Master’s Program

OMFG! I tried something tonight that absolutely knocked my socks off! Ok… actually, I wasn’t wearing socks. I was finishing up a french manicure, only on my toenails, so I guess that would make it a french pedicure? Anywho, more about the deliciousness in a second.

I have been lukewarm about my fitness and nutrition goals the past week or so. I cut myself a little bit of slack lately because my grandad has been in the hospital, so eating has been on the run, unplanned, and totally not in sync with my normal plans. Add to that that I have had strep throat the past couple of days, and it really only compounds the problem. I really haven’t been beating myself up over it, though, because I’ve got bigger things on my mind. We found out this past week that his lung cancer has spread to his stomach, his blood, and his lymph nodes, and he has been wheezing and rattling when he breathes. He went into the hospital because he couldn’t keep any food down, and came out with all of these other diagnoses. Sigh.

Anyway, I am now trying to get back on track, and have decided that to do this, I am going to have to find a goal to commit to in the short term- a definable endpoint where I can check it off of a list. For this reason, I have decided to return to running, but only do it outdoors, limit myself to 3 days a week (so that I save time for some other, “fun” exercise), and to run a 5K race in September. The Susan Komen Race for the Cure is in September, and it’s a cause that is very close to my heart, so I think that it would give me some good motivation.

I will begin running on Monday. I am going ahead and setting tomorrow as an off day, because I know that I won’t do anything. I will be celebrating tomorrow. Because as of 5:00 tomorrow, I am officially finished with my Master’s degree!!!! I have every intention of doing nothing constructive from 5:00 until the end of the day. Hey, a girl’s gotta celebrate a major accomplishment like that! Of course, graduation isn’t until May, but I will be finished with the class tomorrow. So that means double celebration, right? One now, and one then?

Eh… anyway, on Monday I will be starting to run again with a goal clearly in sight for September. Along with that, I will be returning to my more nutritious foods as of tomorrow morning. Green Monster, here I come. I did try to have one the other day, but my throat was just too sore, so I drank about 8 oz. or so, and then poured the rest out. But I have a fresh bag of spinach, a very ripe banana, and some almond butter and almond milk just calling my name, so tomorrow, it’s back to business as usual.

What I have found very soothing the past few days, in light of the sore throat, are hot teas. I used to drink hot tea like crazy. Mom always loved them, so from the time I was 15 or so, there was always herbal tea in the house, and I became something of an addict. I’m not sure why I quit drinking them so much, but I hadn’t had any hot tea in a couple of years. With the sore throat, though, nothing sounded better. I have thoroughly enjoyed some apple chai from Starbucks (which you usually couldn’t pay me to go to, but this is the one thing they have that I love) and some hot Stash green tea.

But my new love (and I’m very sad that I only have one more teabag of it) is Tazo Passion tea. OMFG it’s so good! I wanted to try something different, but didn’t know what, so I bought a variety sampler of Tazo teas the other day, and the passion flavor was the first one I tried. I absolutely fell in love with it. I haven’t tried any of the other flavors yet, but I hope they’re all as good as that one was! I will definitely have to remember to jot down which are my favorites, and this one will definitely be on the list!

So, I know this was a pretty lengthy post, but I haven’t updated for days and needed to just get a couple of thoughts out. Besides, it’s not like anyone is reading!

Most likely, the next couple of posts will be much less upbeat, since even though there is a lot of good stuff going on, I also have a lot going on with my grandad, and it’s not looking good with him right now.


The irony- there’s been no snow. I am incredibly relieved. As of 5:00 tonight, I have 2 assignments and one class left and then my Master’s degree will officially be finished. I turned in my Robotics course work tonight, and am looking forward to a little bit of work for my work (haha… teaching) and then a lot of relaxing tomorrow night. I’m so excited. It’ll be my first little taste of free time since 2 months ago when I decided that I would double up on my course work to finish faster. What was I thinking?!!!!!

Anyway, I have been celebrating tonight by doing some online window shopping. I hate our rug in the living room, so I’m looking at rugs online. So far, this is my favorite. I think it would go well with our new furniture, and I love the green in it. rug

I have also been celebrating losing 15 lbs!!!! That’s a major milestone for me, because it’s the first time I’ve successfully lost more than 10 lbs without doing something very unhealthy. Instead, I have done quite the opposite. I have done nothing but eat healthy. I have quit eating crap (for the most part) and started eating, and even craving veggies. I want my spinach, and if I don’t have my morning spinach smoothie, I feel like something’s missing all day long. I’ve not worked out but once (that’s my goal to start on next month) but have just made changes in my diet.  I ordered the book Skinny Bitch and it came in this past week. Despite the past that I was incredibly stressed out and had far too much on my plate, I couldn’t wait to open it because I’ve heard good things about it. My official opinion- I could do without the attitude, but the information in it was great. I have been making some changes, and slowly had been cutting out many of the foods that the book is so down on, but it honestly hadn’t occurred to me that maybe I could/should become vegan. One quote in particular stood out to me:

Cows’ milk, by design, grows a 90-pound calf into a 2,000-pound cow over the course of 2 years. It allows calves to double their birth weight in forty-seven days and leaves their four stomachs feeling full. Sounds even more fattening than human milk, right? It is. It should be. Cows are bigger than humans.

I’ve been cutting back, drastically, on cheese and milk, but hadn’t really realized how much so, and I had never thought about it too seriously. And I’m still not committed to it, but I’m definitely cutting it back even more than I had been. The past couple of times I have eaten cereal, I have used my almond milk instead of using cow’s milk.  I expected to hate it, but it was actually better. Then, I went to the Kroger on my way home from work Thursday afternoon, and they had my almond milk on sale for a whole dollar off. SCORE! I bought 6 boxes! I love a good deal.

Tomorrow, I plan to get back to posting my meals. I just plain haven’t had time lately. I even have several pictures that I had taken that are still in my camera and haven’t made it onto my computer yet. Le sigh.

This past couple of weeks has been insane. I have been working on my Master’s degree on the weekends once a month, but this past 2 months, I have doubled up, so I have taken a class every other weekend. That would be fine, except that the classes have made it impossible for me to stay as caught up on work as I need to be, much less have any time for myself. I have so much homework that I haven’t finished yet, and I stayed at work until 7:00 tonight and still wasn’t finished there. I think I’m just going to plan on spending a good chunk of time down there on Saturday to get back to where I need to be. I can’t stand feeling like I’m behind!

I made an attempt at working out one night last week, but when I say I haven’t had any time for what I want to do, I really mean any time at all, so going more than once was literally impossible. I really haven’t seen my husband in 2 weeks, even!

So I know that my blogging is behind. I’m going to attempt to get it all caught up at once, and then stay caught up from that point forward.


  • The new bird, Mango, has settled in nicely.
  • I have been mostly good with my eating, with only a couple of exceptions- last night being one. We went out for dinner and I got a salad and baked potato with butter and cheese, which I really probably could have done without.
  • My biggest achievement this week: cutting out koolaids/etc…. I have gone to plain old water, and am feeling great!

I’m sure I have a ton to say, but I honestly am exhausted! I am off to bed (and yes, it is only 8:30!)

Today’s class was very frustrating. I’m at the end of my masters program, but since I missed a class at the beginning, I have to go back and take it now so that I can graduate on time. The problem is that it is an intro class, and I don’t need an intro, since I’m taking it at the end of the program, so I spend most of the time that I’m down there just killing time. The other part that is frustrating is that I have to drive an hour to get to class.

Tomorrow, there’s a possibility of snow keeping us from going to class, and this is one of the only times I would say this, but I would rather make the hour drive there and the hour drive back than do the make up assignments. Please don’t snow!!!

Tonight’s dinner hit the spot. It was nothing fancy, but it was just what I was craving. I made seashell pasta with spinach, olives, and marinara sauce. Pictures below:



I also tried out a new sauce


I have read mixed reviews about it, but honestly, I liked it. From what I’ve read, it seems to be a love it or hate it product. I really enjoyed it, and will most likely be buying it again. In fact, the whole pasta was delicious and I will be making it again when I’m just in a hurry.

I know it’s not a  gourmet meal, but the truth is, I’m still learning to cook, and so for me, this was new. Usually I make spaghetti noodles and sauce, so adding cooked veggies of any kind to it was a new experience. I should do it more often!