Being a Goody-Too-Shoes

If I’m honest, I think I’ve always been a goody too shoes… ever since I was little, I always was a bit of a teacher’s pet. I liked getting those merits, gold stars, top marks. I was a try harder and very compliant. I guess I never felt the need to break or push the rules.

My mum *may* tell you that when I was a teenager I was a little more of a rebel, but not anything too serious (that I can recall anyway). I for sure when through those phases, well maybe a couple of wee phases. I specifically remember having a chain that attached to my baggy jeans, I was so super cool, ahhh being a 90s child is the best.

Then at uni, I feel like I for sure made the most of it, but I did have lots of goody too shoes tendencies. I remember saying no to nights out and heading to the gym instead, and being a little bit of a loner on occasion. No regrets though, I was being true to myself, perhaps a touch stubborn in some places, but that’s just who I am. I was pretty lucky that my friends were particularly cool and understanding.

As an adult, all of this goody too shoes-ness has meant that I’ve turned into a total people pleaser. If I’m honest, I can’t decide if that’s a bad thing, or a good thing. I always try to be true to myself, but I struggle between that and being what I know people what me to be. It’s extra tricky as my job has a high level of customer service and relationship building, which means I’m constantly (well hopefully) being extra kind and accommodating.

But right now, I feel like I’m a bit straight laced.

I’m torn, because I want to be true to myself, and do things that I enjoy doing, not just things that I feel like I have to do, but equally I don’t want to miss out. So I’m making a little pact with myself to not necessarily make myself feel uncomfortable, break the rules or do something out of character, but just make sure I’m living my best life and best self. That doesn’t involve being a goody too shoes all the time.

Pinch Punch First of the Month – (#8 August)

So excited to be sharing with you my bestest bits from August. There were a couple of real amazing moments that are going to be up there with my favourite memories of all time.
But before we get into my long list, I just want to set the scene; August in New Zealand is right in the middle of winter, and winter here is hard. There’s no festive season to look forward to it, it’s just long and bleak. Finding joy is so super important especially in the winter, so I’m pleased that I have such good memories to look back on:

Fave moments of August:

– Finally getting to see Stormzy, he’s been one of my favourite grime artists for ages, and I never thought i’d be seeing him on the other side of the world.

– Buying cookies from the amazing Moustache Cookies. I went to the legendary Milk and Cookie Bus located in Rumera. It’s possibly the coolest bakery spot in Auckland.

– Challenging myself at a harder Yoga class, and loving it!

– Making time for myself, setting myself up on the beach for an hour on a sunny winter’s day and having a read

– Finding the most beautiful flowers from left on my desk from my beautiful colleague Lizzy

– Trying Red Velvet Pancakes (!!!) topped with candy floss at Hello Friends & Allies

– Finding that they sell Fever Tree tonic in New Zealand (the gin & tonic gods are on my side)

– Another lovely Saturday well spent at the General Collective Market

– Buying more Claybird Ceramics

– Watching the Handmaids Tale series on Lightbox

– Then reading the Handmaids Tale really quite quickly

– Buying a new camera, more on that soon!

– Winter Beach day at Piha. There’s nothing better than being wrapped up all warm with your toes in the sea. It’s one of my favourite activities

– Making Aperol Spritz just on a Wednesday and getting excited for summer

– Replanting some mint in preparation for mojito season (mint update: it’s doing really well!)

– Amazing pink sunsets aplenty

– Planting a strawberry patch in the garden, summer with home-grown strawberries is going to be the best thing

– Discovering Lush bath bombs. Yes I’m about a 100 years behind the world, and yes I was muscling in amongst all the pre-teens at Lush

– Free Pizza at Sal’s aka my favourite pizza place in New Zealand

– After work wandering at Parnell Rose Garden and Baths

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Stormzy at Logan Campbell Centre, it took me back to my Uni days.

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The Milk and Cookie bus

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Possibly the best thing since sliced bread and a couple of my favourite British Products.

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A beauty of a lemon meringue pie from the General Collective Market.

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Interior goals at Hello Friends and Allies – house plants galore!

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The prettiest bunch of flowers in all of the land.

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Hanging out with my favourite at Piha.

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Hanging out at Parnell Baths on a school night.

What a real fun time! September is looking rather snazzy too though, here’s a couple of aims and what’s already in my diary.

Aims for September:
I’m keeping them sort and sweet this month:
– Keep my new strawberry patch alive and kicking
– Read at least 3 books (I’m still trying to read 50 books in 2017)
– Do more week night activities (tick!)
– Get back into fight class at the gym (double tick!)

Coming up in September:
– I’ve signed up for an 8 week photography course, so watch this space!
– Up-cycling my bedside table (more on this soon!)
– Starting PT sessions at the gym….

Putting the ‘Tour’ back in ‘Steph-on-Tour’

Oh hi there… remember when I used to write and share all the wonderful things that I’ve been up to on this blog? Yeah me too. Previous Steph was super reliable, motivated, creative and found time to write and document her adventure, the Steph of late, well she’s been a little slack to say the least.

Okay that’s enough of writing about myself in the third person (I’d hate me too). Anyway, you wanna know something? Wonderful things have still been happening, in fact lots of them. Life is pretty darn sweet. So I’ve decided to bring back the blog, and my favourite version of it – back to a focus on the ‘tour’.

My mission: put the ‘tour’ back in ‘Steph-on-tour’.

That means more travelling, more adventuring, more photos, more smiles, more memories, more sharing and more blogging.

So you’ll see more of the travel type posts that I was oh-so-good at back in the good blogging days of 2016 (ahem, has it really been that long?) I’ll be back at the monthly round ups, which are my absolute favourite to read back through and actually, I remember really loving writing them too. Oh and of course, the odd deep and meaningful, because I find that writing is real good therapy and maybe my words will resonate with at least one of you.

Ahh it’s nice to be back!

If you didn’t know already, Mum’s know best. They are not only super wise and have already been through everything that you are going through. As teenager, you may have rebelled and gone against your mother advice. But I hope you’ve come a full circle and realised that your momma was trying to do the best for you.
I’ve never really rebelled from my mum (apart from that time I convinced her to dye my beautiful blonde hair red). We’ve always got on and had a good relationship. Hanging out with her on Facetime is one of my favourite things to do. I look forward to chatting with her and hearing all about her antics all week.
If you haven’t already realised, you’re probably turning into your mum (just me?) I sometimes hear something coming out of my mouth and realise I am her. But you know what – I’d be pretty happy to turn into her. She’s so wise, and more and more I find myself re-telling myself her advice, and repeating it to others.
“If you don’t want anyone to know, then don’t tell anyone”
Simple yet effective and true. I consider myself a private person so this is spot on for me. It’s something that I’ve been practicing since my playground years.
“Everything happens for a reason”
It’s probably not what you want to hear when you are having a bad time, but you’ve got to find some comfort. I love hearing this when good things happen too. If you’ve worked hard for something and good things are coming your way. If you look back at your life so far, everything always works out because it has to, so have a little faith.
“When one door closes, another one opens. Or a window”
Again, advice when things are on the down and the door closes, know that something else will no doubt come your way. My mum always jokes that a window may come your way, but you can still climb through it. Big or small, all opportunities are worth considering.
“A minute on the lips a lifetime on the hips”
If you a regular reader of the blog, you’ll know that I have a huge sweet tooth and so does my mum. Something to keep in mind when you are digging into a huge chocolate block.
“The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it”
Commitment is king, and your sacrifices will be rewarded. If you love something then keep at it, even if it’s hard. It will all be worth it.
I’ve saved my personal favourite for last:
“Make the best decision at the time”
If you make the best decision at the time, you can never regret it. You simply have to trust your past-self that you made the best decision knowing what you knew then.
I’d like to dedicated this post to my lovely Mumrah Coulton, thanks for being the best and the most wise lady. I love you always MPC xx

We’re already in bloomin’ May, say whatt? I’ve pretty much blinked and missed this year so far. Then next one of these I write will be June which is the year halfway point. Is someone messing with us? It’ll be Christmas again before we know it, and 2018 (which is a pretty terrifying year and will mark 10 years since I left school. Now that’s a crazy thought).

April was a pretty snazzy month with heaps of happy moments to share. It’s been great hanging around Auckland and having some much needed down time. Here’s my top favourites:

– Easter Bunny came
– Long weekends times two
– A beautiful wedding for my colleague
– Attending the Dawn Service for Anzac day at Auckland Museum
Falling in love with writing again, both from a work point of view and a personal one
– My best friend getting engaged!! (eeeek!)
– Amazing pink sunsets aplenty
– Reading “First, we make the beast beautiful” by Sarah Wilson
– Re-starting Yoga classes
– Buy bargain new bedding and making the bed super comfy ready for the colder nights
– Going to the Royal Easter Show and petting baby animals
– A work away day at a venue with AMAZING views of Auckland
– Treat-day Saturday with pancakes
– Buying a nutribullet and going smoothie mad
– Having my first pedicure, and giggling the whole way through because it tickled
– Being gifted some of Gisborne’s finest avocados and having them on toast with roasted seeds and nuts
– A pretty epic freelance opportunity coming my way (more on that soon!)
– Going to the Auckland Royal Easter show
– Adding a careers section to my blog and writing all about life in employment

Ahhh life is so good. I feel like such a lucky kid!

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Toasted sesame seeds, peanuts and sunflower seeds with avocado, chilli and lime on toast.

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Hashtag no filter kind skies.

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Petting a grumpy pig at the Royal Easter Show.

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Waffles at the Royal Easter Show.

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Tucking into one of the many treats we ate.

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Easter Bunny came for all the flatmates!

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Tea and a good book in the Autumnal Sunshine.

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Nigella style pancakes!

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One of my favourite sunsets from the deck.

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Two Easter Bunnies.

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Always admiring the Auckland Skyline.

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I promise I didn’t push this child out of the way to pet the baby pig.

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Avocado delivery aka the best kind of delivery.

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Pedicure time minus the giggles.

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Wannabe Yogi.

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All the green breakfast smoothies.

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My first batch of Anzac biscuits.

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Pancakes with banana coins and blueberries, real maple syrup added after.

That all looked pretty good didn’t it? I love this little visual diary I’m keeping, it’s so lovely to go back through all my photos from the month and pick my favourites.

Aims for May:
– Keep going to Thursday morning Yoga
– Network at New Zealand’s tech week events
– Get outside and enjoy the last of the Autumn sun
– Eat less dairy
– Blog at least once a week

Coming up in May:
– A trip to Nelson
– Seeing one of my favourite artists, Sampha in Auckland
– A weekend home along
– Breakfast at Fish, Hilton Hotel Auckland

It’s pretty self-indulgent writing these posts, but I want to look back at all the wonderful things, even the littlest ones, that have happened and filled me with joy.