Tuesday, December 22, 2015

10 Class Yoga Challenge

10 yoga classes, 12 days. I found this Groupon for 10 yoga classes at Annapolis Power Yoga for $29. Not bad, especially since I usually pay $5/class to drop in classes at Back Bay Yoga in Boston. Even if I don't use all of them, it's still a great deal! I've been to 3 different classes so far, and absolutely love all of them! I mostly love how this is a thing I can do every day that gets me out of the house and keeps me active. Here's a quick breakdown of the classes they offer:


1. Vinyasa Power Hour

1 hour of moderate yoga in a 90 degree room. I was definitely sweating a ton by the end of it, and it was a great workout. I typically prefer room-temperature yoga because it helps me focus more on the flow and not dying of heat exhaustion, but it was still a great class.


2. XY Sculpt

This class was unlike any other class I've taken at a yoga studio before. It was a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout with a yoga twist. This class is for men and women and felt more like a group fitness class at the gym rather than a yoga class. There were 2 sets that we went through twice each. Each set had 8 active moves that we did for 40 seconds followed by a yoga stretch pose for 20 seconds. It was a full body workout with some moves dedicated to cardio, arms, legs and abs. Great workout, will definitely do again.


3. Buti

This is a women's only class and it was truly a unique experience. It was a combination of yoga and strength training that all came together in an intense and sweaty hour. I consider myself to be in pretty good shape and this was a tough one. I could barely do a lot of the moves, and some of them required much more flexibility than I have. Even though I didn't go all out during the entire class, it was still a great workout.


Another aspect of using this Groupon is it requires me to do only yoga as a workout for 2 weeks. I'm not running, I'm not going to the gym; I'm only doing classes at this yoga studio. It is a new experience for me, as I usually incorporate  yoga into my existing workout routine, but so far I like it a lot! Stay tuned for an analysis after my time at home is done.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Homemade Christmas Presents: Snowman Mugs

It's that time of year. My mom has yet again requested everyone exchange homemade Christmas presents. Last year, I made homemade body scrubs so this year I needed to come up with something different. I went back to Pinterest and found this adorable idea from Happy Go Lucky. They're regular mugs that you draw on with Sharpies to look like snowmen and bake them! So easy! I also made dry cake mix to make mug cakes with, to round out the gift. I'm so proud of this idea that I made a few extra for friends! So easy, so cheap and it makes a great gift!

For the mugs, absolutely no artistic talent is needed. You just need to know how to spell your friends' names and draw circles and a triangle. There is much debate on the internet about how long and at what temperature to bake these mugs in order to keep the image from fading. After extensive research, I settled on 350 degrees for 30 minutes, with the mugs in the oven before preheating and keeping them in there with the oven off after the 30 minutes. Since the mugs I made have not been used yet, I don't know how they'll hold up after washes, but I'll make sure to update this post after I have a verdict!

For the chocolate cake mix, I wanted to find a recipe that you could keep dry and just measure out and add water when you were ready to make one (no other wet ingredients). I found this recipe from The More With Less Mom and it turned out great! Of course I made myself a sample mug cake to test out the recipe and microwave times (nom!). Each mug cake is about 1/4 c mix, so I put a few servings in a mason jar and included a tag with instruction to make the cakes. The mason jar and mug fit nicely in a small gift bag, and were easy to transport. I think this is a great pairing of gifts and I would definitely love to receive something like it! Let me know if you have made something like this before or if you have any questions!


Snowman Mug




Materials: 

1 white clay mug (from Dollar Store, Target, wherever)
1 black oil-based Sharpie paint pen (I got mine from Michael's craft store)
1 orange oil-based Sharpie paint pen
Oven

Instructions: 

Wash mug in dishwasher. Dry completely and avoid touching the surface with your hands, because they can leave behind oils that will distort your drawing. Draw name and snowman image as shown in the picture, or whatever you want! Let dry for 24 hours. Place in non-preheated oven. Preheat to 350, then set the timer for 30 minutes once it preheats. Turn off oven and let cool in the oven (to prevent cracking from harsh temperature changes). Wrap!


Just Add Water Chocolate Cake Mix

Makes one serving (duplicate as many times as necessary)

Ingredients: 

2 T flour
1T + 1.5 t sugar
1/4 baking powder
1 T dry milk
1 T cocoa powder
pinch salt

Instructions: 

Combine all ingredients. When ready to make cake, add 2 T water. Microwave 40 seconds, then in 10 second intervals until the top looks dry. Let stand 2 minutes, then eat!



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

My Biggest Transition Yet

I write a lot in this blog about transitions; class to co-op, co-op to home, home to class, repeat. This next transition is my biggest transition thus far. Bigger than going to college. This is the transition into post-grad adulthood. And with it comes a ton of other transitions that require an update.

Today is my last day of undergrad. The end of my last class at 4:30 signifies my completion of all academic requirements. I have no finals, and all my final projects, papers & presentations are done. Walking out of that class is the end. Is this overly dramatic? Probably. But I've been affiliated with this school since September 2011, 4 and a half years ago, and today marks the end. Tomorrow is a quick ceremony for December business grads (and I mean quick. I think it consists of a brief address by the dean and a champagne toast), but then I'm off into the real world. I get to come to the big graduation in May 2016 to walk with my fellow graduates, but after tomorrow, I have nothing tying me to Northeastern.

Taken after walking out of my last undergrad class ever. 
So then what? What am I going to do after that? We all know how much I struggle with free time. Probably cook a lot, and clean, pack, work out, typical stuff. This weekend marks another transition in my life: I'm moving to Cambridge. This is an unofficial right of passage for Boston area college students. Moving from on/near campus to Cambridge, Somerville, Brighton, Allston or Brookline signifies that you are moving on with your life after college, but electing to stay relatively local. I've wanted to live in Cambridge for a while, and I'm excited the time is finally here.

Next week, I'm going home for the holidays, and I bought a Groupon for 10 yoga classes at Annapolis Power Yoga that will hopefully keep me occupied and out of the house for those two weeks. After that is a much-anticipated trip to Maine with my boyfriend, where we will snowmobile, eat, and relax for a few days. I absolutely can't wait for the winter wonderland adventure.

Then I'm back in Cambridge for a couple weeks before starting work at HubSpot, which is also in Cambridge. HubSpot is a really cool company, rated the best company to work for in Boston several years in a row. They are a tech company that makes marketing software, and I actually used their product during my third co-op. I'm starting as a marketing intern, and hopefully transitioning into a full-time position at some point next year. It seems like I can't go even a few months without at transition :/

Another exciting thing right now is I just celebrated my 1 year anniversary with my amazing boyfriend! I can't believe it's been a year already; I feel like we just started dating. But we've had an awesome year and I'm looking forward to many to come. Having a solid relationship is just another scary symbol that my life is kind of coming together and solidifying (maybe).

Despite the craziness of this semester, I managed to hold onto my sanity, at the price of keeping up with this blog. So now that school/Husky Ambassadors/TA/job hunt/apartment hunt are over, I am confident that I will be able to find a little more time to post stuff on here. So stay tuned for all of the Big City Dreams post-grad adventures :)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

First Post of the Semester: Chicken Tagine

If it hasn't been obvious, this semester has been pretty nuts for me. Between finishing my last 4 classes, leading the tour guide organization, mentoring freshman, apartment/job hunting  and trying to see my friends and boyfriend, I have almost no time to blog anymore. Just wait until winter break, when my schedule will crack wide open.

This recipe was exactly what I needed to start out my week. It was in a recipe magazine we got from the grocery store that I absent-mindedly flipped through while hanging out with my roommates. This recipe is unique, delicious, and really easy. And the ingredients are super normal and easy to find! Definitely try this one out if you've never ventured into Moroccan fare!

Chicken Tagine

Serves 4-5



Ingredients: 

1 box couscous
2 T oil
1 t onion powder
Salt & pepper
1 large chicken breast, sliced into thin chunks
1 large or 2 small zucchinis/squash
12ish baby carrots
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 t cumin, cinnamon, ground ginger

Instructions: 

Prepare couscous according to package directions. Heat oil in a large pan or pot over medium heat. Add chicken, onion powder salt & pepper, and cook for 2 minutes. Add squash and carrots and cook 2 more minutes. Add tomatoes and spices and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Serve over couscous.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Pesto Pasta with Shrimp & Sausage

What a quick and easy meal. This take about 10 minutes to make and is absolutely delicious. Use packaged pesto and it's even easier! For the week that I'm home, I asked my parents what they wanted me to cook. My mom requested this one. And I remembered why it's so good after I made it for her.

Pesto Pasta with Shrimp & Sausage

Serves 4



Ingredients: 


8 oz pasta
2 c green beans, trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
2 T oil
8 oz sausage, sliced
8 oz frozen shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into small chunks
1/2 c prepared pesto
parmesan cheese for topping (optional)

Instructions: 


Cook pasta and green beans in boiling water according to pasta package instructions. Meanwhile, brown sausage in a pan with oil, then add shrimp, salt & pepper and cook until shrimp are opaque, about 4 minutes. Drain pasta & green beans, then add to shrimp & sausage. Add pesto and stir to combine. Serve with paremesan cheese on top.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Job Search: Week 1

Well it has officially been a week into my "summer" and I've already applied to 9 jobs! I think that's a lot, but I really have no idea. Here are a few things I've learned over the past week:
  1. Job hunting is EXHAUSTING! I thought it would just be like scrolling through pages of job listings, but it's hard! You have to read the job description (which is usually really long), decide if it applies to you, decide if you want that job, research the company, decide if you want to work there, and find out where it is before deciding to apply or not! And then some of the applications are really long! It's such a process and it's super tedious. 
  2. Job hunting is a self reflection. Over the past week, I have though a lot about who I am and what career path I want to start down in January. Do I want to stay in Boston? Do I even want to be in marketing? Do I want to work at a start up? Big company? Drive to work? Live in the city? SO MANY QUESTIONS! And each job description I read calls all of them into play. 
  3. Job hunting is kinda fun. Any job could be my future destiny. Each company I read about could be my home for the next year or more. So many possibilities! 
  4. Job hunting is scary. What if no one calls me? What if I'm unemployed forever? What if I run out of money and end up living on the street? All of these thoughts go through the head of a job seeker. 
  5. Job hunting is never ending, maybe. Even once I get hired somewhere, I have to remember that I don't have to stay there forever. Every job description I read could be my home for only a year, until I find a new & better opportunity. The job hunt never actually ends, but your options expand over time. 
I have a second round phone screening tomorrow with the only company I have heard back from so far. If it goes well, maybe I'll get an in-person interview! Fingers crossed! 

Stay tuned for more panic attack prevention and coping mechanisms throughout this twentysomething's first foray into the real world job search. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Every graduating senior's worst nightmare: The Job Search

And so it begins...well, not quite yet. But soon. Since I am graduating in December (oh my god is that only 4 months away??!!?!), the time has come to start the dreaded job search process. I have a week left of summer classes, then two weeks off before the fall (and my last) semester starts. Those two weeks will be filled with a ton of researching, resume editing and panicking as this whole process ramps up.

Why is the idea of looking for a job so scary? I think it is because we are always taught that smart people get good jobs. If you study hard, you will get a good job. So if you apply for some jobs and never hear anything, does that mean that you're not smart? That you're not worthy of a good job? No, of course not, but sometimes it feels that way. Since so many of my friends graduated this past May and are still looking for jobs, I can easily see that finding a position and having high self worth are very closely related.

I am going to use this blog to detail the steps that I took in the hopes that I land in a great spot and readers can learn from my experiences. Writing it out will be useful for me to organize my thoughts, and ideally useful for any other job hunter out there.

Here's a quick description of what I've done so far:

  • Made an appointment with my on-campus Career Services office to talk about starting the job search process.  
  • Updated my Linked In to include a summary and a few other general updates. 
  • Used connections to set up a coffee chat with a guy who has worked in my industry for several years. 
  • Talked to my co-op boss from earlier this year about the current state of the company. 
  • Updated my resume
What is going to happen next week: 
  • Go to the Career Services meeting. 
  • Really think about what I want to do, where geographically, and what type of company.
  • Prevent panic attacks by remembering that I'm starting really early and still have plently of time. 
Then what: 
  • Not totally sure yet, I guess it depends on what happens next week. But most likely:
  • Learning how to write a cover letter. 
  • Actually applying to jobs. 
  • Finding people to refer me to a job if they know people at the places I'm applying
  • Probably panic a little
So join me on this journey to employment. It's bound to be a wild ride, so buckle up.