Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Destination: Procrastination

 Welp, it's finals week, so what a perfect time for me to make a blog post right? Really though, I've already conquered two finals and a couple papers, so all that's left for me is one final research paper and then I'm done! First quarter of graduate school? CHECK.

The past few weeks have been stressful, as they always are at the end of the quarter. Just some random things that got me through it all...

-Trader Joe Chocolate and Oat bars. They are 120 calories, incredibly filling, and oh yeah, taste like heaven. They are the perfect snack/breakfast/lunch on the go.  They're healthy, natural, and um make you feel about as good as you do when you eat a real chocolate bar. If I have not made it clear I LOVE THESE THINGS. Also, I'm eating one as I type this.

-My kitty, Fat Girl.  Lately she has been very willing to be my real life teddy bear. She lets me drag her into my bed and curl her in a ball, and yes, seriously, just cuddle her little furry self like she is a baby stuffed animal except that she is much better because she is warm, she purrs, and occasionally licks my hand. Fatttyyyyyy

-Running! Guess what, I'm kind of in the best running shape of my life. Not like skinny shape (ugh, I wish), or like um in shape in shape, just relative in shape for my very out of shape life...and you all know when I say running, I really mean jogging, or yogging as I like to call it, right? For once in my life I feel like I can run faster than a slug and farther than a...hamster? I think I'm going to do a 10k in January! The secret to my success? Why Kelly Clarkson of course.  Whenever I feel like I'm about to keel over I just tune into her belting (and yes I'm going to share her SUPER INSPIRATIONAL lyrics) "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller" which is important to good running form, as Kelly knows.  Then she tells me, "What doesn't kill you makes a fighter, footsteps even lighter" and then of course, I go through lots of awesome me montages in my head: Me as Rocky, me as Million Dollar Baby, and of course the ultimate, me as Kate Bosworth in Blue Crush. You have no idea how effective this is.
-My cohort! Woo we're all in this crazy school thing together which means lots of gchat venting, library stake outs, and after class outings. It's crazy to think the 16 of us only met in October...we have already spent waaay too much time together.  I'm pretty sure we may all murder each other by the end of this program, but luckily we're all still in the honeymoon phase.  We had the big Christmas party at our program directors house last week (who is, by the way, a big deal. You can read about some of his latest work here), which was super fun and most importantly, full of free food.

-A sick free season! Remember how I had pneumonia this time last year? Yeah, seriously,  that was the worst.  One of the biggest things to be grateful for from my rocky Kindercare experience was the stellar immune system I got from it.  I may have been sick 99% of the time last year, but try and touch me now germs. WHAT. 

-Christmas music! I mean I have of course been listening to to Christmas music since October, but really, Justin Bieber and Michael Buble really added to my playlist this year (White Christmas by Michael, with guest collaborator, Shania Twain...rocks.my.world. Where have you been hiding since the 90s Shania????). However between finals stress, the major lack of snow in Seattle, and my apartments major lack of Christmas decorations, it's still not quite feeling like the holiday season here.  For once in my life I'm pretty excited for Idaho Falls blizzards! 10 days of snow and cold right around Christmas really is the perfect dosage.
Oh you know, just a regular day in my life, decorating my tree

-Finally, you all knew it was coming right...Williammmm! Always there to make me food, send me funny youtube videos (mostly about cats),  catch up on TV shows, and oh yeah, make me smile :).

Sometimes when my life gets stressful and all I want to do is get out of it, I just have to step back and recognize all the great stuff that's actually going on. Get ready for a blasting of blog posts as all my commitments cease in a few days for Christmas break.  Can't wait for all the shopping, crafting, baking, movie watching, free reading (!) and snuggling that's going to take place! Most importantly, can't wait to go home and see my family...it's been almost 9 months folks...I'm dying.

Finally, here is Fat Girl, helping me cook. She is named Fat Girl for a reason. Once again I have found the most AMAZING soup recipe. So simple, so supremely delicious...you can see all the ingredients laid out on the counter.

Saute 1 onion and however much garlic you please in your large soup pot.
Add 1 teaspoon of freshly cut ginger, let simmer for about 1 minute
1 lb of peeled, unseeded and cubed butternut squash (I used less than half of the full guy pictured and then froze the rest)
1 lb. of peeled and diced sweet potatoes (I used one large)
and 1 large, peeled and diced regular potato
Pour in 6 cups (or whatever it takes to submerge all the potatoes) of liquid. Really, almost any liquid. I usually put in about 2 cups of chicken stock, 3 cups of water, and 1 cup of milk. Because water is free.

Bring liquid to a boil and then cover and let simmer for about 45 minutes or until everything is soft and blendable.
Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, chilli powder, whatever...to taste :)
Blend into creamy deliciousness and enjoy with some crispy, warm bread.

Okay, end of longest blog post ever but, P.S., starting to create my Christmas reading list.  Would love to hear some good book suggestions! Please and thanks!!

P.P.S. I'm going to finish this dang paper and then as a reward I'm going to make my virtual Christmas list. Shopping (real or virtual) is always my best motivator.

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