Thursday, January 31, 2013

"Cool" Crochet Doily

After our first year of marriage MrMoo and I attended a one day marriage / family life workshop with some dear friends of ours. The course covered many areas of relationships, each came with its own discussions to have as a couple, goals to set, things to correct and praise to give. 

We loved the course and have since done one on parenting under 5's. We love doing things together than can build up our family and give us helpful positive advice, along with getting on the same page.

From that marriage course one of the main goals I remember setting is that I wanted to turn our bedroom into a place we want to be. A sanctuary, haven type place that we could relax and find comfort in.

Confession:: I'm not a naturally tidy person, I have to put a lot of energy into keeping our home clean and tidy for MrMoo (he loves a tidy home). As a result, our bedroom is often neglected because we don't have any visitors there. I focus on keeping the living areas, kitchen and bathrooms clean instead. 

For the last 3 years since the course I have been slowly working to change that. We have bought new duvet sets, sheets, last year I finally put some photos on the wall in our bedroom and a string of bunting. 

More recently we finally got two matching bedside tables and lamps, and have just crocheted some bright (yet deep) green cotton doilies to go on top. 

I was so ridiculously proud of myself. Often its the small things that make a difference to an atmosphere. The tiny touches that turn $15 Warehouse shelves into something that feels personal and comfortable next to our beds.

For a week after making them I would say "Good night, I'm just going to put my glass of water on my doily"

"Cool" Mr Moo would reply sarcastically.

I got the impression that he wasn't as fond of my doily as I was (crazy!) so when I apprehensively asked him if I could make a matching one for his side I was surprised and thrilled when he said yes, but requested a square one instead.


As for the bedroom, we're getting there. I plan to give our room a lot of love an attention over the next few months as we prepare for a baby moon.



I found my circle doily pattern from Pinterest.  Hers is a lot more flatter (stretched out, chrisper etc) than mine. I did try "blocking" for the first time. Is that the effect it is supposed to achieve or has the original maker done something different? Would love to hear your thoughts on how I could achieve that look too!

Follow my Sophie Slim Pinterest boards and see other crochet inspiration!

Linking in with crafty Show & Tell 


Did you see the crochet owl purse I made last week? If you would like to purchase one let me know!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Christmas LOVE BOMBs

From October to mid-December The Sisterhood were organising themselves to surprise-LOVE BOMB some beautiful ladies just in time for Christmas! They didn't necessarily need these gifts, but we wanted to show that they were cared and thought about and to hopefully encourage each of them on their individual journeys.

Every woman is different as is each situation so we tried to use whatever information we could get about them to design their LOVE BOMBs just for them. Some needed some time alone or to relax, so we sent them magazines and wine, others needed some pampering so we sent them beauty products.

In November we decided to send their kids some gifts as well so with a few donations specifically for the kids we were able to put together some pretty awesome parcels! A few physical donations came in for these, but most of the kids parcels are made up using previous financial donations for specific gifts that we were told they would love!

We also ended up contributing some of the food items donated (not pictured) to a food hamper for a family in Christchurch. 

Each LOVE BOMB was sent wrapped in Christmas paper with beautiful handmade cards, an encouraging message and Sisterhood poem. 

Here is a photo bomb of our LOVE BOMBs! Thank you so much for being involved with The Sisterhood and for sticking with us! 

If you did anything to help this effort, my sincerest thanks! 

Special thanks to Post Haste Couriers for sending all of these gifts FREE of charge (and for sponsoring us for another 6 months!!)

The Sisterhood are currently in the midst of organising a national KINDNESS DAY on February 16th, 2013! Be part of it too!

Love, Sophie xxx

The beginning of The Sisterhood
How to Join The Sisterhood
Sisterhood on Facebook
See inside other previous LOVE BOMBs
Our Latest Mission:: Kindness Day 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Avoid an Iced-Chocolate disaster on Date Night!

We have been so spoilt this weekend, two date nights! In a row! 

Once again my Mum was over from the Westcoast and while she stayed at our house and started a puzzle we skipped to the car singing "if you're happy and you know it.." well. Not really, but we were excited and jumped at the chance to disappear for a few hours together!

On our second date night, Monday, we ended up sitting in the hot sunshine as it fell behind the southern alps. Absolutely beautiful. MrMoo had a little rainbow on his forehead. 

He had a mango smoothie and I narrowly avoided an iced-chocolate disaster. 

Thats what I'm really here to share about today. See, iced-chocolates matter. In fact, I've had four of them in the last week. Thats not my normal consumption rate of them but I feel like i'm becoming a bit of a pregnant connoisseur. 

I have discovered while ordering its best to ask what kind of iced chocolate you're going to be getting. As far as I can see, there are two different ones on the market and prices and menu boards do not make any distinction between them.

The first iced chocolate is the sad one. Still (over) priced at around $6 you're getting chocolate milk and ice. Wapwaaow. 

For the same price at any resonable establishment you might luckily be in for iced-chocolate number two, my obviously preferred favourite which I will happily shell out $6.50 for. She consists of milk and chocolate, some sort of chocolate swirl on the inside with a little bit in the bottom, ice-cream  topped with cream and sprinkles. 

Ahh, yes please. A dessert in a glass. Just what my unborn child would like please.

Last night, I narrowly avoided the first (sad) chocolate. 

While ordering I asked "what comes in your iced chocolate?" 
Uhhhh... they look stumped.

"Does it have a chocolate swirl in it?"
"No but we could put one in if you want"

"Does it comes with icecream or whipped cream"
"We could put icecream on if you want it"

"What about sprinkles?"
"no but we could do them?"
Yes please! I'll have that!"

To which MrMoo butted in and said "Sorry, she's pregnant"

C'mon ladies, advocate for your iced-chocolates! Don't settle on a glass of cold milk! Can I get an amen ladies?

How do you do yours? Leave a comment and let me know!

See our latest Date Night with the moo2s  the last time Mum was in town!
P.s - its our 4th anniversary this week! Any ideas what we could do to celebrate?! (pps, we'll be without Milla! 3 dates in one week!! WHO ARE WE?!)

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Newly Wed Disaster. Part Two.

on a boat - Fiji Islands 2009

I always knew that I would marry a Youth Pastor. I didn't aim to do it, I just knew that it would happen. Destiny, perhaps. I had previously studied Christian Ministry, Church and relationships was something I was deeply passionate about. When I had the opportunity to move to his church so we could do ministry together I jumped at the chance. I wanted to be involved in his daily relationships with people, rather than just hearing about them.

Graeme is a people-person and before our vows we discussed over and over again how we wanted our marriage to be something that would bless other people. We wanted to be active in hospitality by welcoming people in to our home regularly. When Graeme said this I knew that was a big responsibility for me. People often needed to be fed and so far I had no experience in that area, unless you count two previous stir frys and some packet noodles. However, this was something I was passionate about and eagerly looked forward to the day where we could use our home and marriage in this way.

Shortly following our wedding and honeymoon in Fiji we returned to our new rented townhouse. We had few possessions, most of what we did have were gifted or borrowed from friends or from our own childhoods. What we had was simple but we were happy. There was never a day when we felt like we had "less than enough". We always made do.

Once we had dumped our suitcases in our room Graeme was on the phone making arrangements to have people over. While in Fiji we loved having a holiday together but were deathly bored. We were used to quickly moving to-do lists, people to see, things to arrange. We were glad to be home and were eager to get in the swing of things.

We quickly found out that the Primal Band were coming to Christchurch and began arranging transport, venues and concerts for them. As Primal Youth Pastors it was our joy to host our national band, they always drew a good crowd and it was an opportunity to connect our youth church with the larger national movement.

The boys of the Primal Band ended up sleeping on our lounge floor for the weekend they were in town. They were smelly, had lots of musical instruments and were a lot of fun to be around! We loved them completely.

Sunday afternoon approached and we had the whole band at our home, people started to get hungry and it was my first opportunity to use my new kitchen. I had all the ingredients to make a lasagne and an Edmonds cookbook propped up ready with instructions.

Laughter came from the kitchen while I read and re read the recipe. I had no idea how much it would take to feed thirteen people but I aimed to make two lasagnes hoping that would be enough.

"Graeme" I shakily called out, hoping he would hear me from the lounge. He came into the kitchen to find me standing in the middle of the room with tears running down my face.

"What?" He said, putting his hands on my hips.

"I didn't add the pasta sauce!" He looked clueless and I realised I was all in this alone. My lasagne was fried mince and sheets of uncooked pasta. A complete disaster! And for the Primal Band of all people!

I pulled the hot dishes out of the oven, wiping my frantic tears away and dumped two tins of sauce in and mixed it around. It was the best I could do, we had nothing else.

I displayed the dishes on our "bar" that was really just a huge box to hide the staircase. It proved useful in the moment. Quickly realising that what I had made was not enough I threw a loaf of bread into the offerings and stood back as 13 hungry people helped themselves.

They loaded up small plates, obviously aware there wasn't enough. They thanked me and ate in silence in the lounge while I stood in the kitchen too nervous to eat. No one commented on the meal, I cleared away the dishes and held back my tears.

"I'll do better next time," I thought "I'm new at this."

Read how I started dating Stalker Boy

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Crochet Owl Purse

Lately I've been trying to use my nights that are usually spent on the couch doing not-a-lot and trying to turn them into something productive.

It's amazing how much of an energy and confidence boost that can be felt when you create something with your own hands. Lately I've been foccussing on crochet because its easy and portable and I can still do it while watching a movie / tv / talking with Mr Moo. 

Some day soon I hope to clear out my "sewing room" (that never did quite get used for sewing, more like unfolded washing) and do something in there. In the mean time I hope you've been enjoying my crochet goods!

I saw this cute owl purse on Pinterest (which i've been using lately and loving! You can find Sophie Slim on Pinterest here) and knew I just had to make it!

This crochet owl purse comes with a pattern and tutorial that is so easy to follow. I think if you're a beginner with a crochet hook you could probably create this yourself! I mimic'ed the colours the creator had used because I thought they were super adorable but used pink instead of purple.

I mostly wanted to make this for Milla because she is a huge transporter. She loves to carry sand or stones around the yard in her bucket, or plastic shapes in a clear zip bag. I thought this might encourage her to carry some little treasures around with her but was unsure if she would figure out thats what it was for. I hate it when homemade projects go to waste!

Fortunately, as soon as she saw it the following morning she had to have it! She immediately put it around her neck (I had made the strap longer than what the pattern suggests so she could do that) and put some of her plastic shapes in it! Its been like that ever since. 

We can't go far without her purse! Success!

[[Honestly, I felt a little strange making her a cute pink purse at only 17 months old, I've had many conversations with mum friends about pressuring a gender to like certain things and am very much in the "let them decide what they like" camp. 

However, Milla loves pink, she often gravitates towards the colour, will pull out the pink balls from her ball pit and collect them, picks out her pink shoes from the rest and so on. That coupled with her transporting addiction I thought this project was appropriate.

Some times its good to think about why you do things. I probably could have made her a frog purse, but I didn't.]]

Here's a bonus clip of Millas sorting (and owl purse) in action::

Do you notice that your children would love a particular thing because of their personalities already? Leave a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Anticipating Around the Table

What began as a stirring idea inside Miriams mind has now turned into this: Around The Table - New Zealands first bloggers retreat!

If you're a blogger I really do hope you'll come and join us on April 12th-14th in Christchurch! We're going to have so much fun!! The weekend will be focused on the social aspect (I can't wait to meet you all!!) with a few practical and fun workshops thrown it, along with lots of coffees, goodie bags and prizes, a swap and an banquet dinner together!

Sounds like fun!

I've already had our spare room billeted out to a gorgeous lady and her baby (yay!), I might just have a spare couch with your name on it as well!

Registrations open on Thursday! Check out the conference overview to find out more details of whats happening!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Affordable Crafts

If you need to shield your eyes from its beauty thats okay. I needed to when I first saw it.

Isn't she DIVINE?! I've been crochet-crushing all weekend. Suddenly blushing when I see her, getting all hot and bothered at the thought of her eclectic snugglyness. Oh me oh my.

She (and her wollen beauty) lead me to ask this question on Twitter:

I'd love to know!

Personally, I'm driven by price. I dont really do second hand (i'm not a thrift store junkie!) but I can't afford the good stuff, so often settle for acrylic yarn etc.

I loved what Talia had to say in reply to my asking if spinning her own wool saved her money::

What are your crafting standards? Do you only use second hand supplies? Do you only use brand new best quality available? Leave a comment and let me know how you make your hobbies affordable for you!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Stalker Boy. Boy and Girl Meet.

We nervously stood at the back of a dark youth church. We had come to see a cute boy who played the drums that my best friend had taken a fancy to. As we waited for his attention we were approached by the two smiling Youth Pastors and that was when I first laid my eyes on him.

He had over grown hair, wore a baggy t-shirt with ripped jeans and shoes. He shook my hand and asked if I was American, I was laughing instantly.

"No I'm not," I said, "but my best friend is, and I end up talking like her most of the time"

"Awe-some" He mockingly replied in a thick American accent.

The night went by without incidence and we parted our seperate ways.

Months later when my best friend began her goodbyes to return back to the United States with her family I was reintroduced to the Youth Pastor. He was just like I remembered him; baggy, and very friendly. That night he came out to my car to say good bye. When I turned on the ignition to leave Michael Jackson started blearing. Youth Pastor showed me his perfectly memorised choreographed Beat It dance moves and for the first time my heart fluttered. We danced for an hour together in the street as my MJ CD played through although it seemed like only minutes together.

Over the next month while I taxied my best friend around our city so she could attend every last party and coffee date possible I ended up seeing him a lot. Suddenly in my radar, he was everywhere.

Eventually I was forced to say a very tearful goodbye to my best friend at the airport. Following that I spent a lonely day driving about the city unsure of what to do with myself. I had lost my best friend and felt broken when I found myself driving past a lit up building at 9pm on a Thursday night. I looked in and could see the car park full.

Nervously, I went into the building and found the remains of their church service. 20 bright eyed young people ready to hang out and make friends. I felt safe.

Over the coming weeks the Youth Pastors interest in me grew. He persisted and every day after work invited me out for a coffee date.

My friends jokingly called him "Stalker Boy" and I played along with the title, always complaining about how much he wanted to see me. Really, I was flattered and over a month of daily dates found myself quite enjoying his company.

As I drove with one of my work mates she asked me how Stalker Boy was. Keeping my eyes on the road I told her about how nice he was, and how I thought I might like him. She was shocked and promised never to call him Stalker Boy again.

"And" I continued "Not only does he have his own car, he can also cook! He told me!"

"Well thats perfect for you" She said, aware of my ineptitude in the kitchen. "Sometimes couples are made for each other like that"

On the 7th of July 2007, the day of his 21st birthday party, we looked at each other and asked "What are we doing?"

The Youth Pastor quoted Michael Jackson and said "Well, you know I like you. And I hope you like me the way I like you. So I was wondering if you'd be my girl?"

It was perfect. Graeme and I were official.

Chloes last night at Church 

The future Mr and Mrs Moo together in our first photo! We later lived with Josh, the one with the nerf bullet on his face. On those couches he said "Man evangelism is cool" and my heart skipped a beat.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Basket Weave Crochet

I've got the dishes fever! Actually. Thats a huge lie! I don't, but I did have a whole lot of fun (and frustration) creating this rather large basket-weave dishcloth pattern!

I've been following Leonie on Instagram and her recent dishcloth frenzie had me all inspired! It took me a few goes but I eventually found this great link to a pretty (and practical) dishcloth pattern.  Like I said, I used the basket-weave but adjusted it slightly so it had a treble border around it. I accidentally made it far too big. Its about the size of my mac-book screen. Ideally I would like it to be about 15cm.

This week Holly made some dishcloths too and posted a really easy pattern for you to follow if you're a beginner and want to join the cloth bandwagon!

I love my cloth so far and plan to add to the collection, along with some mini ones for Milla!

((If you want to see more crochet inspiration follow Sophie Slim on Pinterest))

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Sisterhood National KINDNESS DAY

Hold onto your happy-hats Ladies! The Sisterhoods very first National KINDNESS DAY is approaching!

Saturday 16th February. Mark it on your calendars. Now!

This is a day to celebrate that it's cool to be kind! Together as a family of nearly 1000 people we can join together and do something radical for our brothers and sisters who are yet to hear about us!

You might like to do a secret stealth mission by yourself, or gather a group of your friends to think of some ideas to pull off, or perhaps you might want to make contact with some local sisters in your area to achieve something rather ambitious. 

Its not really what you do that important, its that you do something to contribute some love and positivity into this world!

Plan to be kind. Make a plan of what you are going to do on the 16th, get some friends and family to help you, involve them in the love-giving process. Take some photos on the day and leave a message on The Sisterhood FB wall. Kindness encourages kindness and when we share our stories others will want to get involved to!

Perhaps you'll fill some snap lock bags with pop corn and give them out to stressed Mamas and kids at the supermarket. Maybe you'll run a free carwash on your street corner, or guard the parking machine at the local hospital and pay for visitors parking meters. Do you know of a family who could use a grocery delivery? Could you crochet brooches or play music at a retirement home? Could you leave sweet notes on people windshields or give some of your local tellers a magazine and a kit kat for their work break? Drop off flowers or baking to your neighbour? The possibilities are endless!

Be in your community. Be intentional. Plan to be kind. Thats all we're asking. 

Leave a comment here or on our facebook page with some other creative ideas to inspire each other with and SHARE this post with the people around you. Be radical!

I can't wait to do this all with you. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Date Night

Every few months when my Mum comes 4 hours to visit she always offers to babysit for us. This weekend we took her up on the offer and I joint MrMoo at our Sunday night Church service.

We sat in the front row as usual, sans baby.

Suddenly I remembered what it was like to be in Church and have my hands free. I could clap, lift them during the music, and just generally use them for whatever the situation called for. Rather than always having one eye open towards the ground, being ready to pick up toys, defend personal belongings, dish out food, hold a restless toddler etc. I felt free!

I held MrMoos hand.

At the end of the service our great friend and pastor prayed for us together. That doesn't usually happen. We both had tears leaking down our cheeks as we felt the weight of Gods call on our lives.

Afterwards we went to see Skyfall in a tiny cinema in Sumner. We have had free tickets since November but haven't had an opportunity to use them yet! Hello free movies!

It was a great night. By the end of it I felt very loved and with a full happy-tank :)

We got home to a Milla Moo who wouldn't sleep but had a big grin and laughter for her Mum and Dad

Whats your favourite date night? If you've written a blog post about it leave a link in the comments, other wise, tell me about it!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mischief Managed

Candy canes were left at the scene of the crime to apologise to society and make peace with the world. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Do You Have Blog Design Questions?

Hi Friends!

You may remember last year I did a basic blog design series where I taught you in simple terms how to make headers, create side bar buttons and how to make pages!

I would love to revisit this topic in 2013 as its something I'm really interested in and have received a lot of positive feedback and questions about!

So I wondered, what are your blog design questions? (or anything else related to blogging) and I will do my best to walk you through them and help out a lot of other people along the way! :)

Leave a comment and let me know!


Monday, January 7, 2013

2013 Goals

To give my year purpose and a sense of drive and achievement...

~ 2013 Goals ~

Faith Life
  • Pray regularly with MrMoo and Milla Moo2. Whether at meal times or bedtimes, make it a usual part of the day when we are together.
  • Read and pray through the New Testament (260 chapters, 1 chapter a day). Previously I start in the Old Testament at the beginning of the year but never make it to the New. 

Family Life
  • Celebrate hard with our family. Seek out occasions to celebrate, have special meals and cakes together with special decorations. Mark special events, anniversaries, holidays, birthdays with a big celebration!
  • A weekly out of the ordinary routine date with Milla with Mum, Dad or both. Be prepared for this and plan ahead with ideas and set aside specific times to make it happen. 

Home Life
  • Create a happy, functioning home that is a safe space and refuge for us. Organise particular areas to make our lives easier and to keep junk and clutter at a minimum. Giveaway what we dont need and love what we do have. Embrace our rented home and make it feel like ours.
  • Explore my creativity by making one new item for our family each month (and master The Zip!). 
  • Create and stock an Emergency kit for our family. I'm appalled its taken over 2 and a half years to get around to something that is so essential to our lives in Christchurch. Time to man up and take responsibility for our family.

Financial Life
  • Get well on our way to a healthy deposit for owning our own home (hopefully before Milla is in school!). Pay off existing credit card and save decent portions specifically for a deposit. 
  • Open bank accounts for each of our children and deposit money into them.

Blog Life
  • Blog about more moments and less happenings.

2012 Goal Review

My 2012 year consisted over the months January - October. Anything after the last half of October I consider a write off. Life sucked into a vortex never to be seen again.

January marked the beginning of a few new goals, and a few more were made along the way.

Namely, being more efficient with my time. This mostly included less procrastination and more doing. Less internet time, more productivity.

I'm pleased to say that I feel fairly successful in this area. I spent a week without Facebook which ended up being my most productive week of the year.

I also learnt to plan my blogging around my time, only blogging when Milla was asleep and mostly in one big go (on a Sunday night) for the week and scheduling my posts, along with keeping a blog book (that I lost and found!).

Just recently I have turned on word verification for my blog comments because the spam was getting ridiculous (I woke up to 40 spam comments and said enough was enough!) which has cut down the time I spend in my emails.

Also, I learnt to turn the day time TV off, something I used as company and comfort. I quickly learnt to play more music and spend more time focussed on Milla.

Becoming more creative in the kitchen was a big fail. I aimed to make one new recipe a week and did this for about four weeks, then for a number of reasons lost motivation and interest and didn't pick it back up again. The meals I did make were delicious and I have continued to make them throughout the year.

This is something I would like to continue to work on, and feel that I am, but didn't stick to my goal.

I did however become much more skilled at meal planning and shopping on a budget and kept our family fed, toiletried and nappied for only $90 a week.

In february I also made a goal that I wanted to make $1 from blogging in 2012. I had a huge desire to know that I could make money from something I loved, which at the time made sense to be blogging. I am happy to tell you that I well and truly completed this goal, and felt empowered and fulfilled doing it.

I also opened an online Felt store and sold one of my baby blankets, another marker in my life where I made money doing something I love.

I did lots of other awesome things in 2012 and truly enjoyed the year. Thanks for sticking around and encouraging me on my journey!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Life has been happening these last few months. I feel the desire and pressure to update my blog about our happenings but I feel like the moment along with the time has passed and here we are, 2013.

I've started to feel reasonably more myself lately. I feel myself coming out of survival mode that is the first trimester and beginning to crave challenges and adventures.

Consider this a nod at the past and a step into the future.

Pin It button on image hover