The new personalised approach to health

While I try to eat a perfectly balanced diet most of the time, there are just going to be those days where being healthy falls to the wayside in favor of treating myself to a something indulgent. On weekends, my weekday breakfast of a smoothie or a banana turns into an all-time favorite: French toast.


I fully condone having a treat once in a while, which is where my daily vitamins come into play. If you eat a perfectly healthy and balanced diet 24/7, you are probably getting all the nutrients you need from your food…and I envy you.


But if you’re like me, taking the right supplements will give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs on those days when an afternoon ice cream cone sounds better than a bowl of fruit.


Admittedly, I have childhood memories of refusing to eat things on my plate at dinner times resulting in arguments with my mother. Then, her chasing me around the kitchen with a fish oil tablet “you’re not getting enough Omega 3!”


Today, I’ve finally come to the realisation that she was right (somewhat...) and have taken the liberty of taking control of the vitamins I should be taking. While this is simply a suggestion, and you might only need to add one or two to your diet depending on what foods you already eat. Food is your best source of nutrition, but when you have those off days, this will help boost your body’s nutritional intake. Without further ado, here is my smart solution to taking your vitamins…

Introducing Vitally: this start-up poised to shake up the well-being industry as you know it.

Sick and tired of being sick and tired, Vitaly founder, Matt Hitchman, sought help from an effective but costly nutritionist, who recommended a prescription of supplements


“They helped but they were tedious - running out at different times coupled with frequent inconvenient trips to the store made for a short lived journey to a healthier me” detailed Matt.


That’s why Vitally was born.


Vitally is the first of its kind in New Zealand, seeking to change the game with a unique, personalised approach to health delivered straight to your door.


As with all things in life, take these suggestions in moderation. Vitally provide a fool-proof way to assist with vitamin taking, as they come individually packaged but just as there are side effects for eating too much of anything, there are side effects for taking too many vitamins. Do what feels right for your body, and contact the team at Vitally to help come up with a routine that works for you.


What vitamins do you take daily?

 

For more information check out vitally.co.nz and for 30% off your first order use the code “AMELIA30” at checkout. 

 

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The Yoga Festival, Embrace your inner Mastery

Four days, with 75+ of the finest teachers and practitioners and over 150 workshops and classes is what made up the heart and soul of the Yoga Festival 2018.

I spent a good part of my weekend experiencing these workshops and classes, and trying new things - my favourite of which  being the beetroot ruby lattes (I’m going to have to find these in a local cafe because I’m not sure I can wait another year for the festival in 2019!).

Stand-up paddle boarding yoga was another feat, tried and achieved in the space of an hour. Although, not the most relaxing of experiences - it’s definitely something I encourage everyone to have a crack at! 

Another success I can talk to, and will talk to - is the multitude of market stalls, selling and sharing their wisdoms with the festival crowd. I’ve never seen myself as a ‘crystal’ person - but after talking with a particular lady and her partner I now am the proud owner of a crystal collection - which I’m sure will only grow bigger in years to come.

The theme of the festival for 2018 was “embrace your inner mastery” a line that I didn’t fully understand until the closing ceremony. From this experience it was clear that is wasn’t as much about being good at yoga, the qualification you hold or the poses you can do - but rather about acknowledging your strengths and giving it a go. 

 

Check out more from the yoga festival over at www.instagram.com/yogafest2018 and at their website.

 

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To the T Styling, Dinner Parties done differently

Part time girl boss, Event Management student, Teneil is making waves in the industry at only 20 years old. Teneil operates under the company name “To the T styling”, which means that something is correct for you, down to the smallest detail.

In a recent collaboration with many local styling and accessory companies, Teneil set up the event - rightly labelled “girls just wanna have fun”. I had the pleasure of attending with five of my dearest girlfriends - all hosted for the evening at the amazing HUS Art Farm in Riverhead.

We dined in absolute flawless style - tables lined with floral arrangements, a cocktail bar with all sorts of adornments, a casual floor setting and beautifully printed menus and calligraphed cards.

One note to make a point of, is the personality behind it all - one that exuberates style and class while making a point to fuss over guests and details. An experience I could not recommend enough. 

Teneil at To the T Styling caters for all sorts of budgets and events - get in touch at www.instagram.com/to_the_t_styling  

Photos by Ben Lewer Photography  

Pre Drink Lounge Setting

Pre Drink Lounge Setting

Dining Table Setting 

Dining Table Setting 

Bar Setting 

Bar Setting 

Berocca Forward, Spreading Positive Energy

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” ~Buddha

You experience and create all kinds of different energies that affect how you feel and what you accomplish throughout your day. Some energies are powerful and easily recognisable, while others are more subtle and often only intuitively felt. I believe it is fair to say that everything is, in a sense, energy.

The things you say, the things you think, the things you do—even the things you don’t do—all produce energy that impacts you and the people around you. If you work on creating more positive energy, you’ll see improvements in your life and you’ll touch more lives than you thought possible.

Why focus on positive energy?

Positive energy is contagious. When you constantly take in the positive energy from your surroundings, it will be visible in the outer world.

My good friend Adam is perhaps the best example of this. He is so present that he radiates energy in everything he does. Everyone recognises it and everyone loves being around him. They feed off his energy.

I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times people have told me stories about Adam making their day, or making them smile or simply making them feel good. After many late night conversations with Adam, the best piece of advice I can share in terms of this is to be fully in the here and now.

To make room for the positive energy available in this moment, you’ll need to release negative energy you’re holding onto from the past—be it distant or recent.

This can seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t need to be if you focus solely on this moment and ask yourself: What about what I see in front of me makes me feel good? And if I don’t see anything that provides that feeling, how else can I access it?

It isn’t necessarily an otherworldly concept. It’s something we create in our day-to-day activities.

If you learn to fully appreciate this moment, you will see inspired energy that impacts everything and everyone around you. In this way, we play a much larger part in the bigger picture than we realise.

How do you create and utilise positive energy?

The Crew at Berocca have the right idea with their latest campaign to start spreading positive enegry through Berocca® Forward - a NEW, healthier* energy drink designed for mental sharpness as well as the physical boost you’re looking for. Made in New Zealand from local and imported ingredients, it contains natural guarana, is naturally sweetened, lightly sparkling and completely free of preservatives. Now that’s forward thinking!

Find them in store or at www.berocca.co.nz

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The Collective Africa, with their Summer Part 2 Collection (INTERVIEW)

The Collective Africa explained

The Collective Africa is an ethical fashion label that has been crafted by a love of bold fashion and from a heart that desires women to be free from oppression, abuse and sexual exploitation. All garments are uniquely crafted in Pemba Mozambique from locally sourced African wax prints, or 'Capulanas' as we call them here in Mozambique. The Collective brand stands for freedom, boldness and fun. Collectively celebrating femininity, they believe you have been Fashioned For Freedom!

Proceeds from each one of their garments are donated to The Liberty Project Africa. The Liberty Project is an organisation pioneering in Pemba with a vision to bring freedom, transformation and bright hope filled futures to young girls and women in Northern Mozambique who have come from backgrounds of abuse, oppression and sexual exploitation.

The lady behind it all

Laura Monahan is the founder and CEO of The Collective Africa as well as The Liberty Project Africa, which The Collective Africa donates to with the proceeds of each garment sold.

Laura has a background in commercial radio broadcasting and account management within The New Zealand Radio Network (NZME) and MediaWorks; as well as marketing, communications and event management experience in both commercial, non profit settings.

Laura lives in Pemba Northern Mozambique where she heads up The Collective Africa designing a fusion of afro chic and contemporary European clothing as well as being the founder and CEO of The Liberty Project also located in Pemba Mozambique. This project has been established to bring freedom, transformation and bright hope filled futures to women and young girls from backgrounds of abuse, oppression and sexual exploitation. www.the-libertyproject.org

Exclusive Interview with Laura Monahan:

What inspired you to start the Collective Africa?

The Collective Africa came about very organically September last year when teaching locals how to sew European designs blossomed into an opportunity to create beautiful garments with the vision sell to westerners in a less touristic market. I saw an opportunity create something unique and create a brand that would show women here that they can dream big, above and beyond what they have been told they can achieve. I then stepped out to begin designing garments that are on pa with global trends, with a unique touch to ensure that this brand can be desirable to the fashion conscious, socially conscious discerning buyer.  Since then The Collective Africa has flourished into something that I am so proud to be part of. This will be a vehicle of developing dreams for local women and a way to impact other women globally by simply purchasing a garment and 'putting on boldness' (walking boldly in color and having fun - we believe every woman has been fashioned for freedom) as they wear one of our items. I believe women have been fashioned for freedom, and this is our brand motto!  Proceeds from every garment sold are donated to The Liberty Project, an organisation I have founded in Pemba Mozambique which aims to bring freedom, transformation and bright hope filled futures to teenage girls and women who have come from backgrounds of abuse, oppression and sexual exploitation here in Northern Mozambique.

(Part of The Liberty Project's vision is to vocationally train women in sewing and clothing design as well as other areas, and The Collective Africa will provide employment at the end of this program for women who have a passion in this area.)

 

How did you discover need for this type of product in the marketplace? I have always followed trends and had an eye for different pieces, after experimenting here in Africa myself I noticed that I started getting comments from all over the world on the clothes I was wearing, photographing etc. and people began asking if I could make garments for them. Afro Chic / European Contemporary style is something new for most Kiwi’s and Europeans… fashion conscious people are always on the look out for something new and bold and this fits that well!

 

What is been the most difficult aspect of getting your brand of the ground and how did you overcome that?

Probably starting with zero money in the bank. This has literally grown from one garment made, one garment sold, then to be able to make two more, so on and so on. As we completed our first pop up store earlier this year in NZ as our pilot – we were then able to use that money to create our European collection #SummerPart1 and from that the collection for NZ and Aus #SummerPart2 all the while donating 2/3’s of the cost back to our non profit – The Liberty Project which works with women in Mozambique.

 

What are two aspects of business in which you believe a new brand should invest in resources?

The finer details – brand presentation and design; for example how you package things, tags, stickers etc, and time – time to put into your branding; your public profile; including social media, website and photography – these are your brands look and feel – don’t compromise on these things – this is what people see and therefor your brand is the image they are buying. For The Collective Africa this is boldness, freedom and fun!

 

What has been the most successful marketing outlet for The Collective Africa?

I would say it’s Instagram – this is a growing platform that draws people in visually which fashion is all about, builds a fan base that you can communicate directly with and then it directs your followers to your website. 

 

On your website, you have a select range available in New Zealand/Aus, how did you come about choosing the particular items?   

The New Zealand and Australian new collection #SummerPart2 has some of our most popular designs from the European Summer range plus some exclusive designs for NZ and Aus. I think Kiwi’s are a lot bolder in their fashion choices than some places in Europe; so I had fun choosing some bright and bold prints and chose some garment designs that I know fit warm days but also the cooler evenings that we have in NZ.

 

In what ways are patterns and colours you have in your New Zealand/Australia range reflective particular aspects about the culture you're targeting?  

Capulana is the name of the fabric we buy here in Mozambique to make our garments from, it’s a staple in every Mozambican women’s life here – they wear then, carry babies in them, wrap items in them etc, etc, when choosing this for NZ women I thought about how we often lead the way in the world in many areas, and so I took the inspiration from women here in Mozambique, a bold and versatile fabric and made garments that I know NZ women will wear with pride and wear into situations where they lead the way, whether it be in the workplace, on the global stage or at home influencing future generations – my hope is that each women who buys our garments feels free to be bold and to be themselves in our clothing. They are fashioned (created) to be free!

 

How do you think the New Zealand market will respond to your pieces? Is there any inspiration from Kiwi designers that confirm the shift to New Zealand is a necessary movement?   

NZ is one of the boldest markets out there, we love to try new things, good old Kiwi ingenuity! We already have some fabulous designers like Karen Walker who have taken place on the global stage with boldness and Trelise Cooper who is known for her love of frills and colour, The Collective Africa brings boldness, freedom and fun - a new addition to the NZ fashion scene. We offer something fresh and new that will compliment the designers that already boost NZ’s reputation in the world of fashion, and we hope to join that all the while promoting freedom for women from abuse, oppression and sexual exploitation. We think NZ women will love this range and in doing so and putting on boldness with one of our garments they are also giving women of Mozambique a free future full of hope! Fashion for Freedom!

 

The Collective Africa is an ethical fashion label that fuses together Afro Chic and Contemporary European design. Collectively across the globe we as women can encourage each other be free to be bold, while making a difference in the lives of other women. Proceeds from every garment go towards bringing freedom to women in Mozambique from backgrounds of abuse, oppression and sexual exploitation, through donation to The Liberty Project. #GetYourBoldOn You are #FashionedForFreedom #TheCollectiveAfrica

Instagram: @The_Collective_Africa Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCollectiveAfrica

Katherine Victoria NZFW 2017

With her debut at NZFW and her line – only three seasons old – is the designer Katherine Victoria from Wellington.

The show launching her collection ‘Aesop’s no.226’.

From receiving the whimsical pink invitation featuring floral illustrations mimicking the patterns of her blouse, shirtdress and trousers on the runway. With the most adorable pink gift bags topped off with a black satin bow adorning the room, it was a excellent exhibit of what was to come.

  • A variety of interesting fabrics were playfully interwoven into the range from the aforementioned velvet and faux fur to fringing seen on blouses and dresses. Silk satin and chiffon were also confidently used.
  • Accessories came in the way of tassel earrings and the footwear featured a selection of mules, slides, strappy heels and knee high boots.
  • Models sported unique double ponytails (which are as it sounds-one topped on top of the other). Eyes were rimmed with a graphic liquid line, and coloured with a block of pastel eye shadow.
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Kathryn Wilson NZFW 2017

Choosing to end her show with Beyonce’s Girls (who run the world) seemed like an appropriate way to solidify local footwear designer Kathryn Wilson’s girl power credentials when it comes to her brand and business.

As designer and director of Kathryn Wilson Shoes and Miss Wilson Footwear, the rapid progression she has made since the former label’s inception back in 2003 is astonishing.

Fast track to 2017 NZFW, day 3 of the official Fashion Week show schedule with a much-hyped main-site show, her ability to pull a crowd and win over her numerous sponsors only highlights the kind of media savvy and clever business acumen the designer has managed to discover over the years.

Last night’s show highlighted a much bigger collection, themed with pilots and models dressed as flight attendants.

The show itself was high octane and camp, with models strutting out dressed in racy flight attendant costume complete with hats and hair too match, styled by Auckland based stylist Barry Betham; with big hair (creative directed by D+M Salon’s Danny Pato) and equally full on makeup by Kiri O’Brien of M.A.C cosmetics.

Key pieces from the collection included yellow pumps, a pair of pink leather ankle brogue boots, 60s pony skin flats and a pair of monochromatic tweed pumps.

It was all the things women secretly desire: Mock croc, studded heels, patent leather and rich velvets, with Wilson choosing to challenge the ideals of what a sexy pair of shoes could and should be.

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Hailwood NZFW 2017

Though a flawless production come catwalk time, the show was deterred by the fact that it was running late to schedule. Fashionably late – but really, still is that an excuse to have people waiting an hour.

Models mimicking those dolls you see from the 70s – big hair barbies – with the shows production team getting the lights hitting all the right places.

The clothes, well… you know they say have low expectations and have them more easily surpassed… I had high expectations after seeing the previous seasons range from Hailwood and expectations were once again reached and built upon.

The colours of gowns, high necked shirts and bell bottomed pants drew back to age mimicked – that mustard and dark forest green (among others) pertinent of the era. These tones, exhibited alongside the usual Hailwood grey and black.

I love a fashion throwback, and while I am not a fashion reporter – I loveHailwoodand would recommend having a sift through this seasons collection of NZFW 2017.

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Winter Update

For me, Sundays are always a great day for journaling and reflecting and today while I was staring into nothingness I realised what a whirlwind this Winter has been! I truly cannot believe it’s coming to an end so soon. Where does the time go, honestly? I do love everything about Winter despite the cold but I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t beyond excited for to wear Spring clothes and for the change in the temp. Bring on the summer beach volley ball games and beach days too!

August is such a birthday month and August 8th (Charlotte’s birthday) is arguably my favourite day of the year! We both worked the whole day but we spent the evening surrounded by good food, Moscow mules and the warmth of the fire. My favourite kind of Winter night.

 

Kicking off the month, it was a getaway to Ohakune for Snowball. While meant to be a weekend of snowboarding and skiing it turned into more of a dancing and drinking sort of weekend – due to a minor foot (escape-room-related) injury. It was nowhere near as cold as it expected and the locals were as friendly as ever.

 

I also found my new favourite restaurant recently. SEVEN KITCHEN in BRITOMART. I love everything about it.

 

And last weekend we made a spilt decision to pack up our stuff and head up north for a few days. Highlights were the sing-a-longs and re-discovering old bach board games. On the way home we made a tactical pit stop at a winery and the food (and of course the company) could not have been better. It’s a little mission of mine to spend more weekends escaping the business of Auckland city – I can’t wait to pack in more adventures in the upcoming months…

 

 

 

That’s all for now. I thought it was time for your monthly update from me, I have been doing so much writing for other contracts that I have barely had time to post.

This is the end of yet another insane week running around for New Zealand Fashion Week plus it’s 10:30 pm which means it’s my bedtime haha. If you’re going to back to uni tomorrow GOOD luck! I’m such a nerd and always LOVED the first day of school or university.

 

 

 

-Amelia

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August Links

With the solar eclipse, New Zealand Fashion week and so much going on this month, it was definitely one to remember! I’ll do a post of more pictures from this past week, but for now… here are some weekend links!

  1. For the eclipse, I didn’t plan anything but last minute I was so grateful that our friends invited us over to watch the live stream. It was INCREDIBLE. Look how neat THESE IMAGES are.
  2. Spring is coming and I COULDN’T BE MORE EXCITED. I have sold so many of my clothes on Designer Wardrobe that I’m excited about a little closet refresh. My eyes are currently on THIS sweater first. Holy Chic really does have darling, affordable clothes that I love.
  3. Don’t live in the city? Uber eats has finally launched in my suburb and the rest of outer Auckland. Join in on the eats fun using the code ‘AUK0476’ and don’t forget to join the Facebook Group where you can ask fellow foodies about food stops anywhere in the country! If you live in Auckland, be sure you’re in our Uber eats Auckland Facebook Group to hear about other foodies favourite spots.
  4. My most inspired kind of weekend is when there is a food-based show HERE.
  5. Taylor Swift’s new song came out on Friday. Thumbs up or thumbs down? Thumbs down for me… I just miss the old Country style, Taylor, the most! Also, did you see she vanished from social media right before she launched it? THIS is an interesting article on celebrities vanishing from social media prior to a release. Interesting read.
  6. My sister says THIS is her favourite yoga class of all time. She shares more of her favourite fitness things on a fun account HERE!
  7. THIS website should help lower the price of your entire trip. I’m going to give it a try.
  8. Not sure who to vote for in the upcoming election? Answer the following questions to see how your political beliefs match the political parties and candidates.
  9. Article on 5 Powerful Mantras to Help you Quiet Anxiety, Beat Self-Doubt, Manage Stress & more.
  10. I am still reading THIS book. But I made myself tow THIS book on holiday to read… in case I wanted to read it again. Seriously, a new absolute favourite of mine!

We are more than halfway through the year, I’m so excited for the months ahead with busy work weeks and a few planned trips – I’ll be sure to post lots when we get back.

In the meantime, look for a post this week all about the last couple weeks of August!

-Amelia

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Childhood and Nostalgia

The essence of sitting down to write a card of an occasion (be it a birthday, expression of gratitude or general well wishing) is dying. It was a thing of my childhood – and unfortunately, not so much my present.

I remember spending hours scouring clip art images to make a Microsoft publisher card for each and every occasion.

And the cards created were the first thing to be acknowledged when gift-giving. It was common practice to open the card and read its contents before proceeding to rip the paper off your gift.

Can we bring this memento of childhood and nostalgia back? It was one of the goodies!

Poppy cards provides the important mix of funny and creative when it comes to your card-purchasing needs (no more clip art from me!) Their ranges echoes fun and modern while being well-priced to compliment (but not overshadow) any gift you may have purchased.

Check out their range at: poppycards.co.nz and on Instagram: @poppycards

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An organised life

Do you ever feel like you want to be productive, but you just can’t be because you are so overwhelmed with work, study or mess? Or all three? I feel your pain – especially mid semester when life is going 1000 miles a minute, it can be hard to keep up! I, myself, am generally quite an organised person, a perfectionist of sorts. But I do have times where I find myself with so much work to do and its hard to find a place to start!

It’s a common feeling for many of us and you’d be lying if you said you haven’t felt unproductive or scatterbrained or just generally unmotivated! Having a reliable study routine and/or office organisation is key in getting great results – and of course keeping you sane when work is taking over your life!

In this blog post, I’m going to share with you my top tips in keeping yourself organised as well as some study tips for my fellow uni students!

Having a plan of attack is SO important

I’m sure everyone has experienced that moment when you sit down at your desk or in the library, and you say to yourself “okay! let’s get started!” And you find yourself scrolling through instagram a few moments later because you had a whole lot to do but you didn’t know where to start! Cue the “that’s so me” “me tho” and “feels” comments! The best way to combat feeling like you have a million things to do is to have a plan of attack. Whether it be on iCal or in a gorgeous Kikki K leather planner, seeing what you have on for that day makes it so much easier to get the ball rolling. Firstly, I like to fill in non-work/uni commitments such as the gym, birthdays and hobbies. This ensures that you have a good work-life balance preventing you from feeling burnt out and overworked (one of the worst feelings, let me tell you!). After that I fill in non-negotiables – lectures, tutorials, work meetings, required hours of being in the office. This then leaves you with gaps for study or any extra work you need to do from home. Of course, if you work from home, I would recommend structuring it similar to a uni schedule!

Be specific!

Being specific is super important! What I mean by this is when you are filling out your calendar don’t just write “work” or “study”, it’ll get you in the long run when you are trying to figure out what you need to do! When you’re planning out your week ahead, fill in those blocks with “complete marketing proposal” or “do economics quiz 1” for example. Being specific with what you’re doing in that space of time helps you keep on track, and makes it easier to see what you need to be completing!

Time management is key

Going along with the other tips above, having good time management is so so important in ensuring that you aren’t rushing your work in the last minute. We’ve all been there – all nighters sometimes just have to be done. But its best to avoid them if possible!

Making Lists

I’m an absolute fiend for making lists, because I like seeing everything I have to do in one place! I guess I just love organising? I find lists are an easy way to see what you need to do at any given time. The great thing is you can make them anywhere – phones and tablets have a notes feature, laptops often have virtual sticky notes that go on your desktop or you can go the old fashioned way and just write one up on a sticky note, piece of paper or note cube! Its an easy way to get a rough idea of what you need to, if you just need a reminder instead of having to flick through your diary or scroll through your iCal! And of course they’re great for miscellaneous tasks that don’t make the cut in your calendar such as grocery shopping, laundry or other tasks that you’re basically obliged to do!

Obviously there are plenty more tips that could be used to stay organised but hopefully these tips helped you in one way or another and got you motivated for your week ahead!

– Sophia Miller

Don’t forget to have a peak at the lovely new range of different tools to keep you organised at: www.kikki-k.com or on Instagram: @kikki.k

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Autumn Update

When was the last time you completely forgot about your phone for a block of time?

I don’t ask this rhetorically; take a minute to really see if you can remember.

Maybe it was one evening last month when you did that design workshop that you’ve always wanted to try.

Maybe it was two hours last Saturday while you inhaled fresh air and met with a friend.

Maybe it was twenty minutes last night when you pulled your dinner out of the oven.

For most of us, our phones have become an extension of our hands. And if they’re not in our hands, they’re in our purses, our back pockets, or on the counter just a few feet away.

I’m not writing to condemn phone use—not by any stretch. My phone is invaluable in helping me stay organised, form lasting habits, capture spontaneous moments, and connect with family and friends.

But just five or so years ago, I couldn’t have foreseen how heavily I’d rely on a piece of technology—and how easy it would be to honour a piece of steel and circuitry over the things I care most about.

To me, this huge shift we’ve all undergone means we need to keep our eyes open to how we’re really using our devices and how we want to be using our devices.

REASONS TO FORGET YOUR PHONE:

1. Studies (like this one) have found that excess social media use predicts a decline in happiness.

2. People are fascinated with what weare fascinated with. Read more at The Art of Staying Focused in a Distracting World.

3. You learn empathy through eye contact.

4. Phones instantly take us out of the moment.

5. Time spent digitally connected could be better spent developing connections with each other and the great outdoors.

I’ll close by personally answering the question at the top of this post. When was the last time Iforgot to check my phone for a length of time?

As it was our last Autumn with my group of friends from High School in Auckland, we trekked off to an isolated Heritage Estate for a couple days. University was well and truly over for the Semester so, we sat lazily inside our house watching the sunset on white four-post beds.

We had run out of Rosé and our patience with each other when suddenly I knew it was time to get outside, no matter how unpredictable the temperatures.

We put on more layers than I think I’ve ever seen in my life and headed outside right at sunset. We played Squash, pétanque and swam while the less out-going members of the group strolled the gardens and read books.

We headed in with red cheeks and slightly blue lips, but in that one hour, we’d laughed more than we had in three days.

When I got inside, I saw that I’d missed two texts and five new emails, but somehow, it didn’t really seem to matter.

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Power of Caffeine

The difference that first cup of beautiful espresso coffee can make in the morning… oh the power of caffeine!

Funnily enough, in Turkey during the 14th century there was a law which allowed the ladies to divorce their husbands if they were unable to provide a daily quota of coffee! Fair enough I guess.

What I like most about the whole idea of a coffee culture is the connections that coffee creates, the environment for relationships of all types to start and end (well hopefully not…)

Coffee serving cafes have been meeting places for great thinkers, dreamers and creatives for years. Admittedly, I’ve been a little Coffee fiend for about 5 years now and have built relationships with other coffee lovers, our reason to meet being that warm or cold coffee.

In this digital day and age, it’s even more important to spend time connecting face to face. I encourage you to make a time this week to reach out to an old friend, a family member or neighbour you haven’t seen in the flesh for a while, take the time, enjoy the coffee and strengthen those connections.

Also try adding something different to your at-home coffee routine:

Almo Milk is made with an almond butter so there’s zero waste. BPA free bottles. No carrageenan, oils, maltodextrin, flavours or sugars. We also support 140 Victorian & South Australian Almond Growers. That’s Almo in a nutshell…

Check it out here: www.almomilk.com.au and on Instagram: @almomilk

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Tan talks

It is unusual for me to write about something I truly am the opposite of – tan…

I suppose going to full-blast into Winter as pale as a sheet (and almost tinted blue) is not the best way to ensure self-confidence sporting the short black dress I planned on wearing later that evening.

There are rare times in a year that I book myself for a spray tan, usually before events I am speaking at – those ones when you realise that the whole room will be looking at your legs while you stand (usually slightly higher than the audience) on a stage. So, by any scale, I would not consider myself a “tan connoisseur”.

HOWEVER

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to meet someone who was – Jessica Binnendyk from Tan in the City. Tan in the city is the GO TO salon for your spray tan needs.  Jessica has been in the Spray tanning business for over 5 years and takes a heart-warming amount of pride in her work. Jessica is also Black Magic’s Auckland Spray Tan trainer – providing training to people wanting to join the spray tan industry -so, it’s safe to say – I was in good hands.

My Experience:

  • Arriving a slightly damp from a day of meetings, I was instantly welcomed and made to feel comfortable (you kind of get over the whole ‘standing there naked’ part when you’re chatting away).
  • I was then coated head-to-toe with the Black Magic Tan in ‘Argan 12%’
  • Lucky for the impatient types (me), it is a two hour tan. Then it’s wash off time and it develops over night. NO MORE ORANGE BED SHEETS!
  • After washing off, it was perfectly fine to go out and continue life as usual – unlike other tans when you sit in them stilted by the threat of being ‘blotchy’.
  • The next morning, I woke up beautifully tanned AND note that the dreadful smell that gives away the secret of a spray tan was non-existent.
  • I will be posting more pictures to my Instagram page so you can the results for yourself.

Tan in the City promise “No orange & No bad tan stories.”

I second that ^

Go give them a try for your next tanning occasion and let me know how it goes!

@taninthecity@blackmagictan@amelia______
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Rainy days

With the weather Auckland City has been experiencing as of late it’s a wonder anyone leaves the comforts of their dry home.

A couple of product worth mentioning before you do decide to head out in the rain this Winter:

1. Danish Rainwear Designer ‘Rains’, enforces that an unpredictable forecast should not stop you from embracing this enjoyable season. Overcast or clear skies, the great outdoors always calls for exploring these shorter Winter days and nights. Pack your favourite rain-gear, leave the couch, travel to foreign place, visit a friend, experience a snow festival and have a memorable mid-year. I recently was gifted a ‘Rains’ Jacket, and there has been no sign of my old Kathmandu jacket since. The Rains Jacket is a functional and casual outerwear piece – a contemporary unisex rain jacket silhouette. As the name indicates it’s a basic style, an urban version of a conventional jacket with classic rainwear details such as the storm shield and snap buttons at the sleeve hem. The fabric is lightweight with a matte surface and a soft hand feel, very pliant and therefore easy and comfortable to wear.

2. Saving for a rainy day? Buy yourself a BLUNT Umbrella. On a recent stormy Auckland City day, I watched on almost ceremoniously as pedestrians all around me struggled as the wind made their Warehouse-bought umbrellas flip inside-out like starfish stomachs. But not me. My umbrella kept its rounded shape in the nastiest of rainy gusts. Of course, I was using a Blunt umbrella, a water-repelling shield whose design innovations include a robust structure topping that of most umbrellas. On the downside, the Blunt is a bit heavier than most umbrellas, doesn’t fold up quite as compactly as some and for some bizarre reason, lacks a wrist strap. The Blunt is a solid, reliable wet-weather sanctuary. Its uniqueness isn’t readily apparent, but you will definitely notice the difference in a storm. So kit yourself out this Winter and use those links to find your nearest stockists.

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20 tiny yet amazing things

A reminder to believe in the universe things don’t need to be earth-shattering or hugely consequential.

  1. Lattes.
  2. Dog yawns (cue pug picture).
  3. Really fizzy water.
  4. Getting into bed exhausted knowing you can sleep in the next morning.
  5. Warm Croissants.
  6. The satisfying sound of snapping a piece off the bar (yes to Cadbury’s new dark chocolate range).
  7. Paying for something with exact change.
  8. Ice cream sandwiches.
  9. Drying off in the sun after swimming.
  10. When you discover a crazy-delicious new neighbourhood brunch place (not necessarily new, but new to you).
  11. An ice-cold glass of white wine.
  12. Anything sun-dappled.
  13. An epic skyline view.
  14. Crossing something off your bucket list.
  15. Bonfire smell.
  16. New book smell.
  17. Cellphone service in elevators
  18. Surprise packages.
  19. A really great pen
  20. OITNB

Add to the list below

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Utilise it by Mazda

Some may find it exceptionally strange for me to take to this new platform ranting about a Ute (of all cars!) However, a day behind the wheel of Mazda’s new BT-50 has changed me from a hatch-back loving suburban driver to one who only aspires to be like those strong independent females which you envision drive Utes.

On first impressions, the BT-50 looks a strong offering. It has a plush, well-appointed interior, with swathes of dark fabrics on the seats and a clean but rugged dashboard and centre console.

The driver’s seat is comfortable and easily adjustable, along with a generous amount of height adjustment for the steering wheel (perfect for those vertically inclined, like myself). The double cab provides space in the back for two adult pals to sit, but probably ideal for only a short while because the high floor makes getting cosy more tricky. The rear of the cabin also feels rather more functional in quality than the front.

Admittedly, no diesel vehicle is outright pleasant-sounding on start-up, and a distinctive clatter remains present even on the move.

On the road, the BT-50 feels as one of the more capable and steady pick-ups, with little disturbance entering the cabin from smaller imperfections in the asphalt – noticed when we challenged the Ute on the off-road trail to the beach. That said, when the going gets more rutted and uneven, the reverberations can really unsettle it with its back tray empty. The dog, who for the most part was tied to the tray of the BT-50, particularly felt this as he went flying into the air as we drove over bumps in the road.

The BT-50 is certainly one of the more refined pick-ups available, with the wide range of colour options available adding to its sophistication. I’d suggest there’s good reason to investigate Mazda’s BT-50 as a next car-purchasing option, the Bt-50 is ultimately a rounded choice.

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