Live from Intention not from Habit

I’m a sucker for a good quote (as evidenced by my “quotes” board on Pinterest). When you combine beautiful artwork and an awesome quote I’m sold. I came across this Etsy store somewhere on the internet and just love love loved this quote. I bought prints for my closest friends and can’t wait to frame this and hang it up somewhere where I’ll see it every day.

Living from habit is so easy but when you have some bad habits it’s not always good….better to think about your ideal life and live with that intention at the forefront of your mind.

You can buy cards of the prints HERE or email her to put up a listing on an 8×10 print which I did.

Lake Tekapo

If you’re following along with our New Zealand itinerary you’ll see that after we left Rakaia Gorge we drove to Lake Tekapo where we stayed for three nights. We stayed at a small B&B called the Lake Tekapo Luxury Lodge and were very happy with the accommodations and location. The first night we arrived we ate at a delicious Japanese restaurant that I’d highly recommend called Kohan. The views of the lake were spectacular and the salmon sashimi was the freshest I’ve ever tasted. For once I didn’t bring my camera and I learned my lesson as the sunset was simply incredible. I guess sometimes it’s good to experience things firsthand without the ability to document them but I was kicking myself!

The next morning we took the Lakeshore trail along the beach up Mt. John.

Below you see the famous Church of the Good Shepherd which is a tiny charming church right on the shore of Lake Tekapo. From dawn till dusk tour buses rumble in and out of the parking lot but if you catch it at the right time it is simple and beautiful – what a place to get married! Lupines in the foreground don’t hurt either 🙂

The Church of the Good Shepard Lake Tekapo

We walked from our hotel to Mt. John instead of driving through town which was a nice walk along the lakeshore. We were a bit confused at first about where to go as from the map it looked like you were walking right along the water when in reality you are quite a bit above it. Still – beautiful views and very few people on this leg.

Man walking along the shores of Lake Tekapo

What a lookout! Views over glacier blue Lake Tekapo and the surrounding mountains on the hills of Mt. John

I took pictures whenever I needed a break 🙂 This doesn’t look steep but I was puffing by this point! Mt. John doesn’t seem that tall but when you are climbing up it is!!

You can also drive to the top of Mt. John so although you can’t see people in the photos once you arrive it is fairly busy. The benefit is that there is a lovely cafe at the top so our hard work was rewarded with a delicious lunch! Then we walked down via the Mt. John Summit Trail. Many people were going up this way but I’m glad we didn’t….it’s pretty much straight up through woods instead of the gradual (and longer) climb that we had done. I’d recommend going the Lakeshore trail up and Mt. John Summit trail down.

Note the specs of color in the photo below….those are fields of lupines and my obsession reached a whole new level when I saw them in person later that afternoon

The woods are beautiful and a bit eerie looking on the way down

Can you believe it? They were running agricultural field trials so there were heaps of lupines as far the eye could see – simply incredible. 

Pink, Purple, and blue lupines


Purple lupine field

Man walking between lupines Lake Tekapo New Zealand

We drove a bit further and walked the Godley Peaks Road Loop Track (on the road to McGregor) – we only saw three other people (and a lot of sheep) but the views were spectacular. It only took us about 45 minutes- well worth it if you have the time!

Couple posing along Godley Peaks Road Loop Track

More lupines at the end of that hike

Field of lupines

My trusty chauffeur/location scout 🙂

That night we ate at McKenzie’s in town which was ok but not fabulous – they were quite busy so the service was pretty slow….I’d stick with Kohan 🙂

The next day we visited Mt. Cook (photos of that in my next post)

On New Year’s eve in Lake Tekapo a local marching band comes and walks back and forth along Main street playing….children follow 🙂

Note that restaurants stop serving at 9 – we learned this that night so ended up doing takeout pizza and watching the sunset (or rather the lake reflecting the sunset which was behind us)….that’s ok with me 🙂

Stay tuned next week for pictures from Mt. Cook!

Snowy Lake Weekend

A few weeks ago we were at the lake for the weekend with our friends. While it has been relatively mild in Connecticut it’s been fairly chilly up at the lake so the water had frozen over and Jeff was able to go out for a skate!

Sage was pretty excited about Jeff being on skates 🙂

Man greeting dog on iced over lake

Heading up the lake!

Man skates on frozen lake

Parts of the lake had melted and then re-frozen creating these beautiful ice crystals

Ice crystals

Strider watches carefully

Dog sniffs wind

And then sniffs the wind his ears blowing in the breeze 🙂

yellow lab ears blow in the breeze

My dogs like to play pretty much anywhere….a frozen lake being no exception

Yellow labs wrestle on frozen lake

This weekend we’re laying low at home which I’m pretty psyched about after all the traveling I’ve done in the last month.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Art Opening

A few weeks ago I went up to Vermont for a very important occasion – the opening of Jonas’ first art show. I met Jonas at the dry cleaners almost fifteen years ago – he was three and his Brother Aidan was 1!! I started babysitting them and over the years they have become like a second family to me. In fact his Mother Wendy officiated our wedding in 2008 which kicked off her career as a wedding officiant (you should hire her – she is wonderful!!)

Jonas has always been interested in art in different forms – drawing, photography, and most recently graffiti art. His art caught the eye of the studio director at the Davis Studio Gallery and she offered him the opportunity to showcase and sell his work – pretty incredible! I was so honored to be able to be there – he’s come a long way and I can’t wait to see what he does next.

His business cards arrived just in time 🙂

The artist with two of his works

Schmoozing the crowd – it’s what artist’s do 🙂

You can learn more about what Jonas is up to on his Facebook page

Trip to New Zealand :: Lyttleton and Rakaia Gorge

Last week I kicked off my posts on our New Zealand adventure by giving an overview and also providing information on our itinerary. Today I’d like to take you through our first two days in NZ which really kicked off the trip.

We arrived in Christ Church in the middle of the afternoon and after checking into our hotel in Christ Church promptly drove out of town. Jeff and I aren’t big on urban places for the most part and I had read in the guidebook that a small town called Lyttleton a “dining destination for in-the-know foodies.” Did I mention Jeff and I love to eat?

This town and Christ Church have been devastated by earthquakes these last few years and the last one had taken place just a week before our arrival. Nevertheless people are doing their best to move forward and rebuild. We parked in the middle of town and started walking up hoping to catch a view….and boy did we! Lyttleton has a very active port so it was neat to watch all the action from such a vantage point – the epicenter of the previous earthquake was in the middle of this harbor deep underwater.

Lyttelton Harbor New Zealand South Island

A fitting introduction to epic New Zealand scenery

Lyttelton Harbor New Zealand South Island

I loved the texture and color pop of this wall

Red door with green textured wall

An encouraging sign in the ruins of one building. Having never been to Lyttleton before it was hard to gauge the devastation but apparently it was extreme.

Inspirational sign

We drove west out of Lyttleton heading towards Governor’s Bay and came across this tidal flat. We got out of the car and had our first adventure. At times our feet sank inches into the muck but it was remote and beautiful

Mud Flats

Our first timer picture 🙂

We took the Summit Road back towards Lyttleton and again the views didn’t disappoint….this is pretty much the story of our trip

We ended up back in Lyttleton for dinner and discovered a sweet restaurant called “Freemans” where we had a delicious meal and our first bottle of New Zealand wine. Apparently our accents were a dead giveaway as the kind waitstaff inquired about our itinerary and gave us tips – so nice!

The next morning we woke early and drove via Mt. Hutt towards Methven to Rakaia Gorge. The guidebook had spoken of a “good easy walk through farmland – 3-4 hour return” so after stopping to admire the scenery above the gorge we headed down into it and off on the hike.

It was really special – we saw only 3 people the whole time and everywhere the views were amazing. There was also a great diversity of scenery as you were hiking both along the gorge and water and then way up high which provided for sweeping views. I’d highly recommend it!!

Methven is south of the gorge so I would suggest grabbing a packed lunch in Christ Church or along the way – we mistakenly thought that the gorge was on the far side of Methven so had to backtrack so we would have something to eat!!

Rakaia Gorge New Zealand Man skipping stones at Rakaia Gorge New Zealand Rakaia Gorge New Zealand Rakaia Gorge New Zealand Rakaia Gorge New Zealand Rakaia Gorge New Zealand Rakaia Gorge New Zealand

After leaving the gorge we drove towards Lake Tekapo where we would spend the next three nights – these next two photos are from along the way although I don’t remember exactly where.

We stopped along the way at the Farm Barn Cafe and had a coffee/hot chocolate. The owners were very nice and they had an exceptionally friendly cat 🙂

That night we checked into the Lake Tekapo Luxury Lodge which we really enjoyed and had dinner at Kohan – a Japanese restaurant the hotel owners had recommended. I had fresh salmon sashimi that was the freshest I’d ever tasted – yum!

Stay tuned for our adventures in Tekapo (pronounced tee-ka-po)