My 5 picks for the NZ Comedy Festival 2015

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I am a big fan of this time of year, when comics flock to New Zealand to create the NZ International Comedy Festival. Just take my money. Last year Edd and I left for Europe right at this time (sob) and so missed out on seeing much action, I plan to remedy this in 2015 by going to as much as I can. For those who may not know where to start or what to see, the comedy festival website has kindly broken it all up into some handy sections (accompanied by cat pictures) so you know which shows will not be appropriate for your young sister and her very conservative, religious friends too (one time, 1 bad decision). I wanted to share 5 shows that I would pick, either because I have seen the comedian before or just ’cause it sounds great.

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Wilson Dixon – For the first time again

I have seen this talented cowboy a few times at various comedy shows and Wilson Dixon never fails to disappoint with his drawling stories from the mid-west. Throw in a few catchy and hilarious songs and you have an hour that flies by, full of laughs.

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Best of the Billys – Hosted by Ben Hurley

This kind of comedy show is a great way to get the most for your money and see a few different comedians in one night. Best of the Billys features a few favourites like Rose Matafeo, Cori Gozalez-Macuer and Guy Montgomery, and will no doubt be a hilarious night for a very reasonable price. A perfect introduction to some of New Zealand’s best.

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One Man Breaking Bad – The Unauthorised Parody

As soon as I heard that there was a 1 hour show where 1 man acts out all 5 seasons of Breaking Bad and its amazing characters, I knew I had to be there. Enough said.

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Rose Matafeo – Finally Dead

I love Rose’s unique style of comedy, she always puts on a good show and I just relate to her awkward stories more-so than any other standup comedian. She is one of New Zealand’s best acts in my opinion and definitely worth fitting into your comedy calendar. In this show she stages her own funeral, which sounds weirdly appealing.

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The Green Effect – Hosted by Brendon Green

The Green Effect is a show featuring different funny people on the two different nights who all put their hilarious minds together to come up with a way to save the world. I don’t know much more about it but will be going along to see what they come up with! Visit the website to find out more.

Will you be going along to any shows this year? If so let me know what your picks are (not that I can afford to go to all the shows I would like to see!).

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Taking Stock | April 2015

It’s been a fair few months since my last Taking Stock post, and I felt like doing one again 🙂 If you want to join in go and grab the blank list over on Pip’s blog. This year is going so quickly and I almost feel like if I sit down and focus on the following list it’s like I am holding on to this moment in time, like sand slipping through my fingers. So lets sit and ponder, shall we?

Taking Stock April

Making : Lists, everyday, to try and help me keep priorities in order and make my mind less chaotic (I’m one of those people who in the middle of the night won’t be able to sleep because I will be listing things on my fingers that need to be done, this is much less stressful if I can just write it down and leave it til morning)
Cooking : Chickpea, tomato and coconut curry. Real yum
Drinking : Lemon, ginger and honey with hot water. Have started doing this almost daily and loving it (plus hoping it will ward off my cold that I feel approaching)
Reading: A book called the Biology of Belief, challenges my mind which is good
Wanting: Another cat so that Merlin can have a little friend to play with
Looking: For ways to make my home more beautiful
Playing: Minecraft, Mr 7 is teaching me how (I’m a slow learner it turns out)
Deciding: Which gym classes to go to during the week
Wishing: That there were more hours in a day, more days in the year, more years in my life. If I could just have a couple of lifetimes to live out all the different dreams I have, that would be swell
Enjoying: The moment
Waiting: To see what happens with my job and the future
Liking: The possibilities each day holds
Wondering: What other people would say are their main values in life, and wondering what mine are or should be
Loving: My family and my Merlin, even when he brings in the biggest insects he can find and lets them loose in the house (minus several legs)
Pondering: The ways to make my life the way I want it
Considering: Taking up sign language classes
Buying: All the necessary things to start learning to crochet, wish me luck!
Watching: Community and remembering how funny and clever the first couple of seasons are (Troy and Abed 4eva <3)
Hoping: That I can make some time to bake again soon, its been to long!
Marvelling: At how the different people I know are all so different and have such amazing qualities, I have so much I can learn from others
Cringing: At some of the things I say. This is why I tend to just keep my mouth shut around people I am not close with
Needing: To learn how to just be me and appreciate that I am not everyone’s cup of tea (and that’s okay)
Questioning: How I can make myself more of a priority
Smelling: French pear, oh Ecoya, your candles will break my wallet some day
Wearing: My new Fitbit! Its the best thing. The best.
Following: along with the New Zealand Bachelor, and only feeling slightly embarrassed at how much I enjoy it. We all have our escapes, right?
Noticing: How much better I feel after a good night’s sleep
Knowing: That I need to make some changes to my exercise routine
Thinking: How lucky I am to have my husband going through life by my side
Admiring: People who seem to have it all figured out. And also Edd who is learning to drive and doing such an amazing job, despite having a crazy “supervisor” who would drive even the most patient learner insane. I’m really sorry x
Sorting: All my clothes, donated a whole bag of things I had been hanging on to for no real reason, and it felt amazing
Getting: A little more organised, day by day
Bookmarking: These finger tattoos that are totally hipster but I still really love them
Coveting: perfect skin. Is that a thing you can covet? If so I definitely covet it :-/
Disliking: Spinach leaves in smoothies. I am still figuring out the best way to disguise the taste
Opening: My diary more often. Turns out that having a diary is only really useful when you occasionally look at it…
Giggling: often, I’m blessed to live with some incredibly funny and weird flatmates
Feeling: Optimistic for the future and content with the present. The past can just stay where it belongs for now 😛
Snacking: Less, and generally succeeding (there is chocolate by my bed from Easter that I haven’t even devoured yet and I feel like this is a big thing)
Wishing: That I felt confident in my health and could trust that I am not going to get sick again soon
Helping: A good friend move in to her new flat after a two month trip to South America (and only feeling slightly envious of her amazing trip, okay a lot envious)
Hearing: new albums from Spotify, like the latest release by DeathCab which I fell in love with after the first listen.

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Leave a comment if you do a post like this or something similar, I think its such a nice way to just consider the different things all going on.

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5 ways to own that job interview

  

I was and possibly still am one of the worst job interviewees. I like to think that over the last few months I have improved, at least marginally. And because I am now 1% closer to being a job interview master, I figured it was only time to share my very limited but possibly useful knowledge with the world. Or a very small portion of the world. Things that I wish I had been able to tell myself before throwing myself onto the chopping block rather unprepared.

1. Be authentic to yourself and your skills

I don’t know if this needs to be expanded on but basically be honest to yourself, your skills and your strengths. Don’t lie about a skill that you didn’t even know existed because there are two outcomes, and neither are great. Either they see through your lie and don’t trust anything else you say and you don’t get the job, or alternatively and quite possibly worse, they do believe you, you get the job and are thrown in the deep end without the necessary support. The other side to being authentic is to not become a robot, parroting off stuff you memorised that kind of almost fits their question. Be natural, be funny (if, unlike me, you are actually funny), if you’re nervous take a moment to gather yourself. Let them see your personality for what it is, not for how you think they want it to be (unless you’re crazy, in which case reign that in and save it for later). Don’t forget to Smile 🙂

2. Don’t forget how incredibly awesome you are

Whilst remembering our limitations, make sure to focus on your strengths and all the amazing skills that you would bring to the role. Now is not the time to be humble so tell them about all the times you saved other people’s butt because of how great you are (’cause you are great, and you know it, so make them know it too). Tell them about how great you would be as part of the team and what unique sills and visions you have to offer.

3. An interview is a two-way street

This little gem comes from my Dad who always reminds me that an interview is also my chance to see if the role is for me. My ultimate satisfaction now comes from making the interviewers sell themselves and the job to me. If I can do that then it changes the whole perspective on the interview (at least for me) and makes me 120% more comfortable. You can do this by asking questions like “What is the team environment like?”, “What would you say is the best thing about working for your company?” etc. Remember, this might not be the job for you (and that’s totally fine because you deserve the job that suits you) so now is the time to figure that out.

4. Be Prepared

Take some of Scar’s advice (but not all of it ’cause that feline was crazy mad) and be prepared for the interview, know what to expect. This might involve *actually* reading the job description (which I really hope I’m not the only person to forget to do), going online and looking up example questions, asking the interviewer in advance what types of questions they generally base their interview off (e.g. behavioural in which case practise makes perfect). I like to brainstorm things like the skills I have that are most relevant to the role and how I can make sure they come up enough. Do your homework so that you leave knowing you gave it your best shot.

5. Don’t take it too seriously

I am without a doubt one of the worst people in terms of freaking out over job interviews. Meet me half an hour before my interview and I will be shaky, sweaty, unsettled, hyperventilating, sculling coffees, stress eating chocolate and may have most likely lost the ability to speak English properly. Only extremely recently have I somewhat improved on this front and this is due largely to just looking at the interview not as a life/death situation but simply an opportunity to grow and develop, even if its just in becoming slightly less nervous next time. We all know job hunting can be one of the worst experiences, but try to approach each interview as a chance to become even more amazing at showing people how great you are, and as a bonus you might even get a job. If you don’t (and boy have I experienced that feeling..a lot) its not because you are a terrible person, its not because you went to shake their hand and then suddenly forgot how that worked, its not because you were too nervous to speak in full sentences. It’s because it wasn’t the job for you, and that’s okay.

  
I still have so much more to learn in terms of becoming less of a nervous wreck during interviews, so please let me know what you find most useful and what tips you have picked up!

 

Taking that first step, starting out small

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So it’s been a little while since I devoted some time to writing and posting and staying connected online. It was a needed break as I have been struggling lately, with my health, with my stress levels at work, with trying to live a somewhat balanced life.

One thing that I keep having to remind myself is that I am in control. When I let my health beat me down, its my own responsibility because of the way I haven’t been taking care of myself. When I let myself become overwhelmed by stress, its because I haven’t made my mental health a priority. When I fail at living a balanced life its because I haven’t put in the effort. It becomes so much easier to blame my issues on things outside of my control, but if I continue like that then it puts me in a position where I feel as though I don’t have the power to change my situation.

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Phew, so what I am trying to say is that I want to try and take more control over my everyday experience of life. Be more mindful of each moment, be more wary of commitments and making sure I have time for myself. Surrounding myself with those that bring happiness to my life and to some degree, trying to remove the negative influences in my life (be them internal or external). I feel like we could all do with a reminder like this sometimes, which is why I decided to ramble on about it here (sorrynotsorry).

My first area that I want to start focusing on and taking small steps to improve is my physical health. This has such a big impact on all the other realms of my life and I know from that one time many years ago where I somewhat successfully actually took care of my body, that this can make big changes in things like my mental health and overall wellbeing.

Making physical health a priority is one of those things that should never have slipped off my radar, if my body isn’t functioning properly how can I expect everything else to run smoothly. Getting sick frequently, being overweight, feeling unfit and sore are all things that are a constant battle for me and yet I haven’t put the effort in to improve the situation.

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The key for me is to start small and make sustainable choices so below are 5 (hopefully manageable) goals that I will be focusing on for improving health and fitness. Next time I check in i’ll give you guys an update on how I am going and what I have struggled with.

  1. Use that gym membership to get to the gym 3 times a week, even if its only for half an hour
  2. Start having a proper breakfast with a protein fuelled smoothie (and occasionally try and make it green)
  3. Develop a better sleep cycle and aim for at least 7 hours a night (put your damn phone out of reach!)
  4. Start utilising the stairs at work instead of making the elevator awkward by trying not to make eye or skin contact with anyone
  5. Be more mindful of what I am using to fuel my body (chocolate is one source of fuel but perhaps consider some other options as well)

My last leaving thought is something that has helped me in putting the effort to be healthier into perspective; instead of seeing things like eating healthy or exercising as a chore or an impossible task that inevitably ends with a wine of glass and far too much pizza, I am trying to see it as a reward to myself, keeping in the front of my mind the feeling of being healthier and fitter and ultimately happier. By trying to create positive associations, like how happy I feel after a good workout or how satisfied I am after putting effort into a delicious vegetarian meal, I find it easier to motivate myself to make the changes. Hopefully this helps me in being more successful in looking after myself, but i’ll let you know!

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Let me know if you have any small goals that help you focus on improving your health and wellbeing, I’d love any tips or advice on how to make health more of a priority.

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