Thursday, November 17, 2011

Catching Up

I think it's safe to say that having two jobs is not really fun. And it's not exactly like I'm racking in the money because I make about $2.50/hour here in Chile. Yup. You read that correctly. So I'm currently working like a dog and racking in around $300 a month. But I also get to eat lunch on the beach everyday, so...

Is it inappropriate to talk about money on a blog?

Anyway, life sure isn't all bad. Pepa (the money-racker-in-er of the family) and I recently went camping with two of our favorite people near Pisco Elqui in the north of Chile. We ate lots of chocolate, baked in the blazing hot sun and swam in a freezing river (snow melt). And it was great. Way too great, because we didn't want to go home.


Maybe it was because we were so hungry, but this pastel de choclo quickly became one of my favorite things in the whole world. Oh, and the watermelon juice. Oh. My. God.

frozen watermelon juice, ensalada chilena and a pastel de choclo. sooo very yummy.

As I mentioned, the river was freezing, but the sun was so strong that taking a little dip every once in a while was absolutely necessary to survive. Yeah. it's that extreme. YEAH.



And then we came back to a short work week. Gotta love those short work weeks.




So here we are back in our little seaside town, looking for a new apartment.
Big updates, people.

not so clean
And Pepa/Pedro is in the process of selling his business and will have to stay here in Chile for 5 years. 5 whole years. So... we're currently considering BUYING an apartment. Did I ever think I'd say that at 23 years old? No, siree. But we're dreaming about our options and we'll see what we can find. But, ahem, we did just happen to take a look at some apartments that are being built down the road from us and we fell in love. Oh and did I mention it's at the top of our budget? Every night before we go to bed Pedro and I look at the booklet that they gave us as torture. We have fallen hard.

Also, due to the whole five years thing, I've decided to apply to medical school in Vina.
I'll keep you all updated on how our plans go.

I told you it was big.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wish me luck!

It is so HOT in Vina today. And with all this summer weather, this Northern Hemisphere girl is very confused. Spring in September? I don't think so.

So while I've been trying to stop myself from obsessing over all things fall, I got two jobs. two.
I didn't want to share until I knew for sure, but today I found out that I got both of the jobs that I applied for.

My life is about to get a whole lot more complicated.

Our bike ride this weekend

Happy fall/spring!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Now that X Factor finally premiered last night I can let the cat out of the bag.

Please look out for my beautiful and talented cousin, Kelsey Johnson during the Dallas auditions.

She is an amazing singer and one of the best people I know.

I still haven't been able to watch the episode for myself because it arrives later here in Chile (and I can't find it online!), but please watch it for me and cheer her on!

In the meantime, here's one of her songs that I love the most.

video

Isn't she cute?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pedro and I have been out of town with family for the holidays, but here's something for you to chew on in the meantime:


Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, “This is what I need.” It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment—not discouragement—you will find the strength is there. Any disaster that you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow. Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures followed by wreckage were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see that this is really true. Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not. The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes.
- Joseph Campbell

Hope you're all having a good week!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wow. Where did the time go?

While I've been preparing for the feast that will go down in just a few days here in Chile, there seems to be not enough hours in the day. Oh my gaaaah.

Anyway, as a distraction from my sojourn into insanity let's focus on some beautiful things that are making me excited for summer!

I've just come across a lovely blog (rockstar diaries) that make me want to completely rethink my wardrobe. I especially love Taza's (and her husband and baby's) style.

For instance, I'd love to be rocking this swimsuit and scarf combo on the beach (all photos from her blog):


Her hair has me wishing I still had my long locks (and did I mention her bright collection of lipsticks? oh my my):

Also, what would summer be without an arsenal of fresh recipes?

I am looking forward to making some:
Source: ?
Accompanied with some of this:

Source: Mrs. Lilien

Hello, Summer. I think I like you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Signs of Spring:

1. A little sweet-smellng jasmine flower in my hair all day long (please excuse the big ole' bags under my eyes - it was a long night)


2. A beach picnic with my girl, Ale, despite the crazy wind and long hike. But it was worth it. Especially to eat the jaiba empanadas that we brought along with us. Mmm empanadas.


3. Trips into the beautiful woods full of pines and eucalyptus


4. BBQ's with new and old friends. 
September is a big month in Chile because Sept 18 is the Dia de la Independencia. So really, we celebrate all month long.


5. And last but not least!! New patas! woooo! For all those bike rides along the coast and in the sun (!!)


That's it, folks. Along with lots of ice cream, brightly-painted toes, and warm night air. I love this time of year.

Glickr


Hope you all had a wonderful Monday!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Spring!

I know that this is probably old news to some, but I just recently came across the blog, elephantine, and I can't stop looking at all of the beautiful images and videos that she posts. I am especially loving this video that Rachel posted about her recipe for mojitos, salsa and chips.


mojitos, chips, and salsa from rachelchew on Vimeo.


I'm thinking that if I make some mojitos Spring will finally decide to stick around for more than a few days here in Chile.

Have a good weekend!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sunday Pancakes

Pepa and I like to reserve Sunday as a day just to ourselves to go on long bike rides, get projects done (finally) or to explore. One tradition that I always loved at my house was making pancakes on a Sunday morning.

This year, when Pepa and I traveled up to the panhandle of Florida for my annual family reunion, my mom was ready and waiting with her new favorite pancake recipe. Oh my gahhhh. They are amazing. Even Pepa, who is not usually one for breakfast foods, liked them too. Pepa approved, people.

A random picture of our FL trip for your enjoyment

So here is the recipe to share with you all, adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks, and posted by SmittenKitchen. My middle name just happens to be Mae too, so I feel like this recipe was just waiting for me to find it.

Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes

Ree says this makes 12 4-inch pancakes; I got 8 that were closer to 5 inches


7 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/ 2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream (I swapped some with yogurt when I realized I was short, to no ill-effect)
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Butter
Maple syrup (or perhaps some Cranberry Syrup)
Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-low heat; you want it to slowly get nice and hot.
Stir the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together in the bottom of a medium bowl. Dump the sour cream in on top and stir it together very gently; it’s okay to leave the texture a bit uneven. Whisk the eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl and stir them into the sour cream mixture, once again, being careful not to overmix.
Melt about a tablespoon of butter in your skillet or griddle and pour the batter in, a scant 1/4 cup at a time. Cook for about 2 minutes on the first side, or until bubbles appear all over the surface [See Pancakes 101 for this and other tips], flipping them carefully and cooking for about a minute on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter.
Serve in a stack, topped with a pat of butter and a cascade of maple syrup.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hello Spring

The transition from winter into spring always ignites a flame in me. I think this would be called something like 'Spring Cleaning'...of the mind. I feel more motivated to get all those projects done that I had been obsessing over during the winter months.

With this transition into spring has come the welcoming of new flowers into the house. These flowers that I picked up for $1 a bunch (oh yes, that's right) are some variation of the protea genus. I feel so proud (one! dollar! a bunch!) every time I look at them.


This weekend wasn't really all that conducive to having a typical spring outing, but Pepa and I got together with some friends anyway and headed out to a nearby oceanside town called Quintero.

Entering Quintero. That's Pepa and our friend, Jota, on the motos
 We stuffed ourselves with Pastel de Jaiba, shrimp and cheese empanadas, ceviche and salmon sashimi. We somehow managed to also make enough room for some pie de limon. Unfortunately, with all the ferocious eating going on at our table, I did not have enough time to take pictures.




Now I'm kicking myself that I didn't get more pictures because there were so many interesting details put into that little restaurant. Like a whale and turtle formed out of wire and decorated with beads and paper. Or a wall made out of driftwood and inlaid with pieces of colored glass.
It was lana as Chileans would say...meaning it was a hippie place.



But it was windy. And cold.

And it rained for the rest of the night.
My hopeful Spring day turning into the perfect reminder of the cold winter months we were so soon leaving behind.

So we snuggled in bed and turned on the heater and spent our Sunday night watching movies and staying warm.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happy Weekend : Feliz Fin de Semana


Sunburned and smiling.
It's been a good weekend.
Yesterday Pepa and I biked up the monster set of hills behind our apartment. We're feeling accomplished and sore... and much deserving of some ice cream.

Today we had an impromptu asado with friends. Motorcycle riding. Naps in the sun. Strawberry juice and lots and lots of pebre. And avocado.

Spring is arriving and the time changed here in Chile.

Have a happy weekend, friends.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lago Colbun

This past weekend was feriado in Chile (and nobody seems to know why) so some friends, along with Pepa and me, headed out to Lago Colbun.

Because the lake is about 4 hours south of Vina del Mar, the landscape and the weather can be very different. Being originally from Seattle, I love the south of Chile as it reminds me of my home; it's lush with green plant life and humidity. Which is one way of saying that it rains a lot...

Luckily the weather was beautiful and we got sun for almost the whole three days that we were there.


That being said, it was still pretty cold. We're just about to head into spring come September, so the air still has a chill, but the sun is really starting to shine.


If you're interested, we stayed in Cabañas Lago Colbun and we really loved it. The owner, Igor, is helpful and friendly. I would, however, recommend getting directions to las Siete Tazas from the local policemen, which we finally decided to do after hours of driving around in our friend's new car (which he enjoyed and we kind of enjoyed).


If you head up to the mountains there are thermal waters set into a beautiful valley. Word to the wise, there is no electricity at the termas and if you're looking to eat, bring your own food.


The lake itself is actually an artificial reservoir--supposedly the biggest one in Chile.
The dam, however, is inaccessible unless you happen to work there. Which we don't.



We ate more meat than I thought humanly possible and made s'mores with what we could find in the local market (read: cookies and super sweet marshmallows). Though we stayed pretty active playing frisbee and hiking, at night we gained any weight back that we might have lost--and then some. It was thoroughly satisfying to say the least.

Ale and Jota enjoying some Chancho en Piedra

There was a full moon while we were there
And after a long weekend this has been a wonderfully short week.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

This cold weather has really been bringing me down. What a surprise when the sun decided to come out and create a beautiful (and warm, yesss!) day. Too bad i've been stuck inside finishing up a final paper. I did get to sneak in a walk and I'm already dreaming of summer. Yes, I know, it's confusing. I'm in a different hemisphere.

Pepa and I have friends in Spain and ever since I came across this blog I can't stop thinking about Ibiza.
Let's take a little trip to Ibiza.
This is what I would wear, thanks to the lovely Madame de Rosa (from Spain):


One of my favorite things about Chile is the abundance of fresh fruit juice that is available. Almost every restaurant or food stand will have some kind of fresh juice to order. My favorite happens to be melon (Pepa's is pina/pineapple). Luckily, a little bit of fresh juice has the ability to transport me straight to Ibiza. Almost.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Inspiration

I'm sorry if this is somewhat of a lazy post. I've been sick for the past two days. But I guess that's what you get for hanging out with a guy who had the flu. 

Anyway.

Every now and again I find something that really sticks with me and I let it hang around on my desktop so that I can look at it whenever I need some good inspiration.

Here is my current list. I don't remember many of the sites where I found them (oops) but please let me know if they're yours! Someday I'll get better at this.

1. This happens to be one of the photos that does have a known owner. Behold, floppy sun hat, cute high-waisted bikini, and look at that beautiful view! I die.
image

2. This is not really a picture, but I think that it's a nice little list to keep around.
image

3. My mother's family is from the south and this picture reminds me of the summers I spend there. For me, this picture is instantly relaxing. 
I think I found this at simplelovely

4. This image (and bride!) has an ethereal beauty that I would love at my own wedding someday. Don't you love that braid?



That's pretty much it, folks.
Here's to having an inspired Tuesday. Hopefully, snot-free.

Friday, July 29, 2011

TGIF

That title says TGIF for anyone who's wondering...

Oh my my. It's Friday. Whereas I would normally take this time to pretend like I'm Katy Perry, Pepa has been sick with the flu for the past few days, so we're not doing anything too crazy tonight...

We have, however, been taking full advantage of this time at home to watch as many movies as we can and do fun things like order-in sushi. This morning after Pepa took a shower he actually got back into his pjs. We keep it classy around here.


I also finally got myself a bike and Pepa finally fixed his, so we're currently dreaming (because Pepa is sick...) of all the bike trips we're going to go on in the future.

One thing that does make me a little nervous about biking around these parts is that it isn't exactly bike-friendly. It's hilly (like San Francisco hilly) and it always seems like drivers actually veer towards you instead of away... Am I wrong? Perhaps, since I have actually only been on one bike ride here. I went with my med-school friend and we just happen to be very competitive (why? I don't know) so that bike ride was traumatizing. I'll let you know how it goes the second time around.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a lovely weekend and a really happenin' friday because I will be in bed watching movies and eating spaghetti with my love.

I'm going to trick him into drinking a spinach smoothie that I saw on itsahuntlife awhile ago. Recipe here.

Anyone have any good movie recommendations?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Goodbye, July

Lately it seems as though there are not enough hours in the day.

Between finishing up schoolwork, work, and trying to maintain a social life, I am exhausted. Phew, July, you have been quite a month. Thanks for everything, but I'm ready for you to be over. I feel completely brain-dead.

Today and tomorrow are also my two best friends' birthdays, topping off the craziness that has been this month.

Anyway, here are a few photos of our July, starting with Pepa and my trip to our friend, Gino's, farm.


Gino's farm is way out in the country outside of La Serena. 
We ate delicious food, walked for miles, ate handfuls of passion fruit and talked until late into the night. 

sand





So here's to you, July. You've done us well.
I can't wait to see what August has in store for us...

Like my two and a half year anniversary with this guy.

exhaustion

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fattin' It Up

Ay Caramba. Pepa and I have been fattin' it up this month, and folks, we have become chubs in the process. We're too young for this. Living with a man, however, can you make you do crazy things like eat 5 slices of pizza or lasagna with extra cheese. What were we thinking?

So today starts our new take on life. I actually got Mr. Pepa Whitebread to eat seed bread and he loved it.

Somewhere along the way, health got away from me. Pepa used to be a downhill bicycle champ. Then we started working and we got lazy.

Pepa, during his Abercrombie&Fitch days... not really


Anyway, we're starting anew. I really do think it's important to make time for exercise and to change those everyday unhealthy habits in healthy ones.


Some things we've starting to change are easy:
- I didn't like whole wheat bread all that much, so I tried seed bread and now I don't want anything else. Momma love her some seed bread
- We stopped drinking sodas and any other sugary drinks. Unfortunately, the water here is really not all that tasty, so we bought a filter that hooks right onto the spout.
- Pepa and I try to get at least 30 min of exercise a day. Now that we're working, it's a more manageable amount of time and we actually feel as if we're doing something. If we do more, great. If we do less, meh...
- We're also trying to use less sugar in our cooking. Now, when I'm baking, I usually use yogurt or applesauce so it's not overly packed with sugar.
- If we have someplace to go, we try to walk... if it's reasonable. Or we go on nighttime walks.

random picture from La Serena 
Anyway, I'm headed to lunch prepared by our French intern (yessssss). Day 1 of healthy new life: fail.