Friday, December 30, 2011


Well hello there!

Just like that I see the try the new interface button, and voila, much better.

Hippy happy hoppo hip hooray

Yo my lovelies.

What a month! First it was my birthday, and I got a magnificent new bike, which I've not really used much yet. I rode it down the hill quite fast, and it was pretty awesome. Then we put it in the car to bring it home! Our hill is steep. We got a bike rack the other day though, so we'll be cycling family extraordinaire.

And we've had Christmas. It was wonderful. Santa came and brought two of the kiddies bikes, and the other a cool remote control helicopter (which is amazing). We had 22 people for lunch, and it was hot and went wonderfully smoothly.
And tomorrow our shop in Mt Vic is gonesville. We're very relieved about this! There have been some issues with parking (yawn). Ironically the movers today got lots of grief from the parking warden today about parking on the curb. Ironic because they've been pretty much absent for the last 2 years. Anyway, we're well pleased to just have one little store to look after for a while.

In a couple of days we're taking our caravan off for its first holiday (with us). We're very excited and will take lots of photos. I think I have to reluctantly concede that Blogger is shit and I'm going to have to export this blog to a better service. It is very awkward to write and upload photos on this. Hmm. Will work on it.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas cake

Once in a blue moon I go out, and one such occasion recently was the launch of Bees Blessing's rebrand/launch party at the Empire in Petone. We love Bees Blessing because 3 of our corker wee chooks came from their farm, not to mention the fact they make very tasty cordials and condiments. We love the Empire because they make the finest hot chips (Belgium with cheese and gravy and curry with curry sauce - don't choose, get both), so it was a lovely night (albeit brief, 3 kids in a pub?).

I met Laura there, the brain behind Hungry and Frozen, such a super blog with way more to it that food. She likes music too! And lovely little flights of fancy, read it, you'll see what I mean. So when I put the word out on Twitter that I was after a christmas cake recipe and Laura suggested hers, I went for it. Her recipe is here. I made a few changes based on what I have on hand (a lot of eggs) and what I like in christmas cakes (cherries!). My version follows, but hers is probably better.

1 1/2 cups (375ml) ginger ale
1/2 cup booze (I used Johnny Walker black and Ballentines whisky - dregs!)
1kg fruit (I used glace cherries, dried cranberries, currants, raisins, and also a premixed bag)

300g butter
150g brown sugar
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Orange zest of one orange
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon cocoa 4 eggs 300g flour

Soak dried fruit in ginger ale and grog.

Melt together butter, condensed milk, spices, cocoa and zest.
Whisk up the eggs and add to melted ingredients (quickly, so you don't end up with scrambled eggs)
Add baking soda (suspect this is optional with all those eggs)
Stir in flour.
Double line a cake tin in the christmas cake fashion (I'm partial to brown paper for aethestics, with baking paper insides, but this is frankly lame, so don't worry. Just use baking paper, it won't burn).

Bake in oven at 140 celsius for about 2 1/2 hours.

Ice if you like. I love marzipan, but I have never iced a christmas cake and won't be starting now.

Full credit to Laura, this recipe is a stunner. It has been out of the oven less than 3 hours and look what we've done to it.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Since we've been in our new house a few things have been procured that are somewhat awesome. The latest (and favouritist at the moment) is a piano. I've wanted a piano for a long, long time. Our last house was too little though, so last week we got on Trademe and bam! Piano love. I'm blimming hopeless, but what I lack in technique/talent I make up for in gusto and enthusiasm. The neighbours may be a little tired of my extremely slow version of the Sound of Silence. I've bought lots of music books full of cheesy music, not because I actually want to perform for anyone, but so that I can sing along as I learn.

We also got chooks! We have five of them, and they bring me a great deal of joy too. They're all laying, so we get lots of beautiful eggs, but I think the best thing is they eat all our scraps. I never felt like composting wasted lunchbox food was actually the best thing to do with it, but turning it into eggs, genius. They're quite funny to watch too.

And my other favourite thing is 2 x 10 litre pails of black paint for the exterior of the house. I can't wait to get stuck into transforming our beige box into a big black box.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Here are a few pics from the last few weeks. First the obligatory SNOW! Man we loved that snow. If Wellington could turn on snow for one week each year I think the place would be perfect. We took the suggestion from @nzdodo on Twitter (whose real name is Jolisa Gracewood) to add cream, vanilla and sugar to a bowl of snow. I am deadly serious when I say this may have been the most delicious thing I've ever tasted.Finn froze an icecream container of snow, we're going to try and recreate it, but I suspect a large part of the charm was sitting on our snow covered deck with gloves on eating it.
I tried to take house pictures, but to be honest we're miles of having anything vaguely done. We've made it all pretty liveable, and we love it, but it will be yonks before we can change the carpets and that sort of thing.

Here's our dull as dishwater bedroom, and this is the problem with showing progress pics, because while we've painted it, I think the colour looks awful in this house (although slightly nicer than the blue and white pinstripes). I'm of the firm opinion that white is the only colour that will look ok.

So to prove that I actually am capable of having colour, here is a picture of the shop at the moment. Geez, when did blogger turn so awful? Uploading pictures has been nightmarish. We've got new websites, all the baby clothes are still at, and we're busily uploading products to the revamped, and I suspect I'm going to have to change this blog to something that can handle pictures as readily as the new websites. Anyway, I got there in the end, here is the shop. xxm

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A good trip

We went up to the big trade fair in Auckland on Tuesday, we being me and Glen. My parents came to look after the kiddies at 7am, bless, and we tootled off to the airport. We hired a massive Rav 4 in Auckland, curious to see if that is a car we'd want, it wasn't.

The fair was the usual, by this point I'm pretty efficient at checking it out, and I got some cool stuff for Christmas.

We cleared out of there pretty quick and headed to Ponsonby for a mooch around. Firstly we went to Design Foundry, crikey what a cool place. We had a delicious coffee there and I did some stellar shopping. I got this great frock, so delighted. Later I tried on some clothes at World too, I'm in love with World. Sadly I'm way to poor for that sort of carry on.

By this time we needed some serious sit down action, and popped into a little place called Bonita. It was really cute, yummy food, super nice wine. We kind of couldn't believe some people get to do this on a regular basis, normally our life is a whirlwind of children and work, we were totally blissed out. And after that, to make everything extra perfect, we went to a great place called Coco's Cantina on K Rd (recommended by Claire), polished off steak, and then went to the airport where our Jetstar flight departed on time! Truly, it was a crazy good day.

And today I got a new putey, which means I no longer have to worry about our old one cutting out mid writing and breaking my heart. Viva la new puter.

Next time I'll put up some house pics. We've been hard at work, and just love it. The place is splendid.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Jonathan Adler fixation continues, with bullets!

Why am I so obsessed?

  • He allows me to like blingy things
  • He allows me to have books out
  • He is hilarious
  • You can put curtains behind beds - I'm so going to try this
  • I have a teeny fixation with gold things, after years of going "yuck, gold". Jonathan Adler likes gold.
  • He has allowed me to slightly get over my fixation with yellow
  • He seems to be having fun when plenty of the world is being very, very serious
I'm way too lazy right now to bung in pictures, but I recommend clicking on my handy dandy google image link if you'd like to see some pics.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Things might change a bit

I've decided I want to be Jonathan Adler. I'm not sure how I'll go about it, given that I'm a white, straight, non-Jewish, woman from New Zealand. However I'm going to do everything in my power to become a potting, fabulous, talented, motivated, Jewish, gay man from America.

Or some of the above.

We just got Jonathan Adler's book My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living in the shop, and it is incredibly beautiful and inspiring, and my head is swirling with possibilities and colour. Maybe he'll let me open a branch of his shop.

Now I have to go and paint my house lime and gold and pink and fabulous.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


We've moved! The past few months have been crazy. We found this house, sold ours, and now we've moved. It has all been a rollercoaster, but I think we've been pretty lucky. Our house sold quickly, our new house is huge and awesome. It needs some serious tlc, but I like thinking about decorating, it is relaxing. I can see that we could spend a decent lotto win on getting things right, and it will take a few years, but already it is comfortable and fits all our crap.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Exciting things

Kia ora bunnies!

Actually I still exist. It has been crazy times in these parts, but pretty much awesome. In bullets:

  • Bought a new house! Yay. JUST CAN'T WAIT TO MOVE. It is massive. Massive and ugly. I love a project though, and I am scheming up a storm. I think I might make this page a bit of a before and after type space. Here is my dream board, I think it is going to be a cool place. The section is 2530m2, which is almost incomprehensible to me, after living on 372m2 for almost 10 years. I'm going to make it into a dream Karl Maughan type scene.
  • Sold our house! It was insane. We had to be so tidy for quite a long time. Having said that, not actually that long compared with what some people endure. We had 5 open homes. Jeez, it makes you realise how hard some people work to keep their homes shipshape, what a freaking nightmare. I found a new place to clean every day, somewhere obvious that I'd missed for 8 years (like the light fittings, skirtings, switches, tops of pictures etc).
  • And now, since I've had my evening glass de vin, time for my latest obsession, Friday Night Lights.
  • Mwah to you all.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sodding earthquake

Beautiful Christchurch is a mess. I can't begin to imagine how the people down there are holding it together. I'm seeing glimpses of my childhood in ruins, which is sad, but my god, the people stuck there every day dealing with mess and death and pooing in plastic bags and general misery. Oy. The thing about being human is you do endure, you don't have the option of just giving up, because you can't. I wish there was something I could do. I want some Christchurch people to come here so I can give them some alcohol and some food and a bit of a reprieve, but they can't just skip out on their lives.

The whole incident has prompted me to actually pull together an earthquake kit, because honestly, how stupid would you feel if the big one did actually hit, and you couldn't give your children a drink of water?

I'm going to list here what I did, because I know that some people will be interested. It is by no means comprehensive, and I haven't actually finished. You should feel free to chip in ideas about what to add, where to stash it, what to stash it in, that sort of thing.

From the supermarket:

Dettol (cream and liquid)
Soap (I got liquid bodywash, figured it would be versatile)
Toilet paper
Insect repellent
Hand sanitiser
Can opener
Rubbish bags

Water (we bought 40 litres. We need more, but I honestly don't know where we'd keep it, so I'm gonna keep all our water bottles and soda stream bottles filled in the fridge too)

Tinned toms
Baked beans
Tinned spag
Tinned bean salad
Muesli bars
Boiled sweets
Condensed milk
Tinned creamed rice
Tinned fruit salad

From Kathmandu
Aquatabs (water purifying tabs)
Freeze dried food (which Pauline assures me is tasty)

From home
Leatherman tool

To come from Mitre 10
Dust masks
Rubber gloves

Things I should have but haven't worked out how to store

I think we'll keep it all in the caravan, and hopefully it survives any major earthquake action better than the house. We have a camping stove and lantern there, plus several torches and we have a radio (but probably should get another too).

Thanks to everyone on Twitter for their great suggestions. Without them I think the list would've looked like this "water, lollies".

Please add in comments anything I've missed.

Suggestion from Cheryl Bernstein (who is a genuine earthquake survivor) - baby wipes, definitely adding them!

Suggestion from Sarah - Safety Shop on Hutt Road

Suggestion from Helen - spade for digging a loo, strong gloves for moving debris

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The year that was

My laptop has gone a bit spazzy and won't charge, so my planned longwinded, meandering spiel is truncated to a bullet format, which happens to be my favorite thing anyway.

So, without further ado, highlights of the year past (utterly arbitrarily, based on no logic or sensible timeframe, in fact potentially backwards so I can start at the easy recent bit):

And omg shock, there are no bullets on the iPad! It will just be a wackadoo list:

We just got back from camping. It was fantastic, even the bit where we got caught in that big gale and had to make a dash to my parents' place. We went with friends and ended up in Waimarama. Currently trying to work out how to move to Waimarama. Ooh, and we saw the family from That Way of Life TWICE. You'll have to do your own googling.

We went to Melbourne. Frankly it was kind of hard work with the kids, but I did get lots of awesome stuff for the shops.

We got a parking sign outside the shop, after months of nagging the council and writing letters and emails. My feelings towards the council are somewhat negative, but I'm a grownup, so I'll concentrate on sending bad vibes and not on whining about them. SO mature.

I went to the Pixies with friends, it was awesome, great concert, great company.

Lots of shit stuff happened; the shop got robbed several times (the bad vibes I'm sending those losers will be making their lives a misery), we had stupid car troubles, random illnesses, yawn. While it was all a bit rubbish our spirits remained pretty chipper, and there were plenty of people having much worse 2010.

What a boring list. I'm stopping now.