Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Easy Style with Ezibuy

As a stay at home mum, I love online shopping! One of my favourite clothing stores to shop online is Ezibuy, and their new Autumn 2016 catalogue is chock full of amazing items that will be great for my Autumn capsule wardrobe.

First up is this casual striped top, which I have paired with these great chinos and casual sneakers. I have also gone for a pattern clash with this scarf, which I already have in my wardrobe.
Casual striped Top

Next up is a great outfit for a rainy day school run- this cute polka dot sweater is paired with skinny vintage jeans and a great jacket to keep me dry. This jacket is available in some fun colours, guaranteed to make you stand out on a gloomy day!

Rainy Day school run

I am a big fan of double layered tops, and this top is perfect for a day relaxing at home or equally fancy for a girl's day out. I saw one of the ladies from playgroup in these pants and they look amazingly comfortable, so I chose a khaki pair to go with the earthy tones in my current wardrobe.
A Day at Home

I am also in need of some new pyjamas, and Ezibuy have a mix and match deal going on with their pyjama tops and bottoms.

This lace top is perfect for dressier days, and paired with some slimline pants and a crossbody bag I could do a number of errands whilst looking put together!
Errands Outfit

Lastly, I need some options to take my current dresses into the colder months, so this jacket and these tan boots will go with this dress as well as most other dresses in my wardrobe.
Country Cute

Which Ezibuy look is your favourite? I would love to know!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Five Years- we remember

Five years ago it hit. 

The shaking. The confusion. The panic.

The 6.3 magnitude shake claimed 185 lives on 22 February 2011. The earthquake rattled Christchurch, tearing families apart and collapsing buildings. 

I vividly remember running to a door frame with my 14 month old son in my arms. My first thought after the shaking had ended was that it couldn't be too bad as we still had power, whereas we had lost power in the September earthquake.

I then turned on the TV and realised how devastated the central city was- right where my husband was working on Colombo Street.

Colombo Street- photo credit unkown

Panic ensued as I frantically tried to get hold of him. I was alone with my son, and for ten minutes the tears flowed as I waited for a text, a call, a message that he was OK. He finally answered my call, and told me that his building was not in great shape. Luckily, he had biked to work that day and he was able to get his bike out from amidst the rubble and cycle home.

My other family members and friends checked in, apart from my mum. I knew she had been at a job interview in town and I had no idea where. I finally heard from her at 7pm- she was OK but it took her nearly three hours to get home due to the traffic, blocked city streets and people everywhere.

The days that followed were harrowing as we heard of friends, workmates and loved ones that hadn't made it. The papers were full of horrible images, and the death toll rose. The whole city was in limbo and people were left without jobs, houses or families. 

I know that I was one of the lucky ones as we were all safe with a roof over our heads, and Malcolm could continue working from another location. Time went past and things slowly went back to a sense of normality, although aftershocks continued to rattle us and keep everyone on edge.

I feel sad that my children won't know the Christchurch I grew up with- but they will know a more resilient Christchurch, a safer city and a beautiful place to live. Christchurch still has a long way to go, but we soldier on and take it all in our stride. My heart goes out to those still battling insurance claims, waiting for a house to be built or demolished, and trying to continue with life through anxiety and fear.

Kia Kaha Christchurch. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

WCW- Banana, Rum and Raisin Bundt Cake

Those overripe bananas strike again- this time I have mashed them into a rum and raisin bundt cake that is quick and easy for entertaining.

Banana, Rum and Raisin Bundt Cake
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
½ cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 ½ teaspoon rum extract
3 very ripe bananas, mashed

½ cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ cup butter
½ cup raisins

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.  Grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the filling ingredients until they form a paste and set aside.

In a large bowl sift in the the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add the brown sugar, butter, eggs, sour cream, milk, rum extract and bananas, mixing until just combined.

Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan.  Spread the filling mixture across the cake batter.  Carefully pour over the remaining batter.  Bake for 55 minutes.

Cut and serve warm. This will keep in an airtight container for a week but is best eaten on the day you make it. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Eight Years

I cannot believe it has been eight years since I married my husband- the time has gone so quickly and it makes me realise how much we have been through together.

We were married at Elizabeth House in Christchurch, which unfortunately was demolished after the earthquakes. It was a beautiful day, and I loved our photos in the Botanical Gardens. I always enjoy looking back at our video and photos, as some of the guests are no longer with us and it makes those moments much more special.

We have travelled together around the South Island, although since my husband is a bit of a homebody we haven't been overseas together (yet!) and prefer to drive to little known locations.

My husband and I were always under the impression that we wouldn't be able to have children, so imagine our surprise when our first son came along in December 2009! I saw a new side to my husband- the caring, tender side and his gentle touch were such a help as I was recovering from a traumatic birth and a C-section.

Two and a half years later, our second son came along to complete our family. Once again, Malcolm stepped up to the plate and took on more parenting duties, and we found out the real meaning of sleepless nights and toilet training dramas!

We have certainly had our share of ups and downs as far as 'in sickness and in health' vows, with my body rebelling against most medical treatments. I underwent numerous investigations, surgeries and hospital admissions, and most recently Malcolm had to take over my duties as I was in hospital for half of January. Now that I also have a diagnosis of Coeliac disease, we are facing new challenges together and modifying our lifestyle.

Of course, it hasn't all been serious. We both get a bit goofy at times, and one of the best parts about being married to Malcolm is that he knows how to make me laugh. We still act like big kids at times!

Meeting Malcolm was the best thing that has happened to me. He has given me two adorable boys, he knows how to cheer me up, and every now and then he does something that reminds me how lucky I am.

Here's to eight years, and I hope to celebrate many more.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

WCW- Red Velvet Cupcakes

Nothing beats a decadent Red Velvet Cupcake, and mine are guaranteed to put a smile on someone's face!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
60g butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups self-raising flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup cocoa
pinch of salt
1/3 cup red food colouring
60g softened butter
20ml milk
200g cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line a standard muffin tray with 12 cupcake cases.

Place the butter, eggs and milk into a small mixing bowl. Beat for two minutes until combined. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat for a further three minutes on low speed. Spoon into the prepared muffin tray and bake for 25 minutes.

Let the cupcakes cool on a wire rack while you prepare the icing,

Place butter, milk, cream cheese and icing sugar into a small mixing bowl and beat for three minutes until thick and fluffy. Spread on top of the cooled cupcakes.

To see how I created the cupcake toppers, click here.
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