February Feats – What I’ve been reading #3

Happy Thursday! I can’t believe we’re already on episode three of this series. You know what that means? One more episode to go! I genuinely hope you’ve been enjoying the series and checking out the books I’ve been sharing.

I went through my kindle the other day and noticed that I’m a creature of habit when it comes to the books I read. Not only are most of them a particular genre, but if I come across an author that I absolute adore, I’ll read all their books. My top three authors, according to my kindle, are Val McDermid, John Boyne and Cecelia Ahern. It’s a pretty accurate representation of my top three authors.

Lately I’ve been trying to explore other authors and discover new favourites. I think this is reflected in the books I’ve been reading list. It’s definitely a good experiment because I find myself revisiting the author of the books I’ve enjoyed. A prime example would be Michael Robotham. I’ve now read another two of his books and yeah, I’d say they were hits.

Anyways, as usual, I’m digressing. Here’s this weeks what I’ve been reading lately…

  • ‘Lies’ by T M Logan

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This book appeared in a recommendations list that Amazon emails to me every week. I read the synopsis and it gripped me. I sampled the book and the next thing I knew, I bought it.

The book is based on the main character, Joe Lynch, who stumbles across his wife’s car heading into a hotel car park. He decides to follow her and sees her having an altercation with her best friends husband, Ben. She leaves and he follows Ben out and confronts him and there’s a bit of a scuffle and Ben gets knocked out. Joe’s son is with him and he has an asthma attack so they bail to go get his inhaler and leave Ben alone on the ground in the carpark but when Joe comes back later, Ben is gone. And that’s when weird stuff starts happening…

An obvious theme for this book is social media and how easy it is to deceive and hide secrets (and to an extent, discover them) from our loved ones. Technology is another big theme as well. It’s an interesting book and there is quite the plot twist at the end – one that I didn’t see coming at all. I was already convinced in my brain of how the story was going to end but it didn’t go the way I expected it to go. Personally, I felt like the ending in my head would’ve been more interesting than the actual ending BUT that’s just my personal opinion. I’d score this book a 7 out of 10.

  • ‘Ragdoll’ by Daniel Cole

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I remember seeing the cover of this book at Whitcoulls and thinking to myself, I must read it; a very similar scenario to Stephen King’s ‘Bazaar of Bad Dreams’. So I went home and I downloaded a sample on my kindle and started reading.

I think you may have guessed from the title and the cover that this book is an investigative crime/thriller. It’s centred on Detective William Fawkes aka The Wolf who comes across a gruesome, stitched together corpse made out of six different bodies. So he ends up in a race to try and uncover whom the twisted murderer is before he claims more victims. To top it off, Wolf has his own personal troubles given he’s only recently been reinstated to his role and there’s an ex-wife in the mix.

I was actually quite hooked by the sample so I bought the book. I think I spent like $15NZD? Anyways, after a few more chapters, I think my interest just slowly waned. The premise of it was good and it has a lot of potential but it sort of just dragged on. I wasn’t particularly a fan of Wolf and given he’s the main character and the book revolves around him, it made it difficult to really enjoy the book. It’s like hanging out with someone you don’t like and trying to find ways to like them but then realising and accepting that no matter what, you’re not gonna like them. Again, that’s just my personal opinion.

If you’re a fan of gore and crime thrillers then give this one a go. Don’t let my thoughts influence your decision because I know this book has done pretty well out in the world. It’s also Daniel Cole’s first book and fun fact, he’s an ex-paramedic! I was quite fascinated by that. I score this book a 5 out of 10.

  • ‘Flawed’ and ‘Perfect’ by Cecelia Ahern

I must admit I didn’t read these books recently. The first time I came across ‘Flawed’ was over a year ago and then I read the sequel, ‘Perfect’ mid-last year when it came out. When I finished ‘Flawed’, I was so pissed off to find out that I had to wait a few months for the sequel. But like the good person that I am, I bit my tongue, hit the ‘pre-order’ button, set the release date in my calendar and read other books to fill in the empty space while waiting patiently for ‘Perfect’s release. I think that write-up speaks volumes on what I thought of the book.

‘Flawed’ is a dystopian novel and tells the story of Celestine North, who lives in a society that demands perfection, no matter what. Those that aren’t perfect or considered morally flawed are branded like cattle with a large F in different areas of their body, depending on their crime of imperfection. Celestine lives the perfect life that’s demanded of her society; she’s well-liked by her peers and teachers and she’s dating a popular boy who’s father heads the guild that runs the Flawed system. One day, Celestine makes a decision that sees her getting branded. The first book is about her journey on discovering that the Flawed system is in fact flawed itself. The second book covers her journey to challenge the system and society’s ideas of perfection.

I wanted to bring it up because I thought it was an interesting genre for Cecelia Ahern given that she’s known for her romantic novels or light-hearted reads with sweet endings that teaches you a bit about life. While the book is targeted for younger adults, I think it’s actually quite enjoyable… this is coming from someone in their late-20s. Obviously there was a cliffhanger that kills in the first book so if you’re gonna read it, I suggest you mentally make a note to yourself that you will be shelling out for the second book. This isn’t one of those ‘just read the first one and leave it’ books. So if you like a bit of dystopia and want to escape to a world where you can’t tell if it’s in the past or future or if you should visualise the area as being Ireland (I did based on pictures I’ve seen of Ireland but it looked pretty strange in my brain), then I highly recommend these two books. I score these books a 9 out of 10.

So there you have it folks, this weeks ‘what I’ve been reading’ done and dusted. I hope you enjoy it. I know it’s coming across as a typical Michelle-Rose booklist but I am going outside my comfort zone and reading other genres. In fact, I’ve started reading ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern and I’m aiming to have it done by the time the next list goes up. I have no idea what the genre of this book is or what it’s even about but I’ve heard it’s a good book to read so I thought I’d give it a go. So far, I’m enjoying it.

What are you currently reading?

February Feats – What I’ve been reading #2

I know, I know I’m a day late posting this and I’m sorry. There was a death in the family recently, which resulted in Mum having to leave for Malaysia earlier than expected. So I spent Wednesday in a car driving her up to Auckland and then driving back. Today I feel absolutely shattered and I’m ready to crawl into a hole and stay there for a while because I don’t have the energy to deal with life. But life has to go on!

I felt it was necessary to spend as much time with Mum as possible, seeing as there was only 24 hours left with her and with me leaving for London, it would be a couple of years before I saw her again. I was a quivering mess before we even took her up to Auckland but being reminded of the many ways I can keep in touch and the thought of her and Dad spending Christmas with me in the UK next year made me feel a lot better.

So, little life update aside, I hope you’re all doing wonderfully! Seriously, where has the week gone? Feels like only yesterday I was writing up my first ‘What I’ve been reading’ list and posting it.

Anyways, here we go folks, week two of what I’ve been reading…

  • ‘Turtles All the Way Down’ by John Green

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To be honest, I bought this book because it was everywhere. In book reviews, book recommendations, hell, even my kindle was recommending it to me. So I thought to myself, I should buy this book because the gods want me to, not because I had any interest in what it was about. In some way, it was like I was being subliminally peer pressured.

The book is based around Aza, a 16-year-old girl who I suppose is a bit troubled. She’s under pressure from her family and friends to be a good daughter, a good friend, and an all-round good person. The death of a prominent billionaire and a reward worth hundreds of thousands of dollars takes Aza and her best friend, Daisy on a wee adventure where they look to solve the mystery of the billionaire’s death. I think this sums up the book.

I downloaded a sample on my Kindle and I wasn’t really engaged in the story but because I had invested time and effort in reading the book, I hit the ‘Buy book’ button when the sample was over (this seems to be a terrible habit I have btw). I think I must’ve paid about $15NZD for the book… which is the most I’ve ever spent on a book on my Kindle. I continued to read it but I wasn’t fully engaged in the story. I wasn’t invested in the characters (and I usually am way too involved with them and have to remind myself that they’re not real people) and I found myself getting annoyed with them way too often. I know I’m probably gonna get a lot of “wtf” for this but I still don’t understand the turtles all the way down reference. I read the explanation about three times and still couldn’t wrap my head around it. I might have to go back and read the explanation again and see if we’re fourth time lucky.

I think if you’re a die-hard John Green fan then you’d probably enjoy the book. The only book that Green has written that I’ve actually enjoyed was ‘Paper Towns’. I didn’t enjoy the movie as much as I did the book but yeah, hands down, fave John Green book. I’ve read ‘The Fault in our Stars’ a couple of years ago and I think I’m about a chapter away from finishing and I just never picked it up to complete it. I don’t know why. I like the idea for the story and the movie brought tears in my eyes but I remember thinking to myself that this could’ve been written better (I know I’m being a critical cow but it’s just my opinion and I’m not saying I’m the one to write it better!). I downloaded a sample of ‘Looking for Alaska’ and I think I read it a few months ago but I was still debating on whether or not to buy it because I’d be spending about $15NZD on it and I wasn’t sure if I actually enjoyed it. I might go back and reread the sample again.

So there you go, my honest thoughts on ‘Turtles All the Way Down’. I’d score this book 5 out of 10.

  • ‘The Missing Ones’ by Patricia Gibney

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This book was recommended to me by Amazon and I thought heck, it’s a crime thriller; it has murder, serious harm, mystery, a strong female lead who’s falling to pieces, gore, history, broken minds and it’s set in Ireland so I’d be silly not to sample it.

I read the sample in about ten minutes and didn’t hesitate to click the ‘Buy book’ button. It took me about a day and a half to finish reading the entire book. It’s one of those ‘But I have to know who did it!’ books and I just couldn’t put it down.

The book is the first of the Detective Lottie Parker series. There are two more after this and yes I’ve read them all. The fourth one is scheduled for release on 22 March and yes I’ve preordered it. The story opens with a dead woman found in a church. The woman seems to have no history and no friends and Detective Parker is already hitting brick walls with no clues and no leads. When the death of a man is reported soon after, the deaths seem to be linked but Detective Parker can’t seem to work out how… and that’s where the excitement begins.

It’s probably not the best description of what the story is about but it’s a mystery. If you google it, you’d probably get a better description… and hopefully no spoilers. If you’re a sucker for a good crime/mystery/thriller with a twist to die for, then look no further. Gibney has definitely outdone herself with her debut novel. Also, I think I spent about $2 NZD on this book? Incredible. I’d score it 10 out of 10.

  • ‘Bazaar of Bad Dreams’ by Stephen King

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I’m gonna put it out there – I’ve never been a fan of Stephen King’s writing. I’ve been a fan of his book ideas, the movies and reimagining’s and the synopsis of his books but I find it difficult to get through his writing. I’m still trying to work out why because I’m a fan of horror books and his book ideas are just marvellous so naturally you’d think I’d be his biggest fan.

When I saw this book in Whitcoulls, there was this feeling inside me that felt like I just had to have this book and read it. So I took a photo of it, rushed home and bought it.

The book is made up of 20 short stories, all with a different type of ‘scary’ theme. There’s monsters, ghosts and even psychological fears – the ones you don’t really think about. Before each story starts, King provides us with a commentary on how he came up with the idea behind the story. Normally I don’t care much for these blurbs but I found the ones King wrote to be fairly interesting.

Typical of short stories, there’s always going to be the ones that you love and the ones that you hate and just really want to skip but feel compelled to finish. My favourites in the collection are ‘Bad Little Kid’ and ‘A Death’. I think I enjoyed this book more than his novels because there was something to suit different tastes. With a novel, if you don’t enjoy the premise or the writing, you’re kind of just stuck with it. Overall, I’d score this book an 8 out of 10.

I really enjoy writing this list. I find that I’m more aware of what I’m reading and my feelings towards the content of what I’m reading and that’s because I know I’m going to be writing about them for this series.

Oh oh I’ve also been listening to an audiobook! Only reason I’m doing that is because I want to reread the Harry Potter series and I’ve ran out of enjoyable podcasts to listen to while I’m doing some mindless data entry at work so voila, solution! I’ve actually been enjoying it and the book is narrated by Stephen Fry and boy is he amazing. I get my audiobooks from Audible, just in case you’re wondering. No, this is not an ad lol. They offer a free one-month trial so if you’ve always been interested in trying out audiobooks, definitely take advantage of this opportunity!

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I’ve enjoyed writing this. Until next weeks list!

What have you been reading lately? I’d also love to hear your thoughts on audiobooks!

Listen while you work

I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I need to get shit done at work, I listen to podcasts. I never understood the whole rage with podcasts; I used to think they were like audible books which I’ve tried once and just couldn’t concentrate so decided not to do it again. Plus, nothing beats the satisfaction of reading the words and holding an actual book… or e-book.

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My last manager listened to podcasts whenever she worked and I thought it was very fascinating. One day I decided to give it a go and surprisingly, I found it quite enjoyable. I know what you’re thinking; how the hell do you concentrate on your work if you’re listening to someone talk in your ear? To be honest, I have no idea! But it works! It’s less distracting than listening to music as well because with music, I always find myself tapping my feet and humming along and creating music video scenarios in my head (I know you do it too!). And if I don’t listen to anything I get sucked into the hustle and bustle of everyday conversations going on around me and I’d rather not listen in on other people’s convos. It makes me really uncomfortable. I’ve never been good at multitasking but surprisingly, I’m really good at listening to the podcast AND doing work.

I thought I’d share with you my top five favourite podcasts. So if you’re a podcast-listener-worker like me and are looking for some new recommendations, or if you’re a podcast virgin looking to pop that cherry, you’ve come to the right place.

On your marks, set, GO…

Casefile 

This is my absolute favourite podcast. I listen to it while cooking, cleaning, commuting and well, working. Each week, the podcast covers well-known murders and what I like the most about it is the fact that they go into great detail; from the background of the murderers, to their crimes right through to their death or sentencing. I’m a fan of murder mysteries and crime and like watching documentaries and tv shows on murders (my Netflix recommendations list is looking pretty damn gory) so that’s why I enjoy this podcast. It may not be the podcast for everyone, just because it can be quite grisly, but if you enjoy a good history lesson on well-known murders, I highly recommend it.

Success Insider 

This was one of the first podcasts I listened to and I actually quite enjoy it. It’s part of SUCCESS magazine and is hosted by Shelby Skrhak and Josh Ellis. Each week, they discuss the latest trends in personal empowerment and career development and give you lots of tips and tricks on how to be more productive and move up that career ladder. I think what I like most about this podcast is the conversations the two hosts have. Usually I find podcasts like these to be kind of stale with lots of really pretentious music but for a ‘self-help’ podcast, I’ve really enjoyed this one. Plus, each episode is nice and short too.

The Inquiry

If you’ve got an interest in current affairs without wanting to spend too much time on it, I highly recommend this podcast by the BBC World Service. They cover topical issues and ask the hard-hitting questions, and best of all, they do it in half an hour or less. When it comes to world issues or politics, I’m not going to lie I like getting the facts and I don’t like listening to long, overly drawn commentary and opinion. I just want an intro to the issue and if I’m really interested, I would go and do some research. This one is great for getting the who, what, when, where and how.

TEDTalks

I have a funny feeling that everyone who listens to podcasts will have TEDTalks on their subscribed list. TEDTalks have made such a name of themselves and what I love about listening to it is it’s inspiring (and short!) and covers a range of topics from business, technology, world issues to emotions, relationships, mental health and creativity. So if you feel like listening to something motivating, check it out because I guarantee you’ll find a topic of interest and learn and thing or two.

BTW, the hyperlink will take you to their website where you can also access videos. I listen to podcasts on the Apple Podcast app.  

Myths and Legends

I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to fairy tales, legends, folklores and myths. There’s so many out there and I can’t keep up with them. What I love about this podcast is that I get to be transported to a different era with host Jason Weiser covering what the legend/myth/folklore is about and its origins. It’s so fascinating and is a great one to listen to when you’re stuck in the office doing mundane things and just want to be transported to a different world.

Yes I’m a fantasist and can easily transport myself to a different world but sometimes, you need a little help and that’s where this podcast comes in. Also, if you’re a history buff like me, you get a bit of a history lesson too which makes it extra awesome!

So here’s my top five list. Some other recommendations I’d love to share are:

Have you got a favourite podcast that you think I should check out? Please comment below and share because I’m always on the hunt for new podcasts to listen to!

Five things that made me happy this week #5

Wow guise, it’s the second to last episode of five things and I’m really feeling the sadness. I also feel like I should open this with an apology. I’m really sorry about not posting for a while! It’s honestly been a pretty crazy week and I hate making excuses for tardiness but it’s really not an excuse. Busy life just suddenly reared its ugly head!

I’ve got some exciting news… but I’ll share it in a later post once everything has rolled into place. Apologies aside, I’ve got some tops to share and hopefully you find them interesting!

Hot chocolate and sunscreen

 I work with this lovely gent named Alex and after a pretty stressful week, he took me out for hot chocolate (which he paid for!!! Naughty), listened to me moan and then sent me an inspirational link to ‘Wear sunscreen’. I don’t know if you guys have heard about the video but I’ve dedicated an entire post to this so I won’t get into much detail. I’ll be posting sometime this week but I thought this deserved to make it on my list because it really made me happy!

Alex, if you’re reading this – thank you. You’re amazing.

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Disclaimer: not actual photo of hot chocolate that was had on that day but I stumbled across this typical “I went to Starbucks so I’ve got to take a picture” picture and thought I’d use in absence of the actual photo of our hot chocolates in takeaway cups.

More projects

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I really enjoy being busy at work. Despite the stress it can cause, it just feels way more fulfilling and I feel more engaged and like as if I’m learning things. Plus new projects usually mean more challenges and I love myself some good challenges!

I work for a government department here in sunny/windy Wellington so I don’t want to bore you with the details of the different projects I’ve recently been assigned to but they are pretty meaty babies and I’m just really excited about sinking my teeth into them!

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Watch ‘em grow baby!

I’m a shit saver. I know a lot of people say that but I’m not saying it just for the sake of saying it. I’m legit a horrible saver. Try and try as I may, I always end up back to $0 (I guess if we’re trying to view this positively, at least it’s still in the positives and not the negatives but still!).

So I’ve started saving properly and it’s been a great feeling watching my savings grow. I mean I wish it was more than the current three digits but it’s a really good start for me. I should be proud of me… as long as me keeps it up of course. Pray for me guise.

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Southern lights

This one is truly a highlight for me. I’ve been barking on about going to Iceland and catching the northern lights and never did I think that we actually had southern lights… and turns out I actually live an island away from it.

Anyways, on Sunday night when I was meant to finish an essay that was due at 11.59pm, I got a phone call from my friend and her flatmate saying that the lights have been sighted and we should go to the Red Rocks and try our luck at catching it. Of course, Michelle and her priorities says “HELL YES”. So off we went on our little venture… now let me just point out, the lights are not visible to the naked eye – you need to see it through camera lens.

Because they had put an article on stuff.co.nz (NZ news website) on the aurora sightings in Auckland and in Wellington, everyone had the same idea of trying their luck to view this potentially once in a lifetime experience. Red rocks was jam-packed and it was freeeeeeeeeeeezing cold but guess what? We caught it.

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I’m so amazed at the fact that we managed to see this from Dawn’s camera lenses given that what we saw through the naked eye was a pitch-black sky filled with stars. The contrast was astounding. I still can’t believe this was seen at a beach that’s a 10-minute drive away from my home. Definitely ticked this off my bucket list.

Reasonable grades 

You know how I mentioned I had an assignment due at 11.59pm on the night I went out to see the southern lights? Yes well a bit of a backstory – I had actually forgotten I had the essay due that day. After a picnic and a walk, I went home at 5.00pm to commence assignment mode but then I fell asleep for 20 minutes while going through my course work. Then I got up, wrote a couple of sentences, decided it was a good idea to bake cookies, went back to work and wrote a couple more sentences, decided I was hungry so made cottage pie, then went back to work but My Kitchen Rules Australia was on and then the phone call. At that point, I was sitting at approximately 128 words. My essay is meant to be 500 words. No biggie though right?

So after I came home from viewing the southern lights, I had about one and a half hours to do some more research and writing. The story ends with a 629-word essay that was submitted 2 minutes late. Ah well. I wouldn’t trade the southern lights for more time on my essay. No way, José.

I got my results today for this essay and one I did last week. I got a C+ for this essay. How?! I don’t even know. I was over the word limit and the essay was shite. When I realized I had ran out of time and had to submit, I didn’t even bother doing a once-over. I just sent it and that was that. But a C+?! I was really expecting that much deserved F for eFfort or even a D for diddle so it was a very welcome surprise getting a C+. But they do say that C’s get degrees.

I got a B+ for my last essay, which I was pretty surprised by to be honest. I haven’t written an academic essay for years so pretty solid effort. Although, I went through the marking schedule and by golly, it was As galore right up to the in-text citation where I got an E because I cited references incorrectly so that dropped my grade to a B+. I totally don’t want to let it get to me but… it does get me. But you know what? I’ll live. I just need to work on my in-text citation. Boom. The power of positivity.

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Anyways, I feel like this week’s top five things that made me happy post isn’t the most exciting but it honestly has been a pretty crazy week. I’ve just been so busy with work, study and life stuffs. You should be proud of me for taking the time to remember the things that made me happy!

I’m also planning on getting back on schedule so there will be more posts. I’m truly sorry for slacking off but I promise you I’ll be back. I haven’t forgotten about you.

It would make me so happy if you shared what made you happy this week! Even if it’s one thing!

Why I love climbing hills

I know what you’re thinking. Why the fuck would anyone love climbing hills? It’s hard work and it’s exercise and don’t pretend like you enjoy hard work and exercise.

Well, I’m not going to pretend I like either of those things because I don’t. What I love though is the end result of the hard work and exercise required to climb the hill. Let me break it down for you:

You’re at the bottom looking up. You see your destination and you’re thinking “Fuck. This.” Fair enough. You’re full of adrenaline and your brain is thinking of all the excuses in the world to not do the climb but there’s another part of you that’s telling you “yo, the view up top will be mean g”. You start walking and taking those first few steps are the hardest because you’re still debating and thinking “it’s not too late to turn back now. No one is going to think you’re a pussy for giving up. It’s okay to do it now” because you know once you’re halfway and you give up, that’s when people are allowed to judge you and label you a ‘giver upper’. If you give up and turn back, you know you’ll feel relief for not having to climb anymore but when you think about later tonight, in bed, you’re going to think you’re a sore loser and that you should’ve just kept going and seen the views and now you’ll have to start it all over again and go through all the drama.

So you decide to ignore all those negative thoughts and go ahead with the climb. You’re in pain, you’re sweating, you’re red-faced and you’re well, dying on the inside and out. You’re cursing, you keep stopping for breath and water and you’re trying not to cry. But you push through and you keep moving. Then suddenly, it’s all over. You’re there. You’re up top g. You’re on top of the world.

Suddenly, all the negatives disappear. You look down at the world and you think “I fucking did it”. I did the thing. You take many photos, you show off and you don’t even care about showing off because you know that people are going to be somewhat jealous of the sweet 360 views. You tell your friends, your family, your exes (okay maybe not) and they’re all proud of you.

And that, my friends, is why I love climbing hills. It’s a constant reminder of the hurdles you face in life and why in the end, it’s going to be okay and when you reflect, you’re going to smile at having experienced it despite the shittiness you had to go through in between. Plus check out these sick views:

IMG_2130IMG_1205IMG_1208IMG_1212 (1)Makara, Wellington

IMG_1975Rimutaka Trig Track, between Wairarapa and Wellington

IMG_1623IMG_1625IMG_1613Mount Kaukau, Wellington

IMG_0539IMG_1555Some hill in Wadestown ft. my parents, Wellington

IMG_0730IMG_0732IMG_0735IMG_0736Pencarrow Lighthouse, Eastbourne, Wellington

If you’re in Wellington and need some inspiration of hills to climb, I encourage you to check these places out. As you can see, the views are absolutely stunning!

Five things that made me happy this week #4

I know, I know… it’s a couple of days late but it’s been a busy week for me, particularly because it was a long weekend and I’ve had to catch up on work, study, assignments and driving back to New Plymouth to spend time with my parents. Despite the busyness and occasional stress, it’s been a great week filled with plenty of sparkly, glittery, sprinkle-y happiness (even though one would think it’d be a shit week given we’ve had a cyclone warning… LOL). Well… shall we begin?

Sunny days in the ‘Naki

Okay, so this year every time I go home to New Plymouth the weathers been absolutely SHITHOUSE (no exaggeration). Usually every summer, I have the opportunity to go for a swim at the beach but this year, I’ve not had the chance to because, well, the weather.

This weekend however the weathers been amaze-balls. I can’t even describe. Despite weather warnings of Cyclone Cook, it’s been pretty sunny and pretty warm with the occasional ‘sun showers’. I don’t even mind that I go to sleep to the sound of the rain drumming against the rooftop because every time I wake up, the blue skies and sun greet me with a smile.

I’ve caught up with a few of my good friends, chased the waves, met the friendliest little Samoyed called Bear, rolled down the Bowl of Brooklands (ended up with my skirt over my head but hey, such is life), ate fish and chips on the beach (FINALLY!), went to the zoo, encountered a Meerkat that’s prettier than me, walked along Oakura Beach (fuckin’ love that beach) and ate lots of good food (thanks mama bear!). Honestly, it feels like summer and I wish it never ends.

Second birthday week?

I’m not greedy. I put a question mark at the end of it because even though my birthday was last week, I found myself still receiving presents and birthday greetings. No, I’m not complaining! Hence why it’s made it to my list.

My sister bought me some penguin socks, a book, a calligraphy pen kit and some watercolour markers. Honestly, they’re so cool! And then my landlord (no I didn’t misspell, I do mean ‘landlord’. Yes I’m referring to the man who owns the house I live in and I pay him rent in order to continue living under the roof) brought some gifts for me too – a card, a bottle of chardonnay and a box of chocolates. I’ve never heard of landlords giving tenants gift so it was the loveliest surprise! Thanks Tim!

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Bear

On Friday, I met a beautiful Samoyed called Bear. I’m dedicating an entire section to her because ma lawd she made me the happiest person in the world!

I’m a lover of both cats and dogs and the only reason why I don’t currently own a dog is because I’m not settled and I don’t think it’s fair to own a dog while you’re not settled. I want to travel and eventually own a house so until I’ve done those two things, I’m not going to own a dog, or dogs for that matter. At the moment, I’m frothing over owning a Samoyed and a pug. Unlikeliest duo but I think it’d be the cutest damn thing ever!

So more about Bear… she’s so beautiful and fluffy and super, duper friendly. She was wet but didn’t even smell like wet dog, which was weird. She plays fetch and kept digging a hole to show off. Honestly, she’s just made my entire week. I’m just so in love and after she walked away with her hottie Slovakian dog-walker, a part of me just died. No joke. I miss her so much. If only I knew where she lives because… you know… I’d just visit… and not attempt to kidnap her…

This photo depicts the moment I spotted Bear…

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… and the moment I got hold of Bear… SO FRIGGIN’ HAPPY.

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Get your sh*t together

Yes, I’m referring to the anti-self-help book by Sarah Knight. It was a birthday prezzie from my sister and in her words “I’m not saying you don’t have your shit together but I thought I’d buy it cause I know you’d enjoy it”. I totally agree with her on the whole enjoy part but I dunno bout the having my shit together part.

I’m not finished with the book yet but so far I’m finding it thoroughly enjoyable. She provides you with practical tips and writes with great insight and is quite, well, relatable (to me anyways). Right now, I’m so on that $5/day saving train and I know it’s sad that it’s taken an ‘anti-self-help’ book to teach me how to save but it’s just that sometimes you need to read an insightful little book that just kicks your arse and inspires you to want to be a better you and then you go out there and be a better you. Does that make sense? I dunno. It’s probably some nonsensical rambling (I’m good at those!) I suggest you just buy the book, read it, understand what I’m on about and YOLO.

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Please ignore the crease on the top right hand corner of the book and the state of my nails 😛

Finishing my first official assignment

Guise, seriously, I feel like I’ve just won a war – a war with words that is! I completely forgot how annoying writing essays can be. I mean, this photo pretty much sums up my feelings at 1.45am this morning.

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… and I’ve JUST completed it. After sleepless, stressful nights, I can finally breathe and sleep easy. I think what I find the most challenging with assignments is switching up my writing tone – work and blogging means I get to be friendly, enthusiastic and conversational. Academic writing means none of that – I have to be serious, no contractions, long sentences and yawn, reference everything. Oh wait, the word count is bitch too.

Anyways, I know this one’s a boring one but I feel so chuffed. When I pressed that ‘Submit’ button, I just felt the weight of the world lift and disappear. Time for ten cups of tea to soothe my aching brain…

Do share your happiest moments this week!

 

 

 

Things that made me happy this week #3

Wow, we’re at episode three already! Where has time gone? It’s been a pretty jam-packed week for me but upon reflection, there’s been more highs than low so I can’t really complain. So with that being said, let’s begin!

Birthday week

Yes, I’m going to start with the obvious. I’m on the wrong end of my 20s now but that’s okay. I had a pretty good day on the 4th and continued to have a good birthday week. I celebrated last night with a BYO dinner and I’m worst for wear today but I’m happy. The beauty of birthdays is that it brings the people you love together. They get together to give you a card, a cake, a present, etc and they get together when you throw a party, BYO dinner or however you choose to celebrate!

I put together a post on my birthday and getting to know me. Check it out if you haven’t already!

Oh and look at these beautiful flowers I got! Happy to report, they’re still alive and kickin’!

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Finishing my first week of assignments

I’ve decided to pick up a few papers this semester to go towards my Communications degree. I won’t go into detail as I’m planning on putting together a post on it. At times, I feel like it was the worst decision ever and I don’t know how I’m going to handle full-time work and nearly full-time study, plus regularly blogging and keeping up my social/home life.

Anyways, I handed in my three assignments today and I’m stoked as hell. It’s a huge sense of achievement for me because despite being a pretty hectic week, I’ve managed to do them and keep on top of studying. So yes, it can be done! I just need to keep it up!

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Baby carrots

Don’t laugh but yes, baby carrots were a highlight for me this week! I don’t mean like the little pre-packed ones you get from the supermarket, but an actual bunch of baby carrots that I scored from the markets. I’ve seen them on cooking shows and cartoons so when I chanced across them over the weekend, I couldn’t resist. I proudly displayed the leaves over my recycle bag (not that anyone would care or know what leaves they were…) Not only that, they were only $2!! They’re so delicate to chop and I can’t wait to eat my bevy of roast veges when they’re finally ready. So go baby carrots!

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Wellington bringing out the calm

It’s been a pretty shit week weather wise. We’ve had torrential rains and I’ve been going to work soaked. Plus when I wash and style my hair, it’s ruined in literally five minutes of leaving the house so I gave up for the rest of the week. As in I didn’t wash my hair or style it – I just brushed it and let it be. Gross, I know.

But this weekend, it’s been absolutely stunning and the sun came out for us! Despite being kinda cold, it was still nice to see the sun out with a smile on its dial. It definitely put a smile on my dial! 

No I didn’t draw penises in the sand… I came across them and thought they were worthy to be photographed. Yes, I had a little chuckle too. And I didn’t catch that fish – my friend and I were sitting on the wharf with some men fishing and he caught the little nipper. I think they said it was a leather fish? Who knows.

D&D sesh

Yes, I play Dungeons and Dragons and yes, I really enjoy it! We had a 3 week break due to time constraints and illnesses but we regrouped this week and had a wonderful session. For those of you who don’t know what D&D is, it’s a fantasy roleplaying game where characters are created by the participants and these characters go on an imaginary adventure in the fantasy setting. There’s a dungeon master that acts as the storyteller and referee for the whole adventure.

I play with my best friend, sister and ex-flatmates and honestly, it’s been really enjoyable. I used to think it was a game for nerds but our group is the most unlikeliest group of people to play D&D and we’re doing well so far. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend giving it a go! At least once!

What made you happy this week? I’d be very keen to hear it!