Saturday, March 26, 2011

30 Day Photo Project


A person who's gotten you through the most.

I have 3 people I have to put in here ... in alphabetical order ...


In the worst of times after Jason died, which was after the kids went to bed and my family had gone home and I was alone quietly in the house these 3 AMAZING women were there for me. MSN chat has been a life saver for me and these ladies would talk to me and kick my butt and share things with me all night and often VERY late! And it would make me feel not so lonely, not so afraid and not so sad. I truly have no idea how I would have got through the first few months without Jason without them. They are my angels and I LOVE them dearly.
Not only that but Jennie (from Hastings) came up to be with me a few days after Jason died. Jennie and Danice(from Greymouth) came to Jason's funeral and Nicola (from Christchurch) and Danice came up to host a fundraising crop for me. I can't thank these women enough I LOVE them and they are all some of my closest and dearest friends, even though I've only met Danice and Jennie a handful of times and Nicola once! Love you guys xxxx

DAY 10

A person you do stupid things with.

This is Tracy and Amanda .. we are mental!!! Mands and I have been friends for about ummm 14 years. We have a shared love of oldies music, photo taking and craziness!! We went through a phase of getting photo booth pics taken and when we caught up last year we produced out 'own' photo booth pics. We always do silly things together. I have so many silly and crazy photos of us! Love you Mands!!!! xxx

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Family Events Update

Well what have I missed that has happened??

Well We got the Amazing photos back from Jason's Birthday. It was so awesome to see the amazing pics. Thanks soooo much Angela for the AWESOME job!!

Abbey had a Wheel-a-thon with her Kindergarten. They were raising money for Christchurch so the theme was Black & Red! We decorated up her bike and she had a blast riding around with all her friends!

And of course Riley's 6th Birthday! I made him a Rocket cake with sparkler candles. He got Lego, a marble run, a slinky dog and a trip to the movies for his birthday! He had a great day and so did the rest of us!!

There are a few things happening around Whangarei this weekend, weather permitting! So fingers crossed we get lots more cool pics to blog about then!!

30 Day Photo Project


Someone you have the most fun with.

Every Wednesday night I am graced by the presence of 3 wonderful people. Janine, Ruth & Jaymin. We call Wednesday's Art Night. Mostly we craft, sometimes we just chat, every time we eat naughty food, laugh and have FUN! Last night we played Yahtzee and the week before made paper cranes! I VERY much look forward to Wednesday's Art Night with these people cause they ROCK!!!


A picture that makes you laugh.

Every time I look at this photo I giggle. We went to the Royal Easter Show in Auckland the month before Jase died. I was trying so hard to take a really cool pic of the kids and Jase on the Merry Go Round and Jason knew I was. So I have the camera aimed and ready to go when they come around next go *CLICK* and Mr 'I think I'm Funny' does this face! He thought it was hilarious I had to wait for the Merry Go Round to come around again for a better shot but I still love this one because it is so typically Jason being a clown!

For the rest of my 30 Day Photo Projects check them out HERE

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

30 Day Photo Project


A person you would love to trade places with for a day.

I would like to trade places with this beautiful woman called Ree Drummond also known as The Pioneer Woman. This woman is my idol! She has a beautiful family and lives in the country. She cooks and crafts and home schools. She takes AMAZING photographs and has a stunning home. She is living my dream life!!! I would definitely trade my life for hers for one day.

If only I had the motivation, drive and determination I too could have a semi dream life ... minus my perfect (ok semi-perfect) husband ...

Check out the other 30 Day Photo Projects HERE

Monday, March 21, 2011

Another Fiskateer Online Crop

Totally go check it out!!!! It's called The Winter Stamp Out.

I was planning to be incredibly involved in this crop but so far I have only managed to get a couple of challenges done. Mojo seems to have left me with the sunshine!!! But here is what I've done ....

WSO Challenge #1
***A Little Warm-Up for the Winter Stamp Out***
Go outside this week and take a photograph. Nature is to inspire us!

So this is the photo I took ....

This is the big tree in out front yard. The kids thought it was really funny that I asked them to peek around the trunk!
WSO Challenge #2
***Inspired by Nature***
For this challenge, take inspiration from one of the photos posted in Challenge #1 to create a stamped project. It can be from your own photo or from someone else's photo. You may be inspired by the colors, the composition, or even the subject matter of the photos. Anything is fair game. Be sure to tell us what about the photo inspired your project. I can't wait to see what you create.

Some of the photos that were posted were magnificent! I was inspired by the amazing photos that were posted of the cute birds around in the trees.

And this is what I made ...

All those trees and birds reminded me of the 'Hey Birdie' Kaisercraft papers and I used the Stampin' Up 'Funky Forest' Wheel stamp and the birds from the 'Cheap Talk' stamp set.

Fingers crossed mojo comes back and I get some more of the challenges done before they are due in!!

Hope to see you over at Fiskateers!!

Happy scrapping everyone!

30 Day Photo Project


Your favourite memory.

Our Wedding Day

10 months ago if I was given this question I would have gone back and thought of a childhood memory or something like that. But Since Jase died my favourite memories rotate around him and of course our wedding day was a pretty darn important one! Jase and I were married in a garden in Kauri, just north of Whangarei. We had our reception at the Marist Rugby Club rooms. It was a fantastic day. We were married for 6 1/2yrs when he died. He was my whole life. I miss him terribly.

To check out my other 30 Day Photo Projects go HERE

Sunday, March 20, 2011

30 Day Photo Project

I am a little behind in this opps!! So this is my last few days catch up ....


A picture of you and the person your closest with.

This is Me and my Mum. Since Jason died she is my sounding post, the person I cry to, get angry at, have fun with, share parenting with, and go to for advice. I LOVE my Mum, she is the BEST Mum EVER! Love you to bits Mum xxx


A picture of the cast of your favourite show.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer. It rocks. It's the only TV show I own in entirety on DVD. I never get tired of watching it! Bit weird and crazy I know!


A habit you wish you didn't have

Fruit Bowl Dumping, which in turn spills over to bench dumping because the fruit bowl gets full. I wish I didn't do this, but I walk in the door and dump whatever I'm carrying. Every now and again I clear it out and the next day it gets dumped in again. Sigh. One day maybe I will break that habit!!

Check out the other 30 Projects HERE

Friday, March 18, 2011


6 Years ago tomorrow at 4.20pm, after a 2hour and 20minute labour, on a Saturday afternoon I became a Mummy for the first time!

Birth Day

Little Riley Jay was born weighing 6pounds 8ounces. He was the Apple of His Mummy and Daddy's eyes!! It was such a joy to watch him grow.

First Birthday

Second Birthday

Third Birthday

Fourth Birthday

Fifth Birthday

This year will be Riley's first Birthday without his Daddy, so as happy as an occasion it should be we will also be struggling through another First without Jase.

But ...

Happy Birthday my sweet boy. I hope you reach for the stars and have all your dreams come true xxxx

NZ Book Month

Time for another book!!!

The BFG - Roald Dahl

As a kid Roald Dahl was my FAVOURITE author. I am pretty sure I have ALL of my original Roald Dahl books and that would be all of them! The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) was my all time favourite. I can't wait until my kids a little bit bigger to start reading them chapter books. To me the BFG is a story about being different, standing up for your beliefs and friendship comes in interesting packages!! LOVE love love this book!
And there is also an Animated movie made from this book too, which I thought was pretty cute.

I also found this which gave me a giggle!

Keep checking HERE for what is happening in your town/city for NZ Book Month!

Happy reading everyone!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Canvas Art & Everyday Life

A few weeks ago my Art Night buddy Janine found a photo of what she called an 'Inchie Canvas' in a magazine. She decided that we needed to make one! So while she had half prepared hers earlier, I cut out lots of squares and rectangles from cardboard while watching her complete embellishing and putting together her canvas. 2 weeks later all I had done was cover my bits of cardboard with co-ordinating patterned papers and painted my canvas black! So yesterday I pulled it out and dusted it off and decided to finish it.

I am VERY pleased with how this turned out! Most of what is on it are scraps and and leftovers so I'm also pleased about using up some more of my stash! Gotta love using your stash up.

Now all I need is a nice wall to put it up on!

I also submitted a photo for the March Photo Challenge over at Better Scrapbooking.

Photo Challenge: Everyday life. Take a photo of something that represents your everyday life.

This week my everyday life has become a two lunchbox morning!! I actually really enjoy making my kids lunches!!

Don't forget to go over and check out the other challenges at Better Scrapbooking! You have until the end of March to get them in and every category wins a prize!!

Layout Challenge: Use your old one off bits left over from your stash, i.e. the last flower from a set, odd brads/eyelets, rub-ons/odd piece of chipboard, etc.

Project Challenge: Create a mini album using old Cd's

Card Challenge: Create a card with cupcakes on it

Would LOVE to see you all joining in!

30 Day Photo Project

First of all .....

And a Happy Birthday to my Big brother David, who his whole life has had green cakes, green wrapping paper and green themed Birthdays. At least he can have a Guinness for Breakfast on his birthday and not get looked at funny!!

This morning on Face Book my delicious sister-in-law, Natalie, posted this 30 Day photo Challenge which I thought looked really cool so I have decided I will join in and do it with her! So here goes ....


A picture of yourself and 15 facts

1) I am the youngest of 3, the only girl. I love my brothers, Tony & David, to death. We don't spend a huge amount of time with each other, but when it really counts my brothers are always there for me xx

2) I'm a hoarder. I keep everything. I have cupboards and drawers and bags and boxes and filing cabinets full of stuff. Because you NEVER know when you might need it you know. I have always been like this. When I was young my Mum called me a Womble, and she called my bedroom Organised Chaos. My whole house is now organised Chaos!

3) I'm not a Girly Girl. I can't wear high heels without falling over. I don't wear makeup, and don't know how to. I rarely wear a skirt or dress (getting better at doing so). I don't own a hair dryer or really know how to use one properly and I have no idea how to do my hair fancy. I often wish I did.

4) I have never played a sport. I never played any sports in school, except for the compulsory PE. I don't like it. And I also suck at it all. And on the sameish topic I also don't know how to ride a bike.

5) I love books. I don't have enough time to read as much as I want but I do love to read. I have books upon books upon books in my house. Most of them are kids books. I had LOADS when I was teaching and now they have gone to the kids. I am currently looking for a styley bookcase to house my books ...

6) I have a strange obsession with Vampires. I love the books, movies, TV Shows. In fact I kinda have a fascination with the supernatural. Dunno why but I do.

7) I am a crafter! I started out as a cross stitcher but have found my passion in paper. I LOVE paper crafts, anything and everything to do with scrapbooking, and most things paper (except making cards!!) I just love it. My dream job would be to have my own Scrapbooking Store ... watch this space!

8) I am a Beatle-maniac. I LOVE the Beatles music and the Fab Four. When I was a teen I had posters of the Beatles and John Lennon on my walls not modern bands like my friends with NKOTB!! John Lennon is my favourite Beatle. When I am down and out I like to listen to my comforting Beatles music. Nothing like an oldies mix to make you feel better.

9) My favourite colour is orange. I am orange-fying my house. Eventually when I get a house of my own I will blog properly about the Orange-fying but for now I just pick up whatever cool orange thing I find!!

10) I am an Early Childcare Teacher by trade. I have been working in ECE since I left school. At first i was a Nanny, that wasn't cool, I really didn't enjoy nannying. And then I worked in an ECE Centre and LOVED it. Got my Teaching Diploma and went from there. Things have been a bit different since I had my own kids, the passion for ECE isn't there like it was before. Time for a new career path - see #7

11) I married an American. My Mum always said when I was younger that I would end up marrying a foreigner, and I did! my kids have dual NZ/USA citizenship and passports. It is going to be AWESOME for them! Hopefully it will open many doors for them in the future.

12) I am semi-famous. I have had requests for interviews from:
*60 Minutes
*TV3 News
*TV1 News
*Woman's Day
*NZ Woman's Weekly
Sadly not because of anything I have achieved but because my Hubby died in an extraordinary way. But I have declined ALL media requests and am keeping my grief out of the public media.

13) A little known fact is why I named my children what I named them. Being an ECE teacher it is often difficult thinking of names due to name association. That kid called that was a horror etc etc. In my entire teaching career I had only come across one Riley and one Abbey before they were born. The name Riley actually came from my favourite TV Show ever Buffy the Vampire Slayer (see #6). In Seasons 5 & 6 Buffy had a military boyfriend named Riley. Hmmmm. Abbey was named straight after a Beatles album (see #8) Abbey Road, which is also where their Studios were located, on Abbey Road.

14) I am a Melissophobic (bee phobic). I HATE them. I'm not as bad as I used to be because I don't want to pass my fears onto my kids! I did my Research Project for my ECE Diploma on Fears and Phobias in children. It was incredibly illuminating as to why people have such fears. I have just recently been told by my brother (who's Birthday it is today) that he would imagine my bee fear comes from when we were kids and were jumping into the pampass grass next door and disturbed a Bee nest and were stung repeatedly all over ourselves. Now this memory must have been so traumatic that even after been reminded of it, I can not remember it! I do however remember a traumatic experience when I was about 3 of a goose attaching itself to my hand. I am also somewhat wary and freaked out by geese as a result!

15) I have never been to the South Island and my only overseas trip was to The USA in 2006. I really haven't travelled much. I would like to travel a little more but to be honest it won't be the end of the world for me if I don't. I'm quite happy here in my little home town where I grew up without seeing the rest of the world.

WOW that was incedibly hard!!
Hope you enjoyed finding out about me! And if you want to join in with the 30 Day Photo Project here are the prompts ....

Day 1. A picture of yourself and 15 facts.
Day 2. A picture of you and the person your closest with.
Day 3. A picture of the cast of your favourite show.
Day 4. A habit you wish you didnt have.

Day 5. Your favourite memory.
Day 6. A person you would love to trade places with for a day.
Day 7. Someone you have the most fun with.
Day 8. A picture that makes you laugh.

Day 9. A person whos gotten you through the most.
Day 10. A person you do stupid things with.
Day 11. Something you hate.
Day 12. Something you love.
Day 13. Your favourtie band or artist.
Day 14. Someone you could never imagine your life without.
Day 15. Something you want to do before you die.
Day 16. Someone you inspires you the most.
Day 17. Someone whos made a huge impact on your life recently.
Day 18. Someone you admire

Day 19. A picture from when you were little
Day 20. Somewhere you'd love to travel.
Day 21. Someone you have good memories with.
Day 22. Something you wish you were better at.

Day 23. Someone who makes you laugh.
Day 24. Something you wish you could change.

Day 25. A picture of your day.
Day 26. Someone you can talk to for hours.
Day 27. A picture of yourself and a family member
Day 28. Something your afraid of.
Day 29. A picture that can always make you smile.
Day 30. A picture of someone you miss.

Happy clicking everyone!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March Challenges at Better Scrapbooking

Over the last few weeks my Craft Room has been a nightmare! It was a dump with craft supplies strewn EVERYWHERE! So Yesterday was my First child free morning since Abbey started morning Kindy so I came home and got VERY busy! Now my craft room is tidy, I can even see the floor! AMAZING! So of course what did I want to do straight away?? CRAFT! of course!!

I thought I'd start out with the Better Scrapbooking LO Challenge for March.

Layout Challenge: Use your old one off bits left over from your stash, i.e. the last flower from a set, odd brads/eyelets, rub-ons/odd piece of chipboard, etc.

Everything I used on this LO were leftovers!

Materials used:
* My Minds Eye 'Just Dreamy' patterned paper
* Love Elise Rubons
* Heidi Grace Rubons
* Kaisercraft Rubons
* Wool
* Journalling stamp
* Black Ink
* Artline Journalling Pen

The photos were taken January 2010 right before we went to our neighbour Ryan's Birthday Party. The journalling reads .....
"Sue and Brendan moved in next door two weeks after we did. It was a lovely surprise to get an invite to Ryan's 'Super Hero & Princess' Birthday Party soon after! The kids had a blast at Chipmunks for the party and it was awesome making great friends!!"

I LOVE been able to use up my old stash and scraps so I think I'm going to do another LO for this challenge ... and don't forget the other challenges for March too ....

Photo Challenge: Everyday life. Take a photo of something that represents your everyday life.

Project Challenge: Create a mini album using old Cd's

Card Challenge: Create a card with cupcakes on it

Happy Scrapping everyone!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

NZ Book Month

As I was blog hopping around I discovered THIS youtube video here at MnMs Blog I LOVED it so much I thought I'd share it too. It totally fits in beautifully with Book Month!

Gotta love the 'Can you blog it' line!!

Check out what's happening in your town for NZ Book Month HERE
Happy reading everyone!

I {Heart} Whangarei

Back in THIS post I talked about different cool places to go in Whangarei and started writing a list of all the different places I wanted to visit here. I have since crossed off a couple places as well as added some!! So here is what we've done .....

Reyburn House

Reyburn House is the home of the Northland Society of Arts and its art collection. It is Whangarei's oldest house! It's just beside the playground at the Town Basin and is definitely worth a look. Stunning Art works on display and also many stunning works of art for sale.

Whau Valley Dam

We spent a good hour running around up at the dam. The kids had a blast rolling down the long grass on the side and jumping around in the puddles in the car park. It's really pretty up there. Definitely on our 'to visit again' list.

Mander Park

Mander Park is on the corner of Central Ave and Western Hills Dr. We have been to this park quite a few time and it is NEVER busy. I love that about Mander Park!! It has also been causing a little bit of controversy because there has been talk about removing some of the trees there to widen the road. It would be such a shame if the trees do go because they are one of the things I love about the park the most, there is also huge grassy areas perfect for running and picnics!

Limeburners Creek Wetlands

These Wetlands have been on a Top 12 Wetlands of New Zealand list! We went there today. It is right across the road from the SPCA on Kioreroa Road. It is surprisingly beautiful there. The kids enjoyed throwing rocks into the lake and finding Ant Holes. We went the long way back around the Mangrove Boardwalk. It was lovely. We have plans to go back and take a picnic because there is a lovely picnic area with tables and a nice big grass area.

So here is my revised list .....

* Mount Parihaka - we have been here a few times but I haven't got many photos, gotta get the photos!!
* Abbey Caves
* Ocean Beach
* Sandy Bay
* Whale Bay
* The Quarry
* Ruakaka Beach
* The Whangarei Falls (with Riley for photos!)
* The Quarry Gardens (same as above!)
* Town Basin (again been but want more photos)
* Heritage Park
* The Observatory
* Hikurangi Lime Rocks
* Ruakaka Refinery Visitors Centre
* Waipu
* Clapham Clocks
* Riverside Reserve
* Laurie Hall Park
* Limestone Island

Here's to exploring more of my local attractions!!! How many places have you been in your local area?????

P.S. wanna know what bloggers kids get into at a really early age ......

Who knows where that comes from!!!

Friday, March 11, 2011


I have been for the last 10months.

Then Christchurch had the devastating earthquake, last I heard there were 165 people dead. Tonight a HUGE earthquake has hit Japan. Tsunamis and everything.

But what is consuming me? What is making me cry? Why am I numb?

One person. One Death. One Life gone.

I feel selfish. I feel alone.

I have the most AMAZING network of in real life and online friends. My family is FANTASTIC.

I still feel alone.

My grief consumes me. Jason's absence is HUGE in EVERYTHING we do.

I know people are going to say it's ok to feel the way I do, it isn't selfish, and I truely appreciate my supporters, I truely do.

But I still feel selfish and alone.

Yesterday I got an email from a lady named Trish. She works for Spring Hill Corrections Facility and she is leading the team in charge of constructing the Memorial Garden in Jason's honor. In the email there were photos of the progess and the plans. I bawled. I sat there reading and looking with tears streaming down my face.

I am lucky that my husband died the way he did in some ways. If he had of died in a car accident the most he would have got was perhaps a white cross on the side of the road. If he had of died of an illness perhaps all he would have got was a grave stone. But he died doing his job, protecting his adopted country from the scum. So he gets a Memorial Garden.

Is it enough? Of course not. Nothing will ever be enough to honor the man who stole my heart and who changed my life forever. Nothing will bring him back, or stop my heart from aching.

So I sit here, watching news reports about Japan, and reading updates on Christchurch and I feel selfish and alone.

NZ Paper Chase's First Magazine!!!!

Up2Scrap has had a revamp and turned into NZ Paper Chase, and the first issue has just come out this month!

There are a few familiar names in the magazine. My good friend and Art Night cohort Janine is on the Elite Design Team for the magazine and fellow Better Scrapbooking Design Team member Karen Barlow has 2 LOs in there and hmmm this other chick called Tracy Palmer is in there ... oh yeah that ME!!!!

I submitted a few LOs to the magazine and got two accepted!!

The First one was for the 'Beautiful Brides' category, titled 'Princess Bride'

My beautiful cousin Nicole took this photo of me at our wedding and I love it!

The 2nd LO was for the "Boys World' category, titled "Even Little Boys Grow Up to have Wings"

I took this photo when we went to the Fairy Festival in Ellerslie in 2009. I LOVE this photo of Jase & Riley. We dressed Riley up like Bobble the Fairy from the Tinkerbell Movie, Riley insisted on being a Fairy for the Fairy Festival. I love that my son is different to regular boys in some ways! Shows he is a little bit more unique .. just like his Mummy!!

Bobble the Fairy

So go get your copies of The ONLY NZ Scrapbooking Magazine!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

NZ Book Month

It is time to recommend another book!!

The Power Of One - Bryce Courtenay

Bryce Courtenay has got to be one of my most favourite authors of all time. I don't think I have read a book of his I don't like!
The Power of One is a powerful story of the triumph of the human spirit. If you haven't read it READ IT NOW!!! Then after that read the sequel Tandia. I loved both these books and fell completely in love with the main Character Peekay, and it didn't helped that he was played by Stephen Dorff in the Movie!! Speaking of which .... watch the movie too! Here is a little teaser .....

as with most movies and books they are a bit different and of course the book is 100 times better than the movie but I still enjoyed both.

One of the BEST things about the movie (apart from Stephen Dorff) was the soundtrack. Amazing. Powerful. Soulful. I LOVE it. Another little taste ....

Would love to have your recommendations too! I'm always up for a new read!

Happy reading everyone!

Monday, March 7, 2011

March Challenges at Better Scrapbooking

What a great lot of entries there were for the February Challenges. And as you should know each category has a winner, so here are February's winners ....

Layout challenge - Back to School
Congratulations to Sharon!

Photo Challenge - Natural Frames
Congratulations Mummymoo!

Project Challenge - Valentines Day Gift
Congratulations DebG

So here are the Challenges for March

Layout Challenge: Use your old one off bits left over from your stash, i.e. the last flower from a set, odd brads/eyelets, rub-ons/odd piece of chipboard, etc.

Photo Challenge: Everyday life. Take a photo of something that represents your everyday life.

Project Challenge: Create a mini album using old Cd's

Card Challenge: Create a card with cupcakes on it

Would LOVE to see you all joining in!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

NZ Book Month

Time for another book!

How Many Bugs In A Box - David A. Carter

I found this book quite a while ago and absolutely loved it! It's a counting Pop-Up Book, but the pop up bits are so much fun and interactive! I was thrilled to find out there are MANY bug books by David A. Carter and I now have Feely Bugs, Jingle Bugs, Birthday Bugs and Alpha Bugs but there are so many more! Check them all out HERE

My kids also love the Bug Books and I would LOVE to get some more, in fact mine are getting a little well used so it may even be time to replace the originals!!

Oh and Just for Alisa, David A. Carter made this into a Pop-Up Book too!!

Keep a check on what's going on in your area for NZ Book Month over HERE
Happy Reading Everyone!!