Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Monday, October 20, 2014

Recent stuff

No more apologies, I'm pretty much done with personal blogging besides the occasional check-in such as this, which is mainly for my future self (but if you enjoy it too then, great!)

Everything is now booked for Australia, and I'm in the process of saving spending money. October's almost over already so it's going to come around verrry quickly. I am doing so well! Praise me!

I managed to go to World of WearableArt for free and it was flipping amazing. I'd never really paid much attention to it in the several years I've lived in Wellington, other than noting an influx of middle aged women clogging up the footpaths. To be honest I assumed it was a very pretentious runway show of fancy costumes and never looked further into it - it's sooo much more than that, and felt more like a circus experience than anything else. Will definitely look at buying a ticket to go again next year.

Since Gone Girl's NZ release I have re-read the book once and seen the movie three times, so that is my review, take from it what you will.

I watched White Bird in a Blizzard the other day and was underwhelmed, despite my love for Eva Green. Jimmy Fallon just talked it up way too much. You'll probably like it if you go in with low/no expectations. Or with a burning desire to perve on Shailene Woodley's boobs.

It was Charlie's birthday at the start of the month and I got him a rather nice Stolen Girlfriends Club ring, a Batman plush collectable thingy, and Bun B's Rapper Colouring and Activity Book so I think I am pretty much the best at presents ever.

I had more to write about, but would you look at the time...

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Code Blue

I know, I know - I'm ripping you dear blog readers off a bit. I don't even post a September highlights entry and then I'm all up in your face asking for a favour.

Please, please could you help my work team win People's Choice in The Mobileys? It's an easy-peasy two-second vote - just 'like' this video below!

You can check out more information on Code Blue here.

Thank you!

Friday, September 26, 2014


I really did plan to post frequently about this savings mission but can't break my habit of being a crap blogger. Other priorities for now, I'm sorry.

I managed to avoid touching my savings account and get through to the next pay on a small daily budget pretty easily. And then I decided to ask my sister Emily if she wanted to come with me to Australia for a holiday. And she does. Which is exciting anyway, but extra exciting because she hasn't been there before (and it halves accommodation costs for me). And we've booked a few things already. And it's happening!

So we're going to Australia in late January for a couple of weeks; to Sydney, Hervey Bay and Brisbane.

I am so very, very excited. And so very determined to save as much spending money as I possibly can.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014


Confessions of a Compulsive Spender

Note: This post has been added to over a handful of days since the start of September.

Charlie and I both started new jobs halfway through this year and it's all very exciting and something I should have blogged about extensively and may do some day, but this is not the post for it.

After working in retail for all the 'New Years' [it's just the plural of New Year here, Mum, I'm sorry] of our relationship I was hopeful Charlie's new job would mean seeing in 2015 together somewhere other than Wellington. Unfortunately not this time.

But I'd already been thinking so much about going somewhere exciting during the summer, that I started considering going solo. Visiting one or both of my two good mates in Aussie and have a holiday by myself.

I have been terrible with money ever since I first discovered the concept. I don't know why - my parents aren't rich, but they sure are disciplined and sensible when it comes to spending. My little sister has been saving for years - spending on both necessary and luxury things along the way, but always with a healthy balance left in the bank.

But me? As a kid and tween I would get a few banknotes for my birthday and spend as soon as possible - the same day if I could. I would get a late birthday card with $30 enclosed and head straight to the toy store to blow the lot on a fancy teddy bear.

And then I got older and older and this just continued (although I finally grew out of teddy bears... new ones, that is. I still have several of my old buddies on a shelf in our bedroom...)

I'm 25 years old now, I have been working a part- or full-time job since I was 15, and I still live paycheck-to-paycheck. Sometimes I need help to get to that next paycheck. It is shameful.

I have a relatively-small student loan from a foolish attempt at study when I was not physically nor mentally fit to complete it. Thankfully it's interest-free, and decreasing merrily with every pay. I have an overdraft of $2000 that I gleefully accepted during those student days and this means I float around in the red and now pay monthly interest. But I'm paid fortnightly and my bank account has not been in the black since I accepted that overdraft and went shopping all those years ago at 17. Thankfully I don't have a credit card. It could be much worse. But it still needs to change.


It's the 3nd of September and this evening I sat down and made a solid plan to save for an Australia trip at the end of January. I looked on Kayak at different flight options, and worked out how much I can afford to save if I stop wasting money - it's exciting, and achievable. If I can stick to my plan and can confirm dates that work for both friends and my work, I should be able to book flights in early October, and accommodation after that. And then I'll have over three months to get a tattoo appointment locked in with a deposit, and save a healthy amount of spending money.

Young Adventuress Liz posted this old blog post on her Facebook page today and it could not have come at a better time. I clicked through some of the posts she linked to too, and saw a tip for when you're thinking about making a unnecessary purchase - think what could I buy on holiday with that money instead? Seems bloody obvious, but I really haven't ever had that mindset before.

It's ridiculous that I haven't travelled (on my own money). When people ask if I want to travel and I practically shout yes, my response to why I haven't is "money"/"too poor"/"can't afford", and that's not true, I make a decent income. It's my spending problem, and that's not an excuse. I see this Australia trip obviously as a holiday, but also the first step towards being a "saver" and going on holidays further abroad. Those of you who know me and/or have read my blog for a long time will know my desire to go to the States. If I can achieve Australia in a few short months, I'm sure I can achieve my American dream a year or two after that!


It's the 8th of September, my first payday since I decided to save for Australia. Managed to make the remainder of my previous pay last until today and put a little excess into my savings account so for me that's off to a good start!

From my pay today I put around 35% into my savings account and put aside money for the dentist this Wednesday. I paid all my bills (wahhh, electricity) and expenses (including Child Fund sponsorship - yup, maybe an "unnecessary" expense but a damn fulfilling one I won't be giving up), and did a grocery shop this evening for some seriously healthy food - 80% fresh fruit fruit/veges/raw foods, and 20% packaged-but-still-healthy food. Nary a chocolate-anything in sight. The leftover money I have budgeted to a small daily allowance for the next fortnight to use on miscellaneous expenses and any extra food I need. Going to try my best to spend next to nothing from that until I have to, so maybe I can treat myself to a meal out or a couple of beers later in the fortnight.

I don't want to get ahead of myself, hence keeping these updates in one post for now. Writing all this publicly and then failing would be terribly embarrassing, and I have a decade of poor money management to overcome (oh, hell). But my mindset is really different this time. I've seen lots of lovely clothing and art items online during the past week, and in the past I would bookmark them for a payday spend-up, but this time I've quickly closed the tabs. Maybe a little way to go before I resist clicking the links at all! I glanced at overpriced fresh flowers on the way into the supermarket this evening (a regular frivolous expense for me) but walked right on by thinking that's another tenner in Aussie! If I can get through to my next pay without borrowing money or touching my savings, I'll hit publish and continue these posts more regularly... and less lengthy!


It's the 9th of September,  and despite what I said yesterday, I'm going to hit publish today. I just read Kelly and Rochelle's posts about "Brokeass September" and if they can be open about money stuff, I can too. I have all my (mega healthy!) food for the day planned out, so won't be spending a cent and today's allowance can carry over to tomorrow. I got this.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Summary of August 2014

This month last year
It was the middle of Breaking Bad's final season, I got my Captain Von Trapp tattoo.

Entertained by
We watched the first two Hunger Games movies, they were alright. I bought a stack of books from the Book Fair, and re-read Black Like Me and Willow Tree and Olive. Listened to Broods' Evergreen and 3ree6ixty's Utopia.

Books, a couple of dresses, a necklace, a cactus.

Going to Broods with old-work people and 3ree6ixty with Charlie.

Robin Williams' death.

Art progress
Only a couple of drawings at the start of the month.

Looking forward to
No big events coming up. Lorde tickets go on sale tomorrow which I was pretty keen for but have decided not to go. Going to try not to spend money in September.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Summary of July 2014

Oops, one day late.

This month last year
I bought the Urban Decay Naked palette. That seriously looks to be the only thing of note in my Instagram photos.

Entertained by
I watched Crisis which featured some horrific acting and some of the worst green screen I have ever seen, but the plot was kind of exciting so overall I enjoyed it... Started watching Awake yesterday-evening on my sister's recommendation and that is much, much better quality. Loving it!

I finally watched The Other Woman and it was terrible, oh my gosh. I can get down with lowbrow, but that was really bad - except for Leslie Mann, I love her. I finally re-watched one of my all-time-favourites Dick online, but still want to find a DVD copy of it.

I read We Were Liars, which I would recommend but only if you don't know anything at all about the story and just go read it.

My first set of Prismacolors, a grey toned sketchbook, some new brushes. Throws and cushions for the couches. Two boxes of De Ruijter sprinkles...

Going to Auckland for NetHui - it was really interesting, and fantastic to catch up with a bunch of people I hadn't seen for a long time. I wrote a blog post about it for work here.

There is a new kitten in the neighbourhood!

Working different times to Charlie again kind of sucks a little more than I thought it would. And it has been COLD AND WINDY a lot.

Art progress
I have been drawing in the evenings again this month. I created a new Instagram just for my artwork - @aliceportfolio.

Looking forward to
I have tickets to two concerts in August - Broods with old-work people and 360 with Charlie. I also have an appointment to get my Captain von Trapp tattoo's face touched up a little bit.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Summary of June 2014

Edit: I've decided to do Dry July this year. I usually only drink a couple of times a month if that, but mingling in Auckland totally sober will be outside my comfort zone! If you want to donate, click here.

This month last year
Was a lot colder than this year, from memory. I've only worn my big woolly scarf twice so far this winter. Using Instagram to jog my memory, highlights were The Last of Us and getting the big bookshelves for our lounge.

Entertained by
I went to the Ellie Goulding concert in Wellington with a few of my old work colleagues, and loved it. Enjoyed Broods' opening performance too, and have bought tickets to go see them again in August.

My sister Emily and I went to see The Fault in our Stars, and oh my gosh the tears. It was fantastic, I liked it a lot better than the book for once. I wrote a blog post after the movie that's still in my drafts because I was crazy emotional and I'm not sure it should be published. Also Charlie and I saw What We Do in the Shadows which I did enjoy, though not sure I'll watch it again.

I read Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey which is brilliant, and sad, and satisfying.

Charlie and I watched all of Roswell over a couple of weeks. I do not understand why I thought Max and Liz were so fantastic when I watched it on TV back in the day, they are the most annoying characters. And Kyle was clearly the best.

I've been listening to Ellie, Broods, and Jasmine Thompson.

An Ellie shirt from the concert and two dresses. Elizabeth is Missing as mentioned above, and Mr Mercedes by Stephen King.

Ellie! Getting dressed up for the Gold Awards. Spending a couple of hours wandering around Te Papa with Charlie - I hadn't really been for a proper visit since I worked in the cafe there in 2007, so it was interesting again. Dylan visited us for one night which was fun, always great to see him. And on Saturday just gone the weather was stunning, so we went to Porirua with some friends and played mini putt, then came back into Wellington for fish and chips at the beach.

Also I got a grant to go to NetHui in Auckland next month! The first NetHui was being planned when I left InternetNZ in 2010, and I've always wanted to go since but hadn't been in roles where my attendance was relevant.

Flying back from a meeting in Auckland my ear blocked up SO BAD, and I couldn't hear out of it for the next 24 hours. And a few days ago I pulled my achilles tendon - not very badly, but enough to make slopes and steps pretty painful.

Art progress new category!
I did a quick drawing of my niece, Isobel, who turned 13 this month.

Looking forward to
NetHui! Also I'm semi-looking-forward-to Charlie starting his new work schedule, which will be quite different to mine. It's been wonderful being able to meet him after work every day to go out somewhere or walk home together. But I think it will probably be good for me to be alone a bit more to work on my art, and exercise, and probably eat healthier (not even remotely his fault that I've been so bad at those things, it's my lazy self).

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Summary of May 2014

Note: I scheduled this post a couple of days ago. The month is ending on a terribly heartbreaking note, as we have lost a beautiful, gentle, caring member of our SYAONZ community and I attended a service for her today. Rest in peace, Moira.

This month last year
Last May I spent a night in Auckland for an Arthritis New Zealand advocate workshop, which was the start of a lot more work and enthusiasm for SYAONZ, including the start of our website. My little sister Emily graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing from Massey University. I took the day off work for my 24th birthday for a hospital appointment, and then spent the afternoon with Charlie.

Entertained by
We have been watching a few episodes of The Office pretty much every night after work - currently on season 6. We started just after I saw Lauren mention she was re-watching it, and how emotionally involved in Jim and Pam's relationship she is. Oh gosh, me too, so much.

After teaching myself the New Zealand Sign Language alphabet one evening, I've been thoroughly impressed by the New Zealand Sign Language Dictionary app and trying to pick up a few words each night. Seriously, check it out, fantastic app.

Music-wise has been same old, but I'm in the 'love it' team for the video to Chandelier by Sia.

Besides my usual subscriptions on YouTube I've also been watching a lot of Jimmy Fallon videos (Drew is one of my favourites), UFO sighting videos (yup), and videos of extreme waterparks. Oh, the places you'll go.

Two Rimmel lipsticks, a L'Oreal lipstick, six Milani lipsticks, and another lipstick holder. A clear case for my phone (what's the point of getting the fancy gold one if you can't see it?) Chelsea Winter's cookbook for Mother's Day, and a present for Mum's birthday (haven't been able to give it to her yet).

I got about 20cm chopped off my hair! Absolutely love it, Jacques did such a great job and I'll definitely go back to him in the future.

Starting my new job has been a massive highlight and obviously the most significant part of this month. Absolutely loving it, and still pinching myself that I get to wake up on weekdays and head off to do something that I love. We had a great development day in Martinborough with the whole team.

Spent a night in the Wairarapa for my friend Alishia's leaving party which was a really good night.

It was my 25th birthday on the 17th which was mostly spent in Martinborough. The weather was gorgeous, and we had a lovely lunch at Medici. Was super spoiled with lovely gifts.

Looking forward to
Going to Auckland for a day of work. Going to Ellie Goulding with some old-work mates. 

Most liked on Instagram
Stunning colour during a Wellington sunrise - no filter.