Tag Archive | school

Catching up & a Quinoa Recipe

Hey there and happy Thursday to you all! It’s been a busy couple of weeks around here. Between getting engaged(!!!!), moving,  starting classes, attending amazing weddings and still working weekends, I feel like I’ve been in “go-go-go” mode constantly. However, Brandon and I were SO excited to move into our new place. Minus the actual “moving” part, it has been so surreal to set up our new home together as fiancés! (Can I just admit how much I love saying that?!)

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I also started my Master’s Degree program last week, which was exciting yet overwhelming all at once.  Organic Chemistry will be consuming my life for the next four months. #sendhelp
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Anyway, back to our new place. I think my favorite part of our new digs is the kitchen. The counters, the cabinets, the island, the set-up…I just LOVE LOVE LOVE it (I will share a picture once it’s all set up). Plus, having a new kitchen makes me so much more motivated to cook. Healthy dinners for the win!

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Speaking of healthy dinners, my favorite vegetarian protein source lately is quinoa. I started to eat quinoa back in Australia and I haven’t turned back since. The first time I tried it, I wasn’t too fond of it, but that’s because it tasted really bland to me. However, once I researched it a bit, I learned that if you cook it in chicken broth (or vegetable broth), it’s so much more flavorful. After that, I became hooked.  It’s a great source of protein, filling, gluten-free, and simply delicious. This week, I decided to use up some random vegetables in my fridge and make a veggie-quinoa mix. It’s so easy and makes terrific leftovers, too. To complete my dinner, I stuffed a red pepper with the mixture and baked it for 15 minutes, eating it alongside of some roasted veggies and corn (off) the cob. I plan on putting the mix on salads as leftovers for the rest of the week! Here’s my recipe:

Veggie & Black Bean Quinoa Mix
1 cup quinoa
2 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup black beans
1 small yellow squash, chopped
1/4 red pepper, chopped
handful of spinach
salt/pepper/seasonings to taste
1 red pepper (optional)

Directions
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2) Place quinoa and chicken (or vegetable) broth in a saucepan, stir, and put burner on high. Once it begins to boil, lower temperature to a simmer and cover (stirring every few minutes), until it’s thickened and fluffy. (This will take about 15 minutes). Trust me, one cup expands IMMENSLY!
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3) While the quinoa cooks, chop your vegetables. I chose onions, squash, mushrooms, red pepper and spinach, and at the last minute I added some black beans in, too. The beauty of this dish is you can honestly use any vegetables in your fridge.
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4) Stir-fry these on the stove until cooked thoroughly (using spices of your choice), and add the spinach in at the last minute. Once cooked, set aside until the quinoa is finished.
5) Once the quinoa has finished cooking, add the vegetables in. Voila, you have your quinoa mix!
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6) ***Optional: I cleaned a pepper out and stuffed/baked the mixture inside for about 15 minutes, but this isn’t necessary. You could also just stand at your stovetop and eat it too (yes, I am guilty of this Winking smile)

Have a great rest of your week and weekend, friends. Happy almost fall!

***9-11-2001 Never Forget***

Do you cook with quinoa? If so, what’s your favorite way to eat it?

Any recipes to share?
Any one else move in September?

Gahhhh moving is the worst!

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Making sunday a fun-day

Hey there, how was your weekend? Mine seemed to fly by (don’t they always?), but it was still full of fun. Since being back in school, I’ve really tried making a diligent effort to complete most of my homework on Fridays, rather than leave it for the rest of the weekend. Five years ago when I was back in Bryant completing my business degree, I always left my homework for Sunday, which made me absolutely DESPISE this day of the week. So on Friday, after finding out my sister was engaged(!)I tried(key word=tried) to focus on accomplishing my big paper for my science/practical activity class. The only way I can possibly focus when doing a paper is coming here:

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Library silent zone for life!
For the amount of wedding-related ideas I had running through my brain, I have to give myself credit for what I accomplished on my paper, considering my mind was elsewhere. Honestly though, once a fan of the library, always a fan of the library. I may be a geek, but I adore the silent zone. If I’m home, I’ll do anything but study. I mean, who can possibly study when there’s a tv, computer, endless cupboards of food,  a stocked refrigerator, and usually a boyfriend to procrastinate with? Definitely not me! After I closed down the library, we toasted to my sister and her new fiancé with champagne and homemade pizza.
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Sorry for the blurry picture!

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Saturday morning started off with some cardio and a sweaty body pump class, which I loved because we learned the newest release! I <3 body pump.  I squeezed in a few more productive hours of homework in the late morning, but got in some quality beach time with Brandon later that afternoon. We came home sun-kissed and exhausted! Does anyone else always feel super tired after laying in the sun? Leftovers and Pitch Perfect rounded out Saturday night, and boy did it feel good to laugh…Rebel Wilson rules.
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Source

Since I did the majority of my homework on Friday and Saturday…Sunday got to be just what we needed, a fun-day! Being that both of us have felt quite homesick lately, we made it a day full of things that would make us smile, consisting of:

-Face-timing our families: Here’s my cute Dad and my happy sister (look at that ring!). I made her hold it up for a good 5 minutes, I can’t stop staring at it!
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-Having lunch on the water : I went with my craving and got fish and chips. #bestdecisionever
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-Talking by the ocean & grabbing afternoon cocktails (Bahama Breeze for her, Sam Adams for him)
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-Making lightened-up comfort food for dinner consisting of my Mom’s “Light Fettuccine Alfredo” recipe,  with chicken and broccoli:  recipe coming soon!
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All in all, Sunday as a fun-day was just what I needed, and Brandon too.

What did you do this weekend?

I can’t end this post without mentioning Brandon’s Grandfather, who passed away this afternoon. We are so saddened, and wish  more than anything we could be home with his family at this difficult time. It’s truly times like these when being away from home is the absolute hardest. I’m thinking of the French family today and always. xoxo
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Australia Loving…february

Hello, hello! For anyone reading, I apologize for my week-long absence. As of last week, I officially became a student again (yay!) and ever since, I have  barely had a moment to breathe. We even had class on Saturday (I hope that never happens again)! But on a positive note, I’m loving being back at school and finally feel as though I’m studying something I actually want to be studying.  I really wish I’d done that the first time around, but with age comes experience, right ? Much to my surprise, I’m not the oldest one in class and  I didn’t forget how to study, so I should be prepared just in time for next week when I start my full schedule. I know I’ll have a lot to share in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, here’s some things I’ve been loving in Australia this month:

1) .30 cent vanilla soft-serve cones: Yes, you read that correctly, .30 cents. Have I been living under a rock? Was I the only person who didn’t realize soft-serve was so cheap at McDonalds? If that’s the case, I’m making up for it at lightening speed…2-3 cones per week has been happening lately!
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2) Fun drinks: I went out with a few of my girlfriends and ordered this “Key West Cooler”. It sounded American, which was why I chose it, and it didn’t disappoint! It was sweet yet refreshing.  Isn’t it pretty?
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3) Simple dinners: The heat and humidity over the last few weeks has put a serious damper on my desire to cook. I’m thankful for veggie burgers, rotisserie chicken, sweet potatoes, eggs,  fresh fruit, and frozen vegetables. Even when I’m tired and don’t necessarily feel like cooking, it’s easy to eat healthy when I have those ingredients around!
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4. Fresh flowers: Everything about flowers makes me smile. The colors, the smell, and the way they brighten up a room just makes me happy! Thanks to Brandon for these beautiful “back to school” beauties.
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5. The entrance to my new school: It’s so tropical looking, I just love it!
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6. New clothes: Thanks Mom for my dress : – )

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7. Birthday cake flavored cookies: Or as they say in Australia “100s & 1000s”.  I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the name, but I sure do love the taste!

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8. Care packages and cards: Receiving mail never gets old! Thanks to my thoughtful friends Michelle and Monique, and my family for thinking of me.

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9. Warm walks in February with my favorite: I for one am still not used to this “summer” in the winter thing!

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10. Researching my future puppy: Currently this happens about once a week. I can dream right?

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What are you loving this week?