Thursday, 31 March 2011

What Sadie Did This Week

I think it's good to get in the practice of reflecting on the achievements and accomplishments we do each week. A friend of mine Tweets his '5 things of the day' that he's thankful for, in an effort to reflect positively at the end of his day.

So I am going to start reflecting on the things I did each week that are noteworthy / fun / made me smile / I enjoyed. I encourage you to do the same, and if you do, either leave them as a comment below, or send me the link to them on your own blogs! I'd love to check them out!
Here goes nothing...!

1. I rang my grandparents in Wales. I don't ring them as much as I mean to, because with the time difference I often remember too early or too late. They've both been under the weather lately so I was really happy to talk to them and have a good old catch up :)
With Nan and Grancha in Wales, February
 2. I've almost completed my first ever online craft swap via Cut Out and Keep. I'm swapping with a lovely girl from Hawaii and as it's my first one, I hope I send the right sort of things. Can't wait for her to receive my package and hear her feedback.

3. On a similar note, I sent my mum her handmade Mother's Day card and present. Hope she likes them :)

4. I lost another 2lbs on my diet, bringing the total to 7lbs so far...YAY. Good inspiration to keep going!!!

5. The boyfriend and I spontaneously decided to go out for dinner on Wednesday night. As he's been helping me stick to the diet, we've been eating in most weeknights so it felt like a proper treat! We had a great evening and spotted a GIANT stingray and a tiny (sick I think) blue penguin on the waterfront.
He's hard to spot -but there's the lil penguin..poor thing :(
 Mahooosive!! What a beast!

6. I received a postcard from my good friend Craig who'd been in Lebanon. He always sends me postcards from his various travels and I love receiving them from all parts of the world. It's great that he still sends them even though I've moved to NZ!

7. I had a BIG decision to make about the interview I'd attended last week - and decided to withdraw my application. That was a tough decision but I'm sure it was for the best...

8. I've really enjoyed reading other people's blogs. My two favs this week are:

Simply Delicious - Sadie (great name huh!) is so interesting, down to earth and funny in her blog that I can't help reading every post she does!
Sadie and her gorgeous family!
The Hourglass - Jacqueline wears the most fabulous outfits in her fashion blog and I always check out her latest posts for inspiration.
This girl sure has style!!
Perhaps you should have a little nosey too!

9. I moved offices at work temporarily and although I wasn't impressed with having to move all my stuff out of my own office into a shared office, I'm actually really enjoying having company. Plus there's often cake in the new office (NOT good for the diet!!).

10. Not really an accomplishment, but on Wednesday night the boyfriend and I were awoken at 5am with a fright - there'd been a big explosion across the harbour from our apartment! The docks there had been fumigating a container and it blew up! There was a fire, lots of smoke and plenty of sirens! Quite exciting and thankfully no-one was hurt!

So there we have it, my 10 things that Sadie Did this week. TGIF!


Jewels Fit for a Princess! | Delusha

As I mentioned in my post on Monday I write a weekly fashion column for - I thought I would share this week's article with you all!

Bit cheesy, but it's Friday and it's been a long week!
It's a focus on royal-themed accessories inspired by the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton....let me know what you think if you get a chance to read it!

 Click here to read the article online: 

What I Wore Wednesday

In an attempt to make my outfit posts a little more interesting, yesterday's outfits were NOT TAKEN ON MY BALCONY! SHOCKER! ;)

They're still very much a work in progress, but hopefully they're slowly improving?! The work outfit was taken on the way out of work, mainly because we were off to the gym and I'd soon be wearing track pants and a vest - NOT what I spent my day wearing!
Just a couple of things I'd also like to share with you:

My mum, on me mentioning my new blog and fashion posts: "Who's interested in what you wear to work?!"

I love that!! Thanks Mum!!

The boyfriend, whilst taking the work-wear shots: "You look like a granny with that bag." AND (there's more) "I'm falling asleep now".

Does anyone else have such supportive relatives?!? Pfffft to them both! 

Dress, Primark; Cardigan, Glassons; Shoes, Zara; Bag, TK Maxx.

I love this dress, it's so pretty with its beach scene! It looks a lot different on the official Primark PR shot, but I think it's a lot more work-wearable with tights and a cardi! :)


Tuesday, 29 March 2011

What I wore: Update on THE BIRDS

Two days ago I wrote a post about my obsession with birds and bird accessories and bird EVERYTHING!

So here's a quick update with some pics I snapped of the bird accessories I wore on Monday and mentioned in my post.

Sequinned bird headband - amazing! I originally bought this headband in the sale in the UK in February with the intention of using the sequinned bird for a craft project. However, I fell in love with the headband!
Headband, Asda.

She's a biggun!
Ring, Primark.

Fly my pretties!
Earrings, Topshop.
These photos were taken as I was 'chaffeured' home from work - with my face squashed up against a surfboard!!! There's nothing like a bit of luxury after a hard day's graft!!

Look impressed to you?!

What I wore: Tunic Tuesday !

On a Monday morning, I usually like to wear a comfortable outfit (often something baggy after the weekend!) and just ease myself into the week. This week, I carried this chain of thought into Tuesday.
Tunic, Primark; Cardigan, Zara; Shoes, Matalan; Necklace, Diva; Sunglasses, RayBan.
I bought this tunic several years ago, and mainly only bought it because it was reduced to ONE POUND in Primark and I thought, why not!? Now I love it and often get a compliment or two when I wear it. It's also great with cowboy boots in colder weather.
Love my swallow ring, can't get enough of it!
Necklace, Diva; Ring, Primark.

I always find a long, heavy necklace works well with this tunic, so stop it fanning out at the front. But it means I jangle whenever I move!!


Well I am going to persevere with my outfit I DO love fashion and LOVE looking at other people's outfits so I figured I should just go for it....

Some things I need to work on............
  • Poses!! I guess this will come with time! So far, I still feel VERY cheesy!
  • As they say - location, location, location. So far, I've just had the boyfriend pap me as I come home from work. Must remember sooner and make more effort!
  • The pics themselves. The boyfriend doesn't really have much interest in taking photos of me and my outfits, and so I've just had him take a couple of quick snaps and that's that. I will have to persuade him to take more photos demonstrating my fabulous accessories!! Haha ;)

Monday, 28 March 2011

Making Mother's Day

I finally finished making the bib necklace I'm sending my mum for Mother's Day last night. I started thinking about this over a week ago and had made a practice necklace so that I could iron out any problems before making my mum's. Of course I wanted Mum's to be perfect! :)

The only change I made was to alter the position of the ribbons to secure the bib around the neck...hope they work nicely for Mum!
The 'test' necklace and Mum's necklace in black
I wanted to make Mum's necklace in black, as I thought it would be more adaptable. It took over a week to hunt down black felt - both Spotlight AND The Warehouse were out of stock last week, but I finally tracked some down this Sunday...which meant I had to make the necklace ASAP so that I could get it in the post and winging its way to Wales! It probably won't make it in time for Sunday, but it's better late than never....

I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out - lots of sewing involved!
Wrapped nicely too, even if I DO say so myself! ;)

Hope she likes it!!

If you'd like to make a similar necklace for your mum or for YOURSELF, check out my tutorial!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

For the love of bird-themed accessories!

I write a weekly fashion column for an accessories website and have been focusing on accessories in the last few weeks (as requested by the site creator). I love writing these articles as it's an opportunity to scour online fashion stores and magazines like InStyle (my personal fav!) for latest trends and fabulous fashion news. And it's all in the name of research! So no guilt necessary!

This week, I was researching for an article on royal-themed jewellery that's inspired by the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton. (I will share a link to this article when it is published). Whilst poking around on said fashion websites, I couldn't help but notice how bird-themed accessories are still in fashion. 

Ahhh how I LOVE BIRDS and all things BIRDLIKE! 

(In fact, as I sit here typing, I have a headband with a sequinned bird on it, a pair of bird earrings and a big gold swallow ring. Yes. Slightly obsessed!) OOPS.

I HAD to share some of my favourites with you. Which ones to add to my collection?!

Hot Pink Summer Fun Hand Carved Wood Parrot Necklace

Birds Of a Feather Necklace

NW3 by Hobbs Poets Charms Leather Cuff

Pieces Vega Parrot Necklace

Budgie Necklace at

Chloe Croft Cushions

Chloe Croft Cushions

(I couldn't help but to put these bird cushions in!)

Does anyone else have an obsession they just can't help!?

And we all fall down...

Saturday was a great day! I'd arranged with 8 friends and the boyfriend to go paintballing. I'd never been paintballing before and we'd all bought a super cheap deal ($12 for a game and 150 shots) so I thought 'WHY NOT?!'. The thing is, when the morning of the game arrived, I was terrified and DID NOT want to go! I'd had a bit of banter with some of the boys who were going, and then was terrified that they were going to hunt me down and use me as a human target!

This isn't actually us. I took some photos but they weren't very good!
I tried persuading them to be on my team, but they refused. So I asked the boyfriend to be on my team, and also grabbed one of the other guys (he's a Kiwi so dead active and I knew he'd be a good 'asset' to the team!) and made a deal with my friend Sara that we'd watch each other's backs! Sara and I even invested $5 to hire the overalls so that we'd bit a little more camouflaged than in our 'civvies'. As the game commenced, I found myself a sniper tower, clambered up and stayed there! No shots on me! Fools! 

At the end of each round, I kept coming back paint free, and was pretty chuffed about that. Then I thought 'oh no - they will now hunt me down because I am the only person who hasn't been shot!'. They didn't! I did have a teensy bit of a run around at the end of the match, but was still unharmed. Hoorah and a successful paintballing adventure. Especially when I see the Dalmatian-like bruises on the boys!

After all the banter, it was me who came out bruise free!
What WASN'T so successful was that evening. We'd all arranged to go to one of my favourite restaurants in Wellington, Cafe Istanbul. It's a great big restaurant (which looks incredibly tiny from the outside, but once you're through the doors just keeps on going!) and had fabulous food, a relaxed atmosphere and traditional belly dancers!

The evening turned out to be rainy, so I thought it was a great opportunity to bust out a pair of new leather boots I'd bought on my trip back to Wales in January and not worn yet. So I paired them with a pair of black leggings, a black tunic, a black matte sequin bike jacket that was also a new purchase from the Wales trip, and some nice silvery jewellery. Leaving the house, I felt pretty pleased with my funky lil outfit.

Boots - TK Maxx; Leggings and Tunic - Primark; Jacket - TK Maxx; Necklace - TK Maxx; Bangle - Christmas pressie :)

Bag - Witchery

Sixty seconds later, I was not so pleased!

Trotting down the path to the bus-stop (the boyfriend had offered to pay for a taxi but I thought I'd be economical and get the bus instead, that will teach me!), large umbrella in hand, I managed to get about 10 metres before I slipped on the slippery path in my shiny new boots, and landed in a heap on the floor.

Grazed hand? Check. Ripped leggings? Check. Bloody knee? Check. Scuffed new boots? Yes, check.

Extreme sad face? CHECK!

Trying to stop myself from having a little cry, I hobbled back to the apartment to survey the damage:

Bad times :(

Brand new boots scuffed :'(
Both of them were casualties in the tumble

In the words of Charlie Sheen - #not winning
I changed my leggings, put my scuffed boots back on, gathered my pride and jumped in a taxi to the restaurant. I wasn't going to let my fall stop me from enjoying a belly dance, borek and a glass of vino!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

What to Wear to an Interview?!

This morning I had an interview for a communications role within a student's union. Apart from prepping myself for the role, something just as important in my mind was "What the heck do I wear"?!?!

I'm sure it's a problem most women come up against when going for an interview (or maybe it's just those of us who are slightly obsessed with clothes!). The following things ran through my mind when theorising outfits in my mind:

1. It's a communications role with internal and external responsibilities. So I need to look professional and approachable, but not boring.

2. BUT it's a role within a SU, and so I also wanted to look like I had my own style/quirks, rather than just looking like a 'suit'.

3. WEATHER! Wellington weather is OH-SO changeable. Forecast was good though, so sandals and no tights (aka hosiery) were necessary.

4. Hair! My hair is really long so I always wonder if it looks unprofessional when it's all everywhere!? And then again, sometimes it looks too severe scraped back in a ponytail or bun.....

5. Accessories - too much can look too much, but too little can look dull.

So (with the help of the boyfriend who interviews people regularly as part of his role) I finally made a decision.

I wore a Calvin Klein dress that I bought in a designer discount store in San Francisco - I think it looks stylish but also sophisticated. I matched it with a pair of beige heels (high but sensible with an ankle strap!) and some pearl jewellery.

I wore a statement pearl ring from Diva and a string of real pearls the boyfriend bought me for Christmas last year. I kept my coral nail polish on to add a splash of colour to an otherwise neutral outfit.
Whoops - SEVERE granny hands in this pic!!! Must moisturise more!!

I did chuck on a slouchy-smart grey blazer and took a large metallic handbag to keep my notes in!

I decided to wear my hair in a messy bun, so that it looked smart but a little undone.

Is it me, or do you also feel that when you dress well you also feel better prepared?!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Funny things I've noticed about living in New Zealand

It's coming up to the two year anniversary of mine and the boyfriend's move to NZ (wowzer, time DOES indeed fly).
I find it amusing that even after two years I still can't get used to certain things here in NZ. So I thought I'd make a little list of them!

1. Tomato sauce tastes horrible! Yes this is quite a biggie and the first thing that came to mind! The Watties brand (which is the NZ version of Heinz) is just...well...rank according to my tastebuds. I'm not saying it's rank to Kiwis, but as a British person, it tastes far too sweet.  This also goes for Watties baked beans and spaghetti. You CAN buy official Heinz sauce here (and I do!) - hurrah!

2. A Kiwi sausage roll is nothing like a British sausage roll. I'm vegetarian, so this one doesn't affect me. But the boyfriend LOVES the huge, giant, massive, humungous sausage rolls they do here. How will he ever go back to measly British ones?!

3. The weather - amazingly popular topic. I don't find this that strange as I come from Wales. But thought I would comment on it nonetheless!

Home made pastries galore!
4. People are SO active. Not just the gym after work lark - there's triathlons, decathlons, swims, runs, powerwalks, dragon boating, kayaking, sailing, tramping, soccer, netball, hockey...and that's just what they do in their lunch breaks. (Okay, slight exaggeration.) Guess that's how they eat so many sausage rolls and scones and get away with it. (Must. Take. Note.)

5. Supermarket stuff isn't very veggie friendly. :( I have to read labels ALLL the time. In the UK most items have a BIG GREEN V smack-bang on the front. Here, not so. I can't find a veggie suitable YOGHURT, PESTO, CREME FRAICHE etc. so have had to remove these from my diet. Boo.

As the saying goes "you can't beat Wellington on a great day"!
6. On the other hand, there are soooooo many cafes here in Wellington! Spoiled for choice! And they all seem to make their own fresh salads, slices, paninis, scones and CAKES. YUM! No deep-fried or microwaved shibizzle here!

7. Takeaways (where I live anyway!) don't deliver! I remember one Sunday night before our car joined the family the boyfriend rang countless takeaways in search of a delivery - to no avail! (Pizzas aren't a problem, I'm referring to Chinese and Indian mainly).

8. Kiwis love crafting and DIY! Hurrah! I love it too! This is one of my favourite things about this country, the Kiwi can-do attitude. I have a friend who makes her own tomato ketchup. My sister nearly fell off her chair when I told her. This isn't heard of in Wales, and I love that about NZ!

9. They don't serve vinegar with chips! Shocker!!

EFTPOS is the way to go here in NZ!
10. Debit cards are a relatively new thing. This confounded the boyfriend and I when we arrived here, who are used to having the convenience of a debit card. How else do you shop online?! ;)

11. Kiwis are remarkably well travelled and knowledgeable about the world. I am continually impressed by this. Each time someone asks where I'm from, or even says sometimes "which part of WALES are you from"? I always get "oh yes, it's nice there, I spent the summer in Swansea once" or "My mum's from South Wales" etc. Compared with the time I spent living in the Canary Islands as part of a European exchange, and people from Italy and France didn't even know where Wales was - COME ON!

12. A 'blowdry' is called a 'blow wave'. Cute.

13. Sandals are jandals. And sweets are lollies. Oh and crisps are 'chups'. Funny.

14. When a fruit or vegetable is out of season, it's out of stock. We hunted for aparagus for a recipe once and couldn't find it anywhere, until someone explained this to us. I guess the UK imports SO much, I'd never had to consider this before!

15. Most people seem to get paid fortnightly in NZ. This is sweeet. No waiting around for payday all month! 

So these are a few of the quirks I've noticed about NZ. They're not complaints, just things I've found funny / weird / different when trying to settle into life upside down. Let me know if you have any of your own!