Monday, January 30, 2012

Landscaping Madness

Things on the blog have been quiet lately (sorry!) but there is a reason. We are in the thick of some much needed landscaping at our poor neglected house.
There has been major plumbing work going on downstairs as we are having our pipes is some of the evidence laying on our drive way. :)
As is often the case, the interior has been our priority since we moved in and after making lots of cosmetic changes inside such as new carpet, polished floors and painting, etc, I guess it is fair to say that we ran out of steam...for quite a while. This is nothing unusual for us and sometimes several months can pass before we feel like tackling anything else.
Remnants of a large soil delivery outside the old built in BBQ...still not sure what to do with this area?
Our house is 50 years old and many of it's features are original, including most of the landscaping! There are lots of poorly positioned trees, overgrown patches of shrubs and weeds and pool tiling which has suffered from subsidence over the years.
Greenfingers couldn't collect our bag this month, as their access was blocked with rubbish and soil! lol
There is a lot of potential, BUT there is a lot of work to be done before we even get close to reaching that potential. Being seven months pregnant, I'm afraid I haven't been much help physically in the work being done outside for the last few weeks, but I have been very supportive and tried to keep a supply of snacks and drinks going for Taff as he toils outside in the rain and sunshine. :)
Clearing out the garden
We have had some high points and low points, which I may expand on at another time, but at the moment our property looks like a dumpsite. A couple of days ago I decided to walk around with my camera and snap some of the landscaping chaos that surrounds us at the moment, just to share with you. :)
Mini piles of rubbish, waiting for the skip to arrive
Taff has been slowly gathering piles of rubbish and green waste, strategically placed around the yard in anticipation of the large rubbish skip we plan to order for the coming weekend! I LOVE getting skips and there is something so satisfying about throwing out your rubbish and having it driven away a couple of days later. :)

This little pile has been here for about 18 months (blush)
We have had a family working bee, builders working on a new fence (I will share that story another time!), tiles being painted, new grass seed sown and tomorrow these ugly little babies (trees at the front of our property) will be gone forever as they face the chop from the experts! I can't wait to come home and see them gone, ready for the next project...a front fence and driveway gates.
Major tree work to start tomorrow!
In the meantime, enjoy the photos of all the mess. I am sure they will make you feel like your backyard isn't as messy as you once thought! lol. :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Christmas Card Organising

I know that Christmas has well and truly gone and we are now two weeks into the new year...but I thought I would share my method for storing Christmas cards.
Being a school teacher, I receive a lot of cards every year and they are all very special to me. Some of the words my students and their families have written have brought tears to my eyes and I cherish these and wanted to find a way to store them securely.
Every year I have bundled them up and placed them into my Christmas storage box but this year I found a better solution. My scrapbooking hero, Becky Higgins, has produced these fantastic pocket pages which fit into your standard 12"x12" album and are PERFECT for storing all your precious cards.
I simply labelled them with the year, added a cute Christmas tag and that was it. I have now added the pocket to the end of the December section of my 2011 Project Life album and all my special Christmas cards have been saved to enjoy in the coming years. :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bump Update: 25 Weeks

I am not a fan of photos of myself these days but after going through two pregnancies with virtually no photos of me in my pregnant state, I thought I better bite the bullet and at least start taking the odd shot every now and again. It is hard to believe that I am virtually in my sixth month of pregnancy now! I remember the time passing by so slowly when I was pregnant for the first time and now that we are on number three, life is a lot busier and time seems to fly by. I have made a few personal observations after being pregnant this time around. The last time I was expecting a baby I was in my 20's and now that I am well into my 30's, I can definitely feel the difference! I have a lot more aches and pains to contend with this time and I am pretty sure I have been waddling for the last few weeks. At least it feels like I have!
 On the plus side, I have only put on about 2-3kg so far but I imagine that number will increase a lot in the next few weeks. With Rosie and Harry I gained about 7-8kg all up and I am hoping for the same this time. Thankfully, my morning sickness has well and truly gone and I don't need to be eating every few minutes to keep the nausea at bay. I am also able to stay up a lot later than I did in the first 18 weeks so it looks like my 'night owl' tendencies have returned. This little Bubble likes to kick me a lot and I never tire of the feeling. I am cherishing each and every kick, knowing that once the baby arrives, I will miss that feeling. So that is where I am at! 25 weeks down and a few more to go. :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Donna Hay's Mango and Banana Gelato Recipe

I am a huge fan of Australian author and food stylist, Donna Hay. At the moment her Fast, Fresh and Simple television series is screening here in New Zealand and I have fallen in love with this delicious, simple summer recipe.
It is a super easy to make, very healthy and although I don't really like mangos on their own, I LOVE them in this recipe! Rosie and I decided to make this after we had some leftover mango at Christmas and we were able to make this together with minimal fuss and effort.
Donna Hay's Mango and Banana Gelato
2 bananas chopped (We used three as we wanted a more banana flavour)
3 mangos chopped (We used one as that is all we had!)
280 grams thick, natural (sweetened or unsweetened, depending on your tastes) or vanilla yoghurt
 That is it! As you can see, you can adapt your quantities quite easily with this recipe, depending on what you have.
1. Place the banana and mango in a sealed container and freeze for 2–3 hours or until frozen. Place the frozen fruit and yogurt in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Serve immediately or place in a sealed container and freeze. After freezing allow to soften for 5 minutes before serving.
This is a great guilt-free alternative to ice-cream and has the taste of summer. Give it a go!