Monday, February 28, 2011

Back again

Dear blog readers,

ugh! I feel like I have been away for--as we say in NZ--ages! I've missed writing and reading blogs. Unfortunately, I have limited internet where I am living at the moment. Also, I've been looking a little bit green around the gills lately. This past week I shut myself away, watching too much tv BUT reading a very good book. I believe that cancels out the tv watching. 
So while I've been at home think think thinking away, I randomly recalled this Picasso that my parents used to have. Ahh yes, Picasso was an old family friend... I joke, of course, but the truth is that it isn't so random, my thinking of the painting, that is. Besides feeling green, I've been feeling a bit blue as well. Homesick. I miss Auckland, The Long Bay Hills, and our friends there. I miss the states, my family and friends, my kitties, my mom's legendary cooking, and dare I say it, buying fruits and vegetables out of season. I hope saying this isn't making me look more green: a great big, green, Oscar The Grouch... Let's talk about something happy... The reason I really like this Picasso is fueled by my love of all pictorial devotions to beloved pets. So, I thought I would leave you on a brighter note with one my own: 
I call it, Girl in red with Cat or Stripes: love between a pet and his girl
Rhys Lake 
Circa 2010

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Prayers for Christchurch

Today continues to be a very sad day for all of us in New Zealand. Yesterday afternoon Christchurch, which is located on New Zealand's south island, was hit with a 6.3 earthquake. Much of the city and surrounding suburbs have crumbled and toppled over into the streets. What is especially devastating is that the people of Christchurch were just beginning to recover from the damage and anxiety caused by the 7.1 earthquake-and its many aftershocks-last September. Whats more, unlike September's miraculously casualty free quake, this time there are many known casualties and around 300 missing people. 
So please join me in praying for the people who now know they have lost family and friends, for those still waiting to hear from their loved ones, for all the rescue and relief workers in Christchurch, for those who are alive and waiting to be pulled from the rubble, and for God's peace and hope to cover New Zealand right now.


(photos source)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Hills Are Alive...

Around this time last year I was standing in one my of my favorite places. I thought I'd share it with you. It's called The Long Bay Hills, located in beautiful
 Long Bay
North Shore City
New Zealand 
The Universe
 The beach leads to a path up the cliffs to the hilltop. From there you can see across about five bays on the Hauraki Gulf.
 It definitely falls into my pretty things category. 

 Unfortunately, they've started residential building in the surrounding area. If only there were a modern day Beatrix Potter to buy all the land and save it. For those who may not know, Beatrix Potter used her book royalties to save much of the Lake District in England. 

Fortunately, the hills are part of the reserve and so, they will be here for a long time to come. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I love Valentines Day. Some people complain about it being a commercial holiday but I disagree. Most holidays involve certain traditions which, usually requires a trip to the store to buy candy, food, sparklers, decorations, etc. Still, there is more meaning behind holidays themselves than the items needed to get into the spirit of them. Even if Valentines Day is a bit commercial, spending a little on flowers, candy, and pretty cards hardly seems sinister to me. Has anyone ever been angry to receive any of the above? Also, for most of the world, February is the starkest, coldest, grayest month of the year. And for those of us who know our color theory, nothing makes gray pop quite like pink and red. 

 This arrow pin was a great vintage find at an antique shop in Pennsylvania. My mom suggested wearing it with a red cardi for Valentines. Brilliant!

My valentine loved his card and candy. 
I hope you have a lovely Valentines Day too.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Tale of Tea

I've always loved tea but lately I seem to be on a tea craze. Now when I go out for coffee, I end up ordering the most interesting looking tea on the menue. Along with the joy of drinking tea, you get the satisfaction of it coming in a personal, mini, teapot which, holds about three cups of tea. What could be better than that? Rhys and I are always on the prow for the perfect cafe so today we stopped at a cute p√Ętisserie called Simply Paris.
When I asked about their tea, the waitress lead me to a shelf full of colored tea tins. I was instantly intrigued by a tea called, "The Prince of Kandy." This, of course, conjured up images of the ultimate childhood dream:
There were other tempting fruits and green teas and even one with hibiscus flower. Still, not knowing when we would be able to visit again, I just had to try The Prince of Kandy...
Do you like this teapot as much as I did?

Deliberation Time.
The verdict is in; not a drop left to spare.  
They also sold beautiful bread. I will definitely be visiting again. 



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Paper Canary Film Review

When I was flying back to little Aotearoa ("Land of the Long, White, Cloud" aka: New Zealand) last month, I watched Mark Romanek's latest film Never Let Me Go. Being a Telluride Festival film, I was dying to see it and I was not disappointed.
 Never Let Me Go is broken into three parts following the lives of three boarding school friends Kathy (Carey Mulligan), Ruth (Keira Knightley), and Tommy (Andrew Garfield) from childhood into their early adulthood. Without giving too much away, the children are raised to believe that they are "special" and essentially born to serve a greater good. The film deals with themes of love, loss, jealousy, betrayal, and entrapment. On an even deeper level, Never Let Me Go also raises questions of medical ethics and the consequences of evil disguised as good intention.
The film has an undeniably stellar cast with Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley, and my favorite up-and-coming girl, Carey Mulligan. Mulligan, as the narrator, brings so much strength and goodness to the story.
Never Let Me Go is both beautiful and haunting in a Bronte sort of way, though it is a science fiction piece. The scenery and mood are a perfect match and are masterfully sustained throughout the film. My only criticism is that I feel the trailer gave too much of the plot away. I went into the story knowing exactly what was going on and I wish it had been more of a secret. Even still, it is one I'd certainly watch again. 

(photo source)

Monday, February 7, 2011

When the dog bites, when the bee stings Monday

These are a few of my favorites at the moment...

 Ok, I know I am a bit late on these first two to do a proper post but allow me to back peddle a few weeks to the Golden Globe Awards. One of my favorite dresses was Olivia Wilde's sparkly-warkly gown. Not to mention those shoes! Please note the red souls. I do dream of owning my very own pair one day.  (photo source) 
I also loved Leighton Meesters vintage looking, sleeved, gown with a very demure neckline. You can't see from this picture, but the real star of the dress is its low back. There were a number of this style at the Golden Globes but I think her's really was the cat's meow, don't you? (photo source) 
This ring. I've been admiring it from afar for a few months now as I slowly save my pennies....well, I should say coins as we don't have pennies in New Zealand. (photo source) 

Last, but most of all, finding a spot to watch the Super Bowl with my man ♥ (we're still smiling because our team hadn't lost yet...jokes)

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Drive Up the Coast

Today my main (and only :) Squeeze Rhys planned a Saturday morning drive up the coast to a surprise spot. Half way there, I discovered that the surprise spot was just as much of a mystery to him. Never fear! We ended up in this lovely little place called Rona Bay: sea view on the right and on the left, rows of colorful houses. We stopped at this little cafe for tea...Tokyo Lime in a mini teapot. Stellar.
The bay was very charming and pretty and I wouldn't mind living in one of the yellow or pink or blue or green houses.

Even the bus stop wasn't too hard on the eyes.
A man gathering Kina (a type of shellfish)

Hope your weekend was fun too. 
xoxo, Joy


The world is full of beautiful things
Butterfly wings, fairy tale kings
And each new day undoubtedly brings
Still more beautiful things

(Bobby Darin) 

It's my plan to blog about all beautiful things from fashion, film, art, books, music, food, and life...and hopefully, to create some of my own. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll make yourself at home.