Tag Archives: blogging

Link love (powered by fires and rain)


  • The other week I went to my first ever No Lights No Lycra session. Basically, you get together in a public hall, turn the lights off and dance to music for an hour. Sounds weird but it’s incredibly fun! Look for the Facebook group if you’re interested.


  • I realised I’ve been undersalting food all my life and only now am I really starting to understand what a difference salt makes to a dish (no surprise, I’m a far superior food critic than I am a cook)


  • At all of my jobs (minus the first) my boss has either left, or gone on parental leave at some point. I inevitably get asked if I’m going to apply for the position – and in every case I’ve had no interest in doing so. Not quite sure what that says about me and my aspirations.

This week’s links

7 fresh ways to save money with heart

The privilege of chasing your dreams

When your romantic partner isn’t holding up their end of the bargain

A fascinating read on class and politics in the Trump era

Money => security => easier to save money

27 lessons about money

(Mostly) free ways to show love

Life lessons from growing up poor

Good vs bad reasons to quit

10 things to know about work by age 30

Banking happiness for tough times

Finally, I’m way late on the party to this one, but for anyone who feels they’re falling behind:

“Most of our unhappiness stems from the belief that our lives should be different than they are. We believe we have control — and our self-loathing and self-hatred comes from this idea that we should be able to change our circumstances, that we should be richer or hotter or better or happier. While self-responsibility is empowering, it can often lead to this resentment and bitterness that none of us need to be holding within us. “

Link love (the hustling edition)

NZ Muse link love

In the past I’ve said yes to freelance opportunities that turned out to be huge pains in the ass, more often than not. So I was a bit wary about one that recently crossed my path. But happily – even though it was in an industry I have zero interest in – between their ridiculously lovely and passionate boss, the great brand story, their willingness to pay good rates and just generally being nice to work with, it was surprisingly fun.

Finding satisfaction in work is a multi-headed beast.

This week’s links

What to do with your broke but wonderful boyfriend (such a surprisingly common problem!)

I work hard to meet my needs – and even harder for my wants

The real problem with all those ‘How I got out of tons of debt fast’ articles

The tenets of financial wellbeing

A lovely story of compromise and coming together on money

When to give up and when not to

Finally, there’s lots of good stuff in Sheryl Sandberg’s commencement speech, which I’m just catching up on now. I am glad she acknowledges her immense privilege – it completely aligns with my post earlier this week on the value of financial security when you’re going through hardship. Sucky times suck bad enough without having to stress about money, too.

Link love (the salted caramel edition)

Ever since I left home young, I would describe my relationship with my parents as ‘complicated’.

We’re not touchy feely. We’re not even very talky. Getting past the past has been a slow and more or less silent process. Over time, the cracks have patched themselves.

Shortly after moving into my house, while putting away the various bits of the Christmas gift package they got me, I came across a handwritten card that I’d originally missed when I opened it.

I read it, and cried. It was a little strange, reading something that had been written a few months ago, with all that had happened since. There was no judgement or disappointment in it, only unconditional support – just as the following months came to prove.

It’s funny that I found myself back in my childhood home 10 years later. But as much as I needed to leave when I left, I really needed to return when I did.

This week’s links

Sometimes Mother’s Day is complicated

The things we did not do

Examining choices around name changing and marriage

How do you find a cause you care about?

The upside of being highly sensitive

When misery clouds your financial judgement

Working for The Man sure has its upsides

And finally, it’s time we examine the messages we’re sending about creative fulfillment

Link love (the gratitude edition)

NZMuse - Link love roundup with awesome reads from the week

I had originally hoped to buy a house one or two suburbs over, ever so slightly closer to the city (it was a bit of a long shot, to be honest).

I’m glad I didn’t. It worked out for the best.

I love that there are so many great places to run and walk with the pup (and a dog park around the corner). Two major cycleways/walking paths, one that passes horses and vineyards. A short bush/forest trail, even.

I love that we are close to crazy cheap supermarkets and grocers, and down the road from an amazing bakery.

And I love the fact that I can actually get a seat on the train (because it fills up FAST along this line).

I live nearly equidistant from two train stations – they’re about 20 minutes walk from home, though one is slightly closer and can be easily done in 15 at a brisk pace. The train station is just a couple of minutes from my office at the city end. And the train is just so darn civilised – it’s smooth, great for people watching and occasionally there’s wifi.

There is a bus stop practically on my doorstep but it’s slightly more expensive and less frequent. Plus, traffic.  Ugh. There lots of roadworks on nearby so it takes forever to get to the motorway (but at least once on the motorway it’s fine, plus the sea views and the horses near the onramp are easy on the eye). It is a longer walk at the city end to my office (10-15 minutes) but slightly less walking overall still, and it’s more sheltered if it’s raining.

This week’s links

Luck matters – more than you might think

The biggest wastes of time we regret

Every dream starts with this

Simple pleasures

Why we read

Succumbing to lifestyle inflation

A better approach to networking

Convincing a partner to get a better job

And a succinct but bang-on summary of the Auckland housing market

Link love (powered by stew and strolls)

NZ Muse link loveI think I need to accept that life just never gets easier. Yes, you become stronger and smarter but as your resilience grows, so do the hurdles. Gone are the days of high-school-sized issues and injustices. It doesn’t seem fair, but them’s the breaks.

Women are awesome. My closest IRL friends may be male, and have been incredible supports when I needed it, but there are some things they will simply never understand. From crushes in long term relationships to emotional labour and pulling your financial weight, female friends get the gender dynamics that my dudes don’t.

I’m very passionate about the state of the housing market and the huge effects it has on people’s lives – mostly from a quite personal angle, but also at a more macro, societal level.  A spirited conversation about this at our weekly all staff meeting about this very topic and what it all means for New Zealanders – especially in retirement – got me quite fired up and reaffirms that I’m in the right place (both at work and at home). It’s incredible how much difference it makes being free of the “emotional and financial challenges of renting”, as it was put.

This week’s links

A great post on household division of labour and finances when the woman earns more (because things do not always fall neatly along the lines of High Earning Busy Spouse and Low Earning But With Lots of Flexibility Spouse)

Sherry sums up some thoughts on the circular logic of early retirement/financial independence more eloquently than I ever could have

Sometimes, YOU’RE the rich friend

A couple of  things about poverty

How important is job satisfaction, really?

Graduating beyond frugal habits 

You’re making life harder for yourself

What does money mean to you?

Sometimes less is just less – minimalism within reason, guys

Link love (the settling in edition)

NZ Muse link love

There’s quite a few things I need to furnish my house, but it will be a slow process as I’m on a tight budget.

As with clothing, my preference is to buy second hand and get better quality.

I find myself walking a fine line, though. Obviously, I want pieces that are solid and in good shape, that look presentable. Not necessarily pristine – after all they’re going to take a battering in my household! But I don’t want items that have already sustained actual injuries in the line of war, like rips and tears.

This week’s links

PSA: fill up your own cup first

The funnel of financial privilege

What money is really for

Income as power

A millennial and baby boomer trade places

What travel does for (and to) you

When you find yourself surprised by what you want out of life

A life without writing

The comments on this post are really quite excellent

Link love (the I-just-bought-a-house edition)

NZ Muse link loveThat is all.

(I also: Packed a bag and went to stay with my parents. Then had to move all of my stuff out for real, into storage, because our flat broke up when our head flatmate/tenant/leaseholder decided to leave. Delivered a massive project at work that has been in progress since I started there. Ran an 8.4km race without training for it. Let’s just say been a manic few months.)

This week’s links

On tough choices, blind spots, and the men in our lives

Powerful women and the men who love them

Life gets shitty, so save your money

The secret to being happy at work

The everloving quest to control our lives

How to make difficult decisions

What your dreams are telling you about your life

How to choose a career path

Fighting to save a marriage

How to make time for friends when your schedule is tight

Money lessons for our daughters

So many good reads this week, as you can see, but this was one of my favourites – the author of the Fuck Off Fund piece is back, this time talking Suck It Skills:

“Here’s how I finally got more money and more power: I found something more valuable to give in return.

Money is a kind of power: the power to pay your bills, the power to move around at will, the power to feed oneself. And power — political power, authority, money — costs something to gain.”

Link love (the TMI edition)

So far, Project Me First (2016) is going well.

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.)

This week’s links

Control and codependency – on struggle in relationships

You can’t read/watch/do everything

Lies my anxiety told me

You’re an impostor but so am I

Beating the employment blues

Taking a sabbatical – the best call ever

Kesha and feminism

Luck vs smarts

The price of politeness

Questions to ask before changing careers

Living off the grid

Travelling while married

I still don’t get contouring…

What’s your price?

Link love (the gluttony edition)

NZ Muse Link love

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.

This week’s links

The Toast’s Mallory Ortberg talks about money!

How to actually wear everything in your closet

Planning your career for babies

When you don’t want to stay home with kids

Do good work and the money will come – if you have enough followers

The one thing ruining your relationship

Freedom from frugality

Life is short, etc

And a few highlights from this great Dear Artist linkup:

Vocation =/= exploitation

It’s not the struggle that’s interesting

Creativity is your greatest asset

Link love (powered by sun and sweat)

I may be the only person in Auckland enjoying this current heat wave. (Yeah, 30 degrees is scorching for us.) This weather was made for:

  • beach trips (except to Mission Bay, since the sand is annoyingly shelly and I spotted a condom in the water last time I was there. WEST IS BEST)
  • homemade punch (sheer deliciousness, and sneaky fruit intake is a bonus)
  • movies (I have greatly enjoyed The Big Short, The Good Dinosaur and The Force Awakens)
  • fun, frothy books (latest: Walking on Trampolines and Out to Lunch)

This week’s links

Everything is fine

Our worst gigs ever

Career off-roading

I’m a disgusting sleeper

Will I ever feel financially secure?

When we’re not on the same page about money

Career conversations we should be having

Money and happiness

Be more successful: stop believing things are permanent

The post I wish I’d read about earning more