Monthly Archives: March 2014

naples

the view of the Gulf from my grandmother's balcony

the view of the Gulf from my grandmother’s balcony

Last week I spent my spring break down in Naples, Florida with Julia and The Boy. Simply put, it was an absolutely magical week. The weather reached 80 degrees nearly every day and the colors of the ocean and sky were more vibrant than anything I have seen in months. It’s tough to be back in rainy Schenectady when this is what our schedule looked like on a typical day:

10am – Wake up and have a delicious breakfast on the balcony with the bay to our left and the Gulf to our right

11am – Head down to the beach and walk along the shore finding magnificent shells

12pm – Read in the sun while working on our tans

2pm – Go back to the house for a quick bite to eat and get a little break from the rays

3pm – Lounge by the pool diving into more chapters

6pm – Shower off the sand and salt and get gussied up!

7pm – Have a delicious dinner that makes for hours of awesome conversation

9pm – Watch some TV/read while reclining on the world’s most comfortable couch

11pm – Hit the hay dreaming about another awesome day!

I’ve been on plenty of fantastic vacations over the last four years while in college, but this on was by far the fastest. It’s frightening because today is the first day of my last trimester of college. In just 10 short weeks I will be graduated and I know the term is going to disappear in a heartbeat. Follow me the whole time and wish me luck!

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enjoying a delicious dinner

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always need to make time for lilly!

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both Julia and The Boy found twins!

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goofballs being abducted…

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a lovely sunset

beach time

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Tomorrow I will be flying down south to visit my grandmother in Naples, Florida. I’ve been there before when my family and I took a vacation to Marco Island before my grandmother moved to Florida, but I only remember it as the place with the really expensive shops and where we saw dolphins at the end of a dock. Needless to say, I’m psyched to go back and be spending more than just a day in the sun and sand. The best part? The Boy and my twin sister will be coming along as well! I can’t wait for a week of warm weather and warm memories 🙂

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beach time

quinoa stir-fry

quinoa stir fry

Guys, I can’t wait to share about my lunch from yesterday with you all! After completing my very last final of winter term I was absolutely starving. I was tempted to just inhale a bagel from the dining hall, but I decided to restrain myself and instead let my creative culinary juices flow (ok, I did have some potato salad while I was at the dining hall, so sue me!). I picked up some fresh veggies from the salad bar and headed back to my house. I grabbed the leftover uncooked quinoa from when I made this and got to work. The result? An easy, healthy, and totally I’ll-never-eat-dining-hall-food-again delicious lunch that I am still dreaming about.

Ingredients:

– 1 cup quinoa

– 2 cups broccoli, red and green bell peppers, and mushrooms

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– 1/2 cup Kikkoman Stir-Fry sauce

Directions:

Combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, set at a simmer and cover. While quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in skillet. Add vegetables and stir-fry for about 3 minutes or until slightly browned in some places. Continue to check on quinoa, stirring occasionally. Return to vegetables. Add stir-fry sauce and mix well for about another minute. Remove skillet from heat. Quinoa should be just about ready now. Stir and make sure that there is no more water on the bottom of the pot — it should all be absorbed by the grains. Once the quinoa is ready, remove from  pot and scoop into large mixing bowl. Add vegetables to bowl and combine with quinoa. Serve and enjoy!!

 

This was such a delicious lunch and I had such a great time making it (you should have smelled the house!). I could imagine adding grilled chicken or even some scrambled eggs to the mixture for an extra punch of added protein, but this simple meal was satisfying just the way it was! Please let me know if you try this recipe yourself, or if you come up with any creative twists on a scrumptious classic! And, as always, enjoy!!

cookies & cream

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I’m always down for a delicious recipe and if it includes chocolate? Then definitely count me in! The other day I was scrolling through Pinterest and stumbled upon this amazing cookies & cream frozen hot chocolate recipe. Perfect hot chocolate twist for the spring time (yes, my fingers are still crossed for this warmer weather that will be here any day now)? YES and YUM! Can’t wait to try it out, plus it fulfills two of my college student recipe requirements: cheap and easy!

thesis, check!

thesis, check!

Today I completed my senior thesis. It was seven months of long, hard work, but it is finally done! Finished! Kaput! Done-zo! OVER! I honestly had a really wonderful time working on my thesis (my advisor was absolutely awesome and I really loved the project that I was doing), but it is nice to finally put an end to that chapter… literally! This weekend I’m looking forward to relaxing with friends, reading for fun, catching up on Netflix, treating myself to some boba (of course!), and maybe spendingatonofmoneycauseishouldtreatmyself?!? No, I will show some restraint, but I am definitely, definitely looking forward to becoming a total senioritis-stricken vegetable this spring!!

Who else can check their senior thesis off of their life-long to-do list

(and is celebrating this weekend)?

k&co new men’s shorts!

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Remember our favorite Krass & Co.? Well, the brand is completely re-vamping things for spring and has come out with an entirely new line of men’s shorts. You MUST check them out! Perfect for the warmer weather and just in time for spring break!!!

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And for all of you ladies, don’t fret!! Check back on Wednesday, 3/19 for some surprises of your own!

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And, as always, don’t forget to use the code “Usave” at check-out for 20% off of any purchase!

#100HappyDays

happy

This past Saturday I began a very interesting personal challenge: #100HappyDays. Simply put, the challenge asks you, “Can you be happy for 100 days in a row?” And with exactly 100 days left until I graduate college (don’t even get me started…) I decided that I want to take extra care to appreciate each and every moment and really make the most out of these next three months.

The challenge is simple enough: for 100 days in a row you are supposed to share something that makes you happy on some kind of social media platform. I’ve decided to go with Instagram because I definitely think a picture is worth a thousand words (#100,000HappyWords, anyone?). The challenge says that after 100 days of recognizing all of the wonderful things around you, people are often in a better mood, receive more compliments from other people, realize how lucky they are to have the life they have, become more optimistic, and even fall in love!

The craziest part? Most people say they won’t do the challenge because they’re “too busy.” Too busy for happiness?! Not me, and certainly not you! Sign up for the challenge with me here and follow my progress on Instagram!