Showing posts from December, 2017

A Very Kiwi Christmas

A Kiwi-style Christmas is a relaxed day which makes the most of the warm weather.  I've created a little jingle to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas of all the things that encapsulate the day, hope you enjoy it!

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Books to inspire you in 2018

A new year approaches.  Time to make (and break) New Year's resolutions.  Time to start planning that January gym fitness regime after the festive season spread.  And time for new beginnings.  

Here are 5 great books to inspire your journey into 2018.

Big Magic

The Alchemist
The Happiness Project

What's Your Who?

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of attending a talk by Dame Jenny Shipley, the first female New Zealand Prime Minister.  Dame Jenny shared tips about how she managed her work/life balance while in office, and how women can succeed in the modern workplace.  She also emphasised how important emotional and cultural intelligence are in the workplace.

Dame Jennyis a very captivating speaker, and a theme that stuck with me was, find your who  It's no longer about what you can do but about who you are and how you do it.  Dame Jenny challenged us to construct an elevator pitch (a 30 second summary of your background) around 'What's your who?'

I've been thinking about this recently as I try to formulate my who.  I stumbled upon an online quiz based on psychologist Carl Jung's archetypes.  Jung defined 12 primary types to symbolize basic human motivations, each of which has its own personality traits.  Most people have several archetypes, with one dominant one.  My d…

The Best Self-Care over the holidays? Sleep.

Since collapsing from sleep deprivation and exhaustion in 2007, Arianna Huffington has become an advocate for sleep.  Arianna was the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post which she ran for 11 years.  She launched Thrive Global in 2016.  "Thrive Global’s mission is to end the stress and burnout epidemic by offering companies and individuals sustainable, science-based solutions to enhance well-being, performance, and purpose, and create a healthier relationship with technology." 

While Margaret Thatcher is famously said to have slept for four hours a night, most adults need 7-9 hours per night.  Not getting enough sleep can impact on emotional wellbeing and over time can lead to medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

The holidays can be a stressful time, here are 5 sleep tips to help:

Try a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as having a bath or reading a book to wind down from the busyness of the day.Avoid caffeine for four to six hours before bedtime.…

Christmas in Auckland

There are some amazing wintry Christmas shots on Instagram.  Mulled wine and mistletoe, markets and ice skating, and festive lights and trees.  Try these hashtags to see some wonderful photos - #christmasmarkets  and #christmaslights.

In Auckland, there may not be any snow, but the city is ready for the festive season.  Here are the highlights...

1.  Smith & Caughey's
Established over 100 years ago, Smith & Caughey’s remains one of New Zealand’s best-loved department stores.  Every Christmas the windows are decorated and this year's theme is based on the children’s book The Pirate’s Night Before Christmas.  The animated windows tell the story of the night before Christmas aboard the Black Sark and being visited by Sir Peggedy in his clam-bedecked sleigh, drawn by a team of seahorses.  And of course, no Christmas is complete without a visit to Santa's Enchanted Forest, and a photo opportunity with Santa himself.

2.  Auckland's Giant Santa
Visit the flagship Farmers s…

Gratitude makes you happier!

Last month I talked about building a gratitude practise into everyday life.  Here are 3 great podcasts all about giving thanks.

1. The Gratitude Podcast
A weekly podcast which reminds us to be grateful, no matter what our situation is, by appreciating what we already have.

2. The KickAss Life
The Secret to Happiness with David Steindl-Rast.  Brother David is a Benedictine Monk.  At 91-years-old, he has inspired generations with his powerful message about finding gratitude in every moment of one's life. Read more about him or watch his TED Talk.

3. Freakonomics
Why is my life so hard?  How can we avoid feeling this way and feel more grateful?  Join Stephen Dubner as he speaks with Tom Gilovich and Shai Davidai who wrote the “The headwinds/tailwinds asymmetry: An availability bias in assessments of barriers and blessings.”

Sunrise, sunset

As the year draws to a close, that familiar nostalgic feeling I get every year creeps up on me.  Where did the time go to?  The days definitely seem to fly by faster as I get older.  In mid 2014, after a rocky start to the year, I came upon The Happiness Projectby Gretchen Rubin.  Her chronicle about her year in search of happiness struck a chord with me, and I embarked on a Happiness Project of my own.

While reading the book, one line that really stuck with me is,  “The days are long but the years are short.”  Gretchen calls this one of her Secrets of Adulthood.  

When I'm having a really long, hard day I remind myself of this.  Sunrise, sunset.  Don't miss the moments in between.