Dead Week

It’s been a while. Things have been more than a little crazy lately.

Welcome to Dead Week. That final week before exams where summer is within reach, but you have 2934852039485 projects due before you can get there. So close, yet so far away.

At least I finished that beast of research paper. Just 1 paper, 1 group project, 1 presentation and 4 exams to go. Get ready.

The weather was beautiful here this weekend. Which figures, because the weather is only nice when I have a mound of work to keep me inside. I did get outside on Saturday and enjoyed the weather some.

Saturday morning I went for a 5 mile run, it was long and hot but I made it. It was 55 degrees when I started running and 65 when I finished, I was not dressed appropriately for that and sweating up a storm. I feel sorry for the pedestrians I ran past, hopefully I didn’t sweat on them, but I can’t confidently say that I didn’t.

Working on that 10K, it will happen. Soon.

I got sun burnt. Time to buy some sunscreen.

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But only on one arm. With a sweet farmers tan line, and pale elbow crease from where my arm was bent while running. I thought it didn’t look that bad, then I went to the gym in a tank top, I thought wrong. The joys of pasty white skin, you get the most awkward tan lines ever.

Post sun burn, my friend and I drove to Moses Cone so I could take some graduation pictures for her. We took a short walk on one of the trails and then headed for frozen yogurt. Highlight of my weekend. I’m an old lady and always get the tart flavor. Boring, but I don’t care.

Then I spent the rest of the night working on my 20-page paper. Gross.

Sunday was also spent on homework, and not teaching Pilates because no one came. Oh well. Speaking of Pilates, I got my first paycheck today, exciting stuff. Less exciting was that it was for less than $20 but I’m okay with that.

I also went grocery shopping and picked up lots of produce.

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One horribly blurry picture of black beans, kale, avocado and zucchini, green foods are my favorite. Along ones you can microwave.

Speaking of microwaves and dorm food, I only have 10 days left in this dorm and then its goodbye dorm-life forever! To say I’m a little excited about that is an understatement. I’m so excited to have a kitchen and my own room, with a door.

Time to get back to studying.

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Creepy Crawlies.

This afternoon some friends and I went walking on the Price Lake Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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The trail was a 2.3 mile loop around Price Lake. The weather was nice and the lake was really pretty. The wildlife not so much.

It rained quite a bit yesterday so the trail was pretty muddy (Toms might have been a poor shoe choice). Apparently the rain made all the critters wanted to come out to play. We ran into:

A snake. Funnily enough, when we ran into it we were talking about all the crazy animals we’ve run into while hiking (there was a cow incident once). Snakes are a new one. And hopefully not a reoccurring one.

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When you go hiking with a biology major, you will have to stop while she catches tadpoles. And then she’ll make you take a picture of it.

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She was very excited about finally catching one. We found a hidden Mickey too.

There were lots of beaver dams:

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And other beaver evidence

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But no beavers.

 No Biebers either.

It’s probably a good thing we didn’t find and beavers (or Biebers), I’ve heard they’re surprisingly vicious.

Pure terror.

It was a nice little trek through the woods. Minus the snake. It was nice to get out while the weather was nice because it’s been pretty gross all week.

Tomorrow I’m going for a 5 mile run (yikes!), I’m staying positive, I will do it and it will be awesome. I’ve still got my eyes on a 10k in May. Then I’m chaining myself to my laptop and getting some work done. So much to do before the end of next week. Luckily next week is the last week of class! Good thing too, I don’t think I’m going to make it much longer. So ready for summertime! And sleep.

Research Paper Hell.

School is slowly sucking the life out of me. I’m absolutely positive that if a professor assigns me one more project before the end of the semester I will literally explode. And I would feel sorry for who ever has to clean up that mess.

At the moment I’m ignoring everything in life that is not this 20-page research paper I have due on Sunday. Maybe it was assigned at the beginning of the semester and I started it 4 days ago, and maybe it was a supposed to be a group project I was sure I could tackle on my own. But we aren’t going to talk about that.

However I will mention that you should never pick a business you actually like to write a 20 page research paper on. Because it will make you hate them. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to drink a cup of Caribou Coffee again. I’m sad about that, I’m also sad that I can tell you their total assets for this quarter. $143 million if you were wondering, but I’m sure you weren’t. Because I know I wasn’t.

On top of that Mother Nature can’t make up her mind and apparently she wants it to be winter again.

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Snow in April is never something I’ll be okay with.

Now let’s focus on fun things.

Tuesday night I went to an arm balance yoga workshop. It was fun, but made me feel like a weakling. In a good way. My arms hurt, but I left with lots of fun poses to work on.

Extreme hummingbird, here I come. Actually, give me a few years for that one.

I also got some very fun the mail the other day.

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Luna sent me a handwritten card for my birthday, along with a Caramel Nut Brownie Luna Bar. Sweetest company ever. I totally wasn’t expecting it and it made my day. The bar made good paper researching fuel too. Always a bonus.

Time to go chug out a few more pages on this paper. Only 2 more weeks until summer, I can make it. I hope.

4 Buns, 4 Miles

I’m officially registered for

The Sticky Bun Run!

Run 2 miles, eat 4 sticky buns (4 ginormous face-sized sticky buns) and run back.

I’m soooo excited!

Disclaimer: I’m lame and registered in the category where I’m not required to eat all 4 sticky buns, I like to keep my stomach contents, well, in my stomach.

Party Animal.

I am not, but that’s okay.

I spent Friday procrastinating and not writing a 20 page paper I have due next week. I should get on that some time soon. I’ll do it tomorrow.

Saturday morning I ran 3.6 miles, it was glorious. But it was also open house, so I had to play dodge-the-prospective-students on the sidewalks.

Saturday night, we went out for my friend Elizabeth’s birthday dinner. We went to a cozy little place called Galileo’s. The food was good, but it was a little expensive and the portions were kind of skimpy. But I’m a broke college student so if I’m paying for a meal outside of the dining hall I want to be full when I leave. They use locally sourced ingredients, which was awesome and made a huge difference in the taste. I ordered their Black Bean Burger (sans bun) which was topped with salsa and cheese, very tasty but I could have easily eaten two more.

Elizabeth and I did get a free birthday shot, that was fun. It tasted like cake. I don’t know what was in it though, it probably would have been a good idea to ask first.

From there we headed back to my friend’s apartment for a small party.

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There were lots a fun party decorations, including a few handmade gems from my roommate.

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Yes, that’s a box of wine with a straw. Genius.

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 Gluten-free beer decorations!

Speaking a gluten-free beer…

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My roommate bought me some! It actually tasted pretty good, and my stomach didn’t hate me for it.

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And we had strawberry margaritas. I liked the beer better, I’m such a man.

Then I proceeded to eat more gluten-free cake than any single person should. I blame it on my less than filling dinner. Not my fault, except that it is. It was delicious, and rainbow.

Best birthday present ever:

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My roommate bought me 5 lbs of peanut butter. She’s such an enabler. Bonus is now I don’t need to go to the gym because who needs dumbbells when you have 5 lbs of peanut butter to lift?

This morning was spent with a severe sugar hangover (sugar mind you, not alcohol, I wasn’t that big of a party animal) while whining about the weather. It is 35 degrees right now, that is NOT right, there is also snow in the forecast for tomorrow. lamelamelamelamelame. Not cool mother nature, not at all.

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For lunch I ate this beautiful salad. It was much needed. If I ever see a slice of cake again it will be too soon. Actually, that’s totally a lie.

This afternoon I got to help teach my first Pilates class! People actually came, it was beautiful. I was starting to worry I was bad luck. Only problem is there’s only one more class until the end of the year, which is kinda sad.

After Pilates class I had yoga teacher training (our last training class!) which was wonderful as always. I’m sad it’s over, I learned a lot taking those classes. Now I only have an audition class to teach and fingers crossed I get the job!

That brings me to now, where I am still procrastinating and not writing my 20 page paper. Luckily I’m a procrastinating queen, and there’s always tomorrow.

Reasons I Love Yoga (And Why You Should Too)

Yet another post about my newfound obsession with yoga. I can’t help it, yoga is too fantastic not to talk about.

Tonight was another great power yoga class. During class, as my legs were trembling in Chair Pose  and feeling like they were going to give out at any second (does anyone really like Chair? My belief is no), I started to think about all the reasons why I love yoga. Maybe not the most logical evolution of events, but whatever.

Here are all the reasons I love yoga:

  1. That awesome noodle-y feeling – A very intellectual statement, I know. But seriously it is one of my favorite feelings, especially as an over-stressed college student. It’s more than just my limbs feeling like jelly, it’s the overwhelming sense of calm and lightness I feel at the end of every class. Even after a terrible class I still leave feeling better than before I started. Also to me, that Noodle-y feeling is my body saying thank you, specifically “thank you for taking time for me, I might even forgive you thinking a Clif bar counts as lunch, or that 5 hours counts as a full night’s sleep”.

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    Noodles actually look kind of gross (source)

  2. It makes me feel strong– I know a lot of people think yoga is easy, I used to be one of them, but yoga is really challenging and requires a level of strength both mentally and physically that few other things do.

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    Psshhh, I can do that (source)

  3. All the cool Sanskrit names – not a good reason, but how fun are words like Paschimottanasana or Adho Muka Svanasana and Ardha Chandrasana? Maybe I’m just easily amused.
  4. It has mental and benefits as well as physical – yoga is free therapy. Well not quite, but I’m so much more mentally at peace after a yoga practice. The physical aspect is great, but I can incorporate the mental benefits of yoga in life off the mat. Taking a minute to breathe makes all the difference in so many situations.
  5. It makes me uncomfortable– maybe that doesn’t sound like such a good thing but it is. Yoga pushes me out of my comfort zone, and in doing so it makes me so much more confident. When I first started practicing yoga I was freaked out at the thought of people hearing me breathe. A very weird and stupid fear, but now I breath freely.

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    That looks comfy (source)

  6. It makes a neat party trick – oh you mean you don’t bust out side crows at parties? Lame.

Here’s another reason I love yoga:

My cats need to step up their practices, their form is not nearly this good. Not a cat person? Don’t worry, they have yoga dogs too, Google it.

I found this brilliant website while looking for yoga pictures. Star Wars Yoga, I’m a bonafide Star Wars hater (much to my boyfriend’s dismay) but I still got a good laugh out of this website. If I become a yoga teacher I’m totally going to throw a Downward Facing Wookie into one of my classes.

An Almost Big Girl Job.

Today I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Maybe that’s not an appropriate saying for a vegetarian? I’m not really a fan of headless chickens, but I certainly feel like one right now. Case in point, I just tried to make tea with cold water, clearly my brain is gone.

Welcome to that awesome portion of the college semester where everything is due at the same time. You know all those projects you put off all semester, oh yeah those. I don’t want to think about.

Things I do want to think about? I got a paycheck for some freelance design work I did, I feel like a big girl designer now. It wasn’t a big paycheck, or a very involved project, but I don’t care. My bank account is happy.

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Accurate (source)

Actually that piggy bank makes me a little sad. That piggy needs some lovin’.

Speaking of big girl jobs, I finally got an internship last week! Such a huge weight off my shoulders, I’m so excited for the summer to start it, it sounds like it will be a great experience. Bonus, it’s paid. SO EXCITED.

For lunch today I grabbed some black beans and rice from the student union (a lunch time favorite). And the girl working at the cafe gave me the BIGGEST scoop of guacamole to go on top. I’m a fan, the other servers usually skimp on the guacamole. It’s the little things.

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Black beans and rice, so simple yet so delicious. I promise they’re there under all the veggies.

I got a good workout in today. Even when I’m crazy busy and stressed a good workout just makes me feel so much better. Everything just seems more manageable under the influence of exercise endorphins. Plus it’s a good way to blow off steam.

I did a 2 mile run on the treadmill, I attempted some HIIT but I could not catch my breath so I toned it down a little bit, I probably got a little too ambitious with my speeds. Oops. I followed that up with upper weights. My arms still feel like jelly. I’ve been really into lifting lately, it’s a nice change of pace from running (or complement) and I like how strong it makes me feel.

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For day three of the Stretch for Seven Challenge, I made it to a yoga class this evening to get my stretch on. It was much needed, my muscles were tight! Poor things. I’m currently on the fast track to becoming a hard-core yoga addict. I have absolutely no problem with that.

Side note, the noodle-y feeling you get after a really yoga class is my favorite thing. It is impossible to feel stressed when your body is in noodle-mode. Love it.

What do you do to de-stress? Seriously, help a college student out, I need some serious stress management tips right now.

Jennyasana

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Or also I like to call it, kitten pose. I looked down at her and it took me a good two minutes to figure out which body part was which.

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I’m fairly certain she doesn’t have a spine. Jealous.

I’ve been a huge fan of yoga lately. I don’t know if it’s the teacher training I’m doing, my sore muscles calling for a nice stretch or the fact that yoga is awesome (probably all 3) but I have been really into it lately. It makes me feel light and energetic, and really just fantastic all around, so I’ve been trying to incorporate more of it into my day.

I’ve been really loving the Yogajournal.com podcasts. They offer podcasts with a variety of different focuses from sun salutations to inversions to hip openers, they have short classes (most are around 20 minutes) and even a full length 75 minute class, they also have videos available too. Oh, and they’re free. I love free things.

Today I opted for the Twist and Detox video because I put some less than friendly things in my stomach last night and it’s feeling less than 100%. Sorry tummy. I finished the video feeling very refreshed, always a good feeling.

My 20 minute yoga video completes day 2 of the Stretch for Seven Challenge. I think I just like this challenge so much because it gives me a good excuse to do more yoga, I definitely don’t have a problem with that.

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I also attended my usual Tuesday Pilates class, which was awesome as always. My glutes were majorly burning during side kicks today, which I loved because I’m weird.

Time to go finish up some homework before bed, goodnight!

Birthday.

It was a pretty good birthday. Very low key, which I’m more than okay with (but I’ll be partying it up this weekend!).

I started the morning with a 4.25 mile run. It was a hard one but a good one, it felt good to start the day with a good sweat. It was a beautiful morning so I ran outside too, I definitely enjoyed that.

Post-run I got in a good 20 minutes of stretching and foam rolling to workout my poor muscles.

Speaking of stretching, it’s the first day of the Stretch for Seven Challenge! So far I’m off to a good start, I’ve been trying to be really mindful of stretching and it’s felt so good. My muscles are happy campers now!

I ate a delicious lunch at Earth Fare

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Salad with mixed greens, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, alfalfa sprouts, and carrots, kale (cooked with soy sauce I think) and sesame seeds, roasted vegetables and chipotle barbecue tofu. Very tasty.

I browsed some stores downtown.

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I found this hippie yoga store. I love it and I want my future house to look like it.

There may have been a fro-yo run at some point too.

My parents sent me a package today with a cake in it! They also popped a bunch of popcorn in our air popper to use instead of packing peanuts, which are much messier but much tastier. My friend Jessi was also sweet enough to bake me some gluten-free cupcakes. There is so much sugar sitting in my dorm room right now, I’m scared I’m going to get diabetes just sitting here.

I had dinner with a small group of friends at Black Cat, always a favorite. No pictures (again, I’m terrible at this) but I got the “Satay it to Me Softly” burrito, which had tofu, broccoli, carrots, caramelized onions, cheese and rice topped with a thai peanut sauce. It was wonderful, my stomach is going to hate me in the morning though. Thanks gluten. Still worth it.

Speaking of gluten…

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I ordered my first legal drink, it was very tasty, I’m definitely a Magic Hat fan.

I still don’t feel like I should be old enough to buy alcohol, but it’s kinda fun.

It’s My 21st Birthday!

Time to go get drunk. Just kidding. Kind of.