Monday 30 April 2012

Bye Bye April

April was a great month for me, lots of good things happened and even though I didn't accomplish all that I planned I still got heaps done:

  • midterm tests,ü
  • university assignments due,  ü
  • school holiday fun with the Princess,  ü we crafted, we visited, we slept in, we talked, we laughed, we walked, we shopped, we had friends over, we had fun!
  • a movie to go to,   never made it.
  • a trip to Kaikohe for Easter,  went to the Cowboys and Whangaparoa instead.
  • a concert to go to,  didn't get around to buying the tickets!
  • an art exhibition to go to,  as above!
  • heaps of crap to sell,  made a start on this and still going!
  • pain drugs to wean myself off,  had two goes at this and my pain level still too high to not take the pain drugs!
  • a writing project to resurrect,  moving right along!
  • and exercise this broken down body! as above!

I did other stuff, lots of other stuff, I made my twin nephews their birthday gifts, will post this later, and also scrap booked a photo album for one of the Cowboys birthday gifts. Will do a post about that later on as well!  I did heaps of fluffing around the castle and have posts to do about that too. I've also cooked a lot, baked cookies, cakes and tried new recipes.

But mostly spent time with my two most fave people in the whole wide world,


and him!

Come back tomorrow and see what I've got up my sleeve for May!

Rachael xo

Sunday 29 April 2012

Happy Sunday

Photo by the Cowboy
Rachael xo

Saturday 28 April 2012

Before's and Afters

Recently I've been in full nesting mode, fluffing the Castle!

I unpacked two boxes labelled "China Cabinet" (18 months and still not fully unpacked! lol )and became reunited with my engagement and wedding present blue Spode china (from when I was engaged and married to the Wasband)!

Which led to the kitchen shelves that did look like this,

to being fluffed to look like this!

Much prettier!

Ok, procrastination done, back to big fat essay on my teaching philosophy!

Rachael xo

Friday 27 April 2012

Dinner Last Night

I tried another recipe from my Donna Hay cookbook.

Red Curry Roasted Vegetables
2 small sweet potatoes (kumara) halved
4 larges pieces pumpkin
2 zucchinis (courgettes) halved
2 TBSP Thai red curry paste
1/3 cup of coconut cream
vegetable oil for drizzling
basil and coriander leaves, thick natural yoghurt and steamed jasmine rice, to serve.

Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
Using a small sharp knife score the flesh of the sweet potato, pumpkin and zuchinnis and place on a baking tray lined with non stick baking paper.
Combine the curry paste and coconut cream and spread generously over the vegetables.
Drizzle with a little oil and roast for 30-40 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
Top with basil and coriander and  serve with steamed rice and yoghurt.

We didn't have it with the rice and I had a mishap with the yoghurt so didn't have that either! But absolutely delicious and again very cost effective, under $10 and easily feeds 4!

Rachael xo

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Pepper & Garlic Fettucine with Ricotta

Posted for Jillian! 

Last night I cooked a pasta dish from my new Donna Hay cookbook, it was simple and delicious!

We had it with cooked sliced ham, cranberry and muscat jelly and a glass of red wine (which goes without saying).

It took about 15 minutes to cook and was very cost effective, approx $8 and we had it leftover for lunch today.

400g fettucine (I used fresh but dried would be fine)
40g butter
4 gloves garlic (sliced)
1 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 cup torn basil leaves
1 1/4 cups (250g) fresh ricotta
finely grated parmesan to serve

Cook pasta in large saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and keep warm.
Add the butter, garlic and pepper and cook for 2 mins or until fragrant.
Return pasta to pan and toss to coat.
Stir through the basil and serve in dish or individual plates.
Top with ricotta and parmesan.
Serves 4.



Monday 23 April 2012

Welcome to the Castle!

I  have never posted photo's of the castle in one go so I got the Cowboy to take some photo's with his wide angle lens.

Here it is, in all it's day to day glory, please bear in mind these were taken early in the morning during the school holidays!

This is the foyer, it has 7 doors off it, the door on the right hand side is my front door, then cupboard under the stairs, linen cupboard, bathroom, the Princess's bedroom, kitchen and then the living room door from where this photo was taken. 

The bathroom is a multifunctional room, it serves as bathroom, toilet and laundry with a shower over the bath.

The Princess's room, she has her best friend staying hence the trundler bed and the mess!

The kitchen and dining room, we have breakfast in here and like most kitchens, when I entertain it's where we tend to congregate!

The living room looking down towards my bedroom. The girls and I were crafting which is why the dining room table looks like that!

The living room again, looking into it from my bedroom.

The ceilings are magnificent, this is the living room ceiling!

My bedroom, note the Cowboy made his side of the bed but not mine!

And finally my bedroom ceiling, and yes I do lie in bed staring up at it!

I have two sun-room's off my bedroom that were not photographed, they are just way to shameful for public viewing! lol

Rachael xo

Saturday 21 April 2012

I've Gone Potty!

shoosh, those of you who may wish to comment at this point!

In my kitchen, pots for utensils and teaspoons,

pots on the breakfast table,

a potted Begonia that's roots are bound to The Castle,

and a pot I Mod Podged with sheet music and pretties, for my paint brushes.

You really can't go past a good pot!

Rachael xo

New Cookbook

Donna Hay I ♥ you!

Rachael xo

Friday 20 April 2012

More Sneaky Stuff

This is the last of treasures I 'acquired' from the basement of the castle, therefore the end of my sneaky ways! For the moment anyway ;-)

I love these cast iron brackets, I just need the Cowboy and his drill to remove them from the wood for me.  

And this metal hang on the wall bin thingy, maybe someone's metalwork project when boys did metalwork and woodwork at school and girls did cooking and sewing!

I also 'found' these cast iron coat hooks, a girl can never have too many of these!

Brass door handles, handy to have on hand,

and I just love these very cool cast iron flowers, they have long screws on the back so they will come in handy too! lol

Why is it that in the process of getting rid of crap I manage to 'acquire' more?

Oh well!

Rachael xo

p.s. go on... click the button and follow me :-)

Wednesday 18 April 2012


Words for Women to Live By J
  1. Aspire to be Barbie - the bitch has everything.
  2. If the shoe fits - buy them in every color.
  3. Take life with a pinch of salt...A wedge of lime, and a shot of tequila. 
  4. In need of a support group? Cocktail hour with the girls!
  5. Go on the 30 day diet (I'm on it and so far I've lost 15 days).
  6. When life gets you down- just put on your big girl panties and deal with it.
  7. Let your greatest fear be that there is no PMS and this is just your personality.
  8. I know I'm in my own little world, but it's ok... They know me here.
  9. Lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself.
  10. Don't get my knickers in a knot, its solves nothing and makes you walk funny.
  11. When life gives you lemons - turn it into lemonade then mix it with vodka.
  12. Remember, wherever there is a good looking, sweet, single or  married man there is some other woman tired of his bullshit.
  13. Keep your chin up, only the first 40 years of parenthood are the hardest.
  14. If it has Tyres or Testicles it's gonna give you trouble.
  15. By the time a woman realises her mother was right, she has a daughter who thinks she is wrong...


Rachael xo

Monday 16 April 2012

Sneaky Stuff

I have 'acquired' some 'stuff' from the basement of the castle, which maybe I shouldn't have 'acquired' because if you want to get down to it, I helped myself without asking,

naughty, naughty,  but....

the enamel bowl full of grime

and the large blue glass bottle covered in grime, 

needed to be cleaned up, given a new lease of life and loved,

by me!

Do you like my justification? lol

Anyway, for every bad deed you do, karma comes back to bite tenfold, it bit me today, such a trying day it was! 

Rachael xo

p.s. go on... click the button and follow me :-)

Saturday 14 April 2012

Before's and Afters

When we first moved to the castle I turned a small sun-room off my bedroom into a bedroom for the Princess. She never slept in it, she was always with me!

We had another bedroom that I intended turning into a craft room, but it just ended up being a dumping ground for all my crap, as seen here!

I then cleaned it up and turned it into a kind of guest room, 

come never used craft room.

In July 2011 I decided the Princess should have a bedroom she actually slept in so I did 'changing rooms' that seemed to involve major upheaval in the entire apartment!

The guest room/craft room is quite a decent size but had dingy yellow walls so I embarked on painting them white, which is when I fell from the top of the ladder and smashed up my right hand side resulting in 13 rib fractures! Naturally progress on the new bedroom stopped for quite some time.

However we eventually got there and here it is today, the Princess's pretty room that she does sleep in (most of the time ;-) )

I made the curtains, the china cabinet is filled with her treasures, 

the pink hand chair was free with our new lounge and dining room furniture,

my Mum gave us the bookshelf, the Princess's birth Mummy painted the butterfly wing for her 1st birthday,

her cosy bed and pretties on the wall (the top corner of the ceiling is where I fell from, 12 ft in the air!),

and looking out into the entrance hall and front door of our apartment.

I am really pleased with how her room turned out, and so happy that she loves it!

Rachael xo

Friday 13 April 2012

Easter Weekend in Photos

The Princess and the Cowboy at yukky Shakespeare Bay

Photography by the Cowboy
The Princess sleeping with her Angry Bird hat on!

Me, the Princess and Pepsi the Labradoodle running in the waves at Arkles Bay

Photography by the Cowboy
Arkles Bay

Photography by the Cowboy
Arkles Bay

Photography by the Cowboy

Photography by the Cowboy

Photography by the Cowboy

Photography by the Cowboy

Photography by the Cowboy

Photography by the Cowboy

Photography by the Cowboy

Photography by the Cowboy

Photography by the Cowboy

Photography by the Cowboy
Hope you enjoyed this little taste of a beautiful part of our beautiful country.
Rachael xo

p.s. go on... click the button and follow me :-)