Saturday, 30 June 2012


Our view this morning from a home stay above havelock in the Marlborough sounds. Beautiful but freezing!!!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Road tripping

While the holiday continues so does the knitting practice. Despite 3 attempts at the ribbing it still wasn't quite right but I decided to accept it as a beginners flaw and keep going. So now I'm in the body of the work and it feels like its starting to flow more smoothly. The size is looking a little on the large size though and I have a funny loop at one end I can't work out. But with more days break ahead of me I'll be able to get in more practice and maybe some wine. Hmmm definately wine.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012


As our trip through the south island continues there has been
- beautiful weather
-snuggly sleepy babies
-sick babies
- good food
- crafts shops
- a trip to the world of wearable arts museum.
- lots and giggles and chats with friends
See you all in a few days with some photos from along the way.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Sewing and packing

With our holiday coming up i set about sewing a few things to make my little man more comfortable on our trip. The first thing i needed was a lining for my stroller. This is a pretty good stroller, but you can see the metal bars on each side of the seat. It's a poor design because, as sleepy babies do, when he lays his head to the side it ends up resting on the bar. Not very comfortable looking i can tell you.

So i set about making a padded inner to support his head.

I had these old cushions i had taken off the highchair and i just loved those adorable little owls so decided to recycle them into head pillows.

Luckily i had some owl fabric left over from the pillows so i whipped up 
an inner and reused the pillows for the sides.

A few slots for straps and some cute little fabric ties and a snuggly little pillow inner was done. My little man seemed to appreciate it and sat there cooing at the owls on the first trip out. 

Another wool sleep sack completed

Still perfecting a blanket stitch but it's getting there.

So now all remains is to finish off the packing before we head away. There seems to be so much more packing to do when your going away with little one's. I have a whole bag of food and snacks just to keep the little fella going, as well as blankets, toys, books, clothes, bottles.... and on it goes.

It will be exciting though and im looking forward to catching up with friends. So i may not be in blogging land for the next week unless i can find somewhere and sometime to get online.
Have a great week everyone and i'll see you on the other side.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Sexy socks

Sexy aren't they? The socks not the hairy legs. So my search for the perfect (and super cheap) socks for sock puppets came to an end today with these rather odd specimens. I don't know how these are supposed to be worn. It said socks on the packet so i can only assume they go on the feet. I think they are hilarious so i had to put them on and dance a small jig for the boy's amusement before i contemplate cutting them up for puppets.

'Now mummy i don't want to alarm you but something is on your leg.....'
His reaction, first he was perplexed by the super bright specimens, then assumed and then delighted. The socks then got dragged around the house for the next hour being chatted to. So once they have eyes and features i'm sure they will be a big hit.

Another high point of my day, cookies. Seriously you must all know by now how much i love food?
These cookies were made by a friends mother for her son's first birthday. She bought them to playcentre today and then kindly packed some into my bag before she left. You gotta love friends like that. I don't know what they are called but they are both delicious and pretty. Always a good combo, so i've asked for the recipe. Watch this space, i'll be sure to share.

Take care people and if your feeling a bit down i can recommend wearing some random looking socks around for awhile to make you smile.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Loving.... Grateful.....

My Monday night ritual to reset and start the week in a good place.


Salad boxes

Filling my fridge with pre-made salads so i can have a tasty nutritious selection for my lunch each day.


~ That when i leave my lunch at home someone has hot homemade pumpkin soup to share.
~ For an efficient heat pump keeping us warm as the temperature continues to drop.
~ For upcoming holidays
~ For hot cocoa
~ For a healthy little boy
~ For the arrival of new little bundles this week to 2 friends.
~ For a warm, dry bed.
~ Good lighting to help me see the details of my sewing.
~ Time for sewing!


Saturday, 16 June 2012


A lot of cooking, a little sewing. The potato looking stuff was our first try of our salsify and it was pretty good, although i would argue that anything fried in butter can't really be bad. Salsify is a bizarre vegetable it looks like a parsnip but is supposed to taste like an oyster. I've never had an oyster so can't comment on that but the other half says he gets the oyster flavour. Thats the great thing about growing your own veges you can always try a few weird things out. Well there is more sewing in the works and i am currently surrounded by a mass of threads and fabric scraps. A total mess, but a happy one.

Have a great weekend. xxx

This moment with Soulemama

. . . . . . . .
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


Thursday, 14 June 2012

Ginger kisses

Tonight is the final of a NZ show called Chelsea hottest home baker. Week after week we have been watching decadent baked treats being churned out. Watching it just makes me salivate and gives me the itch to bake something. So almost every Thursday night i find myself in the kitchen whipping up something delicious to share with family and friends. Tonight i decided to make an old favourite from my childhood, ginger kisses.

 Creaming together butter and sugar

 Add in dry ingredients

 Small spoonfuls on the tray

 Deliciously baked biscuits

Sandwiched together with butter cream.

These are yummy biscuits with a soft, slightly chewy texture but nowhere near gingery enough for me. They are more like a nice filled biscuit than a ginger. Next time i make this i will be adding a lot more ginger, but it was a good start.

Ginger kisses

125g butter
1/2C sugar
1 egg
1t golden syrup
1/2 t ginger ( next time i will add 2 t )
1C flour
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t baking powder
1/2t baking soda dissolved in 1 t hot water

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and golden syrup, mix well. Then add in dry ingredients and stir.
Take small spoonfuls of the mixture, roll into balls and place on tray well spaced.
Bake in a moderate until golden, about 10mins.
Allow to cool and sandwich together with butter cream icing.

Enjoy with a hot cuppa.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Winter settling

Winter is definitely here and starting to chill us to the bones every time we step outside. Thank goodness for wooly knits and hats (especially cute baby ones), warm nourishing meals, warm fires and quiet time to spend time with new, previously loathed hobbies (knitting i'm talking about you). This week i'm busy with work and looking forward to our holidays in a few weeks and quietly wondering why we thought winter would be an awesome time to travel. Despite that i'm very much looking forward to some quiet time away and some lazy days without housework.


Monday, 11 June 2012

Loving... Grateful...

My Monday night ritual to reset and start the week in a good place.

a peaceful night at home learning a new hobby.

~ for warm woolly socks.
~  for a little treat of milk chocolate after a tiring day.
~ for the feel of soft wool, even if i'm not that great at knitting it yet.
~ for upcoming holidays
~ for a happy, albeit sick little baby
~ for peace
~ for space
~ for calm and quiet.

What are you grateful for today?

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Snug as a bug

Check out my little caterpillar lol. 

This is the view i got every time i tried to take a good photo of the sleep sack i made. He was determined not to model but rather crawl towards the toys which is a bit slippery when you are in a wool sack!
Sleep sacks are the best thing ever in winter when blankets just never stay on those little legs. He's just too much of a wriggler.
I already had a thin merino sleep sack but it was a summer weight one and cost me $50 on sale, the usual price being around $100. So when a friend mentioned she was making them out of recycled blankets i thought i should really have a go at sewing one. Now in truth i had a bit of a look around for a second hand rug but ended up buying some wool fabric on sale. And it turned out they were super easy and quick to make.
~How to make a sleep sack~
First draft a pattern. I traced one off the sleep sack i already had but you could use a loose top to mark the neckline/ armholes. It really doesn't need to be too precise. Note i made this one the same width the whole way down but in hindsight a slightly flared bottom would be a little more roomy for wriggly legs.

 Wool fabric outer

 Flannelette lining, although you could use anything you had.

 I added a batting 100% cotton inner for extra warm but this isn't necessary. Lay all 3 fabrics on top of each other with pattern on top and cut out all together. You will need to end up with 2 backs, 2 inners (if using), and 2 linings.

 You are going to sew the back and front sections separately. For the back pin 1 lining and 1 outer with right sides together from armhole to armhole. If using a lining pin this ON TOP of the flannelette against the wrong outward facing side (see pic). You are only sewing the armholes and neckline at this stage.

 Repeat for the front and you should now have a back and front section with pinned layers.
 Sew from one armhole to the other (see left) and turn inside out (see right) so the nice finished right side is now facing out. You now have a back and a front with a nice finished neckline.
 Now put the back and front pieces with outer sides together and pins edges (from the armholes) and bottom together.

Turn the whole bag inside out and you have a nearly finished sleep sack. All that's left to do is sew some buttons or velcro onto the shoulders to secure.
Done! Now for a better modelling picture.

My snuggly little bug!
I hope these instructions have been helpful. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Saturday, 9 June 2012


I apologise to any vegetarians out there for the following images! My partner and i are dedicated omnivores and there is nothing we like better than a good roast. The great thing about this pork is that it is locally sourced from a free range farm where they specialise in old and rare breed animals which are slowly grown and not pumped full of all those 'extra's' we seem to get with our meat these days. It's nice to enjoy a meal knowing where and how the animals have been raised is ethical.
A few weeks ago a friend mentioned cooking pork in cider. Pork in cider! i love both those things so it was certainly worth a go.

So into the pan goes 1 cut onion, the pork leg and you guessed it cider (about 1 cm deep). Score the meat and rub with salt and a little olive oil.
Cook at 250 degrees C (yes you read that right) for 25 mins until the crackling is golden and crispy. Reduce the heat down to 180 degrees C and cook until juices run clear. (about 1 hr per kg, this leg took a bit over 2 hours) Add extra cider as needed so the pan doesn't run dry. I used a full 1.5L bottle of cider. You can also put your veges into the cider and pork juices to roast too.

Yum, doesn't that look good?

Then take the meat and veges from the pan when done and add in some water or vegetable water to the pan and stir well. Thicken with cornflour and water as desired. I'm very casual with quantities for gravy. Too thick more water, too thin more cornflour mixture - you get the idea.

Delicious cidery gravy goodness.

Dinner is served.
Enjoy your weekend xxx

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Making peace with the breadmaker

Well after nearly 2 months of breadmaker war we have finally reached an agreement.
Things i know for sure -
The breadmaker is not my ally.
The breadmaker is not smart.
The breadmaker's rising times cannot be trusted.
The breadmaker makes stupidly shaped bread with a hole in the bottom.
The breadmaker was at risk of becoming a large doorstop or possibly being thrown over the back fence.
The breadmaker kneads bread just fine, which saves my hands.

A truce was reached. The breadmaker will carry out the kneading and initial rising duties of making said loaf and then shall give up all rights of baking to the oven and breadmaker owner. Failure to complete these duties may result in the breadmakers ultimate destruction.

So far the new agreement is working out perfectly. I have the right size, shape and texture loaf. I have more control of the ingredients i add which frees me up to work more with sourdough ( yes it's still alive). And most importantly all acts of violence against the breadmaker have so far been avoided.


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Pumpkin perfect

Remember these beauties?

Lovely aren't they? Almost too good to eat, well almost.......
They made a beautiful autumn table display but with winter settling in, my mind turned to thoughts of soup.
Yup those pumpkins days were numbered.......

First one on the chopping block ready for the better half to butcher.

Chopped and roasted ready for the soup and it was at this point i forgot about photos and focused on the soupy goodness. The pumpkin had a much thinner flesh than i expected. 
I sauteed 1 chopped onion and 2 cloves of chopped garlic in a pot with 1T butter until soft. Then i added in the roasted pumpkin and 3C chicken stock (you can add more or less depending how thick you like your soup.) Add salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg and mash the soup to your desired texture.
Pretty easy to make and i have lots of variations once cooked like sour cream, greek yoghurt, chilli sauce or my favourite peanut butter. Nothing better than a heaped teaspoon of peanut butter stirred into a bowl of pumpkin soup. Totally delicious.

The texture of this pumpkin was creamy and fluffy and not as strong as a normal pumpkin which makes me think this pumpkin would be better suited to baking recipes. So for the last pumpkin i'm thinking maybe some pumpkin, date and ginger scones or some pumpkin bread. Or maybe even some pumpkin pie? Hmmm i'm a little uncertain on what that would taste like but it might be worth a go.
Watch this space for more pumpkiny goodness.