Category Archives: Travel

Baby Strollers or Babywearing?

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You feel the kicks inside, you are dreaming up the perfect nursery, and then you stop and stare at your registry when you get to strollers. Do you imagine yourself putting your baby in a stroller and going for a jog every morning? Or do you imagine putting your baby upon your chest and wrapping them or holding them tight?

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Almost 34 weeks with Zaedyn Tai in 2011

No matter which thought you leaned toward, every baby is different, and sometimes different settings change the preference of stroller or carrier from day to day. Zaedyn wanted nothing to do with strollers when he was a baby, however this changed when we traveled overseas and started using it more and more. It was a great convenience to be able to have no other body attached with space to toss bags underneath and save my back and posture. Zaya also spent a lot of time in an Ergo Carrier early on simply because it provided the convenience of feeding and continuing to carry on playing with a toddler. However, the positive side of being able to put her in a stroller was providing space. If Zaya was carried, she would want to be latched on continuously. Also as a single Mama, having one baby in a carrier and a toddler in a stroller also made life possible. Every day with these beautiful energetic children meant time outside in nature. We never stopped exploring and living our lives, but with the convenience of a stroller as well, I am not sure how I would have managed otherwise. Picture me, baby in carrier also holding a toddler on my hip, bag on shoulder, trying to move forward. This definitely happened at times, and I can’t say it was particularly comfortable! If I had to do that often, my back would not appreciate it, but of course I would do it for these cuties.

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For those of you who know me well, you would not really think of me going on about strollers as they were not even a part of my life. I wanted my baby nearby, or I didn’t want to push an empty stroller while holding a baby. Then I realized the positives of strollers as being convenient, walking freely, providing space for belongings during long outings, etc. Baby wearing and strollers have both played a part in my children’s lives, and I believe there is a time and place for both. I am a hippie Mama who is all about natural parenting and being at one with your baby, but it doesn’t mean that using a stroller is not as comforting. Sometimes even babies want their space! It is a great way to separate shortly while keeping that connection and closeness, beginning to provide learning of independence and freedom.

When deciding what stroller to buy, there is a lot to think about. My parents bought one in combination with a capsule carseat. The first one I had for Zaedyn was sturdy and able to travel through many terrains. At one point, I even tried a double stroller that we picked up at a garage sale. The evolution of strollers is remarkable. Within each category, there are even more factors such as is your double next to each other, below, even, or facing? Do you have a sunroof? Are the straps simple and easy? How many wheels are there? Can you remove the material to wash it? Plus so much more! Thought you were just picking a stroller. Think again. Almost every baby item requires you to think endlessly and wonder what the best possible option is for your precious baby.

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Many of our adventures might not have been as enjoyable if I was not able to have some time completely unattached, especially during those hot summer months! Usually our adventures involve a lot of walking and discovering new surroundings. I bet a lot of you have had similar experiences so I would love to hear from you and provide you with something special just for sharing your memory. Childhood is truly magical.

I am very excited to be able to offer you a $50 gift card simply by commenting below:

Where was your most exciting or memorable stroller adventure?

I cannot wait to hear about your lovely memories. You have until Friday, October 4 to enter just by commenting below. We would love for you to share with all your Mama friends as well!

 

“This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal, with a prize of a gift certificate”

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A Taste of the Future

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Tea, re-imagined. Whole leaf tea, brewed, and crystallized.

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In collaboration with the most experienced tea masters and tea farmers around the world, Pique Tea sources the top 5% of tea leaves in the world to bring you one of the healthiest beverages in an easy to prepare option wherever you are. By combining modern science and ancient tradition, their slow brew process allows you to receive this crystal form packed with fresh flavour and even more antioxidants.

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“Tea crystals are the biggest innovation in tea since the invention of the teabag.” -Founder, Simon Cheng, http://www.piquetea.com

Yes, you may be having the same initial thoughts as I had when I was contacted to try out this new unique tea. Tea in a sachet? Why? The fact that they were organic gained my attention to look into these a bit more, and also simply for the curiosity of why and how you could put tea in a sachet. I love loose leaf tea. The process of brewing tea can be fun whether you are brewing a cup or a huge pot. I can, however, completely see the niche and positive reasons for why someone would want to drink crystallized tea. It is perfect every time, still allowing you to live your life to the fullest and on the go without missing out. Tea is health. Tea is life.

I have learned that this isn’t just another product trying to make it into the market with complete misunderstanding of what tea is all about. The founder, Simon Cheng, comes from a genuine place in loving tea and incorporating it into his healthy lifestyle as well as having a deep appreciation for ancient health. His drive created this new unique product that is actually real, sourced, and created on a deeper level and understanding. Pique Tea is spot on.

Available in 5 varieties of black and green teas ~ Pique Tea is all organic, pure, and delicious hot or cold. They have a sampler pack where you can enjoy them all, or choose your favourite from Sencha, Mint Sencha, Jasmine, Early Grey, or English Breakfast.

Quality Guaranteed! Pique even goes beyond to ensure quality by batch testing antioxidant levels and making sure that no heavy metals are present. When preparing my tea, I use reverse osmosis water so that I am not adding unnecessary and unwanted chemicals to this pure drink.

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I have been drinking my tea sampler, experimenting with hot and cold tea, and I am impressed. My favourite has been sipping on cold brew Jasmine in a mason jar. If you are a tea drinker who loves real loose-leaf tea, don’t be afraid to give Pique a chance. For all you busy parents out there who may not have an extra hand or even an extra second to make tea, Pique is the perfect answer. It also minimizes the desire to turn towards unhealthy drinks when it is so easy to make a cuppa with their sachets. Throw some sachets in your bag, or pack them on the plane, and you will always have quick tea on hand.

I am always all about being sustainable and although this doesn’t completely fall into that category, I understand the reality of busy everyday lives in today’s world. Plus, you don’t have to drink the sachets every time you want to enjoy a cuppa. Mix it up. Sometimes brew from loose leaf, and sometimes grab a sachet on the go. Just know, you won’t be sacrificing taste if you reach for Pique. I love that it tastes like genuine tea. Yes, you can add sweetener if you like, but I love pure tea, no milk or sugar added.

As far as I have personally seen, most packaged or quick teas involve sugar, something that I am simply not into. Other products available on the market taste like processed products. Fortunately, Pique sachets really do taste like a good cup of tea, so go ahead and energize your body, mind, and soul by remembering that it’s always tea time! Replace other beverages with this magical tea, giving you a more natural caffeine boost and antioxidants.

You can purchase flavours individually, as part of a tea sampler, or you can even create the perfect tea plan for you. It really doesn’t get much simpler than this. You can have organic single serve sachets delivered straight to your door. Add in hot or cold water, stir, and enjoy!

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Want to learn more and connect with Pique Tea? Follow this link!

Which flavour would you like to try?

Now onto the giveaway for those of you ready to experience Pique!

Follow their link, enter your email, and you are entered to win 2 cartons of Pique! Quick, you have until July 22.

FEEL WELL, DO GOOD, DO MORE, DRINK PIQUE.

*This tea was sent to me by Pique, however, my opinions are my own. I am collaborating with them to bring you this giveaway because I want you to try this amazing new innovative product.

The Coco Jack

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Young Coconuts

The easy peasy way to open young coconuts! My little three year old vegan is excited about being able to help smash the coconuts open. We all love coconuts, and this is the perfect little tool we were given to help us get them open and discover all the nutrients inside.

Young Coconuts

Discover the Coco Jack

Tranquility

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Zen

Waves of Change

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arohanui vegan love

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

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Another day of exploration and opportunity to connect with our natural world. What a beautiful setting to develop natural learning, a sense of wonder, and magical moments in the sunshine.

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Socal Hike

Socal Hike

Socal Hike

Natural Curiosity

Socal Hike

Socal Hike

“Framed against a backdrop of urban development, the lakes serve as reminders of the fragility of wilderness”

Barbara's Lake

Barbara’s Lake ~ Natural Lake in OC

Socal Hike

Socal Hike

Socal Hike

“All flowers grow through dirt”

There’s always something beautiful outside. Go out and explore!

Beyond the Puriri Trees

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Coromandel

Coromandel

45 minute walk through ancient puriri trees..
Nau mai, haere mai ~ Welcome to Cathedral Cove

Coromandel

Coromandel

Coromandel

Coromandel

Coromandel

Coromandel

Coromandel

Coromandel

Coromandel

Coromandel

Hot Water Beach
“More than two kilometres beneath your feet, there is a reservoir of hot water and heated rocks. The heat is a remnant of volcanic activity that occurred in the Coromandel region 5 to 9 million years ago.”

Coromandel

Coromandel

Coromandel

309 Road: Sustainable Tourism

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Surrounded by bush and hidden away, take the 309 Road through Coromandel to end up at the “quirkiest theme park in NZ”. Over 70% of recycled materials to construct these attractions along with wood from a sustainable forest, water powering attractions which is heated by solar power, wastewater filtered and recycled to be used in the vegetable garden, and the cafe using local suppliers and organic produce is what makes this attraction eco-friendly and sustainable. A theme park with no electricity!

The entrance is lined with flags, welcoming people from around the world. Your eyes will be instantly drawn to the ‘Slim Turner’, the most photographed thing at Waterworks. Made of random items replaced a couple times a year, this wheel has water continually flowing through from the creek across the way.

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The start of New Zealand cheeky humour starts outside with this photo:
On this exact spot, at 12 noon on the 5th of April, 1807…

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ABSOLUTELY NOTHING OF HISTORICAL NOTE TOOK PLACE

Walking through the cafe and out the doors, you make your way through a beautiful and yummy vegetable garden, onto the start of these “kiwi ingenuity” attractions. I have heaps and heaps of photos, but I don’t want to go through everything and spoil the fun. All I can say is that this should definitely be on your list of things to do. I am sure that you will find yourself laughing at signs as well as yourselves. My cheeky husband even tricked me into pulling a lever which had water squirting down from above me. We made our own fun throughout Waterworks as we tried to squirt each other and became intrigued with the amount of interesting and creative attractions there were. It literally is fun for all ages, and I am pretty sure that David enjoyed acting like a big kid. Check out his attempt at the human hamster wheel trying to go completely around…

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My favourite thing had to be the flying fox. Do you know anywhere else where you can just walk up the steps, grab the rope, and off you go? Luckily David tested it out first, however, as I am lighter I went zooming across and flung up quickly toward the tires. Yes, a few tires at the end is what stops you from going any further. We were full of laughs and continued going on the flying fox only to find an even better one in the bush just further along.

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Waterworks

Waterworks
Remember how I mentioned that I went flying toward the tires…

Waterworks


Waterworks

Waterworks
Not your typical washing line!

Bamboo Maestro Xylophone ~ Bamboo Maestro

Flying Bikes…

Waterworks

Waterworks

The Waterworks displays over 70 creative attractions, a play park with flying fox, human hamster wheel, garden, cafe, sand, swings, a swimming hole, and so much more! In an effort to protect our environment for everyone to enjoy, The Waterworks is definitely an environmentally friendly business that provides opportunities and fun for everyone which I hope that you are able to experience. Plus, if you continue down the 309 Road, this narrow dirt track will take you through farmland, pine forests, and beautiful native bush with other stops that you won’t want to miss! If you are staying in the Coromandel region, Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach are two other destinations that you also won’t want to miss. If you are following us on Facebook, you may have seen a photo over the weekend of a beautiful beach. I will fill you in on the rest of our weekend adventure tomorrow.

Ka kite apōpo

Waterworks

Coromandel

Check out The Waterworks website for more information, & feel free to ask me any questions as well.

Watching the Waves

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New Zealand

Manu Bay

New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand

Zaedyn loves to show off his puku

New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand

Gummies, Snow, & Live Volcanoes

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     The first day of Spring and the sun was shining with the mountain still covered in snow. What a beautiful day to take Zaedyn for a play in the snow for his first time. We started our journey by buying Zaedyn his first pair of gumboots, just like Dad’s. He likes to be like his Mum and is often seen barefoot, even through Winter, but the snow gave us a good reason to buy some gummies to keep his little feet dry. Don’t worry, these are vegan unlike the candy gummies made of gelatin.

New Gummies Like Dad’s!

     The snow was icy and cold. Zaedyn did not think too much of it at the start. Actually, he was not very impressed at all. This was not the same texture or temperature as sand, or even the ground for that matter. It was too cold, and I could tell that he did not know what to think. After falling down to feel the cold ice against his hands, he was not that keen to stand on his own and explore, but with a bit of curiosity that luckily changed.

Snowball Fight?

     Snowball fight? Not sure how David managed to escape after getting both Zaedyn & I. Luckily the one at Zaedyn was not too hard, and he actually found it quite amusing. I can’t say that I was overly impressed about getting hit by a snowball later in the day. Next time I will remember not to walk in front of David and stop to turn around! At least I was a bit luckier than the other two on the slopes today. One after the next, the ambulance and 2 helicopters arrived at the scene for two spinal injuries! Hope that they recover as quick as possible. Zaedyn was pretty intrigued by the flying helicopters and spinning blades.

Building a Snowman

What a cheeky boy! That’s one way to get Dad’s sunnies.

If all the snowflakes were vegan candybars & almondshakes
Oh what a snow that would be!
Standing outside with my mouth open wide
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah…

Zaedyn Snow Angel

     Oh, and did I mention that these are live volcanoes? I was quick to take some photos when I saw steaming Mt Tongariro after having erupted just less than a month ago. Still with ongoing activity there are tracks and off limit areas, however some are beginning to open up after this mountain decided to awaken after 100 years.  Don’t worry though. We were playing in the snow on Mt Ruapehu. I remember the last time Mt Ruapehu erupted in 2007. It was before David and I were married, and I was working at Bruce Jones Surfboards. Although I was worried and relieved to hear that his brother was not on the mountain that day, I have realised that these eruptions are a reality as they are very active. We never know when or how big the next eruption might be. Until then, I am happy to say that we were pretty safe on the mountain today, and it is great that we are still able to experience the snow and everything that nature has to offer. Next time we might need to borrow Uncle Mark’s snowboard!

     Plus, a bit of a detour on the way home as we thought that we might stay in Taupo, yet we decided just to pass through…