There are some things in life that shouldn't be given so much importance, if they don't change what is essential. Laura Esquivel Quotes

It doesn’t matter to me what you did, there are some things in life that shouldn’t be given so much importance, if they don’t change what is essential. What you’ve told me hasn’t changed the way I think; I’ll say again, I would be delegated to be your companion for the rest of your life-but you must think over very carefully whether I am the man for you or not. ~Laura Esquivel

Not counting the anime I watched growing up in Germany, in which case Sea Prince and Fire Child would probably be my first foreign film, Like Water for Chocolate was the first foreign film I saw. My mom took me to the old Camelview theater 24 years ago to see the film, of which she read reviews and wanted to go see it. The woman is still traumatized so many years later. She was not ready to have the “sex” dialogue with me after having barely recovered from the “becoming a woman” conversation.

My mother actually shrieked – yelped – at the first sighting of full frontal nudity. Then she spent the remainder of the film alternately jumping, yelping, and ordering me to cover my eyes. To this day, I can still get a reaction from her by the mere mention of the title of the film.

Como Agua Para Chocolate, or Like Water for Chocolate is a euphemism to describe someone in a rapturous state. I asked my Spanish teacher why the reference because I had some idea but wasn’t fully in the concept. Sometimes, yes, I am that clueless. He just smiled and explained because to make hot chocolate, to be added to the chocolate, the water must be boiling.

In Mexico, hot chocolate is usually made with water, not milk.

I rather like that reference, don’t you? It’s such a vivid and sensational way to describe a sensual state of being.

Since seeing the film I had an opportunity to read the book, and I highly recommend the read. Her ability to create such vivid and beautiful concepts with her words is magical. I recently read Malinche, another of Laura Esquivel’s books when I was in Puerto Escondido. It not only was an exceptional beach read, the story was sad and beautiful.

What is on your upcoming summer reading list? I have a feeling I’m going to pick up a certain “libro” for another read through.

Make this one a great one!

XO, Jennifer

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Frontera coffee shop in San Cristobal de las Casas

I found my favorite coffee shop in San Cristobal de las Casas. Two things for which San Cristobal de las Casas is known: alpine chill in the air and out of this world good coffee. San Cristobal de las Casas is the heart of Mexico’s coffee industry.

Frontera coffee shop in San Cristobal de las Casas

For real, I thought the local coffee in Oaxaca was delicious. Chiapas has best coffee on lock! Cold nights lead to chilly mornings that warm into exquisite days… It’s like a perpetual mid-March/early-April even when not raining, which is another climate specialty of this sky high city. Both elements contribute to a perfect environment to drink hot coffee and chocolate to my heart’s content.

Frontera coffee shop in San Cristobal de las Casas

Whether a frequent tourista or a digital nomad, us wanderlust afflicted ladies know the value of wifi. One of my first searches upon finding a new city landing spot is where is the good wifi. And just as importantly, where is the good coffee?

Frontera coffee shop in San Cristobal de las Casas

If you have to sacrifice some of your vacation, or “vacation,” to work, it might as well be in a beautiful space with fast wifi, spectacular coffee, and a jamming play list. Frontera has all of this in spades…

Frontera coffee shop in San Cristobal de las Casas

While I call it my favorite coffee shop in San Cristobal, it is possibly my favorite. Coffee. Shop. Period.

Reclaimed wooden and glass doors function as tables. Linen upholstered wingback chairs frame a bookshelf stacked with board games and books. A Chippendale sofa upholstered in cobalt blue offers a perfect vantage point for people watching or reading up on the history of Zapatistas. Windows and skylights ensure the lighting is perfect for selfies. And working. Circa 1994 Counting Crows meets Bel Biv Devoe meets Cigarettes After Sex’s cover of Keep On Loving You. And the patio… … …

Frontera coffee shop in San Cristobal de las Casas

Oh, but the coffee, right? In addition to the tried and true espresso press, local artisan coffee can also be extracted by Chemex (my favorite), Aeropress, French Press, and Dripper. All of the coffee beans are from Chiapas, fair trade, and organic. And delicious! Holy roastery Batman. Amazing!

Frontera coffee shop in San Cristobal de las Casas

United Airlines is going to need to forcibly remove me from my seat. Frontera is the coffee shop of my dreams and for the time I have remaining in this magical little city, is hands down my favorite coffee shop in San Cristobal de las Casas.

Frontera coffee shop in San Cristobal de las Casas

I love to say the name of this city so much… San Cristobal de las Casas. You know, it wasn’t part of my original plan when I moved to Mexico. I’m so glad I cut into my Oaxaca time and came here. My regret is I only have one week.

The artistic and creative energy that this place emanates is crazy strong. If I were a better and more inspired writer, I think I could write a novel here. At least, I was able to finish my dissertation chair required edits here? Committee approval and defense, I’ve got you locked in my cross hairs. Finally!

Frontera coffee shop in San Cristobal de las Casas

What elements do you look for when seeking your coffee mother ship? XO, Jennifer

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Susan B Anthony

The day may be approaching when the whole world will recognize woman as equal to man. ~Susan B Anthony

Yesterday was equal pay day. If I were receiving a salary this year, I, essentially, would be making about $0.77/$1.00 of male counterparts. I don’t believe my former employer practiced an outright devaluation. But there were subtle – and not so subtle – differences in standards, opportunities, and treatments I observed for men and women in the workplace.

Make this one a great one!

XO, Jennifer

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Octavio Paz quote

In addition to being National Poetry Month, this is also my final month for my current stay in Oaxaca. I will return to the States for a wedding of a good friend and for family. And file my extended taxes and defend my dissertation (kind of important). And… start to look for a job with reliable income. That will allow me to live in Mexico, of course. I did not know Octavio Paz before a man I met almost immediately before leaving the city introduced me to him. Why does it seem to be the most interesting ones are those with a short shelf life?

How did I not know Octavio Paz?

The same way I didn’t know Juan Rulfo or Carlos Fuentes. At least I knew Laura Esquivel, and even that was because of the movie before I found the novel.

Octavio Paz is prolific in his writings and his work is beautiful. I lament not knowing Spanish better to be able to appreciate his prose in the language originally created. For now, I must rely on the translation. Outside my dissertation and faculty work, reading a book on the history of Oaxaca protests, and sleeping through siestas, I’m trying to translate a Spanish copy of The Alchemist.

It’s not going well.

But I try!

In time, perhaps….

I love this quote, though. Deserve your dream. Because, yes, right?! Shouldn’t we be required to work for what we want? I think it is a piteous condition, indeed, if one were to get everything he or she wanted without knowing denial or work.

Wind, Water, Stone by Octavio Paz

Water hollows stone,
wind scatters water,
stone stops the wind.
Water, wind, stone.
 
Wind carves stone,
stone’s a cup of water,
water escapes and is wind.
Stone, wind, water.
 
Wind sings in its whirling,
water murmurs going by,
unmoving stone keeps still.
Wind, water, stone.
 
Each is another and no other:
crossing and vanishing
through their empty names:
water, stone, wind.

Make this a great week!

XO, Jennifer

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Beyonce Quotes

Who runs the world? Well, as these Beyonce quotes will testify, Beyonce runs her. Here’s some inspiration for pep in your step with a most delicious collection of some things to say to slay your day. All hail Queen Bey!

“I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. I only have to follow my heart and concentrate on what I want to say to the world. I run my world.”

“Thank God I found the GOOD in goodbye.”

“The most alluring thing a woman can have is confidence.”

“Do what you were born to do. You just have to trust yourself.”

“When I’m not feeling my best I ask myself, ‘What are you gonna do about it?’ I use the negativity to fuel the transformation into a better me.”

“Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.”

“I guess I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality. Why do you have to choose what type of woman you are? Why do you have to label yourself anything?”

“The reality is: sometimes you lose. And you’re never too good to lose. You’re never too big to lose. You’re never too smart to lose. It happens.”

“I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.”

“The world will see you the way you see you, and treat you the way you treat yourself.”

“It’s so liberating to really know what I want, what truly makes me happy, what I will not tolerate. I have learned that it is no one else’s job to take care of me but me.”

“Never let success go to your head, never let failure get to your heart.”

“If you live your life with kindness and giving other people great energy, that beauty and great energy will come back to you.”

“I always find the inner strength to pull myself up; I was served lemons but I made lemonade.”

Does Beyonce inspire you? How?

XO, Jennifer

Beyonce quotes

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