Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chickpeas and Vegetables

I enjoy having my own kitchen in the apartment. I sure don't miss campus food, at all! Tonight I experimented and made dinner from a mixture of things and it turned out dee-li-cious! I don't have a definite recipe but here's what is all in the mixture...

  • Mixed frozen vegetables (California mix)
  • Mushrooms (fresh)
  • Corn (frozen)
  • Chickpeas (canned) 
  • Olive Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Montreal Steak Spices
It's was quite good, if I do say so myself! Best dinner yet! I'm a big fan of chickpeas (and vegetables) and I'm glad I found a good mixture for them. I hope to create some other new recipes, so keep checking back for possibly new ones soon! 

The Grand Tour

I'm finally all settled into my new apartment! I'm really excited and I love it! I have two awesome roommates, Amanda and Hannah. I knew them before so we all get a long very well. We each have our own bedroom and share one bathroom. The apartment is really close to campus so it's the perfect off-campus location. It only takes me 10-15 minutes to walk to class. 

You can take a tour of it by looking at the pictures below. (Don't worry, it's clean, but just a little cluttered :) ) 
Living Room
Window/Desk/Dresser Side of my room
My room is looking kind of plain right now, I hope to add some things to the wall to spice it up! 
Bathroom sink (Another one on the other side)
Thanks for checking it out!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Senior Year has Begun!

Hello! It's been awhile! I am all settled down at school now. I don't have much time for a blog post right now, but I just wanted to check in. I have a new apartment with two great roommates and a senior year schedule! 

Here is what I'm taking this semester:
Non-Symbolic Communication Intervention
Management of Communication Disorders in Schools
Spanish Civilization and Culture
Intro to Statistics
CLINIC!! :) (I will be giving two 45-minute therapy sessions a week)

This should be a great semester! 

Soon to come....
1. Tour of my new apartment
2. Review of the first days of class
3. Anything else new/interesting with me

Monday, August 20, 2012

The A Team Cover

Listening to this song a lot. Originally sung by Ed Sheeran. This one by Alex G.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Looking Back at Summer Goals

Now that the summer is coming to an end I thought I would share my accomplished/unaccomplished goals this summer. I will probably be making some goals for the fall semester soon. 

1. Make at least one recipe out of the Spanish cookbook (I bought in Spain)
I made Magdalenas from the Spain cookbook which was a very simple recipe. And I thought they tasted good! 

2. Run 3 miles in 27 minutes. 
I ACCOMPLISHED IT! I'm very proud of this one :) At the beginning of the summer my baseline was 31:43. August 18th Mom and I ran a 5k (3.1 miles) and was time was 27:15. (Which means my 3 mile run would have been around 26:30). I am probably going to set a lower goal to accomplish by the end of first semester. 

3. Read 5 books
I have read 10, double the amount I wanted to do! Here is what I read:
An Invisible Thread
On the Island
Fireflies in December
No Turning Back
No Turn Back
Heaven is for Real
Black Diamond Death
Sisterhood Everlasting
Gone Girl 

4. Be able to do 25 normal girl push-ups in a row
COMPLETED! 25 is my number. My baseline was 10 so I made progress.

5. Study for the GRE and do amazing on it!
Yes/No. I studied a lot this summer, at least a few hours 3-4 days a week. I improved on my score, but was hoping for higher. I may take it again during the fall semester.  

6. Scrapbook at least 10 pages, including Spain from last summer.
I only did the 6 pages I talked about last month....Christmas break maybe this will be completed?

7. Practice my Spanish at least 2 hours a week (through
Hmm...not so much. Very little here and there.

8. Complete the Hilltoppers for Life blog
It's still a work in progress, but I have written several posts and I will keeping up with it this fall semester. 

9. Catch up on what is happening on Grey's Anatomy.
Never happened, but I'm okay with that. I couldn't find the episodes online. 

10. Take Bailey on at least 3 hikes.
We went on 2! 2 is better than none. Lots of trips to the dog park though. 

11. Memorize the entire Rosary 
Well, I believe this is going to be a fall semester goal. 

12. Get some sun, aka at least get some freckles back! 
Yes! I got some sun when I went to visit my grandparents in Florida. 

13. Spend some quality time with my any kind of way.
Lots and lots! 

14. Send postcards to friends when I travel.
I've sent some to friends and family.

15. Continue to blog, can I make a goal of at least 15 posts/month?  
I averaged around 15 posts a month, which is great! I love blogging! 

I enjoyed sharing my goals and revisiting them! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Rainy CT 5K

My first 5K in Connecticut complete! This morning my Mom and I ran MADD Dash 5K this morning in Stratford, CT. Here is my earlier post about the race. We left the house around 7:15 to drive 45 minutes to Short Beach. The chance of rain was 50% the entire day, we were hoping that it would hold off during the race. We were feeling lucky and when we arrived it wasn't raining. But of course it starts to rain right before the race and continues the entire time. Good thing it wasn't a downpour. 

Short Beach- Stratford, CT. It would have been really pretty if the sun was out!
Ready to race! (That finger in the left top corner is Mom's...she's not a great photographer)

We were off at 9 a.m! There were quite of few people at the race so we had to zig and zag at the beginning. The entire race was flat, which was great! We saw lots of beautiful homes on the water. Mom was running quicker so I was keeping up with her and I knew I wanted to try to reach my goal of 9-minute mile. My body felt good, but my breathing on the other hand was not good....I was out of breath a lot! A little after a mile and half my Mom ran ahead of me, but I made sure I kept her in sight! I completed the race in 27:15! I met my goal! :) My pace was 8:47 which was better than I expected! I honestly wouldn't have reached this if I didn't run with my Mom. She finished at 26:42 which was awesome, GO MOM! 

Home after the race
We are number one!
We are already planning to run another race (most likely a 5K) when I come home for Thanksgiving. Our new goal is to is to run 8:15-minute miles which is a 25:37. I think we can do it and I'm looking forward to it! I will be running at school for sure and it will be nice to have a good place to run outside! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mother Teresa Poem

I found this poem for a blog I follow (SkinnyRunner) and I thought I'd share it. Mother Teresa was truly an amazing person, loved every person, and trusted fully in God. I had never heard of this poem before, but I love it!

Mother Teresa’s Anyway Poem

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered; 
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; 
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; 
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; 
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; 
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; 
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; 
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; 
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God; 
It was never between you and them anyway.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Gone Girl

I finished the best book that I have read in a long time! It is called Gone Girl by: Gillian Flynn. It was full of turns, twists, murders, and "oh my goodness's." My mom bought the book on the Kindle because she heard good things about the book. It's also a New York Times Bestseller. It was hard to put the book down once I really got into it. I read for almost 6 hours in the car on the way home for Florida and finished it a couple of days ago. I would HIGHLY recommend it! I'm curious to what the author's other books are like...

Here is a description: 
Marriage can be a real killer. 
   One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn. 
   On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? 
   As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
   With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

From: Amazon

Sunday, August 12, 2012

"Home" - Phillip Phillips (Studio)

New song by American Idol Phillip Phillips called "Home"
It's been playing on the Olympics and it's really growing on me! I like it!


On our last day in Florida we went scalloping! It was so much fun, I really enjoyed it! We drove a little over an hour to Crystal River, met our guide and headed out to the ocean. It took us about 30 minutes to get to the area by boat where there was prime scalloping. It was a beautiful day out, cool in the morning (we loaded the boat at 8 am) and then it got quite warm, which I didn't mind one bit. 

Once we arrived (pretty much in the middle of no where water), our guide gave us some tips: 
1. It is like an Easter Egg Hunt (a very hard one at that, in my opinion)
2. Don't dive down unless you know for sure that it is a scallop, otherwise it's a waste of energy (I learned that lesson)
3. To dive down, lift one leg up and sink down, don't flap your flippers.
4. Collect the scallops in your bag, don't tie it. 
5. Go against the current, so on your way back from the boat it will be easy to swim back. Stay within 150 feet of the boat.

I think I followed these well!

Our guide went in first to demonstrate what to do, but I don't think he did a good job! He never even showed us what a scallop looked like! So, I jumped into the water, 84 degrees to be exact (it felt like a hot tub compared to the 60-degree CT water!). I was looking around and having a really hard time. I dove down thinking it was a scallop, but nope it was a rock. The guide finally showed me what one looked like and I swam around with him for a little bit to get the hang of it. In no time, I was a scalloping machine! I found the most out of everybody (well besides the should have seem how many he found). We were out there for 3 hours. It is a lot harder than it looks. I think I collected around 70 and the total with everyone was probably around 250, I'm guessing. We had two quart full bags of scallops by the end of the afternoon. 

I had a great time scalloping, if you ever get the chance to do it, go for it! It was my favorite thing that we did in Florida. 

Grandma getting ready!
Caught Grandpa off guard!
Chris taking a break 

My bag of scallops! I know...I'm looking quite funny here. 
Dad looking real hard
Our guide did all the dirty work. He picked all of the scallops out of the shells. He let us try a raw scallop. It tasted really good, the saltwater really complimented it. 

So what did we do with all the scallops? We had them for dinner of course! We ate one bag, which was a lot! I was stuffed after dinner. My grandparents froze the rest. 

Buttered with spices. 
Mixed vegetables for a side to complete the meal!

Thanks for reading all about my scalloping adventures!
Just in case you wanted to know more about scallops, click here.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Four in Florida

My family and I had four fun-filled days in Florida. We made it back last night (after a long 19-hour drive in one day!). We visited my grandparents who live in New Port Richey, which is a half hour north of Tampa. The weather wasn't looking good from the time we were there, but it ended up being nice for the most part! In case you are wondering, I finally got a tan! I no longer look like a ghost, thank goodness. So here is what we did each day:

- Went to the beach
- Paddle boarded, which was pretty cool! This was my first time doing it. It's actually a lot easier than I thought. The board we rented wasn't considered to be a "true" paddle board.
- Went to the pool 

Chris paddle boarding
- Pool early in the morning since the sun was out and rain was predicted later.
- Went back to the pool later in the afternoon, but started raining on us, so we hung out the rest of the afternoon
- Ate dinner at an Italian restaurant. The pizza was really good!

Out to dinner

- Went out on the water in my Grandpa's boat
- Ate lunch outside at a restaurant on the water
- Came home, and I went to the pool (you can never get too much sun ;) )
- Played Bingo with the old folks. Dad won $7.50, woohoo! At least one of us won something! 

Calmest water I've ever seen!
Chris driving the boat
Dad and his Bingo earnings!
- SCALLOPING! This was so much fun! Check out my scallop post to read all about it!
- Pool later in the afternoon
- Made dinner including the scallops we caught that day!

Preview of scalloping...Snorkeling Grandma!
Chris is smiling! On the way back from scalloping 
The trip went so fast, but I enjoyed every minute of it! 


While I was in Florida I finised the second book in the Sloane Monroe series. The title is Sinnerman by: Cheryl Bradshaw.  The first book that I read a few weeks ago was called Black Diamond Death.  I thought this second book was better! It had a lot more action and definitely kept my attention. Another good murder mystery checked off my list! 

The cover is kind of creepy!

Short description: 
Mystery and thriller writer Cheryl Bradshaw, author of the Sloane Monroe series, invites you along for the most important ride of Sloane’s life... 
What if you’d been given a second chance to catch your sister’s killer—would you take it? And if you did, would a lifetime behind bars be justice enough, or would you need to see him dead?

Private Investigator Sloane Monroe has solved every case that’s come across her desk with the exception of one—the brutal murder of her sister Gabrielle. 
Three years have passed without a trace of the killer until today, when a young woman’s body is discovered on a patch of dirt in front of the local supermarket at daybreak. Now Sloane is faced with the most difficult challenge of her life—finding a man who’s a master at concealing his identity before he captures his next victim and sends them to eternal rest. 

Park City, Utah was a peaceful place until Sinnerman came to town. 
Enter the mind of Sam Reids, a serial killer who slashes his trademark letter S into the wrist of his female victims before he discards their body in the same place he found them. 
Who is he, and why does he prey on innocent women? 

From Amazon

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Enjoying my Time..

..IN FLORIDA! I'm still on vacation in Florida. That's why I haven't been updating my blog (in case you were wondering). I will have a post later that talks all about what I have been up to. Here is just a little preview...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Communion of Saints

This summer my parish in CT offered a Catholicism series study once a week. Each week there was a different topic, that included a short video and discussion. I found the videos interesting, especially since they taped them all over the world and you are able to see all places that are significant in the Catholic Church (like St. Peter's, Holy Land, etc.). 

Here is a little information about it from their website
Fr. Robert Barron created this groundbreaking program as a thematic presentation of what Catholics believe and why, so all adults can come to a deeper understanding of the Catholic Faith. Not a video lecture, Church history or scripture study, this engaging and interesting formational program uses the art, architecture, literature, music and all the treasures of the Catholic tradition to illuminate the timeless teachings of the Church.

This past week was titled "Communion of Saints." I thought the movie was going to focus more on a general definition of a saint, but the video focused on four saints in our church. After the video we discussed what qualities each one had and how these values may or may not be seen in our own lives. 
To start, the definition of what a saint was made clear: someone who achieves heaven. We all can be saints one day. 

Here are the four saints that we focused on:
Under each one I wrote what I thought their qualities were (part of the discussion)...

1. Saint Katharine Drexel
- She was born in 1858 to a wealthy family
- Her parents died when she was young and she inherited $4 million dollars ($400 million today).
- She started an Indian mission out West.
- She went to the Pope asking her for help, and he told her she should be the leader of the Mission
- She was a Sister of Mercy
- She started Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Black and Native American peoples
 - In 1915 founded Xavier University in New Orleans
- Last 20 years of her life, solely prayed because of her health. 
- Died 1955
- FEAST DAY: March 3rd
Perseverance, total giving, love

2. St. Therese of Lisieux
- Carmelite Nun
- Died at age 24 in 1897
- Doctor of the Church
- Called "Little Flower"
- She had a manifestation of God's Grace when she looked at a statue of the Virgin Mary
- As stated "transfigured prudence by Christ's love"
- FEAST DAY: October 1st 
- Determination, full giving to God, sacrifice, willingness 

3. Saint Edith Stein
- Born 1891 to a Jewish, wealthy family
- Had many doubts about God at a young age
- Read autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila and that became a life-changing moment for her. Later she converted to Catholicism and was baptized.
- Carmelite Nun
- Put to death at a Nazi concentration camp
-Died 1942
- FEAST DAY: August 9th
- Power, courage, willingness to give

4. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (in the process of becoming a saint)
- Born 1910
- Became a Loretta sister at age 18
- Established Missionary of Charity- worked with the poor and lived like them (calling from God)
- Missionary of Charities spread across the world 
- Won Nobel Peace Prize in 1979
- Died 1997
- FEAST DAY: September 10th 
- Total giving, passion, love for all

For more information on saints, check this out: Catholic Online

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Magdalenas: A Spanish Recipe

One of my goals this summer was to bake something from the Spanish cookbook that I bought when I traveled to Spain last summer. The cookbook is called Repostería...for those who don't know, that translates to confectioner's shop or pastry-making (a synonym would be Pastelería which was a quite common shop in Spain!). 

I looked through the entire book marking some sweets that I wanted to try. A lot of them requiring a ton of ingredients, so I skipped over those. I also wanted to try something that was authentic to Spain. I didn't want to make tarte de chocolate (chocolate cake) because you can find that anywhere! So...I made Magdalenas which is a sweet bread (or you could just say cupcake), commonly eaten for breakfast in Spain. I never had these while I was in Spain but I definitely saw them around. I think I mentioned in my Spain posts, but Spainards like to eat "sweets" for breakfast along with their coffee such as galletas (cookies). 

I'm going to post the Spanish and English version of the recipe. I had to do some conversions considering they use the metric system. I found it very odd that this recipe didn't include the temperature at which to cook. I set the oven at 350 degrees and it worked fine. 

The Spanish Pastry Cookbook 

All in español
Photo in the cookbook
200 g de harina floja:  7 ounces of flour (or .875 cup)
200g de azúcar: 7 ounces of sugar
200g mantequilla: 7 ounces of butter
4 huevos:  4 eggs
1 cucharadita de levadura en polvo: 1 teaspoon of baking powder
moldes de papel: paper liners (or just spray with non-stick)

Very Simple Ingredients!

- En un cazo, echar los huevos y el azúcar y batir enérgicamente hasta obtener una mezcla ligera y esponjosa. Derretir la mantequilla, sin que se caliente demasiado , e incorporarla a la masa sin dejar de batir.
- Mezclar la harina con la levadura en polvo y agregarla a la mezcla, removiendo cuidadosamente hasta que todos los ingredientes estén bien mezclados. 
- Verter esta preparación en los moldes de papel especiales para magdalenas sin untar, llenándolos Sólo
 hasta la mitad, ya que, al cocerlas, aumenta mucho su volumen.
- Introducir en el horno durante 30 o 40 minutos (según el tamaño de los moldes). transcurrido este tiempo, sacar y dejar enfriar.   

-In a bowl, add the eggs and sugar and beat until it is light and fluffy. Melt the butter, without being too hot, add to mixture and don't mix too much. 
 - Mix the flour with the baking powder and add to the mixture, stirring gently until all ingredients are well blended. 
- Pour this in paper liners for muffins, filling only halfway, since it rises a lot. 
- Place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes (depending on the size of the molds). After, remove and let cool.

I will be bringing these to my grandparents house in Florida. Hopefully they will like them. They sure smell good in our kitchen cooling off right now!