New Nest | Blackbird Reno Numero Two!

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Although it may seem mad, and today, I would actually agree with you, we are in fact about to embark on a new renovation, again. Pregnant, again. Why!? But seriously, the opportunity for this little gem was just too good to say no, and we have never been ones to shy away from a bit of hard work and a challenge!

So begins the journey to turn this sweet, but pokey 1915, transitional villa, into an open, fresh, family home! And yes, the house really is as crooked as it looks!

Wish us luck! And of course follow the journey both here, and on my Instagram!

Gem x

Baby Bird on the way!

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Romper from Nature Baby | Organic Cotton Blanket and beanie from Blackbird Goods | Knitted Elephant and Rattle are Vintage

Those who follow my Instagram may have seen the announcement a few weeks ago, but I thought I should make it blog official! We are in fact expecting a wee babe in the new year. It has been a bit of roller coaster of excitement and nerves due to our past experiences, but we are forever hopeful, and so far, so good. And with a new trimester, comes new growth spurts and expansions. Although I grew out of my high-waisted jeans fairly early, I have been making do with my normal wardrobe, partly because I now live in Hawkes Bay and find clothes shopping a bit of a struggle at times, and partly because the idea of buying a wardrobe for a few months kinda goes against a lot of what I believe. So minus jeans, maternity tights ( ohhhh man, I love those things ) and other necessities of pregnancy wears, I am hoping to buy things I love, that I can wear throughout, as well as after.

So here is my current ( fraction of a ) wish list!

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Yoli & Otis | Reiner shirt – Light cotton gauze seems perfect for a summer pregnancy, as well as breastfeeding/hiding post pregnancy belly and beyond.

St.Agni Hugo | Loafer Slides – For when it becomes too hard to bend over, slides all the way. I recently stumbled across these guys and gee whizz, I absolutely love them! Picking a favourite was hard, so I may just need to buy more than one pair.

Kowtow | Scenic Crew – I love this trans-seasonal piece, pop it over a dress, or with jeans ( lets face it, it will mostly be worn with tights, at home, with no bra )

Sodashi | Calming Rose Face Mist – My friends at Tonic Room really know how to pick the best of natural skin care and other goodies, and since I am hoping to channel all the calm this pregnancy, this seems like the perfect companion.

Elizabeth Suzann | Harlow Tunic – I have loved Elizabeth Suzann’s gears for a long time now, and have basically just been looking for an excuse to buy anything from her, so I am pregnant, and treat yo self. ( plus free shipping!? perfect )

Kowtow | Building Blocks – Yes, Kowtow features once more, that is because they are awesome, organic and fair trade. Let Liv stocks their building blocks range, and this stretchy number will be my go-to/I will wear it everyday and hope no-one notices or cares.

Sarah Grey | Cashmere Robe – Ali from Tessuti does luxury well, so I chose this robe because  once again, treat.yo.self, plus there is an obvious trend of lounging going on.

Georgia Jay | Suede Roundie –  Although I have been through a full term pregnancy, the other end is completely unknown, but I hear a lot about big/ugly diaper bags, so  I plan on making the most of cute, small bags ( and will probably head to see Georgia to rebel against getting an actual diaper bag anyway. )

 

What were your pregnancy must-have’s or wish list?

 

 

Blackbird Goods Soirée | Winter Edition

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Arrangement by Kim from Lushka Flowers.

 

This is one of the things I love most about owning a store, the ability to bring people together and create community. Upon moving to the Hawkes Bay two years ago, I was struck by the clear definitions of the seasons here. Growing up in the far north of Whangarei Heads, where the winters are mild but endlessly wet, it was a welcome change. When the seasons change, there is no blurring or merging into six months of dismal weather, you have the leaves falling and crisp mornings of Autumn, the bright days and blossoms of spring, the hot golden days of summer, and the frosty and beautiful tones of grey in winter ( I swear, they are actually very pretty! ) So upon opening the store, we really wanted to celebrate those seasons in a unique way, with a gathering, some delicious wine ( of course ) and showcase a local talent with a focus on the season. For Summer of last year I made a foraged wreath and we drank sparkling wine, For Autumn the ever talented Ash from Organic Ash made an outstanding cake and showed us how she likes to decorate hers, and we drank a taaaasty drop of Rod McDonald Rosé. So for winter, I didn’t want it to be brushed over. Although winter tends to be the least favourite for most people, I really think there is a lot of beauty in winter. So I enlisted the fantastic Kim from Lushka flowers, who, like I believes that winter has a lot going for it! To pair with the season we made a spicy batch of syrah mulled wine with the help of our friends over at Rod McDonald Wines . Here is the ( a slight adaption from a Jamie Oliver ) recipe!

  • The juice of 2 mandarins/clementines
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 whole nutmeg , for grating
  • 1 vanilla pod , halved lengthways
  • 2 bottles Rod McDonald Quarter Acre Syrah

 

This makes enough for around 15 people. Peel large sections of peel from your lemon and lime using a peeler, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the mandarin/clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Throw in your halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough red wine to cover.

Let this simmer and then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes. It’s important to make a syrup base first because it needs to be quite hot, and if you do this with both bottles of wine in there you’ll burn off the alcohol.

When it’s almost a syrup, turn the heat down to low and add the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm and delicious, ladle it into glasses and serve.

 

Winter warmth in a glass!

7 Years | Lake Waikaremoana

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I know posts have been few and far between, and I apologise, and blame it whole heartedly on Blackbird Goods. But regardless, these images have been sitting on my computer for a good wee while now, so finally decided to get them up.

The Husband and I celebrated 7 years strong at the start of last month. 7 years of great times and hard times, but times next to each other none the less. We took off for a long weekend at a great little spot on Lake Waikaremoana ( Lou’s Place, full of history, great reading material and a cosy wood burner, all for a mighty fine price ) As usual we have a little pooch that tags along with us, which is always fun, but makes it hard to do longer walks, as with most national parks, dogs are prohibited. So instead of one long walk, we tend to do multiple shorter walks. Which is pretty great as well.

Lake Waikaremoana, translated to ” the sea of rippling waters ” is a part of Te Ureweara National Park, and is a wild and windy place, as you may have told by a few ” look how windy it is!! ” photos. With unpredictable and changeable  weather, you really feel at the whim of the elements, which is rather invigorating. It is untamed, unruly and we loved it.

Now looking back at the pictures, it feels like we are due for another adventure!

x