Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Goodbyes... {movin' from the Andes}

The Cathedral, Plaza de Armas
¡Hola a todos y todas! So big changes are happening...just today my husband and I moved from little old Cusco to the big city Lima. Since I've been there nearing 2 years and my husband a bit longer, we were a little sad to leave but excited for a change and other opportunities in the capital (plus getting his visa, which is a whole 'nother thing). I put together a little summary of Cusco and what I'll miss.

1. The colors
Peru is bright and vibrant from it´s woven textiles to typical it´s corn!?! Yep it´s true!
A woven decoration at a market near Pisac.

Natural dyes at the Pisac market

Huge arrays of maiz - all shapes, sizes, and colors!

2. The animals
There´s a few animals that are unique to Peru...guanacos (similar to llamas) and Peruvian hairless dog to name a few.
Guanaco in Machu Picchu ruins

Here´s the Peruvian dog! I love when they
have little sweaters on and mohawks!

3. The landscapes
The clouds, the sunsets, the mountains...
Me on top of Wayna Picchu! The backdrop is Machu Picchu.

Maximo playing this stringed Andean instrument
(similar to a charango) at Cristo Blano. 

4. The traditions and culture
The Andes mountains are a very culturally-rich areas. I loved learning about the different cultures and communities - from typical foods and dress to regional slang words and accents, from despachos to Huatia...

Typical dress themed bday party!

Ceremony and offering to the Pachamama (Mother Earth).

Huatia is a type of harvest fest where potatoes are cooked
in rock ovens, like the kids are constructing here.

Megan and I at the Llama Sector, Choquequirao

5. The people
I´ve had the pleasure of knowing some quality people in Cusco. I made an array of international girlfriends who I was blessed to have found. Thanks to these girls who made a huge impression on my experience. I also had the opportunity to teach English to a lively, motivated, and fun group of kids outside of town. I´ll miss all of these people so much!

5 amazing ladies adventuring across mountains

My girls in Oropesa!
Isn´t it true that wherever you are, you´ll always miss something from somewhere? What´s one thing you love about somewhere?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wedding Wednesdays: When you knew he was the one

Hi and welcome to Wedding Wednesdays! Here I share a little part of the wedding process from my recent marriage to my guy, Rafael {read #1 - how we met}... I realize it's not Wednesday but I was excited to share! This idea came from Latitude Adjustment and The Married Couple, some really sweet blogs you should check out. Here are the prompts:

1.       How it all began: how you met, first date, first kiss, how long did you date, first picture together, etc…
2.       When you knew he was the one: self-explanatory, but how and when did you know?
3.       Proposal: how it happened, how long were you engaged for? Was it a total surprise? Pictures of that, etc…
4.       The ring: tell us about it! Did you pick it out? Did he? Picture! Tell us about his ring too!
5.       Engagement/bridal pictures: let’s see em!
6.       The colors: show some of the flowers and colors you used
7.       The dress: was it what you always imagined? Did you have it made for you? White or ivory?
8.       The little accessories: you know, veil? shoes? jewelry? What did your bridesmaids wear?
9.       The reception: where was it at? Show us some pictures! What day did you get married?
10.   The cake/food: I love food. So tell me about what you had at your wedding!
11.   Your song and/or the first song you danced to at your wedding: share a music video or lyrics if you can!
12.   Favorite part of the day and least favorite part of the day: can be anything.
13.   Honeymoon: where did you go? Was it good? ;) haha…jk.
14.   Thoughts on marriage: what is the easiest/hardest part? If you could change anything, what would it be?
15.   First place that you lived together: pics if you have them!
16.   Kids: do you have any yet? If not, when do you plan on it? How many do you want? Any tips on good/bad birth control?

17.   Most recent picture of you and your significant other and what you love most about them J and any other thoughts.

When I knew he was the one...I think it was a few moments/events compiled that finally convinced me.

So when we first met, he was working with a bus agency and I was teaching 4th grade at a school. His bus shifts were at ridiculous hours, which included leaving at 5:00am. I also had to get to school early. So when I was deciding if I should stay home or at his place, he would offer to wake up early to make me hot chocolate and breakfast. I thought that was so sweet and thought he could really be a keeper.

The other time that stands out was one day when we hiked up a mountain. We were just talking and looking at the view of the whole city of Cusco. Then we came up with an idea of an invention! I would think of another part and explain, he would listen and give me his feedback and we'd revise it together. We made this elaborate plan together and it was so fun! But what this really showed me was that we could listen to each other and work really well together. 

These are just a few stories I have in mind. I guess just there were just enough little stories to allow me to commit. But they keep coming, and I keep falling in love. 

<3 Hasta la proxima Wedding Wednesday <3

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wedding Wednesdays: How it all began

Today I'm starting this sweet link-up about my love and I. Thanks to Leia over at Latitude Adjustment for promoting the idea and Sam at The Married Couple for creating this. So on Wednesdays you'll be hearing one aspect of our wedding.

1. how it all began: how you met, first date, first kiss, how long did you date? first picture together.....etc.
2. when you knew he was the one: self explanatory.. but how and when did you know?
3. proposal: how it happened, how long were you engaged for? was it a total surprise?  pictures of that... etc. 
4. the ring:  tell us about it! did you pick it out? did he? pictures! tell us about his ring too!
5. engagement/bridal pictures: let's see em!
6. the colors: show some of the flower and colors you used
7. the dress: was it what you always imagined? did you have it made for you? or ivory? 
8. the little accessories: you know, veil? shoes? jewelry? what did your bridesmaids wear?
9. the reception: where was it at? show us some pictures! what day did you get married?
10. the cake/food: i love food. so tell me about what you had at your wedding!
11. your song and/or the first song you danced to at your wedding: share a music video or lyrics if you can!
12. favorite part of the day and least favorite part of the day: can be anything.
13. honeymoon: where did you go? was it good?  ;) haha...jk.
14. thoughts on marriage: what is the easiest/hardest part? if you could change anything, what would it be?
15. first place that you lived together: pics if you have them!
16. kids: do you have any yet? if not, when do you plan on it? how many do you want? any tips on good/bad birth control?
17. most recent picture of you and your significant other and what you love most about them :) and any other thoughts.

Since I had both of our stories on our wedding website, I'm going to share it here too...Here goes numero uno!

On our first trip, April 30, 2012

His story

The day I met Lisa was a very early morning. I arrived at my work and they told me that a co-worker was sick and I should go in his place. I wasn't very excited but I finally accepted. At this time I worked traveling from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado on a bus, as passenger assistant. My favorite part, and the main reason for working at this place, was that during the trips I would put on movies so the passengers wouldn't get bored. I had total freedom to show whatever I wanted and I liked this a lot.

The bus was going straight to Cusco and I was hoping to talk to someone so I went up to a woman who was seated behind Lisa. I remember I sat next to the woman and told her I was bored and wanted to talk to someone. So I began asking questions, as if it were an interview about her life, until she got bored and stopped answering, more and more frequently.

Just then I saw Lisa. Hours before we had crossed paths in the walkway and spoke a little. I knew she was an English and Math teacher at a school in Cusco. I said to myself Talk, it's now or never. I was very happy I did, we were talking for a long while. I liked to listen to her and feel that she listened to me, so much so that I forgot about my job and the bus was abandoned, the majority of people bored. I felt remorse and went to put on a movie (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids). We were already almost arriving and I stood to the side of the door, waiting to give her my phone number or to know some way to contact her.

It was a huge surprise that she approached me with a seed that she had brought from Puerto Maldonado. She gave it to me and told me to call her. I looked in my hand and on the seed was written her phone number. My heart beat very fast and I had a huge smile. I got off the bus, very happy, walked a few blocks, it started to rain a lot. I found a public phone and invited her to go out that night, she accepted, and arrived a few minutes late.

 Later we went to a bar to listen and have conversations with each other, the same way we had before. I was happy that my friend had gotten sick that day and that I had traveled in his place to have this grand opportunity to have met this fantastic and loving girl who will be my wife.

Our first picture together, April 22, 2012

Her story

I had just gone to Puerto Maldonado with some friends and enjoyed the plants, animals, and beauty of the jungle. We were returning just as we had come, 8 hour bus ride. We left early in the morning, it must have been about 8am and I'm sure we were looking lovely. We decided to get bus-cama (reclining) seats and not many other people were on the bus. So I was relaxing and hoping there may possibly be a good movie on. I didn't have high hopes considering on previous long bus-rides I had to zone out from watching Beverly Hills Chihuahua. The first movie was The Graduate, then proceeded by Charlie Chaplin and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I was thoroughly entertained, what a surprise!

Then the attendant boy comes by, with his tattoos and hair parted. His tattoos suggested he was interesting and open-minded. He sat next to a lady a few rows behind us. He said ''I'm bored and want to have a conversation. Tell me something". The lady was not interested in talking. So I turned around and asked him something. From there we were talking for most of the ride back, except for when he had to pretend to be working. We talked about many things and it was exhilarating to have such an interesting conversational partner.

After we returned to Cusco, I knew I wanted to see him again. I thought, why not take a chance. So I wrote my phone number on a seed that I found in the jungle and gave it to him upon getting off the bus, my heart beating the whole time. He asked if I wanted to meet later that evening and I said sure.

That's where it all started. We met up that evening and stayed up all night talking and watched the city lights from the top of the town. I'm still in love with the sweet guy I met that day and am excited to share so many more memories together.

That wraps it up in a nutshell ;)
Thanks for joining, see you soon!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

DIY: Paper Lantern Lights (+ giveaway link-up)

Hello lovelies! Before the DIY project, I'd like to share a great giveaway opportunity my friend Leia is hosting, over at Latitue Adjustment. Sign up and maybe you'll win a pair of some snazzy glasses or shades...Definitely check it out!

DIY: Paper Lantern Lights

While you're here be sure to check out other my other wedding decor craft projects ~ wine wine bottle vases and tin can table lanterns!
My vision with this project was to use Christmas lights for lighting and decoration, but with an added element. This project was perfect! To make these little lanterns, I referenced the blog Poppytalk because it has an easy and visual instructable. 

Prepping tips:
* I used paper a bit thicker than tissue paper. It seems paper should be thin so that the lights will shine through and still be bright. Newspaper would also be a cool effect!

* Use desired colors. Mine were purple and white.

* My cubes turned out about 1 1/2in. x 1 1/2in. Original paper was measured 15cm x 15cm.

* If you need to make a lot, throw a little lantern-making party with some friends! I'm so thankful for all the help I received because they got done so much faster.

Making the lanterns:
* Essentially your lanterns will be balloon origami! Here are the steps:
* You'll blow up the balloons and slip the open end over the light bulbs. 
* I recommend doing this after the lights are already hung. It's much easier because they will fall off if moved a lot.
* I ended up having so many Christmas lights hung, that I didn't put lanterns on all of the bulbs. But the effect is still apparent and sets a whimsical mood :) 

And the final product looks like this!

Thanks for joining me. Isn't this DIY fun and easy!?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

2013 Goals Revisited

Hey all! It's July and half of 2013 has already flown by! So I'm looking back on my goals/resolutions I created at the beginning of the year. It's a good time to re-evaluate and revision what they look like, and to make sure they're realistic. Here it goes!

* Practice Ukelele *

So far: This was the best gift I've received maybe even since my stereo boom box in 4th grade! After not having my ukelele for a few months, I'm excited to pick it up again. I've got about 8 chords down and can play a few songs by heart. More updates on this to come!
Revision: Practice 1 hour per week.

* Read at least 1 book per month *
So far: I've been on ups and downs with this one. But reading on public transportation has been a great use of time. And the ladies Book Club I've joined has helped to keep me on track.  Books read: 
Just finished!
Want to read soon!
* Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
* Post Office, Charles Bukowski
*City of the Beasts, Isabel Allende
*Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, David Sedaris
*Radhika's Story, Sharon Hendry
*The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry
Revision: Read at least 1 book a month, even if it's not a huge novel. And finish The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto!

P.S. Does anyone know of an online 'Book Club' they can recommend??

* Attend Vipassana meditation retreat *
So far: Well, I haven't done this yet. I participated in a 10 silent course in 2010 and had very beneficial experiences, in which I surprised myself. My goal is to take time to sit with myself.
Revision: If I am able to participate next month in Lima, I'd like to. If not, I plan to find another type of meditation or exercise to focus myself.

* 1 blog post/month *

So far: My goal was originally to generate creative expression and practice writing skills. I've been posting on average 3 posts/month.
Revision: Now that I've been posting a bit more, I want to learn more about the blogging world, making friends, learning techniques, etc. In specific: create comment page, button link, signature, work with a sponsor. AND I'm upping my ante to weekly postings instead of monthly (gotta get on this one!)

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Thanks for tuning in...and have a lovely weekend!