Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Haps: Wellington Sevens

On 1 – 2 February 2013 Wellington will play host to the Hertz Sevens tournament, one of the most fun events on the Wellington calendar. Thousands will descend on Wellington’s waterfront making their way to the Cake Tin; dressing up is virtually compulsory so even if you’re not going it’s nearly just as much fun to sit back and people watch all day.

I’m so gutted to not be attending this year but I suppose you can’t do everything. In memory of last year’s Sevens, here’s a shot of me in my LMFAO outfit… Happy partying if you’re fortunate enough to be heading along!

MJ at the Sevens 2012


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Local Haunts: Mahia Peninsula Scenic Reserve Track

As you know I am currently based in Gisborne… Back at the family home with my Mum, brother (Ben) and his lovely fiance (Jo). Said brother and his fiance are very active outdoorsy types, I’m talking surfing, mountain biking, rock climbing, diving, running, walking, snow boarding, skateboarding… you know the drill. Me, well I take a bit of convincing, especially when it comes to hiking.

On Sunday we decided to make the 40 minute drive down to beautiful Mahia for a picnic and a swim at Mahanga Beach. About 10 minutes before our ETD, Ben informs me that he thought it might be nice to do a little 2 hour walk on the Mahia Peninsula. For once I was quite excited to be part of an adventurous day trip and happily added practical socks and walking shoes to my bag.

After a 7km drive (approx. and on a gravel road) from the Mahia township, we approached the entry to the walk. The track is a simple loop so after some consultation we opted to go left, an enjoyable downhill start to the walk which had me gaining confidence by the minute! The forest was immediately dense and lush and made me appreciate just how lucky we are to live in Aotearoa.

With a couple of heroic river (creek) crossings ticked off the list, it became clear that the gentle downhill leg had ended and the uphill sweat-inducing leg was imminent. The uphill leg was not quite as sheltered as the first part and it was unexpectedly steep, but not prohibitively so… I’d advise anyone finding it taxing to take it super slowly and invest in well deserved power breaks.

In total the Mahia Peninsula Scenic Reserve Track probably took about 80 minutes to complete. It’s a great day trip activity for people of varying fitness levels and ages and if you get as sweaty and hot as we did, there are tonnes of stunning beaches waiting to cool you down. So satisfying! Next trip we’ll head to the caves just outside of Morere before stopping in at the hot pools on our way home.

Some snaps I took during our day trip.

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The Haps: Big Day Out Sydney

A couple of weeks ago I took off to Sydney for 10 days, it was a really hectic trip with one highlight being the Big Day Out on Sydney’s hottest day on record… 46 degrees Celsius anyone?

Weather and common sense more than influenced our decision to head out to the venue a bit later in the day to preserve our bodies and minds. While it meant we missed some of the acts we wanted to see, it turned out to be a suitable tactic.

The festival was incredibly well organised and the crowd supremely well behaved (not a single wasted person crossed our path).

The Killers proved to be the biggest highlight for me; I’m guessing I wasn’t the only person that fell in love with lead singer Brandon Flowers, the man can sing and is the ultimate style master. Every song they played was a delight, the lighting was a dream and there were popping pyrotechnics. I’m not sure The Killers could have delivered a better set.

I’m definitely down for next years festival but one thing’s for sure, I’ll be crossing my fingers for more bearable temperatures.

Below are some snaps of The Killers taken from the stands.

BDO 2013 The Killer

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On Repeat: Same Love (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis)

Love this track, and I can tell you without hesitation or a lie that I must listen to it at least two or three times a day. It’s beautiful and sends a message of tolerance and equality. I cried the first time I saw the video… Balled my eyes out! I hope you enjoy it too.

Not one more person should feel they cannot be who they were born to be.

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Reading: Grace: A Memoir

The unlikely and arguably more interesting character to emerge from 2009 documentary The September Issue was Grace Coddington, and what a generous breath of fresh air did she bring.

For many who were fans of her beautiful work but unfamiliar with her persona, Grace Coddington was swiftly propelled into the public eye as Vogue’s second leading lady providing a creatively human spirit and realism to an industry so distant for many.

Jump forward to 2012 and we are treated with her memoirs in Grace: A Memoir a collection of memories, photographs and illustrations of her life as one of fashions most influential players.


Fortunately I picked this book up at the airport on my way to Sydney and upon the realisation that I had likely dropped (lost) my iPhone in the airport lounge, this book consumed me utterly providing a much needed distraction pre and post Pitch Perfect viewing (which was AWESOME if you were curious… soooo laugh out loud funny!).

Given I am in city-holiday-mode I haven’t had a chance to progress further with the book, but from what I have seen so far it reads easily and with a liberal dose of humour.



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Blog love: Honestly WTF

Another big time fave blog of mine is the wee gem that is Honestly WTF, a lifestyle blog that covers fashion, art, DIY, travel, beauty…. the list goes on! Simply presented with just the right amount of dialogue, it’s everything I love in a blog, and then some. Go on, sneak a peek!


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Real World: The birthday cake

So many of my friends and family have children of varying ages and stages. It’s wonderful and always a curiously entertaining experience to hang out with the wee nippers.

One of my great friends sons turned 3 today and it was with significant anxiety that I accepted the challenge/honour of making his revered birthday cake. Initially I thought it would be relatively straight forward, a square or round chocolate cake topped with lashings of icing and tonnes of lollies.

Upon further investigation as to the Birthday Boy’s (BB) cake requirements it became evident that this cake making business was going to be be somewhat more tricky than I had anticipated – BB wanted a Rocket! And given his intellect (two months ago he asked his mother what a dodecahedron was), a shoddy attempt was not going to cut the mustard.

So to the internet I went to seek inspiration a recipe and an instruction manual. It didn’t take long to pin down a recipe and strategise my baking and decorating approach; within 24 hours I had baked a deliciously rich chocolate cake and transformed it into a rocket fit for a very special 3 year old BB. The cake was received by BB with satisfyingly wide eyes, and the look on BB’s mothers face was one of relief I will never forget.

Happy birthday Flynnie!

Flynn birthday cake

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Real World: Assimilation

There are two things I detest about a beautiful summer: shorts and the bikini. The problem is it’s so hot in Gizzy and, despite spending the majority of the past two years in Malaysia, my somewhat gentle constitution has not adapted well to the Gizzy heat sans air-conditioning – a luxury that ensured I never really needed to make too dramatic a departure from my jeans and t-shirt casual uniform whilst residing in KL.

It has however become apparent that in order to happily exist in my current geographical climate I have to make some adjustments, principally in the form of shorts and bikini acquisitions. To be fair, I’ve recently surprised myself in that three pairs of shorts have been added to my wardrobe in as many weeks taking the grand total to five pairs – this might sound standard to some but those who know me, know that I simply don’t tend to prioritise this particular item of clothing. Ever.

Now to the topic of the bikini – it was with a forced heart that I ventured out the to Gizzy institution that is Sequence to find myself a dreaded bikini. And what an experience. I tried on so many bikini’s all different in colours and styles etc walking away with a more than satisfactory Billabong two-piece by the name of Seashore in black for a very reasonable $90.

Billabong Seashore Bikini 2

After a test run at the beach this afternoon I’m slowly warming to the bikini, but make no mistake, a love affair it is not. Next challenge, replicating that model’s body… One can always wish!

If you despise this particular shopping experience and you are in the Gisborne area I highly recommend heading down to Sequence, the selection is huge, the staff are super sweet and I was pleasantly surprised by the price of their stock.

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Local Haunts: Renie’s Petite Cafe

My brother and I ventured into town this afternoon to run some errands and boy was it hot. On a mission to find a soothing non-alcoholic beverage to cool (and calm) us down I remembered the cute wee local haunt, Renie’s Petite Cafe, on Peel St. Given it was 2:50pm I thought we might be out of luck, but luckily for us they were still open for business.

Renie’s has a reputation for lush fresh smoothies and personable service so I wasn’t surprised when we were greeted so warmly by the lovely staff. A swift order of calorific chocolate and mocha frappes and a piece of caramel slice (completely unnecessary, but it looked lonely all by itself in the cabinet) was placed and we retreated to one of the tables out on the footpath.

What soon arrived were generous 1 litre servings of icy rich coffee/chocolate emulsions. My frappe was smooth, chocolatey and indulgently velvety; I didn’t try the mocha version but it was quickly consumed and met with a complimentary smile of a satisfied Ben.

There is no doubt that I will be back to Renie’s, the coffee is really good, the slices to die for (the caramel slice had a well proportioned base to caramel ratio) and the chicken pie is in a league of its own. Pop down one day and let me know what you think!

Renie’s Petite Cafe, 48 Peel St, Gisborne, (06) 868 8885

Renie's Chocolate Frappe

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Real World: The exercise kick-start

It really doesn’t matter whether you have good intentions, immense desire and flash new gear to keep your fitness/well-being routine in check over the silly season, the majority of us are likely to throw it all by the wayside for around two weeks while we overindulge in the excesses of the Christmas/New Year period.

But sooner rather than later we need to dust off our runners, locate that gorgeous exercise attire and reestablish our normal day-to-day lives. Today was the start for me and it was with acute difficulty that I dragged myself out of bed and actually left the house for a run (ambitious description of said activity, jog is probably more apt). You see I tried on Monday but failed to leave the property because I couldn’t find any clean socks. Obviously. And Tuesday, well I was far too busy for such trivialities as exercise.

Nevertheless, I did make it out today and while it was challenging and difficult and painful, I know tomorrow will be better… and I’m kind of looking forward to it!

And credit where credit’s due, I’m not sure I could’ve done it without the extra boost of Netsky’s track Come Alive.

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