The comedown from holiday was real guys. I lost a full day to jet lag. It was super rough. However I had a great time in New Zealand and though I’d do a recap of my trip over the next few weeks!
So it had been over three years since we had been back to New Zealand, and the last time was for our wedding. That trip was crazy and fun, but we did not get to see a lot of people last time, so this time we definitely wanted to see a lot of people and hang!
We flew out via Singapore, which we hadn’t done for ages, and it actually broke the trip up well, 10 hours on a plane, then 12 hours the last leg. We only spent an hour or so in Singapore on the way over, the airport is super great and later on our trip home we managed to get a bit more of a walk around, including visiting the butterfly garden!
We got into Auckland and out of customs past midnight, and our very good friends picked us up and took us straight to their place, as we were jet lagged to hell and so needed to lie horizontal. Jet lag is a bitch, but we managed to sleep quite well.
Next day we headed over to Hamilton, which is where me and Gordon met, a few hours south of Auckland. We stayed with my best friend and her boyfriend, and we had a great time catching up! I also saw a few good friends during this time also. Me and my husband took my sister out for lunch at this amazing place called the Three Birds Bistro. Hamilton is a great city, and I would love to live back there if we moved back. Its got a lot going on.
We went up to the Coromandel later on in the week, my friend’s dad has a place up there so we stayed up there and had a great time chilling out. Then we went up to Te Puru around the coast and staying in her boyfriend’s family’s caravan. We went fishing out on the boat and caught some snapper for tea and had it battered and deep fried with chips, it was so good! I hadn’t been fishing in years so it was great to relearn that skill! We had pretty much every meal on the BBQ, and talking around the fire.
After a couple of nights in the caravan, we went around to Tairua, to stay at my husband’s aunty and uncle’s place. They had just arrived back from the UK themselves! We went for a walk to the beach, watched films, and ate very well. It was nice to get a bit of chill time as this trip is always full on.
After that, we headed to Taupo. Taupo is where I come from, and where most of my family is. I arrived at my Mum’s and we immediately started chatting from there! It was really good to reconnect with Mum. I don’t get to see her in person that often, every three years or so, so it was great to see her.
I stayed a week in Taupo, having a nosy around the town and how it’s doing. There are a lot of new buildings, but a lot of things that are exactly the same, in a good way. I do miss Taupo, and I am proud to come from there.
My husband went to Wellington to see friends, but I decided to stay in Taupo to see family, as I have a lot to see! I met a lot of dogs, cats, and babies on this trip. It was really nice to see old friends and family and have a talk about what everyone is up to now.
After a week in Taupo, we headed up to Hamilton for another couple of days, and then back up to Auckland. We saw a few friends there and it was a really nice end to our holiday.
All in all, it was a great trip, although it was tough to leave. We always think about where we’d like to live, and now that we have a house in the UK, we are fairly permanent however we would pick up sticks to move back to New Zealand also. It’s very tough to not see your own family as often, but thank god for Skype!
Share your experiences of New Zealand, I’d love to hear!
PS: Read some of my other blogs!
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So I am a little bit techy, however for the last 3 years I have owned an iPhone 4s, and have had people point and laugh at how old my phone is. The updates stopped for my phone awhile ago, it refuses to do video, which as a blogger is very important to me, and the camera overall isn’t great. However I am not someone who upgrades every time there is a new phone, I like to take my time and choose the right phone for me!
When I was in New Zealand, my 4S did okay, but not the best. It took some photos, did not entertain video AT ALL, and was very slow. So I had enough! Of course, being overseas meant I could try and do duty free or perhaps take advantage of the pounds to dollars change or vice versa.
I am definitely an Apple girl, I have the computer, the iPad, the iPod, and the iPhone, and I’m pretty happy with it, So I knew that I was going to get an upgrade, but what one?
I knew I didn’t want to get the 8 or the X. I don’t like to get the latest phone as I prefer to see what goes wrong or what people don’t like about it in the first few months so I can see if it is a phone that is actually worth the high price they pay for it.
I looked at the 7 and 6 models, along with the plus versions. I was put off the plus versions as I drop things a bit and didn’t want to drop this phone. Plus I also have my phone in my pocket all the time instead of in my bag so I wanted to have something I could throw in.
I had a look on a few websites both in NZ and the UK, and duty free as well, but decided to purchase through Giffgaff, who I actually have a contract with. They had a great price on the 6s, and they also do a marketplace where you can buy secondhand phones. I got my 6s, 64gb, rose gold, in excellent condition for 379 pounds. And I have to say, even if it is 2 to 3 models down from the latest phones, and is only two models up from my old one, its pretty damn great.
I set it all up on a Saturday night as I am a loser, while my husband was sick in bed next door (truly living that life) and was amazed at the cool features the 6s has. It looks amazing for a start, with curved edges and a rose gold hue, and surprisingly easy to hold even without a case.
I also upgraded 2 updates with this phone, and with it came so many features and access to apps I hadn’t had before! I could use TouchID – including Apple Pay which is my new favourite thing by far. I can take great photos with the quality camera and use Slow Mo Mode, which I hadn’t had before. Plus having a phone with so much more space means I can take photos for my blog and not have to worry about how many I take to get the best photos. I can also edit with more editing apps, and download iMovie to use, as this phone likes to do video!
So I would say when you are upgrading, don’t go for the new fancy one. Go for the brand or the phone that does what YOU want it to do. And if it isn’t the new fancy one, go secondhand. There are a lot of amazing websites that provide really great quality second hand phones, such as Music Magpie and Giffgaff who do a thorough check on each phone and provide you with a charger cord and a warranty also. It means that when the updates run out in a couple of years or so, it means you haven’t spend a lot of money on a new version of an old phone, and you can put the money towards the phone at the time that does what you want it to do.
I’m in love with my new phone and have no regrets about buying a 6s in 2017!
So recently, I had to take three weeks off for my mental health. It was out of the blue, and something I had never done before. My doctor wanted to push it to four, but at the time, I knew that if did that, I would find it very hard to go back.
Before I took that time off, I had been burning myself out. I had been working hard on my projects outside of work, working a full time job, and not having much fun at all. I had not been self caring, and had started to think suicidal thoughts. Once I realised that something was wrong, I booked a doctors appointment. I am very fortunate to have a good doctor and she listened to what I was saying and asked further questions. She also asked me what I wanted to do, if I wanted to increase medication or take a break. I didn’t want to increase my medication as I had gotten myself to the right dosage for me, so I talked about perhaps taking a break and getting back to basics. She wanted to go for four weeks but I settled on three, as I knew it would be difficult getting back to work and felt for me that 3 weeks would be ample time for me to sort myself out. So naturally, I asked what I do over the next three weeks, as I have never been in this situation before.
She replied with the recommendation of having a duvet day for a day or a couple of days, and watch stupid shows and just relax. Then after that, doing one thing a day, not a million. She also gave me a great meditation app to use. So I left my doctors, and immediately called my husband and work. Both were very supportive. After that, I walked home slowly, thinking about what I needed to do over the next few weeks to change what I had been previously been doing. So once I got home, I did what the doctor said. I got under the duvet and caught up with all of my Netflix shows. I spent a Saturday in bed for the first time in ages. My husband thought it was amazing as I am usually up and whizzing about the house on a weekend.
I went to the library and stocked up on books, both fiction and non fiction. I love reading, and hadn’t done it for ages as I have been so busy with other things. I also got out books on confidence, anxiety, and learning to say no. I made my way through these books over the next 3 weeks, reading up on how to be better at prioritising myself and what I needed to do to help myself. I also read books for fun, and had an hour or so just reading and not multitasking.
I used to multitask like crazy. I’d be watching something, and on my phone at the same time. Or typing a blog out while watching something on Netflix. I realised that that wasn’t helpful for my mind, and in fact overloading it with information that it didn’t need. So I eased it back. I would only watch something and only that. I would read a book without listening to music. I would only spend time on one app instead of 4 at a time.
I also used the meditation app, and did yoga every morning. This was a great way to make sure I kept up with some form of exercise and mindfulness too, and it taught me some great techniques. I also started to view it as a treat for myself, instead of something that I had to do in my list of things to do for the day.
I also looked at where I was at in my life. I knew for awhile I wasn’t happy with where I was, and knew I needed to change some things. I knew I wanted to work part time, so I could do my blog and work on my conferences, and also make my way into Social Media, which has been a passion of mine for many years. I didn’t know whether I wanted to make it freelance or work for a company, however I wanted a lifestyle that is easy for me to get a dog and finish doing up our house.
After the first week, I started to feel better. I felt calm and collected, and I could feel myself coming back. I knew that I was confident inside, but sometimes in stressful situations, my brain shuts down and that confidence goes away. However at the pace that I was now going at, I could take time with things and think about things I did or said. Over the next couple of weeks I ventured out to see friends, saw the fireworks, and did things that I enjoyed doing.
I also went to see a therapist that I had seen previously, and we had a few sessions on what had happened and how I was going to move through it. She helped me see some things that were influencing my behaviour and also unpacked a few issues also. It was very helpful to me to help me see why I had been doing what I had been doing.
At the end of the three weeks, I can tell you that I wasn’t ready. However, I knew that I needed to go back to see how much I had progressed and if the thoughts and feelings I had been experiencing over the last few months were valid.
I felt nervous when i went back to work, and knew that it wasn’t for me when I went back. I knew i wanted to follow my dream and live my life differently, both in work and out. So I handed in my notice, I now have a part time job, and I am working hard on my blog, my conferences, and I did my first social media coverage for a company. The road isn’t easy, and there have been a few times I have had to stop myself from doing too much, but on the whole, those three weeks were so helpful and I had a lot of great support.
Heres to the next chapter!
Read up on my other mental health blogs!
So this week’s blog is about what I’ve been up to over the last few weeks. If you are an avid reader of the blog, you will have seen that posts have been few and far between over the last month. It has been an interesting time in the Taryn household and I think I’ve been through the wringer and back, but I am in a great place now, and ready to look to the future!
I had to take three weeks off for my mental health. At one point, I was thinking suicidal thoughts. I called my doctor who provided me with a plan – do only one thing a day. I’ll go into more detail about the where why how etc in another blog coming up, but for those three weeks, I recharged, learnt a lot about myself, and worked out a plan for my future.
Then after two weeks of being at work, I flew to New Zealand for a catchup with family and friends. This was well overdue as I hadn’t been back for about three and a half years, and I think it was just what I needed to get some perspective in life. It was an amazing trip, which I will write about in a blog (told you I had been working on more content!)
So after being back at work, I quit my job. I knew that I needed to do it, and go and work on other projects, to further my side hustles. I also wanted to enjoy blogging again, working on my Edinburgh Bloggers Conference events, and get back to basics. I had recently decided to go part time, as I would like to have a dog and also get my house done (which I am now project managing) and get my life on track in the right way.
I am nearing my last week of work, and it’s really scary to think that I am embarking on a new chapter in my life where finally, things seem to be moving the way I want them to. Not to say there won’t be bumps along the way, but the more that I learn about myself and work on my mental health I think that I will be better equipped to handle things that come my way.
So look forward to more of my Valley Girl-lite ramblings and annoying posts on the internet because Taryn is back in town!
(I’m writing this in my jimmy jams, not out at a cool club or anything)
Hey land mermaids.
I want you to do something for me.
Get up. Go to your wardrobe. How many things you know don’t fit? How many items have price tags still on (I know everyone does!)? How many items have holes in them?
You are in NEED of a wardrobe makeover!!!
I’ll give you my example. I did this on my wardrobe not too long ago and counted about 40 t-shirts. No lie. Do I wear half of them? No I do not. I prefer to rotate my t-shirt of the Rock when he was a teen (you know the one, check his instagram, it’s a treat!) and my Led Zeppelin t-shirt. The others are old band t-shirts that are way too small, and t-shirts so old that I should not have them at all (hello t-shirts from when i was 16!)
I got rid 8 bags worth of clothes. As a result, I now enjoy getting dressed again! It’s refreshing to finally go into my wardrobe and see items that I have not worn or seen in ages and make an outfit from them! Items that I am unsure of wearing with what, I now have outfits for! Its a Christmas miracle.
I have a few friends that have volunteered to let me invade their wardrobes and let me help clear their unwanted clothing (blogs to come). If you are in need of doing this yourself and do not have my deets then please follow this guide.
- If it has a hole in it and it is not super expensive (i.e. something you can go to a seamstress for) then get rid of it.
- Items that you think you might get into one day once you lose/gain weight – get rid of unless you will get into it in the next two months – often women like to hold onto items for years thinking they will fit into it when they don’t realise the magic of the woman’s body and the baby bearing hips we all get. Buy items that are wearable now, not later/if/when!
- Gather a pile of holiday wear and hang or fold in another place. Items that you would only wear in the heat of summer or on holiday don’t need to be in your wardrobe full time. This clears the way for your day to day.
- Same with formal items, hang all your evening wear in another place. Even though it’s nice to look at them, you need a clear mind and wardrobe when faced with getting ready for the day.
- Formal items – are they dry cleaned? Do they need resewing or repaired? Do they have a covering bag over them? Look at these issues as you don’t want the next time you wear this item to be when you need to go to an event.
- Workwear – hang in your wardrobe all together. That way you can select quickly what you can wear to work on those mornings that you just can’t be bothered being.
- For your other items, look at each piece. Does it fit? Does it have any holes or pulls? Is it actually fitting in with what you want to project to the world about yourself? If you wore it when you were in high school chances are you aren’t the same person anymore – does it fit in with your new lifestyle? Decide from there.
- Make piles – one for getting rid of, one for repair, one for trying on again (just incase you aren’t sure about it) and one for selling.
– Getting rid of – keep these in your house for a week. This way you can really decide whether you want them or not. Donate them to charity – or if they are well known labels, sell them on Ebay!
– One for repair – make sure the item is worth repairing – either monetary or sentimental worth.
– One for trying on again – make sure it fits well and you still want it as part of your wardrobe today.
– One for selling – Separate items that you think might sell – items that are well known or are cool enough to sell – you can sell on Ebay and at least get a bit of money towards your wardrobe!
Lastly – hang your wardrobe in order of tops, bottoms, sweaters etc and dresses. This means that you can put together an outfit more readily in the morning. Make sure you have good quality hangers (not metal ones) and items that stretch easily are folded into shelves.
I hope you now enjoy getting ready in the morning!! Send me pics of you wearing something that you have unearthed and I’ll pop it on the blog!
Hi team, welcome to another review! As always, not paid, not given any fancy houses in Greece, etc etc…
So growing up, I hated my eyebrows. I thought they were way too thick, they were fighting with my eyes to fit onto my face, (heck, they were most of my forehead), and it definitely wasn’t the fashion to have them in the early 00s.
So in the last few years we have seen a resurgence of the EYEBROW. Cara Delevingne started the return with her amazing eyebrows in her Burberry campaign, and since then we have heard all about them, from them being on fleek, to full news articles about them. So for girls with thick eyebrows like me, I was pleased as its now given me a catalyst to look after them and be proud of them!
I was on the hunt for a product to find a product that essentially could make my eyebrows look full and awesome. I got a good eyebrow technician to tidy them up, and then set out from there. I do not pencil my brows, and I don’t want to spend ages on them. I just want a product that helps me talk with my eyebrows (which if you know me in real life, I am quite prone to a suggestive eyebrow lift or a lifted eyebrow like oh no you didn’t etc)
After going through a couple, I was recommended the NYX Tinted Brow Mascara. It comes in 5 shades, and I got the Chocolate shade.
So I applied it one cold morning and it was like the sun came out! This brow mascara is the da bomb.com (more 00s lingo).
The wand is great, the application and product is smooth, and it just gives that much more shape and depth to my brows. I am really impressed and think this will be a ride or die product for me.
10/10 for me!
Get it HERE:
Want more beauty reviews? Check out my Review: Simple Skin Hydrating Cleansing Oil review!
So in my conquest to make Pinterest saved crafty projects terribly I took on bejewelling a skull. There was a few to choose from, and obviously I didn’t use a real one, but I picked up an amazing crow skull replica from Ebay. You can pick any kind of skull you want, but as the crow has a long beak and a lot of head to cover, this was my choice!
I picked up some stick on half pearls from Primark, and then decided on lilac stick on half pearls from Ebay. I saw on Pinterest that someone had put a full pearl in the eye socket for an eye effect but I thought I’d take the simpler route for my first project!
So as you can see in the pictures, I did one side of the skull, and then popped some in the eye socket for interest. You can really be so creative with this, do the whole skull, use all difference colours, its really up to you! I am currently planning my second skull, much to my OH’s horror, but as I am all about Halloween 24/7 I am definitely into this hobby!
Have you made something like this? Show me pics!
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This week I am going to talk to you about my tattoos. I have 3 of them, and boy, are they all different!
Getting a tattoo is so personal. My first one was very quick, cheap, and of its time.
It’s a Playboy Bunny.
God help Mum when she saw that!!
It was actually well done, the bunny looked quite accurate, I have since seen many many terrible ones. And as I have it placed on my right hip and don’t wear low waisted jeans anymore, this means that no one will see it unless I’ve had a bit of wine and we are talking about it. It usually goes “Guess what tramp stamp I have.” I have no regrets on this one, I was 16, and I went through the sitting like a champ.
The next one I got as I wanted to be like Captain Jack Sparrow and have a swallow tattooed. It took me ages to find placement, but eventually I got it on my right wrist underneath. I got it done at The Family Business Tattoo in London, which is a well respected tattoo parlour, and the guy that did it had a massive swallow on his wrist. He also took my design and enhanced it, adding shading, and it turned out way better that I had expected. I definitely recommend them!
My most recent one is an Octopus by tattoo artist Kerry Gentle here in Edinburgh. I wanted a big tattoo, from my bikini line to the top of my knee, which is killer. I had looked at placement of a tattoo like this, and some people had them under their armpit to their elbow, on their leg, etc. I felt the placement of it on my thigh was perfect as it was a great canvas PLUS it was hidden and only for me, as I wanted something powerful.
Getting tattooed is an interesting experience. I would say it is a hot needle running over your skin. And if you see the detail of my octopus, you will see how much it would have hurt! I got tattooed beside another girl getting her millionth tattoo, and it really helped, as it kept my mind off things but also it was a great camaraderie also.
I also come from New Zealand which has a huge Maori community, a lot of whom have Maori themed tattoos. I definitely think I would like to get tattooed in New Zealand as it’s a part of my blood and culture, and it means I will always have a part of New Zealand with me. And after that, who knows?
I’d love to hear stories and pictures of your tattoos, tag me on social media!!
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