EXPLORING THE NORTH SHORE, OAHU


** Its been a long time since we were last in Hawaii. These photos are from our honeymoon in March 2016. I would do anything to go back to these islands... there's a part of my heart that will always, always be there. Some nights I'll just sit on my laptop and flick through photos from our honeymoon, from our trip in 2014.... just dreaming of the day that we go back here again.

For our last few days on Oahu, we decided to hire a rental car - BEST. DECISION. EVER. Last time around we did the same thing and got to drive ourselves right up to the North Shore (about a 45 minute drive if you cut right through the middle of the island) and then all around the coast line. It was one of our favourite memories of our last trip so we knew that we had to lock in a car again at some point!

This time was different than last. We weren't trying to fit in all the touristy things we could, we simply explored for the sake of exploring and felt no sense of urgency or need to rush throughout our days. We wandered the North Shore, drinking coffee and took in the sights all around us. We found a secret beach, (seriously, we were the ONLY ones on it!) and hung out with our new friend Fred, the turtle. It was so surreal and magical and crazy. I literally felt like we were on the tv show Survivor, haha!

If you go to the North Shore, you have to try out the food trucks. Pineapple salsa. Tacos. Tim always gets shrimp tacos whenever we visit and it's something he is always looking forward to!

These photos capture just a smidge of the beauty that is Hawaii. It always amazes me how the green side of Hawaii hardly ever gets shown through social media, because to me, its just as beautiful as the white sandy beaches. Some of my favourite moments in Hawaii have been the ones where we are just driving... through the lush greens or the crystal blues.. 


Do you have a favourite part of Hawaii?





















FINDING YOUR COMMUNITY


Over the past few months, it's become increasingly clear to me how important it is to have a solid, reliable community around you.. both as an individual, and as a married couple.

We are lucky enough to have an extremely strong community in our family, and are eternally grateful that the relationships we have with our immediate family are so strong and so unbreakable. We know it's not always the case for your siblings to be your best friends, but for us, that's just how it is and we couldn't feel more blessed. I haven't always felt this way, so to now have that as my reality makes it all the more sweeter and even more difficult to imagine a life without our family a 10 minute drive away.

Finding friendships that feel like family is also something I think we have taken for granted over the past few years. It's only recently where I've really come to realise (and whole-heartedly appreciate) the impact that my friendships have on me. I'm not talking surface friendships - I'm talking the deep, soul-filling kind of friendships that remain stable, solid and consistent regardless of location, time and status.

My circle is small - and I used to think that only having a couple of friends was a bad thing. I used to think that the more friendships I had, the more fulfilled I would feel but I couldn't have been more wrong. My girlfriends that I keep close these days are some of the strongest women I know. They influence me and drive me to be better. They call me out when I'm in the wrong, and push me forward towards my fears because they believe in me and what I'm doing. They FaceTime me to say "hi"/"I'm thinking of you" even when they're in the middle of their supermarket shop, and they turn up at my doorstep with wine and chocolate when they know I've had a bad day.

Maybe not sisters by blood, but soul sisters, they are.

To finish, I want to bring light to this C.S. Lewis quote I came across and couldn't agree with more (but I'd say that a circle around a picnic blanket at the beach would also do the trick!) 

“Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?”
- C.S. Lewis

I hope you all find your tribe.
 People always say don't settle for "the one", but I also think you shouldn't settle for friendships that aren't the real deal. They can do more harm than good and you deserve more than that.

Love + light,
A x 








NELSON & MALBOROUGH, NZ


A couple of snaps from our trip to Nelson/Marlborough last month. We explored Pelorus Bridge and Rabbit Island, but mainly just let ourselves be. In a time of craziness, that was exactly what we needed.

More to come...
- A x








THE END OF YEAR ONE


We have decided to take anniversary photos every year to mark the end, and the start, of each new season of our marriage.

We've been taking portraits of ourselves for years now (nearly six years!) and always find it so fascinating and so special to look back on them as the years go by. We've got photos from when we first started dating, to our first huge overseas trip together, to our university coffee dates, ski trips, picnics... the list goes on. We're big photo people, if you couldn't already tell ;-)

This year, we spent our anniversary in Queenstown and it was the most beautiful backdrop to start this new tradition. The mountains are one of our favourite places to take photos (on par with the coast) and we had so much fun taking a few moments out of our evening to capture these photos together. Already, they're some of my favourites.











SPA TIME - ONSEN HOT POOLS


On the morning of our anniversary, we headed to Onsen Hot Pools for a morning of relaxation and one-on-one time. When we arrived, we were shown to our private room, with our own private spa pool! Our jaws dropped when we saw the view - it was breathtaking!

Onsen Hot Pools is only a short drive from the centre of Queenstown and overlooks the Shotover Canyon. You can book a pool for one hour at a time, and the pools can fit up to four people! We were lucky enough to get the "tandeki" package, which meant we were provided with ice-cream, chocolate and wine to enjoy whilst spa-ing. Never too early for a cheeky celebratory wine! ;-)

We would highly recommend a trip to Onsen if you are ever in Queenstown - it was the perfect romantic start to our first wedding anniversary!

ONSEN HOT POOLS: www.onsen.co.nz








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