Tag Archive for Life

I don’t have the answer… Do you?

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You know 2 months ago I was totally ROCKING this year – 2016!

Wanaka Clouds

I had an A-Mazing long Summer break with my Teen and family…

Made some pretty big – audacious – kick ass plans and goals for my year ahead…

Was rocking through killing-it at home, my daughter and I were in a great routine, managing to work through Teenage-dom semi-successfully most of the time, advancing through my biggest tasks at work, loving my writing, pushing further into my faith, putting myself out there and pushing in my work, my Blog life and my personal life, going great guns working behind the scenes in future Business plans I have, and ensuring I was making good time for my friends and family…

Like, seriously Rocking it.

I was focused, determined, tracking along great…

I had a made a conscious decision on the Summer Break that:

2016 was to be MY year!

It was my year to MAKE STUFF happen…

My year to sometimes put myself first to work on my hopes and dreams…

My year to set those goals and work damn-damn hard to achieve them…

My year to work through what the future means, what new dimensions my life will take on when my Teenager goes to Uni…

My year to really start stepping forward into my future…

My year to ROCK IT…




A bazillion curve balls hit pretty much all at the same time…

Tipping life completely on it’s head…

Stopping it in it’s tracks…

Starting with an unexpected devastating diagnosis of someone I am close with.

The role I play in their lives meant 95% of my focus had to be on them and their family, as they had no one else to care for them.

5% was the drip I had left for my daughter with no time at all for family and friends.

50% went on dealing with crisis after crisis and just putting out fires in my daytime work.

Yeah, I know that add’s up to more than 100%, well that’s what it felt like…

Running, literally running every waking hour at 150% for the last 2 months.

Grinding to a halt everything in my personal life and in my work life that wasn’t an absolute urgent essential, must happen now or it will catch on fire type urgent.

My Teenager honestly even had to virtually fend for herself with not much input into her life bare the essentials of checking she had money to feed and transport herself, that she was doing ok even though I could only be around pretty much to sleep and making sure she was home (but she coped).

As guess what, when there is a problem, a crisis, a disaster ???

I react like a man…

My first reaction is to solve the problem…

Jump straight into “OK, lets look at the big picture and work out how to help”…

Start setting plans in place…

Start gathering helpers…

Start gathering information…

Quizzing the people that know stuff to be able to help more, be informed etc…

Take a bunch a notes, share the info, keep everyone informed…

Go into Over-Drive to physically HELP!

I go into over-drive and work myself over the top ridiculously hard as it is one way I ‘can help’ when you feel so helpless in a situation.

Usually I can just slim-ly avoid hitting the wall and eventually the crisis’ pass and eventually you catch up on life again.

But in the last two months, there was just NO let up (and there won’t be for a long time yet).

More and more and more things become top-level urgency.

Round every corner, there were more curveballs.

This time I was running so fast I was teetering over the edge of hitting the wall everyday…


I starting to get Sick with a reoccurring illness that I get…

Ironically, the illness I get isn’t at all related, it’s not because I’m burning the candle at both ends and then sides of it and it’s not at all related to stress… you would think surely it had to be, but nope, not related.

Two days later we were dealing with major flooding here in Wellington and spent the day fighting against rising flood waters and Sand bagging our little hearts out…

Soaked all the way through to my underwear and swimming in my gumboots in the torrential rain…

The next day… I hit actually did hit the wall and my illness took over…

Sleeping 31 hours…

I was down and out, hit the deck, it wipes me for 2 weeks for the worst of it where I am a complete an utter mess physically…

I sleep night and day only waking for a bit of food in the evening then straight back to sleep…

The medication they have to put me on, as otherwise the illness would probably end me up in hospital without it, is a win/loose situation.

Yes… it eventually stops my illness…

But my body always has adverse reactions to the medication, causing me horrendous side effects.

Yup… a mess for at least 2 weeks…

Then it takes me another 1-2 weeks to slowly claw my way back up.

Suddenly I was thrust into the fact I physically CAN’T help anyone…

As I am then absolutely useless to anyone…


It’s a huge reality check helping people in their crisis’ and makes you think you have put things in perspective.

But the crazy thing is then… being helpless and physically made to stop yourself and do absolutely nothing puts another huge spin on reality and shows an even bigger different perspective.

What does this all mean…



I don’t know how to help people in such need without doing everything you possibly can…

It will be months and months and months of help yet to come and months and months yet of desperately trying to claw back to baseline at work to catch-up, let alone do anything preemptive and going forward.

How do I not live so close to teetering on the edge of hitting the wall when crisis comes…

When there is so much riding on everything for the people you care about…

When you can’t just leave it at the door and go home as peoples livelihoods depend on it…

When you can’t just walk away leaving someone completely alone without essential support as there is no one else…

I know everyone always says, you have to look after yourself first…

Blah… blah… blah…

That’s what I would tell people on the other side too…

Blah… blah… blah you will be no good to anyone if you fall over too… etc…

I would tell them…

Take just one step at time, then the next thing, that’s all you can do…


What happens when those steps need to be running…

What happens when your running and playing a virtual game of fruit ninja as you go…

What happens when actually the crisis’ really are much-much-much more important and affect too many other people not to put them and those things first… ?

Do I care too much?…

It feels RIGHT to care!…

It feels wrong-really wrong to ‘not’ help…

It feels wrong-really wrong to no do what it takes…

I don’t have the answer…

I have no way to finish this post off…

No profound words…

No great insight…

I don’t have the answer…

Do you?

How do you guys cope with prolonged crisis and putting out only fire after fire?

Happy Mum Happy Child

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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 😉


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America’s Cup – Frequently used words and what I’ve learnt

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Since watching Dean Barker and his amazing Emirates Team New Zealand compete to bring home the America’s Cup over the last few weeks, I’ve been hearing all these new ‘sporting terms’ bandied around.

If I’m honest, I had never heard of some of them before a few weeks ago or only vaguely knew the understanding of them.

So I thought I would share some of the America’s Cup – frequently used words and what I’ve learnt to help out fellow America’s Cup novices like me!:


  • Pie Warmers

Where you would find 12 hour old “Thermo Nuclear Pie’s” on a late night stumble home after a hard night partying.
Don’t forget to “Always blow on the pie”!

Actual – The nickname ETNZ has given to two features on their boat. “They are like spoilers on the crossbeam” and Grant Dalton tells us “that it creates more area”.


Emirates Team New Zealand at the Louis Vuitton Cup 2013
Frank Schulenburg / Foter / CC BY-SA
  • Foiling

What you hairdresser was doing to you last week when you got your blazing new red streaks to go that extra mile and support your ETNZ beyond the Red Socks.

Can also be when your dodgy ex neighbour burns their Marijuana oil over a scrap of tin foil with a lighter!

Actual – It is when the Catamarans are sailing with one or both hulls out of the water, looking like they are hovering above the water with only their keel tethering them.


  • Golden Gate Yacht Club

It’s the brother yacht club to the Golden Arches Yacht Club owned by McDonalds.

Actual – It’s kinda like the place that looks after the America’s Cup racing and where it’s all affiliated to. Almost like the host club.


Golden Arches
wbeem / Foter / CC BY-NC


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Flagraising – We made our own family ‘Pirate’ Flag

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Wellington Chic's family flag raising

Wellington Chic’s family flag raising

A few years back we were very fortunate to get to live for a little while in a ‘castle’ of a house (as our friends nicknamed it).

It was a huge beautiful home, it was very unique and it was completely and utterly Gods hand why we were there for the time we were.

So we made the most of it, hosting people for events as we had the room and fabulous living/entertaining spaces.
It’s also where Miss 13’s love of giant kids sleepovers kicked in and became a staple even in our much-much smaller future houses.

Miss 13 and I were also partial to sliding across the large polished wooden floor in the Dinning area in our Merino Socks as we had nothing to put in this part of the house so was a fantastic slidey open space!  It also resulted in a few ‘slidey’ related injuries as a result if I’m honest.

Another very unique feature of our faux ‘castle’ was that it had it’s very own FLAGPOLE!

Just how cool is that!

I had a plan right from when we moved in, that we would have to hoist a flag!

So we did.

We didnt own a flag.
There was no flag at the house.
I didnt want to buy just any old flag…so I decided that Miss 13 and I could MAKE one.

We bought some lightweight nylon type material and sewed a hem around the edges.
We were then heading to Christchurch that weekend to hang out with family and friends, so we took it with us and set about ‘designing’ our ‘family flag’ while we were there.

It was Miss 13’s decision what to put on our flag.
She decided that she would draw a picture of me and then I would draw a picture of her. Then she would get each person in our wider family to all draw a little something on it too around the edges and put their names also.

So that’s what we did!

It was super amateur, but it was FABULOUSLY perfect.


Wellington Chic's family flag

Wellington Chic’s family flag


When we got home from Christchurch, we set aside an afternoon to do our flag raising.  We needed to wait til there was at least ‘some’ breeze to make the flag raising worth while, but it was in the end a bit like the America’s Cup race on Saturday, the wind wasn’t really strong enough, but we made do!

It was a very overcast grey day, which didn’t bode well for fabulous photo’s but we were determined today was the day.
We dug out some music, as you have to have music when dealing with Flags! We attached the flag to the guide ropes and then Miss 13 hoisted it up with our own version of patriotic fanfare and fake trumpet sounding and some verses of New Zealand’s national anthem, ‘God Defend New Zealand’.

Seeing our flag up there flying away in the wind was just simply the coolest thing. Miss 13 was so so so proud of it (as was I) and we knew people would be able to see it far and wide in the suburb we were in.

I’ll admit flapping away in the wind our ‘faces’ would get a little distorted, so at times our faces looked a little scary. From afar, people would have wondered what on earth was on the flag.

Friends commented on it when they came to see us and Miss 13 loved taking people out to see it if they missed it when driving in (although it was kinda hard to miss).  She loved to tell people all about the flag, what was on it and all the pictures our family had drawn.

As we were only in this place for a short term rental our time would eventually be up, but our flag stayed right til the very end.

I found our flag not long ago as I was tidying out our linen cupboard, its pretty battered from flapping about all that time, but a great memory from that time in our life and a great parenting fun moment with Miss 13 (Miss 8 at the time).

Makes me want to go and make another flag and fly it off the top of our apartment building today!

Talking with the owners of the property on our last day at our ‘castle’ house, they told us how they had friends living across the valley who had wondered if Pirates had taken over their house as they had seen our ‘weird’ flag go up!

Priceless – Mom & Daughter Pirates, that’s us!


What have you made with your kids that’s a little out of the ordinary, but a great memory?


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Milk Strawberry…Nom..Nom..Nom – Whittaker’s new chocolate

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Whittaker's Milk Strawberry Chocolate

Whittaker’s Milk Strawberry Chocolate


Whittaker’s new Milk Strawberry Chocolate.

I could quite honestly eat Chocolate for Breakfast, lunch and tea, and will admit to doing so on more than one occasion throughout my life (not that I recommend that, all in moderation and all :-).

But I am always on the lookout for yummy new chocolate to try.

This caught my eye at the supermarket on Saturday (yes, woops, after my Run too, when I was feeling very healthy!) and I just couldn’t go past it without resisting…So I didn’t and I’m glad I didn’t.

It’s GOOOOD, its very good.

Whittaker’s is always good anyway, but this flavour is yet another one to add to their hit list.

It’s got a great Strawberry taste encased in their always delicious chocolate and I’m hooked.

As an extra, 20c from each of these blocks goes to Breast Cancer Medical Training, which is super cool of them.

I will be back for more.

Have you tried it yet?


Whittaker’s Chocolate


NB: Whittaker’s don’t know who I am, I just like this chocolate alot, and I thought it looked really pretty in the picture!


Whittaker's Milk Strawberry Chocolate

Whittaker’s Milk Strawberry Chocolate

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