For those of you that don’t know, Yasu was my upstairs neighbour when I lived in rural Japan. However, we never actually spoke to each other – I didn’t know she existed, and she was too shy to approach me – you know, scary foreigner alert. The day Yasu moved out of our tiny apartment complex, she left a letter on my doorstep:
Ms Anisa I am Yasuko from upstairs. I wanted to always talk with you. But I will move on April 30 to next village. The new address is Nishiawakura village. If you don’t mind, could you hang out with me sometime? I am really bad at English, but I hope we could be good friends.
And the rest is history. During my last six months in Japan, Yasu and I became inseparable. And when I eventually moved to the city, she came to visit me. Recently, Yasu spent 10 days in New Zealand. Here are the highlights:
Here I am stealing S’s car for our upcoming roadies.
Castle Hill desu.
Yasu hugely appreciated NZ cheese!
This scenery reminded us a little of our old home in Higashiawakura (see below).
Another day, another picnic, Hanmer Springs Desu.
Yasu 2.0 coming soon…
It has been 3 weeks since S has left to the States to witness his charming older brother marry an angel of a woman, and spend some much awaited time with his loving family. I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been easy for me. But you know what? So far, it hasn’t been impossible either. I’ve kept busy (I’ll keep busy), and I’ve taken it one day at a time (I’ll take it one day at a time).
A month ago, daddy making a Kiwi speciality: whitebait fritters, for S.
Can anything beat breakfasting with your love?
Forced S to hike Rapaki with me. He said the view was almost worth the pain.
“You must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden your horizons. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you have left when anything happens.” ~Ethel Barrymore (Shoutout to the lovely lady customer who said she reads my blog!)
Great fun making my famous pikelets with my kiddies (1 cup plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 free-range egg, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup milk – mix until smooth then cook tablespoon-full amounts in a good quality non stick frying pan or with a little oil in a not so good quality one – about a minute each side)
The night of S’s bitter departure sweetened by dessert from The Villas.
Wearing my boyfriends sweater. (“I imagine a line, a white line, painted on the sand and on the ocean, from me to you.” ~Jonathan Safran Foer)
Last night S and I dined at Francesca’s Italian Kitchen as per a good friend of ours’ recommendation. She said it was excellent so we had to try it for ourselves. And overall, it was pretty spectacular!
Several things stood out: the slow-cooked beef (housemade) gnocchi (probably best in town), the tolerable noise level (I am so used to dining at Italian restaurants where I can’t even hear myself), the artsy pasta guide on the inner bathroom doors (who doesn’t like a good read whilst on the toilet), and the physical location of the place (I love anything close to New Regent!).
And of course it wouldn’t be a review if I’m not a slight bitch about it so… We ordered polenta fries as a starter, they were forgotten, and brought to us midway through our mains (yeah, yeah, first world problems). Speaking of polenta fries, they were good but not as amazing as The Bicycle Thief’s. In my opinion, those are much better. As for the pappardelle ragu, I think Cafe Valentino does theirs better, and the pumpkin brûlée, well, it was pretty unique in flavour but also highly diabetic. In other words, too much sugar (you know, even for a brûlée).
Despite the grumble, I’d rate our experience an 8/10!
“Love, like everything else in life, should be a discovery, an adventure, and like most adventures, you don’t know you’re having one until you’re right in the middle of it.”
My picture perfect man <3
Fish’n’chips, Kiwi as!
Balancing out the grease and chocolate…
S gifted me this beautiful ring for my 25th birthday, it spells love in braille and was handmade in Ohara, the rural Japanese village I lived in for one and a half years *love heart eyes*My latest Spring project with my little munchkins. Are you blossoming?
A mouthwatering popsicle guaranteed to impress your nutritionist AND your snobby food critic mate. After seeing Dr. Feelgood’s Facebook post last week about their products now available at New World Fendalton, I forced S to drop everything and to ASAP take me there. I had fallen in love with Dr. Feelgood some three years ago in Auckland and had missed their presence in Christchurch ever since. Simply unable to wait, we sampled two of their new popsicle range in the supermarket parking lot right there and then (wink wink). And the verdict? Oh mama mia. They were delicious. As far as I know, there is nothing quite like Dr. Feelgood on the NZ food market. Yes, there’s nice-creams for better-for-you ice-cream alternatives but seriously, there’s only so much coconut a gal can take. I love Dr. Feelgoods new premium range because their creamy pops are made with renowned Lewis Rd pure organic milk and all of their pops are of completely natural ingredients. So if you’re looking for a guilt-free treat (like I am always) look no further! More info HERE.
Breakfast goals: freshly baked croissants and walnut sourdough from BELLBIRD Baked Goods. Disclaimer: although the watermelon was delicious, it was TEN bucks! Holy moly, eating food-bloggy ain’t pocket-friendly! Who else is counting down to Summer?
Godley Head desu.
We were freezing, our smiles are fake.
Last week I opened the pantry in the morning to grab muesli and happened to spot this cutie pootie thing! A boiled egg holder (yes, such a thing exists) that I spontaneously bought (precisely for it’s cutie pootie aspect) during my Japan days. Take.Me.Back.
Pimping out my work locker *love heart eyes*Vegan and gluten-free dessert from The Lotus Heart *more love heart eyes*
First stop, Black & White Coffee Cartel where a little printed sign advised us there’d be no avocado (two words which should never be together) this season. Alas, our bagels were delicious and S particularly liked the NZ bacon nomnom.
Next, one for the bucket-list. Though rather simple, I had always dreamt of visiting the Riccarton Farmers’ Market with bae. It is truly one of my most favourite places in Christchurch.
If tea is a hug in a cup, porridge is a cuddle in a bowl, I say. Alll better.Full tummies and grateful hearts. I got the rsf, V, and df option and S ordered the spiced apple, toffee sauce, and walnut crumble porridge.
When S sent the above photo to his family group chat, his brother asked if that was an egg atop my porridge…Hehe nope! Just honey and yoghurt.
Things have been pretty surreal, neither of us can actually believe S is finally here. Last night we dined at Tutto Bene. The food was good and the company even greater. We had a lovely French waitress and S mentioned the wonderful paradox of having a French waitress, working at an Italian restaurant in New Zealand serving a table of Persian, Kiwi, and American diners. How beautiful is that? Unity in diversity.
Except my momma is my best-friend. Here’s a lovely green-smoothie bowl recipe I made for her and I earlier this week: simply blend 1 banana, 1 kiwifruit, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt and 1 tsp cinnamon until smooth then top with favourite toppings. When I sent this photo to Soroosh, as I often do of my random daily snaps, he said: “tell your momma the days of smoothie-bowls are over, I’m coming for it!” Yep, don’t blame him. Twas delish.
In addition to purelyinstagramworthyflowers, I topped them with my homemade gluten-free muesli which is basically a concoction of mixed nuts and seeds, buckwheat puffs, brown rice puffs and quinoa flakes – all individually bought and mixed together.
Posted this fatty on Instagram. My friend Chris commented: “Garfield, is that you?”
If you haven’t read Flow magazine, you’re missing something big. So lovely, so delicate, and so inspiring. BearLion Foods have the best salads in Christchurch. This is a fact. Pictured is a mix of two wholesome vegetarian salads bought on my to work from the Riccarton Bush Saturday Market and enjoyed on my lunch-break in sunny Sumner.
When it comes to organic food stores, I lack serious self-control. I want to buy everything. The trouble is, I can hardly afford one thing! I think this was $6 something. ARGH why so expensive? Alas, it was heavenly. So good that I recreated it myself the next day ;) Simply warm 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 2 tsp raw cacao powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp cardamom powder, and some orange zest in a small pot on medium heat. Once hot, stir in 1-2 tsp of honey or coconut sugar.
Heaven is a place on earth. UTOPIA ICE is simply the best. I mean come on, where else can you get 5+ vegan options including: passionfruit coconut ice-cream and raspberry and saffron sorbet?!
Sorry for the copyright Flow Magazine but I just couldn’t agree more! “Coming out of a period of scarcity, we have now reached a point where we have too many things, and it’s damaging our health.” True dat. Pad Thai selfie from my family’s all-time favourite: Zab Thai.
In case you missed my infamous bathroom selfies with the glorious towel backgrounds.