Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekend Recap

How was your weekend?

I had a great fun packed weekend! It was exactly what I needed after a long week of studying for my 5th exam this month. Luckily, this week is our LAST exam for a couple weeks. October has been no joke. I need a break!

My classmates and I went out in Uptown Charlotte on Friday night to a piano bar called Howl at the Moon. It was a great opportunity to bond and get to know each other outside of the classroom. We all had a great time. We definitely need to do this again sometime soon!

The FSU vs Miami came was a tad bit stressful and ugly but somehow we pulled out a win. I hope that we play well against Duke at the Homecoming game this weekend. They had a big win against UNC and will be coming out with confidence to Doak. We better show up and fight! SCALP 'EM Seminoles!

On Sunday, my phi mu sister, Jackie, invited me to go to the Carolina Panthers game against the Dallas Cowboys. It was a perfect day in Charlotte, weather in the 70s and sunny. For a while there I thought we were going to pull ahead with the win against the cowboys. It was a close game!

I decided that Charlotte is probably where I will end up. The city, people, and environment is right in line with my personality. I love the southern hospitality meets city slickers. It is such a fun city and I am looking forward to the next four years exploring the city!

Have a great week! It's almost the weekend again :) 

Friday, October 19, 2012

{blog world} Fill In The Blank Friday!

I have been singing this song all day. The weekend is here. THANK GOODNESS. This week was definitely better than last week but I am just so ready to be done with exams. I can't wait for Tallahassee next weekend. It is the light at the end of the tunnel. 

My plans this weekend:
Friday: Howl at the Moon with some classmates to celebrate surviving our Calculations exam today.
Saturday: Habitat for Humanity deconstruction with NCAP (a club I am involved with) and the FSU vs. Miami game at 8:00pm! GO NOLES!!
Sunday: Church and a study dinner party at my friend Lili's apartment. Good food, friends, and BSI.

What are your plans this weekend?

1.  One thing I plan on doing to relax this weekend is  taking a bubble bath and painting my nails. I have had a rough couple weeks, I need a relaxing weekend. 

2.  A big pet peeve of mine is  when people say they will attend or do something and then don't follow through. I think this pet peeve started when I started taking leadership positions. If you say you are going to be there - then be there. 

3.  I am really loving  the weather in Charlotte. It is beautiful. I love being able to roll down the windows and put on the heat seaters. I LOVE FALL.

4. The rain is   is amazing when you don't have to leave your house and you can snuggle in bed watching movies all day. But, when you have to actually do something, it is pretty annoying. 

5. My favorite girly indulgence is  chunky necklaces. I may not be the most fashionable when it comes to clothing but I am a beast at adding chunky necklaces to outfits! 

6. A song I always get stuck in my head is  "Call Me Maybe". It is so catchy and always seems to get stuck in my head. 

7.  The best cure for stress is going for a drive, with the windows down, music blaring. Sometimes I sing, cry or scream. Either way it is a great way to release built up stress without anyone knowing. 


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

{blog world} Oh How Pinteresting!

Don't you just love Wednesdays? You are half way through your week and can see the weekend approaching. Wednesdays are one of my shorter days and I usually am able to eat at home, nap, study, and watch television ALL IN THE SAME DAY. Yes, my life is exciting. 

But today I have a new activity to add to my routine - kickball! I have my first WAKA kickball game tonight at 7:00. I joined the Charlotte WAKA Kickball Organization after hearing success from one of my sister in Tampa, FL. She said it was a great way to meet people, have a good time, and exercise. I think it will be a great break in my week and give me a little interaction outside the pharmacy world during the week. I am excited for my first game :)

For this week's post, I thought I'd share my new obsession with Pugs. I don't know if you have seen this amazing tumblr all about pugs, but it is one of my favorites and honestly gets me through some of my hard days. SO I thought I would theme this post funny pug pictures. I hope this puts a smile on your face - because how can you not love such a cute face! The sources for all these photos can be found on my pinterest page

Have a great rest of your week!


Dun dun, Dun dun, Dun dun, dundundundundun. SHARK PUG.

pug with a bow ......Fabulous!

fancy coat for a fancy dog

pugs on a log


Benny the Petplan Pet Insurance fetch! magazine Petitorial Intern is dressed to impress

that tutu looks good on you little pup


he wants some.

You ate it and I didn't get any?


bath time

I pugging love you (haha!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Great Grapes Wine Festival

How to survive pharmacy school? Reward yourself with fun events on the weekend with good people. I have been working very hard in school lately. October is an exam/quiz packed month. In order to make it through I have to give myself goals and rewards. 

I found out about the Great Grapes Wine Festival from a classmate who has attended for the past couple years. I am a festival junkie. I think they are so much fun and there are so many different types of festivals out there. I knew that a couple of my classmates would jump at the idea of attending a local wine festival! So we organized a group and bought our tickets!

Great Grapes was at the local park in Charlotte and had dozens of local wineries that came together to show off their product. We went around to most of the booths and tasted until we found our favorite bottle. We each bought different wines and settled down on a grassy knoll, shared, chatted, and laughed. It was a perfect Saturday afternoon. 

My favorite wineries that I tried were Southern Charm and Autumn Creek Vineyards. Southern Charm Vineyards specialized in sweet reds, which I normally don't care for, but they were very delicious. They had a seasonal christmas wine that was infused with cranberries and a delicious sangria. Autumn Creek had a white blend (pino and moscoto) called Diamond Girl that I really enjoyed. The two wines balanced each other out and created a clean, crisp wine that is very drinkable on a hot afternoon. 

I think I want to visit a winery for my birthday. They are all over the state and look like a lot of fun! North Carolina has so much to do! I am having a great time and can't wait to stumble across another fun festival.

Here are some photos from the Great Grapes Wine Festival:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

A couple weeks ago I went to one of the best concerts I have ever attended. If you aren't a music junkie then concerts are just something that are fun. My best friend Rima is usually the one to pass on the great music and introduce me to new bands. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals was something that I discovered on my own. I fell in love with her style, her sound, and her strong independent attitude. 

I started listening to Grace Potter one night studying at the Phi Mu house. She was being promoted on Pandora so I just decided to add the station and take a listen. I immediately fell in love. Her raspy voice, real life lyrics, and stage presence instantly drew me in.

I started tell my friends to listen to her and spread the music love. I was so excited to hear that she was coming to the Charlotte area to perform. I screamed to my roommate "OMG! GRACE POTTER IS COMING TO CHARLOTTE. WE ARE GOING!" I was beyond excited. I posted it on my class facebook page hoping to find other Grace Potter fans. Turned out that one of the girls that I am quickly becoming great friends with (she is also a Phi Mu!) is a HUGE Grace Potter fan and jumped at the opportunity to see her live.

The concert couldn't have been better. It was a cool clear night under the stars with the skyline as our backdrop. We ended up scoring a fantastic spot on the lawn right up front. I was cheesing ear to ear. The best part of my night however was when I got to go up to the second row and snap some photos. I couldn't stop smiling. I got a few awesome shots and right when I was about to head back to my seat, she started to play one of my favorite songs "Stop the Bus". I was on cloud nine. I was so close and it was like she was singing to me.

As I explained before, I enjoy music but I have never really been passionate about a band. Besides Britney Spears of course. I finally understood what Rima was talking about when you see a band live that you religiously listen to on a daily basis. A band that speaks to you and that you support and love. This was my night and it couldn't have been more perfect. 

Here are some photos:

Corrine and I before the concert
Jilyan and I quating it out before the concert
Betsy's first tailgate 
Downtown Charlotte in the backgroun

Friday, October 12, 2012

{blog world} Fill In The Blank Friday

Thank goodness it is Friday. This week has been super tough for me. I have found myself so beat up and exhausted. We have had 3 exams in the past week. School is kicking my butt. There is just SO much information. You can never stop studying/preparing otherwise you will be very very behind.

This weekend I am:
Friday - giving a tour of WUSOP to applicants for the class of 2017, taking a very very long nap, getting Pho with a P2 friend, and hanging out with some guy friends.
Saturday - going to Charlotte Phi Mu Day, watching the FSU vs BC game at the Seminole Bar, going out in Uptown with some girlfriends from class.
Sunday - sleeping in!, going to church, catching up with friends, and getting caught up with BSI.

What are you doing this weekend?

1.  My favorite flower(s) are  sunflowers, daisies, gardenias and hydrangeas. They are each so beautiful in their own way. I am starting to fall in love with peonies thanks to pinterest and of course I have a love for the rose colored carnation (LIOB). 

2.  You should never talk about  getting wasted. I know that it may be funny stories but it really just makes you look bad. I also think that politics, specifically opinions and bashing other parties, should be talked about sparingly. I know that the election is coming up and it is a hot topic. But there is a difference in expressing yourself and being obnoxious. Please respect other people's views and opinions. There is no right or wrong answers in politics. Just be informed and respectful if you talk about it. 

3.  My favorite discovery as of late is Fago greek yogurt. It is so much thicker than the other yogurts and the non-fat plain is not tart. It is perfect for breakfast with pumpkin granola or for desert with carmel syrup. 

4. This fall you will probably find me wearing    anything mustard colored. I am currently obsessed with all things mustard yellow. I have a cardigan but I am in search of pants or a pencil skirt. 

5. I wish I were  sleeping/drinking/taking a bath/home in texas. 

6. My favorite TV show currently is   Revenge. I am obsessed with this tv series. I am so glad it is back! This season should be good. All of the actors look great this season! 

7.  This weekend I want to  relax, hang out with friends, and get caught up with school work and friends. 


Thursday, October 11, 2012

{faith} Don't Give Up

"He is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength. Trust in Him at all times, you people. Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us." 
Psalm 62 6 - 8
{Photo Credit: Rima Garsys}
I had pumpkin beer and ramen for dinner.

We made chocolate chips cookies to de-stress.

I am listening to the new Mumford and Sons album.

I am smiling and feel a lot better. 

One exam down and one to go. I can do this.

I thought I failed my exam today, it was probably one of the hardest application exams I have ever taken. I trusted myself and just went back through it because I still had time and told myself, "Amanda, just try your best and that's all that counts". I left the exam with the wind knocked out of me. I wanted to cry. I wanted to pack up my bags and and quit. I kept thinking, If I couldn't pass a drug class then I obviously wont be a good pharmacist. So, I cried. A lot. Questioning everything. 

That isn't the best mindset to have in a 4 year Doctoral program. I knew I needed a different approach. When I got home, I relaxed and took a deep breath. I started thinking about how I felt the first semester of high school and the first semester of college. THE SAME WAY I am feeling now. "Hard things are put in our way not to stop us but to call out our courage and strength." This is something I read every day. This is my quote. And I really thought about it. I have made it through all of the VERY hard things that have happened in my life. I am stronger because of them. I wanted to give up before and I didn't. Thank goodness I didn't because I wouldn't be where I am today - in a pharmacy doctoral program in North Carolina. I trusted my gut, left my friends and family, moved to a foreign city, and took a leap of faith. If it was all rainbows and butterflies then it probably wouldn't be that great of a ride. The rough times are just the chocolate chips in my cookie. They aren't as smooth as the batter but add to the wonderfully delicious taste. Hard times is what makes this experience worth it. 

So, I am going to try my hardest to believe in myself more and trust that I am here for a reason. That I can and will make it through this program and become a GREAT pharmacist. Making an impact in people's lives every day. 

Just a little Thursday thought. Today was hard but tomorrow will be better because of it.


{body} Homemade Pumpkin Granola

Don't you just love Fall? 

I love the smell of the crisp air, the changing colors of the trees, the clothing, and the food. It is my favorite time of year by far. I especially love it this year because I am actually experiencing the season. Florida doesn't experience too many season changes besides hot and hotter. In Tallahassee, the leaves changed and it got pretty chilly during Fall but nothing compared to North Carolina. I cannot wait for it to actually get chilly!! We have had a cold front for the past three days and it is just beautiful.

As you know I just love all things pumpkin. I could probably incorporate into every meal, every day of the year. Luckily in Fall it is totally normal to have pumpkin coffee with pumpkin granola in yogurt for breakfast, pumpkin soup for lunch, pumpkin pasta for dinner, and pumpkin ice cream for dinner. Right?!?

This fall I am looking forward to apple picking, pumpkin carving, making chilis/soups/stews, the ACC Championship game in Charlotte (hopefully the Seminoles make it this year!!), wednesday kickball games, and hikes in local parks! 

I am so excited to be living in North Carolina and being able to experience a real Fall is going to be perfect!

This pumpkin granola is so delicious, easy, and pumpkiny (if that's a word). It is perfect on top of your greek yogurt with some strawberries or with soy milk for a quick and easy breakfast! The pumpkin spice seasoning and cinnamon add a warmth and spice to the granola. I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, SkinnyTaste. Homemade granola is super easy to make, cheaper than store bought, and you can personalize it with spices, dried fruit, and nuts of your choice!

Definitely make this when you are craving something pumpkin and want to switch up your morning meal!

Skinny Pumpkin Granola
Recipe Adapted from SkinnyTaste

1/4 cup uncooked quinoa (rinsed and dried)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (used whole wheat old fashioned)
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup light maple syrup
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp oil
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch kosher salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Spread oats and quinoa on baking pan and toast in oven for about 10 minutes, turn once.
3. Remove oat mixture from oven and transfer to a book. mix in the ground flaxseed, almonds, and cranberries.
4. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees.
5. In a second bowl mix maple syrup, oil, pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Combine well and add to oat mixture. Stir until combined and transfer back to the baking sheet in one layer.
6. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until golden
*sprinkle an additional amount of cinnamon/pumpkin spice if needed.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

{blog world} Oh How Pinteresting!

Hello lovely people! Are you as excited for Wednesday as I am? Today has been a rough morning. I can't seem to wake up. October has proven to be a difficult challenge. 5 exams, 8 quizzes, 2 papers, and in class assignments. It's taking a tole on my beauty sleep and sanity. But I have to keep pushing through. When times get tough and I just want to give up - I say this quote in my head: "Hard things were put in our way not to stop us but to call out our courage and strength." This quote sits on my desk and reminds me that everything will be okay. 

But when I need to get through a difficult lecture, can't wake up, or just need a pick me up - I look at my Funny board on Pinterest. It always cheers me up and puts a smile on my face on the days I didn't think it was possible. 

So I hope this post makes you smile and laugh on your most difficult days.

Happy are almost there! 

totally worth it





@Amanda Simmonds - story of our lives haha

yep sure do.

Every day.

Every single day.