Blogging, Thoughts
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2018 manifesto

Christmas has been super chill.

The weather was stunning, I glazed a ham, The Koala and I went to my sister and fiancé’s house, we played with their pup, we walked to the beach, we had our first swim of the summer, we ate. We have plenty of leftover ham (just as I hoped) and this afternoon The Koala and I will have our first barbecue of the summer. We didn’t manage a single barbecue last summer so we’re already doing OK.


My glazed ham. 3 ingredients: 1 free range ham, 1 bottle of spicy apricot sauce, 1 can sliced pineapple.


Mac the pup.

Each year, I write a list of 5 things I intend to embrace and 5 things I hope to surrender for the year. Today I look back at my manifesto for 2017, my motives were:

  • More: Patience, courage, collaboration, generosity, grit
  • Less: Haste, doubt, worry, gluttony, mess

I loved this list. I’m not quite ready to let them go.

Patience, grit and courage are three things I find myself summoning regularly. Take a breath. Conjure patience. I dislike impatient people so I wanted to be more patient. I’m getting there. Doubt and worry are often stop me from moving forward. A little courage has pushed me outside my comfort zone this year. Instead of “I can’t do that”, I’ve gone out and done things I’ve previously been too anxious or scared to do. I got iLasik this month and every day since, I marvel at the convenience of being able to see unaided. It’s the tits. I’m stoked I did it.

Next year, my motives are:


  • Improvisation: making do with what I have, adapting whenever possible, innovation resulting from limitation
  • Uni-tasking: focus on one thing at a time, tick off tiny jobs and before settling into larger tasks
  • Shared meals: make memories over food
  • Vegetables: be more creative with seasonal vegetables
  • Steps: Goal of 70,000 steps every week in 2018
  • “Comparison is the thief of joy”
  • Waste: buy less, use up everything in the fridge/pantry
  • Hoarding: store only what will be used in the near future
  • Screen time: plan off screen tasks and activities. Embrace old fashioned alternatives where possible (diary, brainstorming, research)
  • Carelessness: pay attention to detail and stay focused

This year…

We lost Tofu the bunny in February. He has left a rabbit-sized hole in our hearts.

In April, I celebrated my first full year as a freelancing girl boss. I split my time fairly evenly between graphic design, photography, and social media/blogging. I’m making a living which is a huge relief. Choosing the freelance life is a huge source of anxiety but the payoff is great. I’m proud of what I have achieved this year. I’m thriving. I’m excited.

I’ve been fortunate to photograph a huge variety of food this year, from deep fried food for packaging to shooting in fine dining restaurants. There have been challenges and learning curves and I have loved it. I know my limitations but the growing edge still thrills me. This year I photographed (and styled) over 70 commercial shoots, plus a one where I worked as a stylist only. It was pretty fun to just to work prep and styling and not worry about the photography. I hope I get to collaborate more next year.

I’m still blogging. I feel terrible guilt when I don’t publish much, but I’m working on cutting myself some slack. When I first starting blogging, I was publishing every day. I couldn’t keep that up now. I wouldn’t want to. Quality is better than quantity. I’m proud of my work. This year I have created 16 recipes for paying clients and sponsored post highlights for me this year have been Best Foods Mayo and Crockpot.

FeedHB came over to “My Space” to check out my home and studio. It was outside my comfort zone to open my space your eyes. I didn’t think my space was cool enough to share but I’ve had of lovely feedback. I too enjoy seeing how people work within their personalised space. I thought you would laugh modest space but instead you were charmed with my low tech set up. I don’t have a fancy studio but I make the most of what I’ve got. I hope it inspires you too!

One highlight this year was attending the Metro Restaurant Of The Year Awards. Held at the gorgeous Aviation Display Hall at MOTAT among historic aircrafts, it was a magical night. I was invited as an influencer and while that title isn’t my cup of tea, I was way too much of a fan-girl to say no. I went on my own which is quite out of my comfort zone. But there was plenty of wine. I was fine. The energy was electric and it was wonderful to see chefs and restaurants recognised. This isn’t a restaurant review blog but I adore dining out and following the journey of local food heroes.

M2Woman included me as one of their hottest 5 NZ food ‘grammers which mean a few of my photos were in a printed mag along with my food recommendations. I got a kick out of seeing my ‘gram in print.

Social media wasn’t a job I had considered but a few months ago a friend put me forward me for a sweet SM gig. Adding SM as an extra side hustle has been a nice bonus this year and my SM job occasionally requires me to photograph food.

In August I joined The New Zealand Guild of Food Writers as an associate member, giving me access to a network of industry professionals. I’ve met some of my food styling heroes. I thought the guild would be big league and scary, but it’s fine. We’re all grown ups who love food. I’ve been to a few events although a few faces I was already friendly with. Auckland is a pretty small place.

“What have you been up to?”

I feel like at this stage in life, I should have the single sentence, the single paragraph and the full page version up my sleeve, ready to unfold at all times. Perhaps cue cards? No, I’m only joking. Sort of.

End of year events means catching up with friends and family and inevitably leading to this question. I usually pick one thing to talk about but my mind starts thinking of all the things I HAVEN’T been up to. I haven’t been travelling and having overseas adventures, I haven’t bought a house, I haven’t had a baby. Those are usual big ticket news items that are discussed but they’re not my reality.

I’ve been cruising, working on my side hustles, picking up new skills, new friends and contacts. Satisfactory, but not worthy of report. You don’t answer, “What have you been up to?” with “Working”. Maybe I need some cooler extra curriculars.

In a single sentence or a paragraph if you need it, what have you been up to this year? What are you hoping 2018 will bring? What are your motives? Do you have any resolutions or big plans?

This entry was posted in: Blogging, Thoughts


I am Genie, a graphic designer/photographer obsessed with food and bunnies. I live in Whanganui, New Zealand with my husband, The Koala and our two rabbits, Kobe and Bento. I write about my hedonistic ways and I love the mantra "Eat well, travel often". I prefer not to write about myself in third person.


  1. I enjoyed hearing your year’s wrap-up. Perhaps now that you are sans eyewear, you will post a new photo to show off your new look. (hint) Reading about the many opportunities you’ve had and welcomed with successful follow-through, I wish you much more of the same in 2018. Take care of you!
    p.s. I often think of Tofu when I’m playing with Scout. Who is this Mac the Puppy? Did I miss something?

    • Thanks Paula! Mac is my sister’s new pup, so I guess I am his Auntie 🙂 There’s not a lot of photos of me sans glasses yet but I’ll keep what you’ve said in mind.

  2. What a year! You’ve done so well, this post is lovely to read. I like the way you do your resolutions. I feel like this year I’ve been preparing myself for what is next. I started the year unsure what that was, and I’m ending it with a decision about what it is that feels right. It’s a very good feeling so even though I’m not there yet, I already feel like I’m winning. Happy New Year!

    • Thanks Hayley. Isn’t it funny after all these years 2017 was the year we finally met in person? Wishing you and your family the very best for 2018. We should catch up over coffee or dessert next year!

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