DIY Halloween Decorations

Halloween is tomorrow and we will be hosting a party! We only have a small unit which is perfect to create a haunted house. All week we have been doing arts and crafts and up-cycling materials from around the house to create scary, creepy and funny haunted house paraphernalia. Here are some easy decorations for your house tomorrow night.
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Tombstones
Get cardboard or foam and cut them into rectangles. Spray paint them silver. Write names on the front. Tape a half filled water bottle to the back to allow them to stand.
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Candle holders
Collect red wine bottles. Light a candle and drip wax around the edge of the bottle. Place dinner candle into top of wine bottle.
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Coffin
Get two same size boxes and spray paint brown. Once dry, assemble the boxes next to each other on a table or futon. The bottom half must be closed and the top half take the lid off. Stuff a shirt with old clothes and place a mask on top and you have a person in a coffin.
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Scary Dolls
Get your old dolls or head to the Salvo’s to buy dolls cheaply (the rattier the better). Burn the dolls, cut their hair, use red nail polish to make it look like their bleeding.
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Bloody towels
Buy cheap hand towels for people to use and get red food colouring. Place the hand towels on newspaper (just in case it soaks through) and then drip the colouring over the towels to make it look like blood.
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Candles
Collect jars, and de-sticker them (if you can’t find any Ikea has a pack of four for about $2.50). Leave the lid off and place in a tea light. Scatter around the house and burn.
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Carved pumpkins
We haven’t carved the pumpkins yet but we will need to de-seed and think of some scary faces for the front. We have little and big pumpkins.
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Windy Welly

Everyone knows Aukland, Christchurch and Queenstown as popular holiday destinations, but if you are touring the Islands of New Zealand don’t overlook the capital, Wellington. It is worth a stopover and a little wander. The first place to investigate is Cuba street, which is central to the city and just a short walk from the harbour.
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Cuba street is renowned for it’s cool cafes and funky eating houses. And if you are looking for interesting gifts you can meander the street checking out the little shops along the way. There is plenty to keep you enthused as local entrepreneurial designers survive by mixing up their own locally produced wares with quirky eclectic products from other parts of the world.
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To get an overview of NZ’s rich culture and heritage head to Te Papa – their National museum. This is a fantastic building filled with contemporary and Maori exhibitions, artworks and displays. Start at the top viewing level for spectacular harbour scenery, then wander though the four stories of artefacts. If you love museums you will want to allow at least half a day here.
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After a nice meal, stretch and more nick knack treasures packed to take home, you will be ready to hop back into the hire car or winnerbacker and head for the big local attraction, Lord of the Rings ‘Weta Cave‘, before heading to ‘Hobbiton‘ closer to Hamilton …nothing like a road trip, right!

 

Pumpkin Soup with an Asian Twist

We’ve already shown you how to make some yummy Pumpkin Soup, but this recipe is a little different. This is a pumpkin soup with flavours from Asia thrown in as well – mum’s secret recipe.
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Ingredients
Potato
sweet potato
pumpkin
ginger
lemongrass stalks
coconut milk
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Method
1. Chop a potato, a piece of sweet potato, ginger, pumpkin and two lemongrass sticks and put into a pot with water to boil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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2. Once the vegetables have gone soft puree the mixture by using a blender while slowly adding coconut milk.
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3. Top with roughly chopped coriander and serve.

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Oscar de la Renta

This week the world lost one of it’s great designers. He dressed the “ladies that lunch” and was famous for his Red Carpet designs. He has been dressing the stars for years – from Jackie Kennedy and Hilary Clinton right through to Taylor Swift and Amal Clooney. Here we celebrate his wonderful creations.
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Burleigh Headland Walks

Australian weather is all sunshine and blue sky but sometimes finding a bit of bush can make your walk along the beach just a little shadier and pleasant.
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We recently discovered a little gem of a walk immediately north of Tallebudgera Creek, on the Gold Coast, Queensland. Burleigh Headland National Park is 27 ha of rainforest and bushland that sits on the edge of the gorgeous ocean. There are two main walks: The Ocean Walk (30 mins) and the Rainforest Walk (45mins).
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Along the way stop to take in the view as it is amazing and you may even spot a migrating whale (between June and November) breaching in the waters as well.
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Choose one or the other of the tracks or power around both like we did so you don’t feel bad about stopping off for a lovely afternoon tea at a local café on the way home.
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Good Food and Wine Show

Over the weekend we attended Brisbane’s Good Food and Wine Festival. A good part of the day was spent sampling food, tasting wine, beer, spirits, juices and more, or watching and participating in cooking demonstrations. There was a lot to see, eat and drink at the festival but here are some of our favourites from the day.
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Barilla Cooking Class – learnt to cook pasta in 20 minutes.
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Wine Tasting – bought a bottle of red
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Food Tasting – bought and sampled for free on the day
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Design your own shoes…

No one wants to buy the generic shoes these days, everyone has their own ideas of what they think shoes should look like. Everyone has their own fashion and style and so they should. These days it is common to design your own shoes over the internet and then have them delivered right to your door step, and it is so easy to do!
Shoes of Prey – design your own pumps, sandals, wedges, ballet flats and more!
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Converse – design your own high tops, low tops, Chuck Taylors, connies.. whatever you call them
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Nike – design your perfect running shoe
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