They say there is no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing choices (paraphrasing there) and I guess this is probably the most positive way to look at it. Otherwise it is easy to get caught up in the see-sawing of will I, won’t I when the weather is not to your liking. I should know because I constantly do it. For me the rain coming down is a perfect opportunity to snuggle up at home without the guilt of thinking I should be making the most of the day. In fact often the stormier it is outside the calmer I feel inside. However this past weekend I found myself walking out in the rain at a time of the day when everyone else was snuggled up avoiding it. I was caught in the pull between my warm bed (the option my son took) and the fear of missing out on seeing the North end of Kāpiti Island with himself and my daughter. The latter won.

Okupe Lagoon – North End of Kāpiti Island

So we headed off in the rain to meet the rest of the himself’s fire brigade group bright and early. Songs of weather came into my head as I tossed up my choice and the thoughts of going back to bed. ‘Rain drops keep falling on my head’ – yes that works today. ‘Four seasons in one day’ – yes, it was fine and calm at 4am after blowing a gale and before the rain set in. I can’t stand the rain – well not technically true for me but a fair enough point today given that we would be ‘marooned’ on the Island for almost 5 hours. Maybe ‘Here comes the rain again’ or ‘Ain’t no sunshine’ were the most apt for the day. Interestingly enough though as we lined up for check in and bio checks I noticed that people were a bit loathed to mention the obvious. Sure there was the odd comment about ‘Oh, I thought it would be cancelled’ but generally there was no mention of the heavy rain that was forecast to remain all day nor the fact that we were going to be out in it. Usually weather is the fail safe topic of conversation but clearly only when you know you are safe from it; after you’re indoors or after the storm has given way to sunshine. Beyond that ….. speaker beware.

Looking South from the lookout on Kāpiti Island (210m)

We blame and praise the weather for so many things in our lives. We even let it dictate our health and well-being at times but really it is our internal ‘weather’ that forecasts how our day goes. Sure, I could have bitched and moaned about being soaked, about the rough ferry over, the cold and lack of shelter but instead I tried my hardest to embrace it all. Enjoy my choice, take it all as it came and be grateful for the opportunity to be in such an amazing place. Grateful for the opportunity to be with my family – well some of it 🙂 – experiencing nature together. Grateful for seeing birds up close and without multiple sound distractions. Grateful for the opportunity to step up into positivity, creating my own a good weather. In the end the choice is always mine.

Kererū – New Zealand Wood Pigeon



Energy on the go


This past weekend we have been tramping (hiking for those of you outside of NZ) up the mountain which looks down on us in our bus which requires a bit of forethought as far as food goes.  Food has to be plentiful enough to keep everyone satisfied and yet light enough that the walk up to the hut isn’t too arduous for those carrying it, namely the parents.  With a Vegan thrown into the mix it took even more forethought …. onto the internet I go!

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Almost at the hut, looking down at Kaikōura

It didn’t take that much searching to find a fantastic recipe for Vegan (and raw) muesli bars which was created by Isle of Flora … right here in NZ! These are especially great for us as there was not dairy, sugar or gluten in them either.  As usual though, due to my nature and the fact that we are living on a bus the recipe got a few adaptations.  There weren’t too many however and they didn’t alter the recipe that much.  The end result was a nutritious, energy packed, tasty muesli bar which stood the test of time travelling up to 1100m in a backpack on a very warm day.

Before I share my adaptations I will just put a few comments about the method as some of you may be in the same position of not having amazing whizzing appliances ready to blend things at the flick of a switch.  In the original recipe  (which I followed almost to the word on my first attempt apart from using millet instead of quinoa as I thought we had run out of it) it says to pop nuts and dates into a food processor until blended smooth  …. this was my first stumbling block.  However after a bit of thought it was nothing that a strong plastic bag filled with said nuts and a lot of bashing with a rolling pin couldn’t solve. As for the dates I soaked them in 1/4 Cup of water and then mashed them within an inch of their sweet little selves! Obviously if you have these whizzy wonders of modern society then feel free to click onto Isle of Flora’s original recipe and go for it!  Otherwise stay tuned 😉


The nut version

The soaking of dates did add a bit more moisture into the recipe which is where my adaptations came in as I increased some of the amounts to take up the moisture and added some psyllium husks.  The original recipe also calls for quinoa however it didn’t say if it was cooked or not so I took it upon myself to cook it.  I first by put 1.5 TB of quinoa (or millet) into a pot along with 7.5 TB water (1 to 5 ratio), then boiled it until almost all the water had gone.  Next I turned off the heat and covered for a while until there is no liquid left.  This gave me 3 TB of cooked quinoa which, as you’ll see, is the amount I used as opposed to Isle of Flora’s 2 TB.


Enjoying some muesli bar at the hut

In my second attempt at these yummy little bars I left out the nuts altogether … there is only so much bashing a girl wants to do in her life …. and replaced the cup of nuts with a mixture of sunflower and pumpkin.  Any combination would be great though which you can change to suit your taste.  When it comes to taste it has to be said that themselves preferred the seed version although that may have been down to the millet in the first recipe rather than the nuts 😉  Anyway … here is the recipe and you have the original so you can decide from here on in.

Vegan Museli Bars (DF, GF, SF)

1 Cup of chopped nuts (or seeds)

1 Cup of dried dates

1/4 Cup of hot water

3 TB psyllium husks

3 TB chia seeds

1 TB pumpkin seeds

1 TB sunflower seeds

1 TB linseed

4 TB coconut oil

3 TB cooked quinoa (or millet) – see above for cooking method

6 TB desiccated coconut

  • Soak the dates in the water for 10 -15 mins then add chia seeds and mash until they form a smooth paste.
  • Add in all the other ingredients and mix until they are well blended.
  • Tip into a baking paper lined tin (mine is 20 x 17 cm) then press down smooth and evenly with the back of a dessert spoon.
  • Pop in the fridge and leave for at least 20 mins before slicing into bars.

Well that is it for this week … I hope this finds you fighting fit and climbing any obstacles in your way.