5:30am - roll over and look at clock.. know its too early to get up but happy that i already
                    feel rested - yay!
6:45am - alarm goes off
6:47am - happily check my twitter, email, facebook and blog updates :) ahh technology
7:00am - shorts, tank top, water bottle, obnoxious music - workout time!
7:30am - wishing I had someone there pushing me harder..but I keep on truckin'
8:00am - shower and primp for a hard 3-hour day of toilet bowl cleaning, shower scrubbing
                    and hotel bed making.. ahhhh my New Zealand work
8:15am - coffee and blog update while admiring the glorious mount sun shining through my
                    living room and waiting for my delicious oatmeal to finish cooking
Happy New Zealand Thursday Everybody!!  
Mount Maunganui Beach Workout :-D
Photo from Figgy - hwy near Sicamous, BC
What I'm thinking about
This morning I woke up to a photo sent from my old roomie Figgy showcasing massive flooding on the highway near Sicamous in the interior of BC. The photo was terrifying. I hope that mother nature decides to wrap up the explosion of water soon so there are limited damages and life can go back to normal.  
Click here for an online report that I found.

What I'm talking about
All over Facebook there have been posts about a "Tough Mudder" competition that just happened in Whistler, BC. All I could see was that everyone was "gearing up for an extreme challenge" and that there were a LOT of muddy photos. So, curiosity overcame me and I googled it. Tough Mudder is said to be "probably the toughest event on the planet". Just look at their official video :-O       
Brett & Jermaine
What I'm excited about
Every night my roomies and I have been watching at least one episode of Flight of the Conchords in preparation for our wonderful adventure to Auckland to see them perform live, in 6 SLEEPS!!! This will be such a treat as it is a fun roadtrip, an event out with our new roomies AND a live concert! BooYah!! I cannot wait!!  Flight of the Conchords is hilarious. I have no idea what they will be doing live.. perhaps just some of their songs and entertaining banter inbetween. Will Murray be there?  Who knows. But I'm exciiiiited!! It is only 6 sleeps away! SIX SLEEPS! Woohoo!!!

What I am photographing
Luke and I have begun a coin jar... also known as Paradise Falls - a jar we put all of our change into in hopes that the coins will begin to recreate themselves and generate more (or that we forget about it and eventually are happily surprise with how much money is actually in there). Paradise Falls works! My friends Sam and Devin proved it last year! And so.. we are dedicating our Paradise Falls Coin Jar to their arrival in New Zealand! That is 6 months away... I hope we can break $100!!!
Just a few coins now... but just wait for 6 months down the road!!
What I am trying
Last night I was browsing the Women's Health website and a headline got me... "Yoga Poses That Put You To Sleep". I'm not sure if its the 12 hours of sleep for four months straight, or the increased use of my laptop in the evening, or perhaps that I usually don't have any need to get up early (ahhh, funemployment), but I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately. So, I thought I'd give it a go. No changes last night, but I'm going to keep on it for at least a week and see if it works for me. If nothing else, the fourth pose was much more challenging than I thought it would be, so that's got to be good right!?

My current laptop backdrop:

What are YOUR what's?
Sundays are my favourite. They often involve a sleep in, a clean-up of the house, bacon for breakfast, and some sort of outdoor adventure. Today included all of those ingredients!
Amazing how at times when you really really need something... it arrives!

Yesterday was a long day. I did hard, grueling work for 7 hours while nursing a very intense cold. I was soaking wet, cold, sweaty, dirty and sniffly. I came home hopeful to hear about a job that I had interviewed for, twice, and really hoped I got and would be starting today. An email told me that I didn't get it. "You have great character... but you're leaving in 8 months... very sorry... best of luck". Bummer.

I didn't realize how much I had wanted this job and had anticipated getting it, until I didn't get it. Rejection. Poo. That never feels good. Plus, I need some money. And I'm sick. Yuck! And a bit bored. Being broke means less crazy, random outings with friends. Oh, ya, I guess less friends also results in that as well. I am trying to say that last night I was a little "under the weather" both emotionally and physically (Ahhhhhh CHOOO, sniffle)

But sometimes life treats you. Sometimes it looks at you, takes a little pity and says, 
"As a congratulations for not blowing your lid when I threw all those negatives at you, here are a few small tidbits that I KNOW you will enjoy!" 
a 6am snuggle with my man before he went off to work
a fun photo from a friend to say she's thinking of me
a 2+ hour skype date that allowed laughter to make me feel less ill
a "tripod" love affair message
a facebook message from my globe-trotting father saying all is well
enough sunshine on my deck to sit, read, write, soak up the rays and listen to Citizen Cope
Sometimes its more about the small things than anything else. If you can just keep appreciating and celebrating all your small blessings and joys, eventually, they turn into big blessings and joys! And, well, isn't that the ultimate goal? 

I am smiling today!
After many failed attempts and many discussions about whether or not it would be worth the money, Luke and I successfully got ourselves a pair of tickets to see Flight of the Conchords LIVE in Auckland!! NEXT WEEKEND! 

We told ourselves ages ago that if there was one awesome thing we could do in New Zealand (besides seeing all the rad scenery) that was unique to New Zealand, was to watch Flight of the Conchords LIVE in New Zealand. 

I remember sitting on Luke's couch in Victoria, watching FOTC and then all attempting to perfect the challenging New Zealand accent because they made it look so cool!!
my writing inspiration comes from the freedom to jump, laugh,
and play by the ocean!
When travelling, on a budget, you count every penny you spend (or in New Zealand's case, evey ten cent piece, as they geniously cut out pennies).  You spend hours researching the cheapest hostel you can find, the cheapest cup of coffee that isn't from a scuzzy shop, the most cost-effective entertainment for yourself (aka walking around). So, frivolous shopping for things like, a new pair of pants, a second jacket or purse, or even another bra, just isn't on your radar. (well, in my case, it is on my radar, but I have to work hard to push it down so far that I can mentally and physically ignore it

So after four months of backpacking and traveling around on a very strict budget... you would think I would be used to this no nonsense, no need, no spending lifestyle. WRONG. Now that we have a home, and I am becoming acquainted with my new neighbourhood, I just so happen to notice that in my free time, AFTER I've sat on my couch and browsed the internet with my fourth cup of tea, and AFTER I've curled up on a chair with my hot water bottle and read a few chapters in my recent book, and AFTER I've rummaged around our home and tidied things up, and AFTER I've had my workout in the gym downstairs (can you tell I have a LOT of free time?) I...want...to...shop!!!

However, I'm not completely naieve. I am fully aware that the more items I buy, the more items I then have to take home with me at the end of the trip...and my bag is already ridiculously heavy and stuffed to the max. 

There's also the issue of lack of job security.. aka.. neither Luke nor I know exactly where our next pay cheque will come from, and how much it will be. 

Annnd, there is that small issue of the fact that right now our main goal is to work as much as possible to save as much as possible to extend our year-long plus plus holiday for as long as possible. So spending money on things I don't need... doesn't really fall into the "saving money" category.

Sooo.. in order to satisfy this need to shop... I have found a new love... GROCERY SHOPPING.

Food is essential, and consumable, and yum! So, although we are still living primarily on a rotating schedule of pasta, rice, potatoes, pasta, rice, potatoes... we have introduced more veggies and fruits into our diet (yay) and seem to constantly be running out of milk (probably due to an exceptionally large coffee intake) so... every chance I get... off to New World I go. Probably every two or three days. (its about a 10 minute walk, so there's a wee bit of exercise in there too.. bingo!) It's so fun looking through all the aisles and looking for the best looking product for the lowest price. I suppose having all this free time and not giving myself a time restriction while I'm enjoying my grocery shop has led to this new obsession. 

May my stress levels stay forever this low and my diet not forever this boring. 

Now I'm off to unpack my groceries :-D

Sweet Dea
It would appear, that late at night, when the whole world (or at least my apartment) is drifting off to sleep, my brain transforms into a genius. I swear to you the ideas I come up with at these random hours are not far from some of the most intricate, impressive, awesome ideas I have ever thought of myself. 

I have a few theories as to why:

a) I often read before bed, and as I tend to reach for "inspirational" novels, I am more likely to be inspired by my fiction and non-fiction heroes late at night

b) My brain has always had a hard time turning off. I can recall being the age of six and hearing my aunt attempt to guide me on a journey called "Deanna... relax your mind... just stop thinking for ONE minute" I figure my brain is afraid that one day I'll perfect this technique and it will no longer be in control... therefore it needs to bring out it's best, most 5-star, A-game work to ensure that I stay at its mercy

c) I probably ate too many cookies past 8pm so I'm wired on sugar, or I drank too much water and am unhappily anticipating my five wake ups throughout the night because of it

Whether my theories are themselves genius, or of simply mere mortal status, I'm gunna stick to my gut on this one. And what does every genius idea need?? An outlet..

TA DA - welcome to Sweet Dea's Ramblings :-)

I apologize in advance if you find any of my ramblings rude, boring, a little too-much-info ... but just know that this is my creative free space.. where I will let my thoughts flow free!! 

And now that I am living in one place, will hopefully be working soon, am living four blocks from the mesmerizing and thought-provoking OCEAN and possess a New Zealand library card... you can trust there will be some unique Sweet Dea ramblings to come!!


Sweet Dea

We're Real Kiwis Now

Star #1 - After a lot of time spent searching about and thinking about, Luke and I now have a place to call home. It doesn't have a lot to offer in the way of furniture, but we don't need much and we are very very happy to be here!! It's in a town called Mount Maunganui.  
Star #2 - As we moved into our new home yesterday, we have been in search of a few essential pieces, such as a bed and some other household items. Yesterday we spent the day searching out garage sales and thrift stores and really managed to get almost everything we need for under $100!!! It really puts prices in perspective.. who needs brand new overpriced items!? Not travelers!
Star #3 - My sister confirmed today that she has gotten the time off work and will be meeting up with us here in New Zealand! Who knows what we'll get up to or where we'll end up.. but I am ecstatic to have a visitor!! Now... how to convince her its a good idea to bring Bandit...
My wish is that Luke and I manage to get a bit of luck in the job department. We have arrived in a touristy, resort-type town with loads of shops and cafes and restaurants...in the winter. Therefore.. not many places are hiring. But we are applying everywhere possible and talking to everyone we meet.. so fingers crossed something good will come our way soon!!! :)