One Month Old

One Month Old

We’ve reached another milestone, Naomi is officially one month old! We are so in love with this little lady, it’s amazing getting to watch her grow!

She’s just been through another growth spurt, so she was feeding and sleeping heaps lately. The cluster feedings definitely exhaust me as I try to keep up with her demands, but it never lasts longer than a few days, before we get back to regular feeds. We’ve definitely got into a rhythm with breastfeeding which is so good. We had lots of issues during the first two weeks, so I’m glad that things have settled.

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Sleep still has it’s ups and downs, but this past week has been really good. She’s having shorter naps throughout the day, and having longer sleeps in the night. She sleeps between 2 and a half to 3 and a half hours at night, waking up in between for some feeds. She goes back down to sleep quite fast in between the feeds, so that I’m able to get back to sleep too. We’re hoping this sticks around for a while!

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Naomi has periods where she’s quite alert, especially during the day. Her big blue eyes are often content searching the room. We read books to her, sing, do tummy time, and just spend time together. When we’re holding her close, her eyes do seem to focus directly on us now. She often turns her head towards me or Rory if she hears us going by, so it’s nice to see that she definitely recognizes us! As she gets older, it’ll be fun to see her as she begins to interact back with us.

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That’s all for this update. Hope you guys are all doing well!

Angela.

Ancestry DNA Results

Hi! A while back, the lovely Shannon (from Kittyp0p) shared a post about her results from doing the Ancestry DNA Test. I’ve always thought those things were kind of cool, and I had money saved up, so I thought, why not splurge and have a go myself? So that’s what I did.

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My parents with a brand new me back in 1991

I received my little pack back in June, sent it off, and got email updates on how it was all going. Finally, last Friday, I got an email saying my results were in! I was hoping to see my results pointing off in two random directions, since my parents are different ethnicities. So, drum roll please, here are my results:

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Seems about right. My dad is NZ/European, and my mum is from the Philippines. The extra groups are pretty fascinating though. I’m not sure how those ones pop up. I have no idea how they work all this out from the saliva I send anyway. But it’s still fun to read through!

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So once you click in, you see this big world map, where they’ve helpfully highlighted all the ethnicity estimates. When you click on each section, it gives you more information about that region’s history. Then they have a section on genetic diversity, which shows the percentage of a typical native’s DNA in that area, and compares it to mine. They don’t have that big of a collection of people to test it against, so I don’t think it’s too accurate, but it’s interesting.

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Getting back to the list of percentages I’ve been linked to, I wasn’t sure why Polynesian was there. But I clicked on it, and it has ties to both Philippines and New Zealand, so I can see why it popped up. The link to Ireland/Scotland/Wales and Great Britain are also not too surprising. A lot of Europeans migrated to New Zealand in the 1800s. I’m sure I have some far off links there.

Finally, it has some ‘low confidence regions’. These are the ones where the percentage is 2% or less. The regions listed there were Scandinavia, Finland/Northwest Russia, Asia South, Iberian Peninsula and Asia Central. So, I don’t know what to make of that. Again, it’s all mainly Europe or Asia.

All in all, this made for a fun afternoon of looking through the results and linking it to regions around the world. I didn’t find anything too surprising, the results were what I pretty much expected. If you’re interested in this kind of thing, and you’re able to buy the test without making yourself broke, then I say go for it! It’s fun. If not, then it’s probably best to just leave it.

Have you guys done a DNA test like this before? How’d it go for you?

Angela.

Waiheke Island Getaway

As you guys may or may not know, Rory and I have been away the past few days. We went up to Auckland, and Waiheke Island for my sister’s wedding. It was good fun catch up with family, beautiful scenery and some amazing food. Also, lots of photos. Seriously, nearly all of us were busy snapping away the whole trip, that we have a whole shared album on Google Photos and it keeps growing! (I apparently took over 700 photos during the weekend, a new record!)

On Sunday morning, we headed off to the airport for our short flight up to Auckland.  Once we got there, we took a bus up to the ferry terminal, then caught the ferry to Waiheke Island.  By the time we got there, it was lunchtime! We caught up with the family and had some fish and chips.

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After lunch, we headed off to our little place we were staying at. It was a neat little studio with some pretty gardens.

Rory and I decided to explore around the village for most of the afternoon.

We stopped by for some gelato. I had lemon and thyme cheesecake and Rory had Coconut and Lime.

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Then we stopped by and lay in the sun at Oneroa Beach.

Later that day, we all caught up at the place where the rest of the crew was staying. They had rented a holiday home for a few days, and it was really nice! They were quite high up so they got some good views.

We had dinner together and made the plan for the following day.

Wedding day! We were up and over at the holiday home by 8.30am. Jo had her hair stylist arrive and then florist. As we all ran this way and that getting ready ourselves. By 10(ish) we were ready to go and headed over to Mudbrick.

 

The wedding was beautiful and sweet, made even more amazing by the place we were in. As I said, we all got snap happy and took lots of pictures. Here’s a bunch.

The food was also incredible. It was four courses, and I tried my best to get through all of them. The whole meal took a few hours, and by the end it was mid-afternoon and no one even considered having dinner.

After the wedding, we all headed back to the holiday home one last time and just hung out together for the rest of the day.

Tuesday saw us all up not so early, as we took a little lie-in before catching the ferry back to Auckland City. Mum, Dad and Andrew headed back to Wellington, while we crashed at Jo and Tib’s place for one more night. Jo and I (plus Rory) decided to head to town to do a little shopping just for fun. We also had lunch out.

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I wound up buying a few things, but otherwise I resisted pretty well. In Lush, I got another bath bomb, this time Avobath. At Mecca Maxima I got a mini version of Too Faced’s Natural Radiant Concealer. In Farmers I got the NYX Photobox Primer, and Real Technique’s Miracle Complexion Sponge.

Back at their place, Jo showed me some clothes she wasn’t too keen on, so I have a few new pieces. This white lacey singlet thingy, and this super comfy shirt with some kind of American slogan. It’s soo comfy though.

The next morning, we flew back to Wellington, and now we’re home! That’s it for my little recap of our mini getaway. It was such a nice couple of days, and I have an endless supply of pictures so I’m happy! As always though, it’s nice to come home after being away as well. I have a few more Waiheke Island posts coming up, but I wanted to start off with this recap.

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How’s your week been going?

Angela.

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Things My Sister Does

I’m sorry Jo, I feel like you got the lamest title, but this is all my brain could think of 😀

So, from the months of May-August there is a birthday celebration in my family. I began the habit of dedicating a post to said birthday person. In May, I wrote Things I Learnt From My Dad. In June, I wrote Things To Tell My Brother. In July, I wrote Things I Know About My Mum. Today, it’s my sister’s turn.

My sister’s name is Joanna. But at some point she started going by Jo. Now we all call her that (except Mum and Dad who still use her full name). Jo is my big sister, but we are only 16 months apart. Mum used to say it was a bad idea trying to look after both a baby and a toddler at the same time (lol). Today, she turns 27 (you so old). She lives up in Auckland with her fiance Tibor. He’s from Hungary. These two have been together forever. They got together back in 2009, got engaged in 2015, and are getting married in a few months.

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The happy couple

Jo and I grew up as best friends, we talked about everything, occasionally fought about everything, borrowed clothes along with other belongings, basically, we were sisters. As the big sister, Jo had the thrill of having me trail around after her a lot. Eventually, Andrew tagged along, and so completed the trio of siblings. So, big sis, get ready for a random post full of factoids about you and the things that you do.

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  • Make believe – As kids do, we played make believe a lot. I don’t remember half the weird things we played anymore, but I know it was always the two of us together. Didn’t we use to play with those little fidgets? The one from the board game? We used to use them instead of our dolls. Weirdos.
  • Games – Along with Andrew, Dad and I, Jo also enjoys playing games. We enjoyed playing random games like Dink Smallwood or Dungeon Siege growing up. Later, we enjoyed playing Sims and setting their houses on fire, or drowning Sims. We needed ghosts.
  • Ganging up on Andrew – Poor Andrew. What with being the only boy, and the age gap, growing up, we would often team up against him in sibling shenanigans. But at the same time, we would also all play together and be weird.
  • Tall – Okay, so this isn’t something you do, it’s just what you are. You’re tall. Why are you so tall? Our whole family is either average height or short (or in my case, super  short). Where’d this tall gene come from? Why is it only you that has it?
  • Long talks – I like that we used to have our long talks at night. We would talk for ages about everything, and we even came up with a word to end it. SYITM (See you in the morning). I miss those long ass chats sometimes.
  • Caught on camera – When she first got her digital camera, she began filming at random times, and caught the most random things on camera. For all our sakes, I won’t share them. Since then however, we’ve both developed our love of constantly photographing everything.
  • Drives – When you got your restricted license, it was so exciting. You could drive on your own. I was happy to come with, and so began our driving adventures in the minivan. We never went too far, mostly just to the mall. I have so much fun memories of us driving around together. The time it took you ages to park, and it just kept going diagonal. The time in summer you screamed “IT’S TOO HOT!” only to realize the window was down and the guy in the next car looked alarmed.
  • Forget Mugs – You know what I mean. Tibor definitely knows what I mean. You have a weird habit with mugs. You leave them…everywhere and anywhere. Always half full. Because you make it hot, then drink a little, wait for it to cool down, then forget about it. By the time you remember, it’s too cold, and so you make a new drink…and use another mug…and the cycle continues.

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  • Art – Art is Jo’s thing. She’s talented at it, and also studied it throughout school and then university. She has skills, which she continues to hone. In school, awards effectively rained on her in the art category. One year, she didn’t win the top art award, and everyone looked shocked. It was hilarious, I think they realized she’d won it every single year and thought someone else should get a turn. Her last year at high school though, she won it again.
  • Shopping – Mum also helped with this. But you were the one who showed me the wonders of the Cuba St Thrift stores. You know what I mean. The ones with the weird names I can’t remember. Plus Recycled Boutique. Also other stores I normally ignored, like Amazon, Mirrou, and the like. As we started buying more clothes for ourselves, rather than relying on parents, we often showed each other what we bought, got each other’s opinions, etc, which we still do now pretty much.
  • Travel – Jo was the first to travel out of us siblings. She went to France on a school trip in 2007. Her and Tibor went to Sydney in 2012. Then in 2015, they visited Hungary, Italy and probably more European countries but I forget. Alongside these, Jo and Tibor frequently travel around New Zealand.
  • Food – You were always the one into baking and cooking new things and recipes. It’s something I’ve only recently gotten into again thanks to blogging, but you were always into it growing up. You made an orange cake at some point. You bought ramaken serving bowls to make vanilla bean pudding. Now with Tibor, you guys team up and frequently make things like crepes. You also make lots of Hungarian dishes like Pogacsa, and other names I also forget.
  • Big Sister – I couldn’t think of a proper heading for this. But obviously as the big sister, you helped me out a lot. You were the one who helped me first get the bus to the library in town. You showed me which stop to get off. You helped me out with first figuring out makeup (you’re still well ahead of me there). You also helped out with the transition to contacts from glasses (alongside Dad). You let me crash at your place multiple times after you moved out (I guess I should thank Tib for letting me, and occasionally Rory, crash too!). You helped fix my make up after the wedding ceremony since I kept crying.
  • Support – This again falls into the previous category somewhat, but you’ve always been supportive. You’ve also let me know when you think something is a bad idea, which I appreciate.  It’s always good to know that you have my back, and we often tell each other things first before the parents (getting the house, my tattoo, new jobs, etc).
  • Love – I gotta throw this bit in here obviously. You’re my big sister and I love you. I do miss how close we used to be, especially when we were under the same roof. I love that we still randomly chat through a variety of messaging apps, even if it’s just to send a video or meme. I can’t wait to see you in October for the wedding 🙂

Happy 27th birthday Jo! (Hi Tibor!)

Angela.

Things I Know About My Mum

Things I Know About My Mum

So hey, I’m trying to keep all these titles different for some reason whenever I do a birthday post for my family.  Just go with it 😀

So the birthdays in my family go one after the other. In May, it’s my Dad. In June, it’s my Brother. In July, it’s my mum’s turn. So today’s post is all about her 🙂

My mum’s name is Julie. But also, it’s Estrella. She has two names. It’s officially Estrella, but she goes by Julie. Long story. Her and dad have been married for 28 years and together longer than that 😀 She is also a chatterbox, Mum loves to ramble as much as Dad, and sometime they tag team, where they both comment and jump in on each other’s stories so there’s lots more detail. I credit my love of photos to Mum, as well as my love of travel. It’s thanks to Mum that I got to spend my younger years living in another country.

Continue reading “Things I Know About My Mum”

Things To Tell My Brother

Things To Tell My Brother

Last month, I did Things I Learnt From My Dad, today is my brother’s 19th birthday, so it’s his turn to get a devoted post. Hi Andrew, if you’re reading which I doubt you did without being bugged my dad, mum, Jo, me (probably). We do this out of love, and also, cause now my blog is a thing that we sometimes talk about in my family. Not all the time though, cause I post waaaaaay too much for them to read everyday. That’s fair, I love to ramble, just ask Rory. Also, hello rest of family if you’re reading! Hi Mum and Dad. Hi Jo and Tib. Rory doesn’t normally read my blog, just cause I talk to him as I write them, he knows what they’re about. Anyway, this intro went way off track. Later today, we will be heading over for gifts, dinner and chatting.

My brother’s name is Andrew. He is the baby of the family. Over the past few years, he has grown taller than me, and that act of betrayal cannot be forgiven, I’m sorry 😛 Andrew is smart, weird, hilarious (sometimes unintentionally), and lately, has been a typical teenage boy where trying to get info out of him is like trying to punch through a wall with a plastic spoon, it just doesn’t get anywhere. But eventually, he opens up and it’s nice to catch up. So, as one of his wiser and older sisters, I’m going to talk about things I would like to tell my brother.

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My Heritage

My Heritage

This week’s photo challenge is about Heritage.

I immediately took this to mean about family and culture. It could be interpreted a range of different ways, but as regular readers know, I absolutely love my family. I also love talking about them. So here we go again.

I am bicultural. I have lived most of my life in New Zealand, so that side may come out stronger, but I also consider myself a Filipina (mostly in spirit, as I keep meaning to relearn Tagalog). My dad is from New Zealand, and my mum is from the Philippines.

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I consider myself a proud Kiwi. Our country is beautiful, it’s a tiny island sure, but it’s packed full of incredible sights. Lord of the Rings and Weta have certainly helped boost our image of that 😛

As with any sights, you just sometimes have to go out of your way to find it.

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As for my Filipino side, I was there when I was incredibly young. I only lived there from when I was 4-6. However, I do remember from my time there, that it gave me an amazing work ethic (which I since lost and then regained yay!). The schooling system was very different from kindergarten back home, there was more of a focus on academia. For that, I’m thankful, as when we came back to New Zealand, it gave me a boost, and for most of my school life, I was doing work above my grade level.

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I have also inherited a lot from my family.

Including biological traits. I have inherited my parent’s black hair and brown eyes. Their short to average height (For some reason though, my sister is an Amazon). My dad’s poor eyesight which means I require glasses. A slightly lighter version of my mum’s darker skin, which also gives me the ability to tan fairly fast in summer (thanks Mum!).

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As well as personality traits. I have a weird sense of humour. I love to photograph everything, bake, and give out hugs thanks to Mum. I love movies, computer games and board games thanks to Dad. Also, my love of mini golf! Is there any better outdoor activity? 😀

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Finally, I have inherited my love of family birthday traditions. Every year, for each birthday, we will get together for a dinner, cake, presents, and chats. (Similarly for Christmas.) Most recently, we got together for my Dad’s birthday last weekend. Next month, it’s my brother’s turn.

Heritage is fun to stop and think about, especially when you have an amazing family. I have been shaped a lot by how I grew up and my parents. I have since grown up and left home, but I look forward to one day passing my own heritage down to future generations (not any time soon though!)

Angela.

Things I Learnt From My Dad

Things I Learnt From My Dad

Today is my Dad’s birthday! Because of my mom’s work schedule though, we’ve postponed his birthday dinner celebration till next weekend!

My dad’s name is Jeff. He and my mum, Julie, have been together since the mid 80’s. They celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary a few months ago. Dad is endlessly patient, a chatterbox, hilarious and amazing. He is also a sports fanatic. He loves his soccer (I believe his team is Arsenal) rugby (All Blacks, of course), and he takes quite an interest in a lot of others. For today’s post, I’m going to reflect on things I’ve learnt from him.

  • How to get rid of hiccups – Dad would suddenly jump at us and yell when we had hiccups as kids. It scared me so much, but the hiccups would be gone. One account of dad scaring me as a kid had nothing to do with hiccups actually, he was watching his soccer and someone did an impressive goal. Toddler Angela was trying to figure out how to walk close by, and Dad yelled/cheered so loud that apparently I burst into terrified tears and fell over. Dad still likes to tell that story.
  • Rambling – My rambling skills come from my Dad. He is the King of Rambles. He’s also the King of Chit Chat. Dad can talk with anyone, for ages. He loves telling stories (and Dad jokes), and can make people laugh. It’s a skill I envy. I can ramble and tell stories, but not to a crowd, and definitely not to someone I just met. Dad has hosted events before, as well as talked in front of large groups of people and improvised a speech. His favourite stories to tell us growing up were “Well, when I was your age…” followed by what we knew were elaborate stories, but still fun to listen to.
  • Using a computer – I learnt how to maneuver computer programs from dad, from Microsoft Word, to Paint, and everything in between.
  • Computer Games – Dad played a number of games, most notably RPG ones. He introduced these to me and my siblings, and we all still love to play them.

Continue reading “Things I Learnt From My Dad”

My Security (WPC)

My Security (WPC)

This week’s photo challenge is about Security. I wasn’t sure what to do about that at first, but then I came up with my interpretation. What makes me feel safe. That’s easy.

My family.

I’ve been lucky enough to have such a wonderful and supportive family. I won’t talk about them too much, as I’ve already made a long post talking about their awesomeness in Family and Life.

My family also has a newest addition who everyone has welcomed with open arms from when they first met him 5 and a half years ago. My husband, Rory.

We’ve pretty much spent (almost) everyday together since we met back at the tail end of  2011. He has given me a sense of security and home. I moved out of home to be with him back in 2014, and now we’re married and thinking of buying our own home together in the next couple of years.

That’s my photo interpretation of security.

Angela.