Okay, so are all of you already on the BuJo train?  BuJo is short for Bullet Journal.  I’d read a bit about it last year and thought I’d give it a try in 2017.  And I kind of like it.  It’s a way to customize a day planner to include only the things you want to use.  I’m not really a journal-er, so I use it more as a day planner.  I ordered this yellow one from Amazon (it was the least expensive and I wanted something that wasn’t black).


It’s the highly recommended Leuchtturm 1917 with dots.

I actually really enjoyed making my own pages:


I’m not that creative so I just copied pages I found on Pinterest and Instagram.



I need to add a section in my weekly pages for just “to-dos,” instead of scheduling them each day.  I’ll make that adjustment when I make my weekly calendars for February.  I also have pages for my expenses, 2017 goals (my big goal is to throw out/give away most of the crap we have), a habit tracker (for things like cleaning, flossing, studying Spanish, workouts, etc.), and a list of books to read.


We have some lofty savings goals this year.  Anyway, so far, so good.  I really like the bullet journal idea and it’s working well for me.

On another note, it’s snowing like f*cking crazy here.  Our power went out last night and didn’t come back on until this morning at around 8:15.  It was 61 degrees inside the house when we woke up.


And George was over 2 hours late for work because we couldn’t figure out how to put chains on the car.  Yes, we are smart.  Fortunately, my sister’s family came over to help us out (thank you Jamison!), and Kennedy dressed up…


Mardi Gras style!

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The Last Week of 2016

As usual, George worked on Christmas (double time and half!!) and I stayed home and tortured celebrated with Biff and Bing.



Bing was not happy to be included in this activity.  And the minute I turned my back on that bow, Biff tore it the f*ck up.


Go Biff, Merry Christmas to you, too!  I made a bunch of food for George and me and we ate until we went to bed.  Oh and we watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  Biff was super excited when the dog chased the squirrel around…


We’re just waiting for the day when he tries to jump through the tv.

We celebrated Christmas with the family on the 26th.  Kennedy got some pretty cute clothes AND agreed to pose for pictures with her Uncle George.



We also worked on our selfie game:




And no, it’s not your imagination…my hair is lighter.  I can’t stop bleaching it.  I think I’m trying to match Biff.

Oh and finally, my mom gave me the ice cream attachment for my KitchenAid mixer!  And I used it yesterday.


 I used this vanilla bean coconut ice cream recipe that only has five ingredients: coconut milk, cane sugar, vanilla bean, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. It’s so good.

Tonight we are celebrating New Year’s Eve at home.  I made this Spinach & Artichoke Dip courtesy of Minimalist Baker and we already ate it all.


Party animals.


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My sister and I are doing a little staycation this weekend.  We are staying in a hotel in Portland and doing whatever we want!!  No kids.  No husbands.  Party time.  Right now, we’re watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and planning tomorrow’s shopping adventure.

We spent last weekend hanging out with the crazies family:



I entertained the kids by setting up a tripod and they loved posing for pictures!



I made the most delicious cookies:


Minimalist Baker‘s Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies…they’re vegan.  I know, but even my family f*cking loved them.  I will be making them again before Christmas.

And it’s been snowing.  And so cold.  Biff is not a fan.


But G and I managed to get outside a couple of times…we’re so brave!


Finally, I came across this last week:


I can’t remember where I saw it, but it’s perfect.

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The Lake

We spent our last weekend in Guatemala at Lake Atitlán.  On Friday night, we took a shuttle from Antigua to our hotel in Panajachel.  Traffic was a f*cking nightmare so it took 3.5 hours instead of 2.5 hours.  We had dinner at the hotel and went to bed early because we had a tour of the lake scheduled Saturday morning.  We stayed at Hotel Posada de Don Rodrigo:


We had a few minutes after breakfast to look around the hotel and it was so peaceful.




We met up with our tour and got on a boat!


I think there are twelve towns on the lake and some are only accessible by boat.  We visited San Juan, San Pedro, and Santiago.


San Juan was our favorite town.


We went to a beautiful art gallery:


And we bought some art there, too!  After that, we learned about how Mayan women turn cotton into yarn…


G even gave it a try!


Not surprisingly, I don’t think this will be his part-time job.  We also learned about the process of dying the yarn.



They dye the yarn using plants and this color came from rosemary.  Pretty cool.  I bought the scarf in the below picture and I just love the color.


And yes, that’s me without makeup.  Also, I think I was talking when George took the picture. Perfect.


Sunglasses make me look a little less frightening.

After touring the lake for the day, we went back to Panajachel to wait for the sunset.



And we got up early the next day for the sunrise…




It was a bit hazy, but still, so beautiful.

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My Home in Guatemala

Hola!!  I’m back in the USA and it’s so weird.  Good, but weird.  And I missed this guy SO MUCH!


I still have a few posts I want to write about my time in Guatemala, but I thought I’d share a bit about the living arrangements first.  There are some schools in Antigua that offer dorm style housing, but I thought it would be a better experience to live with a family.  And I was right.  I lived with Ana and Manuel (my Antigua parents) and I couldn’t have asked for a better family.  They speak very good English (yay!), but they were also so helpful (and patient) when I wanted to speak Spanish.  As part of the home stay, they provide 3 meals, 6 days a week.  And the food was so good.  They even made vegan meals for me.  I know, it was so nice.  And their home was perfect.  I met their four children, ages 29-39, and they really made me feel like part of the family.

Okay, so back to the house.  I requested to stay in a home with fewer students and I also wanted my own private bathroom.  Some homes have 8-10 students, but this one normally hosts only 2-4.  I think it really helped me get to know the family better.  Anyway, welcome to my Antigua home:


Most of the homes in Antigua are built like this, with a front door right on the sidewalk.  The front door opens all the way so you can pull a car (or three) inside.  It’s very difficult to tell what a home looks like from the outside.


This one has a courtyard in the middle.  The kitchen is on the left side of the picture above.


And my room was across from the kitchen…the door toward the back in  the picture above.


Twin beds, just like the 1950s.  Perfect for G and me!  The bathroom was right next door so that worked out really well.  There are two other bedrooms in the house, but they are in another part of the house down this hallway.


The courtyard is on the right by that plant and the other two bedrooms are on the left side of the hallway.  Here’s a picture from the other end of the hall:


Across from the bedrooms, there’s a door to the living/dining room.



And that’s where I had 3 meals/day, 6 days/week for a month.


Oatmeal, papaya, cantaloupe, plantains, orange juice, and rolls.  For breakfast.  I didn’t take enough pictures of the food, but this was a typical breakfast for us.  It felt like summer.

The kitchen is off of the dining room:


And I was surprised it was so big.  A lot of good food came out of that kitchen.  Wow.  There’s also a rooftop deck above the courtyard:


G spent a lot of time up there getting his tan on.  The view wasn’t too bad either.


So that’s a little tour of the house.  I loved it.  Great location, an amazing family, and terrific food.  I really couldn’t ask for anything more.

And tonight…


I’m hanging with these kids (my nephews, Kai and Kaz), while their parents get a much needed night out.  And I already had to explain to Kai that he can’t say @sshole at school…he asked what it meant.  Umm yeah, I’m a horrible aunt.

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