Monday, May 28, 2012

When southerners drop by

Yesterday we had a visit from the lovely Monique and Danielle. It seems whether in Australia or NZ, we are destined to live at opposite ends of the country. The girls were in town to see Florence and the Machine who are playing at the Vector Arena tonight. If only I'd known they were going, I would have got myself some tickets!

Anyway, it was a great catch up. We really must try to get down to Queenstown some time soon.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Replica Tolix

Last weekend we purchased two replica Tolix chairs with a hammered black metal finish which we got for a bargain price. Surprisingly they seem to go well with our retro black chairs.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Super moon

This is a delayed post about the super moon. If you live in the southern hemisphere it happened on Sunday, 8 May. The experts tell us it was when the moon approached within 357,000km of Earth.

There's a bit of a background to my story, it goes something like this: The day before, at about 5.30pm I went for an evening walk which involved walking up Maungawhau (Mt Eden). When I got to the top I was rewarded with the most spectacular sunset; we'd been experiencing clear, blue skies for about a week. There were quite a few people up there, many with cameras set up on tripods. In the opposite side of the sky, the moon was already up – very big and round. It was really an impressive sight.

Naturally I thought it would be a nice family experience to take a dinner picnic up the mountain the following night to see the "super moon". Well Sunday turned out to be a pretty full-on day and we ended up racing the clock to get our picnic sorted to take up the mountain. It is worth noting that in the whole time we have been living in Auckland, we have driven up Maungawhau about two times, always opting to walk up. However, on this occasion, we decided that if were were going to catch the sunset we would have to drive up. With kids in car and picnic packed, we headed up. On the drive, Steve commented that he had never seen so many cars driving up; then we got to the top and got stuck in a grid lock. Steve graciously let us girls get out of the car with the picnic and attempted to turn the car around to park further down the mountain; but he wasn't going anywhere. I ended up re-directed the idiots who were still trying to turn into the top carpark. Event-u-ally, Steve managed to get the car down and join us for the picnic.

The sunset wasn't to thrilling as the sky had started to cloud over earlier in the day. When the sun did set however, the moon quickly rose in the other direction. Despite sharing the experience with a crowd and the stress of getting there, it really was worth seeing and turned out to be quite a pleasant night.

Other, possibly more impressive pictures of the super moon taken around the globe.

Monday, May 21, 2012

What's cooking?

Pear clafouti

Coconut cake

My favourite: chunky fruit and nut slice. Luckily for me, the kids weren't huge fans (which I simply don't get) but that just meant there was more for me!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What I did today...

Today I overcame months of procrastination and tackled a pile of mending. Pants that I tore a hole in became shorts, seams were reinforced and buttons sewed on. I had such a feeling of satisfaction when I got to the bottom of the pile that I started to look around for other things to fix.

Our well-used floor cushion was looking very sad indeed so I decided to recover it with some vintage fabric I bought from Raglan last year. I was very happy with the result.

This is the before shot. As you can see it was in tatters.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Aussie winter feeling

I think deep down, if possible, Aussies want to be able to experience winter wearing thongs and shorts. After endless days of blue skies, we decided to buy a brassiere so we could make the most of the clear, but cooler evenings. Naturally, as soon as we bought it the weather changed and we didn't get to use it – until last weekend.

We had our first BBQ in ages and finished it off by toasting marshmallows over the fire. Mmm.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Flaxmill Bay revisited (Mother's Weekend)

We spent a fantastic weekend at Flaxmill Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula. I like to call it my Mother's Weekend because I reckon we mother's deserve a weekend of doing nothing, not just a day. The whole strip of land is quite beautiful with white sandy beaches and rugged cliffs. But in my opinion, Flaxmill Bay really is the best spot. Our dinky little motel was perched at the top of the hill, mid-way between the ferry landing and the beach. To dine out, which we did on Saturday night, it was a hop, skip and a jump on the ferry across to Whitianga.

I have blogged about this place once before after our first visit almost a year ago. All of the best Kiwi beaches have a rope swing hanging from a Pohutakawa tree but this one is the best. The one on Maungawhau is even better but it doesn't fall into the beach category. I think I can safely say Flaxmill Bay is one of our favorite places in New Zealand.

On Saturday afternoon we took a boat tour dropping into beaches, caves and blow holes along the Coromandel. We learnt a bit about the history of the area and got see places from the comfort of our ex-navy boat.

Cathedral Cove is rated as one the 101 Must-Dos for Kiwis. Personally, I was a little underwhelmed and glad I didn't take the 40 minute trek on foot to see it although maybe I would have appreciated it more if I did.

Inside New Zealand's second largest sea cave.

We snorkeled with a school of snapper in this marine park and discovered we can add it to the list of weird things that totally freak Eadie out. Even wearing a snorkel and mask and with her head under water we could still hear her screams. I'm putting on a brave face, not because of the fish but because it was freaking cold – even though I was the only person wearing a wetsuit. Ava decided not to take the plunge.

Relaxing on the grass over looking Hahei Beach, one of our stops on the way back home. The weather closed in on our drive back home. We definitely got the best of the weather.

One of the art pieces we bought from a little gallery on our way home. Translated it means: Welcome, enter! Everything is very good.

E noho rĂ£. (Good bye.)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

To all Mums,
near and far,
happy Mother's Day.

The sun in our eyes! My Mother's Day breakfast.

Actually, I've been lucky enough to have a Mother's Weekend at Flax Mill Bay, near Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula. We had a great time. I will do a separate post later to show you all what we got up to.