Monday, 29 December 2014

FitfyTwo/52......the last one

"Portraits of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Finished!  The final portraits for the year.  All 52 done.
Tom - "it's cold mum"!
George - water boy....... he really really loves being in the water.
Joining in with Jodi's "52 project".


Saturday, 27 December 2014

A very Kiwi Christmas


I woke up Boxing Day with (fuzzy head) aching feet from dancing, sore stomach from laughing, and a croaky voice due to epic Sing Star battles with my sister.
Our Christmas Day weather was great, the sun shone and it was warm.  The kids were well behaved, even though breakfast for them was mostly made up of the sweet contents of their Christmas Stockings.
Santa came through with my very much wished for Pink Flamingos............which I may have purchased/wrapped myself.  Sometimes you just need to take matter into your own hands.
We ate roast lamb and Christmas Ham which Mr H glazed and cooked on the BBQ.  Raw fish in coconut cream, lime and coriander was served along with roast vegetables and huge bowls of salad.
We sat in the garden under our big shady tree, I set a table and had three huge jars of hydrangeas from my neighbours garden as our centrepiece  Arms chair's in the shade were a favourite place to relax and sip ice cold beers.
We played tag, bulrush and touch rugby.  I hired a Sing/Dance Star console which was so much fun.  Apparently my sister and I hogged it most of the evening..........but I don't think that was true.
We have been away the last two years so to have Christmas this year at home was wonderful, it felt relaxed and easy going.  I'm so glad we have stayed home this year.  And now it is time to sink into full holiday mode.  No more gift wrapping ( I did my usual last minute power wrapping Christmas Eve), no more mad dashes to the Supermarket along with the rest of the town to do the Christmas shopping.  It feels like everything is done and dusted for the year.  Relaxxxxxxxxx.
Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014



"Portraits of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Not a lot of photo taking lately.  My sister and her family are visiting and I snapped these photos of my boys walking in the vineyard one evening with their cousin.  They look so grown up next to him.  Making sure he is ok.  Only one portrait left to go............
Joining in with Jodi's "52 project".


Monday, 22 December 2014

Happy Holidays!

Hello!  Just popping in to say Merry Christmas!  The last month has been busy for us, lots of end of year functions and parties...........which for this homebody takes some getting used to.

Mr H and I finished work on Friday,  and my sister and her family arrived on Saturday so things are feeling really festive around here.  We have been swimming every day and enjoying the sunshine too.  Today I caught up on things around the house,  and even got some time in the garden.  The tree is up, the Christmas carols are playing around the clock (Mr H dislikes carols....all the more reason to play them) and the kids are counting down the days and hours till Christmas morning.

I have six weeks off and I am beside myself with the thought of the summer days ahead.  I have two more Portrait Posts to do for the year and maybe a post on how this Kiwi family spends Christmas Day.....and Mr H is now an NZ Citizen, so that's something else to celebrate.
So my lovelies, Merry Christmas!
Tell me how you will be celebrating December 25th?
Will have snow on Christmas day or will it be stinking hot?!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014



"Portraits of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2014."

We are counting down.........last week of kindy for George, and work for Mr H and I.  Bell and Tom are already on has been so busy.  No time for blogging.......and I miss this space when I am not here.
Tom - First year of school done and dusted!  So proud of him.  He has loved it but is so ready for the Summer Holidays.
George - this week's favourite item is one of my mixers - who needs the latest toys?  He has been a monkey this week.  The antics are endless.  I wouldn't be surprised if he is on Santa's naughty list!
Joining in with Jodi's "52 project".


Monday, 8 December 2014




"Portraits of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2014."
Tom - "how many sleeps till the big holidays mum?"............."how many sleeps till Santa comes mum?" much to look forward too.
George - oh to be three again?  So many wonders to behold.......there was a native bird singing away in the tree and he was mesmerised.
Joining in with Jodi's "52 project".


Thursday, 4 December 2014

Little Anahera Fairy giveaway winner!


Thought it best that I draw the winner!  This week has got away on me.  On Wednesday I thought it was Friday.....I'm hanging out for the weekend.

So thank you to my sister n law Em from  Little Anahera for making this beautiful Christmas Fairy - I hope the recipient enjoys her.

And the winner is..........Emma Elliot.
(Make sure you get in touch, the last giveaway the winner didn't and a new name was chosen!)

Emma please drop me an email with your address details to
alittlebitcountrynz (at) gmail (dot) com
Don't forget you can view more of Em's beautiful Fairies/Angels on her Facebook page.
Enjoy your week!

Monday, 1 December 2014

A Christmas kitchen.......Ginger Ale Fruit cake


This was me on Sunday.  Playing Christmas Carols and baking fruit cakes.  I found a couple of small cake tins in a kitchen store in town and they are the perfect size for gifts.  Using the recipe below I was able to make 5 small cakes.

I measured out the fruit and poured in the ginger ale before I went to bed Saturday night and placed in a covered bowl.  It is an easy to follow recipe (Dulcie May Booker) and you can tweak it to suit your tastes or add more brandy (or not) if desired.

I just need to wrap in cellophane and ribbon and they will be ready to give out this week as teacher gifts.

I love baking at Christmas, and next on my list is Chocolate Fudge. I use a Nigella Lawson Recipe - delicious!  Jars will be filled again this year and then decorated with the usual Christmas ribbons and tags.

Ginger Ale Fruit Cake

You will need:

225g Sultanas
225g Dates
225g Currants
225g Raisins
2 tablespoons Lemon Rind
240ml Ginger Ale (I made sure the fruit was well covered, and tipped the excess out in the morning)
225g Butter
225g Sugar
4 Eggs
280g Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Almond Essence
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
1 tablespoon Brandy (I used about 2)


Soak fruit and lemon rind overnight in ginger ale.

The following day - cream butter and sugar very well.  Beat in eggs one at a time, then add sifted flour and baking powder.

Add soaked fruit and, lastly, essences and brandy.

Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (depending on the size of tin you use - mine were done after 1 hour 15 minutes) in a paper-lined tine at 320F (160C).

Intially when I put in all the fruit ready for soaking it looked like way too much - but once the other ingredients are added the consistency is great.  It is a VERY fruity cake!


What Christmas treats do you enjoy making this time of year? 

Feel free to share your links in the comments section below.

Don't forget to enter this beautiful Christmas giveaway.

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