Saturday, December 3, 2011

Rainy Day Musings

It's raining.
It's pouring.
I'm finding this day boring.
I've had a coffee.
And a cake.
And the housework I'm ignoring.

Yep.  It's one of those days where I sit on the couch and stare at stuff and let the mind meander.

"My Christmas tree is pretty.
I can't believe I used to hate Christmas.
Well it was never the best time of year.
And it's not like working in a job where the lead up to Christmas is pressured makes it any better.
Still you like it now and you're in the same job.
Ah well, there's that theory blown.
Hmmm.  I should take pictures of the pretty decorations.
I wish I could take great pictures.
They're always blurry.
Or the flash makes stuff look funny.
Or everything goes blurry when I take the flash off.
What's that about?
Shaky hands.
I wish my hands were more steady.
Nervy child.  Nervy adult.
Oh well.
Let's take some pictures anyway.
Who cares if they're shit."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Vintage Love

It's no secret that I love vintage.
Vintage cutlery.
Vintage vases.
Vintage furniture.
But most of all I love vintage clothing.
My love of vintage began at the age of 16 at a big old barn of a shop in Christchurch city, Tasman Traders.
It was there I bought my first velvet blazer and a brown and white paisley shirt.
Years later I discovered Tete A Tete and spent many hours looking and trying on.  I still have a couple of the cutest 60's tops ever and a fabulous skirt that I like to pop on every now and then.  And I still dream about the one that got away.  A gorgeous orange long evening dress.  That almost fitted me.  Almost.  Damn my bodacious bust.  Sigh.
In Wellington I lived down the road from a very cool vintage shop, which eventually closed down, but I love the black ladies handbag I bought from there.
When I moved to Auckland I discovered Trade Me and it's been there that most of my recent vintage finds have come from.  (I've only recently been brave enough to venture up to K Road, which isn't scary at all, don't know why I thought it was)  Anyway,  the purchase below is my absolute favourite.  It makes me feel like a lady (especially when teamed with my vintage lady bag)

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Bloom of Happiness

I received a bunch of flowers unexpectedly today.
They were given with no rhyme.
With no reason.
They were given 'just because'.
I think this is the best way to give flowers.
I am happy.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Let's discuss 'discuss'

I don't know when it happened.  Or how it happened.  It just happened.
At some point the great 'they' decided to follow up a comment with the word 'discuss'.

Will the world end in 2012?  Discuss.

What are the economic ramifications of cows farting?  Discuss.

Should those that wear white after Labour Day be flogged in public?  Discuss.

(For the record I don't get the don't wear white after Labour Day thing.  I googled it and apparently it's to do with only wearing summer fashions in summer months.  Here in New Zealand summer falls after Labour Day so I think it's perfect acceptable to wear white then.  Oh god, did I just 'discuss' something?  Nah, I commented on it, phew.)

What grates me about 'discuss'?

I suspect it's because it feels like everyone has to jump in and be the first to say something.  It's like a race.  And I hate races.  I'm slow.  I'm not athletic.  And I hate to lose.

Ready?  Set .... DISCUSS!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sneaky little Sock Fairies

It was a little chillier than usual last night but not chilly enough to have to wear a full pj kit.  So I stuck to my usual Spring nighnigh outfit and added a pair of socks to keep my tootsies warm should the 4am chill strike.

Well, I woke up this morning and padded half asleep to the shower and on my return I happened to turn back my sheets (no idea why, clearly still half asleep) to find the sock fairies had paid me a visit during the darkest hours of the night and daintily removed my socks from my feet so as not to wake me and left them for me to find in the morning so I could put them in the wash.  How kind.

If only the sock fairies would talk to their chocolate fairy friends as I'd much rather wake up to a bar of chocolate than a pair of sweaty socks.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Whitebait? Why not!

Growing up on the east coast of the South Island I remember spending hours at the mouths of rivers as various family members and friends of the family would go whitebaiting.  When it was sunny it was quite fun, when it was overcast and cold, not so much.

Last year I was fondly recalling these times when I decided that I was going to buy whitebait once a year in order to recapture a hint of my youth.

Last year I made do with whatever whitebait I could find and it was all good.

But this year I sought out South Island whitebait.  And I found it.  Lord knows what part of the South Island it was from, but it tasted fantastic.  Probably no different from the North Island stuff.  But to me it tastes of hours spent playing on rocks, moaning to go home, then eventually tucking into a soft fluffy piece of white bread topped with a fresh whitebait pattie with a squeeze of lemon on top.

Kind of like this ...

The recipe?  Simply:

250 grams whitebait
2 free range eggs

Fry in butter.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Baby that hurts!

Today I was struck down with a sore stomach.

Not a sore stomach where you suffer waves of 'uh-oh where's the loo' moments.

But a tummy ache which felt like a nest of vipers had erupted in my upper abdomen and decided to have a competition to see who could squirm the most.

I used to get these stomach pains in times of stress and decadence but they've eluded me for years, I blame laziness and the recession.

But today I revisited the excruciating pain.  And then my colleague (a former nurse) informed me what I was suffering what Adult Colic.

Blow me over with a feather and pop a dummy in my mouth.

Adult Colic.

What's next?  I'll lose all my teeth (again) and start teething (again).  And then I'll enjoy growing pains (agai.....)  Oh wait, hold on.  I'm 5'2.  I never felt growing pains.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

I once heard a comedian question the saying 'you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.'  Their feeling being why would you want to catch flies anyway?  I'm with them, I don't want to catch flies.  I prefer for the automatic fly spray thingy to kill them for me.

But this isn't the point of this post.  Nope.  The point of this post is ETA's new 'extreme' Salt N Vinegar chips.  Let me tell you, when I saw the word 'extreme' I got excited.  

Back in the day Bluebird did an 'extreme' version of S&V chips and they were so awesome they took a layer of skin off my tongue and singed my nostril hair.  Divine.

So it was with these memories that I bought ETA's version, ripped open the bag, inhaled and felt ... nothing.  Then I ate the chips.  There was salt.  There was vinegar.  But there was no 'extreme'.  

The only sour thing about them?  The look on my face.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

If I wasn't already a crazy cat lady I definitely am now

This last week I've suffered from a terrible affliction.

The common cold.

One moment you're peaches and cream, rainbows and candyfloss, the next you're struck down all snot and sneezes, aches and agony.

It's like the flu but not quite.  (Mainly because the flu gives you a full week off work, a cold gives you only a day or two).

So there I was feeling very sorry for myself.  The Husband had left me to go make money.  I could barely lift my lead filled head to take a sip from the water bottle.  Let alone heave my beleaguered bones from my bed to refill the hot water bottle.  And then a black and white angel came along.

Mr Alfred Mao. 

He came and cuddled up beside me on the bed.  And for once in his life he didn't meow at me for strokes.  He didn't meow at me to open a door.  He didn't meow at me for more food.  Instead he just hung out.  Not for 10 minutes.  Not for an hour.  But for the whole day.  Lord knows how he didn't pee the bed.  

Never before have I had the privilege of living with a cat who put my own needs in front of theirs.   

Dear Mr Alfred Mao (for the record it's Mao cause that's the sound he makes, he's no relative of the Chairman) you're the best cat ever and you make me proud to be a crazy cat lady.  Bless your little white non-cotton furry socks.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Annabel Langbein was my first.

You never forget your first they say.  And I'm inclined to agree.

The first time I won a competition as a child was when I was 11 or so.  We went to the Bromley School Fair and I entered a raffle.  Handing over my twenty cents I was so hopeful.  And when I found out I'd won I was stoked.  Then they gave me my prize.  A homemade clown.  Well made.  But a clown no less.  Not to sound ungrateful but it was something of a win fail.  Clowns freaked me out and this one was shut in my wardrobe along with Lisa the blonde haired blue eyed doll that could walk by herself if you pressed the walk button.  Terrifying.

Anyway, since then I've not won any competition.  Lady Luck left me.  Probably due to being so hateful towards someone's painstaking hard work and creativity.

For whatever reason, maybe because she believes in second chances, Lady Luck recently returned in the form of a Twitter competition.  I retweeted a post from Annabel Langbein's team and won her book Celebrate, which features cake recipes among other things.  I was on Twitter when the announcement post came through saying I'd won.  And it's fair to say that little old loser me was was shaking with joy.

Not wanting to aggravate Lady Luck again I quickly whipped up a cake for a friends birthday.  It was The Hummingbird Cake.  And this was the result.

And guess what, all that delectable icing wasn't hiding a fail either ... check out the inside ...


So, to the Annabel Langbein team and to Annabel herself - THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!  My first competition win as an adult and the prize was a real winner!

(And to Lady Luck, thanks for visiting, if you want to stick around for a while and perhaps give me the winning Lotto numbers tonight that'd be great.  Just imagine all the cakes I could bake with 17 million.)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sunday baking takes the (cup)cake!

Sundays were made for baking.

I love spending the day in the kitchen baking bread and biscuits and whatever else I fancy.

Well today I fancied baking cupcakes.  For the first time ever.

Now I'll be honest, I was nervous.  While bread and biscuits are easy peasy to bake, I seem to stuff up anything cake-ish.  Including muffins.  Burnt on top and soggy on the bottom?  They're my specialty.  So before starting the cupcakes I did lots of research on the old internet and tried one of the many no-fail recipes for vanilla cupcakes with buttercream icing and raspberry jelly crystals on top.

And these were the results:

I hate to brag, but they weren't bad (my flattie's had two already and she's yet to die).  I'd have liked a fluffier cake, but I think that comes down to the recipe more than the cook.  Next time I'll try a different base recipe.  

And here's a view from the top:

My piping wasn't the best ever.  But I was shaking with nerves (a glass of wine might've fixed that, ha!)
... Next time I'll adopt a firm grip on the bag and squeeze.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Who Wants Camel Toe?

Today I bought a pair of exercise pants.  By Reebok.  So they're real exercise pants.

The ones that cling to every single curve a woman has.  Which is unfortunate if like me you've been blessed by curves.  And by curves I mean a bumpity bum, saddlebags and thighs that would make a rugby player proud.  Curves that no amount of 'watching what I eat' and 'exercising like a mad woman' seem to disappear.  They may shrink in size but they're still there.  And it's safe to say that after over a year of going for the occasional walk with the failed attempt to do the 30 Day Shred the curves are very much there.


A friend of mine has decided we're going to get fit.  And I'm going along for the ride.  We're going to walk.  And we're going to run.

You know I'd quite happily walk for miles in jeans but running in jeans makes you look like you're on the run from the police.

So it's due to the running that I walked into Rebel Sport and subjected myself to 'running pant' try ons.

Now for the record the last time I bought anything exercise gear related was 16 years ago when I was 16.  And it was a maroon leotard.  To go over grey bike pants.  In order to do Suzy Aiken aerobics.  ... Those were the days.

So it's been a while and my lord how things have changed.  You see I don't remember seeing a camel toe in my leotard and bike pants get-up.  Nope, no toe of any sort in sight.  Except on my feet, which I could see, because I couldn't afford proper shoes, so was forced to aerobicise in bare feet.

So there I was in the changing rooms trying on a pair of grey running pants (you know the ones, tight, go down to the calf).  And low and behold there was the toe of the camel.  It's fair to say I got out of those pants quick smart.  So I tried on the black ones.  And I think there was a camel toe there but I couldn't really tell cause the pants were black and the lighting dim.  I gyrated, jiggled and jostled about trying to make the light hit that 'area' so I could see if there was a camel toe.  And you know what, I think there was.  And did I buy the pants anyway?  Yes I did.  Because I don't want people calling the police everytime they see me running around Te Atatu in jeans.

So who wants camel toe?

I, the law abiding citzen, do.

P.S  I usually like posting pictures.  But not this time.  Not on your nelly.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

My unexpected adventure to Pokeno

After a weekend at the in-laws The Husband and I departed to meet my mother at Auckland airport before she went to visit some of the fam on the Gold Coast.  (Why she was having to fly from Christchurch to Auckland then to Oz with Air NZ I'll never know as they do fly direct from chch).

Anyway, we realised we were a bit ahead of ourselves and were going to be 30 minutes early to the airport.  Considering the cost of airport parking we decided to have tootle around the countryside.  "Would you like to go to Tuakau or Pukekohe?" The Husband asked.  "Tuakau" I answered "let's see if the butcher is open I fancy some murguez sausages".  (Seriously they make amazing merguez sausages, though I think they're spelt differently.)

So we took the Pokeno turn off and lo and behold we were met with signs declaring a market was on.  "Shall we pull over" asked The Husband.  Did he really have to ask?  I'd already spied a French flag indicating there would be something French there as well as a Smoked Fish sign.

Now I've been to Matakana and found it too crowded for my semi-country raised tastes.  I like to roam without jostling.  I once even went to the Britomart market and was sorely disappointed with the range (that was years ago, it may have changed).  Le Cigale is lovely if you can beat the crowds.  But they just didn't compared to this.  A true blue country market.

There was sawdust on the ground.

A few people were selling stuff that you could probably buy anywhere (I'm sure I've seen the sock seller at the Hamilton Frankton market, I've certainly bought the same pairs of socks for the same price).  But if you ignored that you found some absolute delights.  Free range eggs for $3.50 a dozen.  Smoked fish for a wee bit more than that.  Homemade pickled onions $4 brought from an elderly lady who was also selling honest to goodness home baking and tea and coffee for $1.  The (I assume because of the flags) French baker had ciabatta for only $4 a loaf.  That's cheaper than Countdown and lots bigger too!  We also bought Grape Juice - which apparently contains that mysterious and hard to say Resveratrol - from a nurse who was into organic stuff.

So we filled our bags and our boot and headed off The Husband excited about the delicious meal coming his way and me happy that I wouldn't have to cook dinner tonight.

Smoked fish with fresh ciabatta and some cheeky pickled onions on the side anyone?  Why not.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Beans and Pork Fancy Style

A while back a friend took me to a Chinese restaurant in Auckland where we were treated to the most beautiful bean dish ever.

I've thought about it a lot since and today I decided to stop thinking and start cooking.  So after some googling I found a recipe that sounded similar then added my twist on it.

Basically it's beans with fried marinated chicken mince - as well as chilli, garlic, soy and ginger.

I also found pork strips at the supermarket today and marinated them in garlic, soy, onion, sesame seeds and ginger before baking them for 40 odd minutes.

The result?

Delicious!!  The pork was like pork belly, all tasty and slightly chewy and the beans were crisp and flavoursome.

I could eat this every day ...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

It's not easy being friendly.

Dear World,

Please be nicer.  

When I pass you on the street and say 'hi' or 'morning' please don't stare ahead with a stony expression on your face.  The wind might change and you'll forever look like there's a stick placed firmly up your backside.  Instead why don't you say 'hi' back.

When you walk into our local cafe and I happen to look up from my furious typing and smile at you please don't look at me like I've grown a second head.  If I have grown a second head please do tell me though.  But if I haven't why not smile back.  It won't hurt.  Trust me.

If you're in the supermarket and we happen to nearly crash into each other when rounding the corner at the same time don't give me the killer death ray stare.  Join me in a 'whoopsie' with a sheepish smile.  Gosh, why not make a silly joke.  I'll laugh with you.  Promise.

Dear World, in day to day life when you meet a stranger like myself why not give me a grin.  Let friendly words escape your lips.  Make an effort.  It won't kill you.  It might even make you feel a little bit awesome.

That's all.


Birds of a Feather.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Jesus Is Just Alright With Me

I love bread.
And I love wine.
And you know who else loved bread and wine?  Jesus.

Yep the big J-meister was a man after my own heart.  Because if my last supper was to be anything it'd be bread and wine.  But not the bad stuff that tastes like cardboard and smells like vinegar.  It'd be the good stuff.  I'd ask for a fancy bottle of pinot noir and for freshly baked french bread.

I'm into freshly baked bread, I try and do it myself a fair bit.  In fact I've found a marvellous recipe for baguette online, unfortunately my stupid oven is too small to cook a long baguette so I turn it into a loaf.

It's seriously good.  I especially love it when dipped in a balsamic reduction and good olive oil.  I don't suppose Jesus had that at his last supper.  Poor Jesus.  

Hmmm, it makes me think about The Rapture which was meant to happen a week or so ago and then didn't. The guy who predicted it must feel like a right twerp.  Anyway if the Rapture was to happen I'd try and bribe my way into heaven by giving J-dawg pinot noir from Otago, my own fresh baked bread and balsamic reduction and good olive oil from Waiheke to dip it in.

And I reckon if I did that I would be just alright with Jesus.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sausage Rolls Rule

I'm a big fan of sausage rolls.

All that meaty goodness, wrapped in puff pastry.  It's just fabulous.

Of course they're not so fabulous when done wrong.  When I bite into a sausage roll only to find it's an actual sausage wrapped in pastry with cheap tomato sauce spread between the pastry and sausage I want to throw a hissy.

But when I bite into a sausage roll using good sausage meat (ha!  'good sausage meat' surely an oxymoron) I am one happy lassie.

Of course the best sausage rolls are homemade and that's exactly what I did this arvo.  I use the Edmonds cookbook recipe but substitute tomato sauce for tomato paste.  And the result?  YUM!!!  Can't wait for them to cool down because much like pizza some things are best eaten cold.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


The first of May is still a whole month away from winter.  However the moment daylight savings ends my body goes 'it's winter go to sleep!!!'  Yes with three exclamation marks.  Hence why I've been such a slack poster.  My body and brain have spent the last few weeks in constant nanna-nap/grumpy-i-hate-winter mode.  But now that they're used to these shorter darker days they're raring to go again.

Today I officially came out of hibernation.

I woke up full of beans and embraced the wild wind to walk to the supermarche.  Picking up some yummy fresh ingredients I came home and made Annabelle Langbein's fabulous Busy People's Bread.

Then I made Louise Slice which tasted incredibly amazing while still warm and gooey from the oven.

And I finished it all off with beef bourguinon.

... Oh and I lit the fire for the third night in a row.

My body has adapted.  My mind is ready to rock and roll again.  Bring on the real winter, I'm ready.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I've caught royal wedding fever! AKA Playing dress ups is fun!!

I'm a big fan of playing dress ups.

A while ago I read an article with someone (Lord knows who, the old memory goes blank), but they talked about how when they got out of bed they liked to dress up to a theme and pretend they were someone else.

This struck a chord with me and since then every now and then I wake up and go 'today I'm going to be .....'

Some of my favourite outfits are:

The Fat Out Of Work Ballerina - a black bodysuit with a flippy twirly skirt and ballet flats, often combined with a lightweight knit shrug for when the aircon at work runs cold.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show Mary - High waisted flares with a gorgeous purple flimsy shirt, teamed with 70's chunky heels.

French Miss - quite simply a breton top with black pants (not seen since about 7kgs ago, but still a favourite)

My latest addition?  The Kate Middleton.

Inspired by her love of navy, inspired by her simple tastes.  And inspired by the budget of a radio copywriter.

Quite simply, a navy frock.  Simple black flats (yes she wears heels but she doesn't have to get up and down thirty times a day to voice ads/grab scripts/put scripts in trays/find cds/etc) and a simple piece of bling to fancy it up.  Oh, I also actually blow dried and semi straightened my hair for that relaxed yet styled look (it looked good 11 hours ago).  The only thing I didn't do?  Wear lipstick.  I just forgot.  Anyway after a hard days work the husband took a pic of me ... I think I'll offically call this the old, tired, haggard, with a wicked five-fingered-forehead, Kate Middleton look ...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Shallow and Proud! ... (kinda)

Today I added to my diamond collection.

It's a very small diamond collection.

Consisting of a few very small diamonds.

I have small diamond earrings, a small diamond necklace and today I add to that collection a small diamond dress ring.

(Now potential burglars before you get excited when I say small I mean SMALL, my diamonds wouldn't pay for a P hit.)

Yes they're small but I love them anyway.

Every time I add a new piece to the collection I'm filled with glee.  It's like it's my birthday all over again.  And I guess that means I'm shallow.  Actually I know I'm shallow.

Yes I know there are starving children out there.  Yes I'm aware that Mother Nature is pissed at us for disrespecting her good self.  Yes I know that there are dancing bears whose lives are made miserable by evil bastards intent on making money.   And you know what?  I do actually care.  But I figure if I spent every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year of every decade worrying and feeling bad for those less fortunate I'd become a gibbering wreck.  So instead I stop and care every now and then.  I give money when I'm confronted with a collector.  I make a point of recycling as much as possible.  And I try not to support those who abuse an animal in the name of entertainment (although I'm sure the hardcore greenies out there would consider my love of fashion shows animal abuse due to the sheer amount of leather/fur/feathers etc often found at them).

But what do I do with the majority of my time?  I be shallow.  I admire beautiful shoes.  I desire gorgeous frocks.  And most of all I look down at my small sparkly diamonds and I smile.

I may be shallow, but at least I'm happy.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A rose by any other name.

I may have just butchered some poor sods line.  I'm not sure.  I'm not big on the remembering.  I envy those who are.  If only I could remember what happened yesterday, a week ago, three years ago, then I might be better at winning arguments.  Alas I have the memory of a really cheap sieve so things just go in one ear, get processed, then go out the other.  On the upside I'm a very forgiving person.

"He/she said what?  I can't believe it!  I'm so angry!  I'll never forgive them!"

One hour/two days/three months later:

"Love her/him!  Fabulous!  Excellent human being!"


Anyway.  This is just a post to post the photo of flowers I bought the other day.  Vintage roses they're called, I think (can't remember!) but they're gorgeous and I was lucky to find them as people (apparently according to the florist) think they're all old and ready to die as they have a brown tinge to them.  Which is clearly wrong because one week on they're blooming beautifully, unlike my memory.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Green is Evil ... so says I

I get paid monthly.
And every month I try and do a decent grocery shop so I don't have to go to the supermarket so often, as every time I go to the supermarket I magically spend $30 even if I'm going in to buy one thing.
So the theory clearly is, go once, buy lots, spend less over the course of the month.
The other theory is that I won't waste so much food by only going once (with a few additional trips for necessities like chocolate/soda water/plastic cheese).
Yep, the theory is that I will use all that food I bought up.  Not waste any of it.  
It's a good theory ...

But as I discovered this morning while clearing out my vege bin, I have an aversion to green food.  I'm 'greenist'.  And no matter how much I dream of eating all my veges and saving money some part of me just can't seem to eat green food.  Goodbye well intentioned silverbeet, see ya later health giving salad leaves, au revoir over ripe avos.  

So what have I learnt from this revelation?  I can save a good $15 a month at least by not buying green foods ... and I can instead spend it on my favourite 'c' foods.  As I'm 'c-ist' too.  Cheese ... chocolate ... chardonnay ... cheezels.  CHOICE!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ovary Pangs

For many many years I declared myself a baby-free zone.

No way was I going to infect myself with a parasite that would suck away at the minerals and vitamins in my body, only to be pushed out nine months later with me panting and swearing and screaming.
No way was I going to give up my life of eating indulgent foods and drinking nice inexpensive wine to feed and clothe and indulge a child who would turn into a) a bitchy teenager who would tell me she hated at me every second day before jumping out her window to meet with friends in a park and pash boys I would not approve of  ... or b) a teenage boy who was stinky, never washed and only grunted at me when he wants something.

Clearly the idea repulsed me.  And then I married my husband.  All of a sudden I felt a dull throb about the ovary area.  I would see an olive skin, dark haired child with a cheeky personality and I'd think 'our baby would be like that'.  Then I'd think 'what are you on?  you don't want kids'.  But the fact is marriage ruined me.  It turned me into a wannabe mother.  And it introduced me to ovary pangs.

When a newborn passes me in the street (in it's pram of course) I just want to cuddle it.
When a toddler looks at me and gives me a grin I want to chat to her/him.
When a teenager has a 'meh' at their mum I want to give them an earful about respecting their parents.

And each time I feel an ovary pang.

Unfortunately these pangs cannot be killed by cuddling friends babies, they just make them worse.  There's only one thing for it.  To actually have your own.

Goodbye minerals.  Goodbye vitamins.  Hello pain.
Followed by (potentially) hello to years of love followed by years of 'i hate you's'.
Followed by years praying that they end up liking you enough not to put your in a second rate retirement village.

Do I really want to try and do this baby making lark?  *pang*  Yes I do.  

(PS.  If and when a baby arrives Quite Simply Kellie will remain a baby-post free zone, cause I stand by the notion that only parents think their kids are interesting, while the rest of the world do not.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monkie Kellie is the Coolest! ... actually two wee girls and my husband are.

One day at work one of my esteemed colleagues decided we ought to hold a You Tube competition.
The idea being we put in $5 each, then each make a You Tube video, upload it on the same day and one month later whoever's video has the most views wins the money we put in as our entry fee.

My idea came from a weekend in Pauanui where two wee girls were teasing my husband telling him "Monkey Kellie was the coolest" (Monkey Kellie being a name thrust upon me many moons ago).  So he decided to record them on his iPod.  Then one came out with a song out of nowhere and to entertain them further the husband turned their chatterings into a full fledged 54 second song.

So using that song and pictures of the wee girls I made my video ...

And if I win the booty?  The wee girls get a third each and the rest will be spent on taking my husband out to dinner to thank him for helping me record and edit the film (which will mean I'll end up being further out of pocket cause MAN that man can eat!!)

So anyway, check it out!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hot for Gingernuts!

On my recent trip to Wellington Air New Zealand offered a choice of chips, lollies or a gingernut biscuit as an inflight snack.

Overwhelmed by a moment of nostalgia I chose the gingernut.  And when dunked in my cup of tea it was absolutely divine.

After arriving back home in Auckland I sought out a gingernut recipe online and decided to give backing these spicy wee gems a go.

These are the results:

The husband has already started to sniff around them looking for a munch and crunch ... I think I better find a baseball bat ...

Monday, March 7, 2011

3 Nights, 3 Hotels.

After far too long I recently took a trip to what I consider to be the most stylish city in New Zealand, Wellington.

Late at night the husband and I arrived at our first destination The Intercontinental where we planned to spend two nights, only to be told.

"I'm sorry we've no room for you.  We've overbooked."

I haven't thrown a tantrum since I was 16 or so, but my blood did begin to boil until they said ...

"We've booked you into another hotel for the night, The Holiday Inn."

Cue more blood boiling as I imagined some three star bed bug filled pit.

"We'll pay for the accommodation, breakfast tomorrow and taxis to get you to and from, you can come back here tomorrow and we'll give you a $139 room credit."

Blood doesn't stop boiling ... but as there wasn't much we could do we went along with their plans and took a taxi to The Holiday Inn ... all of a five minute walk away if that.  And what a gorgeous hotel The Holiday Inn was.  (Cue the cooling of the blood)  Beautifully presented, comfortable bed, spacious bathroom (with a mirror that doesn't fog up!) and really nice complimentary shampoo/conditioner/body wash/lotion/sewing kit/vanity kit.  I was happy as a pig in mud.

Photo not taken at hotel, does not show full range of fabulousness.

The next day we checked out and headed back to the Intercontinental who had a room ready for us by 10am - bless their cotton socks.  Once again I investigated the complimentary items - once again very nice but with extras like a nail file and cuticle thingymabob and this soft cloth which I assume is for cleaning glasses, well that's what I'm using it for!  The room was nice, although a touch retro and the staff were absolutely lovely as was the using of the room credit (cue slightly tipsy wife).
Intercontinental goodness

On the last morning we packed up and moseyed along the waterfront to our final destination The Copthorne Oriental Bay.  Once again we checked in early asking to leave our bags behind and once again they already had our room ready so we could go up early - yay!  Out of all the complimentary freebies there's were more generic with 'conditioning shampoo' which just doesn't work on my semi-curly hair.  However the inroom TV was top notch and the bar area was the best of all with views of the harbour and sun streaming in.  The perfect place to consume a wine or two while reading a book.

What started as a 'are you kidding me, where's my can of whoop ass' moment became three wonderful days discovering three excellent hotels in New Zealand's capital city.  All three with superb facilities, superior service and within walking difference of my beloved Cuba Corner.  ... my only regret?  Not taking the Intercontinental rubber ducky which I think might have been complimentary - I love me some rubber ducky goodness!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Feijoa Frenzy!

I love this time of year!
I love the fruit!
Nectarines and apricots and peaches are nice but there's that pesky stone to deal with.
I prefer easy peel satsuma mandarins, tangy tamarillos and feijoas.

And this year the feijoas are fat!  Fatter than I've ever seen them before.  They're nearly twice the size of an egg. And the moment they choose to fall from the tree onto the ground below I am going to be there, teaspoon in hand, ready to gorge myself.

Come to me my pretties!!!

Monday, February 28, 2011

I Heart Desserts

I'm keeping this simple.
Sunday = first anniversary.
Sunday = delicious three course lunch at Mikano.
Sunday  = two delicious desserts.  Twice baked chocolate souffle with coffee icecream and some yummy saucy thing.  And lemon mousse with lemon sorbet.


Saturday, February 19, 2011


When we first bought our house I thought 'hurrah I can now have the vege garden I've always dreamed of!'.

The first thing I did was pull out three magnolia trees, which apparently isn't allowed in my corner of the world, but as they were replanted in another corner of the world I'm sure Council wouldn't have minded too much.  These trees were replaced with a mandarin, feijoa and tamarillo tree, as well as a lemonade tree and a lime bush.

I dug up loads of grass to create a space for vegetables and over the years I've grown potatoes, corn, tomatoes, peas, beetroot, rhubarb, courgettes, apple cucumbers and beans.

This year it struck me.  The money I was spending on seeds/seedlings was not in fact being repaid in produce.

Yes the papers bang on about how much money you'll save if you grow a garden, and I grew a garden, but the garden did not really grow much in the way of vegetable.  Even after I forked out a goodly amount of money on fertiliser and spent more money on a compost bin in the hopes of adding more nutrients to the soil.

This year the tomato plants in one part of my garden yielded three tomatoes.  The beans gave me all of six beans.  The courgette - two courgettes.  The apple cucumber - four cucumbers (which I could have bought for $2 at the local grocer and the seedling cost me 3.49).  In fact the only plants that have thrived are the rhubarb and the tomato plant - which sprung out of nowhere in the middle of my flower garden.

As for the fruit trees?  After 3 years the tamarillo has five tiny fruit hanging off it.  The lime has one lime.  The lemonade failed to fruit at all.  The feijoa is finally fattening up.  And the mandarin is weighed down.  So two out of three plants may in fact end up paying for themselves and then some.

So what's a girl to do about it?  A girl who hopes to sell her home in the coming years so she can buy a larger home to house her (hopefully) expanding family?

I'm saying 'phooey' to the vegetable garden and planting flowers which if anything will make the house look more presentable and less hotchpotch.  My garden will be an ode to cosmos and impatiens.  Cosmos - 2.49 a pack (and self seeding) and impatiens FREE from my lovely neighbour.  The added value to my home, to be determined.  The added beauty?  Priceless.

Impatiens ... with a touch of weeds. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The joys of fish n chips

On Friday I ended the official holiday period with a meal of Fish N Chips and beer.

It was bloody good.

And I was bloody good 'cause I didn't guts them all down ... no, I left exactly six chips behind and threw them in the rubbish bin so I wouldn't eat them later.

Our local fush n chup shop do the best chips - they taste like they've been deep fried in butter.  Mmmmm.

Well tomorrow I return to the workforce once again.

Time to plan my next holiday I think ... and to buy another Lotto ticket.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Lady Girl Debate

The other day I was about to text a friend to say happy birthday.
It was her 32nd birthday.
And what I was going to write was:  Happy Birthday lovely girl.

Then I thought, hold on, at 32 you're not really a girl.  I mean, you are because you've got the girly double X chromosome thing happening, but you're not this young thing who makes daisy chains and plays with dolls.  You're actually a woman.  But Happy Birthday lovely woman just sounds wrong.  Then I thought about writing "Happy Birthday lovely lady".  But that just sent shivers of revulsion down my spine.

For some reason whenever I hear someone calling a woman a lady I imagine a creepy old man who is out on the prowl.  His hair slicked back, wearing a leather jacket, cheap polyester trousers and fake snakeskin shoes.  "Evening ladies", he says slickly "can I buy you a drink?".  And he works his way round the bar hoping that if he buys enough "ladies" a drink then one of them will go home with him.  The flaw in that theory though, is that no real lady would go home with a man like that.

But does context come into it?  I mean, if my 82 year old nanna called me a good girl I'd be fine with that, but if a 48 year old male colleague called me a good girl I'd want to throw every single toy I'd ever played with at him.  And if someone were to say that I'd grown into a fine woman I'd feel proud.  But I'd hate for them to say that you'd grown into a fine lady.

So I've decided that the best way to battle through this minefield is to not say girl or lady or woman.  From now on everyone will be darl.  Which makes me sound sort of Australian and possibly uneducated, but I don't care.  I'd rather be called a dumb Australian than a well spoken, shudder, lady.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The bitter sweet end of a holiday.

Alas today is the last day of my holiday.

When I said that to my husband he said 'well not really, there's still the weekend'.  To which I say 'huff'.
A weekend is not a holiday.  A weekend is a weekend.  And it can't be counted as part of a holiday because you have to share it with other people.

The joy of a holiday is getting up late and feeling smug because the majority of the world are already at work.  The joy of a holiday is cracking open a bottle of bubbles at 5pm while people are stuck in rush hour traffic.
The joy of a holiday is going for a walk to the shops at any time of the day and enjoying the fact that people might think you're a big old dole bludger (which I personally have nothing against so long as you're trying to find a job) while you're secure in the knowledge that you pay a shite load of tax every month.
The joy of a holiday is having fish n chips with a beer for lunch.  Which is EXACTLY what I'm going to do today to commemorate the last day of my divine holiday.

Oh and I took a picture of my dwarf dahlias this morning before the bees started buzzing furiously about them (trust me, the bees aren't disappearing they're just all living at my place) ... aren't they pretty?

Monday, February 7, 2011

'I ate all the pies!" said the crazy cat lady

I'm not sure how I feel about Fly Buys points.
On one hand they take so long to accumulate that I don't think they're worth the hassle.
On the other hand once in a blue moon I can cash them in for something fabulous, like my latest acquisition, a pie maker!

Which makes beautiful pies like the one below:

This pie was the Mexican pie, containing leftover beef and bean nacho mix, guacamole and sourcream.  It was divine ... or should I say THEY were divine - nomnom.

I've also made a thai green chicken curry pie (thanks for the tip Susie!) and a leak pie.  All excellent.

OH! and in between pie making I did some cat stalking.  Yes I stalked my cat 'cause I wanted to force a cuddle upon him.  Something he hates me doing which probably explains why he stands very still when he sees me before making his escape.  Anyway he had a new hidey hole to sleep in during the day:

(Look for the shining eye and the cat will be revealed)

There he is!
Anyway upon finding him I chose to do the kind thing and leave him alone ... this time.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I like Cheese

In fact I like cheese is an understatement.
I love cheese.
All sorts of cheese (well mostly, the really pongy blue and I are still circling each other trying to decide if we're friends or not).
I can't got past Mercer without stopping in at the cheese shop and spending too much money on cheese - maasdam, pecorino, gouda ... you name it I'm buying it.

So what does one cheese lover do on their second day of holiday?

They make cheese!!

I used Annabelle Langbein's soft cheese recipe (an absolute doddle to make) and it came out beautifully! It's like a rough textured sour cream but tastes very fetta-ish. I could eat it all day ... oh that's right I have been.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I didn't quite nail it ...

Day One of a holiday has to be the best ever.

Your whole holiday is still to come, you've DAYS to relax, the possibilities are endless!

So what did I do?

Made cheese, went for a walk, then sat on the couch for about five hours watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes while supping on the grape stuff. A good time.

In between all that I went to see the lovely Lucy and had a manicure (thanks to the husband for providing the voucher). Deciding to try something different I chose a purple shade to adorn my nails. Perhaps not the best idea I've ever had. I feel like I ought to be a member of the Misfits from Jem. Or an extra on Outrageous Fortune. Even the lovely Lucy suggested that next time I might try a darker shade or red ...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I'm on HOLIDAY!!

One week of bliss.
I'll garden.
I'll cook.
I'll spend endless hours surfing the interweb.
I'll drink tea in the morning.
I'll drink wine in the evening.
I'll watch trashy television.
And I might even do a bit of exercise.

Oh and I'll sell clothing on Trade Me to make up for the clothing I bought at the market (a jacket, a jumper and a 'rugby' top ... and the clothing i bought on that my husband doesn't know about, ha!)

Happy days!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

A wee change of plans ...

Now I know I'm not meant to be buying any clothing this year ...


... a friend of mine has been raving about a clothing store at a local market - beautiful pieces for $3 or so.


Tomorrow I'm going shopping!! And if I DO buy anything I'll put the equal amount of clothing up for auction on Trade Me.

That's not cheating is it??

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Whole Week!!

Well it's been a whole week without shopping.

And I'm not going to lie, it's been hard.

Walking through Malls and arcades and down Queen Street, with SALE signs shouting at me to come in and try on clothing at a reduced price. Racks of clothing with "$20 or less" signs waving at me to run my hand over them.

But I'm pleased and proud to say that I resisted all that temptation. And it's already showing on my bank account!! The way I'm going I may even be able to pay off a bit of my credit card debt. I only have a little, but I hate having any.

What did I buy this week (apart from food)? Pink sheets. Candy floss pink. They are hilarious. I think I hate them. But I think I may come to love them.