Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Final Fall Quarter

Before I started this school year, I thought I was going to graduate in the spring.

I met with my advisor a few weeks ago to make sure I was on track to graduate and had all of my classes planned out.

Unfortunately, two of the classes I had been planning to take my senior are no longer being taught because one professor quit, and the other is so ill they can't teach right now.

So, I may not be able to graduate by Spring after all.

I can't tell you how bummed I am about this. I am 26. I'm ready to be done. I want my degree. I want a big girl job, I want to be able to enjoy my life and not feel guilty when I am not using every moment I am not in class spent on reading, studying or doing homework. I want to be able to come home from work, and just relax, watch a show on hulu, talk with my b/f, hang out with friends or family, and not feel that guilt feeling in my gut that I should be home working on something for school.

Most people in my classes are much younger than me but for a couple of older adult students.

I'm just at a different place in my life than most of them.

I'm not a big drinker or anything, but some of them are not even old enough to drink!

They just make me feel old and out of touch. Many of them are so fresh out of High School that I feel so rusty is so many subjects. It's really frustrating.

The people who sit around me have an influence on me too, and I hate that.

In almost all of my classes you get participation points for giving answers and opinions in class, but I only seem able to do it if the people around me do it too.

I need to be more brave and care about myself because 1) those people won't matter after my class is over, or I'm out of school. 2) My grade is more important to my future than what some random strangers think about me that I will never speak to again once we no longer have classes together. But yet, I care.

I want to sound smart when I answer a question in class, and sometimes I am afraid to speak because I will be wrong, and that's mostly in my spanish class because I should have studied more over the summer.

I guess that's the thing that's really bothering me now. I wish I would have applied myself more when I was younger.

I have this habit of memorizing things in the short term and forgetting them later. Not very helpful once you get to College.

But all I can do now is study as hard as I can to make up for lost time.

So for finals next week and completing my papers this week, I am scheduling a plan of attack. After this post, I spend the rest of the night working on my research paper, and maybe throw a few spanish flash cards in there in between. Tomorrow, I will finish my research paper and take it to the writing center for editing before I turn it in. If I get far enough tonight, I might even take my paper in tomorrow for editing. Why not right?

Thursday I have a presentation for my research paper, so that's why I want to be done if possible by then. I was given an extension so I can use some alternate research that I had trouble locating before that I find pertinent to my topic. I am writing about Virginia Woolf and Three Guineas.  I have to say it's hard to feel motivated today when  I only got 4 hours of sleep last night.

It takes me to be extremely tired in the morning to be willing to skip a day of washing my hair. I'll get to that more in a future post. Possibly after finals.

My weekend will be spent reading over old material, studying flash cards, and preparing writing my essays. Then my long awaited x-mas break. I can't wait!

It will be so nice to finally spend some guilt free time with my friends and family!

There is a chance I may go to a study abroad seminar next week to see if I can complete my remaining english credits through a study abroad program.

No better way to be brave than to travel all by myself. Not sure what my options are, but I should find out next week!

I hope you are keeping up with your healthy living! I am putting Yoga on my to do list today to keep my work out going and get some much need stress relief!

Visiting my Dad on Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Progress Report

Today is the day after, the day after Thanksgiving. I have been too busy spending time with family and friends to write a Thanksgiving post, so I have a minute before I begin working on my Virginia Woolf research paper that I should have written about two weeks ago.

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about my goals for studying and living a healthy lifestyle. Here's how I am doing.


-Would it be cliché if I said I will do better tomorrow? Ha.

-I have been studying for thins earlier. (Better grades are my reward!) ((Of course they are!))

-I still resort to cleaning my entire apartment before sitting down to study or start working on homework or my reading. (So that's the key to having a clean apt.?)

-My new cat has forced me to keep up on the dishes more because she has jumped up on the counter and cats will basically become ill if they have any people food at all.

-I am still in my pajamas and it's 11:16a.m. Hmm I never rush getting ready on the weekends because I have to rush every morning to get ready for school.

I will give myself a NEEDS IMPROVEMENT.

Goals? Well, I only have two weeks left in Fall quarter, so I will set new goals to start now, and take with me into Winter quarter. They are....

1. Complete homework assignments as soon as I get home from school.

Consequence of not doing so- Staying up too late, being too tired to remember what I read for complete my homework well, causing in lower grades and having trouble concentrating in my classes the next day because I stayed up too late getting things done the night before.

This is the biggest habit I need to break!


-So far this work, I only worked out three days. I was hoping for 5 days, but that is still far better than I have been doing, which is one day if I'm lucky.

-I actually brought work out clothes home with me this time which makes it much easier to work out. However I forgot my shoes and socks. (Yes I have work out socks.)

Goal: Always write a list of things to bring home with me so I have everything with me. Pack using the list, and include work out clothes so I can keep up when I come home for the weekends.

Consequence: I will not feel as good if I stop working out, and the hard work I have been doing will go down the drain. (Oh and my body gets stiff when I don't work out.)

-Keep up with the 5 days a week goal.

This week I:

-Did the Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30 2x.

-Improvised when I forgot the DVD at home and did a dance work out instead. (I sweat way more!)

-Found out I did well on my last spanish test because I studied more than last time. (Imagine that!)

-Kept my weight right where I want it to be.

Goal: Tone more by sticking to the 5x a week work outs.

Overall, I get a big NEEDS IMPROVEMENT. However, I am making big progress. I worked out the morning of Thanksgiving because I knew I would eat a ton.

I was given advice that sharing my goals on my blog would be a way to hold myself accountable and have to stick to them. So I'm going to give this a try. I have to say that it has made me want to work out more this week. Now if I could only start all of my assignments sooner. This research paper I have to complete by tuesday is stressing me out! Sigh.

Now, I have to start writing my research paper and work on my final project for my spanish class. I can't wait for Christmas break!

P.S. I enjoy writing my blog to be read by others. SO please don't be shy, leave me a comment! What are your goals for the rest of the month? Next few months? Share your work out stories and goals. I would love to hear what helps you stay on track!

P.P.S. I am looking to change my blog name. Any suggestions?

Eating our 3rd Thanksgiving dinner. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oh the foods that burn my heart.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

The healthy life.

So far this school year, I have hardly been exercising.

For those of you who know me and know of my thin frame, you may be thinking, "Oh big deal, you're skinny! You don't need to exercise!" 

Well let me just tell you, that is simply not true. 

Being "thin" does not make me in shape. I would rather be physically fit and weigh more, (muscle weighs more than fat, in case you didn't know) than just skinny. 

If being thin implied that me or other "thin" people are automatically in good physical condition, then why do I feel like I'm dying when I attempt to run one mile?

Why am I out of breath when I walk up the stairs at my school to the 4th floor?

Why can't I easily touch my toes and do certain yoga poses?

Because being thin doesn't just make you in shape. Just like everyone else, even thin people have to work to be in good physical condition. 

It's about balancing your lifestyle.

You need at least 8 or 9 hours of sleep every night, a well-balanced diet, and plenty for exercise.

Easier said than done right? 

So what are some of my personal excuses for not following this seemingly easy enough lifestyle?

-I always feel like I have too much studying to do and can't take time away from my school work.

-I shower in the morning and get all dolled up for school and don't want to have to shower and get ready all over again later.

- I procrastinate too long during the day, causing me to stay up late at night completing homework assignments and studying. 

Sure, you can say, yeah, well plenty of college students do that, so what?

Well, then I just feel exhausted the next day, leaving me even less motivation "tomorrow" to work out, and spend more time cooking a healthier meal. 

When I'm tired, I am far less likely to want to take the time to cook up some great healthy meal.

But can't healthy meals also be quick? Yes, it's all about finding the right recipes. 

I bought a Vegan and Vegetarian cookbook for quick meals on a College budget from Amazon. 

My b/f and I try to cook healthy as much as possible. But eating healthy is not all one needs to do be in good health.

Because this just isn't some petty desire to be pretty.

Being healthy is a lifestyle choice. It goes far beyond looks. Taking care of your body will help you live longer, and feel better. 

So if we know that exercising and eating right will help us live longer, and feel better, which I am sure we all want, why don't we all take the time to do it?

-Well, it's takes time and money for one, and discipline and dedication.

You have to have self control when you're at the grocery store. I'm not going to lie, I just bought thanksgiving sugar cookies the last time I was at the store. I'm not saying you can never indulge, but I am saying that sugar turns into fat, and rots your teeth. 

You are what you eat. If you eat healthy, you will be healthy. If you eat junk food, how well do you think your body is going to respond to processed foods filled with chemicals and preservatives? Not as great as it would respond if you were buying fresh healthy food. 

If it comes in a box, watch out. I have read in many fitness and health magazines to stick to the outside of the grocery store.

Buy fresh produce, lots of fruits and veggies. Lots of protein. I am a bit of a vegetarian myself, so I love fruits and veggies. 

I do eat seafood, but I am not a big fan of red and white meat. I will on rare occasion eat a hot dog or a cheeseburger. Yes, I know. A hot dog? Yes, I have watched videos. I know what's in there. Like I said, it's an every now and then thing. But mostly, I eat turkey bacon, turkey hotdogs, or meat alternatives in general. (As in, it's not really meat). 

On occasion I will eat meat with my b/f because he cannot live on a vegetarian diet alone. So we compromise. 

But eating right is not the only thing he and I find important to a healthy lifestyle. My b/f loves to run and work out at the gym with his buddy. 

-The gym he works out at is at his school, and since I don't go there, I can't get in. So, I bought myself some work out dvds to do at home. 

Yesterday I started Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30. I have completed two days of her work out. 

I am definitely sore today, but I pushed through the second work out.

See? I had to push through it. Being thin for me actually means I have wimpy muscles. I admire women with more defined physics. That is my goal. Physical fitness and health, not being super thin. 

I want to do it the healthy way. I love food, I could never be one to deprive myself of it to be thin. You just have to choose the right choices. Eating small meals a day actually helps you have a faster metabolism anyways. So don't ever skip meals to help lose weight. It will only backfire.

For me, the key is finding healthy food and exercises you love. Ask yourself this. Why would it be good for YOU to work out? What's in it for you? 

Here are my reasons:

-I feel better about my body when I exercise.

-I feel good in general after a work out.

-Working out gives me energy.

-I feel more confident in my clothes.

-I have more endurance when I exercise on a regular basis. 

-I don't want to be out of breath climbing stairs to my classes.

-I want to prolong my life by being in good health, and exercise is one way to do that.

-Exercising is something fun to do with a friend or significant other.

Those are just some of my reasons for staying fit. 

What are some of yours? 

Some tips I have for making exercise more fun.

-Change up your work outs. 

I buy multiple dvds to switch up my work outs so I don't get bored and stop working out. I do Yoga, Pilates, Kick boxing, Cardio, Dance, Abs, kettle bell, weights, exercise ball exercises, and more. 

-find what you love.

There are so many types of exercises you can do. If you sign up at a gym, see what classes they offer. You may be more likely to go if you pay for a class.

-work out with a friend. 

Let friends motivate you. When I worked out with a friend, I went to the gym more often. Get a running buddy if love to run. Find a friend to take a Zumba class with you. (I love Zumba!)

-Get a great pair of running or exercise shoes.

I just sent back to pairs of Nike shoes to find out I just don't like the cut of their shoe. I have a pair of K-Swiss shoes now. (The picture is above.) I love my K-Swiss shoes. For running (when I do actually run) I have a pair of Aasics. It's important to get fitted and try on many shoes to find the best one for you and the activity you like to do. 

This sounds so elementary, but I give myself stickers on the calendar when I work out. It reminds me how many days I have worked out in the month. Who really remembers what they did last week? Mark it down. 

-Start small

Just ask yourself to do 10 min one day, then slowly progress. Whenever I tell myself I'm going to only do 10 min of Pilates, I end up doing more. 

But most importantly, talk to your doctor to make sure you are in the right physical health to eat a certain diet and exercise. Everyone's body is different and you have to find out what is right for you. 

-Subscribe to fitness magazines

I love getting fitness tips and workouts from the magazines I subscribe to. My favorites are Self, and Fitness. 

I plan to blog through my progress of the Ripped in 30 and work out 5 days a week at the min. 6 at the max. I need a day for rest for my muscles to recoup. 

But always listen to your body. If something hurts, don't do it. Now, that doesn't mean exercise isn't hard work. Sometimes you have to push through a hard work out, but pains and strains should be avoided. If you injure yourself, it will only put you back. So always be careful. Make sure you are doing the work outs correctly.

If I am feeling too sore one day, I might to pilates or Yoga instead.

 I figure, what better way to keep off those holiday pounds than to exercise through the holidays? 

Do you have any motivating health advice for eating right or exercising? Do you have a website that you like to go to to get healthy recipes or work outs? Leave a comment below! 

I challenge you who are able to work out along with me. Do 5 days a week of your favorite work out and share it with me. Let's motivate each other!

Happy exercising! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


This weekend my significant other and I ventured to the city of Pittsburg for the long awaited pick-up of our new three year old retired breeder girl Enya. 

She was born at Keitta Siberians, and was kept to breed because she was so pretty and met the quality of her breed. 

I am not sure exactly why the decided to retire her, but after all of my searching through multiple websites from other breeders across the U.S. we found her for the right price, the right distance (driving distance) and just the kind of cat I have always wanted.

She is a Neva Masquerade, meaning dark face, ears paws and tail and a cream to white body. Not to mention the prettiest light blue eyes. I took a picture of her enormous paws. Since she is only three, she will not be full grown until she is 5, so my guess is she has some growing to do to match to size of her paws, or Siberians just have really big paws for their bodies! 

She takes better pictures in natural light.
That was the best red eye fix I could do,
 but check out that huge paw!
To make the car ride not so long and tedious for both us and the cat, we stayed the night at my mom's house friday, drove to Pittsburg Saturday, drove back to my mom's Saturday night, and then went home Sunday.

Enya spent the first night at my mom's hiding under our bed. She eventually laid on the couch next to my mom and even laid in our laps and let us pet her.

After we brought her back to our apartment, she immediately found all of the places should could hide even though I left her carrier for her int he spare bedroom. 

she hid under our bed, the futon, both of our dressers, behind the couch, and skidded through the kitchen as she went from the bedrooms to the living room. 


I know we have to be patient with her, but I look forward to the day that she doesn't want to hide anymore.

My step-dad kindly re-carpeted a big cat-tree that my mom's friend so kindly gave to us for FREE! Yay! But sadly it was too big to bring home with us. I really think once we get it here it will give her a place to go so she won't feel she has to hide under the furniture all of the time.

Sometimes I lure her out by petting her, sometimes by cat-nip flavored cat treats. But as I sit typing this, she sits under the recliner. Sigh.

I truly  believe God is always trying to teach me patience.

Are you saying that my kitty isn't going to sit on my lap while I do homework and try and catch my fingers while I type on my computer and act like Simon the cat right now? Darn.

Who is Simon the Cat? Let me share a funny video with you. 


If you are a cat person, you may be able to relate to some of the videos. They are pretty cute.

Anyways, we are still getting our new kitty acclimated to our apartment. She hasn't met our Betta Chance yet. 

Chance was named b/c there is a "Chance" he will survive with Enya here. Chance lives in a little Betta tank with a lid, a lid that is not taped down, but still. There is always that chance.

If anyone has ever brought a new pet home and had to get them acclimated, please share your stories with me and any tips you have for making them feel more at home....sooner. :) 

Can you believe it is almost Thanksgiving? Agh Thanksgiving. Yum. :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Here Kitty Kitty

Since last year, I have been researching Siberian Cats. They are the closest thing to a "Hyperallergenic" cat that exists. My boyfriend is allergic to cats, so after deciding that a pet would tide me over for a while (no babies for a few years) we decided a cat would make it easier to find new apartments than a dog.

 All cats produce a protein called the FEL d1, and this is found in their saliva. When they groom themselves, the protein gets on the cats fur. So what people are really allergic to, is the saliva.


Siberians are shown to produce the lowest amounts of this protein, that allows many allergy sufferers to be able to live with a cat.

Some breeders test the amounts of protein their cats produce, but I have read that this is an uncomfortable process, so they breeder we are using does not put their cats through this process. They are allergy sufferers and can live with the Siberians they breed, and have had success placing their cats in homes with other allergy sufferers.

We also had to do an "allergy test" where they sent us a shirt covered in cat hair (though the Siberian only sheds twice a year, winter coat and summer coat) so that my b/f could wear the shirt for 24 hours and see if he had a reaction. The cat hair was not only from the cat we were adopting, but from many of the cats they have in their home that they breed.

He had no reaction to the hairy shirt (kind of gross I know) so we proceeded with our deposit holding Enya (our future kitty) to be ours.

A pregnant Enya

I first began checking out breeders all over the United States last year.  After reading some horror stories about people who send a downpayment for a cat or kitten, went to the airport only to have their future kitty never arrive, my b/f and I decided we did not want to have to ship an animal. Not only is it risky to do so, but it is stressful to the animal as well.

So, I began looking as locally as possible. And if you do your research, you learn that Siberian kittens are very expensive. Show and breeder quality kittens are the most expensive.

Though I was originally set on getting a kitten, I decided it would be in our best interest financially to adopt a retired breeder. (a mama or daddy cat) After so many litters, or so many years, or if there are any complications in breeding, breeders retire their adult cats.

Not only did we want to find a breeder within driving distance, but one that had a retired cat available, and one that we liked. We read bios of breeders, and looked through their pictures to see if we liked the breeder and the look of their cats. It was quite a process believe it or not.

I finally found a cat on this site that I absolutely fell in love with!

Her name is Enya and she is beautiful! 

We contacted to breeders this past summer while we were in West Virginia, and they told us she would be having a litter and would not be ready to go until September after she was spayed.
The process had it's ups and downs. I'm not the best at being patient, and this taught me that I really had to learn how to be. There was no way to have her available any sooner. So wait I did, for months, and once her owners felt it was a good time, they scheduled her spay.
This was the reason her spay was delayed.
She was "mothering" other cats at the cattery.
Umm kitties, I think you are too old for that.

The communication was quite a process. The breeders were very busy and could not always get back to us right away, but we worked well together in the end, and I would go to them again. We are finally on the countdown to getting Enya. We will pick her up in Pittsburg this coming saturday! I am so excited that I feel like we are adopting a child! 
You are probably thinking, wow I would just not have a pet, or date a guy without pet allergies. Ha. We weighed our options, and the fact is, I have made a lot of sacrifices for our relationship, and this is my reward. 
We spent our first year in a long distance relationship, only see each other on most weekends. Then I changed colleges, which was a huge pain in the @#$! Left all of my friends and family to move out here in the middle of nowhere and have to deal with transferring credits and petitioning classes, and missing my friends and not really having any friends here.

I left behind a best friend who I hung out with practically every day. In relationship you make sacrifices, and we decided I deserved to have a little furry friend to keep me company out here. 

When I lived at home I had a 21 year old cat, Smokie. I have had a cat my entire life. It's not that I'm not a dog person. I have had many dogs growing up too. I just actually think cats are more affectionate, despite the cliche of cats being all independent. My cat slept with me every night, and was my best friend like a dog is to most people. She died a few weeks ago at the ripe old age of 21. 

The last time I got to see her.
Not the best pic of me, but oh well, fresh out of bed.

So needless to say, I was pretty sad after loosing my kitty that I had for 21 years, and I was ready to get Enya.

We made arrangements last weekend to pick up Enya, and I couldn't be more excited! I have some more pictures of her from when she was a kitten. She was so adorable! 

All pictures of Enya are from the breeders website.

We are stocking up on kitty supplies and preparing for her arrival next sunday. So far we have a litter box, food dish and water bowl, cat toys, scratching post, kitty bed, cat brush, dental toy, cat wipes, pooper scooper and food for her first week with us. Now all we need is some kitty litter and the cat! :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy November!

I survived Halloween without eating too much candy! Hooray! I hope you did the same!

I have been pretty busy the past few weeks writing papers and studying for midterms. I really hope this is my last fall quarter. Unfortunately, I have discovered today that even after the spring quarter, I may have 2  classes I need to take before I graduate. I am not sure how or when I will get these in, but I have a wonderful advisor and professor helping me out! They are the best!

My boyfriend and I also had the joy of watching his mom's dog these past two weeks while they were on vacation. I figure it's best not to mention going on vacation until you are back. Safety first!

Here are a couple of adorable pictures of the little havanese (well, actually he's big for his breed).

Bernie thought these stuffed animals were his toys.
What is that you see? Stuffed animals? They are called squisables. If you know a young one that would love a cute fat furry toy, (or like me you want one for yourself) you can find them here: http://www.squishable.com/

 If you go there today there is a coupon code from their fb page for getting 300,000 likes! (YAY300000FANS) That is the coupon code. 

I know, sorry. He thinks I am a complete dork for wanting to own stuffed animals at 26 yrs. old. My best friend has them too. Therefore, there are at least 2 twenty-somethings in the world who don't think it's crazy to own a stuffed animal at our age. :)

Anyways, enough of childish dorkdom...

It was so nice to have a pet for a while. As I have mentioned before, we are getting a retried Siberian cat soon. How soon, I cannot say yet. We are STILL waiting to hear back from the breeders. They are not great at returning phone calls or e-mails. Sigh. I just want my kitty already! Geesh! lol
I plan to blog about her soon and post pictures. But after this post, I must do my spanish homework.

My days of procrastinating and staying up until midnight every night finishing my homework are over. 
You may be wondering, then why are you blogging right now instead of studying? Well, good quesiton. I had a stressful day after finding out I have two classes that may cause me not to be able to graduate this spring, so I like to write to relieve stress. Sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses, or blog. :) 

I did start a schedule today that literally runs about every 15 min to every half an hour depending on my schedule each day, so that I can start keeping track of how I spend my time. 

I actually made it to my first 8:00a.m. class early for the first time since the first week of school! Yay me! However, I learned that I could get there a little bit earlier than I did today too. 

Hey, learning not to procrastinate and to be on time is a process. One day at a time.

For Halloween, we went to a party that some of his classmates threw. 

I had known for a while that I wanted to be the Black Swan this year, so when I went to Icing at the mall and they had a buy one get one sale on the halloween clothing, I got a black tutu with free black wings, black feather eyelashes and black gloves for free (which I forgot to wear). 

Ta Da! 

My b/f was hoping we could go as a couple thing, but I didn't know what we would be, and that was a really cheap costume! Sorry babe!

So...we put our thinking caps on and tried to come up with something for him that we could do for cheap and preferably with something we already had.

My two ideas.

1.Wrap yourself in toilet paper and go as a mummy.

2. Wrap yourself in tin foil and go as left-overs.

The final verdict?

Black Swan and a Jalapenos burrito
In our little town, we have a knock off Chipotle called Jalapenos. They wrap their burritos up in tin foil and put them in a paper bag. Alas, we have his costume! 

The funny thing is, two days before I went costume shopping with my neighbor so she could pick up some things, and I desperately tried to get him to change his mind and buy a real costume. No luck. He was happy with his choice. (well my idea) And guess what?

By the end of the night, most of his tin foil had fallen off.
Sadly, I did not take a picture sooner! sigh.

He was originally fully wrapped in tin foil. 
Warning: Not a good costume for sitting, or walking. 

That's right. He won the costume contest. Moral of the story? Do what you want, no matter what people say. 

Hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween! What were you? 


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