29 March 2013

Team Day #2

Every month my work tries to get together for a day - currently 18 staff members - to discuss the brand, get updates, and bond.

Last team day we stayed in the office, but had an amazing presentation/session with our brand marketing company Radiation, and a session on communication.

Yesterday was a 'mystery' day - we were told casual clothes were okay... and I was asked if I get motion sickness... So, we guessed a boat would be involved...

Boat suspicions correct - make that a ferry ride... but to where?

Mystery solved! I've never been to Waiheke before!!

First challenge of the day - arts! We are to create a wine: design a label for the wine bottle, and the wording for the back... All with keeping to our brand values! Fun :)

Off the ferry on Waiheke and to a bus - next mystery is where will the bus take us?!

Mystery #2 solved! Brooke's parents' house!

The house is amazing inside and out! Art and sculptures everywhere. We are all blissed out :)

Awesome kitchen - which we got to cook in (the second challenge!)

Champagne waiting for us on arrival, followed by hot-cross-buns!

The view is incredible - there is a huge folding glass wall/door that opens the house up to the outside

Challenge number 2 turns out to be a master chef type challenge, complete with three mystery boxes (for the three teams of four people). Our team goes with the blue chilly-bin... and finds out we are preparing the entree. Everything in the box must be used: whole pineapple, lemons, cherry tomatoes, corriander, bacon, chorizo, whole fresh prawns, spinach leaves, pasta... I'm on the sauce for the prawns, rosemary helps and is on pasta, the boys start on preparing the prawns

Team 'Main Course' (they got weird ingrediants, including chicken, chocolate, cognac!!!)

Team 'Dessert'

 I'm on sauce duty (luckily we find out early that the CEO is allergic to corriander!! So we save that as a garnish for everyone but her). I manage to scavenge from the pantry some salt, pepper, sweet chilli sauce, olive oil, and garlic. This all goes in a bowl with lemon and pineapple juice. 

Dessert looks amazing!

What a view to look out on while we eat and drink merrily :)

Starting to plate our entree

Drizzle of olive oil to finish it off

The boys did an amazing job on the BBQ

Om nom nom!

Judging time... We won for our Entree!!!

It's a hard life - we are now heading down the property for some wine tasting. This is looking back at the amazing house.

More art from the house

Easter treats

Our left-overs and food scraps go to the roosters that occupy the park

We decide to take the top deck of the ferry for the ride home

Party boat!!!! We ran into Guy Williams on the way home too - small world!

Back to the city for some drinks at the Mecure - another great view

Not all the team made it to the end - but a few of us were still going :)

It was an amazing day - I work with fantastic people and we are so lucky we can have days like this. It makes such a difference to the normal work day too - you come back reinvigorated and impassionated.

28 March 2013

Hello, I miss you, and Babies

Yes, I had a little list of cards to make this weekend! I wanted to send a card out to some friends (just to say Hi, I Miss You), as well as make two baby cards (one for a girl, and one for a boy -- my friends have been busy hehe).

First up is the general 'Hello, you rock!' and 'Miss you, you rock!' cards. I started with a base of textured pink card, My Mind's Eye 'Dolled Up' patterned paper, Lawn Fawn stamps and matching dies, PTI tiny tags stamp (for the 'you rock'), black ink, coloured pencils for the birds, double-sided tape, and foam tape (I raised up the top speech mark and bird). Simple and cute :)

Next was another 'Hello' card, utilising papers and accessories from the Dear Lizzy '5th & Frolic' collection. Again, pink textured card, '5th & Frolic' paper, chip-board floral, fabric floral, Lawn Fawn stamps and die, black ink, multi-coloured rhinestones and pink pearls.

Surprise surprise I stuck to simple designs for the baby cards too. For the baby boy (Blake :) )I  used navy/deep blue card (which didn't photograph that well), PTI stamps, black ink, blue buttons, and a blue rhinestone. At the last minute I decided to scallop the opening edge, and add some patterned paper to the inside.

Girl card (for Amelia :)  ): pink textured card, PTI stamps, pink and white dot ribbon, pink buttons, Lawn Fawn stamps and die, and black ink.

22 March 2013

Another reason to love Ryan Adams

He misheard someone from the audience request the song 'Loaf of Bread' (not one of his songs, or anyone's I don't think!). Sooo, he did what you naturally do in those situations - he made up the song on the spot!

18 March 2013

Things I am Barely Putting Up With

It's a M*nday and I'm feeling grumpy, so what better way than to rant than here...

1. I am a woman, in her 30s, who is barely putting up with blemishes!! I went through all that sh*t back in high-school. Now I use amazing beauty products... and yet today I sport an awesomely inflamed blemish! Now, I did leave out the part about me making it red and angry by constantly touching it. Still, COME OOOON! Was it too many Mini M&Ms easter eggs over the weekend (they are soooo good)? Did I not drink enough water?!

(Note: at no point did I use the P word... that being 'pimple'. This is beyond a simple pimple. Cyst sounds far too horrendous.)

(ED: old school remedy of toothpaste still works a treat! Combined with hydrogen peroxide cream my blemish is looking less mad at the world. March 20)

I give the royal finger to blemishes *also, shakes fist and curses*

2. Insomnia. WTF. Despite being tired and absolutely ready for dream-land, I was trapped in tossing-and-turning-land until after 1am this morning... only to wake up around 5am. I need sleep. I WANT sleep. Why deny me??! No one likes it when I turn into 'B*tch Michelle'.

I give the royal finger to insomnia *also, shakes both fists, falls to knees and curses*

Maybe the blemish CAUSED the insomnia... Could they be working together to chip away at my already fragile self-esteem and sanity?! Discuss below (don't - I already said I was fragile! I'm a sleep-deprived woman in her 30s, with a blemish!!).

17 March 2013

St Pats Day

Love me some google fun. These cuties actually did an Irish jig.

14 March 2013

Much Ado About Nothing

I am extremely excited about Joss Whedon's interpretation of 'Much Ado About Nothing'! He wrote, directed and produced!... And did the music, and joint editing! The film was shot in only 12 days while Joss was working on 'The Avengers'.

And as if the project wasn't personal enough it was filmed at Joss's Santa Monica home, which was design and decorated by his wife (Kai Cole). She suggested he make it in lieu of going on vacation for their 20th anniversary because it has long been his passion project. Awwww :)

The cast is very Whedon-centric (I've noted connections below), with a few newbies thrown in for good measure:

Amy Acker as Beatrice - Angel, Dollhouse, The Cabin in the Woods
Alexis Denisof as Benedick - Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse, The Avengers (he portrayed The Other) 
Nathan Fillion as Dogberry - BtVS, Firefly, Serenity, Dr Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog
Clark Gregg as Leonato - The Avengers. Anthony Head (Giles from BtVS) originally intended for the role, but was unavailable
Reed Diamond as Don Pedro - Dollhouse
Fran Kranz as Claudio - Dollhouse, The Cabin in the Woods
Sean Maher as Don John - Firefly, Serenity
Spencer Treat Clark as Borachio
Riki Lindhome as Conrade - BtVS (1 episode)
Ashley Johnson as Margaret - Dollhouse, The Avengers ('Waitress')
Emma Bates as Ursula
Tom Lenk as Verges - The Cabin in the Woods, Angel, BtVS
Nick Kocher as First Watchman
Brian McElhaney as Second Watchman
Joshua Zar as Leonato’s aide
Paul M. Meston as Friar Francis
Romy Rosemont as The Sexton - The Avengers
Jillian Morgese as Hero - The Avengers (uncredited 'woman in restaurant')

So far it's rating/reviewing well: around 83% on Rotten Tomatoes (as of today):

Lou Lumenick of the New York Post commented that "this is the funniest Shakespeare film I can recall seeing".

The Guardian scored the film four out of five stars, calling it "...the first great contemporary Shakespeare since Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet".

Christopher Schobert of IndieWire wrote, "The result is an utter joy, Whedon's most emotionally resonant and fully realized feature film to date. And I say that as one who is not a devoted member of the Whedon army".

For now I'll have to settle for the preview. Who knows when it will make it to NZ cinemas?! (no, seriously, WHO KNOW??! TELL ME!)

I heart Tim Gunn

25 Things You Might Not Know About me - Tim Gunn, 59

1. Few foods make me happier than french fries.
2. I had a terrible stutter as a child and teen.
3. I'm an Anglophile.
4. I hate driving.
5. My first job was making architectual models.
6. I was a record-holding swimmer in school.
7. I'm a bit of a clean freak.
8. I never keep my shoes on in my apartment (but you can).
9. My role as a mentor on Project Runway was created mere days before taping the first season.
10. My father was an FBI agent under J. Edgar Hoover for 26 years.
11. My apartment contains more than 2,500 books.
12. I haven't gone on a vacation for 12 years!
13. I'm an HGTV junkie.
14. My favourite movie is The Wizard of Oz
15. When people ask me for advice, I never critique the things they can't change.
16. I'm so happy that I live in my absolutely favourite city in the world, New York.
17. I go the Metropolitan Museum of Art about once a week.
18. And I take the subway nearly every week.
19. My favourite drink is a Manhattan.
20. I have not had an intimate relationship for 30 years.
21. I cook dinner for myself almost every night.
22. I make a great meatloaf!
23. I love dogs, especially mutts.
24. I have an aversion to parties.
25. If you have spinach in your teeth, I will tell you.