Two weekends ago we decided to have our very first foray into glamping – and sorry to be a cliche, but oh my goodness, it certainly won’t be the last! I think the very first time I heard of glamping was when one of my favourite bloggers, Liv Purvis, visited a campsite – or glampsite, I suppose, over on her blog. Things can take a while to catch on New Zealand – but glamping is apparently not one of them, and the wonderful Canopy Camping host a range of seriously stunning sites all over the country.
This mind-bogglingly beautiful spot was all ours for the entire weekend. To say I was in disbelief puts it lightly. Between the in-tent fireplace, the outdoor bath (yes, really!) we truly were in heaven. Nothing tops the feeling of waking up next to a flowing river – expect,of course, for the piping hot bath that followed. It was made all the more satisfying by the fact we heated the water ourselves through the use of a wood ‘chippie.’
Although I can’t bring you all along with me (though that would be nice, wouldn’t it! Imagine the campfire ghost stories and pillow fights!) we did manage to capture the whole thing in this cute little video. Over the last few months I’ve been building a travel website; Extacity, that will have a whole bunch of video content. And you guessed it, this is one of them! Be sure to take a look – you know, unless you’re not a fan of paradise ; )
After the mouth-watering visit to Springfield’s giant donut, our next stop was the beautiful (almost beyond belief) Lake Pearson. Surrounded by winding trees that gently dip their limbs into the water, Pearson truly is a treat for the eyes. I couldn’t resist climbing up into the branches with my trusty Instax Mini Selfie in hand, but hopped down quick-smart after a whopping big breeze almost decided to do it for me!
If you can remember way back to January, one of my goals was to branch out and travel more. I grew up in South-East Asia and despite being a New Zealander, haven’t seen too much of my birth country. Not-so-slowly and certainly surely I am ticking more and more places off my list – and I am ridiculously happy about it! My wonderful boyfriend, Barnaby has seen most of New Zealand, so I’m eagerly awaiting the day I can surprise him with somewhere new. Perhaps that should be my next goal?
Until then, I’ll just be lounging in front of the most beautiful lake ever; complete with it’s very own snow-covered mountainous surroundings.
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!
We spent the past weekend away in the most beautiful little New Zealand town known as Akaroa. It’s a favourite getaway spot for locals – and I’m quite the fan too – although it’s been years since my last visit. One of the things I love most is the beautiful lighthouse. It sits on the edge of the bay so it can be seen by almost everywhere on the waterfront.
It only seemed right to get dolled up in one of my finest nautical numbers; in this case an appropriately coloured fit-&-flare from Chicwish. The hat is one I picked up in the ASOS sales not too long ago – and one that always seemed to finish off an outfit just right!
I am genuinely so looking forward to sharing more of Akaroa with you. You won’t believe just how beautiful it is!
When I told you I was at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world I certainly wasn’t lying! Totaranui is famous for it’s wondrously golden beaches – and although I was hopeful, I wasn’t sure it would be my dream temperature – we are in the middle of Autumn, after all. Luckily I packed my swimsuit, as by mid-morning, daily, we would hit the beach, usually with a book and Corona in hand (ahh, what a life!)
Now I’m curled up at home in my pyjamas, fully emerged in Autumn weather, Totaranui can’t help but feel a world away. I’m hope hope hoping for another great stint in warm weather as now we have a tent, we can escape any single time we like (eep, I genuinely can’t wait!) Oh, and if you enjoy the pretty New Zealand landscapes in these photos (I truly can’t stress how picturesque this was!) then you might be happy to know I filmed a little Totaranui guide! I just have to summon up the courage to record my massively kiwi accent for a voice-over, then it’ll be up on YouTube!
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!
As you may already know (thanks, previous post!) I have had a slightly unbelievable last few days – as I was recently flown over to Sydney, along with four other bloggers, thanks to DAILIES TOTAL1.
I’ve never been further than Sydney airport, so genuinely had no idea what to expect of the city. Everything seemed to come together right at the last minute, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high so didn’t really do any research, other than finding out that there is a zoo right on the harbour (which I totally went to, by the way).
Of course the one thing I knew I had to do was visit the Sydney Opera House. The very kind Ashleigh and Janelle, two of the other bloggers joining me on the trip, took some photos for me as we gazed at the building. In proper blogger form, we had our phones, DSLR cameras and Instax cameras at the ready, and I am so, so pleased with how they came out. I eventually ventured over to the Opera House by myself and snapped away – until I got pooed on by a seagull -_- They say it brings good luck – which I totally now believe as I had the best afternoon with Annika (aka The Pineneedle Collective). What can I say; Sydney, you were so go to me!
Now I have to take just a quick (promise!) moment to talk about my dress! Just look at that collar! I’ve been coveting The Whitepepper for years now, and to finally have a piece of my own – and such a quirky one at that, makes me happier than anything. It’s a brilliant conversation starter too – you wouldn’t believe how many ‘Scranton Strangler’ references I heard (and nothing, absolutely nothing beats an Office reference!)
I’ve been wearing contact lenses almost daily for the past few years. As anyone (apart from me, apparently) knows, this is terrible for your eyes. My poor ol’ eyes were going red and veiny and were constantly irritated, which is why I’ve been wearing glasses so often lately – as they really needed a break! I’ve gone through various contact lens brands over the past ten years and have experienced the same problem with all of them.
…And that’s about when I was contacted by DAILIES TOTAL1. With a revolutionary water gradient, DAILIES TOTAL1 lenses will keep your eyes feeling a whole lot more moisturised than other contact lenses. I was a little nervous that my eyes might not ‘take’ to contacts after such a long break, but they popped in far easier than anything I have ever experienced!
After being flown to Sydney, put up in a beautiful hotel and a quick trip to the optometrist, myself, along with four Australian bloggers were taken out to dinner on the 47th floor of the fanciest restaurant I’ve ever seen (let alone eaten at!). After only getting four hours sleep the night before I was certain my eyes would flunk out and I would remember why I went off contact lenses in the first place.. Turns out that the water gradient is better than I could’ve ever expected! I stayed up until 1:30am with no eye problems whatsoever and enjoyed six delicious courses and a cocktail the size of my head along the way. And at the end of the night I was able to simply throw the lenses in the rubbish, rather than fiddling around with various cases and fluids. Score!
As part of this collaboration with DAILIES TOTAL1, I’m going to be sharing five different late-night experiences so I can really test out these lenses and see how they work for me. I’m a definite member of the Stay At Home Club, so am really excited to push myself out of my comfort zone and to see how my new lenses hold up! I hope you enjoy following along!
This post was in collaboration with DAILIES TOTAL1, but (of course!) all opinions were my own. If you want to purchase the contact lenses head into your nearest optometrist for a fitting. Or alternatively you can find out more information at www.morecontacttime.com
I’ve been meaning to put together this Miami city guide (as well as a Las Vegas edition) for a wee while now, but it has most definitely taken longer than I’d hoped. We spent all of our trip in South Beach – and if I had to do it all over again – I would. From the get-go I was adamant about staying in the Art Deco district, and I’m really happy that it all worked out! Stepping outside our vibrant yellow hotel (more on that below!) was like being front and centre on a Miami postcard – the pastel coloured buildings are just so beautiful and distinctive!
If you’re planning on visiting Miami I completely recommend it and hopefully this little guide comes in handy.
Where to eat
11th Street Diner, 1065 Washington Ave, Miami Beach
During our three day getaway in Miami this is basically all I wanted to eat.. and so I did just that! Before making my way to the sunshine state, I emailed several of my favourite bloggers (The Cherry Blossom Girl and Steffy’s Pros and Cons to name a few) and was told this is where I had to go. Well, gals, turns out I’m forever in your debt, because this place was insane.
The black bean burger had me at hello (after all, we all know I love burgers) but on my next visit I sampled the Belgian waffles – which were equally divine (as expected). On our last night we made our final trip to the 11th Street diner to sample their delicious cocktails. Boy, they were good, and strong too – which made for a less than thrilled flight back to Vegas. (In all honesty, I would’ve been less than thrilled, drinks or not! Miami is bloomin’ awesome, I never wanted to leave!)
What to do
Nikki Beach, 1 Ocean Drive, Miami
Initially, I just wasn’t sure about visiting Nikki Beach. It seemed really posh, expensive (two things which I definitely am not) and I was feeling a bit anxious about body hangups – because Miami ladies are a seriously good-lookin’ bunch! As it turns out; I’m an idiot. This ended up being one of the best experiences during our whole trip!
We went on Groupon and found a voucher for tickets into Nikki Beach, a sun lounger, a fruit platter and two mojitos. That was all we were going to have, but when you’ve spent the afternoon lying in the sun, followed by frolicks in that sweet, sweet ocean, you’re bound to get hungry! Aaaand it was then that we consumed probably the most delicious vegetarian pizza I’ve ever eaten, ever. Even the pictures are making my mouth water! Definitely be sure to hit up Nikki Beach – you will feel like a celebrity, minus the paparazzi!
My favourite thing to do in Miami was quite simply: walk around! There is an awful lot to see in South Beach, particularly as it’s home to the genuine art deco pastel coloured buildings! The buildings were the reason I was so excited to visit Miami and it certainly was validated. Besides the art deco, you’re bound to also pass the Versace Mansion which you can see above.
Let’s be realistic; would it even be possible to avoid the beach in Miami? I highly doubt it! And why would you want to anyway? This beach is famous for good reason – I have certainly never felt as relaxed (and warm for that matter!) as I did floating amongst the waves of Miami Beach. If you’re lucky you might even see tiny tropical fish darting around the oh-so clear water. Definitely an experience to savour!
Where to stay
Leslie Hotel, 1244 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach
When it comes to hotels I’m usually pretty chill and just let Barnaby have the final say. This time (probably for the first time ever) I completely put my foot down! I was adamant about staying in this original art deco building in my favourite hue of all time – bright yellow! I didn’t really care either way about what the interior was like, but it turned out to be one of the nicest places I’ve ever stayed!
The staff were so, so friendly, the rooftop pool (!) was beautiful, and the rooms were spacious. I completely recommend this exclusive wee hotel – it was so central and a perfect spot for couples, friends, families and singles alike!
Being an enormous ‘Fear and Loathing’ fan, you can bet that Circus Circus was high up on my must-see list. We had rewatched F&L a week or so before take off, and it was crazy seeing just how similar Circus Circus was to it’s counterpart, Bazooko’s Circus.
Fun fact: did you know that Circus Circus wouldn’t let Fear and Loathing film at their location? And fair enough too; Hunter S. Thomson’s description didn’t exactly put it in a positive light, eh?
We found out pretty early on from talking to locals that Circus Circus is thought of as a run down, kind of trashy establishment – but because it is basically the polar opposite to anything even remotely close in New Zealand, we fell in love. And we fell hard. The iconic clown sign (terrifying, yet so good) was one of my favourites during our entire trip, not to mention the incredible lit up signage out the front of the building.
I couldn’t help but snap some photos directly outside, as cars and RVs pulled in to experience the magic.. and luckily we got some photos inside too – well, in-between all of the gaming, of course!
And of course, we popped inside too! It was seriously one of the BEST things I did on our entire Las Vegas trip. I’m ridiculously obsessive about games. When Barnaby and I first started dating we would constantly head to Time Zone to play video games. This was a complete step up as it was really, really easy to win prizes! I ended up walking out with three toy lobsters (pictured below!), a teddy bear, and one extremely phallic looking cactus. And there’s basically no way of topping that!
…Unless of course, I mention the revolving carousel restaurant and free circus displays! Oh man, I loved Circus Circus. Definitely pop in for a visit if you’re nearby – and remember to bring lots of quarters!