Monthly Archives: May 2012

first week of summer school done!

Just made it through my first full week of summer class. I can’t say that being in class (and just one class) for 5 hours a day is awesome, but so far it’s been much more enjoyable than the 3 hour classes I had last semester. It’s a Public Health Nutrition Management course, and so far we’ve been talking about social issues related to health and the role of the public health system.  I was going to write a post of the effect of community and social support on health, but I don’t really have the time for that right now. I need to pack and get ready for my fun weekend!

But to back up to this afternoon – I did all my errands on foot this afternoon (have I mentioned how much I LOVE living in a place where I can walk everywhere??). I walked to Whole Foods for lunch (thanks again parents for the gift card!) and then to the gym for a comprehensive workout sans my trainer, then to the mall and library to pick up some guidebooks for an upcoming trip to our nation’s capitol:


Really weird thing happened both at the gym and walking home afterwards: I got some cramping/twinging in my toes and calves. I’m not sure why this is; I rarely get any type of muscle cramp, but when I attempted to jog on the treadmill, it was like there were aliens in my legs pinching certain muscles to cramp up, and was not pleasant. Reminded me of the last 1/2 mile of the Country Music Half-Marathon in Nashville, where I attempted to run my fastest to the finish line, only to be stopped by terrible calf cramping. What the heck? It wasn’t low electrolytes due to fasting or sweating, and the only thing I can think of was my just eating a decadent lunch at whole foods? Oh well… I cannot resist their pesto portabella pizza slices when I walk past Smile

So now I am off to pack and get ready for a fun weekend with Matt. Hope you all enjoy your weekend – make it a good one!


Time for summer school!

Good morning readers.

I am sitting at my desk with my new fancy laptop (still loving it) and a tall glass of iced coffee. Today is my first day of summer class – ever! I never took summer classes during my undergrad career, but am taking full advantage of all learning opportunities while here at UNC for my masters. For the next 11 weeks, I will be full-time during the week, between my one summer class (Public Health Nutrition) and a summer internship at a local non-profit.

Harley is staying at the farm with my mom for the next month or so, so that I don’t have to worry about leaving him for such long hours during the day. I know he’d be fine (after all, I had him at the farm while working full-time at the hospital), but this way he gets some grandma bonding and canine social interaction. From what I hear, he’s spending 90% of his days on a bed/couch. Oh, and he’s gained 5 lbs with the summer heat and needs to lose a little weight. Poor Harley…

Speaking of the farm, that’s where I escaped to last week to see my mom for Mother’s Day. We had a great time together – lots of thrifting (that’s what we do best), fun meals, daily naptime, and caught up on season finales for Big Bang and New Girl. A nice way to relax before my busy summer begins!

It’s also interesting to note how my morning routine doesn’t take much time without a dog… I didn’t realize how much time I’m saving by not having to feed/medicate/walk Harley each morning. I guess I can sleep later! My bus doesn’t come for 45 more minutes… so more time to read blogs and peruse pinterest Smile

Have a great day everyone!

fun times this weekend

Starting Saturday morning at the Carrboro’s Farmers Market
So, 5 miles from my apartment is one of the top 10 farmers markets in the country. And yet, I had never been. So this weekend I promised myself that I would go.

Carrboro is such a fun little town with a great community spirit. There were so families at the market, all enjoying the produce, plants/flowers, bakery products, and locally made goods. I may have treated myself to a Sweet Potato Maple doughnut for my breakfast (along with iced coffee which I proceeded to spill all over my car’s interior…) as well as picking up some delicious produce and a little basil plant for my balcony. It’s hard to believe that I paid someone a premium for homegrown zucchini – for the past 2 years I have grown so much zucchini that I would give it away to anyone I could!

Picking fresh strawberries
Matt and I headed to a local farm here in Chapel Hill to pick strawberries. In 30 minutes, we had picked 4 lbs of gloriously ripe and delicious strawberries – for only $6! So much better than the 99cent Aldi strawberries I had picked up last week, yet cheaper than the ones I saw earlier at the farmers market.

Some homemade whipped cream complimented them for a perfect summer dessert!

Getting $60 of free food for dinner with friends

We introduced some friends of ours to Groupon this weekend, with a wonderful deal at a Durham-area pizza place. Fried zucchini sticks, veggie pizza, and cheesecake made a filling and delicious meal Smile

Almost buying a road bike



Living in Chapel Hill, (and dating an avid cyclist), I have been thinking about getting a bike. It would make an easy 3 mile ride to campus, as well as enjoyable for all the local trails in my area. So today, we went bike shopping. I always pictured myself buying a nice, colorful and cushy cruiser. It certainly would be comfortable, but apparently not efficient, speedy, or easy for any type of hill. Not to mention it weighs a ton and would NOT be practical for having to carry to my upstairs apartment or in/on a car. The above pictured bike is a nice carbon/aluminum $1000 road bike that was on sale for $599 which I almost bought today. Until I test-rode it and found that I preferred a different bike. Matt fell in love with a $1200 road bike, also marked half-price (to clear out the 2011 models) which I predict he will buy this week. For now, I’m looking at a Trek hybrid bike instead (like this one), which seems to suit my needs a little better. I’ll be sure to show you what I end up purchasing!

Enjoying the wonders of Netflix
In the past week or so, I have been enjoying Netflix documentaries, both of which I highly recommend.


I had no idea what went into the Muppeteers’ work! A great story of hard work and perseverance


Can’t say this taught me anything new, but certainly reinforced and reminded me about my eating choices

Tonight, I introduced Matt to “Faulty Towers”. We watched The Germans episode, which is my favorite. How can you beat the talking moose, fire drill, and german scenes!?


And tomorrow is Monday, a new week. I don’t have too much going on in the next few days – some babysitting, a haircut, and school menu work. Wednesday morning, Harley and I are heading to the farm for a few days with my Mom and her pack of dogs Smile

summertime thoughts

Today officially feels like summer
I turned in my last final exam yesterday, so I am done with spring semester! (2 semesters of grad school under my belt, 3 to go).  I now have a 10 day break before summer class/internship starts, so my days are officially filled with ‘break-like activities’ such as:

  • making iced coffee every morning
  • working on my side projects as my only projects (= school menu proofs, mostly so my bank account doesn’t dry up completely)
  • planning crafting projects and cooking ideas from pinterest
  • getting excited about my memorial day trip to DC with Matt! Smithsonian here we come! Smile

My new laptop is wonderful

I picked up my HP dm4 laptop today at Staples ($500 was an amazing deal!) and am loving it so far. My previous laptops (2004 Dell for college, 2008 Dell for after-college) always seemed to come with lots of extraneous materials like random CDs and instruction booklets. This time, I opened the HP box, pulled out a laptop, battery, cord, and a single sheet of “how to set up your computer”. That was it. Wow. I guess they assume you can get everything you need online now. Nice and minimalistic.

Anyway, so far the dm4 is working great. Nice and fast, great audio, a really cool fingerprint scanner that I am already loving instead of typing in passwords to websites all the time, and an excellent-sounding keyboard. I have always been a sucker for the good sound of keys. Ask my mother. I used to collect old typewriters, keyboards or adding machines as a child, just to type on them and listen to the sound. That’s also my favorite part of the movie “You’ve Got Mail” – listening to Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan typing on their 1990s computers to each other 🙂

Now I just need to work on setting up folders, and getting microsoft office (a great perk of still being in school – free software!).

Food Trucks are Genius

So, today there was a food truck parked right outside my apartment for lunch. Better yet, it was a grilled cheese food truck. Called “American Meltdown” – they drive a bright orange truck and make excellent gourmet melts with local ingredients. I had the ‘Fordham’ with mozzarella, pesto and sundried tomatoes, and it was dee-lish, with perfectly crunchy bread and a gooey cheesy filling. Definitely hope I can visit them again some time!

Using chilled glasses for chocolate milk is also genius

Not much to say about this, other than when I got back from the gym this afternoon, I sure appreciated having a glass in the refrigerator, ready to be filled with some low-fat chocolate milk. I swear, the cold glass made it taste even better!

Yes, that’s right. I went back to the gym today

It’s been more days than I would like to count since I’ve been to the gym. We can blame final exams on that. Today, I remembered that if I actually put on gym clothes in the morning, I might actually go workout. And so I did. After running errands this afternoon, I stopped at the gym for a run/jog/walk session on the treadmill, followed by a few strength exercises. I don’t even know the last time I sweated so much. Gross.  I should probably do things like this more often, right?

Until I next write, keep calm and be nice to each other

Summer Weather is Here

Happy 1st of May!

It certainly feels like summer today – hot and humid outside. I have had a productive day, mostly at home getting work done, although I did get my car’s 105,000 mile service completed, and a new type of dog food for Harley to try. Apparently the Taste of the Wild salmon & sweet potato isn’t exciting him much anymore, so we’re going to switch to a sweet potato & bison variety by Natural Balance and see what he thinks. I can’t imagine a life without food/meal enjoyment!

I have my last final exam paper due tomorrow. This afternoon has included several hours working on it, and it’s gotten to the point where it doesn’t even make sense to me anymore. I keep writing and reading and editing, but nothing sounds right. That was when I realized I needed to get out of the house and take Mr H for a walk. A nice 30 minute walk in the setting sun was just what we needed. Now I’m watching the news, filing my online rebates for the new laptop (which will arrive tomorrow!) and brainstorming dinner options. Hopefully I can get the paper finished up tonight so that I can go to the Durham Bulls game tomorrow with some friends. It’s always helpful to have motivation 🙂

I’m going to experiment with a white sweet potato that I got this past weekend at the farmers market. Never heard of such a thing, although my mom informs me that they were quite common when we lived in Australia. Going to try baked wedges as a side dish. Yum yum.