Tuesday, May 29

what i'm looking forward to about my trip home pt 2

1., 2., 3., 4.

sushi!!! even though here i said that we had found a respectable sushi place near our apartment, i still crave the sushi from home.

the fish is just different.

i can't even remember when i first started liking sushi but i think it was in high school. ever since then, when sushi is an option, i'm all for it.

i started slow, with your typical california role. then got a little more adventurous with the tuna role and the salmon role and even a little more adventurous with the spicy roles! (even though they are supposedly just the fish that is a little bit older smashed up with some spicy stuff to cover the taste? ... still good still good.)

most recently, within the past year i started trying all different kinds of eel roles and i just love them!

but back to the point. my mom doesn't really go for sushi but thank god there is a hibachi/sushi place by my house that makes delicious rice and meat plates for her along with tons of yummy roles for me and my dad.

i think last christmas when i was home visiting for two weeks we managed to fit in sushi a good 5-6 times. mostly when mom was at work and dad took me out for lunch ;) so maybe this time a repeat of said festivities?

its pretty popular back home so i'm not surprised there are like a million japanese restaurants around my house (you know, just a million).
sushi, here i come.

Monday, May 28

a thought for monday

my favorite place

i've been thinking a lot about my friends lately.
in the past few years i've gone through some ups and downs in regards to my friendships.

but it has made me realize who has stuck around and who was never really there in the first place.

being away from your friends, in another state, or in my case in another country is hard on any relationship, including friendships. but in the past almost two years of being away from my best friends for months and months at a time, i've realized which of my friendships are genuine.

i'm not going to lie, sometimes i wish i had never chose to be so far away from my friends at all. sometimes i wish i was closer to them to be able to call them or stop by whenever i wanted to. but since i'm not i've learned that i have to put in a little more effort to skype them or gchat, or download whatsapp, which have all saved my sanity. 

my friends have learned to put in that effort too. and i couldn't be more grateful.

so this post is for you, my dear friends. i surely cannot wait to see you.

Sunday, May 27

weekend tid bits

the rainy season has begun.
when it rains this much usually all anyone wants to do is watch movies and sleep.
so this weekend we didnt do much.

friday we went to p's sister's apartment with some other couples to eat pizza, watch the costa rica vs. guatemala game, and have some girl/guy talk. it was quite fun.

saturday, we went to the movies and saw men in black. it was cute but i remember the first one being way better. they probably should have stopped while they were ahead.

then today we didnt do so much.
since i've moved here i have noticed that p's family doesn't bake so much. now there is nothing wrong with that but i love to bake so i was quite surprised when his family was so amazed that i could make chocolate chip cookies.

i brought a little muffin pan with me from my last trip home and p has been wanting to try out some muffins. to start easy we got the simple...just add water kind. yep.

anyway, p was super proud to have made them by himself and they were delish.

the end, weekend.

Friday, May 25

friday's letters

dear future chihuahua puppy: should we get you? should we wait? we really want a dog just like you and have the opportunity to do so but we need to make a decision this weekend! people keep saying they are a big responsibility and we know its true but we already love you. help! dear zumba: i've stuck with you this week and i'm glad i did. being a little sore in the mornings is exactly what i need to want to keep going back. also, i'm starting to learn your crazy dance steps so maybe i'll move up from the very last row next time. dear end of the trimester: i'm glad you are here but man, you are a lot of work. grading all your tests and projects and making final grade reports? thank goodness you only come three times a year. dear boyfriend: don't expect me to show off my zumba moves at the club tonight because i'm just not ready yet. also, lets get the puppy?

*this is not our puppy but we are thinking of getting one that looks so similar! we're torn deciding if we should get it now or wait a little while longer and see if another opportunity comes up. any advice from people with chihuahuas about how hard they are to have?


Wednesday, May 23

a tuesday

so yesterday i walked into the middle school building and one of my students said, "be careful, teacher" and pointed to the floor.

and on the floor i saw about 50 bugs. but not just any bugs. these huge brown bugs with the bodies of wasps and even bigger wings. and when i say huge i mean huge. the bodies alone were about the size of my thumb.

it seemed like they had been sprayed or something because the majority of them were just laying there while some were unsuccessfully trying to crawl away.

i would have taken a picture but when i tried one of my students picked one up and started bring it really close to me....

i had the he-be-ge-bes the rest of the day.

so after school and after zumba (yeah, second time this week!), i decided to make this for dinner

sorry for the blurry picture!

just a plain chicken breast, sauteed in a little garlic, some avocado, tomato, sweet corn, and a little bit of lemon juice. extremely delicious, even boyfriend liked it.

Tuesday, May 22

what i'm looking forward to on my trip home pt. 1

last week i asked one of my friends for some topics i could blog about. she said bagels. and i said, that is a great idea.

so since there are 6 weeks until i get to go home for 16 whole days, i thought i would highlight one thing each week that i am looking forward to when i get home! as you can see, the first one is: bagels.

the area where i'm from, we're kinda crazy about our bagels. they are just so incredibly good. and it just so happens that in my town there is one of the most famous bagel places around (okay in my head it is famous).

when i went to spain last year, coincidentally one of my roommates was from the town over from mine, and we bonded over this bagel shop. we figured we had probably even seen each other in line at one point or another.

these bagels are delish. the perfect consistency of soft inside with a slight crunch on the outside. my go-to choices are whole wheat with veggie cream cheese and egg and cheese on whole wheat. you just can't go wrong.

and it just so happens that at this particular bagel shop, a good majority of the workers are from costa rica! who would have thought, right?


Monday, May 21

monday musings

i always laugh a little bit when i read this because its so true. i have never regretted a workout. yeah sure maybe i have hated working out in the moment, but after a workout i have never said, "man i really regret doing that."

i have, however, been feeling a little regretful lately of not working out. for most of my life i have been very active whether it was soccer, gymnastics, running, or just a good workout at the gym.

these past few months though i just have lost all of that motivation. since being here i've joined the gym, but didnt force myself to go. maybe it was this particular gym that never seemed very inviting to me.

i've tried to get back into running, but i think being so out of shape, has brought that fear of working really really hard to get back in to shape.

so here i've been in somewhat of a huge exercise funk. i need some motivation from some where so i can start to put that effort in. to really want to get fit again.

last week i went to my first zumba class in a long time and it was somewhat of a wake up call. it was hard

i'm gonna go back though. at least twice a week. so maybe that will be my kick-start to some new found workout motivation.

Friday, May 18

friday's letters

photo taken by lindsey @ fullum fest 2009

dear zumba:you are very different in costa rica than in the united states. that, and you really kicked my butt last night. i officially am super out of shape. dear mosquitoes: i don't know where you came from or why you are all of a sudden here now but i don't like it one bit. oh, and stop biting me. dear boyfriend: thanks for being the best boyfriend of ever. you make me feel beautiful and loved all the time and i love you to the moon and back for it. also, can you please take me to see the lucky one at the movies when it comes out? you da best. and finally, dear FULLUM FEST: i am so so so excited i got your invitation yesterday! you have no idea how happy i am that i get to attend you this year. seriously. its gonna be the best weekend ever.

* fullum fest is one weekend every summer when my friends and i get together and spend a few days at our friend's lake house. it doesn't sound so exciting but we've been doing it since prom weekend in high school and its become like having christmas in july. 


Thursday, May 17

somewhere else today

so i started this blog at the very end of last year as a way for my friends and family to know a little bit more about what i was doing while i'm here living in costa rica. so far its been a lovely little experience creating this space as my own tiny piece of the internet.

along the way i've had the opportunity to "meet" a bunch of other bloggers with similar tastes, ideas, and life experiences. the blogging world is actually this huge community that i never knew existed until last year and i'm excited to have become a part of it.

so today instead of a full post i just thought i'd let you know that i'm over here at bhrett's blog lost in relocation! enjoy :)

Wednesday, May 16

what a guy...

the other day when i was really missing home and my friends, p decided he was going to cook dinner for me. now let me remind you all that no one in our apartment is a professional chef. we're both more of what you would say, extremely new to cooking.

even so, p made a very yummy red sauce with some whirly twirly noodles. then i just threw some avocado on top, because i put avocado on almost anything, sprinkled some  kraft parmesan cheese (that my parents graciously brought when they visited), and voila!

an extremely yummy dinner that i didn't have to cook. isn't he the best?

Tuesday, May 15

two years ago today..

i graduated? uhh .. where has that time gone?

thats me and my bestie just hanging out in the fountain on campus after graduation.

i honestly cannot believe that two years have gone by. in those two years i moved to spain, back to new jersey, and then to costa rica. i'd say these have been the biggest whirlwind two years of my life.

when i was younger i used to think that after i graduated college, i would get married, have the perfect career job, and a house. all by the age of 23. (ha!) but since now that i'm here at 23 and none of those things have quite gone the way i thought i'm thinking i'll push the deadline back oh, maybe 10 years????

but i'm so happy to say that because two years have gone by since i graduated, it now means that this weekend one of my other dear friends gets to graduate! during my graduation i remember thinking, i can't wait to go back in two years to see katie graduate. now that the time is here i am so sorry that i wont be able to make it but i am so proud that the day is finally here for her!

congratulations on finishing thesis and senior year, my muffin! you have big things ahead of you and i can't wait to see them unfold :) 

my students say the darnest things

what do you think of my students' artwork? future artists i'd say ... maybe...

anyway, even though sometimes my students make me want to rip my hair out ... they can also be pretty funny sometimes. being that they're between the ages of 12 and 14 they are at that age where trying to be cool and fit in is all that matters, so they attempt to say all these crazy things.

i like to give them some creative activities every once in a while because i think it is a good way for them to practice their skills. those assignment are always the most fun to grade too. up above are some "monuments" they had to draw that would represent themselves in order for people to remember them in the future.

and here are some excerpts from their most recent creative writing assignment where they had to create a story about anything that was written in third-person point of view:

"Once upon a time ther was a green possum that had no friends because he spended all the day stealing and eating food."

"There once was a little village in the middle of nowhere, where the wind blows so strong that it blows the cows away." 

"After a long trip in the tornado's arms, they landed in a swamp, full with alpaccas wearing mustaches and laughing at every bubble they would make with their noses."

* i typed these exactly as my students wrote them. remember that these guys are learning english as their second language!

and then sometimes i just get these random questions such as: 

"teacher, do you buy potatoes usually?"

"teacher, have you ever thrown a tortilla to a squirrel?" 

"teacher, are you a ninja?"

at least they're entertaining, right? 

Monday, May 14

monday musings

i have been missing home a lot lately. i find myself constantly thinking about what i would be doing if i were at home, or what all of my friends are doing right now, or what we would be doing together if i were at home. the thing is, even though i've been here for almost a year now, i still don't have many friends. yeah, p and i go out on the weekends and we hang out with his friends, and most of them are very nice guys and we all have a lot of fun together. but i can't help feeling like they aren't my friends. friends that i can just call up and say, hey wanna go grab a coffee? or do you want to go shopping? (p loves when i ask him to go shopping .. not.) what i'm trying to say is i sure do miss having my girlfriends (seriously, i miss you gals) around. don't get me wrong, i love p's sisters, but sometimes a girl just needs her friends. 

thats why i picked this little quote for today's monday musings. i'm a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. everything works out the way it should. so right now i just have to remember that i am right where i am supposed to be. and sooner or later i know i'm gonna find some girl friends that i can be as girly as i want with and not feel bad about it.

hope you have a good monday :)

Sunday, May 13

happy mother's day

this is one of my all time favorite pictures.  my mom and my grandma. i love showing it to people because for a split second i see them get just a little bit confused thinking, i thought she said this was a picture of her mom, not her. some people say we look a like ... or that we are identical. but nope, this is my mom at her nursing school graduation with her mom. 

happy mother's day, mom. sorry i can't be there to share it with you but i hope you have a fabulous day. you deserve it. i can't wait to see you in a couple more weeks. :) 
i love you.

Friday, May 11

friday's letters

all styles found on my pinterest

dear hair: can you please look more like those? i'm always trying out new braids and buns because i think they are just so lovely, but they never quite look like all of those. so do me a favor and take note okay? dear school:i'm so glad that the english day celebration(s) are finally over and after today there will be no more. but what is this school olympics talk?? please, oh please, lets have this go as smoothly as possible with total cooperation from my students ;) dear united states: i know it is a little bit early to start a count down but in 7.5 weeks i will be making a lovely little visit to see you! please bring good weather because i'm looking forward to lots of outdoor runs and day-trips to the beach. dear boyfriend: i'm sorry that you've been sick this week and i hope you get better soon. also, i'm really excited that you have started your new job it seems like it is going to be a good one! lets have a nice relaxing weekend okay?


Thursday, May 10

the lumineers

i love music. i usually have music playing or am listening to my ipod, no matter what i'm doing. so i'm always on the lookout for new music as i tend to overplay whatever i'm currently into. a few months ago i came across The Lumineers, a folk-trio from colorado. i immediately fell in love with their song "hey ho" and listened to it non-stop. i remember showing it to my dad and we may or may not have done a little dancing to it around the house.

but then i forgot about them! i remember thinking "i'm gonna blog about these guys" but i didnt. and i didnt even download the song! so here i am maybe four months later and i am reading a post written by Michelle and she mentioned that she has been listening to The Lumineers lately and i think oh my gosh i love them! so i immediately downloaded their album and have been listening ever since. i even noticed that they made an official video for "hey ho" ! before it was a live version of the song, which was also great, but now its really fun to see that they've been successful enough to make a super cute video.

they are the perfect addition to my music library. my music tastes have definitely changed over the years and now i'm much more of a folk and indie music type of girl. i love peaceful and soothing voices with up-beat melodies. if you guys like anything that you can do some cute dancing to around the house, or just sit on your front porch with a nice book (thats what i imagine myself doing) then these guys are for you.

Wednesday, May 9

thoughts on my students


first, let me say that if i ever received that ^ thank you card from one of my students, i think i would die. so cute. although there is no such thing as starbucks in costa rica (slightly upsetting) soooo i don't think that would happen any time soon. 

i wanted to take some time to point out some things that i have noticed about my students here in costa rica. i may be wrong, but to me my students seem completely different from my classmates and me when we were in seventh and eighth grade. 

1. they are extremely open. there was one activity in class where i asked them to raise their hands if they considered themselves a private person. only one student out of fifteen raised their hand. when i made sure they knew what the question meant, they all scoffed and said, private? nah not me i'll talk about anything (and its true). these guys will talk about anything in front of anyone. and there really is only one person that i would consider private or shy in my class. maybe i am mistaken but at that age i remember more people being a little bit more intimated to speak up and share things in class.

2. they never. stop. talking. i have a fair amount of students who literally never stop talking. i'll call attention three or four times, i'll even say those students' names to get their attention, and they just keep talking. its not like they don't here me because i see them look at me, they just keep talking until they finish their conversation and i find it incredibly rude. i've asked them multiple times how they can continue to be so rude when their teacher is standing in the front of the class trying to get everyone to be quite and they can blatantly ignore me. and even if the other students aren't talking they don't say anything. i cant ever remember one of my classes when i was student being that disrespectful. it kind of blows my mind.

3. they don't play sports. i think out of the 24 students that i have in total, maybe 3 of them play a sport (of course soccer). in fact, they don't really do any extra curricular activities. when i was there age, maybe a year or two older, i was on sport team after sport team, rec teams, club teams, and school teams, i was in the band (yes, yes i was in the band... clarinet), and always trying to get involved. on mondays when i ask these guys what they did over the weekend, i'm lucky if i get "i went to a family bbq." most of the time its, i played wii (xbox, playstation, etc), watched tv, and went on the computer." and sometimes its even a "i did absolutely nothing i didnt even leave the house." ahh!! whats wrong with these kids. and its not just my students its almost all of the students here. they need to get out and get involved!!

i'm sure there are many more things to add to this list but i'll leave it at that for now. and regardless of how frustrated my students can sometimes make me, i think they are great and i really enjoy being their teacher. and i hope one day i'll receive i really cute thank you card like that one!!

Tuesday, May 8


now that we're into the month of may, its got me doing a lot of thinking about this time last year. may of last year was my last month teaching english in spain. some of you may not know this but after i graduated college, i spent 9 months teaching english in cordoba, spain and it was an amazing experience. may was my last there and it was also by far the best month. in cordoba, may is the most exciting month of the whole year. people save up their vacation time to use it in this month so they can enjoy all the partying and not have to worry about work! its really crazy. i wish that i had started my blog last year but i really didnt even know about the blogging world at that time. i thought i would just share a little bit of my experience from that time because it has been on my mind so much lately. 

the celebration in may starts with the patios. so many houses in cordoba have little patios that people decorate with hundreds of dollars worth of flowers and decorations in hopes that they will win a prize for having the best patio. there are three actual routes of where you can go to see all of these beautiful houses. my friends and i (and hundreds of other people) would take walks at night just enjoying the patios and walking through the city. in the old part of town, the streets would be filled with people just drinking outside and listening to music and basking in the atmosphere of the night.
i worked at an elementary school and one day we went on a field trip to see the patios and the balconies with all the flowers. that day the girls would not leave my side haha. i think one of the things i miss the most about spain is walking and being outside all the time. when people had somewhere to go they just went and walked. the streets and the architecture are just beautiful, so different from what we are used to in the states. i think i calculated it and on any given day walking to and from school and my private lessons i would probably walk about 7-9 miles a day. its no wonder everyone over there is stick thin!
another huge attraction in may was the feria. this was one of the main reasons people took off work in may. i also heard that people would actually take out loans so that they could enjoy this ten day long celebration to the fullest. feria is like a county fair to the max. to the extreme. during the day its filled with kids and their families playing games, winning prizes, going on rides, and eating all the fair food you want. there are also hundreds of "tents" with different types of food and music being played. there is a tent for every age and every style of music. at night, this place turns into the biggest outdoor party scene imaginable. thousands of young and old adults alike gather to eat, drink, and dance. oh the dancing. and everyone would stay out until the break of dawn and even later. i can honestly say that one of my nights at the feria with all my friends is on my top ten days of all time list. such memories.
and finally, (for this post), i cant help but mention how much i miss my roomies. there were many times throughout our nine months together where i think we all just wanted to throw in the towel and say, see ya, spain! however, that last month in may i'm pretty sure we can all agree just how awesome of a time we had had together. i still crave our weekly taj mahal dates (our local indian restaurant), caña de españa dates where we would sit and drink tinto de verano for hours, cooking and hanging out in our moldy apartment, and overall just wondering the streets of spain together. 

if you're ever planning a trip to cordoba, spain, i would highly suggest going in the month of may :)

Monday, May 7

monday musings

i have a very good friend/mentor from college who always used to tell me, "leave people (and places) better than you found them." it was the last thing she wrote in a very loving letter that she wrote to me before i graduated and it has stayed with me. i recently reconnected with her a last week and it honestly couldn't have made me happier. she was always someone i went to for everything and i really miss having her around. thats why when i found this quote a few days later i took it as a sign that we reconnected for a reason and we would continue to talk. i hope this quote means something nice for everyone else too :)

Sunday, May 6

dog person?

in a month or two i might be the new momma to a little chihuahua dog! our friends grandmother has four chihuahuas and whenever we go to her house i may or may not pretend to steal my favorite of the dogs, nacha (shes the big one in the bottom left picture). i just love her so much shes so small and when you pick her up and put her in your lap she just melts into you trying to catch all your body heat.

well nacha just had five beautiful little puppies with another of the dogs, taco (he's the one in the upper right and left pictures). yup, nacha and taco. just look at how adorable these little babies are, they're only a week old! the owner isnt sure if she will give us one yet or if she is going to sell us one but she definitely knows we are interested.

i've always wanted a dog. i know they are a huge responsibility but being that i only work a few hours a day at school i'll be around most of the rest of the day to take care of it. plus it would be the perfect size for our itty bitty apartment. i really hope this all works out, i would love to have a little furball running around these parts.

*also, as a little update, everything for the english day celebration at school went great! so glad its over though :) 

Friday, May 4

a friday note

i finally finished my these little gift bags for my students after their performance tomorrow. it took my all afternoon to cut each note out and put it on the construction paper, then punch holes and tie them around the bags. ugh! the things i do for these kids... but thats the life of being a teacher right? i think if i was teaching younger grades i would have to be doing this kind of stuff a lot more often. well the english day performance is tomorrow, thank goodnesss. after all of this is over we can finally get back to a normal schedule at school. wish us luck!

Thursday, May 3

i'm going to be a bridesmaid!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

my brother is getting married next year and i'm going to be a bridesmaid! actually, one year from today to be exact. i've known for a while since my brother and sister-in-law got engaged a few months ago, but they decided to have a long engagement because weddings sure to cost a lot of moo-lah. i've been around a ton of weddings before, as i worked at a wedding venue and was in charge of making sure every ceremony went smoothly. but now i'm so excited because this is the first time i am going to be in a wedding party! (well minus that one time when i was like 5 and my grandpa got remarried and i ended up sitting down in the aisle....but thats another story).

the color scheme is yellow and the venue is The Hampshire House in Boston. it is an adorable venue that is small and very quaint and looks like it would be the library from clue. the color scheme is yellow, hence all those lovely yellow dresses up there. there is no set dress that the other bridesmaids and i are supposed to wear, it just has to be yellow! i love this idea. my brother and sister-in-law want to focus on a celebration for their wedding day and not so much a stiff formal event.

so even though there is a full year until the wedding i have been searching for the perfect dress! i want it to be something classic but really fun. i've found these 5 dresses on pinterest and they're some that i really like i'm just not sure which one would be the most appropriate! as of right now number 3 is my absolute favorite. its a custom made dress i found on etsy and its only 60 bucks! too good to be true? help! i want your opinions on which dresses and styles you like the best!

*i understand that some of these dresses are either a. sold out or b. way out of my price range, but im looking for opinions on styles, colors, shapes, etc!

Tuesday, May 1

tid bits

just some random things from the past few days...

i bought some green pants!! i can't tell you how long i have been wanting to buy some colored jeans because they are the latest thing (i guess for a few months now) and obviously have been all over pinterest. i walked into zara last week and they have a ton of colored jeans among other lovely pieces of clothing, but it was one of those days where i couldnt bring myself to try on any clothes. well today i did try on some of those pants and it was a match made in heaven! so i am now the new owner of some green jeans and i can't wait to show 'em off.

i had the day off today but unfortunately i spent most of the day doing schoolwork. boo. the second round of exams is coming up in a few weeks so unfortunately its that time again for me to create the exams. its so annoying having to actually make a test. i think i would much rather be taking these tests than actually making them. thank god the textbook companies have a ton of resources that make is a little bit easier. and hopefully next time i'll finally work out my schedule so i wont have to be doing them last minute again ;)

english day at school is coming up this saturday. its something we've been planning at school since before school started in february and its finally here, thank goodness. each group is really only going to be performing a very short dance, like we're talkin' three minutes each, but the amount of time money and effort that has been put into this day is a little crazy. not to mention the amount of classes my students have missed to practice for this thing has gotten us way behind on our annual plan (yes i'm being that teacher). but keep your fingers crossed for me that everything goes smoothly this saturday!