Thursday, 29 March 2012

A Bibliography of Braids

There are so many different types of braids out there at the moment, and it can be confusing which ones are being used. Don't worry! I'm here to help

This post will explain some of the most common types of braids.

(The photos are linked to the orignal web page.)

1) English Plain
Your common school girl look

2) French Braid
Like the English Plait, but started higher on the head, created by plaiting three pieces and pulling in hair each time

3) Dutch Braid
This is like a French braid, but you plait your hair under not over.

4) Fish Tail Braid
A braid with two pieces of hair, where you bring a small bit of each over each time

5) Waterfall Braid
Where you braid like a French Braid, but on the underneath, or lower braid, you drop the strand of hair and pick up a new strand. (You can get complex on this one, and do one waterfall braid, then a second using the pieces you 'dropped' from the first braid, to bring all your hair up... I should do a tutorial on this)

6) The Twist
Start with two pieces of hair and twist them around each other, pulling in more hair with each twist

7) Lace Braid
You would do the French braid as normal, but only take in hair from one side (instead of both).

8) Rope Braid
You separate your hair into two sections, then twist each section, then twist both sections around each other.

There are many other (way too complicated) ways to do braids, but I think these basics are enough! You can play around with how you do them (crown braids, braids into buns, into ponytails, half out hair etc), and you will have heaps of different hairstyles.

Enjoy! x

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

A skinny girl's fallacy

Currently I'm hurting in places I didn't know could hurt. It's not cos of secret spousal abuse (anyone who knows Matt and I know it would be me doing the abusing, if any were happening.) Nor is it because I am sick in any way. Nope. Instead I have joined a gym and am submitting myself to very hard weights toning classes about 2-3 times a week.

You see, for many years I lived a lie. I was skinny-ish, so I 'looked' fit. I never exercised, basically because I was lazy. Skinny girls can lie to themselves that they are fit.
But, as the years have come on, it has become abundantly clear to me that I am in no way fit. Take for example a short run Matt and I decided to go on in early January. At first I was going for it- 'I'm the king of the world!'... nek minit, I'm nearly throwing up, heaving in pain, and have to walk home. Oh the shame.

Also, last year I was asked on more than one occasion if I was pregnant. So the 'food baby' was getting a little out of control.

So, I joined the gym. I am going to classes (as opposed to hopping on a treadmill) for a few reasons:

  • They have instructors who know what to do
  • The instructors really push you. My personal 'give up' level is about 20 mins (ok seconds) into the 50 min class, so they push you to keep going
  • Its not just me... others are there too. And you don't want the shame of giving up in front of peers
My goals through this are to get fit and toned. Losing weight is not a goal, which means I'm not doing too much cardio, but more weight and strength training. I'm doing a class called power (that links to an 80's style fitness video), which is all about strength. 

Don't worry, its not my goal to look like this guy

And yesterdays class, was so HARD! Near the end of the class we do abs, and not only did we have to plank (at a time when we're wasted already), but we had to lift our butt's up and down, then kick our legs out one at a time, too. Lets just say at the end I was grunting like a dying animal in pain. Oh plank, how I loathe and love you.

Second row down is what I mean. Try it... after 3 minutes of this you will cry

But..the pain is SO good. I love it! I love being able to up my weights (started on 1kg each side, up to 4.5 each side. One man in the class lifts 15kg each side...all class!), and see improvement in my body.

Why am I telling you this? Because I am good at giving up. And I need to be held accountable! And if I make a blog post about it, thats about as public as it gets, so no going back.

I will end with some ways to get toned abs (my dream goal....)

Easier than planking

I wouldn't recommend this swiss ball one unless you want to break an arm from a falling injury.
And, for your toned abs, you can thank me.

Monday, 26 March 2012

The real cause of famine

I've recently been studying a development studies paper, and what I have learned has shocked me.

I, like many people, believed the cause of famine to be a lack of food, of too many people in the world. This is not the case at all. There is more than enough food to go round in this world, and population growth is not an issue. In many cases, when there has been famine in a country, there has been enough food for the starving to eat - they just couldn't afford it.

So, famine could be avoided. Its just the inability of people to command and afford food that leads them to starvation. It is a lack of capital, a lack of money that kills them.

And while 850 million people starve, over 2 billion face obesity. Ironic much?

The causes of famine are complex and interlinked. Unlike the ads we see on TV, famine is not caused solely by a drought or a war. These factors are like the last straw on the camels back. Years and years of the following cause famine:

  • Colonialism, and takeover of land and traditional pastoral farming, leads to less food.
  • Colonialism and expansion of western style farms (which don't work on African soils.)
  • Colonialism and the African traditional ways (which have afforded them survival for all of human history) being seen as backwards and inferior
  • Western centric thinking, and seeing people in these countries as being unable to help themselves
  • Years and years of government debt, and with debt repayment meaning less money for public healthcare, education and food
  • Corrupt governments and companies (both in third and first world countries.)
Western governments have seen food aid as the solution, and have 'dealt' with famine this way. But the issues are as follows
  • Western food is very hard for people to cook and eat
  • Food aid is shipped from donor countries and takes months to arrive (too late).
  • Food aid can be diverted by a corrupt government
  • Food aid does not solve the underlying issue of ongoing famines.
  • Food aid undervalues the food that is grown in the country (its value goes down.)

Many NGOs now advocate for
  • Food vouchers or cash, to stimulate the local economy and farmers
  • Bottom up solutions using the knowledge and resources of the people who live there
  • Less western ideologies

It has sickened me to learn that our obsessive thinking that the western world is 'developed' and the 'best' has been such a big part in famine in Africa. Of course, we should have realised our ideologies and farming practices and so on would not work there, as their land type and geography is completely 'un-western.'

It sickens me that in a world of plenty, it is money and western dominance that keeps these countries locked in a cycle of famine.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Back to my roots

A new me. A brunette me (much closer to my natural colour.) An asymmetrical haircut me...might have to fix that part (although admittedly not as asymmetrical as this photo makes it look.)

I'm ready to leave my blonde days behind and step into my new life as a brunette...we'll see who has more fun.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The coming coolness

Ok, I have to be honest. I am a real summer girl. I don't like winter at all. The continual hunt for warmth, the layers and layers and layers of clothes, the spiking electricity bill, the startled look you get on your face from the shock of cold then warmth, the wind and rain (oh wait, we get wind and rain here in summer too.)

But, because it seems to me that winter is much longer than summer, I need a serious attitude overhall about winter, or I will be a grumpy sad sack all winter, and no one wants that (especially not Matt.)
I have decided to be a little Pollyanna like, and look at the good things about winter. Maybe if I repeat them to myself every day I will begin to believe them....?

Good points about winter

  • The crisp, fresh air you breathe in makes you feel alive
  • No sweating
  • The potentiality of SNOW again! (The Moon Man says it will happen, so it must be true.)

  • I get to wear this merino dress :)

  • I get to cook hearty, warming dinners, which is what I cook best
  • More excuses for snuggling up in bed
  • More motivation to go to the gym, because it will make me feel warm. Maybe at the end of winter I will have my dream abs*?
  • We are going to Europe in August, so we will escape some of the end of winter :)
  • There's nothing like coming in from the cold to a nice warm house 

Now we all know that if I listed the good points about summer, it would be much longer than the winter list. But I don't need any convincing about why summer is great. 

What do you like about winter? Help a girl out here!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Tutorial: Wraparound Dutch Braid

Here is an easy hairstyle that you should rock this weekend.

You will need:
-A comb 
-2 clear hair ties
- bobby pins

1. Using your comb, divide your hair on a diagonal, and divide into 2 even parts
2. Dutch braid each side. Dutch braid means 'underneath' braid, picking hair up each time. (Here is a tutorial on dutch braiding.)
3. Continue the braids right till the end, do each side, and tie the ends with the clear hair ties.
4. Bring the right braid up, and pin it into the left side, very close to the left braid. (Put the pin under the left braid so it can't be seen)
5. Repeat on the other side
6. You will now have the hairstyle, but the ends will be sticking our, so push them under the braid they are next to and pin them in. Pin around the braid for extra security
7. Voila! You're done! Spray a bit of hairspray for extra hold if you want

* Extra step. I didn't do this, but when your braids are plaited, and finished, you should 'rough them up' a bit, pull them a bit wider, to give them more volume


Note: I am getting most of these hair ideas from other peoples tutorials, who I will always reference. This tutorial is based on this hair style, and modified by me.

Saturday, 10 March 2012


It was my parents 30th wedding anniversary recently

I don't know about you, but 30 years seems like a long time. Longer than I have been alive. Longer than I can comprehend being with one person. I vowed to Matt to be with him till death parts us, and God willing that will be a lot longer than 30 years. Its just so hard, from this end of a marriage, to even imagine what we'll be like when we celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. 

I can imagine the obvious of course - a few kids who will not really be kids anymore. Maybe they're off at uni? Finding love of their own? Maybe we'll own our own house, and maybe we'll still live in wellington. Will we still be working at the same jobs?

But all that stuff is immaterial really. I can conjure that up in my mind. But I can't imagine me in 30 years, and I can't imagine me and matt. What will our love be like? What will we have weathered together? What will we have achieved, and what type of parents, of lovers, will we be?

We're both so lucky to have great parents as relationship role models. Matt's parents have been married for over 30 years

And we both have a whole host of grand parents and relatives whose love stood the test of time. Aren't we blessed to have those who can show us how to love? Who have been through ups and downs, and are more in love than ever? Who can still make their kids say 'eww stop kissing!'

I can only hope that Matt and I will be like that to our children. Because, isn't that one of the most important legacies of all?

I love these wedding photos of our relatives, and I thought it was important to have their photos at our wedding day, to honour them. They, like us, were excited, in love, naive and nervous at the start of their marriages. And they made it.

I like to remind myself of those who have gone before, and who have stayed true to love. They have walked that road, and now some of them are gone, but their legacy remains.

And to them all, we say thank you.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

The sweetest love poem

When you came you were like red wine and honey,
And the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness.
Now you are like morning bread,
Smooth and pleasant,
I hardly taste you at all, for I know your savor
But I am completely nourished

Amy Lowell, (Decade)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...