Thursday, August 25, 2011

Our "New" Dog

Well, as all of you know...I love animals!! This is probably the hardest thing for me here. Our visa requirements will not allow you to travel with pets. Somehow I got away with bringing Ray!! Not only will our visa not allow pets, neither will our apartment! Darn!

So Ray decided that he would surprise me the other night with our new dog, "Shadow!" He has always wanted a Great Dane and now we have one. He is the perfect dog!!

I know we are crazy and apparentlly easily amused!

Enjoy! L

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Martha's Backyard

We recently visited the "American" store everyone keeps telling us about. We heard about it when we first moved because they stock lots of American products you can't buy at the supermarket! I was so shocked at all the items they had...didn't realize we missed them until we saw them.

We really didn't need anything, but since we made the trip we picked up a few things. We got a box of Kraft Mac and Cheese, Kraft Tuscan Italian Salad dressing, Quaker Cinnamon and Spice Instant Oatmeal, and of course a Twinkie!! We had to throw in the Twinkie because they were so popular at the store. All the kiwis there were buying one!

I know these items were random!! We had so much fun rummaging through all the products. The prices were double if not more then if you were to buy in the States...this is probably why we didn't buy much more! Crazy!!



Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pancake Disaster

So I decided to get up on Saturday and make pancakes! Not such a good idea, they turned out to be terrible...or at least looked terrible.  Thank goodness they didn't taste as bad as they looked. I was practicing for a new souffle' pancake recipe I found. I at least thought I should try the pancake part first. I am not sure that I will ever master a perfect pancake, but I will continue to make them from time to time. I never could get the right temperature or timing, not sure which!  I was going to make them for Ray before he left for work, but he decided he was going to leave early. 

I know he is glad that he did not stay! Hope this makes you laugh! 
I saw this medal at a store here and that I thought I deserved for my cooking skills Saturday morning! Perfect! 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Life at the Grand Chancellor

To start our first week off we saw Porn Stars, Ron Jeremy, and Michelle "Bombshell" McGee in the elevators. Crazy to see them in person. It was definitely one of those "double take" moments! I guess they were staying at the hotel for an event here in town.

As I mentioned in the previous post I have been doing some cooking lately. We had our friends over for dinner this past week as a "Thank You" for helping us to move. I made homemade lasagna and raspberry brownies. My mom gave me her recipes for the lasagna and I spent quite some time at the supermarket trying to decide exactly what to get.  The cheeses here are a little different so I did some experimenting with the recipe.  The lasagna noodles were also very interesting.  They were "no cook" noodles and they looked like paper.  I was a little hesitant, but this all I could find. Ray and I pondered as it was cooking if it would taste any good....and they did! I had never seen these before but apparently they are pretty common. The brownies were something I saw on My Kitchen Rules, an Australian competitive cooking show. It was so much fun! The kitchen is a little small so I had to compromise and clean up while cooking. It was not as much fun without all the mess! I didn't feel like a real cook!


We also purchased a picture from them as the apartment was bare and not welcoming.  We are starting to hang things which makes it look much better.  Melody took this picture here in NZ! We love our new piece of art!

I will try and continue to post about my adventures in the kitchen! Until then I hope that my journey will inspire you to try new things!

Good o!


Thursday, August 4, 2011


Ray and I both have been working lots lately, which is great in many ways.  We are learning heaps about our jobs and are enjoying them and are also saving money towards our adventures around New Zealand!  We have Sundays off together twice a month.  Last Sunday we took a ride with our neighbors to the North parts of Auckland to see some of the beautiful beaches along the Hauraki Gulf as well as to the West to see some of the black beaches along the Tasman Sea. Very fun! They planned a picnic lunch for us which was great...a little chilly but such a great view of Snells Beach!

Red Beach
Snells Beach

Murawai Beach Domain....So windy sea foam was blowing everywhere and looked like snow!

As we noted previously we would be moving into a new apartment...and we have! With the preparation of the move came cleaning and packing up our apartment. Thanks to Melody and Cole we didn't have to lug 7 suitcases and lots of accumulated stuff across the city. They offered to help us since they have a car. I do have one funny with this I must share. I was over at there apt visiting the night before we moved and I managed to fall down there stairs.  I had socks on and slipped on the carpet and slid down about 8 steps trying to catch embarrassing. They didn't laugh, but I know they wanted too and I am sure they did when I left. I am still finding bruises from my clumsiness!

View of the Sky Tower from our apartment

We are excited about the new apartment not only because of the location, but most of all more storage!  It is located in the Hotel Grand Chancellor so we have use of all the amenities including a gym and a pool! 

Our new set of wheels!! Thats right we finally have our own mode of transportation....for our groceries and other findings, that is!  Melody and Cole gave this to us since we will be trekking to the supermarket each time as we moved about 10 blocks from the nearest store.  We are very fortunate to have this because we always wait until we have nothing left to eat before we go....I hate grocery shopping!

Many of you may find this next topic pretty funny! I am having to prepare and cook about 90% of the meals we are eating for dinner. I get home from work around 6 and Ray doesn't get off until 8:30 so that leaves me to make the meals at night. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to be in the kitchen by myself.  I have always disliked cooking, but I am getting better and more comfortable.  Ray has been really supportive of what I have made.  He says things like, "that is the best pork we have had since we got here!" I am learning how to cook things other than chicken!! Yay for me! I'm sure he is just trying to boost my confidence. I am hoping to try some fun recipes on my days off so I will let you know how they go.

We are looking forward to the Rugby World Cup coming up in about a month.  Our new apartment is very close to lots of the entertainment.  Hoping to catch some of the games at some of the local pubs nearby.  We are studying up to try and better understand the game. It's serious business around here!