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merry christmas all!

i didn't share this but my parents have just recently returned from a long holiday where they visited my sister over in new york! they were my personal delivery service because america is home of cheap cheap make up and junk food (more on that in a later post...).
i got a few things picked out for me (courtesy of my sister), and decided to do a post on this mini haul. this is almost like my christmas shopping as well (for myself) because i couldn't seem to get away from work this year... #christmasretail.



i can't believe christmas is only eleven days away!
time flies by when you're working in retail during the christmas break...
on a side note, i have some very pleasant news!!! this christmas, i am collaborating with my good friend suni from xoul creations to host a very exciting giveaway!

xoul (pronounced 'soul') creations has just started up and will be selling a collection of the cutest clay figurines! every single figurine is made from scratch from moulding, baking, painting, glazing to glittering the clay. suni uses plain uncoloured clay as opposed to pre-coloured because she is able to personalise every step of the way herself, making every figurine unique. she takes care in every step of the process, and makes these figurines all with her own hands ensuring each figurine is of high quality. these figurines take a crazy amount of time and effort to create from start to finish!

currently, she is in christmas mode and has made five festive figurines to celebrate the season! they are retailing at $19.99 each, three for $45, four for $60 or the entire set for $75!

please support xoul creations and purchase a penguin (my fave), bear, snowman, reindeer or santa (or all of them)!!!! i promise they will look amazing on your mantelpiece, desk or just in your home! find more photos on her facebook page!

oh wait... to celebrate the start of xoul creations, one lucky person will win an entire set of christmas figurines worth up to $75!!! you can get all five for free! you can enter this competition over on my facebook and instagram (for multiple entries, woohoo!) so check over on each platform for further details!

this is open to nz residents only and will end on thursday 19th december at 9pm so the lucky winner can get these figurines by christmas! good luck all and spread the word to support xoul creations! x

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it's so close to the new year and i'm so excited because i've ordered my new kikki.k personal planner with the 2015 time planner insert!!! i spent about two hours last night on the kikki.k website trying to convince myself not to invest $229 on the premium leather stockholm planner, which is so so so beautiful. i went for the $99.90 black leather personal planner instead (because it had a buckle as opposed to the elastic band on the time planner -- essentially paying $25 for a buckle?!??!). you non-stationery people out there must think i'm a bit crazy, but it is so worth investing in a planner that i can re-use through purchasing new inserts, rather than purchasing a different diary for each year.

i could spend way longer on this website, but i've just put together the things that i absolutely love in a collage for you all! that wooden stapler... man. i can totally see myself spending tonnes of money on homeware and stationery for my future house. and that black coffee mug?!? i can totally see myself sipping my daily cups of tea out of that thing.

no words can ever explain my intense love for kikki.k.
do we have the same taste? i'd love to hear from you in the comments below! x

brb, waiting for my new personal planner to arrive.

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... what have i been doing lately? apart from trying to earn $4000 this summer for a wee holiday i'm planning next year, i've been relaxing and making meals that aren't visually pleasing but taste amazing. woop.

on one of my only days off work, we gathered a few friends and went road tripping down to hamilton to have lunch at the zealong tea estate! i was so excited for this being the tea lover that i am!
it took us just over two hours to get here from auckland, and we were all famished as we stepped through the doors of zealong. 

a waitress introduced us to the four different zealong teas they had available and explained them all to us -- pure, aromatic, dark and black. it worked out pretty well, because we all liked different types of teas and got to try all four! i'm a huge english breakfast fan, and the waitress told me black was similar -- hence my choice of black tea. each tea was able to be re-infused up to eight times so that was perfect! we were able to sit and just relax after our meals drinking cups of tea (we literally stayed there for like three hours and there was no complaint whatsoever!) 
also just a mini shoutout to joe who worked at zealong and came over to talk to us a few times during our visit! such a lovely guy who told us interesting stories!!!



this is episode three in my breakfast series. not that i had one but... chia pudding guys!!!!
i've been loving days where i actually manage to get up early and sit down with a book (or an e-book on my ipad) and just eat breakfast. so worth the early wake up!!!! well only when you're not sleep deprived from staying up watching episodes of the vampire diaries.

happy things:
1. appreciating food/home hacks more and more now - check these ones out.
2. omg baby animals
3. wishing i could make these clams for myself. i can't wait technology advances and we can start downloading food. (wishful thinking).
4. i'm on the hunt for yummy smoothie recipes. i don't get enough vegetables as it is, so i'll be having spinach in mine tonight. please comment down below any yum smoothie combinations?!?!?
5. i made dinner without a recipe last night. yes this is a huge deal!! i stuffed capsicums with chicken rice and it was surprisingly really good.
6. daniel radcliffe. rapping. that is all.
7. on the topic of celebrities making music, i'm still obsessed with this video of taylor swift and zac efron.
8. more life hacks!!!
9. before i get into the chia pudding, i'm on holiday in less than four days (!!!)
10. i was a bit hesitant to try this chia pudding thing because chia seeds don't really taste like anything?! but i looked at a few recipes and it was pretty simple and quick. also i'm super lazy so the faster i get breakfast made, the better. i mixed chia seeds into milk, with a splash of vanilla and sweetened with maple syrup and left it to soak overnight! topped it with frozen berries (did anyone see how fresh blueberries were $12 a punnet???!) and a bit of icing sugar in the morning! yum. i'm thinking of soaking the seeds with my fruit next time so it has a bit more flavour, but definitely a recipe you want to try out!

have a good week x

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i've never ever been so excited to eat breakfast. since waking up early is now in my everyday schedule, i'm finding it easier and easier to sit down with a cup of tea and breakfast in the morning. i would normally never have time to do such a thing (well i would tell myself that anyway). incorporating this into your daily schedule is so important! i've found that it gives me a nice kickstart to my day, but it's so hard when you've got a busy schedule so these are two breakfast recipes that take hardly any time at all:

i made overnight oats
1:1 ratio of oats/greek yoghurt + a splash of milk, chia seeds, sweetened with maple syrup and left overnight to soak. this literally takes less than five minutes the night before! you can use whatever spices/sweeteners you want as well, just stick to the 1:1 ratio and customise to your liking with toppings. i topped mine with blueberries, raspberries, almonds, chia + drizzled with more syrup. yum.

if oats aren't your thing,
... yesterday i made a smoothie bowl which tasted amazing
berry banana smoothie topped with banana slices, almonds, raspberries, blackberries + chia. again, you can customise this to whatever you like in your smoothies and whatever you like on top.

now i'm ready to make an acai bowl for tomorrow morning!
i would definitely recommend these quick + easy breakfast recipes. you can even make overnight oats in a jar for something you can grab quickly in the morning and eat on the way to work/uni! 

check out these overnight oats and these amazing smoothie bowl recipes for more inspiration x
by the way, are you following me on instagram + facebook? i usually post more photos on there before posting on my blog! x 

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today was such a good day! 
two great things arrived at my door step: 
ed sheeran tickets(!!!) and a box with two packets inside... 
the new arnotts shapes light and crispy in two flavours! sweet chilli and sour cream + tasty cheddar and chives. 

i'm already a shapes fan (cheese and bacon shapes anyone?!) but these thinner crackers are a different story. with 75% less saturated fat than normal potato chips, they make for a healthier alternative when you're just craving a little something. the name says it all. these new shapes are light, crisp and taste good on their own or with cute little toppings! they make a perfect bite-sized treat for a lazy afternoon off  or actually any time at all. 

super huge thank you to nzgirl, for sending these out to me!
has anyone else tried these?

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when it's finally time for daylight savings, you know spring is on its way.
i was stuck for a photo idea for today's cheer me up monday, and yes, i've got tonnes of food pics but today i wanted to be a little different! so i walked out into the garden and found some pretty things. if you miss the food, here's the most delicious ice-cream ever.

one super cool thing that i did today was finding my dad's calligraphy ink and brush set! 
you have to rub the ink stick with water against the ink stone to actually make the ink. so traditional but so cool! i had a lot of fun with typography today so you'll be seeing a lot of that in the upcoming weeks.

today's monday post brags a lot of websites that i have discovered/been told about/love/waste a lot of time on/etcetc. you will love them! (and waste too much time on them).

1. who loves pugs?
2. i had way too much fun on this website. my stick men were always chubby little people.
4. for those of you on twitter, you can't not tweet this.
5. this is a super easy way to get rid of your unwanted subscriptions and clean out your inbox!
6. need a place to vent? this.
7. be a calmer person by doing nothing for two minutes
8. i finally jumped on the pinterest train. i love love love it.
9. this is totally unrelated to the website list, but new girl, the big bang theory and survivor are back on tv!!!!!
10. last website. hehe.

have a good week! x

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is it bad that i took the day off uni to study and relax?

i was in bed all day yesterday with a headache so that wasn't very productive. anyway, i've got a lot of work to catch up with and a break from everything sounds pretty good right now. on my list is post on the blog!!!! totally underlined and bolded in that exact same way. 

today's cheer me up monday is a lot of you catching up with me. 
i've also got some nice links for you all!

1. my order from district lines came! (hence, the TRXYE sweater omg!!!!) it was kinda bitter sweet though, my TRXYE sweater came but the three other tshirts i ordered didn't, even though it was on my invoice. so far, no reply to my emails. i don't know how to feel!!! BUT TRXYE.
2. is that an ipad in the photo you ask? ... yes. i went on an impulse shopping spree last week. i'm so happy with it though! so far it's proven useful at uni with the pages and keynote apps and it's super light and portable! not to mention, i can play sims + hearthstone almost every minute of the day... 
3. this is another ipad related thing but last night i purchased a game of thrones and the first book was only $4.99 on the app store?!??!!? i mean i've been looking at purchasing the series for a long time but the books are like $25 each. what a bargain. i'm so happy!!!!
4. it's getting closer and closer to the end of semester. so many of my friends are graduating and it's so important to have a good lookin' cv if you're applying for jobs. a lot of us just don't have the design flair to design a beautiful cv (including me) but these templates!!!! these templates will save your life.
5. election day in new zealand was two days ago and it was the first time i could vote! a long day of work and the gross weather certainly put me off going to the designated voting areas but i made sure i did it! seriously yay for democracy though.
6. auckland weather is seriously depressing but i managed to catch a little bit of sunlight in the morning. there's something relaxing about drinking tea and sitting in the sun and capturing the shadows hehe.
7. i went to little bird unbakery with a work buddy a week ago! it was a raw vegan food adventure and we are both avid meat eaters hahaha. it was super fun though!!! things like this need to happen more often. here's a pic!
8. i would've never thought teenage mutant ninja turtles would be a good movie. it was.
9. i recently got introduced to minimalist baker, a food blog with the most incredible recipes! they're completely based on having easy recipes -- 30 minutes or less, 7 ingredients or less and the best thing is a lot of their recipes are special-diet friendly. vegan/gluten free/whatever. i've tasted their cinnamon rolls and it is absolutely amazing. (special shout out to erica and her amazing baking skills)
10. alongside my ipad, i recently splurged on two rings. one was for my mum! she buys a lot of her own jewellery (and that doesn't happen often at all) and so i really wanted to get her a little something something. the best thing was pulling out the little wrapped up box from my bag and being like "look what i've got for you mum!" it wasn't gold, but she still loved it!

so many things have happened since my last post, and they're not all entirely good. while browsing for some inspiration, i found this quote from marilyn which sums up everything that has happened/is happening/will happen. it's long, but it's perfect.

“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you're going to mess up sometimes, it's a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you're going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends - they'll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything - they're your true best friends. Don't let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they'll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them - actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can't give up because if you give up, you'll never find your soulmate. You'll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn't mean you're gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don't, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about.” 
- marilyn monroe

remember the little things in life.

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"one cannot think well, love well, sleep well,
if one has not dined well."
- virginia woolf

i've been dying to go to ponsonby central for so long and i finally got the chance to go today after handing in an essay at eleven. nevermind the fact that i've got two more tests tomorrow...

we had brunch at foxtrot parlour, a cute little cafe known for their donuts you can inject fillings into! 

we ordered a mocha each, and i got the henhouse raid: famous creamy scrambled eggs with toast and house chutney + free range bacon for $17.50, and v got the morroccan lamb pie which came with a side of salad for $8. for dessert we got the foiyo donuts!!! one with the valrhona chocolate filling and the other with the bay leaf infused vanilla custard, at $6 each.

my meal came with one slice of toast, a stick of butter and what looked to be about four eggs worth of scrambled eggs. the toast was thick, but i felt like there just wasn't enough in comparison to the amount of eggs i had! on the morroccan lamb pie, v said "it was good, but it wasn't astounding." those exact words. the main dishes that we had were exactly that: good, but nothing special.

the donuts!!!!!!
... mine exploded. sorry for the unsightly view. i didn't know how to inject the donut, and there wasn't any pre-made hole that gave me any clues on how to proceed. i ended up completely pushing all the custard out of the syringe and it all just exploded. nevertheless, it was good! the donuts were a bit dry and definitely needed the fillings. the valrhona chocolate would be perfect for any chocolate lover (which unfortunately, is not me). 

overall, the donuts are worth the experience and i'm super excited to go explore the rest of ponsonby central! 

who else has been to foxtrot parlour and tried the donuts??!?! 
let me know in the comments below x

foxtrot parlour
ponsonby central market
7 richmond road,

p: (09) 378 7268

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 meet fresh, a popular asian dessert store has just recently opened in auckland! 
these desserts are literally everywhere on social media.

after seeing several photos on facebook, i managed to force my friends to come with me after dinner one night. little did i know we would be waiting for two hours. 

the wait was horrible. one person kept taking mass orders and the rest of the staff were making orders ever so slowly. that being said, they are a new store with new desserts and most likely new staff members who are struggling to remember how to make each dessert. i'll give them that. 

a customer who had enough of the long wait however, decided to make a scene in front of everyone in the store. i don't really blame her though, the person taking the orders was telling everyone the wait would be thirty minutes and after waiting an hour and a half she had had enough and wanted her money back. 

when the food finally came, our appetites were ruined by the long wait. the dessert is good, but if you don't have a burning desire to try authentic taiwanese desserts, i strongly suggest waiting a few more weeks until the hype dies down a bit. it's definitely worth it if you're not waiting in a queue of a hundred people. 

we got two of the signature meet fresh herbal jelly desserts with herbal ice, taro balls and coffee cream, taro balls dessert five (taro balls, honey beans, jelly and tapioca pearls), and taro balls dessert six (sweet potato balls, taro balls, noodle jelly and tapioca pearls) and a pearl milk tea

i didn't have a good experience here, but lucky the food was authentic and tasted good!

overall, the food is great and worth a try once the queues are all gone!!!!
this little dessert store is going to do very well.

let me know your thoughts when you have tried these desserts! x

meet fresh
8 lorne street,
auckland cbd

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dreaming of the warmth of summer, longer days and being able to swim in the ocean without feeling like you've just submerged yourself in a big ice bucket.

i don't handle cold very well. i found that out the hard way, freezing in queenstown even with five layers including thermals and a puffer jacket. was i doing something wrong? 

my sister has sent me snaps of her weekend in chicago, and she's having fun at a beach just casually watching a sandcastle competition take place. look at this teenage mutant ninja turtle(!!!)


today was the first day i had off in a long time and apart from catching up on a long list of uni work, i finally got to make a little something something. 

a few weeks ago, everyone got a little crazy over a new chocolate that came out: whittakers hundreds and thousands!!! i don't blame everyone -- i'm crazy about hundreds and thousands cookies (as seen on the first ever cmu monday!) 

today i made chocolate chip, marshmallow, hundreds and thousands whittakers chocolate + funfetti cookies. what a mix! what's great about them is that they're chewy and moist instead of cookies that are hard and almost-burnt... yum!

i'm off to have a mini milk and cookie party with my load of uni assignments. 
have an amazing week!!!! x

*edit: for those who are interested in the recipe, i used this betty crocker soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie and tweaked it a little in terms of the serving sizes and added in my own little chocolate pieces, marshmallows and hundreds and thousands sprinkles! it turns out soft and like my biffle said "these are like subway cookies! yum!" 

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one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve | thirteen | fourteen | fifteen

this is what i do when i need some happiness in my life.

i have found and linked above some of the cutest/funniest animal .gifs 
that i hope will bring a smile to your face like they did to mine!!! 

pug photo sourced from weheartit.

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this is one day late but i literally have the best reason because today i had the best pasta ever!!!! it looks like a normal pasta but the penne pavarotti at mamma mia was so good! the portion sizes were huge, the pasta that was meant to be spicy was actually spicy enough to impress my tastebuds, and the order came super quickly. there was like a little kitchen up the front of the restaurant where the chef actually makes the pizza in front of you (sorta). maybe i was super nosy but i could see him making the pizzas from my table haha!

mamma mia restaurant
51 tamaki drive
mission bay, akld

cheer me up:
1. i have finished my first week of semester two and everything is looking good! it's going to be a lot of work in the semester with about three/five of my papers being group orientated. hello new team mates + hopefully new friends! i promise not to be weird.
3. i saw transformers: age of extinction the other night! the movie went on for way too long but the whole movie i was literally just appreciating how big mark wahlberg's arms were (!!!)
4. i love love love cute little usb sticks and i found this one the other day! too bad it wasn't mine to keep. it matched my iphone case!
5. yes yes yes one pot pastas! perfect for students who have no time, or are simply too lazy.
6. molly from mynameisyeh is getting married and this makes me so excited because marriage is so exciting and i can't wait to see the people around me get married and get dressed up and get cute wedding photos!!!! also i want to a bridesmaid. please.
7. omg i love buzzfeed! these guilt-free popsicles look too good to be true. i can't wait til summer!
8. whittaker's hundreds and thousands chocolate is finally out! i haven't even purchased a block for myself yet, but a friend brought a block to work and i got to try it last week! it's pink white chocolate with bits of cookie and hundreds and thousands in. it tastes amazing in little portions but it tastes too sweet eating too much at once! portions!!!

try the new hundreds and thousands chocolate, and have an amazing week! x

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some of you already might know since i've changed both my cover photos on facebook to this, but this is one of my favourites from queenstown! taken from the top of the luge, i kind of just think "tumblr" when i see this! new zealand is crazy beautiful and i am so happy and thankful to be living in this beautiful country!

the past week has seen my semester break coming to a sad end, as well as my holiday down in queenstown. regardless, i've made some unforgettable memories and seen some amazing views that will keep me happy for a long time. 

before i start this week's cheer me up monday, i would like to share something a close friend of mine is doing for her birthday. sacrificing her big twenty-first birthday party, she has chosen to do something a little more special this year. did you know over 800 million people in the world don't have access to clean water? there are millions of kids all over the world who do not even live to see their fifth birthday because of the lack of access to clean and safe water. realising this, it seems almost cruel to be throwing our money away purchasing things we don't need. my friend's birthday wish this year is to sacrifice all the money that would have been spent towards a big dinner, presents, drinks, to all go towards this cause. don't worry, you don't have to know her to donate because the cool thing is, anyone can donate and every cent donated goes towards funding clean water projects! which means if you sacrifice tomorrow's cup of coffee, the entire price of your coffee goes straight towards helping those without get clean water!!! even $5 could go a long way for those who aren't as fortunate as us. 

you can donate to the cause here.

1. sometimes when things get too much and you need to relax, i like going here
2. i'm super lucky to have gotten sick after my holiday than during it. i have found out that i do not handle the cold very well. 
3. i might have mentioned this before, but last semester was one where i really struggled to manage my time between work and uni. because of that, my marks in one paper in particular suffered and i was afraid of failing the course. the grades for it came on while i was on the mountain snowboarding, and after pulling a friend aside for moral support while i checked, i found out that i passed. with more than a c grade! thank god!
4. a new semester of uni means a new start, new books, new stationery... and an empty wallet. 
5. i celebrated passing my paper by getting a new iphone case. it's cute.

have an amazing week! x

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the activity i was looking forward to the most in queenstown was the milford sounds cruise that we had booked a few weeks before going down! milford sounds is known to be the most beautiful place in new zealand (could just be opinions, but i certainly agree). 

we went on a coach for a five hour drive with a funny (and very sarcastic) bus driver who gave us information about our journey. i was asleep most of the time (it was so early in the morning!) but the tour was informative and really interesting! we stopped in te anau, knobs flat, and the chasm for a few photos along the way. at the chasm, i made friends with a kea. look at it!!!! so cute.

and then we got to milford sounds...

it felt super hard taking landscape photos with a 35mm lens and i don't feel like my photos do milford sounds justice. i so recommend going to milford sounds once in your lifetime! it's beauty is not something you can miss out on.

looking back at my photos of queenstown, i am still so overwhelmed at the beauty of new zealand. i am so proud to be able to call this country home!! can we also just keep in mind that this was where major blockbuster movies were filmed i.e. lord of the rings, the wolverine, prince caspian? ah-mazing.

number thirteen can now be crossed off my bucket list!!! so happy!
who has been to milford sounds before? x

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the wakatipu grill was the most recommended restaurant of the hilton in queenstown and we went here for dinner on the first night of our queenstown adventure! the restaurant was popular and we had to grab a booking at 8pm. we finished around 10:30, all of our tummies full and happy.

we started our meal with a loaf, with three dipping sauces.
for my main, it was the first time i had food prepared sous vide. i learnt that this was a process where meat was sealed in an airtight bag in a water bath and cooked to the right temperature. my steak was amazing. i want to say that this was the best steak i've ever eaten but that's such a big claim!!!!!! this steak was the best steak i've ever eaten yet. i also got a side of green beans, which was roasted to perfection.

a lot of my friends ordered the salmon dish for their mains. it was served with greens and pineapple and the presentation looked beautiful. they loved their dish as well!

we ordered two desserts. one came in the cutest little jar and was a cheesecake. the other was a selection of different sorbets and gelato. it also came with shortbread on the side. the food presentation at wakatipu grill is amazing! seriously i am so impressed!

this was an amazing start to our food adventure down in the south island! even the smallest of us, finished her meal first. crazy. all of us demolished our plates, and to top the dinner off we had an amazing waiter! the service is very good here and we all tipped the waiter we had! he deserved it all. i fully recommend this restaurant on a trip down to queenstown!!!

Click to add a blog post for Wakatipu Grill - Hilton Hotel on Zomato 

wakatipu grill
hilton hotel
79 peninsula road,

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