Happy and Healthy Halloween

Tomorrow is Halloween, and so all the candy is out and the kids are getting excited to go trick-or-treating. I won’t lie, I like having extra good treats around the house during this time, but it is just so hard to find something that tastes good AND is good for you!

Starbucks has been promoting their “Frankenstein Frappucino,” which I know little-to-nothing about, other than some friends saying they don’t understand what is happening. I’m all for new tastes and holiday promotions, but I didn’t want to dish out $5.00+ to try something that I might not like, plus all those extra calories and grams of sugar… (THE HORROR).

In a post-workout health daze, I decided to make myself a little smoothie. I just picked up some protein powder with extras at Walgreens, and figured I’d throw some in (might as well push that workout as far as I can) and it turned out to be one of my better ideas.

I give you, the Frankenstein Smoothie:
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Frankenstein because it has a little bit of purple and green in there, and smoothie, well, for obvious reasons (I would hope). It has the healthy stuff I need to not feel like I’ve undone my workout, but also tastes like I am totally cheating. Yes, it’s THAT GOOD.

So here’s what you need, if you wish to try it:

- berries (of any kind, I used frozen mixed berries – raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries)
– yogurt (I used strawberry Yoplait)
– A handful of greens, like the spinach I used
– 2 pieces of ice
– milk
– 2 scoops of protein powder (I used Nature’s Bounty Complete Protein and Vitamin Shake Mix)

I put all the ingredients into a NutriBullet and blended on high for about 1 minute. I had to shift things around because I may have filled it too high (whoops) but it worked out well in the end.

You will not be disappointed. And if you are, please share your feedback with me – maybe we can try new things together!

Happy Halloween, and remember, you don’t always have to feel like there is no healthy(ish) alternative.

Back in Business..

It’s been quite a while since my last post, which I’m not too happy about … but we all have busy lives and can understand when our wishes go awry from what we actually are able to do. In the time since my last post, I’ve finished my summer class – earning my bachelor’s degree and teacher’s certificate, finished one full-time summer job, found two part-time “real” jobs, and moved my boyfriend out to grad school halfway across the country. It’s been a busy summer. And just like that, it’s over.

 

In finishing my summer class and receiving my diploma in the mail (still waiting on that one…), I’ve come to realize that this is the first time in about 16 years that I won’t be a student. What a strange concept that is. Fortunately for me, I will still have the ability to go to school, I’ll just be on the teaching side of it: a whole new adventure! I’ll be sure to keep this updated with life as a substitute teacher.

Well, there’s my first part-time job – substitute teacher in my home district. I get to sub for the teachers I had growing up – such an awesome opportunity, so glad that it is mine. The other part-time job I have is tutoring for the ACT/SAT at a local center. One-on-one time with a student who is wanting to change his or her score on the very important college-level tests (or the parent is interested in doing so) and really working to gain confidence in not only testing ability, but also in the individual overall. I’ve only officially tutored three times thus far, but I am already 100% happy with my decision on the job. A 1:1 ratio of student to teacher is something that not many students have access to, and I can’t believe that I can already see a difference in those I’ve seen myself, as well as for those I had been observing before officially becoming a tutor. Helping students is all I’ve ever wanted to do, and getting paid for it is just the cherry on top!

 

Last but not least, the more personal side of the summer has come and gone. I moved my boyfriend out halfway across the country this past weekend to help him begin to fulfill his dream and continue his education. We’d been long distance for quite some time before this happened, but now we’re even farther apart. It’s tough, but we can get through this. That’s what we keep telling each other. I’ m not sure where to draw the line with my personal life on this blog, but sometimes, you just need to talk it out. And sometimes, strangers can offer the best advice, so please, FEEL FREE.

 

Well, I’m going to try my hardest to keep up with this blog … (that’s why I made it!) and to just keep on truckin’. Let me know if you have any advice for long distance relationships, subbing tips, and new hobbies I can get myself into.

 

So long for now.

 

 

Being an adult means…

Being an adult means cleaning your room, getting matching furniture, having a viable workplace, and hanging things on your walls. Among other things, of course.

I accomplished all four of those checklist items yesterday. Which is crazy, for me.

I moved into my house when I was 10 years old, and had the opportunity to paint my room whatever color I wished – I chose bright, lime green. I was 10, give me a break. I’m 22 now, and home “for good.” So of course, I decided that I needed a little redecorating to push me into post-grad, “real” adult life.

My room is now a light gray color, with black accent furniture. And I couldn’t be more in love. It’s calming, it’s structured, and it makes happy to walk into it after a day at work (which is nannying, so not quite adult work just yet — I’ll keep you posted!). I didn’t want to spend too much money re-doing my room, especially since I have those fun things called student loans to deal with and then there are other bills to pay and I like to eat, so I have to save my money. My mom helped me repaint my room, and she even spray-painted my old furniture (a dresser and a bookshelf) black so I wouldn’t have to do it. It’s uniform, and it’s chic. So I love it.

I’ve been in the market for a desk for about half a year now, ever since I moved back home to start student teaching, and I HATED my old clunky brown wood scavenged desk. It was an eye sore, so we gave it away. And yesterday, I finally found the desk I wanted. Black, minimalist, with just enough room for my laptop, my desk lamp, a calendar, and some odds and ends to tie it all together. And I found it at Walmart. I had to put it all together, which took me finding a hammer and screwdriver (which I’m sort of ashamed to say I had to ask where to find those — okay, my dad’s toolkit is super un-organized), and a few hours of manual labor, and a few cuts/scratches on myself — but I did it! And I’m probably more proud of myself than I should be about it. But I bought it with my own money and I put it together by myself, and that’s what being an adult means, right? Doing things for yourself?

My workspace

And then there is the hanging things on your walls. Well, I have become slightly obsessed with the new statement necklace trend (which could be a whole blog post on its own), but I hadn’t been able to find a place to put them. After having to go to Walmart twice in one day yesterday (kind of long story there..) I found bathroom hooks that are much cuter than regular command hooks, and stick my necklaces up there on the wall. Functional, and colorful, so that’s art, right?

Functional & colorful. What more could you want?

I’m totally vibing on having a clean, organized room, and a new workplace so I don’t have to sit on my bed with my laptop desk to do my homework (online course to finish out my degree — again, kind of a long story) — but sitting on my bed to do my homework inevitably ends with me falling asleep on my bed, something that occurred time and time again both at school and at home. I needed a desk, and I made sure I got the one I wanted. In the words of Mickey D’s: I’m lovin’ it.

 

I don’t know how she does it..

I am terribly indecisive when it comes to movies, things to do, and places to eat. The movies part comes as a problem because I have access to Netflix. I can never decide what to watch.

Last night, between not wanting to go to bed and not caring for another episode of The Office, I picked I Don’t Know How She Does It. And I’m glad I did.

My first and only other blog post was on the book Lean In. Sandberg actually talks about this movie as an example of what she has written. Had I watched the movie before I read the book, I might have noticed some things, but having read the book, it was chick full of similarities.

Although some parts are fairly cheesy and Hollywood-esque, it does show a good amount of what a woman in a high power career (who is a mother as well) goes through on a daily basis, as well as when that career gets picked up even higher. I just kept catching tidbits of what Sandberg brought up, and I couldn’t be more happy that I have both read her book, and finally watched this movie.

I would recommend both the book and the movie, or either or for those who have a thing for one or the other.

I don’t know if my next post will be on similar topics, but these are where the ideas are coming from.

Stay in touch as I attempt to expand my horizons.

We all have to Lean in..

I’m a reader. I love reading. My favorite author will always be J.K. Rowling and my favorite books will always be the Harry Potter series. I am a child at heart.

 

But today, I finished Lean In: Women, Work and The Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg. It’s not a hard read, but it is a good one. Critics claim it is “a landmark manifesto … addressing twenty-first century issues that never entered Betty Friedan’s wildest dreams … and it will encourage women to persevere in their professional lives” (Janet Maslin, New York Times). It is a “rallying cry to working women” says Meeta Agrawal (Entertainment Weekly). I agree, this is an important read. But it shouldn’t be geared for only young women and those in/out of the workforce. I believe that this book should be read by both male and female students, in high school, because the earlier you know you have the chance to pave the way for change, the better. 

I am not a working mother. I am not a mother at all. In fact, I do not plan on becoming a mother for a long time, if at all. I recently graduated from college, and am currently living at home under my mother and father’s roof. I am currently employed, as a nanny, so I have a little background in the way of caring for children and making decisions. I read this book as a suggestion from my boyfriend, who bought it for his sister. His sister is a working mother. I am sure that she will have a differing opinion after finishing this book, but how different is the question. I read this book on his suggestion, and I am very glad I did. 

 

The entire book is insightful, encouraging, and actually interesting to read (I say this because, as an avid reader, even I sometimes see difficulty in reading outside of the YA section). Toward the end of the book, Sandberg recognizes double standards in the workplace, these frustrations that working women hold when their female superior does not give them the time or the warmth that is expected of them, simply because she is a female. The thing is, double standards do not start in the workplace, they start much earlier than that. In order to make change a success, these changes must start at a much earlier time. 

Also toward the end of the book, Sandberg writes about how women have the ability to put down other women in the workplace (whether it be at the home, or in the office) because women target and judge other women, when in a perfect world women would be applauding other women’s choices. This is something that starts at a very young age, where girls are fighting each other instead of encouraging and promoting one another. This does not mean we all have to be friends, and hold hands and sing kumbaya around the campfire. This means that we need to stop putting each other down just because we can. That will not help us in the long run. We need to teach our children this — social skills that will help far beyond the classroom walls, more so than examining the reason the author chose to describe his room as blue instead of read, and more so than memorizing the dates of each battle of the Civil War.

This book could aid teachers in encouraging young female and male students that in order to benefit as a whole, we must stick up for each other. 

I went to school because I wanted to be a high school history teacher. At the University of Illinois, where the Business and Engineering Schools are known worldwide, questions like “why history? don’t you want to get a job?” are common. There are many jokes about students studying for an LAS degree, and a handful are actually funny. Lean In is definitely centered on corporate America, and even more specifically, the technology hub, but after reading it, this is one book that will be recommended to all those I come into contact with, male or female. As Sandberg points out, equality is not attainable unless men and women both work for it. This is a book that, if I ever end up having children, they will read it before they go off to high school. Because with knowledge comes opportunity.