Tag Archives: new zealand

Parka – Check, Coat – Check, Scarves – Check, Birthday present?

11 Jul

Hey guys!

Two more days ’til we fly, and I’m excited! And also, stressed.

Why is it so hard to pack for winter!?

I think I’m just worried we won’t fit everything, but I’m pretty sure my doubts are unwarranted and unfounded. This here is a list of things I’m bringing over to Kiwi-land. It’s not complete, ’cause I’m not sure what GP wants to bring over, but most of these are for a colder climate than Sydney. Right now it’s about 9 degrees there, compared to the local weather of 16 degrees here. So yeah… I’ll be freezing my badonk off. We’ll also be hitting the snows as well as the Hot Springs in Hanmer Springs, where GP has informed me that it will be SNOWING. I’m UBER excited!

Yee, real snow! ❤

Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve sorted so far:

  • 1 x winter Parka
  • 1 x windbreaker (GP’s – my parka should do this job fine)
  • 2 x coats for ei (one for e-session and casual wear, and one for more formal-type wear)
  • 1 x coat for GP (for e-session and casual wear)
  • 3 x scarves for ei (packed 2, wearing the other)
  • 2 x snow gloves (1xGP, 1xei)
  • 4 x gloves (1xGP, 3xei)
  • 2 x board shorts (1xGP, 1xei)
  • 2 x one-piece swimsuits
  • 1 x sarong
  • Assorted tights, thick socks, underwear and thermal wear!

I’ve also packed GP’s birthday present in the suitcase. I know he reads this blog, but he doesn’t know what the birthday present is, so I’m safe in the knowledge that he won’t find it!




I know this was a totally unrelated post to the wedding, but I really am eager to be going to NZ. I love going there and it’ll be my first Winter in Kiwiland. Which will be documented by our photographers! (Did I mention that our photographers are awesome?) Can’t wait to see all of my Kiwi friends too! 😀

Kiwi lady-readers, UNITE!

10 Jul

(Alternative Title: I’m flying on a jetplaaaaaaaaaane –)

In three days! EEE!! ❤ ❤ ❤

GP and I are headed to the land of the Kiwis (AKA New Zealand)!

We’ll be staying there for three weeks, where we’ll also be celebrating GP’s 30th birthday and our 3rd year dating anniversary. I’ll try to keep up with my weekly blogging while I’m over there. 🙂 We’ll be hanging out with friends, enjoying the company of GP’s family, and just chillaxing. We’ll still be working while over there (I do research and he does computer-related stuff – we can carry our work with us), but it means we can enjoy each other’s company. We haven’t really been able to just do that in a while, so I’m excited!

In two weeks or so, we’ll also be having our engagement shoot! YAY! We’ve already got our clothes chosen and I think we’re gonna look like sexy bitches!

Unfortunately, now I gotta figure out how to do my nails, hair and makeup while I’m over there. My nails are black and the polish is chipping (read: they look FUGLY) and my hair is currently highlighted with a vibrant red dye. I’m hoping the VIBRANCY will dim a little, but I’m ok with vibrant. As for my skin, it’s JUST clearing from having an oil meltdown.

In most situations, I’d just get my momma to do my hair and makeup since I FAIL at being a girl. But since we’ll be in NZ, I’ll have to consider either asking GP’s momma if she’ll be ok to help out OR *LE GASP* do it myself! Or maybe you Kiwi girls wanna help?

Seriously guys, me + makeup = train wreck. I also have no idea how to use a curling iron or blow dry properly.

(There’s also, you know… salons, but I’m cheap…).

As for nails, I’m thinking of just getting a manicure the day before or something… They’re like… $NZ20… so like… $AU15…. or something?

Any of my Kiwi readers able to help out with this dilemma?

Let’s start this over…

13 May

Hello everyone 🙂

I have vowed to be a more regular writer. It’s good to just sit, write and escape everything you don’t want to be doing at the current moment (i.e. assignments, blah!). So, what can I tell you guys that I haven’t already?

Well, in July, GP is turning the big 3-0, so we’ll be going to New Zealand. It’ll be major fun, and we’ll get to see GP’s friends (and groomsmen!) while we’re there. Also, our very awesome photographers of StudioSomething will be in Christchurch when we are, so we’ve lined up our engagement photo shoot in New Zealand. SO EXCITING.

If you want to check them out – which I VERY MUCH RECOMMEND – go here and here.

In other news, GP and I have been thinking of things we need to buy (the little things – bubbles for the ceremony, chocolates for the reception) and I think we need to make a list. I’ll do that in my spare time (read: when I get bored of my assignment/my brain can’t think of my assignment anymore) so we can keep track of everything. Some of the things on this list are:

– Photo frames for the reception

– Scrap book for the guest book

– Nice pretty sticky tape for the guest book

– Gel or archival pens for the guest book (I don’t want the ink to fade…)

– Props for the photobooth (provided by StudioSomething – didn’t I tell you they were awesome?)

– Bubbles for the ceremony

– Parasols for my girls


… I’m sure I’ve missed only 1000 other things…

A lot of people tell us we’re WAY ahead of the ball game but we haven’t finalised (or… started) our cake, gotten all the important little knickknacks that’ll make our wedding special, and been fitted for our clothing (as in – I haven’t been fitted for my dress yet [I haven’t even got my dress yet…], GP hasn’t bought his suit yet [though men get more time than women], etc.). It’s getting into the 8-month mark, which is an exciting time for us, but at the same time, the closer we get, the more I realise we haven’t really done much!

So it’s time to get everything into gear I guess.

And also a question – cake or cupcake? Like seriously… what should we get!?


11 Mar

Hey guys!

I have some very exciting news!

We’ve (unofficially) decided to have the engagement session photo shoot in Christchurch, New Zealand – GP’s homeland! 😀 It wasn’t planned at all, honestly, but it came up in conversation when I was chatting with one of our photographers. We originally were thinking of going to Cockatoo Island for the e-session, a little island in Sydney harbour, and had originally intended on having it in August. When I mentioned in passing that we would be in New Zealand in July, we got this reply back:

We’re also heading to NZ in early July – when are you going and where? We fly into Christchurch I think on the 14th! Would you like to do the shoot there if we’re in the same place at the same time? Haha!

I can honestly say my hands were trembling. I quickly called GP to ask if we would be able to (and was met with voicemail; he was in a meeting at work) and then waited anxiously for his reply. I tried to be realistic about it – we might not be in Chch during the same time as them, Grant might not like the idea, etc – but then he replied.

He was as keen as I was.


After back-and-forth emails with our photographer, we’ve almost settled on it. We’re waiting on the confirmation and GP and I are trying to think of places in Chch that would be a nice backdrop for the shoot.

All in all, we’ll be having a photo shoot in Christchurch! YAY!

Another thing to note – we’ve seen our florist (who is just so very awesome) AND we’ve talked reception with our reception coordinator. GP and I are very happy with what is happening on the wedding front and I’ll be sure to share more with you guys later!!

For now, I need to just zone out. I’ve been studying for 7 hours and my brain has decided it doesn’t want to focus anymore.

E x

The Proposal: An Unexpected Journey

24 Jul

(All images personal unless otherwise stated.)

Before I dive into the story behind the proposal, I should give you some background information. We had been dating for about one-and-a-half years before Mr Bighorn popped the question, and during that time, we had discussed our future together. At the end of every future discussion we had, whether it was about marriage, babies, or getting old together, he would end it with: “But I’ll only propose to you when I’m drunk… and I’ll do it with a washer”. Now, for those who don’t know what a washer is, go to Bunnings Warehouse (or any hardware store) and go to the plumbing aisle – that is where you’ll find washers.

It’s in Mr Big’s nature to joke, but he had said it for so long that I really, really, really didn’t expect him to propose (this non-expectation comes up later!) until much later into our relationship. And I was honestly happy with him just being my big, goofy, loveable boyfriend!

What I didn’t know, however, was that he had been planning to propose to me in the beginning of 2012 when we were on an overseas trip, visiting Indonesia (where I have family) and China. He planned to do it on the Great Wall as he knew I loved the culture of China. However, there were a few problems with this: 1) he wanted to ask my parents, and hadn’t; 2) it was fricking-cold up on the Great Wall (I think it was about -15 degrees Celsius/5 degrees Fahrenheit); 3) I was feeling pretty sick that day from some bad food or some such. So, unfortunately, he had to can the idea.

We did take some (stupid) pictures though!

posers on the great wall

Mr Big + me = stupid posing. Also, I was wearing about 6 layers of very thick clothing. IT WAS COLD.

After getting back from China, Mr Big and I went back to work (I was working for a laboratory then). As I was often working from 4PM to 8PM, Mr Bighorn was able to visit my parents one night. He asked them if it was ok to ask for my hand, and was pleasantly surprised when my dad shrugged and said, “ok.” (My dad, a sentimental man, I love him so!). And that was when Mr Big put his plan into motion.

April was coming up, and I was turning 24 on April 11. Mr Bighorn decided to plan a trip to New Zealand and take me and my family with. I had been to Kiwi-land before and met with his parents, but he wanted to take me around the whole of the South Island (it’s pretty big!). So with that, we planned the trip and jetted “over the ditch” (the Tasman Sea, for those not in the know). After spending some time road-tripping around the South Island we stopped in the small town of Te Anau, a wee town in the Fjordland region. The next morning was my birthday, which meant we were heading to one of the most beautiful places in the world: Milford Sound.

I was turning the ripe old age of 24.

It seemed my family had forgotten that it was my birthday, and Mr Big seemed unusually highly strung. I was promised a nice trip across the Milford Sound though so I tried not to think too much about the bad. I mean who gets to spend their birthday with their family and their boyfriend in a beautiful place like New Zealand, apart from, well… New Zealanders?

But I live in Australia damnit, so I was going to enjoy this day!

The next morning, Mr Big dragged me out of bed, wished me a happy birthday, kissed me, and served me some breakfast. I chowed down as he got everyone else ready, rushing around like an adorable mad man. I didn’t know it then, but apparently, he was stressed out and extraordinarily nervous, although he hid it behind the story of, ‘we’ll be late if we don’t move quickly’.

So move quickly we did.

After I scarfed the rest of breakfast down, I ushered my family to our rental car, we packed it up with the bare essentials, and made the stunning trip out to the Milford Sound.

The two-hour drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound was gorgeous, and we even had enough time to stop at the breathtaking Mirror Lakes on the way.

mirror lakes

The Mirror Lakes, showing a near-perfect reflection of the mountains.

When we arrived, we were all tired from the trip but strangely invigorated. The air at the Sound was fresh and cool and we were met with views like this:


The Milford Sound in all of its splendour.

Even the pictures don’t do it justice, it was absolutely stunning! There was water as far as the eye can see bordered by huge cliffs which just shoot from the water. Just beautiful. This is where I would spend my 24th birthday. And I was happy.

We got onto the cruise and just generally hung about, taking heaps of photos of the views and occasionally wildlife (there were seals and albatross!). Unfortunately, all of the photos I took of the seals are pathetic at best and the albatross just didn’t want to stand still, so I’m going to spare you guys! As we passed by a waterfall, Mr Big pointed it out: ‘We’ll get to go under that. We’re going to stand at the front, ok?’

I was tentative. It was April 11, autumn and freezing!

But… I did want to see a waterfall up close so I agreed.


The waterfall GP pointed out, known as the Stirling Falls.

After lunch, we headed out to sea, admired the views, and the ferry headed back inland. I noticed Mr Bighorn was acting strangely, but I chalked it up to the stress of that morning and just enjoyed the ride back. Again, we saw some seals and then came the announcement by the cruise captain: we were going under the waterfall!

Mr Big excitedly tugged me up onto the aft end of the boat, me tugging my waterproof jacket over my head. My two sisters, M&Ms and Oddball, came along as well. My older sister, and now-maid of honour M&Ms, went up onto the stairs of the boat to film what I thought was the waterfall. My little sister, Oddball, stood by us, excited to get up close to a waterfall. So there I was – a waterfall literally at my feet, Mr Bighorn hugging me from behind, and feeling like I was on top of the world.

My life was awesome, I thought. Nothing could get better than this.

I was wrong.

Leaning in, Mr Big kissed me atop the head before managing to mumble the words out: ‘So, Miss Big, you still wanna marry me, right?’

Grinning at him, slightly confused, I replied: ‘Yeah, of course.’

There was a pause before he managed: ‘Well, will you marry me?’

Now, this is where that non-expectation comes in. My next words should have been something akin to, ‘OH MY GOD! YES OF COURSE!’ with perhaps some squealing and crying, but instead he got three words which gave him a mini heart-attack:

‘Are you serious?’

Well done Miss Big… well done. He took a moment to acknowledge that I was legitimately confused before he clarified his intentions. He even managed to get down on one knee on the slippery deck of the boat!

hugging in front of the stirling

The “second proposal” with us standing at the base of the Stirling Falls, taken January 2013 during another trip to New Zealand. Yeah, we like New Zealand. The guy in the cap is one of our awesome friends, Friend OSM Dancer.

I was shocked, excited and happy. He was asking me to marry him!! My words were something akin to, ‘Of course!’ before I pulled him up into a hug. We hugged and kissed and hugged and kissed some more on that deck for what felt like an hour before I went to tell my parents the news.

I was engaged! He even gave me a washer (which he forgot to bring on the boat, but gave me afterwards!).

washer_first ring

The washer that Mr Big gave to me when we were back in Te Anau that day.

We drove back to Te Anau, where I was glowing in post-engagement bliss, and we capped the day off by going on another short boat trip to an island in the middle of Lake Te Anau and seeing some spectacular glow worms. It was a beautiful end to a beautiful day.

Has anyone else been given a washer, or similar, for a special occasion? Did anyone else react like I did? (Please tell me I’m not the only one!)