Whisky and Wry

Do not adjust your screens, you’re in the right place.

Cupcakes and Mace has gone through a revamp and a rename. I’ve been considering it for a long time, due partly to boredom and partly to never really being happy with the name I chose. Cupcakes and Mace still exists as the name of my jewellery line and hopefully one day I’ll have a shop set up on cupcakesandmace.com.

For now though, feel free to change your rss subscriptions to Whisky and Wry, particularly those of you that are used to getting your updates via email. I’ve had a play and hopefully everything is redirecting automatically, but I haven’t done this before so who knows if it will work.

Thanks for being patient with me while I continue to tweak and add and let me know if anything looks really wrong. No doubt there will be a lot of that if you’ve viewing in IE (which really should just go DIAF).

Why Whisky and Wry? 1) I love whisky 2) I can be a bit of a sarcastic bitch 3) Wry sounds like rye which is an ingredient in some whisky.

I am a donut

I made it. 30 days of consecutive blogging. A whole month of full time work, xmas orders, daily blogging, twitter interactions, and social engagements. Phew.

Helped in part (a lot) by my health (better! comparatively); by my bf cooking dinner & not complaining when I’m too busy to help; by my love of food which I use to bribe myself out of bed in the morning (‘if you just get up you get to eat fruit toast and sushi’) whatever works right?!; by my new found love of travel which compels me to get out and earn some dollars; by friends telling me all month that they’ve been enjoying reading; and seeing the subscriber numbers go up and giving me a reason beyond myself to continue.

Yeah yeah, but I’m supposed to be a blogger on something right? So blogging every day should be the rule not the exception.

It’s taken me a long time time to get back to this place. I don’t work well when I’m stressed or depressed, instead I lie in bed reading twitter & watching Private Practice.

I received the Grymm and Epic newsletter today, including the latest post on why running your own business is awesome. Point 10) I am a donut, made my head explode a little. It’s a mental shift I’ve experienced but hadn’t realised or acknowledged it. I am instead of I work for…I am a jewellery designer, a blogger, a temp.

Goals for December: spend some time catching up on my google reader. Try to curb my addiction to obsessively checking my email, perhaps by adding a push notification to my phone for when I get one instead of loading it up literally every 15 minutes, even when there’s been nothing new for hours. Blog some awesome alternative gift ideas. Read something that’s not a blog!

NaBloPoMo take two

You may have noticed the sudden up turn in posting frequency? Maybe not.

The reason? I’m attempting NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month, for the second year in a row. The challenge is to publish a blog post every day for the month of November. Last year I managed 23/30 posts in November 2010. Fingers crossed I’ll get closer this time.

I’ve never been any good at writing fiction, perhaps because I’ve never attempted it. Perhaps because I’m a little terrified about what’s hiding in my brain, or that someone would actually read it! So doing NaBloPoMo is my answer to Brend’s second year of NaNoWriMo.

I’m using the wordpress editorial calendar to keep track of my post ideas and it seems I’ve actually got a few. Unfortunately most of them involve copious amounts of photos and I’m a notoriously slow editor. Well, maybe not notorious.

Are you guys ok with all the photos? Particularly the ones I’m taking myself?

As usual I missed the boat

WTJ Write Carelessly Now

And this time it wasn’t on purpose (I hate boats).

Turns out National Blog Writing Month doesn’t coincide with National Novel Writing Month at all. It’s the month before. As in October. As in this month which is nearly over.

Not that I was actually motivated to blog in October.

Anyway, the point is that Brend is going to do NaNoWriMo and I had absolutely no idea how big an undertaking this was! 2000 words a day?! Even if the purpose is just to get it all on paper unedited it’s still a pretty massive undertaking.

In the mean time I’m avoiding anything that looks like work by pretending that I’m tidying my room. I have actually managed to get rid of a sack of rubbish, a sack of recyclable paper, 2 boxes of stuff I don’t want and a sack of clothes, but it’s taken me 3 weeks and my room still looks like a bomb went off. I’ve done no writing and am still too lazy to work on my business. I can’t even call myself a blogger any more.


This is me being accountable.

I’m going to subject you to the raving in my head for a whole month.

p.s ‘like’ Cupcakes and Mace on facebook and you’ll get my new posts in your feed and info on new jewellery designs and colours and I’ll think you’re totally awesome.

Dear Readers of Cupcakes and Mace

Using my finely tuned powers of figuring stuff out I realised that this style of blogging wasn’t working for me any more. With only a handful of posts published in 2010 it’s a far cry from the days of 2009 when I’d stay up till 4 in the morning getting orders packed and making sure I had written something for the blog.

These days all my time is spent eating food and, yeah, eating food. Oh and hanging out with that guy I like. So with an abundance of time and still nothing productive going on I realised it was time to stop being such a lazy bitch and fix it. I signed up to a couple of temping agencies and got a job for the month of August (yay me) in order to pay back some of the money I borrowed from my savings. I finally got around to getting my awesome flatmate to help me with a new logo/blog header/business cards. I started cooking real food instead of eating from a packet. And I finally arranged to see Mum after 8 months of not seeing her.

None of that fixed the lack of writing going on though. And my exceptionally boring temping job seems to be leaving me with more down time than up time. Fellow blogger/friend/super organised woman that seems to have actual discipline over herself and manages to actually work for and achieve her goals Kelly, suggested we meet to discuss bloggy plans and I’m quite happy for any excuse to meet in a cafe so we met this afternoon. I needed something that would be easy, that would allow me to write about whatever I wanted but having something quirky and structured about it. Ideally a barrage of wit and sarcasm would flow out of me like bloggers I’ve already mentioned numerous times on Cupcakes and Mace, but I’m just not great at writing like that. And then I realised the simple solution is to write here the way I write in my head. In letter form.

When I’m frustrated with someone I write them a letter telling them why they’re a dick and then I hide it. When I’m in love with something I tweet. Now whenever I have an opinion on anything I’ll be sending you a letter to tell you all about it.

Be prepared.



Wait, what?

All right. Straight up. Every time I think about the things I want to diarise in this ol’ blog of mine I have a voice telling me to wait! Because there are RULES! First I have to make sure I have amazing pictures, and then I have to make sure I haven’t forgotten any details, and then I have to make sure I update chronologically.

I can’t remember everything I did last week, so trying to remember all the things I’ve seen/bought/done since December is near impossible.

Fuck rules. You guys don’t care about the rules right?

I Do My Best


That’s all for today folks. I’m tired because I actually left the house today. And I left before midday. And then I assembled a whole bunch of necklaces and brooches while making plans to go to the Roller Derby and attend a Spice World party. MLIA.

WordCamp NZ – 8th and 9th of August 2009

Mt Vic Bowling Club

After spending the weekend at the Mt Victoria Bowling Club attending the first New Zealand WordCamp I feel a bit anxious about all the things I could be doing to this site that I haven’t done yet. I should have a store! I should have better menus! I should be pitching to the media! But I’m a terribly lazy girl and I probably wont do anything to improve until I feel like it’s worth my while.

Being away from my computer for two days while surrounded by geeks and technology gave me some withdrawals and I don’t know how to feel about them. I always consider myself a bit of a fraud when I claim to be a geek, I don’t know how to program or put a computer together, I just like the internet a lot and can follow instructions. If this weekend was anything to go by I’ve got nothing to be ashamed about, sure there were plenty of uber geeks running businesses dealing primarily with code but there were many like me as well. I felt welcome and comfortable.

Matt Mullenweg speaks

I went in to WordCamp unsure how much I would get out of it. I was keen to hear more about the WP e-commerce plugin, and listening to Matt Mullenweg (one of the founders of WordPress) talk was bound to be good, but apart from that I had no expectations. I got more than I could have hoped for. For a taste of WordCamp I suggest you watch Matt’s Q&A session where he talks about the future of WordPress, his thoughts on opensource, and how he got to where he is now. It’s great, there is a reference to bunnies on crack.

Hearing everyone speak in such an organised yet informal setting confirmed I was in the right place. Not once did I feel like an unworthy imposter, almost all of the talks were relevant and interesting, with the exception of WordPress for iPhone and one or two others purely because I’m not interested in hardware and I don’t have an iPhone. Talks on keeping out of trouble with the law, being a media darling, and doing business were interesting to me as a blogger and business owner (it sounds so fancy saying I’m a business owner, I feel like a fraud again!).

The bonus came when my name was drawn out of a bag by Matt to win a 250Gb shock resistant hard drive. It came with NTI shadow backup software so I can backup my files automatically! Now I can be quite secure in the knowledge my photos and music are backed up in approximately 4 hard drives, all of them in the same room.
The best thing is that it doesn’t need an external power source. The Boy and I recently bought a one terabyte HD deciding to choose quantity over quality we got one that needs an external power source. I’m very stoked by this win. Look how tiny it is!

Freecom Hard drive

The two days were filled with geeky learning, sheep jokes, sunny weather, and free (sponsored) coffee (hot chocolates for me and Chickie Little). I would attend again in a heartbeat. And I encourage anyone trying to decide on a platform for their site to choose WordPress. Both the .com and .org options are fabulous and can handle amazing sites of all kinds, it’s not just a blogging tool.

If you get a chance to attend a WordCamp I suggest you do it. And for those of you still on blogger, make the move already!

Blogger Politics

cat fight

Being a female blogger feels a bit like being a teenager attending school in an American movie. There are cliques, there is backstabbing, there is jealousy as far as your mouse will take you. Growing up in New Zealand I never had to deal with the insipid task of making sure I got in with the right group from day one. Sure, groups were formed, and those groups had their distinct personalities. But none of it came to the extremes that movies like Mean Girls portray.

The blogging world is the first time I’ve come face to face with the harsh realities of working with thousands of opinionated women. We bitch and moan about companies in our blogs, but it’s comments section and places like Twitter where we think we can be sneaky and talk about other bloggers. Mean comments are supposed to make people question why they like the blogger being discussed, they’re meant to discredit, they’re meant to make the commenter seem like the authority instead. Unfortunately for the commenter they don’t realise that the people interested in reading those sorts of comments are bloggers themselves, meaning more often than not the readers are smart fact checkers who can form their own opinions.

It’s not only commenters that need to be careful what they write. Recently I saw a very well known blogger tweet that lots of people rip her off and stated that she could name people that have copied her blog design. She’s smart enough to not actually name names, but those comments make her seem a bit petty. Everyone thinks their work is original, that their statement style or colour is theirs alone. In reality no one has an original idea, there are 6.7 billion people in this world and chances are someone liked pink before you.

Do your thing, do it well, and maybe you’ll make it. I read hundreds of blogs, there’s room for more than one top dog.

Getting Started on Getting Started

[This post is bought to you by Kim of A Life Analytical, courtesy of the the 20 Something Bloggers blog swap]

So I kept thinking about what to write for my Blog Swap partner, and every once in awhile a great idea would hit me, and then later it was gone. That is when I decided that I need to keep a journal with me to record the things I want to write about when inspiration strikes. Then I was thinking about things that I appreciate and I decided I should probably make a daily list of those things as a reminder that life is far better than I think it is when I’m in one of my cynical moods. A little while later, I was thinking about the fact that I want to be better in terms of how I eat, and I thought that perhaps the old wisdom of keeping a food diary may not be a bad idea.

This is how I work. I identify a goal and then I think of a million things I need to do before I could possibly make real progress on that goal. Of course I need to be very dedicated to these things, so I’ll need to carry these little notebooks with me all the time. If that’s actually going to happen, they’ll need to be the perfect notebooks! And off I go, Googling in search of the perfect notebook in which to work on the preliminary steps for my awesome goals. Notebooks lead to to do lists which lead to productivity websites which lead to books on time management which leads to advice on stress which leads to yoga which leads to me thinking that I’ve been slacking on my yoga practice and I should look up the schedules for local studios and make a calendar of when I’m going to go to class where and if I’m going to do that obviously I need a new planner because my existing one just ended and sure I didn’t really use it ever but now that I have so many goals it’ll be so good to have! And now hours have passed, and I still don’t have a post for Blog Swap, and I haven’t accomplished anything at all really, but man do I feel like I’ve done a lot. How do people accomplish anything!? The internet is a bad, bad place. Maybe I should Google tips for weaning yourself off of it.

And there I go again.