Monday, 13 August 2018

This and That...


Life is quiet on the home front. I'm not a winter person, I hate the cold and tend to become bear-like, not the grouchy bear kind but the hibernating bear kind! In saying that, I do love my winter clothes much more than my summer clothes. I'm all about, jeans, jackets and boots. While hibernating at home, I have been doing lots of cleaning, sorting, organising and rearranging, all due to my new found energy levels. The Cowboy and the Cats are quite perturbed by my sorting, organising and rearranging. It's good to keep everyone on their toes, and paws...

Diary and Planning and Lists


These two hate change

This term I am working almost three full days and now have 18 children in my Writing Enrichment groups. It's fast and furious. They come in groups of three for 30 minutes a time, three days a week. I probably say this every time, but I really do love working with them. They are cute and it is so rewarding to see them progress and to gain confidence in their writing ability, range of vocabulary and oral language skills. It's so funny to hear them using their new-found words, they are big on the word 'pizazz'!  I don't miss being in a full class...until I visit one and then I do, but I'm not sure why - haha! Because of my increase in hours, I am now at school for both breaks and it has made me realise how much I missed spending time in the staffroom with friends and colleagues. It really helps that I am able to communicate again haha!

I have got a bit behind with my book club reading. The June book was From Darkest Skies by Sam Peters. It was late arriving from Book Depository and then I struggled to read it. It's a futuristic story which is not a genre I normally enjoy and I just could not get into and eventually stopped reading it, which is most unlike me. I forgot to order the July book, Once upon a Time in the East by Xiolu Guo so missed that discussion! August's book is All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg which arrived on Friday along with July's book which I ordered at the same time. Now to read the August book in time to participate in the online discussion. Goodness, so much pressure in reading, that I put on myself!
After months of binge-watching, all sorts of action, suspense and violent shows we came across Schitt's Creek and binge-watched the two seasons. At first, I wasn't sure but it quickly grew on me. The character development is wonderful and the entire show is absolutely hilarious. I had a period of mourning once it had finished but fortunately, it has been renewed for a third season and also a movie. It's so annoying when you get into watching something and am left with a cliffhanger and lots of loose ends only to find it hasn't been renewed for another season.

I've been cooking! Comfort food like soup, casseroles and curries. Last week I set myself a challenge, to cook a new recipe each week. You know, put my cupboard of recipes books to good use. Anyway, we have had Lamb Rogan Josh and Beef Ragu, both from Chelsea Winter's Scrumptious recipe book. Both dishes were, well, they were scrumptious!

Lamb Rogan Josh
Beef Ragu

Now, you must follow DreamPuffBakes on Instagram. Heidi is a former student of mine. She is only 13 years old and is a future patisserie chef. She creates the most wonderful edible confections of which I am able to testify to the deliciousness of her work. Heidi is also an incredibly talented hip-hop dancer and is the sweetest, bubbliest person ever! Go and show Heidi some Instagram love by following her!

Marshmallow Caramel Slice - DECADENT!

I may have had three slices of this...

  • Health - Amazing, I am going to do an update soon.
  • - I recently trialled some new skincare products and will share my reviews soon.
  • Pixi by Petra - I ordered a cleanser and toner and am obsessed!
  • I bought new bowls over the weekend so that my recipe challenge photos are more aesthetically pleasing. The Cowboy asked if they are like the show pillows on the bed!
  • Kindness - One of my teacher friends brought me back this divine bag from Singapore. I really felt overwhelmed by her thoughtfulness and kindness and I absolutely adore the bag.
  • The Princess is a real live teenager, she rolled her eyes at me twice on Saturday. I laughed! trial


New Recipes = New Dishes

I'm sure I had more to share, but I have left This and That for so long that I have forgotten! Haha

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 25 June 2018

A TO DO about Lists and Notebooks.

I was making a mental TO DO list the other day of what to put in my backpack because I was getting ready to go for a walk to my local cafe. I like to walk, get a coffee, maybe a cake or slice for a treat and work on projects such as this blog.

My list was frankly ridiculous, there was my tablet and Bluetooth keyboard, diary, red ideas notebook, maybe my journal, definitely my phone, money, hat, sunglasses and on it went. All for a 10 minute each way walk and maybe an hour at the cafe.

I then started thinking about the many types of books and ways I write, record and make lists.

There is the plain notebook on the kitchen counter that I use for my grocery shopping list. As soon as something is low or empty I write in the notebook. Otherwise, I forget. It also minimises the risk of stuffing up the online shopping although it's not entirely foolproof, ask my family about the giant pizza bases...  Oddly, I also use this notebook to list things we need for the house such as new pillows. I’m waiting for Briscoes to have a sale… NZ people will totally get that!

Not pretty but practical.
I also have an online Google Sheet which I use as a shopping wish list for things I want but don’t necessarily need.

Are we counting? That’s three different lists in two different places, all for shopping!

Moving away from shopping lists to TO DO lists. Currently, my overall TO DO lists are written in my diary, which is actually a fancy notebook I have set up in weekly spreads. I originally started this as a bullet journal type of thing and got right into making each weekly spread pretty, for all of about three weeks. It was very satisfying but unrealistic for the busy classroom teacher I was at the time. Now I just use different colours to define the different TO DO lists I have and sometimes I slap the odd sparkly sticker onto a page to satisfy my urge to embellish. I have a TO DO list for School, Personal, roseroomnz, Me, Home, the Princess and so on. I do an awful lot of TO DO list transferring from week to week!

Paperblanks make beautiful notebooks.
TO DO lists.

Pretty but not practical.
I transfer some of the TO DO things from my diary to my chalkboard as a TO DO sooner rather than later TO DO list. It also has shopping items on it such as bone broth, rose fertiliser and pruning scissors. Yep, another shopping list. Four different shopping lists in three different places!

TO DO's & Shopping.
When I was a classroom teacher I would use my big whiteboard in the holidays for writing huge TO DO lists of all the things I needed to do before a new school year or new term started such as planning, making resources, sourcing resources, classroom setup, displays, cleaning and so on.

In the small classroom I have now, I write lists on my whiteboard of the steps the children need to take to complete a writing project. It’s super helpful, not only to keep me on track but also for the children to see the big picture. The children love being the one to cross something off the list when a step is completed. I wonder if I am turning them into future TO DO list users!

And just to mix it up some more, last night I added a digital sticky note to the home screen of my laptop which is a TO DO list for roseroomnz. Another TO DO list, and wait, don't I already have a TO DO list for roseroomnz in my diary?


Let's move on to some of my other notebooks and forms of recording stuff...

I have a plain red, hardcovered notebook which I use to record ideas, goals, future plans and my ever growing bucket list. Lists on lists.

I see red, red, red lists
From lists to forms of writing that don't involve bullet points but do involve other notebooks. There is the pretty hand stitched, covered notebook my Mum made and gave me for Christmas. I use it to write messages to the Princess and leave it on her desk to read when she comes home from the Wasband's (her Dad) house.

My Mummy's beautiful handwork.
The Princess's birth mother gave me a beautiful handmade notebook for Christmas and that inspired me to start journaling again. I'm also using it to write positive affirmations I like from The Two Most Important Days book I'm reading.

This journal inspires writing.
Then, of course, there is this blog which is essentially an online journal. Did you know I have been blogging for 10 years? Spasmodically, but all the same, 10 years! Sometimes I wonder why I continue to blog but who knows, maybe future generations of my family will look back at my blog and think “wow my ancestor was interesting, or maybe they will think "wow, my ancestor was a complete nutter”!

Oh, and I've just remembered the two A4 sized notebooks I have used to write brief outlines of novels I want to write one day.

Future novel ideas in these.
I think that about covers my shopping lists, TO DO lists, journals and ideas books.

For me, there is something deeply satisfying in creating a list and then being able to tick or cross things off once they are completed. It gives me such a sense of achievement. I also really enjoy the actual process of handwriting, shaping letters, making swirls and curls and adding a little sketch here and there if I am feeling creative.

I do acknowledge that my many versions of shopping lists, TO DO lists, journals and ideas books could be condensed to some better system because all of this does not make me a highly organised, highly productive, high achiever. In fact, it may be overkill and have the opposite impact! What do you think?

I think I will make a TO DO list of how to make this work better for me. Maybe I should use a new notebook...

My spare notebook stash.
Are you a TO DO list maker like me?

Leave a comment and let me know!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 17 June 2018

This and That...


I finished painting the drawers I blogged about last time and they are now in our bedroom, lined with rose scented drawer liners. I love how the white lightens the room. I love how I don't have to rummage through plastic bins to find clothes!
The Princess and I went to Kmart today and got a few more bits for her room, some more fakery (plants), little storage containers, an ottoman and a duster! I got an ottoman for the living room and a blush, plush Minky to snuggle in when it's super cold and it has been super cold recently. I actually do have a nice faux fur one but we have one little girl cat who loves plush and believes it's hers.

happiness is clothes in drawers
this girl loves plush
I am having so much fun with my little groups of children. The writing theme I created for them this term is 'Magic Carpet Adventures! - Where in the world are we?' We watched a shortened version of Aladdin and then I took them on a magic carpet ride where they all landed in a different country (randomly chosen). They are currently making dioramas of the scenery of their country/continent. They have landed in Antarctica, West Sahara, Poland and Colorado. Then, they are going to write an adventure story about their carpet ride, describing the scenery,  characters etc. I even have a genie costume and magic lamp organised and they will each get to make one wish to include in their story. So exciting, for me haha!

I finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Societymy May Poppy Loves Bookclub book. What a wonderfully woven story full of rich characters who I felt I knew once I reached the end of the book. I really want to see the movie now. I'm waiting on my June book to arrive from Book Depository which is From Darkest Skies by Sam Peters. It will push me further out of my reading comfort zone as the genre is Sci Fi, normally not my thing! I'm currently reading The Red Queen, one of the Princess's young adult novels. It's about a young girl in a Dystopian society and I am really enjoying it. I'm also reading The Two Most Important Days by Sanjiv Chopra and Gina Vild which in a nutshell is about positive thinking.

my new hat and stuff
coffee date with a book
The Cowboy and I finished binge-watching House of Cards and those evil Underwoods. We have just finished Marcella which we thoroughly enjoyed although it did have a strange and unexpected ending. We are also watching the All Blacks rugby test matches against France. The Princess feels sorry for the French coming all this way and losing, she is nice. I did feel sorry for the French player in last nights game who collided with one of the Barretts (lucky there are more where they come from) and was sent off with a red card. I think the red card was unjust and a yellow card would have done the job. I do hope Beauden Barrett is ok though, I am a bit paranoid about head injuries.

We have had lots of lovely, extended family time recently. We went to Rawene for Queens Birthday weekend. The weather was foul but I didn't care, I was with my Mummy and Poppa (stepfather). Poppa cooked some of my favourite foods, a boil up for dinner one night and then Mutton birds for lunch one day. Spoilt! We left Rawene on the Sunday and drove to the Cowboy's Mum's new house, just outside of KeriKeri and had a huge and delicious lunch with his family. They shifted the dining table to the patio and we ate outside in the Winter sun, it was lovely and felt a bit like Christmas!
Last weekend Amah (Grandmother) and Eileen (Aunty) came to visit. Eileen made me her legendary Neenish Tarts so I was spoilt again with favourite food from family. She left me a container full of them which I may have enjoyed for breakfast and lunch a couple of days in a row. Shoosh, don't judge!

The Boatshed Cafe, the day before the storm hit Rawene

I don't like to share these
Speaking of food, I have a new obsession. When I am not eating Neenish Tarts for lunch, I am having toasted Vogel bread spread with butter, slices of cheese, Aunty Carol's beetroot chutney and cracked black pepper. I could happily have it for dinner every night as well. YUM! I did make a new curry dish last week, though. The Cowboy and I were at the Supermarket and I tried a sample of a dish made with yellow curry paste. It was so good that I promptly bought the paste and coconut cream. I made the curry last week, it was really easy, boneless chicken, potato, beans and was perfect for the cold nights we were having. I made so much that we ate it two nights in a row and as curries often are, it was better the second night.


easy and good
Bowen Therapy - I think I have had 5 sessions now and I feel so good. Like, incredibly good. I am still symptomatic but everything (apart from headaches)is quite minimised. I still get very fatigued but can do so much more before it kicks in. People keep telling me how well I look. Even the Barista at my cafe in Ellerslie told me I look well. Sommer, the Bowen therapist has me drinking Beetroot juice. I love beetroot but as a juice it is a different kettle of fish, or glass of juice, so to speak! It is very strong and beetrooty in taste and I have to syke myself into drinking it daily. Ugh! However,  I am so totally convinced of the benefits of Bowen I will do anything Sommer recommends, She has the power!

red wine is better
Hair and Face Stuff -  I trialled a new Schwarzkoft heat protectant spray for and really liked it, I especially liked the smell, it has that expensive salon done hair smell! I'm loving the L'Oreal Hair Touch Up spray I mentioned a while ago, it might well be the one product I would take with me to a desert island! I also bought, online, a couple of black, peel off facemasks and eye wrinkle masks which I have yet to try. I am positive they will work, expect to see a photo of me looking 10 years younger - coming your way - soon....

miracles in bottles and packets?
Did you check out Julie Battisti from my last blog post? I ordered some of her greeting cards. They are very beautiful. I bought them to give to people but I just don't know if I want to share them! 
Another person I follow online is Amber Fillerup Clark, an American blogger. I think I originally found her on Pinterest or YouTube when I was trying to teach myself how to do fancy hair braids - didn't work, very similar to me trying to follow Origami or coding instructions! Anyway, back to Amber, since I started following her a couple of years ago she has lived in New York, Hawaii and now Arizona. She is married, has two small children and a hair extension business called Barefoot Blonde. She is super pretty, wears amazing clothes, shoots beautiful photos for her business in stunning locations and all around seems like a sweet person. The juxtaposition of Amber as a person and her very successful business model intrigues me. Go have a look!
Barefoot Blonde Instagram

something else I don't want to share
sorry Amber Fillerup Clark, I totally stole your picture off  your website
This blog post has been brought to you from the comfort of my living room with my feet up on my new ottoman and a glass of red wine in hand.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

This and That...


Years and years ago I bought this wicker chest of drawers for the Princess in a church garage sale. It is really good quality, solid and heavy and I love the Lloyd Loom type, tightly woven wicker. The butter yellow was pretty in a little girls room but the Princess is no longer a little girl and has a new set of drawers. I'm having these drawers as soon as I finish giving them a coat of fresh white paint.

I really feel my teaching ability is coming back. This was recently endorsed by my classroom neighbour(thank you MH, you made my day). I am enjoying coming up with novel ideas to engage my little groups of students in the writing process. It is so rewarding to see their confidence growing and the progress they are making.

I finished The Spaghetti Giraffe which is an engaging novel for young readers. The food animals in the novel will have children entranced and it has clear personal growth messages. I've now started my May, Poppy Loves Bookclub book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Is that not the most divine name for a book? I am absolutely loving this book, the Cowboy keeps asking me why I am laughing as I am reading it!

We watched our last weekly drop of Designator Survivor. It finished on a cliffhanger and then I read it hasn't been picked up for renewal. This is so frustrating when you find a series you like and are left hanging like that. Then there is House of Cards, oh my goodness. These political series are full of intrigue and twists and vile characters like Frank and Clare Underwood. Can I just say how much I despise the Underwoods. If you watch House of Cards you will understand what I mean.

We have had lots of lovely family time. My oldest nephew flew in from Australia and came for dinner. We managed to get one of his twin brothers down for dinner as well but didn't tell him his big brother would be arriving. It was such a great surprise and fun. I loved catching up with them both. One of the Cowboy's nieces had her 18th birthday that weekend so we visited with them on Saturday and on Saturday night the Cowboy and his boy went to her party. Sunday was Mothers Day and we went out for lunch with the Cowboy's Mum and brother. Then the Wasband and the Princess and I went to visit the lovely Amah who is the Wasband's 91-year-old Grandmother and obviously the Princess's Great Grandmother. We also caught up with Aunty Eileen at the same time. Bonus. Family is everything to me.

I haven't cooked anything new or exciting recently. We have all been, and still are unwell with Winter colds and infections so we are eating very simple meals.

My mother lives in Rawene, a very small and incredibly beautiful town in the Far North of New Zealand. Recently she pointed me in the direction of Julie Battisti, an incredibly talented artist,lino printer and photographer who also lives there. Julie's work in all mediums is absolutely beautiful. She has an online shop and has recently added cards and postcards to the shop. Julie donates a portion of her sales to charities! I spent a very happy Sunday evening exploring her website and Instagram feed.
You can find Julie on her website or Instagram

Bowen Therapy - I have had two sessions and really feel it is making a difference. My energy levels have increased and I feel my thinking processes have improved. I'm following the after therapy instructions and walking, doing pilates leg stretches in the morning and drinking a lot of water.
Celebration - I bought myself that lovely rose ring to celebrate my recent small achievements in doing life. Because, why not!
Mindfulness - I am writing. In my journal, in a book for the Princess, my blog, my ideas notebook. I also like sitting in front of the TV and colouring in, it's super relaxing.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

The Royal Wedding


Did you watch it?
Did you watch it all fancy and themed, or sitting in front of your TV in trackies or PJ's?

I watched it.

I had fancy, themed plans that didn't end up happening. In the end, Sabrina, my black girl cat and I watched it in the bedroom. I wore trackies and then PJ's. Sabrina wore fur.

My loving family members, the Cowboy and the Princess refused to watch it with me. They stayed downstairs watching Lord of the Rings. If you are really snarky and creative, you could probably find some comparisons.

Sabrina appreciated my commentary and didn't mock me when I wept. Weddings always make me weep, as do pregnancy announcements, birth announcements, people's achievements, the demise of people etc

Personally, I loved the wedding. I love all weddings. Secretly, I enjoy following the Royals and Hollywood people. All in all, I thought it went really well, despite the lead up portrayed by the media.

Poor Meghan. Who needs that crap in the week before your wedding. No wonder her dress was a bit loose. Do you think the Royal family are secretly rubbing their hands together?  As a family, they really look quite good compared to the pre-wedding dysfunction of the Markles.

Anyway, the dress, are you a love or hate it?

I was ambivalent. I thought the neckline was lovely but a shame the rest of it seemed a bit baggy. Her veil though, and that tiara. She could have been naked because really they were the showstoppers of her bridal costume. If I ever get married, again, I am going to have a cathedral long veil and a bandana tiara. I'd probably make the tiara myself and Mum's craft group could embroider my veil.

Seriously though, I thought she looked beautiful. I loved that she wasn't smothered in makeup and her hair was very natural and naturally fell out as the day went on.

And, how about Meghan and Harry as a couple. They were adorable, cute, sweet, whatever and seemed absolutely delighted with themselves, as all bridal couples should. The eye contact and hand holding. They are sexy!

Other thoughts on the wedding in no particular order and in list form (I love a good wedding list, actually I love a good list):

  • Best Makeup - Lady Kitty Spencer - full face & Kate - fresh-faced.
  • Best Hair Do - Amah Clooney and Victoria Beckham's pony.
  • Best Dress - Amah Clooney - the colour, the style - oh la!
  • Best Shoes - Victoria Beckham, even if her feet looked contorted, red shoes are the best.
  • Best Hat - so many to choose from, I don't know!
  • Best I'm So Not Phased at Being a Guest - Victoria Beckham.
  • Best Plus One - David Beckham, he scrubs up.
  • Best Dressed Royal - Lady Kitty Spencer.
  • Best Pregnant Woman - Zara Phillips, I loved the way she spread herself out in her seat.
  • Best Gay Man - Elton John's husband, fancy!
  • Cutest Children - Princess Charlotte and her royal wave and the OTT, excited, veil holding, missing teeth twins.
  • Best Preacher - Bishop Michael Curry, I couldn't follow his sermon, but loved watching the Royals watching him and trying so hard not to react.
  • Best Music - the choir singing 'Stand by Me' I feel they had to hold it in, you could so see they wanted to sway and do hand motions.
  • Best Horse - the sassy one who tried to bowl the crowd.
  • Best Controversial Person - Fergie, loved her working the crowd inside the chapel!
  • Most Useful Hat - Camilla's, she was totally able to hide her reactions under it.
  • The Kindest Person - Prince Charles, he was so sweet when he delivered Meghan to his son (lamb to slaughter - no, no) and was so kind and gracious to her Mum.
  • Best Dead Pan Faces - the Queen and Prince Philip, no pun intended. Truly!
  • Best Moments - the kiss and the carriage ride. I so want a carriage ride.
  • Best After Match Function Costume - Serena Williams.
  • Best Cars - The Rolls Royce Phantom 4 that delivered Meghan and the electric converted Jag. Does the refurbished Landham count as a car?

What did you think of the cake and the gold cake stand thingies? 

So there you have it. The Royal Wedding. 

I do wish them well. Maybe this new wave of Royals, William and Kate and Harry and Meghan will be modern role models, enduring the state of Holy Matrimony until death do us part.

Thanks for reading.

p.s.  I can't wait to see what their babies look like ;-)

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Healing Journey Update

We burn in this house, vanilla in the entryway...
I thought I would write a short update on my healing journey because today I started a new type of treatment.

To date, some of my symptoms have started to dissipate which is absolutely fabulous but my progress is still frustrating and as much as my Psychologist urges, I can not find ACCEPTANCE!! Sorry, Vineetha.

At the moment I am not having any other treatment as everything has been put on hold until a report comes from a Neurologist. Because of this, I thought it was a good opportunity to look into and try other forms of therapy.

The family up North swear by Bowen Therapy which is what I started today.  I did a heap of research first and found it is accepted as a successful treatment for Concussion in quite a few countries.  Continuing with my due diligence, I researched Bowen therapists in Auckland and found one that I thought I would be comfortable with because of course, you can tell this from reading online!

Anyway, my first appointment was today which was timely as I woke up this morning with a horrible migraine type headache and nausea. It might have been triggered by my psychologist appointment yesterday which is always intense. Sorry, Vineetha. Moving right along, I managed to sleep enough to get myself together for my Bowen appointment which was this afternoon.

The therapist was lovely. She had a calming aura and a soft gentle voice. Her therapy room was soothing, she had a salt lamp glowing and the room smelt delightful. I later found out she was burning an oil called 'Peace', a mixture of lavender, frankincense, ylang-ylang
and something else I can't remember.

eucalyptus in the living area, and our own natural fire, haha.
After the usual intro chat, I lay on her massage table and she did these strange little maneuvers where she would put pressure on a 'meridian point' and sort of roll the area and then do the same on the exact opposite side. The points were a little tender, some more than others but nothing shocking. She would then leave the room for 2 to 5 minutes and come back and do the same in another area. It was strange because each area she touched would feel cool and in the end, I had all these patches on my body that felt cool. According to Bowen, cool sensations are release and warm sensations are healing.

The actual 'healing' session was probably about 40 minutes. The next session is in 8 days time. My 'homework' is to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day which can include herbal tea. I do that anyway. She would also like me to walk for 20 minutes a day. That, I don't do. I will though.

As a side note, we talked about gut health which is something I have been looking into. She had just been to a seminar on it and it is recommended that Bone Broth is incredible for gut health. Apparently, gut health underpins many other health issues including the brain function. Mum, I need you to come down and make me broth (inside joke!).

If you interesting in learning more about Bowen Therapy check it out here because I cannot explain it well enough in my own words. My Bowen therapist is Sommer Wagstaff of Holistic Body Therapy.

I'll keep you posted on my Bowen Therapy progress.

And to keep it real, as I type this I have a lovely glass of red wine to accompany my water!

Thanks for reading,
Rachael xo

ps. if you have had Bowen Therapy I would love to hear about your experience.