Lifestyle

Florence, Italy – the jewel in Tuscany’s crown (part 2)

It hadn’t occurred to me when I started writing last week’s post that it would be a good idea to split the tale of this city into two parts. But I soon realised there was simply too much to tell to jam it all into one post.

So here I am with part 2 of my adventure to Florence and very excited am I to share it with you.

I talked last week about our visit to the Palazzo Pitti. Although the Uffizi and Accademia are the big draw cards in Florence, I urge you not to miss the Pitti. But on our last full day in Florence my husband and I decided to make a call between the Uffizi and the Accademia. I suppose we could have tried to do both but decided one bout of queuing was quite enough for one day. Fortunately the rain had cleared and it was a brilliant sunny day.

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Florence, Italy – the jewel in Tuscany’s crown (part 1)

A very big hello to all my lovely followers. I have an apology to make for being absent so long. Life has been busy and a couple of important personal projects have been swallowing up all my time.

A real shame as I haven’t yet had a chance to share my trip to England over the Christmas and New Year period. My husband and I also managed to fit in a short escape to Italy – definitely the highlight. So instead of ‘leaving the best for last’ I thought I’d start with the best.

Florence.

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Meeting Nigella Lawson

It’s a special moment when the opportunity arises to meet your idol, someone you’ve admired from afar for a long time. Of course, the small fear that niggles away is that disappointment may await you. I’m happy to report that on meeting Nigella Lawson there was no disappointment – only a lovely moment in time that I will always treasure.

I have been a fan of Nigella since my twenties. If Audrey Hepburn is my idol from a bygone error then Nigella is most definitely my modern-day idol. I love her style, her approach to food – and life in general, for that matter.

So when my friend Angela asked if I’d like to accompany her to see Nigella: In Conversation I immediately jumped at the chance. What? Nigella’s coming to New Zealand? Do I want to go? Is that a serious question? Of course!

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Long-haul flights and Christmas lights

It’s been a while since my last post, before Christmas actually. A post that was hastily written at the airport before my husband and I boarded a plane for London.

And when your departure point is Auckland, New Zealand it means you’re about to embark on quite a journey. Flying with Thai Airways our flight path was via Bangkok. So we’re talking 12 hours give or take to Bangkok and then another 12 hours to London. It’s a commitment, that’s for sure. But all worth it when you get to the other end. At least, that’s what I try to tell myself as I squirm in my seat trying to get comfortable (a useless endeavour) and trawl through the movies on offer hoping to find something that will slake the boredom.

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A welcome to spring – and the ultimate spring/summer shoe collection

When I first started this blog I named it Food, Travel, Books, Life. I felt the title encapsulated what I most enjoy in life. But I also chose it because I wanted the freedom to write about all sorts of things.

I so enjoy reading the beauty and lifestyle blogs that I follow. They’re great fun and I’ve picked up so many tips. I always feel very privileged to be surrounded by such talented bloggers – I love this little world I’ve become a part of.

There are two things that I get incredibly excited about when the seasons change. The first is food. I’m loving the spring produce that’s available now and can’t wait until the markets are overflowing with blushing summer fruits. Coming in at a close second is the wardrobe switch. Time to put away the jumpers and boots and clean up those toes. I have a particular weakness for shoes. In fact I’ve already had my first pedicure of the season in a desperate attempt to will the warm weather to descend.

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Battling through winter – and a return to my magnificent Italy

Let me start this post by apologising to all my lovely followers for being absent from our blogging world the last few weeks. I’ve been unwell, a nasty winter virus that seems to have lasted an age. Have you ever had a cough that you thought would never leave you??!

Fortunately we’re in our final week of winter in New Zealand. September heralds the beginning of spring. It may take a while for the temperatures to start rising but at least there are lighter mornings and evenings to enjoy in the meantime.

So how does one boost themselves after battling through winter and the horrible bugs that come with it? Well, my husband and I decided to sit down at the laptop and book a holiday. Always a sure way to lift my spirits.

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A crash course in food photography – and a girls’ weekend in Wellington

It’s been some time since I’ve had a weekend away with a girlfriend. I was happily reminded recently just what a great time is to be had.

A few months ago I came across a short weekend course offered at Le Cordon Bleu on Food Photography. Immediately I was interested – until I read the equipment required.

Enter my friend Svea. As an enthusiastic amateur photographer I was certain she’d be able to assist. Sure enough, she had all the equipment on the list, was more than happy to loan me what I needed and even decided she’d like to come along.

And so a girls’ weekend in Wellington was organised. By the end of the day we had a place on the course, flights booked, and rooms at a fabulous hotel. What more could you ask for?

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Are we all just muggles? The wonderful world of Harry Potter

I’m a little tardy with this post. That is to say last month – 26th June to be exact – marked twenty years since Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone was first published. Yes, twenty years since Harry’s first adventure.

If you’re not a fan or you’ve never read the books (really??) then that may not mean much. But if you are a fan then this anniversary is something quite personal. Because it conjures memories of the first time you read the books. Of how incredible it was to be introduced to Harry’s world and all the wonderful, weird and sometimes dangerous characters that inhabit it.

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Melbourne Calling!

I have always loved the Easter holiday. For me it has a wonderfully festive feel about it without the stress and craziness that comes with Christmas.

When I was a child we would often go camping for the long weekend. If Easter came in March the weather would often still be good. I have lovely memories of waking to the smell of my mother toasting hot cross buns. Dishing out the Easter eggs was my father’s job and he usually did this on Friday so we had them for the weekend.

This year Easter comes later in mid April. I’m more than happy with the late arrival as it coincides with my birthday. It’s been a while since my birthday fell over the Easter weekend. Seemed as good a reason as any to do something special.

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