Things I'm Lovin'

WARNING: This post contains one medically explicit photo.  Please do not view if you get squeamish at body parts not attached to the body!  (Okay it's just a toe nail but it's still a bit gross)

This week I am so thankful for:
This awesome invention called the "Total Pillow" - I have finally bought something off the television infomercials!  It is amazing!  In this shape it can be a back support and I reckon it would also be great if you had piles or had just had a baby...

In this shape it's a neck support or a between the knees support when lying on your side.

This one is for front support when lying on your tummy reading.  I also use it like this for a napping pillow.

Or simply twist for a lumbar's magic!

Also loving and very grateful for these...

while recovering after doing...
this!  Yes I managed to whip this baby right off with a door while at work today.  Several hours later, after a docs visit, I am feeling very sore and also a bit brave.
Very much looking forward to meeting all these characters.  I have heard so much about the series and my good friend Rebecca has lent me the first two seasons for some winter entertainment this year.

Finally I am most definitely loving these new trainers!  Bought on Amazon for 60% off and arrived in under a week.  Love, love, love.
Have a fantastic weekend everyone.  I think I might have to start that series early while I convalesce.  Anyone wanna join?

Linking in with Paisley Jade.

Never Too Old To Learn Something New

Disclaimer:  Sorry no pics - I am in the middle of moving and using a camera is in the too hard basket this week.  Cheers.

Not that I'm THAT old, but I have been learning lots about Blogger, thanks to my friend Weza.  I have learned how to join linkies, allowing me to join in with Paisley Jades "Things I'm Loving" link.  I have also FINALLY changed to the new Blogger interface, which is so cool and much more easier to use.  Thanks Weza!

So the thing I love the most is checking out the stats and seeing who is reading my blog.  This month I have had visits from people in Latvia - "Sveiki", Turkey - "Selam", Russia - "Здравствуйте (Zdravstvujte)", Germany - "Guten Tag", Australia - "Gidday", America - "Howdy y'all" (I know you don't all speak like that!) and New Zealand - "Wassup".  It blows me away that I can have a connection with people from all over the world at the click of a button.  It is really so exciting, especially for a traveler like me.  So, paldies, teşekkürler, Спасибо (Spasiba), ta mate, thank you, and chur to you all.

Things I'm Loving

So much to be thankful for...
Chicken drumsticks marinated in coconut flavoured evaporated milk and Tikka Masala Curry Paste, then grilled on the barbie.  Mmmmm adds something special to a standard meal.

Finishing my holiday jigsaw - Wasjig.  I call it the 'Nek Minnut' jigsaw.  Naughty Jimmy not eating his brussel sprouts!

Nek Minnut...all chaos breaks loose!  Now Jimmy has decided brussel sprouts aren't too bad!

Banana strong and sturdy for house moving!
And finally...this guy.  His favourite thing to do during the day is look out the window at the birds and make little mewing noises while his tail twitches.  Soooooo cute!
Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Linking in with Paisley Jade.
Check out what she and heaps of others are loving!

A Bit of Blah

In cruise mode here in sunny Christchurch.  Normally I would be away camping or such but Kevvy is doing a summer course and so we are here.  I could go away on my own but I miss him too much!  "Awwww" I hear you all say!  So instead I have been pottering at home and catching up with friends.  It has been so nice to not be tied to routine.

My good friend Rebecca and me cafeing it up.

Loved this cushion at the cafe - especially taken for Paisley Jade!

My pantry purge has gone well.  Check it out!


I loved the challenge of getting creative and adapting recipes to suit what I have on hand.  Tonight's meal is chicken drumsticks marinated in Coconut Evaporated Milk and Tikka Masala paste.  I might do a post on it if I can be bothered taking photos later.

I have a new haircut with a really thick fringe and I am having so much fun with it.  I was imagining a 'rock chick' style (think Chrissy Heines), cos I am secretly a bit of a rock chick on the inside.  But actually I have renamed my fringe style the vintage fringe because I have noticed several bloggers of vintage blogs with the same fringe.  Kev reckons I look like Zooey Deschanel.

 Can't see it myself but I'll accept his view on this one!

Anyway, check out my new style. 
The Rock Chick Look

I have been having fun trying new styles and I wanted to share this one.  I call it the 'birds nest'.  I felt quite pretty and summery with this style.  I love the variety of styles I can have.

I bought some Croc jandels on sale and I tell you, it's like walking on clouds!  But I have to admit, I'm a Crocs snob - never thought I'd ever own a pair - and wanted a bit more or a stylish look so I just added some bling over the labels and...ta dah!

 Lastly, I love doing a jigsaw in the holidays.  It's a great way to relax and can actually be quite social.  Most people can't resist sitting together to put a few pieces in.  I was hankering for a good jigsaw but hadn't found one I liked.  Amazingly someone was reading my mind and I got this Wasjig for a late Christmas present!

This is the scene and we have to make up the picture of what happens next.  Little Jimmy refuses to eat his brussel sprouts - don't know why, brussel sprouts are delicious!  He throws his veges around, and one sprout lands under a waitress' foot.  I call it the 'Nek Minnut' jigsaw.

Nek Minnut so far...This is what we have achieved with a few friends over a few glasses of wine and some good music.

 I must remember to show you the finished product.  I don't know why the female characters in Wasjigs always have to have big breasts.  It brings back a funny memory of a time when Weza and I flatted together and were working on a Wasjig which we eventually aborted because it was just so jolly rude, we couldn't carry on!  Especially with Weza's then 10 year old son floating around *suddenly feeling really old cos he turns 21 soon*!  Do you remember Weza?

Well after finishing this long post, I have some questions for you all:

What do you like to do to relax in the holidays?
Are you a Crocs snob, or Crocs lover?
What are you having for dinner tonight?
What is a hairstyle you would love to have that brings out the inner you?


Pantry Purge Day 3

I have an unbelievably large amount of cans of creme of chicken soup.  Hmmmm....maybe they were on special?  A 2 for 1 deal?  I have the best recipe to use these up!

Curried Chicken Broccoli Bake

3C cooked chicken (great for leftover chicken from that roast)
180g cooked broccoli
420g can creme of chicken soup
2tsp curry powder
2Tblsp lemon juice
1/2C mayonnaise
3/4C grated cheese
1/2C breadcrumbs

Spread chicken and broccoli in a casserole dish.
Combine soup, curry powder, lemon juice, and mayo in a saucepan and bring to the boil.  If you need more sauce you can add milk.
Pour sauce over chicken and broccoli.
Combine cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top.
Bake uncovered in a moderate oven for about 10-15mins until cheese is melted and topping is golden brown.  Mmmm...this is sooooo delicious!  I great meal to have when people come for tea.  The lemon juice just makes it!  Serve with rice and steamed green beans.

Pantry Purge Day 2

Well, not exactly a pantry purge, more like using what I have at hand to take to a barbeque instead of going out and buy something.  Have I got flour? Check!  Have I got yeast? Check!  Have I got a small bit of cheese? Check!  Have I got butter? Check!  I can make the best ever bread that will make people go oooh aaaah!  I have made this bread heaps of times before and it is all kinds of deliciousness.  I originally got it from Sima J, and in her words, "Oh me, oh my!"

Cheesy Garlic Bread
300ml warm water
1 Tbsp dry yeast
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
3 ½ cups white flour
1 tsp salt
25g soft butter
2 cloves garlic or 2 tsp minced garlic
100g cheddar cheese, grated
Thyme leaves
Rock salt (optional)
Put warm water, yeast, oil and honey into a jug stir just to make all wet then leave to sit for 5-10mins till frothy.
Mix flour and salt together in a bowl. Make a well and pour in the wet mixture and mix till all combined. Knead for 5mins.
Stretch dough to fit a Swiss Roll tin or rectangular glass dish lined with cooking paper.
Mix garlic and butter dotting over the top of the dough. Sprinkle the thyme leaves and the cheese and rock salt.
Lightly cover the bread with cling film and leave to rise for about 2 hours.
Bake in oven at about 180-200C for 30mins.
Cheese can dribble over edge.


New Years Pantry Purge

After last nights rocky night I was rethinking my plans for a pantry purge to start the new year...but then I remembered the 3 boxes of food supplies in the garage.  Phew!  And so on I go.  Kev and I are looking to eradicate the last of our debt this year.  I think we are doing pretty well on one income but we would like to be completely debt free and this year we have set ourselves that target.  When I think about the amount I spend on food, I am amazed at the things I buy 'just in case', to ensure the pantry is fully stocked.  We are moving house in a couple of weeks so what better time to empty out the pantry than now?  The challenge: to buy as little as possible over the next two weeks and use what we have.  And I reckon I'll be surprised.

So, Day 1: I combined a couple of recipes I have read lately and made a Morrocan Chickpea Tomato dish - I haven't got a name for it but any suggestions are welcome!  I had all these things in the pantry except for the morrocan spice (hard to believe as I do have a HUGE range of spices).  Now, normally I would head down to the supermarket and buy this.  Instead, I got on the internet and found a recipe for making your own Moroccan Spice, which you can find here.  And it was delicious!

Morrocan Chickpea Tomato Thingy
2C diced roasted kumara
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp garlic
2tsp moroccan spice
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can diced or whole tomatoes
1C chicken stock (I use the powder and water kind, but any will do)

Dice kumara, drizzle with oil and roast in oven while preparing the rest.
Cook onion and garlic until soft.  Add spice mix and saute for 2 mins.  Add chickpeas, tomatoes and chicken stock.  Simmer for 15mins.  Take out kumara and stir through chickpea mixture.

Serve in bowls with plain yoghurt, chopped coriander, and warm turkish flat bread (leftover from last nights BBQ).  I was going to add spinach or silverbeet but my garden has gone to seed.  A salad might go well with this too.  I have also added cooked chicken before - yum!
So, what would you entitle this dish?

Thank You 2011

Happy New Year!  Last night we celebrated new years eve with two very good friends.  Wine, beer and cider was had, great food was consumed and we reminisced on the year that was.  When we got bored talking about earthquakes, hope and recovery, we settled down to watch a movie to see us in to midnight.  The evening was what it was and I have long since learned that having no expectations for new years eve night is the best way to go.  It is only with really good friends that you can be okay about not talking and watching a movie on what is deemed to be a night of epic celebrations!

Chatting with friends - ready for a baby ya think???

My very flash dessert complete with berries from our garden!

I am very grateful for the year that has been.  It has been full of the biggest challenges of my life and yet here I still am.  2011 forced me to face some areas in my life that have now built me into someone who is stronger, more authentic and self-caring.  So thank you 2011, as much as I am glad to see the back of you, I would not have changed a minute.