Archive | March, 2014

30

26 Mar
It is currently 4:39 AM in Portland, Oregon. I’m under the covers of my comfy hotel room. I’m here to attend the International TESOL conference. And my body is still on Eastern Time, which means I went to bed at 7:30 PM Pacific Time and I was wide awake by 4:00 AM. So here’s the recap of my 30th birthday, which I wasn’t even going to bother to write about, but it was truly special so I want to capture the memories on paper, or uh, laptop? screen? whatever! So here it goes!

 

The weeks leading to my birthday were kind of depressing. Not because I was feeling old or anything silly like that. I was just missing my family, friends and life in Colombia too damn much. That is the reason why initially I didn’t want to make a big deal out of my turning 30th. In the end, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have a little dinner party with some friends so I told J that I wanted to go out to dinner on my b-day and then a little get-together with some friends. He was all cool about it like he didn’t care, but said it was a good idea. Now I should say that I am an expert at ruining surprises that J has prepared for me. Be it gifts, parties, anything, I always figure it out. This time he managed to keep it hidden. I straight-out asked him if he was planning anything at some point and he calmly said no. So I bought it.

So on the Saturday before my birthday, we went out shopping. This should have been the first indicator that something was wrong. J hates to go shopping yet he gladly stood by me and even gave me advice while I was shoe-shopping. Another indicator? I had forgotten to put on makeup and wanted to stop by the house to get my makeup bag but Jason refused to let me go. I thought it was weird but didn’t think much of it. We got hot dogs for lunch and then we wandered around some more. We ended up going to Target too where J got me my favorite movie (Amelie) on DVD. We ate a surprisingly early dinner which I wasn’t very hungry for but enjoyed nonetheless. Then it was time to go home.

I had noticed he was being sneaky about something but I figured it was a surprise gift perhaps. When I got out the car, he told me to get the door while he got the shopping bags. I opened the door and the first thing that my brain registered was that the furniture had been moved. My first reaction? A panicked scream because I thought we had been burglarized. Then everyone said HAPPY BIRTHDAY and it all sank in. Super blurry picture of my bewilderment:

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Yay! I had a blast! Most of my closest friends here in the US joined us to celebrate.

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There are no more photos because, well I didn’t know we were having a party and the camera battery was dead. LOL

The actual day of my birthday was wonderful as well, but I don’t feel like writing about it.  Some things should be kept from the Internet 😉

I will say that even though I had to work that day, I got a kick-ass dinner and enjoyed some awesome carrot cake. All in all, 30th was a great birthday (presents were great too!). I felt really loved so I can’t complaint. Maybe later on I will write some more about the meaning of this milestone birthday. Maybe!

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My Life Playlist: Volume 2

12 Mar

Volume 2: 2009 Edition

Whoa, the sky must be about to bust open because I’ve posted twice in a month. I must be on a roll!

Maybe the reason why I decided to open the old blog today is because I can’t feel the bottom half of my mouth and that I really don’t know what to do to keep myself distracted and not think about chewing my bottom lip over and over again. You see, I went to the dentist today after work to get a routine cleaning, which normally is a pretty common procedure. However, being that the last time I got my teeth cleaned was… ahem, I don’t even want to say it, the hygienist had to bring out the big guns. Basically, I had to get my jaw/chin numbed because my teeth were so sensitive I winced every time the lady tried to scrape them. I hate going to the dentist but I really need to start going more often so that it’s less traumatic every time I do go.

Alternatively, the reason why I am writing this post could be related to the fact that for the past few days I’ve had the worst bout of homesickness in a long time. Maybe it’s because I’m about to turn 30 (what!) or because I haven’t been there in almost four years but I really, really miss home. I miss my mom, my cousins, my aunt, my uncles, my grandpa, my friends, Carnival, December celebrations, the restaurants I use to visit, the mall near my house, the bars where I went to have drinks with my girls, etc. I even miss riding the bus…sometimes. I do not miss getting mugged or the stifling heat. My homesickness has gotten so bad to the point that for a little bit I thought I was suffering from depression.

Even though I went to Barranquilla in 2010, in my mind Barranquilla is stuck in the year 2009. I spent the first 9 months of that year in Barranquilla before I came to the US and that is exactly the way I remember it. So today’s installment of my Life Playlist is a tribute to the first half of 2009 and the music that reminds me of the last time I lived in my beloved Barranquilla. I think I may have to get me a boom box next time I go home (which I’m hoping happens very, very soon) to blast some of these songs while I show my husband my favorite places and things to do in the city where I grew up and that I love so very much.

Lady Gaga- Poker Face

Coldplay – Viva La Vida

Shakira – She Wolf

Wisin & Yandel – Me Estas Tentando

(Whatever, I danced to this song many times even though it’s not my kind of music)

Jason Mraz- I’m Yours

What I’ve Been Up To

6 Mar

In photos…because I’m too lazy to compose any coherent prose.

2014-03-06 08.01.11Delicious oatmeal with chia seeds, flax seeds, roasted nuts, golden raisins and orange-flavored cranberries!

2014-03-03 18.19.21We’re making an effort to eat less refined carbs/processed foods, which means more homemade meals and less eating out. These stuffed bell peppers were so yummy, they made me almost forget about the French bread I was craving. Almost!

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In the meantime, I’ve been dreaming of Ethiopian food…
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And French Toast!

2014-03-04 17.43.28The other day my yoga teacher friend came to visit me and give me a private class. Then, we took her daughters to the Smithfield Outlets for a little shopping. I ended up buying this pineapple shirt and I pretty much haven’t taken it off ever since. It is so soft and comfy! And I only paid like 3 dollars for it! Also, I should clean my bathroom mirror before I post bathroom selfies on the Internet.

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A couple of weeks ago, I was home from school because SNOW, and I found myself looking at professional blenders online. I ended up buying this Ninja Blender, and it was totally worth it! Truth be told, I’ve gone a little crazy with it. I’m always trying to find excuses to use it.

I made “healthy” ice cream with it:

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 This is just frozen berries, half-and-half and stevia! So so so good!

2014-03-03 18.17.53And I also made these little date balls. I just blended a cup of Medjool dates and a half cup of roasted nuts (peanuts or almonds) and then made them into little balls. They sort of taste like one of those No-Bake peanut butter cookies. These are a great snack or dessert. I call them Pookie Balls!

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I know the South doesn’t get snow very often and thus, we shouldn’t complain when we do get it. But man, I’m sick of the snow, the freezing rain and the sleet. At first, it was like, “Yay, snow day!”. However, when you have to make up for those days by working late every single day, snow days somehow lose their appeal. This has indeed been a bitter cold winter. It’s made me never want to live the Northern US or Canada!

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Valentine’s Day Roses. Yes, flowers are not a practical gift. They can be expensive considering they don’t last long. But they’re pretty and they make me happy! Thank you Husband for understanding this!

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Yay for flowers!

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And for spouses that bring you breakfast on a tray on Sunday mornings.

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But nay for husbands who play Call of Duty way too much. 2014-03-06 08.01.43

One of the things I want to accomplish this year is read more. I didn’t read much last year. The first part of the year I was too busy writing my thesis and the rest of the time, I was just burned out. I’ve been loving Donna Tartt’s books, especially The Goldfinch, which I loved so much, it inspired me to use the famous painting a my desktop cover.

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