Hallmark Awards Gala

After a brief 15 minute attempt for a power nap, I hopped in the shower, and headed off to the Hallmark Awards Gala!
Phi Theta Kappa operates off a platform based on four hallmarks: scholarship, leadership, fellowship, and service. These awards honor advisors, students, and teams for their hard work.

The Middle States Region walked away with the following awards:WP_001913

  • Distinguished Chapter Officer Team
  • Distinguished Chapter Officer
  • Paragon Award for New Advisor
  • Continued Excellence Advisor
  • 3 Distinguished Honors in Action Projects
  • 2 Distinguished Chapter Awards
  • 5 chapters recognized in the Top 100 Chapters

In addition to the awards win the other night: Distinguished College Project to my chapter and the Regional Milestone Award!
Plus one of my advisors, the former middle states alumni chair, and direct middle states coordinator was honored!

My friend, Jesus, was elected Division I International Vice President! I;m so proud of him!

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In past years, we have done sooooo much better, but like we have discussed all week at this convention: do not look at things as failures, look at them as opportunities to learn, and focus on the things that were done correctly and with passion.

Following the awards gala, is a complementary, catered dinner. I was hoping my stomach was felling better by this time. I was invited to join the prestigous alumni and the Executive Director for dinner to honor my advisor, Pattie.

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Our meal began with a small spring salad with almonds, cherry tomatoes, and mandarin oranges with a raspberry dressing, accompanied by  glass of Cabernet.

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This was followed by chicken over polenta, wish squash, scallions, and broccolini. I wish there were more veggies, but the meal was delicious!

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The meal was completed with chocolate mousse and coffee.

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One of my favorite events of the evening is, of course, the Farewell Dance at the end of the night! Let me tell ya… I can’t boogie ooggie ooggie till I just can’t boogie no more!

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With my crew of friends, its always a great time! I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like to, so when we get together, we REALLY live it up! I also love all of the people from all over the world that you meet at these conventions. By the time you’re heading home, you have 30 new friend requests on Facebook.

Geoff Colvin, Billie Jean King, and Tandoori Oven

This morning began with being woken up by a Telemarketer at 545am pacific time… I guess since my number is from the east coast it was 845 there. I laid in bed trying to fall back asleep with no luck.

My roommate and I decided to get up and get breakfast. When deciding what to wear today, I popped on my yoga pants, these particular pants, don’t like to stay up when I run. And they are at a super awkward length, so they’re nit quite pants, but not quite campris. I hiked up my pant legs, liked the look and whipped out my travel sewing kit. Using the tiny travel scissors, I cut off the pant legs and voila!

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Who needs pants when you can have Bermuda shorts?

With today’s events beginning so early, I took advantage of the free breakfast buffet. I wound up going back multiple times grabbing small played of things for a well rounded and very filling breakfast. I made a mini parfait using oatmeal, strawberry yogurt, mixed dried fruit with a bit of granola. They had one skillet with half a croissant topped with an egg, mushroom, spinach, and muenster cheese. Julie would have loved this! I grabbed this for the veggies and muenster, one if my favorite cheeses, but I wish it had more vegetables. I went back for fruit a bunch! You know I can’t resist a fruit salad!

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The buffet ranged from fresh fruit to yogurt and cottage cheese, to oatmeal and fix-ins, a variety of pastries and breads, eggs, potatoes, waffles and French toast. They also provided a ton of refreshments like juices, milks, water, teas, coffees, and to my surprise, tomato juice.

After giving a holla at the parents on the east coast, I headed to my first forum of the day. I decided on “Building an Officer Team.” Working in a magnet hospitals, there are many organizations to belong to and I figured this would be useful in leading a team, using appropriate delegation,and finding each members strengths. I took alot if notes and I was happy to realize that we, on my unit, are utilizing some of these team building exercises discussed in this forum.

Following this forum, I went to the 2nd General Session to hear Geoff Colvin speak on great performance. I began to connect his speech not just to the global economy and sports but to myself, my goals. For instance, running is something, despite playing basketball for years, has never been a strength it something I even enjoyed. As I set off on my initial weight loss plan, a began walking, then incline walking, then interval running… Now I,m training for a 5K. He says this is due to deliberate practice.

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The 3rd General Session’s speaker was Billie Jean King! She was so engaging and full of life! She was motivating, inspiring, made me proud to have the courage to speak my mind, and thankful for innovators and motivators like her! At the end of her speech, she brought out a crate full of tennis balls that she had signed. The music cued, Philadelphia Freedom by Sir Elton John, and she began hitting the balls out into the audience! (Fun Fact: Elton John wrote that song for her).

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My friends finally flew into San Jose and I met up with them for dinner around 7pm. We headed towards Tandoori Oven, and Indian restaurant.

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We kicked it buffet style, each of us picking a meal and then sharing it with the table. We also decided to try some Indian beer. I’m not a big fan of beer, but it was something to try (plus, Kristin and I really like spicy food, and the beer helped to cut it down a bit).

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The table shared the following:

  • Angry Tandoori Chicken

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  • Chicken Tikka Masala

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  • Saag Lamb

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  • Curry Fish

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  • Chicken Korma and Matter Paneer

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The Angry Tandoori Chicken breast was so perfectly seasoned! The Lamb Saag was so tender, with a great flavor! What I was super impressed with, however was the Matter Paneer.

Lights Out

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toasty…

Since yesterday was an early day, I feel asleep super early! But, of course, my phone started ringing at 2000. I tried to ignore it, but it just kept ringing. Then, as I hung up with the person on the other line, the power goes out. We made it through Hurricane Sandy with only a few flickering lights, but for some reason, the power lines couldn’t stand up to the cold. My mom went into manic-mode, lighting candles and such. Me? My phone was charged and the alarm was set. I curled up next to the fire place for some warmth, and relaxed. But unfortunately, I could not fall back asleep, especially with mom calling the power company, on speaker phone, every 25 minutes! So I whipped out my phone and started working on some posts for you all!

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Apparently power outages have
no effect on this Sleeping Beauty…

The power came back on around 0130. Just in time for me to watch a great movie, called Canvas! I finally fell back asleep around 0300, I would say. Apparently, the universe prefers me sleep deprived…

On another subject, I found this link last night after I mysteriously developed an overwhelming appetite. The article discusses seeing food as “good” or “bad.” I began to feel really guilty about not working out, yesterday. I felt even worse after eating so much later in the night. A few sentences really stood out to me so I thought I’d highlight them for the overly anxious, bingers and  health seekers, like me.

the quality and the balance of what you eat may play a bigger role in weight control and the regulation of your metabolism than the calories alone.

A study found that a daily variance of as much as 600 calories won’t reflect on your waistline, as long as you maintain a healthy diet in the long run.

                Researchers believe that little to no weight gain occurs because healthy individuals usually “undereat” one day and “overeat” on another. So in the end, it all evens out. As long as you’re eating healthy most of the time, having an occasional treat won’t wreck your diet.

I need to remember that although I’ve been rather over indulgent this week, I can even it out. I can’t stress or crawl in my corner.

Now lets get into the goods. Good as in tasty, that is…

I planned this breakfast a few days ago while making the Walnana Muffin Cookies. I decided to use Katie’s melted banana trick in my oatmeal. I was surprised when my mom ask me to make her one too! I was really impressed with how it turned out! If I wasn’t so full from this stick-to-your-ribs breakfast, I would have eaten another bowl! Yeah, its that good!

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serves 2

1 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup Flax Milk (or milk of your choice)
1 1/2 to 2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 bananas
1 Tbsp Artisana Walnut Butter
1/2 tsp Splenda brown sugar, or 1 tsp brown sugar

Combine oats through cinnamon in a pot, stir, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring often. After 15 minutes, cut bananas in half, place in a bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Pour the fruit into the simmering oats, add the walnut butter. Stir really well ensuring the butter is fully dissolved. Sprinkle the brown sugar over top. Give it a quick stir and serve. Each bowl gets a heaping cupful!

ImageNutrition Facts, per serving:
Calories: 303
Fat: 8.7g
Sat. Fat: 1.1g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 21.4mg
Carbs: 52.9g
Fiber: 7.5g
Sugar: 14.2g
Protein: 7.4g

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melted banana

Melting the bananas really brings out their natural sugars and allows the fruit to really distribute evenly throughout the oatmeal; and adding the walnut butter while it was cooking, gave the oats a smoother texture. I topped mine with some chopped walnuts to add a crunch. I was going for a banana bread feel, but the milk added a creaminess that made it a bit of banana creme pie-like. Wow this was good!
Speaking of pie. Today is National Pie Day! Being the nerd that I am, I usually celebrate Pie Day on March 14th. Get it? 3.14?
I thought about it… Pizza pie or fruit pie? But banana creme pie-ish oatmeal counts, right? Sure, why not? I won’t tell if you don’t.

I enjoyed the oatmeal with a mug of some new herbal tea I picked up at the co-op, yesterday.

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While I waited for my oatmeal to fluff up and cook, I tried my hand at some homemade cashew Imagebutter. I used about 1/2 lb raw cashews, and soaked them in water over night. I was surprised by how much water the nuts soaked up.

I drained the cashews and popped them in the Magic Bullet. Every so often I removed the whipped cashews and gave the whole nuts a shake. As the butter accumulated I removed it from the bullet. Never having had store-bought cashew butter, I wasn’t really sure how it was supposed to taste. I will say, I loved the smooth consistency  I also sprinkled a little less than 1/4 tsp of salt into the mix.

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Dinner tonight was the Lean Cuisine I’ve been putting off eating! I added some of the baby carrots, as planned, to the broccoli,a sprinkled some black pepper. The meal was pretty decent. Theres a lot of the gravy and I wasn’t quite filled enough. If I get it again, I’m going to need more veggies. The flavor was good and the steak tender, but lacking in mushrooms. This frozen meal has a lot of potential.

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I snacked on some graham crackers and PB, the best hospital snack ever! And tapped into the homemade chips and salsa one of the nurse’s brought in. I love fresh, homemade salsa!

Even though the oatmeal was pretty darn spectacular, the highlight of my day was booking my flight to San Jose, for my trip in April! Every year I try to attend the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society International Convention. I’ve been blessed with being able to afford Seattle, two years ago, and Nashville, last April. I’m glad I have some time to save up some dinero for the trip!