year of firsts


Elise from The Confetti Room shared a list of goals she set to help her break out of her comfort zone and she invited other blogger over at the Brunch Club to do the same. I loved how she described it as “a year dedicated to myself and (…) focused solely on eliminating my fears and doing what I really want to do with my life”. It inspired me to put together a list of my own to keep track of my accomplishments.The rules are quite simple, so please feel free to share yours too!

– Make a list of at least 20 – 30 ‘firsts’ you want to experience this year – make them detailed & juicy!
– Document those experiences by taking photos & bloging about them, linking back to your list.
– Post your url in the comment section. I will add your link to the list of participants below.
– Leave a comment on the other participants #YearOfFirsts posts! 🙂


1. Explore new parts of Wellington by foot.

2. Go to a new city in New Zealand.

3. Visit a new country.

4. Go to a karaoke bar.

5. Make a new friend.

6. Invite my next door neighbour for a coffee or BBQ.

7. Do 30 minutes of yoga every day for 30 days.

8. Learn to play the ukulele.

9. Run 10km straight.

10. Get my motorcycle restricted licence.

11. Ride to work on my Vespa by myself.

12. Buy a larger motorcycle.

13. Decorate my flat with prints of my own photos.

14. Save my tomato plant.

15. Put some stuff I don’t use anymore for sale.

16. Buy a Kitchenaid stand mixer.

17. Buy a new, better laptop.

18. Buy a bicycle.

19. Go a whole month without buying any takeaways.

20. Attend a Brunch Club event and meet more bloggers in person.

21. Post more often, at least 3 times a week.

22. Read my camera’s manual, learn how to properly use it and make the most of it.

23.  Submit a short story to a literary competition.

24. Do NaNoWriMo.

25. Create something (short stories collection, a travel guide, anything) to put for sale on the blog.

26. Create a media kit and approach a company for a partnership.

27. Record a podcast.

28. Put together a survey to get to know my readers.

29. Take some of the Google Analytics Academy courses.

30. Finish my “about me” page.

Other bloggers participating: Ben Evans, Bunny Eats Design, How Do You Do 22, Amber in Wonderland, Emma Louisa and Elese Aesthete.

(photo taken this afternoon at Evans Bay, Wellington)

5 things i learnt listening to the nerdist podcast




If you see me with my headphones on, chances are I’ll be listening to the Nerdist podcast. On my way to work or at the gym, I don’t even listen to music anymore. And at home, I’ll turn my speakers on and listen to it while doing the dishes or any other chore. Hosted by Talking Dead’s Chris Hardwick, and usually accompanied by comedians Jonah Ray and Matt Mira, the podcast is an hour long chat on nerdiness, creativity, life, work, comedy and everything in between. With over 600 episodes released since 2010, some of the guests they had on the podcast include: Sir Paul McCartney, Guillermo Del Toro, Kevin Smith, members of the cast of Community and The Walking Dead, Tom Hanks, Neil Patrick Harris, Dave Grohl, Anna Kendrick, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and several other interesting and funny people. The language is totally NSFW and the jokes can be so dirty and absurd, it’s hard not to burst out laughing. But then the conversation can take a turn and become deeper and more philosophical, and it’s exactly that mix of themes that turned me into a hardcore fan. Every episode makes me see the guests under a different light and a lot of what they talk stays with me for a while. So I’ve put together a list with five things I learnt listening to the Nerdist podcast to share with you guys.


1. Worry is a misuse of imagination

I used to be super anxious and I’d create so many scenarios in my head, trying to convince myself that I was simply getting ready in case things went wrong. It took me years to realise that this kind of behaviour is simply a huge waste of energy and brain power. I’m doing my best to keep my anxiety to a minimum, some old habits take time to get rid of, but I function better using my imagination to good use (like updating this blog!). It’s a theme that comes back time and time again as anxiety is a common trait to creatives.


2. You can’t control the outcomes, but you can control your perception of them

This actually ties in perfectly with the previous idea of how worrying is pointless as you can’t really control some of the outcomes in life, but you can definitely control how you perceive them. There’s nothing wrong with failing, specially if you’re able to spin it around and see it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and grow. And it’s up to you what exactly can be considered a “failure” anyway, it all comes down to your own perception in the end.


3. Don’t compare yourself to others

Watching other people succeed can feel like looking at a negative mirror that only shows all the things you’re not doing or maybe you’re not good at, but for the sake of your own sanity, don’t let yourself fall into that trap. Honestly, no good will come out of it. Be happy for them, use it as fuel to find your own space and keep doing your own thing. Don’t allow comparison to steal your thunder. And its a bit reassuring to hear that coming out of someone as accomplished as Charlie Day, even he feels a bit jealous of Justin Timberlake’s dancing skills at times.


4. Be kind to yourself

It’s funny how I’d rarely treat myself with the same empathy and understanding that I offer to my friends, acquaintances or even strangers. And it’s interesting how a lot of people feel that if they were able to go back in time and tell only one thing to their past-selves it’d be to relax a bit more. On his episode, Ethan Hawke mentioned the time he interviewed Kris Kristofferson and that’s exactly what he would do. We tend to be so hard on ourselves, we worry too much and take mistakes too seriously and feel like shit close to other people’s achievements. Give yourself a break, you’ve deserve it more than you think you do!


5. Enjoy your burrito 

Episode 39 with Rainn Wilson marks the birth of the Nerdist mantra now used to close every episode, based a motto Jonah came up with while struggling with his career in comedy early on. Basically the only good thing in his life at the time was having his favourite burrito and one day he got really depressed as he was halfway done and realised he’d have to get back to his crappy job once he finished eating. So he decided to enjoy the moment, treasure it, and worry about the future and other stuff later. It’s a nerdy carpe diem, a reminder to not get so caught up in minor problems and cherish the present as you’re living it. We tend to idolise the past or put a lot of expectations in the future, and end up forgetting to enjoy the delicious burrito we might have right this second in our hands. I used to think of carpe diem as a philosophy too hedonist for someone as anxious as me but now I see it more like being grateful for your blessings so you can experience them fully. Plus, it’s also quite cool to hear actors with beautiful voices and accents like Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston saying it as their episodes come to and end.


Bonus lesson
Polarise, don’t neutralise: this was brought up the first time TJ Miller was on the podcast when they discussed how it’s always better to cause a reaction and stand by your work and your art than simply follow whatever everybody else is doing just to be liked. Find your own voice, be truthful to yourself, and your audience will get it and accept you.


What about you, what podcasts do you listen to? Any meaningful life lessons? Maybe I can make an exception and give a chance to something new if it sounds interesting. 😉

12 funny things seen on a road trip in New Zealand

When you travel nearly 3,000km, you come across some things that are so weird and cute and curious (sometimes all at once!) that can only be described as funny.  Even the fact that many of those things were spotted in pairs, close to each other, is a funny coincidence! I didn’t take photos of everything, but here’s a list of 12 of the funniest things I saw around the North Island.




Eutopia Café in Kaiwaka was closed for renovations but its exterior showed a lot of promise.




This life-size doll at the Mormors Café in Kaiwaka freaked me out, I didn’t have my glasses on when I noticed it and for a split second I thought it was a real person!




The Christmas spirit was very much alive at the Otamure Bay camping ground in Whananaki. There was even a nativity scene on the beach!




These public toilets are considered the main tourist attraction in Kawakawa.




Tapotupotu Bay has the friendliest crab ever. and also…




Kudos to whoever drew Squidward Tentacles on the sand!




Tirau, in the Waikato, has this giant sheep…




And of course there’s a shepherd dog nearby!




This mini-lighthouse at Anderson Park in Napier is beyond adorable!




But the mini-oil rig on the same lake was a bit odd…




If you ever drive by Dannevirke, make sure to check out this impressive toy car collection with over eight thousand models at Dave’s Den.





And to finish this list off, a creepy bulldozer in Ngawi, a fishing village on the south coast on the way to Cape Palliser.


What did you think? Any favourites? 😉

6. sharing is caring: interesting links and finds


Next week is Wellington anniversary and I couldn’t be happier. I love public holidays like I love cake: without any guilt and specially in large amounts! This Tuesday I hanged out with a few bloggers from the #BrunchClub and it was great to meet them in person. And the free DLC for Assassin’s Creed Unity finally came out and it took me longer to download it than to finish it… Well, here are few links to keep you guys entertained, hope you like this week’s selection. 🙂

A free workbook to help you assess last year and set goals for 2015.

Sia’s beautiful new video featuring Shia Lebouf and Maddie Ziegler.

And  another side to Shia Lebouf…

Neil Gaiman reveals the secret to becoming a writer.

 The most annoying people on the plane starring Sir Patrick Stewart.

Le Diner en Blanc, the pop-dining phenomenon, is heading to Auckland in February.

Harper Collins ‏loaded a Pinterest board with 100+ browsable samples of new releases and bestsellers.

Rimutaka Cycle Trail named one of the 2015 ‘hottest new travel experiences‘ by Lonely Planet.

The 2015 Oscar nominees were announced this week and Vanity Fair has a list of the 17 biggest snubs and surprises for this year.

Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox, this girl can.

(photo taken this month at the Wellington waterfront)

the wanderlust tag



Like I said before, my word for 2015 is explore and wanderlust is the greatest fuel there is to adventure. Today the girls over the #BrunchClub shared the Wanderlust tag, which is a series of travel-related questions, and I decided to join in and post my answers.

Where was your first plane to?

From my hometown in the Northeast region of Brazil to Curitiba, in the South, where I lived for 17 years before moving to New Zealand.

Where have you traveled to that you would love to visit again?

Japan, for sure! How can you not fall in love with a country that makes videos like this?

You’re leaving tomorrow, money is no object, where are you going?

Capri, in Italy, for a luxury romantic holiday. And even if you skip the luxury, the scenery and food and wine make up for it.

Preferred method of travel; planes, trains or car?

Road trips turn the journey into part of the fun, but planes cover longer distances, so it’s hard to choose. And just the other day I caught myself looking up prices for the Trans-Siberian Express.

Favourite travel website?

Skycanner for cheap tickets, Pinterest for inspiration.


New York City


Where would you travel to just eat the food?

India. Sightseeing can wait, first let me try all the different curries, the variety is astonishing!

Is there a place you would never go again?

I wouldn’t say “never”, but Paraguay is way down my list of countries to return to.

Can you recite your passport number from memory if asked?

Not really… I know some of the letters and numbers but always get the order wrong.

Do you prefer the Window, Aisle, or Middle seat?

Window. It’s crammed anyway, might as well enjoy the view.

How do you pass the time on the air plane?

Playing Monopoly with my husband on his phone, or watching movies. I admire those who can read on a plane but I get too distracted.

Some of the other blogs participating: Sarah Sees the World, The Life and Times, Bunny Eats Design, This is Meagan Kerr, Move Love Eat, Becca Jane LeexoxBubblesLove from Jess xo, The Confetti Room, Child of Ponderings, A Food Awakening Blog and My Foxy Corner.

(photos taken in 2008, in Shanghai and New York City) 

up, down & all around: my end of the year north island adventure




Happy new year everyone! May 2015 be kind and awesome to all of us! 🙂

Last year was incredibly overwhelming, the good moments were so meaningful but the bad ones were just as intense. I feel stronger than ever, having survived so many challenges in 2014, and very proud of everything I’ve achieved. It wasn’t easy, but all the more rewarding.

And this road trip was exactly that: an amazing reward. After five years living in New Zealand Ivan and I were finally able to enjoy a long holiday and visit the lighthouse in Cape Reinga, on the top of the North Island. Looking back at all the crappy jobs we had, the long hours and low wages, and where we stand now, knowing that our lives improved so much, fills me with gratitude.




Here are just a few of my road trip stats:

– 2,815 km traveled

– 11 cities visited

– 10 days on the road

– 1,422 photos taken

– 4 holiday parks, 2 DOC camping grounds and 1 motel

– 1 very reliable Ducati 600SS

My head is full of post ideas and I’m so excited to share it all with you!

And you? How did you spend the final days of 2014? Any plans for this year?

eateries: remedy coffee




During my last trip to Auckland, I decided to only eat at cafes where I had never been before. I usually look up lists like “top places to go for brunch” just so I can have a starting point, but this time I decided to be more spontaneous. Two Saturdays ago, as my husband and I were walking up Queen St, I  simply pointed to Remedy Coffee on the other side of the street and said “why we don’t have breakfast there?”. Luckily, I couldn’t have picked better .





There’s this trend now of hyping up places with difficult access for tourists but one of the things I really liked about Remedy is how central it is, how easy it was to find it and remember how to get there. Located on 1 Wellesley St, just off Queen St, the cafe is within walking distance of many hotels and backpackeers in the CBD.





Filled with stacks of books, comic books and board games, the walls appealed to my nerdiness straight away. But if you’re into more factual reading, there are newspapers available too.




I usually order a long black but that day I felt like having something more sweet. My mocaccino was delicious, the temperature just right, great balance of chocolate and coffee. My husband also enjoyed his espresso. You get $0.50 off if you bring your own cup, save your money and the environment. The staff is friendly and service is good and fast, we had time to enjoy our meal without being late for my appointment and noticing all the details around the walls was a nice way to kill time before our order arrived.






Extra points for the corn kernels in the scone, what a delightful surprise! It goes so well together with bacon. We left planning to come back the next day to try different things from their menu or cabinet, and totally forgot to check if it’d actually be open on Sundays. Business hours are Monday to Friday from 6:30am to 6pm, and on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm. Some other time then, one more reason to return to Auckland.



There’s a monthly prize for best mirror selfie under #remedycoffeenz on Instagram. And the Arcade is on free play!


My bill: $17.00 for 2 coffees and 2 scones (06 Dec).