Saturday, May 31, 2014

Quinoa Salad Variation #1 - Summer Quinoa Salad (GF, Vegan)

As the weather has been getting warmer, I have been obsessed with making quinoa salads.  Inspired by a bean salad recipe I found, I soon found myself playing around with different ingredients to add into my quinoa salads.  Over the past couple months, I've come up with countless variations, but wasn't able to get a good picture until the most recent one I made yesterday.

I love making a big batch of this so that I can take it with me to class or work throughout the week.  Since it's a cold salad and has a great balance of proteins, carbs, and fats, these are one of my favorite foods to make in advance.

Paired with some salmon, this was the perfect dinner!

To see what's in here, keep reading:

Friday, May 23, 2014

May 2014 Empties

To kick off my beauty posts again, I decided to clear out some things that have been sitting in my room and show you all my empties.  To reiterate all my past posts, I like showing my empties as a way to show the products I liked enough to actually finish.  It's also a pathetic little attempt at justifying the amount of makeup I have by seeing the products I actually finish. It works....right?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Academics, achievements, memories, and beyond: the post-graduation reflection post you've all been waiting for may have all noticed that I've been a little quiet with my posts lately.  Part of that is explained by the most brutal weeks of finals I have ever encountered.  All my final papers, exams, and assignments absolutely killed me this semester.  I don't think I've ever been so sleep deprived, exhausted, or frustrated with school.

Then as soon as finals were over and before I really had a chance to recover, it was graduation...a weekend that flew by with ceremonies, receptions, family, and dinners.  In the midst of these activities, I couldn't help but be, like many others, a little sentimental about my time at college.

Three years ago, I stepped onto campus bright-eyed and excited for my future, convinced it would last forever.  I embraced college life - the dorms, the friends, the classes, the campus, DC, everything.  I became completely absorbed into student life in DC - I had friends, passion for what I was studying.  I loved my classes, my professors, and the intellectual challenges that I encountered.  Freshman year flew by in a flurry of classes, new friends, and new experiences, and before I knew it, I was jetting off into Central and South America on my first study abroad trip. In that summer, many things happened, but among them was a sense of finding out who I was and becoming comfortable with it.  That feeling has only grown stronger over the past two years as I've slowly started to discover what I like, what I don't like, and what I want for myself.  Do I know who I am now?  Will I ever know who I am?  Probably not.  But I take comfort in knowing that I will always be figuring it out in search of finding out what makes me me and becoming more comfortable with the uncertainty of never knowing exactly who I am.

I walked into college knowing I would graduate in three years, but I did not anticipate how quickly those three years would fly.  It seems like yesterday that I was meeting my roommate, and now we're both moving on together onto bigger and better things.  It also seems like yesterday that I landed in Berlin, Germany for my study abroad and felt instantly like I had finally found a place where I belonged, even though I had never been there before.

 Over the past year, I've convinced myself that my upcoming year at the school would be like a senior year; after all, it would be my fourth year at school.  But I'm realizing now that it won't be the same.  I will be a graduate student, taking a different load of courses, interacting with different people in my classes, and away from my friends that graduated with me.  It's time to accept that my undergraduate career is over; that although I will be here another year, the three years that I thought would last for forever have quickly come to an end.  It even seems like yesterday that I started my fall semester, entering my first graduate level class and becoming both a graduate and undergraduate student, completely sure of what I was doing yet totally terrified and underestimating myself.  This year was hard. I was challenged emotionally and mentally in ways that I had never experienced before.  I was stretched to my limits academically and somehow found myself (miraculously, at times) meeting those challenges.

When I look back on my years, I know they have been filled with yes, lots of academics and all-nighters and papers, but they have also been filled with accomplishments, challenges, friendships, and invaluable memories.  I would not be the person I am today without the friendship and support of various classmates, colleagues, and professors.  Without them, I would not have made it through the long nights of homework and stressful exam seasons without completely losing it.  I've completely changed since I entered college, and I consider that a good thing.  Equal parts more sure of myself and even more uncertain of myself,  my college career has ended, and I'm ready to move on to bigger things.