Friday, November 18, 2011

Isla Mujeres

Welp, we made it! After a long day of uneventful travel, my friend Tina, her family, and I have all made it safely to the island of Isla Mujeres.


I just have to share one happening with you before I forget (as I forgot to pack my journal, you may be seeing a lot of updates!)

We're renting a house for the week and just returned from the grocery store/supermarcado for some staples. While we were there, we stood in the bakery section debating between their Bimbo/Wonder packaged bread OR fresh baked bread from the bakery section... Haha. It didn't take long before our decision was unianimous.

While taking it all in, looking at all the different pastries and such, we saw an employee of the store accidentally drop a loaf of bread on the floor... look up to see if anyone had caught him... MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH US... give that silly little five-year-old guilty grin, brush it off on his uniform.... and, get this, PUT IT BACK ON THE SHELF. Oh my goodness. It was SO comical. I couldn't help but crack up. I know I shouldn't have encouraged him, but the way he pulled it off was histerical!

That wasn't even the best part! I felt like we should have Bob Saget alongside us to commentate the events. Right after witnessing this old man act as if he was four-years-old, a two... maybe three-year-old little Mexican girl with beautiful black piggy tails and a striped top, waltzed her way through Tina, Dani, Glenda, and myself to check out the pastries for herself. She made three trips looking, smelling, and, yes, you guessed it, dipping her finger in the frosting of the pastries. Tina was the first to catch it. When she had all of our attention, she made her selection and got a good finger-full of sugar-laden yumminess and licked it off like only an adorable toddler can do. She really made great use of her time, because by the time she'd consumed a decent amount of sweetness, her mom realized she was missing. Ah. It was priceless.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Antioxidant Fruit Salad

So, as the weather has turned... or is in the process of doing so, I have become somewhat 'under the weather'. :( Boo. While watching some wildly exciting cupcake throwdown yesterday on the food network, Nigella came on a commercial and shared this recipe with me...

Antioxidant Fruit Salad

2 mangoes
1 pomegranate
1 cup blueberries (I bought them frozen and got twice as much for the same price... they have to travel a long way to be anything near fresh this time of year anyway!)
the juice of 1 lime

I cut the mangoes straight down the side of the pit... and then manually eat the flesh off the pit, of course. :) (Kind of like licking the spoon.) I then take the halves of the mangoes and make a grid with my knife. Turn the skin inside out and cut the diced pieces right into your bowl.

Cut the pomegrante in half at the 'equator' (don't cut from top to bottom, but right across the middle) then take a wooden spoon and whack the back of the pomegrante half over your bowl. The seeds will rain down over your mangoes beautifully!

Add in your cup of blueberries.

Juice your lime over all your fruit. 

Mix well.



I'm hoping these antioxidants team up with all the zinc, vitamin C, and Cold Snap I've been consuming to kick this nasty bug out of my system!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

...hidden talent...

I've been thinking lately how fortunate I am. With Thanksgiving around the corner and all, I suppose my mind's been more focused on my blessings lately. I realized just the other day that I am extremely fortunate to have not just one job that I absolutely love... but TWO. Photography is my 'fun job' that I do on the side... but I also work with an amazing group of people just outside of town in this crazy, awesome building teaching their kids. Two fun jobs. Ha. Who would have thought. :)

One of my favorite things about where I work, is how people genuinely care about others and their well-being. On top of that, they are able to see people's gifts and, as a result, create work for that individual that fits their gifting... follow me? -- Last spring I was wrapping up a day at the Learning Center when a mom walked in and said, "Miss Lauren. You're creative... ever thought of painting a mural?" Haha. I'm sure you can imagine my stunned response. "I don't believe that's ever crossed my mind!" "Well, would you be interested in trying?!"

And so begins the story of my mural-making-days...

^Said blue wall would eventually be transformed into a pirate's treasure-laden oasis...

Some days it took a little coaxing...

And some days my efforts were just not working so well...

...but then, the creative juices started flowing. :)

...and I bribed/rewarded myself with Scratch cupcakes.

...the sails went up.

...and pirates arrived...

Unfortunately, it seems my phone lost the photo of the room completely finished, paint catchers and lights put away, and electrical outlets covered again... However, this photo does show you the final product! Last I checked, 'Jake' had a new 'tatoo' on his arm... a foam eighth note. :)

^^Here's a shot of the 'workspace'...
AKA: their poor bathroom that I turned into chaos for a few weeks!

Now, the second mural was for a little girl...
she certainly didn't need pirates on her wall... instead, she needed...

BUTTERFLIES, of course!

Welp, butterflies, she got...

And some flowers and a singing bird, to boot!

I was fortunate enough to borrow the projector/lightbox from work...
but sometimes I had to get a little creative to get the images where I needed them on the wall.

Finished Product:
One whimsical liberating wall to inspire one sweet little girl
to dream big and use that beautiful imagination of hers.

As for me, I learned I am capable of much more than I seem to give myself credit for... (I wasn't exactly sure how it'd turn out when I first began!) I had SO much fun pulling these fun ideas out of my imagination and sticking them to the wall! SO very thankful for opportunities I am able to not only enjoy, but also learn from.