Thursday, October 31, 2013

Last day to enter competition

Just a reminder you have until Midnight tonight (31st October 2013) to be in to win a Beauty Therapy Voucher to Spend at the THE BACH BEAUTY THERAPY.
Check out this blog post: "When Dreams become a reality" to see how.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


  • I wonder if all the pumpkin flesh that America wastes from carving out Jack o lanterns during Halloween season could cure world hunger? 
  • On a side note...Pumpkin curry is one of my favs. Chopped Pumpkin, onion, garlic, dash of tomatoes (fresh or canned), curry spices: Mustard seeds, cumin, curry powder, and turmeric, chilli. Goes well with  freshly made roti or naan bread. 
  • This week I saw how fat my arms were getting and decided I better do something about it. When it comes to being healthy, I'm an all or nothing kind of person. Been more of the nothing lately. So this time I'm trying to be sensible and try a regime that eases me in slowly instead of scaring me off after the first day. I'm working towards an achievable 9km Fun run in March. I need to be realistic and balance shift work and children. I forgot how addictive the endorphins are, and how nice it is just to spend 45 minutes to your self and just think and pray and listen. 
  • Speaking of Listening! I had a funny God inspired revelation about "TWINK PEN" ...or "Correction fluid"... of all things on my walk today.  Someone had written on a wooden letter box, "I am cool" in Twink pen. I thought to myself who uses twink anymore? I certainly don't. As a nurse when we write notes at work, we are specifically not allowed to use twink. If you make a mistake you have to make a cross through it and write above it or next to it "Written in error". But everybody can still see your mistake. Sometimes its an embarrassing mistake! It got me thinking about how if my life story was hand written on a piece of paper, and I had made an embarrassing mistake, or a mistake that I was really shameful about and I had to cross it out, people could still quite easily see it even though I had crossed it out. But it is written,  if we come clean about our mistakes to God he blots them out of our story and never thinks of them again or holds it against us. In a word picture it describes our mistakes like they were the color scarlet, and He makes them white as white as liquid TWINK!! Nobody needs to know or remind us about our past mistakes or transgressions because the God can get out His "Twink" and erase them from our story, bring healing and help us to live better lives with hopefully less mistakes!
          Hehe...all that from a little graffiti on a letter box!

  • Sometimes when my 7 year old is reading to his really slow and  boring...still learning to read voice...I get lost in thought about how beautiful his face is...and can't believe I helped make that. He has the most stunning blue eyes and the darkest eye lashes.
  • One time when Miss Joy was doing her reading homework  in her still learning to read voice, I fell asleep! It was only 7 pm and a woke up to find she had gone! She quietly tip toed away so I didn't wake up. I felt so bad! 
  • Yesterday son number two fell asleep on me while were watching TV. He had missed his afternoon nap while we were out for the afternoon. Snug sleepy naps don't happen very often, so I took time to enjoy it while I could.
  • I am going to be attending a  Parenting "TOOLBOX" parenting course! Way back in April when I attended the Christchurch Blogger conference I won something! It was a voucher to attend a TOOL BOX course, but there wasn't  any running in Whangarei. But recently a Facebook friend announced she was running one at her house, So I signed up.  The hubster is going to stay home and babysit while I shyly meet some strangers. Hopefully I wont feel too crappy about my parenting skills and will learn some new things! I'll let you know how I get on. Our church is running a really fun sounding Marriage Course the same month that Id love to go to...but I don't think I can fit in both and work some evenings too! Typical! ...after a pretty quiet year, everything happens at the same time. 
  • And speaking of giveaways...if you are a runner, Rachel from Curious Runner Girl has a giveaway for a race entry on her blog today. 
  • The Hubster finished the retaining wall and  painted the hallway. Good Hubster. The poor fella has gone back to work for a break! But on the last weekend of his holiday, we decided we needed to go to the beach. The MIL and FIL had the same thing in mind, so we chucked the BBQ in the boot, and a picnic lunch and headed to Pataua South for lunch and a spot of Pipi picking. Kiwi As! We spit them over night in bucket of sea water and then made Pipi fritters for dinner the next night! So good!

I could do with a pedicure!

A seagull photo bombing my shot of the bridge and blue water

Picked Pipis!

A little game of swing ball. 

Getting a good dose of Vitamin D in my new Sunnies from Pagani 

Hope all is well with you and yours!
xx Jacksta B

Friday, October 18, 2013

Israeli Couscous salad recipe

Its Foodie Friday.

I was at a BBQ earlier this year when I tried an Israeli couscous salad for the first time. It had a similar texture to pasta but teeny tiny balls of it,  known as Ptitim in Israel. I finally got my hot little hands on some recently...but quickly realized I had no idea how to make it! I
I put the call out as a Facebook status for any tips and ideas on how to force feed my little food critics with it. Turns out there were already few out there who had made it before and enjoyed it. I googled some recipe ideas and mashed a few together and came up with my own one. Give it a try this BBQ season.

Spring Israeli Couscous Salad

1 & 1/4 Cup Israeli Couscous
2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock.
1 Tablespoon of Olive oil

1 cup of fresh asparagus cut into small pieces
1/2 cup of sliced cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup of chopped capsicum (bell pepper- red or yellow)
1/2 cup chopped cucumber, deseeded
1 Tbsp of  chopped fresh mint
1 Tbsp of chopped parsley
1 generous squeeze of lemon juice
1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.

Chop up your asparagus. Set aside.
Heat up the oil in a pot and add couscous to saute and lightly brown for 1 to 2 minutes on a medium to high heat. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer. Stir once in a while. Just before all of the liquid has been absorbed add your asparagus to the pot. Continue to cook until the couscous has been absorbed the stock. (Flavor infusion!! ). 
Pour into your serving dish, allow to cool and then place in fridge to cool down some more.
Meanwhile at this point chop up all your other veges and herbs.
Once the couscous has cooled add the rest of the ingredients and mix though gently.
Viola! A lovely spring salad side dish that will be a good dish to bring along to your next BBQ.

What did the food critics think??
Miss Joy (9) not usually adventurous with my cooking...gave it ago.
Joe (7) Liked it.
Zak Zak (3) Loved it...begged for "more ballies"
Hubster Like it too.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

When dreams become a reality

This is a story about a lovely young lady called Olivia. We met way back in 1999 when I moved to the city. She was still in high school back then, and I was starting my Nursing degree at Polytechnic. We were part of a wider group of friends and young people at our local church youth group.

Olivia finished high school and went on to study beauty therapy in Auckland. In her mid semester break she happily volunteered to do our make up for my wedding. The day before the wedding we had a great time having facials and getting our nails done...with the Sound of Music movie playing in the background.Don’t ask! We also had a flannelette  pajama burning ceremony....but I digress! On my actual wedding day she made me up so beautifully, that I still look at my framed wedding photo in awe of her magical touch. She showed such a natural talent for beauty therapy before she had even qualified. Later she returned home and began working as a fully qualified beauty therapist.

Olivia doing my make up on my wedding day.
In the years that have past, she has since married and had three children, and we have gotten to know each other better through our mums group and our children being friends. She is one of those people who is beautiful inside and out,  is always encouraging and a pleasure to be around.

Over the years she has worked a little, trying to balance some work hours with family life, all the while dreaming of a little beauty therapy spot to call her own in order to work from home and be a mum too.

A few years ago she purchased a property that had a tenanted flat attached to it. The place was an ideal spot for a beauty therapy business. It was the perfect size and location, but it needed a bit of work and it also needed to be at the right time. So she sat on it...waiting for the right time for her dream to become a reality. After 4 years of it being tenanted it became empty and she knew it was time.  Along with her supportive husband, she has personally spent the last few months completely renovating the studio into a completely new space. The one bedroom flat is now a newly refurbished Beauty Therapy Studio called “The Bach”.

I am just so excited for her and so proud of her! Watching from the sidelines and waiting with anticipation to see this all unfold for her is just so very cool. I went out and visited her today to see how it was all coming along with my camera and I was so overcome with joy for her. All her hard work and patience has paid off, and she is all ready for business.  The space is so warm and inviting, with a really pretty colour scheme. It is secluded and private and has a nice outlook to the ocean. The massage bed and nail studio are all set up. The towels are rolled and ready. The products are all lined up on the shelf. Its all finally ready to go!

Did I mention I am so EXCITED for her!

I offered to use my teensy little bit of cyber space to tell you about her...with absolutely no remuneration in mind purely just because she is my friend and I love her.  I personally can’t wait to be in that bed overlooking that ocean view having a relaxing facial.

If you head over to her Facebook page and copy and paste the words. "Jacksta-B sent me over to say PICK MEEEEEE!!!!." on to her Facebook wall, you will go into a draw to win a voucher to spend at The Bach!! If you are from out of town or (country!) ...but have a Whangarei resident  in mind (or a favourite Whangarei blogger...hehe! ) that you would love to nominate ...go right ahead and enter too! 
If you don't do Facebook and are keen to win a voucher for you or a Whangarei friend, leave the comment PICK MEEEEEEEEEEE!!! on the end of this post. Good Luck!

Entries for the voucher will close on October 31st 2013

The Bach runs by Appointment only and can cater to after hours clients who are unable to make it during day time hours due to work commitments or child care arrangements.
Check out her treatments and prices on her Facebook page and book in your beauty therapy appointment with my lovely friend today!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

done already?

  • These holidays have whizzed past, I cant believe that they are over!
  • Did I tell you I'm on holiday?! For a whole month even. I have been looking forward to them all year...since February to be exact. At my work place, the annual leave calendar gets filled up for the entire year pretty quickly. Some people have been known to take three months off right on January 1st! This will be the longest holiday I've have since my last maternity leave stint 3 years ago. While I am enjoying not even thinking about work, it does seem a little weird to have a holiday from the so little hours I do anyway. I just wish I was going some Hawaii!
  • When the kids go back to school, Ill be doing a whole lot of this...

  • Yes M2 is a mens magazine...but I like the articles. And an old time family friend is the publisher/editor. So I like to support him. 
  • My lovely Hubster is on holiday too, for two short weeks. Sadly he isn't  doing a lot of coffee drinking and magazine reading. I have the whip out so he can do some long awaited jobs around the help build a retaining wall.
  • His poor nice clean soft hands have blisters and callus's. The joys of being a home owner. We still have a hallway to paint...which I will try and help with next week when the kids go back to school and aren't running around being in the way.  

  • Lots of spontaneous days have been had these holiday..if you read my last blog post. The kids have pretty much just had play dates and hung out at home playing a new computer game. 
  • We did however take the little tike to his first zoo visit. He was such a laugh, with his map. Well it wasn't funny at the time. We started off at the the left. And all he wanted to see was a spider! Which was all the way on the other side of the we'd go...look the elephant Zak zak...and he'd say..."I WANNA SEE SPIDEEEEERRRRR!". A little teeny bit frustrating that kid! After a while I suggested we just get to the spider which was actually the tarantula...and he didn't even get that excited when he saw it. Funny little guy. You forget how much walking you need to do...along with the extra miles we parked away from the entrance...because it was the such a busy day to visit. Any hoo. Making memories aye?!

  • Can you really go the zoo and not have a photo inside the dragons mouth?
  • So I joined instagram. The jury is still out on that one. What I'm discovering is a whole lot of my favourite bloggers are all in this ap instead of blogging. It really is like a whole new world in there. I feel like one of those newbies to Facebook...while the rest of the world has been doing it since 2007, we all snigger at the way they incorrectly write updates in the wrong bits. Yep this happened the me on instagram. I recorded my first movie and it didn't even have any sound, which was the whole point because I was listening to Irish music. Fail. 
  • A week in and Hashtags still pee me off. I'm sure in a little while my eyes wont be bothered by them..or maybe they still will. #Firstworldproblems. 
  • I did warn the people who begged me to join instagram, that I would be one of those annoying people who instagram their plates of food. See... 
Saturday night takeaways. So yum

  • Trying to separate instagram photos- with Facebook photos- with blog photos to make sure the same people don't have to see the same photos,  it seems is a challenge. Gotta keep it fresh
  • So I participated in my first blog swap. It was the NZ mug swap 2013 I think I missed the brief. My poor mug swap partner must be thinking she got ripped off! I put a LOT of thought into the actual MUG...and not a lot else to be fair. And then my mug swap partner goes and gives me this awesome package. Thank you so much Heather from This Mum Rocks. I'm blown away. 

  • I went out and watched the movie Gravity with these two lovely chicks...followed by apple and cinnamon tea at the Fat Camel.  It was a cool movie, but then I've been a Sandra Bullock fan since SPEED. George Clooney I can take or leave! Okay he was good in Oceans Eleven. 

Kristy and Becky
  • I recently saw this outside a pub on the waterfront in Auckland. Haha...

  • This cartoon always cracks me up!


  •'s the home stretch till Christmas. We can do it! One more school term and then some summer holidays. Bring it on. 

xx Jacksta-B

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

let spontaneity reign

Its the school holidays here in NZ. yay.
This mumma had plans...plans for fun.
Plans for outings and activities.
I was even working on a little holiday that was detailed to the hour. To try and stuff in as much in as possible.
Crafting at the library. Swimming lessons. going to chipmunks. a movie day, taking a family trip up to the northern most tip of the North. a trip to Auckland to the zoo maybe even Kelly Tarltons.
All my suggestions were met with negativity. One of them wanted to do it ..the other didn't ("BUT I dont like long drives, I've already been to the zoo, I  don't like crafting, or making kites or making a bug catcher")...and so on down the list. Neither seemed keen to do any of my fun suggestions. Seriously...I almost pulled out the "when I was your age" card.
That's it! I called it. Holiday plans are ACTIVITIES...we will entertain ourselves at home..we go nowhere...
That was yesterday.

Today I woke to the sounds of children actually playing nicely.
Jumping on the wobbly trampoline
Pushing each other up and down the hallway in a large box,
Playing "Church" with all their soft toys lined up in the seats with the music cranked up being song leaders.
Playing hide and seek outside in the fresh air.
Looking after their kid brother.
Helping themselves to the cupboard when they are hungry.
No schedules, no bell to tell them when to eat, and when to sit.

Just unruly, loud holiday behavior.
Time to be themselves.
Unscheduled...time to relax and unwind from the school term.

So today while I enjoyed my breakfast in bed, catching up on last nights Grey Anatomy on Demand...I decided  plans are NOT what the doctor ordered...and spontaneity need's to reign instead.

Happy Holiday's

PS: If your kids would like to have some fun at the Library  while we are at home doing not much...heres the link for their their free holiday programme for school age kids