Category: The Woman

The Woman: Who Is Hazel?

I’ve been low key Insta crushing on the gorgeously hilarious, gumboot wearing, part time farmer, full time shit talker (as she describes herself), Hazel, the alter ego from ‘What Hazel Said’.
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Documenting her daily wins (which earn her a star on her star chart), struggles and rants (like the fact that her local baristas cannot seem to master the art of a simple short black), she enlightens the lives of thousands of followers with a real talk approach to her own reality …. and a bunch of Lamb spam!

Although she lures me in with her daily humor and witty rants, its actually the softer side of her honestly that got me. She wrote a post inspired by a quote that I had also shared, so I was immediately intrigued to hear her take on it. It almost bought a tear to my eye. It was real, honest and written as if it was about me.

Im not going to share too much of this as I urge you to read it for yourself, but here is a few snippets of What Hazel Said:

You can spot the wild ones if you know what to look for.  They’re the ones who laugh too loud and love too hard and swear too much and stay too long.

If she’s in her thirties she’s a bit more relaxed about life, she’s had her heart obliterated more than twice, and knows that no storm lasts forever, but she still drinks too much at parties.

She carries pieces of her past in her pocket. Some so she remembers who she is, some to remind her how far she’s come.  She’s at peace with all the pieces, and if you can’t be – leave her wild.

Her friends are extended family.  Gender, race, sexual orientation and age are irrelevant, because she sees souls instead of smiles.  If it’s not OK that some of these souls are in male bodies – leave her wild.

She has openly pledged to live 2017 as #authentic, with #nofilter and #nofucksgiven. Join her army of followers, who like me, check in everyday, straight after work to see what Hazel Said that day.


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Talk to us about your 20’s…

Oh my stars, take me back.  I look back and I honestly had the best time.  I finished up at Uni in my 20’s, and spent half of the decade on the Gold Coast.  What a place to be.  I had a glamorous job (by Accountant standards), and I got to travel around Australia doing fun stuff with fabulous people.  I hadn’t known grief until just before I turned 28 and it really was a blessed place to be.

I wish I had enjoyed it more and looked around and appreciated how lucky I was, instead of traveling in the fast lane wishing they would increase the speed limit to 120 km/h.  Even when I spent three months traveling the world solo, I was worrying about how I’d explain a three month hiatus on my CV and how I was going to lose the weight before my BFF’s wedding.

Life in your thirties has found you …

My thirties has found me, employed, unemployed and now self employed.  My thirties found me living with my fiance, living with my parents, and now living in beautiful rural NZ with one of my fave humans ever, Julio.  I have had so many “how the fuck did I get here?” moments in the last few years, and now I have so many “how the fuck did I get so lucky?” moments.

How would you sum up your life in your thirties in one sentence …

Even at the ripe old age of 33, I look back at my journey to the now and can announce that I took the road with the bends that make you feel sick and the potholes that make you wish you’d worn a sports bra.  If I were to sum up my thirties (so far) in one sentence, it would be: One hell of a ride.

I love watching your Insta stories you post after a day in the office. Share with us your funniest work story.

I have lots of work stories, and until I started sharing mine on Insta, I didn’t realise that there were so many people struggling with condescending, passive agressive colleagues on a daily basis.

Once upon a time I worked for a circus that traveled across Australia (not really but it felt like a circus and we acted like monkeys), we stayed together in houses while we were on tour and invariably drunk a bit on school nights.  One night, my work bestie and I walked in on two married colleagues…one was in the bed pretending to be asleep, and the other was on the dresser trying to hide behind the TV.

Whats the one characteristic that people love about you, whats one characteristic about you that drive people crazy?

I think the same characteristic about me that some people appreciate, others really do not appreciate – that would be my honesty.  Some people enjoy that I tell it like it is and answer questions with frank honesty, other people cringe when I voice an opinion that differs from something someone read on Facebook once (see below).

What’s an opinion that you have that people don’t like to hear?

There’s a few things that I’m pretty passionate about that make me an unpopular party guest.  I’m passionate about mental health awareness, I’m pro choice and think that women should have options available to them so they can make the best decision for themselves and their future.

I’m passionate about women focusing on being supportive of other women.  There’s a lot of (very valid) media chat about equal rights and men treating women poorly, but (in my experience), if you’re at work and find yourself under a bus, it’s usually a woman who threw you there.

I’ve always been opinionated about farming because my cousins make their living off the land, but since becoming #farmwifelife I’m even more passionate about it.  I’m so proud of the way that Julio’s family business is run that I don’t miss a chance to educate people about the way they do things.

If you were 60 years old what would you tell your 30yr old self? 

I honestly think that 60 year old would have so much to say to 30 year old me.  A few of the things 60 year old me would say…

“Wear the bikini, your bum looks fine and your boobs are great.  Stop wishing that you could be someone who swears less and has a more subtle laugh.  It will work out, don’t worry so much.  And the botulinum toxin was a great idea – good work babes!”

What age do you feel right now? Why?

Right this minute I feel about 45.  After a few wines on a Friday night I feel 22.  The morning after a few wines I feel like a 72 year old wrestler.

If you were popping champagne a year form now celebrating success, what would it be?

A year from now I will definitely be popping bottles – I just can’t tell you why.  Julio and I have some epic shit planned for this year that not even our closest friends know about.  You’ll have to tune in to find out what it is.

Whats something thats true, that no one agrees with you on?

There are so many things I feel to be true that no one agrees with me about, but one of the main things is that the accoustics in my car make me sound (note for note) like Tina, Mariah, Whitney or Celene.  It’s incredible.

What’s the best advice you’ve received?

The best advice I’ve got is from a good friend of mine when my engagement ended.  He said, “put it in a box and deal with it later”, and it applies to so many situations.  Every now and then you find yourself in a bit of a bother and you really don’t know how to deal with it, and it does really help to put it to one side and not think about it for a while.  The time will come when you will be able to deal with it and know exactly what to do.

What is something you wish you could stop doing?

Comparing myself to others.  Comparing my body, comparing my business, comparing where I am in life and what I’ve “achieved”.  I think social media has made comparing my life with complete strangers far too easy.

Do you have any goals for this year?

My only goal is to be #authentic.  To be true to myself in real life as well as on social media.  To remember who I am and what is important to me when making decisions for by businesses – I’m gonna keep on keepin’ it real.


Oh, I forgot to mention, the girl can KNIT! Have you ever lusted over the beautful chunky knit throws on Instagram? Then you need to pop over to Heart from Hazel and browse through the lust worthy NZ woolen knits available, all hand made by ‘Hazel’.

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The Woman : Creating Her Free Range Lifestyle

I met Laura in my early twenties during my study in Otago. I was drawn to her free spirit, her love for adventure and her ambition to always keep up with the boys! I’ve shared so many wild experiences with her from road trips to Wanaka to exploring the beaches of Indo on the back of a tiny scooter, but these days Laura is perfecting the art of raising a family ‘free range’ style in New Plymouth.


You were known as the gorgeous beach babe of Otago. Loyal as ever to the coastline, roaming free to uncover some of the most raw and picturesque surf spots around the world. Do you ever miss the freedom and adventure?

Haha flattery will get you everywhere Holly! Yes of course I do miss the freedom at times. Life before kids was very much about my own entertainment and adventure but even with kids we have still managed to travel a fair bit and we utilize the great outdoors for our daily adventures.

Our babies have very much been raised ‘free range’ style with an emphasis on getting dirty, climbing trees, swimming in the ocean and rivers. We try and keep the plastic and technology to a minimum.


Have you taken your kids back to any of your discoveries?

The kids have come along from day dot on many camping trips and adventures around NZ, Australia and the Pacific Islands. Discovering and adventuring with kids changes your perspective – it really becomes less about the destination and more about the journey.  



You married relatively young yet had achieved and experienced so much in your twenties. What is one of your most revisited memories of life pre-marriage and what is your most valuable memory of your life so far with Marcus?

Wow that’s a hard one – I have so many incredible travel memories and amazing moments with friends. Travelling through Central America was a phenomenal and I loved doing a season snowboarding in Lake Tahoe.

Marcus and I travelled 2000km on a scooter across Indo with our surfboards and a backpack, which was an awesome experience pre-babies, and cemented a great friendship and love.


What were some of the lessons you learned in your twenties and how did they prepare you for life in you thirties?

I feel like my twenties were very egocentric – my adventures, my travels, my fun, my happiness on my time. Chasing the next mission or getting ready for the next party meant life can be very fast paced but I wasn’t fully appreciating each moment. I think after having kids and also doing the work I do has encouraged me to be more in the moment and be grateful for the small things, which I feel has brought more satisfaction in life overall.

My twenties were more about pushing the brief and learning about consequences. Experience breed’s wisdom and so now I have it by the bucket loads haha.


You are such a beautifully unique person, something that everyone around you always admired. What makes the life you have created in your thirties unique?

I’ve embraced the philosophy that the best things in life are free. The joy of collecting eggs from our chickens, harvesting fruit and vege from the garden, running to the beach for a swim or surf are all things I appreciate at a different level now I’m 30 and maybe also because this is what I wanted life to be like for my kids.

Running my own business has allowed me to remain a full time mum but at the same time work with clients and companies to better their health and happiness.


It’s not secret that the role of a mother is emotionally, physically and mentally exhausting jobs. My other mum friends often talk about how valuable and rare their down time is. Yet you are using this time to continue your studies. What led you to this decision and how do manage this into your lifestyle?

I don’t think anything prepares you for the 24/7 role of motherhood – it’s incredibly rewarding but also the most challenging role I’ve ever played as well. I have chosen and Marcus supported the decision for me to be a full time mum but I felt I still needed a different mental stimulation.

It was not long after we moved back from Australia, Indi was still at the age of sleeps in the day and we were renting an easy care home so I started my Diploma in Nutritional Science. However, within the month Indi stopped sleeping in the day, I found out I was pregnant with Nico and we brought our house with an acre (which needed a fair bit of work).

Funny how life changes in the blink of an eye and believe me there’s been plenty of midnights when I’m wondering whether this was such a great idea haha. Anyway long story short I am stoked I have pursued the study as it’s meant now Indi’s at school and Nico has started Montessori that I can put my passion and experience to good use through my business Revitalize Me.


Ive noticed in my thirties I am more aware of my health, skin, fitness and general well-being. If you could share three tips of advice for us thirty-year-olds, what would they be?

  1. Stop worrying for one – worrying gets you nowhere – make a plan of attack that is achievable and will get you to where you want to be.
  2. Surround yourself in people that bring out the best in you, who support you to achieve your goals and make you smile. People can help you go further, faster or others can drag you down to their level and help you lose. Embrace the former!
  3. Embrace a wholefood diet, drink enough water and move daily in a way you enjoy. This is the easiest recipe for long-term health and well-being


Your goal with Revitalizeme is to help others achieve balance, happiness, optimal health and wellbeing. I have spent the first few years of my thirties really focusing on these areas to better prepare me for whatever adult life can throw my way. What do you think?

It’s a lot easier to get a handle on your health at a younger age. I follow the philosophy that “Prevention is better than cure”. Ultimately, we all know that health is more important than money and material things, so spending time and effort facilitating good daily health practices will ultimately lead to a happier future.

I realize that there is a lot of conflicting nutrition and health advice these days so my aim through launching Revitalize me is to provide clear concise information that is easy to apply to daily life within all budgets. If you have any health concerns or questions you are welcome to contact me through


The heart of this blog series was to share some of the amazingly inspirational lifestyles created by woman in their thirties, and Laura story is just that. I find myself lost in her blog of advice, inspiration and personal recommendations and her platform celebrates and guides her followers on the journey to happiness, health and general wellbeing, beautifully.

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The Woman : A life rich in travel, experience and the most exquisitely plated dishes imaginable

Shantala, a name that suggests a woman of free spirit. Someone warm, with a soft nature and a beautiful contagious smile. Someone outgoing and confident but humble and intriguing. A name that couldn’t be more suited to my friend Shala. We’ve been friends many years, but I rarely see her as she’s spent the last few years sailing on a super yacht to beautiful places around the world, creating world class dishes for their owners and guests. Dishes that in my opinion outshine those featured on the covers of top Gastronomy Magazines, yet only experienced in the dining rooms of her yachts and seen in the pages of her blog Steps in Thyme.


This is a story that has seen Shala find her happiness, her direction and her passion simply by saying yes to an unexpected vacancy, completely outside of her comfort zone. A simple yes to a somewhat unknown opportunity that bumped her into creating, building and crafting herself the most intriguing, culturally rich lifestyle imaginable.

This is Shantala, and this is her delicious story …

I call home:

NZ is home for sure. I have a Swedish father, an Irish mother and my first language is French so my roots are very much European, but I’m a kiwi kid at heart. I was bought up on Waiheke Island, and though I’ve travelled to some breathtaking places with my job there’s really no place in the world that gives me that same high like coming home.


I am single. It’s hard to hold down a relationship doing what I do, but it also leaves a lot of space to work on the creative aspects of my life.

Working as:

I’m a chef. A career I don’t think I would have chosen intentionally, but somehow (thankfully) it found me! I starting out my yachting career as a stewardess, a job that didn’t exactly thrill me but it was my ticket into a life on the ocean, of free travel and adventure. I would have taken any job if it meant it gave me a place on a boat.


One day the chef on my boat was sick so I offered to help make light meals for the guests. I’ve always loved cooking, though I never thought I would do it professionally. My captain planted the seed that I should look into becoming a second or crew chef. I wasn’t convinced that I was capable but within days a trainee chef role came up on a friends boat, I applied, got the job and that was really how it all started!

That was five years ago, since then I’ve slowly worked my way up into a sole chef position on a sailing yacht.



What do you love most about your career?

No day is the same and nothing is mundane. Working on yachts means we are always entering new harbours – that means new and interesting produce/ ingredients to work with. I get so excited when I find something new with a flavour I haven’t used before.

And of course the travel is a bit of a perk to the job too. I’ve been on my recent boat for three years. In that time we’ve crossed the Atlantic twice, travelled from the States, to central America, Galapagos Islands, Norway, Holland, the Mediterranean, Croatia, all through the Caribbean and most recently back to the States.


How do you keep your food style fresh in an ever growing and expanding industry?

I’m constantly inspired by other chefs for ways to progress creatively. If I have a quiet day, I always fill the gaps by recipe testing and coming up with inventive ways to highlight an ingredient.



Over the last year I’ve been staging in a few restaurants to try and gain new skills and techniques that I might not otherwise learn working on my own. Earlier this year I staged at Orphans Kitchen in Ponsonby. I’d say this has been one of the most inspiring times in my career to date. They have a great harmony there. I was so impressed. Not just in the quality and innovation of the food coming out of the kitchen but in the way that the kitchen itself was run. There’s such a sense of respect between kitchen and floor staff alike – And they have fun, they love what they do and that shines through what they create.

What have you accomplished in your 30’s that you’re most proud of?

I bought my little home on Waiheke Island just over a year ago. If you’d told my 28 year old self I’d be a homeowner in a few years, I would have laughed! Impossible – I was too busy boosting down every obtainable ski slope and wasting each paycheck on new gear and bar tabs.

Once I hit 30 though I made that decision in my mind, I wrote it down on a piece of paper and stuck it on my wall so that every day I was reminded of what I wanted to achieve and when – it was just a matter of illuminating the path that lead to it and saying no to life’s temptations in order to obtain it!

I’m an avid goal writer – I’ve discovered the incredible pleasure of attaining your dreams simply by writing and believing. Buying a house could be classed as a pretty materialistic goal to some, but it’s something I’ve always dreamed of. Having a space that is my own, where I feel free! It’s more than the dollar value or the investment – It’s a childhood fantasy of a place called home.


What’s been the biggest challenge you have faced in your thirties and how has this affected you? 

I kicked off my thirties with some really challenging personal hurdles. Life is damn unpredictable at times, but learning to deal with a painful situation in a positive light has been a rewarding challenge.

I’ve now moved into a peaceful place in my life and it’s what I learnt through those difficult times that have helped me reach this place of calm.

I live a life rich in travel, experience and meaningful relationships. There’s so much to be grateful for. Hardships and life’s trials are part of the experience of course but finding positive lessons in those situations only strengthens who we become and how peacefully we deal with future challenges.

This I try to apply in my personal life as well as in the kitchen/galley. It’s a constant classroom out there in all aspects of life.

I have never seen you without a smile firmly planted on your face, your happiness is infectious and that’s what I love about you. What keeps that smile so beautiful?

Haha smiling comes easy when you’re surrounded by people who bring out the best in you, but I guess it’s more than that. I put the work in – my own personal development is something that I practice daily. As I get older I’m learning to be lighter, gentler, and less judgmental of myself as well as those around me. When you let the little ‘shit’ go, have a bit of compassion and recognise that everyone has their own struggles, life is as peaceful as you’re willing to make it. And it’s a whole lot more enjoyable too.

Finding your calm and donning a cracker smile goes a long way – not only for yourself but those you share your world with.


What’s in the future?
Since discovering my love of cuisine and finding my groove in life, I’ve been working really hard at learning as much as I can about food culture around the world. About sustainable food practices, seasonal ingredients and interesting flavour combinations, as well as fine tuning my own personal cooking style so I can turn all this ‘culinary energy’ in the direction of home and open something in New Zealand.

There’s much more exciting stuff to come in my 30s but for now I’m cultivating all I can abroad to one day open a ‘home’ like my own to share with NZ.


I absolutely love getting lost amongst the pages of Shalas beautful blog. I am just so dam proud of this girl and when I look at some of the beautiful dishes she creates and the way she so elegantly plates them, I am literally covered in goosebumps of love and admiration.

To follow the adventures of NZs next ‘Michelin Star Chef in the making’ or if you need a top up of creative inspiration follow her here:

Steps in Thyme on Instagram

30vs30 is a place to celebrate and embrace all the unique lifestyles lived by woman in their thirties. Your thirties doesn’t necessarily mean marriage, babies and kids. It’s now ten years of your life to craft out lifestyle that works for you, that inspires you to be true to yourself and what makes you genuinely happy and content, not what society expects out of you. If that means preparing luscious meals abroad a sailing yacht in the Mediterranean or living in a villa in Bali in between jobs in TV production, then I think thats fricken awesome and a story well worth a share.




The Woman : Living wild and free in Bali. This is Mel, and this is her story.

I met Mel years ago through friends of friends. She was so inclusive, bubbly and genuine. Someone you just want to be around. We haven’t seen each other in years but I’ve been closely following this little gem on Instagram as I was so intrigued by her picturesque images, quotes and lifestyle. We were so over due for a catch up, I wanted to know the story behind her positively dreamy lifestyle. So here it is. It was much more than I was expecting, so inspiring, honest and motivating for any woman in her thirties.


I call home:

For now I definitely call Bali home. When I was 18 I set off and moved to Australia by myself, so I’ve spent the majority of my adult life in Sydney and the Gold Coast. I’m a kiwi girl, so New Zealand will always be my homeland… but the island has stolen my heart. I feel so at home in Bali and hate leaving, but I know it’s never for long. I feel blessed every day I get to spend on the island, its my paradise.


Single, dating, married?

Single baby! And loving it!


Working in:

I’ve been working as a Producer in the Advertising industry for around 10 years now and just recently in the last few years started working on reality TV productions. My career has allowed me to travel, meet and work alongside so many amazing talented people. I’ve made a lot of life long friends, which I’m so grateful for. I have an incredible year of travel lined up for work ahead, including South Africa in the new year, so I’m really excited for what’s to come.

I’ve also been quietly working on my swimwear brand Honey & Hawk, which I’m looking to launch in the coming months. It’s something I’ve been working on for the last few years on and off in between contract work. I can’t wait to finally get it out there!


What’s one thing you have accomplished in your 30’s that you’re most proud of?

One thing I’ve accomplished in my thirties is definitely creating a life I want to live. I’m a very spontaneous person so I like to have the freedom to travel. I don’t want the house in the suburbs working the 9-5, Monday to Friday lifestyle. That doesn’t excite me at all.

I packed up my life and decided to move to Bali a year ago, which has been a dream of mine for years. I now base myself in Bali and fly in and out for contract work in the TV industry. This way of life is working for me at the moment, so I couldn’t be happier. Every year I’m getting closer to my overall dream life, which I’ll continue to chase until it becomes reality!


What’s the toughest part, or the biggest challenge I’ve faced on my 30’s?

My thirties haven’t always been a tropical paradise! Only those close to me will know as I kept it very quiet at the time, but at 31 I was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of lung cancer. A cancer that if it had spread, there was no form of treatment to cure. After 6 weeks in hospital and multiple surgeries, I was thankfully free and feeling very lucky to be here. I had an amazing support network of friends and family which I’ll be forever thankful for and they will always hold a special place in my heart.

Anyone who’s been through something like this or has had someone close to them go through it, will know how much it changes you from the inside out, whether you realise it at the time or not. I’ve always been a positive person but I now live everyday so grateful and blessed to be alive. I try to pour as much happiness and positive energy as I can into my day and to those around me. I’m 100% healthy now and have never felt better. I look at this experience as a positive thing, it’s definitely made me so much stronger and shaped me into the person I am today.


Best part about being single:

I’m not going to lie, after coming out of an 8 year relationship / engagement 3 years ago, I’ve definitely faced some of the hardest times adapting to being on my own again and I guess in a way losing your best friend. But you can’t stay in a relationship for comfort, no matter how special and amazing that person is. It’s so easy to lose yourself when you’ve been in a long relationship, so the last 3 years was all about finding myself again (cheesy I know, but true!). It’s been incredibly hard at times but very rewarding and I’ve learnt a lot.

This year has been a game changer for me, she’s finally back, found light and I’m having the time of my life. In my relationships I’ve always been supportive and all about giving your partner the freedom to do and go anywhere they want and not hold them back from chasing their dreams… and I will always support this 100%. It’s so important. However, the best part about being single is that you’re free to do as you please and you don’t have anyone to check in with or to miss or that misses you (apart from friends and family of course). It’s guilt and emotion free freedom! I’ve travelled so much and met some incredible people on my journeys. When the timings right I’ll find someone on the same path to run wild and free alongside me… but it’s not something I’m out there consciously searching for. I’m just enjoying life and focusing on my goals and if someone comes along, amazing, but until then I’m very content with how I’m living my life at the moment.

One annoying thing about being single:

Where is our Single Celebrations Day? The lovers get Valentines, where is ours? I think we should create a date and make this happen! Hah

What you wish your coupled / married friends would stop doing?

Stop having such cute babies! I’m not sure how many more times I can fall in love!

Advice for anyone in their 20’s that you’ll realise in your 30’s: 

  1. LOVE YOUR BODY! Inside and out. Feed your mind, body and soul goodness. No one is perfect (unless you’re genetically blessed!). We all have curves and cellulite… we are WOMEN! Love what you’ve got. Own it. Embrace it. Confidence is sexy! I also have so many scars from just generally being a bit of a tomboy growing up. But behind every scar is a good story and a sign you’ve lived an adventurous life!
  1. Don’t chase people. Friendships, relationships, love. Just don’t. When it’s right, it’s easy. Trust your intuition and give your energy to the people who care and respect you for who you are.
  1. Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is fighting their own personal battles. Just be kind. Don’t judge. Don’t hate. Empower others and it will come back to you tenfold.


My 30’s so far have been some of the best years of my life. I know what I want and I won’t settle for anything less. I’m happy in my own skin and for me that’s the best feeling in the world.

Remember that you are entirely up to you. Create the life you want to live, never give up on your dreams, surround yourself with people that lift you higher, be happy, smile, give love and most importantly laugh your way as much as you can through this adventure called life!

Big love