Tag Archives: karaoke

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?




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

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

The Camera Loves Me!

I am currently starring in two new videos on my youtube channel!

The first video is my Election Video for FeelGood.  I am running for President of UVM FeelGood next year, and since I won’t be in Vermont to run this year, I put a video together explaining why everyone should vote for me.

Hannah and I spent the afternoon filming it (she is a very creative cinematographer and she persevered through the long process!).  It’s sort of silly and you get to see a few different spots in Auckland!  Definitely worth a watch 🙂

The other video is a recording of me and Hannah practicing for Karaoke Next week.

We usually don’t reveal our song selection before the premier, for good luck, but we don’t want all the folks at home to miss out on our talent.  Next week we will be doing TWO songs: “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child and “Where is the Love” by The Black Eyed Peas.  Basically we are both pretty gangsta.  I’ve got soul and Hannah’s got beat.

In other news, it’s almost been two weeks since I’ve started my clear skin regimen.

To no avail.  After using Tazorac every night and Finacea every day, and slightly modifying my diet, I have seen no improvement on my skin.

Plus, in the past three days, two strangers have brought up my bad skin.   First, a mom chaperoning on the field trip came up to me.  I just thought she was being friendly and introducing herself.  No.  She was telling me that she has a skin product that will clear up my pimples, because they are pretty bad.  She said she’d send a sample in on Thursday with her child (who is not in my class) and if I was excited about the results, I could buy more.  I just stood there and nodded and thanked her.  She is from China, so there may have been some kind of cultural disconnect, but still.

Then, today, Hannah and I were innocently shopping at Warehouse (Walmart) and the cashier made some comment (I’ve mentally blocked the exact wording).  I could feel the steam of rage coming out of Hannah’s ears at her rudeness.  She was very kind and sympathetic, assured me that a doctor would help me, and wished me luck, but still.

WTF people?!?!  Great ladies, thanks for making me feel even more like a leper than I already do.  It’s like, “yes, that is all we see when we look at your face.”  It makes me want to hide away more than ever.  Two of my students have asked me about it, too.  One of them asked me why my face is red, and the other asked what the red stuff on my face was.  Gee, kids, I wish I knew why.
What now? I will try the other medication, Acanya, but I am going to make an appointment with the Health Services here on campus.  If they can’t help me, at least I can get information about a dermatologist in the city.   I’ve pretty much decided that it’s not my normal acne.  I’ve never gotten acne on my cheeks and its also never been this bad.  Maybe its an infection? Or an allergy to something in the air? All I know is that I’ve had enough of feeling ugly, and I’ve had enough of people reminding me about it.  I want it gone.

Do you have any suggestions for me?



Filed under 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

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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Filed under Food, New Zealand

First Day of School: Preparation!

Today is a VERY big day for me: I start my student teaching!  I have been placed at Dominion Road School with a class of 3/4 years.  In New Zealand, Year 1 is technically Kindergarten, so I am with 2nd and 3rd graders.  I have only corresponded with the school’s principal via email, so today is my first time going to the school and meeting everyone.  I can’t wait to see what it’s like!

But I’m also nervous, I could hardly fall asleep last night!  That’s why I got a tall nonfat latte.

I usually get a short.  (Except I just realized that they are both just one shot of espresso…doh!)  Thank God the closest Starbucks is only 50 meters away from my apartment!

One of the most important parts of preparing for the first day of student teaching is to figure out what to wear!  Every school seems to have a different dress code for teachers, and you never really know what it is until you get there.  Some school are pretty strict: most teachers dress really formally and modestly.  But here in New Zealand, things seem to be a little more casual!

My rule of thumb is to be sure to dress modestly and somewhat professional.  But also, I want to appear fun to the kids, and I HAVE to be comfortable.  So today, this is what I’m wearing:

Embellished green T-shirt (it had to be green–it’s St. Patrick’s Day, after all!) from Marshals (only us$12!) and a black pencil skirt from Target.  Hopefully my T-shirt is a little more fun than a stiff blouse, but the pencil skirt makes it a bit more professional.  Also I’m wearing my comfy, sparkly-sequiny sandals from Target.

Golly, I hope I fit in!  Lol.

Another important part of preparation is fueling up!

Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal for me!

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup “super trim” milk
  • handful of almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 banana, chopped
  • Cinnamon ❤
  • a spoonful of peanut butter on top!

YUM!  The peanut butter gets all melty and mixes in well.  Plus, it’s really filling.  I never know when the teachers get a chance to eat!  And kids are tiring, I have to be able to give them everything I’ve got 🙂  and, hey, I’ve got a lot!

I’m spending the rest of the morning obsessing over the bus route I need to take:

And reading and rereading my assignments and expectations for the internship:

I’m just trying to remain calm and remember that, on the first day, the only thing I can control is responding to things in a way that it true to myself.  Not always as easy as it sounds though!  See kids, teachers get nervous on the first day, too!

In other news….

Namaste Everyday was featured on The Juicery’s Facebook Page because of my review the other day!

Pretty cool, eh?  If you are in Auckland, New Zealand you MUST go to The Juicery!

Also, Tuesday night was Quiz and Karaoke night at Father Ted’s Irish Pub!  Here the team is studying the celebrity photos hard.  “Who is that?!”  Some faces are so hard to recognize.

Deep in thought:  Which South American country is named after an Italian City?  Venezuela!  Yeah, we got it wrong, lol

I’m really good at making up answers, lol.  I call it good guessing skills!

Who starred in Nurse Jackie and The Sopranos?  I was mad because I mixed up Edie Falco with Edie Sedgewick.  How could I?!  As if my family taught me nothing….

Quiz night was REALLY hard this week.  We came in second to last.  Embarrassing!  Shameful!  We were ready for karaoke to start so we could regain some dignity 😉

But then there were technical difficulties!  We had to wait about a half hour for it to get back up and running.  Hannah and I sang “Man, I Feel Like a Woman” by Shania Twain, but the music wasn’t loud enough!

So it was sort of a fail.  But let’s see if Father Ted’s can redeem itself for the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations!

Ok, time to go to school!  Wish me luck!



Filed under Food, New Zealand, Recipes, Student Teaching