Monday, 3 December 2012

Looking At Me?

'People always look hotter with sunglasses on'
- Char-Char

Wise words from a very wise friend. 

A simple accessory with a powerful effect. I think it is important to look at a pair of sunglasses as you would clothes. Certain styles suit certain shapes. Having just broken my fav pair of sunnies, I contemplate putting off a cheap $20 purchase and investing in some designer bad-boys. Nothing too flash, just something with a bit more kick. When it comes to investing in anything with a 'name' I always go for something timeless. I want something that in 4-months time, I won't pack away and never see again because low and behold it was a temporary fashion craze.

 To contemplate this potential investment a little further, I have stepped away from the magazines and turned to the albums. Oh yes, the beautiful albums which hold some gems to give me an idea of what to steer away from. Walk with me...

Cute family photo. With matching sunglasses, what is not to love? Besides the fact that my current hair-style is remarkably similar to my mothers - I am not overly concerned with these shades. I do feel however that the blue tints need to stay in the 90's. 


Daaaahling! I feel like at least 1/4 of my face is covered by in plastic. Who needs a mask when you have bug-eye glasses to keep your under lock? I am a fan of big-framed glasses but you need something a bit more than a straight-shot insect replica to make them look fashionable.

Yes, this is a self-shot. Yes, it was taken in a discount store changing room. Aviators anyone? An iconic style. Papa Pete still has his from the 80's and they have not failed him as of yet. I do like them but I feel that they never really worked for me. I really wanted them too but couldn't make it happen. 

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better! Fake tan? Check! Awesome pose? Check! Blue aviators? Heeeelz yeah! I really want to say that these were purchased with a party-theme in mind however I did actually wear them out on more than a few occassions...

I really need to work on my poses. Anywho, we have started to walk down the path of today's concept of 'normal' eyewear. Nothing too loud, just simple square based ray-ban. 

What I should have been wishing for in this one is for my glasses to stay together forever. Purchased form a thrift shop in Massachusetts, these $7 gems guided me around the world. I love a good print down the side - tortoise is my personal favorite. 

As you can see, I really have walked down a long winded road. Some hits, some (very big) misses. I don't know exactly what works for me but I feel that a sturdy frame is worth the investment. Karen Walker perhaps?
Slightly in love with these 'Anywhere Crazy' style glasses

My advice? Don't keep them guessing. 
Do not hide behind the frames and pick something which you love no matter how badly you will regret it in the years to come.
As I always like to say:

Laugh now, Cringe later!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Deck The Halls!

It was Thursday.

Birds chirping, coffee brewing. A delightful start to the morning.

Shower running...

Front door knocking...

Front door knocking getting louder...

Ugh, Charlotte must have left her keys inside. 

Jump out of shower, throw on a towel, run to the door...

'Gosh women, the things I do for you - this would be so embarrassing if it wasn't...'

Oh why hello there Firemen carrying out alarm testing!

Usually I have time to get changed before encountering my first stranger of the day.
Come back later? Yup, no worries. 

It's been one of those bloody weeks. 
First day of summer? I snapped my favorite sun-glasses. The kind of 'Oh My Gosh I love your glasses! Where did you get them from?!' pair. 
This morning I open the window to get some air in the hot-box that is my bedroom and whoops there goes my 18th birthday ring!

What is to blame? The heat. I have no need to complain though. Of course spending the summer in Sydney, Australia was not going to be all icicles and snowflakes. My walks to work have become 'weaves' to work as I dash in and out of air-conditioned shops to savor the icy chill air. Am I right in thinking that temperature change can make us a wee bit cray cray though? Delirious, some might say. Being the first official week of summer, this also means that the season of Christmas is truly upon us. This year, Christmas for the H-Clan is going to be spent in Vietnam. In that heat, my guess is that Rudolph is going to have a bit more than a simple red nose this Chrissy.

Deck the halls people, we are in for a scorcher! 

I have marked the festive season with both snow and sun in the past but it just seems like Ol' Saint Nic isn't going to be well fitted in a place like Vietnam. Considering that 'Let It Snow, Let It Snow' was playing in August at the local 'Western' supermarche when I last visited the country, it is obvious that Christmas isn't all jingle bells and Christmas trees in Ho Chi Minh. Thus, I have come to the conclusion that what makes Christmas so special is who you celebrate it with. At this time, each year  at least 5 out of 6 H-Clan members are together again. Carols, Trees, Gingerbread - the works. Instead, I sweat my behind off in Sydney, Middle-C freezes her tootsies off in Pennsylvania, Pattiecakes works his mind away in Melbourne and Mumma J, Papa Pete and Little C are currently taking part in a 'marathon' in Cambodia?
 Uh, yeah.

Holiday season starts when?
19th of December
Abode Number 7
Country Number 5

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

You Will Be Smitten!

I luff shopping.
I luurve shopping.
I looave shopping.

Bit of Woody Allen for you there.

Secret guilty pleasure? Supermarket shopping. I suppose it dates back to the countless food-shopping trips embarked upon with Papa Pete. With his blue, alphabetized coupon folder - the man passed on all there was to know about the art of nabbing a grocery steal. All good bargains start at the supermarket. Does this scenario seem familiar?

Question: 'Why did you buy so much of this?'

Response: 'Because it was on special!'

Excesses bottles of laundry detergent and copious amounts of toilet paper later, the H-clan is anything but understocked. My (self-professed) 'Frugal Father' has taught me well. How else would I know the multitude of foodie creations that can be produced from a single $1.99 can of tuna? 
Supermarket shopping spurs moments of nostalgia for me. I tell you what though, with all the technological hoopla that is smacking us in the face at the moment, a pleasurable journey to the supermarche has become quite the stressful experience. All novelty of 'power to the consumer' completely wares off as soon as there is an 'unrecognized item in the baggage area...' We get tricked into this idea that the self-baggage area is a stress-free, easy shopping station. Oh heeeelllz no it isn't! No matter what country I am in, the lady behind the screen just does not like me and my product swiping, item bagging ways. 

Oh life, why are you so hard on me?

Anywhoo - rather than carrying on with a usual rant, I did have a point for bringing up my luurve for shopping. 

It was a Sydney Saturday morning and Charlotte (my current partner in crime) and I decided to plop on our sneakers and head down the road for a spot of brekkie. Oh what is this? A market across the road? Don't mind if I do!

We stumbled around, admiring the knick-knacks on offer. After purchasing $13 worth of C.D's (Christmas beats for the festive season) we wandered past an eye-catching stall. I should have you know right now that I am a sucker for candles. I can spend hours in a shop making myself dizzy by sticking my nose in all sorts of gloriousness. These candles were a tad on the different side though, a crazy wonderful kind of different. 

Image/Logo from Smitten

Honestly, I have never smelt more heavenly candles in my whole 21 years of life. What makes these candles different from your average scented wax? Not only is each candle presented with a signature decoration to reflect it's scent, but the range of scents is just...delectable! My favorite? Blueberry Muffin! I could have strapped that thing to my nose and been a happy-camper all day. There is a scent to suit every person, home, personality and taste! AHmazing, I am telling you!
Check out their website and you will not, NOT be sorry!

Reminisce with a 'Home Sweet Home' or satisfy your sweet cravings with a 'Lemon Drop Cookie'. 
'Sweet Dreams' anyone?

Candles for Chrissy it is then! 

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Miss Victoria.

The boob.
The tug.
The pouch.
The sack. 

Fu*k being a woman is hard. 

You probably have no idea what I am going on about right now but once you have finished reading this little beaut' you will know exactly what is going on. 

I would consider myself an observer. Some of the greatest people in my life are fellow observers. One of my guilty pleasures is people-watching. Who doesn't love a spot of people-watching? Observations are an inevitable side effect of such an activity. I am fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to people-watch in a fair few countries around the world. Fashion bounces up and down, we know this. However, what else bounces up and down? Trends and styles. And along with that, body types. I am not the first person to openly admit that the media distort our perceptions of real women

In fact, right at this very moment, a magazine with the Victoria's Secret models 'Shape-Up Secrets' lies next to me. Here is what I have learnt:

1. Only eat vegetables, fruits, seed and alkalized water.
Alkalised water? What on earth is alkalized water?
I'll stick to my tap thanks. 

2. For one month, only consume a 'green mash' of celery, cucumber, spinach and green apple.
Um, no. Since when has consuming food that looks regurgitated been delightful?

3. Spend all day skipping, boxing and running.
I would rather not. 

Right, so now we have decided that I lack all determination to become a Victoria's Secret model. I have also come to the conclusion that your life would be one run on the treadmill if you dedicated every day to maintaining such a figure. Life happens and I sure ain't going to be consuming regurgitated food with a skipping rope glued to my hand all day, every day.  


The boob.
The tug.
The pouch.
The sack.

Through my stellar observational skills, I have come to the conclusion that this is the inevitable development of the womanly figure. Preventable? Sure! Not with stupid diets and exercise regimes but with the simple skill of dressing to your shape (or Spanx). I personally feel that one of the big fashion problems that we face is woman who have no idea what looks good on them, so they dress to what Miss Victoria Secret wears - hence the development of all 4-key areas of the female body. We are trapped in a state of denial most of the time - and I am not afraid to admit it. What has created this? Online shopping. 
We choose clothing that looks stunning on Miss Victoria and boom, 5-10 working days later you are squeezing it over your bo0tay and curVes. 

Here's a little diagram to help you visualize what I am blabbering on about:

Basically, gravity f*cks us all. The moment we start realizing it, the moment the media accept it - we will all be better off. 
Once it becomes apparent that the bodycon dress does not suit every body shape, the prettier the world will become. 

Sunday, 18 November 2012


Friday evening marked the first of many nights out for Christine and Charlotte in Sydney.
The $7.99 pink fizz flowed, mojito's were shared and the big question of 'red or white?' was asked. 

Yes it was a marvelous night - which ended at home with two new friends...

ANZAC biscuits and Caramel-Macademia ice-cream. 

Oh life, why do you make things so difficult for me?

On paper, we look like an interesting pair. Blonde, foreign and always ready for a nice cocktail. The world should be ready to greet us with open arms. But instead, whilst sipping on our last drink we are asked the question, 

'Excuse me, do you think my friend is attractive?'

No kind sir, we do not think your 60-year old friend is attractive.

As much as we like the balding and over-weight set, were we too optimistic to think that a conversation with some Australian surfers is too far beyond the horizon? I am alway up for a ride in the waves. I went to surfing camp back in the day. I can 'hang-ten' and know how to rock a wetsuit. I couldn't explain my retirement fund plan (nor have I given it the slightest thought) and I don't think I would enjoy a dry-whisky. Why throw this at me? I am going to put it down to being in the wrong place, at the wrong time. When life gives you lemons, you have to make lemonade. Obviously this area of town is the not the hot-spot for single 20-somthings. Well, the kind of 20-somethings that we are anyway. But it does make a damn fine cocktail and that, my friends, is just as a lucky little find as bumping into future Mr-Right-Now in your local super-marche!

It brings me to the question of 'expectations'. How often have you trailed the shops with the perfect outfit in mind, but it's not to be found. Anywhere. So you settle on something that will do the trick. Oh goodness, believe me, I do understand that this is a horrible way to think about men. Am I wrong to assume that certain words are used to describe women who think about men in this way? I am not to be too disheartened. does not need my membership. I am 21 for Pete's sake! In the prime of life! So what if the first swing of the game was a foul ball? 

Who cuuuures.

Ice-cream was pretty damn good.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Coconuts Anyone?

When I stepped off the plane last week and into the arms of Mumma J, it is safe to say that I was a tad frazzled. Having finished exams the day before, spending the night in an near-empty Christchurch bar with a group of 'Oh I am 20-something studying Engineering..'/ 'I actually just graduated from high-school this evening and this is me celebrating my next step into manhood', and finally packing up my flat whilst attempting to distribute my belongings all over the show - I just wanted a bit of home comfort.

First stop, supermarket.

Whoa buddy, the choices! For those of you who don't know much about Sydney let me tell you that the city as a whole is very health conscious. Everything is dairy, wheat, gluten, It is hard not to get swept up in the frenzy that is healthy living. This side of the world have got it down. Sneakers are the Louboutin to some of these people. I think it is fantastic, I really do. This is not to say that I am going to give up my love of ice-cream but enough for me to explore my options. Wake up and smell the chia seeds my friends!

I recently discovered these AHmazing Life Bars by 'Emma&Tom's Look After Yourself' health line. 
Packed with raw fruits and seeds and available in a range of flavours - YUM.

I do have a question though. How far does one go before admitting that being healthy, at times, is actually just...yuck?

Let me walk you through what happened to me.

Okay, so coconuts. Never been a cray-cray fan of them. Might have owned a coconut-shimmer scented oil back in the day but I don't go nuts for coconuts. Regardless, I have heard rumors that coconut water is the latest thaang to be drinking. It contains it all - metabolism boosting, antioxidant, heart-strengthening, liver detoxifying, miracle juice...all the words which are plastered over advertisements to make us assume that drinking this stuff will make us live until the end of time. So, there I was, in the fruit and vegetable store with my new sneakers on (doing as the Sydney-siders do) and I felt parched. Low and behold - there it was! Coconut water. Yeah buddy, look at me go - I walk over to the counter, I put down my coinage and yes, I know the store clerk is impressed with the healthy 'tude I am sporting right now. I bounce out of that store, coconut water in hand, ready to be swept away on a detoxifying journey.
Small issue kids...
It tastes like crap.
I tried to like it. I really, really tried! I wanted to like it but it just was...gross.
Oh man. I am an embarrassment to coconut water drinkers everywhere.  Maybe I can jump on the Aloe Vera Juice bandwagon? Or maybe I should just stick with the plain, old H2O.

Life, why do you make things so hard for me?

I want to say that the moral of this story is that life is too short to be consuming things we don't enjoy. A tad ironic considering the thing I don't like is what, presumably, will make me live longer? In this case, I shall look at it the same way I looked at parTAYing before my final exam.
If I died today (morbid, yes I know) and someone said 'Oh how sad, I hope she enjoyed her final days' I think that the person responding to such a comment should be able to say 'Yes, she dined on all that is fabulous and partied till the sun came up' instead of 'No, she smelled of coconuts and nobody ever saw her because she was in the library all day, every day...smelling of coconuts.' 

In conclusion, I shall embark on my journey of healthy living however I have decided that is all about balance. From this point forward, I shall look at it as a sort of 'eat your peas then you can go play' scenario.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Why Hello!

Woah buddy, it has been a while!
What has happened? Life.
You know how you love to read books but it just so happens that the only time you can manage to turn a page is when absolutly nothing is happening in your life? Yup, here comes that time! Actually, that's a bit of a lie. A little bit more than nothing is happening in my life right now. I am currently placed in Sydney, Australia for the next three months to complete an un-paid internship which hopefully will give me a glimpse into a potential profession which could be waiting for me upon graduating University next year. 

Not too shabby huh?

In the last few months I have managed to move back to Christchurch, New Zealand and complete the second year of my Bachelor of Arts degree. It's been a bit of a whirl-wind and at this very moment, I am doing what everyone else is doing and repeating the phrases...

'Gosh, this year has gone fast!'

'Christmas decorations already?!'

We all say it every single year but I swear time does seem to fly as the years go on. Must be the old age - hah! Any-who, since July I ran for the University Student Council and despite taking the 'Legally Blonde' approach and plastering the school in bright pink 'VOTE FOR CHRISTINE' posters - I fell short of 20-something votes. Life! I also managed to find myself a part-time job, get myself a car, pour coffee all over my laptop mid-essay hand-in week, replace 'said' laptop and score myself a super cool internship in Sydney - which is why I am here now!

For those of you who didn't know, I used to live in Sydney back in the day. When I left for New Zealand in 2005, it is safe to say that I was a tad different. Super cool, but different. Self-dyed 'mahogany' colored hair? Oh yes. Carrot-like fake tanning skills? Yup. A killer sense of style with matching dark eye-liner and flat-peak hat to 'cap' it all off? Uh huh. 

But hey kids, we are back. In the land of long blonde hair and bronzed glows – I am going to be welcomed with open arms. Yes, that's right. J-Biebz or we shall we say 'Justine' Bieber hair cut? Sure. Skin that resembles Edward Cullen who recently was vomited on by the sun? Count on that.  Hello a summer of Instagram photos! We are going to need all the help we can get.

I now sit in a two-bedroom, North Sydney apartment, a-waiting the arrival of my stunning BFFL from England who will join me for the summer. Living the dream? Oh yeah - the dream of budgeting and attempting to score free drinks! It's going to be amazing. I just need to get my ass into gear and sort out how I am going to afford the finer things of life over the next three months. Part-time SUPER FUN job, here I come!!