5 Ways to Succeed This School Year


5 Ways to Succeed at School

Good morning! Today is my first day of school. My fifteenth first day of school to be exact and I’m still in school!

I’d consider myself somewhat an expert. First my parents sent me to kindergarden dressed in a uniform turned around and I was graduating high school and “school” turned to “class”. I failed one semester and made a 4.0 the next. That’s right, I know how to succeed but I know how to fail too.

Many of you have been in school for a week or so now, lucky you! These tips are targeted for high school and college but will get you started off right no matter the year – I promise!

5. Keep an agenda. As far as I’m concerned the best school supply I have ever bought has been an agenda. By nature I am either super organized or not organized at all. I usually keep two and they change semester to semester, most recently I have found a dynamite combination – a desktop myAgenda that has everything I am doing (dinners, meetings, assignments, etc) and a pocketbook sized weekly checklist in which I only write assignments, I use it as a “homework hub” so I can prioritize and stay on top of everything. I can look ahead weeks in advance and know exactly what needs to done.


4. Make time for homework – every day. Some of your classes will never have homework, others will have hours two/three nights a week and others will have a year end project that will take you more than you could ever imagine! By taking the time to learn your assignments early on in the semester and use this time wisely you should never have a late paper. The best part of starting things early is asking your prof questions if you have concerns long before the assignment is due! It’s important to show your prof your prepared and trying – it will get you out of trouble more than once!

3. Read your syllabus. Really. Things change but each teacher will have a different set of rules. Busted for gum in you 9 o’clock? Obviously you didn’t read “no gum allowed” in her syllabus. Some teachers excuse you from class on what you consider a minor infraction. Don’t be that person!

five things you can do to succeed this year

2. Add assignments to your agenda immediately. During the first week of school I sit down, comb through each syllabus, and 

1. Make academics a priority but don’t forget about everything else. There are plenty of “distractions” that it may not become a problem but you should go out with your friends, play an intramural sport, or join the debate team. After all, that is the meaning of an education!

Study, have fun, enjoy every class you take – even the ones you hate! You will certainly appreciate every second you take advantage of it! 

WIAW: PiYo Week One

Hey y’all!! This Monday I started PiYo and along with working out I committed to the meal plan too.

Note: In order to avoid faux food (like tofu) I’m deviating from the typical plant-based diet. Here goes nothing! This is what this week looks like:


PiYo what i ate

turkey bacon, steel cut oats, pecan halves

eggs and carrots

boiled eggs and baby carrots!

Post PiYo snack



salad: baby spinach, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, cherries, ground chicken.

Afternoon snack


cucumbers and greek yogurt.

More info on food prep for PiYo coming Friday – stay tuned!

1 week down, 7 to go!Linking up with Peas and Crayons for WIAW

What’d you eat?!

No More Vaccinations

Hey guys!! Long time no talk!

If you follow me on Instagram you know this weekend didn’t start off just great. We spent Thursday night in the puppy ER and hung out at his regular vet for two consecutive days. It was scary!

Queso and I went into our regular vet for his comprehensive visit Thursday morning. Last time we went for a visit he had his first allergic reaction to the leptospirosis vaccine. Leptospirosis is a disease that comes from fecal matter of wild animals in slow moving or stagnate water, since the Little Man is mainly indoors and we live in the city we went ahead and opted out of “lepto”. 

As an addition precaution we chose to allow the vet to administer Benadryl and put in an IV. All to ensure that even if he had a reaction it could be stopped immediately.

His first reaction was minor, mainly facial swelling. It was about fifteen minutes from injection, luckily we had just gotten home when he started swelling so I called immediately to let them know we were on the way back! They gave him a Benadryl and steroids. About an hour later we were released and went home without any more issues.


Thursday the vet decided to vaccinate Queso early and keep him all day to make sure, again, they could catch any and all potential reactions. Six-thirty rolled around and they called me to come get the “cutest dog ever”. I picked him up about seven but as I was chatting with the vet one of the nurses noticed some swelling and they rushed him to the back to administer steroids. By now it was after-hours and, of course, they couldn’t keep him. I knew that and the swelling had stopped. They let me know they didn’t think we’d have to go but gave the information for the emergency vet anyway and we all went on our way.

Queso was a little out of it and hadn’t eaten at all in over twelve hours. Instead of going home we headed to the emergency vet, it was already a twenty minute drive and the least thing I wanted to do was make that drive any longer! 

In hindsight I’m really thankfully I did. Once we got there his chest was swollen and his head was beginning to swell. Not good! I was disappointed with the ladies at the front desk, it was obvious they didn’t care about Queso or me for that matter but once I passed him to an unwilling nurse and filled out the paperwork a receptionist pointed me to a room. The vet came in about a fifteen minutes later and let me know they wanted to keep the Little Man overnight.

A few tears and a call to my mother later I was on my way back home. 7 am Friday morning rolls around and I get a call that he still had some swelling but was ready to come home. We were sent home with steroids and directions to pull his IV in two hours. Per request (by our regular vet) we dropped Queso back off so they could watch him. 

24-hours after I originally went to pick him up I was back at the office staring at the Little Man back to normal size and a little disoriented but ready to go home.


Since then we’ve decided to forgo every vaccination, he has overcome his dehydration, and life is back to it’s quiet normal!

Queso feeling better is a great way to break into my first Marvelous in my Monday link up too!


We are NOT saying don’t give your dog vaccinations! This is our experience and we have decided, in conjunction with our vet not to vaccinate him any longer.

What was marvelous about your day?!

Getting to Know Each Other

Good morning you guys! It’s almost the weekend – by that I mean we’ve made it halfway through the week!! Today you guys get to spend some time getting to know me and hopefully I will get to know you guys a little better!

liebster blog award

Jena from Burpees for Breakfast was super sweet and nominated me for a blogger get-to-know-you award so that’s up first!

questions for me

1. what are you eating (and watching) right now?

I’m catching up on Conan, Jimmy Kimmel, and Late Night (Jimmy Fallon) eating carrots and drinking infused water. Does it get any more hipster?

2. favorite pre and post workout meal?

Oatmeal with an ENERGYbits smoothie – workout – bowl of fruit + a protein of some sort.

3. you wake up for a workout and you are NOT motivated. what do you do?

I stay in bed…I know I will feel better so it always (eventually) gets done!

A more helpful answer would be I look at how far I’ve come and focus on my goal!

4. what’s your current girl power jam?

I’m loving ‘Troublemaker’ right now; I like Olly’s voice and Flo Rida, well, who can hate on him? It’s not the typical genre but it has a great beat and I always pick up the pace just a little bit. Jena had a great one too with All About That Bass!

5. what has been the best part of your summer, so far?

Believe it or not coming back to Saint Louis. I loved being at my parents but am glad I came home.

6. because i’m thinking of waffles…favorite type of waffles, pancakes, and ‘dessert’ bread (like banana or zucchinni)?

LOL my favorite question. I like plain waffles with maple syrup. Yes, I am one of those people.

7. favorite type of workout and place to workout?

Swim! I love to swim! And a pool. open water swims still scare me but…I’ll get there and then, I’m sure, my answer will be anywhere but the pool!!

8. how many times have you gone into target and walked out without purchasing anything?

Ok. Jena – you caught me! We (my husband and I) go into Target just to go all the time, as in, at least once or twice a week. We hardly buy anything. In our defense we live about five minutes from a Target and have to drive past it all the time which means when we go out to dinner we stop, browse, and let our food settle. I don’t know if I should be ashamed of that or proud. It’s where all the cool kids go.

9. if you could create your own starbucks drink and name it, what would you create?

There’s actually a sweet little coffee shop in my hometown that created a drink after my mom. It has coffee, carmel, coconut, and chocolate. Now that. That is where it is!

10. who is your inspiration and why?

I have several inspirations. Most clearly I would say my mom and my step-mom. My mom is just so passionate and beyond good at everything she does. My step-mom has overcome some insane odds and has done it with a smile on her face the whole time.

11. what would be your disney ending?

I would honestly keep every parent alive in my Disney movie, Bambi, The Lion King, Shrek (his), The Princess and The Frog; you get my point. Keep the parents alive!

Second, I was nominated by Jenna at Little Green Running Shoes

very inspiring blogger

The Rules:

Thank and link to the person who nominated you (DONE. Thanks Helly!)

List the rules and display the award (That would be this part of the post)

Share seven facts about yourself

Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated

Optional: display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you

Seven facts about me:

  1. I have just recently found sunflower seed butter…and prefer it over any other.
  2. My original university major was Philosophy. I’ve since moved onto Nonprofit Administration.
  3. My dream job would be working as an advocate for the Deaf or as a fundraiser (development director as it’s called in The World). If I could be an active living blogger all my life I would pursue that too. Obviously I don’t care to tie myself down too much!! We shall see what happens.
  4. I have tried just about every kind of eating habit out there and am still finding what’s best for me.
  5. My biggest pet peeve is bad customer service. It can sometimes get out of hand.
  6. I absolutely cannot sleep in past 6:30. Yes, 6:30 is considered sleeping in, I blame it on my mom, she’s an early riser. No, I don’t mind one bit.
  7. I don’t know how to ride a bike. Most you of you probably know that so if that one doesn’t count. I’m training for Ironman Wisconsin 2015.

Boom. I hope you guys learned something new about me, I look forward to hearing more about YOU! Also, how cool is that both ladies were Jena/Jenna’s?

Also – I’ll be hanging around the #liveloveNOURISH Twitter party tonight. You’re going to want to be there. You have a chance to win a copy of THE NOURISH COOKBOOK and $150 gift card to Lorna Jane. 6 PST / 9 EST. Be there.

Tell me something about you!


More Paleo Fun

Good morning!! I hope you guys had a wonderful week and are getting to enjoy the sunshine!

Saturday my husband came home mid-afternoon and rested. Thrilling 😉 Sunday we went out with our Realtor and checked out potential homes. We found three that we adored but haven’t written a contract…yet. We’re waited for a few final details to fall together and we look forward to writing one soon!

Here are a few more vegan paleo recipes I hope you’ll enjoy!Sunflower Chocolate Paleo Smoothie

Another fun fact about me:

In high school I was in FFA. I was on the Poultry Team and showed goats. We learned the ins and outs of the poultry industry, graded chickens and eggs, and a were transformed into great leaders in the process!!

I also was on the Opening and Closing Ceremonies team (public speaking) and held a few officer positions. Most of these pictures are circa 09-10. It feels so long ago!!

From left to right: Kissing the Indianapolis finish line for good luck, the last goat I ever showed, and a just a great shot of those classic blue jackets!

Throw Me Back: What’s one of your favorite memories from “the old days”?

What The Dog Eats

Don’t let this mug shot fool you:

Queso the Chihuahua

This 10 pound, once perfect dog is a jerk. Yes, this is a dog shaming post.

Meet Queso. Queso is a 2 year old Chihuahua. He is overweight and his knees pop of joint sometimes however we used to love him all the same.

Now when I got up yesterday and went out on my run leaving the dog to his devices I had no idea. No idea I’d come back to a house that was not the same. He first chewed through his first gate (that he had had since Summer 2012) and then through chewed the SECOND gate we got him in a matter of hours. D@!* dog!! I come home and he’s in our bed, no big deal.

It’s a much bigger deal when I realize cutie patootie up there had pulled the pizza box off the table, chewed through (notice a theme yet?), and ate not just one but TWO pieces of Meat Lovers pizza.



This has gotten out of control. I’m taking a stand. He’s ten pounds, I weight way more than that and I’m human. He’s not. While we’ve already taken the measure of barricading him into the kitchen when we’re gone.

My theories of what happened:

  1. He’s going through his terrible two’s.
  2. He’s just starting to develop his personality.
  3. He’s really a jerk. See #2.

My personal favorite #3 but that’s just me.

Oh, anyone who is worried about his sodium and dairy levels – he seems to just fine. It was really hot outside yesterday but he kept himself hydrated and didn’t have issues! He actually crawled up in my lap for a few hours afterward as if that was enough for me to love him again.

Spoiler: I never stopped.

What do you guys think? Anyone else have a horrible dog (or kid or spouse) story to share?