Same Blog, New Website!

Hi friends! It’s been almost a month since I posted here, which I have to apologize for. We are still doing great and little Abel is now twelve weeks old! He’s growing so fast and I am so obsessed with him. I love being his mom!

The last several weeks I’ve been working on a new project which I’m so excited about! For months now I’ve been thinking about upgrading this blog by changing it to a new web address and I finally have!

The Canadian American Kiwi is still going strong but now you can find us at

I won’t be posting here anymore, so make sure you bookmark my new website so you don’t miss a post!


A New Job and a Dryer!

Last week was incredibly busy, but for good reason! I found out that my work visa was approved (Praise the Lord!) and just a few days later I applied for a job, and less than a week after my visa arrived, I started work! It’s really a blessing to have a work visa now (previously I was on a visitor’s visa) and besides the extra income (which is a huge help) I love that I get to work with Jared! That’s right, I’m working for Alpha Construction Services Limited now. I’m just working three days a week so I still have time to take care of our house. AND this past week, Jared and I bought a dryer… so, exciting things happening around here! That really sounds so boring but that’s being an adult! When we were getting things for our house, after we got married, I was so upset that we were paying almost $400 for a vacuum. Now I’m glad we did, because it’s an amazing vacuum (Miele) and it will last us for years and years and years… but it does take a while to get used to being an adult.

Anyways, that was a long paragraph- so we got a dryer! It’s funny because before I met Jared, when I was staying with Adalia and Ben, I thought to myself, ‘If I ever lived here I would need a dryer. It would be non-negotiable.’ (by the way, I didn’t mind that they didn’t have a dryer! I just thought if I was permanently in NZ, and in the winter, I would get one) But when Jared and I were newly married (well I mean we still are, but…) and moving into our first house and getting things, a dryer really wasn’t the most important thing.


I am so. excited. To have a dryer!

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Alright enough about that, I don’t want to bore you! One thing I am hoping to blog about soon is ideas for meals that you can make ahead! Why? Because now that I’m working (!) three days a week, I am trying to do lots of meal prep ahead of time so when we get home from work, dinner doesn’t take long to make. Since I have Mondays and Tuesdays off, I’m planning to use those days to do groceries (as usual), meal prep, and make sure the house is clean. So far today I’ve done like 1/3 of that… I got groceries, came up with a meal plan, and tidied most of the house, but I still have to do the dishes and make dinner, and clean the bathroom. I’ll probably get my meal prep done tomorrow.

Tomorrow is also the day that we get our dryer delivered and installed!

Okay, okay, I’ll try not to talk about the dryer anymore. I’m just so excited!

AND I just remembered that one reason I haven’t blogged recently is because my camera broke so I couldn’t take any new photos! Thankfully the replacement part was only $30 so I ordered it on Saturday and I am hoping it will arrive soon.

However I still have a few photos from that day Jared and I went hiking! Oh and I also have photos from rugby, that I haven’t edited yet… so much to do so little time. I also have important thing to do like renew Jared’s passport, switch my driver’s license to an NZ one, and more… BUT I’m so thankful that I’m busy because the reason is that I have an amazing job!


PS Sonic gets cuter all the time, and I honestly just spent like thirty minutes looking at puppies on TradeMe cause doesn’t he need a friend?! But yeah I don’t think that will happen… I mentioned it to Jared the other day and he said NO haha! Plus we like JUST finished the whole potty training thing and I really love not having to clean up dog messes every day.


Fresh Lemons!

We have been so, so busy this past week, which is why I haven’t been on here much. I’m really sorry for that! Things should calm down in a week or two, but in the meantime I’ll do my best to keep posting over here anyways.

I’m so excited because on Sunday I picked some lemons from our tree for the first time! I love lemons, so I was really hoping that we would get some ripe ones before we move to a different house. 34415251_1360774374022132_6574933719960780800_n.jpg

Yes, I was so excited I made Jared take a photo of me and my lemons!

Friday I was just down the road from Mount Parihaka, so since it was only a few minutes to the top, I drove up and enjoyed the gorgeous view for a bit before heading home.

Yes, how gorgeous is this city?! Basically everywhere you go there are views like this.

Yes, look at my gorgeous lemons!!! Honestly all I did was leave this tree alone and hope for the best, so I’m so glad that they turned out great. I did the same with the mandarins, and we’ve been enjoying those for a month or two now!

What are you up to this week? Busy or taking it easy?

5 Tips for Grocery Shopping

I don’t know about you, but I love grocery shopping. I just love it. It’s so much fun to me! Before Jared and I were married, I would tag along with my parents to the grocery store at times but I never actually went grocery shopping myself. The first few times Jared and I got groceries, we were unpleasantly surprised at how much we spent- but when you’re just starting out with your own home you do need to stock up, and once we got the essentials, we were able to cut back to a much more satisfactory number for our weekly shops, and stick to it! It took me a while to figure out normal prices for things and what I could fit in the budget, but once I did it wasn’t hard to stay in budget. If you’ve just moved out or gotten married, and you’re starting to grocery shop on your own, here are a few tips to help you out.

  1. Make a budget. Okay this one is kind of obvious, but make sure you know how much you can spend. If you just go into the store with a list but no budget you can spend way more than you intended. Also bring along a calculator so you can be sure that you stick to the budget!
  2. Make a list. Always bring a list with you! I typed up a master grocery list that I print off every week. It makes it so easy to just look in the fridge and pantry as I go through the list and highlight what we need that week. That way I can be sure I don’t forget anything important.
  3. Don’t be afraid to go to more than one store. I always go to Pak n Save, because they generally have the lowest prices. Also, they’re conveniently close! However, I also love to go to Reduced to Clear, which is even closer to our house than Pak n Save, and on the way. They’re a clearance grocery store, so it’s a bit of a hit and miss, but their prices can be great, and I always check online before shopping there to see if they have anything I need. We also have a New World and Countdown nearby but their prices are higher than Pak n Save so it’s not worth the hassle to visit them as well in the hopes of a sale. But if you do have a couple local stores that each have the best prices for specific things, don’t be afraid to go to more than one place! For example, if meat and dairy were consistently cheaper at Countdown, it would be worth it to me to make an extra stop.
  4. Be flexible! If you want to stay in budget, give your list a bit of wiggle room. I often will highlight the things we need and for the things that I’d like to get but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to fit them in, I’ll use my highlighter to put a small dash on the item on my list, so it’s on my radar even if it’s not a priority. For things that tend to fluctuate in price, like fruits and veggies, I highlight the things I know I can get for a good price (potatoes, carrots, bananas, etc.) and then just see what’s on sale when I get to the store. If broccoli is over $3 a head, we’re not having broccoli that week. Again, this is where it helps to know the usual prices. Jared loves to have mandarins especially when he referees rugby, so if they’re more expensive one week I’ll just buy 2 or 3, rather than buying close to a kg. In the summer you can often find pineapples, mangoes, peaches, etc. for good prices. In the autumn, squash is cheaper- I bought a buttercup pumpkin for $1 last week.
  5. Meal Plan. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t, but it does help to have several ideas of what to make throughout the week so you’re not just standing in front of the fridge a few days later trying to figure out a meal from random ingredients. But as I pointed out above, this can also depend on prices of veggies and meat, so don’t be too strict about it. When Pak n Save has a meat special, or reduced prices on a few items because they were packed a day or two ago, I love to grab those ones up! But know the prices too, so if you really want to make tacos but mince isn’t on sale,  you can still buy it because you’ve planned for it.

These are just a few things I’ve learned since I’ve been doing our grocery shopping, and I hope they can help you out a bit. What are your favorite grocery shopping tips?


This morning I finally got something done for immigration that I was stressing about, so it’s a relief to have that off my mind! Anyone who has moved to another country knows… agh it can be stressful! When I got my visa in September I was so relieved just because I didn’t have to think about visa stuff for months and months! And now it’s time to think about it again… *sigh*.

I hope you all have a lovely start to your week! Sonic found one of Jared’s dress shirt’s and chewed a button off, so that’s great… still a better Monday than last week though!

Autumn Favorites

The past few days have really been cold, which I am loving!!! I have an amazing pair of fuzzy feet pajamas (as my family calls them) from Land’s End, and it was finally cold enough that I could wear them again!

I’m really obsessed with my fuzzy feet pajamas so I’ll tell you a little about them. My mom hates clutter, and in general tends to prefer quality over quantity, so she would much rather buy my siblings and I each one or two pairs of great quality pajamas that would last years and years and years, than be buying new ones every year because they wore out. Land’s End has great quality items and I remember we got bath towels, dresses, coats, and pajamas from there, and I’m sure other things as well!

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photo from Little Earthling Blog

These pajamas last for so long. When one child outgrew them, they got passed to the next, and so on. Once the feet started getting holes, we would just cut them off and keep wearing them because they were still going strong! And the name? It’s not too hard to figure out why we called them fuzzy feet pajamas. They’re fuzzy. They have feet.

Land's End pajamas.jpg

Photo from Little Earthling Blog

I think as we got older we stopped wearing them as much, and then a couple years ago my dad was ordering pajamas for my younger siblings. Well…. fuzzy feet pajamas! They are so cozy, so warm, and I have so many great memories. I was so bummed because I really wanted some too… and then my mom told me to just ask my dad to get some for me as well. Uhhh why don’t I think of things like that? So I did, and my dad ordered me a pair, and they are just as amazing as I remember! They don’t come in adult sizes but I got a size 16 kids and they fit me perfect with a little room (I’m 5’4″). Here is a link to the pajamas on the Land’s End website. I think they have different colors/patterns each year.

If you want to stay warm in the winter, go get yourself a pair. They’re not cheap but they’re worth it and they will last forever!

Another thing I love about this autumn is that we have a mandarin tree in our backyard and the fruit is starting to ripen!

The other day I bought a pumpkin at the grocery store, and roasted half of it for dinner. I think I’ll turn the other half into pumpkin bread. I absolutely love pumpkin bread, but unfortunately it’s harder to get pureed pumpkin here than it is in the States, and much much cheaper to buy a pumpkin and cook/puree it yourself! That’s what I did for pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, and though I was a bit intimidated at first it turned out really well.

I know you may think I’m crazy but I love how chilly it is! I got groceries the other day and the cold air was so refreshing and made me so happy. I do love summer but man have I missed autumn and winter! Plus when it’s cold, it’s so cozy and fun to cuddle up in a warm blanket with a hot drink. I just love it!

If you enjoy decorating your house, the changing seasons mean change of decor as well! Unfortunately I don’t have extra money to spend on home decor but that doesn’t stop me ‘window shopping’ online anyways. I think ‘online window shopping’ is one of my biggest hobbies. Thankfully there are lots of ways to decorate your house without having to spend much money, like free printables that you can frame, or cheap candles in autumny colors. The Warehouse and Kmart have great prices for some really cute stuff! I love The Warehouse’s pillows and throws… I have a couple throws/blankets from there and I love them! I think these three pillows together would look so good. The different colors and textures make it an interesting combination.

I love my light box that was a Christmas gift! It’s so personizable. (Yeah I think I just made up that word…) you can write whatever you want!


Do you enjoy decorating your house? Do you change the decor out for the different seasons?

Makeup Organization

I keep my makeup on top of our dresser in our room. A week ago, it was a huge mess. I always had to dig around to find what I needed. Well I finally decided to go through and reorganize it so that it looks better and is easier to find what I need.


This is what it looks like now. Previously, I had boxes, makeup bags, etc… it looked awful and like I said, it was hard to find things. So I got rid of all the bags I had. Well hold on, I didn’t get rid of them, because I love them and they’re really useful. But I stopped using them to organize my makeup.


This box was previously just a white box, but I wanted it to actually look somewhat cute, so I used some washi tape to add some color!


And the middle cup here? I gotta be honest with you… it’s just a tin can with washi tape around it. But it looks great and serves the purpose!


I organized my makeup by what each item was. I have a box with nail polish, a box with foundation/concealer/mascara, I have my lip sticks and my lip glosses, my eyeliners, brushes, etc.





Okay I just want to brag on that cream colored tin right there! It’s an eyeshadow palette by W7 called Colour Me Nude. I love it! It’s basically a perfect dupe for the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, and it goes on really nicely and blends great. The colors are awesome too… after I organized all my makeup I went through and swatched basically everything, just for fun. I realized that all my eyeshadows are basically the same color scheme- nudes/pinks/browns. The Elf palette I have has more colors, but I don’t use it much because it doesn’t blend well at all. Anyways, I definitely have a ‘comfort zone’ for what colors I like to use! I want to branch out and try more colors, but at the same time, whenever I next buy eyeshadow… I am in love with Maybelline’s new Lemonade Craze palette! And that’s in my comfort zone. But it does have a bright pink and a yellow, so it still counts as expanding my horizons, right?!


It was fun to go through and organize, and I even got rid of like two things that I never use because they’re awful. It’s so nice to have my makeup organized, and it’s way easier to find stuff.

What’s your favorite way to keep your makeup organized? I guess it really depends on how much you have. This was works great for me though, I love how easy it is to find everything.

DIY: Framed Wedding Vows

Jared and I have been wanting to frame our wedding vows for months. Pretty much since we got married, really. I tried using Canva (an awesome website!) to make them look nice but wasn’t happy with how they looked, and just never got around to it.

Well, Jared and I realized that if we keep saying ‘oh we need to…’ we aren’t going to do it. So today I put something together and printed it off just at home- nothing too fancy but it’s better than nothing. I really like how it turned out so maybe later I’ll get it printed in color at a professional place. (It’s not color right now just cause we’re out of yellow ink… haha! That’s real life for you.)

I did a quick google search of diy framed wedding vows, because as I said before, I wasn’t happy with what I was coming up with before. This tutorial was the inspiration for what I did today! She used Microsoft Word; I actually did end up using Canva because I was having trouble figuring out how to get my photo to go behind my text. I did basically the same things she suggests though, and as you can see it turned out really nicely.


I took this photo on my iPhone so it’s not the best quality but you get the idea! I think this would be just gorgeous in color, so I plan to get it printed sometime soon. For now though? I am so happy with this.

Framed Wedding Vows

I really love how it looks… the times I tried to make our vows look nice before, I just wasn’t getting anywhere. Be sure to check out the tutorial I linked above if you want to learn how to do it. Simple and easy but it looks amazing. You can do this with really anything, not just wedding vows.

In other news, the sun is out, the sky is blue, the mandarins on our tree are finally starting to turn orange, and I’m slowly but surely making my way through the paperwork of taxes and preparing to apply for my next visa.

For those of you on spring break right now- I hope that you enjoy it!

Summer Garden

A couple years ago, I decided to plant a garden. Why not? It would be so fun!

It definitely was fun. When you see those first little green shoots, and then you get to watch them grow and grow and grow… unfortunately, two years ago I was also working and attending community college. So I didn’t have very much time to spend on tending my garden. And I had never planted a garden before, so I liberally sprinkled the seeds and then realized the reason my carrots only grew to a couple inches was due to the fact that they were incredibly overcrowded.

The next year I was given some seedlings, and my grandma gave me a beautiful tomato plant. This time, I wasn’t in school but I was working full time which had me much busier than the year before. So that garden got neglected as well.

This year though… when Jared and I were looking at houses to rent, I was really hoping for a house with a garden bed. Well I definitely got my wish! We have a good sized garden bed along the side of our house, as well as in the front. It was completely overgrown when we moved in… somehow some bak choy and strawberries managed to survive among the lush weeds, but when I began preparing the garden to be planted I took out everything except the strawberries.

Garden Veggies Flowers-1789

Garden Veggies Flowers-1788


Alright yes there are other plants in my garden besides flowers! But I just love these marigolds… they’re so bright and gorgeous. They both attract bees and keep pests away so they’re perfect flowers for a vegetable garden!

Garden Veggies Flowers-1785

My carrots are just about ready, but I have a ton of carrots from the store in my fridge right now so I figured I’d better use those up before I start picking my own… I am loving having basil and cilantro (aka coriander), so fresh and easily available! I never imagined I would be able to grow watermelon and rockmelon (cantaloupe) either, but hey, those are just a few perks of living in tropical paradise!

Last week Jared got me some flower seeds, so I’m going to plant those in the front garden! I started some pansies in a tray and they are doing great and a few have already sprouted.

What kind of garden would you like? I love having both veggies and herbs, and soon I’m going to have more flowers as well… so I’m in garden heaven right now!

Free Valentine’s Day Printables

Free Printables Valentine's Day Quotes.jpg

Valentine’s day is coming up, and I don’t know about you but I love to decorate my house! One thing I like to do is print off quotes or pictures to frame. I found some adorable Thanksgiving printables in November, and then once December rolled around I printed some Christmas quotes and illustrations.

These quotes that I’m sharing with you are perfect for Valentine’s Day and year round.

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PDF: Valentine’s Day Printable Colossians 3:14 KJV

Valentine's Day Printable Proverbs 17 17.jpg

PDF: Valentine’s Day Printable Proverbs 17:17 KJV


Valentine's Day Printable Love Quote.jpg

PDF: Valentine’s Day Printable Love Quote

Feel free to download, print, and share! Let me know if you’d like to see other printables in the future. I’m excited to print these myself to decorate our house.

What are your favorite ways to decorate for Valentine’s Day, or any other holidays and celebrations?

5 Tips for Organization

My husband and I moved into our rental house about a month ago, and there are still a few things I need to unpack/organize. We are getting there though! Just this past weekend we finally got our office set up and it is so wonderful! It is so good to have it done and the space is lovely. We got a great desk, chair, and shelf from the Warehouse Stationary and finally we have everything off the floor! It was also great to be able to move some stuff from the lounge bookshelves to the ones in the office. Now I can make the lounge bookshelves really pretty and the ones in the office can be the more practical ones.

Mount Manaia from One Tree Point

So let’s go!

  1. Declutter If you are wondering why you even have something, or you see it and go ohhh I forgot I had that! It’s probably not necessary. Having too much stuff can be overwhelming! My husband and I both hate clutter and love organization, which makes it easier for us because we don’t have tons of stuff. Be harsh on yourself. Do you actually use it? Do you really need it? When are you going to use it next?
  2. A Place for Everything Come up with a plan. When you know where something goes, it is easy to clean up, and easy to find things when you need them. Do what seems logical. For example, in our office we have office supplies on a shelf that is at the perfect spot for you to grab what you need when you’re sitting at the desk. We store less used items in the footstool of a rocking chair that is also in the office.
  3. Daily tidy Every day just do a quick tidy to keep things from getting disorganized.
  4. Weekly clean Once a week clean your space. Vacuum, dust, and make sure everything is in the right place. Also use this time to go through your junk drawer.
  5. Junk Drawer Yes, you can have a junk drawer! But don’t let it become a permanent home for anything. During the week if you aren’t sure where to put something or you don’t have time, a junk drawer is perfect for keeping things tidy. But you need to go through it during your weekly clean and put everything away! If you don’t you’ll eventually have an overflowing junk drawer… guys trust me. I have organized drawers and then gradually things just pile up, and before you realize what’s happening you have a huge mess again! Staying on top of it is the way to avoid clutter.

Office supplies

Business books and paper

And… don’t forget that we’re all human. It’s okay when your space gets messy! Don’t feel defeated. Just take a deep breath, remember every day is a new day, and start again.