Happy Birthday me!

The 9th of October arrived much like it did last year, with Kate shouting happy birthday and dancing around the kitchen, both of us a least a little drunk, and Kate awake way past her bedtime.

27 snuck up on me. It’s not that I didn’t anticipate the day or make any arrangements for celebrations, it’s not even that I was trying to forget on purpose. It’s just sneaky.

Finishing the cookbook photography, making jewellery, working full-time, and planning a trip to Japan has been taking up all my time. (YES, JAPAN.) So I haven’t even come close to finishing my 26 in 26 list. But I will. This year I don’t have any lists in mind but I am going to try my hardest to finish the one I started. Many of the remaining list items have been started; I have the frame for my SE Asian postcards, I just haven’t put the postcards in it yet (task for today!); I’ve cut a few inches off a skirt, I just haven’t hemmed it yet; I am on the lookout for a good quality second-hand tripod.

I had plans to go to the South Island this year, and I will be going next year in autumn.

For now though, I will finally drag myself out of bed (at 1pm) and have a shower. Followed by bacon butties, antipasto for dinner, and the 16 year old Jura whisky I bought as a present for making it through another amazing year.

Resolutions and Reinventions

I’m not a fan of big new year resolutions where the results aren’t measurable, like be healthy or lose weight or cook more. That’s why I have my 26 in 26 list. But there’s no denying January is the best time of year to write lists and start new projects. Everything seems fresh and possible. The fact you are still in the same job you hate, that you haven’t saved enough to book the trip to somewhere not here, and you haven’t blogged in 6 months doesn’t matter.

With that in mind I signed up for The Reinvention Project some time last year. It was scheduled for a time far enough in the future that all I had to do was enter my email address and not think about it till after the holidays. But now the time has come and I’m not entirely sure what to expect.

There’s not a single one thing I want to fix in my life, I’d like more focus, more determination, more self belief, and less lazy. I’d like to stop falling back on unfulfilling work in offices I don’t care about and actually try. I want to stop being scared.

I’ve signed up for a number of different plans like this, but not ever one that emails you every weekday. It’s unfortunate but I really do need to be told every day what I need to be doing to help myself. Big picture goals don’t help me. I need solid deadlines, broken down tasks, something specific to work towards. I’ve written so many times on this blog about my latest ‘this is it’ moment. While those moments are rarely it in the way I’d like them to be, every it brings me closer to the person I want to be. All the little steps and changes add up and it’s only by looking back to the person I was a years ago that I can see the changes.

The first interview and assignment for my 30 day reinvention was sent through today. With it I determined the areas of my life that need the most work, and the areas of my life I’m most happy with.

The word holding it all together is confidence. I’ll gain confidence by learning new things, seeing myself with the same eyes I see others, looking after my health, and creating a working environment that is clean and spacious. I’ll get a career, or at least a job I’m invested in, when I have the confidence. It’s an odd and cruel thing that I had more confidence and found it easier to gun for opportunities when I was younger and inexperienced. I thought I knew more 7 years ago. I’ve regressed and become the scared 8 year old that didn’t want to go to school because she wasn’t THE BEST in her class at times tables.

I also really really really really really need to keep on with downsizing my belongings. If only so I can actually move around my room without breaking things left on the floor. I’m hoping to start this 20 minute a day cleaning schedule. 20 minutes is doable to a point that I don’t really believe I’ll be able to clean my house in that short a time. We’ll see.

Whatever, I’ll Do What I Want

I’ve realised lately that I’m in a good space and working on what I actually want to do now. How do I know this?

I’m temping and getting on with it but my mind is full of jewellery ideas I’d like to work on, photos I want to be taking, and blog posts I want to be writing.

When people ask what I do I tell them I temp 6 months of the year, as well as all the other stuff. Because that’s true. I have officially gotten to a point in my life where I can live on half of my temping wage while I’m temping, and spend the other half of my wage during the 6 months of the year I’m not officially employed.

My birthday, an unusually beautiful and sunny one (spring time in Wellington = rain), was spent nursing a hangover of both the food and alcohol varieties, having high tea with some of my ladies, and working. I couldn’t wait to have a few hours to myself so I could edit some photos, write some words, and sketch some ideas.

The crazy giftmas season has kicked in and orders have shifted into high gear. It’s been quite overwhelming juggling 40 hours in the office, social engagements every night, blogging every day, and filling all the orders in time. But I’m still really happy, I want to give up less than ever. And it’s a really great space to be in.

Over the past few years I’ve struggled constantly with the idea that maybe I’m just doing the jewellery and blogging thing because I couldn’t think of anything else. But I’m pretty sure that as long as I’m crafting and sharing my thoughts I’m where I want to be.

Money or no.

[Title courtesy of Cartman]

Walking Cliche

I found this in my drafts last night. A post I wrote in April 2010, and yet not much has changed. I lost a bit of interest in clothes but still dress pretty much the same. I wore the mentioned glasses with photochromic lenses all over Southeast Asia, but my newest pair were scored free from one of Clearly Contacts facebook deals.


If you started reading Cupcakes and Mace last year when I actually wrote you’d know I’m a t shirt fiend. Also a sneaker fiend. (I also love cake and movies but we’re talking about aesthetics right now ok.)

A while back it was suggested on twitter that I probably have about 45 black t shirts in my wardrobe and while I thought that was a bit hyperbolic I wasn’t sure what the real number was.

It currently sits around 25.

Note that that does not include t shirts of other colours, or black shirts in other styles. It is purely black t shirts with prints. The kind you get from Threadless and 1-day tee, and I have no intention of stopping. It’s a shame I don’t have more amazing skirts to wear them with, but that’s another value the tees add – a great excuse to buy skirts!

The sneaker collection has not grown much. I found a bright white pair of high tops with blue gingham around the top and yellow straps, they were on sale too! How could I resist. And my chucks are worn in enough now to wear regularly without needing plasters every time I put them on.

Add a new found addiction to buying glasses online, and a recent upsizing of my tunnels and you can see where all the money I don’t spend on food goes. Goggles 4U and Zenni Optical are online glasses retailers I can recommend first hand. Buying glasses in New Zealand is an expensive and slow business. Go to optometrist > pick glasses > pay around $600 for glasses > get glasses a few weeks later. If you have your prescription though, you can pick from hundreds of awesome frames, pay around $40 and have them delivered to your door in less than a week, even though they’re coming from somewhere like China or Pakistan. Carazy. Most recently I got this red amber pair from Zenni Optical which sit and fit perfectly.

zennioptical red

And this grey pair with grey photochromic lenses (they get darker in bright light) which are winging their way to me now.

goggles4u grey

You can also see that I have turned into one of those stupid hipsters everyone hates. I have tattoos, 1/2″ ear lobes and big nerd glasses; I pair t shirts and pencil skirts with tights and high top sneakers; I act like an adolescent even though I’m in my mid twenties; I don’t have a real job and instead spend my time going for coffee and listening to pop music covered by metal bands.

I’m a walking cliche. And I’m awesome.

Eleven Eleven Eleven

Whether you use the American date system or the normal one (ha!) doesn’t matter. It’s 11/11/11.

These days I’m temping in an office with people I used to work for 5 years ago. Spending my days thinking about blogging and jewellery and food. My sister has been visiting for the past few days with her friend so I’ve eaten out for lunch and dinner for the past three days.

The weather has been windy, scarily so, but today the sun has finally come out.


November 2010 I was 25 and looking for a house to move into with Brend and flatties Kate and Jason. Our old dump was falling down around us and we didn’t like having to live with an extra single person (and I don’t think single people really liked living with our coupled up selves either). I was temping at the same place I’m temping at now. I was getting excited about going to my first midnight movie screening and booking a bach with friends for new years.
Kate and Jason had been on their honeymoon to America and Brend and I were serious about our own travel plans.
I had started doing Couch to 5k with Kate, which was a disaster because, as I later found out, I have hypermobile knees.


Back then I was 24 and blogging almost every day. I had quit my job in June and was being supported by my ex while I worked on the jewellery business. We had a little apartment of our own in Mt Victoria and had been living there almost 3 years. I had been a pescetarian for almost 3 years as well. My how things change in two short years!

I met a lot of new people in October and November 2010, almost everyone I’m good friends with now! Thanks to twitter I secured myself a larger group of best friends than I ever thought I’d be lucky enough to have. I spent November gossiping with them, replacing dead phones, and stressing about the ex’s workplace being downsized to 4 days a week.

I also spent a lot of time stressing about where our relationship was going. I was well ready to get engaged, and he, well, wasn’t.


Before blogging! Before twitter! Before Facebook! Before I joined Flickr! I was 21 and was 3 weeks into a new job. Wellington had been my home for almost four years and Sol and I were living without flatmates for the first time in a shitty little basement bedsit that had windows but no light.
I was getting involved in the internet in an obsessive way around this time thanks to My Chemical Romance, the MCRmy, and MySpace. I also bought a bass and amp with my birthday money and started trying to play.

Where were you?

26 in 26

At midnight last night my friend and flatmate Kate shouted Happy Birthday in my face. (We were all a little drunk and I think she was particularly excited to have checked the time exactly on 12.) A little terrifying, but still a really nice way to ring in my 26th Birthday, especially as I’m at that stage in life where a birthday is just an excuse to eat food and drink gin.

Now that my 101 list has passed I’ve written a new list. These all feel very doable. We’ll see.

  1. Buy a day train pass and go somewhere. Anywhere. Without much of a plan.
  2. Picnic
  3. Alter a piece of clothing
  4. Make something look better by painting it
  5. Watch 3 Hiyao Miyazaki films (0/3)
  6. Update my CV
  7. Visit Mum at least 3 times (0/3)
  8. Participate in a protest
  9. Frame my South East Asia postcards
  10. Apply for a British passport
  11. Submit a photo to something
  12. Write a letter to each of my siblings (0/4)
  13. Renew my learners licence
  14. Get a tripod for my camera (and take outfit photos with it)
  15. Post a secret to PostSecret
  16. Learn a dance
  17. Make something out of polymer clay
  18. Go to the South Island
  19. Make a friendship bracelet
  20. Make a fruit pie
  21. Blog every day for a month
  22. Complete my ‘Wreck This Journal’
  23. Apply for a job I think is out of my league
  24. Learn a song on my bass
  25. Try roller skating
  26. Grow a plant

Detox Diary

12 September – 23 September: 3 bottles of water a day; no cheese; no alcohol; maximum 1 caffeinated drink a day; maximum of 2 coffees a week; 2 days a week where sugary food is allowed.

'ave a banana!

Day 1:

It’s only midday but I’m already feeling virtuous for swapping the morning coffee for a bottle of water. Since returning from Asia the water drinking has been waaaay down. Less than a bottle a day usually, so a bottle is actually quite an achievement.

11am: I catch myself staring intently at the chocolates at the checkout.
The panic that has appeared over not being able to eat sugar is ridiculous (!) but proves the point that the time to get over this addiction is now.
I have a birthday celebration on Wednesday and I’m getting tattooed on Thursday, so I already know my sugar day allowances will have to wait till then.

2pm: Every mention of tea on twitter makes me want to drink it ALL. Apparently I follow a lot of tea lovers. Second bottle of water has been downed in protest.

4pm: Jason is home from work and enquiring whether I want anything from the dairy. “Don’t even tempt me.” “You’re probably saving lives in Colombia by not buying coke anyway.”

This coke or this coke Jason?

Day 2:

A BLT and smoothie for breakfast. When you’re doing the Best Detox EverTM you get to eat things like BLTs for breakfast. There’s no cheese so it’s fair game. Apparently the reason I love cheese so much is because I’m addicted to morphine. This is turning into the get Kim to rehab show.

12pm: The water isn’t going down as easily as yesterday. But I am determined to have my entire digestive system transmute into pure mother-of-pearl.

Cake made by Laura.

Day 3:

Thank god it’s a sugar day. These pieces of coconut rough are like sex in my mouth. Cannot stop fantasising about the man shaped cake I’m going to eat tonight.

Day 4:

Went a little crazy on the sugar last night. But must keep going today. It’s tattoo day and I need to keep the sugar up. Lest…something.

Day 5:

Ugggggghhhhhh. Two days of sugar and I feel like absolute crap. My throat is sore, I’m bloated, my arm feels like it’s had a million little needle pricks.

12pm: My burger without cheese or cheese sauce is not as good as my usual burger with cheese and cheese sauce. I hope it’s not because I’m still addicted to morphine.

4pm: Oh shit, I think I’ve caught Kate’s cold. I knew sitting in the sun at Park(ing) Day was too much stress on my pasty white skin.

Day 6:

Yep, definitely caught the cold. Thank goodness Brendan isn’t working today so he can be my slave. Am I the only person who wants to eat cake when they’re sick? Brendan refuses to try to make me a cake, his friends are over or something. Poor excuse.

Day 7:

Brendan is working today though, so I have to fend for myself. This cold seems to be one that kills you straight away and then retreats rather quickly, I’m at least able to walk today.

12pm: In my feeble state I failed at healthy supermarketing and have to designate today a sugar day. A 4 pack of muffins, mocha flavoured milk, mac and cheese in a box (doesn’t count as cheese cause it definitely doesn’t have any cheese in it), and some fruit & vegetable juice so I could trick myself into feeling virtuous.

Day 8:

What a waste of a sugar day. I decided to finish of the half a muffin I had left and then realised that totally counted. Laaaaame. Is this the normal amount of sugar people eat in a day? How do they even enjoy life?

I’m really really craving a glass of wine tonight. Only a couple of weeks till I can have one. Ahh!

Day 9:

3am: Insomnia fuck yeah. It’s times like these it sucks to be in a couple. No watching bad tv in bed for me.

8am: I’m surprisingly functional considering I spent about 5 hours in bed either staring into darkness or at my little phone screen.

7pm: Eggs have crossed the line from tolerable texture, to omg am I eating slime texture. In an attempt to try new ways to eat them I made this super easy avolegmeno, it’s like fancy sour chicken soup. SO so good. Like eating cream without the horrible side effects eating cream gives me.

Day 10:

3am: Finally going to sleep after spending the last 4 hours trying to clean up malware I found on the site. It wasn’t infecting anyone else and wasn’t even visible if you came straight here, but search engine results made me looks like I was peddling Viagra. Fuck you you fucking fucks.

Still craving sugar but I’ve noticed how my stomach looks when I don’t eat it. Flat!

9pm: I made up for the lack of alcohol at tonight’s pub quiz by eating a second dinner.

Day 11:

11 am: How do you eat french toast without sugar? Is it even possible? I couldn’t so I sneaked a sachet of equal. Only one though, and that shit totally doesn’t even count as sugar.

Halloween must be approaching because I just saw a photo of candy corn on twitter. My friend in high school would go to America sometimes and bring me back candy corn, that shit is sweet sweet nectar, I doubt my teeth could even handle it now. Twitter friend was nice enough to link me to the devil website where I could get some for myself though.

Day 12:

I just realised I’m not complaining about cravings as much. Maybe this detox is actually working? My strategy has been to get so stuffed on savoury food that there’s no room to think about sugar.
My life revolves around food so I’m happy with my decision to give up pescetarianism, because it means I get to eat the new pulled pork burger at Monterey. Pulled pork is where the meat lover was rereleased last year.

7pm: I missed out on all the cheese with dinner at Brend’s sisters place, but the cheery pie and pretzel chocolate chip cookies at Jo’s were too much to pass up. Technically that means I’ve used up next weeks sugar day allowance a day early. Technically that means no sugar treats for the next two weeks! I hope I don’t hurt myself when I fall off the wagon.

I’ll tell you a secret if you promise not to run away

Soap suds in hands

I haven’t used soap in weeks. Or shampoo. Or facewash. It’s been over 5 weeks actually. Well, that’s a lie, I’ve used a little soap on my underarms, lady parts, and hands. But that’s all.

Sarah Von mentioned not using soap on the Yes and Yes message boards and I figured if I can survive with only 6 items of clothing then I can do this too! Bonus points for making travel easier as well.

I read approximately a million articles on the subject and most said that if your skin goes crazy then try your hardest to wait it out for a month because things should come right by then. Fortunately I’m awesome and my skin did nothing weird.

For the 5 weeks I’ve been cleaning my hair with baking soda (alkaline) and apple cider vinegar (acidic to close the hair shafts once they’ve been opened by the baking soda), and cleaning my face with baby wipes at night (I’ve always used these as a cheap make up wipe replacement) and a flannel (face cloth) with my morning shower (don’t use fabric softener on flannels or towels, they’re excellent for exfoliation).

The result: My skin is far less dry! It has settled down a lot. I’ve always suffered mildly from teenage like skin, even though I’m 25 now, but finally it’s starting to behave! ( unless it’s the week before my period)

My hair is getting proper greasy after about 5 days, a huge improvement from the 2 days it used to take. Living through a couple of weeks of greaseball hair is worth it when it trains your scalp not to produce so much oil.

Unfortunately backpacking with a tub of baking soda and a bottle of vinegar seems to be more trouble than it’s worth, but not having to use a tonne of soap is going to be grand.

Am I low maintenance or what!

The Switch

an old switch

There is a decided difference between the boys and girls in our house. The boys are full of drive, electing to get large amounts of exercise, writing, and other artistic activities out of the way before settling in for the night. The girls however need deadlines and rewards to get what they need to do done.

We were having a discussion about it the other day. Kate and I would both like to make our businesses work and we’d both like to lose our winter weight. The boys suggested we just do what we needed to do to get it done. We both lamented that our minds don’t work like that. In lieu of a very real deadline we need the switch. The thing in your mind that clicks over one day without much of a reason, that lets us put our mind to something.

Thankfully my switch to stop with the daily scone breakfasts, candy binges, huge lunches, and snacks after dinner flipped a couple of weeks ago.

The change has been dramatic and apart from weight loss the best result has been less sore tummies. I have colitis so eating fried food, and anything with high fat dairy or high amounts of sugar make me feel a bit sick. That’s how bad I was before. Willing to put my health at risk for a sugar fix. It’s the closest I’ll get to being an addict.

How do you get the things you need to do done? Can you just use your natural drive and grab what you want or are you more like me?

To the guy who, when I was 14 and I asked how old I looked, responded with 24

  1. Thanks. That’s pretty much exactly what my teenage ears wanted to hear. I felt so mature laughing at the absurdity of you getting my age wrong by 10 years.
  2. And

  3. Were you high?! There’s no way I looked 24 when I was 14!
14 or 24

I’m far more mature looking at 24 obviously!

p.s I’m actually 17 in that photo on the left so the photo is kind of redundant but it’s the oldest digital photo I have of myself.

p.p.s Awesome flatmate Jason took the photo on the right along with a few others, but I decided to use the one in which I was making the stupidest face.

p.p.p.s My Aunty just put up a picture of my 14th birthday on Facebook. How convenient.