Tuesday, March 19, 2013

There is no excuse!

I used to moan about living in an upstairs apartment with no outside/no grass on which to create a vegetable garden. While I still moan about having no outside and no grass, after I saw this picture of a guy who grew £900 of food on his balcony and windowsills in a year, I realised there is no excuse to not start my garden. I have balcony space that doesn't get used so damnit I'm using it! So two weekends ago (in the middle of a drought - real smart timing Sarah...) I went to out with mum and dad to buy some pots, plants, soil and tools to get me started. It's not much and I'm certainly not going to grow enough food for us to never visit the supermarket again, but it's a start! Right now it's really just a way for me to learn about gardening, as I've never really gardened before apart from a couple of stints with mum as a kid which I quickly lost interest in when I realised my sunflowers would take months to grow.
So I've started simply with a few herbs: Parsley, chives, rosemary and basil because I always used the herbs growing in the garden when cooking with mum back in the day - fresh herbs just make a dish that much more delicious! I've got a couple of vegetables, as there's not a lot you can grow at this time of year (but mark my words, in spring, it's on!) so I've got: spring onions, spinach and broccoli. Yum!

I also bought an amazing recipe book the other day, full of beautiful recipes using fresh, whole foods and all those awesome "super foods" like quinoa and couscous. Can't wait to use the stuff I've grown in these recipes! Yum!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy Monday :)

Hello! Happy Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend! It's finally raining here, breaking our drought, and long may it continue so our farmers can get back on their feet and our gardens can start growing again. Instead of a quote I thought I'd introduce you to this amazing NZ born, Brooklyn-based band I discovered while watching one of my favourite shows last weekend, 7 Days - they're called Streets of Laredo and they're fabulous!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's definitely autumn...

I start work at 7.30am and I'm lucky that it takes my 10 minutes to walk there. Although it's hard getting up early, sights like this accompanied by chilly Autumn morning air makes it worth it. Ahh summer, it's been great, but autumn is still my favourite season.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I am what I eat - Week 6

I realise this post is a wee bit late, but it's like that for a reason I promise... I delayed writing about week six because I went back to see my Naturopath, Anya Nidd, on Friday to check in and see how things were going.
And things are going great! It's cool to see the changes slowly happening over the course of a few weeks, but it's particularly satisfying to go back to Anya and tell her all about the last six weeks, including the slip ups and the hard bits, and know that I'm doing things right and also that there is more I can do.
I felt like a different person on that second visit, like someone who had complete control of their health and skin. No longer do I moan about the state of my skin because, even though the majority of the time now it looks amazing, if it does look bad I know it's my own fault for indulging in too much sugar and fatty processed food. I also feel so much stronger in both mind and body. Although there have been times when I have had a taste of chocolate and it's taken me a couple of days of indulging (and nasty red pimples) to break the habit again, I've discovered an amazing willpower I never knew I had. I have stubbornly stuck to this new regime and the slips ups are becoming less and less because I'm now running on facts, not theories.
Before, in regards to my skin, I was bombarded by everyone else's theories on why I kept having breakouts in my twenties. Too much chocolate, too much stress, not enough sleep, not enough water, using the wrong products. But as much as I tried to turn those things around, nothing gave me results because I never actually knew the root cause of it.
Now I know I was extremely deficient in zinc, and dairy products, sugar and processed food were causing my breakouts. So now we never buy milk, barely eat cheese, my snacks consist of fruit, rice crackers and hummus, my meals are full of good whole foods and I take a zinc supplement.
Sounds easy, but it's been a commitment and a half requiring a lot of willpower and patience, which has paid off. I now believe that going off meat was my body's way of telling me it was time to do something drastic about my skin, energy levels, immune system and general health. So thanks body. xo

Monday, March 11, 2013

Happy Monday :)

Happy Monday you guys! Hope the weekend treated you well! Lots of exciting posts coming up this week, including engagement party photos, ramblings about goals and new ventures, and a few pretty pictures. Looking forward to it! Busy, busy day today though, hence the short post... Have a fabulous week! xo

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It's NZ Book Month!

It's time for the book nerd in me to celebrate my love of books! Her in NZ, it's Book Month, with a bunch of bookish events happening around the country, touring authors and people just generally loving and appreciating books. So I thought I would give myself a little interview to start things off - feel free to join in on your own blog or in the comments, even if your not from NZ, I'd love to hear from you!

What have you just finished reading?
Flashback Forward by John Cairney

What did you think?
Started of brilliantly, then went downhill from there with weak characters, dislocation from the central issues and an anticlimax.

What are you reading now?
The Collected Stories of Katherine Mansfield.

What do you think?
I fell in love with Katherine Mansfield after watching the movie about her early life, called Bliss, and I do love her writing, although I haven't read much of it yet - I've only just started.

Top five favourite books?
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, One Day by David Nicholls, Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen, Goodbye Sarajevo by Atka Reid and Hana Schofield, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Sallinger.

Favourite book that's been made into a movie?
The romantic in me says The Notebook... but Water for Elephants was truly amazing.

What's on your 2013 To Be Read list?
They're all New Zealand books, because I just decided to explore a bit of my local literature for a change: The Edge of the Alphabet by Janet Frame, Scented Gardens for the Blind by Janet Frame, I got his Blood on me by Lawrence Patchett, Tamar, White Feathers, Blue Smoke (series) by Deborah Challinor, The Girl Below by Bianca Zander.

What's your favourite place to read?
I can read anywhere really - growing up in a noisy family I trained myself to be able to read even when the TV was blaring, siblings arguing, mum cooking dinner. But in summer I do enjoy a nice comfy chair outside in the sun with a glass of orange juice beside me and in winter it's always nice to curl up in front of the heater in mountains of blankets and a cup of tea. Simple pleasures really.

What was your favourite book as a child?
That would have to be Go Dog Go! Even though Dad would read it to me like, every night, I still got so freakin' excited when he would slooooooowly turn the last page and there it was, A DOG PARTY!

If you could be any character from a book, who would you be and why?
Claire from the Outlander series because she's just so damn fearless! And she's married to Jamie Fraser..

Monday, March 4, 2013

Happy Monday :)

Happy Monday to you! My what a weekend it was! My handsome fiance and I had the most amazing engagement party. It went off without a hitch and it was the best feeling in the world to have all the people we love around us and to have our families and friends get to know each other. There were so many lovely stories told and sentiments extended about us and to us, and a lot of laughs to be had. I love how two people just being in love can make so many others happy and make so many things happen.
Before I was a little overwhelmed by this whole wedding planning thing, with all the options available, all the expense, the drama, but after Saturday night I feel at peace with it all and I think we both know that the most important thing on our wedding day is not the dress, the cake, the cars, the food, or even the venue. It's about bringing two families together and sharing the joy.
Have a fabulous week xo