Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Zen and the art of skateboard maintenance (Part 2)

After testing the modified skateboard (see Part 1), further alterations were made. Steve attacked the deck with a jigsaw using The Sector 9 as a template. Then the trucks were moved for improved maneuvrability. Once perfected, Steve and Ruby buffed the deck back to raw timber which will no doubt be covered in stickers before long. They were both very pleased with end result.

Stay tuned for Part 3.

Skipping girl

Ava using one of her favourite birthday presents:

Monday, February 22, 2010

If it doesn't rain, it pours

We had not long said goodbye to the Miles' family and delivered them safely to the airport when our next visitors arrived. The Teys' girls popped in for an ever-so-brief visit but we were delighted to take what we could get.

In two quick drinks, Ruth and I managed to finish the bottle of Bombay Saphire that Sue and I had put a serious dent in.

You've probably noticed by now I have a thing about feet...

Stella and Ruby, friends since birth.


Last weekend Steve and I were invited as VIP guests at the Diana Krall concert at the Villa Maria winery. It was very swish indeed with lots of good food, wine and music, all set amongst the vineyards. I was on my best behaviour and tried very hard to curb my urge to guzzle!

There were other jazz artists playing also most of whom we watched from the screen at our table. We also received CDs of all the performers beforehand so that we could get acquainted with their music. How's that for special treatment?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shell bowl

I recently found this little shell bowl at an op shop. It's actually an old sugar bowl. Very sweet. Sorry the pictures are a bit fuzzy.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Littlest owl shop

Sue gave me these cute little owls as a thank you. No thanks needed, we were so happy to have you all visit us!

Steve declared these owls a "grown up" version of Littest Pet Shop figures.

Many Miles

The Miles family travelled many miles (cheap pun, I know) from BrizVegas to be our first visitors. The girls were very excited at the thought of seeing Zoe and Harry again. The excitement level built each day with Eadie just about jumping out of her skin on the afternoon of their arrival. Eadie and Zoe talked till late on the first night. Ava was meant to bunk in the same room as them but bailed at 10.45pm when she couldn't get to sleep.

We took the kids to the zoo the next day which happened to be Ava's birthday. I'll post pics of the day in a separate blog. The battery on my camera died but Sue has promised to give me the pics she took.

Sue and I caught up on the happenings in each others lives over the bottle of gin she graciously bought with her. I'm not sure what the correct ratio of spirit to mixer is but in the pic above you can see how much gin we'd consumed with only one bottle of tonic water. Don't' be too alarmed, this pic shows the level after two nights' worth of drinking.

Zen and the art of skateboard maintenence (Part 1)

Skateboarding has been a favourite pass time in our house for a while now. Steve got a Sector 9 board the other day which has taken it to another level. It rolls like a dream–much better than you'd ever imagine. Ruby has got a very keen eye on it though so he'd better watch out.

Pumped from the ride home from the skate shop, he and Ruby set up a skate workshop. They pulled (old) boards apart then combined the best pieces to make a better board to have fun on. Even Eadie's scooter got new wheels. Ruby loves pulling things apart and putting them back together. Who knows, maybe she'll continue the engineering line in the family.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Ava

My sweet Ava is 6 today and we're off to the zoo!
Ava, how I love your cuddles. Please keep cuddling me when I'm an old lady. Happy birthday chicken.
Love Mummy xox

Remember when you turned 2 and Coco was your favourite toy?

Always smiling! The apron Sarah made isn't quite so big on you anymore!

PS. Highlights of the day...
A new Barbie–you can never have too many.

Or LPS merchandise for that matter!

Birthday cake for afternoon tea at the zoo.

Mmmm, good cake!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad

My Dad travelling around NZ in a motorhome with his mates many moons ago.

Happy Birthday for the 13th Dad. I tried calling you a few times but couldn't get you. Love m, xox

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blowing bubbles

It seems you are never too big for bathtime bubbles.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Not happy :(

My coffee machine's performance has been sub-standard for quite some time which I haven't been happy about. Even after a visit to the "professionals" it's still not working as well as it did in it's heyday. I like to think these things will just keep on going if you look after them and replace parts as they wear out–but maybe not. I decided to take a look at the seal yesterday to see if it was the cuprit but it looked OK. The problem is, when I pulled it apart I lost a screw so now it's really stuffed. I had a banger of a headache so I should have known better than to take this on.

Everyone who knows me will testify that this machine has copped a bit of a workout over the years. Maybe I should upgrade to a commecial machine? But in the meantime, I have resorted to the Bialetti which is ever faithful providing I keep paying the gas bill!

Of course, coffee always go well with something sweet. This is my gluten-free version of Hello Rosie slice. Really, the pic doesn't do it justice. Let me know if you want the recipe.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Quinoa and roast vegetables with honey and lime dressing

Here's a little vegetarian dish I made recently which was a hit with the family (except Ava who has a strong distaste for most vegetables). Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a gluten-free grain which is very high in protein. Let's get started...

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 1/4 cups cold water or chicken stock (I used water with 1 tsp stock powder)
a selection of vegetables, roasted (I used eggplant, zucchini, red capsicum and sweet potato)
1 large handful of pine nuts, roasted

1/4 cup olive oil
finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lime (I actually used lemon)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

Prepare the roast vegetables first.

Put the quinoa and water or stock in a medium saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed, stirring towards the end to prevent it catching on the base of the pot. Spread out on a serving plate to cool.

Cut the roast vegetables into chunks and spread on top of the quinoa. Sprinkle with pine nuts.

To prepare the dressing simply mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Pour dressing over the vegetables and quinoa.


Now, for the truth–I actually served it with roast chicken so it didn't quite meet the goal of trying to reduce the amount of meat we eat. But at least I have an easy vego dish I can whip up pretty quickly.

Friday, February 5, 2010

What do you see?

I wanted to share this pic with you. It was taken on the way to Ruapuke, not far from Raglan. You have to drive along an unsealed road to get there. Look at the sky! It was a beautiful day.

This was taken leaving Ruapuke. The Cabbage Tree is a kiwi icon. They remind me of the Pandanus.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Back into the routine

Clean uniforms. Matching socks. Packed lunch boxes. It's back to school.

I got up bright and early on Tuesday morning (which takes quite some effort I might add) to ensure I was organised and calm for the first day of a new school year. It wasn't quite the smooth start I was hoping (praying) for but I am always quick to remind myself that things could always be worse. Having been to hell and back when my delightful middle child started prep, I truly know how bad things can get.

To top things off, the girls started swimming lessons that afternoon. It was a bit of a rush but we managed to get to the pool just in time for the first lesson. I paid the fees for the term ($300+) only to have the delightful middle child announce that she wasn't getting in the pool when it was her turn. After some coaxing, bribe offers and a few threats, I had to resign to the fact that, short of me throwing her in, she wasn't getting wet today. I took a deep breath and only hope that it will be a different story next week.

Today was the second day at school and I have to say I was very pleased with how things went this morning. Everyone was very helpful at getting organised and we managed to get to school at 8.30 which Ruby was really impressed with. Hopefully things are on their way up.