Archive of ‘good times’ category

Broken house – Positive progress!!

Whilst our new broken house is super exciting, I had a little bit of a woe is me moment last week – infact it was whilst discovering just how long each soffit takes to paint whilst balancing on scaffolding and having a splodge of paint drip straight onto my eyeball – that some things have not been going as well as they could have done. We had a run of slow tradesmen and a total lack of ability to find any new ones, all whilst coming to terms with the fact that we were rapidly running out of time to do major work – we have to move out THIS. WEEKEND!!!

soffit

That was all until a friend recommended me this guy to do some gib fixing and plastering work. At the beginning of this week we still had 3 rooms and the hall to insulate, gib fix and stop. The guys from A12 Plastering gave an amazing quote and said they could start on Monday, so I wander over to the house and One room is fully gibbed, another room half done and the hall half done! What’s more is one single man did this on his own.. I’m totally blown away (especially as it took … two days for two of our other tradies to gib one average sized room… cough… rage…). I can’t not mention how amazing Steve has been – he came in for a quality check and called to make sure I was happy – I know it’s only really day one but WOW.

More positive progress – my father in law prepared, patched and insulated the majority of the rest over the weekend so it would be all good to go on Monday which was just super kind and amazing of him to give up his time.

insulation

More good news, we struck rock digging our trench for gas and thought we were going to have to hire a rock breaker or a jackhammer as it wasn’t quite meeting spec – called up Vector and they said all good! Weeheee!

More amazingness – my lovely Dad has been working tirelessly for days on end – actually weeks now doing all sorts of things – most recently fixing what was a very average discovery – that the back of the house was literally rotting off the foundations and angling down into the ground. He has poured concrete, jacked up the house and redone a whole bunch of the foundations and you can noticeably see the house is more level and what’s more – it’s not going to crumble into the ground any more YAY!!

Here’s hoping this run of positivity and progress keeps on keeping on. In the mean time, we are packing and shifting. Right now Jonno is moving stuff on a trailer with 2 of our best friends – um we owe our friends so much for all their help!!!! Things might quieten down as I need to spend all my spare moments packing and organising – LAME.

Um. Update. Jonno just called me in a rage because the hire trailer broke and the fridge literally won’t fit through the door. Sigh. Lets hope no one steals anything overnight :/

We bought a house!

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And what a house!!! We have been on the hunt for a house in Auckland for many months now – so very many open homes, auctions and nights spent browsing trademe and realestate.co.nz for houses. Every weekend we have dragged our two children from home to home and often my very supportive parents to view all manner of houses. We’ve slowly refined our criteria and had a list of dream suburbs that we were getting edged out of due to the crazy property market!

Ultimately we secured this house through an amazing real estate agent – actually a pair of real estate agents who let us know about it before it even came on the market. It is in a very desirable street and is without question the ‘worst house on the street’! It has unbelievably been used for vintage car parts storage and the entire house is an absolute mess with broken bits and pieces piled from the floor to the ceiling. Every surface is filthy and not seen the slightest hint of a cleaning cloth in at least 20 years. Many of the windows are broken. The curtains are missing or rotted away and in many rooms paper is covering the glass.

The bath is filled with dirt, there are dishes in the kitchen which I think have been there for at least 20 years! Oh yes. The kitchen. I don’t even know what it is like yet because the path to it was completely blocked with car parts so we have only viewed from a distance! The toilet is almost outdoors (on the back porch) with light streaming in from gaps in the walls – hello privacy!

On the plus side, it is very original. All ceilings and doors/windows appear to be original along with the lovely stained glass window. It’s a transitional villa and almost exactly what we wanted to buy, as close to our dream house as we could ever have hoped for!

We are so very excited. There is even a strange room upstairs which I’m planning on making into a little sewing studio until we can figure out what to do with it! The entire house needs so much work. We stretched our budget to the absolute max to get this place and so the renovations are going to be quite a long drawn out process! We hope to do most of it ourselves with as much help as we can beg and borrow from our lovely families hahaha!

 

backhalston

Cute, free, easy personalised posters!!!

Recently I was contacted by Vertbaudet asking if I would review their new, free service they have created where you can make a gorgeous poster for your kids room. For those of you not familiar with the brand – Vertbaudet is a gorgeous french childrens/babywear brand – I used to buy tons from the UK – unfortunately they don’t offer international shipping yet but in this case it’s irrelevant as you download and print it yourself! So this wonderful service is available to everyone worldwide.

free gorgeous baby girl boy posters personalised laurasaurgift charlotte poster personalised baby

I picked out this beautiful tree pic and personalised it with Charlotte’s details and it will make a perfect addition to her bedroom! They have a couple of other designs including some stylish ones for little guys, so I’m off to print Reuben’s one out tomorrow! The great thing about this service is not only that it’s free but you get total freedom in your paper choice, you could even stick it on a canvas or get it professionally printed.  Click here to make your very own one!

free poster creation baby gift

 

Happy poster creating!!! xx

 

Lace Wedding Cake

So after much work and absolutely 110% of my spare time being taken up for the past few weeks the cake is COMPLETE! I’m thrilled with how it turned out. 

Wedding cake

 

 

I won’t ever be doing tall tiers of fruitcake again – I ended up stacking a 3″ fruitcake on a 3″ dummy so each tier was 6″. It was exceptionally challenging to marzipan the cake/dummy so it was smooth.  It was very much a learning process and by the time I’d worked my way down the bottom tier was perfect… the top ones not so much but as I realised the cake is seen for such a short period of time by everyone no one will notice the little flaws.

It’s hard to tell in the picture but the cake is ivory fondant (bakels) and the lace white fondant mixed 50/50 with gumpaste. The cake was on a stand and when the bride and groom cut the cake it almost all fell over with the excessive force of the cutting haha! That would have made for a great photo………………….

My new venture…

Those of you who are friends of me on facebook may have noticed already but for everyone else I’ve started a wee business called Squeakle! It’s basically just me trying to be crafty and selling handknits and bits and pieces I’ve sewn for babies/mums.

The website’s still in development but you are welcome to take a look at squeakle.co or join me on facebook where I’ve been listing all my products bit by bit. It’s been way more work than I thought and made me realise just how little time I actually do have in the day but so far I’m loving it and it’s been way more successful than I thought which is pretty cool too!

squeakle

Look what we made

So it’s been a long time between posts! what’s been going on? Well… we travelled through Europe, USA and Fiji, landed home in New Zealand – where my parents sorted out an amazing house for us, helped them do some major renovations on it both inside and out, moved in, did some serious furniture and whiteware shopping, got our boxes from London, got our boxes that we had in storage from 3 years ago, semi unpacked the boxes, did midwife appointments, set up sky and insurance and stuff like that, caught up with friends and family, job hunted, and oh yeah had a home birth.

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This is our gorgeous baby girl, long awaited and already giving us so much joy – Charlotte. So yes I’ve been busy but thanks to my awesome husband’s Christmas present (galaxy note 2!) And lots and lots of feeding time I forsee more time online! Xx

It’s a …… GIRL!

The scan went really well, and we found out we are having a little girl!! I feel so blessed to have this healthy baby inside of me! Here’s some pics from the scan, they are all a wee bit blurry sorry as the baby was so active! She sucked her thumb pretty much the whole way through, so cute and amazing that they are already sucking their thumbs at only 16 weeks gestation!!

The lady who did the scan was lovely, I can highly recommend Babybond East London, she even waited for my husband to take our potty training son for an emergency toilet trip!! She was far friendlier than any NHS experience I’ve had and explained all of the babies anatomy to us very thoroughly.  When it came to finding out the gender it was so clear, as soon as we saw between the babies legs it was so very obvious – even before she told us, straight away I could see three bright white lines (too much looking at baby gender scans on the internet!). All in all a great experience and I think so worth the money.

 

A bit of a start

It’s day one of healthy eating kick! Did pretty well today, and Reuben and I walked to and from yoga in the blazing sun so that was gorgeous.

Breakfast – Mango Protein Shake
Lunch – Goats cheese/lentil salad (lacking protein here and I’m not a fan of lentils but we had take out in the park :) )
Dinner – Chicken thigh casserole with spinach and brocolli

Snacks – frozen mango

Post dinner – Greek yogurt and Cherries.

Ok still a bit too much food and sugary mango snacks but overall improvement :)

In other news, my 12 week scan is tomorrow, if you are a praying person please pray for me that the baby is ok and healthy! Thank you, I really appreciate it. I’m so nervous… I know what will be will be – but I hope to be back here tomorrow after 1pm posting happy news. Hubby has a half day from home so he can come with me so that will be nice, although we aren’t allowed to take Reuben (wtf?) so he will be staying behind with our neighbours.

xx

 

Healthy Eating During Pregnancy

Touch wood I’m still pregnant! Our scan is in two days (one more sleep when I wake up.. I’m typing in bed) and I’ve never been so keen to fast forward a couple of days of my life. In the mean time, I’m trying to do some damage control. When we conceived this time I was about 7kgs (15lb, over a stone) over my “normal” ideal day to day weight. Obviously this is due to nothing more than overeating but I like to put it down to the deep dark place I found myself in after each baby loss. Each time I would eat like crazy in secret and then after a couple of weeks and I was in a better place I’d start back at the gym again and try and work it off. Didn’t really work. Not to mention I’ve been too scared to do any serious gym work this pregnancy so that hasn’t helped.

I’ve started back at body pump and aiming for 2 classes a week, one yoga class and another weights session. I’m also trying for big walks or bike rides every day, as much for Reuben’s sanity as mine!

I know it’s a bad idea to lose weight during pregnancy and that’s not my aim – my aim here is to be healthy and maintain my muscle as long as I can too – it helps with an easier delivery and recovery and not to mention boosts your metabolism. I’d also like to not be eating any extra than I need to right now and now that I’ve got the exercising and walking back under control that’s what I’m struggling with. I’ve always always for as long as I can remember been a binge eater, always in secret and people used to not believe me when I said that because I was always relatively slim. Now… I think people would believe me a bit more 😛

So I’ll be making regular posts – I’d like to say daily but going on my past blogging history that’s just already a lie – on my diet, I have all the nutritional knowledge I need to make the healthy decisions just lacking the motivation and surely I can get that from holding myself accountable.

On this subject, nothing helps me more to make good food decisions than a good nights sleep! I’m off to sleep now, goodnight xx

 

Happy happy baby news

I’m so happy to be sharing that we are expecting another baby!  I’ve been really quiet on the blogging front recently – mainly due to the fact that my life has been somewhat all consumed with the dark cloud that is infertility. Every time I would go to write all I could drum up would be posts on miscarriage and how much of a depression I was struggling with and I decided I didn’t really feel I could quite express the way I was feeling appropriately, nor was I sure that I wanted my deepest thoughts and sadness out there for everyone to see forever.

I suppose because I’ve felt/been really infertile for over a year now that getting this far in the pregnancy feels just to good to be true. I also seem to be one of those lucky women who get absolutely no morning sickness or anything like that so there’s nothing to reassure me on a daily basis that there’s actually a baby inside of me. I have to admit to peeing on yet another pregnacy test as soon as we got back from France, so reassuring to see that mega dark test line appear in seconds!

Don’t get me wrong I’m beyond happy but the disbelief and nervousness that something will go wrong a bit does spoil the fun. I am totally relaxed about it and very good at not being stressed out

So that’s my news! All going well the baby will be born at my parents house in NZ. The “due date” is 27th of December, I’ll be happy if it decides to come not on Christmas day though! I still have to sort out my midwife care here in the UK as I’ve just been under the local early pregnancy unit due to my previous losses. I’ve already found a fab midwife and confirmed she can take me on for the birth in New Zealand and I can’t wait. I’m so looking forward to giving birth!

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