Sometimes all you need is a little bit of sunshine in your life. <3
Sunshine at the Papamoa Hills Summit
New Zealand, being in the Southern Hemisphere, has a few things backward, especially their seasons. When July and August hit, instead of being outside on patios enjoying hot sunshiney days, camping with friends and family and having yum bbq's, the Kiwis are inside huddled around the fire trying to keep warm (or, in my case, snuggled up with a hot water bottle). And then, when the rest of the world is cozy inside with hot cocoa, warm pajamas and slippers, sweetly anticipating the Christmas festivities to come in December, the Kiwis are in shorts, t-shirts, jandals (their word for flipflops) and drinking beer on patios. Although I cannot see how it could fit at all, they sing Christmas Carols about sledding in snow and wearing winter jackets outside. How wonderfully bizarre!
Mid-Winter Christmas Market 2012
One local woman, originally from Germany, found this Kiwi tradition to be too far from her home traditions, and decided to make a change. She introduced the Mid-Winter Christmas Market to the city of Tauranga held at the Historic Village. This gives citizens a chance to appreciate and enjoy the cold weather, bundled up in scarves and toques (the Canadian word for hat or beanie), sipping on mulled wine or cider, purchasing unique crafts as gifts for loved ones and singing along to Christmas Carols. This year boosted wonderful foam snow flakes being blown throughout the village, heaps of activities for the kids to do and oodles and oodles of yum food to purchase! 
Luke & I enjoying a sample of delicious mulled cider in front of the big Christmas Tree
This year I was lucky enough to attend the Mid-Winter Christmas Market as a Mobile Posh Nosh staff member, happily handing out Spiral Fries to the eager attendees.  Mobile Posh Nosh is acquainted with Food By Design, a fantastic catering company owned by my good friend, Terri. 
Mobile Posh Nosh's Team - Providing Spiral Fries and Smiles
We had a fantastic time spiraling our potatoes onto the sticks, frying them up and dipping them in one of the delicious, locally-made sauces. Spiral Fries were a great hit, with many customers searching around the entire village just to try one. You can guarantee that come this summer, you'll be seeing much more of Mobile Posh Nosh's unique yum treats!!
Mid-Winter Christmas Market - Daylight
Mid-Winter Christmas Market - Nighttime Beautiful
Luke and I are very far from being enrolled in Master Chef anytime soon. He is miles closer than I am..I am one of those lucky ladies that has most meals prepared for her by her lovely and wonderful boyfriend! ..but still.. we like to keep our meals simple, healthy, cheap and easy!! So tonight when we decided to try something completely different, with no recipe, and using literally everything we had on hand... well... I was a little skeptical. 
Casserole Ingredients: 
Potato | Kumara | Broccoli | Carrot | Onion | Garlic | Butternut Squash | Linguini Noodles | Mushroom Soup | Stale Bread Crumbs | a few Caesar Salad Croutons | Grated Cheese 
After boiling and frying most pieces, we popped it into the oven for some random, undetermined amount of time, eventually melted some cheese on top and... VOILA!
The Masterpiece
Mistake or Masterpiece? 

Judging by our empty plates.. I'd say the taste buds vote that it was a masterpiece. This dish is now referred to as: "The Bake"


Every morning I watch 

Become THIS:


I recently read a fantastic blog post that is all about doing exactly what YOU want to do on YOUR trip!! There is so much information out there that at times it can be hard to know what it is that you want out of your travels.. but remember.. just because someone else says "you simply cannot leave the country without doing xxx" doesn't mean that is the case for you! 

When you plan to go on a trip, big or small, and you go through all that effort of saving heaps of money... why not get out of it what it is that YOU want? It's your money, your time, your memories. 
Click here to read the blog post by Beverly - Pack Your Passport 
Finally, after about 10 different friends told me it was worth a read, I made my way down to the library to put Fifty Shades of Grey on hold. I went back and checked every few days to see if it was there. The book was always on the hold shelf, but never in my name. I did some research on my account and found out I was SEVENTH in line to get the book. That's a lot of people to read it before me. So I set it all out of my mind and got on with life.. no more checking the hold shelf on a two-day rotation. Then... one happy morning.. I received an email saying that the book was there and it had MY name on it! :-) Oh happy joy joy! So, I picked it up after work and am now excited to jump right on that bandwagon and see what all the fuss is about. If there are no posts for a few days, well, I guess that means I'm a fan!!

Sweet Dea 
Every morning's breakfast... 1/4 cup freshly cooked oats, half a banana, a dollop of plain unsweetened yoghurt and a sprinkle of brown sugar. Yum! 
"...was the first time I have seen a live musical comedy act complete their show with all 10,000 guests on their feet in appreciation, admiration and hysterical laughter!" 

Flight of the Conchords LIVE
Vector Arena, Auckland City
01 July 2012 

The evening began with comedy pieces from American Arj Barker, known as the indifferent friend Dave in the HBO series Flight of the Conchords. He revved up some New Zealand pride with the audience as he complimented the kiwi way of life and softly bad mouthed the Amercian. His act was short, sweet and did exactly as it was meant to, got the audience ready to "rock the party".

After a 15 minute intermission, all 10,000 fans at Vector Arena were in their seats, drinks and snacks in hand, ready to laugh all night with their favourite tv characters. Jemaine and Bret began the show with a short "technical difficulty", generating more anticipation throughout the crowd as they could be heard, but not yet seen. Their opening song was an entertaining "Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor", delivered in full robot costume and followed by an engaging banter regarding the literal and metaphorical meaning behind the lyrics. After a slight costume change; (they swiveled their robot masks around), they were onto an upbeat and energetic "The Humans Are Dead".

Jemaine and Bret truly delivered for all guests in attendance. Their breaks were non-existent, they interacted with the audience every chance they got, and all banter inbetween songs was in full tv show character that had the audience in stitches. They even brought in "Nigel" their one-person orchestra who turned out to be a crowd favourite. For 2+ hours it was pure Flight of the Conchords quality entertainment. At the end of the show it was obvious the crowd was satisfied as this was the first time I have seen a live musical comedy act complete their show with all 10,000 guests on their feet in appreciation, admiration and hysterical laughter!

A job well done boys!

Written by: Deanna Deacon
view from our hotel room, 9th floor in the Best Western on Victoria Street