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Over the weekend we loaded up the ute(-erus – Jase’s wonderful nickname for his vehicle) with all our camping gear and headed over the Wainui hill to Catchpool Valley.

I am a camping addict – I love sleeping in a tent and cooking on a portable cooker. I feel like camping is the only time I truly relax – there are no cellphones/ internet because generally you are in areas out of service (or you turn it off because you just don’t care); and there is no time – you get out of bed when you wake up, you go to bed when you are tired, you eat when you are hungry – not because the clock tells you to. You read, you relax, you tramp, you wander around in the sun, you breathe fresh air – I love it all.

Peaceful Catchpool Valley

Over the last couple of years Jase and I have camped our way around New Zealand – and we both love staying at DOC campgrounds. We have built up our camping cupboard and now have pretty much anything and everything you might need – even a camping kitchen sink!

Back to Catchpool. We headed over on Saturday morning, quickly got the tents up and headed off on our walk. I am a 4 hour maximum tramper – and definitely was hurting by hour 3. It was a beautiful flat walk in along the Orongorongo track, and we reached the valley quickly. We had a quick fuel stop there, and chatted to the DOC ranger before setting off on a steep climb up the Cattle Ridge track. Quite a toughy, and my left calf started seizing up quite a bit (have been having problems with this for a while). Once we were up on the ridge it flattened out & was quite enjoyable. After 2 hours we finally hit the Butcher track which led us steeply back down for 45 minutes to the campground.

Orongoronga Valley

Happy Trampers

Well deserved beers & wines followed, and we rugged up for a night of nacho’s and fondue. YUM.

On Sunday the rest of our camping buddies headed back to town, and left Jase & I to relax in the sun, read the paper, have an afternoon snooze, cook up some burgers for dinner, play lot’s of card games (which of course I won) and have an early night and a big sleep in. Nothing beats listening to a river, the rustle of the trees, and being snuggled away in your tent.

All in all, it was a great weekend and I can’t wait to get the tent out again! The next time will be New Years – we are heading to Otaki Forks for a few nights, Castlepoint for New Years and then to Waiohine Gorge to end up our holiday. LOVE IT!

I wanted to say how saddening and shocking it was to come home and hear the news about Rose Ives. Rose was shot dead by a hunter while brushing her teeth at a DOC campground in Turangi on Saturday. Such a freak accident, but one that shouldn’t of happened. Many of our friends and colleagues were concerned when they heard the news that the girl was me – 25 year old female, from Wellington, camping with her partner and four friends at a DOC campground. I fit the bill (almost) perfectly – except we never planned to go to Turangi. So tragic – and my heart goes out to her family and partner.

The incident did make me think a lot about taking extra precautions when camping, and here are a few of my tips:

A couple of camping tips:

  • ALWAYS tell someone where you are planning on going camping – and don’t change your mind. If you do – let people know!
  • When you go tramping – even for a day walk – leave a ‘note of intention’ in your tent, or sign the intentions book if there is one. We wrote a quick note with our names, our planned route, our time of departure and our expected time of return, and left it inside the tent. If someone is looking for you – it’s likely they will check your tent.
  • Talk to people you see on the track – say hello, stop for a chat and talk about your planned route, or mention where you are off to. Often DOC Rangers are out on the trails and they can give you good advice on the track conditions etc.
  • Be prepared. Take the right clothing, have the right gear, take food and water – and be sensible.
  • Finally – respect the wonderful country we live in. Pick up any litter you see and carry it out of the parks. We need to keep these beautiful places in pristine condition so we can use them for years to come.

Talking to the DOC Ranger about our planned route


All in all – Catchpool was beautiful. And only 45mins from Wellington – go check it out!

Catchpool Valley

First and foremost, I believe in each to their own. A person is beautiful no matter what they decide to adorn their body with – but I do have my own opinions.

Piercings are reversible. Mostly. I still have a lumpy horrible scar on the top of my ear from a piercing I got when I was 14 (and it was Oh So Cool)…little did I know that I am a keloid carrier and that wee scar will never leave me – unless I decide to pay $2,000 for plastic surgery and then have ongoing steriod shots into the scar to help it liquify and flatten out. I know. I went and saw a plastic surgeon about it. And instead, I changed the parting of my hair to the other side.

So I guess that is why I still have a stud in my belly button as well. When I was 14 (and Oh So Cool) I forged my mum’s signature and skipped on down to The Piercing Doctor (remember that guy? in the dodgy white truck at Vic Park Markets?) and shoved a titanium rod through my middle. I am too scared of what kind of lumpy horrible scar I might end up with should I take it out – and so it stays. A tiny gold bar with a tiny gold ball. The tiniest I can find so as not to draw attention to it. Mostly I just forget about it for months, until it gets caught on clothes and tugs and hurts a bit. Whatever – it’s just there.

Other than that – I have my ears pierced and that’s it. I like it that way.

My kind of tattoo

One of mum’s three rules when I was growing up was – “don’t come home with a tattoo” (along with “don’t come home pregnant”, and “don’t come home on the back of a motorbike”). Strangely enough, I stuck to those rules – and no ‘ink’ has come in contact with my skin. I’m not really a tattoo type of person – I admire some of the beautiful artwork that people do have on their bodies, but it just seems so permanent to me.

I’m not really attracted to guys that have tattoos either, although I know a lot of girls who dig it. Jase actually has a tattoo that goes right across his broad shoulders (and yes, I had to pre-warn my mother about that one – it is massive) – he got it when he was young. I don’t know whether he still loves it like he did then, I mean – it’s not like he see’s it every day. It does nothing for me – it doesn’t turn me off, but it certainly isn’t something that attracted me in the first place.

I still never say never though. Maybe one day I will want something that reminds me of something – permanently. I thought that when I lived in New York that I might have fancied getting a small apple somewhere – but now I am glad that I didn’t. If I did get something, it would be small and where I could easily hide it – for professional reasons, and so that I could say to mum “see mum, I stuck to your rules” 😉

Monday: 55min step class. Was AWESOME.

Tuesday: 45min express Pump class

Wednesday: 45min Shape up for Summer Team Training workout of the week

Thursday: 45min RPM class

Friday: Day off

Saturday: 4.5hour tramp – along the Orongoronga track, up Cattle Ridge track and back down Butcher Track.

Sunday: Day off

Monday: 6km run on the treadmill (I am including the public holiday in last week)

At the end of our 4.5hour tramp

Weight loss to date: back to where I started 😦 I dunno if I am having a “fat morning” or whether some of the crap food (Nacho’s, wine, chippies) I ate over the weekend counteracted all the exercise I have done in the last 5 weeks – but the reality is the scales were back up this morning. Just means this week I gotta work even harder!

Today I am wearing, surprise surprise…Icebreaker.

What might actually surprise you, is that I am wearing an Icebreaker DRESS. Yeah – we don’t just make wooly jumpers anymore, there is a bit of style going on! In fact, this season we have three new dress styles out, including a cute wrap dress and a beachy dress.

But this isn’t meant to be an ad for Icebreaker here!

So – I have this dress on:

I have teamed it with a gold, black and silver woven belt, a bright red long cardi from Max, some gold beads, and some super cute pale tan wedges (also from Max). Did you know that wearing light coloured shoes make you look taller? Yep…that’s why they are kicked off under the desk and I spend most of the day barefoot. #tryingtobetall #Fail.

Views of me

How do I think other people view me? Wow. Another hard one.

I like what Jane did over here, so I asked a few people what three words they thought described me best:

  • Creative
  • Passionate x 2
  • Committed
  • Full of life
  • Beautiful 
  • Generous x 3
  • Vivacious
  • Blue (what? Like a smurf Emily? No she said – Blue like your eyes and your clothes!)
  • Ambitious
  • Fun
  • Loving
  • Determined
  • Caring
  • Motivated
  • Dedicated x 2
  • Talented
  • Thoughtful
  • Hard working
  • Trustworthy
  • Enthusiastic
  • Adventurous
  • Leah is confident strong and ambitious but is also a loyal and generous soul who will do anything for her friends and family and expects and deserves the same in return (Shannon couldn’t count to three 😉 )

And a few I pulled from facebook:

  • Pretty much the biggest legend I know
  • A sucker for punishment
  • A big nutbox (thanks Shan for all of those)

What I thought was most interesting was quite a few people said the same things! That’s kinda cool!

Thanks so much to Nats, Brooke, Liz, Kaylee, Cathy, Emily, Ellie and Shannon! You are all such lovely friends to have 🙂

I have a little bit of a crush. Ok, a lot of crush. And it’s not on one person – it’s on two…and the magic that they create together.

Before you start imaginging weird and wonderful things, let me introduce to you the incredibly talented Coralee & Alex. Coralee and I went to high school together – way back when (and it really is WAY back). Through the joys of facebook, I have been able to stalk them slightly and look at their photos.

Oh but these aren’t just any photos. Coralee & Alex have their own business taking photos of engagements, weddings, pregnant bellies, kiddies and families. They are incredibly talented and have such an eye for their shots – it makes me wish I could take photos as well as they do (one day!). The colours, the locations, the poses, the intimacy – the things they manage to capture on film are just gorgeous.

They recently posted photos of an engagement shoot with a lovely couple, kites and icecreams – the photos are just so beautiful I keep going back to see them again and again and again.

Go and check them out, and browse through their albums.

One day I hope to be giving these two amazing people a wee phonecall to come and shoot my engagement, wedding, preggy belly and family. In the meantime, I am gonna keep on crushing on them 😉

p.s. I am also crushing on Rachael’s website (one half of the gorgeous engagement shoot). LOVE ❤

When I talked about what was in my handbag (and how it was tragically disorganised and cripplingly heavy) the last thing I expected was for someone to hear my pain.

But the interwebs were listening! Imagine my glee when a box arrived with a challenge to make over my handbag from Borne Naked!

As I have mentioned before, I have been on the hunt for a new handbag for ages. I couldnt bear to put such a pretty shiny new bag liner like the Borne Naked one into my heffer of a work handbag – so I thought it was time to go out & get a new one. (This realisation was also coupled with the fact that the strap on my $300 Saben bag snapped on Saturday night – leaving me trying to rock a hugely heavy* & oversized clutch while out at my first tweetup).

I couldn’t afford the Kelly Moore that I have been lusting after, so instead picked up this cheapie from Equip. I wanted it to still be big enough to fit a drink bottle (or bottle of wine!) and a couple of books. I was tossing up a gorgeous dove grey bag – but in the end the practical side of me won out, and black it was.

So – here are all the bits & pieces I normally carry to & from work (and remember – this is already DOWNSIZED from what I used to carry!):

Yeah. I know what you are thinking. What a freakin mess. Between the iPod earphone tangle, the sunglasses and pens and lipbalms, and the towel and sports headband – there is A LOT going on here. To find my phone it’s like digging to get to China.

In comes the new Borne Naked liner. I decided I wanted to keep my essentials easy to grab – so the wallet, makeup case and phone were left out. Check this out for organisation:

And then insert into the handbag, add the essentials I kept out and VOILA:

Check it out – my handbag even CLOSES. A new achievement!

I am definitely going to be getting a few more of these – especially for my gym bags (yeah, I alternate between two gym bags – don’t even ask why!). I also think they would be a great baby shower gift (for those of us who don’t yet have kids) – something totally different to the normal gifts given, and yet so practical!

Check Borne Naked liners out here to see where you can get yours. I know you want one. Jealous of mine yet? 😉

* possibly why the strap may have snapped

Well hello there 30 days of interpretations…and what a way to kick it off. Why not make it a hard one why don’t you?

How do I view myself?

I guess firstly I think of the things that define me, you know, the stuff. Like that I work in PR, I enjoy scrapbooking, NZ music, taking photos and travelling (although I like to call it exploring – because I love exploring new places within my own country just as much as overseas).  I am a bit of a nana because I like my nights at home, I like watching trashy TV, I like going to the gym and getting a sweat on…

But then if I think a bit deeper (and harder), my own personality traits come up…

I am caring and generous, I am a good friend and listener. I can be crabby and can’t take criticism – I retreat into my shell. I can be extroverted and the life of the party one minute, and the next I just want to be on my own. Sometimes I am shy and anxious, and the next I can be over confident. I doubt my own ability. I am a homemaker and my surroundings are important to me. I love, and have a large heart. I put up a wall and show a hard shell to protect myself from getting hurt. I need love and I crave security. I can have the determination of steel when I put my mind to something, however can easily talk myself out of things. I am optimistic and find negativity hard to deal with. I laugh. I am always trying to prepare for the future – whatever that is. I dream. I am organised and an organiser. I am sensitive (sometimes overly) but can be empathetic. I need lots of attention. I am loyal. I am creative.

I am me.

When I read all of things – I really am a typical cancerian (yes, I do buy in to the star sign thing – I know a lot of people don’t, but I do!).

A few of us gals were chatting about our blogs and “what’s next now that #30daysofme is over and done with?” earlier today, and Jane suggested we pick up on Alice’s 30 days of interpretation. Yay for more blog prompts!

So – starting Wednesday, I am going to blog about the following topics:

  1. How do you view yourself?
  2. How do you think other people view you?
  3. Your clothing today
  4. Your views on tattoos and/or piercings
  5. What are you looking forward to the most in your future?
  6. Your favourite hot drink
  7. Your earliest childhood memory
  8. A detailed account of your day (or yesterday for blogging earlybirds)
  9. The last film you saw at a cinema
  10. The place that makes you feel safest
  11. Your favourite toy/hobby/sport/etc. as a child
  12. A typical Saturday night in your life
  13. Your favourite quote or word
  14. Your favourite character from a TV show
  15. Your celebrity crush
  16. The biggest fear you had as a child
  17. Yourself in 10 years
  18. What you wore to high school
  19. Your favourite way to travel
  20. Your favourite season
  21. Your regular order at a café or restaurant
  22. The worst thing about your hometown
  23. The best party you have been to or hosted
  24. Your favourite book or poem
  25. Something that makes you angry or upset
  26. The best date of your life
  27. Your favourite scene from a film
  28. Your favourite room of your house
  29. Yourself at age 75
  30. A summary of yourself

You can follow this on twitter – #30interpretation. Who else is joining in?

Monday: 55min step class

Tuesday: 3.2k walk/run. Had to walk one way as it was SUPER windy – but on the run back I was FLYIN!

Wednesday: 45min Shape up for Summer Team Training workout of the week  – the ‘deck of cards’ killer

Thursday: Day off

Friday: Nothing – too busy at work 😦

Saturday: 55min Pump class. 

Sunday: Nada. My only excuse is that the weather was complete ass and so I couldn’t get out for a run.

Weightloss to date: 1.4kg. A little bit of a loss so I am happy 🙂

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