Tag Archives: father ted’s

Bronze Trivia Medalist & International Potluck Kai

I am thrilled to announce that last night at Father Ted’s trivia, Hannah and I came in 3rd place!!!!  That’s much better than second-to-last and it a heck of a lot better than DFL!!!  I thought it was pretty easy this week, but it was also helpful that our knowledgeable Mexican friend was there playing pool for a bit and kept popping over to give us answers he knew.  Regardless, it’s pretty impressive just the two of us were able to snag 3rd place.  We got a massive 40 points (we usually get about 22, lol) and here is just some of the stuff we knew:

  1. What TV shows takes place in the hospital Sacred Heart?  (becca ;))
  2. Natalie Portman won an Oscar for her role in which 2010 movie?
  3. What is the family’s last name in the Home Alone movies?
  4. In golf, what is it called when you score 2 under par?
  5. Who originally sang the song “Hotel California” (this was the luckiest guess of my life)
  6. In which decade was the electric hairdryer first seen?  20s, 40s, or 60s?
  7. Who did a 2003 cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi?”
  8. Who’s song “I’m Yours” is rapidly becoming one of the best-selling song on iTunes?
  9. In what year did Green Day’s album “American Idiot” release?
  10. What is a traditional song played by trumpet or brass instruments?
  11. In what century was Abraham Lincoln born?
  12. Who was the lead singer of No Doubt?

But the big picture round really put us to the over the top.  We were able to identify teenaged pictures of:

  1. Julia Roberts
  2. Kathy Bates
  3. Jamie Foxx
  4. Anne Hathaway
  5. Taylor Swift
  6. Jessica Alba
  7. Queen Latifa
  8. Bradley Cooper
  9. Ashton Kutcher
  10. Patrick Dempsey
  11. Jennifer Garner

and we also guessed the common link between them all.

We squealed with pleasure after each one of our correct answers was called and we felt SHOCKED to get third place.  We are essentially Bronze Medalists of Pub Quiz now!  Not only did we come in third, but we were served my favorite complimentary snack to share between the two of us:

POTATO WEDGES!!! They were great brain fuel; I can probably attribute 75% of my victory to these bad boys.   The red wine helped to.  And I do owe the Mexican some credit.

My super fun night was followed by an uuber busy day.  All before 11:30, I made flashcards for my Maori final, cooked a pot of chili, and wrote 4 heart-felt thank you notes in preparation for my last day of school tomorrow.  Whew!

At noon I was rewarded with a yoga class!  I went to a Beginner’s Ashtanga class at Auckland Yoga Academy and used up the last class on my 10-pass card.  😦  It was with my favorite teacher, who isn’t very warm and fuzzy, but she gives the BEST adjustments ever.  Seriously, they are heavenly.  I can’t believe that it was my last class in NZ.  That means, the next class I go to will not only be in Doylestown, but it will be on June 26th!!!!  That time’s gonna fly.

I had class for the rest of the afternoon, which was really quite fun.  We had a lecture on Maori education by an ex-Maori Primary school teacher (who also reminded me a lot of my Nanny), so obviously I was wrapped with attention.  It really sounded just like education in the US in those times (what with corporal punishment and such) except they rode horses to school and being forced to assimilate to European, or Pakeha, culture.  It’s amazing how resiliently they held onto their culture and customs.  Auckland positively shines with Maori culture, and I’m really gonna miss it.

After our lecture, we were given a mock final exam to study from (can you guess what I’ve been doing all evening????) and then we had an international potluck kai.  (“Kai” basically means a celebratory meal.)  Everyone (most of us are international students) brought in a dish that is traditional to our home culture.  I made chili (which came out spicier than I’d planned) and Hannah made brownies.  Check out my plate, Round 1, without touching anything “American!”

The most delicious potato salad, fruity pasta salad, spinach quiche, feijoa muffins, clam cakes, fried dough, jam flatbread, dressed mussels, Dutch breakfast loaf, some kind of meat with a German name, and some kind of tasty-cake-like Korean cookie.  I ate waaaaay too much, but when else am I going to have access to all of this home-cooked, authentic, international food at once?

In addition, everyone has to prepare a song from their home culture.  Hannah and I performed “The 5 Little Pumpkins.”  We explained about Halloween at this season back in the states, and how we are teachers and often sing this song to our class.  We got lots of smiles, which is all I care about.

The Maori students performed a wonderful Maori song.  It’s so cool how nonchalantly they pulled out a guitar and sang in perfect harmony, with so much soul.  They were raised that way, and it’s a beautiful thang.  Another notable performance was by two New Zealanders who sang the NZ national anthem (which is SO PRETTY) first in Maori, then in English, and doing the NZ Sign Language signs both times, too.  Too cool.  Other Americans did “O Beautiful for Spacious Skies” and “I’m Gonna Let it Shine.”  The Germans did their national anthem–very bashfully, I might add!  Another New Zealand guy said he didn’t have anything prepared, but he is in a reggae band and he gave us his CD.  Sweeeet, bra!!  There is lots of reggae in NZ (with all the surfer dudes, you know), so I’m excited to have some authentic jams in my iTunes!

Then, my professor sang for us and I cried.  The traditional Maori music is so beautiful, and it really hit me how much I have grown to love the Maori culture.  I have been sung to in Maori countless times, and that was probably the last time I’ll get a personal performance.  Good thing I’ve learned a few songs to take back 🙂

At the end of class, they put out tupperware so that we could each fill one up with whatever leftovers we wanted and take it home!

But for now, back to studying…

Know any of the trivia answers?



  1. Scrubs
  2. Black Swan
  3. McCallister
  4. Eagle
  5. The Eagles
  6. 20s
  7. Counting Crows
  8. Jason Mraz
  9. 2004
  10. Fanfare
  11. 19th
  12. Gwen Stefani
  13. Celebrity link: roles in the 2010 movie “Valentine’s Day”


Filed under Fitness, Food, Life, New Zealand, School, Student Teaching, Travel, Yoga

Alex’s Last Night

Tonight was Alex’s last night 😦  As I mentioned, Alex bought all of us a bread from the farmer’s market.

It was a loaf of Italian with tomatoes and rosemary on top.  Golly Gee, Josephine, it was amazing.

We baked it for about 10 minutes to warm it up and get it nice and crusty 😉

I also made some of my cheap dipping oil (Italian Herb Paste mixed with Olive Oil) to, well, dip it in.  The crust had a perfectly fresh crunch, yet it was so doughy inside!

You just can’t beat that delicious Italian bread flavor.

A little later, Alex took Hannah out to dinner, but he let ME eat his leftover sushi (a few pieces of salmon-avocado roll)!!!!   Remember how I said they were a little too big?  Well, here is a size comparison to a quarter:

(OK yes, that’s a nz$0.50 coin, but you get the picture ;P).  To avoid more sushi explosions, I figured it would be easier to just eat it with my hands.  But it was not so easy to try and photograph myself doing it…

LOL!  This is what happens when I am left to my own devices…  Now my fingers are a little sticky from the soy sauce, but at least my belly is happy 🙂  And I hope that you are laughing!

When those two returned, we celebrated Alex’s last night.  With a round of Kings.  Naturally, we ended up going to Father Ted’s for some live music.  I can assure you that a good time was had by all.  😉

What did you do last night?


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Third-Wheeling is Fun!

How could it not be with these cuties?

Alex + Hannah = L<3VE

After our massively festive dinner, we took Alex with us on our Tuesday night ritual:  Trivia at Father Ted’s!  Though Alex claimed himself a “Division-1 Partier,” over 24 hours of travel, including time travel, and little sleep left him pretty much half dead before the quiz even started.   Our little trio (named “The Sleep Heads” tonight) came in last place, again, but it was still a super fun night.  We laughed a lot, learned a lot, and eagerly split the complimentary bowl of spring rolls between the three of us. 🙂

The real highlight of the night was that Alex bought me my Guinness!  A real gentlemen knows that you can’t just buy a drink for your girlfriend, you’ve gotta get one for her girlfriend, too 😉

Thanks so much, Alex!  Third-wheeling is FUN!

This morning after breakfast (coffee with soymilk, a mandarin, and a mini bowl of banana-cinnamon oats with p’nut butt-),

I made a very pathetic attempt at getting work done.  I did complete my final paper for my Reading course (woot woot!), but I am struggling with the other assignment I currently have on my plate. For the first time in a blissfully long time, I have to write a 1500 word essay on something other than education.  SHOCKER!!!!  For my Maori culture class, I need to write a research paper on the Treaty of Waitangi.  No me gusta.  Though I find the subject really interesting and I have loved the lectures on the topic, I am having a seriously hard time getting motivated to research.  It’s actually getting to be a pretty desperate situation.  It’s not due for two weeks, but I just wasted the entire morning not.accomplishing.a.thing.  uh-oh!

After a snack of vampire toast with 1/2 a banana,

I let myself go on a yoga break that I did not deserve.  The beginner Ashtanga class at Auckland Yoga Academy which I usually attend on Wednesdays was a bit different today.  I think there was some sort of teacher-training going on, because there was an extra instructor in the room giving assists.  The normal teacher didn’t explain anything, and the assistant (pun intended!) gave me quite a few adjustments.  In fact, she adjusted my downdog TWICE in a row!  ?  I’ve done hundreds of downdogs in my lifetime and this was the first time anyone adjusted me.  She wanted me to move my feet closer to my hands and farther apart from each other.  I love downdog assists (where they push you deeper into it), but I didn’t feel like it was a legitimate enough adjustment to make TWICE in a row.

Then in forward fold and two of my backbends, she told me that my feet weren’t correctly parallel, and she would barely adjust them, only about a millimeter.  ? again.  Of course I want to have the right alignment, but something about these assists irked me.  I think it’s because to me, she was some a random lady and I didn’t trust her to know what she was talking about.  Maybe I was easy to practice on or something, like I just needed minor adjustments?  I don’t know!

When I got home, I had to rush to get dressed and eat lunch to be on time for class.  I shoveled in a huge, healthy lunch:

On the plate there were carrot sticks, green pepper slices, wholemeal grain toast, an egg, Swiss chard, and pumpkin-kumara hummus.  It was a sandwich, it was a salad, it was a great meal!

After class (which was particularly boring and long today, may I add), I skipped my second class to meet Alex at Father Ted’s.  Guilty!  When else in my life am I going to be able to meet my bro for a happy hour (half) pint of Guinness, in New Zealand?  The answer is never, especially because I am a goody-two-shoes and it took enough courage for me to skip one class!

I was ravenous with hunger when I got there, so I also ordered potato wedges with sweet chili sauce and sour cream.  Hannah joined us soon after she left class so we shared them among the three of us.  The perfect snack!

For dinner, Alex wanted Chinese food, and Hannah found a superb Food Court devoted to Asian cuisine.

Thai, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian – SO many options to choose from!  It was even two floors!

We made sure to check out each place before we settled.  The best part was that any meal would be less than nz$13.  Sweet!  We finally chose a Chinese place, The Clay Pot, since that’s what we had initially set out for.

Everyone’s meal was AWESOME.  We were all really happy.  🙂

Especially ME!!!

For just nz$9, I got a JUMBO bowl of rice, vegetables, and tofu in a spicy sauce.  It was to so so so yummy.  I loved how spicy it was!

I couldn’t eat very much after the beer and fries, so naturally I brought the rest home.  I can’t wait for leftovers – I think I even have enough for two more meals!

Third-wheeling is SO much fun.

How do you feel about assists/adjustments in yoga?



Filed under Fitness, Food, Life, New Zealand, School, Travel, Yoga

Yoga Solutions!

Today has been a grrrrreat day!  We woke up to sunshine, so of course I woke up smiling.  But how could I not smile the morning after a night of fun at Father Ted’s?

I do have bad news about that, though.  We came in last place for trivia.  😦 Humiliating.  Also, Hannah and I didn’t have anything prepared for Karaoke, so we just spectated.  But that turned out to be so much fun, we ended up staying a long while!  We really missed Father Ted’s while we were on break.  I love that the bartenders recognize us and the trivia dude always chats us up.  I feel so at home there!

Anyway, back to today.  I went to yoga and guess what, it was stupendous!  I guess Monday was just an off day.

I attended a beginner’s Ashtanga class at Auckland Yoga Academy.

Just 50 minutes long, it’s like an abridged version of full Primary Series, which is usually a breeze for me.

But today it totally kicked my butt!  Maybe that’s because I’m still getting into the swing of things, but whatever the reason it felt soooo good.  I love it when yoga makes me a sweaty yet confident mess, with breath like a refreshing life force as my muscles work until they shake.  It was awesome.

lol!  That’s a card I got today from Hannah’s mom today.  Isn’t it just perfect for me?  She sent Hannah a package, with a few things in it for me, too!

It was like Christmas Easter morning as we opened up the package!  I got that hilarious card with a lovely message, that cute puppy, a box of Rainsinet’s (my fave!), a fun wooden airplane kit, a square of Ghiradelli 60% Dark Chocolate (my OTHER fave!), and a gift card to Starbucks!  Lucky me!

Thank you so much, Mrs. Pace!  It was so thoughtful and generous  🙂  I love you and miss you!

Me & Mrs. P apple picking in VT, fall 2010

Getting the package made me yearn for home a bit, but I came across a quote today that I am trying to keep in mind:

Don’t count the days, make the days count.

With less than two months left in this amazing country, I really need to focus on that idea.

Lunch was last night’s leftovers:

We made roasted mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli with quinoa.  After dressing the chopped veggies in olive oil mixed with Italian herb paste and S&P, I roasted them in our microwave/oven for 25 minutes on 240*C (tossing them halfway through).  They came out still a bit crunchy so I probably could have left them in longer.  But I didn’t, and it was still fab!  Fresh, but with enough roasting to bring out those flava flaves.

What quote is getting you through lately?



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Where is the Love?

Trivia was sort of a fail last night.  The regular quiz master was absent so we had a substitute.  A substitute who cannot enunciate!  I had a super hard time hearing the question, i.e., I could not understand a single question mumbled in his Kiwi accent unless one of my teammates repeated it to me. We still had fun, of course!

I was crazy hyper.  Here is the celebrity photo sheet.  Recognize anyone?

I realize you can probably just read our guesses underneath lol.  But can you guess the link between all of these celebrities?

Here are some highlight questions:

  • What nut is used to make pesto?
  • What musical has “Pink Ladies” and “T-Birds”?
  • In which US city was the Declaration of Independence signed?
  • Who won the Oscar for Best Actress this year?

I would have more questions if I could have heard the answers when we went over them!  Also, we tied for fourth place.  Out of how many teams?  I don’t know.  And I don’t care.

What I do know is that Hannah and I rocked at karaoke!  We sang “Where is the Love” by The Black Eyed Peas.  (Watch our rehearsal video here!)  Hannah nailed the rapping and I sang pretty well too, if I do say so myself!  There wasn’t a big crowd, but we were enjoying ourselves, so that’s all that matters, am I right?

When we got home, I couldn’t sleep.  I have a lot on my mind lately (FeelGood elections, school work, student teaching, class registration, travel plans, and my skin to name a few) and in my PMSing state last night, it all seemed so much worse once I got into bed.  I just couldn’t calm my mind.  Plus, I was so cold!  I was wearing sweatpants and a thermal long-sleeve shirt, but I had to close my window and put on socks and a sweatshirt, too!  I didn’t sleep much at all.  It was a rough night.

In the morning, the last thing I wanted to do was go for a run, but I figured a nice brisk walk would help clear my head and give me some energy.  But it’s what I was listening to that really made me feel better:  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (book on CD).

Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in many ways.  For one thing, he hated the summer holidays more than any other time of year. For another, he really wanted to do his homework, but was forced to do it in secret, in the dead of night.  And he also happened to be a wizard.


I did a few laps around Albert Park while listening to the first chapter.  The bright green grass against the bright blue sky here always reminds me of Mario.

But the trees are purely Lord of the Rings.

My walk helped bring me back down to Earth.  I also stopped to do a few sun salutations in the grass.  I was already feeling peaceful.

More peaceful and focused, but still fuzzy from my sleepless night, so I made myself a cup of coffee.  I come from a family of very serious coffee drinkers, so I was first appalled when I learned that most people in New Zealand drink instant coffee.  Yuck!  But too many dollars spent a Starbucks later, I decided to get some.  For just nz$8, apparently it makes more than 55 cups!

Plus, all you have to do is heat up the kettle, just like tea!

I have to admit, with a good splash of Oat Milk, it makes a really nice cup of coffee.

I’m off to research Maori world views and classroom management techniques before class.

Know any of the trivia answers?



Filed under Fitness, Life, New Zealand, School, Yoga

Kick-Butt 20-Minute Yoga

Look at this cool thing I found at Harvest Wholefoods over the weekend:

A dairy-free cookie called “Emma’s Delight!” I knew I had to get it for myself so I could be delighted.  It’s made from brown rice flour, sugar, dairy-free chocolate chips, eggs, shortening, tapioca, and baking soda.  It boasts that it’s 90% organic!  Close enough for me! 😉

This morning, after breakfast (oatmeal with oatmilk, bananas, cinnamon, and a spoonful of crunchy peanut butter–YUM so filling) I skyped with my mom and dad for an hour and a half.  Phew!  I really needed a nice long chat with them.  While they had dinner, I was had morning tea:

The cookie wasn’t very delightful, I must admit.  It was hard, like all biscuits are here in New Zealand, and it was sort of flavorless.  It needed more chocolate flavor, the brown rice flour was pretty dominant.  It was made slightly more delightful when I dipped it in my tea!

Then it was work, work, work, work, and work some more on my literacy paper.

I only stopped to prepare a working lunch.  I quickly heated up leftovers from Sunday night by sauteeing it with chopped watercress.  I ate it on top of some cold lettuce for a warm fish salad.  That lettuce is seriously the most delicious lettuce I’ve ever had! I got it from the Framer’s Market, of course 🙂

Since the cookie was such a disappointment, I decided that I should probably have a brownie square.

Heated up and enjoyed with a fork.  Not THAT’S delightful!

Here’s a silly blogger thing I do:

For the best lighting, I often photograph my food while it’s on the windowsill in my room lol.  The sandals are there drying out (they got a bit wet over the rainy weekend) and to the right, there is some seaglass I found on the beach while kayaking!

Since I talked to my parents so long, I missed my morning run and, true to form, I didn’t feel like doing it later in the day.  I was feeling pretty anxious for some reason (probably all that researching!), so I did do an intense little yoga sesh.

It’s cramped in here, but I’m making it work!  Since most studios allow you to borrow one of their mats for class, I wasn’t planning on buying a yoga mat while I’m here in order to save a few bucks.  But I was noticing my home practice fall by the wayside, so I finally broke down and got one at the Warehouse for nz$19.99.  It’s a fine, standard Gaiam mat, but I always make sure that the side with the name, “The Firm” lol, is facing the ground.

I kicked my own butt during my home practice today. It only took 20 minutes, but I was shaking and sweating like a beast afterwords, which is a good workout in my book!  Here’s what I did:

5 Suryanamaskara A (Sun Salutation: A Form)

5 Suryanamaskara B (Sun Salutation: B Form)

5 Navasana (Boat Pose) with lifts in between (when you go back to seated, you push off the ground to lift your bum)

I spent the rest of the afternoon researching, finally stopping to make dinner: brown rice with sausage, sauteed chard, and mixed beans.  Plus salsa on the side 🙂

(Confession: I did have another small brownie square after dinner =D)

In true Tuesday night form, we headed down to Father Ted’s for Trivia Night after dinner.

lol, Hannah.  This week we came THIRD-to-last instead of the usual second-to-last!  We are moving up in the world!  But, we had a particularly good time at trivia because we met up with a lot more friends than usual!  It was good to spend some quality time with the friends we’ve made here.  We don’t know them very well, but we always have a good time when we run into each other!

In case you were curious, Hannah and I sang “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell at karaoke.  We laughed our badonkadonks off as two of our friends sang their very German hearts out to “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley.  Some lady was bringing down the house with “Love Game” by Lady Gaga and apparently she heard us singing along like crazy, because she came over and gave us the mic to us for a verse!

Forget running, a fun night out with friends is the true cure to homesickness 🙂

What song would you sing for karaoke?



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Our weekends start on Tuesdays…

Flashback: March 8th-10th

Well, all, I’ve just partaken in 3 big nights out in a row….IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK!!! who am I?  I don’t know.

On Tuesday, Hannah was very depressed when we realized yesterday that it was Mardis Gras and we didn’t even know it.  The poor thing.  She just loves getting excited about holidays, but I guess they don’t celebrate it here in New Zealand!  You literally would never know it was Mardis Gras.  It just doesn’t exist here.  No parades, no decorations, no nothing!  Why?  Mardis Gras is a one-last-hurrah kind of deal for Christians (Catholics) who are about to give everything up for lent.  Aren’t there Catholics here?  I guess it’s more of an American thing, because of Mardis Gras in New Orleans, and what?  A French thing?  It remains a mystery.  Regardless, we immediately donned whatever we had in purple, yellow, and green, and played jazz music.  Toffee Pops were also consumed as a way to celebrate Fat Tuesday.

It wasn’t a complete disappointment, though, because Tuesday nights are Trivia and Karaoke Night at our favorite bar, Father Ted’s!  We were able to celebrate…sort of! Trivia was REALLY hard last night, there were a bunch of questions that I could barely even come up with a guess.  We didn’t come in last, though, which we decided is all that matters!  After trivia comes Karaoke, where Hannah and I always star in a double-act.  We were set on doing Cee Lo Green’s “F*ck You” (and so were all our friends!) but alas, they didn’t have the karaoke version.  We went for Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold” instead.  We were surprised to hear that we were first up!  We rocked it, of course, though our microphones were squeaking a bit.

We had a fun night out to celebrate “Mardis Gras” …or I guess a lack thereof.

Wednesday was dancing <— Read Hannah’s account here.  It’s hilarious and accurate!  It had been too, too long since I’d been out dancing, so I begged her to come along!  She did forget to mention that we danced like maniacs for 2 whole hours without anyone creeping on us!  Score!

Thursday night (last night) was the Study Abroad Welcome Party at a bar downtown.  The invitation said that “platters would be served” so we didn’t eat before, which was bad news because upon arrival, there was:

  1. one free drink ticket and
  2. not enough food to go around

That’s a bad combination for my little self.  I needed food pronto.  Then this happened:


We dashed over to Danny Doolan’s (right next door) for some grub.  Fish and chips were rapidly consumed.  Hit. The. Spot.

After putting something other than Mac’s Gold in our bellies, we went back over to the party, where we danced with some of our new friends while watching a live band play (lead guitarist is also our Study Abroad Coordinator).

And now the REAL weekend is about to start!  Except this weekend is the Noho Marae, a cultural experience.  Stay tuned!

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