Friday fives – Almost Christmas edition

Ok so Christmas is still about 3 months away, but the advent calendars and decorations are appearing in shops, so I’m getting excited!

Christmas is my fave holiday and here’s why:

  1. Christmas lights – they are so beautiful. I love driving around looking at decorated homes.

  2. Decorating the tree – so many memories with all the decorations. I get more each year (usually at least half price LOL).
  3. Making xmas cookies – mmm the spicy smell. (I once attempted a gingerbread house LOL).



  4. Family time – ok it probably should be top, but (most of) you haven’t met my family!
  5. And lastly presents – its not the main feature for me, but an added bonus.



Friday fives – chocolate edition

My fave chocolates:

  1. Cadbury caramilk recently rocketed to the top of this list, sadly limited edition and no longer made.
  2. Whittaker’s Lime Kbar, also sadly was a limited edition
  3. Lindt mango and cream, which came out when we were in Sydney in April
  4. Whittaker’s Rum and raisin, not limited edition but not widely available either
  5. So hard to choose just one more! I will go with Whittaker’s creamy milk.



From Pinterest


Friday fives – annoyed edition (edited)

I’ve been really stressed and annoyed about stuff recently, so that’s today’s theme!

Things that annoy me:

  1. Unexplained acronyms – see old post
  2. People trying to tell me I’m wrong when I know I’m not. Also people not apologising when they have done something wrong.
  3. Bad customer service, including being overcharged for things (also see above).
  4. Staff that don’t turn up to shifts or have terrible excuses for declining – see old post
  5. Staff breaking rules: because they think they can, they don’t care about the rule, don’t think they apply to them, don’t care about the consequences of them breaking them, don’t understand why they exist. It doesn’t matter people, if you know the rule exists then don’t break it!





Friday fives – languages edition

So as we are preparing for Tongan language week at work, and the NZ government’s recent announcement about learning a second language, I thought today’s post could be about languages I know (at least a little of).

Languages I know most from the top:

  1. English (main language of my country)
  2. Maori (from growing up in Aotearoa)
  3. Japanese (studied all through high school although have forgotten most of it)
  4. Samoan (did a night class when I was training to be a teacher)
  5. Spanish (thanks to Dora LOL)


How about you?





Last week I baked dozens of banana and chocolate cupcakes and sold them on behalf of the SPCA.

This year I made a selection of animals as you can see here:

cupcakes insta

I made just over $100 which I was very please with after having a super stressful week and weekend.

And then I got to eat the leftovers LOL

My faves are the frogs and the paw prints. How about you?

#cupcakes #SPCA

Friday fives – life lessons

This post is copied from Answer by Alyssa Satara, co-founder at Refugee Code Academy, on Quora

1. Perception is reality

It’s true. The way you interpret and understand the world directly affects your beliefs and the way you live your life. Perception creates bias as much as it creates understanding. It creates fear as much as it creates curiosity.

Do you want your reality to be narrow or vast?

Will the bliss that ignorance provides be sufficient, or do you need more?

The truth is most people want more. Even if it is on a subconscious level. Humans tend to trail blaze. From cradle to the grave, our society emphasizes the importance of education. Learning and discovering is what we do, but still it is increasingly hard to understand what you don’t understand.

So how do you learn to know what you don’t know? Start by asking yourself: What don’t I know? What do you want to learn more about?

Most importantly, understand that it’s OK to be wrong. In error there is growth.

2. Everything is temporary

Your good times are temporary and your bad times are temporary. So when you’re up, enjoy it, bask in it, and be grateful for it. And when you’re down, know you will get through it. Know that it’s not the end, and that it’s just a rough patch. Life is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and surprises.

We forget that it’s about the journey not the destination.

There is a lesson in everything. I think it’s hard for a lot of people–especially young people–to appreciate life. Recognizing the full worth of your hardships and your blunders is key to appreciating the journey. It’s just as important to stay humble and be grateful for the joys life brings you.

Everything is temporary, so make the most out of all of it.

3. The importance of being present

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” —Lao Tzu

More often than not, we tend to worry about what’s to come, or dwell on something that’s already happened. While it’s crucial to care and consider your future, be careful not to let it hinder your present. Moments turn into memories. Enjoy the moment while you have it.

It usually takes a lifetime of piled up worries for a person to realize: Worrying isn’t productive.

Living in the past is equally unproductive. There are definitely benefits in being able to reflect on yourself and on your past. Paying attention to what you’ve been through and how that makes you feel matters. It takes a lot of emotional energy to grieve, process, and overcome.

The balance of being able to take time to reflect, and to prioritize your future while spending the majority of your day in the present, is beyond valuable, it’s life changing.

4. Do what you love, love what you do

There was a huge mosaic near my university in London that said that those words. I was grateful to walk past it almost every day and remind myself of the importance of loving your career and loving what you do. Your work is a considerably large aspect in your life that you dedicate yourself to. If you aren’t happy in your career, that unhappiness will seep into other aspects of your life. And while nothing is perfect, it’s important to work on yourself and position yourself to reach the goals and satisfactions you desire.

Most importantly: Invest in yourself.

This goes for your non-work life, too. What habits and hobbies do you want to stop? Which ones do you want to develop? It’s important to be conscious of the type of people and activities you surround yourself with. Information is like nutrients to your brain, be aware of what you are feeding yourself. Success isn’t one triumphant moment. Success is a series of moments (and choices) leading up to bigger moments.

You are the only person who can get in the way of living every day doing what you love.

Bob Dylan said it best when he said “What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”

5. Being happy takes work

The happiest people tend to be the ones who’ve worked the most on themselves. Being happy takes a lot of work. It’s just as much work–if not more– to be unhappy. So choose wisely. Being happy means at some point you decided to take control of your life. It means you decided to not be a victim and to put that energy back into yourself. Sometimes it’s hard, but you have to pull yourself up and push yourself forward.

Your lifetime is a series of developments and personal growth.

One of the worst things you can do for self-development is comparing yourself to other people. It’s easy to get caught up in jealousy and wanting what other people have. Especially with the way we interact with social media. You have to remember that people tend to show only the best parts of their lives on those platforms. It’s not fair to yourself when you see that and think “I want to do that” or “I want to look like that”. Not only does that distract you from being appreciative of what you have in our own life, it doesn’t provide any productive input to yourself. Most often, your perception of someone’s life is a fallacy. And even if it isn’t, focus on yourself. It’s your journey and your path that you should be concerned with.

Being happy takes practice. Whether it’s you learning to let go of your ego, or forming more self-loving habits…it takes practice. You only have one life, work as hard as you can to make it your best life.


Friday fives – Fave books/series


From some e cards

So this is a mix of  from when I was young up to today, and not really in order:

  1. The face on the milk carton by Caroline B. Cooney (and was too young to notice any of this!).
  2. Cedar cove series by Debbie Macomber (and now love everything she writes).
  3. Switcharound by Lois Lowry (was interested as my mum is a twin).
  4. Cupcake lovers series by Beth Ciotta (which I just realised I haven’t read all of).
  5. Stanislaski Family by Nora Roberts (one of the first authors I read as an ‘adult’, and there’s a Rachel).

What are yours?


Friday fives – Islands edition

My fave islands (visited and dreamed about)


From Kiwi maps 

  1. North Island, New Zealand (where I live)
  2. Mana Island, New Zealand (especially the beautiful sunset views)
  3. South Island, New Zealand (where a lot of mum’s family is based)
  4. Cook Islands (yes I know it’s not just one island, been wanting to go for years)
  5. Fiji (yes I know it’s not just one island, going there next year)


Friday fives – movie edition

My fave movies of all-time, no apologies for the chick-flick and kids movies tone, that’s me!

  1. The wedding singer (Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler are two of my fave actors; and ‘I wanna grow old with you’ was played at our wedding!).
  2. Shrek (The first one, not such a fan of the others. So many great lines “In the morning, I’m making waffles!”).
  3. Love actually (Cheesy yes, and so many story lines and characters to keep up with, but a lovely story. Still waiting on the next one though LOL).
  4. Minions (Possibly the most anticipated movie ever by my family, and thoroughly enjoyed it).
  5. I am Sam (Cried all the way through it on the plane over to USA, and that was before I had my son!).
  6. Breaking rules today, I just want to add another one Bootmen (Was the first real date my son’s father and I went on, great story too).