A weekend of summer

 Image via  Homelife

Image via Homelife

Summer is well and truly over but nobody has told the weather. I'm not complaining...this is a pretty sensational start to autumn! I'm hoping to make the most of it with H1 and Amelie this weekend in a fairly chilled way. A weekend close to home is sounding like absolute bliss to me (but I reserve the right to change my mind and go exploring!) What are your plans? 

Here is some Friday reading for you, to hopefully bring on the weekend just a little sooner!

Does it affect your mood when your clothes don't seem to reflect who you are?

LOVE this house. I kind of want to be the owner/buy all the things she makes.

The truest cartoon I've ever seen.

The lame bitches were right (yes!)

I've wanted this cookbook for ages and this article has tipped me over the edge.

This looks like such a comfortable dress for winter weekends.

Have a lovely weekend! x

A few good things

Happy Easter!

 Easter treats on Sunday morning!

Easter treats on Sunday morning!

Hoping you all have had a great long weekend. We got away up to the country for a few days, which was just so nice and relaxing after a stressful couple of weeks working on an assignment. We also spent Easter Sunday at my parents' house in Parua Bay, hanging with the family, which was lovely. And of course we ate hot cross buns and chocolate!

 The prettiest bottle of rosé.

The prettiest bottle of rosé.

 The most amazing full moon from the country house.

The most amazing full moon from the country house.

 Relaxing with homemade coffee soda and a local magazine.

Relaxing with homemade coffee soda and a local magazine.

 Hanging with my girl over the weekend.

Hanging with my girl over the weekend.

The recipe for a perfect weekend (with children!) in Central Auckland

A few years back I declared that I had discovered the recipe for the perfect weekend, and you know what? It holds up! Even with the addition of children. Here's why the weekend just been was so good...and how you can do it for yourselves with some of the awesome activities Central Auckland has to offer.

 Amelie playing in the Art Gallery

Amelie playing in the Art Gallery

Saturday morning: Exercise

We started Saturday by cycling down to our club to play tennis and then enjoy a short spa. Amelie painted in the crèche. Even without a membership to a tennis club you can do this – Auckland has a number of free tennis courts, like Nicholson Park and Maungawhau. If your children are a bit older you could get them playing a game also, and if they're too small it might mean skipping straight to the water part and swimming at a public pool, such as Parnell Baths.

Saturday lunchtime: Read and relax

May Amelie keep napping for a loooong time yet. We embrace having to stay in for a few hours by putting our feet up on the patio and getting some reading in. I'm reading a good, but rather involved, book at the moment and am balancing that with magazines. I'm such a big magazine fan but can't handle the piles of paper they generate, so I only subscribe to my favourites and read others through RB Digital on my iPad (free for Auckland Libraries members!)

Saturday afternoon: Get some culture, and some chips

 H1 and Amelie doing their part to obliterate a room.

H1 and Amelie doing their part to obliterate a room.

We caught the bus into town and went to take part in The Obliteration Room at Auckland Art Gallery. Turns out Amelie is the perfect age to love this – she kept coming back to H1 to ask for 'mo' (more stickers) and was very careful and particular about where she was placing them. It's still on for a couple more weeks and I promise, it's worth it.

We followed it up with a drink at The Box, a lovely spot to sit outside and people watch in Aotea Square. My only complaint was they didn't do chips (and I really wanted some chips!), so we grabbed some from Double Dutch Fries in Elliott Street before heading home. This place is so good – very very close to the amazing chips in Amsterdam – but because it never seems okay to just randomly eat chips, I pretty much never have them. Elliott Street has a number of good food places along it, so no matter what you feel like you can't just randomly eat, it's likely to be there (bao! Dumplings! Hong Kong egg waffles and ice-cream!)

Saturday evening: Eat something yummy

We were relaxing at home and made falafel, but if I was heading out around Central Auckland for a casual Saturday night it would almost certainly be to Orphan's Kitchen, Pasta e Cuore, Venosa, Ortolana or Gemmayze Street. Can't go wrong with any of them, and while they're all lovely, they're also super-chill. 

Sunday morning: Food and fun

Amelie and I took ourselves off to the playground while H1 went cycling, but not before a stop at Grey Lynn Farmer's Market. We can walk to this one from our house, but another favourite in Central Auckland is La Cigale, in Parnell – or if you really want to stick in the city centre, there's a version at Britomart that's small but cute, and close to good playgrounds at Silo Park and Myers Park.

 Amelie helping me carry my farmer's market flowers.

Amelie helping me carry my farmer's market flowers.

Sunday lunchtime: Organise

I rearranged and tidied our bookshelves, which also involved moving some art, photos and plants around. Then I tidied a few more things and gave the place a vacuum, arranged the flowers I'd bought in the morning, and then I relaxed and enjoyed it. It makes such a difference to my happiness levels – and it's happiness that keeps on giving (I can see my bookshelves right now and sure enough – they are making me happy). I actually have a list of things I want to declutter, and any time I need to perk myself up or I'm feeling at a loose end I hit up that list. I don't want to tell you to use your precious downtime to organise and clean, but I can tell you it makes me feel good.

Sunday afternoon/evening: Picnic with friends in nature

Back to the park! We celebrated our friend's birthday with fish and chips and a couple of beers in the park. It would also be so lovely with some yummy snack foods (Farro is just around the corner!) Hanging out with friends is one of my favourite ways to end Sunday – it staves off those Sunday night blues nicely, and leaves me feeling like I've really soaked every drop of weekend up. And being outside while the weather is still nice enough is also a big win for the soul. 

What does your perfect weekend look like? What have I left off?

A weekend of freedom

 Image:  The Spruce

Image: The Spruce

Hello! How has your week been? I hope you've had a lovely week, and if it's been as mad as mine has, well at least it's Friday. Hasn't this week gone so quickly?

What are your plans for the weekend? We have very little organised, which is so unlike us! H1 has booked Amelie into the crèche at our club, which will give us some fun time to maybe play some tennis or go for a swim...we often take her there but usually to take her swimming, so this will make a nice change. The weather doesn't look amazing but hopefully there'll be enough sun to fit it at least one park visit. What else is going on? Give me your ideas!

And here are a few good Fridays reads for you all, to kickstart this weekend...

How to travel with children. What would you add to this?

I never feel like I look put together. But I am quite organised, so maybe that doesn't show? How about you?

Does this mirror your phone behaviour at work?

Zara is offering online shopping in NZ now! Love this top.

The Bashford Antiques saga has drawn to a close. (Read the whole story if you haven't already – so weird, so fascinating).

This restaurant review is harsh, but I didn't think it unfair. How about you?

It's still tomato season – just – and I want to make this.

Happy weekend to you! Make it a great one.

Moving uptown

It's getting really real now...

I alluded to our new apartment a couple of posts ago, but other than that I don't think I've mentioned it once...which is madness, because it's been two years since we made the decision to buy it. It was kind of an impulse decision (of course it was, I'll wait months before buying a pair of sneakers, weighing the pros and cons, but when it comes to property I apparently have a problem) but it was a good one. We're just so excited to move – the perfectly reasonable rental we're in now seems to get smaller and sadder by the day – and put our own touches on the gorgeous design put together by the developers.

 I want our entranceway this colour, for example. Image:  Pinterest

I want our entranceway this colour, for example. Image: Pinterest

The apartment is in Newton, in Auckland's uptown. I work in midtown and H1 is not far away at the bottom of Parnell (just over from downtown, for the non-Aucklanders out there) so it's incredibly convenient for us. Amelie's daycare is close too, and so are a number of parks, including Myers Park with the super-cool playground (and good coffee nearby – as well all know it's important).

So an apartment! This is a perfectly valid decision for anyone living anywhere else but in Auckland it's still seen as slightly depraved. Thankfully, that attitude is changing by the day. We have lots of suburbs with single-family homes in them, and while I can appreciate some of them, like the beautiful villas of Ponsonby or Grey Lynn, that lifestyle just doesn't feel right for us at this point in time. We want somewhere low-maintenance – we have the country house and that's quite enough high-maintenance property for us (there's a lot of land; we city folk have no idea what we're doing but at least we keep the neighbours entertained). There's plenty of green space for Amelie, and so many other cool things nearby – farmer's markets, the waterfront, the Art Gallery, the Auckland Museum, cafes (kids loves her fluffies) – and we can get almost anywhere we want to on foot, on train, or on bike. Our jobs are demanding, and living this way gives us maximum time together, as well as freeing us up to enjoy that time together. 

It's still likely to be a few months before we move in, but it's getting closer every day. I can't wait to be an uptown girl again!