The one with summer in NZ and playground workouts

Summer in NZ.

It’s pretty great.

While the Australian summer goes on for a good four months longer than it really needs to (and definitely goes up a good 15 degrees Celsius more than it needs to), the NZ summer is balmy (other than that minor issue with the hole in the ozone and the deadly sun, but its nothing approximately 22 litres of sunblock can’t fix), it doesn’t involve sweating your makeup off the second you leave the house, and is perfect for enjoying laid-back beach time with the fam.

Case example A:


It is also great for practicing a spot of beach yoga (assuming of course that you can hold elegant yoga poses for more than .2 of a second in order to get a photo)…

Case example B:


Yup, it hurt.

Summer in NZ also means:

Barbeques on the deck overlooking the sea (and apparently being taught beer pong by the local Canadian, that’s you Curtis)




New Years day races for the kids on the beach




Burgers by the beach (with pineapple = my favourite)


Interesting modes of transport


And an extraordinary amount of sunblock.

Amongst all these summer activities I’ve still been working out like a beast, and after last summer spent in Australia, I am LOVING the temperature here for running in. I joined a running group and we are out every Tuesday and Thursday (they go on Sunday too but I am usually too busy on weekends… ha that definitely sounds like an excuse) exploring the massive Redwood Forest in Rotorua. Seriously perfect for running, with a billion hills and lots of shade. The last run we did there was literally uphill for 93% of the run, I basically died… it’s weird how happy that made me?!

Other than this my current favourite running workout is running the 20minutes to a nearby playground, and then using the jungle gym for ab raises- rest assured I look nothing like the girl doing these…I can barely get my legs into that position even when I’m not hanging from a bar. Bending the knees and just bringing them into the chest is a good option when you’re starting out with these.


(Image from here)

And pull ups, except I only do the downwards part of the movement so they can’t really be described as pull ups… I am working on it 🙂 What I do is basically the girl’s movement in the photo on the right, through to the photo on the left.pull-ups

(Image from here)

Does your workout/running schedule change in the summer?

Do you ever work out at the playground?

What THREE things sum up summer (HA) where you are from?



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The one after the awkward Amish-type interlude

Aka that time I awkwardly dropped off the face of the (blog) planet for a few months.

…My bad.

I could give some really detailed and complex excuses but in a nutshell there was a broken computer phase, a dodgy-internet at my parents place phase, a living in a backpacker hostel with no internet phase, a living in a new house with no furniture let alone internet phase, and then as the cherry on top, an absence of motivation/inspiration/creative genius ( 😉 ) phase. The general theme was internet issues/first world problems hence the reference to #amishlife because that is seriously how it felt at times.

Does anyone else feel like 2016 was!

At the beginning of the year I was living in Sydney in a tiny less than 100 square ft. studio, finishing my masters in psychotherapy, and waitressing like a BEAST.


(Bestie and I doing a welcome ceremony on the floor of aforementioned tiny apartment).

In the middle of the year I was living in rural Auckland, New Zealand with my awesome parents, drinking copious amounts of tea, job-hunting like a beast.


The end of 2016 (WHAAAT) found me living in Rotorua (aka volcano country), New Zealand, living in a normal house for the first time in my adult life, and working my dream job (like a beast) as a family therapist.


I’ve done a tonne of running, continued with BBG, joined a netball team, gone through quite the extreme yoga phases, started a new workout program (#S2BM) and just recently joined an amazing running club. It has been quite a different year for me workout-wise, in particular with the introduction of BBG, but I feel like I have learned SOOO much and definitely pushed myself through about a billion sweaty workouts.


And being on holiday now, all there is left for me to do is relax and bask in the hot beachy New Zealand summer. I’m pretty sure I can do that in the beastiest way possible.

And I really think that’s more than enough about me for now 😉

How are YOU GUYS??? I have missed you!!

Is it a White Christmas or a Beach Christmas for you?

What was awesome about 2016 for you?  




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The one with stepper stomping and daily steps

Meet my new favourite workout phenomenon.

She isn’t too fancy.

She’s unassuming.

But she sure gets the job done.

Oh yeah and she cost $1.50.


Isn’t she glorious? Best $1.50 I ever spent. I got her off trademe (the NZ version of Craigslist) and have already spent many a mile stomping away.

Reasons why she is the best thing ever:

– So perfect for when it is raining and I dont know how to get anywhere close to my daily step goal

– Ideal for when I want to talk on the phone but don’t want to just sit around while I do it- not as noisey as a treadmill and I dont puff quite as much on it either 🙂

– Small enough to drag all over the house and even into the office when I know I will be making a lot of calls.

– One of the cheapest pieces of workout equipment I have ever bought.

– Ummm, is it me or is she ADORABLE!?!


– And finally, quite effective at getting the heart rate up – I feel like it’s pretty similar to walking? What do you guys think?

It is also really important to reward oneself for all that stepping 😉


And speaking of stepping, how many steps do you guys do a day? I used to easily crank out 20,000 a day when I was waitressing but now sitting down with clients all day if I don’t go for a run (and I don’t run every day) it is WAY harder for me to even get to 10,000! Scary right? Also my sister has informed me that you are supposed to do 10,000 a day and that is not including your workout/run?!?

Thoughts – is it 10,000 steps total or 10,000 steps + a workout that is ideal to hit?

Does anyone use a stepper?

What is your must-have piece of at-home workout equipment?

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The one where we talk about the weekend again because it is my favourite and now I get one every week?!

So over the last two years I have basically not done the whole weekend thing, and certainly never on the actual weekend (does that make sense?). Turns out doing your masters actually takes quite a lot of study (YA, my brain pretty much exploded) and so I usually had one day off per week and never on the weekend as that is when I waitressed like a beast because Sydney is the most expensive city ever.

But now the tables have turned- I am no longer a student (!!). I really thought that day would never come, but somehow it has. I have the entire weekend off from Friday afternoon until Monday when I start again and it is the BEST FEELING EVER, almost too frivolous but I am quickly adjusting 😉

Longer runs and workouts are happening.



(Photo from my new favourite running route)

Yoga is happening.


Crumpets are happening.


Weekends with the family are happening.


It is generally a time for a large amount of sugar


(The BEST dessert mum made for me last time I was home because I am not really a big cake person but I am definitely a large amounts of sugar person).


Also, don’t be too jealous but we live in a city where there are a bazillion spas and mud pools to sit in so THAT IS FOR SURE HAPPENING. #volcanolife.


So even though it’s only Tuesday here in NZ….


Hope your week is off to a great start!

What is in the cards workout-wise this week? 

Favourite part about the weekend? – Making actual coffee in the morning not instant coffee like on weekdays is up there for me 🙂

Do you have a special cup you drink from? Are all your cups the same or do you have a bunch of randoms? – this is an important question because I feel like people who have their life together would have all the same cups?! Aka not me… I have always been weirdly into having a special coffee cup and now my cupboard is full of the most random assortment of cups.

Do you have crumpets in your country? – Curtis is obsessed because they aren’t big in Canada at all? Here they are normal breakfast food




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The one with my thoughts on “good form”

I feel like people freak out about “good form” all the time. And yeah, there is a reason for it- bad form = injuries = sad endorphin-less people.

But honestly sometimes I really think you just have to start with the best form you can muster and work towards better form as you get stronger. Ya know?

For example, my experience with push ups. As you guys know I’m doing BBG and OMG there are a TONNE of push ups in this program. Regular push ups, lay down push ups, decline (!!!) push ups, in-out push ups, spider push ups….. the list is scary and goes on and on.

And when I started, I could barely do a regular on-my-knees push up. I did the simplest version possible of the exercise, and still, it BURNED. My core was all over the place. My form was highly questionable. But the thing is, if I hadn’t done about 5000 push ups like that, I would never have made progress and be able to do the push ups on my toes that I now can (all 5 maximum in a row of them 😉 ).


Don’t be too intimidated by my massive guns. They are scary I know.

So I wish I hadn’t worried so much about my form in the beginning. I wish I had known that while it’s great to AIM for good form, it can be okay to start off with imperfect form if that’s the only way you can work towards doing the exercise better.


Another tip (because I am clearly an expert now that I can do 5 😉 ) =  find the version of the exercise that you find the most fun and do that. I seem to prefer in-out push ups, and doing those has helps the rest of them get better too. Same with burpees – I weirdly like doing a burpee with a tuck jump rather than a regular jump (don’t worry I question the sanity of this too) and this has really helped me get way more into the whole burpee thing (and by that I mean hate it a teensy bit less than I used to which was A LOT).

inout push ups

(Image from here)

Finally please remember I am not qualified in anything to do with fitness so this is just MY personal experience 🙂

Now let’s go do some push ups! Whatever version we are able to.


Can you do push ups on your toes? How many?

What exercise is a big struggle for you? -Ummmmm everything in BBG and that is why it works!

What is your favourite exercise? – I love me some tricep dips and tuck jumps are my jam right now.





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The one where we live inside a volcano now

Living inside a volcano is cool. Not literally, obviously. Literally it actually has a lot of hot bubbling mud spots and steams quite a bit.


It it also smells pretty interesting TBH 😉 (the Sulfur makes it smell like rotten eggs…YA)

BUT it is super prettyimage

Has a tonne of outdoor activities/AMAZING running routes


The subway here give me the most gherkins ever.. My favourite


I LOVE my job (I get to draw in the windows and use my awesome artistic skills for self-portraits like the (very accurate) one below)


and my co-therapist is sometimes a teddy bear





If that isn’t life progress I don’t know what is.

Also I get to say goodbye to this situation because TBH it’s getting a little old 🙂




(I have a combination of Floordrobe and Walldrobe).


Volcano life is good.


Have you ever been anywhere with geothermal activity like Rotorua? Where? 

Do you call them gherkins or pickles? – Curtis calls them pickles but I make him say gherkins because we are in NZ and that is what they are called here.

What change did you make in your life this week? -Moving into an actual house?!!

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The one with a weekend in Waihi

Even though living in a backpacker hostel for 5 weeks is so much fun because we get to be sociable at all hours of the day and night and I have my work clothes hung really nicely off the towel rails all over the room 😉 this weekend we decided to have a little change.

Aka Waihi time.



Bach time (a Bach is the New Zealand word for a beach house and they are typically tiny and adorable and 100% kitsch)


(The above photo really depicts the scale these baches are on ha)

And beach time.



I spent the whole weekend at my family’s bach and I went for the best run on the beach both days (and on one of the days there was a flock of doves just randomly hanging out?!?)


We had a few really good hikes around the headlands


coffee by the beach


a lot of pyjama time

image(Don’t you like how my highly artistic photo spares you having to see my morning hair? You are welcome.)


It was the best.

Have you ever watched 24? If not please go do so now.

Holiday by the a) ocean b) lake c) mountain?



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The one with hostel HIIT

So who doesn’t love a good HIIT? For anyone who has yet to experience the pain/glory of HIIT, that’s High Intensity Interval Training. And ya, it’s intense.

The three main reasons I love me a good sweatylicious HIIT sesh:

1)      It has MAJORLY helped my running feel better and faster

2)      It is so quick yet really hits the spot in terms of feeling like you’ve done a hardcore workout and are basically the equivalent of Rocky except minus the giant slabs of meat

3)      Kayla Itsines prescribes it in her BBG and obviously what Kayla says, Jessie does because girlfriend is genius.


The other thing about HIIT is that basically, you can do it anywhere. It’s a great option if you want to work out but don’t want to run around an unfamiliar/unsafe city or if you don’t have a tonne of weights or gym membership at your disposal, because it can be done basically in your body length of space. Trust me, I am an expert at working out with only that much space as I have pretty much lived in the tiniest possible places throughout my entire uni career and while we wait to move into our new house we are living in a backpacker hostel which is basically the tiniest space yet. You will probably hear me complain about it just a little bit 😉

And because there are people below us who probably don’t want to hear me prancing around the room, this has added a whole new dimension to my HIIT. No jumping?! HIIT without jumping is a whole other world but I am determined to make it work. And the main way I’m doing it is by making sure I use my legs as much as possible (biggest muscle = most intense heart pumping), taking shorter breaks, and really focusing on making sure my beast mode is FULLY 100% on for each move.


My current fave that is quiet enough to do in the hostel:

30 seconds of:

  1. squats with weight
  2. sumo squat + kick
  3. plie pulses with weight

with 10 seconds of breaks in between each exercise, repeat set x 3

  1. walking lunges with weights
  2. push ups
  3. mountain climbers

with 10 seconds of breaks in between each exercise, repeat set x 3

Then I repeat the whole workout twice… It is lovely 😉 Not as crazy as a more plyometrics type workout but definitely gets my heart rate up with a nice little burn on the side.


What is your favourite HIIT move? -I love skipping!!! I used to do it all the time and am thinking about doing an entire HIIT just with skipping. In terms of quieter moves I love push ups (they’re finally getting better!).

What do you notice helps your running get a lot faster? – Defnitiely HIIT and BBG


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The one with options for when it’s less than ideal

Sometimes that little voice in my head starts getting obnoxiously loud. You know the one (hopefully, otherwise this will be awkward). It finds the factor that makes my workout situation less than ideal and then uses it to convince my brain that working out is absolutely not a good idea.

It’s too rainy
My bed is SO NICE
Every muscle in my body is dying from yesterday’s workout
I just demolished an obscene amount of lollies and that is NOT going to feel good
I live in a backpacker hostel now and have basically just my body length of space to workout in.

Okay so that last one might just be me (if any other functioning adult is living in a hostel, WHAT UP we need to be friends).

The point is though, there will always be a reason that working out might not be convenient! Seriously. And every time we let our brain agree with that little voice and choose not to work out, we are making it even more convincing/strong/hard to ignore the next time.

So how can we ignore the voice? 👉 OPTIONS.


#1 It’s too rainy 👉 workout at home. Body weight workouts can be amazing or just buy a few kettlebells and you are basically good to go. Obviously I am obsessed with BBG and it is the easiest thing ever to do at home (unless you live in a hostel, see #5).

#2 My bed is SO NICE 👉 bedtime yoga (just kidding, but maybe?). I usually deal with this one by telling myself I can get back in the bed after if I want to/the feeling after working out is better than the feeling of being cosy in bed. Home workouts are also usually more appealing when I just want to stay in bed- BBG, youtube yoga, youtube Jillian Michaels, and home HIIT workouts are all great options.

#3 Sore muscles 👉 ALL the yoga/walking. I also actually find a run can help with muscle soreness but obviously it depends how sore you are, after BBG leg day there is no way a run would be possible.

#4 Too full on lollies 👉 A walk and then some upright exercises is probably the way I would go, by the time the walk is over some of those lollies have hopefully digested a little. Upright exercises (eg squats, lunges skipping if you are brave etc) are much better than horizontal exercises (mountain climbers/planks, I am looking at you… ouchie).


#5 Teeniest living space ever 👉 do a trial pass at a gym (I have already done two seven day trials since we arrived in Rotorua), if it’s an option just bite the bullet and join the gym, see if there are free yoga classes in the area, get outside for a run, join a running group in the area if you are worried about safety, or just come to terms with the teensy space and JUST DO IT. Yesterday I did my arm workout in the space between the foot of the bed and the wall (about 30cm 😉 ) with poor Curtis sitting on the bed trying to ignore my grunting and it was actually a great workout.

Something is always better than nothing, and by having lots of options is it easy to find something that sounds better than whatever the little voice is telling you.

And now after all that I’d better go workout 😉



What is your workout today? 

What do you tell the little obnoxious voice telling you not to workout? 

What is your current excuse and how do you deal with it? Both the space thing and the safety with running outside have been big for me lately- hence the two gym trial passes in a row 🙂

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The one with that feeling of coming back from a run already excited for the next run, and ROTO-VEGAS.

Best feeling ever:

Today I woke up and ran before my brain knew what I was doing and cruised the entire time to Destiny’s Child. Because I was half asleep for the entire run it went really fast and when I got back I already felt excited to go for another.

In other news, I have moved to a completely new-to-me city known as Rotorua/Sulphur City/Roto-Vegas and basically live in a volcanic crater now. Super normal I know.

The cat helped me pack. (ps. those are basically all my worldly possessions… we really take living light to a whole new level).


The last dinner at home before I left.


The air smells like rotten eggs  here because of the sulphur but you weirdly get used to that super quickly and NBD (that means no big deal Mum 😉 ) we moved here for the best job of my LIFE 🙂

Celebratory ice-cream in the car when I found out I got the job and a Mr. Whippy went by at the same moment:


I am a Family Therapist now which is basically the most exciting thing ever (just casually been working like a frantic beast towards this for the last 4 (!!!) years). Better do some reading on family dynamics (just kidding I swear I am equipped for this). Major pro of my new work- there are TOYS all over the office for working with children and I am pretty excited that I get to play with them too. Don’t pretend you wouldn’t want to get paid to play with toys. Excuse my creepy eyeball.


Me on my first day of work (I was awkwardly early because being late on the first day = the stuff of nightmares).


Celebration with a phenomenal dinner at Lone Star… they have the most incredible loaf of fresh bread that I have obsessively ranted about for the last two years – for free because we had a coupon… best night ever. I was awkwardly excited about it to the waitress and I am pretty sure she wondered why I was so friendly because she doesn’t know that I waitressed the last two years of my life and have a very good idea of how sore her feet probably are.


Yes that is a ginormous ramekin of garlic butter right next to it.

So also, I am living in a backpacker hostel now…. not so much the dream 😉 But I am house hunting like crazy, and in the meantime  get to make sophisticated meals like this:

imageAnd laugh at this sign every time I see it.


Oh yeah and these are our new friends because Rotorua is full of them. I got pecked by a black swan when I was little but after all the therapy I went through in my training I am more-or-less over it 😉image13.jpg

Please feel free to have any treat of your choosing (my choice is obviously lollies… below ones the cutest I have seen in my life) to celebrate my exciting news (and feel free to say a little prayer that we won’t be living in the hostel for much longer 😉 ).


What keeps you excited to run?

What gets you out there regardless of whether you are excited to run or not?

What were you doing when you found out you were accepted at your job?

How long have you been at your job and do you love it or hate it?

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