Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cooking

I don’t. I microwave. I put things in the oven. I heat up soup. I put things on toast or bread. I cut stuff up. Breakfast for dinner? Why not! Cook? No. To me cooking is baking a turkey, having BBQ sauce to dip the turkey in, and making cous cous (aka boiling water and stirring cous cous in) as a side. Or making pasta and nuking (is that even a real word?) frozen veggies, and mixing it all together with marinara sauce. Then I proceed to eat the same thing the whole week, as I am just one person and a box of pasta serves like seven. To me, dinner isn’t about the creating part; it’s about the eating part. So why would I waste time making food when I could just be eating food. AND food that’s easy to make doesn’t even taste bad.  I mean really.

Not only do I not like to take the time to cook (Sorry, it just isn’t fun), but I hate having to buy food for specific recipes. When I go grocery shopping, I buy the main staples, like cereal, bread, veggies, yogurt, and fruit. Why would I waste my time and money on spices and random things that I would use once for one recipe and then have tons left over that would go untouched? I am basic. I don’t want to buy something and have it sit in my cabinet forever. I am only one person. Maybe if I was big into dinner parties or cooking for my roommates that wouldn’t be so terrible (actually, it would be kinda fun to put a huge meal together for a special occasion…hmmm). But as for now, it’s just me and having to buy a bazillion different ingredients and products that I would only use once in a while is not enticing. Baking, on the other hand, is another story. Though, as with cookie, buying ready-made baked goods is just as good as homemade stuff. This whole 21st century world of prepared foods sure is ingenious.

I know I have the time to cook, and I know that is all you really need As long as you can read and follow directions, you can make most anything.  I just don’t want to spend my time doing it. What do I do with the time I save not cooking? Not much. But it’s just nice to know it’s there. I can read or work out or watch TV or hang out with friends. Basically I can do what I want, because I will have already made dinner, eaten and cleaned up in about 20 minutes.

Now if you will excuse me- I have some microwaving to do!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Books for Free!

It blows my mind how amazing the library is. Why did I never utilize it before? I can actually go and bring home books and not pay for them? What?

I have become a Barnes & Nobles girl. I go to B&N, read some mags, get a Starbuck's coffee, browse the books, find a book I can't live without, and buy it. Then I read the so-called amazing book, sometimes find it awesome and sometimes not, almost always wondering "why did I spend __ dollars on this?" If it's good I give it to others to read and never see it again (thereby wasting my money). If it's bad I throw it in my Book Exchange bag, where I donate books to get a certain amount of credit at a used book store. Sure, that's reusing my money, but ultimately, even though there is a nice selection of used books, I never get my full money's worth on the book I bought. Yet, I never learn my lesson. I keep going to B&N and keep buying books and other random things I don't need. I mean, I know "sTori Telling" is an essential book to read and all, but should I really pay $15 for it?

The amazing thing about the library is, since you're not paying for the book- you can read whatever you want and not feel guilty! Do I really need to read Kristin Chenoweth's bio? No, but, heck, it's free so why not! Do I really want to buy a cookbook and start cooking? No, but heck, maybe if I have some free time one day I'll use one of the recipes. As long as I renew the books before I have to pay late fees, I am good to go. I also feel that by going to the library I am somehow helping the world become a little more green, because I am reading reused books instead of buying them, which ultimately wastes more paper (oh god, not the trees!). Also, going to the library is like a civic duty or something to help my community. Isn't it?

So, as I am busy changing the world by becoming an avid library-goer, you all should really join in on my discovery. Don't let bookstores suck you in (but going to them is still acceptable if you want to read/use the internet whilst drinking good coffee or reading mags and not paying for them. I don't judge anyone about that. Magazines are too expensive to keep up with).


Tori Spelling the author. Is she a good writer? Not really, but hey, I didn't pay for it so you can't judge me!

Friday, October 22, 2010

UVA

As most of you know, I went to the University of Virginia for undergrad. I have been doing senior meetings at my high school this week, where I meet with my seniors students to discuss post-graduation options and to make sure they are getting all the classes/SOLs they need to graduate before June. Talking with all these students (and having been to UVA for homecomings last weekend) brings back a lot of memories about my college journey.

I don't know what it was about UVA that made me want to go there so bad. Probably the fact that my oldest brother started going there when I was only 12, so a lot of my teenage years were spent going to events in Charlottesville. I also saw how much he loved it, which ultimately made me more and more excited to go there (well, until the pep band was no more, and then his opinion changed). Then as I got older I realized how UVA was more than just a normal college- it was a prestigious Univeristy, with great academics, athletics (more than just football), and social organizations. I quickly became a Wahoo fan in high school and began my life-long view of hating Virginia Tech, but I really had no reason to like UVA so much. The only person in my family to go there was my brother, and my parents (and most of my extended family) were Ohio State grads and fans. I really didn't have much affiliation with the school.

Whatever the reason, I really loved UVA. I wrote in an 8th grade time capsle that I wanted to go to school at UVA, and I know my goal all through high school was to become a Wahoo. I worked hard, and probably didn't enjoy high school as much as I should have, because I had to get great grades to get into UVA. At some point during my Junior year, though, I remember changing my affiliation to Clemson (I somehow got it in my head that I wanted to go there) and began pushing UVA under the table. Then I went on a college roadtrip the summer of 2003 with my dad, and we visited the Univeristy of Georgia, Clemson, Elon, and UNC. After this trip I came to a very important conclusion: Why would I want to go anywhere else when UVA was the most beautiful and prestigious of all those schools? I loved Elon and applied there, but UVA quickly became my #1 again. I applied early decision and was lucky enough to get in.

Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like had I gone to another school.  I also got into Elon and JMU (I applied both places early decision too), and I was also interested in Mary Washington, but Elon was the hardest to let go of. I instantly fell in love with the school, and it would have been a completely different college experience- smaller school, private, and further away. After a rough first year at UVA, not academically but socially and personally in regards to adjusting, I wasn't as happy as I thought I would be for many different reasons. I was wondering if I had made the right decision.

However, quickly into my second year, I knew I had made the right choice. Living outside of a dorm and having a car allowed me to explore more of Charlottesville and feel more like an adult. Every year at UVA was better and better for me, and I am glad it happened that way. I got a broader group of friends, but I also became tighter with my close friends, mainly those in Alpha Chi Omega- my sorority. I was never crazy about the drinking and partying, but eventually I got better at that too and was able to loosen up and have fun. And I had a lot of fun:)!

Now when I think of college, I only think of the good times (but isn't that how it always is?). I don't think about the homesickness, the struggles of my first year, the occasional loneliness, the hard classes, the stress and the drama (though I surprisingly had very little). I think of the amazing friends I met, my sorority, date functions, parties, social events, the classes, fun in the library (yes, it could be fun), the beauty, my awesome job at UVA catering, the roadtrips and how every day I knew I would end up smiling (I know, it's cheesy, but it's true). I also recognize that I would have been happy at many other colleges and that UVA wasn't the only right college for me. But I know that going there was the best decision I have ever made.

This past weekend at homecomings, my closest friends from near and far (NYC, Florida, San Francisco) came to UVA and we all got to spend the weekend together. We went wine tasting, shopped and ate on the corner, tailgated and partied and enjoyed the beauty and environment that is UVA. One of my friends and I reminisced while walking home from the football game about how we miss just about everything about the University. I think I will always miss what I had at UVA, but I know it was more than just the school- it was the amazing friends that I made that made my college experience what it was. In some ways I glad it's over, because I know it was only as special as the people I met there and couldn't last forever, but I know I will always miss that time in my life. Ultimately, though, UVA brought me to where and who I am today. I love who that is.

I feel honored to have gone to UVA, and only hope that my students can have the kind of college experience I did- where ever their paths lead them.

 






But, as for me, God bless Mr. Jefferson's University.

Monday, October 4, 2010

House Hunter

It's a big step, but ever since I moved into my new townhouse and gotten my first job (and realized how much money you can save if you watch what you spend), I have become obsessed with buying a house. I want to own a home in the summer of 2012. So that gives me 2 years to save. Right now, I am saving about 40-50% of what I make (having ridiculously cheap rent and a side job makes saving very easy), so I hope to be able to put a down payment of 20% on a $200,000 house.

The most fun part about buying a house is THINKING about where I want to live and what kind of house I want! I definitely do not want anything big. Nor do I want a big yard or big land. So that basically means that I want to buy a townhouse, a house that is connected to the houses next to it (it's like a townhouse but bigger and designed more like a house), or just a small house on small land. I am thinking a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house with garage OR a 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo. But I also have to think- do I want an old house or a new house? I originally thought I wanted a new house in a new neighborhood, but something about older neighborhoods with more trees brings me a cozy feeling, probably since that what I grew up living in. But older houses have older plumbing and older structures which brings their own set of problems.

Part of THINKING about where and what I want is EXPLORING websites and neighborhoods! I find great deals all the time- this housing market is just fabulous for buyers (literally there are tons of options from $180,000- 200,000).

How cute is this house for $179,000?


I am bummed I could not afford a house sooner to qualify for the $8,000 tax credit, so I am just hoping that the market doesn't bounce back too much in the next 2 years. Obviously, where I live will depend on my job situation and other life factors, but this is a big goal that I am excited to start planning for.

First off, though, I am spending my first few months of savings on LASIK!!!! I have wanted it for years, can officially afford it, and have a consultation in November. Bye-bye contacts and glasses. Hello, new life (and soon to be new house)!