Thursday, December 8, 2011

Finals Frenzy

Don't worry, that's not really me, but close to it

During a week where I can't seem to vent enough, to friends, to family, to MC, and on Twitter (sorry...not sorry) I can't help but step back for a second and really be thankful for all that I have.

I have been up to my neck in studying, papers and working from home. It's hard sometimes to see the good when all you want is get out of your apartment and breathe fresh air for more than the two minutes it takes to walk to the car and drive to Starbucks. I sometimes sit and think...I could be working and not dealing with school work. And be getting paid more than below the poverty level while not racking up student debt. But alas I'm in grad school for a reason and am trying to remember exactly why.

But I am so thankful...

-Thankful to have the means and support to pursue a master's degree, and even have the opportunity of higher education
-Thankful to have a job that I enjoy that fulfills me and challenges me, with people that are a joy to be around
-Thankful for my littler sister who cooked, cleaned & did laundry for me last night when she also has a final today (her last final of her first semester, shout out on making it through!)
-Thankful to have a big comfy couch that my bottom has been glued to since Saturday afternoon
-Thankful for MC who has put up with me being a moody beast this week, and not having much time to talk

I needed to spent 5-10 minutes doing something brainless before cracking back into the work. Hopefully in 2-3 hours I will be done with this last paper and have just one semester of grad school left. And to celebrate that I created a new hashtag on Twitter yesterday #putahoodonme ...let's make it trend!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Flashback Photos

While I absolutely love my digital camera I got a little old school this semester. Mr. Charming and I went tubing down the Saluda River back in Augusta and wanting to document the day, I bought a disposable camera which I put in a sandwich baggie so that it wouldn't be destroyed. What's ironic is that I bought this so I wouldn't take a chance destroying my own camera, and then I brought my iPod along with us. Oh well!

At first it was frustrating to take a picture and not know if we even were both fully in the frame, I let it go and just snapped pictures everywhere. I didn't use the camera up that day so it tagged along for a few other adventures throughout the semester.

Though at first I didn't see much joy in using this over my digital camera that all fell away when it was time to be developed. The camera sat on my shelf until November and I had it developed a few weeks ago. I was like a kid on Christmas waiting to get the pictures back as I couldn't recall everything I had used the camera for.

Drum roll please for the gems of this disposable camera...

Floating down the Saluda with Mr. Charming, I'm really impressed by my skills to snap that first picture!

Artistic tailgate shot haha

Kentucky tailgate with one of the Spuds

After the Lady Antebellum Corn Maze in Augsta, too bad it's too dark to see the maze

At the SC State Fair

I must say there is an element of fun and surprise in using old school cameras with film vs. the digital cameras we are now so accustomed to. I can recall that excitement from middle school and high school and it was fun to relive. Digital cameras definitely took that joy away from us, though they have many other perks! I challenge you to get a disposable camera and take a few pictures of special occasions here and there for a few months. You will have so much fun digging into them once they're developed!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Here's to Getting Old


I'm 24 today...2-4. That's one year from the big 2-5. I could have sworn I just turned 21 yesterday and opened a unicorn pinata full of mini-bottles from my roommates...where are all of these years going?

I wasn't kidding there really was a unicorn pinata--thanks B & M!

While celebrating Mr. Charming's birthday last week we realized that next year I'll turn 25, and he'll turn 30. That will be one kick-butt party! With one more year 'til we're both old (well me getting older, MC just plain old!) we decided to come up with a list of things to do before our next birthdays. Some things are already lined up and I'm hoping that we can accomplish them all in the next 365 days.

2011 American Birthday, he looks scared

Things To Do Before We're Old
  • Go on a cruise (May '12)
  • Get a kitten together (do we get double points for getting two?)
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Visit the Biltmore
  • Take a trip to Athens, GA 
  • Teach MC how to cook (in progress...)
  • Run a 5K (Anna: 3/17/12)
  • Go camping
  • Take dance lessons
  • Learn how to make sushi
  • Grow a tomato plant (subbed for basil, not enough sun on our porch-whomp)
Hoping we can get all of these crossed of the list, and of course you'll get to hear about them all!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Wolfpack Wedding, 1st Edition

It's certainly been one of those days where I've been extremely productive...but all in the name of avoiding a paper I need to write for school. Oh well at least I've cleaned, grocery shopped, cooked, and even picked up a new dress for my birthday tomorrow, hooray!

Last weekend was spent in Chicago and was an absolute blast! The lovely ladies I worked with when I traveled for Tri Sigma make up the wolfpack, and I don't know what I'd do without them. The first of us was getting married, and so we all roamed from our respective locations in the US to see our Michele walk down the aisle and become Mrs. Larson.

For Mr. Charming and me, our trip started out a little rough. As we flew Delta and had to connect in Atlanta we naturally almost missed our flight. Picture us both sprinting through ATL, fighting for bit as we are running, and then me beginning to sob because I think we've missed our plane. As determined as ever I kept running towards our gate, and good thing I did because our flight was pushed back 15 minutes. With the big Guy looking down upon us we got on the plane and made our way north.

Friday night was spent catching up, introducing our beaus to one another and doing so over some awesome Mexican food. Mr. Charming can't stop going on about their mole, and their tableside guacamole was to die for! We played a little joke and told them it was Colleen's birthday. After seeing a pile of sombreros in the corner I knew what would be in store...

Saturday we went to the yummiest brunch, Mr. Charming tried to order sweet tea...in Illinois. We were hopeful when they didn't look at him like he had five heads, but what they brought out was most definitely Lipton Raspberry Tea. 

We spent some time getting pretty and wrapping the gifts, then made the boys do a photo shoot of the four of us. We found a stranger to get a group picture as well!


The boys loved each other!

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Bryce Larson!!

So pretty, and yummy!

All of the Sigmas serenading Michele with Carrie Underwood "All American Girl"

Congratulations Michele!!

Since we weren't leaving until later on Sunday we ventured into the city. Mr. Charming was super excited...this is probably the biggest place he's ever been to!
All of us in the bean!

Mr. Charming LOVED the bean!


Just hiding under Marilyn's skirt

We got deep dish pizza at Pizzeria Uno (YUM!) and then made our way to ORD for our flight. We took the metro which was also quite the adventure. It was really convenient and much cheaper than getting a taxi. Before I knew it we were back in Georgia...sigh

Can't wait to see who's wedding is next!!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mug 'O Cupcake

I. Love. Cupcakes.

I love cupcakes from bakeries, the ones I make at home, and cupcakes that other people bake for me. Also, I have an awful sweet tooth and once I get my mind set on dessert it's not changing.

In an effort to continue to stall doing my homework I decided I needed something sweet. Unfortunately the closest thing I have to a sweet is a box of dates. Yikes, grandma status!

I had remembered seeing some recipes on Pinterest for microwave cupcakes in a mug or for baking just cupcakes for two. This was a great remedy as:
1. I cannot be trusted with an entire cake, or more than one cupcake in my household
2. I do not have the resources to actually bake an entire serving of something
3. I'm lazy and wanted something that didn't include preheating an oven or really any steps at all besides mix, cook, eat

After all of these were recipes to use random ingredients one should have in their pantry (baking powder, cocoa powder, eggs, etc.) I was a little disappointed after getting my hopes up for a sweet treat.

Luckily 23 (almost 24! subtle hint...) years of life, copious amounts of Food Network and common sense lead me to a better idea. I have a box of cake mix right?...Yes! I have oil right?...Yes! I have water?...Duh!

I knew I also couldn't be trusted with an entire coffee mug size of cake so I poured in maybe 1/4 a cup of cake mix and then just a splash of canola oil. After that I slowly added water and whisked stirred with a huge fork until it was typical cake batter consistency. Two minutes in the microwave and voila, I have a cupcake! With a small dollop of cream cheese icing and a drizzle of honey I inhaled the cake in approximately ten seconds.

Try this with different types of batters, add in chocolate or peanut butter chips, nuts, fruit, whatever. Then try to control yourself before nomming on this delicious microwave creation, enjoy!

I actually used vanilla mix but I accidentally went to town as soon as it came out of the microwave and ate the entire thing before even stopping to think about taking a picture. Google search saves the day!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sweet November

As I looked at this month on my Outlook calendar and in my planner (because having just one wouldn't do), I was filled with dread at the large assignments I have due every week for this month. Is it May 4th yet? While I continued to feel nauseated trying to figure out when I will have time to efficiently complete all of this school work I realized there are so many great things in store for November. Instead, I'm deciding to focus on the fun things, so here's what I'm looking forward to...

1. Traveling with Mr. Charming on Friday to spend the weekend with the lovely ladies of the wolfpack and our beaus for round two in Chicago!
The ladies I worked with when I traveled for Tri Sigma are some of my very best friends. Though we no longer talk everyday, and rarely see each other, we've stayed close through email and phone chats. I'm so thankful to have this group of Sigma gals in my life and even more grateful that we're able to visit at least once a year. This trip will hopefully live up to the memories of round one! We'll be gathering to see our Michele marry the man of her dreams--these two are the cutest couple you've seen. Their engagement pictures could double as J.Crew ads.

2. MY BIRTHDAY!!! (and Mr. Charming's, and a few other friends too!)
Since quite a few of my grad school friends birthdays fall within the same week, we've decided to have a birthday extravaganza to celebrate all together. With November 11th (Veteran's Day) being the date of our soiree, we will naturally have an American themed party. Time to get your red, white & blue on! What better way to celebrate one more year before officially being old? The big 2-4...

3. Taylor Swift
In concert. November 18th. Breaking out my boots...enough said!

4. Going home for Thanksgiving!
I haven't been home since early June for my sister's graduation and absolutely cannot wait. There have been quite a few little ones added to my family since then that I've been dying to meet. And after ten months, I also can't wait to finally show Mr. Charming my home and where I grew up. Thanksgiving is my favorite of the holiday season and I look forward to spending time with family and indulging in my favorite traditional dishes, yum!

As Mr. Charming is a history and politics nerd, I'll be taking him into D.C. for a day...watch out White House! 

So something big for school each week, paired with something super fun and exciting to look forward to. Hopefully I'll be able to manage spending enough time on the school part...

What are you looking forward to this month?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Mornings=Happy Days


+


=

120 calorie homemade chai latte to start the day. I thought it didn't get better than that, then I just found out that Oregon Trail makes sugar free chai latte mix--yippee!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Best Read From Your iPhone While Doing 10 Other Things

I find it only appropriate that this post, containing a random assortment of my current thoughts, stemmed from the topic and issue of multitasking that I have been giving a lot of thought to recently.
So what is the real definition of multitasking? Well our good friend Wikipedia always delivers...

Human multitasking is the performance by an individual of appearing to handle more than one task at the same time. The term is derived from computer multitasking. An example of multitasking is listening to a radio interview while typing an email. Some believe that multitasking can result in time wasted due to human context switching and apparently causing more errors due to insufficient attention.


As I pointed out, this term is derived from the function of computer multitasking. Unfortunately, humans are just not computers. I'm sure we can all see then how silly it is that we try to handle so much at once without many of the appropriate hardware for these capabilities.


After watching Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier, which is a Frontline series video, for an assignment we are giving my University 101 class, (that I highly encourage you check out) I can't stop thinking about the amount that I multitask. More so, I can't shake the fact that I couldn't be successful without the disgusting amount that I multitask. This coupled with my current behavior of listening to Coldplay's new album, Mylo Xyloto from dawn until dusk with the track Paradise on repeat, is leaving me with many thoughts.

"When she was just a girl, she expected the world
But it flew away from her reach so, she ran away in her sleep
And dreamed of Paradise"

I'm not sure when I had to become so busy in order to be successful. Another assignment with my U101 class was reading and writing about Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture. If you haven't done this--please do it immediately. You can finish the book in one night, or even watch his lecture online. One of Pausch's lessons is about the secret to getting ahead, which simply enough is...hard work. 

I know that it's pertinent to work hard and gain experience to be successful but when did this begin to mean getting to a level when you almost feel like you can no longer function? I absolutely love what I'm doing but cannot help but dream everyday about May 4th, my master's hooding day. I dream about a life when I don't get home at 9pm almost everyday. Where I can get back into personal activities that I enjoy. Will I get to a point where I'll be able to stop multitasking and running around so much that I'll actually be able to sleep at night with a brain that isn't so wired? 


While I heard the movie wasn't the best I can't help but cringe thinking about SJP's I Don't Know How She Does It film. Will this lifestyle continue? Let's hope not!

I multitask from the second I wake up, anxiously grabbing my iPhone to view my schedule for the day, scan email for anything serious and check the weather. I look at the shuttle schedule on my phone as I walk down to my car. On the shuttle I read through and delete emails that do not require attention or responses so that when I get to my office I don't have to spend the time to do this. I read The Gamecock while I have my coffee and then while I work I look at tweets popping up from news sources I need to follow for my Trends in Higher Education class. Throughout all of this I typically have a few Gchats open with friends and co-workers. 


Then it's off to class where while I try to pay attention and many times end up creating to-do lists for that night, the next day, the rest of the week, etc. When I get home I am reading for class the next day while on the elliptical, doing homework while catching up with my roommate and cleaning my room and getting ready for bed while talking to my significant other. Check the iPhone for any pertinent emails, check the next day's weather, set my alarm, go to bed. Repeat.

While I want to try and break this habit I'm not quite sure I could keep crossing off my to-do list and efficiently manage my time without it. The tasks I'm able to accomplish through multitasking give me extra time for the personal tasks in my life. For trying to remember to call my mom once a week, keeping in touch with good friends (which at this point in life includes quite a few people), and maintaining a healthy distance relationship. Oh yea then if there's a few minutes of extra time I enjoy blankly staring at my wall while listening to music or vegging out in front of Family Guy for a fun non-engaging activity.


My new personal challenge is to cut down on the multitasking. Get everything done, but don't act like a chicken with my head cut off. I know there's got to be some way that's possible. If not luckily hooding is six months and ten days away, not that I'm counting...


Side note: I know there has to be someone thinking how I could spend the time to write this novel of a post when I have soooo many other things to do? Probably because it's the first personal thing I've done today. In my challenge to stay sane my mantra is "Do one thing every day that makes you happy." Today, blogging is my happy. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Easy Breezy Pasta Caprese

For those who do not know me, I'm probably about 80% Italian. My father's parents immigrated to the US from Italy, him and his cousins are all first generation American. My maternal grandfather is also Italian. Christmas Eve is spent at a long table of loud relatives with huge platters of food and my dad's aunt continuously yelling "Mangia!"

While I do love my Aunt Silvana's ziti, I'm honestly not the biggest pasta fan. Maybe this came from eating it at least once a week growing up? If I do eat pasta it has to have pizzazz. Lots of veggies, maybe some meat, cheese and something other than Ragu. I believe that if you're eating pasta--it shouldn't actually be the main ingredient. Not only because I don't care for it all too much because the nutrition facts just don't lie...carb and calorie overload!

Though not a pasta fan I have become a huge spaghetti squash fan, and have been changing up typical pasta dishes using the delicious substitute. While I've been scouring over recipes I decided to come up with something myself. Also not being a huge sauce fan, caprese pasta is one of my favorite as it's simple and light but has a lot of flavor...so I set out to make my own!
Anna's Easy Breezy Pasta Caprese
Ingredients
1 spaghetti squash (average size)
1 green (or color of your preference) bell pepper
1 medium onion
10 cherry or grape tomatoes (or cut a medium tomato into bite size chunks)
3/4 cup of shredded mozzarella
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 basil leaf (or more if you desire)
Preparation
First task is to cook the spaghetti squash. There are several methods to do so, while I prefer the oven method  throwing it in the microwave definitely speeds up the prep time. Once your squash is cooked scoop it out into a big serving bowl.

Turn a skillet to medium high heat and once it's hot coat with a cooking spray. Meanwhile slice the bell pepper and onion. I left mine in longer thin slices but feel free to cut to your liking. Throw the chopped veggies into the pan and cook down until they're tender but not falling apart soft.

Cut cherry/grape tomatoes in half. Take your basil leaf and roll lengthwise, then slice for small strips of the herb. Thrown the tomatoes into the skillet for the last three minutes of cooking the veggies then remove from heat.
Add veggies into the bowl with spaghetti squash. Then add basil, mozzarella and olive oil. Toss all of the ingredients until they're evenly distributed, serve it up and enjoy!

Servings
Depending on the size of your squash and how many veggies you add this could vary. I split mine into three servings. A serving size of the mozzarella is a 1/4 of cup so if you're splitting four ways use a whole cup so no one get skimped on the cheese please!

Additions
Don't like peppers or onions? Then don't add 'em! They're some of my favorite veggies but feel free to throw whatever you want into the mix. Mushrooms and black olives could also be yummy in this dish. Try mixing with some lite Italian dressing instead of the EVOO. Serve it chilled like a pasta salad. Substitute fresh mozzarella...mmm! The possibilities are endless, however the most important suggestion is to serve with a glass of wine...
Planning to make this dish? Leave a comment and let me know how it goes for you!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I Just Can't Get Enough

Things I currently can't get enough of include...

Amazing 4 ingredient banana oat bars
The best thing is they really have 4 ingredients: bananas, rolled oats, chopped walnuts & chopped dates. And naturally a dash of vanilla and cinnamon for some added flavor! 

Get the recipe and try them yourself. I wasn't sure what "very ripe" meant for the bananas but I let them sit about 4/5 days after buying them and waited until they were speckled with brown spots. After baking them, keep in an airtight container to make sure they don't get dry.

 Honey & cinnamon as yogurt mix-ins
Greek yogurt + honey + cinnamon = NOM
Need I say more?
ps. this makes for a great dessert if you really just need that something sweet at the end of the day!

3initials iPhone app
Yes, I can now make custom monograms changing the font, size/placing of letters and naturally...colors. Holla if you would like a custom monogram picture for your phone because I can't stop playing around with the app to find the best combinations. 

Potentially an unnecessary purchase? Eh, I've gotten too much enjoyment out of it!

What's the number one thing I JUST can't get enough of? *Drum roll please*

SLEEP!
Between work, school, teaching, working out, doing homework, visiting Mr. Charming and attempting to maintain my sanity--sleep has come in last. Good thing for me my new motto is "You can't change the world from your bed now can ya?"

Early mornings are taking a toll...but counting down until the end of this semester! Happy almost hump day y'all!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Chicken Salad Heaven

After experiencing some difficulties trying to get into the football game on Saturday evening I instead decided to stay home and get my life together for the evening so I could get up Sunday and get on track with school work. This turned out to be a wise decision as I got sucked into cleaning my personal email and filtering through my Pinterest account.

I've been eating Lean Cuisines and Healthy Choice meals like it's going out of style, and quite frankly for me it is. I'm over eating frozen things--and really over so much pasta. What's the deal with these two needing to plug so many carbs into all of their meals? For someone who isn't the biggest fan of pasta (and getting sick of frozen meal) I decided to embark on a new journey for the school year. Preparing my own food...what an original idea right?

Recently becoming even more obsessed with Hungry Girl I decided to pick a few recipes to cook for the week, and even freeze some for later. Back to the freezer...but at least frozen fresh food I cooked is a little better?

The first one I decided on was the Totally Nuts Creamy Chicken Salad Sandwich. I'm a HUGE fan of chicken salad, but hate that adding "salad" to any food means stacking up on the calories. This recipe was modeled as a healthier version of Arby's Chicken Salad Sandwich which has 840 calories--yikes!

I set off to make this dish which was quite easy, though I made a few adjustments...


Using the George Foreman was a great way to quickly cook the chicken making it tender enough to shred apart



 I prefer walnuts, and didn't want to spend $4 on a bag of pecans when I already had something similar in the pantry

The fat-free mayo worked well (I didn't add the garlic powder) but I'm intrigued to make this next time with plain greek yogurt. I've heard it can be a great substitute for chicken salad!

 Voila!

Overall I really enjoyed this recipe. I ate it on a sandwich for lunch after letting it chill in the fridge for a few hours. While it was good in sandwich form, pieces of the salad were falling off everywhere. If I ate it as sandwich again I would try to use a whole wheat pita pocket. I brought it for lunch today at work in a container and then ate the salad with Wheat Thins--this was great! I could still really get the flavor of all of the ingredients without so much bread in the way.

For those of you with busy schedules this was so easy to whip up and will probably keep for the duration of the week. You can access the recipe in the link above, but I'll provide here for convenience as well...enjoy!


Ingredients:
1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1/8 tsp. garlic powder (I omitted)
1/8 tsp. salt
4 oz. cooked and chopped skinless lean chicken breast
1/4 cup halved red seedless grapes
1/4 cup chopped apple
2 tbsp. chopped celery
1 1/2 tbsp. chopped pecans (I switched to walnuts)
4 slices light bread, honey-wheat flavor if available
2 large lettuce leaves (I omitted)

Directions:
Place mayo, garlic powder, and salt in a large bowl; mix well. Add chicken and stir to coat. Add grapes, apple, celery, and pecans; stir well and set aside.

To make each sandwich, lightly toast bread slices (if you like). Lay out 1 bread slice and top with a lettuce leaf. Evenly place half of the chicken salad (about 3/4 cup) over the lettuce. Top with the other bread slice.

Repeat with remaining bread, lettuce, and chicken salad to make the second sandwich. (Or cover and refrigerate the remaining chicken salad, and assemble that sandwich another day.)

MAKES 2 SERVINGS

Serving Size: 1 sandwich (half of recipe)
Calories: 254
Fat: 7g
Sodium: 923mg
Carbs: 34g
Fiber: 6.5g
Sugars: 11g
Protein: 20g 
PointsPlus
® value 7* 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Teaching Is a Labor of Love


I've disappeared again and sincerely apologize. While blogging and reflecting on my thoughts is something really important to me I have not placed it high on my list of priorities with so many things on my plate this semester. Rather than my early morning or late night thoughts being crafted into blog posts I have been taking more time to sleep or actually reading my school books. Fancy that!

One of the additional things I'm doing this fall is co-instructing a University 101 freshman seminar course with a professional staff member on campus. It's a three-credit college level course that pro-longs orientation for students, connects them with resources on campus and assists them in transitioning in a way to make them successful students here at USC. It has been an absolutely amazing experience so far but I did not realize just how much work would go into it.

My mother has taught for just about thirty years and growing up I definitely saw how much effort was put into planning lessons. I was confused of why someone would need to do so much planning when they had taught kindergarten for 20+ years, but I now understand. Every year is different. Every class is different. Every student is different. Material changes. One way will not always work for different groups of people. Now I also see my boyfriend who is a high school teacher and additionally coaches three sports. Seeing the amount of dedication, time and effort  he puts in to make high school seniors excited about economics is admirable. Hearing stories of the students he's influenced is even more heart-warming.

Where I'm going with all of this is that I am enrolled in an "Intro to College Teaching" course to supplement my U101 teaching experience. It's a small group seminar design where we discuss what's going great in our classes and what we have challenges with. We're constantly learning about ways to facilitate, hold discussions, and engage our students. Yesterday our professor, Dr. Jenny Boom, shared a blog post with us written by Louis Schmier who teaches in the Department of History at Valdosta State University.

Reading this piece I connected with every word. Every late night I have stayed up preparing for 8:00 am U101 class (it's as brutal for me as it is for the students!) and every worry I've had for my student's learning and success is natural and a necessary part of teaching that is not always evident to students or outsiders. Knowing that many of my friends and followers are connected to education in some way I wanted to share.

This post is long so I have just copied the first two paragraphs, but please feel free to visit his blog to read the rest of this post. Enjoy!

"I haven’t been in the mood to share any thoughts lately. But, yesterday I was at a joyous Bar Mitzvah party and got into a conversation with an out-of-town guest from New York about the economy. In the course of our exchange, I mentioned that Georgia teachers were being furloughed. Her passing but revealing response placed teachers in the derisive category of “overpaid ‘burger flippers’ who have it so easy and don’t do all that much anyway.” She didn’t know me, and in deference to the occasion, I let the comment pass. But, not now. On this Labor Day, when we honor work, when we officially respect and revere working people, when we relax from work, I want to say that teaching requires a lot of work; it demands the intense and lasting “sweat equity” of devotion, passion, compassion, conviction, commitment, persistence, endurance, and perseverance. Contrary to this woman’s views that unfortunately is held by too many both inside and outside academia who far too often treat teachers as rank amateurs or unskilled doofuses, teaching is not an unskilled job; it’s not something you do when you can’t do anything else; it’s not a walk in the part; it’s not a piece of cake; it’s not a 9 to 5 job fraught with overwhelming amounts of vacation time; it’s not merely talking; it’s not something you can do in your sleep; it’s not something anyone can do. 

Teaching takes intense love; it’s about falling in love and staying in love with public service; it’s about staying in love consistently and unconditionally with each and every student. Teaching is about deep and acute awareness and otherness. Teaching is always about getting great things done for others, not about getting credit for yourself. Always. It’s always about each of those students, about challenging their habits, about stretching their imagination, about helping them reach for their potential. Always. It’s never about any of us academics, never about enlarging both our resume and renown. Never."

-Louis Schmier

Monday, August 15, 2011

No Such Thing As Enough

There's something to be said about a glass half full. 
About knowing when to say when. 
I think it's a floating line. 
A barometer of need and desire. 
It's entirely up to the individual...and depends on what's being poured.
Somethings, all we want is a taste. 
Other times, there's no such thing as enough. 
The glass is bottomless. 
And all we want...is more.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Disappearing Act

If you follow my blog you can clearly see that times when I become busy or overwhelmed I tend to neglect my blog. This poor little thing!

While I have much to update you on like ending my summer in Texas and being back at USC in a new role this year I found something worth immediately sharing. Then once I'm settled into my new apartment I promise I'll back on track and catch you up on all that I've missed.

In my operation to find healthy alternatives I stumbled upon a Twitter account today for Kelly over at Eat Yourself Skinny. Similar to my goal to find recipes for the things I love, because while I need to eat better I don't want to compromise my favorite foods and great taste, Kelly has set out on the same type of project.

Her blog is full of great recipes like this Grilled Chicken with Pineapple, Corn & Bell Pepper Relish...YUM!

A majority of her posts and recipes include nutritional information along with Weight Watchers point allocation if that's something that you look for.

I can't wait to get settled and back into a routine where I can eat something besides cereal, sandwiches and Lean Cuisines because it's getting old! Between this new site and the stockpile of recipes I am gathering on Pinterest I'll be doing a lot of exploring and sharing with you this year on this adventure.

That's it for now, but I promise I'm back in action and can't wait to share Texas adventures I haven't posted about yet!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Top 5 Tuesday: Stuck Like Glue

Haven't done a Top Five Tuesday in a while! With lots to do and a major need to crank it all in order to fit everything in during my last week at TCU I'm resorting to some major playlists, and songs on repeat, to get me through.

Top Five Songs I can't get out of my head...

Lady Gaga "Edge of Glory"


Coldplay "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall"


Lil Wayne "How to Love"


Jason Aldean "Dirt Road Anthem"--I can't get enough of the rapping part!


...and finally Sugarland "Stuck Like Glue" because we just played it in the office and now it really is stuck like glue...to my brain!

Monday, July 18, 2011

One [Sweet] Day

While thinking of a title for this post I couldn't help but insert the "sweet" in the middle of the book that I just read. Anyone else with me? Mariah...Boys II Men...great memories?

Ok, enough flashbacks. After seeing the preview for One Day when I went to see Bridesmaids with KC back in June I knew I was going to have to read the book. I was so glad it was summer time when I knew I'd actually have a chance to get it read in time for the August 19th premiere.


I then bought the book a few weeks back. The story is based on two friends, Emma and Dexter, who meet on the night of their college graduation. Which is oddly July 15th. It's set in England so I let it slide. The book then captures what's happening in their lives on that same day for the next twenty years. It was a little slow to start because it bounces around quite a bit but once I got hooked I couldn't put it down. It's definitely left me super excited to see the movie, and KC read the book as well so we can go see it together in a few weeks. 

Anne Hathaway is one of my favorites, and I fell in love with Jim Sturgess in Across the Universe (which if you haven't seen, go do it--right now!) so I really look forward to seeing the both of them together on screen. Too bad Sturgess won't be doing any singing this time, but glad they'll still have him with his yummy British accent. I encourage you to grab a copy of David Nicholls' One Day and zoom through in time for the movie next month, it's going to be a good one!

Here's a little sneak peak of the book I pulled from Nicholls' website... 


'I can imagine you at forty,' she said, a hint of malice in her voice. 'I can picture it right now.'
He smiled without opening his eyes. 'Go on then.'
15th July 1988. Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways.
So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year which follows?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Have Your [pan]Cake and Eat It Too!

This morning I had a lovely Skype chat with this guy...
Mr. Charming just thinks he's so funny doesn't he?

...and I can't wait for him to come back to Ft. Worth in just over a week and then begin our half cross country road trip back to GA! Anyways, the point of this is that by the time we were finished and then I went to the gym, the dining hall was just about closed for lunch. 

Knowing I have barely any food in my kitchen, I don't want to spend money, or really go buy food since I'm leaving in a week and a half, I set out to see if I could concoct a semi-decent meal from what I could find in the apartment. Luckily I succeeded! 


A serving size of Hungry Jack's Wheat Blends pancakes, 1/3 cup dry, equaled three perfectly sized little pancakes. That serving is 150 calories, and the rest of the nutrition facts aren't too bad either. Well I couldn't eat dry pancakes could I? My favorite pancake topping is definitely syrup. My favorite is Smucker's Blueberry Syrup, and I just found out a serving size has 44g of surgar--YIKES! Luckily I had Aunt Jemima's Butter Lite from the last time we made pancakes. The Aunty only costs 100 calories per serving, although there's still 25g of sugar. Oh well, I can't win every food battle. 

Carbs...check. Sugar...check. Next I searched for some protein and found some already cooked turkey sausage links in the fridge. While I've provided a Jimmy Dean picture because it's much more aesthetically pleasing, they were actually Kroger brand, and added up to 80 calories for two links. 

Looks like scrummaging through the apartment was the way to go, only 330 calories for that breakfast for lunch. I would have loved to add some fruit in the future, but hey I'll take what I can get. 

What are you favorite healthy options for breakfast, or breakfast for lunch...or dinner?