Tag Archives: paper

I <3 The Vegan Zombie

Last night, I had a really hard time falling asleep!  It was one of those nights where I just wasn’t tired – (sometimes I think that I have too much energy!)  When my alarm went off at 6am, my bed felt usually nice, warm, and cozy, but I had to get up for Reading class.  It went pretty quickly today, halleluiah, and since next Monday is the Queen’s Birthday, it was my last Reading class in New Zealand! :-O

Things are seriously winding down!  I finished my Maori essay about the Treaty of Waitangi that has been looming over me like a dark, boring, un-motivating cloud for a few weeks now.

I ADORED checking that one off my list!

  1. Maori Leader Presentation
  2. Present Maori Leader Presentation
  3. Maori Treaty of Waitangi Essay
  4. Maori Leadership Personal Reflection Paper
  5. UVM NZ Internship Reflection Paper (things are gonna get pretty reflective around here!)
  6. Math Unit Lesson Planning Project
  7. Study and Take Maori Culture Final Exam

It may look like I have a lot more to do, but that’s an optical illusion.  The presentation will be a breeze, the reflection papers will be easy to write, the math planning will be easy (if not a bit tedious), and I feel well-prepared for the final exam.  Last two weeks of school….bring it!  So I spent the afternoon getting some work done.  Life is fabulous 😉

I was very excited to get this TwitPic from my cousin Anne who attended my brother’s graduation from Brown University with the family.  (Note: She just graduated, too!  From Syracuse University!)  Her caption was: “I’m stealing your family.  Wish you were here!”  Check out the crowd, at Cinderella Portuguese Restaurant in Fall River, MA.  Isn’t she lucky!?

Clockwise from far left: Aunt Paula, Gram L., Mom, Dad, Gramps, David, and Sam

I have some comments, as I very often do:  Mom and Gram L., I very much appreciate that you are raising your glass of sangria to me 😉  Paula and Gramps, look over here!  Dad, you are the essence of DiddsterMagic.  Sam, I like your outfit! Anne, I wish I was there, too!  And David, CONGRATS!!

Also, I discovered my new obsession:  The Vegan Zombie

I have a big crush on him now because

  1. He is a vegan.
  2. He cooks delicious vegan food.
  3. He makes me laugh.
  4. He has a tattoo of autumn foliage and pumpkins.

Who do you have a crush on?




Filed under Food, Life, New Zealand, School

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

Textbook Fiasco (+ Random Recent Eats)

Bad study-abroad student fail:

While I’m here in New Zealand, I am taking four class: 2 important elementary education classes and 2 Maori classes (culture and leadership).  Obviously, I am taking the education courses seriosuly since they matter to me A LOT, but my plan is to just take the Maori courses for fun.  I’ve been told that they are far from intensive, so there is no need to get stressed out about them: just go to class, turn in your assignments, and you’ll be set.

I am a typical perfectionist, over-achiever, non-procrastinator, too-school-for-cool kind of gal.  Think Hermione Granger: I’m basically her muggle twin right down to the bushy hair and tedious study schedules.  But, I’m in New Zealand now, and this is the only time in my life that I will ever be allowed to “cruise through” a class, so I decided to go for it.   What does that mean for me?  I’ll go to every class, take notes like mad, answer every question, and turn in my work on time…but I won’t buy the textbooks. SHOCKER!

Upon discovered that I needed textbook citations for my first culture paper, I broke down and bought the book.  But I still didn’t get the leadership book.  In fact, I still don’t have the leadership book now…

Wednesday night during Leadership we discussed our next writing assignment (due today), and it became clear to me that I needed the textbook because all you need to do for the paper is write a 500-word response to a prompt in the book. 

Yes, sir, I will get it right away!

By the time we got out of class at 7:15pm, the bookstore was closed. Plus, all Thursday and Friday I was at school and wouldn’t be home before it closed.  Fine, I thought, I’ll just go when the store opens on Saturday morning and get it.

Ha! Wrong! It’s closed on the weekends.  Ok, self, it’s not a big deal, I’ll just be there bright and early on Monday to buy it and write the paper with plenty of time before the due date at midnight.

Wrong again!  I got to the bookstore when it opened at 8am, but they were sold out of the textbook.  I ran home in a sweaty panic, frantically messaging a friend in the class and checking all the libraries and bookstores.  Luckily for me, I have a wonderfully dependable friend Caitlin who promptly messaged me the writing prompts I needed 🙂

I was finished with my paper (about how I can be more proactive in my life) before 10am.  Which left me plenty of time to finish researching for my literacy paper, which isn’t due until April 21st.

There you have it, folks:  5 full pages of research about reading acquisition.  Now all I have to do is write an outline (the plan for the rest of the evening) and write the damn thing (which is what I’ll be doing all day tomorrow).

What did I learn from this textbook fiasco?  That there is a reason why I am always so prepared, responsible, and on top of things: I’m a good student!  And just because I’m livin’ it up here in New Zealand doesn’t mean I should change that.  I’ll only get myself into trouble.  Lucky that I have good friend who helps me out!  (I owe you one, Catilin!)

(I ordered the book online.  It’s in the mail now.)

Two Random Recent Eats I would like to share:

For dinner the other night, Hannah cooked for me a DELICIOUS meal — YAY!! She sauteed some green peppers and onions with sliced sausage.  (Hannah and I love our sausages.) Plus, she cooked up some lentils!! (Yes, there were many Know what I wear as a hat?  A lentil! jokes flying around.)  With globs of salsa, it was muy delicioso!

Before the field trip at school, I had a Raisin Bran Muffin from Starbucks, which is apparently a “new recipe!” though I couldn’t find anything about it online.  They offered to warm it up for me–yes, PLEASE!  More proof that my New Zealand Starbucks is a bit wonky, but they are so darn hospitable! The muffin was a steamy pocket of heaven with carrot-, cinnamon-, raisin-, oat-, and bran-y deliciousness!

What kind of student are you?



Filed under Food, Life, New Zealand, School

Date Ideas

You know what one of the best dates is?  Going out for crepes.  My boyfriend Hannah (haha!) and I decided to get some for dinner the night after we bungy jumped.

I got the Chevre:

Sun-dried tomato goat cheese with mescalin greens and walnuts

and Hannah got the Complete

Egg, cheese, and ham.

They were both on gluten-free, buckwheat flour crepes!  I thought of my dear friend Trisha 🙂

Then, for dessert, we split a toasted coconut crepe with chocolate

This is why going out for crepe makes such a great date idea.  You each get a savory crepe, then split one for dessert.  Plus, creperies usually have a French atmosphere, which is allegedly very romantic.

Or, another great date Kiwi idea is to get some Fish n Chips and go on a picnic!   According to one of my guidebooks, Fish n Chips is one meal that is “typically Kiwi.”  Of course we had to try it!  The book recommended some of the best places around New Zealand to get the classic meal.  One of the places, Oneroa Fish and Chips, was on Waiheke Island so it made the perfect post-kayaking lunch.

The fish was fresh snapper–so tasty!  Plus, the fries chips were cooked to perfection.  All wrapped up in newspaper.  So greasy!  So salty!  So fun!  Also to add to the novelty, they had Coke Zero in glass bottles!

We got our fish n chips “takeaway” so we had to find a picnic spot.  We followed a nice mother, son, and their two dogs (yeah, we’re a bit creepy) and they led us here!

Not a bad setting to enjoy your fish n chips!  We figured out that we actually kayaked past this beach!  Also near the beach…

Me sitting in a throne made out of an old, large tree stump.

BUT that was the weekend, and I actually had HOMEWORK to do this week.  Can you believe it?! I can’t.

First I had to write a 500 word essay about Maori culture.

We learned about the Maori creation narratives, their creation story, and for the assignment I needed to find a theme and explain its relevance to modern society. I chose the theme of utu which means revenge/reciprocity/balance.  There was a big war amongst all the godsons during the creation period in which they were all trying to get revenge on one another.  From there, the theme of “getting even” pretty much stuck to Maori culture.  In modern Maori society, it’s mostly relevant with gift-giving and such.  Same as in my culture!  The idea of utu all about fairness and equality, which is all really relevant to cultivating meaningful social relationships, in any era.

Then, for my Leadership course, I had to make a presentation all about ME!

I had to make a personality profile.  After taking a personality test, I learned that I have a Melancholy-Choleric personality, which basically means I am organized, thoughtful, a leader, and a planner.  I had to explain my personality in detail with examples.  Then I had to explain the personality of someone I know well (I chose my sister Sam!) and explain why we have the type of relationship we do.  My sister is very calm, cool, and collected, so I explained that’s why I boss her around all the time 😉

In other news, I got a library card!

I have a lot of time to read here (YAY!) so the other day I bought The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory from the bookstore, which I’ve always wanted to read.

It’s fantastically entertaining and well-written!  Though I admit, so far, it’s mostly about sex. I’m glad I bought it because I was craving a good book, but now that I have my library card, I won’t have to spend any more money to read!

Been on any great dates lately?



Filed under Food, New Zealand