Wednesday, October 1, 2014

closing up the blog

Time to close up the blog.

Its time.

I'm happy that I met a few bloggers out there.

I'm happy that some of you write so honestly and have allowed me to come into your lives too.

I think I will keep lurking. Popping in to comment on your thoughts....

But its time for me to shut up shop.

The passion for it has gone. My voice seems lost. With not much left to say.

Drafts remain unfinished. Half blog posts turn around in my head.

4 years.

4 years of bullet point posts, food pictures, parenting fun, birthday cakes, birthday giveaways, trying new things, watching the kids grow up, especially the baby who is now 4!

4 years of putting on my thinking cap and trying to form actual sentences that made sense, quite a challenge for this non writer. These are my favourite writing pieces,
I was brave
An ode to Hannah
An end of an era
Worst case scenario mum

I hope I have inspired. I hope I have encouraged. I hope I have made you smile.

Because you have done the same for me.

4 years

About the right time for the end of an era.

This is Jacksta B Signing off

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bullet point ponderings

Dear Reader. You know what time it is? Its time for a bullet point post! I know you wanna know what shenanigans we've been up to since we last chatted!

  • I'm on holiday. Yeahh! Of course that really doesn't mean much when you are a mum. What I really imagine is this....

photo credit

  • What really happened was I tried to make of the most of it by getting up earlier and going to work gym the first Monday. I got all the way there at 615am and couldn't get in because I didn't know the code! I thought about going back to bed because it was still dark but  decided  to go for a walk instead. I went again the next day after finding out the code!
  • I still have this stupid shoulder. Its really frustrating me, because its now in its 6th month of being painful. And it could take 18 months to heal on its own. Gah! So after pushing it in the gym for a week I'm letting it rest, and am getting some advice about how to get fit without aggravating it. I tried getting it covered as workplace injury but it got declined because I didn't do the right paperwork at the time so I have to pay for all myself. Boo :(  But still...people have it way worse than this, and deal with it valiantly. I'm going to stay positive! 
  • The rest of the week was more of hanging out with this lot over their school holidays....

  • These holidays seemed to go really fast. Except for the fighting, arguing and general horseplay... in those times I dreamed of peace and quiet. We managed to balance getting out for a couple of activities and general moping around. After watching the Lego movie, the kids are back into playing with their Lego...even Miss Joy. The older two would create wonderful creations and just before they were happy with them "The Destroyer" would come and obliterate it all. More arguing, more yelling....  Zak Zak seems to be quite a destructive little guy. Anyone had a kid like this? He doesn't seem to learn! Drives us all nuts. 
  • I've been really enjoying having a bright coloured nail polish on these holidays! I've got on an OPI red  that is  called "Santa's Suit". Might bring that one out again at Christmas time.
  • A couple of week ago I found a grab one voucher online for a bus tour to Cape Reinga. I wasn't that keen to put Zak Zak on a bus with some poor unsuspecting tourists but the hubster reckoned that was the only way to visit the cape and so we went for it. He manged to get Friday off work so we made a weekend of it. Friday rolls around and would you believe it Zak zak is sick as. A Temperature, vomited a couple of days before, off his food, lethargic, and a slight all over body rash. Grandma kindly offered to keep him while the rest of us could have fun with out him. We made the decision right at the last minute. "I can't leave him" I tell hubster. He comes with us or I'm not going at all! We decide to risk it and hope for the best. You know how kids minute they are sick the next minute they are fine. And with two nurse parents we thought we'd be fine. We kept up the panadol every 6 hours over the whole weekend. And he coped and got a little better each day. 
  • The voucher couldn't be used on Saturdays so we went on the Sunday after staying on the Karikari Peninsula in a lovely Spa Bath motel room at a Top 10 Holiday park. It was a tad expensive for the 5 of us but totally worth it. We saved money on food for the weekend because we filled a chilly bin full of food, snacks and drinks. And boy did we use that spa bath! 
  • I had recently read in the NZ herald that the top beach in all of Northland was "Matai Bay" and third overall in all of NZ voted on the AA website. I had never even heard of this beach even though I've lived in the north all my life. We decided to check it out. And Oh my! I believe it is. We had a lovely few hours with the beach pretty much all to our selves! And such a beautifully clear hot day in May even! The water was too chilly for me but the rest of the family enjoyed a dip, especially hubster. I enjoyed catching some snaps with my camera. I put the portable tripod in and managed this one shot of us all together. Hubster is holding on to Zak Zak to keep him still for one photo!

    {Crystal clear waters of Matai Bay}

    • If you ever head up to the Cape make a detour to this beautiful beach. 
    • The next day we got up bright and early to head to Kaitaia for our tour bus pick up. We gave ourselves an extra half hour to get there early. Just as we arrive at Kaitaia at 9am I get out the voucher to check the address and my heart sinks...I've made a mistake! The pick up time is 9am not 930am. We try to get there a little faster hoping it's still waiting for us and then we see it coming in the opposite direction out of town! Everyone in the car is mad at me...especially hubster. We try and figure out what to do. I suggest we just drive up to the cape ourselves. And then have a brainwave to call the tour company. She says I'll call the bus driver and see if he will come back for you. And he does! We hop on the bus apologizing to the other tourists! Shame! 
    • He still loves me even though I'm a wally sometimes!
    {Taputaputa Bay}
    {We made it in the end!
    Cape Reinga} 
    • We got home late on Sunday night after stopping in at my mums for a quick curry feed and arrived home just in time to watch the Master Chef Final. A great weekend away!

  • I'm Listening to Bethels latest album with the Ladies only called "You Make me Brave"

      • I'm Creating a knitted blanket. Since I'm such a crafting retard and can only knit rectangles, I'm making my self a blanket with colors that have special meaning to me. I even did some on the bus. Its going have 25/25 stitch squares that will look like a patch work of colors...I hope. I'm not following a pattern...and hope to finish it some time this life time....

      • I'm Reading:  Kerre Woodhams "Short fat chick to Marathon runner". And have the Daughter of Smoke and bone Trilogy coming from the book depository in the mail soon. I had to see what ya'll were so excited about! 
      • Im cooking:  After seeing Simon Gault at a stall at our local New World selling his new product range, I've been wanting to try his Cloudy Bay Clam Chowder recipe. Oh My! So good. 

      Hope all is well in your neck of the woods


      Sunday, April 20, 2014

      And the winner is...

      A big thank you to all those who entered my birthday giveaway last week.

      And the winner is....

      Congratulations to Nina Buchanan. Ill have it right out to you asap. 

      Thursday, April 17, 2014

      last chance

      Don't forget to head over to here to be in to win my birthday giveaway. 
      Drawing it tomorrow the 18th April 2014

      Friday, April 11, 2014

      My Birthday Giveaway

      In recent years every time my birthday rolls around I'm more excited than ever. As you know I work as a nurse.A lot of my job is helping people get well and out the door to live their lives, but part of my job is helping people deal with death. I find that every time I comfort a family who have just watched their loved one breathe their last breath, I am faced with my own mortality and how much each day is a blessing. I choose to celebrate my birthday as a great day to be blessed with another year. I use it as a day to look around at my family and friends and be thankful that I get to share my life with them.

      {Whoa...Google knows its my birthday!}

      With that in mind I decided it was a good reason to gather my favourite long time friends and have a fancy dinner out at a swankie restaurant.  I have known each of these ladies for over ten years. We've laughed together and cried together. They've cooked me dinners when I have had a newborn and have always had a listening ear and are just a fab bunch of gals. I tried really hard to get them act more lady like at our fine dining experience but you can't take the Northland out of them.
      We had a great pre-birthday night out with loads of laughs and the most delicious food in Whangarei at A'Deco with Top NZ Chef Brenton Low. Super Yum!
      That's us "posh fake laughing"

      {My dessert}
      And since its my birthday...I've decided to do a giveaway...just because...

      So these are a few of my favourite things at the moment.

      • Loving the coffee from  Northland roasting company “Max Coffee”. Roasted in Kerikeri. Gets me going in the mornings.
      • Still loving the Fudge farm! Today I have for you their delicious Russian Fudge sauce and some of their Bailey’s Fudge...
      • I'm currently enjoying the Joyce Meyer book “the Confident Mom” as an ibook which only hit the shelves this year. As usual she is super relatable and it is a great read.
      • And you must check out my friend Emily’s website for her range of handmade Goats milk soap. This stuff lathers so nicely with a range of smells. She also has products for people with sensitive skin. Today I'm giving you a Goats milk Soap with Ginger & Lemongrass Essential Oils. 

      The Nitty Gritty!

      All you need to do is be a follower of my blog and fill in this sentence in the comment section below to be in to win....that's all!

      PI_K      MEEE____EEEEEEEE!!

      Make sure I can Email you if you win. Competition closes in a week....on Good Friday 18th April 2014.

      "May the odds be ever in your favour"...ha ha couldn't resist! Good luck! NZ and Australian bloggers only sorry.

      Friday, March 28, 2014

      bullet point ponderings

      • Why hello there?! I trust all is well in your neck of the woods. Just me, checking in with my favorite bullet point ponders. 
      •  I'm not sure whats going on with me at the mo. Social media. I'm a little bit over it. I finally took the first step, I got  rid of Facebook from my phone. I was getting a little bit ridiculous, checking it constantly and it was bringing out the worst in me. So both the hubster and I have taken FB off our phones..and he went one step further and got rid of instagram too. I still  dig instagram for now, so it stays. And I do still  check in with my favourite blogs too. Although our kids don't have phones yet I am trying SO hard to prevent them from getting trapped in the social media black hole. I would much rather they met or  talked to their friends in real life rather than these silly screens! You WE all used to do once upon a time. 
      • Anyhoo...I don't know what the answer is. We will probably all end up like these people from Wall-e

      • SO I did something fun a couple weeks ago ....I got a nice long needle to the shoulder joint! I may have mentioned before that I have had this crappy painful shoulder since October last year. Well I saw an orthopedic surgeon about it and he diagnosed it as "adhesive capsulitis" or "frozen shoulder". He recommended another steroid injection but into a different spot. Man it was painful! But guess what!? Now my shoulder is mostly pain free! Now I just have to improve my range of movement and I'll be playing golf in no time...ha! Maybe. My lovely physio "invited me" to our work gym and gave me some exercises to improve my strength and range of movement. And guess what? I actually enjoyed much so I'm thinking of joining one of the local gyms while our work one is getting remodeled. Time to get this fat butt into shape. I say that every year!
      • On the mummy front the kids have finished their athletics season. The conclusion is long distance running is their strength. Throwing things like a discus and shot put....not so much! They do have the skinniest arms around! Anyway, its all good learning. 
      • We have also been doing cooking lessons with mumma again. I honestly think the food tastes better when they help me. I take the time to teach...and we taste and take our time, and in the end the food is better. Case and point. A while ago I was teach miss joy to make the perfect steak. We like it medium rare... and this piece of rump steak was one of the best we had ever cooked! Perfectly pink in the middle. And I have found their taste buds are changing as they try new things. Win for all. 
      {Delicious butter chicken and homemade naan bread}

       In other news....
      {I went to the beach recently with the sole purpose
      of eating this ploughmans meal for a picnic} 
      {And of course to hang out with this lot}
      {A day at the beach is never wasted}

      { I started a skin care regime for the first time in my life.
      With the help of my beauty therapist I am trying to get rid
      of my "pregnancy mask" using the Aspect range.
       Morning and night!} 
      { I tried my first ever spinach smoothie...
      thankfully the banana and blue berries disguised the flavour}
      • My birthday is coming up next month. Just saying. There may well be a giveaway...
      • I'm thinking of doing what Katie from Mummy Adventures  does this year. She thinks up a number of  things to do before her next birthday that is about her age. Since I'm turning 33 I have to think up 33 things to do before my next birthday. I have an idea! Can you throw some suggestions my way in the comments section below. OOOhhh This could be fun or rather daunting! Making things...reading things....watching things...doing things....climbing things.....Help me out here! Ill take your  suggestions and come up with some of my own and we'll make a birthday thing out of it!

      { #nomakeupselfie}

      Thursday, March 27, 2014

      My new toy

      This Christmas I gave the hubster two options for my present: 1) a Juicer or 2) a Juicer. To which he replied “not another kitchen appliance!” Okaaaay! So I have a little addiction to collecting kitchen utensils and appliances, but in my defense I use them all! Weirdly though instead of breaking this bad boy out of its box as soon as I got it on Christmas day...I waited while I researched and contemplated what exactly to do with it. It’s a pretty big contraption that needed a space in my already full of crap kitchen. I also needed an abundance of fruit to juice.  Then out of the blue I was given a giant bag of unwanted home grown grapes from my parents  and in-laws. First juice in juicer....grape juice! Delicious! It was a good start.

      {Breville juice fountain}
      This week I was given a big bag of home grown apples and I bought some beetroot hoping to try a new mix. During my research I found that juicing is a good way of getting a good dose of vitamins  and a whole bunch of nutrients  but dietitians and nutritionists are skeptical of the fact that while the juice may be good the fiber that is left out from the juicing is a real shame....queue today’s experimental cooking!

      {Zak Zak is absolutely obsessed with helping me juice. He keeps asking when we can do again.}

      {Apple and beetroot juice}

      My juicer can apparently take whole apples peel and pips in all, but I took the time to peel and cut out the flesh from each one and I did the same for the beetroot. After the juicing process the pulp I was left with was quite dry so what I did was, I added the gross frothy stuff that comes out and a little tap water to re-hydrate it and then I popped it in the microwave to cook for about 4 minutes. It looked just like actual apple sauce except with a few larger bits of pulp. I then used a hand blender and blitzed up the fruit pulp until it was smooth. 
      {Re-hydrated and cooked apple and beetroot pulp from juicer}

       ~Apple and Beetroot Chocolate cake~

      {super moist}

      Righto ready for some cake!

      I turned my juicing pulp into a chocolate cake...but a healthy- good for you- version!

      I haven’t quite perfected the recipe yet but here's how I did it:

      Beetroot and Apple Chocolate cake

      200g butter melted
      1 cup white sugar
      1 and ½ cups beetroot and apple cooked pulp
      1 Egg
      1 cup self raising flour
      ½ dark cocoa
      1 cup dark chocolate chips

      Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.  Pour mix into a greased cake tin and cook until skewer comes out clean around 40 minutes on 180 degree oven.

      When cool. Ice it with your favourite chocolate icing. 

      The result a super moist cake.

      The kids have almost finished the whole cake and because it has beetroot in it... I'm just stoked they are eating it! Especially since they didn't really like the juice I made them.

      Next time I might try and see if the same works for carrot pulp from carrot juice.

      {Not usually a cake eater!}

      Tuesday, February 18, 2014

      ba hum bug

      • So finally after a couple of years of this blogging thing...I have finally have to write the words I hate reading on other peoples blogs..."hello poor neglected blog"
      • I'm not going to say I told you so...but I will... instagram has killed the blog mojo. I knew it would happen...I saw other bloggers fall into  instagrams miry dark underworld. A place where friendships soar over a picture of a cup of coffee and followers are gained from a hipstamatic picture of pink neon nails. Curse you instagram and your ease of use. Your ability to fill my time in line at the coffee shop as I scroll through endless pictures and comments and short descriptions, simultaneously placing me and other strangers connected by the same hash tag in real time some where, some place. Interconnected and scrolling. Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. Curse you little heart that quickly informs the instagramer that I have indeed seen their picture and have decided to 'like it". And curse you little heart that make me want my pictures to have many hearts also. *waves fist*
      • If only blogger could figure out a way to be easier to use on the iPhone...or at least figure out a way to leave comments on other peoples blogs from the iPhone/Android. Unless you have already figured it out...please share with it with me! Until then reading blogs and commenting while on the go will remain a mystery to me. 
      • On a lighter note. I watched Pitch Perfect again recently, and I cannot get the songs out of my head! I think I might get the DVD version. I think it is going to have to be a "I'm having a bad day" movie pick me up. SO far my current bad day pick me up movie is "50 first dates". Oh I love that movie. 
      • So we are back into some semblance of a school routine. Except for today. I'm bunking Mainly Music. Been working the last 4 days with this afternoon to come, and I'm kinda tired. Clapping and pretending to enjoy myself so that Mr Zak zak will finally show some enthusiasm for it was not on my agenda today. Honestly why I force it, I don't know. Maybe its the coffee and the cake for the grown ups and a natter with a friend that keeps me going. We are  having a quiet morning  instead.  
      • On the first day of school Joe had his bags packed, lunch made and was ready to go to school at 7am...only a cool hour and half before necessary. I'm glad he loves school so much. Miss Joy couldn't wait to see her friends again too. It seemed like a really long summer holiday...7 weeks! 
      • Although I must say we did squeeze in a few adventures....
      • These two gorgeous monkeys entered into their first real sporting event. Both were rather apprehensive but gave all their athletic events a good go. Over 1000 young children aged 7-14 descended on Whangarei early in January for the North Island champs. What dedication these parents and children have! And I was so proud of Miss Joy who managed to get a gold medal with her mixed medley relay team. Initially she didn't even want to compete in this event! SO pleased we encouraged her to fulfill her potential! Well done my girl! Joe won himself a few ribbons for his troubles. 

      • Exploring:  So there's this one museum we walk past on a weekly basis in our city..The Claphams Clock Museum but we had never been to it. One day on a rare occasion when we were all together we rather spontaneously decided to do it. And we really enjoyed it! The cuckcoo clocks were our favorite. I highly recommend going when the tour is on. The lady was quite knowledgeable and gets to touch the clocks and set them off together.  Zak Zak was a good boy for the most part and kept his hands in his pockets under my instruction. He did try sneaking through the barriers a few times though!

      • Off the beaten track:  SO we have been to Auckland so many times and done all the usual kiddie things.  I thought this time we would try some different activities. I saw the ad for the Maize Maze. I googled and decided we would try it. We were staying in the area for it so it worked out well. It was super creepy driving in to the place. It is situated where the "Spookers" attraction is at an old mental health hospital. Its all abandoned, derelict and creepy as!!

      {creepy place}

      • The three year old was pretty over it quite quickly stating every few minutes "I want to get out of here". Dadda found another family who were losing their way a bit...and suddenly it was on! Us against them....who could get out alive first! They beat us by a narrow margin...only because we got stuck behind their push chair...Ha! Ice blocks all around afterwards. It was super hot and only 10am. Great fun for the family. 

      • The Next day we thought we would join half of Auckland at the Pukekohe race track to watch the Colour Race. Major traffic jam getting there...but I managed to direct us through a few back roads. A friend was doing it...but do you think I could find her any where!? Needle in a haystack. We all decided we would be back next year to compete in it our selves. It looked like so much fun. 

      • And on the way home we decided to take the scenic route home through Mangawhai...a bit of detour...but the coastal route home. We stopped off at the Bennetts Chocolate Factory for some goodies! And found a couple of fun play grounds for the kids to explore too. 

      {The glee of an inward facing swing set}

      {mmm Chocolate...}

      { Mangawhai }

      Mandatory Selfie...otherwise who would even know I was on this trip!

      I've decided...its fun exploring with this lot...and may there be many more adventures to come.