Are we back? I’m BACK!

It’s kind of a funny word when you see it in big lettering. Back back back back. Anyway, finals are over (for my eight week classes), the post-it notes are crumbled up, the books returned and the agonizing hours are over. Finals are done. I would have liked to have done better, but, like I say, life happens, and I haven’t had the easiest of semesters.

SO, it’s back into action. I miss posting, everyone!

*crickets*

Everyone?

*dies*

Well, I’ll talk to myself then. HA!

No, I’m just kidding.

So, what’s been going on lately is I have a great new job. It’s a desk job where I am harassed by boys politely left to my own devices. Actually, it’s been a blast getting to know everyone and making new friends, and I can tell it’s going to be a lot of fun to work in a new environment. It’s completely different from the hospital, and my stress/anxiety level is almost nothing.

So, I’ve been sinking a LOT of time into Skyrim. I’m not sure where I’ve found the time, but it’s really helped let go some of the stress from finals. (Did I mention I despise Econ?)

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(Okay, so I made Danerys from Game of Thrones, so shoot me.)
To all of my gamer friends who have not played this. Don’t. It’s ADDICTING. (Just kidding, I highly recommend it!)

Memorial Day Weekend

Did everyone have a good Memorial day weekend? I hope so!

After finals, I stumbled upon the Strawberry Festival in Garden Grove. (It was right across the street from my school! Who knew?) I was in strawberry heaven. I’m not kidding, I think I completely filled up on strawberries and strawberry-flavored everything. A few of my favorites:

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Chocolate-dipped strawberries!
AND:
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Strawberry Mocha! (Because what kind of coffee blog would this be if I didn’t get a strawberry mocha!) This was awesome!!!!

I also picked up a couple strawberry shortcakes for the family, which actually lasted the hour drive back to Rancho.

Sunday, I got caught up on a LOT of sleep. We also barbecued rabbit, which turned out just okay. Not sure if we were the biggest fans, but we’ve been experimenting with our barbecue and different meats on the weekend. (No, we didn’t kill any cute bunnies, we bought it from the Asian market, already dressed.)

On Monday, I spent some time out by the pool with a friend from my old job. It was SO relaxing!


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(cue the self-portraits)

Workouts


I am READY to get back into my running routine! It’s felt so off, not being able to just get out there and run! In the mornings, I’ve been trying to figure out a good routine, but I’ve been mentally and physically exhausted from school, work and errands. Last week, most of my drives have been to L.A./Orange County, and have averaged about an hour.

This week, I’m back to carpooling and normal life schedules, so I’ll be posting back about my workouts/lunches/etc., by the end of the week.

AND…dun dun dun…I’ll be picking up a new digital camera soon! No more cruddy cell phone pictures! Finally, my blog will have that high-quality look. Excited!

Anyway, for those of you who have been sticking through my blog/life drama, thank you! I appreciate all of the positive comments and follows as this blog has taken a break due to crazy life events.

A big thank you!!

<3Hojo

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Busy weekend!

Well, this weekend is the final hurrah of my eight-week classes. Tomorrow I have to drive out to Garden Grove to take my Final Exam for Econ. (UGH!) I’m SO nervous, mostly because I’ve been teetering on the edge of a good grade and a MEH grade. I just want to pass and graduate already!!! It’ll all be over quickly, just like ripping a band-aid off. (Except band-aids don’t leave your brain feeling like MUSH!)

I think I’m going to do some juicing this weekend, just to clear my system of all the junk I’ve eaten this week. It’s been really hard to focus on “what’s for breakfast/lunch/dinner?” When I’ve been on the absolute, nonstop go for the past three weeks. I’m jumping back on the ball this weekend, so watch out world!

NOW, I have to get back to studying, but I’ll be back!

❤ Hojo

Update: 5/21

Hello again!

So I’m out of class early tonight, and was able to spend some time catching the latest episode of Substitute Princess.

The new job is still taking up a lot of my time and energy, I’m working SO hard to find balance between work, relaxation, school, this blog and my workouts. My 8-week classes end this week, and I only have 3 (?) more weeks left of my full term classes. Balance. Balance. Balance.

I am doing my absolute best to stay HEALTY on top of it all. This includes making my lunches ahead of time, and trying to fit in meal planning for the week. The last couple of weeks have been a free-for-all when it comes to eating out/dinners and snacks. Mostly because I’ve spent so much time out of the house, it’s been tough squeezing in anything else.

I promised myself this would be my last semester of full-time school, full-time work. I’m SO close to getting my Associates Degree, I can taste it! (I’m sure it tastes like paper…) I’m extremely excited to finally see some sort of result from school, especially with how I’ve had to struggle and adapt over the years. Cal State system, watch out!

Anyway, I wanted to update for this week, even though I’m running a little off schedule. Last weekend was an impromptu Disneyland trip. It’s become our go-to answer to “What do you want to do this weekend?” question. So we drove out there (it was packed!), went on a couple rides, and went home. It was an absolutely gorgeous day! I know it’s been super hot in Southern California lately, but we picked the perfect day to go!

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I finally got to go on the Mark Twain riverboat. I’ve never been!
(Actually, I take that back, I’ve been on the real Mark Twain steamboat in Missouri, but I digress).

Aaaand then we walked around in all the shops, being silly. I tried on a silly hat, and ended up really liking it! Ha!

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I was able to snack on some filling mango, with tajin, that kept me away from all the greasy snacks. While I admit, I occasionally indulge in a pretzel with cheese, or some sugar-coated popcorn, or fudge, or…you get my point…we go to D-land quite a bit, and I can’t always pack on the goodies when we go. Balance, right?

And then I came back with an awesome new coffee cup! (This made my week, and continued to make me chuckle as it sat on my desk at work…)

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2013-05-18 16.58.39I’m seriously going back for this sweatshirt. I’m not even kidding.

So that’s been my week so far. Nothing more than beating the Tuesday blues. Tomorrow morning BRIGHT AND EARLY I’m waking up to go running. I did okay this morning when doing my ab workouts, so I might just wake up and get moving, before I realize what I’m doing.

Working out is part psychological warfare.

I’ll let you know how that goes…goodnight all!

❤ Hojo

Let the Weekend Begin!

Still working to find balance between worlds here, so welcome back to my odd blog!

The semester for Coastline ends next week, and I’ll just be left with my one Mt. Sac class, so things will lighten up, and I’ll have a lot more free time once all that settles down. It’s been crazy, figuring out how to maintain that balance in my life.

I have to say, I miss the free time, but I’m a lot better off than I was, so it’s a fair trade.

I have a lot more free time in the afternoons now, and it’s getting adjusted to a completely different schedule than what I’ve been pulling for the last 4-5 years.

Anyway, we’ve got a busy weekend planned. As soon as we get moving, we’re headed off to Disneyland.

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Breakfast!

Workouts:
Like everything else, I’ve been figuring out a way to incorporate my workouts into my daily routine. While I admit, it’s hectic, it’s becoming easier to set aside that dedicated half hour each day in order to relieve my excess stress. I’ve also been finding time in the early morning hours, since Kurt wakes up an hour before I do, and there’s no way I’m getting back to sleep. (ME??? A morning person??? No way!)

2013-05-08 07.50.24Not without coffee…

Last weekend:
As you all know, last weekend was Mother’s day, and I spent some time with my mom by taking her out to a surprise lunch at Coco Palm!
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I’m not sure who was more impressed, me or my mom. I made reservations weeks ahead of time, and wow, did they cater to our every need! It was like being a VIP, doors held open for us, a special table waiting with the best view, bypassing the hour-plus wait. I expected nice, but I didn’t expect it to be this nice! I’m glad I was able to do something so special for my mom! P.S: the brunch buffet was fantastic!

On Sunday, Kurt and I barbecued Memphis-Style ribs.

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They were delicious, but SO spicy! We also grilled some corn. (My favorite way!)

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We’ve been slowly experimenting with grilling over the past couple years, and perfecting the art of charcoal grilling. Kurt is turning into a master of the grill, and we’ve done everything from chicken breasts and hot dogs, to duck and fish on a plank. Summer is just around the corner, and I have a feeling these pictures will become more frequent.

I also made a trip to the Japanese market on Monday, right after my (very postponed) midterm. Not sure how I did, since my instructor hasn’t graded it yet, (but let’s hope I can keep stay in the A/B range).

Anyway, Japanese goodies!

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Top left: Inari (bean curd), Right: Takoyaki (deep fried octopus balls) and Bottom: Mackerel sushi. I also picked up some rice balls (Onigiri) that I inhaled before being able to take a picture. I also picked up these:

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Just for the fun of the packaging. No, I didn’t eat the entire package, and I noticed that the Japanese portions are significantly smaller than the American packaging. I think this says something about American eating habits, right?

So from here on, I’m going to really try to post more, it’s been a tough couple of weeks to get things back into organization, but once things start to calm down, I’m sure I’ll be able to start posting on a regular basis.

Stay safe, everyone! Have a good Saturday!

<3Hojo

Persuasion?

So what happens, when, I get home from school early and am faced with this:

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I end up putting on my running shoes…and the face changes to this:

2013-05-07 19.59.17(sorry about the blur, wiggly puppies don’t necessarily make for easy shots).

Anyway, I ended up going on a 30 minute walk/run almost immediately after I got home from work then school.

I am superwoman.

Anywhoo, (anywhoo?) Our class had a “field trip” to Ikea today, in which we all wandered around taking pictures of furniture/placement of furniture. This is the reason class let out early.

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As usual, I wandered off in my artsy daze, and ended up spending so long in a section, I started to make the area attendant wonder why I just spent 25 minutes in couches taking pictures of each and every one…I will spare everyone my chair pictures. Here’s a nice bedroom instead.

Tonight, we barbecued some chicken. Or Kurt is. He has a gift with the grill, I’m not making this stuff up. I am content! 😀

Now I’m going to collapse into a heavenly bed of down comforters and fluffy, fluffy pillows.
Goodnight everyone!

<3Hojo

Stuck

So I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions lately, because I’ve felt kind of stuck. It’s coming up time to fill out my transfer applications for universities, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not quite sure what direction I’m going to be taking next. It’s one of those limbo periods, where, I know I want a bachelor’s degree, but I’m questioning on what would really make me happy.

As you all know, I’ve recently backed away from my position in the hospital. It wasn’t really by choice, but now that I’m away, I’m really starting to think I wasn’t completely happy there. I love working with people, I like being able to think on my feet, however, I was more stressed out than I ever was in my life. Nursing school was a nightmare, and I’m not really sure if that’s where I want to go back and spend the next two years of my life. I’m also not sure if I want to chance the risk of changing my major and taking more time to finish school. I’m just really stuck.

Social work? Food and Nutrition? Design? Architecture? Anthropology? I feel like I’m back to freshman year of college, and completely lost as to what to do with my life. Everyone says “do what makes you happy,” however, that doesn’t necessarily mean it would be a sustainable lifestyle.

This is the first time in six years that I’ve been unsure of where my life is going.

For now, I have a stable job, a stable relationship, and an idea of where the next five years is going with my personal life. I thought I loved nursing, but with the competition for school, the wait lists, the threat of Obamacare, and the cutthroat coworkers, I don’t know if I want to deal with the residuals. I’m not going to go into the pros and cons of the nursing field, but I have a lot of thinking to do. I’ve been in the healthcare field since I was 21, it was my first choice of career, I’ve advised people on navigating the same path I took. Now that I’m vying away from it, I feel kind of lost.
It’s like looking down the edge of a cliff, and wondering what it’s like at the bottom.

It’s an exiting feeling. Exhilarating. But it’s terrifying at the same time.

I needed to get that off my chest. 

<3Hojo

Back on Track, and Ways to Prepare Healthy Lunches.

Today, I actually got up for an early morning jog. (Right?) It was an awesome feeling being part of that crowd. You know, the early-morning, busy-busy Los Angeles type? I almost want to start taking an early morning yoga class on Saturday mornings, just to start my weekends off with that kind of energy.

Basically, my week has been a blur. I’m not kidding. I still managed to get back on track with my workouts and life more towards the end of the week. That said, this weekend will be spent recovering from the stress of the work/school combination. (Last weekend was spent finishing projects and midterms *gag*)

2013-05-03 07.35.56Girl on the go.

Lunches
Last week, I promised I would post my easy lunch method here, so here it is!
As I’ve already mentioned, this week has been so busy, I’ve barely had time to do normal things, like budget, cook dinner, read and oh yeah, SLEEP! But with a little bit of planning ahead, I’ve found ways to make my work lunches healthy and easy!

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This took me a lot of trial and error, but on Sundays I go grocery shopping and pick up the following:
2 bags of salad mix (Pictured here is the “herb” mix)
2 cucumbers (I prefer the English type)
1 red bell pepper, one green bell pepper, one yellow bell pepper
2-3 tomatoes
Apples, Celery, Artichoke hearts, (And whatever other veggies I want to throw in for the week)
Chunky salsa
2-3 Chicken breasts

This usually doesn’t cost me more than $20-25, and I basically have the fixings for (big!) salads for almost two weeks.
Sunday night, I pre-cook all of my chicken and I spend some time chopping up my veggies and putting them in freezer bags/containers. I also open the salad bags and put them in freezer bags. The freezer bags do a much better job than sandwich bags or the packaging the salad comes in from the store, because they’re thicker and they keep the air out.

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I put the chopped bell peppers in the freezer bags as well, because they don’t’ fit in the reusable containers.
Everything else goes in the reusable containers.
IMG_20130504_190343_200From there, everything goes into a cute ($5) basket I got at Target, so I can pull it out of the fridge without having to make multiple trips.
IMG_20130504_190311_462Basically, my trick is to get everything from the store and prepare it right when I get home, before I put it away, saving me valuable time during the week. There are those nights where I just don’t feel like doing anything, let alone make my lunch for the next day. This system I’ve come up with makes it super easy to pull out the basket and throw together a pretty salad for the next day, with minimal effort. I keep about four (small-ish) bottles of salad dressing in the fridge just to add variety. Honestly, with all the vegetables added in the salad, though, I barely use the salad dressing (probably about a  teaspoon or two).

So, that’s my healthy tip of the week, hope it helps!

P.S.>Sasquatch hat!
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<3Hojo