I don’t understand how we are over halfway through 2017 already! It’s really disconcerting how time just seems to move at warp speed once you are over 23. This getting old thing is truly terrifying. Thankfully I discovered some more items/places/things to love to help ease the pain of inevitable death and I am more than happy to share them with you.
Sites worth seeing
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Nick and I both went up to Auckland early in the month for work, which included a meeting at the beautiful Auckland War Memorial Museum. I had never been before because unlike the Auckland Art Gallery it’s not in the centre of town, so I was really looking forward to checking out the museum after the meeting. We ended up spending a couple of hours exploring the museum’s three floors. Their collection is beautifully and fluidly laid out creating a really immersive experience for the visitor, and the whole museum is jam packed full with incredible artifacts, including a particularly great Pacific cultures collection. The building itself (which was built in 1929) was actually the real highlight for me, it’s absolutely stunning. Hands down the most beautiful museum we have in New Zealand by a long shot. And it’s location high on a hill over looking the Auckland CBD and harbour means you get an amazing view. Unfortunately it was blowing a howling gale when we there so we couldn’t stay and enjoy the view for long without getting buffeted about.
Nick and I also went on a trip up to Nelson part way through June to visit my lovely friend Jessie who works at Nelson Museum and who was about to head off to the UK for the Open Palaces Program. Jessie has left for her trip now and has actually just started her own blog about it/her love of all things history, and you can check it out yourself over here. On the drive back to Christchurch after our weekend away we took a wee detour to check out Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes National Park. It has always been high up on my list of places to check out near Nelson, but I don’t go up to Nelson very often so hadn’t had a chance to visit it until this trip. There were definitely a few more people there than I would have liked when we pulled up, which was annoying as I was hoping for a really serene, only people looking at the pretty lake kind of experience. But alas it wasn’t to be. It’s sort of tourist off season for that area at the moment too so I would hate to see the place at the height of summer… Despite the other people though the lake was really beautiful, with snow and bush clad mountains framing it perfectly. The eels swarming under the jetty were strangely fascinating (if also terrifying). It’s definitely the perfect lakeside for a picnic, not so sure about a swim though with all those eels floating about (shudder). So at the risk of sending even more people to a lake I would like to keep for myself I recommend checking it out yourself. Hopefully Nick and I will be back early next year when we take on the tramp up to Angelus Hut.
Detox Charcoal Soap by Global Soaps
Also while we were in Nelson we stopped by the Nelson market and visited the Global Soap stall. Global Soap is a Nelson based company who “‘traditionally handcraft… soaps in small batches using the cold processes method.” Jessie had actually sent me one of their lovely lip balms and a bath bomb when I first moved to Christchurch and they were both wonderful, so I was keen to see what else they had on offer. After a strong recommendation from Jessie I grabbed the detox charcoal soap because I love charcoal products, and it was only $8!!!! (They were also selling little black cases to keep the soap in for $10 (I think) and I regret not getting one, but I hear they are coming to Christchurch for an expo soon so I shall certianly be grabbing one then). The soap is really great and both Nick and I have been using it. You just wet the bar and rub it over you face to cleanse. Then you rinse off with some warm water. Your skins feels super clean but not stripped or tight afterwards. It’s perhaps a little too strong to use everyday on my super temperamental and hypersensitive skin, so I am only using it when my skin feels oily or when I can tell a break out is looming. But if you have more oily skin/less sensitive skin you would probably be fine using it every day. It’s a really great product, particularly for the amazing price, and buying it gives you the environmental warm fuzzies because the packaging is biodegradable and there is no container to throw away once you’ve finished using it. You also don’t have to go to the Nelson market to grab one you can order online through the Global Soap website! Hooray!
Stila – Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick
Obsessed with would be an understatement when I think about my love of these lipsticks from Stila. I own two, have purchased another two which I have given away as gifts and I am already eyeing up a third one… Why am I so obsessed with them you ask? Well guys the reasons are they are super easy to use, go on like a liquid lipstick but dry matte, they are super long lasting and come in a range of awesome, beautiful colours. My favourite shade at the moment is the very bight but beautiful Belle. If you are looking for a beautiful matte lipstick that is going to last all day long you need to get one. End of. They aren’t cheap at $37 a pop but they aren’t nowhere near the most expensive lipstrick on the market and they last for ages. I have also tried out the NYX dupe which is available at Farmers and it isn’t half as good I’m afraid to say. The consistency is very gluggy, the lipstick doesn’t last very long and the applicator is a bit strange. Go with the Stila option for sure.
My boss actually told me about Tatty’s and after checking out their Ponsonby store on my trip to Auckland I am trying to spread the word far and wide. Tatty’s is amazing! It’s a second hand store specialising in preloved designer clothing with two locations in Auckland – one in the CBD and the other on Ponsonby Road. The racks were bulging with incredible stuff when I visited and my arms actually got really sore trying to go through everything. I took about seven items into the changing room but due to budget constraints only left with two really lovely dresses, one by Karen Walker with a beautiful crocheted Peter Pan collar ($40?!?) and the other by Lonely Hearts Club ($70). They are both super cute, in great condition and have taken pride of place in my wardrobe. If you love tracking down items you loved when they came out but couldn’t afford like me, then Tatty’s is your dream shop. I love older Karen Walker numbers (back when she was still making twee styled tea dresses and working with quirky patterns) so I will 100% be hitting Tatty’s everytime I visit Auckland in the future to see what other gems I can uncover. (By the way if you like doing preloved designer shopping like I do I must also recommend Inside Out in Dunedin – it’s also a great store and I have scored some really lovely dresses by Kate Sylvester and Juliette Hogan from there).
So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
This book was both interesting and terrifying. It will really make you think twice before share anything on the internet, because the consequences of your comments being misread or taken out of context can be staggering and can, as the book title suggests, lead to some really brutal public shaming. Ronson’s a great writer and he moves the focus of the book around with ease taking you seamlessly from historical public shamings to the American prison system. He talks about how he originally thought twitter was a great way to connect with strangers but now sees it has this incredible dark side where the platform makes it very easy for seemingly everybody to rise up and shame an individual with no real thought of the consequences, like in the really well publicized case of Justine Sacco. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is full of fascinating and familiar stories and while it really delves into the psychology and power of shame its not a long read so you can whip through it in a couple of days. Even as someone with out twitter I found it super interesting and I think thanks to this book I won’t be getting twitter anytime soon…
Twin Peaks: The Return
And my last favourite for the month is the new season of Twin Peaks. It’s kind of strange, confusing and confronting, but its also some of the most unique episodes of television I have ever watched. Thanks #peaktv. I think we all kind of had an idea of what a return to Twin Peaks would be like, but this new season is weirder and more surreal than I could have ever imagined and most of the show so far has taken place outside of the town of Twin Peaks. I don’t want to go into #spoiler territory so I’ll just say this new season continues to follow Agent Dale Cooper in whatever realm he now inhabits and also sees the welcome return of my favourite character Gordon Cole, played wonderfully by David Lynch himself. There are also some really great cameos by some excellent musicians playing at the Roadhouse Bar at the end of most of the episodes, like the very lovely Sharon Van Etten. It’s not a show I would recommend jumping into blind as it will make things seem even more confusing, so definitely watch seasons one and two of the original series before you dive in. PS the Michael Cera cameo is incredible.