RENT the Musical Saturday, May 8 2010 

When I saw that the musical RENT was playing at the Civic in Auckland, I thought “Hmm, might be interesting.” I soon forgot this little inclination, to be perfectly honest, until one of the girls I work with piped up and said “I want to go to RENT – anyone else keen?” So we got together a group and bought tickets. Well. Best decision EVER!

RENT is an avant-garde rock opera, based around a group of young, down on their luck creative types living in New York and trying desperately to survive (and pay their rent, of course!). This story could very easily tip towards being quite depressing, as it touches often on poverty, death and HIV. And yet… it is woven together in such a way that it becomes a story of hope, endurance and love, without becoming overly sentimental. You fall in love with the characters, you understand that their mistakes are what make them so wonderful and offbeat. You are sucked into their world, and even though you know there can’t be a fairy tale ending, you sit there desperately hoping for them to be touched with happiness even for just a moment.

And the music… ohhh THE MUSIC! Beautiful, haunting, catchy… Obviously, many actors/singers have played these brilliant parts all over the world during different productions of RENT, but the songs themselves are pure gold. And the New Zealand cast of Rent? Didn’t let the show down at all. They were exceptional.

When I got home, I went straight onto iTunes and downloaded the album (from the film that was made based on the musical) and I have the film itself on order, too. This musical left me buzzing… It just was so riveting, dark, honest and thought provoking. I recommend anyone, anywhere in the world, to go see this show if the opportunity presents itself. It isn’t light and fluffy, but it is utter brilliance.

Can you tell I really enjoyed the show? Haha 🙂

Watch a few scenes here from the musical RENT!

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Another Day, Another Jacket… Saturday, Apr 10 2010 

Okay, so I might be turning into a jacket junkie. I bought another leather jacket today, but… IT’S JUST SO DAMN HOT! A gorgeous black leather jacket with a studded lapel design, cropped short. Kind of rock, kind of punk. Looks fantastic on, too.

And who would have thought I’d find it at Farmers?

Farmers: Switch Biker Bomber Jacket NZD$139.99

Quick Nando’s Update Tuesday, Mar 23 2010 

This is just for New Zealand Nando’s fanatics!

As of this week, all of the Nando’s restaurants will be selling their peri peri salt (the very same stuff they sprinkle on their hot chips!) in glass shakers for home consumption. The price (so sayeth a nice employee) will be approximately NZD$5.00. Not bad for such a delicious addition to my spice rack!

I have been waiting for this for a long time – even emailed Nando’s direct to ask when little old NZ would be able to purchase this addictive powder. America has it (you can buy it at Tesco’s) but as per usual, New Zealand often comes last with these things.

But, lets celebrate the fact we can now buy their world famous peri peri salt and add it to EVERYTHING we eat from now on! 😀 I just hope that, like other countries, we get the peri peri salt in different levels of spiciness! I want extra hot! *Fingers crossed*

Nando's Peri Peri Salt

Number 1 Shoes Saturday, Mar 20 2010 

Sometimes you just can’t afford to spend big bucks on all of your fashion items – especially when it comes to shoes. Having a few key pieces that are designer and gorgeously and un-justifiably expensive is one of life’s great pleasures, but lets face it – it’s also nice to have an abundance of shoes to choose from! Perhaps for a specific outfit, or maybe because you know if you wear your pricey pairs every day they will get scuffed and old looking pretty quickly. So unless you are a millionaire who can afford to live in Jimmy Choo’s every day, you need a cheaper, everyday option.

Number One Shoe Warehouse is a retail chain that sells shoes, shoes and more shoes. They have a massive stock of everything for men, women and children which is absolutely fantastic when they have one of their “Buy two and get the third pair free!” sales – families come in droves.

The shoes themselves range from NZD$5.00 to more designer items that can go up to NZD$150, but most fall around the NZD$30 range – you really can’t beat their prices. And the quality is pretty damn good too! I have a lot of shoes from them that were bought over the years and have held together beautifully. Sure, I have had a few that have only lasted a season but for that price, who cares?

They are located all over New Zealand, their stores set up in aisles of shoe types. Men’s shoes are on one side, kids on another, and (most important) a nice BIG section for the ladies. Each aisle has a theme – sport shoes, sandals, fashion heels, boots and end of lines. This makes it easy to browse for what you want, and the prices are clearly marked. They almost always have all of the sizes for each shoe in store, and if not they are more than happy to track a pair down for you.

Recently I noticed they had started selling their shoes on TradeMe, and for a voracious online shopper like myself, this has been an exciting find. (Click here to see their listings on TradeMe) This process has been a breeze, they have been helpful and efficient and saved me a lot of hassle. They also have their own website now, where you can browse through a nice selection of their shoes, buy online or see their recent catalogues. Obviously, they can’t put every single pair of shoes on their website (they have a massive range, as I said!) which means a trip into one of their stores is a must, but I have been pretty damn happy with the selection on their site thus far.

So, winter will soon be upon us and their new range of boots has just come out – have a look! I just bought myself a few pairs! 😀

Duet Boot - Chocolate NZD$49.99

BAGAMOYO Boot - Black NZD$49.99

Udon Boot - White NZD$44.99

Tolstoy - Dark Purple NZD$49.99

Niron Fast - Black NZD$30.00

Ayaka Fast - Black NZD$29.99

Rican Skate - White Pink $39.99

Mens: BG Outlaw Cas - White NZD$39.99

Mens: Pence - White Grey NZD$39.99

Mens: Cerbe Dress - Black NZD$40.00

Girls: Lobelia - Black Fuschia NZD$24.99

Boys: Ecoli Skate - White Black NZD$29.99

Now, thats just a small selection of the shoes that Number One has. They have, literally, thousands of styles. They have punk shoes, heels in various colours, boring old work shoes, soccer boots and even an assortment of slippers and cheapie Ugg-style boots. They aren’t Mi Piaci or Andrea Biani but they certainly do the job – and at a wicked price!

I Surfed, I Stumbled Saturday, Feb 27 2010 

Well, this is just a quick post to show you some of the things I have stumbled across online recently. The weird and the wonderful – truly!

Well, this made me cringe, but I thought the girl kind of deserved it. A guy used a Radio Station (Point) to end his relationship with his girlfriend after finding out she had been cheating on him. The twist was, the girlfriend had found the engagement ring he had bought her and thought he was going to propose – ouch! It’s not nice, and I’d never recommend anyone do this, but hey… kind of entertaining… Listen here.

Brilliant Old Spice Commercial… totally had me in fits of laughter!

Interesting article on nail salons and what some of them are doing unbeknownst to their customers. Apparently they have been refilling the designer brand polish with $2 Dollar Shop brands to cut costs… Totally evil, as the designer brands (such as O.P.I.) have been getting complaints. Plus, the customers are paying for quality and getting CRAP! Read the full article here.

Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us” clip, danced to by Prison inmates… Amazing. Watch it here.

Here is a blog for all of you Tila Tequila haters out there (or people who just want to see a social car wreck). This blog breaks down all of the crap Tila has spouted, and aligned it with the truth, other news reports and so on. Damn, this girl liiieeesss. Check out this blog here.

My latest fashion find, thanks to a work colleague, is Shoes Of Prey. This is a website where you can design and buy your own pair of heels – Hot! It’s not cheap (approximately USD$350) but it’s brilliant fun to design your perfect shoes! And if you love them enough, you can buy them!

Here’s the new Robert Pattinson (of Twilight fame) video; an artsy, bizarre clip where he is surrounded by half naked women whilst the camera seems to be having an epileptic fit. Oh well, watch it here – he is still hot! 😉

For cuteness factor alone, here is Dory Moments, an edited clip of all the best Dory scenes from the Pixar movie Finding Nemo. “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming swimming…”

I will end with something truly adorable! A news story on an elephant and her best friend, a dog. Watch it here. Will make you feel all warm inside (yeah yeah, I’m a sap!)

That’s enough of my time wasters, but I hope you found something to enjoy! 🙂

Those In Glass Houses...

Guys - Take Note!

The Importance Of Literacy

iPhone Funny

Cinched Tuesday, Feb 23 2010 

When I’m trying to throw together an outfit, and can’t really deicide on anything, I find the easiest thing to do is to wear something simple and add a really funky belt. Sounds silly, but a plain black cotton dress can look absolutely phenomenal with the right belt and pair of heels. Leather (heck, pleather even), twine, metal, plastic – there are so many belts out there in so many designs and made out of more kinds of materials than you could possibly imagine. Have fun, go out and buy a few belts and regress back into being a kid! Find your inner child and play dress up!

Now, you don’t NEED to spend big on an outfit for it to look original these days, and a belt can be both the main focal point and also a great way to show off your curves if you use it to cinch in your waist. A belt can both dress up a plain ensemble, and dress down something that looks too busy on its own. (It’s like magic!)

A belt can also change your look completely. Punk, goth, glitzy – you name it. Check out some great online site’s that sell a fantastic assortment of rockin’ belts! And okay, I’m only talking about belts for women here, but a nice belt on a man with the right pair of jeans can be seexxxyyy, so men, keep that in mind. 😉

There’s the American site 599Fashion where everything is USD$5.99 – the belts are super cute!

Shop online at New Zealand’s The Max Shop; the belts here aren’t cheap, but they certainly are classy.

For Punk/Rock type belts, visit Boots’N’All and have a browse – an NZ site.

When all else fails, NZ girls like me head to Glassons… even for belts!

A fantastic fashion site, Red Rat offers quite a range of must-have belts! They don’t deliver outside of New Zealand though.

Find some great bargains at Retail On Sale – a New Zealand site with some pretty funky items.

For those of you in either New Zealand or Australia, check out Supre online. For a younger audience, sure, but some great finds…

For well priced, true Punk and Goth styled belts, visit New Zealand’s Gnarley – they sell through TradeMe, which reminds me – another great place to buy belts! (And the kitchen sink!)

And of course, eBay is a winner when it comes to buying absolutely EVERYTHING these days.

I could go on forever, but I’ll stop here. I’ve given you somewhere to start – go ladies, go!

One Of The Olsen Twins, Jessica Alba and Britney In Their Belts

Beyonce And Her Silver Belt

Sarah Jessica Parker Using A Belt To Make Her Outfit Perfect!

A Gorgeous Range Of Belt Styles

A Designer Belt Can Really Make An Outfit

Metal Belts Are More Style Than Function, But Super Sexy!

A Full-Waist Cinching Belt

Karen Walker Wednesday, Feb 3 2010 

Now, almost everybody I know these days has an item (or more!) of Karen Walker jewellery. The pieces are gorgeous, unique and well-crafted.

Karen Walker, the designer, is an adept and artistic woman born and bred in New Zealand. After leaving Epsom Girls Grammar High School (Auckland, NZ) in 1988, she went on to further education in fashion until 1990. Well, that particular study paid off because by 1995 she owned two stores and in 1998 began selling to Barneys in New York! Phew! Talented woman! Her clothes have been worn by BjörkSienna MillerLiv TylerClaire Danes, Tyra banks, Kate WinsletJennifer Lopez and many more celebrities over the years, which in itself attests to her skill. From there she extended her talents from clothing, to sunglasses, cosmetics, jewellery and even a range of designer paints for Resene.

Now, I appreciate everything that Karen Walker has done for the fashion world, but what I truly adore and hunger for, is her eclectic jewellery range!  You have to see it to believe it – robots, planes, animals, weapons and symbols. The first time you look at some of these pieces you think “What the-?” because they are so unusual, but mmaaannn they look good on! Available in gold, white gold and silver (some pieces even coming in a two-tone option) and varied sizes, they can go with any outfit to any event. This isn’t a cheap range, but it won’t break the bank either, with prices starting at NZD$100.00 and going up to NZD$1000 (approximately). Most fall between the NZD$200-NZD$300 category, which is understandable for designer pieces such as these.

Have a look on the Karen Walker Jewellery website to view more products and stockists worldwide as well as online. There are subtle pieces, there are outrageous pieces – AND I WANT THEM ALL!

Have a look as some of the range below… See what YOU think…

Diamond Skull Enhancer

Rope Chequerboard Pendant

Nautical Disk Pendant

Goat's Head Pendant

Owl Cocktail Ring

Jet Fighter Earrings

Arrow Brooch

Girl With Axe Pendant

Wisdom Hand Pendant

“Sensitive Area” Bleach… Hmm… Monday, Feb 1 2010 

So I have a nice pink scar on one of my thighs from a car accident I was in last year, and as a woman, I could deal with the broken bones and all of the frustrating physio, but being left with scars has just annoyed the hell out of me. So, naturally, I scoured the internet and asked professionals what kind of scar treatment products worked the best.

So I used certain medical grade products for the scar, and it healed nice and flat, but I was left with a very pink line. So, once again, I went on the hunt.

Now, don’t laugh, but I basically ended up with Anal and Vaginal bleaching gel from South Beach. I bet that made you stop and question my sanity! But hear me out…

I did a lot of research and found that “South Beach Lightening Gel For Sensitive Areas” is purely a safe way to lighten any dark pigmentation of the skin. It can be used for anything from, err, what I just mentioned (haha) to scars, dark underarms and elbows, age spots and general pigment problems. It’s so gentle you can use it straight after waxing, and… it works!

My scar is looking great, going in a few short weeks from a purple-pink to a light pink. I put it on twice a day; when I get up in the morning and after my shower at night. It’s a brilliant, no fuss gel that doesn’t sting, smell or cause any skin reaction for those who are extremely sensitive (me!). The only warning on the box is to, obviously, not ingest it and to not risk using it if you are pregnant. Fair enough.

So! If you have any scars that you want to lighten (or have any other “Sensitive areas” that could do with some easy bleaching) I’d recommend this product. Have a look at their website (it is American) as they have a whole range of different products made by them. The products aren’t cheap, I bought my one 60 ml tube from a beauty salon here in New Zealand for NZD$95. Go on, don’t let the anal/vaginal thing scare you off 😉

South Beach Lightening Gel For Sensitive Areas

Avatar Movie (2009) Thursday, Dec 24 2009 

So I went and saw this last night with one of my best friends at her very excited insistence. She had already seen it and was over the moon at being able to go again. So I went in with high hopes. I walked out going “Oh my god, that was one of the best movies EVER!”

The movie is set in the future, and though there is talk of Earth, everything is set either on spaceships or on the planet Pandora. Jake Sully, a paraplegic former marine, has taken part in a science experiment in the place of his dead twin brother. He is part of a team of humans that have created “Avatars”, bodies like the native Na’vi people of Pandora (big, blue, amazonian). He can transfer into this new body and out of his broken human one. In the beginning he is protection for the rest of the team, going down with them to Pandora in his new body (and enjoying being able to walk!) and scoffing as they take plant samples and talk of learning the ways of the natives. When he is suddenly separated from his group due to the horrifically scary animals of this planet, he is saved by one of the natives, a female called Neytiri. When the essence of the planet gives Neytiri a sign that he is important, she takes him back to her clan, where he is forced to pass through trials to prove he can be one of them.

Whenever he goes to sleep as a Na’vi he wakes back up in his human body (and vice versa), and during these times you find out more and more about the true reason humans are on Pandora. Underneath the Na’vi tribes home is a precious metal that Earth people want and believe they have every right to take. Jake’s team of scientists know this is inevitable, and are trying to get the Na’vi to move so that they don’t get hurt. The military side of it has stated that if they don’t move in three months they will be executed. At first Jake isn’t that fazed by this, as he thinks he can make them move and with the promise of his legs being fixed, he selfishly believes he is doing the right thing. 

As Jake learns more about the cultural and spiritual aspects of the Na’vi’s world, as well as falling in love with Neytiri, he finds himself. He reevaluates what is important, what is right and good. He learns a strength he never had before, and as a character becomes more animated in his Avatar body than as a human being. I won’t give everything away, but this movie HAS IT ALL! Romance, action, humour, fantastic CGI (and I mean, bloody amazing! Go Weta Productions!), heart and even an environmental message that really makes you think. I kind of thought this was a super modern day Pocahontas, where two worlds meet and the individual who thinks they are more civilised learns that really, they are not. This movie has a beautiful feeling to it, backed up by great acting and amazing, fantastic, wonderful CGI and effects like none I have ever witnessed before.

All in all, I’d give this movie a 10 out of 10. I’m most certainly going to be buying it on DVD when it’s released. I can’t stop raving about it – and neither can anyone I know thats seen it! Please, take my advice. Go see it. Don’t think, boy flick yuck. Science fiction, no thanks. Animated? Bleh. No. Go into it with new eyes. It’s just great – and now I think I prefer blue boys! Hehe.

Avatar The Movie (2009)

Neytiri - Daughter of the clan leaders

Nando’s! Friday, Dec 18 2009 

If you are anything like me, you’re getting sick of cheap fast-food burgers and greasy chips. So when I need a quick, scrumptious meal because I’m too lazy to get off my ass and make myself something, I go to Nando’s!

Nando’s restaurants are situated all around the world – 26 countries so far including good ol’ New Zealand – and the chain originated out of South Africa. The menu is made up of Mozambiquan/Portugese-style dishes, and the main focus is their specially marinated chicken. The marinades (In New Zealand anyway) are either BBQ, lemon and herb, medium peri peri, hot peri peri or extra hot peri peri (my personal fave!). The sides are anything from chips (with a peri peri salt which is deliciously addictive!) to spicy rice or marinated corn on the cob. 

The food is absolutely wonderful, great for people who love spicy food or want Halal dishes. (Halal is meat specifically killed and prepared for Muslims due to their religious beliefs) It’s not particularly cheap, but it’s not fatty, its delicious and the servings are HUGE! They also sell the sauces and marinades so that you can make your own cooking taste wonderful at home. 

Mmmm, my mouth is watering as I write this… Okay, must – keep – writing… Get food later…

The food doesn’t look like much, but the taste – oh the taste! If you go, and I’m sure you will at some point, I advise you order the Peri Peri Chips. They aren’t spicy, just scrum-diddly-umptious! 

Nando's Logo

 

Nando's Peri Peri Chips