Why We Love Lake Forest

It's been just over a year since Mike and I moved into our Lake Forest home, and we love it. Not only is the neighborhood great, and Mike's work is literally five minutes away, it's the perfect location to get to any fun or delicious place we may have in mind. These are our favorite spots nearby that we love. It's no surprise that most of these involve food.

central bark dog park
When we first came, we were amazed at the scented doggy-doo bags. Gotta love Orange County. Harley and Maya slowly but surely get better at socializing and making friends here.

serrano creek trail
Located right behind our street, we love walking the dogs here. There are ample photography nooks, a small river, and running trails I frequently enjoy. Coming from Garden Grove, it feels sooo good to have a nature reserve (and frankly a safer route) to run through.

The BEST family Italian restaurant around. the food is delicious and the atmosphere makes me feel right at home.

bagels & brew
Weekends are packed here, and for good reason. This is a favorite neighborhood corner spot to sit with the dogs and enjoy a tasty open-faced Mission-Viejo-style bagel breakfast (my personal favorite).

inka grill
Another family-owned restaurant with amazing Peruvian food.

bravo avo
Our close friends introduced us to this place and we haven't gone back enough. The gyro is delicious and the desserts are SO worth the calories.

If you'e never had a bruxie waffle sandwich, you are sorely missing out.

the Orange County fairgrounds

Newport Beach temple


We're not big on cupcakeries, but we're big on this one.

hatam restaurant
Mike introduced me to Persian food here, and this place is quick and has great service. Of course the food is amazing too.


Pursuing Your Goals Despite the Roadblocks

Today I stumbled upon a really motivating blog, Noisette Academy, written by a woman named Isa. Reading these posts has refreshed my mind on what I want to be doing with my time, and has given me a few questions to consider when assessing who I am and where I want to be going.

Recently, I worked a full-time long-term substitute job, which was basically like being the teacher for a month and a half. I was, and still am, greatly disappointed that I wasn't chosen to finish the school year. I grieved it like anyone would grieve a loss, because it was truly a loss to me. However, I feel that having it for the short time I had it taught me so much about myself and my abilities. That experience was meant for me. My dreams remain the same, if not more strengthened; and I'm expanding my day-to-day lifestyle as a result.

Here are a few things from the Noisette blog that I loved.

You don't always need to follow the rules or conform to what others expect of you.
When I observed other teachers during and outside of class time, some were flustered and others weren't. They key difference was in how they balanced their time. I learned that I didn't need to grade 100 essays in two days; it was more beneficial to my sanity if I came home and took a break from work instead of letting it take over my whole evening. By doing this, I was a happier wife, I got to finish little things on my to-do list, watch The Ellen Show, make dinner, and relax. Spread out big projects if you can and take more time for you and your family.

Know what you want.
It's easy to get your mind clouded and forget your original goals when you're in pursuit of them. Take the time to remind yourself what they are, and eliminate actions that don't help you achieve them. My goals are to feel fulfilled in my work and spend more time with family. Pursuing teaching is extremely fulfilling, and family activities fill my calendar.

After work this Wednesday, I'm taking a week and a half off and doing anything and everything leisurely that comes along. Mike and I are reorganizing our furniture and thinking of what home improvements we'd like to do next. The weather had better perk back up soon because the dogs and I need to hit the beach.


Quotes That Fit

Looks like I'll be back to regular substituting. This quote seems to fit right now.

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” 
― Louise Erdrich