Victory in the Land of Long White Cloud

Are you wondering about my title? No? Well, you should. New Zealand is “supposedly” referred to as the Land of the long white cloud. Just click the link for the history. I won’t go into detail here, don’t you worry. But what I will go into detail about is my time here. So sit back if you will….

Just to preface, I recently signed up for the GLAM AUTHOR Program. It’s a paid opportunity, but it also allows me to choose what “themes” I want to write about. I jumped at this idea because it allowed me to support the hubs while we were in New Zealand, and trust me, we needed EVERY LITTLE PENNY!

One theme that I found I could relate to was about “small wins,” but in my mind I like to think of them as “small victories.” Here’s the exact wordage.

Theme: We want to know how you reward yourself and maintain a healthy, happy lifestyle in the ‘smallest’ ways. Whether it is a quick 10 minute walk in the morning or eating a piece of fruit for dessert, what are the ‘small wins’ you experience that lead you to a healthy and happy day? Sponsored by Quaker Oatmeal


Now, I know I Quaker Oatmeal is the sponsor of this theme and I totally love that they are! But small wins didn’t come from just healthy food, it came from nourishment. Food is nourishment though, right?


But you know what else provides nourishment?

Self Love.

Does that even make sense?

Let me explain…………..

When I left for New Zealand with the hubs, I up and left my “busyness and hyper-productivity” in the States. That meant a whole new world was waiting for me when I arrived. But what did that look like?

I didn’t know what to expect really. In fact, I didn’t even know if I could handle being just “simple” me.

You see, I had been thriving off of the “always doing something, over-working, busy-body” lifestyle. I hid behind this BUSYNESS so much that I actually had no identity without it.


In New Zealand there was no “schedule” or  “plan.” And to be honest, the first month I felt guilty living at such a slow pace, which also led me to feeling a bit lost and anxious.

Why was this? Wasn’t part of the purpose of this trip to slow down, to rest, and to take care of each other?

Yes. Yes it was. But that also meant I needed to take care of me and reconnect with ME! Be still and ENJOY…… ME!

Sounds a bit selfish but in fact it was/is the most humbling experience I have gone through.

Each day I found Small wins in taking time to “know” me.

I strolled in the park…


I walked to get groceries..

I woke up early just to watch the sunrise….

hills 2

I stopped at every corner just to take pictures….


I cooked..


I baked…


I drank coffee at several cafes…


I read my bible and disconnected from everything, to pray…


I enjoyed a glass of NZ wine….. every night.


Do I sound like Eat Pray Love yet?  haha. Just kidding. I was far from that. New Zealand wasn’t about spending time discovering life.

It was about reuniting with ME!

Yep…. ME! Simple Me.


Stripped of every busy detail and distraction in my life,

I was left with one thing……the real me.

And guess what I found out?

I LIKE the REAL me.


So I guess you could say that the time we spent living in New Zealand has been my me “small win” so far this year. A small victory that played a HUGE part in rebuilding my confidence.

It has been my nourishing bowl of oatmeal in the morning, fueling me for more of life to come.



The benefits of a warm, filling bowl of oatmeal can keep you going all morning long. Energy. Fiber. Heart Health. Quaker Oatmeal.

A super grain breakfast.



Simple yet Sassy LC

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Quaker via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Quaker.


I will be participating in a GLAM twitter chat this Thursday, March 8th at 4pm PST/7pm EST .

We’re continuing the topic of  “Healthy Rewards: What small steps in the morning do you take to keep healthy?” Feel free to join in.  I know there will be prizes randomly drawn for those who participate. Plus GLAM is giving out a GRAND PRIZE to a random participant who participates in the series of  these discussions. Anyone want to win a $1000 Amazon Gift Card? Sweet!!

The Grand prize winner will be chosen at random after the series is completed. For complete rules, click here..

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  1. Julia @ Pain, Pride, Perseverance says:

    FRIEND. i love love love this post. i felt so at peace just reading it. it sounds like NZ was unbelievably rewarding for you in so many ways…so glad you were able to experience this journey :)

  2. Oh I LOVE this post!! This is such a fitting way to recap for us what exactly New Zealand meant for YOU. Not just for your hubs and your relationship with him and your role as sherpa (hehe), but what this “escape” from crazy/busy meant for you. It showed you just how much you can and should be reconnecting with yourself…and much more often. I am so glad that you love who you are, I happen to love her too 😉 xoxo

    • man do you knoe how to make me feel all warm and blessed. i honestly think it was your encouragement that helped this self love. so thank u!

  3. What a beautiful post- and a great experience that you went through! You’re so lucky that you got this time to reconnect with yourself, grow and become a better, stronger person (and I’m sure you know that)!

  4. Fabulous summary to your experiences these past couple of months. I would love the opportunity to leave my mandatory responsibility and crap behind for awhile and take time to reconnect with those things that are so important to me, but alas, not quite yet. Maybe some day;)

    For now, we can all take a few minutes here and there to remind ourselves that we need to take care of ourselves first and foremost. It’s not selfish, it’s self-care. Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

    • abby, i’m taking you with me next year. no arguments! you can write another book while you are there, or just do nothing and RELAX. deal?

  5. I think I can honestly say I know how ya felt in NZ~ we just moved halfway across the country and I am a bit lost… I am liking it, but like you did, I feel a bit anxious! I was going full speed and now I don’t even have a job yet. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  6. yay for being a glam author, I love this program! 😀

    you are so beautiful, dear friend, and it comes through in your words. words that somehow you always know I need, just right then. XO

  7. You know how I feel about all of this already, but I will say it again. I am so happy for me that you took the time to let go and just enjoy you, your husband and your life. I never realized how important things like that really are until Tony and I took our family out of our normal routine. It didn’t really give us what we needed, but it did give us the opportunity to really bond together and realize what we truly needed at the time. Tony and I aren’t really where we want to be in the future, but we are happy with taking things day by day knowing that we have our eye on the prize in the future. Sure, the prize may change, but the goal will be the same…being together, in a simplified, happy home.

  8. I think you hit on something pretty significant in that we tend to feel anxious and guilty for living simpler and taking things slower. Why is that? Life shouldn’t be about being busy busy all the time. It’s short and we should enjoy every moment without rushing through.

  9. Freaking love this post and you know what? I really like the REAL Lindsay too. You are simply amazing and such a wonderful example to so many. Always humble, always honest, and always full of great and powerful words. Thank you for being you because I kind of like you! 😉

  10. I like, no LOVE, the real you!! SO SO happy we “met”!!

  11. I bet you found that the real you is a beautiful light of being. :) welcome home.

  12. wow this is so awesome! i can relate fully! how wonderful that you got this time to stop and get to know yourself. i hope we can all do this even with the busy ness of real life. i try to! hope you are ahppy being back in austin :)

  13. I am so glad you had “me” time in New Z and you really got to find yourself again! You are so beautiful girl! I am glad you guys are back home and safe too!

    Glam, I have been wondering about going through them instead of foodbuzz, feedback would be great! They have contacted me a couple months ago, xoxo <3

    • yes, i needed to see the real me. i know you can relate.

      and i am enjoying the glam author program. never done foodbuzz though. i think you’d be a perfect fit for glam. they’d be lucky to have be a writer, seriously!!

  14. I love this – and your small wins added up to a BIG win. I still haven’t learned how to be comfortable without constant busyness – and it’s something that causes me a ton of guilt (when I’m simply not motivated to do anything but feel like I should). I need to learn how to take life slowly without shutting down completely!

    • guilt was something i struggled with laura. but i am so glad i let it go. you can do it!!! i know you can. try and it will be worth every effort

  15. Sounds amazing and so real! I think we could all use a time like this in our lives. I’m sure your life is changed in ways you don’t even know yet from your time in NZ!

  16. What a lovely post. We always need to take time and find out who we really are!

  17. You sound better than Eat, Love, Pray! I think your time in NZ was just what YOU needed… time out for ourselves is something we don’t prioritise highly enough, yet it is SO crucial to health. Stress will kill ya before anything else, no?

    I really need to get some of that time… argh so hard with a little one, and no family around to babysit… I do get 6 hours off on Saturday though (doing a short course at the University, hurrah for brain function not associated with nursery rhymes!)

    I just saw Quaker Oats in the supermarket the other day… must be an influx of new US products… as they had Almond Breeze too (I got some!) So are these Quaker Oats highly magical and worth a try or what?

  18. i love this! i’m so glad you were able to reconnect with yourself. that is SO important, especially in today’s american society where everything seems to be constantly be “go go go”. this is something i’m constantly working on, thanks to my “type a” and busy body personality. 😉

  19. LOVING. THIS. POST. Girl I know you needed this, and I’m glad it turned out just the way you had hoped. I remember before you guys started your adventure, that you were anxious and hesitant. To hear that it went so well fills me with such joy – you are not one to oversee God’s grace, and I’m so happy that you two had this time together. (hugs)

  20. Love this post!! I know that I feel wierd and unproductive when I even have a lazy night (like tonight), I don’t know what to do with myself and often feel a little guilty. I think we all need a good reminder to slow down and appreciate the little things. I could you were able to reconnect with your hubby, experience new places and new things, and learn to slow down over the past few months – that’s an amazing thing that I hope you can carry with you in your new adventures back home!

  21. Best post ever! Seriously, I loved every word of it! “And guess what I found out? I LIKE the REAL me.” <– pure awesomeness. It sounds like overall your trip was an incredible growing experience. Hopefully you can continue to love and cherish the real you back here in the Big T! 😀

  22. Aw this is such an awesome post! Sometimes I think a change of scenery can really open our eyes to some things we don’t see in our normal environment. Even short trips have made me realize some really big things! I’m glad you’re feeling reunited with you :)

  23. Love, love, love. So happy for you and this experience. I can totally identify with the busyness. Although I thrive on staying busy, lately I can’t keep my head straight. Maybe I need to go to NZ…

  24. Oh wow, Lindsay, I LOVE this post. I love how much this trip was for YOU and you didn’t even know it, did you? You needed this almost as much as James did, and I love that you learned so much and it was humbling yet so focused on YOU, which you needed, and you have grown and realized so much about yourself. So happy for you, the feeling must be quite incredible!

    • we both did! for ourselves and our marriage. Now that we are back, it is a challenge to keep that pace but i know WE CAN!!! Thanks for the amazing support through it all!!!

  25. we are with you in thinking of them as small victories! love this post! love your outlook on life and who you the true you is! you are so beautiful and inspiring for us all to slow down more and appreciate life and the little small wins that we experience each day :)

  26. I can not wait for a long slow coffee with the real you.

  27. you’re beautiful! LOVED this!

  28. I like you too!

    Cheers for slowing down and letting yourself have complete thoughts. I need to do that!

  29. I always love reading your posts… so inspirational, so true!!
    I love the movement towards simplicity and that is my goal!

  30. What a beautiful post, Lindsay…so neat to hear about how you changed, how you reconnected, how you rested and simply were stripped of distractions like you said. I love that. Thanks for sharing your journey with us and reminding us of truth! God bless as you guys settle back into life in TX. 😀

  31. Cheers to the REAL YOU!!! I love this post… not only were you there to support your hubs but take good care of yourself and find the real you again aswell. I’m so happy for you!

  32. Gosh I am in love with this post… I mean the message could not be more perfect and one I really must continue to work on internalizing!

  33. Love this post girl!! I want to know more about this Glam Media thing…can you email me?

    I love that you set the time aside to connect with yourself, your reading and your praying…you are so inspiring to so many of us!! I would be there sipping coffee and wine with you my friend…my 2 fav things :)


  34. Okay I’m not going to hideit, I’m a little choked up with this post. So glad you got the opportunity to relax and just be YOU. I’m jealous and envious. My busyness does not stop. I know I have the power to work with it an make some adjustments, but I really need to prioritize. Fun that you got to join the Glam network! :) Hugs to you- my daily source of inspiration.

    • I was completely anxious and full of guilt first. But you know what, God does not want our lives to be wasted like that. I had to surrender that feeling to Him. You know what I mean? DO IT!! xoxo

  35. and now we know the true “blessing in disguise”….huh? you with me?

    that little delay? just more time to learn such a beautiful lesson.
    He rocks.

  36. oh and I am bonkers about that nuttzo you posted earlier (later? sorry Cotter Marathon happening over here) I’m literally forcing myself to refrain from ordering online right.this.minute before i look to see if i can get it locally….

    ah…blog reading has bought so many beautiful things into my pantry and fridge (nutritional yeast say wha???). this may be the next.

    • i love missy catch up time. I missed you. and i am going to reply here for all your comments. Swimming… YAHOO!! way to go. Stronger!! And God, ya he continues to humble me. Like really man. And nuttzo, i have some. send me your mailing address.


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