Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Something that made me laugh

So I've started reading Eat Pray Love, which I am loving by the way, and in the first part of the book there were many parts that brought a smile to my face.  The author is a very witty writer and I have enjoyed these comical bits throughout the book.  So far, the one that made me actually laugh out loud when I was walking and reading on my way to work was the following, from Story 20:

So the author is talking about how she loved to try new foods when she was in Rome.  And so one day she was with her friend Luca, trying a Roman specialty (intestines of a new-born lamb) and how she comes to a point when she can no longer continue to eat it and so she pushes it aside for a salad.  The following is a direct quote from the book:

"You don't like it?" asks Luca, who loves the stuff.
"I bet Gandhi never ate lamb intestines in his life," I said.
"He could have."
"No, he couldn't have, Luca. Gandhi was a vegetarian."
"But vegetarians can eat this," Luca insisted.  "Because intestines aren't even meat, Liz.  They're just shit."



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful Even From Afar

First of all--Happy Thanksgiving!!!

So it's no surprise that we are not in the US celebrating Thanksgiving today. Nope, today was a work day in Chile, nothing special for the majority of the population here. I, however, have been wishing we were home. Even if I wouldn't eat the turkey now, for me, it's not about the food. It's about the company and being grateful. Although I'm not gonna lie, a great meal just makes the day all the more special.

I tried to plan a Thanksgiving celebration with friends here just like we did last year but this time of year is complicated--there are so many events going on that matching up all of our schedules is ridiculously difficult. Not to mention that it isn't a holiday so preparing a delicious meal for 10+ people means that it has to be done on a weekend. In short, after taking a look at our schedule and talking to my friends, it wasn't looking like we'd get to Thanksgiving until January (if that)!

But I do think it is super important to remember and put in the forefront everything that we are thankful for. And that is what I intend to do....just like a million other bloggers out there. I might even try to incorporate this idea of a gratitude journal into my daily life. I was just given a super cute little flip pad for my birthday that would be perfect to jot down a daily or weekly gratitude list. Anywho, that is a bit of a tangent. Back to the point.

This year, I am so thankful...

...for my wonderfully sweet husband,

...for my crazy little fur child, even though she sometimes causes me TOO much stress like with this whole getting spayed process,

...for my family and friends back home who I miss so dearly,

...for my friends who are my family here in Chile,

...for the fact I have been able to venture around the world, or rather the Americas, and learn about other cultures,

...that two of my best friends got to come visit us in Chile this year (Nichelle & Staci)

...that our loved ones are healthy for the most part, that I have come into a new-found love of reading, that I can cook and have the freedom to choose how I eat, that my husband and I have stable jobs that are helping us prepare for the move back to the US, that I have figured out what I want to study even though the where and when aren't quite clear, that the 33 miners were found alive and rescued, for dark chocolate, for massages, for roses and gerberas and any other flowers, for late harvest wine (my fave), for the fact that we survived the earthquake, for yoga which has helped me find more balance in my life, for the ability to not be financially burdened, that I have learned so many lessons from living in Chile, that I came upon a little store called Lush, and many but many things more!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What's Wrong With Our Food System

"Think local, choose organic, know your farmer and know your food."

This video was passed to me through the gringa group and while I think this kid is a bit too rehearsed in his speech, more people need to hear his message and understand exactly what he is talking about. Most all points he touched upon can be read more in depth in The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. It is a great book that will lay out all the information on not only the conventional food industry, but also the giant organic industry and small local organic industry. Then you can make your own choices about how you want to eat but at least you will have all the information to make an informed decision, instead of an ignorant one that the food companies hope we all make.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Meal Shelf Life

Now, I am sure most people my age remember being taken to McDonalds and getting a Happy Mean when they were a kid. I used to go with my grandparents on the weekends and I loved getting those toys. While I sure enjoyed my time and meals at McDonalds, I now know how toxic they are (hopefully they weren't that toxic when I was younger) after watching Supersize Me and now this youtube video (both of which I suggest you watch):

Just about as toxic as the link I posted to the nasty cool whip experiment a while back!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

First Experience at the Vega Central

After almost 3 years of living in Santiago Christian and I finally ventured to the Vega Central today. The Vega is basically a huge fruit and veggie market in the Recoleta neighborhood of Santiago. It is known for having the best variety and prices for fruits and veggies, however we had never been there for a number of reasons. They were all pretty silly reasons when I think about it now and I am SO glad that we went today! Seriously the variety is unbeatable. There were a ton of things that I didn't even recognize, especially in the Peruvian stands. The quality varies from stand to stand, but overall is great since there are hundreds of booths to choose. We parked the car on the inside of the Vega where it would be safer than out on the street and it allowed us to make trips to the car to put away the kilos and kilos of fruits & veggies that we got! Today's venture was a HUGE success--the market was way nicer and cleaner that I thought it would be. They vendors weren't shouting at us or whistling at me like I have experience in other ferias either. It was busy, but manageable.

So after a little over 50 minutes, Christian and I had purchased the following--all for about $34 USD:

  • 7 artichokes
  • 5 zucchini
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 yellow bell peppers
  • 2 orange bell peppers
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 3 heads of garlic
  • 12 huevos del campo (equivalent of free-range eggs)
  • 2 kilos of carrots
  • 1 kilo of pears
  • 1 kilo of apples
  • 1 kilo of camote peruano (sweet potatoes...or so I hope)
  • 4 kilos of strawberries (this cost us a whopping $4!!!!!)
  • 1 kilo of cherries
  • 1/4 kilo of ostra mushrooms
  • 1.5 kilos of banana
  • 1/2 kilo tomato
  • 1 kilo avocado
All of this for only $34 dollars! Amazing! I would say that all together we are taking about 16 kilos (or 35 lbs) of fruits and veggies! Mmmmm can't wait to get started cooking!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Halloween Costume Recap

Costumes were Christian's brilliant ideas.....not only that, but he made almost all of the costumes (including my hat). The only parts we bought were the guns, handcuffs, and badges.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Follow-up article on posture

Kind of a coincidence that I write about my posture today, then happen to click on the Vegetarian Times website and see an article regarding posture and why you need to improve it. Check it out here.....it has some great exercises that can be used to help strengthen your back muscles!

Working on my Posture

It goes without saying that most people could have much better posture than they do.  We live in a world now which is mostly sedentary and sitting in front of a computer for hours on end tends to cause us to relax back in the chair and let our shoulders hunch over.  Our bodies can be surprisingly lazy if we let them and the more you let them, the more they want to be lazy.  The opposite is true too though--or at least I have found it to be: the more I am active, the more my body wants me to be active.  Could explain why I am hating having a job where I have to sit in front of a computer allllll freaking day long when I would much rather be moving around.  Not that I am tied to my chair...I'm not.  I can get up and walk around.  But I can't really accomplish anything if not at my computer save the chance contract that I print out and read on paper, which I can do standing up in my small office area.  And I do do that sometimes.  But 99% of my work is tied to the computer and I can't stand up and work let alone be in movement and get things done.  

I have noticed that in the past few years since I graduated college and entered the office world, my posture has been suffering.  This is on top of the fact that I am not taking ballet classes either which were a constant reminder for years to maintain my good posture in and out of class--practicing outside of class made class go ten times better because my muscles were already used to it. I used to practice ballet anywhere I was.....especially back in high school in my English and Spanish classes.  I was in a small high achieving class and so things were more relaxed.  I was alway stretching, or sewing my point shoes while we discussed the books we had read, etc.  In fact, they nicknamed me Dancing Blonde (my hair was blonde at the time).  I remember that I actually grew about a half inch thanks to ballet, although I have most surely lost it since I stopped dancing.  

My husband has been having back pain due to poor posture and so this topic has been on my mind lately. I have been trying to remember to have good posture at work even though the bad habit of slouching is so easy to slip into.  I have been thinking about "pulling up", as we say in ballet, as if a string was tied to my head and was pulling me up.  I walk around my office pulled up and try to remember to sit properly at my desk as well.  I try to get up and move around every once in a while too, but some days you just can't get away from your desk.  I use this technique in yoga too because doing yoga with proper posture and with poor posture are two completely different things.  I want to teach it to Christian but he might think I am crazy.  In any case, I have to think of something to help him with his poor posture and to work his back muscles to become stronger.  One idea I have, that he is open to, is that he take an introduction yoga class which is for one month, twice a week.  I think yoga is a good option for him since he doesn't like gyms or lifting weights.  He likes to run, and while I think running is a great exercise if you like it, he still needs something that will challenge his muscles (similar to weight lifting), especially his upper body.  This is not to say that running doesn't challenge your muscles, it does....but he specifically needs upper body strength and since he doesn't like lifting weights, I think yoga is the next best choice.  So we'll see....hopefully in December he'll enroll.  I might take the class with him just for the heck of it.....plus it will be a fun couple thing to do since he refuses to take salsa dancing classes with me.  (Anyone have a gay guy friend who wants to take dance classes with me? haha....)


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Still not back in my routine

I had a great gym routine going until the last few weeks of August when life decided to get crazy.  I was hitting up the gym 4-5 times a week, twice for Body Balance (love starting and ending my work week with this class), twice for early morning Body Pump.  Then I traveled to Buenos Aires for work (def not complaining about that though), things at work got crazy busy as my team has been "restructured" meaning I am now pretty much the remaining team member (there were once 3 of us), Christian had surgery, and one of my best friends visited.....all in the span of just under 2 months.  So basically my morning Body Pump classes have been thrown out the window.  I went last week and was super happy I did, but have not gone since.  My alarm rings at 6am and my body wants nothing to do with getting up and working out. Not to mention that on those days I do generally end up feeling more tired and wiped out.  I think I may need to up my caloric intake on those days because I am pretty sure it is tied to not having eaten enough by the afternoon and thus feeling very blah.

I have been going to the gym though...even if not to my usual classes.  This week has been elliptical week.  I was able to get a lot of The Omnivore's Dilemma read while sweating it out on the elliptical.  Then I would do abs and back work and then stretch for a good 15-20 minutes.  Today I think I will do more elliptical and maybe some power-walking, or perhaps go to the Baile Entretenido class for a while.  Tomorrow the plan is to double up and go to Body Balance and then stay for Body Pump.  Then I can free up my Saturday to hit up the Mercado Paula Gourmet which I am super excited to check out.  There are actually classes today and tomorrow that I would love to attend, but sadly they are during work hours.  So Saturday it will be.

It is sometimes frustrating to me to have fallen out of my routine.  I like having my gym time planned out and dedicated because I am less likely to skip it....which is why I am trying so hard to get back into it!  Plus my gym membership ends at the end of January and at that point I have to evaluate whether I sign up again and for how long, or if I maybe sign up for  a yoga studio to try that out for a while.  So I want to get as much out of the gym as possible in these last 3 months.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Great Food Book

I just finished (today actually) reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan and I must tell you it is one damn good book! While I eventually hope to write my thoughts on some of the points he makes in the book and stories he tells, I thought I'd at least write a short post to tell you to GO READ THIS BOOK in case that eventually never happens.

Everyone needs to read this book, especially if you are American. It should be required in middle/high school. It is that good.

It explains the history of four meals (as the caption below the title explicitly says) but in a way that is interesting, thought-provoking and informative....and you won't even feel like you are reading! It is as if Michael Pollan is narrating these stories to you himself. I loved living out (in my imagination) these food adventures with him and becoming educated on the history of where our food comes from--something that so many of are ignorant to.

I think I might even re-read it I liked it so much.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Allergies gone crazy

I didn't start having seasonal allergies until high school....or maybe I just don't remember having them as a kid.  But I do remember taking some allergy medicine during the springtime in high school and then for sure when I moved to Boulder for college.  While my hometown is located in the mountains and is very green with pine trees, shrub oak, grass, etc., the greenery in Boulder was different and my allergies went crazy when I lived there.  I remember going out to get my car and it just being covered in a thick yellow dust......pollen, and lots of it.  After a few years in Boulder I noticed that my allergies got better, even though I still took allergy medicine sometimes, they weren't nearly as bad my 3rd and 4th years there in comparison with my 1st and 2nd years.  What did happen in those last few years was that my allergies back home got worse than they had been.  Apparently my body was getting used to the pollen of the different cities and when I switched it up and went to the other town, my immune system went nuts.

My first year in Chile, spent in Viña del Mar, didn't include allergies from what I remember.  Perhaps the sea breeze kept them at bay.  I wouldn't be surprised if it honestly helped.  However since moving to Santiago in 2008, my allergies have bothered me again during the spring. And while this is my 3rd spring in Santiago, they are not getting any better.  In the past, I took lots of allergy medicine.  Last year I bought heaps and heaps of it to keep the headaches, stuffy noses and other no-fun symptoms at bay.  But this spring, along with a lot of the changes I have undergone this year, I am trying to not depend on medicine to keep the symptoms at bay.  I am tired of feeding my body medicines just to cover up symptoms instead of actually trying to fix the problem.  Plus, it just doesn't seem like a good idea to fill our bodies with all these chemicals and toxins that mess up the way our body can naturally heal itself.  

What I have noticed is that my allergies only go crazy in the mornings on my walk to work and in the late afternoons on my way home--basically when I am outside.  At work, since we have the central air system, I don't normally have many symptoms except for the occasional sneeze.  However during this past three-day weekend I was in allergy hell.  Yesterday was the worst of all the days....it was also the hottest in Santiago which may be one of the problems.  I was stuffy, sneezing, and kind of fog-headed most of the day when I was cooking and getting stuff done.  Once I started to relax a bit and read, the symptoms subsided a bit.  

I am now going to start looking for some more natural remedies for allergies.  Yoga seems to be one side of the coin (for the relaxation since stress makes allergies worse), I know some local honey would probably help too (to get my system used to the pollen from the inside out) and there are some herbal medicines that work as anti-histamines.  I might pick one up today just to have when my allergies get overbearing.  There are also some foods that are anti-inflammatory that are supposed to help, so I definitely need to start eating them.  Most of all though I'd like my body to stop reacting so harshly to the allergins. 


Monday, November 1, 2010

Enjoying time with the husband

Life has been quite busy lately which has meant that Chris and I don't get to see each other all that much during the week. We savor our time together on the weekends, which has been great for our relationship even though the whole routine has been somewhat a challenge. This weekend happened to be a three-day weekend (love it...I wish every weekend was the same!) and was timed perfectly as we both needed to relax and enjoy each other's company.

We had nice weather this weekend although today was a bit too hot for my liking--in the 90s. Just a preview of what summer will be like though.

I cooked a ton this weekend: vegan banana zucchini chocolate bread, homemade whole wheat margarita pizza, artichokes with ricotta on toast, fajitas with all the fixin's (beans for me and chicken for Chris), penne a la broccoli, quinoa lentil salad and chickpeas & pinto beans for later meals. I am thinking about baking another zucchini bread before bed now that the sun has gone down. Although I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, cooking and cleaning, it was nice to eat a variety of foods and enjoy them with the hubs.

Now I am sad the weekend is almost over.....I could go on like this forever!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Back at BP

Today I finally made myself get up early and head to Body Pump!  The last time I went, according to my food & exercise journal was Tuesday September 28th---a whole month ago!! How did that happen? I've mentioned before that things have been crazy busy and getting up at 6am has been next to impossible these past few weeks.  This morning I had a serious internal struggle about whether or not I was going to get up when my alarm went off or if I was just going to sleep an extra hour.  I'm glad I got myself up and made it to class.  I lowered my weight back to what I was lifting when I first started since I needed to wake my muscles back up and didn't want to injure myself.  It felt really good to get moving and lifting again!  The fact that it is getting more light out when I leave my house helps too!   

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Good Sign

So I picked up the Dato publication that the Providencia Municipality so kindly drops off at my apartment building every now and then as I was on my way back from work. I started reading the one main article and then browsing through the rest of the advertisements and small event publications. This week, Dato included horoscopes and so I decided to take a gander at mine.

I used to ready my horoscope everyday online.....ya know back when hotmail was the coolest email in the world? Ya waaaaaay back then. (Side note-you know gmail is the place to be these days for email.) I always liked reading that days horoscope when the day was coming to an end. Why you might ask? Well to see how accurate they really were. If I were to read them first thing in the morning, it would taint my perspective on the day, either making me act exactly as my horoscope predicted or just the opposite. But I loved the days when I would come and check my email and my horoscope would be dead-on right.

So back to this afternoon....I read what it says for Scorpio and the last sentence goes a bit like this "If you are thinking of taking new paths to take care of your body, this is a good time."

It was one of those hit-the-nail-on-the-head horoscopes.

Why you may ask?

Because I have recently taken a new route when it comes to eating: no more meat. To put a label on it would be saying vegetarian, or maybe pescatarian or lacto-ovo-vegetarian or maybe even lacto-ovo-pescatarian. Labels = limits so I'd prefer to stay away from them.

So imagine my surprise when I read my horoscope, I mean how in the world does it just happen that I make this decision (which has been in the works now for months) right when this horoscope is published?

And more than anything, I consider it a good sign for this new path I'm on.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dave Matthews Band in Chile!

Last night was the Dave Matthews Band concert here in Santiago and it was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!!

I consider myself to be a pretty big DMB fan, although I used to be much more hardcore. Living in Chile, I have been somewhat removed from following the band and even listening to their music. But ever since Andrea and I got tickets to go, I have been listening to them at work nonstop. And I kinda feel like I've been betraying them all this time....or rather, betraying a part of myself that truly loves this music.

I am so glad they finally decided to come to Chile, right when I happen to be living here. It was their first time here and while Movistar Arena was not sold out, I sure hope they saw how much the DMB fans in Chile love them. I for one did enough screaming to almost lose my voice.

Suffice to say we jammed out and had a blast watching the band do its thing. I can't believe it has been 5 years since I saw them live. This was my 6th DMB concert and it definitely didn't disappoint--3 hours of seeing them so close, singing to all my favorite songs and just being bewildered at how badass of musicians they are. Seriously. Bad-freaking-ass musicians...! It was such a great reminder of how amazing music is....and we were so close to the stage, by far the closest I have been at any of the concerts!

Oh Dave.....you make me swoon....

....as well as remember the good ole times back in high school and college with some of my best of friends......

Oh and the fact that Tim Reynolds was here too just blew my mind! He is such a legend as well and to get to see him with DMB live was almost mind-blowing.

"Celebrate we will
Because life is short but sweet for certain
We're climbing two by two
To be sure these days continue
These things we cannot change"

(From Two Step, off the Crash album, which is was the last song they played last night)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Missing Home

I had such a great visit with my friend Staci.  I am really grateful that she came down to see us!  And soon I will get to a recap of all the fun stuff we did.....it was a jam-packed 12 days.  

Having her here made me feel like we were back in college again, back when we were roommates.....and then it made me homesick.  I haven't been home in over a year now and while I did see my parents in December, it just isn't the same as being back home.....seeing family and friends, eating the foods I miss, seeing the Rocky Mountains,....I could go on and on.

Today it is cloudy and cold (like it has been all week) and I'm missing home....

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rescue Mission Completed!

The story of these 33 miners is so touching and miraculous.  Pretty much the whole world had its eyes on Chile Tuesday & Wednesday during the amazing rescue.  For a great recap article, check out this article.  I couldn't be more proud to call Chile my second home...from the earthquake to this mining accident the solidarity of this country never ceases to amaze and inspire me! 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Miners' Rescue

The rescue of the miners begins tonight and the capsule is minutes from being send down the excavation. Check out updates here. Send positive thoughts to the rescue workers and miners to have patience and good luck that everything goes quickly and safely!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Happy 30th Birthday Christian!!!

Just a little shout-out to my husband for his birthday!!! I love you!!!! Here's a kiss just for you, from the night we shared our first kiss:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Still Here

In case you have been wondering, yes I am still alive. Things have been busy and mostly I haven't had any ganas ("want" or "inspiration") to write when I actually have the time, but of course, when I don't have time I could write a million posts. And so that is why I haven't posted in forever.

But I figured I should stop by and let you all know that things are going good. Christian is recovering well from this surgery. His English classes are going well and I am trying to talk to him only in English (although really it just depends on the topic, mood, etc.).

The most exciting news is that one of my best friends is coming to visit this Friday!!!! Staci and I met freshman year in college and lived together our junior year. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding and is an awesome friend. I can't wait to pick her up from the airport on Friday morning!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Recuperating & Trying to Avoid Stress

Yesterday Christian got the ok from the doctor to come home so I went around noon to pick him up at the hospital.  He is now at home and resting in bed.  He has medical license for 11 days and has to go see his doctor for a follow-up next week.  He is supposed to get up and move around the house during the day as well as rest.  The doctor said the worst thing to do would be just lay down the whole time.  He has to follow a "bland" diet so hopefully this weekend I can take the items he is able to eat and make something more exciting than crackers with jam or jello-o with fruit.  He is recuperating and I am sure every day he'll be a little bit better.

I, myself, am trying to not stress out as much as possible.  Work has been a madhouse.  I have a lot of projects to work on (which I like) and new issue to investigate are coming up all the time but I slowly feel myself sinking under a pile of things that I seem to never be able to finish.  This drowning feeling is not one which I welcome and thus I have been feeling stressed and pressured lately.  This is apart from the stress of this week with Christian's surgery.  I trusted the doctor and the hospital was great, but any time a loved one has major surgery it puts some deal of stress on you, even if you try not to let it.  And then there are some other factors that I can't mention here that have added more stress.  Mostly things out of my control, but for me, those are the worse type.  Logically I know I shouldn't let these external factors bother me, but it is something I almost can't help.  I am trying best I can to push any negative thoughts out of my mind, but once in a while they creep in.  I have been keeping up my gym routine this week too in order to help combat the stress.  But my leg started hurting this week on top of everything else and yesterday no amount of IB profin was taking the pain away.  This, in turn, meant that yesterday when I got home from work I only wanted to do two things: 1. eat and 2. sleep.  After eating, helping out the husband and giving him a massage I was able to go to bed.....but my mind and body were still so accelerated from everything that has been going on that I couldn't fall asleep for over an hour.  And my leg was killing me.  Ugf.  

So sorry if I haven't been blogging much and more than that, if you are one of the 30+ people to whom I owe an email, please be patient.  My inbox it out of control right now and I am trying to respond as soon as I can.  


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Christian is Ok

Just wanted to send a quick note that Christian's surgery went well.  He is still in recovery but should be coming up to his room soon.  The doctor said everything went well so hopefully he'll get to check out tomorrow morning and head home to rest.  Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts!

The Good & Bad of the Husband

The great news with respect to my husband is that he won the CORFO English scholarship which means he'll get about 3 months of super intense English classes for almost nothing!  We have to pay like $200 as a deposit and to guarantee his spot, but considering he will be in class 6 days a week, 3 hours a day....that is about 216 hours in total and would probably normally run you over $2000 if you calculate that one hour classes run you minimum $10.  I am so excited about this because he had to have an intermediate level of English to even get the scholarship (intermediate being between 400-600 points on the TOEIC).  CORFO sent him to take the TOEIC in early July and he scored within the range and was accepted into the program! Waaahooo! This means his English is going to increase greatly in the next few months which is awesome considering we want to move back to the US in the short term.

The bad news is that today he has to have surgery for a hernia.  He found a highly recommended doctor who has been amazing so far so I am confident it will all work out well.  Please do keep him in your thoughts as well as the doctors & nurses caring for him (so that they are thinking clearly and putting his needs first).  I'm at work for a few hours this morning and then will be taking him to the hospital around lunchtime.  I'll post an update when I can to let you know how it goes.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fourmile Fire - Boulder, CO

If you haven't heard, there is a 3,500-acre fire northwest of Boulder that is eating up houses and anything else in its path.  I just saw the news about it thanks to this article from the Daily Camera.  My heart goes out to those who have lost their homes and everything inside, and those who had to evacuate and aren't sure what happened to their homes.  I hope the firefighters are able to contain it and that the weather helps out (ie. no more wind).  Please keep everyone in Colorado affected by this fire in your thoughts!!!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Domingos de Dulcinea: She's In Trouble

This is what happens when my husband and Dulcinea have too much time on their hands:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Domingos de Dulcinea: Keeping the Fur-Child Warm

It is no secret that we have had quite a cold winter this year. There were two weeks in July that were just frigid if you ask me. Now, while the temperatures may not reach Colorado-winter levels and maybe there isn't any snow in Santiago, the fact that the majority of houses don't have central heating makes a HUGE difference in just how cold a winter feels. I find winters to be much more colder here than in Colorado. In fact, growing up I hated to drink hot tea. Any time I was sick my mom would tell me to drink hot tea and I refused. I seriously despised it. But when I came to study abroad, my breakfast and afternoon snack always included tea and since I was always freezing, I drank it right up. That year taught me to love tea. Now I do quite enjoy a cup of tea, my preference being the berry or fruit flavored herbal teas.

One of my biggest worries last year when we got Dulcinea was how to keep her warm during the last bit of winter and in the spring. Luckily she came to us at the end of August so spring was right around the corner and since she slept with us in bed, we didn't have many issues. This winter was much more of an issue since it has been much colder. We have come up with several different ways to help our little one stay warm because despite all of her hair, she gets cold really easily.

Stay Warm #1: Doggie Sweaters

I started putting clothes on Dulcinea when she was a puppy so that she would get used to them and not try and chew them off. My parents' dog Dunkun will not wear any type of clothing to save his life and I wanted to be able to dress Dulcinea up. Yes, that was my original reason for putting clothes on her from an early age, but it has been very useful when it comes to the sweaters in the winter because they really do help keep her warm. Her first sweater was the pink and white one in the middle that her gringo grandparents gave her for Christmas. She was wearing that sweater during the earthquake too which greatly helped keep her warm when we were in the car for hours waiting for things to calm down. The two stripped sweaters are from Jumbo and fit her perfectly and the World Cup red on was a gift from my friend & coworker Gaby for Dulcinea's birthday. The red & white sweater on the left and the purple & white sweater on the left were made by Dulcinea's Chilean grandmother. My suegra knitted both of these sweaters for Dulci, using the pink & white one as a pattern. She did an awesome job and these sweaters definitely keep Dulci warm.

Stay Warm #2: Sleeping Under the Covers

Dulcinea loves to get under the covers when sleeping in bed with us. She always likes to be touching us when she curls up, whether it is by our legs or our side. Sometimes she takes turns sleeping with Christian or with me, and sometime she sleeps in the middle of us. When she gets hot, she will climb above our heads and sleep on our pillows for a while.

Stay Warm #3: Heated Rice Packs & Blankets

I made Dulcinea's first rice pack last year before we had got her. I thought it would be a helpful way to keep her warm and she loves her rice packs. My mom made Chris a rice pack for Christmas and with the freezing weather we have had, he decided one rice pack wasn't enough for Dulci and gave her his rick pack too. We pop them in the microwave for 4 minutes on high and then put them on the bottom of her bed before we leave for work. We also reheat them during lunch so she stays warm in the afternoon too. She loves them! When she hears the microwave beep she goes running and starts to bark to let you know to take them out and put them in her bed. We also cover her bed with two blankets made out of the polar fabric. She loves to get under the blankets and lay directly on top of the rice packs.

Stay Warm #4: Keeping Warm By the Fire

We have a gas estufa in our living room that is built into the wall. When we are in the living room, we light it to help warm up the area and Dulcinea loves curling up underneath the fire. I was worried at first that she would get too close and burn herself, but she is really good about staying a certain difference. Plus we scold her if she gets too close so that she knows not to do that. Sometimes if we are in the living room and we don't have the estufa lit, she will curl up under it as if to tell us that she is cold and wants us to light it. Yes, she tells us when to turn on the heater! Hahaha....

And that is how we get Dulcinea through the winter in Chile!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Buenos Aires 4th & Last Day

My 4th day in Buenos Aires was Thursday which was our last day of training as well. I didn't get in a workout that morning as I was feeling super tired and thus decided to save up my energy for the last day of "class". The training was really great because it was surprisingly more technical that I had anticipated. Definitely a plus for my position and any challenges I will be facing in the next few months while my boss is out on maternity leave.

After training ended at 6pm, I headed out with some coworkers to go shopping. In all honestly, I didn't want to go with anyone because I really wanted to just feel "free" while I was shopping. You know how it is when you go out with people you don't know too well, you spend more time window shopping than making the other person wait for you while you try on clothes, shoes and look for things to buy. So although I walked to the La Florida street with the group, I made plans to meet at the corner of La Florida with Cordoba at 8:15pm so that I could go off on my own. I walked up and down most of La Florida street. My goal was to get some shoes since I had already found a dress the other day. I finally ended up buying some shoes in the Galerias Pacificas mall in the Perugia store. They were definitely more expensive than what I was hoping to spend, but once I saw them I was set on them and knew I'd regret not buying them. So here's to my new super cute flats:

That night we had a going away dinner for the whole group in a typical Argentine parrilla (bbq place). This meant lots of red meat and luckily I had thought ahead to ask the person coordinating everything if they could get me chicken at the very least. I haven't been eating much red meat in general the past few months and I definitely didn't have any cravings for it in Argentina. Some people might consider that a crime, but I just listen to what my body wants. I did eat 2 empanadas on my trip which did have ground beef, but no steaks were on my plate for sure. The parrilla where we went was so different and upscale in comparison with the parrillas where I have gone in Chile. Granted, we were in Puerto Madero, but still I found the restaurant to be really nice. It was called El Mirasol del Puerto.

They ended up offering me grilled chicken, salmon or ravoli. I chose the ravioli where were delicious. I didn't end up taking any pictures of my food as I had started feeling yucky earlier in the afternoon and then 2 hours of running around shopping made me feel worse. My throat was hurting and I was freezing cold (despite having a jacket on). I even asked for a tea, which normally makes me feel better, and nothing. I knew I was already sick and was totally bummed out. Especially since I had taken some vitamins with me on the trip, was drinking 1.5-2 liters of water per day and eating mostly vegetables. But I guess my body was worn down. So instead of living up my last night in Buenos Aires, I headed back to the hotel as soon as the dinner ended to pack and go to bed. I had to wake up at 5am since we had to leave at 5:30am to go to the airport. My flight was at 7:20am. Luckily we were leaving from the Newbery airport or we would have had to leave even earlier like the Brazilians who left at 4:30am.

I felt like total crap Friday morning when I woke up. My head was throbbing and I could barely swallow. I was exhausted and cold. We made it to the airport fine, did some damage at the Duty Free store and boarded the flight back home. I was supposed to go to work when I got back, but I was feeling so yucky that I went to the doctor instead. She gave me 1 day of medical license to rest up and had me get a test to make sure I didn't have the flu. There is a new outbreak of the flu going around and let me tell you, the test was not fun. They stuck a small plastic tube up my nose and into my throat which caused me to cough like crazy. Once they had their sample they took the tube out. Now I don't think this would be very comfortable on any occasion, but it definitely wasn't since my throat and nose were already hurting.

I spent the day sleeping and same for today. I am just trying to rest as much as I can so my body can recuperate. I got the test results back and no flu thankfully. It has been nice to hang out with my husband and with Dulcinea. She has been so snuggly this weekend, I love it!

I had a great time in Buenos Aires and hope to plan a trip there with Christian so that we can enjoy the city together! But for now, I am happy to be back home in my bed, getting better and receiving lots of cariño (affection) from my husband and fur-child.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Buenos Aires 3rd Day & Sucre Restaurant

The only pictures I have from yesterday are from our dinner, but trust me, you will want to see pictures of the restaurant and more so my dessert....and you will want to eat there if you ever visit Buenos Aires too!

After going to bed late on Tuesday night (and Tues. being a loooong day), I decided not to wake up and work out early but get some extra sleep. I thought I'd be even more awake during the classes but just the opposite happened--I had such a hard time staying awake in the morning. That was of course also thanks to the topic we had at 8:30am: Consolidation under FASB ASC Topic 810, which is not easy to digest at any time of day, but definitely not first thing in the morning. After some coffee (or 3 cups throughout the day which is a record for me), I finally started waking up. Our technical accounting group had a breakout session for more derivative talk in the office in Puerto Madero. Once we finished up there, I took a cab down to Calle La Florida to hit up the Galerías Pacíficas mall and go shopping. I didn't end up buying anything in that mall (it is super expensive, but lovely and worth a visit), but I did find a cute dress in a store on La Florida. I am hoping to find more shoes today if I can steal away in the afternoon again before dinner.

Last night our technical accounting group went out to eat together. Someone recommended a restaurant called Sucre. If you are ever in Buenos Aires, GO THERE! It was amazing!!!! (Map here) One of the best meals I have ever had.

I started off with a Sucre Bellini (peach flavor):

I didn't ask for an appetizer, but if I had asked for one, I would have got the seared red tuna with the jalapeño sauce. We had already eaten some bread with olive oil and so for the main dish, I asked for the grilled vegetable lasagna with pecorino cheese and a ruccula pesto. O.M.G.!.!.! So delicious. In fact, I was so hungry and it looked so amazing that I forgot to take a picture until I had eaten the majority of it! So, needeless to say I did not take a picture. But it was the perfect vegetarian dish. I haven't been eating meat much (in fact I am worried about dinner tonight because we are going to a typical Argentine parrilla--or bbq) and this dish definitely hit the spot.

For dessert I ordered the chocolate volcano with vanilla ice cream on the side. Here is what arrived:

Here is the volcano after it erupted:

And the plate was almost licked clean when I was done with it. It was amazing. I was so full from my lasagna, but I somehow managed to polish off the dessert because it was just too damn good. I would go back and just ask for that if I could! Hahahaha....

We finished dinner early (around 11pm) and while part of me wanted to go out, the responsible part of me decided to go back to the hotel and relax a bit so that I wouldn't have another sleepy morning in the training.

I am so glad I got to come on this trip. It has been so nice to finally meet a lot of people who I only knew via email in addition to meeting new people all around. We have some really cool people working in my company and I don't think I would have ever known that if I hadn't come for this training. The derivative training on Tuesday was really great too and learning about the disclosures yesterday afternoon was new and helpful. I feel a lot more confident in my technical skills and work now.

Well, today is the last day of training. I have to get in some shopping (fingers crossed) before dinner and maybe then go out. I am sad my time is coming to a close so quickly.....before I know it, it will be noon on Friday and I'll be back in Chile. I don't want to leave Buenos Aires....!

Disclaimer—La Chilengüita is a blog created upon my personal experiences and which expresses my personal opinion that in no way represents the views my employer, family or friends.