The Basics of Car Travel

We have officially made it to summer and that includes summer road trips. I actually really like road trips because it gives me time to think through things if I am travelling alone or to have really good conversations when I am with people.  Aside from the conversations–there are certain things that you need in order to survive being in the car for an extended prior of time. Here are my top 5 items that I need  in order to make it from point A to point B.

  1. Sunglasses are ALWAYS a must in fact I have 3 in my car so that my passengers who fail to bring theirs, will still have a pair. This pair sounds like a good bet. 
  2. I am a huge believer in staying hydrated and soda isn’t the way to do it. Whenever I drink soda, I actually end up thirstier then before. So I always have water in my car. I have 1 bottle of water as a back up and my Contigo water bottled filled whenever I can. 
  3. I have Kleenex in my car at all times but I really hate having napkins in my car. I find them cluttery and an eyesore but I do recognize that they are needed on road trips especially when there are kids in the car. Wipes even do a better job. 
  4. Sometimes you really need to relieve the boredom by playing ridiculous car games. We usually play the alphabet game where you look for a word on a sign that starts with the letter you need and try to beat out the others in the car. There is also the license plate game where we not only try to see a license plate from every state but we always try to see one from all the states we have lived in. From there it is 20 questions, never have I ever, etc.
  5. Music can be the great equalizer and I make sure my car is filled with tons of music so there is no shortage of tunes to spin. Play a game with the songs but always remember to have fun. Here is a song to get you started.




Study Habits

Many of you know that I am taking a job related exam this coming July. It is making me nervous and I am just praying that I pass even if it is just one question above the pass mark. From all accounts, I hear it is a nerve-racking four hours, one step up from absolute hell. Yea for me!! So I thought I would share some thoughts about my study habits that might be helpful. What helps you get the most out of your study time? 

  1. No distractions: Really this is a no-brainer but you really do retain more in 15 minutes of undistributed focus then you do in an hour where you are constantly distracted. For me, this is my kitchen table as long as others are not around or the public library. This kind of intense studying really does require me to park myself in a quiet corner of the library.
  2. Music: This does mean classical music for me. I work best with music for 2 reasons: first, it keeps my mind focused and not running off in thought about what I need to get done or what I would rather be doing and second, when played over headphones, I can drown out all other distracting noises around me.
  3. Time limits: I studying in 30 minute intervals. I set a timer and I focus intently. When the timer goes off, I can stand up, stretch, use the restroom, grab a drink of water, etc. all while I review what I just studied. I hate working in long stretches and forgetting what I read 3 hours ago because I didn’t pause for a moment to review.
  4. Sleep: No, this isn’t to praise getting a good night’s sleep before an exam (although that is good advice); this is to push for a 15 minute cat nap. After 3-4 hours of intense studying and review; I set an alarm and take a 15 minute nap. For me, this solidifies the subject matter. It really does work. When your alarm goes off, stand up, stretch and read the headings of what was studied. You will find you can more easily grab the key concepts and they are committed to your memory.
  5. Real world application: If I need to remember a date, name, formula, etc.—I always attach it to something current in my life and then it doesn’t seem like such an abstract concept anymore since now it is directly relatable.

Wedding Music

My sister is doing a fabulous job planning her upcoming wedding. It will be beautiful like she has always dreamed. However, she wanted some help with songs for her big shin-dig. I haven’t had any time to really think about this and get back to her so I am using this post as a way to finally answer her email.

When I think of my sister, these are the songs that I hear. What songs do you like to hear at weddings?

  1. The Heights–How do you Talk to an Angel

  2. Faith Hill–This Kiss

  3. Johnny Mathis–Chances Are

  4. Dean Martin–Memories Are Made of This

  5. Ana Gabriel–Eres Todo En Mi (You’re My Everything) I think every good dance should include something from the Latin world. Tango anyone? 🙂

P.S. This one for good measure. 🙂

Weekend Parties

It is Friday again and that is wonderful!! I am going to share some random things this week but all of them are things that were my favorites about this week!!
1. I made pizza last night and had to use my friend Sariah’s recipe for the crust because it is the best EVER. Here is the recipe and the way my pizza looked. I am sure some of you are going to be having pizza tonight. 🙂
Quick & Easy Pizza Crust
Makes one 12-inch pizza
1 (.25 oz) package dry yeast
1 tsp. white sugar
1 cup warm water
2 ½ cups flour (I use a mixture of white with something(s) else like wheat, oat, buckwheat, etc.)
2 Tbl. Olive oil
1 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 450. Dissolve yeast, sugar and warm water until creamy (about 10 minutes). Stir in remaining ingredients, knead into ball and let rest 15-20 minutes. Turn out onto floured surface and make into desired item.
One pizza crust: 15-20 minutes
Individual pizza crust (4-6): 10-12 minutes
Breadsticks: 7-15 minutes depending on size
**If any of you know me, I only top my pizza with a few items: olive oil/fresh herbs/garlic, cheese, chicken if in the mood, and then after cooking top with tomatoes and spinach. No joke . . . BEST THING EVER!! IMG_4735
2. I made this for breakfast and it was wonderful on a warm summer morning. Picture included.
Raspberry Peach Smoothie
1 ½ cups fresh peaches
1 ½ cups frozen raspberries
¼ cup Medjool dates (3-4)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbls. Chia seeds
½ tsp. vanilla
Sweetener to taste
Blend all ingredients together, once smooth, add 2 cups of ice and serve. This feeds 2 or more people. I serve it two ways: as drink or as a smoothie bowl and add additional fruit to it. It is pretty hardy. IMG_4719

3. This morning I have the kids and it was so fun to watch Ezekiel try to interact with the cat on the other side of the door and then it turned into a photo shoot so here is the roll.

4. Planning a BBQ birthday dinner on Sunday for my sister-in-law (Happy Birthday Brook!!) so of course I am thinking that I need to have the party look like one of these.
5. Of course we have to have a summer hit playing as well! Thank you to The Beach Boys.