nz

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

Let’s Love Loud

image-2
Cheese testers galore in Geraldine. image-3
image-1-2image
Isn’t my daddy hilarious? This one’s for you, Lifa!
image-7
image-1-1
image-6
Central otago peaches and cherries, banana, momma’s homemade muesli and unsweetened organic oat milk.
image-8
Guys, this is Queenstown in NZ and it is one of my absolute favourites. True, it’s super touristy today but it’s so so lovely always. Thank you Delaram and Andy for organising this trip. image-1
My 2017 resolution (gosh can’t even write “2017” without thinking “wtf”) is to read a book a week. Apparently that’s 52 books in total. Today i finished A Crack In Forever by Jeannie Brewer, a love story: honestly sad, truly sweet, overly sexy and incredibly hard to forget.image-5
What A Crack In Forever taught me during its last tear-gushing chapters is to seriously appreciate each and every moment for a loved one can be taken away at any moment.

Redefine Yourself

It has officially been one month since I’ve returned from my around-the-world adventures and I.am.missing.it. Lucky for me, every new day is an adventure. If we let it.
image-1-7
In addition to the yearly skinny-me resolutions, I’ve decided to read a book a week this year. Starting with the little bit sexy, Crack in Forever.
image-1-8
Got me a full-time job at NZ’s best cafe.
image-1-9
Nothin’ beats mama’s homemade muesli. Recipe HERE.
image-1
image-2
Somewhere between Lake Tekapo and Queenstown.
image
Probably the most touristy NZ location eva.
image-1
Central otago cherries, organic kiwifruit and homemade muesli for dinner. Chur!

Our Japanese Guests’ Last Day

Breakfast at Strawberry Fare, walk at Taylor’s Mistake and afternoon relaxing at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. And just like that, we said sayonara.
image-1
Has the owners of Strawberry Fare changed? It wasnt as good as I remembered it…
image-1-2
One of Juri’s 10000 selfies.image-1-1image-2
My brother in law living on the edge. image-1-4image-1-5
They said this pig reminded them of the Studio Ghibli animation, Spirited Away.image-1-3Monkey love.

Our Japanese Guests’ Day Three

Another classic NZ dish: the humble meat pie (which I wrote a 3000 word University essay on one day), Castle Hill (famous from Narnia) and last: a nostalgic New Year’s Eve countdown in Hagley Park featuring back-to-back country music which took me straight back to Nashville and to my sweetheart’s arms.
image-5
imageimage-2
image-1image-3image-4
image-8image-7
And you? How did you spend New Year’s Eve/Day?

Our Japanese Guests’ Day Two

On day two we went to Akaroa and it was such a nice day and such a fun time that it turned out to be our guests’t highlight. So far! As in, don’t go away yet, there’s much more to come.
Processed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 preset
I’m so predictable. Kapiti black doris plum and creme fraiche is my faveeeee.
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Treated myself at the gift-store! Sooo cute, right?
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Ugly but delicious.Processed with VSCO with c3 presetGosh, I love NZ apricots! So did our guests. This is because apricots, alongside some other produce (such as good cheese, brown bread and beetroot) are hard to come by in Japan.
Processed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 preset
This has got to be the funniest photo. Here’s Yuko and her husband awkwardly agreeing to a photo by my crazy dad as Juri takes yet another selfie!Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Beautiful Yuko.
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
The small houses in Akaroa are so adorable. Soroosh? Let’s go. Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
Last but not least, a great Kiwi lunch: battered fish, squid rings, onion rings, L&P and Wattie’s tomato sauce.