Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hallow's Eve {pictures + puree}

Hey friends, happy Halloween!! I hope you like bad cheesy jokes, because I've got one. (If you're looking for Pumpkin Puree recipe, it's at the bottom of this post!)

What's it called when someone makes magically delicious sandwiches?





Haha! Thanks to Jan for this photo from last winter...I knew it would come in handy ;) Anyway. I was very very excited to find pumpkins here in Peru this year! I'm pretty sure they don't grow here and the hubby had never seen one before. So we had some fun the other day...

Soon after this carving adventure and photo-shoot...I turned our pumpkin head into puree! I found this idea on one of my new favorite reads, The Crunchy Moose (original post). And little did I know, but it was super easy!

A little recipe:

I just added some chancaca (a pure form of sugar), a little olive oil, vanilla extract, and cinnamon to the sliced pumpkin pieces. Then popped in the oven for about an hour. Then I peeled off the skin and pureed the pieces. I was tempted to just use the cooked pumpkin to eat or add to a dessert - they are delicious just like that. Now it's waiting for me to turn it into a delicious creation, or maybe several because it made so much!

Happy hallow's eve to all!

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday Tunes #12

Hey there! It's Tuesday Tunes, where I share a new musical discovery with you and invite you to join in too. In last week's post my husband shared his musical pick {see it here}. And this week's pick is a a guaranteed booty shaker...

I don't remember exactly how I found Miriam Makeba, but it was part of my on-going artists to check out. After hearing her music and learning more about her, I saw huge role  she played in history. Actually, I felt a bit ashamed I hadn't known of her before. 

Makeba was a South African activist and singer, who shared about her country and the difficulties during the Apartheid. She was the first African voice to spread this message and music worldwide. Makeba became known as "Mama Africa" and is most famous for this song below.

Cheers to strong women, like Makeba. May the legend live on in us today. 

Now get groovin'..."Pata, Pata", Miriam Makeba.

Do you have a favorite woman artist you admire? What qualities do you admire?

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Monday, October 28, 2013

DIY Natural Deodorant

Hello dear reader! I'm glad you're here today because I'm sharing my of my favorite things: DIY! When I first saw Leia's recipe I was very excited and couldn't wait to make my own natural deodorant.

Why was I so excited?? Well, first off this recipe is much more natural than store-sold deodorants and has no strange chemicals I can't pronounce. It's also really cheap to make - most of the ingredients you probably have already, except maybe coconut oil, like me. And finally, because I love the feeling of making a homemade product. So let's jump into how to make it, shall we?

I decided to buy coconut oil online ( It was about $4 for 7oz., plus a few dollars for shipping. Also, I had 2 old deodorant containers I'd been saving for this homemade concoction (I wasn't sure how much it'd make). So I cleaned out old residue and took off the labels. 

1/4 C. baking soda
1/4 C. cornstarch (or arrowroot)
5 - 6 Tbsp. coconut oil
Tea Tree Oil (optional)

Make it
Scoop out your coconut oil and mix with other ingredients. It took a few minutes to really mash everything well together. I added about 5-6 drops of tea tree oil (also called Australian oil ;) ) because I love the smell and it gives a slight tingly feeling. Then, I filled the mix into one and a half deodorant sticks. The texture was a little soft after handling the coconut oil, so I popped them in the fridge to solidify a bit. 

Other tips
- Coconut oil is solid under 76*F, meaning it will melt to the touch. This may effect how you store your deodorant, depending on the weather where you live.
- I only followed this recipe very vaguely because I don't have measuring tools. I probably used only 4 Tbsp. coconut oil, but it seems to be enough.
- You can use any fragrance (or not) you like...lemon grass, jasmine, lavender, ylang ylang, mint, etc. 
- It's for men and women. I used tea tree oil because it's a nice neutral scent and my husband likes it too. Whereas he might not go for lavender as much.
- Try arrowhead instead of cornstarch if you have any skin reactions.

What we think:

We've been using this homemade deodorant for about a week and love it!

I say: It's very effective and lasts longer than other deodorants. I was surprised by this because other natural deodorants I've tried unfortunately haven't been as effective - sorry Toms! It will last a long time - it made 1 1/2 sticks and you don't need much at all to work. Another big plus is that I know that its healthy for us to be using. And finally, it's got a nice fresh smell and feel!

Hubby says: It's very effective, cheap, and it doesn't hurt the environment. Oh, it is smells nice too.

So what do you think? Will you be trying this sometime? If you already have, why do YOU love it?

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Friday, October 25, 2013

The Boy Behind the Blog I

Hello and happy weekend! These weeks are just passing by so quickly. I have some mixed feelings because come December things are changing a bit. I'll be visiting California for the holidays, which I really am excited about. At the same time, it'll be hard to be away from the hubby and it's not set in stone how long I'll be away. 

So in light of these changes and to keep Rafa involved in my blog life, I decided to start linking-up with Boys Behind the Blog! I love the idea of getting my hubby involved with my blog! 

Here are my sweetie's responses from the first link-up, theme being blogging.

1. Does your wife/girlfriend/fiance use your real name or a nickname on her blog?

2. If you had a blog, what would the title be?  
Doctor Fiasco because I like the name. Or Accattone, which is a movie.

3. Do you ever feel ignored by her because of the blog?
She doesn’t always listen because she’s immersed in her blog – writing a post or fixing a photo.

4. How has her blog changed or evolved throughout your relationship? 
It brings us closer because I like to give her advice or ideas and understand what she thinks through her blog.

5. What is your favorite post on her blog?

Thanks for joining us here, have a beautiful weekend!

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

5 Tips to a New Language

It's a big and beautiful experience to dive into: not just some new vocabulary, but a whole new perspective and culture.

Hola y bienvenidos a mi blog! 
I'm sure a lot of you reading this have practiced another language at some point. Maybe some classes in high school? Perhaps you were lucky enough to study in a foreign country? And I know I've got some other ex-pats out there living abroad now. 

My second language learning experience started with Spanish. I started with high school and college classes, studied abroad in Spain, traveled, and currently live in Peru...all these experiences have helped me build up my language skills. Language learning is a big and beautiful experience to dive into: not just some new vocabulary, but a whole new perspective and culture. 

So here's a few of my top tips to picking up another idioma:

1. Immerse yourself. If you have the opportunity to study/live abroad - do it! If you don't, find another way! Maybe you can make international friends to correspond with or local language exchanges to participate in. Consistency and real life experiences will take you leaps. For me: I'm certain that while I studied Spanish in classrooms for about 7 years, I learned more my year abroad studying in Spain. 

2. Take a breathe and a risk. I often hear people who are learning a second language and going through the first stages of putting yourself out there. The truth is, it will be as scary and intimidating as you make it. But in real life, we're all just people and the important thing is that you're making an effort. You will make mistakes. But it's so helpful to be able to laugh at them (and jot them down to remember next time). Learn to explain with body gestures and different vocabulary. Take a breathe and just do it!For me: This would have been the most helpful advice to hear from someone. It took me a bit to put myself out there, but now it's second-nature. 

3. Make local friends(or boyfriends). This piece can take you far with your language skills. And it makes sense why: you spend more time speaking the language and learning from native speakers. This can be through everyday activities and routines (the bread shop, laundry-mat, etc), a language exchange, or social networks - like CouchsurfingFor me: I've learned a lot about language and culture from the people I've lived with. Plus, having a Spanish-speaking boyfriend (now husband) helps too!
4. Take notes. So even if you're not in class this can be very helpful. Try to have a little notebook to jot down anything that you want to remember or a new vocabulary word to look up {Word reference is great}.
For me: Goodness knows I'm still learning vocabulary all the time! I underline new words in books and try to look up them up.  
anything can be achieved in life, although it seems crazy.

5. Pick up some slang. Learn the typical words of places! Even if you don't feel comfortable using them, it will help to understand the locals. This jerga can show a lot about a culture and be entertaining too. For me: This has come to be one of my favorite parts of learning Spanish.  Here are a few favorites (another post is coming soon with more of these):
1 pura vida - pure life. Costa Rica   2 cerveza pinguino - a cold beer (literally 'penguin beer'). Peru   3 chimba - cool. Colombia

What other tips do you have? What do you like about learning other languages? 

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Tuesday Tunes #11 + yoga

Hey there, Lisa here to bring a new Tuesday Tune (a little early)! This is where I share a new or rediscovered song/artist. I'd love to have you join along if you feel inspired :)

But first - a little check-in:
I started up yoga again last week and am just so so excited about it. For the first time I tried Bikram (35*C temp while working out). Dang, that was some sweat (in case you wanted to know)! It was also kind of a challenge to keep up since I've been in low exercise status these days. BUT this will be motivation for me to get back into a healthy flow. I felt so good afterwards, with more energy and creativity. Yesterday my hubby even came with me to buy a mat - it's purple and I can't wait to use it tomorrow! (It's the little things, isn't it?) 

So, back to the muzak! 

This feature is kind of special because my husband has chosen the song! The group is The Brunettes playing the song If You Were An Alien. I'd describe it as fun and quirky. And a fun fact is that they're from New Zealand (is anyone else dying to visit there??). The part I like about this best is when I asked him why he chose the song. He said "it was in my head all day and it reminds me of you" (in Spanish though). Sweetie!

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sweet Mango Salsa

After just watching a documentary called "Food Matters", I'm very eager to implement more raw foods into my daily diet. If you haven't seen this film, I highly recommend it, as nutrition information affects everyone but is something not accessible through mainstream media or medicine. Anyway, the film demonstrates the importance of natural foods and their benefits. 

So the other day I whipped up this super simple salsa recipe. I first learned it in Costa Rica, where all the ingredients were fresh, even the pepper! It's a nice variation of a tomato-based salsa because it's naturally sweeter than mango. Plus, mango is full of tons of vitamins: Vitamin A and betacarotene to name a few.

What you need
- a lime
- a mango
- a bit of onion (I used red, but would suggest white)
- salt & pepper to taste

chop the onion finely -> 
cube and mash mango -> 
squeeze with lime -> 
enhance flavors with a little salt and pepper -> 
Disfruta tu creación (enjoy your creation) with chips, on tacos or even as a salad dressing!

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Arica, Chile {revisited}

Hello reality! So I've been back from my trip to Chile and Cusco for about 5 days and am just getting back into the swing of work. It was such a good, much needed trip - especially for enjoying delicious food (sushi twice, which is really special!) and catching up on girl time with friends.

Last year I also visited Arica, in the north of Chile to renew my visa. Below are some combined photos from then and this recent trip. I'd describe Arica as a historic beach-town. Historic: Arica used to be part of Peru until there was a war and Chile took it over in late 1800s. To date, there's still a lot of hatred between Chileans and Peruvians. Beach-town: It definitely does have beautiful beaches (after passing industrial import area). On both trips I ended up a little pink from the sun. 

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday Tunes #10 {dubstep-classical fusion}

Hey there! After a week away on vacation, I'm glad to be back. More on my trip to come, but first ~ Tuesday Tunes. Here is where I share a new (or re-discovered) song or group that intrigues me. I'd love to hear some of your current favorites too, if you'd like to link up!

Today's feature is a really intense and beautiful dubstep-classical fusion by Lindsey Stirling. I stumbled upon her music awhile ago but I continue to admire the unique mix of sounds used and feelings that it brings out in me. Plus, this video "Crystallize" is shot in gorgeous ice-castles in Colorado and I love to imagine traveling there one day. 

Enjoy and happy week!

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Thursday, October 10, 2013


Hola y bienvenidas!

This month I've been living in Peru for 2 years. Looking back, lots has happened in this time. Just a few of these things include..
- taught my own 4th grade class
- traveled to the jungle, mountains, and coasts of Peru
- met a lot of travelers and made a few gems of friends in Cusco
- found a special guy {Rafael}
- re-appreciated California, family, and friends on a visit home
- married that special guy in Peru
- made a big move to a new city -> Lima
- started blogging more and creating a blogging community
- grown in patience, love and appreciation 

I'd like to have shared a few photos but hardly have any with me. For the past few days I've been back in Cusco, visiting good friends and eating. Now I see that it really has become another home to me. Such a special place!
Do you have another place that you call 'home'? 

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday Tunes: numero 9

Happy Tuesday Tunes! Here is where I share a new musical discovery and you are very welcome to join in too!

Im taking a little travel break and vacation from Lima this week. Currently in my previous home of 1.5 years in Cusco, Im writing with lots of concentration on a AZERTY keyboard. I didnt know what this meant before, but basically the keys are all different...

Anyway, onto the tune for today! Ive chosen a bay area group from my homestate, California. I first saw this group live and immediately was intrigued by their classic Americana folk style. Theyre called American Nomad and this song they perform below is called Roam and Travel.

Do you have some favorite new music these days; share here!

Blessings to all :)

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Trip Tips

Hi friends of the bloggy world and beyond! Happy weekend! Wow I`ve been busy with getting ready and I haven`t shared why...I`m taking a trip this week! Yep, Lisa here currently writing from the south of Peru, Tacna. And tomorrow I hop the border over to Chile for a few days. Its time to renew the visa (aka leave the country and re-enter) soooo its a perfect opportunity for a mini-vacation as well. This explains why I`m a little behind on responding to comments, thanks for understanding. The love is so appreciated :)

Today I wrote a note to one of my English students. See, she`s traveling to the US and is nervous about getting around in a different language. We can all sympathize withthat, right? So I put together a few tips that I always try to remember while traveling. They`re pretty broad and apply more to a general attitude instead of dealing with a language-barrier. But I`d like to think it will be helpful to her, and maybe you - in light of my own trip and other travelers, I thought I`d share here as well.

When traveling, keep these in mind:
* people will help.  There are often people around who are genuine and try to help others. If I need directions or information, talking with lots of locals and getting advice helps a LOT. But, by all means, DO be assertive and be wary of people who may take advantage of you.  
* positivity takes you far.   Maybe it sounds funny to laugh when you miss a flight, right? While something that happens may really suck, its helpful to keep things in perspective. Remember that not everything is in your control, only how you react to things. I practice smiling at the silly things that I could just as easily get frustrated over. But it helps create positive energy instead of feeding that negative ick.  
* plan to entertain.   Travel time can be a lovely opportunity for quality self-time. I love this travel time and usually use it to read, daydream, listen to music, write, maybe nap... 
* try to be prepared...  As someone who isn`t an in-depth planner, I still have learned how important it is to be prepared, especially when traveling. Actually, a lot of things are replacable and can be easily found wherever you may be going. But there`s a few things that are a good idea to put on the ´important list´: list of places and addresses you`re going, contact numbers/emails, copy of passport/ID, (if you use them) bank cards and copies.  Note: don`t leave bank cards in the scanner when making copies. It may lead to worried parents and extra UPS express charges. But that`s another story.)    
*...but be prepared to be flexible.  Along with positivity, flexibility goes a long way. Things change and you may be challenged to adapt or make a compromise. For example, I arrived later than expected and couldn`t do the next leg of my travel until tomorrow. So I stay one extra night in this cool city and go tomorrow. And it`s all good! 
Are there any key travel tips you have to share? Is there one that stands out to you? We`d love to hear :)

Just thought I`d share the sweet dinner deal of the night - sushi (with lettuce?!) and a mini-can of beer. I`m happy :)

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

(Belated) Tuesday Tunes #8

Happy October everyone! Wow, I feel like when October hits there's so much to do...think about all the holidays coming up and finishing the last quarter of the year! I love the craftiness of this time of year - all the Halloween treats and decorations. And I am determined to find a let the pumpkin mission commence!

Today is Tuesday Tunes...on Wednesday! This is where I share a artist I love or have recently discovered. You're very welcome to join in too! 

So today I´m featuring someone who´s music and spirit has personally touched my life. He goes by Mestizo Magic. He´s the reason I actually met Leia, because we met and lived with each other in Spain. Currently he´s working his way into the country scene in Tennessee, but has accumulated skills in all genres of music. It´s always fun to see the new tunes he´s working on. I´m such a fan and love this guy!

Find his newest tunes over on SoundCloud or his website.

Arist: Mestizo Magic and friends
Song: Ain´t Nothin´ for a Country Boy

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