Monday, 25 November 2013

The Naughty Fairy Pipi

So I, ummm… kinda wrote a book!

It’s in no way anything near as awesome as what Sarah and Simone have done. (Aren’t they incredible?) Instead mine’s just a cute little story for my kids.

You see after Pipi was born, I quickly realised bedtime had the potential for being a bit tricky. My husband travels a bit for work and on the nights he was away I would find it hard to juggle getting my two older kids in bed, holding the baby and doing our normal routine of reading  a book or two. Simply put, I just didn’t have enough hands.

So, instead of reading a book I started telling ‘Naughty Fairy Pipi’ stories. The plot lines were always simple – Pipi would get up to mischief by turning something of Noah and Isabelle’s into something else – their tooth paste to glue, bunk beds to rubber etc etc. The stories were always spontaneous, made up on the spot and Noah and Isabelle would come up with their own ideas too. Pretty soon 'Naughty Fairy Pipi’ stories were the most requested type of story in our house. When Pipi was awake she’d ‘fly’ around too and be part of the story (and if not I’d substitute a soft toy). It really tickled me to imagine this chubby little baby with these little tiny wings.

Cover 2A

Fast forward to sometime in the last couple of weeks when I discovered Simone's book 'An Unexpected Christmas' – I think I’m the last in the blog world to discover this! (I’ve found it hard to keep up with my blog reading recently.) But anyway,  I thought it was awesome. Simone mentioned that she originally printed her book via Snapfish (whom I had already used a lot before to print photos.) It was at this point that I first had the thought that I might actually be able to make my own book.

Then, while browsing the Snapfish site I discovered that they had a special of around 60% off most of their photo books (until today) – so I decided it was fate.

A couple of days later I’d finished my book, the next day (last Friday) I received an email that it had been shipped and then today it arrived in the mail! So fast!

And I was extremely happy with the quality. Brace yourself for a large number of photos of the finished product…


So where from here? I’d really love to make some more – the kid’s are stoked with it and I have heaps more ideas.

Also, various family members have suggested that I should try to get it (professionally) published and try to sell it. Of course, these people are probably a bit biased … but I can’t say I haven’t thought about it. It would need a lot of tweaking, I’m sure – and for now I’m happy for it to be a cute little book for my kids.

pipi big

She really is a cute little fairy, isn’t she?



Joining in with:  Show and Tell, Made by Hand

Saturday, 23 November 2013



A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

Noah: “Push me higher! HIGHER! DADDDYYY!”

Isabelle: “Le me in!” - on her first day at Kindy as a big 3 year old!

Pipi: *babbling baby noises* + post-bath curls

Joining in over here

To see more of my weekly portraits go here.

Jenny x

P.S. I’m feeling excited that I’ve almost completed the WHOLE 52 weeks of this project, I’ve taken a photos of my kids each week for the whole year! I can’t wait to print a photo book with all these special memories inside. Originally I was thinking of only doing one year of the project … but I’ve enjoyed it so much I’m thinking of continuing it, but maybe with a twist… I’d really love to challenge myself more photographically.

Are you planning on joining in the with portrait project next year?

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Isabelle turns 3!

Isabelle is 3

On Tuesday Isabelle turned 3! On Monday we had a mini party at my Mums to celebrate – it was a really nice but very relaxed affair.

I made the number 3 cake, and although you can’t really tell from the photo, my icing job left a lot to be desired. Nothing that couldn’t be hidden by a smattering of silver balls and icing roses. In the end I decided it was ‘rustic elegance’ and perfect for the birthday girl – she’s such a mixture of both tom boy and girly girl. ‘Yes I do want to wear my pink tutu skirt, but I will jump in the mud puddles while wearing it, thankyouverymuch!’

Or, at least that’s how I spun it in order to feel better about my cake.

As it turns out I’m a bit of a spin doctor because I also managed to convince Andrew that we should buy this boisterous 3 year old a pearl necklace for her birthday. The reasoning was that it would nice to get her something special and teach her about looking after things and being a big girl (and we were trying to think of something that wasn’t just another toy.)

In reality, I just thought they were pretty! But, so far it’s working out really well. She’s knows they are just for wearing to church and for special occasions  … and you should have seen her face light up when she opened them – priceless!

IMG_2302IMG_2416IMG_2417IMG_2421 IMG_2419

My Mum also bought her a little musical jewellery box to keep them in – so cute!

Isabelle had her first day at Kindy/ Preschool today too. Noah was so sweet, looking after her and showing her what to do (despite his new ‘I don’t like girls’ stance).


It proved impossible to get a front on photo of Isabelle entering kindy – She was saying ‘Let me in!’ and rattling the gate as this was taken. I wasn’t quite as eager (and had to hold back a tear or two... my little girl’s growing up so fast!)

… And then I was down to just one child! What to do?

I gave her strawberries …


… and then a bath!


I hope your week has been a good one too!

Happy Birthday Week* my beautiful, busy, talkative, articulate and thoughtful Isabelle!


*Because I’m of the view that why should a birthday last for just one day?

Sunday, 17 November 2013



“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

(Unashamedly re-using some photos from this post – what can I say? They’re my faves!)

Isabelle: awww… these two – a Daddy and Isy beach selfie

Noah: Loving finding treasures, building and creating – typical Noah

Pipi: Enjoying her first trip to the beach – and definitely not her last!

You’ve probably seen this hilarious clip from comedian Michael Mcintyre about trying to leave the house with kids. Usually, comedians exaggerate reality to make things funnier – but in case when trying to leave the house on Saturday to go to the beach it was the other way round (our reality was a 10 times exaggeration of that clip). It basically went like this. “Kid’s we’re going to the beach, go and get some shorts and a T-shirt.” Isabelle came out wearing a snow suit and Noah put on FIVE pairs of undies and tried to put on his tuxedo jacket! Ah, kids!

Joining in over here

To see more of my weekly portraits go here.

Jenny x

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Waipatiki Beach

One of the lovely things about living in the Hawkes Bay, is come Summer the place turns into somewhat of a playground. We’ve visited Waimarama, Ocean Beach and various other waterfalls and lovely river spots;  but, in our almost 3 years living here we had never visited Waipataki Beach (situated about 20km North of Napier).

Today, we decided we would. (And I’m so glad we did!)

I couldn’t decide which photos to share with you, so I decided to share ALL OF THEM – (no just kidding there are heaps more!)


It was Pipi’s first visit to the beach and she enjoyed the sand between her toes, and tried to eat it (as babies do), she also had a little paddle and didn’t know what to make of the crashing waves.

Isabelle on the other hand LOVED the waves and really didn’t want to leave – she’s such a water baby.

The favourite part of the beach for Noah is always about finding treasures and building sandcastles. This time, since someone had helpfully left us this awesome driftwood hut, Noah set about finding more wood to add to it and also bought me this collection of treasures, plus a feather.

On the way home, we saw this sign selling ‘real fruit icecreams’ – so of course we HAD to stop (Andrew says we should make a rule in Summer that when we signs selling them, we have to stop, could get dangerous!)


Thank goodness for wet wipes!

Such happy memories!

Have you done anything fun/ discovered any new cool spots this weekend?

Jenny x

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

On Mending & Making


You’d be suprised to know (especially given the fact that this blog is called ‘Mend & Make New'), that my mending pile often sits there a bit neglected.

You see, while I love the idea of mending and looking after what you have, I’m not always so good with the practical reality of it. It’s not that I’m lacking mending skills, just motivation – I’d much prefer to rush onto the next exciting project (and I’m a bit like this with finishing things properly too) … sometimes things like hemming and mending just seem so … boring!  IMG_1998IMG_2000

…And in stark contrast the allure of a new project seems so exciting!

But, despite it’s allure, just starting a new project is not the answer either – and although I’m not going to a shop and buying another bit of clutter for our house – making something new when there’s a pile of awesome things just in the need of a little repair seems nonsensical – and almost akin to the consumerism that I’m trying to escape!

My sister recently gave me this badly ripped dress and I was reminded how completely un-boring mending actually is. There is something so satisfying about mending something so beautiful. This dress had been torn right along one of the seams connecting the side with the back and was teeny tiny (XXS!) – hence the reason for the tear. On the advice of my Mum I did a really good repair job on the seam (machine sewed and overlocked , instead of my original plan to just hand sew it). It was double breasted so I made it bigger by moving the buttons along. It also had sleeves, but they were very tight on my so I cut them off, cut the arm holes bigger and bound them from binding I made from the sleeve fabric.


I’m so happy with the result! It hard to find dresses you can breastfeed in, so I also love it for that reason – plus it has pockets, who doesn’t love a dress with pockets?


(Photos by Isabelle!)

… And see that pile of vintage fabric? This arrived today – sent by an old school friend who was sorting out her Grandma’s old fabric… Now that I’ve tackled a bit of my mending pile, I feel free to embark on an exciting new project or two … But maybe after we move and go on holiday. (Yeah, I’ve got a bit to fill you in on!)


Joining in with Wardrobe Wednesday (and Show and Tell, Made by Hand)

Jen x

Sunday, 10 November 2013

PIPI GRACE–6 months

It’s official on Saturday Pipi turned half a year old!  I didn’t make a cake or anything, but we celebrated on the day by attending a lovely friend’s baby shower and eating some delicious cake that another friend had for that occasion (well, Pipi got the cake second hand, but that still counts right?)

I managed to snap off these photos earlier in that day … and I did have a sudden thought – ‘has this quilt shrunk’ but then realised (while laughing at myself) that no, it was more of a case of ‘wow, how this baby has grown!’

Pipi 6 months

Pipi’s such a wiggly wee girl now – it’s getting harder and harder to get photos of her ‘on’ the quilt! She will roll right off or kind of backwards crawl (I remember my others doing this too!) She’s not quite sitting unassisted yet (only for very short periods of time) and isn’t really into solid food yet after having a couple of tastes. But I’m not worried, I know this will click for her soon.


Pipi’s still pretty little compared to the graphs and all that, but she’s recently laid down some good baby chubs. I really love her little baby arms/ wrists, they are almost my favourite feature of hers; second only to those super kissable cheeks!

Here’s the comparison to previous months …

And to the previous months posts go here