Hen Party – Edinburgh


On the last weekend of February I had my first Hen Party.  Being an International Woman, I’m being treated to a few!

My Edinburgh-based bridesmaid, Helen, organised a really fun weekend with all of my favourite local women.



And of course in my typical style, I Instagrammed a lot of it!  Above is the cake that Helen put together – in my favourite shades, with a fabulous drunk Ariel on top. Hilariously, as I’d curled my hair on Friday night, my hair did end up resembling her on Saturday morning…



What’s a hen without a few penis marshmallows?

We spent Friday night playing Mr & Mrs, where I ended up drinking shots or taking forfeits, and as I got drunker, I got more answers wrong.. and you know where this is going.



By the end of the night I was too drunk to sit upright, and ended up being very gently put to bed. I was not a well woman in the morning.



But after a bit of sleep and some heavily-applied makeup, I was ready for part two.  Afternoon tea at The Tower restaurant! Swanky.  We were also joined by wee Elsie:



And I like this shot of me and Charly:



Then we moved on to Paradise Palms, which is actually a pretty awesome joint. We had an excellent waitress and after some fries, I started to feel pretty good. We were also joined by a work friend for a drink or two and played some dirty Pictionary (Dicktionary!) invented by Charly.  She has an impressive knowledge of terms I’d never heard of.


After a wee bit there, we moved on to Las Iguanas for an amazing Mexican feast.




And then, karaoke!  Finally, we ended Saturday on the dance floor.



Sunday we topped off the weekend with a very late brunch, where we were joined by another wee baby pal, Meriel.



All in all, it was a fantastic weekend and I felt very special. It was so great to have my favourite women join me for the silliness and chat.








Let me tell you that I love you, and I think about you all the time – Caledonia you’re calling me, now I’m going home



I come from one of the most beautiful countries in the world, but geez, Scotland takes my breath away sometimes (especially the northwest). Here are some snaps from my recent drives around Scotland!  I travelled from Edinburgh to Fort William, through Glencoe, etc. Stunning.


Glenfinnan/Loch Shiel

Glenfinnan Viaduct





Progress and confidence


I feel a bit like I wrote my last post and it got a bit deep so I then dropped the mic and ran away. But hello! I am here.


And holy cow, it’s basically the end of February.  I knew 2015 would go by fast but it is disappearing in the blink of an eye. Tomorrow is 4 weeks until we fly to New Zealand and I suddenly feel the time crunch of it all – so much to do before the big day, but I know we’ll get there.



I’ve said it before, but I’ve had a bit of wedding dress body stress, and that has changed quite a lot since I last wrote about it.  My first dress fitting went really well, and the seamstress was fantastic and helpful and so, so cheap!  I almost fell off my bed when she told me how cheap it was going to be, and she had some excellent suggestions for amendments if I didn’t meet my fitness goals by the final fitting. I’ve got 11 days until the next fitting, but I’m feeling pretty happy with where I’m at so far. I’m still about 15-20lbs over where I (in a perfect world) thought I’d be on my wedding day, and about 25lbs over where I’d ideally like to be (which is actually lighter than I’ve been in geez, probably 15 years, so I’m just being pretty ambitious here), but since September I’ve lost nearly a stone (14lbs/6.5kg) and this year alone I’ve lost 8lbs, so I’m pretty stoked with that.



I know we’re all about not focusing on weight loss these days as a society, and accepting ourselves as we are, and I applaud that. But this to me was never about people thinking I was hot, or having a flat stomach, or buying into anything I’ve been told. It’s always been about my confidence level, and fitting into my clothes, and feeling healthy and strong.



The key to it for me has been diet (though yoga has been wonderfully beneficial as well) – once I started eating right, the cravings for stuff stopped, the self-control grew (like, I can have chocolate next to me and not eat the entire block, which a while ago was tough work) and I’ve become pretty obsessed with Nakd bars and stuff.  A huge help I’ve found has been not eating much at night/stopping eating before about 7pm – even when I’ve had an unhealthy day (cause, not gonna lie, there has been some fast food), I’ve managed to keep the weight loss going.

I also do a bit of 6:1/the occasional 5:2 and find that helpful too.  Not that common, though.  And more work to do!



Ultimately, it has been a huge boost to my confidence and to my happiness.  I still weigh so much more than I did 5 years ago, but my stomach is so much smaller, my thighs are awesome and I just feel good about my body for the first time in a long time.  Also, the yoga has contributed hugely to my mental health – my stress and anger levels have been pretty high over the last year, but they’re getting better.



I hope you’re all well and good!  I have some more posts planned for the next wee bit, so I’ll be back soon – especially to share some amazing shots I got while travelling last week.  And I’ve got my Edinburgh hen this weekend – super excited!





On kindness


“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”


I’ve been thinking about the above quote from Iain Thomas lately.  I come back to it whenever I feel like I’m not acting like myself: like the world is making me ‘hard’.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being tough. There is certainly nothing wrong with being strong. And I want everyone to be confident and I always admire chutzpah, bien sur. But I worry that too many of us are becoming/feel they should be ‘hard’ to the world.

Don’t let the world take your softness.  This is nothing to do with femininity, with sexuality or gender. This is nothing to do with feminism or equality. For me it’s about allowing yourself, whoever you are, wherever you’ve come from, to sometimes be vulnerable. It’s about letting people in. It’s about coming from a place of kindness and letting a little optimism in sometimes.

No one needs to become super sunshine happy. But I worry about myself. I spend all day trying to conceal my feelings that when I finally have a chance to release them, they come out as anger or resentment or aggression. I don’t want to be aggressive.  I don’t even like being passive-aggressive.

Over the last 18 months I have turned into a ball of stress and discomfort. I’ve been difficult and rude. I’ve been passive-aggressive and unkind. I’ve been unhelpful and negative. I’m working on it.

I like feelings. Feelings are important. Feelings tell us so much, even when they’re confusing. I am not scared to feel them, even when I hate them. Why would you want to be devoid of feeling? To me that seems like hiding. It seems like withdrawing. It seems like running away.

I don’t want to run away. I know what needs changing and I know my behaviour is not always acceptable. But I also know I have high standards and I need to be kinder to myself, too.

Embrace where you’ve been, who you might have been, who you were not so long ago, who you are now. And aspire to be kinder, to be more open, to free yourself of what’s weighing you down.




New Year’s Day




Above is a picture of me this morning: hair all fallen over, mid-morning New Year’s Day (though it being 3am, it’s now the 2nd already). Last night we went to an excellent party (pic just below) but I got to that point where I was more tired than tipsy and alcohol wouldn’t have gotten me to the point where I could ignore the sleepiness and be silly with others, so I went home. We got home at nearly 4am, mind you.




Sometimes homesickness comes in waves and I’m not 100% sure what to do with it. On Christmas Eve I picked up a box of wrapped presents from the Post Office and sobbed for a few minutes before I collected myself – I then spent hours looking forward to Facetiming home, only to have the connection be so terrible I missed half of the conversation. I was distant and quiet and I hate when I do that – I’m so soppy and emotional but with my family I sometimes just get so sealed up that I feel cold and I’m not cold. I hope they don’t think I’m cold.

Today the homesickness was back, but it just rolled over me. It was a gentle wave. Not so scary.




We go home to New Zealand so soon – it’s now 99 days until the wedding which sounds so far away yet so close at the same time.

And most of my homesickness stems from seeing pictures of my 3 nieces – they are growing up so quick and I feel like I have missed so much of it. To think that I moved here when Violet was just 3.5 and now she is 9, it is mind-blowing. They now message me on Whatsapp and have their own Instagram accounts, and it is just the best thing ever.




We’ve been talking a lot lately about our future plans and they are super exciting. I get a bit intimidated about diving into the future but I feel so secure in the choice of who I have decided to dive in with.

Anyhoo, this is a bit of a disjointed ramble, but it’s a new year and I just wanted to write. So I’m going to try and just write. I hope you had a great NYE (and Christmas!) – 2015 is going to be great, I’m sure.




2014 stats


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. It wasn’t a great year, obviously, but I’m working on it.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.



I feel like I’m spending all of my time counting lately.


93 days til we fly to NZ

109 days til the wedding

30 days of yoga

1250 calories a day




One of the first things to point out is it’s no news to me how long it’s been since I’ve been here. I know, I know.  There’s been periods of great unhappiness and periods of great happiness, and I haven’t had the time or inclination to be writing (and it shouldn’t be a chore).



But I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the year and reflecting on me and my life and what I’m looking for lately, and I find that friendship has been coming up as a theme a lot in the last few months.  I’ve put a lot into new and old friendships, and I’m a bit flawed in that I’m terribly loyal and a bit overenthusiastic and I think it puts folks off.  No one likes it when you’re needy. (I’m just keen, I guess). I also have pretty high standards and I think I’ve been trying to reach a balance in nurturing relationships with the right people.  I was talking with a work friend on Friday night about how friendships shouldn’t feel like hard work, and if it feels like it’s hard work and that they make you feel guilty, bad, unhappy, awkward, unloved.. then maybe it’s time to step back. So I’ve done that a bit this year.  With mixed results, but it’s been good for my sanity.  I’ve noticed others have stepped away from me, too.



There’s an awful lot we don’t say outloud in life, and don’t like to say to each other – but we think it and mull over it and stress over it, and well, it does me no favours.  I think the people you can just be yourself around are the people that you should hold onto.  I catch myself trying too hard to be what others like and want from me, sometimes.  But if I take the time to be selfish and ask for something from others, I don’t always get it.  I’ve also been learning that as soon as I realise that a social media account I follow or a person I spend time with makes me feel uncomfortable or gives me negative feelings (on multiple occasions), then I need to unfollow or walk away, so I’ve been doing that a bit too.



Why do we keep hanging on/sticking by stuff that makes us feel bad about ourselves/life/the world? It’s such a waste of time.  Why aren’t we all choosing more often to just be happy?



But back to counting. I’ve been counting calories, counting my weight and measurements, counting the days until everything coming up in my life (and there is a LOT), counting my pennies… it’s all about tracking at the moment. My sleep, my temperature (BBT charting, because, well, yes), my food intake.. I’m kinda looking forward to Christmas so I can let all of that go for a few days.

The weight loss worked brilliantly, and then didn’t. It’s amazing how it can completely reverse when you let the control go for a few days. So I’m back to trying, as always.  I have a dress fitting in 25 days, though, and I don’t how I’m gonna fit it, but we shall see!  I’m working on it, and I’ll have a post about yoga coming up very soon, because I took on a challenge to do it every day and now I can’t see myself without it.



I dyed my hair a lighter red that I love in preparation for the wedding, and I cleared out old/small clothes, and I threw out or sold stuff I don’t need- I’ve been having a clear-out overall. Physically and emotionally.

I also want to post and write about the wedding in general, because it is coming up so quickly. We’re having a much smaller guest list than anticipated, so I’m looking forward to it being an intimate day. And it means that a few friends we didn’t think we’d be able to invite have been asked along, and extra family.



And then there’s work. It’s hard to write anything publicly, but a lot of weird things went on at work this year and I’ve been re-evaluating what I want for a long time. I’m hoping 2015 brings some clarity and I can work on a path.



Anyhoo, that’s a lot for one post, and geez, all a bit vague. But hi! I’m alive; I’m exhausted and completely emotionally and physically burned out, but I’m here.  And gosh, what a year.