That time I almost died, and how it saved my life

In July 2016 my life changed in ways I’m still just discovering now, almost 18 months later.

I was the most stressed I’ve ever been; I’d quit my job and was working out my notice while setting up a new business, I was beyond exhausted all the time, and was desperately trying to hold it all together.

I’ve always been a pretty independent and self-reliant person; I struggled to ask for help, and I don’t get deeply connected with other people, not even my own family. I felt like if people saw me at my worst, crying and messy, needing them desperately, without answers or jokes, they wouldn’t like me at all.

Living alone made it easier to hermit. It also meant I was responsible for everything. I paid all the bills, fed the cats, did the chores, fixed the things. It slowly wore away at me in ways I can’t even quantify. I’d tell myself that I didn’t care that I wasn’t getting hugged, that there was no one to cook dinner when I was tired, or that I had to sort out replacing the batteries on the smoke detector.

But I cared. And I was profoundly lonely.

To cut a long story short, in the middle of all this, my body gave out. I ended up in the HDU at North Shore Hospital with a tube pumping the contents of my stomach out, a catheter, a spinal tap for the morphine, an array of drips plugged into my arm, and an oxygen machine keeping me, well, oxygenated. In other words, I was entirely dependent on hospital staff to do even the simplest of tasks: Wash me, deal with my bodily fluids, calm me when I was scared.

My father drove up from Wellington. I didn’t find out til much, much later that he’d been warned that I had a 15% chance of fatality and he had to make some tricky calls around what to say to the rest of the family. One of my brothers and his partner took care of my cats, and getting my house cleaned, which was hard for me to deal with. To be frank, before the ambulance came, I’d been having a full body evacuation and I was ashamed of the state of my house. If it weren’t for the cats, I’d never have given them the keys.

But I had to.

I’m not sure I’d been so physically or emotionally vulnerable in my whole adult life. I’m crying now just thinking about it. I’d been building a self-sufficient empire where I didn’t need anyone, and now a nurse was taking bags of my urine away to measure as I lay in a bed, struggling to stay conscious, while my baby brother navigated my dirty washing and piles of vomit. Good times.

Everyone was so gentle, and so kind. Washing my face for me, feeding me ice chips, organising a fan when I was burning up, and reading me encouraging messages from friends. You’re not allowed flowers – or friends – in the HDU, so mates sent magazines and fruit, and messaged my dad for updates hourly. Every time I came to, my brother was sitting beside me, telling me jokes or letting me know what was going on.

The staff asked if I wanted to see my minister, and having him pray for me when I was so confused and anxious was, well, a godsend.

I had no choice but to be loved on, in an intimate and vulnerable way. At the time, I was just focusing on what was in front of me, but on reflection, this was a hugely transformative time.

It didn’t stop when I got moved to the ward. My body struggled to get used to food after a week of the drip and things got messy. I felt humiliated, but the staff were so respectful and even made me laugh about it. I mean, what else can you do when a stranger is scrubbing your butt?

Friends sent flowers – so many gorgeous flowers – and loving messages. They dropped by with treats, and hugs, and gossip, and lip balm, and wax strips for my unibrow – after a couple weeks, things really go to seed.

Then when my Pop died, the other patients in my room gathered around me, pulling the curtains closed and just being there while I grieved. It’s something I would have normally done in private, but having them right there forced me to talk about it, talk about him. And as I couldn’t get to the funeral, that was a very good thing.

In the weeks and months that followed that time, I’ve allowed myself to become more and more open with the people around me. To let them in when I’m having a meltdown. To let them cook me dinner, or pay the bill every once in a while. To explain more about what I’m feeling. To share my losses. To love and be loved more deeply and fully than before.

There’s power in being vulnerable, in owning your brokenness, in not having the answers, and not trying to be perfect. Letting others in doesn’t make you weaker, it really does make you stronger. I don’t have many answers, but this one has started to change me more thoroughly than I thought I had the ability to be changed.

It’s connecting bits of me I thought were broken beyond repair, and now I’m beginning to truly live.

That’s my miracle.

Stuff I like: January 2015

We are long overdue for this installment of Stuff I Like so lets get stuck in!

This motivational message

Acapulco chairs.designerchair

I know it’s really uncool to buy knockoffs but there’s no way I’m putting two $700 chairs out the front of my house. But I really like the way acapulcos look AND thanks to my friend Sal, who runs an amazing design blog at Covet & Co, I picked up two in black from Bunnings for $89 each.

Bunnings have a fab range of colours, too. My local (at Three Kings) had black, white, orange, and blue. I kindof regret not getting the blue because it’s such a summery colour but that’s okay.


Kerastase touche finaletouche-finale

Meanwhile, I bought some of this anti-frizz/polishing serum on a whim and BAM, it’s awesome. It will set you back $45 for 30mls but you use so little of it that it’s pretty good value for money. Looking at some of the reviews online, yup, it’s a keeper.



renee-chin-insertRenee Chin

When I was wandering around Victoria Park Market the other day, I spied a tui wearing a hat. Not really, but artist Renee Chin was there with some of her drawings, and that was among them. I had to have it, so snapped it up and it now sits happily with my other weird and wonderful pieces. Don’t worry, you can buy the print, as well as have it on bags, and tea towels. Check out her Facebook page for more.


This Girl Can

Just… Watch.

Best Kiwi Tweets of December 2014

Compiled by The Ruminator

Welcome to the final TOTM for 2014!

All about technology
@Pammygirl Write tweet. Tweet is 8 characters too long. Stare at tweet trying to decide how to shorten it. Decide it can’t be done. Delete tweet. Sigh.
@kiwieric Just used Paint to make a drawing for a Powerpoint slide. I have finally mastered 1995!
@nightwyrm let’s commit now to sending each other nudes of ourselves when we turn 56
@amuletofyendor I’ve got a Google Alert set up for “sexy power ranger gif”

It’s that time of year…
@Mikekooge Just saw a lady in a full wetsuit doing her grocery shopping. It’s summer, but it’s not that summer
@Rachelrayner Queuing to get gifts wrapped in Albany Mall. Please keep me in your thoughts during this difficult time.
@hilary_barry Last day of work. I’m already tempted to put on the out of office reply even though it’s only 9am.
@hatepash1 Having to look after your ham while at the pub is a uniquely festive problem.
@patrickgowernz Haven’t bothered to do any research, but I reckon mainstream media did a good job covering this election. Thoughts?

Stay classy, New Zealand
@Pammygirl I just ate a handee towel that stuck to my cheese on toast. Yip. I did.
@redbacon Son is looking up mum’s dress and crying. Dude, if we all had that attitude, you wouldn’t have been conceived.
@mattymcleanTVNZ Just realised i’d confused Ice Cube for Ice T. lucky i realised now, cos i’m interviewing Ice CUBE tonight and was gonna ask him about Coco.
@ellenhunt Some fear death, I fear running out of petrol in the Wendy’s drive thru
@saigonsyl What is the cure to PMS and having too many books to read? Is it benzo and fanfic? Is it putting my face in my cat’s belly?
@loumagoo HOW TO MAKE YOUR BOSS BLUSH: Have him walk in on you when you’re reading a “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Vaginas” info-graphic.
@coleytangerina The first time I gave a hand job I knew that it would make a mess but I didn’t know how much & I lived at home so I put newspaper down.
@simantics I should get married. I’ll never have to tie my own shoe laces like a chump ever again!
@spat106 At least now you’re alone in the office you can do farts and, if you want to, sharts.
@nightwyrm videos of prehensile tapir penises are my go-to.
@StephanieMarija I have been told I give very good sarcasm. It’s all in the tongue.
@Chris_Brain Fuck, Kiwis are awesome at being bad at smuggling drugs!
@kimcooksforyou I know I’m getting old because now I think “Mmm, I smell lavender” instead of “Hmm, I smell something old”
@mellopuffy You haven’t lived until you’ve been serenaded with the Imperial March on the kazoo. While in the shower.
@nzneep what is a urinal cake? Are they common? How is there this thing I have never heard of?

God tweets
@thelightisred unused titles for things i will never write: GOD BOTHERER: THE TRUE STORY OF GOD’S ANNOYING NEIGHBOUR GAIL
@zippygonzales I don’t believe in God, but I do believe in @MorganGodfery
@Chris_Brain When Ruby sneezes I say “Dog bless you”. I’m fucken adorable. #Pupdate

@Dryobbo Real estate agents are the most unselfconscious-about-being-a-total-cock people on earth
@HamishMack Will there be sausage rolls? I bet not. They’ll say “Oh we have sausage rolls” but there won’t be any.
@stasiturnbull 10 minute monologue as MIL tries to recall the street number of house she went to a party at in the 60s. Kill me.

Today was a good day
@theJduce We were singing along to Total Eclipse of the Heart and then an escaped dog ran across the road and I saved it. Best. Day. Ever.
@moatatamaira Eating truffles and teaching myself to play “What’s love got to do with it” on a xylophone shaped like a duck. #averageday
@bingsmcgee Hi everyone. I’ve had a coffee.
@_snozzberry_ I’m in a bar in Las Vegas airport and there is a french man next to me yelling “Who the fuck are you” continuously at someone on Skype

Teacup humans
@formerlydaniels Unexpected side effect of 6 yr old watching #AnnieMovie she is cleaning everything whilst singing “hard knock life”
@_surleymermaid_ Reasons I should never be responsible for children #6710: dinner at 4.30pm consisted of salami, a pack of jelly babies and 2 warm pepsi max

Food tweets
@Ghetsuhm Man, so cold and hungry. Wish there was left-over lasagne, but that’s not a thing.

zenergylogo And the winner is… Patrick Gower! With some wonderful trolling that has made people stop, think, and get outraged, he’s owned December tweets.

Congrats Paddy, I have a Z Energy voucher with your name on it!

Best Kiwi Tweets of November 2014

Compiled by The Little Pakeha

Guy Fawkes, #nzsecretsanta, #gigatown, the Labour leadership. November’s been a busy month, so let’s get right into it.

Keeping it classy
@writing_kills: This morning I woke up with “ID — under house”, scrawled on my hand in liquid eyeliner.
@gnat: Just passed our favorite address: Number Two, Uretiti Rd, Waipu.
@raquelxmoss: Put my undies on inside out, but taking off my very tight jeans to rectify the situation is too much effort
@bumwees: Along with “self checkout”, “selfie stick” is another neologism which would make a great mastie euphemism.
@HatePash1: I’m actually in a really good mood today because I found part of this amazing cookie that @thelemonofpink made in my bra this morning.

The criminal element
@kathycumming: Hand-washing sheets makes you feel a bit like a murderer
@danylmc: As someone who frequently day-dreams about being an international fugitive from justice, the Phillip Smith debacle has been very educational
@RobCarrNZ: How to escape from prison – ask them to let you out then fly to Chile on your own passport.
@idontcaretbqh: hypothetical question for a hypothetical person. if weed is not in an airtight container can it go off? asking for a hypothetical friend

Little v Key
@spat106: Pre-Labour leader Andrew Little = Bruce Banner. Labour leader Andrew Little = Hulk.
@hamish_keith: Andrew Little claims he has not been briefed by SIS on the Whaleoil killing attempt but thought Judith Collins had thrown him under a bus
@danylmc: ANDREW LITTLE to the PRIME MINISTER: How quickly can he segue from the SIS inquiry to mocking my support in the Labour caucus?
@Nil_Joel: Can we just take a moment to appreciate how much better Andrew Little’s Gangnam Style is than John Key’s? #PrimeMinisterial
@Dovil: There’s been 3,000 Little puns in just the last ten minutes alone. Normally I’d be against the idea of an assassination.
@davejac: At least this is an election Labour can’t lose. Right?

Race relations
@_jjw_: If the police ask why I’m in John Key’s house, broken glass, Moonbeam near death in the corner, I’ll tell them I settled here peacefully.
@amuletofyendor: NZ was settled peacefully. No redoubt about it.
@TauroaKaio: Seems @NZStuff & @nzherald have 0800 KUARE on speed dial #PaulMoon
@verbscape: when you misread pouaka as pouakai and then get disappointed when you realise your mistake. 🙁

@AlexMcKay_: #nzsecretsanta gift sorted I hope she hates it as much as she hates everything else
@southerncrumble: Holy Crap my #nzsecretsanta tweeted for the first time in 3 weeks. I have found out they like birthdays!
@vanhudge: Last year for #nzsecretsanta I got chocolates that went mouldy in the mail, so the bar is set pretty low
@robyngallagher: Another secret santa tip: last year I got a pencil shaped like a twig, so I don’t need another one of those.

Life’s big questions
@GeekChicPolitiq: Did you know pygmy hippos *aren’t* an internet hoax?
@elladeruiter: Aurelia’s paws smell exactly like rice. Like exactly. Now I can’t eat rice without thinking of cat paws. Why do they smell like this?
@LI_politico: If you flash someone and they trip over and fall and die are you culpable?

It’s hip to be square
@JakePollock: Don’t give money to that busker playing Bob Marley songs on a ukulele. He’ll just spend it on craft beer and sushi.
@DawgBelly: Had to leave the local cafe due to excessive ukulele playing. There’s only so much Wellington I can take some days.
@HatePash1: There’s a lady who busks loudly at the railway station and she’s terrible but I keep giving her $ as I love how much she annoys everyone.

@DrYobbo: GISBORNE IS A TERRIBLE PLACE FULL OF CARNIES WITH NO TEETH. This tweet is nowt to do with #gigatowndun, I just don’t like Gisborne
@Dovil: At 12pm we find out who wins the title of the most annoying residents of New Zealand’s least favourite town.
@davejac: I can’t wait to find out who wins that giga contest so we can go and burn that place to the ground.

Weird & wonderful
@juliefairey: Join me in the fight to overcome the debilitating effects of Cat On Lap. It is only by standing up that we can make a difference.
@catatonichic: Door knocker: “My name is Peter-” Mr4: “Parker? Like Spider-Man?” Door knocker: “No-” Mr4: “Then goodbye.” *slams door*
@MoataTamaira: Apparently baby has just whacked his father in the face with a small porcelain waterbird. If only I’d been there to yell “Duck!”
@Dovil: awww, I’ve got my Uni of Auckland t-shirt around somewhere. It’s now worth 1.3 million and a family of six live in it.
@MorganHopes: There is a company called Lusty & Blundell and I cannot believe it sells something as mundane as marine hydraulics
@_kellydare_: hahah once when I was a barista, I only made people flat whites cuz I couldn’t be fucked making anything else. no matter what they asked for

Picking a winner was tough, but I finally picked out one that makes me laugh every time I look at it again:

@damianchristie: Somehow, the convict got the idea that it was totally fine to travel overseas, as long as it wasn’t in his capacity as a prisoner.

zenergylogo Congrats Mr Christie! You get some Z Energy vouchers for petrol and pies and maybe even some cheeky Christmas gifts. And @thelittlepakeha, you get some too! Vouchers for everyone*! – Cate

*not everyone, just those two.

About you, but not to you: When should companies reply on Twitter?

People like to complain a lot about the goods and services we receive, and in the digital age, a lot of those wahs end up online, in public forums like Twitter.

I’ve always operated on an instinctive basis: If I’m @mentioning a company specifically, I want a resolution, I need help, or I’d like an answer. If I don’t @mention them, I’m having a whinge and I want to be left alone. If they see it, I don’t want to talk to them about it. (Unless they’re giving me a huge freebie, but that’s another story.) Yes, I’m your typical passive-aggressive, find-it-difficult-to-give-negative-feedback kind of person. (As a funny aside, I’d expect a small business or person to call me out because it feels so much more personal!)

This morning was one of those complainy occasions. I tweeted my displeasure at a service I had received from a company I liked. I didn’t @ the company because I didn’t want a reply – more just to warn my mates off this particular service.

Good ole Dan didn’t know this. He replied to my tweet and PUT THE COMPANY HANDLE IN, which essentially was inviting them to TALK TO ME ABOUT IT.

Okay. Um. Okay.

The ensuing debate lead to me sending these tweets out.

I got a lot of replies.

Some agreed with me:
“That’s how I use Twitter – can’t think of a time where the company has responded without me mentioning them, but it sounds creepy.” – Simon
“sometimes you just want to talk shit about a brand and don’t want their ‘i’m sorry to hear that'” – Lena
“it gets me by surprise and I kinda feel caught out” – Akexis
“I know one nz business who clearly searches for their name regularly and replies to people who weren’t after a response. comes across as a bit intense for my liking.” – Kim
“it kinda freaks me out when they do. If I wanted to make a complaint and get their attention, I would.” – Chelle
“general whinging? Leave ppl to it.” – K
“if I don’t @ them, they are welcome to reply if they have an actual solution to my issue… otherwise they’ll just piss me off.” – Alison
“If I don’t @ them, that means I don’t want to engage. If I did want to engage, I’d prob use email or phone.” – Moodle
“sometimes I DO just want to rant uninterrupted lol so I wouldn’t @ ’em, maybe even spell their name a tad diff.” – Mata

Some sat on the fence:
“Depends on why they’re contacting me.” – Miche
“Depends on my mood.” – Eric
“Agree, but feel if they respond they’re actually being proactive which is smart, if a little creepy. Social’s changed feedback” – Darren
“I pretty much agree with this, but sometimes also you don’t @ them because you can’t find their details. So if they then reply that’s quite good. I think the reality is you tweet, it’s public, unless your acc is locked. So you gotta accept they will see it, and they’re entitled to tweet to you if they want to. How they handle it is a different story.” – Ngaire
“I initially don’t tag them because I want to have a rant. But if they fix/resolve from that and respond then I’m pretty happy. That would even impress me more and it builds respect with me.” – Amber

Some disagreed with me:
“isn’t a good thing if they want to try make it right?” – Sharyn
“I think everyone has a right to respond on a public forum, companies included. If I didn’t want them to, I’d avoid naming them. I know big businesses can be mega annoying with insincere “We’re sorry to hear that” messages, but as a small biz I think many are looking to genuinely rectify a situation” – Evie
“if you are going to talk shit about a company on a public forum surely they have the right to defend themselves.” – Ian
“I think people who get all “How Dare You Address Me” on twitter are the funniest. Unless you’re locked, t’s a public space.” – Cara
“I’ve actually had a few times where I couldn’t find a co’s Twitter, named them, they found it and responded. Happy customer after!” – Dan
“Everybody should get a right of reply if you’re going to criticise them in a public forum. Whether it be a person or a company” – Karl
“Farmers did this to me and I was pleasantly surprised, was very quick to respond & offered to call store in question :)” – Kerie

Someone provided a company perspective:
“lots of people don’t realise we’re not just here to push links in your face. We have a social care manager. Her job is to help. most of the time people appreciate it if we reach out on search. If they don’t, they ignore us. I’m not letting bad experiences slip through the cracks. We are first & foremost about social care & community. that’s my rule. No cool stuff, no Vines, no blogs unless we’re responding within our time frames 7 days a week.” – Anna

Aaaaaand there was this
“Recently I’ve had staff members like their employers’ replies to my questions/criticism, which is kinda creepy” – Dan

So the common points here are that if companies are going to reply to a remark, rather than an @, proceed with caution. If you decide to engage, offer real value to the consumer, with a non-robotic response.

And if you’re sending non-@ tweets about a company, be prepared for that company to talk to you about it anyway. Or for Dan to come along and tag them in anyway.

Stuff I like: The November 2014 edition

Here’s some of what I’m enjoying right now!

Alex and Corban winning The Block NZ
After literally months of people slagging them off, tall poppy styles, saying they didn’t deserve to be in the competition because they’d built a high-spec house before, Alex and Corban won The Block NZ 3. Cue outrage. But then, being the total GCs they are, they gave $30k of their winnings to the couple who only made $10k. Suddenly the haters are silenced, and people can see that they’re just a young couple, making something of themselves, and refusing to do it without honouring those around them. What a wonderful example of good winning out over gossip.

Taylor Swift – Blank Space

What is that app about?!?? TELL ME MORE.

Evie Kemp’s fine art prints


Evie is an Auckland artist who makes amazing, bright animal prints in various sizes. I’ve seen them in shops before, but only just realised that I follow her on Twitter! Check out her website, for all kinds of goodies.

She also has this useful guide on displaying your art!

Patrick Gower’s Instagram
The inner workings of parliament and politicians being dorks, as well as Paddy’s journey through life. Awesome.

Russel Norman waits for Glenn Greenwald interview to start.

A photo posted by Patrick Gower (@patrickgowernz) on

Finally, This video

Best Kiwi Tweets of October 2014

Compiled by Amy (@not_friends)

I tried to come up with some October-relevant themes, but I’m really just here for tweets about food, animals and kids.

Tweets about food
@Naly_D: Why is surf and turf even a thing like just make your mind up
@suchlucia: FYI my wedding body regime consists of Thai takeaways, pineapple lumps, and alcohol
@seemsforever: concept: ‘where’s whippy’, an app that tracks all the mr whippy vans in auckland at any given time. make it happen, nerds
@magoogahbuh: Ugh, I just did a thumbs up to the self-checkout machine at countdown.
@Megapope: “That looks healthy!” *brittle smile* *Me, takes another bite of sausage covered in grated cheese and happily nods with mouth full*
@hellomisspotter: What they really need to teach in school is life skills. Like how to stop eating the M&Ms half way through the packet.

Tweets about animals
@BanksyBeeBoo: I am 100% sure that chickens know something I don’t and that is why they always sound so alarmed.
@HungryandFrozen: I just dropped PESTO on a CORGI
@jason_aldous: Does my Twitter picture look smug? I am holding a beautiful cat remember.
@BakeKater: “I’m smarter than you. I’ve got a job.” @ruthpops to our cat just now

Tweets about kids
@willowthebean: “I’ll roll the ball, you roll it back, and if it goes in the mud I’ll get it. Let’s call the game Roll Back If In Mud Get.”
@KatieLou219: Nothing like driving past 2 cows in a paddock doing the deed with an 8 & an 11 year old in the car. “Kate. What are they doing?”
@pinkdeedle: Sometimes I stare at my new baby and I think “I am super glad I took antibiotics while on the pill”
@BoganetteNZ: “Where’s your shoe?” Eddie: “window” “You threw it out the car window?” Eddie – *nods sadly* “WHY??” Eddie:”window” “That’s not a reason!!”
@BexieLady: “We’re into farting, but not smelling farts.” -My 5 year old child.

Tweets about the chocolate milk
@niceties: I had a sad thought about how likely it is that some person proudly brought home regular Lewis Road milk.
@molliotti: When New World inevitably releases a Little Shop Lewis Road Creamery Chocolate Milk I think New Zealand might implode.
@tipfriday: I think it’s easier to get Ebola than this whitakers chocolate milk #IJustWantATaste
@HatePash1: Was all “these dicks going nuts over chocolate milk” and then remembered how many blocks of 100s & 1000s chocolate I bought so I’ll shut it.
@niceties: If the chocolate milk wasn’t perishable I’d buy some and put it in the food bank bin and feel simultaneously good and evil.

Tweets about Halloween
@TroyRF: We didn’t prepare any candy this year so, uh, sorry about the hastily-scribbled notes at the door saying “have you considered Paleo?”
@sneakybaker: My Halloween costume is The Lady Who Told Your Kids Off Last Time They Were Rude At Her Front Door
@TophHooperton: Shaming teenage trick or treaters by treating them like 5 year olds. ‘What a cute costume! You’re so adorable!’ Etc. One just refused candy.

Tweets about the power cut
@seemsforever: power returned just in time to catch a sloth doco on tv1+1, this wknd is the gift that keeps on giving
@picture_window: ‘sparkling pomegranate noir’ a warehouse candle option for my romantic night alone sans electricity
@DawgBelly: When I lost power last weekend nobody made sarcastic jokes at my expense. I guess I must be more lovable than Epsom.
@ebryantnz: For once, Hamilton leads Auckland on the modernism front. We have electricity! #fancy

Tweets about other October-y themes
@davejac: Perhaps the younger generations should decide to withhold supplying iPhone troubleshooting to boomers until they do something about housing.
@VinLew: If you take $40,000 cash, put it in a blender with water, and give it to a low income family, they can use it to buy a house #homeopathy
@mlle_elle: to be honest if you’re going to take anyone’s last name it might as well be George Clooney’s
@AliIkram: Given twitter’s left wing bias and taking into account the election result, I strongly suspect everyone on here of being Cunliffe’s wife.

Other tweets I liked
@ohsarahrose: Fun prank I just thought of: secretly add an exclamation point to the email signature of a colleague. Never mention it.
@_PocketWitch: Went to garden centre to buy leafy house plants, got overwhelmed and panic-bought a cactus that looks like Mickey Mouse
@izzyelle: Life is full of choices. Do I clean up, or do I lie in bed eating banana bread with my electric blanket on listening to Taylor Swift songs?
@HatePash1: Started an apple avalanche at New World Metro. After the the egg incident last week I’m 1 dropped bottle of sav away from a trespass notice.
@mlle_elle: I’m sitting on this bench on Vulcan Lane and I’m not leaving ’til I bloody get snapped for a bloody street style blog
@picture_window: my left eyebrow is definitely my favourite.
@caitypai: New relationship milestone: looking bored in JB HI-FI while Greg looks at games he doesn’t own a console for.
@sez_sez: Tea will always be my one true love but seriously it’s high maintenance. Get up, boil the jug, get up, put tea on, get up, pour tea.

Tweet of the month winner:

@BoganetteNZ: “Where’s your shoe?” Eddie: “window” “You threw it out the car window?” Eddie – *nods sadly* “WHY??” Eddie:”window” “That’s not a reason!!”

zenergylogo Congrats Boganette! And thanks not_friends for compiling the mega-edition this month! You both score vouchers from Z Energy… AND YOU GET SOME BLOKHEDZ (I had some of these at work but someone gave me puppy dog eyes until I relented and gave him my set. They’re a Thing.) – Cate

Tiny apartments done right

With all the talk about Auckland’s housing crisis, and the poorly designed, soulless, tiny apartments being the only affordable option for people like me, I thought I’d show you some of my favourite tiny spaces abroad.

A bedroom that only fits a bed. Sounds ominous, but it’s actually wonderful. Okay, so it does have a dressing room to the side, but this is an example of smart design making tiny livable.

This lady has such wonderful ideas for tricking the eye into thinking the space is so much bigger than what it is. Using dark colours to provide depth, a glass desk to make her workspace invisible, and more

While I really do not like the stairs to get to this place, she has some smart ideas for storage and that terrace makes the place!

Finally here is a really great video showing how to create areas in a bedsit/studio – the sheer dividing wall as really got me thinking that this could be something I do in the future.

The key, I think, with all of these small spaces, is the light. In many of the apartments I’ve viewed in Auckland, natural light is a luxury. Many of the bedrooms have small windows that either overlook the kitchen, or a shared landing with people coming and going at all hours. Yuck.

Beautiful finishing touches such as bay windows, decorative molding along the walls, polished wood floors can take a standard apartment and make it feel like a real home.

There’s so much work that needs to be done to make Auckland housing amazing. It’s not about having the biggest or a whole lot of land – it’s about smart design with good structure.

Your move, developers.

In which I attempt to buy togs

I have fat on my body. A lot of it. It’s pretty obvious when you look at me, and I’m not alone in this. Lots of us have fat on our bodies. Surprise!

No, you would think it was a surprise given what I went through today.

deniseRecently a famous NZ fashion designer said that clothes just look better on slim people. Strange that she’d exile those of us with extra girth to the “never look as good as skinny folk” pile because she’s one of us. Am I allowed to say that?

I don’t think saying we’re second-class in the looks department is reasonable. I think different stuff looks good on different body types and if a designer is so a) shit at designing or b) lazy that they can’t make something look good on someone with more bodyfat, then they need to get out of the game and become a cleaner or maybe a CEO or something.

Anyway, I like the beach. I like swimming. You know what I don’t like? Having poorly designed togs ride up my bottom, or fling one of my mammaries out for public view. I like being covered. Not like a nun, but, you know, decent. And I want to swim. We’re told to move our fat asses, to get exercising. To do something.

So today, I went togs shopping, for something I could actually swim in.

I went to a department store at the mall and saw they had a decent selection (read: three pairs) of togs in my size, so I grabbed a handful and made my way to the torture rooms changing rooms.

First pair did something wonderful to my tummy. It was flat! But as my gaze moved upwards, I saw where the extra flab was. Coming out the sides, under my armpits. I’m not even sure how that was physically possible, but there it was. Breathing is optional, right?

The second pair got on as far as cameltoe would allow. Sure, they were wide enough, but the designer obvs has never seen a chick with really large boobs before, because a pull on the straps make things appear where things should not appear. I had basically created a slingshot for myself. Think Borat, but less sexy. That is how Cate do.

The third pair were created for a flat chested fat woman, of which I’m yet to meet a single one. Imagine a tube with tiny triangles on top. And they wanted $70 for tubey-triangle togs! At least cameltoe togs were only asking $45 for the, um, pleasure of wearing them. I also appreciated that all three pairs were in sullen tones, becoming of a woman who treated a trip to the beach like a funeral. Nothing says DON’T LOOK AT ME like poo brown.

The solution was to go to the fat lady shop and fork out $110 for a pair of togs. Good thing poverty and obesity aren’t linked because ho- wait. Never mind.

city chic togs

Thank you, City Chic.

But I’ll look great, my boobs will be contained, and I’ll be able to swim knowing I’m not going to give myself a black eye. Bring on summer!

Link love:
The bikini in the main picture, City Chic
The one piece I purchased, City Chic