As the last semester of my undergraduate degree comes to an end, it feels fitting to write about what my college experience has been like. I am a kinesiology major at UW-Milwaukee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The past four years seem to have gone by fast, but at the same time freshman year feels so long ago!
How did I end up in Milwaukee?
I picked UW-Milwaukee because I originally wanted to be an Occupational Therapist. Milwaukee has an undergraduate degree program called "Occupational Studies" that is a great preparatory degree for occupational therapy. I applied to UW-Milwaukee and was accepted so quickly after applying that I decided to come to Milwaukee and not apply anywhere else!
How did my Educational Plans Change?
I completed one year of the Occupational Studies program and also took classes in the Honor's College. During my first winter break freshman year, I did a one day job shadow in which I shadowed an occupational therapist in the morning and a physical therapist in the afternoon. For the rest of freshman year I debated switching my major, and when summer rolled around I made that leap and chose kinesiology as a preparatory path to physical therapy. I also chose to leave the Honor's College because, although their classes inspired critical thinking, they had a high workload and were not related to areas I was interested in. During the end of my sophomore year, I decided to also get a certificate in healthy aging and have been taking those classes alongside my kinesiology ones.
What is Kinesiology?
Many times when I tell people I study kinesiology, they have no idea what it means! Kinesiology is the study of physical activity. Some examples of classes in this major are biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor development, principles of motor learning, psychological aspects of sport and exercise, sociological aspects of health and wellness, and anatomical kinesiology. This degree provides a solid knowledge base that is beneficial if pursuing physical therapy, which is why I chose it. However, as I'll go into more detail in a future post about how I got into physical therapy school, if I had to do my undergraduate over, I would have picked a different major.
Where Did I Live During Undergrad?
Freshman and sophomore years I lived in the cheaper on-campus dorms (relative to the other dorm options) called Sandburg towers. These tall buildings housed around 1,500 students and were the typical tiny, overpriced dorm rooms. I met my two current roommates through random assignment freshman year and had an awesome mini fridge painted by my mom to look like the Tardis from Doctor Who! Sophomore year we moved to the fancier tower (with a lake view) that was more like an apartment because it had an in-unit kitchen. I think the dorms offered a decent transition from living with my parents to living on my own. However, there were many aspects I did not like, such as paying around $9,000 a year for a tiny room and being evacuated from the building at 2 am because some idiot burned their popcorn and triggered the smoke alarm. My roommates and I were super happy to move out by the end of sophomore year!
Junior and senior year I have lived in an apartment off campus. My roommates and I scored a great deal on our apartment and each only pay around $440 each month including all utilities. Living off campus allows much more freedom than the dorms and encouraged me to explore the city more. Freshman and sophomore year I was always tempted to stay in the vicinity of the campus because I had little reason to leave it. Living off campus got me more familiar with the bus system and made me more comfortable in traveling the city on my own. It was also fun to find furniture and decorate the apartment as we wished. The photos above are from when we first moved in and the place was super empty!
What Do I Think Of the Campus?
Overall, the campus environment is pretty friendly. I have a different view of it now as a senior student living off campus than I did on-campus. The university provides a plethora of welcome events each fall to help students get to know each other, explore the city, and have some fun. I went to many of those events freshman and sophomore year, but after that my participation dropped. The campus itself is nice and contained so you can easily walk across the whole campus in under 10 minutes, which is great for back-to-back classes! There is a wide range of architecture in the buildings, some of which is beautiful and some of which is quite ugly! There are a couple buildings on campus (the Sandburg dorms included) that are just giant cement towers. The weather on campus varies widely. I don't know if it's due to being near Lake Michigan, but we get a lot of wind and fog on campus! There are pockets between buildings that we call wind tunnels because the day seems perfectly nice until you walk through those spots and then you almost get blown away! It looks quite pretty during the summer and fall when flowers are in bloom and the leaves on the trees are turning! Another awesome feature of the campus that I have unfortunately not taken much advantage of is the organization called Outdoor Pursuits! This organization guides you through adventures all over the state and even out of state. Last summer I went on a whitewater rafting trip with them and last fall I did a horseback trail ride. They were great and affordable experiences!
Did I Work During College?
I worked throughout most of my college experience, other than freshman year. Freshman year I worked at a bakery for about three weeks before deciding it wasn't for me. As I adjusted to the workload of college, I started working again at a campus convenience store during fall semester of sophomore year. I quit that in the spring and started working as a barista for a year. Along the way, I started working as a research assistant in a lab on campus and then summer before junior year I got a third job as a student research assistant at another campus organization. Three was a lot in one semester combined with my classes, so now I just have the two research positions. Both are extremely flexible and I am able to work 20-24 hours each week with 18 credits and not cry too much. I am lucky to have found such flexible jobs and would not be able to work that much while taking so many classes if I was not able to set my own hours for the most part. Right now I make enough money to cover my rent, utilities, and groceries while saving a little for graduate school. I recently made the decision to not work during graduate school, so my work situation will be changing soon!
How Am I Paying For COllege?
Almost all of my money for school comes from loans. My first semester of freshman year I was able to pay for everything with my loans, a couple scholarships, and my parents. After that though, it was all loans. My parents pitch in for grocery money and school supplies when they can, but I earn all of my living expenses myself through working. For the last two years of college loans have just gone to tuition. As I mentioned above, however, I have decided not to work during physical therapy school. UWM unfortunately does not offer TA positions, research positions, or scholarships to their physical therapy students, so everything, including my living expenses, will be from loans! Yikes! I am nervous about taking on so much debt, but it is avoidable if I am to keep my sanity and I should have high job security when I finish the program so I can make enough to pay them back.
Thanks for reading a bit about my college experience. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! If you would like to see posts more specific to certain aspects of college, drop me a line! Have a great week!
This is going to be a text-heavy post, so first I'll share some photos from a bike ride Ryan and I went on a couple weekends ago. It was pretty chilly but we were determined to go! I told Ryan I would like going on bike rides more if a coffee shop was our turnaround point, and he delivered! We tried out Holy Grounds Coffee House and it was a warm and friendly place to drink and warm up before making the return trip. I hope the weather starts improving so we can hit the trails some more!
The rest of this post is a reflection of how I am doing with my New Year's Resolutions from January. We are already more than a quarter of the way through 2019, so I thought this would be a good time to reflect. I am totally honest about whether or not they are going well, along with adaptations to improve my success rate going forward the rest of the year!
New Year's Resolutions Check-in
Publish one post per week. On average I am on track with this goal. While my blog posts have not quite been every single week, so far we are about 15 weeks into 2019 and I have published 18 blog posts. For the rest of the year, I would like to continue publishing at least once a week, but have also decided to see if I can publish two posts per week!
Minimal spending challenge. Oof! This one is definitely not going so well! I have been approximately maintaining the amount of money in my bank account. Occasions for spending money keep popping up. My original goals were to not spend money at coffee shops, treat myself at the drugstore, indulge in random groceries, and online shopping. I have failed at every single one of these! To try and make things better, I'm going to revise my guidelines. Going forward, coffee purchases are alright if I am meeting a friend, but if I just want a latte I must make it myself at home. A $4 jug of soy milk will get me eight lattes while a $4 coffee shop latte just gets me...one! Doing the math will hopefully motivate me.
Going forward, I am going to maintain an on-going shopping list for groceries and drug store items on my phone to keep me on track when I am shopping. I am also going to round up all my "feel good" items (face masks, lip balm, etc.) and put them where I can see them with the goal of using them all up before I buy more. I am also going to refrain from buying items I do not need just because I have a coupon or they are on sale! Lastly, online shopping. Again, I will keep a list of items I believe I need to buy online. I will keep my list and budget for one or two items each month. Waiting to buy will not only help my wallet, but make me reconsider whether I really need to make the purchase.
Lastly, going out with friends. This is a toughie! I do not want to limit myself from spending time with people before we part ways for grad school or having fun dates with Ryan. I am going to focus on limiting my spending in non-social areas and give a very vague "be more mindful of spending" goal for when I go out with others.
Decrease sugar consumption. This goal is going well. I made the switch from sugary coffee creamer to half n' half successfully. I have also been pretty good about ordering plain lattes when I go to coffee shops. For the rest of the year, I will continue limiting my sugar in coffee and expand it to other foods I eat. I will be mindful of chocolate serving sizes and also check labels for added sugar when buying groceries at the store.
Meal prep and portion control. This goal has been off and on all semester. I'll be good for a couple weekends, then stop when I think I'm too busy. Overall, the benefits of having my meals ready to go when I am hungry is my motivation for keeping up with the meal prep. In the next couple months, I plan to have developed some of my favorite meal options and will share the recipes on the blog! Refining these meals will be how I carry out my meal prep each week going forward. Portion control is alright, except when it comes to chips and salsa. I have been doing my best to avoid buying them because I will eat them all in just a couple days!
Follow the physical activity guidelines. I have a love-hate relationship with this goal. I like exercising because I want to feel healthier, but not when I feel like I have to. Tracking my minutes in a spreadsheet helps me feel accomplished when I reach my goals, but not so much when I do not meet them. I also have been feeling as though I need to be at the gym to get all my minutes in, which is totally not true! Often times when I am on campus and contemplate going to the gym, I feel a sense of dread. Because of this, for the next part of the year, I am going to focus on walking an average of 10,000 steps each day whether through walking, jogging, biking, or using the elliptical. This gives me more variety depending on how I am feeling each day. I am also going to focus on pilates and yoga for strength and flexibility, which are activities I can do in my apartment. If I feel like pumping iron at the gym, that's great, but I'm also going to let myself be okay with home workouts too.
Complete the 30-Day Minimalism Game. I successfully completed this challenge! I eliminated 495 items from my life. I did stretch it a bit by counting individual sheets of paper, earrings, etc., but I think that's alright. Before moving in June, I want to try and complete an abbreviated version of this challenge by undertaking it for just 15 days instead of 30 with the hope of making it easier to move when the time comes.
Adopt a "one in, one out" rule when purchasing new items. I still have not had the chance to implement this rule. I am playing a relaxed version of the minimalism game and boxing up items for donation as I feel like it and keeping a tally as I go. Since I am attempting to find 120 more items to donate or recycle by the end of June, I have been focusing on that more than "one in, one out." After moving in June, I will use this rule.
You have made it to the end of the post! I hope my reflections inspire you to think back on any resolutions you set at the start of the year. Thanks for reading!
This will be my last travel blog for awhile as the semester wraps up. During the last weekend of spring break, my parents, sister, and I drove to Door County for a relaxing getaway. We visited during off-season and got a good deal at The Landing at Egg Harbor Motel Resort.
After checking in, we went to the local grocery to get some snacks and drinks for the weekend. While in the parking lot, we saw the strangest business truck: "No Job Too Odd For Todd!" We couldn't stop giggling and coming up with what kind of odd jobs Todd might be willing to do.
For dinner that Friday night, we went to the Cajun themed Fireside restaurant next door to our resort. I have loved Cajun food ever since we visited New Orleans a couple years ago and was happy to find a place in Egg Harbor! We ordered the Bayou Gator bites as an appetizer and they were amazing. For my main meal, I had the chef special of the night, Cajun Tacos. They had blackened fish, slaw, and crema in a spinach tortilla on a bed of red beans and rice. After returning to the resort, we spent the evening reading and hot tubbing (that's a word now).
After a quick breakfast the next morning, we went on a wild goose chase for some good coffee! The benefit to visiting during the off-season is that there are not a lot of people, but the downside is that most of the businesses are closed from winter to May! We finally found a cafe, the Brew Coffeehouse. To my surprise, they served Stone Creek Coffee!
The inside was super cute. I especially enjoyed their "what a brew-tiful day" mug. I ordered my favorite latte, almond milk with honey.
After finding coffee, we drove to the tip of the peninsula! There are a couple islands in the lake with campgrounds and hiking trails that can be reached by ferry. We debated going, but decided it was too cold. If I ever go back during warmer weather, I definitely want to check them out!
Then we visited some of the local businesses that were still open. We went down the windy road depicted in the postcard below. The best way I can describe the experience was that it was a "tummy tickler!"
After that, we headed to the beach- it was still spring break after all! The beach was covered in tons of beautiful "glass rocks." We tried skipping them in the water and carrying them around the keep as souvenirs, but they kept melting! Then we started making snowballs and chasing each other around the beach! It was a bit cold but a lot of fun!
We went to Casey's BBQ & Smokehouse for a late lunch. It satisfied the hunger, but wasn't anything special. Afterwards, we checked out the shopping centers near our resort.
We picked up some Straight Bourbon Whiskey from the Hatch Distilling Company. We spent the rest of the afternoon doing some quiet reading and hot tubbing. Once evening rolled around, we broke out the snacks, drinks, and card games! I had more fun spending time with my family inside the resort than any of the attractions we visited! It was good fun.
For breakfast Sunday morning, we went to the Big Easy Bagel & Beignet cafe. It is owned by the same people as the Cajun themed Fireside restaurant! My dad and I ordered beignets while my mom and sister got bagels. I ate four large beignets by myself and don't regret it for a second! They had so much powdered sugar on them that when I set one down too quickly, it dusted my sister's coat! I also ordered an almond milk latte to take on the road.
The weekend went by too fast, but it was a nice, relaxing getaway. Thanks for reading!
After lunch at Delicatus, we went looking for Waterfall Garden Park. It was a beautiful sheltered spot in the city, but when we went they were making some repairs to the waterfall so we did not get to see it. It looked like a nice spot to sit and enjoy takeout coffee with a friend!
After that, we headed back to the bus stop. We stopped to admire some art along the way!
There were so many picturesque design elements throughout the city.
There was a special art collection along the underground bus tunnel. Each section of concrete had an origami sculpture with strange faces on it. I wasn't sure how I was supposed to feel, but it was certainly intriguing!
We took the bus back into the city of Sammamish and then drove into Snoqualmie to see the Snolqualmie Falls.
The waterfall was breathtaking and almost looked like a giant cloud billowing out of the mountain, especially where the falls met the water pooled below.
For dinner, my roommate's relatives treated us to home-cooked seafood! We had red king crab, dungeness crab, and baked salmon, along with vegetables and tons of wine. It was a great way to spend our last night in Washington!
The next morning we took coffee to go as we headed to Sammamish Cafe & Spirits for breakfast before our return flight to Milwaukee. I ordered the potato burrito with a side of fruit and it was wonderful. It had scrambled eggs, baby red potatoes, sausage, cheddar, tomatoes, green onions, and avocado cream sauce.
We got more snacks at the grocery store before heading to the airport. While there, we each spontaneously bought a Washington travel mug from the Starbucks since neither of us had gotten souvenirs. At the airport, we stopped at a Seattle Chocolate shop for treats to bring back and share with friends and family. During takeoff, I tried not to look out the window too much until we reached full height. The view of the mountains on the return trip was breathtaking!
During landing back in Milwaukee, we were able to spot our apartment using familiar city landmarks! We felt really tired on the way back and we both went to bed early when we got home. Later on, we agreed that the trip was too short and that we should go back again sometime! It was a fun getaway from this tiring semester!
After a home-cooked breakfast, we took a bus into Seattle to start our second and last full day in the city. One of the elements I enjoyed about Seattle was their many modes of public transportation! They have so many options to get you anywhere in the city you might need to go: bus, electric bus, monorail, streetcars, and a light rail. We got off the bus in the International District and walked to Pioneer's Square. Unfortunately we did not stop in the district, but it is on my list for a future visit!
I saw this coffee truck and was tempted to stop, but we were on our way to a coffee shop we had already picked out, so I had to resist.
We went to Zeitgiest Coffee in Pioneer Square. Last summer when we were still just contemplating a trip to Seattle, I looked in a world travel guide for 2019 and this coffee shop was listed as a must-see in Seattle! It was a cute spot!
I ordered my favorite drink: an almond milk latter. One of my New Year's resolutions was to cut back on sugar in my coffee, and now I almost always order just almond milk and espresso. It was hard at first, but now I really appreciate it! I can taste espresso roasts much better now.
I would have gladly used up the whole day just exploring Pioneer Square. The square itself had a large courtyard with table tennis, giant chess, and other games. There were cute tables set up for lunching and a musician was playing at the center. It had a great atmosphere!
We decided to go on a "Beneath the Streets" historic tour. The history tour shared a space with a ghost tour and "death museum" place, so we had fun goofing around and exploring while waiting for our tour to start.
I enjoyed the tour! Some highlights they covered were the Native American Tribal histories of the area, the failed first attempts to build the city on marshy ground, the Seattle fire, the rebuilding, and the building "up," which led to there being a network of buildings and walkways beneath the city with glass skylights. I had noticed when walking the square that there was a lot of glass in the sidewalk, and that is to let light into the passages below!
After the tour, we asked our guide for a lunch recommendation and then admired the scenery on our way to find it. One place I saw in Pioneer Square that I definitely want to visit on a future trip to Seattle is "Comedy Underground."
We were recommended to "Delicatus: A Seattle Delicatessen." This sandwich shop offered large portions and a variety of flavors.
I ordered half of the Pavo Diablo with a Ceasar salad. The sandwich had hickory smoked turkey, sliced avocado, spinach, cilantro, havarti cheese, spicy chipotle aioli, and roasted poblano peppers on sourdough bread. I would eat that again! I have just one more Seattle post to share detailing our last evening, last morning, and departure. Thanks for reading!
This will be the last of my travel blogs for awhile as the semester wraps up. During the last weekend of spring break, my parents, sister, and I drove to Door County for the weekend. We got a good resort deal because we went during the off season. We stayed at The Landing at Egg Harbor to enjoy some rest and rejuvenation.
After checking into the motel resort, we went to the local grocery to get some drinks and snacks for the weekend. We saw a peculiar business truck while in the parking lot: "No Job Too Odd For Todd!" We couldn't stop giggling and speculating what kind of odd jobs Todd would do!
We went to the Cajun themed restaurant, the Fireside, for dinner that Friday night. I was in love with their menu! I have been a fan of Cajun food ever since visiting New Orleans a couple years ago! We started with the Bayou Gator bites as an appetizer and they were fantastic. For my main meal I had the chef's special of the evening, Cajun Tacos. I don't remember all it had, but it for sure had blackened fish, slaw, and crema in spinach tortillas served on top of a bed of red beans and rice. No regrets! I sampled my family's' dishes and they were great too! We spent the rest of the evening reading and hot tubbing (that's a word now).
The next morning we had a quick breakfast and then decided to drive up the peninsula. We had a long search for coffee! The benefit of visiting during off-season is that it is not packed with people, the downside is that the majority of the local businesses are closed from winter to May! We finally found an open coffee shop called Brew Coffeehouse, and, to my surprise, they served Stone Creek Coffee!
The inside was super cute! I especially loved their "what a brew-tiful day" mug. I ordered my favorite latte: almond milk with honey.
We drove all the way to the upper peninsula! Wisconsin kind of looks like a hand with the fingers together, and we were at the tip of the "thumb." There are a couple islands with hiking trails and campgrounds that could be reached via a ferry, but is was a pretty chilly day so we decided against it. The next time I am in Door County I would love to go!
Then we drove around to check out some of the local businesses that were still open. We drove down the windy road showcased in the postcard below, and my best description of the experience is that it was a "tummy tickler!"
We stopped at one of the parks to walk along the beach- it was still spring break after all! The beach was covered in tons of super beautiful "glass rocks." We tried skipping them in the water and carrying them around with the intention of keeping them as souvenirs, but unfortunately they melted! Then we made snowballs and chased each other around the beach! It was a bit cold, but we had a lot of fun!
We went to Casey's BBQ & Smokehouse for a late lunch. It satisfied the hunger but was not notable. After that, we walked around the shopping complexes near our motel resort.
We ended up buying some Straight Bourbon Whiskey from the Hatch Distilling Company. For the rest of the afternoon, we had some quite reading and hot tubbing time. When evening rolled around, we broke out the snacks, whiskey, and card games! I enjoyed the time my family spent together inside the resort more than the places we visited during this trip. It was so good to see them all again! You know what's more fun than Uno? Tipsy Uno!
On Sunday morning, we went to the Big Easy Bagel & Beignet cafe next to our resort. It was owned by the same company as the Cajun Fireside restaurant! My dad and I ordered beignets while my mom and sister got bagels. I am proud to say I ate four large beignets all by myself. It was worth it! They had so much powdered sugar that when I set one down too quickly, it speckled my sister's coat! I also ordered an almond milk latte, although I was tempted to get the chicory root coffee. I recommend stopping by this place if you are ever in the area!
This trip to Door County was short and sweet and filled with great company. Thanks for reading!
After exploring the Public Markert, we walked down to the Seattle Great Wheel at Pier 57. This trip provided many opportunities for me to face my fear of heights. We got our tickets and were then forced to take a green screen picture. We tried to refuse and the attendant was annoyingly persistent, so we took a purposely ugly photo. For the sake of not embarrassing my roommate, I will not share it here! I took a photo of the copyrighted "proof" they showed us at the end for our personal enjoyment!
Oh those mountain views...once again, most of these photos have a glass glare due to us being encased in safety glass.
After about four rotations, we got off and started in search of some coffee. Along the way, we kept finding chalk unicorns all over the sidewalks. I was tempted to follow, but coffee brain was pulling me away from them.
I appreciated the incorporation of art throughout the city, such as the painted concrete staircase below. On our search for coffee, we also passed a random burning tiki head!
I am always interested in seeing what kinds of stickers are in other cities. I've noticed that many large cities have poles plastered with stickers. I have a personal photo collection of stickers I've found around Milwaukee, but have started taking pictures of those in other cities too!
We found the gum wall on our way to coffee. When I first showed the photo on the right to my roommate's aunt, she was like, "OMG you touched it??" No, that was me adding my own piece to the wall. It was pretty gross overall and a weird attraction for a city to have.
Across the entrance to the gum wall was the coffee shop Ghost Alley Espresso. This place was literally a hole in the wall. It was the tiniest coffee shop I've ever been to! It had a small square space with the coffee making supplies and then a triangular jut with enough space for two bar stools and a mini counter looking out the window. It had charm though! I loved their tip jar!!
My roomie and I were both intrigued by their "salty nut latte." It had applewood sea salt, hazelnut, and caramel flavors with steamed almond milk. I would order it again! Because we were in a certain kind of mood, we made jokes about "salty nuts" for the rest of the day.
We spent the late afternoon walking back to where we left the car. We found a sidewalk with engraved coffee bean markers in the ground and got lost while trying to find the right stairs to the car. We found a cute rooftop garden at the Public Market and I experimented with how close I could get to this seagull before it took flight. I have several progressively closer pictures!
We headed back to my roommate's aunt and uncle's house in the late afternoon. They were appalled that I had never tried crab before, so we had crab alongside the pizza her cousin picked up. They had an extensive wine collection, so we sampled a few and then watched the "Mary Poppins Returns" movie before heading to bed. This ends our first full day in Seattle. I already want to go back and take a much closer look at everything! Thanks for reading!
For the first time since coming to college, I traveled during spring break! My roommate and I flew with Alaska Airlines to Seattle, Washington to spend a three days with some of her family. We arrived about an hour early, so we went to get coffee and hang out until boarding. I found a coffee shop gift card on the sidewalk a couple weeks ago, and to my surprise there was $15 on it, so we got free drinks! I got more and more nervous as we got to boarding. I am not a fan of flying, but I do have the desire to travel.
My roommate offered me a Scooby Snack, but I still swore multiple times during takeoff and it felt like my stomach dropped out of my body any time I peeked out the window. The third person in our row was quite chatty. He told us all about how he was on his way to Seattle to go to jail for drunk driving. He drank alcohol the entire ride, worked on a crossword puzzle, and said he wished he would be allowed to bring it to prison with him. He made an interesting travel companion. We arrived in the evening, got lost for a brief time in the airport (Seattle's was much larger than Milwaukee's), and then headed home with her family. We spent the evening eating chicken wings, drinking bubble water, and talking.
This was our first view of the city on our way over the bridge. We wanted to start the day by visiting the Space Needle and the Public Market.
We stopped to take pictures by the Museum of Pop Culture. The rainbow wall was so pretty!
We bought our tickets online and arrived early, and were lucky enough to get in early! The view was breathtaking! Most of my photos have glass glare to some extent, but they get the idea across. There were two levels. One was open air and the other enclosed but with a glass floor!
In the open air viewing deck they had slanted glass benches that were supposed to make it look as though you are about to fall out over the city. It kind of worked!
The city from above. Let's play a quick game of eye spy! In the second photo below there is a green space on the roof of the apartment complex. If you look really close, you can see a tiny fire hydrant. It's a fancy potty patch for dogs!! That is the kind of apartment I would love to live in!
We moved to the lower observation deck with the large section of glass floor. Looking down made my head spin! I was nervous to step on the glass at first, and so were many others. One girl nearby was so distrustful she was actively pulling on her boyfriend's arm to try and prevent him from stepping on the glass!
Mount Rainier in the distance. I love a good view of mountains and want to move someday to a city that has them close by.
After a long look at the cityscape, we headed to the monorail to ride closer to the Public Market. It was a short but sweet ride the provided great views of the city.
Her family accompanied us on our explorations but often walked a couple paces behind because we were in tourist mode shouting out landmarks and taking pictures of everything!
A super cute fluffy dog inside a big truck. I love public markets! We came at a great time of year because the market roofs were lined with bright yellow daffodils! One also had a pig on its roof.
We went to a Bolivian restaurant for lunch that had balcony seating with a great view of the bustling market below. I had good vibes from the place right away because they had a picture of a llama on their menu!
We started off by all ordering sangria. We indulged a little because we were on break.
We split three different dishes for lunch so we could try a bit of everything. Usually I am not a big fan of seafood, but I enjoyed everything! We ordered the Ceviche Mixto, Pollo Saltado, and Paella.
We headed into the market after lunch. We started by one of the fish markets. They had one of the odd looking monk fish on display and attracted customers to the stand by throwing a fish!
There were so many cool stores in the market! It had multiple levels and we saw many interesting wares. I spent a lot of time in the apothecary because they had lots of items to smell.
A random assortment of other pictures from the market. Their bathroom signs were very amusing. One of the shops we went into had a piece of wall art so grammatically strange I had to take a picture. "Awe...but I am cupcake in a world full of muffins." Just remember that message if you're feeling...sad or proud? I'm not sure.
This ends part one of the Seattle trip. I have tons of photos and don't want any of the posts to be annoyingly long. Thanks for reading!
Hello from Milwaukee! Here are some mini adventures from the past few weeks! Rewind to the end of February. It was a rainy Saturday and Ryan and I took the bus to eat brunch at a restaurant called...Brunch!
We were pleasantly surprised with the quality of our food! Ryan ordered the Avocado Egg BLT that had avocado, honey cured bacon, sriracha aioli, tomato, lettuce, fried egg, and sourdough with a Signature Pancake on the side. I had the Quinoa Power Bowl that came with diced potatoes, red quinoa, brown rice, bell peppers, Addis spice, mushrooms, Jones Farm turkey sausage, avocado, sweet chilli sauce, and two eggs. The food was amazing, and the only downside was that they had a very limited coffee menu. I usually like fancy coffee drinks at brunch, but I quickly got over my disappointment after sampling the meal.
They had this lovely sign on the sink in the girls bathroom and handed out cute stickers.
Hey, look at my plants! This photo was from a sparse photo period during which I was mostly going back and forth between working my two jobs, going to classes, and trying to stay on top of homework for all my classes. My cacti grew babies! And, the succulents I propagated this summer are growing well since being transferred to "big plant" pots. Also, I have no evidence to prove it, but my roommates and I went out to Belair to celebrate the fact that all three of us were accepted into our first choice graduate schools! Woot! It will be sad to move away from each other in a couple months, but we're making the most of the time that is left.
Ryan and I got together a couple times during the first week of March to cook food. One night we made salmon burgers with roasted sweet potatoes and salad, and another night we made made Cajun food to celebrate Mardi Gras!
Ryan has been printing some new planters for my growing plant collection. Pretty soon I will be re-potting them all! It should be a fun time. There are a lot of cool printable planters available online for free. We also found a custom Settlers of Catan game set that we are now in the middle of painting.
Coffee and school craziness! I caught a cold just in time for midterms week. I kept tea tree oil in my oil diffuser around the clock and upped my coffee consumption. I tried a new drink from Stone Creek Coffee called "Mexican Spice" that is a mocha with cinnamon syrup and a dash of cayenne pepper. It was great! We also experienced some crazy weather that ranged from snow to rain to fog. I took this photo on campus because it felt so surreal!
Last Thursday was "Pie Day." I was studying for my structural kinesiology exam, but Ryan asked if I wanted to go out for pizza and I couldn't get my coat on fast enough! We went to Pizza Man and ate SO much food. We ordered drinks, a small cheese pizza ($3.14 for pie day), and a large custom pizza with white sauce, mozzarella cheese, sausage, chicken, pickled jalapenos, mushrooms, and fried eggs. It was an odd combo but strangely satisfying. Between the two of us we ate all the pizza we ordered and I didn't feel bad about it in the slightest!
On Friday night, Ryan and I made a fancy food spread to enjoy while watching Murder on the Orient Express. We made popcorn on the stove for the first time and had quite an adventure! After adding the single popcorn kernel to test the oil, it all started on fire! Thankfully Ryan kept a calm head and took it off the stove and swirled the pot a little until it went out. Then we set it on the kitchen rug while we opened some windows and it left a large black burn on the rug. Oops! Second time was the charm though, and we made some nice popcorn!
Last weekend I went shopping at Old Navy and everything in the store was on sale! I got some spring break staples because this spring break I am going somewhere for the first time since starting college! My roommate and I made another trip out and picked up some snacks for the plane. Ryan also baked me some yummy banana bread to take with! :)
I spent the rest of this last weekend finishing homework and worked at one of my jobs this morning. All that's left to do this afternoon is pack, wrap up loose ends, and head to the airport! I'll be honest that I am super nervous about flying, but we'll see how it goes! I am trying to stay optimistic! I'll share this week's coming adventures soon, along with a post detailing more about my life as a college student. Until next time! Thanks for reading!
Hello from Milwaukee! Life has been super crazy lately. This week is midterms and since I'm taking seven classes, it's been pretty hellish! Last Tuesday, though, Ryan and I had a mini mardi gras night. After my classes, I went to the student union to make a glitter mask and collected several strings of beads I don't know what to do with now. That night, we set aside time for cooking. We made sausage jumbalaya and corn maque choux. I used my mom's jumbalaya recipe and combined her corn one with another I found online, and it turned out pretty good!
I started cooking the bacon while Ryan chopped up onions and bell peppers.
I used a large pot for the jambalaya since we decided to double the recipe so we could both take home lots of leftovers! We sauteed a large onion, 2 large bell peppers, and a mound of minced garlic in olive oil until the onion started to turn translucent. Then we added 2 pounds of sliced sausage and let that sit for a couple minutes so the sausage absorbed some flavor. Lastly, we added 5 cups of chicken broth, 2 cups of dry white rice, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, and 2 TBS of Cajun seasoning. We brought it to a boil and then lowered it to a simmer for 25 minutes until the rice was finished cooking.
For the corn maque choux, we cooked the whole 1 pound pack of bacon and saved the grease. We added half a stick of butter (okay, actually a whole stick, but I recommend reducing it unless you add more corn!!) and sauteed 1 large onion and 1 large bell pepper in it. While this was happening, I chopped up the bacon into little pieces and probably ate a couple slices from all my snacking. Once the veggies were soft, I added 3.5 cups of corn (2 cans), 1 TBS of Cajun seasoning, a 1/2 cup of half n' half, and the bacon pieces. I let it simmer until the half n' half reduced and it smelled amazing.
The finished sausage jambalaya...
And the finished corn maque choux...
I've been craving some Cajun food since our Cajun cookout last fourth of July! I'm going to tweak the corn maque choux recipe next time I make it, but what we made hit the spot last Tuesday! We rounded off the meal with some pinot grigio and had a great night setting aside our schoolwork for a few hours.
If any of you are also going through midterms this week, happy studying! I will try to get into a more regular posting schedule once these midterms are over. I'm planning some more spotlight Milwaukee and college life posts, and will also have some travels to share since I'm actually going somewhere for spring break for the first time in four years! I will also touch base with where I'm at with my New Year's resolutions, since we're almost a quarter through the new year. Until next time! Thanks for reading!
Hi my name is Emilee and these are my adventures as a young adult living in Milwaukee. Here I will share my experiences as I navigate through college. Thanks for stopping by!