Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to my friends who celebrate. ¡Felices Pascuas!


Here's to love, to peace, and to hope. Cheers!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Weekending, Macarons, and Culture


Happy Spring! As it turns out, we're expecting another snow storm. 


Last night, the Señor and I were lamenting how quickly the weekend passes. His proposed solution? 

Go out more often on Friday nights. 


This weekend was no different. Friday night was met with warm pajamas, a glass of cabernet, a fierce game of fetch with Gracie, homework, and an early bedtime.

Saturday morning began at a local bakery and farmer's market.


Then, I had class, where we were presented with an interesting question about culture. 

We began the session with this time lapse video on borders, which served as a launchpad for a discussion on culture. 


Our instructor asked us to identify the four dominant traits of our own culture, including, but not restricted to country of origin, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomics, race, and class. 

Then, he asked us which trait of the four was non-negotiable and which trait we would be willing to abandon. It brought up an interesting conversation about privilege and how we identify ourselves. 

After class, we went to my Mom and Dad's, where we indulged in my Mom's annual corned beef and cabbage dinner. Dinner was delicious, and our time with my Mom and Dad is always a treat. 


On Sunday, the Señor and I celebrated Macaron Day with cafe au laits and macarons at another local bakery. Thanks to The Good Life France for the heads up and history of macarons. It reminded me of my own adventure with macaron making


The weekend ended with a late matinee to see The Big Short, before coming home to prep for the week ahead and do a little reading. 

The weekends do pass too quickly. Perhaps going out more on Friday nights will help. In the meantime, there's a lot of living to do between now and next Friday. 

Cheers to the new week, new goals, and new smiles. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Thursday Thoughts by James Joyce

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

On this day when everyone claims to be a little bit Irish, I wanted to share a couple quotes by Dublin's native son, James Joyce. 

The James Joyce bridge, spanning the River Liffey, is designed to look like a open book. 


While Joyce may be known for writing the world's most "incomprehensible" modernist novel in Ulysses, much of what he had to say was quite wise. 

Here are three of my favorite Joyce gems. 




Are you a James Joyce fan? Did you read Ulysses? Do you have a favorite Irish writer?

Sláinte!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

After I Do: Lessons Learned while Wedding Planning


The Señor and I had a six month engagement. We were engaged in Paris, at the cafe above, in November of 2011, and married in May of 2012. Serendipitously, our wedding date was on our five year anniversary. 


I considered myself to be a fairly laid-back bride in the midst of bridezilla culture, and that helped. Like Carrie Bradshaw, I seemed to be missing the bride gene, but it worked to my advantage because everything about it was lovely, even the planning. 


We had a perfect day. 

Here's why. 



Trust the professionals. 
We had some ideas about what we wanted, but in truth, we wanted simple. We wanted a day that reflected our life together and the dreams we had for our future. We didn't want to overspend and a tight budget and a vision for our married life, beyond our wedding day, kept everything in check.

I remember my meeting with the florist, who pulled out multiple books of arrangements and hundreds of possibilities for our bouquets and centerpieces. Overwhelmed with options, I pleaded with her. 


"Just make it pretty," I said, and she did. 

We hire professionals for their expertise. Having handled hundreds, or even thousands of events, these experts, with a little guidance from us, will deliver quality; otherwise we would't have hired them. Trust the professionals to do what they do best and treat them how you would like to be treated. Kindness counts.  


Make it personal. 

One of the most important, and most fun things about our wedding was personalizing it to reflect who we were as individuals and as a couple. Think about what makes you uniquely you and celebrate that. It really is about you, and you're surrounded by people who you love and who love you. Your guests will enjoy learning more about who you are as a couple. Have fun with this. 

Keep your routines. 
In the weeks before the wedding, it's important to keep the routines that bring you peace and peace of mind. Keep your workout schedule, eat well, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep. Make time for date night and enjoy the milestones that accompany this time in your life. 

Seriously...don't sweat the small stuff. 
You plan for months, but it goes by so quickly...just like everyone says. You wear the dress for a few hours, your first dance slips away in what seems like only a few precious moments; the entire day flashes by in an instant. In the weeks leading up to the wedding, people may say or do strange things; shake it off. Last minute changes and meltdowns within your inner circle can be frustrating, but keep sight of the big picture and who you want to see in that big picture long after thank you cards are sent. 

On your wedding day, spend time with each other. 
There are a lot of people to see and photos to take, and the day passes in what seems like a blink of an eye. Before the wedding, agree and commit to what time you will spend together at your event. Consider a sweetheart table and eat the meal that you meticulously planned. Dance with each other, beyond your first dance. Create memories outside of the blur that is a typical wedding day. 




What is the most important lesson you learned in planning a major life event, like a wedding? What advice would you offer someone?

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sunday Inspiration #16

What do you have to lose?


What are you curious about enough to explore? Share and inspire us all. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ahora 15: Life in Bullets


A creative's life ebbs and flows. There are times when you feel like you are on top of your game and your muse is close by, whispering in your ear. Then there are other times when  you feel like you are wandering a creative desert, parched for a drop of inspiration to quench your soul and germinate life once again. 

I have been wandering the desert these past few weeks, but I see an oasis in my future. My muse is nearby; perhaps lingering with another soul in need of inspiration. 

In spite of my creative desert, there is much to celebrate. Here is what is trending ahora ...now, so to speak, in my world. 

Reading...
                       Source

The Rosie Project. I am listening to this as an audio book and it is a gem. I find myself laughing out loud and furrowing my brow listening to Sheldon Cooper-esque Don Tilman navigate life and love through his Wife Project. I am about halfway through the book and I can't wait to see how this all ends. 

Not talking about...
Politics. We all have friends and family like this, right?






















I did vote on Super Tuesday though. 

Celebrating...
My beautiful niece is 15 today! It's her birthday, but we're the ones who are blessed. 



Teaching...
This semester, I am teaching an ESL 2 advanced beginner class for adults in a local continuing education program. I have 25 kind, eager learners. It's a joy working with them and seeing them progress. 

Pining for...

  • Longer, sunnier, warmer spring days. 
  • My first pedicure of spring and a new pair of flip flops
  • Daffodils and tulips
  • Long outside walks with Gracie
  • A spring or summer trip to Florida to visit my girl
  • WITS'16. Last year, I was thrilled to attend the Women in Travel Summit in Boston. It was an inspirational, empowering weekend of all things women's travel, for the creative and the entrepreneur. This year, it will be held in Irvine, California on the weekend of March 18-20th. With a busy school schedule and the conference being held in a different time zone, I couldn't make it happen. Fingers crossed that I'm back for 2017. 


Still...

  • Doing homework. It doesn't stop. 
  • Loving my littles. My schedule has changed, so I am working with kindergarten students again, in addition to my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders. Sometimes, it's like herding cats, but I am guaranteed to smile and laugh out loud every day. 
  • Working out with my trainer. Some weeks are harder, but strength, bone health and overall wellness are not negotiable. 
  • Drinking my ShakeologyI; I'm a 365er. 

Loving...
Date nights with the Señor. 



And this girl...

Hoping for...
I am working on a project that will help me get to a pretty big goal. I can't divulge details yet, but please send me all the positive energy you can muster. 



That's what's going on in my world these days. 
How about you? What is happening ahora in your world?