Photos and a wee video from our Fiji trip!

 Hobie cat on Tokoriki Island, Fiji. Funny story – we promised Amelie we’d take her out on a boat, then the wind picked up for our last couple of days and we couldn’t. We bought a pool float and called it her boat…and quickly made sure we got a ferry trip in when we were back home.

Hobie cat on Tokoriki Island, Fiji. Funny story – we promised Amelie we’d take her out on a boat, then the wind picked up for our last couple of days and we couldn’t. We bought a pool float and called it her boat…and quickly made sure we got a ferry trip in when we were back home.

We escaped to Fiji for a quick sunshine break this winter. Fiji is so easy from New Zealand – it’s only about three hours to fly there, and it’s on the same time zone (which is so brilliant when you’re bringing a toddler with you!)

We went back to our favourite haunt of Tokoriki Island, in the Mamanuca Island chain. This place is just blissful. The weather has been consistently good for us each time we’ve been, the staff are all amazingly lovely and the hotel (a Sheraton) is beautiful yet still super-relaxed. There’s a big (and very cold!) pool, a ‘classic Fiji’ beach with white sand and palm trees, and a whole heap of watersports and other activities . Oh, and, importantly, a playground, which we made very good use of.

Fiji is not quite as relaxing with a toddler as might be hoped, but it was still such a beautiful, fun, lovely holiday to take. I don’t love winter, so any chance to get some winter sun makes my soul sing. Here are a few of my favourite photos of our week…and even a short video! First video on the blog, amazingly. Let me know what you think!

Helicoptering into beautiful Tokoriki Island. http://condimentsonacitylife.com
 Amelie on the playground. Every day she woke up by yelling excitedly, “Pool! Playground! Up up up!”

Amelie on the playground. Every day she woke up by yelling excitedly, “Pool! Playground! Up up up!”

 H1 and Amelie playing on the beach.

H1 and Amelie playing on the beach.

 Exploring. There were gorgeous little fish right in the shallows here.

Exploring. There were gorgeous little fish right in the shallows here.

 Chasing waves.

Chasing waves.

 Pool time! This kid loves the water so much.

Pool time! This kid loves the water so much.

 Braving the cold with Amelie and her boat.

Braving the cold with Amelie and her boat.

Tokoriki Island pool.jpg
 Fun in the sand.

Fun in the sand.

 General Fiji excitement!

General Fiji excitement!

The importance of reframing

So I just watched this Ted Talk and one of the speaker's four pillars is storytelling; e.g. how the story you tell yourself is the one you'll believe, and the one that will affect you. And that got me thinking, of all things, of our Fiji holiday...

Tokoriki Island.jpg

We went to Tokoriki Island at the end of June. Tokoriki is amazing! It was our second time there, and Amelie's first. We were so looking forward to seeing the friends we made there last time and introducing them to Amelie, to enjoying island fries and fruity cocktails by the pool, to getting out on the water, to laying around reading in the sun...

Have you seen where we went wrong yet?

As literally everyone in the world except us knows, apparently, holidays with a toddler are quite a different beast. As in, they're not really holidays in any true sense of the word.

Our first couple of days on Tokoriki were actually kind of rough (I know I sound like a jerk saying that about our holiday on a beautiful tropical island, but bear with me). Amelie's schedule was disrupted and she was very unwilling to partake in the activities we wanted to do, preferring instead to run as fast as she could towards certain danger and yell at us when we saved her. H1 and I both wanted to enjoy our holiday so got cranky – with Amelie, and with each other.

On night two we reframed it. Amelie was in bed, and we were sitting outside on the porch of our villa having a glass of wine and chatting. We were exhausted, but we decided that as our toddler was, in fact, a toddler, with all attendant toddler proclivities, we just had to go with it. We agreed that once a day one of us would be 'on' and the other one could relax, and then we would swap. The rest of the day would be spent on family activities – swimming, or playing on the beach, or eating (I will come back to the eating in another post. It could probably be two posts all on its own, to be honest).

Fiji pool.jpg

And the rest of the holiday was SO.MUCH.EASIER. I mean, it was still hard – toddler! – but it felt so much easier. Because we had realised the only thing we could change was our thinking.

This feels like a good thing to reflect on in this end-of-winter-not-quite-spring Auckland dreariness! And it's also a nice opportunity to revisit our lovely winter holiday. Did you get away? What about reframing – have you had opportunity or reason to focus on this recently? 

A weekend of moving (!)

 Image via  Jacquelyn Clark

Image via Jacquelyn Clark

Hello! Happy July! How are you?

A LOT has been going on here. May and part of June disappeared into a university hole (another semester done!), I started a new role (so.much.learning, but it's awesome. I like learning), we went to Fiji (winter sun!) AND, after nearly two and a half years, we will be moving into our new apartment next week!

I am just so excited. We went to see it a few weeks ago and it's totally been worth the wait. Official moving day is not until next week, but we should have the keys in time for the weekend so we'll get some small things in and spend some time with Amelie there, getting her used to the place. We've explained the move to her a lot, but until it's done I'm not sure how well she understands the concept. This weekend will be good.

For those of you with more chill time this weekend (I hope that's most of you. I may be super excited but there is no doubt that moving is hard) here are a few fun links for your Saturday (or Friday afternoon! I'm not here to judge).

Anyone else find the subject of exfoliation oddly difficult but also important and fascinating? This is a great guide.

Joanna Coles is pretty rad. It's nice when people acknowledge that relaxing isn't all that for everyone!

My pinning to this board has really ramped up over the last couple of years.

Good advice.

Fast becoming one of our favourite easy weekend lunch staples

Have a wonderful weekend! x

 

 

A weekend of cramming

 Palm trees in the park on a rather summery autumn morning.

Palm trees in the park on a rather summery autumn morning.

It's so definitely time I did another Friday post...I have so many amazing links!

Before that though, the usual Friday excitement for the weekend ahead. What are your plans? If you're in the northern hemisphere I hope they involve enjoying some spring weather...and if you're in the southern I hope they involve enjoying some autumn weather...this is such a nice time of year, when (usually) nobody is facing anything too terrible weather-wise!

I have an assignment due for uni next week so my weekend is all in the title of this post. I'm sure I'll get some fun in somewhere as well though. With a toddler, there's no other option really; she neither cares about nor appreciates my need to study – all she wants is to play! Thankfully, there's H1 to help too (and it helps that Amelie is such a good sleeper as well).

So onto the promised amazing reads!

This adds more weight to my thoughts on buying clothes that can have a life with someone else when you're done with them.

The Cut is amazing and this article gives some insight into why (do you read it? You should!)

Do you take selfies? How do people react? (You'll see from my Instagram I really don't but this article is making me question why not).

Simple rules for healthy eating.

Haha.

Have a super weekend! See you back here soon (after my paper has been handed in I imagine...)

Do you care about ethical clothing?

The 2018 Ethical Fashion Guide just came out! This guide is such a good way for us in New Zealand to get insight into how responsible companies are when it comes to looking after the people who make our clothes. It grades companies on four key areas, and where a company chooses not to participate it does its best with publicly available information. It also doesn't only focus on Australasia – international companies are often included, like TopShop and Victoria's Secret.

 An ethical, well-priced, super-cute top. Image:  Kowtow

An ethical, well-priced, super-cute top. Image: Kowtow

I was so pleased to see some of my favourite brands doing well (yay Kowtow, Zara and Witchery!)  As I looked at the report I did a little mental assessment of what I was wearing right then and was pretty happy with the ticks (Witchery top, Everlane trousers – not rated in this report but radically transparent, and, ahem, ethical underwear too!) 

I take this sort of thing moderately seriously. I'm far from perfect, but it's important to me, so I work at it. Some of my regular go-to brands are from the States and it can be harder to find information on them, but I still do try. I try to support brands that make an effort in their local communities, whether that be New Zealand or elsewhere. And – and this probably has the most impact – I do my best to shop thoughtfully, making sure that I truly love what I buy, know what I'm going to wear it with, and ideally, can sell it on when I'm done with it rather than putting it in a clothing bin.

That last one is an interesting point because there seems to be no correlation between the cost of clothes and how ethical they are. You can't consign brands like Glassons and H&M – there's no market because their clothes are so inexpensive in the first place – but both of those brands perform considerably better in the report than some brands that are easy to consign, e.g. Karen Walker and Trelise Cooper. To be honest, this just irritates me no end. If you're charging more for your clothes, it should be easier to ensure you're acting ethically, all the way along the whole supply chain. There really are no excuses for those companies.

I don't claim to have all the right answers or the perfect strategy, but I am glad this sort of information is becoming more accessible and more considered, by lots of different people. I like knowing this stuff and I like that we live in a world where it's not too difficult to make more ethical decisions when you have the right information. I've decided to keep doing what I started last year, and avoid shopping anywhere that got less than a B- in this year's report. That means no Karen Walker, no Ruby and no Ralph Lauren – but the good news is I have plenty of other options when I do want to buy something. 

What about you – do you have a strategy to shop ethically? Will this report change any of your behaviour?