super generic girl

the awesomely average life of a girl like all others


13 ways I’ll try not to screw up 2013

new year's

It’s that time of the year again. Yes, that exciting time when you make a bunch of plans and compose a list of things you will achieve in the new year. All of a sudden, life seems all organised and put together and you feel like you have it all under control and exciting times lie ahead. Then comes the new year celebration and the resolutions get forgotten down that third bottle of cheap sparkling wine.

I’m exaggerating, as usual. I actually did pretty well in 2012 (*pat on the back*), all things considered. So there is hope for me. And if there is hope for me, you know what that means, right? There’s hope for anyone. Even you, Lohan.

Grab the cheap sparkling wine, call it champagne like I do – it’s time to write those resolutions down.

I’ve decided to keep it simple this year. It was the formula I used last year and it seemed to have worked. I’m not going for huge unattainable goals here. If I bag some of those, bonus. But that’s not what I’m going after. Resolutions are about motivation and there’s nothing good about setting myself up for failure with big scary goals. So here’s 13 things I want to focus on this year, in no particular order:

One Hike the Tongariro Crossing again. It is still my absolute favourite day hike in the country, in spite of the horrible second experience I had on that mountain. Time for a third go at it.

Two Run a marathon. This one is sort of cheating because it’s already lined up. But hey, it doesn’t count until I’ve crossed that damn finish line and, right now, that’s looking pretty unachievable.

Three Volunteer at a running event. It’s time to give back, even if giving back just means giving people plastic cups full of water as they run past.

Four Run an ultra-marathon. Let’s talk about this one later. It requires more than one bottle of cheap wine.

Five Enter all as many XTERRA trail running events as I can. And basically every other trail running event within an acceptable radius from home. Essentially, I want to run events at a faster rate than Taylor Swift changes boyfriends but I do realise that might be a bit hard to achieve.

Six Dust off the camping gear. I haven’t camped since the beginning of 2012. Enough of this roof over my head kind of stuff.

Seven Discover 5 new authors/ read 5 excellent books. It’ll take me a few average reads to get this number but I really want to get to the end of the year with some new favourite books. 2012 was not a bad one in that sense but there’s a lot more to discover out there. Got a favourite? Let me know!

Eight Do a 30-day photo project. It’s all about discipline, people. And I need lots of that.

Nine Go to the gym at least once a week. This year, I shamefully paid for at least 5 months worth of gym membership without showing my face there. Then I went back, tried weight training and kind of liked it. So more of that in 2013.

Ten Make at least 10 more Kiva loans.

Eleven Add more recipes to my recipe journal. I’ve been real lazy writing them down. My future offspring – if cats can be called offspring and ever develop the ability to read – needs to know how to make the perfect packaged meal or precisely how much cheese to add to <insert any food item in the universe>.

Twelve Buy my groceries online. I don’t know why I’ve been putting this off for so long. I like picking my own stuff from the shelves. But I also like staying home and not have idiotic children bump their trollies onto my legs. So I think that wins.

Thirteen Declutter (but for real, no mercy). About 5 years ago, I reduced my entire life to 2 suitcases and moved to New Zealand. Those 2 suitcases magically expanded into, well, a buttload of stuff. No human being needs the amount of crap I’ve accumulated over time. Time to scale down. You get to read all about it here, just to keep me motivated. I know, riveting stuff. Try to contain your enthusiasm, kids.

So there. I’m sure lots more will happen but these are just a few things that’ll keep me motivated once the January 1 hangover is gone and all the After Eight mints have been consumed.

2013 is going to kick ass.

What are your plans for 2013? Tell me all so I can either nag you about them throughout the year or feel less sorry for myself when I see you’re doing just as badly as yours as I’m doing at mine.




a stressful end to the year, a nasty throat infection, a whole lot of coughing, not nearly enough sleeping, another weird summer christmas that didn’t really feel like christmas. but on the bright side, the beach, sunshine (well, occasionally) and a holiday about to begin. you don’t even mind the crappy phone photos, do you? see you next year, when hopefully I’ll be infection-free and a lot more relaxed. Here’s to another year of fun and keeping to new year resolutions!


running randoms

  • My friend and running buddy Stacey wrote a really good article about why we run for the magazine she edits. She speaks the truth, that one, especially when she says stuff like “we have stopped running so we can eat bad, and started eating right so we can run well”. Except I haven’t reaaaaally started eating as healthily as I should be doing… yet.
  • When I was in Singapore last week, I discovered yet another reason why running is awesome: if you’re in a new place for a really short period of time, it’s the perfect way to get some sightseeing done (especially if you combine running with jetlag and lace up your shoes when half the city is still asleep!).
  • There needs to be some sort of global campaign to make people realise running on a treadmill and running outside are not the same thing.
  • It makes me very happy that both my homes, New Zealand and Portugal, use the metric system. Saying 6 miles instead of 10km doesn’t sound nearly as impressive.
  •, I did not know you existed. Finding you today made me happy.
  • Only 23 days until the next half marathon.


a random photo and five random facts

Kidney ferns on Rangitoto Island, Auckland's youngest volcano

  • Why did it take me so long to start reading One Day?
  • The cab driver that took me from Wellington CBD to the airport on Wednesday was an old Croatian man who has seen the world. Among many other things, he told me about how you used to need a visa to get into Moscow from other places in Russia and how it would take me seven years to see all the artwork displayed at the Hermitage Museum if I stared at each piece for one minute (I googled it and it appears he wasn’t even making it up). I didn’t want the cab ride to end.
  • Sports writing can be beautiful too. See?
  • The captions for these images are among the best things I’ve read today.
  • Judging by the amount of people arriving at this humble blog of mine by searching for orange queijadas recipes (both in English and in Portuguese), I’d say it’s a pretty popular little cake. I had no idea. And now I’m craving queijadas.

(last week’s random photo and random facts are here)

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a random photo and five random facts

here's a photo that has nothing to do with the rest of the post.


Since I took up the challenge of blogging every day in October (as training for writing every day for NaNoWriMo next month), this is the first day when there was actually a chance it wasn’t going to happen. Mainly because of how busy/tired I am. I’m lacking time but I’m mostly lacking inspiration – two things I’m going to have to deal with a lot during NaNoWriMo.

Anyway, for lack of something else to talk about but to avoid ruining the challenge on my first week into it, here’s a post about nothing in particular and a few things in general.

  • Today, at work, I had to write about Steve Jobs’ death. I didn’t think I would care much about this sort of news but, a bunch of photo slideshows, videos and written biographies later, it’s a real shame for the world that he’s left because, at only 56, I’m sure he could still create a lot more innovative things.
  • Yesterday, I went for a 6km run by myself. It sucked. And not (just) because I was by myself but also because I was wearing old Nike shoes (since my proper running shoes were still drying) and the stupid old things gave me a giant blister 3km in. Running the rest of the way back home was really not my idea of a good time.
  • My running buddy and I met up to do something other than run, something that has been quite rare lately. This time, I was her +1 at the opening night of the “show me shorts” film festival. It was at Capitol Cinema on Dominion Road, in Auckland, and it was my first time there. Such a pretty place!
  • Also, in today’s chapter of “where have you been all my life?”: dried cranberries. How did it take me 27 years to try them? What other amazing stuff have I been missing out on?
  • Oh, I found out that The Inbetweeners Movie is going to be released in NZ at the end of the month and that made me happy.
See you tomorrow!

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happy weekend!

It’s amazing how, not thaaaaaat many years ago (shut up!), I was battling with my parents over what time I was allowed to come home from being out with friends in the evening. Back then, conquering the right to an extra 20 or 30 minutes felt like a victory in a major battle. I subconsciously believed I would forever cherish the fruits of those battles.

Ten years later, my ideal friday night – especially now in winter – includes good food, a cat curled up next to me and a pile of magazines or a book. And that’s not even in preparation for a big weekend of hard partying, nope! My plans for the weekend include – you guessed it! – cakes and books and coffee and tea and biscuits and magazines and crap tv and early nights*. If I knew I was about to turn into such a nana so early on in life, I wouldn’t have made such a big deal over those 20 or 30 minutes ten years ago.

Yay! Weekend!


*and a fair bit of running in preparation for the half-marathon so, please, weather gods, be kind!


5 things that have annoyed me lately and 6 things that make it all better

I’ll quit my bitchin’ in just a minute but, for the next few lines, let me use this blog to let out what has been annoying me, okay? Okay, cool.

  • Moody’s pretending that they have any kind of credibility (see here for context, for example)
  • Online stores that don’t ship internationally, totally missing the point of the www
  • Online stores that charge you a kidney to ship something internationally while others will send you cheaper, heavier items for free, from further away (I love you Asos, marry me!)
  • People who get in trouble for doing illegal stuff, admit to knowing they were doing it illegally on purpose and still act all cocky about it and threaten to sue because they were put in jail instead of  a hotel. True story.
  • My hand mixer committed suicide this weekend halfway through mixing flour into the dough for a chocolate cake. I’m currently “hand mixer-less” which is a really bad state to be in.
On the other hand, there are some pretty cool things in life and, contrary to what it may look like early on a Monday morning, I’m not a giant cloud of no.
  • I have a stack of cheap as chips vintage film cameras in working order at home and can’t wait to load them up with some film and start snapping away.
  • I’ve also got a pile of cool old magazines from work (yay for their spring cleaning in winter), full of pretty pictures to look at.
  • Warm milk and a couple of squares of Whittaker’s creamy milk chocolate thrown in it. Heaven.
  • My kitty who sleeps lying on her side like humans (and snoring!) and is the cutest thing ever.
  • Being able to go to the gym at 11pm
  • Good music to help me get through deadline.

Right, final Russian lesson tonight (for the current course) so better finish my homework before heading there. до свидания!


auckland from above

Apparently, I’m the kind of person that goes on a helicopter ride and forgets her camera. That’s what happened this morning when I started the day with a helicopter ride over Auckland and only realised I didn’t have my camera on me when I sat on the helicopter. You’d think I would have gone prepared, seeing I was actually quite excited about it.

I had to snap away with my crappy cell phone and thought it was okay because I could always edit the photos out later. Turns out I don’t completely dislike this washed-out look my cell phone gives Auckland so have decided to post them without any editing. For the record, though, it was much more colourful and prettier. You’d get better pictures if I wasn’t such a freakin’ retard. Ah well.

Rangitoto volcano


Harbour Bridge

Sky Tower