Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pizza Time!!

In preparation for Hurricane Sandy, my boyfriend and I decided to batch cook so we'd have plenty of cooked meals in the (likely) event that we loose electricity. We decided to start of our night off  by cooking a pretty fun recipe - pizza! 

I love making pizza because you can make it exactly how you like it and it gives you the opportunity to be creative! You can also put pretty much anything you want on the pizza, so it's a great opportunity to clean out your refrigerator with any left over ingredients you may have.  

Because pizza making is so interactive you can make this into a cool date night idea. Also, when I was a nanny, I used to make pizzas with my kids all the time - they loved it, babysitters take note!!

Here is how we made our pizzas:

  1. Purchase the ingredients. You can go fairly crazy with this and get whatever you like. For our pizzas we used tomato basil sauce, fresh and ground mozzarella, turkey peperoni, fresh baby spinach, broccoli, and pizza dough for the crust. Note: If you decide to use pizza dough (versus the pre-made crusts) don't forget that you will need flour in order to mold the dough!
  2. Preheat the oven to the degree specified on the pizza dough wrapper. We preheated ours to 450 degrees
  3. Take as much dough as you like (depending on how large and thick you want your pizza), add some flour and stretch it out into whatever shape you like - just because PizzaHut has perfectly round pizzas don't mean you have to! Tip: If trying this is a date night activity... try making a heart :) !
  4. Once you've made it as thick and large as you'd like, add a layer of sauce. Again, it is completely up to you on how much sauce you want!
  5. Now add your toppings! Get creative!
  6. Plop your pizzas into the oven and wait referencing the directions on your dough packaging. Just to give you an idea, ours were in there for about 20 minutes.

  7. Take the pizzas out when they look done, let cool, enjoy!
Step 3: Spread out pizza dough

Step 5: Add your toppings!

Step 7: Let cool and eat!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Study Tips 101

My assignment notebook for the past week.

These past few weeks have been so stressful! We have just passed the mid-point of the semester, meaning many of my classes had mid-term assessments and projects. I think I did well, but it was definitely an added on stress!

Sometimes when I look at my assignment notebook I get completely overwhelmed, but I've developed a few tricks to keep me motivated and keep me going:
  • When I start to feel really overwhelmed I remind myself why I'm doing everything and why I'm at school. When you just go day-by-day so overwhelmed and stressed, it can be easy to loose sight of the bigger picture and why you're actually doing what seems to be endless, pointless homework! When you loose sight of why you're doing things you do not enjoy, you're much more likely to not do it... which will inhibit you from achieving your grand goal. My Goal: get my degree and move back to Austin, TX. What's yours?
  • Make myself some tea. It may sound corny or old-lady like, but whenever I'm working on a homework assignment and I notice my mind drifting (like when I'm reading a 20 page "short" story that is NOT short and NOT an *interesting*story), I allow myself a break to make some tea. The break re-focuses my brain and gets me back on track, plus then I get to have some tea (which I love)! Making tea may not be your ideal break, so think of something that would be a short, productive interruption for you. While you're brainstorming what may work for you, keep in mind that Facebook, TV show, or any of the like is probably not a good alternative because if you're anything like me, you're very likely to spend HOURS doing that, versus 10 minutes.
  • Speaking of Facebook, TV, and other distractions - DON'T DO IT! Do not open up your Facebook, or have your phone on Twitter while you're trying to do a paper, it is the most distracting and time consuming thing you could ever do! One thing I do on my Mac (not sure if other computers can do this) is put the No Distraction setting on. This feature makes the rest of your screen black except for the paper you're typing... this is SUCH a help because it doesn't allow me to be distracted by all the Internet tabs I may have open.
  • Call a motivational person. I know (hope) everyone has at least one person in their life that really builds you up and makes you feel like you could leap buildings in a single bound. For me that is my oldest sister, Andrea. Whenever I feel completely frustrated, overwhelmed, or just plain ready to give up, I call my sister and she reminds me of how incredible I am (hehe!) and how she knows I can do anything I set my mind to.. etc. She is able to remind me why I'm doing everything and reassure me that I am totally and completely capable. Who is your person? Make sure to have them on speed dial during really tough weeks!
  • Block out you time, set realistic goals, and be specific! It's so easy to be like "and on Thursday I'm going to finish my project!" ... but we all know that when Thursday comes around you're almost at the end of the week, you're tired... etc. Be realistic and specific in your goals. Instead of vaguely saying you're going to finish, outline exactly what you will finish, for example: "On Thursday I will finish my outline for my midterm paper and find all of the quotes I am going to use." That way, on Thursday you know exactly what you need to do. It's also important that when Thursday comes around you are actually setting aside an hour, maybe two (whatever the goal needs) to do it - don't put it off because then it will never get done!
  • My last point is a quote from previous boss (I don't think he made it up, but he is who introduced me to the quote) that I always remember when the going gets tough: 
  • "If you have to eat crow (and we all do), at least eat it while it is still warm."
    What this quote means to me in the school setting is that if you have to do the homework, you may as well do it on time! You know you're going to end up doing it at some point in time, so you may as well do it on time when you will get full credit for it, rather then doing the same homework later but getting point deductions because it was late. Of course, sometimes a homework assignment may slip past you - no one is perfect - but you should try your very hardest to get it in on time!
Those are some pointers I have for staying focused and productive even though the semester is almost over and ALL you want to do is relax and wait for Winter Break to come! Do you have an pointers, I am always looking for more study tricks!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Art... With a Twist!

My boyfriend and I just passed our 1 year anniversary a few weeks ago and I completely lucked out by stumbling upon the best anniversary present... ever!

One of the ways I explore New Haven is through livingsocial, which emails me a half-off deal every single day. About a week prior to our anniversary I received a deal for a small business here in New Haven called Art With a Twist.

Every evening, Art With a Twist selects a famous painting and guides the class to recreating it (you can check out the calendar of paintings here). They allow you to bring your own snacks and beverages (alcoholic or not) so it becomes a relaxing, fun, positive environment.

The owner, Bella Zadore, is a very cool women who only allows positive energy in her classroom (she will literally douse you in glitter if you show any signs of negativity!). Bella has mastered the ability to not only beautifully recreate paintings, but help others to do the same (a task MUCH harder then it sounds). She helped me break the self-prescribed label of "not artistic... at all" and encouraged me to create the beautiful painting I am holding in the picture here.

This was the perfect anniversary gift for my boyfriend because he is an Art Therapy major at Albertus and he adores doing anything artistic, especially painting.

We had a fantastic time and met some pretty awesome people. We will definitely be going back soon! Are you artistic at all? Which painting would you want to recreate?!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Come One, Come All!!

On Monday, October 1st, I went to the first meeting for Women’s Lacrosse Club! Currently the Lacrosse program is in club-status, which means that it will not be a varsity level Division III sport team until next year. This will give our players a year to learn the game, bond, and practice before we go to the big-league!

I am so excited for lacrosse (lax) to start. I played lax in high school for two seasons and I loved it. The program at my high school was also in the development phase, so I was able to get a really great foundation in my lax skills, though not much more than that!

Unfortunately because I am a Senior this year I will not be here when the team goes official in the Spring 2014 season. I am pretty bummed about that, but I am so thankful that I get to at least be part of the process.

We are having our first Fall Ball practice this Thursday, October 11th from 4-5:30 pm. It is going to be such a great time – and you still have time to join if you’re interested!! We are looking for people to join the club and learn the game of lacrosse with us, so even if you have never picked up a stick before, we want YOU! We are all beginners at this point, so do not feel intimidated at all.

If you are interested in learning more about joining the women’s lacrosse team either as a current student this semester, or a prospective student for next year, we want to hear from you! Simply email Coach Jewett: or tweet us at #amcwlax!!