February: Meals, Miles, Books and Looks


With Kane's parents visiting and our mini-break to Rotorua we have been eating lots of restaurant meals, a few take-aways, and some home cooked meals.

One of my go-to easy meals for guests is ravioli, spinach and salmon, which I found on the Better Home and Gardens website.  I like to use Delmaine Spiced Pumpkin Ravioli, it goes really well with the salmon.

And if that isn't enough pumpkin-y goodness then finish with pumpkin spice popcorn!  It's really easy to make and was perfect for our movie night.

Mini bowl of popcorn all for me!


Popcorn kernels
Sugar (I used caster sugar)
Pumpkin spice mix

I'm afraid I didn't measure out any of the ingredients but I made a 30cm (12") bowl of popcorn.  About 3 tbsp caster sugar and 2 tsp pumpkin spice. 

I used a cast iron dutch oven and heated a little canola oil in the bottom - it needs to be an oil that can stand a high heat so butter and olive oil are no good.  I've since had a go at making popcorn in the microwave and you need to use a microwavable glass bowl with a lid or tight fitting plate on top and microwave for about 2:45- 3 minutes.

Transfer the popped corn to a bowl - if you have microwaved it then your glass bowl is going to be seriously hot!  Mix the sugar and spice together and then sprinkle over the popcorn et voilà.


Ok, I have been taking it easy - too easy.  It's easy to fall into excuses but I can't hide from the extra pounds and I want to be losing weight not gaining it!


The reading has slowed down a bit this month and I'm currently still reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver.


I'm loving that we are in late summer heading into autumn.  I recently bought this hooded shirt from Max (below left) and I am so looking forward to wearing it throughout the autumn season.  I also can't wait to wear the body warmer I got from Gap.

Image from Max Image from Gap

Currently In ... February

Hello!  It's the middle of February! Hope you all had a nice Valentines day and ate lots of yummy pancakes yesterday.  Anyone giving something up for Lent?

Anyway here is my snapshot for the month:

Reading: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Watching: Agent Carter, Castle, Greys Anatomy, Grimm and I've just started watching How to Get Away with Murder.

Feeling: A little under the weather, a bit of a cold I think but it's getting better.

Thinking: About all the things I have to do!

Anticipating: My parents coming to visit!

Listening to: I finished listening to the podcast Serial, so now I'm on the hunt for an audio book.

Planning: My own little Thanksgiving/Harvest Home for March.

Working: On getting my healthy lifestyle back on track.

Wanting: New clothes!

Needing: To get my car and bike fixed :(

Loving: Late summer.  It's one of my favourite times of the year.

Grateful: For family

Wishing: Safe flights for family that are coming and going.

Friday the 13th and Valentines Day

Friday 13th

The weekend started with Friday the 13th and we thought it would be fun to note the date with a cheesy b horror flick and some take out Hell Pizza.  I had suggested a haunted corn maze but in truth I would be too terrified to do this and was counting on a unanimous no way!

A while ago when our local video store closed down we bought a few DVDs for practically peanuts and one of the ones I picked up was Loch Ness Terror.  I'm not much of a fan of horror movies but I've seen a couple of these SciFi (SyFy) channel ones now and they are quite funny and entertaining.  (See my post: Cinco De Mayo)

Images TL: Amazon,TR and BL: Pixgood, BR: Jennya'things
Kane and his parents had been at the liquor store and bought me some Budweiser and then Kane ordered pizza for delivery and then we all just relaxed with a beer or wine and once the pizza arrived we put on the movie.  This movie was just what we needed at the end of a long week and we laughed, jumped at times, and had a good time.  And we recognised a few of the main actors from other shows like Psych, Eureka, Star Gate SG1, and Charmed.

Valentines Day

The next day was Valentines day.  I've never really celebrated this day much before and when we got married our anniversary became the day to celebrate love.  However this year I wanted to give an outward expression of love, of platonic and neighbourly love, of familial love, and of romantic love.  Whilst our anniversary is a private celebration of our personal love story, Valentines day can be a way to express the sentiment "be the change you wish to see in the world" and maybe the world could use a little more affection.

I wanted to make a nice breakfast for everyone and had planned on heart shaped eggs and toast with rose and french vanilla tea or Irish cream coffee.  The heart shapes weren't very apparent on the toast and I only managed to make 1 successful heart shaped egg (which I gave to my husband of course!) but the tea and coffee made it to the table as planned though.

At least I had decorated nicely thanks to this simple craft tutorial I found on Strawberry Chic for vertical heart garlands.  I got some patterns from Mein Lila Park that I printed out and then cut hearts of various shapes and sizes and cut slits in them to thread string through.  I had trouble getting the string to go through so I threaded it onto a large wool darning needle and used that to make it easier.

I had also got all 4 of us special valentines day tickets for the rugby (Blues v Chiefs).  This included access to the Valentines lounge where there were pre-game games and post-game player socialisation, and a complimentary drink.  We were all given Blues flags and blue roses too.  It was the first game of the season and it was a roller coaster of a game that unfortunately the Blues lost but I think my in-laws enjoyed the experience.

All-in-all a successful weekend even though I came down with a cold on Sunday and spent the day watching TV and playing computer games!

Rotorua Summer Getaway

Kane's parents arrived just in time for the long weekend so we decided to head to Rotorua for some geothermal summer fun.

Late summer through to winter is my most favourite time of year.  On the drive down to Rotorua we had some great driving tunes playing, the sun made its way down the sky and we passed a number of farms selling fresh produce such as corn and eggs.

The next morning, we headed out towards Government House and museum where we got some breakfast.  We then walked by the lakeside and looked at some of the mud pools there and then we went to a park to see some of the geothermal activity there.  We had joked before about how you could poach an egg in the bubbling water and on our walk through the park there was indeed an egg cooking in one of the pools!

Top: Government House, Left: Skyline, Right: Geothermal Activity

Later that night my in-laws wanted to go to a cultural evening and booked us in to Te Puia.  This started with an introduction to the Maori language, a guided walk through the park to see some geothermal activity along with some history of the area and an insight into early Maori life.  This was around 1.5 - 2 hours long.  After this we were entertained in the Marae with singing and dancing - I had a go with a poi and Kane and his dad had a go at the Haka.  Then it was time to eat!  Food was buffet style and there was heaps of it.  After the meal we took a walk back down to the geyser and sat on the hot rocks with cups of hot chocolate while one of our hosts sang a beautiful love song.  It was truly a perfect summer evening.

Top Left: Hangi, Top Right: Pohutu, Bottom Left: Hot Chocolate, Bottom Right: Haka in Marae

The following day we were straight in the pools at the lodge for a few hours before we went to the Skyline and took the gondola up for views over Rotorua.  We enjoyed a walk around, checked out the other activities to do up there, considered the luge but then took the gondola back down.  (We're going to do the luge another time).

Kane and his dad had talked about Zorbing and we're pretty keen on this.  I don't think Kane's dad wanted the hassle of togs and towels so opted for a dry zorb, whereas Kane went for a nice twisty wet zorb.  It wasn't until afterwards (or possibly during!) that Kane's dad discovered he had chosen the most daredevil, scary ride of them all!

Zydro - Sidewinder Zorb

With enough excitement had for the day we had a delicious lunch and went back to our lodge for an evening swim and some relaxing with a couple of Waikato draught beer.

We started our last day with a dip in the pool.  The pool was heated and in the morning you can see the steam rising from it.  It looks so beautiful in the morning sun and so inviting and I really didn't want to leave.  I was the last of us out the pool but I knew we had to get to Wai O Tapu by 10am because the geyser only erupts once a day at 10.15am.  We were curious about how it keeps time and can change with daylight savings but all was revealed when the host explained that it was discovered many many years ago by some men who were washing their clothes bumped soap into it that set off this might eruption and today they use a similar chemical reaction.

After this we headed into the main park where there are 3 loops that you can do, we did all of them and it took a few hours.

Top Left: Lady Knox Geyser, Top Right: Artists Palette, Bottom: Artists Palette panoramic view

Then we headed towards Taupo to for a very quick visit.  We had lunch at the French Cafe, took a walk down by the water front and then drove homewards.

It was just a gorgeous summer getaway that I enjoyed so much!

January: Meals, Miles, Books and Looks

It is time for the January edition of meals, miles, books and looks.


I have been very lazy when it comes to meals this month.  My husband has cooked most of our meals and lots of other meals have been eaten out and about or as takeaways.  We did a big grocery shop at the weekend so there is plenty to eat at home.  We have family visiting for the next couple of months which may well involve restaurants, but my intention is not to buy food from anywhere except the supermarket if I can help it!

Miles: 47.7km

I took up the open challenge on Amber's blog to run a #mileaday, however being knocked off my bike by a car meant that I had to stop after the 26th.  I was looking forward to completing this challenge, however I think I'll try this again in June or July when its winter.


I am very please to have read 4 books this month.  I haven't been much of a reader these past few years and its something I want to address.  I set a goal on Goodreads to read 12 books this year and I'm glad to be getting off to a speedy start.

//Images via Goodreads
Shopaholic to the Stars 
by Sophie Kinsella
The Scorch Trials 
by James Dashner
Field of Prey 
by John Sandford
Last Rituals 
by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir
I'm currently reading Snow Way Out by Christine Husom.  I picked up Snow Way Out at the library because I was intrigued by a "Snow Globe Shop Mystery" and on the back it says it contains snow globe making tips!  I'm hoping its going to be a lighter read before I start on Delirium by Lauren Oliver and If I Stay by Gayle Forman.


This month I have mostly been sporting bruises!  I started the month with bruises from falling off a horse and falling down ice skating and then this month I have had 2 bike accidents!!