Albums of October

Hi Everyone,

Hasn’t this month flown by? I have 3 more exams and then my final undergraduate year is over. I am feeling equal measures of excitement and terror. Here are the slightly random collection of albums I have been loving this month. It contains some of my favorite albums of the entire year!

1. Metronomy: The English Riviera

So this is my definite favorite of the month. I actually listened to the album once through and wasn’t that interested or impressed and took a couple weeks before I happened upon it again. Surprisingly, I then fell in love with the quirky indie pop beats that this English band has produced in their third album. The songs are full of variety and are totally catchy. Seriously though, this style of music is so hard for me to describe, sometimes I wonder why I bother to try in these posts haha. I absolutely cannot get enough of this album. It makes me want to dance which is strange because the last thing I would do is dance. Upbeat, unique, fun, quirky, 80’s synth, a little bit alternative. I love it. If there is one album from this post you take a look at let it be this! You’ll probably either love or hate it but its something a bit different 🙂
Songs you all must listen to: Everything Goes My Way, The Look and The Bay.

2. Miike Snow: Happy to You

So I have always loved music by Miike Snow and so I am not sure why it took me so long to listen to their new album. After listening to it a few times this definitely grew on me. Miike Snow is indie pop with a lot of great dance beats thrown in and that’s the best I can describe it. The songs are catchy and fun to do dishes to (this is a huge factor for me!). I am not a dance music person normally so although there is a definite beat in the album it doesn’t overshadow the interesting lead vocals and the pure gold that is the soaring tunes. I personally love the strange combination of elements that really come together throughout this album. Also an appearance by Lykke Li goes down very well.
Songs you all must listen to: The Wave, Devil’s Work, Bavarian #1, Garden

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3. Mumford and Sons: Babel

I loved loved loved Mumford and Sons’ last album and was highly excited when I heard they had released a new album! I had never expected to love the style of rustic but upbeat banjo playing and yet totally fell in love with Sigh No More. So how did the new album live up to my high expectations? Obviously I enjoyed this album otherwise I wouldn’t be including it in this monthly round up. The title track Babel is definitely catchy and emotive, everything their last album had captured perfectly. I’m not sure if this album is as strong as the last but it definitely satisfies my cravings for the rather addictive banjo playing and absolutely lust worthy voice of the lead singer that captures so much emotion in each note I can hardly handle it. Seriously, if this guy ever spoke to me I would probably die on the spot. Someone give him my phone number? Anyway… great album and worth a listen if you loved the last! No big changes but sort of what we would expect following their debut. And that’s just fine with me 🙂
Songs you all must listen to: Babel, I Will Wait, Hopeless Wanderer, Where Are You Now

4. Kings of Convenience: Quiet is the New Loud

Lastly I have the only album that isn’t a new one for me. This album has been a favorite for countless years and recently I found it in the depths of my computer and have been wallowing in it ever since. Okay I don’t know if wallowing is the right word. The duo from Norway have a soft and gentle acoustic sound that I love very much. The slow but catchy beats are paired with harmonized voices and idyllic acoustics. Definitely an album for a relaxing afternoon in the sun. This is my “calm down” album when stress levels are getting a bit intense. Somehow I haven’t got my hands on their new album so expect that in the future… Okay wait apparently their have been two albums since this. Wow. My bad.
Songs you all must listen to: I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From, Summer on the Westhill, Parallel Lines

Made Me Smile

Hi All,

I hope everyone has had a great week. Today I had my second exam (out of 5) and I have another one tomorrow so this post is a 5 minute throw up and hope I don’t make too many spelling mistakes haha (I seem to do those a lot lately). Here are some of the highlights of my slightly boring week of exams and study.

This amazing bunch of goodies was kindly bought for my by my mum! She went to some big sale while I studied my wee behind off and managed to choose products that I totally would have chosen for myself. She knows me so well (especially when it comes to nail polish). I also have a review for the mascara coming up in a wee while as I love trying new ones out.

This week was the week of birthdays with Mr 4 turning into Mr 5 and Dad also celebrating his birthday! These little tarts were my baking gift for dad. Having never ventured into the world of tarts before this was an interesting experience but I was actually really happy with how they turned out. Chocolate orange on the top and lemon curd below. Both rather scrumptious.

A huge highlight of this week was Callie getting her crazy, annoying Elizabethan collar removed along with the stitches on her tail (or rather what’s left of it…awkward). She has been so much happier and more like her crazy self since, as exemplified with this blurry shot of her helping herself to a treat.

Okay so I am not an Outfit of the day kind of person (I generally don’t buy many clothes as a poor student and wear jeans and a top of some description most days) but on Sunday it was birthday party time for Mr 5 and I couldn’t help but snap a photo of this dress as it is definitely one of my favorites!

Mr 5’s birthday party was held at Kelly Tarlton’s, the main aquarium here in Auckland.It turned out to be heaps of fun despite having 12 crazy 4/5 years olds running around high on sugar. The penguins were my absolute favorite  along with the big stingrays as pictured below which for some reason just seem like giant puppy dogs of the sea.

So there’s my week in smiles! Wish me luck in my exam tomorrow 🙂

Xx

Friday’s Letters

Dear Dad: Happy birthday for yesterday! Thank you for teaching me how to ride my bike, play chess, experiment with food and most importantly, thank you for teaching me that my possibilities in life are endless with a head full of dreams and a positive attitude. Dear Saturday Psych Exam: Thank you kindly for ruining my weekend. Is nothing sacred anymore? Dear Sunny Weather: You brighten up my days and lighten my mood. Please don’t ever leave. Dear Revlon: Please bring the kissable balm stains to NZ quickly so I can buy them all!!!  Dear Callie: I know you are loving being back outside, all healed up! I love seeing you back to your normal, crazy self, just please don’t go getting yourself hurt again. Dear Essay Mark: Where are you and why are you taking so long? It’s been over a month now and the exam is fast approaching. Dear Edd: You are so amazingly smart it boggles my mind. Our babies will be tiny geniuses with a little bit of crazy thrown in from my side.

Perfection

I’m Not Perfect

I’m not the perfect daughter, sister, fiancee, friend, student, cat-mum, cleaner, baker, blogger, wedding planner or Christian.

I Make Mistakes

Sometimes I hurt other’s feelings. I forget birthdays. I forget how to say sorry. I get stubborn. I swear unnecessarily. I get jealous. I lie to others . I lie to myself. I forget to do things. I don’t treat others with respect. I don’t treat myself with respect. I leave everything to the last minute. I lose important stuff. I eat too much crap. I yell. I forget to take my vitamins. I avoid housecleaning. I forget to take my makeup off before bed. I put others down. I put myself down. I forget to be thankful. I over-mix my muffins. I cry too easily. I don’t tell the people I love that I love them enough. I worry too much. I watch too much reality TV. I forget to pray.

This is obviously not an exhaustive list.

But I try.

I try and enjoy each moment. I try and say sorry when I know I’m wrong. I try and ask for help; from friends, family and God. I try and forgive people who make the same mistakes I do. I try and treat others the way I want to be treated. I try and smile at strangers more often (although some people find that creepy). I try to pay attention to the recipes more. I try and be a little more organised without losing the ability to enjoy spontaneous moments of fun. I try to tell others how beautiful they are. I try to think about all the good things in my life and all the amazing people who I love and who love me. I try not to worry so much about the future and enjoy the present as I live it. I try and do kind things for others without expecting anything in return. I try to take better care of my body. I try to recognize the source of my jealousy and insecurities and work on not feeling them anymore. I try to study harder. I try and be there for my friends and family when they need someone. I try to become a slightly better person.

Perfection, for me, is an ideal that is not worth worrying about. All we can do is aim to improve and get better each day. Knowing where I go wrong and what my weaknesses are allows me to try and become a better person.

As hard as it is sharing some of my weaknesses and mistakes in life I know that we all experience moments of failure and disappointment,  either with ourselves or others. But life is about growing and moving and changing and that is what I hope to keep doing for everyday that I am lucky enough to be here 🙂

Hope you are all having an amazing week. Please feel free to share some of your faults so I don’t feel so awkward baring all 😛

 

Made Me Smile

So last week was the end of my lectures for my last undergraduate semester. Pretty exciting but a bit of an anti-climax to be honest, especially with the looming exams starting this Saturday (yup, even my weekends are victim to the hell that is my 5 exams). I can’t wait for exams to be over. I have so many posts I want to write but am lacking so much time at the moment and these 5 minute posts seem to be all I can muster 😦

Regardless, here are the few small things that kept me smiling all week.

By now I am sure you aren’t surprised to see tea high on my list of weekly highlights. This is a new favorite and I have been completely in love with the sumptuous taste of this ceylon tea. It smells like Turkish delight and  tastes even better. A big pot of this each night has made the study seem a bit sweeter.

To celebrate the end of lectures I made some chocolate cupcakes with my first ever attempt at chocolate buttercream (I know, but I’m pretty new to this cupcake stuff). These were amazing and probably my favorite cupcakes (me-made) so far.

Thursday I received my first ever Sample Bar box. You can read all about it right here! This definitely made a nice break from a week full of Uni and getting something in the mail other than bills is always a true delight!

I dunno where this image comes from but during the week a lovely lady, Mish, sent an email to me with this and some rather fitting (adapted) Police lyrics. This made me giggle in a room full of silent students, studying away, and so I thought it definitely deserved a mention. Owls are pretty awesome (not as great as foxes though).

As usual I arrive late to every great party and these Arizona Tea drinks are amazing!!! Again, Mish told me all about these weeks ago and I was like “oh cool” and that was it. On my last day at Uni I saw them at the Munchie Mart (our awesome Uni dairy thing) and grabbed the most appealing. All in all, the nicest tea drink I’ve tried. Also, the bottles are so gorgeous that I can hardly bear to throw them out. Go get some!

Saturday involved Edd and I indulging in our new favorite treat. Eggs Benedict at St Lukes. Seriously amazing. I almost wish I didn’t enjoy them so much. My wallet would definitely thank me.

Lastly, Sunday saw me baking away with Mr 4 and Mr 10 (banana muffins at the request of Mr 4). This photo captures how Mr 4 is for the majority of our baking time and explains why my post-baking clean up can take quite  a while. He just finds it very exciting 😛 Mr 10 on the other hand takes baking (like all things) very seriously and so coping with a crazy 4 yr old can sometimes be a struggle. Its always a fun experience though 🙂

Here’s the more peaceful image I posted on Instagram. A rare moment of cooperation and tranquility. Don’t worry, this didn’t last long.

Hope you are all having a lovely week! Time to get back to studying (yay…)

Xx

Friday’s Letters

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Dear Pizza: You make my belly happy. I shall worry about your horrific caloric content at some other point. Dear Lectures: You are now completely over for my undergraduate degree(s)!! Dear Exams: See you next Saturday. Thanks for throwing 3/5 exams at me in the first 4 days. Dear Callie: Only 4 more days and then that annoying collar can leave us all alone! Dear Auckland: Please start behaving like it is actually Spring. I keep putting my big jumpers away and then having to dig them out a day later. Too confusing. Dear Fawlty Towers: I love that I can watch you over and over and you never stop being hilarious! Dear Edd: Can’t wait to get married to you! Even though nothing is ready yet … Lets just do fish and chips on the beach?

Sample Bar Glam Pack!

Hi All!

So today was an exciting moment for me as I received my first ever beauty subscription box! Sample Bar has started the only New Zealand beauty subscription service and this is the starting box that they have sent out to the first 400 people who were on the waiting list. The service is $25 each month to receive a pack of 5 products. So I thought I would show you guys the products that are in this first box and give you some of my first impressions. Firstly I think the way it is packaged is really elegant! I love the black and white simple design and have many ideas for what I can use these boxes for in the future… (okay not that many, but I’m still thinking!)

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