[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.