Living in New Zealand can be pretty surreal sometimes. If you’re ever lacking in inspiration – or feeling ‘meh’ for any reason in particular, it only takes a short drive (or bus ride, if you time it right) to see some truly overwhelming sights. And believe me, there is an awful lot to see.
We drove for just over an hour to the beautiful (beyond belief!) town of Akaroa (more on that later!) and our first move was to go on a three hour – yes, three – uphill walk! Talk about intense. But seeing those views made it all worth it. I walked a lot of the track backwards so I could admire it as I went – not to mention that it was easier on the calf muscles!
It was a great chance to try out my latest gym set; a Kate Spade x Beyond Yoga polkadot crop top & bright pink tights that I bought from Shopbop. These tights were so warm it was brilliant! Especially when we got to the peak and almost blew over from the wild winds. Seriously, this was the most incredible trip ever – I am ridiculously excited to tell you all about it!
At the very start of the week (Tuesday, to be precise) my boyfriend, Barnaby and I purchased a tent, shoved it in the back of our car and headed to the picturesque Totaranui (more on this beautiful place in my next post!) in search of good weather. And the verdict? Crazy amounts of sun – not to mention the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen in my entire life! ♥
We spent five days camping next to the beach, in an enormous lot with natives trees growing alongside us. I’ve never ‘done’ a proper camping trip before – or not that I can remember at least, so everything was truly novelty and so much fun! We had native New Zealand birds join us at every meal (I swear they could hear the rustle of a biscuit packet from a mile away!) and spent our days lounging by said beach and trekking into the forests.
Everything was so quiet too. It’s actually Autumn, although you wouldn’t think it, with the warm weather – and I genuinely think there were only 20 campers all up, when we were told that you can sometimes expect up to 400! It was honestly the most magical trip, and completely inspired my outfit, as I’m sure you can tell!
Phew, I hadn’t really expected to take a whopping month or so off blogging, but it turned out to be the best decision ever! Working 9-5 (or till 5:30, in my case) can be pretty bloomin’ exhausting, and getting to spend free time being, well, free, I suppose, was a relief to say the least. My boyfriend, Barnaby and I freelanced for years – and the one thing I really struggle with is not being together 24/7.
..Moving swiftly on though – hello! How was your Christmas and New Years? Gosh mine were good. And life is still EXCELLENT. I am feeling the summer vibes through and through (sorry Northern Hemisphere!) and have been filling my weekends with beach frolics, gelato, and endless walks. Discovering new things about your city is the best feeling and there have been so many recently it’s almost too much to handle.
This Wildfox dress (my first ever piece from them) has been gettin’ me through the summer so far. New Zealand heat is really weird. It never gets that warm but thanks to our lousy ozone layer you burn in a matter of minutes. Especially if your name is Jo Fletcher. Which mine totally is. >_< Anyway though, I am EXCITED to be experiencing summer after one long winter and can’t wait to share some of my warm-weathered adventures with you!
I never really need much of an excuse to visit Breaker Bay – it is one of my favourite places after all, but after I suggested it as a possible guest post idea for a blog I love (Selective Potential, anyone?) I found myself walking along it’s stoney shores a whole lot earlier than expected. Which is (of course) always a good thing.
This ended up being the most fun we’ve ever had in Breaker Bay. The sun was blazing down, despite it technically being Winter in New Zealand, and we climbed the whole way along the big hills, like I’ve always wanted to do.
Probably what I enjoyed most of all was how many dogs we saw! I am fairly animal obsessed, which has only gotten worse after living in a small apartment (no pets, wahh!) for two years. I’ll take whatever animal fix I can get! And when they’re even half as friendly as the dogs we saw at Breaker Bay, you’re bound to feel a whole lot happier!
Oh, and as for my guest post, you can see it over on Tieka’s blog, right here.
I’ve gotta hand it to Wellington – it has some really, really wonderful shops! From cute homeware to boutique vintage (more on that later!) it has it all, while still keeping in line with the city’s quirky vibe. It has taken me way longer than I meant to put this mini guide together, but finally, here are my very favourite places to shop in Wellington, New Zealand.
118 Cuba Street / 198 Lambton Quay
It only seemed right to start off with my favourite shop in the entire world; Iko Iko! This shop is bulging with the sweetest stuff you’ve ever seen, and I genuinely find it quite hard to choose out one thing when I go there – because I want to own absolutely everything. Lucky for us Wellingtonians, there are two branches to choose from – and I highly recommend taking a look at them both! Oh, and if you live too far away (which is pretty likely, as I know lots of readers are overseas!) they also have an online store – which is equally cute!
It’s basically impossible not to fall in love with the goodness that is Matchbox Studios. From stocking Ban.do (♥) to the greatest collection of stamps ever, this beaut of a shop even runs a fully functioning art gallery at the back of the store – complete with hanging foliage and an abundance of natural light. I’ll usually split my time (and money!) between here and Iko Iko at my weekends!
103 Victoria Street
Everything in this store is handmade – don’t you just love that! They have a brilliant supply of locally made prints and t-shirts, and some of the sweetest looking (and smelling!) mason jar candles candles I’ve ever seen (and err, well, smelt!) Made it also boasts a seriously impressive terrarium collection; housing creatures from the likes of flamingos (pictured!) to pugs.
Madame Fancy Pants
217 Cuba Street
Madame Fancy Pants is one of the very first Wellington shops I fell in love with when I first moved here. I remember being completely captured by their collection of porcelain animal necklaces..Two years on, and not much has changed! I love frequenting this adorable store – whether it’s to rifle through their stationary and books, or to gaze at the rows of beautifully curated clothing. You know that saying ‘there’s something for everyone’? Well in MFP’s case, there most certainly is.
“I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet, they sent me a…“
One of my very favourite places to visit is the zoo. Wellington zoo is particularly special – as when Barnaby and I first started dating it was one of the places we would visit as often as possible (I guess this is what happens when you live in the CBD and aren’t allowed pets!)
We visited the zoo a fair while ago now, I had just completely forgotten about the photos! I got made up in one of my very favourites tops – this cat sleeved little number from Pepa Loves which got plenty of young children pointing and exclaiming. We are pretty freakin’ obsessed with meerkats in our household, so it was an especially mesmerising moment when they came right up to the glass and looked right at us. Oh, and when a woman asked me if they were possums, my answer was “they’re like Timon in the Lion King!” & I thought that was pretty neat. The very best bit, though, was when one of the meerkats starting planking – just take a look at the last photo!
Wellington Zoo / 200 Daniel Street, Newtown, Wellington
One of my favourite days in Auckland was when we visited the zoo! I really don’t know Auckland terribly well, and despite visiting almost 10 times (!) I rarely leave the CBD.. So I was massively excited as we looked out the windows of our Uber ride and spotted Auckland zoo fast approaching! It’s pretty clear that the flamingoes were my favourite (just look at them!!) but the elephant (Burma, the only elephant in New Zealand) was incredible too – & we arrived just in time to hear the zookeepers telling us all about her. It was amazing ♥.
It literally was the perfect day – and just as we left it started to rain – making it feel all the more special. I definitely recommend this place if you happen to pop into Auckland! It is by far the best zoo in New Zealand – and so beautiful too!
Ever since this dress arrived in my mailbox a few weeks ago, I knew exactly where I wanted to photograph it. Well, admittedly, Wellington is the perfect location; as it’s all about the hills – just like the print on my Larmoni dress. Talk about meant to be, right?
After waking up at 7:30. On a Sunday (I am most disappointed in myself) we went on a hill hike – with me wearing this house-print little number and a pair of peachy cat eye specs from Polette. Lemmie tell you, there was definitely something in that hill air. I can’t remember the last time I’ve achieved so much on a Sunday (usually they are strictly reserved for Adventure Time binge watching sessions). I went to the supermarket (one of my most hated activties at the weekend – so. many. people!), cooking, crafting, writing, and doing some work for my day job. I’ll definitely be heading back up again, so hopefully the hill air does it’s wonders! Though I might sleep in for an extra hour or two this time! ; )
So here’s a little thing about me: I am obsessed with flowers. My week (or weekend, at least!) revolves around the Sunday market – and the fresh blooms that will be on offer. The obsession has gotten so intense that I usually have trouble sleeping on a Saturday, as I’m so eager to be one of the early market goers – and snag the best flowers too, of course! The market is a massive part of my life – I’ve literally been there every Sunday for the past six months! I didn’t want to keep it a secret from you, as it genuinely makes me so happy. So here you go: a little glimpse into where I buy my flowers! I usually post several (hundred) pictures of market flowers on my Instagram, so definitely have a look if fresh blooms are your thing!
I dressed in a daisy print dress – which seems highly appropriate when buying fresh flowers, don’t you think? My grey coat, which is slowly but surely becoming a Winter staple, is by Sheinside, and my red ballet flats are by Coco Rose London. …And my flowers are by the lovely lady (and her cute pup!) that are wonderfully charming no matter what the Sunday weather is like. Thanks, you two!
I was recently asked to style a few pieces from the 2014 Spring collection by Pepa Loves. I can’t explain how very happy it makes me – if you’ve been reading the blog a while you’ll know that PL is one of my very favourite labels. Every garment has the cutest little detail – as I’m sure you will see in this post (dachshund print, anyone?!)
We took these photographs outside one of my favourite buildings in Wellington; the Old Bank Arcade. This building is both beautiful and has an incredible story. You can read all about it here – but long story short; in 1997 they discovered that there was an actual ship underneath the building! I’ll have to give you a tour sometime – the basement even has a glass floor.. But for now we chose the building because it reminded me of Madrid; the base of the one and only Pepa Loves shop. When I imagine Madrid I immediately visualize pale yellows and wonderful old buildings. This structure fits the bill quite nicely, I think! Still, I’d like to imagine that I really was in Madrid. Perhaps then I could even visit the Pepa Loves store. A gal can dream, eh!