NEW ZEALAND flashback!

Hooley dooley! Has it really been six months since my last post? Actually, I can believe that, life of late has been of blur of study and home renovation with a few other adventures thrown in. Anyway, it’s good to be back!

Looking back over my blog I realise that I never got around to posting all of my New Zealand photos (even though that trip was almost twelve months ago!).  Being winter in Australia at the moment its seems appropriate to share the final leg of this journey now. The last part of our trip took in the stunning blue waters of Lake Ruataniwha and Lake Tekapo (the water really is this colour!); a relaxing dip in the warm waters of Tekapo Springs while enjoying the spectacular view over Lake Tekapo; a visit to Mt John Observatory, which felt like being on another planet! And finally, a couple of nights at Terrace Downs Resort, not to play golf but for a day trip to the snow at Mt Hutt.

We visited in between seasons and were lucky that the snow season had been extended so the roads, accommodation and snow fields weren’t too busy, but New Zealand seems to be beautiful at any time of year.

Needless to say, by the end of this holiday I was ready to move to New Zealand’s South Island!

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ON THE HOUSE!

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Do you remember my post, roughly 12 months ago, about the Sydney Opera House? Well last year was a big year for this beautiful building, which also celebrated it’s 40th birthday. Last month, I too celebrated a birthday. If you follow me on twitter you may have noticed that one of the gifts I received was a tile on one of the largest sails of the Sydney Opera House! I didn’t receive an actual tile but in purchasing a virtual tile, my husband and became Housemates. The funds raised via this project will go towards maintaining and renewing this iconic building for the next 40 years. If you too would like to support the Sydney Opera House, or see who else is a housemate, you can visit the Own Our House website or see frequently asked questions here. We could be housemates together!

HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY

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In preparation for Australia Day, I made an Aussie icon—the humble lamington. If you have never encountered a lamington before they consist of sponge cake, dipped in chocolate, then rolled in coconut. Upon searching for a recipe, I discovered that there are various methods, which left me wondering which version to make. Should I use ganache or icing? Should I spread jam in the middle of the lamington? Should I use dessicated or shredded coconut? The consensus amongst my friends was that you should only use jam if you are adding cream, so to kept it simple I went with icing, no jam and toasted shredded coconut (I think toasting the coconut was the best decision I made!). I didn’t use one recipe in particular but if you would like to make your own lamingtons the links below may be of some use, I particularly like the idea of mini lamingtons that can be eaten in one bite!

Happy Australia Day!

Little Lamingtons
Chocolate Lamingtons with Toasted Coconut
Joyce Pascoe’s CWA Lamington Recipe
Tips for making Lamingtons

ENTER EXXOPOLIS

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Attention Sydneysiders! You only have a few days left to experience Exxopolis, the giant inflatable sculpture that has been occupying the Sydney Opera House forecourt for the last few weeks. The Architects of Air have created another fantasy world of light and wonder that you can explore. Having seen one of their luminariums a couple of years ago, I knew it would be worth another visit. So if you haven’t seen Exxopolis yet January 27th is the last day, don’t miss out! And if you want to save a few bucks, book your tickets the day before.

NEW ZEALAND continued

So the Christmas holidays are over and I am back in Sydney trying to get back into a routine, which is proving difficult when sorting through last year’s holiday snaps. Continuing on the tour around New Zealand’s South Island, today’s post takes in Blue Pool (which actually looks more green in my images!), Cardrona, Lake Wanaka, Queenstown, Arrowtown and the Lindis Pass. A severe storm hit the island during our visit but the mister and I were lucky to avoid most of it, we had to skip Milford and Doubtful Sound due to the bad weather but this meant more time in the snow so it all worked out. So if you are sweltering in Oz right now and are struggling to keep your cool in the heatwave, just imagine yourself floating in the pool below, I know that’s where I’d rather be. :)

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VIA INSTAGRAM: SUMMERLOVE

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This is how I have spent the last days of 2013, hopefully 2014 will bring more of the same. I wish you all a fabulous New Year, see you on the other side :) xxx