Tuesday, February 26

let the rain begin

top: forever 21 (similar) - pants: urban outfitters - wedges: aerosoles (similar) - bracelets: mom - watch: feral watches

it seems like the rain has started here in costa rica. 
it slowly began while i was still at school and luckily i had my umbrella. i learned the hard way last year that going to school without my umbrella, no matter the temperature in the morning, is a bad bad idea. 

the downpour started on my bus ride home so i only had to walk a few meters back to my apartment where i learned lesson #2 about preparing for the rain before leaving the house: the bedroom window must be closed or your bed will get soaked. ugh.

at least i had plenty of time to put the fan on it before bed.
lesson learned!

Monday, February 25

the best macaroni salad

i love macaroni salad. when i was little i used to beg my parents to take me to this very specific deli just to get my favorite macaroni salad. all other places just wouldn't cut it. that is .. until high school when i found out that the special ingredient was two pounds of sugar. darn you wilkes deli!!

anyway, paris's mom taught me how to make her signature macaroni salad which i now eat almost every other week.

what you need:
one package of noodles/macaroni/shells (you can use whichever type of pasta you prefer)
one can of drained tuna
some diced or shredded carrot
some chopped red pepper
chopped onion
diced cilantro
2-3 tablespoons of mayo (or more)


here's what you do:

mix everything together! it is really that simple and it really tastes sooo good. you can put as much or as little mayo as you like, depending on your preferences. i added a little extra mainly because there is mayo here with lime in it and i kind of love it.

in total it takes about 15 minuets to make. quick, easy, and delicious.

Saturday, February 23

snuggles on snuggles

lots of snuggles going on here this morning. this pup has been exrta cuddly lately and i dont mind!
i'm looking forward to getting a lot done this weekend so my week won't be too hectic
and this guy will be right by my side to keep me company :)
he is just the best.

happy weekending everyone!

Friday, February 22

if you work really hard

i just love this quote from conan o'brien. seriously, i love it.

it is something i believe in wholeheartedly. hard work and being a good person. my parents did not raise my brother and i to follow a specific religion but they did always teach us to do the right thing. they taught us the value of a dollar and that if we wanted something, we had to work for it! i can remember washing the dishes after dinner time 5 nights a week and getting $2.50 for my piggy bank. those were the days.

but i still take any job i have very seriously and am always trying to do the best i can and figure out ways to improve even past that. my current job is no different. being a teacher is hard work and the beginning of this year has been tough. but hearing my students say, "teacher, this is my favorite class" lets me know that i must be doing something right. i am excited to see what other amazing things this year will bring. :)

Tuesday, February 19

happy hu...tuesday?

wait, it's only tuesday? 
based on my day yesterday i thought i deserved for it to be at least wednesday.

school is hard so far this year. i went from two classes last year to five this year and i am am struggling just a little bit to juggle all the changes in my schedule. i know because it is the beginning of the year that things are a little more stressful with learning procedures, making diagnostic tests, and learning all my new students' names (there is just that one class i can't get!).

i'm sure that everything will fall into place soon but i think until this week is over i'm going to be a little stressed out and wishing every day was friday. but then again, who isn't?

Monday, February 18

what happens when you live abroad

the other day i came across this article by chelsea fagan. it immediately hit home ... so i read it again.

it is about the experience of living abroad. about the fears of leaving your home country for another and then making a life for yourself in that new country. and then about the fears of going back to your home but feeling like it is not quite your home anymore. you start feeling like you are missing so many things and that you are split between two lives. some of the words that resonated the most with me were these:

...There is a palpable fear to living in a new country, and though it is more acute in the first months, even year, of your stay, it never completely evaporates as time goes on. It simply changes. The anxiousness that was once concentrated on how you’re going to make new friends, adjust, and master the nuances of the language has become the repeated question “What am I missing?” As you settle into your new life and country, as time passes and becomes less a question of how long you’ve been here and more one of how long you’ve been gone, you realize that life back home has gone on without you. People have grown up, they’ve moved, they’ve married, they’ve become completely different people — and so have you.

...So you look at your life, and the two countries that hold it, and realize that you are now two distinct people. As much as your countries represent and fulfill different parts of you and what you enjoy about life, as much as you have formed unbreakable bonds with people you love in both places, as much as you feel truly at home in either one, so you are divided in two. For the rest of your life, or at least it feels this way, you will spend your time in one naggingly longing for the other, and waiting until you can get back for at least a few weeks and dive back into the person you were back there. It takes so much to carve out a new life for yourself somewhere new, and it can’t die simply because you’ve moved over a few time zones. The people that took you into their country and became your new family, they aren’t going to mean any less to you when you’re far away. 

 i dont think it is much of a secret that i really miss home a lot when i am here. i am constantly thinking about the things that i am missing at home between friends and my family. but at the same time, the thought of going home to be closer to them makes me a little nervous when i know that paris would not be able to come with me, at least not right away. the idea that costa rica is now another home to me is very apparent and looking toward the end of the year when i am thinking of going back home to study again raises my anxiety level a notch or two.

it is not definite yet that i will be leaving costa rica at the end of the year, and even if it turns out to be definite, it is still many months away. there are many conversations to be had and decisions to be made. i just couldn't help but feel a connection to this article when i read it. and i think anyone else currently living abroad or not should also give it a read. it is a very accurate portrayal of an expat experience.

Saturday, February 16

what i'm listening to

once again my dad has proven he is more hip than i am on the music scene. i remember two years ago, skyping with him while in spain telling him how much i really liked this new band called mumford and sons. he immediately says, oh yeah! and starts singing their single at the time little lion man. that was the last time i tried to introduce him to some new music! there have also been similar stories with some of my other favorite groups the civil wars and the head and the heart. i don't complain too much though because all of those artists have turned into my favorites.

needless to say, he has also introduced me to my current music interest alabama shakes. i'm probably way behind on this because he told me about them months ago but i am just getting around to giving them a good listen. so far i really like what i hear and i think you will too.

Friday, February 15

don't forget to smile

just a few things that made me smile this week in the midst of an incredibly hectic first week of classes...

a short 30 minutes to snap a few photos of some oh so pretty flowers

my little pup has finally learned to go to the bathroom outside when i take him

i made it through the week! it is finally after work on friday....

when my students go out of their way to say hi to me outside of the classroom

hearing a student say " thank you, teacher "

the beautiful flowers i got from paris for valentine's day :)

i hope everyone has a great weekend with lots of things to smile about!!

Thursday, February 14

that valentine's day post

i have just about eaten my weight in chocolate so far today, thanks to my students. but let's be honest i don't hate it. here in costa rica, valentine's day is known as the day of love and friendship so when i asked all my students what their favorite part about v-day was, ninety percent of them answered getting chocolate or spending time with my friends. super cute!

happy day of love and friendship! i hope you enjoy some extra chocolate today with someone you love.

Tuesday, February 12

a new way of renting textbooks

A little secret I have been keeping is that I am thinking about going back to school. Going to grad school! It probably won't happen until 2014 but it is something that I want to start planning now. I have always wanted to continue my education, I just wasn't quite ready after undergrad! But now that I will have three years of teaching experience I want something more concrete.

Everyone knows just how expensive school can be, especially textbooks. I wish I had known about Campus Book Rentals when I was in undergrad, I would have saved a ton of money! Campus Book Rentals is an online textbook rental company that allows you to to rent the textbooks you need for each semester but 40-90% cheaper than bookstore prices. (for all of you students and graduates,  just think for a minute how much you would have saved with books that were 40-90% cheaper!) They also offer free shipping both ways and the opportunity to highlight your textbooks. The rental periods are flexible so that you can have the books when you need them. all of this sounds pretty good right?

And for those students and recent grads who already own their textbooks, Campus Book Rentals has a program for you too called RentBack. This program allows you to rent your textbooks to other students making you 2-4x more money than you would trying to sell your book back to the bookstore. Again, why wasn't this around when i was a student?? I know i will definitely be using this site when it comes time for all those grad school textbooks ;)

As an extra perk, Campus Book Rentals makes a donation to Operation Smile with each textbook rented. Operation Smile performs life changing cleft lip surgeries on children whose families could not otherwise afford it.

*This post is sponsored by Campus Book Rentals but all opinions are my own.

Monday, February 11

a celebration of l.o.v.e.

on sunday we celebrated the one year wedding anniversary of paris's sister. like everyone says all the time, but i can't believe a whole year has gone by! i look back at my blog post from the wedding and its kind of funny to see my posts from a year ago. not to mention just how much we have been through and done since a year ago! 

the celebration this weekend was a surprise from paris's sister to her husband. she organized a small party of family members and decorated the table exactly as the wedding was from the chairs to the flower arrangements. she even ordered the top layer of the same cake! so cute and what an undertaking.
let's hope i can come up with something as cute for my first wedding anniversary ;)

Sunday, February 10

puppy playdate

a family friend brought over his very new very little poodle puppy this weekend. this little girl was the sweetest thing and i thought it would be a good idea to introduce rocco to another dog that is similar to his size. we have tried to have rocco play with his sister who is clearly the same type of dog, same size, same blood! but he usually wants no part in it.

when i brought this little girl in rocco immediately went to the furthest nook in the couch he could find. i did my best to bring the two closer together but rocco just fled every single time while the little puppy dozed off. the closest of interaction i noticed was rocco sneakily going over to get a whiff of the new stuffed animal he saw but quickly retreating when that stuffed animal moved its head.

what's a momma to do with her overly antisocial pup??

Friday, February 8

dear february in costa rica

dear february in costa rica: you sure are hot. too hot. the thought of wearing my uniform to work on monday makes me want to crawl into a refrigerator. dear spanish bank: i am through with you and good riddance! you gave me such a headache last week and i am happy to be done with you and the rude people that work for you. dear brother and laura: less than three months away until your wedding! i am getting so excited to be there and celebrate your big day together. dear weekend: i hope there are many opportunities for me to take pictures with my camera. yesterday i was given just a little bit of time before the sun went down and it made me want to take even more. 

happy weekend everyone.


Thursday, February 7

working girl once again

i have been a little absent from the blogging world this week and maybe this picture will give you a hint as to why... i am back at work! my school year has finally started again after a very nice, very long, and very wonderful summer vacation ;)

this week at school i have been meeting most of my students' parents, getting all of their books ready, organizing and decorating the classrooms, and getting my lesson plans ready to go. this year i have 5 classes. 5 different classes of students! going from just 2 classes last year, to 5 this year is a ginormous jump. like ... i'm s.l.i.g.h.t.l.y. overwhelmed, but i received some really great feedback at the end of last year that made me more confident to start this new challenge. it was also so heartwarming to see some of my students' parents from last year and have them tell me that they were so happy to see that i will be one of the english teachers for their children again this year. it really made me smile and think about how happy i am to be back at the same school for a second year. 

Friday, February 1

my dog is a model

dear rocco: how did you get to be so cute?? i could take pictures of you all day long .. and sometimes i do. thanks for being such a good sport. although it seems like you love it. dear work: i start again tomorrow! i'm pretty excited to be going something every day again. as much as i love being on vacation, too much vacation has been making go a little stir crazy. dear self: it may be best to remember that free hair cuts are not always best. yes they are free .. but they also lead to much shorter hair than you might have wanted. dear account debacle: i don't like you. please get fixed tomorrow.

happy weekend everyone!