11 August 2015

You write a blog post, it gets read, then it disappears into the depths of your website archives.
We'd like to think that over time our writings have delivered more and more helpful information to our readers, and there are posts worth featuring.
So here are a few links to the topics we've written about thus far:


General information about driving in New Zealand including driver's licenses and safety.



What decisions there are to make when buying or building a mobile home.


A majority of our posts in this category, expanded and illustrated, now feature in our e-book:



While neither of us are professionals, occassionally there is a photo we take worth sharing.



Ideas and issues that nationals may take for granted like medical care, what to do with rubbish, when shops are open, and our culture.



Random acts of kindness for the budget-conscience.  This is where you will also find our 12 monthly posts on what we were able to do for others in our community and beyond.

Inspired to do a RAOK?  Check out our current fund-raiser:

23 May 2015

Finally it's finished and we've launched our e-book package.  Yay, yippee!



  • A5 landscape format
  • 61 pages
  • 14 chapters
  • Over 350 questions/prompts
  • 2 dozen+ illustrations
  • 4 exercises to sort out your personal needs and wants


Plus the following bonuses:

  • Comparison overview worksheet (2 A4 pages)
  • Extended comparison worksheet (5 A4 pages)
  • Vendor contact facsimile form (A4)
  • Mind map (A4)
  • Needs vs wants (2 A4 pages)
  • Prioritising grid (2 A4 pages)


From now until the end of June we are offering the e-book package at a 20% discount via this link.


Only $19.96




If you know someone looking to buy a mobile home please share this post with them.  

19 April 2015

Gallipoli rose - cistus salviifolius


ANZAC day is a little more special for our family this year.


It's the 100th anniversary of our New Zealand soldiers landing on the Gallipoli penninsula - where a couple of our forebears were killed in action among others that served and returned home.

One, will be actively commemorated with the honour of being asked to lay a wreath in a dawn ceremony in New Zealand; and the memorials of both will be visited in Turkey.  [Close family were offered a very late ballot to attend the dawn and ANZAC services - a once in a lifetime opportunity they are taking albeit in primitive and challenging conditions].

So as we rally our troops (the children that is) to get up before the sun rises on Saturday, we stand with family up and down the country and around the world to honour the men and women who gave their lives for our freedom; and to find a short moment of solitude to be grateful for the present and future we have together.


I have the opportunity to assemble the wreath being laid here in Aotearoa and thought others might be interested in the Gallipoli roses that I made for it (above).



  • White felt
  • Scrap of yellow felt
  • Pin with yellow head
  • Yellow embroidery floss (I used 6-stranded)
  • Needle
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Disappearing fabric marker
  • Template

The felt I used was somewhat stiffer than the soft acrylic you can usually buy - more like cardboard.  Either ought to be fine but I liked the idea of it holding it's shape.

Download the template for the petals, trace and cut 5 pieces from the white.  Cut one circle for the centre back also from the white.  Cut one piece from the yellow felt for the stamen area at the front.



Cut a length of floss and strip it (separate the strands from each other and then put them back together again - you could probably skip this step but it's habit for me so I do it regardless).  Use all 6 strands together and sew from the front to back and return leaving about a 6 mm tail on both ends before you cut it.  You don't fasten the floss at this point so be careful not to pull them out accidentally.  Continue until the centre of the yellow felt looks as if it has enough 'stamens'.  Push the pin in from the front through the centre of the yellow felt.

Take the circle of white felt and lay it in the middle of your work area.  I marked the centre with a pencil to help laying the petals in the right place.  Dab a little hot glue on each petal point and apply to the circle in a clockwise direction, overlapping by a few mm.  The 5th petal will be over both the 4th and 1st and that's okay.



Push the pin with the yellow felt through the petal pieces and when you've got it in the right place apply a dab of hot glue to fix (bearing in mind you want a point of the yellow felt to be centred in each of the petals.  This fixes the floss stamens at the same time.



Pin directly into a foam wreath or cut off the pin stem and sew a small safety pin to the back to wear this week.  

I plan to use the pin to twist around the rosemary and olive wreath I will make on Tuesday.

[Download the template for a rose to wear as well.]





NZ Government website for the 100th commemoration of ANZAC day - find a service to attend.

Auckland Museum online record of all who fought - Cenotaph - find your ancestors and add their stories.