Tag Archives: homesick

Winter is almost here…

You heard me!  It’s the start of May and apparently we are seeing the first signs of winter here in Auckland, New Zealand…

Rain and wind and clouds.  The wind is so loud that it sounds like thunder when it pounds against the buildings!  This is not helping my post-vacation slump.

Also not helping my slump is my skin issue.  Since it had appeared to be on the mend, I thought that maybe by the time I got back from my trip it would be even better.

But alas, it looks about the same.  (See how sunny and warm it was last time I took the pictures!?)  Of course, this could have been due to the craziness of the trip, but I kept up with my regimen, so I don’t see why there is no improvement.  Perhaps it has plateaued?  Have my current meds done all they are capable of doing?

The good news is that the pain I was experiencing before I started to use the medicine has completely gone, which was my main concern.  I’m still worried about it because I have been noticing some other aspects of my health aren’t quite right.  I know when my body is at its healthiest, and I feel like it just isn’t there lately. My body is in some sort of slump.

My goal is to keep track of my symptoms and how I am feeling so that I am prepared with evidence when I can finally visit my doctors once I’m back in the US.  (If my symptoms get so bad that they start to interfere with my life, I will see a doc immediately.  I’m all for safety!)  I will also stick with my healthy living routine that I always follow: plenty of sleep, exercise, and healthy foods.

Speaking of the USA…

On being American:  When I moved to New Zealand, though I am very proud of where I come from, I didn’t want to be labeled with the “American” stereotype that we often fear from foreigners.  I am not selfish and greedy.  I am not fat and lazy.  I am not rude or obnoxious.  I’m not stupid or shallow.  Every time I tell people that I am from the States, I have to swallow the urge to say, “but I’m cool, I swear!”  But today, I have no shame in admitting that I am American.

Honoring the WWII Memorial with our sexy legs, Summer '10

The news of Osama bin Laden’s death bring me so much pride for my country.  It’s a huge symbol for what America believes in and how, as Obama said in his speech, “we can do anything we put our minds to.” This debacle has been going on for 10 years without much to show for it, but finally we are reminded we we got into the mess in the first place.  For justice.

But now it’s just making me really homesick!  I love America and I miss the spirit; I wish I was there to witness this bit of history firsthand, and join in on all the celebrations!

Being proud Americans, Memorial Day '10

But I’ll be home just a week before the 4th of July.  Plenty of time to celebrate then.

Today is my day of Ashtanga, Full Primary Series.  I was a bit apprehensive for class, since I haven’t practiced in over two weeks :/  I was nervous that I would feel out of shape, but I was also yearning for a good stretch.

And for the first time in my life, yoga did not make me feel better.  I could NOT focus.  My mind was wandering all over the place.  My balance was off.  The toast I had as a snack (2 hours prior, I might add!) felt like it was in my throat.  My lower back was hurting(!)  My vinyasas were sluggish.  I couldn’t wait for closing sequence.  I hardly even remember breathing.  Forget about drishti (gaze)!  I was feeling so wack that I couldn’t even keep my eyes closed during svasana.  WHO DOES THAT?!?!?!

Even my teacher noticed, who always comments on my endless energy, that I seemed tired.  She also informed me not to worry, that it’s just because the full moon is tomorrow.  Right.  (Don’t get me wrong – I actually believe in that crap now lol!)

I’m just keeping in mind that practice is NOT perfect, and tomorrow is a new day.

Until then, pictures from my trip always cheer me up!

Marlborough Wine Region

What helps you climb out of a slump?




Filed under Fitness, Life, New Zealand

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?



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

Weekend Dinners

We had a fabulous dinner on Saturday night.

We baked the Caramelized Onion Cibatta we got from the Farmer’s Market

We enjoyed it by dipping pieces in warm Garden Vegetable Marinara Sauce

and Herb Oil. So easy to make!  I just whisk Italian Herb Paste together with some EVOO

Yes, we ate the whole thing.  It was fantastic!

We thought about making a salad, too.


We planned to go out dancing, but couldn’t decide how to do our hair…

“I look like Justin Bieber!”  said I.

That’s a silly hairstyle my friend Kaitlyn used to do during field hockey practice in middle school (or maybe lacrosse? ;))  You make a bun on the top of your head and let the ends hand on your forehead like bangs.  Do it, you deserve a laugh!

Darn the humidity, it spoils my locks!  (Don’t worry, I just wore my classic half-clipped.)  Also darn our favorite dance club for being EMPTY.  Lame.  We left to go to Father Ted’s, our go-to spot, and we were happy to see our study abroad adviser and his band rocking out!  We were even more pleased to see some friends.  So the night wasn’t a complete flop! 😉

Neither was dinner tonight!

Sauteed silver beet/chard (from the market), tomatoes, and onions with smoked trevally (again, from the market) and quinoa.  It was so filling!  Leftovers for lunch tomorrow 🙂

Of course it wasn’t too filling to have one (or two?) of these:

We had to have them.  Both Hannah and I are pretty homesick today.  We blame the weather + hearing from our friends back home.  (Guys! You aren’t supposed to be having fun without us!)  I skyped with my good friend Dani for so long today, and as an added bonus, she had a bunch of our FeelGood friends over and I got to see them, too!  (Have you helped out the Pitt’s FeelGood yet?)  I was so happy to see everyone, but I won’t lie: it made me a bit sad 😦  I figured brownies with “heaps of mini M&M’s” would help me cheer up.

That’s what brownies are for, right?

What did you have for dinner this weekend?



Filed under Food, New Zealand, Recipes

Run to Cure Homesickness

The past few days, I have been feeling my first few pangs of homesickness.  No offense, Mom and Dad, but I’m mostly feeling homesick for UVM 😦  I don’t get homesick very easily because I am anything but a homebody, and I’m very independent.  But I’ve been yearning to be back home for some reason.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been in agony or anything, just pining for my life at UVM.  So today, I decided to ditch my usual running playlist (comprised of trashy pop songs that I named “Sexy Beast Mix”) and make a new one that reminds me of home.

Each song makes me think of a particular loved one that I’ve been missing.  As each song played during my run, I dedicated every step to them and reminisced about all the happy times we’ve spent together.

“The Dog Days are Over” by Florence and the Machine

Dedicated to Becca

“All These Things That I’ve Done” by The Killers

Dedicated to Dominique

“Firework” by Katy Perry

Dedicated to Dani

“Shipping Up to Boston” by The Dropkick Murphys

Dedicated to Mom

“Baby” by Justin Bieber

Dedicated to my sister, Sam

“Daylight” by Matt & Kim

Dedicated to Tara

“Home” by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros

Dedicated to my Feel Good Friends (and that means ALL of you, not just those pictured! Just such a great pic <3)

“Get to Me” by Train

Dedicated to Dad

“Falling for the First Time” by The Barenaked Ladies

Dedicated to my brother, David

“Brown-Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison

Dedicated to Melissa

My run was full of smiles!  It was amazingly motivating to run for all of my loved ones.  When I felt tired, I’d say to myself “You can do it!  Do it for _____! Remember that one time….”

Before yoga, I usually dedicate my practice to something/someone, which helps me focus and perform better since I am doing everything with purpose and meaning.    The same thing apparently works for my runs!  I felt great afterwords, and (maybe) just a little bit closer to home 🙂

I love you all!  I miss you all!  And I’m thinking about ya ❤



Filed under Fitness, New Zealand