This is Thea

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While I’m sure you’ve already heard the news on Facebook and Instagram, it’s time to make it ‘blog official’ and introduce the newest member of our little family – the delightful Thea.

The past couple of months have been an absolute blur of all kinds of weird, wonderful and (above all) memorable moments for our little family. Here are some highlights that spring to mind:

  • Finding out that we had a daughter after nine long months of wondering. My husband was absolutely mind blown – he was convinced we were having a little boy!
  • Bringing her home and spending a couple of weeks finding our feet together as a new family of three (well, five including the fur-babies!). Those first weeks at home were exhausting, but so special.
  • Watching as her personality develops and she learns new things every single day.  Thea’s such a happy little critter who loves music, watching lights move and the cats. She started rolling a couple of weeks ago too – such a proud Mama moment!
  • All those baby smiles. They make my heart burst every single time.

The lovely Laura and Grant from L&G Images popped over when Thea was just one week old and took some beautiful snaps for us – here’s a peek at some of my favourites.

This is Thea.

Meet-Thea

All the beautiful photos in this post were taken by Laura and Grant Images

Ringing in 2017

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It may be a few weeks behind schedule, but High Tea with Dragons is officially back in action for the New Year – whoop!

As you may have seen over on my Facebook page, 2017 is a pretty big one for our little family – we’ll be welcoming a new (less furry) member of the family in June. We’re super excited, a little nervous and are trying to get the furbabies used to the idea of being a big brother and sister.

Hopefully that explains why things have been a little quieter around here over the past few months – it’s pretty hard motivating yourself to bake and blog when you can barely keep down a cracker! Thankfully, the rough first-trimester is well and truly behind us and we’re really enjoying the notoriously nice second-trimester.

After finally shaking the morning sickness in early January, we headed to Rarotonga on a babymoon to give ourselves a chance to really relax and enjoy some time together. We had such a beautiful week away and have arrived home rearing to go – albeit at a slightly slower pace then we’re used to (for me, at least).

Now that we’re back into the swing of normal life, I’ll be back on the blog sharing new recipes and ideas with you nice and often. In fact, keep an eye out later this week for a rather beautiful cheesecake recipe – I’m sure you’re going to want to try that one!

Things you learn as a cat-mum

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There’s no denying that I am a self-confessed, over-the-top, doting cat-mum. Heading to the SPCA and welcoming not one, but two, fur babies into our family was without a doubt one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

As soon as you welcome a cat into your family, your world begins to change. Yip, there are the usual things you expect – the couch becomes slightly more crowded, any box left unsupervised will have a cat in it and they quickly become an important part of the family – but there are some other things that happen too.

The things you learn by being a cat-mum!

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Your cat has some weird quirks… which just help make it the cutest cat ever

Cats are big on personality! I know smoochy cats, chatty cats, aloof cats and cats like ours that think they’re people. But whatever type of cat you have, they’re bound to have a few unexpected quirks that just help make them even cuter. Take our cat, Hunter: he loves his cat cage! Any time we bring it out for a trip to the vets or the cattery, he springs right in and sits there ready to head off on the next adventure. If we leave it out, he’ll even curl up and go to sleep in it!

Forget selfies, your phone is full of one thing – cat pics!

90% of the photos on my phone are of our two cats, Hunter and Sybil. I’m sure it’s the same for any doting cat-mum – you just can’t help it, they’re just so darn cute! Whether they’re snoozing in a strange position, doing something a little bit cheeky or snuggly up on your knee, it’s always a good time to capture a cat-pic or two (hundred).

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You’ll buy them toys, but they’ll still choose a stick

When we first got cats, I always said they would have a few toys but nothing crazy – after all, who wants the house littered with cat toys? Two years later, dodging one of Hunter and Sybil’s two (yip, two!) cat tunnels and tidying away their many toys is just part of everyday life. And yet, even with so many toy options, we’ll still find them playing with sticks, boxes and paper bags… go figure!

Cats know the house rules – and love to break them

No cats on the bench. No cats on the table. Definitely no cats on the mantelpiece. Yeah, as you can see, these rules can be a little hard to enforce – especially when their cheekiness is actually really cute, so you have to get a photo first… you know, as evidence. Cats love to test the limits – and sprint off in a rush of adrenaline when you sharply tell them to get down!

 

Cats eat, sleep and play… so you have to get the food right!

Food is a big part of a cat’s life, so you’ve got to get it right – and cat-mums quickly learn that not all cat food is created equal. You want your cat to have the very best – the best nutrition and taste, right? That’s where Fancy Feast comes in.

Their single serve Inspirations range is a real winner in our house – for both me and the cats! Not only are they super easy to dish up (I hate getting cat meat on my hands or the bench!), but the cats absolutely devour it. Every. Single Night. Like all discerning cats, they each have their favourites – Sybil loves Fancy Feast’s sliced chicken in broth, while Hunter is all about the tuna with courgette and whole grain rice. So gourmet!

 

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Thanks to the lovely team at Fancy Feast, I have a wonderful Fancy Feast Christmas Pack (worth $65) PLUS a $100 Animates voucher to giveaway to one lucky reader and their fur-baby!

To enter, simply comment below and let me know one thing you’ve learned since welcoming your feline friend into your family. Bonus points if you share a cat-pic too – let’s be honest, your phone is full of them!

Entries close at 11.59pm Sunday 11 December and the winner will be drawn at random on Monday 12 December. Winner must make contact within 3 business days or they will forfeit the prize and a new winner will be drawn. Due to timings, Fancy Feast Christmas pack may be received after Christmas. Sorry – this giveaway is only open to New Zealand residents.

This post was made possible thanks to Fancy Feast. All words, photos and opinions are, and always will be, my own.  

Make your cat fall in love with the cattery

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We’re heading off overseas for a month later this year which means one thing – our fur babies, Hunter and Sybil, will be enjoying a holiday of their own as they spend four weeks at a countryside retreat (aka. the cattery).

Whether you’re heading away for a week or a month, it’s never easy leaving your fur-babies behind – there’s usually a bit of crying when we drop Hunter and Sybil off for their little holiday… and it’s definitely not coming from them!

But luckily there are things you can do to help ease that separation. Here are my top five tips to help make your time apart as pain-free as possible – for both of you!

  1. Bedding:

Whether you’re a cat or human, there’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed. Pack your cat’s favourite sleeping spot with them for their holiday – we have little cushions that both Hunter and Sybil have loved sleeping on since they were babies. Don’t have one? Buy a bed or blanket the month before you head away and pop it in their favourite sleeping spot so they’re used to it and it smells like home by the time you jet off.

  1. Keep in touch

Don’t be afraid to ask your cattery to send you photos of your fur baby while you’re away. Many catteries will be happy to send you photo updates on how your cat is enjoying their holiday – all you need to do is ask! When Hunter and Sybil spent four weeks at the cattery last year, the lovely team sent us little photo collages every Friday morning – it was always a real treat to wake up to on the other side of the world and definitely made our time apart that little bit easier. Here’s a peek at some of the photos we were sent – awesome, huh?

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  1. Stay warm

Heading away in winter? Then don’t forget a blanket (or two!) for your cat. You can even cut up an old dressing gown or blanket you know your cat loves and use that. Think about investing in a cat-safe heat pad – your cat will love it! These clever little pads just need 10 minutes in the microwave to stay warm for up to eight hours – they’re the perfect solution for those chilly winter nights. We all know how much cats love lounging in front of the fire, heater or on a nice warm bed – let them bring this little luxury with them.

  1. Feed them well

Just because you’re away doesn’t mean your cat should give up on the things it loves – that includes their favourite food! Most catteries are more than happy to let you bring in your cat’s favourite food for them to enjoy during their stay – after all, they want them to stay happy and healthy as much as you do. Fancy Feast makes catering to your cat’s special tastes easy while making their holiday that little bit more luxurious. We’ll be sending Hunter and Sybil off with a stash of their favourite Fancy Feast pouches and cans again this time – they’re single serve, which makes it super easy for the cattery, and you can rest-easy knowing that your fur baby is eating well.

  1. Kick-off the holiday early

Rather than dropping your cat off when you’re in a rush to head away yourself, let them start their holiday earlier – it means less stress for both of you! They won’t have the stress of seeing you pack (and you won’t be bothered by the cat constantly sitting in your half-packed bag) and you’ll be in a better frame of mind to settle them into their home away from home. Remember, it’s not forever!

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Is your cat feeling the winter chill?

Thanks to the lovely team at Fancy Feast I have an awesome cat-safe heatpad to give away to one lucky person. These heatpads are filled with a clever gel that holds the heat for up to 10 hours – and your cat can’t chew through them!

To be in to win, simply leave a comment below and let me know how you’re keeping your cat cosy this winter. Bonus points if you share a photo of your beautiful fur baby too!

This post (and Hunter and Sybil’s holiday diet) was made possible thanks to Fancy Feast. All comments and photos are, and always will be, my own.

Entries close 11.59pm Monday 8 August. The winners will be chosen at random and notified on Tuesday 9 August. Each winner must make contact within 3 business days or they’ll forfeit the prize and a new winner will be drawn. Sorry – this giveaway is only open to New Zealand residents.

Three ways to make entertaining a cinch

This time of year is all about entertaining and barbeques are my absolute go-to. I love nothing more than throwing open the French doors on a warm summer evening, throwing some food on the BBQ and catching up with friends and family.

It sounds pretty good right? The only trouble is the planning – before you know it even the simplest get-together can become a complicated web of planning, cooking and shopping. Suddenly it’s not simple the easy summer evening you envisaged.

Luckily I have a few tricks up my sleeve that help making hosting summer get-togethers a total cinch – no more complicated drinks to prepare, mounds of dishes to wash and dry in the morning or time consuming desserts to whip up (woohoo!)

Hands up if that sounds amazing… yip, I thought so. Here are three ways to help make summer entertaining an absolute breeze.

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Falling in Love with Ginger

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As you may have seen in Monday’s post, Kevin and I had a pretty exciting weekend – we adopted two gorgeous kittens from the SPCA! Both of us absolutely love animals and have been hanging out to welcome cats into our family for quite some time, but we never lived in a house where they were allowed.

After Norm’s passing in early April our home was feeling pretty empty, then we bought the house and were finally in a position to welcome some larger furry friends into the family – it’s fair to say we were pretty excited!

Bright and early on Saturday morning we headed over to the SPCA to find our new furbabies. Despite there being plenty of cats and kittens to choose from, it didn’t take long for us to find our babies – they were energetic, friendly and cuddly; the perfect fit for our family!

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Our Next Adventure

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Right from the start Kevin and I knew 2014 was going to be a year to remember – how could it not be with our wedding kicking things off back in January?

While on honeymoon we spent quite a bit of time lounging in the sun dreaming up where life would take us over the year to come. We were tossing up two pretty big decisions – go on a big trip to Europe, or buy our first home.

It wasn’t a quick decision – some of our very best friends are now living in the UK and we desperately want to visit them (and tick a few things off the life list!), but we equally wanted to buy a home of our own and begin building our life as a married couple in our very own space.

Well, after all this deliberation I have some rather exciting news that I can’t wait to share with you…

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Must-visit: Hobsonville Point Farmers Market

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One of my favourite things to do at the weekend is jump in the car and head to a local market – whether it’s packed with trinkets, crafts or food, I can spend hours pouring over the stalls and trying to differentiate ‘want’ and ‘need’ as I meander down the aisles.

Much of next weekend will be spent supporting my husband at a Crossfit competition (he is obsessed!), so he decided it was only fair that part of last weekend was spent doing something I loved – so off to the markets we went!

After spotting a comment on Instagram from someone saying how great the Hobsonville Point Farmers Markets are, we blocked out Sunday morning, stashed some cash in our wallets and headed over.

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