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  • Morning girls.

    Sounds like we are all having productive days today. Yummy all those delicious dinners, stop it will you? its only 9.30am and I'm already salivating at the thought of a big meaty meal!

    Got our big christmas lunch today, so I'm having a quick break before the mayhem begins. I did a big load of prep yesturday so it should be plain sailing today............haha, well I can hope can't I? I've got caterers coming in, so at least there is no food to manage save a couple of dips and crackers for starters. I am the barkeep mostly and thankfully the caterer even takes the plates and cutlery away to wash so that frees me up from the dishwasher nicely. Wish I had a budget like this for all our parties.

    My manager is supposed to be joining us from Auckland but there is thick sea fog this morning so I suspect flights will be cancelled. Gotta love December humidity (ruining my new hair do too!).

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    • We are listing all of the free activities around us for when my ILs come. It turns out that our budget didn't entirely pan out (works on paper, but people haven't paid us), and so we are a bit shy on cash. The ILs are super-cheap, so there's no way they would spot us on the holiday. I have the housing paid for, and gas and food are covered in the budget (with ILs paying half), so now it's a matter of activities.

      Luckily, most of our activities were already free: te papa, play grounds, beach, hikes, botanical gardens, and various sites up the coast and such -- but several things cost $10-15/pp, and the ILs had plans like going to the zoo (where they would pay for themselves and possibly DS, but not for us -- which means I'll send Ryan but not go myself to save the cash . . .no, the ILs are NOT allowed around DS without supervision). And, DS wants to make cookies with his Mimi, so they'll be purchasing those supplies to do that and doing it in our kitchen, so that's relatively free, etc.

      I have some other activities as well such as bowling (with coupon), and meals out (with coupons), and a coupon for some bike hire on the waterfront as well as one of those little paddle boat thingies. so, we can do various activities for very little money. The big spend might be Sommes Island with the City to Sea museum "fish and chips" tour -- which is * a lot * of fun. DH and I did it years ago and really enjoyed it. I think it's $20/person. And then there's the $20 tour of weta workshop as well -- which I think will send DS over the moon!

      So, trying to keep it inexpensive.

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      • back from rouseying or however you spell it for the morning. awesome sunny morning and 1000 odd lambs. i so love that sheep wool smell of lanolin. we had lunch with the old lady of the farm after who is 80 something and one of those tough old girls with so much spirit that i adore. we had sausage casserole, mashed potatoes and minted peas. i didnt worry about the gluten in the gravy so i will prob pay later lol psycho in time for xmas!! finished making my raw xmas cakes when i got home. simple as and they taste as good as real xmas cakes without any cooking, sugar or grains. just soak some apricots, raisins and currants in some lemon juice and some rum/whisky/bourbon. i lost the original recipe but the proportions are roughly 4 parts apricots to 1 part each raisins and currants. grate in some lemon zest too. next day pull out some of the raisins and currants to keep whole and blend the rest in the blender. throw the mush in a bowl with the reserved dried fruit, spices ( cloves, ginger, cinnamon and cardamon is all i had laying around ), put some pecans and almonds in the blender and grind up. throw them into the cake mix. i prob used a similar amount of each with was a similar amount to the total apricots. put in a few tsps of almond butter and some flaked almonds mix it all up. it should form a ball. put this into muffin trays or containers or a loaf tin and put in the fridge to set. you can make "marzipan" to go on top with almond butter, a smidgen of honey and some almond essence. i reckon too they would be awesome dipped in melted dark chocolate. you can use different dried fruits, vary the spices, different nuts etc but the principle is the same.

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        • Yum Seaweed, that sounds really awesome, however I hate christmas cake - too rich for me. I would rather have merangues, or peppermint bark and the like.....but not this year !!!!! It will be pork belly, and hassleback kumara (would that work?), and berries and cream........
          Have managed to lose .9kg of the 3kg that I have put on over the last few weeks....so a good start to the end of the year !
          Am now off for a walk/jog/sprint....so will catch you when i return....
          laters !
          "never let the truth get in the way of a good story "

          ...small steps....

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          • i am not usually big of fruit cake type xmas cakes. much prefer the raw mixture before it is cooked. kinda like cakes and cookies in general actually. much better before they are baked. there is a recipe around the place for faleo raw cookie dough truffles which are absolutely divine. i'm just having meat, seafood, veges, berries, stone fruit, cream, cheese and nuts this year which is still way way enough food. i am off to the gym today with the whanau in tow. then i am going to do some xmas shopping and hopefully ditch the crowd with their big sis and go ride my motorcycle.

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            • woo hoo - you go girl. have a wonderful ride, almost a shame you have to use a helmet !!!! I love being in the jetboat, wind in my hair...............
              "never let the truth get in the way of a good story "

              ...small steps....

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              • Got the FBI paperwork yesterday, have all the other materials sorted, and we are filing tomorrow morning! I called to make sure there would be someone there to take our application and fee. And there will. So we will go over and file! YAY!

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                • fan-bloody-tastic Zoebird. Get that paperwork in, and heres to a wonderful new year for you and yours !!
                  "never let the truth get in the way of a good story "

                  ...small steps....

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                  • Talk about random timing from the FBI eh? Well it'll be nice to get it all out of the way before your IL's arrive.

                    Party went well yesturday although it was a bit depressing arriving at work this morning to a big mess that needed clearing up. I did as much clearing away yesturday before I left work but I had to go at 3pm to pick up DD and there were still party goers in the room at that point. I guess they were too tipsy to put another load in the dishwasher? Ah well, all part of the job I suppose and it only took me an hour and a half to get the place looking ship shape this morning.

                    Beautiful weather here today, far too nice to spend the day at my computer. Think I might skive off early as I've got to get just a couple more chrissy presents for DH before the big day.

                    Gwamma - I ended up buying a camera case from Dicksmith in the end. They had a good selection and the cheapest ones were as little as $1! I thought that sounded a bit cheap so I splashed out on a $25 one.

                    Bah.....gotta go write my newsletter for January and I can't put it off any longer or I really will run out of time.

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                    • thanx LL, I will have a look in at Dicks. I am thrilled that the party went well, and well done for your quick efficent clean up this morning. I am looking forward to our next party - tomorrow night. Just a few close friends, so it will be nice.

                      5 more sleeps !!!!!! til the jolly big red man !!!!!!
                      "never let the truth get in the way of a good story "

                      ...small steps....

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                      • had a swift ride to town in my boardies and my assault boots. it was warm even which is very unusual once you get moving down here. very nice. been home. filleted some whole fish all on my own so as i can smoke them for xmas. amazing what you can do with a sharp knife. and if that jolly big red man comes anywhere near me, he will find out too! lol we are santaphobic in this house. interestingly he was sorta invented in his modern form by coke and they are one evil corporation. i was trying to persuade my middle daughter earlier this week to have a fun family outing with a pin and pop an inflatable santa for our xmas treat but she was too straight lol kinda sad when the kids are all more well behaved than their mum

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                        • LOL yep it is kinda sad when they are straight up - fun teasing them as they get older thou !!!!!!!!
                          What are your plans for our last day on this earth - tomorrow ?
                          me.....oh same old same old............
                          actually I might even hit the shops ? we shall see
                          "never let the truth get in the way of a good story "

                          ...small steps....

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                          • well i dont have to get the kids till lunch and i borrowed a .22 magnum so i figured i was gonna go take a few bunnies out with me. except the bolt action has jammed. back to the boring old .22. i may go cruise on the hog, run around the beach naked, go wild and do some xmas shopping. the world really is my oyster lol

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                            • enjoy the bunny shoot Seaweed.............and the skinny dipping...............and the wild oyster shopping !!!! LOL
                              "never let the truth get in the way of a good story "

                              ...small steps....

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                              • LOL i dont have to pay for oysters! we have them around here if you know where to look. it's the morning and i am still alive. it is very quiet out there tho. maybe i need to start on the whisky and the chocolate?

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