January 29, 2014

Question of the Day-- travel alone?

If you could travel anywhere in the world, but you'd have to leave your loved ones behind, would you?

This is really tough for me to answer because most, if not all, of my traveling has been done with J. I haven't traveled alone.. ever. But I'm down to do it- it's just not my preference. I think if an opportunity did arise for me to go on a trip alone, J would support me 110%. I know that he thinks it would be good for me.

So I guess the short answer to this questions is yes, yes I would. (With a few conditions, such as as long as it's not for an extended amount of time).

What are your thoughts?
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linking up with Nicole

January 27, 2014

Things I've learned since being Nashville

When I was in the third or fourth grade I did a report on Tennessee. Everyone in the class got to choose what state they wanted to do their report on. I can't remember why I picked Tennessee. But my theory is I chose it because I liked the stars on their flag and I really loved the song "Tennessee" by Arrested Development. Both are really plausible reasons. Either way, I did really well on it and got an "A".

Twenty-plus years later and I never would have thought I'd be living here. Shoot- I never thought I'd live anywhere east of the Rockies! But- here I am.

We've been living in Nashville for about 7 months now. And I've learned quite a few things since being here:

* How to spell "y'all" correctly. (before, I'd spell it "ya'll" -- silly me)

* The South gets really cold in winter. (this really surprised me. When I would think of "The South" I would automatically think hot and humid 24/7, 365. I never thought it snowed here. Boy was I wrong.)

* It rains... a lot! (it sure does! So much so it flooded us out of our house!)

* BBQ is better here. (BBQ in the South is the real deal-- so delicious and the best I've ever tasted!)

* Country music isn't all that bad. ( I think I'm coming around- but shhh don't tell J! I told him before moving out here that I could never like country music. But truth be told, I'm starting to tolerate it more and more the longer we're here!)

* Not everyone here has a Southern accent and wears cowboy boots. (To be honest- it seems like only the tourists wear the cowboy getups- just take a walk down Broadway and it's swarming with them!)

* People are a lot nicer here than where I come from - Southern California. (It must be the whole Southern hospitality thang! I like getting random "hellos"  and "good mornings" from strangers-- unlike in So Cal where it's all about people for themselves "stay out of my way" type of deal)

This is just the beginning of my learning list. I am sure it will expand the longer we're here!

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January 24, 2014

High Five For Friday: Guess Who? & Good Food

My five favorite moments from this week:

one// One of my preK kids drew this picture of me and him. He said "...because you love me!" It's moments like that that make my job a lot more tolerable. It made my day.

two// J and I hit up some thrift stores and came up on a perfect set of Guess Who? -- so we played "Subjective Guess Who" and it was a lot of fun. We asked each other questions like "Is your person a hipster?" and "Does your person look like he has to go around introducing himself to everyone when he moves into a neighborhood?" etc etc. It's fun.

three// I'm blessed to have a husband who can cook! And cook really, really well. He made some amazing potato tacos the other night.

four// We ate at Calypso Cafe and ate some really good Caribbean-esque food. And oh man- their hot spiced tea is my fave!

five// Another creative outlet of mine besides this blog is scrapbooking. I left my giant one and all my supplies back home in California. I've been missing it lately, so I went out last night to buy just a few things to start a new one. This time, I'm going to concentrate on mine and J's years together since being married- the start of our family. I already printed the pictures out for Year 1, so I'm excited to get it started tonight! (Inspired by this post on A Beautiful Mess)

How was your week? I hope it was wonderful and that you're staying warm!
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Linking up with Lauren today!

January 19, 2014

Free University Courses

Tomorrow I start an online course. Just for the heck of it. Because I want to and it's a class that sounds interesting and useful. And the big plus-- it's all FREE.

Have you ever heard of Coursera? The other week, my work sent a mass e-mail about a professor from our university that will be teaching a course on Coursera. I looked into it, and now I've signed up for 2 other courses besides the one I start tomorrow! 

If you have some extra time, even if it's an hour or two here and there, why not make that time useful and take a free university course? Learn about something new. Learn about something you've always wanted to learn about.

There are so many classes to choose from. And the level you want to participate in is all up to you. Some courses do offer certificates of completion. Classes are different lengths and start on different days.

The classes I've signed up for are:
Nutrition, Health and Lifestyle: Issues and Insights (starts tomorrow)
Teaching Character and Creating Positive Classrooms (starts Feb. 9th)
Buddhism and Modern Psychology (starts Mar. 20th)

I wasn't paid or anything by Coursera for this post, but I'd thought I'd share this excellent resource with you all. I'm all about learning and opening up the mind-- especially if you can do it for free! Check out Coursera here.
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January 16, 2014

The Boy Behind the Blog #8: Movies & the New Year

First round of The Boys Behind the Blog of 2014:

1. What was your favorite movie of 2013?
The Kings of Summer was my favorite, hands down. I also liked Mama and The Place Beyond the Pines.

2. What is your all time favorite movie quote?
I've got hundreds.  Mostly from the same movie.  "You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don't wanna know about it, believe me." 

Another good one: "It's wet ain't it?  Drink it!"
And one more:  "I may not understand it. I may not even necessarily agree with it. But I'll tell you what I've accepted: just sort of glide along. You want to keep things on an even keel, this is what I'm saying. You want to go with the flow. The sea refuses no river. The idea is to remain in a state of constant departure while always arriving. It saves on introductions and goodbyes. The ride does not require explanation - just occupants. That's where you guys come in. It's like you come onto this planet with a crayon box. Now you may get the 8 pack, you may get the 16 pack but it's all in what you do with the crayons - the colors - that you're given. Don't worry about coloring within the lines or coloring outside the lines - I say color outside the lines, you know what I mean? Color all over the page; don't box me in! We're in motion to the ocean. We are not land locked, I'll tell you that."

3. What is your favorite type of movie? (Action, scary, comedy, etc)/
I like them all, but Leia doesn't let me watch Scary movies cuz she has nightmares, so maybe comedies, or foreign dramas.

4. What is your New Year's Resolution?
I've got three.  1) Pay off the credit card.  2) Play at least 40 open mics/writer's nights throughout the course of the year.  3) Write and demo at least 2 songs a month.

5. Finish the sentence: This year I will....
This year I will refer to question #4 when someone wants to know what I plan to do this year.

You can check out J's music stuff here: http://mestizomagic.wordpress.com/

And find previous Q&A's from The Boys Behind the Blog here.

Mal Smiles
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January 14, 2014

Country Music {via my husband}

J and I moved to Nashville so that he could pursue a career in music. He's been doing pretty well- though he is still in the networking phase of it all. He's met some people and has done some co-writes, open mics/songwriter nights and joined some major songwriter organizations to help get the ball rolling.

J does all kinds of music. But since we're in Nashville, he's been concentrating on Country. I wanted to share some of the country songs he's done since we've been here. There are quite a few. Please feel free to comment with which ones you like:

Check out his website at http://mestizomagic.wordpress.com/  and like his Facebook Page Mestizo Magic.

Come link up at Tuesday Tunes!
Meanderings, Adventures, & Crafty Inspirations

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January 13, 2014

10 Favorite Travel Moments of 2013

I know we're already in the 3rd week of the new year. And I know it's been year-in-review overload in social media land. But when I saw Nicole's post last week, I thought it was a cool idea and it inspired me to do my own little review of my favorite travel moments of last year. So let's begin:

1. Exploring Talubagnan Cave, Borongan, Philippines
This was a crazy adventure! You can read about it here.

2. Seeing the rice terraces in Banaue, Philippines

This was my first time seeing rice terraces. It was incredible. I posted about Banaue here & here.

3. Falling in love with Sagada, Philippines

Sagada became one of my most favorite places in the Philippines. Read about it here. And see more photos here.

4. Enjoying everything about Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Ah yes, KL. We really loved it there and wished we could have stayed longer.. maybe even indefinitely. Read more here.

5. Batu Caves, Malaysia

Best part: Monkeys walking around everywhere!

Photobombed by a pigeon!

6. The views (& camping at) the Grand Canyon

The first stop on our roadtrip across America.

7. Camping & exploring in the Ozarks.

8. Trying real, Southern-style BBQ for the first time in Tennessee.

It was the very first thing we did when we crossed the Tennessee state line into Memphis. The food (pictured above) was so good-- it was an unforgettable experience!

9. Roadtrip to Maryland 

We took a roadtrip up to Maryland for 4th of July weekend. It was good to spend time with family.

10. Exploring Nashville

It's been quite an adventure settling into our new city we now call home! We've been here for about 7 months now, but there is still so much more to discover.
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January 09, 2014

Monthly Photo Journal: December 2013

I was happy it was finally December-- my favorite month! // First snowfall of the season // J has been playing open mics more often. I'm his number one fan :) // I baked some yummy cookies for my kids!

We did Secret Santa at work. // I made a quick trip to Cali & I was happy to see my fam! // I was also happy to see my BFF! // & I was happy to put my toes in the sand!

I enjoyed a yummy birthday breakfast // I celebrated my birthday surrounded by loved ones  // My mom made our wedding scrapbook- which I had no idea she was going to do that- I LOVED it! // Our Christmas dinner.

J got me a slow-cooker for Christmas! // Watching "47 Ronin" in 3D on Christmas // We also went to D&B after the movie and won major! // I received my prizes I won from Vintage Zest!

It was a good month filled with lots of fun and good times-- and as always- it went by way too quickly!

{Check out previous Monthly Photo Journals here}
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January 08, 2014

Write in a Journal

I've never been one to make goals or resolutions for the new year. I mean, I think of things that I want or need to do, but that's about as far as I'll go.

But there are some things I would like to start doing more often- things I know I can accomplish. One of these things is working out (I'm sure I'm not alone on this one!). But really, I need to get back on my grind. We have a wedding to attend in the Bahamas in May, so I need to get my butt in shape (literally).

The other thing is that I would like to start writing in a journal. When I was younger (I'm talking 15+ years ago) I was really good at writing in a journal. But I haven't done it since then. I think writing is good for the soul. I miss it. And there are a lot of things I don't want to share in this public realm of blogland. So the other day, I went to the store to pick up a journal and have made a few entries since then. And for days when I can't think of anything to write about, I go to this website for inspiration: Question of the Day.

I know I can keep up with this goal because I do tend to have a lot of free time and during those times, I get an urge to write. Hopefully I can fill this journal up and start another one! I think it'll be cool to be able to pass my journals down to my kin, something I wish my mom or grandmother would have done for me. But since they didn't- why not and start now, right? :)
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January 07, 2014

Travel-Themed Parties

I'm on a quest of sorts to find travel-themed everything via Pinterest. Last time, I shared pins of Travel-Themed Rooms.

Today, I'm sharing pins of
Travel-Themed Party Ideas
{click on picture to be taken to pin}




















Now I feel like throwing a party... and travel somewhere! So many cute and fun ideas.

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