Labour Day Weekend | The Family Roadie ‘Up North’

Like millions of Aucklanders {ok thousands?} we left town and headed north for the first long weekend since winter began.

The winter of The Newborn has now passed, we all survived and enjoyed the days inside sheltering from the rain and cold and getting to know our wee Nixon.  But, it’s time to get outside and boy am I ready to enjoy the warmer weather!  We certainly did that last weekend, spending 95% of the glorious 4 days outside {the other 5% was spent perusing op-shops and an Antique Fair!!!}.  The boys caught eels, got up at 5.30am for a dawn fishing mission, trimmed trees, drove the go-kart went rock-pooling, Ethan and the dogs swam – IN THE OCEAN!  I pretty much relaxed, hung out with Mum, drank cider and bought Crown Lynn.  A most excellent way to welcome spring and day-dream about summer xx

On Friday afternoon Mum and I were checking out the many second hand stores in town, in one I got quite excited as there was a wee bounty of geometric patterned Crown Lynn plates and I wanted to begin building up a hodgepodge dinner set.  The stores owner was showing me where she had more CL tucked away in another corner when the unthinkable happened – I broke all the things.  That nightmare of breaking something in a shop that we have all had?  It happened to me. I knocked over a leaning tower of two side tables topped with a tray holding 15 vintage lustre egg-cups.  12 of them smashed to smithereens on the concrete floor priced at $15 each.  Mum was holding Nix and just walked out of the shop – probably because she was trying not to laugh at me, I was a blithering mess.  What is the protocol in such a situation?  Luckily there wasn’t a sign that said “You break it, you pay for it”.  The owner was very gracious and said she knew it was a total accident, she was leading me through the bloody maze after all.  Worst. Shopping. Moment. Ever.

Unpacking and getting the family back on track after a long weekend is also quite a process.  There is the washing to do, the dog to pick-up, the groceries to re-stock, the lawns to mow, the glazier to call to fix the $170 window you smashed to get in the house because the hole your husband tried to drill through the lock didn’t release the tumblers failing to provide you with a way to get IN to your house because because you somehow lost the keys for BOTH of the screen doors.  Which you have never locked before but seemed a good idea at the time of departure.

New deadbolt is now on the to-do list.

It’s good to be home, isn’t it?

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Product Review | Oh stinky nappies……..Hello Munchkin!

So I have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed two fab baby showers and received {and given} many lovely gifts to many beautiful bubbas over the years, however I never considered adding a nappy disposal bin to my wish list or gifting one either.

For me the convenience of a nappy bin in the nursery never outweighed the ‘yuck’ factor of having a bin full of dirty nappies in my baby’s room!

Considering my initial, somewhat negative view of nappy disposal systems, I was surprised by how quickly I got used to using the Munchkin Nappy Disposal Bin and how much I actually missed it when I ran out of bags! I was surprised to learn that instead of an expensive refill cartridge, the Munchkin has an easily refillable baking soda dispenser which shakes into the bag every time you close the lid.  One bag lasted us a week and was odour free the entire time.     I have to admit, although initially sceptical, it was nice being able to completely finish a nappy change in the nursery without having to then dispose of the diaper one handed while wrestling the baby – although it is amazing how quickly my one-handed housewife skills have returned to me over the last 4 months!

Though I’m still not convinced these bins are a nursery ‘must-have’ especially for those on a budget, they certainly earn their place on my nursery ‘Wish list’ or as a gift for a baby who has everything.  I can imagine parents of multiples finding the Munchkin bin very helpful!

 

The Munchkin Nappy Disposal Bin was provided free of charge for review, all opinions expressed are my own.

Op-Shop Show Off | Vintage Mustard Chair

Oh my lord.  This was one of those finds that I have hoped for, imagined in my home and finally scored!  Waipu has quite the plethora of second hand shops, so I was really looking forward to some lazy browsing last week.  As it turns out the shops in Waipu operate on Waipu-time, meaning they either don’t open at all on Mondays or Tuesdays or if they open at 11am this really means they don’t open before 11am but it may be some time after 11am (like 12pm) before anyone arrives!  So, sitting in your truck outside to wait may be a lengthy exercise in exasperation.

I didn’t even have to go into any shops to find my beautiful new/old chair – it was sitting on the side of the road like a woe-begone hitchhiker!  So Sad.  We were on our way to the beach and I pulled over to have a look, fell in love immediately but it was all a bit hard to manhandle a large armchair then and there.  I promised that if it was still there the next day I would buy it.  I thought of little else until the next morning, which was a sign that this wasn’t just an impulse buy.  You definitely have to be sure about a loud and proud piece such as this, and at $150 it was still within my realms of a “good buy” considering the chair’s mint condition, but it certainly wasn’t a trivial amount of money to spend.

This guy is super comfy, sturdy and fits in with my mid-century sensibilities just perfectly.  I’m in love.

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Thinking about cooking | Nana’s Banana Cake Recipe

We finished off the school holidays with the best kind of Sunday.  Sun, food, touch rugby, friends, picnic blankets, beers, children and laughs.  Lots of laughs.

I manage Ethan’s touch team and we had a practice and shared lunch scheduled for Sunday; the kids trained and then we enjoyed an awesome game with mixed teams – kids and adults – which blew the cobwebs out and got us all quite amped for the upcoming season.  The kids are mostly 9 and 10ish and 99% of them play rugby so they pretty much rule at touch, playing with them has now become fun and competitive rather than just an exercise in patience!

I assumed that there would be plenty of sausages for lunch so I whipped up a double batch of my Nana’s most awesome banana cake.  This was definitely an exercise in utilitarian cooking, not picture perfect, Instagram ready food styling.  It really made me think about how I cook and what brings me enjoyment from sharing food with people.

The cake was awesome.  I cooked and served it in a big sheet pan (and got to try out a purchase I made ages ago at the same time – can highly recommend Bake ‘n’ Go Pans from The Warehouse, the most easy and worry free way to transport food!).  I iced this big cake in plain old chocolate with sprinkles.  It wasn’t a particularly beauteous cake.  There was no bunting or washi tape flags but it fed a lot of people and it was apparently so good that Dave and I didn’t even get to try a piece.  Every crumb gone.

That’s the point isn’t it?  To share food with people, using simple ingredients to make people happy and create a focus on how easily eating together can create a genuinely enjoyable occasion.

So no pictures, just sharing a wonderful, one bowl recipe that was shared with me by my Nana.

Never Fail Banana Cake Recipe

1/2 cup softened butter

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup flour

2 over-ripe bananas mashed

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda dissolved in milk in microwave

Mix all ingredients together

Bake at 175 degrees for approx 30 mins

p.s have just checked and seems remarkably similar to an old kiwi staple that you probably have in your cupboard so give it a go!

 

Things I’m Loving | School Holiday Edition

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So, so loving the amazing holiday my Big has had with his Nana and her partner up north.  I drove him up and stayed Monday and Tuesday and he is coming home today!  He is quite the wild man so has been thrilled no end with 24-7 eeling, rock pooling, driving tractors and whizzing along the wide open beaches.  He is such a lucky boy and I’m so proud of him for stripping back the gadgets and toys and relishing his barefoot ways this week.  He is a real boys-boy and doesn’t need much to make him really, truly happy. 

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Bonus Loving

Bonus Loving

1.  Pink Leather Pouf My lounge revamp is just about complete thanks to an amaze oppy find this week, I think it needs a splash of pink though?

2. Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals I ordered this through The Book Depository with a coupon I had and got it for $35!!!!  I love it, beautiful photography and bright, bright colours

3.  Loving my new water blaster, our old Ryobi kicked the bucket mid-way through the exterior spring clean so bought a new one which is awesome!!!!  I hate dusting but could seriously water blast everyday, such a shame that we are on tank water, I have to reign myself in…….

4.  I have just ordered my second lot of Sukin organic cleanser and moisturiser for the year and cannot recommend these products enough.  I’m not a organic/earth mother type but I really do love these products.  They are super cheap at $12 each, they last for ages and are just beautiful on your skin.

5.  Cadbury Old Gold Chocolate – my current crave

6.  Tried and true.  So glad to have found these Berlei sports bras to get these breastfeeding boobs under control before touch season starts, I also LOVE that they are not white.  I picked up mine on the clearance rack at Rebel Sport YAY.

I Made It | Acrylic on Canvas Geometric Art

I sucked at art when I was younger, but, I have School Cert Graphic Design {that is a wee giveaway as to how old I am!} so I figured if my very first painting had heaps of lines on it I might actually be able to complete it to an acceptable standard!
I wanted a bright canvas for the top of our TV buffet in the family room and I had a feeling I could replicate a geometric print I saw online  – enter my Pinterest rip off!

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I ruled the pattern onto the canvas using pencil then simply painted between the lines, mixing colours as I went.  I purchased a very basic set of acrylic paints from Spotlight for $20 so had to get creative in expanding my limited palette.  I wasn’t quite sure that I had pulled it off until I busted out the extra-fine Sharpie and ruled the black lines over the paint.
I don’t know where these post-natal creative tendencies have come from {I suspect boredom?} but I’m enjoying being brave enough to try my hand at new things. Next up is sewing!

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 Show & Tell Thursday's