Cooking for College!

Anyone who knows me probably knows that I do not cook. Sure, I can follow a recipe if I’m given instructions but even my mom is hesitant giving me a simple task like chopping an onion for stir-fry. Add in meat and sauces and I’m toast. So naturally, I jumped at the change to sign-up for a “Cooking for College” class at a nearby culinary school. Luckily, I roped my brother into coming with me for the 2 hour class that was intended to teach us easy and tasty things that can be made with limited resources! 

We learned how to make homemade mac-n-cheese, asian noodles, fried rice, chili, and a veggie wrap! 

DSC00404DSC00406DSC00407All of these were so quick and easy to make! They are also so flexible and just by mixing up a few ingredients can be totally transformed so you do not get tired! It was also cool because instead of following a recipe, we free formed most of the meals so you can mold them to your own tastes (salty, spicy, etc.) I definitely feel like I learned new things that I can take with me when I’m back living and eating on my own!

Party Patrol

While getting away can be fun, it can also be expensive. I just went up to the mountains with friends and was a bit nervous beforehand because I knew that we would be needing to provide our own meals seeing as we were parent-less. While I did not mind splurging for a nice brunch in town, I was wondering how we were going to provide dinner later in the night for fifteen hungry twenty-somethings who would probably be hungry the entire evening.

While one girl said she would make pasta and salad for everyone, we ultimately decided pizza would be the best option. But then there’s the question of where do we get it from? Then you ponder whether delivery or pick-up would be easier, what kind to get, where’s the cheapest… and the list goes on and on.

So instead a couple of my friends go to the grocery store and find these pizzas on sale…

naturallySupreme

They got 8 of them for about fifty dollars (almost five dollars a piece!) That sure beats delivery (which was going to come to about 25 dollars per pizza) and they were tasty. Not to mention, we made six of them around 7 and then had 2 left over for around midnight when those late-night cravings kicked in! Definitely a good and tasty way to save money without sacrificing taste!

Coffee Conundrum

 

To drink or not to drink?

To drink or not to drink?

 

Growing up, I abhorred coffee. Literally, I would not allowed in my vicinity. My grandpa always smelt like coffee and after a few minutes of sitting on his lap, I was done. I would wait outside of Starbucks while my mom ordered her latte to go. And every time I attempted to drink any sort of coffee or espresso concoction, I would gag from the taste. 

Looking back, that all seems silly. Unfortunately, it also seems lucky. If I still lived like that now, I would be saving lots of money. 

It all started with a Java Chip Frappacino given to me by a friend. Forget the benefits of the caffeine, that drink tasted good! From there, it just got worst with White Chocolate Mochas and Skinny Vanilla Lattes becoming more tasty and accessible by the day. 

Then enter college where there is a Starbucks on campus tempting me in between every class. Yes it is energizing, delicious, and quick, but all those drinks can add up quick. So, I started making it a point to make my trip to Starbucks a treat, something special to reward me for a complete paper, long day at work, or job well done. 

Even that did not go as planned, and I realized drastic measures needed to be taken. At work, there is readily accessible coffee, but could I really just drink black coffee without all the extra sweeteners, milk, and chocolate-y goodness to dull down the rich coffee flavor? I resolved that if I wanted to save money and still be energized, this is what had to be done. And I can successfully say I just finished my first cup of plain coffee (with a tad bit of Splenda to sweeten it up!) 

It really was not that bad. I drank it all, I feel the effects of the caffeine working today, and best of all? It was free! 

I still plan on treating myself to a Vanilla Latte from a coffee shop every now and then, but for now, I will continue to practice drinking my plain coffee and liking it. I even read this article in SELF magazine that exposes all the hidden benefits of the drink that you may not know of. Any other coffee haters out there might start doing what I am, and forcing a cup of java down just to reap the benefits!

Cutting Costs with Carrots!

Since college I have developed a love of carrots. Dipping them in hummus, creamy italian, or just eating them plain, always serves as a satisfying afternoon snack! Today, I left my mom a grocery list of things that I wanted her to pick up for me (since I rarely have time to get to the grocery store and it seems like she lives there!) On my list were baby carrots (because she does not seem to ever buy them on her own). However, when she returned that day I did not see a bag of baby carrots but instead saw this…

 

Those don't look like the baby carrots I know...

Those don't look like the baby carrots I know...

Turns out she made it to the farmer’s market that day too and got these instead… Lucky me, I get assigned the task of cutting them! Her excuse? They taste better and are healthier, but really? All that manual labor for a tiny bit of carrot to tide me over from lunch into dinner?

Nevertheless, I took on the challenge. I peeled each and every carrot and cut them up until they looked something like this…

 

TADA!!!

TADA!!!

And I’ll admit, they do taste a lot fresher and better than those tiny, perfectly rounded carrot bites that come in the plastic bags in the refrigerator aisle. AND think of all the money you save! I cannot wait to pack these in my lunch for work tomorrow along with my hummus to dip! 

If you want something more to do with carrots, check out this article and the possibilities are endless!

Package Perfection

 

My new TOMS

My new TOMS!

They came, they came, they came! 

So those who know me, know that I am obsessed with TOMS shoes. After a brief stint of working for them last summer, I instantly fell in love with the styles and comfortableness of these shoes. This summer, I wear my two pairs interchangeably to one of my jobs because they are so comfortable and understated. 

I knew that I wanted a new pair before I go to Europe so patiently waited for the new fall styles to come out. I ordered them last week and they finally came and let me just say, I’m obsessed. These are by far my favorite style of the ones that I have and I feel like they will be perfect for Spain! 

I also hit up Nordstrom Anniversary Sale last week to grab things like a new Northface, some pants, and other shoes that I know I will want this fall!

I got my travel books in the mail too so am started to get all prepped and ready for this adventure!

Rev up to Running!

Seriously... get some.

Seriously... life changing.

As a rising college junior on any given Saturday during summer my schedule should look something like this: sleep in and lay by the pool until it’s time to shower to prepare to go out on the town in a new dress and heels to take advantage of the “best years of my life.” 

Unfortunately, in my world Saturday equals working from nine in the morning to nine at night. Then, I come home (covered in baby spit-up from the 5 month old I babysat), all to shower and get into bed because I am exhausted. 

Don’t you wish you were nineteen again? Unfortunately, this summer has been marred by the desperate cries emanating from my empty purse, begging for green bills to fill it before I prance around Europe for four months. How do I get by on days like this? Truth is, morning runs. And never before have I loved to run until these shoes. 

Thanks to one of my favorite events of the summer, Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, these babies are on sale and worth every penny. 

I never ever knew what a difference a good pair of running shoes could make, until now. This morning I felt myself wanting to run and run, like I had support under me that could propel me up mountain cliffs! I had thoughts of running marathons, doing triathlons and anything else that would allow me to stay in these shoes longer. 

Running before working long days makes it all the more bearable. And thanks to these shoes, the running itself is more bearable than ever before.

It’s time.

27-foodclock

So it would be an understatement to say that I spend an unreasonable amount of time on the computer.

This summer at both my internship and paying job I always find myself looking around the web. Needless to say, I have become obsessed with twitter, yelp, hungrygirl, and blogs all over. One common theme? FOOD. I’m in college though and naturally living on a very tight budget. Maybe that’s why I find joy in reading about all the great food out there that I just can’t have? Even so, I somehow get by and am frankly tired of just reading about everyone elses food experiences… I want to share my own! So here it goes.

I hope to share tips and my experiences based around living happily, healthily and frugally!