March 30, 2012

Pepinos con Limón y Sal

Photo courtesy of here, because I ate mine too fast to manage a photo. :)

So... I should be doing homework right now. Or sleeping. Or something. But, well, I got hungry, see, and so I HAD to have a snack. I chose the healthy, DELICIOUS snack of pepinos con limón y sal. What are pepinos con limón y sal, you say? Why, only the most amazingly delicious way to eat your cucumbers EVER!! And it's quite simple, too. As a Latina, I grew up eating a lot of my foods this way (the con limón y sal part). My best friend (who happens to be Mexican) would probably add some chile to this, but that's not the way this Salvadorian girl rolls (not since my mission, at least).

1 cucumber
1/2 a lime

1- Wash, peel, and slice cucumber. (Though my dad would tell you the peeling is optional.)
2- Put in Tupperware.
3- Squeeze your lime on top. Go crazy and squeeze the whole lime in, if you want!
4- Add salt to taste. (Be generous. You want a lot on here.)
5- Put lid on Tupperware and SHAKE!
6- Enjoy!
7- Lick your fingers and smile. :)

And now, an embarrassing admission from my childhood.

My dad taught me that I should always be a lady. Things a lady does:
  • Sit properly with her legs crossed.
  • Minds her manners at the dinner table.
  • Takes care of her physical appearance.

Things a lady does NOT do:
  • Sprawl with her legs all over the place.
  • Allow her nail polish to chip. (Dad says if it starts to chip, just take it off. That's how you stay classy.)
  • Lick her fingers during or after meals (or ever, I think).

    And last, but not least:
  • Lick her plate!

I may or may not have had a problem with the licking of my fingers and/or my plate as a 5-year old, but I swear to you it was only when we had pepinos/salad/tomatoes/insert-delicious-produce here con limón y sal!! The licking was always the best part!! Well, that and drinking the leftover lime juice in the bowl, duh. I may or may not have done this after I ate my whole pepino tonight. And I may or may not have licked my fingers. (Don't judge!) I did not lick my plate.

In conclusion, I promise not to tell my dad (or yours) if you lick your fingers after trying the delicious-ness that IS the pepino con limón y sal. And always remember:

  1. Who you are
  2. EVERYTHING tastes better  con limón y sal!!

March 28, 2012

On Feeling Things

This post has no pictures. Sorry. But it does have some thoughts that border on the edges of "deep-ness." (Though I think the proper word might be depth?) Something happened recently that made me feel... something I didn't want to feel and felt silly for feeling, because I felt I shouldn't be feeling it... Then I found out another piece of news that added to the first bit of news and made me reflect on things I felt embarrassed for feeling and didn't really want to feel to begin with.

I chatted about it briefly with my friend Rachel, and she said something that changed my life (in case you didn't catch it, that was a hyperbole, but it DID change my outlook). She told me that I'm allowed to feel the way I'm feeling, and that sometimes, it's important to just... let yourself feel things (even things you don't want to feel). Because once you acknowledge them and fully feel them, then you can move on and choose to feel different feelings.

And so, now that I'm done feeling that, I am choosing to feel something else.

Does that make sense? It sure did to me. Thanks, Rach. :)

DC Cherry Blossoms!!

Every year, people come to DC from all over the world to see the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin. I'm so glad I'm lucky enough to live here! I made time last Friday to take my run in the afternoon so I could run around the Tidal Basin while seeing the Cherry Blossoms (multi-tasking, baby!). This is my third Cherry Blossom Festival, and it's just as beautiful as the first two. Behold the glory for yo' own selves:

Please pardon the sweaty gross-ness, but hey, I did warn you that I saw this
on my run, no? And yes, I'm aware that those sunglasses are too big, but I didn't
have any, and the street vendor sold them to me for $1, OK? You would've
bought them, too!

A close-up.

A shadowy variation on the shot that everyone takes at the Tidal Basin.

Gorgeous, no? :)

March 26, 2012

This Weekend, I...

1- SAW THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS!! (More photos to come!)

2- Got my first ever mani-pedi with Caitlin,

(Our official verdict: too eh-spensive. And we can do the same stuff at home. But the massage was nice.) 

2- Spoke on behalf of my candidate at a town hall meeting,


Umm, yeah... I spoke right after this guy.
(P.S. He is a sitting U.S. Senator. Yikes!)

3- Celebrated with the "Pink Flamingos." This is the name of our Relief Society (church women's group) basketball team. Because you know when you see me, you see... a basketball player? Nancy planned such a fun event for us, and we all loved it!

4- Played with my string quartet at a nursing home. It was so fun! Our audience was so great, even when we weren't playing anything too fancy. If you want to book us for something, we promise to give you a good gig!

5- Hosted our first social event at our house!!! (Sorry, no photographical evidence. I completely forgot to take pictures!) But the highlight may have been when we ran out of pawns for everyone while playing a fun game Melanie brought, and I came to the rescue with my neon nail polish bottles. Or the cookies (cookies!). Or... just hangin' out with friends on a Sunday night. :)

I hope your weekend was good, too!

3 Years Ago


Three years ago today (March 25th), I clicked my seat belt (my VC sisters know what I'm talking about) and returned from serving as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For 18 months, I taught the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to the wonderful people of Oakland, California. I loved my mission because of the experiences I had, the people I met and taught and how much I grew to love them. My mission taught me more fully that I am a daughter of God, that He loves us, and that He has a plan for us. He calls prophets today to guide us and has restored His church through one of those prophets, Joseph Smith. Jesus Christ is our Savior, and through Him, we can return to God's presence and be with our loved ones forever. These things I know to be true. If you ever have any questions about any of these things, about what in the world a Mormon missionary does, or what Mormons believe, go ahead and ask me! :) I'd be happy to satisfy your curiosity!

I realize no one else may care that I served a mission or that I had these experiences, so I do apologize to anyone reading this for the plethora of photos to come. I tried to keep them in order, from beginning to end of my mission. :)

1st transfer, 1st Christmas, being silly at home on New Year's.
Full pros in Livermore and training a new missionary for the 1st time!
(Look how cute Pres. and Sis. Beck are!)

LOVING full pros and the people of Livermore!
(Please note the photo of the 4 Latinas with the "serious" face!)

Back to the VC... with poison oak. :( On the bottom: "scripture power" at
Pixar Studios plus one of my VC miracles! Oh, how I loved being a VC sister!

Back to San Leandro! Swapping flags, eating a lot, Gonzalito & Jenny, plus
an awesome finger-painting district activity. (Thank you, Curtis's!)

Oakland 6th! On the bottom: weekly planning at the ISC + decorating
wedding cakes (we were experts :D) .

Training Round 2, the end of the Angela Johnson sculptures exhibit,
Tongan New Year's (ie- LOTS of meat) and a wonderful baptism.

Departing Directors (the Pedersen's), Mario y Yesenia (y Karen, claro),
new Director's wife (Sis. Smith), VC sisters on St. Patty's Day.

The Curtis's! + departing sisters photo shoot

My two babies! New VC Directors (the Smith's!), dinner with the
Escobar's, and last zone activity with our awesome apparel.

The 3 departing VC sisters, the whole dying group, my VC sisters wore PINK
to our farewell breakfast bc it's my favorite color (almost made me cry!), and
this card Sister Beck made really DID make me cry!
If you're considering serving a mission... GO. My mission has been one of the greatest blessings of my life, and I will forever be grateful I went. I know I was supposed to go. I think of my investigators, converts, the members, those I taught, and those with whom I served often, and I love them all so very much. I pray that as I live my life today, I can continue to do so with the same spirit of service and love I tried to develop as a missionary, so that others can feel of God's love through me.

March 21, 2012

SPRING! and Thoughts on Working From Home

SPRING is here! I'm a big fan. Huge fan. :) Photographic evidence below:

Spring at GW (taken before class, when the
sun was still out).

Spring at GW at night (taken AFTER class, when the sun
had already peaced out).

I'm going to see the cherry blossoms this weekend (Going running there on Friday! Then with friends on Saturday.), and I'll DEFINITELY post pictures!

Unrelated- I have two jobs now, and I really like both of them. I enjoy what I do (thinking, strategizing, organizing, planning), I work with great people at both organizations, and I love that I feel challenged at work again. Another thing I love about my current setup is that I sometimes get to work from home. I love it so much, I decided to share my thoughts with you via poetry (more specifically, a limmerick). That, and it's been a while since my last poem. (For my very first blog poem, see here. Surely, you will be moved to tears!)

"Thoughts on Working From Home"

Working from home is great,
because I can wake up late.
I go running mid-day,
and see deer on my way.
I hope this is always my fate.

OK, so I don't wake up "LATE" late, but I DO get to wake up just a little bit later, because I don't have to factor in commuting time. And I DO see deer! Also, I'm not good at waking up early to exercise, but doing it mid-day? Yes, please! I stopped running last May when I had some issues with my back, but over the course of the last year, I've realized that A- I miss running and being active. B- Not running = BAD news. C- I'm not going to do any other sort of cardiovascular exercise. D- While gyms offer plenty of alternatives to running, they GROSS ME OUT. (Sharing machines with sweaty people? Ewww. Other people's sweaty germs all over the place? No thanks. And don't even get me started on the locker rooms...) E- I hear biking is great, too, but bikes are eh-spensive! So I decided to phase running back into my life, three times a week to start with. I'm bonding again with ice packs, but so far, so good!

In conclusion, I love having the flexibility to work from home, AND I feel that I actually get MORE done this way (including my homework! and even some blogging. Praises!). Although, given the hour of this posting, I'm still up late, but hey, progress is progress, am I right? Why, yes. Yes, I am. I'm really glad I've learned this about myself. Some people work better in an office, with regular 9-6 hours... Apparently, I'm not one of them.

PS Did I share my latest Voto Latino article yet? I don't remember. Oh, well. Here it is!

Weekend Balancing Act

OK, I feel like I post every other time about wanting to achieve balance in my life. But whatever. I do, OK? And I'm working on it. See? I actually played a bit this weekend:

I celebrated David's birthday, 

Look how much we love Ciara! 
David's birthday "smiley face" with his mango sticky rice

ate dessert at Teaism, where we tried DELICIOUS salty oat chocolate-chip cookies,

I'm such a sucker for choc-chip cookies! (See my bio? Yes.)

rode the metro (where we waited and waited and waited),

The crowd literally cheered and CLAPPED when the train finally came.
I ended up on the metro with my two, tall,
 blonde, leggy friends (as I like to call them),
 Ciara and Karly.

AND, I went to a bonfire, where we played FOURSQUARE. Flashbacks, anyone? You know it's a good time if you're playin' foursquare. :)

Rachel "the Blur" plays foursquare. :)
Foursquare is much harder to photograph than one would think.

But lest you think I'm "balancing" too much play time, please know that I also work, work, worked this weekend! Below, my first organized radio interview for my candidate. Woot!

Yeah, so... My candidate is the one gringo here. :)

I also did LOTS of homeworks, baked banana bread, cleaned half of my car, played this at church with Chris (vocalist) and Sarah (pianist extraordinaire) -- both of whom were AMAZING, I might add! (and can I just say how hard this piece is for violins?? Its in, like, 18th position, I swear! but SO beautiful!!), and MASTERED (sort of) Audacity (audio software) (*evidence to come!*).

Also, I've decided (in the spirit of the whole "balance" thing) to give up social media on Sundays, to sleep more, to prioritize exercise time, to reinstate daily planning, and to focus on only one thing at a time instead of trying to accomplish 2823.87 things at once (hint: this doesn't work).

March 20, 2012

Seen in DC

These lovely OJ ads provide me a good dose of humor in my mornings on the days I work in the District. While there are plenty more, I wanted to share with you my Top 3 favorites! (1,000 points to you if you know which metro station these are from!) I'm sure you DC peeps can relate. And to my non-DC friends, well, this is a day in the life:

All. the. Time. Plus, remember this?

Umm, I may or may not be guilty of text-walking...

Annoyingly accurate. (PS Non-DC friends, the Beltway = the major freeway here. ie- Traffic is HORRIBLE here. Never drive in DC, unless you absolutely have to.)

Funny, huh? :)

March 14, 2012

Today, I...

1- had an early (ie-8:30) meeting,

2- worked from home (like so:)

3- made soup (Not from a can... From scratch, people!)

4- baked honey whole wheat bread (almost successfully!)

5- went to the #JSA rally (Please read THIS to get the basic story. I'll likely write more on this later.)


6- went RUNNING!!! (Yes! I'm trying to run again! My back's still hurting, buuut... Maybe if I only run every other day? Plus yoga in between, of course.)

7- got my first (tiny) sunburn of the year (warm weather! !!!!!)

8- DIDN'T go shopping!!

The $20 dress I didn't buy. That's right. DIDN'T.
9- and served at the temple.

I had a pretty good day, don'tcha think?

What I didn't do.... was homework. There's always tomorrow, right?