Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Dinners

I love Sundays!
Sundays are all about doing the things we love to do
whether it's digging in a new garden or like today, helping Mike erect the walls of our garage!

But the best part about it, is knowing that as the evening draws nearer, there's a roast dinner waiting at Mums.

 Its part of a family tradition that I grew up with, eating around the table with my Uncles and their families, and occasionally, visiting family from overseas.
But as the family moved away.....across the ocean and throughout New Zealand, this family tradition became a thing of the past.

So when my mum suggested that she could move up here to be closer to us, I was overjoyed at the idea! It would mean my children would finally have their Nana down the road, just like I had. 

Being rural she isn't within walking distance.  But still nearby enough to be always be on hand. Which is something that has been a bit of a novelty this past year!

Yesterday it was so lovely hearing my son on the phone to his Nana, asking if he and his brother could stay the is something that was just not a reality when we lived 6 hours away.

 And dropping in for a coffee and chat at Mums when I just feel like it, or dropping off Lil Miss for a couple of hours when I need to go places child free, is wonderful!

But being able to pick up a family tradition that had been lost for so many years is something I treasure....and I'm sure my Nana would be stoked about it too!

Is there a family tradition that you have or would like to rekindle?
I'd love to hear :) 

Also linking in with Miriam at B.M.W.B :)

Create Hope Inspire

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Blessing Deb - Auction Call out!

So its been just three days since we spread the word of Blessing Deb with her dream machine,
and already we have raised the total of  $722!

Isn't that AMAZING!! We have been totally blown away by all your generosity......and that's almost a third of our goal!

But we've been thinking, we would love to run an auction to enable us to get even closer to our target of $3000!

What do you think?  
Do you have something you could offer as part of a package? 
Maybe its a service?
or goods? or even some kind of handmade loveliness!

We would love you to get in touch with us, which you can do via Facebook or please leave a comment ( just make sure you email is connected to your blog so I can reply or please leave it in the comments ) 

And lets get this ball rolling! Share/ Twitter/ Instagram
please spread the word!   
I know we can make it happen :)

A Handmade Birthday

A couple of weeks ago my lil girl turned 4, which I'm still finding  hard to believe!

Like all her birthdays before, her present was handmade by me.
This year I made a point of finally knitting Daisy the bunny.
The pattern was purchased, well before she was born, with the plan to make it back then.

Made using a gorgeous soft angora yarn, which I can't remember the name of

It was touch and go that I would actually finish her in time for her birthday, because for some silly reason, that week, I thought her birthday was a day after her actual Birthday! for a while there I was prematurely confident that I would be finished in time. 

This little bunny should have had knitted shoes, lace cuffs on her socks, knitted bloomers and a knitted dress.....but with time a ticking, I had to improvise.

So that's where the tutu came about.....
made from bits and pieces in my stash.  Which was a happy accident that all worked out.....although it wasn't without staying up into the early wee hours.

And then as luck would have it the Traveling Stash Box arrived, in it  was some extra sparkly blue tulle in there, and just enough to make a tutu for  my Lil miss.....the perfect accompaniment
present for the bunny

I made it ankle length, because she really loves wearing long skirts and I reckon it will last longer too!

Joining in with Leonie and Show and Tell

Who by the way sent me this sweet package for my birthday a couple of weeks ago.....isn't she lovely? I'm so happy I have own some hoop bunting! :) 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Blessing Deb

Can I let you in on a secret?

There's a very special lady who, even though she is a busy mum, a loving wife and is currently back at school, she consistently spends her time and energy blessing others.

You may already read Debs blog, Works in Progress.
But if you haven't visited before, trust me you won't be disappointed.

You'll find a beautifully written posts, full of wisdom and life's observations, as well as gorgeous quilts to drool over!

 Speaking of quilts, Deb is very generous and has been known to surprise people who are in need of a big hug by gifting them one of her beautifully made quilts.

Giving quilt hugs, that are loving and warm and provide a sense that these people are not alone in dark times.

You can read about some of those special stories here, here, here and here, only to name a few.

But the kicker is that after cutting, pinning and sewing these quilt tops together, Deb pays out of her own pocket for them to be professionally quilted. Her trusty Bernina, just isn't up to the job!
After a secret fact finding mission was completed, we found out that what Deb really would love is a Juki! 

 Deb has been heard to describe it as "a magic machine" one which means that she could make more quilts. Which is a good thing- RIGHT?! 

And this is where we want YOU to get involved....

We think that since Deb has blessed so many, it's about time that the giver is blessed back!

Our goal is to raise $3000 to buy Deb her dream machine! Then she'll be able to continue to give to others without breaking the bank! 

We've set up a Facebook page to keep you up to date with how far we're getting towards our goal, and if you're keen to help, we'd appreciate if you donated whatever you can spare into the following account.

03 1592 0638896 00 Westpac 
 T Aldridge & J Van der Heijden 

For overseas people who want to deposit, we have set up a Paypal option....which is

Please spread the word!
 and grab the following badge
Blessing Deb

Your Choice...Twitter....Instagram ( #BlessingDebnz ), and Facebook!

And remember even the smallest contribution counts!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Slugs meet their Doom

After having a laugh last night at the comment Leonie left me at how her hubby wasn't impressed at the idea of having ducks to solve her slug problem :))....I promised I would share with her our slug trap that Mike makes up for attracting and sending those slimy critters to their doom!

The only thing you need is a milk bottle or similar, a sharp knife to cut it and some dregs of your hubby's beer.....hopefully he's obliging!

 As you can see the cabbages were getting for the spring onions that was the lambs taste testing!

Simply cut a little window two thirds of the way down and leave the flap as shown, fill with beer or if you don't have that you can make your own yeast solution, though we found it took a day before it was effective.  Dig it in a bit to anchor it and voila! once the beers in there you'll be attracting slugs near and far to fall into a drunken oblivion.  And in our house we always have an abundance of milk bottles, so everytime one is emptied it's pretty effortless to make another slug trap for the garden.

And I really mean this!  
Empty regulary or beware next time you empty it.

 If you do forget I strongly recommend doing so, at the end of the garden.....down wind.... and holding your breath RUN!!
Stale beer and dead slugs make for a wicked stench.

But saying that, it's really effective :)
Also another one is sprinkling used coffee grounds around your worst effected plants, the caffiene is a natural deterent to slugs.  
Mum gets ours from a local cafe, but if you already have quite acidic soil use it sparingly as it does make it more acidic if you use it to it may be best to save it for protecting your young seedlings.

But since we're on the subject of gardening and recycling I thought I'd show you our climbing bean and pea tunnel.......actually to be honest any excuse would have sufficed!

Mike had a whole sheet and a half of reinforcing mesh and some rebar left over from the concrete pad we just did, and came up with this tunnel for me.  
I'm super happy with it and I'm looking forward to seeing how this is going to look at the height of summer!  I've underplanted with some Calendula's aswell, so it should look lovely.....oooooh an edible tunnel!  Doesn't take much to excite me these days!
Now I just need to get Mike to hang the gate and fix the fence posts and it will look a treat.

Oh and tonight the boys and I tried artichokes for the first time.
 Mike ( my ex chef ) topped and tailed and boiled them in lemon juice and water, and served them with garlic butter! Yum all around!
Which is good because their are a heap of flower buds on these plants....and I've planted them everywhere


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Our newest members!

One thing in our garden that we have to get used to again, is the abundance of snails and slugs!

And they grow big up here

As Bill Mollison ( co founder of permaculture ) says, and Mike loves to quote
"You don't have a slug have a duck deficiency!"

Enter my new best buddies

Five Indian Runner ducklings, picked up locally this morning
......they're the best slug and snail devourers of the duck family, and they live for all the tasty slimy treats they can they don't like their greens and have no claws for scratching! Oh and there's the eggs too!!

They're still a week away yet before I can introduce them to our local delicasies.  But that won't stop me dreaming of the day they will join me in the garden, helping me get rid of all those nasties!

 Although with them positioned by my bed tonight, with a light on for some warmth, I wonder how much dreaming I'll actually be doing!

Anyone what to have a bet of how many nights I'll last before I relocate them??

Friday, September 13, 2013


Although its been quiet on this little blog of mine, life hasn't been.

In amongst a heap of health appointments to drive to and from.
We've gained 5 more lambs to join Buddy.

We have a total of three from our own flock of Arapawa's now, with two that we were lucky enough to witness their arrival on our little farm...very nail biting and exciting to watch

The day after giving Buddy back to his mum, ( for a second chance of mothering ), we got a call from the school saying the boys had registered their interest for some pet lambs for pet show day.

So being good parents 
( and quite possibly ones that were having a lapse of judgement that day!)
we said yes, and that afternoon we gained three little lambs to feed five times a day! 

Introducing Junior

 Dynamo.....named after my boys favourite magician

And Cloudy

 They're thankfully down to two feeds now, and are in the paddock with the rest of our flock

 It's been quite a responsibility for the boys and a steep learning curve...but there's also satisfying moments like this.

And also we've celebrated a couple of birthdays, my own and my little girls, who is now it me or do the years go really quick once your first starts school?

 A little present from our neighbours little boy

I had a go at cake decorating

 Attempts like these, remind me why I don't do this every year
......I start off happy, which then turns to frustration, and then tears....where I end up calling it a day.....and tell every child around me I will not be doing this again!.....then you just need to give me another 5 years before I'll guarantee I'll start the cycle all over again!
But although cake decorating may not be my thing! 
Apparently I can use a concrete trowel!  As I learned on Monday.... when Mike decided to single handedly lay our garage pad himself! 
Not a easy feat I can tell you!!  I thought for a while he was going to have a heart attack!.....but thankfully he had some very willing concrete drivers to muck in and me with my trusty trowel!

So as you can see we've been pretty busy around here....and this weekend will be no different with lots of new things to keep us busy.....that and if the weather and my back permits....I'll be back in my garden again

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