Life has been full of changes lately. Over Easter I went on an amazing trip to the Catlins. It's a whole blogpost in itself but I won't bang on about it at risk of this blog turning into 'The Residents of the Catlins'. As I've said before, going away can give you a fresh new pair of glasses on every day life! But I am always happy to come home to Wellington.
As we head into Autumn, I always get a bit of an excited spring in my step. Autumn is my favourite time of year for so many reasons (followed probably by Spring). I love getting to wear more snuggly clothes, curling up at home and winter root veggies. There is an excuse to stay inside and draw/read/watch Netflix - and you just feel like you can settle in for the winter. Wellness is very important to me at this time of year and so my focus is on looking after myself inside and out (plus getting treats).
It's time, then, to bundle together my top tips for a top toasty Autumn... yes - the weather is a bit lousy sometimes. But it's a great time to just chill and think about yourself rather than running to another barbecue. Nature tells us Autumn is a time to gather our nuts for winter. So I have been adopting an approach that is about staying in more and conserving more for me. Take out of it what works for you. These are just some things I have found that raise my spirits or help me save on money/wellness.
1. Hit the Wellington Markets for healthy (and cheap) fruit and veg
I've been trying to slow down a bit and remember to do the simple things to look after my health a bit better. And the building block of wellness is food. In Wellington we are blessed with a wonderful Sunday market on the waterfront. The other morning, I headed down to Chaffers Dock and I got amongst the carrots and banannas. I spent only $24 and got HEAPS of fruit and veggies (mainly veggies actually). I often take the markets for granted but having a well stocked pantry is the best. It has really helped me get more organised in my week. Also, making meals on Sunday is pretty relaxing and saves lots of money.
(Side note: While I was paying, I had the best encounter with a person standing behind me in the line who as I finished up turned around to me and said "Hey! You're The Residents". It was actually the best feeling ever! I felt chuffed to have someone who I had no idea who they were notice me and connect it with the blog! So if you see me out and about in Wellington come and say hello. It will make my day!)
2. Order yourself perfect hand-picked flowers from Yvette Edwards Florist!
When I arrived back home from a work trip last week, I found a secret admirer had left flowers on my doorstep. I was stoked!! Sadly, I have no actual mysterious secret admirer. In fact, it was a lovely treat from florist Yvette Edwards to celebrate the launch of their online gift and flower store. Now in my opinion flowers are THE BOMB. Flowers just make me happy, and when the weather is a bit grey and drizzly and work is not spinning my wheels, I need a pick me up (for the record, I had actually had a fabulous week at work so these were the cherry on top of the cake).
The online store lets you send flowers to other people as well as gifts from fabulous brands like Tailor. You can also subscribe for a regular delivery of flowers and foliage from the field to the vase.
Why do flowers matter? Well, most recently I have been quoting from a beautiful open letter from my favourite writer, Catlin Moran. I think she says it best in her open letter to troubled teenage girls.
"Buy flowers – or if you are poor, steal one from someone’s garden; the world owes you that much at least: blossom – and put them at the end of the bed. When you wake, look at it, and tell yourself you are the kind of person who wakes up and sees flowers. This stops your first thought being, “I fear today. Today is the day maybe I cannot survive any more,” which I know is what you would otherwise think. Thinking about blossom before you think about terror is what girls must always do, in the Bad Years."
3. Share your snaps and create a conversation with family who you haven't spoken to in a while
Sometimes life just whizzes by. It's easy to forget to get in touch with friends and family. Technology can be so helpful and I love messaging my mum and my family with funny photos. It can be a wonderful thing to stop and take a picture and then share it with someone you love. Lately I've been taking pictures for all things blog related. When you slow down and notice moments you appreciate the world around you so much more. It can be a starting point for a new conversation.
My brother Tom lives in Sydney and he sent me these gorgeous photos of the streets of Sydney. I do sometimes get busy and accidentally forget to say hello to him. Recently he sent me these lovely photos to share - he thought they were very Residents like. Although they are actually in Sydney, not Wellington, it made me remember he is thinking of me. So I thought I would share them.
I love the idea of gardening in allotments in the city. People can create community while growing excellent vegetables. It makes so much sense. I also love the greenery and public space captured in these photos. They really make me feel happy. I have decided to start saving my money so I can visit him in Sydney again soon.
Also, isn't this poster just the best??
4. Re-organise your wardrobe
Hands up who regularly stores their clothes like this??
I decided that it was time to get serious about looking after my clothes better. My top tips are:
- Take everything out of the wardrobe and chuck on the floor
- Wipe shelves/get rid of useless coat hangers
- Decide how you want your clothes organised (i.e. by tops/skirts/dresses or by season or by occasion (i.e. work clothes and weekend clothes)
- Separate anything that needs to be mended/sold on Trademe/ ironed/ is out of season
- Fold items and place in piles back on shelves or hang clothes on hangers. Try and layer jackets over dresses on hangers or trousers under shirts to save space
- Take rest of clothes and iron each thing that needs TLC - do it now! If you think you will do it later - you probably won't
- Set aside about 4 hours to do it properly (maybe that's just because I have too many clothes) - there is nothing worse than having to stop half way through and come back to the task
- Take care of shoes too - separate any that need to be re-soled or polished
Tidying my wardrobe always makes me feel like I am on top of life. It is so helpful to remember what you have in your own cupboard. You can put together new outfits without going shopping. Now I feel like I have a whole new set of clothes for the winter season. Plus I have made some pocket money from selling things I don't wear!
5. Re-style your space for the winter lock-down
I love having a space of my own. Recently I invested in a print from 31 Days In as a treat. I recently did a post about them which you can read if you want to know more (see link on their name).
Anyway, this led to me completely re-doing all my pictures into a photo frame exhibition on the wall. Pictures just look so much more complete when you can see them framed. I then went and bought a new lamp from Freedom, a new side table, and generally updated the bedroom. When you spend more time inside in winter, its nice to have a clean and well thought out space to retreat to. So I would certainly recommend giving your space some love at this time of year.
One update was an elephant head made of felt on the back wall. I found it at Redcurrant and have placed it over my bed to keep me protected. I also replaced my pillows and pillowslips for some lovely ones from Household Linens.
I think my mother makes an excellent hand model, don't you reckon? Take some time and make sure you have a place you love to be in. It's worth investing in those bits and pieces you keep meaning to buy/replace. You will thank yourself for it when you have a lovely relaxing space to be in. Don't forget to get a new candle to burn into the long winter nights too.
6. Head to Yoga to feel powerful and fresh
I love myself a bit of yoga and stretching. Lately, I've been trying a few different studios for size. At 15 Johnston Street Wellington you will find the fabulous and seriously sexy Power Yoga. This yoga is focused on strength and fitness and was founded in Australia in 2004.
I tried their class a few weeks back with the lovely Jax of Libertine Teas. Housed in a beautiful historic character building with rustic charm and original Matai timber flooring, this a beautiful sanctuary in the heart of the city. The studio is custom built and feels light and airy. I just wanted to hang out there all afternoon. The staff are knowledgable, helpful and friendly and they really try and make you feel at home.
Boy - the yoga was no stroll in the park (I haven't been in ages properly) but I felt A-M-A-Z-I-N-G afterwards. It is based in Vinyasa Yoga so is quite vigourous. I certainly had a sweat up.
The class wasn't overly hard to grasp but it definitely required exertion of strength. I found myself with sore limbs that week, particularly around my poor abs. This meant laughing became painful. I am really looking forward to heading back soon! Namaste!!
Tell me, what are your Autumn tips to stay on your game? Leave a comment below!
If you want more cool stories about Wellington and exclusive snapshots of life in the city, subscribe to the blog (above), follow on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and add me on Snapchat (residents_welly).