Category Archives: New Zealand

Getting Through the Silly Season

The lead up to Christmas is always chaotic – between shopping for presents, christmas parties and everyday life, the silly season can leave you tired and over it all by the time Christmas comes. There is something a little extra to this time of year that we call the “silly season” in New Zealand. Maybe its the glorious summer weather, I’m not sure, but somehow it seems that I am extra frantic and frenetic in these last few weeks before Christmas than I would be if I was in North America.

I think in North America, the snowstorms and chilly days at least force you inside sometimes. Whereas here, in Auckland their are endless picnics, Santa Parades, Carols on the Green and invites to boat rides and drinks outside at the local pub! Now hear me out. I am not complaining in the least at being able to sit outside til 7:30 at night chatting over glasses of chardonnay while the kids make themselves sick on the roundabout.

At our first of 2 Christmas parties this evening

I admit, during those times that I am not at the beach or just enjoying the weather from our deck, I’m stressed. Stressed that the Christmas is less than 14 sleeps away and I still have so much shopping to do. Stressed that we are hosting champagne breakfast at our house Christmas morning – yet we have no dining table let alone champagne glasses, stressed that the year is coming to an end and I feel not at all prepared for what 2014 will bring.

New Adventures in New Zealand

If you’ve been paying attention you’ll notice that I haven’t updated in quite some time. Some of you already know that our little family has made the journey back to our second home – New Zealand. See I was born in Canada, so I consider it my first home. I met my husband in New Zealand, had my first child here and even obtained my citizenship so I consider it my second home even though I’ve probably spent the majority of my adult life in this country.

Packing up your life and flying with 2 kids to the other side of the world is no easy feat, especially when the change happened quicker than expected – can you say less than 2 months?! I’m gonna save the details around our move for another blog post…or maybe even for a book, yes the details are that crazy that I  am seriously considering spinning it all into a memoir.  You see everything from the time I decided to spend a year in New Zealand way back in 1999 pre-birthing hips fresh out of University til now could easily fit into a book. From moving to Auckland from Christchurch just a month shy of the first devastating earthquake to moving to New York city and giving birth to my daughter and then returning to hospital with her just days later, the many celebs I met in New York and now the return back to the land of the long white cloud, there is a book in there somewhere!

the kids exploring their favorite rock on St Heliers Beach

My eldest said,

Mom, I like our new home. There is so much more room here than in New York.

And that is when I knew without a doubt, even though we all miss so many faces and places from New York, our little family is going to be just fine in our new home on the other side of the world.

Their will be some changes around here while I look at rebranding and sharing my new adventures in Auckland, but most of all I’m excited about just writing again. Besides running, writing is such a release for me!

In the meantime, seeing as the holidays are coming up I’d love for you to share your tips for traveling with kids.

Heck knows I’ve got a ton of tips after several 32 hour journeys with one toddler and then this most recent trip around the world with 2, but I’m sure you’ve got your own as well for train, bus and car.

Welcome back dear readers!

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The 2013 Healthgrades Reports Women Need to Lean In

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Healthgrades. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

According to Healthgrades, when we approach our health and the care we receive, we need to lean in, ask questions, investigate options and take charge of our healthcare futures. “Lean In”, the theme of this year’s report, builds on the popularity of Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook’s, best-selling book.

Our arrival in New York from New Zealand was delayed due to paperwork at the US government level. I arrived in New York 6 and a half months pregnant and my search for an OBGYN in a new country, with a healthcare system foreign to me was not easy. No one wanted to take me on, that late in the pregnancy I was considered a risk.

As I reached 32 weeks, I  remember breaking down in tears on the phone with one receptionist. My first born was 3.5 weeks early and doctors in New Zealand told me their was a 95% likelihood that this one would come early too – the clock was ticking and I was at risk of going into labor and having a complete stranger deliver my baby. This was scary and also stark contrast to my first delivery which was an all natural delivery in a hospital with a midwife I’d had a relationship with since the 12th week of my pregnancy.

It was at that point that thankfully I discovered Healthgrades online. I was able to search on a variety of values, such as region, doctor’s qualifications and background as well as star ratings from other moms. I tracked down a doctor that had a gentle approach to obstetrics and I ultimately my wishes were maintained at the labor. 

Throwback Thursday: You Get What You Train For!

It’s not often that I thank Facebook for ANYTHING, but with recent changes to the newsfeed (again!) I have rediscovered old notes that I had written. Remember notes? They are kinda like mini-blog posts/diary entries where you could tag people. Well, lo and behold  I found a note I wrote about my very first half marathon from Sunday, May 1, 2010! I thought seeing as I have just completed my third and first ever in the US that it was fitting to share this. I also wanted to point out how truly crazy I am, having run my first hal marathon less than 6 months after completing C25K, plus it was a cross country race!

 Oh and not to be a Debbie Downer, but check out my chubby cheeks! I’ve mentioned it before that even though I was running regularly, my nutrition was just not up to par. I was fooling myself into believing that I could eat whatever, whenever because I was running 4-5 times per week. Proof that what you eat and how you exercise go hand in hand. You can’t have positive results if one is missing. Hope you enjoy this stroll down memory lane!

First half marathon May 1, 2010 vs April 25, 2013. Can you see a difference?

Mrs Wishy-Washy’s Chocomole Pudding Recipe

Mrs Wishy Washy's Raw Chocolate Pudding

Pin this! Hover over the image in the upper right hand corner!

My 5 year old was given the book Mrs Wishy Washy by Joy Cowley when he was 3 years old. He loved it from the first moment we read it to him and it has continued to be a favorite over the last 2 years. When he started kindergarten, he was so excited when within the first week his kindergarten teacher pulled out a large board book version to read to the class. Imagine his surprise at seeing his favorite New Zealand written book, here in the United States.

His kindergarten teacher invited us in for a literacy party just before Christmas. We got a chance to look at our child’s writing, and to see how they’d progressed in the first 3 months. As a special treat for the kids, they got to create Mrs Wishy-Washy’s mud and dunk the animals around in it. The mud of course was chocolate pudding, and the animals were animal crackers. Now why hadn’t I thought of that? Such a neat way to bring a children’s book to life.

I saw 5 avocados at the store for $3 the other day and it made me think of how I could make this chocolate pudding treat with a twist. Instead of making a traditional sugary pudding, I decided to make a chocomole – a raw chocolate pudding made mainly with avocado and natural sweeteners. I used to make raw chocolate and puddings quite regularly, but hadn’t made this in awhile. I had all the ingredients at home except for the animal crackers.

Throw Back Thursday: Tis the Season for New Zealand Weddings #TBT

Mr BAM left on Tuesday for his sister’s wedding in New Zealand. Sadly, we just couldn’t swing a family trip back so soon after just settling here. It reminded me that three years ago in January 2009, we celebrated a good friend’s wedding in Christchurch, New Zealand…and that it’s summer there…

Me and Mr BAM in Christchurch, NZ 2009