Our trip of a life time

Going to New Zealand 2 weeks ago was  the most amazing trip we have ever taken. It was our first overseas trip EVER! I have finally got the chance to organise some pictures to share we you.

We arrived in Dunedin to a shock to how cold it was, leaving home it had been 23 degrees (which felt cool) to walk out of the airport in Dunedin to 10 degrees! The whole time we were in New Zealand the temperature didn’t reach 20 degrees!!!! We had one night in Dunedin and drove to Queenstown (a drive of about 3 hrs), our frist view of snow-capped mountains was amazing!

In Queenstown we skied for 2 days & then had planned on going down to Milford Sound for a cruise, but on our second days of skiing a snow front came in and totally blanketed  the whole area with about 30cm of snow. So there was no driving!

But all that snow meant we going to make snowmen, throw snowballs & WH made a snow angle. The whole town looked so beautiful covered in snow, everyone in town was out the first morning and there was like this huge snowball fight. Loved it! This was our first experience of snow ever!

After we left Queenstown we travelled to the west coast of New Zealand and stopped in Fox Glacier, where we did a guided walk of the glacier with the same name. This was just plain WOW! It was the first time they had sun on the glacier in 3 months & it also didn’t rain (the area usually gets 11m of rain every year & there are only about 100 days where it doesn’t rain).

From Fox Glacier we drove to Greymouth & spent time at the beach and soaked up some beautiful sunshine. WH loved the evening light & took loads of pictures in the orange glow of sunset. He took some awesome pictures (they will get posted on his blog here). Hamner Springs was our second last stop on our holiday. We went horse riding through the think snow & soaked in warm thermal springs. On our last morning in Hamner springs as we were trying to pack up the car we couldn’t open any of the doors of our car because it had gotten to -8 degrees overnight & had frosted over all the car doors!

Our last stop of Christchurch. This was a place that was devastated by earthquakes, just two streets from our hotel there were buildings that were totally destroyed. It certainly made you think as we wandered around. That night we had two scares at about 7:30pm there was an earthquake (later found out it was a 4 magnitude) then as we were sleeping there was another earthquake at about 1:00am (magnitude 3.9). After the second earthquake there was no more sleeping, which wasn’t all that bad as we had to get up at 3:00am to get to the airport for our flight anyway.

So there you go, our trip to New Zealand. Despite the earthquakes at the end of our trip we would defiantly do it all over again.

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Holiday shopping

As well as souvenirs I was able to get somethings for myself. It has been such a long time since I was able to do any shopping & really enjoyed shopping with my sister (who came on the holiday with myself & my husband). Thought I would share what I brough back with me.

I am sooo in love with this jumper, it has a cool military vibe. And when it is buttoned (and zipped) all the way up it covers the lower part of my face. Really useful when I was skiing. It is made out of polo fleece, one of my fav fabrics cause it is just so warm.

Note to self: clean mirror before using it to take self portraits. I so didn’t notice the toothpaste spots! Arrrhhh!

Blue bag, I really love this bag. It is a colour that I don’t usually choose in a bag (I am more of a neutral colour type). I also found it quite useful while on holiday (click here to find out how).

I bought this ring while we were on the West Coast, it was made by a local artist. I like getting something that was made by a local person, kinda like having a link to the place where you were on holidays.

New Zealand is famous for a few things, sheep, Kiwi’s (animal & people) & jade (also know as green stone). I was really hoping to come back from New Zealand with some jade. But didn’t find any till we were at the airport on our way home. I don’t know if it is really jade but it certainly looks like it & that is good enough for me.

The best thing about shopping in New Zealand was defiantly the cost, we had the fortune of having a good exchange rate. So things were just so much cheaper to purchase. Hehehehe!

I promise that holiday pics are coming! Just finished downloading the photos & organising them in Photoshop. Only downside to coming home from holidays, all the photo sorting!!!! And wanting to do it all over again, well almost all of it (more on that later).

What’s in my (holiday) bag

I am back! It has been almost 3 weeks since I have sat down infront of my computer and written a post. Wow! Our holiday to New Zealand was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I will share all about our trip soon, promise. Still editing and organising myself. When I got home one of the first things I did was update myself with all the blogs that I follow. I was able to read some blogs while we were away as one of our accommodation places had 30 mins free wifi everyday. But I still had 100’s of unread blog posts. Took me two days to read what I wanted to read & make the decision to delete the rest.

One of the blogs I choose to read all the unread post was Elsie Flannigan’s blog A Beautiful Mess. I love Elise blog, she has a great sence of style & is so open about her life, her business & her passions. She recently did another What’s in my bag blog post. I love seeing what people (especially creative people) keep in their handbags or in this case camera bag. I did one of these What’s in my bag?” href=”https://johnsonsuzie.wordpress.com/2009/11/14/whats-in-my-bag/”>What’s in my bag posts awhile back & thought that since I had just come back from holidays that it would be fun to share what I carry with me when travelling around while on holidays.

Lets start with the bag, I bought this one while we were in Queenstown. I had planned on just carrying my back pack around but found it annoying when I wanted to access my camera or money. This bag came from a store called Glassons. I love it! The picture is from the Glassons website, I bought  the blue version (you’ll get to see it in the picture below).

Now for what I carried in my cute as Glassons bag (btw I am not being paid by Glassons to say things about their products, I just love the bag).

  1. Sunglasses, I didn’t realise how much I used my sunglasses even when we were in the snow! Helped to keep the glare down & kept the falling snow out of my eyes.
  2. Tablet computer
  3. Camera
  4. Tissues, whenever I was cold (which was whenever I was outside!) my nose would start running like someone had turned on a tap!
  5. Coin purse with New Zealand currency, also carried my driver’s licence & our cash passport.
  6. Maps. Yep more than one. We had one that showed all the major roads for when we were travelling between coasts & others that were specific to the area we were staying in.
  7. Gloves, oh so glad that I brought these suede fleece lined gloves. My hands stayed so warm!
  8. MP3 player. Got to have tunes!
  9. Plane necessities bag, this contained everything in the small plastic bag. Moisturiser, lip balm, pain killers (got quite a few headaches) & hand sanitizer. Click here to read all about my plane necessities bag.
  10. Kiwi. Alittle tradition we have developed that lots of people do while on holidays. Have alittle soft toy that travels with you & appears in photos.

What do you carry with you when you are travelling?

The final count down!

Does anyone get the song reference? 80’s flashback (at least I think 80’s maybe early 90’s).

Tomorrow we start packing, then on Thursday we are off to New Zealand for what promises to be the most memorial holiday that me & WH have ever taken. So exciting!!!!!

Since we are having a housesitter look after our house & little birdie I spent all last week cleaning the house from top to bottom. Cleaning every single nook & crany. Cleaning places that I usually don’t even bother with during spring cleaning. It was an exhausting week, but totally satisfying. One thing I didn’t get to last week was getting a new shower curtain & non-slip bath mat. Today we were getting a couple of things at Aldi & we spotted shower curtains for $14 & non-slip bath mats for $8, score!

Didn’t take any before shots, our old shower curtain & bathmat were moldy & kinda disgusting. Not surprising since we have had them since we moved into our home 4ish years ago. Also I have been decorating our bathroom in a french beach theme, so our old brown square & strip patterned shower curtain just didn’t cut it anymore.

I am really liking this light bright blue shower curtain, really brightens up our bathroom. There is only one window in our bathroom & it opens onto the side of our house that doesn’t get any sun. So not a particularly light filled bathroom.

I really like the subtle square pattern & it is a fabric shower curtain which means I can throw it into the washing machine with our towels to remove soap scum & any mold build up. Love that!

I went with a charcoal coloured non-slip bathmat because I bought a light coloured mat last time & it got stained & moldy that it looked gross. So I am hoping that this darker colour will hide any stains.

I have added a couple of other little decorating extras, some storage jars.

Two jars I bought from a Dollar store for no more than $8 each, one I got from an Op-shop for 50c & the other two I got from WH’s work they were empty instant coffee jars (WH’s employees go through soooo much coffee! One of the jars was huge). The coffee jars caused me alot of trouble trying to get rid of the coffee smell, I used hot water, tea tree oil & bicarb and vinegar.

On each of the jars I put a vinyl chalkboard sticker (got mine from Etsy here), love how they turn what is essential a bunch of old coffee jars into some seriously good-looking storage jars for our bathroom. The two baskets (you can see in the picture of the storage jars on the shelf) that we also have in our bathroom are great but I am going to label them as well with personalised labels the same shape as the chalkboard labels. But that will have to wait till we get a new printer (don’t even ask!!!!).

So glad to have a fresh look in our bathroom for our housesitter. 48hrs left!!!!

Craft lift & Travel Tip

As of today there is only one whole week before we are get setting to New Zealand. Can’t believe it! Sorry things have been alittle quite since I finished taking pictures for my Week in a Life. We are having a housesitter stay in our home while we are away so I have been crazily cleaning our house from top to bottom. Still have alittle ways to go on the cleaning. But I am taking a quick break to share another Craft Lift project that I have recently completed, this project is something that I made for our trip. I think that it is such a good idea for people who travel with gadgets (cameras, e-readers, mp3 player, etc…), so this is also a Travel Tip.

I love Martha Stewart, her style is clean, simple & very soficated. Don’t know if I would really want to live in a home exactly like hers (too many wasted  rooms), but while I was reading one of the many Martha Stewart newsletters I get (I subscribe to 3!) I notice at the bottom a link for a Gadget Travel Tote.

(Source)

I loved this idea as soon as I saw it, basically it is a repurposed tea towel that holds all the cords (power cords, data cables, etc) that you need for the gadgets that you travel with. I have quite a few tea towels that I have bought at op-shops & collectables fairs, so this craft project was just calling me. Here is my version;

I love the result! This gadget tote is going to be so useful, now all of our cords are going to be in the one same place. And how organised are things going to be (ticking all the boxes!!!!).

Week in the Life: Sunday 31st

Well, here we are the last day of a Week in the Life. I have really enjoyed participating, I love having this snap shot into a week in our lives. Something that I know I am going to enjoy looking back on.

Today was a packed day but a day that both me & WH said was totally enjoyable. WH sung at church this morning in the  worship team, I love watching him enjoy himself up on stage. After church we had our bible study social barefoot bowls followed by a potluck picnic at cotton tree at the mouth of the river. It was such a fun thing to do, our competitive sides came out & there was loads of laughter. There was soooo much food for lunch that we were all totally stuffed, still had energy to play a game of frisbee! For dinner we had a WH family dinner which was really nice, we had a moccrocan terrine & cheesecake. My favourite moment from dinner was coming into the lounge to find my husband sitting on the couch with our niece snuggled into him going to sleep sucking her thumb.

Today I enjoyed recharging with God in preparation for the next week to come, so much has happened in the last week & I know that God was at the centre of everything. I am so thankful & grateful for the work that God has done in my & WH’s life.