Good morning!  Yep, it has started.  As of yesterday, I have officially begun packing for my sophomore year at college.  Friday, my family and I will begin the 20+ hour road trip to get there, so if anyone has any tips on making time fly (besides a time machine which, despite my greatest efforts, I have yet to find), I'd love to hear them!!

I am excited for school start because I do love to learn, I have my half marathon coming up (and a 10k in October), I have a great, relaxing job at my school working in the garden/greenhouse, I'll have my horse, and of course, my friends.  The only think I don't like about school is, obviously, all the studying that comes with it.  It's not that I mind studying too much, but with me, it tends to take over my life.  Here's how it goes:  I'm already way ahead in my studies, but I think if I did a little more, well then I'll really be ahead and wouldn't that be great?  Um yeah, it sounds great, but when it leaves you feeling like you must spend every waking moment studying and feel guilty when you're not studying?  Not so great.  College is an experience, and that experience Includes hanging out with friends, going to cool events on campus, and NOT studying 24/7.  My goal this school year is to actually listen to myself and live life a little more.  

So, what's my plan to do this?  Well, part of my 20 hour car ride is going involve me creating a "master plan."  It's not going to be a rigid "this is what I have to do when" type thing, but I want to know that I can get enough studying done and still have time for other fun things.  I'm going to be sure to block out specific time in my schedule just for hanging out with my friends.  No more of this "I've already studied for six hours today, why not a few hours more?"  Nope.  I'll have my set time for studying, and when I'm done with it, I'm done with it.  That's the plan anyway, and I think it will help if I start with that mindset so I don't get myself into a big hole before I even begin.  

You might be wondering while I'm sharing all of this.  First off, and most importantly, I know that i'm not the only who struggles with this, so hopefully if my plan works out, it will also help others.  Secondly, I'm hoping that blogging can be another outlet to take me away from extra studying.  I was originally thinking that blogging might drop on the wayside during school, but I really don't want that to happen.  I love blogging and the people I've met through it.  The blog world has such a positive, inspiring attitude, and I really don't want to leave it.  I'll probably be around less than I am currently, but I'll try my best not to disappear completely.

Okay, enough talk.  Let's get this WIAW party started!
Yesterday morning started with a couple of energy bites followed by a glorious 4.5 mile run.  My pace was quite a bit faster than my 9.25 mile run - an average of 9:07/mile.  I felt good and strong and loved every minute of it!  I came back starving and had a rather random breakfast.  Since we're leaving soon, I've been trying to eat up random foods in the fridge.  I started with a huge glass of water + a pink lady apple (best apple type ever!) and followed it with plain 2% greek yogurt with Kind blueberry clusters granola (eaten of the yogurt container because I'm classy like that) and an ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla with cookie nookie pb crave.  Oh my goodness, I just can't get over how awesome that stuff is!!!
A little later in the morning, my mom and I went on a nature walk!  We may or may not have gotten lost several times, but we still had a great time. 
Does this bridge look sturdy to you?  It sure did to us, but we both just about jumped five feet when we started across and found ourselves rocking like we were on a sailboat.  And of course my lovely mom made me walk across first haha. ;-)
It was really quite pretty! 
Although at times we felt like we were trekking across the U.S. to Oregon like pioneers... we will be doing that soon, but we don't plan on using a covered wagon.
See anything wrong with this sign?
We came back ready for lunch!  I totally forgot to take a picture (#bloggerfail), but I had a mountain of broccoli with a bucket load of honey mustard, a cinnamon roll scone, baked tofu, Kashi hummus crisps, and some chocolate milk.  Oh and a couple of pretzel M&Ms before lunch and a ginger chew after.  Don't you guys have appetizers and desserts for lunch? ;-)

After lunch, I hit the packing.  Oh the joy.  And then a little later in the afternoon, my mom and I went to run some errands and pick up some things for college.  Of course, we had to stop by Whole Foods which is where my afternoon snacking took place.  They had samples of crab salad with crackers, white cheddar, and parmesan crisps.  I can first-hand tell you that they were all fantastic.  I also picked up these apple chips and of course had to try them out.  Delicious!
For dinner, I was craving something sweet (when am I not craving something sweet?!).  Oatmeal it was!
Steel cut oats topped with grape jelly, flax peanut butter, and, of course, pretzels.
A quick word on the jelly:  My dad brought this back from a little vineyard he visited in Michigan! (EDIT: The vineyard is in Florida, not Michigan.  My dad travels so much, he's hard to keep track of! :) )  He brought back three varieties, two grape ones and a peach honey butter.  They're all very yummy and flavorful, but the peach honey butter is especially awesome!  They're also all very smooth and would be perfect for "melting" and glazing (or just spreading on toast, pancakes, waffles or, in my case, oatmeal!).  You can learn more about the vineyard here.
To accompany my sweet and salty goodness, I had some sesame kale from Whole Foods and lima beans.  Oh and a lavender kombucha (my favorite flavor!).
Aaaaand for dessert, a HUGE slice of watermelon and some chocolate chips because no day is complete without chocolate.
Does anyone else find themselves over-studying?  If so, how have you combatted it?

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!


I always over study... it was a huge problem for me because I would end up failing and second guessing myself. So now I wait either a day before or day of some exam or important assignment to study. That way it's fresh and I don't second guess!


Oohh i'm going to have to try the lavender kombucha! i'm pretty much addicted to the citrus flavor. soo good. good luck with the start of school!! sounds like you have a great plan for balancing your time once you get there!

08/21/2013 10:11

I tend to over-whatever I'm doing at the moment... I used to think I was good at budgeting my time but I've since found that I really just tend to lose track of it (and myself) which is not always helpful. I've found that having a planner for everything, much like your talking about has helped (so has having the BF closer to home because he gets bored easily).

On the eats end it definitely looks like a delicious day of "eat everything left in the fridge" randomness which are some of the best days. Hopefully packing is going well! I start class again on Monday (though I no longer actually get to go to college to do so)

08/21/2013 10:28

You're gonna love the apple chips! My fav!

It's so easy to get caught up in studying and forget that college isn't all about grades. I definitely did this for my first two years and basically hid out in the library. I knew something was wrong with this and like you made a game plan to be more social and really soak in the college experience. My last 2 years were unforgettable! I look back and regret having been so focused on my studies those first two years. My grades haven't impacted me much in my current career path but the friendships I fostered are far more prominent in my life! Hope the drive goes by quickly. Happy Hump Day!

08/21/2013 12:23

I have a love/hate relationship with studying. Last year I took it really easy the first half of the semester and had to kick it up to high gear the second half. It was really stressful for me, so I think this semester I'm just going to set aside some time everyday to get an hour (atleast) in so I'm so much more prepared. Thank goodness my grades didn't suffer that much!

Good luck to you! What school are you going to?

08/23/2013 08:44

Thank you for sharing your experience with studying! Reading about others' studying adventures actually really helps me.

And I'm going to Willamette University in Oregon! :)


"over-studying" nope - don't think I ever had that "under-studying" ooh - did I need help in that dept :)
You are indeed right - the blogin community is so very supportive and positive!!!
You sure love pretzels!
Beautiful trail you and your mum walked!
All the very best to you during this journey-looking forward to reading all about it here :)

08/21/2013 14:34

Sorry for the delay, I just arrived in Spain (I'm on instagram @veganmiam) and hopefully I will catch up wtih bloggin'! Good luck with your starting sophomore year and yes, enjoy yourself more and do well in school, too! Wow, 20+ hour road trip! When it comes to road trips, I always bring my iPad and iPhone charger (you can charge it in your car) and watch some good shows, i.e., old seasons of Breaking Bad. Hehe, glad you've mentioned Oregon ;) Wow, that jelly looks delicious, I love homemade jellies from the vineyards! OMG, I'm a huge fan of these kombuchas, but I haven't seen the lavender one. I love the Guava without the chia seeds & the berries flavor with the chia seeds.

08/21/2013 15:14

Love the oatmeal with pretzels. Good luck with school :)

08/21/2013 16:17

I always over-study... but I feel like I need to work harder than others to get the same grades. It's frustrating. What are you studying in school? :)

08/23/2013 08:45

I feel the exact way!! I don't think it's actually true, but I still feel that way too often...
I'm studying chemistry and studio art! :)

08/21/2013 18:15

Your trek up the area is so beautiful ! This definitely makes me want to start getting active and go on nature walks. I live in the city so its hard to find beautiful trails like this unless we drive further out. However, I think I'll take the opportunity to go around my location and take pretty pictures as well! That should motivate me to get up and do something while enjoying what I love to do most - take pictures, ha

As far as school goes good luck on the first day :) I'm sure that you will have a great first day back. Hope the drive goes swell! I know I am not much of a car person I tend to get tired and sleep most of the way, lol. I think the best thing to do is have tons of music available for the 20 hr trip and some reading material :) Make sure to have a camera as well just to take some photos on the way there.

08/21/2013 22:34

I found blogging to be the perfect outlet during my past few semesters. It kept my mind going but not solely on my studies, which was great. Hopefully it'll be the same way for you!

08/22/2013 00:28

Michigan? That was last month. Where was I last week?

08/22/2013 01:43

Epic morning run! It may be early days, but I'm putting good faith that you're going to blitz the marathon and 10k planned! the 20 hour ride.... hmmm I just tagged you the Sunshine award, so if you haven't done that, you're welcome to do it ;)

I really love your day of eats- so much variety and the addition of pretzels- awesome! I do that with greek yogurt mixed with protein powder, nuts, cereal and broken up pretzel pieces! so good! Look forward to seeing your ideas for balance!

08/22/2013 11:52

I love nature walks. You know, I always found taking a break from studying was hard to do but oh so helpful. Oh, and no day is ever complete without chocolate, I agree! :D

08/22/2013 18:26

WOAH! A 20-hour car ride?! That's crazy. I hope you break that up. Our longest car ride was about 15 hours and it felt like a lifetime. I would suggest some e-books and DVDs to watch on your laptop?!

Great eats, as always. Who cares how random?!

08/22/2013 18:45

Ah! You and my brother are in the same year of college! It's so bittersweet to have him leaving! I'm sure it's the same for you! I hope you're doing great back at college! I can't wait to hear about your college meals! And good luck with that 20 hour car ride. I had one of those this summer and it was quite interesting! :)

08/23/2013 00:12

Good luck this year!! Everything looks great!

08/23/2013 08:46

I LOVE that you want to be a little bit more relaxed with your studying! I totally believe that there is such thing as TOO much. For me personally if I study too long I start to struggle with the comprehension!! Frequent breaks are good!! You're a smart girl, you will be just fine!! Awesome job on that speedy shorter run!! Also, this walk looks so peaceful!! How fun!

08/23/2013 13:28

Working in the green house sounds fun! I'm really excited for the next step in blogging with all of you- I just discovered so many amazing blogs over the summer of fellow students and it will be fun to compare notes on how all of our semesters go at college. Looking forward to it and good luck Alex! :D

08/23/2013 23:20

Brinner is always a good idea, especially when it comes in the form of such a delicious bowl of oatmeal :)! Hope you managed to survive the 20-hour journey...that is no joke and I can only applaud you for sitting through it! Magazines, good music, plenty of snacks and audiobooks usually help with killing time during travel for me!

08/24/2013 14:56

20+ hours on the road?! We think having my sister 3 hours away from us is too much! I don't know how your family does it :P!

I tend to sleep during car trips, if not driving :P!


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