Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Mangawhai Markets - every Saturday morning!

There's a regular event that happens here in Mangawhai every Saturday morning - the markets are a great way for local farmers and businesses to sell their wares and fresh produce. Plants, herbs and natives are the specialty of the lady above.

Books for sale and lots of them!  

Fresh fruit & veges!

I think these were either soaps or bath bombs - not sure but they did smell lovely and scented. There are lots more things sold here, the photos I'm sharing are just snippets. I recently found out that inside the hall a local baker sell fresh sourdough bread and other types of bread he makes. I'll have to check whether he also makes gluten free bread - that would be up my alley!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Thankful for my winter blessings...

I was tagged on facebook by a friend to take part in 3 days of blessings - here are some of the things I'm thankful for:

  • That I live in such a lovely part of NZ, it's fresh, clean, has at least 3 beaches near by: Mangawhai surf beach, Langs Beach and Te Arai.
  • That I can pay my rent, bills and provide food for my teens every week.

  • My family who have always been a huge source of support for us. Life is not always easy being a single parent of 3 teenagers so it's good to have them nearby.
  • My warm bed and my electric blanket.
  • The sun outside that has been here since the last 2 storms we had recently.
  • Fun I had over the weekend with my youngest taking silly photos.
  • And lastly I'm thankful and chocolate - they make everything better sometimes!
Wanna share yours?

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Candelabra and Candles at Bianca's Cafe - Kaiwaka

If there's one thing I love using over winter it's scented candles - my favourites are Vanilla and Cinnamon. I have quite a few of them on Candelabras around my house.  This spectacular one is in Bianca's Café in Kaiwaka, in fact the whole interior is decorated in similar themes with others on various tables along with some lovely old fashioned elements.

This place is lovely to meet the girlfriends throughout the year but especially winter. Sometimes we will meet at the Frog n Kiwi Restaurant here in Mangawhai other times we will meet here at Bianca's. There's nothing like a good gasbag and a catchup over a great cup of coffee.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Mangawhai surf beach this morning - lots of seaweed

And dried coral and sponge. Terrible to see the sand dunes so blown away by the recent storm - they looked very different :-(

Friday, 25 July 2014

Winter hibernation list...

Swiped from: A little bit country...

Making:  A tidy house.
Cooking: Roast chicken & vegetables (Kumara, Potatoes, Carrots) thanks to the olive oil my sister gave me.
Drinking: A cup of tea.
Reading: blogs on my favourites list.
Wanting: A nice cold whiskey with L & P.
Looking: my dog under a blanket on the couch.
Playing: throwing toys around the lounge for my jack Russell dog Tia
Deciding: on whether to clean my windows tomorrow or not.
Wishing: I could handle late nights more - unfortunately I'm usually in bed by 10pm .
Enjoying: the DVD/video player I was given.
Waiting: for a sunny day.
Liking: the people I work with - they are a neat bunch.
Wondering: what to do with the teens this weekend.
Loving:  how it's pay day next week.
Pondering: what design to get for my next tattoo.
Watching: Time Team on History Channel.
Hoping:  we aren't hit with another dose of the flu again.
Marveling: at how awesome my teenagers are.
Needing: to hibernate this weekend.
Smelling: dinner cooking in the oven.
Wearing: leggings, sweatshirt, socks and slippers.
Following: Mad Bush Farm - one of my favourites and also one of my besties.
Noticing: my hair needs a good trim.
Knowing: I have a spare container of Echinacea and garlic tablets in my pantry.
Thinking: I hope I don't need to use them in the near future.
Feeling: blessed.
Admiring: the freshly cut grass in my backyard.
Buying: a car registration today - pity it's so expensive!.
Getting: into more baking this weekend - have lunchboxes to fill next week.
Bookmarking: new blogs.
Opening: weird messages I receive on Facebook.
Giggling: at some of the conversations my teens have with each other.
Feeling: awesome!.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Wellsford Railway Station

This is one of those places where you might not think there's a lot there but in reality there's quite a few things to check out. I've been doing a lot of lunch time walking on the days I work and have learned a few things:

  • There's a ton of graffiti particularly around this area of Wellsford.
  • Mostly logs and wood are carried along on the trains through here.
  • There is a gang headquarters around the corner of the railway.
  • Nearby are the cattle sale-yards.
  • And the buildings around the front of the property use to the a stopover for buses a few years back.

I've got quite a few more streets to explore so watch this space...

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Winter is here but there's still plenty of colour!

Another storm swept through here over the weekend swamping already soggy regions around Northland. Seems we got a respite Sunday morning because I was able to get out for a walk to the surf beach. On the way it was nice to see some colour in the form of this purple Hebe in someone's garden.

This one is Mangawhai estuary viewed from Wintle Street - stormy skies still but the water looking much calmer than it probably had been the night before. Think we definitely need some sun to dry out the land here.

Monday, 21 July 2014

First school ball for my daughter - good times!

Last Friday night it was the night of my daughter's school ball. She wanted something different so my sister managed to find this lovely dress online. We think it's a bit Victorian Steampunk-ish and she loved it. No one else wore anything like it. Isn't she beautiful?

I snapped this photo of the inside of the ball - it was an Avatar theme which looked pretty cool. When her father dropped her off to me the next morning she was very very tired but thankfully she had a wonderful time.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Cove Road, pink ti tree flowers and yet more rain for Northland

So this morning I finally got out for a walk. I decided to go a different route with my dog, this time along Cove Road here in Mangawhai and along the way I saw this bare field of trees which a few weeks ago were covered in Autumn leaves. Looks very bare except for some miniature white agapanthus on the fence line.

These lovely colour flowers on our native ti-trees were a welcome sight further along the road. Unfortunately there wasn't much else to look at apart from gray skies and now we have more rain. sigh. Not much to do except hibernate inside the house with the heater on and blankets on.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Walks around Wellsford - sights I've seen this week

This week it's been freezing cold in the mornings, too nippy for me to get out and walk my dog like I usually do so instead I've been walking around Wellsford during my lunchtime - here's a few of the things I've seen:

This lovely art deco stucco home along the main road of Rodney Street - the owners have looked after it well by the look of it.

Kiwiana artwork along the fence of Wellsford Kindergarton - very colourful for where children play inside.

Wellsford Rsa with a pot of red vibrant pansies next to the entrance way - makes a colourful scene in the middle of winter.

Another lovely well restored house - this one in Batten Street is so pretty! It's been lovingly looked after and well preserved - looks like a large house too!

Friday, 11 July 2014

What to do in Mangawhai on winter days

It's been so stormy and mucky here that we've virtually been stuck inside. Today at last the rain stopped and the teens and I were able to drive down to Mangawhai village for a visit to Bennetts Chocolatier. Each season they change their displays and they have some lovely chocolate for sale. We like the 2nds box!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A storm from hell here in Northland

Since yesterday Northland and parts of the Kaipara have been bombarded by what we've called "a storm from hell". It's wreaked alot of damage around certain areas - thankfully here in Mangawhai we retained our power and didn't come off too bad. I did hear the fire brigade siren go off 3 times though so whether it was a car accident or flooding who knows.

This is some of the damage I witnessed on the way to work this morning - trees in various places lying across the main road. In some places there were apparently road slips.

This was Mangawhai village this morning when I dropped some books off at the library. Very windy and still raining. We're all hoping the storm will ease off tonight and hopefully we'll have some fine winter weather come the weekend.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Pow! Kaboom!

Spotted at Orewa Beach the other day this funky painted van with the words "pow" on one side and "kaboom" on the other. I wonder what the reasoning is behind it? Think they were probably tourists judging from the luggage in the back - hope they are enjoying our wonderful country.

Watching them sort of made me envious though. I love nothing better than a good old road trip, me, my camera & my two teens. Going somewhere new, somewhere we've never been, seeing things we've never seen before. The thrill of eyes wide open, exploring new scenery and seeing new things to photograph literally everywhere....

Friday, 4 July 2014

Orewa beach - stunning on a sunny winter's day

While on the way back home today from an orthodontist appointment I stopped in sunny Orewa beach for a quick walk. Couldn't resist - stunning scenery!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Thoughts of Kaipara's Whakapirau beach - time to get back!

My daughter and I visited the lovely Whakapirau beach on the Kaipara coast earlier this year. It's one of those places that is situated in a quiet scenic area with not many people around. It's family friendly and absolutely beautiful! We're planning another trip out there when it warms up here.

Time for a trim

Last week we had the tree guy here trimming our palm trees. We have 5 around our property and sometimes the leaves go brown and look really ...