Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Road Trip Part 3 : Rainbow Springs

As a part of our 'famil' to Rotorua, we were lucky to visit Rainbow Springs and go on a Kiwi Encounter.

This was particularly exciting and relevant for my daughter who had been studying Kiwi's earlier this year at school.

We started off with visiting some of the trout pools, and feeding some of the trout in the 'injured fish' pool
and feeding some cute little (persistent) ducks

The grounds at Rainbow Springs are gorgeous, the only thing that let us down was the weather, it was very wet and cold.

then it was off to find the Kiwi Encounter

my crazy girl who loves the camera
It was a great place to visit with lots of information about kiwi and conservation of our national bird. The Kiwi Encounter was very informative and gave a 'behind the scenes' look at breeding and taking care of these amazing birds.
We were so lucky to see two baby kiwis who were only a few weeks old and then two larger kiwis, one who is 30 years old.
Of course there is no photography of the birds so I took this photo of a stuffed one....
Unless you are special like us and you get to hold them....

(just to clarify, we didnt actually hold them! they are superimposed on our photo, as are those birds!... lol)

Well worth a visit if you are in Rotorua.

Come back tomorrow to hear about the scariest part of our Road trip adventure!!!

Road Trip - Part 2 : Peppers on the Point Rotorua

On Day 2 of our road trip we set out to Rotorua to experience a ‘famil’ at the stunning Peppers on the Point Resort in Rotorua.

Peppers on the Point is an historic mansion, situated overlooking the beautiful Lake Rotorua and Mokioa Island, surrounded by 2.8 hectares of land.

Stunning is the only way to describe the idyllic surroundings of this most impressive resort.
The history of the resort is equally as impressive. Until 1994 this mansion was a family home and throughout the main building there are photos of the family (s) who lived there, and the home as it changed over the years.
Peppers on the Point is also very popular as a wedding venue for both New Zealanders and discerning International travellers.
The beautiful stone chapel overlooks the Lake and is the perfect, peaceful, romantic setting for saying those vows.

The grounds also have walkways and animals including Sam the Dog, some donkeys, miniature horses, alpaca and sheep – a total hit with children.

At Peppers, there are a number of different accommodation types to suit different experiences.
The mansion, has beautiful suites, including a disabled access suite.
There are two cottages on the property, complete with Jacuzzis, separate from the main house.
There is also a larger apartment, seperate to the main house, available for larger groups.
We were fortunate to stay in a beautiful suite with twin queen size beds, a massive window overlooking the lake, a huge bathroom with underfloor heating and spa bath.

Other facilities
Peppers has a large wine cellar, a large room to serve as a lunch venue for those wishing to book a function, spa treatments available.
They also have a libray with books and dvds, which was a favourite place for my daughter.

I think the thing that wowed us the most at Peppers, aside from the attentive, friendly staff, was the amazing food.
As a person with Coeliacs and food allergies to dairy and eggs, it is always a challenge to eat out .
The chefs at Peppers went above and beyond to cater for my food requirements.
We started off our dinner experience with drinks and canapés in the lounge, in front of a roaring fire, an intimate setting with only a few other guests.

The canapés themselves were an experience of incredible taste!
For dinner we were seated at our own table, as were the two other sets of guests. Peppers does have a large dining table for bigger groups but we were impressed by the intimacy created by being able to dine on our own.
The table service was incredible. We were waited on hand and foot by highly professional and friendly staff.
Our four course meal started with a beautiful Tomato and Fennel soup,
 followed by an entree of scallops. The main was fresh New Zealand Schnapper and the dessert a beautiful sorbet.
My daughter declared it the best meal she had ever eaten (in all her 10 years!) and I had to agree! It was divine! And better still, it catered for all my food requirements.
A big thumbs up to Peppers on their exquisite food!!

Breakfast was also a delicious experience and we felt pampered and attended to.

Peppers is definitely a place I would recommend for a number of reasons. For a romantic getaway it ticks all the boxes, for a family experience where your children are treated as important guests too, it is perfect.
The setting is beautiful, the food is exquisite, the staff are professional and friendly.
It is the PERFECT getaway.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Softies for the children of Christchurch - long overdue update

Hi all those lovely people who contributed to the Softies for the Children of Christchurch.

Sorry its been a while since Ive posted an update.

A couple of months ago a good friend of mine arranged for the Softies to travel to Christchurch on board an courier (thanks to RETKO LOGISTICS for providing this for us!)

I hope that 99% of the softies are in this collage. I apologise sincerely if you dont see yours here, it was hard getting this collage to behave!!

It is now six months since the day that changed the lives of Cantebrians for ever. Our love and prayers continue to be with the people who have lost loved ones, lost their homes, and been traumatised by this event.

The Rangiora Earthquake Express has been distributing the Softies for me in Christchurch. I am hoping they can send me some photos of the happy recipients soon and I'll share them with you. You can check out The Rangiora Earthquake Express here on facebook. They are doing a tremendous job in helping people rebuild their lives.

Thank you to EVERYONE who contributed to this wonderful cause. I would love to thank you all individually but I am unable to so please take this as my BIG THANK YOU to all. :)

Road Trip - Part One

Last month my eldest daughter and I headed off on our very own special road trip, to celebrate her upcoming 10th birthday and because we were fortunate enough to be given the opporunity of a 'famil' in Rotorua.
Because of this I splitting up the posting into a few posts... to give credit where its due for the fab experiences we had.

Early Friday morning we hit the road, blasting Adele, Third Day and Brooke Fraser on the car stereo.

We stopped at Albany shopping centre for a little bit of a spend up, its very important to buy new clothes, shoes etc. when you are turning 10 years old! Oh and we mustn't forget a spend up at Smiggle!

And then we made an essential stop at these giant mushrooms on Mt Victoria in Devonport...

I just love my daughters style and cheeky personality!

What is hard to tell from these photo's is that it was FREEZING cold on the top of Mt Victoria with driving rain and wind that was chilling us to the bone!!!

We then headed on to Hamilton for a visit with friends and an overnight stay with Miss Ks grandparents (my inlaws)

Part 2 tomorrow.... the beautiful resort we stayed in !!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Things Im Loving

This week I am loving...

Dancing and playing with my kids on the beach to clear the cobwebs on a Friday afternoon .... beautiful sunshine, beautiful beach, beautiful kids (Im totally biased!)
Loving letting the kids have a go with my camera ... all too often I avoid being in photos, but trying to change that.
Loving this boy.... he's such a sweet kid.

Loving going on class trips with my littlest.... phew what a LONG day for little ones (and their parents!)
Loving spending some time with Cat at Warkworth, drinking tea, op shopping, wool shopping... sweet!
Loving remembering my Poppa who's 9th anniversary is today, on Daffodil Day.
 Mum and I visited his gravesite with our daffodils.
We miss you Poppa Frank but we were blessed to have you in our lives.

Linking up with the beautiful Paisley Jade

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Blogging babes unite!

They came in car loads, toting their cameras, with nervous smiles... to the Big Bloggy get together of 2011. Kiwi Mummy Bloggers together in one place.

Online friends soon to become IRL (In Real Life) friends.

Jaz from Treacy's Travels, me and Meghan from MNM's

Lyns from Once Upon a Time and Meg from Growing Up

Andie from Red Strawberries

Monica from Delissimon with me

Lisa from All In A Daze

Cat from Catalina's Cottage with Me
Tracy from Inside the Scrap Heap and Greta from Babble and Snaps

Sammy from Cherished with Meg

Meghan with Penny from My Spirited Baby

Kristy from Paisley Jade and Simone from Greatfun4kids

Jackie from Jacksta-B

Rachel from Luv That Bum

No one can underestimate the power of a blogging friendship. As Simone has said before, if you like their blog you will like them in real life too.

Me and the beautiful Simone from Greatfun4kids

A very dear bloggy irl friend, Tracy from Inside the Scrap Heap

The venue was perfect, a beautiful restaurant, The Mediterranean, on the North Shore of Auckland with devoted staff and spectacular food.

The ice breaker was a task, to make a name tag for another blogger. They were awesome to see. So unique and made for each individual. A treasure to keep.

Unfortunately I haven't got a photo of a couple of the name tags...

The cameras came out and there was lots of giggling, snapping, talking and fun.

Simone demonstrating how to take the perfect self portrait

Eventually food was ordered and oohed and aahed over....

The well behaved children were given undivided attention from the restaurant staff, another plus for a fantastic restaurant.

It was a FANTASTIC DAY ... make sure you head over the other girls blogs for their take on it.
(that must be the highest number of photos to ever appear in one post with me in!!)

EDITED TO ADD... How could I forget our group photo!!