Friday’s Letters: We were young souls

Friday's Letters myfoxycorner

Dear Self: We’ve done a surprisingly awesome job for getting through a chunk of Winter without any signs of serious sickness, so how about when you do get sick and stay up all night coughing your little wheezy heart out you don’t then be a stupid martyr and try and go into work anyway. There are far too many episodes of The Bachelorette and I’m not sure how we will get through them if we don’t take some time out every now and again.

Dear Milky Chance: Why I waited until now to listen to your full album I have no idea. I have now amended this lack of judgement and can’t stop listening to every song, especially this one.

Dear Turmeric Latte: You were one of those things that sounded weird enough to be awesome. And I’m still a little undecided. Not sure I’m quite cool enough to pull off the yellow teeth and chunks of turmeric but I appreciate the effort. Might just stick with my caffeine.

Dear Friends: How did I get so lucky to be surrounded by such an amazing bunch of people, all over the world. Thanks for letting me be sick/whingey/self-indulgent, I promise to return the favour, whenever.

Dear Auckland Food Show: I’m coming for you and all of your delicious offerings tomorrow so prepare yourself (I’m already choosing my best stretch pants).

Dear Edd: Happy birthday for Sunday. I couldn’t be more glad that you made your way into this world and then crossed my path at just the right time (I can’t believe it’s almost been a decade, what?!). Sorry for always leaving tissues everywhere, I would blame Merlin but we all know that with him the tissues would be shredded.

Dear 90s: You were a cool decade and I’m glad that this weekend I got the chance to remember all the awesome things you were host to (mainly Stargate SG-1 but there were other highlights too). I was pretty impressed I managed to find a mood ring, even if it kept insisting I was angry (I swear I just have a resting frown face!).

Dear Merlin: I forgive you for spending all day outside when I was sick in bed. It’s not like I feed you or anything, and so have some weird sense that maybe I’m entitled to a cuddle every now and again.

Friday's Letters myfoxycorner

On Growing Up (and how confusing that can be)


This week I’ve been pondering what it means to “grow up” and whether my life is at the same stage I would have expected as a child looking forward. I know, weird stuff for a Wednesday, but these hopefully mildly coherent ramblings are swilling around in my head like some kind of intensely brewing tea, so I’m keen to get it down and maybe give my brain a little space.

I’m going to try and arrange my haphazard thoughts under some misguided or hopeful thoughts I had as a young version of myself, with bushier hair and the same love of foxes. These “myths” may turn out to be 100% true for some, I have no idea, but I just know (now) that they don’t hold up for me and my journey into the terrifying world of pretending to be an adult.myfoxycorner

Myth #1: “You will know once you are suddenly an adult.”

There’s that weird transition where at some point you become an adult. It’s not like a light switch that turns on and suddenly you fear no one and lose your love for ridiculously sweet lollies.

I guess I am an adult now, I guess I am grown up, but things still seem so unclear. It’s so unlike the impression I had as a child that adulthood was a concrete stage that you would know you had achieved (probably by the fact that suddenly you ironed all your clothes, ate only salads and other totally weird and untrue ideas).

“I am convinced that most people do not grow up… We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias.” – Mary Angelou, Letter to My Daughter

Myth #2: “I’ll be grown up in my 20’s”

Evidence I am not yet a grown up:

  • I still don’t know how to tie my shoelaces
  • Bike riding is something I never quite learnt well enough to remember as an adult (you apparently do forget how to ride a bike if you were pretty crap to begin with)
  • I wear unmatched socks 90% of the time (that other 10% of the time though is all adult)
  • I would eat twisties for dinner each night if Edd didn’t detest them
  • I still shove stuff under my bed instead of tidying it up, and then get into a state weeks later when I can’t find my favourite notebook/yarn/nail polish/drink bottle/fox
  • I order pancakes for breakfast and regret it every single time.
  • I still have never ironed a piece of clothing. Never. You can berate me for it, I don’t even care.
  • I eat enough lollies to make myself sick. Wait an hour or so and then repeat the whole process until I run out of sugar.

Myth #3: “Growing up means you have everything figured out and know exactly what you want from life (and how to get it).”

This illusion that somehow everyone has everything worked out starts to fall apart with each passing year, and it is both a relief (thank god I’m not the only one who doesn’t know how to go to bed before 10.30pm”) and a little scary.

Am I where I thought I would be at 24? No, but then my ideas of what my life would be like were along the lines of crazy cat lady, studying for a undefined PhD (like mum), writing novel after novel and drinking endless cups of tea.).

Instead I am working in a job that I definitely don’t hate but is nothing like what I thought I would be doing, married at 24 (I don’t think I ever thought someone would be stupid enough to marry me), still living in Auckland, scribbling away on a tiny little minuscule piece of the internet and still not really sure of what the future holds.

I’ve reached a stage where I realise that growing up doesn’t mean figuring it all out. Growing up means learning from each experience you have, good and bad, and using every mistake you make as a chance to grow.

myfoxycorner - on growing up

Me at 2 and me at 24. Not much has changed.

Myth #4: “My childhood fears and insecurities will disappear as I mature, leaving me confident, organized and pretty much just awesome at everything/loved by everyone.”

One thing I have learnt is that certain characteristics I have, which I had assumed were childhood fears that would leave me when I matured into a bad-ass, has-her-shit-together adult woman, will never leave me. I will always be that 5 year old child who’s terrified of losing her family. I will always be the 13 year old insecure teenager who wants everyone to like her but simultaneously just wants to be alone by herself a lot of the time. I will always be the 24 year old who will never know 100% what she wants, but will give life a good go in spite of the debilitating fear that she is somehow screwing everything up. Me and my fears/insecurities/bizarre paranoias are good friends now, and I wouldn’t be the weird individual I am today without them.

What I am discovering is that instead of trying to get rid of these inner monologues I have (“oh wow, so and so just ignored your message for like 2 days straight. That definitely means they hate you.”), it’s more useful to try and understand where this is coming from. Acknowledging that it’s okay to feel insecure but at the same time remind myself that these emotions are based on very little and so shouldn’t be taken so seriously.

Myth #5: “One day I’ll be awesome as ‘X’”/ “If I’m as organized as ‘Y’ then my life will be just as incredible and fulfilling as theirs obviously is.”

Another thing I have gathered (thanks to the help of incredible friends) is to stop with comparing my own adulting with other’s adulting. We are all figuring it out, struggling along and learning in different ways and at different paces. The only thing that is useful to compare with is myself, to keep growing and developing. Turns out that I’m not the only one who is sitting here, sipping on a latte pretending I have shit all worked out whilst on the inside I’m having a mini melt down.

We all have to make this journey alone. That’s not to say we don’t need support from friends, family, amazing tv shows and TLC songs, but I guess I’m learning that I can’t base my path on someone else’s. I have to take my own risks, make my own mistakes and wrong turns, and try each day to do things that make me happy, be around people I love.

Where does this leave me?

I may never learn the proper way to tie my shoelaces (my way is better anyway). I may never lose the insecurity that plagues my every social interaction, and instead prefer to stay home with my cat/s. I may never stop asking for advice from my parents, imagining that they are the ones with the answers., what I will do is focus on growing, little by little. Being open to new things and new relationships. Acknowledging that I know next to nothing, and lapping up any chance to learn that I can. Trying to not make the same mistake more than once (or twice). Focusing on finding out what makes me happy and then figuring out ways to do that more.

There’s not “aha” moment where suddenly the clouds of childhood clear and suddenly this screwed up, beautiful adult world makes sense. This means I’ll never lose the opportunity to view the world with the wonder of a child, but I’ll also be able to make the decisions with the experience of my years, may they be seemingly random and inappropriate where necessary.

This post was spurred by a linkup done by the lovely Lisa from allinthedaze, all about writing from the heart (make sure you take part!). Her question was about whether we are at the stage we thought we would be as a “grown up” (but as you can tell I kind of took that and then flew rather off course).

What about you? Are you where you wanted to be?

Music to my Ears #5

Music to my ears #5 myfoxycorner

The end of another week, one where much happened and I learnt lots. And all I want is a weekend where I do nothing but crochet with either tea or wine at arm’s reach, alas my time for doing nothing at all is pretty limited this weekend.

Funnily enough, I have been trying to get this post written all week and every time I listen to Florence and the Machine I think about how she is someone I would pay many many dollars to be able to see live. And then literally about half an hour before finishing this post (which was actually on Friday before I decided to procrastinate posting for 2 days) I found out she’s coming and pulled out my wallet rather enthusiastically (spilling coffee on myself in the process) before realizing the tickets don’t go up for a few days. I would link you to them but I don’t want you to steal my seat…sorry.

Music to my ears #5 myfoxycornerAnyway, on to three of the albums that I have been listening to a lot in the last couple of months (along with a rather random collection of hip hop). They all happen to be released this year, which means I am being surprisingly up to date (relative to my other music tastes which are almost always at least 10 years behind everyone else’s).
Florence and the machine

Florence and the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015)

This album is theatrical, hystrionic and melodramatic, and yet somehow Florence makes it work. These songs are the ones you want to belt out to when driving around by yourself (ignore the weird looks from other drivers, you’re too good to bother with them). This album is 100% Florence, with her big vocals, story telling lyrics and powerful melodies, taken to a big, beautiful level. Maybe a reflection of my preferences, but some of my favourite moments on the album are the ones where it’s stripped down to her wavering voice and low-key backing music. Having said that, she shines brightest when she is shouting out the most beautiful, wailing lyrics against a theatre of drums and instruments, and she’s the only artist I know who can do this and be amazing. I love this album, and prefer it over Ceremonials (although Lungs will always hold the special place in my heart).

Songs: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful; Queen of Peace; Delilah;  St Jude

ALabama Shakes

Alabama Shakes – Shakes, Sound & Colour

Not my usual musical choice, but this irresistable combination of soulful jazz vocals and rock and roll guitar riffs are something I find super enjoyable. This is a fun album, with spunk and character. The leads incredible voice is something special, shouting out barely audible lyrics one moment against an electronic psychedelic combination of instruments, and then intimately whispering the next. Raw and edgy, this album keeps me on my toes in a good way, and I appreciate any album that gets me out of my usual realm of quiet, unassuming acoustic tracks.

Songs: Dunes, Future People, Gimme all your love

sufjan 2

Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

This is definitely the album I have listened to the most over the last couple of months. After discovering Sufjan Stevens I spent a while perusing his large collection of music, before deciding that his most recent was the one I connected with most. FIrst off, a warning; it’s not a fun listen (like either of the other two), and the more you get to know it the more that the music becomes some kind of morose sound track to a beautifully fragile life. The album is all about Sufjan coming to terms with the passing away of his mother, and their relationship. It’s painful, but so so beautiful. Each song feels stripped down to the basics, and it leaves Sufjan’s haunting voice to do a lot of the work. He’s incredible, like an angelic love child of Kings of Convenience, Bon Iver, and Ben Howard. Listen with a glass of red wine and plenty of tissues. Sorry.

Songs: Should Have Known Better, Fourth of July, John My Beloved, No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross

Enjoy the last few precious hours of the weekend! I’m going to spend it watching Honey I Shrunk the Kids (which somehow was skipped during my childhood) and eating Jaffas. Cause if you can’t be self-indulgent on a Sunday, when can you be?

Vegetarian Takeaways – Living Lazy in Auckland

Halloumi Burger, Burger Wisconsin

Regardless of whether you are vegetarian or not, sometimes it’s good to know which places have some delicious options for those who want a few more meat-free options! Although I’m all for whipping up delicious meals at home, there are weekends where Edd and I will eat only takeaways and pretend that it’s just to avoid making a mess with dishes. We can be pretty lazy, and so have a few of our favourite vegetarian takeaways!


Wok Express Vegetarian TakeawaysWok Express – This is a cheap and cheerful, full of flavour takeaway joint that has stores in Ponsonby as well as our local Kingsland. They do everything, from Teriyaki to Thai Curries, Stir Fries and Noodles and everything in between. The variety is great for when there are people over who feel like different things, but its not the most authentic Asian you can find. They do tofu in most of their dishes but also do a fake chicken option for some. Wok Express also do a great range of healthier options, options that are cooked with coconut oil, or dishes with no oil or carbs. Our picks: Teriyaki Tofu and the Green Curry with Tofu (have both to create a confusing yet delicious eating experience).

Soul Thai – If you want good quality, down-right delicious Thai food, Soul Thai is reliably excellent. It’s not the cheapest but you get what you pay for. There are tofu options for most of their dishes and everything always has a really generous amount of vegies. We always end up over-ordering so that we have leftovers the next day. Our picks: Rich red curry and the spicy thai noodles

Both of the above do delivery, which is awesome and automatically means I love them for letting me embrace my inner laziness, but be prepared to wait up to an hour, especially on Friday/Weekend evenings.

Paradise – We are lucky enough to live walking distance from the plethora of incredible Indian restaurants that Sandringham plays host to, a lot of them are 100% vegetarian which is awesome. Despite this, our favourite remains Paradise, which whilst not all vegetarian does have a whole bunch of incredible options for the vegetable/paneer inclined. They’re always ridiculously busy which is a sign of how great their food is, but also means that if possible order before hand to save the wait. Our Pick – Paneer Butter Masala (rich and creamy but still packed with so much flavour) along with a vegetable biryani and a garlic cheese naan! Expect to have leftovers.


Halloumi Burger, Burger Wisconsin Vegetarian TakeawaysBurger Wisconsin – Halloumi burger, enough said? This chain isn’t very common around Auckland, but we love the vegetarian options offered at our local Mt Albert store. They have a few different vege-friendly burgers, and also an option to build your own. Our picks – the Vegetarian Delux (satay sauce, falafel and camembert) for Edd and the Halloumi burger for yours truly (with caramelised onions and coriander lime mayo -omg yum).

Burger Fuel –  For those who prefer to customise, Burger Fuel not only has a couple of delicious vegetarian patties as well as a tofu option, the website is ideal for creating the most specific customised orders that I’m sure the staff must hate. They also do ridiculously delicious soy shakes for Vegans who miss a good milkshake. Some people think Burger Fuel can be over-rated, I think its delicious, fresh, and worth every cent. Also, their aioli is heaven and I could put it on everything. Our Picks – Customise away and create your perfect burger. Treat yourself to some of their moto-bites and a caramel soy-shake while your at it, and then laugh as your flatmates make themselves dinner.

Murder Burger There are so many delicious burger places, but I’ll limit myself to 3. Despite the name, Murder Burger do 2 vegetarian options; a falafel patty or a Mexican flavoured bean patty with avocado. Both are full of flavour and the staff are always really friendly. We go to the Dominion Rd store and you never have to wait long for the food. We’ve also never had any mistakes with our orders which is a good thing. Not as much room for obvious customisation with Murder Burger, but I’m sure the staff would be happy to accommodate. Our Pick –  The BBB (black bean pattie, roasted red pepers and homemade guac).


Hells Pizza – One of the best option for vegetarian/vegan pizza lovers. They not only have delicious vegetarian options like caramelised onion, mushroom and blue cheese, they also have a quorn meat alternative for most of their chicken pizzas. 1 step even better, for those who have successfully managed to cut dairy cheese out of their lives, Hells offer a vegan dairy-free mozarella option, which is pretty awesome. I don’t know what it’s like because cheese still has a rather large place in my heart. They have also just added a delicious range of gelatos, just in case you don’t over-stuff yourself with pizza, wedges and crumbed camembert. Our Pick –  Sinister (refried beans, guacamole, jalapenos, salsa etc) with cheese along with some cajun spiced wedges, and finished off with a Feijoa gelato. Perfection, delivered to your door.

Margherita Pizza Vegetarian Takeaways

Image from this post, which is perfect if you want to create your pizza at home!

Pizza is always a great option for fast, easy vegetarian takeaways. For something a bit special I love Papa’s Pizzeria (Sandringham/Kingsland) or Pane e Vino (Ponsonby) which do delicious, authentic pizza and pasta. Dominos is something people love to hate but I gotta say that their pizza is cheap and cheerful, and customisable to a T! The fact that I can have one of my favourite meat pizzas but swap out the meat for mushrooms or fresh tomatoes is a big advantage! I have no shame in my love for their margherita pizza either.

What are your favourite options for those nights when cooking just seems like a ridiculous dream that you had when doing the food shop? 

Let me know if you want more of these posts outlining some of my favourite eating options in Auckland! I’ve already done a lot of research towards it by accident…


Book Review: Seeing Stars with Aurora

Aurora Kim Stanley Robinson

I have put off writing the review for Aurora, almost entirely because when I love a book this much it’s so intimidatingly difficult to think about how to put it all into words. I’ll try anyway.

I haven’t read a sci-fi novel in such a long time, and yet they were some of the first books I was exposed to thanks to my dad being a bit of a fan himself. Aurora reminded me of how amazing a good sci-fi can be, in a unique way that I never really experience in other genres.


Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson

Summary: This epic novel takes place in space, upon a generational ship on its way to find new, habitable places for humans to colonise. We join this group of 2000 voyagers (who have been born on the ship) as they near their destination in the Tau Ceti solar system, where their hundreds of years of travel and existence on a flying biome will come to its end, hopefully, with settlement on Aurora.

My Thoughts: There is an undefinable romance when it comes to the mystery of Space. The idea of travelling beyond Earth and exploring other solar systems is equally terrifying and exhilarating, and Aurora does such a spectacular job of capturing this in a novel that somehow effortlessly creates a cinematic experience of trying to find a home beyond Earth. Our narrator is the space ship itself, which is such a cleverly executed method of telling this story, and the way that this adventure unfolds was so utterly compelling that I could barely tear myself away.

People have ideas. They live in their ideas, do you understand? And those ideas, whatever they happen to be, make all the difference. – Badim, Aurora

The relationships in the book are also impressive in their thoughtfulness, from the mother-daughter/father-daughter dynamics of our main characters to the group behaviours that unfolded. The characters were interesting, and yet believable which is important in such a huge setting, and a plot that revolved around some complex notions like ecology and politics. Everything in this book was done so perfectly, from the way the events unfolded, to the use of language and our endearing narrator, to the cinematic imagery that was being conjured in my brain with every sentence I read. It was so impressive that I had several of those nights where sleep became a forgotten necessity and all I thought about was how on Earth this could come to an end.

Aurora Kim Stanley Robinson

What I liked: I loved the whole experience, and there isn’t often a book where I get so emotionally invested. I think it was a true sign of KSR’s talent that despite Aurora taking place over such a long time period, and involving so many events and characters, it still felt immediate, and real, and personal. There was enough science and explanation that I felt like I learnt something, and yet not too much as to remove any of the drama of the story itself. I was so emotionally invested in the outcomes of this ship and its inhabitants that in some way it was a relief to have it end and be able to breathe again. The thing I liked most about the book was the narrator and the ingenious ways in which it developed throughout the story. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it before being used in a novel, but it worked so incredibly well.

What I didn’t like: The ending something that I can see others potentially not loving, I however thought it was perfect, and linked back to the beginning so ingeniously.

Worth a read: For anyone with an interest in sci fi/ecology/artificial intelligence/sociology, I would say yes. For anyone who is happy to go sleep-deprived, and come across as a little crazy when people happen to ask what you are reading, yes.

Rating: 5 stars, all of the stars.

*ps. Aurora was provided for me to read, with no obligation to review, and I couldn’t be more elated that I was given the chance to get back into such a fascinating genre with such a beautiful book. All opinions are my own.

**pps. If you want an awesome song to go along with this review there’s is Sea of Voices which felt strangely appropriate.

Tropical Gogi Smoothie

Coconut Tropical Smoothie

I hope every one has had a beautiful weekend, mine was pretty amazing. Yesterday, Edd and I made the brave decision to leave the warmth of our bed and go for a bushwalk out in the Waitakeres. There’s something a little spectacular about walking across the top of a dam, surrounded by bush.

Looking out across the dam and pondering whether my phone camera can handle how spectacular it is.

Looking out across the dam and pondering whether my phone camera can handle how spectacular it is.

Today is part two of the smoothie posts, and this one is a little more creative then the last (both are equally as delicious and satisfying however). This tropical gogi smoothie features a whole bunch of delicious stuff; pineapple, limes, banana, gogi berries, coconut water and some almond/coconut milk.

Together this combination is sweet and sour from the pineapple and lime, creamy from the bananas and refreshing with the coconut flavours. The gogi berries are added because I haven’t played around with them, and they added a delicious tartness. Tropical goodness, because winter is the perfect time to pretend your chilling in a pacific paradise, right?

Bonus points to this for being healthy and vegan as well as straight up delicious.

Tropical Gogi Smoothie

Tropical Gogi Smoothie


  • Approx 1 C of chopped fresh/tinned pineapple
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 banana
  • small handful of dried gogi berries
  • 1 C of unsweetened almond/coconut milk or alternative
  • 1/2 C coconut water
  • Ice if desired (if not, make sure the liquids are kept in the fridge beforehand)

Method – Again, not much of a method, more of a chuck it all in and blend until smooth. This will serve two people. The gogi berries do add a bit of texture, so if you don’t like the “bittiness” of them, feel free to soak the berries for approx 2 hours in a little hot water before blending.

This is my favourite smoothie to make when we have a bit of extra time or want something with more of a flavour punch. It’s like the deliciousness of a pina colada but appropriate to be drinking at 8am. The best thing about this is that you can leave out/change up the ingredients to suit your tastes, I love the zing of the lime but you could cut down if you prefer (although if you don’t love limes and add them to everything I don’t know if we can be friends).Tropical Gogi Smoothie

The coconut water may not be the miracle drink it’s hyped up to be, but it does include a bunch of electrolytes and nutrients with a low calorie impact. Gogi berries are a bit of a popular nutrient gold-mine but like any fruit should be eaten in moderation.The almond and coconut milk is incredibly tasty and is my current non-dairy favourite, with a delicious nutty flavour and not too much sweetness.

This is as close to Tank smoothies as I get without leaving the house, and it makes me wish I had a pineapple tree as well as a constant supply of limes. Also, it’s not green, and we all know how much I love smoothies that aren’t packed with sneaky spinach (one day I will come up with a successful recipe, until then the leaves will stay in the salads).

Do you have any smoothie suggestions for me to try out? 

Friday’s Letters: every city was a gift

Friday's Letters

0Dear Job Interviews: It’s so strange to sit on the other side of the table and I’m so grateful for the chance to learn and grow in this way (even if I do sometimes feel just as nervous as if it was me sitting there trying to hide how terrified I am).

Dear Florence: Thanks for releasing another ridiculously great album for me to belt out in the car. Sorry that my vocal range is 1/100th of yours and therefore your songs don’t even sound a little bit similar when they are coming out of my mouth (well sorrybutnotsorry).

Dear Incredibly Impressive Crocheted Scarf: I am way more proud of you than I should be (sorry to everyone else who I keep raving on to about it). What can I say except I normally screw things up in some way and yet you turned out great (accidently channelling Gryffindor but I’m not complaining). And just in time for some freezing weather, all in all, a pretty good effort.

Dear Friends: I don’t know how I got so lucky and ended up surrounded by so many different people and groups of friends. Even though you keep me busy, you also keep me sane (and very well-fed). I’m so appreciative of the different ways that each and every one of you make me a better person, and make life a more enjoyable place to exist within.

Dear Anah: I miss you and your chubby cheeks so damn much. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face everytime I see your adorable face. Here’s to many more playground dates where I try not to let you hurt yourself or eat dirt (also if your mum ever decides to move to Auckland so that I can see you more often that would be swell, just saying.)

Dear Chocolate: If you could just stop coming out in new and delicious flavours that I have to try (at least a few times to ensure reliability of the product) that would be great because at the moment my cupboard is full of different blocks to try and it’s driving me crazy.

Dear Auckland: Its been a year since I came home from Europe, and in that time I think I have been so preoccupied with missing those far-off cities that I had ignored the one at my front door. Thank you for being so amazing, even if sometimes I forget how lucky I am. I promise to put some more effort into our relationship and into discovering a few more of your hidden secrets.

Dear Self: Sometimes I think its important to just remind you that I forgive you. Everything we did wrong, everything we fucked up, every time we made a wrong decision or turn, hurt someone else without meaning to or hurt ourselves in ways that weren’t deserved. I forgive you for all this, and for all the mistakes we will make in the future. Go have some chocolate.

Restaurant Review: Winter Menu with Aria

Aria Winter Menu

Aria Winter MenuThere are times where blogging really does have its little perks. Wednesday night was one of those times, where Edd and I were invited along with a bunch of amazing bloggers to sample the winter menu of Aria. First and foremost, we were invited to try the winter menu and see what we thought. This means that we did not pay for the meals, however we were not paid for our time or opinions and were under no obligation to put up a review.

The photos were too good (thanks Edd!) to not feature on the blog, and as always all opinons and words are my own.

Aria is the rather secretive restaurant in the Crowne Plaza Hotel. A place that I have walked past every day for the last two years without realising there was an exquisite restaurant located inside. Funny that.

Auckland is a city that in my opinion is blessed with a plethora of incredible eating options, ranging from cheap, hole-in-the wall eateries, to extravagant dining experiences where the money you pay can be steep, but the food you eat is another level of delicious.

Don’t read any further on an empty stomach..or, well preferably do but don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Dahl – Easy and Delicious, Vegan Winter Recipe

Easy Dahl Recipe


Dahl (or more specifically, Tarka Dahl) is just one of those dishes that changes slightly every time I make it. Sometimes its the spices that get chucked in, sometimes is the amount of water; I’m just not a very consistent or specific cook. This probably means I should steer away from posting recipes on myfoxycorner, but I have been wanting to share more of the vegetarian meals that we love, which tick the boxes health-wise but are also delicious enough to keep a meat-eater satisfied (at least for a night).


You know those meals that bring back vivid memories? Dahl will always take me back to my childhood, it was one of the few recipes my mum would make (after a stint in Fiji where she became pretty handy with the spices) and something that we could eat for days on end when there was no money for meat or fresh produce. Its a nourishing meal, in every sense of the word. This is the grown up version of budget eating for the poor adult student, or perfect winter meal for the hungry vegetarian, or the saviour for the exhausted mum with 4 kids with big appetites, or the perfect adventure for a meat free Monday. Its pretty great.

Dahl is wonderfully warming and ideal for these colder months. The subtle spices and rich lentils create a true comfort food, and its also easy, cheap and perfect as leftovers. This is definitely one vegan meal that ticks all the boxes. Okay, so my recipe probably (definitely) isn’t 100% authentic, but it’s a one pot wonder that is so low-fuss and delicious, I don’t even care).


Easy Almost-Indian Dahl (serves approx. 4 hungry flatmates).


  • 2 Cups of yellow (or red) lentils
  • 1x brown onion chopped finely
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1-2 tsp red chilli
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1L vegetable Stock or boiling water
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Fresh coriander
  • 1 lemon/lime



  1. Heat some oil in your pan/pot and fry off the onion until it softens on a high heat. Add in the garlic, ginger and spices and continue to fry for around a minute or 2, this releases the flavour of all the spices and is probably the most important step of any good curry.
  2. Lower the heat and add the lentils and the stock, along with the chilli, and leave until the lentils are completely cooked (approximately 20-30 minutes). You need to keep an eye on this and give it a stir every now and again, so don’t get distracted. It may look like a soupy mess, but the lentils are going to expand and soak up all that spicy stock, don’t even worry about it. Once the lentils are cooked, you can add a bit more water if you prefer your dahl a bit soupier, or leave it thickened. This is totally up to personal preference, I tend to like something in between a soup and a curry and add water as I go to get the perfect consistency.
  3. Add the tomatoes towards the end to prevent them completely disintegrating (like they did for me). You could also add frozen peas here if, like me, you have a pea problem and find a way to include them in every meal. I also add a generous squeeze of lemon juice (or lime) to add a little acidity and freshen it up.
  4. Lastly, add some fresh, chopped coriander and then serve either by itself or with cooked rice. You could also add some plain yoghurt (a delicious creamy contrast to the earthy, spiced lentils), but I wanted to keep this dairy free.
  5. Eat the dahl way too quickly and then wish you could eat more, but you can’t because you’re supposed to be taking it for leftovers tomorrow.


Lentils are a pretty amazing part of a vegetarian/vegan diet, so if I could just for one second put on my lentil appreciation hat…they’re are an amazing protein source (without all the fat and cholesterol of meat), contain heaps of fibre and are full of nutrients. The best thing about lentils is that they are ridiculously filling, but also really low in calories. Dahl is one very easy way to incorporate them into the diet, and it’s the perfect thing to try during the colder months when a spicy, warming curry becomes as attractive as Ryan Gosling in a cardigan.

Dahl will always be one of my favourite meals. It costs next to nothing and yet tastes like heaven. Also, for something that tastes so complex, it only needs around about half an hour to prepare (just don’t forget to cook your rice because you were too busy being proud of yourself for making a home-cooked dinner instead of getting burger fuel). Let me know if you give it a try!

What’s your go-to winter meal? 

June in Review

June in Review myfoxycorner

So we find our cold, tired selves at the end of another month. It’s easy to look back and feel like nothing happened (and okay, often for me not much as happened seeing as my idea of a big weekend is leaving the house more than once for food). In some kind of effort to look back and give meaning to June, here is a little recap of what went on (it’s not as exciting as a recap by Beyonce, but mine has more cats so…).

June in Review

Highlights: Edd being a ridiculously wonderful human being and making a shitty week into something special with beer, burgers, flowers, popcorn, chocolate and jurassic park. Amazing. Also, Jurassic World. Omg. Yes. I was like a kid in a very aggressive dino-themed candy store.

Lowlights: A bit of stress coming at me from a few different angles this month, communication has been lacking and I haven’t been mindful of how this is impacting on me. Next month I aim to try and be more open and honest in my own communication, and make sure that I am putting my energy into the things that bring happiness to my day.

Blogpost: My favourite blogpost for June on myfoxycorner was on why I decided to go vegetarian, and I ‘m pretty excited to keep sharing more vegetarian related content on myfoxycorner. I also found a new beautiful blog called The Little Foxes,and this incredible recipe for pan-fried avocado tacos has been playing on my mind since.

Book: Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, my first science-fiction novel in a while and I am totally absorbed in it. Look forward to the review which will be posted in July some time.

Food: Vegan Sheperd(ess) pie with lentils and vegies and all sorts of delicious stuff. Its easy, nutritious and makes heaps of left-overs so I’m pretty pleased to have it enter my meal repertoire! June has involved a lot of lentils actually…new favourite food group?

Music: Sufjan Stevens. Holy angel of music. This guy is heavenly, like some kind of magical cross between Kings of Convenience, Ben Howard, Fleet Foxes (basically all those folky, gorgeous sounds rolled up into one very humble artist).

June on Instagram

Instagram June Review myfoxycorner

  1. June was the month where I discovered how ridiculously delicious Federal Deli is. Their bottomless coffee (or bumless as we prefer to call it) and the Green Peace Bagel, with fresh fennel and dukkha, is my perfect brunch. 
  2. Edd and I have been cutting down on eggs and dairy and this coconut chocolate milk is heaven for any vegan/dairy intolerant, chocolate milk loving individual, just don’t look to closely at the price tag.
  3. Auckland Fair took place this month, and although the crowds were a little bit intense, I managed to pick up a few gifts (for myself :/) including my new favourite fox necklace. 
  4. Merlin’s amazing eye roll action echoes a bit of my frustration during this month. He gets it from his mum. Here’s to July being less eye-rolls and more smiles (no matter how forced).
  5. Another brunch date, this time at Shakey Isles where we bravely sat outside during the rain. This place does amazing coffee and serves generous amounts of haloumi (if it says haloumi on the menu please don’t give me two tiny slices or I’ll cry into my soy latte).
  6. Making time for some self-care, this combo from Lush is my absolute favourite for a relaxing, fruity bath. These also are easy to split over at least two baths, getting more for your precious $$.
  7. I went along to a gorgeous launch for Dr Hauschka’s Night Serum, but instead of instagramming the event like any good blogger, I posted yet another picture of winter trees. Sorry.
  8. Jelly tip chocolate. Enough said.
  9. Mr 7 is such a natural selfie taker. Someone get this boy an iphone.

(Follow along)

What’s coming up? Well July is pretty busy with our first #CocktailClub on at Chinoiserie (make sure you get a ticket!), but I’m also looking forward to finishing my first crochet scarf (hopefully) and working on my lack of any jogging skills. Jogging doesn’t even involve skill, and yet I am so terrible at it that I need some kind of beginners course to running on a treadmill without looking like a total fool.

What was your favourite thing about June?

Lizzy x

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