Chat over Chai #1

Hi Everyone

The idea to start the Chat over Chai series, has been on my mind for a while now. In spite of sharing a lot on the blog, I felt a certain disconnect, so I’m going to try a bit of blogging like old times.

This is basically simply a catch up series ; to connect a little bit more, by offering a sneak peak into things happening in my life , to chat about things I’m really enjoying ; on the crafty side , slow living , cooking , current favourites – different things , I can share to make note of, look back on , enjoy and be inspired to grow and thrive.

You might want to grab a cup of chai (tea or coffee – whatever you prefer) for this one

This year, Autumn and Winter went by really fast and we are into Spring which is really like being in a whole new world.

It’s just so lovely seeing the world come alive with birds chirping , flowers blooming , there seems to be an aura of gaiety in the air.

While I have struggled a lot with the colder months, I have learnt that slowing down and doing a few extra things, that I normally never did otherwise during these months, helped me a lot to keep up my good spirits.

How did my version of Slowing down look like?

Slowing Down

This was pretty much my every day routine during the cold months. I’m sharing it on my blog hoping that it will help someone feeling down as the temperatures, daylight and sunshine go down

  • Making my cup of tea, taking time to sit down and enjoy drinking it , feeling the warmth of my tea , warm up my body
  • Look out my door , make note of the sunlight flooding the mountains with its golden glow or the clouds completely cover up the mountains
  • Send Steve off to school,
  • Snuggle with my baby Amber, listening to my favourite gospel music, reading the Bible and praying
  • Taking time to shower and get dressed in presentable clothes in the morning with care, put on my favourite perfume,
  • Go for a walk once in a while with Amber
  • Do a bit of skin care once a week
  • Gratitude Journal every week
  • Use Bargain box for dinner ( this way, I did not have to do much meal planning but still had the recipes and the ingredients ,had a chance to try something new and different.
  • In the evenings, I often lighted up some lovely scented candles, put on some dreamy jazz music , kept the heat pump on and cooked dinner.
  • I added fairy lights where every I could, added cushions and throws to create cozy and warm around me.
  • Once a week I went out for brunch with my friends, or invited them over to just chat over home made ginger chai, it felt good to have those little moments of just sharing and enjoying the friendships
  • I joined a low impact exercise class which helped immensely as well.
  • Some days when I just did not feel up to it, I just let go, ordered food from Uber Eats and spent time with my kids watching re runs of Castle lounging on the sofa.

Weekends were a little bit different. We slept in , cooked some delicious meals to last at least a couple of days so that when I felt uninspired to cook, there was something to heat up and eat ready at hand.

Amber

I’m sharing these here in the hope that it will help someone who needs it. However these are not set in stone things to do, do what soothes your soul the most .

How do you cope with the Colder Months?

If you also do some of these things please share them with me.

Or if you have some other things that helped you cope through the colder months, please share them as well.

Talk later

lots of love

Pearlin

Summer in Rotorua (2018)

Rotorua came on as a place of interest to visit ,when my brother asked about the place. We had visited Rotorua around 2013, and had a chance to visit the Geysers and the Maori Cultural centre, but we couldn’t remember much of the place. So we decided to take a quick weekend trip to Rotorua to have a relaxed trip and visit places things we did not see before.

It turned out to be a nice weekend away to enjoy some relaxed time with family and experience Rotorua , like a local.( well, almost like one)

As soon as we landed in Rotorua, we hired a rental car so that we could go everywhere easily together as a family. It also is a preferred mode of transport as J enjoys the flexibility and ease of driving his own vehicle.

We had booked a one bedroom unit at a motel called Rotovegas ; which actually consisted of a nice family room, kitchenette with all the utensils and gadgets ( we did not use them) toilet, bathroom, and two bedrooms in the upper level. And the best of all , our own heated Spa tub in an enclosed area. Their service ,rooms , the spa pool and the general swimming pool I must say were all good . We had a lovely stay here.

On the day we landed, with all the excitement of travel, we skipped lunch and decided to have an early dinner. Staying in Christchurch and not having many places to go for a South Indian vegetarian Dinner, we literally jumped with joy when we saw this restaurant called Steam

The dosa , sambar and chutney was as close to the authentic dosa sambar and it made me very happy.

The next morning , we got up early and bright , went to have breakfast .As we found a parking around Hinemoa street, we decided to park the car and take a walk around and we came upon this cute French Cafe called Le Cafe De Paris

Being a francophile, I dragged everyone in with me for breakfast.The ambiance was old world simple and cozy which I loved, the food was yummy and the service so good.The only thing I did not like at this place was the smoke filling up in the room , as the crepes were being cooked. We all enjoyed the crepes though.

After a scrumptious breakfast, first on the itinerary, we had the Redwood Treewalk . When we planned this walk, we had no idea what to expect but were totally blown away by the beauty of the magnificent redwood trees. The stroll on the 20 feet high wooden suspension bridge was an exhilarating

as well as informative experience with boards placed in strategic places.

Then we went to Rotovegas where the boys went on luge rides. We had our lunch and snacks here before heading to our last stop for the day.

Our next and final stop for the day was the 3D Art Gallery.We walked around leisurely, taking pictures , pretend playing and laughing around , it was not crowded at all . All of us enjoyed the gallery as it was so much fun!

The boys were too tired for the day to go out for dinner with us so they requested that we get them McDonalds . Which we did , as it was not very far away from our motel.Later J and I went back to Steam restaurant ordered the same dosa sambar , went for a walk in the empty streets and wound down for the day.

Our flight the next morning was late in the afternoon so we went out with a boys for a leisurely walk around the city centre admiring the street art and getting a feel of the place.

We then had breakfast at a cafe called Capers Epicurean where the food was good but I felt it was not the place to go if one was in a rush .It was quite busy when we went and took a while for us to find seats and settle down before we could order.

With this trip we found out that taking short trips away from home and just enjoying a change of scene was immensely refreshing. We felt that doing a few things together with out rushing around made us appreciate the time we spent sight seeing around Rotorua and each other’s company better than the busier travel schedules we have had before.

We had left Amber with a dog sitter, by the end of day two , we were all missing her like crazy. So we were are all so ready to come back home.

Trip Iternary:

How We got there :

By Flight : Air New Zealand direct from Christchurch to Rotorua.

How we got around Town :

Rental Car

Where we stayed : Rotovegas Motel

What We Did :

  1. Whakarewarewa Tree Walk
  2. 3D Trick Art Gallery
  3. Luge

Where we ate :

Quick trip to Queenstown

One can never get enough of the beauty ,South Otago region offers. When my cousin visited New Zealand with his friends, we decided to tag along on their two day trip .

First stop was Lake Tekapo. About three hours drive from Christchurch, the deep turquoise waters against the backdrop of the rugged brown Southern Alps is just breathtaking.lake tekapoOn the banks of the lake adding charm to the scenery ,stands the Church of the Good Shepherd .Apparently a favourite spot for wedding photographers.DSC_0499.JPGEnroute to Queenstown, stopping at various Scenic Outlooks to admire the magnificent beauty of the landscapes meant our supposedly six hour drive from Christchurch to Queenstown ,was stretched by a couple more hours. DSC_0542.JPGHence we reached Queenstown late at night  .

Ready to crash ,The Scenic Suites hotel where we stayed, with its spacious bed and clean self contained utilities ,offered just the cozy comfort we needed. DSC_0570.JPGThe stunning views of the lake and town were an added bonus.DSC_0551.JPGOh ,the breakfast of eggs benedict  with english muffins and bacon we had at the hotel restaurant was large , filling and scrumptious.

Of all the adventure sports that Queenstown offers, DSC_0645

DSC_0681.JPGDSC_0660.JPGmy favourite past time at Queenstown is people watching , canva-photo-editor-6having a juicy burger at Fergburger , IMG_0784

(one  of the best tip we received and found immensely helpful to avoid the serpentine queue ,was to order beforehand on phone and then go get the burger . )

Or grab an ice cream at Patagonia. Not only do they have a wider variety to choose from but you can also create your own cone , add things you like . So fun and so so yummy !IMG_7102

or walk on the side path gawking at all the sights and sounds enjoying the touristy vibe of the town.

Looking at the pictures  just makes me want to go back there.

 

Zippered Pouch : quick and easy

As the days get longer and longer, day breaking at around 5.30 am and stretching late into 9.00 pm,  knitting and crochet have taken the back seat

 I’m on the sewing machine a lot more than usual these days.

Fabric selection and cutting, the two things that really threw me off sewing in the first place, don’t seem as daunting for me . I’m not sure if it is getting comfortable with time or the fact that I can walk into a fabric store and get help with fabric selection etc. It could be a combination of both.

Anyway, I found this gorgeous mint with gold cross cotton and steel fabric online a while back , didn’t have any plans for it when I got it.

I needed a pencil pouch , I’d been dying to make a zippered pouch, I found the perfect lining and zipper , with gold metal zip, like I wanted.It seemed like the stars had aligned when I found this pattern and tutorial at The Busy Bean.

Trying to sew a combination of a iron on batting as interfacing and metal zipper was indeed a wee bit nerve racking , but I  plodded on .

small sewing projects  are so gratifying and fun !

 

Greymouth

Just before the labour weekend rolled around, J suggested we all take a trip to the West Coast to explore the area. Since none of us had any idea about the area.

Grey Mouth is about three hours drive from Christchurch and we took the Arthur Pass route.To say that the scenic drive was spectacular ,would be an understatementcanva-photo-editor

The first stop was Castle Hill, which are interesting rock formations .This kind of set the tone for our trip

The terrain itself is so different on each side the mountain. As we went up the mountains the long stretches of the dark grey river beds  with streams trickling by and dull brown beech trees, were a feast to the eyes.DSC_0086

The steep scary down hill drive that would lead into the rainforest like terrain with ferns and lilies everywhere, came as a big surprise. The gorge and the bridges simply breathtaking!

This was a budget trip for us and so we stayed in the Kiwi Holiday Park  , with its self -containted kitchen, lounge, toilets was very convenient and clean.DSC_0321DSC_0039.JPGWe however decided to sleep in tents, true Kiwi style.Crawling on all fours trying to get into the tent, sleeping with hot water bottles in my sleeping bag so as not to freeze into an icicle , maybe are  fun things to try once in a lifetime, but its not something I look forward to repeating again for fun 🙂 DSC_0030The whole town was shut down for a Bike race DSC_0088DSC_0098and so Pancake Rocks was to be our next destination.DSC_0133Rugged mountains on one side the vast wide ocean on the other, the beauty left us speechless. At the entrance of the Paparoa National Park, a Weka  ,another flightless native New Zealand Bird, took to greeting the visitorsDSC_0144Inside at the park, a very well laid out trail leads to mind-blowing natural beauty. DSC_0190The visual treat  is overwhelming  as your eyes are torn  between admiring the rock formations that look like pancakes stacked one above the other DSC_0168and  the rock formations that look like humans, the rugged  silent rocks providing the perfect foil for the boisterous wavesDSC_0155and home for nesting birds high up on them. .DSC_0222DSC_0215DSC_0181DSC_0246.JPGOn this trip,I did not cook, but picked up different salads  and food from Countdown, the supermarket and had a picnic by the river at noonDSC_0292DSC_0293DSC_0299scoured the beach for pebbles and driftwood, in the evening, ate dinner at Pizza Hut .DSC_0357Unprofessional campers that we were, couldn’t  take in the idea of shivering in our tents to sleep and so  decided to pack our tents and head back back home.

The steep drive down the mountains, covered in thick fog afforded some scary , nail biting moments, but by God’s grace, we all made it home in one piece, and fell into our beds with grateful hearts.

 

Spring Scenes in Hagley Park

A jaunt to Hagley Park to witness Spring in all its glory “is a must do  “my very first friend in Christchurch told me fondly remembering her own childhood days,when I came to Christchurch two years back. We have religiously kept up with the tradition ever since.

 The spring showers almost threatened not to let that happen this year, but over the weekend, the clouds and rains gave way to bright blue skies and gorgeous sunshine with just enough breeze to cool us down on a warm day.

Needless to say, I was so excited to be surrounded by beautiful flowers and birds and be able to click away till my camera battery died and came back home with a big smile on my face.

The ducks swam up to us  fearlessly hoping to be fed.

We sadly did not take anything to feed them. they sure seemed disappointed.

After much coaxing I managed to get one picture of Lil B among the daffodils.He didn’t want to pose for pictures because he was busy hunting Pokémon

People people everywhere, enjoying the weather

A jolly mood seemed to prevail everywhere….DSC_0259DSC_0264 (1)

I’m sure it ‘s because of the flowers, the myriad bird songs

and witnessing  new life sprout out of the once dull winter earth.ad2fa-dsc_0361

Spring projects

The landscape in Spring  is truly a visual treat;,flowers blooming everywhere,birds chirping,bees buzzing…. the skeletal trees sprouting tender green leaves.Its truly a sight to behold  the earth come alive with vibrant colour and vivacity after seeming dead and dry all Winter.

 Seeing the Spring fairy happily prancing about touching every tree and grass and bulb with a colour spangled magic wand, fills me with hope. Things that appear hopeless outside still has hope within and everything will turn out ok in the end after all !

As much as I dislike Winter, it makes me appreciate Spring and the change of seasons more than ever .

A friend gave me a few Kowhai seedlings, until then I had not paid close attention to these gorgeous yellow flowers or that it’s nectar is much sought after by birds!

With the arrival of spring, I have been gravitating towards sewing.It started with me making a baby snuggle blanket with some lovely woodland fabric I had got earlier in the year.

backed it with fleece and it does not have any batting .

After I finished my purple zippered pouch, I decided to seize the fact that there was purple thread on the machine and finish up the drawstring pouch that I had set aside when I ran out of purple thread on my bobbin halfway through the making of the pouch

 

J made a request for  a quilt , with fabric that I loved. He didn’t want the traditional man quilt. Still I didn’t want him to have something he didn’t like at all  so we choose fabric that we both liked Of all the fabric we saw on the Stitchbird website, the Vintage Picnic was the fabric we liked.

I decided to follow the basic jelly roll beginners quilt top by Melanie k ham. Worked up quickly and this is what I have finished so far

I’m just loving it! The splash of colours in my surroundings and in my works in progress.