G’day from down under! Haven’t had great wifi the last couple days and it’s actually been quite lovely! We’ve got a small cabin at a park on the beach about 2 hours north of Auckland. I was 12 when I was last here.
It’s so great to spend time with my cousins and family. Today we’re having a New Years Eve H?ngi, a traditional M?ori method of cooking for special occasions. Instead of cooking it in the ground, uncle Donald and Linda are cooking the food all day in a beer keg! How cool is that? Luckily they remembered to remove these Custom tap handles for your beer keg which they picked up when they bought the keg, beer and all.
Today I went fishing w/ my cousin and caught this big snapper!
Being out on the water was incredibly beautiful and HOT. My god the sun here is brilliantly warm and sun block is essential because there’s a hole in the ozone layer. I’m going for safe gradual tan and we’ve still got 2 weeks to go.
Tomorrow we drive to Taupo and stay in a farm house Airbnb for one night. Next we head to Palmerston North for a couple days then out to the coast near Masterton for the weekend.
Sending love and sunshine from the future (18 hours ahead of Toronto)!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Helloooooo! This week has been absolutely amazing. My batteries are recharged and I’m fuelled with a fire that will last forever. ☀️??????
We have had so much fun out here. It’s truly amazing to connect with nature and disconnect (a bit). We’ve survived the last few days with no running water, a portable burner for cooking, and logs on the wood stove. Thankful for snow to melt!
Woke up early to a pink sky so I trekked to the top of a hill behind us to appreciate it. Video on Snapchat ? casiestewart.
Heading back to the city today!
This weekend we did a few big jobs involved with closing up the cottage. On thanksgiving morning we took the big boat out of the water (which involved me driving the truck with big trailer attached). Add that to my skills! Once the boat was away we stacked HEAPS of wood.
Was pretty exhausted after so Sean and I took a break and I did a festive thanksgiving take on the ‘flower beard’ we did in Calgary this summer. So cute. We stacked HEAPS of wood. It’s was big job but the weather was nice, worked up quite a sweat. Last task of the day was taking out the other small boat and the dock. We put on wetsuits and went for it. I think we were both surprised we did it by ourselves (and my strength!). Sean is strong, my muscles are not as good for heavy lifting.
Over the winter I’m planning to work on my editing skills so I can make more + better videos. I would love if you subscribe! Kowing you’re subscribed motivates me to work harder and produce more entertaining things for you. I’ve also signed up for Skillshare, if you use this link you can sign up for a free month. I figure this year I should learn some new skills/perfect old ones instead of just sitting on the couch or Netflix & chilling. 😛
En route to St. Lawrence Market to shoot a segment for Coral TV. I’m a host on a certain design show today. I’ll update you once it’s live. For now, I’m blogging on the go from the back seat of an UberX Taxi! Back seat blogger FTW.
In other news, the sunshine is really beautiful today.
We’re working on incorporating this teak tray from Artemano Decor into a party tablescape. Move over Martha!
Hoping you get some of those beautiful rays on your face today. Sending sunshine wherever you might be. ❤️
Since it’s winter and we’re all dreaming of sunshine, I’ve decided to get a little more organized with my travel stories. Starting this week and each following Tuesday, I’ll be writing about my adventures past, present, and future. As part of my quest to keep more memories, it’s great to relive those moments and what better time than RIGHT NOW. Guys, it’s -5 in Toronto right now and I’m wearing a big fur hat as I work.
This week, we adventure to Cuba! I visited Havana back in 2010 w/ a friend. We stayed at Hotel Nacional, a famous spot where gangsters, famous people, and socialites used to hang out. The hotel opened in 1930 and Notable guests include Ernest Hemingway, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Backstreet Boys, Naomi Campbell and tbh there’s so many!
I absolutely love being in a country that speaks another language. Best way to learn I reckon! I danced to the sounds of Buena Vista Social Club, ate delicious fresh fish, and took in heaps of history about Cuba. Each day I watched different coloured taxis roll up with old white walled tires. It was like going back in time, I loved it. My dad builds hot rods so I’ve been around old cars like this my whole life.
My friends at Air Transat made this video a couple weeks ago and gave away all-inclusive trips to passengers. Did any of you guys see the Cuban Cab? Would you have taken a ride? I can’t imagine the being handed a trip so random like this! I could love to go back to Cuba. Especially today!
Stay warm out there!
On Monday night I travelled to Toronto’s Queen East for a mini escape to Saint Lucia with Chef Nina Compton and their tourism board. I’ve never been to Saint Lucia but I’ve also never wanted to go more than right now after tasting the food and hearing travel stories from other guests.
Chef Nina cooked up some seriously delicious food. My fav was the cacao beef short rib with polenta and baby veg. The spicy cacao martini was a nice start to the night. You might recognize her from Bravo’s Top Chef, she was the runner-up and fan favourite on the most recent season. Chef Nina is in Toronto as the first culinary ambassador of Saint Lucia. Now that’s an awesome gig!
Here’s some snaps from the night by the lovely Becca Lemire. Did you know Saint Lucia, aside form it’s natural beauty, has a tropical rainforest and one of the world’s few drive-in volcanoes. DRIVE IN VOLCANO. A DRIVE IN VOLCANO. I can only imagine the other magical wonders waiting there for me.
Thanks to the Saint Lucia Tourist Board and Chef Nina Compton for a delicious dinner and some time to catch up with Andrew (aka Dobbernation). I had a great time meeting Charlene who has been reading THIS IS MY LIFE for years had never ran into me IRL. HI CHARLENE. It’s a truly humbling and awesome experience meeting people who have been reading for a while. It’s nice to get to know ya. You know heaps about me!
Here’s to a wonderful day. It may be getting cold outside but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the sunshine wherever you go.