Friday, December 31, 2010

What will 2011 hold??

I did ok with my last years resolutions so here's my goals for 2011:

1. Keep running - complete couchto5k and Real Women's Duathlon (hopefully in less than 1 hour)
2. Read more books than last year (can I beat 40?)
3. Learn Maori - actually enjoy and complete the paper, not just find it and think about it
4. Pay off lots more debt
5. Plan and prepare for our wedding (!!!)
6. Do a photography course
7. Lose weight - sorry but it has to be done. I want to do it slowly and healthily so that I can maintain it once it's done. 20 kg would be ideal but 15kg would probably be just as good! I'm over 80kg right now and thinking about banning all reflective surfaces. Can't believe I'm writing this...but have to be brave and challenge myself!
8. Try something new

Pretty similar to my last years plans...let's see where I'm at this time next year! (I'll be 5 days from being Mrs Brown)

The end of 2010

It's New Years Eve and tonight we're going to The Bedford to watch Tahu's band Merchants of Flow open for Salmonella Dub. It's such an exciting opportunity for them. Can't wait!

This morning I finished the 40th book I've read this year. Not bad! I had wanted to read more than I read last year which was 31 books and I've passed it by 9! Can I read over 40 books next year? Let's hope so!

In this post I wrote the resolutions I had for 2010 so I think it's time to review and see how I did.

1. Start running - yes I did this! I completed the Real Womens Duathlon and then later this year started the couch to 5 K and I'm currently up to week 4.

2. Learn Maori - we did try for a bit but not really what I'd call learning the language. I did however find a course I can do by correspondence so will be signing up for that in the new year.

3. Do a photography course - no but I'm keeping it on the list!

4. Play soccer - my soccer buddy moved to Auckland so no I didn't do this. I did go to a few games though...does that count?

5. Pay off lots of debt - this we did do! Not all of it of course but we now own both our cars, all our house stuff pretty much and have managed to fit in 2 trips as well.

6. Read more than 31 books - Yes I did! 40 books as of this morning.

So that's 3 yes's, 1 sort of and 1 no. Not bad! Actually it's good because I may not have done all I planned but I did take up other things. I started 2 new hobbies, baking and chocolate making. Maybe not super cool but everyone who eats it likes it so can't be that bad!

Other things from sick again, that wasn't fun. Had problems with my heart but think we're getting by with that. Got engaged (my favourite part!). Did well at my work, met new nephew Joshua, found an amazing house. Got rid of a couple of friends that just weren't improving me (painful but so much better now). Started planning our wedding. Went to Ausy and to the North Island. It's been a busy year!

Friday, December 24, 2010


Look ---->

A countdown to our I excited? Oh yes I am. I won't get all soppy on it but I do love being with Tahu and how it's fun and easy and we go really well together and I don't feel like I've given up anything to be with him.

Also it's Christmas Eve...check out this video and seriously how can you not be cracking up watching it?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Happiness is....

Do we look happy?

What about in this one?

Is this two very happy people?

This might explain why we look so happy:

Friday 5th November 2012
Huka Falls

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kiwi Cakes: Silicone chocolate moulds at great prices

Seriously I want this so bad!! How amazing is the fashion mould?? I might actually cry if these sell out before I get one.

Kiwi Cakes: Silicone chocolate moulds at great prices: "It's not often I can source silicone chocolate moulds at great prices, so I was thrilled to find these 2 Silikomart moulds from Italy. Dino..."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Plan of Attack

As 278 suggested there was more to my holiday then just reading and relaxing...Tahu and I got engaged! It was lovely and perfect and he is by far the best thing ever and we can't wait to be married. I have so much more to say on it but my mind is on other things right this minute so that can wait for another post tonight.

Running. That's what I'm thinking about. There is 19 weeks til the Real Womens Duathlon that you may remember my family doing earlier this year. I completed in just over an hour and so this time I want to do it in less than an hour. And I think 19 weeks is plenty to train for. So here's the plan:

Starting tomorrow I will do Couch to 5K. This is a training program to get you from nothing to running 5km in 9 weeks. That will get me to 10 weeks til the duathlon and they have a training program that takes that long to get ready for it. They have 3 actually. Walk, Jog or Run. I will run this time.

Weeks 19-10 I will do Couch to 5Km
Weeks 10-0 I will do their Run/Bike/Run training program.

I will be fit
I will lose weight
I will achieve something
I will be back into exercising
I will have ACCOMPLISHED something

I really want to do it. I hope I can. I'm starting off super quietly so surely I can build up to it (typing with my fingers crossed here).

Keep an eye out for updates at the end of each week or so.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A slight book addiction...

Yes I've now passed the amount of books I read last year!

Total for 2009 = 31
Total so far for 2010 = 32 (and it's only October! Still 2 months to go!)

On holiday next week. I wonder how many I can put away in that time....

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Canterbury Earthquake - September 4th 2010

It's several weeks since the earthquake and I've been trying to think what to write and what I want to say and remember and what I feel but I guess the best place to start is what actually happened for us.

Tahu had a gig on the Friday night and so he got home at 3am. We hadn't been asleep long when I remember waking up and everything was moving and I didn't even wonder what was happening because a second later it got a whole lot worse and it felt like Tahu and I moved in slow motion sitting up and trying to get off the bed and to the doorway. Something fell by my bed and smashed and I fell back on the bed and somehow we made it to the doorway and it slowed down. We got the door open and called out to Nat and she had Madi and was in their doorway too. All we could hear was car alarms and we went to the landing window to see if we could see anything next door cos Odette was home alone. I remember shaking so hard and the house just seemed like it was still moving and just going what is going on! I only had my pj top on and I knew I needed more clothes and my phone and of course the power was out and so I went back to beside the bed and started patting around on the floor to find my pants and all I found was broken glass. I tried to find the torch too which was also on the floor but no luck so got my phone and used it as light to find the torch. I was shaking so much in the end I gave up and went to the wardrobe for my trackpants. I don't know why I wanted them but I didn't want jeans! I rang Odette and left a message that we were coming over and grabbed a quilt and we all went downstairs and next door. I think we knocked but didn't get an answer so I went to the lockbox and Tahu had to help me get it open but there wasn't a key. We went and knocked again and Odette came down and we all went back to ours. She grabbed her ipod so we could have radio and so for the next couple of hours we sat in the lounge and called and texted and talked until it got lighter. I couldn't get through nz cells so I called Lilly and Jem and left messages to tell them what had happened. Lillys must have been scary to hear because while I was talking another big one came and I had to hang up as we ran for the doorway.

Deb texted pretty quickly and I thought she was in Hanmer with everyone else but soon realised she wasn't. I texted and called Uncle and Aunty and heard from them in the end too which was good.

Daylight finally came and Odette went back to hers and Nat and Madi went to Nats mums because they had power. Tahu went to sleep on the couch and I drove to mum and dads to see their place and to check on their neighbour who lives alone. Their house was a mess, draws open, everything off the window sills, I remember looking in their bedroom window and seeing the tv antenna on the bed and wondering why they'd put that there and then realising it was because the tv had fallen off the dresser and the antenna had landed on the bed.

Their front neighbours had lost their chimney and I stopped and talked to them for a wee bit then went and found Rob next door. He was ok but nervous and had lost his chimney too. He'd seen both the cats though which was good. I got my keys and went back to mum and dads and took a video so they'd see what it was like. We still hadn't heard from them and I had decided they had one more hour and then I'd just have to drive to them because 5 hours after this terrible earthquake was quite enough time to get hold of us. At that point deb called and said she'd had a text from Chrissy and then Dad called and it was such a relief. All we'd known was that they weren't contacting us and that the quake was centred near Christchurch, possibly in that direction.

I don't remember much else from that day. We went to mum and dads at lunch time when they got back from Hanmer and was good to see them and Reuben and tell them what had happened. We watched a lot of TV once we got our power back. Two channels had non stop coverage and actually it was good to see the magnitude of it and what was happening in town. It wasn't till several hours later we realised we'd been watching the same pictures all day and actually it wasn't for over a week that I realised it really was devastating for Christchurch.

Saturday night we brought the spare room mattress downstairs (which reminds me I really must remake that bed) and slept in the lounge which meant we actually got some sleep and only felt a few of the aftershocks. The next night though we slept upstairs, I didn't want to but I knew I couldn't keep putting it off.

It felt awful going up to our room, it took me hours to get around to cleaning up the smashed vase. Firstly cos we had no power to vacuum it! It was in my drawers and through my clothes that were on the floor and it had shattered so I'm still finding glass! It wasn't that we'd lost it, it was that it added to that awful memory with darkness and the house rocking and the smashing sound and not knowing when it would end.

A pretty emotional moment was when we got power back and I looked up the Haiti earthquake which was 9 months earlier and had killed 230,000 people and we realised that our earthquake had been stronger and even closer to the surface. Not a single person was killed, only two people were seriously injured and they are both out of hospital and within two weeks of the quake. I know there's timing and building structure and all of that but it was overwhelming to realise what a miracle we'd all just gone through.

We spent a lot of Saturday having conversations that started with "Imagine if...". Imagine if it was two hours earlier, Tahu was playing a gig where buildings were badly damaged and his car was parked where another one is now flattened. Imagine if we'd decided to go to Hanmer for Friday instead of Saturday, Odette and Nat would have both been home alone. Imagine if the quake had hit during a work day. There were so many things that could have made this worse for us.

Monday we went to work but came home early. Tuesday was work and I spent the day replying to emails from clients who had got our update newsletter saying we were ok. Town was strange, I went for a drive and took photos because some of the buildings are being demolished. It was so strange seeing broken buildings, police, army, blocked access. Things that don't happen in Christchurch.

The next morning Tahu went to work and I had just got out of the shower when the next major aftershock hit. I couldn't even get to the door again, I just had to hold on to the cabinet in the bathroom. I went onto the landing and Nat was there with Madi and I realised I was just in a towel and then I realised Nat and I were both dressed the same! She'd just got out of the shower too! We have to be careful how we tell that story though cos it doesn't sound right when we say we'd just got out of the shower!

Our power was out again and texts starting coming, making sure everyone was ok. I have to say, it would have been so different without texting!

Wednesday through Friday our building was closed so was a nice long weekend. Most of it was spent in bed just watching movies or reading. Mostly because I just needed a break.

For days after that Saturday we all felt like we were permanently shaking. We didn't notice half the aftershocks because we felt like there was always an earthquake.

I can't get my head around how things have changed. It is so surreal! Buildings are gone, we are all suddenly experts and know things about depth, magnitude and epicentres, about liquefaction, silt, fault lines. Nobody asks how you are, they ask how your house is. We are suddenly in our own special group. We can't explain it to someone who wasn't there. There's no way to explain it. I saw a video on Youtube last night of footage from the Chile earthquake and it was so different to when I'd heard about it previously. Now I know what they felt, how it felt, how awful it is.

Our nerves are gone, any shake or movement and we freeze. But it's not just that, it's the sound. Any rumble or unusual sound and I wait for the earthquake. We can hear the quakes before we feel them. And realising how close we are. The other night there was one only about 10km from my house. No wonder we feel them!! And that the epicentres are constantly moving. It's not just one spot in darfield. It's all over Canterbury that we're getting them.

Tonight there was one and from the sound and the feeling of it I guessed it would be in Halswell but it was actually in Tai Tapu. I was one suburb over! How ridiculous that I can now guess the epicentre of an earthquake. And it's just so close to our home. The sound is so intense, that's one of the things that sucks, you hear it coming and you don't know how bad it is going to be.

Mum and Dad have adopted a cat and they had to take him to the vet today cos he is just not coping. He's been put on sedatives. He was crawling around the house on his belly. Poor wee man! I don't blame him. Yesterday we had a 5 which was the 10th biggest we'd had and I was in training with clients in Australia. We are 3 floors up and it was awful. I don't know how I managed to finish the session!

I don't know when this will end. Nobody does actually. We've had 1876 earthquakes in just under 6 weeks. We haven't felt them all but we've definitely felt a fair few of them! Some time I'll post the pictures I took.

I guess one thing that bothers me is that I just can't get my head around it. Life is different now. There's no going back to feeling like you can get through life without something bad happening. I wondered if I could do that but now we're living through a really serious natural disaster. It's hard to explain. I'll be glad when it quietens down for sure!

Friday, October 08, 2010

This time last year...

A lot has happened since I last blogged, mainly a massive earthquake and I have written up a post about it but want to go over it again before I post and add some pictures etc.

So today is a quick message to say this time last year we were in Nepal. How strange to think that it's a year already! But how great it is to be a year on and to be glad with where I'm at. And I'm still with Tahu. Last year I hoped, this year I know. It's great.

And because it's Friday and I'm not super happy, just tired and need a break, I'm posting a couple of pictures that will hopefully make me feel better (but sadly I didn't take).

Friday, August 13, 2010


At the beginning of the year Tahu and I and our friend Nat and her wee girl moved house. We now live in this amazing house that we love. It's big and warm and clean and we have so much space. Part of what I love is that we have a spare room so people can come stay when they want. We had my friend Jamie stay for a few days when she was moving back to the Gold Coast (where I had met her a few years back) and I made a commitment to have my niece and nephews over for the night. So far we've had James and Reuben stay and tonight it's Chrissys turn. Each time we do something special for tea (whether it's something I cook or we get takeout) and we go do something I know they'll enjoy. James and I went to the movies, Reuben just wanted to play xbox and then do some baking the next day. Tonight Chrissy and I are going to the movies to see a 3d movie and then tomorrow I'm planning more baking although still waiting to hear if she's keen on that.

So it all sounds fun and it always works so well and I hope they know we love them to bits by doing this. But there's a catch....I'm so nervous every time that they won't have fun! That they'll go home and only remember it being boring or something. What if baking and movies is a bit young for Chrissy? What if James would rather hang out with his friends then his Aunty? I just don't know.

And recently James has told me a couple of times that I'm one of the best aunties in the world (he only has 3 so I'm at least top 3 surely!). And I was so stoked cos I didn't expect that from Mr 14 and it meant heaps to me but then I realised...what if he's just joking? What if he's just making fun of me? Just pulling my leg? I'm not thinking that cos I think that little of him, just because he's 14 and it's a long time since I've been that age but I can remember what the boys are like! And I hate myself for thinking this because if he really means what he's saying then he is going to be such an amazing man one day that I will be even more proud then I am now that he's my nephew.

It's about me and my lack of confidence in what people think of me. I remember very clearly one day at intermediate when the "cool" girls called me over and made everyone else go away and I was so excited cos I thought they wanted to be friends with me but instead they told me they were sick of hearing about my family and that I talked about them too much and please could I stop. Bare in mind I'm 12 and I've got a new niece and nephew who I'm so stoked with and not a lot else going on so of course I talk about them. I remember the feeling that it wasn't that they liked me at all and I had been completely wrong. And I don't know if that was the beginning of it or if that is just a major one I remember but now I just don't trust that people like me and it amazes me when people like me when they meet me without me having to prove myself to them. And usually I've kept this away from my familiy cos they're family so they love me but now these kids are become adults and can think for themselves and now I start wondering.

And yes I know I've overthought this but that's what I do.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Challenge: Say what you think!

There's something I've been doing recently, and I don't know if it's good or not but I know if I had it done to me I'd appreciate it. How many times a week do you see something about someone or something they've done and think it's great but not tell them? Well I've been telling people instead of just thinking it. Here's 2 examples:

1. A girl I went to school with, we don't know each other except by name. I found her blog and through reading it discovered 2 things, firstly that she had an incredible artistic talent, secondly that her and her husband have 1 little girl but have actually lost 2 more including a boy who was born this year full term still born. I was overwhelmed by what she had gone through and how strong she was, adding to that that she is younger than me! So I emailed her and told her. And we talked for a bit and it made me feel good but was great for her too.

2. The mum of some friends of mine is dying. She has cancer and she wasn't expected to live past Christmas. She is doing amazing but it finding it so hard and wrote a really sad post on her blog. So I emailed her and told her how inspiring she was to me and how I would feel if it was my mum going through what she is. I haven't heard anything back yet.

But it's made me think. Why am I doing this? Why am I emailing these people? They don't know me! They have no reason to care about what I'm saying. But how often do we hear of people dying and then someone saying I wish I'd had a chance to tell them how they'd impacted me. And I don't want to have to say that. I want these people to know that they are more than just ordinary.

So here's my challenge. Tell people when what they do makes you feel something positive (this is a purely positive challenge please!). It doesn't matter if they don't know you or if they'll never have a chance to tell you how it made them feel. Just tell them cos you might be just what they need. Do it!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

2 birds with one stone

Bird 1:

On Saturday Tahu was at soccer and it was a cold day so I stayed home and made cookies. We were going to a couple of homes where there would be kids and I wanted to take something so I opened up a book and the first thing I saw inspired me and here is the result:

Bird 2:

Recently I started a photo project. It's where you set yourself a challenge and mine was to do A-Z in June. It is up to me how I interpret that and so for now I'm doing things representing the letters. It's cool cos I have to go and think about the photos, take them, edit them and then somehow I'll present them at the end. Maybe a giant poster or something. I had orginally said that I could take inspiration from others ideas but so far they have all been my own which is cool. The photos above are C for Cookies. I'll put the rest up when I've finished it.

Also the cookie recipe I used is my grandmothers (Mum's mum) recipe. I never met her but I like to think that this is one way that we are connected by this. It's a fantastic recipe and really easy and has nothing special in it so I can make it any time by what is in my cupboard. Thanks Grandma xx

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Oil spill in perspective

So I know the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is bad but I'm not good with understanding gallons and distance and all that but I found a map that allows you to put it anywhere in the world to see what it's like and here's if the spill happened over Christchurch:

Now that's crazy. It would take probably a couple of hours to DRIVE from one end to the other. At least! Imagine the damage it would do!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Reasons to be happy

So the last few weeks have been a bit rough. Not super bad, just grey. Hard to be excited about life with things going wrong and stuff and I hate this feeling and so I'm going to do something I never do which is try and think of all the reasons I should be happy and see if that can help.

In no particular order:

  • Tahu
  • My family, every single one of them.
  • I have a job that pays me well
  • I have travelled to amazing places that many will never get to see
  • We now have 2 cars that work beautifully
  • I walked to work this morning. I'm able to do that and it's good for me.
  • I am awesome at baking and cooking and I am in a situation where I can share with others this thing I love so much.
  • We can pay our bills this week AND go to the movies on a date tonight.
  • I get to see Ironman 2 tonight. Now seeing the movie isn't the good part, it's that I get to spend a Friday night with Tahu, no pressure, no worries. And he will be happy seeing the movie.
  • I have an awesome cat who loves me even though he doesn't live with me. Rokocoko comes home almost every time I am at mum and dads.
  • I completed the Duathlon earlier in the year in much less time then I had thought I'd have to take.
  • I don't wear makeup every day.
  • I live in the most beautiful country in the world. And that's not an exaggeration or biased.
  • I learn something new every day. Today it is that exaggeration has 2 g's. Who knew!
  • I do not live in a black and white world even though others may.
  • Writing this list is already making me feel better.
  • I have read 19 books this year already.
  • Today is Friday.
Anyone want to add to my list or tell me what's on theirs?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I love my Ipod Touch

So recently I bought myself an Ipod Touch and it's so amazing and I HIGHLY recommend them. One of the things I've done is download a couple of applications that edits photos so here's some results. No new photos, just playing with my favourites. I really love the colours in the polaroids.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Amazing Quote

We had an annual meeting yesterday for my firm and it was to go over all the things we had planned for last year and to see if we'd achieved them and to also go through the goals and things coming up for our next year. It was actually really cool and we all left feeling REALLY excited about being a part of our company and what things we have planned. One thing that was amazing was that our firm is about 6 years old, for the first 2 years we made combined losses of over $1million. This last financial year our revenue was over $5million. I can't remember the profit amount but it was in the millions. How amazing is that? In a massive recession we had a 25% increase in profit from the previous financial year. I think it's safe to say we're doing really well.

At the end, one of the board members, David Brown, stood up and did a bit of a summary ending and part of it was that he read a quote that was made about 160 years ago. He said it applied so well to the economy and our firm but I think it's bigger then that.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way"

- Charles Dickens (1812-1870) -

I really love that quote. It made me think of a few things, including, how Charles Dickens, 160 years ago, thought their time was just a terrible age, and now we are thinking that the things happening in our age are terrible and life back then must have been pretty simple.

Also that you can have 2 people looking at the exact same thing and they see different things depending on their attitudes. Some see it as great, others see it as "the winter of despair".

Lastly, that a man born almost 200 years ago can be still so relevant to our thinking right now.

So what I'm taking from it is to think about how I look at things. Is what I'm seeing actually bad or is it just my attitude? For example, I hate how I look, I'm fat and pale and just not nice. But I am loved. By a lot of people. So when I look at me I should see a person who is good and loved, not a whale with legs.

And instead of seeing how evil and cruel the world is to each other I should look and see the people who help when you need it the most. Like the people passing when my flatmate had a car accident that came and helped her and waited with her.

And so tell me reader(s)....what are the good things in our world? Ignoring all the bad and painful things...what is good in our world, your life and your day?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Can you believe it??

Can you believe that this little one.... now this little one....

...and she's turning one!!

Yes that's right.

Happy Birthday Annie Rose for tomorrow!

Various pics from my phone

Every now and then I see something pretty cool but don't have my big flash camera with me and so I have to take a pxt on my phone so here's a few for your viewing pleasure:

Rabbit Island near Nelson:

Beautiful blossom near Coalgate:

A random article in a paper I found when on a train home when I was in Brisbane:

A sign on the bus to the airport in Beijing, China:

I still don't get it!!

In I sit or not???:

Same place in Cambodia. A for apple, B for far so good...wait....K for....???

(It's K for kitten by the way but that's not what I first thought either!)

Again in Cambodia, in a restaurant...we ordered it but it didn't come with a Cambodian!

On my flight from Christchurch to Melbourne. Amazing!

Sleepover at Aunty and Uncles

For Reubens birthday present we had him over to be the first person to stay in the spare room at our new house.

First we played some xbox

Then we had fish and chips (as requested)

After a nice shower we were stoked to find Uncle Tahu was home

So we had some quiet time with him before bed

The next morning we baked a really yummy chocolate cake (again as requested)

All in all it was a good present me thinks, even if he did ask the next morning when he was getting his gift!!

Pheonix Match with Deb and Ruby

While Tahu and Dad had corporate box tickets, Deb, Reuben and I slummed it in the new Deans Stand at AMI stadium and had a blast! Note how we're all in yellow?? Yes we're true supporters :)

Work trip to Nelson

At the beginning of March my work sent me up to Nelson and Motueka for 2 nights. On the way to catch my flight home I stopped to take some pictures of the beautiful view and of course the beautiful car I was driving! 2010 Holden Cruze, so amazing to drive, since then it's been recalled by Holden! Never mind, I had fun!