Endurance

No, not a post about fitness… (maybe one day when I can get my act together about a workout routine…)

Wednesdays are always a test of endurance for me. Especially every other Wednesday when I open le bakery like I did this morning. I basically gogogo from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. It’s a marathon.

It’s also a test of organization so I don’t starve/have everything I need for work/4 classes/2 rehearsals/3 meals.

It all started with a Tupperware full of Greek yogurt I packed up last night before I went to bed that I grabbed on my way out the door at 5:45 this morning!

All of that deliciousness on top of my Greek yogurt is: a banana I brought from home, a drizzle of honey from our sandwich station, and a Cville Cluster granola bar. I love showing up at work and grabbing random little bits of things to make a really great breakfast bowl like this one. My latest obsession is crumbled flax cranberry cookie mixed in my yogurt (it’s more like a power bar), but they didn’t have any today! I ate this with a mug of cherry mint tea (make that three, oopsies!!) and it made being up at the crack of dawn so much more pleasant!

On my way out of work, I swiped a to-go cup of tomato basil soup to eat later. Two classes later, I stopped back at home for 30 minutes to eat and quickly regroup for the afternoon/evening.

Warm tomato basil soup with a grilled cheese on High Five bread. Wow, I’m just a walking Great Harvest advertisement today! Not sorry. I used muenster and colby cheeses, if anyone’s interested. This was exactly the comforting pick-me-up I needed midday to power through. Seriously, so incredibly delicious.

No photo of dinner, because it was more leftover pizza from the other day eaten during Belles rehearsal. Now I am finally comfy and all I am thinking about is settling to watch Monday’s episode of “Gossip Girl” that I missed it… Don’t judge, I am treating myself to a little indulgence after my bi-weekly marathon of a day!

xoxo,

Gossip Girl 😉

 

P.S. I haven’t forgotten to tell you about Galentine’s Day, I’m just waiting to steal some of Kara’s photos – she took some beautiful ones with her DSLR, and I’d rather show you those than my crappy camera phone pics! :-p

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Happy GALentine’s Day

With no boy to spend Valentine’s Day with this year, why not use this day of love to celebrate all of the wonderful GALS that light up my life every day?

I really, really truly LOVE these beautiful ladies:

My roommates. More on our amazing Galentine’s Day feast tomorrow.

And my mama. Belated Valentine’s date with her to come this weekend.

 

Who needs boys when you have such wonderful women in your life? ❤

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Bowl of Goodness

Well, here I am, as promised, attempting to turn my everyday life here at school into something that is moderately interesting to read.

Today started and ended with my beautiful red bowl, filled with steamy, heartwarming, good-for-the-soul deliciousness.

To start my morning:

PB&J oatmeal! I could eat this every meal… seriously. I got a little too excited with the peanut butter today, but helllloooo, there are much worse things. 🙂 I’ve been keeping it simple lately with KERF oats, topped with Cville Cluster granola from the bakery, with a spoonful of whatever nut butter I have on hand (currently trying to use up my peanut butter) and a healthy dollop of jam.

Lunch was not worth photographing, as it was leftover pizza… oops! I was sick over the weekend, and decided one night that I didn’t have the energy to cook or go out and pick anything up, so I did something I very rarely do, and ordered pizza. I got plenty to share, so the roomies and I have been enjoying one pizza with pineapple and one with mushrooms and feta. It was fun to indulge! I actually don’t eat pizza that much here at school…

And, like I said, my night ended with “The Bachelor” (a Monday night tradition that’s lasted between Mom and me for a few years running) and my red bowl again, this time filled with:

It might not look as appetizing on the Interwebs, but trust me, it was yummy. What you are looking at is tofu, green beans, onions, and cauliflower in a coconut milk/curry sauce over brown rice. Mmmmm. I’m really into curry these days.

That’s all I got for ya tonight! It might take a bit to get into the swing of blogging this semester (i.e. taking photographs, finding time to write a good post), so maybe bear with me to start out!

Night!

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Book of the Week – Walk Two Moons

So, I found a few old Sharon Creech books while I was home and decided I wanted to re-read them. I remembered how much I loved them when I was younger, and due to a recent conversation with Dani about the merits of children’s literature, I was excited to relive a bit of my childhood!

This is just a really great book. Completely enjoyable to read even when you’re 20 rather than 13. The book touches on several deep subjects, while still maintaining plenty of lighthearted, slightly zany moments. The mysteries that the girls try to uncover in the book are actually intriguing enough to make you want to keep reading and figure out what’s going on – funny that I found this to be more of a page turner than Cold Mountain… guess that says something about my maturity level! 😛

Anyway, I’m gonna blow through the other two I found and probably do a double post about them next week. If you’re ever looking for a fun little adventure into children’s lit or a good book to recommend for a young daughter/cousin/friend, etc. Sharon Creech is the way to go!!

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Book of the Week – Cold Mountain

This is actually the book of the week from last week, and it actually took me two weeks to read! Oops! I felt like it was fine, though, since I read several books in one week a few other times during this project, and I was also reading so many other things for classes (such is the life of an English major) that there was no way I was going to finish this guy in time.

I think part of the reason I struggled was that this book really just did not ever turn into a page-turner for me! I was disappointed – I know some people love it, but I never got into it. I have never really been partial to war stories. This one wasn’t about actual battle or anything, but the whole war setting has never been my favorite. I liked how it alternated between Inman and Ada chapter-by-chapter, but I wish they would have been reunited before the very end of the book.

I really don’t have much else to say about it – it was definitely well written and I totally get why it was so well-received, I just don’t think it was my style, which happens! No worries!

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I’m Back!

I promise I’m still here. I never dreamed of taking such a long hiatus from posting, but I also never dreamed that transitioning into this semester would be as difficult as it has been. I am so BUSY! I know that sounds silly, because I’m always busy, but this semester feels busier than ever. A lot of nights I have basically gotten home and done all the schoolwork I could manage until I fell asleep, therefore leaving no time for blogging or anything else. It’s been crazy.

The good news is, I think I’m finally ready to get back on track! I worked really hard this week to get completely caught up on everything, which meant skipping out on a few social events, but I feel like my schoolwork is much more under control. I have also had a nasty cold, which is unfortunate, but is kind of a blessing in disguise because it has forced me to take some time for myself to just rest and catch my breath, which I never do. So, I’m going to attempt to become a real person again starting now!!

Not to worry, all of the usual things have still been happening while I’ve been gone…

– NEW BELLES!!!!!!!!!!!

– lots of Belles gig/rehearsals/social functions

– fun bakery times, as usual!

– some good food things, despite being so busy!

 

– lots of book reading, which I will write individual posts for soon!

And much, much more!

 

I’ve wanted to start posting again for a few days now, but have kind of been having a hard time because I’ve been feeling like I should narrow down the topics that I post about so my blog has a more centralized theme. I’ve had a really hard time with this, because I have so many things I’m interested in… I haven’t come to any huge conclusions. I also went back and read my first post over again, which was helpful, because all of that stuff is still very true! We’ll see. Until I figure it out, I’m just gonna try to keep writing, which is the most important thing. 🙂

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Quality

So, tonight was a quality night.

After a full day that was a combination of work, class, and my first voice lesson of the semester, I went with Belles to Charlottesville High School to perform in a gig that was a fundraiser for their music program. Two of their groups and Belles and VGs performed, and it ended up being such a nice little gig! We went early on in the show, so once we were done, we just got to relax and watch the rest. VGs were really great, and it was actually really nice to be stuck in this theatre for a while with no phone, no computer, no point in thinking about anything else that I have to do, because at that moment, the only thing I had the power to do was sit back and enjoy the music. Such a nice feeling.

After the gig, we returned home, and I somehow ended up sitting on my bed talking with Dani (and eventually Beth) for almost 4 HOURS straight.

Never mind that it had been a really long day and I was tired.

Never mind that tomorrow is going to be a long day, too.

Never mind that I have a huge to do list full of homework and cleaning and laundry, etc.

 

Sometimes, nights like this one just need to happen. We’ve had some real gems here in 2D, and I’m lucky to live with people that I could literally talk to for hours/days/YEARS and never get tired of it. Dani and I completely geeked over all things having to do with literature and writing for a loooong time (English majors unite!), but we also covered traveling, relationships, exercise, college life, life after college, and more.

I definitely have my days, like yesterday, where I am completely focused on quantity – the sheer amount of things I have to do, the time constraints I’m under for getting them all accomplished, the number of items on my to-do list… Therefore, I am so thankful to have nights like tonight, which remind me that what really matters is quality. Sure, I didn’t get any homework, cleaning, or laundry done tonight. I’m going to have to rewrite the same to-do list tomorrow as the one for today. My weekend might be a little more stressful due to giving up a whole evening where I didn’t accomplish anything.

But that statement depends on what you consider an accomplishment… Because in my opinion I accomplished several important things: having a stress-free night where I could take a mental break, having stimulating conversation about things I find interesting with people whose opinions and ideas I really value, and soaking up some of the last quality time I’m going to get with Dani before she leaves for New Zealand for the semester (!!).

Yep, I’d say I accomplished a lot.

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Oh Gosh

Oh gosh, this day.

I feel like I’ve been away from blogging for ages, but I really only skipped one night. And the only reason I’m not skipping tonight is to apologize for the lack of meaningful posting. Adjusting to this new semester has proved to be super crazy, and it’s only gonna get crazier in the next 10 days or so, as every day of my life is spoken for by work, class, and BELLES. We start auditions for our new girls tomorrow and I could not be more excited!

To make you understand a bit more of what my life has been like, here’s a blow-by-blow of my schedule today:

9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – wake up, get organized, make green smoothies, drink green smoothie, buy new notebooks

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – ENLT 2550 – Shakespeare class.

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – ENGL 3820 – The History of Literature in English class.

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – race home for a quick lunch break and part of an episode of Gossip Girl just for some mental relaxation.

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – MUSI 4510 – Analysis and Interpretation of Popular Music class.

3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – USingers rehearsal

5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – walk across Grounds to next class

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – ENGL 3820 discussion.

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Belles rehearsal

9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – go home to put on warmer clothes, greet DANI (!!!!!!!) my roomie and best friend who’s going abroad this semester who is in town for a few days.

10:00 – 11:30 p.m. – Dorm Sing with Belles, VGs, and NewDos to publicize for auditions this weekend.

11:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. – sit in the 2D living room with my roommates, soaking in how happy I am that Dani is back and the crew is reunited, even if only for a few days.

 

And here I am! Can you believe this is my schedule every Wednesday? AND on top of that, every other Wednesday I open the bakery from 6:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. It just can’t even be real.

Now, instead of homework, I am going to read as much of my Book of the Week as I can before I fall asleep, so maybe I can finish it on time. Sorry for the lack of pictures and any real information, but maybe this little day in the life rundown can clue you in as to why it’s been hard for me to not feel anything but extremely frazzled and stressed the past few days. I feel like even just thinking about it makes me feel like I’m gonna have a panic attack…

I know it’ll get better, and the key is to just not think about it, and take it one thing at a time, but it has certainly been a scary adjustment so far. I’m hoping for some relief this weekend and that my stamina in handling all of this will grow with time. Until then, my sleep-deprived zombie alter ego will be attempting to keep up with posts.

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Rollin’

So tonight was a fun night that only rolls around once a semester… USingers roll!! What on earth, you may ask, is roll? WELL, it’s the night where all of the new members find out they made it into the group… in a very interesting way. Rolling is something that I think is pretty unique to UVa… at least, I’ve never heard of any groups at other schools doing it. It’s basically kidnapping people and dressing them up and blindfolding them, throwing them in car, and leading them to the Rotunda on the Lawn where we sing to them and have food and everyone gets to meet and have fun! Sounds crazy, but it is always an unforgettable night. The memories of my various rolls for organizations I’ve been a part of will stay with me forever!

Bri and I volunteered to roll tonight. I hadn’t actually driven a car for it in three semesters, so it was kinda fun to be in the middle of all the excitement! It was even more fun because we got to roll our friend Andy!! Andy had been in USingers every semester except last fall, when he had a class conflict, so him reauditioning and getting in again was a mere technicality, but he was still eligible to be rolled to be welcomed back into the group, and Bri and I really wanted to be the ones to go kidnap him! Bri came equipped wit lots of goodies from her costume box, we ambushed Andy and our other rollee, Joe, at their houses, and drove them up to Grounds looking like this:

They both knew exactly what was going on, having been rolled before for a cappella, so the excitement that comes with your first roll as a first year was gone, but it was still fun. Andy and I had a nice leisurely stroll up the Lawn, hand-in-hand, as I led him blindfolded to the Rotunda. We then settled them in with the other newbies and waited for everyone else to arrive.

When everyone arrived, we got in a huge circle and sang “Virginia, Hail, All Hail”, one of our “UVa songs.” Then we transitioned into “The Good Old Song”, our alma mater, and all the blindfolds came off, and the new members were welcomed into the wonderful family that is USingers. There’s always a bit of magic in the air in that circle, and I am always so thankful to be a part of such a great community. I’m super excited to get to work on our music this semester and bond with everyone, new and old!

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Broccoli Cheddar Skillet Chicken

Okay, guys, this is the last recipe I’m squeezing out of the meal that I cooked back on Tuesday, along with roasted vegetables and orzo, so it looks like I’m gonna have to buckle down and really start documenting some stuff going on around here so I have content when I sit down to write my post each night! It’s going to be interesting to adjust to blogging during school… The bulk of really getting into blogging happened for me over Winter Break, so this is going to be a new adventure!

Anyway, back on Tuesday, I was a little stumped about what to make for my main dish… When I cook for myself here, I usually don’t eat a “main dish” mostly because I don’t eat much meat. For example, this was my dinner tonight:

Freshly roasted veggies (the last of my leftovers), leftover orzo, a warm, butter Virginia Roll from the bakery, and a green smoothie, compliments of Mama Pea! As you can see, I don’t usually operate under the whole piece of meat along with some side dishes kind of thing. But I wanted to for my mama on Tuesday cause that’s how we roll at home!

I figured I’d do some kind of chicken, and then had a hard time figuring out what to do because, honestly, I don’t remember the last time I cooked chicken, or any kind of meat, really.

I finally hit the jackpot when I had the idea for this dish, inspired by an intense love that is shared by my mom and me for broccoli cheddar soup. I love Panera’s particularly, but I’m sure that’s not too healthy. I’m also pretty sure half the recipes pinned to my “Food” board on Pinterest are broccoli cheese recipes. To satisfy my craving and celebrate the best flavor combo in the world, I made this!

Super simple, super delicious.

Check the recipe out here!

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