Here is a peak in to the behind the scenes goings on of Little Housewife in November 2014...
1. Today's early lunch was brought to you by the colour green. The green smoothie is fresh orange, kiwifruit, banana & avocado, homegrown kale, spinach & parsley, LSA and coconut water. The salads are broccoli, tabouli and coleslaw all left over from last nights BBQ.
2. Love playing Lalaloopsies with Maddie. All the little accessories are so cute!
3. All stocked up with some of my favourite supplies. Such a treat! The great thing about Dermalogica is that a little bit goes a very long way so this will last me well over a year.
4. [BLOG POST] Winding up my Halloween posts (before I get started on my Christmas ones!). Here is a recap of how we celebrated Halloween this year.
5. Tuesday's and Wednesday's are my busiest days of the week so I always make dinner earlier in the day or pop something in the crockpot in the morning so I know the family are sorted for dinner as I rush out the door to the gym at 6.00pm. Today I made chicken curry in the crockpot but wasn't going to have time to make any quinoa before heading out so I grabbed a twin pack of SunRice steamed brown rice and red quinoa at the supermarket which is ready in less than 1 minute. It was totally delicious, healthy and convenient. It'd make a perfect healthy and quick lunch too. Will definitely be buying these again.
6. [BLOG POST] The beginning of December is less than 4 weeks away so now is a good time to be thinking about organizing your advent calendars. Here is blog post showing some of my favourite store bought advent calendars.
7. Finally got my hands on a bottle of Lewis Road Creamery Chocolate Milk from Naturally Organic. It was all very cloak and dagger! Its not on display in store - I had to ask for it at the counter and they quietly retrieved it from the back store room. All very secret squirrel 😉 Like a little black market for chocolate milk 😉
8. That was a wwwaaayyy harder than normal class at the gym tonight. I'm going to be so sore tomorrow. Good thing I made this delish salad for the family dinner tonight. SO good! The thought of coming home to it kept me going.
9. I had an early start this morning and no time for my usual green smoothie so I tried the new Sanitarium Gluten Free Weetbix instead. Loved them! They tasted just the same as the regular Weetbix but were darker in colour and seemed crunchier in texture (which I liked as I don't like soggy Weetbix!)
10. The new Wallace Cotton catalogue just arrived in the mail. One of my girls "needs" this "Happy Town" duvet cover!
11. [BLOG POST] Yesterday I shared a post on some of my favourite store bought Advent Calendars. But if store bought isn't your thing, today I'm sharing some of my favourite home made Advent Calendar ideas. There is just under 4 weeks until the beginning of December so plenty of time to grab some supplies and get crafting.
12. I went a bit mad at Cotton On Kids. I love this store for kids clothes 💕 I *wish* they replicated these exact designs in adult sizes.
13. Thank you so much Hopt Soda for the lovely selection of clean soda that arrived on my doorstep today. The flavours sound amazing - 1. Salted Lychee, 2. Pear and Basil, 3. Watermelon and Mint, and 4. Elderberry and Herb. Yum! Hopt Soda has less than half the sugar of regular sodas too making it a healthier, refreshing, non-alcoholic beverage to enjoy this summer .
14. Loving the colour coded Hopt Soda bottle caps. I've just opened an icy cold number 3 - Watermelon and Mint which is incredibly crisp and refreshing. With less than half the amount of sugar of regular fizzy drinks there is no overwhelming sugary or syrupy taste meaning I can fully taste and appreciate the natural flavours. High 5 Hopt Soda!
15. I wrote a blog post for NZ Girl earlier this week on gym etiquette - the unwritten guidelines of group fitness classes. The gym should be an enjoyable experience for everyone so here are a few tips for new members and a reminder for the regulars.
16. What a beautiful morning for a 6km run. And yes, I did run up that hill!
17. Time for our weekend family green smoothies but which paper straws should we use?
18. Stunning day Auckland. So wonderful to see all our blood, sweat and tears twinkling away in the glorious sunshine ☀️ Now... time to start thinking about replacing that front fence and plastering the house...
19. We spent the morning of the last fine day of this week at the beach - such pure childhood freedom.
20. Vogels Quinoa Bread range for lunch today. I've been trying a few GF products lately - not for any medical issues but I'm interested in how they differ from standard varieties. There are so many GF breads on the market (some of which are quite high in sugar) so I wasn't sure where to start. Sugar Free Kiwi pointed me in the direction of this Vogels variety and it is delicious!
21. Here's a good game that my oldest daughter loves and keeps her busy while I make dinner - get the supermarket flyers and write a pretend shopping list then get the kids to find the items in the flyer and cut them out. When they get bigger you could also add in a maths element in too.
22. Beautiful evening for a run ☀️ At 2kms I was loving it, by 4km I was totally over it. But I kept putting one foot in front of the other and before I knew it I was home and had run my PB 😄👍 It looks a really long way on that little map!
23. Today's Green Smoothie - fresh orange & pineapple, homegrown baby spinach & curly parsley, frozen raspberries, LSA, chia seeds and coconut water 🍓🍍🍊 Did you know that coconut water was given intravenously to soldiers in World War II when saline solution was hard to come by!
24. [BLOG POST] I've been making a head start on some of my Christmas crafts. I've seen some really cute Christmas pillowcases online at Pottery Barn Kids and instore at Kmart which inspired me to look through my Christmas fabric stash and make my own. They were really simple to make to I wrote a tutorial in case you wanted to give them a go too.
25. Time for a little light reading (Good Magazine) and a little light lunch (my MILs homegrown and jarred beetroot is the best ever!) while my little one takes a nap.
26. I spent this morning doing parent help at Kindergarten. I saw this book in the reading corner and thought of The Best Nest.
27. I love brown paper packages tied up with string - especially when they are filled with square prints of Fujifilm's favourite photos from my blog 💕 I don't seem to print many photos anymore and my girls baby books are in need of updating so I'm looking forward to visiting fujifilm.co.nz and getting them up to date.
28. Maddie and I had a lot of fun at the Sylvanian Families Special Event tonight. Thank You Toy World.
29. Morning green smoothies with this little sweetheart 💕 You can't see in this pic but she's waving good morning to everyone 👋 Today's green smoothie is fresh orange & banana, homegrown kale, Italian parsley & mint, frozen mixed berries, a medjool date, LSA and coconut water. Delish!
30. Chux Magic Erasers are truly amazing! I'm spending the whole day at home cleaning, tidying and putting away after what has been a very busy week. Good day for it too - it's pouring down in Auckland! One must do job is buffing all the little marks off the walls which happen when you live with a 4 and nearly 2 year old. When you have freshly gibbed and painted walls all the little marks stand right out but these amazing little blocks erase them right away.
31. Look Sharp Store certainly isn't disappointing with their Christmas range this year.
32. [BLOG POST] I've been doing a whole heap of sewing lately and totally loving it. It got me thinking about how I started sewing and my first ever seeing project - a tear off notepad. Such a great first project for kids. I've put together some easy step-by-step instructions if you'd like to give this a go with your kids. Plus links to some of my favourite free printable sewing cards in case teaching your kids to hand stitch is more your thing.
33. Playing scrap fabric dress up dolls with the girls. These were mine when I was little. So lucky my parents kept all of our old toys. Did anyone else have these when they were little?
34. Be still my heart 💕 At bedtime cuddles tonight 4 year old Maddie snuggled in to 22 month old Maisie and said "It's nice to have a friend isn't it". We just about burst with love and pride 💕💗💕 It made me completely forget all the antics they were up to only half an hour earlier.
35. Another delicious visit to the award winning Bloom Cupcakes.
36. Strawberry Sundae and Chocolate Mousse were our flavour choices today from Bloom Cupcakes.
38. Love these ice cream cone money boxes! I'm thinking Christmas gifts for the girls from Junk and Disorderly.
39. I Love colour! Coral, aqua, mint, yellow, pink and white at Junk and Disorderly.
40. Totally loving this old Bingo machine at Junk and Disorderly.
41. Last photo of Junk and Disorderly I promise - would love this cloud light for the girls playroom!
42. Picked up my race number for the Sketchers 6km run tomorrow morning. Let's hope the weather improves a little! Wouldn't want to be blown off course!
43. 5 minutes to start time. Holy moly there are a lot of people here! Great to see. Beautiful morning for the Sketchers 6km.
44. And I'm done 😄 6kms and I didn't stop running once! Awesome event 👍 Looking forward to next year.
45. Finishing off this mornings good effort with a Rekorderlig Elderberry-Lime Cider. So refreshing!
Thank you for the tag @foreverorganised 😘 Here is my pic for #onefromthecuttingroomfloor. Our street is full of young families so there is no shortage of friends to play with. Yesterday we had an influx of little boys at our house and to Maddies delight they all played shops together 💕 Some of the conversations I overheard were hilarious!
47. [HAPPY MAIL DAY] The girls Christmas dresses arrived. Beautiful!
48. I was a lucky girl and got to sample some of the new Arnotts Shapes Light & Crispy Range. We eat a lot of whole foods in our house so I don't even go down the biscuit and cracker aisle at the supermarket but I wrote a wee review over on NZGirl about why I might start having a wee browse.
49. Breakfast on the go this morning. Its an early start for a girls day out with Maisie and my Mum 💕 I'm sampling a Horleys Sculpt Bar which I got in my goodie bag at the Sketchers run in the weekend. Only 3.9 grams of sugar per bar! Not too shabby when you have to grab and go.
50. I just 💕love💕 Martha's Backyard. Check out these adorable Curly Canes!
51. And how about this gorgeous miniature vintage Fisher Price Christmas decoration by Hallmark from Martha's Backyard.
52. Loving Kmart's range of Christmas goodies this year. Nothing in this pic cost more than $3!
53. Adding to my list of favourite store bought and hand made advent calendars - Belle & Boo have released this gorgeous printable download advent calendar which you need to print and assemble - so it's a little bit store bought and a little bit hand made 😉 Its only £5 (which is just under NZD$10).
54. Kmart has a fantastic selection of craft and activity kits instore. I grabbed one of these awesome Giant Colour In Rolls to add to the Christmas gift for one of my art mad nephews. I think they are brilliant! It is a huge circus scene measuring 1m tall by 1.5m wide. And it was only $5.50. The kind of thing he can leave out for the whole summer holidays and add to it each day.
Loving my new necklace hand made by Envy Events 8 year old son Jack 💕 They have a whole heap of colour combos to choose from and are only $10 each.
56. Exciting news people! Seed Heritage is opening in New Zealand next year!
57. The beautiful Christmas range at Bed Bath and Table.
58. The beautiful Christmas range at Bed Bath and Table.
59. Loving Gwyneth Paltrow's 1950's Marilyn Munroe inspired photoshoot for Max Factor.
60. Are your kids members of your local Westfield Kids Club? If not, it's totally worth joining them up at the Customer Services Desk. Your kids will receive personalized mail each term with a heads up holiday activities at your local Westfield and a little present on their birthdays. Plus in anticipation of Santa's Welcoming Party this weekend, Westfield just gave my girls some awesome Crayola art supplies as an early Christmas present. Thank you Westfield!
61. It's barely even summer and yet a lady told me the other day that she was almost sick of barbecuing already! What??? Never! We barbecue all year round and it's so easy to keep things interesting just by adding a few simple ingredients. Here is one of our new, super easy favourites - easy BBQ Pork. The kids just gobble this one down.
62. Loving the girls new water bottles from Cotton On Kids.
63. Cracking open our brand new box of Crayola sidewalk chalk.
64. Crayola Sidewalk Chalk is so fun!
65. Her life has reached its pinnacle!
66. Saturday night means time for learning how to sew pleated pockets... Eek! 😅 This is probably the most complicated thing I've ever tackled (Its not even that complicated but I'm still nervous!)
67. Sorted through some Christmas fabric scraps this afternoon and ended up sewing this panel skirt for one of the girls.
68. Christmas celebrations officially started for us this weekend with the lighting of the Christmas tree in our Village Square on Friday, Santa's Welcoming Party at our local mall on Saturday and a Christmas Fair this afternoon. Phew! And it's not even December yet! I'm going to be setting out a few Christmas decorations this week - although we are officially "Team Afters" meaning we don't decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving (which we celebrate as I have a lot of American family). First up is our ever expanding Christmas book collection. I sewed this sweet (and super easy) basket liner for our book basket last night after seeing something similar in Kmart.
69. Heads up for a fabulous Christmas decor bargain - Freedom Furniture have all their Christmas goodies on clearance already. They have these gorgeous duck egg blue Christmas trees on sale. We bought the 80cm one today for only $29 reduced from $49. There is also a smaller one (approx 30cm) which is only $17.95. They are totally gorgeous and walking out the door fast at these prices.
70. Thank you so much Yoplait for the delivery of your new Greek style Yoghurt with Vanilla and Greek style Yoghurt with Honey. Perfect timing for doing some baking on this drizzly afternoon.
71. Who else is playing along with The Elf on the Shelf this Christmas? This will be our second year hiding "Ice Cream the Elf" around our house for the girls to find each morning. My husband and I start off quite enthusiastically but if last year was anything to go by enthusiasm will be waning by the end of week two. So I've made a list of 35 of my favourite basic but clever Elf on the Shelf ideas to refer to should we get stuck for ideas and help keep momentum going.
72. December starts with a North Pole Breakfast. Our girls loved it so much that it is now a firm family tradition. I thought I'd share last years North Pole Breakfast with you in case you wanted to create a special breakfast to kick off the Christmas celebrations in your house too.
73. It's insanely muggy in Auckland today! It definitely calls for outdoor water play after Kindergarten this afternoon to cool down.
74. So many of my favourite things in this photo... Oobi, polka dots, apples, stripes, fabric rosettes, pigtails, chubby cheeks, cupcakes and little Maisie Boo.
75. Kids Christmas craft station set up in the girls playroom 🎄🎅 All of the Christmas craft kits and supplies in here are from The Warehouse, Kmart and Spotlight and most of them only cost between $1 and $3 per item.
76. I've never actually read the manual for my sewing machine 😳😁 I totally should - there's some fantastic info in there! 😉 Tonight I dusted it off and am learning to sew a button hole. Finally getting the hang of it.
77. Check out this adorable fairy furniture that just arrived from Just a little bit cute. Too sweet 💕 It's to go in the girls flower garden we're building beside their Wendy house 😄 It's all very reasonably priced so if you want to order any for Christmas gifts.
78. Happy Thanksgiving 💛 (or for tomorrow for my American family and readers). Just popping our little turkey in to the oven now for our little Thanksgiving family feast.
79. Thanksgiving activities for the girls. So lovely listening to 4 year old Maddie tell me the things she is thankful for - as well as all our family she is grateful for the beach, the park, apples, hearts & kisses, flowers, headbands, jewels and ice cream.
80. Love using little bento box supplies in Maddie's lunch. These sweet wee decorative Hello Kitty picks double as great little forks for chopped up fruit.
81. It's up 🎄🎄🎄 All 8 feet of it 🎄🎄🎄