Sunday, July 29, 2012

How the Olympics Helped Me Pass Anatomy and Physiology


In January 2002, I was in my second year of college. As a health major, one of my required courses was a 300 level biology class: Anatomy and Physiology. In all honesty, I really liked that class. The human body is super interesting to me, and poking around a cadaver is also really neat to see how the parts work together, and to see what my insides look like. (We had 2 cadavers, a man and a woman. However, the woman previously had a hysterectomy so it was missing the lady parts. Boo.) I also really liked the professor. She was originally from Estonia, and had been teaching/researching in the states for a number of years. What was really hard for  me, was remembering all the names of the different muscles, tendons, bones etc. Memorizing stuff like that isn't my strong suit. It also didn't help that the class met at 8:00 am twice a week.

What also didn't help was a serious case of insomnia I was dealing with. As much as I wanted to, I just couldn't get to sleep before 4 am most nights. 4am bed time+ 8:00 super hard class= no bueno.

The Winter games of 2002 were held in Salt Lake City. Being in Oregon, that meant most of the coverage was live, or pretty close to it. Not like this year where I have to avoid certain web sites so I don't see any spoilers.

Actually this one isn't as bad as my home town newspaper that shows the headlines of who won what race. Like the 400 IM with Phelps and Lochte. Grr.

Anyway, like I was saying, in 2002, most of the coverage was live, however some of events just don't get prime time coverage (or even day time coverage), and they get replayed at 2 or 3 in the morning. In the summer we are looking at events like cycling, badminton, race walking, shooting, etc. In the winter, the events you see in the middle of the night usually involve cross country skiing or shooting or a combination of those two events.
Being that I wasn't sleeping anyway, I stayed up and watched a ton of these events. Estonia happened to be very good at these sorts of things. One morning after watching Estonia win the gold in some sort of skiing and shooting competition, I went up to my professor before class and mentioned how good Estonia was doing in the Olympics and that I had watched the big win. She said that she had stayed up to watch it as well. After that, the class didn't get easier, but she knew me, and always said "hello" after that. At the end of the term, I was confused as to why I had gotten the C that was on my grades, and I went to talk to her. She looked back at her records, and saw her mistake, and I was actually supposed to get a B-. As she was filling out the grade change form, she decided to make it a B+ for my troubles. I also believe it was because I watched Estonia in the Olympics that year.

Have the Olympics ever helped you out? Do you watch the middle of the night events?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

My love letter to the Olympics

I love the Olympics. L.O.V.E. Every two years my life goes on hold so that I can soak in as much Olympic glory as possible. When I was little and we were living in southern California, the summer Olympics were in LA ('84). My parents went and watched some track and field events. They brought me back a photo of a bear going over the hurdles. That thing hung in my bedroom until I went away to college. I have know idea where it is now, but I will now be on a mission to find it.
It's hard for me to pick which games I like better: summer or winter. Like 99% of little girls, I wanted desperately to be a figure skater or a gymnast. I also loved watching ski jumping and the diving competitions. So pretty much, if there is flipping around, I love it. But don't worry sports without flipping, I will watch you too. Except basketball. I mean basketball is okay, but my attention span during the Olympics is short. A basketball game takes too much time. But, I will watch both indoor and beach volleyball.

I love the back stories of the Olympians. I love hearing about how they train, their families. I love hearing about the Olympic village. I especially love the opening ceremonies and when the athletes march in. I love seeing the countries that only have a couple athletes. I love the athletes that know they won't medal, but they are proud to be there and live out there dreams. I just love the Olympics.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Advisors Conference

I just spent the last 4 days at a conference for activities advisors in our state. (I have the lovely title of Activites Director as well as teacher for my middle school.) Now, the thought of doing any type of school work in July sucks, much less spending four days in-servicing. But this was the most fantastic conference/training/inservice I have been to.  I'm not sure how trainings are outside of education, but usually our professional development is forced on us and as we sit in the library wishing we could be anywhere other than there. These trainings usually happen on grading days, and all of us (I hope its not just me!) would rather be in our classrooms getting work done, because so much of our work can't get done when students are there. These trainings are usually met with cynicism and annoyance that we are asked to do yet another new thing.

It was such a relief to be surrounded by people that value student activities. I felt comfort knowing that there are other crazy people out there (just like me!). I am so excited to use some of my new lessons and try to implement some of the great ideas we shared! Especially the ones on service. I base my leadership class around community service and I have some great ideas on how to bring it out to the rest of my school. That doesn't mean I am ready to go back to work yet. I still have a good 3 weeks left before I need to be back and I will be enjoying as much of it as I can.

Friday, July 20, 2012

My Oregon Bucket List

I love living in Oregon. I've lived here for the majority of my life. (there was a brief stint in Southern California when I was a little) For all of that time that I have been here, there is plenty I haven't done yet. I guess I sort of take for granted all the cool things in my state, and figure it will always be here, so it isn't a priority when we have some vacation time.

1. Camping in a Yurt
Yurts are a cross between a cabin and a tee-pee. They are mostly found at the coastal state parks, and people can stay in them pretty much year round. I have always wanted to camp in them, but I think its kind of silly to do now, because I really don't mind tent camping. This is a to do once we have littles.

2. Crater Lake
I have never been here, and sometimes I can't believe. Crater Lake is a national park in southern Oregon, just north of Medford. You can stay in lodges around the lake, and I know you can take tour boats around the lake as well.

3. Crabbing in the Pacific
There is a 99.9% chance this made it on my list because of Deadliest Catch, but whatevs. I like crab.

4. Goonies House
Add caption
Goonies was filmed in Astoria, Oregon on the northern coast. There are tours of the filming locations, including the house. Plus Astoria has some other neat things like the Astoria column.
Astoria column

5. Painted Hills/Fossil Beds in John Day

Another national park, but this one is in eastern Oregon. I usually forget about anything east of Bend, but it is like a whole other world compared to the Willamette Valley.

6. Portland
Schnitzer concert hall (where we just saw Aziz Ansari!)/Japanese Gardens/Powell's Books/Voodoo Donuts/ The Grotto at Christmas/Rose Garden

I grew up in Portland, and I actually have been to a lot of these places, but I would love to go back as an adult. I have NEVER been to Voodoo, I'd like to go to check it out. There is also a ton more.

7. Mt. Hood Railroad
This scenic railroad runs through Hood River, which is one of my favorite places. At Christmas time they do a special Polar Express train ride which I would love to do. Of course its weird for a 30 year old woman to go on a Polar Express train ride, so this is another thing that I should put off until I have a little.

8. Sunriver
So, I've been to Sunriver before. It was actually the first vacation the Mister and I ever took together, but I love it and I want to go again. Sunriver is a resort community outside of Bend. It has tons of bike trails and is a great place to stay if you are snowboarding up at Mt. Bachelor. There is also some fantastic hiking in that area.

9. Riding ATVs in the dunes
There are some serious sand dunes on the coast and people bring there ATVs and cruise all over them. I think it would be so fun to do at least once.

Have you been to Oregon? What was your favorite part? Do you have a local bucket list for where you live?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A tale of two recipes

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess. The princess fancied herself creative, funny and a good cook. In her small world, she was the greatest at all things domestic. Her handsome prince applauded her creative efforts, laughed at her jokes and ate her delicious dinners, often times asking for seconds. One day the princess discovered a website, where other princesses shared ideas, jokes and recipes. The princess realized she could be even greater, by using some of the ideas shared on this website. Some of her creations turned out wonderfully. Some did not...

True story folks. Some things on Pinterest are not as good as you think they will be. While browsing Pinterest last weekend I ran across a recipe for a "skinny" version of chicken broccoli alfredo. I quickly repinned it, and earlier this week I tried it out.
Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo (uses Greek yogurt and olive oil instead of heavy cream and butter).
I mean, look at it. Yum. Right? I have gotten more comfortable with using Greek yogurt in recipes, and I was all about trying out a "healthier" alfredo dish. The recipe calls for two cups roasted broccoli and two cups grilled chicken breasts. I chopped up a head of broccoli, sprayed it with olive oil, added salt and pepper and put it in the oven. My favorite way to cook chicken breasts? George Foreman Grill. Hands down. Even though it is the easiest, quickest and in my humble opinion tastiest way to cook up a plain chicken breast, I fell weird when I use it now that I am not in college. After the chicken was cooked and cut up, and the broccoli was out of the oven, I followed the rest of the recipe to a "T." The sauce looked a little weird. Not creamy like I thought it would be. I ate it, but felt pretty "eh" about it.

The Mister had a different reaction. My husband will eat anything I cook. And most of the time he has seconds. (He even had seconds of the crockpot lasagna I made. The one that I deemed inedible and had PB&J instead.) I knew something was wrong as the number of chews per bite increased. 
"What is this?"
"It's kind of like chicken alfredo, but it's made with Greek yogurt."
"Don't make it again."
The next day, I picked out the rest of the chicken and the broccoli and made a wrap for lunch. Then I dumped the rest of it in the trash. This was a Pinterest fail.

Not everything I make from Pinterest turns out so yucky. One of my first pins has become one of my favorite go to dishes:Zucchini Casserole. Do not be scared off by the name, you can change it up by whatever veggies you have too much of, look good at the farmers market or just feel like eating. It also is a great one to bring to someone with a new baby or illness or what not. I am sharing that recipe today over at  The Life of Two SoKools. Check it out.

Have you had any Pinterest fails? What about yummy successes?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July Birchbox

Yay! Birchbox time! For those of you who don't know, Birchbox is a monthly subscription service and they send you fun beauty samples. Spoiler Alert: I pretty much loved my box.
1. This month Glamour and Birchbox teamed up to give a "senses" themed box. Look at the cute packaging.
2. Oscar de la Renta: Live in Love "elegant floral layers ethereal notes of hyacinth and orchid over a rich base of sandalwood and cedar." 
 I don't like it. That is all.
3. Bosica: Green tea blotting linens "These shine busting sheets absorb oil with all natural green tea extracts to leave skin matte." 
I tried these out and they seem to work pretty well. These will be in my bag on vacation for sure.
4.Eyeko: Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Purple "Direct from London, these punchy color liners feature a pen style applicator that's truly goofproof." 
I have never tried liquid liner, and had always been a bit nervous about it. BUT I guess that's the purpose of these boxes. Um, so simple and the purple was fun, but not tacky. 
5. Jouer: Luminizing Moisture Tint "This light weight award winner is our daily shortcut to dewy skin that feels natural and looks good."
This stuff felt okay, but it was such a small sample that I couldn't really decide if I liked it or not. 
6. Larabar uber bar: The latest addition to our snack drawer, these healthy and satisfying bars are packed with dried nuts and fruits."
YUMMY! Love me some larabars!
7. Do you see the fun earbuds? Lime green and hot pink?Yes please! I totally needed a new pair, and these are so fun!
Do you Birchbox? How do you try out new beauty products?

Click here to sign up for your own Birchbox!

Monday, July 16, 2012

What's the 411

 Sometimes I get caught up reading about all of these great ladies in the blog world, but I end up not really knowing the people behind the blogs. So this fun little link-up has us answering some of the questions, that most people in real life probably know about us. 

1. How long have you been blogging? And what got you started on blogging? Has your blog changed?
I started this little blog about 10 months ago. I had been reading blogs for quite awhile and decided to give it a go. I really enjoy having a place to write about our daily stuff, as well as the fun projects  and yummy recipes I try. It's been fun getting to know other bloggers and being apart of this community.
2. Did you go to college? If so where, and what did you study?
I did both my undergrad and graduate programs at Western Oregon University. My BA is in Health and PE Education, and my Masters is in Health Education.

3. Where have you traveled?

1. In 2004, I spent 2 weeks visiting my BFF in Guatemala when she was in the Peace Corps. 2. Then in 2006, I flew to Germany during the World Cup. (I also went to Amsterdam and Belgium while I was over there) 3. The Mister's family brought his family to Disney World about a year after we started dating. It was such a fun family vacation. 4. Last summer (and in less than a month!) we were in Kauai. 

I spent a summer in Maine as a camp counselor. The Mister and I have also been to California a few times since we have been together.

 4. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
The Mister and I have played the lottery exactly one time. That was when the jackpot was something like $650 billion. We talked a lot about what we would do. Our main answers: pay off the house/my school loans, donate a ton to my school, take my mom on a vacation, take ourselves on a fancy vacation, quit our jobs, give our house to a family we know and then buy a better house in a better fancier place. Then we didn't even match one number on our lottery ticket and we pouted.
5. What are your 3 biggest pet peeves?
People smoking around me, people texting when we are hanging out, and bad drivers (you know, other than me)
6. What is your favorite movie?
The Mister makes fun of my movie choices all the time. Apparently I really like only "semi-good" movies. Some of my top choices are:
7. What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea?
I am NOT a wine drinker, but I really enjoy craft beers. I like going beer tasting the way some people go wine tasting. I also really like cold water and Diet Coke, with lime.
8. What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time?
Sewing, cooking, reading. I must be 83.
9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, which store would it be?
um, Target. Is this a real question?

10. Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past? Or present.
I try not to let too many things bother me now, I mean I teach middle school. The most recent thing was during my first year teaching at my current school. The band was selling these long beef jerky sticks and an 8th grade boy had one through his belt loop. I remember yelling out in class, "Tobias, get the beef stick out of your pants." So much laughing. From everyone.
11. What day would you love to relive again?
Our wedding. Any day in Kauai.
12. If your life was turned into a movie... what actor would play you?
My life is pretty mundane, so it would be a pretty boring movie. But obviously Reese Witherspoon would play me.
Or if we were going by my dopplegangers, it would be Nick Nolte. :(

13. What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years?
My first job was selling fancy kids clothes at the mall. Then I moved on to work at Spencer Gifts for two years. Before college I was a waitress at a Mongolian Buffet (which I loved.) During college I was an RA and then I worked at Target for a couple years before I started teaching.
14. Show us a picture from high school or college.
 I would love to, but I honestly don't have any digital pictures from back in the day. I should actually scan some so that I have a copy in case something terrible happens (like a fire or flood or Zombies) Here is one of the oldest I have. Its from Guatemala, which is 8 years ago.
I'm making tortillas.
15. If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?
I'd love to go to Spain. Or Paris. Or take out a globe, spin it and point. That sounds like a good place.
16. Show us the most current picture of you or you and your family.
Us at the beach a couple weeks ago.

17. Where do you see your life 5 years from now?
Happy. With a little or two. (Depending on how the first one goes...) Teaching. Maybe in a different school? Living somewhere in the valley. Maybe here? Maybe in a bigger house? 

So, what do I need to know about you? 

Weekend Adventures: Middle Ages Edition

Sorry about the absence! I have just been loving that we finally have gotten some great weather in these parts. But never fear, the clouds returned yesterday. Just in time because people were complaining about the heat. Hello! Did you not just live through 8 months of clouds and rain? Let's enjoy our 80 degree weather!

Friday I ran some errands, and then hung out with my BFF and her baby. She is a year old now and is just a hoot to hang out with. Seriously, I just wrote "hoot." Who am I? Her neighbors were having a garage sale and I picked this baby up for $13.

I have plans for this guy. Both immediate and long term.

Then I set up the kiddie pool for Gus and we cooled off a bit.

Saturday, the Mister and I headed out to a Renaissance Faire. I have never been to one of these, and I was a little over whelmed at first. I also felt like I was in an episode of Gilmore Girls.
Don't you just love Gilmore Girls? It's my all time favorite.

Tons of people were in costumes, there were horses and jugglers and jousting. Oh my. I forgot my camera but The Mister took a couple shots with his iPod.

There were "wanted" posters up all around for the guy in the fashionable red headband.  
This was our knight for the joust. He lost. But he was hitting on the girl with the curly hair.

On Sunday, it cooled off quite a bit. We ended up grilling and playing a little Bocce ball in the backyard. 

How was your weekend? Have you ever been to a Renaissance Faire?
Linking up with Dana, Sami, and Leeann 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pinterest Challenge: Beach Towel Dress

It's Pinterest Challenge time! Y'all know I love me some Pinterest, and I always love the Pinterest Challenge put on by the lovely Bower Power and Young House Love. This season's challenge is also hosted by Centsational Girl and Ten June. This is my third challenge to participate in. Previously I made a Christmas Ornament out of a wedding invitation and a couple of fun pillows for my couch. For this installment, I wanted to do something summery, and I wanted to do one of the projects I had already bought the materials for. Confession, I pin things, I buy the materials to get them done, then I quickly move on to pinning more things before I actually make things. It's a cycle.

I started by looking through my pin boards, then at the materials I had already bought. Here is my inspiration:
She had some pretty simple sounding directions. Being that I am an intermediate sewer at best, I thought I could do this. But, I have never used elastic thread, and I didn't really know what "shirring" meant. (It's when you make the fabric bunchy/stretchy in a cute way.) So after I pulled out my sewing machine, my cute beach towel, and some elastic thread, I Googled shirring and found this fantastic tutorial on how to shir fabric. But really, it was super easy. 

Basically you are just sewing straight lines the long way down the towel, back stitching at the beginning and end of each row. Really the important part is to hand wind your bobbin with the elastic thread. I had to wind my bobbin about 5 or 6 times during the whole process.
This is my artistic talent at its finest. This is a towel.
I shirred about 35 rows. In the tutorial she has the row marked with a fabric pen first. I thought that was too much work, so I just used my presser foot as a guide. When your done, spray and press. 
This is where I kind of got lost. She said "sew up the side seams and add straps." Hmm. Sew up the side seams? I decided the best way to do this was to pin the two short edges and sew a straight line, basically making a big tube with my towel. I didn't take a picture of it, but if you squeeze your eyes closed, you can probably picture it.

For the straps, I found some coordinating terry cloth fabric. and cut two pieces to 4" wide and 20" long.
Another fabulous rendition of fabric.
Fold one in half hot dog (2x20) and sew a seam. Turn it inside out and do the same with the second strap.
Next attach the straps. I put the towel tube on and pinned the straps where I liked them. I attached them with a zig zag stitch because I am fancy.

I wore my creation this weekend when we went to the coast for the day. It will for sure be in my suitcase when we head to Kauai next month.

I really like how it turned out. This is the first wearable item I have made. While I was sewing it, I just kept telling myself that this is a cover up, not a wedding dress so mistakes weren't that big of a deal. (Although, I don't think I made too many mistakes.)

Do you sew? What did you make for the Pinterest Challenge?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Weekend Adventures: beach, fireworks and more!

What a fantastic weekend! True to Oregon form, summer showed up on July 5th.
Summer in Western Oregon.
Friday, I spent the day working on my Pinterest Challenge craft. After The Mister got home, we had dinner and then made our way over to the new fro-yo place that opened up near my house. When I say near, I mean if I was one of these guys, I could make it there in under a minute.



Those are the winners from the 2012 US Olympic Trials in the 400 meter run. Yes, the fro-yo place opened up a quarter of a mile from my house. Close enough to walk and close enough to get into trouble. (You know, trouble for my wallet and my waist line.)

Saturday, we decided that it had been way to long since the last time we took a day trip over to the coast, so that is just what we did.

 I got that floppy straw hat to help keep the sun off my head/face. But I noticed I was the only one  who wouldn't be able to order from the seniors menu who was wearing one. Are they not in style? I mean skin cancer is definitely not in style, but I thought my hat was cute.

We made it back home and realized that my town's Independence Day festivities were not over yet, and they were having another firework show at the river front.
Listening to a band , waiting for it to get dark. It's crazy that all of this was flooded in January.

He hates it when I make him pose for pictures.
When we got home our poor dog was hiding in the bathroom. Even with his anti-anxiety medication, he still is really afraid of the fireworks. We live about a mile away from the park, so it is pretty loud at our house.

Sunday, we headed over to the Mister's parents for some bocce and BBQ, but not until I noticed the sharp pain on my legs.

I am so mad about this. I mean I used sunscreen, I wore a floppy hat. Ugh. After we came home, I had to ease my pain. We headed about 400 meters away and I was treated to this:

That's right, my fro-yo count for the weekend is now up to 2.

How was your weekend? What are your thoughts on my floppy hat? What are your favorite fro-yo toppings/flavors?

Linking up with Sami, Dana, and  LeAnn for the Weekend Update!