Monday, August 29, 2016

Hong Kong Part Three - All the markets!

When we arrived back in Hong Kong we ended up in probably my favorite hotel of the whole trip (the room came with a cell phone with free data you could use while you were in Hong Kong - how cool is that?) and like everywhere else we stayed there was an incredible city view!
We decided that when we arrived back in Hong Kong we wanted to check out some of the famous markets that we hadn't visited in the past, especially the flower and goldfish market.

As with everything else in Hong Kong it was a bit of an adventure finding the markets - so much happening, so busy (especially when I compare it to quiet Wellington!).

We arrived at the flower market first, which is so huge and is honestly like an inner city oasis. If I even live in Hong Kong I want to live near the flower markets because the air here feels fresher than the rest of the city.

My favourite plants were the bonsai, I would have loved to have taken one home but with New Zealand's customs that could never happen so I just admired them. The bonsai with this thick moss and wee plastic animals was so cute.

I have to admit I didn't enjoy the goldfish market as much as I thought I would, at lot of the goldfish we in plastic bags rather than tanks and some of them were dead in their bags. It didn't seem to be the best way to keep animals to me and it kind of made me sad. Also at the market there were lots of other animals such as cats, dogs and rabbits. There were windows with these animals on display for purchase, but they didn't look like they really had enough space and I also thought who in Hong Kong has enough room in their apartments for these kinds of animals anyway. The whole thing bummed me out, so that's kind of why there's not photos of the markets.

After the kind of feeling bummed out by the market situation, Rich and I decided we needed to stop for a drink or something and we found this cute rabbit themed cafe that made me feel a lot better.

We didn't do anything too exciting after having our fancy drinks at the rabbit themed cafe, we did a bit of shopping (I was able to pick up some of my favorite Korean cosmetics) and we also had the chance to catch up with Lillian one more time after she finished up at work for the day.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Barista Cats Cafe

I've lived in Asia and visited a number of Asian countries and I've been to a number of  weird and wonderful cafe but I never visited a cat cafe for some reason. However, during our recent trip to Auckland I FINALLY visited a cat cafe!

I'd heard that there was a cat cafe in Auckland and when I googled it I found there were actually three (hello Wellington when are we getting a cat cafe?), Barista Cats had great reviews and it was also on Queen Street (which is right in central Auckland) so this is the one I chose to visit - oh and of course Rich, Sue and Conor came along too!
As this is the only cat cafe I've been too I'm not sure how it measures up with cat cafes in other parts of the world, but I can tell you the cats had plenty of space and toys (here's a full list of all the Barista Cats) and for $15 you get to spend an hour with the cats and get a drink of your choice (tea, coffee, hot chocolate) and there is also further food available to buy if you'd like.
When you receive your drinks they have a cute little cat cover on it, one of the cats wanted to try my hot chocolate so its a good idea to have covers!
 The folks at Barista Cats had done such a good job of fitting out the cafe with fun cat furnishings like this white tiger rug.
Although none of the cats were using it on the day we visited I do love the "hissing booth" so fun!
There are cats of all different ages and personalities at the cafe, Rich was a magnet for sleepy ginger cats on the day.
Other cats a younger and a little more playful, but to be honest, most of the cats were pretty keen on sleeping and snuggling.

As a cat lover, I would recommend Barista Cats to anyone in Auckland with a bit of time on their hand who want to hang out with a few cats friends for an hour. In case you're wondering, the staff are super amazing as well!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Wellington Rockabilly/pin up/vintage Social Group High Tea

This post is a long time in the making but I decided it was something I still wanted to blog about even though I attended the high tea three months ago!
Three months back I came across this advertising, I thought it would be fun to meet some new like-minded folk, it would give me a reason to make a new dress and also its involved high tea so I was sold. I asked Ria to come along too, as these kinds of things are always better with friends.

In the spirit of "everything last minute always" I only actually finished my dress just before Ria showed up to help me with my hair and make up.
My dress is made from a pattern by Papercut Patterns, its their Sigma Dress pattern. The bodice of this dress has been my go to bodice pattern for the last few months, but I think this is one of the few times I've made the full pattern. This fabric is pretty rad and was surprisingly cheap ($3 a metre) from The Fabric Warehouse pop up sale and if you're wondering, yes it is covered with fruit.

 We were some of the first ladies to arrive, which means we got first dibs on where to sit and were also into our goodie bags pretty quickly.
The gift bags at this event were actually amazing, I usually cynical of gift bags as they always seem to contain a few vouchers and maybe a chocolate bar if you're lucky - these bags had all kinds of great things I got some rad beads and bamboo bracelets. Oh and there were also cupcakes!
 It really was a fun afternoon of eating treats and meeting so many cool ladies all with their own take on vintage/pin up/rockabilly. I really hope they have some more events soon to head along too, they did an amazing job with this one.

Some photos taken by a professional photographer, Ataahua Pinups, was included in the ticket price (as well as food, a goodie bag and general fun times). Here's a couple of my favourite photos.

Also all of the above photos with frames were taken by Ataahua pin ups, this event was a really fun way to spend an afternoon. If you want Ria's take on the day and to also learn more about her Priscilla Presley inspired look you can check out her blog as well.  I'm not nearly so articulate my my clothing choices, I just really like fruit.

Looking forward to the next meet up with the Wellington pin up group x

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Auckland Birthday Adventures - Part One

It was recently my birthday, when Rich and I heard that The Cure (one of our favourite bands) were going to have a gig in Auckland around my birthday we decided to take a mini break. It also helps some of our closest friends, Conor and Sue, live in Auckland!

We took two days off work (the concert was on Thursday so we figured we may as well stay until Sunday) and had some time in the city exploring whilst our friends were at work.

After a bit of breakfast (we took an early morning flight) we decided to check out a few stores, Rich even came to the Hello Kitty store with me!
Unfortunately this kind of stuff is pretty expensive here in New Zealand, so I usually wait till we go traveling to buy Sanrio related goodies, but I did buy a new key ring.
We walked along Queen Street and checked out a few more stores, Queen Street has quite a lot of Asian stores which are always fun to check out.

We pocked up a green tea "Crunky" bar to try (we used to eat Crunky in Korea - its a chocolate bar with rice bubbles).
We also stopped off at Real Groovy Records - but it seems these days there is less music and more books and pop culture stuff, but I guess stores like this have to adapt or die.
We had a bit of a look around K Road and decided to buy some lunch and head to the Winter Gardens. For lunch we bought these insane rice burgers! SO MUCH RICE (but delicious).

We spent some times wandering around the winter gardens, we've been here a few times in the past but they are lovely and its also nice to head into a hot house on a cold winters day!

We walked to the Auckland Museum (but didn't go inside) and war memorial and looked out on the city. This is one of my favourite spots when I'm visiting.

We ended up walking back down to the city from the gardens and ended up at the Auckland waterfront for a while.

After this we met up with our friends after they finished work, checked out their new house, had some dinner and then went to see The Cure!
The show was amazing and the set was THREE HOURS long! This is the second time for all of us seeing The Cure, we all saw them together last time they were in New Zealand10 years ago! That's the downside of living at the end of the world I guess. The show was amazing though and this time they played my favourite song - Love cats! Which they didn't play way back in 2006 -  I was pretty happy.