A watched squash never roasts

I had this dumb squash in the oven for fifty minutes, and it still wasn’t as roasty as I wanted it. The broccoli cooked in less than a half hour, but these took their time. Also excuse the very dark pictures. Daylight savings is the worst so I didn’t have any natural light to work with today. They’re not ideal, but I wanted to show off my meal prep for the week. I was able to get four servings out of this and it came out to around $1.90 per serving.

trader joes chorizo, broccoli, squash

I’m finishing up my internship right now at a middle school and am almost done with getting all the hours needed to graduate. Even though I loved my school site last spring, it was difficult getting direct hours seeing kids since the school had almost a thousand seventh and eight graders, so my role there consisted mostly of helping with schedule changes and crisis counseling. The middle school I’m doing my internship at has less than two hundred kids and I’ve gotten to know almost every one of them. This fall I developed and ran six different counseling groups and have taught several classroom lessons, but also do smaller tasks like hall or lunch duty or just meeting with kids when they need to get stuff off their chest. I’ve become the unofficial orange peeler for a sixth grade girls’ lunch table and they told me today how much they’re going to miss me when I graduate. I’m not sure if they meant they’ll miss me as a person or me as the only adult who will stand around and peel five oranges for them while they roast me. One of them asked why I looked so different today, and I said I’d parted my hair differently but she assured me it’s because I wasn’t wearing makeup and looked sick. The honesty of twelve year olds is amazing.

soy chorizo trader joes

It’s scary to think how I only have a month left of school before I’ll be a real school counselor. There’s a school hiring immediately that’s five minutes from the apartment I’m moving into next March, so I’m sending them my resume tomorrow. I was planning on applying to schools next spring once I move closer, but I guess a few weeks from now I could potentially have a job that pays more than minimum wage??? Then I’ll finally have enough money to buy entire cart-fuls of this soy chorizo. The downside is if I get a job starting in January, I’ll temporarily move into my boyfriend’s parents’ house until we can move into the apartment. His parents are the nicest people alive, but I’m not sure his mom would let me cook as much chorizo as I need. And I need a lot. So what’s more important, spending time with the people I love or being homeless but having lots of vegetarian-friendly, spicy, textured vegetable protein that I like to pretend is real meat? It’s a trick question, because the answer is of course the chorizo. Don’t tell him I said that. His mom makes really good salmon and I can’t lose her. We also won’t have a Trader Joe’s near us, so I’m really sacrificing a lot for this guy. Tune in next week when I evaluate what my priorities in life truly are.

vegetarian chorizo bowl

Squash, Soy Chorizo, and Broccoli Rice Bowl


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 12 oz. Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo, casing removed
  • 12 oz. Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Zig-Zags
  • 12 oz. broccoli florets
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 3 cups rice, cooked (which is around 1 1/2 cups of dry rice)


  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Toss broccoli and squash in a bowl with one tablespoon of oil, and add salt, pepper, and rosemary. Honestly I’m not sure how much rosemary I used, so just eyeball it (????). Sorry I’m not more help. Place on foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, turning after 15. My oven doesn’t cook like a normal oven, so it might take shorter or longer. Just watch them. Is this the worst recipe you’ve ever read?
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook until warmed through, around 7-8 minutes. Since it’s not meat you don’t need to worry about it being “undercooked.” Just make sure it’s warmed and crispy.
  3. Divided the cooked rice (I used a brown rice/quinoa mixture) into four bowls. Add the chorizo and vegetables.

Cow burps will be humanity’s downfall

Cows aren’t destroying the earth quite like humans, but those jerks are a close second. NASA said that cows emit 80-120kg of methane a year via burping, which is the equivalent of how much a family car gives off a year. So by not having a car and not eating meat I guess I’m saving the world? Sheep and goats produce methane too, so basically all animals suck and we should all try to eat less meat so we’re not jerks too.

quinoa rice blendI’m in month 8 of being vegetarian, and it’s much easier now than it was at the beginning. I now know which brands make good meat substitutes (hint: there are basically zero. Morning Star makes decent maple-flavored breakfast sausage, but that’s the only thing I’ve found that I like. If you have any recommendations hit me up, please), and how to make lentils not taste disgusting. Red meat doesn’t even sound appetizing anymore, and really the only thing I ever crave is Chick-fil-A. I passed my school counseling license exam last week, and afterwards I wanted to treat myself to a 12 piece nugget meal since I also finished my second 4.0 semester in a row. My sister had to remind me that, yes, chicken is in fact meat and just because I’m now a school counselor (pending graduation) and am a decent grad student doesn’t mean I should break my meat-free streak. So I got a veggie wrap and complained the entire time to my poor boyfriend who kept asking me if I was hangry. 

trying to spice things upI start my internship next week and I’ve been trying to figure out how to cheaply meal prep. Whenever I want lunch now it’s usually just a PB&J so I can make sure there’s protein in my diet. It’s a peanut-free school district, so PB&J is off the table, and since I have to be at the school from 7:45-3:15 and then work from 5-10 (thanks, unpaid internship), I need something easy and filling. I found a recipe for vegetarian burrito bowls, which is kind of deceiving because there’s really nothing burrito-y about it. It’s just quinoa, beans, and corn. Lunch and snacks for the week cost $24, which included $7 worth of hummus, so it could be much cheaper if I didn’t insist on trying to eat the entire family size tub by myself. These bowls took around 20 minutes to make and all I need to do before I leave in the mornings is slice up half an avocado and add some salsa.

quinoa rice burrito meal prepThe recipe called for romaine lettuce, but eating a salad every day just sounds horrid. That’s just not my jam. Sorry to yuck your yum if you like salad, but I somehow never figured out how to pick out lettuce and it’s always slimy and gross. The recipe also called for quinoa, but I’m officially sick of just quinoa by itself, so I bought a wild rice blend that also included it. I divided the mixture into 5 portions, and a bowl plus a little hummus and naan is absolutely enough food for me, but if you’re not a small female you might not be able to stretch this for the full week. If that’s the case, I feel like sautéed bell peppers or more beans would help bulk it up. But definitely don’t skimp on the fresh lime juice. Limes are like 30 cents, homie.

quinoa rice burrito bowlI got the recipe from Simply Quinoa and it’s delicious enough to eat for lunch every day for a while. I’ll probably try adding different veggies to make it a little healthier and add some variety, or I’ll just eat a lot of hummus and pretend that’s healthy.

Vegetarian Quinoa Bowls


  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (or a quinoa rice blend)
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lime, juiced (plus an extra lime if you want to use it as garnish)
  • 3 avocados
  • 1/2 cup salsa


  1. Combine quinoa, black beans, corn (cooked and drained, if frozen), cumin, salt, and lime juice in a large bowl. Stir.
  2. Divide quinoa mixture into 5 containers (around 1 cup of mixture per bowl)
  3. Right before eating, add 2 tablespoons of salsa, half of an avocado, and a quarter of a lime if you’re fancy.

Turns out chicken stock isn’t vegetarian

look at all that food i don't have money for

Here’s the thing. This whole no meat thing is difficult. I made it until January 11th when I used chicken stock for my udon noodle soup. I thought I was okay because the recipe called for chicken but I said, “Ha, not so fast. I’ve made it a week without any meat so you’re not going to ruin my streak now.” And then I realized I was talking to the back of a Simply Asian udon noodle box. For some reason I thought that chicken stock was made from chicken flavor, which I guess it technically is but that chicken flavor involves boiling actual chickens. Now that we’ve established how smart I am, let’s discuss how I was assigned two clients last week.

send noods

Part of the requirement for everyone completing their practicum this semester is to see clients. The students who are getting their master’s in mental health counseling see community members while everyone getting their master’s in school counseling (yours truly) sees undergrad students from the university. I was given two students on academic probation who I have to see for five sessions each, and based on the previous counselor’s notes in their file they are definitely not looking forward to it. This was confirmed by the fact that they’re ignoring my emails and calls. Side note: I have the keys to a file cabinet with all the clients’ files AND the door to the records room. If stuff like this makes me happy I can’t imagine what having a real job will be like. Benefits? Entire summers off? A job that pays more than $9 an hour? I don’t know if I will be able to handle it.

mmmm veggies

A friend of mine and I were also chosen to help lead the intro to counseling class that all the first semester students take. It’s a big responsibility because I’m in charge of the practice group counseling sessions that the new students do. Basically they all take turns being the client and counselor and practice the counseling skills they learned that week, like reflecting meaning or identifying emotions. My job will be to do stuff like pick out what they did well/need to work on and offer suggestions when they stare at me like a deer in headlights because they can’t think of what to say next. The incoming class is pretty small this semester so I’ll only have 3-4 students in my group each week. I somehow have to make that stretch to a 90 minute session, and if these kids (okay let’s be honest they’re probably all older than me) are as anxious as I was the first session it’ll be a rough. I almost passed out the first time I had to recite the limits of confidentiality schpiel (spiel?) all counselors give when they’re with new clients. Luckily I’ve gotten over that. Otherwise I’d be the worst counselor if I just passed out cold while explaining that if I suspect abuse/neglect to a child, elder, or person with a disability I’m required by law to report it. So in order to stretch this first session out I’ve planned things like asking them which non-verbal technique is most important to them and why, what strengths and weaknesses will they bring to the counseling profession, and who their dream dinner guest is. Mine’s Judge Judy.

send udon noods part 2

I guess I should briefly talk about the soup. For lack of finding a more descriptive adjective, it’s really, really good, especially for something that took about 15 minutes to throw together. Pretty inexpensive too, which is ideal. I probably spent $10 on the vegetables, stock, and noodles, and it was my lunch & dinner for two days. Like I said, the original recipe called for chicken but in order to make it vegetarian-friendly just leave it out but keep the boiled chicken juice like an idiot. Delicious.

Vegetable Udon Soup

Adapted from Simply Asia’s Chicken & Vegetable Udon Noodle recipe
Makes 6 servings


7 oz udon noodles
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger (I’m cheap and just sprinkled some ground ginger)
4 cups chicken stock (I guess you should probably use vegetable stock I don’t know)
1 cup carrots, julienned
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 cups snow peas, diced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons green onions, thinly sliced (I forgot these whoops)


  1. Cook udon noodles as directed on package. Drain well and rinse with cold water to prevent them from sticking.
  2. While your delicious noodles are cooking, heat oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic & ginger and cook for about a minute. Add stock, carrots, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil. If you’re doing this while you’re also making the noodles you’re gonna be dealing with two boiling pots, so godspeed. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in snow peas and mushrooms. If you’re just using ground ginger throw a dash over the vegetables. Cook an additional 3 minutes.
  3. Technically you’re supposed to divide the noodles into 6 bowls and then ladle the soup in, but I just threw the noodles into the same pot because I wasn’t feeding 6 people, although I did eat almost half of it in one sitting. Garnish with green onions if you’re feeling bougie.

Fewer toxic people in 2019, more Toxic by Britney Spears

Ah, January 1st. The day where all of us vow to make drastic changes instead of doing the more logical thing which is to take baby steps towards change. So here I am, deciding to blog again and hoping I can actually stick to it. This year will probably be more interesting than last year so I should have more to talk about. I don’t really have any resolutions per se, but there are a few things I’m happy to have out of my life and even more I’m looking forward to. So here are my lists that I’m typing while watching some show on Netflix about the Arctic circle. Thrilling.

Stuff I’m leaving behind in 2018

  • Long hair. I’ve spent almost my entire life with long hair, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve cared less and less about actually fixing it, which has done a number on my happiness. I’ve wanted a pixie cut since middle school but whenever I brought it up to people I got comments like “your features aren’t feminine enough” or “you don’t have the right face shape.” Which was hard to hear when you’re 12 and uncomfortable in your own skin as it is. Finally I decided that I was just going for it.

on this episode of chopped

The entire salon watched me get it cut and I think my hairdresser was more nervous than I was. She let me cut part of it off, which was surprisingly therapeutic, and I got to donate over 12 inches to Wigs for Kids. This is seriously the most gorgeous I’ve ever felt. I don’t base my self worth off other people’s opinion, but I have gotten a lot of compliments. So I’m not complaining. I don’t know if I’m ever going back to long hair. Also there’s my face. Look how happy I am! I swear I’ve been glowing ever since I got it cut a few days ago.

  • Anger. I’m not naturally an angry person at all and it’s hard for me to stay genuinely mad at anyone long-term. Life is honestly too short to waste energy constantly being mad at people who have wronged you. Whether that’s close friends or some random person who irks you, I think the key is to allow yourself to be upset but don’t let it consume you. I’ve gotten much better at it since getting a seasonal job this fall in retail. I’ve always had jobs in food service or customer service, but jeez, retail is the cream of the crop. I had someone call corporate on me the other day because I wouldn’t let her return hundreds of dollars worth of very obviously stolen clothes. She thanked me for being polite and explaining the return policy to her, but somehow she still accused me of being racist and complained to corporate about my manager and me. And later that day some guy asked for my number and when I said no thanks he ALSO accused me of being racist. Humanity, dude. What’s even going on.
  • My black Converse I bought in 2014 since I can see the ground through them. I really need a new pair of sneakers (preferably Vans since my lower back has been destroyed from 10+ years of no arch support @Converse), but I’ll probably just buy a sensible pair of shoes to wear to internship. Which is the least exciting thing ever. No one ever told me adult life would be this boring.
  • Reading books without finishing them. My Goodreads goal was to read 25 books this year and I ended the year reading 11 books at once. Which is surprisingly stressful.
  • Being out of shape. I haven’t run as much the last few months since I took the fall semester off, but this past summer I was able to run 4 miles without stopping. Luckily I have a friend back up at school who was dragging me to the gym every day to lift weights, so getting back in shape is definitely attainable.

Stuff I’m looking forward to in 2019

  • Internship in the spring & fall. In two weeks I start my internship at a middle school. I’ll be working alongside a counselor at a school with over a thousand 7th and 8th graders. I’m terrified and excited, and I definitely have some impostor syndrome flaring up. Everyone from my professors at school to my favorite piercer at my tattoo parlor thinks I’ll be a great counselor, which is comforting. I think being naturally empathetic is a gift that shouldn’t go to waste, so I’m hoping to make the best of it. The rest of my internship will be in the fall and right now I’m planning on doing it long distance somewhere in my home state.
  • Graduation. I’m done in December. Thank god.
  • Working towards getting a second master’s/Psy.D. My school is giving me the option to come back to get a master’s in clinical mental health if I want. Right now I’m getting it in school counseling, but I can spend another year to take a few more classes and do a mental health counseling internship and have two master’s degrees. I’m debating either taking that route or just going ahead and getting my Psy.D in child & adolescent psychology or developmental psychology. There’s not enough time or money in the world for me to accomplish everything I’m interested in which is dumb. Is there a way to be a school counselor by day, a substance abuse counselor by night, and then maybe do some geriatric end of life counseling on the weekends?
  • Doing homework at Starbucks again. At the Starbucks across the street from campus the baristas start my venti passion tango tea with light ice right as I walk in. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing.
  • Spending more time with friends. My roommate this past summer has become one of my best friends and she said she’ll have homemade mashed potatoes waiting for me when I fly back in a few days. What did I do to deserve this. I’m really thankful to have formed some fantastic friendships the last few months, but friendship is a two-way street so I need to continue to put effort into them. Because friends do things like make delicious mashed potatoes for you.
  • Cutting back on meat. I don’t know if I can go fully vegetarian right away, but I’d like to cut back on at least red meat. My goal is pescetarian in the next few months. Because why not? Also I mostly only eat PB&J and quesadillas up at school anyway to save money. I live a various glamorous life.
  • Cross stitching. It’s one of my favorite ways to wind-down and I left all my thread back at school, so I’ve been in withdrawal for months. There’s a craft store right up the street which I guess is a testament to how lazy I am sometimes.
  • Blogging. I’ll do what I can.

Oh and this show has confirmed my suspicions that I never, ever want to live anywhere near the Arctic circle.

Managing FOMO when everyone seems to be having fun without you



noun, Slang.

  1. a feeling of anxiety or insecurity over the possibility of missing out on something, such as an event or an opportunity

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is something I think we’ve all experienced. I remember the second or third night of college I was feeling particularly homesick and stayed in my room. After a little while I realized that my dorm floor had gone quiet. The next day I was scrolling through Instagram and saw that everyone in my hallway had gone out without me, and no one bothered knocking on my door to see if I wanted to join. At the time I was devastated, but looking back now I realize I was upset they left me out, not because I had missed anything.  I wasn’t a huge fan of most of the people on my floor, so I don’t know how much fun I would have had anyway. But it’s the principle of the matter, right? Realistically, if they had asked I probably would have either begrudgingly said yes or told them no. Also I later learned that people initially associated me with my crazy roommate, which is why they passed on inviting me out. I don’t blame them.

Even though I have three roommates, I’ve spent a majority of these last few weeks doing stuff alone in my downtime. One roommate plays softball and is always with her team, another lives close to the school and has been gone Thursdays-Sundays, and the third roommate is the one who left her food on the stove for four days. Unfortunately, things have only gotten worse with her and she wants to move out, which is a record for the fastest I’ve ever had a roommate leave. I think I’m going to write a book on how to be a great roommate. Lesson #1: don’t go out on a Wednesday night with your friend and then have said friend throw up all over your bathroom Thursday morning. Common courtesy, people. I’m hiding my toothbrush in my room because I’m so paranoid she hates me and is sticking it in the toilet…

I’m not sure what I expected when I decided to move 552.8 miles away from home to a grad school where I didn’t know anyone in state I’d never been to before. I guess I was just assuming everyone would look at me and think “Wow! That girl I’ve never seen before seems neat! I should invite her to my party.” Needless to say, that didn’t happen and the first week was difficult. My apartment is right next to two other ones, so I can hear everything ranging from the loud parties on Friday nights to the fire alarms going off at 1am. Both are equally irritating. Having been through a similar situation at the beginning of undergrad I realized that I just haven’t found a group of friends here yet, and in the meantime I can either mope in my room or go out and do things alone. So far I’ve done stuff like visited the ice cream place across the street multiple times, read on the quad, found some running trails around campus, written letters to friends, and am currently looking at making pottery sometime next week at a store close by. All of this without any forced small talk, which is my favorite part.

Even if we don’t admit it, we all encounter FOMO. If you’re like me and occasionally wonder what’s wrong with you because no one’s inviting you do to stuff, here are a few tips for combating it and learning to be a little more comfortable alone. Spoiler alert: there’s nothing wrong with me, and I’m sure the same can be said for you too. It’s easy to forget about all the times people did invite you to do stuff and just focus on the times you weren’t invited. Sometimes we just accidentally get left out.

1. Stay off social media. This is really where FOMO stems from anyway. What did people do back before social media when they were wondering if friends were having fun without them? They probably thought about it for about ten seconds and went on with their day. This might not be correct because I was born in 1995 and don’t remember a time without the internet, but I’m assuming people didn’t think about it too much. Although I take that back. I distinctly remember accidentally clicking on the AOL shortcut on our computer, listening to the screeching sound of dial-up, getting a popup rudely announcing the internet wasn’t enabled, and then getting annoyed my parents wouldn’t let me install the disk AOL mailed to us that had 100 free hours of internet. Seriously, all I wanted was to waste my life away playing RollerCoaster Tycoon. Why was that icon so close to the useless AOL one on the desktop? Also why were we basically the last people I knew to get internet, mom and dad? I know you read this. But I digress.

Watching the Snapchat story of your friend who got a full ride to an Ivy League law school and seeing all the parties she’s at with all her new friends isn’t going to make you feel better about your slow (but steady) progress making friends at your non-Ivy League school. I speak from recent personal experience. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter aren’t inherently bad, obviously, but I’ve taken a few hiatuses from them and realized one thing after I’ve taken a step back: at the end of the day, who REALLY, TRULY cares about your life? Aside from family and a handful of friends, the answer is no one. Nothing like a dose of harsh reality on a Wednesday night. I’ll like pictures of my friends’ recent engagements or wish them happy birthday, but I can’t say I’m overly interested in the lives of 95% of my friends on Facebook. I talk to my parents multiple times a week, I’m pen pals with three of my close friends because I really, really love getting mail, and I can’t remember the last time I’ve gone more than a day not talking to Sister Celiac WHO’S IN COLLEGE, BY THE WAY. Jeez this blog is old. It’s not that I’m ignoring the rest of my friends, but you can realistically only be close to so many people. The next time you see pictures on Facebook of a party you weren’t invited to, remember that if they considered you their friend they would have invited you or found other ways to be in touch. It’s probably not because they hate you, they just can’t possibly be friends with everyone. That being said, don’t waste your time and energy stressing over people who are the reason FOMO exists.

2. Expect to be uncomfortable. Since all three roomies are MIA I decided to get breakfast this morning alone. Doing things alone is scary and I still feel judged that people think I’m the weirdo with no friends. Trust me, the more you do it the easier it gets.

3. Realize there’s nothing wrong with a security blanket. If you’re still not super comfortable with the feeling of being alone, bring along a book or your phone or your knitting stuff. I’ve been super into cross stitching lately and am hoping to start a new project soon. Would I feel kinda kooky cross stitching alone at breakfast? Probably. But what about watching Green Day music videos or take Buzzfeed quizzes at breakfast while I feast on my all-you-can-eat bacon? Much more comfortable. There are no set rules about how you spend your time, so don’t feel bad if you need to be on your phone to be comfortable at first. Just stay off social media (see tip #1).

4. Go somewhere by yourself at least once a week. Once you realized you’re going to be uncomfortable and you’re armed with your security blanket, plan weekly outings by yourself. One thing I miss about undergrad was the fact that the college was right in the middle of the downtown area. I was only a few blocks from restaurants, a bowling alley, movie theater, and art gallery. Once I was okay going to a movie by myself, I would go to see two or three movies a month. Because the only thing that makes the Lego Movie funnier is sitting in a theater with 50 kids opening day while they laugh even harder than you. For more ideas on places to go alone watch this:

So what’s the alternative to FOMO? JOMO. Joy of missing out. Learning to be comfortable being by yourself. Eventually you’ll find yourself having an appreciation (preference?) for alone time. I think I have a healthy balance of time socializing with people and doing stuff alone, but I’ve finally gotten to the point where it’s liberating realizing I don’t have to rely on others for fun. So take some time to go to a park, see a movie, or go to dinner alone. There’s nothing better than eating a giant plate of pasta with no one trying to talk to you while your mouth is full.

One last thing to also keep in mind is there is a huge difference between being alone and being lonely. You can be surrounded by 100 people and still feel lonely, whereas you can be alone and be more content than you would be at that party full people you don’t really consider friends anyway. At the end of the day yeah your Ivy league friend might be having more fun than you are at that party, but what she’s not showing you is how stressful law school is and how she isn’t even friends with most of those people. So while she’s living it up right now at fancy parties with rich kids, I’m enjoying my relatively stress-free counseling classes and staying up late laughing with 2/3 of my roommates. I’ll keep you updated on whether or not my toothbrush actually ends up in the toilet. Sending thoughts and prayers my way is highly appreciated.