You totes thought I had forgotten about being a moaning b**ch every Monday right? Well no, unfortunately the taste of halitosis combined with double shot espresso greeting me across my daily catch up of Perez Hilton (.com) is still, somehow, so much worse on this particular day of the week. So, instead of being a normal human and just instagraming a hilarious (or not) quote about how much I miss the weekend, I will write an exceptionally long posts about how much better my life would be if I had [insert materialistic item of awesomeness here]. Oh, and I also do the Instagram thing too. Duh.
This Monday my list is pretty long. Considering I’m professionally trained and paid to be an “editor”, when it comes to culling down the list of things I want right now I would be better labeled a “inability to prioritise-r” or maybe even “demanding”. (Who me?! Never). It goes a little something like this…
A Normal Right Leg. Can someone please fix my knee? Seriously. Not only does it hurt like hell when I both bend AND straighten it, it has rendered me unable to do exercise (but, oddly, not unable to eat large quantities), but MOST importantly, it has swollen up to the point that I can’t fit in my new pineapple skinny jeans. So I need that to not be happening.
A Wallet. More specifically, this wallet. Preferably with large wads of cash in it. The truth is, three weeks down and my coin purse (that was oh-so sweet and handy through out Asia) is now stuffed with one and two pence pieces (grumble, grumble, pointless ruddy coins, grumble), half filled coffee cards from Pret, and receipts (that I’m attempting to keep so I can start budgeting – ha). This bright, happy-making number has space for all those cards, a coin compartment, it opens out to fit all my pesky receipts (and large wads of cash), whilst being bright enough to spot in the bottom of your bag AND small enough to pop in your fave clutch when you head out for a drink. It’s totally more of a necessity than a want. Totally. (Stop rolling your eyes mum.)
All Ruby Everything. I always talk about my love for this incredible kiwi brand, Ruby. It must be so boring for you. Because I actually have a super international readership (hey all you lovelies from all over the world) and you know what? It’s hella expensive to get Ruby shipped to anywhere but NZ. I know because I’ve looked. I’ve looked, I’ve weighed up the options, and I’ve decided its worth it. (Then I put down my wine glass and went to bed). No, but in all seriousness I miss this brand a lot; the quality is great, it fits me perfectly, I love the current collection and I seriously love the next collection. I’m pretty bloody upset that I no longer live nearby. Can someone please send me this? Oh and this? Maybe these too? Hell, just one of everything. (Told you I was grand and this “editing” business).
The Petite Kitchen Cookbook by Eleanor Ozich. This girl is incredible. She’s a blogger who turned to wholefoods and general clean eating to help her daughter (who suffers from Gut and Psychology Syndrome, read her story here). She also went to my high school and I still get this weird how-can-someone-who-sat-opposite-me-in-maths-be-doing-so-freaking-well-at-life feeling every time I look at one of her recipes. Eleanor is one of the original inspirations behind the way I (try) and eat and I think her recipes are wonderfully simple, easy to achieve and always scrumptious. When the boy and I score a cute little London pad (cough, cough), the first thing heading to my kitchen will be this book. (Well, actually it will probably be boring crap like knives and forks… but you know… this is a close second).
I will stop now, even though I could go on forever. I’m starting to feel like I’m writing a letter to Father Christmas, and if I go any further with this fantasy I might start expecting things under the tree.
I’m pretty sure I’ve been a good girl this year Saint Nicholas, so please cure my Monday morning blues and…. give me all of the cool stuffs. Ta.
I once heard someone say “as long as you actually get moving, it doesn’t matter what you wear. Exercise, and all its benefits, can be achieved as long as you just go and do it”.
Well kids, that person was a big ol’ liar. For the last two weeks (since arriving in the UK) I’ve been trying (important word that, trying) to get back to my previous fitness level. With another half marathon to work towards, I’ve been strapping on trainers and heading out into the FREEZING London streets as many mornings as I can muster the courage (not many).
I’m pretty sure it’s the eight weeks of doing very little and the sharp change in temperature from my normal training that’s contributing to my… well.. diabolical running ability. But I also think that it’s because I’m in all the wrong gear.
You’ve heard me harp on about my love affair with Skechers. The GoRun is just a perfect match for me (and probably you too – seriously, give it a go). You can read my in-depth reviews/love letters here and here (I’m smitten). Unfortunately, with the boy watching over (aka lording over) my packing for our South East Asian adventures, they didn’t make the cut. A 10 year old, overused and muddy pair of Nikes did. With the convincing reasoning behind the boy removing my fave trainers from my pack being that “I wouldn’t mind if the others got lost/dirty”. All through our intrepid journey, the boy was right. But now I am here, and my runners aren’t, I’m in huge distress.
Two weeks of shockingly mediocre runs with bad shoes (featuring none of the right support), and my knee has actually given in, I’ve strained my ITB (google it, its far too boring for me to explain here) and I am now BED RIDDEN*.
Luckily, my one true loves are slowly making their way to me via a shipping container full of other stuff that we deemed important enough to send to the other side of the world. I imagine (upon arrival) I will probably look at the painstakingly selected items in disgust, questioning why on earth I chose to spend actual money, time and energy sending it… all except my beautiful Skechers. I will caress them. Cuddle them. Love them. And yes, I will prob even give them a little stroke. (Stop judging me).
I’m pretty sure, once reunited with my GoRuns, I will be able to whiz through my training. Right? Yeah. Its definitely the shoes and not my lazy butt. For sure.
*Okay, so I’m not ACTUALLY bed ridden. But walking is tough, going up stairs is tougher and if I want to get any sympathy (and maybe breakfast in bed) from the boy I have to say things like “bed ridden”. Ok? Cool. Glad we’re on the same page.
Is it just me, or is one of the best things about moving overseas is the opportunity to completely reinventing yourself?
When in New Zealand, I would often live my dream life out when I went to a hairdresser. It sounds crazy (it is), but my reaction to a complete stranger asking me a million questions about my life was to lie. I would tell them I was an actress, or I had twelve brothers, or I was currently writing a murder mystery novel, or whatever took my fancy that day. Unfortunately I found a hairdresser I really liked and wanted to keep seeing, so found myself tangled up in a web of lies. It’s the real reason I upped sticks to Europe. It was getting a bit hard to keep up with.
I digress, basically I like that this life change is giving me the chance to start fresh, like the first page of a notebook. And, as any good stylist knows, the best place to start when reinventing yourself is your wardrobe.
Upon leaving my studio flat in the heart of Auckland, I got rid of almost my entire floordrobe. (Apart from shipping over a few of my absolute favourite pieces). I juice cleansed my fashion “system” (but with less spinach). So, I’ve arrived ready to fill my new wardrobe with all the right choices. And I recon this list is a good place to start…
A White Shirt This closet classic is a crime to be without. It can be dressed up, or down, and easily taken from the office to…well anywhere you might want to go after the office. Mine (already purchased – it’s that important) is a crisp linen with beautiful, delicate shell buttons. It’s simply gorgeous. My favourite way to wear it is with drainpipe black jeans, chelsea boots and a chunky necklace.
Black Trousers Whether you prefer your trousers tux style, or skinny (like me), it’s important to have these. You don’t have to spend the earth, but they should fit you well. They’re pretty boring to buy, and yes those pineapple print jeans are SO much more exciting (I may or may not have bought them too*), but believe me – a pair of black trousers will see you through not only seasons, but a million different occasions too. They are pretty much the bread and butter of fashion.
A Great Handbag Now, this one IS worth spending some money on. I would say that though, because a certain handbag is by far the most expensive thing I own. But it’s also timeless and still in perfect condition despite its nearly five years in my possession. I’ve decided (look away now mum) that upon getting my dream job here in London, I will celebrate by buying a very nice handbag. Despite being swaddled with all of the worlds best designers here, I’m still going to opt for a Deadly Ponies number – those guys make the best bags around. No question. Don’t fight me on this guys. I will take you on, and I will win. **evil glares**
Ankle BootsI’ve already mentioned chelsea boots, and they are my go-to. The trick here is to start with the basics and go for a brown or black leather with a low(ish) heel. Once you have the basics covered, go nuts with any and every colour/material/embellishments that take your fancy.
A Coat I’ve just purchased a textured navy coat that’s sort of a blazer come coat. It’s perfect. When I recover from the above bag purchase however, I will buy this…ok, I won’t, because unless I win the lottery I don’t have that much money… But I live in London now, so every coat dream that I’ve had to put on hold in toasty Auckland can now be played out (in my head). Plus everyone needs a camel coat. Like duh.
Ballet Flats I’m all for heels. But, if you can’t walk in them – take them the hell off. Now. Because there is nothing more painful than watching some poor woman trying to walk in heels and failing. Every inch of elegance is snatched from her. So, ladies, embrace flats. My faves are actually these. Basic, cheap, classic and insanely versatile. Plus you feel like a dancer. WIN.
Jeans This doesn’t need explaining. Even my Gran (aka my current flatmate) has a pair. If you don’t own any then you are just a crazy person. Sort it out.
Knitwear If you have a wee bit of extra cash, cashmere is the best choice. Investing in a quality fabric here will mean that your jumper doesn’t loose its shape and can be worn for years and years (and maybe some more years). Try to have at least one lightweight, fitted option in your grasp before you start introducing cable knits or crops. I’ve just welcomed this baby into my wardrobe. It may not look exciting, but the wool and silk blend is so soft, and the style means it is perfect for layering.
A Tee See this post dedicated to my love of all things tee and shirty.
Statement Bling Some people will probably disagree that this is a “staple”, but I think popping your personality into any and every look is completely vital. I don’t mean wearing something crazy, just find a piece (or a few) that work for you. I love rings. All the rings, on all the fingers, at all the times. It’s my personal statement and yours could be different, but it’s a great way to add some of you to your outfit.
Armed with this list, I’m off out to spend up large (except not – damn being a poor unemployed traveler).
*I totally did. And I don’t regret it at all.
So its been a while. Like a really long while. And I kind of feel like a kid who’s dog ate their homework (because that totes really happens), full of excuses, a little bit of regret and a tone of catching up.
I have successfully landed in the world of Percy Pigs, endless cups of tea and stupidly cold temperatures (aka London), but for the last few weeks India has been my home. Although rich with colourful saris, motorbikes and cows (oh so many cows), what it lacks is wifi. Like seriously India, how’s a girl meant to blog? More importantly, how’s a girl meant to check her Facebook?! After my www-detox I’m back, and excited to start my post-adventure adventure along side some old friends (hey guys), and to share all that deep and meaningful crap I’ve picked up along my way around the world. (Think Eat Pray Love minus the Brazilian businessman).
So, lets start with the biggest lesson I learnt while traveling. Drumroll please…
I am happiest, and my body feels, looks and acts its best when I fuel it with clean, lean and fresh things.
Do you feel let down? Like almost a year into writing health blog I should probably have figured this out already? Yeah, me too. But then again, putting the opposite of this personal mantra into action over the last 57 days proved to underline, highlight and completely scream its importance. The ramifications of taking even the smallest of health related back tracks completely shocked me. Even more shocking however, is the thought that there are people (and heaps of them) who live everyday feeling as tired, deflated, down and uncomfortable as I did – and it’s their choice. There is nothing like a hike around the world to make you reevaluate personal priorities and remind yourself of what really matters (to you). To me, it is health and healing myself through food.
Food was a huge part of our adventure. It was often the sole reason for stopping places (armed with scrappy handwritten lists of famous dishes). I attempted to eat healthy, to stick to my paleo ways, but so often that little voice in my head would mutter “oh but you’re on holiday”, or “how often will you be in Cambodia?” etc.
Damn that voice. Because I got sick.
Like hospital-visits-in-the-middle-of-the-night-trying-to-sign-language-symptoms-to-a-Vietnamese-doctor sick.
To put it simply, I learnt that no amount of special occasions, tasty sounding food or even ‘once in a lifetime’ trips are worth risking my health. And further more, that what I put into my body is the key to feeling great, and you won’t enjoy said occasions, food or trips if you don’t feel great.
After two months of clogging up my delicate (and kinda temperamental) body with rich creamy curries, oodles of noodles and spice filled delicacies (can we say “bloated”), I’m seeing this next phase in my life as a chance to cleanse. To fill my life (and my stomach) with the right choices and get back to the energy levels, clear skin and healthy, happy feeling that I was striving for in New Zealand.
How many times do you (even when you’re not on holiday) head for a treat? Excuse bad health with the pre tense of a one off event? Well, from now on, for me, I have decided it isn’t worth it (and hopefully I can inspire you to do the same). Friday night? Well, I will think a little harder about Saturday morning. Going out for dinner? I’m yet to find a spot that doesn’t either have some scrummy veggies on the menu, or isn’t willing to swap things around to add some. Craving a treat? Load up with some toasted cashews (straight from the oven of course). Lets take this seasonal, whole food journey together. Lets explore recipes and celebrate ingredients together. Lets whinge about how hard it all is whilst looking smugly at those chowing down on Maccas… (you guessed it)… together. You and me baby – I can’t wait.
But first things first, I’ve just arrived at my grans semi-detached cottage (down a leafy London lane – bliss) and I’m having myself a cup of green tea and a ruddy salad.
Oh, and putting on a jumper. And a pair of socks. And coat. Scarf. Gloves. Yes, I am indoors.
Despite the heat here in NZ, and the rather intimidatingly hot weather that will greet me off the plane tomorrow (yes, I said tomorrow… and yes I’m freaking out about it). All I can think about (mostly because I prescribe to the theory of “if your scared of something, ignore it and it will go away”), is what I will face when I finally finish my round the world adventures, and land in Europe.
Having lived in Auckland for 13 years, one thing I’ve very rarely needed is a coat. This will no longer be the case as I gear up for British winters (hell, even British summers). And to be honest? I bloody love dressing for the chilly seasons. Don’t get me wrong, hot sunny weather is great, but in winter I physically get to wear more clothes – win.
Drowning in cashmere, swaddled in chunky knits and investing in buttery soft leather as I sip on my Monday morning coffee – the life inside my head right now is pretty damn perfect.
What would complete the winter wonderland I’m creating is an all-engulfing coat. The kind that’s pretty much a dress, is very much oversized and looks best with a chunky belt (think Coco Chanel styles). I recon coats like this, in either bold prints or scream-your-head-off loud colours, will be big for winter months to come.
With a backpack filled to the brim with flip flops, tanks and shorts, I’m well and truly terrified of the heat wave I’m spending the next two months playing in. So, in line with my amazing avoidance theory, I’m dreaming of nestling up by the fire, and falling into a coat (that will probably be bigger than my London apartment).
Do you know what’s better than every fashion show, front row seat and copious amounts of goody bags? The game of people watching outside the shows*.
Even when it isn’t fashion week, I love people watching, My friends and I do it while we catch up over flat whites (or green tea if we’re feeling healthy). But style spying at a fancy fashion show is probably the creme de la creme – it’s like people watching… but on acid.
Everyone is wearing better-than-Sunday best, and it’s like a competition to get onto a top notch street style blogs. What with New York, London and Milan fashion weeks going on at the moment, I’ve been spending every inch of my spare time lost in impeccably dressed ladies (and adding to my wardrobe wish list).
These are my favourite looking outfits from New York, London and Milan.
Now to find myself a neon yellow coat, pelican clutch, white dungarees and an invite to Dior (front row – duh).
*To be fair, I’ve never been front row at a fancy London fashion week before, so maybe I’m just saying this to make me feel better. Yea, I totally am.
So, I am not going to muck around – this morning it’s bloody cold.
Now bare in mind I live in Auckland, and it’s summer, so by “bloody cold” I probably mean “like an average day in a English summer”. But for my delicate, New Zealand acclimatised body, it’s freaking freezing. I am filling up on hot teas and have yet to actually remove my coat despite being in the office for over four hours.
With that in mind, and my mind wandering to the days of London living that is sneaking up fast, my head is filled with cable knit dreams.
I don’t know if it’s the British buried deep inside me, or if I am just a very strange lady, but I love winter.
I love the feeling of coming in from a winters day, cold to my core, and swaddling myself in layer after layer of knitwear, clasping a hot mug of something (anything – because I will likely just clutch it between my hands until it cools rather than actually drink it) and watch bad American sitcom reruns on TV.
It sounds like bliss, and it’s where I want to be right this second.
Maybe a lunchtime trip to the shops in search of an appropriate cardi will cure my Monday morning blues!
So, we’ve been dilly dallying here for a while now.
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).
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).
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.
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.