These are some of my favourite things…

What could be better than crispy, golden pom poms; delicious chicken and a huge pile of colourful vegetables? I love food that encompasses rich flavours, vegies and simplicity. I think only Mac and Cheese can beat pie on the comfort food front. There is something so satisfying about being able to load up a one-dish-meal with  a ton of ingrediants. That’s why I love pie. But pie is also fiddley and expensive, with all that pastry. This is where Naked Pie comes in! No pastry (less fat – bonus!) – a simple recipe that doesn’t compromise on taste. The original recipe can be found here: – but who wants to save pie just for the winter (also, this recipe didn’t work for me so I made some serious adaptions!).


Laura’s Naked Chicken


25g Butter. Vegies. Garlic. Simmer
Chunks of chicken breast. Mixed herbs. Ground pepper. Sautee.

Chicken: shredded. Vegies. Sour Cream. Watties Condenses Chicken Soup.

Top with Pom Poms. Bake @ 180 for 30.

Wear loose clothing. Devour.


I still can’t believe its 2012! A whole new year. I always get excited when a new year starts, its so mysterious and thrilling. The practical, ocd, middle-aged me comes out and starts planning and organising and goal setting. The me that wants to make a first-aid kit and de-frost the freezer. But there is another me, that usually basks beneath the other one. That me dreams of sparkly things and mysterious places and miles and miles of shoes. Maybe 2012 is the year for that me. I spend so much time worrying and thinking and analyzing about bills, and saggy lettuces and crumbs and dirty socks. I want to roll that all up, pop it on a sail boat and send it to the moon. This is what I am dreaming of for 2012.

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Candle-lit dinners under the stars...


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New places...


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Fabulous tea parties...


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And polka dots!


Maybe not Paris and maybe not the raunchy get-up (that’s the practical me again) but there are so many things that I feel like I could do or be that I have never even tried. I want to publish my book and start my real, potentially profitable, and hopefully eventually highly successful blog. I want to change my hair and grow my dress collection and spend much time stove-front drinking wine while simultaneously having picnics in bed, watching the classics I haven’t seen. And its almost funny, because I have no idea what’s stopping me. I’m going to have a long (whatever, I have to work tomorrow) hard sleep on this very fact. 



There are only 11 days left of January – only a month more of summer after that! It is a sad thought and for that reason I want to make the most of these final 11 days of January.

But first – what has been so far?

We just spent 3 wonderful weeks house/ cat sitting in the country. It included much lying in the sun and eating, kitten taming, occasional beer drinking and general country life. There was also a road trip to Picton in an old van and a dip in the Pelorus river. And even a Wedding! – a medieval one too. Now that I look back, January hasn’t been half bad.

So for the rest of January? I want to go to a Kite Festival, a play (outside, based on fairy tales, with picnic of course), out for breakfast, biking, swimming, finish the 5th Chapter of my book…. I also have to go to a baby shower and possibly a 21st both next weekend. Will post later. With many tales to tell, I hope.


–post in the making–

My goals, dreams, hopes and plans for 2012!

  • To send my book to the publishers
  • To start my new blog project – ‘Foodie’
  • To grow a fabulous shoe wardrobe, replacing the pile of crap, broken, old, smelly shoes I currently have.
  • To have enough money to eat well and cook a lot
  • To strike a work/ lifestyle balance which gives me time to write and be me without being drastically poor
  • To travel, at least a little bit
  • To be more positive, accepting, happy and care-free
  • To take better care of myself: to get more hair-cuts, health-checks and massages
  • To enjoy being young and decide what I really want to do in 2013 and on-wards



2011 was making my first home with Rowan. 2011 was finding the pen. 2011 was telling stories. 2011 was falling in love (still). 2011 was living by the sea. 2011 was exploring the West Coast, together. 2011 was windy in Wellington. 2011 was a little bit of Japanese. 2011 was riding the bus. 2011 was picking up a paint brush. 2011 was learning to stretch. 2011 was my own garden. 2011 was 20,206 words. 2011 was Meerkat Manor and popcorn in bed. 2011 was camping in the lounge. 2011 was natural. 2011 was learning to cook. 2011 was snow. 2011 was letters in the post. 2011 was dresses and shoes. 2011 was blogging. 2011 was dining out. 2011 was Christmas at home. 2011 was fireworks and margaritas on New Years. 2011 was glasses of wine and phone calls with mum. 2011 was my first real job. 2011 was lots of hugs. 2011 was seeing the Lion King. 2011 was you taking me for drives. 2011 was my birthday cake from Dad. 2011 was a new (furry) member of the family. 2011 was turning 20. 2011 was lavender. 2011 was trying new things. 2011 was beautiful stuff on Pinterest. 2011 was hot chips at the beach. 2011 was Sam Hunt’s poetry. 2011 was a rainy spring. 2011 was walks on the beach. 2011 was reruns of Black Books. 2011 was mac n’ cheese. 2011 was hours at the library. 2011 was pancakes for tea.

2012 will be….


A Christmas Post

Well, it has been a while since I posted – but heck – there has been much happening and now, there is much to blog about! Why since my last post it has rained and flooded and now the sun is protruding boldly form a blue sky. I have worked 12 days straight (through some of this ghastly rain) and I have been one busy elf getting ready for Christmas, for today is Christmas Eve Eve.

So this blog would probably be super long if I went into detail about everything so I’ll try and keep it short.

I just knocked off work – hurrah! – and now have two days off to celebrate the Christmasness. The last two weeks have been kind of mad. Last week we had the worst rain storm ever to occur in a NZ town (holy crap!) and Nelson and surrounding areas are in a bit of a muddy, landslidey state – thank almighty man in sky, my house and families are all ok. I worked through all of the torrential rain and well, I can’t say I enjoyed it.

This week I have been busy getting ready for Christmas – I have made ginger bread men, finished my Christmas shopping, bought lovely wrapping stuff and bought several truck loads of food. We have also been doing lots of socialising including Rows work function and dinner with the in-laws.


It is now Boxing Day! as stuff happened half-way through writing the above post I never got to finish it. Christmas was mostly magical. It involved a lot of yummy food – which we are still trying to get through – and lots of nice presents, which make me feel quit spoilt. On Christmas Eve I was a busy bee making cookies and Key Lime Pie and wrapping presents and we even fit in time to watch a Christmas movie! We watched ‘A Christmas Carol’ (a Disney animated version of the original). Christmas day involved French Toast and champagne -ish wine, my beautiful necklace from Row, dinner with the extending (I swear there are more people every year) family and even a phone call to Will, my vagabond brother, who was lying in a tree drinking whiskey.

Since pictures are worth a thousand words – here are some. I’ll write more later.

Our Christmas Tree

My gorgeous gift wrap stuff from Presse Papiers (this one was for Row)

Ginger Bread Men

My growing garden.

One of my lovely marigold's!

Meerkat themed outings, delicious edibles and lovely treats..

Well the last few days have been pretty full on so this post my get a bit long, also it’s 10.48 pm and I can’t be bothered uploading photos so I’ll do them tomorrow.

Where to start…

On Sunday night, in the lovely rain, we went out for dinner with my parent-in-laws. It was excellent. The food! We went to Fords, which is this super classy restaurant, I think its new or recently renamed, anyway was very nice. We sat upstairs overlooking the rest of the restaurant (ah, English) and the food! I had fish which was so nice, not battered or deep-fried rubbish, just like pan seared or whatever you call it, it was so moist and tasty and came with these amazing roast baby potatoes – you know how I love my potatoes – and bok choy. Now the dessert was just something else. I had ‘eton mess’ and kind of wish I had my camera as it was as pretty as it was tasty. Meringue, cream and berries mixed up in this big fancy glass and topped with delicate fairy floss – oh my. Its probably the best dessert menu I have ever seen at a restaurant. There was way too much to choose from.

On Monday, after work, I met up with some friends that I hadn’t seen in a while and we had lunch out (yes eating out again!) and then we went to the zoo! And there were Meerkats! Two Meerkats. And kune kune piglets and woolly lambs and a beautiful peacock. I feel a bit sad for the meerkats that there is only two of them. They’re still fascinating to watch though. And they didn’t like the piglets (who were wandering around freely). I think if I was ever to get an outrageous tattoo, it would be a meerkat, on my back, standing on its hind legs ‘looking out’ for me, watching my back. Of course I would never have the balls to do that. But I think it would be pretty cool.

Today I had the day off and it has been raining constantly all day. Despite that, I had a lovely day. I arranged Christmas Presents, put up my fairy lights in my bedroom, defrosted the freezer and found some soup, and went to town. On my way to town I found a wee present in the mail box. I have been signed up to valued opinions (a site that pays you for taking surveys) and finally got my reward. A $20 Farmers gift card!!! That put a smile on the dial. In town I tried to find a ginger bread man cookie cutter but failed :( but I did find Christmas Wine! My favourite sparkling wine is Riccadonna Asti and I only have it once a year, at Christmas, and it just happened to be on a massive special today! Yay. Then I had Pilates.

So now I’m almost ready for Christmas. My tree is up and sparkling, my presents are almost ready, my stocking is out (and hopeful lol), my wine is in the cupboard. I just need to buy gift wrap off Presse Papiers, send cards to some family overseas, do lots of baking and buy lots of chocolate.

I love this time of year. I wish we were a country with more celebrations. I wouldn’t mind being American for that aspect (no others). I love getting excited about Christmas. This year I might even watch some classic Christmas movies.

For now, I will have my advent calendar chocolate and go to bed.


Summer has landed

Well I just had to write a post today. It’s not the first day of summer but it is the second and that is just as good. Also, today is awesome.

I’ve had a great week this week. It was quite productive. I fixed my bike, planted beans, finished my painting and have been writing a completely morbid short story for AUT creative writing comp. Yesterday me and Row started our Advent Calenders, mine is Barbie!

Today I had a good day at work. After work my boss gave us all some of her Semi Freido (how do you spell that?) and then I got tomorrow off so hopefully mum will take me shoe shopping!

Then my other boss, who also happens to be a courier driver, delivered a package to me at work – my new dress! Its so lovely and a perfect fit. And was only $25!

When I got home from work I got a few things done – washing, watering my plants and I made yummy mac n cheese with chicken, for lunch.

And then! I checked the mail and season two of Meerkat Manor had arrived. :D

I think this summer is going to be full of really wonderful things. And even though working part-time is going to be a bit hard financially, I’m looking forward to the spare time and to finishing lots of writing projects and doing lots of summery things.

It’s going to be a strange and exciting start to next year. My new job, finishing my book and sending to publishers, starting Massey (crap!), hopefully not moving house and then with Autumn comes me and Rows two year anniversary, the Fins coming, and Mum and Dad leaving.

To summarise: life is rather peachy.

Now i’m going to finish the first draft of my short story and work on my book.

Ta’ra! (Do people still say that?)


Summer is here…almost

It is only two days until summer officially starts which is both really weird and exciting. I’m getting pretty excited about Christmas and swimming and dresses and all great things that come with summer.

So a few days ago I discovered the world of Etsy. Oh god. My life has never been more complete or more empty depending on how you look at it. I feel that I may spend a large portion of my life looking at beautiful things on Etsy that I can not afford and will never buy. But its not as bad as trademe browsing or the like. See, Etsy is different and its MAGICAL. Etsy is basically like a giant online market where people the world over come together to buy and sell gorgeous hand made things and vintage goodies. For Christmas Row is buying me this beautiful handmade necklace from the states. Its a bit expensive. BUT I MUST HAVE IT. The thing is it’s just so perfect and romantic. Even though I chose it, so its not like a surprise, but its called Autumn Kiss which I love because me and Row first met in Autumn. And it’s staring me and Row ;)

In other news, I am joining the realm of the fatties, obesies and lazies at… fatso. So that I can be fat and lazy and watch wonderful films and shows. See, I’ve never joined up with a video store and I kind of don’t want to, judging by my library fines I would probably accumulate lots of fines :( but Fasto has.. no late fees! So its perfect for me. I recently got out Meerkat Manor on a free two week trail. Meerkats = the best animal currently living. And now I get to watch lots of films that I want to see, such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the original Disney Robin Hood. :D and also shows that I miss out on like Criminal Minds!

My writing projects are coming a long. Kind of like a log floating down a river. I’m actually quite motivated about my book at the moment which is exciting. Four chapters are almost finished and editing has commenced. I’m also going to start working on my school journal submission and have to get to writing some short stories for various competitions and what not.

Lastly, I really want these shoes from Overland but they cost $180 and they are what mum would call… impractical. :(

My Garden

On Saturday I started my new summer garden. I don’t have a real garden at my house so I’m creating a makeshift one with pots and buckets :D

So far I have planted basil, rosemary, parsley, cherry tomatoes, lettuce and marigolds (that aren’t flowering yet). I still want to plant beans and strawberries and maybe a few other things. Sadly the photos will look a bit distorted below, click on them to see them properly.