Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dreaming of... my dream house

I'm being a little bit of a copy cat here, as one of my blog friends, Olivia McCaskill posted about this house the other day. But, who cares, this house is perfect! It's like it was made especially for me, and I just wanted to share it with you:) I think my favourite part of it all is the battered, rustic table in the first picture, I always dreamed of having one of those... What does your dream house look like?

These aren't part of the same house, just some random pictures I pinned on Pinterest...

And it will all be contained in a beautiful shell like this...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Buon Compleanno!

On Sunday, my 24th birthday, I spent a blissful day cooking a whole bunch of deliciousness from recipes in Jo Seagar's latest cookbook Italia, which my lovely man gave me for Christmas last year. I was lucky enough to interview Jo Seagar when she came to the Wairarapa to promote her book and I was working as a journalist at the local paper, so it gave me great pleasure to cook some of the beautiful recipes she told me about that day. Everything was made from scratch, and every recipe came from that book. And by God, those Italian women must have some hulky strong arms, I kneaded so much dough it was a workout in itself!



Chicken Involtini
(Sage leaves, lemon rind and mozzarella cheese wrapped in chicken wrapped in bacon)
Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli
Rocket, Parmesan and Mozzarella Pizza

Apple and Lemon Torta served with Lemon Yoghurt

"A tavola non si invecchia"
{"At the table with good friends and family, you do not become old"}

Happy 75th Birthday Wellington Railway Station!

This morning Wellington commuters were pleasantly surprised by a party going on at the Wellington Train Station. There were balloons and kiwi music and a big long table filled with cupcakes, all to celebrate the station's 75th birthday. When it opened in 1937, it was New Zealand's largest building and one of the first seismic proofed structures in the country and it is now said to be New Zealand's busiest railway station, with more than 40,000 people passing through on a weekday.
I personally have a certain amount of pride in this beautiful building because my great grandfather, Frederick Bartlet, helped build it during the depression. I know this because, whenever people are being ungrateful and complaining about how "hard" life is these days, my dad chooses one of two stories. There's the one where his father's father arrived in Wellington with a wife, three young children, no job and 10 shilling in his pocket. Then there's the one where his mother's father, Frederick, arrived at the railway construction site as early as possible and worked all day every day without a break because if he put his tools down and turned his back for a second, another man would pick them up and he would be out of a job because that's how desperate things were back then.
So every day when I walk through the station to and from work, I look at the bricks stacked one by one and I remember that my great grandfather helped build that; he helped the economy move forward in extremely trying times by putting a big, solid, earthquake proof building over the heads of his great grandchildren.
[Click photos for sources]

The laying of the foundation stone. Photo: Albert Percy Godber

Circa 1937. Photo: William Hall Raine

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Monday :)

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you had a fab weekend :) I had a great birthday yesterday spent cooking and eating Italian food, listening to old records, hanging out with family and getting thoroughly spoilt! Photos of my culinary delights and festivities will be up tomorrow :) Have a fab week! xo

Friday, June 15, 2012

Twenty Four.

So I'm turning 24 on Sunday... it's crept up pretty fast. I mean, I only just got used to the fact that it's June already! I did have a bit of a freak out the other day when I realised I was turning TWENTY FOUR soon, simply because my current situation - living with my parents after 18months of being away from home building an independent life for myself - is not the ideal situation I imagined myself to be in at 24.
But I keep reminding myself that this situation is only temporary and I need to focus on the positives, and I know that one day I could be cooking in my own kitchen or folding washing in my own laundry or pulling weeds out of my own garden and I'll stop for a moment and long for my parents to have control again so I don't have to think about anything important, if only for a day.
For me, birthdays aren't about getting old,or about life passing me by. I prefer to use birthdays as a time to reflect on how I've used my years and to make plans for the next year so I have a lot to smile about on my next birthday. So I made a little list...

24 memories I'm thankful to have had since my last birthday (in no particular order):

♥ Pizza at the Cuckoo Cafe in Greytown
♥ The discovery of a beautiful old abandoned house in Carterton and exploring it with my sister
♥ The All Black's historic Rugby World Cup win
♥ The moment I pulled back the curtain on a chilly August night to discover it was snowing
♥ The day I started my very own Arts Page for the Wairarapa Times-Age newspaper
♥ My one and only trip to the beach - Riversdale Beach - during our miserable summer, where my sister and I sunbathed, I got sunburnt, we had a dip in the ocean, and we ate icecream - the perfect summer's day
♥ The night I listened to the amazingness of Vinyl Bison at the Cross Creek Blues Club
♥ The night Joshua and I saw Kitty, Daisy and Lewis in concert and got right up the front
♥ A beautiful dinner at Sweet Mother's Kitchen with friends
♥ A lazy Sunday afternoon spent watching Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
♥ My first introduction to the screen goddess that was Marilyn Monroe while watching Some Like it Hot
♥ Reliving Titanic in 3D
♥ A slow dance to "Your Song" by Elton John with Joshua at my mum's 50th birthday party
♥ A scorching hot Christmas Day spent in the sun with family
♥ A meal of fish and chips at the park followed by the five of us (adults) taking turns on the flying fox
♥ Celebrating our five year anniversary with a beautiful dinner, amazing dessert, a funny movie and an amazing boyfriend
♥ The day Josh and I conquered Mt Holdsworth
♥ The hike through the Belmont Regional Park that nearly killed us... because we went the long way by accident
♥ A visit from my good friend Victor Kamesar from the U S of A
♥ Celebrating my little brother's 21st birthday
♥ The day the last of my stuff was packed into a trailer and I moved back home to Wellington after nearly two years away
♥ Anzac Day spent at Tinui
♥ New Years Eve spent in M-Tron with two other couples, getting quite drunk and slow dancing to old Beatles records
♥ Mine and Joshua's endless experiments with rice risotto

Wow, wasn't hard at all to think of all those things... it sure has been a busy, but great year. Bring on the next one! I plan to spend this birthday cooking my family an Italian feast with recipes from Jo Seagar's book Italia, which I got for Christmas from the man and haven't used yet. Going to be delish!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A chilly place called home

Wellington, you can be so nasty and cruel sometimes, sneaking your icy fingers into the tiniest gap in our clothing. No matter how hard we try to cover up, to shield ourselves from you, you still find a way in. We rearrange our scarf and you sneak down our neck; we pull our collar up and you creep up from the ground inside our wool coat; we pull our coat closer and you slip through the gaps between the buttons; and before we know it, we're at work where we can be warm, at least until our stomach starts to grumble, then you meet us at the door. Then, for no reason at all in the middle of an otherwise miserable day, you part the clouds for us and that blue sky we see so rarely at this time of year frames you, our city, just the way we like it and we ignore the icy fingers and forgive you for another day because, wind, hail, snow, rain or shine, you are our home.

A note on music

Being a huge Beatles fan and also a fan of music from the 60s/70s/80s, I find I have to dig a little deeper to find something that truly stands out to me in modern music and, every now and then, I stumble across a little gem like this that keeps me believing in music's future and that one day great songs like this will fight their way into the mainstream scene. My wonderful boyfriend found this song and told me I had to listen to it, I would love it. And I did! I think I have to by this album now...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Monday :)

Morning everyone, and a Happy Monday to you! I know I've been a bit mooshy and romantic lately, but I can't help being in love! Joshua and I celebrated our five year anniversary yesterday with a beautiful dinner at Hummingbird, followed by desert at Wellington's famous Strawberry Fare - the ONLY place to go for dessert in Wellington. I tell you, you've never tasted anything so beautiful until you've tasted their chocolate icecream, or chocolate mudcake, or strawberry, passionfruit, vanilla, lemon, or mango sorbet... oh my goodness, my mouth is watering just thinking about it - and it's only 10am!
So we talked and we laughed and we reminisced, and it turned out to be the best date ever. I feel so lucky to have such an amazing guy in my life and that, five years on, we're stronger than ever and can still find things to talk about and laugh about at dinner.
I was listening to this song on my way to work on the train this morning, and thought it was just the perfect song to go along with all of these romantic sentiments. Enjoy! Have a fabulous week my friends! xo
"And so I'm sailing through the sea, to an island where we'll meet. You'll hear the music fill the air, I'll put a flower in your hair..."

“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” -Dr Seuss

Sunday, June 10, 2012

All you need is love

Five years ago today, an 18-year-old girl received a text message from an 18-year-old boy asking her to be his girlfriend. She said yes and it was the best thing she ever did.

Happy anniversary Joshua, love you to pieces xox

Guest blogging!

Just letting y'all know I have a guest post over on Amelia Curzon's blog today! It's called I am a New Zealander (If you've been following me for awhile, you'll know I've written about it before on this blog) So I hope you go and check it out, it's very exciting for me, as it's my first guest blog and a great chance to have more people to share my blog with.

So thanks Amelia! xo

Friday, June 8, 2012


Just a little something from my novel, Missing Since Tuesday. Enjoy! And happy weekend :)

Grief is never easy. Even when you’re warned, when it is only a case of when, not if. Even when they die of old age and everyone says it was their time – we can’t live forever. But you know that your world is never going to be the same without that person in your life and despite your resolve to love them and spend time with them when they are still alive, it is never enough when they are gone.
And so we nod and we say thank you and we accept the flowers and the cards, and we do all the things we are supposed to do. As adults, we understand death; it is a part of life. We can deal with grief. Or so our sympathizers are given to believe.
Had they access into our thoughts, they could not survive the tangled web; its gnarled fingers grabbing at our arms and twisting them behind our back, distracting us as more mangled digits tore at our shoe laces and a million voices ripped through the air, coming from every direction, bringing us to our knees shoeless, armless, and in a state of utter confusion.

For the third night in a row, Duncan lay awake in bed staring at the ceiling, knowing exactly what his alarm clock said: it’s late. Or early, depending on how he looked at it.
He had long since given up counting sheep, taking deep breaths and attempting to clear his mind and had resigned himself to counting the tiles. There were fifty-one.
Every time he closed his eyes, his grandfather’s face, in all its forms, haunted him. Memories of his childhood grandfather, who had a receeding hairline with gray streaks shot through black and ran around the park with Duncan and his sister, circled those of his adulthood grandfather, whose hair on top of his head had disappeared leaving white wisps behind his ears.
Every now and then, if he let it in, the image of Henry Grant lying helpless in a faded hospital gown came to him. The almost lifeless form struggling to breathe until at last his final breath left him and he lay still, as Duncan watched and waited for his chest to rise again. Tonight it came to the front of Duncan’s mind where it stayed until he finally found oblivion and the alarm clock glared 4.00am.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cycling in style

So Joshua and I are very, very close to getting a place of our own, and while, in my head, I'm taking inventory of all the kitchen stuff and furniture stashed in my parents' garage which I finally get to use and deciding where it will go in our cute little one-bedroom possible house, I'm also thinking about bikes.
See, we will be sharing a car, so while he's at work on weekends I won't have wheels. So now I'm thinking about getting myself a bike, but not just any bike... a vintage one. A bike that is all about poise and grace, that lets you sit upright, head back, chest held high. A bike on which I can cruise the city streets on a brisk, sunny Wellington day, on which I can ride to the veggie market at the river bank on a Saturday morning and pile up my wicker basket hanging on my handle bars with fresh fruit and veggies for the week, before stopping for a coffee at an eclectic cafe then heading home via the beach. Bliss!
I found a website that lets you make your own vintage bike, called Urban Outfitters, but was sorely disappointed when I found out that they don't operate in New Zealand or even Australia. :(as I expected... we don't have anything this cool in lil' ol' NZ) But, I made one anyway and I plan to find a second hand vintage bike and do it up myself, as close as I can get to this one:

And, here's what we would all look like if we had one of these bikes - godesses, of course!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Photo shoot number two

I'm so in love... with these photos and that beautiful man right there... xox
This is photo shoot number two, following our Wellington Adventure, for my sister's school portfolio. Enjoy!