After the mouth-watering visit to Springfield’s giant donut, our next stop was the beautiful (almost beyond belief) Lake Pearson. Surrounded by winding trees that gently dip their limbs into the water, Pearson truly is a treat for the eyes. I couldn’t resist climbing up into the branches with my trusty Instax Mini Selfie in hand, but hopped down quick-smart after a whopping big breeze almost decided to do it for me!
If you can remember way back to January, one of my goals was to branch out and travel more. I grew up in South-East Asia and despite being a New Zealander, haven’t seen too much of my birth country. Not-so-slowly and certainly surely I am ticking more and more places off my list – and I am ridiculously happy about it! My wonderful boyfriend, Barnaby has seen most of New Zealand, so I’m eagerly awaiting the day I can surprise him with somewhere new. Perhaps that should be my next goal?
Until then, I’ll just be lounging in front of the most beautiful lake ever; complete with it’s very own snow-covered mountainous surroundings.
Living in New Zealand can be pretty surreal sometimes. If you’re ever lacking in inspiration – or feeling ‘meh’ for any reason in particular, it only takes a short drive (or bus ride, if you time it right) to see some truly overwhelming sights. And believe me, there is an awful lot to see.
We drove for just over an hour to the beautiful (beyond belief!) town of Akaroa (more on that later!) and our first move was to go on a three hour – yes, three – uphill walk! Talk about intense. But seeing those views made it all worth it. I walked a lot of the track backwards so I could admire it as I went – not to mention that it was easier on the calf muscles!
It was a great chance to try out my latest gym set; a Kate Spade x Beyond Yoga polkadot crop top & bright pink tights that I bought from Shopbop. These tights were so warm it was brilliant! Especially when we got to the peak and almost blew over from the wild winds. Seriously, this was the most incredible trip ever – I am ridiculously excited to tell you all about it!
We spent the past weekend away in the most beautiful little New Zealand town known as Akaroa. It’s a favourite getaway spot for locals – and I’m quite the fan too – although it’s been years since my last visit. One of the things I love most is the beautiful lighthouse. It sits on the edge of the bay so it can be seen by almost everywhere on the waterfront.
It only seemed right to get dolled up in one of my finest nautical numbers; in this case an appropriately coloured fit-&-flare from Chicwish. The hat is one I picked up in the ASOS sales not too long ago – and one that always seemed to finish off an outfit just right!
I am genuinely so looking forward to sharing more of Akaroa with you. You won’t believe just how beautiful it is!
There is a whole lot to fall in love with about New Zealand – and one defining feature that I adore is our astounding collection of hills! It might be a bit weird to idolise them so much, but really.. just look! The photos speak for themselves, don’t you reckon?
We snapped these photos after embarking on a spur-of-the-moment road trip – where we genuinely had no idea where we would end up! We drove our enormous 7 seater mini van (yes, really!) around the local bays until we found a gorgeous little place called Purau. I couldn’t resist hopping out and getting some snaps of the boat collection – it was all so picturesque!
This all falls so in line with my 2016 goal of wanting to see my own country more. So far it’s working pretty darn well, and I’ve visited many (upon many!) pleases I’ve never seen before, but have heard a lot about. Stay tuned, there are some wonderfully scenic posts to come! Oh New Zealand, how I love thee!
There’s no better way to start the year than tree-ting yourself to a pun or two (or three, four, five, anyone?) But seriously though, puns aside (if it’s even possible) – my goal – or resolution, I suppose, is to start branching out more. There are so many skills I want to learn, and some I even semi-know, but it often seems so super tricky to get over the obstacles – mental or physical – and achieve what I really want to be able to achieve.
For me, it all leads back to drawing. I never really share any of my work on here, let alone talk about it, but I’m bloody passionate about drawing. And I’m totally gonna toot my own horn here – but I’m actually pretty good at it too. After rejection from art school (a story for another day) I stopped drawing for years, and only now the passion is coming back. I have a Wacom slowly gaining dust in the corner, so my goal this year is to practice, practice, practice, until I’ve successfully mastered a new skill.
The great thing about ‘branching out’ as my goal is that it covers so much ground. Rather than the usual “get in shape” and “eat healthy” goals (which I totally want to do too, by the way!) I feel like this goal is way more broad. I’ve already branched out into new recipes this year – constructing my very own date, cumin cauliflower, feta and quinoa salad – so I’m reasonably happy with how it’s all going so far – now to just tackle this exercise business!
This goal works it’s way into my wardrobe too. Sure, a playsuit and a bow are pretty commonplace for a gal like me, but did you take a look at the necklace? My sweet, sweet boyfriend, Barney often offers to help me when I’m buying clothes online, but being the control freak I am (when clothes are involved) he sadly faces rejection a wee bit too often (sorry Barn!) This time though, he helped me pick out this adorable log shaped customised silver necklace complete with our engraved intitals (BC + JF). It’s pretty bloomin’ cute and I wear it constantly; having him close to my heart and all that. It’s the best anniversary gift ever, so you better believe that he’s going to be involved with selecting my next online haul!
I was recently asked to style a few pieces from the 2014 Spring collection by Pepa Loves. I can’t explain how very happy it makes me – if you’ve been reading the blog a while you’ll know that PL is one of my very favourite labels. Every garment has the cutest little detail – as I’m sure you will see in this post (dachshund print, anyone?!)
We took these photographs outside one of my favourite buildings in Wellington; the Old Bank Arcade. This building is both beautiful and has an incredible story. You can read all about it here – but long story short; in 1997 they discovered that there was an actual ship underneath the building! I’ll have to give you a tour sometime – the basement even has a glass floor.. But for now we chose the building because it reminded me of Madrid; the base of the one and only Pepa Loves shop. When I imagine Madrid I immediately visualize pale yellows and wonderful old buildings. This structure fits the bill quite nicely, I think! Still, I’d like to imagine that I really was in Madrid. Perhaps then I could even visit the Pepa Loves store. A gal can dream, eh!
Oh sure, you might be getting slightly sick of those “this is what I got for Christmas” type ramblings, but I just can’t help it – I received so many amazing presents this year! I unknowingly fell in love with the UK brand Pop Boutique last year when I was asked to choose something to style by Modcloth. In typical Jo fashion, I opted for this sailor dress in navy blue, which I wore on the blog here. Fast forward to Christmas 2013! I’m unwrapping my presents.. when BAM! This amazing Slam Dunkin’sweater appears in front of me. I noticed immediately that it was Pop Boutique. And so the love affair began…
I’ve been wearing it pretty consistently since Christmas. Sure, it’s summer in New Zealand, but luckily (for me!) it has been freezing lately – making it the ultimate sweater weather (hooray!) I’ve been sticking to mostly red, white, and black shades while wearing this top, as I’m sure you can see here. It may look slightly Christmassy, but hey, Christmas is wonderful, so I have no problem with looking a little festive no matter the time of year!
So, I don’t think I’ve ever discussed of my love of Adventure Time. I’m not terribly sure whether it comes across on here, but I am a bit of a dweeb. I’m obsessed with cartoons, games, and being a general fangirl over a select bunch of movies (Pacific Rim, I’m looking at you). But my absolute favourite above anything else is Adventure Time. I talk about it constantly, and clearly my boyfriend, Barnaby, has been paying attention. For Christmas, Barnaby surprised me with the BMO dress from the Black Milk x Adventure Time collection. (Cue excited squealing and immediately wearing the dress – even forgetting to remove the tags in my excitement. D’oh).
I thought, what better way to show off a BMO dress than playing a game? I was already pretty darn hooked on the Adventure Time Ski Safari game (seriously, the voices and sound effects are so good!) and playing it again for these photos has only fuelled the obsession. If you’re an Adventure Time fan I highly recommend having a peek at the rest of the collection. My next couple of purchases will hopefully be the Jake the dog skater dress and the Lumpy Space Princess swimsuit. Right, now I just have to not-so-patiently wait for everything from the collection to go on sale!
And now I’ve confessed my nerdy cartoony gamer-y side, I suppose it’s time to admit that yes, I use my computer to make silly graphics (and more!) like the one below. Embrace your inner dweeb, everyone!
…Because it is SO much fun to start the new year off with a bright burst of colour, here you go! Yellow is my favourite colour in the whole world (closely followed by pink!) and genuinely makes me really happy. You wouldn’t believe how excited I was when my parents presented me with this beautiful pastel yellow Instax Mini 8for Christmas. I’ve been obsessed with Polaroid cameras for years, so am ecstatic to finally have one of my very own. Plus, I am impressed that I had enough willpower to resist choosing pink – I don’t think my guy, Barnaby would have been quite as happy to be carting around a pink camera.
In other news, I hope you all had a terrific new year celebration! Myself and Barnaby had all kinds of wild plans; we wanted to spend our day in the sun drinking cider, slowly getting more and more rosy-cheeked.. Well, that was the plan! Instead, we ended up cosying up at home with mango cider (gotta get that cider in there somewhere), celebrating the midnight countdown with a smooch in a stairwell, and finally, staying up until 3am watching The Office. If you ask me, it sounds like the perfect start to the new year.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to style a hair bow. It is ridiculously easy, I promise. And such a fun change from a ponytail, don’t you think? I’ve had a little bit of an obsession with hair bows since Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker Face’ days (which feels like quite a long time ago now!) Finally I’ve learnt the tricks and have figured out how to do them myself. There is no going back now! ; )
P.s. Yes, you might have seen that I posted this a couple of months ago over on Here Comes the Sun. Sadly, HCTS has stopped blogging for the meantime (we miss you Amanda!) so I figured I’d share it over here too. Enjoy! xo
1. Begin by brushing all of the tangles from your hair, and tying it up into a ponytail on the very centre of your head.
2. Use your hair tie to to put your hair into a loose ponytail style bun. You’ll be left with a large amount of hair sticking out the front, which is fine. This will be the centre piece of your hair bow : )
3. Divide the bun area into two, trying to make them as even as possible. When they’re the size you’re after, use a bobby pin to secure them to the top of your head.
4. Finish the look by wrapping the loose hair over the middle of the bow. Tuck it into the elastic band as much as you can, and fix any messy bits with a good ol’ bobby pin.
And there you have it! As easy as pie, don’t you think? My hair is relatively good at keeping it’s shape, but don’t hesitate to add a little hair spray if you need it. Oh.. and of course – good luck! xo