Current Thoughts & Feelings: Dating/Relationships

A month ago in a Redhead Rambles I toyed with the idea of writing a post about dating, my thoughts and feelings on the subject and recent experiences (or lack of) that I have had. It’s important to share personal anecdotes because my blog is a true representation of myself and the anecdotes are always well received. The beauty and gratitude segments represent the happy, positive side of my personality and posts like this represent the serious, deep thinking side.

A brief history

I have always been a hopeless romantic since I was a child and I have always dreamed of falling in love, finding love and having someone special in my life that I can share experiences with and do everything with. A romantic relationship to me is a partnership, you support each other, you care for each other and you work together. You enter into a relationship because it’s what you want, you’re not trying to stroke your ego or make yourself feel better. I am the kind of girl that knows what she wants when it comes to dating and love and I don’t see myself as a girl who could go round and sleep with lots of men because I’m bored or feel lonely. Casual hookups are more common nowadays but that’s not what I want. I am more than a body. I am not an object and I will not be used purely for someone else’s satisfaction. I will not judge someone if they are into casual hookups just as I wouldn’t expect someone to judge me for not being into them.

I’m 23 now and I got my first boyfriend when I was 21. During school boys were never really a focus for me, I was very much at school to work hard and pass exams. I was a loner most of the time. At 21 I joined Tinder and that was my first foray into the dating world. I didn’t go into it with any expectations but after a couple of weeks I ended up meeting my ex-boyfriend and we were together for almost two years. To this day I have only ever been on dates with three guys and two of them I never heard from again after the first date. I don’t get upset or think where did I go wrong, I see it as a learning curve and know that won’t always happen.

Standards and knowing what you want

I take dating seriously, I have standards and I know what I won’t put up with. By standards I mean I look for certain qualities in a person; kind, gentle, non-judgmental, good sense of humour etc. I don’t worry about their height or the colour of their hair. For me it’s more about personality than looks. Some people may think I’m tough to please but that’s actually so far from the truth, it’s not always what you do, it’s who you do it with. I’m quite a homely person and tend to prefer indoor activities but if I was comfortable in someone’s presence who’s to say I wouldn’t jump out of a plane and do a skydive or fly in a helicopter. Relationships are about being who you are but embracing qualities and parts of the person you’re choosing to spend your time with, you can’t have your way all the time. Love may not always be easy and I’ve said this before, but it shouldn’t feel like a chore either. Chances are there will be compromise but try and make it positive. If one of you wants to see a new horror movie and you scare easily they may offer to hold your hand during the scary parts or tell you when to open your eyes when the scary part is over. It’s all about turning a situation you may not enjoy into one that is bearable.

I’m still learning to find the balance between give and take. I tend to be the person that gives more than they get and I need to be tougher otherwise people walk all over me. I don’t like confrontation and I have a low tolerance for bullshit. From now on I plan to call people out so they know they can’t treat me badly. (This relates to life more than relationships).

Prude?

The definition of a prude: “a person who is or claims to be easily shocked by matters relating to sex or nudity.”

Compared to some people maybe I’m considered a prude but personally I don’t think I am one. I’m not embarrassed to talk about sex, it’s not something I talk about all the time with everybody but I understand it’s a natural part of life and an important part of a relationship. My ex-boyfriend and I could talk about sex very openly and it didn’t feel awkward which is something I want for future relationships as well. Where I am more prudish is nakedness. I don’t like to show much skin or cleavage or wear skimpy outfits. I’m not the most comfortable with my body and I know it doesn’t meet society’s ‘standards’ but I’m more confident than I used to be. What I learnt from my past relationship is that my body is fine and my boyfriend liked it because he loved me and the person I am. I’ve got curves and boobs and a bum and some guys like that. I would not tolerate body shaming in a relationship.

I believe sex and intimacy should be reserved for relationships (for the most part). Sex is a very personal connection for me, not everyone gets to experience it with you and I want it to always feel special. If I didn’t feel comfortable or ready I would tell someone no and if they didn’t understand that’s not the person I’d want to be with. Sex is not a bargaining tool, it should be pleasurable for both parties involved and it should be safe and consensual.

Dating fears

When I was a young girl I was paranoid I would never have a boyfriend because I wasn’t good enough or pretty enough and I’m glad that when I got older those thoughts changed. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I am more confident with the way I look now. I know I am a good person with a good heart and I have a lot to give.

Despite the above paragraph, when I was broken up with in April 2018 some niggling thoughts came back. I am a little afraid of the physical part of a relationship now. I’m not going to lie the thought of someone kissing me, touching me, hugging me or holding my hand makes me feel sick and uneasy at times. I’m not sure whether I’m subconsciously associating those things with the person who hurt me (although if you’ve read The Breakup you know in a twisted way he wasn’t the one who hurt me). In future when I get to the physical stage I may be more reserved and will need to feel properly comfortable again. Whoever I’m with needs to understand that too. I don’t want to hold myself back but I want to be sure before I give that part of me to someone else.

Modern dating

I have dipped my toes into online dating again and it’s been unsuccessful. I wasn’t expecting to get into another relationship straight away – it wouldn’t have felt right – but I didn’t expect to get as annoyed as I have. I now understand why dating apps and sorry guys, but men in general get a bad rap. 95% of guys only seem to want one thing – it ain’t commitment/a relationship – and having a conversation is nigh on impossible. Most conversations tend to stop when guys find out I don’t have SnapChat and won’t send them nudes. I’m sorry, but how immature are you?! I don’t send photos like that because you never know where they could end up and even if I’m in a long term relationship I still wouldn’t send them.

Another thing I hate is being mucked around and people trying to take you for a ride. Why make out you want to meet someone if you always come up with excuses when I suggest a time/place? It’d be quicker if you were honest and came out and said you’re looking for a FWB situation. I’m not afraid to message guys first and be upfront about what I’m looking for. I’m sure if some people’s parents saw how their children acted on dating apps and what they say they would be appalled. You can be cheeky/naughty but there’s a way to do it and personally I feel that should be kept private.

I see online dating as a chance to be less shy, I doubt I could walk up to someone in real life and just start having a conversation with them, especially a guy. In real life there’s also the fact you don’t know if someone is single or taken. I’m not saying everyone on dating apps is single either  but it allows me to be more brave. Online dating does mean people can hide behind a screen and because we already live in such a digital world dating and meeting people can become impersonal. I’m the type of girl that would much rather meet in person and see a movie or get something to eat than chat for days online and never meet. I’m a traditional girl who wants nothing more than to spend time together and get to know each other over a face to face conversation. With spoken words you can hear emotions and tone of voice. Messages can be interpreted in different ways.

Where to from here?

I don’t hate all men and I do want to find love again. Love when it’s with someone special is beautiful and having that companionship is such a wonderful feeling. When I was in love for the first time I felt like I really mattered and belonged. I’m a very instinctive person and follow my gut. I have to be comfortable with a person almost instantly. Comfortable to me means feeling at ease, being able to laugh and be open, conversation flows easily and feeling a warm connection or a spark.

It’s not my job to sell myself to guys out there and try to convince them why they should be with me. If they don’t know what they’re looking for, they aren’t respectful, they play games and they don’t appreciate the person I am, I don’t need them in my life. I am strong, I am smart, I am an individual and one day the right person will find me. Love happens when you least expect it ❤


I hope you enjoyed this post and you can understand where my head has been at. I understand not everyone thinks the same way and won’t necessarily agree. What are your thoughts on dating and relationships?

P.S. There’s one week left to enter my blog giveaway! CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

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The Breakup 💔

I contemplated whether writing this post is something I wanted to do and for the longest time I didn’t think I needed to write it. I don’t owe anyone an explanation and I’m not writing this for sympathy. I write and share because I want to help and support anyone else going through a similar situation.

I was broken up with via a text message one Monday evening in April 2018. It is my first heartbreak experience as he was my first boyfriend. The breakup was a shock but after what led to the breakup I wasn’t surprised it happened. It still saddened me. My ex-boyfriend and I had been together for the best part of two years and during that time he was my rock. We talked every day, I felt like I had a true best friend who wanted the best for me and I wanted the best for him. We never argued or fought and in a number of ways I couldn’t ask for a better first relationship. I knew I could talk to him about anything, I could be serious, I could be sad, I could be goofy and he got all of me. I felt a sense of comfort with him that I don’t feel around many people. He made me feel beautiful and he was kind. Naively, I didn’t think he would hurt me the way he did.

We weren’t a typical couple in every aspect and I appreciate that. We didn’t go out for dinner or to restaurants (we’re both fussy eaters), we didn’t take many pictures together (not because we didn’t want to) and we never had romantic time away, we just wanted to be around each other and watch movies or eat pizza and talk and laugh. We always showed affection with touches or cuddles and I would do cute little things like leave the toilet seat up after I’d used it and pull the bed up in the morning. We were a team and it’s nice to have that constant support and sense of belonging and being important to someone. We knew we could rely on each other and we didn’t let the other one down. He was never late to pick me up, he didn’t try to make excuses not to see me, we wanted to be together as much as we could, we were so in love!

When you go from all of that to nothing within a couple of days, it’s terrifying and you ask yourself so many questions. Maybe there were times I could have been a better girlfriend but I know I loved him with all of my heart and I made sure I showed it. Quite soon after the breakup I concluded I loved him more than he loved me and he meant more to me than I did to him or else he wouldn’t have let this happen. I’m not saying his love for me wasn’t real but it was a different kind of love. He was my everything and I also questioned if that’s where I went wrong – making someone my whole world. The more I think about it the more I realise that’s what love is, you’d do anything for that person and their happiness is your happiness. I wasn’t scared to find love for the first time but part of me is scared to find it now.

So, how did it all end? I believe the relationship ended because another person got involved, not because either of the two people in the relationship actually wanted it to. It’s almost as if the decision was forced on him and he could only see the relationship working how it had been and if that changed it wouldn’t work anymore. Two days before the Monday I got the text about “going our separate ways” my ex-boyfriend dropped me home and less than two hours later I received hurtful text messages from his mother. These messages were threatening to say the least and I was accused of being heartless, thinking myself superior, driving a wedge between her and her son, going around destroying families and treating her home like a hotel. She also said she only put up with me because she loves her son. I still struggle with the fact that she never approached me prior to the messages or said anything to my face despite me being in her home hours earlier. I didn’t retaliate to the messages and kept calm but now part of me wishes I had and maybe I would have got to the bottom of everything.

Two days after I was broken up with my ex-boyfriend came to drop off a few things and say ‘goodbye’ and I read out a letter I’d written. I’ve kept the letter and one of the lines I wrote says part of me will love him forever. You always remember your first love and I wish it hadn’t ended the way it did. What hurts me now is not what I was accused of because I know it’s not true but that he didn’t think I was worth fighting for. I need someone who goes after what they truly want and isn’t afraid to fight when things get hard. Love isn’t always easy and I hope he is happy with his choice because I know he won’t find another Chanelle. I’m not perfect and he may not want another Chanelle but I know I am honest and dependable and a good person with a heart so full of love who never wants to hurt anyone else. I would never have hurt him if it had been the other way round and my mum had sent him the kind of messages I got.

You’re constantly reminded of that person and it’s hard when you don’t hate them. I hate what he did and what he let happen but I don’t hate the person he is. What also makes it hard is the fact we didn’t cut contact with each other (told you we weren’t a typical couple). I haven’t heard from him for a couple of weeks now but we’re still Facebook friends and when we broke up he said he wanted to help if he could. Part of me knows I should let him go and from now on I’m going to try not to initiate conversation.

It’s not easy some days. I go through periods of not feeling good enough for anyone and wondering if I’ll find someone else but I know deep down I want to find love again because it’s beautiful. I’ve also experienced feelings of shame and guilt about not wanting to be kissed or touched and it will take time for those to subside and be brave and let someone in again. Going forward I will be even more cautious than I was before and I need to think of myself now.

My advice if you’re going through a breakup or something similar, cry and feel whatever you need to feel to get closure. Your emotions will be up and down and some weeks you’ll be fine until you get frustrated and want to cry and scream. Write down your feelings and even if you throw away the bits of paper afterwards, getting them out often helps and makes your mind feel clearer. Take time to do what you enjoy, my biggest love is music and sometimes singing sad lyrics doesn’t help but music will always be there for me. Confide in people you feel close to, I spoke to a few blogging friends (Claire, Dannii and Katie) shortly after the breakup and they were so kind and made me see this wasn’t my fault. I don’t know if I could have prevented the breakup but through talking to my ex it sounds like the same thing has happened before. He basically admitted if he was living by himself it probably wouldn’t have happened.

I don’t want to feel bitter and I don’t want to be a cynic but you never know when things could change and while that’s scary you can’t prevent it. When my breakup happened I described it as walking down a street and being hit by a bus completely out of nowhere. I don’t like that it happened and it didn’t need to happen the way it did. Try not to be an asshole in a world that is full of cruelty. Whether you’re in love, whether you’ve been hurt by love or whether you’re looking for it, always be kind and accepting.

There are positive things that have come out of this breakup, I’ve lost weight, I’ve bought a car and am starting to drive and I’m getting new glasses. I’m still kind, sweet Chanelle who loves to laugh and wear bold lipstick and no one can take that away from me!


A huge thank you to everyone for their support over the past few months. If you have any questions about this post or advice, please share in the comments!

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Life Changing Experiences

If you’re not an adrenaline junkie or a thrill seeker it’s easy to get labelled as boring or an introvert. While the majority of the time I would describe myself as the latter two, there have been moments I’ve surprised myself and made ‘big’ decisions. We all have experiences that shape us into who we are, they may not always be good but they all teach us a lesson. If you want to learn about some of the things that have changed me, keep reading!

1. Growing up without my dad

Unconsciously I think living without my dad influences so much of what I do and the decisions I make. I didn’t have experience with boys and relationships with them growing up and that includes my dad. I wonder if that sense of not being important and not feeling wanted stems from this. Whenever I think of my dad I get emotional. When he left I was heartbroken but as time went on I learned to live without him and now I know life was better without him. I’m not a bitter person but I don’t know if I can forgive him for the upset and the emotional damage. My dad doesn’t know my hobbies, my favourite colour, how I did at school or most things about my life. I’m independent and I’m tough and that’s because of him and I’m proud of that. The line in Grease about the only man a girl can depend on is her daddy isn’t always true.

2. Meeting my boyfriend

As a child and at school I was always inexperienced with the male sex. I grew up with my brother but I didn’t have friends that were boys and I had no clue how to talk to them. I hoped one day I would meet someone and I am glad I didn’t put any pressure on myself and it happened naturally. A couple of days before writing this post my boyfriend was talking about fate and I still find it amusing that out of all the people I could have met I met a Brit! I feel like no one gets us except us and we have this beautiful understanding of each other. I don’t feel pressured to be a certain way and whenever I see him I feel free and at ease. Meeting him has given me more confidence, I’m not sure if it’s a sense of belonging and ‘fitting in’ or just experiencing new things and having someone to get to know.

3. Jobs and work

Work can be a tough topic to talk about. I think it’s fair to say we all have an idea what our dream job would be but for some of us we aren’t in that dream job. When I got my first job as a pharmacy assistant I was so proud to have landed a position after job searching for 18 months following my Communications course. I had that job for roughly a year before the pharmacy ownership changed hands and I was let go. At the time I was upset and distraught as I hadn’t done anything wrong and it came unexpectedly out of the blue. My attitude actually became more positive and during the few months that followed leaving the pharmacy I was happy and I found my second job. I made the decision to leave my second job in August 2017 because my head wasn’t in the best place and I had been experiencing anxiety. I am pleased to say I haven’t experienced anxiety again on that level and I am in a better place. I still have down days but not as many. I know what to look for now and I wouldn’t put myself through that again.

4. Singing at a school talent quest

People know I sing and I enjoy it but I don’t actually do it in front of people often. (My mum and cat are privileged as they get private concerts 😛 ) When I was 14 I took the plunge and entered a school talent quest. Some of the school students knew I could sing and they encouraged me to do it. I sang ‘Issues’ by The Saturdays and I surprised myself with how un-nervous I was. Singing for people you don’t know is easier than singing for those you know well because their opinions matter more. By doing that talent quest I proved to myself I’m more than just a girl who sits in her bedroom singing.

5. Going to my first concert

If you know me well you know music is my biggest love. It’s comforting to know it’s always there and it helps and brings pleasure to so many people. I attended my first proper concert when I was 19 (I saw Ellie Goulding) and I still remember how excited I was and how elated I was the whole night. That feeling doesn’t happen for me very often it’s not one I ever want to forget. For those two hours I was in another place full of happiness and no one can take that away from me or ruin it. I want to be a singer one day and it would bring me joy to know I could be that escape for someone too.


What has impacted/changed your life – good or bad?

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30 By 30

Ever since my 23rd birthday in January I have had this post in the back of my mind and finally committed to writing it up and making myself accountable for these goals. Some people write bucket lists and come up with things they want to do before they die but I wanted to be a little different and share 30 things I want to do before turning 30. I am giving myself seven years so let’s see how many of these I can achieve!

1. Own an item of makeup from Chanel

2. Hold my full driver’s license

3. Travel outside of New Zealand

4. Write a book(doesn’t have to be published, right?!)

5. Find my perfect foundation

6. Watch all of the Harry Potter movies

7. Take a hot air balloon ride

8. Add a lock to the Love Lock Bridge in Paris

9. Go skinny dipping

10. Learn how to curl my lashes with an eyelash curler

11. Stay in a hotel and have a romantic weekend away

12. Learn how to do French/Dutch braids

13. Get married (this doesn’t have to happen before 30 but it seems these days a lot of people marry before 30).

14. Have a spa day with a massage and manicure

15. Send a postcard

16. Solve a Rubik’s Cube

17. Go to the races and bet money on a horse

18. Watch every episode of Poirot (the TV series running from 1989 to 2013 starring David Suchet)

19. Play pool (billiards)

20. Get invited to a hen party (I don’t have many friends so this could be a challenge and I wouldn’t know what to expect but they seem like fun).

21. Meet someone famous

22. Ride on a double decker bus in London

23. Go for a bra fitting and get properly measured

24. Expand my cooking knowledge

25. Explore my own city

26. Attempt to make homemade pizza dough(I always get bases from the supermarket and add my own toppings so I’d like to try making my own dough at least once).

27. Finish a book series 

28. See snow – (I have seen snow in New Zealand but we don’t get much and I’d like to experience proper snowfall).

29. Visit a castle

30. Go on a picnic – (I probably went on one when I was little but it would be nice to go on one as an adult and make the most of the weather and the day out).


Do you have a bucket list or something similar? Let me know one thing you’d like to achieve within the next year in the comments below!

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Remembering Tango

Hello dear readers,

It is with great regret that I bring you this post. If you follow me on social media you are probably aware that last Friday (January 5th) my best friend passed away. Tango is my Birman cat who lived with my mum and I for almost eight years

What happened to Tango was sudden and unexpected and no one could have predicted it. Tango had a blood clot which passed to both her hind legs and paralysed them so she couldn’t walk. It’s like a stroke and happens quickly. We took her to the vet immediately where we were told the odds aren’t good. We had the choice between seeing if she would get better after a couple of days of painkillers and anti-inflammatories or not to let her suffer. We were torn initially but we know she wouldn’t have wanted to suffer so we made the heartbreaking decision to put her to sleep.

I’m still in shock and it will take me a while to get over. I think what makes it harder is that another of our pets, Chase, had the exact same thing happen and we made the same call to put him to sleep. To happen to more than one pet is extremely sad. Tango was only eight years old whereas Chase was 11. One was an inside cat, the other more of an outside cat. One was a fussy eater, the other would eat nearly anything. They were two cats with different lifestyles who both had a heart defect.

To celebrate some of the many good times I had with Tango I wanted to share a selection of my favourite pictures and let you see how beautiful she is. I will be sharing eight pictures to represent Tango’s age. (Note: Not all pictures are from the collage above).

#1. This picture is of Tango curled up on the dining table. It is from 2012.

#2. Tango and Chase together on my bed. Tango absolutely adored Chase.

#3. Tango curled up on top of my headboard. She loves beds and sleeping – like most cats.

#4. Tango investigating  decorations on my 21st birthday in 2016.

#5. Tango sitting in my place on the couch. A more recent photo from May 2017.

#6. Tango often used to visit me in bed for cuddles.

#7. Friday, January 5th 2018 at the vet when I heard the devastating news. Even frightened she still looks adorable.

#8. Big sleep. The final picture taken of Tango.


Make sure you treasure your animals every day ❤

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Seventeen of ’17

Previously I have written Sixteen of ’16 and Fifteen of ’15 so it only seemed right to continue this theme! There have been some extremely special moments throughout 2017 and also moments that have been difficult but this post focuses on the positives and sees me discuss what defined my year.


#1. Steps reform + release new album

Steps are my favourite band and on January 1st 2017 they announced they were back. The band originally split up in 2001 and got back together briefly in 2012 for a #1 Greatest Hits album, a Christmas album and two tours. In March 2017 the band announced new music and their long awaited fourth studio album Tears On the Dancefloor was released the following month. The album was re-released in October. I have had the album on repeat since April and it is my favourite album of 2017!

#2. My 22nd birthday!

22 isn’t a milestone birthday but it was special for me as I got to celebrate my first birthday with my boyfriend. I had a massage in the morning as a gift from my mum and in the afternoon my boyfriend picked me up and we went for a walk. We ate pizza for dinner down at the lakefront before he took me on a drive. It was a lovely, relaxing day.

Related post: My 22nd Birthday!

#3. Winning Stash Matters giveaway

I was over the moon when I saw I had won this giveaway! There were so many brands and products I had never tried before and I still use lots of the products on a daily/weekly basis. (I will admit I haven’t tried the eyelash curlers yet though, sorry Stashy!)

Related post: Stashy’s Giveaway Prize + First Impressions

#4. First Valentines Day

This was another super special day as it was the first Valentines Day with my boyfriend and the first time I’ve ever had a valentine. We gave each other soft toys as presents – great minds think alike – and the card he gave me was so sweet. We went for another walk, this time around a lake and I can still remember how beautiful the sky was afterwards.

#5. Winning a polaroid signed by Vanessa White

Vanessa White is one fifth of British girlband The Saturdays (my favourite band after Steps) and on Valentines Day she held a Twitter competition where she was giving away signed polaroid pictures. I was lucky enough to win one of 40 I think it was. A signed Post It also arrived with the picture.

#6. Fit Bit Zip in Magenta

I found my Fit Bit on sale for $29 in March and I have been wearing it most days since it arrived. It is interesting to see how many steps I walk each day and how that equates into distance and calories. My Fit Bit is basic and doesn’t have a sleep tracker or heart rate monitor but I like that I can clip it on and don’t have to wear it like a watch. I’ve heard so many stories about the bands snapping and having to be replaced. The battery life is good too, I’ve replaced the battery once in nine months.

#7. Going to the cinema

Up until this year I hadn’t been to the cinema since about 2007. It got expensive and most movies end up on TV anyway. I have been twice this year and I really enjoyed the experience both times; I saw Logan and IT. Maybe I should go more often?

#8. Saying ‘I love you’ for the first time

I was the one to say ‘I love you’ first and I felt so brave when I did it. Technically it was written not said aloud but I meant it. I didn’t know if my feelings were those of love as I had never felt that way before but I have said those three words countless times since!

#9. 3 years of blogging

In June I celebrated my third blogging anniversary. Three is my favourite number so it felt even more legendary.

Related post: My Three Year Blogversary!

#10. Trip to the MAC counter

I don’t have a MAC counter in my city but ended up at one unexpectedly in July. I got two items, a lipstick in the shade Show Orchid and a travel sized Studio Moisture Cream. I actually didn’t end up paying a cent as I had gift cards and my boyfriend paid for the rest.

#11. Buying a DSLR

Also in July I took the plunge and purchased a DSLR camera. I settled on the Canon 700D as it has a flip out screen so if I ever wanted to try videos or use the screen for difficult, hard to reach angles I can. I love practicing with the settings and using my camera when I can. I’d love to snap some festive, Christmas photos and share them after December 25th.

#12. Essie Glow Your Own Way

This nail polish is one of the most photogenic products I have worked with. I bought it on a whim back in August and it is subtle and glamorous at the same time. It’s easy to apply (a pain to remove) but that doesn’t detract from how nice it looks on. Essie polishes are some of my favourites!

Related post: Essie Nail Polish in Glow Your Own Way

#13. Job at the library

In August I changed jobs. I’ve loved reading and going to the library since I was a child so it’s nice that I am able to work in a place that makes me happy. I am part of the customer services team and believe or not the majority of my days are not spent putting books away. Since I started this job I have been in a much more positive place.

#14. One year anniversary with my boyfriend

Quite a few of these highlights are about me and my boyfriend but they are truly some of my most memorable and happy moments of 2017. At the beginning of September it was one year since we first met in person. We didn’t spend the day together but I did receive a cute text message.

#15. Boyfriend’s 25th birthday

I think I was more excited about my boyfriend’s birthday than my own! I jokingly thought about doing 25 presents as he turned 25 and then as I began coming up with gifts I realised it wasn’t actually a stupid idea. He didn’t know what I had planned and I had a lot of fun buying all the gifts, wrapping them and revealing the surprise.

Related post: Boyfriend’s Birthday Surprise!

#16. NYX Cosmic Metals – Fuchsia Fusion

Hands down this is the prettiest lip colour I own! I have a few fuchsias but this takes the crown. Pink – check, sparkles – check. This is so sparkly and pretty without looking unnatural. The formula is not sticky and comfortable to wear. The pigment is outstanding!

I love this photo and it shows the colour/sparkle.

#17. Music

2017 has been a whole lot better for me music wise than 2016. There were some musical comebacks from 90s artists: Steps, Martine McCutcheon and Shania Twain as well as great original material from Una Healy, Dua Lipa and Vanessa White. The majority of artists I listen to are female but a special mention goes to Shane Filan who released his third album in 2017. His voice is beautiful and so easy to listen to.


What have been your favourite moments of 2017?

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Boyfriend’s Birthday Surprise!

This past weekend it was my boyfriend’s 25th birthday! I was super excited to celebrate and spend the entire day with him. I had plans for his birthday for a long time (that he didn’t know about) and I finally got to put them in place. A few times I mentioned a secret project on the blog and his birthday surprise was it. As he was turning 25 the first idea that came to mind was to give him 25 presents. I combined sentimental handmade gifts, with humorous ones as well as some of his favourite sweet treats. The gifts are unique and not what you’d automatically think to buy. I had so much fun buying all of these gifts and putting everything together and I wanted to share how things turned out!

Each present was numbered from 1 – 25 and given a sticker. There was no particular order apart from a few presents; #1 was a birthday card and #25 was a list of ’25 Reasons You’re Amazing’.

I blew up 25 silver balloons and tied them into bunches of 5. They were present #2.

Most of the presents are in this collage. The consumable presents hadn’t been purchased yet. They included Skittles, chocolate and fizzy drink.

All wrapped and boxed up!

I wrote a list of reasons why I chose each present which was the final thing I gifted to my boyfriend after he opened the presents.

The presents all unwrapped and my boyfriend opening a gift from his parents.

My outfit and makeup of the day.

Outfit Details:

  • Jacket – Postie
  • Top – Glassons
  • Jeans – Dannii For Target

Makeup Products Used:

  • Simple Radiance Brightening Moisturiser
  • Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in 002 Hazel
  • Max Factor Lasting Performance Foundation in 101 Ivory Beige
  • Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer – 1 Fair
  • Maybelline ‘The Nudes’
  • Max Factor Excess Shimmer – Copper
  • Rimmel Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector – Opal
  • MAC – Show Orchid

We went for an outing to Orakei Korako which is a geothermal area roughly an hour from where we live. There is a short boat ride which takes you to the guided path area where you can walk around the geysers and hot springs. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking and the weather couldn’t have been more beautiful. The temperature was warm without being too hot and it was also the first time I’d been on a boat. I only wish the boat ride had been longer.

After the trip we drove back and I had fish and chips for lunch – they were delicious! My boyfriend had Subway using the gift card I got him as one of his presents. After lunch I had a nap and we chilled for the rest of the evening.

It was such a lovely day and my boyfriend was very grateful for all the effort I had gone to to surprise him. I almost made him cry after reading the card and that was only present #1!


What did you buy your significant other for their last birthday?

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5 Important Relationship Lessons

It’s not a coincidence I’m sharing this post today. One year ago on September 7, 2016 my boyfriend and I met for the first time. To celebrate our one year anniversary I wanted to share what being in a relationship has taught me and advice my younger self would appreciate.

Let me briefly recap my relationship for those of you who aren’t aware. This is my first ever relationship, I hadn’t had experience with boys before. My focus was school and boys weren’t a priority. I knew I liked boys but I didn’t have male friends and wasn’t in situations to talk to and meet boys. Fast forward a few years to August 2016, I was in a good place, I was happy, recently landed a new job and felt brave enough to take the plunge and try this dating thing. Like lots of people my age, I joined Tinder. My experience was positive, I am a good judge of character and didn’t do anything I regret. After a couple of weeks my boyfriend and I met and we are as happy now as we were in the beginning. 

I am quite private when it comes to our relationship, people know it exists but I don’t talk too much about it.

 So, what has the relationship taught me?

1. Be Yourself

This one is a cliche but it’s true! I can truly say I am an individual and I do things my way and don’t follow everyone else. When I was on Tinder I didn’t feel like I had to act a certain way to get attention or say funny things to make conversation. I’m not afraid to be honest and say what I think. When you act naturally you feel comfortable and the other person picks up on that.

2. Don’t Overthink

Prior to my relationship I was worried I wouldn’t know what I was doing and worried about how I was supposed to act and how relationships work. I stopped that very quickly and actually feel like I’m a natural now. Don’t rush into anything, take your time – whether it’s working up to meeting someone, flirting or dating. Don’t commit to something if it doesn’t feel right and never give in to peer pressure. Know your mind and what you want and you won’t go wrong.

3. Respect One Another

I tend to think about things in a different way to other people. I don’t judge and when I ask questions it’s genuinely because I’m interested in what a person is saying. Listening to what people have to say, taking in that information and processing it is one of the greatest ways to show respect for someone. You feel valued and it makes you more open and willing to share if you know you’re going to be heard. Trust goes hand in hand with respect for me, if trust is not there you’re not going to feel respected and want to show respect. Respect feelings, respect choices but most of all respect what makes someone happy – who are we to judge people’s happiness?

4. True Happiness

Being in love feels wonderful and beautiful and makes you feel in ways you didn’t know you could. Happiness has been difficult for me in the past. Good things would happen but something would go wrong and leave me worrying about the bad rather than focusing on what’s good. Ever since I met my boyfriend I see things in a different way and focus more on simplicity and being happy in the present, happiness is a journey not a destination and all that. I’m grateful whenever we spend time together, we don’t have to do anything in particular, I just enjoy being with him. I’m grateful to have met someone who has become my best friend and I admire the sense of calm he possesses. 

5. Communication Is Key

From day one the communication between my boyfriend and I has always been strong. I don’t think a day has gone by where we haven’t communicated in some form. I’d like to think we have similar mindsets and we always make each other a priority. We always send good morning and good night messages, it literally is the ‘first thought in the morning and last thought at night’ thing. We’re cute if I do say so myself! Never have I been let down or felt I couldn’t rely on him. 


What have you learned from relationships – good or bad?

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New Series: What I’ve Been Reading

To coincide with starting a job at the city library I wanted to start a new blog series. This new series will be a list of the books I’ve been reading and the books I’ve finished. I have always loved reading and have visited libraries since I was a kid.

There will be a seasonal round up every three months starting with September 2017 – November 2017 i.e. New Zealand springtime. The next will be December 2017 – February 2018 then March 2018 – May 2018  and June 2018 – August 2018. I am encouraging myself to read more now that I will have time to do so and I am committing to these posts for the next year. I’m aiming to read 50 books in that time which is roughly a book a week – let’s see if I meet the target!

Each post will feature a list of books read, the author’s name, any other important information and a short synopsis. I will also include whether I liked the book or not.

Books will only be included in the list if they are finished within the same seasonal three month period. For example, I start a book in August 2017 but don’t finish it until September 2017, therefore it is allowed to be included in the Spring list.

I will happily take book recommendations! I have got a handful of books to get me started and already have others on my ‘To Read’ list.

I hope you’re looking forward to this series as much as I am!

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Love the Skin You’re In Tag!

I wasn’t specifically nominated for this tag but I haven’t done a tag post in a while and I really liked the prompts! I saw this this tag on Angela’s and Ella’s blogs (which you should check out because they are both lovely) and I was intrigued. Hope you enjoy!

RULES:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog in your post.
  • Display the “love the skin you’re in” image.
  • Be truthful when answering the questions and don’t judge what other people have answered in their posts.
  • If you want to add any questions to this tag related to body positivity feel free to.
  • Try to nominate as many people as you can, if not everyone.

Questions:

1. One feature you love about yourself?

I really like my lips. I love putting my lipstick on and wearing bright colours. My lips have a nice fullness to them and they are the same size as each other, one isn’t bigger or smaller.

2. One feature you wish/wished you could change that you are trying to accept or have accepted?

I am self conscious of my mid-section from my tummy to my thighs. That’s where I’m curviest and those parts of my body I am nervous to show. I have short legs and it wasn’t until the past summer I bought shorts and started to get used to wearing them and not always having my legs covered up.

3. Have you ever thought of getting surgery to change you imperfections?

No. I’m not unhappy enough that I would consider surgery.

4. One of your main role models for body positivity?

Marilyn Monroe. She is regarded as one of the most beautiful women ever. She had curves and always looked well put together.

5. Has a family member or friend ever put you down about your physical appearance? If so what for?

Yes. My mum used to always tell me I had a big bum and big legs. Apparently, I get that from my dad. My mum didn’t say it was a bad thing as such but I did used to be self conscious. Now I just accept that my bum is always going to stick out. I have a swing back which makes it more prominent.

6. Something you love about your fashion sense or style?

I have a natural ability for creating outfits from many different pieces of clothing. I can buy a top and picture several outfits it will go with. My fashion sense is a mixture of fun, trendy and practicality. I have a good idea which clothes should be worn in different situations and how to dress to a particular style.

7. Why is your body a great place to be? 

Because I have been through a lot in life and I always have a determination to better myself and keep going. My relationship with my body and my feelings about it aren’t as negative as they once were and I’m learning to accept myself more everyday.

I Tag:

Any one who wants to do this tag!

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