Mondayitis

MondayMarrakech

It is summer for the southern hemisphere (although with the drizzle outside, you wouldn’t know it). Everyone is hitting up the beach, downing the beers and rocking the perfect ‘I just went for a swim, how amazing does my hair look’ ‘do.

Except me of course.

I spent the morning trawling the deserted CBD for a place that would fix my sever grump and give me coffee. Luckily I did find one small café willing to hand over the goods (and I rather gruffly told the barrister to make it with “full fat milk, not that skinny shit”). Although, it hasn’t picked me up out of my slump.

And, much like any normal person, I’m feeling sorry for myself and looking at my friends Instagram updates of sun, sand and celebrations. I’m sadistically sabotaging any chance of a good mood by pushing away happy thoughts (such as “ in a couple of months I’m off to travel the world, on a holiday without an end date”), and simply groaning and whinging about the fact that the boy has up sticks and left me alone to bring in 2014 by myself (with a bottle of gin and a Mad Men marathon*).

Where I wish myself, and my wardrobe, were on this lack lustre workday are the streets of Marrakech. Flaunting Aztec prints, floaty silk dresses and an abundance of bangles. This height-of-summer trend has my heart completely captivated.

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The beach isn’t an option for me this New Years, but maybe, just maybe, the bright and bold beats of tribal tones will knock me out of my jealous haze and jolt me into a Monday mood that won’t leave my poor work mates gasping for air (after I talk AT them about how unfair it is that I have to work, when the world seems to be playing).

*I actually have some pretty amazing new years plans that involve my wonderful girlfriends, a 5-course dinner and too much red wine, that doesn’t sound so dramatically emo!

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I’m off on a plane. But for now, I’m on a boat.

Boat

So, we’ve been dilly dallying here for a while now.

Flirting around.

You know I like boyfriend jeans, foods that cavemen would happily chow down on, and running (oh, and complaining about running). And I’m pretty convinced you’re fond of trawling the internet for odd peoples musings on life. We’re a few dates down, but we haven’t met the parents yet. So lets get to know each other a little. Lets get personal.

I’m going to tell you more about myself.

Like a huge number of other people in 1988, I was born in London town, and grew up there. Those who know me well are still shocked to find this out, because being shipped from your home town when you’re merely eight tends to lead to a loss of both English attitudes and accents. And sure enough, my distinct kiwis twang masks any possible remittance of my British heritage (a faint memory that only comes out to play when I talk to my mum on the phone).

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But, despite having found my feet in New Zealand, they have got a bit itchy as of late, (and no, its not athletes foot), so the boy and I have decided to flee, making camp right back where it all began (and by “it”, I mean “me”). We are off, with a oneway ticket, to London (with hundreds of stops in small Asian countries on the way, so the boy can taste delicacies from the motherland of all of his favourite curry dishes).

It feels a lot like a break up.

I’m beginning to look through those rose tinted glasses and question the decision to walk away. We’ve come a long way, Auckland and I. I’ve spent the last few years building up my life here. Finding my dream job, furnishing my dream apartment and discovering the best brew for watching the sun go down (currently it’s peppermint tea).

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This country is pretty amazing. Sitting here on the bow of a boat in nothing but a bikini (and bunny jumper) with the man of my dreams bobbing in and out of the waters around me in search of mussels* makes me wonder why anyone would ever leave. This small, but perfectly formed Island, isolated yet filled with everyone I love, will be missed greatly. Like a parent, it has fostered me into its shores and nurtured me. No matter where this life takes me, this bush filled beach land will have always taught me so much.

One of these invaluable lessons, however, is, that fear is both the best and worst feeling you can have. It’s up to you how you choose to use it. It can propel you forward, or keep you cowering back. So, with the (inevitable) fear that taking this leap from what I know, could (fingers crossed) come the best reward.

Life gets a bit scary some times. And, just like the first time (ok, ok, all the times) I watched Silence of the Lambs, my life is sending chills up my spin right now. In exactly 64 days the boy and I will take some pretty small steps though the departure gates of Auckland airport, but they will be the biggest steps of my life to date.

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Its not that I don’t love this place, because I do, with every inch of who I am, but I feel (just like those oshkosh b’gosh pinstriped dungarees I loved so much when I was a kid) I’ve out grown it a bit.

So, this is not the end for Auckland and I, I see a brilliant life together in our future, but (to utter the words that play out in every teenage girls nightmare) I’ve decided to take a break from us.

I’m taking some time to find myself (or something less wanky).

I know its early days for you and me however (ok, now it sounds like I have cheated on Auckland with you, this metaphor has gotten a bit confuse, but i’m sticking with it), but I hope we can take this journey together.

*The boys secret for getting a good haul? Sing to them. No jokes. I don’t know if it works, but the muffled tones of Christmas carols just add to the magic of this moment.

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’tis the season of food comas and cheesy movies.

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Have a great Christmas my lovely readers!

Mondayitis

Monday-Duo

I love my boyfriend… I think he is more than perfect (except maybe when he uses my unexplainable fear of geese to torture me). But would I ever steal from his wardrobe? Maybe the occasional tee to sleep in, if he hasn’t been sweating up a snowstorm. (Don’t ask me what I mean by that, its alliteration therefore its fabulous journalism, ok? Ok! Good.)

But it seems the latest thing in fashion world is a duo wardrobe with your bf.

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I know this is where I’m supposed to say “to cure my Monday morning blues I want to rope my other half into coupled clothes, Kimye styles” but what would really knock the start-of-the-working-week-chip off my shoulder would be if we could dress matchy-match and laugh our arses off before promptly getting into our normal (not the same in any way shape or form) looks and head out for brunch.

It would be a good laugh, but nobody should see that right? It’s like some perverted fashion-meets-sexual fantasy that Freud would have a field day on. And, no, Sigmund, I don’t really want to make love to myself. I’m a little egotistical (aren’t we all in the blogosphere), but that is one step to far.

Plus I don’t suit orange plaid, and the boy absolutely rocks it. (I know what you’re thinking, can anyone ever actually look good in that? The answer is yes. Yes they can. But it sure as hell isn’t me).

When baking gods, cookies and my credit card collide.

CookieBar

Talking about cookies (because who doesn’t love to continue that conversation)…

If you haven’t tried Moustache Milk & Cookie bar, in Auckland, you’re missing out. Seriously missing out. In fact, you should probably stop sitting on your butts reading this post and hop to it asap.

Tucked away, up Wellesley Street, behind this big little cities ornate theatre (The Civic), sits a minuscule joint that boasts the best cookies I’ve ever tasted (and I’ve tasted a fair few).

No, they aren’t paleo, sugar free or even remotely healthy, but they are my number one stop when it’s time for a cheat meal (oh, I do love that time).

Along with the good old staples (black forest, choc chunk, cinnamon, nutella, snickers, oreo marshmallow, peanut butter and white choc macadamia) this quaint café experiments with a cookie of the week. Each Monday they bring out their latest mad invention of sweet and sticky awesomeness, and its up for grabs till end of day Sunday. The weekly special is always incredible (and fun), from reinventing your favourite burger into biscuit form, to tantalizing your taste buds with cake flavoured cookies (carrot cake has been the ultimate flavour so far, complete with cream cheese icing) to jumping on baking bandwagons…Cookie cake pop, cookie macaron for anyone? Hell yes.

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This quirky bar will also serve your choice of flavoured milk (or plain, if that’s your bag) in super cute jars along side your cookie choice for a nostalgic dunking experience. And, if you’re lucky, you might get a hot, melt in your mouth, cookie, straight off the baking tray. Not big on warm baking (freak)? How about you make an ice cream sandwich out of your fave flavours? Because they do that too!

Told you this place was the best.

These ingenious baking gods (yes, I said it, gods) have also just launched an online store for you to get that craving sorted and delivered right to your door!

There is even a giant cookie meets birthday cake option on the menu.

… now where did I put that credit card.

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Sugar free gingerbread, misshapen reindeer and overeating.

Gingerbread

Even though I’ve lived in New Zealand for well over a decade, this time of year is still so alien to me. It’s a time for sickly sweet mulled wine, for hideously great knitted jumpers with misshapen reindeer on the front, for nights by the fire and eating, eating and more eating.

Those things don’t sit well with bikini wearing, blistering heat and beaches (especially the bikini wearing).

Now, I do love the quirky contradiction that Christmas here brings.  I love the look of jandals and Santa hats (even though it’s a total fashion crime), I love BBQ’s on the deck (with the perfect charred steak) and I love the notion of a huge, sand filled holiday to celebrate the end of one year and welcome in another – it’s fantastic.

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But for me, it’s just not the magical time I remember from the Northern Hemisphere (even if a white Christmas day barely ever occurred).

Today, to welcome in the Christmas spirit (despite the sandals weather outside), I filled my house with the spirit of the holidays and made gingerbread cookies. Sugar free, paleo gingerbread cookies – of course.

Served up with peppermint tea, this combo of strong aroma of ginger playing with my senses transported me back to London evenings in December (watching James Bond repeats and not sleeping much at all).

And with my first bite of biscuit, in the midst of a balmy Auckland summers day, it started to rain.

I don’t know that I’ve ever been so happy to hear the sound of rain cut the heat of summer.

For a moment, it was a real slice of Christmas, on the wrong side of the world.

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 Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups of almond meal
  • ¼ cup of coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground gloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 65g melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup of rice malt syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • Zest of ½ and orange

Mix all ingredients together (I used a food processor) and wrap in cling film and put in the fridge to harden for a couple of hours.

Preheat oven to 160C (fan forced)

Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper to about 1cm thick and cut out (I used nifty Christmas tree cutters).

Bake your cookies for about 10 minutes or until starting to turn golden brown on the edges.

Take out and enjoy with a cup of peppermint tea and the sound of rain.

Total Bliss.

Mondayitis

SPRING

Today I had a sleep in (well, actually I went to boot camp at 630am, but I promptly went back to bed upon my return), because I’m on holiday (fist pumps all round).

But, before you get too jealous, I’ve got some pretty crazy times off this holiday season. And by “pretty crazy”, I mean “officially none”. That’s right, once I’m back to the grind next week I’m not off again till well past Christmas, New years and beyond. So this brilliantly hot (in Auckland at least) Monday is tainted as my last whiff of freedom for a long time.

With that in mind, I’m going to grab this week (while the world is hard at work) and embrace it.

More than I want to spend up large on net-a-porter, and more than I want to eat my weight in paleo baking, and, even more than I want my Christmas shopping to be over (although I want that pretty damn bad), I want to relax.

So, I took things into my own hands this Monday, and cured my own Mondayitis once and for all by booking a trip to a Spa. For my first ever facial.

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Spring Spa is the latest in the hip wellbeing scene here in Auckland. It’s renowned for its Almond Milk pedicure (caveman style pedicures baby – it’s meant to be), and is touted as a social spa, built to encourage you and your friends to have a laugh while enjoying your mani’s/pedi’s/massages (but maybe not your waxes). I’m not sure what I will find at the end of this rainbow, as I’m a facial virgin (and, to be honest, a spa virgin), but I’m pretty excited.

First date nerves are at an all time high as I await my “Bliss Instant Radiance Oxygen Pod Facial” tomorrow morning.

What do I wear? What do I say?

What if the almond milk goes straight to my head and I embarrass myself?

All these unknowns, I feel young again already!

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Big brother, goal setting and Christmas cards.

lists

At the beginning of each week I plan.

Plan, plan, plan.

I schedule time for exercise, for catching up with friends, for blogging, for working and for pretty much everything in between.

I write lists.

I set goals.

And then, come the end of the week, I fail them. Each and every one

It’s a cycle that is getting pretty repetitive and quite soul destroying.

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”, is a quote I’ve always held dear since I was 16 and a girl I barely knew wrote it in a Christmas card (yes, I am very cliché). I like the idea, in a more realistic situation, that if you aim high, you’ll at least get somewhere, even if its not where you want to be.

But the problem here is, with it becoming the business end of the year, those lists are getting longer as I deal with the fact that 2013 is a ticking time bomb and I need to actually got somewhere on those dreaded, hung over, new years resolutions I set 346 days ago.

I haven’t run in weeks, I haven’t blogged as much as I want, I still don’t have abs and I still have a floordrobe (much to the boys dismay).

So I have 19 days and counting to pull my finger out and actually do shit.

Damn. I’ve got to get onto that.

….right after this episode of Big Brother.

Help!

Mondayitis

MIDISKIRT

I am really short. Like midget short.

(Ok, not quite, but not far off.)

One of the only people I’m actually taller than is my Grandma, but she lives in the UK, so I can’t even prove to people that I am in fact taller than another human.

This tall deficiency has its ups and downs.

UPS The boy isn’t a 6ft 8 giant, so I can both comfortably kiss him (whoop) and wear any desired height of heel without him feeling emasculated (whoop whoop). Also, when I’m feeling lazy and stuff is high up on a shelf, I can blame my genes, bring out the puppy dog eyes and have that INSERT ITEM THAT HAS PROBABLY BEEN PUT HIGH UP SO I CAN’T REACH IT HERE handed to me without lifting a finger (unless there is no one around, then I whip out my mad acrobatic skills – no jokes).

DOWNS People always seem to feel the need to tell me that I’m vertically challenged, like I’ve somehow lived my 25 years on this earth and not in fact noticed that I am small. These same people, who like to remind me of my stature (or lack of it), treat me like a child/pet, I’m talking squeals of “OMG you are soooooooo cute” (and maybe even a cheek pinch if I’m lucky). Now I know this doesn’t sound bad, and I would so much rather be “cute” than “hideous”, but I’m a strong, fashion savvy, independent woman. Cute isn’t actually an aim in my life*. Also, I can’t go on rides at amusement parks (seriously).

Another down is fashion. And it’s a super important down that gets its own entire section. Because, shy of always shopping at the kids department (if you can ever find a pair of jeans without a glittery pink butterfly sewn on the hip), it’s really hard to find clothes to fit. Entire trends are just whipped out for me, and my body shape.

One of these trends that I’m too scared to attempt is the midi hemline.

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I think it’s damn gorgeous. Like sophistication and vintage chic had a baby.

A baby that I want to wear.

I am however freaked out by this baby. Could it cut my minuscule legs in half (visually of course)? Maybe emphasize my small stature? Or even drown me in never-ending folds of fabric (therefore making me look more impish than I already do)?

It will probably do all three.

What it will definitely do, is cure my Monday morning blues (that and a mid morning sugar fix).

If I ever get the guts to give it a go – height restrictions be damned.

*Yes friends and family, I can hear you snigger at the idea that I describe myself as independent while simultaneously being unable to reach the microwave in my own kitchen.

In my defense, it’s up really high. Really, really high.

Sort of.

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The month that was.

NOVEMBER

November has been filled with excessive green smoothie drinking, the worlds most beautiful wedding (yup, I am claiming that) and a wee bit of a half marathon. Follow me on Instagram here for heaps of pictorial updates on all of the crazy foods I make (above is an Eggplant burger… I know, I’m pretty amazing) and way too many duck face selfies.

 

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