Thursday, January 30, 2014

100 happy days

OK let's get back into this blogging business.
Today I read about this 100 happy days challenge. Apparently, after doing this challenge, people start noticing what makes them happy more, are in a better mood every day, realize how lucky they are, etc etc. Sounds great to me. I would like to do that. Today so far I fixed some curtains for a lady, took my recycling to the depot and noticed my frangipani had started flowering. All these things have made me very happy so far today.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Journal Your Christmas

Day 15 - 25
This year I was able to decorate a 'mantle'. Not really a mantle, we don't have a fireplace, but this is the next best thing. When Mum shifted to a new place I inherited her gorgeous mahogany sideboard, so I could decorate it!! like a mantle! fun!
In Port Waikato we have an annual Christmas Parade. It is very well supported by the community and seems to get bigger each year. We set up our chairs at the front gate with some nibbles and drinks and wait for the parade to come by. It's a lot of fun and the kids love it. Everyone throws lollies and the local Fire Brigade lead the way. All the locals groups put in a float and go to a lot of trouble. It's great. Pity it goes by so quickly.
In the days up to the weekend I spent them last minute shopping and last minute cooking. Making fruit cake and lolly cake. Buying supplies for Christmas day food. I was making a cheesecake for lunch at Mums and a salad for dinner at Rob's family. And buying those last few special gifts.
On Friday the 20th we headed down to Emma's in Taupo for the weekend to have Christmas with her and for my birthday on Saturday. So I needed to be fully organized by then.
We took down all our Christmas presents and some other supplies. On Saturday, my birthday, we got up early to have Christmas presents before Emma went to work. James and Kat gave me a lovely punch bowl and glasses, so we made sangria for our BBQ get together on Saturday night. Rob cooked a beautiful ham on the BBQ. Yum!!
We had a wonderful time in Taupo, the weather was great! On Sunday we spent the afternoon at the lake, Emma's Rob had a small rubber dinghy that we had a ball in. It was just so good to be together, having fun and so many laughs. Then we went to see the Hunger Games Catching Fire movie on Sunday night. I've been wanting to see it but had no one to go with, so that was a bonus. Such a good movie!! We headed home after lunch on Monday.
That brings us to Christmas Day. We headed off early yesterday morning to Mum's for lunch. This is kind of a tradition with us, that we have lunch with my family and dinner with Rob's family. Though I can see it starting to change a little as our young ones grow up and have their own families. I believe that Christmas is totally about family and I love to devote that one day to family.
Mum has a new kitten and it kept us entertained for hours while we were there. So cute!!
So that about wraps it up. It's Boxing Day here in NZ today, and everyone is sleeping in, so I thought I'd catch up on this journal. A lazy day today, eating leftovers and enjoying the day with James and Kat before they head off on their holidays.
A last photo Emma sent me yesterday as she couldn't be with us.
 Happy Christmas!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Journal Your Christmas

Days 11, 12, 13 & 14 all rolled into one

A bit last minute but I'm doing it. I'm making my cards, I'm making my wrapping paper, I'm making some handmade gifts. It's all fun and all part of building the Christmas spirit.
I want to enjoy Christmas, if you think about it in our whole lifetime we don't get many occasions like Christmas so we want to enjoy, love and be happy at Christmas. Make a big fuss, go to the extreme if you can. I LOVE Christmas. 
I remember always coming home for Christmas. If we lived away from the family we would always come home. It was so exciting to arrive home and everyone was happy to see us. The kids were so excited. It's the holidays, its summer, no White Christmas here. Just sun, sand and surf and drinking, eating and being merry. One year we couldn't come home but we spent it with friends in Gisborne. That was a fun Christmas too. At least we could still spend it with people we love. When I was a kid we always went to Nana's and Grandma's for Christmas. I loved being with the family and all my cousins. 
Christmas Day is about family.
Happy Family Time.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Journal Your Christmas

Day 8 - Oh Christmas Tree

My lovely black Christmas tree, I know the photo is black and white with a touch of red, but the tree is actually black. This photo from Xmas 2010. The skating snowman is one of my favorite ornaments but I have more favourites that I have collected over the years.

Day 9 - Special Treats
I look forward to Christmas mince pies, and candy sticks are fun to put on the tree. The kids would sneak them when they were little especially James. Oh I love Ferrero Rocher chocolates at Christmas time. Christmas lights. I love to put them everywhere.

Day 10 - What do I want for Christmas?
I've made a list of things for everyone else but what do I want?
I always want shoes and clothes. And I want to start an Evolve bracelet - like Pandora but NZ themed beads. SOOOO cute. But that's for my birthday. I'd love a Himalayan Salt lamp. That's all really.

Happy Shopping :)

Monday, December 09, 2013

Journal Your Christmas

Day 5 - Christmas cards

Hhmmm well, yes I want to make my own Christmas cards this year and yes I should because I still have time, but I can't come up with a design I like. So maybe I should just buy some. No, I need to make them and I will. I didn't even send any last year so it's highly likely we won't be getting many this year.

Day 6 - Cozy Christmas

How to make our Christmas cozy this year instead of stressful.
Things to still do -
Make treats next weekend
Finish present shopping this week
Wrap presents ready to take to Emma's
Buy a ham

Day 7 - Taking It All In

Christmas time is a sensory overload especially down here in NZ because it is the start of summer. It is the start of my favorite time of year.
I love the feel of the sun getting warmer at the start of summer.
The taste of summer cooking - fresh fruits, salads and BBQs
Seeing the Christmas lights everywhere - twinkling at night or in shop windows
The smells of Christmas - pine, cinnamon, mint
Hearing Christmas carols on the radio.

I just want to take it all in and savor every sense of Christmas and summer.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Journal Your Christmas

Day 4 - I remember

I do remember looking out the window during the night when I was about 4 hoping to see Santa and his reindeers racing across the sky. Something must have woken me because I'm sure there was a bike at the end of my bed but I was too sleepy and I knew I wasn't allowed to get up till morning. Sure enough Santa had been and left a bike at the end of my bed and I'm sure I saw him leaving.

My newest decoration, on special too, yay. I love to pick up these bell ones and jingle them when I'm shopping but they are usually so expensive. This was less than half price so I grabbed it.
Happy Decorating.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Journal Your Christmas

Day 3 - Plan for Happiness

Yes it's always a busy hectic day. This year I have a little more time to do some planning and I'm hoping family will come to us for dinner. We have a traditional get together with my side of the family for lunch, which is at my sisters this year. So we will drive there and then hopefully home to have Rob's family for the night.

We have some food and drink traditions. The first is to soak sultanas in rum for a few weeks before Xmas to make rum truffles with. Today I will buy all the ingredients to make them along with ingredients for Canadian Roll (or lolly cake) another tradition, fruit cake and peppermint bark.

I love a glass or two of Lindhauer Fraise on Xmas Day. Just something about it. With strawberries floating in it yum. And I can't believe I don't have a photo. On the list!!
So here's to Happiness this Xmas. Or Harikoa in Maori.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Journal Your Christmas

Day 2 - First signs
I've never noticed before how beautiful flax flowers are in full bloom. Are they always like this, does it really mean a long hot summer? I hope so. I noticed the tuis were loving these flowers the other day and thought never in my life have I seen such a stunning display of flax flowers. All out at once. To us in NZ, Christmas is summer and this is a sign of summer to me. The Pohutukawa trees flowering is another sign of summer, our Christmas flowers.

Another first sign of Christmas is the usual shop advertising and displays. All the extra rubbish mail that arrives in the letterbox. Putting the Christmas tree up. I seem to do it earlier each year. I want to hold on to Christmas as long as possible. Thinking about Christmas food and what to make/have.
Journal Your Christmas

Happy Rainy Day. Good for the garden and the water tanks. :)

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Journal Your Christmas

Day 1 - Manifesto
To have a relaxed and enjoyable Christmas with family. I don't mind driving this year as we have had to stay home the last 2 years. I won't shop in the weekends or late nights if I can help it. Week days and the earlier the better. Prezy cards are a good idea this year. Looking forward to treating myself to some sweet treats - I've been cutting out sugar you see. I think thats it. Maybe some Lindhauer Fraise on Xmas Day - a tradition I seem to have. 

Preparing for Christmas. Decorating.

Sunday was the 1st December here in NZ and it was also National Surfing Day. James arrived for the day and we hit the beach for a fun surf. Not me, I just took some photos, but some of the boys from the Port Waikato Boardriders Club and locals were out even though conditions were not terribly suitable. Onshore winds and choppy surf, but never mind they got out there and had fun for the first National Surfing Day.
The 1st of December is also the day we shifted into our house at Port Waikato and it is 12 years this year that we have been here. We've done a lot to the place but there is still so much more to do. My craft room is finally done and two spare rooms out the back - Rob has claimed one for his man cave. Still waiting for the electrician to finish the lights and then thats it.
Happy December xx

Friday, January 18, 2013

A New Year already...

...and another year older.
Hello, Happy New Year and everything. Its been awhile I know, but I'm still here.
I truly have been busy though, its been a fairly good summer so we've been very busy at the Holiday Park, which is good. I have managed to fit in a couple of projects and some messing around.

I love the feathers I see on lots of projects around and esp the gold dipped ones so I thought I'd have a go at making some. I had a bag of very downy white feathers to play with, which weren't perfect, but here's how they turned out.
First I painted the tips with gold paint, then dipped them in glitter and put aside to dry. Not perfect but I quite like them.

 Lastly, look at my beautiful cactus flowers, they don't last long but they are quite magnificent when they open.
How cute is Rio's paw in the photo :) This flower had been blown off the plant.

Back soon. Happy Summer!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Blogging has kind of lost it's appeal now, with Facebook and Instagram being so much quicker and easier to share snippets of your daily life. But I know some family like to check in here now and then so I will keep blogging. I look back to when I first started blogging in July 2005, and all the things I blogged about, special times in our lives, it's a great online diary. But what will happen to it in 20 or 30 years time? Will it still be here sitting in cyberspace, will I still be able to read it? I wonder? It makes you think how technology is progressing so fast, almost out of control, it's hard to keep up. We thought it was so cool having a blog back in 2005 but now it's all about Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest and all those cool cyber places. Taking photos and they are instantly there for everyone to see. Quite amazing really.
Anyway, I do like my blog, it just takes a little time to sit down and do it, resize photos etc etc. Because a post is much better with a photo or 2 I think.

Sadly Robs Dad, Bob passed away recently. He had been sick for awhile but it's still always very very sad and heartbreaking. He had an awesome sendoff on the day of the tangi. It was lovely weather. And it was good to catch up with family members we hadn't seen for years. Here's a great photo of 'some' of the extended Gray family.

About time for something crafty I think. More art journal stuff maybe? Just some recent additions to my art journal. Love the colours in this one.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

New banner

Do you like my new banner. About time isn't it!! I do love playing around in Photoshop making things, but it did take me a few days in my spare time. However I'm pretty happy with the result.

So what was in the mold. This owl pendant from a necklace I had. Pretty cute right? The flowers just there to compare the size.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Fathers day and crafting

We had a lovely afternoon yesterday with James and Emma and a couple of James' friends, Josh and Jamie. Roast for dinner and some special cupcakes I made. My fancy icing attempt; I know, bad isn't it. Just can't keep a straight line lol. Still tasted good. I used my banana cake mixture and put in individual cups instead of in the big baking tin. Turned out great. Yum!!

Gardening - made a new garden the other day with a cute dangly banner thing to keep the birds away hopefully. It has broccoli, lettuce and silverbeet at this stage and herbs that were already there. And the markers I made from old spoons. Idea from Pinterest.

Been making molds for resin. What do you think this is, there's a hint at the top right of the photo. I'll show you tomorrow when I unmold it :)

Saturday, September 01, 2012

I'm Back

Had a little break but I'm back now. And it's my second favourite time of the year. Summer of course is my favourite, but I love spring too.

So we went away to Samoa. We had such an amazing trip with our friends Col and Kim. The weather was beautiful, I love the heat. Around 30 degrees every day, perfect. The evenings were beautiful, so still and warm, we were in heaven. Love the people, so friendly. So smily. :))
I won't bore you with heaps of photos but here's a few Instagram photos for a taste.
Relaxing in the pool at Aggie Greys Hotel when we arrived.
 Delicious Oka we had nearly every day. Fresh tuna in fresh coconut cream, Mmmmm.
Snorkelling at Palolo Deep, can't see the water just behind us unfortunately because of the light. Great snorkelling though.
 What we woke up to in the morning on Savaii. Glorious!!
 Swimming in front of our fale on Savaii.
 Our fale on Savaii. Just loved it so much.

Next time we won't take big heavy towels, you don't need them. Just a light towel to quickly dry you off and then let it dry in the heat. Shorts and singlets are good. Take an underwater camera for sure and definitely a book or two. I still miss it.