Monday, September 19, 2011

Holiday In Christchurch

Man where oh where do I begin?!?!

Well a long long time ago My friend Nicola convinced me that I needed to go down to her home town of Christchurch to attend the Scrappin' Patch Retreat in September. I though hmm well ok why not. So I booked my spot paid my deposit and didn't think too much about it.

After all that, Christchurch was devastated by some pretty horrific earthquakes, destroying many iconic buildings, losing many lives and turning the lives of many upside down. {read about it HERE} So when September suddenly appeared I was quite excited (as well as a little nervous) about heading down to Christchurch, and the South Island, for the first time.

So on Wednesday, 6 nights after I moved into my new house, I was heading to Christchurch on an airplane!

I have never flown on my own before so that was a new experience for me. But once I stepped out of the airport to see my lovely friend Nicola waiting for me I was completely at ease and totally happy to be there.

I spent 2 nights with Nicola and her family. I got to have a little look around Christchurch and witness some of the earthquake damage. It was common sight to see bricks piled up against broken walls, curbs with humps and cracks everywhere from the roads to the houses. Thankfully (for me!) there was no after shocks while I was there but the people of Christchurch have to continue to live with these constantly. I really feel for them.

Something else I got to do while in Christchurch was to visit the Scrap It Simple store that my friend Hilary owns. If you remember I helped Hilary out with her stall at SENZ in June. It was really nice to be able to see the 'real' shop and catch up with Hilary as well.

Friday afternoon Hilary picked Nic and I up and we headed to Glentui for Scrap Camp!! It was a lovely drive out there and I was very excited to see Snow on the Southern Alps!

We were the last to arrive and after taking our bags up to our room, unpacking our totes and getting settled in we were straight into our first class with our International Tutor, Steph Devlin.

Our first class was an Off the Page project on a canvas.

I really enjoyed making the little canvas and was pretty pleased with how it turned out. It was amazing how we all did the same thing but every ones looked different. It was a great night.

I shared a table with Nicola and Hilary and we were so lucky to be sat with the two most fun and lovely ladies ever! Jo and Anne. They were a blast and we have decided next retreat we are all going to bunk in together! So cool to make new friends!!

Our table was right next to the fire place and the AMAZING view out the HUGE windows.

Glentui was an amazing venue. The food was plentiful and delicious. The grounds were spectacular. It is certainly a place I would recommend to anyone!

After the class we stayed up and did some scrapping of our own and then toddled off to bed. Nothing Quite like scrapping in your PJs!!!

Saturday was an early morning and a great day filled with another class with Steph, lots of kits and free scrapping, laughs, food photo taking and snacks. Another late night (1.30) and then talking until who knows when!

Sunday came with another early start a bit of scrapping, and packing up. We had planned to have lunch and head home. While we were packing up we heard news there was a 4.5 Aftershock in Christchurch. The only quake while I was there and we didn't even feel it out at camp!!

Hilary drove us back to Nicola's place after lots of farewells and then off to the airport to head home.

It was sad to say goodbye but also really great to be heading home to my kiddies who I missed a lot!! And by their reactions to seeing me I think they missed me too!!

Such an AWESOME weekend with some AWESOME ladies. I can't wait to do it all again!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Goodbye Leonie

Quite some time ago I started reading this blog called Kiwi At Heart. I think THIS was one of the first blog posts I read. The lovely Leonie had left some very heartwarming comments on some of my more depressing posts and so I started following her blog. And boy am I glad I did.

In February the wonderful Jacksta-B organised a bloggy get together with some local bloggers. I didn't know anyone, except Paisley Jade whom I went to Primary School with 100 years before! (ok maybe over exaggerating a little there) But I was pretty nervous. I didn't realise that Leonie was going to be there. I had read about her moving back to NZ, but didn't know it was close to my home. So I was pleasantly surprised and really happy to finally meet her. Now the fame of our AWESOME bunch of Whangarei bloggers has spread far and wide (hehehe) but it is completely true that we all get on so well and everyone of those ladies I can call my friend.

Leonie is a pretty special lady and I am so so blessed to have had the opportunity to get to know her, and have her as my friend. So when things didn't work out for her family in NZ and she made the decision to go back to Australia I was pretty sad to have to say goodbye to one of my favourite people.

Us bloggy ladies had a farewell dinner for Leonie at The Fat Camel and we had a blast. It was so much fun, even though it was tinged with sadness.

{this was such a great night I'm gonna do a blog post all about it soon}

And the night I moved into my new house Leonie and two of her adorable children came and ate fish'n'chips with us on the floor! I am really glad she got to see the house (and was my very first official visitor!) and that I got to have an extra bit of time to say goodbye.

I am going to miss you Leonie but thankfully because of the Internet you will never really be that far away!

Another one of our wonderfully talented Whangarei Bloggy friends Neetz made this video clip for Leonie ...

Love and miss you loads Leonie!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Charmed Life Challenge

The lovely Alisa posted about this thing called The Charmed Life Challenge originally on FaceBook and then over HERE. I really loved some of the ideas that were on this list of challenges and decided that I would jump on board and give it a go.

To me this list is about making life fun and enjoyable again. It totally fits in with my New Beginnings motto of the moment

So this is my revised list of 100 Charmed Life Challenges.

1. Give something broken a new life (a skirt, a squeaky wheel, scuffed shoes).
2. Put something beautiful on a bit of blank wall you see every day.
3. Wear something you love that you think “just isn’t you.”
4. Send a thank you note, for anything.
5. Spend an afternoon reading.
6. Cook in a vintage apron.
7. Have luncheon: a slow midday meal with cloth napkins and wine.
8. Go out of your way to do something kind for a stranger (offer a seat, hold the door, leave your copy of Us Weekly on the elliptical).
9. Donate five items from your closet that don’t make you feel unstoppably gorgeous.
10. Take care of a nagging life admin item (a trip to the post office, filing an insurance claim, making a doctor’s appointment).
11. Buy an utterly frivolous piece of lingerie.
12. Invite friends over for cocktails, dinner, or brunch.
13. Wake up an hour early to have a leisurely morning.
14. Try something that looks like pure fun (accordion, crochet, burlesque).
15. Dance. In public, in the living room, with a partner, with yourself.
16. Flirt with a stranger. (Smiling counts.)
17. Get rid of five things in your home that don’t bring you pleasure.
18. Go to a parfumerie or department store in search of a signature scent.
19. Buy flowers for your home or office.
20. Make a recipe from a fruit, vegetable, meat or fish you’ve never cooked before.
21. Walk barefoot in the grass or on the sand.
22. Have a media-free day.
23. Write down everything you feel grateful for.
24. Hold a baby.
25. Pet a puppy.
26. Ask someone to tell you their life story.
28. Read a biography of your favorite glamorous screen star, or the bravest, most badass real life heroine.
29. Eat fresh berries, straight from the green paper pint.
30. Create an occasion to wear your most impractical pair of shoes.
31. Write down your wildest dreams.
32. Have a proper weekday coffee break: ceramic cup, idle gossip, and staring out a window.
33. Visit a playground and swing.
34. Make lemonade. (Literally or figuratively.)
35. Go to a junk or antique store; consider what your favorite object has seen in its life.
36. Jump in a body of water. Float.
37. Give someone a hug; let them let go first.
38. Look at the stars.
39. Replace one utilitarian item you use every day––a measuring spoon, a file folder, a key chain––with something really, really beautiful.
40. Pamper your body with a massage, an overdue haircut, a trip to the sauna, or a soak in the tub.
41. Research something that sparks your curiosity (Arthurian legend, photosynthesis, investing). If you’re still curious after a 15-minute google session, dive deeper.
42. Make a collage of beautiful images that resonate with you.
43. Read aloud to someone you love.
44. Forgive yourself.
45. Forgive someone else.
46. Spend an hour in silent reflection.
47. Dine by candlelight on a weeknight.
48. Take a walk after dinner.
49. Wear your no-fail, cheer-me-up lipstick.
50. Give a genuine compliment to an acquaintance.
51. Have a glass of champagne, just because.
52. Spend one day taking pictures of everything you find beautiful.
53. Describe your perfect day in writing.
54. Block out an afternoon (or day) on the calendar to make some (or all) of it real.
55. Select one drawer or surface and organize it.
56. Write a love letter.
57. Do something you loved as a child.
58. Upgrade your sleep wear, or go Marilyn-style.
59. Do the one thing you were relieved/sad wasn’t on this list.
60. Pretend for one day that you are as confident and amazing as you want to be.
61. Buy fresh flowers for your home
62. Take 15 minutes to eat a delicious, artisan dark truffle
63. Go skinny dipping (or at least go swimming)
64. Visit the farmer’s market and inquire about the life of one farmer. Get into his/her world.
65. Tell someone exactly what you desire without shame
66. Spend a day doing nothing except relax
67. Throw a dinner party
68. Dress up to go to the grocery store (I’m talking make-the-butcher-turn-his-head dressing up)
69. Send a surprise I-think-you’re-fabulous handwritten note to someone
70. Get a massage
71. Bring up an intoxicating topic with friends (anything around love or travel is always a good choice)
72. Choose a feeling you desire to experience and think/do/be whatever it takes to create it
73. Serve your dinner in courses and spend at least twenty minutes with each. End with a bite of something delicious.
75. Do something completely out of character (for example, if you’re shy, force yourself to say hello to a stranger)
76. Write a love note to yourself
77. Invite someone you desire to know to lunch
78. Put a trip on your calendar that you desire to take within the next 6 months
79. Learn 5 new words in a foreign language and actually use them
80. Kiss someone (even if it’s your dog)
81. Try an exotic food you’ve never tasted
82. Pretend that everyone loves you and wants you to be a huge success
83. Light candles
84. Ask more questions and talk less
85. Read a poem to someone you love
86. Teach a kid something they’ll never forget (e.g. card trick, secret handshake or a funny word like gardyloo)
87. Take one small step that frightens you
88. Wear a flower in your hair
89. Pretend for one day that you don’t know your age
90. Watch a foreign film
91. Throw a slumber party
92. Turn a common dish into a delicacy (e.g. truffled popcorn, carmelized onion burgers, grilled brie and pear sandwiches)
93. Brag on yourself at least 5 times
94. Pay extra special attention to your posture
95. Listen to romantic, sexy music all day
96. Speak love to every animal you see, including insects
97. Send your worst enemy flowers anonymously (it really does feel good)
98. Catch moments of negativity and charge them with laughter
99. Donate $10 to your favorite charity. Every little thing matters
100. Smile a lot. Best beauty tip on the market

The plan is to print a couple of copies and try and do as many things off that list that I can. Here's hoping I can get a few marked off soon!

Watch This Space!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Better Scrapbooking September Scrap Pack

This pack was ohh so pretty!!! The papers were from the Cosmo Cricket Earth Love range and I really enjoyed working with it!

I found the papers really versatile to a range of different photos.

And they were really cute too!!

For instructions on how I made all these check out the September Newsletter over at Better Scrapbooking, also check out what the other fabulous Design Team member, Jennie, has created too!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I am going to be AWOL for a wee while but when I get back I will have LOADS to blog about!!


*Better Scrapbooking Design Team Stuff
*Saying Goodbye to a dear Friend
*Moving into my house!
*Christchurch Scrapbooking Retreat
*The Charmed Life Challenge

And possibly more!!! So please stay tuned for loads of posts coming soon!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy First Day of Spring!!

Today is the official first day of Spring here in the Southern Hemisphere. Spring is my favourite season. I LOVE spring flowers, the sun coming back from it's holiday in the North and it just seems to produce good feelings all around.

Spring is the season for new beginnings and I am taking that to heart this year.

Tomorrow is the day I get the keys to the very first house I own. That is exciting. I have decided that Moving into this house is going to be a fresh new start for me and my kids. A brand new chapter in a brand new book.

It's hard to be doing this without Jason. 16mths have gone by and the wound in my heart is still raw and incredibly painful. I miss him terribly. But I have decided that this new house brings us hope and I am determined to begin living my life again.

This is a huge and difficult step for me to make. Taking the first major life step without him in it. And as much as he is going to be a continuous part of our every day lives, it is time for me to stop living in the past. I need to stop with the "If Jason was still here" and the 'If Only ..." "What if ..." and "why?" Jason was, is and ALWAYS will be a part of our lives. But the hard reality is he is never coming back. Dead sadly is forever. And until I let go of my fantasy of him suddenly turning up on the doorstep I can not ever move forward and begin to live. So I am making that decision to take my first step forward. It will be a baby step but a step nonetheless.

So Spring 2011 marks the start of an incredible journey for me. Things will still be hard. I will still cry and grieve and miss my husband. I will still find it difficult to do many things without him. But the difference will be I am also going to be giving myself permission to be happy, to smile, to laugh and to have fun, all guilt free. Because it would be what Jason would want for me, for us as a family.

So HAPPY First Day of Spring!! And to New Beginnings!