I’m writing this for me, just as much as for you, because I find myself getting caught up in the busyness of life, and at this time of the year, the chaos of Christmas! The seemingly endless “to do list’s”, the shopping, end of year school prize givings, ceremonies, trips and all the social engagements can leave me feeling exhausted. And while we pride ourselves on being able to do multiple things at once, how much fun is it really?
Reading a book, enjoying a cup of tea (without scrolling on your phone) and listening to a friend are purely joyful acts when you allow yourself to enjoy it simply, on it’s own. When we allow ourselves to be present we enjoy what we do and what we see therefore we take in and experience so much more. Research shows that being in nature benefits the mind and the body, add then the physical exercise you get from a walk and it really is a win win for the state of your well being.
Here are some ideas of the sort of things I am going to do, to try to help myself to slow down and enjoy the present moment over the holidays.
I’d love to know what sort of things you enjoy to do one at a time. Leave a comment below ❤
I wish you a truly wonderful Christmas where ever you are in the world, thank you for reading our blog. Meri kirihimete from Aotearoa/ New Zealand.
“Taranaki Hardcore” 🗻 – a proud region, and for good reason.
This region is so diverse in it’s geography, it really has something for everyone – from the stunning black sand beaches in the north, to the rugged cliff faces of the south beaches, then of course it’s iconic maunga (mountain) Mt Taranaki/ Mt Egmont, which stands strong and proud at the heart of the regions’ circular plains.
Here are my top 5 kid friendly adventures for Taranaki:
Other must do’s in the Taranaki region are:
Nga mihi, Anita 🥜
Other rad things to see or do: Fox St mountain bike trails, Gisborne in general is super bikeable as it is so flat! They also have a cool network of cycle trails. Stand in the water and hand feed the stingrays and kingfish with Dive Tatapouri. Surf, fish, dive!
Happy adventuring! Tammy.
Sometimes I feel like the hardest part of getting the kids out for a bush walk, is the time it takes to find a walk suitable. When my kids were younger (<5) and I’d find a good track, I’d keep taking the kids there to help build our confidence and to get them walking a little bit further/faster/slower etc. Each time we went, there was a new “discovery”:
My method was, and still is Trial and Error. They don’t always work out the way I’d hoped but I love being out in nature, it feeds my mind, body and soul and that’s something I want my children to feel, enjoy and appreciate, especially as they get older (teens 😬)….. did I mention it’s also free 👍.
Here are our Top 5 kid friendly adventures near Tauranga that just keep on giving every time you go back:
Nga mihi, Anita 🥜
When I lived in the south island of New Zealand, I was only a few hours drive from these beautiful places so it’s very hard for me to only choose 5… but here’s where I’d go in a flash for a mixture of beautiful scenery, adventure and cool vibes.
1.Torrent Bay, Abel Tasman National Park. You can either hike here as part of a multi-day adventure, kayak or catch the water taxi like I did with my then 3 month old and my mum (pictured below 😍). We stayed in a waterfront bach (holiday home), it was so was lush!
2. Feeling adventurous? Check out the Rock climbing at Paynes Ford, Takaka in Golden Bay. Camp at hang dog, a family owned campground for climbers and outdoor enthusiasts.
3. Stroll to Te Waikoropupu Springs and marvel at the gin clear water! Home to the clearest spring water in the world!🌎
4. Awaroa Bay, Abel Tasman. Famously for sale a few years back, but saved by the New Zealand people’s through a successful crowd-funding campaign to buy it back from a private owner. Hooray! You can access this piece of paradise by walking across the estuary from Totaranui at dead low tide, walking the multi-day Abel Tasman track, by boat from Kaiteriteri or Marahau, you could also kayak, or if your feeling fancy you could arrive by helicopter.
5.After all these thirst inducing adventures, no trip to Golden Bay is complete without a stop at the Mussel Inn❤ a family friendly cafe and restaurant. I highly recommend sampling their tasty beer especially the 🍻#captaincookermanukabeer👍! It has a charming rustic vibe.Click here for more information.
Happy exploring, Tammy.
Scroll down and hit the subscribe button for more way cool ideas and stories😍🍓✌😉
I happen to live on quite an entrepreneurial street. Just down the road from me is Anita the other half of Forest Family NZ, there is also an artist, a nutritional health coach & a not-for-profit charity event planner/adventure gal.
Today, I am excited to introduce Roz McIntosh to you, the nutritional health coach. Not only does Roz create delicious and healthy recipes but she gives you permission to s-l-o-w down. I think as a mother you need these reminders every now and then. Roz shares great advice on to how to take a little time for yourself, as well as how to prepare yummy family friendly meals.
We asked Roz for some recipes that might be good to make – to take on a walking or biking adventure, and she has kindly given us a couple. Thanks Roz!
Enjoy her words and recipe below. Also check out her beautiful 😍 website for more inspiration here.
Adventures out in nature with my family are, I think, one of the best ways to spend time together.
But keeping my kids full can be a challenge, especially when you are limited with what you can actually carry.
Here is one of my favourite recipes to make ahead of time to take with us.
This will keep everyone satisfied for longer because it contain loads of protein from things like eggs and nuts, as well as a good dose of healthy fats to stave off hunger.
If you are heading out for the day, always ensure you have a good source of protein and fat. Boiled eggs, nuts and seeds, dark chocolate and biltong are other great ways to ensure a steady blood sugar level and sustained energy.
Banana and Coconut Bread (pictured above)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled (you could also use olive oil or butter)
1 tsp vanilla
3 ripe bananas mashed
½ cup dates, chopped
1 cup brown rice flour (you could also use almond meal, spelt or buckwheat)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 banana (cut in rounds)
1. Heat the oven to 180ºC. Grease and line a loaf tin.
2. In a large bowl whisk together melted and cooled coconut oil, eggs and vanilla.
3. Stir in the mashed banana and chopped dates.
4. Sift in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Then add the coconut and
5. Pour into the lined loaf tin.
6. Place the banana which has been split lengthwise on top and sprinkle with pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
7. Bake at 180ºC for 45 mins.
For more healthy recipes check out my blog at www.rozmcintosh.com.
Health + Nutrition
In the spirit of 🎅 – “making a list and checking it twice”, I’ve decided this year, to make a wish list of some of the adventures I will to try and explore with the kids over the coming summer holidays. This is my way of having direction but with the spontaneity of not planning out dates – Carpe Diem (as someone mentioned to me yesterday).
Now, I feel that it is important to mention that I am not going to put any pressure on myself or the kids to tick them all off or even complete the whole walk, because the last thing we all need is more pressure in our lives. This is just a top 5 wish list to have visible to inspire me to get out when I can – cause lets face it, sometimes it feels like all the 🌌 stars have to align for a well laid plan to come to fruition, especially with the kiddies.
Here is a PDF version of the Adventure wish list with links to more track information.
I’m also heading to the Wairarapa and Taranaki Regions this summer – so if you’re from there or know of any great adventures around these ways, please scroll down and let me know 🙌, I’d love to check them out and share my stories 🤗.
✌️ Nutty 🥜
So there was an almighty CRASH! Needless to say I almost had a heart attack! I lay there listening, my heart hammering, but there were no torch lights and no one was talking. Spooky!!!!👻👻👻
Heart hammering I got up and went to investigate and also – because I had to! So scared… I shined my torch around on the lawn and front porch and I noticed that my son’s rugby ball was now lying on the grass. I had definitely put it on the seat on the porch before bed time. So that must’ve been what made the crashing noise! The ball thud, thud, thudding as it rolled down the porch steps. But why had it rolled down the steps??!! There was no wind.
And that’s when I heard it…the frightful call of a possum! Listen here because if you hear this noise in the bush and you don’t know what it is, no kidding you might justifiably think there is some psycho out there! Close your eyes and prepared to be spooked! 🤡Anyway I thankfully knew that sound and so to be honest was massively relieved! P.s If any hunters are reading this I see you shaking your heads and laughing! Anyway the mystery was solved!🤗 Phew, back to sleep for what was surprisingly not as long a night as I had anticipated.
We were awake by 5:45 am which is fairly normal for us, and was no doubt partly due to our early bedtime of 6 pm! So we got up had breakfast and left early. In that moment at least I was grateful for the empty hut. Also the kids had a great match of sleeping bag wrestling (as you do!) Everyone was happy again now that daylight was creeping back into the hut and with the knowledge of that we were going home.
You can do this walk as a loop and return a different way, which I usually love to do but due to the knowledge of late morning rain and the fact that the returning the same way was 30 minutes quicker, I chose that! We managed to shave 20 minutes off going down the hill, but it still took us 40 minutes to walk out along the farmland. I promised the kids they could stop by river to look for rocks when I knew we were pretty close to the car park. That’s when my youngest son fell half into the river! Home time!!!!😂
So would I do it again on my own? Hmmm… I’m thinking not for a few more years and then maybe to a more popular hut. Hopefully I haven’t scarred the children for life!
#yolo #crazymama #spookyhut #feelthefearanddoitanyway #whatdoesn’tkillyoumakesyoustronger #itwasapossum!
Click here to read out nutshell about the track information.
To subscribe to our blog just scroll down a little further, that’s it! HIGH🖐
Find us on facey, insta and pinterest – forestfamilynz
Yes, I am that mad! Let me explain…it was the 2nd week of the school holiday’s and at this point I may have been going just a little stir crazy, so after weighing things up with my rational and irrational thoughts I bravely decided I would take the kids off to a hut… in the bush… by m-y-s-e-l-f! No iPad or Netflix to fight over out there! HAHA!
This is a tale of how sometimes SH#T HAPPENS!
So I should probably start by mentioning that it was mid-winter and I totally underestimated how muddy the track would be, it was pretty much Woodstock in the rain! *Mental note: make sure your children are wearing shoes that fit them properly. This is probably obvious! However, unbeknownst to me, my youngest son grabbed his favorite hand me downs that were actually 2 sizes too large. Let’s just say we spent an inordinate amount of time fishing his shoes out of the mud because they kept getting sucked off …. “Yay, who’s having fun”?
Ever the optimist, I was hoping to see smoke rising from the chimney when we were getting close to the hut, but there was no one there …. There was also NO fireplace!😲 Which probably also explains the why the car park and therefore the hut were empty!!! I don’t know how I missed that little fact!
We had about an hour before dark so the kids enjoyed mucking around, carving their walking sticks into sharp points and trying but failing to set alight the outdoor fire 🔥. Meanwhile I cooked our very basic fare of rice risotto, which we ate outside as the sky darkened. It was about this time that my 7-year-old fell to bits and wanted to go home (it was all too scary and unfamiliar). Too lighten the mood I pranked the boys by asking them to turn the lights on! That joke never gets old 😂. So with the kids feeling upset and to avoid getting cold I decided we should all go to go bed and snuggle up. That’s when the kids realized I hadn’t brought a book! More tears… I had to carry everything except the kids sleeping bags so I was being thrifty with my packing.
In all honesty being in the hut on our own in the middle of the bush was definitely out of our comfort zones. So… to try to distract the kids (and myself) we took turns making up the end to the book we were reading at home “Grandpas Great escape” by David Walliams. That was really fun and the kids eventually drifted off to sleep. I was almost asleep too when there was an almighty CRASH!..😲😳🙈🙉🙊
Click here to read out nutshell about the track information.
To hear more thrilling tales subscribe to our blog below and find us on social media- forestfamilynz 😍🌳✌🤗🌼