Let It Rain...

Here in the Manawatu, we haven't had a 'good' rain since January... That is quite a long time - considering it is the 18th of March!

Check out these images of New Zealand - comparing the landscape of March 2012 to present day March 2013. Insane!

We are on tank water - which was a very unusual concept for me - coming from Minnesota. Where, half of the year, the tank would have been frozen! But, since we barely even REACH freezing here, collecting rain water is perfect. Except in a drought... Then come the water restrictions (self-imposed)... I guess being on a tank is a really good way to monitor your own water usage, as you can visibly 'see' your levels. And, once you are out - you gotta BUY more... 

Luckily, the rain came, just as we had about 1/3 of our tank left - and we've topped up again. Yay! 

No water for the pool. Miss G and Little Bee still had fun though!

Despite the lack of rain, the garden tomatoes and capsicums have been thriving! 

Salsa time! 
Dry weather is PERFECT for grapes! Miss G loves to go in and 'search' for grapes. Yum! 

Yum! NOTHING beats grapes fresh from the vine! 

Top Gear was filming here in NZ - check out what Jeremy had to say about Palmy!

I just turned in nearly my last assignment... Let's just say I was up a bit late... And, here is how I set me alarm to make sure I did get up and physically drop it into school... 

It's never good when you have to set multiple alarms... 

So, today is a quite day for Miss G and I - here's she's loving her PlayDough! Mommy is NOT loving how messy the house has gotten - but that's ok. Daddy was awesome yesterday, and he took Miss G into town, got rid of the recycling and did the weekly grocery shop! Yep, he's a keeper! 

Have a good Monday everyone! 


Things I'm Loving - MKR!!

Ok, seriously, I'm loving My Kitchen Rules! Loving! Whose your fav? I'm loving Smiley Sam and Chris! Absolutely love this show - so addicting!

I'm loving this little misses cute new fringe (bangs) cut! And, especially of how proud she is! She was such a big girl - sat absolutely still while getting her hair cut. Such a pro!

I'm loving that I'm turning in my 2nd to last paper on Monday! ONE class, then my transition-to-practice to go! Whoop! Where has 3 years gone? Bachelor of Nursing - here you come! Nearly an RN! ;)

I'm loving how silly and fun my gorgeous rainbow baby is! She is one in a million with her cheekiness! Just a peach! And she loves Pixie, her faithful friend!

I'm loving that I can talk for free to my besties in the USA! Loving our random conversation about snow, country music, timezones, Chinese food, tequila... I totally missed that it was STILL Wednesday in North Dakota - YES. Did not forget birthday! ;)

I'm loving that I have re-connected with a cousin - and discovered her blog. Check it out - it's great! And, while you are there - join in her 40 Days of Wisdom! Can't wait! 

Head over to Meghan's Blog to see what others are loving this week too! 

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Photo Friday!

Linking in with Creative Mama.

Things I'm Loving: Girls Weekend Away!

Linking in with Meghan for this weeks fun!

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

How often do you get away with your girlfriends? Like, away with no responsibilities, no kids, no rules... Just a fun weekend away to relax, drink wine, eat yummy food and catch up on life! Well, a group of us decided it was JUST what we all needed last month. It was instigated by a friend, and grew from there...

It also happened to be the weekend of the  Summer Vineyard Tour and Art Deco Weekend... Which we obviously partook in. Even better. ;)  

Here's some snaps from the fun weekend away that I am loving the memories of! Good stuff. ;) 


Budgeting: Do you? Don't you?

We were talking about budgeting in class the other day. More specifically - how people who have a long-term condition/illness budgets. Because this person may have a condition/illness that does not allow them to work. Period. Or maybe not even allow them to work to how they perceive their full potential.

We were given $260/week (thereabouts) - for a single adult. Which is roughly what New Zealanders on the sickness benefit may be getting as their financial assistance... {This was for the purpose of our class ONLY. Not a real scenario.}

How would you spend $260? Wouldn't go far to pay the rent/mortgage, so you definitely couldn't live alone. Probably have to eliminate home phone/internet. Insurance? Doubt it.  Tricky huh? 

This discussion in class, actually got me thinking of Mr Ed's and my family budget... Now, we are very {VERY} slack about our family budget. Very slack. Like we don't use it. Oops.

So, thanks to the kickstart from class, I have fixed up a spreadsheet with our necessities and our 'nice to haves'. Doesn't take long to add up does it? I've done a yearly/monthly/weekly version, so we can see where our money is going.

I've actually found the SORTED website to be a HUGE help.

Here are some items from our 'necessities' - which are obviously debatable depending upon the household...

Home Phone/Internet
Rego/WOF/Road Users
Health Ins
Home Ins
Car Ins
Holiday Savings
Emergency Svgs

It will be interesting to see how far Mr Ed and I can get with sticking to the family budget... Wish us luck - starts with the new tax year - 1 April!! 

Any tips or suggestions? 


♥ Pseudo-Craftiness: Repurposing a TV cabinet...

Ok, I love Pinterest. I love pretending that I am going to be crafty and do all these fun things to make my home look amazing. {Who doesn't?}

Realistically - I am doing my Bachelor of Nursing. I have a 2-year old. I have a husband. I work part-time. We have a dog and 2 cats. We have friends. We have a pool. We like the beach. I like to read. Run. Cycle. Play netball.  Anything, really, but making things I pin on pinterest...

HOWEVER. I was cleaning out the 4-car garage {man cave?} that I'm not allowed to park the ol' Suby in - and saw an old TV cabinet. Now, we inherited a lot of furniture from family and friends. {Which was AWESOME - thank you!!} And, this was one piece... It just didn't 'fit' in with what I want to do in the house...

So, I turned to pinterst, as any pseudo-crafty person for some inspiration... and got my craft on. ;)

What do you think? I love it - it's perfect for the space, hides Miss G's books inside, some photos/flowers on top and underneath I'll put some more books, etc. 

I actually can't find the 'before' and 'during' photos - but it was basically an old, fake wood cabinet that I painted over with a light blue, this darker blue, sanded some parts off for the 'shabby chic' look and here you go! 

PS Those are my birthday flowers from the hubby - spoiled huh? ;)

Linking in with Leonie for the weekly Show & Tell.

 Show & Tell Thursday's

Things I'm Loving - NZ Summer!

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

Linking in with Meghan for this weeks fun!

New Zealand summer is 'officially' over, but the nice weather is lingering a bit longer. Which is fabulous! 

I have been super spoiled the last TWO months - we've had mom around! yay! Mom has been making the long trek from Minnesota to New Zealand for quite a few years now - great way to miss out on Minnesota's harsh winter! brr!! 

It's always a good time, and Miss G absolutely loves her "Gamma"!! And, of course, Miss G was absolutely spoiled! Obviously. Was great to have mom around - she is extremely motivated and we got heaps of projects done around the house... the ones that were just never getting done...{sometimes projects are just a bit overwhelming...} Painting the bathroom, painting the laundry... cleaning out boxes and boxes of 'stuff'...organizing closets... Donating... Recycling... As well as having fun and celebrating Miss G and Cousin K's birthdays! Visiting friends! Tiki touring around the country and capturing some memories! Good times!! 

Miss G was very sad for Gramma to leave on the airplane, and kept saying, "No, Gamma, no airplane!" Good thing for SKYPE so she can have her bedtime stories!! ;) 

I officially have 2 papers and 1 - 9-week (fulltime) placement to go and I will get one of these... Exciting!  Where has the time gone? 

Been sneaking out to the beach when we can - and have been enjoying fishing... So far we have been very good promoters of "Catch & Release", but just being out at the beach is quite relaxing too! And, Miss G LOVES the beach - esp playing in the sand! {Check out the blowfish!}

I love hosting tourists - and last week I had a very fun lunch with a couple from North Dakota! They were touring New Zealand, and are 'friends of friends', but we soon realized that our paths had crossed in life and that we had met! Really enjoyed listening to their Kiwi experiences, what they have been up to, and LOVED hearing of home. {We are fellow NDSU BISON  alum- Go Bison!} After a 3-hour lunch, I wished them well, and they were on their way! So glad they had fantastic weather for the rest of their stay- and hopefully catch up again in the future! 

Myself and Corie at Lake Taupo.

Make sure you take a peek what everyone else is loving this week too - Things I'm Loving by MNM!