April 21, 2015

Kale & brussels sprouts salad with curry shrimp

I have just a few more days left in my 3rd semester of grad school and I couldn't be more excited for summer break! I'm taking a study break to share this AMAZING salad I made and devoured last week. I love love love brussels sprouts, kale, and curry shrimp. And I oddly had the craving for all three of them at the same time. So, I decided to put them together in a kale salad. Check out the photos, ingredients, and this quick & easy recipe below!

Kale Salad
Freshly washed baby kale leaves
Whole kernel corn
Black pepper
Lemon juice

Curry Shrimp
1/2 pound of shrimp
Curry Powder
Black pepper
Lemon pepper

Brussels Sprouts
Lemon juice
Black pepper
Olive oil

1. Toss salad ingredients together in large bowl

2. Rinse brussels sprouts then toss in ingredients before putting in a baking tray. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-12 mins. or until ready

3. Prepare shrimp as desired then sprinkle on ingredients. Add olive oil to the pan. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 mins. or until done.

4. Add brussels sprouts and shrimp into salad as desired. Add salad dressing and other toppings as desired.

Brussels sprouts fresh out of the oven, yum! I drizzle on honey once they're baked.

Seasoning the shrimp!

Shrimp fresh out of the oven, yum!

I baked the shrimp and brussels sprouts at the same time and both came out great.

I tossed in my brussels sprouts, but added my shrimp on top once my salad was in the bowl.

The finished product! I added ranch dressing and more lemon juice to mine, but I think most salad dressings would pair well with this meal. I was also full after this meal, yet felt like I had eaten a clean meal.

This was such an interesting and delicious salad! I plan to remake it soon, but using a different meat! Let me know if you try it!

April 09, 2015

Easter outfit

I hope you had a great Easter weekend! I loved this past weekend because it's been my first chill weekend in a while. I got absolutely no work done. But, I did spend lots of time with my family and eating good food. I always welcome a break from school and this weekend was just what I needed. For church on Easter Sunday I wore a metallic high waist midi skirt over a blue mini eyelet dress from Forever 21. The dress is definitely too short for church, but I love the bright blue color and found a way to incorporate it into my look.

And I just wore some low black heels & pearls to finish the look.

What did you wear for Easter? If you did a post about it, please leave a link in the comments section so I can check it out!

April 01, 2015

Since I've been gone...

Well, hello there. It's been a long time since I've been able to post and that's bittersweet. Life has been moving in super sonic motion the past few weeks (sweet), but it's meant that I haven't had time to really reflect on everything and write/blog on my normal schedule (bitter). Before I start posting some fun things, I thought I would share what I've been up to recently...

Visiting California

A few days after that, I flew to Los Angeles to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew.

How cute is this little boy!? I wish they lived closer because hanging out with their little family is so much fun.

While in Cali, I got to go to the beach!

And I got to see this little one's school and some of his favorite places in Cali :)

My brother and sister understand my obsession with pretty view of cities (especially at night). So one night we drove up to Griffith Park's Observatory. The view was breathtaking and no photo does it justice, but I tried to capture all of the beautiful lights in this shot.

Food in California

I had the BEST salads while in California. I guess you could say California specializes in delicious healthy foods. This kale salad is from Mendocino Farms, one of my sister's favorite spots.

This salad (above & below) is the best salad I've ever had in my life. It's also from Mendocino Farms. And in the salad is...chicken! While in California, I started eating chicken again. Crazy, I know. But, I am trying to increase my iron levels and become more tolerant when it comes to eating chicken because it's tough to avoid it in the South. Here are the other contents of this bomb salad:

Avocado & Quinoa Ensalada R/GF 
butter lettuce & romaine, lacinato kale, quinoa & millet, black bean, roasted corn & jicama succotash, red onions, cilantro, Cotija cheese, grape tomatoes, crispy tortilla strips, avocado with chipotle vinaigrette

My sister also made us this delicious meal (chicken, butternut squash, and broccoli).

We had a few meals at Whole Foods, and I tried their salmon rice bowl. Very tasty and filling!

Currently reading

Before Spring Break, I finished reading another biography and was in search of a new book to read. I set the goal to read 7 books/biographies this year. I saw "Thrive" in the LAX Airport and it seemed like a great investment so I purchased it to read on my flight back. During the flight I got about halfway through the book and I loved it! I am finishing it up now, and want to share the book with all of my friends. Arianna's wisdom about life and career goals really spoke to me and helped me reevaluate what is most important in life. Taking a short break from blogging was nice because it allowed me to focus on other areas of my life that may have not been getting the attention they needed.

My favorite quotation from the book. Yes, yes, yes!

Other things...

Besides all of that, I've just been working on essays and projects for my classes and enjoying my beautiful campus and spring weather.

I also went to the Fernbank Museum in Atlanta for the first time last week. Such a fun and educational date night haha!

I've also been working on perfecting a homemade guacamole recipe, yum!

And since I gave up chocolate chips for Lent, I have been trying to replace that craving with brussels sprouts. Weird, I know. But so tasty!

And lastly, I have been taking lots and lots of photos! I am very proud of how busy my photography business is, and grateful for my high school friend and assistant Kristi helping me at events that require more than one shooter.

Thanks for reading! I'm excited to catch up on the blogs I normally read weekly and spend time with my family this Easter weekend.


March 10, 2015

I met President Barack Obama!

I am in SHOCK because today I met (shook hands and spoke with) President Obama! If you follow my blog, you know this has been a goal of mine for years, and even appears on my goals for year 24. And I cannot believe it actually happened today! Georgia Tech hosted President Obama during his visit to Atlanta and made it possible for GT students, faculty, staff, and alumni to get FREE tickets to hear President Obama speak.

The lines for tickets were long and intense. And I arrived on campus this morning around 6AM to secure a good spot in line so I could have a choice in my seat inside. Standing room right in front of the President's podium was available so I got lucky and was able to stand right in front of him during his speech about college affordability! It was surreal and an experience I will never forget. After he spoke, President Obama walked down to the area where I was standing and greeted more than 100 students. He shook hands and chatted with us, it was so cool!

I got to speak with him and shake his hand, and a photo of this was published in my local newspaper.

This goes down as one of the best days of my life. I am overwhelmed with gratitude!

March 06, 2015

Visiting Los Angeles {recommendations}

School and work have been very busy, but that makes the semester go by faster so no complaints! And even better news...Spring Break starts next weekend! I'm super excited to be visiting Los Angeles, California for my final college Spring Break. I'll be visiting my oldest brother and his family and I cannot wait to reunite with them and enjoy the warm California weather.

I haven't been to Cali in a few years so I am looking for recommendations for things to do, places to visit, and most importantly...food to eat! I can't wait to share my trip with you!

February 28, 2015

How to overcome senioritis {high school, college, and beyond}

There's something about this time of the year. It's like everyone's energy and motivation is simultaneously zapped. In high school, college, and even during my second-to-last semester of grad school I've had to deal with "senioritis." Wikipedia says that senioritis is mainly used in the United States and Canada to describe the decreased motivation toward studies displayed by students who are nearing the end of their high school, college, and graduate school careers. Since high school, I've gotten a lot better at dealing with this draining part of the semester and I want to share a few tips I use to bounce back and finish the semester the way I started it!

1. Acknowledge your lack of motivation | Just like any other issue, the first step is admitting you have an issue! Senioritis is so common among high school students, college students, and even professionals. We all get to a point or season when we lose motivation and just feel stuck with no desire to work. 

2. Remember how far you've come/what you've achieved | Whenever I'm lacking in motivation, it helps when I remember what I've already accomplished over the semester. I tell myself that if I have already come this far, surely I can keep going and finish strong. Sometimes it helps to look at old tests, quizzes, notes, emails, or to-do lists.

3. Consider the consequences of not finishing the semester strong | For some people it helps to think about how awful things might turnout if you don't get motivated and do your very best work for the rest of the semester. Awful things include getting bad grades, having to repeat classes, getting a bad reputation with your professors and peers, or not graduating just because you didn't put forth enough effort.

4. Reset goals and plan of action | One of the most important things to do when trying to overcome senioritis is to reset your goals and make a plan for finishing up the semester. Setting goals can just be reinforcing the goals you set at the start of the semester or it could mean making new goals. 

5. Change your accountability method | For years I've used my agenda as my organization method for school, work, and life in general. But once senioritis hits, my agenda does not keep me motivated and I have to add-on new checklist methods. I like to use post-it notes in my agenda, set reminders using my iPhone, set to-do lists with friends and work on homework with others, or reward myself for getting homework done.

6. Get rest and stay physically active | Regardless of if your final semester is super busy or full of easy electives...you should still be getting enough rest and exercise. Getting enough rest and staying healthy are both key factors for keeping your mental health strong and staying more focused on school work.

7.  Countdown / Have events to look forward to attending | Semesters can drag on if you only have graduation to look forward to. Instead, think of other events leading up to the end of the semester/season that are exciting. For example, I'm looking forward to Spring Break, birthdays for friends and family, TV shows coming out, awards banquets, and graduation festivities. Life is more exciting when you have things to look forward to doing!

If you have another tip, please leave it in a comment!

I hope this helps you deal with the senioritis!

February 23, 2015

Recent healthy meals

It's been a while since I've shared my healthy meals, so here goes! The meal above was what I made from leftovers at a restaurant. I used blackened tilapia + raw spinach + raw carrot strips + creamed spinach to make very delicious tacos!

My roommate made eggplant parmesan using even more vegetables than normal (my favorite vegetarian dish!).

Similar to kale chips, I made spinach/kale/carrots chips in a blended dish, so yummy!

I'm back to having fruit smoothies on a regular basis for my breakfast, and this is a classic combo. I used a banana and handful of strawberries + a few ice cubes + a teaspoon of protein powder.

The results of my smoothie! It was sweet, tasty, and filling.

One night I made sushi using the tools I got from the sushi making class I went to a few weeks ago! I put avocado and carrots inside my sushi.

I think it turned out really well because it tasted like the sushi I order in restaurants. However, I struggled with cutting the sushi because I didn't have any knives sharp enough for the job.

My dad made this delicious, healthy meal - cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, mustard salmon, and a baked sweet potato. So clean, so good!!

My roommate made these sweet potato burgers using this recipe, and they were such a healthy treat!

She made the sweet potatoes even tastier by topping them with her infamous apple slaw and chipotle sauce, yum!

Kale chips have become my favorite late night snack since I gave up chocolate chip cookies for Lent.

I baked this piece of salmon with some mushrooms and olive oil. I seasoned the salmon with black pepper, oregano, parsley, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and stuffed the salmon with green salsa for a kick!

This is one of my proudest cooking accomplishments to date. I am such a fan of Chipotle, and even since I've stopped eating meat I still visit often and order the vegetable burrito bowl. I have been craving this meal for weeks, but the weather in Atlanta has been too freezing to make the trip to my closest Chipotle. So I've slowly been stocking up on materials I knew I would need to recreate this dish. And last week I did it!

For my bowl I made corn and black bean salsa with kale, my own guacamole, onions and peppers, green salsa, tomatoes and of course I had to top it with cheese! Underneath all of that is brown rice with cilantro, yum!

How is healthy eating going for you?

February 20, 2015


Yesterday my blog reached and passed ONE MILLION VIEWS! This was the goal that I set for page views when I first started blogging back in 2012, and this was one of my goals to accomplish in year 24. I'm almost positive that nobody read my blog posts for the first few months besides my family (especially my dad) and friends who I begged to read it. But I kept posting and kept sharing my blog with others. I believed in the information I was sharing and hoped that somehow it would help college students, people trying to live healthier, or people looking for inspiration. That is why I started blogging

I put a page view tracker on the bottom of my blog a few months ago, and I've been checking it periodically. This is what it said when I checked it last night:

So exciting, and I am so grateful to every single person who has read my blog once, occasionally, weekly, or every day. Thank you so much!

Things are definitely getting busy in my life with school, my company, making plans for life after grad school, and working on other things I want to accomplish in 2015. So blog posts will happen less often on here, but I will definitely post when I have something good to share.

Again thank you so much, and to the bloggers out there with a similar goal, I know you can do it too! Keep posting, keep interacting with other bloggers, and remember why you started! :)



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