Monday, 29 October 2012

Birthday Boy Ben!

Can I just brag about how awesome my husband is? Who else gets hot tea and chocolate mocha banana crepes in bed??


And they were delicious! So, I just laid in bed and watched One Tree Hill while I was waited on hand and foot! It was the wonderful start to a Sunday.

Anyway, back to celebrating Ben's birthday...it's not all about me! Saturday we went paddle boarding! It is something Ben and I have wanted to do for a while and the weather was PERFECT! It is finally starting to warm up here....I actually wore shorts and a tank top! You still need a jacket in the morning and at night, but I will take what I can get! Back to paddle boarding....while the weather was warm, the water was not...and I fell in quite a bit! :) Paddle boarding is hard work and you don't get anywhere very quickly. Obviously, I couldn't get any pictures in the act but I did get one of my cute hubby afterwards!


You can see in the picture all the boats moored in the background so while we were paddling around, we went "boat shopping": Ben's favorite activity :)

For those who aren't sure what paddle boarding is, it should look a little something like this.... 

(this is obviously not us...)

After a nice hot shower, we had a wonderful dinner overlooking the Harbour! 

Sadly, I have a meeting at school tomorrow night (Ben's actual birthday) so we won't be able to celebrate much tomorrow :( I do have the late shift at school so I get to be home to cook him breakfast in bed! Lucky Ben...

Happy Early Halloween :)
Love, the Webers

PS-I'm starting to see Christmas ads, music, decorations, etc. and I LOVE it! :)

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Beach Time!

Welp, Ben and I are sick again :( Or maybe just still sick from the last time...I felt better for a couple days but Ben's has been pretty constant. Despite the sickness, we wanted to take advantage of the 3 day weekend (Happy Labour Day!) so we finally made it to the beach! It was such a pretty day and it almost felt warm! It helped that the sun was out and shining and we were sitting so that the wind was blocked! Here's some pictures from our day :)



From the beach, you can see Rangitoto Island which we took a ferry to a couple weeks ago!

Beautiful blue water and blue sky!







Aren't these rocks cool how their layers are sidewards! It was like that with all the rocks on the beach so there must have been some crazy plate tectonics going on!

If you want to look at ALL the pictures from our beach excursion, check them out on our SmugMug!

Before we took the ferry over to Devonport, we got a chance to watch part of the World Champion Triathalon that has been going on all weekend in Auckland! I'm so impressed with athletes who can swim, bike 40 kilometers, and then go and run 10K! We got there just in time to watch the end of the Under 23 Women's finals.

The Finish Line

All the way down at the end you can see where they start off the blue platform. There were 2 buoys behind me that that they had to swim around. Sadly, we didn't see any swimming though :(

Today has been rainy ALL day so I'm glad we went to the beach yesterday! We've only made it outside the apartment to go to the pharmacy (more medicine) and the grocery store (we had absolutely no food). It's actually been a pretty relaxing day...we made fresh bread, Skyped with both sets of parents, and listened to the rain outside :) Now, I'm watching a ridiculous movie on TV while Ben makes me dinner! Perfection :)

I would like to start feeling better so I can actually work out without dying. Walking up the hill from the grocery store was an effort :( So, I'm gonna go rest some more...ta ta!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

A little bit of this...a little bit of that...

I finally made a pumpkin recipe that I'm ready to share! I made some pumpkin muffins (recipe here) and they were delicious! I added walnuts (because I like them) and then sprinkled chocolate chips on top of mine only because Ben despises chocolate in any sort of bread. Really he despises chocolate in general (crazy, I know!) but that's a whole other post! So, go make them. Now. If you'd like to copy me, I made my pumpkin puree from scratch! It's really not that difficult and, for me, cheaper too! I paid $1.56 for half a pumpkin (medium size), roasted it, and got enough puree for 2 recipes! I also froze it so it would last longer and it didn't seem to affect how my muffins turned out. Because they were delicious. Did I tell you that? 

Since I've gotta balance out making pumpkin, chocolate chip muffins, here is the workout I just did:

I looked like her doing it too...

It was simple and to the point, didn't require any equipment, and I didn't even have to leave my apartment! Which I didn't want to do... I also did some ab and arm exercises since those are my "to work on" areas (almost beach weather!). Took me about 25 minutes all together and with all my bus-walking, I got a mediocre workout in today! The hubs also did some sort of workout as well but I'm not really sure...I didn't see any jumping jacks out of him! On that note, 100 jumping jacks...doesn't sound too bad! It is hard to do 100 jumping jacks!!! I had to do it along to the beat of a song otherwise it would have gone on forever! I also suck at wall sits. 
 
I'll leave you with a picture! 
 
So, as we live in an apartment building in the city, there is an advertisement on the side. Previously, it was a Lexus ad but it was taken down about a week ago. What is frustrating is that they took it down and then left it on our balcony for about 3 days! We live on the second floor so our balcony has a kind of overhang out over the street and, thus, makes an excellent place to leave a HUGE Lexus advertisement for days. I would have stolen it if it wasn't gigantic (think 6 stories tall...and up close, very pixely). And, when they did come to pick it up, they came at 5 in the morning, walking on the tin roof right outside our window, making a ruckus! Anyway, we now have this...

Downton Abbey!

That's where we live :) Ben is ashamed that there in a Denny's in my picture. I don't think he wants people to know we live a block from a Denny's. What's the shame in that?? It just reminds me of Ritchey-Little, wedding morning breakfast :) But anyway, I love my new sign! So much better than a silly Lexus! 

Only two more workdays before a three day weekend! I love Labour Day! :)

Saturday, 13 October 2012

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood... (can't read that without singing it, huh?)

In my last post, I did tell you I'd let you know how the Pork Tenderloin with Pan Sauce turned out and it. was. delicious! Click on the link and it will take you to the recipe! It made one dinner and then another "leftover night" and that was it. Ben was kind of disappointed it was all gone after last night, which is totally a good sign! (Normally he doesn't really care...)

After church today, we decided to head back to Cornwall Park, which I told ya'll about before! It has taken a couple weeks to get back because the weather has not cooperated (i.e. it's been rainy). And, true to form, it was rainy again today! But it was only "spitting" so we decided to brave it anyway. We got takeaway from a cafe across the street from the park and enjoyed it while soaking up the sun and watching kids play in the park. While eating lunch, we watched this kid fly off the end of the zipline and hit a pole!! After much ado, he got up and did it again! Haha! Kids are resilient! Here are some pictures from the beautiful park:


Lamby, lamb!

Did I mention there were sheep? 

This monument is at the top of One Tree Hill! One Tree Hill Domain is included in Cornwall Park. We did not climb it today, just looked from afar...
 PS-Don't you love all the stone fences??

This rooster just walked down the middle of the road like it owned the place! 

And then proceeded to SIT in the middle of the road while cars had to drive around it! 

This view is down one side of Twin Oaks Drive, one of the main roads that goes through the park. 

And then we climbed some trees :) I did not get one single picture of Ben during our whole trek! I'm sure he prefers it that way. What a sneaky kid!

And last, but not least, one of the beautiful views! This view overlooks Mount Wellington in the distance on the left! 

It turned out to be a beautiful day in Auckland. I hope it was a beautiful day wherever YOU are! :) 

I have been experimenting with some pumpkin/fall recipes lately but none that I absolutely have to share. I am trying to get in my last cold weather foods/soups before it starts to get too warm! I am baking again tonight so, hopefully this one will be the one! I'll let you know :) I found a recipe for some Halloween Puppy Chow today so I know I will be making that in the near future!

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Thank the Lord for Auto Save!!

Hi Blog Friends,

I just wrote this whole post and then accidentally unplugged my computer!!! I have one of those super old Macs, whose battery doesn't work anymore so if it unplugs, it dies! So, I thought I was just going to have to write it all over again but, Blogger autosaved my draft! Woo hoo...so it goes a little something like this....

I have had a VERY productive day! For the first day in a while, I didn't get a sub job! Which is fine because I'm scheduled every day next week and I had a couple errands to run/do. I have worked out, cleaned the apartment, done laundry, started on dinner (more on that later), and just relaxed!  It's been wonderful...what Ben would call a "Libbi Day"! And on top of that, the weather here is B-E-A-utiful! Not a raindrop in sight! I've got some plans for hubby's 25th birthday in a couple weeks and I can only hope it looks like this!

Our week has been pretty uneventful but we DID go to the Asian Market a couple days ago because Ben heard from a coworker that they have cheaper produce and meat. Which they did! Amazingly cheap! Produce in general is pretty pricey and it was almost half the price of a normal grocery store! We will definitely be going there from now on, for meats and produce at least! We also got some curry paste which was WAYYYY too spicy for me. Ben has been eating [the tons of] leftovers for a couple days now! Which is fine because I ate lasagna leftovers for every single meal for about 3 days! And it was still as tasty as the first night :)

Speaking of tasty, I found this at the grocery store today....


Can I say "delicious"?? I am trying to save it up and just eat a little at a time as a treat; we'll see how that goes...

So, for dinner tonight, I am making Pork Tenderloin with Pan Sauce. I haven't made it before but (obviously) I got it off Pinterest! Right now it's marinating which I normally am never able to do! I end up marinating something for like 10 minutes before I have to cook it and it doesn't really make a difference. But today, it's going to get a good 3-4 hours! Ahh, Libbi Day :) To go with the pork, I'm making roasted carrots and potatoes. I'm trying to convince myself I like carrots, which I do, if you can't really taste them! Sounds yummy, right? I'll let you know how it turns out!

So, standing in line at the grocery store, I see on the TV Guide magazine an ad for Downton Abbey! And the premiere is next week! I mean, I'm not gonna gloat or anything but the US premiere isn't until January......or you could just watch it online because it's already on in the UK. But, as I talked about here, I try not to watch too much online TV! So, I'm super excited I can watch it on the TV with the rest of New Zealand! Is it a little sad that I have this in my phone?


No? Okay, good! :)

Question: I was pretending to be a University of Auckland student today so I could use their internet (fo free!) and I was sitting cross-legged on this chair for a while. My foot fell asleep which normally happens but for the first time ever, I got up to walk away and it didn't just hurt, I physically could not walk! It was a little scary! I was so embarrassed because I had already started walking out of the study area and there was nowhere to sit down, so I'm hobbling like a crazy person out of the computer lab trying to find somewhere to sit! After sitting for a little while, it went away but it was so weird! Every happen to you guys??

Okay, well my Libbi Day is almost over, so I'm going to go enjoy the rest of it! Ta ta!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

End of Winter :(

The end of Winter and the beginning of Spring is upon us! It doesn't quite feel like it yet but hopefully we'll get there! To celebrate the end of Winter, they had a FREE ice skating rink on the wharf!

It looks like Christmas! They even had Christmas trees so it smelled heavenly! Here is a video I tried to take while we were skating. It gets a little crazy at the end because I almost ran into a kid...

video

The funniest part was the little girl with a "walker" who was tearing around running into people. She just kept running back and forth across the rink and she cut me off about a dozen times! I didn't fall down once though so, it was a success!

Okay, just a couple more pictures from my Sunday:

 Love Skyping with my weirdo cousin and Aunt :) Thanks for letting us watch the game! 

 Score! Rewards for my New Zealand birthday!! You better believe I will be using this tomorrow! Happy New Zealand Birthday to me :)


Love Love Love,

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Fancy Friday

Now, I know it's Saturday but I came up with the title for my blog post yesterday...and then promptly didn't post. But yesterday was a fancy Friday for me and I was really proud of my outfit from last night so I thought I'd share! (hang with me...there's more than just clothes on this post :)

cute, eh? 
Leather Jacket-Express (from my fave twins/fellow triplets :)
Ruffly Shirt-Target (miss you...)
Stretchy Skirt-Stolen from Kyla but I think from Wet Seal
Tights-Spanx!!
Black Leather Boots-DSW

So, I've worn these boots about 2 times and they KILL! Probably will be another year before I wear them again :( or I just need to buy some gel inserts. Whatever comes first!

Okay, enough about my outfit...moving on!

Ben and I went to go see our first rugby match today! Rugby is huge over here and, from what I can tell, it's like flag football without all the rules! I'm surprised there are not more deaths from rugby! And the "plays" are super long...even if someone is knocked down, another player just picks up the ball and continues on. I can't even begin to understand how the game works so I won't pretend here...but it was a beautiful day!

And it was nice to just sit on the hillside and enjoy the sun (in between clouds)! That shirtless guy makes you think it's pretty warm...it's not. It got about 15 ℃ (60 ℉) and windy! Definitely not beach weather...
 
While we were watching the match, this marketing girl came around and gave out several different types of foods for us to try and one of them was this candy bar...
It's a chocolate bar with jelly (gummies), popping candy (Pop Rocks), and Beanies (M&M's)! That is one crazy variety of candies in one package! Of course we tried it and it was interesting! I mean, I can't say that it was bad...Pop Rocks in general are just a weird candy to eat! So combine it with 3 other types of candy and you get something special :)
 
Time for a Geography Lesson!

Ben works at the Tamaki Campus of the University of Auckland (#1 on the map) and we live over by Victoria Park (top left hand corner). It looks far but it's really only about 20-30 minutes! The rugby pitch (Colin Maiden Park) was close to Ben's office building so we took a field trip over there so I could see where he goes during the day! 
ta-da!

And, here is Ben [pretending to be] hard at work! I told him that he needs some desk decorations (birthday present??); his only possession is that red coffee cup. We'll get there...don't worry!


Lots of Love,

PS -Thank you to John, Virginia and Granny Joyce for the wonderful package!!! Can't wait to decorate and bake! :)

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Mexican Fiesta!

Mmmmmmmm...

This is all I feel like posting for now, but I will elaborate! We made tacos tonight and it was the perfect Mexican fix I have been craving for a while (I know...crazy, huh?)! Not only did I use my McCormick's taco seasoning from the American store but we made homemade tortillas! They were about as close to perfect as you can get, without being made by a Mexican granny :) I'll post the recipe I got from my mother-in-love below :)

Flour Tortillas:

Ingredients:

-3 cups all-purpose flour
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1 teaspoon salt
-4 to 6 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening (I didn't say they were healthy :)
-1 1/4 cup warm water (approx.)

In a large bowl, blend the flour, baking powder, and salt together. With a pastry cutter/blender (or hands) cut in the lard or shortening. You want these ingredients to cling together slightly and hold a form when squeezed in your hands. If the mixture crumbles, you do not have the shortening mixed in well or have too little (if it makes a hard clump them you need more flour and less shortening).

Add the water all at once and mix the dough quickly with a fork or by hand until the dough forms a mass. Work it in the bowl, moving it around the sides to pick up any flour remaining in the bowl. Knead the dough by folding it in half, pushing it down, and folding again. It should take about a dozen folds to form soft dough that is no longer sticky.


Cover the dough with a towel or plastic wrap to let it rest for about 5 to 10 minutes. Allowing the dough to rest lets any of the liquid absorb into the flour, which will give you a softer tortilla after cooking.

Take your ball of dough and begin pinching off 2-inch diameter balls. Knead each of these into a tight ball by folding them over with your fingers, turning and repeating until it is shaped like a fat disk. Place it to one side of the mixing bowl and continue to do this until you have used all of the dough. (I made discs and Ben made balls...both worked fine so it's up to you.)



VERY IMPORTANT: Before rolling out the tortillas, allow the dough balls to rest at least 10 minutes. This will permit the gluten to relax and make them much easier to shape and roll.

On a lightly floured surface take one of the dough balls and begin to roll it out. To keep a somewhat round shape, roll one directions, make a 1/4 turn and roll again, make another 1/4 turn and roll. Continue to roll and turn until you the dough is about 1/8-inch thick (I like a little thicker) and 8 to 10 inches in diameter.



Heat a cast-iron griddle, or small skillet to about 450 degrees F. over medium to medium-high heat until water droplets "dance" when dropped on the surface.  You might have to increase or decrease the heat after you cook your first tortilla, but you should be able to tell if the tortilla is cooking too fast on the outside and still raw on the inside, or increase it if your tortilla is taking more than 30 seconds to begin to "puff" when placed on the skillet.

Place the raw tortilla on the preheated skillet and allow it to cook until it begins to puff up with air pockets. Each side should cook about 30 seconds, leaving the tortilla puffy. Press on a center part of the tortilla slightly to be certain the inside is cooked.

Place these little babies a tortilla warmer or on a plate (I put my plate next to where I was cooking so it would be warm)! Or just eat them as they come off the skillet :)


And, here is my delicious, yummy tacos! I ate almost all of my first one before I remembered to take a picture! They were that good...the only thing missing was Pappasito's garlic butter sauce...YUM!

They weren't as hard to make as I thought they would be and they are SOOO much better than store bought (at least store bought in NZ)! And, we have a ton leftover...I know what's for dinner tomorrow!! :) Until next time...

Monday, 1 October 2012

I'm sorry blog readers! I lied...

So, I was just reading back through my previous posts and I realized I said I would post about my book/to-read list...and then I forgot all about it :( I'm sorry!

Well, I just finished another book today so it is a PERFECT time to talk about what's in the gigantic stack of books on my bedside table...

Okay, maybe it's not as impressive as I made it sound. But my Kindle kinda takes away from the looming-ness but trust me, there are a lot of books on there :)

First, I'll start off with a book that's not there because I just finished it and thus have taken it off the pile/it's still in my backpack from reading it on the bus today.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I mean, it's a classic and I had never actually read it before so when I read in an article somewhere that it was the "greatest love story of all time," I knew I had to read it! And it was, amazingly, at the library! Review: It's kinda hard to get into because of the different language of the time but once you kinda figure out what means what (and read all the footnotes for the things you don't understand) it gets easier. And once the plot starts really heating up, I couldn't put it down. I read it on my bus rides and during breaks at school! Now, I want to watch the movie with a fresh understanding of the REAL storyline! I already requested it from the library :)

And the Band Played On... by Christopher Ward
I got this book from my in-laws for my birthday because they know I LOVE the Titanic and anything about it. It's really interesting but a little depressing too...I am a couple chapters in and will probably start this again now that I'm done with Pride and Prejudice.

Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis
One of my care package books from my Mom. Haven't started it yet but will let you know!

one in a million (bible study) by Priscilla Shirer
The women at my church are doing this bible study so my Mom sent me a copy so I could work along with them! I'm so excited because I loved the last bible study we did and I've heard good things about Priscilla Shirer (mostly from my BFF Beth Moore :) 

PART two

Okay, now we're on to my Kindle books! You will just have to trust me that they're there. 

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
I saw this book listed on several must-read lists so I had Ben download it for me. I haven't started it yet but hope to soon!

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon
Okay, this book...
This is the fourth book in the Outlander series: a series of 7 (so far) ridiculously long books. My sister-in-love recommended them to me and they started out really great and I sped through the first two in a matter of weeks. They started to slow down and now I am in the middle of an all-out standstill with regards to plot. Cassidy told me I just had to get through the fourth one and the rest were great but I just can't seem to do it. I occasionally go back to this book and read a couple chapters in between other books but I can never seem to get back into it. I may try again and see how it goes because I really just want to finish on principle. Just for timeline's sake, I started the first book in the series Thanksgiving last year, read the first two by Christmas, third one took a little longer (maybe a month), and this last one since then...so...8 months?? I'll have to let you know how it ends up.
Some others are (none of which I have started yet):

The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (next book club read)
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner (he he)
Searching for Mary Poppins by Susan Davis (nannying book...interesting to me :)
Good Christian Bitches by Kim Gatlin
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
AND
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (I really loved Water for Elephants so I'm hoping this one is similar to that :)

Maybe one day I will do a post about my most favorite books/authors...no promises though! Okay, the length of this post about books officially makes me a dork. 

goodnight