A Village Life

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Before and After

Entry Hall before with pale yellow walls

Stairwell in white with lots of little kid finger prints

Lots of butter yellow wall space to be covered

Looking up from stairwell (handmade glass sconce courtesy of sarah saso)

Awesome bright orange handrail with dirt hiding brown walls

Repainted shoe shelves and Pete's gorgeous photos proudly hung above

Revamped and practical as!

Loving my etsy rug!

Close ups of our local underwater sea life

Monday, November 19, 2012


A few phenomenons, somewhat and sometimes irritating,  which I have noticed over the past 6 years that I finally must divulge:
  1. When Kiwi's, particularly children, say No it is pronounced "nouuuy".  
  2. When you "take" a class that means you are the instructor....weird.
  3. Many Kiwi folk say brought instead of bought, as in I brought a new car.  Where did you bring it from?  Whatever!  As if brought is the past tense of purchase.
  4. Also on that subject, sort after instead of sought after, draw instead of drawer..... the list goes on.  Where on earth did they learn that from, I hope not from school or else I am seriously worried for my children.
  5. When passing an oncoming car on a country road, you give a little, few finger wave.  Actually you just kind of raise a finger or two off the steering wheel as a gesture.  Sometimes this means thanks and other times I'm not sure if you do it because you probably know them so you might as well wave hello or if it is a general "hey mate" kind of thing.  Still trying to figure that one out.  
  6. Kiwi kids seriously do not, hardly ever, actually wear shoes.  Never, not even in the freezing cold winter.
I am sure there are plenty more Kiwi-isms and I will add them as they come to me.  For now I hope that gives you a good laugh for the day.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Photo Update

Baby sleeps; She loves her pillow pet.

Entry hall makeover.....stay tuned for the after photos.

Pet day at school.  Rex tried to start fights with all the other dogs; nice one!

Tui watches the action and tries to escape to the playground every 5 minutes keeping mama very busy.

Halloween Kiwi style.

Little big girl latching the gate after the trick or treaters leave.

New monkey bars!  An early birthday present for Rita.  Playing with the neighborhood boys.

Summer garden is starting to grow. Tomatoes galore.

Strawberries and corn.

Lemon meringue tart with Rita and Kororia.

Rex and his new friend,
Not much time around here to write blog posts so you'll have to settle for these photos instead.  They tell the story of what we've been up to this past month.  Weather is getting warmer around these parts....bring on the summer!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

20 Year Reunion

The build-up for the big reunion went on for months.  Particularly so for me coming from so far away as airline tickets had to be booked and kids taken out of school.  Everything done so as to coincide our annual Californian holiday with my 20 year high school reunion.  My girlfriends and I pondered for ages over what sort of dresses we should wear to the big event.  Again I felt especially anxious because I don't even really know what is in fashion stateside, no doubt styles very different from my rural New Zealand wear.  We would all spend the whole weekend child free, booked into our 'flash' hotel in Los Gatos, indulging in copious amounts of champagne and Mexican food.  What mother wouldn't dream about it for months prior?  It was like a vacation during my vacation with all my best oldest girlfriends at my side to banter with.  48 hours of adult only chit chat.  The icing on the cake would be the main event.  A big party with people we haven't seen for 20 years.  What would everyone look like now?  Would it be awkward?  Would it be like time had never passed and we would carry on like old times?  First we had the prelude to the reunion.  Friday night at the bars in Los Gatos.  When was the last time we all did that?  Bloody ages ago!  You know what?  It was a blast.  How could C.B. Hannegan's still be so much fun?  All those old familiar faces, great conversations catching up mostly about children and spouses; everyone seemed exactly the same, maybe a new wrinkle here and there but personalities were still much the same.  It was a wonderful night with lots of talking and laughing.  Just as well because the reunion night turned out to be a bit of reminiscing and a lot of dancing, partying and carrying on.  Getting over the Friday night aftermath proved challenging.  A coffee from The Roasting Company followed by a very hot run to the dam and back for old times sake.  Who thought that was a good idea?  I more enjoyed lounging by the pool all day.  When it came time to get dressed for the big event, it felt just like senior ball; all the girls in the hotel room showering, makeup and hair sessions and dressing....and of course drinking more champagne.  With Melanie's parents picking us up and driving us to the reunion, it confirmed that times haven't changed that much at all.  The Elk's Club proved to be an absolutely brilliant venue!  Much thanks to all the ladies (and men) who organized the event...very well done.  Dono's mom up on the dj stand all night was classic!  Everyone seemed to be in great spirits and the whole thing was just so much damn fun, I couldn't have wished for a more successful reunion.  Perhaps a few awkward moments of not remembering names but all in all our class rocked it.  My only regret of the evening was that it went by so quickly and I didn't get a chance to really talk to everyone that I had hoped to.  It was more of brief 5 minute conversations here and there mixed with much cocktail buying, nibbling from the buffet table and of course letting loose on the dance floor.  Proof of the success of the evening were my photos.  I've never claimed to be a great photographer but my blurry reunion photos seemed to prove that point......AND that I was having the time of my life!

Friday night in the hotel getting ready to hit the town.

Mexican birthday dinner for Jen.  Not much food on the table but plenty of drinks.

Self portraits always end up as bad photos and here's proof.

C.B's patio, just getting started.

Pretty much my only good photo from the evening and we hadn't even left the hotel yet.

Guys and Gals, minus my guy :(

This is when the party started getting messy.

Kimmy and Tracy getting raunchy.

Segundo: the man who enjoyed the reunion the most!

Michelle says it all in one single gesture.

What wonderful memories.....until next time mes amis!

Monday, September 24, 2012


The iPhone 5 hitting the market recently has been huge news everywhere.  What's up with these people who camp overnight outside the shop just to be one of the first gadget nerds to get their hands on the newest iPhone?  Seriously folks, what is wrong with these people?  Why is everyone so obsessed with staying connected via mobile phone to the Internet and the cyber world...and their loved ones for that matter?  Do we really NEED to know where our spouses, friends and children are at every second of the day?  Growing up in the 70's and 80's, we weren't constantly telephoning, messaging or updating each other and we all got on just fine.  Do we really NEED to keep everyone up to date with exactly what we are doing at every second of the day?  Quite egocentric if you ask me.  Perhaps part of  what I am  talking about is more of mobile phone etiquette and the current social behaviors.  I was stunned on my recent trip to the States at how overly connected everyone was there.  Is anyone present in the moment at all anymore?  Certainly not from what I have observed.  You are having a conversation with someone and they are occasionally glancing at you, nodding their head while they text or check out a photo or tweet something.  How rude can you get?  Is it too much to ask that if you are on a social outing with a group of people that phones are put away so as to enable proper social interaction?  People are growing socially inept because it is easier to email or text than to actually speak to a person.  Don't get me wrong.   I'm just as guilty as the next guy of looking at Facebook one too many times a day and probably if I had a phone with the capabilities I might turn into an obsessive 'keeping connected' monster....but I choose not to because it just isn't necessary in my life. I could go on and on but I won't.  I'll just say.....
Be Present In Your Life!  Give your phone a break. Show respect to the people who are physically with you.  Enrich your relationships by giving people your undivided attention whilst you are in their company.  Technology is great but as with everything...use with moderation, right?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Happiness is........

When your husband finally succumbs to the fact that a loser cruiser people mover is actually much more practical for a family of 5 than an SUV.......

I love my new car!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Gigi's Dress-ups Party!

Gigi is finally 3 and what a wonderful party she had.  The dress-ups theme was a hit with all the little girlies and even some of the little spider-men that came along. 
Tui testing out the fairy tent

Whoopie pies and strawberry cake courtesy of......
Can you believe I bought these? 

All the dress-ups you could possible dream of.

The senorita herself; dress courtesy of Nana and Pa from the recent trip to Spain.

pass the parcel, American style (really bad)

Oh the anticipation of digging into a sparkly sprinkles cake.

She also had a party at preschool, lucky girl.

Here's the homemade chocolate cake to share with her friends at preschool.
She didn't think much of being the center of attention at school, she went very shy!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Busy Bee

My winter knitting hobby is gaining momentum.  Two sweaters down and now a handbag (or knitting bag) on the go.  I redesigned my crocheted bowl to include handles.  My friend Natalie has started on our gorgeous knit top vintage fabric baby dress.  We will make 2 matching ones for each of our littlest girls.  I have yet to learn the cable knit technique but one project at a time for me.  Perhaps for my upcoming trip to California I should be working on a knit bikini!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Clean Scrubs

I constantly keep an eye out for new facial scrubs that are truly "clean and green".  I don't want to put my face through some sort of chemical wash each and every day.  A simple pure non creamy facial scrub is my preference.  Acure organics sea kelp scrub is the one I really want to try but with shipping costs higher than the actual product cost, I will have to wait till I am stateside to try it.  In the meantime I picked up a local Australasian brand that contains no icky ingredients.  Unfortunately it is another creamy scrub that leaves my face feeling moisturised rather than cleansed.  Browsing the supermarket a few days ago I found St.Ives green tea scrub which is new in their range.  I used to use their apricot scrub until I decided to forgo the chemicals for something more natural.  This new one claims to be on the "eco-friendly" side.  I found out otherwise on this website.  It's really worth checking your products on this sight to see how much exposure you might be giving yourself to nasty and unnecessary toxins and dangerous chemicals.  Now my dilemma: what do I do with my 2 brand new scrubs that I am really not satisfied with?!   Any suggestions on good scrubs or facial wash products would be much appreciated.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Finishing Touches

I am still working on the finishing touches in our new rumpus/guest/yoga/movie room .  Two of the majors I finally completed were adding a bit of color to the room by painting the manrobe and a leftover free desk that we inherited.  For the desk I knew I wanted some sort of cool handles and pulls to add that perfect je ne sais quoi so I browsed Etsy and came up with this gorgeous handmade hardware from VintageSkye
Now I just need to find a good chair for the desk and perhaps a colorful cushion for the bed and voila...fini!

sorry, the photo is a bit dark and I can be bothered trying to fix it!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Another Project Complete

It's not perfect but I am quite pleased.  Pleased that I knitted someting that I will probably actually wear and pleased to have it done finally.  I've already got the next project in mind, just waiting to have enough cash for the wool.  Deceptively expensive, this knitting hobby!