17 Good Things About 2017

17 Good Things About 2017

Ah 2017. How does one neatly summarise the year that was into a short, condensed paragraph of ideas? I feel like it's near impossible actually. The year ran the whole cycle in terms of events and actual goings on. As I said to someone the other day, I feel like 2016 was the trial run preparing us for 2017. 2018 will be the year. That optimism could be incredibly misguided, I am no prophet after all but in this moment it is something I genuinely believe. A couple of weeks ago on Twitter a thread was going around where for every 'like' you received, you shared one positive statement about 2017. I think I got over twenty likes in the end which is not loads but enough for me to see the jewels that made up for the less than brilliant moments of 2017. So without further ado here are seventeen things that were good in 2017...

* I saw Adele and Stevie Nicks, live. Adele and Stevie Nicks. I have a mental list of artists, whether that be music, literary, even theatre that I want to see live and revel in their talent. Getting to see both these amazing, gifted lyricists and women doing their thing, slaying obvs feels incredibly special. More so given Adele seems uncertain as to whether she will tour on the scale she did ever again. If you ever get the opportunity to spend time in the presence of the artists you admire, do it. 

* Got my full license. This was a long, long time coming, given I didn't get my learner license until I was 20. It took me several attempts to pass my restricted license and that knocked my confidence back a bit so the year and a half between that and my full was the best for it. There's no silly additional rules with full license life too. The best. 

* Made new friends. Self explanatory. 

* Prioritised self care and took positive steps to take care of myself. This is a major deal for me as I always viewed asking for help in this regard as a sign of weakness. A fact I now find ludicrous the longer I sit and puzzle over it. Anyway, forever grateful to my confidante.

* Started a new job! The struggle and persistance in this area really paid off. 

* Created my Women & Their Books series. A spontaneous idea that literally came to me one morning on the train in the midst of reading or writing something unrelated. I plan on giving my corner of the Internet a refresh in 2018 and this ties in with that nicely. January's interviewee is a good'un and I hope to grow this series in 2018. 

* Wrote a lot. Mainly offline. Oftentimes for myself but it has left me inspired and ready to work towards some personal goals. 

* Finding new coffee spots in Auckland. My favourites are eightthirty and Depot on Federal St. 

* Being tweeted at by JK Rowling and pretty much every time Alexa Chung liked or retweeted me. Yes that's not a humble brag. I'm not even sorry. 

* Discovering the greatness that is Will and Grace. Karen Walker fangirl for life.

* Housesat for one of my friends and had a room up in their roof. Every morning felt like I was waking up in the trees. 

* Dealt with some major life adjustments and came out the other side. Pardon the frankness but if I can handle 2017, I can handle anything. 

* Walks and banter with my work baes. Often accompanied by coffee. The best. 

* Jacinda Ardern became New Zealand's Prime Minister. Such a good thing. 

* Worked to persuade people to watch The Crown. Mostly succeeded. 

* Unity Books and Time Out. I love my independent bookstores. 

* Finally finding a hairdresser that can deal with my thick, crazy hair. And can colour it well. And is an awesome lady. Shout out to Danni at Dry and Tea. You are the best.

-What did you love in 2017?

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Favourite Books of 2017

Favourite Books of 2017

Hello, happy Wednesday and post-Christmas if you celebrate it. Today we have a roundup of twelve books I really rated and enjoyed in 2017. It is autobiographical essay heavy sorry folks. I have a type apparently. There are some novels in among the mix too and memoirs to round things out. They're all titles I rate and would recommend and in many cases re-read as well...

I'll Tell You In Person x Chloe Caldwell: This book came to my attention c/o Emma Roberts' Instagram and I am glad it did. Another candid and beautiful essay volume.  Her essay, entitled Sisterless particularly stood out to me and I still think about it. Actually I really need to get myself my own copy of this book.

Hag-Seed x Margaret Atwood: My first introduction to Atwood's writing came via this retelling of Shakespeare's The Tempest. One of my favourite plays of his as I studied it in seventh form but also I just love the visual beauty of it. Anyway, set in a men's prison we see Shakespeare being used as a rehabilitative tool of sorts and a way to give the men a way to channel their energy creatively. The prisoners are responsible for every element of the play's staging and the production is a hugely orchestrated and appreciated effort. As well as rehabilitation, Hag-Seed explores loss and loneliness and the way in which escapism can help us to survive and in turn thrive. I'd recommend this book for Autumn when it's starting to look a bit drearier outside. 

Moranthology x Caitlin Moran: Caitlin Moran, oh how I love your essays and words on all the things. This year I finished all her published essay volumes thus far and this was the last. Musings on Benedict Cumberbatch, UK politics, nicknames among many other things make an appearance. I know I talk about Caitlin a lot on this blog but she is one of my favourite writers and if you like reading essays and witty+extremely clever writing you need to seek out her work.

It's Messy x Amanda de Cadenet: When I saw that Amanda had a debut essay collection coming out I pre-ordered it pretty quickly. She's been one of my favourite Internet women for a long time. It did not disappoint. Inspiring, witty and a book I'd gift everyone, Oprah Winfrey style. Well the women in my life at least. My only qualm was this wasn't long enough but otherwise I loved it.

Conversations With Friends* x Sally Rooney: One of the best novels I have read in a really long time. Flawed yet truthful twenty-something characters. Experimentation, error-making and an enthusiasm for the really brilliant thing that is conversation. I feel like this would make a brilliant screenplay too. 

Can You Tolerate This? x Ashleigh Young: This book got the world's attention this year when Ashleigh won the Windham-Campbell prize and Ockham prize for her essay collection. My copy is well worn and a bit battered from many trips in my bag but it is also well-loved. I can't quite articulate just how brilliant Ashleigh's writing is so I will say this. Get yourself a copy, get acquainted with her work and thank me later.

What Happened x Hillary Rodham Clinton: Despite this book's mammoth size I managed to read it in little over a week. I even lugged it back and forth on my work commutes. That's dedication. As the title suggests, this is Hillary's account of her journey before, during and after that presidential election. It is a bit depressing at times, as is to be expected but for the most part it makes for hopeful, inspiring reading. Whatever your stance on Hillary, I think for readers outside the US especially it's particularly insightful. A lot of what she discusses was not covered by local media for instance. Another timely reminder of the importance of voting and staying engaged among other things.

The Uncommon Reader x Alan Bennett: I found this book when I was doing a search along the lines of 'books to read if you like The Crown'. Telling the story of a traveling library that makes its way to Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth becomes a frequent borrower. She forms a special alliance with staff members who recommend books to her and she expands her literary understanding. All fictitious but I'd love to know what the Queen reads. Does she have time to read? Anyway, brilliant, short read but worth a peruse.

Girl, Interrupted x Susanna Kaysen: Another memoir, surprise surprise. This time the writings of Susanna Kaysen as she remembers her experiences at eighteen in a psychiatric ward. The same one that hosted Sylvia Plath at one time. This is a confronting read but also a fascinating insight into the way in which mental illness was dealt with towards the end of the sixties. I also found the inclusion of her therapist's actual notes, while difficult to read were particularly interesting as well. I really need to hunt down the film with Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie sometime soon. 

Is It Just Me? x Miranda Hart: I read this at a time where life was a bit...eventful for lack of a better word and it helped me find some amusement and escapism. That and Miranda Hart is simply hilarious. A must-read. If only for her brilliant recollections about family Christmases.  

Wishful Drinking x Carrie Fisher: This was one of the first books I read this year and it did not disappoint. Yes it's about Carrie's battle with addiction and depression but it's one of the best books I've read that deals with mental health. It is refreshing, candid, humorous and yes a touch sad but the way in which Carrie writes doesn't leave you feeling downtrodden. Her honesty and ability to always find the funny were unparalleled. 

Only Fools & Stories x David Jason: For those of you who don't know, Only Fools & Horses along with Open All Hours are two of my favourite shows. They both star David Jason, as Del Boy and Granville respectably. This book really recounts tales from the Only Fools days, as the title would suggest and I read it in a day. Perhaps only one to read if you're a fan of David Jason as I feel like this is a very specific book but it is fantastic. 

-What did you enjoy reading in 2017?

*Review Copy

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Things I Watched & Liked In 2017

Things I Watched & Liked In 2017

Subtitle, some things I watched and liked. If I listed them all, we'd be here all day. So I'm feelin' reflective and retrospective-y now that 2017 is on its way out of here. I also know how good the holidays are for unwinding and doing very little, which can often mean a good old binge session. Mornings curled up with coffee and lazing around in your pyjamas whilst watching a film or TV series? Yes please...

Stranger Things: It took me a bit longer than everyone else to watch this because truth be told, I was scared. The thing is, it's really not that scary. The dramatic tension and anxiety is really the only side effect to this program. That and perhaps emotional investment in the characters. Ahem, Justice for Barb and the idea that Joyce and Will Byers have a nice year. If you're yet to discover this Netflix series, get onto it. It's your classic, eighties ET/Stephen King tribute among other things and it is brilliant. 

Franca-Chaos & Creation: Another Netflix gem. I'm not sponsored by Netflix just for disclosure. I wish. Anyway, this documentary, directed+produced by Sozzani's son is a candid, intimate insight into the legendary mind and genius of Franca Sozzani. She was the editor of Vogue Italia until her passing and was a major game changer in the world of fashion magazines. She wasn't afraid to start a conversation and made her magazine so much more than just a collection of pretty pictures. Well worth the watch. 

Will and Grace: Bit late to the party here, whoops but I am on the WAG bandwagon and am loving it. The only highlight of a weekend I spent bed bound was the all-day WAG marathon on TV. Karen Walker is my (sorta) spirit animal and the hilarity and brilliance of this whole show never fails to make my day. Honestly I can be having the worst day and WAG can just magically remedy that for twenty minutes. Or more because let's be honest, I tend to often watch more than one episode at a time.

Beauty and the Beast: The remake, obvs. I haven't been living under a rock and missed the nineties incarnation. Disney did the live-action version so much justice. The attention to detail and of course the casting was all magic. I actually had the cast recording in my car's stereo for a good while. In other words, many a dramatic car singalong happened. No shame. 

La La Land: Another soundtrack that had a good whirl and a freakin' beautiful film. Cinematically and of course the combination of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. I loved how this movie paid homage to the classic Hollywood musicals and was essentially a love-letter to creatives and 'fools who dream' everywhere. Plus, Ryan Gosling playing the piano. Yes. 

The People vs OJ Simpson: Oh wow, this show. I was riveted and fascinated and totally hooked. I'm not usually into crime related shows at all but I found this incredibly interesting. I think the fact it looks at the major role the media and power of celebrity can play was what really drew me in. That and the OJ Simpson case itself really foreshadowed a lot of what we see in the media now. In fact at times I was really mind blown at what was already happening with the treatment of celebrities twenty or so years back. I feel like that was quite a nerdy analysis but seriously. Really brilliant drama. Watch.

Thirteen Reasons Why: What an important program. So important and I really hope the negativity and skepticism surrounding it hasn't clouded anyone's judgement. The story of Hannah Baker, a teenaged girl who commits suicide and leaves behind a series of cassette tapes, documenting the reasons why is confronting and at times difficult to watch. Again though it really got the discussion around mental health going and I'm sure will have encouraged some people to make positive changes to their lives for the better. A second series is in the works, following on from where the book leaves off so it will be interesting to see how the aftermath of her passing continues to unfold and how it affects the community she leaves behind. 

-What have you watched and liked in 2017?

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Things I Want To Read, Watch & Do: Summer '17

Things I Want To Read, Watch & Do: Summer '17

As the last working week for many of us in '17 begins, the thought of a holiday and relaxation feels like a dot on the horizon still. When it arrives though I will probably literally shout "yass". One because I am that uncool and two because I am so ready to catch up on sleep and do very little. That being said, while I have some time off, there are things I want to read, watch and do. Hence the incredibly obvious blog post title. For any of you curious peeps, keep reading...


-Little Women x Louisa May Alcott: I was adamant I'd read something festive this month and it is happening. Little Women is so comforting and beautifully written and I love it. You can see how massive the book is in this picture and I think it's testament to how much I enjoy it that I am willing to cart it across the city and back each day from work. 

-The Mother Of All Questions x Rebecca Solnit*: After hearing Kiran's stellar review of this title on National Radio, it moved up my priority reading list. That and I really enjoyed Men Explain Things To Me earlier in the year. It's slim and compact so I should be able to easily get through it on my break. 

-Winter x Ali Smith*: Another perhaps more festive read. Can you tell I am trying to get more Christmassy? I even found myself listening to Christmas music at work today. I know. This is the second volume in Smith's seasonal quartet and if it is anything like Autumn, I am sure I will love it.

-No Man's Land, Issue One x The Wing: Not sure how I have only recently stumbled upon The Wing but my goodness is it great. Their inaugural issue is packed full of inspiring content, women and even stickers which you can bet I was excited by. I will do a proper writeup on this in the New Year when I have had time to read it properly. 


-The Crown, Season Two: Yes, I am mentioning this show again and I am not even sorry. Right now I have three episodes left. As the show is so detail-oriented though I am definitely going to need a rewatch. You all know how much I love this show. I don't need to say much else.

-The Holiday: The fact I haven't seen this film seems to have horrified a reasonable portion of my Twitter followers. I don't know an awful lot about it but I know it's a popular Christmas film for a lot of people. It stars Jude Law so hey, I definitely need to get watching asap. 

-Breathe: A film that's on my to-watch list when it's released along with The Post and Lady Bird. Based on a true story and starring Claire Foy+Andrew Garfield, it sounds and looks brilliant. If not perhaps a bit of a tear-jerker. 


-Yayoi Kasama Obliteration Room: I've loved Yayoi Kasama's work for a while now and it really excites me that her Obliteration Room is finally in Auckland. It's at the Auckland Art Gallery and as someone who loves dots, stickers and the idea of endless colour, this is top of my to-do list. 

-Sculptures at the Gardens: Each Summer, Auckland's Botanical Gardens plays host to a series of sculptures by artists. They're usually very quirky, sometimes interactive and just awesome to see whilst wandering among some flora and fauna. Bonus-the Botanical Gardens are dog friendly so I can get a walk in with my doggo too. 

-Sleep: My sleep patterns have been so inconsistent and all over the show lately. I am seriously looking forward to two weeks off. If only so I can attempt to rediscover what sleep ins are and go to bed at reasonable hours. Plus lie ins are the best and I miss them. Let's be honest.

-What are you doing over the Christmas break?

*Review Copy

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Six Years of Nana Wintour

Six Years of Nana Wintour

Six years ago I made an idea a reality. Six years ago it was really just a place for me to write about whatever the heck I wanted. I feel like Nana Wintour is still at its essence about showcasing what I love in life and hopefully inspiring others too. Of course it's my creative outlet and my pride and joy as well and I am forever indebted to this little corner of the Internet.

With all that being said, I'm not going to lie, 2017 has been a difficult year in many regards. Blogging in particular has totally taken on a mind of its own. The landscape is so different and at times treacherous and frustrating to navigate. I am incredibly thankful to have some inspiring and creative+talented ladies I can turn to when things do get a bit irritating in that sense. We're also there to lift each other up, encourage and motivate. There's certainly some amazing people in the blogosphere, creators and readers.

I feel like this is already getting far too sentimental and sappy but there's a lot of emotions here. Six years. I can't comprehend that still. It doesn't feel like that much time at all. Whether you have been reading since the beginning or just stumbled upon my site yesterday, thank you. Your support means so much. All your kind comments, emails, telling me you've gone book shopping/bought books I've recommend, the fact Kikki K reminds some of you of me (umm, sorry not sorry?).  It all makes my day. Much more than numbers and likes ever will. You are all amazing. Here's to the next six years!

Oh and before I saunter offline.....

To say thank you and to celebrate, I have two giveaways consisting of three beauty+book themed items to give away. 3+3=6. Aren't I such a clever clogs?


// Prize One: For the book loving person. You will win: *Too Much & Not The Mood x Durga Chew Bose, *Frankie Magazine-Issue 81 and a *Mini Moleskine Notebook for all your writing needs.

// Prize Two: For the beauty fiend. You will win: *Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in Kitten Karma, *Go To Super Handy** & *MAC Sized To Go Matte Lipstick in Mehr (one of my all time favourite lipstick shades).

To be in to win:

Simply follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget but more importantly, leave a comment on this post or over on Instagram telling me which prize you'd like to win. This giveaway is open internationally and will close next Wednesday, 20th December. Please be mindful with Christmas & all especially if you are overseas, this may not arrive until the New Year. NZ winners I will try to get your prize to you ASAP. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**PR Sample but I use and love this heaps and wouldn't give it away if I didn't like it so much that I felt it needed sharing.

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Giftmas #5: The Beauty Gift Guide

Giftmas #5: The Beauty Gift Guide

Here we are, just over two weeks away from Christmas and showcasing my last gift guide. This mightn't be the last you see of gift recommendations. I am definitely sharing book suggestions over here for instance. Today though it's all about the beauty loves. I've mainly gone for products I already use and love, or ones I have gifted or will be gifting this year. The great thing with beauty is there's so much choice nowadays so it's a lot easier to choose something people will love...

Stella+Gemma Makeup Bag, not pictured: When in doubt, makeup bag it out. In seriousness, to a beauty lover, I don't think a snazzy new makeup bag will be sneered at. Even better, you could load it with some of their favourite minis, or a product you love and think they should try. Presents within presents are the best.

NARS The Veil Cheek Palette: Here we have an early Christmas present to myself, which now I've photographed and kept pristine, I can start using it. Huzzah! Self celebrations aside, this palette is beautiful. Combining a bronzer, blush and highlighter, it's slim and reasonably compact. The powders certainly pack a punch in the pigment stakes and it truly is a thing of beauty.

This Works Sleep Tight: I've gifted products from the Sleep range x This Works before and they are always well received. This set was packaged in an ornate, cardboard bauble and contains two miniatures of the Pillow Spray as well as the Stress Check, Breathe In. I usually take these away traveling with me but also keep them by my bed and the calming lavender scent helps to bring a sense of ambience before sleep. That and despite not really liking the smell of lavender, I cannot deny its calming effect. A++ would recommend. 

Face Paint by Lisa Eldridge: You all know by now of my love for Lisa Eldridge and all her talent+brilliance. I couldn't not include her coffee table book, crammed with everything beauty history and so many wonderful anecdotes. It is beautifully presented and written and makes for fascinating reading. I've been dipping in and out of it all year but I will be picking this up to read on my Summer break.

Preciosity Ombre Blackstar x By Terry: I don't own this set, I wish and it is a spendy option but would make an absolutely exquisite gift for someone. Containing three of the Ombre Blackstars, including Misty Rock and Bronze Moon it really is stunning. These eyeshadows are like nothing else and they are the most long-lasting formulas around. 

Go-To Sweet Sleeps*: Zoe Foster Blake, queen of all things awesome has bundled some of her brilliant, peachy-decorated products into sets for us to nab this festive season. This set is my pick; combining a makeup bag (yass), the Face Case (DOUBLE YASS, also mini musings here. I love this though), Super Handy (lives on my work desk, parties on my work desk) and Lips (keeping that pout in check). All in all it's a good time and sweet dreams are made of these.

Stila Written In The Stars Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow Set: This set is sold out online and I am not one hundred per cent sure if Mecca will be getting more in. I know it definitely wasn't around in Mecca Maxima Auckland last week but I could be wrong so do not quote me there. This set of what have easily been some of the most sought after eyeshadows this year is bound to be well received. I've gifted these to people but if you don't want to split them up and again want to treat a sparkle lover, I am sure they will love it. 

Kenzo World Fragrance*: You probably remember that crazy but brilliant advert for this fragrance. If not, YouTube it now. I realise it's not a particularly festive fragrance but it's pretty fail-safe, I think at least. Fresh with a hint of floral and fruitiness, it's the perfect Summer scent. I also love Gabrielle x Chanel and have spritzed+liked the idea of Orange Bitters Cologne x Jo Malone London. 

-What beauty gifts are on your radar for Christmas?

*PR Sample

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Giftmas #4: The Under $20 Edit

Giftmas #4: The Under $20 Edit

This gift guide is for those of you on a budget, those of you who maybe have Secret Santa limits or those who just like to grab affordable gems to gift at Christmas. Side note: friends and family, please do not look at this post because it will act as a giveaway for some of you as to what you are getting. Spoilers out of the way. This one is a mix of cute little knick knacks, some useful bits and some things to unwind with over the holiday period. Enjoy!

*Daily Notes Pad x Kikki K: I've actually grabbed this for someone I know who is a hella busy person. These kind of notepads are useful to have on your desk if you have important things to remember or just need to quickly jot something down. Not to mention it's blush pink, gold and speckled so it's ticking all the aesthetic boxes too. 

*Pocket Pop Vinyl x Funko Pop: This is part of my gift for my #NZSecretSanta over on Twitter. I just think it's so cute and I'm not going to lie, if they had a Joyce Byers one I would've grabbed it for myself too. They're currently on special at EB Games so head there to nab one. I've seen Game of Thrones and Harry Potter themed ones as well so if they take their fancy more, there's always those options. 

Minis* x The Body Shop: These have been mentioned in a previous gift guide but it's worth mentioning them again. Pictured above are the mini shower gels and the Christmas shaped soaps, in the vanilla and frosted plum scents. Again, a great Secret Santa option or a perfect gift for the jet setters in your life. I've gifted the mini shower gels and hand creams before and they have always gone down a treat. There aren't many people who can resist a good mini. 

*Harry Styles Stickers x bestieclub: I have to give props to one of my Twitter+uni pals for bringing these to my attention. They're also part of my #NZSecretSanta's gift and again I think they're just something a bit different and fun. This NZ Etsy store also have a range of other celebs to choose from so I recommend having a nosy at the shop. Also, Harry Styles in flower crowns? YASS PLZ. 

*Dark Chocolate, Meringue & Raspberry Candle x Ecoya: Another gift, this time for a candle loving pal of mine who I sincerely hope is not reading this. How divine is this candle? It smells like a decadent chocolate mousse and yes, it probably isn't the most Christmassy of scents but if they're not a fan of the more pine-y, natural scents, this might be the ticket. Also these are pretty dang reasonably priced and the scent pull+lasting time isn't half bad. 

*Celestial Earrings x Lovisa: I had to include these because I wear mine all the time and always get asked about them. I have a feeling they might be a tad over 20 dollars, not by much mind. Earrings are such a great option too; I rate Lovisa's and Trade Aid's for things under $20 but Etsy is worth a peruse as well. 

Santa Baby Lip Tint* x Lush: This cola scented, redder than red tint is back for another Christmas. Lush also have some other colours available. My friend E has a light, peachy pink one and loves it. I also rate Lush's lip scrub (Sugar Plum Fairy is the BEST) and their potted lip balms. So delish. So good.

*Christmas Decorations: Ok because I fancy myself as Martha Stewart or something, I'm actually decking out most of my presents with some paper decorations from Kikki K that I grabbed in last year's sale. You've probably seen them on my Instagram, white with gold stars. Anyway, I also think Christmas ornaments can be a fun, sentimental gift. They're relatively inexpensive and can be tailored to people's interests, colours and decor preferences. I've grabbed one for my work Secret Santa this year from Smith & Caughey's. Bed, Bath & Table have some great options too.

*Christmas Movies: Tbh I think everyone should watch Love Actually so this is really a selfish recommendation but *insert sass emoji here*. This inclusion is probably a bit of a gamble but I guess it could be something fun if you're a bit stumped for Secret Santa. I also think Elf is great too. Plus the soundtrack is so good.

*Magazines (or five): Pinching this recommendation from Liv but if they're a magazine maven then I don't think you can go wrong with a stack of magazines. Or one. Or however many you feel need purchasing. I recommend the Frankie 'Christmas' issue, not actually Christmas themed but usually crammed with a bunch of awesome extras. Like those Girflriend Summer Specials but way way way better. I also rate Sunday Girl, Oh Comely, Kinfolk, Violet Book, British Vogue. I could be here all day....

-How is your gift shopping going?

*PR Sample

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Hey It's Okay To Not Be Okay

Hey It's Okay To Not Be Okay

This title probably alludes to advice we could all do with remembering but it is without a doubt easier said than done.

So 2017 is and really has been the year of acknowledging the above. A lot has changed. I stopped studying, got a full time job, ended some relationships and came to terms with life altering events. Without saying too much, if you have ever seen/experienced someone dealing with an illness, you will know how devastating and scary it can all be.

This has also been the year in which I took charge of my mental health. Since early in the year I have been seeing a therapist. Since starting, I've been having regular sessions a couple of times per month. I am extremely grateful to be in a job where mental health is absolutely valued. I am also fortunate I can afford these sessions. They aren't cheap but the difference my therapist makes to my life is worth its weight in gold.

She encourages me to write and write with abandon. It's no secret that writing is always very cathartic for me but it really helps me to make sense of the ever-present thoughts in my mind.

Mental health has been a topic I've wanted to delve into on this corner of the internet and offline as well for ages. There's still way too much of a stigma around it and that seriously needs to shift. We all perhaps personally experience something like anxiety and depression. Alternatively we know somebody else that has been affected. If there is one thing I have learnt this year it is that talking helps. It helps so much. This is only the beginning, I will be talking about mental health more in the New Year on the blog. 

So I've really drifted from the title of this post. What comes with having no plan as such but it needs reiterating. It is okay to not be okay. Cut yourself some slack. You are stronger than you think and I bet those around you think you're doing amazingly. Hold your head high and be kind to yourself.

If you need to reach out to someone/want more information on services within NZ:

Mental Health Foundation (more information and additional services+contact numbers here).


Depression Helpline


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Giftmas #3: Indie Cindy

Giftmas #3: Indie Cindy

I am obviously biased but this gift guide may just be my favourite yet. This one is all about supporting the more niche businesses, with a focus on independent makers and sellers. It's a mix of everything because when it comes to indie sellers we are spoilt for choice. Also, the title is reference to a quote I saw online once, "that girl is an indie cindy." no idea who said it but it resonates so anyway. Gift guide incoming...

// Winona Girl Gang: I love this Etsy store which came to my attention care of resident rad lady, Liv. There's a range of girl gang cards and prints but seeing as I'd be most likely to join Winona's girl gang, I have opted for this one. I framed up the card in one of my clear frames and have done this for gifts in the past as it's usually an inexpensive but meaningful option. Art is the best.

// Frank Coffee Mini Scrub Duo: The brand that took Instagram by storm is still going strong. This Christmas they've released mini sets of a couple of their scrubs. This duo could be divided among people or as a sneaky lil' treat to yourself. Hey if you love coffee, there's nothing better right?

// Anyone Girl: A bit of a cheeky inclusion because this is on my wishlist but I had to include this local publication. Issue Two looks at the female form and includes essays, photography, poetry and other creative goodness that I just need on my shelves and in my life. And YOU obviously need this as well. 

// Pigment Studio: It'd be socially unacceptable to not include my pal Albertine's awesome pieces. She's one talented lady. Pictured above are her Tabitha earrings and she actually has some of her other pieces discounted. Perfect for the holiday season. I love the Brie earrings as well. They're wondrous. 

// Claybird Ceramics: Another of my favourite makers is Yon Kavvas from Claybird. She makes a range of exquisite pieces; from bowls through to ring cones. She even does cute pins-I've seen a cat face and a pizza before. Everything is one of a kind too so you'll know that whatever gift you choose, they'll be receiving something unique. 

// Himalayan Salt Lamp: So I'm back with another cheeky wishlist inclusion. This is definitely more an aesthetic kind of gift but they're also pretty relaxing and add a certain ambience to your space. I like that these ones from Bread and Butter Letter are reasonably priced as well. 

// Hydrangea Ranger: Confession time: I pretty much exclusively visited the Auckland Fair to get my Hydrangea Ranger fix. While the fair may be no more, you can still get your fix online or in person at Widdess in Ponsonby. I love her prints but also the intricate jewellery and the framed pressed flowers. Actually I love everything and think it's all worth treating yourself or somebody else to.

// Rifle Paper Co 2018 Appointment Wall Calendar: Rifle Paper Co's calendars are such dreamy works of art. This wall calendar is bedecked in floral illustrations and has spaces to write any important dates or reminders you have coming up. I know some people will just argue and say iCal is where it is at but is iCal as pretty? No it is not.

-Who are your favourite indie brands to support at Christmas? 

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November Favourites

November Favourites

November is one of my favourite times of the year. Seasonally, the peonies are out in full force-although let's not talk about my unsuccessful bunch and the sky+water are bedecked in shades of blue. That and blueberries+strawberries make a reappearance. This month beauty-wise I've sticked to tried+true staples and haven't really switched it up a whole lot. We also have some non-beauty favourites in there too just to balance it all out. Here's what has taken my fancy this month...

Chanel Ombre Premiere in Undertone: That trip I took to the Chanel boutique on a whim proved successful. I love this cream shadow and find myself reaching for it most days. It just gives the lids a little something-something if you're time pressed as I am most mornings when it comes to makeup. I like how it can be worn underneath other colours without interfering with them too much as well. 

Glossier Balm Dotcom: This lives in my bag 24/7, I love it that much. As a primer for lipstick, on its own in place of lipstick (are you sensing a theme here with my lack of makeup?), even as an eye gloss. 

Girl Interrupted x Susanna Kaysen: This book was recommended on a Buzzfeed post of books about mental health and because I've been wanting to see the movie, I decided to give it a read first. In it Kaysen recounts her experience with mental health at eighteen and entering an institution in the late sixties. It's intense at times but it's beautifully written. I found the reports from her therapists that are scattered throughout particularly fascinating as well. 

NARS Love Triangle: One of the products from the Man Ray collaboration are these duo blush+lipstick sets from NARS. I grabbed the set with the Deep Throat blush and Barbara lipstick. They're both beautiful pinky nudes, incredibly wearable and perfect for everyday wear. I love the mini size too-ideal for the overpacked handbag *ahem, talking about myself here, ahem*. 

Stevie Nicks: Thanks to the babe that is Lucie, I got to see Stevie last Monday night and it was amazing. She was otherworldly, brilliant and everything I expected her to be. Honestly I feel so grateful I was able to see her and of course hear her stories about her music, songs and the people in her life. The gold dust woman certainly shone and I'll be listening to her music on repeat for a while yet. 

Lonely Lingerie: I freakin' love Lonely and their campaigns, message and of course range of lacy, luxe, exquisite lingerie. At the beginning of the month I treated myself to a couple of new bras and they're amazing. Comfortable, gorgeously designed. I'm sorry if this is an overshare but y'know when you find something great you just have to discuss it? This is one of those times. Also props to the Newmarket store because I entered intimidated and left feeling confident and empowered af. 

-What have you loved during November?
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Women & Their Books: Me, Myself & I

Women & Their Books: Me, Myself & I

Hello and happy Saturday. You may remember last month I introduced my new series, Women and Their Books. Well it is back for November and this time I am interviewing, myself. Oh how meta of me. I guess I can spare you all the introductory ramble. Sit back, relax and enjoy me talking to myself. 

-What are you currently reading? 
Well Sophie, I am glad you asked. As of right now I'm serial reading several titles. All for my own pleasure but some with the point of recommending them for Christmas gifts. That's a longwinded way of saying I'm in the midst of a few book's pages. The main ones though are Trying To Float* x Nicolaia Rips, Big Little Lies x Lianne Moriarty, The Crown: Official Companion* x Robert Lacey and Moranifesto x Caitlin Moran. 

-What is your most read book? 
I don't know for certain but I think it'd be Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone x JK Rowling. I've lost count of the number of times I've read it now but each time is still just as enjoyable an experience. I think even if I didn't have this book bathed in a metaphorical pool of celestial light, I'd still cherish the opportunity to read this. 

-You love to write and aspire to be published someday. Is there a book that inspires your writing? Yeah Sophie, let's call you out to your readers and tell them how slack you've been with this aspiration. Or not, because that's a tale (ha) for another day. As for a book that inspires me as a writer, anything I can read over and over, usually by people I admire definitely inspires me. Inside Vogue x Alexandra Shulman is the first thing to spring to mind here and I only dream of being half as talented as Alexandra is someday. In terms of autobiographical essays; Where Am I Now x Mara Wilson is a firm favourite as is Yes Please x Amy Poehler. Again, I can only dream to be as talented as these women.

-What is your favourite book by a New Zealand author and why? 
Admittedly I have a bit of a prejudice around New Zealand writing. Maybe because I had to read some simply terrible pieces of it in school and at university but I am trying to not let it cloud my judgement too much. I'd have to say Can You Tolerate This? x Ashleigh Young is my favourite. Brilliant, relatable and decadent essays. I still think about+talk to people about her essay on working at the Katherine Mansfield house, as well as her stories of small town New Zealand. She's also wonderful on Twitter too and I'm not going to lie, I am a lowkey fangirl for her cat Jerry. 

-Which women writer's words have left a lasting impression on you? 
Tough question, says the person who composed these questions (oops). I am going to cheat and list a few here. Stephanie Lacava. Never have I read a book that draws you in immediately and makes you want to search every possible page and line for treasure. Caitlin Moran. Her essays are just brilliant and clever and funny and I freakin' love her. If I ever get to meet her/hear her speak I'll probably be speechless. Mara Wilson's essays stayed with me for a very long time and I find myself referring back to her book often. As well of course as recommending it a lot. 

-Finally, if there was one book you'd recommend every woman have on their bookshelf, what would it be? 
Brave Enough x Cheryl Strayed. I only recently returned to this book when I was contemplating gifting it to somebody for Christmas but it's one of the best books I have ever purchased. Loaded with wisdom and insight to apply to life, it's just like a comfort in paper form. I have several pages post-it noted to refer back to but the whole book is so valuable. 

*Review Copy
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