Monday, July 13, 2015

Weekly 10

Let's see how I went with my last list...
Productivity:
1.  Have a movie day next week when the weather is yuck (yes this is productive!)
2.  Sell the culled bits and pieces in the garage
3. Post it note some more of my cookbooks
4. Make two of the dishes for the 5 course gourmet meal

For the family:
5. Book in an area with Cornwall park for Leah's birthday
6. Take Leah to the movies to see inside out
Planned for this Friday!


Work and stuff...:
7. Make trial run of cupcakes for Nicola's 30th and take them to work for awesome homework kids.

Just for me:
8. Practise making curls using the hot iron
9. Have a great time and take lots of photos on our little trip to Rotorua - without the girls :D
10. Read!


Can't complain really. I need to get my A into G with this hair stuff of mine. Hmmmm. This week!

Productivity:
1.  Christmas shopping list.
2.  Make a budget that makes saving a priority.
3. Get baby books up to date - shutterfly ones and physical ones.

For the family:
4. Day out to the movies and mini golf with Dadda and Leah.
5.  Enjoy spending time with our cousins at Savannah's 1st birthday

Work and stuff...:
6. Make maths games resource bundle.
7. Go to secret squirrel interview.

Just for me:
8. Conquer at least 20000 steps EVERY day.
9. Practise making curls using the hot iron
10. Read!

Monday, July 6, 2015

A weekend away

And what a weekend! We had such a great time. I'm so happy to be able to do this...
...but the weekend was about so much more than just the caves, as cool and amazing as they were.

When looking into booking the caves I came across what is called the 'Middle Earth Trilogy Tour'. Considering the price for the caves we wanted to see alone was going to cost half of the whole trilogy tour, we decided to go for all three. We were SO glad we did. Before I go into my photos and how much I loved each place, let me just say, NZ does tourism RIGHT. It was so slick, so well done and all of the people we dealt with were amazing. I can't recommend it enough.

First stop...Waitomo Caves. The reason for the trip! In the eyes of the 30 before 30 anyway. We saw two caves - the Ruakuri and the Glow worm cave. Both limestone caves with stunning scenes in all directions.


The Ruakuri cave starts off with this sweet spiral entrance and then you're hit with some serious stalactite and stalagmite action. I found the caves really magical. It's like you've stepped into a completely different world. I'm a big fan of 'The clan of the cavebear' series and I often found myself thinking of it during the tour.







I'm in the middle of compiling my 40 before 40 list and will definitely be putting the Black Water Rafting experiences that are offered at the caves on that list. I was so enchanted by the place that I have to take everything they have to offer!

We also went into the glow worm caves, but you're not able to take photos in there. FYI you also see a few glow worms in the Rua Kuri cave with their icky little strands of fishing line spit. Amazing little creatures they are with their glowing poo.

Our second stop was Te Puia. Which has both a gigantic geothermal park as well as some cranking night life in the way of Maori performers. We attended 'Te Po' which is their 4 and a half hour night experience. Amaze balls. We spent an hour and a half looking at the geothermal doo dads and went into see their pepe kiwis in the kiwi house.

The cool part of Te Puia is that it's also a working Maori arts school so at the end of the tour we were able to go and have a look at their carving and weaving. For people like us who come from New Zealand it's really nothing new, but I'm sure for people over from other parts of the world, this sort of thing is really exciting to see. As is the Maori performance. Our group of 60 or so was 'welcomed' onto the marae by a group of performers and they were awesome. I wish I was more forward when taking photos because these aren't great, but to tell the truth. I was captivated by it and didn't want to watch the whole thing through my lens - which I have a tendency to do!




My husband will tell you that the best part of the trip was the dinner that Te Puia put on for us as part of the tour... and he's basically right. It's incredible. I was just expecting to get some hangi in a tin foil package, but oh no. Hangi cooked root veges and meat (lamb, chicken and pork), seafood, soups, yummy steamed pudding and pavlova desert. It was great! Just what we needed on a cold night. Nom!

Our last stop was Hobbiton.
 Was a cute wee place this was. I'm sure it would be even more spectacular if you were a huge fan (turns out neither of us are). Nevertheless is was a great tour.












Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Weekly 10 - About time!

I thought it was time to have a look at these again - I really need to decide on a day of the week, or find a new name at least! lol. Either way I feel like I've been productive, which is what it's all about.

Let's see how I've gone...
Productivity:
1.  Organise 5 stack drawers in spare room
2.  Cull books and organise book shelf
3. Post it note some more of my cookbooks
I'd still like to do more, perhaps finish my collection, because my goal is to use the recipes out of the ones I've noted and then potentially get rid of them. I have an abundance!
4. Make two of the dishes for the 5 course gourmet meal
Nope... boo. My family have decided to do an MKR style challenge and our time will be in November. Because of this I will be changing my 30 before 30 goal to accommodate. I'm excited. Perhaps I'll try one in the next week while I'm off on holiday - YAY HOLIDAY!

For the family:
5. Have a lovely lunch with Aunty Sheryl and Glenice
6. Shopping list for Willow's birthday
7. Take Leah to the library

Just for me:
8. Practise making curls using the hot iron
9. Get all the teaching resources that are ready up on iKandy
10.Go to bed early and read 'Cross stitch'

Not too bad considering. I really need to make time to sort out the hair stuff for myself. I've been quite good with Leah but rubbish with stuff for me. I've also been really bad at going to sleep early - shock horror. Pretty good at sleeping on the couch though! Bloody MKR. I haven't read much either, but when I do I'm enjoying the book.

Onwards and upwards....
Productivity:
1.  Have a movie day next week when the weather is yuck (yes this is productive!)
2.  Sell the culled bits and pieces in the garage
3. Post it note some more of my cookbooks
4. Make two of the dishes for the 5 course gourmet meal

For the family:
5. Book in an area with Cornwall park for Leah's birthday
6. Take Leah to the movies to see inside out


Work and stuff...:
7. Make trial run of cupcakes for Nicola's 30th and take them to work for awesome homework kids.

Just for me:
8. Practise making curls using the hot iron
9. Have a great time and take lots of photos on our little trip to Rotorua - without the girls :D
10. Read!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tasty Tuesday

It's been a great few weeks for Mr. Man. He's enjoyed all the new dinners I've made. He gave a huge thumbs up to this Lemon Butter Chicken on Sunday.

This Meatball Parmigiana was huge and is probably going to last us 2-3 nights! It's such a good idea to mix the mince meats, yummy extra flavour.

The addition of ranch sauce in these Bacon and Chicken ranch quesadillas was yuumo

I saw a photo of this last Friday afternoon while absent mindedly scrolling through things. I HAD to make it, and it was delicious. Apple Dumplings Cobbler, mmmmm.

A tasty and simple dinner in Caprese Chicken, was had this weekend.

This got the big tick from my old Aunties that came visiting. One even had to call me the night after their visit to get it as her husband liked what she took home so much! SOOOOO easy to make too!
No-Bowl Slice
Makes about 18

90g butter, melted
1 cup (100g) plain sweet biscuit crumbs
1 1/2 cups(285g) dark choc drops
1 cup (70g) shredded coconut
1 cup (140g) crushed mixed nuts
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease 23cm square slab pan; line base with baking paper.

Pour butter into the prepared pan, sprinkle evenly with biscuit crumbs, choc drops, coconut and nuts. Drizzle with condensed milk.

Bake in oven for about 30 minutes. Cool in pan before cutting into pieces.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Weekly 10

Much closer to a week this time! Lol I giggle each time I do it. If it wasn't called 'weekly 10' and simply something about being productive it'd be fine, but I love the irony behind the 'week' label.
I've been quite down this last week, lots of things that have been bubbling away have hit the fan. I feel like I'm coming out the other end now, but it ebbs and flows. I tell you think because I think it's important to highlight that even though I've been feeling rubbish, and not wanting to do anything, I have...and you know what? I feel better for it. No matter how crap you're feeling it's good to put your mind to something that's going to make you feel good. Ah, warm fuzzies.


Productivity:
1.  Post-it note my new cookbooks so I can use them without it being a chore.
2.  Do a 52 lists
3. Make some biscuits for Jake
Look at this happy boy! Recipe to be in a blog post coming your way shortly.




4. Do a restaurant blog post.
Not only have I done a restaurant blog... I've done heaps this week.
Restaurant update
30 before 30 - cocktails
My brush with the Backstreet Boys and...
Taking stock

For the family:
5. Invitations for Leah's birthday & food list.
6. Shopping list for Willow's birthday.
I haven't done this yet... Will get on to it this week.
7. Have a special outing for us all.
This didn't happen either. Although we had a lovely weekend together, we stayed home in the warm.

Just for me:
8. Send email about tattoo.
9. Have a relaxing bath.
10. Keep working on secret squirrel, special projects.


So all in all not to shabby really. Super happy with my blogging efforts. Well done me! For this week...

Productivity:
1.  Organise 5 stack drawers in spare room
2.  Cull books and organise book shelf
3. Post it note some more of my cookbooks
4. Make two of the dishes for the 5 course gourmet meal

For the family:
5. Have a lovely lunch with Aunty Sheryl and Glenice
6. Shopping list for Willow's birthday
7. Take Leah to the library

Just for me:
8. Practise making curls using the hot iron
9. Get all the teaching resources that are ready up on iKandy
10.Go to bed early and read 'Cross stitch'

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Taking Stock

I got this cool little idea from 'All in a daze' and I see she was joining in with 'Meet me at Mike's' to take stock. I really liked this as a once a month or once a fortnight kinda idea. A great mini-journalling exercise. It might even take over 'Things I'm loving', because try as I might, I can't rekindle my fire for that.

I'm home today with a sick bubba. I've also been sick myself on and off - more on than off though, mostly, I think, because I just won't stop. It's hard to slow down when it's not your nature. Battling along with a bit of a cold seems OK until it just won't go away. Rest, lots of fluids and lots of cuddles is the only thing for it. Couple that with not feeling so crash hot mentally and emotionally at the moment for a variety of reasons and I have somewhat of a shit storm!

These are the last 5 photos taken on my phone, thought that'd be a good way to start...

Making : An attempt at getting my blogging mojo back on point.
Cooking : Nothing tonight - origin night and I have no husband.
Drinking : Lots and lots of water to flush this cold out.
Reading: 'Cross stitch' Diana Gabaldon
Wanting: The next 2 1/2 weeks to pass very quickly and then the following 2 very slowly.
Looking: Forward to our trip away to Rotorua.
Playing:'The game'
Deciding:Whether to go to work tomorrow or be a good mumma for a borderline sick bubba.
Wishing: The perfect job would pop up.
Enjoying: Spending time with my smallest friend today.
Waiting:For the storm to pass.
Liking: This sunshine on a cold winter's day.
Wondering:How long Willow will nap for this time...
Loving: The stage Leah is at right now, such a cool age of learning and wonder.
Pondering:What's up next for me...
Considering: A major change.
Buying: Lots of things for birthday parties just around the corner.
Watching: Dr Phil, lol background noise.
Hoping:Willow does have a good long nap this time, she's knackered.

Marvelling:At how happy wee people are when they're sick - I feel like rubbish!
Cringing: At my own downfalls.
Needing: A huge pick-me-up.
Questioning: The sincerity of others.
Smelling: Mango body lotion.
Wearing: My Bunnies jersey, Glory glory.
Following: Bowl full of Lemons Book Club
Noticing: A lot of negative stuff - need to make a point of looking for positives.
Knowing: 'This too shall pass'.
Thinking: This passing shit is taking too long.
Admiring: A husband that always knows how to make me feel better, even if he doesn't realise it.
Sorting: Out my spare room - decluttering, again!
Getting: Sleepy this afternoon.
Bookmarking: oh no, pinning, always pinning.
Coveting: My old self's confidence.
Disliking: Feeling like I'm at the bottom of the pit.
Opening:a package from the mail man, hopefully....hopefully...
Giggling: At Leah's great questions and her, 'What you say mumma?'
Feeling: Tired.
Snacking:Oooo, no thank you, full from breakfast.
Helping: yourself is truly one of the hardest things to do.
Hearing: The sky moving outside.. rain soon?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tasty Tuesday


It's winter and all I want to do is EAT! Comfort food central at the moment at my house. Sauces, gravies, hot things, puddings... naughty eating if you ask me, but so worth it. Nom!

I gave this 'Cookie in a mug' thing a go. I used to make a lot of puddings in a cup - vanilla ones with jam at the bottom when I was a kid. It was my favourite recipe in my 'Edmonds Kids Cook Book'! The ones that I keep seeing popping up all over the internet just seemed so much more elegant though. So I gave one I try. It may have been my skills, but I didn't particularly like it. Luckily it hasn't put this sweet tooth off, and I'll try some more over the winter I'm sure.

I found these Skinny Sour Cream enchiladas absolutely delicious. I don't think there was anything particularly skinny about them but the calorie count on them is lower than your average so I was super satisfied and super happy.

Mr Man was quite upset that I'd used his fancy rum for this Roasted pineapple rum chicken, until he tasted it that is. This was super yummy, if not a teeny weeny bit sweet. It was definitely a nice saucy number to lap up with some dinner rolls. Scrumptious.

And on par with that was this Roasted Mustard Chicken. Nom.

The mince in this taco lettuce wrap recipe was super taste - another thumbs up from Mr. Man! 

This is Pulled Pork currently in the slow cooker getting itself all nice and yummy for tonight. There's no way this is going to be gross. So excited. Gotta love the smell of dinner cooking when you get home from work.

Have a lovely week everyone.