Friday’s Letters: Happy Birthday to You (Me)

Friday's Letters Happy Birthday

Dear Self: Happy 24 years on this earth. Hope the next 24 are just as fun and full of love and adventure. Keep making mistakes, keep learning, keep growing. One step in front of the other, we can totally do this.

Dear Come Dine With Me: You make sick days worth dozing through.

Dear Car: You have been with us for around 4 years now and so it came as a bit of a surprise to discover the plethora of problems you have been hiding under your bonnet. Although I could complain about how we had no warning that we would need to fork out all of our dollars and more on a new car, I can instead be positive and think about the fact that this means we get to upgrade!

Dear Parents: Thank you for always answering my calls when I need advice or get into tricky situations. I feel like without you I would just curl up in the foetal position and nothing would ever get done.

Dear Corn Chips: After our Mexican birthday party it seems as though our house has been full of you. Don’t worry though, turns out you make a great meal replacement.

Dear Everyone: All my birthday wishes and birthday presents made my day. Love to you all.

Dear Blood Test: I have spent the last year and a half doing everything I could to procrastinate getting you done. I have a strange sense of achievement now  but also a pretty big sense of stupidity as you were no where near as bad as I built you up to be in my head.

Dear Edd: Thanks for holding my hand x

Advertisements

Becoming a Dumpling Master

Sachie's Kitchen Taste of Asia #brunchclub

On Sunday last week #brunchclub hosted our very first Taste of Asia dumpling class, thanks to the generous folks at Contiki and also thanks to the amazing skills of our teacher, Sachie (from Sachie’s kitchen).

Sachie's Kitchen #brunchclub Taste of Asia

It was one of my favourite #brunchclub events, despite not technically revolving around brunch. Turns out I am great at making vegetarian dumplings. Super great. Like, you should invite me to your house to cook you and your friends dumplings great. Okay I exaggerate slightly, I may have taken quite a while to get used to the pinch and seal method and almost burnt a whole pan of delicious dumplings. But still, it was delicious.

#brunchclub contiki taste of asia

Mine looked nearly this pretty. Nearly.

We were split into teams to compete in a variety of tasks, most importantly, dumpling deliciousness. Sachie was an amazing teacher and was absolutely hilarious. If you are looking for amazing cooking classes for a corporate event or group event then go no further. I couldn’t have improved the set up at all.Sachie's Kitchen #brunchclub Taste of Asia

The whole event sped by and before long we were stuffed full of perfectly cooked dumplings and chatting about travel to Asia with the friendly Contiki staff.

#brunchclub Dumplings Sachie's Kitchen

I think the photos do a pretty great job at showing how much fun everyone had. Enjoy.

 

 

#brunchclub Contiki Sachie's Kitchen

Starting off easy with some origami. Easy in that I couldn’t do it at all.

#brunchclub Taste of Asia Sachie's Kitchen

#brunchclub Taste of Asia sachies kitchen

#brunchclub Taste of Asia Sachie's Kitchen

#brunchclub Sachie's Kitchen

#brunchclub dumplings contiki

Sometimes when I am paying attention super well I end up looking rather bored. Awkward.

#brunchclub Taste of Asia

Deep fried cheese filled dumplings. HEAVEN

#brunchclub dumplings with Sachie's Kitchen

Overall it was an amazing day, organised well and executed perfectly. It wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible help of Contiki and Sachie’s Kitchen, so thanks to them both. A big thanks to my amazing other half, Edd, for his beautiful photos. Don’t worry, we paid him in dumplings.

 

Sachie's Kitchen #brunchclub Contiki

My Foxy Tea Time: I’m all about that tea

My Foxy Tea Time

Another afternoon of being undecided about what tea to drink led to another tea post. Because I love tea and I have many tea options to share with you. Not that you need as much tea as me, but by doing these posts I almost feel as though my tea drinking has a higher purpose. It doesn’t, but we gotta make our excuses, right?

Here are four favourites that I have been enjoying over the last couple of months. I did a giant t leaf haul just before Christmas and was going to post on it but then felt guilty over its excessiveness and decided to refrain, needless to say t leaf will be popping up here and there.

red seal peach and pineapple

First up is this peach and pineapple tea from red seal, part of their new hot and cold brew range. I have mostly had this cold because it is so easy not having to bother with cooling down a hot tea when craving something refreshing in this hot summer weather. This tea will brew in cold water, making iced tea 10x easier and quicker to assemble. Aside from the convenience, this tea is also rather delicious, although with a combination of peach and pineapple that came as no surprise. Add alcohol to increase effectiveness.

t leaf peppermint tea

If I could only have one tea to drink forever it would take me less that a heartbeat to choose peppermint. Its just so perfectly relaxing but also refreshing, cleansing and still tasty. So when I placed my slightly ridiculous order with t leaf it wasn’t really a question over choosing their peppermint herbal tisane. Now a heads up, this stuff is pretty potent. So for a full 4 person teapot (or a normal tea session for my lonesome) one tea bag does the job. But for a single cup you have to be pretty quick to avoid peppermint overload. I love this stuff and will have a constant supply from now on, but rest assured, this is pure peppermint tea at its full, beautiful strength. Enjoy.

artemis immuno boost tea

I love artemis‘ range of health benefit teas, and although it is currently summer and most people aren’t constantly sick in summer, I am. So immuno-boosting in any form is always welcome. This tea has a very herbal flavour profile, with elderflower, thyme and sage with a little aniseed and linden blossom thrown in. You can read all about why these ingredients are supposed to help over on their website, but if you are looking for a natural way to give your body a bit of a boost, this is one delicious option.

t leaf pina colada green tea

Last but not least is the one I am drinking right now (and I just spilt some on the keyboard). I am not a green tea drinker. I wish I was, but I’m not. Why I decided to put this Pina Colada Green Tea in my shopping cart eludes me, but I did and it turns out that this flavoured green tea is delicious! With pineapple and coconut pieces drowning out the overtly “green” taste, this is definitely one of the nicest green teas I have tried. I imagine this would make a killer iced tea cocktail, I’ll do some research and get back to you.

My Foxy Tea Time

What teas have you been drinking lately? Are you the type of tea drinker who will avoid hot drinks in the summer or drink up all year round?

Friday’s Letters: Fierce and light and young

Friday's Letters My Foxy Corner

Dear Self: Now is the time to remind you not to volunteer for everything. Sometime’s its good to get a day off. Pat on the back for taking a very stressful week and doing a pretty good job at conquering it, even without adequate sleep.

Dear Dreams: I know you feel a little murky and things are little unsure right now. Rest assured that you are always at the forefront of my mind and with a little careful planning you shall soon become goals which will then become achievements. Just be patient with me.

Dear Creamy Mushrooms: I am one step closer to making you perfect and then I can stop throwing money away for brunch.

 Dear Tiny Turtle (Niece): Looking forward to your visit. You grow so fast and your smile is bigger every time I see you. Love to you and your chubby cheeks.

Dear Serial: I may have been the last person to this confusing and emotional journey, but I have finally finished all of your podcasts and have been left suitably in tatters. Just give me a goddam answer already.

Dear Workmates: Please stop jumping ship and leaving me to fend for myself. I need you all to make life more bearable. Along with wine and chocolate, which will never leave me.

Dear Savings: You and me have got some talking to do.

Dear Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Every time I watch you, I love you more and more. Thank you for being such a beautiful movie.

Dear February: You are one very busy month. Take it easy, you are supposed to be the best month of the year, even though you’re the shortest. Bring on birthdays and anniversary’s and other good things.

Dear Angel Olsen: Thanks for creating such beautiful music with lyrics that talk straight to my heart. Like the ones that gave me my title.

Dear Merlin: So it turns out you are a pretty amazing tree climber. Thanks for those moments in the middle of the night where sleep evades me but you are always around for cuddles. Thanks for being such a big boy at the vet. Love you and your giant paws. ❤

signature

 

A Mexican Feast at Flying Burrito Brothers

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to my first Zomato meetup where I got to try enough Mexican food to last me several weeks.

This meetup was hosted at Flying Burrito Brothers in Newmarket, which had opened a little while ago and had a menu to delight any foodie with Mexican tastebuds (my hand is firmly in the air).

Virgin Mojitos Flying Burrito Brothers

Virgin Mojitos and dark lighting, sorry in advance for all the other photos

We started with a virgin cocktail; mine was mint and agave and all kinds of refreshing – which was much needed after dealing with Auckland traffic after work. We were then given a tasting board of their starters (bocaditos) to share around whilst we all were introduced to one another. Highlights for me included the Jalapeno Relleno (corn crusted jalapeno) as well as the Quesadilla De Queso, a delicious cheese, chilli and coriander quesadilla which went perfectly with their fresh tomato salsa. The highlight of this platter was the hot spicy cheese dip, Chilli Con Queso. I could live off the stuff (not for long though).

Flying Burrito Brothers

The Starting Platter

After gorging on starters, plate after plate of delicious dishes came out until our table was creaking. There were enchiladas, fajitasand burritos, but the highlight for me was the mushroom quesadilla (Quesadilla de Hongos) which was cooked to perfection and came with generous amounts of guacamole, sour cream and salsa. I must mention the Holy Mole Enchilada. Filled with chicken, I didn’t really try this but couldn’t resist tasting a little of the mole sauce which was rich and delicious.

Flying Burrito Brothers

Enchiladas, Burritos and Fajitas, Oh My!

Flying Burrito Brothers

Mushroom Quesadillas, perfect for any cheese loving vego

Flying Burrito Brothers

Luckily we had a bit of a break before desert, the conversation was pretty lively and the white sangria came out and was light and tasty. When the deserts arrived they were quickly demolished. We tried the Banana Chimichanga, tortilla wrapped fried banana served with ice cream and cinnamon sugar. Good but in my opinion, not as good as the Churros which came with three different dipping sauces. Yum.

Flying Burrito Brothers

Never too full for desert. Never.

 

It was such a fun night and an amazing way to sample some of the delicious dishes offered by Flying Burrito Brothers. I now can’t wait to go back with more friends and eat so much I can’t get home.

Flying Burrito Brothers

What the table looks like at a foodie meetup.

What are your favourite Mexican dishes?

Review of 2015’s Laneway Festival

So it’s been just under a week since Laneway, and I figured it was probably time I shared my experience after reading quite a few others. Spoiler alert: I had an amazing day.

Overall, Laneway 2015 was organised amazingly well. It was sold out and yet the crowds didn’t bother me at all. I waited no longer than 5 minutes for the bathroom and enjoyed about 11 different acts. I’ll run you through my day:Laneway 2015 Silo Park

We made our way to Laneway pretty early, getting there for Princess Chelsea at 12.00pm and let us walk around and explore a bit before the crowds arrived. We then found a spot on the grass, in the shade of the silos, to see Princess Chelsea put on a beautifully sweet and charming show. I think one reviewer put it perfectly when they compared her to Lena Dunham hosting a kitten kissing competition. It was pretty adorable, and she played my favourite song of hers, Cigarette Duet. It was a pretty perfect start to a gorgeous day.

Laneway 2015 Princess Chelsea

Princess Chelsea in the midday sunshine

 

We then ambled over to see the last 20 minutes of Tiny Ruins, a New Zealand artist who was captivating in her soft voice and quiet hold over the crowd. We also enjoyed a delicious vietnamese cold coffee to battle the sunshine. Conan Mockasin took the stage next, and put on a show that was weird but nonetheless entertaining in its 70s psychedelic rock vibes that had everyone dancing.

Laneway 2015 Connan Mockasin

Connan doing his thing. Whatever that is.

Auckland Laneway 2015

Angel Olsen was someone I was looking forward to seeing all week, and she didn’t disappoint, playing a bunch of my favourite songs in a very effortless way. I was pretty much captivated for the entire 40 minute set and didn’t want it to end. New girl crush by the way. The moment her set ended, Courtney Barnett started on the stage next door so we grabbed a quick cold drink and then watched her take over the stage, obviously having just as much fun as all of us who were watching her.

Angel Olsen at Laneway 2015

Angel Olsen a little bit crooked. I blame all of my dancing.

Royal Blood’s rock performance was one of my favourite moments of the day, with a huge number of people all yelling out the lyrics and dancing along to their high energy tracks. I am not a dancer but I don’t think anyone stood still throughout their songs. There was a lot of head banging and I didn’t even care.

Laneway 2015 Royal Blood

British Duo, Royal Blood

After a couple of hours of dancing around in the heat our energy reserves were pretty depleted so we grabbed a delicious meal at Bird on a Wire who were selling giant bowls of their delicious salads, topped with fresh chicken or crispy tofu. It was exactly what we needed to prepare ourselves for the next few hours.Auckland Harbour Laneway 2015

Jon Hopkins played a beautiful techno/synth set in the sunshine in front of the silos, with people dancing along to his seamlessly hypnotic electronica tracks. We then made our way to see some of Angus and Julia stone, where for the first time all day I found the crowds a little overwhelming.

Crowds at Laneway 2015

Crowding in beside the Silos to catch a glimpse of Banks

The crowds packed in for Banks, who despite some technical issues, had everyone enthralled with her quiet, shy demeanour but her beautiful voice and big beats. It took a bit of work making our way up close so with Little Dragon up next we decided to hold our ground amongst the pulsing crowd who were crammed into the small space. Probably the most memorable moment of the whole 11 hour day was watching the sun set over Auckland harbour during the Little Dragon set. It was spell binding. Dancing along with hundreds of other fans to some of their best songs made me forget about the heat and my sore legs and the crowds and just enjoy the moment.

Little Dragon at Laneway 2015

Little Dragon putting on one hell of a show as the sun goes down

After an hour of full on dancing, I needed a bit of a rest before St Vincent took the stage dressed up like some kind of gorgeous alien model. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to watch much of her but once she had started I was hooked on her quirky synth sounds and awkward dance moves. St Vincent was one of the best performers of the day, with her crowd in the palm of her hand hanging on to each and every sound that came out of her mouth.

St Vincent Laneway 2015

Before heading home, slightly sunburnt and totally exhausted, I wanted to see some of Flying Lotus who was finishing off the evening with his amazing 3D show. I only knew two of his songs so once I had heard them both, my weary legs demanded I take them home. As a small sidenote, Silo Park looked just as beautiful in the dark, lit up spectacularly, as it did in the gorgeous summer sunlight. What a beautifully charming venue to spend the day in. Sunset over Auckland Laneway 2015

I know some people complained about Laneway; the crowds, the long lines for the drinks/bathrooms etc. etc. I had a totally different experience and so I think this is up to the individual. We decided not to bother with alcohol because I paid a fair bit for my ticket and wanted to get my music’s worth out of it. After drinking at Big Day Out last year, I found that I had more fun this year, danced just as much and didn’t need anything extra as I was pretty giddy just on the experience of the whole day. The heat was at times pretty unbearable but there was free water all over the place and spots of shade to cool down. The clashes were minimal (for me) and the only act I missed was Belle and Sebastian. We went in wanting to make the most of our day, and got way more than we bargained for.

Auckland Laneway 2015

If you made it to the end of all that congrats, your reward is my 5 lessons learnt at Laneway 2015:

  1. If you are wanting to see lots of new amazing acts, get there early. More space, more relaxed atmosphere and heaps of wonderful music.
  2. Listen to a few of the acts before hand to help plan out who you would like to see and make the most of your time
  3. If you want to get drunk, go to a bar. The more you drink, the more time spent in lines, less spent experiencing great music.
  4. Reapply sunblock. Turns out that 1 application at 11am does not prevent you looking like a lobster at work on Monday.
  5. Take advantage of the free water and stay hydrated.

What was your experience at Laneway 2015?