Friday, February 28, 2014

On Moving to Peru

Hey there! If it's your first time, welcome. I'm so so glad you're here :)

I'm Lisa and want to share a very frequent question I'm asked: Why did you move to Peru? Some background info is that I've been primarily living in Peru for the past two and 1/2 years. In that time I met my (now) husband, which has mostly kept me there. Also, I'll refer to it as there only because I'm visiting the states for another few months. 

So...that brings me back to the question - why did I move to Peru?

Well, if I were asking myself this, the answer would be simple: why wouldn't I want to go to another country and explore new things? It's part of my nature, which I love. I'm adventurous and challenge myself to get out there, try new things, and discover more about myself.

But really I did take some things into account, so I'll take your through my thought process. First, I would break this question into two parts: why did I want to move abroad? and why Peru? I feel like those both have their own stories.

Why did I want to move abroad?

In 2011 I was in California and had graduated two years previous. I was working with several jobs that I really liked, with sparkling and magical people all around me, but (like many people, I believe) I wasn't completely happy. I would really enjoy life and then slightly freak out about things. I felt like I complicated so much in my own mind, creating scenarios and situations that weren't relevant and didn't make me happy. Maybe it was anxiety? I also may have been slightly depressed. Anyway, I thought that was a powerful sign to step away and sort through my stuff...In summary, it was partially for my sanity.

Another piece to this is that I'd already fallen in love with traveling. A few years before, I'd gone with a large group of other students (who are dear ones to me still) and was studying through a program as part of my Bachelor's Degree in Spain. And oh, did I love it! Like, so much! But this was my opportunity to take it one step further: to travel to a new place, on my own, have a work experience, etc. To me, this was a very important challenge of self-exploration

Ok, so... why Peru?

Since I'd developed my Spanish language skills pretty darn well, I wanted to embrace this by using . So I checking my way through my bucket list by visiting every continent - I'd lived in Europe, traveled in Central America... it was only logical that I must visit South America this time! For me, it wasn't exactly about a precise destination, but taking a path there. Peru kind of fell into play because of several people mentioning it, a few friends who are from there, and because I was really interested in shamanism and the ancient cultures. 

That's the whole answer to why I up and out-ed to Peru. And I'll say - I'm so glad I did! A lot has happened these past few years and I'm so grateful for the most amazing guy I've met, special expat relationships I've formed, and really neat experiences I've had so far. 

Happy weekend, friends!

Do you like to move around or be in one place? How do you expand your horizons? 

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday Tunes #8: song for current feelings

Oh my goodness, hello Tuesday! I'm posting a little later than usual, but better late than never (am I right?)...Tuesday Tunes is a weekly link-up I started awhile back to share musical discoveries, promote local artists, and gather inspiration. The February prompts above are just ideas, but anyone is welcome to share any type of musical post desired. Link-up below and share the music love! 

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My pick of the week: "We Can't Stop"
My current mood is pretty peppy these days. I've been getting more things done by creating more of a schedule and to-do lists for myself. Check, check, checkin' things off feels good! So the song representative of this is "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus. This version is the coolest with The Roots and Jimmy Fallon. The A Capella makes it pretty impressive. Enjoy lovelies!

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Your turn! I'd love to hear what you're listening to these days or an artist you recommend or want to promote :)

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Monday, February 24, 2014

While in California { p.1 }: Local Beer Tasting Adventure

Hi all, happy new week! There's so much to love about this place I'm from, I decided to start a little series: While in California. Most posts will probably be focused in Northern California, since that's where I am. I'm excited to document my little explorations here, and maybe inspire your travel curiosity. Part 1, let's go!!

What to do you on a free Tuesday afternoon, I asked myself...

Go get a local-crafted beer! California is a great place to do this, since there are TONS of really great breweries making artisan beer...Just in the North Bay are a few favorites...Lagunitas, Russian River, and Taps. Ok, there's a ton more here!
On a sidenote: Admittingly, I wasn't a huge beer fan until living in Sonoma County for a few years. There I discovered how the diverse spectrum of beer and that I find it delicious if it's well-crafted.

So last week, two lovely lady friends joined me for a day trip up across the Golden Gate to Russian River brewery to taste a very special beer. It's called Pliny the Younger. So, why so special? Well, let me (pretend to be a beer expert and)'s a triple hop craft beer. This is a difficult and costly process so it's release is limited to two weeks in the entire year - during February. For this reason, people come internationally to sip on this tasty stuff!

On opening day the line was around the corner, but I wasn't expecting much of one. I may have been a bit overly optimist. We were troopers to stick it out. Luckily we were in good company. And took selfies :)

3.5 hours later...we did the happy dance (literally) and got in!

In good timing for a refreshing and hoppity, long-awaited Pliny the Younger. The blossoming flavor is strong and sweet. And with about 10%'s no wonder photos got a little blurry.

Here's the second, more fuzzy selfie. We enjoyed this full day adventure, which definitely paid off by the end :) Love these gals!

 Do you have a brew of preference? Or a must-visit brewery near you? I'd love to hear!

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Boys Behind the Blog {numero 5}

Hey all and feliz fin de semana - happy weekend!! I'm still catching up with Boys Behind the Blog link-up. It's such a nice chance to get Rafa more involved in this space. Especially since he's off enjoying the jungles of Peru adventuring! I'm a little jealous, but really couldn't be happier for him...unless we were doing it together, of course :) Anyway, he it goes!

1.     Describe yourself in 5 words.

2.     What is your biggest fear?
To die drowning or electrocuted.

3.     What is your favorite candy? 
Willy Wonka candies that pop in your mouth. (I think this is like Pop Rocks).

4.     What was the best Halloween costume you've ever worn? 
Spock from Star Trek.

5.     Who is your favorite football team?
Aurich Cañaña de Chiclayo is my soccer team because I don’t watch American football. 

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Creative Collective: Fresh Antique Jewelry

Hi lovelies! Happy to share one of my passions through Melyssa's Creativity Collective. Today's theme is "Anything-goes art". If you want to try some new things and get a little creative, head over here for prompts.

I started making jewelry in 2008 and quickly fell in love. Long story short, I've accumulated sooo many beads and materials (too many for my own good!). So last night I found some cool old beads that I've had forever and never used. They're really beautiful, with turquoise chips embedded with a type of clay and wire. They're kind of perfect for a big chunky pieces, so that's what I ended up crafting.

These earrings are for my dear friend, Rachel. She loves hoops with a flare, so these are just that!

 And I created this necklace just to make it. My mom is modeling it here.

Yea! Feels so good to create! What's your favorite medium to create with?

The Creative Collective

Treasure Tromp

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tuesday Tunes #7: Letter 'N'

Hello and thanks for checking out Tuesday Tunes! 

This is a weekly link-up I started awhile back to share musical discoveries, promote local artists, and gather inspiration. The February prompts above are just ideas, but anyone is welcome to share any type of musical post desired. Link-up below and share the music love!

My Weekly Pick: Letter 'N' song
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Looking through my iTunes, some great songs I haven't heard in awhile came up. I chose 'Naita' by Ojos de Brujo. This band is such a fun, spirited, and unique fusion group from Barcelona. They infuse their beats with flamenco, Middle-Eastern sounds, hip hop, and some jazz. Great sounds they've got going on.

Their music also reminds me of my time in Spain. I spent a year 'studying' in Granada but mostly partying, traveling, and learning about life. Oh, sweet memories :) 

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Meanderings, Adventures, & Crafty Inspirations

What songs are you loving? Any new musical discoveries?

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Love All Around

Valentine's Schmaletine's! Whether you're solo, together, or together but apart (who else is doing this crazy long distance thing?) I hope you celebrate loveliness everyday. Maybe that means something small or something bigger. My past few days were full of some pleasant little surprises. 

<3 Valetine's crafting with pre-k kiddies 
<3 red rose and a drawing from a darling girl
<3 Ladies night and dancin' to funky electronic DJ sets

<3 Skyping with my hubby
<3 catsitting two spastic furballs

<3 a bottle of wine
<3 Peanut butter cookies...(here)

<3 ...with no flour! (it only has 3 ingredients - peanut butter, sugar, and egg!)
<3 stumbling upon a great little Indian restaurant (a new favorite) in Oakland
<3 being offer a glass of wine by another table at the restaurant. I love friendly strangers!

Happy weekending to you all! Halfway through February, here we goooo!

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday Tunes #6: lovely romantic song

Welcome, lovelies. If you're just tuning in, Tuesday Tunes is a weekly link-up to share musical discoveries, promote local artists, and gather inspiration. The February prompts above are just ideas, but anyone is welcome to share any type of musical post desired. Also, hashtag #TuesTunes on Twitter and I'll retweet you :)

My Vweek Pick: 

Clean Bandit, "Rather Be" (feat. Jess Glynne)

This song is sure to get you up and groovin'! I stumbled across it on Spotify the other day and really enjoyed it. It's very romantic and just a happy song. This is one great line:
"We're a thousand miles from comfort, we have traveled land and sea. But as long are with me, there's no place I'd rather be"

With that, I dedicate this to all my loves, but especially a cat named Rafa. Miau!

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Meanderings, Adventures, & Crafty Inspirations

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sesame Kale Chips

These chips are SO simple and tasty! My little 6 year old friend loves them too - he said he would rather have a boxful of kale chips than a boxful of candy. How sweet is that! 

How to make Sesame Kale Chips:
1. Wash and air dry kale
2. Mix in a bowl with olive oil, ground Himalayan salt, and sesame seeds
3. Toast in oven for 15 minutes on 325*F
4. Take out and eat 'em up! 

Tip: I found they're best when crunchy, kind of like a seaweed texture. So it's better to not put them in a bag because the moisture takes away the crunch. Just put them in a bowl and they probably won't last long either ;)

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Friday, February 7, 2014

5 Fav Finds

Happy weekend everyone. Here's a few favorites from the week. Enjoy :)

1. These adorably cute DIY bookmark cuffs. Lena makes such fun things!
This Lovely Little Day: Handmade Felt Bookmarks
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2. I'm not sure how I stumbled on these Thrifty tips @ Ginger Snaps...but I'm glad I did! Some great things to keep in mind when out on a thrift mission. 

3. All kinds of zucchini recipes with Six Sisters' Stuff. This is the one that caught my eye. On my to-cook list!

4. Learning amazing bee facts with HoneyLove, a nonprofit conservation organization in LA. All the Buzz! 

5. Perfect Valentine's treats ~ red beet cookies with white chocolate chips. Recipe here.
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Blessings and best wishes!

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Awesome Things To Do in Medellin {Colombia}

¡Buenos días! It's been some time since I've shared about travels, so today let's visit Medellin - one of my favorite places in Colombia. Some people are surprised to hear that Colombia has really changed a lot since it's drug and crime ridden past some 20 years ago. When I went in 2011, it was apparent that tourism is really growing and being invested in. And I really did feel pretty darn safe the whole time there. Ten days is not enough time btw, unless you like to hop around really quick or just stay and get to know one place. Anyway, I completely recommend visiting this beautiful and vibrant culture!

Uno. Fería de los Flores. 

The 'flower festival' happens every August. In this big celebration farmers create giant bouquets of their flowers(silletas) and flood through the streets carrying them. I'll let this video capture the feeling.

The whole city really gets decked out for this and you can also find about 7 giant flower sculptures around the city, like the virgen below. Very impressive and colorful!!

Dos. Take the MetroCable

This was a really unique experience, partially because of the gondola-like transportation system. At the top you will arrive to a big green forested park, Park Arvi. We took a little walking tour and learned some of the native plants and animals. 

Fun fact: "It was designed to reach some of the least developed suburban areas of Medellín. and is largely considered to be the first Cable Propelled Transit system in South America." (The other is in Caracas but carries passengers to a luxury hotel...a bit different.) 

Tres. Malls.

I'm not really a supermall person. Like, really not. But in Medellín I fell in love with malls. Why? Because of all the amazing(and free) exhibitions and activities they host! We wandered into several malls because at least during August there are lots of things going on. At one we admired a huge collection of bonsai trees, complete with a giant buddha statue. At another mall there were tons of orchids and still another had a showing of birds. It's kind of juxtaposed with nature next to a 'sale' sign, but I like that at least in the midst of all the buy-and-sell is something green :)

Cuatro. Museo de Antioquia

Here in the Plaza de Botero, you will find...this museum, yummy foods, a lot of Fernando Boltero sculptures, and a checkered cathedral. A fun place to hang out and a very extensive art museum, with permanent and temporary exhibitions from all time periods. I was fascinated by the Botero and contemporary showcases.  

"I fatten my characters to give them sensuality." -Botero

Cinco. Get a hat!

We both were eye-ing the beautiful woven hats hanging in carts and perched up along sidewalks. So we both decided it was a necessary souvenir, to be stylish in the sun. Don't you think? 

And una más extra: Pablo Escobar Tour. This sounds pretty interesting, visiting significant places and learning about the drug cartels. If only we had more time - we didn't get a chance to do it! 

Now your turn ~ what's a must-do in your own city or from a trip?

Linking up with Expat Diaries 

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