Travel

New Zealand Series: Te Arai Point Beach

 

If you’re looking for a spot to disappear to, away from the city and bustling crowds then I’d suggest taking a day trip 1 and 40 mins north of Auckland to the beautiful Te Arai beach.

If you like the vibes of Piha but hate the crowds then Te Arai point maybe the perfect way to spend the day. It’s beautifully isolated and forces you to spend time off the grid as there is no cell phone reception. Positioned on the east coast this beach offers miles of pristine white sand with choppy surf ideal for swimmers and surfers alike.

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Some pro tips would be:

  • Pack food and water, as the nearest shop in a 20 minute drive.
  • Don’t bother washing you car prior to departure. The last 15 minute of your journey is a long a unsealed gravel road and everything will get covered un dust.
  • Bring shade. If you plan on parking up on the beach then you need a place to escape the sun and wind as the beach is rather exposed.
  • The trip is not sign posted so take a map or your phone for direction. Cellphone data will get you 97% of the way so screenshot your last few turns. Don’t do what we did and ‘trust your gut’ as this will get you lost. Google maps is your friend.
  • EXPLORE! On one side of the beach you’ll see a stretch of white sand for miles. On the other, a small cove type opening that acts as a peaceful lagoon in amongst the rough waves. Great for kids or those who just want to chill.

Check out the photos

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Lisa x

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The things they don’t write in parenting books.

It’s a well known fact that parenting is like a ever-changing obstacle course with no map or signs that your on the right path.

Thankfully though, we are no longer in 1940 where women and men stay silent about their parenting concerns. We are lucky enough to have an endless supply of books, support groups, antenatal classes and even the internet to educate ourselves on what is going to be one hell of a ride.

HOWEVER.

In the last two years I have learnt there are many ‘FYI’s’ that are left out of the available learning material.

This became more apparent when recently I had a run in with a very obnoxious couple while I was out shopping one day. The books I read didn’t teach me how to handle these social interaction so I had to improvise.

This couple was young, clearly did not have kids and felt the need to express their self-entitlement.

I was in line for food with my 2 year old and yes, I had my pram. Because a pram is the most vital piece of equipment to help  stabilise an unpredictable toddler, hold my shopping bags and keep my sanity intact (put that in your advertising Kmart!).

The line moved forward so naturally,  I followed.

While I stood there this couple started walking in my direction. I figured there’s a tone of space behind me so surely they’ll walk around me right? In a way, they did but they sure made it clear they weren’t happy about having to take approximately 3-4 extra steps to pass by.

The comment from the male: “Way to block the fucking path with your pram.”

Followed by an ignorant murmur from his underage girlfriend “Wow…your so smart lady. Fuck sacks.” said sarcastically.

They both gave me evil looks as their shopping bags purposefully smacked the pram.

PAUSE.

First of all, I was lucky enough to get through 1 hour of shopping without a tantrum.

Second, as a reward for being an awesome kid we were in line for ice cream and we were having a pleasant day up until this point.                              

Third, do you think because I’m a mum on my OWN that it’s ok to make loud comments like that? Would you have said that if her dad were with me?          

Fourth, did I look like someone who was going to ignore this? Did I have ‘I’m a chicken shit’ written on my forehead? Answer: NO.

RESUME

For some odd reason they assumed I didn’t hear them and they walked by with a thick layer of smugness on their face.

So they got one hell of a fright when I went all Cookie Lyon on them and said

“Excuse you! We’re you talking to me? Cause it sounded like you were. Care to explain?”

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Both look pretty stunned because I guess they weren’t counting on a response. After a few seconds of what I thought was a glorious stare down the guy finally said “oh nah” while he looked at the ground and continued to walk away. His girl was long gone too cause we all know those hoes ain’t loyal.

In that moment it was like catching an under sized fish and thinking ‘should I let this go?’  I had every fibre I my body saying ‘going on, give him a piece of your mind!’ However  I looked at my kid and thought, no. You’re too young to embarrass now, I’ll save the good stuff till your older. So I let him leave with his newly descended testicles. But of course not without one final intense “fuck with me and see what happens” look.

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The point is that shit like that happens all the time and the more comfortable I’ve become in my parenting role the more apparent these situations become.

If the above scenario were to happen when my kid was around the 6 month mark, I most likely would have just ignored it. Because in the back of my mind I may have thought ‘maybe they are right? Maybe I should have stayed home? Maybe I should have made of an effort to move my pram? Because after all, I’m new to all of this.” Thank god I’m not that person now!

Most times your too focused on your kids to even notice or sometimes you do notice but feel it’s not appropriate to say anything.

My advice? SAY SOMETHING.

People may stare at you, give funny looks or whisper about you to their friends. None of that matters. What matters is letting that ‘other person’ know, that shit is not ok.

To summarise,  I’ve made a list of scenarios that have occurred in my short parenting time and what my reactions were. I strongly suggest aligning your attitudes to be some what similar ….

Let us begin:

  • Prams are big and clucky, that just the reality of them. Whether they are designer or the warehouse they are not meant to be invisible and people will need to walk around them.

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  • When your kid cries in public, people will look.

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  • When your kid cries in public, people will judge you.

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  • When your kid cries in public, people will expect you to flick that magic switch to make it stop, they will be super confused when you don’t do this immediately.

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  • When you’re at a seated event with your toddler people will expect good behaviour. If your kid kicks the back of their chair they will give you the ‘why did bring your kid here?’ look. They may even request to move seats.

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  • When you approach the counter to order food with your kid and you maybe trying to teach them some independence by letting them pick and ask for it themselves. You will get toe taps, coughs and loud sighs. These are signals that people are impatient and want you to hurry the hell up.WGAF

I hope you enjoyed this weeks episode, until next time!

 

Lisa x

 

 

 

 

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Life

Setting Goals vs What really matters?

What matters most can be a loaded question. The answer depends on who’s asking and who’s being asked.

With the arrival of the new year, the prosperity of a blank slate shines bright and clean. When that new year rolls around we ask ourselves “Ok, what are my goals? What am I going to start/stop doing?”

90% of the time for me that answer begins with “eat less [insert food] and do more [insert exercise move I absolutely despise].”However, setting goals means nothing if we don’t understand the purpose behind them. The ‘why’ is just as important and is the power that drives the ‘what’.

When we ask ourselves ‘what are my goals for this year?’ It will often result in answers such as buying a first home, travel the world,  make more money, lose weight, stop smoking etc. All perfectly good goals but they have their flaws. The problems lies in the fact that these goals are set without a purpose in mind. Why do you want to travel? How will this add value to your current life’s state?

These are the reasons it is more beneficial to ask the question what matters most to you.

Better relationships? Finding love? More freedom with your time?

Finding out what matters to you most is a tool that will help narrow down the list of abundant unnecessary goals. It will help decipher and focus on what really motivates you, what makes you happy and what keeps you passionate. From there, you build your goals with substance and meaning.

In other words, know what you’re doing it and why you’re doing it.

  • Goal: I want to lose 10 kgs
  • Why: Because it will mean a healthier and more energetic me that will ultimately lead to better lifestyle.
  • Goal: I want to work less hours
  • Why: Because I want to create a better work/life balance. This will allow me to create a stronger relationship with my family.
  • Goal: I want to travel the world
  • Why: This will let me met new people and gain experience outside of my comfort zone that will filter into other aspects of my life.

These are a few examples…

Let’s plan for 2016 to bring positivity, prosperity, strength and tiny bit of drama. Because let’s be real, life ain’t life without a bit of drama. Just try not to attract too much and learn how to handle it better.

Lisa x

 

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Life

21 Simple Things We All Find Satisfying as Adults

Having a rough day are we?

Well, your in the right place! Ok, ok so you may have gotten a speeding ticket on the way home. Maybe you just got dumped by your ex who coincidentally really needs YOUR best friend for support. Or maybe your big plans for tonight just fell through after you’ve literally spent 2 hours slapping all the crap on your face in an effort to look good.

Well that sucks but you know what doesn’t? All the little things in your day that you may have ignored to begin with but suddenly are now the highlight of your day. I’ll be honest, I’ve had a few shit days here and there but it’s always been the smallest thing that reignites my optimism. This renewed optimism is usually in the form of instant satisfaction, I enjoy these things so much I made a list!

So, here are 21 little wins that will make your day that much more satisfactory, if they don’t well then make you own list. I’m not your mother.

1. Matching socks.

When this happens it’s proof there is a god. Well, a sock god anyway. If I see a pair of matching sock first thing in the morning then I know … today will be a good day.

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2. Afternoon cuddles with your significant other (human or animal .. sometimes I prefer the latter)  

Honey, I’ve had a rough day can we cuddle on the couch while I watch Game of Thrones? Oh you don’t want to? Tough shit, you’re doing it.

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3. Waking up before your alarm goes off and you’re not tired.

Wow, I’m awake  AND I have Energy!? Wtf is going on here? Well seeing as how I’m up now I might go and work out .. I said MIGHT.

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4. Paying a bill on time.

Victory! Now I don’t have to dodge private number phone calls for the rest of the month. On second thought, I’ll continue to do so just incase…

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5. Sitting in a waiting room and there are up-to date magazines available to read.

The most horrifying thing about a doctors office is being forced to read magazines from 1997 or reader digest. Your having a good day if your in a waiting rooms and the magazine is from this decade. Success!

 

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6. Finding a funny meme online and losing my shit in fits of laughter.

Yes, meme are still funny. IDGAF what people say. example below:

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7. Detouring through a fast food drive through on the way home after a rough day and giving zero f**ks about all your hard work at the gym you’re about to ruin.

It’s been on of those days where you need your best friend by your side. Then you realise your best friend will give you good advice that you just can’t handle right now, so you get a Big Mac instead. Problem solved.

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8. Hanging all your washing out on a sunny day and actually have it dry entirely. 

If you live in Auckland, NZ you will understand how much of a luxury this is.  The weather here is bipolar and the weather man is often 98% wrong most times. If you see sun, get it on the line and pray as you walk away.

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9. Matching Bra and Undies or the male alternative, clean underwear.

Picture John Travolter in Greese and the trail of confidence he leaves behind his swagger of a strut. Yes, today I’m John Travolter and this day is my bitch.

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10. A Full Tank of Gas

Idea: Let’s drive 2 hours out of our way to try that raw vegan cafe I saw on instagram then hit the yoga studio for an hour long session.

Reality: Let’s drive through McDonalds then go to the home, because this gas has gotta last me two weeks.

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11. Brunch

A secret meal you get after breakfast but before lunch. Why did no one tell you about this magical meal when you were little!? Those selfish adults…

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12. Having a group of friends that have actually grown up the same time as you

You know that friend that still lives at home with their parents and has no financial responsibility, doesn’t understand how the real world works and still believes in the tooth fairy? Me neither, I don’t have friends like that.

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13. Being able to watch a TV series from start to finish in the span of 4 days or less. 

So, I haven’t showed in 2 days, my cat is giving me that ‘feed-me or i’ll shit in the house’ look and all of my house plant have died. Regardless, I’ve now watched every episode of GoT and Empire and if I die tomorrow, my soul will be at peace.

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14. Doing the grocery shopping and realising your an adult. Therefore you CAN buy that packet of chocolate biscuits and stash them at the back of the cupboard for later.

Because that’s what adults do to hide things from other adults.

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15. Having a clean car

Huh, so my dash board is actually a light caramel tan, not shit-brown. Go figure…

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16. Having coffee with a good friend

Coffee is improves my energy levels and friendship de-creases my stress levels. A genuine win-win situation.

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17. Spending the whole day secluded for some much needed alone time and eating whatever the f**k you like (pyjamas optional).

Today I will not participate in the world and that’s just fine with me. Regular life will resume tomorrow….

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18. Having a day time nap.

I have a million things on my to-do list and most are classed as urgent, but f**k it…I’m having a nap instead.

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19. Completing your daily to-do list by lunch time.

Wow, now have a spare afternoon with nothing to do, what just happened ? I’m usually much less productive than this! I wonder how long this ‘new me’ is going to stick around?

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20. Finally getting around to doing those chores you alway said you would

I know I said it 6months ago but i mean it this time! Wardrobe organised, check. Shoe closet organised, check. Garden weeding? Um, I would but it looks like it’s going to rain in the next 1-7 days so I’d better not risk it. Oh well.

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21. Dressing for comfort over anything.

Some how my ‘quick trip to the supermarket’ jeans have also become my ‘clubbing’ jeans, ‘daily errands’ jeans, ‘dinner with friends jeans’ and ‘shopping for new jeans’ jeans. Occasionally people compliment me on my ‘effortless and cool style’ but the truth is 90% of my washing is dirty and these were the only clean clothes in reach.

 

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Lisa x

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Dear Friend, you are missed.

Relationships are beautiful whether romantic or platonic. They allow you to venture into another beings world, while consciously allowing them into yours. Some are easily built on sand, which in turn are just as easily swept away. Others that are more important and tend to be build on solid ground and can often with stand the most turbulent situations.

A few months back I lost one of the most influential persons in my life and my dearest friend. She played a significant role in majority of my fondest memories and indirectly sculpted who I am today. She managed to leave her impression on many people but this post is about the impression she left on me.

I’ve had this blog post sitting in my draft for the last 7 weeks and every time I approach it I find myself hitting an awkward brick wall. My stumble? How do you describe the most eccentric character to ever be apart of your life? How do you articulate your feelings towards your closest and dearest friend?

She wasn’t an angel or a saint. But truthfully she had a big heart with a mouth twice the size. She did things that made most people question her sanity but made her close friends laugh in hysterics. I can’t begin to describe how precious she was and still is to me.

Because of her my high school years we’re nothing but pure laughter and genuine happiness. I remember specifically being extremely lost on the days she wasn’t there. She was loud, infectious and way to intelligent for her own good.

She was in every aspect of the title ‘my best friend’.

That’s why losing her so suddenly was momentarily paralyzing and beyond heart braking.

It only been a few months but I still struggle with her absence and truthfully, I know I could have been a better friend.

So to my dear friend I want to thank you….

For your friendship. It meant everything to me and I’m sorry I didn’t show you that more often.

For being you. Because it allowed ‘me to be me’. Through the nature of your character you indirectly showed me not to care about what others may think. You taught me, to be me.

For showing up to school with lunch for two…. well at least for the 2 out of 5 days you actually showed up to school.

For being my sound board when I needed to unload my emotional burden.

For your ridiculous laugh! It always hurt my ears but made my day that much brighter.

Most importantly….

Thank you for the happiness you brought to my adolescent years. I know you never thought much of yourself but you were worth more than you could ever realize.  I wish you loved yourself as much as I did.

Thank you for honestly being a true friend, even when I wasn’t to you.

Although your life was far too brief I feel as if you managed to cramp 90 years of living into 24. I wish I was by your side in your darkest moments and perhaps things would have turned out differently. For this I’m truly sorry.
We all wish you stayed longer but hell, you never listened to anyone anyway.

Where ever you are I hope your at peace. Rest my dear friend and when you get a chance… please give me the next winning lotto numbers.

With all my love.

Lisa

xxx

P.S: I know you loved this shizz…..

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Pregnancy tests, tears and foiled plans.

2014 is the year I became a mother for the first time. This experience gave me both heart palpitations and a minor stoke. To be quite honest, this was not planned. Considering I was the girl who had a magical plan in my head as how I was going to bring kids into this world. The plan was, first I would marry either Joseph Gordon Levitt or Dwayne Johnson and we live happily in a million dollar Miami Mansion. Then at 30, just like Beyonce, I would plan to have my first child. He or she would be born into my financially wealthy lifestyle, with a 10 bedroom house, have the ability to travel the world and I would not get one stretch mark.   Did I say plan? I meant unrealistic fantasy.

As fate would have it (or a lapse in sensible decision making) I fell pregnant at 23. I remember feeling ill for a week, then two weeks, then three weeks. I figured since I was early winter that I had caught some kind of super bug that wasn’t going away, I laugh at this now. Out of pure curiosity I took an at home pregnancy test. Low and behold …. negative. Weight off my shoulders and off to the liquor store I went (I’m joking, I sent Brandon instead).  Still feeling miserable and suspiciously nauseous I take a second test a couple weeks later. Then again only one pretty line appeared, negative.

It just so happened to be by chance that pregnancy test had a ‘buy two get one free’ deal on at the pharmacy. I guess this is for the dumb asses like me that take the first two test too early. So I decide you use the third one about a week later, you know just for fun.

HOLY SHIT BALLS.

The WHAT THE F*#K is that second line doing there!? This test is broken! Where’s the complaints phone number? They sold me a dodgy test, someones already pee’d on this one! After this came a few tears followed by buckets of them. I was floored. This was not my plan. However, as much of a cold punch this was to the system, I couldn’t help but have a little smile creep in.

After the dust had settled and the nerves had worn off I told my partner Brandon. Then we went back to square one and cried all over again. We had it confirmed by the doctor who kindly said “congratulations” as I sobbed uncontrollably in her office. Then she strategically slipped me a variety of pamphlets. One so epicly titled “Teen pregnancy. What should I do?” Thanks bitch but I was 23 and hardly a teen. We drove around for about an hour, kind of in a blank daze. Not really knowing what to say to one another.

About a week past and at that stage I can honestly say we did consider having a termination. Not out of selfishness or unwillingness to have kids, but out of pure fear of “we don’t know what the hell we’re doing!” We couldn’t grasp the concept of us being parents when most times we forget to feed the cat. We didn’t think it was in our capabilities to take care of and raise a child. The turning point was when we discussed this. Neither one of us could come up with a genuine reason besides fear to go through with a termination. So, we can’t just drop everything and go out clubbing. So what! We can’t selfishly spend our money on ourselves anymore? Who cares! All these little details just did not matter and still don’t matter.

We made the best decision we ever have and I doubt there will be another to top it. Having a kid in 2014 was not the plan, but to be honest I’ve never stuck to plans anyway. I’m the type of person who consistently writes a grocery list of veggies, meat and health foods. Then forget the list at home and come home with chocolate ice cream to go with my chocolate sauce and chocolate sprinkles.

Moral of the story? For me, it’s that things happen. Screw your plan. You can either fall in defeat or rise to challenge. Guess what? It was nowhere near as horrifically terrifying as people make it out to be.

To contradict many theories about having children. No, your life is not over. No, you will not be broke. No, you do not have to be anti-social and lose all your friend (although the ones you do lose won’t matter).

Yes, you can still achieve your life goals. Yes, your can still travel the world. Yes, you can still have friends. Yes, you can still go out for dinners, attend parties, go shopping, head to the movies. Although these thing may take a little bit of extra effort they are still possible. More than anything though, Yes, It means life will change for all the right reasons.

Life’s journey is about striving for your idea of success and happiness. I’m just lucky now have a permanent little buddy by my side the whole way..

“What it’s like to be a parent: It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love.”
Nicholas Sparks

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24.

Last Month I turned 24. It’s not a mile stone but still significant in its own right. In 24 years I have grown my knowledge, learnt valuable lessons and developed skills. Although most would say my journey is in its early stages, there are a few points in life in which I have already made my mind up on. I actually got this blog post idea from a gorgeous friend of mine. Check her blog out if you want to re-defy and expand what you think you know about music.  www.dovesdiary.com 

Here’s 24 things I think are invaluable and worth noting down….

1. Take care of your body, it’s the only one you have and will ever get.

2. Thank others. Regardless of whether someone holds a door open for you or saves you life. Always say thank you.

3. Let go of grudges. They only make you bitter and angry.

4.  Don’t fit your goals to accommodate your circumstances. Adjust your circumstances to accommodate your goals.

5. Realize your features are what you were born with. That big nose you think you have or those ‘no-gap’ having thighs are all part of you. They come from some who lived before you whether it be your mother or as far back as your great-great grandfather.

6.Once in awhile make an indulgent purchase. Shoes, Books, furniture whatever make you momentarily happy.

7. Your allowed sad days once in a blue moon. On these days stay home, eat popcorn and watch a movie. Tomorrow is a brand new day.

8.Always help the elderly. Whether they need it or not, at least offer.

9. When people come to your house offer tea/coffee/water whatever. Don’t let this act of politeness fade away.

10. Expand your music collection. You would be amazed what golden songs stay out of your radio stations rotation.

11. Say yes sometimes even when you feel like saying no. You never know what could eventuate and it could be beautiful.

12. There is never a RIGHT time to do anything e.g have kids. If things happen then they are meant to be and you either fall because of it or rise to the challenge.

13. When bad things happen (which they do), Take it. Embrace it. Then move on with your life…

14. Spend time with family or the ones that are just as close. If I need to explain why then It’s obvious you need to do this ASAP.

15. Make an effort for good friends. The amount of good friends you have you can normally count on one hand.

16. Cut back on the cheap fast-food.  It’s like a one-night stand. Every so often it relives a craving but have it too much and you’ll regret it every time.

17. Your parents/family should be your only role models.

18.Don’t go to over priced cafes just because of the statues. Go if the food is actually good. Majority of my favourite spots are hidden in underground food courts and cheap as anything. Expensive does not mean good.

19. Staying on the subject of food, be open. Try other cultural tastes and dining experiences.

20. The world nor anyone in it owes you anything. Unless they borrowed money and you want it back, but other than that…..

21.Before you react to anything, take a step back. Swallow your pride and look at it from another perspective. This way you can react truthfully and unbiasedly.

22. Exercise. Even I hate this one but without some form of exercise you’ll become lazy and lazy people don’t survive in a Zombie Apocalypse

23. Smile at strangers.

24. Just do nice things for others. Why? Because it’s just a damn nice thing to do. There doesn’t always have to be something in it for you.

Tofa.

Lisa  x

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