Not Your Average Jones

Let's add a little extra to that ordinary.

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A playlist I rather love...

Someone put this playlist up on Facebook a while back… It’s so comforting, and makes me feel cuddly and lovey. :) I’m putting it here more for my own reference (so I can listen to it obsessively for years to come), but give it a whirl. It’s worth it, spreads that warm, happy feeling of your first love through your chest. :) 

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Time to get thrifty?

Today, I made the decision to join a group of my friends on their end-of-February trip to Iguazú Falls and Río de Janeiro! We have a 9-day break, and these girls have planned an incredible trip! I can’t believe I actually get to go to Brazil! AND see one of the 7 natural wonders of the world from both the Argentine and Brazilian sides! As with any trip, I’ve got to watch my finances. The girls have found some great deals on bus fare and plane tickets, but I’m still dipping into my SVC (food money allotted each month by Pepperdine) to pay for a Visa and lodging. As I sat breaking down the finances, I realized that after covering those two expenses, I would be left with 157 pesos for the rest of February to buy food. Given that I have 25 days until the trip, that breaks down to around 6 pesos a days… A little over a dollar. I sat there, soaking in the fact that I would be living on a dollar a day for the next month. For me, this will be a simple task. A yogurt and piece of fruit for lunch, no snacking, no taxi rides or subte travel, no eating out. Nothing too daunting, as the program provides me with housing, breakfast and lunch, utilities, all of the necessities. And at the end of my 25 days, I get to go on a week-long trip, waiting until my SVC reloads for March, while also having the experience of a lifetime. I felt a crushing weight on my heart at this thought. At first, I thought it would be an enlightening experience to live on a dollar a day. But the hard truth is, in so many places in the world, there are fellow human beings living on a dollar a day, with FAR more financial concerns than an economic lunch for a short period of time. So for the next month, I will NOT view this peso-pinching as a difficult task, but rather a BLESSING. I get to live in a foreign country, experience things not many people do, and not have to fight for my meals or livelihood. I will gladly live on only a dollar a day, and say a prayer every night for the people around the world who have to do the same.

Much love. Love your neighbor, give thanks, be positive and prosper. -Ale

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Things I have become obsessed with while abroad…

My homestay madre. My apartment.

Spending time sunbathing on my roof.

Bright-colored clothing.

Tea. All forms. Loose leaf, tea bag, hot, cold, stolen from hotels, paid-too-much-for. Especially with friends.

Tea Connection. Seriously. They have a great portion of my SVC money.

Tina Fey.

Castellano. La lengua y la palabra.

Carne empanadas. Odd, as I don’t like red meat.

Appreciating health food when I have it, hunting it down when I don’t.

Running around lakes.

Running to beautiful places.

Seeing where my feet take me.

Russian Twists and Crazy Ivans. Nike Training Club por díassss.

The phrase “por días.”

Physicists. More specifically Sheldon Cooper, Leonard Hofstadter, Raj Koothrappali, and Howard Wolowitz.

All things iPhone. Instagram, iMessage, FaceTime, NTC, the camera.

Making videos. Haha, jkjk. I’m actually more obsessed with chistes.

Bible passages.

Hairties that look like bracelets.

Finding incredible deals on perfume.

Persicco. Argentine ice cream is the best in the world.

Starbucks. Specifically the one on 3 de Febrero.

Seeing the world, getting to come home at the end.

Having confidence in myself.

Being truly happy.

People with positive attitudes.

LONG skype dates.

Staying up to watch the sunrise.

Doing things I didn’t know I could do.

Not washing my hair for 3+ days.


Argentine keys.

Taking the stairs.



South America.

Letters from home.


Being long-winded.

Water bottles.

Teacups and mugs.

Avocado, rice, and black beans.

Kiwi, banana, almonds, and vanilla yogurt.




Making people smile.

The unexpected.

The BA group.

Standing in the shower and thinking of the longest list EVER of things that I am obsessed with.

More to come as I think of them. :)

Love each other, smile, be positive and prosper. - Ale

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Part II: The Casa

Alright, as promised, here is Part II! I take a quick tour of Casa Holden, hopefully you can get a better feel of where I study. Again, I apologize for the awkwardness…..not the greatest at walking around, talking to myself.

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Part I: The Walk

Alright, as promised (although albeit a little late… it’s a big file), here is my first of two videos. :) This one is of my walk to school every day, just a glimpse into what it’s like to live in Belgrano, Buenos Aires! Sorry about how supremely awkward I am on camera…. Working on that, a movie star I am not… 

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Long time no see….

Alright. I’m back. Sorry that took so long, I just had a few things to do and time got away from me…. but really. I really am sorry for not keeping this updated. It should be a place for me to share my experiences, and I haven’t been very good about that lately. Or at all. Did I mention that I’m sorry?

I was on the flight home from Ushuaia (which is the southern-most city in the world, 750 miles from Antarctica… nbd) yesterday, and I was having an AWESOME conversation with one of my new classmates. We were talking about life and our attitudes and how they impact those around us, our happiness, and who we become. She said that “positive people attract positive things” and I couldn’t agree more. Sitting there after our conversation, I realized that there have been a lot of times this year where I’ve allowed myself to be negative or overwhelmed… chosen not to make time for the things that matter. I came down to Argentina with the intent of sharing my experiences and making the most out of them and adventuring all the time. And while I HAVE done that, and have grown in more ways than I can’t begin to explain, I’ve let myself be lazy, slipping into a boring, school-centered routine instead of LIVING with the time that I have here. SOOOO, part of my “take advantage of every moment, live positively, and prosper” vow to myself for this semester is to make more videos and share them with you all. :) It doesn’t take too much time, and heck… sacrificing an hour of sleep really doesn’t hurt me in the long run if it means sharing with you all. :)

SO, without further ado, two more videos are going to be posted here today! One is of my walk to school, and one is of the Casa. Both are long, peruse them if you so desire. 

(Also, I love the way Ellen Degeneres ends every one of her shows… gonna try signing off like that from now on. :) )

Much love, be kind to someone today, live positively and prosper. :)

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aishaalmada asked: Update your blog more. I want to hear about your life. And South America. And Patagonia.

Uploading a video tonight. :) Hopefully a post too. I fail as a blogger… but I live vicariously through yours. :)

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Hi, everyone! I just wanted to give everyone back home a glimpse of where I’m living this year! This video is of my apartment, and I hope you enjoy looking around my new space. :) I’m planning on putting more videos up! I’ve been a total slacker who has been completely overwhelmed by being in a new place, and as such, my camera has not been very active… but I’m becoming more and more of a city-slicker by the day, so expect many more tours in the future. :)

I love you all! Hope all is well in the States. :)

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The sounds of summertime.

As it is a beautiful night, I decided to spend some time sitting in my truck bed, letting the night’s beauty wash over me whilst reflecting on my life right now. And WOW. What noise!! I can honestly say, I dont’ think I have ever heard that many crickets before!!I felt like I was sitting in one of those completely unrealistic nature rooms where the “sounds of nature” are turned up too loud with too many all at once. Just a beautiful symphony of communication. :) 

The torrents of flash-flood rain we’ve gotten this year may have spawned a disgusting number of flies, mosquitoes, and other creepy-crawly biting things, but Mother Nature sure did get it right with the crickets…. what a perfect soundtrack for a beautiful summer night. :)

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That giddy feeling. :)

So, I have to admit, this summer I have been in a bit of a funk. I’ve been feeling off and a bit listless and just not myself. And feeling bummed out, I let myself stay that way, just soaking in the melancholy, without much motivation to snap out of it. However, a few days ago, I came across a stumbleupon site with a few simple sentiments: “Smile more often” and “Think positive thoughts.” I sat there for a few minutes and read those words that I’ve heard so many times this summer… REALLY let them sink in. And although I’ve grown up listening to this lesson, it smacked me, startled me, like the instant a math concept clicks for the first time: only I can affect my mood, so smile. DUH! 

And man, what a difference changing your outlook can make! Taking an optimistic look, smiling when you feel like you should frown, finding the good in people instead of the flaws… it’s infectious. Needless to say, that shock was all I needed to change my outlook. After a fabulous evening with a fabulous person, driving home and singing (er…belting…er.. screeching…) along to a fabulous song with the windows wide….. my heart feels alive again. Like I’ve just stepped out of the shower after a groggy morning, to find the songbirds aflutter and the sun streaming in my room.

Yep. Ladies and gentlemen, it is good to be back. Let the new year begin!