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Monday, October 13, 2014

Heather Garden in the Spring Time

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A few weeks ago as Spring began peeping into awareness, I went out for an early morning wander through Christchurch's Botanic Gardens with my camera. One of my favourite little places to pass time there is the Heather and Rock Garden. It was a brisk morning with dew drops clinging to all of the tiny flower petals, and hues of lilac and mossy green everywhere. I felt like I could have been in the garden of a Scottish castle! The early morning light looked like crystals in the dew drops and made for beautiful lens flare in my photos. 
As you can see I was still rugged up in warm boots and a coat as the mornings are still chilly!
It was so nice getting up early and having some time to myself before getting into a hectic week- are there any little rituals you have to bring some zen into your day?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Christchurch's Own Tropical Jungle Conservatory

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|Tights- Tempt| Blouse- Mums!| Hat- Similar here| Shoes-Rubi

Since the 2011 Earthquake the Hagley Park botanical conservatory- Cunningham House has been closed for earthquake repairs...and now it's finally open again! This was one of my favourite little places to escape to in Christchurch, like a tropical oasis in our wintery city, So Andrew and I made some time last weekend on a beautiful sunny afternoon to visit the reopened building. 
Cunningham House was originally opened in 1923. In the early days of Christchurch's establishment it was a very "English" city, so the pioneers brought with them British gardening traditions. Cunningham House is a good example of this; The Victorians used to make exhibitions out of exotic, far away curiosities including ancient artefacts, taxidermy animals, objects and botanics. This era of thinking is evident in the building in its tall airy windows and layout so the plants can be looked at like a museum exhibit. It's such a beautiful collection of tropical jungle plants that you wouldn't normally find growing in cold Canterbury! 
In a nod to monumental buildings, I wore my Renaissance chapel tights which reminded me a little of the structure of the conservatory (Minus the winged cherubs!) The airy white blouse is vintage, belonging to my Mum in the 80's (Thanks Mum!) I love it because I can wear it loose and baggy or tie it into a crop top. I'm always trying to incorporate at least one retro/ vintage/ op-shop item into my outfit...This blouse looks so chic you can hardly tell that it's from the 80's! I look for any excuse to wear a hat and it was such a sunny winter day outside that I needed it! Bring on the beautiful spring sunshine!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Girls Day Out: Waipara Wine Trail Tour

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Last weekend in a bid to get some serious catch up time with friends, we decided to do something extra special- an all inclusive Winery tour! As it was two of our beautiful friends birthdays to celebrate, it was a great excuse to treat ourselves to a day of deliciousness and fun!
We booked our tour through Tour Finda which included a lovely driver for the afternoon, our own private mini bus, pick up and drop off where we needed and all wine tastings included for around 6 hours!
We visited Pegasus Bay, Waipara Springs, Waipara Hills and Torleese. Each winery had a wine I absolutely loved, and we all ended up going home with bottles collectively from all of the Wineries... They were all too delectable to pass taking one of the wines home!
As we were all relative newbies to wine tasting (apart from those $6 bottles of wine that got us through uni! haha) we all ended up falling in love with the lighter, sweeter, floral Rieslings. Interestingly most of us ended up changing our minds about Chardonnay! We had all previously experienced Chardonnay as cheap, tacky pungent wine- but we were so pleasantly surprised that it actually could taste delicious, especially paired with the right food. 
As a consumer, sustainable business practice is incredibly important to me (even through the haze of a few wines!).  It was great to see that every winery we went to ran their wine making sustainably- So we felt extra inclined to indulge in our tastings!
The staff at each vineyard were incredibly knowledgable and gregarious, so we learnt a lot about how wine is grown, harvested, fermented and stored. it was a great introduction into the world of wine tasting and we joked through the day about expanding our wine tasting vocabularies!
With all of the tastings included, it was more than enough to see us merrily through the day. We were even lucky enough to drive home to a breathtaking sunset across the North Canterbury skyline. Our wine trail tour made for such a lovely day of fun and quality catch up time with each other- I totally recommend getting your girlfriends together and treating yourself to a Vineyard tour in your corner of the world!

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