Eat | Pitango Solos

I was so happy to spend Wednesday morning as a guest of Pitango and learn about their new Solos range; fast, tasty, home-cooked style meals for one.

Monday nights in our house are particularly crazy, Ethan has rugby practice then has to be flanneled off at the field and bustled into his scouts uniform only to arrive home pretty exhausted at 8pm.  I like to keep an ‘easy meal’ in the freezer for these nights, something simple and unfussy that he can gobble back quickly and head to bed.  The Pitango Solos are perfect for nights like these plus they are organic, free range and affordable (RRP $3.99).  Fast food has never tasted so good or been so guilt free.  I’m in love with this range for real, the Free Range Chicken and Mushroom Risotto is amazing, you would never, ever be able to tell that it wasn’t cooked in your own kitchen, it’s seasoned perfectly and is thick, creamy and authentic – real comfort food for sure.

The Pitango Solos range will be available June 3rd in selected stores.

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That hot babe in the middle is of course the lovely Vanessa from The Bubbalino Kitchen, and no, the photo on the right is not skewed, that is just how slim and tall Chelsea Winter really is!

Solo Thai Pumpkin Soup

 

 

Shop | Twig Creative Wooden Cameras

Major heads up peeps, the fab Twig Creative are celebrating their first birthday with an amazing 2-for-1 deal today only on their gorgeous hand crafted wooden cameras!  I just nabbed two to put in the cupboard for Nixie’s birthday, such a perfect (and beautiful) gift for a baby who’s mumma always has a camera in hand.  Use 2for1 at checkout, shipping to NZ was $18USD for 2 cameras.  instamatic_1024x1024

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21/52

“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

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ethan:  oh boy, hectic week!  this term you have become a ‘joiner’ at school, signing up for whatever sports team is in season as well as two choirs.  son you are one busy guy.  nix and i were stoked to watch your school soccer tournament last week, your team of rugby boys played so well and came third!  you jumped into goal after the assigned goalie bailed after letting one through and you were marvellous; saving the next goal with gusto and keeping the opposition from scoring for the rest of the match.  you scored two tries this weekend, one for your club rugby team on saturday and one for your school team at the barbarians day on sunday.  your body looks like some one has pummelled you with a meat tenderiser but you tell me that you are busy doing fun stuff, so you don’t mind.  neither do we x

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nixon: my baby, i don’t even want to talk about your week.  we spent thursday in hospital after we were notified by phone that you had been diagnosed with hirschprungs disease.  i’m not buying it at this point, your biopsy confirmed it, but, if the biopsy was taken in the wrong place it could easily be a false-positive.  the contrast x-ray was not conclusive either way so we are waiting for the surgeons next move.  waiting sucks.  you however, are still your beautiful, cheerful, excruciatingly smart, funny and inquisitive self.  your stevie wonder dance moves crack me up boy.

linking with www.practisingsimplicity.com

Party Planning is GO!

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We have a very special birthday around the corner, my baby Nixon is turning one way too soon!

I have been imagining a scandi black and white theme with pops of colour and fun decorations so was beyond excited to win this fruity, fun party pack from Pop Roc Parties and Megan at Mousehouse.  Thank you both so much!

Of course I have a Pinterest board for some inspiration and can’t wait to begin editing down ideas and getting into party planning mode, your baby only turns once after all x

Shop the look

Toot Sweet Plates $11.50

Toot Sweet Napkins $12.50

Mini Chevron Paper Bags $.45ea

Neon Latex Balloons $4

Polka Dot Candles $3

Striped Paper Straws $4 {on sale now for $2!}

Confetti Washi Tape $5

Rainbow Hail Sprinkles $5 {on sale now for $2.50!}

Washi bunting made by Megan

20/52

“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

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nixon: your dad and i realised that our second-child-slacker affliction extended so far that you had never been on a swing! quelle horreur!  so, you and i hit the park and you swung and you slid and all you really wanted to do was to eat bark {which we can do at home fyi}.  i love you little baby.

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ethan: you are constantly needing to have physical contact with nix, always picking him up, moving him around, wrestling and cuddling.  you were busy explaining all of the trinkets on the wall, insisting that a photo of nix was actually you {you were obstinately sure you were right!}. 

linking with www.practisingsimplicity.com

Book Review | The Beginners guide to Hunting and Fishing in New Zealand by Paul Adamson

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Let me preface this by saying, this is a special kind of book for a special kind of kiwi kid.  One that hates to be laced into shoes and stuffed into cars to hustle from here to there, a kid that doesn’t blink at dirty hands and can fashion a fishing line out of anything.  A kid that wears shorts year round, can catch a skink before you’ve even noticed it and is happiest at the beach when the watches are off and he can swim for hours.

Luckily for me I have such a kid and luckily for him The Beginners Guide to Hunting and Fishing in New Zealand by Paul Adamson is a finalist in the 2014 NZ Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults.

From an adult perspective, this is a beautiful book.  The dust cover is perfection, the layout and design is so far beyond what is usually delivered in a kids book, the amount of white space is perfect for little readers and the photography is a stunning mix of historical and modern imagery.  I LOVE the way this book looks and feels.  But the content is just as good.  Safety first – the introduction and first section focus on firearm safety and hunter responsibility in just the right tone and verbosity for a young reader.

The sections to follow cover everything from whitebaiting to bushcraft, target shooting and goat hunting.  A complete glossary of outdoorsy excellence in our own backyard.

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From a kids perspective this book is just excitement.  A manual that will end up dog-eared and well referenced and read over and over again.  There are so many cool graphics, checklists, recipes, facts and interesting diagrams that Ethan was actually unable to read the book straight through for quite a while, it was just too tempting to turn the page and see what was next.  My 9 year old son truly loves this book and will treasure it for years to come.

This book was provided to me for my editorial consideration but all opinions expressed are my own.

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Paul Adamson – author of The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing (Random House NZ)

1. As an author, you must have a lot of ideas floating around. How did you decide to write this book?
I’ve had the idea for the book for over 15 years but due to heavy teaching then Principal-ship commitments it never seemed to get off the ground. Until that is a lovely young man by the name of Alex Hedley fom Random House came into my school one day and we both believed that there was a gap in the market. It literally blossomed from there.

2. Tell us a bit about the journey from manuscript to published work. What was the biggest challenge you faced in publishing this book?
Writing each draft chapter on separate forms of hunting or fishing was a breeze! Rewriting to keep to the brief of just informing and being instructive instead of diving into actual experiences and anecdotal stories that would have been ‘Boys Own’ stuff had to be cut. That was tough. Getting the balance between clear understandable and age-relevant terminology without dumbing down the importance of key points coupled with illustrations required a lot of emailing to and fro.

3. Did you tailor this book to a particular audience – or did you find it found its own audience as it was written?
This was written initially soley for 8- 16 year olds but very soon we realised it was as much an instructional book for even adult beginners….hence the title.

4. Can you recommend any books that you love, that inspired or informed your book in any way?
Philip Holden’s books on hunting in New Zealand; particularly his later ones where photos added tothe impact of the text.

Definitely Matthew Syed’s book Bounce. The balance of talent and practice overcoming doubts in your ability to do something special….provided a lot of self belief.

5. Tell us about a time you’ve enjoyed relaxing and reading a book – at the bach, on holiday, what was the book?
Papillon, by Henry Charrie’re. The clarity of writing had you experiencing everything from sounds to smells to high emotion….amazing.

6. What is your favourite thing to do, when you aren’t reading or writing, and why?
Getting out there and enjoying the Outdoors. I’m mentoring two young lads at the moment as both my sons are off at Uni. One of these boys is through the ‘Big Brother Big Sister’ organisation, a sort of informal adoption, but our interaction (fun time once a week) could last for a lifetime. Seeing those smiles after personal achievements is fantastic.

Lowering my golf handicap back to the 2 handicap I was on, prior to open heart surgery, would be great.

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19/52

“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

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ethan:  i realised this week that sometimes two 9 year old boys are better than one, especially when daddy is away.  i love seeing you play with your mates like this; dirty, independent, loud, rough, but also fun, kind, sharing and relishing the camaraderie a like-minded friend brings.  don’t grow up too quickly number one x

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nixon:  you have chosen a rough path this week, refusing your afternoon nap 5 days out of 7 and waking me all through the night!  your big denim blue eyes kinda make up for it though.  how about some hair before your birthday?  we don’t actually have a hose in the house, that’s a nixon-special edition, more fun than any toy that cost money, guaranteed!

linking with www.practisingsimplicity.com

Online Grocery Shopping: The Hidden Peril

So the clever little marketers at Countdown timed their $1 delivery promotion just perfectly, reeling the mummy’s in with a little self-indulgence before before their annual day of appreciation and bacon for breakfast.  “No grocery shopping for me!” I fist pumped as I settled in front of the Mac with my microwave eggs to click my groceries into my virtual trolley.  It was fun and it got even more funner {dont even go there grammar nazis mmmkay?} at 5.30pm when the fucking dogs went mental at the delivery man’s knock on the door.

My groceries had arrived.

IT WAS SENSATIONAL.  It was like Christmas with way too many shopping bags with too few things in each, as I rediscovered all the items I had ordered this morning.  Everything was there, even some random items still in my online cart from 3 years ago when I was thinking of ordering online but chickened out at the luxury of it (shoulder bacon wtf?).  So yeah we have an bacon buffet going on over here right now, bring your butties and lets fry up, you guys have the shoulder bacon, I got the streaky.

Also, there was free stuff.  A whole loaf of Freya’s bread, a Lemon Lime and Bitters, two packs of soup and two different samples of beauty products.  I freaking LOVE free stuff!

But, as with any happy tale, there is always a twist, and trust me , I never saw this one coming and it requires all caps.  SOMEONE (PROBABLY A MAN) HAS INVENTED 500ml BOTTLES OF WINE AND YOU CAN’T TELL THEY ARE SMALLER BECAUSE THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME ON YOUR COMPUTER SCREEN!

I know.  This is bad news.  Shopping for wine online now requires you to read the description rather then sort by price (Low to High) and select the second cheapest.  Fark.

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Yes, yes those are heart patterned fleecy bed socks.  My husband’s in India and the only people here to talk to are a crazy 10 month old and a 9 year old who is equally mental and walks around rapping about gigannaires.  It’s a slippery slope people.

Be safe on the internet.

Week Two sans Husband

The week began with Ethan telling me to shut up. It transitioned from there into grumpy grunting, and a blanket ban on electronics. What is a boy to do without his gadgets? The horror! I am absolutely the worst mum in the world. Seething is a word I have never used to describe my eldest until now but I have deemed it Word o’ the Week.
The tempest has past however, a few days running his testosterone into the front lawn in mad-cap one man rugby test matches, no further arguments and early nights resulted in a perfectly lovely afternoon and evening with E.
He came home from Cubs on Monday night, proud as punch to give me any early Mothers Day gift, a rainbow loom bracelet! I had heard tales of these stylish gems made of rubber bands and love by sticky, dirty fingers and I have worn mine proudly every day this week. As a wee reward for his improving behaviour I nipped into the dollar store and picked up a pack of bands so he could make some at home. Practicing my ” yes’s”, I sat down with Ethan and he taught me how to craft my very own bracelet. We did it again after dinner and the baby was in bed and I can honestly say, we spent genuine, lovely quality time together making these little things, talking about the process and just enjoying sitting on the floor and being together. Win win win!

In other news;
– I have just painted my toenails lavender
– I have just won a gorgeous party pack from Megan @ Mousehouse
– After watching that video Look Up that’s doing the rounds on FB I’ve been thinking long and hard about my social media habits. As poetic and initially confronting as the clip is, SM plays a very positive role in my life that I’m not willing to give up; I had lunch with three other women today under the guise of our ‘Book Club’ lol. Three lovely people whom I would never have met, from a part of Auckland I never visit that I get to hang out with fortnightly because two of us met on the interwebs through our blogs. None of us picked up our phones to go online during our two hour lunch.
– Dave’s still in India
– We have a new king size bed that I cannot wait to get into each night, made even more indulgent and HUGE because Dave’s still in India
– It’s my first Mother’s Day on Sunday as a mama of two! So so blessed and happy about that.

TTFN, time to snuggle down and finish a book that’s been on my kindle for too long now, The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. What are y’all reading? I need some inspo xx