Monthly Favorites [February]

I’ve been doing some serious thinking, and you may remember that at the beginning of the month I wrote a blog post on the things I would want to do on February, but I realized that not everything is possible and it would be really complicated and boring to you to read one post on what do I want to do and another on “if I’ve done it”. So, as from now I will do one post at the end of each month on my monthly favourites.

– Frozen
Let it go! Let it go!
Thank you Disney. It’s been a while since I enjoyed an animated movie like this one. One get used to the old Disney classics that are focused on Love at first sight, were the bad guys are really bad, and the good one…well.. they are snow-white, a lot of singing and everyone searching for the same thing: Love. But lately Disney films are changing, the character a much more real, the reactions are more real, in Tangled you have one character that wonders why everyone just starts singing suddenly and in Frozen you have one character asked over and over again why would she marry someone she literary just met. [Message or my sister: Go watch it… no no, stop what ever you are doing…and go watch it]

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One Day in Auckland City

Hi everyone, today I thought I could set up a small quick guide for a day out in the city (Central Auckland) this is perfect for a Friday so if you happen to be in the city you can use this cheeky guide and get through most of the city in just one day. Most of the places I will talk about were featured earlier in this blog, so if you want more information just wander through the blog.

Morning: Breakfast of champions
What a great way to start off the day than with a yummy breakfast. Auckland is full with cafes and stores to get your cuppa, some of my favourites are: The Store, Assiette at Britomart, Cafe Melba at Vulcan Lane or Shaky Isles Coffee Co at Custom St.

The store ristretto

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Who said dieting sucked?

Given that my laziness stuck again and I couldn’t move my butt two blocks away to go to the lantern festival (the night part of it) I was left with no blog post for today. And since I promised I was going to do at least two posts per week I feel the need to at least share something.

So… when I first moved to new zealand (over a year ago…) Le Boyfriend took me for dinner with some argentinian friends, they all had the same thing to say. No, it was not welcome or some tips on what to do in the city, it was “In the first 7 months you are going to gain 14 pounds (7 kilos).” Nice huh? I’d just finish my university thesis and due to stress, nerves and pretty much Zombie Living for a few months I had lost a considerable amount of weight, so I was determined to keep it that way, no matter what they said.

To my surprise I didn’t consider that here the food is different from Argentina, the cheeses and milk are heavier, the bread slices are thicker and there is a cheeky little place called Burger Fuel, that for all of you healthy eaters….is hell. So after those 7 months I gained almost 20 pounds (10 kilos) I’ve been slowly trying to get back to my usual weight by trying to do more home cooked meals instead of take out and by going to the gym, but I didn’t take it really seriously and the truth is, I can try 500 diets but I really don’t know what I’m doing.

Luckily, a month ago a friend of a friend came to live to new zealand (I don’t think you have noticed….but we are pretty much invading the island) and she is a nutritionist, so Le Boyfriend and I asked her if she could set a diet for us and help us track our progress. I was prepared for the worst, like a month of iceberg lettuce eating and forbidden foods but she actually came up with a diet that we can “create ourselves” she just gave us food combination and portions. So I’ve been trying my best in the kitchen to come up with some tasty dishes that are part of the diet. And as for now Le boyfriend lost 2 kilos and I lost 1.5 in a week, so I guess something is working.

What do you think of my cooking skills?

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Happy Valentines! Let’s get drunk!

I know what you are thinking… please not another valentines day blog post… but it is not what you expect. Unlike New Zealand, back in Argentina we are not used to the whole Valentines day celebration, maybe in the last couple of years people started to get more used to it or businesses used it as an sale opportunity, but we are not the ones for celebrating it. So today you have a choice.

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Mateando at Albert Park (1 year anniversary)

As of today, I have been officially one whole year on kiwi soil.
I have seen a lot of Argentinians and Latin American people in Auckland in the past few months, not only my personal group of friends, but on the streets, the beach, etc.. And lately I’ve been feeling that once we leave our country we began to fall into a pattern. I know not everyone might feel the same, so this is my sole opinion.

It’s like no matter the circumstances we left our country (good or bad), we begin to get homesick and start doing absolutely everything we can to feel closer to home; every stereotypical thing from our country. Getting together and watching football or rugby matches every time our team plays, know by heart which days each market has a stall of argentinian empanadas, getting to the darkest convenience store and cut deals with the dodgy store manager to be the first one to get Dulce de Leche or Palmitos (palm trees hearts) drink Mates, or my case, do all of them.

I have followed every step of the How to become the perfect argentinian in 10 simple steps imaginary book and did absolutely everything I either hated doing back home or just didn’t enjoy, specially….drinking mates. For all non-southamerican readers: The mate is a traditional South American drink and It is prepared from steeping dried leaves yerba mate in hot water, served with a metal straw from a shared hollow gourd. Its tradition to share the mates and if you are within a group of people they all use the same gourd.

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The Market diaries [Ponsonby Market]

In a previous post, I wrote that Auckland is full of weekend Markets and I wrote about one in particular, which is the Britomart market, so I thought I would be a good idea to do a Markets series, so today I will talk about the Ponsonby produce market, located in the corner of ponsonby & richmond rd.

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In comparison to the Britomart market that I talked about here http://bit.ly/1fvBP2c  this market is indoors and it looks more Stylish or Posh that the other. You can find fish and meat stalls, fresh fruit and veggies, and a great stall with cheeses and wine. Most of the stalls claim to have organic products and most of them also have street food, so you can always take a plate and sit by the sun after doing some groceries. I remember going for lunch with some friends to the argentinian barbeque across the market and the cheese shop opened a 150 year old MASSIVE Parmesan cheese and gave us to try. If I could bottle up a scent and spray it…everywhere…it would be that cheese.

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Buskers Festival

I swear New Zealand never cease to surprise me . I come from a country were  you can find a busker in every corner, in every street and every park you can see jugglers, people singing, playing
instruments or performing for coins. Usually people avoid them and the government tries to shut them out, or take them from the streets. But not here… in New Zealand, you have a whole festival dedicated to them.

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During the Auckland anniversary weekend, the city set up various points scattered around the city and during the afternoon you could find different performer.
There was a guy in Vulcan Lane juggling with fire, a girl in the Downtown shopping centre dancing and a shirtless guy at the Silo Park jumping around, shouting and engaging with people.
Not one of these points was empty, kids sitting down, tourists taking pictures and heaps of people gathered around (I almost loose a hand trying to take a photo)

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I don’t want to underestimate the work those “buskers” do, it’s just that I find amusing how in one place they are more of a pain in the butt and in another they have their own festival.

[Spanish Version]
Les juro, Nueva Zelanda todavía no deja de sorprenderme. Vengo de un país donde podes encontrar “Artistas callejeros” en cualquier lado, en cada esquina, en algún parque, uno haciendo malabares, el otro cantando, estatuas vivientes, lo que nombres.
Usualmente la gente trata de ignorar o manda a gente del gobierno a que los mueva de lugar. Pero no en NZ… Acá tenes un festival dedicado únicamente a estos artistas.
Durante el fin de semana del aniversario de Auckland, el council dispuso distintos puntos alrededor de la ciudad y todas las tardes había un artista performing
Vi un malabarista de fuego en vulcan lane, una chica que bailaba en la esquina del shopping del centro, y un tipo en el Silo Park saltando y gritando y jugando con el publico.
Ni uno de estos puestos estaba vacío, chicos sentados esperando a que empiece el show, turistas sacando fotos, y miles de personas mirando (casi pierdo un brazo tratando de sacar una foto)

February

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One month down, eleven to go…
Im pretty pleased with myself, I promised I would write at least 2 post per week and I kept it.

January was a pretty good month (must admit having my birthday was a big plus) summer is here, you can go to beach every weekend and the city is full of things to do.
But I expect more for February, more travel, more adventure, more books, more late night movies, and more interesting projects.

Here is my Must Do  list for the month ( lest see how many of these I can achieve)

Movies: All Oscars nominees (at least best film)
Books: The faults in our stars  by John Green & The book thief  by Markus Zusak
Travel: More beaches, Matamata (Hobbiton)
Projects: Redesign my personal website
Health: Less coffee, more water. Stay away from the chips!
Fitness: Start running aging set my goal to 10K
Activities: Start cooking again, Find a job closer to my line of study.

Do you have any TO DO things for this month or have something to advise?

[Spanish version]

Un mes complete, once mas por pasar…
Me siento bastante satisfecha conmigo misma, me prometí que iba a escribir por lo menos 2 posteos por semana, y hasta ahora lo vengo cumpliendo.
Enero fue un muy buen mes, (debo admitir que festejar mi cumpleaños sumo mucho) ya estamos en verano, podes ir a la playa todos los fines de semana y la ciudad esta llena de cosas para hacer. Pero espero aun más de Febrero, más viajes, más aventuras, más libros, más peliculas de trasnoche, y más y más proyectos interesantes.
Esta es mi lista de cosas para hacer este mes ( veamos cuantas logró completar)

Peliculas: Todas las nominadas al oscar (por lo menos las nominadas a mejor película)
Libros: Bajo la misma estrella (The faults in our stars) por John Green & El ladron de libros (The book thief)  por Markus Zusak
Viajes: Más playas, Matamata (Hobbiton)
Proyectos: Rediseñar mi web personal
Salud: Menos café, más agua. Alejarme de las papas fritas!
Ejercicio:Empezar a correr otra vez. Intentar subir mi limite a 10k
Actividades: Empezar a cocinar otra vez, conseguir otro trabajo cercano a mis estudios.