Saturday Seven: Counting Down Already?

Hi guys! It’s my first weekend back at school and I can already say that I think I may be overwhelmed this semester! Not that I haven’t thought that pretty much every semester of my school career, but this one looks like it might kick my butt if I don’t stay on top of things.

The classes, while probably difficult, are at least hopefully interesting. I’ve got a broadcast news class–what I’m majoring in and want to do with my life (and apparently it’s a very popular class…there’s a gigantic waiting list)–a business reporting class, a studio production workshop class, an American environmental history class, a class on the history of U.S. national parks and a weather & climate class. So, all things I’m interested in (journalism, U.S. history and weather) but this is my first semester taking all 300 and 400 level classes, aka I’m one of the only sophomores in most of them! Which is fine, but I can definitely predict them being a challenge.

1. Colorado’s getting a Trader Joe’s!

These look like tasty veggie burgers!

I actually mentioned this in one of my most recent Saturday Seven posts and just the other day on my Twitter. I was sooooo upset that TJs had no future plans for a store in Colorado, but then a few nights ago on the news and two days ago on the Coloradoans for Trader Joe’s Facebook page, it’s apparently official that they’re coming to good old CO sometime soon. Of course, the first location will be in Boulder, but I don’t care that it’s 2 hours from home (or an hour from my college campus)–I am dragging my parents there as soon as it opens! I can’t wait to try all the amazing products that everyone in the blog world raves about!

2. I’m already counting down to spring break

This is where I spent my spring break 2 years ago--any guesses where I was?

Yes, I’m fully aware that school just started, but can you blame me for wanting a break already? The weather here, despite being fairly warm for winter, still isn’t as great as spring (or summer) weather and I’m longing for the days when I can wear skirts with bare legs again, and reunite with my flip-flop collection. Until then, I’ll just be inside, bundled up, counting down the days til spring break (only 35 school days left!)

3. I need this puppy in my life…stat!

Who could resist this little face?

I got a daily calendar of cute animals for Christmas, and this is by far the cutest thing I’ve seen in it! I just want to keep this little guy forever and ever. I used to think I hated little dogs, but this is one of the most adorable dogs ever! If I can’t have a greyhound (dream dog), I’ll settle for a cute Chihuahua!

4. I have a new drink obsession

Mmmmm, Country Peach Passion tea!

I used to be a hardcore hot tea hater. I could only stand iced tea, which is ironically my drink of choice during the summer (preferably flavored and sweetened only with Truvia). Once I tried the Celestial Seasonings candy cane lane and sugar cookie sleigh ride teas, however, I was hooked! Before heading back up to school, I grabbed the fruit variety pack sampler and hoped these teas would be just as amazing. And…they are! I especially love the peach one, since it reminds me of summer, but the true blueberry and wild berry zinger ones are also winners. The acai mango zinger flavor is on my list of flavors to try!

5. I’m really loving this song right now

I don’t know why, but this song just makes me super happy! It doesn’t hurt that Enrique is a super-sexy beast 😉 I just bought it the other day, and every time I listen to it, I pretend that I’m the star of a movie and this song is the soundtrack. Anyone else ever do that with songs? It’s just me then?

6. Trying out new products is the highlight of my life

Just a few of the new products in my life!

Ever since NaNeFoMo, I’ve been more motivated than ever to try out new foods! On my back-to-school shopping trips, I bought a bunch of new-to-me things, including blood oranges, Amy’s bistro burgers and vegan soups, organic refried pinto beans with chile and lime, Lightlife vegan smart bacon, Ezekiel sprouted corn tortillas and Archer Farms frozen grilled peppers. What I’ve tried so far has been amazing, and I can’t wait to sample the rest. The only way you can find out if you like something is to try it!

7. The only two things on my wishlist: an apartment and a car

The Mini Cooper: (one of my) dream cars.

Even though I signed the lease for my apartment next year a month or so ago, I’m still nervous that something will fall through and I’ll have to do the dorm thing again, which is NOT okay with me. I did it for a year and a half, and I’m already so done with it. I need a kitchen and more independence, ya know? And a car…well, that’s also a big one. I could live without it if I had an apartment, but I’d prefer to have one so I could actually go places on my own without relying on other people. Of course, I have a few cars on my dream list, but I’d be perfectly okay with any safe, working car!

What is the best new product you’ve tried lately? What is your ‘dream’ car?

Oh We Need a Little Christmas [Inspiration]

OMG! Can you believe that Christmas Eve is tomorrow and then it’s Christmas? And in a little over a week, we’ll all be embarking on a brand new year! How crazy is that? 

I have definitely been getting into the Christmas spirit lately, between watching classics like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and SNL’s “A Very Gilly Christmas” TV special (okay, not so much a classic but I adore SNL!) and stocking up on groceries for the big day. But there’s also a big part of me that almost can’t believe it’s so close to Christmas already. That’s where my little inspiration board comes in!

Okay, so a few of the things don’t seem so Christmas-y, but trust me, they are! I really want a pair of booties for Christmas (like in the lower right hand picture), and that cheetah scarf would make a nice stocking stuffer. Oh, and those bejeweled nails would just be great to have any time 😉

I don’t want to leave you with a post that’s completely food-less so I’ll share some of what I’m planning on eating in the next couple of days!

Vegan butternut squash ravioli? Ummmm yes!

I discovered vegan ravioli over the summer and it was goooooood! I decided to try this brand this time around and the butternut squash kind sounds like it’ll turn out delicious. This is going to be my Christmas Eve dinner, topped with some kind of curry sauce that I’m planning on making myself. Hopefully my peanut flour will arrive before then so I can use that!

Don't these just look adorable?

Continuing on my raw dessert kick, I’m planning on making these raw pecan pie tartlets for Christmas Eve or Day dessert. They’ve only got 5 ingredients, are completely raw and healthier for you than traditional pie. Plus who wouldn’t want a cute little “pie” of their own?

What’s putting you in the holiday spirit? Are you planning on making any desserts (share your recipes!)?

Saturday Seven: Sick of School

Aren’t you all pumped that it’s the weekend? To be honest, I’m actually not…because I have a lot to do this weekend, like a mini take home exam, making flash cards, a stats lab, working on a portfolio for my newswriting class and a meeting for a project that we’re presenting on Monday. So yeah, not the most fun weekend of my life, plus I am just itching to finish up this semester. Only 9 more full days on campus before I can leave for winter break–wahoo!

I think the worst time of any school year is coming back from Thanksgiving break. I got a week off from school, got to chill at home and enjoy a few shopping trips and Starbucks runs, as well as a fully stocked kitchen. Break went by wayyyyyy too fast, and then I find myself back at school, with three weeks left in the semester before an even longer break. By the time I got back, I was so used to being on break that it felt so weird to have to come back to school, but not in a good way like after summer break. More like a “I just can’t wait to be done” kind of way. Now that a week’s gone by, it’s back to normal for the most part, but I still can’t wait to be done with this semester. I remember back in elementary school when we used to have class parties and cookie exchanges right before Christmas break. Now it’s finals time, along with tons of projects and what-not. So stressful.

I have a week left of classes, which includes one random final thrown in there and a project presentation, then I’m supposed to be headed home for an extended weekend so my wonderful daddy can help me with my stats take-home final and then it’s back to campus for 3 days to finish up finals. Whew, I’m getting exhausted just thinking about it! Anyways, this edition of Saturday Seven is all about random things that are (somewhat) related to the end of the semester, so enjoy!

1. Why doesn’t Colorado have a Trader Joes?

I need these in my life ASAP!

I mean, really?! This is what I’m missing out on? Come on Colorado, you’re a beautiful state and all but you’re killing me with the lack of Trader Joes. And by that I mean, there are literally none in the entire state. I keep reading about all these wonderful-sounding seasonal TJs products on practically every blog, and I’m drooling in jealousy over here. Sometimes people say they rarely go to TJs because it’s like 90 minutes away from home or something–I am so deprived that I would gladly travel that distance to get my hands on these Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s, as well as the entire contents of the store. However, I did join the Facebook group Coloradoans for Trader Joe’s, so we’ll see where that goes…

2. Just call me a master decorator…

Isn't it purty, especially with all the snow outside? The stupid light reflection ruins it though.

…Or just tell me to keep my day job, since I obviously am no Martha Stewart. I just wanted to bring a little Christmas cheer to my room, so stringing Christmas lights and sticking window clings was the best I could do. Oh, and I also have a mini Christmas tree, decked out in the colors of my room (purple, pink and orange). Maybe I am an expert after all!

3. Pandora is my new best friend

I'm loving the Christmas music playlists!

Who needs someone to talk to when you have an amazing app that plays the music you want to hear? When thinking about finals is putting me in a craptastic mood, I just turn on a little Christmas music and I’m instantly 10 times better. And it’s putting me in the Christmas spirit (the big day, btw, is in 3 weeks!)

4. Starbucks VIA Christmas Blend and I have a little fling going on

Once I dump a bazillion packets of Truvia in you, you actually taste delicious.

I bought some Starbucks VIA Christmas Blend 2011 on a whim, having no idea what it’d taste like. I live on instant coffee when I’m at school, with no easy access to a real ‘bucks, and come finals time, it’s even worse. I first tried it at home, and couldn’t stomach it. I’m used to their instant coffee packets that have a little sugar and flavoring already blended in. This is just straight-up ground coffee, which I’ve basically never had before. I thought these would go to waste, until I put 3 packets of Truvia in a cup and it turned out pretty good. I could still taste the coffee, and this particular blend has actually grown on me, but it wasn’t so bitter. I’m planning on trying it with a little mint chocolate soy milk, which will hopefully be even better. Here’s to our newfound relationship, Christmas Blend!

5. My planner is becoming one big countdown book 

This is just one of many!

You do not want to know how many pages are devoted to counting down to break. I have a count down for every day on the daily part of the planner, plus several in the extra pages, including how many weekends left on campus and how many class hours are left. I am a desperate woman with too much time on my hands, that’s for sure! Except scratch that last part, I don’t have that much time to waste but I do it anyway. Sorryimnotsorry.

6. Why does every little thing become so stressful around finals time?

Just don't be this girl!

The stupidest things ever are stressing me out right now. Like I opened my fridge door and as usual, all the stuff in the door flew out, including my mint chocolate soymilk, which ended up spilling all over the floor. Awesome. I practically had a meltdown about it, and there’s still a stain on the carpet because I was too stressed out to properly clean it up. Or when my purple pen stopped working the other day, I almost teared up. It’s just a stupid pen. But really, the littlest stuff sets me off right now. You’ve been warned.

7. I miss my sweet potatoes

'Nuff said.

I’ve mentioned the apparent sweet potato shortage in my area before, but coming back from Thanksgiving break with only one sweet potato with me is a crime. Considering I enjoyed one probably 4 times over break just makes me miss them even more. I’ve only got one, so I’ve gotta make it count. Wow, how pathetic am I?

What little things have been stressing you out? What is your favorite TJs product (if you have one near you) or what would be your favorite product (if you had one near you)?