November 30, 2013

November Recap

Seriously though- November went by ridiculously fast. Faster than usual! Wow- I can't believe my favorite month starts tomorrow. Kinda excited about that.

I wasn't able to blog much in November due to a few things, but I was able to do some posts nonetheless.

Here's what went down at Latitude Adjustment in Noviembre:

- The horrific Typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines earlier in the month. I posted about my family's situation (and a quick update- we finally did get to hear from them about 5 days later. Everyone is alive and well. Thanks for all the good vibes and prayers!). I also posted about ways you can help survivors (and many organizations are still helping with relief efforts!).

- I posted some of my dream travel destinations in Europe.

- I was only able to do one Photo Friday in November-- and it was from Thailand.

- I participated in a Sunday Social- something I haven't done in quite a while.

- I participated in my very first Cara Box Exchange!

- For this month's Wanderlust Wednesday, I talked about food in South Korea (yummy!).

- My husband did another Boys Behind the Blog post for me-- this time it's about music & what he's thankful for.

- One of my pre-k kids had one of the cutest answers to "How to Cook a Turkey..."

- I made a Happy List.

- And last but not least, I posted about our humble and quiet Thanksgiving that we had.

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November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving: Year 3

Yesterday, J & I celebrated our third Thanksgiving together as a married couple. It was a nice, quiet and relaxing holiday for us.

We had a humble Thanksgiving lunch of rotisserie chicken, wheat rolls, mashed sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and some pumpkin-flavored beverage. It was all pretty darn yummy (despite what the crappy quality of the below photo may show).

We watched some videos on (excellent site, bytheway. My favorite show on Vice is Fresh Off the Boat). Then we got ready to head out to Dave & Buster's. We walked about 2 miles to the bus stop and waited for about half an hour before realizing that that particular bus wasn't running that day. Bummer. So we walked all the way back home. But hey- at least we got a nice little walk out of the deal and ran across this pretty purple wall I just had to take a picture in front of:

We got home, got comfortable and watched movies the rest of the day. We even ate the rest of our Thanksgiving leftovers from our lunch for dinner. All in all- it was a pretty good Thanksgiving. We enjoyed it.

This is the third year that I haven't spent Thanksgiving with my family. I miss it- especially since our family Thanksgiving tradition is to go dirtbiking. Lots of fun. I hope next year we can spend it together.

Mine & J's first Thanksgiving as Mr. & Mrs. was spent in Ecuador at a gringo bar. Last year, we spent it in the Philippines. This year, we're in Nashville. I have no clue where we'll be or what we'll be doing this time next year. We will see...

We did Thankful Turkeys in my pre-k class.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday filled with much love, blessings, and food- of course!
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November 27, 2013

Happy List


I like to think that I am a happy person. I have so much to be happy for. People often comment on how I am always smiling. How I'm always happy. I do try my darndest to stay that way and to stay positive, no matter what life throws in my way to keep me from being so. When I get caught up in the negatives that happen in my life, I always remember to take some time, sit back, and recount my blessings. Yes- life will be hectic, overwhelming, and challenging, but being happy and staying positive is of utmost importance for my mind, body and soul.

Many things make me happy whether big, medium or small. Here's my partial happy list:

+ Cuddling on the couch with J
+ Talking on the phone with my mom
+ Finding a 'steal' at a thrift store
+ Hugs from my little students
+ Beautiful, warm, crystal clear ocean water
+ Sand between my toes
+ Receiving snail mail
+ Happy & healthy family and friends
+ Baking
+ Exploring new places around the world with J
+ Roadtrips
+ Foot massages
+ Making others happy
+ Paydays
+ Getting crazy, random e-mails from my dad
+ Catching up with friends
+ Being home in California
+ Traveling- anywhere & everywhere
+ Good music


What's on your happy list?
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November 26, 2013

How to cook a turkey

We did this writing activity in my pre-K class today. I got a lot of really cute responses from my kids, but this one was my favorite.

November 21, 2013

The Boy Behind the Blog: Music & Thanks

Time for my fave link-up where J gets to be a little more involved with my whole blog thing. I may force him (lovingly, of course) to do this every month. And I know he feels obligated, but I know he does it because he loves me and he knows it makes me happy.

Anyways- on to this month's questions & J's crazy answers:

1. Who is your favorite band/musician?
The wiggles

2. What was your first CD/tape?
My mom bought me No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom & Fugees - The Score for Christmas.   She bought the Fugees album based on "Killing Me Softly", so she was unpleasantly surprised when I'd later walk around the house singing along to things like "And even after all my logic and my theory, I add a mothaf**** so you ign'ant n****s hear me."

3. Who was your first concert?
The first show I saw was in Pittsburgh at a place called Nick's Fat City.  My friends and I were all about this VH1 show called Bands on the Run, and the band we liked from that show was called Flickerstick, from Texas.  So we went to see them.

4. What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?
Cranberry sauce.  With berries.

5. Finish the sentence: I am thankful for...
My family.  Especially my loving wife who makes me answer questions all the time.

Catch the previous The Boy Behind the Blog Q&A's here.

Come join the fun!
Mal Smiles

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November 20, 2013

Food in South Korea {Wanderlust Wednesday}

I will admit that when we plan a trip somewhere, the number one thing I look forward to is the food. Going to South Korea was no exception.

Before we left for South Korea, I was already in love with Korean BBQ (luckily Los Angeles has plenty of KBBQ places to choose from!). So I was looking forward to having it in actual Korea-- all legit. I was also looking forward to trying other foods. I had no expectations. But one thing is for sure-- I was not expecting Korean food to become one of my favorites!

Yes, the KBBQ was indeed amazing. But so were all these other dishes I couldn't even pronounce or read. We would just point at pictures when we would walk into a restaurant and would always leave happy.

This post is an ode of sorts to Korean food.

More recently we were able to grub on a massive amount of Korean food here in Nashville for J's birthday. We were missing the food in Korea like crazy and luckily we found a great spot- Korea House. We left there happy & will definitely be returning.

To read about our adventures in South Korea, click here.
Read my post about Koreans and Food.

J and I did an episode of our Hungry Backpacker series in South Korea (if you want to get a better picture of Korean food):

Check out our other The Hungry Backpacker episodes.

True Colours

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November 18, 2013

Cara Box First-Timer! {Reveal}

I joined my very first Cara Box Exchange in September. And, just like in the Snail Mail Collective, I was paired with some pretty awesome ladies. I lucked out- again!

Samantha over at Life Style Love was my partner who sent to me. She is a super nice gal who has a great blog where she talks about her life and other things! I really enjoy her blog and her positive attitude. Her and her husband are adorable! {Definitely go check her out here.} We immediately found out that we had a lot in common and getting to know each other has been fun!

This Cara Box Exchange's theme was "Fall in Love with the Season." And Samantha sent me some cute stuff that I loved!

Some cute Halloween stickers (that I will definitely use in my scrapbooking!), a cute card, a gold candle holder, Fall-colored sprinkles, and a pretty scarf (that I've put to use plenty already!).

Thank you so much Samantha for all my goodies!!

My other partner that I sent a Cara Box to was Kam at Anchors, Bows and a Doxie. She's also a really nice person and it was fun e-mailing each other back and forth. She and her husband recently moved to Southern California and they have two adorable dogs. She also has an estsy shop where she sells her beautiful stationary! Check out her blog at Anchors, Bows, and a Doxie. I was a couple weeks late sending my Cara Box to her because of somethings that came up in my life, but she was totally understanding. {I hope you enjoy your Cara Box, Kam!}

Visit Samantha at Life Style Love.
More information on the Cara Box Exchange can be found at Wifessionals.
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November 17, 2013

Sunday Social

1. Name 4 jobs you’ve had in your life.
    Sandwich artist
    Registered Dental Assistant
    English teacher

2. Name 4 movies you would watch over and over.
    Grandma's Boy
    The Science of Sleep

3. Name 4 places you have lived.
    South Korea


4. Name 4 of your favorite foods.

5. Name 4 things you always carry with you.
    Eye drops

6. Name 4 places you have been on vacation.
    Palau, Micronesia
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Granada, Spain
    Mancora, Peru


Sunday Social

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November 12, 2013

Monthly Photo Journal: October 2013

October was another good month that went down in the books! Here are some things we did last month via photos:

I went to the Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival & had a good time. // J played at an open mic. It was good to see him up there- it's been quite a long time since the last time he's been up on stage. // I participated in my first Snail Mail Collective. Franka spoiled me!

My sister-in-law & her fiance came to visit us! We went to Oktoberfest in Germantown. We also did the touristy thing of walking down Broadway at night and I stole a night shot of the Shelby pedestrian bridge. We also went on a hike at Radnor Lake on a perfect Autumn day. We had such a blast when they were here! I hope more friends and fam visit us.

My other partner in the Snail Mail Collective, Michelle, hooked me up with some goodies from Australia! // On a cold day, J & I were craving ice cream (because it's good no matter the temperature outside!) so we decided to go to our fave place to get some delicious Mike's Ice Cream- Sip Cafe. I got red velvet cake and pumpkin pie- both were AWESOME. // Temperatures finally dropped here in Nashville-- I actually have had to start wearing big winter coats & beanies!

We woke up early one Saturday morning to eat at one of our fave spots in Nashville- Pfunky Griddle! // I finally got around to making homemade laundry detergent (I've been using it for a few weeks now and it works really well! I highly recommend making some!). // The weekend before Halloween, I worked an event for Yelp that included adorable kids in costumes and cute dogs in costumes! My fave was this Pomeranian dressed as a pin cushion! It had a thimble as a hat, but the poor pup wasn't havin' it. 

To see previous Monthly Photo Journals, click here.
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November 11, 2013

My Dream Travel Destinations: Europe

Prague, Czech Republic


Rome, Italy


Istanbul, Turkey


Barcelona, Spain


Amsterdam, Netherlands


Honorable Mentions:
London, England
Vienna, Austria
Paris, France
Lisbon, Portugal
Berlin, Germany

Have you been to any of these places? What are some must-do's, must-see's, and must-eat's? What's on your European dream travel destination list?
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November 10, 2013

Help Victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines

Super Typhoon Haiyan (or known as Yolanda in the Philippines) has been recorded as one of the world's strongest typhoons. It ripped through the Philippines and has displaced nearly 800,000 people and has caused widespread devastation.

If you would like to help, there are many organizations who are helping with relief efforts. The people of the Philippines need everyone's help, no matter how big or small.

- World Food Programme: "WFP is mobilising quickly to reach those in need. Please make a donation now to provide emergency food assistance to families and children."

- UNICEF: "Children urgently need access to safe water, hygiene supplies, food, shelter and a safe environment to recover... Our resources are stretched from responding to three emergencies in a row within two months: armed conflict in Zamboanga, the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Bohol--and now, super typhoon Yolanda. We urgently need your help so we can aid those who are severely affected by this latest disaster."

- Save The Children: "Your support will help us protect vulnerable children and provide desperately needed relief to families. Ten percent of your contribution will be used to help us prepare for the next emergency... Donate now to the Typhoon Haiyan Children’s Relief Fund to support Save the Children's responses to ongoing and urgent needs as a result of the super typhoon."

- Global Medic: "Currently, our team in the Philippines is positioning water purification units to help people affected by the disaster. In the next 24 hours, our Canadian team will head to the area to provide support and increase the capacity of this program. We will be running an Explorer water purification unit which can purify 65 litres of dirty water per minute. We will also be running our Aqua Response 10 unit which can purify 38 litres of water a minute. Additionally, we are sending 1.4 million 1 litre water purification tablets."

- Care: "CARE is working to deliver emergency aid to families affected by one of the worst storms ever recorded..."

- World Vision: "Your contribution will help us deliver life-saving assistance in the aftermath of sudden-onset emergencies in the Philippines, like Typhoon Haiyan."

-AmeriCares: "Help AmeriCares deliver urgently-needed aid to support families struggling in the aftermath of disaster ... . A new emergency shipment is underway with enough medical aid for 20,000 survivors, including antibiotics, wound care supplies and pain relievers. AmeriCares is also providing emergency funding that will allow partner organizations in the Philippines to purchase and distribute critical relief supplies in the hardest-hit areas."

- To donate to the Salvation Army's Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts, text TYPHOON to 80888 to donate $10 and reply YES to confirm your donation. The organization uses 100% of all disaster donations in support of disaster relief.

You can also look up anything that may be going on in your area, such as a fundraiser, that is trying to help with the victims of this terrible storm.

{via USA Today}

{via USA Today}

{via USA Today}

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November 09, 2013

The Super Typhoon in the Philippines & My Family

When my husband and I woke up yesterday morning with the news of the super typhoon hitting the Philippines- I was worried. Was my family hit? Was J's family hit? Is everyone ok?

We read article after article, watched video after video of the horrendous Super Typhoon Haiyan (or Yolanda if you're in the Philippines)-- it demolished Tacloban (along with many other towns). Tacloban is on the island of Leyte, which is close to Borongan on Eastern Samar (where J's family is at). It was crazy for us to think that just about 7 months ago we were walking in the streets of Tacloban. And now it's in ruins. We tried to find any news on Borongan. All we could find was that it was hit. But we don't know anything else.

I've contacted my cousin in Legazpi, which is on the main island of Luzon. She and the rest of my family are all ok. They weren't hit as bad.

My father-in-law has been trying to contact our family in Borongan. Our Uncle who is in Manila has also been trying. But we still haven't heard anything.

Please keep the people of the Philippines in your thoughts and prayers. We are worried about our family in Borongan and hoping we hear from them soon.

For more information & news on Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda):
Reports: Typhoon Haiyan kills up to 1,200 in Philippines
More than 100 killed in one Philippine city by Super Typhoon Haiyan
 Typhoon Haiyan slams the Philippines
Super Typhoon Haiyan: Photos
Super typhoon Haiyan: Raw damage images and video from violent storm
Watch: Aerial footage of Tacloban City disaster

My heart is full of worry. I'm sending all my thoughts, prayers and good vibes to my Filipino people and especially our family.

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November 03, 2013

October Recap

It's been nice going around town and seeing all the leaves changing colors. I love it. It all looks so beautiful and it makes me love Mother Nature that much more. We have to appreciate it while all these pretty Autumn colors are still around!

October has gone down in the books and it's been a new month a few days now which means it is recap time! Here's what happened here at Latitude Adjustment:

- My husband has a blog and I posted a link to his post: First World Problems: Why trying to be Middle-Class in America is Depressing

- I love Aryn's blog Driftwood & Daydreams and participated in a few of her Photo Fridays:
   * Ngerbelas Island, Palau
   * Jaco, Costa Rica
   * Lake Havasu, Arizona

- I really enjoyed participating in Capture the Color.

- I had lots of fun at the Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival.

- I joined my very first Snail Mail Collective and was paired with two great partners: Franka & Michelle!

- I posted pictures of Colorful Cities Around the World for Wanderlust Wednesday.

- Another round of The Boy Behind the Blog.

- I fell in love with Mayer Hawthorne's cover of "Royals".

- I finally got around to making some Homemade Laundry Detergent. I was super excited about it.

- My last post in October was about my love/obsession with dogs (mostly French Bulldogs and Pugs). I posted several pictures and links of some amazing doggie-ness in Major Dog Love Overload!.

I hope your October was lovely and that you're still enjoying your Fall (or Spring if you're in the other hemisphere) while it's still here! xo
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