31 January 2012

Moving On!

WHAT a weekend!

Well first our exciting news which I've had to stay quiet about until it was confirmed. But the Williams family (and Delissimon along with them) are relocating!!

View of gorgeous clubhouse from greensstaff driveway - its still in construction.

My incredibly talented husband has been appointed as the Superintendent of Fairview Golf Club which sits under the Kaimai Ranges down in the beautiful Bay of Plenty, in Katikati to be exact. It's an area of beautiful coastline, stunning vistas and lovely people, neat towns with lots of history and lots of tourist which pass through. Best of all it's only 2 hours away from Auckland and mum and dad and our lovely friends.

Its an amazing new opportunity for us and the culmination of 4 years hard work from Owen and his awesome support crew (me). We are feeling like this is a GOOD move for us, a chance to start over and be our own little unit for a while and take on a fresh challenge.

View from pro shop towards the Kaimai ranges.

I think blog posting might be quite few and far between in the next month or so, while I organise 5 years of our stuff out of our current home up here in Auckland. Yikes, I'm not looking forward to that although I am looking forward to minimising our stuff!

13 January 2012


Linking in with PJ....

"I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something that you can be thankful for... no matter how simple it is." Paisley Jade

What a month it has been. Spending time over Christmas with these three...WHAT a treat!

Alex (older brother), Monica (Alex's girlfriend) and Eddie (younger brother)

Loving our family golf tournament at a rural Northland club...

With Eddie keeping it classy...

Loving these guys!

Nice...typical Johnny-at-4yrs-old face.

Although the lounge is COVERED in toys, washing (thanks to wet weather), videos, games and books we are doing our best to keep busy during the holidays. When the sun comes out we've been making the most of it! Like walking from Takapuna to Milford with friends.

And family date nights getting sushi and going to the golf driving range...where Johnny cracked us up the whole time. He's turning out to be just like his uncles...

Loving indecent, steaming, beer-cooked BBQ chicken. Actually a beer can stuffed up a chickens insides and BBQ'd. It has to have a cover so the heat evenly cooks it. I was a skeptic, but Owen cooked 3 perfectly and they were DELICIOUS! Works best on a large chicken.
Try it...its fun and will shock the mother in law perfectly! Haha!


Have a great weekend y'all! Apparently the sun is meant to be out too all weekend, so here's hoping!

10 January 2012

Christmas in Pictures

I haven't posted these yet.
Yes they are a bit late.
They are the pictures from our Christmas away.

For the first time since Owen and I had been married (13 years this year!) we haven't been away from Auckland for the actual day. Usually we are all over the show, piling kids into the car while a massive brunch was still sitting heavy in our tummies and heading off to another family do to eat more food that we had no appetite for. Which is not a terrible thing, as we got to spend time with precious family and eat and enjoy each other's company. But this year? It was calling for a break in tradition. Something different. Not the same old, same old. My brothers were coming home. For the first time in 5 years we were having a Christmas together, so we decided to up sticks and take off up North.
We had an early Christmas with Owen's family and then off we went.

Big boys never really grow up...

My little brother Eddie and Mads

Well it was BLISS - sun was shining, kids were up early, full English breakfast, swimming in the ocean, playing in the sun, napping on the couch, eating more food, taking photos, moving the dining table to the garden to enjoy dinner alfresco. Lots of laughing and lots of fun. Geez I love my family...never a dull moment that's for sure!

Mads was genuinely terrified

Alex and his beautiful gal Monica

Thanks for the memories guys!

09 January 2012

Orange Cake

This one is a sweetie...a wee orange cake I made for a special morning tea with some friends I used to work with, back in the distant past before I had the kids. Thanks Ruth, Nat (and Olly!) and Lisa. It was so wonderful to catch up!

The orange is not as strong as this one I made back in 2010, it was rather more subtle than that. Although that recipe was full on orange flavour, the warm day called for something less bitter, more sweet.

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com ages ago as a beat and bake orange cake and I used my small 11cm ring tin.

Recipe is as follows:

250g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups white sugar
120ml milk
120ml orange juice
120ml oil (I used rice bran)
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 175deg C. Grease and line baking tin.
In a measuring cup combine milk, orange juice, oil, beaten eggs and zest. Stir and set aside.
Sift flour, salt and baking powder into mixing bowl. Mix in sugar. Make a well in the centre and pour in the liquid mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Bake in oven for 35 mins (although mine took about 50mins as I used the one tin, I didn't divide the mixture) or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool.

When cool combine: 85g softened butter, 2 cups icing sugar, 2 tablespoons orange juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and beat together until light and fluffy. Ice and top with a wee bit of orange rind and some grated chocolate.
Serve and enjoy!

01 January 2012

Happy NEW Year

And 2011 is gone. Just like that. I'm sure I'm not alone in the thought that 2011 went remarkably fast?

2011 was full of new hopes for me. A new start. Fresh new me. My hair grew back, I finished Herceptin, started a new trial drug, started a photography diploma, didn't bake so much, focused on getting myself back to being as normal as possible, focused on family and keeping my darling littlies on a stable level that they missed in 2010. I took it easy on myself last year, putting it down to being a "recovery" year. Now its on...I want to be healthier, more fit, lose some weight, tone those arms. Be as physically fit as I can. Eat better.

I also have some BIG decisions to make - about our future and my surgeries. I've not updated about the surgeries since before I had my meeting with the plastic surgeon. I've attempted a post on it a few times and I've never seemed to get it right. I hate to always look like I'm moaning. And other reason is that I'm just so EXHAUSTED thinking about it. Its still an incredibly emotional topic.
It turns out that surgery won't be as straightforward as I first thought. I can't have an implant as radiation really took that option out for me. My skin and muscle tone won't support an implant and the chances of it rejecting and not working are as high as 60%. So that was really disappointing. The other options involve such a major surgery and recovery, and then the risks involved there are increased too. Basically the surgery involves taking my abdominal muscle and pulling it up to form the muscle for a breast, so you lose the abs (not that I have any visible ones right now!). It is a major 6-8 hour surgery, and recovery is months. And there is no guarantee it will all work out properly. So I'm down to looking at two options. Go for major surgery and risk complications and long recovery, and possibly losing my active lifestyle or just get the other breast removed and live the rest of my life completely flat chested. I'm trying to imagine how at 50 I'm going to be okay with that. Will I feel sexy then?
Like I said...its an incredibly emotional decision and I'm just trying to get through that at the moment. That's probably why I've been quiet on the blog front.

But on more positive vibes, its a new year and with that comes new opportunities. Owen is in the middle of looking to transition to a new golf club at some stage, we are hoping it will be soon. But we are looking at Australia as a very possible location. So lately life has been about downsizing and getting rid of surplus. It feels GOOD to get rid of so much stuff. I look at our spare room where I've piled up some of our things that I need to get rid of and I wonder how we have managed to accumulate so much JUNK! I love the excuse to downsize and start a new life. So aside from surgery decisions, the rest of the year is looking promising and exciting for our little unit of 5 here in Auckland.

Finally, I want to wish all my readers and occasional visitors a very happy 2012 and say a massive thank you for your comments, support and encouragement over the last few years. I've managed to vent, praise, show off, share and basically tell so much through here and hopefully that's been helpful for some people, but its been immensely meaningful for me. I've also met some wonderful people purely by being part of the blogging community and I am so grateful for those connections.

Happy 2012 to you all