Books · Botanical Gardens, Christchurch · Christchurch · Handknit · Handmade · Home Decor · Home Making · Knit2together Group · Life style · Lifestyle · New Zealand · South Island

Autumn memories

Its been a while since I wrote on my blog. My last post was in March 2019! I did not mean to be away for so long. But I have been busy doing things and not so regular in updating the blog

It was the school holidays. I happened to stumble on a book called How to Hygge by Signe Johansen in the library online and promptly downloaded my first ever e -book loan from the library.

I have read a couple books on the Danish concept of Hygge but nothing spoke to me the way this book did . So I decided to put some of the things into practice .It really helped, I must admit.

I added cushions and a faux fur throw to cozy up our couch ,

Used dried lavender from our lavender plant for our kitchen counter

dried hydrangeas from our garden in the hall

greenery from pothos plants that I have been propagating, pine cones that I found in our walk in the Christchurch Botanic Garden

some fairy lights and some candles I made at a Workshop

Beginning of Autumn, we spent a day walking around the Christchurch Botanical gardens. Every season there is something to enjoy at the gardens, but my favourite times to visit there are Autumn and Spring.

The colours are just spectacular during this time. I’m sharing some of my favourite pictures my son shot.

Walking around the Rose garden ,the roses and the scent of roses pervading all over the garden was glorious.

We spent a good amount of time watching the ducks chase each other on the water

While the geese glided around seemingly oblivious to the commotion happening around

This swan was so graceful in the water

Creating a cozy space, having greenery inside the home, taking note of the things in nature really helped me, to focus on the beauty of simple things and take pleasure in them.

Also, during this time, a friend and I together , started a knit / craft and chat that like to call the Knit2together group in my home . This turned out to be a simple yet cozy way to connect with the ladies in my church doing something we all loved.

Practising gratitude, enjoying the seasons , connecting with nature and other people made Autumn a very lovely season for me.

Being intentional this way also helped me to forget dreading the approach of Winter .(which I would always do and work myself into a knot)

Gondola · In and around Christchurch · Lavender Gardens · Museum · Uncategorized

Summer Holidays :2017

Wild flowers abound in my backyard and it never fails to make me smile. They are a gentle reminder to take delight in life’s little things to me, things that we often take for granted.

Happy New year friends. I know it’s late to be wishing you all a Happy New Year. This post has been sitting on the drafts for a while.

It’s summer holidays for the boys , we’ve been spending a lot of time together doing technology free days.We ticked off a few things off our must do in Christchurch List.

Visited Lavender gardens.This is a lovely lavender garden , out into the country side of Christchurch. If you love the scent of lavender and  enjoy seeing lavender flowers that look like a the gorgeous lavender carpet , then this place a great place to visit. There is also a little kiosk selling lavender soap , scents etc.

went on the Gondola,  the view from top of the restaurant , on the port hills is breathtaking.

Revisited the old favourites like the Restart Mall,

 and the Museum

All in all , it was a very relaxing and I’m happy with the way the holidays went this year.

Christchurch · In and around Christchurch · New Zealand · South Island · Tannery

The Tannery

The thing I like about Winter here in Christchurch is that while we have cold cold days, we also have warm sunshiny days.

When those sunshiny warm day happens to be a Saturday ,it is a bonus . When a certain surly teen that lives around these parts, wants to join in  with you , without much prodding , then you can be assured that all your stars have aligned ,the angels are watching out for you and it’s going to be a beautiful day !

We decided that our weekend exploring was going to include The Tannery.

 One naive small town , thought it was a really a tannery, you know, where animal hides are tanned. Seeing that she was really worried, that a beautiful city would have a highly polluting place smack right in the middle of the population,  and refused to go with him there,her worldly wise hubby decided  explained to her  that the 1878 historic tannery is actually a must see restored boutique shopping mall . And took her there .

You can check out the story  of how the Tannery came about here

 Even though she wasn’t too impressed by the antique looking exterior,

Her jaw hit the beautifully tiled floor when she saw the interior

 the beautifully lined fancy stores

 and glass ceiling with all the beautiful details

We walked in and out of stores enjoying the quirky mix of art and flowers , books , food and fashion stores.

The Boys decided to grab a bite at She Universe and tried their truffle

and Mango sorbet… the best we have ever tasted! The mango tastes like real mango with out the strange preserved mango taste that usually is found in mango dishes 

We got chatting with MR B, the co owner of She .He told us he loved India and often travelled to Kerala.They even gave us  vouchers to use at their shop at our next visit. 

Across the ample car parking, there were fabric stores …

and then, this wheel caught my eye.  I had to check out the place. Turns out the yarn , fibre and spinning guild of Christchurch is situated here!

I met the lovely ladies there . They kindly invited me to come to one of their meetings. One lovely lady showed me how she spun and another one showed me some of the fleece she had.

They also gave me a piece of fleece to take with me. *please ignore the chipped nail polish* That nail colour was Big B’s gift for my birthday.

I must go one of these days…Actually I’m getting curious about spinning and oh weaving too. Learning to spinning and weaving is on my bucket list , people.

Btw, how cute is this she?!

Christchurch · Cookie Time Factory Outlet · New Zealand · South Island · Templeton

A Cookie Time Factory shop trip

My kids ,are big fans of cookie time  cookies. It so happened that on his way to work, J , found a factory outlet .

Sunday ,being a beautiful sunny day, we were in for a little surprise.

None of us guessed where J was taking us, only thought that we were going for a little ride around .

Only when the car slowed down, did we realised where we were!!

Surprise!!

You should have seen kids’ grin to know what a happy camper they were.

Not even for a second ,are you allowed to think about anything else. You got to have cookies on your mind, right from the parking lot!

I was pretty impressed !

Well, tell me ,where else would we find a cookie wall in the parking lot?!

Right before the entrance,the ‘cookie muncher’ strikes a welcoming pose and a quick picture was in order.

I loved this sculpture

It’s called Lean on love.

The interiors are pretty impressive too, continuing with the Cookie Theme

The stools are pretty cool carrying on the cookie theme

There are Tshirts and soft toys available

And of course cookies with offers too hard to resist.The friendly staff make it a warm place to be.

There are also buckets that you can fill with your choice of cookies and you can even send them to family abroad.

We all love the taste of the cookies and no doubt, fell in love with the outlet too.

I think we are going to be frequent visitors here.

Christchurch · Eating out · Family · In and around Christchurch · Life · Life style · Lifestyle · New Zealand · South Island · Strawberry Fare

Strawberry Fare

J got a voucher to Strawberry Fare for his birthday

We were not very familiar with the dishes on the menu ,when we checked out their website.  The Dessert Menu looked very appealing , however. So we decided to go there for just desserts.

When we went ahead to book our table , we were informed that they didnot take bookings for desserts and asked us to just show up.

We were greeted warmly ,when we showed up  later that evening,   by the waitress and asked to wait by the bar while our tables were prepared.It didn’t take very long.

The place was full, the decor very minimal

I ordered their The Ultimate Chocolate Dessert. … It’s a chocoholic ‘s dream come true!!

There was a chocolate fudge brownie, chocolate mousse, chocolate ice cream, chocolate pate with cream strawberry and raspberry sauce_ I was in chocolate heaven _each flavor of chocolate different from the other but perfectly complimenting one another.

In the plate ,my favourite were the chocolate fudge and ice cream . It was quite a big serving but I finished it . It was to die for!

J ordered Lemon Chocolate Cheesecake and liked it very much.

Lil B ordered Strawberry Pillows and enjoyed very much too. Again too big for him . Next time we will go Dutch I think.

Big B didn’t want to come  and I felt sad that he missed out. There is always a next time.

All in all we loved it. And can’t wait to go another time . We might even get brave and try their other dishes.

Christchurch · Coriander Restaurant · Eating out · Food · In and around Christchurch · Life style · New Zealand · Restaurant Review · South Island

CORIANDER INDIAN RESTAURANT

It’s a little over six months since we landed in this country. As each day passes on, we are feeling a little more settled than the previous day.
Like it always happens in a new place, where everything from the traffic rules to the things in the supermarket are different from what we’ve gotten used to, with each new day, we learn something new.
Sometimes, it takes a little bit of asking around, taking recommendations from people who’ve been there for a while and at other times, we learn through trial and error before settling on something we  enjoy. So I decided to put out our experiences so that it would help other people who are new around here.

CORIANDER INDIAN RESTAURANT

J and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary on the fifth of February.Big B offered to  babysit Lil B for us and so we both went out for a nice dinner at a restaurant called  Coriander on Asaph street.Christchurch

At the outset,We were very excited to find a nice parking spot close to the restaurant.
We had to wait for sometime before we could be seated at the tables we had reserved earlier. In all fairness though ,we made our reservation very late.
The forest green with gold lined  walls , the lowlight interiors,the dull gold moroccan lanterns hanging from the ceiling gave the place a very Indian ,sophisticated air.

 All the staff were very attentive.  Our friendly waitress came checking on us often to see if we were happy . She even took a picture of us both when we told her that we were celebrating our wedding anniversary.The managers too came and checked on us , which left us feeling very special .naturally!

.
For starters, we ordered Onion Bhajis. The Bhajis were tasty and the serving quite big for the both of us.
For the main, we ordered Chicken Madras, Kashmiri Naan and Kashmiri Pulav .
I found the Chicken Madras, a little too salty for our taste. I also  did not like the abundant use of desiccated  coconut in the Kashmiri pulav.  I wonder if our order was a bit off.  The Kashmiri Naan was ok.
For dessert, we had Gulab Jamun with  French Vanilla Ice Cream . I’m not a big fan of sweet stuff in general and so took just a couple of spoons to taste. J did enjoy it even though in his opinion it was nothing to write home about.
It was a nice finishing touch that the manager brought the Eftop machine to our table ,so that we could pay the bill without having walk around to the counter intruding on the dancing couples.
I really enjoyed watching the couples dancing  on the deck to some lovely music , as we waited for our bill .
What I missed and would have liked , is the complimentary Indian papad with mint chutney that we are so used to getting in India and Kuwait before the meal arrived.This is New Zealand and like everything else I think we’ll get used to that too!
Christchurch · New Zealand · South Island

Tourists in our city ; Christchurch

The weather on Saturday, was lovely and warm. The summer holidays are coming to an end at break neck speed, so we decided to play tourists in our city Christchurch and went to check out a little lane , we noticed whilst driving past.

I discovered a bead shop . I plan to go back and check out what they have, later on.

The fascination of seeing trams on the road has not  still worn off  for me.

These Giraffes are going to be auctioned off , February 11th . They are part of the Christchurch Stands Tall art project where various artists have contributed their talent , to help raise funds for   local charities .

I saw a couple being carted away and yes,  beautiful wall art too!

my absolute favourite!

 We were  super excited to discover a Lego place.

I found a little shop selling souvenirs and picked up a few postcards too.

Little weekend outings like these will make it bearable to return back to school .

In and around Christchurch · New Zealand · South Island · Victoria Park

Victoria Park

Soon after Sunday Church, a short trip to town to grab some frozen yoghurt, we decided to go explore the Victoria Park

Outside it was freezing cold for me!

 

People say, I must add, it could be worse, but  I’m finding this chill spring weather unbearable!!

I’m a tropical girl through and through

!A picture that Lil B took of me .. See the jacket?! Yup I never got out of that!

It was a lovely drive up the mountain sitting in the warmth of the car.

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Such a nice place for a picnic, walking the dogs or exercising

stunning views

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You see that skater there, he had an accident going down the hill and we had to rush to the ER..By God’s grace , everything is fine now.

In and around Christchurch · Lifestyle · New Zealand · Riccarton Farmers Market

Riccarton Farmers Market

Markets are always fun places to visit .

I remember as a little girl tagging along with Packiam ,our maid, who  helped raise us, to the open air fish market . 

First ,she would take a walk around the market, browsing all the fishes and vegetables on display.I would watch on in awe as she bantered with the vendors , their faces would soften and break out into a wide grin, revealing their betel stained teeth as they spied me standing beside her. She would then pick out the fish and vegetables our family was to have that day, keeping in mind the instructions from my grand mother.


Later on I happily joined my uncle and cousin and more often with my dad when he went to get our weekly vegetables.

Soo…. When I heard of the Riccarton Farmers Market held every Saturday from 9am -1pm at the Riccarton Park, I had to visit it.

The market,  set on the picturesque banks of the Avon river with ducks swimming by on one side ,

,green grass lush and inviting  people to sit and enjoy a picnic with  family….on the banks …watching the ducks chasing each other and wee ducklings walking about knowing no fear.

 the historic Riccarton House on the other side

and  the stalls lined neatly in between … with an array of fresh produce ,…..


the aroma of freshly baked bread 


 cooked food  wafting by ,

….  live music buzzing in the background, making people spring up to their feet and shake a leg or two!

….. kick up the energy and quaint setting of the market and make it a charming way to spend a lovely sunny day!





 We tried the Chicken Teriyaki ,loved it!Big B tried out the Hungarian sausage and Sauerkraut and enjoyed it


J and I tried the Japanese savoury pancakes and crispy chicken with trepidation but ended up enjoying it as well.