Saturday, December 31, 2011

A peek at our invitation for this evening. 

Ring out the old, ring in the new, 
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go; 
Ring out the false, ring in the true. 

-- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Words of wisdom from St. Augustine

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Photos via: All Things French

As St. Augustine once said, "The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."

Saturday, December 24, 2011

W.T. Ellis once said, "It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air." As the leaves and mercury fall, let us gather round in celebration of our Savior, kindling the joy of life and love in one another's heart!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Latest love

Photos via: I Dream Of . . .

This post may seem a bit out of the ordinary, but is is quite reflective of my current obsession with eyeglasses. Are they not the most attractive things? They add such sophistication and charm to any look, . . . do these pictures not make you want to rush out into the cold and purchase of pair for yourself? Of course, as a child, I longed to have glasses and braces like my cool sister. I even went to lengths to fashion a retainer for myself out of paper clips! Thank goodness for fake eyeglasses otherwise who knows what I might come up with next, . . .

Monday, December 19, 2011

Let's talk about art

Image of 8. Cafe at NightImage of 12. Fruit Stand in the 6th

Paul Ferney is such a talent! I just came across his Little Paris Paintings and I am utterly and completely in love. His oil paintings are textured and reminiscent of my smudged memories of Paris. How I would love to use his paintings as a map of sorts. Rather than walking from one tourist destination to the next, I would follow the path of his paintings, . . . from cafe to flower shop to fruit stand . . .

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Seemed rather appropriate

Faded from the Winter
By Iron & Wine

My dear friend, Jen, posted a "song of the day" for every day of our week of final exams. So simple, and yet instead of dwelling on the daunting task of my next final or paper, I found a small measure of hope in knowing a new day would bring a new song. To follow in her graceful footsteps (for you are beautiful and graceful, Jen), there is one particular song I am eager to share with you. As mentioned, this choice seemed rather appropriate today for it was a day that began with a nostalgia that swelled into a sort of achiness for a time long gone. Songs such as this can help one access the most suppressed of emotions, as was certainly my experience today. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

A lesson learned

bkfst:  by barbara n ( )

Photo via: La Cannella Frago

As only a Dutch passport carrying girl knows, this is the proper way to eat stroopwaffles. The syrup becomes melty and delicious as it perches above a steaming cup of coffee with cream. The sweet and crunchy treat is perfection on a wintry day. Of course eating one cookie after another straight out of the bag is indeed tempting . . . but please trust me when I say, this is the one and only way to eat a stoopwaffle, or two.

The knowledge divide

Drepung monastery, monks sleeping quarters (by Katarina 2353)

Photos via: Culture Shock

The World Bank defines the knowledge economy as an economy “where organizations and people acquire, create, disseminate, and use knowledge more effectively for greater economic and social development.” The World Bank stresses the importance of education and life-long learning amidst today’s knowledge revolution. While the benefits of such a revolution are recognized by developed countries, developing countries are at a competitive disadvantage. As such, the “knowledge divide” poses a threat to the future development of countries with weaker institutions, poorer economies and a far more limited access to the knowledge that is abundantly available to developed countries. In reaction to this growing divide, the Skills & Innovation Policy (SIP) program of the World Bank Institute's Growth and Crisis practice seeks to guide developing countries as they transition to the knowledge economy. One of the four pillars of the knowledge economy is education, and as such, the SIP advocates for global learning (The World Bank, 2011). Education is not only a means to achieve a competitive advantage, but it is also a means for developing countries to achieve economic prosperity. In this flattened, consolidated world, social issues such as civil rights and education are, in fact, global issues -- we must urgently address. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oh the merriment

“There’s a plane leaving for anywhere you want right now, and in an hour, and in a day, and in a year. You can get out whenever you want, it’s comforting I think.”

Via: From Paris to London

At this precise moment, there are flights taking off and landing at every imaginable location. In simply a matter of hours, my own flight will be departing from Austin and carrying me home. No matter how many times I take the trip, the wonder of flying never seems to fade. Christmas presents for my loved ones are perfectly packed (nestled between sweaters), schoolbooks and peppermint gum (for the altitude) are tucked away in my carry-on, . . . . now if only my mind and body would succumb to sleep. What comfort it brings to know within the time span of a day, I can find my way to family. Such merriment is my bedtime companion this evening, stirring me awake until my flight home!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A girl like me

Photo via: Classy in the City

A girl like me needs an umbrella like this.

The greatest gift

Photo via: Lenalampe

"I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want every day to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift."

-- Shauna Niequist

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wintry supper: Cabbage lentil soup

Photo via: Lenalampe

1 cup lentils, dry
2 carrots, diced
2 ribs of celery, diced
1/2 head of cabbage, sliced into 1 inch chunks
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. basil
1 tbsp. oregano
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat and add 1/2 diced onion and 4 cloves minced garlic. Stir frequently to avoid burning. After 1-2 minutes have passed, add your 2 ribs diced celery and 2 diced carrots and cook for an addition 3-4 minutes. Once the onion is tender and/or translucent, add your 1 cup dry lentils, 4 cups vegetable broth, and 2 cups water. While the soup is coming to a boil, slice your 1/2 head of green cabbage into bite sized chunks and add to the pot. Add your remaining ingredients – 1 tbsp. basil, 1 tbsp. oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Current read

Photo via: La Cannella Frago 

Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum (2011) reflect on the state of the United States in That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behindin the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back and boldly state the following: “America plays a huge and, more often than not, constructive role in the world today. But that role depends on the country's social, political, and economic health. And America today is not healthy—economically or politically” (2011, p. xi). As the title suggests, the authors contend that the United States is failing to overcome the challenges of the current day. Should this pattern persist, the United States will no longer be recognized as a leader of nations. The revolution in information technology is identified as one of the four main challenges posed to the United States. The authors address this challenge and call for the revitalization of creative, critical thinking. In today’s altered world, there is a dire need for an education that inspires. According to Friedman and Mandelbaum (2011), the education system in the United States is in flux, continually changing in response to advances in technology. They contend that “the world increasingly will be divided between high-imagination-enabling counties, which encourage and enable the imagination and extras of their people, and low-imagination-enabling countries . . .” (2011, p. 138). American educators are thus posed with the challenge of inspiring imagination and teaching students to become workers in a world defined by the knowledge economy. In order to maintain its international competitiveness, the United States must be counted among the “high-imagination-enabling counties.” Such a feat, however, is not easily recognized.