Tag: Grad school


Brain Food: Super Powered Study Snacks!

The end is near! Finals week is officially upon us. I spent the entire afternoon Monday and the early hours of Tuesday knocking off exam number one. I finished at 2 a.m., went to sleep, woke up at 9 a.m. to proofread and turned it in. Phew! With one out of the way, I continued to work on my last, big final project all of Tuesday. With all this studying, writing, proofreading, and tweaking, I need some serious energy to keep my motivation up and my brain working at full capacity.

Stand aside, citizens! This looks like a job for SUPER SNACKS!

We know that all food is not created equal. I’m a big snacker and during the crazy rush of finals week, it’s easy  to be tempted by junk food for a quick snack fix. Instead of reaching for a processed snack or another cup of coffee, I’ve got some delicious alternatives that improve brain function and taste pretty darn good. And did I mention how easy they are to make?

Whether you are cramming for a final exam or just looking to add a little pep in your step, try these healthy, energy-boosting options. While you may not be able to leap tall buildings with a single bound after drinking my Super Smoothie or be faster than a speeding bullet after a handful of my Trail Mix of Might (you gotta love alliteration), you’ll definitely feel like a superhero! Cape and spandex optional.

* = brain food

Julia’s Super Smoothie

1 cup almond milk* (any milk will work, but almond is my favorite for smoothies)

1 cup spinach*

1 banana, peeled and cut into chunks

1/2 cup frozen blueberries*

1/2 avocado, cut into chunks

1 large sweet apple, cut into chunks*

1 Tablespoon chia seeds

1 teaspoon spirulina powder, optional

4-5 ice cubes

Add all the ingredients to a blender. Blend, then add ice and blend again. Pour into glasses and top with shredded coconut. Makes two smoothies. Or one giant smoothie, depending on if your husband is home and whether you feel like sharing. 🙂


Trail Mix of MIGHT

1 cup walnuts*

1 cup raw or sprouted almonds*

1 cup raw cashews

1 cup pepitas*

1/2 cup raw, hulled sunflower seeds*

1 cup raisins*

1 cup dried apple, chopped into small pieces*

1 cup coconut flakes

1/2 cup good quality dark chocolate, chopped*

Mix together. Munch. Save the world!


Wish me luck everyone! I’m off to ace another exam. 🙂

Happy Wednesday!

Do you have a favorite “power” food?


A Day in the Life

dream breakfast

My Dream Breakfast, Hobbit Style

When I describe all the projects I’ve got going on, a question I get a lot is “How do you have time for all of that?” That, my friends, is a fair question. Someday, the ultimate dream is to be a full-time writer. How amazing would that be? I’ve often thought about what my “dream” Monday would look like. Here’s what it would look like:

Dream Monday

6:00am: Wake up

6:30am: Sit down to write with a mug of tea in hand

9:30am: Take a break for breakfast with Shane

10:30am-12pm: Check email, social media stuff, etc.

12pm: light lunch/snack

12:30pm-5:30pm: Write!

5:30-6:30pm: Yoga and shower

7:00pm: Dinner with Shane

8:00pm-Bed: Relax, hangout with friends, movie, reading, fun time

Sounds pretty great, huh? That’s the dream writing day with no other commitments or obligations. For the moment, however, here is what a day in the life of Julia normally looks like:

Real Monday

6:30am: Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.

6:35am: Alarm goes off again.

6:45am: Cannot ignore alarm anymore. Reluctantly dismiss alarm and groggily find way to kitchen where I’ll make tea and feel somewhat more human.

6:45-7:15: Check emails, update social media, etc.

7:15-8:15am: Work on homework. This includes reading chapters, articles, answering prompts, and working on projects

8:15-8:45am: Breakfast and get ready for work

9:00am-4pm: Work at the library. I actually love being a librarian. Being surrounded by books is the next best thing to reading/writing them.

4:00pm-6:30pm: More homework

6:30pm-8:30pm: If Shane’s having a good sports day, he’ll have an opportunity to come home for dinner and we’ll spend the next few hours eating and hanging out. Possibly playing Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. I’m obsessed.

8:30pm: Shane goes back to the station to be sports anchor on the 10 o’clock news.

8:30-9:00pm: Check email, social media, etc.

9:00pm-10:00pm: Yoga and shower

10:00pm: Time to watch Shane on the news!

10:30-11:00pm: Do a little cleaning up (laundry, dishes, etc.)

11:00pm: Get in my jammies, grab my notebook and pen, and finally–finally–have a chance to write. Some nights I won’t actually get into bed until midnight because I’ll continue working on homework after yoga. Regardless of my bed time, I’ll write until I fall asleep.

It’s all a bit crazier this semester because of the book release party, but I’ve managed to be very successful with my grad school classes so far. The work load for these classes is more intense than I’ve experienced with other classes, but I’m doing okay. I just have to keep up by constantly chipping away at assignments. It’s all worth it, though, because I genuinely love being a librarian. It doesn’t even feel like work. So, while I would love to be a full-time writer, I know that relying on my writing for my primary source of income isn’t very realistic. At least, not at this point. Hence, the grad school classes. But you never know, maybe someday my dream day will be a reality. Until then, I’m still having a pretty great time!

What does your dream day look like?


So It Begins

Just realized today is the first day of grad classes

Just realized today is the first day of grad classes

After a long and truly wonderful winter break from my grad classes, I’m back to the grindstone today. For those of you that do not know, I am currently in my fourth semester of my Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree. It is my dream to one day become a Youth Services or Reference Librarian. I am passionate about libraries. Libraries are the guardians of intellectual freedom and represent the best aspects of democracy. Seriously, where else can you go where everything is free and people just want to help you? For free. No ulterior motives, no sales gimmicks.

I love libraries.  I love books. And I’m a big nerd (my husband calls me Hermione and I love it), so I even love school. But this is the first semester I have not looked forward to starting classes. This semester is different because I’ve never launched a book before! My goal for winter break (and I think I’ve done a fairly good job keeping pace) was to work on book release stuff and write, write, write the sequel to Seven Stones (more on that in another post!). First and foremost, I wanted to get the website up and begin blogging. Thanks to my FABULOUS web designer and the wonderful folks at RiverPlace, those goals have been achieved.

However, there is still so much to be done. I have come to accept that there simply will never be enough hours in the day to write as much as I want. The hardest part of going back to school is that all the free time that I set aside for writing will now be devoted to homework and term papers. Usually, during the school semester I will maybe get one good day of writing a week. ONE. It kills me, and my writing seriously suffers. My goal for this semester: write every day. It doesn’t matter if I write for five hours or five minutes, but I want to at least practice my craft daily. It is true that writing anything helps foster creativity and motivation, so I am hoping that this blog will keep me on track and accountable in my novel writing.

Goals for the school year:

  1. Uphold my 4.0 GPA
  2. Write every day
  3. Have a successful book release (!!!)
  4. Maintain illusion of sanity

​Can all of these goals be accomplished simultaneously? Only time will tell…​

Happy Monday!

What are some of your goals for the year?