05 April 2013

Things I'm Loving: an Easter-full of Awesome

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful for..no matter how simple it is.

We had such an epic weekend, away in Taranaki for the long Easter break. Here's a selection of the things we loved the most.

Hot Air Balloons
We happened upon a beautiful selection of balloons as we drove into Levin on Good Friday morning.

Seeing them with a backdrop of the sun breaking through the clouds was just stunning.

The two we passed on the main street were almost close enough to touch.

Free Coffee
Loving that when we stopped at Wild Bean Cafe in Otaki someone hadn't wanted their trim latte that had just been made so I got my coffee for free!

My Maunga
This mountain will forever have a special place in my heart. I climbed to the very top of her great heights in 2005 after wanting to do so my whole life. And one day I shall do so again.

I love that some days she comes out from behind her usual cloak of cloud and stuns us with her naked glory.

Virginia Lake
Loving the gorgeous light on the lake when we arrived on Friday morning. We love wiling an hour or so away on our journey north - there's so much to see here that we feel as if we could always spend it a bit longer.

And I'm loving how these shots turned out!

Brilliant colour
Loving these gorgeous hydrangeas that greeted us at Gee Gee's house. Wow. I don't think I've ever seen a bluer set of blooms anywhere.

The smell of summer rain
Loving spending an hour on the coastal walkway in New Plymouth letting the kids blow out some cobwebs after spending five hours in the car. We did get a bit wet at the end as the menacing dark clouds over the sea drew in and dumped their load on us.

We hadn't taken rain coats as rain hadn't been forecast but despite getting a little damp, we enjoyed the brisk walk back to the car and for me, nothing beats the smell of summer rain on warm tarseal. There's no other smell like it.

Joe's Garage
Loving an establishment that makes it easier to entertain chilluns, and I was so impressed with Noah's colouring of his Easter bunny, he has come on in leaps and bounds with this over the past month or so.

The Amazing Maize Maze
Love finding new adventures! We'd seen some signs on the way to New Plymouth for the maize maze and figured it would be a cool thing to do with the kids. This maze had 30 sponsors with 30 markers to find throughout. We started with a game plan to keep to the left and skirt right around the outside of the maze. And after an hour of wandering around in ever decreasing circles, which was impressive with the little legs we had accompanying us, we were reasonably confident we had most of the markers. Lucky for us, we were able to share answers with another family and got the last 2 markers we didn't have - so were able to enter the draw for the $50 weekly prize draw and $500 season draw too. Result!

Easter Chicks
Love taking a bit of time out over Easter to do some special baking (or no-baking as this recipe turned out to be). All it took was vanilla wine biscuits, condensed milk, coconut, yellow food colouring, almonds and chocolate bits. Easy peasy. And fun for the kiddly-winks too!

Treasures from days gone by
Loving that Gee Gee is at the stage of wanting to share some of her treasures with us. After last weekend's visit I've returned home with a sewing machine, an antique Japanese tea set and the possibility of relocating her piano to our home in Wellington. 

It was hilarious figuring out how to thread the sewing machine together (her memory isn't what it used to be and I've not used a sewing machine for 20 years!) but we got there in the end and I managed some rough stitching to remind myself what the heck to do!

With my background in Japanese (I did a degree in Japanese back in my youth) Gee Gee has always said that this tea set would be mine, and so this time I've brought it home with me. It's so special to have been given a family heirloom that came from her own grandmother.

This is not just any piano. But a Chappell baby grand player piano or pianola. If you can imagine music rolls that you wind on to a spool and then use foot pedals to make the piano play beautiful music all on its own. I remember so many hours spent in my childhood and youth both playing my own composed songs, church songs, or stamping my feet out on these pedals making beautiful melodies. 

I'd originally thought the piano would be going to another family member but this is no longer possible, so I am now trying to find out if a) we can afford to relocate it to Wellington and b) whether we can restore it it's former glory. The piano is quite out of tune and the player piano part hasn't worked for a good 10 years or so, but even if we can only get it re-tuned, I love the idea of keeping a family heirloom in our family. I'd so LOVE it if we can make it happen. I'll keep you posted!

Eggs and bunnies
Loving making these little people's morning, and Easter wouldn't be complete without an egg hunt. We had to be a bit creative as it had rained pretty heavily in the night so did a combination of an indoor/outdoor hunt ending with some rather large Crunchie bunnies in the letterbox.

Loving finding new and cool places. Loving that Nana & Poppa came down for the day on Easter Sunday and despite a fairly rain day, we took a chance and went in search of some loveliness at Pukeiti. The gardens there are best known for their beautiful display of rhododendrons in Spring, and although we didn't get to see any of the blooms, we did come across this magnificent specimen of a tree.

It was so big that both Poppa and Noah could easily climb up inside its trunk and peek through to the other side. 

Looking up from the ground, it was like looking at a whole eco-system contained in one tree. Pretty impressive. We also saw and heard a bell bird in the trees which was a very unexpected and lovely surprise for us all - they sound a lot like a tui but are much rarer so it was an absolute treat to see one in the wild.

Popular punch buggies
Loving how many VW bugs and vans we saw this weekend - and then we realised that there was a national meet on in New Plymouth over Easter weekend - ha ha that'll explain it. This was just one classic car we saw and followed for a while on our way home on Monday.

Phew! That was an extra long list of Loves this week after what was a fantastic Easter all round - I hope you also had a great one celebrating our risen Lord where you were!

Oh and don't forget there's a pretty sweet giveaway for a cool kid's wheelie travel bag here, entries close Sunday night! Just come over and comment to be in to win.

Here's how you can join in this week:

Link up below with your blog post telling us what you're loving, and grab the Things I'm Loving button below for your post too. Don't forget to share the love by visiting all the other lovelies who have joined in - the linky is open till same time next week!

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Sima J said...

Wow that was a great list of thankfuls :-) Love your pics! Esp those bird ones and the maize with the dark sky :-)

Nikki said...

Looks like such a fab holiday! Can't wait to catch up this weekend! x

Catching the Magic said...

I have loved seeing your photographs pop up on Instagram this past week. Your Easter weekend looked and sounded amazing through your updates. I particularly love the corn maze and the incredible rata tree photos. So pleased you all had a wonderful time x

Cat said...

Those lil chicks are super cute and the maize maze looks super :D We have one just on outskirts of Auckland I should check it out for the kidlets
A wonderful week indeed and next week I get to meet you IRL squeeeeeeeeeee

A little bit country said...

Love those Easter Chicks! Looks like you have had a heart and funfilled Easter x

Miriam said...

I love your photographs Meghan and I got really emotional about your special things from GeeGee.... can't wait to see what you rock out on your new sewing machine!!

Leonie said...

What a week! Looks wonderful :)

TracyP said...

WOW!! What an awesome weekend!! The little chicks you made are adorable

Neetz said...

Cool weekend. And I didn't know you were a Naki girl! ((Hubby is a Naki lad))... I lived there with him for about 3 years, worked at Base Hospital in NP.. it was great. We love coming back and like you, he has that mountain in his blood... of course its "HIS" Maunga.. he loves to remind me of that since Im just a Northland girl! hehe. xxxx

Bron said...

What a fabulous Easter you have had...love your family treasures too. No favs for me this week...took a couple of days away with the family instead...see you again next week. xxx

SandraT said...

What an epic 'things you are loving' post! How fabulous, there IS so much to love! But the blue hydrangeas are just exquisite! I think I love this link up :)


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