Spongedrop Cakery

My summer holiday was long and filled with many adventures in the Bay of Plenty and Auckland….it’s was absolutely fantastic to discover some new little gems of places.   I have to say Spongedrop is my new fav place to visit at Mt Maunganui,  I dropped in three times over the course of the summer. Spongedrop is new to the Mount cafe scene, with their roots in the Little Big Markets, they have recently made the leap to a permanent location.

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The cabinet at Spongedrop Cakery looking a little bare…awaiting fresh delights.

Spongedrop Cakery is on Salisbury Avenue in the former information centre (right beside the public toilets). The cakery is delightfully and simply decorated with a modern classic look, with gorgeous wee touches like fresh posies on each table. There are just three wee tables inside and a couple outside, but if it’s busy you can grab one of the picnic blankets and set yourselves up on the adjoining park lawn.

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Mini Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Along with an amazing array of fresh mouthwatering cupcakes and delightful macarons, they serve a fabulous raw chocolate caramel slice.  All individual little masterpieces reflecting their passion for good quality food made with love.   Not only are there all the fabulous sweet treats, Cassie the barista makes almost the best long black I’ve ever drank. And definitely, the best I have had outside of Wellington. Of course, I have to mention the coffee they serve is the fabulous Wellington roasted Coffee Supreme.

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Delightful Posies add cheerful touches to the tables

Danielle and team have created a delightful wee cafe, that is well worth a visit!!! Keep it up ladies, I’m looking forward to visiting again next time I’m in town.

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See the coffee was good!

I have not been recompensed in any form for this review, it is entirely my own views of a delightful holiday find.

Summer, oh how I love it!

Summer is my season, no doubt about it…I find this is the season I have energy, it fills my soul and speaks to my heart.  I am definitely a summer person, but I’m not really fond of the beach.  Having grown up in the south of France, I love warm weather and sunshine, it makes my heart sing! I love the sound of Cicadas, the deep purples of lavender and long evenings.  What can I say, there is just something about Summer. This Summer, I have for the first time had a really fantastic camera which I have loved using to capture some moments as we soak up Summer.  We were privileged to be able to have quite an extended holiday and to enjoy this wonderful country we live in.

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I really feel like the Cicada’s song is the way my heart responds to summer.  Leaping with joy in celebration while soaking up the rays. I’m not  one to sit and sunbathe, I would rather be out climbing hills and appreciating the nature around me, God’s creation is amazing and what better time to appreciate it than in the full glory of sunlight that draws the best colours out.

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Another sound of Summer I love is the incredible birdsong, what a gift and privilege it is to hear birds happy and playful calls, as the flutter about doing what birds do…catching bugs and playing chase.  I like to think they are singing their own song of praise to God.  Thanking him for all he has blessed them with.

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Flowers also make summer special, particularly Hydrangeas.  I love how so many little flowers make up one gorgeous large flower.  I love the diversity in colours and how through soil changes (and fertiliser) we can alter their colours.  I have seen Hydrangeas this summer in the classic blues and pinks and intense deep purples.

I have to say it again, I quite simply love summer.   Is there a particular season that makes your heart sing?  Is it winter when you can curl up on the couch with a good book? Autumn when you can go out and kick up the fallen leaves? Dancing in the spring daffodils?

Un Petit Peu Francais – A Little Bit French

Bonjour!

In our house, we do birthday parties, every birthday until the children turn ten, then it is a friend or maybe two for dinner/dvd. My little mademoiselle decided in order to celebrate her 10th, she needed to celebrate in style with a french themed dinner party. Being the obliging Maman that I am, it didn’t feel too far fetched to achieve.

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I own a raclette machine, a what I hear you say?  Raclette is a traditional french meal revolving around melting Raclette cheese and pouring it over potatoes, saucisson (salami), ham, cornichons, pickled onions and bread. It’s a delicious, fun and interactive meal, which requires all participants to over see the melting/cooking of their cheese.  While we can buy Raclette cheese here in New Zealand, it is relatively pricey and is a little pungent for younger palettes.  Edam has a very similar fat content and makes a suitable replacement as it melts beautifully. Raclette is one of those meals that gives maximum effect for minimum effort and can easily be tailored to a variety of fussy eaters. Always fun for kids because they can get involved.

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Knowing I can do macarons and eclairs sans beaucoup d’effort, for dessert, mademoiselle ordered up petit fours. My oven can be a little dodgy at times (hanging out for my new kitchen and appliances).  Thankfully the oven behaved on the day of the baking of macarons and eclairs, however it did not when it came to cooking le gateau. Merci, Moore Wilsons for saving the day on the gateau front.  I managed to brush the bought gateau off as being quintessentially francais, as after all that is what most french mamans would do!

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Thanks to Oncle Sam who lives in France, we were able to include some real french sweets in little bags to send home with the wonderful friends who came to celebrate.  Mademoiselle is now in double digits and this means no more big parties until her brother turns a rather significant number.

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My heart breaks

I firmly believe in Proverbs 22:6 – Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. This does not mean to say children will not deviate from what you teach, in reaching their own conclusions. At the moment, it seems in every direction I look, friends who are parenting teens are struggling.  I praise God, for those who are parenting in Faith, seeking His will and direction and I am praying for them.  I am also praying for my precious friends who do not know Jesus and have teens who are struggling with life.  My heart breaks to see dear friends hearts broken by and for children hurtling towards adulthood and who are seeking to find their own way in this crazy world.

My oldest is 11 and I’m not there yet! I see what’s going on in my friendship circles and I pray for my children.  I pray they come to love the Lord as their personal Lord and Saviour.  I pray we will not have the same bumpy road. I’m watching closely how my friends handle situations and take mental notes.

An amazing friend called this afternoon to ask if she could come for a coffee. My front door is always open to friends, I love to sit, drink coffee, and hear the stories of what is going on in friends lives. It’s important to listen, sometimes people just need to talk. I knew this friend had been struggling this year to “control” her 16 year old son, when I say control, I do not mean live his life for him, just steer him in the direction she and her husband would rather see him go.  He’s got himself embroiled in an interesting crowd, and it is all about keeping up with the joneses, doing as his mates will do, experimenting with all those things young people often like to experiment with and certainly, not questioning every move with “What would Jesus do?”. My heart breaks for this family, as they do battle with the enemy. An enemy who seems to be prowling like a roaring lion, a thief in the night and robbing them of life. This precious friend has only been in my life a short time, but what a deep impact she has made in my life, her honesty and straight upness speak volumes, my heart broke for her.

As we sat, enjoying the glorious sunshine, she started the conversation by saying she had something to tell me and no, she’s no pregnant. That’s her special sense of humour, she then went on and  spilt her heart out, her heartbreak, her hopes and dreams for her eldest, currently dashed, as her darling first born is fumbling and making poor choices in life. As a result of this and much soul searching, seeking God and wise counsel, they have decided that just like the shepherd in the parable of the lost sheep, they must go after him and consequently move church. The rest of the family is struggling with the decision, but they know, that the one matters to God.

My heart is heavy to see this family move on, but as we so often say, God seems to ask us to send the best away.  While our church is sizeable, this dear child does not seem to have made friends and connected with those who know Christ.  They’re off in search of a peer group of young men, who will encourage their son in his walk, intentionally encourage him to build in his relationship with God. My friend feels this indeed is their last opportunity to follow through on the instruction from Proverbs 22:6, in guiding his path as they would desire to see him go.

You matter to God, he sent his Son to die so that each and every one of us can have Eternal life.  No one needs to be good enough for Him, we need simply to acknowledge we are sinners and invite Christ into our life.

John 14:6 says

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Ephesians 2:8 says

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God