March 27, 2017
Overnight Oats - 3 Ways

Overnight Oats - 3 Ways

March 27, 2017
Overnight Oats 3 Recipes
Being a foodie I eat first and foremost for pleasure. I need to enjoy what I eat otherwise I'm not satisfied. I won't feel full until I've tasted something that I really like. For instance, if I eat a meal that is not my cup of tea, I will need dessert. Now, there are two ways in which I feel satisfied by a meal:

1. I love the taste of it (even though sometimes it may not be the healthiest thing in the world, i.e. cheese, chocolate...)
2. Maybe I'm not crazy about the flavor but it's healthy, therefore I like it. I guess that has something to do with the subconscious... I feel so good after eating healthy food.

The recipes I'm about to share with you meet not one but both of those requirements: they are tasty and healthy.

Overnight Oats 3 Recipes
Today's recipe is healthy, filling and will satisfy your cravings. I've been a fan of oatmeal for ages, it's a favorite of mine for either breakfast or dinner. In recent years I've seen the arising of overnight oats as an alternative and I think it's a genius idea, specially during the summer because it's cold. If you have overnight oats for breakfast, you'll save a lot of time in the mornings because you prepare it before going to bed and you wake up to a pretty much served breakfast. You can even take them to work with you if you are on a hurry.

Another advantage is that you can use your favorite fruit or nuts and mix them in any way you want. There's no right or wrong. They are very easy to make, all you have to do is start with the base recipe below and then add any ingredients you fancy. I've given you 3 options: apple, pumpkin and berries.
Pumpkin is my favorite because it's like pumpkin pie in a jar!

Base recipe
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup milk (any type: almond, soy...)
1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1 fair pinch salt
1 - 3 tsp honey

Add oats, milk, yogurt, salt and honey to a 16 oz. (500ml) jar or bowl (I used jam jars). Then add the rest of the ingredients listed below depending on the flavor you want (don't add toppings until the next day). Stir, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Overnight Oats 3 Recipes

Overnight Oats 3 Recipes
Apple
1/2 cup chopped sweet apples
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp chopped pecans, for topping

Overnight Oats 3 Recipes Apple Cinnamon Walnuts
Pumpkin
1/3 cup pumpkin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp dried cranberries, for topping
1 tbsp raw unsalted pumpkin seeds, for topping

Overnight Oats 3 Recipes Pumpkin Pie
Berries
1/2 cup fresh berries such as strawberries (chopped), blueberries or raspberries
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Overnight Oats 3 Recipes Strawberries, Cranberries
Adapted from Cooking Classy

Do you see food as a necessity or pleasure? How do you satisfy your cravings?
xo Cristina

English corner
foodie - a person with a particular interest in food; a gourmet
first and foremost - most importantly; more than anything else
my cup of tea - something or someone that one finds pleasing
i.e. - that is
cravings - something you have a powerful desire for

MY LATEST OBSESSIONS
March 20, 2017
Hello Spring!

Hello Spring!

March 20, 2017
spring outfit fashion blogger pink blue white shirt distressed jeans cross body clutch
Hello spring! I'm so excited about the arrival of the most beautiful season of the year. I can't wait to get my camera and wander the streets looking for flowery spots to photograph. Today I want to show you a spring outfit which is also teacher friendly. If you've read the blog in the last few weeks you know that I've started to show you what I wear for work
spring outfit fashion blogger pink blue white shirt distressed jeans cross body clutch
When I go shopping I look for pieces that are out of the ordinary like this button down shirt with a pink collar and blue cuffs. I took advantage of the different colors to choose my accessories: nude ankle strap high-heel shoes and pink quilted bag. Finally, the light denim matches the cuffs.

Long sleeves bother me so I tend to roll them up when I wear a shirt. I have a little trick to do it and I'm going to share it with you. A while ago I found this how to roll sleeves image on Pinterest and I've been doing it like that since. In this case I did step #4 the other way round so the the cuffs stay on the outside. 
cherry blossom tree spring blooms pink flowers
spring outfit fashion blogger pink blue white shirt distressed jeans cross body clutch
spring outfit fashion blogger pink blue white shirt distressed jeans cross body clutch
spring blooms pink flowers cherry blossom tree
spring outfit fashion blogger pink blue white shirt distressed jeans cross body clutch
spring blooms flowers
From now on it's all going to be bright colors for me, it's time to store dark hues. I've also started my spring wishlist and it's full of colorful prints. It may seem silly but it helps my mood a lot. Sunny days and bright colors lift my spirits. I'm particularly looking for a fun affordable midi skirt/dress so if you've seen any around let me know!

What trends are you wearing this spring?
xo Cristina

OUTFIT DETAILS
El Ganso shirt
Tous earrings (USA/Spain) and bracelet (USA/Spain)
Purificacion Garcia bag (similar)
Zara jeans (similar)
Massimo Dutti shoes (USA/Spain)
Mr. Boho sunglasses (similar)

GET THE LOOK

Just like last week, here's the English corner for those who practice their English skills with the blog

English corner
Out of the ordinary - unusual
Lift (or raise) someone's spirits - cause someone to become more cheerful
March 13, 2017
California, I love you / Being an Au-Pair

California, I love you / Being an Au-Pair

March 13, 2017
being an au pair in california

When I brainstorm ideas for blog posts the first thing I think about is how you can benefit from my experiences. Many friends ask me about my year as an au-pair. It’s a great way to improve your English without breaking the bank1.  So today I’m going to introduce you to the world of au-pairs.

I'm from Spain and I've lived in England, Ireland and the USA. Living abroad is something I always recommend. Everyone should do it at some point in their lives. It should be compulsory! It opens your mind and it's such a rewarding experience. Even if it’s just to have stories to tell your grandchildren, do it.

Living in California had been my dream since I was a little girl. The Golden State is portrayed like the best place to live in countless movies or TV shows. Beautiful people and houses, palm trees and beaches. Maybe it’s all stereotypes but I became obsessed with it. I mean, who didn’t want to live the O.C. life? 

In 2008 I had finished university but I wasn’t ready for a steady job, I felt I still had to live my biggest adventure to date. I started looking into options to move to California. I didn’t want to continue studying since I already had a degree so I looked into job positions. Getting a visa is the hardest thing so the best thing to do is go with something arranged from home like an exchange program. And that’s how I became an au-pair.I applied for the program and asked to be matched with a family in California. If you want a specific location it takes longer to find a host family but after a few months I got an email saying that there was a family for me near San Francisco. The process of application is quite tedious since you have to fill in many forms, get a medical report, a criminal record certificate and a psychological test. At that moment it never seemed to end!


Here’s a quick summary of the main characteristics of the au-pair program. The program is for ages 18-26 and you have to spend at least a year with your host family. Then, even if your visa has expired, you can extend for 6, 9 or 12 months. There are many advantages. As an au pair, you receive a weekly stipend of $200 during your stay with your host family. Your hosts provide room and board, so you won't need to worry about paying for housing or meals during your time in the U.S. Your hosts also provide you with up to $500 per year for classes at a local college or university. Finally, they also pay for your plane ticket to their location and then back home when you’ve completed the program. Many people are worried about doctor bills since there isn’t universal healthcare in the US but au-pairs an accident and sickness insurance. This is a work and travel program, so once you successfully complete your time with your host family, you may stay in the United States for an additional 30 days. You can use this time to travel around the U.S.; however, you are not permitted to work.

In August 2009 I packed my bags and was ready to go. When I arrived in the United States I had to attend a comprehensive Orientation and Training program that takes place in New York. I was given training in childcare and safety and had the chance to visit New York! It took place at the New Yorker Hotel where I shared a room with 3 other girls. It was a really fun experience and I made some great friends from all around the world.

new york radio city broadway
m&m new york
new york squirrel central park
Even though it was overall a wonderful experience there are hard times. The one that I remember most vividly was when the training program ended. We had to say our goodbyes and head to our host family’s home. That moment of realization came as a heavy blow2. I had agreed to spend a whole year with strangers in a house across the country and the moment of truth had finally arrived. I was at La Guardia airport and I was terrified. After all, whether you make it or break it3 as an au-pair will depend on your relationship with your hosts. I was extremely lucky. My host family is a loving and caring family with whom I still keep in touch. They welcomed me into their home with open arms and treated me like one of them. As hard as it is for us to devote one year of our lives to strangers, you have to think that they are probably feeling the same way. Host families are opening their houses and letting a stranger take care of their little ones. 

Unfortunately, all that glitters is not gold4. Not everyone was as lucky as I was. I had friends who didn’t get on well with their hosts. Some switched to different families, others were not ready for this experience and went back home. I know people who were doing house chores even though you are not supposed to. Also, some had to deal with troubled parents. However, even at hard times having a good relationship with the family depends on your mood or predisposition. If you want things to work out, they will!

Another issue you may face is homesickness. A few months after moving to California I started thinking about home and I began to appreciate little things that I always took for granted. However, I wasn’t alone. Each month, our Local Coordinator (a person who lives nearby and is always there if you need help) organized a meeting for all of the au-pairs in the area. We did a different activity every time. For instance, I helped out in the San Francisco Food Bank, visited Alcatraz and went ice-skating among other things. That’s how I met most of my friends. I already talked about the unbreakable bonds and friendships I established in this article.

being an au pair in california
being an au pair in california
being an au pair in california

The most rewarding part of this experience? The people I met. Some of those friendships are going to last forever and I couldn’t be happier to have those people in my life. The worst part is that you can see them as often as you’d like to. However, they are a great excuse to travel! We can meet in a different location every year or visit each other at home. I also got to visit San Francisco a few more times. A year after coming back to Spain I was invited by my hosts to go back for a few weeks. And I’ve visited them two more times after that. This summer I will see some of this wonderful people at my wedding.

If you’d like to know more about being an au-pair or have any questions hit me up with an email (memoriesofthepacific@gmail.com) or leave a comment below. I’d also like to know if there’s anyone interested in more posts on this topic because. If so, I’ll write more “becoming an au-pair” posts.

xo Cristina


TRAVEL ESSENTIALS


English corner

Even though most of my readers come from the US, there are people who read the blog to practice their English. Since the teacher in me never sleeps I decided to create an English corner on my posts to explain useful expressions.

1breaking the bank - to use up all your money
2heavy blow – emotional impact 
3make it or break it - used to describe a decision, event, or period of time that is very important because it can make something succeed or fail ompletely.
4 all that glitters is not gold - not everything that looks precious or true turns out to be so.
March 6, 2017
Pom-pom Scarf & Neutral Tones

Pom-pom Scarf & Neutral Tones

March 6, 2017

Different shades of blue predominate in my closet. I used to avoid blush, soft pink or nude because I thought that having such pale skin, neutral tones wouldn't look good on me. However, they are colors that I really like along with pastels so a few years ago I slowly started incorporating them into my wardrobe. Even though I still think they look better on a tanned skin, I don't think I should avoid them anymore. 

Pom-pom Scarf & Neutral Tones fashion blogger

Taking advantage of the last days of sales I got this khaki pom-pom scarf which I cant still get some use of before spring comes. I paired it with the cardigan I wore for Valentine's Day. Here you can get a better look at the sequins in the cardigan which can be a little hard to get on camera (it's all about finding the right lighting). Pink and green is one of my favorite color combinations so I'm trying to wear more of those two together. For instance I have my eye on this print from Des Petits Hauts that's #1 on my wishlist.

About this outfit I also like the mixture of different textures: the faux leather, the different types of knits and the faux fur. And finally, the elegance that a coat over the shoulders adds instantly to any outfit.

Pom-pom Scarf & Neutral Tones fashion blogger





How I'd wear it for class
Continuing with the how to dress if you are a teacher tips, I'm going to tell you if I'd style my outfit differently whenever I do a fashion post. In this case I'd change the see-through tights for a pair of thick brown ones and a much lighter pom-pom scarf (I'm wearing both of those items here). As for the shoes, I never wear more than 3' heels to class. I'd wear this with flat boots or wedge ones like these from Replay. Yes, I like pom-poms a lot ;)

OUTFIT DETAILS
Massimo Dutti cardigan
Des Petits Hauts top
Abercrombie & Fitch faux leather skirt
Unisa shoes
Tous earrings & bag

GET THE LOOK
All of the pom-pom scarves are faux fur like mine and some are on sale under $10!

Are there any colors you avoid wearing? What's your favorite color combination?
xo Cristina
February 27, 2017
How to Dress if You Are a Teacher

How to Dress if You Are a Teacher

February 27, 2017
teacher outfit blazer sparkly oxford shoes

In a perfect world, a person would be judged at their workplace based solely on the quality of their work. Unfortunately, that’s not how the world works. Being a high school teacher I feel a lot of pressure to look my best every day because there are so many eyes on me. Kids are extremely observant. They notice EVERYTHING. If you get a haircut, they'll notice. If there's a stain on your clothes, they'll notice. Whatever is different or new about you, they'll notice. Maybe I'm being paranoid but if I have a snack during the break, I'll look in the mirror to see if there's food in my teeth before going back to class.

teacher outfit blazer sparkly patent oxford shoes

teacher outfit blazer sparkly oxford shoes

What you wear reflects how you feel about your job. For me getting ready and looking the best I can every morning shows respect towards the people I work with. Like designer Tom Ford once said "dressing well is a form of good manners".  And you have no idea how important it is to dress well in this job. Getting kids to like you can be hard sometimes but believe me, you can win many of them over with the appropriate clothes. For instance, they are crazy over my animal print sneakers, both boys and girls! 

teacher outfit blazer sparkly oxford shoes

teacher outfit blazer sparkly oxford shoes


Here I'm wearing my new favorite pair of shoes which I paired with an all navy outfit. These sparkly patent Oxfords with platforms are anything I could wish for in a shoe. They are pretty, comfortable, add an extra height and make a statement without being too over-the-top. The laces come in red and grey so I can switch them depending of what I'm wearing, sometimes I wear one of each. I found them at a local store in my hometown and it was love at first sight. There's a region in the southeast of Spain where there are tones of great handcrafted shoe companies, that's where many of my shoes come from.

teacher outfit blazer sparkly oxford shoes


There are endless options when it comes to dressing as a teacher. You can't go wrong with classics such as blouses or blazers but there are some things you should avoid:
  • really high heels
  • short skirts (unless you are wearing dark thick tights like I'm doing here)
  • tees with a message
  • sweatpants (unless you are the PE teacher of course)
  • too much leopard print
  • if your favorite top is too revealing, wear it wit a scarf


In order to give you ideas to dress for this job I've created this Pinterest board with my most popular looks. I hope you'll find it helpful!

How do you dress for your job?
xo Cristina

OUTFIT DETAILS
El Ganso blazer
Massimo Dutti top
Abercrombie & Fitch skirt
Ruth Amaya shoes
Pandora rings (right hand)
Tous earrings

CLOSET ESSENTIALS FOR TEACHERS

Daily essentials

Christmas celebration (see the full outfit here)

The field trip (see the full outfit here)


Graduation day (see the full outfit here)