Things I’m Loving – whilst I can’t run – WINE :)

It’s International Sauvignon Blanc Day in New Zealand – 16 May – and whilst I sit here sipping a local Napa Valley, Californian white, I came across this beautiful little video about the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc wines (a fav spot of the hubbie and I – and the sweet spot where he proposed to me back in 1997!).

I’m out of action on the running front at the present time, with an ankle injury, but my wine glass tipping wrist is in perfect form and couldn’t be more delighted that I’m on a forced break from training (though I am feeling a little guilty at the lack of physical action and have hence signed myself up for a beach yoga class this coming Sunday – got to love this southern californian climate – where beach yoga is something that can be pre-scheduled and rarely need a ‘Plan B’, due to the almost constant blue sky, sunshine, minimal wind climate (though the Santa Ynez winds can be a nightmare, especially for the firefighters – currently fighting a seasonally early outbreak of fires around the San Diego area).

So, we have wine, yoga, beach, sunshine and running (when not injured) on the ‘Things I’m Loving’ agenda thus far.

I did try a brief run on Monday, with Miss 8, who was so enthused by my return from the half marathon race I did on Saturday (blog post here) that she’s signed herself up for a 5K in August (after checking out the community section of the Santa Barbara Running Company website)!

Unfortunately the mother-daughter run was short lived. After 2 km I needed to phone hubbie to pick us up, as my ankle gave way – too much, too soon.

She’ll have to stick to training around the house and with her Daddy for a couple of weeks!

Aside from wine and talk of exercise (as that’s all I’ve done this week, given my jaw a good work out!), I’m also trying to embrace a heat wave this week. I’m so not used to temperatures over 30 degrees C (86 F) and it’s been close to 40 degrees C this week! It’s great weather for being a lounge lizard, flouncing around in summer frocks, diving in the pool and drinking lots of aqua (and wine), but so hard to do anything (unless it’s in an air conditioned building – and our AC hasn’t been working this week – so that’s not been great…). In the face of no AC we did escape for a teensy spot of cafe and retail therapy (I sound like a complete wimp right now – especially to my buddies in Perth and on the Gold Coast, but hey – I’m a British lass at heart – that’s spent 17 plus years living in windy Welly).

My Miss 8 took a brief pic of me sporting a floaty summer frock, which I’m digging (especially as it was a bargain from Zulily online shopping).

Summer frocks


I’m loving the big sister patience of Miss 10 with Miss 4, as she enthuses over Minecraft architecture! Downside of all this Minecraft action is I end up with less time on my computer (it’s a hard life!). I sit alongside them, listening in on their chatter and enjoying the sound of rainfall in Minecraft land (seeing as rain is such an extreme rarity in drought stricken southern California!).

Also loving Miss 8’s every present energy and determination to keep everyone active (she’ll make a sterling personal trainer!).

Miss 4 is keeping me busy with her story telling talents. Every morning Miss 4 and I wake before the other girls to do the chores in the kitchen and laundry, whilst writing stories. I’m usually multi tasking between making coffee, breakfast and doing dishes, whilst she’s drawing pictures and telling me the story behind them – I then sit down and write up the story to accompany the drawing (she has a pretty wild imagination – as this morning there was a picture of ‘Mummy in a wood, jumping up a giant daisy and leaping off the stem onto the fuzzy chest of a wolf – who was a good wolf – but then Mummy got caught in a booby trap by a baddy and ended up in a cage – luckily the flowers came to the rescue….’). We then usually take a break (whilst I drink coffee) to read some books and play with some sand or play dough outside under the verandah. Bird watching is another fav activity that Miss 4 and I do whilst waiting for the night owls to finally awake from their lie ins!

Finally, we’re loving the memories of the past couple of weeks – having our good friend Frances visit from New Zealand. We miss our home there very much – the children miss their friends especially. We’re thankful to a good friend house sitting all this time we’ve been gone and having caring neighbours over in New Zealand too.

I was reflecting on some old pics earlier this evening and came across this sweet one of Miss 4 (would have been 2 turning 3 in this pic) in front of her play house in our Kiwi garden – of course in bare foot natural pose – the Kiwi way. Love x

Kiwi fun for a 2 year old



Joining in with…

❤ Things I’m Loving; Having a Kiwi friend to stay!

After an amazing week in Disneyland California with our friend Frances, visiting from New Zealand, we returned back to our temporary home in Santa Barbara.We made a pit stop at Universal Studios Hollywood – where it was great to see New Zealand spinning on the globe outside the park – and gave Frances a chance to get some ‘minion’ action.

New Zealand spinning on the Universal Studios globe

There was a great new water play area at Universal Studios too. Miss 8 and 4 LOVED it, whilst Miss 10 took Frances on all the rides.

Universal Studios Hollywood

Back at our temporary home the man of the house returned to work, all be it reluctantly, whilst the girls and I returned to our status quo (with Frances for great company). The status quo this week, after a week of absence, has been all about Minecraft (even Miss 4 is getting in on it – with Miss 10 designing a safe, peaceful, world for her to play on).

Minecraft sisters

Frances and I have been trying to encourage all three girls out the door,wherever possible, to try and prevent a complete Minecraft overload! We’ve had some nice little trips out to the local Zoo here in Santa Barbara and playgrounds in the neighbourhood.

A visit to Santa Barbara Zoo with Frances.

A visit to Santa Barbara Zoo with Frances.

Miss 8 and Miss 4 also balance out their Minecrafting with swimming in the pool, tumbling on the exercise mat and riding their bikes down the lane. There’s been some fun water gun fights with Frances too!

Frances looking cheeky with a water gun at hand!

Frances looking cheeky with a water gun at hand!

Frances and I took Miss 4 to Stearns Wharf – and the marine education centre, where Alice enjoyed giving Frances a tour, including a puppet show, a quick story, some star fish touching, decorated crab handling, jelly-fish observing and swell shark stroking!

Frances enjoying a tour of the Marine Education Center on Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, with Miss 4.

Frances enjoying a tour of the Marine Education Center on Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, with Miss 4.

Of course we couldn’t leave without having an ice-cream too!

Our Kiwi friend, Frances, sharing an ice-cream with Miss 4 on Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara.

Our Kiwi friend, Frances, sharing an ice-cream with Miss 4 on Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara.

Then there’s been lots of drawing and artwork from Miss 4, whilst Miss 8 has been writing about her trip to Disneyland and California Adventures.

Miss 10 has been amazing us with her Minecraft skills, recreating the music of ‘Let it Go’ through music blocks (unfortunately I can’t explain much more than that, but it sounded great to me – and she used the original music script – reading the musical notes and transposing them into Minecraft language).

I have loved having the company of our friend Frances, whilst Miss 4 has been getting in all the cuddles she possibly can.

Hubbie and I have actually managed a couple of drinks out, just the two of us (a miracle!). It’s so rare we get the chance and it’s always such a laugh when we do.

I have been nursing a sore ankle for most of the past fortnight (stupidly overran in Vibram Five Fingers, tensing up my calf muscles – which I continued to run on – and then screwed up the achilles tendon on my right ankle) and have been really frustrated at not being able to run. I’m scheduled to run a half marathon this Saturday, 10 May, to raise funds for my little buddy Elijah, who suffers daily pain with rare Prune Belly Syndrome, among other conditions, and know that my performance – or indeed my ability to even finish the 13.1 miles without seriously injuring myself – is seriously compromised right now. Nevertheless, I will be at the start line and give it my best, proudly wearing the great running tags Elijah and his Mummy sent me!

Running tags from ElijahThe good news is I know I can run a half marathon, as I’ve done it in training, the bad news is – my ankle might not let me finish the run this Saturday.

The great news, most importantly, is that thanks to amazing sponsors, there’s been NZ $680 raised for Elijah on Give a Little NZ!

Thank you so, so much! x


Linking up with wonderful Meghan…