Wednesday, July 11, 2018

how to eat off $20 a week in college!

Hey guys! I recently tried a new challenge -spending just $20 a week in food. I've found many of my college friends try to save money on food by eating ramen, pizza, and popcorn all week.  Looking at you, Brad from Pie Apple Chi.* So I tried to not buy  junk food, but to actually cook fairly nutritious, follow the MyPlate, 3 meals a day. I'm premed, after all! If you enjoy these with a glass of lemonade or juice, you should be able to get your daily servings of the My Plate groups in.

 I made one person meals, live in a college town in Texas, and I found it surprisingly easy to stick to the budget. I never had to resort to ramen!

*name and fraternity have been changed to protect identity­čśé
Here's what I bought:

1 extra large package Mexican Cheese  (6 cups! (2.99))
3 large Avocados (.89 each!)
1 can Rotel/Diced tomatoes with green Chiles (.89)
1 can Black Beans (.89
1 can Refried Beans (.89)
1 can corn (.79)
1 jar mayo (2.09)
1 loaf of Bread (.99)
8 Eggs(.89)
1 12 oz bag Rotini Pasta (1.09)
12 pack Tortillas (1.69)
American Slices of Cheese (2.29)
1 LARGE Red Bell pepper (1.05)
Butter (.99)
1 grapefruit (.79)
I used my store customer loyalty card and the total with the discount was $19.66. Now, let's get cooking!

In the spirit of full disclosure- I already had half a package of frozen hamburger meat, pickle relish, and taco seasoning, which I used in some of the meals. Half of an avocado lasts a day or two in the fridge when the pit is left in and it's tightly wrapped in clingwrap then set in Tupperware. I did not skip breakfasts because: 

Day 1:

  • Breakfast: Toad in the hole
  • Lunch:  Bean and Cheese Burritos Make 1/4 the recipe. Save the leftover half cans of Rotel and refried beans. I ended up with six burritos, and I added some ground beef to mine. I ate one for lunch and froze the rest.
  • Dinner - Bean and cheese burrito with avocado slices
Day 2:
  • Breakfast : One half  of the grapefruit (this is my busy day, so I didn't want a big breakfast)
  • Lunch: Elevated grilled cheese-  one slice american cheese, sliced avocado, and Mexican cheese.
  • Dinner: 6 ounces rotini pasta, the leftover grapefruit half sliced, Texas Toast if you have garlic
Day 3: 

  • Breakfast: Cheese Toast.
  • Lunch: I halved this recipe for Pasta Salad using the leftover rotini, and Rotel. I didn't use the ranch powder as that is pricey, and I already had pickle relish and salt on hand. I used a little less than half the bell pepper. Save the half. THIS MAKES SOO MUCH, even halved. And it's delicious!
  • Dinner - Mexican Casserole don't forget to set the tool to just one person!
Day 4

  • Breakfast: Omelette- add some diced red bell pepper , mexican cheese, ground beef or bacon if you have it on hand, salt and pepper.
  • Lunch-  Leftover pasta salad and Mexican Casserole.
  • Dinner: Spread leftover refried beans or black beans on leftover tortillas. Add leftover corn, cheese, scrambled egg, and whatever else you have on hand!

  • Day 5:
    Day 6:
    • Breakfast: Fried egg
    • Lunch: Bean and Cheese Burrito from the freezer
    • Dinner: Stuffed Bell pepper. Take the leftover 1/2 bell pepper. Fill with some black beans or ground beef. Add a little rotel, salsa - whatever you have on hand. top with cheese and cook in a 350 F oven for 20 minutes, covered in foil.
     Day 7:

    • Ok, you got me here. My church has free breakfast for students so I usually eat that on Sundays.
    • Lunch: Diner Sandwich: 2 slices American cheese between 2 slices white bread. Spread mayonnaise on the outside of the sandwich and cook, flipping once, until golden. Serve with ketchup. I know you have some ketchup packets lying around! 
    • Dinner- Breakfast for dinner! Make your favorite breakfast from this week.
    We did it!! Let me know how this plan works for you!

    Saturday, May 5, 2018

    Things to do besides Magnolia in Waco, Texas

    "Yes, I live in Waco. Yes, I can see the Silos from my dorm. No, I am not best friends with Chip and Jo. "
    Wacotown!  I love it. It's just the right size for a small town girl like myself, and there's lots of fun things to do, even on a college student's budget. I've been hanging out in Waco for a long time now, so take it from me - there's more than just Magnolia. (not knocking the Silos in any way, it's just that people tend to see them and head off) Here's some free (or very cheap) things to do in the Wack!

    peep me at the OG little Magnolia about a million years ago

    First stop- Breakfast!! If you don't feel like fighting through the crowds at Magnolia Table, I recommend Lula Janes' or Cafe Cappuccino. Lula Janes' is a great brunch place with vegetarian options, and Cafe Capp (what we students call it) is great for a cup of coffee and delicious pancakes.
    Nature Break!Time to burn off all those calories? Head to Cameron Park for a free hike! I suggest hiking to Lover's Leap - the view are amazing. Cameron Park Zoo  is also nearby. It's just $10 for adults and $7 for kids, and they have lots of adorable animals.
    Pat Neff. Listen for the bells!
    Walking around Baylor's Campus is also a free and fun way to hit those 10,000 steps! Be sure to stop by the bearpit and see Lady and Joy. It's the nation's smallest private zoo, and there's two precious bears who are sisters. Next door, go to the second floor of the Student Union Building to see what resembles a beautiful home. Also look at the Armstrong Browning Library. Admission is free, and it houses Elizabeth and Robert Browning's work as well as fascinating artifacts. Enjoy the flowers outside Pat Neff, and stop for a pic on a green and gold swing!
    For Lunch, a Vitek Gut Pak, Shorty's Pizza, and The Mix are all close to campus and delicious! Ninfas is super yummy as well, and next to Spice village...
    Now time for some...


       Window shopping! There's lots of cute antique stores around Magnolia, but strolling through Spice Village is also an absolute must! Try on the cute clothes, look at the trendy items, and laugh at the gag gifts! Be sure to check out the sales room in the back for some good deals. While there, you're just steps from the Waco Suspension Bridge and Brazos River, so get some cute pictures!

    The day isn't done yet! Swing by Common Grounds for an Iced Cowboy Coffee. Look familiar? The owners were on Fixer Upper, and Jo and Chip both swing by occasionally for a cup of JO(e). Enjoy live music for free on the back patio.

    Now,  are you up for one last stop before dinner?  Choose your own adventure!

    A) $5 a personTake the drive to Waco Mammoth Site. "This paleontological site represents the nation’s only recorded discovery of a nursery herd of Columbian mammoths. Visitors can view "in situ" fossils including female mammoths, a bull mammoth, and a camel that lived approximately 67,000 years ago."

    B) DR PEPPER!! The Dr Pepper Museum is a delicious way to end the day. 
    At the Dr Pepper Museum Party
    Waco is the home of Dr. Pepper, a delicious drink. Baylor University even celebrates it with a free
     Dr Pepper hour on Tuesdays, with DP floats for all the students topped off with Blue Bell ice cream
    Everyone loves the DP museum. Frats even rent it out for parties, not that I know anything about that...
    Sample different flavors, snack at the soda shop, and tour a soda lab.
    $10 adults, $6 for kids

    C) Homestead Craft Village - and get dinner while there! This craft village has basket weavers,
    woodworkers, a black smith, cheese making and more and it's entirely free to look around.
    I think it's fascinating to see how they keep the old ways of handicraft work alive.
    There's also a great restaurant.
    Dinner Time! GO TO BARIS. For under $10 you can get yummy tortellini with pink sauce,
    garlic rolls and a Dr pepper. What better way to end the day than with a cheap, delicious meal?

    Friday, December 1, 2017

    Ups and Downs

    Do you ever get a little 'down'? On blogging, on a certain challenge, on being a role model, on school or a relationship or really anything?
    Ever felt like the flowers?
    Maybe you've studied all you can and just can't anymore. Or you're really, really tired of explaining to everyone why you can't make it to that party. Perhaps you're exhausted because all you ever do is mentor younger kids and don't have anyone to mentor you. Maybe there's an addiction.
    You could be struggling with anything and everything; I don't know.

    But what I do know is this: 
    Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. -Galatians 6:9

    Seriously.We're doing great things, life changing things. Don't let the devil trip you up. William Carrey said it best  “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.”  Finals have had me so stressed and worried lately, but I know that if it is truly God's will for me to be a doctor, then I will become one. No amount of worrying can change that! I just need to keep studying and working towards my goal.
    We got this.

    Medevac Workshop

    Recently, I took a study break to attend a workshop sponsored by the Army on medevac training. While it's not likely an Army doctor would be participating in a field medevac, it's important for them to know what goes on before the patient arrives at the CSH. The workshop's purpose was to inspire students who are maybe considering a career in military medicine. We had a mock chopper, which my friends and I did make a few jokes about:

    The 68W (medic) and surgical tech who taught the course were really patient and knowledgeable. They simulated multiple scenarios that we students had to work through, such as a soldier who fell off a rooftop and cracked ribs, or a civilian child who stepped on an IED.

    After explaining the situations and showing us a medic kit, we were given a medic kit and a litter and told to get to work.

    When I attended STEP, I participated in a similar simulation and really enjoyed it, so I was excited for this one, but I realized I really didn't understand the key differences between the civilian and military wounded evaluations.

    For many of our situations, we could have still be under active fire, so if our patient was conscious,we were to give them their rifle and let them sustain enemies while we treated the patient. "Treated" is really a loose term - basically, we should check HBAC and then get the patient behind a vehicle, unit, or low wall -anything out of the line of fire.

    "HBAC? I learned ABC?!"

    So did I, and many civilian EMS services still practice ABC. But based on info gathered from combat casualty medical personnel, the military has moved towards HBAC. The following are the average amounts of time it would take to die from wounds traditionally seen on the battlefield (or in an traumatic setting like an active shooter or tornado damage).  

    • Hemorrhage (severe arterial bleeding as the result of penetrating trauma, ie. stab wound, bullet wound, penetration of a tree limb from a car wreck, etc): 1-3 minutes
    • Airway obstruction (blood/debris in the upper or lower airway occluding the passing of oxygen into the lungs): 4-5 minutes
    • Tension Pneumothorax (air leaking into the pleural space inside the chest causing cardiac arrest due to penetrating trauma, ie. stabbing): 10+ minutes
    • Shock (poor perfusion leading to organ failure and death, usually due to severe blood loss in victims that did not immediately die within the first 1-3 minutes). These 3 minutes are what's known as the 'golden hour'

    HBAC -( hemmorage, breathing, airways, circulation)

    Overall, I learned a great deal, and am super appreciative for this unique opportunity. Several of my friends participated in this activity with me, and we all feel like we learned a lot.

    Sunday, November 12, 2017

    I dwell in posibility

     selfie to mark the occasion lol 
    One year ago , on November 8th, I was accepted to Baylor, and now I  can't believe this semester is almost over! I just need to dig my heels in and finish strong. It still feels like a wonderful dream! I got in, I got scholarships, I won the largest 4-H award/scholarship- to think that all that happened a year ago. I am becoming old and decrepit.

    I had some goals for this year, and while I don't think the 4.0 will happen, I've managed to accomplish nearly all the rest. Most importantly, I've grown closer to God this year, and I've learned more and more to focus on what I can change rather than worrying about what I can't. Some examples of differences

    • If I do poorly on a test, I don't sit around and cry. I get my stuff and start studying for the next one.
    • I also go to church by myself if my friends can't go (something I used to use as a reason to shirk),
    • I pray before I go to bed and when I wake up. College is teaching me to lean on Him and it's so wonderful.

    The realization that I could will be a doctor is setting in, and I am filled with posibilities. I've been shadowing a lot lately and it gets me more excited than ever before. Half a year down, 9 1/2 more to go.

    Now, excuse me while I put on some country music and prepare to ace this next exam.

    Wednesday, October 25, 2017

    when graduating early ISN'T good

    When my adviser told me I could and should graduate early, I was pumped. A whole year's head start on medical school? Wow. Unfortunately, he didn't really lay out all that entailed. I thought something didn't sound right, and asked if it would be bad to take my MCAT early, but he said it was probably fine.

    While I was dreaming of cheaper tuition and graduating early from medical school, it took a genius junior (she has a 4.0, y'all)  taking pity on me for me to come back to earth.

    Graduating in what was supposed to be your junior year totally ruins the take-the- MCAT-in-your -junior -year plan. It puts you taking the MCAT before you've had physics, biochemistry, and all those other super important classes. You're stuck cramming and teaching yourself all those things in one miserable summer. When most premeds have a horrid junior year and then a relaxed senior year, you're forced to fit it all in early. 

    So I am going to take a minor (probably in Spanish or ASL) and drag out my college time to four years. I still get to register early because of my hours, which is a plus, but I won't be leaving early.

    Of course, graduating early is cheaper, and you could take a gap year. If you feel confident teaching yourself the material, go ahead! But I know I definitely need all the pre-req experience I can get.

    I guess the important takeaway is that your adviser isn't always right, even if they can be super nice and helpful. They see SO many students, and don't always understand your particular situation.  Don't be afraid to ask questions and learn from upperclassmen. I  knew graduating early as a pre-med didn't sound right, but I just assumed he was right and all-knowing.  Sometimes, you have to be your own advocate. Research, question, and even call medical schools! Find out what's best for you.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017

    Tips for Homeschoolers Applying to College

    You did it! You made it through homeschool high school. Now what? It can be a bit confusing to try to navigate through the college admissions process as a homeschooler, but it's not impossible. I was in your shoes last year, and I was accepted to my dream school. Here's some tips that worked for me.

    1. The number one thing I can tell you right now is to start studying for either the ACT or SAT.  In the world of applications, test scores speak louder than words. Read about each test and decide which one would be best for you, and which one your desired college requires. I've found Prep Scholar to be one of the best resources for that. I also used CollegeConfidential's what are my chances thread to compare my stats with others who were accepted to the schools I was applying to.

    Next, find a way to take some practice tests. Ideally, you should be prepping between a year to six months in advance, but I know life can get in the way! It's never too late to start studying. Purchase a prep book, find a test online - just time yourself taking a full practice test. See what you struggled with and what came easy. Focus on those problem areas.

    Another thing that's true regardless of where you were educated is that you'll have gaps. Most schoolwork was pretty easy for me but math was a struggle, particularly because our curriculum didn't put that much emphasis on it. Find your gap area and really work on it.

    If you do poorly, study up and retake. I went from a 28 to a 31 on the ACT between September to November, and that was while working and taking dual credits. You can only go up!

    2.  Start researching schools and their entrance requirements. Decide what you want in a school. Big, small, Christian, public, private, high emphasis on academics or athletics, etc. Pick a safety school - one you KNOW you can get into based on your GPA and ACT scores, and be sure to apply there. Apply to the school you really want, and apply to maybe one reach- one that might be  a little hard for you to get in.. You get four free schools with the ACT purchase, so I'd suggest picking the 'big four' you can actually see yourself at. Don't make all four reach schools or you might be disappointed!

    3. Do EVERYTHING on the college application. If essays are optional or you have the choice to submit a resume' , do it. Don't be so lazy you get waitlisted. Start the application early so you have time to get everything in. Who would you want, the kid who went above and beyond to fill out every inch of the application, or one who did the bare minimum? See if there's "extras" that your college would appreciate knowing about. If it's a faith institution, there may be a chance to write an essay on your faith. Is there a legacy section for you to fill out at your parent's alma mater? Are you considering joining a program unique to the school, like TAMU's Corps of Cadets or Baylor's Golden Girls?

    4. Apply a month or so before the application is due. You'll need time to get everything together, essays written and scores back. Plus, as a homeschooler you may have special challenges like VOE forms, explaining why you don't have counselor's letters, and transcript verification. If you apply early you have time to communicate with the school and send them what they need before it's too late!

    5. Know that you can do this. It may feel intimidating or that NO OTHER HIGH SCHOOLER in the state is doing their college application entirely on their own but you are, and you can rock it. If you have doubts, get a dual credit teacher, co-op leader, or teacher friend to look over your essays or tutor you for an ACT section. Don't be afraid to reach our for help.

    Anyway, these are just a few tips that worked for me. I know every homeschooler is different but I hope I helped a little! <3