jaja claire's Profile

Display Name: jaja claire
Member Since: 8/30/12

Latest Comments...

I like the idea of posts encouraging readers to try new things design-wise, but I would prefer that food-related posts stay in the Kitchn.


Spice-Up Sunday: Plants and Pork Chops
1/5/14 04:35 PM

For me, two necessary components are skills and vision.

To DENACHO: Anything communication based (writing, designing of any kind, information services like accounting, medical transcription, translation etc.) and creative work are good options. Really, many IT-related services are suitable. But it seems to me that if you're asking that question you're going about it backwards and run the risk of doing something you don't like or aren't good at just because you want to work from home. It's REALLY hard to do something you don't like and aren't good at all by yourself with your couch or your garden or your child calling. I strongly recommend figuring out what you really LIKE and WANT to do, getting good at it, and then developing a vision for a way to do that from home, either by opening your own business or becoming the kind of stellar employee that any company will be happy to hire in a work-from-home situation. If you like IT, maybe there are parts of your current job that you can do from home, or you can work towards a promotion that would allow you to partially work from home. Maybe developing a new IT-related skill that's more suitable for distance-work or self-employment would be a good route.

My story:
My first job was managing an online queue of copywriters. I didn't have any of the skills needed to work 8+ hours a day from home at the time - or to do the job I was hired to do. One important lesson from that is you shouldn't work from home if you are still learning the job, unless you truly have a personal motivation for learning it. If you're learning, it's probably best to be in an office with other people who can coach you.

I'm now an English teacher in Brazil. When I started, I didn't know much about teaching and I got a lot out of working at a school. I still prepped my lessons at home - and struggled with many of the issues mentioned above - but was able to talk to colleagues and ask my (amazing) supervisor for help. I quickly hit a wall, though, and felt I needed more professional development so I started (and have mostly completed) a masters in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second or Other Language) and that has given me a critical foundation for my teaching.

I also realized that the school's vision of education didn't match my values, so I left. Now I live in a small town that gets a lot of tourism, and I'm creating an English for Tourism course here. I also market myself as a translator and interpreter. I do all the marketing and prep from my studio apartment and rent classroom space as-needed (and DREAM of having a separate teaching and office space that is just mine, all the time!). The lifesaver, of course, is that teaching and face-to-face marketing are social so I do get out a lot.

Developing my own vision for this course has only been possible because I have the knowledge and skills I need, and I find vision is a necessary component for making the other things - motivation, focus, prioritization, and organization fall into place. Sure, I still struggle with them, but when I return to my vision I find that I'm able to improve on the other aspects.

I'd say that unless you either have your own strong vision and work for yourself, or really understand and personally can get behind the vision and mission of your employer, you probably shouldn't be working from home.


Is Working at Home Right For You?
9/12/12 11:00 AM

P_CAPUCINE, the difference is that as long as the eggs aren't power-washed (which would be unlikely with CSA eggs), the natural protective coating will keep the egg fresh and protected. Once the shell is broken the egg is no longer protected, and that's when you need to find other ways to minimize bacteria growth (I.e. refrigeration, pickling, etc).


Is Refrigerating Eggs Necessary?
9/7/12 03:22 PM

Those soap dispensers are the standard option for cheap restaurants, bus stations, etc. here in Brazil. I loved it too the first time I saw it, too, but it's certainly not high design here! Maybe Alibaba.com or a Brazilian supplier would have them.


Alina's Exotic Cooking Lair Kitchen Tour
9/1/12 11:45 AM

Just wanted to point out that manioc flour and manioc starch are actually two very different things, at least here in Brazil. If you look closely at the photo in the post, the bag of tapioca flour says "also known as tapioca starch". You need a starch to make pão de queijo, so make sure that's what you buy regardless of what people call it. (Manioc flour, or farinha de mandioca, has a totally different texture and is used to make farofa, a fried seasoned flour used as a condiment or side).

In Brazil manioc starch is called polvilho, and there are two kinds - sweet (doce) and sour (azedo). My recipe uses both but it's not necessary, although the flavor will vary somewhat depending on what you use and your ratio. If you can't find manioc starch where you are, I understand that Brazilians abroad tend to substitute other types of starch for manioc when necessary. Again, the flavor will be different but it should still come out yummy, if not typically Brazilian!


How to Make Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread) Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn
8/30/12 09:41 AM