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Planning this year, made me think about ‘My year in Review 2015’

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I’m planning for my 2016 year, yup, I’m a bit late starting, but long Summer Holidays keep my brain at the beach, even when it was back in the Office.


I started writing this post in the few weeks before Christmas, when ‘if I’m honest’ was not quite myself and feeling a bit sh*tty.

I am someone who can normally keep things in perspective and take things as they come and find the good in most things…

But…I had compounding factors of Car break downs, Daughter being on the receiving end of an electric shock & burn (she’s fine now) and just having had the Carpet Cleaner out to rectify the Sum of 5 Teenagers in the house for a Sleepover + Raspberry Lemonade + Beige Carpet = Carpet Cleaner Bill.  Unexpected crazy bills just before the Holidays!  Yay, not.
But I was in the toilet, yes TMI, reflecting on feeling a bit sh*tty (ha!) and reminded myself, to ‘keep it in perspective’ chic.

Telling myself, “these are minor things tunneling my vision and your coming to the end of a year that has been full of the unexpected, hard times, crazy fun times, many wins, but also many fail’s, changes, growth and a bit of chaos thrown in the mix” so just breath.

So I wanted to reflect on that, breath and then I remembered Jane Yee’s (ex Stuff Blogger) post from years back, where she answered a year in review questionnaire…I set to google it and try and answer these questions myself to help keep myself in perspective.

I wrote it not intending to share it initially, just for myself…that’s why it’s so ridiculously long…but thought I would now share it on the blog as it might help you also reflect yourself when you may be experiencing a bit of tunnel vision.

You can use the same format across a month, year or even 5 years.

Full credit to Jane Yee a good 3+ years ago who answered these same questions and inspired me with them and a host of other review questions from around the interwebs:


1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

Went and met people I didn’t know off the internet…eeek!  😉

Not as dodgy as it sounds…

I went and met my first lot of Bloggers “in real life” at #brunchclub and then multiple other events with NZ Bloggers Network and InstameetWgtn. (Check them out if you are keen)

Hey, incase you are wondering, they don’t all live in their parents basements only coming up for air once a month…every blogger I have met is very-very interesting, live such a huge variety of lives, write about some stuff you have never even thought of before, struggle with the same/but different sh*t in our lives like we all do, are supper helpful and supportive peeps.  Yay Bloggers.


2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

No resolutions last year as such, but I did have many goals I formed in February for the year ahead around Family, Personal, Work, Business, Writing etc…

I totally plan to do the same this year, as having these written down makes a big difference to me.

But I think of it more like a planning session for the year, rather than resolutions.

Things I have learnt over many years, is do your planning on a SUNNY day.  It makes me feel so much more inspired, more likely to reach further, more audacious with my goals, ready to conquer the world (or at least remembering to clean out my fridge more often), lifted up and ready to totally pull out of my head all the kick-ass things I want to aim for this year.
If it’s raining and overcast, I just want to snuggle under my blanket on my couch-bed and watch old episodes of Gilmore Girls.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, a gorgeous new wee niece was born who I was fortunate enough to go and have cuddles with in September, even though they live 860km’s away.

Sometimes holding those babies and interacting with them at this young age, makes me stare and wonder at just how much my own 15 year old has grown and how these parents new life feels polls apart to my own.

Then Miss 15 has early morning training which feels similar to being woken in the middle of the night by your newborn.  Cleaning up after newborns from poo, food and spills is not to dissimilar to calling in the Carpet Cleaners from Teenagers and their blimmin raspberry drinks.  The fear is the same no matter what age they are, when your heart feels like it’s being ripped out when they hurt themselves.  So maybe life is not that far apart after all…they are just taller!

Oh, and I also have a friend due on Christmas Eve, yay! (baby has now been born too)

4. Did anyone close to you die?


Except for McDreamy in Grey’s Anatomy, I hadn’t really watched the last couple of seasons, but those few episodes had me bawling my eyes out like seriously noisily!  Shonda Rhimes you know how to reel us in and spit us out and reel us back in again girl.

Oh and seeing Jerry getting shot again watching old episodes of Rookie Blue seriously sucked eggs, I liked him and he was just getting his life together with Nash who were so oddly perfect for each other!

5. What countries did you visit?

100’s in my head and in my dream’s, but just New Zealand Road tripping this year.

Wanganui, Palmerston North, Wanaka, Twizel, Queenstown, Christchurch, & Hanmer Springs.

But I did send my daughter to the other side of the world.  Miss15 had 17 A-Mazing days in New York – yes New York…

Almost incomprehensible that that happened…but she had ‘the’ most amazing experience of a teenage lifetime with a great group of travel peeps and I am so delighted for her we managed to pull it off and get her there!


6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

Even more time to be spontaneous and throw plans out the window when we can.  I do it as often as I can, but we need even more of it.

Go for a swim at 11pm down at Oriental Bay…yes we can.

Go have fun at Teppenyaki instead of cooking what was defrosting in my fridge…yes we can.

Go on a spare of the moment Road Trip, cause we feel like it…yes we can.

I sound like Obama, but hey ‘Yes we can damn it’.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

No significant dates stand out this year…I also dont have a good memory for dates if I’m honest, that’s why I rely heavily on our chocked family calendar on the wall & our synced apple calendars to remember things.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Completing the Deep Canyon Wanaka extreme adventure with Miss15.

Seriously one of the scariest out of your comfort zone adventures we have been on yet!!!

Leaping, Abseiling, Crawling, Sliding, Zip Lining and Jumping down a giant canyon/running river waterfall in the absolutely stunning Wanaka high country.

I felt old…as I was ‘the Mom’ on the trip, where most others were near my teenagers age, but man I felt fricken amazing by the end of the day!

It was a total mix between being scared sh*ttless and running on a hugely high adrenaline rush.  I kept thinking to myself “your daughter is watching, just do it, don’t hesitate, just do it” and I made my way through that epic adventure.

I felt so exhilarated at the end & was delighted we/I had done it.  Can’t recommend it highly enough if you are open to pushing yourself.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I isolated myself a little too much for the first 1/2 of the year in 2015.

On one hand it was really-really good for me to just have time, head space and quiet, but on the other hand, I HAVE to keep it in check and no let it be too unbalanced.

I also had an epic fail with a Nailpolish Explosion in my Apartment…long story saved for another day…but that was epic and the effects of it and the contractors dramas that followed for months after made my 30 second touch up before I headed to a School event an epic costly insurance fail!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I get Bullous Papular Urticaria (don’t google it, trust me!), and it completely knocks me for a six, even though it’s a skin issue, but it messes with my inner body too as you just feel so ill with it and the medication (prednisone) totally whacks me around, a feeling of being 1/2 a second behind yourself all the time and like I’m spacey, but at the same time, totally fizzing and wired!

I’m a bit of a right-off for a few weeks while I manage myself through that.  I usually get it once in every calendar year sometime.  There is no obvious reasons for it and nothing you can do to avoid it, it’s totally random.

Miss 15 also shockingly-so received an electric shock to her hand and an electric fire ball the size of Rockmellon hit her in the chest.  It ‘could’ have been way-way-way worse, but she was very fortunate that it wasn’t and only had low grade pain after the emotional shock of it all.  We totally had the best Nursing staff though attend to a Teenager Girl you could have asked for at the A&E too!  Thanks ladies.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My ipad mini* (affiliate links all marked with *) with a bonus I received and some Christmas money.

Seriously I can do SOOOOO much on my ipad mini and it helps me with so many-many things.  I watch shows on the internet while I’m working  and writing on my computer, I stream things to my TV from it, I blog on it, I write on it, I edit photo’s on it, I take it places where I’ll be waiting for a while.

2nd best thing would be my iphone Tripod stand to take photo’s from when you need it really still and a bluetooth remote clicker.  It’s works brilliantly, way better than I even anticipated and it cost like $12.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Petrol…we drive a million miles everyday as we work, live and School in 3 different cities…ok, maybe not a million, but at least 450-600km’s or so-ish depending on the week.  See, it feels like a million-billionty.

Yeah I know it’s a bit nuts, but it was worked into the budget before we made all of those decisions on where to live and School, but it still sucks to go through a 1 Tank and 1/2 each week…

I’ve often pondered…how much would it actually cost to buy a petrol station?…maybe I should focus on that instead of hoping to one day buy a house.

Actually make that I want to buy a Petrol Station…come…Tank Juice Bar…come Dry Cleaners…come Supermarket Click and Collect station…all in one :-)

I could buy this one in Waipukurau for $230,000 :-)

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Hanging out with the people I love the most at different times of the year.

And…I was really-really excited about the surprise “Room Reveal” I did for Miss15 on her return home from New York.

A complete make-over (on a low budget) of all of the types of things she had been suggesting for the last year, turning it from a fragmented, bitsie tween room that wasn’t that appealing, to a clean, cute, chic Teenagers room she was more than happy to hang out in with her friends.

Everyone kept on asking ‘what are you going to do with all that free time while Miss15 was away in New York for 17 days’…reality…no free time…I worked every single waking moment on the the make-over, even only sleeping for 2 hours before she arrived home that last morning.

I felt like I was in my own version of The Block, not sleeping and Mark Richardson was going to call ‘Tools down at any moment’ and make me build a plank to fall off!

Totally worth it though.


14. What song will always remind you of 2015?

Shake it off* by Taylor Swift and See you Again* by Whiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth.  See you Again was played nearly every morning as I was waking/snoozing on More Fm, so it became a bit like my Wake Up Anthem.

But then it was overtaken by this other song* that annoys the heck out of me as it has the high pitched regular shriek in it throughout the song that made me think it was the Fire Alarm and I leapt up to investigate the first morning I heard it on the Radio Alarm Clock!

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) Happier or sadder?  =  Happier.
b) Thinner or fatter?  =  Kinda the same.
c) Richer or poorer? =  Up until last month, a bit Richer, but with these new bills, not so much.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Running, I have such a love hate relationship with it.

I had a really good bought a few months back when I did some early morning running before work, but then nothing much since.

Also would like to have had more relaxed, Hot chicken, salad and Roast Potato dinners with our friends, easy chill food, but with great company.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Supermarket shopping!

Feel like I’m there everyday!

But near the end of the year I got wise & started using Click & Collect for my staples weekly shop…its brilliant :-)

18. How will you be spending Christmas?

Will be in the South Island with Family and Friends and Miss15 will be joining me for our month long hiatus in the South after she has celebrated Christmas with her Dad and his family.  (Have now had our month long Summer Sizzler in the South and it was epic-ly awesome and way too hard to come home from).

I did try hard to try and convince my boss’s to let me have my office here in 2016, telling them it had great ventilation and wonderful 3G.


19. Did you fall in love in 2015?

Does in my head count?  😉

Or, on paper?

Or, on Lightbox?  Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) on Suits, I seriously have a crush on you and you seriously annoy me all in one scene.  But you are seriously sexy.

So Nah!

I did though meet someone I really-really-really like alot in ‘real life-life’…

Goodness, did I just say that out-loud on the internet!  No, delete it, because then it makes it real, no put it out there…ok, I’ll leave it in, be brave.

But that’s as far as it will probably ever go as I don’t think he will even really remember that I exist.

I did just cut, paste and delete out the next 19 paragraphs I just wrote on this ‘like-fest’ into a draft on the side…as I am a scardey cat and just not quite ready to say out loud on paper/page yet…

But ok, I copied a few wee snippets back from it…

…”The instant you turned, looked me in the eyes and smiled so deeply when you were introduced was one of the most surreal unexpected experiences of my life…

…Have you had someone look into your eyes and hold your gaze as they talk and it doesn’t feel awkward or weird, it just feels fricken amazing (even though I was having to force my brain/mouth to speak)?…

…I had to make myself look away sometimes, because it was so intense as we talked…

…I will probably never see him again…

…I’m telling myself, he is most probably married…

…Or has like 12 kids…

…Or doesn’t like Gilmore Girls re-runs…

…And wants a partner who has more than just ‘Condiments, bottles of stuff and shriveled vegetables in her fridge'”…

20. What was your favourite TV programme?

I found so many new/old shows this year, as I like to have those playing while I work away in the evening.

  • Rookie Blue (All the seasons from day 1!)…
  • The Bachelor NZ
  • The Bachelorette (Kaitlyn)
  • UnREAL…yup hate to say it, but that fake-reality Bachelor one, it’s terribly-awesome…
  • Parks and Rec (it took me a while to get into it, but oh-my-gosh I’m was so-so sad to have got to the very last episode just last night…I kinda wish I had all of those exact characters in my life for all different reasons.
  • Gilmore Girls (All the seasons, except have the 6th one to go)
  • Lipstick Jungle
  • Suits…love…love…love it…but gosh Gabriel you talk in such a yelly-voice all the time and are always threatening to punch someones lights out, enough already…threaten to teach them a lesson by making them make 5000 sticks of Candy floss instead and use your inside voice (you’re much-much sexier then).
    Louis Litt, I love/loathe you every episode (I think TV programmes needs to be a whole post on it’s own), but you totally help make Suits so awesome.
    Donna, what can I say, I ‘am’ Donna in my head all day long in my job and I’m crushing on all your glorious outfits.
  • Grand Design NZ this is a program that made a really good transition from the original UK one which I also love. I loved seeing all the crazy ideas and passions and dreams on NZ’ers building and the thinking way outside the square (it resonates with my upbringing of building unique houses in unique places).
    I think also Chris Moller had big shoes to fill from the UK’s Kevin McLeod, but he did well, not trying to be the same as Kevin, but likeable, easy to listen to and asked the questions I wanted to hear.

21. What was the best book you read?

I’ve got a few on the go that I am really enjoying, lots of Biographies type ones like David Jason, Beer Grylls, Kerry McIvor (nee Woodham), Nigel Latta the Teenagers Guide…but have to be completely honest…I haven’t finished any of them yet and keep jumping between them.

22. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Rediscovering John Farnahm…so good played at the very top of your Volume control so all the neighbours and their telephone callers can hear it.  I also through constructive parenting ‘made’ my daughter start to appreciate a little bit of Farnahm now too.

🎶 your the voice* try and understand it, make a noise a make it real oh oh yeoh weoh wha oh oh yeohoh weoh weoh….🎶

23. What did you want and get?

I wanted and did transfer my Blog to a new host, found a fantastic backup manager duplicator, bought myself the theme I really wanted and am quietly working away in the background of a redesign on a development sub domain.

It’s not ready yet, but working on it.  Yup, your still seeing the old one at the Mo.

I really wanted that, got it & doing it.

24. What did you want and not get?

New carpet, it’s really really old, really really really marked, oxidised and thin as paper directly onto concrete.

We knew this going into our apartment, but I thought/hoped it was going to happen this year.  My lovely landlord has plans for it, but it hasn’t quite happened yet.

Oh…& a macbook pro to replace my 9 year old old very faithful but failing laptop.

25. What was your favourite film of this year?

Hmmmm…I actually think it may have been Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…is that allowed?…seems I’m meant to be ‘adulting’…oh well…I’m owning it, I loved it.
Miss15 won free tickets, so we got indulged with a premier screening with lots of lovely treats too.  Action, loads of humour and a love story.

26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Kindof embarrassing, but I can’t for the life of me remember.

It was a Sunday, oh yes that’s right, Miss15 had a big long Rehearsal that day for Stage Challenge, picked her up after, had a super quick maybe 35 min dinner out together then dropped her off to her Dad’s as she had family down she hadn’t seen in quite a while for just that night that was special for them.

You might think, oh well that sucks on your Birthday…but actually it didn’t.

You can read about why it didn’t suck on my article Single parents navigating special calendar dates just like Birthday’s over on Kiwi Families.

27. What kept you sane?

God, Prayers, Friends that get you (me), the most comfortable Bed in the world, my ipad mini, having crazy-ass fun in amongst all the hard stuff so it makes up for the hard stuff.

Being spontaneous whenever we can.  Breaking out into song at completely inappropriate times, but what someone said called for it.  Acting the fool and larking about when there was nothing much more you could do in a situation.

Taking a walk, looking around at the splendor & saying ‘this’…this is why I’m out here ‘this’!

Taking the quiet, when I needed quiet.


28. What political issue stirred you the most?

I know it’s not very PC to say this, but I’m not politically stirred.

At least I did get to vote this last time though in the picturess town of Wanaka as I there for a 40th, but that was technically in 2014.

Being there though stirred me on to vote!

29. Who did you miss?

I miss ‘THAT’ person who is yours.

I don’t mean who I had.  That has now passed a long-long time ago

I miss having that/a person who is your laughing mate, your cuddlebuddy, your sounding board, your person to share in the delights with, your person to share in the setbacks with, your person whom you look to across a crowded room and you can pick up in an instant from their smile, their eyes or their expression what they are thinking, your person to go on adventures with and your person that always has your back and loves you to the Moon and all the way back down the dirt, your person who loves you fiercely.

That’s who I missed, my future ‘That person’.

30. Who was the best new person you met?

I met a lovely new Blogging friend Lady Loves Cake, she is a super cool chick and write a super awesome blog that makes me hungry.

31. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

Find that balance…

Between Rocking this Mom gig and failing at this Mom gig.

Between being an Amazing friend and being a bit shitty at keeping in touch.

Between knowing when you need time to yourself and when knowing that’s enough.

Between setting goals and celebrating them and between being OK to write them up again next month.

Between having a strong relationship with God and actually getting my ass through the doors of Church more than I should.

Between rocking at buying awesome BD gifts and not sending them for 2 months.

Between reminding myself that you are totally kick-ass at this thing called life and thinking you are dropping ALL the balls.

Keep going.  Do one thing at a time.

If it doesn’t happen, does it actually matter.

Ask myself, what are the priorities?

Always pack your stuff for the next day the night before.

Sleep much-much more than you do.

Hold things loosely when it doesn’t matter, and hold tight the things that matter most as life & priorities change on a dime.

Don’t be afraid to say No whenever you need to…but just as importantly don’t be afraid to say Yes when you need to either.

32. What scared you the most?

Two different types of scared.

1. Deep Canyoning for leaping way-way out of my comfort zone and having to have complete and utter trust in your guides and the edges they were sending you off blind.

2. Seeing the ‘soot’ mark the fireball left on my daughters chest once I ran into her room…fortunately the burnt clothing and soot mark and description of what happened was way worse than what it actually did to her.

Knowing that electric shocks can mess with your heart and can keep burning within the tissue…Mother 1st Aider kicked into gear throwing her in the shower and then straight to A&E.

33. What was the biggest contrast?

Seeing Miss15 and her friends holding hands and saying Grace before they ate their Pizza at their last sleepover, totally un-provoked by me, it nearly made me cry…

Then the same group of them latter that night accidentally spilling Raspberry Lemonade on the carpet…that had me in my PJ’s scrubbing the floor at 3am that next morning (they were still watching movies) and meeting the Carpet cleaning guy that following afternoon as it wouldn’t come out…that required my epic Grace!

You can be so proud and amazing and so peeved off and frustrated within no time.

34.What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about?

Learning empathy from their Mother (my Teen)…how that she (Miss 15) worked hard out for 3 hours at my work, and turned around after I gave her her wages and gave the entire lot to World Vision’s Christmas appeal without even discussing it with me.

Oh my gosh it made me cry buckets, as if I’m honest she was being the most un-cooperative, back chatty, end of the year ‘over everything’ teen that night and was really hard work.

She has it tucked away in there for other people when you least expect it.

35.What new things did you discover about yourself?

That I think I might be what they call an introverted-extrovert.

36.What was the best news you received?

Miss15 passing NCEA Level 1 before she even did her Exams, followed by passing NCEA Level 1 with Merit.

She was just hoping to pass, as was I, but to pass with Merit was excellent news.

37.What was your favourite place that you visited in 2015?

Hands down was Wanaka, it always is, it’s seriously one of my most favourite places to hang out.


38.Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?

Exhortation – “the gift of encouragement”

I don’t know where it comes from…actually I do, thank you Lord…but it’s just there. Even if I’m not feeling encouraged myself or I’m struggling myself, it just flows out of me in all sorts of situations to encourage others in minor things and major things and I think/hope it has been really helpful to people this year.

39.Which new skills did you learn?

The phonetic Alphabet.  Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta etc…

Always meant to learn it for dealing with things on the phone and my parents and I made it into a car game on our Summer Holiday.  It’s come in very handy since.

Although sometimes I start off good…then it heads this way:

Whisky, echo, lima, lima, indigo…nana, garry, tom, onaynay, nek minnit :-)

40.If someone wrote a book about your life in 2015, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else?

A story about Reflection and Hope.

Ok, that sounds a bit floaty fairy…

But it would be filled with drama, intrigue, humour, Simon Pegg, grit, loads of stunningly gorgeous men, food, Gilmore Girls lines, and a wardrobe of yoga pants and Donna’s outfits from Suits…

41.What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life?

My drive to work in the mornings…I love that time in the car with just myself for my thoughts.

42.What cool things did you create this year?

My Teen’s bedroom re-model.

43.Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year?

Took Miss15 and her friend Camping by myself over a long weekend.  We love camping, but are always with Family when we camp down South, which is awesome, but I really enjoyed the overall experience of making it happen myself…well that was until it came time to pack it all up and come home again and then I wanted a billionty helpers…and wished I could just sell my car and buy a new one rather than unpack this packed to the gills one once we got home.

44.What was your favourite moment spent with your friends?

Laughing my ass off, fall off the chair, tears rolling down my cheeks (face, not butt) with some of my best-est longest friends in Christchurch.

45.What major goal did you lay the foundations for?

The complete redesign of my website/blog.  I’ve done a tonne of work on it, but don’t want it live until I’m reeeeeaaaady.

46.Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?

Telling my Landlord about the damage the Stain Removal people did to our Carpet when they were there to just treat the upholstery and furniture…long story…short version, they did major worse and then worser still damage as their machine leaked everywhere and permanently stained the carpet all over the Lounge and Dinning.  They weren’t even there to treat the carpet, just the upholstery and furniture (see Nail Polish explosion further above).

But my seriously lovely Landlord wasn’t bothered in the slightest and couldn’t even actually see it…

He’s an awesome guy, but I did wonder if it was the ‘difference between Women eyes and Man eyes when they look at things because even my girlfriends have spotted the marks straight away and said – what happened!’.

47.What experience would you love to do all over again?

I would love for Miss15 to go to New York again…but this time I would love to go with her.

I’ve been before, way back when I was 18, but we only had a few days there.  I have SOOOOO much I want to do and explore there.  I would love to see it through Miss15’s eyes and have her show me all what she saw, learnt and experienced.

I also still have secret dreams of one day living there for 1 year.

48.What was the biggest problem you solved?

How to successfully throw my little bag of rubbish into the Apartment building skip from a distance outside the rubbish room…

Because I walked out in bare feet (everytime forgetting my jandals) and not ever wanting to walk ‘into the rubbish scoaddy room floor in my bare feet’…I say successfully, as if you don’t you then ‘have’ to run in in bare feet, scoop down, resting your feet on germ inflicted floor for longer than necessary, retrieve said rubbish bag and miss 2 more times because now your hurrying to much trying to get out of there before 10 second germ rule kicks in and they get on your feet and you are balancing on non-ballerina toes at least so not all of your foot touches.

But, by Joe, I think I’ve now mastered it.  Unbelievably 1st world problem…but I solved it.  It’s all about the swing, time of release and the breath you take the second beforehand…and making sure no one is watching!

49.What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?

This spare of the moment, in a flash purchase of a Blue overtop thing from Shanton in Chch.  It was a size Small…I’m never a size small and weirdly it totally fits perfectly…it’s the single most positively commented piece of clothing I have ever owned.
I feel great whenever I wear it, the colour is a seriously great colour on me that always makes me look healthy and brings out my best features and I love it.  It also only cost me like $29 :-)

50.What did you think about more than anything else?

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but this man that I met back up at Question No. 20…

It’s been a really-really-really long time that someone has captured my attention and my thoughts like he did.  Like seriously 14 years.

But I think ‘He’s just not that into me’ back, as he know’s where I am…but he’s not here knocking on my door…or on my fence…or on my desk…


My 2016 to come

1.What advice would you give your early-2016 self if you could?

Be gentle to yourself.

Enjoy your month long Summer hiatus, ease yourself back into the new year for a week, but then commit to things, make plans, book dinners with friends, enter Races, set goals, plan rest times, don’t wait, be brave.

2.What do you want the overarching theme for your 2016 to be?

It’s a brand new Day (year) and things ‘are a changing’, this ‘is your year’.

3.What do you want to see, discover, explore?

More trail runs around Wellington, we live in one of the most epic locations for running.

I think I might also want to re-explore the inside of a Gym this year to help me through the Winter months especially and train with Miss15.

4.What skills do you want to learn, improve or master?

To re-master the art of the Water Ski -‘Jump Start’…I can not get it back.  But this year is the year dam-it.

5.Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?

Feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

6.What do you want to achieve career-wise?

I really like my job and love the company I work for.  I am very loyal to them and they are great-great people.

But I want to work on my own writing and Business ideas further to be able to get to a point where “one day” I don’t have to rely on having an external job, and being able to work for just myself/own clients if I want/need to in future.

7.How do you want to remember the year 2016 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?

Well that was an interesting unexpected year wasn’t it!

(I just thought in my head…”Well that escalated quickly”…aka Anchorman…but then I’m a little bit scared about what just might have escalated!)


8. What’s something I got through that was really tough?

The actual act of walking back in through my Church doors.

I love our Church, I love the people in it, I love God that I know bought me home here all those years ago.  But as I had isolated myself a little too much and had tried to step back from toooooo many things making our life too full, I went a bit far the other way of saying No to too many things (needs to be another blog post).
I stepped back from some of the responsibilities I had a Church and a women’s group and not getting to Lifegroup enough.  There were many good reasons for this as it what was needed for our family at the time to be home a whole lot more allowing that space for Homework and Study…but then I pulled too far that way and got out of the habit of going to the things I needed to be part of.

Actually walking into Church was one of them.  Knowing my heart, time, having God patiently carry my through that and a good friend having my back who picked me up and took me when I asked her, have me now where I sooo sooo know I am to be.

9.What is your number one goal for 2016?

Go on at least just 1 date.

No maybe not…

Ok, maybe…

eeeek, I don’t know…

Happen to know any exceptional Christian Men who want to help me perfect my Water-Ski jump start this year again?…

It’s been a seriously long time…

Someday’s I think I’m ready…

Other days I think, what the heck are you thinking, your a Hot Mess…

I don’t know…

Maybe 😉


Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links, marked with *.
If you do choose to purchase some of these products after clicking on these links, I will receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) :-)

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REVIEW: Big Boys Toys Central Districts

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1982 DeLorean DMC-12 Time MachineMost people have ‘heard’ of the Big Boys Toys show…but many don’t really know ‘what’ exactly it is.

This years event was perfect timed to take a mini-mid-exam-break-Roadtrip with my Teen up to Big Boys Toys Central Districts (Palmerston North) and check it out.

and to answer the questionIs Big Boys Toys just a hive of testosterone and full of 80 billionty Men?

I didn’t 100% know what to expect, except from what I had seen on the Big Boys Toys website and Facebook and clips of the larger Auckland show.

All I knew was I LOVE this sort of stuff, so I was in like Flynn.

It might surprise you that I, Wellington Chic, am a tom-boy from way back when.  Growing up with 3 older brothers and a Dad that could fix and build just about anything set me up as a chic who was into practical stuff.

It also means I appreciate loud noisy cars, flash slick expensive cars, Motorbikes that flip, Power Tools that whip things into shape, clever inventions, clever technology and the smell of old leaded Petrol and workshop grease…you know what I mean…the smell of a workshop…?  No?  Ok, maybe it’s just me, but hey it smells good!

What I was MOST looking forward to at BBT were these 3 things:

• The matt black Lamborghini Aventador
The FMX Extreme Sport show featuring Levi Sherwood
• An exact replica of the DeLorean from Back to the Future!

Yup, I’m also a bit of a geek like that and had a high School crush on Marty McFly.

Big Boys Toys Central Districts

So what did we find at Big Boys Toys?

Walking in it was teeming with people…

ahem…I mean teaming with MALES…

80 Billionty Males to be exact…ok, maybe not, but alot of males all in one place!

Yes!  It was of course to be expected, as the show is a Men’s Lifestyle show…aimed at Males.

But it really was raining Men, in a huge variety of ages from the young to the old.  I spotted a few women as we made our way around and they were just as excited about what they were seeing as I was.

Was it all just Bogans and Petol-heads?

No, quite the opposite.

Sure there were some Bogan’s and some Petrol-heads and even a few bikers…but it was mostly very average-joe-kiwi-blokes enjoying a fun day out with their mates or with their kids.

What was the highlight of the show?

For me, it was hands down getting to sit in a 1982 DeLorean DMC-12 Time Machine.

An exact replica of the DeLorean from Back to the Future that Mat from Hero Car Hire has painstakingly built up over the years to the amazing movie replica it is now.

Mat was also the best host, he was talkative, put up with my obvious fan-girling and took me through the cars paces with all it’s lights and sounds.  He took me back-in-time to the date of my birth and being able to see the car speed up, the Flux Capacitor kick in and then see the Plutonium flash as being depleted was seriously-seriously cool.

Thanks Mat for being so passionate about what you have built and talking yet another enthusiastic fan through your car as if it was your first.  You can find out more about the DeLorean on their website and it is also available as a Hero Experience.

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Was the FMX & BMX as cool as it sounds?

Absolutely!  The main feature act of the BBT show was most definitely the FMX & BMX Extreme Sport Show!
With the insanely talented Levi Sherwood FMX freestyle rider along with fellow FMX riders Nick Franklin & Mitch Mchardy.

Levi is a local boy from Sanson, just outside of Palmerston North and is carving it up on the world Red Bull X-Fighters stage and winning title after title.  Just check out his video from his course he has made at his home.

What you guys pulled out of your trick bag was heart stoppingly awesome and you have fantastic talent.  Being able to judge your stunts so perfectly with the pitch of the Arena Manawatu roof and land them so smoothly just show’s how world-class you all are.

You had us all gasping and enthralled with the jumps you all pulled off and the shapes your bodies contorted into in mid-air!

Paul Langlands BMX Dirt Rider and his BMX freestyle friends were a great accompaniment to the FMX with their flips and tricks showing such skill and experience.  I know it’s probably not a word you want me to describe it as, but you make it all look so ‘graceful’ as you are leaping into the air.  The model car racers showing us their tricks before the show started were also a surprising highlight for us all, man those little things can get some air!

The show was epic, I just wish NZ crowds would whoop, clap and cheer louder!  I was clapping my little heart out while trying to capture the action on my iphone as they were all amazing.  Cheer louder NZ!

Levi Sherwood - bike in background

Did you find your High School Car Crush?

I sure did!

2014 Lamborghini Aventador, be still my beating heart.

This car is damn sexy and I could just picture myself taking this on the School run of a morning.

Granted, I wouldn’t be able to fit in any of the Teens friends on pick up…oh well, back to Public Transport for them all.  In matt black it just upped its cool factor 10 fold.

The Lamborghini was my High School Car Crush from the 90’s and still is today.

I have only ever seen one other in the flesh, back when I was 17, a bright yellow one was parked outside the Monte Carlo Casino where I was visiting with my parents, they indulged me with a pic!
Yup, my parents flouted Monaco’s age law and took me in for a glimpse of this crazy casino lifestyle!

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What about the Bond car?

The Bond edition Aston Martin DB9 GT was unveiled at BBT from the new Bond Movie Spectre.

Yes, it is flash and all and looks super nice…but if I’m honest a bit ‘meh’…

Now in saying that, I would have happily taken it for a spin and I know it would have been awesome…but I’m just not awed by Aston Martins like I am other cars.

Whereas the new 2015 458 Ferrari GT Speciali, the new Ford Mustang, The new Ranger NIGHTHAWK in matt black, the Polaris Slingshot SL LE they are all right up my alley :-)

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What else can I see at BBT?

So so much!  Classic Cars, souped up boy racer Cars, Muscle Cars, electronic bikes, Harley Davidson’s, Super bikes, off roaders…quite literally a vehicle to suit everyone’s fantasies.

Thanks James from Harvey Norman for humoring us and very patiently showed us how the Glideboard worked, I was kinda stoked to learn you could clock up 20km on it in one go!
Would be a super fun thing to Ride to School?  Honestly would have loved to have a blat on one of these myself…but maybe another day.

The Hyper Stimulator’s where you can simulate you are driving a v8 super car around Bathhurst or other famous tracks around the world. They had queues a line a mile long to have a turn, OK, not a mile, but long.

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Was there some exciting new technology?

We were given a glimpse into the newest prototype of the Hendo Hoverboard the Hendo 2.0 (Beta 4 Engine Prototype).

An exciting development and I look forward to seeing where this is in a year or two’s time.  We got to see it hover back in forth between the two hosts as they tossed it around the platform.

Very cool to think that this technology is not that far from being accessible.  You can check out Tony Hawk riding a couple of Hendo Hoverboard’s here.

Hendo Hoverboard

Did they have other things there apart from Cars?

I’m also a sucker for cool things, techie things and things that would make my life easier, quicker..

So I spend ages at the Breo All Back and Breo iFoot Foot Massager stand getting to try out their super unique Foot Massager.
Oh my gosh, it was amazing, it actually did feel like someone was massaging my feet with hands…so a little bit creepy…but worth the creep, because it was awesome.  A hefty price tag, but worth it if you have spare dollars to spend.

Glam Screens Selfie Ring & Phone Stand impressed me with their super simple invention that was actually really-really clever.  I’m not a selfie taker (unless goofing with my friends or teen), but I see benefits of this little device that attaches to the back of your phone…even if just for not having this happen when you are reading stuff upside down!

There were many other stalls dotted around the show featuring everything from golfcart Segways, Power Fits, X Hoses, Model Cars, an open stage to let your inner Drummer have a blat on the drum kit, even electronic Hookah!

The Beef Jerky stand was amazing and I meant to go back and buy some, but my Teen distracted me on my way out.  Going to hunt you out in my supermarket!

Milwaukee Power Tools…oh my gosh, I could have spent hours in their stand just playing with all of the power tools, as that was exactly how this stand was set up.

All of their power tools were laid out with walls prepared ready for you to hammer, screw, cut, sand, blast, destroy and just simply ‘play’.  I tried this one M12 Cordless Multi-Tool.

Did BTT’s meet my expectations?

It totally exceeded my expectations.

I enjoyed it even more than I thought I would.  Now I want to also see the Auckland show next year.

Was it value for money/entertainment?

Absolutely, with tickets priced at under $30 and good discounts for early birds, it was excellent value for money and you could make a whole day of it.
Note:  I was hosted by Blomfield PR.

1982 DeLorean DMC-12 Time Machine

Is it too showy, snoby or seems like everyone is up themselves?

kinda is, but kinda not…if that makes sense.

It’s very laid back, but professional.  You could come to this show from any income level of society and still just enjoy seeing the toys and the show.

All of the stand hosts talk with you freely and everyone is encouraged to try things out.

Is there food?

Yes, most important question when heading out on an adventure!

If I’m not into Cars and this sort of stuff, will I enjoy it?

In all honestly, you probably won’t.

What was the atmosphere like?

The atmosphere was chilled and relaxed, but positive as everyone was buzzing with what they saw.

I wondered before I arrived if you would be able to literally smell the testosterone in the air, but no, you saw alot of fan-boying, but not too much grunting.

Is it suitable for all ages?

Kind of…if there is an interest, take them no matter what age they are.  But probably best suited from 7 years old to Teenagers to Adults to Grand Parents.

So overall was it lame or cool (as my teen questioned before going along)?

Seriously cool, it had a chance of being lame…but it soooo wasn’t.

My Teen also gave it a big tick of approval and she added that that wasn’t just because it was teaming with teenage boys!

What surprised me the most?

To find a 1962 MK1 Hamilton Jet 30 Boat that had been rebuild and relaunched in 2012 with a MK2 Zephyr 6 Motor.  Only 174 of them were ever built!  Way cool.

1962 MK1 Hamilton Jet 30 Boat


I want to thank Paul & Robecca from Blomfield PR for hosting me at the Big Boys Toys event and for the ticket Giveaway for my readers.

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Winner: Big Boys Toys Double Pass

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You’re off to Big Boys Toys in Palmerston North this weekend with a Double Pass!!!

Who are you going to take?

I’ve just emailed you, please let me know you have got my email :-)

Yay, hope you have loads of fun at the Show.

I just checked the weather forecast and it’s looking like we will need some Sunscreen!

Thanks everyone for entering.

You can still Buy tickets here

Thanks so much to Blomfield PR for the giveaway :-)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Win Double Pass to Big Boys Toys Palmerston North

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Win a Double Pass to Big Boys Toys Palmerston North

Friday, 20 November – Sunday, 22 November
Arena Manawatu, Palmerston North

A show for Men…& woman that love cool stuff!

Win Tickets Big Boys Toys

A DeLorean, Motorcycles: Can-Am, Harley Davidson, Kawasaki, KTm & Suzuki.  New Zealand’s top extreme athletes including FMX superstar – Levi Sherwood.  The new Ford Mustang super cars, drag cars, muscle cars and simulators…then the Action Arena featuring FMX & BMX crazies!

I’ve made it super super easy to enter the giveaway with Rafflecopter below, enter with just 1 option…or do them all for extra entries :-)

Giveaway is only open for 3 days, so pop your entry in now.

I’ll see you at the show!  I’ll be the one ooogling over the Super Cars and trying to scam an ride is the Mustang 😉  Check out the vid of the Auckland show.

You can still Buy tickets here


a Rafflecopter giveaway



• Double pass can be used on either 20th, 21st or 22nd November and is valid for 1 day entry to the Central Districts (Palmerston North) show.

• Giveaway closes on Tuesday 17th November night 11.59pm New Zealand time.  Winner will then be drawn and notified.

• Tickets couriered Wednesday.

Thanks so much to Blomfield PR for the giveaway :-)

Levi Sherwood - bike in background

More about the show:

New Zealand’s largest and most dynamic male lifestyle show Big Boys Toys is venturing out of Auckland in 2015, and set to bring Arena Manawatu alive from 20-22 November.

For sixteen years, Big Boys Toys has enthralled and entertained audiences with a dynamic entertainment schedule and the latest products and services from the Automotive, Motorcycle, Marine, Lifestyle and Consumer Electronics industries.

The Central Districts Big Boys Toys will bring the core elements of the show to Arena Manawatu and will be a ‘must-do’ show for men (and woman that love cool stuff) from right across the central and lower North Island.

There will be a range of motor cars from classics to super cars, vehicles you can drive home to vehicles you dream of owning.  See the amazing new Ford Mustang on display, as well as an exact replica of the most iconic car in film history – the DeLorean from Back to the Future.

The show will also be a mecca for motorcycle lovers with the latest of two wheels from the likes of Can-Am, Harley Davidson, Kawasaki, KTm & Suzuki.

The Milwaukee Action Arena will feature New Zealand’s top extreme athletes for three days of FMX & BMX action, including world FMX superstar – Levi Sherwood.

The Tui Public House will feature comedy and refreshing ales.

Highlights Include:

– NZ’s biggest male lifestyle & entertainment show is heading to the Central North Island for the first time

-World FMX Superstar – Levi Sherwood performs in the indoor Milwaukee Action Arena on Friday & Saturday

-A replica of the most iconic car in film history – the DeLorean from Back to the Future (brought to you by Hero Car Hire)

-See the new Ford Mustang (brought to you by Courtesy Ford)

-A mecca for motorcycle lovers with big brands on show such as Can-Am, Harley Davidson, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki

-An array of automotive action with super cars, drag cars, muscle cars and simulators to test your driving skills

-The indoor Milwaukee Action Arena will feature NZ’s best extreme sport athletes in FMX & BMX

Levi Sherwood - The Ruler

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Learn about Blogging while Multi Tasking

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I really wanted to listen in the NZ Bloggers Network’s Blogging learning sessions on the Livestream hookup on Video Blogging tonight…but life was getting in the way!

They had You Tuber ‘Aly Ford’ from Psycho Traveller presenting, sharing her insight, tips, tricks and practical advice from her success thus far on You Tube.

Also a member presentation by Callum, Ignatius Manaloto and Steve Milleron on improving blog engagement, simple design and content tips.

But I had to be in 4 places at once and couldn’t do it all.

I was just finishing up at work, I was meaning to be home hours earlier when it was starting.

Multi tasking Single Parenting mode switched on, so made a new plan, I:

• Downloaded the Livestream App onto my iphone

• Logged in

• Hit the link to ‘Basics of Video Blogging – with You Tuber Aly Ford from Physco Traveller‘ by NZ Bloggers Network

• Popped in my Bluetooth earpiece

• Hit Play!

• Quickly finished up essentials at work while I listened to the opening announcements and packed upYay, I was able to listen (& watch out the corner of my eye) in to the Video Blogging event while the following happened over the next hour or so…

• Fired off a few quick comments to engage and shared the link via Twitter and Facebook while listening in• Quickly finished up essentials at work while I listened to the opening announcements and packed upYay, I was able to listen (& watch out the corner of my eye) in to the Video Blogging event while the following happened over the next hour or so…

• Then with my earpiece in and my iphone in my pocket, I closed up my building while still listening in

• Jumped in t
he car and started driving while listening in

• Hopped out at the Urgent Pharmacy (I was too late for a ‘normal’ pharmacy) – walked through the carpark – hit pause – bought what I needed – short convo with the lovely lady there – hit play and kept listening further

• Jumped back in the car and continued driving while listening in

• Hopped out at the supermarket and crossed the carpark while listening in (checking triple for traffic!)

blogging learning sessions      Blogging learning sessions

• Hit pause – while I rang in our takeaway order (yup, no home cooking tonight!) – hit play again while I entered the supermarket and grabbed the few essentials I needed while listening in

• Through the self checkout with my items so could keep listening in

• Jumped back in the car and round the corner to the pick up food – jumped out – hit pause while I picked up – they weren’t in a talkative mood, so I was out of there in 30 seconds – hit play again and back in the car while listening in

• Drove home – into carpark and reversed into my ridiculously tricky angled carpark while listening in

• Gathered all the bags from the car – raced up the stairs and into our Apartment while listening in

• Hit pause to chat with Miss 15 about her day – she was knee deep into her Homework so she didn’t chat for long til she refocused again as she is keen to get in lots of study for her upcoming exams

• Hit play again while I unpacked groceries and my bags from the day while listening in

• Grabbed the Trophy off our Bookshelf that Miss 15 has to return tomorrow and dug in the cupboard seeking out the Silvo while listening in

• Got changed, sorted washing and closed blinds while listening in

• Dealt with dishes and trundled up and down the stairs 6 times doing Parenting/Home/Mom type stuff while listening in

• Hit pause – Sat down with Miss 15 to work on something with her for a bit

• She then focused on her own thing again so I hit play again

• Watched through to the end – wooohoo!

It would have been great to be at the Video Blogging event in person in Auckland, but hooking in via Livestream and listening in (and glancing at the screen sometimes) worked incredibly well.

Sure, I missed a bit, but there was SO much great info loaded into these two presentations that I will happily watch/listen to them again latter.

They had a really great Q&A session at the end too with bloggers asking many things I’m sure we all have wanted to know.

Blogging learning sessions

Don’t have time to sit for 1 & 1/2 hours to watch a Livestream?

Then I encourage you to try what I did next time and listen in while you do other things.

All you need is:

• Livestream website – Desktop, tablet, ipad, iphone or Smartphone
• Download Livestream App (more streamlined on a device) Apple/Android for your tablet, ipad, iphone or Smartphone

• Earphones or Bluetooth Headset
• Sign up to the Livestream site and Login
• Follow NZ Bloggers Network
• Now you are ready to listen/watch/multi task  :-)

If you miss the Livestream totally, you can watch it again latter by playing it whenever you want to.

How cool is it to continue learning about Blogging while doing everyday tasks!

I have been working away tonight and feeling slightly pleased with myself, that even though my day was crazy that I had kicked this multi tasking single parenting lark in the ass tonight…

Then I wondered, why I was so damn hungry?

Crap…in all of my brilliant multi tasking I forgot to eat at all tonight and now it was 11.35pm and I wasn’t going to last til morning.

Finishing this post off now while I eat a Apricot Jam toasted Bagel…so maybe I’m not kicking ass in everything…but it still tastes pretty good  😉

Have you used Livestream before to watch an event?
Did you watch the Video Blogging learning session?



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