Lately I’ve been…

There’s a definite chill in the air in Auckland at the moment. You can almost feel the days physically getting shorter. I thought it would be nice to keep a little update of things that I’m…. at the moment. I’ll probably update it every so often. Maybe once or twice a month.


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I’m eating… A lot of home made food. Ben and I have working hard at saving money, and since we’ve been living together (coming up to a year, shortly!) we’ve always made a weekly list of meals, and made a shopping list from that. Then we head to the shops on our weekly grocery dash, and it honestly saves us a ton of money. My mantra for grocery shopping is “She who shops with no list, spends too much money (and buys unnecessary crap)”. Pretty sure it’s a Chinese proverb.

I’m drinking… Rekorderlig cider. A LOT. I’m very into the Raspberry and lemon flavour, as well as the passionfruit flavour.

I’m thinking about… Cutting my hair. Can’t even elaborate on that because I’m too afraid.

I’m exploring… My new neighborhood, Westmere. It’s kind of awesome living so near to the city now! I’m looking forward to going out on a nice long run in the next few days. There is something so lovely about running in a new neighborhood – everything is unexpected and distracts you from huffing and puffing.

I’m dreaming of… Summer. Already! And Autumn has only just begun. I’m hopeless in cold weather.

I’m listening to… The Lively Show as . much . as . possible . Follow the link, you’ll love it.

I’m looking forward to… Getting my final pieces of (large) furniture for my lovely new home – I still need a coffee table, side tables, outdoor furniture and a bed/sleeper couch for the spare room. Ben thinks a TV is important too. I’m scouring Trade Me like MAD for bargains.

I’m working on… My own brand, as well as a CV for my amazingly talented friend Pelin.

I’m lusting after… Every item of clothing at Supré. Luckily there’s a ba-jillion stores near to me.

I’m trying to… Stay positive – there’s a fine line between home-based freelancer and unemployed all day PJ-wearing, binge series watcher.

I’m trying not to… Allow failure to get me down. The quote below rings true to me right now.

I’m enjoying… Living with Ben on our own for a change – it’s the first time we haven’t had flat mates/family living with us. And we’re loving it.

I’m missing… My mom, dad, dog and extended family. Oh my gossssssh I miss them so damn much.

I’m grateful for… Ben (oh so soppy, I know. Sue me!). He really has been an absolute rock for the last year of me quitting my job and moving to London with no working visa on a whim (oh how long ago that feels now!).


image via Hello Brio Studio (And it can be downloaded as a free Wallpaper!

Florentinian at Heart


Every day I dream of Florence. I dream about walking down ancient cobbled stone streets in my Birkenstock sandals. I dream of lazily sampling every flavour of gelato, while looking across the Arno. I dream of shopping up a storm, admiring art, discovering new delights and even the smell of Italian cigarette smoke. I dream of the strong aroma of coffee that meets your nose around every corner, and the thrill of hearing gorgeous Italian words every minute.

I dream of going out for late night dinners, and passing out, exhausted, into bed. Only to wake up and do it all again the next day.

Until we meet again Firenze.style10fun

Top – Forever New (old)  |  sandals – Birkenstock (or Cape Town – Andhee Comfort Shoes)  |  Skirt – Mr Price (old)

You can see my previous posts about my outfits in Florence, as well as the best meal I’ve ever eaten in Florence by following the links.

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Fuel Your Creative Fire


The more I think it about this, the more it makes sense to me.

You never ever ever feel inspired, or motivated, or excited, or creative, when you’re doing nothing. The more creative you are, the more creative you’ll become, because creativity is not something that can be used up. As you work, you inspire yourself, you over come challenges, you cause your brain to burn creative fuel, but it’s not like wood. It’s like a bottomless tank of gasoline – the more you add, the brighter the fire becomes.

So immerse yourself – dive headfirst into your creative work, and you’ll find that you no longer need to hold your breath – you’re breathing just fine under water. And you’re loving it.

Herby Happiness Flower Arrangement


My parents-in-law is busy selling their house. So every weekend at the moment we’re having an open home which means that every Sunday morning we’re sprucing up, dusting down, shaking out and preparing for visitors. On the first weekend, I decided I wanted something beautiful to pop in the vase on my desk. With no time to head to the shops to buy flowers, I ventured into my mother-in-law’s garden (which is basically just a floral haven – butterflies flitting from bud to flower, bees buzzing about, birds tweeting, and lots of bright colours). I wanted something that was going to smell as gorgeous as it looked. There’s a large assortment of herbs, so I ended up cutting a couple of stalks, bunching them together and popping them into the glass jar I had available. It looked incredible, and smelt so delicious!


All you need is access to (yours or your neighbor’s or someone who’s not home’s):
• Mint
• Rosemary
• Fennel bush

Aside from the shrubbery, you’ll need:
• Scissors
• Glass jar with water

Pop (or if you’re taking from someone else’s garden, sneak) outside and cut each of the herbs and flowers shown in the image below. Arrange them in your jar, and see which need to be trimmed down and shortened. It’s important to create texture, through the different kinds of leaves used, but also size – you don’t want everything the same length, but rather varying heights that create an aesthetically pleasing arrangement.

Once your cuttings and flowers are at the correct lengths, take them all out and begin arranging them. Place the longer, taller sprigs of rosemary towards the back. Your fennel should go in next, as it acts as a filler and is quite soft, so placing it in later could bend and damage the cuttings. Position the fennel flowers in a way that allows them to be seen from all angles. The mint can go in last, as it can be curved, or may need the other flowers to hold it up.

I find that this will generally live for about a week – a week and a half. You’ll find that the Rosemary will live the longest, but I wouldn’t suggest throwing  the remnants in with your Sunday roast – cut some new herbs for that!

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Brand yourself, baby!


As a designer, I’ve always learnt to sell myself as a brand – a fully formed, stylish brand that a company can buy into. It might not seem as important to you if you’re a lawyer, baker or candy floss maker. However, with the rise in competition in all fields of business, I can’t stress enough the importance of marketing yourself as a brand to potential employers.

Put yourself in the HR department’s shoes – they sift through potentially 200 CVs and applications for 1 particular job, and see the same old dreary, lengthy, Microsoft word documents time and time again. It’s boring. In pops yours, with a spark of colour, a personal little logo and a clean, well designed layout – their mouths will be watering before they’ve even finished reading the first line.

Below is an example of my own personal branding that I use on my CV, Cover Letter and Mini Portfolio that I send out when I apply for jobs. I really believe that the more impeccable and stylish your own personal stationery, the better impression you’ll give potential employers.


I always suggest putting in the time and money to hire someone who actually knows what they’re doing design-wise to create something for you. You can write it off to tax, it will benefit you in the long run and it’s going to potentially help to get you a great job! But hire someone great – not your neighbor’s cousin’s son, who takes art lessons and has access to Microsoft paint. If you’re paying peanuts, you’ll get monkeys after all. You wouldn’t hire a baker to do you accounting. Don’t hire any old person with Photoshop to design the brand that’s going to represent who you are.

If you can’t afford to hire someone, and have to design your CV and branding yourself, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind when doing it yourself:


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Below, I’ve drafted a Cover Letter to explain what you should be talking about in each paragraph. Remember, not more than a page and short sentences. Also, not more than one thought per paragraph. Keep it concise, slightly humorous if your job description allows for it, and very specific to the needs/key description in the job ad. I’d suggest using a point size between 10 – 12 for your body copy – nothing bigger or smaller than that. (And yes, this is my real information – don’t phone me in the middle of the night and make scary voices please! We’re all friends here.)


Hahei Away

I’m sorry. I just had to call the post that because it rhymed and I thought it was sweet. But really, in real life, The Coromandel is no laughing matter. I mean, you can laugh when you’re there, it’s not like the laughing police are out to get you. Okay. I’m getting so sidetracked. Basically, this is Heaven on Earth, and my absolute favourite area in New Zealand that I’ve discovered so far (although I’ve only explored Auckland and a bit of the Coromandel, so I’m not so sure I can be trusted). But if you’re nosey like me, and like to look at other peoples’ holiday photos, or want a little visitors guide to the area, then this will be just your cup of tea.

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Like the look of these images? Then click below to continue reading about, and looking at photos from, our amazing little 3 night getaway to Hahei, in the Coromandel! A haven for those who love sandy toes, hot hot hot weather and a totally chilled out time!

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Tasteful Tuesday: Dream Dinner Destination


As many of you know, I spent an incredible Summer in Europe in 2013. (Can you believe that it’ll be 2 years ago soon!)… You can read about my adventures on my Contiki Tour, or see some of my travel outfits, or learn about a couple of my European Summer packing tips.

One of my most favourite cities that I was lucky enough to explore, was Florence. I had been learning about it since I was old enough to pronounce “Michelangelo”, had been oohing and aaahing over David since forever, and obviously have a very deep love affair with Italian food. Not only does FLorence offer up a plethora of art galleries and buildings – it feels alive with secrets and history. Knowing the exact streets you walk upon were once graced with the feet of those such as Dante Alighieri and Boticelli. The Arno river flows straight through the city, the Duomo sticks up above the rest of the red roofs, every hundred meters is another piazza encircled by over priced restaurants and local gelato makers who shout offers and flavours to you as you pass by, with thick, deep Italian accents. It’s simply marvelous.


It was while spending about 5 days in this magical city in Tuscany that my mother and I decided to treat ourselves one night. We were on a backpackers budget – mostly baguettes, cheese and ham. And possibly a shared pizza or pasta here or there. But we had heard of the famous Florentinian steaks, and decided to go in search of a place to try them out. We meandered lazily through the cobbled streets, passing homes once owned by the famous Medici family, stopping here and there to gaze at the incredible architecture that adorns the city. We came across a tiny, understated entrance with a sign reading, “Little David”. Starving from a day spent wandering galleries and lying under the hot Italian sun in beautiful rose gardens, we popped inside, and ended up having what can only be described as one of the most amazing meals of our lives.


Little David is a restaurant, wine bar and museum, run by an Italian man who is heavily passionate about what he does. You might notice that his website is entirely in Italian, and has absolutely no options to change the words to English! It’s lucky that we stumbled onto it while looking for somewhere to eat in person, and that we didn’t google search first – it may have possibly put us off from going here. We wouldn’t have had the time to ask a local to help us transcribe the words, and would simply have looked for something easier to understand. This is definitely where some international websites fail – really, they should accommodate their holiday making patrons and have the option to turn the site into english (or at least important aspects like menus, directions and contact details). Thank goodness for Little David’s Trip Advisor page!

But rest assured, website aside this is a brilliant place to go and experience some first hand flavoursome Italian food. We ordered a pretty large steak, and finished every single mouthful. The owner was quite surprised that we, two petite ladies, had managed to scoff down so much food. Florentinian steak is served rare as rare can be (which is just my style, but if you’re not into that, I’d suggest changing your order to something else. The Italians will change for no one – and why should they when they do everything so perfectly!). We got a short history lesson, while I sipped away on a glass of soft, velvet chianti, about the restaurant owner’s love of wine. He even gave us free samples to try. An interesting aspect to his wine making skills, is that he has successfully copied the exact recipes that would have been used in ancient Pompeii – vases unearthed still had traces of wine in them, that were analyzed. The owner of Little David then took it upon himself to, using these ingredients that were pinpointed, re-create the exact wines that would have been drunk by those who were covered in volcanic ash. It really is amazing.

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I was reading Dan Brown’s Inferno while I was in Venice, and had just been in Florence, so to be able to think back on every details of his book and know what it looked like in person was just incredible. There is so much of that city that I have yet to go back and discover. The gelato is sweet, the locals helpful, and the food is simply magical.


This was our incredible view every morning from our hostel – sparrows swooped and flew over the Tuscan rooftops, and we looked at mamas hanging out the days washing to dry.RoseView

This view is from a beautiful rose garden that is situated just below the beautiful Piazza di Michelangelo. It has a wondrous view of the city, beautiful gardens to stroll through, shade to rest your weary walked-out legs and most importantly, it’s totally free.David

David’s bum is something that is never given the recognition it deserves. I sneakily took a photo while no one was looking. (But seriously, those calves though!)


Five Friday Faves: Quirky

There are so many things I keep pinning (especially now I’m engaged it’s all overboard wedding pintresting!) so I thought it would be a brilliant idea to pick a theme, and share a couple of my pins with you each week.

This weeks theme is ‘Quirky’… That odd little bit extra that changes an otherwise usual scene to something exciting, and gives it that “za-za-zoo” in Carrie Bradshaw’s words.


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Tasteful Tuesday: Marvelous Mousse in 5 Steps


Marvelous (and super easy) Chocolate Mousse in 5 Simple steps:

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: A couple of hours. Overnight if possible.
Feeds: 6 people

• 1 dark chocolate slab (make sure its DARK, otherwise your mousse will be too sweet)
• 1 tin of evaporated milk (chilled overnight)
• 100 grams of marshmallows
• 250ml Cream (for whipping, and placing on top)
• flake

1 || Melt chocolate and marshmallows in 100ml of evaporated milk over very low heat on your stove.

2 || Allow to cool but not to set.

3 || Whip the rest of the evaporated milk until fluffy.

4 || Fold into chocolate mixture, pour into a bowl (or a couple of little bowls) and allow to set in fridge.

5 || Once your mousse has set and is ready to serve, whip the cream, pop it on top and crumble the flake as garnish.

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