19 August 2015

Little update

You guys, I've been SO sick. The whole family has. We've been mown down by this awful flu and it's a long road to recovery.

I did want to hop on here just to say that I need to take a bit of a break from blogging. I explained a little bit in my video (embedded below, or click here). I hope you understand.

Hopefully I will rediscover the passion and be back to blogging soon! In the meantime, thanks for your patience.

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8 August 2015

Updates around the house - hallway

Ugh, I have been SO bad at blogging lately. There are so many posts I want to do but somehow just don't quite get there.

I wanted to hop on here today and share a few updates we've made around the house since moving here two months ago. I am still not organised, and there are still 8 boxes to unpack, but we're getting there.

I'll take it room by room, I think. I actually have been working on this post forever because I wanted to show everything at once, but I think I'll share each room in a separate post and maybe I'll actually get them done!!

Starting with the hallway as you enter the house. Here's how it looked shortly after we moved in:

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Changes we've made:
- hung a shelf on the wall and filled it with little baskets
- changed the seat pad cover
- hung artwork
- hung a star above the key nook
- hung key holder in key nook

Here's how it looks now.

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What we still plan to do:
- remove wallpaper and get walls smooth - filler? new plaster?
- paint walls
- sand and varnish floorboards
- paint inside key nook contrasting colour
- put some colour behind baskets in shelves - paper?
- install a funky light fitting
- have old gas heater removed
- hang full length mirror where gas heater was

- repaint all woodwork and trim
- remove old doorbell and install the cordless one we have
- possibly replace prints in frames and make new bench cushion cover to match

I'll try my best to get the rest of the posts up soon!! Thanks for your patience with my appalling blogging lately.

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7 August 2015

Fashion Friday and latest Blurb book offer

UGH,  you guys ... I have a couple of posts that are in the process of being put together, including one showing all of the things we've done around the house since we moved, but somehow I just cannot get them finished!

The least I could do was put up a Fashion Friday and Blurb offers post, so here it is, beginning with 10% off at Blurb:

Gather up those summer photos and capture fun memories in your very own Blurb book! Plus, now through August 29th you'll get 10% off when you use the code GATHER10 at checkout!

Offer: Get 10% off Blurb Books
Valid: 8/3-8/29
Code: GATHER10
Details: Offer valid through from August 3 to August 29 2015 (11:59 p.m. local time). Valid for printed books only. Get 10% off (USD),10% off (EUR),10% off (GBP), 10% off (AUD) discount is applied toward your product total with no minimum purchase required. Maximum discount is USD $100, CAD $100, AUD $100, EUR 100 € or GBP £100 off product total with minimum order of USD $1, CAD $1, AUD $1, EUR 1€ or GBP £1. This offer is good for one-time use, and cannot be combined with volume discounts, other promotional codes, gift cards, or used for adjustments on previous orders.

Fashion Friday

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Cardigan: thrifted (SaveMart)
Tunic: The Warehouse (on sale)
Leggings: Kmart
Belt: came with a dress
Satchel bag: Cotton On (on sale)
Books: Number One Shoes

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3 August 2015

2015 Books - July

I read 5 books this month. If a book makes it to this list on my blog, you can assume I enjoyed and would recommend it (unless otherwise noted) - if I'm not enjoying a book, I stop reading it and move onto the next one. Life's too short and there are too many great books in the world to waste time reading ones that I don't enjoy! (Contains affiliate links.)

Die Again (11) - Tess Gerritsen

The Jewel (book 1 in Lone City trilogy) - Amy Ewing

Delirium (book 1 in Delirium trilogy) - Lauren Oliver

This is Your Song, Lola Rose - Donna Hay

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

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30 July 2015

Herbs Paired With Fruit? Oh Yes, You Can

This is a sponsored post with provided content.

Most home cooks know the benefits of adding herbs to savory foods like meat and vegetables, but have you ever considered adding them to fruit and desserts? Herbs not only offer great health benefits, they also bring out a certain essence in some foods that we may not even notice was lacking. The uses of such spices as cinnamon, ginger and clove are well-known, so let's give our leafy friends the exposure they deserve. Here are six common herbs (most can even be grown in your kitchen window) that will take your desserts and fruit dishes to another level.

1. Thyme
Thyme is a woodsy herb that makes one think of Fall, but it also pairs wonderfully with fruits in any season. Since it can overpower some flavors, try it in small amounts with strawberries, cherries, melons or pears.

2. Rosemary
Rosemary is the spiny needle of a fragrant evergreen shrub that's known for adding flavor to meats. Use this in small amounts to bring out the flavor in berry dishes and compotes.

3. Basil
This sweet herb that lends such a characteristic flavor to many Mediterranean dishes also works well with the fruits of the region, namely dates and figs. It also compliments stone fruits like cherries, peaches, and plums.

4. Mint
Mint is not so unusual in dessert dishes, but most people don't recognize the potential in pairing minty flavor with the sweetness of fruit. Though it doesn’t work well with everything, try it with berries, stone fruit and orchard fruits like apples and pears.

5. Lavender
The sweet, fragrant purple flowers of this plant are known for their medicinal and emotional properties, and they are the perfect foil for tart fruits like raspberries and citrus. Try some lavender lemonade for a new favorite summer cooler.

6. Parsley

Parsley is more than just a garnish, and this grassy herb lends a surprising element to desserts and salads that contain melon and tropical fruits like coconut, mango and bananas.
Tim Love is an example of a well-known chef who brings new ideas, innovation and confidence to professional and hone cooks alike. The prevalence of celebrity chefs and cooking shows have allowed us all to explore our inner Child. Once you learn the basics of creative gastronomy from the pros, you'll enjoy putting this knowledge to good use in your home or restaurant.

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24 July 2015

Fashion Friday and latest Blurb book offers

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Gather those summer vacation photos and make your very own vacation book with Blurb! Now is a great time to do it because you can get 30% off now through Thursday, July 30th when you use code SUMMER30 at checkout!

Offer: Get 30% off at Blurb
Valid: 7/20 - 7/30
Code: SUMMER30
Details: Offer valid through from July 20 to July 30 2015 (11:59 p.m. local time). Valid for printed books only. Get 30% off (USD),30% off (EUR),30% off (GBP), discount is applied toward your product total with no minimum purchase required. Maximum discount is USD $100, CAD $100, AUD $100, EUR 100 € or GBP £100 off product total with minimum order of USD $1, CAD $1, AUD $1, EUR 1€ or GBP £1. This offer is good for one-time use, and cannot be combined with volume discounts, other promotional codes, gift cards, or used for adjustments on previous orders.

Fashion Friday
This is what I wore to church.

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Cream cable knit jumper: thrifted (SaveMart)
Rust corduroy skirt: thrifted (SaveMart)
Long necklace: can't remember
Tights: Asda
Shoes: Clarks outlet
Bag: can't remember, either Asda, Matalan or Sainsbury's

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22 July 2015

Mount Taranaki details

As if the 50+ photos I shared in my last post aren't enough, here are some details from our trip up snowy Mt Taranaki a couple of weeks ago.

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20 July 2015

Out and about: Mount Taranaki

On the Saturday before last we decided to take a trip up the mountain, which isn't too far away from us. We can see it from our village.

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The weather was clear and sunny and absolutely perfect. We dressed in warm layers and waterproof things and hopped in the car for the drive there, stopping to take a few pictures on the way.

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As we approached the mountain we began to see snow on the sides of the road.

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There are two car parks - the lower one has a sign at the road leading to the upper one, warning that you will need snow chains or 4x4 if you continue upward. Our car has 4x4 so we kept going.

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At the upper car park we stopped to have a play in the snow, sledding with our body boards.
The snow was knee deep in places.

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We decided to make the 25 minute walk up to the ski slope. This is the only way of getting there - you can't drive up, you have to be prepared to make the hike!

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The halfway point has a resting place and we stopped for a bit, debating whether or not we'd continue to the ski slope.

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We decided to continue on the path to the ski slope.

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You can see the path at the bottom of the picture below.

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Looking back from the ski slope to the resting place.

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After some fun on the slope we made the trek back to our car.

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Some of the way was easy peasy for the boys!

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If you'd like to see a video of our day, here it is (you'll need to click here to watch it if it's not showing up below).

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