Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A photo a day

One of the first apps I got for my iPhone (after the wonderful Instagram of course!) was Project 365. It lets you either take a photo or pick a photo for each day and shows them as little thumbnails on a monthly calendar. You can also click on a photo to make it bigger and scroll through them at the larger size.
The app allows you to set an alert or alarm so every day at 8.30pm I get a message to remind me to choose/take my photo for the day. I'm quite keen on taking photos at the moment but I imagine once the excitement of the new phone wears off I may not always remember so this will be a great reminder.
Using the screen shot function on my phone I have taken pictures of how the January calendar looks. The first couple of weeks are empty as I didn't have the phone but I've managed a photo every day since I have had it!
I'm hoping to print these images 6x4 for my Document 2012 album.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Scrapbooking: Kate Turns 30 minibook

One of the items on my 30@30 list was to make a mini album of my 30th birthday and over the weekend I did it.
In the January sales I picked up some red polka dot manilla folders at Typo (I love that shop!) with the idea of cutting them up. And that's what I did for the base of this book. I cut a folder down into 4x6 sections (leaving the tab on one so I could write on it).
I picked some favourite photos from my birthday weekend and got them printed in smaller sizes. To be honest they are not the best quality photos but the reason I picked them was because they help tell the story.
I used a Simple Stories Happy Days 6x6 mini pad and some stickers to decorate the album as well as some Jenni Bowlin alphabet stickers.

Here's a look...

The cover with the tab left on so I could write the date on it...

Most of the pages have a title starting with "The". This first page is "The day" and it's a list of everything we did on my actual birthday... 

"The Gifts" with a list of presents I received. Looking back I didn't get any pictures of my presents all together (must remember to do this in the future) so I used a pretty flower picture I took on the day instead... 

"The Zoo" talks about why I chose that activity for my birthday... 

"The Red Pandas" - I had to give this experience a full page spread as it was AMAZING! (I used my blog post about the Red Panda Encounter for the wording for this page)...

"The Bolton" talks about where we stayed overnight...

"The Cakes" features a photo of my birthday cupcakes that I'm really pleased with and talks about how the cakes came to be...

As it was an overnight stay it was like my birthday was extended so I had to feature what we did "the next day"...

And the last page "Being 30" lists my birthday favourites and some notes about how now I am 30 it doesn't seem that old anymore!

And the back cover with my name and the date the book was made... 

So there you have it. A lovely little reminder of my 30th birthday. It will be interesting to look back at this on my 40th :-)
And now I just need to do something similar for Mr Mischief's 1st birthday as on my 30@30 list I listed "make mini albums for my 30th and baby's 1st birthday" - silly me, why did I lump them in together?!

This format is good though - once you know what you want to include, using the same format for each page (i.e. photos on one side, text on the other) means it comes together quite quickly so hopefully it won't be long before I'm sharing that minibook too!

You can see all sorts of lovely creative projects here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Today: 25~01~12

One of the favourite 'shared' toys at the moment, a tent he got for Christmas. Picture taken with my phone this morning.

I am eating: reasonably healthy at the moment, back on the Weight Watchers wagon with a good loss last week - here's hoping for another one this week.

I am drinking: mostly water as I'm trying to encourage Mr. Mischief to drink lots of water too.

I am listening: to possible new neighbours - I can't hear what they are saying but one of them has a super annoying laugh so really hoping that's just a moving helper and not going to be a permanent feature.

I am wearing: my grey t-shirt with a pink heart and tiny map of NZ which I love but it's starting to look a bit old and worn :-( and some trousers I haven't worn for ages but can now fit into again!

I am looking at: my to do list and realising I've only ticked one thing off so far and the rather green garden just outside the lounge window.

I am thinking about: whether to go get Mr. Mischief out of his cot as I can hear him rattling around or waiting to see if he will re-settle back to sleep.

I am watching: nothing at the moment have just watched Emmerdale on MySky - still loving it!

I am making: I just started and finished today a cute little present for a lovely friend. I will reveal all once it's been handed over but I really hope she likes it!

I am loving: this beautiful summer's day. Not too hot and with just enough of a breeze to be just right, epsecially when accompanied by birds singing and butterflies fluttering. 

I am missing: days off when I could do whatever I liked without planning it around a little person. He's awesome but he does take a lot of time :-)

I am looking forward to: a holiday in the not-too-distant future, frittata for dinner tonight and getting a lovely snuggly toddler cuddle when I do get Mr. Mischief out of bed!

You can see other Today: posts here, here and here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Blogging for Destination Manawatu

Before Christmas Destination Manawatu posted on their blog that they were looking for new bloggers and ran a competition as a bit of incentive.

I do get a bit fed up by all the bad press that poor ole Palmy gets so decided to enter in the hope I could help share the word about the good things Palmy has to offer.
I decided to write about Victoria Esplanade for my audition blog and you can read the post here plus see a photo of my baby's cute toes!
My post got over 100 views (quite good considering I didn't advertise the link anywhere) and I won the competition, yay!
And here's a look at my awesome prizes (BP petrol vouchers and a Herb Farm travel box set)...

So now I will hopefully be submitting blog posts reasonably regularly to Destination Manawatu and will post links here when I do. And if there's anything local to Palmy you would recommend or would like to know more about let me know and I'll consider blogging about it :-)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

You know you are the mother of a toddler when...

....by 8am on a Saturday the following has happened...

  • You have been summonsed to rescue him from his cot
  • The dog has been giggled at and bossed about
  • There are toast crumbs and peanut butter all over the couch
  • ...and spilt water
  • ....and spilt milk
  • You have read Supermarket Zoo at least twice and made all accompanying animal noises
  • You've received lots of snuggly little cuddles between his busy-ness
  • There's been lots of chatting
  • He's played peekaboo behind the curtains
  • You've had to move everything you thought was safe one step higher because it's as if he grew 2 inches overnight

Love him so much!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Toadstool Makeover

I just love a good before and after makeover story...what about you?
This may not seem very exciting to some of you but this little makeover has been on my to do list for years now. We moved into our house in 2006 and the toadstools were already here and painted blue and green. Once I spotted them I knew they'd look so much better painted up like proper toadstools!
I must have realised in the back of my mind somewhere that it wasn't going to be as easy as just whipping out a paintbrush and getting on with it because I only just got around to doing it now...nearly 6 years later! (and also prompted by adding the task as a Summer seasonal project to my 30@30 list).

So here's a little before picture for you to see the ugliness of the blue and green toadstools...

As well as a good scrub with the tough-bristled orange brush you see there we also had to break out the wire brush to get some mossy type stuff off them. In fact looking at this picture - this isn't a true before shot because the toadstools had already had some cleaning by this point!

Once that was done we headed off the the DIY store and purchased some special primer that works on concrete/stone and is suitable for being outdoors. Hubby took delight in spraying the toadstools with the primer and we gave them about 2 coats.
Note: I already did some other spray painting for a project I can't show off just yet so was happy for hubby to have a go with the toadstools.

And then New Year came and went and with it a lot of rain so the toadstools stayed white for a while.
Once Hogmanay was behind us we headed back to the DIY store and picked up some red spray paint.
To make the white spots on the top I punched some cardboard circles with my circle punch and bluetacked them randomly atop the toadstools. I then spraypainted the red over this. Once I'd applied a couple of coats and let it dry I peeled back the punched circles to reveal the spots.
Where I had used bluetack and hadn't got a sealed circle there was some uneveness to the spots so I touched them up with some white emulsion we had in the garage.

And finally, here are the finished toadstools...

Cute huh? I'm hoping to find some little elves or pixies on my travels to bring home to sit atop and amongst the toadstools to make a little magical scene for my baby boy to admore when we rummage in the garden!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Scrapbooking: Document 2011: December plus finishing touches

I got my Document 2011 album finished - woo hoo!

Here's a look at the last month of the year...

I decided to cover up the calendar image this month (it was a swan) - mostly because I run out of room and I really wanted to fit the giraffe card in...

My pocket pages are very busy and I used my new (to me, secondhand) scallop circle punch throughout all the pages...
the printout in the bottom left pocket is an email from my Dad which I wanted to preserve in the album

the main page features photos from Christmas Day. The background circle paper has been stashed for a long time and it was time to use it. It makes the page quite busy but I quite like it. I also used some buttons and more scallop circles...

So that's the last month done and here's a peek at the finishing touches to my album...

I made a title page and featured one photo from each month. I printed 4 photos to 6x4 prints and then trimmed them down to 2x2 inches...

For the back page I printed a small portrait photo of each of us and surrounded those around a long journalling strip. The journalling lists our names, ages, address and why I made the album for future posterity. I thought the quote at the bottom suited the project well "May you live all the days of your lives" and is by Jonathon Swift apparently.

I also scrapped a title for the album for the front window - here's a look at that (I actually did this a while ago when the project got it's own album but hadn't got around to sharing it before now)...

I added a scallop circle with the year to the spine of the album so I can see at a glance which one it is when it's tidied away on a shelf or in a cupboard...

And here's a look at the complete album - bursting with photos and stories from 2011 and something we will treasure for years to come...

And that's that. I am so pleased to have finished this project all the way to the end and I am looking forward to completing a similar project this year with a few changes to keep it fun :-)

You can see all of my Document 2011 pages and posts here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Things I'm loving

Linking up with the first of Paisley Jades Things I'm Loving for 2012.

So here goes...this week I'm loving...

My new iPhone thanks to my super awesome husband that ordered it for me

My newest order from Scrappin Patch featuring some cute mini alphas, a 6x6 pad and some new multi-pockets ready to start documenting 2012

A beautiful bunch of flowers from hubby's mum

My gorgeous doggy sprawled out and snoozing while the baby naps (if the baby is awake the dog would be in danger of being jumped all over!)

and finally, Instagram which I used (on my new phone!) to take all of these pictures!

Thanks Paisley Jade for the linky!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Break in the Bay

G's Mum is here at the moment and it was her birthday at the weekend so we booked a little break (2 nights) over in the Hawkes Bay as part of her birthday present.

We set out on Friday and took the Saddle Road as the Manawatu Gorge is still closed. It's been ages since we took the Saddle Road and it was a lovely day for it with some amazing views...

I know the windmills are a bit love 'em or hate 'em but I must say I'm a fan and took a few pictures of them...

Once we got to Woodville we stopped at Yummy Mummy's Cheesecakes and bought some birthday cheesecake as well as stopping for morning tea (their Woodville Slice is YUMMY!). No pictures unfortunately as I was too busy scoffing :-)

We got back on the road and had another stop in Hastings for a spot of lunch. I love how the railway there goes right through the middle of town and they have built a water feature around the trainline...

They have a pretty cool clock tower too...

After lunch we headed to Te Mata Peak with it's amazingly stunning views and we were all in awe at what we could see. Thank goodness for gorgeous weather so we could see for miles...

And here's a taster of the drive back down from the Peak. They close the road coming up when the buses go back down so we snuck behind them to make our way a little easier!

After this we headed to Napier and checked in at our motel. We stayed at Bella Vista which was lovely and so close to everything. We could walk into the CBD and to Marine Parade in minutes!
Here's a look at the seaside...

On the Saturday we went to the Napier Farmers Market which was fantastic. We had freshly squeezed fruit juice (juiced right in front of us), free range bacon and sausage sandwiches and bought some yummy strong cheese and delicious peaches, apples and cherries which had been grown locally. We also got some jam doughnuts (first time I'd seen them in NZ, that doesn't mean they didn't exist here - just that I hadn't noticed them before!) and some sauces and chutneys. 
I declared that I could happily drive over on Saturdays just for the market and will definitely plan future visits to the Bay to coincide with the market times so I can re-visit!

After the market we went to Silky Oaks which is a chocolate factory, museum, shop and cafe. We sampled some yummy chocolate, had a look round the museum and grabbed some lunch in the cafe. I also had an Iced Chocolate which was the yummiest one I've had in a long time...

G and I got a date together on Saturday afternoon while baby was napping and headed to Starbucks. (They closed Palmy's Starbucks in 2009 and I miss it so much - used to be there at least once a week!). It was lovely to be able to walk down the road hand-in-hand minus a buggy and sit and chat with each other with no distractions <3 

That night we ended up at Cobb & Co for dinner which was just round the corner from where we were staying. After dinner we walked along by the sea to walk off our dinner and I snapped a picture of the public toilet (which you may say is weird but they are all painted with Art Deco scenes - how cool is that?!)

Overnight on Saturday the weather turned to custard but we knew that it was likely so we saved the National Aquarium for last and did that on Sunday morning. G and I had visited the aquarium years ago and remembered it being quite good and were so glad we made the decision to go back. The baby LOVED it! He was amazed by the fish, the turtles, the seahorses and everything else they have on display. He was running as fast as his little legs could carry him to point out all the things he could see in various tanks. It was lovely to watch.
I also really enjoyed the kiwi enclosure - they have 2 kiwi's in there and they move a lot. On both visits to the Aquarium now I have seen more kiwi action then all the other kiwi places I have been put together!

Once we were done at the Aquarium we braved the downpour of rain once more to load back into the car and headed off home...with a couple of stops along the way.

It was an awesome weekend away. G and I both commented how relaxed and rested we felt. Travelling with toddlers isn't always described as relaxing so we were pleasantly surprised!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

(A rather belated) Happy New Year

I've realised I haven't actually got around to wishing everyone Happy New Year yet...so here I am now.
I've also been quite slack at responding to comments and visiting other bloggers lately and I am sorry about that. We will be getting back to a bit  more of a "normal" routine next week so hopefully I will be a better blogger then! 
In the meantime I thought I'd share this series of photos we took at Wellington Zoo on Wednesday (wow, was that really only yesterday?!)...

I hope that 2012 is treating you well so far and hope everyone finds some happiness this year.
Much love,

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

JYC Update 5

Here's the latest lot of my Christmas Journal pages...

Boxing Day (hubby put the swing up in the garage for a practice run before we put it on the tree)...

On the 27th December we headed to the park and baby had a run...

Not much happening on the 28th so I took the opportunity to include details about the NZ Handmade Swap...

On the next day I added in an envelope to include lists of the presents we gave and received (reminder to self to get the lists typed up and printed to go in!)...

On the back of the envelope I thought I'd list our favourite presents...need to sit down with hubby to get his and also see if he agrees with me about what baby's favourite is...

On the 30th hubby's mum arrived for her visit so I included a picture of her with baby opening presents...

For the last day of the year I did a 2 page layout featuring a print-out of my 2011 ta da list...

And on the 1st of January we headed to the park and I got this AWESOME photo so had to include that!

That's where I'm up to and to be honest I'm feeling done now. I know some people take this right up to the 6th January but I think I'll be finishing sooner than that. We took the Christmas decorations down today so I'm feeling like I need to finish this book and get that put away too.
I've hole-punched the cards that me, hubby and baby gave each other and added those. 
I'm thinking about writing some highlights plus some reminders for next year and sticking those down as the last page.
Once I do get finished I'll probably add a picture of the finished album so you can see how fat it's gotten. I even had to upgrade my book-ring size because there are so many pages!
 I'm so glad I kept it simple and managed to keep the momentum going :-)


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