28 February 2013

Beach break: in two halves


These are just a few (ha ha!) pictures from last Sunday's day trip up to our friend's beach house in Raumati (40 minutes drive from Wellington) to drop Mark's mum and dad off as they are staying up there this week.

But this place is special to us. It is the very spot where we got married. We pledged our vows in the lounge of this house surrounded by 60 friends and family with 160 km/hr winds raging outside and the ranch sliders nearly blowing inside out from the gusts. The weather put quite a new spin on the 'summer beach wedding' we had planned that's for sure, so believe me the weather on that day looked nothing like it does in these pics! But I still wouldn't change our day for the world - the insane wind is still a talking point to this day - it made for a memorable occasion!

Anyway, I am champing at the bit to get back up there this afternoon to enjoy a long weekend together at the beach house. I swear there is something utterly magical in the air up there, or maybe the magic is in the knowing that this where I pledged my forever vows.

All I know is being there lightens every burden and makes my heart simply soar.

And the sunsets are to die for.

Warning: the photo overload is likely to be repeated again when we return!

27 February 2013

Wardrobe Wednesday {its a jumpsuit kind of day}

Another cool outfit my UK mum and dad brought over with them was this jumpsuit. To be honest before I put it on, I was not convinced that I would wear it. But there's something pretty cool about it in a 'dare to be different' kind of way. I've now worn it to work, out for dessert with some girl friends and to church.

Although trying to take good photos to show off how the pants actually look proved kinda difficult whilst attempting self-portraits. I had to resort to a few strange poses to try and give you a better idea!

The only word of warning when wearing a jumpsuit is that one cannot leave it till the last minute before needing to visit the loo (as I am prone to do!) as it takes a good minute to unbutton the 10 or so buttons to enable one to make it in time and not wee one's pants!

Oh and you'd like a closer look at that gorgeous necklace I'm wearing? 

Don't mind if I do.

Isn't it the coolest? It's my new favourite necklace, and I haven't stopped wearing it since UK mum and dad gave it to me when they first arrived. Though blown up this large, I've suddenly noticed that it needs a bit of a clean!

I'm keen to know though, would you ever brave wearing a jumpsuit out in public?!

Joining in with all the other lovelies over at the new Wardrobe Wednesday linky over at Kelly's place Kiwi Womens Style.

26 February 2013

MNM's Bake: Vanilla and Raspberry Cheesecake

Cheesecake. Cheese-cake. Cheese cake. The name, for me, doesn't really do the exquisite triple taste sensation much justice. This is the first time we've made this delightful version, and believe me it won't be the last.

150g butter
200g digestive biscuits
100g rolled oats (or milk oaties)
1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla essence
500g cream cheese (2 x 250g pots)
150g caster sugar
1 lemon
1 orange
300ml cream (whipped)

For the raspberry topping
50g caster sugar
250g raspberries

1. Grease a 23cm springform cake tin.
2. Wrap your biscuits in a clean tea towel and then using a rolling pin, bash them up until you have fine crumbs.
3. Put a pan over a low heat, add the oats and toast them until they turn darker in colour
4. Cut the butter into cubes and add it to the pan with your biscuit crumbs. Gently stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture combines.
5. Remove from the heat and spoon the mixture into your cake tin, smoothing it out evenly.
6. Gently push down on the biscuit base using the back of a metal spoon, or your hands - you want to pack it down flat and even
7. Put the base in the fridge to chill and set for 1 hour.

1. If using a vanilla pod, cut in half lengthways and gently drag the edge of your knife along the insides of hte pod to scrape out the seeds
2. Put all the cream cheese in a mixing bowl, add the vanilla seeds (or essence), and the caster sugar
3. Grate over the zest of the lemon and orange, and then squeeze in the juice from the lemon
4. Give it a good stir until nice and smooth
5. In another bowl, whisk your cream until it gives you soft 'peaks'. Add half of it to your cream cheese mixture and fold it in. Then fold in the other half gently.
6. Once everything is blended, spoon the mixture over the biscuit base and use a spatula to smooth it out.
7. Place the cheesecake back in the fridge for at least an hour.

1. Place the cheesecake on a serving plate.
2. Mix the sugar and raspberries in a bowl - use your hands and scrunch them together.
3. Pour this mixture over the top of the cheesecake and smooth it out to the edges using the back of a spoon.

Serve and enjoy!

For more tasty recipes, go here.

Fun with Food
And linking up to Ange's weekly 
linky Fun with Food over here.

25 February 2013

The original MNM's: how it all began

Once upon a time a young girl made her way to Wellington. She'd only really moved to Wellington because her then boyfriend was also moving there from Auckland to take up a job at TVNZ in Avalon Studios and she felt obliged to follow where he went. After making do for a few weeks with a job behind the counter at Burger King, followed by some breakfast waitressing at the Novotel hotel, she eventually found more suitable work as a receptionist at the Museum Hotel. It was her first real job out of university after completing a degree in Japanese and Chinese. Not ideal, and not really what she wanted for her career, but it was a start at least.

A few months passed. She worked hard doing 7am-3pm and 3pm-10pm night shifts. She enjoyed the people she worked with, mostly young people like her finding their way in life. Strangely enough, amongst the group of them working together, there were 2 young guys who even shared the same birthday as her. What were the chances of that happening!

Things on the home front weren't all that happy though. It had been a tumultuous relationship, this one with her boyfriend of the past four years. Break-ups and make-ups, more fights and unhappy moments than she cared to admit, and a constant worrying sense of trying to make him happy when he seemed unable to do so for himself. His jealousy and inability to trust her was a constant source of tension and uneasiness along the way. She longed for more, but wasn't sure what 'more' meant.

One night her work hosts a farewell for one of these young guys she shares a birthday with, as he is going back to the UK after completing a year of work experience for his travel management degree that he has been studying for back home at Brighton University in Eastbourne. A group of them head out to a famous Wellington landmark 'The Tugboat' for drinks and dinner.

The girl enjoys the company of this young guy and has thought on more than one occasion that it is a shame he is going back to the UK as she would like to get to know him better. And on this night, after a few (too many) glasses of wine are in her, she boldly makes a move, putting her hand on his knee under the table, although she is a little too sozzled to realise that everyone else can see what's going on as they are sitting at a  glass table!

The night continues with the group going to town dancing at Coyote, but it ends early for her as her head is spinning, and she shamefully finds herself home and seeking the solace of a bucket by the bed for the rest of the night. She isn't rostered on at work the next day (thank goodness!), but when she returns the day after, she finds a Kinder Egg in her cubbyhole with a note from this young guy saying 'hope there's no awkwardness...we were just two great mates having a good time......'.

However, she's had time (whilst spent in bed feeling a tad sorry for herself) to do some thinking. Especially thinking that whilst she should be feeling pretty guilty about putting a move on another guy the other night, she really isn't at all, and what does that say about her...really? And what does this say about this relationship she's in that she feel this way?

She thinks long and hard. About the fact that she has been unhappy for a long time, the fact that she'd like to get to know this boy better, but the madness that it would be to contemplate pursuing things when he is about to move halfway around the world in just a few week's time. But suddenly she doesn't care. And she knows what she has to do.....

For the other posts in this series carry on here:

Part II The Original MNM's: Truly, Madly, Deeply
Part III The Original MNM's: Long Distance Love
Part IV The Original MNM's: Making it Work
Part V The Original MNM's: Surviving the Storm


Related Posts with Thumbnails