Friday, September 2, 2011

Come on over, baby!

If you haven't checked out my new space, come on over!

Would love to see you there

have a FAB weekend!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Moving on

It's been a long time coming but I've finally got my new blog up and running...thanks to a little help from a friend.

I would love for all of you to join me over there.

It's been such a great journey getting to know you all via your blogs or your comments and I appreciate every one.
I may not always have the time to comment on your blogs but I do love reading them.

My Spirited Baby started out as a place to tell my tales of my very challenging and spirited first-born, Turbo.
But now he's no longer a baby and there is another little boy added to our family so I've felt for a while that the name didn't quite fit.

I may still use My Spirited Baby to record the kids' milestones but all the day to day musings and adventures will be over at my new place. Hope to see you there!!

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

In Real Life!

I kind of feel like I don't need to write this post.

You can read Sammy's post here, Meghan's here, Leonie's, Jackie's, Kristy's....
And seeing as I didn't take my camera, I don't even have any new photos to add!


A group of us Kiwi Mummy Bloggers met up in Auckland yesterday, for lunch.

The amazing and very lovely Meghan came all the way from Wellington!

Meghan and me

And Kristy, Jackie and Rachel from Whangarei. (Sorry if people came from other places, but that's all I know!)

The rest of us arrived from all our different parts of Auckland, and tentatively began getting to know each other IRL (in real life for you non-bloggers).

I don't have much to say other than meeting you all was amazing. Lovely, lovely people who without blogging, I would never have met. 

all of us!

Thanks for the enriching my life! Looking forward to the next time we get to meet...Wellington, is it?

P.s. Thanks Leonie for organising it and for letting me borrow your photos : )

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Op shop rookie

I don't come from a family of op-shoppers. In fact, I think it's more of a Kiwi thing because in South Africa, I never even heard it mentioned.

We weren't a wealthy family, but I guess we never struggled too badly. If we did, my parents dealt with it and I never knew. I remember every couple of months, we'd go to this big mall which was about half an hour away and I'd be allowed to chose 3 or 4 new garments. They were rarely the stuff i would have really loved, but they were new, nevertheless.

And during Mr Samoa's five year's of study, I waited for birthdays or tax pay outs and set aside some money to get me some new clothes. It wasn't often, but it kept me going.

It wasn't until the reality of being on one income, and that one income is a beginner teacher's income, kicked in, that I realised I might have to try some new ways of doing things if I was going to keep being a stay at home mum...which is important to me. So I took some money I earned from my part time contract work and set $100 aside for my first ever op shop experience!

I went to my local Save Mart, one of the few (only?) op shop chains in NZ. It was overwhelming at first. Rows and rows of clothes, not nicely displayed, just on rows of racks. And freezing! No heating either.

But on I went. I managed to come home with 2 pairs of shoes, 2 long sleeve tops, 3 jerseys and 2 jackets.

The shoes I LOVE and they were only $10 each. They're quite high, but I was looking for evening wear shoes anyway. And the boots are a size smaller than I actually wear but miraculously they fit!

The long sleeve jacket was from the "designer" section so it was $30. It's a French connection jacket. Mean anything to anyone? It's quite different but I liked the elastic around the bottom. Only thing is, I feel like I look a bit strange when I wear it and so don't wear it a lot.

The short sleeve jacket is also a tad small but I will be able to get away with it because it ties in the front and is elasticised on the waist. Will be great in summer...and hey, it was only $8.

The long sleeve tops are a no brainer, always need more of those and I've worn them heaps.

The brown jersey is soooo warm and I wear it to the park. [Remember I am SAHM so don't need fancy clothes a whole lot]. The green one is ok, a little tight now that I see it in photos, but a good colour on me. The black one has been the disappointment. I thought it would look nice with some skinny jeans and heels. It just looks strange on me.

The only thing is that because some of these items are not exactly what I'd pick if I was at a shop, I haven't worn them as much as I would have if I had got some new clothes that I really wanted. I don't feel they're that fashionable either.

O, and, I don't feel like I'm wearing something new!

I know lots of people who LOVE op shopping and look amazing in their finds. Maybe I should have been looking for that one special piece instead of going there with a list!

I am glad I tried it, but I think I'll stick to getting a few, really nice and fashionable new items.
You can still get some new bargains out there on sale, right?

Like these from my fave bargain shoe shop, Number One Shoe Warehouse....not quality but hey, they're cute! And I wear them all the time. They even stock leather shoes now, and I fell in love with a pair, but couldn't quite justify the price.

Excuse the mud on the side. Like I said, I wear them a lot.

What about you? Are you a successful op shopper?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Destination Space Tower

Turbo's been asking again and again for us to take him to the "Space Tower".
So on Saturday, off we went...

The holidays are when I absolutely love being married to a teacher....
Bucket loads of family time!

What have you been up to these holidays?

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: the expressions of Smiley

Smiley's "what the heck is that/I'm slightly scared" look
(when seeing a a big, black, swan eating the bread he threw)

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

One third of a cucumber

Been feeling a little challenged lately by some awesome budgety type posts.
Widge has done quite a few good ones, as well as documenting her meals for a week. Love seeing how other people do it.

One thing she mentioned was cooking according to what needs to be used in your cupboard.
Too often I have to throw away veges because I've cooked what's convenient or quick and forgotten about the veges that are about to go off in the cupboard.

So this week I made a effort to really think about dinner in the morning, checking what veges needed to be used and working around that.

As of tonight, the only vege I have left in my house,
is one third of a cucumber!
Twice this week we had roasted veges with a meal to use up the pumpkin and potatoes.

And love that today there was absolutley nothing left to eat for lunch but a tin of tomato soup. Not even a piece of cheese for a toastie. So that's what I had.
Tomato soup. Yum!

And tonight I actually cooked up a tin of
corned beef...Island style! We were given a few tins and so far, they've just sat in the cupboard. Í'm not one for cooking Island food, and since Mr Samoa  is  totally happy with whatever I put in front of him, I haven't learned. So with my last onion and a tin of corned beef, I cooked up an Island storm! And ate corned beef with cucumber chunks and some frozen veges. It was delish.

Sweet bro ha ha

I've had to be really good about money for a while now, so I'm pretty happy with how we do. But it's always good to learn new tricks. Like making my own spray 'n wipe with 5 drops of lavender oil, a few drops of eco friendly dishwashing liquid, a quarter teaspoon baking soda and 500ml water. Sure the Lavender oil cost $15 but it's going to last about a year...seriously!
Never  going back on that one. And you can use other oils if you don't like the smell of lavender.

Do you have any great budget tips to share?
Would love to hear them!

P.s. my computer is having serious issues so I'm stealing some time on Mr Samoa's laptop. Hope to be back in action soon!
Hope you're all well xx

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Beat that!

The weekend just gone was very busy but o, so fun!

Mr Samoa turned...another year older. Two numbers exactly the same. You work it out.

It started with movies with my dad - some nice father and son-in-law time.
I had a babyshower in the afternoon while Tasi spent some time with the kids at his mum's house.
Then dinner at a lovely restaurant Saturday night.
Church Sunday morning, and a party with the kids Sunday afternoon.

I baked my first ever chocolate cake.
Yes, really.
It's not that I felt I couldn't, just that chocolate cakes have to be REALLY good.
In fact chocolate cakes are my least favourite cakes because so often they're a disapointment.
Either dry or tasteless.
Carrot or banana cake win hands down in my opinion.
But chocolate wins in Mr Samoa's books so I chose a recipe with melted chocolate in the cake mix. And it turned out ok.
Mr Samoa loved it, which is what counts.

The kids loved having a party for their daddy.
I mean, who wouldn't love the opportunity to stuff four lollies in their mouth while reaching for another?
And we went a bit crazy with the balloons and streamers afterwards.

What a great weekend!
Spent creating memories and enjoying each other.

And obviously no time for folding washing....who can beat this pile?!

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Movie magic?

Is it just me, or does it seem that, as parents, the events you look forward to for ages and really get your kids excited over, are the very events that don't work out? And the spontaneous things we do with the kids, seem to turn out to be the most fun.

Such was today. The movie, a mums and bubs session, started at 11am. Quite late for kids I thought, as most of the kids were at an age where they'd still have a nap.

So we rocked up early. And had a few dramas over wanting the cars displayed behind the counter that went with the combo. But we got over that pretty quickly and a box of popcorn soothed Turbo's hurt feelings.

At 11am we excitedly took our seats, expecting the big screen to light up at any minute. It didn't. 20 minutes later we were moved to another theatre as the projector was having trouble. By then, Turbo was already asking to go home, not knowing exactly what he was waiting for!

So by 11.30am we had finally started. This would have been ok under normal circumstances, but Turbo had been up since 5.30am and has a cold. So by 12.20pm, his eyes were actually closing while sitting in his seat! And his cousin was asking to go home too. My sister and I were really enjoying the movie though : )

Excuse the mouth full of popcorn! It was the only decent shot in the bad lighting

So Cars 2, what we saw of it, was really cute with a good (but totally beyond small kids) storyline. And I got to have a coffee and hang out with my sister and nephew. I am glad, though, that we didn't actually pay for the kids' tickets...the beauty of a mums and bubs session (kids under 5 go free) and adult tickets are a reduced price too.

What IS a good age to start taking kids to movies? Is three too young? What do you think?

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ticking along

Gosh, has it really been that long?

Life is ticking along nicely, and every day, I am just so grateful.
It feels like a period of calm after a long, hard struggle.
I often find myself just staring out the window at the view or looking at our big kitchen or at our spacious car
(which we're paying off but I'm still so grateful for).

I guess I haven't had much motivation to blog or even take photos.
I am just being.
It's nice, actually.

Turbo is still a bit of a challenge at the moment. His language is not the best...and I have no one but myself to blame.
"Go away!" is one that I hear about a hundred times a day.
Good one, Penny.

And Smiley and I had a little trip to Starship Hospital on Friday for his cough that he's had since late March!
Yes, that long.
I have been to the doctor so many times and been told he's ok, but his day care lady insisted that he needed a chest x-ray (because she's a doctor!! not) and got me really worried.
Turns out mother's intuition is best.

Turbo's going to see his first ever movie tomorrow with his Aunty and cousin...and I'm going too. He's even missing kindy for it. And Smiley's spending the time with his much loved Nana.
Can't wait!

Hope you're all having a fab week so far

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

"That looks delicious!"

That's what Mr Samoa said last night when I put his dinner in front of him. I couldn't help but chuckle. I mean it WAS delicious looking (thanks Sophie Gray and her Destitute Gourmet cookbook for the Bean and Sausage Cassoulet recipe), but it so wasn't something Mr Samoa would usually say. He never uses the word "delicious".

Don't get me wrong, he does appreciate my cooking but he'll eat pretty much whatever I put in front of him and is just as grateful for recipes like the above as he is for bacon and eggs.

Why I laughed, you see, is that Mr Samoa has been doing a course through our church called The Valiant Man teaching them all about what it means to be a man today, handling their sexuality in a godly way, and most importantly (he he) all about women and what they need. And I bet that saying a meal was "delicious" is a tip he got on the Tuesday night just gone. He's been coming home with some good stuff, I tell ya!

I'm so grateful there are courses like the above one around. And I'm looking forward to a women's conference our church is putting on in 5 weeks time. Can't wait!

I've been reading a few books on marriage lately and watching some great (free) webinars through the Parenting place. One I watched part of today was called Mums and Sons. Such treasures in it! Watch it if you can. I've put the link up. And there are other free ones to watch if you don't have sons.

I was just thinking the other day that as a parent and wife, learning about ourselves and each other is vital. I want to make it a culture in our home that we keep learning and improving in how we relate to each other. Mother to sons, husband to wife, father to sons and brother to brother. Because what's more important than the people in our life?

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

A moment of madness

As I pulled up to the shop where I do my fortnightly grocery shopping, I glanced down, and saw (with horror) that I was still wearing my slippers!!!

I sat there, in the car, for a moment and contemplated going home. But only for a moment. It was already 7.45pm and I was tired. So although the drive home was only 5 minutes, I chose to just go with them.

I was a bit sheepish and embarrassed to begin with and checked frequently to see if people were looking at my feet. They weren't. I guess my slippers could pass for boots after all. But who wears bright pink, slightly grubby, boots with jeans and a nice grey cardigan?
Me, I guess.

What do you think? Would you have gone home?

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hey, wait a minute! That's me!

{First of all, thanks so much for all your comments on the post before the last one.
Blogging is made great by all the lovely bloggers out there and I'm glad to be sticking around.}

Well, lookie here. It's me! In a real life magazine. Exciting!

Shows what happens when you just step out and do something you've been thinking of doing for years but for whatever reason,
(fear? insecurity? laziness?) you've held back.
I'm so glad I did and wonder now why I didn't do it sooner.
It really wasn't that hard.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Glorious space

The boys are revelling in the space and freedom and want to be outside most of the time. Can you blame them?

This in one direction...

And this in the other...

Our front yard

And loving the little community around us. The front house has four kids, one of which is Smiley's age and another boy who is 6 years old who comes over to play with Turbo. And the house next door has a five year old boy who also plays with Turbo sometimes.

So awesome when there is trust and goodwill between neighbours. They freely let their children come over to play and the offer is there for us to do the same. Turbo's a little young to just wander over like they do, and I've yet to get around to taking him over but the offer is there. 

 Once again I'm amazed at how well God looks after us.
Feeling: grateful

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

I'm back!

LOVING our new house! O, the space! Glorious space!
At first I felt a little odd. We seemed to all rattle around in the big rooms and living space. I found myself missing our little unit, missing the warmth and familiarity. 
Was I crazy? No, just human. Funny how we would rather stick with what we know sometimes than move into something bigger and better .

But o, how quickly we adjusted! It's almost 2 weeks later and I feel right at home. The space has not only increased physically, but I feel it's opening up more for us in other ways. My thinking for one. The old season is most definitely behind us and I'm excited about the future.

I have something to admit though:
I didn't miss blogging
one bit in the almost 2 weeks that I've been gone.
{GASPS from all of you}

Before the move, there were a few days where I contemplated ending my blog, or at least having a holiday from it.
Not from YOU, of course, I still love reading blogs. But somehow all the OTHER blogging stuff has taken over, and made me feel pressured to post often and write something amazing. So that made me want to avoid my blog altogether.

Do you know what I mean?

The OTHER blogging how many followers you have, or what to do to get more followers. And how many times a week you "should" post. Or how your blog should look. And how you should be commenting on this many blogs. It's all over the blogisphere!

I just don't have time for any of that stuff. And don't actually care that I don't have time. I just want to be free to write whatever is on my mind, which is why I started blogging in the beginning. So my blog may not be the most "successful" blog on the block, but it's mine. And I think a successful blog is one that the author of the blog is happy with.

My awesome sister, N, encouraged me not to stop because I do love writing and the more you do, the better you get.

So I did end up having a little holiday, due to our internet provider's incompetence. And so I want to come back fresh, leaving all that other stuff (I can think of stronger words than that ha ha) behind. Actually I wanted to start a new blog all together, but lack the time to actually do a header and set it up!

Has anyone felt/Does anyone else feel pressured by these things?
Have you wanted to stop blogging because of it?

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Moving on

I can't believe that in two sleeps time, we'll be moving. Out of this little place, in which so many good memories were made. I think I will always look back on this place with a fondness.

I'm sure lots of people wondered how we managed to live, all four of us in such small surroundings. But it was perfect for the season we were in. It was the first place (not counting the very first year of our marriage) that was just ours. We've flatted, lived with both sides of the family, house-sat and even boarded way back before the kidlets came along, just to get us through while Mr Samoa studied.

This was the place I laboured (a little too long at home, I must add. I nearly gave birth in the car!) with Smiley, walking up and down in the lounge. The place Smiley has spent his whole life so far, and the place he learned to sit, crawl and walk. The place Turbo came home to after his first day at kindergarten.

The little back garden was a haven in the Summer, decked out with a trampoline, sandpit and paddling pool, and big leafy trees to shelter under.

We've made friends with the many neighbours who have come and gone. We're not going far though. In fact, our new three bedroom house is a short walk out our back gate, down the driveway, through the landlord's back gate, up his driveway and there it is! So close we can actually walk some of the lighter stuff over when we move.

I love that we don't have to reacquaint our ourselves with the area or move the kids' kindy/daycare.

When we first moved in, we promised ourselves this was just for six months. Six months came and went. Then we said we'd move when Smiley became mobile because two kids really was too much living here. Smiley crawled then walked and still we stayed, making adjustments as things changed.

I've been cleaning like a maniac these past few days, and have a war wound to show for it. The corners of alumium framed windows are so sharp! A bloody (in the literal sense!) head wound. Ok, not that much blood but it did break the skin and it's bruised. So not kid-safe! And who knew clean windows, outside and inside, could look so nice. Just in time for the next people to enjoy.

I'm not sure when the internet will be up and running, but hope to back soon.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Two lunchboxes

Last night I packed not one, but two lunchboxes. And right now I am at home, kid free. Turbo is at kindy. And it's Smiley's first day at a home-based day care which he's going to attend for two mornings each week.
He didn't even cry when I said goodbye to him!

And so here I am with time on my hands. Lovely!
Well actually I'm supposed to be working. My friend and I have set up a small business contracting administrative support to other small businesses. But as we have only prospective clients at the moment, there is no work to do.
Plenty of packing and cleaning for next week's move though....which I'll get into soon. If you know me well, you'll know I can't do nothing for very long.

I'll leave you with some gorgeous pics of some family time we spent at the beach last weekend. New Zealand is truly beautiful!


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