Life Lately – May Update

Life Lately – May Update

May had some very special moments and this was due to the fact that one of my best friends in the world, Gemma came all the way to New Zealand to visit me. She came with her husband Jon and little boy Noah and we had an amazing time exploring the North Island.

However let me start at the beginning of May. I’d been wanting to try out a new pizza place in Kingsland called Umu since seeing lots of pictures on social media of their sourdough pizzas. I finally went and it did not disappoint. I had the Number Three which was mozzarella, tomato, fontina, oregano, grana and chili oil. It really was probably the best pizza I’ve ever had. Find Umu here.

Umu Pizza, Kingsland, Auckland

Gemma arrived on 4th May and I was so excited to see her. We headed straight up to the top of Mount Eden for a skyline view of the city as it was such a beautiful day.

Mount Eden, Auckland

Of course I had to take them to Waiheke Island where Noah slept all day but we adults definitely had fun drinking wine, cider and walking along the beach.

Waiheke Island, Auckland

Waiheke Island, Auckland

We also headed to one of the west coast beaches, Piha and considering winter was approaching the weather really turned out for us. We had a long walk along the beach and lunch in the cafe overlooking the beach.

Piha, Auckland

I couldn’t let them come to Auckland and not take them up the iconic Skytower. The views were breathtaking as usual as we had a really clear day.

Auckland Skytower

We were going to have brunch at the revolving restaurant but we didn’t realise they only do brunch on the weekend. Instead we decided to go to The Fed Deli which is just opposite the entrance to the Skytower.

The Fed is modelled on an American diner and does amazing rotisserie chicken sandwiches with a pot of gravy to dip the sandwich into. They also do poutine which is fries topped with gravy and cheese curds.

The Fed Deli, Auckland

The Fed Deli, Auckland

The Fed Deli, Auckland

We followed this with a long walk along Takapuna beach – another great day.

Takapuna Beach, Auckland

Gemma, Jon and Noah also spent a couple of nights further north in the Bay of Islands whilst I went back to work. When they returned me and Gemma got dressed up and we headed out for a night of cocktails and dancing.

Girls night out, Auckland

For Gemma, Jon and Noah’s last morning I really wanted them to try a Cronut which is a cross between a doughnut and a croissant. They are so nice!

Cronuts, Auckland

Although it was forecast for rain, we were lucky again with the weather and we had a beautiful sunny day which we spent at Long Bay Regional Park and beach.

Long Bay, Auckland

Long Bay, Auckland

Long Bay, Auckland

Noah definitely enjoyed himself!

Long Bay, Auckland

Long Bay, Auckland

We had such a great time and I was so sorry to see them go. I am heading home for a month in July so can’t wait to catch up again then.

May 19th was the day Prince Harry married Meghan Markle and we threw a Royal Party at our house to celebrate.

Royal Wedding Party, Auckland

I made lots of British themed food to go with the theme of the party. I made mini Victoria sponges, coronation chicken sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches and what were supposed to be mini Yorkshire puddings but turned out to be giants.

Royal Wedding Party, Auckland

Royal Wedding Party, Auckland

Royal Wedding Party, Auckland

Royal Wedding Party, Auckland

The next day I wasn’t feeling so fresh but nothing a solo beach walk along the beach at Mission Bay couldn’t sort out.

Mission Bay, Auckland

I also had a work dinner one night with the girls from work and we went to Mexico in Ellerslie. We had some quesadillas and these amazing potato croquettes.

Mexico, Ellerslie

I tackled the Waikowhai Walkway and I blogged all about the walk here. This was followed by a dip in my friend Abbie’s hot tub and a pulled pork nacho feast.

Waikowhai Walkway, Auckland

Hot tub party with the girls

Pulled pork nachos and smoky baked beans

I ticked another restaurant off my ‘to try’ list and finally ate at Gemmayze Street, a Lebanese restuarant. Full review is here.

Gemmayze Street, Lebanese Restaurant, Auckland

I made some blondies –  the vanilla version of a brownie for the girls at work. They didn’t look very neat but they tasted really good. You can find the recipe here.

Raspberry Blondies

My friend Rosie is expecting a baby and her mum is staying with her in Auckland until the baby arrives. We went for brunch with her mum and stepdad at The Humble Villager cafe in Epsom.

The Humble Villager, Epsom

The Humble Villager, Epsom

I also met Rosie on her own one day for breakfast before I started work. It was great to catch up before the little one joins us. Any day now!

We had breakfast at Fraser’s in Mount Eden village.

Frasers, Mount Eden, Auckland

I treated myself to a facial at The Facialist one day after work and my skin felt glowing afterwards. Isn’t the waiting room really pretty?

The Facialist, Auckland

Now winter is upon us I have been using the slow cooker a lot more and made my mum’s scouse recipe one day. It’s just a beef stew, I’m not really sure why we call it scouse where I’m from but it wasn’t quite as good as Mum’s!

Scouse

We started doing the pub quiz on a Tuesday night. The table they gave us was in such a cold spot we ended up ordering hot chocolates just to keep warm!

Citizen Park, Kingsland, Auckland

What I watched:

I started watching Poldark and have nearly finished the first season. I’m really enjoying it and the setting in Cornwall is amazing. I’ve only been to Cornwall once but I’m keen to explore more of it.

Poldark

What I read:

Tuesdays with Morrie

Such an inspirational book – I would recommend everyone read this book. A lot of life lessons learnt that’s for sure.

The Life-changing Magic of not giving a Fuck

I kept seeing this book recommended all over social media so decided to give it a go. It is so true! Why do we spend so much time saying yes to things we don’t actually want to do? A must read.

What did you get up to in May?

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