Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

What a great morning it's been so far here in Northland, NZ. We've done brunch with the family, now time to kick back and relax. Hope you're all staying safe. have a good one :-)

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Lights are up at my place!




Putting lights up on houses at Christmas time isn't a huge thing here in NZ, some people get into it some dont. These however I bought last year and we put them up a few weeks ago. We think they look very festive when they are on at night.

For more our world Tuesdays click here :-)

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Colour at the Mangawhai markets




Im amongst the rainy days I've managed to get out to Mangawhai village with my camera. The above was one of many bunches of flowers a florist was selling at the markets.




And these very pretty pink Dianthus seen on the edge of someone's garden.

Enjoy your weekend :-)

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Weekend reflections - of Mangawhai estuary and Mangawhai surf beach

Since here in NZ we are in the Southern Hemisphere our seasons are opposite from those in the North. While some of you out there are enjoying snow, winter and cold we are in the beginnings of Summer, well we are meant to be. So here are two photos of what it's like here for us at this time of year:




Morning sunrise of Mangawhai estuary - taken by me on the way to work one morning.




And this one from Mangawhai surf beach on a warm morning while I was going for my daily walk - sunny and refreshing..

For more weekend reflections click here :-)

Friday, 19 December 2014

Skywatch Friday - Stormy skies over Mangawhai




This is a photo I shared a week ago on my facebook page, stormy skies over Mangawhai - the next day we had flooding over the area and various roads were closed. There's more forecast for this weekend...

For more Skywatch Fridays click here :-)

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Hydrangeas - a must for Summer in New Zealand





As those of you in the Northern Hemisphere are going through winter at the moment us kiwis in the Southern Hemisphere are attempting to get into Summer.  On Saturday after completing a library trip by returning 8 books the teens had taken out, renewed one of mine and wandered around taking photos. This one above is a blue Hydrangea lining a fence outside an old rustic shed.



These lovely miniature pink ones were for sale in small plant pots at one of the stalls outside the Mangawhai village markets.

You can't have summer without Hydreangeas I think - one of my favourite flowers!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Loads of summer colour...then loads of flooding!




These lovely flower photos are ones I took on Saturday morning, which was a very overcast day. With no teenagers at home I spent some time at the local markets and walking around Mangawhai taking pics of some of the summer colour. Hydreangeas above are one of my most favourite flowers.




Bougainvillea climbing a fence along the road from me, loving the vibrant red flowers against the bland wooden fence.




Pink carpet roses poking their heads through a fence near the beach - these grow prolifically around here surprisingly enough.


Would love to hear how your weekend went...?

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Rain rain rain - where is Summer?




So we're not asking where is Summer? When the Pohutukawa flowers bloom here it's a kiwi belief that it means we are in for a good hot season. These above, around the corner from my house came out late November but since then we've had rain on and off and only a fine days - not that I"m complaining. I know sooner or later the hot sunny days will come but for now the water is filling up my tank and helping the farmers.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Living in the country - farm machinery, old and new



On the way to and from work I pass through some amazing scenery - some coastal, some rural. Because it's summer here down under at the moment the land is quite dry although we've also had some rain on and off - perfect for farmers. Lots of grass cutting at the moment and wrapping it all up in these balls which will come in handy over winter.




And this lovely rusty semi-new tractor I spotted this afternoon. I could help but stop and take some photos of it just sitting there and this one looks like it's been well used but it also looks like it has more life left in it.

Would love to hear what's happening in your part of the world right now...

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The colours of summer!




These Hollyhocks (I think, someone correct me if I'm wrong) outside the Mangawhai Library on Saturday. Each week we return our books and take out new ones - such is life being in a family of bookworms. There are about 3 of these plants all in big clumps outside the entrance.




And this stunning sight! Carpet roses lining the Mangawhai estuary on the way home tonight from work. Such a pretty picture of pink. Now that its finally warming up here at last we are hanging out for time at the beach.

Whats happening in your part of the world?

Saturday, 22 November 2014

A walk along the surf beach this morning




Usually each morning I take my dog Tia for an hour long walk around the streets near where I live. This morning we were greeted by sunshine and warmth so I thought a change of plans was in order. This is literally 5 mins from where we live, our local surf beach.


Tide was just starting to go out and shells were littering the beach, when I got there, there weren't many people about. I had to lie on the sand to get this shot.


One of the many types of coastal seaside plants that grow along the rocks and sand. This wee echeveria loves the dry conditions.

Love where we live, always something new to find :-)

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Memories...like the corners of my mind




This is the view we use to see near our old house we lived in just over a year ago. Sadly recently the house burned down and it's unknown what caused the fire. Isn't it funny....when you live in a house all sorts of memories are created. When my marriage broke up 4 years ago we moved here and it allowed the kids and I to start a wonderful healing process. After my oldest son moving back home we had to look for a larger place to live and when I heard about it burning down it was sort of sad.



This is the part of the estuary here that we use to spend alot of time at when we lived there. One night after work I saw this awesome sunset from the end of the driveway and quickly raced to the end of the street, down the stairs that lead to the beach and had an impromptu little photoshoot. Good times...I hope wherever you live you are enjoying it and creating happy memories too :-)

Friday, 14 November 2014

Skywatch Friday - Early Morning Stormy Orange Skies




Recently I bought a camera from one of my besties and this was one of the first photos I snapped from the deck outside my lounge. I knew it was going to be a stormy rainy Spring day and it was judging from the orange sunrise and grey clouds.

And yes I finally have my cast off - yay!

For more Skywatch Fridays click here :-)

Monday, 3 November 2014

2 more weeks...!

So, since I updated my blog last I have gone back to the doctor's to get the cast removed from my right arm, unfortunately after taking x-rays I was told its healing well but it stays as is for 2 more weeks - let me tell you I'm quite over it by now!



And last week we had the best storm ever! I love lightening and thunder - doesnt scare me at all, in fact I find them rather fascinating. I only managed to get this sot of how dark the skies were first thing in the morning when I was getting ready for work:




Would love to hear how things are going for you at the moment :-)

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Getting back out with my camera this time to Tanoa





This weekend for us kiwis has been Labour Weekend, the true beginning of Spring and what a weekend its been. Yesterday was such a beautiful warm day that the teens and I drove out to see one of my besties...Liz over at Mad Bush Farm who lives in Maungaturoto - a town about 20 mins from here. A decision to drive out to Tanoa on the Kaipara coast was greatly received, anything to get 4 teenagers out of the house and into the fresh air right?  This was the scenery that greeted us - wow, right?



Apart from two fisherman pushing their boat out from the shore and a ferry, the Kewpie Too doing a cruise around the area we were pretty much the only ones there.



There is a beautiful historic house out at Tanoa -
Batley House was built in 1866 and is now owned by locals Rex and Rae Roadley, apparently it has been restored nicely to virtually how it use to originally be apart from the addition of a modern kitchen.




Hows this for a stunning view?  Cool, calm clear water and green hills as far as the eye can see. This is one place we will be going back for seconds! oh and btw I have 5 days to go until I get my cast off - awesome!

Friday, 3 October 2014

Skywatch Friday - Stunning Spring Skies




I snapped this last night while driving home along Wayby Valley Road after doing some food shopping. Had to park in a farmer's driveway but I think it was worth it. Amazing colours after a big downpour of rain.

For more Skywatch Fridays click here :-)

Thursday, 25 September 2014

The one with the broken arm...


I Have a wee update....Tuesday morning I was feeding leftover food to our duck visitors when I slipped over on the wet deck smacking my wrist on the wood. Thankfully my oldest son was able to take me to the doctor's where they x-rayed my arm and found I had 2 breaks in my wrist. So for the next 6 weeks my arm is in plaster - not sure how often I'll be on here but I'll try and pop in when I Can.

Hope you have a better week than I've had...

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Did you vote in New Zealand's 2014 National election?


So after trotting down to one of the local election spots on Saturday morning to vote, I dropped off a load of washing to one of my besties as her machine was broken, did a few errands then came back home and waited for the results to come in.

Here are the main parties that are here in NZ so if you want to check out their policies links are below:
National Party
Labour Party
Green Party
Internet Mana Party
NZ First Party
Act Party

Since in my humble opinion politicians rarely do what they say anyway I wasn't very optimistic that there would be a change and I was right. For another 3 years we got the same as we've had for the last 3 years. sigh. Oh well might as well just roll with it right?

Saturday, 20 September 2014

When a day off really isn't a day off...



Usually Fridays are my day off each week and because I work in a very busy full on job it's definitely needed to relax and have some time out to myself. Today however after having coffee with the girls I drove over to an appointment at my daughter's school with her counselor which was eye opening but a positive experience. And I got to thinking how good it would be if more teenagers could have meetings with their school counselors. There's so much pressure on kids these days and it's so easy to suffer from depression as it's an awkward time, I really feel for people who don't have an outlet for their frustrations.




On the way home I snapped this shot after I pulled over to the side of the road. Now that it's Spring here the cows (in the above photo) and other farm animals are enjoying being able to get outside in the fresh air. Now I'm home, teens are at their father's for the weekend so I'm enjoying some quiet time to myself although it will be good to have them back home on Monday.

Hope your weekend goes well too :-)

Friday, 19 September 2014

Skywatch Friday - Summer sunset over Tawharanui


Until recently I use to enjoy fishing - many nights were spent out in a boat catching Snapper, Kawahai etc. One of the places we use to go to was the Tawharanui Peninsula in the Rodney District of North Auckland. We saw many beautiful sunsets and sunrises - this was one of the best, taken just as evening was coming up.

For more Skywatch Fridays click here :-)

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Out with the old, in with the new!


After the stress of the last couple of weeks, this week is moving along quite nicely. No one is crabby and I've removed a very negative person in my life who thought it was ok to constantly bring me down and play games behind my back. Life is too short for negativity like this so after removing this person I'm feeling a bit more optimistic about my future - whatever it brings.

This rainbow I saw from the back deck of my house on Monday morning and for me it symbolizes a new beginning, a new future and new promises.

How's your week been so far?

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Our world Tuesday - Sea creatures of Mangawhai


This week I thought I'd do something a little different. Since I like taking photos of weird stuff here are a few things I"ve found while walking along our local surf beach. As above shells, think one looks like a coloured oyster shell.


A very strangely coloured starfish that was washed up on the sand. We see a few of these lying here and there.


Some weird pinkish coloured seaweed coiled up in a ball. And lastly the view of our wonderful surf beach:


Hope you enjoyed seeing where I live. More more Our World Tuesday click here :-)

Monday, 15 September 2014

New beginnings and lighter Spring nights


On the way home from work last week I quickly pulled over off the road to take the shot of the sunset - the driveway to the left leads to a few right of ways and houses. Amazing farmland as you come into Mangawhai.


And these white tulips in the plant pot next to my red ones have brighten up my deck outside. As it's been a particularly rough last couple of weeks the things I'm seeing around me like this symbolize new beginnings and new chapters in my life. Old things are gone, I'm ready for new people and new experiences. No more negativity.

Wishing you a great week!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Sushi treats & orthodontist visits in Kumeu



Once a month my two have orthodontist appointments in Kumeu, about just over an hour's drive away. Yesterday we viewed the before and now photos of how their teeth were and how much they've moved and changed. I could see how much they clearly needed the braces and now my younger son only has about a month to go before he gets his off - good news!

On the way home we treated ourselves to Sushi in Wellsford - always love this sort of food, very healthy and much better than takeaways. Hope your Friday has been good too :-)

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Wednesday around the world - Thoughts of Queenstown







Last June we were fortunate enough to visit the lovely Queenstown in NZ's South Island. We don't get snow up where we live in the North Island so we were hoping we would see some during our 3 day trip. This photo above is the view we saw from the rented house we stayed in. Very pretty isnt it?



We drove out to Arrowtown and explored the historic area and enjoyed the pretty late winter/early autumn colours.



Something we did was sat in the gondola and went up to the top of the mountain. This is the view out over the area - the restaurant is in the right of the picture. Bet they get an awesome view from there.



And on the last morning it did indeed snow. My two teenagers were impressed and before we left to come home we spent some time having fun making snowballs and feeling it crunch under our feet.

We totally love this part of NZ and are looking forward to going back there at some point.
For more WATW check out Betty's blog :-)

Monday, 8 September 2014

Busy Spring nights and lighter days




This is what the road through Wellsford (where i work) usually looks like when I"m going home at night. It's the main thoroughfare between Auckland and Whangarei so it gets very very busy at times.  Pink Spring skies in the background are cheerful and it's nice knowing that when I get up in the morning and leave work it's light not dark. Highlights for my weekend are:

  • Being able to walk my dog Tia at 6.30am before I get ready for work.
  • A good family lunch - good converations and good food.
  • I'm experimenting with hair colour, trying out different shades, deciding whether to go darker to my natural colour or stay lighter...hmm decisions.

Anyway have a good week :-)

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Waipu Pizza Barn - a great family restaurant

If you've ever been to a great eating place you'll know what I"m raving on about. We don't often go to this place but when we do the Waipu Pizza Barn is one of the best places to visit. They are a Scottish themed pizza making family restaurant who make the bestest food ever. 

We had arranged with my cousins up north to get together for my mother and her twin sister's birthday for lunch. Since I'm gluten intolerant it's sometimes hard to find gluten free food but thankfully we were able to order pizzas that we were okay with. Mine was called a Wharfinger and the topping was sweet chilly sauce, prawns, avocado and feta cheese - very very yummy!


My 3 teens love this place, 2 of them were at high school so I ordered some takeout food for them but my oldest who is 19 years old came along. As you can see below there's a shot of hm and I after we'd had lunch.


Hope you're enjoying your weekend. Mine is going to involve making another cheesecake for my dad for father's day then lots of relaxing, reading and hoping we have some fine weather. Enjoy!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Skywatch Friday - Spring Sunsets after work




We've had some neverending rain here over the last few months that it was a nice change two nights ago to see these spectacular skies on the way home from work. This is the main road into the town where I live - I pulled over just before the school into a road, parked my car, grabbed my cellphone and took this shot. Not the best quality but hopefully you can see what I saw - amazing colours here in Northland, NZ.

Spring is here!

For more Skywatch Fridays - click here :-)

Thursday, 4 September 2014

What a mind boggling week!


You know I'm the sort of person who tries to stay positive and see the good in everything but sometimes things just totally boggle my mind. I'm pretty straight up with people and I like others to be the same with me but one thing that bothers me is when games get played, silly little games.

I don't let the small stuff get to me and most of the time I let alot of worries go completely over my head. This week has been all about second guessing myself and other people which isn't a nice attitude to have had following me around. I also don't like it when people go behind my back and discuss me with others, I'd much rather they come to me directly with concerns. In saying that it's good to know that I do have friends who are true and not false, it's good to know that I don't work Fridays so I can spend tomorrow vegetating and resting and not worrying about what others think of me. This weekend I'm letting all the troubles of the week go and next Monday I'm starting off brand new!

Oh and I"m hoping that all the copious amounts of rain we've had is going to stop so things can dry up here a wee bit...

Friday, 29 August 2014

Skywatch Friday - chilly Spring mornings




We really do get some amazing skies here by the beach. This one was taken 2 mornings ago while I was out early walking my Jack Russell dog Tia. Was very chilly and frosty so thankfully I had a warm jacket and polar fleece gloves on.




For more Skywatch Fridays click here :-)

More Spring flowers

  Linking up with  Through my lens ,  Ruby Tuesday ,  Tuesday Treasures ,  My corner of the world  and  Wordless Wednesday .