Monday, 30 June 2014

Sunday lunch

It was one of those weekends where I went to bed Sunday night feeling tired, that good kind of tired where you feel full of all the good things in life.

Sunday Mr H and I spent the morning preparing and cooking in the kitchen.  I had invited my brother and his family for a Sunday lunch and it was just the best day.

Mr H cooked a beautiful rolled roast beef with gravy.  I made up my first ever batch of mulled wine, and Yorkshire puddings.  The Yorkshire pudds went down a treat with the kids, they loved them.  We used good old fashioned dripping as well for the beef and Yorkshire puddings.

I cooked the vegetables to go with the roast and it was all devoured by a very appreciative audience.  After lunch we took a walk up the road to visit the baby calves and then walked over a nearby field to make our way back home through the vineyard.

We had all worked up an appetite for dessert by the time we returned from our walk.  Em had made Donna Hay's Chocolate Fudge Cake (topped with slithered, chocolate mandarin peel), so very decadent.  The kids scraped clean the bowl containing orange jelly (one layer whipped) with mandarins and marshmallows...............stuffed.

So that was our Sunday, and our long lazy lunch.  We will definitely be repeating this day again, very very soon.

Sunday, 29 June 2014



"Portraits of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Hard to believe it's winter looking at these photos.  It has been unseasonably sunny and warm, but we're not complaining.  Makes for a perfect chance for an afternoon walk and exploration in the neighbouring fields.

Joining in with Jodi's "52 project".


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Vintage tableware


My heart was all a flutter when I saw these.  The original cup was cracked but I had the exact same one in my stack of "reserves".  Made by Crown Lynn under their sister company Kelston Ceramics in the 1960's here in New Zealand.

I love Crown Lynn and have a few designs that I collect and keep an eye out for.  I haven't come across this one before although this pattern would have been a middle of the road "everyday" pattern in the 1960's. 

I could imagine a complete set of this laid out on top of a Formica table top ready to serve up a simple dinner, a filling homemade pudding followed by strongly brewed tea.

Found anything "heart fluttering" lately?
It used to be shoes and handbags for me, now it's Crown Lynn times have changed.

Monday, 23 June 2014





Just loved our weekend.  Tom scored his first Try at Rugby, there was minimal squabbling the only real hiccup being the button someone shoved up their nose!  And after complaints from Bell Saturday morning that she was bored after telling her she needed to do something other than play on her phone, I was on a mission to make her weekend phone free and fun!  She loves craft so I set up the table with paints, mini canvases, buttons, washi tape, a necklace making kit and anything else I could get my hands on.  She loved it and crafted all day.......mission complete.

Let's not forget the Looming too.  I actually thought this had been and gone in our town and had simply bi-passed our house.  But no, after having Bell talk about it all week we did a quick dash into town to pick up the necessary supplies (yay a cheap hobby) and this kept her occupied (and off her phone) for the rest of the weekend.  I've since been on line and ordered her a huge Looming kit with all the Bell's and whistles.  With school holidays approaching this new hobby/distraction could be great timing.

Over the weekend:
Home time - hanging at home over the weekend is under-rated I think.
A roaring fire.
Homemade vegetable soup with a bacon hock for dinner.
Date and cinnamon scones.
Mr H's English breakfasts on a Sunday morning.
Washing conquered.
Windows and window sills washed.
Vegetable garden weeded and dug over ready for new plantings.
Winter sun.
Blue skies.
Mud pies and outdoor kitchen/café play.
Books, trains and Lego.
Tea, tea and more tea.

I would have loved more sleep but heck you can't have everything.  Here's to a good week ahead and another weekend to look forward too.

Sunday, 22 June 2014


"Portraits of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Tom - scoured his first Try at Rugby this weekend - right between the posts.  It has been the talk of the weekend around here.
George - doing his daily strawberry patch rounds........

Joining in with Jodi's "52 project".

Friday, 20 June 2014

So.....why do I blog?

There is a bit of a Blog Hop happening at the moment in blog land where you are nominated and asked a few questions about "the why's" of why we write.  Fellow blogger Carla from My Yellow Heart has nominated me sooooo here I go.

I published my first post in September 2012.......nearly 2 years ago.  I had registered my blogger name in March of that year when we first moved to the country.  But it took a good few months before I struck up the courage (and it really does feel like that) to write something and push the publish button........gulp.

A few months before we moved from the suburbs my very good friend mentioned that she had a blog.  At the time I didn't know what that was, so I started reading her beautiful space, Lover of Vintage, and then slowly came across others that I loved like Ivy Nest and Bungalow Bliss - and became hooked on reading them.  We don't watch TV so it became my night time thing.  Settle down from the busy-ness of the day with a cup of tea and sink into blog land.

Blogging has become my little thing, I love it and for me it has been a really good way of recording the things I love like baking, gardening and collecting retro treasures and our family life.  One of the best things has been the photography.  Up until I started blogging I have never been a photo taker.  We lived in the UK for 5 years and I only have a handful of photos to show for it, shameful!  I take part in the weekly portrait project and although I have stopped including Bell, I have a wonderful collection of weekly photos recording my growing boys.

When I first started blogging, I read lots of other blogs, commented often and had regular giveaways.  There has been a shift in that this year for me.  I have only done one giveaway this year (for a clever friend) and due to the demands of a growing family I don't comment as often as I feel I should.  I read all of the comments on my blog but don't have the time (I set my self "internet usage limits") to reply to everyone unless there is a specific question. I don't know how people feel about this but it is something I know is often discussed elsewhere.

Before I ramble on too much, here are the blog hop questions?

What am I working on?

I'm not writing any great novel or anything amazing like that, my writing is here.  I know some people question whether they would have anything to write about but ideas and topics are everywhere.  Baked a it.  Been for a beautiful walk and taken amazing it.  Found a fantastic op shopped it.  See easy!

How Does My Writing Differ From Others In My Genre?

To be honest I don't think it does.  My writing isn't fancy or fanciful.  I write like I'm talking to a friend.  Simple.

Why Do I Write What I Do?

Recording life and memories.  Up until a couple of weeks ago I was a fulltime Stay at Home Mum - something I have always wanted to do, and something I felt was really important.  On days when I think "am I doing a good job" I just look here at my blog and think yes, I'm doing it my way and it's working for me and my family.  I only work 3 mornings a week while my children are at kindy/school - so I still get to do the drop off/pick up and do the things I love and keep everything running smoothly at home.  My days feel full now, and it feels really good.

I am aware of how I portray my life here.  Like everyone I have my good and bad days.  I don't like to write anything negative about my children as one day they may read it.  And any parent knows that like us, kids have their good and bad days and it's their story to tell not mine.  The same with Bell, I show her anything that she is included in and she can say yes or no to me including her.  She isn't on here as much anymore and that is her choice. I know there is a lot of discussion on children being on "mummy blogs" - I'm careful what I post.  Unfortunately due to the revolting side of the Internet there are sites where the so called "public" can go to view certain material - I don't think they will be getting their fixes on these types of blogs.

How Does My Writing Process Work?

I'm a night owl, so that's when I tend to do most of my writing.  When I think of a post I save the title in a draft format and come back to it later with words and photos.  And because I like things annoyingly organised I keep posts in the order I think I will publish them in.

So, there you go.  That's me in a nutshell.  I am so thankful for falling into blog land.  I have "met" some of the most amazing like minded souls through my blog.  Wonderful ladies who I wished lived just over the fence.  Blogging has encouraged me in all sorts of ways and prompted me further to bake, cook, garden, sew and try new things that I have found via other bogs.  There is just so much (I haven't ventured onto pinterest yet) inspiration out there!

If you have reached the end of this very long post, go and make yourself another hot cuppa as your one is probably cold by now and visit these three lovelies (and yes I do say "lovely" a lot) who I nominate.  No pressure to post anything ladies just happy to nominate you.


TGIF - so thankful it is the weekend.  It has been my second week as a "working women" and my brain hurts.  I'm looking forward to digging in my garden this weekend and mucking about in the kitchen.  I have Monday off, so will leave the cleaning of the house till then!
Do you blog and why?
Curious..........why do you visit here?
Elaina xo 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

In the post box

This is most definitely the year of the swap!  I'm loving joining in with all the different swaps that are about and my latest one was a stationery swap organised by Lisa over at Sprouting Creative Wings

Not a lot comes by post these days, I tend to have my bills sent via email, so to wander out and find a package addressed to me is always a welcome treat.

My swap partner was Kimberley from Creative Chaos who I know well.  We have been swap partners before so it was easy to put something together for her.

My swap parcel from Kimberley included lots of lovely Cath Kidston items that I love - note cards, paper, writing set and a jam jar label kit that will come in handy.  I love the journal and other bits (yay for washi tape) included in my parcel.  Thank you Kimberley for once again being so very generous with your gifts xo

When putting together Kimberley's swap parcel I went for lots of bright colours.  She is studying at the moment and with winter here too I thought it would be a cheerful pick me up.  Below is what I sent, journal, notepads, doily stamp set, washi tape, pen and a selection of Isla and Olive cards.

I have this colour swap to package up and send out next.  I have loved collecting for this one and I'm aiming to get it sent out on time!
Thank you Lisa for organising such a great swap!


Sunday, 15 June 2014


"Portraits of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Tom - he has always looked after his treasures with such care.  His bike is no exception.  After biking around in the mud, a bucket of warm soapy water was needed for cleaning the dirt away.
George - practicing his smile for the camera.

Joining in with Jodi's "52 project".


Friday, 13 June 2014

The start of an outdoor kitchen

Last weekend we made a start on the boys outdoor kitchen.  I had been hunting around for something to start the kitchen off with when Mr H came home with a kitchen bench that my brother had given him. My brother is currently renovating a very old house, so his (timely) ripping out of the kitchen came in handy and it is always nice to recycle something old.

It has a small native rimu wooden bench and the rest is all stainless steal work top - so it should withstand the seasonal weather well.  It almost became a fish filleting station for Mr H but after much twisting of arms and a few mild threats, he came round to the idea that a kitchen for the boys would be a great idea.

I chose a shady spot in the garden that is also in close range for the boys to scoop up mud and leaves for pie making.  We have had rain all week so this weekend we are hoping the weather clears a little so we can finish off the backboard, add shelving to house all the op-shopped kitchenware I have collected and add a little paint.

I can see hours of fun to be had here.

And it's the start of the weekend here so I hope your weekend is a good one!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Some news.....

On Monday I started my new part time job.  I know, I can't believe it either!  I love being a stay at home mum, but with all three off at school and kindy 5 days a week now I was looking for something to do outside of the home a few mornings a week.

I've been keeping an eye out online and in the local papers for something "family friendly".  And had come to the conclusion that jobs like that are few and far between, but I got lucky last week.

There was a job advertised in Tom's school newsletter letter by a local couple who own two businesses in town and needed someone to help run the office and tackle the growing piles of admin a few mornings a week - flexible days/hours to fit around family.  Perfect!

I applied and got the job.  A lot of it is training based which is what I was doing in London.  At the moment it is only 12 hours a week so I can work while George is at morning kindy.  If the boys aren't well I don't have to come in.  They have 3 boys themselves so are really happy for me to work around family commitments.

My first few days have been great - and I still get to pick the boys up and do the things I like doing, I've even managed to get some baking done this week, dig about in the garden and keep on top of my housework (for now?!).  I just need to make sure I'm organised, so I don't spend my days off, catching up.

It's very early days but I'm enjoying it.  Not to mention the extra income will be great.  I decided a couple of months ago that I wasn't going to compromise my time with the kids and doing the things that I love.  So that meant it had to be something where the hours suited, and it was not a juggle.

So that's me and my news for the week.  I must admit it does feel strange, I have been at home for the last 6 years, so it's a big change for me.

So wish me luck that I don't balls anything up!

Are you working?  Full/part-time?
Do you enjoy it or is it a struggle/juggle?

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