Friday, 13 December 2013

Kiwi Mummy Blog Review - An Unexpected Christmas

I offered to review a book for the wonderful team at Kiwi Mummy Blogs and was so excited today when it arrived to see it was "An Unexpected Christmas" a book written by a very talented writer/Author and fellow Kiwi Mummy blogger Simone Graham of blog: .  Being a follower of Simones blog I guess made the book that much more special to me, and I could hear her in this wonderful story. She is a Mum, and such a creative person, that there was no question that a book written by her originally as a gift for her own Children would be anything less than exciting/fun/imaginative, and it certainly lived up to all of that! How lucky are all of us, that she was encouraged by friends to get it published! (Thanks friends of Simone!).

Now I had seen the short film made by St Pauls Arts & Media (in Auckland, New Zealand) of this book previously, and thoroughly enjoyed it, but getting the book, and something in my hot little hands to "flick through" made the experience that much better!  I only managed a quick little read through before my children spotted the book and begged to have a read.  My Master 9yrs offered to read it to Miss 4yrs, whilst we travelled to the Summer show, and for once we had a fantastic car ride with no arguing or over the top noise.

"An Unexpected Christmas" is a story about God seeing that the world had turned to custard, and needed some intervention on his behalf.  Much to the disbelief of the Angels, he decides to send his own Son...the Prince of Heaven, but in the most unexpected place (full of poo), and to the most unexpected of people. The dialogue between God and the Angels is great, and both Kids and Adults alike will love the story!

There is nothing "not to like" about this book.  The pictures are fantastic, and interesting.  The text/font is visually appealing and not at all boring, the added speech bubbles an extra bonus!.  Even the size of the book is great, just the perfect size for Kiddies to be able to "manage".

Both of my children LOVED the book, and laughed at the "they won't be expecting that" bit! and of course the part about being born in a stable (filled with animals, and full of poop).  We've had the book one whole day now and Miss 4yrs almost knows the whole thing by heart!

I think this book would be a fantastic gift if you can get your hands on it!  I also think it will be one of our favourite "read every year around Christmas time" books, you know the kind to get you in the real "festive spirit".  The added bonus with this book for us as a family is that we like to focus on Jesus being the reason for the season, not Santa Claus (we still do Santa, but Jesus is in the fore-front in our household), so that's great that we can have Christ-focused Christmas stories like this.   In saying that, I think that it appeals to everyone.

To end this review, I will provide a summary from myself (Mummy aged 40yrs), from my son Asher (aged 9yrs) and my daughter Kendyl (aged 4yrs).

Fellow-reviewers Kendyl and Asher.

Would you recommend this book to others?
Me:  Yes to everyone..definitely!
Asher: Oh man yeah, it's a cool book.
Kendyl: I will tell allllll of my friends its funny!

Would you buy this book?
Me:  Yes, and I would urge others to do so quickly before they sell out!
Asher:  Yep if I had enough money to I would.
Kendyl: Can I buy it now?? Do we have to give this one back (sad face)???

Rate this book 1-10  10 being the best score ever!
Me:  10
Asher:  10
Kendyl:  10

Thanks Kiwi Mummy Blogs and Simone for providing the opportunity to give our independent and unbiased review on "An Unexpected Christmas".
Kiwi Mummy Blogs

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


Im still alive.
Im just taking some time out.
This month/next holds a lot of really raw emotions for me, as I remember what was going on this time last year.
I am feeling "raw".
I am missing my Daddy.
Just as I thought I was coping admirably, it's all come crashing down again.
Please don't get me wrong, I'm not feeling depressed, or "hopeless". 
I'm just sad, and raw, and full of memories.

This time last year, I was off to bed early.  We had an early morning start, as we were going to head to Middlemore hospital, in time to meet up with my Dads doctors, and to get some results from some tests they'd been doing on my Dad.  We weren't overly worried, as Dad had been looking better than he had for a long time, and we thought we'd just find out what had caused his lung to collapse whilst he was down there having a check up of his operation site (for something totally unrelated!).  We thought we'd pop down and catch up with my sister in law who was having chemo at the time, and my brother who was also down there visiting.  We really were none the wiser to what was going on, or the severity of the news that would hit us on the 28th...

A year ago today..... we never imagined that tomorrow, we'd find out that my Dad had terminal small cell lung cancer.  (he was a non smoker).  We never imagined the pain our hearts and heads would feel tomorrow.... we never thought we'd hear the doctor say "we can't offer any treatment", and when our sobbing, bereft broken hearted Mum said "What do we do now?" the answer would be "just go home".............................................................
We never imagined our Dad asking how long before this disgusting malicious, family destroying disease would take him..............
How could we have imagined the heartbreak that was coming?  Dad had been so well.

On the 28th of November 2012, at approximately 11am, we found out that our Dad had approximately 4months left with us...............unless there was to be a miracle.

Imagine how dumbfounded we were when 5 days later, Our Dad died.

Thinking about my beautiful strong, courageous Daddy even more today and the next little while.
Missing him like crazy x

Friday, 11 October 2013

2013 NZ Mug Swap

It was quite excting when I saw that Alisa from blog "Finding" was going to start a Mug Swap.  Now I had seen many of these happening in blog-land, but usually overseas, and to participate in those usually meant hefty postage fees to get your mug/package there!  Great, one for us bloggers here in good ol' New Zealand!  so yes I signed up right away.

The next week I got to know who was going to receive my Mugswap, and it was Heather from blog :  "This Mum Rocks".

I rocked on over to Heathers blog and had a read... she sounded like a real cool chick.  From Canada, married to a Kiwi guy, Mummy, Blogger, and right into Op-shopping.  I also saw she liked orange (like my good pal Tracy). 

So Kendyl and I set out putting together a package.  You know we searched and searched for a really "COOL" orange mug.... but all the ones we found were pretty "blah".  I was going to get a really cool travel mug and fill it with bits and pieces, but again all the ones I found were pretty "blah".  I looked online even, but the cool ones were going to take a while to get to me... and I wanted it pretty much NOW. 

So after about the 4th attempt at looking for an orange mug my 4yr old was nigh on melt down...and she said to me... "can we just get a purple one?? I hate orange mugs!"  Great idea!  We found one that we both agreed on, and this set the "colour theme" for our package.
It was purple and pink (Kendyls favourite colours) and what do you know, it had butterflies all over it .... and guess who loves butterflies... ;) haha.
In amongst the grocery shopping the next week , we got a box of Vanilla Latte sachets, and a few other goodies ... a few choccies, some other bits and pieces.. (some of which I noticed I had to keep replenishing, as they kept "disappearing"...especially the chocolates!

Found this cute "purple" Sistema little container, so we threw one of those in too!
 (they always come in handy, I know I use my little itsy bitsy ones all the time!)

When I saw this dinky little coffee/tea plunger in Typo, I just knew it had to be included in the parcel, it just fitted right!

And this Nail Caviar is fantastic and a bit of a girly indulgence, so I thought Heather might enjoy something like this..... doing her nails whilst having a Vanilla Latte.

 Added in a cute cut felt coaster for the mug
A purple teatowel and a little grater (to grate the choc onto the Latte)

 Some cutesy little chocolate moulds

And I know this is a bit "cheesy" but a cute little perspex friendship ring

I found a little cute coffee spoon, and tried to engrave
"This Mum Rocks" on the front and "From Neetz" on the back
I can usually engrave pretty well, but this was so weirdly shaped that it was really hard to do, and it kept slipping out of the clamp...
I nearly didn't send it, but thought "what the heck"... and apparently Heather quite liked it
(or so she said haha),.
So, that was my gift to give...and it 's been great to get to know Heather a little more via her blog.
And then....on Tuesday, my mug swap arrived!! Yay
It came all the way from Invercargill.  Jolene from blog: my Jolly Life sent me a lovely gift.. not ONE, but TWO mugs, with cute little sayings on them...and I got a nice notebook and pen which I am keeping as a "lyrics ideas book" in my bag at all times... and some yummy chocs (which I got 2 of and the kids got the rest) and a cute little speech bubble magnet/whiteboard pen.  Also I got a nice "star" glass necklace, which Kendyl has her eye on! haha.

Thanks so much Jolene!! Isn't it great getting real mail...actually in your letterbox?? ((I love it!)).
A huge thanks to Alisa for organising this
I had great fun with it all!
Cheers, Juanita x

Thursday, 10 October 2013

((LATE)) "Would you Rather Wednesday" (on a Thursday!).



I think I would like to go into the future to see what it's like, we've learnt all about history and what went on would be rather eyeopening to head off into a place you've only ever imagined!  See the developments.. :)  haha.. interested in hearing what you'd prefer!! ;)

(PS: sorry it's late).

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Our lazy lazy morning

My darling got up early and trotted off to work, like the good provider he is.... while the rest of us stayed home in holiday mode.... kids snoring... Mummy lounging in dressing gown. 

Since the kids were still sleeping at about 9am, after I hung out the washing, I decided that I'd cook them some nice pancakes for breakfast... they love pancakes!.
Made enough for a few each.  Sarge the dog was hanging around out the kitchen door like a big drooly piranha (he loves pancakes too! he gets all the left overs).

We had yummy pancakes still in our dressing gowns, with lovely cold lemon and ice water.


"Would you rather......" Wenesday.

Okay... I'm trying to adopt a few ideas to keep me posting regularly, since I'm very sporadic where blogging's concerned!

So, I've come across "Would you rather"..... where I get to ask you a question and see what you would rather do/be/have etc.  So, welcome to the first ever "would you rather" wednesday.  Please leave a comment!.  To put it a bit back on me... I will answer the questions also.



I think that I would rather be able to speak to animals.... as that would be AWESOME... might even make me really rich.... I could work in conjunction with the vets... to locate pain/problems hahaha...  Also, it would make animal training so much easier! haha.

Okay, back to you now.....I'm interested in hearing your answers!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Happy Weekend everyone!

Hi everyone :)

I just thought I'd put my head in and say a huge hello.
Woke up all excited this morning thinking that we might take the Americas cup today...
but alas today was not the day.

I'm off to a gig soon... out of town on a not so nice (weather wise) night.

What are you all up to?

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Time off

Hi guys.

I've had "time off"... time off blogging (yes...AGAIN)... time off singing (our drummer's been away for a few weeks, so it's been a lovely time of "free weekends")...  and just time off everything, it's been lovely.

Our band is back into it this weekend though (I actually thought we had another week off, oops).. and to tell you the truth, there is a "small" part of me that has missed being out there, entertaining people... so will be great fun to be back.

It's been really nice kicking back and watching the Americas cup too!  Team Emirates New Zealand have been going great guns and hopefully we'll see them take the cup away... that would be the icing on the cake!

We had an awesome family time just last weekend, as it would have been my Dads 61st birthday, but his first in Heaven! We missed him like mad, but we took flowers up to the grave, sang happy birthday so loud that I'm sure he would have heard it up above the clouds!  Then we had some real gut wrenching cries and snotty tears.... but it was lovely to be together... and to love and support each other on Dads birthday.

We all then went and stayed at my brothers house, ate a banquet bbq... steak, chops, sausages, potato bake, kumara salad... ohhhh heavenly! Couldn't even fit pudding in!  Then we blobbed in the spa pool even though it was a blustery old night... and watched the All Blacks beat South Africa!

Then it was marae styles... mattresses out in the lounge, and just loving each others company.

My kids just LOVE being with their cousins... they'd live there if I let them! haha.

What have you guys been up to?  (perhaps I better get back into some blog reading and will find out!!)... Hugs to you all xx

Thursday, 12 September 2013

A year ago today

On this day, last year I wrote this post HERE..............
Not knowing it would be my Dads last birthday (on Earth anyway).
Not knowing that we would only have another 3mths with him before he went to heaven....

I love my Dad.
I miss him dreadfully.
I will go to Kaitaia this Saturday and put some flowers on his grave on what would have been his 61st birthday.

Monday, 2 September 2013

My crazy morning

Crazy morning started like this.... woke up.. got household ready for the day.. send Asher down to open the gate for Cindy (car pooling friend who also doubles as my hairdresser!) who was on morning pick ups..
breakfast done, washing hung (hubby says I should have hung them in the shed as its going to rain...thanks Warren Hickey weatherman I say being smart and telling him its a breautiful day) lunches packed, teeth brushed, ready for school/daycare..
 Hubby getting ready for his ultrasound appointment, Son tells me its actually ME on morning pickups this morning.. I panic as am only half dressed/ready..quick dress up.. hurried goodbyes to hubby.. back in the door to pick up forgotten jackets etc, hubby has just realised he has eaten breakfast when he should be NBM..arrgh..(radiology lady NOT impressed).. so he's out the door ready for work.. I start the van and back out.. almost into Cindy who's ACTUALLY on mornings (thanks Asher organiser).. she takes Ash.. I realise that hubby can take little child to daycare as it's on his way..and save me a trip into town...we change carseats over, say goodbye (again) to daughter and husband...only to find that his car battery is flat...
we jumpstart his car.. they head off... Sargey dog and I stare at each other because suddenly the silence is deafening!!! haaha. So Im enjoying a lovely quiet cuppa tea, then off to feed the horses and hang the washing in the garage like weatherman husband suggested... since its started showering a little!!!
  .... Hows YOUR morning been??

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Catching up..

Hi friends :) I thought it was about time I showed myself here in blogland.
I know you're all used to my "here and there" posts, I'm a "part time blogger".
(Sung to tune of Stevie Wonders "Part time Lover")

... call in post twice, then no one home,
you think I've left you all alone
don't want nothing to be wrong,
Im Part time blogger

... If Im not here, dont think Im dead,
got nothing new inside my head,
I don't crochet and don't sew,
Im Part time blogger

... I don't always know which things to write abooouutt.. yeah
Sometimes I just, want to scream and shout

... so that's me "Neetz", Im here again
 just typing free, won't use my pen
 Im just hiding in my den,
 Im Part time blogger

 ... Not you..just me... Part time blogger Not she just Neetz... Part time blogger... (fade out)

lol. See... nothing! nothing in my head..
Well actually thats a total lie, I do have lots of stuff, its just finding that starting "kick off point" again. I think Leonie and I were going to "check in" with each other and make sure we did at least one post a week, just to get us back in the swing of things!
I might just attempt one of those "post a day" things.. even though I was pretty unsuccessful with the last one! haha.
Just forgive me, I have been flat out with gigs of late.
Back to back, hard out gigs.
None of this "celebrity gigs" stuff either, where they perform for a good hour and a half (and get paid like a million percent more than we do!!)... NO...

We usually do 3 sets of an hour and a half with a ten minute break in between, and that's pretty full on! haha. A good 55-60 songs a night, twice a weekend! And now that I'm 40yrs old, it takes me until at least Wednesday to recuperate and start to feel normal again.
 I am also sporting permanent "tambourine marks" on my right outer thigh, from all of my ROCKER TAMBOURINE PLAYING!!! hahaha.

In the last few weeks we've played: A fun "pub gig" at the Tavern in Ruakaka A very fun "pub gig" at Maungaturoto Hotel A community gig out in the wop wops of the Far North that was ROCKIN! A very "high energy" gig for a local company of personal trainers, A NZ dentists conference at the Copthorne in Waitangi, A "glammies" ball for the Northland Regional Council, and in the next few weeks we've got School Balls, Prizegivings, Squash club functions..Random Parties... and then we get a little break in September when our drummer goes to the USA. (YAY!).

And in the middle of all those gigs and late nights, I went ahead and got really sick didn't I?  Ended up in hospital, IV antibiotics, bloods, fluids and pain relief.... then I was instantly better ready to go out and do more! :) haha  I wasn't a happy Neetz, I was a bit of a sooky unwell Neetz that's for sure!
So, that's my main excuse I guess for not spending much time here. I am trying to do a bit of reading ... following all you awesome bloggy guys and gals! I do love reading what you've been up to, and creating. See ya around!