Friday, 29 November 2013

Gardening at dusk

Last night after dinner, baths and general tidying I wandered outside to water the garden.
I had a look at the box of vege plants I had bought and decided that there is no time like the present, put on my gardening gloves and off I went.
We have a raised garden bed that sits under one of the apricot trees.  I was planning on turning it into a sandpit for the boys, but after removing the cover and seeing how rich the soil was I decided it would be perfect for vegetables.
The current vege patch is home to the cabbages, which are thriving.  The soil is just not in great condition.  It needs a few months of mulching and such to get it up to scratch.
I planted lettuce, carrots, silverbeet, tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum, broccoli and cauliflower.  And new to me watermelon and rock melon.  I companion planted so hopefully it will thrive.  The soil drains well and it has the added bonus of sitting under the apricot tree which will give it much needed shade over the hot summer months.
It was a nice time of day to garden, there was a cool breeze blowing and I stayed outside till dark.
Fingers crossed for a bumper crop!
Happy weekending lovelies!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

The most wonderful Advent Calendar..........


If you read yesterday's post about the Advent Swap - you would have seen the amazing box of goodies that arrived for me all wrapped up and waiting for December 1st to arrive.
My Secret Santa came forward, an amazing lady by the name of Tracy from the blog Inside the scrap heap.
 And because I never read instructions properly I completely missed out on the fact that there was a package to be opened straight away - and away from small eyes.
Once the kids were tucked up in bed I did just that.  And was completely blown away.
Tracy had made for Bell, Tom and George an Advent Tree.  It is so beautiful, I keep taking looks at it and pulling out the wee draws that are filled with chocolates.
I know they are going to love it.  I can't wait to see their faces, when they get to open the very first draw.  This is our first Advent Calendar, and will be a feature of our family Christmas's for many, many years to come.
Thank you so very much Tracy.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Christmas Advent Swap 2013

Oh, look what arrived today!  A box of 25 lovely gifts all wrapped up by my (very) secret Santa.

I'm joining in this years Advent Swap hosted by Cat over at Catalina's Cottage.

I can open the card and then a gift each day until Christmas.  I tried to do a bit of detective work but my secret Santa is obviously skilled in this kind of trickery as there is no sender's address or anything on the box......clever.  So I'm guessing I will have to wait till Christmas morning to see who the sender is.

I plan on putting our tree and decorations up this weekend and will pop all of these amazing pressies under the tree.  Can't wait to see the look on the kids faces.  I wonder how they will react to mum being able to open a gift each day till Christmas.  Green!  I think I will be hot footing it to town this week to pick up some Advent calendars.

I have loved joining in with this swap and putting together the goodies for my swap partner. 

Are you joining in with any Christmas Swaps this year?

Thank you secret Santa!  I can't wait for December 1st!

Merry very nearly Christmas!


Monday, 25 November 2013

Penny Scallan Design giveaway winner!

Thank you to all those who entered the giveaway and thank you to Penny Scallan Design for once again supplying such an awesome prize.
The lucky winner of a kiddies Wheelie Bag in their choice of design is:

Please email me your address details and the Wheelie Bag design you would like to alittlebitcountrynz (at) gmail (dot) com and I will organise delivery of your prize.
Have a great week everyone!
Thank you again Penny Scallan Design!


*** was used to pick the winner.

Sunday, 24 November 2013



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Bell - taking Cloudy for a ride.....we have the most wonderful neighbour called Jill.  She picks the kids up on the quad bike or lately in their golf cart (Bell drives) and takes them up to the farm to feed the animals and play on the tyre swing.  Now she lets Bell exercise one of her horses.  She is such a confident rider, no saddle required.  Yesterday Jill dropped off some riding gear for Bell to keep at home.  You can imagine the excitement!
Tom - we caught up with friends who have returned to town for the summer.  A picnic at the beach and very SERIOUS sand play was on the agenda.  That face - he looks so much like Mr H in this photo.
George - Having slept for most of the beach trip, when he finally did wake up it was straight to the picnic blanket for a quick feast..........then he went back to the car where he sat in his seat.  His feet never touched the sand.

Very happy to be joining in with Jodi's "52 project".
Last day to enter this giveaway too!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Elephant and Bird toy review..........and a treat for readers

We have been lucky enough to review the Elephant and Bird toy camera.  I have been eyeballing it since the linen review and giveaway - you can see that here.

Perfect for adventurers!

Or budding wildlife photographers..........

It reminds me of a cricket bat that my Grandad made for us when we were little.  He had a shed that he used to hang (hide) out in, he pottered about in there and loved making things.  The bat was simple, smoothed by hand and the perfect child size.
This toy camera is all those things too. We have a good mix of plastic fantastic and wooden toys,  I love wooden toys so something like this is a wee delight.  It is so tactile with its light weight smooth wood, simple design and the most delicious soft leather strap.
Thank you to Jo at Elephant and Bird for sending this to us.  We love it and know that it will be well used for many years to come.
And as a treat for readers you can shop online in their Etsy store and receive 15% off your order - perfect for doing a bit of Christmas shopping or for a treat for yourself.
Just type in COUNTRYLOVE when completing your order at check out!
(Take a look at the handmade leather notebooks - gorgeous!)

Check out Elephant and Bird here!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


I've been busily cutting and hand sewing Christmas ornaments for the Kiwi Christmas Ornament swap.
I looked up a You Tube tutorial on how to Blanket Stitch and off I went.  I purchased felt, cut up doilies, sifted through my lace bits and hunted out Bell's button collection.
I've started off with the pale cream felt and am about to start on the more traditional red and green colours.
I love being creative and am really enjoying hand sewing.  I don't do near enough as much craft as I would like.  I find children and house "stuff" always gets in the way (and evenings I just don't have the attention span!).  I always tell myself I will sit down and do some craft when jobs are done but there will always be something that needs doing or seeing too.
So doing the swap with other participants and with a timeline has been great as I have made myself put time aside.  Even if it is just small moments through out the day where I can cut or pin.  It all adds up and I love it.
Are you making anything at the moment?  How do you manage your time when it comes to your favourite type of craft?
Linking up with Leonie and Christina

Monday, 18 November 2013

Where the dinosaurs roam

Dinosaurs are popular in our house at the moment.  Dinosaurs at play, bedtime stories, Jurassic Park movies and now they are in our garden.

An empty half wine barrel, a few wheelbarrow loads of spare soil, old bricks, stones, shells, a few carefully chosen plants bought from the garden centre and there you have it.  A garden fit for Dinosaur play.

Tom and I put this together one afternoon.  I chose plants sturdy enough to withstand small hands and roaming creatures.  Everything else we already had to hand.  An inexpensive garden project that I'm looking forward to watching grow and be a tactile part of the garden for the children to enjoy.

You can visit our fairy garden here.  It is a lot more overgrown now though.

Sunday, 17 November 2013



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Sunday afternoon at our house.  No photos done so I simply snapped what they were doing at that moment.  All absorbed in their own things.  Happy.  A full weekend doing everything and nothing..........

Bell - busy with homework, but only a few weeks of school left.  Counting down, light at the end of the tunnel and all that jazz!
Tom - a simple toy airplane from a Kinder Surprise.  He spent ages this afternoon zooming around the garden with it.
George - his favourite place to be at the moment is our bed.  To sleep and play.  During the day he takes piles of toys and hangs out.  I woke up with a small car stuck to my ankle this morning.

Very happy to be joining in with Jodi's "52 project".

Friday, 15 November 2013

Christmas is coming..........a Penny Scallan review and giveaway!

Christmas is coming and I have a wonderful giveaway for you!

The very generous people from Penny Scallan Design have sent me a Kiddies Wheelie Bag (RRP $69.95) to review and one lucky reader will win one in the design of their choice.

Perfect to put under the Christmas tree for someone special!

We have reviewed and given away one of their Kinder Packs previously - you can read that review here.

I really love the red and white stripe lining - and it's waterproof.

Here is the all important product description:
Great wheelie bag for holidays and overnight stays on the plane, boat or train.
Extendable handle with an easy grip for those little hands to pull along.
Made from 100% cotton canvas, polyester lined and scratch resistant PVC coated.

Easy to wipe clean
Size W30 x H46 x D13cm.
Weight is : 1.6kg

 This is a BPA FREE product.


We love the Penny Scallan products in our house so we always enjoy reviewing them.  We went with the Big City Design again to go with Tom's Kinder Pack.  Below are the other designs available:

From the moment we unpacked it, it has been a huge hit.  Tom in particular loves hiding away his treasures in bags of any description, so when I got it ready to photograph it was already housing binoculars, a key chain, trains and a notebook.  It has gone off tonight with Tom for a sleepover with cousins and we have been talking about what to pack in it for the Christmas holidays........already.

The Wheelie Bag really is a perfect kiddie size, super light and as always I love that you can wipe it clean.  The front pocket sits flat and is handy for popping in writing paper and books etc for easy reach.  One thing to mention is the handle - very steady, this bag does'nt do the annoying wobble when you walk/run with it.  Got to love that!

To enter the Penny Scallan Wheelie Bag giveaway all you need to do is:

Just comment below - easy!
 Optional bonus entries (leave a comment for each - you may choose none, one or all.  It's entirely up to you!):

 Follow A little bit country via Google Friends Connect,  Blog lovin or Feedly.
'Like" A little bit country on Facebook.

"Like" Penny Scallan Design on Facebook.

Share this giveaway via Social media (Facebook, Twitter, blog).

This is an International Giveaway.
(One Kiddies Wheelie Bag to be won)

Giveaway closes on Sunday 24 November at 8pm (NZ Time) - and will be announced the following day.  The winner will have 1 week to get in touch or a new name will be drawn.

This giveaway is now closed!  Click here to see who won.
Thank you  Penny Scallan Design and good luck!


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