Monthly Archives: May 2015

the aussie haul and the post aussie haul!


so here we go with show and tell!!……

My first purchase was the Enchanted Forest and a set of watercolour paints that stack up for easy transportation. I also picked up 2 aqua brushes, and worked on one page while I was there. I picked up Secret Garden at the end of my trip.





I added to my funky measuring cup collection –

they are just so cute!.

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I decided I wanted to look into getting a box set of the Australian tv drama Offspring. I’m about the only person in the southern hemisphere who hasn’t watched a single episode, but I’m lead to believe its very good and the few times I’ve watched 10mins, it’s also quite humourous. I was lucky enough to find the last box set in the shop, a left over from the Christmas selling and at a great price – not what was on the front!. I wouldnt have been able to get the individual series for that price.


of course, I cant go anywhere without coming home with books – I tried really hard to restrain myself!. you’ve seen one, but here’s the other 2 I brought –


all Australian authors and of the romantic variety about life in small towns or in the outback!.

I went to Spotlight, a hobbycraft type shop and ended up with some Project Life goodies. its the first time I’ve had any true PL merchandise!.



I love the colours of Hi sunshine on the left, and the one on the right is designed by Cathy Z, I’m a huge fan of her clean scrapbooking lines.




My sister took me to a Japanese shop where everything is less that $3.00!. I’m managed to not come home emptied handed!!

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lots of stickers and post it notes for planners, some very cute!.

My sister also got me back into using fountain pens, giving me one before she left on her travels. then she brought me back a new limited edition Lamy with some ink!.


the green one is the Lamy, the black one is the one she got me before she went away, and the 3 in the middle are disposable ones she picked up at Paperchase! the stapler on the right turns 90%, and the flowery thing is a hole punch.

I kept seeing this shelf unit and lusting after it, and finally decided to get it and just carry it in hand luggage!. I’ve always wanted a house shaped shelf unit. its my intention to paint it white and line the back walls with scrapbook paper. please ignore the items on the shelf – I didnt even notice til I was processing the photo!. the union jack is a hamma bead creation I made while there.



Since getting back I’ve not brought much, but I did spy 2 things I really wanted –



I’ve made 2 things from this so far – the slow cooker pasta sauce is currently cooking away, and a caramel sultana cake is out of the oven and tastes pretty good!.

Below is my reading material for the next little while!. I love love love it!. its written by NZ’ers for NZ’ers so has all the information that we need to know, that foreign publications dont. I cant wait to dive in!.






well, that’s if for this edition of show and tell!.

the vegetable garden has been started so I’ll do a post about that shortly.


the Gold Coast, Mar – May 2015


ok, here we go!.

I spent 2 months in OZ caring for my niece while my sister and brother in law travelled around Europe. Because I was with her all the time, I didn’t do a lot of touristy things.

Near where I was staying Hollywood had set up camp to film the 5th installment of Pirates of the Caribbean. When they werent filming you could drive along the road and see the two ship sets they had set up. For most of my time there Johnny Depp wasn’t in OZ, only arriving the week I left. (I’ve never seen any of the films!)

The top 2 photos are of the same ship and the bottom one was of the other ship!

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The area was quite hilly where I was and often, especially first thing in the morning when it was cooler, you could see all the lights lit up while they filmed scenes, but you couldn’t get close enough to see any more.

I took my niece to mini golf one morning and had a blast, apart from the heat of the day!. I was hopeless, and she was only marginally better – we both need more practice!.

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It as set up really coolly – 3 different areas of 18 holes each with varying levels of skill. Its definitely something I’d do again!.

We also went to Movie World. Because of her we concentrated on the child friendly rides and amusements, and the parade.

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That fellow in black kept trying to muscle in on my photos!.

I observed a foreign male taking photos of blond haired young girls while I was watching my niece on a ride. This male comes from a culture that doesn’t have blond hair. I found this very uncomfortable and had to check with my Bro in law, did I see what I thought I just saw. He agreed with me. I decided to inform security – do you think I could find a staff member or security guard!. no!. Eventually I found a young woman running a ride and asked her what the child protection policies where and then explained the situation. After giving her a description and place where I’d seen this I was thanked, told the security office would look into it,  and that was that!.

I found it all a bit seemingly low key, shrugged my shoulders and continued on my way. Later that day I saw the man again, and decided to follow up. When I approached customer services they were every pleasant, hadn’t heard anything about it and felt security services will have dealt with it.  ‘thanks for your concern’, and here’s the door!.

having taught child protection policies for several years I found their attitude very lax. I wanted to know he had been identified, cos if not, I could take them to him now – but Ms customer services didn’t want to know. I didn’t need to know any more, I just wanted to be sure he’d been identified. Who knows what happened that day! I did think about complaining, but haven’t done so as I’ve been busy dealing with my mothers issues since getting back, which kinda makes me as lax as they seemed to be!. Would you follow up via email?

As well as my niece, I had 2 dogs to look after. (btw, that pool there – I spent a lot of time in it!)

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Meet Scout, on the left, and Lucy. Gosh!, where to start with this part of the story…..

While I lounged by the pool each day!, I became aware that Lucy was incontinent. She was leaving puddles whenever she got up. I informed sis and bro in law, and took her off to the vet. He wanted a urine sample!!! Seriously!. But bless Lucy’s gentle nature, she just stood there while I tried to catch her wee in a container. (these are the times you’re thankful for all the nappies you’ve changed over the years and aren’t squeamish about bodily functions!). I got the sample and dropped it back to the vet. An infection was ruled out so she was put on incontinence pills. These didn’t seem to help and we finally got to see her normal vet. She had another urine sample taken, this time via a needle, and was recommended that we shave her back end to get a better picture of what was going on. Long story short – the pills didnt work, the shaving didn’t change anything, she was struggling more and more to pass urine, so an xray was taken. The dear girl had cancer in the neck of her bladder which was growing so fast it was blocking the wee coming out. What a hard day that was. Lucy was as happy as always, she never whined when she tried to wee, she was always so good natured. That was 2 weeks ago, and this past monday she was put to eternal sleep as she wasn’t passing any urine at all. Due to its location the vet has said operations wouldnt be able to reach it. Poor wee Scout is lost without her mate, but getting happier by the day. I skyped Oz this morning and she was running all round the room looking for me, which broke my heart!. and all this from a cat person!.

**wipes tears away**

so, thats all about my 2 months away. I’ll be back soon with a show and tell of all the goodies I came back with!.


just a quickie!


I’m back in NZ now, and in a new house. finally able to fire the laptop up and take off all my aussie photos today. i’ll be back with a better catch over the weekend and then the excitement that is planning a vegetable garden!.

May 2015 Reading Challenge


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Welcome to Mays Reading Challenge post.

Good news!! – I have 2 books to share for the challenge and one other that doesn’t fit into the categories i have left!


The first book I finished was called “At Home with the Templetons” by Monica McInerney. It was 7 pages shy of 600 pages long! This fits nicely into my book with 500 pages long category!. I started reading this while waiting to pick my niece up from school each day, so the first 200 pages or so were very disjointed and I struggled to get into the book. But suddenly it just grabbed me and I needed to know what happened next, and by the last 150 pages, I couldn’t put the book down! it tells the story of two very different families whose lives become entwined over the years. It was in my sisters book pile and to be honest, if not for the challenge I probably wouldn’t have actually read it as the subject matter isn’t one that grabs me that much. I did enjoy it in the end, but felt, for me there was a major brushing under the carpet of a central incident in the story which I felt should have been resolved better – i felt my favorite character was hard done by and I wanted her to get some peace for the incident.



my next book was “Rose River” by Margareta Osborn. I’ve put this in my ‘book set in a different country’ category. It’s set in Australia, and given I live in NZ, it is a different country!. ( the fact I read it in OZ I’m fudging over!). I just loved this book. after 600 pages of Templetons, this was a lovely read – yes, its probably ‘chic lit’, but it was heart warming, funny and romantic. I refer historical romances, but this was contemporary and I still enjoyed it. I’m planning on taking this book back to NZ to keep! it’s a love story set in the back country, with some great characters and some funny incidents. by the end of the book, which i read in about 3 days, i was wanting it to be a movie so i could get lost in its folds all over again! I’ll definitely be looking out for more of the authors work once i’ve joined the local library in the new area we’ve moved into.

The third book I read was “That Sugar Book” by Damon Gameau


I’d be following the Facebook group and decided I would get this book while I was here. While I know the message about sugar now from reading Sweet Poison, I felt I needed to remind myself and reading it in a different book might just help me get back on the sugar free wagon!. I’ve been pretty bad here – Coles cinnamon donuts are my downfall!. this was an easy read and didn’t get too bogged down by science, but gave you enough to understand why the author was saying what he said. it also recounted his personal experience in going on a sugar fueled diet for 60 days then coming off it at the other end. it could loosely fit into the “book that scares you’ category! it was a good reminder to get back on track!.


Now, its your turn -are you taking part in this challenge devised by Popsugar?

Each month we’ll share what we’ve read during the past month based on the categories set on the challenge list. We can use this link up to find more books to add to our reading pile, ask for ideas or suggestions for categories we may not be familiar with and read reviews of the books by participants. We might also gain a few more readers or cyber buddies along the way.

RULES (cos there needs to be a few!)

  • Link directly to your reading challenge post please.
  • Try to include photos of book covers, but if you can’t, at least give both the name and the author of the books you’re reviewing. Also indicate which category the book falls under ( feel free to double up, if you’re not a huge reader)
  • Keep a tally of how many you’ve read vs how many to go e.g. 3/50
  • Take some time to check out the other blogs in the party and comment, you might gain a new cyber buddy!.
  • Remember to link back to this party in your post, and feel free to grab the button over there on the right hand side of the screen. ** I still need to change the wording on the button, now the party is only monthly!.
  • Links that do not follow the rules or appear to be spam will be deleted.