happy new year!



how are you? happy new year to you and yours, oh goodness it’s 2016. how futuristic does that sound?? given that i still read best before dates and think 2010, thats quite recent isn’t it … oh, that’s 5 6 years ago!


not terribly much to report since i chatted here last. i had a gorgeous family christmas complete with divine food and cute presents, and i’ve been working lots since then, back at my café job. it’s been lovely slotting back into a place that although much of the staff are different, the same vibe, procedures and environment are the same – much easier, i suspect, than this time last year when i was struggling along trying to learn everything and digest it as well as i could!


when i haven’t been working there’s been boating adventures, lots and lots of swimming in the lake, and the other day we zipped off to queenstown, which is just an hour’s drive. we visited the nz cafe of the year, bespoke kitchen, and had an extraordinary lunch of smoked salmon, poached eggs, rosti and salad, along with a shared chia pudding delight and some terribly healthy and delicious raw truffles which we devoured later on.


before i launch into this year’s intentions, i wanted to quickly check up on my 2015 ones, in the spirit of being accountable and reliable and all that 😉 (and yes, i did have to check the original post haha!) they were:
  1. consistent with running
  2. stop interrupting
  3. figure out postgrad
  4. give back to community
  5. blog
running – yes, i was good! i didn’t manage the half marathon because of a pesky injury but i have high hopes i’ll do one this year.
interrupting – ugh, i suppose i’m more aware of it now, so hopefully that will lead to a reduction? still a tough one, i have so many thoughts that i want to share!
postgrad – well, i’ve completely submitted my application for the course that i very very much wish to pursue, so it’s a waiting game now!
community – ooh, i did this! i helped to organise and MC a perfectly fantastic series of panels on an issue very close to my heart.
blog – yes, as my recent 50 post anniversary shows 😉


as for 2016:


i feel less fervent about my resolutions this year, i suppose because i know this year is going to be quite a different beast than any i’ve experienced before. last year i felt the year ahead was a predictable meander of uni, friends, parties, study, exams, and repeat. this year, i’m living at home for the first 2/3, working, and then fingers crossed i’ll be zipping off for some postgrad study in september somewhere quite, quite different from dear old dunedin! i think therefore, because i don’t really know what my life will look like this year, that it’s harder to pin down any particular self improvements or missions.
i do have a few flexible intentions, and these can of course be expressed by a collection of my much adored pinterest quotes:



  1. stay ‘tremendously interested’ in my passions
– i adore chinese, french and economics (barring macro, naturally). while i hold out hope that my job will include any of these on some incremental level, chances are a typical workday for me won’t involve application of economics thought, a chat in chinese or an article in french, so i need to find ways to keep these alive in my everyday life. i would quite like to get a subscription to the Economist (and look super smart reading it 😉 , and absolutely keep up my languages via podcasts, articles and hopefully an obliging friend who’ll bear my dodgy grammar. just 30 minutes or so a day will surely have meaningful and positive effects so i just have to think big picture (when all i want to do is refresh instagram or blob in front of reality tv)



  1. be brave
this year, as i’ve said, is going to be markedly different. there is going to be lots of change which isn’t something i generally care for. i am also most likely going to be in the position frequently where i don’t feel entirely comfortable, whether it’s because i don’t yet know the ropes, or it’s not an ideal situation. i really really want to be brave in these situations, not to stress myself out or worry or get teary (it doesn’t take much!) being able to remain calm and positive is so important in life, and it all comes down to me and my reaction. and if i can figure out at least some of that this year, and how i can help myself be this way, so much the better.



  1. be a good friend
this applies to both friends in the same place and separated geographically, the latter unfortunately comprises most of my dear uni friends! staying in touch with these gems is very important, as well as nurturing friendships in christchurch so that i have more mates than my mum and my sister 😉 i’m hoping to establish standing weekly/fortnightly dates with some of those local friends, so that our busy lives don’t get the better of us now that friendship isn’t so convenient and effortless as it is when you’re an undergraduate student!


i think that just about covers it – i could add in things about exercise, or healthy eating, or projects, but i think i’ll leave it there. so, one last time, happy 2016! all the kissing heart emojis to you sweet things xx

goodbye sugar!


i’ve been struggling with sugar cravings for days and i’m really over it! so i’ve decided that monday starts the beginning of a sugar free fortnight.
I went sugar free for the month of october last year and had a really fantastic experience with it: I cut out all cane sugar plus honey and dried fruit (i also didn’t have any artificial sweeteners, but these are not part of my diet anyway).

although i definitely missed sugar the first couple of days, cravings soon disappeared and i was amazed at how sweet the taste fruit and herbal tea became – even roast pumpkin was a revelation! the first time I had a sweet treat following my no sugar month it tasted sooooo tooth achingly sweet and really one dimensional flavour wise, so actually not enjoyable at all! however, of course, i got used to sugar again and its addictive properties put me back under its spell.

so i’m excited to begin my fortnight of no sugar, because although i like to think i eat a pretty healthy diet (very little junk food etc) sugar is definitely a weak area, and something i only realise how much i have of it when i start to cut it out.
ideally i would like to restrict my sugar intake to special occasions like birthdays or when i bake something really special, as opposed to regularly, mindlessly eating mediocre sweets. additionally, post my behavioural eco paper where we learned a lot about what sugar does to us physiologically, i know that the less of it I have the better!

so, this is an announcement to keep me accountable. why only a fortnight? because i’m going home for the mid semester break in a fortnight and i’ll be baking at home and catching up over food with friends, and so i’d really rather not set myself up to fail! also, after 2 weeks there is definitely nothing keeping me from staying sugar free, so i’ll see how it goes.

instead of porridge with dates for breakfast, i’ll be having eggs with spinach, i’ve already begun appreciating the taste of black tea sans sugar (pro tip – it’s all in the strength) and fortunately i never have sugar in coffee so i don’t have to give that up (because a world without coffee is a world i don’t want to live in!)

if any of you would like to join me for this challenge that would be fantastic! anyone can quit sugar for 2 weeks, it’s a totally manageable goal and i find when i’m healthier in one section of my life the other parts like sleep and exercise tend to slot into place.

here’s to two weeks of healthier living! and now, i’m off to get a kapiti icecream to finish things off with a bang.

resolution update

Okay kiddliwinks, after 120 days of this year, how are my resolutions/intentions faring?

Let’s assess:

1. be consistent with running (and hopefully complete a half marathon!)
– this has been going well, self! i’ve been running at least 3 times per week and have enlisted a buddy to do the half marathon with. keep up the good work!
I give myself 4 stars ★★★★

2. figure out postgrad.
– i’ve been trying hard in my courses to keep my grades up, written myself a timeline of various admission dates and submitted an application for a BIG DEAL scholarship (don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted!)
Again, i’m doing well. I give myself 4 stars ★★★★

3.continue to work on this blog.
– hmm, perhaps you’re more qualified to answer this one than i am? I’m trying!! i have had a few big-ish gaps, but I think i’ve been ok in my posting.
I give myself 3 1/2 stars ★★★⭐︎

4. stop interrupting people.
– oh drat, I forgot about this one! i don’t know if i’ve been awful, buuuuut i also haven’t been consciously trying to eliminate it. back to the drawing board on this one – BAD anna!
I give myself 1 star ★

5. find a way to give back to my community.
– ugh, this hasn’t been a very productive one either. the furthest i’ve got is joining a couple of charitable dunedin groups on facebook! however, i think i saw for one of them there is going to be an initiative in the next couple weeks, so I will try my best to get involved and help out with that.
Could do better – I give myself 2 stars ★★

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and a picture of me feeding a lamb for no particular reason. next post I promise will be a birthday one – I’ve just got to track down a few photos that i want to include and then we’ll be away laughing. happy sunday night xx


happy new year all! may 2015 be a year filled with side splitting laughs, mouth watering food and fantastic experiences for you all. I enjoyed a wonderful extended family christmas at my grandparent’s farm, with my whole maternal side of the family. presents aside, it was just so fantastic to spend time with my most loved people in the world, which is a real treat in these busy days. and of course the food was amazing – i would expect nothing else from 4 Woods women (plus many helpful grandchildren!)


^^^the very cutest family in the entire world, in my humble opinion..

We headed up to Wanaka Boxing Day evening, as i began my job the next day! I’m working at a very cool cafe situated right in town, making coffees and waitressing. I’m a week in now and just love it – everyone is so friendly, we serve such beautiful drinks and food and since the cafe is so very busy and popular, the hours just fly by. i’m still unsure as to how i managed to get such a good job… when i i figure that one out, i’ll be sure to let you know ;)

I was a little concerned that with working so much (I’m averaging 5 days a week) i wouldn’t get to enjoy summer or my holidays, but that really hasn’t transpired. Just being in Wanaka is a tonic to my soul; glimpsing those stunning mountains and iridescent lake during the day soothes me in such a way that urban christchurch cannot. swimming in the lake after a hot and sweaty shift at work is simply the best!

i thought i’d jump on the wagon and share some of my resolutions for 2015, or as i prefer to call them, intentions. while listening to one of my favourite podcasts Tracy talked about ‘intentions’ rather than ‘resolutions’ and i like that. i feel like there’s a huge cliche about breaking your new years resolutions a couple of weeks into January and then they’re finished whereas an intention is basically just saying things are a work in process. which we all surely are!

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so, here are my five 2015 intentions:

1. be consistent with running (and hopefully complete a half marathon!)
I love running, but i definitely go through patches of running then not, and so on. exercise is a huge mental health improver for me and i always feel much better when i am running regularly, so i really want to work on this in 2015, with the hopeful outcome being completing a half marathon at some point- a goal of mine for a couple of years, and one i really want to complete!! watch this space..

2. figure out postgrad.
I’ll be finished with my BA at the end of this year, and my plans after that are still a bit up in the air. i’m intending to continue with study, so this year i need to get everything sorted for the year after!

3.continue to work on this blog.
yes yes, for my whole 3 readers sakes (my mum’s now reading, hooray ;)
but seriously, i am determined to make time out from study to blog on this space, even if it’s not all that frequently. on the upside, the kitchen in our flat this year is way nicer than last years, plus has a dishwasher (!!!) so that should make cooking and blogging about it pretty painless.

4. stop interrupting people.
I have such an awful habit of interrupting people, without even meaning to! it seems disrespectful and rude and can often shut shy people down. i’m planning on making a concerted effort to keep my mouth shut until the person i’m chatting to has FINISHED what they’ve got to say, which will be hard since i’m such a chatty kathy, but 100% worth it.

5. find a way to give back to my community.
I’ve lived 2 years in Dunedin having a ball of a time as a student, benefiting from a lot of what the city has to offer. This year, however, i want to find a way to give back. avenues i’m specifically interested in going down would be anything environmental, or with helping families in poverty. The 2014 election was an eye opener with the child poverty statistics being bandied around and NZ’s child poverty rates are truly appalling for a developed country. We have so many things to celebrate about this little country of ours but this is not one of them.

so give me the goss – what are your resolutions/intentions for 2015?