Tag Archives: literacy

a pile of spinach for dinner?

a pile of spinach for dinner?  That can’t be…

There’s something hiding underneath!  Fatigued from our weekend of traveling, Hannah and I decided to grab this pretty baby while grocery shopping last night.

A 12-inch “spicy vegetarian” frozen pizza pie for just under nz$8 sounded like a deliciously easy dinner. (And a bargain compared that to the pizza place downstairs – more than nz$15 for a pie!)  Also, I recognized everything on the ingredients list, so I deemed it nearly wholesome.  Of course, it was super tasty!  It really was spicy and the crust was perfectly crunchy – I guess our microwave/oven is working well!

My trick for healthifying pizza is to put a heaping handful of leafy greens on top of each slice.  It’s a great way to pack on some extra nutrients, plus I always pretend that it fills me up faster that way.  I am proud to say that I stopped after two slices!  (Especially because I could save the leftovers for lunch!)

Today was actually a pretty stressful day, I’ll admit.  Remember when I talked about my literacy paper being too long?  Well, I had Literacy class today from 8am-11am, and after sharing my concerns with my professor, she agreed that, yes, it was way too long. She was also very unhelpful with how I should shorten it.  All she did was reminded me that the assignment was to research write an 1800-word discussion on the quote:

“Reading is not a natural activity, but a set of gradually acquired component skills initially learned independently, but later integrated and automated.”

Of course, me being my over-achiever self, I researched more than was required and added a whole other component to my discussion that was not necessary.  I was particularly distressed because I was really proud of and excited about my discussion and I did not want to condense it!  I discussed how understanding the processes of literacy acquisition helps provide more individual support for struggling readers.  Absolutely something I will think about as a teacher of literacy.  Absolutely something I did not want to erase from my paper.

After a pep talk from none other than my Mommy and Daddy…

"You can do ittttt!"

I got to work.  And I am pretty proud of the finished product!

I managed to get it down to 1,819 words without completely trashing my (VERY RELEVANT AND VALID) discussion about struggling readers!

I celebrated finishing my paper in the best way possible: yoga and dinner at my favorite studio in Auckland: The Loft Yoga Lounge!

This is not your ordinary yoga studio.  All classes are from 6:00-7:15pm and are followed by a delicious vegan dinner and dessert!  And all for just nz$14!!!! (Well, for students.  Normal people have to pay nz$17.  But not bad either!).  After my first Intro to Ashtanga class (there), I was lucky enough to be asked to attend the advanced Primary Series class.  Don’t mind if I do!  I have been going every week and wishing I could go every night.  I have really been missing my proper full Ashtanga practice, but I am grateful to be able to do it once a week.  Plus, dinner there is the best meal I have all week!  Tonight, we had BBQ Eggplant burgers, split pea soup, and potato salad.  With carob cake for dessert.  yum-crazy-yum.

Have you ever felt like you worked really hard…for no reason?




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


I have a ton of exciting news today!

1.  I got a new cousin this morning (baby makes 12!)

Isn’t she gorgeous?! Baby Reese is happy and healthy.  I can’t wait to meet her on the 4th of July once I’m back in the USA. That’ll be her 3-month birthday!

2.  I finished my first draft of my literacy paper!

It’s eight whole pages long…that’s at least two too many.

Revisions should be fun tomorrow morning!  It’s very content-rich, I can assure you that much!

3. I finished writing it at 11:15am – just in time for a 12:05 Ashtanga class!

I realize that I have been pretty secretive about the yoga studios I’ve been going to.  It’s because I wanted to dedicate a whole post about them, but I’m decided to screw that idear

One of the studios that I tried out was the Auckland Yoga Academy.  I was drawn to this studio because it offered the most Ashtanga classes than any other studio I could find in Auckland Central.  When I saw that the first class was just $10, I was convinced!

After trying out a class, I ended up buying a card for $110 (the student discounted price from $130) that is good for 10 one-hour classes.  This is sort of a problem because all of the one-hour classes are Beginner level.  Not to toot my own horn, but I’m obviously not an Ashtanga beginner.  The only higher-level Ashtanga classes they offer are Mysore classes, which would cost me $130 for ten, and they are only at 6am or 4pm.  I decided it would be fine for me to stick with the beginner classes because it will give me an opportunity to focus more attention on alignment and flexibility.  Plus, if I ever feel like I really need to attend a Mysore class, I can “top-up” for just $2.

4.  I may have had a breakthrough on my skin issue!

After two weeks on Finacea and no improvement, I started Acanya yesterday.  Today while I was putting it on, I noticed a little bottle in the box.  How curious. After reading the small print, I learned that the small bottle had to be poured and mixed into the jar before using.

DOH! I started to use Acanya during the winter when things started to look pretty bad, but I hadn’t noticed that I needed to prepare it first!  I do remember thinking that it looked different than the sample I was using over the summer, but clearly I forgot about it lol.  But now that I have the proper formula, lets see if it works!

Also, I broke down and bought my favorite face wash today: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash. But guess how much it was?…..

nz$14.70 for 175ml 😥   I have been using a “comparable” Clean and Clear wash because it is significantly cheaper, but there is probably a reason why I used Nuetrogena’s for so long.  It felt so good and it felt right when I washed my face with it this afternoon.  (The smell reminded me nostalgically of UVM bathrooms…ok yep that’s really weird) 😛

5.  I made something delicious for dinner!

I adapted this from the Energizing Protein Power Salad on my favorite blog, Oh She Glows

The leftover lentils were feeling neglected.  The rest of the big chard was ready for its last shebang.

Yo, sesame seeds Chopped almonds!  Front and center!

I also sauteed some random veggies we had:  2 large cloves of garlic, 2 very small onions, a half red pepper, and one carrot.

They all got pretty close and personal.

Just the way I like it!!!  In came the quinoa and then things really got crazy.  They got all mixed up!

I also added the juice of one lime, salt, and some cayenne pepper to taste.

And things were complete.


6.  DESSERT! (The most exciting news, of course).

1/2 sliced banana, 1 handful of chocolate buttons, 1 big spoonful of chunky peanut butter, sprinkled with cinnamon, and warmed up in the microwave for 40 seconds.


Do you have any exciting news today?



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