March 16, 2012

Work - Life - Balance

March 17.

We have officially been in our new home for 2 really feels like we have been here a lot longer. I guess having 5 weeks off work allows you to focus on your goals without distraction.
Working at Auckland Zoo is for me a joy, I get to focus on people and relationships which has always been my passion. It's always a great conversation starter when people ask where you work?..the Zoo has a fantastic reputation for it's efforts towards conservation and  is very popular with the Auckland community.
Throughout our time off we realised that it was too easy to immerse ourselves in work and give much less of ourselves to everything else outside of it. It is our goal to maintain our love of work whilst being aware of this balance, so far it's going well and work feels good, I'm not sure yet if it's because we are better balanced in our home life or that we have just returned...either way, and as the saying goes "if it feels good, keep doing it'"

Some update on life at the Cottage:

Jenny - Ivy and Lucy
The girls are developing in size, confidence, agility, speed, greed and personality. The most significant and obvious development is in hierarchy and it doesn't get any better than this image .     

Week 1 saw an even playing field and the girls just hung out eating and sleeping. The next few weeks would reveal the boss.
Even an old chair gives way to dominance.. Jenny claimed top spot with Ivy happy in the middle and little Lucy accepting her place.I'm predicting another couple of weeks before Franny and Annie are challenged for top spot..gulp! 
                       Remember week 1 ?
Veg Garden update:

A great Scottish term meaning - it couldn't get any better is "Pure dead brilliant" and that's exactly what our wee garden is looking and tasting like.. our sweetcorn is growing nicely, beetroot is blooming and our lettuce is already good enough to eat and boy can you taste the difference or what?

What a 'Peach'
We planted our first trees today. We received a couple of peach trees from our fencer chap Ralph and decided today was the day to begin our fruit tree population..we have been researching the best fruit trees, shelter trees and shrubs for our soil and area. We have several local contacts  for all that we require this space. 

This weeks Baking: 

"Ladysmith Cake"


  • 175 g butter softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Edmonds plain baking flour
  • 1 teaspoon Edmonds baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts


  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  • In a separate bowl beat eggs until thick
  • Sift flour and baking powder together
  • Add to creamed mixture alternately with the eggs
  • Transfer one-third of the mixture to a bowl
  • Stir in cinnamon
  • Reserve remaining mixture
  • Spoon cinnamon mixture into a greased and lined 18 cm square cake tin
  • Spread surface with raspberry jam
  • Top with reserved mixture
  • Sprinkle the top with chopped nuts
  • Bake at 180°C for 50 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched
  • Leave in tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

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