Saturday, 22 December 2012

Keep calm...............

Goodbye 2012...............
Who is looking forward to 2013?  I am.  Another year always means a clean slate in my books!
I'm signing off until the New Year, I will be spending time with family over Christmas and New Year and am looking forward to Christmas day, watching my children's faces as they open their pressies, lots of yummy food, seafood galore, the beach and crazy family time.
Fingers crossed the weather behaves (current forecasts are saying otherwise).
I'm looking forward to blogging in 2013.  I've only been in blog land since September this year and I'm hooked.  There are so many amazing and inspiring blogs out there.  I can't wait to discover and learn more in the coming months.
So from me and my family have a safe and very Merry Christmas and New Year.
Cheers to 2013!!!
Elaina xo
P.S. Just remember a cup of tea solves (almost) everything.........
If that fails to work............


Friday, 21 December 2012

Around here

Last minute goodies from Olive and Isla.

Love this swallow print.
George's top and shorts for Christmas day.
You have just got to love a gingham print for summer!

The apricots have finished but the plums are finally starting to ripen.

Climbing fences.
I think our plum tree looks Christmassy.

The grapes are growing..........

I never get tired of our view.

My little man had a much needed haircut today.  Now he is off to do a spot of shopping.

Oh dear!  This is not good.  Wee George is our first "runner".

Watching the corn grow.

Bowls of ice to keep little people cool - it has been so hot lately.

Thank goodness for our big shady tree!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

The Good Wife's Guide

Lovely readers!  If you, like me are slipping in your duties due to the busy festive season, please keep reading.  Are you planning on making any New Years resolutions?  Please keep reading......

Wives, partners, girlfriends, boyfriends and significant other halves - you may want to brush up on your "skills".  Please see the post below and let me know if you are a "Good Wife"! (Tongue firmly in cheek)!
Originally Published (although notes online suggest it may be a hoax) in 1955 in Housekeeping Monthy
The Good Wife's Guide

Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.

During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.

Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

Don't greet him with complaints and problems.

Don't complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.

Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

A good wife always knows her place.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A Liebster Award

So what is a Liebster Award? The award is given to support and recognise up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers (on their blog) or likers (on their Facebook page). The word “Liebster” apparently has German origins and is reported to mean sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. By following some basic rules (answer 11 questions set by your nominee, write 11 questions of your own and pass the award onto 11 other bloggers to answer) it enables readers to get to know new bloggers and connect with a wider audience.

This is a VERY overdue post!  The very lovely Margaret over at Techie Mum nominated me last month (I know) for a Liebster Award.  It's my very first one and I was so excited to get it.  Thank you!

Pop over to Techie Mum and take a peek because Margaret can also help you out with any technical issues you may have.

The thing I love about Margaret nominating me is that I would be the most un-techie person I know.  So below are my questions from Margaret and as you would expect they are of a techie nature!

  1. What is your favourite techie gadget? The only one I use - my Laptop.  I got in trouble this week from Mr H for not using my mobile - that he bought me last Christmas!
  2. Laptop or desktop computer? Laptop.
  3. Does your family complain about how much time you spend on the computer? I try to blog at night or in the afternoon when the boys are asleep.  Any complaints are usually from my daughter if she wants to watch something on "on demand" TV as we don't watch TV in our house.
  4. If money were no object, what techie gadget would you buy? Whatever gadget it is that you need to do Instagram.  And I would love a new camera.
  5. How do you manage your to-do lists – paper, phone, app? Paper - lists stuck to the fridge.
  6. What about your calendar – do you use a diary/organiser, or your phone/computer? Calendar - also stuck to the fridge.
  7. Which operating system do you use – Apple or Windows? Ummm.....Windows?
  8. Have you ever taken a break away from technology and for how long? Planning to over Christmas/New Year.
  9. What do you use to take photos – a camera or your phone? Camera.
  10. Do you read real books or do you have an ereader? Always real books!
  11. Complete this sentence: The most trouble technology ever got me into was ….. With my sister - cheeky comments on her Facbook photos.

I would like to nominate the following lovely blogs for a Leibster Award..........

Lover of Vintage
Our big adventure
This brown wren
Little red vikings
Elli Moody
Dear Molly
Fields of Sage
Modern Day Mummying
From me to mum
Little sleep

Your 11 questions are.........Christmas theme of course: (no pressure to answer them - just nice to be nominated I think)

  1. Home or away for Christmas this year?
  2. Gifts - store bought/homemade or a bit of both?
  3. Summer or Winter Christmas for you?
  4. Christmas tree - real or fake?
  5. Favourite Christmas food?
  6. Have you been naughty or nice this year?
  7. What would you like Santa to leave under the tree for you?
  8. Do you have any family Christmas traditions?
  9. Worst Christmas pressie you have ever received?
  10. A favourite Christmas childhood memory?
  11. Will you be making any New Years resolutions?

Make sure you pop over and take a look at the nominated blogs - happy reading!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012


I'm watching my three a little more this week, taking in their smiles, words and movements.  I'm savouring the evenings, the bedtime tuck-ins, grateful I have them home - happy, safe and sound.

I'm still in disbelief over the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the US.  You never think for a moment when you wave goodbye to your child at the bus stop or school gate that they are in any danger of being shot in their own school grounds.  My heart goes out to the family and friends of those affected.
Kia Kaha (Stay Strong) xo

Monday, 17 December 2012

A weekend

Bell's favourite spot to read.  She has found an author that she loves and can't put the books down.

Sticky, hot weather over the weekend.  We retreated to the river both days.  The boys spent more time in the mud - this will be a favourite summer spot I think.

George's swim shorts were bright yellow - not anymore!

Apricot jam - which ended up more like a "compote" I put too much water in.  The jam recipe I had used dried apricots and I had used fresh ones off our tree.  Better luck next time.  Mr H made a more successful apricot chutney.  The smells coming from the kitchen on Sunday while we were cooking were just amazing.

Mr H's chutney going in the jars.........

My Apricot "jam" and the chutney all sealed up and ready to eat and gift.

Discovered asparagus growing in the chicken coop!

Corn rows over the fence.  I keep thinking about the film "Children of the Corn" - spooky.

Corn rows and grape vines - thriving with all of the sunshine.

Christmas gifts and candy canes - not long to go now.....
Have a great week!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Under the apricot tree

We have been eating outside as much as possible lately - the weather has been beautiful.  Our favourite spot at the moment is under one of our apricot trees.  Bowls of pasta followed by an all you can eat buffet of juicy apricots.  The ladder stays propped under this tree all day and when ever you feel the need you just climb up and help yourself or if you are lucky you may find a ripe apricot that has nestled itself if the grass below.

Over the next couple of days we are going to pick as much of this yummy fruit that we can before the birds get to them.  Then we will be bottling and making apricot jam.

I love finding my three seated under this tree, in the shade feasting on apricots........


Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, 14 December 2012

A Christmas giveaway..............and the winner is?!

Thank you to all those who entered the giveaway.  And welcome to all my new followers!
The winner of this beautiful Fairy from Little Anahera is....................
Please email me at: with your address details so I can post out to you toot sweet!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Steeped Christmas Fruits

A very luxurious Christmas gift for the grownups - great to have in the cupboard for any unexpected family who show up on the doorstep!

I used smaller jars rather than one huge 1.25L.  I imagine a large tablespoon of the steeped Christmas fruits on top of ice cream (or whatever you wish to "dress" up) would be plenty as the end result I'm assuming will be all consuming - wink wink.

Tart up your pretty jar(s) with Christmas ribbon.  I'm going to add an AO label to mine.

Steeped Christmas Fruits....................

You will need:

500g mixed luxury dried fruits (a mixture of raisins, sultanas, currants and glace cherries)
400ml Pedro Ximenez sherry, or other rich dark sherry, plus some more for topping-up
Tip the dried fruit into a 1.25-litre preserving jar, or use several smaller jars.
Pour in the Pedro Ximenez; the liquid will more than cover the fruit, and over time the fruit will swell, growing to fill the jar.
Leave the fruits for overnight, although at least a week is preferable. In either case, make sure you keep topping up with sherry.
Eat with vanilla ice cream, or with whatever you want!


Don't forget to enter my Christmas Giveaway here.
Competition closes Thursday 13 December at 11.59pm (NZ time)
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