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birthday celebrations

It was my birthday last week, which is slightly bittersweet because it means that I now officially have to pay for my own health insurance (nooooo!!!). Parting is such sweet sorrow. :[! However, I have pretty much the coolest friends ever, so…three birthday celebrations later, I am finally actually writing about it. :O

On the actual day of, we had plans to go to the Chinese buffet in town because it was right after Easter and my friend was craving General Tso’s chicken (she gave up meat for Lent). Monika and Hira were about two steps from getting me a gift card to Kroger for my birthday (yes, such is my love for food and grocery-shopping), but decided instead to get me a curling iron for my “future cosmetic endeavors.” (They reasoned that I was much more likely to buy myself food vs. a curling iron, and they are indeed correct.) Mayhaps I can finally start learning how to do all of these hairstyles! <3 It’d be a great improvement from my current state (…I rarely comb my hair).

Andrea made me a strawberry mango cake!

On Friday, the gang (our band) and I were going to head to Stardust Cafe, a farm to table restaurant that’s probably one of my favorite eateries here…but we neglected to remember that it was Friday and that reservations might have been a good idea. (Oops.) We tried Food & Friends, but the wait was equally as long and we were all hungry, so I suggested we go to When Pigs Fly, which was not downtown and thus, less likely to not have a wait. It’s another one of my favorite restaurants in town because the owners are super friendly and welcoming, and they have awesome portions. And pulled chicken. PULLED CHICKEN. <3 (Every other place on earth seems to serve just pulled pork, which I cannot consume, hence my enthusiasm.) When they heard that we were out to celebrate my birthday, they asked if I wanted them to sing for me, while including as an aside that I probably would not want to hear it because they couldn’t sing very well.

: How ’bout this? Why don’t we give you free ice cream instead? That’ll be better for your ears anyway.
F: Deal! :O!

(They have homemade ice cream that I’ve been meaning to try.) It was hard to decide on a flavor. I sampled the black raspberry, blueberry pomegranate, orange cream and strawberry cheesecake and they were all equally amazing. *-* After dinner, we went back to our respective study hovels and I eventually returned to what I refer to as my crazy kids (aka the 80-ish cats at the shelter). I completely embrace the term, “crazy cat lady.” I’m fast headed in that direction and very much love it here. :]

Sarge’s progression from the bed to my butt. (“Well, your butt does have its own orbit…”)

This is how I lure the army of cats in at night so I can close the doors and prevent them from run-ins with the heartlessly cruel neighbor/getting eaten by coyotes.

The next morning, I got in some studying before running off to church. (I’m the pianist about 50% of the time.)

An obligatory picture of my church meal! They are amazing cooks. :x

I disappeared back into the catacombs to stuff in 5 lectures so that I could actually enjoy myself later on. My pastor invited a bunch of people over to his place to have a birthday party for me. :O!

Two types of fried rice (and not questionably reheated, so there were no traces of B. cereus!) + a vegetarian sushi roll! I probably had 6 plates because I have issues with moderation.

Jennifer made me an amazingly delicious chocolate cake with shredded coconut and pecans. We ate it with sliced bananas. <3

We improvised with the candle because the guys neglected to check their text messages when they went to Wally World and I insisted that they stay and not go back out to get one.

I was even serenaded by a quartet! This required three takes. Ronald got my name right on the third try, hahaha.

Someone’s prom is this coming weekend and my friend is helping her with the hair, so I was the guinea pig model for a waterfall braid. :D I need to learn to do this. And possibly also change my part every now and then.

I hadn’t played Settlers since grad school. We used to gather every weekend at someone’s house and play until we hated each other (for serious, this game gets pretty personal and breaks up friendships like no other–except Munchkin, which may well be the ultimate game of backstabbery). In spring semester, it got to the point where we actually brought the game to school to play during our study breaks.

I managed to win, but just barely! If Jennifer had not traded a card with me, she would’ve won right after my turn.

I’m the blue! :D They called my road the “Great Wall of China.” hah.

I’m really going to miss all the friends I made here. Here’s to hoping I pass my boards + get my schedule soon so I can plan out when I can come back to visit. >_>


chillin’ at PSAC

The day after I finished my last final ever (it still feels unreal) and after I’d recovered from my Once-Upon-A-Time Netflix marathon-coma, I went to go help out at Please Save A Cat. :D Linda is pretty much like my mom here and I love getting to help out/hang out with her whenever I have the chance to. We share a lot of the same loves (animals, sushi, California, salmon, avocado…food of all sorts), and now that classes are over and done with, it makes being able to set my own schedule of studying/meals/working out/breaks a lot easier.

The sunset on the farm was breathtakingly gorgeous.

While I was out poop-scooping and feeding the cats, Linda put some salmon on the grill.

We had to get past a 15-cat barricade to get to the salmon in the grill.

Herman decided to hitch a ride across my shoulders.


Lady loves attention, but gives up fairly easily.

The cats? Not so much. :P

I have a purring rumbly cat-scarf. <3

We had a late dinner of grilled salmon with lime & celery, brown rice cooked in chicken broth, a bed of organic spring greens and half an avocado in the living room (while covered in happy, snuggly pets). :]! There really is no better way to spend my downtime. <3 I’m going to miss it here so much.

This is my adorable roommate when I stay over at Please Save A Cat.

I’m about two steps away from fostering/adopting her. ;_;

Her owner recently passed away from cancer and she’s been rather depressed, but lately, she’s been coming out of her shell and she apparently loves me. The only thing stopping me from actually taking her is the fact that I don’t want her to have to be moved around every couple months for wherever I happen to end up. I don’t stay anywhere long enough to settle down anywhere long enough right now. :[

Whatcha doin’ there?

study habits + girls gone sporty

“Your study habits now are the best you’ll ever have.”

I find this somewhat frightening.

In other news, I’m super excited to announce that I’ve been accepted as a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador! GGS is a community of a very diverse array of super inspiring and motivational ladies; Laura seems like a truly awesome person and I’m really looking forward to being part of the team! I think part of me very much misses writing for newspapers, and I’ve filled that void with blogging. I hope I can contribute to writing for GGS soon!

“Live the sporty life!” Women who work hard, play hard, compete and eat, all with the intention of being their best, most positive selves.

Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador

For the record, my rather underwhelming presence on social media (aka the fact that I am only on pinterest and my instagram account is private, although this may change) stems from the fact that I’m very much trying to keep my blog separate from my “professional life,” so to speak. By nature, I’m a somewhat private person, but the lack of internet infamy is really only because I’m slightly worried that future residency programs might decide not to hire me if they were to discover my recreational pole dancing/ring-girling (due to the negative associations and whatnot). If said hypothetical populations saw just how many women we’ve empowered, how much confidence they’ve gained/re-gained, and how many have started exercising regularly as a result of pole dancing (the ring-girling just helps with my livelihood), I’d like to think they’d change their minds, but since I cannot predict what they might think, this is probably how it shall stay, at least for the time being.

I’ve pretty much been living at Please Save A Cat these days and it’s impossible not to have favorites–this one’s definitely one of em’! <3

treat swap

Last month, I decided to steal borrow the idea of the Food Blogger Cookie Swap and do a treat swap within my school. :D Since I happen to love food, and food fundraisers tend to go pretty well here because we’re all starving students, I figured it’d work out pretty well. (I guess we’re not starving since the school feeds us pretty often, but still…we’re all living on government money.)

Pixie helped me make the flier because she’s awesome:

I ended up collecting over 1000 treats to send out to the troops, the Family Refuge Center, senior centers and children’s homes and $75 to help support the local no-kill shelters! :]

Things the flier didn’t include that would be good for future reference:

  • Location for payment/treat drop-off
  • Individually wrap the treats (or at least wrap each dozen separately) in a way that’ll keep em’ fresh and transportable!

This was definitely a fun one to do though. Collecting everything and repackaging them to deliver to everyone took a little longer than I expected, but all in all, I think it went well and I hope people had fun with it. :]

While we’re on the subject of dessert swaps and the like, the rest of the cookie posts can now be accessed in the following links!

There are 555 recipes contained in those links. :O Enjoy. (The cookie swap raised $13,778.40!)

how i de-stress

(Aside from going to the gym and eating copious amounts of food.)

How can you possibly be stressed out when you’re surrounded by adorable, loving cuteness overload?

Here’s Herman, the original circus cat. :D He trained the others to be like him.

Like this one (Ellen?)! Please excuse my face. Apparently, I assume this facial expression whenever I’m around cute animals. ._.

Puff is one of a set of triplets and loves to groom people. <3 The general thought process is probably, “Silly human. You don’t know how to groom yourself! Here, I’ll do it for you because you feed me and clean my bathrooms for me!”

Bingo: “Why aren’t you paying attention to me?” (Part 1)

Lady: “Why aren’t you paying attention to me?” (Part 2)

Derrick: “Hah, suckers! I win!”