Jun
29

Waiting for lens

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I’m doing it. I bought the wool, I bought new needles, I printed the pattern, I’m glued to How-To videos, I’m knitting my baby a cardigan. I can’t believe I just made it public because to be honest I probably won’t finish it. No! That’s the old me talking. I will finish it. And I’ll show you the end result, no matter how embarrassing it turns out to be. This is what it’s meant to look like. We’ll see.

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Check out this video about language development in babies (below). Mum showed it to me on the weekend. We’re pretty good with speaking to Mika: Ivan only speaks Spanish to her (he finds this hard when there’s company though) and I only speak to her in English. After watching this video, I want to find some Japanese & French nannies for her too!

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I’ve been feeling so blah this week. However today the sun is pretty extreme and the air is pretty crisp so I can’t wait to take Mika for a big walk and perhaps a picnic on the grass.

Mika’s new favourite song (cause I said so) is ‘She’ll be coming round the mountain’, played on the Ukulele. She sits in her chair and I dance around her singing and playing and she just loves it. It’s so easy, if you have a Ukulele try it out. So much fun.

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My brother introduced us to Settlers of Catan (the board game) last week and we’ve been playing it most evenings now (he left the game at our place until tomorrow!). Have you played it? It’s like Age of Empires crossed with Risk and Monopoly. It’s addictive and wonderful.

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Bring on my new lens! I’m actually just counting down the days and nothing else really matters too much right now.

I can’t WAIT.

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Jun
27

my birthday

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A year ago yesterday, I was in Portland, Oregon with Ivan and my dear friend Tess.

We were couch surfing in a large abandoned looking mansion and I awoke on my birthday in a large tent on the top floor. Ivan gave me a present that he had sneakily planned together with my friend Adele. (Tickets to see Kings of Leon play at the Gorge in Washington).

I went for my birthday run through Portland. I remember it so clearly. I ran across the Steel Bridge and along the waterfront. It was beautifully sunny but not too hot yet. I wasn’t hungover because Ivan and I were already suspecting that a little one was growing inside me. I got back to the mansion hot and sweaty. I showered in the ‘shower’ and then the three of us spent the day perusing Portland. We ate a leisurely brunch. We strolled through the market. We ate Tom & Jerry ice cream. We played video games indoors. We visited the famous book shop. We drank coffee. It was wonderful. And I spent the whole day feeling a teeny bit more awesome than I usually would.

On every single birthday that I have ever had, I remember feeling a bit more awesome than usual. I never understood people who didn’t like their birthdays as I just adored that special feeling that I got. Even if not much was happening, I would go about my day with a strange sense of entitlement to feeling important.

But yesterday I awoke like any other day. Well, no that’s a lie. I awoke on the couch. But as Ivan and Mika showered me with kisses, it wasn’t until Ivan said ‘happy birthday’ that I remembered what was going on. We did my birthday jog and I showered and we met friends for brunch and still, I didn’t feel that feeling.

My friends had all pitched in to buy me the camera lens I’ve been dreaming of owning. Another couple of my friends paid for my brunch. Ivan changed Mika’s diapers all day. It was wonderful. And still I didn’t feel overly special.

My mum cooked a delicious requested meal for dinner and 6 of us dined and chatted and ate delicious healthy carrot cake for dessert. And still, wasn’t feeling it.

And last night at 11pm Ivan said, ‘only 1 more hour to go!’ and I shrugged and closed my eyes and prayed that sleep would come easily.

I wonder if it will always be like this now? I’m sure Mika’s birthdays are going to be much more exciting and meaningful to me than my own. In fact, on my birthday I found myself thinking more of my Mum & Dad than of myself and how significant it must be for them. But perhaps (and hopefully) it will pass. Maybe next birthday I’ll get that awesome feeling back.

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Jun
26

Mixed Tape Monday #5 – Courtney

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Last week I forgot to post a mixed tape. Mika has started this playgroup thing called ‘SPACE’ which is every Monday from 10 – 12:30 and so Monday is always pretty crazy now. But that’s cool, I like a challenge.

Courtney from Tresor De Jour graces us with her presence today. I’m trying out Grooveshark for a change (instead of YouTube) as I saw her link to it on her blog one week and was mega amazed at how awesome it is.

So if the little widget below doesn’t work, then you can click here to hear her playlist.

Hmm I have a looong list…but i’ll try narrow it down.

In no particular order…and please note my top 16 varies depending on my mood. Ask me tomorrow and I would have probably given you a totally different answer…

1. Adele – Rolling in the deep
Why? Because for a British white chick, she has the most soulful voice ever and she actually makes me want to get singing lessons.

2. Bachelors of Science – Song for Lovers
Why? Because its upbeat yet chill at the same time, great house cleaning music/ chilling by the pool sounds

3. Lykke Li – Little Bit
Why? It’s just so weird, I like odd/unusual songs…The lyrics are unexpected too…. I used to sing the chorus to Brad :)

4. The Paper Kites – Bloom
Why? This song I could listen to over and over – I just love it. It’s one of those ones that will be on my wedding soundtrack oneday – cute music video too.

5. Kid Cudi – Up, Up and Away
Why? One day we were driving and this song came on and Brad knew EVERY WORD! It was hilerious and he sounded awesome, so I have been listening to the song on repeat so when it comes on again I can surprise him and sing along and know all the words too. It reminds me of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air song – it’s just cool to know the lyrics to it

6. Fuel – Hemmorage
Why? When Brad and I started dating, we used to Skype til 3am in the morning, and this is the song he would sing to me. Swooon!

7. 30 Seconds to Mars – From yesterday
Why? Another epic song – they were aaamazing live, their stage presence alone was enough to make me a life long fan.

8. Dave Matthews Band – Crash into Me
Why? Again, happy memories – this song reminds me of Brad and gives me butterflies when I hear it

9. Chris Brown – Look At Me Now ft. Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes
Why? I don’t support Chris Brown at all, but this song is soo arrogant, in fact it sucks just listening to it, you gotta watch the video with it – I have major respect for Busta for being able to rap like that. I heard this the day I first got paid, so maybe this is why I like it… “Look at me now, I’m makin paapperrr” Strange choice I know, but its really appropriate when I get in my badass gangsta moods (yes, I have those..)

10. Brooke Fraser – The Theif
Why? Because it’s Brooke Fraser and this song is so sweet

11. The Cinematic Orchestra – To Build a Home
Why? Reminds me of Bloom, another I could listen to over and over – feel good, goosebump song you listen to when your in one of “those” moods (Am I the only one that feels like that..or is it a girl thing?)

12. Citizen Cope – If there’s love
Why? Good lyrics, wicked beat

13. Ray LaMontagne – You are the Best thing
Why? I like most of Rays songs, it’s hard to choose one. However this is another Brad & Court Song….

14. Bachelors Of Science – The Sunday Sessions – Vol 2 Kitchen Sink
Why? We used to listen to this every Sunday, it’s a nice long mix of a variety of songs. First songs a tad emo though..

15. Kings of Leon – Use Somebody
Why? This song is just awesome, it was especially good live

16. Foo Fighters – Razor
Why? It’s probably my fav Foos song and is too good to leave off the list :)

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Jun
22

3 months old

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Mika is 3 months old today.

I’ve stopped counting the weeks (it gets confusing) and instead we will just go by the date she was born (the 23rd). Which makes today her 3 month milestone. She weighs 5.26 kilos and she is 60cm long.

Is it weird to write letters to your baby? Maybe. But it’s fun to do anyway.

Dear Mika,

The past 3 months have gone by so quickly and yet felt like a lifetime. How does that work? I’m not sure. But the days of absolutely no sleep feel like a distant memory. You are now sleeping between 5 and 9 hours at night – bliss.

Right now you are a very content little baby. You love to smile. You love to talk! You have just discovered your voice and you talk at every opportunity. We have no idea what you are saying (obviously), but you say it with such conviction that we have no choice but to listen and believe you.

You are so strong. You love to be on your tummy and you especially love to be naked. I can hold you on my hip now!

You have started to understand that you have toys. It’s so sweet, the way you reach out so slowly to grasp the little bear that hangs from your bouncy chair.

You love your grandpa and I swear that you save the biggest smiles for him.

Bath time is a favourite for you. It’s your time with your papá and I can always hear the two of you having so much fun. You love to kick and you are quickly outgrowing your little bathtub. (Your papá calls you Kicky)

You entered this world so quickly, kicking and screaming to announce your arrival. You have settled into this world as an alert, interested, social, sweet and active little baby girl. You are our sunshine every day and we cannot imagine a world without you.

Happy 3 months of existence little Mika,

Love your mamá and papá.

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Jun
21

Tighten Up Tuesday – Stacey Smith

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So I have this friend called Stacey Smith who is pretty freaking incredible. (And gorgeous).

We went to school together and she is insanely inspiring. The kinda ‘I can do anything’ and ‘i look awesome doing it’ girl that makes me love to say ‘i know her’.

She recently decided to give the stand up paddle boarding thing a go. You know, that sport that you see people doing out on the water where they look like they are surfing but without the waves? Yeah I said ‘sport’ because they actually race these things! It’s crazy. And as soon as summer hits, I’m giving it a go. It looks like the kinda gruelling ‘ow my arms hurt but nothing with make this pain go away’ sort of sport that gets me excited. I know it’s weird. But that’s why I love Stacey, I get that adrenaline kick and the ‘it hurts but it’s so good’ kinda thing.

So she spends her days doing what she loves – helping people with their fitness. She’s a personal trainer extraordinaire. And she is casually competing for the NATIONAL title in stand up paddle boarding (yeah, that’s right. she’s a ‘i’ll give it a go today’ to a ‘i’ll compete for a national title tomorrow’ kinda girl!)

She has just left for an 8 week adventure in Europe and is returning in August with some renewed inspiration and energy. Before she left, she was awesome enough to write a little inspiration for my Tighten Up Tuesdays. All the best in Europe Stace – we can’t wait to have you back!!

How do you find the motivation to keep so active even when it’s so cold?

Being active makes you warm-so why not! Getting fresh cold air into your lungs is such a great feeling and when you snuggle into bed at night after an active winters day-you feel so much better about yourself. I like to get on the water on my paddle board when the sun is out but the temperature is low, I only need togs and a rashy and within a few minutes of charging out to sea I’m sweaty and warm!

What do you eat for breakfast?

Porridge (lots!) made with water, topped with two golden kiwifruit and vanilla protein powder shaken with trim milk-mmmmmmm healthy, warm, tasty, filling, goodness.

What are three things you do to feel wonderful about yourself?

  1. Get moving-I always feel so much better when I keep up a good training/eat pattern. Low alcohol and fatty food intake plus keeping my body on the move (even just a few good powers walks a week) can do wonders for my mental health!
  2. Get others moving-while this is my ‘job’ it is more my passion, and I take so much pleasure in seeing my clients improve and getting texts from them at all random hours telling me what they have achieved that day, a huge warm fuzzy for me!
  3. Treat myself-I will never deny myself of treats when I want them. As long as I am keeping active and I know they are treats and not part of regular meals, when I want something naughty (generally sweet things in my case), I will indulge and enjoy without guilt.

Do you have any ideas or advice for people wanting to lose 3-5 kilos?

HEAPS! There’s so many things you can do to shed the few annoying extra kilos, but my top tips would be

  • use variety when exercising (include cardio AND resistance training)
  • sip water non-stop throughout the day
  • plan your meals so you don’t stray
  • check your portions sizes

What are some ideas for keeping exercise interesting through the winter?

Train with a friend, hit the pools and the spa after, try something new like paddle boarding on a crisp sunny morning, don’t use rain as an excuse-hire a cheesy at home exercise dvd and rock it with a friend, set up a circuit for some home training-google the exercises…easy!

What are your personal fitness/sport goals?

To win the Takapuna Beach series for Stand up Paddle Boarding (SUP) this Summer, to win the NZ SUP Nationals next year, to do another marathon and beat my time, to complete my first triathlon, to complete a half ironman….I could go on forever-there’s so much I want to do!

Favourite mantra/inspiration?

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Ok guys, if that’s not enough to get you off your butt and into the fresh crisp winter air, then I dunno what is. I just discovered that my ‘i’d rather die than run’ friend has actually become my ‘i wouldn’t say running is my favourite thing to do but i don’t actually mind doing it and i’d maybe even go so far as to say i kinda enjoy it’ friend. And this news has totally made my day.

Now Mika and I are off to power walk in this glorious cold sunshine.

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