Monthly Slice: April

A slice of April…

Sometimes, writing these little monthly reviews makes me feel like the most boring person on earth. Remember when I used to traipse around Europe and eat cake? These days, it’s mostly just me reading about machine translation and taking photos of my cat. Does the internet really need more photos of cats?


(Answer: Yes.)

This summer, I will make an effort to be fabulous and exciting so that I have lots of cool things to tell you about. (No promises though.)

April was actually quite stressful. We started off the month in urgent care. Hugo burned his hand quite badly last month, and although it was healing, it was at a point where the risk of infection was high, so we decided to go to the doctor. She said it was one of the worst burns she had ever seen in urgent care. I’ll spare you the details, but he essentially had to regrow a lot of skin. He’s okay now – he has a scar, but we think it will disappear over time. We went through a lot of gauze. (Did you know that Costco sells everything in bulk except for gauze?)

Here is a picture of flowers for no particular reason.

A couple weeks ago, I went up to Netflix for an industry event. Their localization team gave a presentation on how they were able to scale as they expanded into so many countries and localized so much original content in the span of a few years. It was interesting to learn about some of the behind-the-scenes processes of Netflix, especially since it’s a company that I’ve watched evolve and expand over the years (remember when it was just little red envelopes with DVDs?)

What I’m watching:

Don’t tell Netflix, but I’m currently addicted to an Amazon Prime series: Mozart in the Jungle. It revolves around the drama behind the New York Symphony Orchestra from the point of view of a twenty-something oboeist trying to launch her career. I can see how a more critical viewer might dislike certain details of the plot, but I think it’s worth watching just for Gael García Bernal.

What I’m reading:

Have you seen the “Motherhood Around the World” series on A Cup of Jo? North American moms living abroad share what it’s like to raise their children in another culture, and how it is different from norms back home.

I think that these kinds of cultural comparisons can be tricky because they can lead to generalizations (looking at you, Pamela Druckerman) but in general, I think the series does its best to show different traditions and approaches to family life around the world without a lot of judgment or pitting one culture against another.

Speaking of moms, I also loved this hilarious post on The Ugly Volvo – I don’t have kids, but I think about how hard it would be to set a good example for them when I’m such an imperfect person.

In the kitchen:

Diane’s post on when bread is not bread prompted me to google “pain apéro” and I discovered a new kind of bread: pain hérisson! It’s a French recipe for pull-apart bread, and it cracks me up because it really does resemble a hedgehog.

What I’m wearing:

Normally I don’t share what I’m wearing because let’s face it, no one really cares, but lately I have been living in a grey cardigan that I got from Everlane. Do you ever buy something that you’re so excited to wear that it that it becomes your new uniform? (Hugo was like, “Really? For the fifth day in a row? Don’t you have any other sweaters?”) It’s so cozy and it goes with everything! (No, Everlane did not pay me to say that. But if they want to send me more sweaters, I won’t say no.)


In April I wrote a post about Hugo and his experience living in California, and you had so many nice comments and words of encouragement. Thank you!!

I also wrote a post about funny language mix-ups in the classroom, and guess what? One of my former students wrote the nicest comment ever. It totally made my day.

Favorite thing at Trader Joe’s:

Gluten-free toaster waffles. I’m obsessed. But we don’t actually have a toaster, so I have to make them on the griddle, and sometimes I forget about them and they burn. Poor sad burned waffles.

Pinterest board of the month:

I have been going nuts on Pinterest lately. It’s where I catalog travel articles, design tutorials, visual inspiration, and recipes of all kinds. I have a board just for smoothies, and another one just for fonts. (What is wrong with me?)

This one is just pictures of cute animals. Why do I need this? Because sometimes you have a bad day and baby hedgehogs make it a little better. (Then there are days that no amount of fuzzy can fix, but we won’t talk about those.)

Did you see the one with the baby koala in the laundry basket? That always makes me smile.

That’s all for now. Wishing you a lovely May!

9 thoughts on “Monthly Slice: April

  1. Thanks for the link love!! I hope Hugo’s hand feels better. Burns are the worst. Even a little burn really hurts so I can’t imagine what his must feel like. Have a great weekend! xx

    1. Thanks Diane! He is on the mend. I didn’t even realize how bad the burn was at first because he just grimaced a little – I would have been screaming! (And I’m still mulling over your bread story! I will be asking everyone what they call “pain apéro” for the next year.) Bonne semaine! xx

  2. Yesss I’m a huge fan of Mozart in the Jungle and have been following it since season one! I love everything… the story, characters, music, and of course the actors are perfect! *Gael Garcia Bernal* 🙂

  3. Glad to hear that Hugo’s burn is on the mend. When I was younger, we had a series of trips to A&E as my little sister was incapable of leaving teapots/ cups containing boiling water alone, despite numerous warnings from my parents and any family friends who were with us, but fortunately nothing as serious as Hugo. On the subject of clothes, I bet my students wondered that about me – I only brought one suitcase of stuff to France, so had a relatively limited selection of outfits to wear! I love the sound of Pinterest, but I just can’t face the thought of another social media account. Those cute animals are tempting though…

    1. Haha, I have friends who feel the same way about Pinterest. I use it more as a search and save tool – can’t cook without it 🙂 But I also can’t bear the thought of adding more social media – that’s why I’m not on Snapchat (also because I don’t understand how to use it.) I always found myself in class wondering if I had worn the exact same outfit the previous Thursday (since students usually see us on the same day every week) but I can never remember a week later what I wore!

      1. There seems to be an app for everything these days – I don’t know how people manage to maintain multiple social media accounts on a consistent basis! I doubt the students remember either, a week can feel like a long time during the semester!

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