I find it fascinating – from a dispassionate, observational perspective – to see the effects of stress ebb and flow, manifesting physically. Eczema, fatigue, the crimson tide … they’re a surprisingly reliable barometer. (I’d also bet my blood pressure has been on a wild rollercoaster, not unlike the stock markets.)
I’ve got half a rambly post brewing about how much I love money and how much better it makes life. But you’ll probably get the idea if I just tell you about the best things I’ve bought in the last few months.
I’ve seriously had a total awakening on this front (look out for a whole post on this in the future)!
Game changer. Life changer. My mouth is so much happier.
It’s been far, far too long since I wrote about food. It may be some time longer, but for now i must share a few new finds:
Kampung Style, Glen Eden – good homey Malaysian food, up on the train station platform
Divino, Parnell – a humble cafe/restaurant with surprisingly great Italian dishes (thanks to the blog commenter who recommended it!)
Baduzzi, Wynyard Quarter – crayfish meatballs – that is all.
Recent events have brought me closer to and further from various people in my life.
It’s gotten me thinking a lot about forgiveness.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve known the power of words. I can barely recall a time before I could read and write.
It’s strange, the things – actions and words alike – that I never thought I’d forgive. But looking over my shoulder, I realise that somewhere along the way, I did. It wasn’t a conscious choice.
And conversely, there’s the words that have actually stuck with me for decades and that I don’t think I’ll ever let go of. The funny thing is, I don’t think the people in question realise what impact those throwaway comments had. That’s why I’m so careful about what I say (and write).
Then there’s the things we say in emotional moments that are actually quite manipulative or malicious. We are all flawed, but it’s deeply disappointing to see this in those closest to us.
While actions do speak a million louder than words, for me it’s words that actually stick in my memory, that have lasting impact, and will refer back to when the actions start to fade from memory.
There’s a lot of things I need to start to forgive and let go of, before they eat away at me.
Or failing that, in the words of Emily Yoffe, I must accept them and move on.
I’ve been finding myself daydreaming a lot about escaping to the other side of the world – the Americas in particular.
There’s the Galapagos Islands, with their incredible wildlife.
There’s Bolivia, with its otherworldly, eerie salt flats.
There’s Cuba, with intensely colourful architecture and history in Havana and beyond.
But I think it might be North America I especially want to return to. There have been so many great deals on flights of late and they’re bound to get better – Air NZ now flies to the south as well (Houston) and American Airlines is due to enter the fray this year. I’d love to do another road trip across the US. Returning to New York, of course, to explore more boroughs and gorge on deli sandwiches. Heading down through the southeast, and then zigging up to the Pacific Northwest to see Portland, Seattle, maybe even up to Vancouver. (Yeah, it’d be a loooong leisurely trip.)
At least dreams are free.
What travel destinations are you dreaming of lately?
Have we decided if the ‘lipstick index’ is for real, or not? (That’s the idea that people keep splurging on lipstick in times of recession – little luxuries, yo.)
Well, on a micro level at least, it’s certainly rung true for me of late. I literally never buy makeup except to replace the one lippy I wear. My annual beauty budget is probably under $200, including skincare and haircuts. But some months ago I got a weird fixation with finding this particular shade that I was absolutely convinced I needed in my life. Sort of a dark vampy red, with maybe a bit of a plum/berry twist. Along the lines of Mac Diva, for those who care.
I spent hours online in the name of research, and far too long in stores lurking around counters and fiddling with the testers. Once, a strange man even peered over my shoulder just after I stepped out of a shop – I had probably close to a dozen swatches smeared on the back of my hand and was eyeing them up in the natural light – and hissed ‘they all look the same!’
I wound up buying probably around four (that’s a massive spree for me) and now I actually wear different colours on different days, sometimes. Crazy.
And at the same time, I dug out some stuff that had been sitting around forever (throwbacks to my days of magazine freebies) like amazing pore-blurring primer powder and electric blue eyeliner (turns out to be a nice pop when you have hooded lids, or in my case, one normal and one hooded). For the first time in probably 15 years I started spending downtime at home playing with makeup for no reason other than I wanted to, even watching YouTube tutorials and stalking beauty reddits.
Related, and possibly also a reaction to the whole forced austerity thing, I’ve almost grown a little bit of a shopping addiction – at least by my normal standards. I haven’t bought much – a dress here, a pair of pants there – but I can definitely now understand how people might get out of hand.
I think this probably stems from a deep-seated need for control. Not having it in other areas of my life, having my sphere of influence drastically reduced, has manifested itself in a new obsession with my appearance.
I’ll never ever be the kind of person who puts on a full face every day. (Or any day. My wedding being the one exception, and that wasn’t by my own hand…). Yet there’s something weirdly calming about being alone in front of a mirror, going through the ritual of making yourself feel a little more beautiful.
Self-employment has never really held any allure for me. But when great last minute travel deals pop up on my Twitter feed or email inbox, I gotta admit, I feel a bit of envy…
My office happens to be in an amazing heritage building, all wooden floors, exposed beams on the ceilings, raw stripped walls. There’s massive windows with a view straight across the road to the sparkling harbour – and the spot where cruise ships pull in every few days.
Going on a cruise isn’t at the top of my bucket list but it’s definitely something I want to experience once in my life. Where, exactly, I’m not sure. There are definitely lots of deals out there, like from Planet Cruise, and I often see pretty sharp prices on short cruises over to east coast Australia from Auckland. (Maybe a cruise calls for somewhere more exotic, though?)
I may not have the flexibility to take advantage of most last-minute travel deals, but here’s a few ways I do save on travel that I’ve picked up over the past few years.
So much is going on right now, I don’t even know where to start! It’s probably easier just to wait till some things start to fall into place. In the meantime, highlights of my summer break included seeing dolphins randomly at the beach, and wild pigs in the bush. And as of this week, active relaxation seems to be a good addition to the sanity arsenal.