Monday, November 17, 2014

Back Home, What I Wore

We have been back in the States for exactly 2 weeks today, and I must admit, it was hard to come back. I can't quite describe it, but maybe it's because we don't *love* where we live to begin with that makes it more challenging to really embrace being home. I honestly only missed my own vegetable peeler and my crock pot. (Aside from family and friends, of course.)

However, we are here. This is where we are for this time in life, and so it is. And, after two weeks in our own home, it is feeling cozy and comfortable. I am excited about the newest Cosco opening near us, Thanksgiving coming soon (Kiwis don't have that!), getting back to my sewing machine, and settling in for a long winter's nap. (Hmm...not really, but it sounded appropriate.)

Fall lasted about a week and a half after our arrival, and now it. is. winter. As in, the ground is white, it's snowing now and there's more snow coming approximately every day this week. I'm usually fine with winter and don't mind it till March, but last year kind of wore me out. So I'm trying to brace myself.

Anyway, the first Sunday back, we went to our own church which was nice and I wore this:

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Dress // Made by me, shown more here
Cardigan // Target
Scarf // Bought in Germany last year
Boots // Ugg

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Haircut in NZ and A Masked Parade

Last Friday was a perfect day for a haircut. I had several inches of length taken off, and now I feel very much refreshed. It's such fun getting one's hair cut in another country. I did it in Germany about a year ago, and now Down Under. It's simply a fun experience. :)

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Marie was my hairstylist this time, and she said she's been doing hair for about 30 years. She took a break to try something else, but turns out she didn't love working at a bank for those two years even though she did well at it. She returned to cutting hair and loves doing it.

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Thanks to Maria for being my photographer. She was with us for part of our trip to Europe last year and now she AND her brother Logan have joined us for the latter part of our New Zealand trip. Daniel and I met on their family's farm, so we all kind of go back a long ways. Um...I guess I don't even have a picture of Maria in this post. Oops. 

That evening was the Masked Parade as part of the Nelson Arts Festival, which is going on right now, and it was another fun little outing we all had. We walked downtown for the event, and when the school groups started coming by, Natasha perched on Daniel's shoulders to see.

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Afterwards, we got a picture with one of the taller masked creatures. :)

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Nature Play in Nelson

The past few Wednesdays that we've been available, Natasha and I have gone to the Nature Play walk for children at the base of Grampians Reserve. It's an easy stroll up part of the hillside, going at a preschooler's (or younger) pace. Halfway through the walk, we gather with the other mom and children to have a morning snack. But it's a little fancier here; they call it "morning tea" and we actually have tea. At least one mom usually brings a thermos of hot tea, and if you bring a cup, she will pour it out for you. There are healthy snacks, like fresh fruit or homemade bread and it's all very relaxed and easy going.

Natasha enjoys going and we have made a few new friends, which make us feel like we aren't so isolated. Thing is, we only have about a week left here in New Zealand, and then it's back to the States and winter, where there won't be any nature walks with flowers to pick like there are here!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Girly Times

Just a little peak into the more girly side of life last week:

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My sister-in-law and her family came to visit us for a couple weeks and we did a big road trip around the South Island of New Zealand. (Check our adventuring/travel blog, Ordinary and Beyond for lots of fantastic scenery of New Zealand!) Back at the Holiday House, it was fun to continue watching Natasha and Myah bond as cousins and friends.

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I must say, it was simply FUN having this girlie here.

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AND...she basically learned to walk in New Zealand. Too bad she's so little she won't remember it, but I won't have a problem telling her all about it when she's older.

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The day or so before they had to fly out, Lydia and I did a bit of girly shopping. We started at the Spotlight store and then biked downtown to pop into some shops. The LUSH shop was a fun visit, with lots of bath bombs and soaps that looked good enough to eat.

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We also visited the Cotton On Kids store and oohed and ahhed over all the darling clothes. I was so proud of ourselves, biking around without any help all on the left side of the road and everything.  :)

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Thinking Pink and Preparing for Winter

I've fallen in love with knitting again. It's so fun to rediscover the joy in something so simple. After my infinity scarf, I needed something else to work on, and I remembered Natasha's winter hat from last year was getting a little small. What a happy discovery. I have a proper excuse to knit something else!
We then went on a little search for the best yarn for a new hat. We found some 100% Australian wool at Spotlight, for a reasonable price and bought two balls.
Of course, it had to be pink.

After much deliberation, I settled on the Little Flower Hat on Ravelry, and completed it fairly quick.

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Raveled here.

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After that, I still had a ball of yarn. Guess we bought one too many. Not a problem though, another realization hit me: Her mittens are going to be really too small this winter as well! So I taught myself, with a couple youtube videos, how to knit mittens. I used a vintage pattern that I pinned a while ago, and I think it was a perfect pattern for giving me an idea of how mittens are constructed.


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Raveled here.

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Both patterns are *free*. :)

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Very Big Bag

In my planning for travel, I realized last year that I needed big bag for a carry-on satchel type of thing. It was to be the catch-all for snacks, airline games, and even to stuff the camera bag into if needed. I scoured Pinterest, and found a lovely review by SouleMama for the "Big Easy Sling Bag" in the book, "Sew What You Love". I promptly requested the book from the library and whipped one up.

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A burlap covered button seemed to be the perfect choice for the closure.

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My only alteration is adding a fully lined zipper, and a couple pockets on the inside. Although I honestly can't remember if the pockets are originally included in the pattern or not. I do know the zippered pocket was my addition.
This was my first proper zippered pocket in a lining, so I needed some instructions. It worked up very nice and I am really glad I added it. Because of the large emptiness a big bag can create, I had to have something to keep lip balm from getting lost in the depths. And I do use that zippered pocket all the time.

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Here's a picture from the subway in Paris, to give you an idea of its size and what it looks like full of stuff. :)

For our trip to New Zealand, I decided I wanted to have a zipper on the large opening, so the morning we left, I quick sewed in a zipper for added security. Not probably needed but I kind of like being able to secure all our odds and ends with more than just a button. 


Monday, September 29, 2014

My Own Striped Top

I'm realizing I love stripes. Or at least, it's my favorite right now. Kind of like my newest favorite color "turquoise". Natasha keeps asking me if it's my favorite color, and I say, "Yes, till it changes." :) Same thing goes for stripes I suppose.

I bet you remember my search for a striped shirt just like Kate's, right? I so appreciate your tips and suggestions, and had I not limited my spending allotment so small, I would have easily bought one. Probably from Boden. But alas, I decided to stick. to. my. budget. and look at fabric instead of ready-made tops.

And look I did. I looked high and wide on all the best knit fabric sources online for the properly spaced, navy and white or off-white stripes, and it's harder than I thought. Eventually I settled on buying 1 yard of the"Off White with Navy Stripes" fabric from the Etsy shop Stylish Fabric. Total cost was $12.88, with about half of it being shipping and handling.

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I knew I was taking a chance with the quality, and it proved right. The fabric isn't superb, and drapes weird in the back, but it will work for now. I'm still going to keep my eye out for deals or sales on a better quality one for long-term styling.

The pattern I used to make my other t-shirts (using this tutorial of copying an existing top) worked again for this one, and overall I'm pleased.

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