Officially, yet unofficially done with my undergrad!

I can officially say that I have unofficially completed my degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism at Boise State University! It won’t quite be official until Spring of 2013 after I’ve completed my internship in New York, therefore I can’t quite cross it off the ol’ bucketlist. Though it felt amazing to walk out of my last class after completing my last final as an undergrad student. I was so overwhelmed with joy that I even managed to trip down the last few stairs dropping everything that I had in my hands. The guy passing by looked as if he didn’t know whether to stop and help me or pretend as if he didn’t see it happen. I on the other hand was still bursting with excitement and wanted to jump up and give a “superstar!” pose.

Source Shoes of Yolanda

 

I was especially proud of myself for staying reasonably sick free and healthy throughout the duration of dead week and finals week. But alas, the finals flu bug got the best of week and I’ve been laying low the whole week trying to recover, which is ironic because one of my last articles for The Arbiter was “Tis the Season for the Finals Flu Bug”. An article I researched specifically on how to NOT get sick during finals week. I hope I didn’t ruin my credibility as a journalist there! Though I have to admit, I probably could have squeezed a little more sleep in this week but that can be difficult with several deadlines and me being an antsy sleeper when I know I have things to be doing.

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                                  Source Not Just A Housewife

Because I was sick I did a little bit of cooking, a lot of packing and cleaning (still have an abundance to do before leaving!), and found myself catching up on Christmas classics and How I Met Your Mother episodes. One of my favorites is Elf with Will Ferrell. Cracks me up every time I watch it! My family, Luke, and I all ordered our favorite pizza from Flying Pie and sat around with the dogs to watch it together. Lately I’ve found myself becoming more excited about watching movies and shows that are based in New York City and find myself adding more things on my list of things to do and see while living there. My mom repeatedly would say “That’s going to be you Gen!” as Will Ferrell ran around the city jumping between Taxi’s, circling through revolving glass doors, and congratulating the diner on their “World’s Best Coffee”. I’ll try to contain myself but I can’t make any promises!

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I was also able to give a self-esteem workshop to a junior Girl Scout troop this week which was a great way to finish off after rushing around all week. I could definitely tell it was almost break for them as they were full of energy! I needed a little energy boost though and appreciated their eagerness and being submerged into their enthusiasm. I forgot how much I’ve missed working with Girl Scouts this semester. After talking about the importance of goals and sharing with them my dream of working in New York for Women’s Health Magazine, several of the girls shared with me how they had been to New York and were incredibly excited to tell me exactly where I needed to go and that they would come and visit me Smile. They even left me these little notes next to my bag when I got ready to leave. It was the nicest surprise and they will most definitely be packed with me when I move to New York.

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Later that night I also took this picture…can you guess what’s going on here? (I apologize for the fuzzy phone pictures and crazy flash!)

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I took a little relaxation to get my hair done, a much needed treat! And am excited to say I am going back to my blonde roots, YAY! I couldn’t stop grinning my face off when I saw little strands of blonde come out of those foils. Slowly but surely I’ll be making my way back to a little blondie again!

I also went out with my mom on the last day of class to celebrate and find the last minute things I needed before leaving for New York.

We decided to eat lunch at Café de Paris to carbo load before we made our way out into the crazy holiday mall traffic. I got a chicken, apple, and glazed walnut salad and split the Champs Elysees a la Framboise, a hazelnut chocolate mousse pie with raspberries and the  Camille, a white chocolate mousse cake with blackberries. They were to die for.
              

Then it was on to errands! Our list included:

1. Pack sheets, pillows, duvet, and books all in one box and ship to NY. (Check!)
2. Update banking info (Check! I even got my own name written on checks, I feel so grownup now!)
3. Find socks to wear with running shoes since mine look like a mouse has been enjoying them a little too much. Also find warm socks to wear with boots…found an abundance at Target that were inexpensive and cute. Double whammy! (Double check!)
4. Find nice jeans for work (Check!)
5. Finish finding the rest of my Christmas shopping (Half check….darn you mall. I don’t want to see you again after this week!)
6. Replenish toiletries/makeup etc. since I will officially be broke as a joke as of next month. (Check!)
7. Enjoy spending some last quality time with mom before leaving (Check, check, check!)

I took it pretty easy on my workouts this week as I just wanted to get better and figured my body needed a break. But I did want to mention how much I have been loving my new Nike Free Run 3 shoes. (Seriously, loving. I had to control myself from dedicating an entire post just for them. I will do my best to hold back!)

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It can be difficult to find a good running shoe and even a good gym shoe that is durable, affordable, and good quality. For a few years now I’ve been devoted to my Newton running shoes because of how it helps my midfoot strike correctly since I used to run flat footed. Boy was that ever painful and made me the loudest runner (as one of my former co-workers at the gym used to say). I then started using Newton’s Lady Isaac S which helped me with my form and got me from liking running to absolutely loving running. I’ve also used the Gravity Performance and am now using the Distance Performance. They are a little spendy but well worth the cost as they are a great shoe and very durable. I even convinced my best friend to splurge on a pair when she was looking for a new good running shoe.  The only problem I have had is the mesh begins to wear out a bit on the sides more quickly than I would like. But there is still another lining under that so it isn’t a huge issue but still was a concern of mine so I started looking for other shoes to run in which was when I ran across the Nike Free Run 3.

I wouldn’t run in this shoe for a long time, though it is very lightweight, but it’s the perfect gym shoe. It’s very flexible and light but still tight around my foot. And I love that it has a bright red orange lining! Always makes it a little more fun to go workout when you have colorful shoes. The Newton’s tend to have a little raise on the bottom of the shoe to help with your strike while running. I love how it helps me run, but hated having to control my balance with them while I was doing anything involving lunges or jumping. I wish I had found it sooner as I think it would have helped extend the life of my Newton’s and also made my workouts a little better. So now I pack both my Newton Distance Performance and Nike Free Run 3’s in my gym bag so I have a pair of shoes specifically for running and one for the gym. Sounds a little crazy but I can already feel the difference and am hoping I won’t have to buy another pair of shoes for quite some time!
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No workout for you today, but you better believe I’ll have a Christmas workout for you on Tuesday since none of the gyms will be open (as they shouldn’t be!) and I’m one of those people who loves to work up an appetite before Christmas dinner.

Last night was also my farewell dinner and White Elephant gift exchange! I will be posting pictures later today of all the wacky/snazzy gifts that were brought as well as a recipe for a delicious protein breakfast bar for those mornings where you have no time to make something nutritious. They helped get me through the last couple of weeks!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday weekend that is stress free!
What are some of your favorite athletic shoes? Do you think having the right shoe helps keep you motivated and encouraged to keep going back to the gym or get your exercise in?

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Whatever happened to the weekend?

Sitting down to write my blog this Sunday evening has left me scratching my head and wondering where did the weekend go?? I was a little more run down from the busy week I’d had last week and ended up having a very low key weekend to try and recoup for my last week of college. I get giddy just thinking about it Open-mouthed smile.  I pretty much spent the weekend working, finishing up final papers, and even got Luke to sit down and watch the actual White Christmas movie even though we’d just seen the play just last weekend. The movie is such a classic though and it reminded me of how much I used to love sitting down to watch it with my mom growing up. I remember she finally had to hide the movie one year because I wouldn’t stop watching it, even well into the summer time.

During out night in, I also almost skunked Luke in cribbage that night which never happens. Oh what a happy old couple we will be in our old age with our cribbage battles. Just give me my cup of tea, a deck of cards and cribbage board, and allow Luke to win at least one game and we’ll be happy campers.
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I know I promised my Mini Chocolate Pies recipe as well as the Apple Cinnamon Flaxseed Protein Pancake recipe so I’ll be sure to get those in today.

To celebrate the last day of my Advanced Media Studies class my teacher had the entire class do a potluck and bring something in. Being a little anxious and needing something to relieve a little stress, I decided to take a break from writing and studying to make a new tasty treat last week.minichocolatepiespicuse

This is a super easy and quick little treat to make if you have to bring something to a party last minute or even want to include in your cookie exchange packages. I remember when I was growing up, my mom would spend a whole day making a variety of cookies to give to friends and neighbors. My sister and I absolutely loved helping out in whatever way we could whether it was decorating sugar cookies, pouring in the chocolate chips (that was the only ingredient mom would let us help with when we were little), or helping to lick the spoons clean. This would be the perfect addition to those plates of cookies!

Mini Chocolate Pies

cholatepiecollage

Recipe from PinCookie.com 

Ingredients
1 package refrigerated pie crust (If you have time to make your own pie crust that would be the cherry on top!)
Variety of chocolates (kisses work very well. I experimented and used chocolate caramels, mint chocolates, peanut butter chocolates, and regular chocolates)
1 egg white
Truvia to sprinkle on pies
Powder sugar to sprinkle on pies after they’ve cooked

Directions
It doesn’t get easier than this boys and girls
Start by preheating oven to 375.
1. Use a mug or something with roughly a 4-5 inch diameter to cut out parts of the pie dough to wrap around chocolates.
2. Place chocolates in the middle of the circles you just cut out.
step2

3. Fold the dough in half, then half again and pinch the middle. You can use the opposite end of a fork or spoon to help pinch the sides in more to create diamond shapes.

step 1

step3

4. Place mini pies on a baking sheet. Sprinkle a little water in the egg white and lightly brush mixture on top of the pies. Sprinkle with Truvia sugar and place in oven for roughly 12 minutes (or whatever your pie directions require). Make sure to keep an eye on them  though because they will burn easily and the chocolate caramels may explode like mine may or may not have.

step4
5. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Sprinkle powder sugar on them and enjoy!

My favorites were the mint chocolate closely followed by the caramel chocolate, even though they erupted in the oven. And my class absolutely LOVED them. I had a guy stop the presentation to ask who made them because they were delicious and he was not expecting there to be chocolate inside them. Extra credit points???

One of the things that I absolutely love about this protein pancake recipe is that I can make it one morning, put the rest of the mixture in the fridge, and enjoy it for a couple days after as well. Perfect for if you are on the go and want something filling and energizing. Plus the apples and cinnamon give it a warm, cozy feeling and make the kitchen smell amazing which I love around this time of year!

Apple Cinnamon & Flaxseed
Protein Pancakes

applecinnamonflaxrecipe


Ingredients
2 scoops protein powder
1/3 cup whole wheat flower
1/3 cup old fashioned oats (mixed with flaxseed and whole oat groats)
2 egg whites (keep the yolk from one egg)
2 tbsp vanilla greek yogurt
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tbsp agave maple nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 small Fuji apple
Directions

1. Mix eggs, greek yogurt, almond milk, agave maple nectar and vanilla extract in a blender or whisk together.
2. Melt peanut butter and coconut oil together in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds
3. Pour peanut butter and coconut oil into blender and mix with the other liquids you’ve already blended.
4. Mix in remaining ingredients except apple. I like to leave a little bit of the oats out as well so I can add them at the end and mix with the spoon so it gives it a little texture.
5. Dice the apple and mix in with a spoon along with oats if you decided to leave those out.
6. Spray a pan and pour about 1/4 cup of mixture for one pancake. Allow to cook for a few minutes and then flip and allow to cook for another couple of minutes.

This will typically make about 6-8 pancakes. I will eat two for breakfast and put plastic wrap around the leftover. If the mixture is too thick the next morning, add a little water or unsweetened almond milk.

Garnish with apple slices, cinnamon, and a little agave nectar if you would like!

Am I making up for being MIA last week yet? At least your belly is going to be a little happier with me. Tomorrow I’ll share the new phase I’m in for my workouts. They are involving more circuit training, sprints, and plyometric workouts. And they have left me sore everyday this week! I finally had to take today off and did a little hot yoga to relax my muscles (and myself).

Do you have any favorite holiday memories when you were growing up?

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