Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dia de gracias

[Random pre-post note: I hate when people call Thanksgiving "turkey day". That's dumb. That's not the point of the holiday. It's especially annoying for non meat eaters I think too :P]

Ah yes... Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. Mine was quite hectic this year, but as always, it was totally worth it. I baked and cooked on Wednesday, then went out for some tasty Mexican food for girls night with my aunts, Grandma, [one] sister, and my mama, and finished the night perfectly with the arrival of Andrew who I hadn't seen in a month <3! Thursday was filled with absolute chaos while we scrambled to clean the house up, bake pumpkin pie, two loaves of banana bread, sweet potato casserole, and potatoes. There were apparently about ~31 people at our house that day/ night... It was hot, crowded, loud, and most of all- amazing! Family from out of town came and we had family photo shoots with Great Grandma D. We played corn hole (with the bean bags and wood boards) outside in the dark, with the help of my dad's genius flashlight-in-a-cup-under-the-corn-hole-board idea! I totally dominated at it, too. No big deal. ;) We finished the night off with cousins, some wine, Charlie Brown, and a board game. Oh and Team Weber (my aunt and uncle), Mom, and I dancing to/ blasting tunes while cleaning up the after-party mess and dishes.

Friday Andrew and I went out to lunch at Pizza Luce, got me [another] new phone (that I still hate), and went on down to his hometown. It was a fairly laid back weekend there, along with hearing live music at one of the local bars. Our friend and his brothers played, which was the main reason we went to see it, and they were awesome. Totally unbiased opinion ;) Hehe. Then today we went out to lunch with our friend and Andrew's cousins, then had to say our goodbyes.

I'm now back in Winona and I would really love to just sleep for 12+ hours. But I need to unpack and study for my finals and the GRE. Boooo.

With that, I shall leave you with a list of [most of] the things I'm thankful for in my life. Since it just seems like the right thing to do after such a great break.

* My beautiful sisters. Despite the fact that we're all totally different personalities, we somehow find common grounds and get along. Very well. They've been my best friends since the beginning.

* My freaking wonderful parents. Words can't describe how much I love my parents. They're so great, have helped my sisters and I so much, and taught us good life values that I can treasure forever.

* The rest of my family. Cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. Family always has been, and always will be my number one in life!

* Andrew. He's a genius, philosophical, handsome, caring, hilarious, goofy, sweetheart of a boyfriend and my life could not be complete without him!

* Andrew's family. Even though I haven't known them that long, they've been so welcoming and caring towards me. It's so nice to have that. I really love his cousins too (at least the one's I've met so far!) because we get along well.

* Friends. I love them. From Winona, Spain, the cities. Wherever. I love them.

* Having a job! Well, technically two jobs for now. Even though they're not super high paying, it helps pay my rent, bills, and groceries. And so many people are not lucky enough to have a job. I'm glad I do, and that I like it.

* The ability to speak English and Spanish.

* Knowing how to cook and what to eat. I'm glad I've been able to learn how to take care of myself and live a healthier lifestyle.

* A place to lay my head at night.

* The ability to walk, talk, see, hear, taste, feel.

Mostly I'm thankful to be alive. Even though life seems like it sucks sometimes, and even though I cry or yell or don't know how to handle a situation- I know I'll get through it. I'm young still and have so much life to live! I'm lucky to be here and where I am today. :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

25 Facts :)

1. I hate being barefoot. I love wearing socks, even in summer.

2. I wore contacts for a couple years in high school, only because I wanted to wear sunglasses. But I gave up on them because I HATE the feeling of them. My eyes got too dry and painful all the time. So now I only wear glasses, and I have prescription sunglasses.

3. I always wear earrings unless I'm showering or sleeping. I feel naked without them.

4. I hate the sound and feeling of two dry things rubbing against each other. For example, at work the other day my coworker rubbed a cleaning scrubby against a cardboard box; I cringed and freaked out.

5. I hate all birds except eagles. And I mean REALLY hate. Ever since Spain and the pigeons that basically tried to kill me everyday there, I can't stand them.

6. I am deathly afraid of moths. I love butterflies, but moths are basically the devil.

7. I have a very strict bedtime routine: brush my teeth, put my mouth guard in (I have TMJ), I need to have a full glass of water, chapstick, and lotion by my bed; check my alarm at least three times, check to see if the door is locked at least twice, and can only shut off the light if I have my phone light on at the same time.

8. I am really afraid of the dark.

9. I don't like cucumbers. In anything.

10. I love learning about Hispanic culture, it absolutely fascinates me. Well, pretty much learning about any other culture is exciting to me.

11. I think dreadlocks are amazing, and I hope to have some someday when my hair is long enough.

12. If/ when there is a species that eventually kills off humans, I think I will be reincarnated as that species. Even though humans are capable of doing a lot, I don't think we are "all powerful" and I think the earth will be fine without us. It sounds dark and mean, but it's just how I feel.

13. I've enjoyed Michael Jackson's music since I was little girl. Thanks, Dad!

14. I was fluent in Spanish after studying abroad there for a semester, but as soon as I came back I lost it. I want to eventually become fluent in it again. That and American Sign Language too.

15. I have never just drank a glass of milk by choice. I like milk in recipes, cereal, and coffee. That's it.

16. With that, I only have almond milk. I'm pretty much lactose intolerant so I rarely consume dairy.

17. I don't wear make up. I haven't worn it since 10th grade, except for the handful of times my friends basically forced me to wear it ;)

18. I think red hair is so pretty.

19. I am excited to give birth. I don't like little kids (unless they're my own), but I want to experience being pregnant and [hopefully] giving birth at home in a tub, with a midwife, and no drugs. (DISCLAIMER: I will not be doing this until I'm at least 30. ;]) And I'm excited to breastfeed.

20. Mexico and Nepal are my two ultimate dream places to go to someday.

21. I have two younger sisters and they are my life. We all look the same, but we're all pretty different when it comes to personalities. But they have been my best friends since we were younger, even though I told them random lies all the time and they believed me. (For example, I told Emilie that if you pause a movie for too long the tv would blow up. Oops :] Haha)

22. If I had to identify myself as part of a religion, Hinduism and Buddhism would be it. I like them because they're more of lifestyles guidelines than forceful organized religions.

23. I love shopping at thrift stores and garage sales. It's really hard for me to buy clothes brand new now.

24. I constantly get holes in the big toe part of my socks and shoes. I don't know why, but it's been happening for years. I think it happens to my grandpa too. Weird?

25. I greatly dislike gender stereotypes. (i.e. girls have to wear pink; boys have to play with trucks, not dolls; only moms can take care of the baby, etc.) Our society forms them right from when a person is born. It sucks. I want to try and eliminate those stereotypes from my kids' lives right from the get-go!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Just one

DISCLAIMER: This is probably annoying/ winy to some people, so don't read it if you don't like a hint of complaining and/or boyfriend talk! ;)


Andrew and I always cook(ed) together, because we both love doing it! It's fun to try new recipes since the same ol' thing gets boring after awhile. Now that he's gone though, it's weird cooking for just me. The meals I make usually have several servings to them, and yea I can use the leftovers- but those only last for so long! (Luckily I have roomies who will eat it though!!)

I find myself cooking less and less now since he's not here... Which I actually didn't notice/realize until today. But I really need to start cooking more because it's so much healthier, and cheaper! Like I said in one of my previous posts, I can't wait to have a bigger kitchen to cook in... But only if I get to share it with someone! ;)

I made a butternut squash and black bean enchilada bake tonight that is super tasty and spicy! But it's in a huge 13 x 9 pan. So yea. Lots of food. Haha. I used vegan cheese instead of dairy cheese, and it turned out great! This was only my second time using squash though... I'm still kind of a noob. :P But I totally understand why most college folk don't cook now. When you're busy studying and such, who wants to take a couple hours out of the night to prep, cook, and clean up after a big meal?!

This girl, apparently.

hehe. just for fun. :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Alright. I'm itching to go somewhere new and exciting. I always just pretend I've moved on from my life in Spain. But we all know I haven't. There I said it! I'm in denial that I'm back here.

After looking through travel themed boards on Pinterest, my travel itch has returned. I just want to go somewhere- anywhere- I've never been. I hope things in KC work out for me because I've been daydreaming about a new life there, from what Andrew has described to me. I was telling my co-worker today my life story and theory about living different places.

My whole life I had always dreamed of living in the cities, where I'm from. And that was that. I'd live there forever... Until I went to Spain and Germany and fell in love there. Now that I've been back, I want to live everywhere for at least a short amount of time. Of course I can always end up back in the cities eventually. That would be just dandy actually. But while I'm young with no kids, a home, etc. I want to live wherever I can! So let's all cross our fingers that going to grad school in KC works out, because it will be a new, fresh adventure for me!

We're all so used to being stuck in our comfort zones. It's what we know, we can't change it. I totally get that. I'm a very stubborn person and I usually don't like change either! But once you've become acclimated to the setting and environment around you, you can learn so much about yourself and the people around you! My favorite parts of being in Spain were getting lost for hours on end because it helped me get to know the city so much more than I would've if I had stayed within my familiar boundaries.

If you get a chance or an opportunity to move somewhere new, and there's nothing holding back but your fear of new places- GO. DO IT. Otherwise you may never know what you've been missing...

*all photos credit of pinterest*

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I have been terribly sick for the past 1+ week or so... (it's because I stopped taking my Vitamin C supplement- I'm sure of it!) And man oh man have I been guzzling down tea like it is going out of style! Copious amounts of it. Everyday. I'm hoping it makes me better like it usually does... I've just had the worst cough, sinus pains, etc. Luckily I don't have the feverish symptoms anymore though!

Anyhow, the point of this post is to rave about tea. I went to a free tea class at the local co-op a while back and I learned SO MUCH about tea that I never knew! The guy presenting the class owns his own tea shop here, Mandala Tea, and he was extremely passionate about each and every type of tea, its origins, the temperature you're supposed to heat it at, everything. It was amazing and so fascinating! Who would've thought tea could be such an intricate delicacy?

Well one thing I learned from the class is that bagged tea is basically the "hot dog version" of teas. (Hot dogs are the leftovers of all other meat, grossest, most processed, you get  it ;P) The plants and flowers are the best quality of tea, and then of course tea leaves are up there as well. Now, because I used to be such a typical, lazy American- I had always bought bagged tea. Mostly because I didn't know of anything else! Heck, you grab the bag and go, and you're set. But after that class I decided I wanted to start trying to buy only bulk tea, not only because it has better quality, but it's cheaper and has less packaging! (Which I've said in my other posts how much I LOVE buying things in bulk!!) I bought a couple tea balls from the co-op for really cheap, and also (luckily!) found an awesome tea infuser from Goodwill for $2.00! (Kind of like this, but not really... It has the filter part and a pouring pot). So now I try to get only bulk tea from the co-op. I have white, green, black, mint, raspberry, and earl grey currently. Unfortunately this co-op doesn't have too many options for bulk tea, but the one in the cities is SO awesome. They have tons of options there!

It feels good to use less packaging and just reuse my tea balls and infuser! I do have some bagged tea still, but I only use it if I absolutely can't find the flavor I want in bulk or if I have to bring it to campus or something. I've already saved lots of money, I'm sure, just from buying bulk tea. Plus, it's so good for you! I used to hate tea. Immensely. But then one time I was deathly ill and since I don't take drugs, I forced myself to like tea. Good thing I did, because now it's basically a staple to my diet ;) haha. Sooo tasty with local honey too (which I also buy in bulk, so much cheaper....and less packaging of course!).

So go out there and try some loose leaf tea today! :D

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Awaiting the arrival of Thanksgiving

I am so excited for Thanksgiving this year.

Absence really does make the heart fonder. Or whatever that quote is, it's true!

My aunt and uncle have been living in Belize, my boyfriend has a big boy job in Kansas City, MO so he's been gone living there, and my other aunt and cousin are coming home from Chicago... So I get to see them all, plus [most of] the rest of the fam! (And in case you don't already know this, my family is my life!) Oh it's going to be so grand. :D

I have lots of other things to do like... finish my major (and minor) change essay, apply for a scholarship, apply to take the GRE, prepare for lesson plans, figure out paperwork for grad schools, etc... It's been super overwhelming lately, and it really doesn't help that WSU sucks at preparing us for grad school. So I've been having to do research on my own/ asking people who have been through all this to help me out! At least Thanksgiving is my "thing to look forward to", right?

I've been eating super bad lately... But I bought several squashes today, so I'm going to start experimenting with those to prepare for winter produce and eating! It's better to eat foods that are in season. AAAND my mama and I are gonna cook/ bake up a storm when I go home! The lovely lady over at Oh She Glows posted all her last minute vegan Thanksgiving ideas- so I bookmarked that and am pumped to try out some of the recipes on it! (Now I know you're curious, so here's the link! Last Minute Vegan Thanksgiving Ideas) Yum, yum, yum :)

I love fall and winter... They're my favorite seasons, so I'm going to try my best to stay positive and focus on the simple things in life. Hopefully start doing yoga more, etc.

So here's to a refreshing season!!!

[All photos credit of Oh She Glows... From her Thanksgiving post!]

Friday, November 4, 2011

Saving Money: One eco-friendly product at a time :)

[I posted this on my Facebook a while back, but it's better here I think ;)]

Okay, so around February/ March of 2009 my lovely SMBFF, Kayla, introduced me to cloth pads and the Diva cup. Sounds kinda sketch at first, right? The Diva Cup is this wonderful silicone cup used to basically replace tampons. Instead of absorbing ALL the fluids in your vagina, it only holds the blood that comes out. You can wear it for up to 12 hours (depending on your flow of course; you'll have to empty it more often if your flow is heavier), clean it with hot water and soap (or the Diva wash), and put it back in its little handy bag! In stores it's about $30+, but if you order online it's only $20! 

Cloth pads are just what they're called- pads you use that are made of various cloths, reusable, more comfortable, and there are different thicknesses/ styles/ etc. The price range for these varies; if you buy one from a store or PartyInMyPants, they're a tad more spendy. But if you can find sites online from women who make them themselves, they can be a lot cheaper! I bought 8 pads, all in different sizes, for only $36 from theappleorchard site! They are cute, comfy, easily washable, and eco friendly!!! 

So I decided to add up roughly how much money I've saved in the past two years from using these amazing eco friendly products vs. store bought disposable tampons and pads. (I can just say, I cannot go back to the disposables. I love my pads and Diva sooo much!!!)

Okay so these are all estimates of prices (Target online prices)

Box of 50 tampax pearl $8.69
- use 6 a day, about 8 days worth in a box, which is about 1 period cycle
- $8.69 x 12 = $104.28

Package of Kotex pads $5.54
- 40 pads per package, 5 a day, 8 days, about 1 cycle.
- $5.54 x 12 = $66.48

$66.48 + $104.28 = $170.76

NOW my products
Diva cup: $20
Package of 8 pads: $36
16 pads = $72 ($80 to round up) $100 total

I have spent $100 (or so) in the past 2.5 years on my feminine products. Whereas, most women are spending about $341.52 in just 2 years on feminine products! I've saved over $200!!!

I'm not telling you all you have to convert or anything; it was just something to think about. It IS sanitary still; it's more comfortable, affordable, and hey- it's wayyy more eco-friendly than just throwing away your disposable products EVERY time you use them!

Here are some sources and such to look into if you feel like it :)

[DISCLAIMER: I'm terrible at math.]