I’ve been busy this week getting ready for the start of the new school year which starts next week. A lot of my time has been spent looking at math related things and decorating my classroom however I am making sure that I still make room for other interests this year. Maybe this week’s Friday Five will give you some insight on some of my upcoming project ideas!

    5 cool things I found on Pinterest this week

  1. Decorating snail mail envelopes
  2. 10 Peanut Butter Smoothie Recipes
  3. Mason jar herb garden
  4. Washi Tape iPhone Cover
  5. Recipe Binder printable sheets

    5 things I bought this week

  1. this new purse
  2. craploads of office supplies
  3. a whole bunch of pens because I must have all the pens
  4. a hole puncher for my Filofax planner (more to come about this)
  5. a whole bunch of pink hemp string and beads from Hemp Craft to make 100 Bracelets for Relay For Life

    5 things I am looking forward to next week

  1. the start of the new school year
  2. finding out who is in my classes (hey, all teachers want to know!)
  3. all the regular instructors are back at the gym
  4. my meal planning
  5. hopefully my Erin Condren teacher planner finally arriving (or I will either be sad or angry – I haven’t decided yet)

    5 things I ate this week

  1. smoothies
  2. peanut butter and bananas on toast
  3. crock pot tomato soup again because Josh love it
  4. steak fajitas
  5. pasta e fagioli

    5 random thoughts

  1. I like rainbows
  2. I need more fonts on my computer
  3. I’m thinking of buying a tablet but I might wait another year
  4. I wish Josh would stop eating a kilo of cherries every day because it stinks in here
  5. I wish we would get some nice weather because this has been the crappiest summer ever.

This week has been ridiculously busy. I was away all week at a Math Writing Camp in Auckland where I had the privilege of writing math exams for next year. It was heaps of fun and I learned so much. I stayed in the student accommodation at the university where we were working. Little did I know an entire week would just flash by and I’d be sitting here writing another Friday Five.

    5 things I enjoyed this week

  1. Writing the math exams
  2. Being fed 5 meals a day (breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner)
  3. Chocolate peppermint ice cream from the dairy
  4. Flow the iphone app
  5. Finally recieving my Filofax planner (still waiting for my Erin Condren one)

    5 things I did not enjoy this week

  1. The pens I want to use bleed through the pages in my Filofax.
  2. My flight being deterred to Nelson and having a 4 hour shuttle bus ride to get home
  3. Being fed 5 meals a day because my stomach hurts
  4. The bed in my accommodation – how do you go from a double king to single? You don’t.
  5. Only half of my teaching supplies got here and the rest is on backorder.

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I have decided to start doing a weekly roundup on my blog. If you’ve been around a while, you may have heard about the Friday Five where bloggers are given 5 questions to answer each week on their blog so that their readers get to know them better. I have decided to do this differently and just create my own categories which will each contain 5 points. I have borrowed this idea from Mary at amerrylife. I hope you enjoy. Let me know what you think.

    5 things I have enjoyed this week

  1. Making smoothies with my new blender.
  2. Cooking new recipes: mostly soups, and mostly in my crockpot.
  3. Starting to organize my classroom for next year.
  4. Winning $100 to my local supermarket.
  5. Playing Guild Wars 2 with Josh.

    5 things I am looking forward to

  1. The NZAMT (New Zealand Association of Maths Teachers) test writing camp next week in Auckland.
  2. Receiving my 2 new planners: my Erin Condren teacher planner and my filofax personal planner.
  3. Spin classes finally starting up again at the gym.
  4. Josh’s brother and dad coming to visit.
  5. Getting the new iPhone when my contract is up.

Continue reading »

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I was given a Liebster Award by Chantal of she-travels.

I wasn’t sure at first what a Liebster award was since the post was quite vague so I searched it. This is what I found.

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, what is a Liebster? The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Isn’t that sweet? Blogging is about building a community and it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs.

But I decided that this couldn’t be the origin since the name is in German. I finally found the original rules here. The source is deleted but it’s the same idea. Strangely it used to be 3,000 followers or less, only nominating 3-5 people instead of 9.

No matter what the rules may be, I have decided to participate since it was lovely of Chantal to include me.

I must answer 11 questions created by Chantal and then pay it forward by creating 11 questions of my own and selecting (a few) bloggers who fit the criteria to answer them.

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There are 3 weeks left until the end of term and life is a bit hectic lately. It’s pretty darn awesome – just hectic. I’ve still been trying my very best to keep up with my 365 Project even if I’m not blogging very much (or doing much at all besides working).

15/365
Day 15: I finally crack and buy myself an iPhone 4S.

Continue reading »

This week has been absolutely insane. Work has been jam packed and then I’ve been travelling (mostly for work for conferences and such) for the whole end of the week.

I still found time to snap my photos, amazingly.
Hopefully it’s a good sign!

8/365
Day 8: Out at the pier. (by Josh)

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I have tried so many times to start a 365 photo project.
Take a picture every day for a year?
How hard can it be?
I’ve always got my camera with me.
I’m always taking pictures.

I always mess it up.

Well, one thing about me is that I always decide to keep trying. I keep telling myself that one of these times I’ve got to succeed, right? I am really picky about if I mess up. I miss a day and that’s it – I failed.

I started again on my birthday, May 18th. So far I’m 10 days in and I haven’t failed. Maybe if I share the photos each week it will help me remember to take them. Would you like to see my photos each week?

Here are this week’s 365 photos.

1/365
Day 1: A Mathemagical Birthday

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I was tagged by Amanda!

Rules

  1. Post these rules.
  2. You must post 11 ran­dom thoughts about yourself.
  3. Answer the ques­tions the tag­ger set for you in their post.
  4. Create 11 new ques­tions for the peo­ple you tag to answer.
  5. Go to their blog and tell them you have tagged them.
  6. No stuff in the tag­ging sec­tion about ‘you are tagged if you are read­ing this.’ blah, blah, blah, you legit­i­mately have to tag 11 peo­ple. Like Amanda, I’m tag­ging three peo­ple who are com­pletely not oblig­ated to do this. If I didn’t tag you and you still want to par­tic­i­pate, feel free to con­sider this a tag.

Random Thoughts

  1. I don’t like olives.
  2. I recently have become infatuated with doing my nails. This actually started last year when I was in New York City and got my first manicure.
  3. I am pretty addicted to Words With Friends and Hanging With Friends on my phone. (Want to play me? My name is caitysparkles.)
  4. Even though we have Reirei, I miss our cat Moko who is still back in New York living with my parents.
  5. I’m getting pretty upset lately with myself that I haven’t been dieting and exercising and getting closer to my weight loss goal. I lost 60 pounds and then I started my new job and it fell by the wayside. I’m so close yet so far!
  6. I joined a new community choir this week and I’m really excited about it.
  7. I have acquired a bicycle this past week so once I fix the tire I can rectify my no exercising problems.
  8. I love to take photographs and I really want to get better this year instead of just staying at the same skill level (which is: not so great).
  9. I really want a haircut. I have had really long hair in the past and I just like my hair short now.
  10. I’m angry at my organizational skills lately. In high school, I was incredibly organized but at the moment, I feel like I’d lose my head if it wasn’t attached to my shoulders. This is unacceptable! Perhaps I just need to indulge myself in some epic office supplies for my classroom?
  11. I don’t wear makeup.

Continue reading »

I saw Mary do this at her blog and I wanted to do it. I haven’t done anything like this in a while and the questions were interesting. I enjoyed reading her answers so I figured I would do it, too!

surprise!

1) What is one of your favorite ways to spend a Saturday?
riding bicycles (once I get a bicycle again)
playing video games
catching up on internet fun

2) List your top three favorite TV shows.
Arrested Development
Stargate SG-1
Doctor Who

3) Would you rather be in pictures or take them?
Take them! I really enjoy taking photos as is probably evident by my many photos in every blog post.

4) Why do you blog?
I enjoy life and I enjoy writing about life! It is a way for me to document certain things, as well as share them with others. Also, since I moved overseas, it is a way for me to still share with my family and friends about what is going on in my life while I am so far away.

5) Share five websites that you visit regularly.
Facebook
GoogleReader
Reddit
MyFitnessPal
Pinterest

6) If you could have lunch with one person from your Twitter list who would it be?
My best friend Kierstin who is back in New York. I miss her like crazy. @ifearthemoon

7) List a few of your favorite snacks.
greek yogurt and granola
carrots and hummus
cheese doodles
peanut butter and banana

8 ) Do you have a pet? If so, what kind?
Yes, two cats.

Window Cat
Moko, who is still in NY for the time being until we can get her to NZ.

23/366
Reirei, our new kitten.

9) Which three material possessions would you struggle to live without?
my glasses
my camera
my computer

10) What’s your favorite drink?
water

11) Do you enjoy cooking?
Yes but I am not as good as I want to be or think I am.

12) Do you have children?
Nope.

13) What are your favorite hobbies?
blogging
working out
singing
photography
playing video games

14) Would you consider yourself to be shy or outgoing?
I think I’m a pretty outgoing person, in general. There are certain situations where I can be a bit timid or quiet but I’m always still social and approachable.

15) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change?
Besides the obvious “oh my gosh, I want to lose more weight,” I would like to try to not make unrealistic or too many goals for myself. That could be an entire blog entry in itself.

16) Who is your favorite actor/actress?
I don’t really have one.

17) What’s the coolest thing you’ve done this week?
Move to a new town and start my new teaching job!

18) Do you live near your family or far from them?
FAR! I think I live about as far away from my family as someone can, unfortunately.

19) List three of your talents.
Singing.
Teaching.
Giving advice.

20) What is your greatest attribute?
My inherent belief in myself that does not come off as overconfidence but instead as optimism and a love of life that make other people happy when they are around me.

10/366

Just kidding. I still eat apples. I love apples. But then I went to take a cute picture of this little baby apple that Josh brought home for me from the orchard. I figured I’d put it in my hands so you could see the comparison of how small it really was. Then I realized what I was doing and I was disgusted with myself. So here’s my question: do you think “aww, what a cute little apple” or do you think “OMG TWILIGHT!” Be honest.

I have tried a few times now to complete a Project 365 – to take a photo every day for a year. Even though I take a lot of pictures, I have never specifically completed one of these projects.

I decided to try again starting on January 1st. Sure, it doesn’t really matter what day the project is started on as long as it is done for an entire year. For example, one year I started the project on my birthday in May. I got up to 200-something that year but I have never actually completed a project without missing a day. If I miss a day then it’s all over. I view that as the project being failed. I always found it easier to start on January 1st. That’s when most people decide to try the project and so it’s encouraging to have other people to do it with and you can remind each other about taking pictures.

So here we go again except this time it’s a bit more epic – It’s a leap year so it’s a Project 366.

I will be doing the project on my Flickr account but I’ll randomly let you know how it’s coming along. You can view the set here. Feel free to add me on Flickr, too.

Here are my first 3 photos.

1/366

2/366

3/366

Maybe I’ll actually learn something new about photography this year. That should be my resolution… even though I technically don’t make resolutions.

Is anyone else doing a Project 366?

Cori tagged me!

  1. For an explanation of the blog title, please see the last question!
  2. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
  3. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
  4. Write that song name no matter how weird it sounds. (NO CHEATING!)
  5. Tag some other people and force them to do the same thing ♥

IF SOMEONE SAYS ‘ARE YOU OKAY’ YOU SAY?
Disturbed – Peter Gabriel

WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
Twoism – Boards of Canada

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
Universe – Savage Garden

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
In My Eyes – Rage Against The Machine

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Outside The Wall – Pink Floyd

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
It’s Gonna Get Better – Gensis

WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO?
If The Rain Must Fall – James Morrison

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
House of Cards – Radiohead

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Dinner at Eight in the Suburbs – All-Time Quarterback

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
I Won’t Be Left – Tegan and Sara

WHAT IS 2+2?
Get Up Stand Up – Bob Marley

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Alpha Beta Gaga – Air

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Mixed Tape – Jack’s Mannequin

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
We’re In This Together – Nine Inch Nails

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Just The Way You Are – Goo Goo Dolls

WHAT WILL YOU DO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Meet El Presidente – Duran Duran

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Mysterons – Portishead

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Suffocate – Green Day

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
Emergency Exit – Beck

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
Here In My Head – Tori Amos

WHAT DO YOU WANT RIGHT NOW?
Food aka Aren’t You Hungary – Reggie and the Full Effect

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Repetition – David Bowie

WHAT’S THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN?
Toes – Norah Jones

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET?
Begin – Ben Lee

WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
The Space Between – Zero 7

WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?
Karmacoma – Massive Attack

WILL YOU EVER GET MARRIED?
A Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles

WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST?
Only You – Portishead

DOES ANYONE LIKE YOU?
Ode To My Family – The Cranberries

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
Where We Went Wrong – The Hush Sound

WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW?
Spanish Lady – Celtic Woman

WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO SAY TO THE PERSON WHO TAGGED YOU?
The Last Lie I Told – Saves The Day

WHAT WILL YOU NAME THIS NOTE?
Every Word I Say – Hanson

I thought this would be a fun thing to do so you can see what types of music I listen to. Although it might not be a completely accurate representation since some of the songs that came up are ones I haven’t listened to in months or even years, haha! It might be a better idea than you had before, though! Now I feel like listening to different things in my playlist though so it was fun!

If you want to get a better idea of my music tastes, you can check out my last.fm profile where I track all the music I listen to. Leave it to this statistics nerd to keep track of that somewhere.

Lets see. I tag Sassyray, Kristie, and Kerri!

Don’t worry. I’ll be back tomorrow and we can resume our (more) regular blogging instead of a bunch of memes. Memes are fun once in a while, right? Sometimes I wish I had an excuse to do more of them so here is an excuse.

So today I’m going to tell you things I’m thankful for on Thursday. I suppose next Thursday would be more appropriate being it’s Thanksgiving and all but now that I’m living in New Zealand there is no Thanksgiving so it doesn’t matter after all. It’s so strange seeing Christmas hams in the supermarkets and not a turkey anywhere in sight at this time of year.

Anyway. Things I’m thankful for on a Thursday:

  • My husband.
  • My parents and sister.
  • My awesome friends.
  • My new job.
  • My computer, my car, and my camera.
  • My voice.
  • My health.
  • My education.
  • New Zealand.

What are you thankful for?

It’s time to answer your questions! Two days ago, I opened up the floor to all of you to ask me anything you wanted. I got a few questions so I’ll do my best to answer them now.

Karin asked: I still haven’t seen a single episode of Doctor Who… If I were to start watching it, which season would you recommend to begin with? Would it be OK to skip some of the earlier seasons?
I was introduced to Doctor Who by a friend of mine who was obsessed with season 2 at the time so that’s what I saw first. After that, I watched some of her favourite episodes from other seasons completely randomly. Only then, when I was completely hooked, did I start from season 1 and watch them in order. The seasons do make more sense (and you’ll start to understand a lot more hidden things) when you watch them in order but episodes or seasons when watched out of order can also make sense unlike with other shows I know. Seasons 1&2 and 5&6 are my favourites.

SassyRay asked: What are the top 5 places/countries on your “must see before I die” list.
Five places I’d love to visit are Switzerland, England, Egypt, Germany, and I’ve always wanted to see the Grand Canyon. I change my mind all the time, though. I really love travelling and I’d love the opportunity one day to be able to see as much of the world as I can!

Amanda asked: What is/are some of your irrational fears?
I have a bit of an irrational fear of uncooked meat. I have a hard time dealing with it at times. The germs, the source, the… gross. I don’t like to touch it and I wash my hands a million times after I do. Not having to touch uncooked meat is one of the main things I miss about being vegan. Wow, that sort of feels good to say if not a bit pathetic. I guess everyone has their quirks.

What is something you really want to do, but always put off doing?
Take up playing an instrument again so I can accompany myself when I sing. Piano or guitar will do.

Do you think that having money (enough to not have to worry about it anymore) would change how you act or what sorts of things you do?
I like to think that it wouldn’t except that it would augment the type of person that I already am. In other words, I like video games so I might buy more of them. I like certain foods so I might buy better quality ones. I would be able to do the things that I already do but I would do them in an augmented way. That’s what money does. So no, it wouldn’t change the sorts of things that I do but it would sort of change the way that I act slightly because I’d go about doing those things with a bit more gusto (and gusto doesn’t necessarily mean greed). Lets be realistic.

Kristie asked: What is your absolute most favorite thing to eat/drink currently?
burger
Well, Josh made me this burger tonight and it was amazing. I’ve still been trying to be healthy and I have been loving Yoplait’s Lemon Thick N Creamy Greek Yogurt since I can’t get Chobani over here. For lunch I eat carrots and hummus with rice crackers and some sort of sandwich. For a treat once in a while I indulge in a meat pie which I have come to adore. My favourite is mince and cheese.

Which age group do you enjoy and are most comfortable teaching? Little kids, middle school, high school?
I am certified to teach intermediate and secondary so I’ve never taught little kids before. As far as the other two are concerned I like both for their own reasons. I think middle school kids can be really sweet and not as hard to deal with disciplinary wise. I also love teaching high school too although I haven’t done it as much. I prefer teaching high school subjects because I find them more interesting and I think my own love for the subjects shows in my teaching and it becomes more interesting for my students.

What is your favorite brand of laundry detergent?
We are using one here now called Fab. It works fine. I’m not too fussy about laundry detergents. I usually buy whichever one is on special at the time that I run out. As long as my clothes smells nice and look clean, I’m happy. We wash our laundry and hang it outside to dry.

It’s time to get interactive up in here.

I know there are always some things I wonder about the bloggers whose blogs I visit each day. Sometimes I wish I had the opportunity to ask them whatever I wanted and sometimes the opportunity does arise. Well, today is your lucky day. I’m opening the floor to you to ask those things you’ve been wondering again. I’ve done it once before but I think that it has been long enough that it is time for another round. My life has changed a lot and I have accumulated a lot of different blog readers too.

surprise!

If you missed the first post, you might want to check that out so you don’t ask something again or perhaps it will spark your interest about something else that you think may have changed!
Ask me anything! I’ll answer all your questions in 2 days.

In the meantime, here are 10 random and interesting facts about me that you may or may not know depending on how well you know me and how long you’ve been reading my blog.

  1. I am adopted.
  2. This is the second time I have lost 60 pounds. I also lost 60 pounds when I was a senior in high school.
  3. Pretty much my entire wardrobe consists of blue, black, brown, and white. I am so boring.
  4. I am terrible at knowing what is going on in the celebrity world but I don’t really care. Actually, I’m so bad that I actually don’t even know who is who. Ask me an actor’s name and I will look at you with a blank stare. I feel quite stupid when trying to talk about pop culture even on the simplest of levels most of the time.
  5. I have developed quite a sick obsession with the British TV series Doctor Who.
  6. I can play the piano, viola, and flute. I also took guitar lessons and I try to convince myself that I can play guitar but I really can’t even though it’s the instrument that I want to play the most. I never really pursued any of these instruments either – I sung instead.
  7. I attended an all girls Catholic school for 6 years during middle school and high school.
  8. I used to do extra credit projects for fun in high school. I was one of THOSE students.
  9. My name was almost Melissa. My dad lost that battle. Twice. My sister’s name is Corinne.
  10. My name is Caitlin. I actually used to hate it when people called me Cait or Caity while I was growing up and I used to yell and scream at them. Only in late college/university did I decide that I actually liked it.

I stole this from Liz.

I have always been a bit enthralled with my handwriting. Maybe I have even been a little bit obsessed with it. I just might have been one of those nerdy students who carried around WAY too many pens in high school and colour coded her notes. Okay, so I was. I actually had a former teacher once approach me and ask to borrow my notes from the previous year to use for preparing her own lesson plans. Now I’ll be writing my own. At least I know I have the proper organizational skills to do so. As long as they don’t want me to type my lesson plans in script, I will be happy to submit them in any way they ask. Is it sad that one of the main things I’m looking forward to about being in the teaching profession again is buying office supplies and pens?

handwriting meme

Here are the questions:
1. Name/Blog URL
2. Lefty/Righty/Ambidextrous
3. Letters you enjoy writing
4. Letters you dislike writing
5. Write “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”
6. Write CRAB, HUMOR, KALEIDOSCOPE, PAJAMAS, and GAZILLION in caps.
7. Write one of your favorite song lyrics.
8. Write who should do this.
9. Any last blurb slash note

[box type="shadow"]Question 30 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: Share something about yourself that you’ve been wanting to tell all the blog readers out there. Share pictures. [/box]

Whoa! The last day of the meme! I made it! :)

I suppose that one thing I should share that some people still seem to be confused over is the fact that I will be going back to New Zealand soon. Earlier this year, I came back from New Zealand without my husband Josh and it was the hardest thing I have done in my life. It has been a long, hard journey for me but that journey is almost over. Soon, and with some conviction from my family and friends, I will be headed back to my husband and back to New Zealand. I can’t wait.

Thank you to everyone who has been there for me in the past few months, both online and offline. I really appreciate your friendship, support, and love.

I searched for a photo but nothing seems appropriate so you’ll just have to wait for me to go over there and take one. ;)

[box type="shadow"]Question 29 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: If you could be anywhere in the world, but you had to be there for a certain cause, where would you be and why?[/box]

Well obviously I’d pick New Zealand! I’m not there yet so I can still pick it! :P

Castle Point :)

But of course there is the second part of the question… it has to be for a certain cause. It can’t just be for fun and games. So what cause would I pick to be there for? Well, there was just a large earthquake in Christchurch and I’m sure that the Red Cross wouldn’t mind some more volunteers to help clean up. Apart from that, New Zealand has tons of programs to help with conservation projects all over the country. I would love to get involved in something like that to learn more about the environment and more about New Zealand. What better way to learn about a country than to work alongside others who have goals to preserve, monitor, and re-establish the natural environment of New Zealand?

[box type="shadow"]Question 28 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: What is the craziest thing (in your own opinion) that you’ve ever done? What made you do it? What did people think of it? Did you regret it or would you do it again? Share pictures, if you have any. [/box]

When people think of me, I don’t think they picture a very crazy, wild person. I’ve always had my natural hair color (except that one stage in my life that I had highlights that weren’t even too noticeable), I don’t have any tattoos, I only have regular and boring pierced ears and only wear studs or very small earrings, and I’m really not a rebel. Heck, I even went to school on senior cut day.

However, life has become quite the adventure for me in more recent years and I have morphed from the little Catholic school girl stereotype into an adventure seeking young woman. I can safely say that in the past few years I have seen more of the world and been through more than many people experience in a lifetime.

Castle Point :)

A few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to answer this question. Now, I think the biggest thing that I’ve done is giving up everything and moving across the world to New Zealand to start my life over with the man I love. Not only did I do that, but I’m doing it AGAIN.

Ngawi

I love my life.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

[box type="shadow"]Question 27 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: Share your favourite childhood treats, games and hobbies! Do you still have your belongings?[/box]

Little me.

Yup, that’s little Caity. :)

I will make a list for you of all the things little Caity liked. Well, she probably could have told you better but here are some things that I can remember right now.

  • Television Shows! Rainbow Brite, Care Bears, Popples, Fraggle Rock, Muppet Babies, David The Gnome, Gem, Alvin and The Chipmunks, Full House, Punky Brewster, Snick, Ren & Stimpy, Secret World of Alex Mac, Salute Your Shorts, Rocco’s Modern Life, Clarissa Explains It All (Melissa Joan Hart was mine and my sister’s dance teacher before she was famous, haha), Kenan and Kel, Are You Afraid of the Dark, Hey Dude, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and Salute Your Shorts!
  • Foods! Hot dogs, grilled cheese, rainbow cookies, carvel ice cream cake, mashed potatoes with peas mixed in it, macaroni and cheese, stove top stuffing, whipped cream (it’s better than ice cream), tomatoes, applesauce, watermelon, snickers and twix, fruit by the foot
  • Games! Mouse Trap, Clue, Life, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Guess Who, Trouble, Operation, Connect Four, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Battleship, Chinese Checkers, Truth or Dare, pogs!
  • Video Games! Mario, Super Mario 2, Super Mario 3, Super Mario 64, Mario Kart, Sonic the Hedgehog, Earthworm Jim, Final Fantasy VII, Chrono Trigger, Zelda and the Ocarina of Time, Myst, Donkey Kong, Tomagotchi (lol)
  • Miscellaneous! Slumber parties, amazing birthday parties every year because my mom is amazing, magical childhood holidays, American Girl dolls, furbies, ring pops, thinking that if I didn’t bring lunchables to school I wouldn’t be cool, my Lisa Frank binder, beanie babies, sockem boppers, and friendship bracelets!

What did you enjoy in your childhood?

[box type="shadow"]Question 26 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: Do you think customer service is important (in shopping centre or restaurant)? What would you do if you had a bad experience? Ignore or raise a complain? Do you think the standard of customer service is getting better or worst? [/box]

I think customer service is really important. I think customer service is just an extension of how we should treat other people. It’s all about human compassion. I do think it works both ways, though. Just like those who work in customer service should work with respect, they should receive it back as well. I am always compassionate and respectful to anyone who I deal with in my daily life especially those who are “serving me” and helping me out in the places that I go. I think the only way that customer service standards decline is if the standards of respect are not expected from both ends.

[box type="shadow"]Question 25 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: What are some of the stuff that you have done that you are very proud of? What did you have to go through to achieve what you set for? How do you keep yourself motivated?[/box]

I have been through a lot in my life. First, I am proud of getting through all the rough times of my life and coming out on top. I don’t like to dwell on negative times of my life, though. I guess that’s one of my strong points. I did just want to mention it, though because it is worth mentioning! So lets make this post about accomplishments!

Singing at the United Nations. I was invited to sing at a youth conference as a soloist a couple summers ago. Even though I have performed as a soloist many times in my life, it is definitely one of those opportunities worth bragging about.

:)

My weight loss. I have lost almost 50 pounds now and although I have not reached my goal yet, I have gone a long way and I know I should be proud! I have been working very hard changing my entire lifestyle. I eat healthy foods now and have learned to balance what I eat and I have developed a love for exercise and being active again.

Graduating College. I almost always forget this but it’s very important. I have a degree in Mathematics with a certification in Secondary Education. That’s pretty great and I am definitely smart. I don’t give myself enough credit often enough.

[box type="shadow"]Question 24 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: Share with us some of the things that you are currently saving up for. And how is the progress?[/box]

Money is pretty tight right now but the money I do have is being funneled into the following things:

  • New clothes. I feel really materialistic for having to list this but unfortunately after losing all the weight I have it actually has become a necessity. None of my clothes fit me anymore and I have had to buy myself new ones. Thankfully I love the clearance rack and don’t care for labels all that much otherwise I would be in for quite the rude awakening.
  • New Zealand. Getting back to New Zealand is my number one priority right now. Although Josh is buying my ticket back there are still a lot of expenses that have to do with getting back. Plus, it would be nice to not be completely broke once I get there. Oh, and it would be nice to be able to do things like buy food and pay rent too once I get back, y’know?
  • A bicycle. If you aren’t already aware of my spinning addiction, let me familiarize you with it. I’m hooked. I know that I will love biking, too. I want to save up for a really nice bike for when I get back to New Zealand so I can get into biking!

That’s it for now. I lead a simple and happy existence. I do not need much more than what I have and I am fine with that for now.

[box type="shadow"]Question 23 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: Post a picture of your favourite relative/family member and share the great and tough times you’ve shared with the person. [/box]

Well, I obviously would pick my husband but I think that’s cheating since I got to actually pick him so I will choose someone else. My father. I love both my parents with all of my heart but I have always been Daddy’s little girl.

Wedding!

I think one of the best times I have shared with my father, or at least the most memorable, is my wedding day. Having him walk me down the aisle and sharing that last dance with me is something I will remember forever.

My dad has always been there for me through thick and thin, good times and bad. He is the first person that I think of when I need advice and the first person I want to talk to when something is wrong. If anything goes wrong in my life, my automatic reaction is to go running to my father and I know that he will always try his hardest to make everything okay again. He has always given me the best advice I have ever heard and has never, ever steered me wrong in my life.

One of the most important things we shared through my life is softball. I played softball since I was 5 years old and he coached my little league team every year until I played for my school teams. He taught me team work, sportsmanship, how to be fair, and all other social skills that are so very important in today’s world. Oh, he also taught me how to play softball.

When I made my school teams, he made sure that we always kept practicing. I was a pitcher and my dad and I would practice after my school practices and on the weekends. I worked hard and it was also fun to keep playing softball. My father taught me to be dedicated and to go above and beyond just doing the bare minimum of what is required.

Beach Dad

He never missed one of my softball games and he has never missed any part of my life where he should have been there. I know he will always be there for me.

[box type="shadow"]Question 22 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: In this current state, how important do you think education is? For those people who are poor and cannot afford to go to a proper school, what can they do to educate themselves? Do you think education is important to have a successful career? If yes/no, why? [/box]

I think that education is very important. Heck, I’m a teacher!

I could ramble on and on about this topic for days, probably. There are so many sides to this and I actually have a lot of different opinions. However, let me just outline a few of them.

  • Education is mandatory in many countries up to a certain age and is paid for in taxes so that children may receive a substantial education to be active members of society. I think there are few reasons to not finish at least a secondary education. That being said, there are sad and unfortunate circumstances that do limit some people from finishing and I only hope that they are able to pick it up at a later date. Thankfully there are more and more programs and opportunities for them to do so.
  • I believe that since the workplace is becoming more and more of a competitive place, College (University) is becoming more and more of a requirement for most job positions that may not have had that requirement in the past. I think it is important to consider a tertiary education these days. There are scholarships, grants, and loans that facilitate the process for people who would otherwise be unable to complete such a task.
  • In some cases, I think that getting a degree is a waste of time if what is being learned is not absorbed by the person or is not related to what the person will ever be doing again. It really saddens me to watch people take classes that they hate and don’t care about when there are other people who aren’t able to go to school who would give up so much to be able to have an education.
  • Educating yourself by reading the news online or staying up to date with current events and talking to other educated people is just as important as sitting in on a history or a math class. How you integrate your learning into your life is so important. Students always ask me that dreaded question math teachers hate to hear, “well when will I ever use this again in my life?” I always try to answer them and show them instances when their math – even that algebra everyone loves so much – will be useful to them again.

[box type="shadow"]Question 21 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: Do you think cyber bullying is getting worst or better? And why? What are some examples of cyber bullying that you have witnessed? What can the victims of cyber bullying do? [/box]

Cyber bullying is when the internet, cell phones, or other electronic devices are used to send or post text or images that are intended to hurt or embarrass another person. It can be something as simple as continued contact with someone who has shown no interest in the sender or it can become serious and include threats, sexual remarks, hate speech, or other forms of humiliation.

Cyber bullying is horrible and I think it only gets worse as our technology continues to improve. There are more and more venues for cyber bullying to take place and as more and more people learn how to use the internet and become more versed in technology and its intricacies, it becomes easier for cyber bullying to occur. Every time I turn around there is another story in the news about cyber bullying whether it is actually called cyber bullying or not – that’s what it is.

I think that one thing that should be done is that people should be taught how to use the internet more safely. There are so many people who don’t know internet safety or what to do if they are targeted by someone who wants to harm them through some form of cyber bullying. I think that it is hard for a lot of parents because there is such a gap in their knowledge of technology. As much as they want to teach their kids how to be safe on the internet, they actually do not know how themselves. I think that schools should do more to teach kids about internet safety and there should be more ways to educate people in general about general internet safety.

[box type="shadow"]Question 20 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: If you could go back 5 years and tell yourself something (or warn yourself), what would you say? And why? And what do you want to already achieve in 2016? Give a list or share whatever you have started on. [/box]

I used to always tell myself I would never change my past. I am still a very firm believer in this for the most part. I think that whatever happened in my past truly made me who I am and I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for every event, big and small, that happened to me throughout my life. I’m talking about both good and bad things here, too.

All that being said, I think that if I were given the opportunity to do this now, I might give myself one little tip. Start losing weight NOW. I will be much happier and healthier. A head start would have been great but the fact that I am doing it now is just as awesome. Who knows, maybe I needed to do it now and maybe the events in my life needed to give me that boost that I needed, after all. I bet it needed to happen this way.

Easter Dress!
Here is me in my new dress that I got for Easter and my friend’s wedding next week!

47212_582035275322_84103196_33203770_3618871_n
I have come a long way since I started. I’m on the right in this photo. In the middle is my awesome friend whose wedding I am going to next week!

[box type="shadow"]Question 19 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: In this modern day, what do you think are some of the gestures that you would considered romantic? Do you think true romance is fading away? Why? [/box]

Romance is never dead. As long as there are humans, there will be romance. It’s in our nature. I personally think that romance can differ from person to person. My idea of romance might be very different from yours. My perfect romantic evening might not be what you had in mind.

Finale Clue

For Valentine’s Day a few years ago, I organized a scavenger hunt for Josh. I hid my clues all around the house and even at his job. We went on a journey to go find all the clues together. The clues took me a long time to make. They were all written as little poems. They all rhymed and all led to another clue that he had to solve and figure out what it meant. I thought it was fun, romantic, and the greatest thing ever! Josh seemed to like it too.

I think things like that – little things that mean a lot and are from the heart – are romantic. I’d rather have a beautiful poem or card (and Josh has given me those) than a box of candy or some flowers any day. I love receiving text messages for no reason at all just to tell me I’m loved. I love hugs from behind when I’m not expecting them. Surprises are romantic. Spontaneity is romantic. Always knowing that you are loved and being shown in a plethora of ways is romantic.

What a perfect topic for today! It is my parent’s anniversary!
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

[box type="shadow"]Question 18 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: Do you remember what made you want to have a site / online journal in the first place? How long ago was that? Who introduced it to you? How different was the experience back then compared to now? [/box]

I do remember! I started online journaling in 1999 when my friend Leah introduced me to LiveJournal. Remember when having a LiveJournal used to be the coolest thing ever? I had a LJ when it was brand new, ad free, and you could only have one icon! Imagine that! I really enjoyed LiveJournal and I was loyal to the site for years and years, even having a paid subscription for multiple years and pouring endless amounts of time into learning how to make my own LJ themes (who remembers the cool S1 styles?).

Eventually, I branched off and bought my own domain. When I was in college, boyfriend who was computer savvy helped me purchase and set up my first website (b2!) and ever since then I’ve had my own blog. Online journaling has always been a part of me. I love writing, I love the blogging community, and I don’t foresee myself ever stopping! At least not anytime in the near future!

[box type="shadow"]Question 17 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: Describe only one of your best AND worst days you can remember. Post pictures, if any![/box]

Wedding!

One of the best days of my life was definitely the day I got married. It was such a fun day. I was so relaxed and I got to show everyone just how much I love Josh.

One of the worst days of my life was the day I had to leave New Zealand and leave Josh and come back to New York because things got rough between us. I never felt so horrible, so lost, and so alone. I know everything will be okay, though. Josh and I will end up together like we’re meant to be. The fact that this entire experience has made us stronger really shows a lot about our love.

[box type="shadow"]Question 16 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: How important are first impressions to you? How do you judge someone when you meet them for the first time? What do you think are the no-nos in a first impression when meeting someone on a social context (not job interviews)? Lastly, do you think you make good first impression? [/box]

I don’t think that first impressions are incredibly important. I find that I am often making excuses for people if they were not incredibly friendly or outgoing when I first met them. I always give people the benefit of the doubt and always give them a second chance. I am not going to completely write someone off based on the basis of one interaction.

I call that a flash judgement. You are judging someone in a flash without knowing really anything about that person or getting to really know them at all. I think that is really wrong and so I do all that I can to give people every opportunity to show me who they are so that I do not have to place those judgements there myself. Why should I create an idea in my head about who this person is instead of actually finding out?

When I first meet someone, I am always just as myself as I can be. I don’t act any differently than I would normally act because, once again, that isn’t fair to the person who I am just meeting who is trying to figure out who I am. I let them know who I am so that they don’t have to create their own ideas about me, as well. Things to not to? Well, anything you wouldn’t do normally to any friend – be rude, act inappropriately, make other people feel uncomfortable, or anything else that you wouldn’t want someone to do to you.

I think I make a good first impression. Why? Well, people usually talk to me a second time after they have met me so that’s usually a good sign, right?

[box type="shadow"]Question 15 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: List five things you’ve lost (describe it, where did you get it, or post a picture of it) and wonder where they might be. [/box]

I have lost so many things throughout my life. I lose my mind every day, that’s one thing!

  • Lots of clothes. I had a bunch of clothes that were put away for safekeeping when I was moving around to my apartment to New Zealand and back again. There were a couple boxes of them! They were old clothes from college that really hadn’t fit anymore but with the way I am losing weight now I was eager to try and start to fit into some of them again. Well, all of these clothes are lost.
  • A few harddrives worth of data. Photographs, old papers and projects for school, music files, endless amounts of who knows what – all gone. Some things are just not important enough to get backed up or, lets face it, you just don’t get around to it in time. It happens to the best of us a few times in our life. Ah, the joys of technology.
  • Keys. I lost my keys at the beach once. It was really annoying but thankfully that time I had gone with someone else so I was able to get home. It’s also a good thing that all the keys on my keyring were easy to make copies of. I lost some pretty cool keychains, though.
  • My wallet. Yup, I had the joy of losing my wallet once. That’s not fun especially when you have to go get a new driver’s license, library card, student ID card, insurance cards, and cancel the bank cards and get new ones of those, too. Thank goodness I wasn’t carrying around my social security card. That would have been a nightmare. I did lose some cash but at least that can always be replaced. I was pretty poor at the time, too, so it’s not like it was even that much!
  • My virginity. Well, I’m not going to tell you the raunchy details but obviously that’s an important thing to lose. Hey, I’m a married woman here – what did you expect? ;)
  • Have you lost anything lately?

[box type="shadow"]Question 14 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: Do you think you act your own age? How old do you think you act? Why? [/box]

I am in my late twenties. I’ll be 27 next month.
How is a 27-year-old supposed to act?

I have always hated that horrible sentence looming over me. “Act your age!” It’s just about the worst sentence that any growing child wants to hear. That awkward stage where they are caught between wanting to go play with the kids and go sit and mingle with the adults and be treated like one. Do we ever really stop wanting to be in both worlds, though? If I stuck you in the middle of Disneyworld right now, I bet you’d wish you were a kid again. I know I would run around screaming and not even caring who saw me act like an idiot.

You’re only as old as you feel. I know when to act like I’m 27 but there are definitely those times when I can run around flailing my arms around and acting like a child. I don’t give a hoot who is around to see me regress because heck, I’m having a good time and they should too!

[box type="shadow"]Question 13 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: Post 3 pictures of something that you love and tell us why you love it. [/box]

New Zealand!

Castle Point :)

Ngawi

Te Mata Peak

I love New Zealand. It is the most beautiful place I have ever been. It is where my husband is from. It is where I have spent some of the best time in my life and it is where I have spent some of the worst time in my life. I am so eager to go back and see more of this beautiful country with my husband and create more amazing memories with him. I feel so amazing when I am there and I feel like I really belong there. I have never felt so in sync with a place in my entire life. I wish I could explain how I feel about New Zealand better but it is just one of those things that I think just has to be experienced to fully comprehend.

[box type="shadow"]Question 12 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: Do you have low self-esteem? Or did you have a low self-esteem before? What did you do to boost your self-esteem? If no, what are some of the advices that you can offer to people who have low self-esteem? What can they do? [/box]

I used to have a rough time with self esteem. It has been a long, hard battle with myself but I think I’m pretty swell. It doesn’t mean I have to have a huge ego but I can be confident enough that I can appreciate myself and give myself the things I deserve. A good example of this is my weight loss. I feel that if I still had the low self esteem, I wouldn’t be as successful as I am right now.

Here are some things I have learned along the way about self esteem and about loving yourself in general.

You have to love yourself. If you are constantly talking negatively to yourself and blaming yourself for things that happen then you will get nowhere! Negative thinking is just a bottomless pit and you will sink deeper and deeper. Instead, you need to try thinking positively. It may feel weird at first but try complimenting yourself when you have done something good instead of always noticing when you didn’t accomplish something you wanted.

The guilt has to go. There is no place for guilt in your life anymore. This was big for me especially when I started trying to adapt for my healthy lifestyle. Every single meal, every single day is not going to be perfect and sometimes you deserve a little something special. Don’t feel guilty! If you want to indulge, sometimes you deserve it! Tell yourself that you have done a great job and then don’t let yourself feel guilty for having that piece of cake. Or let yourself have a nap after you have worked really hard. You earned it! If you have made a mistake, instead of feeling guilty, replace the guilt with responsibility and then move forward instead of dwelling on it. Learn from your mistake.

Accept compliments. This is something I really had a problem with for a long time and sometimes still do. If someone tells you that you are really good at something, you should believe them and accept the compliment! Say thank you and genuinely believe that they are being honest in their compliment. If they think that you are a good singer or that you are losing weight and look awesome then maybe you should believe them, too, and start feeling good about yourself! Also, you should learn to compliment yourself.

Criticism is not a personal attack. If someone criticizes you, take it constructively. Think about what they have said and see if there is some truth to it. Even if it is hurtful or worded in a not so eloquent way, there is always some good that we can take from what other people see in us. Can we turn those hurtful comments in another way? Make those comments feedback and learn from them.

Do not judge other people. Who cares what other people are doing? You should be confident enough in yourself that whatever they are doing shouldn’t have any effect on you. Let them be themselves and you just be yourself. When you find yourself judging someone else it is only because you are insecure with yourself and are defining yourself as someone who is judging someone else.

Compare you to yourself. Along with judging other people, only compare you to YOU. Who cares how much weight Susie Q lost? You lost 40 pounds and that’s awesome! Who cares how much money John Doe makes? You got a raise from last year and you work very hard and should be very proud of yourself. You are doing a great job and you should only compare your successes to your own successes – not the successes of other people.

Don’t hang out with negative people. If you have friends who are always making a lot of negative comments, chances are you are going to start doing this, too. It is probably a good idea to distance yourself from people who make you feel sad, upset, or pessimistic. Chances are if you are constantly in this mood about most thing, you will be this way toward yourself, too.

Exercise! Exercise releases endorphins in your brain to help you feel energized and happier. Exercise can boost your mood and when you are feeling happier and healthier you might feel a bit more confident. Plus, when your body is feeling a bit more fit and energetic, that is great for confidence, too!

So tell me one good thing about yourself today!

I want it!

I tried on a new dress at Macy’s when I went to the city on Sunday and I looked really great in it! I think I am going to buy myself a brand new dress for Easter, in fact! Because I have been doing so well and I deserve it!

Your turn!

[box type="shadow"]Question 11 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: Do you act differently around different groups of people? [/box]

I don’t. I think the only thing I do is talk about different topics with different groups of people. For example, friends of mine who are into fitness or into losing weight will be people I will talk about those topics with. I don’t tend to bring it up with just everyone because I don’t want to bore people or make them uncomfortable. It is similar with many types of topics. If you’ve got similar interests, you talk about them with those people.

I must admit I don’t feel like there is very much to this question today. I feel like these blogs are getting shorter and shorter lately. Sorry about that. It is making me really want to just blog again.

Well, in the meantime, you can check out Anna’s blog. She is giving away some Zoya nailpolish. Also, her blog is really cool if you are looking for some more blogs to read. She is pretty much the epitome of awesome.

[box type="shadow"]Question 10 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: Do you think you can go on 30 straight days without internet (including the one in your mobile)? What would you do without it? [/box]

Absolutely.

I love the internet. I love computers. It’s a big hobby of mine, probably more than most of my friends and more than a lot of people my age, even. Could I live without it though? Sure. The internet, and even computers, are not necessities for life and I could do without them. In fact, I bet the longer I went without them the easier it would be. When I first moved to New Zealand, Josh and I didn’t have a computer for quite some time and we were fine. I was a lot calmer, actually.

If I didn’t have the internet, here is a list of things I would focus my energy on instead.

  • Exercising. This could be going to the gym as well as finding new types of activities I could enjoy outside like biking, running, hiking in new locations, and swimming!
  • Cooking and baking.
  • Reading.
  • Writing. Yeah, I would miss blogging a little bit but I could still journal. Paper journaling is still really fun and I do it even now. I bet I would be even more creative. Besides journaling, I might even write stories or even try to write a book.
  • Take more photos. Lets face it – if I wasn’t at my computer all day I would be a lot more creative and I would be taking a LOT more photos… although I guess I’d have to go develop them somewhere.
  • Play the piano again.
  • Travel. I’m not talking about traveling the world but even just exploring places in my own neck of the woods where I never took the time to really explore before.
  • Spend more time with my friends and family.

The possibilities are endless, really.
What would you do without the internet?
Could you do it?

[box type="shadow"]Question 9 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: What actually frustrates you the most that people are not aware about?[/box]

Nutrition, fitness, and overall health.

I know that not everyone is going to be a picture perfect example of health but there is a difference between being healthy and being aware. Over the past few years I was not healthy but I knew I wasn’t healthy. I knew what I had to do to fix it and even though it is a hard thing it was always something that I was conscious about.

A lot of people completely ignore the fact that they are unhealthy or they don’t even know that they are unhealthy. Some of this is due to the fact that they are completely uneducated as to what being healthy is and what they should and should not be eating and how much they should be moving their bodies each day. It completely baffles me how some people can be so incredibly unaware and don’t do anything about learning about nutrition or general health. Lately, some of the things I hear people claim about health, fitness, or nutrition without any sources to even back it up really make me upset.

Something I watched recently that I’d like to share: Fat Like Me
Warning: it’s lengthy and graphic but definitely was something I’m glad I watched.

[box type="shadow"]Question 8 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: Pick an awareness / organisation / charity that you think people should pay more attention to. And why? [/box]

This is going to be a boring but informative blog today. Plus, I’m a bit tired after spending the whole day in New York City. Maybe I’ll blog a bit about that over at CaityFit tomorrow since I’m so busy with the 30 Day Meme here so check it out.

I think that people should be more aware of the earth and taking care of it.
I think that we should learn to recycle more and be more aware of ways to conserve resources and energy.

Here is a list of some things that you can do to help. Maybe you haven’t thought of some of these things before. What can you add to my list?

  • Use reusable shopping bags.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water.
  • Hang your clothes out to dry instead of using a dryer.
  • Walk, bike, carpool, or use public transportation.
  • Take a shorter shower.
  • Use tap water/filter your own water instead of using bottled water.
  • Don’t litter. Clean up after yourself.
  • Use natural sunlight instead of electricity for light during the day.
  • Recycle.
  • Do not print things that can easily be sent electronically. Don’t waste paper.
  • Use rechargeable batteries.
  • Eat more local foods.
  • Grow your own food. Keep your own garden with vegetables or herbs.
  • Turn down the heat in your house at night and when you are not home.
  • Keep your computer on power saving mode, sleep mode, or off whenever you walk away from it.
  • Install solar panels on your home.

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd but we live on this earth every day and we need to take care of it 365 days a year – not just one. What do you do to keep our earth healthy?

[box type="shadow"]Question 7 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? What about now? [/box]

From the time I could speak, I was singing as well. As most kids who are encouraged to sing are, I was also a really big ham. Not only did I really enjoy singing for everyone, but I was pretty darn good at it, too! I loved to sing. Every chance there was for me to be on stage, I was there. Talent shows, theater, those annoying little performances you can pay to do at amusement parks, private voice lessons and acting lessons… you name it!

I wanted to be a singer! I wanted to be an actress! Combine them, and you had my dream! Musical theater was just everything I always wanted! Even before I knew what it was called, I told my mother that I wanted to be a “singing actress.” I’ll probably never live that one down even though it is pretty damn cute. (Just like I’ll never live down the fact that I used to call entomologists bugologists – even though I am pretty sure that these terms are actually synonymous.)

Now I am a mathematics teacher. I am certified to teach math to intermediate and secondary students. You may think that this is quite unrelated but actually music and math are very related. Many people who excel in music also are very good in math. I have always loved math and I have always loved music.

Now something that is somewhat unrelated: one of my favourite songs. Enjoy.

I also haven’t given up on my music. I still sing professionally and plan to always sing and perform and keep my love of music and performance with me for the rest of my life. I am just glad that I can have both of these things that I love in my life with me.

[box type="shadow"]Question 6 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: If you had to write a letter to someone that you have not spoken to for a very long time, who would it be and what would you say in that letter?[/box]

I would probably write to some of the teachers that I had in high school. I would probably say something like this:

Dear Teacher,

I know it has been a long time but I just wanted to write to you and tell you all of the things that I didn’t have the vocabulary or maturity to say back in school. You really meant a lot to me. Every day when I came to class, you gave me the tools I needed to succeed. I’m not just talking about giving me the material I needed to pass your class either. You gave me much more than that. You gave me what I needed to succeed outside the classroom – in life. Nothing I could ever do or say could ever properly thank you for that.

The girl with the crooked glasses, frizzy hair and insecurities who just couldn’t hide behind that loud, ugly plaid skirt really needed some guidance. She needed someone to believe in her and you did that. You showed her that she could do everything that she wanted to do. You showed her how smart she was and pushed her when she wasn’t doing her best. Anything she wanted to do, you found a way to help her achieve it and you always let her know you believed in her. You donated your extra time without getting paid for after school clubs and when you were teaching you put passion into your lessons.

Now that I am a teacher myself I know that feeling of wanting to make an impact on the lives of your students. If I can do that for even one kid in the way you have done for me, then I feel my entire career will have been a success. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Your Former Student,
Caitlin

[box type="shadow"]Question 5 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: When someone asks for your opinion, are you always honest? Or do you hold back and think before speaking your mind? Why? [/box]

I like to think that my word means something. I like to always tell my honest opinion about everything when asked for my opinion. I do not change my opinion depending on what particular group of people I am speaking to at a certain time. I know what I believe and what I think and I stick to those values no matter what. I am to the point in my life where I do not have to stop and think about what my opinion is on a particular topic when asked.

This is not to be confused with sharing my opinion when it is not wanted, however. I do not like to force my opinions on others. I respect that everyone may not think the same things as I do and if someone wants to have a different opinion about a particular topic than I do, I completely respect that. Because of this, sometimes I decide not to share my opinions in a particular situation because I feel that my opinion will not be received in a positive way. It is out of respect for the people that I am with that I just choose not to discuss that particular topic since I know we share conflicting interests. Rather than misrepresent my own opinions, I choose not to speak about these topics at all.

[box type="shadow"]Question 4 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: What is your current interest? And why? (Eg. Reading novels by a particular genre/author, new hobby, fashion, etc) [/box]

This is quite a broad topic, but I will list a few of them!

Spinning show
Photo by -Kj.

First, my newfound love and hobby of exercising! It may sound pretty silly and maybe a bit lame but I really enjoy it and love it. I look forward to working out every day. Each day I plan out what I am going to do and then I enjoy reaching my goal. Lately, I have been spinning. Spinning is done on a type of exercise bike in a class but it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before and it’s incredibly addictive for some people. If you want to learn more about it you can read about it here and here.

Bluff Hill Lookout
Church Photos Vegan Pizza!! Fouton cat. Sunset Beach Napier Centennial Gardens Vineyards Birthday Bash

Photography is obviously another hobby of mine. I know I’m an amateur because I honestly don’t do much to increase my skills. Well, other than take a lot of pictures. I guess that’s better than nothing, though. I do enjoy taking photos.

Amazon Kindle

I enjoy reading. I use my trusty Amazon Kindle that I received last year for my birthday. I often go through phases with my reading. I will chew through a bunch of books and then I won’t read for a month or two. I often read fiction books, especially fantasty and science fiction. I enjoy all kinds of books, however, and lately I have been branching off into reading all types of genres. Feel free to follow me at goodreads!

The last thing is singing. I will let that speak (or sing) for itself. Here is a video of me singing the Ave Maria at my own wedding. You can see more at my YouTube Channel.

[box type="shadow"]Question 3 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: Who has changed your life the most? And why? [/box]

The one person who has changed my life the most is my husband Josh.

Us

Josh has helped me to become the person that I want to be. He has made me see what a wonderful person that I am and that I can be anything and everything that I want to be in life. He saw in me the great qualities I possessed that I had not seen for so long and he helped me to find them and nurture them again. He helps me to believe in myself and be strong even when life seems like it isn’t worth living. Most importantly, he helped me to see the world through much different and more mature eyes. I love the way that I look at the world now. I think we are both better people in many ways for having known each other.

[box type="shadow"]Question 2 of the BlissMB 30 Day Meme: When you want alone time, where is your favourite place? Why? What do you like to do when you have your alone time?[/box]

I enjoy being outside going for walks when I want to clear my head and be alone. Here in New York it is not that easy to do, especially lately with all of the bad weather we have been having. I bet that I will have more opportunities to go for some nice walks now that the weather is clearing up and Spring is coming. I did take Baylee for a walk a few weekends ago and I did enjoy that.

Ideally, I would like to take my walks in New Zealand again. I miss my beautiful New Zealand walks and nothing else can really compare to them no matter how much I try. It’s okay, though, because I am sure that I will have the opportunity to take my amazing New Zealand walks again.

Bridge

Right now what I do is go to the gym for my alone time. It’s my favorite place to be to be alone. It might seem silly since the gym is a place where a lot of people go and it can often be very crowded but I am all alone on whatever machine that I pick and when I put on my headphones and zone in to what I am doing, I am all alone. I can go deep inside my mind and I am all alone with my thoughts. Plus, the exercise really helps me to think.

I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. ~Henry David Thoreau, “Solitude,” Walden

I have decided to take part in a 30 Day Meme challenge over at Bliss MB. I have never done a 30 Day Meme before so I thought it would be fun to try and do one of these. I hope you enjoy. I am going to make it as interesting as possible. April would have been an otherwise uneventful month, anyway. Enjoy!

[box type="shadow"]What part of your life right now do you want to improve? What kinds of improvements?[/box]

There are actually a couple of aspects of my life that I want to improve and I have actually been trying to improve them recently. The two most important of these are my weight and my outlook on life.

As for my weight, I am sure that if you are a regular blog reader of mine you know that I have been working hard to improve this aspect of my life. I am nearly halfway to my overall weight loss goal of 80 pounds, having lost nearly 40 pounds since November of last year. I have been counting my calories over at MyFitnessPal and I have been exercising more and more, especially recently with my newfound love of spinning. I know that I am going to reach my goal. It is only a matter of time. I can already see and feel a huge difference. I saw my collarbone the other day in the mirror and screamed with joy! It’s little things like that you don’t realize can mean so much.

P1030897 :)

My outlook on life is the other thing I have been working hard to change. It is more of a personal thing but in a nutshell it focuses on being more optimistic and forgiving and more confident. I want to be who I want to be and not worry so much about the future or the past. It is an ongoing process but one that will be and has recently been extremely rewarding.

“Tag! You’re it!” says Dez of DeltaEchoZulu.com. Down below this sentence you’ll find the rules for this meme followed up by my answers!

What you cannot choose. The Rules are Simple

We all know that blogging/facebook/twitter is in our arena of what we like to do, so I am going to rule them out as one of the 5 that you can post about. They really are not very girly. Likewise, phones, computers, ipads are all out of the running. I am challenging myself to this, as I am really not a girly girly type of person, and I want to find that within myself. It’s not all about power suits, filofaxes, ipads and designer phones.

If you want to pass this along, pick bloggers that you want to find out more about, and challenge them to write up their 5 secret passions that make them feel good. The idea is to lift our spirits this week. The fact that there is a linky added, just makes it all the more worthwhile in doing.

  • My husband, Josh. Although I haven’t said much, if you’re a regular blog reader you have pretty much deducted by now that we are separated at the moment. We are living in different countries and I am not happy about that fact. However, right now might be as good a time as any to just say that, hey, I am confident that Josh and I will be okay and my husband makes me really happy! I’m not ashamed to say that.
  • Singing! I have been singing most likely since I was able to talk. I have had the privilege of taking private vocal lessons as well as being a part of some pretty amazing chorus groups. I have sung at Churches in choir settings as well as leader of song in more recent years. I have also sung at weddings and funerals (even my own wedding – but I don’t think I will be able to do my own funeral). I have even performed at the United Nations as a solo vocalist. Oh, karaoke is fun too!
  • Working out! This is quite the surprise. If you told me even a few months ago that I’d be saying I loved the gym and had a true passion for working out, I would have had a fit of laughter in your face. However, more recently I have developed a real love for fitness and nutrition and now that I am closing in on my halfway goal I think I can safely say that it has become a true habit and way of life for me.
  • Video games. Since I was a young kid, I have always had a passion for video games. I grew up with them and I’ve always had a love for gaming. Whether I was sitting in my living room playing Mario on my Nintendo or Sonic the Hedgehog on my Sega Genesis and not really knowing what I was really getting myself into or more recently buying computers specifically for gaming (because lets face it, I’m mainly a PC gamer these days) I’ve always considered myself a gamer. Heck, I even met my husband on World of Warcraft. How much more do I have to say than that?
  • New Zealand. New Zealand makes me really happy. I love it there. How can you not? I feel like I have a sense of belonging. It it beautiful, peaceful, serene, and it just feels perfect. Everything about it makes sense and I love everything about it in the same inexplicable way you can love a person who nobody else could possibly love the same exact way.

If you decide to do this on your blog leave me a link, otherwise let me know in the comments what your passions are!

I decided to participate in the Word Meme that has been floating around!

Word Meme from Caity! on Vimeo.

Words said:
Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

Questions answered:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

Project 365: Take one photo every day for a year.

I wasn’t going to attempt a 365 again this year after failing quite quickly last year. However, when a lot of my online friends decided to start one all together on January 1st, I decided to join in. I think that having a little community to do it with will make it more fun. We can all encourage each other and remind each other to keep it up.

Here are my first two photos for your viewing pleasure.

365 [Day 1]

365 [Day 2]

I’m going to start taking my camera with me when I go for my fun New Zealand walks in the park and at the lake. I’m sure I’ll get some great photos that way! Hopefully doing this 365 will encourage me to take better photographs, more creative photographs, and work on my photography skills which are quite lacking.

Are you doing a 365 this year? Have you ever tried one?

My friend Dez made a meme post recently and a lot my other blog friends have been participating. It’s a really cool little holiday meme that I have seen cycle around the blogging world this time of year. I decided to participate as well, this year. Why? Well, why not? I think it’s fun to see what other people want and plus maybe people have things randomly lying around that they’d send others. I’ve seen it happen in previous years. Plus, come on, my mom reads my blog.


(image from etsy)

Step One
Make a post to your blog, tumblr, facebook, myspace, what have you. The important thing is to make sure these wishes are things you really want and that people can see the post. If you wish for real possible things, make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it’s your address or just an email address at which you can be contacted by potential wish-grantors.
Also, make sure you post some version of these guidelines in your post, so that the holiday joy will spread.

Step Two
Surf around your friends list/blogroll/RSS feeds (or friends friends, or just random places ) to see who has posted their list. If you have a list be sure to leave it in my comments section so I can view your wishes! If you see a wish you can grant, and it’s in your heart to do so, make someone’s wish come true. Sometimes someone’s trash is another’s treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don’t want or a gift certificate you won’t use–or even know where you could get someone’s dream purebred Basset Hound for free–do it.

Wishlist
If you happen to want to send me any of this gifts, please email me at x@caity.nu or comment on here. Thanks in advance!

  • A greenstone pendant like the one Josh gave me 4 years ago. I misplaced it and I have been so upset about it ever since. It looked like these.
  • Socks and undergarments! Nothing fancy, but I need some! Who doesn’t?
  • A new purse/bag. One that has a strap that I can put across my body. Sort of like a messenger bag but it’s not a big bulky messenger bag? Sort of like this, I guess?
  • One of those small light drawstring bags like this.
  • A Woo Themes Subscription although I’d settle for just the standard package so I could pick 3 themes I loved! I already know which one I’d pick first and would probably use it for about a million years anyway.
  • A job. Someone give me a job for Christmas. Thanks.
  • More video games! Check out my Steam Wishlist!
  • For my cat Moko to be able to finally come over to New Zealand.

My Friend’s Wishlists: DezMandaJennNat Marie

A break from our regularly scheduled New Zealand program to bring you a meme!

I was tagged by Mika.

The rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag fifteen friends, including me, because I’m interested in seeing what books my friends choose.

    Here are my 15 books.

  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
  • Tuesdays With Morie by Mitch Albom
  • The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks
  • His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman (I cheated a little.)
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman
  • The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt
  • A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle
  • Life Of Pi by Yann Martel
  • The Giving Tree by Shell Silverstein
  • The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

I am going to tag: Angela, Anna, Holly, Jannie, Kerri, Lisa, Lotta, Manda, Manda, Michelle, Nellie, Ronnica, Sara, Shola, and Mika.

Melissa gave me an award! I am so honored!

The Geek Girls Unite Award!
[For girls who are proud to be geeks.]
[Isn't it awesome? And SPARKLY?]

And here are the rules:
List ten geeky facts about yourself and…
Pass this award onto your favorite female geeks!
That’s all you need to do!

    10 Geeky Facts About Caity

  1. I use digg as my primary news source. I have been a member of the site since 2005 when it first opened as Kevin Rose’s precious new pet as I watched him promote it after gaining my girl crush for him on The Screen Savers, the coolest TV show ever. Who remembers Tech TV? I miss it dearly for it isn’t what it was. G4, I hate you.
  2. I have various awesome geeky tshirts including ones that include but are not limited to: “I’m a super duper programmer,” “Nintendo,” “I steal music off the internet,” and my ever coveted World of Warcraft green linen shirt.
  3. Coupled with my awesome tshirts, I have a bumper sticker that says, “I steal music off the internet.”
  4. I did extra credit in school for FUN and drove my teachers nuts when I already had straight A’s. What’s geekier than that? I also carried around a pencil case full of about 30-50 pens, insisting I needed them all with me at all times in case I needed them, and color coded my notes.
  5. I own a brand new Amazon Kindle which I received for my birthday. Within my first day, I downloaded over 70 books I wanted to read. I have read three large books already. I’m already planning more books to put on my Kindle. MUST. DEVOUR. EVERY. BOOK. EVER. WRITTEN. My birthday was only 10 days ago.
  6. World of Warcraft stole my soul for over 3 years. I had a max level character of every class. Also, I met my husband playing World of Warcraft. That’s some geekery right there. At least we didn’t have a World of Warcraft wedding. We don’t play anymore, either.
  7. We named our cat after Josh’s World of Warcraft character.
  8. I double majored in math and computer science and love calculus.
  9. I subscribe to so many RSS feeds that there are almost 100 waiting for me each day now. Those are only the personal blogs, too.
  10. I am addicted to lists and have 3 little moleskine journals in my purse where I make lists for different occasions, a lot of which are for my little online things. This list also brought me great joy.

I shall give this award to Dez! :)

Lately, I have been considering adding a weekly meme or two to caity.nu but I am not going to do it if nobody is going to enjoy them. That being said, I wanted to ask your opinion on weekly memes. Do you enjoy them? What are some of your favorites that you see on other people’s blogs? What do you think would be a good one for me to participate in?

In other words, today was my first day back to work after Spring Break and I’m absolutely exhausted.

I gave you all the opportunity in my last 2 entries (though only one person only saw the opportunity the first time) to ask me questions. Well, here are those answers! I hope that you are happy with what I have to say! Brace yourselves for a whirlwind of Caity!

    Shellie asked:

  • What is Moko’s favorite toy?
    She goes crazy over these particular mouse toys that we buy her. She rips them apart and we have to buy more for her.
    Lissy asked:

  • um… if you could be … um … any type of … um … squash … yeah, squash … what type of squash would you be?
    I suppose I would be yellow squash because I eat it most often.
    Ashleenah-Page asked:

  • If you could change one thing about your life what would it be and why?
    I am a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason and the events in your life make you who you are. For that reason, I probably wouldn’t change anything in my life at all besides a tiny little desire to already be in New Zealand, of course. ;)

Continue reading »

I know there are always some things I wonder about the bloggers whose blogs I visit each day. Sometimes I wish I had the opportunity to ask them whatever I wanted and sometimes the opportunity does arise. Well, today is your lucky day. I’m opening the floor to you to ask those things you’ve been wondering.

365: 59 (by caitysparkles)

Ask me anything!
I’ll answer all your questions on Saturday.

I was tagged by Amanda.

The Rules:
1. Open your 1st Photo folder.
2. Scroll to the 10th photo.
3. Post the photo and the story behind it.
4. Tag 5 or more people.

The Zeppelin (by caitysparkles)

This is a food court in a local mall. I think it’s hysterical because the food court is a giant Zeppelin. At the time, I was still playing World of Warcraft and all you WoW nerds will understand why I thought this was awesome and deserving of a photo. For the rest of you, just know that one of the main ways that your character travels in the game is via a huge zeppelin. I only wish I could’ve gotten further away because it really is a HUGE ZEPPELIN! (You know, a big airship!) Now, the only thing I need to figure out is why our food court needs to fly away…

I tag Alexandra, Nicola, Jonna, Ashleigh, and Angela.