Study Buddy Smoothie

So I am the worst when it comes to nibbling when studying or using snacks as a perfect excuse for breaks and breaks as a perfect excuse for snacks. To avoid this situation, I made something that I could nurse for a while and still focus on studying.

So here’s my study buddy smoothie of the day:

2013 038

I know there are millions of smoothie recipes varieties and many different versions to make them but today I went with a very simple, totally basic banana strawberry smoothie. I just threw in a few strawberries, bananas, greek yogurt, and ice into the blender and gave it a go. I also added in a little bit of protein shake powder and chia seeds to give me a little extra boot. It isn’t my most original or specialty drink but it definitely kept me full and functioning. I also added a little lavender sugar crystals and whipped cream to get my “sugar” kick without being too sweet.

What are some of your favorite smoothie recipes? Let me know!

Unfortunately, my next few weeks are insanely busy with studying and work so I won’t have as many cool recipes for you guys but I promise just as soon as I am done with exams, I have so So SO many DIY’s and recipes lined up for you, you won’t even have enough time to try them all…and trust me, they are seriously awesome…so you’ll just have to stay tuned to see what they are!

Toodles,

ac

Advertisements

Sunday Sundae or Sunday Parfait….

I have been trying harder to cut out sugary items from my diet and it is not easy. Around every corner lurks another a delicious sweet that is calling my sweet tooth’s name.

Sunday Sundaes used to be a staple in our college cafe and sometimes I still miss them but I also know how sugar and calorie laced they are. Instead, I tried a little twist on this old favorite. It may take some getting used to and is definitely a more acquired taste than ice cream and sprinkles but it’s my small step in (hopefully) the right direction.

photo (20)

Like many of my recipes, you can really use whatever ingredients you want that suit your taste but here’s what I did:

1. Grab whatever size glass or cup you think is appropriate for you.
2. Place whatever fruit (I used strawberries to start) on the bottom…nuts (like walnuts, my fav) or even crushed grahm crackers are a good base.
3. Then put a dollop of non-fat greek yogurt. (You can use whatever flavor you want. I went with plain so there is no sugar at all. Most store bought yogurts also have rather pungent taste and are thick so make sure you try it before you use it. I used homemade yogurt because it is a little softer and not as tart-y; it’s also all I had.)
4. Then layer in another layer of fruit. (I used bananas here.)
5. OPTIONAL: I put in a very very thin layer of chocolate syrup here and a sprinkle of more crushed graham crackers.
6. More fruit. (Added more strawberries.)
7. Another dollop of yogurt.
8. Granola or nuts or crushed graham crackers.

and voila!

photo (21)

I also threw on a little whipped cream and chocolate on top too. I know it does have some more sugar that it probably should but I am pretending the homemade yogurt and not ice cream and no sprinkles and easier helpings of the chocolate make it okay.

What do you think? Do you have your own version? What fruits would you use?

Toodles,

ac

10% luck, 20% skill, And 100% reason to remember that it is just a game….

So this is going to be a more “boyish” post but I can’t help it, I love sports. And as my co-author would vouch, have spent many a nights when I lived with her, up at odd hours screaming at the tv… Then again, I can’t help it that the Australian Open happens to be at my time 3am and this girl Definitely isn’t missing any more Rafa time especially now that he is back from his injury.

Anyway, I have a variety of sports I like to follow, some more aggressively than others. Lacrosse isn’t one that I am a devote disciple of but because of my lax bro, who is actually my bro, I have involuntarily been inducted into being his pupil. While he rattles off stats, facts and all things lax, it tends to just marinate and I can’t help it, I love sports.

Obviously, he is the lax aficionado but from spending time at his games and watching the southern six (Maryland, Virginia, Hopkins, Duke, (temperamental and unpredictable) North Carolina, and the up and coming Delaware) dominate the college circuit for the past few years, I have come to learn the rules and regulations along with the more fluffy facts that make the game fun. While I always joined picking the opposite team to root for than him just to make it exciting, I have grown to like a few teams more than others in more recent years (Syracuse, Virginia, and Denver while I really really couldn’t careless for Duke, Cornell, Yale, or Notre Dame).

As Memorial Day weekend approaches and most are more excited for the sales and the day off than for the actual meaning behind the holiday, to lax fans it means that the NCAA Final Four and Championship games are upon us. During this time is where I find myself in a little bit of a bind. While I enjoy watching the games, competitiveness, comradery, sheer talent and teamwork, I also can’t help but step back and analyse the culture as a whole. I respect the Native American history and origin of the game and find it healthy that the program that used to have a limited audience and participants reserved to only a certain few regional areas, has become the fastest growing program among young athletes today. Growing 77% in the last 6 years and with nearly 400,000 players, 282,000 high school players, 671 college teams, 500 and growing club teams and even 300 women’s teams; it is booming at an astronomical rate. Growing up in a town where lacrosse is and has been THE sport, like football is in many Southern and Midwest states, and having friends and family play on traveling teams, high school teams, and college teams winning regional tournaments, state championships, tournament of champions titles, and even NCAA tournaments, it is almost seems insane to me how quickly things have changed and how many more people know about the game.

From the lingo, to the way they walk, talk, dress and even just the lifestyle of lax players seems to have become a strong identity and even more so, a stereotype; some of it worrying me greatly. Of course athletes tend to walk on air, especially in school where are they are perceived as gods and easily given pedestals that rise well above the standard of rules that the general population must abide by, but the lacrosse world seems to be a step above even that. Not only has the regular bureaucracy of any team sport kicked in to full swing but there have also been endless events that have come to light about the intertwined relationship between the lacrosse world and rape culture. From the most widely known Duke case of rape and Virginia murder case, to many smaller non-publicized cases that have been swept under the rug. While I understand that these athletes put in endless hours of effort and are incredibly talented, in the end, they really are just throwing around a ball. Should we really be excusing, and worse, allowing this behavior to be emulated? Whether they are 5 or 25, why are we allowing these players to be erase the lines of what is right and wrong and get away with acting like they are above everyone else? It seems like just another way that we are wedging in unacceptable behavior into society. I am sure many of you will not agree with me being it a controversial situation to say the least but I promise you I am not just some raging feminist who doesn’t understand the pressures of being an athlete or even saying that they are all like this. While I do have a strong sense of girl power, I too played three varsity sports in high school and was a NCAA athlete in college but still find that these attitudes that are being so heavily propagated as an image especially by very popular players and teams is really unacceptable and it isn’t really reserved to just the lacrosse world. From football to basketball, soccer to baseball, softball, hockey (ice and field), tennis, golf, swimming, and everything else in between, the hierarchy that is created in school has culminated into the “real” world and causes more problems than just bullying. Excusing athletes for their brushes with the law and full on affairs with morally unacceptable actions, we as a society are enforcing the idea that as long as you are famous, you can get away with anything.

It is a tough situation to solve especially since we are already in so deep and many of these ideas are ingrained into every society. But hopefully we can all take time to realize that sports are more about teamwork, friendships and entertainment more than anything else.

This doesn’t mean that I am not a fan of the game, in fact, I think it is more important that fans and the players are the ones that realize this the most. And as a fan I will say that the Carolina/Denver quarterfinal today was ridiculous! What a finish!

What about you? Do you watch sports? Which ones? Who are some of your favorite teams, players, and tournaments of the year?

ncaa-mens-lacrosse

toodles,

ac

Not all those who wander are lost (causes)

This last week has been extremely busy for me. Aside from work, I’ve had an exorbitent number of ‘going away’ parties to attend this week. As sad as this may sound, all the travelers have pretty awesome reasons, and even better destinations. One particular situation I wanted to highlight was that of my coworker…About three weeks ago, he came in to his (very stable and well paid) job, bought a one way ticket to Europe, and then promptly made his way to HR to give his two weeks. Crazy, right? Maybe not. Taking a ‘life sabbatical’ is pretty awesome in more ways than one. And in today’s society (and particularly for the millennials) more possible/common. His lease ended, he sold his car, and bought a ticket. As long as you have an end-game plan, I see this being more of a possibility for most than you’d think. Just up and ‘moving’ to a foreign country for a semi-predetermined amount of time–a ‘life sabbatical’ if you must, allows you to enjoy the ‘local’ experience, and is vastly different than a vacation. When you’re on vacation you’re in a location for a week or two tops, spending money going out to restaurants, on your fancy hotel, and paying for every museum entrance and tourist attraction along the way. Some of the people I’ve known have actually taken up part time work or volunteered while abroad to accomplish and/or fund this. Every country has different visa rules, so clearly you need to keep this is mind when picking out your destination country, however, if you can make it happen, make it happen. I promise it won’t be nearly as expensive as you think if you plan properly.

What I want to do next! Elephant rehabilitation center volunteering

What I want to do next! Elephant rehabilitation center volunteering

In college/grad school, I had the opportunity to live abroad not once, but twice, in two different countries (not affiliated with a study abroad program). One went fabulously, one less than fabulous. Regardless, both ‘life sabbaticals’ taught me a lot about myself. That I could (surprisingly) navigate my way in a country I’ve never been to, that I could make friends practically anywhere in the world, and that I could in fact survive a boss that would only yell at me in a foreign language (he spoke no english or french. c’etait un problemme.). While that particular experience has left me extremely appreciative of every other job situation I’ve since had, I still felt like I was shockingly productive during my life-sabbaticals (and have even been able to add a few things to my resume because of it!). Which brings me to people’s biggest worry…

Worried about falling behind in your career? Long-term travel may actually be good for it. My roommate (who is a consultant) has mentioned that her company suggests that they take a 3-month period in between two long contracts in order to ‘recover’, more or less, from the hectic work pace, and recharge so you perform better upon return. America as a whole is relatively stingy with vacation days in comparison to other countries, thus if possible, I totally support people taking advantage of this for that reason alone. Below, I have compiled a list of other resons that were found here to show why taking a life-sabbatical is in fact good for your career as well as your state of mind ūüôā

New Skills: Traveling for an extended period of time, whether that be 3 months or 1 year, can easily help you acquire new skills, especially ones that are beneficial to your current job. You can acquire another language or better cultural understanding that is perfect for those that work in an international environment. Those hours you spent bartering prices in the markets can translate to better sales skills, while being able to handle finances for travels all over the world can just make you a better planner in both work and home life.

Fresh Outlook on Work: I find that taking time off work helps you come back with a kick. However, traveling to some areas of the world might also make you really appreciate the opportunities available to you back home, including a job that was starting to seem monotonous day after day.

Besides being appreciative of your job, travel also opens up the possibility of discovering new ideas that can be brought back and integrated into your work. Imagine discovering a new dish to make in your restaurant, a new way to decorate your shop or maybe a new product worth selling back home.

Relaxed and Healthier: When you’re going, going, going all the time, you get caught up and rarely get a chance to unwind. If you feel that weekends are over as soon as they start, and two-week holidays were barely a getaway, then extended travel may be what’s needed in your life to simply relax. It’s unfortunately a live-to-work sort of culture, and sadly that makes many people overlook what is important in life, such as our health and sanity. I think that when we have personal happiness and well-being, it is much easier to focus and be productive in our working lives.

Haggia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Haggia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

A good friend of mine was actually able to swing an au pair gig in Istanbul this summer. I was able to travel there a few months back for a short trip and loved it; I’m super jealous she’s able to head there to stay for a few months!

Would you ever consider a long-term trip away? If so, where would you go? And the most important question..if no, Why NOT?!

xo SA

Say what you need to say….or don’t and follow the code…

For centuries, men have tried to understand women and women to understand men and instead of literally saying what we feel, should, or want to say, we have instead created a massively intricate¬†cipher¬†of behaviors that somehow we are all to live by….The wildly ridiculous, mildly hilarious, ¬†constantly revised (to fit the standards of whoever decides to use it to defend their argument), infamously articulated, and potentially¬†nonexistent….¬† Code. (or, The Code, if you want to talk semantics…).

 

But really, it seems to wear quite a few hats depending on who it’s keeper is. From Guy Code to Girl Code, Bro Code, to The Gentlemen’s Code, it has clearly evolved over time but still made a pretty solid foundation in society and more recently, pop culture. Sure, we have have some general rules and behaviors that we probably should ideally maintain, like the law and general common¬†decency, but this code situation seems to stretch far past the written or accepted norms and provides guidelines on social behaviors. ¬†While Barney Stinson’s version constantly changes and leads to comical release on a relatively regular basis, there are probably some places that knowing when to do what or when not to do what can be¬†extremely¬†helpful (especially when you are a girl knowing your wears in your wheres can be a game changer).

So who should we seek for these answers? Where are the all knowing date advise prophet or wardrobe preachers when you need them? How come the cool kids just inherit it while the rest of us are thrown into the world without an instruction manual or even a cheat sheet?  With the fluidity of these rules, where are you supposed to get the full set of regulations and amendments that are flying around?

Well, apparently MTV has decided to write your scripture for you. Gathering some “great minds” MTV has created a reality series called Girl Code, based of the surprise hit Guy Code. At first I was skeptical, I mean really, guys all seem to have some sorta of¬†fundamental¬†similarities but girls? The only thing that defines us is the word and even then not really; with some of us claiming to be girls, others women, ladies, and not to mention all the other more¬†provocative¬†or “inappropriate” labels projected or self proclaimed. Sure they can claim guy, dude, boy, man, and doucheface are all categories of their own but somehow they are all the same but girls, we have our own caste system that isn’t quite¬†linear¬†but rather extensive.¬†Regardless, I gave it a go, my¬†narcissistic¬†“what will these people know about me?” bitchface aside. And let me tell you, I was relatively surprised how much they did.

It turns out there are really somethings that all girls should know. Most of the stuff on the show thus far has really been relatively true which makes it hilarious. (but that’s what good comedy is right? truth, so you dying laughing screaming “soooo trueee”). I can’t say that I really see my personality in any of the main hosts but regardless, they understand the situation and give you the low down pretty straight up. The best part, they don’t hold back, giving advice and talking about all the uncomfortable stuff right out on national television for the world to see. It’s like kickin’ with your besties, only without them knowing your dirty laundry.

In reality, it may not be perfectly accurate or even¬†relatable¬†to everyone but hey, it’s just a half hour of guilty pleasure trashy tv…¬†after all¬†it is¬†MTV…

What do you think? Do you have your own code with your friends? Things you just know or do? How did they come about (some crazy inside joke/story/situation? or based on one of these “generic” codes?) PLEASE SHARE SOME OF YOUR RULES!!!I AM SOOOO INTERESTED!!! I am going to think of a few my friends and I live by and update this post with them…so please leave yours! (or things you think people SHOULD know but somehow missed the memo!)

toodles,

AC