The “Pros” and “Cons” of School

The start of another semester of college lends itself to being a consistent whirlwind, and as a result, my blog has sat untouched and neglected. In honor of the semester having officially begun, I’ve made a list of all of the things a new school year entails and I’m listing the pros and cons of each! Here we go!

1. The new school year means new classes.

Pro: New people and new, interesting information (hopefully!).

Con: Schoolwork and studying=social life killers!

2. New textbooks.

Pro: The smell of new books (Am I the only one that likes this, because if I am, this is really embarrassing!)

Con: The exorbitant cost incurred by having to get new textbooks.

3. Back to school parties.

Pro: It’s so much fun to be reunited with friends you haven’t seen all summer.

Con: I can’t think of any… can you?

4. Fall sports.

Pro: Lots of school spirit and lots of fun!

Con: The rare occasion when your team loses. 😦

5. Reunions with friends.

Pro: The whole gang is back together again!

Con: Um, nothing!!!

6. Being back in my apartment.

Pro: Being in my own space.

Con: The whole college food situation. I could really go for some home cookin’ by mom and dad!

Okay, so my list isn’t very extensive or very good, but, as timing would have it, I have to get back to my schoolwork! I’ll blog again as soon as possible!

Advertisements

College and the Quarter-Life: Starting the School Year Off on the Right Foot 101

With the start of a new school year comes a lot of possibilities and, sometimes, a lot of anxiety! You’ll fall into a comfortable routine before you know it and another wonderful school year will be under way! In the meantime, here are a few tips to start you off on the right foot! Let’s get excited for the commencement of what is sure to be another great school year!

1) Figure out how you will balance your social life with your academic responsibilities.

I think learning to find a balance is the greatest difficulty college students face with the onset of a new semester. Of course, being social and staying on the ball with schoolwork are both very important. However, what’s more important than either of those collegiate necessities, is figuring out how managing to do both will work for you.

2) Be health conscious.

Caring for yourself and your well-being is of the utmost importance. Eating right, exercising, and catching enough zzz’s are necessities that you need to be able to fit into your schedule. If you aren’t staying healthy, than all of the other elements of your life will fall by the wayside, which of course, will certainly not help you to start the school year off on the right foot.

3) Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey!

Hitting the snooze button is so easy and so tempting, but I assure you, getting up and out will be a huge stress reliever. Missing class will not help you adjust to your new school year routine! Also, you’ll find that waking up early will give you so much more time, which will certainly cut down on the rush and stress many people feel at the beginning of a new school year.

4) Organization is key!

Being organized will keep you free of stress and will help you to avoid the new school year frenzy that many students experience. Buy a planner and become an avid note-taker. Write down everything from social engagements to due dates on assignments. Also, buy folders and notebooks and store them in a specific place so that you fall into a routine of keeping your school supplies organized and accessible.

5) Be positive!

The start of a new school year is the start of a year that holds so many opportunities and possibilities! Expect to make new friends, have new experiences, succeed academically, fall into a comfortable routine, get healthy, and reach new heights! There’s so much in store and so much to be excited for!

How do you plan to start the school year off on the right foot?

Heaven on a Plate

Have you ever had one of those meals that was so delicious that you literally thought you were in love at first bite? Well, I hope you’ve had the pleasure because this “falling in love with my food” situation recently happened to me and, holy cow, I thought I was in food heaven.

I recently planned a day trip to Miami with a couple of my girlfriends and one of them, who happened to know the area quite well, said she had to take us to this chic espresso bar for lunch. She said it was called Aroma. I almost stopped dead in my tracks. (I have to put in this small tidbit: Most of my friends would call me enthusiastic and quite excitable.) This tidbit applies here because when I heard that we were going to the Aroma Espresso Bar I thought I might just keel over with excitement. I had been to Aroma a few times when I had spent some time in Israel, but I thought that Aroma was only located in Israel. I had no idea that they had any locations in America (I’ve now learned they have four American locations- three in New York and the one I went to in Miami.).

This was the best meal. Ever. I had a combo meal. Half of my lunch was a goat cheese, tomato, and basil sandwich on a thick piece of whole wheat bread. The other half of my meal was a sweet potato and lentil salad with a lemon vinaigrette. Seriously, this meal was heaven on a plate. Alongside that hefty meal, I ordered an Ice Aroma. An Ice Aroma is kind of like a coffee smoothie, but it has such a rich taste and creamy texture. They serve it with a little chocolate on the lid and truly, this drink was I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E! Best. Meal. Ever.

When I went to Aroma in Israel, I loved the food, but I was so concerned that I wouldn’t be able to have it again for such a long time because my trips to Israel are few and far between. Eating at Aroma was great in more ways than one. I, of course, loved the food, but eating there also brought back a flood of memories from my time in Israel- memories I hold very dear. As soon as I stepped into the beautiful, large, chic, minimalistic and familiar espresso bar, I was greeted with so many memories and the anticipation of biting into the food I loved while I was overseas.

This meal was the start to an awesome day in Miami. My girlfriends and I ate, shopped, and sunbathed! What a perfect day. It really couldn’t have gotten much better than that!

What’s your perfect meal? Does it bring back memories for you?

The Cupcakes I Made

Last month my sister and I visited our friend Shira at her home in Atlanta. Unfortunately, due to distance, school, and time, our visits are few and far between. Luckily for me, though, Shira and her mom, Debra, have come down to Florida for vacation and they were able to join my family and me for Friday night dinner. In honor of their visit, Jessie (my sister) and I made red velvet cupcakes. We used a boxed mix for the cake but made a really simple cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

The cupcakes were delicious and a hit with my friends and family! I think there’s something very powerful about food. Obviously, we need it for nourishment, but food also seems to be a kind of glue. I truly think we bond over food!

One of my Favorite Things

I love my job at Mr. Food for many reasons, but I especially love that my job provides me with such easy access to recipes for just about EVERYTHING! We now have a selection of free recipe eCookbooks, each including a collection of recipes on a theme.

I’m sure you’ll probably think I’m just partial when I tell you that I think this is really one of the BEST cooking resources you have available. It’s a bunch of free recipes… what could be bad!

I hope you decide to check out the eCookbook! Everyone here works really hard on them!

Look for Mr. Food on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Do you have any favorite recipes or meals? Please share with me!

Friends, Food, Shopping, Family… Perfection!

I went to visit my friend, Shira, and her mom, Debora, in Atlanta this past weekend! We had an AMAZING time catching up and I was reminded of how lucky I am to have such great friends!

I arrived in Atlanta with my sister, Jessie, on Thursday, but we arrived relatively late after an embarrassing airport fiasco so we ate dinner and went home.

We woke up early the next morning to head to downtown Atlanta to see the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola.  I have always been a big fan of aquariums, so being in the Georgia Aquarium was such a treat! I especially loved a few exhibits: the albino alligators, the penguins, and the whale sharks! The whale sharks are massive. I was in disbelief of the sheer size of these fish. I think Jessie and Shira got tired of hearing me say, “Wow! Look how huge those fish are!”

Albino Alligator

The Gentle Giants... Whale Shark

Penguin

The World of Coca-Cola was also a really interesting place. I never really thought about how food and drinks (in this specific instance, Coke) are really such a huge part of our society and really can bring people together. My favorite part of the World of Coca-Cola was being able to taste sodas from all over the world. My favorite sodas were from Africa!  I also wreaked havoc in the gift shop… oops! (It’s so touristy, I know!)

World of Coca-Cola

As much fun as I had touring around the big Atlnata attractions, nothing was as much fun as heading back to Shira’s house on Friday night for a family dinner! Shira’s mom, Debora, is a great cook and she treated us to many DELICIOUS dinners while we visited them! It was such a treat to sit down, eat, and laugh together!

Friday was a long touristy day, but Saturday was very special. We spent most of the day visiting with Shira’s grandma, Nana. Nana took us out for breakfast and we went back to her apartment afterward. She showed us pictures and told us stories! Nana is really a very special woman and I loved getting to spend time with her!

After we spent time with Nana, we drove over to Virginia Highlands and did what girls do best… we shopped! This shopping trip was only one of many while we were away… oops, again!

Sunday was yet another great day in Georgia! Once again we woke up early so that we could enjoy more time together! Shira, Jessie, and I set out for Cleveland, Georgia to visit Babyland General, site of the creation of Cabbage Patch Dolls. We’re all young adults so it probably seems funny that we were interested in dolls, but we had a blast! Babyland General is so adorable and we had a great time looking for dolls with our names or our birthdays!

This doll shares my name!

After we finished up at Babyland General, Shira, Jessie, and I drove to a nearby outlet mall (after a lunch mishap that turned out to be a slightly creepy experience) and shopped… again! (For anybody who’s lost count, this is shopping spree number three.)

Unfortunately, we had to leave Atlanta to head home on Monday, but not until after we completed shopping spree number four (I wish I was kidding!)! Saying goodbye was not easy- I definitely didn’t want to leave yet, but I had the very best time with Shira and Debora and leaving only means that I’m getting closer and closer to getting to go back to visiting them again! I’m already looking forward to it!

Me, Shira, and Jessie

In the Spirit of the Holiday…

I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen a lot lately, and in the spirit of the holiday, I’ve decided to try my hand at one of my favorite desserts: chocolate covered strawberries! Making these strawberries was really quite simple; it only required a few ingredients: 1 package of white chocolate chips, strawberries (1 bought a pound), and blue food coloring.

I started by melting the package of chocolate chips over the stove until it was creamy. I moved the chocolate to a bowl.

Next, I dipped the washed strawberries into the white chocolate, leaving some of the strawberry exposed, and placed them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. This only used about 2/3 of the melted chocolate.

I mixed the remaining chocolate with 3 drops of blue food dye and placed the chocolate in a zip-top bag.

I snipped a corner off of the bag and drizzled the chocolate over the tops of the strawberries! I allowed the chocolate strawberries to harden in the fridge. Delish!