Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Summer Bucketlist!

Hey all,
The past few months I have been wrapping up the last parts of my high school life!! It's been pretty crazy; I graduated last Wednesday. It is so weird to know I won't be going back to high school next year. It hasn't quite hit me yet that I'm done, but that day I realized how lucky I am to have all my family and friends in my life. They are so awesome! I am heading to University of Oregon in the fall, and I couldn't be happier. I love the campus - the brick buildings, trees, trails by the river, all of it. It will be exciting to explore all the opportunities and majors of study, although I'm leaning towards business or something environmentalist-based.

Speaking of the environment, I am ecstatic that San Jose is finally putting restrictions on how much water we use. I hope the water cutbacks will help. Here are a few tips on how to save water:

  • when it's yellow let it mellow, when it's brown flush it down (I know, kinda gross, but it works)
  • put a bucket under the spout when waiting for water to heat up for your shower or dishes; use the water in the bucket to water plants (when we change out my dog's water, we put the old in the bucket as well)
  • take military/submarine showers (get wet, turn it off, shampoo & soap up, rinse off, turn it off, conditioner (if necessary), rinse again, and you're done. I do it all the time, its amazing how much water it saves!!)
  • put your dishes in the dishwasher without rinsing (for the most part) and test how much it can clean before wasting water trying to pre-clean before they go through the cleaning cycle again!
  • and of course, the typical "don't let the water run when you brush your teeth" (who even does that?!)
  • let your lawns go - they take up most of the landscape water
  • if you can, redo your lawns with "native" plants - plants that can grow with minimal water that were designed to live in your area naturally. Drought-tolerant plants work great as well.
  • set up a gray water system: for example use the leftover water from your washing machine to water your yards. You can hook the pipes together. If you utilize the washing machine water, make sure to switch to biodegradable soap!
  • use drip-irrigation. It has the least runoff and evaporation, whereas sprinklers are highly inefficient.
  • water in early morning or night - minimizes evaporation
  • just don't waste! Even when using napkins, toilet paper, paper plates, you have to realize that water is used in the making of those items. One startling example: To make one ton of paper towels, 17 trees are cut down and 20,000 GALLONS of water are consumed! 
SO PLEASE PEOPLE, THINK BEFORE YOU ACT!! I believe that most people don't realize how dire our situation is. WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF WATER!! Before you know it, you will be paying triple for it, and it will be a household problem. Unfortunately most of our society, as a whole, does not directly deal with issues until they become first and foremost the worst problem out there. Lack of water and the drought in California is well on its way to the top of the list. Hills that used to be green until April or May are brown in March, reservoirs and lakes in the Sierras are being drained to feed growing cities, whole ecosystems are going downhill and the natural beauty of the wilderness is declining. SO START BEING AWARE AND HELPING OUT NOW BEFORE IT'S MUCH TOO LATE. Please spread the word help people become more conscious of these problems. One by one, we can make the world a better place to live in. (I realize a couple items above require too much money for some families, but many are do-able, so just start off with one or two little tweaks to your life. You'll be amazed at how easy it is to adjust.)

ANYWAYS, back to life. This will be the longest summer of my life! 4 almost full months :) Unfortunately, my close friends will be traveling a good amount, so I will have many weeks to figure out what to do without them. They will all go to school about a month before me as well, since they are on semester systems and I am on the quarter system. I think it will be fine though, because I have made a couple of good friends from work and I like spending time with my family or just myself.
Anyways, I'm just going to write a summer bucket list to keep track of my goals and hopefully give you ideas!

  • hike Mission Peak
  • backpack in Yosemite (from Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley) and ascend Half Dome 
  • go to the beach a lot!
  • go camping in the Sierras 2-4 times
  • major clean up/redo parts of my room
  • spend time with friends when I can - swim, hike, bike, draw, eat, sleepovers :)
  • Santa Cruz Boardwalk
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • learn constellations
  • write more - journal more & poems
  • make ice cream/bake
  • eat healthy and exercise 6/7 days a week ;)
  • hike a lot
  • just drive around, figure out where roads go, and get lost with music blaring!
Ok that's all I have for right now. Make summer count, because it will be gone before you know it!

Thursday, March 5, 2015


Sorry for the long gap between posts. My life is crazy busy recently. I've started swimming again for my high school. Although I'm not officially on the team, I go to Tuesday-Thursday varsity practices. I have to make sacrifices and compromises now that I have a job. It's hard to do sometimes, and I feel more weighed down. However, I like both, and even though it means I can't swim at most meets, I don't want to stop. Anyways, practice hasn't been as hard as I expected. Yes, we have some exhausting days, but it evens out with some really easy ones. Still, for the first couple weeks, I don't think I've ever missed more intervals in my life! I'm one of the worst at varsity practice, but I am okay with that because it doesn't put pressure on me (although of course I would love to improve). I enjoy it, I love to be in the water. When I'm swimming, I think of nothing else but my breathing and strokes. It is amazing what it does for my mind, as I worry and analyze and plan a lot.  Also, for those of you who are not aware, swimming is one of the best cardio exercises! It burns a TON of calories and has the lowest chance of hurting you. I've had knee problems, so at one point running really put me in pain, while swimming is non-impact.

Here's some swimming tidbits:
1. Chlorine is your new perfume. Seriously.
2. Nothing beats the state of mind of while swimming and being so in tune with your body.
3. Your hair gets knotted at the base of your cap. You'll have to cut tiny knots out. Yeah, OUCH.
4. You can get in shape fast, if you keep at it and push yourself.
5. No, swim caps do NOT keep your hair dry.
6. Some of the best feelings I've gotten are from nailing a dive or flip turn, improving my time, or being satisfyingly tired after a challenging practice!

More on my busy life recently. I probably got myself in over my head, but I'm just trying to think of it as running the gauntlet for 3 weeks. Here's my situation: I offered to cover for my coworkers 3 Saturdays in a row. I already work Sundays, Mondays, and Fridays. Go to school Monday through Friday (obviously) and swim Tuesday through Thursday. Working both weekend days for 3 weeks means I won't be able to sleep in for almost 4 weeks. On the days I don't have work, I swim, and visa versa. I won't have one "off" day for 4 WEEKS!!! To me, that is a long time. So far I've been holding up just ok, although noticeably more tired. Another downside to this is my almost nonexistent social life just got completely nonexistent (except seeing my friends at work and school). I just need to get through March, and then I feel like everything will be downhill from there.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Peppermint Patty Surprise Bars!!

I know, I know, I FINALLY got around to posting the first recipe :) This is one of my favorites. I'm a big fan of mint, but I know not everyone is - don't worry, not all of the future recipes will have mint in them! I came across these in a GL magazine back when I used to get those. I've made these bars a few times and would make them again right now if I wasn't trying to be healthy ... enjoy!

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
11/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp kosher salt (I just used regular salt)
12 oz chocolate chunks
12 oz bag York Peppermint Patties
makes 12 bars

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.
2. Use an electric mixer to beat butter and sugars until light and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until well combined. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to the wet ingredients, mixing until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate chunks. 
3. Spoon half of the cookie dough mixture into the prepared pan and push evenly to all sides. Place the unwrapped peppermint patties in a single layer over the dough, then cover with the remaining half of the cookie dough, pressing to flatten it. Bake for 38-45 minutes or until baked through. Cool completely before cutting.

P.S. On a totally random note, I just discovered this band called Augustana and I love their slow music. My favorite songs are "Boston," "Sunday Best," "Hey Now," "Sweet and Low," and "I Still Ain't Over You."

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Favorites Round 2

I was debating on doing my first recipe post or another "favorites" post. Since it's kinda late and I'm too lazy to go downstairs to get the recipe, I'll do round 2 of favorites! Today I am pretty disappointed in myself. I was planning on doing some writing after homework and such, but instead I got addicted to my computer and watched a few tv episodes. I end up hating myself afterwards because I waste my day, so now I'm trying to make up for it.

#1: Eos products!! There has been no lack of these since Christmas :) I got the vanilla mint lip balm and the cucumber lotion. They
both smell super good.

#2: I realize I'll probably be made fun of for this, but I like reading these kind of books sometimes. I read a little bit each night before I go to bed. Not heavy to read, but not useless either. It calms me down and puts my mind in a good place. And I find this book really useful to keep my head on my shoulders and things in perspective. 

#3: 2 words: SALTWATER TAFFY!!! I love this stuff, especially from a candy store called Powell's Sweet Shoppe. The other day I was walking by and just decided to go in and get a few. It was a dollar for about 10 I believe, so that's a pretty good deal.

#4: Another book :) I really like this one, and the movie is amazing as well. It deals with controversial issues between blacks and whites in the 1900s without being boring or too depressing.
Now that it's second semester senior year I have more time for reading!

Ok, I guess that's it for now, but I will post again soon!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year + What's New

So, another year is here ... it seems like each year passes by more quickly. My 2015 resolution is to eat healthier and become more fit. This is probably half the world's resolution, but still, a good one. On New Year's Eve, my family went to see a drive in movie, Unbroken, and then I jumped into my really cold pool at midnight! I can be kinda crazy sometimes :) New Year's Day we went for a walk on the beach.
Unbroken was a pretty good movie, but a little too slow for me, although I understand that they were really trying to make the point of how long he was stuck in a boat and the amount suffering he went through in the camps. Over 2 hours is generally too much for any movie, in my opinion, but it was a good movie, nevertheless, reminding me that humans are so much stronger than we think we can be.
Another recent milestone in my life is that the weekend before Christmas I finished my college applications. It was not a fun process, but not as hard as people seemed to make of it. I'm very proud of the essays I wrote, they really reflect me.  I did not ask for, nor wanted help from any of my school's counselors on making my essays "better." I have a stubborn personality, and once I wrote them and edited them with a little help from my parents and friend that know me completely, I refused to have anyone at school read it. They might have told me to elaborate on some things, cut down on others, change the wording, etc. until it would have been shaped to something I did not create, and my voice would have been gone. They might not be the best essays admissions offices have ever read, but I can take pride that they are completely mine. Not to go to the extent to say those who seek help are wrong, but for me, this is what worked, and that's all I know.
I've gotten a bit sidetracked ... the big news I want to share is that I've already gotten accepted into two schools! One I received an email on Christmas Eve, which was the perfect pre-xmas present! The second I got in the mail 2 days ago, which was nice, because I like to open an actual letter rather than an email. The second school was the one I think I want to go to, so that made me really happy. And just knowing that I'm going to college if I want to is a big relief. It was a nice surprise for me, since the last two schools I applied to were the first two that accepted me, and I wasn't expecting to hear back from anyone until spring.
I don't want to mention the schools at the moment. I feel kinda weird to share that news with everyone, where anyone at my school could read. There's just so much judgment out there, and college talk just seems like a touchy subject.
I hope you all had the best of holidays!

Saturday, December 20, 2014


OK. So today I am going to talk about pizza. YES, PIZZA. And it's going to be a rant, so get ready!
Now, I know that people will read this and be like "calm it, chica" and sure, for some people, it's not a big deal. But hear me out.

I got home from work today (about 30 min ago) and I was really hungry, and during the last couple of hours at work and on the way home I thought about what I could eat when I got back. And this is no unusual occurrence - at school or wherever I am, I always think ahead to meals and get excited for them :) that's human right? We base our lives around food!

Anyways, I was really looking forward to eating my leftover cheese pizza from the night before. When I got home and opened up the pizza box, there were 1) only 2 slices left and 2) NOT CHEESE. They were slices from what my family ordered: veggie slice and a ham slice. You have to realize, I am a really picky eater, and I don't like any of that stuff on my pizza. So you can imagine my utter shock and disappointment, washed down with a wave of anger as I opened the box and found out that SOMEONE ELSE ATE IT.

 Maybe, just maybe, I could understand if that was the only kind of pizza left. BUT NO. They had ordered their separate types of pizza the night before, and seemed happy to eat it then. So why did they seem to think it was ok to eat MINE, the one I specifically asked for, today? They had their own crap pizza they could eat, THEY ORDERED IT, THEY WANTED IT!!! But no, my mood and half my day had to be ruined, because they ate ALL 4 pieces of mine.

To say I get irritated and annoyed by this is an understatement. And yes I completely realize people will read this and be like "stupid girl, it doesn't matter, this is such a lame 1st world problem." And you know what, I agree. It's stupid. BUT IT'S MY STUPID PROBLEM AND I DIDN'T GET TO EAT MY PIZZA.

If you are still having trouble picturing how much this disappointed me, I will make a reference to Friends (aka the best TV show I have ever watched! So hilarious, I watched all 10 seasons in 4 months, and strongly recommend it), in "The One with Ross's Sandwich." Pretty much describes my reaction perfectly. Personally, I think pizza is even more devastating than a sandwich, but each to his/her own, right?
SO yeah, I included the clip: WATCH IT, it's funny and spot-on :D

OH, and on a much needed happier, cheerful note, since I probably won't post before Christmas: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Current Song Obsessions!

Here are the songs I've been listening to lately! My all time favorite band is the Goo Goo Dolls, but not their last couple of albums. The newest band that has caught my attention is Switchfoot. Two other songs I love from them that aren't on this playlist are "Dare You to Move" and "Awakening." My favorite genre is rock, mostly soft rock. But I also have times where all I want to do is listen to the Scorpions, Y&T, etc. I could just go on and on, listing all the bands and artists I love! (Foreigner, The Script, 3 Doors Down, Queen, Imagine Dragons, Shinedown, Toad the Wet Sprocket ...) And its not like I only listen to rock either, I even like classical artists like Yanni or the occasional pop songs. But I just can't stand rap or hip-hop like songs! I draw the line there :) Alright, enough rambling. Hope you enjoy!