Saturday, 27 December 2014

Christmas Day 2014

I am pleased to report, and you lovely lot will be pleased to hear, that we had a very good Christmas Day. As the cliche goes, the kids really did make it wonderful. We were a fairly small family, but that never dampens the kids' party spirit. We had a few hiccups along the way, and always a big gap at our table.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A change is as good as a holiday

I've been getting a bit bored with dinner lately. You know the balance of trying to keep everyone in the family happy. Finding what you all like, finding healthy meals, a good range of food, all that sort of thing. I miss cooking for someone who eats with enthusiasm (well, some nights they do) and smiles in appreciation down the table. So I decided recently it's time to shake things up a little.

Sunday, 23 November 2014


I quite like this flower foraging idea. The kids and I are walking home through some playing grounds on the way home from school these days - well - back to the car via a long route. It feels good to just take some time and let them race across the grass and clamber up the banks.

Today they found all kinds of flowers to pick for me, some growing wildly and others escaping over fences from neighbouring properties. The days have been hard this last week and I'm trying to look for some bright spots along the way - these are definitely one of them.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Down the road

I see the world, the physical, natural world, a little differently these days. I am both more and less fond of it. I think more is winning out. There is an intensity, a clarity, and an understanding of the passing of time that I had only briefly glimpsed before.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Eggs in (Italian) tomatoes

I was waxing lyrical to a friend recently about the food in Italy and how fantastic it tasted. Everything. Even the tinned tomatoes. He suggested in his devil's advocate kind of a way that perhaps, given Italy's reputation, you couldn't help but think the food tasted good. No, I said, it really did.

Monday, 22 September 2014

A rainy Saturday and sweet pastry pies

Gosh I don't know what came over me. Well, OK, maybe I do. I've been eating extra carefully lately, and have started missing baking - the soothing activity of baking at least as much as the eating. So on a quiet and wet Saturday afternoon, when I couldn't not bake anymore, I decided to do something I haven't done for a while, and bake something I haven't baked before. If you follow me.

Sunday, 14 September 2014


A friend has asked me if I would like to be the next in a line of bloggers who are writing posts about why they write. It's a topic that I often consider, and have briefly tried to explain before, and so I was very keen. There was a list of questions, which I'm afraid I have taken very little notice of, but essentially, here is my answer. Much of it is also based on my writing on my other blog, Griefprint:

Wednesday, 20 August 2014


  A portrait of my children every week for a year.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Discipline is freedom

It's a strange phenomenon, but I suspect it is fairly common and I suffer from it dreadfully. It really needs a name. It's the inability to adjust when you are hurtled from long phases of intensive parenting in to a period of (supposedly) blissful quiet. Many of us get it, and I know I am lucky to; it might be a few hours in the morning while the kids are at kindy, daytime naps or short evenings when the kids are asleep and you are not quite, an afternoon alone thanks to the grandparents, a quiet weekend day when Dad takes over, or many long days when the kids start school. Whatever it is, you are shot out like a cannonball from one world in to the other.

Sunday, 10 August 2014


 A portrait of my children every week for a year.

Thursday, 31 July 2014


 A portrait of my children every week for a year.

Thursday, 24 July 2014


    A portrait of my children every week for a year.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Shelving it

 For years now I have been totally obsessed with The Design Sponge's Sneak Peeks - a place where you can check out the interiors of some gorgeous homes that generally belong to arty/crafty/designer-y people. They're always lovely and outrageously tidy, but they're real and full of personality and often second hand bits and pieces, which I love.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Be encouraged, friend. Parent.

Hey lovely Mammas. What a heartfelt reaction there was to the lovely article I linked to on my facebook page called "It gets easier" by Emily at Jones Design Company. Gosh we all need some encouragement don't we? It can be hard having small children, and it is hard not to get stuck in the trenches. Isn't it lovely when someone pops over the top and tells you the view is pretty good up there?

Friday, 11 July 2014

A day in the sun

We visited Leacroft Nurseries on yet another beautiful Wellington day. All this lovely weather is getting me thinking of my new garden, though this particular trip was for fun more than work. We found plenty of beauty, topped off with some exquisite pain...

Tuesday, 8 July 2014


A portrait of my children every week for a year.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Getting to the heart of housework

I'd love to write an awesome, insightful, uplifting post, but I'm afraid I'm going to write about housekeeping instead. Housekeeping and a heavy heart and how the heck to combine the two.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014


  A portrait of my children every week for a year.

Saturday, 21 June 2014


   A portrait of my children every week for a year.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Daily beauty

I've been unintentionally spotting a little beauty in my every day lately - just exactly what I hoped to do when I started this blog. Here's a glimpse of what I've been seeing... 

Sunday, 15 June 2014

A moment of quiet

Reuben had his tonsils out last week. It went well. I was nervous for him, as you are when your child is going under general anaesthetic and having surgery. And I was nervous for me. I have not managed well when visiting the hospital in the last couple of years, the associations are too strong and the memories are too bad. Having to wait for a beloved to come out of surgery wasn't something I wanted to have to do again. But I did well. I noticed a pretty shaky hand every time I reached for my chai, but I kept the memories at bay.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Home and heart

When I was in the sixth form (age 16) I told my class I wasn't going to live in a normal suburban house. I wanted to live with space around me, to live somewhere different, to be different perhaps. The teacher thought that sounded exciting, and encouraged me to hold on tightly to the dream.

Friday, 30 May 2014


  A portrait of my children every week for a year.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Have a good day

 I've had some good days, and this must be the place to record them...

Last weekend we had friends round for the morning. It was a beautiful day and having friends visit makes our home feel more like our home. I managed things that I have sometimes found impossible, getting lunch calmly and on time, putting toys out for the kids and making a bit of conversation. All at the same time. 

Friday, 23 May 2014


   A portrait of my children every week for a year.

Monday, 19 May 2014


  A portrait of my children every week for a year.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Hi blog

Hi blog, I'm just tip-toeing past and don't really expect to be seen. I have missed you very much in this time of moving house upheaval, and lately, as I sit at my own computer in my own home, I have started sneaking past just to have a look at you. I'm hoping you'll help me put my recent thoughts in to words, and that I will soon see you often again. I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


A portrait of my children every week for a year.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Sitting pretty

It's quite good writing your own blog because when you have a clever idea you can tell the whole world about it.

We've had a bit of bath trouble lately. Well, bathroom flooding trouble. The kids have seriously taken to splashing over the last few days, and intentional heaving of water over the side. I've found it hard to work out an appropriate consequence. Frankly, I just want them to mop it up, but that would mean having to wade through it to wash them, and risking everyone's life and limb getting them out of the bath.

So tonight I went for the distraction technique. I'm often looking for something different to keep them quiet(ish) and happy in the bath, and here's an idea I came up with all by myself...

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Potato fritters

I've been quite uninspired about dinner recently. Cooking for two children is never quite the same as cooking for two adults. And I'm a little out of routine, I'm not in my own kitchen, and Esther has been a bit funny about vegetables over the last few days. But the more picky the kids get, the more determined I am to make dinner work, and I nailed it the other night. Esther seems to have got back to her usual quite-well-eating self too.

Monday, 24 February 2014


A portrait of my children every week for a year.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Hummingbird Cake

We had a good day the other day. A good day! Reuben and Esther played together beautifully when he came home from kindy and that makes everything better. It was another hot day and I just felt like making a cake - and managed to do just that amid the peace and quiet. Actually, the quiet was interrupted just as I was about to put the cakes in the oven, by loud, crackling, heavy rain. It took me a moment to realise what the noise was, then I threw the cakes in to the oven and flew down the stairs to get the windows of the car up, the car in to the garage and the washing off the line - preferably simultaneously.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Heavenly Blackberry Pie

Blackberry Pie! Now there is something worth living for. Nana braved the heat and the thorns at a secret South Wairarapa location the other day, and brought home a container full of blackberry jewels. Oh the options! We started with homemade blackberry icecream, which was out of this world, and the next day moved on to blackberry pie. Gosh it's good. I'm suddenly ecstatic about the idea of free blackberries, and am feeling very motivated to hunt down some edible ones a little closer to home - right after I've finished eating the leftovers.

Sunday, 2 February 2014


A portrait of my children every week for a year.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Sticky Situation

Stickers are great for kids aren't they? And for parents. They're cheap to buy and they make kids' eyes light up. They're easy to pop in your bag and get out at those moments where a little distraction or entertainment is needed. There's an infinite variety and everyone can find something they like.

But what on earth does anyone actually do with them?

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Book Summaries - "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen..." Chapter 2.

Book Summaries are summaries of books I have been reading about bringing up children. They're not book reviews. Their purpose is to help me clarify what I have been reading, and you, too, may be interested in the main points of some of these books. I intend to use them as a useful quick reference, and you may like to as well. Not everything that I read (and therefore write here) will be my own point of view, though it's highly likely that the books I've chosen to read will be on par with my own ways and views. Though perhaps not always. Sometimes learning about different approaches can really cement my own views. These summaries are not me suggesting to you how you should bring up your children. Take what you wish from them, or if you don't feel the need to have any further input on how you do your job, pass this post by and I'll see you on another topic.

Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish 
CHAPTER TWO - ENGAGING COOPERATION                           

This book is packed with information and includes loads of examples, including many cartoon strips! My summary will include a lot of their examples (including some paraphrasing for brevity), and many direct quotes.


A portrait of my children every week for a year.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Pukeiti - favourite places

While on holiday we visited Pukeiti, one of my favourite places in the world, and the home of long ago family memories. Pukeiti rain featured on my list of favourite things, but in its place I am quite happy to be featuring Pukeiti sunshine here instead. The rain was lovely to listen to, tucked up in the Lodge - my grandparent's home - when I was little, but the truth is I would prefer a day like this...
This one's for you family.

Don't miss the attempted sibling pic where we used to have our cousin photos taken.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Snow Dough

Yes I do spend a little bit of time gazing around Pinterest. It can be useful, inspiring, and a total waste of time, but I'm happy with that combo. I must say that after the initial excitement of a new thing, I now only have the patience for a fairly brief look. My pinning goes in bursts, and I think it will wane once I have a new house that is looking totally perfect. Ha! I am definitely a sucker for beautiful decor.

I also pin quite a lot of food photography, and poetry and prose that hits the spot. I haven't quite got in to gardening, as it may never stop, and I still mark websites that I want to revisit using old-fashioned bookmarks - Pinterest for me is just single image inspiration.

Friday, 17 January 2014

A summery holiday

What a wonderful holiday we had! Apart from a couple of trips to the Wairarapa, our post-Christmas holiday was the first we have had in many years and I admit I was a little nervous. Sleeping the kids in strange beds is never entirely successful and holidaying has not really been on my radar. But wow, what great experiences there are to be had!

Thursday, 16 January 2014


  A portrait of my children every week for a year.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Hill St Farmers' Market

I read about the Hill Street Farmers' Market many months ago and thinking about going has become a regular feature in my life. The market is held on a Saturday morning and we're often on the lookout for something to do on a Saturday, and we finally got there this weekend.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Christmas Day treats

In this summer series of humouring me, here's a bit of a collection of pics from our Christmas Day. Yes, I had a nice day thank you. I find the lead up to Christmas very difficult, but the day itself - good food, presents, happy children - there's plenty to like about that.
And I took the kids to church, actually.

Sunday, 5 January 2014


A portrait of my children every week for a year.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Moving out, but not on

On December 10 we closed the door to our lovely but-getting-too-little home for the last time. It didn't matter, by then, whether we wanted to go or not, the train had already left the station. The house was sold, the truck had taken our boxes away and the house was bare - soon to be filled by a young couple who had fallen in love with it. I was ready for whatever will be next.

Summer holiday humour

We're back! Or should I say, we're still here! In the last month we have moved out of home, settled in to Nana's, put in an offer on a house and lost out, celebrated Christmas, been on an extraordinary holiday, landed at Wellington airport in 140km per hour gales, and found ourselves in a new year.