Friday, December 31, 2010

Here's to a Sweet New Year


After college, all of the years have started to blend together. This year has been full of ups and downs. The ups have been wonderful. Some of the best yet. It was our traveling year because I had more free time than I've ever had before. We went to Costa Rica and New York. I've permanently fallen in love with both. Then, I went to Chicago with one of my most amazing friends. I still crave Chicago dogs ever so often.

Even though I love traveling, I'm so lucky to love where we live. We've spent the year being everyone's getaway spot. Our little home is where all of our friends come to get away from it all. I know. It's so cliche but true. I adore sharing all of the best things in our slice of the country. We share amazing organic flatbreads, the best whole wheat donuts, and fresh picked apples. As my hubster's best friend says, "This is your playground." Huge compliment from such a city slicker. 

For 2011, I'm looking forward to more adventures with my favorite travel buddy, my hubster. There are many good eats to eat and good books to read ahead. Here's to a sweet New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

He Made Dinosaurs Too


With every Photojojo purchase, we get a cute dino. I sneaked it into my mom's nativity scene to see what she would say. When she found it, she asked why I put it there. My excuse? Well, God made dinosaurs too. She got a good laugh out of it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Traditional

Every December, my high school friends and I flock home for the holidays. It's one of the few opportunities when we're all together at the same place at the same time. We eat delicious food and laugh a ton. This year, we learned that triple cheese dip and store-bought potato wedges are heavenly. When we get together, we look like this: 
Photos borrowed from Nick

Get Your Dance On

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/e/e7/Just-dance-2.jpg/256px-Just-dance-2.jpg
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One of the festivities at my school's staff holiday party was playing Just Dance 2. After some skepticism and fear of embarrassment, we learned that it was just way too much fun. I had to represent with my grade level since we competed by grade level. Did I mention that we had our holiday party at a downtown restaurant? 

I loved it and my hubster loved it. My hubster had the brilliant idea of bringing our Wii down to my parents' house. On our first day of our vacation, we bought Just Dance 2 and have been playing daily ever since. After initial success, my hubster's been whooping my little dancing tush. It's tons of fun and the best cardio workout ever. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Landmark





Photos Taken by the Hubster (Minus the Last One)
The Hotel Del Coronado is a San Diego icon. It's even featured in classic movies such as Some Like It Hot. It's one of my favorite places in San Diego. We don't go often, so we don't get tired of how gorgeous it is. The interior is stunning, especially all of the woodwork. My hubster even enjoyed it. I was totally expecting him to complain that it smells old and looks old. It's particularly whimsical at Christmas.

Les Champignons & Bonheur

Over this holiday break, I began reading The Geography of Bliss. In the chapter about Switzerland, biophilia is introduced. It's about our relationship with nature. "Proximity to nature doesn't just give us a warm, fuzzy feeling. It affects our physiology in real, measurable ways. It's not a giant leap to conclude that proximity to nature makes us happier." 

Before I get all into nature, I must admit that I haven't always been nature's biggest fan. It wasn't until my hubster took me along on his hikes that I began to entertain the idea of going out and enjoying nature. Most important, it wasn't until I had a camera in my hand that I really enjoyed being out in nature. I love looking at the details. After seeing this fantastic mushroom photo, I went out on my own quest to find some interesting mushrooms to photograph. Yes, I was happy when I stumbled across these toadstools. 



Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hello, Kitties



Inspired By: Laurent Laveder & Sabine Sannier

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When I stumbled across his Moon Games series in Photojojo's archives, I was simply enchanted by them. My childhood love of the moon and memories of reading Happy Birthday, Moon; The Birthday Moon and Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me were taken off a dusty shelf in my mind. Then, gently tossed to the forefront. So pleasant. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas makes me feel like this:



Muy Bueno








Taken at Lucha Libre. Delicious burritos. Goblets of horchata.
Great prices. Interesting decor. A champions' table. Sign us up!

p.s. The last two pictures are from Mark. Thanks for letting me steal them! 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Warm Ocean Breezy Dreams

Since we've arrived in San Diego on Sunday, it's been raining. When I say raining, it's non-stop rain. Sometimes, it's sheets of rain. Other times, it's a smidge of drizzle. Needless to say, I'm over it. As I snuggle with my snowman blanket and watch our Man v. Food, Mall Cops, and National Geographic Explorer marathons, I'm dreaming of our Caribbean cruise. 

We're going on a 11-day Caribbean cruise for spring break. It was my hubster's vacay choice. He's the tropical one. I'm very excited! A bit nervous because I have to be swimsuit ready. I've started my research by watching Man v. Food Puerto Rico episode and reading at Hither and Thither's travelogue on their Southern Caribbean Cruise adventure. I've also been looking for inspiration for my wardrobe, so I can begin to collect things along the way.  This is what I've found so far. How nautical!



http://media.onsugar.com/files/2010/05/21/0/817/8179559/erez-1.jpg
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http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_VPxsmdLnPIw/S06qecNK6GI/AAAAAAAAAek/YNzokSFriqg/s400/resort3.JPG
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L'Amour

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Catch Up: How Complimenting

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 Before I let the kiddos have their holiday party last Friday, they had to do one academic activity. I sound like a total Grinch. I know. Have you seen 21 kids hopped up on sugar? I needed some sanity before the chaos.

I had them write about their favorite winter holiday. After they finished writing, they had to read it to themselves and then to somebody else. Peer review editing. Have to get them ready for the big leagues. Lastly, they got to read their writing to the whole class if they wanted to share it. That's my favorite part. Once they share, they can get a few compliments from the peanut gallery. Their compliments were so adorable and very professional. Here are some examples: 

I like your sentences.
I like how you talked about [enter specific detail]. 
I like your writing. 
I like how you read with expression. 

How much do you love the last one? By the way, did I tell you that they're only in first grade?

Pummel Me

I'm a sucker for anything and everything on Photojojo. The photo gurus suggested Pummelvision. They said it would be "breathtakingly beautiful, painfully poignant, and utterly simple video summary" of my life. I was skeptical, but I'm up for anything. When it was done and I checked my Vimeo, it felt like an early Christmas present. My thoughts? Good Job Photojojo! Yes, it was "breathtakingly beautiful, painfully poignant, and utterly simple." My life has been filled with amazing beauty and love. I totally recommend it. 





Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Beautiful Russian Day






A good exploring buddy isn't easy to find. While exploring, conversations can become dull or there can be challenging discussions about where to go. Not with Mark. We're very lucky that he's an awesome exploring buddy, especially since my hubster and me come as a pair. Mark doesn't seem phased by our twosome at all. 

On this beautiful Russian day, we went to the Maritime Museum after a delicious champion-style lunch at Lucha Libre. At first, we debated if it was worth the money. We learned that we got to look at 4 different seafaring vessels including the Berkeley, B-39 sub, Star of India, and the Surprise. The rain didn't ruin our fun. Actually, it was rather nice that it was raining. There weren't any crazy crowds. We got to do lots of roaming without feeling cramp.


The B-39 sub was my favorite. We got to touch a bunch of things and make lots of unrelated Boston jokes. Each time we touched something, our fingers got sticky. Ick, right? We still kept touching everything!

On the other ships, we learned lots about how rat pies, knots, and beer played important roles on journeys. All in all, a fabulous day. I loved how my rain boots were the perfect rainy day boat exploring accessory.

Off My Rhythm


My blogging rhythm is about to get a bit off track. It depends if my hubster wants to hang out  a bunch during our winter vacay and if my mom's wireless is naughty or nice. I might be triple posting in a day or might not post for a few days. Thanks in advance for your patience.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Paris

http://www.dispatch.com/live/export-content/sites/dispatch/arts/stories/2010/12/12/2-holiday-tv12-art-gg7as26p-1i-want-a-dog-for-christmas-charlie-brown-large-jpg-large.jpg
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From I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown

Little Girl: I'm tired of all this kindergarten stuff. 
Rerun: Why don't we run away to Paris? If we got on a plane at midnight, we could be in Paris tomorrow. 
Little Girl: Do you have any money?
Rerun: I have 50 cents. Maybe, we can get upgraded to business class. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Inspired By: Angela + Ithyle

http://ohjoy.blogs.com/.a/6a00d8341c6a0853ef0147e0a9f2a7970b-pi
*Check out their amazing site.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ran-Goal-Ees!

In first grade, we fill the last weeks right before winter break with fun holiday happenings. We teach the kiddos about different holidays that all use the theme of light. My favorite one is Diwali. I would love to go to India during Diwali. For our project this year, we made rangolis with sidewalk chalk. Each table group of 4-5 kiddos got a circle to fill with their rangoli design. It was a lesson in cooperation, pattern making, and getting as chalk dusty as possible. Too much fun! 



So Easy

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It's so easy to forget how important my job is. I always seem to get caught up in the details of my day: making sure I have enough copies, battling with the copy machine, understanding why somebody didn't stay in their space bubble, and quelling the behavior that drives most of us bonkers. 

On good days, I have enough common sense to thank the kiddos for a memorable day. I need to try my best to remember that we're building memories together. I need to remember that I want the best for them always. What makes me so sentimental all of a sudden? As I was choosing a security question on Facebook, one option was, "What is the name of your first grade question?" Someday, I may become the answer to that question! 

Xmas Bokeh




When I first started researching bokeh, everyone suggested practicing with Christmas lights. Well, I wasn't about to drag them out of the box in August. After a crazy week, I finally had some time to play last weekend. It's still a technique that I need to practice. With that said, I still love it. It's whimsical. It's vintage.