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With a blink of an eye, we are now into 2022

So here I am again telling you what we have been up to at A Deer Cottage. Leading up to Christmas I was busy with lots of crafts and outdoor projects, and as Auckland was still in a lockdown situation until the 15th December we had to stay put until we were allowed to leave Auckland. As a family, we were looking forward to having our youngest daughter up from Wellington, and heading up to spend Christmas Day at our holiday bach in the pretty spot Bland Bay, having three of our four children all in the one place is always pretty precious.

Christmas Day for us was loads of fun, and had a lovely relaxed vibe, with our youngest son acting as Santa Claus, and a menu organised by our eldest daughter, we were all full of yummy food, thoughtful presents, skyping our eldest son and his wife in Japan, playing a board game, this all bought laughs and "feel good" memories for us all.

I spent the holiday soaking up the sunshine, and reading two brilliant books I was given for Christmas, these books I would absolutely highly recommend, "Healthy Kelsi" a plant based recipe book from my girlfriend Niki, this recipe book is a huge success for me, the meals, salads, snacks, breakfasts, are easy, with readily available ingredients, and so delicious, an absolute hit with us! I like that the author Kelsi Boocock is a local, young New Zealand woman who loves the healthy lifestyle with a twist.

My other book was given to me from my son Lachlan in Japan, and called "The Joy of Gardening" by Lynda Hallinan, also a New Zealander, I knew as soon as I read the extract "gardens teach us to live in the moment. They nourish us, provide solace in grief and offer sanctuary from the stresses of modern life" I was hooked. This beautiful book has gorgeous colour plates, and captivating stories, I could quickly relate to how I feel about gardening, I know I have joy remembering my mother for the same reasons, we both loved our garden. I have roses that originated from mum and my great granny's garden, these roses I have lovingly transplanted from house to house.

I am generally not one to sit still even on holiday, so it wasn't long before I was looking at something to do other than relaxing. Our family bach had not been painted in such a long time, probably at least 20 years I decided to get cracking and spent 3 days giving it a new lease of life, the soffits will have to wait until another wee break away.

My grandfather was very forward thinking and in the early 60's when he built his home, he added an outdoor shower, my granny was very creative, she made beautiful shell tables, she also designed and had the fireplace built, the exterior surfaces of the fireplace she covered with beautiful stones, these stones had previously been bought up to the Bay of Islands in their launch Waihora from the Coromandel. (see the slideshow for photos)

Once back in Auckland, after our lovely break away, I wasn't quite ready to get back into clearing gorse from one of our paddocks, and as the weather has been very hot, it was far too difficult to do any strenuous work outside anyway. We had been told by our eldest son, that he and his wife were expecting our first grandchild, and as they live in Japan, our son had asked us to look out for anything with a kiwi theme, I started thinking about what I could sew..... I had some lovely seersucker fabric, a pink & white cotton sheet along with some embroidery threads that were my late mum's, I designed a panel of kiwi and deer and transposed a pattern onto the cotton sheet, and embroidered my design. I enlarged a pattern of a romper suit from a book I had, and lovingly set to work to create this romper suit, I even hand covered the little buttons on the back, I am really thrilled with the end result and wish I was a "fly on the wall" when my son and his wife open the package, such an exciting time for us all. (check out the slideshow photos).

In my December blog/newsletter issue I interviewed Fiona and Al from The Essential Garden in Puhoi, I went along and did one of their soft sculpture day courses, and had a wonderful time, so much so, that my husband and I decided we would like to do one of their Herbal Skincare workshops, where Al once again hosted a magnificent day, we learnt about healing properties of infused herbs and essential oils and how to make some wonderful products to take home. We met four other lovely people who were also enrolled to do the workshop, we made natural mosquito repellents, anti itch creams, body butters and moisturisers, our day was broken up with a lovely tour through their garden and a yummy lunch. We both had such an enjoyable time, and all of this only 30 minutes from Kaukapakapa and A Deer Cottage.

If you would like to learn more about "The Essential Garden" and what they offer you can find them on Facebook, Instagram @essentialgardennz or you can email them at: or telephone: 09 421 0730.

Last weekend we had guests staying that were attending a wedding at Waterfall Farm, we offer to drop guests off and pick them up when they stay at A Deer Cottage, this was the first time the guests had left their children overnight, they were apprehensive, however they had such a lovely time at the wedding, and I was thrilled they also had a memorable stay at A Deer Cottage, they wrote such a lovely review, if you would like to read their review or any of the other fantastic reviews click here.

At A Deer Cottage we offer a 10% discount for 2 or more nights stay, if you would like to book your stay or find out what we offer at A Deer Cottage, click here.

I hope you all have a wonderful 2022, that is happy & carefree, and you have many moments of rest and relaxation. Until next time with aroha, Angela & Te Kani 🦌❤️🦌

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