Friday, 22 July 2011

Making Me Fit

I've been on a fitness rampage. I hope this one lasts. I've been to the gym three days in a row & boy do I feel good!

One thing that makes me sad is they have taken down my favourite poster at the gym. I use to stare at that thing and somehow it drove me on. So I went googleing (as you do) to find my own.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Good & Free ?

Where are all the good and free online budgeting tools?

For some time I have tried to find a household budget that looks nice, that works welll and that is free to use.

Now don't get me wrong, downloadable budgets are all over the internet but they tend to be so boring and the paid ones are awesome. So I've set about changing this. I'm started the process of a comprehensive household budget. The look isn't final but here is the first screenshot thus far...

Thursday, 14 July 2011

All Things Beautiful

He has made all things beautiful. Ecclesiastes 3:11

All things.


He made.

There is a lot of beauty on this globe called Earth. A lot of ugly too, but the beauty is certainly there.





Tuesday, 12 July 2011

8 Months w/ my Man

As of tomorrow it has been 8 months since I travelled this path of marriage. It's gone so quickly!

That means it's almost four and a half years since we first met & our lives changed forever.

Marriage has in no way been the picture-perfect dream we hoped's had far too many days of sickness and medical talk, frustrations and tears. It's been a time of change, of adjusting to living together and sharing our space. But God has been working in amazing ways and He continues to.

There have been priceless, precious little moments.. having a disco in the living room together, snuggling on the couch with a dvd, late night talks and those shared knowing-looks.

I was not at all prepared for how different marriage would be from dating and I think I will continue to be surprised. It is a new phase, a radically different stage of life and it is up to us to embrace it in all of it's fullness.

Mingle 240

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Pea Puree??!

Say peas and I think yuck. Say pea puree and I would think double yuck. That was before I tried this version. It has made me fall in love with both peas and pea purree!

Pea Puree

  • spring onions (3 stalks or so)
  • 200mls vegetable stock
  • 50g butter
  • 250g pea (give or take)
  • small handful of mint leaves (or substiture with minted peas, as I did)

1. Heat your frying pan, melt butter and saute the spring onions.

2. In a pot put the vegetable stock and peas and boil 5-8 minutes until peas are cooked.

3. Drain and reserve cooking liquid.

4. Place the peas and the butter/spring onion mix into a blender and mix. Add the reserved cooking liquid to get to right consistancy. Season with salt & pepper and wait for the rave reviews from friends!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Friday Photo Challenge

I had a bit of fun taking a self-portrait including a lot of flour. Boy, was this a messy game!

I would like to try it again but need an entire bag of flour because it tends to waste a lot.

The hardest part is getting a good cloud of flour whilst looking good - I didn't manage it in this shot but it had the best flour cloud in it!

Today (yes it's Friday in New Zealand, I know)...I linked to:

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Thinking About Yourself

As I embark on a 30 day photography challenge, I've been thinking about who I am for tomorrow's self-portrait photo.

I love words and photos, light and the ocean. The colour blue is 'my' colour. I'm an optimistic - sometimes annoyingly so. I find hope from God and love alone time with a great book. I'm a dreamer but I want to be a doer. I am a wife, a daughter, a friend, a colleague, a blessed child of the Almighty.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Blend Carrots, Get Orange

Carrots are so cheap and as it turned out, go very well into a soup. This was my first attempt and it will be recreated!

You just have to be okay with orange food!

Carrot & Ginger Soup

  •  3 large carrots
  • 1 apple (trust me!)
  • chunk of fresh ginger
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4+ cups of vege stock
  • sour cream (to serve, optional)
  • delicious bread (also optional)

1. Saute chopped garlic and onion in bottom on large pot with bit of oil.

2. Add in the chopped carrots, apple, fresh ginger and cook a few more mins on medium.

3. Throw (carefully!) the vege stock and simmer it until all the veges are cooked.

4. Put it in the food blender until smooth, then return to pot and heat til warm enough to serve.

5. Add your preference of salt, pepper, fresh coriander, sour cream.... Easy, peasy - orange goodness!

A Womens Job?

I'm all for girl power, women can do anything...etc, etc.

But I also love that I can be in charge of the cooking, like women mostly have been through the centuries, and my Man can take out the rubbish and fix the car (or just drive it to the mechanic).

Unfortunately my Man is away again, helping in the Christchurch earthquake response and the car needs a wing mirror fixed. Now it's not a big deal but I hate, hate doing it!

I'm such a damsal in distress, wishing I could get someone else to fix the situation. Which is silly because all I have to do is drive it to the shop and pay them the, go girl power!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

At the End of the Day...

At the end of the day, I am:

  • a nana - yes, I like an early night with a good book okay?
  • a child at heart (I can be as silly as a eleven year old on sugar)
  • defined by God (luckily)
  • a resilient soul - I have come to know and believe this after a few very rough years
  • a peacemaker - not always a good thing
  • a listener
  • a wife - sometimes successfully, sometimes with much, more more to learn

  • an aspiring mother (if God has that in my future)
  • a dreamer - too many good ideas
  • strong-willed
  • stubborn
  • messy
  • lazy
  • positive - sometimes I surprise myself
  • at peace with the world

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Caramel Sauce (only missing the dessert to pour it over)

I have a thing for caramel. It was my first love, you might say. Well, not quite...

Caramel Sauce (v. 1)
  •  1.5 cups brown sugar
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 235ml creame
  • dash of vanilla essence
1. In saucepan, heat everything over medium heat.

2. Stir until melted and dissolved.

3. Simmer 4-6 minutes (or until slightly thickened) and use immediately.

Note: If you cook for too long you will end up turning it into hard fudge/toffee which isn't great poured on top of puddings or ice cream or whatever you so lovingly prepared earlier.

Banana-na & Cara-ra-mel

Mmmmm. Banana and caramel; one of life's great couples. I'm about to start a sugar elimination from my life (necessary for making my Crohn's get better) but I had to have one final goodbye. And boy, was it gooooood!

Sticky Banana Puds with Caramel Sauce

Makes 10 (I halved the recipe successfully ... though halving an egg is difficult so I added 2)

Get yourself:
  • 3 ripe bananas (skin on)
  • 180g unsalted butter
  • 180g sugar (I used caster)
  • 3 eggs
  • dash of vanilla essence
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1.5 teas baking powder
  • tiny pinch salt
  • make caramel sauce (post to follow)

1. Get yourself some cute ramekin dishes (the cuter the better)! Grease and pour 1-2cm of caramel sauce into the bottom of each.

2. Put oven on (I did 150 degrees C but my oven is hot. Probably 180-200 would be best).

3. Put bananas on tray and roast with skin on. When bananas feel mushy take out. Wait til cool then take off skin.

4. Beat sugar and butter in a bowl until creamy. Add eggs, beating well after each.

5. Add banana flesh, vanilla and mix, mix, mix.

6. Add flour, baking powder, salt into the mix. Combine.

7. Spoon your mix into your cute ramekins. Cover each with tinfoil.

8. Now grab a roasting dish and fill it 2-3cm deep with hot water. (Water should come half way up your dishes) Put the ramekins into the dish and then cover the whole dish with tinfoil.

9. Put in oven (careful!) and cook 30 minutes until all spoungy and nice.

10. Remove from oven, take off tinfoil. Turn upside down and pour over caramel sauce. Ohhh, la la!

Mingle 240

Monday, 13 June 2011

Shaking a City

Oh, Christchurch. Oh, Christchurch. 

Earthquakes...who can understand them? Tragedy...who escapes it?

Christchurch, what a beautiful city, but you have shaken too many lives, too many futures this past 6 months. And then, again, today ... you shake some more. More injuries, more collapsed buildings.

What can one do but pray?

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Silly-ness, my friend.

Have you ever had a week, a month, a year like mine? I bet you have and you haven't.

Each one of us lives moments entangled with joy, with grief, frustration and satisfaction. No one escapes beauty or pain, fear or silliness.

No matter the awfulness, the struggles, the tears that fall, there is a temporary cure: silliness, nonsense.

Tonight Mr. and I had a night of silliness - tickling and playfighting, jokes and general immaturity. Oh - the joy silliness brings to a tired soul!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Words to Live By

There are words that move you, drive you, change you.

I don't want to say The Fray made me break up with my ex. But those words in their song struck a deep chord with me many years back and they opened my eyes. I realised their truth in my life situation and changed my future forever.

Who doesn't love Dr. Seuss?I have power in my life, I can make things happen!

I love Pooh. I think he puts a lot of academics to shame!

Oh what a comforting thought. In the midst of difficulty, the path through is already set. I am just to walk it, step by step.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Why I'm Brave Today

1. I let the nurse at the hospital take blood. Even though she seemed a bit grumpy.

Also..I don't think they should be allowed to say 'gosh...I'll need to get some more containers for this much blood' before they plunge the needle in!

2. I have to do financial analysis for the business plan I am writing. I wish I could just plug in a pretty, colourful graphy.

3. I went shoe shopping and actually made a purchase. It's only five months overdue. See I hate shoe shopping. So does my mum, my friends, my fact anyone who has to experience it with me. It is a truly awful experience. But I did it!

4. Tonight I'm off to model for a fundraising fashion event. I'm not a model. 5 foot 2 would never make it in the fashion world! The brave part is not the modelling part as this will be my second...the brave part is last time my friend came to watch so at least I knew someone out there.
This time...just me & strangers. So I'll be extra brave!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Low-Fibre and Other Things I Hate

I hate the words low-fibre. It's cruel.

One of my largest struggles getting use to life with Crohn's disease is this low-fibre diet I'm meant to be on.

Goodbye favourite vegetable:

Goodbye delicious fruit and vegetables I love so much. Goodbye dense, brown bread. Farewell chilli, my friend.


I've never really liked you all a whole lot. You were always so sugary, unhealthy-seeming. And now you are becoming my low-fibre friends. *sigh*

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Oh, Oh, Po-ta-to

I love potatoes.

It is true.

I love finding new ways to eat potatoes.

So here it is...

Honey Roast Potatoes
  • potatoes (4-6 medium)
  • 3 TB whole grain mustard
  • 3 TB oil
  • 2 TB melted butter
  • 1 clove finely chopped/minced garlic
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of half the lemon
  • half an onion (white)
  • sprinkle of salt
1. Heat oven (180 degrees C works for mine)

2. Quarter potatoes and toss in a bowl with sliced onion.

3.In a bowl mix the butter, mustard, oil, garlic, lemon juice, zest & salt. Pour this over the potato & onion bowl. Mix through.

4. Spoon the potatoes & onion out and put on a baking tray/oven dish. Leave any of the remaining sauce in the bowl as it will only burn if you pour it into the oven dish.

5. Cook potatoes for 35-45 minutes (depends on your oven), turning once in the middle.

6. Remove from oven and toss in remaining mustard sauce. Serve warm.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

One of Those

Yesterday was one of those days.

The kind where you drive yourself home shaking with sobs and make-up running down your face.

Does this resonate with anyone else on an average day?

I've had a fortnight where lots of things feel like they are crumbling: some dreams I held onto really tight, precious time with my man (so many visitors lately...lovely but it's been months since we had us time), health, some friendships I thought were stronger and better.
Through it all I've had moments of intense loneliness. More than anything I have come to realise that I am nothing without God. That I'm a mess without Him, so it's lucky I have Him always.

I know God sees. Not in a angry policeman way. In a 'Oh my precious child, I see into your heart and love you, remember?'

Tomorrow is a new day

Friday, 20 May 2011

Diamonds? No thanks!

Diamonds are not a girls best friend. True or false?

According to the CEA (consumer electronics association) 64% of women would rather have a digital camera than a pair of half-carat diamond stud earrring. 

I know that research is a few years old. But I wonder if that number has grown even more of us ladies discover the fun and magic of photography.

I've been looking for my ideal camera bag, which is how I came across this research. My ideal camera does not exist, I have realised. You see, I want something that isn't too bulky. I don't have a lot of gear just my camera & a couple of extra little things. I'm after a bag that doesn't look like a camera bag, you know the ones: big, black, bulky.

I want colour, I want style. I want something that will last forever. I'm not afraid to pay a bit more if it ticks all the boxes. I want something that will protect my camera because I'm a bit rough with my gear.
I like this bag because it's a bit funky. But I need something sturdier, made from leather & made to really last.

Which has led on to this thought: what if I designed my perfect bag and got it made?

It's not impossible. It's even concievable that there are other ladies out there who don't want the standard-mans-photographer bag. Hmmm....

Has anyone ever made their own bag? Or dreamed of it? Or already has their perfect bag?

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Ooooo Wintery Wednesday

I thought it would be fun to link up with Wee Bit Wednesday!

{one} do you watch the history channel? if so, what’s your favorite program?
No, we get terrible tv reception so only two basic channels.

{two} what is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
Snuggle up inside with a fantastic book and hot chocolate.

{three} what does your dream house look like?
If I was to combine all my different ideas it would be the uglist house ever but have some amazing features!

{four} what state were you born in?
New South Wales....

{five} do you have a change jar? if so, what do you use it for when it gets full?
Yes! It gets raided for parking money mostly

{six} what’s the first website you look at when you get on the computer?
At the moment, Stumble...Love it!

{seven} what is your favorite breakfast?
I'm not big on breakfast. Lunch however...

{eight} what’s the most memorable trip you’ve ever taken?
Backpacking Samoa for a few weeks was pretty magnificant and memorable

{nine} do you prefer your coffee black or with cream/milk/sugar?
Weak, milk, sugar...hardly call it coffee!

{ten} have you ever done a professional photo shoot?
Two, yes. I modelled for two photographers as a favour.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

When the Dog Barks, when the Bee Stings...

These are a few of my favourite, house things!


I found this gorgeous vase at a second-hand store and I spray painted it white. It has the most beautiful detailing on it. The two soaps were an engagement present from my Aunty & Uncle. White-on-white I just love that look!

Our wedding cake toppers sit in the entrance to our house. My man chose these for the wedding and he put a lot of effort in trying to make them look like us!


 This gorgeous Royce McGlashen pottery 'bowl' was given to us as a gift. It is beautifully textured on the outside and a magnificant blue on the inside. It sits on the window sill, looking out to sea. 


 Flowers can brighten a day! I came home last Friday and two gorgeous pot plants were sitting wrapped up on the table. My mum has ordered them for me with a little note to say she was thinking of me. Aww..


Mingle 240

Mingle time!


Sunday, 15 May 2011

Chasing the Sun

Yesterday I went on an epic walk. [unintentionally]

I thought I'd take some photos by the water.

When I got there the sun was just around the corner at the next bay.

I started walking to the next bay, thinking it would only take 5 minutes. [wrong]

I got to the next bay and decided the sun must be at the next, right? [incorrect]


At this point I start feeling like Forest Gump. ['so I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there I thought I'd run to the end of town. And when I got there...]

I should mention it was cold in the shade and very windy. Lovely! On I went...

Finally, I neared the final bend. Sun was in my reach...

But alas, I was too late! The last rays were setting behind the hills.

 It's okay, though because I caught a tiny piece of sun on my face for the briefest of moments. [see it?]

And that is my shoe. Why? Because it took the brunt of this ridiculously long mission. Shoe no more :(

So that was my [unintentional] adventure of chasing the sun [unsuccessfully] just because I could [inspired by Forest Gump]. Next time I'll take the car!