decided to join in with Vicki's Grow Your Blog Party for 2014. There was a lot of great feedback on last years one and this year it's huge - over 500 blogs participating. So if you are on the look out for some new blogs to read pop over to Vicki's blog where you will be able to view the list of participating blogs.

If you are new here, my name is Elaina. I'm a stay at home mum to three children and along with my partner we live on the Sunny East Coast of New Zealand in a house by a vineyard.

We had the opportunity 2 years ago to try life in the country............well we love it, and plan on staying a good while yet!

I love taking photos and posting snippets about my life here in the country along with............

Our three.....Bell, Tom and George - who is always trying to escape.

You will find us in here most days.

And at the beach.......a lot.

My thumbs (and fingers) are turning green.  I love being in the garden.


I love all things Retro.  Especially Crown Lynn crockery, swans, linen and cups and saucers.  I enjoy op shopping when I get time and sharing my finds here on the blog.

I love to bake and am gaining more confidence on the cooking front in the kitchen.  I am always sharing recipes here.
I have re-kindled a passion for making things.  I'm sharing my sewing journey as a novice and loving every minute, despite the huge amounts of unpicking I seem to do.
So that's me in a nutshell, a small glimpse of what my blog and I are about.  Want to know a little  more?  Have a sticky beak at the "About me" section above.
If you are visiting from the Blog party over at 2 Bags Full, please leave a comment below and I will pop over to you for a nosey and say hi!  You are welcome to subscribe by email, Google Friends Connect, Bloglovin or Facebook if you fancy it too.
Have a great weekend!

Friday, 24 January 2014

A list

Making :  hand stitched goodies for upcoming bloggy swaps - love a deadline me!
Cooking :Brave corn.  Watermelon salad.  Lots of chicken and pasta dishes.  Love summer food.
Drinking : juice topped up with lemonade, love a bit of fizz on hot days.
Reading: "The little princesses" by Marion Crawford, former governess to Queen Elizabeth.
Wanting: just one more week of school holidays.  Not ready to give up my slow mornings just yet.
Looking: at my new sewing machine.  Can't wait to get sewing this weekend.
Playing: nursemaid - tummy bugs are doing the rounds in our house this week.
Deciding: on what to name our new residents, they haven't arrived yet....any day now.
Wishing: my sister would hurry up and book her flights - dying to see my nephew.
Enjoying: cool evenings in the garden while avoiding being hit by the latest craze - the Frisbee.
Waiting: for Mr H to get home with my well deserved bubbles!
Liking: that our favourite orchard is back open for the season - nectarines and apples galore.
Wondering: how it is possible that one small child can eat about 6 huge carrots........every day.
Loving:  our bed, and getting to sleep in it un-interrupted.  This doesn't happen very often.
Pondering: when a certain someone will start sleeping through the night.......
Considering: going on a sleeping holiday.
Watching:  great 80's movies.  Last night it was "Batteries not included".  Any favourites?
Hoping:  I won't cry next week when Tom starts school.  Going to hold it together!!!
Marvelling: at the fact I have a Teen who is about to start college.  Where does the time go?
Needing: some carpet for the room next door - would make the perfect sewing room.
Smelling: star-gazer lilies - such a beautiful scent.  Huge bouquet bought on sale at the supermarket.
Wearing: my new Turquoise Saltwater Sandals.  A Christmas pressie from Mr H - he dislikes them.
Following: the Garden Share Collective - I'm joining in next month.
Noticing: amazing growth in the garden - looking forward to some fresh produce soon.
Knowing: that everything happens for a reason.
Thinking: I'm going to be 36 next month, 36!
Feeling: content.
Admiring: fellow blogger Nicole for taking the plunge with me and signing up for sewing school.
Buying: Birthday pressies and putting them away.  February and March a crazy months for us.
Getting: organised for 5th Tom's Birthday - such a special number.  I still remember my 5th party.
Bookmarking: online recipes.  I used to bookmark clothing sites - oh how times have changed.
Opening: party invites, non of which are for me!  Do your children have a busier social life than you?
Giggling: at naughty children (behind closed doors) - if I don't I will cry!
Feeling: grateful that despite finding my camera floating in the fish tank - it is still working!

A list via Pip.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Sewing school

I had a really lovely reader (thank you Juliana) message me a link to an online sewing school course that she had done last year.  It's a 6 week beginners sewing course consisting of over 30 lessons.  Anyone, anywhere in the world can enrol.  You are taught the processes with optional bonus projects for you to complete if you wish so you can practice your new found skills.  You only need to set aside about 3 hours a week so it is manageable.

After having a good read through of all the details I've enrolled and start on the 10th of February - classes are loaded every Monday morning for the duration of the course.

I wanted to share the details with you as I know from previous comments from readers there are a lot of you out there who want to sew but are not sure how to get started or would find it difficult to get to classes due to other commitments.  And it's only AUD$79 for 6 weeks which I thought was a really good price

There are other intakes throughout the year and the courses are run by "The Haby Goddess" Jodie Maloni who is based in Australia.

I've cut and pasted the course modules below, but you can check out the Sew online website here for further details.
This is not a sponsored post - I just wanted to share this with you as I know how keen some of you are to get sewing. 
So will you join me?
Looking forward to updating you with my progress as I go!  Wish me luck!


Week 1 The Basics
Getting to know your machine
Basic Seams
Basic Stitches
Sewing Edges
Clipping Seams
Pinning you fabric

Week 2 All about Sewing Patterns
Understanding grains
Laying your pattern pieces
Basic pattern adjustments
Copying your pattern pieces
Transferring darts

Week 3 Learning the Essentials
Button Holes
Adding elastic
Adding a zip

Week 4 Add Ons
Basic pockets
Basics to adding a lining to garment
Adding interfacing pattern pieces
Everything you will ever need to know about bias (2 lessons)

Week 5 Stepping it up a notch
Adding sleeves

Week 6 Adding the finishing touches
Boxed bottoms

Bonus Charts
Fabric Types
Common sewing terms
Sewing drawer essentials
Sewing machine essentials
Different elastic types
Stabilizers Guide
Fabrics that fray

Project sheets
Drawstring Bag
Wrap Skirt
Box Bottom Bottle Bag
Cushion Cover
Zippered Pouch


Monday, 20 January 2014

Breakfast in a jar

Overnight, no-cook refrigerator oatmeal.........A delicious recipe from here - breakfast in a jar!

I have been making up jars of this delicious breakfast oatmeal, or porridge if you prefer.  It is quite similar to Bircher muesli.  The great thing about making up individual jars is that it is portable and you can make up each one to suit everyone's tastes.  And for busy mornings, it is easy to make up the night before and everyone just helps themselves in the morning.  The consistency is creamy and makes for a really filling breakfast.

My favourite is with cinnamon and honey and I added the banana this morning when serving.  Other varieties that I would like to try are:

Blueberries and maple syrup
Diced mango

Other ideas including the ones above can be found here.

For my cinnamon and honey oatmeal above I used:

1/4 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup Greek yoghurt
1 1/2 tsp Chia seeds
Cinnamon - generous pinch
Honey - about a table spoon

Place everything in the jar and shake.  Will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge.  This was a really generous serving for 1 person and if you add banana when serving it would be plenty for two people to share.  Serve into a bowl or eat from the jar!

The options of fruit, nuts and other flavours is completely up to you and your imagination.

Bell is keen to take this to school but I would make up in a plastic container for safety rather than using glass jars.  Enjoy!

Sunday, 19 January 2014


"A portrait of my children together, once a week, every week, in 2014."

In the chicken coop, under the shade of a peach tree...........excitement is growing as we have some new residents arriving soon.

Joining in with Jodi's "52 project".

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