23 May 2013, 15:17
Tell me the truth: have you written a gratitude list lately? I know it’s very easy to get hurled from the wagon and forget all about it, only to realise you haven’t done one in eons. Installing Things I Love Thursday as a feature on my blog has definitely kept me accountable, and I think if I wasn’t doing a TiLT every week I’d probably forget all about it!
You might like to start doing a regular gratitude feature on your own blog (and by the way, you’re more than welcome to use Things I Love Thursday as a moniker!). Or you could set a reminder on your calendar for once a week.
It’s nice to use the time you spend list-making as a type of journalling. Make it special: put on some tunes that light you up inside, close the door, get comfortable, and start scribbling. Take this occasion to look back on your week and all that has transpired, the good as well as the bad. Explore the events and see if you can uncover some treasures that were only unveiled after a so-called “bad” thing happened. This is actually a way you can train your brain to be more optimistic, which of course ultimately results in a healthier, happier you!
Getting all grateful on it can help you to manifest the things you want, too. When we count our blessings, we’re thinking about everything we already have, and we’re teaching ourselves to be content with the life that we have now. This makes manifesting much easier, since you’re not in that state of wanting all the time. It sounds weird, I know, but it works!
Have I managed to talk you into it yet?!
J’adore… Seeing blogcadettes! I just went out to meet Stephanie — who attended our very first class in NYC! — for a date. I wore a Trashy Diva dress, and we sat in the park, drank juice, and took cheesy pictures. It was so great to see her again! Almost as soon as we hugged goodbye, the skies opened and it started to pelt down. Mike came to my rescue and showed up with an umbrella: what a gentleman! Salads with plenty of avocado in them KIND Bars (a sick obsession) Counting down the days until I see Shauna and Kat again! Celebratory tacos and sangria Swoon-worthy massages — check out Emma McGregor-Mento! Movie dates and copious popcorn consumption (Benedict Cumberbatch is my new favourite!) The latest issue of New York Cracking loud thunder Looking at all the pretty #magicwalk pictures! (I’m going to take my own soon!)
Okay, that’s all from me! I’m about to run out to the gym… In the pouring rain, thunder and lightning, no less!
16 May 2013, 15:21
I’m sitting outside a coffeeshop in the shade. I’m wearing plum-coloured lipstick (#46) with my legs crossed underneath me (always my favourite way to sit). God, it is such a relief to able to sit outside and not have to pull my coat around me!
Yesterday I caught two buses and a train up to South Bronx (the South South Bronx) to go on a little EKOCYCLE pilgrimage. While there, I was reunited with Will.I.Am. EKOCYCLE have teamed up with four residential buildings in the South Bronx to try to increase their rate of recycling, since it’s one of the lowest in NYC. Super-cool.
As we walked the streets, he said, “You’re from New Zealand, right? I was just there!” He proceeded to tell me about how he gets involved with kids from low-income areas, and that he just donated $100,000 to a bunch of charter schools in New Zealand.
I am always so impressed by him and his commitment to really, truly making the world a better place. He is such an exceptional person. A lot of us talk a big game about “living your passion” and “leaving a legacy”, but how many of us actually do it? And by the way, saying that you’ll be generous once you have the time/make your first million is bullshit. If you’re not generous with your attention, time or money now, you won’t be when you have more of it. True story.
The other thing that fascinates me about Will is how much he manages to get done. He has his fingers in a trillion pies, and yet somehow is still charming, thoughtful and productive. He’s not rushed or impatient or rude or too important, and he puts all of himself into everything he does. I know how easy it is to run around wringing your hands talking about “how busy” you are. But Will isn’t a robot or some superhero spaceman. He is an average dude from the projects in East L.A., who has his priorities in check.
What if we all stopped watching television for a month, and instead devoted that time to a something we were intensely passionate about? What if we stopped wasting our time with constantly refreshing social media and our inbox, and instead disconnected from the wifi so we could get some real writing done? What if we really took notice of the fact that our time on the planet is short, and that if we want to achieve tremendous things, we need to harness every single minute?
Now, this is not to say that we should never rest or relax or party. Of course, that is vital to our enjoyment of life! But I know my life would be better if I stopped doing things that were just “okay”, and prioritised the stuff that really matters.
Hanging out with Will yesterday was like a big, inspirational shock to the system, and it made me think a lot about casting off the excuses and just committing to doing the very, very best I can. In fact, one of my new favourite people, Ashley Ambirge, just tweeted,
Doing the best you can fucking do is so much easier than not doing your best, and making up excuses in your head the whole time.— Ashley Ambirge (@TMFproject) May 16, 2013
Word up to THAT.
Every time I hang out with Will, he makes me want to be a better person… And I think that’s the highest compliment you can ever give someone. But it’s not enough to just idly want to be better — you then have to go out and do something about it.
J’adore… Considerate smokers (thank you for not blowing stinky smoke and ashing all over me, I do appreciate it!) Sitting outside to write — truly, the best! Revamping my editorial calendar! (Yeah, you need one too!) Buying what is, perhaps, the perfect skirt in white… I can’t wait to wear it! Seeing women I went to school with thrive! Having #courtneyloveappreciationhour on Twitter Reading too much about people who have had alien encounters Getting really lost in a great book Genius playlists, which I had somehow never used until yesterday Having my trainer tell me I should make a mixtape for the class he teaches (flattered!) Dog yawns Coffeeshop productivity Sequins all the time ...And trying to type while Dolly lies on top of me (my reality right now)!
Kisses and gratitude,
Photos by Made U Look.
9 May 2013, 12:06
New York City is saturated, soaked to the bone. Today we’re promised thunderstorms and even more rain… But I’m smiling. The city is looking extra verdant, and in the last week, the trees lining the skinny streets have exploded with new shoots and greenery. We have returned to that magical time of year, marked by virescent canopies arcing between buildings, and pressed up against bricks.
To add to the happiness triggered by the cacophony of emerald outside my window, I am finally (finally!) starting to feel better. A week of bed-rest sounds wonderful, but when you feel crummy, it begins to take on more of a punishment kind of quality. Cabin-fever is real, you guys, and there is only so much trashy television one brain can possibly absorb!
I am so excited to get back to my life. Lying on my back for a week gave me plenty of time to think about things… And realise how much I still want to do. It was good actually, to have that sort of forced perspective. So often we just chug along, doing what we think we should do, and we rarely take a break to appraise our choices. Is this the right thing to do? Should I let go of this and recommit myself to that? Et cetera. I’m feeling clear and sharp. Being sick sucked, but I appreciate the opportunity to bring the important things in life back into focus.
...Oh, and as someone who rarely goes a day of her life without writing, I’m relatively exhilarated to be able to string a sentence together again!
Okay, so here are the things that are making me smile this week…
J’adore… Movies!!! I am so so so excited about Great Gatsby (of course) and I am going to race out and see Iron Man 3 really soon. Like, tonight. Or something. Hello Kitty popsicles (a rare bright spot during my week of plague) My rag-tag team of nurses, aka my husband and two dogs, who all did their best to make me feel less terrible (and, bless ‘em, suffered silently through my tantrums and grump attacks) Listening to music again — you know you’re unwell when you can’t even be bothered to do that! Delirious online window-shopping (I really did find the weirdest things. Thankfully, I was lucid enough at the time to know I shouldn’t trust my feverish judgement, and my bank account went unscathed!) The Ricky Gervais Show which we only recently started watching and think is HILARIOUS The Great Gatsby soundtrack (soooo good, eff a hater!) Madonna Categorically the best billboard ever Reading about Leo and Tobey’s bromance And finally, my cough, while still in existence, sounds less horrifying today!
“I’m concentrating on staying healthy, having peace, being happy, remembering what is important, taking in nature and animals, spending time reading, trying to understand the universe, where science and the spiritual meet.” (Joan Jett)
It’s meant to be gorgeous tomorrow and I am going to take full advantage! It will be fantastic just to walk around, take in some sights and fill my lungs with fresh air. I can’t wait!
Photographs by the inimitable Made U Look.
25 April 2013, 15:21
I often say that winter feels like life is on pause, and once the blossoms start to appear, it feels like some majestic being has pressed ‘play’ again. And so today I am grateful for the changing of the seasons, for the fact that life is always in flux, for the fact that nothing stays the same.
Yesterday was beautiful. Mike and I walked around the city, stopped in at One Lucky Duck for juice, explored the farmer’s market and enjoyed the sunshine. Always, without fail, when I walk around the city, I am struck with ideas. And when I had lunch with Rabbit this week, I had some major realisations about what is really important to me.
That’s what I mean by pressing play. Things start to move again. Life speeds up and becomes clearer, more purposeful and exciting!
Clearing out your physical space helps to speed up change, too. Over the weekend, I got properly stuck into my spring cleaning, and turned my office upside-down. I sold clothes to Buffalo Exchange, arranged my books by colour, and cleaned off my desk. I put a photobooth strip of Shauna, Kat and I into a snowglobe, and framed some art. When I was done, to quote Patrick Bateman, “relief washed over me in an awesome wave!”
Little things I saw this week…
J’adore… Hyacinths on my desk (they smell divoon!) Drinking chai while I write Springtime walks with my love Getting excited about good movies: The Bling Ring, Great Gatsby, Iron Man 3... ! Skype meetings with Shauna and Kat Writing dates with Rabbit Grease on a Sunday morning The DJ at my gym, who mixed White Zombie into NIN into Marilyn Manson into Corey Hart… New Zealand’s marriage equality bill — how good is that?! So proud! Dying over Jonathan Adler for JCPenney! Making gratitude lists on the go (anyone can play!) The Up All Night playlist Listening to The Hold Steady while the sun shines A jewel-collared shirt (one of my new favourite things) Hank’s snoring Good weekend plans Bad news: my pink suitcase is cracked. Good news: now I have an excuse to buy a cute new one! Could one of these be too far away?! Mike Mike Mike Kiss-print tissues Testing out new perfume Pink eyelash curlers!
...And don’t you forget it,
Mike took that photo of the cab yesterday, when we were walking around. I always love seeing the old Checker cabs! A rare sight.
18 April 2013, 14:06
One of the funniest things this week was getting back the film from the disposable camera we used in Los Angeles. We bought this camera which has heart, rainbow and star designs on every picture, then got a bit snap-happy. The results are so funny and silly! It reminded me of the 90’s, when disposable cameras were all my friends and I ever seemed to have…
Since I got back from L.A., I’ll be honest: it has been hard to get into my work. I keep thinking about California, how much fun we had, and how much I miss my BFFs. The post-Blogcademy blues are real! But I’ve also been struck by the truly great friendships I’ve been blessed enough to attract into my life. Even though it thoroughly sucks to be separated from my babes Shauna and Kat, I feel so fortunate to have met these girls who really get me. When I was a teenager, I felt like I would never meet anyone who really understood me… If you feel this way too, don’t worry — they’re out there!
When it comes to friendship, some people value quantity over quality. I’m not into that. I know and speak to a lot of people, sure, and I value those relationships, but if we’re able to move past the small-talk phase and really become friends, it lasts forever. That is so much more valuable to me than knowing 1000 people in every area code. I love that when I see my friends, we pick up right where we left off. Deep, reflective friendships infused with magic and positivity: that’s what I cherish.
I used to go out every night, but the older I get, the less I want to do that. For a few years, I’ve regarded this change as a kind of flaw — like I “should” be going out all the time, flitting around, being super-social. But that’s not who I am anymore, and I would rather see a couple of people a week — and have a truly meaningful interaction with them — than have the same conversation a million times a night. Of course, I love to go out and meet new people, but it feels like less of a “need” these days. I’m working on accepting that, and learning that that’s okay.
Have you noticed any changes like that as you get older (and supposedly wiser)?!
Rent Patina, all ready for a rollerskating party!
On Tuesday afternoon, Mike and I hopped on the motorcycle and rode over to Brooklyn to check out Rent Patina, aka The Blogcademy’s June digs! We pulled up to a nondescript building and my jaw literally dropped when we walked inside. What an exceptional space, and the Patina babes are the best! We’re also going to have the incredible June Cochran there to document the adventure! I can’t wait for our next class… Wanna join us?!
There’s a lot going on around here… This weekend marks the start of a grand spring clean! I’m feeling a little daunted by the challenge but it’s gotta be done… And I know I’ll feel a billion times happier once it’s finished!
Ich liebe: Lazy Sundays Mike’s green juice (especially with an extra apple added!) So Delicious chocolate and peanut butter-flavoured coconut (aka non-dairy!) ice-cream Watching cheerleading contests on ESPN2 (fascinating and impressive!) Working from bed (and calling the dogs in to join me) Coconut water Neon pink shirts (my new favourite thing to wear!) Random acts of kindness Unpacking my suitcase and finding purple crystal skulls, neon skirts, cards from Blogcademy graduates and weird trinkets Our upstairs neighbour telling us that he got rid of his TV, and he had reinstalled the disco ball in his living room (!!! I love to imagine him up there, dancing to Donna Summer in his y-fronts) Using Sesame to send out little gifts (best! app! ever!) Really thick black eyeliner (I’m having an eyeliner moment) Ready For Love — my new favourite tv show! Wait, I love The Ricky Gervais Show, too Laughing all the time Catbird’s Tarot Deck candle Spraying Lush’s Rose Jam perfume (instant mood lifter!) Walking around the city on a gorgeous day!
Looking forward to blue skies,
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