In the early hours of Saturday morning we arrived back in NZ from a ten day holiday to Rarotonga.
This was our third visit now to this beautiful island.
On this trip we were joined by our best friends, Rose and Brendon and their children, Niamh and Dylan. Rosie and Brendon have also been to Raro before but the children hadn't so they were so excited for their holiday to begin.
We stayed at the same resort at last year, the Edgewater Resort and Spa, which is just ideal. It's a large resort, but it never felt too crowded with people. The Edgewater has a wonderful lagoon for swimming and snorkeling, an outdoor pool, a free kid's club and fun activities happening every day. The staff are also very friendly and helpful, and nothing is ever any trouble. Once again we had a garden view room, right next to our friends, where we'd meet up late in the afternoon on the balcony, for some pre dinner drinks and snacks.
This time we hired a car for a few days to get around the island so we had several trips into town to visit a cafe, or go out for dinner or visit the very popular Saturday morning markets.
But much of our time was spent hanging out by the pool or beach, the kids happily swimming all day or participating in some of the activities, or hanging out with the staff in the activity hut.
Of course a few cocktails were consumed, I didn't quite make my way through the cocktail menu but had a good shot at it!
One of the days we booked a trip with Captain Tuma's Lagoon Crusies - an awesome day out, snorkeling, a beach bbq and then a show put on by the hilarious staff. I'd highly recommend this if you ever visit Rarotonga, lots of laughs that's for sure.
Another day, Glenn and the girls hired a kayak from Muri Lagoon and had a great time crossing the lagoon, backwards and forwards, the lagoon is probably only waist deep at it's deepest point so you can easily walk across it.
On our last evening we enjoyed a few drinks and a meal at the resort restaurant watching our last sunset in unforgettable Rarotonga.
Some of the other highlights from our holiday - spotting several whales swimming by the resort one morning while we were having breakfast, delicious food at the resort and the other restaurants we went to, hanging out with our friends - lots of laughs and good times, lots of chilled out time reading - I managed to get through four books, beautiful flowers everywhere, and the friendly people you meet make Rarotonga pure relaxation in paradise.
I'm already dreaming of our next holiday there, possibly next year xx
Another Sunday rolled around and as I'd finished the three little Lizzie Kate Tiny Tidings designs the previous week, it was time for a new start for #SantaSundayxs.
This cute Pineberry Lane design has been on my to stitch list for ages. It's from the Winter 2016 edition of the Punch Needle and Primitive Stitchery magazine, to which I have a digital subscription.
Regular readers here will know that we are in the middle of some home renovations and over the last few weeks it's been all go!
We had a plasterer in for a week working on our ceilings and walls, oh the dust!
Don't you just love our industrial looking lighting? lol.
We then had a break for a week or two from renovations and then it was time for the painting to begin - kitchen, lounge and dining room ceiling.
Lucky for us my Dad is a professional painter/decorator, so while Glenn and I painted all the scotias and did the cutting in, he rolled all the ceilings. They now look fantastic. Next up will be the wall papering and we have ordered some new blinds for several of the windows in the front of our house.
Thank goodness I have my stitching and knitting to keep me sane, you should see the state of our spare room with all our belongings from the kitchen, lounge (asides from the couches and Tv) and dining room all boxed up in there. I can not wait to get in there and unpack and sort through everything!
My Lizzie Kate Jingles project was finished earlier in the year and was just waiting for me to sew on a few buttons and beads. I'd already decided to sew it into a wall hanging, using a piece of gold spotty and red fabric.
A piece of jute for the hanging and a bright red button and it's done, all set for Christmas 2017.
(It looks a bit wonky in this photo but it was hard to get a good shot of it as it's so long)
Last week I made a small start on the third chart from Blackbird Designs For the Birds series.
The fourth chart, fabric and threads also arrived last week. I just love the thread colours used in this series.
Now I'm "patiently" waiting for the first part of this year's Lizzie Kate Christmas mystery sampler to arrive from the Silver Needle.
Thank you for all the recent comments on my little blog - have a wonderful weekend!
See you soon xxx
On Sunday morning, with my friends Janet and Elsie, we headed up to Napier for the annual Knit August Nights, a retreat weekend for knitters. We didn't register for any classes but instead checked out the market, which is open to the public.
I've been so looking forward to going along to this market, and once again, I was in absolute knitters heaven I can tell you! It was actually quite overwhelming, people everywhere and so much gorgeous, gorgeous yarn and other accessories.
The weekend was held at East Pier, at Ahuriri, one of my favourite spots in Napier.
And my acquisitions? Well, I was quite restrained this time ha ha. I was really excited to get a ball of Straycat sock yarn and one of the little bags, as apparently the stock had sold like hotcakes and there wasn't much left on the table.
I also picked up a gorgeous skein from Bleating Art Yarns. Based in Napier, Alice and her Mum's yarns are just divine. I'd remembered to take along the socks I'd knitted from the limited colour way available at last year's market, Inky's Empty Tank, to show Alice and she was so pleased to see how they had turned out.
I couldn't resist the set of cool knitting markers. They will come in very handy when I attempt my first shawl! I just loved this New Jeans colour way from Catrien at Yarn Floozy from Auckland, and then I had a lovely chat with Libby from Truly Myrtle. She recommended her Settler pattern so I can't wait to get this underway sometime soon.
We could have spent hours browsing, and spending more of course, so it will be a definite visit there again next year. I'd better start a Knit August Nights fund!!
After picking up a coffee from Starbucks, we had a quick look at some of shops in the Napier CBD before heading to our next destination, the Silky Oak Chocolate Company, which is just on the outskirts of Taradale.
Lots of delicious looking food to be tempted by, in the end I went with a hash brown, kumara mash and bacon stack, yummo!
After lunch we had a lookie in the gift shop and the chocolate shop, and as I had a voucher to spend, I couldn't leave without picking up a few treats to take home.
The passion fruit vinaigrette is so tasty, it will become a favourite for our salads over the summer I think.
I so enjoy doing a little bit of stitchery each work, lately it's been my Friday project and this is the latest piece I've finished.
This design is from Gail Pan's latest Christmas book and many thanks to Kath, who tracked down the Earl Grey Cottage Garden thread for us. The sheep design on the front cover is next on my to stitch list, so cute!