The Last Week of Summer Break
It has been 105 days of Summer Vacation.
As much as I love my family, I am beyond ready to return to college life for SENIOR YEAR. My car is packed, my apartment is ready, and I’m cruising down the highway as we speak! The past 7 days have been the busiest and craziest days…here are some highlight:
The Green Goods:
Last week at work, our receptionist asked if anyone would like to “adopt” some of the office plants. I have a brand new unfurnished apartment…something green sounded nice! I got some funky flowered plants (don’t ask me what they are). Well….they needed pots. And planting soil. And metal stakes. My “free” plant babies cost $30. These damn things better not die. ;)
The Book List:
I stocked myself up with PLENTY of reading material for the school year too! One day after work, I had some time to kill while I waited for the temperatures to cool off enough for an evening run. The selection at the used bookstore in the mall this week? JACK POT. As I browsed the store, the stack of books in my arms grew taller and taller. The cashier actually came to me TWICE to hold my books at the counter.
“That looks very heavy.” You underestimate my muscles, mister.
But thank you ;)
My favorite find of the day = Someday, Someday, Maybe because of the author. Lauren Graham AKA Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls AKA my favorite show ever and ever. I’m three chapters in and already hoping she writes a sequel.
The Last Home Long-Run:
On Sunday morning, I tackled a 12-mile long run before the 7 o’ clock hour. The route was different than usual because 3 miles in I took a sharp left turn that led to some greener views. Sightings: 1 coyote, 2 scruffy mutts, and 5 hungry ducks.
A Jittery Habit:
I’ve picked up a habit of running to the deli next door for an afternoon Iced Americano with 3 pumps of sugar-free cinnamon dolce and a splash on non-fat. I have this “treat yourself” mentality going on right now. I’ve had 4 this week. Starbuck’s is capitalizing on my cold cravings and I’m okay with that.
Our office hosted a Bake Sale fundraiser for one of the employees. Instead of buying goodies, I will be participating by contributing something to sell. Pinterest is my go-to for crafty-crafts and I was immediately attracted to “Baseball Pops” AKA white chocolate-covered Oreos.
Popsicle sticks + Oreos + White Melting Chocolate + Red candy melts
All summer long, I have worked in the corporate office of a major national manufacturing company. This has been an eye-opening experience since so much of my projects are directly related to my business courses. I’ve really enjoyed working in an office-setting….mainly because I get to dress up in heels and blazers and pencil skirts. Playing dress up is never a bad thing.
Lot’s of “goodbye” meals.
First, the department at work planned a mid-week lunch. It was my choice of restaurant. Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar & Grill :) No shop-talk allowed! I got a salad with shrimp skewers, avocado, mango salsa and light balsamic vinegrette on the side. (It reminded me of the version I made two years ago…)
We also met up for a last summer dinner with my mom’s BFF and her daughter. We were too busy girl-chatting for pictures on that one ;) Yesterday some girlies from work all went out for lunch at my favorite: Panera. Garden Veggie Soup with a Thai Chicken Salad:
Friday morning I walked into the office for the LAST day of my summer internship. Outside of my office was a breakfast spread that was noticeably different from previous company potlucks: It was healthy! Our office enjoys celebrating birthdays and special occasions with potlucks, most of which include donuts and streudals. They themed this one “healthy” in honor of moi and covered the table in fruits, nuts, granolas, yogurt, hummus and crackers. So sweet!
Plus an awesome last dinner at a sushi bar, Ooka. This week was full of some hilarious, ridiculous moments. It included lots of packing and cleaning and errands. But it also became a little overwhelming at time, and by Friday night I wanted a drink! I wanted to sip, relax, laugh and have a great last night. It was a success :)
Sending me off to school fat & happy and ready to take advantage of our amazing recreation center!
My summer was a long one. Two trips to New York and two medical procedures. Two trips to Flagstaff. One spectacular concert. Working full-time. Running morning and evening. Baking and cooking. Trips to San Diego and Newport. The only thing I didn’t get to was a baseball game. But the Dbacks are just a two-hour drive away, so maybe I’ll catch an AZ game pretty soon. ;)
BRING ON THE NEW SEMESTER.
Better than a restaurant…
We made it to Friday again! *coffee cup clink* It’s also Food Truck Friday (the office will have 4 food trucks come for lunch) and Frizzy Hair Friday (I wore my natural “curls” to work today. No, you do not get a selfie of that hot mess going on.)
The weekend is hours away. My “grown-up” plans? Shopping for the new apartment! Assuming everything goes smoothly, I sign a lease to my apartment for senior year with two of my best girl friends this weekend. Since I’ve been doing the on-campus housing thing for three years, it’s time to invest in some furniture like mattress, dresser, desk….you know, the essentials.
I can’t wait to get to the non-essentials and have taken to Pinterest to plan my new digs:
In the middle of our shopping we will no doubt stop for lunch. But you know what’s better than a restaurant in my personal (though very reliable) opinion? A picnic. Seriously. Packing your own snacks is a healthier route and opens up so many options. Last weekend I picnicked with my mom’s best friend from high school and her daughters. We usually meet up for dinner at Panera or Olive Garden so the outdoor, sit-on-the-ground, pack-a-cooler play date was fun. We had the little league baseball games going on in the background which made it extra cute J
Summer produce makes it so dang eeeeasy to fill a cooler with all sorts of juicy colors.
Cherries, Grapes, Strawberries. We topped a bed of mixed greens with strawberry slices, almond slivers, chicken, cucumber, bell peppers. *If you pack a salad on a picnic, bring the bottle of dressing itself. Avoid a soggy salad that’s been sitting in dressing too long.
Plus something crunchy, so we opted for Quaker POP chips.
Other crunchy sides:
Handful of almonds, pistachios or other unsalted nuts
- Whole Wheat Pretzels
- Whole Grain Crackers
This is similar to the lunch cooler we bring to work everyday.
Restaurants are great for socializing but I’d rather be outside (assuming the weather isn’t in the triple digits, which are coming next week!)
On an unrelated note…
Anybody else watching the new season of Big Brother? YIKES. I watch the ridiculous reality show every summer and usually love it. There are always a few likable players to root for (Um Jordan and Jeff?!) but this season…..oh my. I’m embarrassed for the contestants. They’re too obnoxious to handle, I don’t know if I’ll make it through the whole season. (I say that now, but ask me what I think in a month. It hooks me every time.)
Guilty pleasure I guess!
What’s in that lunch box?
Since I work full time, my daily routine includes packing a lunch. Preparing my own healthy lunches and snacks is a way better option than visiting the vending machines or going out to fast food restaurants. You might be embarrassed to carry in a “lunch box” to work, but it beats the thousands of extra calories a week from fast food and I guarantee you’re not the only one doing it.
Even in high school, I always brought my lunch in favor of buying the greasy options from our outdoor cafeteria (though I definitely didn’t use a “lunch box” after 6th grade :P )
Some people are creatures of habit and do not mind a peanut butter sandwich with the crusts cut off every day of their life. I am not. There are just too many options out there!
So what’s in my lunch pail this week?!
It’s not just lunch I pack; I got snacks on snacks on snacks! I’m gone from home for 10-11 hours and this girl likes to snack (healthfully, mostly). Since breakfast is a little early, I have an apple mid-morning to quiet my growling tummy for a couple hours. Otherwise I’d be digging in to lunch before noon and that just seems too early! (In kindergarten we had lunch at 11:00am. My mom would literally have to leave work at 10:45 to come have lunch with me. Hah!)
We bring extra fruits and veggie bags. Sometimes we have peaches, pears, and bananas. Towards the end of the week when the fruit drawer runs low, it’s a two-apples-a-day kind of variety. This family eats a lot of fruit! Veggie bags also typically include cucumber and bell pepper slices but we had those inside of the wrap so today it’s just carrots by their lonesome!
What’s in the wrap? A 100-calorie Flatout wrap is filled with two tablespoons Sabra hummus, two tablespoons spicy mustard, fresh spinach leaves, red and green bell pepper slivers, cucumber sliced, diced tomato, sprouts and avocado! Better than subway if you ask me ;)
Since most days include an after-work trip to the gym, I always have a variety of snacks. Definitely fruit. Rice Crisps or pretzels if I feel like something crunchy; yogurt if I want something cold (I pop them in the freezer) and Dove dark chocolate just because.
Ain’t nothing wrong with packing lunch! My favorite elementary school lunch box was from 1st grade, a plastic pink Barbie house:
Imagine if I showed up to work with that little treasure.