MIMM #13: Fall Reading Week

Happy Monday! Was anyone else thankful for the extra hour this weekend? I definitely found it earlier to wake up this morning for my 8:30 a.m. Chemistry lecture, although I must say the commute back to London last night was dark and dreary since when I arrived at 8:00 p.m. it was theoretically 9:00p.m. As I mentioned on Thursday, Western incorporated a Fall reading week into this year’s timetable, although I would hardly call it a “week” given it was only 2 days long! Regardless, it was marvelous to be home and I managed to get a lot accomplished.

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Thursday was Halloween! Initially I had been planning on taking Lottie to Oakville’s Halloween Parade but the rain-washed away our plans. Instead, I got some homework out of the way, followed by pumpkin carving, Halloween decorating and of course some other festive activities such as Trick-or-Treating. I was amazed that Lottie wasn’t afraid of the spooky and loud decorations in our neighbourhood. She has a brave little soul! She even clung on to her Coffee crisp chocolate bar (Her favourite block is of similar shape, size and colour) the entire night which ended up melting in the palm of her hand!IMG_8930 1450211_360966527372465_1594242286_n

Friday started off with homework again, but by mid-afternoon I headed to Hamilton for a coffee date at Red Crow. It’s a family owned café which provided a marvelously welcoming  atmosphere. I love when coffee shops have unique mugs, electric furniture and a bookcase full of novels to borrow. Joyce and I spontaneously decided to frequent Limeridge mall because I had some time to fill before catching the go-train. We settled on Yoguen fruz as a snack despite the temperature being almost below zero. There are barely any Yoguen fruz’s left in the GTA so whenever I see one it’s an automatic “purchase”. We also got matching charms so that we will “Owl-ways” be together… Pun very much intended 🙂555564_10100626062398541_1488594823_n704045_206993216103131_1303692529_o

Saturday morning I got great customer service at Apple, which is always marvelous. A button on my iPhone was broken and since I have Apple care I was given a new phone free of charge. My dad and I squeezed in some grocery shopping just before I met my mom, my sister Caitlin and Lottie to attend the Holiday Marketplace Craft Show at my old High School. It’s always such a treat to support local businesses and it definitely starts the holiday season off with a cheer. It’s crazy to think it is already November and that I will be home from Winter Exams in about 40 days! One of my favourite teachers who is essentially a second mom to me organizes the craft show so it was lovely to see her and her daughter! It was the first year I wasn’t helping out so I really got to explore the vendors. While I didn’t buy anything, Lottie got the next size up in one of her alpaca wool sweaters and my mom got a necklace that looks like it could be right out of the catalogue of Anthropologie.1415776_360924004043384_958492818_n

More studying happened on Saturday (I am a student after all) but it was pleasantly interrupted by a trip to Starbucks with Caitlin! I was greeted by marvelous red and white décor because Starbucks is ahead of the game in bringing back their holiday beverages and merchandise. I helped Caitlin finish her boyfriend of three year’s anniversary gift (She made a trivia game filled with generous gifts), which was a wake-up call that I am seriously lacking in the department of boys. I guess that’s what attending an all-girls University does to you! 954402_360924000710051_2107842245_n

Sunday I woke up “early” because of the time change, so I finished the last of my studying before adventuring out to Michaels with my mom. I was definitely in a crafty mood and ended up getting some supplies for knitting and scrapbooking. I think they’ll both provide nice study breaks and maybe I’ll be able to make a few Christmas gifts. My dad drove Marissa and myself back to University, and generously helped me carry up my laundry (Thanks mom!), textbooks and what not. I’m not a light packer, nor is Marissa, to say the least. There are still no working elevators in our residence, which makes for a tedious trudge up to the fifth floor.  I’m pretty sure I have accumulated more books, clothing and craft supplies in my University room than I have back at home. My dad also stocked my fridge with some essential healthy study snacks (yogurt, apples, oranges, 5 lbs of carrots, celery, big tub of hummus, beans, chickpeas, lentils and oatmeal) which is pretty marvelous to say the least.MiMM1

Marvelous is so many things, including feeding Lottie, hugging Lottie and just being around Lottie (If you meet her you’ll know what I mean). It’s getting marks back that reflect the amount of effort you put into studying (which in my case was a lot), listening to new upbeat songs (Today’s Pop Lite is my favourite on Songza), being in the company of family (I love my parents and siblings), figuring out what I hope to become career wise (with the advice of my mom), studying (while enjoying what you learn), eating (Without guilt) and even taking naps or sleeping (because your body needs it). Thanks Katie for hosting Marvelous in My Monday so I could reflect on how fortunate I am to have had such a marvelous weekend. Can’t wait to share what is in store for November later this week. What marvelous events do you have planned for this new month? ♥ Molly

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” –H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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MIMM #12: Did you miss me?

Blogging has definitely been taking a bit of a back seat as I study for exams. I had intended on sharing my Thanksgiving eats last week but it looks like I’ll be sharing them this Wednesday instead. We can reminisce about the good food we wish was still leftovers in our fridge right?MiMM

To be honest, even if I had blogged more frequently this past week, each post would have been pretty dull. I am thankful for so many interactions and opportunities I experience each day but none of them are that out of the ordinary. Right now I am at a time in my life where I am almost contemplating maintaining my blog since I don’t have many recipes to share or projects to explain. I feel like I am in a completely different spot in my life than many of the bloggers I idolize (and hope to someday meet) which works both against and for me. We will see, I’m going through a lot of personal changes such as devoting time to myself through journaling so I’ll just play it by ear.

Now that I’ve gotten my troubling thoughts out of my mind, it’s time to share what marvelous “study breaks” I have been taking these past few days. 1373455_354366861365765_442852624_n

Marvelous is scrounging together ingredients for apple crisp. A few over ripe apples, oats, raw sugar packets and butter packets from the cafeteria can go a long way when you are a student! Note to self: Bring baking supplies from home in mason jars. 1383569_354367951365656_106611557_n

Marvelous is visiting the Covent Garden Market. We arrived just after 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning which gave us plenty of fresh selection from the outdoor portion of the farmer’s market. I found the venders so helpful in educating me about different squashes and kale. I ended up getting purple kale, buttercup squash, 3 large apple (this photo does not do their size justice), 50g pumpkin rooibos tea, Brussels sprouts and romanesco broccoli for $12.00! My friend Katie got purple carrots which we will be roasting later this week. What deals!1058954_354366851365766_2115642163_n 1376692_354366848032433_1312319324_n 1379175_354366858032432_1711697502_n

Marvelous is studying until your brain hurts. I had a few really long periods of productive studying which always feels good. I found this perfect booth area in Weldon library that is both comfortable and quiet (unfortunately it tends to be full) and since it isn’t directly beside my residence I find it less tempting to go home to take a nap! The key is keeping my technological devices in my backpack although recently I tried studying with music, which also worked well!  I’m starting to find enjoyment in learning again which is very pleasing since the past few weeks have been more anxious than fun. I had a research assignment and a few other homework projects that were interesting to complete this weekend.1384290_354367968032321_1445225764_n 1382963_354368031365648_1159859669_n

Marvelous is winning a chocolate bar for understanding Psychology during a review jeopardy game, fishing out (no pun intended) the mussels, scallops and shrimp in a pot of seafood soup, treating yourself (and a friend) to Tim Horton’s Pumpkin Tea before writing a Chemistry quiz, polishing off a 5lb bag of carrots in under 3 days without turning orange, breathing in fresh air on a fall afternoon and witnessing a wedding on campus and in your residence. This picture was just the beginning of their transformation of our eatery as they added in pictures from their destination wedding (in France), an Eiffel tower and more flowers!1380662_354368051365646_997331028_n 1201_354368008032317_822970106_n1381350_354367988032319_152883727_n 1381062_354366854699099_1519896172_n

Marvelous is finally getting time to blog which has changed my mood for the better.  What is marvelous about today for you? Since your positive math-y thoughts worked for Calculus (I am very pleased with my mark), please think about Psychology on Tuesday and Chemistry on Friday! Thanks Katie for a great MIMM roundup and star to the week! ♥ Molly

“It is always the simple that produces the marvelous.” – Amelia Barr

MIMM #11: Thanksgiving Weekend

It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, which means I have today off but this weekend has still felt much too short. I suppose that is nothing new since time spent at home in the company of my marvelous family is never too long. This Thanksgiving definitely felt rushed. Last year I had the opportunity to press leaves, pick pumpkins and help my mom with fall decorations, but this year I barely had time to eat pie let alone bake one! MiMM

My mom and Emma came to pick me up on Friday morning after the completion of my three-hour morning Nutrition lecture. I was all packed and ready to go, so what should have been a fun and marvelous class seemed to drag on. I fed them lunch at my cafeteria before we headed back onto the highway (thankfully with minimal traffic) stopping only briefly at Ikea to look for a highchair (unsuccessfully). I did find a duvet to layer beneath my quilt since my residence room is already starting to get pretty chilly.1385625_351530854982699_1631944843_n

Three weeks away from home was much too long. Friday evening I caught up with Elyse, Caitlin and Carly over a marvelous bonfire. I never really realized how complimentary chocolate, roasted marshmallows and graham crackers could be since I usually eat them separately as opposed to in a s’mores. By 12:30 a.m. I called it a night, which was hard to do since we had so much to discuss.1373539_351530628316055_375718286_n 1384731_351530618316056_1310684331_n

We hosted Thanksgiving appetizers and dinner on Saturday for my Grandparents. Besides a batch of brownies I barely baked but I have a few recipes to try out later today before heading back to University. I’ll save the meal for Wednesday’s post but the eats were more marvelous than ever. With a 21lb Turkey and only 10 guests (…but Lottie prefers sweet potatoes so really 9) there were lots of leftovers for sandwiches. Lottie definitely entertained us for the night with her smiles, giggles and waves. She’s sitting proudly on her own and I can’t wait to see her again dressed up for Halloween. Last year she was not born yet so we were all very thankful to be blessed with her company this weekend. 1377174_351530868316031_810513216_n 1379028_351530624982722_165337714_n

Sunday we were all still tired from the turkey’s tryptophan (kidding), which meant a later start to my studying session. I worked on a Library Assignment and I reviewed a bit of Psychology and Chemistry for my upcoming midterms but I was easily distracted by PVR (I haven’t watched television in 5 weeks) running errands with my dad, preparing homemade turkey soup and baking gingerbread cookies. A less eventful but equally marvelous day to say the least!1380896_351530621649389_2025998700_n

Today I’m meeting Joyce and tonight my dad will be driving me back to residence. It seemed short but I guess that’s partly due to the commute and the fact that schoolwork isn’t easing up. No complaining here, Thanksgiving was marvelous. I’m so thankful for my entire life including but not limited to my family, friends, health, home, education, food, emotions, challenges, privileges and abilities. What are you grateful for?  Don’t forget to check out Katie’s MIMM roundup – Friday she featured some marvelous snacks and marvelous advantages of being a mom and this morning she posted a picture of Rocco (Now 15 weeks) as baby Dracula! He is so precious!  Here’s to making Mondays a bit more marvelous even if it means I have to go back to school and leave my family! ♥ Molly

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

MIMM # 10: Homecoming and More

Did you think I was still recovering from Homecoming? I know, this post is going up a little bit later than usual but rest assured that it isn’t because I am just waking up. My homecoming was fun, but definitely not wild which I’m sure you probably figured out by now based on my personality. I’m still working on finding a balance between social, educational and personal time which means blogging is taking a back seat for a little while but I don’t want to eliminate it from my life because sharing stories and connecting with other bloggers makes me feel marvelous.

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You know what else is marvelous? Mondays! Especially thanks to Katie and her marvelous link-up.1383692_346318488837269_2111843890_n 1385563_346319262170525_2021289085_n

Marvelous is getting together with friends whom you don’t get to see very often. Leah was up for Western’s homecoming so we had a lunch date at Thai Express. After she left I proceeded to get groceries because it was right next door and I figured I should make the most out of my outing. It’s still weird grocery shopping for myself as opposed to my family, but it feels marvelous to be independent. I even managed to find a 14-dollar dress that I think will pair nicely with my roots boots, cream knee socks and black leggings come the cooler weather.960169_346318455503939_482496_n 552751_346318435503941_1357468839_n

Marvelous is taking Friday night off just to socialize with friends. Even though I am legal, I prefer to socialize without alcohol so Friday night I spent avoiding the parties and instead baking brownies and eating pizza in our floor’s lounge. Our residence has baking baskets that you can rent out which is full of pans, beaters, spatulas, wooden spoons, measuring cups and essentially any other equipment you’d need to bake. We kept it classy with box brownies (It’s hard to have all ingredients on hand when you are living in residence) that we devoured straight from the pan. I think that tells you just how marvelous they were.1374700_346317902170661_866644474_n 1011968_346318418837276_934614504_n 1380869_346317898837328_1278916947_n

Marvelous is getting decked out in Purple for school spirit. Western’s homecoming football game was on Saturday against Queen’s University which the Mustangs (Western) won 51-30! I started the morning with a free pancake breakfast and lots of photos. I’d like to say I attended the game but I actually stayed home to study. I showed my support by using a purple highlighter and drinking a purple smoothie, which should count for something right? Instead of attending a kegger or a concert, a group of us went to Jack Astors for dinner complete with a trip to Masonville Mall. I warmed myself up with a cup of tea and a smile cookie from Tim Hortons. The London locations are fundraising for Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre.1377293_673753075971164_811362602_n 1371639_346317915503993_769786241_n

Marvelous is group iMessaging with my mom and sisters. I love hearing what is going on with their lives, seeing pictures of everyone’s days, asking for advice or sharing what is on my mind. Lottie was in a Contest at the Fall Fair in my sister’s neighbourhood and she won for Most Hair! I think we can all agree that other 7 month olds are envious of Lottie’s cute curls and it was a well-deserved marvelous win! It’s so fun watching Lottie grow up and my family does a great job of making me feel as though I am there. Lottie will make a great food blogger some day because she loves Sweet Potato and Avocado! I might have to introduce her to Kabocha Squash soon! 1377276_346319298837188_1107510870_n 64525_346319285503856_987695273_n

Marvelous is doing things differently. You can tell that my typical healthy eating went out the window this weekend, as did exercise. My mood has been a bit lower than normal which calls for change. Too many early mornings and late nights isn’t good, which is why I allowed my body to go to bed earlier than normal (I was asleep at 9:45 last night!) and sleep in past my usual exercise classes. No, I don’t plan of switching all salad for French fries, but I’m learning that having treats once in a while doesn’t hurt! It’s been way too long since I’ve had thai food, brownies, pizza, pancakes or cookies that weren’t made with “healthy” substitutions or in my own kitchen and it felt nice to eat them with minimal guilt. While I studied, I definitely was not as productive as I had hoped, but that is okay but you know what, I enjoyed myself! My weekend was different, but it was equally marvelous. What was marvelous about your weekend? Do you text your family members or do you prefer to phone them? Are you keen on parties or are simpler nights your thing? ♥ Molly

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

September Favourites

Happy September! By now you are used to my monthly favourites and with today being move-in day to Brescia, there’s no surprise that the theme is back-to-school.

I was assigned a start-time of noon and since London is only a 2 hour commute I don’t have to leave until 9:30 or so. This leaves me ample of time to blog since the vehicle was packed up last night thanks to my Dad. I’m not quite sure how he managed to fit everything in while leaving room for four passengers. Saying I over pack is an understatement, which is precisely why I’m too embarrassed to post a photo of my load after the addition of clothing, technology and last minute room decor. Panicking that I forgot something is oh so common for me but it’s better to be over prepared right? I neglected to mention my suitcase was 10 lbs overweight when traveling to and from Myrtle Beach but lucky for me I was let through with no charge! Whoops. September Favourites

1. Skip Hop Zoo Lunchie 2. Staedtler Triplus Fineliner 3. Kate Spade Le Pavillion Laptop Sleeve 4. Swingline Colour Bright Staples 5. Roots Mini Alex Pack 6. Swingline Red Stapler 7. Studio Oh! 2014 Live Simply Agenda 8. Wilson Jones Heavy Sheet Protectors 9. Pier One Sticky Note Pad Set with Owls 10. Quartet Screamers Dry-Erase Markers

But since today is the beginning of a new month not only is it time to post items I look forward to purchasing, I’ll also be taking the opportunity to outline some goals. I’m adding in a school category because I think those objectives should be kept separate from personal ambitions.

Blog

  • Reconnect: I took a lot of time off from blog writing and reading during my vacation to Myrtle Beach. While I am not about to dwell that my posts weren’t published to my standards (weekend posts, lack of consistency and weird timing), I do miss the friendships I was starting to build as I left comments on other blogs, or kept track of what other bloggers were pursuing. With school work fast approaching and homework soon accumulating it is unrealistic to think I will be able to dedicate more than an hour to the blog world each day. My goal is to become a more concise writer and really start to utilize organizational tools so that I can read blogs more effectively (blog updates).
  • Layout: My blog appearance still isn’t where I’d like it to be. I’m questioning whether I want to become self-hosted or even splurge for a customizable domain. Regardless I want to sit down and really learn what is available in terms of font sizes, colours, gadgets and widgets.
  • Subject Matter: Since I have a prepaid meal plan that I need to use, I don’t plan on cooking for myself very often. While I hope to create a recipe at least once a month either on a weekend home or using the oven provided in our lounge room, I am going to have to become more creative with my blog posts. While my blog isn’t necessarily a food blog, I have trouble coming up with equally interesting topics to write about (apart from food). If you have any suggestions just let me know!

Personal

  • Nutrition: I’ve been having a lot of allergic reactions recently, especially after being stung by a jelly fish in Myrtle Beach. Earlier in the week my arm swelled up and we aren’t sure if it is because of the sting or because I was around nuts. Usually I am not that sensitive but it’s really the only explanation since my sting wasn’t infected! I’m going to have to be extremely cautious about reading cafeteria food ingredients and asking how items were prepared. I’m also going to be extremely aware of fueling my body and brain since I have a tendency of eating less when I am busy with school work. Nutrition is so important for my concentration and with a history of restrictive eating I don’t have room for a slip because it could easily turn into a spiral.
  • Appointments: Come September 9th I will be having a lot of appointments. Right now many of them seem unnecessary but I know that they are in place for a reason and I need to stay accountable. I need to manage my time so that I don’t feel like they are taking away from study sessions.
  • Friendships: While I am open to meeting new people, I also don’t want to lose touch with my friends back at home. I am hoping to find a balance between my school and social work without one overpowering the other.

School

  • Readings: I am writing this as a personal reminder to stay on top of my homework. I’ve never been one to procrastinate but I do worry when deadlines approach. Not having enough time is a big stress for me. Being ahead of the course material is definitely better than being behind since lectures serve as a review as opposed to being an unfamiliar lesson.
  • Extra Help: I’m not very good at asking questions because I worry others will think I am stupid. This is an irrational fear and the bottom line is that if I don’t understand something I need to ask for clarification. Chances are someone else is thinking a similar thought. Western, especially Brescia’s campus offers so many clinics or help sessions and I should try to utlize them for all that they are worth.
  • Have fun: I truly love learning but when grades come in to play I often put too much pressure on myself which takes away from education being fun. My goal is to take this year as a learning curve and chances are if I am less stressed I will perform better. I also want to engage in extra curricular activities without taking on too many commitments. Volunteer work and involvement is equally important for getting the most out of your University experience and it does enhance a resume for purposes.

I’m both excited and nervous for school to begin. I’m excited to be reunited with friends in London but I am sad to leave my family (and other friends) behind. I never realized that I am actually kind of a homebody! Thank goodness for Skype and Facetime or else I might not recognize Lottie when I come home in 3 weeks. I’m only kidding but she is growing and learning at a fast pace. Luckily I have a week to settle in before classes begin which allows me to re-familiarize myself with campus and a sleeping routine. Can’t wait to share photos from my new room with you. Take care. ♥ Molly