Friday, 29 July 2011

Snow Babies

Today we set out in search of snow ... and found some on the side of the Desert Road ... I think these pictures tell the story better than any words can:

Someone did not want to leave the magical white stuff behind!

Have a great weekend!

Jen x

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Noah on: 'Pottying on'

You may have noticed the awesome badge/ button thing that has newly arrived on the left side of this blog... you know the one that reads "Keep Calm and Potty On" - you can grab one for yourself (or a bigger version to print out) over at Angela Noelle's blog, Striking Keys (that is, if like me you are in the midst of potty training chaos and need a reminder to stay calm!) She also has some awesome tips to check out.

Truth be told we are in the midst of a potty training break... because, according to Noah ...

... its just one great party!

(We hope to resume again in earnest come Summer.)

Jen x

Monday, 25 July 2011

List of the Week: Blogs I LOVE

There are a lot of really awesome blogs out there. Every time I find a new blog that I like, I seem to find another 5 awesome ones from it. Because of this I've had to be extremely self disciplined in compiling this list.

I'm going to group some into categories. Here goes:

1) Made by Rae and MADE (Dana made it)

Rae and Dana are both extremely talented American Mums that love to sew for their kids (amongst various other craft talents). What I love about their blogs is the abundance of free tutorials/ patterns that they make available.

In fact Made by Rae was the first ever blog I stumbled across (and took note of) when I was googling for a free baby girl's dress pattern. This resulted in this:

The Itty Bitty Baby dress found here ... this was one of my first ever attempts at sewing (apart from when I was a little girl) so don't look to closely at the binding! (Recognise the fabric from anywhere?)

I think I found Dana's blog through Rae's page and recently used this pattern of hers to make these shorts:

Now Noah is pretty set for shorts for this Summer (and a few Nephews may receive some as Christmas presents).

There are HEAPS of other great projects to try out on their blogs, so make sure you check them out!

These three blogs are my favourite New Zealand crafty Mum blogs.

I love Dee's blog because she is so inspirationally creative, always has some insightful and encouraging words about parenting that make you remember that it's all worth while (even when hit by multiple tummy bugs!)

Heart Felt inspires you to get outside and explore the beauty of the great outdoors and is worth a peep if even to just view Sadie's Vintage Wardrobe!

Megan of Mousehouse inspires you to try all sorts of awesome crafty projects and to join her on her organised home challenge ... Also you have to check out her most recent post showcasing the 'Mousehouse Dollhouse' ... I couldn't resist sharing a couple of pics...


Now for something a bit different... a fashion blog - but with a twist. Kayley of Sidewalk Ready is all about "ensembles [that] are wearable for every day people" .

As a Mum (and I'm sure there are a lot of people that feel like me), I enjoy fashion and don't feel like I should now have to give up (and wear trackpants) just because I'm no longer working in an office/ am either pregnant or breastfeeding (and the clothing restrictions that go with that) and don't have a heap of money to spend on clothes.

Although Kayley is not a Mum herself, she buys most of her clothes at normal, affordable stores (such as the Gap - which needs to come to NZ!) But manages to always look a million dollars! The photography is amazing (Kayley and her husband are both photographers) and she gives some hair tutorials (she is also a hair stylist) ... is there anything this girl can't do?

Heres a pic from Sidewalk ready so you can see what I mean!!

I wish I had her clothes... and her shoes ... and her bags!

I could include a lot more blogs ... but I have to make dinner... Noah may not want any now because he has just consumed about a kilo of grapes as I've been typing this!

Make sure to check all these out and comment with links to blogs you recommend!

Jen x

(All photos that are not mine were used with permission of the owners)

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Happy Birthday Mum!

Today is my Mum's Birthday! My Mum is a super Mum and Nana who is the most generous person I know, sewer and knitter extraordinaire, a master at the colic hold and the only Nana I've seen actually playing on the playground equipment herself!

So what's your anti-ageing secret Mum? (No seriously?)

We celebrated with a feasting extravangza that lasted all weekend long...

It began with dinner, cake and cards at Mum's on Saturday...

... followed by Sunday lunch at ours yesterday... which included...

... creme brulee baby!

... and what better way to enjoy your creme brulee than eating it lying down!

It's amazing at how much more you appreciate your own Mum when you have your own kids, aye?

Happy Birthday Mum! We love you..

Love Andrew, Jenny, Noah and Isabelle xoxo

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Friday in Pictures

I really wasn't planning on posting again today ... mainly because I have posted every day since I started this thing and don't want to seem like a hardout. But it is raining and I'm twidling my thumbs, so here goes.

Today (so far consisted of):

Splashing in puddles...

...Hide and seek...

... a lover of pumpkin...

... a babe in a bonnet...

... further admiring my awesome haul at the op shops this week ... between this and a few dresses I'm making for her Isabelle is set for Summer. (And I'm a sucker for those rounded Peter Pan collars) ...

... some more of the haul  - 2 vintage dressses size 2 ... not completely sold on the big collars but at $1.50 a piece who can complain?

... According to Noah, Tigger is a King. And yes his "crown" is the cross shape from the Tupperware Shape-o- ball thingy. Gotta love an imagination.

... And last but not least  - A very Happy Birthday to my Dad ("Poppa")  - and sorry for adding a year to your age!

What did you do today?

Have a good weekend
Jen x

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Is there anyone out there...?

So not a majorly productive day so far. Apart from going for a run this morning (for the first time in ages .... major burning lungs), I've just been moping around the house doing a small bit of housework and checking to see if I have any new followers or comments yet.

I know in my first ever post a couple of days ago I said that I didn't care if anyone read my blog, I'm a diarying type person and I was just doing it for me blah blah blah.... Well I lied. Kinda....

Not about the diarying thing, just the need for fellow- blogger love.

Here's some photographic evidence my diarying past:

My Jellybean diary for real sweet girls - I think I was about 6 or 7 ... in any event it was when I had the chicken pox and couldn't spell 'juicy' or 'scabs' for that matter. I'm sure my only follower can correct me if I'm wrong (aye Mum? ... surely you remember when we all had the pox?)

And the travel diary is from our trip to America when I was 11, and yes those are Goofy and Pluto's autographs. Try not to be jealous.

So yeah, maybe I do need some blog love, some kind of validation from you awesome crafty Mum blog community out there... I kind of feel like the new kid on their first day of school, looking at the ground and just wanting to be accepted by the cool kids (sob).

Obviously this is a bit tongue in cheek, but as parents everywhere tell their kids ... 'If you want to make new friends, you have to first go and introduce yourself' ... I guess its time I went and let the world know that I'm here!

Jen x

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

List of the Week: 'Mend and Make New' - by way of explanation

I have noticed from reading other blogs that some do regular features. I have decided to do a 'List of the Week.' I'm a list person, I'm forever jotting them down. My husband likes lists too. He writes them on his hand with his inky architecture pen and sometimes (twice), stamps them on our clean white sheets. I prefer paper, or now this blog.

The 'List of the Week' will be anything ranging from 'to do' lists, lists of cool websites I've discovered or just a list if things that are currently tickling my fancy. Anything really.

So I'd thought I'd start by explaining the philosophy behind 'Mend and Make New' in list format. With a whole pile of cliches thrown in for good measure.

1) Do the best with what you are given
As a Christian I believe that God has given us everything; our skills and abilities, money, time and children. We need to be good stewards with what we have.

2) Waste not want not
Pretty simple really I just hate waste and really admire people who are careful and content with what they have.

3) Being frugal doesn't mean that you'll just have to 'make do'
As a young teenager all I wanted was labeled clothing, Rip Curl, Billabong, Nike - you name it. I saved up and bought some pretty hideous outfits just because they had a label plastered across the front. I have now come to pick my clothes by style, what suits me and quality of workmanship and have found some of my favs at op-shops (obviously with a significantly smaller price tag). I also love the upcycling trend... turning something second hand into something better (making new). This applies to anything including food... life's too short to sit round eating plain rice.

What I'm trying to say is that you should treat yourself and enjoy nice things (and a bit of whimsy)... you just don't have to break the bank to do so.

4) Necessity is the Mother of Invention 
I just love this saying... and this takes over from the last point left off. A while back one of my best friends and I were discussing how sometimes having limited means forces you to be creative, to think outside the square.

6) The best things in life are Free
When I think back on my childhood my strongest memories involving spending time not money. My Mum used to take us on what she called 'magic carpet rides' where we would all bundle into the van and go somewhere and do something fun. We didn't know where we were going until we got there. There was one rule that it wasn't allowed to cost anything (bar petrol of course.) I want to create these kind of memories for my kids.

7) Focus on the Eternal rather than the temporary
No one says this better than Jesus in the bible: Matthew 6:19-21

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Phew, v21 hits home pretty hard!

And this doesn't just relate to where you invest your money, it relates to where you invest your time and effort too.

I was also really inspired recently on this topic by this post by the amazing Dee, whose blog I've recently been stalking following.

... So thats my list... can't say I always live by all this, but I aspire to.

And to end a couple of photos from today's thrifting session (of stuff that moths and rust will destroy):

 A train lamp for Noah ($10). A bit more than my normal thrift spend on one item but he needed a light and picked it out across the otherside of the shop. "Mummy Train!"

And a cute little leather bag for me ($4.50). Its hard to tell from the photo but its a dark olive green - I love it!

I promise most future blog entries wont be this deep and philosophical!

Seeya Jen x

Well Hello There!

I am pretty new to blog-land/ the blogosphere ... I have been checking out a few (mainly parenting and crafty) blogs for a little while now and realise that there are a lot of people that deal with similar daily issues to me such as 'arsenic hour' and what to do when your two and a half year old paints the steps yellow (more on that later.)

I have been umming and arring about whether to start a blog of my own for a wee while as the following questions have crossed my mind:
Will it just be another thing to distract me from paying attention to my kids? Do I have anything new to contribute (as there are some mighty clever crafter 'super Mums' out there in blog land)? and Will anyone read it anyway?

I came to the conclusion that I don't really care whether anyone reads it and that I am happy doing it just for me. I have always been the journaling/ diary keeping kind and sometimes just feel the need to spew a pile of information out. This is just a more public way of doing it. My blogging may be spasmodic as the kids are my priority.

Speaking of the kids... this is what me and my two little joys did today; painting...

Noah painting (paper and stones of course!)

Yellow steps ( I turned my back for 2 minutes!)

Isabelle (above) aged 8 months watching me put up the new art work on her wall (below)

Jen x