BUBBLEJ1   22,970
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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Hi guys. I'm at Brisbane airport waiting for my next flight. 2 hours to go. But there is free wifi, woo! (Auckland airport has yet to jump into this decade on that front).

Last flight was good, very smooth and calm. Hoping for a repeat performance, especially as my next flight is over 13 hours!! Hoping to get some sleep on the next flight too, as I am running on 3 hours at the moment. Would have loved some sleep on my last flight but the seat didn't recline at all and I couldn't get comfy.

Eating is as to be expected. Limited options and I am craving terrible food coz I'm tired. Also starving due to the lack of sleep. Ah, travel. Fun stuff, huh? Doing my best, but not proud of the effort. Gonna try to cut myself some slack!!

See y'all in San Fran!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARLA-216 1/9/2013 9:30AM

    I hope your flight went well and you were able to sleep a good amount.


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    Cut yourself some slack! It's very hard to make good choices when there's very limited things to choose from. Hoping to hear that you landed safely after the 13 hour flight!

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LIVEDAILY 1/8/2013 7:14PM

emoticon Drink your water - stay away from caffeine!
emoticon emoticon emoticon
milk, fruit and veggies are good choices!
get some sleep!!

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    Hope you have a wonderful visit!

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APED7969 1/8/2013 6:36PM

    Have fun! I hope you have an empty seat next to you on your next flight!

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LYNSEY723 1/8/2013 6:03PM

    Have a great flight! I hope you get some shut eye!!

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RAPUNZEL53 1/8/2013 5:58PM

  Hope you have better luck on your next flight!

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The difference of a year + my trip

Monday, January 07, 2013

Taken 1 year apart, almost to the day.

So I leave for my trip tomorrow. This time tomorrow I will be in Brisbane about to board my flight to LA (and from LA I go straight to San Francisco). OMG.

I will try and blog when I can to let you all know what I have been up to. I will be able to blog the odd photo from my phone and I'm sure I will post a huge photo blog when I get back. I am excited about my 2 international spark meet ups (with Lyndsey in Seattle and John in San Diego). How awesome is it that I will be so far from home but still able to meet up with friends?! I love spark!

Wish me luck!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JJAQUES41 1/11/2013 11:51AM

    You so amazing! Love that you wore similar colors and had your hair pulled back as in the original picture. Really lets us focus on just you. Have a great trip and enjoy your real time with sparkers! Safe travels.

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ARCHIMEDESII 1/11/2013 11:42AM

    WOW ! You certainly have made a big difference !!


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DRAGONCHILDE 1/11/2013 11:24AM

    You look unbelievably great! Such a well-earned reward!

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    Best wishes! You look amazing!

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CATLADY52 1/8/2013 4:15PM

    You are amazing. Enjoy San Francisco and the rest. You'll knock them over when you get there. emoticon

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CARLA-216 1/8/2013 2:56PM


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JSTETSER 1/8/2013 6:23AM

    Amazing! You have shrunk!

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LAUROCHKA 1/8/2013 6:13AM

    You look awesome!! HUGE Well Done emoticon on all your efforte and enjoy your trip! Lxx

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    Holy Crap!! You look absolutely amazing! Great before and after photos!!

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PAMATX 1/7/2013 10:49PM

    Wow! Before/After Photos are such fun! Have a terrific time on your trip! Can't wait to see the pics.

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APED7969 1/7/2013 10:04PM

    Great photo! Have an awesome trip :-)

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LIVEDAILY 1/7/2013 8:56PM

    O M G

You are stunning!! That is so awesome!! You look so much happier too!!

Have a great flight! Try to sleep on the plane. Drink lots of water.


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GINNABOOTS 1/7/2013 7:49PM

    You look amazing! Congratulations on your transformation. emoticon

Have a great time on your trip.

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LYNSEY723 1/7/2013 7:26PM

    You have transformed your body! You look AMAZING!! Look at that waist! Look at those legs!! YOWZA!!!


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Americans - Explain tipping to me, please

Monday, January 07, 2013

So I go on my trip in 34 hours. Yikes. That means in 58 hours I will be in the states! OMG. I am freaking out.

So in NZ tipping is not the done thing. We tip occasionally, only at restaurants and only if the service is exceptional, and even then it is at peoples discretion. However, I know that in the states tipping is the common and done thing. So, if you don't mind could you give me some pointers? Who do I tip, and how much? For example, I know I need to tip in restaurants, but what about fast food places? When I get a coffee? When I get on a bus? I have no clue, as you can see! It is just not in my culture to tip!

Thanks for your help!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Wow, I just learned a whole lot about tipping in the US! I'm from Canada, and tipping is much different here!

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CARLA-216 1/7/2013 2:56PM

    Oh my gosh, it is HERE! I wish I lived on the west coast so I could meet you.

And I see the others beat me to the tip info. Looks like pretty much what I'd say. However, I've been known to not tip if the service is horrible or the wait person is rude. I don't reward that....

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LYNSEY723 1/7/2013 12:24PM

    I think everyone below has basically covered it! I'm sure you can also google it and get more than enough answers. But of the things you will be using - taxi, usually tip. Restaurants - tip, I usually do 20% (not fast food) coffee - I almost always tip $1-$3. Not at Starbucks as much because they get benifits unlike the small independant coffee stands. No tipping on a city bus. If you were to say take a shuttle bus from the airport to a hotel, that driver should be tipped. But never on public transportation.

I am so excited!! Have a safe trip! I hope to see you in a week!

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/7/2013 8:43AM

    Have a fun trip!

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HEAT7918 1/7/2013 6:15AM

    My hubbie was a waiter in college so we tend to overtip at restaurants - around 20% unless service is bad (we'll do closer to 25% for exceptional) - plus 20% is easier for me to calculate in my head! (Take 10% and double it - done.)

I try to avoid letting someone carry my bag b/c I hate to tip for that stuff and I almost never have $1 bills with me.

I hope you have an amazing trip here in the U.S.!

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PATSYB7 1/7/2013 5:45AM

    Have a great trip! I hope to visit NZ some day! :O)

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JSTETSER 1/7/2013 5:43AM

    15%. Restaurants will have their desired tip percentage at the bottom of their menu. I just stick with 15%. If service is poor, go down to 10%

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MARINEMAMA 1/7/2013 5:16AM

    Yes we tip differently! :)
15% of the check ...we do 20 % when service is exceptional. Have a great time!

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APED7969 1/7/2013 5:02AM

    Good advice from others. I get confused everytime I go back even though I'm from the States. 1DRWOMAN is right about the service, it is soooooo much better than here in Australia. Drives me nuts when I come back here and have to wait 30 min to get water at a restaurant! Enjoy yourself. And if you're doing some shopping find a TJ Maxx or Marshalls. They have some really good clothes, particularly if you shop one in a good area like Santa Monica for super cheap!

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1DRWOMAN 1/7/2013 3:47AM

    LOL I live in NZ now and I am from the states.

Here's something to remember....
Most waitresses make $2-4 an hour...their tips are income and how they survive...however if they SUCK I do not tip...if the service is really bad Ill even go as far as to spell the word TIP on the table with pennies! LOL But it was a rare occurence! :)

If you receive GREAT service I tip 20%
If you receive AVERAGE (expected) service I tip 15%
If you receive bad service or below average I do 10%

That's not just at restaurants.
When someone carries your bags...$1-$5
When someone opens your doors at a hotel... $1-$5
When you order room service $5...etc

Basically whenever someone treats you like you should be treated you reward them with a tip. TAXI DRIVERS will assume they can keep your change...so if you don't want that, say "just give me $5 back please"....etc

Minimum wage is $5.25 there...tips are important. I did hair, makeup and skin care and I worked strictly commission my whole life from 1992-2006...no base salary plus tips...straight commission and tips....so it matters. Tax is added at the register when you pay...not included in the bill....or on the price on the shelf in the store.

(im with a kiwi man so I'm trying to think of all the things he asked me about)
In the end when he came to meet me in the states -we met online- he just said "what do I leave as a tip? and I just told him!

there are free apps available as well! :)
Let me know if you have any questions. ENJOY THE SERVICE!!!!!!! IT'S WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY better than here!!!! again...depends where you're going...but people can get fired on the spot so if they suck they either will starve or won't have a job at all! :)

Let me know if you need anything!
I'm from Chicago. Been in NZ since 2006.

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    Also if you are staying in one place for a while tipping the housekeeping staff at the end of your stay is up to you. Otherwise beanies_mom pretty much covered it. Any restaurant with a waitress or waiter those folks are paid less on the theory their tips will make up the difference. I don't know what the percentage standard is in NZ but in the US it is 15% for standard service and you can go up or down based on the service you receive.

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BEANIES_MOM 1/7/2013 3:26AM

    yes to restaurants 15% or $5 depending on the check is the lowest tip I give
no to fast food places
coffee up to you but not really expected...I only tip for coffee at one place where I know the people and they give great service.
No to the bus.

I hope you enjoy your trip!!

Comment edited on: 1/7/2013 3:28:33 AM

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Getting to know me.... 31 Questions

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Stolen from Chaley3 who stole from someone else, etc.

Where is my cell phone?
Sitting next to me. I am attached to it since starting a LDR (Long Distance Relationship!)

Not the married kind. I am in a relationship, though!

Your hair?
Curly and wild

Your mother?
Usually lots of fun

Your father?
Funny guy

Your favorite thing?
Watching a movie while having cuddles

Your dream last night?
Don't remember

Favorite drink?
Diet ginger beer

What room are you in?

Your hobbies?

Your fear?
Tonnes. I really hate flying. Should be fun with over 40 hours of flying in 3 weeks...

Where do you want to be in 6 years?
Hmmm I will be 30... Married

Where were you last night?
At my house having a BBQ with my parents

Something that you aren't?

Yes please. Banana walnut, if you've got it!

Wish list item?
I have everything I want. Could probably use a new pair of running shoes sooner rather than later

Last thing you did?
Pat the cat who is snoozing next to me

What are you wearing?
honestly... nothing. I just woke up and I sleep nakie

Your pets?
5 cats, but one is my exs and he is taking him soon :(

Awesome. Meeting my BFF for 5 days of fun in LA. Seeing her in 2 weeks!

Your life?
Currently, amazing

Your mood?

Missing someone?
Yes, see previous comment about LDR :(

Yes please! Actually I'm not a big drinker... When I do I like Smirnoff Ice Double Black (strong!) and shooters. Since I only drink a couple of times a year I like to go big or go home.

Your car?
Red convertible... The roof leaks and my door shakes and makes noises when my foot is on the break...

Something you're not wearing?

Your favorite store?
KMart. No where else can you buy a whole wardrobe for under $100!

Your favorite color?
Emerald green

When is the last time you cried?
A couple of days ago

Favorite place to eat?
Tanukis Cave, a Japanese yakatori restaurant in Auckland central. Yummy food, good quality, and the portions are small so you can have lots of little things.

Favorite place I'd like to be right now?
With my new man. 5.5 weeks until I fly to see him!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUBBLEJ1 1/7/2013 12:43AM

    Just to clear a few things up...

My new boyfriend lives in Wellington, I am heading down to see him 2 weeks after I get back. I will do a post when I get back, as we are waiting until we see each other again to make it official.

I live with my parents,so they will look after my cats.

I hate flying but I love travel. One has to win, especially when you live in a water locked country!

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    Don't you love how stealing is acceptable, and even encouraged on Spark? emoticon

What, you hate flying? What the hell are you planning a crazy halfway across the world trip for then?!!!!

What are your 4-5 cats going to do while you're on your trip?

Your new man is... in the States?!!!!! What?

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MPETERSON2311 1/6/2013 4:18PM

    emoticon I filled this out on a blog too- but I'll be danged if I don't remember where it was. I hope your nervous-ness goes away. I'm going to go read your other LDR blog...

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Recent NSVs

Thursday, January 03, 2013

emoticon Most of the clothes I have been buying are a size 10, both in tops and pants

emoticon I wore a bikini on a public beach for the first time in.... Ummm... I can't remember. And I rocked it. I looked hot.

emoticon I wear shorts in public now (size 10 shorts!)

emoticon My bra size has gone from a 16D/DD to a 12DD. So basically I have lost 2 band sizes and nothing from my boobs! YAY, I love my boobs, I really didn't want them to leave me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MPETERSON2311 1/6/2013 4:19PM

    YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD JOB!

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TEACHFIRST268 1/5/2013 3:37PM

I'd LOVE to be able to wear shorts this coming summer, haven't in years...but I'm a bit older than you - and dealing with sagging skin. It kind of bums me out...I'm pretty self conscious about it. Hoping in time it won't look as bad. We'll see what this summer brings!

Congratulations on your NSV!!!!

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LIVEDAILY 1/3/2013 9:14PM


Those are emoticon NSV's !!!

I know they make you feel great!!

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LYNSEY723 1/3/2013 6:10PM

    emoticon Love NSV's!!! You are rockin' it!!!

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CARLA-216 1/3/2013 12:13PM


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MENHALLS 1/3/2013 8:09AM

    What a great post! I just bet you rocked that bikini all day - especially since you worked for it so hard! Keep it up!

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JSTETSER 1/3/2013 7:09AM

    Wonderful! I have yet to wear a bikini again, but I felt great in shorts this past summer. Today it's -3 degrees outside.
too cold for shorts or bikinis.

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MRS.PRINCIPAL 1/3/2013 5:58AM

    Those are Awesome NSV'S! Especially the shorts and bikini ones!!

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