Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Bookish - All The Beautiful Strangers

Kia ora,

All these Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth is another one that has recently popped to the top of my to-read pile.



The book follows Charlie Calloway, the one and only, heir to the Calloway fortune and unfortunate child whose mother disappeared 10 years ago. Charlie is back at Knollwood Augustus Prep School for another year, living her perfect life, only this year she's received a mysterious and coveted note from the As.

Will she manage to get through the difficult, demanding and dangerous initiation period or will she see her dreams, and possibly her school career in jeopardy? As her story unfolds things become much more sinister and the story of her mother begins to break into her life now.

This novel moves at a pace and has a strong thriller element to it. There were a couple of moments when I was sorely tempted to jump ahead just to make sure things would come right - I resisted of course, I'm not that kind of reader!

Some unexpected plot twists and another excellent YA novel that is filled with strong, get it done female characters. All These Beautiful Strangers is Klehfoth's first novel and I look forward to reading more from her.

Details - Penguin Random House, 16 July 2018 RRP$23.00

love you more than a paisley travelling case xxx

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Bookish - The Emerald Sea

Heya Readers,

It's winter holiday time here and I've just returned from four beautiful days in the central South Island (Te Waipounamu) with the people I love best.

While away I read 3 and 3/4 books which feels like the measure of a good holiday!

One of these was The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead.



Mead is a very successful author with several series under her pen. This one is part of the 'Glittering Court' novels. It's the first title I've read by Mead and I'd been keen to read other things she has written.

The book covers Tamsin's quest to make it to the New World and secure the best husband meaning she, her family and her secret will be secure. At the Glittering Court school no one has worked harder than Tamsin to make sure she is at the top of her game. On the way to the New World disaster strikes though, and the plans that she and the other young women had are faced with the bleak realities of what might be.

No matter what difficulties lie ahead and what new cultural paradigms are thrown at her Tamsin's determination never wavers. Nothing, not even her own desires are allowed to get in her way. Will determination, destiny or desire win out in the end?

I really enjoyed this book. It's long enough to let the characters really develop and for there to be several interesting shifts in the narrative. The main character is strong and gets things done and there are a couple of other female characters that are the same. I appreciate that even in romantic moments the female characters don't abandon their personality in favour of simpering and eye-lash fluttering.

A perfect holiday read.

Details - Penguin Random House, July 2018 RRP $30.00

love you more than a makeshift shelter in a blizzard xxx


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Bookish - The Visitor

Hey friends,

One of the things I love about Gecko Press is how selective they are in the titles that they publish. All of their books have some kind of unexpected or quirky way of seeing the world or telling a story.

The Visitor by Antje Damm is no different.



The story is about Elise who is frightened of everything so her life exists only in the four walls of her home. Until, one day, quite unexpectedly there is a knock on the door and her little visitor will change everything for her.

This is a beautiful story, gently told, about the power of small people to just be themselves and bring love and colour into the world.

The pictures are 3 dimensional sets that the author has created and have a doll's house like quality to them.

A book to treasure.

Details - Gecko Press, July 2018 RRP $29.99 HB (follow the link for a peak inside at the illustrations)

love you more than a paper aeroplane at just the right moment xxx

Monday, June 25, 2018

Bookish - The Hunters

Heya friends,

I am always keen to see books that highlight more of what makes Aotearoa unique as a nation - culturally, geographically and in terms of our flora and fauna.

The Hunters by Debbie Stewart is a hugely comprehensive book that will satisfy any bird lover, especially those who are interested in birds of prey.



The book is an excellent mix of photography, 'at a glance' style pages of facts, profiles, and much longer chunks of text around various topics.

There is an introduction to all our birds of prey as well as chapters covering Māori and birds of prey and extinct birds of prey. However the book does not stay in history, it covers all the kind of information anyone might like to know from falconry practises to how urban dwellers can encourage birds of prey and support their population growth.

I especially like that all birds are given their Māori, English and Latin names and that there is a relaxed approach to the use of these names throughout the book.

There's even a great page on the turns of phrase and language that have become part of popular vernacular that relate to falconry - including terms like 'under the thumb' and 'hoodwink'.

A beautiful, comprehensive book written with an expert mind and a bird lover's heart. This would make an excellent gift.

Details - Penguin Random House, June 2018 RRP $50.00

love you more than new knowledge of local and long ago things xxx

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Bookish - for fabulous little people

Heya,

One of the things I most enjoyed in the early years of parenting was the hours spent consuming books together. Even now I continue to buy children's books and read them for pleasure.

In June there are some new releases from Penguin Random House that I am rather fond of already.

Roald Dahl's 1 2 3 and Roald Dahl's Opposites - both illustrated by Quentin Blake (of course!) are board books. When my two were small I really resisted board books initially because they looked like they were for 'babies' and so I worried we wouldn't keep enjoying them when the boys grew out of that stage. What experience taught me was that board books would allow me to enjoy reading with my boys much earlier without having all the pages scrunched and torn in excitement.

So, now I often give board books as baby gifts, because you can never start a book obsession too young right?!

The 1 2 3 book is a sweet book of counting 'chiddlers' (I do love imaginary words in children's books) and spotting the naughty crocodile on each page. The book is clearly based on the Enormous Crocodile book. (We have a great rendition of Stephen Fry reading this as an audio book, so good!). I would say in my experience some little people, the monster loving and chasing loving kind will love spotting the crocodile. There may be others who find the crocodile and sense of suspense more difficult to cope with.



Details - Penguin Random House, June 2018 RRP $15.99 BB

The Opposites book is one of those great books that has lift the flap features (a favourite with small fingers) and is mainly animals all of which feature in different favourite Roald Dahl books. The book has simple illustrations and great use of colour. I can see this one being a firm favourite and quickly becoming one a little person can 'read' all by themselves.



Details - Penguin Random House, June 2018 RRP $15.99 BB

Finally, another classic by Lynley Dodd. A Dragon in a Wagon features Dodd's classic ability to rhyme with style and fun. Susie's dog is a perfect little friend for walking but wouldn't it be nice if he could be something a bit strange or different just for once? Have fun as Susie's imagination runs away with her until she falls, and then who does she really want at her side? For anyone who enjoys Lynley Dodd and crazy animals.



Details - Penguin Random House, June 2018 RRP $17.99 PB

love you more than shelves that are fit to burst with great books xxx

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Bookish - Listen for the Weather

Kia ora koutou,

Listen for the Weather by Justine Delaney Wilson is the latest novel to transfer itself off my to-be-read pile. (It is a large pile and not helped by my propensity to buy books!).



The book follows Beth and Steven and the idyllic life they have built since immigrating from Ireland to NZ. A life whose smooth surface is about to be well and truly changed by a gigantic rock, in the form of a dalliance whose consequences can no longer be forgotten.

The book is hard to read but I imagine very realistic for any person who has watched their marriage slowly imploding even as they try to weave the straws of it back together. It's a story of consequences and heartaches and insecurities and lives that are so entwined there may be nothing left if they come untwined.

There are some lovely moments in the book and many ones where you want to reach through a slap a character (or two!).

I think it's the kind of story that will stay with me for some time and give me insight into just how difficult the journey of love sometimes is for people.

Details - Hachette NZ, May 2018 RRP $34.99

love you more than a 19 year old boy who defends his mama xxx

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Bookish - The Key

Kia ora koutou,

The winter is really setting in here in Christchurch, NZ and I'm between semesters in study so I making the most of adding more reading time to my life.

I recently finished reading The Key by Kathryn Hughes.



The novel flicks between two time periods - 1956 in the Ambergate County Lunatic Asylum and 2006 where Sarah is exploring the past of what is now an abandoned old building - the same Ambergate from the previous period.

The book is clearly well researched and told from a storyteller who has the ability to grasp the small details that make a setting come to life. In 1956 Ellen is a student nurse with minimal training and a desire to do good. Her placement at the asylum is supremely challenging. She has compassion for the patients and especially those for whom the asylum has become a way of dealing with troubled family members.

As the time there unfolds it is clear that there are lines that are being crossed by patients and caregivers...

Meanwhile in 2006 Sarah makes a discovery that will lead to more information and more questions than she could dream of. Will she follow them all the way to their conclusion and what impact will that have on her life and the illusions that surround it?

At one point I was a bit worried that the nature of treatments doled out to patients would become too intense for me to read but in the end I'm glad I persevered and they didn't go too far in a direction I was worried about. It is a harrowing read in places because these are real things that happened to real people.

It reminds me of the richness our world has in its diversity and how powerful the desire to make everyone behave in certain ways can be - and the damage it does to humanity when those impulses are given free reign.

Details - Hachette NZ, April 2018, RRP $29.99

love you more than a sandwich shared by strangers xxx

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Bookish - The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

Heya Friends,

Now that I am studying part time sitting down to read for pleasure feels like such an indulgence. I think I stopped reading for pleasure about midway through high school, I neglected it while studying and teaching and I didn't really get back into it until I was home with my children. It's a shame really - all those books I could have got through.



Recently I read Ruth Hogan's book The Particular Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes. The book is Marsha's story, a life that was stunted by a terrible event 12 years earlier. For the following years she has been stuck and unable to go on. Her spare time is shared between the cemetery and the local outdoor pool where she is unable to drown herself, even though she would like to.

Two highly unexpected women make their way into Marsha's life and piece by piece the rare, and unseen beauty of their lives invites her to embark on a journey back to a life that is filled with life.

I so enjoyed this book. I love that the best and brightest characters were older women who had refused to live the life society would have dictated to them. The joy they offered others in just being unapologetically themselves is a great invitation to us all.

Details - Hachette NZ, May 2018 RRP $34.99

love you more than a perfect chorus delivered to hungry crows xxx

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Bookish - I'm The Biggest

Kia ora koutou,

It's nice to be moving into the cooler weather which always feels like a great opportunity to snuggle up with a book - with little people or on my own.



I'm the Biggest by Stephanie Blake continues to explore the life of the rabbit Simon who has made himself famous with his regular retort in the book Poo Bum. This time Simon's new language 'No way!' sees him exploring the classic childhood rivalry over who's growing fastest.

It also explores the deep contradiction that you can bag your sibling but heaven help anyone else who does it while you're around!

If you have little people who love Simon and the other books about him this one will hit the spot and I'm sure be an oft requested read aloud.

Details - Gecko Press, June 2018, RRP $19.99 PB

love you more than a new mark on the height chart xxx

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Bookish - Lynley Dodd

Hi Peeps,

If any of you have travelled through the toddler years you will be well familiar I am sure with Hairy MacLary and all his friends by the fabulously talented Lynley Dodd.

Dodd has such skill with words and illustrations and she never fails to hit the mark. Her rhyme schemes are impeccable and an absolute joy to read aloud.

Today I'd love to introduce you to two of Dodd's non-Hairy MacLary titles which I think are just as perfect and would be a gorgeous addition to any collection.

Sniff-Snuff-Snapp



Counting, animals and a bossy wart hog who doesn't want to share the watering hole. First published in 1995 I remember my very small number lover adoring this book when it came home with us one day from a library visit.

The animals are so lovely and the relationship between the warthog and the others may well be played out in kindy sandpits from time to time. One of my favourite ever counting books - it's a proper story that happens to be a counting book, rather than a counting book thinly held together with a story.

Details - Penguin Random House NZ, May 2018 $17.99

Find Me A Tiger



Again a book whose rhyme scheme absolutely delights me. Each page has a delightful four line rhyme with an accompanying picture to explore to find the animal hiding in the picture some where. I can see this being a firm favourite with any little animal lover or detective.

The relationship between the words and illustrations just sings.

Details - Penguin Random House NZ, May 2018 $17.99

love you more than hours of enjoying words with little people xxx

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Bookish - Finding

Aloha,

I'm enjoying squeezing in moments here and there to read. This year I am studying and working alongside my usual life so the time I have for leisure is precious and I am trying to guard it more carefully and use it more intentionally and joyfully.

Much better to lose an hour in a book than reading alarming things and social media rants online!

Finding by David Hill is a great novel that follows an intertwining of two whānau through seven generations.



The novel spans from 1886 through to 2018 and tells everyday mundane and extraordinary events of two Māori and Pakeha families. There has clearly been research that has gone into giving the book depth and plausibility.

Each chapter is told in the voice/s of a new generation and it is great to feel the link between the generations.

This sort of book makes me want to know more of the family stories that give me life.

A very readable novel. Suitable for competent readers of upper primary and beyond. A great way to delve into some of our history's events in a way that brings them to life.

Details - Penguin Random House NZ, May 2018 RRP $19.99

love you more than a wonderful discovery during a very near miss xxx

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Bookish - Kakapo Dance

Kia ora koutou,

I am always on the look out for New Zealand authors and topics in books to give to friends, near and wide, when they have little ones.



I think books are a fantastic gift and in the early years board books are worth their weight in gold. Little people go through rather a grabby phase and it's so good to still be able to share books with them without the heartache of ripped pages.

Kakapo Dance by Helen Taylor is a great size for sharing with little ones and the pages are nice strong card which makes them durable and the pages turnable. My favourite part of the book are the illustrations which remind me just how beautiful our birds are. They are brimming with life and colour and movement.

As I read it I was reminded how many of our birds we call by their Māori (original) names. I would love it even more if all the names were the Māori ones, I think it's such a great way for us to work towards more recognition of the names that were already given.

A fun, onomatopoeic, read aloud book for little birds who need to know we all dance and sing our own way.

Details - Penguin Random House, May 2018 RRP $15.99 BB

love you more than a tui on a kowhai tree xxx 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Bookish - You Are Awesome

Heya,

How could I resist asking for a book called You Are Awesome? Turns out I am so glad I did. Matthew Syed author and former international table tennis champion has written this excellent, visually appealing and highly readable book.



In it he breaks down the difference being being average and being ordinary - and though there are plenty of big names scattered through out the book, he is at pains to paint the real story of how they got to where they are. There are sections of famous failures and what people see and what the reality is.

The book is a great exploration, at a upper primary to lower high school level, of the growth mindset. It has plenty of great tips along the way.

This is a book I will be recommending to our school library and encouraging my children and teachers I work with to read.

A timely, well written and challenging (must persevere more!) book to read.

Details - Hachette NZ, April 2018, RRP $24.99

love you more than a funny story about a bus to Norway xxx

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Bookish - Valdemar's Peas

'sup peeps,

Hope your reading lists are looking as fulsome and inviting as mine. Is it just me or do other people buy books at a much faster rate than they can read them??



Valdemar's Peas was a requested title from Gecko Press who publish fabulous books for children. This particular title is an English translation of a Swedish book by Maria Jonsson.

It's simple illustrations and pared back text are one of those combinations in great children's writing that I find so clever. Valdemar and his little sister are eating dinner and Valdemar must eat his 'boring round and pointless' peas before he'll be allowed chocolate ice-cream... how will he get around this dilemma? Has Valdemar got the smarts to outsmart Papa?

A fabulous book that we have enjoyed several repeats of already at our place.

Details - Gecko Press, May 2018 RRP $19.99 PB

love you more than a Papa in a pinny xxx

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Bookish - Ghost Boys

Heya,

I was a bit worried about requesting Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes as I tend to find books and movies that cover racism extremely disturbing. I'm so glad I pushed myself though.



The book is Jerome's story, a 12 year old boy playing with a plastic gun in a park, before he is shot by police. The book alternates between his voice pre and post death and is his own journey of discovery as he meets other boys like himself.

I read the whole book, which is older fiction though not necessarily YA territory, in an evening. The chapters are very short and the narrative moves really well. I felt so challenged reading this book and within a day of finishing it I had recommended it to at least two people. It's a story of racial prejudice in law enforcement and the Black American children who have lost their lives because of it.

Instead of feeling angry and bitter this book is an exploration of what it means to bear witness and to face up to these things that happen regardless of how 'colour-blind' we may claim to be. It's hopeful and heartfelt and devastating at the same time. I consider it to be an incredibly important book and I will be recommending it to the school my children attend as a novel study book.

While it might seem as a New Zealander this issue is not particularly 'ours' reading the book felt like a real challenge to me. I came away from it thinking anytime I recognise a sense of fearfulness or stereotyping in the way I think towards a people group, that indicates thinking and experience I must challenge in myself.

As a mother raising two wonderful white boys this is a book I want to read with them as they get a bit older and to talk about these things. I think it's so, so important for any of us raising white children, especially boys, that we do all we can to help them realise their 'privilege' and to be able to humbly journey with that in the spaces they occupy in the world. We cannot let attitudes of entitlement and unchallenged perspectives of the world be their journey. Having said that I think this book is for everyone we all have something to gain from it.

It's so foreign to me to think of the police as anything other than a group of people or person that would help me. It would never enter my thinking to be frightened of them or worry that I might experience injustice at their hands - sadly that's because of my privilege not a universal truth.

I find racism so upsetting yet I am not without my part to play. I am sure I have offended, appropriated and lived in the spheres of my privilege unchallenged, arrogant and unaware. I hope and pray that I will continue to learn and I am very grateful for the beautiful book that is Ghost Boys and its invitation to me as a white woman on a journey.

Details - Hachette NZ, 24 April 2018 RRP $19.99 PB

love you more than a painful realisation you still have a way to go xxx

Friday, April 20, 2018

Bookish - Paper Dolls - When Harry Met Meghan

Top of the day to you,

Many, many, many moons ago I had a paper doll set of Prince Charles and Lady Diana which I adored. I have no idea how many clothing options PC had but Lady Di had a fabulous collection of dresses that I had many hours of enjoyment from.




A love of clothes and a good dash of nostalgia lead me to request Dan Evans paper doll book When Harry Met Meghan. The flaps of the book contain a Harry and a Meghan complete with simple stand and the pages have clothing ensembles, facts and (possible) facts to add to the experience.

The bodies of H and M have already be scored to make punching out easier but the clothing and tabs have had no such treatment so if you are planning to purchase one for your young royalist.

As a clothes lover I would have liked more outfits but I think it would take a very large collection before I was at clothing option capacity!! ;-)

A super fun gift for any royal-lover in your life or a great prize if you're planning to host a wedding party to watch the proceedings.

Details - Hachette NZ, March 2018 RRP $14.99

love you more than wedding dress options xxx

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Bookish - Eat Happy

Heya,

How can anyone resist wanting a recipe book called Eat Happy: 30 minute feelgood food? This gorgeous hard covered recipe book by Melissa Hemsley is a real joy.



The recipes are designed with a focus on speed, easily accessible ingredients and promise to only use one pan or two - what's not to love? There are recommendations for substitutions should you find yourself caught short, or discover you are suddenly a vegan or vegetarian.

Melissa has spent many years in the food industry so she offers up a lot of tips and tricks along the way.

This recipe book feels like the perfect fusion between the way many people are trying to eat now - low sugar, gf and df options, using ancient grains and less refined ingredients - and also speedy, accessible ingredients that can be done without 43 hours following 15 different steps. It's doable, fast and driven by a clear love for fresh, seasonal, healthy ingredients that create beautiful flavours.

The book has ten chapters of food types - including sweets, thank you!, vegetable mains, bowl food... and there are also supplementary sections on using leftovers, how to make it work for you, making something out of nothing.

If you have a foodie in your life who never has enough time to cook and bake I think this might be a firm favourite.

Details - Penguin Random House, Feb 2018, RRP $55.00HB

love you more than little chocolate pots with only 5 ingredients xxx

Friday, April 13, 2018

Bookish - Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different

Heya :-)

I was SO excited to discover Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different by Ben Brooks was coming out. I already have a copy of the Rebel Girls book and I had felt a little sad for my boys that a similar thing didn't exist for boys.



I must say my boys have been very happy reading the girls' one and I like that they are being introduced to strong female characters in their lives (their mother falling into this category!).

One of the things I absolutely love about this book is the wide variety of ethnic groups and geographies and time periods represented. It is SO good for our children to read about all sorts of people whose lives and experiences are different from their own.

The stories are easily read and each one page story has a cool illustration that goes with it. The variety of achievement types is extremely wide too. The book features Taika Waititi - whoop! NZ represent.



I'm such a fan of these kind of books, of introducing children to heroes who don't fit stereotypes and who show them there is so much more to success and to the world than their experiences and point of view. For kiwi boys I think seeing heroes who aren't just sports stars is really important.

Both my boys pounced on this book when it came in the post and they have been reading different stories and showing me ones that have really struck a cord with them.



Details - Hachette NZ, April 2018 RRP $39.99 HB

love you like I love a collection of world changing men who never once picked up a sword or saved a princess xxx

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Makey - Wordy Sitching

Kia ora,

So I've been doing some more stitching. This is a quote from author of  A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L'Engle.



I just adore this quote and I enjoyed the process of stitching it.

I'm getting rather a collection of big and small wordy stitches... not sure what I'll do with them but I enjoy the process!

love you more than a sense of completing something xxx

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Bookish - The Squirrels Who Squabbled

Hi Squirrel Lovers,

I have really enjoyed reading The Squirrels Who Squabbled by Rachel Bright and Jim Field to many children already.



It has a lovely fast paced narrative and a sweet message. The illustrations are a great match to the text and move from beautiful page and double page spreads to more comic style action sequences. The rhyme scheme is solid as well.

It doesn't matter how grown up I get I will never stop loving the pleasure of a gorgeous picture book.

Details - Hachette NZ, April 2018 RRP $19.99

love you more than a waterfall rescue xxx

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Makey - Extrovert Introvert Quilt Top

Kia ora,

This year I am studying part time and for one of my assignments the tutor asked for a personal response to some of the material.

Well, that lead me on rather a journey and one of the things that has come from it is a series of quilts and mini-quilts, or at least they will be if I get them finished on time!



This quilt top is about the extroverts and the introverts and how both are powerful people types, both are beautiful and both are necessary.



The wild colours, which represent me - and many other extroverts all came from my stash, via off-casts of my dear friend Deb. Now that they are all mixed together I feel like I like them much more than I did individually.

What are you making right now?

love you more than a riot of colour xxx

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Bookish - Differently Normal

Kia ora Koutou,

Today's novel is written by NZ author Tammy Robinson.

Differently Normal is a novel that follows Maddy - whose life doesn't get to be typical.



With Bee, her autistic sister Maddy and her mother have to live their lives in line with Bee's needs. Maddy doesn't mind though, she adores Bee and she's okay with living a life that isn't all about falling in love.

When Maddy meets Albert at Bee's riding school there isn't any spark, she's just not interested and besides there is no room in her life for anyone. It seems though that Albert has a tenacity that Maddy's not quite prepared for... is her life really too complicated for love?

I enjoyed that Maddy wasn't falling over herself to impress Albert and win his affections.

I really appreciated the genuine love that Maddy and Bee shared and that Bee's autism was not only cast in a negative light. I found the depth of character demonstrated by the two main characters also really affirming.

Read an extract here

The story isn't without its twists but you'll have to discover those for yourself!

Details - Hachette NZ, January 2018 RRP $29.99

love you more than a perfectly captured photograph xxx

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Makey - Girl's Dresses New Look 6522

Hey Up :-)

I am blessed to have some very creative people in my world and I was talking to one of them last year and I mentioned how much I loved her paintings and she straight up offered to paint me one. I was very humbled and excited by the prospect!

In the spirit of generosity I wanted to make a thank you gift for her so I decided to make a couple of dresses for her wee ones.


I used New Look 6522 which I felt would be fairly forgiving when making for someone little who you don't know too well and would also be able to layer with warm things or allow the breeze to circulate in summer.



I think they quite like them, and me, I am so thrilled and proud to have a gorgeous piece of art by someone I know on my walls.

love you more than gold leaf xxx

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Bookish - Quark's Academy

Hey Readers,

We've just finished reading (aloud and on our own) Quark's Academy by Catherine Pelosi. Having two boys that love science I felt like this would be well received.



I read the first half of the book to them aloud and then let them continue one once the mystery was beginning to unravel.

The book  follows Augustine, Celeste and Oscar who have all been picked for a very special place in the extremely exclusive, for geniuses only, summer camp. They have one week to make the invention they pitched, and be judged against others. Who will win and what does the very impressive academy hide?

Along the way there will be unexpected friendship, moments of courage, strange and wonderful adventures and camaraderie.

An really enjoyable, very readable book for independent readers in upper primary - or a fun read aloud!

Details - Hachette NZ, January 2018 RRP $19.99

love you more than a perfectly timed scientifically created storm xxx

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Makey - Stichy

Kia ora,

So part of my prayer practise (I know that may seem an extremely weird sentence!) lately has been finding 'ancient prayers' that I like and free-hand stitching them onto random pieces of fabric with whatever threads I have in my collection.



I really love it. I do so many things at a very fast pace so stitching old worlds is a sort of slowing down and embedding.



This is a prayer I found last year when I was on a 7 day silent retreat and I stitched it recently.

Are you a collector of ancient words?



love you more than a straight line of random stitching xxx

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Bookish - Family Favourites

Hiya Peeps,

So it's already Autumn here in Chch (apparently - it's not actually that cold yet) and there are some pretty stunning things happening here and there in nature.

I was really thrilled to be sent a copy of Nadia Lim's book Family Favourites. We get her bargain box fortnightly and so I am familiar with her recipes and know they work, on the whole, with my family.



My eldest 11 was very pleased with the book mark that came with it that you can use to mark your own favs, bless him. He also decided to make The Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding immediately - that was most well received. I'll definitely be swapping this one to the go-to position from now on.

We've made quite a few things already from it, Sausage Rolls and Butter Chicken were very well received.

The recipes are clear, photographed and easy to follow.

If you can't bear the thought of having to come up with new ideas for dinner this is full of tried and true, family recommended meals from the bargain box programme.

Details - Penguin Random House, Feb 2018, RRP $35.00

love you more than a dinner someone else made for me xxxx

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Bookish - A Māori Word a Day

Ngā mihi koutou,

I love that there seems to be a groundswell (in my circles anyway) of people who are hungry to extend their knowledge of Te Reo Māori. As part of my learning journey I receive an email every day with a word and sentence and so I was thrilled to see Hēmi Kelly's book A Māori Word a Day come out too.



The book is beautifully laid out with a Māori word, it's definition and classification and a couple of rad sentences you can use with the word in it. One for every day of the year.

The book is a really nice size too so you could easily pop it on your desk at work or in a draw that's handy so you can try out your kupu hou (new words).

There is a pronunciation guide at the front and the great thing about Māori is that once you have that nailed down you can work out any word.

If you are wanting to go on a journey to use Te Reo or enhance the quantity you have this is an excellent resource.

Details - Penguin Random House, February 2018 RRP $30.00

love you more than a kaputī (cup of tea) xxx

Friday, February 23, 2018

Makery Stitchery

Hi :-)

Part of my creative practice last year as been linked to my faith. Picking up a needle and thread and 
engaging with stitching as prayer.

While we were away over the summer holidays I stitched this prayer that I had found.



I just stitch free-hand and I like the way it's all a bit wonky - imperfect like me, joyful all the same.

It's stitched on old linen type fabric I've had in stash for ages and just using threads in my embroidery case.

A project for taking time with.



love you more than a simple-soul fill xxx

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Bookish - We Own the Sky

Hi Hi,

When we got back from our holidays I was delighted to find some novels waiting to be read, to accompany the rather large stack of second hand books I may have purchased overseas! ahem.

We Own the Sky by Luke Allnutt was one I absolutely devoured.



It kept me up reading too late and made me messy cry. The story follows Rob, Anna and their son Jack along a path no one wants to journey. Life shattering and devastating circumstances leave them navigating unknown waters and questioning themselves.

This is the first work by Allnutt that I have read and I really enjoyed his writing style.

A moving and wonderful, heartbreaking read.

Details - Hachette NZ, February 2018 RRP $34.99

love you more than a box of tissues on hand xxx

Friday, February 16, 2018

Makery - Jasper Sweater Dress

Hello,

Well you might be forgiven for thinking I've really stopped making things but really I've stopped being so good at taking pictures and writing blog posts - although I suspect I am not alone in this!

Last year I saw a gorgeous rendition of the Jasper Sweater dress by Paprika Patterns and I really wanted one myself. Maybe it's nostalgia - I had one when I was about 11 and I felt fabulous in it! My mama made us quite a lot of clothing growing up and I do look back on them now with great fondness.


I also remember throwing up all over my step-brother while wearing it, but that is a post for another time!

The dress is pretty simple to make with the exception of the welt pockets. I have made welt pockets before (not in stretch) and I've always found the physics of the them a little challenging but got there in the end. I'm not sure entirely what went wrong here. There is both instructions and an online photo tutorial - maybe I overloaded?



After I unpicked something 3 times (a record!) I reminded myself I am not a perfectionist and finished was the goal.

I love the finished product. The navy velveteen and buttons had been in my stash for ages and the organic terry was a purchase towards the end of last year.

What's on your comfiest outfit list and would you wear a hoodie as a dress?

love you more than a matching seam stripe xxx

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Bookish - I Am Jellyfish

Heya Friends,

I hope your summer was full of books! I read quite a few which I loved. This year I'm going to be doing some study which means I might not have as much relaxation reading space in my life!

I Am Jellyfish by Ruth Paul is a gorgeous picture book. The rhyme scheme works beautifully  and the overall message of being who you are is a lovely one.



I love the line, "I am what I am, I know what I know, the darker the depths, the brighter I glow."

Having visited the Vancouver aquarium and fallen in love with the jellyfish there I know I'm going to especially enjoy sharing this story and my photos with children.



A wonderful Kiwi author and illustrator and a joyful read.

Details - Penguin Random House, Feb 2018 RRP $19.99

love you more than a glow-in-the-dark cover xxx

Monday, February 5, 2018

More of the Dresses

Heya,

Dressember was such an amazing experience. Along with all those amazing people who sponsored me and others all around the world over $2 million was raised to support those caught in cycles of slavery.

Amazing!!









Working together we achieve so much more.

Hope your 2018 has started really well - can you believe we are in February already?

May you have all the creative and world changing adventures you hope for this year!

love you more than a fabulous outfit xxx