Spring Fever

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The warmer the weather gets, and the closer I get to graduation, the worse my homework looks! I’m not sure there’s really any cure for Spring Fever, so instead I try to rely on the idea that all of my professors are suffering as well and aren’t actually grading my papers seriously. One can hope, right? I’ve been amping up my workout routine with more bike riding and running, but quickly realized that it’s not looking like I’m going to be able to run regularly… 

My shin splints first started in October, after three months of running pretty regularly. The persisted despite my breaks until about January, when I decided to actually consult with a doctor. They told me to take off for a solid ten weeks, then try again but never exceed ten miles per week. This week was my second run, only reaching 2.5 miles, and now my shins are a mess. Ugh. Well, it looks like I’ll be sticking with the bike! Today was one of those days where I had absolutely no desire to get myself out there and biking. I woke up somewhat sore (not enough to signal the need for a day off), sleepy, and just generally not feeling it. My partner was smart enough to remind me that this is when it counts the most. Everyone has those days, and its a matter of working through the hard days to keep yourself on track! But trust me, I definitely know what it feels like to be totally not feeling your workout, and considering staying in bed for an extra hour instead.

A method that I’ve been trying lately is this 12 Tip Guide to Staying Inspired (to do schoolwork… not garden and read by the lake). There’s a few that I feel pretty good about, but there’s also these ones that I tend to struggle with.
Tip 1: Drink a glass of water to start off the day. I tend to struggle with this one, since I drink a glass of coffee and a smoothie at the beginning of the day, so fitting in another liquid gets a little complicated while sitting in an hour and a half long class!
Tip 2: Move and sweat. Even on the hard days, this will get that blood flow in your brain, burn away the stress your feeling when you open up you emails for the first time, and get yourself on a solid foundation to face the world.
Tip 5: Work on an important task for 50 minutes, then take a break. I struggle with this one because A) there is so much to do in a day! Seriously! And B) once I’m on a roll, it’s hard for me to let anything in my way. 
Tip 9: Brainstorm. I tend to convince myself that I’m not particularly creative, but the thing is I always jump at new opportunities to become creative. So I’m really not sure if its just my mentality playing tricks on me or what, but I tend to avoid creative tasks that involve me thinking on my own about creative solutions. 
Tip 10: Express gratitude. Now here is something we all struggle with! There is never enough time in the day to tell the ones you love and those throughout your daily life how much you appreciate them. I remember that one of the things that shocked me most when I first moved to Minneapolis was that everyone said thank you to the bus driver. Everyone. Always. The first few times I forgot I felt so terrible! Coming from Philly made that an entirely new concept. Not that the East Coast isn’t nice (although we all know that Minnesota is the only place that is Minnesota Nice), but we just have a different way of expressing it… like you know, not expressing it.

Anyways, I suppose my goal in this was to not just pin the interesting things on Pinterest, but actually try and practice them. Life is definitely a gem, and you can’t spend time waiting to appreciate it! 

Other fun finds this week:

Reasons to get in shape that aren’t  so you can look good in a bikini! It’s not about the looks, it’s not about attention, it’s about you.
This ab workout. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks terrifying and intriguing, which is basically my qualification for a good workout.
Southwestern salsa! Although I’m going to add some things to make it an actual meal rather than a salsa… what I’m adding is still up for debate. Chicken maybe?
A good message to remind yourself of every day.

 

Spring!

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So, needless to say I’m kind of bad at regularly posting updates. But it’s the effort that counts, right?

Since my last post, the weather has made a turn for the better. We had to have winter parking restrictions here in Minneapolis, which basically means that the snow piles alongside the roads have gotten so out of hand that we can only park on one side to conserve space. How insane! However, I do love living in a city where the second the temperature hits 40, everyone is outside hanging out and playing around. I made it home to Pennsylvania for a long weekend, spending some much needed time with friends. Since returning, I’ve gotten back into the groove of classes and turning 24! My birthday consisted of hockey, dining, and going out with friends. Aka, it was absolutely perfect.

My herbs are… well some of them are doing well! Basil, cilantro, and oregano all popped up like it was nothing. Mint, thyme and parsley don’t seem to be so concerned with germinating. I’ve tried planting new seeds again, so if they don’t pop up after this round I’ll probably just go to Whole Foods and cheat with some that are already grown for me. 

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I keep them all in fish bowls because I have a ton of them thanks to having fish all of my college career. 

Today I went on an awesome cooking binge. I spent way too much money at the grocery store on produce and healthy foods, but I suppose you gotta invest the money if you want the results! Started off making a sort of panzanella-style dish. Chopped up cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, and a little mozzarella (because life is always better with mozzarella) and added some balsamic vinaigrette! 

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Afterwards, I went to town making pan-seared brussel sprouts with cranberries, pecans, and a maple/balsamic glaze! It 

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It was shockingly easy. Cut the sprouts in half, cook for 10 minutes with olive oil, and a tablespoon of syrup and balsamic, stir in your desired amount of cranberries, Gorgonzola, pecans, and then top it all off with a cup of barley! My favorite type of cooking is the “toss this in a pan, then toss this in a pan, then stir” style with little thought and a whole lot of taste.

My partner and I have also been gearing up for our trip to Italy in a month and a half! Our parents helped us out in order to send us there for our graduations, and we’re both absolutely ecstatic. So if you have tips about Italy, travelling, or any of the related topics please feel free to share! I’ve been lucky enough to have quite a few experiences in Europe, but there’s always room for improvement. 

Anyways, here’s some good recipes, exercises, and thoughts I’ve come across lately. I hope everyone is off to a great spring!

Made these stuffed red peppers earlier this week. The stuffing was a bit bland, so I definitely recommend adding in a few more spices to the mix!

The recipe for the brussel sprouts I made! I improvised on a few ingredients and tossed in more of the extras than the recipe calls for to make it more of a meal than a side.

How I’m getting my triceps ready for those summer dresses!

A 9-minute mile playlist! I always love music tips to keep me on pace.

My workout for a rainy day

The Happiness Effect 

Pictures of Underwater Dogs. Because everyone needs that in their life.