Category Archives: Monsterful Mondays

Monsterful Monday: The electric flamingo

Because it turns out that ‘Tulip’ by La Riche Directions is a lot more magenta than red. How do I know? This is how:

Me with pink hair

It took 2 hours and a lot of standing in the shower (which I am cleaning this week because, well, pink) but I LOVE my new hair colour. It glows and, according to one work colleague, even looks great windswept (because of the ‘halo’ effect). I’m so grateful it turned out beautifully, and also grateful to my friend Evie, who I sought advice from. She dyes her hair all the time- her tips were to, and I quote, “bleach the f*** out of it first with L’Oreal Perfect Blonde Maximum”, and then leave the Directions colour on for an hour- 20 minutes is “for people who actually want the colour to wash out”. It’ll be pink for the next while, but I have plans involving going red, then purple, then blue, then back to pink…

Social funtimes

This weekend we had another Girls Night, which is turning into a monthly thing. This time, we all packed into a couple of cars and headed off to the wilds of the North Shore for glow-in-the-dark minigolf and Mongolian Barbecue. It was lots of silly fun, and great to spend some time with a lovely group of women. A few of us deliberately wore white things for the minigolf, because blacklight. First prize for that goes to my flatmate, who turned up in a white 50s dress and white striped leggings- she was like a glow-in-the-dark Alice in Wonderland, and it was glorious. I’m so grateful to be getting to know my girlfriends in Auckland better, it makes me feel even more at home.

I could have spent Sunday recovering. I *could* have, but I volunteered to model for a promo photoshoot for Moonbright, a forthcoming campaign LARP here in Auckland being written by my flatmates. A bunch of us had a blast running around the Auckland Domain on Sunday (with a break for pizza) with beautiful fantasy makeup by Kara of Painted People (who is amazing, if you’re planning an event in Auckland and want a facepaint artist, seriously contact her, she is worth every penny of her asking price).

I spent the first half of the shoot as a badass cat, and the second half as a blue and purple snake. Lots of excited small children and tourists, including one particularly pushy busfull who after one of them took a photo with one of us wanted all kinds of photos with everyone. But mostly, it was people standing off at a distance taking photos of us with their phones. So if I end up big in Japan, you’ll know why.  Such a fun way to spend a day with friends, throwing together outfits, posing and mucking about. Having four of us made up as cats when there were pigeons around led to one of my favourite photos of the day:

Photo by Matt Brunton

Photo by Matt Brunton

Also the photographer, who’s a friend of mine, made sure to get some photos of the Best Beloved and I in our finery (he spent the shoot as ‘the Violence Fairy’- big-ass wings and gorgeous facepaint but NO glitter), and new pictures of us always make me so happy.

The little things: #lovetober and finding SO many tattoo artists to admire on Instagram, getting excited for the work bake-off, putting the finishing touches on a project I’ll be sharing with you guys soon (so excited!), getting such good things from meditation, Molly Crabapple, texting, good moisturiser (when you’ve spent the day in and out of makeup your skin thanks you for it!), and looking forward to visiting Wellington for Jenni’s birthday and tattoo funtimes.

What about you?


Monsterful Monday: Unexpected liquorice

Because I’m sorry but if it’s a red candy heart and it’s on top of a red velvet cupcake, I anticipate some kind of berry flavour. Weird.

Anyway…(ooh, surprise cream centre!), I think we can all be grateful for the existence of cupcakes, especially cupcakes I totally swiped from an extremely frustrating meeting, because even though the meeting was frustrating at least there was food.

There are probably people who can view both spring forward and fall back with equanimity. I am not one of those people. I like having sunlight in the morning. But I did get an extra night of snuggles with the best beloved, which I am very grateful for.

I’m also grateful for useful meetings outnumbering frustrating ones, for the Four Agreements, for Things and Ink (the latest issue arrived on Friday and was, as usual, both full of interesting articles and beautiful art).

I’m finally a member of the library! I’m very grateful for this even if it is highly dangerous, knowing what I’m like at remembering due dates. For books! I may have already reserved two. And by ‘may’ I mean I did.

I’m very late to the party, but The Bloggess has had me almost falling off my chair with laughter, which was especially good on Friday when I was very grumpy. I’m rather worried at how likely many of her stories would be to happen to me. Luckily I think my Best Beloved would be OK with that. Knock knock, motherfucker.

Small things: the fact that things like this happen at my work, being able to sleep in, successfully timing mac and cheese completion. The existence of this dress ,even though I can in no way afford it. It makes me happy just looking at it. I also think I need all of these candles. You know, for my fantasy retro burlesque sparkly rainbow apartment. Re-living the 90s (I still refuse to accept they are now retro) with ninja turtles- both the proper 90s ones and the silly Michael Bay ones (which were not as silly, or as far from the original, as we expected). Social time with friends, especially the ones I don’t see often enough. And finally, coconut rum ice-cream. Trying new things. It can be awesome.

Monsterful Monday- Two out of Seven Dwarves

I’m sleepy. I’m also Grumpy.

The last thing I feel like is writing about the things I’m grateful for, because the things that have upset me are clamouring for all my attention.

Which is precisely why I’m doing this. I need it. When I’m in a bad place, I need it so very much more than when I’m in a good place.

So: I’m grateful for good friends. For a clean, dry place to sleep- walk down Queen Street and you’ll always see at least two people who don’t have one. For restaurants that will deliver hot, delicious food to your door. For butter paneer, a butter naan, rice, and onion bhajis.

I’m grateful for how when my Best Beloved holds me, all the grumpiness goes away. For how warm he is, physically and emotionally. For how he puts up with me when I’m in a bad mood, and gives me tenderness when I’m hurting.

I’m grateful for exciting times ahead- bridesmaiding for my best girlfriend, and getting tattoos I’m really excited about. For Molly Crabapple giving me permission to use one of her stunning artworks as a tattoo. For Rock and Roll Bride arriving in the post so I can give it to the bride to be.

For considering my spending priorities, and working out what I’m really passionate about, so I can act more in alignment with the things that really get me juiced and make me happy.

Here’s to better days.

Monsterful Monday du Soleil

First up, Cirque du Soleil. Sweet Jesus. Their show ‘Totem’ is currently in Auckland, and the fun and games of getting across a raceway in the pouring rain to the Grand Chapiteau (when I say fun and games I mean wet muddy feet and, well, pouring rain) were completely worth it. It’s absolutely astonishing what the performers in Cirque can do. The aerials (especially the double act on a stationery trapeze) were a big highlight for me, but then aerials always are. And can we just talk about the pair whose finale to their act involved one of them balancing upside down with ONE SHOULDER ON HER PARTNER’S FOOT?! If you want to see what complete trust looks like, watch any of the acts with more than one person. Holy wow.

I went with my Best Beloved’s best friend, and getting to know her better and share that experience with her was an added bonus. If you’re in Auckland, or if you get the chance to see one of their shows- GO. We were lucky and got discounted tickets through Grab One,  but when they come back I would happily pay full price. And talk about inspiration for getting better at acro! And at adding sequins and sparkles to costumes…

The rest of the weekend was extremely relaxing which was good because next weekend is a big campaign game weekend, and will therefore be not even a little bit relaxing. My Best Beloved, as usual, was wonderful, letting me nap whenever I needed to, including napping on him, and giving lots of snuggles.

The two back issues of Things and Ink that I ordered arrived over the weekend, and were definitely worth it. The Art issue in particular had some really beautiful tattoos, and the writing throughout is good and fascinating. Also I now want to make an appointment with Tracy D at Kings Cross Tattoo next time I’m in the UK. This art nouveau flamingo is one of hers and I. Am. In. Love. I mean come ON- ART NOUVEAU FLAMINGO. I’d love to meet whoever has it so I can shake their hand and admire it in person. For now I’ll content myself with a subscription to the magazine, and poring over every glorious page, as well as getting super excited for Nursey No Mercy doing my next piece. It’s going to be special.

Finally, meditation. I’ve been using my tarot deck for my daily meditation practice and it’s getting me such beautiful results that on Wednesday I’m going to share how I do it, just for you. A little different from the usual set of links, but still bringing you some joy for the middle of the week. I hope you’ll join me- and join in.

The Little Things

Mongolian Barbecue at Gengis Khan (how can you not love a place where you can have as much as you want, and get your delicious Mongolian barbecue meat (mint-marinated lamb! SO GOOD) with a side of mac and cheese?), new shoes that don’t let the rain in, getting creative in a different way from usual, borrowing patterns from kindly fellow sewers, having a set of ab exercises to work on for acro, lighter mornings (so much easier to wake up in time to meditate when you’re as fundamentally lazy as I am), the Parlour, Avengers Assemble, Angelique Houtkamp, text conversations, having a view of the ocean from each of the offices I work at during the week, awesome work colleagues, good advice, and, as usual, tea.

Monsterful Monday against Humanity

It’s been a rather beautiful week.

On Tuesday, my new Shadowscapes tarot deck arrived, and I’m so glad I got the set with the book. In the introduction, Barbara Moore (whose name is popping up all over as I start to learn more about tarot) gave a simple exercise for connecting with the deck involving drawing a card and meditating on it. The meditation I did on the Empress card as a result was something really special, and in fact I’ve done the same thing with a different card from the deck each morning as my meditation practice (which I like to switch up from time to time). So good, and it’s teaching me a lot about the meaning behind different cards for me. There may be more on that to come in the future. 

On Thursday, my first-paycheck-treat, the Luscious dress in sky blue with pirate skulls (because pirate skulls!) arrived. I tried it on immediately and I think I meeped when I saw myself in the mirror. It’s super comfy t-shirt fabric (I love things you can just pull on and relax in, while still looking good), and has already gotten plenty of compliments. Hurray for a dress that makes me feel a million bucks!

Friday saw what I suspect will be the first of many Girls Nights with some of my Auckland girlfriends. Partly to get to know my ladies outside of LARP scenarios, we all got together for a potluck and Cards Against Humanity. Damn, but these women can cater! Slow-cooked beef stew, mexican lasagne, dauphinoise potatoes, pizza, cheese log, chocolate truffles, Margarita cupcakes (my offering), salad, passionfruit ice cream and several cheesecakes. As for Cards Against Humanity… “I never really understood menstrual rage until I discovered an M-16 assault rifle”. Yep. 

Saturday involved significant napping and snuggling (things I am always thankful for), and a trip to a sale by Paddywhack at which I spent more than I intended to on things like this elven throwing knife but my costume for the next big weekend game is coming together nicely. Then in the evening at a housewarming my friend L told me about Tragic Beautiful and if I wasn’t already saving up for my next tattoo (which I’m getting done by Nursey at Dr Morse Tattoo in Wellington- her enthusiasm and general awesomeness is something else I’m grateful for), you’d better believe I’d be buying this pink leopard print bedlinen just as soon as I had the money. 

Little things:

Tattoos and tribal bellydancing things on Pinterest (so many ideas), tea, awaiting fun things in the mail, being advised to lower my expectations (a weight off my shoulders!), friends who get as excited as I do about stuff I find on the internet, vanilla milkshakes and drive-thru enabling of my hash brown habit, deciding that the only way to better Mac and Cheese would be baking it in a pie, Cetaphil lotion (which is healing my first tattoo beautifully), super-badass sunscreen, and the prospect of a hair appointment on Wednesday (what can I say, I love head massages).

How about you? What are you grateful for this week? Let me know in the comments.

Monsterful Monday: In which I am a badass

New tattoo love

I got inked less than a week ago, and so far it’s healing up a treat. I’ve been using a very thin layer of Cetaphil moisturiser on the tattoo twice a day, refraining from picking the scab (I was so proud of myself), and it’s now mostly onto the shiny ‘onion skin’ phase. Yes, probably TMI. I’m grateful I had the courage to do it, and I love the results. I’ve also been pinning like mad onto my tattoo inspiration pinterest board. Now I just have to pick the right artist for the next ones I have planned. 

I’ll confess, though, this comment on the photo I posted of it in the Parlour group made me squeal with happiness.

Comment on my tattoo from Veronica Varlow herself! Excuse me while I freak out now.


Oh yeah. I’m a badass. Don Miguel Ruiz is right- our words can create magic in the lives of others. She called me a badass, and I’ve been feeling that way ever since I read the comment. Another thing to be grateful for- I need more badassery in my life (don’t we all?). 

Finding my feet

I’m slowly getting to know Auckland. Learning how at least some of the CBD fits together has been pretty positive, and I’m starting to find the good shops. Which is very dangerous, but I’m so happy to know shops like Rita Sue exist (even if I can already tell it’s not somewhere my bank balance can come out of unscathed.) I was very restrained on Saturday when I discovered it, but the Layrite pomade I allowed myself does good things for my fringe, so I’m a happy pinup bunny. I was impressed with the range of dresses (they stock all my go-to brands) and the hair tools, and, well, everything. Like I said, dangerous. I did however also find some great op-shops and places for snootling out LARP costume bits. 

Yes, snootling is a word. Because I said so. 

I’m grateful for learning a bit more about my new city, and grateful to my Best Beloved for braving a very rainy Saturday afternoon to explore Karangahape Road with me (and for him waiting patiently while I bounced around op shops and pinup shops squeeing with delight).

Little bits of love

Planning a girl’s night (dinner and Cards Against Humanity, I can’t wait!), hot tea, snuggles, freshly-laundered bedsheets, slowly getting my room sorted, Trade Me finds, Pinterest, being excited for friends, having my earphones at work (a week without music or podcasts? Not fun!), Grooveshark, Blogcademy homeschool and Parlour videos to listen to while at work.

How about you?


My Arcana Courts 4/4: Pentacles

Well, I’m less tired than I was last week and mostly recovered from the post-convention cold, so I guess that must mean it’s time to talk about pentacles! (This is one of those ‘if it’s Wisconsin, it must be Tuesday’ type bits of logic that only make sense when you’re on medication). 

Pentacles, as I understand it, are about abundance- financial and otherwise. They often relate to your career, money, that sort of thing. But I think abundance goes deeper than that- it’s not always just about money, it’s about generosity, the gifts you share with the world, because your ‘living’ is a bit broader than just the money going into your bank account. They’re the ‘earth’ suit (apparently).


My Page/Princess of Pentacles is the same as my Knight of Swords- Sophie. She was the one who first suggested to me that I could be good at web content, and put me in touch with the person who gave me my first web content job. Without that I’d still be floundering, and I’m still grateful today for that first move.

My Knight of Pentacles is an old work colleague, Keith, who when I started in my first web content job recommended a bunch of reading to me- allowing me to take action to develop the skills to get really badass at the job. I’ll always be grateful for that.

My Queen of Pentacles is currently Veronica Varlow, who’s been encouraging us to share our gifts with the world, to give back. I’m still finding my feet in Auckland but looking for ways I can start doing that. Talents aren’t meant just for you. They’re how you step out into the world. 

And finally, the King of Pentacles. It’s my Best Beloved. How do I know this? Because when my questions are about my relationship, or when he’s on my mind, the King of Pentacles is what I always pull. In my deck’s descriptions, the King represents “a steadfast man who will help you reach your goals” (of prosperity, abundance and success). Steadfast can seem a bit plodding, but not with the Best Beloved. He always has my back, and I trust him absolutely. That’s a first for me, and something I am incredibly thankful for. 

The little things:

Lemsip, sleep, fun with friends, Cthulhu Fluxx (Secret Cultist ftw!), music, lace knitting, baby Groot, new tattoo excitement (I get my first one tomorrow!), working out a better route to work, Sourpuss clothing (for having the dress I wanted to buy with my first paycheck at the new job in stock in my size), vegetarian and vegan cooking, huge hot bowls of don buri, the local dollar store’s candle selection, quiet time, warm snuggles and the being looked after when sick (it’s been a while), crazy pet names, Pinterest, yarn, tea. 

How about you? What are you thankful for this week?