Tuesday, December 23, 2008

the pohutukawa flowers

I know it is Christmas when the Pohutukawas (the New Zealand Christmas Tree) starts to flower. The flowers attract Tui’s which are so pleasant to listen to, music to the ear. As i ride the train home for Christmas I sit and think about how much I love summer and am so excited with all the adventures it holds.

This photo is taken at my favorite spot. Every time I pass this stretch of road (between Plimerton and Pukarua Bay) I take a photo. I love how this spot holds looks of emotion. Kapiti island and it’s surroundings is very moody and every time I drive past it looks different. Below are a few of my favorite pics from this year.

Merry Christmas Lovelies.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

and suddenly a soft subtle tear

Here are some beautiful photos from the Alice in Wonderland blog; written by Swedish-born, London based stylist Lindha Sagum. I stumbled upon these after reading an interview featured on JustFasion.Art.Design.

I love the outfit in the first photo, all the little roses and frills, so girly and pretty. I have noticed this is in a lot of collections In New Zealand this summer and I plan to purchase a few of them as well.

I have just realised I have developed a love for blogs written by Swedish people. I think this because subconsciously I’m missing my dear Swedish friend more than I realise, tear.

limbo is fine by me

I’m a girl-guide leader up at Brooklyn Brownies and on Monday we had our last meet. All term we have been doing a Christmas theme badge so we did all sorts of activities around Christmas; made Christmas wrapping paper, cooked Christmas cookies, sang Christmas Carols at Te Hopia Old Folks home and hospital. We also made decorations for their rooms and trees.

On our last day we decided to keep it fun with getting the girls to wear something to represent the festive season. We also played lots of games and at the end had a Christmas feast.

I will miss the girls over the summer break as being around children brings out the child within me that is always clawing to get when living in such a grown up world. Living in the city with peers and being in an office all day sometimes makes you forget the real reasons for living our crazy lives. In some ways I envy parents, their little ones around there feet keeping them busy and realistic about the world. It makes me realise why my parents aren’t as keen for my little sister to grow up as fast as my brothers and I and are now seeking new ways to keep youth on there side. And them again I am all too happy for it to take as long as possible for all of this to come upon me. Oh limbo, how I love it... or is it more that I hate to love it.

NB: If you were/are a part of Girl-Guides you would know that all leaders are given an owl name. In our brigade there is rainbow owl, barn owl, brown owl and me crazy owl. We were all given a little owl at the end of the year, very sweet. Mine sits on my desk at work, keeping an eye on me and making sure I’m always living by the brownie promise, which is of course always... well not everyone is perfect but I do expect more than a lump of coal this Christmas. ;-)

and the love affair continues

Breath taking fabrics, furniture and soon to be release bed linen by Madeline Weinrib

Monday, December 15, 2008

what are little girls made of?

All these sweet things.

This work ( done by buddug) is too sweet!

Source: Sorry I can’t remember who’s blog I got this from

celebrations = costume

So on Friday we had our work Christmas party. I love a good party and really any excuse to dress up so I thought it would be fun to come as a sack of presents. Yes I am a bit mad! It wasn’t the most perfect outfit to wear in windy Wellington I discovered but it was ideal for all the amazing food and booze we demolished at chow. Which can I say if a great place to eat. I go there often enough and it is great for functions, small parties or drinks. . They do an amazing banquette which is perfect for a function that will leave even the biggest over grown humans satisfied.

The photo below is a photo later on in the evening, I like it’s lighting and the movement is captured almost perfectly. It pretty much describes the festive atmosphere that lead the night away. However for once I wasn’t the one in the spot light and more the one paying back my dues for old times. It was a rather nice change, oh gosh am I growing up....

wishing you all a merry christmas from new Zealand

Every year shift add a little Christmas cheer to their website. This year it has been done in a true New Zealand style.

i want, i want, i want!

I have expressed my love for anthropologie before but now my obsession and desire with redecorating my apartment has grown my love for anthropologie has too.

They have a stunning range of chairs, sofas, and foot stools. Both the fabric and style of the pieces are exquisite. I want, I want, I want!

bring on the depression

I want to live in the woods and have no worries about the world
Actually it reminds me of the image that is used in an invitation I saw the other day.

Source: another beautiful find by LOLITA

Sunday, December 14, 2008

summer sundays

I love summer. Summer for me means strawberries, sunbathing, sleeping and seaside. But most of all I love summer on a Sunday. I usually head up to my beach house on a weekend and spend the day doing all of those things with the good company of family and friends, and this Sunday was the first of the year, with many more to follow.

And when I return home, back to the city I rub coconut oil all me skin and climb onto my lovely comfy bed to paint my finger nails and eat the last of the strawberries. With nice clean white linen I lie there absorbing the way the sheets feel so buttery against my salted, sun kissed skin, (thank the lord for Egyptian cotton sheets).

This weekend I also realised that summer had started to begin when I could finally use the Coconut oil that I got in Port Douglas, Australia. It has sat on my dresser for 8 months, with me waiting for the weather to be warm enough to liquefy the bottle of lard into a tropical dream and I last night I was finally able to rub the gorgeous product all over my skin. The smell of coconut and frangipanes is so intense and keeps your skin soft and fragranced all day. The smell brings back to me the story the Fijian lady who I brought it from had told me. She delightedly informed me that young Fijian women use to go into the bush at night, find the Frangipani flowers and rub the flower on their neck and place them in their hair. The scent was so strong that men could smell it from miles away and would come from villages afar to find the woman. I can believe it, this scent is so strong I can still smell it on me this morning and after my visit to Samoa earlier in the year I also believe this is so. Seeing and being introduced to small parts of the Samoan lifestyle, seeing the way they work off their instincts and still have a strong connection with their environment, their scene of the bush, it makes me understand and appreciate how this story/theory has come about.

You can but this beautiful oil online. It is only $8.50 (Australian dollars) a bottle. And they not only do they have Frangipani but a range of other scrumptious scents as well! It is made by the Banaha People. They describe themselves as the 'Forgotten People of the Pacific'. They have an amazing background of rich history that you can find out more about here.
This would make a great Christmas present that anyone who i
s going into summer will love.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

a nice thought that has turned into a mad rant

With the Christmas season upon us there is always a rush to find gifts. As we get closer to Christmas stores become over crowded, the pressure is on to find that perfect gift and a lot of the time I find that I end up buying things that I think are good presents when they are really rubbish, so I have decided to cut back on gifts this year and buy early (some of you may think that it’s only 14 days till Christmas and this is indeed late, but for me this is early!) This leads me two things:

Firstly shopping on line is great! There are some great places to shop online. It allows you to browse, and compare gifts and prices rather than do a panic buy. One of my favourite sites to browse is etsy! If you haven’t heard of etsy yet you should check it out now! (that’s okay you can always come back and read the rest later, off you go). While a lot of sellers are from the U.S they are pretty pronto about delivery. But there are a few from New Zealand as well. Below are some lovely pieces from cleobelle. Ever so sweet as I’m sure would put a smile on a loved one’s face.

Secondly with this economic recession we are going into, it seems that I am not the only one cutting back on gifts. This year I have noticed loads of blogs are featuring DIY presents (sign of the styles ahead and that have already hit for you early adaptors). Also Christmas has come early this with businesses closing down and massive sales on stock (this doesn’t normally happen in New Zealand to boxing day). I think this is great of course, not because I get to buy over priced goods for a 1/3 of the price but because it means that businesses have to become a lot more smart * in order to survive.

What do I mean by this? Well, today there are so many stores that are alike (Wild Pair, Lippy & Dotti, Farmers, Kmart and The Warehouse) so in order for them to survive they really have to differentiate themselves from their competitors (The Warehouse does this well) and find something unique about themselves that consumers can relate to, yes that ugly word... Marketing.

This is another reason why places like etsy have become so popular, because they sell unique products that are in smaller quantities. This allows products and lines to be easily changed to suit the target audience and change with the market. Of course the big companies will stay as they have the finical stability to stay around, but it is the middle ground competitors that we will see disappear as they can’t afford to be reactive with their big bulk production approach.

With middle ground chain stores providing more crap, oh sorry choice, it means we feel pressurised to buy more. Some may argue that competition is good because everyone knows that a monopoly in the market place is unhealthy. But it is also know that if there are too many choices then no one will survive and consumers will be left feeling disillusioned and confused about their product/brand and rather than making a choice they will make no choice at all.

This leads me to another point, (which is more like a foot note than a point that is directly related to the original statement above.) Barry Schwartz puts it wonderfully in this talk on ted.

If you don't want to watch the video I have an example he uses below. I haven’t written it word for word but you will get the gist)

We go into the supermarket to buy a type of salad dressing. When we get to the salad dressing isle there is 154 different types of salad dressings, we are confused for a while deciding which one to pick, there are just so many. We know we want something with a creamy texture but do we want ranch, caesar, thousand island, garlic mayo, blue cheese.... there are just so many. We decide on ranch and are off to find some bread. At dinner that night we have the ranch dressing on our salad and are unsatisfied with our decision, we think we should have got caesar or maybe garlic mayo was the way to go, we are annoyed about our decision... hum.
When we go down to the 4 square to buy our salad dressing a week later there are only 3 to choose from; a vinaigrette, caesar and olive oil based one. We know we are after a creamy based one again so the caesar if the obvious choice. We have it that night the dressing is almost perfect. This is not because it’s a different brand or style but because there were less choices to be made at the 4 square, therefore there is no way you could have made a better decision.
When we are given more choices we subconsciously blame ourselves for making the wrong decision. This is because there are so many choices available that we believe there is no way we can make the right one. When there are less choices involved it is easier for us to believe that we have it right because there is a smaller chance of us getting it wrong.

Anyway what are your thoughts, I’m just off on my tangent horse now, but always good to through some ideas around.

*(I realise this is bad England but it is a long term joke between a friend and I)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

someone else love accessories too

It seems the cherry blossom girl also has a soft spot for accessories. I love this blog, one of my favourites, done by a recently graduated fashion student who also has a knack for photography. She takes stunning photos including a lot of self portraits, (one of hers above). In this post she looks at her love for accessories, necklaces in particular.

Though I would also like to point out that the blue and white print is on its way in. It reminds me of some of my mother’s china that hangs on the wall. I have also noticed it in some of Kate Sylvester’s collection.

Quite a few of the necklaces featured are from the French factory. Seeing their website I had to share the image above with you as I love the way the photograph their products in context. This one says “j’aime le chocolt” translating to “I love chocolate”. Ooooh so sweet.