Monday 30 June 2014

Better eating and winter rainbows

You know what it's like when you get to the point where you need to go food shopping and there's not alot in the cupboards? Well after searching for a recipe so I could do some baking for the teens lunches I found this recipe for Chocolate Muffins (recipe here).  They turned out well risen and yummy.

Other updates are my daughter has been asked to her senior school ball by her new boyfriend, who is lovely and just like her so we have been looking for a ball dress. because I"m on a tight budget I've got to be careful financially but we've found one which is almost kind of Victorian Steampunk-ish and SO her. We have it on our watchlist at the moment so here's hoping it's going to be ours.

Annnnd I just love winter! Perfect time to keep warm and cosy inside while storms and bad weather are going on outside. Last week the youngest had a doctor's appointment and we drove home in the pelting rain. Here's a shot I took once the rain had stopped:

I just love rainbows - the colours are so vibrant! Have a great week everyone.

A can for a coffee deal in Auckland

This is from last September but I hope it's still going and will continue to not just grow but also be something that others would copy too - story from

Auckland gets world’s first ‘can for a coffee’ cafe

If you love coffee and you love helping out those in need, then you'll love this idea. Auckland just got the world's first 'can for a coffee' pop-up cafe, on 13 Rose Rd (Grey Lynn).
The cafe is open 9am to 11am on Fridays and Saturdays and, during that time, people can trade a can of food for a cup of coffee. Every single can goes straight to the Auckland City Mission who then distributes them to those who need them.
Locals is a not-for-profit initiative and the brainchild of Brad Robinson, Oliver Johnston and Joshua Wong, supported by Caffe L'affare. The team hopes this new "can for a coffee" cafe will be the first of a number of them around the world, as they work to inspire other coffee roasters to create "Locals" of their own (if you're interested, check 
"Our motivation is pretty simple: We want to encourage businesses, whether coffee related or otherwise to help meet real needs in the local community. We believe that as business owners, we owe a responsibility to society at large. We would love to see more and more businesses that operate in a manner that is both profitable in the traditional sense and profitable to their surrounding community," says Wong.
The pop-up cafe is definitely going to be open for a month and its continuity will depend on how successful it is. So far, a few cafes have expressed interest in adopting the 'can for a coffee' movement on a weekly basis and the group has also had a few offers from volunteer baristas. The Facebook page has grown to almost a thousand "likes" in less than a week and Wong hopes the number will continue to go.
Dig through your pantry, find a can of something tasty and go trade it for a cup of coffee and some karma points at the Locals.

Friday 27 June 2014

Indian Spice Lounge Takeaways in Wellsford

There's a new kid in town - The Spice Lounge Indian food takeaways in Wellsford. Every time I walk past I can smell the most tantalizing smells - I've heard good reports about this place too!

Wednesday 25 June 2014

The cause of noisy dissension in Wellsford!

These road/pavement works have been the cause of much noise & rumbling outside work this week. Not sure what they're doing but the vibrations have been shaking the building and drowning out the nice noises inside our office such as the music teacher's lessons in the next room. Hopefully they will be finished nice and quick.

Tuesday 24 June 2014

New glasses for a great girl!

My daughter has been suffering from headaches for a while now so we made her appointment at the optometrists in Auckland a couple of weeks ago. After a comprehensive test and photographs being taken of the inside of her eyeballs we found out that she does indeed need glasses. It turns out that she has her father's eyes, one of which is lazy and probably is why she has been squinting. We picked up the new glasses yesterday and managed to get a great deal- two pairs for one so here's hoping she doesn't have anymore headaches.

Monday 23 June 2014

Orange reflections from the hills of Tawharanui

I can't resist sharing this shot I captured last year while walking around Campbell's Beach in the Tawharanui area. This was taken in the late afternoon/early evening just when the sun was starting to set over the hills and reflecting over the sand when the tide was out.

Sunday 22 June 2014

Auckland Museum - an important historic kiwi icon

I just love this place. Auckland Museum is one of our favourite places to visit on a family day out. This photo was taken in early Autumn - March 2014.

Friday 20 June 2014

Coffee with the girls at the Frog n Kiwi - Mangawhai

This morning I spent some time with "the girls" for a much needed coffee at the Frog n Kiwi restaurant right here in Mangawhai. Today has been a typical blustery rainy winter's day so it was good to sit & relax in a warm delightful atmosphere.

My drink of choice - one large mocha - always a good kick of caffeine that usually keeps me going for the rest of the day. Think we're going to have to do this on a regular basis!

Tuesday 17 June 2014

A mile full of colourful Autumn trees!

When I was out yesterday for my daily walk with Tia (my dog) we walked past the above property which has almost like miles of trees just barely covered in yellow/orange leaves. The property has a long driveway and next to it are these. I think it's pretty the way the colours stand out against the bareness of winter.

Sunday 15 June 2014

The beauty of Sandspit, north of Auckland

Yesterday I managed a quick visit to the lovely Sandspit which is about 10 mins drive out of Warkworth, north of Auckland. It's so quiet & peaceful here, not many houses around the area but there is a yacht club and a wharf where the boat leaves for Kawau island.

This image of boats moored in the estuary just gives it more of a perfect holiday destination especially on this sunny, warm winter's day.

Saturday 14 June 2014

Great food, great coffee - Ginger Cafe, Warkworth

This morning was one of those lazy Saturdays where I enjoyed time with a good friend.  They make great coffees with a real oomph to them and lovely food.

It's the Ginger Cafe in Warkworth, north of Auckland. Despite it being a busy little eatery all the waiting staff are friendly and happy to help. This is definitely one of my favourite places!

Friday 13 June 2014

Wellsford Gardens - what a pretty display of colour

While running a few errands yesterday at work I passed by these small gardens in the centre of Wellsford. I just love the Autumn colours even though it's the beginning of winter you wouldn't know it because it's still reasonably warm here and alot of the trees still have their yellow leaves.

Thursday 12 June 2014

Winter sunset over Wellsford/Tomarata

I had to quickly grab my camera tonight when I was leaving work when I spotted this winter sunset through the office window. I just love the way the moon is poking it's head out from behind the clouds.

Wednesday 11 June 2014

Calm after the storm - love these gray skies and damp days of winter

So, here are our skies here in Mangawhai today - calm after the storm more like. After 2 days of torrential rain & wind i can quite confidently say that I'm sure our tank has alot more water in it. Not sure if there's more on the way at some point but don't think I'd turn it down. Unfortunately I've been struck down with a mean as flu so I've been stuck in bed trying to get better.

Monday 9 June 2014

At last a storm here in Mangawhai!

These were the skies outside my house this morning. We've been anxiously awaiting some rain here to fill up the tanks and finally we got some. It wasn't as much as I would've liked but it's better than nothing. I'm hoping to get more tonight!

Sunday 8 June 2014

Scallop Shells close up at Te Arai Beach

On a recent visit to our own Te Arai Beach I spent some time photographing some of the shells on the shore. I just love the patterns & grooves each one has that make them so individual to each other.

Thursday 5 June 2014

Wind surfers at Mangawhai Estuary on Waitangi Day

One of my stormy day shots from back in February - think this was on Waitangi Day. A huge gathering of kite surfers, wind surfers and other sports people were enjoying themselves on the Mangawhai estuary down by the Lincoln Street reserve. Was hard to pin this one down though because of the fast speed it was going.

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Streets of Queenstown on a freezing rainy day

One of my favourite shots from our trip to Queenstown last year as we were wandeirng around the streets in town exploring some of the shops. This one is down by the waterfront but despite the temperatures it's one of the places here in New Zealand I love to visit. I miss it!!!

Tuesday 3 June 2014

Weekend colour in Mangawhai Heads

Because it was so lovely and sunny over the weekend it was too good to stay indoors so I decided to walk up to Mangawhai surf beach. The view on this photo of the estuary is perfect - so calm and blue looking.

I walked through the caravan park on the way home and there were lots of Flame trees in bloom. The red & yellow flowers are a nice addition to what's usually a dull winter here.

Monday 2 June 2014

Late autumn colour - lots of leaves & abandoned buildings

Time for some updates seeing as I haven't been here in a while. It's very rainy & damp here - typical Northland winter weather. I've been out and about taking photos of some of the lovely colours which I'll share as follows:

Autumn leaves hanging off the guttering at the local Mangawhai church in the village.

My feet in amongst the leaves on the ground outside the church. They were very crunchy and crackling sounding but I just love this time of year.

This abandoned looking house is also in Mangawhai village but I've since found out that people are occasionally seen living in it. I like the way it's covered in ivy and leaves.


  Photo taken last time I was in Westport. I do like brightly painted buildings, especially old ones like this. I personally prefer to make ...