Category Archives: Sophomore Year

Just Chilling… Sort Of

There’s something about the changing seasons that’s just so inspiring. With summer it’s the bright sun, warm air, green grass… everything looks so much better in comparison to the drab winter from a few months prior. And with every changing season I have new things I’m interested in doing, whether they have been revitalized from the previous year, or are entirely new in appeal.

This summer for me is all about taking a break and doing what I want. The past two summers I have had internships, and they were worth every second for the knowledge and skills that I acquired. For summer of 2015 though, I’m de-stressing. I have a job at the local school district where I’ll be cleaning and help getting things set up for fall. I’m house sitting for family friends. For the first time in almost three years I’m going to be home for longer than a two week stay (this is both good and bad, as you can imagine).

For the next few weeks I am going to be busy getting our house ready for my brother’s graduation party. I feel old. We have hardwood floors to put down, a deck to stain, a senior video (complete with embarrassing pictures and videos from his younger years), and a mountain of other cleaning tasks that need to be done.

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So I guess I’m not really taking a break, physically at least. Maybe it’s more of a mental break?

Oh, I guess I forgot about studying for my GMATs too. So there goes the whole idea of getting a breather from thinking for awhile. I’m planning on studying for 3 months and taking them at the end of the summer before I head back to school in August. Originally I was just going to get my Master’s degree at the school I’m at currently (in which case I’m not required a GMAT and would be accepted based on academic performance instead). However, I’m not sure I want to go into accounting anymore. I’m now double specializing in both accounting and management, and I’m really enjoying my management classes.

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I have no idea where that leaves me in terms of getting a Master’s degree though. I don’t know what to do. Taking my GMATs is the first step though, or so I’m told by my father. After graduating from high school I thought I would be done with exams like that ever again (except for CPA exams of course, but those aren’t for college). The GMATs sound even more strenuous and awful than the ACTs. And I really want to get a good score so that I can get accepted into a good Master’s program and get scholarships and possibly a graduate teaching position and not end up with so many loans that I don’t pay them off until I’m ancient. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, right?

So that’s what my summer’s going to be like. Starting off this post, I was planning on diving into all of the fun things I was going to do during my “break,” but after typing this out, I’m not really sure I’m going to have any more time than I have had in previous summers. *Insert exasperated sigh here*

I probably should make a list of all the things I want to do before summer is over. Like a short-term bucket list*. Maybe I’ll write one up and that will be my next post.

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In the meantime though, a few things with me haven’t changed. I’ve still been reading a lot, and enjoying my Netflix (isn’t almost everyone and their mother on Netflix these days though? I feel like it’s become such a common thing).

Here’s a list of the books that I’m currently in the middle of: 

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  • Saint Anything – By Sarah Dessen
  • Legend – By Marie Lu
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts – By Susan Cain
  • Superfreakonomics – By Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt

Question: What have you been reading lately, or what would you recommend? Not that I don’t already have an extensive reading pile both physically and just in the general listing sense, but it’s always good to have suggestions. Mostly, right now, I’m curious as to what your favorite non-fiction books are? I like ones that make you think, and I’ve been considering reading a book by Mary Roach who is the queen of humorous scientific books. Biographies aren’t really my thing, although I’ve listened to quite a few autobiographies via audiobook in the past year, so I’m really up for it all. 

I also need some suggestions on TV shows. I’ve been doing a lot of re-watching of my favorites, instead of plunging into any new territory for the past month or so.

Here are the shows I’ve been watching again lately:

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  • Haven
  • Eureka
  • Teen Wolf
  • Under the Dome
  • Continuum
  • Dollhouse

Question: So, what would you suggest? Again, I’m open to anything, but right now I would prefer something sci-fi. That’s my favorite genre in books, tv shows, movies, etc. I like sci-fi shows that have an interesting concept and compelling main characters. This summer new seasons of Haven, Continuum, and Teen Wolf are coming and I’m super excited for that. In the meantime though, I should probably stop watching random episodes of the aforementioned shows and dive into something new. Feel free to suggest multiple shows, because I’ve most likely seen a good portion of them already. I think if I were to put the full extent of the sci-fi shows that I’ve watched above, you would think I’m crazy. Or crazier than usual, however you want to put it.

I should also mention that the soundtrack to my life right now is also sci-fi…ish. It wasn’t an intentional choice on my part. I heard it once and got stuck there on repeat. Before you listen, heed my warning.

I’m not even in the same room with any of you and I still feel embarrassed. It’s just so catchy. Really, I have no idea what they are saying for half the lyrics, but doesn’t it just make you want to dance? And while the song itself isn’t very sci-fi in the lyrics, the techno aspect, and music video are. It’s very campy, ridiculous, and just kind of perfect in its carelessness. Britney and Iggy look like they are just having fun, not caring what anyone else thinks.

*It just hit me that a short-term bucket list is basically a to-do list. Well, no basically about it. That’s the definition. Except it has a slightly more fun connotation.

Grain-Free Cini-Minis

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As you read this I will either be having something that my teacher calls an Accounting “party” tonight (whatever the heck that means…) or taking a Supply Chain Management exam where I will most likely walk out in tears.

I can work on preventing the second one by making this a quick post though, and using up the time that I have left to study hundreds of flash cards.

For WIAW you’ll have to imagine a little bit of the food because I forgot to take pictures. And my family consumed quite a bit of Wendy’s and KFC over the weekend, which you all really don’t need to see. 😉

While I do not have pictures of their delicious-looking grilled chicken and KFC Double Chocolate Cake (really, I need to figure out a way to make a homemade version!), I do have two recipes for you that should be plenty of food porn for today.

First is just a quick oatmeal recipe. When I’m not making pancakes 99% of the time for breakfast, the other 1% is oatmeal (or maybe 0.5% because I do like making cinnamon rolls too…). Anyways, this oatmeal recipe is the perfect way to use up a ton of your hoarded bananas and to get in a lot of protein at breakfast! I like to mix in a few eggs to make this extra staying, but if you are vegan/allergic to eggs, feel free to leave them out and it will still taste just as amazing.

Easy, High-Protein Banana Oatmeal

2 servings – About 17 protein grams each

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How to make: Heat 2 cups of water in a medium pot. Mix in 1 cup quick oatmeal and 2 tbsp chia seeds. Stir and cook for a few minutes until it starts to thicken. Then stir in a few tablespoons of natural sweetener (honey, coconut sugar, stevia, etc.), a splash of vanilla, and a dash of sea salt. Reduce heat to medium. Then cut in two ripe banana slices and let simmer for a few minutes. When the banana slices are soft, take a fork and whip them into the oatmeal. For extra protein, take the pot off the stove and quickly mix in two whole eggs. Return the pot to the stove and heat up for another minute. Divide between two bowls, top with more banana slices, and melted almond butter. Take a spoon and enjoy!

As I said before, I also really like making cinnamon rolls as you can tell from my coconut flour cinnamon rolls, apple chunk cinnamon rolls, peanut butter and carob cinnamon rolls, and microwave cinnamon rolls (almost all vegan!). I felt it was only fitting to try to re-create a cinnamon roll classic, which sadly, is no longer available in restaurants… Burger King’s Cini-Minis!

Cini-Minis were a breakfast roadtrip staple for me as a kid. Whenever we went on a trip or vacation and had to leave early in the morning, we stopped at Burger King for a special breakfast of French toast sticks, super sugary orange juice, and cini-minis for dessert. These things were so decadent that we usually could only finish a few before passing the remaining up to my dad to inhale. My version is not quite as sickly sweet, and much higher in fiber. Also, as I can attest from watching my parents test these out, you can down quite a few of them before calling it quits.

Grain-Free Cini-Minis

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo-Friendly

Makes 3 servings, 4 small rolls each plus icing

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Dough ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda (or 2 tsp baking powder)
  • 2-3 tbsp granulated sweetener
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted (and slightly cooled to prevent cooking the egg)
  • 2 large eggs (to make a vegan version, use this recipe instead and just make them smaller)

Filling ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp granulated sweetener
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Icing ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sweetener (Make your own by placing granulated sweetener into a coffee grinder. Baking stevia, coconut sugar, or cane sugar will all work)
  • Water or milk

Directions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium-sized bowl measure and combine the coconut flour, almond flour, sea salt, baking soda and granulated sweetener. Then add the vanilla, coconut oil and eggs. Mix well and set aside to thicken for a few minutes. The dough should come together easily and be soft but not sticky. Add a little water if needed to bring the dough together, or add coconut flour if the dough is too wet.

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3. Form the dough into a ball and place it on a new piece of parchment paper. Wet your fingers with water and press the dough into a large rectangle.

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4. Spread the melted coconut oil onto the dough. Then sprinkle on the granulated sweetener and cinnamon (use more or less as needed to ensure it is fully covered).

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5. Wet your fingers again and with the long side facing you, begin to tightly roll the dough. (This dough is very feeble because it is grain-free, so it will fall apart a lot as you roll. Just continue to wet your fingers and reform/press any broken parts together).

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6. After you have your roll, cut it into 12 small pieces and place them on the parchment-covered baking sheet.

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7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. They should bounce back to the touch. Add more minutes if necessary.

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8. To make the icing, simply combine the powdered sweetener with a teaspoon or so of water to start and add more as needed to get a thick icing.

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Now, do you want even further proof that this exam week will be the death of me? Do you remember the first few paragraphs of this post? Ya… As I was walking out, one of my roommate’s boyfriends asked me where I was going and I said “Accounting.” He then became confused and I come to find out that I have all of my days messed up and my Macroeconomics exam is actually tomorrow and Accounting tomorrow night. So the crying over my Supply Chain exam is delayed another day!

And to catch you up, my doctor’s appointment went alright this past weekend and I have some more news to share probably on a Thursday/Friday post if I have time in between studying and packing and cleaning.

Happy Wednesday and to all a good night!

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Questions for you:

Do you ever get your days messed up?

What is your favorite breakfast food to make? To eat? Are they different?

Did your family have any road trip traditions growing up?