Debbie's Doings

When two people sing together, they're in love; when two people dance together, they make love.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

100 posts

This is my 100th post on my blog. I know for a fact that most of the posts have been complaining and whining-filled ones. For that I apologize. I feel that even after 4 years on here I'm still trying to find my voice. With someone who has no trouble talking to people about mundane things, I sure can't seem to figure out what to write about on here that is worth reading.

March is just about over with and I have no tricks up my sleeve for Friday. I promise. I remember a few years ago my sister B decided it would be a great April Fool's Joke to call my dad and tell him she was pregnant. The very next year, she was. Haha. I will never pull that joke on my parents for fear of divine retribution.

I've been taking a new dance class on Fridays- Slow and Groovy. I feel like dancing West Coast Swing at a slower pace gives me more opportunity to have fun with it. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy dancing fast, but I can control my movement better when it's slow and groovy. Bwahaha. And I'm the only sexy one in the class. Not really, but I don't struggle as much as some do to relax into the movements we're doing. So I feel sexier, but my feet still trip me up a lot. I need to get new shoes for sure. In a few weeks we're having a party for the closure of the first class at the new club and I have to learn a routine to perform. Look for a video up here when it's done! I can't wait to have a new video of me dancing on here.

I have a project lined up for April. Starting April 10th I'm going to make one craft a day for 20 days. When that finishes I am going to have a little party so my friends can take whatever they want. I'm going to send a few away, but the idea with this project is to give it all away. I will take pictures for this and blog about it daily. I think I'm just going to take a supplies photo and a couple finished photos and post it up with a short description. In preparation for this I've been adding craft blogs on here to follow and get ideas from and even bought a glue gun yesterday. My first glue gun. Woohoo!

I also reached a milestone for yoga this week. I finally got through all the standing postures for Ashtanga primary series. That means next week I get to start learning the seated postures. I'm so glad to be done adding standing postures. My knees don't like it and tonight I had a really hard time inhaling. It was a little weird, but I pushed through. I must have made some awful faces though, I was in a lot of pain. Actually I almost cried at the end before my finishing sequence. My muscles all still ache and I'm a bit shakey right now. Tomorrow morning should be interesting.

Good news of the day? In two days it will be exactly 5 months before I leave Korea. I have a lot to do in that time though- let's get cracking!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Five for Friday

I'm still struggling to find inspiration this week. I think it's mostly because I've been sick and the weather has been bleh at best. It sucks when it's still cold every day. It sucks when I'm excited about 48 degrees F for the high. When I see back home that it's been 70 degrees F more than once so far, then I wish I wasn't in Korea. When I read that spring isn't really going to happen this year in Korea, then I REALLY wish I wasn't here. Seriously. I know last year spring was only around for about 2 weeks (really ruining the Cherry Blossom festivals around the country) and then jumped right into summer but it doesn't mean that I liked it. It's still below freezing every night here and I really am starting wonder if my seeds are ever going to take when they sit on the windowsill. I am having really bad luck so far with the seeds I've planted. But here are the few things helping me through the week.

This is just funny. And totally something my family would doodle. Because we are literally that literal about stuff. Then we'd laugh. 'Cuz we're dumb.

I want a pretty kitchen where I can hang my tea towels and have better glasses than the hand-me-downs I currently own.

I feel that this is a challenge to myself. I'm working on letting the right one in and the wrong ones go. But it's hard, eh? So easy to stick with what is known. I want to jump into the unknown and be caught. Or fall, skin my knee, get a cool story out of it and try again. J- you're my unknown.

I made banana bread earlier this week and it's been the comforting thing for me while I've been sick. I made such a big batch that I made one loaf and 4 muffins. I think I'll do all muffins next time. They cooked better and aren't as dense as the loaf is. Still good with a pat of butter on it reheated for breakfast (can you guess what I had for breakfast today?)

Let's not comment on the fact that I had to google search the name of these flowers which I adore as a part of Spring. Daffodils...come on Debs, how could you forget that? I need spring so badly. I want to buy some lovely flowers this weekend to brighten up my home and remind me that winter does not last forever, contrary to the weather last night (snow on March 24th).

It's been a rough week, but I'm sure next week will be better. My cold is gone and I've not been on medication at all today. No headache, no feelings of distraction beyond what I normally have, and I'm looking forward to getting out and about a little bit more this weekend after a rather hermit-like week. Things to look for in the future- a 20 in 20 project for April (20 crafts in 20 days that I give away), more phone calls to NZ, Mexican food this weekend for a birthday party. That ought to do it!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Random Thoughts...

It's Thursday, but man it feels like the longest week of my life so far. My computer crashed that I use for teaching on Monday, so I was unable to have classes in my own classroom this week. The maintenance guy came and took my hard drive away Monday afternoon and brought it back Wednesday afternoon. We didn't get the problems resolved until Thursday around 10am. Boo.

I also got a really bad cold from my students this week. Today has nearly killed me in that I had 6 classes and no break from 9am until 2:45. I'm beat. I'm sneezing all over the place (and I don't sneeze quietly) and my head feels detached from my body.

I have come to the conclusion that I really need to do more prep-work for my classes. It's frustrating to me that I can't figure out the new CD-ROMs. The kids don't care, but I don't like making myself mad during the day.

I haven't done yoga at all this week because I got sick (and J called on Monday- so I did nothing that night). I miss it and really want to not be dizzy so I can do my yoga.

My dog may be the laziest creature alive. He really does sleep all day when I'm at work, and sleeps all night with me. I stayed home ill on Tuesday (kind of a precursor as I should have saved calling in sick until Wednesday) and he was undeniably the laziest creatures alive.

Good things-

I got a couple orders in the mail this week. Thank you Victoria's Secret for shipping internationally and reasonably!

I thought Wednesday was going to be a worse day than it turned out to be. Wednesday would have been my brother's 20th birthday. Felt the love from friends and family that day and they know I'm sending it back always.

I found some dance instructional avi files from my two favorite WCS dancers this week. I now have 4 hours of instruction to watch and learn from. In ENGLISH. It's so much easier to learn when I can understand everything I hear. Although, I have gotten really good at learning through visual cues and guesswork.

I made banana bread on Sunday and it's incredible. And gluten-free. It's a bit chewy since it's made from rice flour, but it's so nice to eat bread that doesn't make me sick.

Tomorrow is Friday. This is always good.

psssst-- I have no idea what my Five for Friday will be this week. It's been an off week.

Friday, March 18, 2011

5 for Friday

Another week down and I'm at just under 5 and a half months until I fly the coop to Nelson, NZ permanently. I'm so excited about it, I think about it all the time and pent in my conversations about until I can talk to people safely at home about it since I'm not telling my school until absolutely necessary (August 1st). I did buy my plane ticket this past weekend, so it's quite real now. Crazy! Anyway, it's been a mundane week. I finished my class on special education and have started my next course in educational research. I think it's going to be harder than my last class since I'll be doing more research and work, but it'll be a good challenge. Hopefully it will make the next six weeks fly by. That's what I need right now.

I've been consumed by turquoise recently. I really hope that's not a problem. I think it reflects the brightness that has come into my life. And look at all those patterns and textures!

Gotta love Snoopy and his honesty. There really are no words to describe my love for those whom I do love. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love you all.

Every day I have a student who plays Rock, Paper, Scissors with me. Every single day.

I'm not really sure how I feel about plates being up on a wall when they could better serve as actual plates. I feel like if I'm given free reign to be eclectic, I want mismatched plates like this for regular use.

I think every space you live in should have something unexpected and I think I want my unexpected to be color. This living room is so airy and open that I just fell in love immediately. While white chairs are usually not something I like, I feel that they work here. L-O-V-E the couch colors though. I think this could work if I had to compromise with someone on a living room. The following one is what I would do if I had no one to compromise with.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Weekend sewing project

Since I gave up television for Lent I have found myself with more free time than I usually have. It's been nice finding things to do instead of lounging around on the couch with reruns of CSI on for several hours. This past Saturday I finally did something with the clothing I set aside to upcycle after I got back from New Zealand in February. Yes, I've had a pile of perfectly good clothes sitting in a chair downstairs with no idea of what I was going to do with them. This is what I did to a grey tank dress I bought last summer and only wore a handful of times. It was really boring, eh?

It's not so boring anymore!

I have this thing for really bright colors and patterns. It might be a problem. Nah, you can't go wrong with flowers and ruffles. :)

I also have a thing for crochet and tatting...I bought this old table runner in New Zealand and I'm still using it. Can't wait to make something else with more of it!

I wore it to school today with a cardigan as it's still cold here. Spring was here for like a minute this weekend, and now it's gone. Sunny said she really like the flowers I made. More coming on those as I used the method I found on Happy Together.

Can you tell I'm ready for spring and summer? Man it's killing me. In other news, I bought my plane ticket back to New Zealand this past weekend. I found a ticket price I couldn't pass up. So I have it booked and it's all way too real now. Woah, I'm really doing it. I'm really moving back to New Zealand September 2nd and going to settle down there. It still feels unreal, but I'm so excited to see where my life goes once I'm back there.

Also, someone has jumped the ranks in who I talk to the most in a week. It used to be my parents and my best friend were eons ahead of everyone Not so much. J has jumped ahead of them all and is leading at an astounding rate actually. I actually can't believe we have that much to talk about when we chat on the phone. Seriously. Who would have thought it of two fairly quiet people (J is way more quiet than I am though). Off to paint something and do my sit-ups for the night before going to bed really early. I'm exhausted!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Five for Friday

It's Friday again. I have to say it's been a rough week personally. I've struggled with some things this week and feel that in the coming weeks they're still going to bother me. But this week is dedicated to the people who keep me up, or at least listen to me when I'm feeling like this. You guys are the ones who are my foundation- both old and new parts of it. I love the strength you give me and the unwavering support. This is to you---

This is where I feel like I am right now. So grateful to not be alone in it.

Irene- thank you so much for taking me here this week. I'm seriously going to be in Hwajeong all summer long at this place. Join me, will you?

I had intentions of showing the amazing interior design photos I've found this week on here today, but my week took a different turn. But I still LOVE this kitchen. Can I have it?

I can't even begin to say how much he means to me right now. Yesterday was a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day and Jeff listened to me and talked to me last night until my bad day was no more. You're a new rock for my foundation, but I like you. ;)

This is for my favorite person in the whole world- Laura Jean. You are my favorite, ever.

Here's to a better day today and the hopes for a better tomorrow as well.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lent 2011

I know I'm not Catholic. I never have been and don't really think I ever will be, but there's something about the season of Lent that I like. I like the concept of giving up a vice for the 40 days before Easter. What I don't like is having to look it up every year to find out when it starts! Lent starts March 9th this year (coincidentally that is also my Dad's birthday!) and I have been thinking on what vice I can give up for this year. I usually give up chocolate or sweets or Cola (I usually give up Cola) for it as those are my really bad habits. But since going gluten-free in January, I've actually been eating and drinking a lot better anyway. I don't feel like any of my traditional things are vices anymore. Yay for growing up! It doesn't mean I don't have vices, it just means I have to look harder for them. Found it.

I'm giving up useless television for Lent. I oftentimes will channel surf at home in the evenings or on the weekends watching rubbish reruns and shows I don't actually care about. So starting tomorrow my TV stays turned off. In addition to this, I am starting a six week program to work up to 200 sit ups in one sitting. (Woah, debs...are you kidding?) There's an iphone app for it, but since I can't use that, I'm going to use the website. It's only 30 minutes a week and is something I can work on in the AM when I get up. So theoretically after Easter this year (it's like the 3rd week of April) I will be able to do 200 sit ups and will have gone without rubbish television. What will I do with all my extra time? Probably make a dent in the sewing pile in my living room!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mini gluten-free Lasagna

I spend a lot of time browsing the internet for recipes. I will admit it. I'm jealous of really well-designed food blogs and adore step-by-step photos of recipes. In turn, I get really irritated by recipes that only show me the finished product. I feel that an important part of food blogging should be the pictures along the process. Maybe that's just me though.

Since going gluten-free January 1st, I have struggled with my craving for pasta. I usually do pretty well during the week but on the weekends when I have time to properly cook I find myself wishing for a big plate of spaghetti bolognese and garlic bread that is the perfect union of crusty french bread and buttery garlic flavoring. I would even be willing to cook up some green beans to make myself feel better about inhaling a disproportionate amount of carbohydrates in one sitting. Or pizza, or eggplant parma, or chicken parma...or well, you get the idea. I found a recipe recently that was about making mini lasagnas in a muffin pan. I thought that sounded promising since making a whole pan of lasagna for one person is silly, and stupid when considering the consequences of eating even one piece of lasagna and my delicate digestive system. The recipe initially called for wonton wrappers (which are not GF) so I substituted with Vietnamese rice papers. I should preface this recipe by saying that I did not have ricotta cheese to properly cheesify this recipe into lasagna (can't find it in South Korea) and neither did I properly measure anything. So on those counts I failed, but the end result was yummy, so take what you will!

Mini Lasagnas (GF)

Meaty bolognese sauce (use your favorite home recipe or buy a jar of it)
Mozzerella cheese
Vietnamese rice paper
Eggplant (if you want)
Ricotta cheese (mix it with a bunch of parmesan cheese and frozen spinach to make it like my mom does)
Basil *
Garlic salt *

*these are if you make your own sauce like I did.

1. grease your muffin tins really well before you start anything. Including the flat part of the pan since the rice paper goes over the top of the muffin tin.

2. Brown your ground beef with onion and garlic (I used leftovers from a recipe earlier this week). Add sauce and season to taste with garlic salt and basil. Make sure it's decently thick. Runny sauce won't really be helpful here.

3. Time to turn your rice paper into something usable. Boil water and fill a shallow dish with it. One paper at a time is the best way to go. Put it in the hot water until it's turned soft and pliable. Not very long if your water is boiling. Just don't burn yourself like I did!

3.2 Line your muffin tins with the rice paper. It turns out that I needed 2 to fill each since I couldn't get them to be flat...which turns out to be better for my lasagna after all.

4. Put one tablespoon of sauce in the bottom of your lasagna.

5. Now you can work on your layer. This is only a one layer lasagna after all. I put slices of eggplant on the sauce and the sprinkled some cheese on top of it. But feel free to miniaturize your own recipe. Mmmmm, ricotta cheese with spinach. I wish I had that here...ok, back to the recipe.

6. Top each mini with one more rice paper (yes, go back to the hot water). Push the rice paper down so that it fills in the gaps and give you a bit of a well to work with one last time. Then do a bit more sauce and cheese before bringing the rice papers together to sort of seal it all together. Sprinkle some oregano on the top.

7. Bake in your oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Or until the cheese on top is golden.

8. When I pulled them out of the pan they sort of fell apart a bit. I'm guessing that rice paper isn't the most sturdy thing to use here. I might cook it longer next time to see if that improves it (I pulled my out at 15 minutes) or line the muffin pan with tin foil to help them hold shape after I get them out. In any case...they were yummmy.

9. Having a cute puppy watching you work in the kitchen is completely optional, but absolutely adorable.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Five for Friday

The week just ended for me about 20 minutes ago. I finally started teaching again after what has felt like an eternity not doing so. Let me tell you what, deskwarming at a public school in South Korea makes me miss working at a kindergarten. Almost.I guess it would be different if I had lots of planning to do, but considering I didn't get my new textbooks in until just last Friday and didn't finish getting resources for them until today, there really isn't much to do without textbooks. Honestly.

But I got it all in and can really start sorting out classes now. I'm excited for the new books and so far all my kids are great. Of course, I did only have the 3rd and 4th graders so far. But here you five for Friday.

I found this image today and was reminded of the power of a smile. My students were all very happy the last two days, and were all smiles. So was I. Last night I was teaching a new class of 3 kids and one of the girls remarked (through giggles) that she was smiling and laughing so much her face hurt. I want to laugh like that everyday. So much that my smile hurts.

How amazing is this set up? I love the teal color of the bench and the playfulness of the whole set-up. Please give me some old furniture and amazing vintage fabrics to do this with someday, somewhere in New Zealand!

And how awesome are these light shades? I'm especially taken with the upper left pattern. It reminds me of a pattern I've seen on Celtic knot work. I'd love to have that light shade on my bedroom ceiling. Seriously awesome.

Oh man, so I thought I really wanted to do a kitchen in bold bright colors, but this sink and backsplash has me rethinking that decision.

I wish I had an option on my photo editing software to isolate the color in an image. But since I don't, I'll just enjoy this daisy. Love it and love you all- happy Friday!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

If I manage my time better...

Ok, I must admit that I am a fairly lazy person. I will sit in front of the TV reading a book or fiddling around with my sewing stuff without actually accomplishing anything over a long period of time. It's true. It's easier for me to wait until I really want to do something. Then I'll do it. Take last night for instance- I didn't do a whole lot since I was feeling a bit blue, but knew there were things I should have been doing. I then proceeded to watch the rest of the Oscars and an episode of Sherlock before getting the motivation to straighten up my apartment. At 10 o'clock at night. I had to forcibly stop myself from dusting at 10:30 because if I started, I wouldn't stop until it was all done. And then I would have to sweep the floor and possibly mop it as well because, well, what's the point of dusting without finishing cleaning? I'm sick, I know it. Jeff said he would just invite me over to watch a movie and let me dust instead...I'll be honest, I probably would if it were really dusty. ;)

If I can discipline myself to accomplish things outside of motivational times, I would get a lot more done. It's a shame I work better under the pressure of a deadline or due date. My masters program is a testimony to that- I'm lucky I can make my homework look like it took loads longer than it did.

So here are my short-term motivational goals.

1. Do yoga as many days of the week that I far this week- not so good. But it's a work in progress for sure.

2. Make these one day this weekend- how freaking cute are they? And I could make them gluten-free as well. (btw- they are mini lasagnas made in a cupcake tin)

3. Work on my crazy lesson plan where I'm teaching different parts of each lesson with each's going to be nuts.

4. Eat meatless as much as I's cheaper anyway. So far this week- pretty darn good. Lentil soup, vegetarian chili and Parmesan zucchini sticks with pizza sauce. I also got a recipe for falafels that I'm going to try out. Does anyone else find it weird that I have all the ingredients for vegetarian meals stocked in my pantry?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

last day off

Today is my last day off work until May. The new school year starts tomorrow and I'm ready to get it going. I need my time to go quickly. I want to be done with this semester and on my way to New Zealand. I have so much do to between now and then, but I'm anxiously awaiting the day when I get on a plane and head back to my home in Nelson. I left my heart there in January and can't wait to get back to where it is. Not that I really want my heart back, but I'd like to be closer to it.