Thursday, May 9, 2013

So Long Blue Goose, Hello Real World!

Well, this is it...papers have all been turned in, exams have all been taken, evaluations have been completed....I have officially completed all of my graduate degree coursework here at Marymount!! It's strange that it doesn't feel balloons fell from the ceiling as I handed in my last exam, no confetti cannons (P.S.-how awesome would that be?!). It just felt like turning in another final. I have a feeling it won't really sink in until the fall, when I'm not returning for a full courseload and spending 20 hours a week working on Ballston campus. But, all good things must come to an end, and getting your Master's degree is one of those things.

So, what's next for this girl?? Thankfully, I actually have that figured out! About a month ago, I was ready to pack up my car and drive back to Illinois to move back in with my parents...yea, I was having a bit of a rough week. But then, everything fell into place really quickly. In the matter of about 1-2 weeks, I signed a lease with one of my BFF's (fellow blogger, Daisy) to move into a great new apartment, I was offered (and accepted) a job that is actually relevant to my degree, and decided that I'm getting a puppy!! May and June are going to be a bit hectic with all of these changes, but I'm ready to take them all on and start this new chapter of my life. I can't wait to see what the next couple of years has in store!

So, since I'd like to impart a bit of wisdom (other than finishing your Master's coursework is awesome), it's about preparation for entering the real world.....BUDGET! My parents (ok, my mom) have always been great at budgeting and watching their money. Since they've always done that, they're now able to spend more money on fun things for themselves now that my sisters and I have flown the coop, and I really want to be able to do that when I'm their age. So I've been talking to them and scouring the internet (especially blogs) for advice on starting a budget. I'm going to use, a great budgeting website recommended by friends...and the site also has an app so you can literally have your finances at your fingertips! Honestly, with how much I love organization, I'm surprised I haven't kept a strict budget before...I recommend it for those of you still in school. I'm finding myself now saying, "Ok...did you really need that bag/shirt/pair of shoes that you bought??" Oh well, everything is a learning experience I suppose! But now, the budgeting begins, along with the real world.

That's all I have for today,'s been great blogging for you. Hopefully some things have been helpful!! If you need me, I'll be out runnin' the real world like a boss :)

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Hey everyone!

A few months ago I wrote about the Walk to Stop Modern Slavery, and how amazing it was. Today I found myself on another walk on the National Mall, this time for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). A friend of a friend formed a team ('Victorious Secret' clever is she?!), and invited my roommate and I to could we pass it up?

I had never really heard of NEDA before doing the walk, and didn't know that much about the activism world of eating disorder awareness. Today was definitely a learning experience. I got to hear from some amazing girls who have had a successful journey of recovery from their eating disorders, and from some activists, including Miss America 2008! We also heard from some of the event sponsors, namely The Center for HOPE and Reflections. The Center for HOPE is an eating disorder recovery clinic based in holistic health practices, and Reflections is an eating disorder treatment center at Dominion Hospital. Both places offer fantastic treatment for girls and guys of all ages who are suffering from eating disorders.

At the beginning of the walk today, over $46,000 had been raised, which is amazing! The money goes straight to advocacy and treatment programming, and I'm so very happy that I got to be a part of the day. There are just so many great organizations who are always having fundraisers around D.C., and I'm pretty sure no matter what cause you're passionate about you can find an organization for it here. So get out there and find what works for you!


P.S.-Sorry I totally blanked on taking pictures today! I was all ready to take pictures of the cherry blossoms, but they weren't all ready to bloom yet!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Farmers Markets 101

      Whole Foods is like a vacation for a self-proclaimed foodie like me, but as a broke graduate student I can't really afford to shop there. Although if you're looking for a fun Thursday night happy hour after class I highly recommend going over to Whole Foods in Clarendon, and for $5 you get to do a wine and food pairing tasting of 5 courses! You also get to keep your wine glass and when you bring it back the next week, because let's face it you'll be back, you only have to pay $4!

     BUT this blog post is not about how awesome Whole Foods is, it's about the farmers markets that will be popping up all over this area in a few weeks! Buying locally is the way to go! You get the freshest produce, a lot of it being organic and you get to eat in season, all while saving a few bucks! The other plus is that there will be a farm stand or market in almost every area, each day of the week! Now you're thinking, "but Daisy, I'm new in the area, how am I going to know where the farmers markets are and when they're happening?" No worries my friends, there is a whole directory that you could access on the interwebs! Magical, I know! It has information for all the farmers markets in the country.
*Fun Fact: Did you know that eating local honey helps relieve allergies?! IT DOES! Pick some up next time your at your local farmers market :)

Here you could find all the markets near Marymount. There is even one on Thursdays from 3-7pm right by the metro that you could swing by after our lovely summer classes!

Go to the following blogs to find great clean recipes: (Local blogger!)

with love,

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What I have Neflixed and You Should, Too

With the recent release of Netflix own programming House of Cards, I thought it would be appropriate for me to share with you all what I have recently watched on Netflix and how that affects you.  With midterms approaching, you'll be needing a study break, so borrow you parents' Netflix account and check these out.  I'm going to give you three titles and a recommendation filled with funny quips and no spoilers.  Except that everyone dies.  Always.  Even the virgins.

Primal Fear
Have you ever just loved the work an actor does no matter what the role?  That is how I feel about Edward Norton.  He makes me laugh in Keeping the Faith, angry in American History X, and a little bit of everything in just about every movie he does.  Imagine my joy at finding a Norton film that I had never seen, and on Netflix streaming no less!  This is Norton's first movie, and it may be his best ever.  In fact, he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1996, and the travesty isn't that he lost to Cuba Gooding, Jr. yelling "Show me the money!"  The travesty is that he wasn't considered the lead.  Richard Gere is actually good in this movie, too, as is Laura Linney.  However, the reason to see this movie is a historic performance by Norton in this courtroom thriller.

Warnings:  This movie has severe adult themes, including language, nudity, and violence.  It is also not very flattering for the Catholic Church.  However, the plot and its twist rise above these negatives and I would recommend this to any fans of Norton or the courtroom/murder trial drama crowd.

Craigslist Joe
Have you ever wondered who actually posts some of that crazy stuff on Craigslist?  Or have you wondered if people out there have really lost the sense of community that shaped this country?  If so, check out Craigslist Joe, a documentary about a young man from California and his decision to live off of nothing but the kindness of strangers who post on Craigslist for an entire month.  Joe must find food, clothes, transportation, and a place to sleep, but he can only ask favors on Craigslist or from people that he meets because of Craigslist.  It runs like a traditional documentary of American life, but the places Joe goes and the characters he meets are the ones who are rarely seen away from the digital community, including a karma-loving van driver, a break dancing dominatrix, a cancer patient who is also a hoarder, and even Craig himself.  

Warnings:  There isn't anything really bad here, and is definitely watchable by a wide audience.  It drags occasionally, but the emotional moments may bring tears to your eyes.  Anyone who uses Craigslist or is a child of the online generation should watch this.

Better Off Ted
Ok, this one isn't a movie, but an amazing TV show that was canceled because of ABC being a stupid company.  The show, which has 2 seasons, chronicles the lives of the employees of Veridian Dynamics, a soulless conglomerate who can turn seemingly anything into a weapon that kills people.  Ted, the main character, is the only sane person in the cast.  The narrative follows him as he navigates a complicated love triangle with Veronica (Portia De Rossi from Arrested Development), his robotic and efficient boss and Linda, a good hearted and perky employee who despises everything about the company.  However, the show is laugh out loud funny because of the antics of socially awkward laboratory scientists Phil and Lem.  The fact that there are only 2 seasons makes this the perfect mind relaxant after those tough midterms.

Warnings:  Sex is a topic in almost every episode, though it is implied and rarely depicted on camera.  Anyone who is a fan of dark comedies or just a fan of comedy in general (especially Family Guy and the aforementioned Arrested Development) will really enjoy this show.

That's what I've been back to writing that midterm paper...


Monday, February 18, 2013

A Snack that Lowers Stress?!

With the semester in full swing I like to de-stress by cooking and baking. I think it is very important to find something you can do on your own that allows you to step back from the chaos of graduate school and just relax for a bit. The best part of my "self care" is that I get a yummy meal or treat after AND I can share with my friends and loved ones! I am going to share my favorite cookie recipe for all the lucky readers of this blog! 

WARNING: making these for others, may cause you to have to make them again and again because they're sooo good!

Daisy's Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 stick plus 6 Tbsp of unsalted butter, at room temp.
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter (crunchy gives more texture)
2 1/3 cups all- purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup or more of chocolate chips (you can chop them if you want)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Cream sugars and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mix well in between. Then mix in vanilla and peanut butter (at a lower speed if using electric mixer)
Add flour, baking soda, and salt and mix well until dough is smooth! Stir in the chocolate chips until evenly dispersed.

Scoop out cookies onto cookie sheet ( i say the bigger the better!) and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges, and quite flat. Then let cookies cool on a wire rack and they should be perfectly soft and chewy.

Enjoy these with a large glass of milk and call it a day of studying!

with love,

Friday, February 15, 2013

Live Music...It's Good for the Soul

In my opinion, one of the BEST things about living in this area is the access we have to different music venues. In the past, the only live music I would ever see would be going to huge outdoor arenas for country concerts (what up MegaTickets?!) But, all that has changed in the last year and a half since I moved up this way. Since moving, I've been to three different shows at two different venues, and I have NO intentions of slowing down!!

Yea...pretty close to the stage!! I didn't even have to throw
elbows for this shot.
My favorite venue I've found so far is the 9:30 Club in D.C. 9:30 has a lot of up and comers, along with some more established musicians. Last year, I saw Matt Nathanson there, and this past fall I got to see Of Monsters and Men. Both shows were AMAZING!!! 9:30 Club is pretty small, so no matter where you are, you can actually SEE who's Jumbotron needed!! And, a lot of the openers will come out in the audience during the main attraction, and I've heard from a couple people that if you hang out long enough after the show, you have a decent chance of meeting the performers! Also, it's all general admission, so if you're kind of a groupie (like me!), you can throw some elbows and get as close to the stage as you'd like! Or, if you're a little more laid back, you can sit on one of the balconies up top, and still have a fantastic view of everything. One of the downsides to 9:30 is that it is all the way on the Green Line...a far distance for someone on the Orange Line. They also do have a parking lot there...if you pay in advance (I think it was 15$-ish?), you're guaranteed a spot in the lot, or you can get there early and take your chances. For Matt Nathanson, I took the Metro (I had no car at the time). For OMAM I drove...luckily, the show was on a Sunday, so there wasn't really any traffic, and it was a MUCH shorter ride home! If you have people riding with you that are willing to kick in for parking, I'd recommend it. Not an awful experience compared to other places in D.C.

I spy a Mumford!!!
Close up!
Not a close-up, but a pretty great shot!
Just this past week, I made my way over to George Mason's Patriot Center for Mumford & Sons. Ho-lee cow. Those boys can put on a show!!! The Patriot Center is George Mason's basketball arena, so it's obviously a larger venue, but it's not as extreme as the Verizon Center in D.C. Even the 'bad' seats in the Patriot Center aren't too bad! And, as amazing as a more intimate show is, there's definitely something to be said for the pure awesome-ness of singing along with 10,000 of your closest friends. Parking at Patriot Center is included in the price of your ticket, but it's a college campus, meaning that the parking situation in general can be...iffy. But, the closest Metro is the Vienna Station, 20-something minutes away. Sooo driving looks not to bad after hearing that :) But, the actual show....OH MY-LANTA!!!! It was absolutely incredible!!! Hands down the best arena-setting show I've ever seen, and definitely one I'll remember for a long time...I really hope I can see them again sometime.
In the past, I thought going to concerts and shows was only for special occasions, but oh how my attitude has changed. Seeing one of your favorite bands, or an up-n-comer that you just heard about, can be an amazing experience, whether you go with a friend or by yourself. It can give you some great memories, and just let you forget about your daily stresses for a couple hours. Some shows I'm looking forward to? The Band Perry and The Lumineers, both at Merriweather, an outdoor venue over in Maryland. FYI, another venue in D.C. to keep an eye on is DAR Constitution of my roommates saw Fun. there a couple weeks ago (who, by the way, will also be at Merriweather this summer!), and loved it!!

So, the moral of the story is...go see live music. You won't regret it!!!!!