Easter LOOONG Weekend

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Happy Happy Happy Happy Easter…or what I used to write in EVERY Easter card–> HOPPY EASTER! The four day weekend is here. Emzie and I have been counting down the days until the Easter Carnival. Over the last month we had been debating on using the time off to fly to: Christ Church, Queenstown or Wellington but never bought flights to anywhere.

My family graciously invited both of us to join them at their batch in Taupo. (It took me at least a month to figure out “a batch” is what I know to be a “cottage”). Emma and I strongly considered going and helping the kids hunt for all their Easter treats! After weighing all the pros of cons we chose to stay in town. We have both already been to Taupo and weren’t keen on the petrol bill. The total commute time would be around 4 hours one-way. Stopping off at the free Mud Pools was the only real attraction we were keen on seeing along the way.

I picked Emzie up Thursday night so we could do our grocery shop; as most will be closed on Friday and Sunday. We have my house to ourselves all weekend so we picked up some drinks and happily continued our Full House marathon. The episodes NEVER get old!!!

IMG_5679IMG_5687There is a Mahons Amusement Park for all of the Easter Weekend. Em has been stoked for the ferris wheel and I am pumped for my FAVOURITE ride the zipper. The rides begin at 9:30 and run to 10pm. I enjoyed my little morning sleep in. I was welcomed to a exceptionally prepared breakfast sandwich of: avo, ham, tomotoa, cheese all things I have wanted on a burger!!! We googled the Carnival to find out what rides would be there and how to get the most bang for our buck! We got an email notifying us that there was a $45 unlimited rides wristband. We arrived 12PM ready to ride the rides. TO OUR UNAMUSEMENT the wristmband deal did NOT begin until 7:00pm.  Tickets were $1.20/each with each ride averaging 6tickets OR a bundle pack at $160…
“I do NOT know who would do that unless you had a massive family. And if you had that big a family you probably shouldn’t go” -em
Both of us felt it was in our best interest to stay IN TOWN for 7hrs so we would not waste gas driving home and back AND having to sacrifice our prime parking spot! (Later that evening we discovered there was plenty of parking had we wanted to leave and come back).

IMG_5705 How did we fill up 7 whole hours? We revisited all the tourist shops we have visited numerous times before.   MOSTLY we walked all around downtown trying to search for CHICKEN WINGS –not buffalo– NO definitely not the same I was informed. She had a craving and we tried so hard to fulfill it.We were also trying very hard to not get stuck paying the 15% surcharge taxed on during public holidays! We realized it would be like us tipping on any bill in Victoria bit we were NOT having it. We found a place where we didn’t have to tip.We finally (after my legs felt numb and wobbly and Emma thought she was going to eat me) settled on an Italian restaurant. We shared a mushroom, free range pork, on a white base pizza, with a side of fries and aoli. It was the first pizza I had without tomato sauce and it was incredibly delicious. With my Amsterdam Beer (delish) and Em’s diet coke we were quite satisfied with our solid decisions.


“But really at that point, I would have eaten cheap Chinese food..but not at that place we went to withAna and Kaik” -Emzie

We prolonged our comfy eating environment and slowly made our way back to the car in our last few hrs of waiting… all in the name of saving money. Nothing left to do BUT NAP. Good thing we were both blessed with the shortness of limbs so we could each somewhat comfortably curl up and hide from the public. “It wasn’t uncomfortable but it wasn’t comfortable, there are worst situations.” – Emzie We slept for about an hour and then only had 1 hour left before  6:30. At that point we we couldn’t stall any longer and were so anxious to have free reign of the rides. How many times did Em ask if it was time to go or what time is it??? Well I lost count after 7 hours of her eager eager eagerness.

IMG_5752 The rides were awesome! The Zipper ride wasn’t available but I fell madly in love with the Super-Loops. Can’t say Em liked hanging upside down too much but I LOVED being suspended in the air! After we exhausted ourselves from riding all the rides we drove home. We arrived home to a phone text from my Kiwi-Mom hinting that the Easter bunny may have left me some Easter treats. Love me some sugary treats.

Saturday was a lounging day. We filled our day with lots more Full House, cupcake baking and a delicious Easter dinner. Emzie’s honey ham was cooked to perfection. Can’t believe we still have another 2 more days off. Life is good.

Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend!
Buddha Blessings to Everyone,
xox Amanda

….Cous Cous your Mom is in my thoughts. Wishing her a very speedy recovery. Love you babe!

Warriors Game at Eden Park

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Another weekend came and went in the blink of an eye! I had really been looking forward to the weekend after such a busy week.
Quick rundown  of the kid’s schedule:
Monday:soccer practice and babysitting, a succcessful skype date with Dom in the evening xo  IMG_5441
Wednesday: a sick boy home from school and swimming practice after school
Thursday: a beach day with the neighbours followed by an impromptu outdoor dinner at our house
Friday: we finally arrive at out first free day of the week!!! Also the day I felt like the referee between two overly energized boys who couldn’t keep their hands OFF each other. I texted Em early in the morning to tell her how my day started so she came over for a bit in the morning. While we hung out she treated me to a sugary surprise. I LURVE me some cupcakes and I love that it had a friendly elephant on it!
Emzie and I bought Rugby tickets online last week and were really excited to attend the game Saturday evening. We didn’t have the best weather this weekend still had lots of fun.

Early Saturday morning, I woke up to the beautiful sound of rain and wanted to sleep the day away. Instead I forced myself to shower and drove over to Em’s house so we could go to Hineoma St. Market that runs from 9:00am-1:00pm every Saturday. We have learned to go to markets with low expectations.  We found it to be held in a pretty small area. The stalls were close together with not much room to move around in. We were impressed how many young vendors there were but could not find any of their merchandise appealing.

IMG_5451IMG_5452We went for breakfast at Tongue and Groove Cafe and both go spoiled with the large portions of our meals. Em ordered the pancakes which came with a generous portion of fresh blueberries, whip cream and bacon. I ordered the mushroom and bacon omelette that could have fed at least 2 people. We have been there before and have never been disappointed with the friendly quick service.  After a delicious meal we headed home to organize our tickets and outfits for the evening. Originally, when ordering our tickets online we thought that we had to print out our tickets but quickly realized we only needed to scan our iphones  (which had the ticket barcode in our emails) at the gate. OH isn’t technology a wonderful thing?!!

We took our times preparing ourselves for the game and organized the addresses on the gps. We were seated under the sheltered section of the stadium but weren’t sure how much that would protect us if it was windy and rainy at night. We really did not want to be wet, cold and sitting in plastic chairs all night! We dressed sensibly and packed ponchos! We planned to eat dinner at St. Luke’s Mall which would make it a close drive to Eden Park. We chose the Restaurant Bar in the Mall which we thought would have fast service since it was pretty empty in the early evening. We were NOT impressed with the slow service or the bartenders mixing skills. We know he felt badly for the slow service as he brought us over a girly blue cocktail drink as his form of apology…unfortunately that too wasn’t as tasty as we’ve experienced before.

IMG_5453We walked around the mall for a bit before heading off in search of free parking. The drive to Eden Park from St. Luke’s was only about 10-15 minutes away. We knew the earlier we arrived the closer we would be able to get parking. Our plan worked as we got decently close! We passed up all the people offering their driveways and lawns for a flat rate of $10. Not thanks we prefer FREE! Once we parked it was super easy to find our way to the stadium as there were roads blocked off and swarms of people wearing jerseys or walking all in the same direction 🙂

It rained a few times during the game but it didn’t affect us too much. We were enough under cover that it just felt like mist and the ponchos never needed to make an appearance. The New Zealand Warriors lost to the Sidney Roosters :/ The final score was 14-16. Here are some game stats for anyone who follows the sport…
















IMG_5456IMG_5460I will not lie –there were moments where I had no idea what was happening. You could definitely feel the energy when things were going well for the Warriors. We picked really good seats because there was a very animated/enthusiastic Warrior’s fan who loved hooting and hollering. He provided us with helpful insight in the game; I particularly liked when he would yell tips to the referees! Eden Park had plenty of food stalls and ample amounts of staff to aid everyone. Prices were decent and my hot pretzel was delicious!! Em really enjoyed her mini donut service too! We lost, but I did love that LARGE flames would go off when a point was scored.  The heat the flames gave off were always appreciated and welcomed by Em and myself!! The game started at 7:30 and I was able to drop Em off and be home by 10:30. I enjoyed myself at the Rugby game and am looking forward to going to an All Blacks game with my Kiwi-Dad as their season begins after Emzie has returned to her homeland of Canada.

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It was raining again Sunday morning so we nixed our plans to go to the Parnell French Market. It was supposed to be raining all day so we chose to go to Silver Lining Playbook (with the yummy Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence). Em drove over to pick me up and we struggled to find parking. The mall was humming with people but the movie theater wasn’t too crowded. We were disappointed to find out our movie was PLAYING but only in the Gold Class theater where tickets are $35.00. Unless they were offering us leather massage chairs and getting a pedicure while eating popcorn I was not dishing out that much money to see a movie! We opted instead to see another movie called Beautiful Creatures. I’m not a fan of the sci-fi fantasy genre but the movie was okay. Emmy Rossum was great!

After the movie the rain had left so we drove to New Market to eat at Wagamamas. I dined on salted edamame beans that made me nostalgic for Azumas or Costco’s bags of them! After a delicious dinner we finished off the day of walking through the heavy rain to get gelato. I captured some adorable pictures of Emzie rocking her poncho but was informed I would be murdered if I shared them with the public! Her threat was acknowledged…for now!

I AM glad it rained since we have been going through a drought…but I do hope we have lots more summer days to come. The sun makes me happy and the rain makes me sleepy! I didn’t do any beach walks last week but I did begin working out again to Jillian Michael’s workout dvds (that I have found online). I have been pretty motivated to exercising daily so I hope I can keep it up! When I got home my family asked if I had felt the earthquakes today…I am not positive but I think we were probably driving around the time they happened.

  • Map showing earthquake location.
  • NZDT: Sunday, March 17 2013 at 4:01:06 pm
  • Intensity: light
  • Depth: 4 km
  • Magnitude: 3.1
  • Location: 15 km north-east of Auckland
  • NZDT: Sunday, March 17 2013 at 4:05:42 pm
  • Intensity: moderate
  • Depth: 6 km
  • Magnitude: 3.9
  • Location: 15 km north-east of Auckland

On a very HAPPY NOTE one of my best friends got engaged this week. I could not be more ecstatic for the cute couple and hear there may be a summer 2014 wedding! I might just have to fly back to Victoria so I can be a part of this incredible day!!! I love weddings and can’t wait for their special day to arrive! xox

Lots of Love and Buddha Blessings,

Goodbye 26, Hello Rest Of My Life…

In honor of this being my last blog (at age 26), I thought I would make a detailed list of my 26 dreams and desires. In truth, it was easy to think of about 10 and then afterwards I began regretting the topic. Dreams and miracles seem to be similar words with vastly different meanings. Without my mind going too wild I tried to base my list in mostly “reality’’. Please do not take this list too seriously or you will hurt your head.


Thank you so much to everyone who has been sending their words of encouragement. I have known all along that 27 isn’t that big a deal and I still have 3 years until I reach the big 3-0! I do not have many friends my age, most are younger and many are older so it has been great to get advice from both perspectives. The overall message being:

Age is not something you can control. It is a daily reminder that you are ALIVE!!!

26 Dreams and Desires…

1. Become a midwife’s assistant or be a Doula. When I was a kid I wanted to be an obstetrician; until I found out how many years of schooling it entailed! Then I decided I would prefer to be a Pediatrician so I could work with the Mom’s and the babies. NOW I would love to be a doula. To be a part of the support system at such a significant time in a someone’s’ life WOULD BE INCREDIBLE.

2. I have grown up to believe that you choose your FAMILY. As we grow we shape our own definitions of what it means to us.  I believe that family is not solely comprised of blood relations. That said I would like to meet (as many as possible) people from my birth family. Part of my personal identity remains undeveloped. I do worry though…did curiosity kill the cat?


3. Financial stability.

4. Feel loved unconditionally for who I am. Stop having to prove I am worthy of being loved. I don’t want to have to pretend or modify who I am depending on who I am with. I don’t want to seek out love I truly feel deserving of. I want to keep discovering who I am. I want to be me and be happy with that.

5. Find out the details involving my stomach scar. It is the width of my abdomen and I have had it since I was adopted. Just like I find it unnerving to have no birthday details, I find it unsettling to NOT know why and when I had surgery. All I know is that no organs were extracted and my stitches were cleanly done.


6. Find a cure for my insomnia. My mind just won’t shut off at night. A lot of the times when I am trying to sleep I lay awake thinking or having “daymares”. I am living through things that have never happened but it feels real.

7. Get my motorcycle license and own a bike!

8. I have always wanted to shave my head and start from scratch. When my parents found me in the orphanage I had thing scraggly hair with bald patches. To this day I have thin thin hair and I have always wondered how it would grow back? It has never seemed to be the right time to shave it off but it has always been an idea of mine. If there was an opportunity to do it for a charitable cause I would strongly consider.

9. Be in a spelling bee! Aha since I was a kid I wanted my class to have one but it never happened for me. Nothing intense like you see on television – just a simple fun one where two lines are formed and you sit down once you spell a word wrong. You advance every time you spell a word right and there is one winner! I think I am twenty years too late…

10.  I don’t know if it will happen but I would LOVE to go back to Nepal. I met so many wonderful people who will remain dear to me. I want to go back and see them as well as travel around and volunteer my time as much as possible. I will never forget the warmth of the Nepalese.


11.  Publish a book? I have always LOVED editing essays and reading over other peoples ‘work but I also like writing. My Mom was a teacher who chose to edit in red ink. To this day I love the feeling of reading over something and scribbling red ink all over the page with corrections and suggestions. Maybe one of these days I will become an author or an editor for a publishing firm?

12. Go to space? I think I am more interested in the spaceship ride than being in space but I bet the whole trip would be astounding.

13.  I know it would be impossible to make the world perfect. Who am I to decide what “perfect is”? What I do know is that I want to live in a world that has eliminated child sex offenders, rapists and world hunger they would be top on the priority list. ANYONE who mistreats children or women does not deserve my sympathy. Mental illness or not – I do not believe I would be able to forgive a person. It is depressing to know there are still people who do not have access to food daily. I hate wasting or throwing out food. One day we will abolish world hunger.

14. Hire a personal chef (thanks for reminding me Bizzle). I am a horrible cook and I have always wanted someone to grocery shop and cook all my meals. I am a huge snacker and that is part of the reason why my health is not in order. I eat whatever is quick and accessible in the kitchen or grab for the nearest potato chips or cookies. Having a personal chef would take the thinking out of what to eat and how many calories I was consuming a day! I NEED TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN one day!

15. Increased fitness. I would like to increase my stamina and lose my stomach fat (less cheese more exercising!!!) Workout with Bob Harper and/or Jillian Michaels would be a dream come true. I WANT to be on the American TV Show The Biggest Loser just so they can yell at me, “Last chance workout”. I know I would never make it on the show but a girl can dream right?!

16.  Good bye economy class hello Business Class or First Class. I love flying so why not be as comfortable as possible while doing it?

17.  I have always had this plan of what I would do if I won the lottery. If I had the option of yearly installments or cash out  the lump sum I would take the one time payout. My reason behind the lump sum is that I would be too paranoid that the cheques would stop coming. Even if cashing out meant the total was substantially less I would have the mental security in knowing I had received it and would then begin to plan my future.  If the day ever came that I won BIG I would go on 2 separate vacations. Family trip and friends trip!! For some reason I have put a lot of thought into this. I would then put more than a third into a savings account that I did not have access to for around 5 years.

18. A craft room with ample storage space that is stocked full of supplies. Anybody who crafts knows it is not a cheap hobby. It has taken me years to collect my supplies and I am nowhere near having the amount I desire. I would also like my own photo printer! Not a portable single one but a heavy duty machine! I love developing photos and giving them to people in my snail mail.


19. Learn more about different religions. I have passionately read about Buddhism but I would really like to dedicate more time to understanding the history and philosophies. I do not want to limit myself to just one and am very interested in Christianity, Hinduism and beyond. Learning more about faith and what it means to other seems inspiring.


20. I would like a Pinterest budget (merci ana!!). I would be more inclined to actually create things instead of just pinning everything to my boards and thinking that ‘someday I will make this’!

21. Un-chipable nail polish. The newest thing is getting your nails chillaxed. I would like to be able to buy it and not have to pay some technician the application fees. I would much prefer applying a type of nailpolish that didn’t need base and top coat  and loads of nail polish remover when the nails start chipping a few days later. It is a lot of work to MAINTAIN chip free nails. I wouldn’t invest so much energy into it but it helps deter me from biting my nails.

22. This is a silly dream but I wish that Private Practice wasn’t ending! I love Charlotte and Cooper as a couple. If only the show could go on or they could have their own spin off. Kadee Strickland and Paul Adelstein have dynamite chemistry and feed off each other in their roles!


23. I don’t like how soap operas are slowly becoming extinct. Besides how entertaining they are it is going to leave so many people out of work. Not just the actors, writers, directors and crew will be unemployed; all the staff who work on the shows and magazine publications.  Soaps have been on air for over seventy years and slowly fading away.

25. Another silly fantasy would be to have unlimited battery life on electronics I use regularly. It is super frustrating to have to charge my laptop, camera and phone regularly so they do not die “suddenly” on me. Not a really GOOD idea but I am running out of ideas to write about…

26. One of my favourite books is Pay It Forward. (The movie didn’t do the book justice.)It made me want the world to be a better place! I wanted to be that person who did favours for others but didn’t want anything back in world. I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD.

I kept my promise to everyone reading! I blogged for a week! Thank you so much to Ana, Bizzle and Cous Cous for their continued support over this past week. We realized just how big the number 26 was, and maybe I was too ambitious for wanting to include that many in each blog. That is behind us now because I am done 🙂


Sorry about the repetition for some of the answers.They say if you write your dreams and goals down they are more likely to come true. Here’s hoping!

Thank you thank you thank you
xox Amanda Sumalee