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Photo from "monkeys with cameras" on flicker

Closed for the Holidays

At Nspiregreen, we believe the holidays are a time to spend with friends and families.  When we were mapping out the type of company we wanted, one of the first decisions we made was to close the office for the holidays.  We will be closed from December 23, 2016 through January 1, 2017. During this time we will not be checking email or answering phones.

 

We hope you have a safe and happy holidays!

From,

holiday-potluck

Chanceé, Veronica, Christine, Fabiana, & Mei

Glowing lights in the dark.

Holiday Wishes

We asked each staff member of Nspiregreen what they wanted for Christmas or this holiday season and here’s what we said:

Chanceé: During this Christmas Season, all I want are communities to have access to clean water, air, and land. Environmental Justice wouldn’t be a buzzword and communities like the ones described here wouldn’t have to constantly fight because their resources are contaminated and degraded. All I want is for communities no matter the racial makeup or class to not have to bear the burden of environmental hazards. I just don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Mei: I am going to Puerto Rico in December, so all I want for the Christmas is to have a good vacation. At the same time, I wish for everyone to do their best to protect the environment and the culture around us. I wish for this because I love the beach and ocean; traveling to tropical islands helps me relax. Just like Fabiana writes in her blog, her trip to Hawaii recharged her spirit. I hope everybody will do their part to preserve the earth, so we can still show our descendants its beauty. Lastly, I am going to taste local Puerto Rican and Cuban cuisine and will be able to check out the different food system they have (for example the use of all different recipes with plantains  and different spices they use) like in Christine’s blog here. I’ll share my experiences next year!

Fabiana: All I want for Christmas is to relax and have a great time with my family, because not everything is about work. For that, I plan to find ways to connect with nature while in the city, so I can recharge my batteries as I did in Hawaii. I want to be pleasantly surprised during this holidays, as Veronica was when she was seeking transportation and finding art.

Veronica: All I want this holiday season is to recharge my batteries in Hawaii, wander around Colombia, or bike in Costa Rica. Mixing travel and active transportation is my idea of a great vacation.  I love being outside in warm weather and exploring new places. The transportation nerd in me loves to observe how people move.

Christine: All I want this holiday season is for neighborhoods to have better food access as I described here and here.  Food security is core to holistic planning of healthy communities. I also know that self-care is important in the upcoming year, so having a little more fun and taking some vacation time is on the list as well.

Hope you all have a happy, safe, and healthy holiday season and new year!

photo-dec-05-9-40-44-am

2016 Holiday Festivities

What do you get when you mix 5 people that love to cook, a fun office culture, and the holiday season? A holiday potluck and white elephant!

For the white elephant, we each brought a $20 gift, which ended up perfectly reflecting our individual personalities, then played out the white elephant. Chancee’ got the gift of kitchen gadgetry, which of course I brought since I love cooking and baking. It was an all in one food gadget that came with a grater, spice grinder, juicer, egg separator, measuring cup, funnel, and much more. I received the gift of pampering with a delicious smelling candle and beautiful painted jewelry dish brought in my Mei, a lover of small, precious items. Chanceé loves fun and hosting game night, so her gift of Jenga and a poker set went to Mei. If something is organized and reorganized in the office it was probably Fabiana, so it’s only natural that she would bring in a bag organizer complete with business card holder, which Veronica received as a gift. Given Veronica’s appreciation for organization, I think this was the perfect gift. Although Veronica works hard, she strongly believes in self-care. She brought a luxury foot spa that went to Fabiana. I know what Fabiana will be doing during our time off for the holidays.


holiday-potluck

Now, onto the main event- the meal. We like to brag when it comes to our potluck skills because we all love food and know how to whip up something delicious. As engineers and planners, we don’t just bring a dish, we detail our meal planning. This year, as the originator of our holiday potlucks, I made a google sheet in which people put dishes they were willing to make. We all reviewed the options, voted for our favorites, and decided on the menu as a team the Friday before the potluck. Planning note: we hold potlucks on Mondays because we then have a weekend to prepare our delectable dishes.

The menu shook out like this:

Appetizer:
I scream, you scream, we all scream for Hallacas!!  By Fabiana

Main Course(s):
Veronica’s Low and Slow 10-hour Luscious Pulled Pork- Cholulah Hot Sauce on the side
Chanceé’s Creamy, Dreamy Baked Mac n’ Cheese
Fresh and Tangy Brussels Sprout Slaw by Christine
Mei’s Famous Chicken Lo Mein

Dessert:
Sweet Southern Pecan Pie (á la mode of course) by Chanceé
A Decadent Sweet Potato Pie that would rival Grandma’s by Christine
Rollo Frío de chocolate con Galletas Marías (or chocolate roll with cookies)- Fabiana

We rolled into the afternoon in a happy food haze, with our intern for the day, Leanne, in tow. During my time at Nspiregreen, the holidays are always a special time to show our appreciation for one another through food and gifts. Maybe next year you can join us. Look out for your invite! 😉

Christine E. Mayeur is an urban planner with a unique set of skills and interests. She has been called a “renaissance woman” by her coworkers and is interested in all things creative and challenging. Christine uses her history of working with communities through grassroots organizations along with her planning skills to help plan transportation systems that meet the needs of all users. 





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