January262016

The Real Auckland Housewives

Link to NZ Herald

January262016

Another day at the office

Pic Another day at the office

 

Beat the Boredom Blues

The Monday to Friday grind got you feeling down? Has the work – home – work routine left you uninspired and exhausted? It’s time to lose those feelings of boredom and dissatisfaction and keep your life interesting and alive! Just because the holidays are officially over doesn’t mean the excitement level of our lives has to drop. I’ve come up with a few ideas to keep your weeks full of fun!

Sit Front Row

Get out there and go to a show! I love the whole experience of going to a live show – there’s something so authentic and thrilling about it, plus it’s a great excuse to dress up! The best thing about live shows is that there are so many options – ballet, musicals, opera, plays, stand-up comedy, fashion parades…there’s something for everyone! Shows also range in price, so you don’t have to fork out a ton of cash if you don’t want to. Often the best shows are the low-budget local ones. However, I do love a good musical – and Flashdance is making its Auckland run in just a couple of months! If you’re a fan of the movie or just want to watch the professionals do their thing, put this one on your to-do list!

Roadtrip!

It’s not too late for a summer roadtrip – we still have the weekends, don’t we? And this way you can avoid all that nasty holiday traffic! The best thing about New Zealand is that, no matter where you are in the country there is a beautiful destination within just a few hours drive. Depending on what type of holiday you like there are loads of options – camping, bach stays, hotels and lodges. Give yourself something to look forward to and plan the odd weekend away – there’s nothing like a Kiwi roadtrip to get your spirits high!

Lose Yourself in a Book

Gone are the days when reading was considered ‘nerdy.’ Now a sign of intellect and passion, reading is the perfect outlet to explore your interests and fuel your aspirations. If you aren’t much of a reader just think of your favourite films – chances are, at least one of them is based on a novel. There would be no Mr Darcy without Jane Austen, and no Gandalf without J. R. R. Tolkien. Aside from fiction, there are hundreds of compelling biographies and art books out there – one of my personal favourites is the work Audrey Hepburn: A Life in Pictures. Whether it’s a poetry collection, a magazine, a cookbook or a good old-fashioned novel, work your brain and invigorate your mind by picking up a piece of literature one evening and embracing your inner ‘nerd.’ 

Date Night

It may be cliché, but it’s hard to beat the classic dinner-and-a-movie date combination – there’s a reason it’s been the go-to date activity for decades! Keep things interesting by having one date night per week. This could be with a girlfriend, partner or family member – it doesn’t matter who – just giving yourself a regular evening out with company provides you with something to look forward to. While the dinner-and-a-movie scenario is a fantastic way to explore the many different eateries in your local area, you might like to shake things up and try a different activity now and then – bowling and dessert or a trip to the night markets are some fun ideas which don’t involve dipping too deeply into your wallet.

 

January072016

Summer: Staying Motivated

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For those of us lucky enough to get a break over Christmas and the New Year, there lies the issue of motivation. It can be so tempting to simply spend your time off sleeping, eating and lounging around watching television. While you certainly should treat yourself to a bit of the aforementioned behaviour, it’s also really important to make the most of your free days and New Zealand’s gorgeous weather. Here are a few helpful pointers on how to keep motivated during this time:

Set an Alarm

Unless you’re one of those people that wakes up at a decent hour automatically, definitely, definitely set an alarm each morning! There would be nothing worse than going back to work in January and realising you spent your entire holiday sleeping until noon each day. Try setting your alarm for 8am during the week, and 9am during weekends – this way you still get the best of the day but aren’t up with the sparrows. Of course, if you like getting up at the crack of dawn, go for it! The more daylight you give yourself, the more time you have to both relax and do activities. 

Have Attainable Goals

This one is really important. It’s hard to be motivated about anything if you don’t have something to strive towards or look forward to! Whatever that goal may be is completely up to you, your personal interests and desires. It could be as simple as building a herb garden, or as complex as hiking the Heaphy Track. Pick something (or several things) that you want to accomplish over the coming weeks and work on achieving them each day. Not only will this stop you from spending the majority of your break lazing around, but it will leave you feeling proud and inspired when you see the end result.

Be Organised

If you aren’t an organisational freak, there are a couple of things you could take from those that are. Having a little organisation in your day-to-day life can work wonders! You don’t have to write lists or plan everything you do right down to the final point (though if that desire is in your nature, I wouldn’t discourage you!), but following a few basic tips can really help with staying motivated. First, keep your space literally organised. By this I mean: don’t live through your holiday in a mess. Try to maintain a tidy house so you actually feel like moving around in it. More importantly, however, know what you need to before it needs doing, and have an idea of what exactly you’ll be doing each day. Even simply deciding that tomorrow you will go for a walk somewhere is enough to set your mind on that channel. You don’t need to establish where or when, just know that you are going to do that. This gives you something to work your day around.

Reward Yourself

If you’re still finding it hard to stay (or get) motivated – I know reading in a hammock by the beach all day can be VERY tempting – give yourself a small reward upon completing your goals. Establish what this reward will be when you first decide upon your goal, so that you have an incentive throughout the achieving process. It could be a chocolate bar, a spa or an evening watching your favourite chick flick – you decide!

January052016

2017: Your Year

first-week-of-jan

This year is your year. A New Year is a fresh start, a second chance, an opportunity to do better, be better, and live more fully. Let’s make 2017 your year to find true happiness and success. By kicking off the year with the right attitude and a bit of drive, you’re already on the way to enhancing your life. Take into consideration the points below and you’ll be there before you know it!

 

#goals

It’s pretty common to make goals at the start of a new year, but actually sticking to those goals is a different story. Your goals need to centre around something you really care about. If they’re generic and general, it’s easy to lose interest and motivation.

Revaluate your goals from 2016 and adjust them to suit your current situation, hopes and dreams. Think about your passions, your career direction and your aspirations. Where do you want your life to go? What kind of person do you want to be?

Once you have a few solid goals, add them to a diary or calendar, or create a goal chart so they stay in your mind. Now, make things happen for you! Stay focused, think forward and don’t hold back – keep the momentum until your goals are achieved.

 

 

#mind

The best way to make 2017 your year is to have a positive attitude. Kicking the year off feeling good about your life and about who you are sets the tone for the next 12 months. If you feel empowered, happy and in control then your start to 2017 is guaranteed to be a success.

Is your self-esteem at a healthy level? Do you feel confident in your capabilities? Do you feel in tune with your personal brand? Try to be forward-thinking so that you can fit everything into your schedule and therefore feel fulfilled. Ask yourself what you need to do to accomplish your short-term goals while still having a balanced lifestyle. Plan your time so that your hobbies don’t get forgotten and you’re able to relax. Connect with yourself and calm the soul by practicing mindfulness. Your entire life will feel the benefits.

 

 

#body

Make this the year that you really own your body and love the skin you’re in. Self-confidence and respect for your body are essential to finding real happiness. If you aren’t content with your body, your happiness is impeded. Questioning and criticising the way you look, or comparing yourself to others has a negative impact on your entire outlook. We need to embrace and celebrate our bodies in order to enhance our lives.

While we all tend to splurge a little over summer, try to maintain as balanced a diet as possible. Allow yourself a few more treats than usual, but remember to have three healthy meals a day with nutritious snacks in between. Avoid processed foods and refined sugars and opt for fresh, organic produce. Complement your diet with exercise to ensure your body is getting the proper treatment it deserves. There are lots of ways to exercise that don’t involve going to the gym, so even if you’re on holiday you can still workout.

Another way to boost your self-confidence is finding your own personal style. Knowing how to dress for your body shape, personality and values will enhance your happiness as your clothing becomes an accurate representation of who you are. Define your style, plan your wardrobe, then rock it!

January052016

New Year, New You

Girl jumps to the New Year 2016 at sunset

Hello, 2016! As we welcome in the New Year this week there is no better time to begin planning the year ahead. The old saying ‘it’s a New Year, it’s a new you’ is popular for a reason – a fresh year means a fresh start. Gone are the 365 days that were 2015, and with them any mistakes, embarrassments or mishaps that you may have suffered. You now have an opportunity to improve your life and lifestyle, in whatever way best suits you. Make this your year to shine – achieve your goals, live your life fully and be the best person you can be!

What Do I Want to Achieve in 2016?

First and foremost: establish a few aims you want to fulfil this year and write them down. I recommend having at least one big goal, and then several smaller ones. Don’t write down anything you know is completely unattainable, or things that are ridiculously simple. Choose something that you have to work towards to achieve, which will change a small or big part of your life in some way. What do you wish you did last year? Do you really want to travel? Have you never been white water rafting? Is there a course out there you’ve always wanted to complete, or a career you dream of pursuing? What about hobbies? Do you regret not taking up the saxophone in 2015, or wish you hadn’t given up on tennis or painting? Once you’ve decided on a few goals (and remember, you can always add to the list as the year goes progresses), put them somewhere you can see. Some people say to put them away and look at them at them in December; I believe being exposed to them on a daily basis will motivate and inspire you even more to pursue them. Pin them to a corkboard or tape them into the front of your diary on some cute paper.

Mentality is Magic

My best advice for 2016? Start the year with the mentality you want to hold throughout it. Here at Angela Stone we are all about positive vibes – kindness, confidence, optimism and energy are the fuel that keep our team powering through the good times and the bad. When you have a positive outlook on life, you feel better and brighten the day of those around you. There are times when being sad or frustrated are warranted, of course, but in general if you try to see the beauty in day to day life and the many different situations and experiences each day brings with it, you will be a happier person and have a happier year. If something is getting you down, think of someone that inspires you, or do something that you enjoy. If swimming is what soothes you, go for a swim. Call up a girlfriend and let them cheer you up, or grab your favourite coffee and take some time out. Having a positive mentality is a choice – while we don’t actively choose to be upset or negative, it is our choice to stay in this mood or get out of it. Lift yourself up instead of dragging yourself down this year ladies!

Reinvent Your Image

If there is anything you have been wanting to change about yourself, now is the time do so. Tired of your hairstyle, or sick of feeling unconfident about your ‘problem’ area? Over your current wardrobe and looking for some motivation? Change all that this year! Enlisting the help of a professional stylist such as myself is a fabulous way to revive your image and help you feel and look great, but there are smaller ways you can change your image on your own. Firstly, decide what you like and don’t like at present. Are there particular colours you no longer want to wear, or an item you want to buy? Which, if any, of your features are you hoping to improve? From here you can make a start. Go through your closet and clear out any items you no longer like, fit, or feel good in. Then, go shopping! Try on EVERYTHING before you buy it, and take an honest friend along for advice. If you want to work on a particular area of your body, find some exercises that target it – for example, squats and lunges are great for toning thighs. Doing the above will help inspire you and lift your spirits, as well as give you something to maintain throughout the year.