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Back to life...

It's been quite the start to the new year.  While I was feeling all peppy to go back to school and teach my heart away.  Day 1 sent me home with Influenza!!! I have been in bed for dayssssss and yes I did get the shot.  It was just an unlucky circumstance and one you risk when you work with kids.  I still recommend getting the shot, despite my luck this year.  
Yes, I am dating myself with this Soul II Soul reference but I really like this song and it sums up how I am feeling.  I am back to life and I have "to keep on movin' ".  Thank goodness for this MLK holiday because I need all the rest I can get before I teach 5 Spanish sections in a row.
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Anyway, here's what I've been up to while in bed.
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2.  Listening to Podcasts galore.  Here are some of my faves:
a.  Juicy Scoop with Heather McDonald (Hollywood sillyness)
c.  The Little Yellow Couch (decor, fashion)
d.  Here to make Friends (Bachelor recap show)
3.  Watching the Bachelor... hello Corrine!
RHOBH
Ladies of London
I was honestly too sick to enjoy anything during this flu.  So I am looking forward to re-entering civilization and energizing every aspect of my life.
I am still on a health kick and I am doing Beachbody on Demand videos for a little Yoga and Cardio.
And yes I will be adding this Soul II Soul to my workout mix.
What about you?
How is the New Year treating you?

2017 Refresh...

Happy New Year!!  
By now, you have probably made all the social media rounds and checked out everybody's goals, resolutions or intentions.  Whatever you want to call it, I think it is all good.  Like most folks I want to share a few of my thoughts for the new year.

1.  I would like less hate/criticism/people being hard on each other.  As ridiculous as the following will sound I say : Leave Mariah alone!!!  Ok, so she messed up her song for New Year's, but who cares!! People are so mean sometimes.  And even if she is loopy, let her be!  And on that note, I would like to be less hard on everyone.  Less criticism, more compassion.

2.  I would like to read more.  This is a tough one because so much of my job is reading español from my students but I need to read more BOOKS.  Not blogs, not pinterest, but BOOKS.

3.  I would like more Yoga in my life.  I am happy to report, I started the year off right doing Yoga with B.  Even though we were tired, even though Newman and León were walking all over us during the poses.  But we did it!

4.  More regular blogging.  I've been wanting to do this for the last year or so but my job has taken over my life, not to mention life in general.  Nevertheless, my blog was my passion for so long and I want to be that passionate blogger again.

5.  More time outdoors.  Ever since I moved to LA I feel I have been boxed in.  Sure we go to the beach and I love it but I need more walks, more outings.  Like I said in #1, I want to not be hard on myself because last year was a hard one for me/us with all the changes.  All I wanted to do was survive and I did but now it is time to Restart, Refresh.

So these are a few of my initial goals/thoughts/intentions for 2017.  B and I went on a walk by the boats in Marina Del Rey and so far we are feeling pretty optimistic about 2017.
What about you?

Glitter is my favorite color...

I love this time of year because I can pull out all my glitter and sparkles.  I've been doing some Christmas Shopping and everything sparkly is catching my eyes.  Like these silver sneakers (similar here and here) !  I have been dying to wear them and this is the perfect season. Sometimes it's tough to decide between silver and gold or.... you could just do both like I did.
The older I get, the more sparkles I want so when I saw these Strut your Stuff earrings from mark. (Avon's little sister boutique brand) I gasped!  These guys are big and bold.  I am actually going to gift these babies because after all it is Christmas and I can't keep everything I find!
This Gold Glitter watch is another steal I scored from Avon.  And as much as I wanted to keep it, it is also a present for a special person in my family.
I've always been a big Avon fan since I was a kiddo.  I love flipping through the catalog and being able to get fun inexpensive gifts.
If you don't want to overdo it with too much sparkle (is that possible?)  you could also just do your nails.  This is my trusty Graphite from Chanel (similar here).
similar here
Ans this is one glittery item that I did gift to myself.  
It's from Kate Spade and it makes me happy.
Because this time of year, Glitter is my favorite color!
What about you?

Malibu Monday...

So it's not really Malibu Monday  because I am really back in my classroom today BUT I'm channelling the beachy vibes to bring positive energy into my work week.
B and I drove up to Malibu on Thanksgiving because it's like 15 min away, so why not!  I'll admit, at first I was feeling a bit blue because we did not have any exciting plans for this day.  Hitting the beach reminded me of why I should be even more grateful.

It was the perfect day to come up because there was actually parking so we could pull over and enjoy the view.
 I was super comfortable in these white overalls that I have been dying to wear.  They were the perfect outfit for Thanksgiving chez our petit maison.  Surprisingly they remained white even as I climbed on some sandy rocks to get to the beach and after the turkey meal.  And if you know me, you know I love to wear white.  My work wardrobe has been very dark lately because it's a more formal environment so I was thrilled to break these babies out.  And of course, like a true Californian I wore some Vans to compliment the look.  
On Saturday we went to the USC vs. Notre Dame Game to cheer on the Irish and the day was almost the complete opposite of this picture.  The one time I go to an ND game in LA and it was pouring and super windy.  We were soaked and of course the game was a disaster for the Irish.  Thank goodness the season is over.  But like I always say,  you can't be a fair weathered fan.
So this week marks the beginning of the BIG PUSH to end the semester.  I spent hours going over Fidel Castro info so I could have a great class so wish me luck.  I was on information overload.  
Sometimes I feel like I have so much to teach and so little time.  But this is a big news story so I def want to cover it with my estudiantes.  Especially my AP kids.  
Off to do more lesson planning, so hasta pronto.
Happy Monday!

Thai Turkey Soup...

So it's Sunday after Thanksgiving and like most Americans you are still eating turkey.  My mom was the type that she would not buy new food until all the leftovers were gone.  It was not fun.  So instead of torturing my husband I decided to chop up our turkey breast and make this soup.   It only takes about 15 minutes!
Here is what you need:
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 8 oz. boneless chicken breast or thighs, sliced or TURKEY!!!
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 6 oz. dried rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Sliced red onion, red chiliscilantroscallions to garnish
I found the recipe here and you will find much prettier pictures on that site.  But in the spirit of being a regular old girl just trying to keep it real, this is what it looked like at my place.
  1. Since the turkey was already cooked, I just tossed chopped pieces of it to the oil, paste, garlic and chopped ginger after it was nice and hot. 
  2. I then added the chicken broth (4 cups)
  3. 1 cup of water
  4. Let it boil and once it boils garnish your bowl with the veggies and noodles and pour the hot broth over the noodles.
  5.   I let my noodles sit for a few minutes because rice noodles need to soften a bit.
  6.  and there you have it!  
This makes about 3-4 bowls depending on your portions.  But it's perfect for a little family like mine.
Enjoy your Sunday!

If you are turkeyd out...

I know it's only the day AFTER Thanksgiving but maybe you are already turkey out?  We got our Turkey at Whole Foods because it's just the two of us and I hate to say it but this year it was not very good... #dry.   In the spirit of not being wasteful, I decided to shred the turkey and make spring rolls.  I normally use shrimp when I make these but today it was turkey!!
I used what we had in the fridge.  The key is using some greens and CILANTRO!  Of course I did not use the dressing that this southwest salad came with but the cabbage, lettuce, carrot combo was essential to making this meal.  I also added some strips of cucumber just to give it a little crunch.  I was a tad scared to eat this but as I was preparing them I was like WOW these look good! And guess what? 
They were!!!
For the Dipping Sauce I used my old stand by from this post
Dipping sauce
In a mixing bowl combine:
1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter {would use a tad less next time}
1 lime, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T hot sauce {tabasco}
3 T coconut milk
1 T low sodium soy sauce
1/4 c hot water to start {I needed double that, but add as you go, to thin out}
2 T of chopped peanuts, unsalted
Whisk all together, cover, and chill.
Stir again before serving.
Yields almost 2 cups of sauce.

Gratitude...



I’ve heard that the holidays can be tough on people and this year I am kind of experiencing it a bit myself. I've been buried in my work and when the bell rings today I will go home and begin my holiday.

While many have big family reunions, at our house it is a small celebration with my husband and our pups. I've loved the fact that it's always us in a new location or traveling seeing something new. But this year as I am back in LA, I couldn't help but feel a little empty.

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This year I turned 42 and it has become more evident that I will not be having any kids. I’ve been coming to terms with this fact for some time but it is still a tough pill to swallow. I am comforted by that fact that I teach and have taught many kids over the years and that for a semester or two I have felt them to be my own.



Sure, I am not feeding them, paying for their college and dealing with them at home but I feel connected to them in many ways. This fall I am teaching at an all girl school in LA and I had my kiddos do little leaves and acorns telling me 5 things for which they are grateful. It felt a little elementary school like ( I teach high school) but sometimes you have to go back to that inner child and take a moment to color, decorate and express gratitude. Especially when you are feeling down.



I am not one to quote scripture but I ran across this today:

“A man must be content to receive the gift which is given him from heaven; there is no other source.”
—John 3:27

So I will accept the gifts that have been given to me and continue to embrace this holiday season with gratitude.

Wisiing you a Happy Thanksgiving!