Monday, January 30, 2012

I promise I work!

So I just got back from a week in Vietnam. I do work, I promise! I came back from my winter break in New Zealand and taught for two weeks, then we got a week off for Chinese New Year. It's a lunar based holiday, so it moves around. PB and I (mostly PB) had looked and looked for tickets to travel with our friends but the tickets were outrageous and we couldn't get tickets home. We waited a bit and wouldn't ya know it- the travel gods smiled on us and flights opened up. We packed our bags and left Beijing Saturday morning. We had a LONG day of travel ahead of us; Beijing to Shanghai, Shanghai to Ho Chi Minh City, HCMC to our the island Phu Quoc. We arrived on Sunday morning and beachy relaxing began. I consumed copious amounts of books and burnt the most random swatches of skin. No matter how many coats or how much I think I put on, the sun always finds a way to singe the most awkward parts of my body. LIKE ONE HALF OF MY LEGS! That's right folks, I successfully burnt just the left half of both my legs. I'm cool like that. Burnt skin aside, I loved the sun and sand. After 4 days at the beach we headed back to HCMC, where our friends Jason and Jen live. They were kind enough to let us crash on their couch, and show us around town. Great friends, no? We explored the city and I must say, it's a cool place. Fun place to explore, loads of restaurants and great shops- filled with CHEAP, fabulous things. I may or may not have purchased a knock-off North Face day pack for five dollars. FIVE DOLLARS! Even if it breaks, it was totally worth the five dollars. I also fell in love in Vietnam. A bold statement, to be sure. But a factual one none the less.
Meet the ca phe sua da. Iced deliciousness (yes, deliciousness is a word, deal with it). First, start with a glass of ice, then pour in a bit of Vietnamese coffee (which is dark, rich, and delicious) and the douse with an obscene amount of sweetened condensed milk, top with more coffee. It's a big 'ol glass of love. It's possible that I had at least 2 of these every day. I know, it's terribly fattening and bad for me. But it just tastes soo good! Luckily, I bought some coffee to bring back with me so I can "rarely" make these. Mwahahaha! Rarely every morning until I run out of coffee! But I promise to also start working out to balance out the bad. And maybe (maybe) only make the love coffee on the weekends. It's all in the name of compromise. Which I should probably focus on more, lets be honest. So now it's back to work, for at least a little while anyway. I've got to get my kiddos back on track with the whole learnin' thangs business and teach them songs for our show in two weeks. Complete with costumes and dances. Yes, I am slightly crazy. On that note, time to make some love coffee; it makes it easier to be crazy. Trust me!
And this is what happens when I get a little too crazy on the Photoshop! Wahoo!

Friday, January 20, 2012

New Year, New Goals

I am a group of contradictions. I LOVE organization and order, but I also realize that things will indeed get done in due time. I hate unpacking after I get back from a trip, I leave random things in a pile on the table.  However, in the footsteps of my father, I have a huge love for goals. This man takes courses on goal-making. I've taken courses on goal-making. It's true. And I loved it. No denying it, I love me some goals. I've always been a to-do list addict, but as I've grown up I have realized the power of setting goals and the sense of accomplishment that comes from fulfilling them. I make a list of weekly goals- things that I want to accomplish throughout the week. It's an accountability thing- that little rush from checking them off when they're done. So this year, I will continue to make the weekly goals and I'm adding monthly goals. Monthly goals will be things that are bigger projects or might take a bit more time and energy. So here are my goals for February: Hang the artwork that is currently strewn about my house and resting on most every flat surface, upload all my photos so I actually do something with all those photos I've taken, set up once a month brunches or something similar so I can drag those friends I barely see out of their houses, and lastly (mainly) my goal is to create at least five times. This means I create something, anything- that is not food.Yes, I realize that food is creating, but I do it everyday and so it becomes more routine and I don't feel the rush from creating dinner every night. I have been making this list of things I want to draw/paint/make and haven't done a one of them. I've got a stack of knitting patterns I haven't cast on, so it's time to get creating! Whew! That being said, I didn't get too lofty with my goals, as it's just my first set and I didn't want to set myself up for failure. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

P.S. Don't you love the "thinking Lauren" pose?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Back from hiatus (kinda)

Sorry about the hiatus, but I've been in New Zealand for three weeks. I know, how lucky am I to get to type that?! To live that? As a teacher who lives abroad, we tend to get longer breaks and we use these breaks as an excuse to travel as much as we can. Yet another bonus to teaching internationally. PB and I traveled throughout the North and South Island, loving every minute of it. I must have picked out 7 places I wanted to live. If only I could make loads of money doing nothing but traveling the world and reading. Perhaps some baking though in there. But I digress. Really this is a teaser post, as I am going on holiday again, this time to the island of Phu Quoc, Vietnam. Rough life, I know. On a side note, while in NZ, we hiked Fox Glacier and I got to wear a fun set of ass-kicking boots, complete with metal cramp-ons (which are metal spikes that help you cling to the ice). Sorry you can't see the spikes very well, I'll have to do some tweaking in Photoshop... but that's for another day.

So come this Saturday its off to sit on a beach, read, and hang out with some mates from my old school in Cairo. I'll leave you with proof that I was actually active on my holiday. Yeah buddy, I'm on the top of a glacier, and I hiked to get there!

Good thing I have a whole week to be on the beach and recover from all that exercise. Phew!