Category Archives: Life

New Year, New You?

Needless to say, I totally went off the blogging radar for a while now. Quick recap:

  • Mom was here visiting Nov 5-Dec 3. It was AMAZING to spend time with her and I love that she got to see my place, my (new) office, meet my friends and generally see what my life down here is like.
  • I have a new job! As I mentioned before my hiatus, I found out I basically lost my job when the show I was to be production managing got put on hold. The timing was great, though, as it allowed me to spend a whole month with my mom while she was here. Long story short: within a week of leaving my old job, I had interviewed for and been offered a job as Production/Facilities Coordinator at Oktobor, a post-production/VFX company that deals mainly in advertising. ( for some samples of our work). I LOVE it. It’s the first job I think I’ve ever had that I absolutely love and feel like it’s something that really fits with my experience, personality and generally what I’m looking for in a job. Yay!!!
  • My diet/workout routine went out the window with my blog. The combination of mom’s visit, losing a job, gaining a new job, Christmas and everything else are all just excuses, I know, but kept me thinking about and putting energy into just about everything other than my diet/fitness. And it’s totally taken it’s toll…

In the end, it’s been a couple months of changes that have left me in a really great place. I’m really happy and grounded. I feel like I’m finally working for a company that really values me and wants me to do well. My boss had already talked about the next steps in my career and my options as I work my way up. Add the fact my mom was around for the whole process and got to encourage me before the interviews, celebrate with me after landing the job and even come by and take a tour of my new office and meet my coworkers… the whipped cream and cherry on top!

The downside to all the excitement is my health taking a complete backseat and I think now that I’ve started to slow down a little over the 2 week holiday break, I’m feeling the effects. I’m tired. I have more headaches, feel weaker and almost constantly bloated, and just generally don’t feel all that great. (Sound familiar?)

Taking the break and the new year as a chance to regroup, I’m trying to get back on track. I don’t want to say it’s a resolution, because those seem almost doomed to fail. It’s just refocusing my energy back on me. Putting my health back in the forefront and finding the discipline, inspiration and commitment to get back to where I was late September. Since the new job has longer hours – 8:15-6 as a minimum – I doubt the gym is going to find its way into my schedule too soon. (I let my 3-month membership expire in November. There was too much going on in my life and the gym was getting too busy when I did find time to workout). Thankfully, it’s summer here, so I’m going to try to take advantage. Swimming/surfing on the weekends and just generally getting outside whenever possible. Walks, frisbee games, fishing – whatever.

I don’t think I’ll be updating this every day anymore but hopefully I’ll be able to get something up at least once a week. And, of course, I hope to get back into reading your blogs and commenting and all that good stuff. I know you’ll help boost my inspiration and motivation. 🙂


Did you make any new years resolutions?
Anything I totally missed in the last 2.5 months that I simply MUST read?



Filed under Diet, Exercise, Goals, Life


Sorry for the massive lack of posting recently – my life’s been all over the place these last few weeks.

I’ve had a lot of instability with my work and my mood – and eating and exercise – have taken a hit because of it. Yesterday I found out the show I was working on has been put on hold and won’t resume until the new year (I was given March as an estimate). I was offered a different job, which is a step back both in experience and pay, to do in the interim but ended up declining it. So now, as of sometime between Nov 5-12, I will no longer have a job.


The funny thing is – I’m excited. I’m a little nervous and anxious, but more than that I’m excited about the opportunities I might have. I’m excited to be able to spend time with my mom while she’s here and not worry about work or taking time off. I’m excited about leaving an office I’ve worked at for 15 months – almost the entire duration I’ve lived in Auckland – and seeing what else is out there. I’m excited to just take a step back from everything, reevaluate, and see what I can do. I’m excited about the 4 day trip I just booked for my mom and I to Tonga. I’m just excited for what surprises, challenges and opportunities are in store for me.


I’ll try to respond to your comments, read and comment on your blogs and get back into the writing groove soon!




Filed under Life

When did shopping become depressing?!

It feels like I’ve been spinning my wheels without actually getting anywhere recently. While I haven’t been going hard-out with either diet or exercise, I’ve been good with both. Hitting the gym for about an hour 3 times a week. Walking about 6-7 km daily on top of that. Having overall healthy foods. Doing WAY better than I was before I started blogging in terms of doing things to generally improve my health… but I feel like the last 3 months haven’t really done anything. And it’s super depressing.

Yesterday, I met up with one of my friends to go to DressSmart, an outlet mall about 20 minutes from my place. I was super excited because every other time I had been it was with Andrew and we sort of flew through the mall – as you do when shopping with a guy – picking up work shirts or socks or something for him and rarely stopping to look around, let alone try on, stuff for me. Needless to say, the idea of going with another girl and actually trying all sorts of things on without worrying about boring my bf to death was something to look forward to.

And I was having a lovely time… right up until we went into a lingerie shop. They had great bras for $15 and a whole assortment of cute little pj pants, shorts, dressing gowns, etc etc. We spent a little while wandering the store and picking out a handful of things to each try on. I went into the change room and excitedly tried on a pair of shorts.

They made me look like a sausage!
And, to add insult to injury, a botton popped off when I was about to take them off. sigh.

Not one to just completely give up after one pair of shorts, I tried on the pj pants. Then the dressing gown. Then a cute little pull-over sweater. And a couple bras. Each and every single one of them made me feel like a bloated little sausage girl trying to stuff myself into my younger sister’s clothes.


Completely defeated, I left each of the not-so-adorable-anymore pieces on their hangers in the dressing room and got out of there. When my friend asked me if I liked anything, I told her each and every single piece made me want to jump on a treadmill and run 10 miles. She just looked at me and blurted out “Me too!” We both kinda laughed and decided to move on to the shoe stores. (Where we each found at least one pair we adored and bought, btw).

It was weird. I’ve been feeling like I’m in a rut and not really progressing at all for a few weeks now, but I was never really down on myself because of it. I am making good choices – better choices than I used to make – and I’m putting some conscious effort into this. I’m doing well even if I’m not seeing as many changes as I would like. But that one store struck a complete blow to my self confidence. And even later that day I started looking at myself, in my clothes that I’d liked that morning, and I saw myself as bigger. Bloated. Fluffy. Cuddly. NOT FIT.

And it sucked.

When I takled to Andrew last night about it, before falling asleep, he looked me in the eye and said, very seriously, “You know you aren’t fat, right?” And I said “I know…” but didn’t really feel it. I mean, I don’t know. I’m not fat. Logically, I know that. But when I try on a size large pant and I have to tense my abs to make it feel comfortable around my waist, that’s a huge ego blow. When you try a dozen things and put every single one back on the rack because they each make you look and feel frumpy and unfit, you start to think it’s not the clothes – it’s you.


Anyway… sorry for the little rant. I must be tired. Or hormonal. Or stressed. Or all of the above.

Time for a couple solid gym sessions, some fresh spinach and berry smoothies and maybe a massage. I get like this every now and then (don’t we all?). At least this time I’m hoping it’ll just motivate me and push me out of the slump instead of the typical “well, I give up!” response of yesteryear.


Filed under Life

Happy birthday to me!

This is going to be a short post, but I just had to rave about my amazingly sweet, ridiculously thoughtful, absolutely wonderful boyfriend who got me quite possibly the best birthday present I’ve ever received in my 27 birthdays…

He bought my mom a return trip to spend November in New Zealand!

My mom and I are super close and one of the hardest parts about living on the other side of the world is that I miss her and wish I could show her what a great life I have out here. She was downsized about a month ago and at 55 with only a high school diploma and a couple college courses, she’s having a really hard time finding a new job. She has been talking about coming to visit me since I moved here last year but money has always been an issue – now even more so without a job.

So you can imagine how absolutely floored I was when I followed the little “find your present” clues around my apartment and ended up finding a note saying my mom was going to be here from November 4-30.

I’ve been crying on and off all morning as I’ve been telling people about the gift. It is the most thoughtful, sweet, loving and just flat-out incredible present I’ve ever received and I’m still – 6 hours later – almost in shock that someone would do something like that for me.

Needless to say, I’m having an absolutely amazing birthday and it’s just the start to what I’m sure will be an incredible year. And the little steps I’ve taken in the past few months to improve my health and body will be put to good use as my world’s-best-boyfriend, friends and I head out to enjoy a sunny, 18*c day out at the beach!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Filed under Life

Natural beauty

I’ve had a bad few days (so much for that “final week” push!) Again, not any sort of binge or entire-day-eating-junk-food bad but following a big omelette dinner with about a bowl of salted tortilla chips kinda bad. My stomach also isn’t all that impressed as I spent most of yesterday afternoon/evening feeling like something just wasn’t right. It definitely wasn’t a stomachache… it was lower. A kind of bloated, unhappy, “I’m digesting this but not easily” kind of feeling. I think it might have been from eating granola all afternoon instead of just as a snack when I didn’t have a chance to go out and grab lunch.

So instead of me moaning about my bad eating or unhappy gut or whatever, I’m going to write about something that makes me feel good and that I think you guys might be interested in. It’s not technically diet or exercise related, but it is health and beauty related, so I figure it fits with the overall idea of looking and feeling as good as possible. Plus it involves food products!

It’s amazing, to me, that so many people can be super conscious about what they are putting in their bodies – eating only organics, drinking purified water, etc – and yet continue to use commercial beauty products that are absolutely loaded with all sorts of crazy chemicals. Your skin absorbs these chemicals and they get into your body!

When I was trying to figure out why my hair was thinning, I started reading about SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and how bad it can be – including causing hair to thin. Eventually I read enough and decided to cut it out completely.

I started washing my hair with about a bit of baking soda dissolved in water followed by a rinse of diluted lemon juice to close the cuticles and balance the pH levels. (Most website you read will suggest apple cider vinegar as the rinse, but I just can’t get over the smell. Lemon juice is similar and, to me, smells much better!) It doesn’t get all soapy and bubbly like normal shampoo, but it gets my hair clean without drying out my scalp and I’m finding I don’t need to wash my hair every single day. In fact, I can go about 3-4 days before it starts looking a little greasy and I need to wash it. It’s been about 8 months since I’ve cut out traditional shampoo and I can’t see myself swapping back anytime soon.

My other little natural beauty quirk is extra virgin olive oil as moisturizer.

It is amazing.

I have always used moisturizers. My skin is just too dry naturally to go without. It was always a balancing act to try to find a moisturizer that actually moisturized my skin and didn’t just sit on top of it. Trying to find something like that which also didn’t cause breakouts (and didn’t cost a fortune) was always a struggle. When I ran out of my beloved Vichy moisturizer – which I can’t get here in New Zealand – I started searching around for a replacement and read about extra virgin olive oil being used as a moisturizer. I was a little hesitant about slathering oil on my face, but after reading so many glowing reviews I decided to try it. (On a weekend when I didn’t have any plans, of course!)

I now won’t use anything else. Right out of the shower, while my skin is still damp, I’ll smooth about 1/2 a tsp on my face and neck and another tbsp or two onto my arms and legs. My skin absorbs it and stays soft and smooth until the next shower. Olive oil actually helps balance your skin’s oil production, so it’s good for both dry AND oily skin. It’s also a great makeup remover as well as an exfoliant when salt or sugar is added to it.

There are so many other mass produced, chemical-ladened products that have green, natural alternatives, but those two are the two I use regularly and have so for an extended period of time and that I would recommend everyone try for at least a few weeks to see the results.

Are you conscious about chemicals and toxins in your makeup and beauty products or do you focus more on what’s going in – not on – your body? Do you have any natural alternatives to traditional beauty products you use regularly? Would you be likely to try a natural alternative or are you happy sticking with traditional products?


Filed under Life, Products

Hello spring! You’ve been missed.

I am definitely struggling this morning. I’m on my second third cup of green tea, hoping the caffeine will kick in soon. Monday mornings, in general, are always a bit of a challenge after two glorios days of staying up – and sleeping in – a little later than usual. Never mind the first Monday after a time change. Yep, yesterday we here in the southern hemisphere gained an extra hour of sunshine with daylight savings. The sun is now starting to set around 7:15 pm and the days are only going to get longer for the next few months. And can I tell you how good that feels? Add the fact that yesterday was the first day that actually felt like spring and I suppose I can’t really be all that grumbly about an hour of lost sleep.

And despite the earlier-than-appreciated morning, I’m glad it’s Monday. The solid, reliable, “I’m going to eat well again” workday. The more I pay attention to what I eat, the more I notice the effects when I don’t. This weekend didn’t have nearly enough fresh fruits, vegetables or water and my body is absolutely feeling it. Craving the nutrients. 10 pm Sunday saw me peeling and cutting carrot sticks because my body was screaming for something raw and simple. All I could think was “Where is all the healthy food!?!” and wishing I had a fridge full of fresh produce.

When did I start craving vegetables???

I recognized the feeling. That “omg I MUST eat _______, NOW!” thought consuming my brain – but it had always been something I shouldn’t have. Chocolate, mostly, but also pizza or ice cream. Sometimes fried rice of pad thai. Certainly never anything good for me. It was surreal and exciting. I actually craved raw produce after not having enough over a couple days. Who’d have thought!?

So, I’m going to try to make a point of stocking up fresh fruits and vegetables at home as much as I do at the office and try to keep my diet a little more regular and produce-rich on the weekends as I do during the week. Obvious, right? Well, up to now I always thought I could be really good and conscious about what I eat for breakfast and lunch during the week and I could relax a little on evening and weekends. Not going wild, but not really worrying as much about what I ate. I don’t think that’s going to cut it anymore!

Other than the poor diet choices, the weekend was pretty good! I spent a lot of Saturday touring around New Zealand Fashion Weekend – where I scored some amazing Inika natural mineral makeup samples and bought an adorable “Forget Me Not” silver keychain ($5) and a gorgeous Oyl hoodie ($350 on sale for $60!) at the Desginers’ sample sale. The fact that the hoodie was a size 8 and fit was almost reason enough to buy it!

Sunday featured a gym workout followed by a Subway wrap. (Reason #1 for feeling bad later in the day. Bad, bad gluten!) It also involved lots and lots of playing around in the kitchen making:


– muesli/granola. Oats, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, coconut, dried apples, cinnamon, vanilla and honey. Toasted then mixed with some seedless dried currants.

Raw macaroons

– Megan’s Detox Macaroons. I don’t have a dehydrator, so I made these in the oven on the lowest setting: around 75*C. I did only half the recipe and made it half blonde and half chocolate (adding some cocoa to the original recipe). They’re not quite on par with traditional macaroons, but still good.

And cheesecake!

– Another one of Megan’s recipes: Raw cheesecake. Except I made a different crust – 1/4 cup almonds, 2 tsp cocoa, 2 dates and a smidge of coconut oil. Chop up & blend in food processor, then press to bottom of cups to form crust. There was a bit left over, which I sprinkled on top. I would add a little stevia or honey next time, though. It’s just slightly bitter for my taste.

So I’m now thoroughly stocked up on healthy treats for the week. Just need to get out to the grocery store tonight and I’ll be a happy little bunny!

Did you have a moment when you realized your cravings had changed? Do you crave certain things since altering your diet? Do certain foods trigger cravings for you? (ie: sweets trigger salty, savoury triggers sweet, etc.)


Filed under Diet, Life

One week to go…

It just hit me. Right now. BAM!

This time next week I will be celebrating my 27th birthday.

Now, I’m not stressing out about this and I’m certainly not all “omg I’m getting old – where has my life gone!?!” or anything ridiculous like that (though I am getting to about the age I though I would be married by… *ahem*). The reason this is hitting me a little more than any other is because, in a lot of ways, this birthday is the reason I started this blog.

Way, way, way earlier this year, I told my mom that I was going to look and feel great by my birthday. A few months later, I realized there was less than 3 months to go and I had done NOTHING to get myself any healthier. (I’m pretty sure I’d even polished off an entire bag of “fun sized” Bounty bars earlier in the week…) I decided I was going to get serious, commit and start actually doing something to reach my goal. Starting a blog was one of the things I did to try to be accountable to myself and stay focused.

Now I’ve got one week. 7 days. 168 hours… give or take. One week until that once distant day is here.

How much can you really change in 3 months? It’s a bit of a rhetorical question, really. The answers can vary from completely to not much at all. I think I’ve learned lots – like the idea of food combining, green smoothies, raw foods and heaps of new recipes, for starters. I’ve changed the way I eat a great deal. I’m way more conscientious of what I eat, when, amounts and how different foods affect me. I’ve all but cut out refined sugars and greatly decreased my intake of red meat and alcohol. I walk to and from work and I joined a gym I now attend regularly.

Am I where I ultimately want to be? No. Am I on a good path to get there? Yes yes yes.

While saying I was going to be in “the best shape of my adult life” by now was definitely a little over ambitious, I had definitely made strides towards that goal. I still have a long way to go, but I know I’m in it for the long haul now. I’ve changed my lifestyle and it’s only going to keep getting better. I feel a lot better than I did 3 months ago. I have more energy. I don’t crave sugars or junk foods. And while I haven’t been forced into buying a new wardrobe yet, my clothes fit more comfortably and I feel better in them.  (And I’m getting SO close to being able to wear those short shorts!)

And just to keep me motivated, a little reinforcement came yesterday when I walked into my regular sushi place to order a sushi platter for tonight. One of the girls, who I hadn’t seen in a few weeks, looked at me and asked if I had lost weight. “You look skinny! You look good!” I smiled, said I didn’t think I’d lost much weight but thank you! Then said it must be from all the sushi I’ve been ordering from them and laughed. It felt good.

3 months ago I thought my birthday would be the finish line in some crazy health & exercise race. Now I’m realizing, it’s just the beginning.


Filed under Goals, Life