Laugh often...Live well...Love much...

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Shelf Life

The arrival of the new baby resulted in losing a space for my beloved kitchen scales that once belonged to my beloved Granny.


All was not lost because I had been eyeing up the one blank wall in the kitchen for a while. A quick trip to our local Mitre 10, a piece of pine cut to size, two metal brackets, some man labor and I now have a beautiful new shelf.


Perfect for Granny's kitchen scales and a Syngonium nesting in an early Christine Boswijk pottery bowl. Pretty.


The Cowboy really enjoyed his birthday yesterday, putting up a shelf for me with the help of his Dad. Lucky Cowboy. Happy Me.


Cost = $35 and some love.

Rachael xo

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

New Digs

It's come to this,

I have had to leave the building, OK, slight exaggeration but certainly the living areas of our home

because

the Cowboy and the Princess are working their way through all the Star Wars movies, ALL.I.SAY.

and on a nightly basis, sometimes two in a night and LOUD. SO. LOUD.

I.CAN'T. STAND.IT.

I can't even go upstairs because the loud reverberates to our bedroom which is situated above the living area,

therefore I am here, in the garage...


I know, it's wrong!

Rachael xo
p.s. if I de-fur the cat fur from this baby-seat I'll have a nice armchair.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

New Love

She is red, shiny and smells divine!

And, saves us money, so much money.

So without further ado, I would like to introduce you to Nespresso,


isn't she pretty!


The coffee tastes pretty damn good too!


I. LOVE. HER. 

Rachael xo

Sunday, 17 April 2016

One Year in One Post

You know it's been way too long when you have to Google your own blog to find it and then you can't remember how to write a post!

Sad times indeed, even sadder that it is 12 months since I last posted. Doesn't that sound like I am in a confessional booth?  Anyway, I have noticed I have a tendency to post at Easter of each year. Clearly Easter is symbolic to me and blogging.

To be honest I have been thinking about updating this blog for such a long time but couldn't decide if I really wanted to or just give it away completely.  I have been a spasmodic blogger since 2007 and if I delve really deeply into why I blog (as I have many times before) I guess it is because I am creating a legacy of sorts; a journal to leave behind for loved ones and for whatever reason, strangers who are interested in what I have to say.

A big part of why I haven't been blogging is because I have felt like I have nothing worthy to blog about. That is silly though, because when I do blog, in that moment it is for the purpose of expressing myself and to record memories for me and my loved ones (maybe), so of course it is worthy.

With that in mind I have whole year of memories to record. I summarise best in list form so here it is, my confessional:

Easter 2015
The Princess spent it with the Wasband and I spent it with my gorgeous twin nephews in the far North where my Mummy and Poppa have relocated to. My Mummy was actually on a cruise (as you do) so the twinsies and I hung out at 'home' with Poppa and Auntie Illy, with some sightseeing in between. Riley and I discovered a mutual love for Four Squares shops ;-)
Twinsies who used my phone A LOT for their selfies, as I found out AFTER the holiday.
Winter School Holidays
The Princess, Gracie who is one of her besties and I went north again to Rawene. This time my Mummy was 'in residence'. My youngest brother Marty was also there. The big mission was wallpapering the Rawene home with a stunning textured midnight blue paper.  I helped a little bit but mostly Marty and Mummy did it. Each night we hunkered down in front of the fire playing Yahtzee while Uncle Marty terrorised the girls with his made up stories of Uncle Len and his four daughters and Mangrove Jack. He later shared these stories with our niece and nephews in Weipa which made for interesting conversations prior to them visiting Rawene at Christmas time.

The Princess and Gracie at Tane Mahuta
School
I completed the school year with the same class for the entire year (prior I have always started a class midyear). It sure makes a difference having a class from whoa to go. They were a gorgeous bunch of heart- stealer kids. We did some really cool things during the year such as a fabulous unit on Anzac, creating Bags for Syrian children and making papier-mache Chinese lanterns for the local village my school is situated in who were having a Chinese New Year celebration. I felt I really grew last year as a teacher and not only that but I graduated from being a baby teacher to a fully registered teacher (once I got around to submitting my form for full teacher registration).

I love a good wall display in the classroom...
Home
The Cowboy and I did lots of homey stuff last year (and this year too). We bought a little chest freezer which was very exciting, oh yes it was! The Cowboy lined our double garage with carpet tiles, our garage is fancy! I started painting bits and bobs of furniture and finished nothing. The Princesses room got a big makeover. She got a new bed and desk and we completely we redecorated it. I love that she is totally into design like her Mama, both her Mama's actually.

Outdoor furniture our neighbors put out for collection, we collected, repainted and popped out front in our newly fenced front yard.
Pets
Sabrina and Mack, the two kittens we adopted grew into their personalities. They do what cats do, which is rule, us and the roost. Sequin or Sapphire, not sure which one, passed away in its tank. RIP Sequin or Sapphire. You did well to last the four years you did with us and our lack of attention to detail, namely providing you with a spic and span home at all times.

This is when they were new, terrified of us and lived under the bed, oh how times have changed, now they kind of like us and love on top of the bed...
The Princess
She had a super year. She played netball on Saturdays for the first time. The Wasband, myself and the Cowboy would all attend her games. So normal to us and so confusing for others. I loved Saturday netball, rain or shine, even if it meant getting up early. The netball parents all started off very quiet and by the end of the season we had bonded and supporting on the side line was hilarious. The Princess whilst maintaining her core group of 3 friends that she has had forever; Espe, Grace and Cheetah, developed a new friendship group at school of Ange and the two E's. Her friends are all lovely girls, 3 of the parents are also teachers so no wonder the girls are lovely ;-) But seriously, I am really proud of her friendships, her friends are all positive influences in their own ways. And I am so proud of the Princess, she is still sweet, still funny, still clever, now taller than her Mama and is a teen!

The Princess and the swing - Rawene 2105

The Cowboy
Well he is just...The Cowboy is lovely. I can't put into words how well he looks after us. He is there for us always, not just me but my Princess too. He tolerates a lot, as any partner of a teacher will identify with! Cowboy, I love you with all my heart and am so blessed that you came into our lives.

Great Gatsby Ball - Remuera Primary School 2015
Christmas 2015/New Year 2016
My brother Phil, his wifie Nik and the three little Johnston's came from Weipa. The twinsies came from Rarotonga and we all decamped to Rawene. It was great. A proper family Christmas with a TURKEY. My mum will get that bit!  We did family stuff, activities with the kiddies, day trips, no trips, walks, games, amazing food (thank you Mummy), a hangi (thank you Poppa), New Year at the local pub haha, New Year's day jigsaw (thank you Cowboy for driving Nik and I on an 80 km round trip to get one), target practice on Phil's rifle range (the tea towels and kids shoes on the clothes line) and so much more.  I loved it all.

Cousins in the surf with Nana
Summer Holiday Break
Whilst Christmas and New Year  was fabulous, underlying it all was my Auntie Illy, my Poppa's sister. She had been diagnosed with lung cancer over the last Easter when the twinsies and I were in Rawene. Over Christmas and New Year she had been progressively going downhill. Auntie Illy and I had a special connection so I spent the rest of the holiday break (apart from a few days on tour with the Cowboy) going backwards and forwards from Auckland to Rawene. Auntie Illy slipped away at the end of January. She died with the utmost dignity and style which is how she had managed her cancer since her diagnosis. It was a privilege to be a part of the Pou Whanau in the mourning of her passing and the celebrating of her life. She is gone but not forgotten. Auntie Illy I love you and miss you.

Auntie Illy making pudding Rawene, New Years Day 2016 xo
Three Day Tour
The Cowboy and I stole a break just after New Year and did a round trip of a whole lot of the North Island. We went from Auckland to Napier, Napier to Wellington and Wellington to home. How many people do you know can encounter two major road closures on two major highways in the space of three days? Well we did!  Closures aside, it was fun. He drove, I looked, we talked, we ate, we drank, we did some sightseeing and it was just us. Oh and I caught up with my uni/teacher friend Jenna, in Napier. We both live in Auckland but could not manage a catch up there!

The Cowboy and I going up a mountain on a gondola, as you do in summer.
Here ends the confessional.

There you are, my life in 2015 and the beginning of 2016. It's funny because I thought last year was fairly quiet and uneventful and yet as I write I realise how full it was (and I have only covered snippets of it) but also how very blessed I am.

Until next time - hopefully not next Easter!

Rachael xo


Sunday, 12 April 2015

Easter


I love Easter and when the Princess was a little girl I treated it like Christmas Day, a day where friends and family would come to celebrate.  We did Easter Egg hunts and I would cook a huge midday meal.

For some reason I let Easter traditions go when my marriage to the Wasband ended.  That makes me sad.

Obscene amount of eggs and goodies from teachers and my class!
The Princess was away with the Wasband this Easter,  I think she was last Easter too.  The Cowboy, his son and my twin nephews (visiting from Rarotonga) headed north on Saturday to spend a night with the Cowboy's Mum and Dad.

They have a beautiful property on the hills of Waipu.  The Cowboy, twins and I went for a walk down hill to a pond which is home to tortoises and eels.  In my excitement at the prospect of seeing the tortoises I didn't stop to consider what I was wearing, a maxi hippy dress and Havianas, entirely inappropriate for walking down hilly farmland covered in baby gorse and sheep poop, not to mention the steep banks down to the pond.  And all for nothing, not a tortoise to be seen!

The Cowboy treated us out for a beautiful dinner that night.  I wish I had taken a photo of my meal which was a vegetarian dish of roasted asparagus, mushrooms and gnocchi. It was divine, as was the red wine I washed it down with!

Early Easter Sunday morning the Cowboy got up while the boys were sleeping and put their Easter Eggs beside their beds to wake up to.  Cute!

We went for a drive to Piroa Falls.  A stunning waterfall that I need to go back to in non holiday time when hopefully there won't be crowds of people and kids jumping from crazy heights into the pool at the bottom of the falls, which made me feel physically ill with fear that a jump might go horribly wrong.
Piroa Falls
We had a late midday meal of roast lamb and all the trimmings before the Cowboy and I parted ways. He driving back to Auckland with his son and me driving further north to Rawene with my nephews.

We stopped in Kaikohe and picked up KFC for my Poppa's Easter Sunday dinner.  He loves it! We arrived at Rawene to the dining table laid out with eggs and Easter envelopes made by Poppa for the grandkids.  He's pretty cute too!

Easter at Rawene
 It was a nice Easter, spent with family as it should be.  Just not my traditional Easter.  Next year...

Rachael xo

Sunday, 8 March 2015

12 is a beautiful number


Twelve years ago today, a beautiful girl gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and then gave that beautiful baby girl to me.

Happy 12th Birthday to the beautiful Princess.

And as always, everlasting gratitude and love to the beautiful girl who made me a Mummy xo


Friday, 9 January 2015

2014 in 1

I'm not sure how to start this post let alone give it a title given that I haven't blogged since April 2014.
That's because I've yet to get a handle on finding a good life balance with this teaching business!

I've been thinking about why keep this blog open and I guess it gets down to it's a good way of recording life as I don't keep a journal, scrapbook or any other way of recording memories.  With that in mind I am going to endeavor to be more regular in blogging, 9 month gaps between posts is just a too long!

Anyway... 2014 was busy, good but busy.

Me
I had a big number birthday in October 2014 that I had decided to approach in a positive way rather than giving into depression about being so old!  Since starting university and the 'try to kill myself by falling off a ladder' incident I had progressively put on weight so in order to combat this I joined a torture chamber - a gym! After my first session I staggered home and said to the Cowboy "I need to lie down!" I now love going and feel healthier and fitter for it.  Not thinner though, too much Christmas excess, rich food and wine - a lot of wine! Speaking of food, I also changed my eating habits as I approached old age!  After doing a lot of reading I decided Paleo made sense to me. Up until the Christmas season I followed it almost religiously and seriously felt better for it. I'm now back on the wagon!

me, me and me
Teaching
I swapped schools mid year. The call of my final practicum school proved to be too much and when a job came up teaching Year 5 I went for it and got it!  I'm really happy where I am, love the school, the kids, the people I work with and the support is fantastic.

Maths Week - working on the Pythagorean theorem
Creativity
I haven't made anything at home since I don't know when. All my creative energy is used in my teaching, Got to work on that this year!

Celebrating Diwali in our Going Global study of India - Room 32/RPS.
The Princess
She is soooooo gorgeous.  Smart, cheeky and funny. She's only 11, but taller than me and takes a bigger size shoe than me. School is good, she does well.  I was so proud of her making the Science Fair finals with her project "How to make cut flowers last longer". She is mad about Minecraft and reading.  Her hair is amazing, thick, wavy and long.  Taking care of it is not amazing!

1/ She leaves me messages  2/ The Science Fair Project 3/ The Hair!
The Cowboy
He's ok :-p  No, really he is lovely and super tolerant because I am a bad girlfriend in term time- too tired and overloaded.

Hot Cowboy photographer
Home
The Cowboy and I completed a few 'home' projects in 2014.  We 'styled' (I watch The Block) our entrance hall and stairwell around the beautiful photographs the Cowboy takes.  The laundry area of the garage also got a wee make-over and some 'styling' haha. In the earlier part of 2014 I found time to garden and grew salad greens, baby beetroots and herbs. I now grow tall weeds. We adopted a baby boy kitten in January and lost him in December along with Sequin, our 4 year old goldfish who died last week :-(

1/ Stairwell gallery 2/ R.I.P. Ninja & Sequin
Family
Crazy happenings with my family in 2014.  My Australian living brother, sister-in-law and three munchkins came out to NZ for a winter snow holiday.  It came to a grinding halt on day three with a not so fun trip to one of those indoor trampoline places where my brother had a terrible accident.  The end of 2014 saw my other sister-in-law and twin nephews move to Rarotonga and my Mumma and Poppa sell up in Auckland and move to the back of beyond - the beautiful Rawene in the Far North! We also celebrated a family occasion with my oldest nephew turning 21.

1/ Broken brother 2/ Mumma and Poppa's Rawene home 3/ 21 $10 notes wrapped around a sword for a 21 year old
Trips
The Princess and I went to my almost always best friend (sometimes second best friend) Mary Thistle's farm most holidays where I did the usual, tried to bond with herds of cows, read late at night in my 'chalet' while the Princess hung with her bestie, my bestie's daughter:-)  For my big number birthday the Cowboy and I did a trip up North.  We stayed at Coopers Beach, ate divine food, walked wind swept beaches and had spas under stars.

1/ The Princess, a snippet of her bestie & goats, Holly & Milky  2/ Making homemade Ravioli with my bestie,  Mary Thistle


Coopers Beach getaway - October 2014
Entertainment
We, that is the Princess and I, went to Disney on Ice with friends.  She was not so enamoured with it, she's at an age where she felt it a bit babyish, however I absolutely loved it.  We also went to Cirque de Soleil, which was fabulous.  We have seen How to Train Your Dragon 2 and other movies that I can't remember, clearly not memorable.  The Cowboy and I went out to dinner on fairly regular basis and hosted friends and family dinners at home.

1/ Very candlelit birthday dinner (no power)  2/  Stella Bella wine brought back from Australia by the 'Thistle's"

That's a 2014 wrap!

Wishing you all that happen upon this blog a belated Happy New Year!

Rachael xo