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The ultimate New York (time lapse) moment

When people ask me why I love New York, this is what I say…

This amazing New York time lapse is by my very talented friend Peter Drew who runs Cheeky Beagle, and it sums up my love affair with New York perfectly.

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How do you split the chores in your house?

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Our apartment looks so nice when it’s clean

When you’re cohabitating with a significant other, one of the biggest things you will bicker over is housework. Unfortunately it’s one of those inevitable things in life, like death and taxes, unless you just want to let your bathroom become overgrown by mould, in which case I say more power to you! (I also say ‘thanks for the invite, but I don’t want to come over for dinner because you’re gross’)

Our household has one of those modern situations where one of us works from home (me), although thankfully my man also worked from home for a long time so he can sympathise with my situation. We also live in a very small apartment so it can get really messy really quickly. On the flip side, it also means cleaning up is quick but that’s not the point.

There seems to be a few universal rules about housekeeping that a lot of people subscribe to, like the person who didn’t cook dinner has to do the washing up. Both fortunately and unfortunately for me my husband fancies himself as Jamie Oliver, so while I get a gourmet meal every night, I also get lumped with the shit job of washing up every night. And while our apartment is tiny, it came with huge appliances – a mansion sized fridge, a huge oven, and a dishwasher that’s good for dinner parties. Shame we only own 4 knives and 4 forks. Every night as I wash up, I curse the oversized dishwasher. This *is* a sponsored post by Fisher & Paykel, but I feel like their little underbench dishdrawers would be a big help in our household – they are far more economical and would also mean I had more cupboard space because they are half the size of a regular dishwasher (side note: we have lots of cupboards in the kitchen but they are all up high and being that I am 5’2” I can’t reach half of them – shawty needs to drop it low)

The other thing about husband doing all the cooking, and me being the one at home most days, is that I get to do everything else (bathroom/dusting/vacuuming/mopping). This has caused some consternation of late – chores are inevitable, but is it fair that he gets to do something he loves as his chore (cooking) while I get something I hate as my chore (cleaning the toilet). I have really tried to be more like my girl Smaggle, who manages to make cleaning sound like an awesome party game, but some days I just can’t enjoy scrubbing the grout. I need someone to deliver me one of those magical boxes of Swiffer magic – man I love Morty and Lee. Maybe I could just employ Lee to do my chores, and that would keep the peace.

Since some chores are better than others, how do you split them to keep everyone happy?

fisher & Paykel Dishdrawer small dishwasher household chores

So small. So much extra cupboard space. Swoon.

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Why I’m cranky at Clinique

Hey Clinique, I have a bone to pick with you.

One of my must have products is the Blushwear Cream Stick in 01 Glow Blush. I have been wearing this beautiful golden bronze with gold shimmer blush every day for about 8 years (holy shit, that’s a long time) – it’s the perfect colour, I love the texture, it looks good on me, and it doesn’t break the bank (at least, it doesn’t break the bank here in the US – Australia is a different story).

I hit the rim of the bullet back in February, and shuffled off to Sephora to buy a new one. It is now August and I am only just finishing the old one. There was an extra SIX MONTHS worth of product tucked away below the edge. For six months I have been awkwardly digging out product every day. Had I not persevered, I would have wasted and thrown away six months of perfectly good product. Six months! Bear in mind this is my every day blush, so it wasn’t just a few extra days of product. No, this was over 100 extra wears. How is that right? How is that fair?! Get your shit together Clinique. It’s a waste of product and time. Harumph. Good day to you.

I said good day!

Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick 01 Glow 2 bad review beauty blogger wasting product

The new one is finally going to get a run

Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick 01 Glow 2 bad review beauty blogger wasting product

Look how deep down the bullet holder goes! Six months deep

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Stress free entertaining in a small apartment

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My teeny tiny living room

I love entertaining. I’m in my element when I’m planning menus, and my friends will tell you that no one commits to a theme quite like I do. When we were packing up to move to NYC, we unearthed all manner of party paraphernalia – it was a graveyard of sombreros, blow up cacti, children’s party toys, and an excessive amount of Christmas decorations. We had an amazing apartment back home for entertaining, but sadly we now live in a 2×4 with no balcony so I have had to tone down my soirees. That said, I have a few occasions on the horizon that require a trip to Party City, which is why I devised my handy list of stress free entertaining in a small apartment.

  1. Plan ahead. Whether it’s two for dinner or 20 for drinks, don’t leave it until the morning of to go to the grocery store or decide you need to clean the apartment. If you’re stressed on the day, it won’t be a fun experience, which is the exact opposite of what entertaining should be.
  2. Keep it simple. Good for you if you can bang out a vichyssoise, lobster ravioli with handmade pasta, and then a baked alaska like it’s no big deal. For us mere mortals the best thing to do is pick one thing and do it well. Make a great pasta dish? Fab – serve it up family style so everyone can share. Do a great dip? Let’s grab some corn chips and get this show on the road. Now is not the time to try new recipes. Not everything that comes out of the kitchen needs to be Michelin star.
  3. Do all your preparation beforehand. Regardless of whether it’s a dinner party or finger food, 75% of your menu should be prepared in advance. Nothing should require last minute construction or garnishing, and it definitely should not require you to stand in the kitchen over the stove while your guests mingle without you! Food stress does not lead to a…
  4. Relaxed atmosphere. If you’re tense, your guests will be tense. I’m sure we have all been to a party where the host ran around like a blue-arsed fly all night, and no one really felt at ease. If you do 1, 2, and 3, then you should be good for 4.
  5. Avoid useless work. This ties in with 4. We all wants things to be perfect, but I guarantee your guests care more about the company than whether your napkins are ironed or the top of your fridge is clean.
  6. Set the mood. Good music, somewhere for people to sit (a must if your apartment is small like ours with only one couch – rearrange your chairs to make people comfy), perhaps some candles for atmosphere. Added bonus – if the lights are dimmed and there are candles flickering, no one will notice that the top of the fridge is dirty anyway! Score!
  7. Delegate. People will always want to pitch in and help (and if they don’t, you may want to look at who you are friends with). Don’t feel bad about getting your friend to take the platter of nibbles around, or asking someone to open the wine.
  8. Keep things moving. Make sure everyone knows they have easy access to a bin so they can dump their scraps and bottles, rather than leaving little surprises for you to find later.
  9. The clean up. Nothing kills your buzz after hosting a great party than realising you have to wash up 30 dishes. My strategy is always ‘no food or drink left out’ – cockroaches and ants can sense a party – and then loading the dishwasher and abandoning ship. I don’t use my dishwasher all the time because the one we have is so big that it seems a waste to run it for two people, but it always gets a run (pardon the pun) when there’s a party. The good kids at Fisher & Paykel  have a range of DishDrawer dishwashers to fit every space and requirement, which is perfect for small apartments because you can get half-sized drawer dishwashers. Anyway, load, set, and walk away. When you wake up the next day, everything is clean! Ok, the dishes are clean. If only there was an automated way to clean the bathroom.
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Look how convenient that dishdrawer is!

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