Tag Archives: Lifestyle

Holly’s first trip to the beach ♥

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Hi everyone! I know it’s been a little while since I’ve posted on here. Since mum died in April I haven’t felt like enjoying life much sadly 😦

But if there is one I should take from mum’s sudden death, it’s that I should be celebrating life more, especially with Holly.

All last year while I posted about my weekends on this blog I was childless, then pregnant. Now I have an eight and half month old daughter! Time has gone crazy fast. Today we took her to the beach for the first time. It was just magical to see it all through her eyes, and watch as she tasted sand and seashells! I also spent some time thinking about mum.

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What a difference a smile makes :-)

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Hey everyone,

I’m feeling all warm and cosy and I want to spread the goodwill 🙂 Life is good. My little family is happy and healthy and enjoying our days. Being a mum is hands down the best thing I have ever done. Even better than having my book, something I’ve written, out there in the world being enjoyed by people, which is something I dreamed of since I was a little girl.

My days are busy, but if you ask me at sundown what I’ve accomplished that day, the list is not very long. Holly pretty much consumes all my time, feeding her, entertaining her, simply just being with her. I’ve realised that she will only be this little for so long, and once this time with her is gone, it’s gone forever. So I need to forget things like cleaning the house spotless (no great sacrifice) and focus on her. We walk a lot, sometimes to get her to sleep but mostly for enjoyment, and it was on one of those walks that I decided to start what I imaginatively call, ‘The Smile Project’. I walk past so many people every day, of all ages and race, and usually it’s eyes fixed to the footpath or straight ahead, and zero interaction. But I’ve noticed since Holly was born and now joins me on my walks that people just can’t resist a baby. Seriously. She hangs in the front pack on my chest (killing my shoulders and neck because she certainly isn’t light, but she’s anti-pram at the moment so it’s that or carry her in my arms), and people smile and coo and go all gaga when they see her. Some even comment, “cute baby” and the like, to which of course I say Yes. Yes she is.

I’ve been blown away by how a simple smile can transform even the most sullen face. It’s a beautiful sight to see 😀

So now I smile at everyone whose path I cross, and if they smile back I say ‘Hello’, and I think we all benefit from this simple interaction and continue on our separate ways just a little bit happier.

Why don’t you try it?

Ok that’s enough smugness for one post.

Because I’m home fulltime with Holly, every day seems like a weekend. So I do little things daily now in the spirit of this blog, to reclaim life’s little pleasures. Holly and I have fun in the garden. We smell and touch flowers, listen to birds, feed the birds, keep the cat away from the birds. We also lie on the grass and watch clouds waft by like big balls of cotton wool while one of us sticks our toes in our mouth (see if you can guess which one).  I bake bread and cakes (yep, I’m a regular Nigella Lawson now, have baked three cakes in as many weeks! Unlike Nigella I don’t wear a dress, heels and lipstick while doing so, it’s pretty much pyjamas all the way) while Holly hangs out in her activity centre behind me. We go for walks and forage (i.e. steal passionfruit and grapes from someone’s garden. In my defense, if you insist on growing them along your front fence then you must expect some degree of pillaging).

We had a lovely family BBQ last weekend at mum and dads. It was a last minute thing that Dad thought of around lunchtime, however I flexed my culinary fingers and whipped up a homegrown cherry tomato salad with balsamic, olive oil , garlic sea salt and pesto flavoured feta cheese, and I baked some more of the rosemary bread. A year ago I would have bought a bag of buns and a salad in a plastic container from the supermarket on the way out. Progress is a wonderful thing.

Ok this post is getting a bit long so I will sign off here. I do have an update on the latest art project which I will upload on here in the next couple of days.

Take care everyone x

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Holly and her Nanny ♥

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Left to Right – My hubby, Dad, nephews Oliver and John, Brother Rob and his wife Ange, and mum and Holly. I am taking the photo (obviously) and my sister is hiding behind me because she hates being in photos, despite being tall. blonde and beautiful. Go figure.

I farewelled a beautiful friend this week

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Her name was Kathryn, and she was the most kind, caring, vivacious, funny, positive, inspiring, caring, talented woman I have ever met. She was a huge support to me over the years, both through my writing and also my fertility issues. Those of you who have read the ‘About’ page of this blog when I started it a year ago will realise she was the friend I talked about who survived her brush with cancer. Well last year it came back, and this time she wasn’t so lucky. She leaves behind her husband and an eight year old daughter.

You can read about her here Teachers-death-rocks-local-primary-school

I am so, so sad she is gone 😦

It’s made me really think about life again. Originally when I started this blog it was just to be for the year. Of course when I started it I didn’t know I was going to get pregnant a month later (dream finally come true!) so I didn’t as have much energy to devote to this as I had hoped. I had a blast doing the things I did though, and I really do feel like I reclaimed some of life’s little pleasures, whether it was making jam, going for bike rides, sleeping under the stars or studying the flowers in the back garden with a microscope.

In honour of Kathryn, I’m going to carry it on for this year. Of course I now have a 15 week old baby daughter, who is VERY time demanding, and already quite the little dramatic personality (we are going to be in soooooooooo much trouble as she gets older).  So I’m going to go into it a little easier on myself this year and not have the pressure of doing something every weekend, although I will certainly try as much as possible.

I’m also working hard at selling and promoting my book, Charlie and Pearl, available on Amazon here Charlie and Pearl. You can find out more about that journey at this blog

Thanks for sticking round guys, and here’s to another fun year 🙂 I leave you with a recent sunset, humbling in its beauty.

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A rainy day at the beach, and some reflections on recent events.

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When I started this weekend blog it was because I wanted to experience more out of life besides work, housework and TV. I wanted to remember the little things that can bring us huge amounts of pleasure and satisfaction and make us really feel like we’re living this life to the fullest.

The awful shooting in America the other night, where those poor people who had simply gone to see a movie and either lost their life or had their life changed forever is unbelievably sad 😦  Reading about it on a news site led me to a blog by one of the victims brothers, which led me to a blog written by the victim herself, Jessica Ghawi. She had survived a shooting in June in Toronto, only to lose her life at the hands of another gunman. My heart goes out to her family and those of the other victims. You can read her thoughts on the first shooting here Jessica’s blog

A quote from part of it:

‘I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday. I saw the terror on bystanders’ faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don’t know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath. For one man, it was in the middle of a busy food court on a Saturday evening.

I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.”

I wish we all thought like this all of the time. We’re so busy we don’t always take the time to stop and remember it’s the little things that feed our soul and rejuvenate our spirits. Appreciate the time spent with family and friends, even if it’s just chatting over a cup of tea, instead of thinking about the washing sitting on the couch or the dishes in the sink, or all the other things you could be doing instead.

I think I’ve mentioned before how lucky we are to live so close to some seriously beautiful beaches. You’ve seen pictures of some of them before, from our failed fishing trips and my beachcombing day.

I was lying in bed this morning and thinking about, of all things, Vitamin D. And how most of us don’t get anywhere near enough of it. The best source? The Sun. I thought about how Monday through Friday, I get up and get ready, hop in the car and go to work where I go straight inside to the office and spend the next eight hours, get back into a car and come home where I shut the curtains and light the fire straight away because it’s winter and it gets cold at 4.30pm and dark just after five.

Depressing.

But it’s the life so many of us live.

Well I had planned on getting some vitamin D today, but NZ is currently blanketed by rainclouds and fog. We decided to go to the beach anyway, and I’m so glad we did. We ate fish ‘n’ chips in the car, watching the waves crash out our windscreen. Then we got our wet weather gear on and went for a walk along the beach. It was beautiful; salty crisp, fresh air. The wind made our cheeks sting but it was a nice pain, it made you feel really alive. Delicious.

Have a great week everyone. Take some time out to smell a flower, read a book you’ve been longing to read, or admire the night sky for a few minutes.

And don’t forget to tell your loved ones how much you love them ♥

Yum – fish ‘n’ chips! 🙂

The view. A little blurry from the rain but still breathtakingly beautiful.

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Sad to be leaving the beach, but also sandy and happy and with a new stick to add to her collection.

A truly Wonderful Weekend

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Even though most weekends my husband and I are home together, I don’t really see him. He’s an active guy who can’t sit still (unless he’s eating), so from the moment breakfast is finished he’s out the door to weed/mow/saw/build/tidy/paint/fix something. He surfaces briefly at lunchtime, but other than that I don’t really see him again until after the sun’s gone down.

I don’t mind, I knew what I was getting in for when I married him. But sometimes, just sometimes, I crave his company. Read the rest of this entry

a D.A.Y of D.I.Y

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a D.A.Y of D.I.Y

So today I decided to see what I could create with the fruits of my beach labour yesterday. I’d seen a driftwood mirror on the internet that I wanted to give a try, plus I found a cute little magazine rack at the local Red Cross shop for $5 that just needed to be jazzed up a little to fit into my house. Read the rest of this entry