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Friday, August 31, 2012

Shayna King: Awesome songstress!

So this is a request for all of you to do this to get my friend to number 1 in these charts so she can win $10,000 of funding to get her album finished! 

She's an incredibly talented singer, and has been since we were friends when we were 11. We even had a band for a few months! She's funded the recording of her album so far, and the filming of her first single which will be coming out tomorrow after this is finished!

So if you could do this, it would be incredibly awesome! 

1. Click the link
2. Listen to the song
3. Click 'Vote'
4. Click the wee (+) symbol and 'Add to queue (This puts it onto a playlist down the bottom of the screen)
5. Click 'Share' above the song. 
All of these steps are monitored and all add to the placement of the song. 

She really deserves to get this funding! In a small country such as NZ, everything counts! It's hard to break into the industry when there are so many people battling for those places! 

Summer Trend Lust: Backless.

All images c/o The Satorialist

The Satorialist now has a 'backless' tag! This prompted me to feel super excited that Spring is 3 days away, it's getting lighter out, it's getting warmer and today it is actually sunny for once! Woohoo! 

I'm dreaming of hot summer days where I can wear backless dresses and tops with abandon. My back is probably one of my favourite assets (weird I know), because I work hard on it at the gym (14kg clean and press for 100 reps anyone?). To be honest, I really think I need to start running more often. Like, 2 times a week at least for at least 5km. This might start to tone down my thighs, tighten my abs and slim down rather than bulk up. The one down side to this is that I might lose muscle mass... 

Anyway, that aside - I'm loving backless for this summer! Letting the sun touch your skin and the breeze cool you down with a cocktail in hand (a falling water, if you please). 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Wellington SPCA.

I thought I would introduce you to a few of my friends at the Wellington SPCA. I volunteer here every third Sunday evening. Last weekend I also bought my brand new camera (Nikon D3200, above the lens is the AF 50mm f/1.8d). 

The current building for the Wellington SPCA is in Newtown - it's a run down, patchwork kind of building that definitely isn't earthquake proof! But they have made what they can out of it. Luckily, they have now received the funding to go forward and relocate to an old hospital located on Mt Victoria that has been abandoned for years. It's a huge space and will now allow the SPCA to take in even more animals, and there is a huge need for it. 

I have to say, I volunteer on purely selfish reasons. I miss my cats from home (Bella, Zinzan, Neo and Belle - my brother's cat) so I head here to cuddle and play with them, socialise them, coax them out of their shells if they're a little shy (like the poor wee 5 month old sweethearts not pictured who were hidden in a knook squished up so they couldn't be seen), and give them something in return. It's nice and relaxing as well, to just sit on the floor and cuddle. 

I definitely would become a crazy cat lady if anyone let me. So don't. Four cats will be my limit in the future! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Travel Series: Paris.

Ahh, Paris. A place I have dreamed of going to since I was a young girl with blonde hair and wore smocked dresses. Then when I was eleven, I started studying French by correspondence. Correspondence is an awful way of learning French, and all I learned was "Bonjour, je m'appelle Olivia, comment vas-tu? Je vais bien, merci." And a few words here and there. I understand better than I speak. 

When I was 14 I fell in love with Moulin Rouge, the movie. Absolutely adored it. It made me cry and I was absolutely in love with the characters (I still love the movie!). So I was desperate to get to Paris and visit Le Moulin Rouge in Montmartre. 

Of course I have now got a taste for the awesome pastries that are macrons. I can make them, with a lot of effort. I devoured myself on them in Sydney because they were everywhere and they are only at specific places here in Wellington (Moore Wilsons, $7 for a pack of 4 flavours or $2.50 each). I'm fairly sure I will gorge myself on them when I'm in Paris, and Laduree will become my second home. 

I'm definitely planning on spending about a week there to allow myself to explore the city properly. Later in my trip I'm planning on heading somewhere in the South, perhaps a small town where I can get lodging for a few weeks and just live life a little bit a la Eat, Pray, Love. I think that would be fun, drink wine, eat cheese, meet locals, take photographs. I can almost smell the French summer air. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Guest Post: Emma from Daydream Believer!

Hello! Nice to meet you, my name is Emma and I usually blog over at daydream believer but today the lovely Olivia has asked me to do a guest post here on The Black Peony!

Something that Olivia and I have in common (aside from living in the same beautiful country) is our thirst for travel! So today I thought I would tell you a little bit about my upcoming travel plans.

 I’m currently in my last semester of university, this means I have been spending a lot of time thinking about what the heck I’m going to do with myself come November when I finish.  My dream job definitely involves travel in some way, but before I get too serious about my career I want to see more of this amazing world we live in. To kick-start my traveling I have big plans to live and work in New York City! I have dreamed of living in The States since I was ten years old and am so excited to finally bring that dream to life, I can’t wait to walk the streets I have seen on screen so many times, to eat a real ‘New York’ pizza, to wander aimlessly through Central Park and to have the white Christmas I have always dreamed of!

My plan at the moment is to fly to Los Angeles sometime between March and May (All depending on the saving situation, which isn’t exactly my strong point). Once in LA I will start making my way across that gigantic country until I reach the wonderful city of New York! Since I will most likely be alone for this part of my trip I am looking at tour companies, like Contiki, to travel with. I wasn’t overly keen on using a tour company, as I’m not sure I will get all the freedom I’m after, but traveling across such a big country all on my own is a tad frightening for a girl from such a tiny country! So I’m currently weighing up all my options to see what’s best for me, if you have any suggestions feel free to throw them my way.

Here is an amazing time-lapse I found on Vimeo that shows this city in all its glory! It makes me want to pack my bags and leave on a plane tomorrow.

(Video By Josh Owens)

This is only the start of my travelling plans, after my year in The States  (and a little extra time to recoup my savings!) I plan to see the rest of the world, Europe, Asia, South America, Canada, Africa, everywhere! World look out, I’m coming!

I have really enjoyed writing this guest post for Olivia and hopefully you have found it somewhat enjoyable to read!

Emma xx 

Fantastic post Emma! Thank you so much for agreeing to do one for me! We're more a like that I thought! I'd definitely come with you across the States to do a road trip if I had the funds by that stage! That is one thing on my bucket list - road trip across the USA. Imagine the sights and sounds and vast stretches of road, the iconic scenery and the iconic people of different towns! It would definitely be something to document! 

I hope you all enjoyed this guest post, if you want to do a guest post, email me at with your idea and post, and I'll be happy to pop it up here! 

xx Olivia

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wellington: Supermodel Style.

Pretty sure this is the tiny bookstore off Cuba Street (it smells like amazing old books!)

At Red Rocks - I've really been meaning to take a hike there. So beautiful. 

Outside Newtown Library.

My favourite spot to think and relax in the sun. Outside the boat sheds near Oriental Bay. 

Yay! The croc bikes! 

In Maranui Cafe in Lyall Bay! 

I love these photos of Miranda Kerr taken by Orlando Bloom for the NY Times article about Wellington. A little apprehensive now that we're going to get swarmed with celebrities as it's seen as a 'safe haven' from Paparazzi. But none the less, it is always exciting to see famous people out and about in my beautiful city! These photos are just lovely as well, and seem like such fun. 

I feel I need to get out and see more of my city. I'm planning on doing a hike up Mount Victoria, doing the City to Sea walkway one sunny day in the weekend. I also want to do a trip to Red Rocks, and I love going to Lyall Bay in summer and ordering some Fish and Chips and sitting in the sun on the beach. Best memories. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Travel Series: London.

The first place I'm planning on travelling to when I do my Big OE: London. 

When my parents did their own OE in 1981, they worked at a pub in Convent Garden, and lived above said pub. They didn't get paid much, but they got free rent, and a pretty sweet lifestyle for a month or so. My mum brags about serving the musicians from the Opera House (I believe Cats was on then), at half time. They then bought a VW Kombi Van and set off around Europe and India. Of course back then it was far cheaper to travel. 

Anyway, going to England, aka, the 'Motherland', is one experience that all Kiwi's need to do. To go see our heritage and all those iconic places in the pictures above. Of course, my family is also from Scotland, so I will be hopefully heading there too (more on that at a later date!). 

I'm dying to work in London for at least 6 months. In fact, since my boss doesn't want me to go, I've propositioned him with seeing if one of his friends in the UK has an EA I can swap with - brilliant plan, yes?  

Who wants to introduce me to London when I'm there? 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

100th Post.

Photo: Me. 

I've been umming and ahhing about this post for a while, as you can probably tell. The last two weeks of my life have been a hectic blur of work, friends, gym, and healthy eating. I haven't gone out or taken photos because I've been so busy, and the weather has been shocking. I don't have any new clothes, so I can't do a clothing post... 

BUT! My blog is now at 100 posts! I really need to take more care of it and think a bit more about what to blog about. I can't wait for spring and summer to come along so that I can get out in the weekends and do something productive for the blog! 

I might be taking a short break to figure out what else I want to get out of this, and see where I want to take it. Hopefully some more interesting posts will be in the mix! 

Edit: I'm going to do a series on Travel and where I want to go. Kind of a visual diary of what I want my OE (Overseas Experience) to be. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Holiday Dreaming.

I know I have been completely horrible about blogging lately! Life has been far too busy. Last week work was completely insane (Board Meeting, Dinner with the guys from work, the start of the month for accounts (meep), my boss heading off to Canada for a week, B coming over to visit, New Zealand winning 3 GOLD MEDALS IN ROWING). 

This week looks to be just as hectic as tomorrow I'm headed up to Auckland to do some HR stuff. 

What I really want to be doing is relaxing with a glass of vino in a beautiful villa in Spain. This beautiful place belongs to model Eugenia Silva. I could completely see myself relaxing here and spending a romantic week or month away from everything. Eating fresh food, swimming, lounging, reading a book. 

Someone buy my a ticket pronto! 

You'll be happy to know, however, that I am somewhat sticking to this clean eating! (90%!) I've also been going to the gym a lot and even went for a full on 10k run yesterday in which I probably ran about 7.5km and walked the other quarter. Yes I hurt today. Yes I'm still going to Attack this evening.