24 November 2014


PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.


22 November 2014

Google Halloween 2014

I looove a good Google Doodle! This year's Halloween one is a cutie! There were different options, and all were animated :)

21 November 2014

'Hal' by Yasmine Hamdan

I adore you
And if a day passes without sight of you
I forget you
but why this time I envisioned you
The absence awakens the craving, and from the heart
The night is long and the day passes in the heart

The separation makes me ache
I have no solution (hal)
I have no solution
My heart only loves once
My heart only loves once...

أهواك ..
وإن مر يوم من غير رؤياك
أنساك ..
واشمعنى المرة دي رسماك
الشوق يحرك الحنين ومن القلب
الليل يطول والنهار يعدي بالقلب

يا هشة عَ قلبي
الفرقة تئلمني
أنا ما عندي حل ..
أنا ما عندي حل ..
لا قلبي يحب مرة
لا قلبي يحن مرة

I fell in love with this song (from Only Lovers Left Alive). It's enchanting, mysterious, dark... Beautiful.

17 November 2014

I Won't Fear Love

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.


Taste Auckland 2014

Despite horrid weather (rain and high winds!), my brother and I headed to Taste (food) festival.

We had bought early bird VIP tickets for Saturday 12-4pm session. As it was, the 5pm evening session was cancelled due to the weather!

We rugged-and-booted-up (i.e. dressed appropriately! Why were people wearing shorts?!), and headed out. The VIP pass came with 'limited parking', and we were lucky enough to snap up a park right by the entrance.

Annnd, as VIPs our line moved super-fast (and was much shorter than general admission).

A note on VIP: it's worth it. It sounds wanky, saying "VIP", but it meant: great parking, the Taste wine glass was included, glass of Deutz bubbly, entry to the VIP lounge (with two bars, tables/chairs, cover etc.)., and $30 already loaded onto a Taste card (the festivals currency is 'Crowns'). Last year being a VIP meant lounging in the evening sun, sipping bubbles at in a comfy chair, with a table to eat your delicious food off. This year it meant: cover from the wind and rain! So, even with the weather difference, I would, no WILL buy VIP tickets next year.

We didn't go as crazy on the restaurant food this year, restraining ourselves to six menu items:

Farina: Daily Taste-made fresh pasta filled with Braised Aromatic Duck, served with Wild Mushroom & Truffle Ragu

Farina: Valoriani Oven Pork Saltimbocca Bun with Italian Spicy Greens, Provolone Cheese & Cipriani Mustard Dressing. AMAZING - my fav dish of the festival

Harbourside Ocean Bar Grill: Scallop, Sweet, Sour & Salty with Tamarind & Chorizo Caramel, Avocado, Creme Fraiche, Rice Puffs

The Oyster Inn: Crayfish & Watercress Risotto

Depot Raw Oyster Bar: Virgin Bloody Mary Oyster Shooter

Bracu: Salted caramel & Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches

Petal Cupcakes - just beautiful (and delicious!). Just $1 for a mini-cupcake (we tried the lemon one).

All and all a great festival. It was a shame about the weather - the effect it did have (IMO) was: a) the tents for all the sellers became cramped (normally the sides would be rolled up to allow festival goers to spill out from more popular stalls), b) a LOT of stall holders let the bad weather be reflected in their service (not all, but there were many depressed looking sellers), and many I walked passed didn't even look up from their phones (disappointing for me) - normally sellers are keen for you to try their wares, and this year I barely sampled anything (and to note: those I did sample, I BOUGHT! Sampling works. I walked away with two bottles of Limoncello, one bottle of wine, and two packets of pulled pork!).

The weather definitely impacted the vibe of the festival on Saturday, but I still had fun :) And the food was incredible, as per usual!

14 November 2014

The Grove x 2

The Grove restaurant had, for a limited time, a 'Create your own 5 course experience'. Sarah and I went twice - because a) delicious value, and b) we wanted to try the things on the menu we had missed the first time. However, for our second time there was a whole new menu to choose from!

Our first outing was right around my birthday (July). Full menu:

We had:
1. Terrine of goose and pheasant w pickles, brioche

2. Grilled kingfish w broth of smoked kahawai, malt vinegar mussels

3. Wild shot red deer roasted in douglas fir, ash basked parsnip w preserved blackberries

4. Glazed wagyu short-rib w butternut, peas, pancetta

5. Apple and lemon tart fine w vanilla ice-cream

And then a lovely surprise treat for me, as the waitress saw it was my birthday (non-discrete ripping open of presents!)

Bliss!! So, we had to go back again...

The next menu:

We had:
1. Terrine of duck, poussin & hare, haricot vert & shallot chutney

2. New Zealand yellow fin tuna w coconut, cucumber & avocado

3. Line-caught fish w champagne veloute, salt baked turnips & toasted macadamias

4. Glazed wagu beef cheek w wakame, agria mousseline, savoy cabbage

5. Souffle a la moment with home-made ice-cream

10 November 2014

Halloween for the Busy

Those who know me, know I LOVE Halloween. This year Halloween landed on a Friday night, which is great!... Except I was sick, which was awful.

So, I rescheduled Halloween for Friday 7th November.

Unfortunately, a busy week meant I was NOT as prepared as I would've liked - more than anything this is just disappointing for me (as things were not decorated properly before my VIP guest arrived).

Previously years' Halloween posts have been filled with photos that meant I had more TIME to prepare: see 2013 and 2012.

What follows is my 2014 belated-Halloween. Maybe my quick and easy ideas will help you out next year, or for a spooky themed party :)

- Intestines (or fingers) with Blood = cocktail sausages with tomato sauce. I added in some plastic severed fingers around the edge of the plate (cos, Halloween).
- Mashed and Seasoned Maggots = Hummus
- Crispy Skin = crackers
- Compost = 3-layer dip
- Monster Munch = Monster Munch... it already has a great name

- Toxic Weeds = Salad
- Fresh Scalps (cooked to a crisp) = Pizza
- Fried Flesh with Pus = Potato Wedges with Sour cream.

- Graveyard Delight:
I used Crofters Chocolate Mousse cups. Crumble oreos on top (for dirt). Find a tombstone shaped biscuit (Griffins Chocolate Thins worked for me), and write 'RIP' in icing on them (I bought a set of icing pens from Countdown - it had three: white, milk, and dark chocolate icing pens). Add a jelly worm or two.

- Petrified Ghosts
Good ol' strawberries-dipped-in-white-chocolate-with-ghost-faces-drawn-on

I've seen everything I did done far better by others... BUT I managed to pull it off without the luxury of time (even if my ghost strawberries look so so very sad haha).

Movie of the night: would be 'Housebound', awesome kiwi horror (if it was out on DVD), so it was 'The Conjuring'.

Here are some resources you can download for free. I have gathered these from various places on the net. They are NOT created by me... except the anti-vampire holy water one (I used a random jpg of a vampire skull that was not mine to create it):

* 'Anti-Vampire Holy Water' jpg - I printed this on A4 and taped it to our water cooler
* Halloween Garland PDF - this is from TalkCraftyToMe.com. I used the non-lettered circles as the labels for my food (with a skewer and tape).
* Old school witch trio one and two jpg - I can't remember where I found these, but cute generic witch themed pics, that can be cut out and used as labels on bottles of treats etc.
* Drink/Wine bottle labels PDF - Witches Brew, Spider Venom etc - perfect for wine or soft drink bottles.

I read the obits..

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.


03 November 2014

On Being Single

I came across this article today and thought I'd share it because it resonated with me.

The title is a nice summation: Just Because I'm Single, Doesn't Mean I'm Desperate.

I'm single. At this point in time, the Kismet of the universe hasn't thrown me and another together to form a romantic relationship. Nor have I joined online dating, dressed up and gone out to clubs/bars, or done anything else that could be considered actively trying to find The One.

I'm okay with being single. Yes, every once and a while I think how great it would be to have someone.. BUT, I don't. And that's okay with me. I'm not going to settle, my body clock is screaming for babies, I don't have a crush on anyone...

I have time - selfish time - all to myself. Time to work on loving myself for who I am before I expect someone else to.

Here's a quote that sum it up perfectly for me:
The thing is, being single isn't sad, pathetic, or lonely. It is in fact the default human condition. We don’t emerge from the womb holding someone's hand, right? People aren't actually single because there's something wrong with them, contrary to popular belief. An infinite number of internet articles and dating books would have us believe that we're single because we have a bad attitude or we're too picky or we're trying too hard or we're not trying hard enough or we're not looking for love or we're looking for it in all the wrong places or we don't have enough of a life or we have too much of a life, or any number of other reasons. And those reasons stick because they make us think we have something about ourselves which we can fix. But the fact of the matter is that love is a random, chancy process, and there's nothing that anyone can do to guarantee success. And that's fine, but sometimes it kind of sucks. So why can't it be okay to admit that?
Read the full article at Hello Giggles.


Elbow 1 Nov 2014

Elbow have been playing together for 24-odd years - but it's Guy Garvey, the lead, that is the onstage personality of the band. It's been a while since I've been in the audience of a gig with such fun banter from a band (or in this case, just from the lead)! I'm glad I made it to the Powerstation (stupid cold) Saturday night, for a fantastic/fun concert (plus, I took my Dad for his 63rd birthday and he had a blast!).

Compulsory crap iPhone photos (we were on the mezzanine level):

Set List:

01. Intro (Slow Moving Water)
02. Charge
03. The Bones Of You
04. Fly Boy Blue/Lunette
05. Real Life (Angel)
06. The Night Will Always Win
07. New York Morning
08. The Loneliness Of A Tower Crane Driver
09. Scattered Black And Whites
10. Mirrorball
11. The Birds
12. Grounds For Divorce
13. My Sad Captains
14. Lippy Kids
15. One Day Like This