Thursday, November 19, 2015

Waiheke Island getaway

A while back in Mae and I were treated to an amazing overnight trip to Waiheke Island. Our beautiful friend Brylee had entered a newspaper competition and won! Oh lucky we were that she chose us to join her for her getaway. Squeezed between Mr.Fox's Dad coming to stay and cublet's birthday celebration the island break was just what the doctor ordered,

Just the girls!
From the moment we hopped on to the ferry we enjoyed the spoils of living the high life. With everything paid for and organised we could relish a good girly catch up. There was a small hiccup with the accommodation but it was quickly sorted. Our place for the night was at the luxury Enclosure Bay B&B. Our apartment was beautiful, spacious with incredible views.

Mae's second high tea!

We dined out at the Oyster Bay Inn that evening then all snuggled up in the giant bed for the night. Mae thought it was great fun to share the bed with both Mum and Aunty Brylee! We woke to a cloudy and windy morning but it was perfect for exploring the little shops and art galleries. The highlight of our trip would have to the high tea lunch at Batch Winery. Oh I do adore the specialness and of course deliciousness of a high tea!

 After a whirlwind tour of the winery we headed back down the to the ferry....and back to the simple life. Gosh it was wonderful to be treated to such an incredible getaway. A memorable holiday with a cherished friend. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


The garden has been oh so generous with blooms this year. To my delight I have been able to create a posie whenever we visit a friend, for birthday ladies and to brighten our home. I love that the garden has got to that stage where plants are becoming established and happy.

It really is a cottage garden in the sense that there is riot of mis-matched colour, no particular formal scheme. Lots of different textures and foliage that combines into the most unexpected way when gathered together for a little arrangement. Harvesting vegetables is very satisfying but oh how my heart sings in those moments when I can create a small handful of happiness. 

As children we had a beautiful book about a small girl who learns to make tussie mussies. I loved that book. Mum and a few of her green fingered friends would always take a little posie or tussie mussie when visiting....I think I'll be following in their footsteps.

Little petals and buds, layered round and round with silvery leaves. Fragrant blooms and aromatic herbs weaving together to create sweet perfumes. Small moments of meditative creation. An easy craft that blends my love tending the garden and crafting. A simple and heartfelt way to express gratitude and love.

Party for our Darling

It was such good fun to celebrate our little girls first trip around the sun with beloved family and friends. To laugh and eat on a Spring day while the little ones played. Mae had a wonderful day and was thoroughly spoiled with gifts and love.

Opening gifts from Mummy and Daddy
I had been dreaming up a woodland/spring celebration over a few months and had sent invitations out early. A little planning went a long way to make the day more enjoyable. The food was wholesome and simple. I gathered decorations from around the house; bunting that adorned the trees and tents for our wedding, christmas decorations, vintage tablecloths from the linen cupboard and vases. A few brought paper butterflies and some balloons added to the festive feel.  

The plum tree that overhangs our fence burst into flower right on cue and a few branches were trimmed to bring a bit of nature to the courtyard. We picked flowers from my garden and my sister arranged these just perfectly in little glass vases and bottles on the tables.  Some of these flowers were from the plants that once grew in my mother's garden which was a bit special. 

The cake in progress
My sister helped me bake up a storm the day before the party and kept little Mae happy as I worked. It was such fun working together, especially now that we are such a great team. Oh what a special blessing it is to have such a wonderful sister.

My Dad flew up and helped set up the party room, helping with jobs like cutting blossom branches, sticking butterflies to poles and other jobs I'm sure he thought were crazy!

Our cousin Emma made some beautiful mini cupcakes and an extra special 'smash' cake adorned with butterflies. She and Roman helped amuse Mae and hang decorations. It was a real family affair and we couldn't have pulled off such a fun afternoon without such great help.

Poppa buttering bread for sandwiches and fairy bread
As our friends and family started to arrive we made last minute tweaks and set out the food. All the decor, planning and food came together beautifully. We had a wonderful time chatting and eating. The children played with the toys and the sun shone. There was a cool breeze but it was warm enough that we could use the outdoor courtyard at the venue. Mae was a little shy at first but soon warmed up and enjoyed herself. 

Vintage tablecloths, fresh flowers and polka-dots

Friends gathered under the bunting

Poppa Don playing with the little guests 

It was a special moment lighting the candle on her cake. A hedgehog cake made from the recipe that my mum cooked for us children. A chocolate cake that is not too rich and always fluffy. Chocolate peanuts for his wee eyes and chocolate buttons for prickles; Mr hedgehog looked very cute indeed. It was an idea I had seen on pinterest that looked not too hard to replicate. As the candle glowed and everyone sang Happy Birthday I could have nearly burst with joy. Mae surrounded by so much love is a feeling I will always cherish. 
Happy Birthday Moment

The smash cake was a bit of fun. It was almost too beautiful to let Mae destroy. After not too much encouragement Mae squished her chubby little hands into the icing! It was so funny to watch. I don't think she could quite believe her luck. She got covered in icing and had a blast. What a fun memory for her to look back on. 

Beautiful cake with tiny butterflies
We kept gifts from Mummy and Daddy to a minimum knowing that our family would probably be quite generous! They do love to spoil Miss Mae. We tend to buy bits and bobs throughout the year and put some thought into what we choose. We gave her a Belle and Boo plate, cup, bowl and cutlery; both gorgeous and useful (something she needs). 

As for something to read we brought the delightful Roadworks and Demolition books by Sally Sutton. Two books I adored reading to children when Nannying. Such fantastic rhyme and rythm. The illustrations are vibrant and realistic. I would recommend these for any child in your life.

We added a hedgehog, skunk, wolf, badger and baby gorilla to her Schliech collection. These are already loved and added to baskets for adventures. They provide some relief to sore gums and cutting teeth too. Bonus! We counted these as her want.

Her something to wear we added our favourite vegan moccasins to her shoe drawer. Liam and Isabella Vegan Leather Moccasins on etsy make high quality and comfortable shoes for wee ones.

It felt good to give high quality and ethical gifts to Mae. We hope that she and her future siblings will get much joy from these things as I'm sure they will endure the test of rough and tumble; and frequent use.