Thursday, February 28, 2013

I am what I eat - Week 5

Well, it's just two days until my engagement party and, although I'm not doing this whole "I am what I eat" thing just for the sake of looking and feeling good at the party, it is really good to have something to shoot for.
It's like any kind of diet, or lifestyle change as I like to call it. You know what certain things will do to your body, but sometimes you just can't resist. Even with my skin the way it is, so troublesome and fussy and sensitive, and even though it makes me feel down when it's not looking so good, sometimes you fall off the wagon. Now, I haven't fallen off the wagon this week, but having something to look forward to, something to look good for is such a good way to not fall off the wagon.
So although I am kicking myself a little bit for letting greasy, sugary food lead me astray in week 3 because it gave me a breakout and set me back a week, it was also a good test, because now I know exactly what I shouldn't eat to avoid breakouts. I've also realised that, yes, stress does cause breakouts, but, as a lot of people do, I don't eat very well when I'm stressed, so maybe the stress is just a tiny piece of the problem. So this week has been very, very busy, but the breakouts have stayed away because I've remained level headed and chosen to ignore things I would normally be stressed about and decided to deal with them when life quietens down in the next couple of weeks, while still eating good, simple food.
So now I have to ask myself: What do I have to shoot for after the party?
So many things!
First of all, my fabulously talented photographer friend Michelle has asked me to collaborate with her in a project she's doing - photographing women without makeup on. It scares the bejesus out of me, being photographed without makeup, but I can imagine it being an enlightening experience and I'm so looking forward to it!
Then there's my birthday in the middle of of the year. Every year I've said to myself "by my birthday I'm going to have my skin sorted" and it's never happened because I've just tried new skincare products, googled a bunch of "healthy skin recipes" and never made them, or resolved to do an at-home facial 2-3 times a week and forgotten. But now it's so possible. And seriously, 25 is far too old to still be having teenage skin problems I've decided.
Then, of course, there's the wedding, which we're hoping to have at the end of the year. By then, I'll be like "Skin problems? What skin problems?"

And the sunshine continues

This summer, we have been blessed with the most amazingly consistent weather, something we haven't had in years. First came the heatwave on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, then came a whole 10 days of non stop sunshine and heat, and then the temperature dropped a couple of degrees but the sunshine just kept going and going and going. And it's still going, right up to the last day of summer.
In Wellington especially, we've always had such unpredictable weather - even in the middle of summer it can be raining with a howling southerly one day and brilliant sunshine the next - so it's been such a relief to have some consistent weather for a change.
As much as I love my once in a lifetime tan I've acquired this summer, I can't help looking forward to my favourite season, autumn. This morning instead of walking out of the house into the lovely summer warmth, I took a deep gulp of fresh chilly air, which is my favourite part about autumn. That crispness, the freshness, the dampness of the air just makes me feel alive. It's invigorating.
It feels like we've been enjoying summer so much that we've forgotten that autumn is just around the corner, but the shops haven't forgotten, that's for sure. I went into the mall yesterday and the shops were full of winter coats, chunky knit cardigans, scarves and hats - the cozy stuff, my favourite kind of clothing.
I would say "See ya later summer", but it kind of doesn't feel like we're saying goodbye just yet. The sun is still shining, it's still beach weather, so I plan to enjoy these last days or weeks as it may be of sunshine before we all get to snuggle up in winter woollies and drink hot tea with a good book.
Hope the weather's being good to you, wherever you are. xo

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Happy... erm... Wednesday...

I know, I've been a bad blogger this week... but in my defence, I'm working two jobs and my engagement party is on this weekend and work has been unusually busy with lots of people away... so can you forgive me? I hope so! Hope you have all had a great week so far! xo

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I am what I eat - Week 4

This week has been a bit of a challenge, and I've been learning how to work my new healthy living around a busy, busy life. I'm working two jobs at the moment - eight hours during the day then about three at night, every night, delivering Census forms- so it's been extremely hard to keep up with healthy eating. Sometimes I don't even have time to eat.
But! Despite all this, I began my week organised and, although our flat is the messiest I've ever seen it, healthy eating is taking priority over cleaning, so it's staying that way until I get a break on the weekend.
A lot of diets fail, and my theory is that it's disorganisation that makes them fail. If you plan your week, think about what you're going to have for dinner the night before, make extra so you can have it for lunch the next day, cook the easy stuff when you're busy and get creative on the weekends, all should go well as it has for me this week - except last night, when it was Noodle Canteen for dinner at 9pm, which to me isn't all that bad as it's full of veggies and freshly cooked.
The skin isn't looking as good as it was in week 2, and I put that down to stress, but now I'm in a good rhythm and I'm forcing myself not to worry about the little things like tidying the house, so I'm confident it will look fab by next Saturday.
Hope you've all had a happy, healthy week xo

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Monday :)

I've never been a runner. Never. Even as a kid, I avoided it like the plague. In P.E, I was one of those girls who made the least effort possible and sat in the corner of the gym gossiping with like-minded girls for so much of class our teacher actually gave up on us by the end of each year.
How things have changed! I'm now the happiest, healthiest, and fittest I've ever been in my life and I'm loving it! Yesterday I did something I've never done in my life... I ran 7km! It was for a race called Round the Bays, where thousands of people gather on Wellington's waterfront on a Sunday in February every year and run or walk around the bays. I've done it most years for about ten years, and I've always walked it with my mum and sister. This year, after getting so awesomely fit over summer, I decided I would be dumb to walk it and waste my fitness, so I ran. And it was the most liberating thing I've ever done in my life!!! And not only did I run the whole thing without stopping once, I got a pretty good time - 47 minutes! When I crossed the finish line after sprinting the last few hundred metres, I felt like laughing, crying, squealing and dancing in a circle on the spot all at the same time! I still can't really believe I did it, although the aches in my legs are reminding me every now and then that I did in fact do it, and well.
It's amazing how much a moment like that can change you. I've now decided I love running and can't wait to get out there again, and I'm even contemplating doing the half marathon next year. There are no limits!!
Hope you too had an amazing, limitless weekend! Happy Monday!! xo

Friday, February 15, 2013

I am what I eat - Week 3

There comes a point when you're trying to make a big life change, whether it's making yourself healthier, fitter, or getting your skin healthy, when you just hit the wall, even just a little bit, and for a few days you're just over it and wonder why you can't eat crap food like everyone else and not feel tired, slobby and get breakouts. And so you tell yourself "just this one time wont hurt" and you gobble down your mac'n'cheese full of things you're not supposed to eat. Then you eat some chocolate and feel instantly guilty. Then that, combined with a bit of stress, shows on your face. Well that's what it's been like for me this week anyway, and it's started showing on my face, though nowhere near as badly as it used to. So now that my engagement party is only two weeks away (!!!) I know I have to get serious and stop hitting the wall, remembering that everything I eat has an effect on the health and appearance of my skin. Sure, other people can eat what they want and have great skin, but I just have to accept that I'm not one of those people.
So from today onwards, I'm determined not to eat anything I shouldn't and take this busy life of mine in my stride instead of getting stressed about it.
One good thing came out of this week however, and that's my family following suit. Mum, who is already very health conscious, went and bought herself a water bottle (Eco tanka) because I told her Anya (naturopath) said you shouldn't drink out of bottles that aren't meant to be refilled - ie. Pump bottles. And my sister went on a shopping spree at Commonsense Organics because she wanted some of this "never-ending energy" I get from breakfast. I haven't forced anyone into anything, they've just seen my energy and my great skin and wanted it for themselves, so I'm really happy to be continuing this chain reaction my brother started and passing it round. Here's to a happy, healthy life for all!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Monday :)

Hello and Happy Monday people! Well this week has started off amazingly - so many changes afoot right now, and so much to be proud of! I won't go into too much detail, but I'll just say this, things are looking bright, so bright we're almost getting blinded over here! Hope your week has started off well, bring on the rest of it! xo

Friday, February 8, 2013

It's been a year

A year ago yesterday, I had just started my new job back here in Wellington after being away for two years. Man does time fly or what! Although I'm well and truly settled into my job and my life in Hawke's Bay/Wairarapa seems a lifetime ago, I still can't believe it's been a year since I came back. It came around so quick. It's been quite a year though. I've moved in with the love of my life, got engaged to the love of my life, written an entire novel, started a bunch of other writing projects, started planning an overseas trip and a wedding and a future.

What I love about being back:
Being able to plan a solid future with Joshua
Reconnecting with old girlfriends and realising that no matter how little you see each other and how much you've neglected them by being away, they still welcome you back with open arms
Having a place to call home
Becoming real grownups who buy appliances and stuff - we bought a brand new fridge and we're so excited about it!
Rediscovering my hometown/city and appreciating how amazing it is more than I used to

And the year ahead? Oh lordy it's going to be a biggie. The list is approximately a mile long, but it's an exciting list that I can't yet fully share because nothing is set in stone just yet.
It's exhilarating, and a little scary when you have a fair idea of where you're going to be in a year's time and you know it's going to be completely different to what your life is like now. I'm excited! Bring it on life!

Have a lovely weekend peeps xo

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I am what I eat - Week 2

It's been quite a week, and although I was already seeing and feeling a lot of changes after a week, they're all becoming major now after two weeks of this new healthy me.
This whole thing started because I went vegetarian, so I decided to go to the naturopath because I wasn't sure what I needed to eat to replace the nutrients I used to get from meat. I've got the vegetarian thing sorted now, with beans and chickpeas in my pantry and humus in my fridge, along with a heap of healthy veggies.
Getting my skin healthy started out being just a bonus of seeing the naturopath about the vegetarian thing, but now, after two weeks, it's turned into the most major change.
Let me pour my heart out for a second here. I have suffered from acne since I was 14 years old - that's nearly 11 years ago. I was that one crater face kid at high school and curled up into a tiny shell to make myself invisible throughout most of high school because of it and have only just gained my confidence back in the last few years. I went on Roaccutane, a very hard-core prescription drug for acne, followed by a bunch of antibiotics. I went to a dermatologist. My amazing mum bought me every cleanser and moisturiser off the supermarket shelves, the pharmacy shelves, and finally, the Caci Clinic, where I went through a series of treatments that temporarily improved my skin.
Although it has improved a lot over the years, I have never been able to get it to a point where I feel confident enough to go out shopping or even to my parents' house without wearing makeup. I have made myself do it a couple of times, but I've never felt confident about it, I've never gone out with a smile, I've spent the whole time wanting to go home and put makeup on. But yesterday was a turning point. My skin looked amazing. Seriously the best I've seen it in 11 years.
It's hard to explain to people, especially those close to you who have always seen past the acne and the resulting scars, how it feels to spend every single morning for 11 years looking in the mirror and not liking what you see. To get out of a hot shower every single morning and see all of you skin's faults laid bare and inflamed. To see people out and about and hear "ooh, you're skin isn't looking very good", and knowing they're looking at you skin rather than listening to you. To have a massive ball of anxiety lodged under your ribs when you go to the beach, even though you love the beach, but you know your makeup will wash off when you go swimming.

So yesterday before my fiance and I went out to buy a new fridge, I decided I would go without makeup. I had looked in the mirror that morning and, instead of fussing over it, I simply stood there and smiled and felt my smooth, healthy skin over and over. When I told my fiance, who has always looked past the acne and the scars and told me I'm beautiful for the last six years, I was going to go without makeup, he thought I was mad at him because I got tears in my eyes. Then out of nowhere I just burst into tears. It took a few deep breaths to tell him I wasn't upset, I was happy. So happy that after 11 years I've finally got the skin I want. And although it's not completely clear yet, at the rate it's going I know it's going to be by the time our engagement party rolls around in three weeks and I won't have to spend ages painstakingly covering up the spots with concealer.
To be honest with you, I felt a little scared yesterday. I felt like my final obstacle that has been holding me back from being the most happy, confident person I can be has finally been knocked down and that's a little frightening because now I have nothing to hide behind. There is nothing holding me back. I sought help from the naturopath, which was the first step, but it's been my responsibility to carry through with her advice and for that I'm proud of myself. I now feel beautiful in my own right. I feel worthy. I used to let other people make me feel worthy, be it boyfriends, family, friends. But now I have made myself worthy and I feel invincible, I feel like I can do anything.

If you've read this far, thanks so much for taking the time to read about my journey! It feels amazing to be able to share it all, and I hope I have inspired others to make a change in their lives because one little change can lead to so many great things. But the journey's not over yet! I'll be posting again next Thursday, so stay tuned! And I think I might have the guts to post a no-makeup pic soon... xo

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Review: Flashback Forward

Like The Blasphemer (which I'm sure I wrote a review for but can't find), this was a book I really, really wanted to like, but in the end, it could have been so much better.

Tam Cochrane is a sickly lad, confined to his bed in Glasgow in the 1880s. His only experience of adventure and the outside world is through books - that is until his father decides to sell up and head for New Zealand. As they take the four-month journey by ship, Tam's health begins to improve, and with it signs of a new Tam, fully engaging in the real world. After arriving in their new country, the family heads to Rotorua and Tarawera, only to be caught in the volcanic eruption of 1886. Having been concussed, Tam wakes up, groggy but still the fit young man he'd been growing into, except he finds he is in Napier, emerging from the ruins of the 1931 earthquake. What has happened to the last 45 years? Why is he still a young man? And who is the other Tam Cochrane, now living like a recluse back in Glasgow? An intriguing story, it is set among the cataclysmic events of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and deals with identity, with finding out who we really are in life and with living it to the full.

It started brilliantly, full of all the elements I love in a good story: identity, struggle, change, disaster, and best of all, time travel. However, as the story went on... and on... those elements seemed to disappear, and the most exciting element, the time travel, became a bit of an afterthought for the main character, something that wasn't very important but had me as the reader screaming out for a resolution which never came. I didn't need to know why he travelled through time, I just needed to know what would happen if the two Tam Cochrane's met, and also why it was Napier's earthquake he ended up in.
I could understand a lot of the author's intentions, but I found Tam was lacking in a lot of normal human emotion. He didn't miss his family much, he didn't fight for the love of his life hard enough, and he didn't try hard enough to find out what the hell happened to him and why, so for me, the character just wasn't strong enough, wasn't deep enough.
The way the author conveyed time passing also puzzled me. All in one page Tam could fall asleep, then wake up and a year had passed - no breaks in the chapters to indicate the author was skipping ahead, sometimes it was a case of one minute he's 18, nek minute, 25...
Also, like The Blasphemer, it all ended in such a rush with so many things left unresolved, which was just not okay.
So as much as I wanted to like Flashback Forward, I wish it was so much more.
Oh well, onto the next one! Janet Frame or Katherine Mansfield... hhmm who to pick...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sun, Sun, Sun

Just two days ago, we were sweltering in the sunshine at New Zealand's biggest market, the Martinborough Fair, and today I'm wearing winter boots, a scarf, leggings, and my thick winter rain jacket was soaked on the way to work. That's the kiwi summer for ya! But we have been extremely lucky these past ten days and the sunshine is set to come back tomorrow, so not all is lost.
What a weekend it was. The fair was a fantastic girls day out as always, where we spent money on things we didn't need, oohhed and aahhed over the beautiful art, jewellery and crafts on offer, and finished the day with gelato. Bliss!
And to top the weekend off, I spent Sunday afternoon basking in the sun on the beach, swimming in the ocean, and eating pizza in a beachside cafe. Ahh summer, when you're nice, you're really nice. :)

(Also, Happy Birthday Pa! xox)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Happy Monday :)

Happy rainy Monday! What a weekend it was! Martinborough Fair on Saturday with mum and little sis, won myself a "model for a day" photo shoot with A La Mode Photography, and beach yesterday with a swim in the ocean - all to the tune of amazing sunshine. And today, after ten glorious days, it's pouring down with rain, but I for one am glad of a couple of days break from the sunshine - there's only so much heat exhaustion one can take! Hope you all had a great weekend and have a fabulous week! xo

Just so you know, You May Say I'm a Dreamer is now on Facebook! So head over, click the "like" button and receive You May Say I'm a Dreamer updates on your Facebook newsfeed as well as some extra goodies :)
Here's that link again

Friday, February 1, 2013

Rest in peace Sir Paul Holmes

Today New Zealand lost a true kiwi icon, Sir Paul Holmes. A long serving TV and radio broadcaster, Sir Paul has graced the living room of many a kiwi since the 1980's best known for his current affairs show, Holmes. He was a brilliant journalist who was never afraid to ask the hard questions and do whatever it took to get a good story, but he was also a man committed to the New Zealand people, and who did what he could to break down barriers of judgement.
Hi voice is one I remember well from my childhood, as I grew up watching his show at 7pm on TV1 during or after dinner. As kids, we never liked the news - we always asked our parents "whyyyyyyy do you have to watch the news every night? It's so boooooring, let's watch The Simpson's instead." But we always liked watching Holmes after the news. His booming voice spoke to us as we sat at the table with our bowls of ice cream watching him take on the latest controversial stories, crack jargon-speaking politicians, and bring the sometimes awful plights of kiwi people into the public eye.
He died surrounded by family at his home, after battling heart disease and prostate cancer. He was 62.
So rest in peace Sir Paul, and thanks for the memories.

"Those were our people today, that's Holmes tonight"
- Sir Paul Holmes

Feel good Friday

How is it Friday again already?! And February too! Hasn't January just flown by so fast? It's been a good month though. I hope January has been good to you all too! February is usually one of the busiest months of the year for us and this year is no different, so I'm looking forward to all the fun times to be had in this beautiful sunshine that's supposed to leave us on Sunday but come back in the middle of next week, so off to the beach we go in between everything else...!
I do realise this post is way too full of exclamation marks... but I. Just. Have. So. Much. Energy!! See yesterday's post (below) for why that is... So it's been a great week, and it is for sure a Feel VERY Good Friday.

Things making me happy this week:

My skin has nearly cleared completely after just a week of my new healthy eating regime
Started a new novel, and am 1500 words in already
Had a fabulous photo shoot with little sis, as part of an exciting new project we're working on (details soon)
Still loving this whole being engaged thing - it's been a month already!
Endless sunshine
Healthy meals
New-found energy!

What's making you happy this week friends?
Have a lovely weekend! xo