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And the Zucchini Obsession Continues…

It’s totally normal to celebrate the end of a test by buying 5 pounds of zucchini, right?

This time I didn’t even try to get a smaller bag because I’m confident I’ll go through it!

Today, I’m going to catch up on all the delicious (often zucchini-based) meals I’ve been eating, and also talk about a little fitness!

The fall weather has me craving longer distances, running-wise. My foot (post stress fracture a year ago) is starting to feel really solid. My tendonitis is feeling better….although it seems to have been replaced by my old plantar fasciitis….

Anyways, I think I’m going to slowly and carefully start building a little more distance. Maybe do another half, if everything feels good. Not soon, I’d be shooting for the spring or even next fall. But for now, I would love to do a 10k! I’m a faster human than I was before when I was doing more runs. So I’m going to play around with it, and see what happens! I miss my Sunday morning long run tradition! I actually don’t think I’ve really run more than 3 miles since last November, when my foot got pretty sore for a while after a 5 mile run. So we shall see!

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Otherwise, I’ve been doing basically all Crossfit lately. I need to get back to spin classes, and yoga. While Chloe was here, I didn’t run at all (just walked a ton!) in an effort to get my plantar fasciitis to feel better. It’s not bad, but I’m trying to really take care of it!

So let’s go through, shall we?

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I finally made zucchini lasagna! It tasted great, but presentation left a little to be desired.

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I had 2 layers of zucchini noodles, with a ricotta-parmesean-+1 egg in the middle, with tons of pasta sauce, and topped with mozzarella. I froze most of it for when things get crazy (or I get lazy).

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Pumpkin smoothie! I genuinely thought this was going to be disgusting, but it was actually delicious! I blended up half a packet of Flapjacked vanilla smoothie mix, half a frozen banana, half a cup of milk, half a cup of canned pumpkin that I had leftover, plus tons of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Yum!

In other zucchini news, once I bought another large batch of zucchini, I invested in a more legit spiralizer and it was the best decision. 100% worth it, and I love it.

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SO I’ve been making tons of zoodles.

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This was a great combo: parmesan, mozzarella, chicken, garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

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And then there’s the classic marinara. Similar to spaghetti squash, in my opinion the key is to get the squash tasting good before you put sauce on. I used various seasoning blends and salt and pepper.

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I’ve also been into non-green green smoothies lately. Mango juice, frozen berries, and spinach.

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When Chloe was here, I got a few Trader Joe’s salads because cooking with her was hard, and she was time consuming, and I had to run home in the middle of the day and shove food in my face while entertaining her. This one is my favorite. I used to eat it a lot in undergrad, especially when I was sick because it doesn’t have anything I’m allergic to. Broccoli slaw, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, kale, chicken. YUM.

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More healthy pumpkin bread from the freezer. I think I’m going to make more soon because I have a lot of ripe bananas.

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My go-to BBQ chicken salad has been making a comeback! Dressing is just salt, pepper, olive oil, and lime. Then I tossed together corn, tomato, and lettuce, and topped it with BBQ chicken, cheese, and guacamole. A break from zucchini—what??

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I love the pumpkin yogurt-fig-sunbutter combo. Plus a peach. The peaches are good, but I can tell they’re reaching the end of the season. Apples season is coming, my friends!

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I went to the weekend farmer’s market, and they had a gluten free bakery that comes to our market back home! The best part is I already know what things I’m not allergic to. Naturally, I had to pick up a flour less chocolate torte.

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I did my Wednesday night farmer’s market thing as well and of course picked up a tamale. This week was chicken! I had some of my favorite fall harvest salsa on the side, plus a salad tossed with Bolthouse cilantro ranch.

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Dessert of chocolate Halo Top and fancy caramel sauce.

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I ate the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner Saturday and Sunday without even realizing it! For my lunches, I had my favorite salad. I admit this is super weird, but I like it and it’s quick and easy. Lettuce, American chess,e deli turkey, chopped with scissors, and then dressed with guacamole and topped with ketchup.

Dinners were a zucchini scramble with reduced fat alouette. I realized that it is going to expire extremely soon, so I repeated the meal Sunday.

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Served with a peach one night and GF cinnamon raisin toast the next.

Here are a couple of other fun (seasonal!) things from this weekend:

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I found this pumpkin wheat beer and of course had to try it! Sipped while cuddling with the cat on the couch and streaming Stanford-UCLA football. Fall feels like football season, and I hadn’t caught a game yet. It was a good one! We came out on top! It made me nostalgic for my alma mater for sure though!

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My Starbucks fall drink of choice: decaf cappuccino with one pump pumpkin spice.

And FINALLY. FINALLY, I made zucchini bread. After buying probably 20 pounds of zucchini over the past month and a half. I made pumpkin-zucchini chocolate chip bread, so it’s also seasonably appropriate! I love this recipe: just 1/3c honey as the sweetener!

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Check back in next time for more zucchini adventures. I probably have at least 3 pounds left! I’m trying some different things this week. I’m thinking teriyaki stir-fry, Mexican style, and pad thai!

The Craziest Museum+Surprising Cooking Win

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.

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I kicked off my wild Friday night with some coffeeshop studying. I was sitting next to some pre-meds working on a chem lab report. Felt like home. I went there for dinner, which was a Mediterranean salad, with delicious warm GF bread on the side. Plus a GF cookie. I’ve had so few GF baked good since coming here, so I went to that coffeeshop just for that.

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I had been putting off a quiz for my online class, and decided I just needed to bite the bullet and take it Saturday morning.

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Saturday morning, I taught my usual 8am spin and then headed to the store. My Target trip had 2 highlights: lightbulbs (my room was super dark) and these cookies:

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I don’t care if you’re GF or not, you should buy these cookies. They’re AMAZING. I’ve had this brand in other flavors (a highlight is the key lime), so I was expecting nothing less! I guess my post-spin 10am time is turning into my “try new pumpkin products” time? Last week it was pumpkin ice cream. I only have one serving of these cookies left, they’re that good.

For lunch, I made a simple egg sandwich with cheddar, and a side of extra bread, an extra egg, and asparagus.

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That afternoon, I walked down to a strew festival happening in my neighborhood. There was a bouncy house, and a bunch of local restaurants selling food and drinks. Since it was scorching out, I got salted caramel ice cream from a microcreamery.

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The main event of the weekend though was a trip to City Museum with my coworkers. We went downtown and trapped dinner at Pi Pizza first.

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This was super delicious. I can’t even remember the last time I had pizza!

Then it was time for City Museum.

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This is certainly not your typical museum. It’s usually described as a giant playground for adults. There is an indoor and outdoor portion that consists of all kinds of structures and tunnels to climb through and lots of slides, including a 10 story slide.

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This included climbing through caged tunnels many stories off the ground. It was a workout, and involved a certain level of strength to pull yourself up through tight spaces. I think the most terrifying thing was actually the 90 degree drop slide. It wasn’t that crazy high, but you had to essentially drop straight down into a hole, and couldn’t see what the slide looked like on the bottom.

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We unintentionally ended up pursuing tickets to the roof portion, so we climbed the 200+ stairs and 12 stories to the top.

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We enjoyed the view of the city while waiting in line for the ferris wheel.

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Being on a ferris wheel 12 stories up was also slightly terrifying. Again, amazing views though.

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After the museum, we went back to one of the intern’s places and watched a horror movie, since I had never seen one before. Honestly, I didn’t find it scary because it seemed so incredibly unrealistic. It was an exorcism type of movie, and it just seemed a little ridiculous to me. I think I would find a psychological horror movie much more frightening.

Sunday morning I lounged around a bit before heading to Forrest Park to run. Honestly, it was not a good run. My legs felt like bricks. Possibly from all the stairs and crawling/climbing the previous, night, I don’t know!

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For lunch after 3 miles, I made a simple egg white omelette with garlic and herb laughing cow, and had it with a nectarine and of course some more of those pumpkin cookies.

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That afternoon, I went out for coffee and to work on my online class. I’m playing around with a few different study methods to see if I can increase efficiency. I figure this is a good time to play around with these things, before grad school. I went to another coffeeshop on the list, Park Avenue Coffee.

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It was a little disappointing. Not bad, but not on the same level as my top contenders. I would rank this second to last on my list. It should be noted though that this wasn’t their original location, so it’s possible it’s different? Also it definitely needs to be noted that they have tons of delicious looking kinds of gooey butter cake. Gooey butter cake is a St. Louis thing (that and pork steak?), and while I haven’t tried it, I think it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like! It looked amazing.

After working for an hour or so, I ran some errands and braved the Sunday night grocery crowd. I was a little frazzled by the crowds, and apparently had some major slip ups.

For dinner Sunday night, I planned on totally winging a ginger chicken soup recipe. Basically, through things in a pot and hope. Slip up #1 was forgetting to buy spinach. Slip up #2 was buying cucumber instead of zucchini, which I realized when I started to cut it. The sad/embarrassing thing is, this isn’t the first time I’ve done that. Also, I really hate cucumber…

So instead, I worked with what I had on hand, and it surprisingly turned out amazingly well.

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Here’s what I did:

I started out by boiling a bag of carrots and a little asparagus I had on hand in chicken broth. Meanwhile, I sautéed mushrooms in olive oil, garlic, and soy sauce. Protip: you can buy garlic paste in a tube, as well as other herbs, and it’s amazing. I also got tubed ginger (it’s fresh still), because I want to keep all my gingers an dither’s no way I could mince it finely enough to pull off.

Then, I shredded up rotisserie chicken, and added everything together, along with squeezy ginger, the juice of a lemon, pepper, and soy sauce.

It tasted SO good. The ginger gives it the perfect amount of spice, and despite the unplanned addition, the carrots really worked. And, I have TONS of leftovers!

For dessert, I mashed up half a banana with cocoa powder and served it with vanilla Halo Top and whipped cream.

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It’s also possible I found my way back to the pumpkin cookie bag. So good…

That was my weekend! I’m excited for some actual cooking this week. Also on the menu is vegetarian chili, which I also will be winging.

What’s your favorite kind of soup?

16.3 (LOL)

Hey guys! I’m currently taking a little study break. We’re in the home stretch! I have 2 finals tomorrow and then I’m DONE. Tomorrow will be a long day though—2 back to back 3 hour finals followed by my 3 hour off campus Biochem class.

Shall we back it up a bit to Friday before getting into 16.3?

My morning began with a WET 5 mile run. And cold. Yuck. Sometimes I like running in the rain, most times I don’t, especially in the morning. But I got it done. A highlight was breakfast—I was super excited to try the Siggi’s fig and lemon yogurt, and realized it would go perfectly with the copious amounts of lemon poppyseed bread in the freezer. I used the one with the slightly weird texture. I actually like the flavor of that more. Still looking for the perfect recipe!

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In my morning class, I got to work with rats! Then, it was lunchtime. It was a made to order brunch, so I got eggs florentine on a gluten free english muffin.

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After lunch, I went to my final class of the quarter and just got DRENCHED on the bike ride back. When I arrived at my dorm, my sister was waiting outside for me and I didn’t have time to change clothes. We were off to visit the cat she was going to adopt! I fell in love with a few others while there.

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But meet Lava! My first nephew 😉

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He’s such a sweetie. He loves climbing on everyone’s lap and purring.

The rest of my wild Friday night consisted of falling asleep before 10pm. #deadweek

Saturday morning before Crossfit, I stopped by the Stanford softball game. They were playing Cal Poly, and growing up I played softball with quite a few girls who are now on Cal Poly, so it was fun to see them play!

Then, Saturday morning was 16.3! I was not really excited for it. The workout was a 7 minute AMRAP of 10 snatches at 55# and 3 muscle ups. So, muscle ups are definitely not a thing for me. I assumed I would do scaled, which was 35# snatches and jumping chest to bar pull ups, which I was not excited about. When I showed up however, out coach informed us that since any reps in Rx is ranked higher than scaled, it made sense to just do Rx and then finish the workout with pull ups, and take a score of 10. Since 55# snatches are really comfortable for me, I took this option, and scored all of a 10. Because of that limitation, there wasn’t much hoopla around the workout. The exciting thing though was that I actually did 5 pull ups between my snatch sets WITHOUT a band. WHATTT. I used the smallest band for the first set and then ditched it for the last couple. I’ve been putting in work on the pull ups lately, so I was pretty pumped to be able to break them out in a workout for the first time!

After my heat, I judged a heat and watched another. It was actually a lot of fun, and sort of amusing. Because of the way the standards for muscle ups were set, you can actually do some pretty ugly things to make it work.

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After the workout, I went out to lunch with my gym-mates. We went to The Counter, which was delicious but insanely slow. We were there for over 2 hours! It was really fun getting to know everyone though. I keep saying this, but I love the Crossfit community.

My make your own burger creation went unphotographed because I was ravenous, but I did a chicken burger with gruyere, garlic aioli, avocado, mixed greens, and tomato on a GF bun. Demolished.

The rest of my day consisted of a review session, studying, and a cat bath.

Because of my vet assistant experience, I came over to bathe Lava and clean his ears. He was not amused. He’s such a sweetie and we weren’t worried about getting bitten, but he definitely did not love the water and was quite squirmy! After his bath and partial blow-dry, he would not stop cleaning himself—I don’t think he liked any part of the experience!

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I think he forgave his mean old aunt though because he was curled up on my lap an spurring before I left.

Sunday morning was my 9 mile training run, which I was not looking forward to AT ALL. The weather report called for rain all day, and it did not disappoint. I was a little worried about blisters for 9 miles in the rain, but that ended up being a non issue. I was also thoroughly unprepared for this run. I don’t actually have any water bottles at school right now (right??), and forget to get some gu from home last time I went back. Luckily, I still had a few packets of chocolate, but I was worried about the caffeine in chocolate because last time I had issues with it. But sometimes you have to suck it up, get out, and get to work. Based on the route, I hit a water fountain at mile 5 so I could take my gu then. It gave me quite the energy boost! Overall, I felt pretty good, albeit wet. Myshoe came untied in the last mile, and when I bent down to tie it, and nice little puddle came out of my rain jacket. Needless to say I was DRENCHED.

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I’m not really paying attention to paces right now, so I was pretty happy with this!

Lunch was super delicious. A bowl of polenta, eggs, spinach, and mozzarella.

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And then I committed to not going outside the rest of the day. I’m so over being cold and wet!

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I’m currently rocking my seasonably appropriate compression socks. It’s a good thing St. Patrick’s Day falls during long run season!

Aaand now it’s back to studying. ONE MORE DAY!

Running in the rain—love it or hate it?

 

What Happened?

I promise this post is not nearly as deep as the title implies.

I go through phases with blogging. Sometimes I’m not feeling it, because I’m too busy with life. Other times, I feel like such a bad blogger! I expect in the next year or so blogging may pick up a bit more because I will be going through some significant life changes (i.e. graduating). I sometimes feel that I don’t have that much to say, or contribute, but at the same time I miss the typical daily posts. I feel like there are fewer and fewer of those around these days. Maybe everyone is feeling the same way, but to be quite honest, those are my favorite to read!

In the theme of being a bad blogger, I seem to have lost my special blogging talent: the picture taking reflex. In the past, I would whip out my phone and snag a picture before anyone knew what had happened (myself included). I came to write this post today, and realized that the only picture I had was of breakfast. The same breakfast as yesterday. 

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I <3 this breakfast. It takes me back to sophomore year when I first started eating this, but it’s been a while! Yes, I’m at that point of my college career where I get nostalgia from something as basic as breakfast.

That being said, sophomore year was ROUGH. This came up on my timehop this morning. So, so real.

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Today I had a Cosmology midterm, which I think (hope) went pretty well. Naturally I celebrated by raiding the fridge and watching an episode of Monk. I seriously love that show, and it somehow feels comforting to watch it again all these years later. In the fridge, I found a GF grilled cheese with my name on it (literally written on it), so I heated up half of that, and had a few dates and an orange. I’m really trying to incorporate more produce into my life as my stomach feels better.

In terms of workouts, I went to Crossfit this morning. We did mostly upper body things—max pull ups in 2 minutes, max hand release push ups in 2 min, max toes to bar in 2 minutes, and max burpees in 2 minutes. That was followed by some rowing repeats. Rowing is still my jam, and I can still claim that after hundreds of hours on an erg freshman year.

Before dinner, I went for a 3 mile run. My legs were a bit heavy but I hit my goal pace fairly easily, which is a good sign for my 5k on Sunday! That being said, I think my body is ready for some low key days leading up to Sunday!

Since this post was lacking in pictures, I do have some things to share that I’ve actually bothered to photograph (but haven’t bothered to post).

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I’m currently in love with tortilla pizzas.

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Mexican chicken, beans, and avocado over lettuce with a tortilla on the side.

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The pup was spayed this week. She’s had a rough time so far, but seems to be feeling a little better! Although I haven’t seen her yet, I am getting regular updates!

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This was the gluten free vanilla blueberry cake from our dinner on Friday. Lots of this was consumed over the weekend.

That’s all for now—back to work!

TOL-When 200m Runs Are Homework

Alternatively titled, “When 200m Runs Feel Like Death.”

After yesterday’s WIAW fun, I thought I’d continue the link-up trend another day for a new to me link up-Thinking Out Loud. This is basically a chance to share random thoughts in a way we can pretend is organized. Yay!

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So here we go-shall we?

  1. The title of this post. For my exercise physiology class, we have to chose an exercise (from a list), do a timed trial, then design a training plan to improve by the end of the quarter. I chose the 400m run-so glad I didn’t choose the mile because the 400m is over so much more quickly! Plus training. Anyways-I did my timed trial yesterday. I ran 9 miles and taught a spin class on Monday, but I’m pretty sure that my legs were aching Tuesday night from that little 400m. It’s amazing how much different sprinting is! I did my first training workout this morning. I expected it to be practically nothing-I was only running a mile!-but it knocked me the heck out. Whew. I did a 400m warm up followed by 6 200m all out sprints with recovery in between. My legs still hurt. I think I should see some improvement!
  2. Since I wasn’t doing a long sweaty workout, I slept in a bit and went straight from the track to class. Zero to presentable in 10 minutes flat.IMG_4274
  3. Lemon Luna bars taste like summer to me. I haven’t had them in a while!IMG_4270
  4. Fun fact-exercise increases the size of your heart, but different exercises do this differently. Resistance training increases the thickness of your heart, while endurance training increases the volume.
  5. When I look at old pictures of myself, I always think my hair looked so much better. Not that my hair is bad, but I feel like it used to be fuller/thicker/straighter. I’m trying to stop sleeping with my hair up in hopes that this will change. IMG_3887_2
  6. I’m at that point of half marathon training where things tend to be a grind, phantom pains pop up, and everything aches. At my softball game, I felt so slow, old, and creaky. Granted, this was after 9 miles+a spin class, but still, I think it’s time I gave my body a little more respect. Especially with my intense 1 mile workout this morning, I’m realizing I need to be putting fewer footsteps into my fitness going forward. I’m sure this won’t be my last half marathon (knocking on wood of course), and I’ll definitely still keep running because I like how it makes me feel, but I need to be more efficient with my footsteps, and with high impact exercise in general. I’m also limiting myself to 3 weight lifting sessions a week (including Crossfit) because while that may not be a lot of footsteps, it can be a lot on the joints, and I had various things pop up over the summer from lifting so heavy. Plus, I need to be kind to my healing shoulder!
  7. I’m one of those people who dwells on the past, and now more than every that I’m a senior! As I do things for the last time, it’s like deja vu. I also miss being a freshman! Honestly I think I view that time now as far better than I did at the time, but I miss a lot of aspects about it, like rowing, the freshman dorm community, freshman experiences, and that freshman eagerness. Then vs now-oh hello baby face!IMG_1293 IMG_4150
  8. I’m also so nostalgic of my freshman fitness level. #rowing Seriously guys, I was so fit. With my new plan to do less high impact exercise, I’m hoping to build my fitness by hopping on the erg again. I always miss my old workouts!
  9. I have been at school for 3 weeks and I still find cat fur on all my clothes.
  10. I can’t believe I’m a senior in college. I know I keep saying that, but where the heck did the time go? I feel like it was yesterday that I was that easier baby-faced freshman. I’m determined to make the most out of the year and out of the future.
  11. I’m so happy I dropped a class. I finally feel like I have time to devote myself fully to my other classes, and with the super full schedules I’ve had in the past, I haven’t always felt I’ve been able to.

What are you thinking today?