Saturday, August 30, 2014

raukohe and georgia got married!

i did my first wedding today! raukohe and georgia got married on a beach lookout in falcon with just their immediate family and 2 close friends there. it was exactly the way a wedding should be, private and intimate.

i have know georgias family for a very long time (in fact - our grandmothers were friends) and was thrilled to be able not only be there, but snap away during the ceremony. the colours she had looked perfect at the beach... it was just lovely.

i have to admit, i was worried, with big dark clouds looming, and georgia even having to wait in the car for a little while before being able to walk to the lookout arm in arm with her dad... but the rain thankfully stopped after a few minutes so the ceremony could go ahead.

and the light stayed perfect! there is nothing better than rain and clouds to help make a good picture, so personally i think she should be glad it was raining haha!

we had a great time on the beach afterwards, taking a few shots.. which turned out beautifully!

congrats raukohe and georgia!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

niques is outtie...

my beautiful sister in law has taken off back to brisbane to put her mission papers in and embark on her next adventure... and i don't know how to feel about it. she joined us a week before madeline's first birthday to look after her while i returned to work... now two years have come and gone and she's outta here.

she's been a pleasure to have, she adores the babies (and she and madeline are of course besties after spending so much time together...) and was always willing to help with whatever i needed. i know i'll miss her so much, especially late at night when we used to watch movies, pinterest and gas bag until the wee hours of the morning, but it's time and i know there are other things she needs to do.

i had a few errands to run today, so took both the kids with me, so she could finish up packing and getting all the rest of her things together, but came home to a completely vacuumed house, a cleaned bathroom (including the toilets - we all know that's the worst job ever...) and mirrors, with dinner cooking on the stove and her busily washing the dishes. what a legend. i have no idea how i am going to live without her.

i am going to miss you like crazy, you minga. but i love you and i'll see you soon.

peace out and god bless. x

Monday, August 25, 2014

felt banner hack

disclaimer to begin - i in no way own this picture, total possession belongs to homely creatures. i simply have a friend who upon seeing this banner featured in a competition on instagram fell in love, but was a bit short on cash, so i decided to make my own version - for her.  i think it's a cute idea and all credit to them for the inspiration, in fact if you want your own, please go and buy one here! they are a very reasonable price for how much work goes into them... but if you too are a little short on cash, feel free to follow my instructions and diy!

you will need - half a metre of felt on the roll, available from all large craft/sewing stores (i went to lincraft) most places will measure slightly larger than the 50cm so that you definitely get the amount you've asked for, so mine wound up being about 30cms wide. i simply folded the piece into 4 and then cut into pieces, then evened up the edges with my scissors also.

grab a piece of chalk and start drawing the outline of your letters onto the felt. they don't look even? not a worry - as you can see from the original, not all letters are the same size and are slightly higgledy piggledy. once you are happy with your outlines, grab your sewing scissors, poke into the felt and cut around each letter, then use a dampened cloth to wipe off any excess.

i've then made a slight hem at the top and pushed through some wire, to make sure the felt doesn't sag and just sewn a straight line across the bottom for the same reason. to hang, add a piece of coloured string (poke a hole and thread through) or use 3m strips if you're renting (thus the lack of string on all the ones pictured!)

i am very much hoping that they are enjoyed by the two little men they are off to... but this is the beauty of the internet. like something you see? make your own version! all it takes is a little inspiration and makeshift materials and you're well on your way to having your own! now off you go and make your own.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


these kids are besties, no doubt. i frequently find maddie 10cms away from wherever i have left joseph chatting away to him, passing him toys, smiling at him and giggling away, which he now does back. she is obsessed with making him laugh, which makes my heart so, so happy. 

when he was smaller she would always take his dummy away so she could lay next to him and get close to him. it would be so hard to get her away from him. she still loves to have him close and will always check his bed a million times when she is waiting for him to wake up, cause "he wants to play with me!" she also reminds me over and over that he's crying when i can't rush straight to him. thanks love, i have my own ears...

i really hope they remain close as they make each other so happy.

i saw this beautiful frame necklace for sale online at the lovely bird (a gorgeous store on the sunshine coast in queensland - can't wait to check it out when we are over for a few days on our way back from samoa next month) and snapped it up with the thoughts of putting a pic of my babies in it. i could not have wished for a better picture and i am stoked to be able to wear them close to my heart.

i love them both - and am so glad they love each other. ♥

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Joseph is six months old!

time flies when you're having fun! this monkey is now six months old and is so happy... all the time. we had an osteopath appointment this week and they were so happy with him that we don't need to go back. he is healthy, eats well - lots of milk and some fruit/vegetable puree with rice cereal and water once a day. he seems happy with that - and certainly looks more than healthy! he is snuggly and cuddly and lovely and chubby.

his eyes never changed colour and are still a beautiful bright blue, much to everyone's amazement... i still think they were all expecting another madeline. he loves to look around and babble whilst you walk around him. he also loves to blow raspberries at us and giggle.


he has also just started (the day before six months) to roll over on his own... although i suspect he probably could have a lot sooner had he had the room... he's be thrashing about for weeks, but because he's still sleeping in the bassinet in our room, he's not had a lot of space to practice in.

joseph likes to sit up and watch everything (in case he misses anything that's happening around him!!) so loves to be in his bumbo a lot of the time... chewing his teething ring and squeaking sophie giraffe. we've also found out during the last month that when he's upset he will start to say over and over mummmmm mummm mummm mum-mum-mummmm. boom! first word was me this time around. i feel so loved.

we love this face and especially those eyes. he has fitted right into our little family, and i can't imagine life without him! x

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

photo love

i am obsessed with taking pictures. obsessed. i know some people like to to take photos of landscapes and nature and animals and all that... but i love to take photos of people. 

all. the. time.

i have had some awesome fun taking shots of family and friends lately... getting to sit and edit them and be creative with cropping and colours and most of all turning things to black and white! i love that a not-so-good photo can be transformed into something amazing with a few clicks... it's the best.

but i must admit, i feel really sorry for people who took photos in the past, because they didn't have any of the wonderful tools we do - and also didn't have to chance to take a pile of shots and choose the best.

more photos coming your way... stay tuned!! 

p.s. that scarf is totally coming my way from - going to be my lucky photo taking scarf haha.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

analeah's blessing day

i love this family. so much. our friends aitu and melinda had their adorable baby girl analeah blessed today. in our church babies are given a name and a blessing when they are just a few months old - very similar to a christening really.

mel and her girls, who looked so sweet dressed in white for the occasion.

it's so sweet to see how much ngawai loves her new baby sister! ♥

mel and baby analeah

daddy aitu, who loves his girls (all three of them!) so much. 
such a sweet family!

one happy family!

and to finish it off, my favourite shot. i am so obsessed with black and white pics and seriously think this is the sweetest. love you guys! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

wade and deb are getting married!

my dear friend vivienne's son wade is getting married! he and his girlfriend deborah got engaged a week and a bit ago... and viv asked me if i would take a few pictures of them when we were down in baldivis for family dinner sunday.

wade has just returned in april from his mission in the sapporo, japan mission and was keen to have engagement pictures done - as apparently it's traditional there.

lucky for him, his bride to be was quite obliging... so we had a good time down at a local reserve.

so here we are ladies and gentlemen...

i present to you... wade & deb 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

serenata de amor cake

i spent 2001 on student exchange in brazil. i lived in a city called natal, 6 degrees off the equator - where is was always hot and very hot. i didn't always love it, in fact - most of the year was spent wishing that i could go home... i didn't see eye to eye with my host family and ended up having to change, just a few months before i was due to return to australia. i can honestly day that i really struggled. with homesickness, with the language, with my host family, making friends and with most of the food. there are some things that i really and truly loved... my second host family, the laid back lifestyle, the constant music and chatter, and the friendliness of those i came to know well (but to be honest, there wasn't really a lot of those either...)

but i learnt so much. i learnt that life is what you make it. you can be in what seems to be the worst situation in the world and still find peace. you can be miserable and find hope and you can be far away from your family, and become closer to them. i learnt that people aren't always who they claim to be, that the people you trust can betray you... but those who defend you and lift you up will remain a friend no matter how much time goes by between conversations.

but enough on that... one of the foods i adored in brazil was a chocolate bon bon (wrapped chocolate) called a serenata de amor. it's a cashew cream centre, with a wafer coating, dipped in chocolate. i had always liked them and would buy them on the odd occasion, but never imagined that i would ever have one again, until i found them this week in the local international food store kakulas sister, that's about 500m from our house! i snapped up a box and enjoyed a few... before wondering if i could possibly find the recipe for the cake i've had made with them. 

there was a cafe a km or so from my home in brazil, that sold a cake made with the serenata de amor chocolates making part of the filling. it was incredible!!! but i had never had it anywhere other than this cafe, so i didn't know who to ask about it... so i asked my friend mr. google. who actually came up with a recipe, in english, on an australian website. so i gave it a whirl.
(recipe can be found here)

serenata de amor cake
base 1/2 pack arrowroot biscuits  200g roasted peanuts 50g butter 1/2 can condensed milk 200mls milk
filling 3 cups milk 2/3 cup of icing sugar 4 tablespoons cornflour 3 egg yolks 20 bonbons (i used 15 and the remainder for topping)
icing 3/4 cup milk 1 tablespoon cocoa 3 teaspoons sugar 1 tablespoon butter
directions: pastry: mix the peanuts and biscuits in a food processor then place in a bowl and add the butter, condensed milk and milk. Spread the mixture in a cake tray (i used a springform tin) and bake for 5 minutes (more like 7-8). filling: in a pan, mix milk, icing sugar, cornflour and egg yolks. cook on low heat stirring constantly until it thickens. place the chocolate bonbons on the base and pour the filling mixture over it. cover the cake with cling wrap and leave it in the fridge till cold. icing: In a pan, mix milk, chocolate powder, sugar and butter. allow to boil until it thickens. (this is where I ran into a problem. it did not thicken. at all. i eventually had to add a teaspoon and a bit of cornflour to thicken the topping.) leave it to cool down.  before serving , spread the chocolate icing and decorate with bonbon pieces.

 so my verdict? it's not the cake. which is a giant pity. but it wasn't bad. the base was amazing! so yummy. i am considering that may actually be a good go-to option from now on when i am making a biscuit base for a cake/cheesecake and the likes. the middle was good and the amount of bonbons i used more than sufficient. but the icing was yuck. wasn't sweet enough and would not thicken - and the cornflour made it not as smooth. i followed the directions perfectly, so i would say there's an ingredients missing. i think next time i'll go for a chocolate ganache instead of what the recipe says. but there will definitely be a next time. it was well received by it's audience... and dominique (who got to enjoy it as her birthday cake at family dinner in baldivis) loved it the most. phew!

i would say on the whole that makes it a success. 7/10 ♥

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

sister-in-law hits twenty-five

happy birthday to my favourite and my best... dominique! you were just a crusty teenager when we met all those years ago but i have been able to watch you grow up and i am so freaking proud of the absolutely awesome person you have become. madeline and joseph are so blessed to have their cool aunty living with us... and doug and i feel blessed each and every day to have you here. thank you today and always, for all you do. love you more than you'll ever know. you're way better than a real sister. xx

i posted this on instagram and facebook for my sister in law this morning. she's twenty-five and i can hardly even get over it. it seems like just yesterday that i met this shy little girl that was my new boyfriends little sister. i've loved her from the beginning with her wicked sense of humour that only got better with age. she's like a real sister, we argue, we joke, she steals my things and i steal them back... and we all play nicely.

 i can hardly believe that she'll be leaving us soon (she arrived the week before maddie turned one) to serve a mission - it's been amazing having her here and i am going to miss her so much. maddie has learnt so much from her (mostly good things thankfully) because she is so clever and so good at whatever she puts her mind and talents to!

i love you niques - have the best birthday yet!

Monday, August 4, 2014

epiderm skincare

a few months ago a girlfriend of mine called me and asked me to this new product she had discovered. i of course said yes, (how could i possibly not trust her - she has been in the beauty industry for the last 13 years...) so she gave me above products which she swears will rid me of the ghastly stretch marks that master joseph has left me with. ever more annoying seeing as i didn't get a single one with madeline.

instructions were simple: apply the microdermabrasion scrub to damp skin and rub in circles until it dries out and begins to ball up and fall off. then once you have washed your skin and removed any remaining scrub, pat dry and apply the balm. so easy - and so worth the five minutes max that it takes out of my morning.

today marks 5 weeks since i began... and i'm converted - my skin is so smooth and although i am yet to compare my before and now photo - i swear my stretchmarks are lighter. i've also tried it on my face and after a good scrub and using the balm to follow - my skin felt amazing!

bianca is the sole distributor in australia... and i am sure she will do well, as it speaks for itself. i sent a few samples to a few other girlfriends, so i am curious to see what they have to say - although one of them has already bought the full pack after trying her samples.

if you're curious and want to try some for yourself (you can use it anywhere that your skin isn't the best... i even tried it on my terribly dry hands as a scrub!) there are sample packs (and of course the full kits) available online at do it! x