A bit of this and that

Hey y’all! To start things off, I’m going to include a really delicious French dessert that I love. It’s not normally a summer dessert but, I believe that if it tastes good it can be served anytime! Right?

Cherry Clafoutis
A dessert which is super rustic and pretty simple to make. Perfect for a night in, anytime of the time of year.

Ingredients:
Thick (double/heavy) cream 200 ml
Vanilla Bean 1
Milk 100 ml
Eggs 3
Caster Sugar 50 g
Plain (all-purpose) flour 70 g
Kirsch (fruit brandy) 1 tablespoon
Black Cherries 450 g
Icing Sugar for dusting

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Put the cream in a small saucepan. Split the vanilla bean in two, scrape out the seeds and add the scraped seeds and bean to the cream. Heat gently for a few minutes, then remove from the heat, add the milk and cool. Strain the mixture, discarding the vanilla bean.

2. Whisk the eggs with the sugar and flour, then stir into the cream mixture. Add the kirsch and cherries and stir well.

3. Pour into a 23 cm (9 inch) round baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden on top.

4. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

***Make sure you pit the cherries or buy pitted ones already!! Otherwise your friends or you might get a really unpleasant surprise. ***

*even though this recipe is best made with fresh cherries in the summer time when they are truly luscious, I sometimes make it with frozen cherries, still turns out pretty amazing ūüôā *

Moving on!

lifequote

I have some tips for any of y’all planning to start anything (exercise, healthy habits, good study habits…etc.).

So, to start of I will start by saying the first thing you must do for anything you are trying to achieve — be it good grades, a fitness goal, or forming a positive habit — is you must set out a specific short term goal. Long term goals are lovely and a great help in keeping your eye on the prize; however, they are not at all useful in day-to-day aspects of achieving that goal. We mostly taper off after the first couple weeks; first week you are super energized and excited about something- you have it all figured out and then it slowly tapers off from there. It isn’t easy to keep on track with a goal so far away (such as wanting a GPA of 4.0 at the end of the semester). It’s misleading and a false sense of realism to think that you can just set your goals so far in advance and actually get to them and not taper off or lose motivation as time goes by. I am well aware that there are people who maybe can easily say “I want to run a marathon” and 6 months later…there they are, running. Those people are rare. Most of us need some sort of constant jolt and push until we get into a rhythm and build a good habit or learn to motivate ourselves without those little nudges. A simple example of this would be for me…I want to get an A in all of my courses this semester. If that is my only aim for the entire semester, heck I doubt I would even make it to half the classes on a crappy day, but it isn’t. I make¬†daily¬†goals for myself. This may seems a little excessive but trust me, when you are working from 3% good study habits…daily min-goals are perfect. Today my tasks were to write a short outline of my essay and email my prof, then finish chapter 2 of my math textbook exercises. I did all of those things and still had time for myself. Planning is a wonderful thing! It also helps keep yourself organized because if you aren’t setting daily milestones then your bigger ambitions will fade out due to distractions and laziness (hey, it’s human nature, no shame there) and consequently never be realized. How can someone jump from nothing to having it all? They can’t. So, in order to keep yourself motivated and your passion for the aim fired up at all times, without flickering out, just give yourself daily pushes. Reward yourself for a job well done with something pleasant. I personally like to reward all my good exams with my favorite fro-yo. It’s not hard, just takes perseverance.

Once you have this all figured out and get into a grove, you’re golden. What happens after you learn to set daily tasks for yourself to check off, you’ll feel accomplished and happy. Next step is to wake up and do it all over again! There is nothing else to ¬†start on the road to successfully accomplishing an aspiration. So, really there are two steps in the beginning process: plan/set short term goals, rinse and repeat. That is all!

Along we move!

What grinds my gears- part 2:

1. When someone called you and you missed their call by a second, you call back and they don’t answer. How!? You JUST called me….what, did you drop the phone and run away once I didn’t pick up? Honestly…annoying!

2. People who park crooked. Can you please explain why you took up 1.5 parking spots with a tiny car?! I understand if someone with a big truck or trailer does this, they simply can’t do it any other way. But if you are driving a Toyota Corolla and end up taking up almost 2 spaces or parking crooked (so that when I park next to you I can’t open my door) I think you are a moron or a jackass. Only two options there.

3. Stopping in the middle of the speed-up lane entering a highway. OMG. I have been so frickin close to crashing because of those idiots! Just the other week I was driving to the US with my dad and this imbecile stops right smack in the middle and there are 5 cars behind him (including me) going at 80 km/h. NOT a good call, bud. Why in the fuck would you need to do that?! If it’s an emergency pull the F over and don’t cause a 10 car pile-up. Unless you died behind your wheel, you are fully capable of pulling to the side of the road or waiting until you hit a turn off point in order to stop. Frick on a stick, this one really pissed me off.

4. ¬†The use of the word “dear”. It’s fine when it’s in context of an e-mail, or an ancient grandmother says it…but not when it’s someone my age or actually any age that isn’t past 80 who says that to me. I just wanna smack ’em in the face with a glove. Seriously, it sounds so¬†douchey/bitchy. “Can you be a dear and…”/ “No, dear…”. Maybe most people don’t mean to sound like they are talking down to me, but it really does feel like it.

5. Talking loudly about “important” stuff. I hate when people try to look all important and purposely talk loud or just above normal voice levels to seem like a big shot. Especially when they are talking normally then all of a sudden their voice level goes up and you hear “yeah, that meeting really went well. Thank you for bringing me the paperwork, I will look over that guy’s resume….” and then tapers off to normal levels. I can almost hear the second part of that being “yes, boss I will organize it according to alphabetical order…yes of course I will have it done by Monday, thank you.” Haha. Just pathetic.

Well, my lovely readers and loyal followers, that is all for me tonight! Have a good weekend and I will be back sometime next weekend; not quite sure which day since Thursday is my birthday and I am not certain what will be going on during the weekend. So, to be safe, check back on Sunday, a new post should be up!

Advertisements

Prep for My Semester

Hey y’all!

Summer semester is right around the corner and I am¬†beginning my my prep! There’s a little somethin’ scary about entering into a program where you can’t screw up (not even a B-), but if it get’s me where I’m heading then I will put in my all and hope it all turns up¬†honky¬†dory.

I have already done 3 years of a psychology program when I decided to enter into a pre-medical program. Great, right? Well…yes, it is-except I have to start from scratch, upgrading everything and taking new subjects along with that. Whoo-ee! This will be one crazy summer! I still got to get my bonfires and summer night drives in there too!

Now, I know there are a lot of people out there who like to live day by day and take things as they come-if that works for you then I applaud you because it really isn’t an easy thing to do. For me, personally, I like to plan a head. I like structure and a rigid regime that keeps me organized and on track, otherwise I’ll be sippin’ my tea and reading books in the park all day long soaking up the sunshine. That’s not to say that I¬†don’t like to have a good time, because I honestly am someone who does love spontaneous ideas…just not while I am trying to get into med school. Breaks….on the other hand are a different story!

Okay, getting on with it! This is how I prep for difficult semesters and large course loads:

The first and most crucial is your self-organization:

  • Sit down and think about the semester. Look at your class schedule and identify your weakest subjects (if you don’t already know them). When you’ve done so, write them out on a piece of paper, starting with your weakest class. Under each class write out¬†why you struggle with it, this may take some time to figure out so, do it throughout the first week before classes begin. Why this step is super helpful is because once you understand why you don’t like a class or aren’t very good with the subject, you will know how to approach it. And no, “I’m just not good at it” or “I don’t like it because it sucks” is not a reason.
  • Create a schedule. I know this seems really odd because it’s so far in advance but trust me on this! Invest in a calendar/agenda/use your cellphone….frankly anything that has a calendar which can be pulled out and checked on the spot when needed. Start by writing in your class times and blocking out the duration of the class, follow by adding in your ideal sleep schedule (I suggest an early to bed early to rise routine, no matter if you have classes in the morning or not. It’s just a simple way to keep yourself on a stable sleeping pattern). Then, as silly as this may seem, block out times for everything…and that includes meal times, showers, & work-out routines; after you’ve done that, add in times you will dedicate each day to studying. Lastly do not forget to schedule in free time daily-even just an hour, everyone needs a breather. A¬†rule of thumb to ease your studying and make it more¬†efficient is to study in 50 minute intervals, take a 10 minute break every 50 minutes (or when you begin to notice your thoughts drifting off) during your sessions to help things stick and to manage stress, but absolutely no cellphones or social media of any kind during class/study hours, that is the cause of all evil when it comes to school. ¬†*Just a note: these times will change throughout the semester for the first couple week until you get into a groove and that’s okay, adjust the schedule to fit you and then stick to it. It should become auto-pilot in a few weeks*.
  • Start following the sleep pattern that you scheduled into your semester schedule. This will make it a million times easier when the semester starts, otherwise you will lay around wide-eyed like a hoot owl till wee hours and then end up sleeping only 3-4 hours a night which will cause you¬†unneeded¬†stress and sleep deprivation.

Stack of Documents

Park two:

  • Go to your school and check out the campus (if you are new-if not then just check where your classes will be held). Meet the staff, talk to the professors, scope out the library…get¬†acquainted¬†with school-life and different groups you can join, if you want. Get your¬†book list¬†and buy the books while you are on campus.¬†
  • Open up each textbook and flip through it, is it as scary as you expected? Probably not! Look at the list of classes you struggle with or don’t like and check out the text book related to the class, read it and try to gain an understanding of what the class is about and what topics will be covered. You can even try a few problems by following the text book instructions if you want, it can either boost your confidence or simply give you an idea of what you’ll be learning.
  • Keep that sleep schedule going!
  • Eat well, get out in the fresh air, exercise. Having a healthy body is really important when it comes to school and I am not just saying that to get you to eat some carrots, I am serious. Eating well helps your body function and the more nutrients it gets, giving your brain the juice it needs to keep up with your coursework (and I don’t mean start a diet, I mean that you should eat home-cooked food that’s made from fresh ingredients). Fresh air is good, taking a walk daily relaxes you, eases your mind and invigorates your body as well as your brain. Exercise is a personal choice, but I recommend¬†doing some form of exercise at least 2 days a week throughout your semester, it will act as stress relief and as an added bonus you will be feeling a lot more energized.
  • Take out your semester schedule and add a Sunday routine to it. This little addition is an incredible thing! You will feel in control, well organized and calm. So what you should do on every Sunday before your week (besides servin’ up some fried chicken for¬†dinner) is adopt the habit of having big hearty brunch (gaining a few extra hours of snoozing), preferably by yourself because while you munch you should check out current events or read a book you’ve started…anything that will get your brain working yet isn’t too overwhelming. After you munch your way through the news, take out your schedule and check out what’s happening in the week ahead. Do you have due-dates coming up? Things that have been set aside and need to be caught up on? Find time in your schedule that you can use to give some attention to the subjects you have fallen behind on, assign different things to each day of the week that need to be studied/worked on. Next,¬†conjure up all possible willpower and head to a library/other quiet place, select a subject that has been neglected a little bit or a class which has an up-coming test/due-date and start to study it, if everything is in check then pick something which is not too overwhelming. Today should only be 3 hours of study time or so, to make sure you don’t strain your week-end brain. After you have¬†successfully completed your studying, grab some food and go for a walk in the park while listening to music, hit the gym, go swimming…anything that will¬†essentially de-clutter¬†your brain for the week ahead-all of this should be done alone to ensure complete brain¬†rejuvenation.¬†For the last of the school related stuff, write out a plan for your up-coming week with a to-do list in priority order. Now you can go and do as you wish until bed time, preferably something social to unwind.
  • Organize your room/home study area. Nothing is worse than a cluttered work space! If you think it’s organized chaos, it’s not. You need a clean space with lots of air circulation, as well as everything you need for your studies available without digging for 10 minutes through every desk compartment and book shelf. It’s important for your stress levels that you are always in control of everything when it comes to your studies; be it writing a paper and needing a¬†reference¬†book or practicing math and needing desk space to lay out your books as well as a bunch of utensils it should all be quick to attain.

biggirlboots

So that is it y’all! My prep before classes begin. This may seem like a load of hooey to some of you and that’s fine. If you have a system that works for you then that’s great, good job. However this system works like a well oiled machine when you perfect it, keeps you balanced and in control and it makes your studies¬†tame-able. Good grades and strong study habits are difficult to achieve when you don’t have the right start or practice in buckling down…but with this prep I am sure your entire semester will go by much better and less painfully than expected. So good luck to y’all and until next time!