March 11-20, 2013

March 11th

Happy Monday!

Usual routine of spin class, but afterwards I was starving. We didn’t have any bananas so I couldn’t make a mug cake; instead I decided to make a breakfast burrito. Whole wheat tortilla, mushrooms, onions, spinach, and egg. I spread an avocado on the tortilla before mixing up the other ingredients on the stove. I used coconut oil instead of butter. It’s supposed to be healthier and apparently boosts your metabolism. It was delicious!

Went to my first Zumba class…I only laughed a couple songs and only tripped maybe one time. It’s a fun way to exercise especially with a good friend!

Received word from the Consulate of Chile in Chicago. My visa appointment is scheduled for this Friday. I’ll be flying out Thursday to stay with my friend Sara. I’m excited to see her and her family before I leave and shop in the city too! Nothing like a 4 day notice for a visa run. Luckily flights weren’t sold out. They definitely weren’t the cheapest though. Thank goodness for other people’s flexible schedules…borrowing cars and staying with others’ on such short notice. Thank you all who have been a huge support in these last minute situations! 🙂

March 12

Had a kick-butt interval and ab workout this morning. I’m finally able to push myself past the burn and challenge myself to actually become fit rather than having a lackadaisical workout. It feel great!

One of the last times I’ll go grocery shopping with Dad. It’s become our “Tuesday thing.” It was nice to meet up with Abby at Walmart in Kearney this time too.

There is a bigger picture. A greater purpose. Outside my own little world.

March 13

Focus. Focus. Focus. Checking things off my many to-do lists. 5:30 spin- check. 7:20 Southwest Airlines check-in. (Thank goodness for boarding group A on this sold out flight!)- check. Straighten hair for the next few days of travel- check. Also! I got new lipstick and mascara. I’m telling you it is the little things when I have a massive to-do list and a lot on my mind. Love MAC. My friend Taryn introduced me to their 2-1 mascara last year in Korea and now I’m hooked. Thanks to my trendy make-up friend Laura I branched out and got an orangeish-red lipstick- not sure how I feel about it, but I’m trying it out! Bake mug cake and make coffee- check. Except I failed at the cake today and mistook 1/4 tsp for a solid 1 tsp. Nasty. Had to throw it out. Thank goodness I didn’t ruin my coffee. I need it today. I don’t sleep very well the night before I travel or a major event is about to happen. Next on the list is to pack for the next few days to finish this week as I will be in Chicago, and for the following week when I will continue my stay in Lincoln and Omaha.

March 14

my super quick visa run to Chi-town!

Up at 4 a.m to workout before heading to the airport for my 7:20 a.m. flight. Sat by the window with an empty middle seat, but at the last minute a businessman squeezed in the middle seat. Usually I am a bit annoyed, however his catchy comments caught me off guard and I thought he could be pleasant to chat with for a bit…or until our flight landed as it ended up. We chatted about the life of his prissy 40 year old West O housewife, his spoiled rotten conniving children, his business, and Chicago. I don’t make these words up…he used them himself. I am patiently waiting for the bottle of wine that he is supposed to be sending me for my help on his marketing plan. Honestly all I did was ask him if he knew his client’s drink of choice and he hadn’t thought of that so he was going to send scotch. I don’t really drink scotch; I opted for the wine.

I found Sara’s place without a hitch and her baby greeted me at the door, then cried when I left. (Aww!) Met up with Sara for shopping and lunch. When she went back to work I wandered around then took the train to Irving Park to meet with a TEFL Institute adviser to chat about my experience abroad as well as the certification program. I am so passionate about experiencing life abroad and I truly wish everyone had the opportunity; one of these days I’ll be an adviser or recruiter to assist others with the process! 🙂

Later that evening Sara and I had one of the best talks over margaritas at ZED451 Lounge. Our server was the best~ and the atmosphere was great. Indoor fireplace, comfy couches, perfect for a relaxing night out. I am so blessed with her encouragement, support, and humour.

March 15

GOT IT! I am officially a temporary resident of Chile. I feel like such a city slicker taking trains and finding my way around. haha. Found the Consulate with a little help from the lady at Starbucks. The Consulate was in an older building, but nice. I was early so i took a seat and waited, when the lady came out she greeted me with Buenos Dias- I managed to stammer through my own response. The appointment itself only took 10 minutes and was super easy. Just signed a few papers, stamped my thumb print, picked up a few documents for the airport. Done.

Made my way back to Sara’s and headed to Michigan Avenue for some shopping. I found black pants at Banana Republic. They fit perfectly. Ankle length, no hemming required, and a size 00. I’ve worked so hard for that…still a little shocked though. And they were 30% off. Score. Found the most charming local cafe for lunch and coffee. It was a rainyish day and rather chilly. A perfect afternoon for blogging on a napkin and sipping hot organic locally roasted Tanzanian coffee. They get their beans from a roastery 4 blocks away. The cafe is Sunny Side Up at 42 East Superior Street in Chicago, and the roastery is called Sparrow. Both companies are organic, sustainable, and green. They have beans from all over the globe. How delightful! I miss my local cafe days and this just made my day. And free refills make it even better. The cafe owner was entertaining to talk to as well.

Sometimes I like the coffee solely based on it’s name. It’s like traveling to an exotic place in a cup and with a sip.

 My flight departed around 7:20 and I arrived back in Omaha around 8:30p.m. I sat next to a mother and her daughter who were traveling to Lincoln for a college visit. It was a nice chat.

March 16

Today was my lovely friend’s bachelorette party! What a wonderful evening of celebrating her! I am so excited to be a part of her special day in ONE WEEK!!!!

March 17

Went to church today with Mandy and her husband. It was good to be in a church. The music and message were much needed. I listen to sermons online and youtube videos of worship songs, but actually being in a church is special. Hung out the rest of the afternoon and worked out. I enjoy spending quality time with my dear friend and am going to miss her dearly when I go abroad in a couple short weeks.

March 18

Rough morning at spin class. Sometimes I just drag and can’t get my butt moving! But I made it and stuck the class out…

Now at a cafe in downtown Lincoln catching up on my blog and organizing for my week! The cafe is Indigo Bridge Books and Cafe. It’s a quaint cafe…locally made pastries and hand dripped coffee…the bookstore is small, but hosts a variety of new and old reads. Today’s hand dripped roast is from Peru.

March 19

Happy Birthday to Mandy!!!

Killer 3 hour workout today…whoever thought that yoga was relaxing and easy is wrong. This instructor is intense! Lifted weights and also weight to a friend from high school’s Zumba class. She is very energetic and a lot of fun.

Ran errands and went to Starbucks in the afternoon for a Chai Tea Latte. That evening we celebrated Mandy’s birthday with a delicious meal at Bread and Cup, a local restaurant in the Hay Market. Cheers! $4 glasses of wine- a stellar Shiraz, Tomato stir fry with zucchini noodles, and homemade vanilla cheesecake with caramel. Delicious.

March 20

Well I stayed in bed til 11:00 today. I don’t do this very often. I make myself get up and get going for the day. I’ve been rather tired lately and it felt so good to just lay in bed! Got dressed, ate some chili, and headed out to go to a local cafe.

I ended up at Meadow Lark. An artsy cafe in a strip mall. Inside there are plenty of chairs, tables, and a few booths along the side, big front windows. The gentleman behind the counter helped me decide on an iced caramel macchiato with toddy (a cold brewed espresso) and almond milk. Amazing. Seriously the best drink I’ve had in a long time. And a piece of homemade cherry coffee cake. Swear I’m going to spin class tonight! 🙂 They have a sister cafe in Xela, Guatemala. I’m thinking a trip there in the near future is a must!

This day is sunny, but chilly. I can’t wait for warmer weather. I want to sit outside on a patio with a cute outfit on and indulge in the sunshine. I really just enjoy sitting and eating decadent meals and sipping on wine or coffee…if I could get paid to do that I would be in heaven. I’m laughing to myself as I type this blog. I was recently asked what my hobbies were and I almost replied…sitting. But I didn’t…I have a lot of hobbies…writing, running, yoga, taking photos, reading, practicing Spanish, wandering around new places, listening to music, helping others, teaching kids…I would like to say my job will be my hobby- helping others accomplish their dreams to go abroad since I have been so many places, then on my vacation I will go explore new places. That’s what I would like to do, when I “settle down” and have my own apartment.

I overheard a gentleman on his phone say “Happy Equinox” aka Happy First Day of Spring!!!

new lipstick color

Chicago “L” stop!

my new best friend!

my purse was her entertainment!

Meadow Lark Cafe

Sunny Side Up Cafe

my iced caramel macchiato and cake.

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