Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ballet memories x

The memories came flooding back. 
Tears welled in my eyes.

My darling baby girl all dressed up as a ballerina and nervous for her first time on stage. 

She folded her arms with nerves, doing little nervous jumps at first...

You made me so proud girl and broke through a barrier in your confidence up there, loving every second and showing the crowd your very best. 

You even nailed the solo that you were not expected to do! 

Love you baby- you did amazing! 


'Christmas Elfing'

Even a word? Elfing? Anyway this is what we are up to in our house at the moment and apart from the hideous humidity that makes me grumpy at everyone I love and hair frizzy and afro it has been thoroughly enjoyable I must say.

Last year we moved in to this house right on Christmas so as much as it was an amazing Chrissy prezzie and very exciting it also brought with it exhaustion, chaos and boxes.

Now we have had a year to really settle in our focus is on making the food YUM this year. Putting in the extra effort and spoiling our family and friends who may pop by (hint hint...)

Master four is a keen helper in the kitchen and it has been lovely to spend this time with him during the day before school came to a close.

After school we busied ourselves some more and Miss five and I had a go a peppermint bark, inspired from here while the little chap slept.

I am doing the baking in advance this year as to be honest, the closer I get to Christmas the less I want to do so I aim to get it all done far before Christmas Eve so I can just sit back and be merry.

What is on your list? Any traditions?

I've cottoned on to truffles this year and coconut ice. In this weather I do not want to be near an oven so I have been finding the recipes for treats and slices that do not require it!

Easy recipes, I will post up under the tab!

Happy Christmas prep!

Love Pip

Saturday, November 17, 2012

What's happening?

I wondered, after one hen was chilling in her nesting box for days on end what was going on.
Every time I carried her out to eat or drink yellow foot (who's feet aren't yellow any more) would have a go at her. It brought new meaning to peeking order for me. Man, they can be vicious!

My poor jumpy who has always been the bossy one was taking it on her chin and putting up with the abuse. Cowering and shy, so unlike her.

After a week, she wouldn't eat or drink. Under her belly was also now bare, like a *plucked chicken.....

She would lay an egg (sometimes) and sit on it, always possessive, never leaving it.

When someone got near she would double in size, spreading her feathers trying to look scary but no, she actually just looked so beautiful!

Upon reading, goggling and my mother I discovered she was in fact broody.

Q: What does the word " broody " mean?
A: When a hen is broody, that means she wants to hatch her eggs. A breed known as broody has hens that often, individually go broody, and they may not even need eggs to set on to be broody--they may go broody in a nest with no eggs. Further, if there are eggs in the nest, if there is not a rooster in your flock, your hens will not know that their eggs won't be fertile. Your hen will seem to be in a sort of bad temper while she broods, she may pluck out her breast feathers so she can be closer to the eggs, and she may even screech a warning at any birds or people who come near her nest! 

The answer?
Put her in a cat cage, somewhere safe but in a draft. A wee bit uncomfortable so she won't feel like laying an egg. Hay, water and food and leave her there for three days. She will get over her broody-ness, get her personality back and get on with it with the others.

We are on day two of having a chicken at our front door, one day to go......

Interesting stuff!

*Bad joke

Sunday, November 11, 2012

...and I've been busy with this!

If you haven't heard, I have started my own business and this is another good reason I have not had time for my writing, sob sob....

I have started a business in Social Media Management, setting up and overseeing pages for business who don't know how or are too busy to network and keep up with Internet marketing.


It is keeping me well busy and there has been a big response! 

I took the plunge and even though I have only just started, decided to enter the local papers comp, Woman in Business and got to the Top 5!!

It closes on Wed and I have a way to go to get first, but any votes from my blogging friends would be so appreciated! 

Even if I don't win, I am so stoked to have gone this far with no client base and the amazing support I have got from all my family and friends. I have been very touched! 

Thank you!

Here is the link if you have a spare sec, it is simple and quick, thanks so much! 


Love Pip x

I am still here!


Wow, it has been so long! I can't even catch up with my reading list as I am so far behind now. It has just been a bit of a break time for me I think. Too busy yes, but also I needed to stop writing about everything for a while and just live the moment... no pics, no stories, nothing but grabbing the time for what it is.

And it has been amazing.

Not running for the camera at a hysterically funny moment, just laughing on the floor too..

Not juggling a camera on a bike, over the hills as I try to capture the moment...

Not trying to think of something new to write when I just need to sleep, or spend time with the hubby...

It has been nice. But I have missed it!

So I will re-introduce myself with a loving list I think and a "Hi! How you been!?" xxx

This is speaking volumes to me at the mo! 

Goooooood food, dates with the husband...

Being dorks and living it up (for a night), finding our youth by having a night away!


Riding around Mission Bay after finally watching other and wishing it was us!

Notes from Miss 5, (actually I want to go to school) after saying she was too tired but then heard something fun was happening....

Family time

The joy of watching kids feed lambs!

Yummiest drink out

Passions that show at a young age


I could post 100 loves to catch you up on what's been happening in my world, so much to be thankful for!

But, bed and a good book is calling so I am going to listen to that, nite all x

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


 I just wanted to say "hi", cause I miss you x


Talk soon...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I've done it!


It has been a long time since I have blogged to you lovely readers and it has been for a very good reason I promise!

Other than the sickness trap we found ourselves in over the entire winter, as the temperature rose so did my ambition and determination to grab a dream.

I had been mulling over the idea for a while, researching, questioning, googling....

One night I knew deep down this was it, the business idea that I could throw myself into 100%. 
There have been a few in the past that I have considered, but nothing like this! 

My heart is in this and I believe in it so strongly. 

As I spoke to hubby about it, my hands shook with excitement. 

"I'm going to do this!" I said to him. 

"I know you are." came his reply...

So I excitedly introduce to you, my fellow bloggy friends, my new business- 

Liked Media

You can find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/likedmedia?ref=hl

Please do a girl a favour and pass the word around, I hope to be here for a while!

More on living frugally very soon...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Week 5-6...

Week 5-6

I have hit my target week, but not my target weight....

Between week 5 and 6 I have been crazy sick, over and over again.... taken a trip to Wellington and found myself gorging in the wet cold weather on more junk than I need...

But, through this time I have kept exercise in the schedule, a pot of soup on the stove and smaller portions earlier at night.

Because of these wee things, I have weighed in at my lightest so far in this challenge= 59kg.

Only 1.5kg to my next goal.

Two weeks to get to this I reckon....

Have you got any tips to share???

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The tale of the yellow foot chicken...

The yellow foot tart.

I was finally running away for a weekend.

A much overdue, much needed trip to stay with my sister in windy Wellington. The timing was perfect and I had been quite organised despite sickness's and sleepless nights. I was nearly at the mark of freedom. All that was left to do was finish making dinner, double check my bags and be dropped in town to a dear friends house in order to be picked up very early the next morning. I had a stomach full of butterflies and a sense of disbelief until I was on that plane. Three whole days to be my in charge of only me.

No fighting, no loud boy voices, no whinging, a peaceful shower, great sleeps, toileting with no "muuuuuuuum!" in the background, no 24/7 demands. I love my little family so much but hey, sometimes we all need a bit of sanity time to remember who we are and that we are also our own identity.
Something many a mother has forgotten at times, I hear all you mums yell "amen!"

This is a treat that we sometimes only dream about and never get too often.

So here I was, dinner was on the boil, Master 3 watching a DVD so I could focus on cooking. Miss 5 was quietly playing teachers in her room- her toys all lined up and listening tentatively.

At 4:00pm I thought I better go and get the chickens fed and let them free range for a while as I doubted they would get out all weekend. An extra long graze would be ideal to get all the grass into them and stretch their legs out of the cage for a while.

I opened the gate.
Dora flew out followed by jumpy the chicken who took a long time to take a liking to us mere humans. Yellow foot, the cuddly dog natured chicken didn't follow but I was certain she must be popping out her afternoon egg so I left her alone in peace.

Time passed.

I peeped into the box.

No hen?

For some strange reason I jumped into the cage almost checking under every leaf, like I would find her hiding under a tiny stick or a plant? My first thought was, I have killed her.

I knew I couldn't keep chickens! Like when a sheep has had enough, they take themselves away and lay down to die. She has gone away to die I thought. Maybe it was from the poo stuck to her bum that I didn't know what to do with? (another story in itself!)

Where did she go though? There seamed to be no holes in the cage.

......somebody has STOLEN my chicken! Was my next thought. My favourite chicken :(

Times are tough I guess and you would get an egg a day or a stringy feed I supposed.

Miss 5 walked out concerned with the weird actions of her mother.

"Maddie," I said, literally scratching my head, "I think someone has stolen our chicken!?"

"Nooooooooo!" came the devastated reply.

"I think?" half reassuringly.

So we are looking around the back yard and i'm thinking, surely we could easily see a bright orange chook hanging around. Where could she be? I then noticed Murphy our little dog sniffing around a wee hole in the cage, probably the size of the chickens head. Could she have been so desperate for grass or an adventure that she squeezed out of that?

I could hear one of the neighbours was gathering his chickens up next door. In and out of the trees in his typical way was calling fondly to his "girls" and in full blown conversation. I politely started to yell out, "excuse me", and "hello" until Miss 5 decided that this wasn't working so suddenly in my ear was a loud "Oiiiiiiiiii!" He came skipping over right away. "Maddie!" I whispered in my trying-to-hide-my-giggle growl.

We have a conversation about the said chook. It went something like this. "Oh yes, at around 1:00pm I saw her on the lawn, I thought it weird you weren't there with her and chased the large orange cat away that was harassing her. I had heard a loud noise and being a tarot card reader I thought 'maybe I should look outside, something is there....' and what do you know! I was right for once!"

"She went down that way...." he was very worried.

Given that chickens tend to stay close to their fellow friends and not roam too far from familiarity we looked in bushes, trees and hide holes in case she has been scared by the manky wild puss and gone into hiding. I clutched my chook pellets and shook them hard. "Here, chook chook chook...."
Is this what you call out for a lost chicken I wondered?

At this stage, I was worrying about dinner on the stove, the fate of the chicken and the typical last stress that should have been a give in on a mother smelling the sweet smell of a bit of relaxation just around the corner.

Just then the hedge guy shows up to give me a quote. Bad timing! Darling hedge man was one of those people that spoke.... for ages. You know, thinking, pondering, repeating himself and quite franking not getting the message from a crazed, wild chicken lady that I had more important things on my mind. "Get back to me with a quote?" I suggest. Nope, he goes on and on....

Now I have Miss 5 tugging at my jeans, still in a panic.

"I've got to go sorry," I finally say, thinking of the burnt dinner on the stove.

Just out of chance I figure I would look up at the road side, you never know I guess, she is more like a dog than a chicken. I'm still calling out my little chook-come-back song and the two young girls from next door come out. "Have you seen my chicken? I ask with a bit of a giggle remaining in my tone.

One of the girls replies,"I saw a chicken over there at that house when I came back from the doctors at 2:00?"

We are getting closer to the mystery.

Little tart.

At this stage, up at the road I have the two small kids in a panic, two neighbourhood teenagers eager to help, the cat and the clue-less dog who are revelling in the excitement of everybodies energy.

A circus I think to myself.

At that crazed moment, a fellow workmate calls out, she is picking her daughter up from home based care. I worked with her at the newspaper agency, you know, during those business suits and professional days pre kids? I quickly stop shaking my pallets around. "What have you lost?" comes the question.

"Oh, ya know....my chicken." I replied casually, trying to hold on to a wee bit of dignity.

"Oh, we haven't seen a chicken here today, sorry," replied the home owner while her husband in the background is rubbing his tummy and mumbling "Mmmmmmm chicken." This is so bizarre I think.

The tribe of kids and fellow animals are now around the back trying to herd in the other chickens to safety.

I knock on the neighbours door where the 2:00pm sighting had been. A friendly but confused face opens the door. "I don't suppose you have seen a chicken today," I ask.


"Yes........" came the hesitant reply. The eyes said it all. The 'i'm so sorry...' eyes.

"Oh." I replied sadly.

Coming to terms with the fact that it was time to say our goodbyes to the chook, I waited to hear the story of how it happened.

"At about 3:00pm," she went on,"my son noticed a black cat chasing a chicken down the alley way towards the road...."

"By the time he had got there, there was no sign of either, so unfortunately it did not look or sound good. We went up the road to see if it was the other neighbours missing chicken, but his were safely inside his coop. We wondered whose it was."

Has the whole neighbourhood had chicken encounters today while I was obliviously packing my bags inside? She must have been waddling along right outside my window only metres fom me!

I went to return home to break the news to the kids when I saw an orange shape in amongst this ladies trees in the back yard. "There she is!" I say a little confused. "Noooooo!" she replied.

Sure enough, the little madam is munching away quietly on the grass as happy as can be. I approached her as she tilted her head at me like a dog trying to figure out what you are saying and giving out a cheeky,


As I bundle her up in my arms she looks like the chicken that got the corn (or a four hour free range holiday!)

Happily reunited with her favourite chicken, Miss 5 wanted big "cuddles" with the poor hen and tears were almost shed from the worried bird loving neighbour.

A neighbourhood ecstatic with such a happy ending!

Safely inside the cage, a thorough safety check complete and excitement over, I stood by myself in the kitchen for a moment wondering how to save the dinner....

....and thinking,

what the hell was all that?

Friday, August 31, 2012

"Turn that frown upside down!"

When stuck in a mental rut, the best thing to do, I find, is to be thankful.

So here is my wee bit forced thankful list, there are ALWAYS things to be thankful for in life!

Strong coffee

My bubbly, fun loving, happy young girl who is growing up way too fast and who I adore x

Sisters, Wellington, silly photos x

Laughing at grumpy kids in boxes....

Sprinkles.... makes anything yummy!

Happy and settled boy at kindy- found his click x

Feeling better already.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Photo Drop...

The 'D' word...

The 'D' word:

Call it the rain filled Winter?

Call it the never ending family sicknesses?

Call it the massive gaps in sleep?

The family circumstances?


Bit of a bump in the road?

Or, all of the above?

I am not too sure.

This is a word that I do not throw around lightly. I know there are a load of people who suffer from depression regularly, badly or their whole lives and I know it is obviously the real deal. I also know however that the word depression does get used a lot and in some cases overused. I have not looked into it at all in my life or given it a second thought other than a few friends and family of mine who suffered from it. It was not really in my mental dictionary.

I have an 'otter' personality. You can look yours up on this personality site- there are heaps of others and ones where you can do a test, bu this outlines the basics.

 I am otter who tries (because of circumstances being a mother and a wife) to take on the beaver traits- often failing as this does not come naturally.

As for most otters, we have amazing highs and low-lows. We ride life like a wave but we are easily switched out of a low or down from a high. We are passionate. We can be quite emotional. Therefore, knowing my personality, I can read when the tide changes and I know it is this and it will soon pass.

What about then when I can't switch it off for once?
When nothing actually breaks this low into a high, or even to a neutral state?
Things seem boring, tiring, depressing and bla...

Over winter, thanks to all the above circumstances I found myself in a (dare I say it?) depression.

Or, one tired otter!

I said to hubby one day, "I'm not sure what is going on right now, but I think I may be depressed!?"

A foreign concept for me....

So here I sit, thinking as I write these words it will help more and to also point out that life isn't always a high, just like the county side there are hills, valleys, caves and fences. We all get a turn in one of these areas at some stage and I guess the important thing is how we get ourselves out to carry on our walk over the hills.

Pulling back a bit has helped as we have always kept busy, too much at times.
Focusing on who and what I love, taking a short trip away to find my individuality again, especially as a mum and doing some re-focusing. 

Who am "I"?
What do "I" like doing?
What do "I" want to do when my label isn't purely just "mummy"?
What do "I" actually think about that issue?




Even though these questions stemmed from a little low point,
I am enjoying this time to think, learn and grow in myself...

There, it is out there... now I need to change the word depressed to "down".

Sounds better ;)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Homemade gifts

Simple gifts.

I have made my first home made hamper for my father in law's birthday.

This is something I have had a heart for for so long but have never had enough quality home made or grown items to fill a basket.
These are early days but I was so proud to be able to give a gift like this to someone special.

Oranges, mandarins, eggs, herb salt and macadamia nuts scattered underneath.

Can't wait to make many more for you all x

My sneeky re-weigh in (wk4) ...

The day after yesterday...

I was not impressed with my wee gain the other day so I stepped it up the next day and re-weighed myself the next morning just to make it all ok in my head. I know there may be weeks when I gain some but I really want to avoid these and loose something/anything each time.

Wednesday morning= 59.4kg.


Yesterday I went for a walk, a very relaxed one but a walk all the same!
I won't say I skipped breakfast... because actually I realised i'm just having breakfast at a normal hour.

*Having two little early rises in our family, from five years ago we have all woken at 6am, or earlier.
This is when we eat all together and quite frankly I am never hungry at this hour!
So, as the kids have grown I have had a coffee with them and waited until I have felt hungry for this meal and it could be 9am or 10am... so this sets me up for breakfast and i'm still not hungry at lunchtime.

Porridge. Covered with a tub of yogurt and seeds and nuts and a tiny bit of maple syrup.

I know this isn't the healthiest out with my little toppings but I figure it is my big main meal of the day, I want to last until the afternoon and I will be burning this meal off, so it's not too bad.

By about the afternoon I become hungry again and have been reaching for fruit.
Multiple cups of tea and bottles of water- yes, this is a great trick!

Dinner: I was all set to have soup...then I thought "yeah nah." I have a big container in the fridge full of soup already made up- another helpful hint of mine, that works for me.

I joined the family and had spag bol but on a blue plate ooooo ever heard of this one? Food looks bigger so you eat less.... I had a little helping, stopped myself at this and had a cup of tea.

Later hubby and I had a well deserved 'date night', I will post about what these are soon and had two small glasses of red wine..... and half a dozen olives with some feta cheese.

I held off the urge to eat the pudding I had made the night before and lucky I didn't because even after a few healthy treats just before bed, this kind of day worked and I am now safely under my first goal.

On to the next goal: 58.5kg (I find it helps breaking the goals down so it feels more do-able) so I have under 1kg to loose this week.... not tooooo daunting.

Are you joining me in this? Let me know, I love to hear your feedback and suggestions! If you don't want to post publicly, find my email address on the contacts tab- thanks!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Numbo four!



Tiny tiny bit back on- at least it is not a big gain but feels dumb to be back on THAT number.


I am feeling sumwhat healthy for the first time this winter and feeling more strength to nail this.

-This week I have been skipping breakfast (naughty I know)
-Having porridge everyday as a late breakfast to tie me over until afternoon tea
-Eating fruit for arvo tea
-Small dinner
-Sometimes seconds however.... gotta stop doing this
-Last night I baked.
-No more baking!
-Loads of water and tea!
-Walks this week

Feeling motivated!

Let's continue...

Current goal to get back under 60 and stay there, 59kg would be nice by next week!

3-4 weeks in...


JUST under the 60kg -first goal made!

To scared to put any food in my gob being this close! (but of course I still did!)

- Sickest for the longest I've ever been! One month and things are not letting up.
- I still have these goals clearly in my mind however.
- One jog- bliss!
- No time to myself
- Feeling the 'D' word for the first time in my life.
  Not just up and downs but the 'D' word as much as I don't like to use it!
  Tying to shake it.

- Chocolate visited.
- Wine visited more.

-Average, average week eating, very off and on.

But still sticking to this!