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I woke up this morning to Bob Dylan bellowing from the lounge and found my new flatmate making pancakes. Perfect.

It’s grey outside and the air is cold. I haven’t had a Saturday off in a while (well not with the Sunday off too). I’m going to be highly domesticated and make cookies. I might even tidy my room.

I’d love to go for a walk or an adventure somewhere but it feels so cold outside. I bet it’s going to rain as well.

I’m going to make myself a second cup of tea.

:) enjoy your weekend.



These are some of my favourite things…

My blog has been slightly abandoned lately… not something I try to do. It’s amazing how much time and energy working consumes, even when I like my job and only work four days a week.

My book has entered the editing stage, which I wish was more exciting. I feel like making decisions hugely helps with progress though. I have decided to send it to Random House. I have also decided I want to finish my editing by 1 July. But we’ll see. I’m not too sure how much editing it will need. The first edit is easy. The mistakes are like headlights, or zits, blindingly obvious. The problem is that you can’t just do one edit, you have to do it again and again and again and it gets harder every time. And fox in socks, I’ve never editing something 87 pages long before!

Some house related things have been happening. We aren’t moving anymore. I think I just about had a nervous breakdown. Our new flattie has moved in and we have been rearranging. It’s funny, well, I’m funny. I’m a highly habitual creature, but I find that change is soo good for me. I love fresh. Our new lounge looks great. We just bought the most fabulous coffee table. And I want to get some more retro furniture. And a train set. I don’t know when I developed an adoration for trains but I love them and I want a proper train set, with a steam train that goes around on  tracks.

I’ve started a very special collection of vintage dresses. The thing is, there is something extremely satisfying about buying vintage. You might buy an expensive piece of new clothing and it comes with a price tag and the guilt. But with vintage, you know you’re getting great quality and a one-off piece. And each purchase is so special and well  thought out. I just bought my 4th proper vintage dress and its coming from Paris!! I can’t wait for it to arrive.

This picture is from Maryika Vintage on Etsy

60s yellow sunflower top plaid skirt Twiggy mod scooter shift dress S.

A Mix of Things


So, to be blunt, I failed miserably at my month of exercise – in fact, I don’t think I did any at all! I did realise though that in order to do something like exercise (which I think I might as well be honest, I kind of hate it) I have to have a routine. Like I almost always manage to force myself to pilates even though I have to take a bus and it’s dark and cold and at the most stupid time. But I know I have to go so I go. Maybe if there was a tiger chasing me, I would be able to ride my bike. I need to dwell on this some more. 

In other news… I HAVE FINISHED MY BOOK!!!!!!!!!!! And I even manged to do it by the 6th of May. Today, I get to hold my book (a marvelous 87 pages). I’m impressed that I stuck at it for so long – a year- and didn’t get sick of it or bored or just plain give up like I do with so many other things. I just wrote a book, one that will probably be in a book store one day with a shiny cover (and I’m allowed to blow my own horn because no one else is going to and I’m quite depressed right now). 

There are MANY THINGS happening in my life right now and it’s kind of mad and happy and depressing all at the same time. Here is a list

  • I just finished my book, hurrah! And now I can start the editing process.
  • Today, my parents are abandoning me and going to the other side of the world for three months, this is weird because I have no idea how it will effect me or if it will at all. I only know that I will cry at the airport to keep to tradition.
  • We are trying to find a new house (hence being depressed). I despise house hunting, its completely soul-sucking. We are currently right back at square one. I actually do want to find a new place, new starts are nice and it will be just me and my manfriend. But still. Ugh.
  • I am growing a beautiful wardrobe of vintagey things. Also I took a leap and made my first modcloth purchase. Woohoo! I even bought SHOES and they FIT!
  • Also, winter is approaching, just weeks a way. I do not like winter. Today it is wintery and it is my one day off and every other day it has been sunny. Poo.

I have to go and get ready now, I am going to swiss ball class to make a fool out of myself. Soon I will post some pictures (not of me on a swiss ball   , but of pretty nice things.)


April is here and it is now well and truly Autumn. Winter is closing in. Strangely, the last few days have been some of the best we have had in a while. The sun is actually shining. I’m sure this is the ‘calm before the storm’.

I just finished reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben which is a fantastic book. In fact, it’s so good that I think I have to read it about three more times before I can grasp all of the goodness. I think I’m going t0 buy it. I’m sure lots of people jump into their own happiness projects and set tonnes of goals after reading it but this time I’m not going to  do that. I’m so busy at the moment with my new job and trying to finish my book and a whole host of other things. There’s lots of things I would like to take out of The Happiness Project and apply to my life but for now  I’m just going to do one thing. One thing is manageable and I’ll be able to properly focus on it. I am going to dedicate the month of April to exercise. I wish I had the energy and motivation to exercise more and I know if I exercised more I would get that energy. Interesting cycle hmm. So this month I’m going to try. Ironically it also happens to be the end of term for Pilates so I won’t be doing that for two weeks. I’m going to take this as a good thing and try and use the free time to try new forms of exercise. I have three goals.

  • Get on my bicycle and bike out of my drive way
  • Go swimming
  • Try a new form of exercise – yoga?

So that’s not a lot is it. It’s not ‘run 20ks’ or ‘exercise for 30 minutes a day’. No. But it’s a start. And making a start is the hardest part. I’m terribly nervous about riding my bike (maybe this comes from an accident I had when I was younger). I hate traffic when I’m on my bike and so I have procrastinated and procrastinated. All summer I tried. I just couldn’t do it. I make stupid excuses. This has to end. So, all I have to do is get on my bike and ride out of my driveway. If I make it that far I know I will go further. I love the idea of biking, I think I’d do it a lot if I could get up the courage.

bike sailor f

The stunning girl in the above photo is Marianne from Esme and the Laneway. Her style inspires me constantly.


Another thing I procrastinate about is swimming which is very odd because I love to swim and have no nerves there. Maybe I’m just lazy. I think it might be because it’s a big chore to go swimming. I can’t go before work because I will smell like a pool. And after I haven’t got the energy. Also I want to get a swimming cap so I don’t ruin my red hair. See – excuses! But I’ve just penciled in my Diary the 10 April for my first swim.

Lastly I want to try out another form of exercise or, more specifically, another venue for exercise. There’s lots of cool gyms and stuff where I live. And a brand new yoga centre and I would quite like to try at least one of them.


I’ve Set a Date! and other ‘moments of impact’…

So, writing a book is a bit like walking through knee-deep mud up a hill while a beer is chasing you. You try to go fast, you try to make progress but you’re taking two steps forward and one step back. Today I made a decision. I set a date. Six weeks from now I want a draft, a whole draft that may, well, be full of holes, but a complete draft all the same.

Sunday May 6

I have set a date! The only problem is that this date is exactly 3 days before my parents head to Europe. I will not have the assistance of my mother, the super-editor, when it comes to editing my draft. But that’s OK. Luckily, a don’t have to send my manuscript by pigeon, we have ‘technology’. I’m not sure if 6 weeks will be enough but any later than May and that’s getting towards halfway through the year. Nope. It has to be done. I wan’t my book to be published this year (if, at all) and the editing and publishing process takes time. I have two chapters to write and 45 days to write them in. That sound’s like heaps!

In other news, Mum and I watched The Vow last night. A movie released for Valentine’s Day. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Overall it was brilliant, profound, moving and heart-warming. I disliked the cliche rich American Family and the fact that the Dr. seemed not so fussed about the fact that Paige had lost five years of her life from the car accident but I liked two things a lot:

I liked Leo’s theory that there are ‘moments of impact’ – tiny, fleeting moments that can change your life completely. I have had one of those (well, probably many). I fell in love with Row in a moment. It changed my life completely. Now I’m terrified of death (his, though I think I would cease to live too) and now, I actually don’t mind babies. Anyway. I like to think that there are moments that really do impact us and we don’t even notice at the time. I’m not a massive believer in Fate. I do believe in soul-mates though. I think that maybe not everything happens for a reason, but maybe these moments are meant to happen to stare us in the right direction.

I liked the concept of being able to, or perhaps, inevitably falling in love with the same person again.  It makes me think that underneath our clothes, our skin, our feelings and thoughts, there is something underlying, the most basic thing, that draws two people together, like magnets.

I’m reading The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin, at the moment and here is a quote from the book that I really like.

She always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day.

Virginia Woolf


Dress Ups

Recently, I’ve been thinking quite a lot about how much my ‘personal style’ – for want of a better phrase – has grown. When I was younger, in my pre-teens I had the worst taste in fashion. I remember a set a bought from the Hospice shop that consisted of a black button up cardy with a green rose pattern and a matching vest. Absolutely hideous, I wonder where it is now. I remember the wee gothic stage I went through (sorry mum and dad) and then the radical 80’s? stage which consisted of really bright clothes and accessories and trying allsorts to get BIG HAIR – that never happened. I remember that slow, inevitable tumble as I fell in love with shoes and now looking at my wardrobe I can actually see how my love of dresses has gone through numerous stages. I used to like paisly/ floral/ patterned dresses that were kind of flowy with thin straps. Despite the fact that I have several I never wear them anymore. I think I’ve been on this journey and I’m almost at the destination. Now, I have to have dresses with shape, tailored, or with some form of structure, sleeves or wide straps and – while I still like floral – I prefer bold colours and patterns. Maybe, I’m going back in time.

Anyway, why I’m writing this post is because I have a new job that allows me to do one of the  things that I love the most and that makes me truly happy. I get to dress up. It’s a requirement for my job that I give a bag of rats about how I look and I love that. I think  that caring about your appearance is one of the best things for your happiness and confidence – doesn’t that sound backwards, shallow and materialistic! It’s not really. Its not about how much you spend, the brands you wear or even what style you wear  – it’s about self-respect and the fact that you have made an effort. That’s what people see. I think that we have been misled to think that time spent in front of the mirror makes you vain. Of course, it can – but it does a lot of other things to. Before you can love other people and care for other people you have to love yourself, genuinely. You have to believe in yourself (this is basically the whole reason why I don’t believe in God – why put all your faith in ‘man in sky’ when all you really need is to believe in yourself – enough about that) What I’m trying to say is that one of the steps to loving yourself is looking after yourself. And one of the important parts of caring for yourself is making an effort with how you look – because when you’re comfortable in your own skin, your personality shines brightly and you put faith into other people. Track pants and unwashed hair are for rainy-tv-watching-days – which we are all entitled to. I think I learnt all of this from my Mother. Really. She’s not into fashion or shoes or styles. She doesn’t wear jewellery much and is always in the garden, but I’ve always been noticed, and been proud of, how much she cares about how she looks when she goes to work. I believe this is because she knows that a lot of people, her clients, trust her and value her opinion – who respect her. Respect is something that is earned. It’s a lot easier to respect someone that respects themselves.

So frocks aren’t just for dancing, and you don’t have to get dressed up just for a date. And if you’ve stopped caring about your appearance, maybe it’s time for a fresh start.

~Get up, dress up and show up~



Taking the Plunge, Autumn and Fresh Starts


So I’m starting to see and feel a bit of a theme for 2012 and so that’s what this post is about. So far this year (and its only March) I have done quite a few things not quite within my comfort zone. I got my Diploma in front of at least 1000 strangers, I’ve got a new job, that I start on Monday and there’s lots of little things too. Yesterday I took the plunge again – I went and got my hair done. It’s not like dying my hair is a brand new experience, I’ve done it a lot before. But the last time was well over a year ago. For quite a while it was nice not dying my hair, letting it return to its natural colour and generally feeling more healthy but then it started to become ‘comfortable’ and I was afraid to take the risk. Deep down I’ve always wanted red hair. And now I have it. I certainly don’t belong in this era, not all of me, I think in my past life I lived in the 50’s or 60’s. Because all I’ve ever wanted is long, long curly red locks – how odd am I?! But I think – getting all philosophical now – that you can really progress as a  person and become a much happier person if you let yourself be. Sometimes we become so focussed on what random people (people we don’t even like) think about us that we hold so much back from the world. The people we really like and who really care don’t give a bag of rats.

And so here, with my new red hair, is to a fresh start.

And a small tribute to Autumn.

When I think of autumn, I think of a girl with her hair swaying in the wind. She is holding an umbrella that tips back in the breeze but there’s only a slight mist of rain, a drop hangs on her nose. Her feet are dressed in brand new boots and with them she kicks the leaves that have adorned the concrete path. She wears a jacket over her summer dress, just a hint of what is being left behind – long days lying in the grass – and a hint of what’s to come – coats and rainstorms and fire-side mugs of tea. She walks alone but a smile is her companion as other passers by hunker down and hurry on. She knows that just around the corner is a dark and chilly figure, winter waiting, but she does not hesitate to stop and enjoy the myriad of colours: the trees waving, because for autumn may be seen as a stepping stone from light to dark, it is just as long as summer that’s been and winter still to come. And she knows, that stopping to inspect the ant marching on the auburn leaf dancing on the path, she will keep this moment here and winter will hold back just a minute longer. 

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Photo One: Photo Two: Photo Three

A Month of Growth

Februrary – the shortest month of the year – has seemed like the longest month of my life (slight exaggeration) and it’s not even finished yet! So much has happened in this month (it feels like, anyway). I can’t believe that it was only three weeks ago that we were in Rotorua – it seems like a far away dream, but here and there are scattered reminders that it really happened. I have done a lot of things this month that have made me extend  – I like this word, to describe the feeling – extend myself, to reach for something not quite within my grasp and extend my comfort zone. I’m excited and nervous about the rest of the year but I definitely feel like its going to force me, and help me, to extend even more.

I got a new job!! Though I have been jumping for joy (quite literally in some cases) over this for the last few days, I haven’t actually started yet . It’s my first real job and its going to be a big learning curve to start with, but I am actually more excited than nervous about it. Oh yeah, I’m going to be a librarian!

I finally got some health-checks that I have been putting off for 6 months! It took me a long time to get around to doing these but I feel so good now that I have done them.

I tried on the plum coloured shoes seen in my previous post and fell in love. They are so classy, such a great colour and actually fit my oddly-shaped feet. So yes, I am buying them and I can’t wait to start wearing them. They’re the kind of shoe that looks dressed up but because of the colour and the fact they aren’t too high, you could wear them anywhere. Well, I would. Geewiz I’ll be buying boots soon! But my ‘Blossoms’ will be great for in between.


So I found ModCloth, which was probably a huge mistake, but alas, I can’t take it back. I have literally spent hours browsing and ogling all of the pretty clothes, far too many hours. I feel like Modcloth defines the style of clothing I’d like to wear. Shame it’s so expensive.  Oh yea, and I bought hot rollers of trade me. See I have this thing where all I’ve ever wanted is lucious curls. I’m the guy driving the Lazer who one day dreams of owning an  XR6. I’ve tried almost everything to have curls, I even ruined my hair for a while by perming it. But, hopefully, HOPEFULLY with my new curlers I will finally have my XR6, ahem, I mean curls. I belong in the 50s.

Upwardly Mobile Satchel in Brown - 14" Lacy Luck Skirt in Red

Java Chip Dress

Herb It On the Radio Dress

I’ve been cultivating more culinary skills. A couple of years ago – when I was in high school studying food technology, I thought I new how to cook. But for the last two years I have discovered that I hardly know how to cook anything. Every week I learn more and more. I feel like its something you can never truly master (OK maybe Gordon Ramsey or Alison Holst have but not your every-day-only-gets-to-cook-at-meal-times-for-two-or-a-small-family-types). This week I finally made Pumpkin Soup (I know, nothing fancy). I was astonished (yes, astonished) by how easy it was to make and how nice it was. It takes waaay less time than my Leek and Potato and its yum’er. Also, I finally learnt how  to boil eggs, which is great, because I love eggs! Now I have to master poaching.



Wow! Today I made a fascinating discovery – which is not the result I was expecting from two hours of tedious work. My blog – Short Cuts, posts of 2o11 to be specific – is 59 MS word pages long (!!!) and about 13500 words! I decided I really needed a copy of my blog as it has been a great companion and its a big reflection of everything that happened last year. I’m hoping to print it out. Maybe I should even self-publish it hehehe.

So February has been good – it’s been filed with afternoon naps, adventurous cooking, shoe-gazing, blog-browsing and accidental whiskey-drinking.

Here are some of my favourite sites at the moment:

The Happiness Project

For an afternoon pick-me-up, quick inspiration or more indepth insight. Gretchen Ruben is one wise women.

Gala Darling

For style and zesty tips but mostly, she’s just a role-model. She’s so sassy,  is an ex-Wellingtonian now residing in NYC and she started her own fabulous blog-central business from scratch. And shes a writer!

Esme and the Laneway

In absolute love with her vintage style and adorable dresses.

Go Fug Yourself

Not as bad as it sounds hehe, basically fashion gone wrong, wrong, wrong.

And here are some of the beautiful things I MUST HAVE :D


These shoes – Blossoms – I am actually going to save up and buy if they are a good fit. The colour is absolutely perfect. I really, really, really want these. ($120 Hannahs)



And these baby’s. Which are somewhat rediculous but just as amazing and only $80! If they are wearable I’ll have to snap me up a pair of these too (of course this shoe-desiring requires money which I don’t currently have…)

I was going to burble on about my goals and what-not for Feb but I decided just to focus on some good things – shoes, great blogs, baby pink toe-nails, sitting around a table having an alcohol induced discussion about the flaws of men, my first bean sprouting up (or off a vine rather), marigolds, letters in the mail, my book and my house that isn’t perfect but is GOOD, that I get to keep for a bit longer.

Also, it’s Valentines Day tomorrow. I’m not one of those people (actually I really really am, Rows not, so we don’t) who gets all into Valentines Day and buys cheesey gifts, but we always make an extra effort. Tomorrow for the first time in what seems like months me and Row actually get to sleep in together. Yikes! Then we plan to have lunch out, look at some scenery and have wine with dinner. Today, he rang me when I finshed work (even though he was working) just to discuss this. That’s why I love him oh so much. It put a big, fat smile on my dial.


( My blog has had a make-over for 2012! )

Yesterday I returned form Rotorua, where I spent the weekend and officially graduated with a Diploma in Creative Writing. This post would probably be nine pages long if I wrote about everything we did and saw so I’ m just going to write about my favourite things. Summer this year has been seriously full-on. I feel like a lot more has happened this summer than last and its just been really fun. In the last week of January we had a our first BBQ, went out for dinner and to the movies, went to the Kite Festival and went to a Mexican themed 21st. Now that that’s over and I’m back from our big trip I can’t help but feel like I’m staring at a blank canvas – what will the last month of Summer involve?

Graduation Day

Graduation Day and seeing my polytech was a surreal, exciting and somewhat scary experience but all in all I was completely blown away by it all. The two ceremonies were just amazing, well organised and really special. I feel quite proud to be a Waiariki Graduand. My highlights were the girl who sung at the Farewell Ceremony (can’t remember her long Maori name), walking into the auditorium (is that what it’s called) for the first time and seeing where I was going to Graduate – the lights, smoke, plants & decor and big screens and all of the people watching! and walking across the stage to get my Diploma. I still can’t believe I have it.

Geothermal Bliss

Rotorua is obviously famous for its geothermal activity and iconic ‘smell’ but I don’t think people can really bag on about it like they do. Its absolutely fascinating – to see steam billowing out of a drain, or bubbling out of  a crack in the ground and the fact that everywhere you go there is a delicious hot pool to dunk your feet in. I think NZ is really lucky to have so many different landscapes. It makes me want to see more of it.

The Government Gardens & Kuirau Park

My two favourite places would be the Government Gardens and Kuirau Park. The Government Gardens is home to the museum (an absolutely fascinating building that I can’t even describe), the Blue Baths, the Polynesian Spa, some beautiful grounds and gardens and the Energy Events Center (where I graduated). I don’t know how else to describe the place other than by saying that its really, really pretty and there is so much to explore. It makes you dream of tea parties and Alice in Wonderland and picnics and vintage bicycles.

Kuirau Park is similar with beautiful gardens and pathways and bridges but it is also dotted with heaps of geothermal activity. There’s mud pools and steaming ponds and all sorts of other things just everywhere. And there’s hot pools to soak your feet in! Its the kind of place that I would absolutely love to live right next to so I could visit it everyday.

Kayaking on Lake Rotoiti

We went Kayaking on Rotorua’s second biggest lake – Lake Rotoiti and it was super fun. We kayaked over to yet another neat little geothermal spot where there were about 5 baths to soak in and we went for a swim in the lake. The kayak back was my favourite part as I felt all warm and relaxed after the pools and had gotten the hang of the steering of the kayak. Also the sun had just started to set and the lake was super calm.



Sunday was our last day in Rotorua and this is when we went to Kuirau Park. We also wandered along the Lake shore and visited a historic church. Lastly we went to the Blue Baths which was also beautiful. It was like (mums words) an old Roman bath house, with a big 30 degree pool in the center and a soaking tub on each side. And for most of the time we were there we had it all to ourselves. Oh yeah, and first thing in the morning on Sunday  we had breakfast in an old paddle boat (is that right?) on the lake. Buffets are the best way to stuff yourself full of deliciousness.

 Well this is a long post and I haven’t added any photos yet. In my next post I will write about my plans for February.