Monday, September 14, 2015

Our Master Bedroom

Our perfectly formed, cosy bedroom
Across the hall from Pollyanna's room at the front of the house is our master bedroom.  It's wee, compared with the rest of the house but it is very cosy and perfect for Steve and I as we don't spend heaps of time in there.  We did start off in a different bedroom, it was pretty much twice the size but it was such a waste of space so it's now the spare room!  In our new bedroom we get to enjoy the morning sun which is perfect because that's the only time we chose to spend relaxing in our room. This room has been painted and we have added blinds but the soft furnishings and wall art and fanciness are yet to be done!

The one piece of art we have up is a gorgeous piece created by two of my dear friends as a housewarming gift.

We love the garden views from our bedroom

The little door leads to a small walk-in wardrobe that used to be an old hallway!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Pollyanna's Bedroom

Polly has a lot of keepsakes and memento's that she loves to have around her, so its a busy
room but it's a sanctuary she loves and spends heaps of time in.
Welcome to St Hilda's!  Today we make our first stop on the almost completed renovations and look at some of the inspiration I have used from Pinterest to create each room.  Today we step inside the front door and turn right into Pollyanna's room.  When we purchased this place over two years ago, my littlest punks room was part of the Art Gallery ... now it's a bedroom fit for an almost 11 year old! Polly has a love/loathe relationship with pink, currently we're ok with it if it comes with other colours!  There used to be a fireplace in this room, it was the old matrons sitting when it was an orphanage.  Unfortunately, the chimney has been taken down at some stage and the fireplace was not in a usable condition.  We thought about removing it completely, but I loved the alcoves it created.  We ended up dry walling over the fireplace and putting a built-in study area and book shelving.  It works well for her and uses up the vertical space which is great when you have a 3.66m stud height!

This is from the door way. Most of her lego is stored under the bed on a pull out board with
handles we made her.  It slides in and out so its not in the way when she's not playing with it!

Lego Friends Township! It slides easily in and out which she can do on her own and all the extra Lego pieces are stored in
canvas boxes on her shelves.

Polly collects two things, Lego and Sylvanian Families.  We built these bookcases for her last bedroom and they still work well in this one!  I am a big believer in having toys out and accessible otherwise they don't get used!! The bookcases have been lined with artificial grass to create a ready made SF playground that is also storage!! 
Polly loves to create scenes with the SF's and it adds to the decor in her room, is easily accessible for play, and is perfectly stored when not in use!!

The artificial grass is perfect for making SF memories :o)
As mentioned we have extremely high ceilings, to make the room feel more cosy, on the chimney breast wall we added wall decals in a tree shape with the moon to connect the large wall spaces with all the busyness happening down below.  It adds interest vertically without taking over the room.  Which is especially important when your daughter loves books, Lego, SF, and stationery!!
Any when Polly sits in bed she can see her couch and the gorgeous Camellia Tree outside her window.  The couch is a hand-me-down and not the idea fabric for the room it's sitting in but in a retro kinda way it still works!  One day I will get confident enough to take on reupholstering it with Pinterest's help! 
And finally a little wall art next to the door.  We LOVE Lego in our house and I created these when I was doing Pinterest 365, the first one I made was for my nephew in SG.  I came home with some Ikea frames to make some for my punks and they are STILL going strong!

You can get a full tutorial on how I made this Lego Wall Art/Minifig Storage here
And that's it, the first room on our St Hilda's house tour is done and we will be moving directly across the hallway to the master bedroom tomorrow.  But later today, I will be testing a Pinterest Recipe for Flourless Orange Cake ... and not eating it .... seems like not the wisest idea to bake while doing Whole 30 ... I'm not the smartest in the cookie jar ... this could go horribly wrong!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tomorrow we start a tour of St Hilda's

There's also some event planning well underway ... more on this in the coming week!
Two and a half years ago we moved from Auckland City to ... well ... the middle of nowhere.  Otane is a tiny little village about 6 hours away from Auckland in the Hawkes Bay.  It is here we purchased the very rundown orphanage called St Hildas.  When we purchased the orphanage it was being used as an Art Gallery with a three bedroom house at the back.  We reinstated all the old walls and it is now a five bedroom home that we love with plenty of space inside and out.  We camped inside for the first 4 months while we completely renovated the place and left our belongings in storage until all the major work was finished.  This week I will take you on a tour of the house as it is now, the places that still need some pinspiration, and give you an insight into my new life in the country!!  

I am desperate to get back into creating and it seems when I blog, I am at my most creative because I love sharing the journey.  Tomorrow we will start with a tour of Pollyanna's room and head down the hallway from there.  We will also be in the kitchen making a cake I found on Pinterest (that clearly I won't be eating thanks to Whole 30) to take to the staff at Elsthorpe School on Thursday for their morning tea.  So good to be back, I have missed this plenty!

Whole 30

It's always raining when I start a new adventure .... Hello Spring!
I am a sucker for any new diet that will help me become healthier and lose some weight!  Over the last several years I have been in a state of permanent weight loss.  I have about 6 kgs to go and I will have lost half of myself without medical intervention or any extreme measures!!  It has happened thanks to the omission of gluten and dairy from my diet.  I was feeling sick and lethargic after eating and with life in general and decided it was time to do something about it.  I did some research and ended up on an Australian website that listed 7 common food sensitivities people had.  It suggested people would intuitively know which ones were causing their problems and to take that one (or several) out of your diet for three weeks and then gradually reintroduce them back.  I felt so good after 3 weeks that I have never put dairy or gluten back into my diet!!  My body doesn't seem to like them at all and struggles to digest dairy and gluten containing items.  I also took up exercising more regularly.  I have always been fit regardless of size so this was an enjoyable addition that I have maintained over the last 3-4 years.  

These last 6 kgs are proving the hardest to remove and I know I need something to align my portion control and get rid of the sugar fix I currently have.  As a person that doesn't like sugar this should be easy to achieve .... but giving up Salted Doritos, well that's a whole other story!!  As I mentioned yesterday, I tried Whole 30 a couple of years ago to support a friend but missed the final, most important part of the story which is the "it's not just about the food you put in, don't use the food you are allowed to create sumptuous sweet things (pancakes, coffee creamer, bliss balls etc) as that goes against the ethos of Whole 30".  My pinterest board, Healthy Food Ideas has a few Whole 30 pins were you can get the full breakdown on the 'dos' and 'don'ts'!!

I did create sweet things like bliss balls, and banana pancakes last time as I didn't realise at the time Whole 30 is about eating whole foods and not looking for loop holes to fill the gaps of what you were doing before.  I think these things are meant to be enjoyed AFTER the 30 days and it's certainly what I will be looking forward to adding to the menu once September is over!!  Breakfasts will be hard for me, the thought of vegetables and savoury food that early in the morning is daunting!  While you are not supposed to snack, I have decided to have a piece of fruit first thing in the morning while the punks are getting ready for school, go on my morning walk/run then come home and make my actual breakfast.  This is probably boarding on not being in the spirit of not snacking but there is no way I can eat a savoury breakfast at 6am in the morning!!

For the remainder of this Whole 30 journey and lifestyle choices for health and well being, I will be using my It Started with a Pair of Sneakers blog to share progress, slip ups, and for keeping myself accountable.  I'll be blogging my meals and exercise daily, along with whats worked and what hasn't. I make plenty of mistakes so come join me, health and exercise is WAY more fun when you can share it with others :0) 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Tomorrow I Start Whole 30 ... and give you an inside into my plans!

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring ... YAY!  Sorry Winter, it was lovely while you were here but I am now officially over you and looking forward to Spring and Summer.  Summer is just around the corner here in New Zealand and I have some definite creating and making goals to achieve by Christmas ... more on those tomorrow.  However, I will let you into one, I am undertaking Whole 30 for the month of September.  About two years ago, I did what I thought was Whole 30 but it turned out I had missed one of the fundamental rules and completely messed it up!!  Oh well, it's time to give it another go and see if we can improve on the previous outcomes in order to stop my current addiction to Ready Salted Doritos and Sweet and Salty Popcorn .... oh, and we could also throw in Whittakers Dark Chocolate.  Ah yeah, not the best energy, body loving foods to be feasting on so I am hoping the Whole 30 will tick the box in terms of resetting my body to love whole foods and find some much needed nutritional balance!!

This is only the start of the story, lots of changes are taking place in my world and I look forward to finding some pinteresting solutions to make the most of them all.  I will also show you the completely renovated St Hilda's Orphanage, which is all but finished and only needs some pinterest styled touch ups.  You will get to see Ben and Polly's finished Bedrooms, the Guest Bedroom, our Master Bedroom, and all the things in-between!

See you tomorrow, and let's hope Spring is the perfect time for taking up lots of challenges and not just for spring cleaning the house :o)

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Hello Friends,

After taking an extended hiatus for various reasons, I have come back to blogging as a way of doing something for myself!  Life has been busy for the last year, we have done everything from skiing to netball, birthdays to Christmas, travel to homeward bound, happiness to sadness, weight loss to weight gain, walking to running, injury to recovery, and more living than I could imagine!  Here are some photos from the last year as a way of visual catch up.  I look forward to blogging again, it takes up time but I love that it's something for me to use as an outlet.
2015 Science Winner ... Ben did exceptionally well

Me and My Polly

Morning cuddles with my girl and my niece in SG

I adore her, my beautiful sister inside and out

Easter creations

Summer fun at Taupo

ANZAC Day speech

And they have continued to learn

I love these two Auckland girls

Polly's hair for wacky hair day ... birds nest!

Ben continued to read .... no surprises there!

He also found time to ski

HB won the Ranfurly Shield

Pollyanna's Drive-In Movie Birthday Party

We made the cars out of cardboard and they decorated them at the party

Ben started High School .... YIKES!!

Al's Birthday Cake

Tri-athlon 2014

The OT Family

There is never anything better than Legoland!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Its been a while .... :o)

Yes, its definitely been a while.  I discovered much to my horror organising a home schooling household, renovating an old orphanage, sorting building contractors, painting, adapting to a new life in a new part of the country all while camping in your new house with all your household effects in storage for months was ... well ... exhausting!  As a result the HB edition of Pinterest 365 and all other creating, blog hopping, and general downtime went out the window while the renovations took place.  It was disappointing to fail after such a spectacular win with the first 365 days of Pinterest Creations but that is life and that's ok.

Tiong Bahru, Singapore ... the view from my sisters home :)
We moved our household items into the house on the 12th July, exactly three months after taking possession.  Its not finished completely but it is coming along nicely :o)  Three days after "moving in" properly the kids and I left for Auckland and landed in Singapore later that week!  We are still in Singapore spending some quality time with my sister and her peeps ... its been amazing and rejuvenating all at the same time.  In two weeks time we head back to New Zealand after being here for six weeks just in time for Spring to start and a home warming party to happen.

The pair of sneakers that started the new 365 day goal!
 I have put my time to good use over here and found my mojo again, especially for a personal goal that has been hanging around for years.  It's another 365 day project but this time it's very personal and something I have now found the energy and belief in myself to do it and succeed at it.  It all started with a pair of sneakers and some advice from one of my sisters dear friends Caryn.  If you are interested I have started a new blog for this journey and really want to encourage others to come join me, start a blog of your own and get a fitness or health goal that meets your needs for the next 365 days!  I figure that way we can all inspire each other to keep going :o)

I will be back posting on this blog ... my first, my baby ... in a couple of weeks time when I return to New Zealand.  I have missed my Pinterest creating and now with the major renovating work complete it is time to start the decorating and turn the orphanage into a home!  I won't be posting daily projects anymore but there will be a couple a week and plenty of recipes I will try and want to share as well. 

Thanks for all the lovely feedback over the last several years ... it means so much, its been highly motivating, and I have met the most wonderful people from around the world because of this blog ... I have been so lucky, so a heartfelt thank you to you all xx