Friday, December 31, 2010


Writing this post is freaking me out. I think it's a New Year's curse that every goal you set does not happen. Instead of writing resolutions I will post a few "goals". Actually, it be great if I could put a list of goals on the side of my blog so that I can remember to pay attention to them and cross them out. Any tips for that?

So here are my goals in a broad sense

1) Take better care of myself.
 First, I've stopped drinking alcohol. After Christmas I was hungover, caffeinated, and felt like an overweight bag of chemicals. I never want to feel that way again. I want to stop drinking alcohol for at least 9 months because I know one day I will have to do that again. That means until September (to put it in my head) However, it the back of mind I kind of want to stop until my wedding day. We'll see how it goes.

I've limited my caffeine intake. I still drink caffeine but not every morning. I will have a caffeinated drink at a restaurant when the non-caffeinated choices are super sugary or calorie filled. I also will have caffeine on holidays. Tonight I'm going to try the Starbucks "Via" that I got for Christmas.

I'm going to do Julian Micheal's 30 day Shred starting tomorrow. I have other ideas in my head for exercise after that point, but I'll just mention this one for now (so that I don't over commit myself).

Also, I want to get used to waking up early again. This one I will have to start slow on. Once I start working again (asap) I will have to snap into it.

Lastly, track my calories on livestrong as much as possible so that I can eat healthier and lose weight. I'm not putting a number on that right now but I definitely have one in my head.

2) Get into graduate school.
I have 20 days to prepare for my interview starting tomorrow. I'd like to speak to a girl who has already gotten into PA school and ask her a few questions about her interview experience. I want to write myself answers to sample interview questions. Also, I'd like to do a few practice interviews with friends and family and read a book about interviewing.

If I don't get accepted to school, I will initiate plan B immediately and start preparing to apply for nursing school. If I end up an NP rather than a PA I would still be very happy in my career.

3) Keep things clean incrementally.
Instead of "binge" cleaning like I normally do, I want to be a maintenance cleaner. I've succumbed to that fact that I have to do at least a load of laundry every other day in order to keep up on it. It drives me crazy when I do multiple loads in a day.

Every night before bed, I want to make sure my kitchen is clean. If it gets dirtied during the day that is fine but when I wake up in the morning I want to start with a blank slate.

Once a week, I'd like to organize and sort papers lying around our house. I hate junk mail...and papers tend to accumulate very quickly around here.

I want to wash our cars once a month and commit a day to organizing our house (closets, kitchen) once a month.

4) Read at least one book a month.
I used to read nonstop, but I got so busy in post-bac that I didn't make time for it. I have a library that delivers books to my house....there is no excuse for not reading.

5) Set a wedding date and have an engagement party.
Since graduate school is looming B and I haven't picked a wedding date yet. Once we know more which we should be able to set dates for our engagment party, wedding, honeymoon etc.

6) Save money.
I'm going to start working again this year. I hope to work for the agency I worked for before. If I can't I will start pursuing others jobs. This will help B and I take care of the Christmas dent that is currently in our budget.

Sadly, we have to save a LOT of money in order to even think about buying a house right now.  I have to discuss this further with B before I can quantify it.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Year in Review

This entry is a summary of 2010. It's mostly for me to see what I've left behind so that I can move forward. I apologize if the format is kind of boring but it's fun for me to see what I've been up to all year before starting a new year, because time goes by so fast for me.

January 2010-
Started taking Genetics while working full-time. The lab was at UCF and the lecture at VCC. I worked a couple 10 hour days a week (in addition to normal work days) so that I could make time for class and still work 40 hours a week. I worked in the office at that time and used to rush in traffic to get to work after class. B's dad was suffering from seizures from his type 4 brain tumor  so I was spending several late nights in the ER. It was a rough month to say the least.

February 2010-
We got a large tax return and this made me very happy! I pulled a practically all-nighter on Valentine's night working on lab work (for some reason this is becoming a tradition for me every Valentine's night). I had a work-at-home home inspection and waited to start working from home.

B's dad passed away on February 26th. Most of his family was in the room with him showering him with love when he passed (me included). Thank God for that. This date also happens to be my sister's birthday.. isn't that just odd? I only got 2 days off work-1 bereavement day and 1 day I just took off. I didn't get any more bereavement time because B and I were just boyfriend and girlfriend...and I thought that was cruel and unusual.

March 2010-I attended and sang at B's dad's "Life Celebration" (if wasn't a traditional funeral). B gave a sweet speech about his dad. After 11 months of fighting for his health including brain surgery, chemo, radiation, side effects of steroids, losing weight, seizures, losing his hearing and his voice, losing his hair etc. it was good to know that he was no longer suffering. Although this tumor was completely unexpected, I thank God that he didn't suffer for too long. I remember that when we went back home from B's parents' house we had no clean laundry, the house was a mess, there was no food, our batteries in our remote went out...yeah, if this happens to one of my friends I will definitely be there to help them out in the days after.

We had a fun St. Patty's day at O'reilly's with friends and plenty of drinks. I'd be lying if I didn't say drinking wasn't somewhat of a numbing/coping mechanism for us.

April 2010-I started my blog (see First Post)! We remodeled the bathroom (see DIY). I was getting tired of the 10 hour shifts at work at this point. Worked on a group project at school when I could to turn it in by the end of the semester. Do not take a class with a group project when you are working 40 hours a week! Your schedule will most likely not coordinate with the other group members. One Friday after working 9ish hours I drove to UCF and worked with my group for like 6 hours. Then I couldn't find my car and had a policeman drive me around to find it...the things I get myself into! At least my job reimbursed me for this class.

May 2010-I took my final exam and then went back to my old schedule at work (8 hour days, Mon, Tues, Weds, Fri, Sat). On my mom's birthday I took her out to breakfast at a nice place called Keke's where Bakely's used to be. Cute place, delicious, but a bit overpriced for breakfast. We planted a garden this month (which is dead right now...sad face).

I also went canoeing with B at Juniper Springs. OMG...we were not prepared for how narrow and primitive this 7 mile route was. We and our electronics fell out of the canoe like 6 times. We almost killed each other and then realized there was no way out and we'd have to work together to survive. B lost his wallet and a cop ended up coming to our door the next day and giving us the number to a police station that had it. Thank God! Our old camera died and B lost his $100 pair of Oakley's! We learned so much about canoeing in the wild during this trip. Rule #1: Don't bring anything you don't need and anything you do bring, secure in waterproof area. I'm ready for round #2 now....hahaha.

On B's birthday I got him a Coldstone cake and a new, nicer camera!

Also, Lost ended and I cried. I was 19 when I started watching that show.

June 2010-This month was taking advantage of my benefits month. I was so ready to quit at this point but I forged on. I went to an allergist and found out I was allergic to my cats. I started taking shots to expose my body to the allergen incrementally and thus cure my allergy..since we aren't getting rid of my babies. I also went to the dentist. I love going to the dentist! 26 years old and still no cavities

The best part of this month was our week-long vacation to Blue Ridge, Georgia to stay in a cabin. We went white water rafting (amongst other things) but it went a lot better than canoeing! Mostly it was great to relax and have a few brews in such a beautiful atmosphere. I want to go on a vacation like this every year as opposed to just weekend road trips. (See Vacation)

July 2010-I got a .25 cents an hour raise. Um, yay? I started a work-out routine in which I worked out 6 days a week. I trained to start with a new client at work. We also went to Dragonfly on one of the opening nights. My favorite sushi place ever. It was fantastic. (See Foodie Love).

August 2010- My car battery died and I got it replaced for free. Woo-hoo! I know that sounds boring but's the little things, people. I continued to work-out hard but quit after B starting having hip problems...sorry B, but not quiting when you have to quit if it happens again next time. Applied to a ton of other jobs but didn't get a response. On August 21, I worked my last Saturday and finally started working a new, better schedule Monday-Friday, 9-5:30, at home. Sounds good...but the nature of the work was not. At all.

September 2010-We took our friend Alex to a Florida football game and I got burnt to a crisp. Then, our friend Bobby from Maryland randomly came to visit us for a  long weekend (see Epic Football Weekend) and it was an absolute blast.  Also, we painted and organized my office this month.
This was also the month of breaking things. My car broke and we had it fixed for a hefty fee and our laptop broke so we sent it in for a (free) replacement.... warrantys are my favorite.
Lastly, B went to the Florida Tennessee game with his cousin Bill. I didn't get to go and after he left my car broke down, but he had an awesome time! He owes me on this one though. ; )

October 2010-Finally, I had enough of this job and I quit. There are a lot of reasons for this that I can't share but one big one was that I needed more time to focus on applying to graduate school.
One fun weekend we went to a wedding at a country club and then I celebrated my dad's birthday at an awesome seafood restaurant.
B broke his pinky toe by running into the bathroom door frame and I had to take him to the ER. Gosh, I spent at least 3-5 nights in the ER this year. This year I spent more nights in the ER than I have in my entire  life.
I took the GRE for the first time. We'll just call it my practice run...

November 2010-When it got colder out, B and I went camping in our backyard in our new tent. We also made an breakfast for dinner that night. This was a lovely memory.
On the 18, my CASPA (graduate school) applications were mailed!

December 2010-On our anniversary (December 3) we spent the entire day eating around the world at Epcot..and we got engaged (see Engagement)!!!
Urban Meyer quit...sad, but understandable.
I watched the Dexter finale and it was epic as always.
I took the GRE again and improved my score by 100 points. I also got invited to an interview that same day.
I saw my first eclipse.
I went ice skating and fell on my ass getting off the rink and I'm icing my ass right this moment. It's not that bad....I think.

On a scale of 1-10, I give this year a 7. B's dad passing was obviously the most unimaginably awful thing that happened this year. As I mentioned, I spent more nights in the ER than I have in my entire night. As well as a bad canoeing trip, a crappy job, and broken things like cars, laptops, and pinky toes...*cough*...and my ass currently.  However, I got engaged, got invited to a graduate school interview, went on a lovely vacation in the mountains with my love and family, saw my old friend Bobby, went to the new Dragonfly in Orlando, and had fun during football season. Life is a crazy, wild, unbelievable thing.

So, how was your year? 2011 should be just as interesting and hopefully even better than 2010.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Last Call for Christmas Crafts!

This year, B made a gorgeous wreath with supplies from hobby lobby and real pine branches. I hope this becomes a tradition every year.

While he was doing that, I was making these for close friends and family. If you're reading this family, you'll probably be getting one soon!

Here's what's inside:


I love that we're both creative in different ways. It's so much fun! Time to go wake B up and get ready to go to my parent's house. We get to pack a few days of clothes and toiletries and a ton of presents. See you after Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Busy Christmas: Baking and Decor

Aaaaaa! I've been super busy with Christmas-related things. I haven't updated in so long that I have some good news. I retook the GRE and scored 100 points higher on the quantitative and verbal! It took me four out of five minutes to decide whether I wanted to cancel my score. Thank God, I didn't. I hoping I don't have to see that test ever again. Also, I have one interview scheduled so far! I'm very excited but of course, want to be prepared and for it to go well. After Christmas, preparation for the interview is one of the big things on my plate. I'll get to all the things coming in January later though. For now, look how busy I've been baking and decorating:

Snickerdoodles. One of my favorite holiday cookies. My dad loves these cookies even more than I do. Here's the recipe: Snickerdoodle Recipe  Also, I got to use my kitchen-aid mixer. Squee!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies. I've never made these before, but they turned out great. Definitely, adding this one to my recipe book: Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

I also made white chocolate and milk chocolate peppermint bark and sugar cookies.  Good thing these aren't all for me... Julian Michaels is going to kick my tuckus, come January.

Here is the table setting. It's the same as Thanksgiving but with different candles, different swag, and a red linen (can't think of what you call that brain is holiday mush).

Love that the leaves are covered in fake, shimmery snow. I've never had a white Christmas before here in Florida. The only snow I've ever even seen was when I was in Ohio to visit family and it was melting and wet.

The tree with presents. B decorated the tree and did most of the wrapping this year. He's amazing at decorating...I'm not as good but I'm willing to learn and I'm a great motivator...and I bake ; ) Being an artist, he has such a good eye for it. He also likes to put the lights on the tree from the top-down. I find that a little unorthodox but works out well as you can see. Which way do you put the lights on? Do you do from the top-down or from the bottom to the top?

There's no fireplace in our Florida rental so here's where the stockings go. These stocking holders worked out amazingly. B has a snowman with a green scarf but his stocking is red and I have a snow woman with a red scarf but my stocking is green. Didn't even know it would end up like that when we bought the stocking holders!

We always get great Christmas towels from Target every year that we lay out on the counter or hang. Here are some examples. I'd show you more but as you can see my kitchen is still in sugar cookie-making and decorating mode. Sorry for the mess but I have no shame. Also, I'm tired!

On my coffee table I have a glass filled with ornaments and a vase filled with cranberries and cinnamon sticks. I reused the vase from Thanksgiving but I feel it fits both holidays perfectly.

C says now that most of my holiday chores are done, I'll be back soon. Actually, I think B is working on a craft project right now that I'll post about later. Also, I have a fun DIY present to share as well as a surprise for B. That one will have to wait until after Christmas. Happy holidays, bloggers! Enjoy the time with your friends and family and God bless.

Friday, December 10, 2010

After Eight Years of Dating My True Love Gave To Me

Too make you gag at our cutesyness just a little bit more here are some pictures from eight years of dating:

One of our first pictures in his old room (2003).
2004 at Sanibel 

2005 Xmas at B's parents 

2006. Dancin at the club. We were hip!

Went to every gator game with him since Fall 2003. This is in 2006.

It's my birthday (22 years old) and we're going to Dragonfly for sushi. 2006. A good year for pictures.

2007 B's graduation

2008 at a gator game

Could not find a single picture of us from 2009. That's when B's dad was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Beginning of 2010 when B grew his hair out super long

12/03/2010-He proposed!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Disgusting, Fatty, Delicious Food Confessional

With the weather being colder here in Florida I'm beginning to crave warm, comfort foods. My friend Melinda introduced me to a recipe that I simultaneously love and hate. The ingredients are fatty and disgusting and look awful on paper, but once you eat it I swear you will fall in love and won't be able to stop. Don't you dare make this though! You will gain 500 pounds...I'm warning you. But perhaps, say, you need a warm layer of winter fat or you're a starving Ethiopian then go right ahead. It's kind of like a Big Mac...disgusting and delicious. Don't judge me...I swear I've had this only a couple a'few times.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Whipped cream cheese
Canned chicken (yeah...I know..I guess you could shred some chicken breasts but it wouldn't be as disgusting)
Frank's Red Hot Sauce

Apparently, my friend sometimes uses a bottle and a half of the hot sauce. It's not too spicy though. So you mix these ingredients all together in a bowel, spread it in a pan and then bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Dip with tortilla chips and enjoy your 100,000 calorie snack.

Stay hungry, my friends.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A History of Cell Phones

I recently got to thinking about how many different cell phones B and I have had since we got our first ones. B is a little harder to keep up with than I am. He absolutely lives for the next technology that he will buy whether it be phones, TVs, or video games. I went to a high school where the students were pretty well-off and already had cells while in high school. My parents didn't let me have one until right before I started college in 2003.

Behold, my first cell phone:

I loved this classic Nokia brick phone. It was so simple. Butt dialing was prevalent though. The lock function is such a thing of the past.

Next B and I both got Samsung Blasts. I think he got one first and then I decided that it was cool and got the exact same one. It was a pretty awesome slider phone. The only problem is the buttons would stick. As far as I remember, these two phones were the only phones I had until 2009 while I was in post-bac. 2009 was apparently a very bad year for cell phones. This phone I accidentally washed in the washer. I tried using a blow dryer on low and taking out the battery and putting it in a bowel of rice to soak up the water, but the phone was already dead.

I was documenting a day of a life as a post-bac student and hey, there's my trusty cell phone.

My next phone was the Motorola V290. I loved this phone because it had a nice, heavy feel to it and lots of cool extras like a nice camera. It started getting a bit buggy sometimes took forever to dial out. This poor phone. I was in the premed society in post-bac and decided to volunteer for charity event put on by the MS Soceity called a "Mud Run".  My phone slipped out of my pocket while I was adjusting one of these:

Yeah, it was a goner for sure. Sidenote: I would really like to actually participate in one of these mud runs one day, preferably on a warm day, anyone with me on that? So, at that point I decided that enough was enough and purchased cell phone insurance. Since I've been a bad, bad girl with phones and I really only need a simple phone, here is my current phone:

Sony Ericson, metallic green flip phone. This phone is simple but still has a lot of great features. It is starting to have some issues dialing out though. Still going strongish.

Meanwhile B has this phone:

The Nexus One.

I hope to inherit this one day when we have enough money to buy B a new phone...he's not tired of this one yet, but like I said, he's always looking for that next, upgraded piece of technology. Now I will definitely need some good insurance on this phone. Yikes I would cry if I broke this $500 phone.

I enjoyed this fun trip down memory lane...I can't believe I've owned 4 different cell phones

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We're engaged!

Last Friday, for B and I's  8th year dating anniversary we went to Epcot and ate around the world. This is such an "us" thing to do because we're foodie snobs. For breakfast, we ate at The Grand Florian.  B had traditional eggs and sausage while I had a decadent bagel and lox dish. I'm such a rich food lover that I hope I never stop working out. 
Oh Disney, and your Christmas decorations. 
Starting our breakfast with mimosas

B's classic eggs, bacon, sausage, and biscuits

Bagel w/ lox so in love!

Obviously, I'm deeply in love with my breakfast. I was so excited by all the toppings they gave me!

After breakfast, we headed to Epcot and started to walk around the Mexican, French, German place etc. B really wanted us to eat at the Mexican place for dinner since the atmosphere is so romantic but we couldn't get reservations. Poor B was on his Android every few minutes trying to book us. We had plenty of good food though. For a mid-morning snack I had a chocolate eclair from the french pastry place and B had a chocolate croissant. I was worried that the cream in the middle of the eclair would be too rich, but the texture was perfect. It tasted like a light, whipped, chocolate ice cream. I also loved that the middle was cold while the outside dough was hot and chocolaty. Best pastry I've ever had in my entire life.

Ignore my dorky expression, focus on the pastry.

Yum.... croissant.

Before lunch we walked around with our German beer. I figured out that I much prefer the barley taste of the beer as opposed to hoppy beers. Maybe this has something to do with my German background. B is a dark, hoppy beer drinker and I just can't handle it sometimes. Recently he bought the 2010 Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale. Blech. It tastes like you're drinking a bushel of hops. Do they come in bushels?

Ich mag Bier. I hope that means I like beer.

For lunch, we went to a Japanese restaurant. Sadly, my taste in Japanese food was far too snobby for an Epcot restaurant where they were obviously trying to appeal to the American tongue. It was nothing like our favorite place, Dragonfly. I think my expectations were a little too high though. I did however, get to dress up in traditional Japanese clothing. It was so comfortable.

What I had...meeh.

What he had...decent. He didn't eat his veggies though. Just the rice and meat.

I could wear this everyday.

We went on a couple of more rides after lunch. I got the brilliant idea of going on the more intense version of the ride, "Mission to Space".  After all, it's's not like the rides are all that thrilling. On this ride, you get to feel g-forces when they basically spin you around in a giant centrifuge. You aren't supposed to lean your head back or close you eyes because then you realize that you are spinning instead of lifting off. I should have known it was a bad idea when I saw barf bags in the ride. B has a super sensitive stomach. I enjoyed the ride except I have a fear of dark, enclosed spaces. For the first few minutes when they locked you in really tight and close I thought I might panic...I immediately thought that I would never get out of there. I redirected my mind to happy thoughts and made it through. I kept thinking, "This is fun. This is fun!" Although B didn't get sick, he felt sick for the rest of the day : (

Afterwards, we did some shopping. B bought 4 highly magnetic rocks because he is a nerd like that. I got a panda from China (it's sooo cute) and an ornament from the German store. I decided that I will start collecting these German ornaments. They are made from glass and the molds used to create them are ancient. They are called Inge Glas. Here is a picture of one that that is similar to the ornament we bought. 

We got reservations at the French restaurant at 8:45 in the evening so to pass the time we watched the Candlelight Processional which I loved! It made me want to join a choir again. Right before dinner, B was walking around with me by the French garden. He was telling me how much he loved me and how he couldn't live a life without me. He then got on his knee, and proposed!!! He gave me an heirloom ring that we are going to get soon as I actually choose what I want it to look like. Any suggestions on resetting a diamond? So, after eight years of dating, full of ups and downs that we lived through together, I am the happiest woman in the world!

We're engaged!!!!

I'm still waiting to hear back from graduate schools so no dates have been set or any details worked out yet in terms of the wedding. I'm still so excited! By the way, the day before we went to Epcot I finished all four of my supplemental applications! So I should hear back from graduate schools in a month or so. Unfortunately, I am still taking the GRE again on December 15. I'm so sick of it...I really hate standardized tests.

I haven't blogged in awhile and now I feel like I have tons to share...I may just sit here and schedule blog posts for a few hours! I'm so happy that I could document this wonderful day in my blog.