Saturday, February 26, 2011

Healing Tears

Today I cried ....

They keep showing the photo of that little 8 month old boy who died when his TV fell on him during the quake. Being a parent myself it really touched me and opened the flood gates as I can only imagine the heartbreak that his mother must be going through.

I cried for how lucky we were and how easily it could have all gone wrong.

I cried for the future being so uncertain and a beautiful city left in ruin.

I cried for all those poor people who have lost their homes and belongings.

I cried for all those who are still without power, water and working toilets and may be without them for some time.

I cried for all those still missing and the pain and loss that their families must be suffering.

I cried for the lives lost in such a terrible disaster.

It felt good to cry ....

Amongst such sorrow there are also reasons to smile. The support both from around New Zealand and Internationally has been amazing. There are so many wonderful people working so hard to do everything they can to restore power, provide water, food, medical attention and shelter to those who need it. Also those who are working so hard to rescue people from amongst the rubble. That cannot be an easy task.

There are many amazing stories surfacing of communities banding together and helping one another, acts of selfless heroism that ultimately helped save lives.

Many thanks to everyone who has contributed in some way no matter how big or small. Its all very much appreciated.

Friday, February 25, 2011

How You Can Make A Difference

The support from around the country has been amazing and there are lots of ways that you can help out and make a difference to the people of Christchurch.

To make a donation:
  • Phone 0900 33 200 to make a $20 automatic donation
  • FreeTXT 'QUAKE' to 555 to donate $5 or FreeTXT 'QUAKE' to 333 to donate $3 from any Vodafone mobile
  • Donate online at
  • Donate in person at any NZ Post, Kiwibank, ANZ, National Bank, ASB, TSB and BNZ across New Zealand
  • Mail a cheque (made payable to New Zealand Red Cross) to: Canterbury Earthquake Appeal, Freepost 232690, PO Box 12-140, Thorndon, Wellington 6144

If you don't want to/can't afford to make a monetary donation there are other ways that you can contribute (click on the links to find out more):
  • Leonie over at Kiwi At Heart is organizing Softies for the children of Christchurch
  • Wellington residents are invited to take part in The Great Sunday Bake Off and they are also accepting canned food and toys. The goods will be driven down to Christchurch on the same day that they are received.
  • If you are in Auckland Gail over at Delightfully diva-ish! has organised a Walk for Christchurch. If walking isn't your thing or you're not in Auckland you can still help out by being a sponsor and making a donation online at Walk 4 CHCH
  • A group of crafty mums have set up a Facebook page and are requesting donations of handmade items that will be auctioned off to raise money for victims of the earthquake.
  • Telecom are collecting corded phones for the people of Christchurch. So if you have one that you no longer use or can live without then drop it in to your nearest Telecom store.

Things I'm Loving ....

Here are a few things that I'm loving this week (and that I'm oh so thankful for) ....

Having a roof over our heads, power, running water, a working phone line .... all those things that we take for granted until we no longer have access to them.

Mostly I am thankful for these guys, my family. That we are safe, warm and dry when so many are not.

What are you loving this week? (Link up with Paisley Jade here)


Thursday, February 24, 2011

In Memory Of ....

Day 3 ....

Its all very surreal. I've been watching events unfolding on the news but it doesn't feel like its happening to me, to the city in which we live. It doesn't help that our house has once again come through undamaged and all seems as it should be in our part of the city. We have a lot to be thankful for .....

Phil was back at work the day after the quake. He works for Orion in the mapping department and has been helping in the effort to get power restored to the city. I'm not happy with him going into the city so soon but I understand that the work hes doing is important and will help so many people.

I'm feeling better today, trying very hard to keep things normal for Riley. The last couple of days I have been feeling weak and sick, completely drained. Shock and lack of quality sleep probably, I felt the same after the September quake.

This quake was far more terrifying, I was sure that this time the house was going to come down around our ears ..... thankfully it didn't. Someone must really be looking out for us, we didn't even lose power or water. The phone line was down for a while so I was feeling pretty helpless, unable to contact anyone and nowhere to go. We were able to find out what had happened by watching TV but seeing the images and knowing that Phil was out there somewhere and not being able to get in contact with him was the most horrible feeling.

Poor little Riley was absolutely exhausted after the quake and wouldn't let me put him down for a couple of hours afterwards, not even so I could go to the toilet. He had a little sleep on my lap which would have been the best thing for him so he didn't have to see how upset/frightened I was. He has bounced back really well. Having experienced the September quake he knows whats going on and as long as we/he keeps talking about it he'll be fine.

Here are some photos that Phil took today .....

TVNZ Building
The old Winnie Bagoes Pizzeria.

Bealey Pharmacy, corner of Bealey and Colombo Street.
Queuing up to get petrol, you can just make out the petrol station in the distance.
I am so thankful that we have come through this unscathed and my heart goes out to all those who have been less fortunate than us. It breaks my heart to see so much pain and suffering ....

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Christchurch Aftershock ....

Just a quick post to let everyone know that we are ok .....

(click on the link to find out more)

There are already 65 confirmed dead with many more injured. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected.

Image from here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Canvas Art

While I was at the Warehouse at the weekend I picked up a pack of 4 small canvases for $5.

I really like this idea here so I thought I'd give it a go. This project is really easy and would be a good one for the kids.

I have a vague idea of what I'm going to do with the other 2 canvases and it involves fabric but thats all I can tell you for now so you'll just have to wait and see.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

2nd Hand Book Finds

I LOVE books, specifically fantasy books and I LOVE collecting them ....

Going 2nd hand book shopping wasn't what I'd intended to do today but theres this 2nd hand bookshop that I've been wanting to check out for ages (in fact every weekend when we drive past it) so I thought it was about time to pop in for a looksie.

I was quite impressed as this particular book shop relies solely on donations and I ended up coming away with 6 books for $16 all in relatively good condition.


My BEST find was this book - The Silent Tower by Barbara Hambly. I haven't read this book before but I have wanted to for so long but it was the only book out of the trilogy that none of the libraries had when I was living back in Porirua. I only hope that now I'm in Christchurch that the libraries here will have the other two!

Note the $3 sticker - what a bargain!
Another book that I was so excited to get my hands on was book four in Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series. I'm actually reading this series at the moment and we have the other three books already, I was so pleased to complete the series.

I very rarely buy brand new books anymore as there are some great bargains to be had if you just take the time to look. I can't wait to get some reading done now!

Edit: Unfortunately the book shop was severely damaged 3 days later in the February quake and has since been demolished.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Things I'm Loving ....

I'm loving linking up with Paisley Jade each week because she is absolutely right!

"I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something that you can be thankful for... no matter how simple it is."

It feels good to remind myself of the small things that I have to be thankful for each week.

Here are a few things that I'm loving this week ....

Spending the day with my Dad on Sunday. It was so special for Riley to spend some time with his Grandad as we don't get to see him very often.

Yummy fresh veg and herbs from our garden. Our homemade pesto is divine and I've been having the yummiest ham and pesto sandwiches for lunch!

Spending some quality time with Riley playing games.

Including some magnetic fishing ....

Theres more than just fish in the sea ....

And finally, check out this cute wooden bowling set. It was given to Riley for Christmas 2009 and hes just getting into it now. Isn't it cute?!

What are you loving this week? (Link up with Paisley Jade here)


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Tomatoes from the garden and homemade pesto (basil and parsley also from the garden), YUM!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Too Nice?!

Who knew that Kindy would give me a whole new set of things to worry about?! As if parents don't have enough to worry about all ready without adding more to the mix .....

I did a lot of thinking about this after I witnessed a small altercation between Riley and another boy at Kindy the other morning. It wasn't anything really bad but it did bring me to the conclusion that Riley is too nice. You'd think being nice was a good thing and it mostly is, its just that sometimes I wish he'd be a bit more assertive and stand up for himself. Not by being rough (I would never condone violence) but seriously I just hate seeing him being taken advantage of. At home he is loud and opinionated but put him in a social situation with other kids and he is totally lost. I often wonder if this plays a part in his reluctance to go to Kindy, the fact that hes being put in a situation that hes not comfortable in. Its like he doesn't know what to say or how to act and there is only so much guidance I can give him as these are all things that he needs to figure out on his own.

I felt so bad for him this morning when he gave up his scooter so another boy could have a turn thinking "I'll just go and get another one" but of course there weren't any left (and the other boy knew that!), so Riley was the one left on the side lines without a scooter. I'm proud of him for sharing but I felt so bad for him. You probably think I'm being silly but it really did get me thinking ....

Riley has lots of funny little quirks and a different mentality compared to most kids his age and all I really want is for him to be happy and accepted for who he is.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

I hadn't planned on doing anything for Valentines Day and to be honest it kind of just crept up on me. Then I thought we don't get to spoil ourselves very often so I rang Phil at work and gave him his orders then I set to making Phil's Valentines Day present. Don't they say that the way to a mans heart is through his stomach?

Check out these babies .... orange biscuits dipped in dark chocolate, yum!

Phil brought home some chinese takeaways, a couple of bottles of wine and some of my favourite chocolates.

Riley has been so good today and a nice easy meal with a glass of wine was the perfect finish. Definitely feeling a bit spoilt.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Grandad's Visit

Today we had a visit from Riley's Grandad all the way from Wellington.

Riley loved seeing his Grandad. We spent the day at Orana Wildlife park and finished off with a yum dinner at an Indian restaurant. 

I couldn't be prouder of my little guy today. It has been a very long (tiring) day for him but he was so well behaved particularly at the restaurant (tired, starving child being forced to sit at a table and wait for his dinner doesn't usually equal well behaved).

Here are some photos from our day .....

Feeding the giraffes - Riley's favourite bit.

Checking out the porcupine with Grandad.

Having a little snooze in the car on the way home.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Salad Dressings

As I mentioned in my things I'm loving post, I LOVE salads so I thought I'd share a few of my fave salad dressings.

For me the dressing really makes the salad. One of the easiest ways to dress up a plain green salad is to drizzle it with olive oil, add a splash of vinegar and some salt. This is something that my grandma does and its so easy and my favourite way to have my salad. It may take a couple of times to get it right dependent on your tastes.

- 2tbsp fresh parsley
- 2tsp fresh thyme
- 1tsp grated lemon rind
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2tsp salt
- 1/4tsp sugar
- 1tsp wholegrain mustard
- black pepper, to taste

- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

I usually throw this dressing over a tuna pasta salad - can tuna, pasta spirals, carrot, capsicum, cucumber - use whatever you like/have on hand.

- 1tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2tsp salt
- 1tsp Dijon mustard
- 3tbsp olive oil
- 2tbsp sour cream

- Whisk together all ingredients.

I like this dressing on a brown rice salad with lots of fresh mint thrown in - brown rice, can chickpeas, capsicum, cucumber, grated carrot but again you can add whatever you like.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Things I'm Loving ....

Here are a few things that I'm loving this week ....

Red Bush tea, spice. Yum!

Afternoon naps. Most days I need one more than Riley does and I woke up the other day to find him at the opposite end of the couch like this ....

My Sunbeam NutriOven. It was a Christmas present from my Dad and apart from it being huge and I'm having difficulty finding some where to keep it when its not in use, its great!

Salads! I LOVE salads.

And finally, I'm taking part in the Trendsetters Contest over at DSP. Its all for fun as I don't think of myself as a very trendy scrapper but I like to challenge myself now and again. Here is my LO for Round 1 ....

What are you loving this week? (Link up with Paisley Jade here)


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Zip and Mac

I honestly can't stand this programme but Riley loves it and as far as kids programmes go he has learnt a lot from it. It taught him to recognize nearly all the letters of the alphabet when he was 2 and now that hes 3 hes learning all the different sounds that each letter makes, all thanks to Zip and Mac.

I have been trying to teach Riley phonics for ages but it just never clicked with him until now. In fact I don't have much success teaching him anything as he likes to learn on his own and once hes got it figured out he just keeps on repeating it and of course we think hes so clever so he keeps on doing it. His memory is astounding and when hes ready to learn something it takes no time at all. In just a couple of days he has all the letter sounds down (give or take a few) and is showing lots of interest in what letters words begin with.

If you have a young child that responds well to auditory learning then I definitely recommend giving Zip and Mac a go. It is silly and you may not like it but it worked for us.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Feel The Love

Daddy and Riley, 1st November 2007

Friday, February 4, 2011

Things I'm Loving ....

Here are a few things that I'm loving this week ....

Riley's car mat. Hes had it for 2 years but is only now really getting into it. I love watching him using his imagination.

My gorgeous fabric order arriving in the mail. I can't wait to start using it.

This face. My little boy. He constantly amazes me.

Homemade crackers, need I say more? Yum! (Recipe here).

And finally, our new fridge has arrived! We had so many problems getting the one we wanted. This one ticks most of the boxes so hopefully its a keeper. Its heaps bigger than our old one and has a vege drawer, freezer and automatic ice maker, talk about luxury.

What are you loving this week? (Link up with Paisley Jade here)