Music | Loving for Laneway

Its summer and summer wouldn’t be summer without a music festival. Last year it was Big Day Out, this year it’s Laneway and I couldn’t be much more excited.Laneway Festival 2015

Even if you don’t happen to be going along, there are a few faces who I had no clue about prior to excitedly spending my pay on a ticket. So I thought I should share a few new favourites. (I’ll be honest, I knew about 3 acts at the time I bought my ticket, fools rush in?)

1. Courteney Barnett

Courtney is an Australian singer with rambling lyrics that are hilarious and weirdly witty, as well as a unique style of dead pan story telling singing that reminds me of Kimya Dawson. Listen to Avant Gardener (ever wanted a song about having a panic attack during a heat wave in public) and Pickles in a Jar.

Courteney Barnett Laneway 2015

2. Jon Hopkins

I never thought I would be keen to see a sonic technician live but this guys arrangements hook me and apparently he is quite the live performer (I’m curious to see more than anything else). His synth/keyboard tunes are smooth and easy to relax into, I find them oddly hypnotic. Some may seem familiar as he has done a bucketload of collaborations. And I had never heard is name until a couple of weeks ago. Win. Might not be for everyone but take a listen to Breathe This Air and a familiar sounding Light Through the Veins (if you have 9 minutes free).

Jon Hopkins

3. St Vincent

I’m sure everyone other than me is already aware of St Vincent, sometimes I think I go through life without acknowledging anything new. St Vincent (Annie Clark) is someone quite unusual, in a great way, with some twisted indie pop melodies and haunting but playful vocals I don’t really have anything to compare her to. If you haven’t already, try out Cruel and Cheerleader, a couple of new favourites. I can already imagine how incredible she will be live. Dreamlike techno? I’m just going to stop trying.

St Vincent

4. Angel Olsen

I saved my favourite for last. I have fallen fast for Angel Olsen’s retro style of music, playing her songs on repeat since discovering her just 4 days ago. She is now probably the act I am most excited to see. This is one example of where I listen to one song and become instantly attached to a musician. Her LP, Burn Your Fire For No Witness is already going to be one of my favourite albums of 2015. Her style ranges from heart wrenching folk, like my favourite track unf*cktheworld and Windows, to experimental electric rock and more upbeat tracks like Hi-5. Her music is dreamy and intense. I would pay to go to Laneway for her set alone.

Angel Olsen

These 4 are all new to my ears, there are also the old favourites who I have wanted to see for a while like Banks, Belle and Sebastian and Little Dragon! And with a timetable of minimum clashes I am pretty hopeful at catching all of them. Bring on Monday 😀

Let me know if you are going and who you are excited for (not that I can squeeze much more into my day)!

xx

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Strawberry Fields Forever

Summer Strawberry Picking in AucklandWith Summer in full swing and the weekend hours more precious then ever, I have been trying to tick off various things from my Summer Bucket List. One of these was to gorge on strawberries at a pick your own farm, and with my two little brothers over for the day we had the perfect opportunity for it.

Summer Strawberry Picking in Auckland

With a few recommendations from friends, we decided on Garelja Bros Strawberry Gardens and spent a wonderful half hour or so filling up buckets and containers (and our mouths) with the most beautiful and delicious strawberries I could imagine. The boys had a great time and I was busy thinking of all the wonderful things I could do with the bounty we had picked. The hot sun was shining (we were slathered in sunblock), despite its popularity we never had to share our area with any other pickers and the strawberries were plentiful. Within 20-30 minutes we had more strawberries then we knew what to do with.

Summer Strawberry Picking in AucklandSummer Strawberry Picking in AucklandSummer Strawberry Picking in Auckland

The best part about Garelja Bros was when we came to pay, and found (to our surprise) that the mountain of juicy strawberries was only $15. We had expected to part with much more cash (rather happily) in exchange for our few kilograms of fruit. Unlike some other Strawberry farms, Garelja Bros doesn’t do their own strawberry ice cream, but their friendly staff recommended a spot called Juicy on the way back to the main road (turn left, left, left and its on your left :)) that specialised in fresh strawberry ice cream, as well as Coffee, smoothies and gelato. Somehow we found room in our bellies and sat on some beanbags in the shade with a monster of an ice cream to devour. I’d like to say that it was so big I couldn’t finish it..but I’d be lying.

Summer Strawberry Picking in Auckland

Both of these spots were cheap and friendly and provided the 4 of us with a highly enjoyable afternoon in the sunshine. Even better, I now have 4 kilos of strawberries in my fridge and freezer.

Summer Strawberry Picking in AucklandSummer Strawberry Picking in Auckland

If you haven’t been yet, Garelja Bros may only be open for a little while longer (check their Facebook page for details) but I highly recommend them if you get a chance between 10am and 3pm. They charge a very reasonable $5 a kilo and if you can, bring a flat tray to lay the strawberries on in the car so they don’t get smooshed.

Let me know if you have any favourite strawberry spots in Auckland and what else is on your Summer Bucket List!

Summer Strawberry Picking in Auckland

You can see Mr 7 eating on the job here. Cheeky.

Summer Strawberry Picking in Auckland

10 Things I Love About NZ Summer

Hi all! Yesterday the Mr and I got back from our little honeymoon/road trip around northland. Now that I’m back I will share with you guys where we stayed and places I recommend etc. but today I’m throwing up a list of ten things I love about summer here in New Zealand. I love being a Kiwi and am so happy to live in such an amazing beautiful country! I will miss summer but I’m kind of ready for it to cool down a bit.
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1. Road trips
2. Ice creams
3. Sand castles and boogie boarding (I am terrible at the latter)
4. Barbecues and late nights
5. Flip flops
6. Cold apple cider at anytime of the day
7. Bright nails
8. Dinner on the beach
9. Pohutukawa
10. Watermelon

12 Nail Polishes for Summer!

IMG_5559Hi All!

I always get excited when a new season arrives as I love searching through my nail polish and picking out the ones I think are well suited! Summer is my favorite nail polish season as I am a sucker for bright creams and tan-improving shimmer shades. This month I couldn’t help but also include a few neons as they have been a raging favorite this summer and although I normally don’t wear any neon at all I do enjoy a pop of it on my nails 🙂 So here are 12 of my favorite colours for summer

IMG_5522Butter London: Slapper and OPI: Fly

First up is my favorite shade to wear in summer – a beautiful bright teal that makes my skin look tanned (not an easy feat may I add) and is bright but also a little bit different. I know these both look identical but they aren’t and I honestly couldn’t choose just one! It’s a problem, I know 😉 Slapper has more green than fly which is a tad dustier and more blue toned. Both are stunning colours year round but even more so in summer with floral dresses and beachy hair waves. It always makes me feel a little bohemian chic (my favorite style especially for summer). Both have great formulas that are perfection in two quick-drying coats.

IMG_5529OPI: A Roll in the Hague and Butter London: Macbeth

These are two of my favorite brights that I have been looking forward to sporting for the summer. A Roll in the Hague has been a favorite all year and is an ideal bright orange for summer. It is the right colour and tone to avoid looking halloweeny or clashing with my skin tone. Macbeth is a gorgeous pink-toned bright red (much more of a bright red than the picture would suggest). I admit I mainly got this for the name (so sue me, I’m strange) but it is a gorgeous red for summer and looks lovely on the toes!

IMG_5517Essie: Fiji, Essie: Knockout Pout and OPI: Kiss Me On My Tulips

Aside from teal blues which are my go to colour shade I love a nice pink polish during the summer and here are 3 I see myself using a lot this summer. Fiji is a beautiful pale pink that is great for a more demure and polished look. This pale shade again does wonders for my pale skin. Knockout Pout is a beautiful salmon pink that has a touch of coral. Not a neon but still bright and beautiful. Lastly Kiss Me On My Tulips is the hot pink of the bunch! I love this, especially on the toes, and it feels very summery to me (although it did hail from a spring collection). All of these are beautiful and formula applications are easy for Knockout Pout and Kiss Me On My Tulips whilst Fiji (being such a pale shade) is a little fussy that requires a few careful coats to get the beautiful, even pink colour. It’s worth it though 🙂

IMG_5513Essie: Beach Bum Blu and OPI: Cozu-Melted in the Sun

I am a cream girl when it comes to nail polish but I do love a good shimmer every now and then. Beach Bum Blu is a beautiful light blue shimmer that creates a foil-like effect and is rather mesmerizing in the sun. The OPI is a beautiful bronze/peach/rose-pink shimmer metallic that looks gorgeous with a tan and comes to life in the summer sun. Both of these are pretty sheer and require a few coats to get an opaque colour however the Essie is fairly easy. The OPI on the other hand I find slightly harder to apply nicely as it is very watery and doesn’t want to stay on my nails 😦

IMG_5519Orly: Glowstick, Kleancolor: Neon Orange and L.A. Girl: Hyper

So last up here are my 3 favorite neon nail polishes for the summer. Orly Glowstick is one that was released this year and creates an eye-searing yellow highlighter shade when applied (2 sheer coats) over a nice, opaque white polish. This is my favorite of the neons as the yellow is a perfect, bright shade. Kleancolour is a great, affordable brand here in NZ with a lot of shops selling their shades for around $3 so when I saw this neon orange I picked it up straight away! If you can put up with the notorious smell of these nail polishes from Kleancolour the colour is great and the neon is satisfyingly crazy bright. These polishes consistently impress me with their opaque formulas and despite being a neon this was no exception with two coats (no white base coat) providing the perfect neon orange. Last up is the L.A. Girl neon pink. This is the least neon of the 3 which although VERY bright, doesn’t quite have the same painfully luminescent quality that the others do. The thing I adore about this polish however is that in ONE coat it is opaque. Super easy to get neon (ish) pink nails and no fussing around with a white base coat which I like.

So there are my 12 nail polish picks for Summer here in NZ! Hope you are all enjoying the last month of 2012 (no matter what the season). Please leave any of your summer essential nail polish colours in the comments as I love hearing what other people reach for this time of year 🙂 The only question for me is which should I wear first?

Xx

Made Me Smile! Recovering

Hi All! Another Monday, another week of what made me smile!

So as Christmas fast approaches Christmas presents have been on the mind however my recovery from nose surgery has meant that I have had to take things a little slower than I would like. Regardless Christmas shopping is almost done and I am getting more excited every day. The other key thing this week is that I have started job hunting and today just finished a mammoth of an application form 😦 Always seems like such a giant waste of time when I probably won’t get it but I guess it is good practice. Anyway, here is my last week in smiles 🙂

photo (58)Mid week brownie baking. Despite not having the exact ingredients, after a while of no baking I was happy to whip these up to munch on with Mum when she spent the afternoon keeping me company 🙂 Such a lovely day of green tea, nail polish, endless chats and brownies.

photo (59)Although the weather is a bit dodgy now last week featured plenty of hot sunny days where I could sit outside with Callie and soak up some sun. I love when she does this and reaches out to touch me while we are resting haha, it always brings a smile to my face (although every thing Callie does results in a smile so that isn’t really saying much).

photo (62)One of the joys of being too sick to do much cooking is having on-hand excuses to order Thai! I talk about this place (FatBoy Thai in Sandringham) way too much so I’ll just leave you with the picture of the mountain of Thai food we got.

photo (61)I was finally feeling well enough to venture out to the movies this week so Edd and I went and sat through a very enjoyable Hobbit! I was wary after hearing mixed things but I personally enjoyed it immensely! I am also now making my way through the book which brings back a lot of childhood memories. The popcorn and ice-creams weren’t bad either :p

photo (60)Saturday Edd and I caught up with his parents for a delicious pub lunch and I was very happy to see Rekorderlig cider on the menu! I tried the Mango and Rasberry for something new and it was delicious but the Strawberry and Lime remains my favorite 🙂 Seriously though, this drink just screams summer.

photo (56)Speaking of Summer….Isn’t Brown’s Bay beautiful at this time of year? Now that I don’t live on the East Coast Bays of Auckland I truly miss the beauty of the beaches that line the suburbs 😦 I definitely was a bit spoilt being surrounded with beaches and I didn’t really click to how lucky I was until I moved to our current area which has no beaches in sight.

photo (59)

Whilst in Brown’s Bay on Saturday Edd and I popped into one of my favorite pet shops and spent waaayyy too long fawning over the many cute kittens that were all doing suitably cute, cat-like things. Here’s a personal favorite who had covered himself in his bed to go to sleep. Too much cuteness.

photo (58)On a last minute decision Edd and I stopped at the rather giant makeup and fragrance sale that was happening last week out at Greenlane. Here is the OPI table. I was a little overwhelmed whilst simultaneously being in a nail polish hoarder’s paradise. I was also very happy to go around guiding Edd in a few Christmas presents for myself haha. I impressed myself with self-control when surrounded with discounted nail polish and makeup but still walked away with a fair few goodies to put under the Christmas tree.
photo (57)And speaking of Christmas trees here is the biggest one I have seen around Auckland. This one lives at Sylvia Park which was a mall of madness when trying to Christmas shop. Will be sticking to St Lukes from now on I think.

Some other things that made me smile: wrapping Christmas presents up with someone I love, being allowed to drink tea again, pizza night and leftovers the next day, Christmas cards from friends, starting some wedding DIY decor projects, toffee nut frappes from Starbucks and watching old seasons of Survivor.

I hope everyone is having a great week 🙂

XX

Friday Letters: Nearly Home-Time!

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Dear Callie: I miss you but tomorrow night I will be home with you finally! Yay! Dear Bed: Looking forward to spending some quality time together shortly. Dear Surgeon: You seem like a nice, intelligent guy. Please don’t kill me on Tuesday. Dear Summer: Hi, Nice to Meet You. Please let this weather stick around until the 17th of February. Thanks in advance. Dear Mum: Have a lovely trip to Adelaide! Thank you for helping me out work-wise now that I am unemployed and no longer can use being a student as an excuse. I love knowing you are always on my side in helping me tackle life. Dear Mr 5 and Mr 10: Although I am exhausted after our two weeks I will actually miss the chaos of life with you! You are both such amazing and unique people who will grow up to do amazing things. This I know. Don’t ever give up on your dreams or let others beat you down and know that there is always someone who will be on your side and love you unconditionally. What are big sisters for? Dear Monthly Favorites: I am afraid you will be slightly delayed but early November still counts right? Dear Soy Chai Lattes: After detesting soy milk throughout my childhood when I was forced to have it instead of normal milk I now love you. Your nutty flavor goes perfectly with the spices of a chai latte and creates a drink that is almost too delicious. Dear Edd: Sometimes I feel like you love Callie more than me…but I probably make you feel the same so let’s just agree us three all love each other unquantifiably.

Friday’s Letters

Dear October: Where did you go? Time slips through my fingers like sand and I find that slightly terrifying. Dear Summer: I am very thankful for the increase in beautiful blue skies and warm weather but it does make it much harder to feel like studying when all I want to do is take my book to the beach and read the day away. Dear Exams: 3 done and 2 to go. The light at the end of this 4 year long tunnel of my conjoint is becoming slightly brighter. Please keep behaving and don’t throw any unexpected surprises my way. Dear Green Tea: I don’t know how you do it but thank you for being so delicious, relaxing and guilt-free. Dear Washing Hamper: Why is it that no matter how many loads of washing I do I can’t seem to get you out of control. You are truly painful and I would really like it if you just washed, folded and put yourself away. Thanks. Dear Friends: I don’t know how I have become friends with so many amazing people through twitter and blogs and what not but I feel truly blessed to feel like I am surrounded by like-minded people who are beautiful inside and out! It’s nice to have my faith in human kind back. Dear Edd:  Thanks for making me amazing curries when I am too busy taking 10 billion photos of about 5 products for my blog.

Xx

p.s. sorry for the double post action today, I was totally meaning to post my favorites yesterday but obviously that didn’t happen…