Where has the time gone?

I can’t believe my last post was almost two years ago… or can I? It’s been so busy. As my Ollie points out regularly, my babies aren’t babies any longer… 3.5 and 2! Yikes. Ollie is now a big kindy boy and Evie is talking and acts 2 going on 5. I can begin to understand why people say these are the best years and to cherish them. Don’t they give the best cuddles at this age, their short arms wrap right around your neck and cheek to cheek they cuddle you like they really mean it! Evie’s a spitting image of me at her age, and Ollie of Ed.

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The big day preparations…

evie in velvet dress

Christmas preparations in our house start in early November with my tree… yes I know its FAR TOO EARLY, but I can’t resist bursting open the lid of my wooden sea chest and hauling out the sparkly decorations; many of which I collected in far away places on my travels. My favourite decoration suppliers have been Liberty’s in London and Myers in Sydney. I love the atmosphere that the twinkly lights give off at night in our lounge. It was a surprise when Ollie seemed ambivalent to it this year. I was delighted to avoid having to fence it off from his attention. This year the decorations are red, silver and white (i’ve too many decorations to fit on only 2/3rds of the tree).


Evie is loving the twinkling lights. Of course it’s her first Christmas this year and rather last minute this week I realised that she needed a decoration for her on the tree to remember it by. Here is the decoration I made her which is part bought and part hand-stitched.


The stockings are hung from our mantel for the first time this year. Here is an earlier post describing them, although I still need to add our names to each.


door decorations copyI made these decorations to hang from the kids doors this Christmas. I found the cute decorations in Kircaldies (Wellington) and added their names using a twink pen. Super quick and easy:) The only problem is they rattle when I try to sneak in and out of their rooms. But they seem to have become accustomed to the noise now, thankfully.

IMG_2404As I write this post I’m feeling very Christmasy and relaxed. I’m enjoying my first glass of wine in three years… Man it tastes good:) I just LOVE that my baby girl sleeps reliably through the night now which affords me this nightcap:)

Ed just scoffed the last piece of our massive Christmas cake that I baked a month ago (left). It’s a shameful record for us; 3 days out from Christmas and its ALL gone. How bad are we! He asks ‘can I make another one’ – yeah, next year:)

I baked some other goodies for gifts this year which I packaged up tonight in cellophane bags… chocolate and almond oat cookies, berry brownie and almond cookies (above). I’ve still to make jars of lemon curd tomorrow if the kids nap.

I also found some time this week to make these Christmas meringue wreaths from the Donna Hay magazine (see previous post). Although I didn’t have any white vinegar so I used raspberry vinegar, which although tastes delicious!, discolored the meringue. They’re quite fragile so I decided to cellophane them both to protect them and to make it quick and easy to add them to the table as place settings with names added.


I had some fun taking pictures of the kids in Santa hats a few weeks back. Evie’s not yet sitting up so makes it hard to get a picture of her without an adult propping her safely up.

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Creative mums

20 DECEMBER 2014

My mum is very clever and has always been a creative spirit. She’s the one that has taught me how to do a lot of the things I make, especially knitting, stitching, cooking and gardening.

Hayley with parents - May 1979 When I was a baby my mum embroidered several nightgowns for me and smocked a cute top. She kept them all these years for me to see and share with my children.

Me in nightie at 4 months

We tried them on Evie last month when she was the same age as I was when I wore them (in the photos above) and i think she looks soooo cute. Mum designed the smock top to have flared sleeves which was very trendy for a baby back then:) Evie had fun eating them… I think Evie and I look quite alike as babies in these photos…

IMG_2436 IMG_7545 IMG_7543

Below is a single I embroidered when I was 18! It’s still a little big for Evie at the moment but will be perfect this summer. I’m looking forward to teaching Evie some creative skills if she’s interested.


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A little Christmas bunny for Evie

20 DECEMBER 2014

Back in June I blogged about a new knitted toy pattern that I’d just purchased from ‘little cotton rabbit’. Last month I finished knitting Evie’s elephant and a second festive rabbit just in time to tuck inside her stocking. I’m not sure if I should stop here or buy the new fox or mouse pattern I see Julie’s released. What do you think? How many knitted toys does one little girl need I hear you saying:) Ooooohhh but I’m soooo tempted; they’re so fun to make:) The dresses are interchangable so a few more toys would make sense as I’ve made five dresses so far.

xmas bunny IMG_7631

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Generational portraits

all four collaged - smaller

20 DECEMBER 2014

I saw this cool idea on Pinterest. It’s taken me a year to get this portrait series finished but I’m so pleased with the result. The kids have two great grandma’s, two Nana’s and two grandads between them and I think it’s important that they’re reminded by these pictures everyday that they’re the next generation and loved by us all.


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Big brother, little sister


20 DECEMBER 2014

Our baby boy’s growing up so fast! In a month he’ll be 2! It’s such a fun age. He’s starting to skip his daytime sleep; like today. Ed and I are out in the garden and our babies are in bed asleep, or so we thought. Next thing I hear a very loud ‘Muuuuuuummmmmm’ and we turn around and Ollie’s standing up in his cot, has reached out very far and pulled his curtain right back and is grinning away at us through the window onto the garden. He was desperate to come outside and help. We both laughed as he kept shouting until I went inside and got him:).

RUNNING AT STAGLANDSAt 23 months he can say ‘Hi’ ‘Ham’ ‘muck(milk)’ ‘open’ ‘up’ ‘yeah’ ‘mum’ ‘dadda’ ‘nana’.

big brother

OliverEDIT 6x4IMG_7730But the thing I love the most about him is his sensitivity and how besotted he is with his sister. It’s gorgeous to watch how gentle and affectionate he is with her. If she is crying he has to make sure I’m aware by pointing or running to get me. When she had her vaccines he cried as hard as her!

The first thing he wants to do in the morning is see her and give her a big cuddle and a kiss. I have to laugh at the face she has begun to pull when he goes in for his kiss. She’s had enough time to learn that his kisses are really more like a face mash and a head of hair in her eyes! She smiles at him all the time and her eyes trail around to see where the noisy little boy has gone:)

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Wishing you a very merry Christmas

19 December 2014

Here is the design of our 2014 Christmas card. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe the big day is less than a week away now:) FUN:) It’s a shame Ollie’s hand is in front of his face, but he hadn’t quite finished the end of his cream horn and wouldn’t be rushed:)

Fuller card - revised


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Celebrating Evie and Ollie’s christening

IMG_773719 December 2014

Last month Ollie and Evie were christened at my grandmother’s church. She sings in the choir at St James (pictured with Evie below). It was a beautiful and very memorable ceremony for us all. Afterwards my family and close friends celebrated with us over cake and tea. Thankfully the sun shone and the kids could run around and play in the garden.

In the weeks leading up to the day I was very busy baking and freezing then it was only a matter of icing in the days before. Actually it was a real family effort with my mum and sister making creamed horns and chocolate eclairs and my grandma and sister-in-law making asparagus rolls and savouries.

I was thrilled that my David Austin roses were in full bloom and I could pick a few to decorate the table and not leave the garden deserted.

IMG_7704IMG_7689I made a christening cake for each and loved how they turned out especially as I didn’t have a lot of time to play around with ideas or practice.

I adorned both cakes with a string of bunting, ribbons and Sylvanian figurines. On top of Ollie’s double layer carrot cake I balanced two little boy figures alongside the bunting sticks. On top of Evie’s double layer lemon cake I placed a bassinet containing a baby bunny figurine along with some roses picked from my garden. I circled the base of Ollie’s cake with Hershey’s kisses and sugar roses were added to the frilly bottom layer of Evie’s cake.

IMG_2543IMG_2498Before we’d even begun, it all got a bit much for our baby girl who fell asleep right after I finished dressing her in the family christening gown. I think she looks like such an angel sleeping this way:)

Here she is pictured with her proud great grandma.



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Bye bye pink bathroom

19 December 2014

We said our final farewells to our original 1950s pink bathroom just a few short weeks before Evie was born. The original ceramic pedestal basin and toilet were installed in someone’s bathroom in Tauranga (thanks TradeMe). As for the pink enamel bath; that’s destined for my dad’s deck!

pink bathroom - edited 6x4inIMG_7969It was so fun shopping for new tiles and fittings. It was less fun trying to have everything installed and running before Evie was born. The weeks were flying by so quickly. You see her room is just next door and I didn’t think the disruptions of renovating would suit a newborn neighbour. Ollie’s been busy testing the waterproofing with his epic splash sessions and Evie’s now finally outgrown her tiny baby bath and has migrated up to join us in the huge corner bath.


IMG_7973Ed and I are in agreement that the underfloor heating was our best decision in renovating this room. My favourite purchase was the wall hung sink. Ed’s favourite purchase was the art he chose (Tin Man series by Tony Cribb). His most hated purchase was the toilet, whose seat constantly shifts sideways over time much like a microwave plate gets knocked off its rollers! Although the latter is less hassle to adjust. As he keeps saying, ‘it’s not like it was even a cheap toilet’! Ah well, you can’t get it right all the time, especially shopping with toddlers in tow:)



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Evie almost 3 months old!

EvieEDIT18 December 2014

IMG_7181IMG_7207I’ve always heard that people take less photos of their second baby than they do their first and I can see why… there’s never much time with two underfoot. But I’d hate Evie to miss out on seeing how she grew so I’m making a conscious effort to take as many photos and videos of Evie as I have Ollie.

IMG_7198These are some of my favourite photos of Evie in her first two months. 

Sometimes I feel like she’s growing too quickly. I saw this cute idea one day on pinterest to photograph her curled up on a fluffy white blanket inside a plain wooden wreath so she looked like she was in a nest. The problem was, by the time I tried to set up the shot she’d outgrown the idea and there was no comfortable way she was going to fit inside the wreath! Just as well I had an old suitcase that she still fit (top right)! I love this angle (right), it reminds me so often of how I see her sleeping on me when I look down at her!

details collage - 17 weeksdetails collage - 23 weeks

When Ollie was a few months old I used to set up photo shoots every few weeks to record small changes in him and then collage these for his scrapbook.

This is the product of Evie’s 11 week photoshoot…

details collage - 11 weeks

This one shows how small she is in reference to the size of her dolls ~

IMG_7347  IMG_7351

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