Friday, 27 December 2013

A Kiwi Christmas

Merry Christmas everybody!

I thought that I would share some of the things that happen in New Zealand at Christmas, because I am always interested in how other countries celebrate Christmas. A Kiwi Christmas is so diverse, so these are rather general points.

First of all, Christmas is in the middle of summer in New Zealand. This means that lots of people go swimming, or to the beach, or on a walk on Christmas day. And most of my Christmas's have been sunny and really warm. In fact, this year it was forecast to rain where I am for Christmas, and I was like, 'but what are we going to do all day?'
Secondly, this is the New Zealand Christmas tree. (Well it is actually a rata, but it looks incredibly similar to the pohutakawa, which is the actual one)

 photo ratawxmas_zpsbf3b9e3e.jpg photo ratawreindeer_zps0215a5af.jpg

Thirdly, there is pretty much no choice in terms of advent calendars here. I swear that there is only one type of chocolate calendar that you can buy easily here, and the chocolate is not good, like really not good. The only people who buy them are little kids who don't mind, because to them any chocolate is good!
Fourthly, because it is summer, berries are a popular pudding. When I was little, my favourite part of Christmas was that you got pudding at lunchtime. :)

I hope you had a lovely Christmas; I did even if it was a bit rainy! I was very excited to get the entire Harry Potter series on Dvd :) What present were you most excited to give or receive?

Ps. Have you guys seen Frozen yet? I saw it yesterday and I feel like I enjoyed it far too much. I'm listening to the soundtrack while I write this post.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Forget about the price tag

Hello all,
Today I went into K-mart for the first time, and the absurdly low prices made me realise that I never wanted to go there again, because I know how most companies manage to get their prices that low, and I couldn't support that. Here's why: 
(this is not a reflection on K-mart, I have no idea where they source their products, but their prices reminded me of the way many companies do business)
They say that there are two sides to every story. This is true, not just for incidents, but also for purchases. 

There is your side of the story. The shopping process; searching for the best deal through price comparison. How you want or need this product and how it will improve your life. The fun times you have with friends searching for what you want/need. Whether this product is right for you, is it safe and can you afford it.

And then there is the other side of the story. The person who made it, the person who packaged it, the person who shipped it, the person who sold it to you. Was making that product the best deal for them, or was their only choice to be paid next to nothing. Did they need that small sum of money so badly they were willing to work in appalling conditions to get it, did they want for better working conditions, better pay? Did make that product improve their life as buying it will improve yours? Was that the right choice, was that the safe choice for them?

There are two sides to every purchase. The story until the product is sold, and the story after. We so often selfishly only think of the second half of the story. If you look at both sides of the story, the purchase can benefit both those who made it and those who bought it. So, selfish or selfless?

Monday, 9 December 2013

Christmas Projects!

Seasons Greetings,
So I have been up to quite a bit since school finished, and I wanted to show you guys! Most of these are Christmasy; and fairly straightforward, which is why I decided not to to any how to posts, and just trust that you can figure it out if you want to, or ask questions. :)
First of all, my friend's birthday is in December, and I wanted to make her something personal. This is just a normal canvas and cross stitch; I didn't use any patterns, I just drew it.

Secondly I made these for her dessert picnic party. I'm super excited to show them to my friends! (the recipe is from the Ripe recipe book, in case you were wondering)

Thirdly we had a go at making those balls of string you see everywhere on the internet! It didn't go too well, but we had a good laugh! My advice; you need a lot of glue even though you mix it with water, and the bigger one of ours doesn't have quite enough string to support itself, so make sure you use enough.
I hope Advent is going well for you, I am thoroughly enjoying the freedom of the holidays as I know I  won't have these big, long school summer holidays for much longer! 

Monday, 2 December 2013

Sunshine Award and end of exams!

First of all, my exams are finished!!!! No more school until February! This is sooooo exciting!!!! (ok, they actually finished on the 25th Nov, I just haven't mentioned it until now)

So now that I have that over with, I have been nominated twice (by Libby-Jade and Alia) for the Sunshine Award now, it is essentially a tag for spreading the love around blogs and acknowledging bloggers you think bring sunshine to the blogging world, which I think is a lovely idea.

The Rules:

1. Post 11 random facts about yourself

2. Answer 11 questions from the nominating blogger

3. Nominate 11 wonderful bloggers, that you feel bring sunshine to the blogging world. (Be sure to notify them)

4. Write 11 questions for your nominated bloggers
11 Random Facts:
1. I am left-handed.
2. Walking and dancing are the only forms of exercise I enjoy.
3. Although you probably already know, I live in New Zealand.
4. I love to write and to read.
5. I am a teeny bit obsessed with playing the piano. :)
6. I still struggle with holding my hair out of the way while brushing my teeth.
7. I have no clue what I want to do when I leave school, and next year is my last (yay for indecision!)
8. I am feeling a bit weird starting so many sentences with I.
9. I am super excited for summer!!
10. Although I am sad because it is raining and cold at the moment.
11. And I have no idea what is going on with the font sizes, so please forgive me.
Alia's questions:

1. What's your favourite movie?
Bright Star, it is sad, but so beautiful.
2. Do you have a special talent?
Nope, unless you count touching my nose with my tongue, which isn't particularly special.

3. What's your favourite colour?
Yellow, because it is such a happy colour.

4. How many languages do you speak?

One; English, but I did both French and German for 2 and a half years at school.
5. If a fantasy world was real, which one would you want to live in?

So hard! I can't pick, so instead I'm going to choose a fantasy world where people don't have wars to solve problems, and we can be harmonious and work together and be happy (with a bit of harry potter, doctor who etc. thrown in).
6. What's your favourite animal?

Dolphins. They are beautiful, and remind me of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy at the same time. 
7. How would you describe your personal style?

No clue. Wait, I'll ask a friend… Apparently I'm quirky, really feminine and girly but not frilly.
8. Do you have any pets?

One cat and one dog.
9. What are some of your hobbies?
Other than reading all the time?
10. Television or movies?

I watch more television, because movies are harder to come by, so television.
11. Where were you born? 
In the same town where I live now, which is quite small (not for NZ, but for the rest of the world)

Libby-Jade's questions:
1)What's your favourite nail varnish?
The one I'm wearing now, Jaded, Top Speed from Revlon, because it is the first I've worn in years!
2)Favourite scented candle?
Don't have any unfortunately.
3) Favourite hot drink?
Hot chocolate
4) What's your favourite book?
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
5) If you could get anything as a present, no matter what the price, what would it be? 
A trip to Paris!!!
6) Favourite lipstick (if you have one)?
Don't really have one.
7) One item of clothing that's your absolute favourite?
My orange lace dress from American Apparel.
8) Is there anything you're really looking forward to about next year/any events that you're looking forward too?
9) What's your favourite film?
Bright Star (hasn't changed since the first question!)
10) What is/was your favourite subject at school?
This year? A toss up between History and Chemistry.
11) If you could have ANY pet at all what would it be? (you can make one up or just go for a good ol dog)
A big dog (we have a small one) with a gentle temperament.
I am going to be super lazy and only nominate a few people, because I can't be bothered finding 11 bloggers, and it will be more genuine this way too. Anybody else who is reading this and wants to do it is welcome to do it too. :)
Jan @ Confessions of a Book Ninja
And that's it to be honest! Most of the people I would have nominated I already did for the Liebster Award.
1. What is your favourite part of Christmas?
2. Do you enjoy writing in notebooks?
3. Can you play a musical instrument?
4. How many books have you read this year?
5. What is your favourite season?
6. Do you like banana flavoured things?
7. What is your favourite type of Christmas tree decoration?
8. Can you whistle and/or cartwheel?
9. Do you mostly blog from a laptop, desktop of other?
10. Where do you want to be right now?
11. Name a song(s) that you are enjoying at the moment.

ps. did you know that there is a spell check button? I only just realised, so I'm not sure how well it works.
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