Category Archives: New Zealand

The Start of Autumn Brings Happiness

I have to admit that summer was a bit of a kick in the butt with the killer humidity. I can’t complain too much as I definitely prefer the heat of summer over the cold of winter. But now that summer has just about faded away and autumn has arrived, I am finding this to be my absolute fave season. The mornings are cooler, perfect for an early morning run by myself, or a late morning run with mini-me.

Now that the kids aren’t melting from the heat when we hit the playground, we are finding ourselves out and about more than we were in summer. Rather than needing to escape inside to air conditioning, we are reveling in the perfect mix of sunshine and cool breezes.



I’m Going to BlogHer Ya’ll!!

I can’t think of how many years I spent stalking the BlogHer stream on Twitter from New Zealand wishing I could be here. Here in New York meeting some of my favorite bloggers, learning from the pros and just soaking up the atmosphere. Well, I’m here now and Wednesday evening my BlogHer chaos dream starts! I’ve refused to be stressed or panic about the lead up to BlogHer and all its private parties and all the craziness that surrounds what to wear.

In the end, I’m genuinely happy with the private parties I will be attending as well as the Official BlogHer ones. I can even say I turned some down, because they didn’t fit with what I am hoping to get out of this conference. For a Canadian gal who started out blogging in New Zealand back in 2007, trashed that blog to start a fresh one here in New York in 2011, I think I’ve done pretty well. I have to say I do believe in all that Law of Attraction mumbo jumbo, so to me BlogHer is what it is and I am just gonna take it all in, enjoy the moment and be open to others.

So the aim is to not get all froathy at the mouth by the unsurmountable amount of swag everyone promises I will get at the Conference. In the end, is it about swag or relationships? Business opportunities? Meeting fellow bloggers that I’ve met online or have followed for years? Well, its about a healthy dose of all of these things.

So, I hope if you see me you’ll say hi! I love meeting people and will always make the time to stop and chat or share a laugh – unless of course President Barack Obama is speakingIssa Rae takes the floor to teach me how to become a YouTube sensation or Soledad O’Brien, Christy Turlington Burns, and Malaak Compton-Rock are giving their keynote.Their are loads of sessions (and parties!) that I am looking forward to, but those 3 for me take the cake.

Here’s some tips for finding me…



Banoffee Pie with Coffee Flavored Whipped Cream {Recipe}

(click on image for a larger picture)

Two weeks ago was my birthday, I turned 30-something, and I decided to knock one item off my 100 Things List by figuring out how to make Banoffee Pie. Banoffee Pie you say? It is heaven on a plate – bananas + toffee equals Banoffee! I am always into cooking and baking simple, so once I figured out the ingredients for this one, I was looking forward to making it.

A tradition in New Zealand is to make your own birthday cake. So rather than others buying you a cake at work, you buy or make your own and then invite your co-workers to celebrate with you. I always thought it was a bit funny that the effort was on the birthday person, but whatever! Just go with the flow.

Their are many variations on Banoffee, but I cannot stress how super simple this variation is. I like that it makes me feel like a “real” baker because I made the crust from scratch and found out how to make toffee from evaporated milk. And I must say I feel pretty clever deciding to flavor the whipped cream :)

This is a perfect treat for a sweet tooth on a hot summer day.

So here goes – Banoffee Pie with Coffee Flavored Whipped Cream in less than 10 steps.

Ingredients

  • 1 small can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 9 large graham crackers
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 tub of whip cream
  • half a cup of coffee
  • 3 bananas
  • 9 inch pie plate

This is a yummy, but rich dessert, so you are likely to only need a small piece. Serves 8.



Otunui Paddleboat, New Zealand #TTOT #TTPT

Today’s Travel Tip is about a stellar attraction is New Zealand that I unfortunately never got the chance to visit. When I met Leola through work, she told me all about it, but time ran out before my big move to New York and so I never got to experience it. Special thanks to Leola for providing this gorgeous photo and more info about the Otunui paddleboat, it sounds like paradise!



Mother’s Day at Coney Island

I know Mother’s Day is meant to be special every year, but this year it really rocked. Apart from having breakfast in bed as a super surprise treat from my husband, what I really wanted was a nice family day.

I know, I know, us mothers always say that. But what I meant is a day with no tears (from neither the kids nor I) no drama (from neither the kids, nor I, nor dad) and for all of us to have the energy to enjoy each other. These days a day like that is easier said than done. Our family juggles work commitments, trying to fit in time to exercise, mommy and daddy time (get your mind outta the gutter, I’m talking PG-rated time to talk), a sometimes moody 4.5 year old, a teething hormonal 6 month old (hey, at least she sleeps 11 hrs overnight so I can’t complain) and an assortment of paperwork, filing and unpacking (yes, still unpacking) that comes with having relocated overseas. Often we get to the weekend and are either too tired to venture too far from home or we are overwhelmed by the endless choice of things to do. There is always more than one thing on in NYC that I want to do or be part of at any given time. This is quite different from life in Christchurch – for me their was only one thing on that caught my fancy…every couple of days. Auckland was immensely better for choice of entertainment and events, but I spent the better part of my New Zealand life in Christchurch, 7 years to be exact.



A to Z Challenge: C is for Curb Alert!

Welcome to day 3 in the A to Z Challenge. If you’ve been following along, I’m hopefully starting to weave a little bit of a story about me by going from A to Z through the month of April – telling you more about me and where I live.

Today, the letter C stands for Curb Alert! Since we moved into our new neighborhood in December, I joined up to a Yahoo Group where neighbors make requests for everything from babysitters to doctor recommendations. I haven’t really been able to take up any of the requests on the lists for one reason or other, but I’m always amazed by the ‘curb alerts’. Here’s how it works…someone posts that they are putting something to the curb. They add a description of the something along with details of where the curb is and at what time they will put in on said curb. My amazement is when the someone posts not more than 5 minutes after the ‘at the curb time’ that the item is gone. It’s like freecycling mixed with dumpster diving, I love it! 

In New Zealand we had to drive to a dump station and pay to dump anything that did not fit into a recycling or rubbish bin. Needless to say spring cleaning was expensive. I like that here in NYC the Sanitation Department trusts that ‘junk’ will take care of itself. After all, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

I see the same people out for leisurely walks, checking out other people’s garbage. I’d say it could be pretty lucrative. I’ve seen toys and furniture still in reasonable condition. Most likely discarded to make room in our small, cramped New York homes.  So, imagine my excitement when on the way to the subway with the kiddies I saw a floor lamp that would be perfect for our dining area. The dining area that has no light fixture, none, nada, completely dark.

This is the text messaging sequence that ensued between me and my husband who was at home.

 

And this is my son enjoying said floor lamp at the ungodly hour of omigoodness-the-sun-hasn’t-risen-what-are-you-doing-up! In perfect condition minus one shade thingey on one of the three lights is missing.

Do you freecycle? What’s been your biggest/best score?

If you like this post, you might want to read the 40 ways I think New York is cool.