Monday, December 31, 2007

Ta ta 2007

I had a look at my 2007 New Year's resolutions to check whether I'm on track. Here they are:

I will pay off the new car through the sale of 46 million small shirts - not even close, in fact our bank balance would indicate we have bought another car (which we haven't).

I will send more cards (hot tip: people love cards) - IN THE MAIL.- ha! No. Not even one.

I will not make any major purchases. Well, maybe one art work, but that can be regarded as an investment in our future. - yes, we got an artwork (lets call it "retirement fund"). We also bought two computers and a shop (which is somewhat major)

I will not be so good at justifying every extravagant purchase. - um.

I will start cooking real food again. This means vegetables. Not til tomorrow though, thank god. - nup. Although I did once cook haloumi, and quite a lot of beetroot dip.

I will go to the movies at least once in the next year. - I don't think when I wrote this I meant Shrek 3, but for the sake of achieving something, lets say yes.

I will turn of Playhouse Disney by 9am. - victory! School is very good at forcing us to turn off the box earlier.

Resolutions for 2008 (utilising my favourite bullets).

  • I will not be so busy.
  • I will see more of my friends.
  • I will walk the dog every day, come hell or high water (easy to say in the middle of summer, hard to do in the middle of winter).
  • I will write a 50000 word "novel". Nobody will read it. Ever.
  • I will make a neater pile of accounts.
  • I will blog more.
  • I will try and work out how to enjoy blogging and not worry about it making me appear unprofessional. Maybe I need another blog.
  • I will earn some money, and pay off some mortgage, and then promptly use the money to
  • Go overseas for a holiday.
  • I will keep a clean house and a tidy garden.
  • I will emulate Martha Stewart in every conceivable way. In fact, I will change my name to Martha Stewart, and then I will commit some fraud or insider trading and go inside for a rest, oh, wait...
  • I will buy an excessive amount of new shoes on Ebay. My finely honed instincts tell me I am well on the way to achieving this goal.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The reason for the season is food

I've just read Make Tea's rundown of Christmas, and realised how much I like reading about what people have eaten. Here is our menu for the last couple of days:

Christmas day:

Breakfast: Sultana Bran. I can't get enough of Sultana Bran, I love it.

Morning tea: Last of the Christmas cake I made (which was very nice even though it was only made a week before), mince pies, cherries, bits of chocolate orange snaffled from the boys...

Lunch: Chook, lovely roasted free-range chick, Perla spuds (I boiled them and then mixed them with a little olive oil and chipotle sauce, bloody yum), various veges and salad. For pud we had a trifle I made. I thoroughly recommend the recipe, to which I added a fairly liberal dousing of limoncello, and we had strawberries and blueberries as well as raspberries. After all that we almost killed ourselves by gorging on beauuuutiful cheeses from the Kirkcaldies' cheese shop. We had a Roquefort and a gruyere and a goaty one, which was quite yum, even to me (I'm a non goat loving pleb).

Dinner: After swearing I wouldn't eat anything else, when dinner was pulled out at Glen's brother's house, I couldn't resist. They presented some amazing chooks, beetroot and feta salad and potato salad. It was delicious. And for pud there was a choc trifle which was amazing, and all homemade and amazing. Did I say amazing? And a beautiful boozy raisin and custard tart.

Of course we almost all exploded.

Today to counteract all the kai we went for a walk in the hills with dogs and friends. To counteract all the exercise we decided to scoff again... so at their house we had a delicious lunch of ham, homemade bread and salad, with assorted chutneys and dips, and in case you freak out about this health kick, we followed it with chocolates, liquorice, tiramisu, trifle...

And once again, I've almost exploded.

I hope your Christmas was as delicious. Why don't you all take this as a meme and write down what you ate? I tag you.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Fa la la la la la la la la

I feel GREAT. I am one day away from a holiday, which means no work. Yay! I'm happily ensconced in the shop, and I don't care whether it is busy or quiet. Busy will make the day go faster, but since it is like last day of school I can just mooch around eating all the Christmas themed chocolates.

Best part of all, I don't have to do any Christmas shopping. None. I have a shop full of gifts for everyone, and also full of gifts for myself. Glen and I are in lengthy discussions about Tivoli Songbook vs Model One vs Model Three.

I hope you all have a splendid Christmas planned. I can't wait, and will resume my drunken blogging FOR SURE over the silly season.

Friday, December 21, 2007

My head is full of shop (just for a change)

The shop is lovely and busy at the moment. People who come in have been really bloody awesome, and we think we're maybe onto something good.

Kazoos remain our number one seller. Or maybe I should say our number one SURPRISE seller, because I knew I loved kazoos, but hadn't reckoned on everyone else loving them too. We're onto our third shipment of them. Envirosax are coming in a close second. You'd better be in quick if you want one of our splendid Apple lamps

Apple lamps

And we have more horse lamps arriving tomorrow.

Of course, I think you should all show your loved ones you really care, and buy them a Tivoli. Especially with all this shaky earth action, you need a cute rechargeable transistor.

Plates and my favourite bag

End of shop obsessive post, which is really a true reflection of my crazy life at the moment. Hey, can you tell I've discovered the Flickr photo editing tool?

Have a nice drink all.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Media attention at last!

Apart from paid advertising, the Barris/Craig clan has been a bit quiet in the media, until today. Here is my boy playing the Wii. You know where you can buy the shirt he is wearing...

Thanks Harvestbird and Che for bringing it to my attention.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Oh dear

Check out how not to do retail (cheers Spareroom). Do check out the catering website, see if you can read it.

If I had a house, I'd let Hayley sell it.

Shout outs

Things that make me glad, like Pollyanna:

  • The Dutch Shop. They make cheese delicious, and chocolate too, and biscuits... how is it that Dutch people are so tall and healthy and goodlooking with their insane diet?
  • Shops that aren't in malls.
  • Lindy-lou costing $6 something a bottle.
  • No more wholesale orders.
  • Daydreaming about which Tivoli to get.
  • Glen not having to go to his other job for a month.
  • Bullet points.
  • Sounding really shallow in lists. The rest of the time I'm reading Joyce and listening to Rachmaninoff and shit like that.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I hope 23 is as cool as 22 was

Another year older, yada yada.

I was very lucky to get breakfast in bed this morning, and a great card, box of chocs and some garden thingies, um... fork and spade or mini shovel or something? I'm having a brain freeze.

I have some disgusting headwide infection, which has given me gross eyeballs and blocked sinuses. Wouldn't you know it, the one day I get spoiled for food, I can't taste it. This didn't hinder my enjoyment of a peachy day though. Any day beginning with croissants and raspberries and ending with homemade (bistro made?) icecream and the de-lovely Gusto is fine by me.

My beautiful birthday deer.  I loves it.
This is my brilliant present, which was cunningly won at auction by my parents, and then kept secret. I LOVE IT.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Undies and countdowns and other things

Yesterday Finn had a school trip to the pool. Glen packed his swimming bag up, and when Finn came home I couldn't understand why he had no undies on, nor what he meant when he said he had swum in his undies, nor did I necessarily want to understand what he meant when he said he had taken my undies. Sacre bleu! Glen had mistaken my lady pants for a tiny little pair of 5 year old's speedos. I am mortified in a way that can only be relieved by 6 weeks of school holidays, and I won't be setting foot in the school grounds for a LONG TIME.

On the shop front things are tres busy. We had our opening/christmas shindig a ling a lang long on Wednesday, and it was a sea of friendly faces, liquorice allsorts, mince pies and bubbly. In a strange way I think that even though the shop will be getting busier over the next 10 days or so, after Craft2.0 on Sunday things will get a lot easier for me. I've been flat out with wholesale orders, and the website has gone crazy baby. If I was into doing percentages and suchlike I'd say something about things being up about 4 squillionty zillion percent, but as it is I think I'll just say that we should be able to pay off the credit card this month. Woo!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's all I've ever wanted too

I bags it

My boootiful bags arrived today. I want this one:
but I will make some kind of deal with myself, whereby I can't have it until I do something substantial, like say TURN THIRTY FIVE. I'm not very good about being secretive about my age, mainly because I'm so bloody surprised how young I am. Only 35! Well, only 35 in 5 days. I'm still 34 you see, which is like a newborn, really.

Hopefully the radios will arrive tomorrow. I'm not sure what something substantial I'll need to achieve before I treat myself to one of them, maybe something like survive the rest of the month without having a complete attack of exhaustion, or getting to the bottom of this small bottle of beer.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Happy happy joy joy

All my coveting beautiful things for years has reached a whole new happy place (I can't write proper though, too bloody busy to think).

Wanda Harland will soon (ie tomorrow or Wednesday) be stocking Saben bags and Tivoli radios. My fricking cup runneth over (and that cup is full of gin), I am that pleased.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Bags and radios

It probably comes as no surprise that I'm busy.  Bloody busy.  

I did get a night off on Thursday to go to the Wellingtonista Awards at Mighty Mighty.  It were grand, luvvy.  We shot into town and arrived in time for the quiz, hosted by Russell Brown.  I wasn't very good at paying attention, because there were all these people to chat to, and all this beer to consume.  Then there were the awards (and Unity beat my in the Best Shop category, not surprisingly), and then Blam Blam Blam played.  We had to leave shortly after they started, but my god, the rest of the Wellingtonista crew stayed out another 6 HOURS.  I can't even imagine (Jo has some super pics here).

Friday I felt a bit, you know, tired...  however, I still had a great day.  Fingers crossed I'll be able to announce another couple of great brands I'm very chuffed to be stocking in the next couple of days.  The shop has been really busy.  I wasn't expecting much til next Christmas, to be honest, but the word seems to be out, and I'm very happy indeed.  We put up some fancy schmants new shelves today and it is all ritzy and our beautiful books have a handsome home.

Today has been pretty peachy. I took my chiddlers to a cafe this morning and bought some plants and did some long overdue weeding.  Then a stint in the shop, and this evening a lovely birthday party at the neighbour scoffing paua and crayfish.  Now I'm on the couch doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  In fact, possibly going to be asleep by 9pm.  Bliss.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Because I'm so freaking modern... shop's opening party is on Facebook.  This means if you would like to come, you'll need to make me your friend so that I can invite you (that will confuse anyone unfamiliar with the complexities of Crackbook).  If you don't fancy that, flick me an email at and I'll let you in on the details.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Objet d'art

Finally I have in my hot little hands a new MacBook. It is very foxy, and also a little mysterious, because I don't know what the rolly is going on with it.

It will transform the shop into an office, now that we'll be able to do website updates and all that palaver...

And it is so pretty, I'd like to pash it.

Monday, December 03, 2007


The weekend was hot, and good. It was Thorndon Fair yesterday. We arrived to find the smallest stall space you have ever seen. All the smart cookies had booked double spaces, but eek, that would be a hell of a financial outlay for one day. I was sharing a stall with Ms Katydid, who is the best card maker ever. We had a good time and sold lots, but I tells ya, when I got home I was a new kind of exhausted AND THERE WAS NO BEER. I had a cup of tea instead, but it didn't really do the trick. Which is fine. I was asleep by 8pm.

Now I am catching up with orders, and I've bathed the dog. In fact I've bathed the dog and I'm washing the Doggieboy. Hopefully this will stop our house smelling like dog for about 10 minutes. At the fair yesterday there were masses of people with teeny tiny dogs, and as I washed our hulking great Florence, I could see a great deal of benefit of having a dog that could be washed in the sink and transported in a handbag. Only thing is, they didn't really look real. And I'm not ready to be a cartoon, yet.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

'tis the season


  • write christmas cards that you forget to get around to sending
  • start buying a lot of cheap bubbly
  • feel guilty at all times because you're spending money on gifts for yourself rather than everyone else
  • feel quite popular and busy for a few weeks because 12 months worth of events seem to be crammed into 3 weeks
  • buy a bucket of Cookie Time cookies
  • feel sick for 3 weeks solid until the bucket is finished
  • get a vague sense of optimism that the weather will improve
  • look at the rusted heap of a bbq guiltily
  • start drinking at 4pm

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Mr Rudd

So Australia has a new PM. As it happens my grandmother's maiden name is Rudd, and I'm guessing that old Kevin there in Canberra is some kind of relation.

I think it is time for a holiday, finally a chance to stay at Government House and boss staff around. Cousins are given these privileges, surely?

An obsession with pennithes

Malo to Finn: I'm gonna touch your penis
Martha (yelling): Oi! No!
Finn (in superior voice of a 5 year old who knows better): Don't talk about penises, Malo.


Malo: Knock knock
Finn: Who's there?
Malo: A penis

All: much chortling

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Great day. I had the busiest day yet in the shop, which was pretty bloody awesome.

Then, when I came home, we ploughed into Glen's birthday gourmet food stash, courtesy of my parents. Man, the minute the first olive hit my palate I thought "what the hell have I been eating before now?", because I haven't enjoyed such amazing flavour for eons. Now I'm sitting here on the couch with some gorgeous waxed paper packages of Delice de Bourgnone, unpasteurised gruyere and unpasteurised roquefort. I have no idea if the thrill of eating things unpasteurised that makes them so tasty, but I'm never touching the Mainland again. We'll have to start selling off blood and organs to accommodate this new gourmet desire.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Vote for Wellington(ista)

I've been remiss in promoting the fabulous Annual Wellingtonista Awards. Go here now, and if you felt inclined you could vote for a certain brand spanking new shop in Petone...

Le cold, say "au revoir"!

I still have snot, but pretty much all the other non-visible aspects of my diabolical cold (lets just call it "flu") have left the building, and I feel freaking marvellous as a consequence. In fact, I'm about to have a glass of wine. Sweet nectar of the gods.

Tomorrow the old man turns a year older. In fact, tomorrow there are 10 years between us (which only lasts a few weeks, but I make the most of it).

And I'll be in the shop all weekend, so come and say hi and buy a kazoo (they're our number #1 seller! - on a quantity basis, they'd have to cost a lot more than $6.50 to be our financial winner).

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Slightly less bleurghh

I wrote a misery-guts post this morning, and promptly deleted it. I don't want to dump my stress and busy-ness on other people, plus I'm feeling much better now.

The wholesale side of my business(es) is going a bit ballistic, which makes good sense, it is Christmas after all. And I'm managing it alright, but I think I need a breather, which I more or less took today. Rather than shop duties or printing I did some parenting and pretending to be a tiger. Of course, I didn't manage to entirely stay away from the shop, and had a visit from a fab blogger who would probably prefer not to be named, given the covert nature of the business at hand.

And now I'm much relaxed, and preparing myself for another stint tonight getting out another huge order.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

On Justin Timberlake and the important matter of world peace

I watched some of the Justin Timberlake concert thing on C4 last night, and realised that the only song by him I know is Dick in a Box, and he probably wasn't going to play it. And I'd always thought he was kind of sexy, and he is when he dances, but when he sings he looks a bit funny.

And I have nothing to say about World Peace, I just didn't want to come across as completely shallow from the outset.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

That girl needs gin!

I have a booze resolution. I must get more. I have all these intentions of drinking more, and I've been thwarted at every turn, it is almost like the universe is out to get me - sober.

The sun is begging for me to consume a nice cool martini, but the universe has gone and sent me a huge Christmas order to get together tonight for one of my stockists in Auckland, and then, since I was making great progress, it sent me another. The universe has also arranged that Thorndon Fair be held in the middle of party season, and before I get too relaxed, Craft 2.0 is 2 weeks later - on my birthday. Perhaps that is a sign. A huge final fair for the year, on my birthday... sounds like an excuse to get lagered if ever there was one.

If you do decide to come see me at it on 16th December, please ensure you have a nice ice cold on you.

Monday, November 19, 2007


So, yesterday I mentioned that I have a day off today.

Well, today I have a day off, and LOOK OUTSIDE! I'm going to go for a blat in the Mini with the sunroof open JUST 'COS.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Blues Clues

Le chien, elle est bleu. She mangered the stamp pad, and now she is bleu and substantial parts of our floor are bleu aussi. At least it gave me a chance to go to Warehouse Stationery, one of life's pleasures is a good stationery top up. I got some envelopes too, ritzy ones, so the shop opening party becomes slightly more real. Not that I'll actually post anything, it is usually a case of last minute emails for me.

I enjoyed a visit in the store from the lovely Marsha. Marsha experienced a dose of the "new to business can't get the eftpos machine to work Martha". Marsha, my apologies, it was slightly unplugged. Marsha has a new cafe in town near the strip clubs (which I'm afraid is all I can remember of the directions). Marsha, put a comment here with the address and we'll send some of the noble bloggers of Wellington your way...

Shop closed tomorrow! A day off. Lordy, how exciting.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

At the coalface

I had a tremendous day at Pataka, selling stuff at the Crafting fair. There were many people, and they were buying up a storm. I nearly sold out, which I was very happy about.

A few people commented that they were surprised to see me there, now I have the shop and all. There are a few reasons I was there. Firstly, I committed to it before I committed to the shop, secondly, I had much stock suitable for selling off at a bargain, thricely, I love fairs, they're a little exhausting and a lot of fun, fourthly, we have only been open a few weeks, and we're now down from one income to half an income (I suppose half an income + what I earn, but since I seem to be very excellent at spending every penny I earn on stock for the shop and website, lets settle back on half an income) and fifthly and finally, I loves people. Loves them. They're so nice, and you meet so many on busy days like today.

Now I'm having a serious relax. Mmmm, lying in bed mooching around Apartment Therapy, I have found the thing that I need that I had no idea I needed.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bullet point life update

  • I had my session with the photographer last night. She was amazing. A very clever woman indeed. The true test of her skillz will be seeing how good she is at photoshopping me into perfection.
  • My horse lamp arrived today at the shop, now I can die happy.And don't even get me started on how much I love the horse lamp
  • I'm sick, and sick of being sick, and probably making everyone sick of me by talking about it.
  • The signwriters are going to have our name on the window by the end of the week. Yippeeeeee.
  • And (not to go on about the shop too much) BUT (see how I used "and" and "but" both together at the beginning of a sentence, because I'm a grammar gangsta, and dontcha forget it) my shop rulz, and you should come say hi.

Here is a beautiful song to get you bouncing, coming to you from the good folk at Minisnap.

Over and out, amigos.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Curve watching

I have a bit of an overwhelming bleak feeling today. It is because I watched the extremely brilliant Out of the Blue last night (a film about the massacre in Aramoana in 1990). It was amazing. It had an incredible New Zealand feel about it, which I can't think of in another film. I've been out to Aramoana, and it is a really still place. Not spooky, because really it is just a sleepy place that can live without being thought of as spooky, but it is very quiet. Lots of little towns are, and Aramoana is the end of the road, so there isn't any through traffic. I thought the film was breathtaking. It was like The Road, in that it was a terrible story and will probably leave me depressed for days, but so well constructed. I have no idea how the people in Aramoana coped, but if I were them I'd stay well away from the film, it would bring up some horrible memories. If I remember rightly they were pretty keen the film not be made.

And my ipod on random is feeding me bleak music. Bloody psychic ipod. I did cheer up noticeably when Mahna Mahna came on, so perhaps I should load up my cd from Peter (which is brilliant, brilliant! - thanks Peter). Jo sent a brilliant cd too, thanks Jo!

I'm slightly cheered by doing my accounts, believe it or not. The beauty of a new business is that you start at zero, and the graph curve can only head upwards. Yay!

Now I need to put my mind to a photo session I'm having on Tuesday. The super talented Louise Clifton is in Welly for a week or so taking pics, and I thought I may as well go for it before I get even older. But what to wear! Lord, the decisions I have to make in this life...

See how I went to really deep Aramoana stuff to what to wear? COMPLEX man.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ignoring washing

Two kids in bed, one shop being minded, 1000 items of washing on our bed to be folded... and here I am.

Sitting at the computer ignoring the inevitable.

And showing off my fillings to the world.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Bullet time

  • I am full of Whittaker's Cashew Nut chocolate, it isn't as good as the almond flavour.
  • The books arrived in the shop today. It is all I can do to resist rolling around in them. There is one about Helvetica. Mmmmm. Me wanty the books.
  • I have been weeding the garden. It is almost ready for mulch. I know that is almost as exciting as talking about boobs.
  • I ordered some grog today for our shop opening, which I guess means we're going to have a shop opening.
  • Now I am going to do some invoicing.
  • I intend to resume martini-ing and drunken blogging soon.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Another successful weekend of successfully succeeding at um success (if you imagine Jon Stewart reading that, it becomes all sexy)

Le weekend, c'est still going. The shop isn't open on Mondays, and while I only have 2 weeks experience in these matters, I feel very much like I'm having a long weekend. In fact, after having Finn at home all last week with the ole slapped cheek, things have been quite hectic. Malo has his first Monday morning at kindy tomorrow, and you know what that means? First time to myself in frickin ages. I intend to fill it with all the excitement that couriering and ordering and posting and possibly a little washing-hanging brings.

I'm looking forward to being inundated this week with music selections for the shop. I don't want people to be deterred because I said "easy listening" - I don't mean The Eagles. I just mean that when Dinosaur Jnr was playing in the shop when some customers were there, I couldn't talk straight, and they probably thought I was a little insane. Although I think it happened when Mary was there, and she reads my blog, so probably wasn't surprised at all by me being a little, um, like someone-that-says-inappropriate-things-about-TV-hosts-in-the-subject-line-on-blog-postings.
Brenda and Sandy
visited too, which was very great in its own right, but when Sandy pulled out the iphone, well GOOD GOD, I almost wept. It is soo foxy, and the fact that Sandy was so in love with it, and is its owner, well... now I really need to make my fortune, so that I may buy one and be happy like Sandy. Tom took covert pictures of me with it, and I imagine he will be setting up a rival store 3 shops down with the information.

Today I had a great time with the chiddlers. I took them to Te Papa and tried to think of the correct answer for questions about dinosaurs and if they were on Gondwanaland with giant squidlike things that turn into fossils while giant eagles circle and where are the shark bones and monkey skulls and why rocks are lighter near the surface of the earth. Luckily looking vague and intelligent seems to get me a long way. I'm hot-housing both boys to be architects, and found a really excellent set of stamps that are parts of buildings, and you put together combinations and colour them in. I also got them a batman/spiderman reversible costume. I have no idea where this shopping bug has come from...

Nor this crazy writing every detail of my weekend bug. I think it is called procrastination, because there are 13 orders awaiting my urgent attention, and the bed with a laptop on my knees is much more appealing.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Mixed tape time

In this shop o' mine I have a need for constant music. Phoenix Foundation, Sam Scott and Luke Buda have been on high rotation, but after 2 weeks I need something else...

Here is your chance to prove how good you are at making mixed tapes (well, cds, although we do actually have a tape deck in the shop, so you if you're feeling old skool go for that).

It needs to be eaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasy listening, because anything challenging makes my brain explode a little when I have customers in the shop and they talk to me.

And I'll send you chocolate and k bars.

What a plan eh!! And you thought you had nothing to do for the weekend...

The address is:

Wanda Harland
148 Jackson St

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Calling in from outer space

Earthlings! Here I am. Not blogging from the shop, not even talking about the shop, which leaves me with

um. All I do is have a shop now (which, yes, I'm currently in).

Which is going very well, thanks.

I still have no counter. Bastards (I did want to use a much ruder word, but now the shop has the same name as my blog, I can't really get away with that shit anymore. I mean "stuff".)

My son has slapped cheek, which has to be the best name for a virus ever. Especially as nobody has heard of it, because you tell them, they're like "you did what to his cheek?!", and I'm like NO, and then we all laugh and eat lamingtons.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Time for some bullet points (be still my beating heart, I love bullet points an indecent amount)

  • My dog is asleep on her back, and she is bloody cute.
  • I have some extremely splendid books coming to the store that aren't available anywhere in NZ, they're all design ones, and I don't want to sell them because I love them so.
  • In fact, everything in the store was bought for my house, in a weird way. Just so you know, the shop looks like my dream home.
  • Tomorrow I'm going to a Wadestown Kindergarten fundraiser in the evening. It will be quite posh I reckon, like me (riiiiiiiiight).
  • Possibly now I have a shop I need to stop wearing Chuck Taylors and the same pants every day. The effort.
  • Man, these bullet points aren't coming easily. I feel I need to resume a social life.
  • Ooooooooh, Macbook time! I've been waiting for Leopard, and it comes out tomorrow. Yayayayayyayayayayayy. And we have the internet connected in the shop now. Flash.
  • Yeah, I'm still braindead.

Hutt reprazent!

Our local MP just biffed another MP. In Hutt terms, this is like conquering Everest. Mallard will secure another term I reckon... the Hutt respects scrappers.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

So, like, hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

I haven't got any new or delicious scandal to report. Things are quite quiet around these parts actually, surprisingly so. After all the palaver of getting my ducks in a row with the shop, and chasing up phone people and movers and so on, it is all kind of done. Until we get discovered by shoppers, and become totally flat out, and really freakishly wealthy. Ha! "It all starts with a dream", okay? That is what a lady working at Michael Hill told me once when I was looking at hideous big blingy diamonds. I thought it was a gorgeous thing to say, and even though I had no interest in her jewels I credit her with my most oft repeated saying (when I'm not quoting, you know, Keats and Plato and stuff).

We've been open this week, but without having advertised or even put up signage, we're getting a pretty random group of punters. People are really nice, and say lovely things about the shop. I think basically now it is all your jobs to go and tell everyone you know about the store, and then if it doesn't fly, I'll know who to blame.

Got it? Your mission is to make me massively successful and the owner of a Concorde.


Monday, October 22, 2007


Thanks so much to everyone who has said nice things and visited the shop. I love you all, even the scary guy that loitered outside for 5 hours on Saturday. Yes, even him.

I hope you all go and tell everyone in your offices about the place, and then come back over the next few weeks as lots more great stuff arrives... Mr Reasonable makes me want to get a Francis Francis or 7 for the shop too.

Sue has brought in some amazing jewellery - which you must come and see and buy, and a lovely bottle of grog. Ms Hubris came bearing bubbly too. I'm going to hold the grog hostage for a launch party at some time in the not too distant future, so that I can share it with them. Cathi was my first eftpos, and I'm chuffed she made the effort. In fact, I'm not sure we would have managed to open without the prospect of a real visitor who isn't related.

I was very stoked to see young Mark, who I haven't seen for possibly 10 years? How time flies. This shop is bringing people TOGETHER.

Tom came and got some Foxton Fizz Creaming Soda for his vodka, and that sounds like a very fine dish. Maybe I'll have to get a licence and double up as a bar.

Man, if I did that, life might just be perfect.

Oh, the address:

Wanda Harland
148 Jackson St

We are next to Handles, Knockers and Knobs. Try beating that for a name.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Originally uploaded by Wanda Harland
Photos at last! I took them with my phone, so I would apologise for the quality, but I'm actually quite surprised at how well they worked out, I suspect better than our proper camera would have taken.

We opened the doors for a short spell yesterday, and slightly longer today. It was fun, although without having told anyone we exist, it was a little quiet.

Now you can see what Black White looks like, definitely more white than black.

Here is a picture with oodles of notes, if you'd care to click through to flickr.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Shop a squillionty zillion

Nup, not open yet. Bloody close. I'm at home with the kids while Glen hangs up the pictures and does some hammery stuff. I'll head back in this afternoon, and possibly open the doors for a few minutes in a symbolic opening type fashion.

A few lessons learned:

  • Just because all the boxes are there doesn't mean all the bits for the shelves are. We are missing 6 glass shelves and a hanging rail, so our display is kind of crazy.
  • It is a good thing we got a lighting plan. We are going to need it, the lighting is definitely lacking, and we can look forward to spending a small fortune in the near future.
  • Sitting on the phone getting assistance can swallow up valuable shelf stocking time.
  • You should try and remember to get change from the bank before a long weekend, or any weekend for that matter.
  • Connecting to the internet from a new connection isn't instinctive.
  • Windows get really, really dirty without you noticing when they're covered with brown paper.
  • Foxton Fizz is seriously delicious. It is extremely fizzy and can give one the hiccups. Cocktail flavour and raspberry are best, although Creaming Soda is also great, and I haven't tried lime, lemonade and Kola, so can hardly judge. I've got the most beautiful, fat, green straws to drink it with.
  • The counter is an essential part of the decor, and our counter hasn't arrived.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Good question

Cathi has asked if we're still on for tomorrow.

No idea.

Sorry! We could be open, the shelves have arrived, the cash register has been replaced with a working one, the phone is connected, the eftpos terminal has stubbornly started working, we haz stock. I just have absolutely no idea whether we'll be able to make the place presentable by morning.

At this stage:

Pictures need hanging
Shelves need assembling
Stock needs pricing
Stock needs to be taken from home to shop
My brain needs to stop hurting.

And I don't know whether any or all of these things matter. I'm that shagged.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Beaut ute

We have furniture in the shop! It is a big day. We may even open on Saturday, depending on phones, shelves blahdy blah.

Ms Megan came to ours with their fabulous new (old) ute. I have serious ute envy. Megan and I had to actually help with lugging things, which kind of sucked. I'm pleased blokes can usually be convinced that they're better at that job, but tonight there was a shortage of blokes, and unfortunately Megan and I had to let on to Glen that we're perfectly capable of lifting.

We chucked a few things in our formerly exquisitely black white shop, and now it is black white with much red and pink and green and other things. I think it will be quite ace (just quietly).

Tomorrow I'm going to be there faffing around, and I'll try and take a few pictures and post them here, since I'm sure you all have wallets bulging full of money to purge chez Marth.

Did I mention I have Foxton Fizz? See, you won't be able to resist the store now. We sampled the "Cocktail" flavour today, and whilst it lacks the subtlety of a fine dirty martini, and was a jolly good little spritz.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


On a more positive note (from my previous post - Jon Stewart has cheered me into a good mood again), I was thinking about my awesome new neighbours at the shop. If you come out you can get some gouda from the Dutch shop opposite, some delicious mango chutney from Spice Planet on the corner, some biltong from On Trays (the South African shop) just around the corner, some Speights from the Speights bar, some Ripe coffee from Go Bang a block down the road, some Turkish food from the new Turkish cafe over the road (owned by the Istanbul people), some of the best Chinese food in Wellington from Shanghai Kitchen, also over the road...

We have some very awesome neighbours. I shall become as large as a house.

One of THOSE days

Do people want to hear about boring crap? Occasionally things go a bit roughly, and today was one of those days...

I got my first blue face on Trademe. Bloody hell. I won the auction on a cash register, and was contacted reasonably promptly, but after the initial contact it was a loooong time to get any responses, and I didn't feel overly confident about the trade. Also, I actually needed the thing, and it didn't seem like it was going to arrive in a hurry. It was all very civil, and then I get the grump face, and the bad attitude. Oh well, I suppose Trademe is full of crazy people. And I ended up getting a fabulous cash register, extremely promptly, from very nice people.

And my counter is stuck in Auckland still. The movers have been to get it twice, and decided they need more people. Obviously I can't open without a counter, so I'm a bit gutted about that, especially as I booked them ages ago, and they haven't been letting me know what is happening, I've been chasing them on the phone.

AND my phoneline hasn't been installed, when it was "going to be in by Monday", so someone else to chase up, and you know what telecommunications are like to get hold of (tele-noncommunications).

Oh, and my old spouse is sick as a dog, but unable to take sick leave, because it is his last week of work (yay!), and that is not a good look.

Bah grumpy.

On a more positive note, we've painted the floor of the shop, and it is looking very dishy. It has a modem, so if I wanted I could take a computer in and surf teh internets. And Jon Stewart is on telly, and that always makes me happy. AND, I'm told my stuff is in the window of Kirks! The window!

So, while it has been a kind of crappy day, I'm reasonably content, and things can only get better...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Shop diaries, again

My cash register arrived today. It is cool. I might possibly have bought the cheapest one around (which also happens to be the prettiest), and the manual is very chinglish. Who needs all that gst palaver? Receipt? Pah, so old skool.

I spent quite a bit of time painting the shop over the weekend. It is black white, a colour I probably picked because of the craziness of the name - is it black? Is it white? Is it grey?

And I have spent waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time chasing suppliers. You'd think if you went to a gift fair, and gave out samples, and spent thousands of dollars on getting there, you'd actually be kind of keen to get back to people who have said they will definitely buy your product. Such logic doesn't seem to exist. Oh well.

Oh, and if you're passing by the NZ store in Kirks, I have some stock there now. SO EXCITING. I love Kirks. I must go and have a look.

That is all. I hope you're all awesome and good looking, because I'm not. I'm all covered in paint. quite tired and doing online grocery shopping, such is my rock and roll existence.

Friday, October 12, 2007

It is still light outside

The weather is giving us a glimpse of summer. I guess it isn't the weather, but the fact for the first time in about 23 years it isn't raining and cloudy, and outside we have a beautiful sky.

I got to wear my sash at lunchtime, and as a surprise, Mrs Llew had arranged for a pink boa halo. Lots of old men said I looked "quite fetching". People were very generous, and I felt very virtuous and angelic collecting their donations for a great cause. Mr Llew came and gave me a big bag of his delicious nuts (ooo err) - macadamias! What were you thinking? And where did that Benny Hill music spring from?

This afternoon I trotted along to a consultation with lighting designers for the shop. Man, the problem with things like lighting designers is that they make you realise fluorescent tubes really won't do the trick. They're too smart to come out and say it, but they show you lots of lovely alternatives that ruin fluorescents for you forever.

In theory we're at the shop painting all weekend (apart from when we're at a birthday party). In practice, we're both perched on the couch being in denial. I did buy a cash register today, that has to count for something (like the fact that I'd like it to be full of money, and I'm still a child and want to play shop).

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'm a beauty Queeeeeeeeen

Tomorrow, I'm collecting for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation for Pink Ribbon Day. Mike has written it all up properly here. I get to wear a pink sash!

I'll be there 11.30-12, so come and give me some ping mmkay?

Hee hee

I love Spareroom. Look what they found (nsfw, but your boss would have to have very beady eyes to see what is going on in the background, to the right. It involves a pennith).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

ciga cigar

I keep starting writing, and getting pulled away to do something, or realise that what I have written is about as interesting as watching paint dry, but there you go. Actually, I'd love to be watching paint dry right now, it would mean that the plastering had been finished, and we'd be ready to get our shelving installed.

Yeah, life is kind of renovatingy. Also, it is shoppingy, and shopping happens to be one of my most favourite things. I've even got a legit excuse to peruse magazines all day long, but without the time to do it.

So, shop updates for you all. Um, I'm not going to open with a big launch party, because frankly my signage won't be ready when everything else is, and I'm waiting on some stock, but I don't want to delay opening for those small matters. I might go for a Christmas shopping party instead, in a month, when all my goodies have arrived. All going to plan (and dependent on aforementioned shelves), we should be open on the 20th October. I'm calling it a soft opening, a term I learned on the best show on telly, Top Chef.

And uh, that is it.

Oh, apart from the fact you should buy the new Phoenix Foundation album.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

More bullet points for Sunday/Monday

  • My brain is still not working very well due to excessive fun at an opening at the Dowse on Friday.
  • The rugby sucked, and reminded me why I'm better off not watching it - I can live without the tension.
  • Yesterday I was grumpy when I started this list, and today I am chipper.
  • I managed to use some of my crazy random ingredients from the other day in a most delicious lasagne - mmm, it starred chipotle sauce from the trip to Auckland, and it was great.
  • The last time it rained like this I seem to recall flooding, huge flooding.
  • I forgot to do my Arthritis collection last week (well, forgot/waited for decent weather). Looks like we'll be making a nice big donation ourselves to make up for it. If you would like to donate, why not go through me, then I'll look less inadequate.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Sentimental song Friday

This song is running around in my head, so I thought I'd see if I can make it run around in yours.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Get out of jail free card

Mike has just suggested I stop complaining about being tired, and go to bed.

Let it be known, Martha has a new "get out of jail free card", and his name is Jon Stewart. I've informed Glen, so now I need to make sure that I don't miss an episode of the Daily Show, on the off chance that Jon Stewart invites me for a "date" (and by "date" I mean "pash") one night, and I miss it...

It seems like an appropriate opportunity to invite you to share your own "get out of jail" frees ie., the person you are allowed to enjoy without jeopardising your existing relationship... go on, share.

Shopping list

I'm back from Moore Wilson's. Moore Wilson's invariably leads to an eclectic assortment of groceries, today was no exception. If someone could guide me along on a cohesive meal including the following, I'd be eternally grateful:

Arborio rice
Israeli couscous
Green curry paste
Those rice things you soften and fill with other stuff, none of which I have
500g smoked salmon

This could be one of those Ready Steady Cook challenges - on your marks, get set, go!


The kids are going fucking ballistic. These holidays have been terrible, rain is a complete killjoy, add to it raging wind, a 3 year old and a 5 year old, and you have a recipe for disaster.

They've decided to speak at full volume ALL DAY LONG AND ALL MORNING AND ALL NIGHT.

Malo: "YEAH"

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Bullet point, uh, Wednesday

Every time I think of bullet points I hear a little "peow peow" in my head, and it is quite cute, but also hard to replicate in written form.

  • The unwanted wall is down in the shop. The space is splendid.
  • The shelves that the bloke said will take 2 weeks will in fact take "15-20 working days". This means the shop is, in fact, 15-20 working days from opening.
  • All the sickness seems to have left the house. I'm madly touching wood, because I managed to avoid it (well, I didn't get it, but I didn't entirely avoid it, given the need for me to look after sick blokes).
  • I cooked an actual meal tonight. Nobody commented, so perhaps they haven't noticed I've been getting away with pretty much making toast for the past 3 years.
  • I'm going to a cocktail function on Friday. I will carry around 4 olives on a stick and call myself a Dirty Marthini. I'm not really, but that is as far as I have got to thinking about what to wear to the damn thing.
  • I'm having an issue with canned food. Doesn't an entire tin and label seem an excessive amount of packaging for 4 tomatoes? And how do they do that for 79 cents?
  • Currently my version of "deep" is very, very shallow. I quite like it. Who can ask for more than a complete absence of angst? Could I have written a more confusing sentence?
  • Peow peow.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Drawing breath

While I'd like to be discussing Britney, and craving the ipod touch, and other exciting things like that, basically I'm as snowed under as I've ever been.

The trip to Auckland put me behind a bit for getting through orders, and then the sudden onset of a really crappy vomit thing with Finn set me back last night, and then the sudden onset of aforementioned bug with Glen set me back today...

At least I managed to get a big order done tonight for a new stockist in Invercargill - Invercargill! Cool aye? I'm pretty stoked with it. Well, stoked now it is finished.

The shop is coming along. Um, each day a few more details get sorted, today it involved picking up my eftpos machine. I can't imagine not working at all hours right now, and I think I really need a drink. Really. Jon Stewart is good, but a little grog with friends is so much better.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Shagadelic baby

Yeah, I'm shagged, as in knackered. I went to Auckland in the weekend to scope out the Gift Fair. I tells ya, if you're after some fake flowers, mirrors with Holdens on them, scented candles... well, don't be coming to my shop. The gift fair was chock full of that stuff though - it was MASSIVE. We walked pretty much solidly for 3.5 hours to get around it, with barely a stop. I did manage to find some really pretty bloody awesome stuff amidst the dross, and I can't wait for it to all start arriving.

My friend and I also went to Brazil for a last coffee shake before they closed. It was delicious. And I went and checked out a shop counter, which I'm going to get. It is beautiful.

We saw lots of famous people. Auckland is such a great celeb spotting locale. And um, our plane was late home, now I'm exhausted and so are the children.

So instead of continuing to write a completely humourless post, I'm going to write a whole lot of entirely humourless account application forms for all my various new suppliers.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Shop diaries #457382

Life is almost completely about work at the moment, so why pretend otherwise.

The shop is coming together nicely. I've bought lots of things to make it pretty including some lovely red velvet chairs that make me want to sleep in them, a beautiful white shelf thing which the lovely Megan has referred to as "the Ritz", a cash register, some stools, some beanbags, some stock...

I've been in discussions with my experts about which white - alabaster or ricecake - to use.

I've filled 4 large orders, which Murphy's Law dictates would arrive at a point in life where I am kind of busy with other things, but the money is extremely welcome.

I'm going to Auckland tomorrow with my "everything" advisor. Primarily for the gift fair on Sunday, and I'll also be checking out a counter and meeting my lovely sales rep.

Life is ALL GO. I'm wondering when the champagne, jet and expense account start. And when do I get my Macbook?

Here is a little something from the Phoenix Foundation, to get you ready for the weekend. Cheers Emily.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Big news in these parts sees Glen joining the family firm (and by "family firm" I mean Wanda Harland Enterprises). Yessirreebob, he done quit his job, after 16 years. We are VERY EXCITED. We'll be like Dooce, except not at all, because I won't be making a living from blogging, and Glen is different from Mr Dooce, and we have boys not a girl and so on.

I may have to give up my "life's too short" philosophy and knuckle down to earning the bickies, but I really suspect I won't. I didn't get where I am today (Reginald Perrin) by sweating the small stuff. Obviously I should write a self-help book. I am full of the terminology (as I imagine it, never having read one. Although I have seen the Oprah show, that must count for something).

And yes, I went to see Ratatouille this morning with the chiddlers. I loved it, the animation is so beautiful. Wanna know the last 5 movies I've seen in the theatres? Ratatouille, Shrek 3, Curious George, Simpsons Movie, Happy Feet. Going back further will only reveal more kid flicks. I'm pleased most of them are quite good (glaring exception being Happy Feet wtf?)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Playin' with Zoomin

Here is a map with our new shop.

Shop Diaries #something

I have got the keys to the shop in my hot little hands. Wheeeeeee!

It lived up to my expectations of gorgeous potential when I went in today. The kids had a great time running around making echoes. In fact, they seem to spend their whole days making loud noises. Holidays.

I went to a great business seminar last night. Rod Drury talked about Xero, and how the new reconciling function is like Tetris, and it really is. I take a whole new pleasure in doing accounts these days.

I think the best thing about these seminars is chatting to other people. Networking doesn't need to be about getting business contacts who will help you or buy your product, it can just be about meeting people who inspire you to keep going. I met a jolly nice chap who is launching a great first aid(e) product in November - it is called Aide, and his process and logic was so interesting.

Oops. My blog is going all business. Um, Jessica Simpson. There, I've lowered the tone.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Rueing the heady days of drunken blogging...

This is as close as I come to drunken blogging these days - 2 martinis. Hmm. All it seems to mean is that I make heaps of typing mistakes, but am not drunk enough to roll with them.

I'm quite busy. Understatement really. I'm VERY busy. Just when I was quite busy, a fax rolls off the machine last night with another mighty order (I made that sound so natural, in fact it is only the second fax I've received since I got the machine).

The shop plans are coming along nicely. I've been doing lots of scoping out other shops for shelving systems and signage and so on, and it turns out that any plans I had were about 400x as elaborate as any given shop in the Wellington region, so it will be sweet setting up.

I've done lots of boring logistical stuff, and not yet managed anything glamorous like graphic design. I'm trusting that I'll engage people that like living on the edge as much as I do.

Right now I'm off for some enforced R 'n R watching Top Chef, then it is back off to make some more goodies.

Hope your weekend is just as rock n roll as mine.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

New glasses

New glasses
Originally uploaded by Wanda Harland
I can see SO CLEARLY. My old specs were 5 years old, had been chewed by the dog, and probably needed updating about 3 years ago.

My new glasses are splendidly shiny, don't fall off my face, allow me to see more detail than I'm altogether comfortable with on other people's skin, and I'm not squinting at all! I can feel the wrinkles at the corners of my eyes sigh a breath of relief, and vanish.

Okay, so I'm dreaming.

Update: It has been pointed out to me by a couple of people that I look a bit scary in this picture. It is quite odd, because that is exactly how I look like to myself in the mirror, but I suppose I must look friendlier when I'm talking and so on. And you know what? I'll never know what my back looks like either.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Arrr avast me hearties

I can't do pirate speak, or any other accents for that matter. Maybe a passable American one, but not so passable that I'd do it in front of an American. And I can oot and aboot like a true Canadian.

It is speak like a Pirate Day, and strangely it hasn't had a massive significance in my life. I'll have to make a special effort to play with Malo's very excellent new pirate ship. Ahoy!

I went down to the beach earlier. Today is so beautiful, not even a slight breeze, it really is splendid. I can't imagine what life would be like if it was like this all the time. My friend owns several cafes in Hawkes Bay, and said it is really hard to get anyone to work in the weekends, because the weather is so perfect that people don't need anything else boring like money. They have barbeques and beaches.

Whew, managed to write some words without going on about a little shop...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Shop diaries 4

I started writing another post about what I'd do if I was Queen of the World, but it seemed that everything was related to sleep... which is my subconscious being EXTREMELY UNSUBTLE. Stupid subconscious, what does it know? I didn't get where I am today by being well rested.

Today I felt like I got into the stock shopping for reals. Bloody great fun it was too - I've got some fantastic hats. These hats I saw in Auckland last year, and berated myself for the rest of summer for not buying one. You'll have to come into the shop to see them.

To appease all the parents that seem hellbent on looking after their infants purity, I've got some lovely organic stuff arriving. It is quite weird to be trying not to focus on baby stuff, so I'm not fighting the urge too hard, I love babies, and so do lots of shoppers.

I met up with Nikki the Marvellous Jeweller Who Keeps Me In Fabulous Bling. I'll be stocking some of her creations. Once again, instore. Um.

And I've been daydreaming about the opening. Primarily of the grog at the opening, because frankly all this work is wreaking havoc with my social life. Havoc.

Tired, incoherent, probably fairly boring. Foux de fa fa.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Shop diaries 3

Every inch of my brain is being devoted to work at the moment. Somehow I managed to host a birthday party for Malo on Saturday, but still kept shop business in my head.

I've had a change of heart about the name. It wasn't really doing it for me, I think because I want the shop to be so much more than just a baby shop, and honestly, unless you're in the market for baby stuff the name "Babylicious" is only going to hold marginal interest. Also, my shirts are mainly sold in gift/design stores, so it is following that strength too.

I decided since it is MY shop, I can call it whatever the hell I like. So "Wanda Harland" is reborn, as a shop.

It feels right. It means I can sell whatever I please. I was initially resistant to the name because I imagined people finding the blog and thinking "cor, she isn't very professional", or something. But now I think that I'm not trying to create an empire, I'm doing this for myself, for fun and hopefully some money. I can't name the shop my real name because of that other Martha.

I may have a change of heart in two days, but at the moment I'm really happy with Wanda Harland.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Alvin and the Chipmunks

Wanna hear a chipmunk do rugby fashion commentary? Check out my guest spot on the Dropkicks. Love the Dropkicks.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Beboozled, bamfuzzled

I can only do bullet points Thursday (because of overexcitedness and possibly dirty-martininess)

  • I just got the best order. Perhaps I should be doing more sales calls (ie SOME sales calls)
  • Tonight we eat beef (although sadly I don't own beef's hide - yet).
  • Too speechless (writeless) to go any further, because of first bullet point. More later.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Shop diaries 2

Well, things are about twenty thousand times closer to happening than they were yesterday. The bank has come to the party with the money, and now I can realise all my dreams of stylish light fittings and floor coverings, not to mention some substantial spending at the gift fair later this month. Woo hoo. For a while there it was looking like we might be snaffling all the fittings from my house, which would be innovative, because who would've thought of using a kitchen bench as a counter?

With my new found wealth, I popped into Backhouse to look at Kartell lights. Bloody Kartell don't do big ones though, so there goes that idea.

I want to get the biggest cowhide I can find for the floor. We went up to my parent's house in the country in the weekend, and I was having seriously impure thoughts about the cattle beast's coats. My vegetarian father was not amused. If anyone wants to go and quietly slaughter me one of them, and tan the hide, I'd quite like white with black spots. Thanks

Monday, September 10, 2007

Bullet point Monday

  • My chewed glasses are soon to be replaced with extremely tasty new ones.
  • The curse of the optometrist appeared again today, when I showed up for my appointment, and there was no appointment. They said something about rescheduling until tomorrow, I muttered something about how I would be happy to see anyone, and stayed very still, and thankfully got seen. Perhaps the curse has been broken.
  • The week is full of appointments, so that my Google calender is looking all chock full and important.
  • I think I'm on ASB Business tomorrow morning. Feel a little nauseaus at the thought.
  • Amplify shampoo is shit. I accidentally used my old shampoo today, and my hair feels lovely compared with the last few weeks of aforementioned item.
  • I'm fretting about childcare, accountants, builders, packaging, stock, paint, light fittings, eft pos machines, staff... but mainly enjoying the fretting. It is good to be busy.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Bloody universe

The universe is sending me messages. The latest one wasn't very subtle, it froze my computer when I tried to click the "buy now" button on the new ipod touch. I was just looking! Promise universe! My insatiable appetite for shopping is on hold! I swear guv'nor!

Mutter mutter universe mean to me mutter mutter wait and see if the bank comes through with the money mutter mutter very handy for new shop mutter mutter

Friday, September 07, 2007

Shop diaries part 1

My lovely sister has requested a shop diary, so for her (and anyone else), here is the beginning.

Some time ago, whilst talking about business, it was suggested to me by MG that I "take control of the supply chain" - or something along those lines - that sounded all businessy and efficient. I filed it away in my brain (and chucked out the file which helps me remember phone numbers), and didn't pay it much attention until it came time to write my business plan for the Cable Car Challenge. The process of writing the business plan really helped me cement some schemes and thoughts into tangible business strategies, but to be honest, I wasn't REALLY thinking much about retail until I saw the PERFECT SHOP.

That was 4 days ago. Since then I've signed and paid for the lease, organised eftpos and credit card, started some prelimary design ideas (with the help of the fabulous Rosie), had loads of really great advice, enjoyed a great deal of hilarious discussion on the Wellingtonista mail about names (Marthaload, School Girl French, The Marthacular Conception, Pantz, The international marthahood of the traveling pants, Martha2.0... and so many more brilliant suggestions) - who can believe I decided to stick with Babylicious?

Today we went in and did a measure up. We'll need to take out some walls and some carpet, but it is pretty lovely. It was a bit hard to get decent photos, so here is one with my handsome dad, and one with my handsome son, to keep it interesting.
Malo at the shop
The very exciting doors. Exciting
Terry and Malo at the shop
The very exciting white walls. Yes, we will get rid of the curtain.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


A crazy, crazy week.

I've leased a shop. It is on Jackson St, and we're gonna get in there in TWO WEEKS. I can't believe it, it has all happened very quickly - from seeing the shop on Tuesday, to signing the papers today.

It will be called "Babylicious", and that is all I know. I'm vaguely thinking it will be white and gorgeous.

Now, I just need shop fittings, stock, staff, childcare...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Foux de fa fa

I really would like to call my shop Foux de fa fa, but won't, being too sensible and all.

Here is the video, pour Pamela

Hairy bitch

I was waiting for the dawg to do something real bad, and sure enough, this morning I couldn't find my glasses. They've showed up now, but considerably more scratched with no plastic cover on one arm, and now sit with a jaunty angle.

Damn dog. Mind you, I've had them for 5 years now - they've survived 2 toddlers. Probably time for a fresh start anyway.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Drumroll please!

The winner is da da da da da da! (I used this ultra scientific service for a random number)

Ben Kepes

Congratulations Ben, your tenacity has paid off, and you are the winner in the great Wanda Harland undie draw.

Thanks all for your efforts. I quite enjoyed it, perhaps I'll do them more often.

Mr Kepes, please flick me an email wandaharland at gmail - chur

Monday, September 03, 2007

The weekend was sweeeeet

Spring is here, and it is SUNNY. I'm very optimistic about a good summer at this stage. I know the wind will be shit soon, but the days are so much longer and brighter, I don't really mind.

Saturday we went down to Oriental Bay to marvel at the loveliness that is this city, and gaze at the houses we'd like to own thankyouverymuch. The golden sand at that beach is a TRIUMPH. It isn't the softest sand, but it makes the sea look so freaking attractive.

In the evening I had a hot date with some hot mamas. We went to Mighty Mighty to see the Wrongdoings. It was a fantastic show, they are a fabulous band. I feel a personal connection to them on many levels, marvellous Mitch drums, other character was my first pash (blush), and Reta the singer went to my primary school. I tells ya, this country is a village.

Sunday I was feeling a little slow, not due to alcohol, but rather due to an early Fathers' Day start. Croissants are the order of the day for special occasion brekkies, so I was up at dawn cooking, espressoing and juicing (I should be honest and admit that the croissants simply needed heating, the juice pouring - the coffee was a bit more effort, but a lot of fun now our machine is fixed). And in the afternoon a lovely birthday party with good food and company.

I like weekends like that.

Today I'm daydreaming about a shop. My shop. Hmmm.

Friday, August 31, 2007

De-lurk alert

Melissa has given away some lovely prizes for her readers who have de-lurked and said hi. I am not quite so lovely as Melissa, but I am offering some gruts - style of your choosing - as a prize for commenting on this post.

I'll make the draw using a random number generator, because I believe that sounds most sci-fi and futuristic, and here at Wanda Harland we are all about the future.

There are Lady Pants and Man Pants to choose from, as well as adulation. You may enter as many times as you like. And I suppose if you're a completely selfless type person, you could have shirt for your kiddiwinkle if you want.

I'll do the draw on Tuesday. This is VERY EXCITING.

Update: I should add that non-lurkers are also warmly invited to enter, nay, ENCOURAGED to enter.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Sometimes I forget to write, and sometimes I'm a bit busy. Today was a combination of both.

It has been good busy, some making money busy, and then lots of hanging out with great people busy. Since the people probably don't want to be talked about (non-bloggers!), I'll talk about the food and grog.

I've had:
Freshly roasted almonds
Havarti and water crackers
Sauvignon Blanc
Warmed, marinated olives
Marinated feta
Garlic bread
Blue cheese and figs
Affogato with Galliano

And now I'm happy, full, socially satisfied and sleepy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ain't nothin' going on but the rent

I've been reclining since lunchtime. My dodgy stomach hit again. Ah well, prior to the ache I spent the morning scoffing scones and having a lovely chat, so it wasn't a wasted day.

I've been doing business from my bed. To be frank, this is my ideal locale, and I imagine when the kids are both at school I'll be hard pressed to find a better spot to work. It is sunny, comfortable and very handy should I feel like changing my outfit or having a nap.

I haven't had so much time to mooch on the computer for a while, and bloody good thing it is. I keep finding things to buy, and not good things that will make my business grow and increase my wealth, but bad things that will make my house pretty and my mortgage huge. Latest find is this divine set of cutlery THAT I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED and I'm certain we need. It is 40% cheaper than in NZ, and you know when you make savings like that, they're virtually giving you money.

I'm not one to turn down free money now, am I?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Take a bullet for me

My favourite bullet point stylie reportage on life.

  • Busy. Man, when does that change?
  • Gonna be on ASB Business at some ungodly hour, some time in the next week, being dorky.
  • My phone is dead, and I suspect the charger is in Taupo.
  • My house is very tidy (thanks to aforementioned tv thing), and very painted.
  • The dog is losing bits of herself today, and will come back unable to conceive. Choice. Hopefully she'll be sleepy for a day or two as well, so we get a breather from puppy-mayhem.
  • The Great Blend is on Thursday. I'm unable to make it, but you definitely should.
  • I haven't had lunch and my mind is wandering.
  • Our coffee machine is on the blink, so we bought a new plunger to tide us over, I love it. It is the Columbia, can't get linky to linky proper.
  • Child on me. Too much boring info in post already. Will go.

Monday, August 27, 2007

INXS Monday

This came on the radio in the car when we were away, and I was once again amazed that INXS had so many hits.

My friend Cro always loved them, for me it is nostalgia that makes me like them, because they kind of passed me by at the time. And the fact Michael Hutchence is/was hot. I am that shallow.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I'm back, and I'm bad

We went to Taupo. It was very spur of the moment, we wanted to go away, we wanted to show the children snow, and so Taupo won. We stayed at an amazing holiday house. I am very smitten with . Every time we've stayed in one, they have been fabulous, this one was no exception. I knew I loved it the minute I walked in and saw the delicious retro wallpaper in the kitchen - the place was gorgeous. It got even better when we woke in the morning and took in the view. Spectacular doesn't begin to describe it.
Acacia Bay

We went up to Wai o Tapu to check out the geothermal activity. Lovely place.
Devil's milkshake (or something that caused me to have to explain the concept of 'devil')
And we watched a dam somewhere fill a river somewhere, and we went up to Whakapapa to check out the snow. Next year we'll ski, but Malo is still a bit little. I've never seen the Chateau before, and it was coooool. If I was someone else, and getting married, I'd go there, and invite me. Someone, please, heed my call.

What else? We went to Tokaanu to check the hotpools out, but SOMEONE left my togs and towels behind, so we ended up going to DeBretts instead, which wasn't as good, but still nice and warm.

Highlight of the holiday was going on a fishing charter with the lovely man, Jim, who owns the bach we stayed in, and also happens to run a charter business. We caught a few trout, they were all little and had to be sent back. I didn't mind, the novelty of reeling in those suckers was splendid, and Jim basically did all the boring stuff and let us mooch around and pull in the fish. We went to see the Maori rock carvings.
Maori Rock Carvings (Taupo)
And we returned home to a painted house, which is very lovely and very relaxing.

Now I have to go and freak out about being interviewed for the telly. Cor.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Out of here dudes

I'm on holiday!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ohmigod, then I found this

I knew every bloody intonation of every singer when this little puppy came out.

The 80s was so full of earnestness - We Are the World bring it on - and please note how the only vaguely hip person was Brucie, and he rocked it baby, and imagine if Michael Jackson had stopped the surgery then, and now I understand why I feel the way I do about Bob Dylan. That is all I am saying.

U Can't Touch This Sunday

When U Can't Touch This first came out, I hated it. I've probably hated it until about 10 minutes ago, when I found it for Finn on YouTube, because he is doing a dance for it at school. Man! That MC Hammer could dance. I imagine I was blase about it when I was young because some crazy part of my mind imagined I might be able to dance like that when I grew up. Well, I can't.

So, for the children, people. Show them this video, get them the pants, and teach them to dance like the Hammer. We may never dance, but the children are our future. Let us show them the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside (I'm feeling a nauseatingly cheesy Sunday coming on for next week).

Craft2.0 was a fabulous success. I was visited by so many people, and it was a complete pleasure. I started making a big list of each person, and it would have taken me a bloody week to linky poo everyone, but to all of you, thanks for coming and saying hello! It was a huge day in all respects - complete sensory overload. You'll be relieved to know I did some excellent shopping, and I'm blinged up to the nines, my body is scrubbed, and we're enjoying our coffee from some lovely new cups.

I took the chiddlers to the Simpson's movie this morning. I liked it, especially the first 24 minutes, which I suspect is directly related to the fact that my attention span for the Simpsons is exactly one episode. The kids managed to keep reasonably still, although I had to resort to evil burger bribes halfway through to keep Malo quiet.

I joined a group on Facebook called "If 100,000 people join, my wife will let me name my second child Spiderpig". I love some of the names of groups on Facebook. I'm sorely tempted to join "I learned all of my life lessons from The Smurfs". Of course the Spiderpig group was a joke. There are crazy people around, and plenty that want to name their child ACDC, but in this instance it was an excellent experiment in viral internets, I loved all the "you are sick, nobody should call there (sic) kid Spiderpig)" comments (have you ever seen the comments on YouTube?). Ka pai, I say.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Less than 24 hours!

Craft2.0 kicks off tomorrow at TheNewDowse (the least fun to type name in the world) in Lower Hutt. It will be a festive, fun-filled fiesta. Come say hello, buy a shirt or a pair of Hutt Man Pants, you know you want them...

How to be a domestic goddess #1

People, I do not only mix martinis, today I am making granola. This stuff is like crack, or P (lets localise the drug). We ate the last lot by the handful, it is very yummy. The recipe is here, and it is worth making. I didn't like it with the raisins, but if you like raisins, you should go for them. I think it is pretty good without.

You can vaguely pretend it is healthy ("granola" has such an earnest ring to it), but don't kid yourself, it is probably as good for you as a packet of Anzac biscuits for brekkie.

Big ups to the intrepid cook Ange for sussing out great recipes. I did try one of her other muesli experiments, but I think the granola is the winner.


Bloody money. I love money, and I loved the NZ$ being high, even though it was a guilty pleasure and bad for exporters yada yada. Although Fonterra didn't seem to be suffering.

And now all my exciting plans for spending precious kiwi pinga overseas have been shattered. It sucks.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

When I groweded up

Mostly I don't need to feel like anything much has changed in my life. You know, I've had some kids, but truth be told, they like faffing around, doing pretty much the same shit as me. We run around the park, go on the swings, beg to eat at McDonald's, get denied stuff, try and sneak lollies, laugh a lot, watch rubbish telly, play on the computer, harass the dog, dance around the lounge. I start begging for martinis at 4.30pm, they start asking to eat.

Today though, it all changes. Today we're going to school for our first parent/teacher interviews. And I'm the parent! I'm bloody hoping we don't get told of for nuffin, 'cos this is one situation where the buck stops here.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bullet point MAYHEM

I loves me a bullet point.

  • Listen to this. It comes via Tom, and is crack for the ears. Go on.
  • Craft2.0 rocks this Saturday. Here is my friend Rachelle in the paper about it, if you squint you can see my name too.
  • Facebook has been crappy lately, which has been a good chance to ease my addiction.
  • I had a leisurely bag filling (goodie bags for Craft2.0) evening planned. What does that mean? Completely inundated with orders, of course.
  • Big bags of liquorice allsorts from Moore Wilson's will kill you.
  • So will big bags of jaffas.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Status reports

Martha is missing Facebook at the moment (it seems to be down).

Martha is surprised how much she wants to update her status.

Martha is happy to have made the Babylicious blog reappear, albeit completely empty.

Martha is looking forward to a quiet moment tomorrow to watch Big Love.

Martha is going to sleep.

Nominate a milf

I get an outlandish amount of hits for people looking for milfs. One today arrived from Italy, and they'd even searched "Martha milf" - I hope they were satisfied.

So what better opportunity to boost my ratings, than give you an opportunity to nominate your top milf. I think Stifler's mother wins hands down, but I require your suggestions to be real mums. Posh? The Queen? Olivia Newton John? Knock yourselves out.

Monday, August 13, 2007

8 Random Things

Nicola has tagged me with 8 random things. I haven't done a meme for a squazillion years, and I suspect I have no random things left to say, but I'll give it a punt.

1. Geez this is hard, given I write random facts about myself every day, I feel somewhat self conscious doing it in this format.

Umm. My hangovers have always been a lot worse than I deserve. Even when I was young I'd feel really seedy after a couple of glasses of wine. This probably indicates I should stop drinking, but in fact I think it stops me drinking more often, so works perfectly really.

2. If I won lotto today, I'd buy a Michael Parekowhai picture immediately.

3. I'm a silver person, or white gold, or ideally platinum.

4. I have 4 new coats this winter. An outrageous amount, but they're all great.

5. I keep saying I'm going to start keeping my age a secret, but I never do. Problem is, I keep thinking my age sounds quite young.

6. I always have sundried tomato cream cheese on a sesame bagel at Wholly Bagels.

7. I like gardening a lot. I especially enjoy pulling weeds out of the lawn.

8. I'm going to do a marketing paper next year at Massey. I suspect I should've done marketing *mutter* years ago when I first went to university, but for some reason I did arts. Sadly this has given me too much affection for buying pictures (see no 2).

I tag you all. Every one of you.

Like Posh innit?

Like Posh innit?
Originally uploaded by Wanda Harland
I find this pic about the creepiest one I've ever taken of myself. Blame the Mac, it has a mind of its own, and I'm fairly confident is out to take over the world.

I don't look as much like Posh Spice in the picture as I would like, my hair is quite pleasingly Posh 2 cuts ago. I suppose to look a bit more Posh I'd have to shed at least half my body weight, and then have it pumped back onto my chest.

I had the haircut yesterday, and I am renewed and invigorated. Obviously I'm quite shallow, because for me it doesn't take a week at a Buddhist meditation centre to have a feeling of wellbeing, it simply takes a visit from the divine Ms Selena.

If anyone needs a good hairdresser, contact me and I'll hook you up.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Saturday - it is from within the last decade!

I listened to the Phoenix Foundation's Horsepower when I was in labour. I still like it. The same cannot be said for the Beta Band, listening to them takes me right back to that hideous delivery suite. I guess I must've had more of the gas when I was listening to Phoenix Foundation. May I recommend that gas? I don't know what it is, but it gives one all the properties that usually it takes 3 hours at the pub to attain.

I love many of the Phoenix Foundation songs. Many. I love this one too.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Then it changes...

Malo starts kindy on Monday. Suddenly I'm not really a full time mother (although I was never particularly convincing at that, given my prolific blogging and working habits).

I'm mainly excited. He'll love it, and I'll have some time during the day to work, rather than cramming it all into the evenings. It may even offer the chance for me to do some serious business growing - the possibility of getting on the phone and calling retailers without sounding like a zoo is pretty amazing.

We went into town this morning for one of our coffee dates, and took my father with us. We went to Dorothy Patisserie on Cuba St, a place I've found excellent in the past. My father went up to the counter to get some chocolates for my mother, but blanched a bit when he saw the range of novelty chocolates (think boobs and penniths). Dorothy! Why hast thou forsaken me? You were going to be my classy bakery to take Oy Vey, and now you're a chocolate fetishists dream.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Mr Timberlake is playing in Auckland. I would like to go pleeze. I don't know why, apart from the fact he is kind of handsome, and I think it would be a helluva show.

In honour of the man, here is the marvellous Dick in a Box. I'm sure at least 2 of you haven't seen it yet.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Could it be the most beautiful Mac in the world

As if there isn't enough temptation in this world already, check these babies out. And they're very reasonable.



I need a break, mate. Life is busy as a busy thing.

Craft2.0 is on next weekend, and should be a total blast, and I'm thinking after that we hit the road. Cannot wait.

Ideas welcome, I'd like to take in some snow and I'd also like to be warm. Easy ask eh?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Why my hair smells pretty (and other bits of me too)

Originally uploaded by ellipse
Work has gone pretty nuts over the last week or so - beginning of the month stuff - and I've been flat out with orders for shops.

This meant I couldn't make it to the Hustle for Autism last night. A real shame, it sounded great (better than sitting here making invoices and trying to get my GST return to work).

I sent Glen along instead, with instructions not to hold back at the auction. And he delivered. This basket of goodies was like christmas, filled to the brim with nice smelly stuff, and nail stuff and eye stuff. I should start doing product reviews of everything. Currently my hair is Amplified with something, and satined with something else, my body is cocooned with something creamy and my nails are kind of peachy coloured.

It was freaky expensive, but all for a good cause, so everyone wins ;-)

Monday, August 06, 2007

Morning o' fun

I'm a big fan of airports. Love 'em. I love them when I'm travelling, and I love meeting people arriving. Departures are not so good, but still, they're a fabulous opportunity to do a bit of people watching and coffee drinking.

The boys and I went to pick up my parents today. They've been in France and Japan for 5 weeks. We made sure we arrived nice and early so we could get some (frankly terrible) sushi, coffee, fluffies and muffins from Fuel. Wishbone gets my pick for food, but Fuel coffee can't be beat.

We mooched around, picked up and put down some books, saw some cops escort a guy through the airport who was unnervingly hairless and had an open shirt on, saw lots of people who looked vaguely familiar (hello, Wellington!), used the fabulous Parent's Room (if you have kids, you need to check it out - clean and empty), gazed at the 102 inch screen.

And then we had the pleasure of welcoming my parents back. They always come with lashings of nougat, duty free, toys and clothes for the kids.

Now I'm planning my next trip to the airport. Hopefully it will involve passports and tickets and a long time away, now I need a dart and a map...

Update: This must be the guy! Chur Hadyn.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Cheesy Sunday

Many years ago I was very lucky to be able to go to a Gary Barlow record company schmooze thing - who is Gary Barlow? Well, he was the REAL talent in Take That, but unfortunately wasn't the best looking... I think he tried flying solo, but his bandmate Robbie captured the limelight.

There was a point in my life when I used to go out a lot (yes, even more than now), and invariably I'd come home and blast this piece of schlock to the world. Sorry Austin St!