Summer like a Kiwi – What happens above 23°

January marks the second, ‘official’ month of New Zealand summer.  We Kiwi’s are comfortably settled into the annual, seasonal slow-down we look forward to every year.  The kids have chilled out after the excitement of Santa’s visit, Mum’s everywhere have celebrated ‘un-decking the halls’ and returning Christmas to the boxes in the garage and everyone sadly mourned the last slice of festive ham and wedge of Pavlova.

If you missed the mania of the Boxing Day sales, tragic New Year’s Eve jandal blow-outs were easily rectified by those crazy enough to brave the malls and give the beach a miss for at least a couple of hours, joining those shoppers equipping themselves with everything they need to smash their NY resolutions once and for all.

The Summer of 2018 is definitely shaping up as one to remember.  In true NZ style, the weather has given us highs and lows (!! lol !!).  The gaudy, golden sunshine and blistering temps of the week before New Years gave many campers revelling in #ThatTentLife a false sense of security, as evidenced by the appearance of many quintessential Kiwi behaviours, only exhibited when the mercury begins to rise;

What happens in New Zealand when the temps rise above 23°?

  • An unwritten law in NZ requires many to revisit the ‘Togs, togs, togs……undies rule’ each summer.  If you’re unsure or have forgotten the accepted rule of thumb for ‘how far is too far’ to wear a speedo from the water, then please watch the public service announcement in the link above.
  • Unlike togs, there is less regulation around jandals ie, you can wear them everywhere for the period December-March (Summer here in New Zealand), and then again from April-November.
  • Here in New Zealand, we punch above our weight 24-7 – but if you’re talking about the ozone layer……..yeah we have none.  Hot times put everyone at risk of Coconut Ice Sunburn.  This kiwi fave is only acceptable when talking fudge, NOT tan lines so slip, slop, slap constantly.
  • No-one is too old for a swim in a paddling pool.  No-one.
  • Chilly-Bin ownership is mandatory, as is taking your chilly-bin everywhere with you in Summer.
  • Similar to birds flying in formation, New Zealanders possess a synchronicity that sees us switch from ice cream to ice blocks as soon as the temperature hits 23°.  This proven phenomenon is backed up with retail stats and the age-old debate surrounding the Best Fruju Flavour of All Time.  Of course, the big talking point amongst those participating in Summer this year, is the irresistible mash-up of  Kiwi icons Fruju and L&P, firing up the Fruju-flavour-frenzy even more!

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How Our Frozen Summer Faves got even BETTER

Like most parents, Dave and I are becoming more and more aware of how the food we feed the boys affects their health, mood and wellbeing.  Nixies shortened GI tract following Hirschsprung’s surgery means food moves through his little system super fast and adverse effects on his mood and behaviour become apparent really quickly.  Avoiding those dreaded artificial food additives can seem daunting but is made infinitely easier when you know that one company has eliminated all the baddies from their entire range of yummy products!

Who?  Tip Top that’s who.

The commitment to only using natural flavours and colours is a big deal, especially when you do a tiny bit of research about the alternatives.  You can’t really talk ice cream without thinking about chocolate right?  Tip Top has replaced dodgy additive E155 – Brown HT (made from coal tar, a suspected carcinogen and mutagen that is banned in the US, Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Norway, Belgium) and is now using simple, caramelized sugar to achieve that rich chocolate brown colour we all expect in our fave Trumpets.  There are super-cool, and surprising, alternatives in place throughout the Tip Top range that sees beetroot, spirulina, gardenia and turmeric extracts replace the synthetic dyes and coal or petroleum derived additives that other companies are still using today.

We Kiwis are the best at just about everything we do, so we want our awesome, NZ made products to reflect that.  Gone are the days of ‘numbers = colours and flavours’, we are discerning consumers with a growing consciousness towards what we put in our bodies.  As we make better choices we are expecting the producers of our favourite foods to do the same.  It’s pretty awesome to see Tip Top, a name synonymous with New Zealand, take the lead and make our summer treats #GoodtoShare for everyone.

This post was made possible by the good peeps at Tip Top!

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The Never-Ending Summer


I looked outside yesterday and couldn’t help but appreciate the sight of two loads of whites drying on the line, yes the water truck came {FOR THE 5TH TIME} and so we washed.

I hate to begrudge people a long, amazing summer, seeing as how the season of sun is sometimes so fickle here in New Zealand; but enough is enough!  I’m in danger of losing a small dog down the cracks in our front yard, paspalum stalks are the only grass form still alive and growing and our bank balances have had enough of water cartage costs.  I can’t even imagine how much stress this draught is bringing to farmers.  It’s time for a rain dance people, and prayers and all of the fingers crossed that we get rain soon {the sight of 11,000 litres of water pouring into our tank yesterday was just about enough to make me dive in – it looked that amazing, I stood there and watched every drop of it come out of the pipe}.

Until then, may you all enjoy the satisfaction of line-dryed laundry as much as I do x

How impressive is your ice?

My ice definitely had that ‘wow’ factor this morning. Two buckets of water over my windscreen and still there were rogue icebergs refusing to budge. If I lived in the Seven Kingdoms this would totally be a sign that the long winter was coming from the north. Alas, I haven’t even watched season 2 of Game of Thrones yet {I die!} so I’m quite sure that here in NZ it just means that a southerly is upon us. How boring.


A Weather Bomb

One Saturday a mighty Weather Bomb was ‘supposed’ to hit Auckland.  In fact the Weather Bomb was SO big the whole North Island was under a gale warning.  Oh my!

I was quite sure that there would be nothing better to do during a Weather Bomb than to watch movies together and bake yummy treats.  Ethan agreed, though it wasn’t us he wanted to watch movies with.  So off he went, cookies in hand, to a movie date with his wee mates.  I finally got a chance to use my new cookie cutters Mum found for me though!

Louie glues himself to the kitchen floor as soon as one of us pulls the flour from the pantry.  Damn if that crazy dog doesn’t love baked goods more than meat.

In lieu of twiddling our thumbs, we dusted off some errands, found the perfect frame for my Anthony Maxey print {which I will wait to frame and hang in our new house!!!!};

….and we enjoyed a few sneaky beers FOR FREE courtesy of our wonderful 95Bfm Bcards {get yours here}, Hallertau those shocking ribs in January have almost been forgiven : ).

We eventually returned home and Dave whipped up the most amazing pesto from basil growing on our windowsill, cashews, Parmesan, black pepper and evoo.  Can’t get enough;

I cooked a rib roast, snapped an amaze sunset, got so angry when stupid people made my Mama cry and sorted it all out.  Wine anyone?




He may or may not have hunted and killed this sheep himself……

A Shi-tzu wearing a sweater chewing on a sheep skull.  This is what Lou did all day after he dragged himself out of {my} bed.  It’s getting cold but still no rain.  This time a year ago I was obsessing about how to get my clothes dry, this year it’s more about how to get them washed!