How to Improve

For my entire life, I’ve eaten a bowl of cereal for breakfast. Sugary, delicious cereal. Every single morning, I go to the kitchen, pour the cereal and milk and then go to the computer to catch up on the news. Back in the day (haha, middle and high school) I actually read the newspaper.

Anyway, as I sit here daydreaming about lunch that won’t come for an hour, I have begun to realize that maybe I need to change what I eat for breakfast. I need something more filling and substantial to start my day. However, it also needs to be easy. I really need to try out KERF’s Oatmeal. That is on my agenda for this weekend to test it out. One week, I ate CNC’s Polenta Breakfast Pizza. That was good and I enjoyed it, but I don’t think it is my long term breakfast solution to cereal.

I’m hoping oatmeal will solve my dilemma. But until I actually get through a couple weeks not eating cereal, I’m not sure I will believe that I can actually make a change to this crazy years long routine.

If you have any suggestions on how to improve breakfast samplings that is quick and tasty, I am open for hearing them!

Mastiff (AKA How I Spent Sunday Reminiscing About Middle School)

Brief warning: This review contains mild spoilers from Mastiff.

On Sunday, I was able to read Mastiff by Tamora Pierce. I have been a huge Tamora Pierce fan since fifth grade when I purchased Wild Magic at our school’s book fair for 25 cents. I fell in love, and spent the rest of fifth grade and sixth grade obsessed with the book. In seventh grade, I happened to look closer and realized she wrote other books! Of course, our small town library had never even heard of her, so I would have to buy her books at the Barnes and Noble in a town 45 minutes away. So, when I realized Mastiff was out, I immediately purchased it and am excited to flesh out some of my first thoughts about it.

mastiff tamora pierce

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Hot Yoga: The Beginning

About a month ago, I wasn’t in the best place in my life.

It wasn’t unsurprising. Having moved to the Chicago area super fast at the end of May, Mr. Jeff going back to school at the end of August, feeling like a failure at my first job out of college and struggling hardcore in the job market, I needed to make a difference in my life. After I quit my job, I immediately rushed into an SEO internship because I knew that the fit was right for me and it was what I needed. It has been what I needed–a wonderful job that has allowed me to take charge of the rest of my life and try to get my head back in the game.

One of the first things to do to dig yourself out of a rut is to exercise. It’s an instant feel good thing. If you haven’t been exercising regularly then the first days (maybe even weeks) are hell. But push through those, and there are such amazing results. In fact, I find that some of the results, like the best sleep of your life, happen instantly. I firmly 100% believe that bodies need to be worked everyday to feel that life is lived to the fullest.

Anyway, I knew that I needed to exercise. I hadn’t been, and boy, was I gaining weight. Not only was I gaining weight, but I was losing that confidence and happiness in myself.  And it’s hard to figure out an exercise routine outside of college. When I was in college, I walked everywhere all the time. Now, I’m in the suburbs and I desperately miss the walking. I drive everywhere, plus add about an hour commute to my 10-6 work schedule and I’m sitting from 9-7 everyday. Ugh.

One Friday in September I had work off. The weather was gorgeous and I was alone with nothing to do over my three day weekend. I decided to try out a free week at a hot yoga studio that is close by my apartment. So I signed up online….and went to a Beginner Basic class around four or so that afternoon.

I fell in love. I forced myself to go every single day to get my full seven days and so I could really experience the yoga. After my seven days were up, I couldn’t imagine my life without it. I took the plunge and signed up for a monthly membership. Now, I go to class five to six days a week.

Hot yoga has been a lifesaver for me, really. I feel my body getting stronger after each class. Yoga class allows me to be proud of and rejoice in the amazingness that is my body and what it can do for me. And I’m starting to get to know the people at the studio. I walk out of class every single time giggling. Hot yoga is one of the greatest blessings in my life.

Hey, Yo Im Back

I’m a horrible blogger.

Obviously.

But I’m going to get back into it. I swear. And really I’ve realized I think of things that I want to write about everyday. And even though I’m not really sure what the focus of the blog will be, that will come with time. If not, who cares.

So to catch up on my life now.

I graduated from college in May. YAY! I got a job and moved to Illinois. YAY! Turns out that the job was not a good fit for me, and I left it at the end of August. It was a rough summer in many ways, and I really struggled with the move and feeling like a failure at my first job.

When I left  the job, I received a new position as an SEO intern. I’m definitely closer to finding my passion and what I’m good at.

My cat is still as amazing as ever. She is sleeping on me as I write this.

Last February, I ended up in the ER. Turns out, my gallbladder quit working. Over spring break, my gallbladder was removed. That experience has really changed my perspective on health and fitness and has been challenging to deal with not just physically, but emotionally.

I recently tried a hot yoga class and fell in love.  I also fell in love with Lululemon, but I try not to indulge that.

Jeff and I are now long distance while he is in school, and I’m finding that I desperately miss Iowa City and being with him there. Some weeks are good, some are bad when it comes to missing everything. This is definitely a bad week, although it could be just because I’m sleep deprived.

I can’t wait to start writing and keeping track of what happens to me. This last year has definitely taught me that I need to take the time to savor each moment because my life is changing so fast!

I’m off to mull over some blog ideas, some Nyquil to help me banish this cold with sleep and lots and lots and lots of cat snuggles.

General Things

This semester is going fabulously.

I have two classes. One of which has three (ungraded) assignments, and two tests. The other is a consulting project which is  a great way for me to work on a marketing project for class! Fun and interesting and helpful for my future.

I work two jobs. I’m continuing to work in Admissions. This means I’m enjoying the current spring rush of parents scheduling visits for their seniors trying to make college decisions and counseling parents on the college visit process at Iowa for their high school junior who has never done anything like this before. I love this job because it reminds me every day of how excited I was to start college. My other job is to babysit the most adorable one year old ever. Well, he’s more like fifteen months. Some days its wonderful to watch him and I’m dying for kids (someday). Other days I’m utterly exhausted from him and I can’t imagine ever wanting ever in a million years a baby.

I apply for jobs. Ugh. I swear, I’m continually working on my resume and cover letter (I update it for every job I apply to) and when you try to apply to 2-5 jobs a week (that I am most certainly qualified for!) this task becomes incredibly time consuming. Can’t someone just offer me a job already??

Oh well, even if I am jobless, at least spring is almost here!

Mmmm….cupcakes

Tonight, I was finally able to test out my brand new Kitchenaid mixer for the first time. My parents gave it to me as a Christmas present, and I just have not had the chance to bake anything since Christmas. That sounds ridiculous, but between all the chocolate in my stocking and the trip to Chicago, there has been NO NEED for any more sweets in my life.

When we were in Chicago, Mr. Jeff’s mom graciously gave me a box mix for cake. When I told my roommate about it, she immediately wanted to make cupcakes. So, after I finished babysitting, I went grocery shopping and picked up cupcake holder thingys, frosting, and another strawberry cake mix.

The mixer was AMAZING. I love it times ten thousand. Even though I’m exhausted from working all day, I was so excited to bake with my mixer tonight. I had such high expectations for it and it definitely did not disappoint.

I’m going to bed one happy (and very lucky with very awesome parents) girl.

Back to school…kinda

After a lovely winter break with some family time and a trip to Chicago, I’m back in Iowa City for the semester.

Today while I was riding the bus to work I looked down at the floor and saw the huge gross piles of water and salt and grossness that come part and parcel with winter. Immediately I thought to myself, “Okay, now remember to be careful about where you put your bag during class!”

And then I realized, for me, there is no more class. I do have two online classes but that is not the same as being a full time student who spends their week in classes.

It was truly a sad moment, because I have loved my classes. Oh Chaucer, oh Emily Dickinson, oh modern American Road Journeys, oh Adichie, I will remember and treasure all of you. I’m so lucky to be fortunate enough to attend college and have this wonderful experience. My dream to leave Iowa means that I must treasure my last semester here in Iowa City.

When I stepped off the bus this morning (and into the crazy gross snowy salty concoction that coats all walkways!!) I smiled. Even though I’ll miss my time as a student I’m so ready for something new.

 

Mornings Come Early…

So, I had to wake up super early this morning to be at work at 8. And the bus picks me up at 735. I haven’t been up before 10 since, oh, August. Needless to say, apprehension filled me the night before as I contemplated my early morning.

Major problems facing me:

One, it was December. It will be dark when I wake up because the sunrise hasn’t happened yet. That is the kind of thing nightmares are made of.

Two, it is quite possibly the coldest weather imaginable. Probably typical for like the Arctic in maybe September, but Iowa?! Seriously, it was a high of five today. That meant it was waaaaay below zero when I was supposed to crawl out of bed.

Three, electric mattress pad. Yes, I have one. No, I’m not eighty years old. They are just seriously awesome. But a major obstacle to hauling my butt out of bed.

But then morning came. And there were hitches.

6:30My alarm went off at 6:30. I had to take a shower. I debated for the next ten minutes on whether or not I could get away with not taking a shower. Decided I couldn’t.

6:45 Take a shower ten minutes late.

7:00 Spend an extra five minutes in the shower. When I get out of the shower, I realize it was so cold my bathroom didn’t even steam over. I had the door closed and no fan on, but it refused to heat up in there. I shiver.

7:05 Towel off, put on clothes.

7:10Then I went downstairs to eat breakfast. I have no cereal. Boo. Look at my bread thinking toast only to realize the bread smells horrible and the date says ‘best by Dec. 02.’ Good lord.

7:11Steal roommate’s cereal.

7:11.30 Eat yummy cereal in contentment.

7:20 Go to brush my teeth. As I’m spitting, I notice something weird in my sink. I touch it, only to realize I just spit on my shirt sleeve. Oops. Decide to run shirt sleeve under the running water. That was a completely stupid idea. Now, I have a shirt sleeve that is dripping wet in the SUPER COLD. I blow dryed my shirt sleeve. Now its only mildly obnoxious.

7:25 Go downstairs to wait for the bus, after assembling all the necessary supplies like boots, hat and book to read while waiting for the bus.

7:29 Nod off several times while waiting for the bus.

7:29.45 I give in and go outside to wait in the cold so I don’t fall asleep while waiting for the bus.

7:33 And it is, in fact, ridiculously cold.

Spring is in the air?

Today, I registered for my last semester of college classes. This would be sad, but I’m only taking two courses and they will both be online. It’s way sadder that this is my last semester of being a real college student.

I wasn’t super excited about registering. I used to be. I used to be that student who had her whole schedule figured out down to the last class a month beforehand.I would have had all four years figured out before I even arrived on campus if such a thing had been possible. I would then go meet my adviser because it was required, and realize that I was way more prepared than my adviser.  Registering would come and since I was just starting my college journey, half the classes I wanted would be full when it was time to register. I would then become obsessive about finding a spot in the class. Every five minutes I would refresh the screen. I remember looking for spots in classes on Christmas Day, I kid you not.  This obsessiveness would go on until a spot opened up, which they always did, fueling my obsession.

Flash forward to today. This time it was an hour before I was supposed to register. I’m working in Admissions and I’m decently busy. People are calling me left and right to schedule visits, but it’s okay, because I don’t have anything to do.

Then I began to wonder if there was something important going on today.

“Oh, Emily, you are supposed to register today…” The creepy voice warning me of my unpreparedness sounded just like my mother.

Fortunately I work in an office with a computer, so I frantically rushed to ISIS (Iowa’s student website thing) and tried to figure out what I wanted to do for next semester. At 1:50 pm my registering opened up and I signed up for courses. Five minutes later, I went back to change the courses, deciding that I was willing to do work next semester if it was fun.

So I’m taking Entrepreneurship: Business Consulting and Fiction Writing. I was going to take Industrial and Organizational Psychology online because I heard it was the easiest thing ever, but then I thought, no, I want to take Fiction Writing and write stories and read short stories. Because I would do that with my free time anyway, and now I will have someone critiquing my work. So even better.

I hope it’s a grand semester.

I just kinda need to find another job first because otherwise, I’m definitely going to be a bum!

Happy Birthday to me!

I turned 22 this last week, and it has been a wild ride.

I have been horrible at taking pictures, and I haven’t been cooking anything interesting at all.

My friend, Katie, did just give me the new Clean Start cookbook, and I am so pumped to try some recipes from that. I want to try out some new things in the next week or so and then pick something out to take home for my family for Thanksgiving. It’s a vegan cookbook and anything I take will most certainly rock their world. I’m probably will never fully be vegan, but I love using vegan recipes to find different ways to incorporate vegetables into my diet. They also include lots of ingredients I am unfamiliar with, being a girl from small town Iowa. I really enjoy experimenting with new things.

It was a good birthday. Mr. Jeff got me a Houdini wine opener and a lovely bottle of wine that we enjoyed on my birthday. The next day, I had dinner with some friends. And tomorrow, I’m going shopping with my momma. I’ll definitely be updating with some cute purchases.

I feel so old now to be 22. Which is obviously not that old in reality, but it is definitely more of an adult age than 21! Its also sad that this will be my last semester of full time student because next semester I will be part time. And then I’m on my own. Scary! This whole graduating thing is daunting.

I dream of waking up one morning, opening my email or checking my phone and finding that magically someone has just decided to offer me my dream job.

Unfortunately, my dream probably won’t come true.

So, this year on my birthday, I’m relishing still being a student, and hesitantly looking forward to the future. I’m enjoying these last few moments in Iowa City, because I will miss it dearly once I have left.

Although, of course, I need that magical job offer first. ;-)

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