Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Perfect day.

Today was the perfect day.

  • It started rather bright and early. We woke at 0630 hours, which we NEVER do on a Sunday. But NZ  played England in the Rugby League World cup semi-final. It was a nail biter of a game...England were 4 up in the last two minutes of the game ...and then in the final play we snatched the victory and won the game. We play Australia next weekend in the final. Cant wait. And we will HAVE to watch it live! We are the current world cup holders so it would be great to take it from the likely Auzzie winners.

  • We made it our church on time even! I love hanging with my fellow God loving Peeps. This morning we were on Creche duty which is always fun. 
  • Arriving home just before midday...I decided today was the perfect day to head to the beach for my Christmas shot. We decided to go to a beach we never go to...Langs beach. It is a 30-40 minute drive away from Whangarei. 
  • Just before we hit Langs beach we came up over the hill and we were faced with the most most amazing view of the horizon ever. Literally breath taking. The blues were amazing, so many beautiful colours. When we saw this sight, we knew we had made the best decision to drive the extra miles to this beach.

  • We drove on trying to find the best part of the beach and parked up. And this sight was right by the car on the side of the road. 

{ Langs card perfect}

  •  We got to work on our project with Dadda in charge...but more on that another time... Then it was play time. 
  • I kept on snapping away with my camera trying to capture some great shots of the family and beautiful scenery. The kids were mighty sick of me and the camera...especially Zak Zak. 

  • On the way home we decided to stop off at Waipu Cove for an ice cream. The cove was a lot busier than Langs Beach with the waves being a bit better for the surfers. 

{waipu cove}
{waipu cove}

{Waipu cove} 

Family Pic. Ice creams at Waipu Cove

  • We topped off our perfect day with a pizza and a cold one at the Waipu Pizza Barn. So much fun all one day. Now Im pooped! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bullet point life

  • The other day was takeout night...the kids opted for McDonalds, while we had Thai. I realized I should really be up for worst mum of the year when I looked back and saw that while were going through the drive thru, Zak Zak was sucking on a giant lollie pop! Ha! McDs and lollies Tisk Tisk!
  • Ive been keeping up with the walking most weeks. This is a patience exercise for me...because I really really want to try and run it...but I'm trying to build up the strength in my sore knees. Today I tried running  anyway, for about 20 seconds before I realized I did not have the bra for it. Yep these former breast feeders need a double sports bra when undertaking anything more than brisk walk. They could take my eye out. One of these days I'll get back to a B cup! 
  • So I told you awhile ago I started instagraming? Well Ive found on my walks its quite cool to take in the sights of the neighbourhood and look for good instagram opportunities. Its good fun and keeps my mind occupied from "ARGGHH this sucks!" to....."ooh look at that pretty thing" And so I stop and take a photo and a breather at the same time. You should try it. I never used to be a Hash tag fan...but Im seeing the point now. So I hash tag it #onthewalktoday, and can look back at the pretty pictures I've taken on the walk. Its a good motivator. So if you take your phone out for a walk with you and instagram,  hash tag it #onthewalktoday and we can be virtual walking buddies :)
  • Here's some of my #onthewalk pics. Its amazing how diverse peoples front yards are aye? I try so hard to look casual when I take pictures in case a car drives past or the neighbours catch me...I pretend to be changing a track on the music or something. a stealth ninja!

  • I have probably mentioned it before, but since arriving in Whangarei, I am yet to find one particular hairdresser that I love. Not a word of a lie..Over the last 12 years...I have been to every single hair salon in the CBD. That's a lot! I am weird about my hair....when I feel like a haircut...I need to do right then and there. So the other day I was having one of these moments and stopped in at a couple of places...and they were booked, but there was this one place that I always drive past but have never tried, so I stop in and they have an appointment available. Yay. It turned out to be the first time I've had a transgender person cut my hair...or to be honest... spent much time with. We got to chatting and it turned out we knew some of the same people. I in turn could tell him what I hated about my hair...and he gave me some tips and all in all it was a really fun appointment. By some random spontaneous need to have a haircut, we crossed paths and  it helped me get over my prejudices. 
  • This was how it looked the day I did it. But do you think I could get it to look anything like it a couple of days later?? Darn you hair dressers and your hairdressing superpowers!! *waves fist*

  • Alas my month off work is over. Boy, is it over. People....Stop being sick! So I wont have to work so darn hard! 
  • So I have started the Christmas Shopping. Have you? On one hand I like the giving...on the other hand it does get a little stressful. So I'm going to pace myself...Like... buy a present per week! Its only once a year...its only once a year....breathe people!
  • of my favourite programmes "Private Practice" ended. Like completely ended!  And TV2 had the brilliant idea to bump it even later that started at 1130pm! It used to be at 930pm...sheesh...its was bad enough that it was ending let alone making me stay up so late for it. In other news TV4 have stopped showing New Girl until they get their Poop together...Argh Come on! Guess Ill have to get some new hobbies since there's nothing good to watch. 
  • Does anyone else think we should invent the word "pinteresting". Here, Ill use it in a sentence...."ooohhh look at that, that is so Pinteresting!" It would be in reference to something that is beautifully crafted and or photographed...worthy of being on Pinterest. 
  • On a side note....please do not follow my Humor Board on Pinterest...I'm a afraid you'll notice my strange sense of humor and no longer respect me as a person. But I am getting a pretty good collection of ecards....those things crack me up.
  • I read this interesting blog post from the Matt Walsh Blog on parenting that I thought was worth a linky. He has an interesting point of view on a lot of topics. 
  • And this article minus the colourful language summed up how I feel about the whole INTRAVERT/ EXTROVERT debate : "15 signs that you're neither an introvert nor an extrovert, you're just a human being with largely the same responses to social situations as everyone else." Link Here
  • I saw "The Help" movie on TV the other night...and have an overwhelming desire to make "Minnies Chocolate pie" and Fried chicken!
  • Okay so I have to end with a funny picture from my Humor board on Pinterest...

I told you my sense of humor is weird! So funny.
xx Jacksta-B

Friday, November 8, 2013

Christmas photos

Its coming up that time of year again...Time to take my family Christmas photo. I started making my own photo Christmas card way back in 2008 when miss Joy was 4 and Joe was 2. Even back then it was a mission to get the "money shot"so to speak. If there is one thing I have learnt is that my children don't really want to sit for anything more than one shot!
" Just one more...and smile this time...not like that like this...hey stop elbowing your sister...hey don't throw the baubles!!! " Argh the frustration!!
Generally I try and get as many shots as I can...and pick the best of a bad bunch!

I was looking back on what I had done over the years...and I'm so glad I took the time and did each one. It takes time to set up and process..but it gives you a treasured memory of Christmas that year.

Down memory lane....

The first one is probably my favourite. And the one that got the most oohs and aahs from the recipients that year. I had set it on a handmade black card so the colours really "popped" from the photo.


That years was shot at Takapuna Beach with Rangitoto in the background. I was so mad at my self this particular year..because it wasn't until I got home and put the photos on the computer that I realized all that photos had a little blurry spot in the middle. I couldn't figure it out..until I realized I hadn't cleaned the lens after hubster had taken the camera on a wake boarding trip! The pohutakawa tree looked amazing that year. The sky was blue and the ocean looked amazing...Just a pity the camera and lame photographer (me) couldn't capture the beauty on film.

This year we added a cranky baby into the mix by the name of Zak zak. He was 5 months old and in no mood for photos that day...this shot was the only photo he wasn't upset in. Taken at Whangarei heads somewhere.

This year I made letters to spell JOY. I bought them from Spotlight and painted them red. I tried sitting them all together, but Mr Zak zak again wasn't very compliant..he started stealing all the letter off his siblings. In the end I did each shot individually  and collaged them together. Joe had taken some skin off his nose days before so, he was looking a bit worse for wear. 


I was keen for another beach shot this year and had some ideas for props. Again Mr Zak Zak wasn't having a bar of it this year. Luckily the other two are quite photogenic, so I could instruct them to hold their pose while we got the naughty toddler back in the shot. 
Next time I do a beach shot I will check the tide chart too...the sea would have looked better at full tide. This is the beautiful Matapouri Beach...make sure you check it out if you are a visitor to Northland, New Zealand. 

I have been having a look through Pintrest for this years Christmas card idea...Cant wait! Hopefully Mr Zak zak will sit still this year!

Have you got any ideas for getting the ants in your pants type kid to sit still for a shot?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Experimental cook: pipis, mussels and ginger slice

Pipi Fritters
You may recall a couple of weeks ago we went pipi picking...and by "we" I mean he. I "watched" the car...and by watched the car,  I mean... did some sun bathing, and avoided the inevitable nail breakage that comes with pipi picking.
Any hoo...the Hubster has developed a very systematic approach to pipi shelling. The pipi sit in a bucket of sea water overnight. And then he steams them open...a small amount at a time... shells them...then steams some more...shells them. It takes a long time. But the result is non rubbery pipi that are just barely cooked.
Good Hubster.

Once they are all shelled...its my turn. I put them in the food processor along with onion, garlic, egg,  fresh parsley, pepper and some lemon zest and juice. I then add little flour to bind right at then end. Spoonfuls are fried in a little vegetable oil in batches until golden brown.

{NZ Pipi fritters with a side salad}

Crumbed NZ Green Lipped Mussels.

I recently read that mussels are really high in Heam Iron content! Like higher than red meat! I found this out here. I've had a bit of iron level trouble so when I read this I was stoked...because when made right...they can be a really yummy dish. Our local New World has them sitting under spraying water and is some what fresh...and on special at $3.50 per kg, it can be quite economical too. The last few times Ive made it, I ve done the white wine creamed recipe, but hubster wanted to try a less mussel tasting I came up with this. The mussels were cleaned and de-bearded in fresh water. Steamed in a pot until just opened then half shelled. 
In the food processor  blitz a couple of slices of fresh bread, a small onion and parsley to a fine crumb and then add a little olive oil  to moisten. Lay out the mussels on a tray and put spoonfuls on each mussel pressing down slightly to get it to stay on the mussel. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius until crumb  is golden. 

The kids havent quite found the taste for mussels so they had their favourite fish, baked salmon.

{delicious NZ seafood, with a side of bok choy and home made potato chips}

Healthy Ginger Slice.

I was having a friend around for coffee...and I know she loves ginger crunch. I also know she is a I tried to experiment with the recipe to try and healthy it up a little. My go-to site for healthy food (HFG) didn't have a healthy version of it so I tired my own.

The original recipe has a lot of butter in the base, and flour and sugar. So I reduced the flour and butter and added: oats, an egg, and shredded coconut. Instead of white sugar I used brown sugar.
The icing was pretty similar except that my ground ginger was pretty old so I used freshly ground jar ginger.

Overall the base was less "crunchy" and more of a "slice". We all liked it, but I'll tweak it next time to try and make the base a little more crunchy. The dietitian prefers the crunchier ones too but appreciated my efforts to try and make it healthier.

{Ginger Slice}
Any hoo as usual I liked playing around with ingredients to try something new...

Friday, November 1, 2013

and the winner is....

And the winner is....

Thank you to everyone who checked out my friend Olivia's new business and entered into the competition. Every entrant was deserving of some pampering but there could only be one winner.

I went over to "The Bach Beauty Therapy" today to get my self a relaxing facial to celebrate the last day of my holiday and to help pick out the winner of the draw.

the impartial name picker.

And the winner is....fellow blogger Sima J
She will be pampered to the value of $75!
Yay for her!