Sunday 26 February 2012

Baby's First Slippers update...

You will remember a while ago
I told you about the pattern one of
my embroidery friends gave me here
for Jessie's first slippers
which she will wear at her
christening in France
in June.

My friend Mary
who is in my embroidery group
has twin granddaughters
so she wanted to make the slippers too.

Three of us spent a day last week
embroidering and hand sewing
 their sweet slippers.
Her little angels were christened today!

Now I am working on my

little angel's slippers!

Mary surprised me with this beautiful
bouquet of flowers - to say thank you!

They are lisianthas in
simply divine colours

with ruffled edges to the petals
thank you dear Mary!

Please make sure you visit my friends
on the left hand side of my blog
to enter their beautiful

to my 9 new followers

Thank you dear friends for visiting
especially those of you who leave me
a comment - love you!
Be kind to one another
Shane x

Thursday 23 February 2012


One year ago on 22nd February 2011
a devastating earthquake hit
Christchurch, New Zealand
killing 185 people.

A memorial service was held today
to remember those 185 lives who were lost
and reflect on that dreadful day
that changed our lives forever.
At 12:51pm New Zealanders
observed two minutes silence
to remember those who died.

We are small country
and everyone knows someone
affected by this terrible event

1 degree of separation......

Image from

Children in Christchurch
released 185 butterflies
representing those precious
185 lost lives.

Image from

Beautiful floral tributes
were placed on the
road cones separating
the Red Zone of the city.

Messages were received from
Her Majesty, The Queen
as head of the

World leaders remembered
New Zealand today
sending warm messages
of hope and encouragement
for the future.

Image from

A video link condolence was
 sent by Hillary Clinton
US Secretary of State
who visited Christchurch
following the earthquake.

It's like family

in times of strife and depair

we take care of one another.

The people of Christchurch
came out to pay their respects today.

Slowly their lives are rebuilding,
they are looking to the future
for themselves
their families, friends and neighbours
and the future of their city.

Image from

Thank you for popping in to see me
especially those of you who leave me
a little comment - love you!

Be kind to one another
Shane x

Sunday 19 February 2012

An invitation - how exciting...

Lachlan's 1st Birthday

Lachie is our Godson's
second child
so we felt very priviledged
that he wanted us at his party!!

It was a beach party from 11-1,
a perfect time of little
one year olds!!

there were games like
pass the parcel and

an egg and spoon race
with the good dads supervising!

Such cute "little people"...
who remind me of "little old people"!!

The perfect cake for
our 1 year old boy
I think he likes aeroplanes...

because there were pink helicopters too..

They were made of white marshmallows
then pink/white chocolate with
licorice for the rotor!!
I didn't taste but the
kids loved them.

The day was very not and humid
with threatening thunder clouds
but luckily the sun stayed
out and everyone
was happy.

I just wished that my
two darling granddaughters
could have been here too.....

A very big welcome to
my two lovely new followers
Carol in France and
Ingrid in the Netherlands.

Thank you for popping in to see me

especially those of you who leave me
a little comment - love you!

Be kind to one another

Saturday 11 February 2012

Downton Abbey Christmas Special airs....

Are you a Downton Abbey fan like me?
What an absolute joy it has been to
have a worthwhile program to watch.

Summer in New Zealand,
is the time when television is at it's worst.
We are subjected to a tedious selection of
re-runs of every program under the sun!

Until the much awaited two-part series
The Downton Christmas Special
graced our screens in the past two weeks.
It was a breath of fresh air to enjoy
Julian Fellowes Edwardian drama
with such a stellar cast of actors
 back in our living room again!!!
The inimitable Nigel Havers has joined the cast
in a delightful cameo role
as Lord Hepworth, the currant beau
of Lady Rosamund (Samantha Bond).
They are seen above at the
annual Christmas "shoot".

I'm not going to divulge too much
as some of you may not have seen it yet
and I would hate to spoil it for you.
Suffice to say, you will LOVE it!!

They're all here....
the lovely Crawley sisters,
although we didn't see Lady Sybil
as she and Branston are now in Ireland!

But we were treated to this elegant trio
of outstanding actors.
Handsome Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville), with his mother
the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) and the
very elegant Lady Cora (Elizabeth McGovern).

Lady Cora and Mr Carson (Jim Carter)
dance at the servant's ball.

Lord Grantham danced with
the housekeeper Mrs Hughes,
played so beautifully by Phyllis Logan.

The tension is strong among this trio of
Sir Richard Carlisle (Iain Glen ),
Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery)
and Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens)......

This was TV viewing at it's best.
For those of you who haven't seen it yet -
you have such a treat in store,
and I'm excited for you!!

Thank you for popping in to see me
especially those of you who leave me
a little comment - love you!
to my new followers

Be kind to one another
love and hugs

Such elegance!

Thursday 2 February 2012

The recipe.....

Hello dear friends
how is your week panning out?
 As promised here is the recipe
I mentioned on yesterday's post.

Caramelised Red Onion and Haloumi Tart
Serves 6 Serve with rocket drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
6 medium red onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
400 g puff pastry
haloumi cheese roughly sliced
1/4 cup pitted black olives
6 baby vine ripened tomatoes
Halve and then finely slice onions and place in a saucepan
along with olive oil, butter, garlic and thyme.
Place over a medium heat and cook, stirring at times for
30-40 minutes until onion is very tender and becoming golden.
Add balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to the pan and cook,
stirring, for a few minutes more.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
The onion mixture can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days.
Preheat oven to 200 C.

Roll pastry out into a large rectangle approximately 5 mm thick.
Cut pastry into 6 portions.
Place on a cool oven tray and fold the
edges over to form a 2 cm rim around the outside.
Spoon over the onion leaving the outer edge clear.
Top with thick haloumi slices, olives and whole tomato.
Black ground pepper and a little salt to taste.
Bake for 15 -20 minutes until pastry is puffed and golden.
Place onto individual serving plates.

Dress with a few leaves of rocket
drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar and oil.
Bonne appetite!

Thank you for popping in to see me
especially those of you who leave me
 a little comment - love you!


to my newest follower Mary
please click on Mary's name to take
Mary is a great storyteller and has just done a
wonderful post on her recent travels
in Vietnam!
Her photography is exceptional.

Thank you for joining my blog dear Mary!

Be kind to one another
love and hugs

Shane x

Wednesday 1 February 2012


Hello dear friends!
Today I'm sharing with you
one of my fave cafes in
my corner of the world
Auckland - New Zealand!

"Little and Friday"
opened a second cafe here last year
on the strength of the huge success
of their first one in Belmont.

Late last year a friend and I
lunched at their new venue
in Newmarket
not far from where we live.

Their cakes are "to die for"
the sort that you want
to eat slowly
and really enjoy the experience!
have you got the picture
(I can even dream about their cakes!!!)

But I started my lunch with
a small piece of delicious
"Caramelised red onion and
Haloumi Tart"
totally melt in the mouth pastry
(I even have dreams about this too)!!

I followed with an
exquisite pear tart,
and I didn't add yoghurt
or cream.... wasn't I disciplined
(a first!!!)

Jennie had an
Orange and Rosewater cake
with clotted cream
(naughty Jen!!!)
no, to be fair that's how
it was served!

Lemon tarts looked so
delicious too!
We sat at a big dining room table
shared by several others -
it was a lovely atmosphere
and we all chatted to one another.

They had some great fashion mags
to read, if you were there on your own!

The coffee was excellent
I had Cafe Latte
it was strong and very hot
just how I like it!!!

Tomorrow I will share with you my
recipe for the
Caramelised Onion and Houlami Tart.

Thank you all for popping in to see me
especially those of you who leave
comments.... love you!
A big welcome to my new followers
Thank you for joining my blog.
Be kind to one another
Love and hugs
Shane x


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