Monday, November 26, 2012

28 Things By 28 Revisited

A year ago, I wrote '28 Things by 28' and now, I am 28.  So let's see what I checked off my list!!

1.  Have a successful first year of teaching Art... leading to a 2nd.  I got asked to come back full time!

2.  Become a hip hop dance master.  Hip hop classes were a major success.  I really enjoyed them!

3.  Run Carlsbad Half Marathon.  January 22, 2012

4.  Run La Jolla Half Marathon.  April 29, 2012

5.  Run America's Finest City Half Marathon.  August 19, 2012

6.  Get my studio apartment in order for company.  Done and Done.  Wendy, Tamara, Rebecca, and Nicki have come over.  But... then I moved again and had to start all over.

7.  Be on top of my grading (I really do not like grading... at all... ever!)  I'd like to say that I have been really good at grading this year.  I even turned grades in early!  Woo hoo.  Grading really gets me, so this is a huge accomplishment!

8.  Go on dates.  Cough *speed dating* Cough.

9.  Blog regularly, without giving up on journaling.  Keeping up on both nicely.

10. Invest a lot of time in my friendships.  This is hard when it seems friends don't want to spend time with you.

11.  Do something unique.  Chippendales for Tamara's Bachelorette party... I have never been to anything like that in my life!

12.  Meet new people.  Hip hop, church, BTSA Support Provider (teaching mentor)

13.  Keep up with Baking GALS and Tell Them Thanks.  Still send cookies and letters monthly, when a military person is in need.

14.  Manage my time wisely.  Trying to do more in a day... not just sitting around.

15.  Focus on my art (phtography, painting, sewing, scrapbooking).  Took three rolls of film to Czech Republic.  Scrapbooked last years events... working on getting stuff together for 2012.

16.  Lead by example.  This has ended up being more apparent in my classroom than anywhere else.

17.  Become more involved ar church.  Became a leader for the greeting team and co-lead a team to the Czech Republic over the summer.

18.  Stay on Budget and save what I don't spend.  I have been doing the best I can.  I moved and this set me back a bit, but I am on track now!

19.  Start saving for Greece cruise.  I do not know if this is actually happening now.

20.  Have more fun.  Dance night with church friends.  Karaoke.  New Year's Eve with and old friend and her family.  Free Gavin DeGraw concert at Jimmy Kimmel Live.

21.  Read 30 books, without buying any of them (unless for book club).
I didn't make this one, but I will be at 30 by the end of the year, which will technically be a year since I first started reading the books on my list.
1.  The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
2.  The Heart of Christmas by Mary Balogh, Nicola Cornick, Courtney Milan
3.  The Girl With The Dragon tattoo by Steig Larsson
4.  Gone with a Handsomer Man by Michael Lee West
5.  Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito
6.  Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
7.  Zen and the Art f Murder by Elizabeth M. Cosin
8.  Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
9.  My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
10.  This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
11.  Little Bee by Chris Cleave
12.  Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
13.  Bridget Jones The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding
14.  The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
15.  Bossypants by Tina Fey
16.  Coraline by Neil Gaiman
17.  The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
18.  The Fallen (The Nine Lives of Chloe King #1) by Liz braswell
19.  The Stolen (The Nine Live of Chloe King #2) by Liz Braswell
20.  The Chosen (The Nine Lives of Chloe King #3) by Liz Braswell
21.  Naked by David Sedaris
22.  Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Lewis and Poliafito
23.  Baked: Elements by Lewis and Poliafito
24.  Always Home: 50 years of the USO by Coffey

22.  See the Cabazon Dinosaurs. I took my mom here for part of her birthday night. (That was before I  published this list, but I has already written it, so I am counting it.)

23.  Eat another date shake (Hadley would be nice).  I ate an amazing date shake at the riverside county fair and it was way better than Hadley... believe it!  I also stopped by Hadley for a shake one day during the summer... I was falling asleep at the wheel and Hadley proved to be a life saver, literally!

24.  Meet my 'mean' neighbor and bring cookies.  I met my neighbor and brought her Christmas goodies... my downstairs neighbors as well.  (Fallbrook) But, then I moved...

25.  Go to the gym more. Not only have I gone to the gym more, but I started running 3 times a week, again!  Woo!

26.  Get my students into art competitions (statewide/ national).  Entered student work in to the National Date Festival/ Riverside Fair Art Exhibit/ Contest.

27.  Use time alone to better understand myself and where I want to go in life.  I have had plenty of time to think about where I am and where I want to be.  I am happy with the choices I have made and I like teaching Art, but I do realize that I am interested in many things and perhaps I will try my hand at many other things as the years pass.  I know that I do want to be married someday and have a family of my own.  I am not going to devote a lot of time to searching this avenue, but shall be open to the movement of love in my life.

28.  Loose 10 pounds (or more).  Hey!  A girl can dream!  A girl sure can dream.  I can say that I have not lost 10 pounds, but I did lose what I gained from eating all of that ice cream in the Czech Republic.  So, it may not have been the 10 pounds I was originally after, but at least I am back where I started for the coming year.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I am new to Pinterest.  As in, I just signed up last night.  I have no idea what to do, or how it all works, but I must say, I have seen some really amazing things!  As a life long crafter, I am excited to make some stuff, already.  My goal is to do it without spending much money.

Do you think that can be accomplished?

Friday, November 23, 2012


I recently discovered a desert bread that will blow your mind!

So, prepare yourself...

The bread is called Povitica and it is truly amazing.  You may call it a nut roll if you like.  This bread is popular in Europe... think Poland, etc.  Picture this, thinly rolled dough, outrageously covered with various fillings:   poppyseed, walnut, apple cinnamon, cranberry walnut, pumpkin spice!  Any flavor you would like.  The dough is then delicately rolled and placed into the pan in such a way, that these amazing folds and swirls are created.

Now picture cutting a slice of that bread, heating it and melting some butter on it.

Your mind is now blown!  Bam!

If you would like to eat some of this bread like I currently am, you should visit Strawberry Hill.  It is a bit pricey, but they send out discount codes every now and again.

You will want to get this every holiday for the rest of your life!

I am going to try and make my own.  It seems to be just the challenge I need right now.

Happy eating!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

New Mattress = New Life!

I have been sleeping on an air mattress since the beginning of April!  Well, not anymore!

Two of my best friends told me to join Groupon about a week and a half ago.  I had held off on this because I did not think that it would have anything to offer me, but upon their recent suggestions, I finally took the jump.

The first thing that popped up when I signed up, was a Nature's Sleep  8 in. memory foam mattress!  Its original cost $1,200.  And believe it or not I got it for $352!  That is with taxes!

The mattress came today and although I cannot sleep on it until tomorrow (24 hour recovery period for the memory foam), I am uber excited that it is here.  I just hope the chemically smell goes away quickly, because that will really bother me.

Here's to great sleep in the coming weeks and 20 years of warranty!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Book in Review: The Mermaid Chair

I am trying to read 30 books by the time by birthday gets here!  Just a little over 2 months... and I have only read 17 books.

The 17th was 'The Mermaid Chair' by Sue Monk Kidd.  I liked her book 'The Secret Life of Bees', so I thought I would enjoy this book as well.  I did end up liking this book.  It kept me interested until the very end.  I lost a bit of interest in the last chapter... at that point, I thought that perhaps we could have arrived at the point of the story.

All in all, a good book, and I do recommend it.

3 out of 5 stars, I liked it

Off to the 18th book!  Have a great week everyone!  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Time Passes Quickly

Goodness me!  It has been one month since I have last written on my blog.  Time is current passing quickly...  I suppose it always does.  School has been back in session for just about a month.  Progress reports are due soon and my students are in full swing of art projects, journals, and being teenagers.

I've been trying to stay on top of my reading, because I am supposed to have 30  books read by November 26th.  We'll see how that goes.  I am currently on #17... 'The Mermaid Chair' by Sue Monk Kidd.

It's been so hot around here in So Cal, that I cannot sleep... or think... or move.  Hopefully it will begin to cool off soon, for my sake and for the sake of all that must be around me.  Ha ha.

I miss dancing and I think I could eat ice cream everyday... just like I did while in the Czech Republic this summer.

Well, that is the end of this random post.  Enjoy the rest of your week!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Aloe Blacc

Yesterday, I discovered a musical artist.  His name is Aloe Blacc and he is amazing.  I don't know why I am just now finding out about him.  He has two albums...

His debut album:

Shine Through (2006)

His newest album:

Good Things (2010)

I am not an alcohol fan, but I love this commercial and the song in it is by Aloe Blacc.

If you would like to own this song, you can get it for free here:  Tonight Downtown

You have to click on the link, choose your country, enter your birthday... all to enter the site.   Once inside, click on number two and you can choose to download the video and the song.


Monday, July 30, 2012

My Czech Experience

I am back from the Czech Republic and have been for five days.  Here is a video that kind of wraps up our time in the Czech Republic nicely.  Check out the Czech team.

Because I wrote a nice newsletter for family and friends, I am going to post that here, as it sums up most of the trip... hopefully in a nice manner.


I have successfully made it back to the United States, from the Czech Republic.  Before heading out on this trip, I prayed that the California, Chicago, and Czech teams would get along famously and that we would connect with our students quickly.

We were told that it would take until Wednesday for our students to bond with us.  I am here to report, that we were very successful in the relationship front, and I believe that that is how God got four students to become Christians by the end of the week.  But, I am getting ahead of myself.

The trip:

It was so exciting to meet the Chicago team for the first time at O’Hare International airport and instantly have stuff to talk about and be able to form friendships, before we even got on the plane.  Friendship is a great thing to have when you are sitting on the plane for two hours before take off, due to some cargo mishap.  Once we took off, our nine hour flight to Helsinki, Finland went very well.  However, due to being two hours late, we missed our connector to Prague and had to sit in the airport for seven hours.  Ahh!  I don’t know how we did it, but playing card games, walking around, and eating helped pass the time.

Once we landed in Prague, we boarded two separate trains, ending up in Vysoke Myto (Northern Czech Republic, near Poland).  Our hosts were waiting for us and whisked away to their respective homes.  All of the hosts were a part of the Czech church team and they would serve as English camp leaders and translators in our classrooms.  It was nice to sleep in a bed, after 36-ish hours of traveling.

Friday, Our first full day in Vysoke Myto, the Czech team took us to a Chateau and we got to tour it and gain some knowledge about local history.  A student and church member set up a garden party in our honor and we got to use this time to get to know the other teams better.

On Saturday, we left by bus, for camp.  Many of the English camp students were on the bus with us.  We got to the camp in the rain and that was very foreshadowing of the weather for the entire week at camp.  That night we had the chance to meet our classroom students and then we played a game outside, and that was pretty much one of three moments at camp, that there was no rain.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t think rain at camp is very fun.  You expect to be outside and playing, having fun.  But, with grace we accepted this challenge and moved forward into the week.

During the week this is what the schedule looked like:

7:15 am daily devotions.  (This was mandatory for all team members, but was open to anyone that would like to come.)

8:00 am breakfast (time to hang out with students)

9:00 am Classes (Two lessons, sometimes three)

12:30 pm Lunch and the beginning of free time (I usually used this time to play Uno, Catchphrase, and any other old camp game we could think of.)

4:00 pm An afternoon camp game

6:00 pm Dinner

7:00 pm an Evening game and then we moved into the night ‘Sermon’.  I use that word lightly, because it was very Christian focused, but done in a way to interest those, that might not be interested.  We always opened with worship songs and the camp song.

8:00 pm Night discussion groups.  We had two different types of groups… Spiritual and Non- Spiritual.  In the spiritual groups, students who were interested in God or had questions about Christianity, could discuss with students, teachers, and translators that would help guide them.  The non-spiritual groups, we still introduced God, but not directly.  We asked them questions that got them thinking about qualities of Christianity and God, without throwing it in their faces.  Planting seeds, and nurturing them, but allowing time for God to work, even if it takes a year.  This discussion time lasted as long as the students were talking.

Midnight-  Lights out.

The schedule was the same everyday, but of course variety found its way into the mix.  Vlada, the pastor of the church in Vysoke Myto led games everyday and they were wild.  Some took place in the rain and some involved us touching slugs (eww!), sticking our heads in mayonnaise pasta water (eww!) and being intentionally stung by stinging nettle.  Yes, I did all of those things and more.

I saw God working in the close relationships I made with Czech students Ota, Ondrej and Lucie.  Some members of my team and the Chicago team hung out with these students everyday, we played games together and we ate together.  We sat together at the evening sermon.  It was great and Ota and Ondrej left with a Bible at the end of the week.  Ota is seriously considering becoming a Christian and thinks he will be the first in his family.

My roommate and student Eva,  asked me about God when I was in the non-spiritual group and I got to tell her about the trinity.  The theme of the camp was ‘Challenge’ and I think it was a challenge for her to ask me that question and it was a challenge for me to answer her in a way that would encourage her to ask more questions.

Four students came to Christ by the end of the week:  Evča (Evcha) , Simča (Simcha), Esther, and Tomaš (Tomash).  It was nice to see them at Church, the day after camp ended.  I am excited to keep in touch with them and to see where they will be in a years time.

Even though it rained just about everyday, we were able to make connections with our students and form relationships that will hopefully continue throughout the years.  You wouldn’t believe how easy facebook makes it to keep in touch with these students!  I’ll be able to use that as a tool to answer any questions that may arise throughout the next few weeks, months, or years.

To end, I’ll share a funny camp happening:

There isn’t much curly hair in the Czech Republic, so once again, I was thrust into crowds of people wanting to touch my hair.  Well, one student, Kiki always wanted to touch my hair.  One day, she touched it and said, “Your hairs are like little worms.”  Ha ha.  Sometimes, I would be standing in a group, and I would feel someone touching my hair… it was always Kiki and she would say, “Hello, it’s me, are your worms happy today?”

Thank you for your support during the preparation of this trip, and during it.  I think I speak for everyone when I say, your prayers were heard and we all had a great time getting to know our Czech teammates and students.  I have been asked if I will go back again next year and right now, the answer in undoubtedly, Yes!

Thanks again!

Love, Tiffiny

Here are some photos from the trip as well:

Spending time in the Helsinki airport...

At the train station in Prague (Praha)...

At the Chateau...

In Vysoke Myto (Vi-So  Kay- Meto)...

English Camp...

They are trying to get me to solve the puzzle below... but they mostly speak Czech...

I really did not like this part of the game.

Having my portrait drawn by an English student.

Kayla teaching the vocabulary for the day.

Our students acting out a restaurant scene. (Host, Guest, Waitor)

Niko's back after stinging nettle.

My friends and teammates for an afternoon game.

Us girls had to pull them al apart.  Success!

Classroom 1 is the best!  Would you learn with us as teachers?  Of course!

They learned so much.  Ha ha.

But really, they did learn over 100 vocabulary words and their English truly improved throughout the week.

Before the broken window!

One of the best dinners of the week!  Blueberry dumplings.

 Ondřej and Lucie (siblings)

Ota and Eva (Cousins)


Classroom 1!

The teachers and the translator!

These guys... always playing games on their phones and computer...

How many people can we get in one frame?

The church in Vysoke Myto.

With Katka (middle), our Czech Host.

For those who suffered under communism. (Prague by Petřin Hill)

Oh escalators in Prague...

On the Charles Bridge.

At John Lennon's wall.

I ate so much zmrzlina (ice cream) on this trip!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Lee Pace

Dear Lee Pace,

You are a great actor, but people don't seem to see that.

I loved you in 'The Fall'.  It is a very unique and great story.

I loved you in 'Pushing Daisies'.  I still can't figure out why they dropped that show.

Will you marry me, if Gavin DeGraw or Josh Groban won't?

Photos are from a google search of Lee Pace's name.