September ’17 Favourites

MUSIC: The musical loves of my life, The Horrors, finally released their new album, V. Every time they release a new album I get nervous because I have sky high expectations (I think this marks the 8th year I’ve been a hopeless fangirl for them) and luckily V did not disappoint. They’ve released yet another masterpiece so if you listen to literally any song you’ll be a happy camper, although I’m pretty sure “World Below” is my favourite. Fingers crossed they tour NZ with this album so I see them live a fourth time.

EXERCISE: I’m not someone who enjoys exercise at all and I’m pretty convinced that feel-good endorphins are a myth. But I like feeling like I’m making good choices for my health and body, and I’m stoked that this month I walked an average of 10,500 steps a day and started running again (thanks Steptember!). Considering it’s only just gone Spring, I’m hoping that the weather will encourage me to continue this health-burst I’m currently on.

SPRING: I may or may not have mentioned this before, but I start work most days at 6AM and I’ve been walking to work in the dark ever since I first started my job in May. The days are stretching out and I can tell now winter has truly melted away. Daylight savings kind of ruined a bit of that by making it dark again in the morning again but it’s light so much later now, and I know the mornings will lighten up again soon. I was treated to this sight before daylight savings kicked in, and I know it’ll only be a matter of weeks before it’s like this again:

THE FUTURE: I’m a bridesmaid in my friends’ wedding next month, I have tickets to see Lorde in November, my friend Erin is coming back to NZ in December, I’m going to Laneway in January, and The Killers are touring NZ next year. 2017 is shaping up to be a pretty stellar year and I am feeling so pumped about all the exciting things happening in the near-future.

August ’17 Favourites

MUSIC: Choosing one musical favourite this month is basically impossible, with a ton of artists releasing new music. I’m in love with dodie’s whole EP, especially “In The Middle“, the best song about a threesome I’ve ever heard. I’m also super impressed with Kesha’s “Rainbow”, and am strongly considering covering “Hunt You Down” at some point. I’d also be a filthy liar if I denied being into Taylor Swift’s new song – say what you want, but it’s breaking all kinds of records and it’s constantly in my head. Regardless of your feelings towards the song, I strongly encourage to you watch the Google Translate Sings version because it’s hilarious.

SHOWS: I went up to Auckland with my friend Sarah to see “Matilda the Musical” and it was phenomenal. I’ve seen a lot of musicals now – 14 at last count – and I’m pretty convinced that Matilda is the best show I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen Les Miserables on the West End in London, so that’s saying a lot). The songs were clever, the kids were unreasonably talented and it was hilarious & heart-wrenching. If you have a chance to see it, you must.

"To change the world, it takes a little genius" ✨ #matildathemusical #civictheatre #matildainnz

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MOVIES: Earlier in the month, I saw “The Big Sick” and it’s possibly the best movie I’ve seen all year. It was hilarious and thought provoking and is the first movie in a long time where I’ve laughed embarrassingly loudly in the theatre. The only reason I say “possibly the best” is because I also saw “Get Out” this year and I cannot decide which is better because they’re both amazing.

LIFE: Lox and I celebrated our three year anniversary this month. I don’t talk much about us on this blog because I’m sure I’d sound obnoxious and like the sort of person that single-me would have hated, but I feel super lucky to have met my person and that he still likes me even though I’m incredibly annoying most of the time. Our anniversary was on a Monday, so we just celebrated by going out for dinner and giving each other presents, so now I’m finally the proud owner of one of these bad boys. (If you’re curious, the photo below is from when our flat in Vancouver held a “Rock of Ages” party and we had to dress up in our best 80s gear.)

SPRING: The cherry blossoms are starting to bloom and winter will be over within a day. I’m so excited to finally exit this interminable winter I’ve been experiencing since October 2016. It’s been so long since springtime.

July ’17 Favourites

FAMILY + FRIENDS: My niece was born a week ago and is actually adorable – and I’m of the opinion that babies are strange and scary, but she really is so cute. When I was having lunch with my mum the other day, I told her that I thought she was very cute and not weird looking like most new babies and I’m positive the server who came to refill our glasses overheard me, so my local cafe might think I’m a little mean now. As well as becoming a second-time aunt, I also spent a lot of time with my girl friends this month which was lovely – I had no idea it had been so long since I actually hung out with a group of just girls. We played the 2000s edition of Trivial Pursuit and I still managed to lose terribly – I guess I can’t blame it on not knowing 70s trivia anymore.

MOVIES: One of the awesome things about NZ winter is that it’s North American summer, so a ton of wicked movies come out at this time of year. I saw “Baby Driver” on Sunday night and it was fantastic – I’m not really into action movies but this kept me hooked the whole time and was a really great movie – I’d highly recommend seeing it!

(During the intense driving scenes, Lox whispered to me, “Gus has gotten much better at driving” and made me cackle in the theatre.)

MUSIC: Over the past few years, I’ve been becoming less judgemental about music and it’s definitely widened my taste horizons but oh man, even two months ago me is judging this choice – I’m really liking Selena Gomez’s song “Bad Liar”. I don’t think much of her voice or range, and somehow this actually works with that and makes for a really great song. I still feel pretty “meh” about everything else she’s done, but I cannot get this song out of my head (I’ve also had other people who aren’t into her confirm that this is actually a very good song, so I don’t think it’s just a “me” thing either).

THE WEATHER, I GUESS? July has been cold as hell, but interspersed throughout the freezing nights & gale force winds have been the most beautiful, crisp clear days. I’m still super over winter, but having days like this just might tide me through til December:

May ’17 Favourites!

WELLINGTON: I’ve loved Wellington since I started university in 2012 but actually living here is a totally different experience. I love being able to walk to work, to my friends’ flats, to my weekly pub quiz, to anywhere I need to go. I’ve been to some amazing places, but I’m convinced that Wellington is the best place in the world. Plus the suburb where I live is filled with cats, so I meet a new cat nearly everyday when I’m walking to and from work. I am so in love with this city.

NZ MUSIC MONTH: It’s now the end of NZ Music Month 2017 and I’m really stoked with how it’s forced me to be more productive with my youtube channel – this month I’ve posted 3 new covers and listened to more kiwi music than I have all year.

COFFEE: Lox bought me a keepcup for my birthday last year because he knows I’m a fan of passively helping the environment. I’ve just started using it this month and I love thinking about all the coffee cups I’ve already saved since using it (my new job is right across the road from a wicked coffee shop so it’s good I’m saving the environment, because I’m definitely not saving money).

MAKEUP: As a relatively frugal 20-something, I often do surveys and enter competitions because I love the thought that I might win something. I’ve never actually won anything though, until this month! Miranda of Slashed Beauty ran a giveaway to celebrate reaching 10k subscribers and (bless her) made it an international giveaway so I could actually enter – and I won!!! I didn’t realise at first because the email went straight to my spam folder – I guess gmail thought it seemed too good to be true – but I found it just in time (literally, I had 2 hours left to respond). It arrived the other day and I am so excited to play with everything I won.

LIFE: I’m been at my new job for a whole month now, which I can hardly believe, and I’m really enjoying it – I’m doing work that I support in a field that I’ve wanted to be for a while. That also means it’s been a month since I moved into my new flat which I also love. I’m feeling really content & settled right now, which is a combination of feelings I haven’t had for a long time. For the past few years, everything I’ve done has been tinged with the taste of temporary – uni, living at home, part time work, travelling overseas. Now I have both job & a home that I have no plans to leave and I’m relishing the feeling of being in one place for a while.

April ’17 Favourites!

Every month, a million different things seem to happen and April has been no different – I feel like I’ve fit an entire year into the past 30 days. As well as catching up with people I haven’t seen in forever, I’ve also managed to score both a flat (which I move into today!) and a job (which I start tomorrow!). This month was huge, and I get the feeling it won’t slow down any time soon.

EASTER: A couple of weeks ago, Lox and I drove up to Tauranga to spend Easter with his family. I was a little apprehensive about heading up because Cyclone Cook had recently hit NZ – there were extreme weather warnings throughout the North Island and lots of people were advocating for staying put. We ignored those warnings and I’m so please we did – the weather was absolutely beautiful and we had an amazing time. I’ve never really spent much time in Tauranga before and now I can definitely see why it’s such a summer hotspot. We spent Easter Sunday at the beach which felt like a wonderfully kiwi thing to do:

WELLINGTON: I have a confession to make – I’m not actually from Wellington. Most people have never heard of my hometown, Lower Hutt, so it’s easier to tell people I’m from the capital, plus I went to uni in Wellington and spend most of my time there anyway. But minus study abroad and my working holiday, I’ve actually lived in Lower Hutt my entire life. Ever since I started uni in 2012, I’ve wanted to move into town (I even wrote a blog post about it once), and today I finally am! I’m so excited to finally live in my favourite city in the world. Plus my new flat is a block away from one of my best friends, and I am so stoked at the thought of being a 2 minute walk to her house.

WORK: I was excited to return to NZ but I was also dreading the job hunting process. I don’t think anyone enjoys looking for a job and it didn’t help that everyone was saying that the job market in Wellington was pretty bleak. After countless interviews (really it was 10), a pretty cool company decided they liked me enough to hire me. I’m thrilled, but simultaneously I’m terrified. This is my first permanent, full-time job – I’ve had full-time jobs before but they were fixed-term, and my part-time jobs were during uni so they were never going to be forever. Despite my nerves, I’m so happy that I’ll be earning money again and actually working in the field that I want to be in. My coworkers seem very cool and the job itself is walking distance from the flat! Bless Wellington for being such a walkable city, and bless this month for giving me so many things to look forward to.

March ’17 Favourites

March has been a ridiculously full on month. I started the month skiing in Banff and now, more than 12 000 km later, I’m back in New Zealand. I’m happy to be home but I’m also exhausted because my body thinks I’m still in Pacific Time and I now need to find work and a place to live – fingers crossed that April will bring me some good news in that department. I feel like a years’ worth of things happened in March but here are some highlights:

VANCOUVER: Despite its reputation as being constantly rainy (which is mostly accurate), Vancouver had the most beautiful weather when we left. The clouds skirted away and the snow of the previous weeks melted, giving us the first blue sky and sunlit warmth we’d experienced in a long time. Our final day we had brunch out and then wandered the Granville Island market, Vancouver ensuring it was hard for us to say goodbye.

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The view of Vancouver from Granville Island

NEW ZEALAND: Lox and my homecoming wasn’t nearly as lovely as I had hoped because Wellington saw literally the worst traffic ever on the morning of our return, so no one was waiting for us at the airport. Having been out of the country for a year, neither of us had a working cellphone so we spent the first 15 minutes of our arrival feeling very abandoned and very confused. Eventually, Lox connected to the airport wifi and my parents called him through Messenger, letting us know that the traffic meant they had moved only about 500m in the past 2 hours, so it was basically impossible for them to pick us up. Despite the lack of an emotional homecoming, it was so good being back in Windy Wellington, driving along the harbour, seeing our hills (somehow greener than anywhere else I’ve ever been), and now we have a story to tell about our return home. It’s been really great catching up with people who I haven’t seen in forever and I’m so happy to be back here (and I’m so happy to be drinking our tap water again wow).

MUSIC: I wasn’t sure if I liked Lorde’s new song when I first heard it. It’s so different from anything on Pure Heroine that it felt wrong. The song has grown on me and now I realised I do like it, it just doesn’t quite feel like a Lorde song. Despite my initial doubt about it, I fell absolutely in love with this cover of “Green Light”, I can’t stop listening to it:

TV: I am several years late to the party, but I have been loving “The Mindy Project”. It’s super refreshing watching a show where I actually relate to the protagonist – I see so much of myself in Mindy and her insecurities and I love it. I left Canada with about 6 episodes left of the most recent season, so I’m hoping kiwi Netflix will be a bro and get the rights to it soon.

CATS: No surprises here. I was so happy that Tom still loved me when I came back and I’ve spent the past week reminding him that, despite the awesome Airbnb cats I met, he’s my number one (I am aware that it’s weird to talk about your cat like that, but hey, I’ve never pretended I’m not weird about my cat):

Canada, I’ll miss you, but New Zealand, I’m so happy to be back.

February ’17 Favourites

LUCK: Right now we’re in Banff again, getting a few days skiing in before heading back to BC. Banff is continuing its trend of being the best place ever – after our first night, we went to the front desk at our hotel because our key card wasn’t working. Instead of replacing our card, they upgraded us to the “King Jacuzzi Fireplace Suite”. The biggest thing I’ve ever won is a free coffee from Tim Hortons and I have never ever been upgraded, so I am beyond stoked to have a fancy room for no extra cost. It also has a ridiculously beautiful view – when I look out the window, I’m greeted by mountain. I’m pretty sure Banff is the most beautiful place in the world, I don’t think I could love it more if I tried.

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The view from my hotel room

MUSIC: I know she’s been around for awhile, but I only just discovered dodie and I’ve absolutely fallen in love with her music. “Sick of Losing Soulmates” was the first song I heard and adored, but I think “When” is my absolute favourite. She’s already super popular but if you haven’t already heard of her, you should absolutely check her out because her music is lovely and heartfelt.

COFFEE: In Vancouver, I searched for the best coffee and thought I found it. But despite being my least favourite Canadian city, Toronto actually has the best coffee in Canada. Technically I discovered Fahrenheit coffee last month, but I did visit it again this month so I’m classifying it as a February favourite (plus it’s so unreasonably good, I really needed to mention it here at least once).

TRAVEL: I’ve been in three different countries this month (Canada, Iceland, and the Netherlands) and now I’m hyperaware of the fact that in less than 3 weeks I’ll be in New Zealand. It feels very strange knowing I’ll be home soon but also pretty welcome – Canada is cool, but wow do I miss my cat.