Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Study

I have a bowl of hot buttery popcorn, a steaming mug of sweet coffee, candles lit and peace and quiet. I'm settling in for a good few hours of studying.
Bring it on essay!

via here


From me, with love. x

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

With Love From the Bottom of the World

So it has been a long, long time....
Over 4 months.
Ouch.

BUT, I am back. All be it blogging from the opposite end of the earth, but back none the less and bringing news of life and adventures from down here in little old New Zealand.
That's right folks, Joe and I have made it across to the other side of the world and are throwing ourselves into our new lives over here with enthusiasm.

Don't you want to hear all about it?! Becasue serisouly, I could write pages on this move.
Maybe I should just keep it short and sweet for the moment and fill you in little bits at the time. Deal.

So, leaving was sad. Sad, sad, sad. So many tears I tell ya! But I guess that was to be expected. Arrived in Wellington around midday, and totally crashed from exhaustion. Slept like two little babies.
Got to see my parents the next day though! They came over from Nelson for the weekend and we played tourist for a couple of days and ate out ALOT.


D-rock, Me, Mumma @ Lyall Bay
 We also went to Nelson for a weekend to see the rest of the fam before getting stuck right into flat hunting in our new home city.
Well, we found our wee home within a week and are totally in LOVE with it. It is so cute and right between University and the city (5minute walk to each). We have an amaaaazing view of the harbour from our bedroom and a beautiful park right out our front door. It is honestly perfect. It isn't very big but I like to think it is just the right size for the two of us.

Wellington Harbour
I'd also like to point out that the above photo was taken mid-winter...! I like to tell everyone that Wellington is like that all year round but anyone who has been here would see straight through that one. In fact, a week after that photo was taken, we had snow. And in the between days, it was so windy I worried we might get blown off the hill. Oh the weather we get here! Keeps it interesting though right?!

So as you can see, all is well and we are settling in nicely. There is so much more to tell, especially about University, work, and my favourite place to buy fish! But I will save those for another day (maybe even tomorrow?!).

Must get back to my assignment that is due on Monday and start cooking dinner for Joe (he is busy at work today). Pad Thai with tofu tonight, will let you know how it goes.

I will leave you with my favourite tune of the moment, take a listen, it is so catchy!


From me, with love. x

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Ergh

Today I wish I could just curl up like this...


Hayfever has hit hard - welcome runny nose, weepy eyes. 
Work is crazy busy.
I am just so very very tired.

Oh and we still have no internet at home - hence lack of posts. Bummer.
Hope you'r not missing me too much? I miss you!
Don't worry, I will be back as soon as possible.

From me, with love. x

Friday, 8 April 2011

Yippee Yippee Hooray

It's the weekend and a beautiful, beautiful day!
I am computer-less all weekend and was not organised enough to sort out timed posts so you will have to wait patiently for me to post again next week! I will then tell you all about the dinner party I threw, my bbq for 2 and what happened on a girly night in.
Hope you all have FABULOUS weekend.


From me, with love. x

Thursday, 7 April 2011

So You Sew?

Let me be honest, I really am not the most crafty of people. I love the idea of it and even though my Mumma is craftess extrondonaire, none of her sweet talent seemed to get passed to me. Or at least I haven't discovered it yet.
Since becoming addicted to reading blogs I have come across so many amazingly talented people who can whip up a dress here, alter a funky old tee to make it cute, make gorgeous headbands and purses, re-cover sofa's and cushions, paint stunning pictures and honestly I am in awe! I am so inspired by all you creative people out there and I am determined to discover my creative side too!
So, exciting news - over the last couple of months my thoughts have been preoccupied by sewing. Everytime I see something gorgeous in a shop, I wonder how I would go about making it, and I am super amped to get started. I even found this cute little 'teach yourself to sew book'! I discovered it here...

Sweet or what?! So my plan is to buy a sewing machine as soon as I get to NZ and get learning.

But tell me...do you have any good sewing tips? How did you learn? Do you know of any good references (books/websites/people!). I would love to know how you got into sewing! I am so excited, and hopefully soon I will be able to share with you some of my very own creations.

From me, with love. x

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Tuesday Loves

1. Glee


Seriously, how had I not seen an episode until last month? I have to say I am totally hooked now, I just can't get enough of it. Is that sad? A little? Nevermind...

2. Travel Mug


This Save Our Animal Planet travel mug from ModCloth (again, only recently discovered this site!) is totally adorable. I love it and wish I drank more coffee to justify buying. Wouldn't it just brighten your morning drinking from this bad boy? And if you regularly get take-away coffee, this is a fantastic way to do your bit for the environment.

3. Spring


I love it that Spring is starting to show, although today is grey, windy and cold. I am really looking forward to wearing sweet summer dresses and being able to lounge about in the sun a little. 

4. Teepees


Seeing as Spring isn't quite here and it still can be a little miserable outside, I would be perfectly happy to curl up in a little hideaway like this for a few hours.

5. Cooking


I'm really making the most of cooking just for Joe and I at the moment and am totally loving it. I get a little obsessed with planning meals and can spend hours browsing recipe books and searching for ideas on the internet. I find cooking a great way to de-stress and there is nothing more satisfying than taking a handful of ingredients and turning them into something delicious. On our menu this week we have a great combination of vegetarian and meaty (although we are trying to cut down our meat intake), and we are hosting a dinner party for some friends on Thursday night!

From me, with love. x


Saturday, 2 April 2011

Breakfast Fit For A Queen

One of the things I wanted to do while the house was a little emptier was make some knock-out breakfasts. I love cereal, but if I could, I would have some sort of cooked every morning. Mmmmm.
My favourite of all breakfasts is Eggs Benedict and I am always on the lookout for restaurants who have it on their menu. While I love eating brekkie out (so totally indulgent and decadent!) I also love to cook and I have always been pretty keen to try my hand at making my own Eggs Benedict but the one thing that put me off, was making the hollandaise sauce which I've always been told is pretty difficult. So I figured that an empty house was probably the safest and calmest place I could attempt it.
With Joe on standby ready to poach the eggs and butter the muffins I looked up a recipe and got my ingredients together.
And I totally nailed it! No big deal.
I used this Delia Smith recipe for Hollandaise Sauce, toasted a couple of breakfast muffins, grilled some bacon and Joe poached the eggs. Oh and I completely forgot to take any photos, guess I'll just have to make it again next weekend, pity.


Apart from an impressive breakfast, my Saturday is going to be pretty quiet I think. Joe is feeling a little worse for wear after a few drinks with workmates last night and the weather is pretty grey, so we are going to snuggle up on the sofa and watch some football.
Oh and tonight, we are going to attempt this amazing looking Antonio Carluccio Bolognese. Fingers crossed we get some photo's this time!
Hope you are all having wonderful Saturdays.

From me, with love. x

Friday, 1 April 2011

An Indoor Picnic

The first evening of our 'holiday' was perfect.
A picnic of tapas for dinner with red wine and music. We ate olives, smoked salmon pate, crusty bread, cheese and a simple salad. Totally delicious. Joe thought it would have been even more perfect if we were sitting outside on a balcony, over looking a beautiful city, with a warm summers breeze blowing. I have to say, I couldn't agree more.
Here's to picnic dinners inside and out.


From me, with love. x

Thursday, 31 March 2011

A Funny Kinda Holiday

As I am sure many of you already know, since getting back from my AMAZING holiday in New Zealand last April, Joe and I have been living at his parents house in England. 
Honestly, it has been pretty amazing. 
They have been so kind and generous and it has meant being able to save a whole lot of money (ready for our big move). It's been heaps of fun too! Family is really important to me so being able to get to know Joe's family so well has been pretty cool. We have a lot of big family meals, with wine and music and occasional board game sessions! (I am such a Scrabble geek...)
One thing I will say though, is that the house if full to the brim with people. There's Mum, Dad, Joe, Big Sister, Little Brother (although he has moved out now) and Me. Pretty full huh?
SO, the fact that Joe's parents are going away for 2 weeks, feels kind of like a strange holiday.
I definitely don't mean that in a nasty way! It's just that Joe and I have been living together for over 2 years now and for 18 months of that time it has either been with his family or my family, so getting 2 weeks to ourselves is pretty rare.

I plan on having:
- a lot of cute loved up dinners for two, maybe with candles, definitely with wine
- lazy breakfasts in bed, I'm very keen for pancakes and eggs benedict!
- duvet days watching movies on the sofa together
- dinner parties with friends
-a few girly evenings with bubble baths and face masks


Sounds like a pretty good stay at home (still going to work) holiday to me!

Have you ever lived with someone else's family? Do you still live with your family? How do you enjoy time to yourself?

From me, with love. x



Tuesday, 29 March 2011

It's Been A While...

Hi lovelies!
I can't believe it has been over 2 months since my last post. That's kind of embarrassing!
No time like the present to get back into it though right?
When I think about 2 months, it feels like a really long time, but in reality, these last 2 months have absolutely flown by. And its kind of scary, do you know why? Because in 2 months time, I will be jumping on a plane and heading across the world, Joe by my side, and settling into a new life and routine back home in New Zealand. I really can't believe how quickly this has come around. When I first started blogging, it was August of last year and it felt like forever until we would be moving. We were still filling in paperwork for Joe's residence permit, and hadn't even looked at flights. Now here we are, 8 months later, finalising details, sorting out accomodation, applying for university courses, and planning leaving parties for friends and family.

Overwhelming? YOU BET! 
Excited? More than you could begin to imagine. 
Terrifying? Yeah, a little.

The hard thing is, the last 8 months have been the best months I have spent in the UK. Crazy I know. I have finally found a wonderful group of girl-friends, I am loving playing netball again, my job is pretty good, I have a lovely boyfriend and I just feel on top of the world. So part of me keeps thinking,

"What am I doing? Why would I take myself out of this situation? I'm having so much fun!"

I just have to remember that while these friends are wonderful, there will be more amazing people to meet on my next adventure, and just because I am leaving England, doesn't mean I am leaving these people forever. 
It may have taken me 4 years to take myself out of my comfort zone (lounging about at home is a pretty safe hideout you know!) but now that I know I can do it, hopefully next time round it wont take me quite as long. 

Some of the Hoopers!


And honestly, this is going to be one crazy, exciting, adventure! Not only are there new people to meet but new restaurants to try, bands to discover, cafes to lounge in, parks to visit, museums to explore, bookshops to browse...seriously, I can't freaking wait!

BRING IT ON NEW ZEALAND





From me, with love. x



Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Day 4: A Favourite TV Programme

Okay, so I only managed 3 days of the challenge before missing a day, that's pretty hopeless huh?
I could give you all sorts of excuses, but honestly, none of them are very exciting, so I'll just get back to it today.

This is an interesting question for me, I have a bit of a love hate relationship with the TV. 
While I was growing up, from the age of about 5, my family didn't have a TV. My parent's felt that there were other ways that we should be entertaining ourselves, especially in the summer and would put the TV away for the summer months and only bring it out again in the winter. One winters day (when I was still pretty young), someone broke into our home and stole the TV, and my parents decided not to replace it. 
Not having a TV didn't ever really bother me. We were lucky enough to be growing up in a beautiful country, that had amazing weather (most of the time) and when the weather wasn't so good I could always find something to do. Not having a TV definitely helped fuel my love of reading and I know that if we had had one, I would have been distracted no end. The only time I felt like I was really missing out, was when I first started high school and all my friends would chat about what they had watched the night before and have a good gossip. This really wasn't a big deal, and I got over it pretty quickly.


Now that I am a grown up things are slightly different...
Living with the BF's family means having a TV again, and not just one in the living room, one in the bedroom as well! (I was always a little shocked and envious as a child, of my friends who had TV's in their bedrooms) This is where the love/hate starts...I have found that most evenings I switch on the TV and can easily blob infront of any old programme, for 1, 2 or even 3 hours. Before I know it, it's bedtime and I have done nothing all evening but watch TV, and usually not very interesting TV either.
So I have gone from being a TV free gal, to one who turns into a vegetable infront of one, 4 nights a week.
Okay, so sometimes I watch programmes that I actually really enjoy, and I really love watching sports on the weekend with the BF, but my problem seems to be that I turn it on whenever I'm bored, it's just too easy to switch it on and let my mind go a little mushy. I realise that having a little more willpower would solve my wee dilema but it's the same story over and over again - TV on, evening wasted.

I've told the BF that when we get our own place, there will be no TV.
All I can say about that is...I won't be getting my own way.

I have to admit, that over the last couple of months, I have really tried hard not to watch TV if there isn't something I really want to watch on, and I've been doing pretty well. There's still the occasional night when I really am too exhausted to do anything else but I no longer feel so bad about it, knowing that I have been filling the rest of my evenings with other things.

SO, now that you have read my little rant, I'm sure you are all dying to know what programme (if any) I would choose as my favourite...

The Mentalist - easy winner.
Patrick Jane is just such a dude! I love this programme, I love the dynamic of the team, I love Jane's style and they was he is so laid back, I love that he is always (subtley) looking for revenge, I love the way Lisbon gets so mad at his attitude, but almsot always lets him get away with it, I love how blunt Cho is, and the chemistry between Van Pelt and Rigsby. It's perfect! Did I mention I think he is a little gorgeous?


Runner-up would be almost any food show/cooking programme.
At the moment I am totally loving River Cottage, any Jamie Oliver, Hugh's Fish Fight, and Nigella Kitchen.

What about you? What are your favourite programmes? Are you a TV lover/hater? Can you manage your TV consumption? (If so, am very keen to hear your tips!)
From me, with love. x






Monday, 17 January 2011

Day 3: A Favourite Book

I am a total bookworm. Fact.
And because of that, choosing a favourite book is kind of a tough one.
I have so many favourite fiction books that I really, truely can't just pick one. 
So, I'm not going to pick any.
Instead, I'm going to go for a recipe book, that way it ties together my love of reading and my love of food. Honestly, if I am bored at home, I will read a recipe book from cover to cover, I love getting ideas for future meals, or organising imaginairy dinner parties in my head (they would be amazing...).
And now, you lucky, lucky people have the privilege of knowing my number one, go-to cook book for all occasions....


This woman is wonderful. Her recipes are easy to follow but still adventurous, her attitude is laid back and fun, and her food is so delicious! I always pick up this book, whether it's for a mid week easy dinner, for a fancy schmanzy romantic Saturday night in, or to impress your in-laws (or anyone for that matter!).
Her other recipe books equally exude her laid back New Zealand style, and titles like Savour the Pacific and The Free Range Cook, make me want to dive right in.
I really recommend trying one of her recipes, (her website has a few to choose from) and I have to say, her recipe for Thai Pumpkin Soup is the most perfect winter warmer.


From me, with love. x

p.s...Congratulations to Paris who won the goodies from LUSH.
Love giveaways? Watch this space...

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Day 2: A Favourite Movie

Now this is an easy one.
 As you may already know, I am totally head over heels, crazy about France and all things French. So it's only natural that my favourite film in the whole entire world is a beautiful Parisian love story.


Le fabuleux destin d'Amelie Poulin, or more commenly known as Amelie, is the story of Amelie Poulin, a young naive Parisian girl, who decides to devote her time to helping others. Along the way, she meets Nino, a shy, awkward, oddball and their love story quickly evolves.
Audrey Tautou plays Amelie perfectly, and I feel that Amelie's quirky nature and idiosyncrasies make her a truely lovable character.
It is hard not to have your heart warmed by this beautiful story.




From me, with love. x

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Day 1: A Favourite Song

Favourite song. That's a tricky one, I have so many I can't count!
However after much thought, and listening to my top 100, I think I'm going to have to go with a true Kiwi tune.
Fat Freddy's Drop to me are the epitimy of NZ music, and one of my all time favourite bands. They seem like such chilled out, down to earth guys and whenever I listen to their music I can picture myself chilling out on a beach or around campfire with friends. I've been lucky enough to see them twice live and both times they blew my mind.
So here's Boondigga...



From me, with love. x

Friday, 14 January 2011

A Thirty Day Challenge

So I was halfway through my morning blog reading session, and came to one of my favourites...
...and she had just posted about a new "Thirty Day Challenge" that she was about to start, and invited people to try the challenge with her. I thought this would be a great idea, as sometimes I need a bit of a push to get me writing/posting. I've never done one of these challenges before, and being the start of a new year, that I'm hoping to fill with lots of firsts, I thought I would give it a shot!
Here's what you do:

Day 1: A favorite song.
Day 2: A favorite movie.
Day 3: A favorite book.
Day 4: A favorite television program.
Day 5: A favorite quote.
Day 6: A moment you wish you could relive.
Day 7: Five things you couldn't possibly live without.
Day 8: A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life.
Day 9: A photo you took.
Day 10: A photo of you taken over ten years ago.
Day 11: A photo of you taken recently.
Day 12: A song that you want played at your wedding(or was played).
Day 13: A guilty pleasure.
Day 14: A vacation you would like to take.
Day 15: A person you admire.
Day 16: A song that makes you cry.
Day 17: An art piece.
Day 18: A time when you felt passionate and alive.
Day 19: A talent of yours.
Day 20: A hobby of yours.
Day 21: Something you know you do differently than most people.
Day 22: A website.
Day 23: A way in which you want to be remembered.
Day 24: A movie no one would expect you to love.
Day 25: A recipe.
Day 26: A childhood memory.
Day 27: A physical feature you love.
Day 28: A scar you have and it's story.
Day 29: Hopes, dreams and plans you have for the next 365 days.
Day 30: A motto or philosophy.
Some of these I think I will find easy, some not so easy but I am really looking forward to it! I also thought it would be a great way for all of my lovely readers to get a little insight into who I am and what makes me buzz.
Fancy joining in?

From me, with love. x

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Don't Forget the Giveaway!

For those of you who haven't entered, it's not too late!
Missed the memo? Check it out here.
Entries need to be in by the end of the day on Friday the 14th January.
Good luck lovelies!


From me, with love. x

Saturday, 8 January 2011

It's a GIVE-AWAY

See! I told you there would be a treat filled giveaway in the New Year. Do you remember why? 
Because I reached 50 followers! Yippee! 
Unfortunately since then, I lost a follower (ouch), BUT luckily for me and for those of you who fancy trying their luck today, I  gained a follower too, bringing me back to the big 50!
And so, I'm not going to dwell too much on what I could have done to keep that one particular follower (although blogging more regularly probably would help, lets face it), and instead I am going to treat you all to a new years giveaway.

What is it? Well that's a surprise!
All I will say is that it will be a fabulous box of goodies from the gorgeous store LUSH.

 
So, how to enter?
Leave a comment below. It's that easy.
Fancy a second entry? 
If you're a follower, feel free to leave a second comment for double the chance!

A random winner will be selected next Friday the 14th January.
Good luck!
From me, with love. x

p.s...
A HUGE thank you to all my lovely followers, I love getting your comments, and it makes my heart all warm and fuzzy knowing that there are 50 wonderful people out there, reading my blog. 
Thank you so much.




Friday, 7 January 2011

Dear 2011

Dear Jasmine Pearl tea,
You are delicious. It makes me so happy to drink you in the morning (and all day, lets be honest), and I love how your beautiful little pearls of tea unfurl. Thank you for being so yummy and sweet, and healthy too!


Thank you for reigniting my love for all things French, especially that beautiful language. You make learning fun and easy, and I can't wait to study some more this weekend.


Your Ultimate Muesli makes me want to jump up and down with joy. Packed full with 23 fantastic and healthy organic ingredients, is there a better way to start the day? No, didn't think so. You give me plenty of energy to do fun things and keep my tummy happily content until lunch time. No naughty snacks for me!


I have fallen in love with you. So much so that I biked to work in the rain this morning. That's gotta be true love right? I especially love the little bell that I can ring as I speed pass people walking along. You're a little muddy at the moment so this weekend it is bike wash time.


I am so excited about you I could burst. But I am also super nervous, and that makes me want to cry a little. I am nervous because I want the BF to be happy, and by taking him away from his family and moving him across to the otherside of the world, I worry that I will make him unhappy. Of course there will be tears all round when we leave but I hope that we can have an amazing time living in NZ none the less. He says he is excited (although he is sure he will be a little sad too), and I trust him with my whole being - but I am still a little scared.


Dear 2011,
I am so looking forward to the year ahead. I have so much to look forward to, like a weekend trip away with the BF in Feb, enrolling in University, moving back to NZ, flat hunting/job hunting/city exploring in Wellington, seeing my family for the first time in 1 year (and some cases 18months!), throwing ourselves into the true 'Kiwi' lifestyle and so much more. And I am equally looking forward to the surprises that come along the way. Who knows what's really instore.

Bring it on!


From me, with love. x

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