Saturday, 25 February 2012

Lazy summer days

Today was one of those blissful lazy summer days.  Well, I say lazy but we spent most of the morning doing chores around the house.  However there is something rather cathartic about cleaning and clearing away the clutter sometimes!  Sometimes…I really am the most appalling house-keeper…I can always find so many other interesting things I would rather do!
So apart from the busy morning, the afternoon saw all the residents of Cape Cottage just chilling out, relaxing and enjoying the sunshine!  I have quite a few new freckles to show for it, oh dear.

I took my journal out to the garden with a lovely cup of iced coffee (bliss!) and a new gift book I have being eager to read.  Little son decided he too would bring a book out to the garden and have a wee drink with me.  He has a bit of an obsession with bunny rabbits at the moment, possibly because I keep reading him the Peter Rabbit stories, but also I suspect due to the fact we have cut down on chocolate and yummy things in our house (hubby has started to affectionately call me ‘pudding’!) and my dear son knows the Easter Bunny brings chocolate!  Thus we have a bit of a bunny theme going these days. 

We even managed to fill a tiny wee bowl with strawberries from the garden; I fear they are probably the last ones we will get this season.  However, the lettuce in the garden is coming in like crazy so we will eat like rabbits instead, ha ha!
Our wild flower meadow - sadly my photography doesnt do the flowers much justice!

I’ve just had a lovely lavender bath and feel so relaxed and mellow…the first time in ages.  Only another 2 weeks till I get my test results, but I refuse to worry anymore.  I am going to live in the moment for a bit and practice mindfulness – it really must be better than worrying all the time!

Have a good week lovelies! xxx

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


I have always, and will always be, a complete romantic at heart.  I just can’t help myself.  I love romance and all that it encompasses!  My hubby, bless his heart, has always known this and so we have always made a big deal out of celebrating Valentine’s Day.  Then as fate would have it, the day we officially adopted our beloved son, was the 14th February.  So now Valentine’s Day is a family occasion and we celebrate it every year by doing something special. 
So being mad about baking and having men folk in my home who adore my cooking, I went out and bought lovely wee heart shaped baking pans and dishes with the intention of creating something really yummy to delight them. 

However, this year although we exchanged cards and gifts, hubby and I were to spend the day in the hospital while I underwent a rather unpleasant test to check for a sinister disease.  I was a complete basket case the day before and did not do the baking I had wanted to.  I felt like such a failure for letting my boys down.  Today I was a mess…crying, freaking out and very frightened.  But at the risk of sounding super pathetic and corny, the thing that got me through was love.  Hubby was there throughout most of the procedure, holding my hand, making terrible jokes and telling me about good times yet to come.  When I had to be alone, I thought of my little boy and how blessed I am to be his Mother.  I remembered his darling baby years and thought of all the little things I want to share with him while he is a child and as he grows up.  I know for me, the meaning of life is simple – its love.  It’s the greatest human experience that our life journey has to offer. 

Happy valentine's day dear friends!  May your life be filled with love...xxxx

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Island Bay Festival 2012

What a weekend!   The famiglia and I had an absolute blast at the Island Bay Festival.  Luckily the weather was lovely and sunny, so we watched the parade, enjoyed the variety show and wandered through the markets eating very naughty (but super yummy!) things like freshly caught and cooked calamari, followed by little donuts covered in cinnamon and sugar (divine!). 
I think one of my favourite things was the highland pipe band – there is nothing like the sound of one coming down the street – very moving!  My son delighted me, by telling me that the thing he loved best were the 'moving clowns' (not sure of the correct name) but they are a very vintage fairground attraction - the idea is to put a ping pong ball in their mouths so that it shoots out and lands on a certain number, which will hopefully equate to a prize!  Little son won a pink bunny rabbit, which he is going to give to the the little red-head girl next door for valentines day.

I will keep this short and sweet today.  I am off to do some baking for my boys to celebrate valentine’s day…we always make it a special family day in our house.

The fishing boats (above) all came into the harbour in the afternoon for the "Blessing of the Boats".  This is a tradition that originated in Italy, where many of the Island Bay fisherman orginally came from.  The blessing is performed by the local priest in the hope that this bestows the grace of God upon the fisherman and protects them from the often wild sea.  The boats are decorated in flags and bunting, and as I simply adore bunting, I had to get a snapshot of the gorgeous fishing boats. 

Have a great valentine's day!

A presto!  xxx

Saturday, 4 February 2012

A rainy summer day

Well here in the land of the long white cloud (New Zealand) it is a holiday weekend to celebrate Waitangi Day.  Hubby and I had dreams of doing lots of gardening and getting the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and leeks all planted (we already have lots of summer veggies in the garden).  Our little son (who isnt all that keen on veggies is hoping the carrots will attract Peter Rabbit to our garden!), but alas the sunshine that was forecasted decided to have a wee holiday too!

Not to be deterred, hubby decided he would do the garden anyway and so the family spent a fun filled afternoon outside, in the rain, enjoying the garden.  To be fair the temperature was very mild and the rain was that light, misty kind that just floats down.  However, Max the dog was not impressed that his favourite tennis ball was all soggy and wet.  Poor pup!

At least all the plants were happy.  The herbs are really thriving this year, especially the sage, which is wonderful as I have discovered the yummiest addition to my cooking – crispy sage!  Oh my goodness you must try this if you haven’t already.  If you are making a roast of any kind, the easiest thing to do is to throw a handful of sage into the roasting dish about 20 minutes before it’s done, and then you just eat it with your food – talk about flavour sensation!  The other way to do it is to fry it in a pan (with a tiny splash of oil) then add it to your dish – it is rather yummy crumbled over pasta, fish or even just on scrambled eggs.

Sage is quite the wonder food.  It is believed to have the following health benefits:

  • Sage contains rosmarinic acid, which acts as an anti-inflammatory within the body.
  • Sage is a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from being damaged by oxidation and forming cancerous cells.
  • Prepare a little sage tea and use it to gargle with in order to relieve a sore throat and any mouth infections.  
  • Sage can help to regulate menstruation and is good for all female gynaecological problems.
  • Clary sage is said to ease anxiety and relieve stress and depression.
  • Sage is said to help with allergies.
  • Sage is also a digestive and can aid digestion, particularly the digestion of rich, fatty foods.
  • Sage may help ease colds, coughs and excess mucous.
  • Women suffering from excessive sweating due to the menopause should try drinking sage tea several times a day.

To make SAGE TEA just take around 2 teaspoons of dried sage (or 1 teaspoon of fresh leaves) and place them in a 1 cup of hot water (water that has been boiled, but been allowed to cool slightly otherwise the boiling water will vaporise the essential oils of the leaves).  Allow the leaves and water mixture to steep for 10 minutes and then drink. 

I must finish up here by sending a huge big thank you to the lovely Julie over at Toadstool House for awarding me with a versatile blogger award – what a thrill!  I was so excited to be chosen so thank you so much dear friend.  My understanding is that I have to pass the award on to 15 new blogs that I have come across and to tell you all seven things about myself.  I will get in touch with those bloggers I am passing the award on to and list them in my next post.  So, to close, here are seven little bits of information about what makes me, me:

1.   I have three people that are the centre of my universe; my husband, who really is my soul mate, my darling little son and my dear Mother, who is my best friend.

2.    Baking and cooking are like therapy for me – I read recipes and cookbooks like you would a regular book.

3.   My first two words that I ever spoke were ‘more cookies’…oh dear!

4.   I love to walk – by the sea, through the woods, across the hills or even round the neighbourhood.

5.   I love the words ‘ancient’, ‘cottage’, ‘village’, and ’magical’ and all that they imply.

6.   I will miss my beloved dog Rosy (who died a few years ago) forever.

7.   I love to write and to lose myself imaging the next story I want to bring to life.

Time to close here, but let me just add (below) this lovely quote from Charlie Chaplin that a friend shared recently on facebook...