Thursday, July 31, 2014

Making Space and Creating Spaces

Teeeeeny budgie ornament, gifted by a friend

I was definitely glad to return after our holiday, but it did feel like an adjustment, moving from sparsely furnished, uncluttered apartments, to... our home.  At times it feels darn overwhelming, managing a home inhabited by four free spirits.


It's been a really gradual process, turning this rental into a 'home', but for the first time since we moved in together and sprogged up, I'm really starting to settle in.  It's been two years in this house and I haven't found myself itching to relocate.  This is good.

 Middle - This print by Pikselmatic, in Homestyle, Bottom - little buddy gets a fringe, and refuses to have it photographed

And so it's time to part with that which we no longer need, to make space for ourselves and our growing babies.  Decluttering actually feels amazing, and all those vintage goodies that I amassed in our early years together, I am more than happy to send on towards their next homes.  Well okay, maybe not allll of them, but as many as I can bear to part with ;-).

 Top - look who I spotted in Homestyle! Middle - bunting crocheted by a dear friend, who... Bottom - ... once dressed up in clown costume for my daughter's first birthday :-)

As we were cleaning and rearranging, I decided to strip off the lining and expose our bed base, and... I love it!  Now it looks like a crappy bed made out of pallets, but I don't even mind that at all! You may love it, you may hate it, but if you only knew how bad it looked before...


Winter in the north is typically muddy and damp, so this clearing and airing out of our space was really perfectly timed.  There's a lot still to do, but no hurry to do it.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bolaven cafe


*Sigh* Bolaveeeeeen.  This one was a regular treat for us these holidays.  With my sister managing there, and our final accommodation just around the corner, we ended up in and out of Bolaven a couple of times a day.  I was looking forward to visiting, based on all the amazing reviews it's been getting, and honestly it was even nicer than I pictured.


Bolaven has such a great, low-key vibe, with a restrained colour palette and simple, earthy decor.  This suited us perfectly as the kids never felt overwhelmed or out of place, making our visits all the more relaxing.  In fact, they spent a good amount of time playing under the huge communal table, leaving us free to do what we love best - drink coffee and catch up with our favourite peeps.


Most people visit Bolaven for the food, a beautiful menu filled with Laos-unfluenced items, and everything we tried was reeeally good, though I'm kicking myself that I didn't try the Pho :-(  I will say this, the coffee is epic!  During my first visit (a bloggy meet-up with some lovely peeps - and some of their cute babies) I went ahead and ordered two, and well, I think I may have found my coffee limit at this particular venue :-P  Crazy times, crazy times...


This post isn't sponsored, and no one asked me to write it.  But with a cafe that pretty, I couldn't not share :-)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Auckland Museum


I can't even remember the last time I visited the Auckland Museum.  It's much better than I actually remembered!  In lieu of Zoo/Rainbow's End/MOTAT visits this trip, we opted for a more low-key outing to look at the natural history section of the Museum.  I will say that choosing to look at one section only, was an inspired idea.  Once we were through here (and after a quick look at the Wildlife Photography exhibition), the kiddos were definitely ready for lunch and a rest.


Our two are really into dinosaurs at the moment, so it was especially fun showing them the dino skeletons, though to be honest, the taxidermic animals held most appeal.  It's practically like visiting the Zoo, y'all!  Except all the animals are dead.  


My personal favourite part was watching them walk tenderly across the glass-topped floor as though they were really walking on water.  Hehe!  Kids :-P


It was busier than usual when we went, school holidays and all, so the Weird and Wonderful section was a little too packed to really enjoy.  We spent some time looking through the drawers filled with bugs and butterflies and then busted a move.  To be honest, I can't remember much of what else the Museum holds, but I'd be quite keen to go and take another look next time we visit.


We had our lunch under watery sun in the Winter Gardens, which feel very much like something out of 'The Secret Garden,' and made me go all dreamy eyed imagining our (far in the) future home.  I've decided that a secret garden is just what we need ;-).

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wynyard Quarter


Wynyard Quarter has become a go-to holiday spot for our family.  We probably travel to Auckland about twice a year, and naturally we try to cram as much in as we can.  WQ has appeal both in terms of what it gives, and how little it takes.  There are so many pretty spots to rest in, and plenty of space to play (the playground is quite beautiful), and of course there is so much to take in, visually.  It's pretty spectacular.  

It's also free, and the parking (next to Silo Park) is accessible and cheap (and depending on the length of your stay - free).  So really, win-win.  The perfect place to stretch legs and catch a breath of salty air.


During this visit there were free outdoor activities (see above) and a pop-up book swap library.  So, so cool.