New Zealand

One Day At A Time

It has been 3 weeks since S has left to the States to witness his charming older brother marry an angel of a woman, and spend some much awaited time with his loving family. I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been easy for me. But you know what? So far, it hasn’t been impossible either. I’ve kept busy (I’ll keep busy), and I’ve taken it one day at a time (I’ll take it one day at a time).
Processed with VSCO with kk2 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk1 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk2 preset
A month ago, daddy making a Kiwi speciality: whitebait fritters, for S.
Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
Can anything beat breakfasting with your love?
Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
Forced S to hike Rapaki with me. He said the view was almost worth the pain.
Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
“You must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden your horizons. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you have left when anything happens.” ~Ethel Barrymore (Shoutout to the lovely lady customer who said she reads my blog!)
Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
Great fun making my famous pikelets with my kiddies (1 cup plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 free-range egg, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup milk – mix until smooth then cook tablespoon-full amounts in a good quality non stick frying pan or with a little oil in a not so good quality one – about a minute each side)
lon
The night of S’s bitter departure sweetened by dessert from The Villas.
Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
Wearing my boyfriends sweater. (“I imagine a line, a white line, painted on the sand and on the ocean, from me to you.” ~Jonathan Safran Foer)

 

Hashtag It’s Not Gelato: Utopia Ice Is Back In Sumner

Processed with VSCO with kk1 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk1 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk1 presetMandy, Sebastian, (and we can’t forget Levin!)’s astonishingly good ice-cream (not gelato) is back in Sumner. Except this time, it’s housed in the most dreamiest location ever. At 15 Wakefield Avenue you’ll find a tranquil courtyard filled with happiness. Happiness being a large wooden swing chair, flamingo cushions, strawberry plants, Belgian waffles (yes, real Belgian waffles), of course ice-cream, and much more! With 16 ever-changing flavours to choose from, Cantabrians, this is the place to spend our ever glorious upcoming summer days.

Before you ask, my favourite is dark chocolate, coconut, and cacao nibs (gf, df, V) so see you there!

Hours:
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 11 to 6
Wednesday: 11 to 6
Thursday: 11 to 6
Friday: 11 to 9
Saturday: 11 to 9
Sunday: 11 to 6

Don’t Fear The Light That Dwells Deep Within…

You are powerful beyond what you imagine. Just let your light glow.
Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset
Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset
Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
Cheater cheater pumpkin eater!
Image-1 (1)
Japan is that you?! (If you haven’t already, I totes recommend checking out newly opened Japan Mart at Riccarton Westfield.)
Processed with VSCO with kk2 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk2 preset
Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
Self empowerment no53279 buying flowers (and cacti) for yourself.
Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
Reason 437698 I LOVE my job: so many 5 year old birthdays!
Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset
Robot art by Jella, age 5.
Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
So incredibly proud of Mandy and Sebastian for working crazy hard to make their dream a reality! Utopia Ice is officially opening shop in Sumner village next week!
Processed with VSCO with kk2 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk1 preset
Sorry for the radio silence my friends. I have been working on a children’s story! It is one from my childhood and named after my dear mother. I am in the process of having my manuscript assessed before sending it to a publisher so please please pray for me! Worst case scenario, I’ll publish it on my blog for y’all to read.

Much much much love,
Me.

Restaurant Review: Francesca’s Italian Kitchen

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 preset
Last night S and I dined at Francesca’s Italian Kitchen as per a good friend of ours’ recommendation. She said it was excellent so we had to try it for ourselves. And overall, it was pretty spectacular!

Several things stood out: the slow-cooked beef (housemade) gnocchi (probably best in town), the tolerable noise level (I am so used to dining at Italian restaurants where I can’t even hear myself), the artsy pasta guide on the inner bathroom doors (who doesn’t like a good read whilst on the toilet), and the physical location of the place (I love anything close to New Regent!).

And of course it wouldn’t be a review if I’m not a slight bitch about it so… We ordered polenta fries as a starter, they were forgotten, and brought to us midway through our mains (yeah, yeah, first world problems). Speaking of polenta fries, they were good but not as amazing as The Bicycle Thief’s. In my opinion, those are much better. As for the pappardelle ragu, I think Cafe Valentino does theirs better, and the pumpkin brûlée, well, it was pretty unique in flavour but also highly diabetic. In other words, too much sugar (you know, even for a brûlée).

Despite the grumble, I’d rate our experience an 8/10!

There Is A Stream Of Love Supporting My Dreams

Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
Spring means Subway picnic dinners.
Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset
Treated myself to some well-deserved me time the other week! And although lovely, I did feel bad about using so much water…Do you know if a bath uses more water than a shower? It must, mustn’t it? Alas, as a once-in-a-while treat, I did feel amazing, and I slept like a baby. Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
Petal carpet love!Processed with VSCO with kk2 presetI moved out of my parents’ again! How do you like my new room? I used to be an avid Frankie Magazine reader. However, after the original creators left, I’ve become a dedicated fan of The Lunch Lady which ironically, is their (Frankie’s ex-creators’) new publication. Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset
PMS is a bitch and so was I this day. I made S walk 40 min to the grocery store for a sweet craving (I wanted naturally dried apricots) but when the supermarket didn’t have them (what supermarket doesn’t have apricots?!) I spent 15 indecisive minutes only to buy checkout chocolate. Oops! Sorry S!
Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset
And, one of my most memorable days yet…yes, that special! S surprised me at work with a picnic lunch of my favourites! Sushi, chocolate (the same one I had had that my moody night at the supermarket hehe), berry smoothie, and last but definitely not least, Dr. Feelgood frozen pops. This time we tried jelly-top Passionfruit and White Chocolate and I gotta say, it’s my favourite flavour yet! Processed with VSCO with kk2 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk2 preset
Yeah baby! Find them at Fendalton New World in Christchurch and probably everywhere in Auckland. Thanks Dr. Feelgood, I adore you!Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
I love my boyfriend because he agrees to pancakes for dinner.
Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset
“Practice gratitude relentlessly. As you practice gratitude you will attract more thoughts and feelings of gratitude. In a shot time your entire being will be saturated with it, and you will experience a happiness that is beyond what you can imagine. This is what is ahead for you when you choose gratitude as your way of life. And if you can really live in this highest state of gratitude, you will never have to ask for anything. Everything you want will be given to you before you even ask, because gratitude is the magnetic substance that opens every single door in the Universe.”
~From the Secret Scrolls by Rhonda Byrne

Love, Like Everything Else In Life, Should Be A Discovery…

“Love, like everything else in life, should be a discovery, an adventure, and like most adventures, you don’t know you’re having one until you’re right in the middle of it.”
~E.A. BucchianeriProcessed with VSCO with kk2 preset
Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset
My picture perfect man <3
Processed with VSCO with kk2 preset
Fish’n’chips, Kiwi as!
Processed with VSCO with kk2 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk2 preset
Balancing out the grease and chocolate…
Processed with VSCO with kk2 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk1 preset
S gifted me this beautiful ring for my 25th birthday, it spells love in braille and was handmade in Ohara, the rural Japanese village I lived in for one and a half years *love heart eyes*Processed with VSCO with kk2 presetMy latest Spring project with my little munchkins. Are you blossoming?

Who Knows If The Moon’s

who knows if the moon’s
a balloon, coming out of a keen city
in the sky—filled with pretty people?
(and if you and i should

get into it, if they
should take me and take you into their balloon,
why then
we’d go up higher with all the pretty people

than houses and steeples and clouds:
go sailing
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody’s ever visited, where

always
            it’s
                   Spring) and everyone’s
in love and flowers pick themselves

~e.e. cummings
Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
Processed with VSCO with kk1 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk1 preset
Processed with VSCO with kk2 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk2 preset
Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
Love is…cooking together. Love also is, I presume, Italian! Processed with VSCO with kk1 preset
All above photography by my love, Soroosh.
Processed with VSCO with kk2 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk1 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk2 presetProcessed with VSCO with kk2 preset
Hi there my dear followers. How have you been? How are you Lavanya? Are you still in Brisbane? And you Jose and Bea? How are the kids?! Has their English improved significantly? And auntie Pouneh, how is the new fluffly member of your family?! Yuka, I still can’t believe you have a girl! And Lifa and Akiko, your family is my inspiration! Fukuda sensei, Ashida sensei, do you still visit my blog? Hiromi and Olivier, how I wish to return to your idyllic home! You too, and your hard-work and dedication, inspire me! And Blogger friends, Randy, John, Josh, Teck, how are you?! Is the world treating you kindly? I think of you all, I think of you all fondly…

 

Only Kindness Makes Sense. Everything Else Is Excruciating.

Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Breakfast goals: freshly baked croissants and walnut sourdough from BELLBIRD Baked Goods.  Disclaimer: although the watermelon was delicious, it was TEN bucks! Holy moly, eating food-bloggy ain’t pocket-friendly! Who else is counting down to Summer?
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Godley Head desu. Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
We were freezing, our smiles are fake.
Processed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 preset
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Last week I opened the pantry in the morning to grab muesli and happened to spot this cutie pootie thing! A boiled egg holder (yes, such a thing exists) that I spontaneously bought (precisely for it’s cutie pootie aspect) during my Japan days. Take.Me.Back.Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Pimping out my work locker *love heart eyes*Processed with VSCO with c3 presetVegan and gluten-free dessert from The Lotus Heart *more love heart eyes*

We Will Love

How is it July already?!
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
The best way to spend a Saturday morning in Christchurch? Utopia Ice with your lover.
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Followed by a romantic stroll through Mona Vale , of course. Processed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 preset
Is it just me or is this the weirdest thing ever? A duck in a tree?! Now you don’t see that everyday (or do you?)
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Another angle…Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Even in winter there are roses!Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
His and hers, Nandos.
Processed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 preset
Soroosh’s super cool photography.
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
My favourite dinner is breakfast. And my favourite person doesn’t mind (yay).
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Packed his bento like a good Japanese wifey <3

Love Is A Believing Creature

All photos by Soroosh:
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
(Lake Tekapo)
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
(Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown)
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Okay, this one’s by me hehe (notice the Dr. Pepper? #Merica)
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
(Millenium Hotel, Queenstown)Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
(Hyde Park, Sydney)
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
(Castle Hill Koala Sanctuary, Sydney)
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
(City Centre, Queenstown)
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
(Skyline, Queenstown)
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Celebrating our one year anniversary at Strawberry Fare, Christchurch, followed by a hilarious night at Scared Scriptless.