Yesterday we celebrated Simon’s birthday with a 1920s themed Cotton Club party. We joined two tables together stretched through our dining room and enjoyed a wonderful meal with a collection of our friends. I had decided to focus decorations on black and white, and covered the tables with a long white table cloth peppered with tealight candles in large Agee jars and bunches of nasturtiums, as well as hanging a room divider made from black and white crepe paper streamers. We served guests Gin Rickeys in jars, and spent a lovely evening listening to Jazz, talking, and laughing. The evening was a lot of fun, and I have to say having spent the past few weeks researching the 1920s I am completely enamoured with this decade now. You can see my Pinterest board for the party planning here.
If you have kids you will be well aware that the word salad conjures up all sorts of pinched faces and exclamations of eurrrgh! Well, I have found a way around this, and thought I would share with you my recipe for a simple summer salsa. My kids love cucumber, tomatoes, and corn, and after trialling a Greek Salad with them to great success I concocted the following recipe. Not only do they love it, but last night when I served it up to them next to mini chicken burgers with spinach and a chutney yoghurt, Mia exclaimed I love this, this is my favourite!
Simple Summer Salsa
Serves 4 as a side dish
- 2 Corn Cobs
- 1 Telegraph Cucumber
- 1 Punnet of Cherry or Grape Tomatoes (approx 250gm)
- 2T Olive Oil
- 2T Lime Juice – we have a bottle of fresh squeezed juice, but if you’re lucky enough to have affordable limes use those instead
- pepper & salt
- Fetta (optional)
Steam or microwave corn in their husks – I use the microwave and do about 3 minutes in 1 minute increments, turning the corn each time. Leave corn to cool slightly in husk while you do the rest of the preparation.
Skin the cucumber, chop into 1cm cubes, place in bowl.
Chop tomatoes in half vertically, add to bowl.
Husk the corn, and cut the kernels off by running a knife down the body of the corn, add to the bowl.
Add a good splosh of olive oil, the lime juice, and salt & pepper to taste, mix and serve with the Fetta sprinkled across the top (I use about 70g)
Other variations could include the addition of finely diced red pepper/capsicum, thinly sliced celery, a little avocado on top, or as below with lightly steamed beans.
Where is the year rushing to, and how can it be March already? All my plans to start a new timetable have gone awry, and I don’t seem to have been able to draw breath to start on some of my many ideas for little minx. That’s okay, I know I will, and I have done a rather impressive, and much needed, sort and tidy of the work room (which I will show you once I have done the last few bits). I have had an order for some Bunting, which is rather exciting and always fun to make, so I spent some time in my lovely tidy space today and fitted in a quick make for Mia while I was there – a fabric case for her Recorder.
Did you learn the Recorder at school? I never did, but have strong memories of the 12 children that did gathered by the stage at my Primary Schools weekly assembly, squeaking and droning out of key together while we all winced and wished we could cover our ears. I’m sure Mia will do a much better job of playing the recorder than that, or at least will look stylish while putting her instrument away afterwards.
Last week I started a photography course at the Otago Polytechnic – obviously I already take lot of photo’s, have a fairly nice camera, and am a very snap-happy kind of chick BUT I have always had that feeling that I am cheating, that I don’t know enough about what I am doing or have enough control. Add to that the fact that the camera is simply a tool, I would have to admit that it is one I do not know particularly well. So I made the decision to take a beginner course on digital photography, and it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made! After the first lesson I came away with my camera on Manual and a full understanding of what it is I need to control to make light work for me. Can I just say a small yeehaw here? Yes, I think I can. I came away from just two hours buzzing and excited, you couldn’t ask for more really.
Tonight’s lesson was focused on the Rule of Thirds, composition, how light affects a subject, and differing perspectives. We spent the entire 2 hours outside, being given assignments after detailed explanations of what it is we are trying to achieve. If you ever wanted a poster-perfect course for reasons to take a night class this is the one. So here are a few moments from tonight, merging in what was taught last week. I really can’t believe I didn’t know how to do any of this before – and you can imagine how excited I am about the ‘what next’!
One thing I really wanted to achieve this year was to get moving, get out there, get physical. Somehow life has been so busy that it has been hard to squeeze in a walk or some yoga, that’s just the way it is. Today however my starting time was moved back 2 hours, allowing me a much appreciated moment to do a little housework, plan dinner for tonight, and go for a run. The circuit Max & I tend to take is full to brimming with native plants, ever-changing views, and lots of little pathways. Whenever we start to doubt where we live this route usually fixes any concerns we have with travel times and distance from town, it’s just so beautiful.What a great day to start the day.
**please note, these pictures were taken on my phone, so the quality may not be up to the usual standard**
Perfection in a day – no work, and time to do as I wished. This largely meant running errands – though don’t get me wrong, they were fun errands! The day started with a coffee date with a new friend, and on her suggestion we met at The Kitchen Table. I am so thankful for her choice as I think I just found my new favourite café. As soon as I walked in there I felt at home. As you all know I am a huge details person, and this lovely place is just buzzing with thoughtful, heartfelt attention to detail such as bunches of home-picked flowers, carefully selected vintage crockery, and a gorgeous colour scheme based around orange and chocolate. It took me about 60 seconds before I asked do you mind of I take some photos’s?
Now a funny thing happened in-between then and now, and somehow I seem to have deleted all of my lovely photo’s, which has led to a rather distressing couple of hours trying to figure out what has happened and were they have gone. No avail, they seem to be lost so I will just have to go back and take some more. Which, of course, is just fine by me.
This year I have started the #365Grateful project – a photo of a moment each day where I stop and appreciate my lot. I thought it would be nice to review these moments once a month as well – so here is a selection of favourite moments from my first month, January through February 2014. If you have Instagram on your phone you can follow my progress @littleminxess, or you can see it online here, though the pictures are maximised for viewing on a phone.
love the architecture of this city (& this makes me kinda like geraniums too)
a change of work hours today means I am home early & on the couch with these two gorgeous pairs of legs next to me
Happy Valentines Day x
Rather loving this! xx
Before we moved to Dunedin I used to look online at all manner of Dunedin websites – government, real estate, weather, activities – but one of my favourite things to do was to visit the live web-cams, one of which sits over the St Clair Salt Water Pool. Invariable the image was murky, most likely covered in sea spray, and at times I thought it was almost fixed (being Dunedin it updates at least once in every minute) Today we finally made it there.
Driving down the harbour through gray skies, low hanging cloud, with a sense of drizzle in the air didn’t bode well to spending time in an outdoor pool, but the sky slowly began to open up until, arriving in St Clair, there was an intensely blue sky and people sitting outside cafés having lunch in summer gear. Not quite what we were expecting, but no complaints there! Visiting the St Clair Salt Water Pool is like being whizzed back in time and plopped somewhere in 1950s. Built in the mid 1800s, heating was added in the 60s so that the temperature sits at a balmy 28 degrees. We have lived in Dunedin 7 years now, and had not been here before – but I would have to say that is one of the things I really love about Dunedin, there seems to always be things we still have not done or visited. This one was a stunner – what an amazing spot, surrounded by crashing waves, seagulls, and surfers, the entire complex is absolutely stunning with fabulous design and really great colours.
I didn’t have my camera so these photo’s are an experiment in using my phone as a camera.
Another blissful day spent in the work room – mixing my time between chipping away at my new website and doing some making. Mia has moved up out of the Juniors at school and into the Seniors area, and with this jump comes such joyous events as access to the Seniors playground, your very own desk with a lid, and the need for a Pencil Case to hold your things inside your desk. I dived into my fabrics pile and picked out a favourite bright 1960s psychedelic print in hot pinks and shamrock greens, and finally cut into the pile of vintage vinyl I have been collecting but for some reason have been too afraid to cut into or sew, picking a deep navy blue with black speckle. The recipient seems to be rather pleased with her new Pencil Case, and I’m just happy to have had a chance to get back in the saddle.
Today has been bliss. I know I keep saying “this is my first day to myself since November…” etc etc, blah blah blah, poor me but… this really is my first proper day to myself since November. One advantage of life having been so focused on only a few things within the same routine is that when I do go back to what used to be my ‘everyday’ life boy do I appreciate it! Having said that I only get to play with this life on Wednesday and Thursday, and only between school hours, but right now that is just pure heaven.
The day starts with usual list being created, and ends with some of it having been achieved – though I think the biggest achievement of today was the sense of peace I got from the lovely, familiar plodding along. Having done a lot of thinking, plotting, planning, and note-taking over the New Year I have formed a fairly comprehensive idea of what I want to achieve from this year – especially from little minx. Today I began on these plans, buying a domain name and setting up the beginnings of my new website. All rather exciting really – and a lovely way to spend the day, with plans ahoy.