Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pretend Engagement Photos

This is my friend Diletta who left Wellington last week to roam around the South Island before heading home to Italy....

We thought posing in the grass like this was kinda like posing for some cheesy engagement photos... So we cheesed it up... 

I'll see you at Burning Man some time, Diletta!

{cheesy girls}

Simple Things List

Lauren at Ladaisi is linking up with other bloggers for their list of the simple things that inspire them. I am a sucker for the simple things in life...

So here's my list of some things that inspire me, or that just make me happy... Really this list could be gigantic! So I will stick to a few seasonal things or that are happening right now.

1) The neighbor cat who likes to come visit every few days (he's here now)

2) The fact that I didn't have to plant all those sweet peas that are growing around my house!

3) Yoga in the sun

4) Finding strawberries in the fridge!

5) Those emails that are basically just photos of kitties and silly things.

6) A windless day in Wellington

7) Chocolate with coconut!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Music Monday!

I made a Music Page on my blog!

Didn't really know where I was going with it, but for now the page is about me and my music. Who knows how it will evolve and change! Have a look and a listen! I've also got some of my music on there for you to listen to.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What the... This kid stole my idea!

 I might be the last person on earth who has heard of this kid, but that doesn't mean that I'm not impressed! 

This video is like watching a major flashback of my life! Although I was a few years older than him when I started playing in front of people at school; I imagine we felt very similar about the experience of playing in front of our peers.

You can actually see the moment of recognition on the girls faces in the top row when they realize what he's doing. They go from being slightly bored, to stunned, to impressed. That is so awesome! I am so happy for this kid! 

I like his style. This raw edgy quality is what I gravitate towards in music.

And of course anytime you take a main stream song and make it a piano and vocal song I am usually all for it!

I actually had fantasies of playing a Lady Gaga song on the piano, but I can see that I will just be copying this guy now.

Maybe I still will?

The best part of the video is what the lady says at the end...

Flashback Friday! How I became a "from Scratch" Pumpkin Pie Goddess

My first Thanksgiving away from home I found myself in a country that did not celebrate Thanksgiving....

Obviously! It's an American holiday (Canadian too!) and I was living in New Zealand.

And I didn't want to miss out on the Thanksgiving meal, so of course that means I had to do it myself.

The holidays in my family usually mean that everyone brings something so that one person is not left to do it all...

But here I was in a house full of Kiwis, with a new boyfriend that I wanted to impress...

So I did it all... Everything... And I had no idea what I was doing! Although I love to cook: my holiday contributions were usually cleaning the house.

Basically I found all my recipes online and made all of my favorites from scratch... There is no Stove Top stuffing, or canned pumpkin! I couldn't even find a turkey! (Ok, I did but it cost $40 for 6 pounds and was frozen from a restaurant supplier... Thanksgiving involves chicken now...) This is a different world as far as food is concerned! We take for granted the convenience of holiday preparation when the culture supports the holiday: you get more options!

So I made my pumpkin pie from scratch...

In fact, the pie was the best part. And every year after it continued to be so special that I started making it year round. It was requested by flatmates, I brought it to bbqs, made it for birthdays etc.

The first few years I used a recipe by Paula Deen. Mostly because she was the most American cook I could think of when it came to comfort food.

Then one day I found my secret recipe in a french book. I don't know if I'm ready to share the book yet. Maybe a little closer to the holiday season? Lets just say it has hazelnuts carmalized on the crust and it is awesome! And way healthier than all the stuff Paula Dean wanted me to add... Not to mention cheaper and easier too!

In the beginning I didn't even know how to start cooking a pumpkin. My grandma recommended baking it, and from here I still use the same method no matter what I need the pumpkin for.

Here in New Zealand pumpkin is a regular part of the Kiwi diet: kinda like eating steamed carrots, or potatoes or any other veggies as a side you can think of. So its easy to find many varieties sold already sliced in half. It's available almost all year round too. 

When I make pumpkin pie out of the halloween season in America I usually have to spend a lot more money because we don't seem to look at pumpkins as much more than decorations. Usually organic stores or health food stores have them outside of the Halloween season.

So I take my half of a pumpkin (its more than you really need!), I scoop out the seeds, I rub the flesh with olive oil, I lay it flesh side down in a baking tray, and I roast it. I always forget the temperature and time, but basically it is the easiest thing ever. You stick a fork in it to see if its done and the hard skin should easily peel right off of it when its ready. The hardest part is not remembering you need extra time to bake the pumpkin! But it can even be done a day early. When the recipe calls for canned pumpkin, I just ignore them and put the same amount of real pumpkin.

One day I hope to develop a totally unique recipe that I alone can take credit for... It's almost like I have become the pumpkin pie girl, because here no one's really had it (pies are savory here... think pot pie) and back home people think of pumpkin pie made from a can, with a strange gelatinous texture. No wonder I never liked pumpkin pie growing up!

pie button

Flashback Friday Button

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Mad Happy Mad

Happy: I bought some Karen Walker trousers online for only $25! Yes! She's a New Zealand designer and going into her boutique makes me sad.

Mad: So many cool things for lots and lots of money.

I never even try anything on "just for fun" that's how expensive....

Like $700 for a dress expensive....

"Children, please don't touch anything!" Expensive!...

Like how do the 18 year olds who work there afford to outfit themselves in those clothes? Must be a great discount!

Happy: I got the trousers in the mail on my way out the door today. I ran back in the house, opened the package to quickly check em out before tossing them aside and running back out the door.... They looked awesome! The quality of work and fabric never leaves me disappointed in designer clothes!

Mad: Then I unfolded them... And although I suspected they would be high rise pants, and I have never been brave enough to make them work on me- here I was with my high rise pants purchase...

And man the butt on those things looked massive.

I thought to myself "there is no way these will fit. Those are gigantic!"

Back out the door.... I will deal with this later...

The next few hours I had fantasies of getting them altered, or just selling them again... No returns from where I got them....

Happy: When I got back home the first thing I did was try them on.....

They fit.

Mad: Great... How did my butt fit into these massive pants? Well, at least I had a healthy self image!

Happy: Well, I am glad they fit...

Mad: I need to stop eating so much pasta if these things are fitting...

Happy: Yay! I have Karen Walker pants that I only paid $25 for!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Music Monday!

Well, this week I found out I'm not the only one with a Music Monday.... Here I was thinking I was original...

So this week I want to talk about Music and being original. Everyone wants to be original, but even the most creative and influential people have some doors opened for them by others.

Where would Lady Gaga be without Madonna or Marilyn Manson? Would she be wearing 1 foot platforms if these two hadn't shocked the world into acceptance over the last few decades? I suppose anyone could have filled the position of Madonna and Mr Manson if they didn't exist, but she certainly would have caught more flack if it wasn't for them forming a path for her to walk down.

Even the progressions in songs, lyrics, and styles all borrow and make friends with other styles.

I've been the culprit in saying "that sounds like they just want to be like that one band"... Well, maybe they do want to be just like that one band! But the reality is that no one can be like anyone else and therefore our originality lies in that we actually can not be the other person. They might have similar influences, but when it all comes down to it: original ideas and actions are not something to strive for because they are hard to come by. I can't comprehend Lady Gaga as a unique and original artist. She is sharing with the others who came before her while providing her own influence. Give and take.

Instead I think it is important to notice the similarities and know that they are bringing their own unique twist to their work. This is where the art is, in seeing the similarities and discovering the differences.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


{This is sun bear was such a poser}

{Remember boys and girls. Torturing animals is a bad thing.}

{They are called Shags here. I think at home we call them Cormorants. He's a poser too.}

{ballet? No, I'm holding onto something that was cut out}

{You can actually see my house from the zoo. I walked to the zoo. I feel safe knowing that chimps watch over me at night}


{cool chalk board}

Friday, October 1, 2010

Naughty wind...

{Poor little guy!}
This is what you get when you mix umbrellas with Wellington!

I found this sad soldier on the footpath on my way home from work on this awful rainy day, in this extremely windy city.

Why so much wind Wellington? Why! What did I ever do to you? Why do you murder so many umbrellas?
{Sad, broken, discarded, and unwanted}