Thursday, April 26, 2012

Keepin it real

Last Saturday Daniel and I had a breakfast date at a western restaurant. It was so good!!! I love breakfast! And I love having someone else make my coffee :)

Daniel enjoying his omelet and looking kind of nervous.

Yummm french toast!

After our date, we came home and I lived in the kitchen for the next several hours. We were having friends over the next day, and i wanted to make TPW cinnamon rolls. They really are so good!

And I added chocolate chips because why wouldn't you?

Please note all of the flour on the floor. It's not as easy at it looks people.

Daniel caught me getting some of the leftover cinnamon sugar glaze off the counter. no shame.

This week was my teacher's birthday. I got her a small present that cost just a few dollars. She had the best reaction and was so grateful! After I gave it to her she was saying that she wasn't expecting any presents for her birthday and she was so excited because she got two presents this year. I was so happy to celebrate her birthday with her! She was a great reminder that it really isn't all about the presents. ahhh...perspective.

The next few days is a holiday here, so Daniel and I are leaving tomorrow for the mountains. For reals........I cannot wait to be there!

I'm not taking my computer so I'm not sure if I'll blog or not. But don't worry when I get back I promise to post pics of everything we ate :)

Happy weekend!



Thursday, April 19, 2012

Week in review

I wish I had pictures...but I don't.

I also realized that Daniel and I haven't taken a picture together in well over a month. We need to fix that.

If ya'll noticed, and I'm sure you did, because what is better than stalking my blog to keep track of my running stats, am I right?? I've actually been running for 2 weeks now. Just call me consistent.
I ran last week twice, and tomorrow will make twice for this week. I know, I'm not setting any huge records here, but I don't want to overdo it on the whole self-discipline thing. Some things are just better eased into :)

The high light of our week was receiving some good language encouragement. I feel like when learning language there are always good days and bad. Some days you feel like you're totally making process and are way excited that you understood more than just 'hello,' but there are other days that you can't speak a sentence to save your life.
Anyways...the high point of the week. Daniel and I both had a friend (who actually speaks the language) give us some tips and pointers and also give us an idea on where we are in the whole fluency thing. We were both pleasantly surprised to hear that we're actually catching on and making good improvements. It's one thing to tell yourself that you're right on track but it's a whole other world to have someone else tell you, and actually have the authority to say it! Daniel is killing it. For reals. He is amazing at speaking, understanding, reading, and writing. I'm pretty proud of all he has learned and how well he has learned the language. It's pretty amazing!

In other news...we're currently out of decaf coffee. I know, the horror. For a few years now, I've never made just straight coffee. I make half regular/half decaf. But I also drink a lot, so I guess it evens out in the end! I started doing half and half about 4 years ago after I took a really long caffeine break.

We ate hot dogs tonight. I know my sister is gagging this very moment, but seriously a good hot dog is rare these days, and we were pretty thankful.

My language teacher gave me half of her birthday cake today. It was a small cake, but still. No one should have too much chocolate cake with peaches, kiwi, and other unidentifiable fruit on top. Everything in moderation, I say.

Daniel and I have a breakfast date on Saturday morning. Breakfast is probably my favorite meal of the day, and I LOVE eating it out! love love! So i'm pretty excited about our date! I may not have any pictures with my husband, but I can guarantee I'll have a picture of my Saturday breakfast.

Strawberries are starting to come into season here, which is also blogworthy.

That's it for now, have a good Friday! (or thursday depending on your time zone)



Monday, April 16, 2012

Must make recipe

You know how sometimes you just feel like you're in a cooking rut? You feel like you make the same thing all the time and nothing sounds good to make? That's where I was a few days ago, so I wandered over to, because I feel like everyone is talking about it.

And I found this! I always love a good crockpot meal!

I made a few substitutions....I chopped up 2 tomatoes (next time will do 3) instead of using the canned diced (bc we can't get that here), and instead of all of the spices, I just put in a packet of Taco seasoning. I also didn't use scallions, because I'm still unsure as to what those are exactly. And I only used about 1 lb of chicken.

Here it is!

Last night I served it over rice, and tonight I made tortillas and we just used the leftovers as burrito filling. I'm telling you, this is amazing and delicious!!!!! I rarely ever find a recipe that I want to make over and over again, but this one is definitely a keeper. One thing I simply LOVE about it, is how easy it is!!! Very little chopping or prep work. Also, I love that it is can put it with rice, tortillas, use it as a quesadilla filling, or serve it over tortilla chips and make a taco salad. Leftovers will no longer be boring! Make it, I promise you will like it!

Also, in cooking news this week, look what I did!

Apparently I'm stronger than I thought. I'm thankful that I wasn't hurt when the blade went flying but also sad, because this was seriously my favorite knife!

Daniel cooked on Saturday night, and we had pork, veggie stir fry and was yummy!

Random story.....I hung out with a local friend on Saturday night and she has a car. So she picked me up at my house but made me sit in the back the whole time because she "wasn't skillful." It was pretty awkward, so by the time she took me back home I insisted that it would be okay for me to sit in front, a risk I was willing to take.

I'm off to spin class!!



Saturday, April 14, 2012

whose child?

Last Saturday, I went to a local orphanage with a few friends. The orphanage is in a small town about an hour or so away.

I didn't really know what to expect, honestly. The last time I went to an orphanage I was about 11 years old. We lived in Belgium and our church kind of adopted a nearby orphanage. We would go each year to put on a Christmas party for them and bring presents. I remember how fun it was to go shopping for "our girl" and buying her all the pretty things we thought she might like.

So that was close to 20 years ago.

Last weekend was Easter, so we brought plastic easter eggs filled with candy to let the children have a little easter egg hunt. We also brought cupcakes and fruit. All of the children were in a large "playroom" and as soon as we walked in they were grabbing the food from us and just devouring it!

We also brought coloring pages and markers so they could color. Most of the children had disabilities so it was hard for them, but I think they enjoyed it!

There were only 3 babies at the orphanage, and I was able to hold 2 of them. I also spent some time with this little guy while he was eating lunch.

And I started to wonder, whose child is this? Are his parents worrying about whether or not he is safe, what does he look like, what are his interests? As I thought about this in regards to his biological parents, I wondered the same thing about his hopefully future parents. Are there families right now who are longing for  a child....and wondering are they safe, what do they look like, and what are his interests?

Most of the children just wanted to be touched, or held, or to hold a hand.

After we returned from the orphanage we went to eat "over the bridge" noodles. It was my first time to eat them and I loved it! It was a great experience. Basically, you get a plate of raw veggies, egg, meat, etc...

Then you put all of it in to a bowl of boiling water. The water cooks it and then you add the noodles and eat it. I was a little skeptical about the meat being cooked all the way, so I just ate around it. But it had great flavor and was perfect since it was a cold rainy day.


Monday, April 9, 2012

That is what I call ironic

So....I don't have a single picture of our Easter. But rest assured that I wore the exact same thing I wore last year and Daniel wore a new blue plaid shirt that looked quite wonderful on him.

I was talking to a friend last night (you know who you are) and we were both lamenting how we had "mysteriously" gained 2 pounds each in the last few weeks. I was specifically annoyed because these past 2 weeks I have intentionally exercised more and continued my healthy eating habits...yet right when I started to increase my physical activity, I gained weight. (sidenote I've been the exact same weight for the last 9+ months, so any deviation is weird)

Yes, 2 pounds is not the end the world, I know this. But I'm allowed to feel like it is :) ha! And just because i don't live in America doesn't mean I can't experience first world problems :)

Anyways...I've been going to spin twice a week, and doing the Shred or walking a few miles on other days. And let me tell you I had the opportunity for Starbucks this past week and I turned it down!!! Someone give me a gold medal for showing ultimate self control.

So...the 2 pounds. I decided this weekend that enough is enough and I decided I must start running regularly again. It's been a few  months weeks since I've run with any real consistency. The best time for me to run right now is in the morning before class. Which means I would have to get up early. Earlier than I would like. But I told myself I had to get myself back into shape and exhibit a little self discipline.

So this morning, my alarm went off and I started to get ready for my run. I figured I would weigh myself to see the most recent weight gain. And lo and behold if I wasn't exactly back to my old weight. That is what I call ironic.

After celebrating how healthy and in shape my body was I contemplated not running at all, because clearly there was no need right?! Daniel even told me to go back to bed. But persevered I did, and ran about 3 miles. It wasn't fast by any means, but I loved it. I loved running on the empty quiet streets and knowing that before I'd even had my first cup of coffee, my work out for the day was done.

go me.

In other news, I'm continuing to watch my way thru the Star Wars movie. We've started watching a new one on Saturday nights...yes, we do know how to party, thank you. We just finished the Jedi one, so now I think we start going back in time to start watching the new ones. Makes sense right?

All that to say....I'm going to start running again.



Saturday, April 7, 2012

Week in pictures

Before we left the states, a friend of mine gave me her old Iphone to use over here. I had never had an iphone, so even though i've been using it for a few months now, I still forget how many cool things it can do.

Like take pictures. I always usually bring my camera with me, but as of yesterday have realized how much more convenient it is to use my phone.

Here's my week!

Earlier this week I made a strawberry-pineapple-orange-spinach smoothie. It tasted really good!!

sidenote: i need to get some glasses that are big enough to hold my smoothie!

Yesterday, I went for a walk. I like to take walks to try and get lost and to explore new things around our house...which isn't too hard to do. I truly believe that there are little treasures just waiting to be found, I just need to look.

Case in point:

I found this cute store that had lots of beauty products. They actually sold the regular bottles of OPI, but they were $13, and seriously? But I love that no matter what country I'm in...Texas is representin'!! know when you buy make up from a department store and you get the free gift with purchase? They had tons of the little free sample things. But again...each was about $10. And I know these were originally free!

Our complex is really sprucing up the place for spring. It makes me happy! I love seeing all the flowers!

Last night I made lasagna. I was totally planning on doing vegetarian, but it was a long busy day and I didn't want to take the time to try a new recipe. And my regular meat lasagna is way easy to make, and I hate to brag, but oh so good! So I sauteed up some spinach and we called it a meal!

(i feel the need to clarify, this is Daniel's plate)

This morning I went to a local orphanage. That will be a separate post. I'm still processing everything. It was hard to see. The kids were so excited to see us and to have us play with them. But I had a hard time dealing with the conditions and care they receive. More on that later.

But...ya'll know I was all sad about Easter this year. And I told Daniel this was going to be the first year I wouldn't have an easter basket. Shocking, I know. But seriously my mom has always made sure I had one...even mailing it to me last time I lived overseas. Lame, maybe. But still. I thrive on tradition. So guess what I saw when I came home today?

Ya'll, he really is the best!!! Not sure if you can tell, but he made me a basket out of a planter, and filled it with lots of really good yummy treats!!! I never buy peanut m&m's because i think they're too expensive. So I am so excited to eat these soon!

That was my week! Happy Easter!



Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Confession

I am embarrassed to actually write this post, but it's been on mind.

This morning is Good Friday. I got on Facebook this morning and read some status updates that people were excited about their 3 day holiday weekend. My first thought was "wow, I wonder what holiday is going on right now in the states."

I wish I was kidding.

Honestly, Easter has really snuck up on me this year. I was talking to my sister and she was talking about easter egg hunts and sunday services, and she asked me if we had any plastic eggs at our house or how we were going to celebrate.

I was like "ummm we're going to have lunch with some friends."  I felt lame for not having an Easter basket to give Daniel on Sunday morning. I had a mini pity party that my house doesn't have a single easter decoration. I'm sure I could have found some craft or something on Pinterest, but again, Easter has completely snuck up on me and hasn't really been on my mind. And I don't say that passively, I'm so sad that it hasn't been.

Not to throw out blame (ha), but as I was thinking about it and talking with my sister, I realized that in the states, one is easily bombarded with easter reminders everywhere you go. I'm pretty sure that if I walked into any store in the states right now, I would be instantly reminded of what holiday was coming up next. Is it weird that i miss that? I miss seeing all the cute decorations, coloring eggs (yes we're the family that does that every year even before sarah had the boys.....i'm sure i was the only person in college who still colored eggs with my parents and grown sister), and getting an easter basket from my mom filled with candy and little treats.

I know that is not the point of Easter. And that's where I'm headed with this.....just because I don't have all the cute "stuff" to remind me doesn't mean the meaning is lost. You would think that without all the media hype and distractions of the easter bunny, it would be easier to remember the reason we celebrate. And it should be that way. But this is my honest hasn't been that way this year. I don't know if it's because things are busy and I really try to take each day one at a time, and that has kept me from looking forward.

My hope for today is to know His nearness. I want to be in awe of His saving power and the new life that He has given to me. I don't want Easter to come and go and the only thing I remember is that I need to make the jello salad for our Sunday lunch. I want to be caught up in Him. And only Him, my risen Savior!



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

zumba-asian style

So i joined the gym I told ya'll about. I got an AMAZING deal and i'm pretty excited about it. My incentive for joining was 10 free passes to give to friends. One of my friends has been wanting to try the spin class, so we met up last night to go.
Come to find out, spin class was cancelled for 3 days because of "t he holiday." I use that word loosely because it's not a major holiday-Daniel is out of class and some banks and businesses are closed, but guess who is still in class this week? yep, just call me an over achiever, ha!

Anyways....spin was cancelled but they asked if we wanted to go to the other group exercise class. We live on the edge so we said of course. It was actually a Zumba class. Now, I have never attended a zumba class in the states, so I didn't know what to expect. Let's just say it had an Asian twist for sure!!

My friend and I were sweating it all off for sure, but it was so much fun! The dance moves were interesting....but oh so much fun!

I say, if you are ever lacking entertainment in your life....please try any work out class in Asia. It's so much fun!!

Maybe all the spinning and zumba is getting to me. I have been having what I would classify as "excessive thirst," lately and feel like i am drinking water non-stop, and just can't get enough. So I tried to self-diagnose and came up with diabetes or iron poisoning. I really don't see how either can apply to me, but seriously non.stop.thirst. ideas??

also, random...but I had a root beer today. I was at an import store, and seize the day i did.



Sunday, April 1, 2012

Weekend Rewind

We are experiencing beautiful weather here! We have had sunshine for several days in a row and I am so happy! Look at these pretty flowers and trees!

(this was actually taken a few days ago when it was pretty cloudy)

This past week was spent mostly in language study. March and April are months that we knew we wouldn't be doing much travelling, so we're really trying to focus as much on language as we can right now, before the busy summer.
It's April, ya'll. Seriously where did the time ago?? I'm almost 30 and 1/4. Way too close to being 31 for my comfort.

Friday night we go to a weekly english corner to help locals learn english. This week we talked about wisdom, foolishness, and making good decisions. It was a great reminder of who is the giver of all wisdom.

Saturday was a weird day.

We got a text message from a friend who lives in our apartment complex at 7:30am that we were supposed to be without electricity from 8am -6pm. I was still in bed, so Daniel came and told me so we could hurry up and prepare for the day. We plugged in phones and computers to get as much charge as we could, got everything out of the fridge that we would need, made coffee, and then just waited. And waited. Finally, the power did go out about 10am, but came back on at 12 and stayed on. Hear me, I am NOT complaining, but it was kind of funny to prepare for a day without power and then not be inconvenienced at all. Pretty anti-climatic.

What wasn't anti-climatic is what happened later Saturday afternoon. Daniel heard what sounded like water running. Yes, water was running. In fact it was pretty much gushing from our hot water heater onto our enclosed patio/laundry room. We are SO thankful that a) we were home to catch it before it went too far and b) our electric plugs and things for the washer/dryer were high enough to not be effected.

So.........we get a repairman to come and he says there are many problems and we need a new one. We totally believe him because we've had problems in the past with it. We call the landlord who argues with the repairman that we probably don't need a new one.

Long story, short our landlord is planning on coming Monday morning to assess the situation. I'm really hoping he sees hot water as a necessity.

Also....because ya'll know I'm not a regular shower-taker (unless I work out), I hadn't showered since Thursday night. I don't mind my body not getting a shower, but my hair can get oi-ly! Thankfully, it is pretty common to just go get your hair washed at the many nearby hair salons. So I paid $4 and got a hairwash and dry.

Here's me this morning.  My eyes are kind of squinty because my eyes are just kind of squinty.

I need a haircut, and I'm actually thinking get a few inches off! We'll see......

Oh...i forgot to tell ya'll..... last weekend I watched my FIRST Star Wars movie! They really aren't that bad, and kind of entertaining. Last night we watched the second one, Empire Strikes Back. I want to watch them all in the order they were originally released.

And.....I'm trying to cook vegetarian this week. Because veggies are cheap and healthy, and why not I say? We'll be eating eggplant bake, vegetarian lasagna, and fish. Does fish count? I think some vegetarians eat fish right?? And i'm still trying to find a good recipe for veggie lasagna, so hook a sister up if ya'll have one!