Friday 31 August 2012

I really want to do this...

sourced from

I really want to paint the white walls in the alcove my kitchen sink sits in with blackboard paint!

I had bare walls for so long before I did the blackboard and hung the pictures and jelly moulds,

and it does look good, but it still lacks impact,

besides we run out of room to write on our blackboard!

I wonder if my landlord would notice - haha

Rachael xo

Tuesday 28 August 2012


After a long break I've started back at university,

it's great,

great to see everyone,

great to feel my brain clicking into learning mode,

great to be studying again!

It's even great to have my dining room table trashed with the accouterments of study!

Rachael xo

Sunday 26 August 2012

Breakfast at the Castle

The Princess had her best Princess friend for a sleepover last night, this morning the Cowboy and I got breakfast in bed!

The Cowboy got his served on a tray, he had blue sprinkles on his bread, cheese and the red accompaniments are blackcurrant (ice cream and jelly kind of jelly) jelly and strawberry jam. He had melted butter in a bowl so he could dip his bread!

Mine was served on a roasting pan, I had yellow sprinkles on my bread and no dipping butter! 

Not too bad considering they are 9 years old.

We did decline the offer of raw egg in a drink though .. haha

Rachael xo

Wednesday 22 August 2012

52 Weeks

52 weeks ago I met my Cowboy!

I've had the best 52 weeks with the Cowboy. We haven't rushed things, we don't live together, but we have spent lots of fun time together,have gotten to know each other really well and have grown to care for each other very much.

The traditional gift for a one year anniversary gift is paper so I adapted an idea I found on Pinterest.

I bought my deck of playing cards off Trade Me, the Cowboy likes motor racing, so car cards it is.

I hand wrote the front cover and typed 52 numbered reasons why I love my Cowboy, gluing each reason to each of the cards in the deck.

I used tables in Microsoft Word as a template for my reasons, it took a bit of time fiddling around with the cell size in the table to get the right fit for my playing cards and a bit of time to cut and glue each one, but a nice way to spend a Saturday evening while watching a movie.

It wouldn't have taken so long if I hadn't glued half of the reasons to cards that were upside down - haha!

I wasn't able to go out and buy book rings because the Princess was really sick so I stuffed nicely packed the finished cards back into the packet they came in.

I wrapped the cards in bright red tissue paper and a black organza ribbon and used a heart stolen cut from a gift bag I had been saving.

We celebrated our anniversary at 52 weeks and 1 day because the Princess was really sick on the actual anniversary date and stayed home with me rather than go to the Wasbands.

I cooked minted Lamb Shanks that were not very minted because for some reason my mint which should be growing like a weed is doing very poorly! I also did a potato and kumera mash that I added seeded mustard and cream to. So yummy.  The Cowboy brought over a delicious bottle of Syrah red wine of which I can't remember the name.

The table was set all nice with linen napkins, candles and flowers and I had just the side lamp on, tea lights glowing on the mantle piece and music playing.

We finished the evening off by sharing a bowl of my favorite orange chip ice cream that I threw marshmallows and pieces of dark chocolate on top of - in bed! (the warmest place in the cold castle lol).

It's now 52 weeks and 3 days since I met the Cowboy, I am so looking forward to the next 51 weeks and 4 days with him!

Rachael xo

Monday 13 August 2012

Proud to be a Kiwi!

I am!

So very proud to be a Kiwi!

Our little country of 4.4 million people has produced Olympians who have done us proud at the 2012 Olympic Games.

6 Gold, 2 Silver and 5 Bronze medals - fantastic!

And fantastic for the non medallist competitors, such a huge achievement just to take part in the Olympic Games.

I have loved watching the games over the last two weeks, and the opening and closing ceremonies were absolutely spectacular - well done Great Britain!

Long Live the Spice Girls - haha

Huge possibility I will get a whole lot more done and a whole lot more early nights now that it is all over!

Proud to be a Kiwi!

Rachael xo

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Healthy Living

Stir frying fresh vegetables is a quick and easy way to get a big vegetable fix.

Last night I did carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, red onion, garlic, red pepper and a courgette in a little oil and at the last minute tossed with soya sauce. 

Gotta love the colours in that pan!

We had it with eye fillet steak cooked to perfection by the Cowboy and my favorite Wild South Pinot Noir. The red wine is of course because of the health benefits, i.e. blood thinning, anti oxidants etc ;-)

Rachael xo

Tuesday 7 August 2012

Book Review - 50 Shades of Grey


If you are an avid reader of a wide range of reading materials I recommend that you approach the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy with an open mind.  I am not talking open mind because of the sex (I'll get to that), but an open mind because of the quality of the writing.

50 Shades of Grey is in a nutshell badly written! The characters with Mills and Boon type names, Anastasia  Steele and Christian Gray, are annoying at best and E L James doesn't seem to be able to keep consistency with the personality traits of Anastasia and Christian.

The actual plot is basically a Mills and Boon type plot, the female character against her better wishes falls for the stereotypical handsome, charming, moody and incredibly wealthy male character who is hell bent on having her no matter what! There is much too-ing and fro-ing, should she, shouldn't she, she can't resist him, he can't resist her, they can't keep away from each other etc etc She battles with her conscience, he battles with his emotions!

The sex is well, it's just sex, repetitive sex, predictable responses from the characters, the bondage is well, as you would expect or imagine and frankly quite tame! And no I am not speaking from experience (haha) but I have seen a few doco's on 60 Minutes etc and E L James doesn't manage to make it seem all that thrilling, forbidden, illicit or whatever!

However! Let's give E L James the credit due to her, Her trilogy are best sellers that have taken the world by storm (there must be a lot of  innocent sheltered women out there!), she has sold the movie rights and is making millions!

Am I going to read Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed?

hell yes!


Because as poorly written as I think they are, E L James manages to create enough mystique around Christian that I want to know what happened in his past that makes him the flawed man he apparently is!


Rachael xo

p.s. This book review is my opinion only, I respect that yours may differ!

Monday 6 August 2012

New Zealand Roast Day

Yesterday was NZ Roast Day,

the Cowboy and I decided to do our own spin on the traditional roast dinner,

we had potato and kumera mash, spinach and a rolled shoulder of lamb we covered in Black Satin Glaze and roasted,

it was DIVINE!

Made even more divine with a yummy Nikau Point Syrah ,

and thanks to my friend Vicki a Trumpet Ice Cream for dessert!

Yummy Yummy

Rachael xo

Hello August

Where did July go?  It went way too fast for sure but I did get some stuff done on my "To DO List" - certainly not enough though!

My Kitchen GERANIUMs loved july

HOW DID I GO with My goals for July?


  • building a website - yet to start 
  • writing a book -  no further progress 
  • creating with fabric and paint -  yet to start but I have a lot of pins on Pinterest!
  • selling, selling, selling - oh my goodness yes - I'm a Trade Me top seller again!
  •  getting fit -  sorry what was the question?
  • getting my ribs healed - ongoing
  • stopping pain medication  reduced to one to two tablets per day
  • fun times with the Princess -  big tick
  • fun times with the Cowboy   -  big tick
  • reading a book for pleasure   big tick -50 Shades of Grey haha
  • cooking new recipes   big tick
  • buying contact lenses  not yet
  • getting my hair cut  big tick
  • and staying warm! - impossible
  • blog daily -  failed

July was fun, people came to stay at the Castle, my best friend Mary Thistle and my Mummy for a crafting sleepover, the Princess and I love having people to stay!

We also had the Princess's best friend here for a sleepover, we had a special little 'adoption' ceremony to make her a lifelong daughter of our home!

I also started a 120 hour online course teaching English as a second language, I have 118 hours to go!

August is big,  I have got lots of medical stuff to do to finish the silly old rib healing, (it's now been a year), I also have to plan a couple of parties here at the castle, get cracking on the 118 hours left of my course, and carry on with the TO DO list, I really want to get my crafting mojo back on so have to add sort the craft room out to the list!

Best I get a move on!
Rachael xo

august TO DO LIST
  • build a website 
  • writing a book
  • creating with fabric and paint 
  • selling, selling, selling 
  •  getting fit 
  • getting my ribs healed 
  • stopping pain medication 
  • fun times with the Princess
  • fun times with the Cowboy  
  • reading a book for pleasure   
  • cooking new recipes   
  • buying contact lenses 
  • getting my hair cut  
  • and staying warm! 
  • blog daily
  • Online ESOL course
  • Sort craft room out

Saturday 4 August 2012

That Furry Feeling!

I'm supposed to be saving money for stuff, stuff like a trip to Australia and some shares in a power company!

It's going really well (not),

and it's all down to visiting Op Shops (thrift or charity to some of you) and seeing stuff like this amazing, very, very heavy and very, very large faux fur throw.

It is so yummy and warm to sit on, leather in the Castle at this time of year is not cosy! More yummy was the price, $20! Bargain, bargain!

I know I need to change the cushions though, any ideas?

Rachael xo