Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand’

Where to from here…?

So if you read my post about what I learnt from Uni you may be wondering what will I do now? (Or maybe it is just me pondering this question).

After spending my life at school and then at Uni with no break in between study feels like my life, what I know, what I am comfortable with. So naturally I planned to carry on with it. Unfortunately the program I wanted to carry on with was a 4 year honors/PhD combined program in clinical psychology which took only 11 students per year and the key quality for them in choosing was Life Experience. I can quantify my grades, I can record every job of every year and every ounce of work experience. But life experience?  Despite my 21 years I feel I do have more life experience than some but I completely understand their reservations in training up someone who has never worked full time, hasn’t been married, has no kids and so on. How can I help others cope with the issues they face when I still have a lot of room to grow and mature? So I applied and in case you hadn’t gathered I didn’t get through. Was I surprised? Not at all. Was I disappointed? Utterly devastated. This is my dream and to be able to get in would have meant the next 4 years being planned and ready. Instead I was left feeling like I had failed (and I take failure a little too seriously some may say). Skip forward a couple days of tears and self-doubt/shame and I was feeling a bit different. I still feel embarrassed to tell people, even though it would have been a very slim chance of getting in I can’t help but feel that sense of not being good enough (which I wasn’t) and having to admit to people that I failed to prove myself this time around makes my heart hurt.

On the flip-side of this rather depressing coin was the positive thinking (which was helped by my amazing mum and fiancee who told me I was silly for feeling like a failure and reminded me of the facts). After 4 years of study I am tired. Mentally, Emotionally and Physically tired. So although clinical psych is what I want to do, going straight into another 4 years of study that would be a lot harder was daunting. To be honest I wasn’t sure I could take it. I needed a break and a change from the study that had consumed my life. So God shut this door for now and to be honest I don’t blame him. Maybe I am not ready right now for this 4 year program and maybe in a couple years time I will be in a better place to cope with what the course throws at me.

Okay whew that was a rambly explanation of what I’m not doing haha. Now onto where I am going in the next couple of years. First up I want to do a 3 week CELTA (English language teaching qualification) which is held in January and is a great way to start earning more than minimum wage in whichever city/country I happen to be in. Then in August/September the idea is that Edd and I will up and leave New Zealand to move to Paris for a year. I will work in English teaching and anything else possible (having just done an art history major I would love to do some work in an art gallery) and Edd will hopefully get some work in software/testing as that is what he has been doing so far this year. Why France you ask? (Probably not as I am sure France is pretty self-explanatory). I did French in high school/uni and love everything about France and Paris and Edd feels pretty much the same way.  Moving away from NZ has its downsides namely leaving our family which we are very close to and leaving Callie! Our lovely baby (Cat) will be relocated to one of our Family’s houses where she will be looked after and hopefully settle in. Leaving Callie feels a little bit like abandoning my child (a total exaggeration I’m sure but not having kids she’s the closest I’ve got haha – cue uncontrollable feelings of guilt haha). If I could easily bring her with me I would. Although leaving our family will be weird and terrifying for me at least, it is also part of why this is a good idea. Being reliant on family is something I need to work on and by moving overseas with Edd I think I can grow and mature in a way I haven’t been able to yet. So after a year in France we will come on back to NZ and I will probably apply for the psych program again hopefully with more life experience and a renewed ability to throw myself in to the program. So there are my next three years penciled out. Is France set in stone? Nope but it’s our main goal at the moment and to be honest sounds close to perfection. Coffees, walks through Paris in the rain, tiny apartments, boulangeries, endless varieties of cheese at local markets, Europe at our doorstep, weekends filled with art galleries and museums… It won’t be easy but it will be an amazing experience for us both.

I guess I should also mention a couple of other things that are fast approaching. First off in a couple of weeks (4th December all going well) I will be having nose surgery  No, not to make my nose beautiful and shapely but to reshape the interior and bust up my misbehaving sinuses, all which should help with my chronic sinusitis and other related health issues. I am a little terrified after being warned of the various risks but excited to get this done. Then after January and the CELTA course Edd and I have our wee wedding in Feb (17th) so that will be a pretty exciting moment in both of our lives! Needless to say I have mountains of wedding planning to work on whilst stuck home in bed for couple of weeks after surgery.

Well, that was a mouthful. There is my life laid out for ya’ll to see. I’m nervous, I’m excited, I’m … well I’m still a little removed from it all to be honest. It doesn’t quite feel real at the moment haha. For Edd and I the key is to remain flexible and yet hard working so we can keep saving the money that will allow us to go to France if we decide to.

This is an excerpt from one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost (The Road Not Taken) which seemed rather appropriate now faced with the future. The importance of the choices we make and yet the inability to see the true effects each choice will have on our future rings clear as Edd and I try to make our way through the future. I only pray for the wisdom and strength to choose my paths in life and gain from them the most that I can, with my partner alongside.

Anyway, I am sure this is a pointless post for most but in case anyone was curious as to where my life was heading after Uni I though I would quickly throw this up. Hope everyone had a lovely weekend


November Sample Bar Glam Pack

Hi all!

Middle of the month means the new Sample Bar Box (okay actually it’s a bit after the middle of the month but mine was one of the last to arrive, luckily its contents were worth the wait). This month had a them around Glow seeing as it is pretty much summer. I was pleasantly surprised with this month’s box as the previous launch box was okay but not mind=blowing yet I was much happier with this month’s products.

If you are in NZ and want the details of Sample Bar Box  just click on over to my previous post :)

The first product and the only full size one is this Trilogy Self Tanning Instant Bronzing Gel. I have never used Trilogy products but have heard good things. Normally Bronzers/self-tanners terrify me a little so I’m looking forward to see how easy this is to work with. I also like the fact it uses natural additives as the active ingredients and includes aloe vera for moisture and hydration as well as Vitamin E.

This full size product costs $35.90

Possibly my favorite thing in the box is this 45g sample of Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner by Lush. I have never really bought Lush products despite loving them from afar yet lately I have been picking up/been given a few things so I was so happy to see something else to try! This is supposed to be used in the shower but to be honest so far I have just used it like a moisturizer and it is amazing! Smells delicious (cocoa butter with a little rose) and feels amazing on the skin. I will find it hard to resist purchasing this once the sample runs out.

Full size (225g) is $39.90

Okay so when I saw a Marvis toothpaste sample in the box I was a little disappointed  I mean I just grab the cheapest at the supermarket and that is the extent of my toothpaste market research. However! This is actually another favorite along with the body conditioner which was a total surprise to me haha. I am ecstatic with the scent (Cinnamon Mint) which smells exactly like the Cinnamon mints from Eclipse. I am in love with this and the fact it’s from a fancy Italian brand makes it even better haha.

The full size (75mL) is from $14.50-17.50 and I am seriously tempted to buy full size but in the end it is jut toothpaste and I may have some difficulty convincing Edd this is worth it…

Next up is a very cute mini Lipstick from the brand Savoir Faire which I haven’t heard of before (ah the joy of beauty boxes!).  The shade is perfect for summer as its a nude brown colour that is quite flattering for me. The size is perfect for shoving in my over stuffed makeup bag.

The full size price for these lipsticks is only $9.95 which seems quite cheap!

So last up is a sachet sample of Bump Eraiser which apparently removes ingrown hairs (as well as preventing them) and will also moisturize and exfoliate, perfect just prior to using the bronzing gel. Sounds like a good product but I don’t think one small sample will be quite enough to judge it’s effectiveness. We shall see!

The full size price is $27.50 for a 30mL tube.

All these products can be purchased on the Sample Bar website in case you missed out on the box or want to grab any of the featured products.

All in all I was really happy with this months box. All were from brands I don’t normally buy from and I thought value for money was very pleasing to the wallet or the boyfriend haha. Let me know what you thought If you are subscribed!


Made Me Smile

Hi all!

So today was my final exam for my undergraduate BA/BSc degrees and it all feels kind of strange haha. But anyway, here is my past week in the things that made me smile.

So last Monday was the day of the worst exam of the year (which I hopefully still passed) so to recover on Tuesday I retreated to Waiuku (in the country down South of Auckland) where my mum, nana and 3 amazing siblings live along with a plethora of animals. Here are the bunnies and ducks :) A great day full of opshopping, chats over teas and coffee and being with people who have supported me over the past 4 years. I’m a very lucky person.

One of the large nmr of photos I took of Callie during her photoshoot on the car in the middle of the week. This girl can pull some pretty awesome faces.

Also this week we had new neighbours move in above us in the house we live  in which is subdivided into two flats. I was keen to scope them out as well as make them feel welcome so baked some of my normal, fail safe chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream on some and a new icing of peanut butter and cream cheese on the others. Both flavours were incredible and I’m not sure which is my favorite. Either way they both went down well and luckily there were a few left overs for Edd and I to munch on!

I was lucky enough to be bought an early Christmas present from the lovely Mr when I was totally sucked into buying some of the amazing mineral dead sea products from the mall. Although sceptical at first, after trying them out in store I was convinced. Since using them at home I LOVE the nail kit, the buffer works incredibly well and has a lifetime warranty so if it craps out I can get a new one yay! The body scrub and butter are divine as well and much needed for my poor dry skin. Made me very happy indeed.

Ok that same shopping trip as mentioned above Edd and I spotted this Fox mug at Starbucks and I was over the moon! Edd who understands my crazy love for foxes and annoyance that in NZ there is so little fox stuff so he bought it for me right away. It is now my official tea mug and spends every afternoon at my side. I love it. Possibly unhealthily so…

Mail is something that always makes me smile (when it doesn’t contain bills or loan statements of my hideous student loan) and this week I received my big order from MUA over in the UK. Boy was I like a kid at Christmas. Haul post coming up very very soon but here is a photo I snapped of one of my favorites – their lipstick in shade #1 which they sell for a grand total of 1 pound. Yup.

On Saturday Edd and I took my Grandma who is at a resthome due to her Alzheimers out for some delicious lunch at a restaurant called Elevation situated in the top of the Waitakeres in West Auckland. The food was great but my goodness that view! It was stunning. NZ is a blessing in its lush landscapes and blue skies and Saturday reminded me why I love it here.

Ill leave you with another stunning photo from the deck where we ate lunch. Seriously, if you are anywhere in Auckland make the time to take a trip up here and head on over to Piha while you’re at it! What a magnificent view.

Hope all had a beautiful weekend :)


Made Me Smile


Hi All,

So putting up this post was a bit of a challenge and I wasn’t planning on doing it at all but figured I would push through and throw up a few snapshots from this week.  Had an exam this afternoon that didn’t go very well at all. Most likely passed but was a generally unpleasant experience. Totally my fault and so I felt like crap all evening haha. Anyway, after some pizza and reassuring words/cuddles from Edd I feel a bit better. Anyway….here’s my week in smiles :)

So first up this week I ventured into the world of self-saucing puddings with this Ginger and Toffee self-saucing pudd. I have never thought these would work very well (at least not with my skill set) however after a twitterer tweeted she had succeeded and passed on the recipe to me which seemed unrealistically easy I figured what the heck? Plus, it was an excuse to stop studying for twenty minutes! This isn’t hugely attractive, I know, but trust me the taste was incredible!!! Very gingery so beware if you don’t want a ginger slap in the face but I loved it. Will definitely be made again although I may attempt a chocolate pudding first.

Sleepy morning sleep-ins with Callie. Need I say more?

So I was supposed to make some dinner but got carried away with photos with my October favorites so Edd took over and made this amazing butter chicken curry (with peas cause I need my frozen veggies!). The most Indian restaurant quality curry we’ve made at home. Thanks Edd!! Nomnom!

Wednesday night was Halloween of course and Edd and I went to Spookers (a haunted attraction type of thing) along with our old flatmate and a couple of her friends. It was terrifying and my throat was sore from screaming so much but definitely an adrenaline filled fun night. Here is the only photo of moi with one of the lovely dudes wandering around the grounds of the old mental institution. He was pretty friendly but the worms in his nose were a little off putting.

Sunday with my lovely brothers involved a school gala! I seriously love school galas. Seriously. This was Mr 5’s favorite thing, a giant blow up obstacle course. His little legs powered through this like nobodies business!

My favorite thing at the Gala was this rainbow slushy. How old am I again?

Aaand I’ll leave you with a kitty shot from Miss Flick (dad’s cat) in all her glorious sleepiness. She’s much more vicious when awake…



Random Favorites for October


Hi All!

So here is part two of my monthly favorites, a slightly random collection of things I have been loving this month with a special Callie favorite included too (I know, I know, I’m Crazy)!

First up are these amazing iced tea drinks by the Arizona brand. Holy wow these are delicious and full on flavour! I have been enjoying these as a little exam study treat every now and again and the two above (pomegranate green tea and iced peach tea) are my favorites although I have yet to find one I don’t love. Quite sweet but as a good friend advised, watering them down a bit makes them a bit less full on with the sugar load. I also love the packaging and kinda almost didn’t want to chuck them away (I warned ya’ll I was crazy)

Keeping in line with the tea theme here is my tea of choice for this month. I think I raved about this in a Monday Made Me Smile post but thought I’d just mention it again cause I love it so much! This range by Dilmah is yet to disappoint (especially at less than $3 on special). This specific one with rose and french vanilla was recommended by my future mother in law. I love the full ceylon flavour with the rich vanilla taste and the rose primarily comes through in scent. Seriously, I just sit sniffing my tea while I’m supposed to by studying…so strange. Turkish delight in tea form. Delightful.

With study and exams comes stress and with stress comes emotional eating. Okay fine I do it all the time. Edd and I have a bar of chocolate which we enjoy for desert and getting a different one each week is always a sadly exciting decision. This peanut butter one by Whittaker’s is divine! I love peanut butter and chocolate and you don’t really see it a whole lot in NZ so I was very happy when this came out here. Delicious and rich so a couple pieces is enough to satisfy my chocolate cravings (usually…). I do wish they had it with dark chocolate though to balance some of the sweetness…mmmm

Last up for my random favorites is this diffusion set by Tribal Infusion in the scent Moroccan Orange. I got this for like $10 at Postie Plus and have been in love with the scent ever since. Leaves my bedroom smelling like fragrant citrus, perfect for spring!

Last up is Callie’s favorite of the month! We got her these when she returned from having her stitches taken out of her tail and she is obsessed! She loves cheesy stuff and is constantly trying to steal my Twisties  or grab some cheese from my dinner so this was an obvious choice with its cheesy flavour. Am I weird for having a cat favorite? Probably. She can even help herself if we hold the bag open.

And just in case there was any doubt here is Callie trying to get some whilst I was taking photos for this post. A rustle of this bag and she comes running!

And that’s it for this months favorites! I look forward to seeing what November brings along with Thanksgiving (yay for having an American friend who celebrates it here in NZ!)


Friday’s Letters

Dear Dad: Happy birthday for yesterday! Thank you for teaching me how to ride my bike, play chess, experiment with food and most importantly, thank you for teaching me that my possibilities in life are endless with a head full of dreams and a positive attitude. Dear Saturday Psych Exam: Thank you kindly for ruining my weekend. Is nothing sacred anymore? Dear Sunny Weather: You brighten up my days and lighten my mood. Please don’t ever leave. Dear Revlon: Please bring the kissable balm stains to NZ quickly so I can buy them all!!!  Dear Callie: I know you are loving being back outside, all healed up! I love seeing you back to your normal, crazy self, just please don’t go getting yourself hurt again. Dear Essay Mark: Where are you and why are you taking so long? It’s been over a month now and the exam is fast approaching. Dear Edd: You are so amazingly smart it boggles my mind. Our babies will be tiny geniuses with a little bit of crazy thrown in from my side.

Sample Bar Glam Pack!

Hi All!

So today was an exciting moment for me as I received my first ever beauty subscription box! Sample Bar has started the only New Zealand beauty subscription service and this is the starting box that they have sent out to the first 400 people who were on the waiting list. The service is $25 each month to receive a pack of 5 products. So I thought I would show you guys the products that are in this first box and give you some of my first impressions. Firstly I think the way it is packaged is really elegant! I love the black and white simple design and have many ideas for what I can use these boxes for in the future… (okay not that many, but I’m still thinking!)


Made Me Smile

Hi All!

Hope everyone had a fantastic week! Mine was up and down with a couple of tough assignments and more to come this week but I also found out that I did quite well on an assignment I thought I might fail and that I got top marks in one of my art history courses last semester yay! So here’s what made me smile this week

Callie took a liking to a shoe box this week! Had so many giggles because she only just fits in there with her head hanging out. Cat’s choose the weirdest places


Friday’s Letters

Hi All!

So something different and super short today, this will be my first Friday’s letters post and after reading so many other people’s weekly letters I am happy to be joining in haha. Here is where the Friday’s Letters originated from for me: ! I think it is a cute idea! Link me to yours if you have done one too!

Dear Test: thankyou for not being as brutal as I expected you might be, although I will reserve full thanks until I get the results back! Dear Dad: Please drive more carefully, I need you around for a lot longer! Dear Callie: thank you for the cuddles and giggles you have given me this week when I needed them most. Dear Auckland Bus Services: Kindly get your crap together and stop abandoning me! I can’t handle the stress of trying to find alternative ways into Uni on days when I have things due so stop striking or whatever it is you choose to do over driving me around town. Dear Time Management Skills: I was hoping that by my last semester I would have you under control but I guess you and me were not meant to be. Dear Wedding Date: Please stop approaching me at light speed, I seriously have so much to do before Feb 17th it’s freaking me out! Dear Psych Lecturer: Thank you, thank you, thankyou for extending the due date of my assignment from Monday to Wednesday! Haven’t yet started so need all the time I can get. Dear Mum: I love having tea with you at Uni and keeping up to date, don’t worry about me going to France, no distance could stop us being the best of friends! Dear Edd: Thanks for letting me indulge in some shopping therapy during this stressful week and for being the man of my dreams



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