nz

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.

I Am Growing Flowers…

in the darkest parts of my heart, for if light ever enters, it would know where to start. ~Noor Unnahar
unnamed (4)
On Sunday evening, S and I went to The Tannery to watch one my favourite musicians, whom I first stumbled upon busking in Queenstown some 5 years ago (he busking not me) at live music venue, Blue Smoke. Of course, Graeme James was absolutely phenomenal – people like him make me wish I was at least slightly musical. On the contrary, S and I were not in top form.

You see, since his arrival, things have been pretty difficult. Getting used to one another’s presence after six months of separation takes work. Funnily enough, and I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing this, Lifa (my Israeli brother with the beautiful Japanese wife) contacted me with a very resonating message a couple days ago:  “Are you guys still madly in love?” he asked, followed by: “When Aki came to meet me in Israel she suddenly wasn’t sure anymore…I would blame it on me coming late to pick her up from the airport but you know…doubts started and all. Eventually we passed that but what I’m saying is that surprises can happen.”

In my case, there have been no doubts, none whatsoever at all. Just disappointments. Allow me to explain: for 6 entire months I had looked forward to his arrival. So much so, that I had booked and cancelled 3 different cafe’s for our first place to go to after the airport (I couldn’t decide which would impress him the most). Next, I’d planned our weekends, and week nights, and basically, every minute of which I was not at work. We’d missed out on so much, now that he was finally here, I wanted us to do it all! But as the old yiddish proverb goes: “man plans and god laughs.” At first S was extremely jet-lagged, then poor guy fell sick due to climate change, then I became sick (both physically and emotionally) due to overly attached girlfriend shenanigans (haha). And, it’s also winter, which means everything is just that much harder to begin with. So, with my grand schemes down the drain, and my expectations unmet, I found myself rather disappointed.

And this is where we chose love. Realising that if we wanted to be more than picture-perfect happy, we needed to put in the effort. So, as kindly as we could, we communicated our feelings, and as selflessly as we could, we acknowledged one another’s. It was an arduous process. It is an arduous process. I can’t say I’ll ever master it. But what I can say is that it was the rain (and shine) which made our relationship blossom. For the sincere way S offered me solace, made me fall in love with his beautiful soul all over again. In the words of Abdu’l-Bahá: “where there is love, nothing is too much trouble and there is always time.”
unnamed (3)

Spoiler Alert: Love is worth everything, everything.

To help me cope with missing Soroosh, I started a NZ Bucket List for us to work through come June. Some of the options are luckily local and frequent. Like, the Saturday Farmers’ Market which I have always been in love with.
Image (1)Image (2)
Nothing but organic.
Image-2
My dad ordered something from the Bacon Brothers which came with a hug as well! LOL you should’ve seen his face! Such a character, this guy!
Image (3)
Mmmm! Remember Mandy, my ice-cream queen? Well, her and her partner don’t just make ice-cream – they make heaven: gluten-free waffles with coconut whipped cream, strawberries, roasted hazelnuts and dark chocolate drizzle.
Image-1 (1)Image (4)
You know you’re cheap/on-a-diet when you share one waffle between 3 hehe >.<
Image (5)
Sunday morning Baha’i children’s classes.
Image-1 (2)
Today’s virtue was “justice”. Above, equality is demonstrated with a popcorn filled “scale”. And below, one “life-raft” for all. Image (6)
Last but not least, the rest of my brother-in-law’s grandmother’s Black Boy peaches stewed for alongside my ritual morning muesli.
Image-1Happy week y’all! <3

There Are Hundreds Of Ways To Kneel And Kiss The Ground.

A photo diary:
Image-1 (2)Image (4)Image (5)
Image-1 (1)
Dark chocolate and roasted hazelnut ice-cream.Image (3)
White peach and vanilla sorbet. Image (2)
The mastermind herself.
Image-1
My attempt at having a non-cereal breakfast: free-range scrambled eggs (2), avocado, and organic gluten-free bread.
Image (6)
This is a non-traditional Persian New Year haft-sin (literally, seven “S”) table. It’s non traditional because I only had 5 of the real S’s. The other two, I made up myself: S for saat (clock/watch) and S for sparrow (yes sis, I realised sparrow wasn’t Persian. Whatever). Image (1)

Christchurch Night Noodle Market

Last night I went to the CHCH night noodle market with my momma and later, my sister and brother-in-law joined us. Being CHCH, I also bumped into one, two, three friends. I had fun. In all honestly, the food was average (yeah, yeah food snob) but the ambience was great! I absolutely love CHCH in the summer. The market is on until Sunday, prices range from $5 to $15, and you can find more information HERE.

Speaking of noodles/Asian food, pretty please with a quail egg on top check out my new Savvy Tokyo article, 8 Japanese Films for Foodies HERE.
image-6image-4
So I asked for two chicken and one eggplant/tofu BAO but I got given a duck instead. Now tell me, since I’m not a BAO enthusiast, is the bread supposed to taste like cake (it was super sweet)? Looked better than it tasted (oh no she didn’t!). image-1
These however were real good. Maybe a little dare but I think totally worth it. Not too sweet, very natural tasting and chic, too! Double win.
image-2image-1
Yummy but served warm/cold. More on the cold side. But tasty regardless. As you can see, I did my best to abuse the DIY topping station. In all fairness, the dumplings were generously filled to the brim with plump shrimp and prawn. image
image-3
image-5
Mama says: peace!

This Is How You Get Unstuck: You Reach.

image-3“You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest, and most beautiful person I have ever known—and even that is an understatement.” (F. Scott Fitzgerald) Friends, I find nothing more romantic than these letters. I could easily quote these lovers for the remainder of this post but I’ll resist. A side note: often when I take such photos of my breakfast and things on this decaying picnic table in our backyard, my tootsies make an appearance forcing me to impatiently start over, this time standing in the most awkwardly unnatural position so as to hide them. image-9
Speaking of F. Scott and Zelda, four months ago, I had the absolute pleasure of visiting Hotel Belle Rives where the couple stayed in the year 1925. Unable to speak French and unaware of Antibes’ transportation systems, I decided to walk there from my accommodation. An hour later, I arrived sweaty and in my gym gear. To my surprise, I was welcomed by the gentleman porter with such hospitality as if I were Zelda herself!  This left me speechless. In a dream-like state, I walked around the bar, snapped a couple pictures and vowed to return again before my stay in Antibes was over.
image-10
Once back at my accommodation, I emailed the General Manager, expressing my gratitude to the incredibly hospitable porter. He, Lucas, replied by inviting me and a friend back for coffee, croissants and a private tour of the establishment. I don’t know if it was the ambience or what, but here Anita’s mom and I drank the best coffee we’ve ever drank ever.
image-2-2
The photo above and the photo below are of the views from the hotel’s best room (unbelievably dare in the summer). Lovely Lucas said I could honeymoon there on mate’s rates. I wonder if he’d also cover my plane ticket? (hehe).
image-8
Back to reality (below) which is pretty darn good with no room for complaints: I helped and will continue to help for the long weekend, my beautiful friend Mandy sell her handmade ice-cream and sorbets. It was a dream job and nothing less.
image-2-1image-7
image-6
Some beetroot salad and avocado before eating sorry I mean selling ice-cream. image-4
“All these soft, warm nights going to waste when I ought to be lying in your arms under the moon – the dearest arms in all the world – darling arms that I love so to feel around me – How much longer – before they’ll be there to stay? When I get home again, you’ll certainly have a most awful time ever moving me one inch from you -”
image-1-1
Sea salt caramel and popcorn, vanilla bean, blueberry, mint, Greek yoghurt and cherry compote, peach and lemon sorbet (vegan), rhubarb and strawberry sorbet (vegan), coconut keffir raspberry (vegan), coconut and dark chocolate (vegan). image-5
Bliss.#UtopiaIce

Be Certain That You Do Not Die Without Having Done Something Wonderful For Humanity.

Week four’s book is A Letter To My Daughter by Maya Angelou. It is short, it is easy to read, and it is brimming with learned wisdom; the kind which often springs from old people. And though I did not find every chapter relatable, I did find every chapter, useful. image-1-1
My mother’s precious hands, holding an almond milk cappuccino at recently opened Unknown Chapter Coffee Roasters.
image-1-2
I’ve blogged THIS drink before. My momma doesn’t like it but I sure do! Traditionally used to soothe the stomach, Kawakawa leaves are known to be an anti-inflammatory as well as an analgesic. Kawakawa tonic was traditionally used to aid digestion. To further this function AOTEA Native Tonics brew Kawakawa leaves with herbs and tea leaves that are also understood to help with digestion. So it’s good for you, too. image-1-3
“Let’s tell the truth to people. When people ask, ‘How are you?’ have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully. You must know, however, that people will start avaoiding you because, they, too, have knees that pain them and heads that hurt and they don’t want to know about yours. But think of it this way: If people avoid you, you will have more time to meditate and do fine research on a cure for whatever truly afflicts you.”

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.”

“All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us all that we are more alike than we are unalike.”

(Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter)image-1-4
Who’s sniffing who?
image-1-5
Recently I attended my friends, Kate and Rory’s engagement party. My mother insisted on taking a picture of me before I left home. Since then, she has, bless her soul, posted this picture on every single one of her social media platforms.
image-4
Zen Sushi & Dumplings. Go get some. PS this is salmon and avocado with brown rice.
imageLast night my momma kept entering the kitchen and interfering in my business that I threatened her I’d never cook again (hehe). So, here it is: oven baked gurnard fillets rubbed with tangerine slices, chopped tomatoes, Kalamata olives, fresh garlic, olive oil, paprika, pepper, salt, and garden mint for The Last Supper. #cookyourowndamnfish