Thursday, June 24, 2010

Today Was a Good Day

I found out that after lots of hard work I passed my Comprehensive Exams. Hip hip hurray! Walking out of the test I felt like a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders, but after checking my e-mail today I feel as if I could float away I am so light and free. I can breath again! I am not dumb! Six years of studying, learning, working and absorbing as much information as I could has paid off. I can do this, and I did it!

Sadly, life got a little busy this week. My supervisor reminded me about a project I agreed to do 7 weeks ago when my last internship began, and well, I had to get down to business and start it! Oops. Bet you can't believe that I, Lauren Cassidy; procrastinated to the extent that I forgot about a project. Or maybe I just subconsciously repressed the thought. Either way this week was a get it done kind of week with no sewing involved. Sorry friends, you'll just have to keep waiting for some sewing posts around here.

But on a happy note, now that Comps are over and done with my friend Kirsten (picture ruiner) and I can start our sewing club. More on that later.

Until then I am off to float on my cloud.


P.S. I feel bad that none of my latest posts have had pictures, so here are pictures of what Charlie and I have been doing in our free time.
Feeding cute little ducklings! Until, that is, the goose steps in and tries to attack me!
HONK! Okay, I swear that's all the rambling I'll do tonight!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bust Out The Sewing Machine/ Hallelujah!

After much worrying, late night panic attacks, nail biting, xerostomia, reading of all the notes I have ever taken, and one early morning photo shoot......

Me, Kirsten (a.k.a Photo ruiner) Jill, and Jaclyn.

Comprehensive exams are over! Hurray!!!! I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Even though it was three days ago I still cannot seem to form a coherent thought/ sentence about the experience. I guess spending 6 hours in front of a computer typing feverishly about everything you can possibly think of will do that to you.

After finishing, well, I threw my papers in the air down a stairwell, and also went out for drinks with my friends. We discussed things we will be able to do now that this is over. Things on our lists include; read for fun, relax, sleep, exercise, watch TV (more on that later) and on the top of my list: SEW!

Yesterday was devoted to complete and utter relaxation i.e. reading a new book at the outdoor pool for about 5 hours straight. Today I broke out my sewing machine and got started on a project that I have been putting off for over a month!

It feels good to be back and even better now that there is no little voice in the back of my head saying; "you should be studying!"

More on my projects soon! Hope you're enjoying the heat!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Blog Break

I have been absent lately. There are a million things I have been doing, or should be doing. And most of those things do not involve sewing. In fact they mostly involve studying, so my sewing station has been converted back into a desk. It looks different in my little corner and it kind of takes me by surprise to look over there and not see a stack of fabric and 3 sewing machines stuffed on top of the desk. But it also feels refreshing to have a place to sit and read through my study materials (i.e. 6 years worth of notes from every class I have ever taken!) Since my brain has been on study mode I haven't even wanted to sew. I cannot enjoy the process if I know I should be doing something else and am struck with nausea inducing fear in regards to a huge test hanging over my head whenever I sit at the machine to make something.

Until my test is over and I will be away from this space and away from sewing. I hope you can survive without me. I promise I will be back and eager to start sewing again once I can fully devote myself to it without risking an aneurysm.

Auf Wiedersehen til then.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

24 Updates

I recently talked to two friends and was reminded of my 24 things to do in my 24th year of life. I decided to check on my list and see if I was making any progress and see where I needed some help. Here goes.

1. Graduate with my Master's degree. - only 62 more days, 28 more therapy hours, 5 evaluation hours, one AAC project, and comprehensive exams stand in the way of this goal.
2. Find a job.- YES!!!! I guess you didn't hear me yelling from a mountain top.
3. Move closer to the White Mountains and find a (2 bedroom) apartment.- Still looking for an apartment and dreaming about winning the lottery so I could buy a house. Bahaha as if. Does anyone have a 2 bedroom apartment on Newfound Lake in Bristol NH?
4. Cook more meals/ be more adventurous in the kitchen.- Yeah! I did that the other day, does one time mean I can stop trying for the next year?
5. Read for fun.- Not so much, come June 18th I will. Any summer reading suggestions are welcome.
6. Make outfits/clothing for myself.- I have made one skirt and I have fabric to make 2 shirts, coming to my blog soon, anytime after June 17th when I can begin living my life again and Comprehensive exams are done.
7. Run a long race (more than a half marathon, but less than a marathon.)- Yes sir.I am also training for a marathon :) Ye-haw!
8. Be more appreciative of what people do for me.- This one has been tricky. I could blame my lack of sleep or the fact that I am stressed out about school, but making excuses is lame. So I will just try harder.
9. Stop complaining about my parent's divorce; it's been 5 years, I should probably get over it. -I'm trying.
10. Draw and paint.- Not so much. Maybe when I get a bigger space to spread out this can happen.
11. Go to farmer's markets.- Oops, seems like my weekends are rather full and busy and this has fallen by the wayside. It's a good thing I have reminded myself of this one.
12. Be more aware of what I eat and where it came from.- Another oops.
13. Be nicer.- Sorry Charlie, I am a bad girlfriend, I'll try harder.
14. Start an etsy shop.- I decided not to do this one, because nothing I make is "prefect" and I don't want it to be, but to sell on etsy it should be, so I am scratching that. My new #14 can be "get back to nature and enjoy it; i.e. camping and not complaining about it."
15. Learn how to and execute the refurbishment of my dresser. (A project I have been meaning to do since I got the dresser 4 years ago.)- Once we move I'll do this. I need to find out what color to paint/stain it.
16. Volunteer.- ouch, I am failing miserably. What did I mean by this? Does paying tuition to do someones job while they get paid count as volunteering? If so I am volunteering about 40 hours a week. Maybe I will volunteer at an animal shelter, but then I might end up with 10 cats. I need to think about this.
17. Accept my nose, it's big, oh well, it's mine. Like my dad says; "If your nose was any smaller I wouldn't know you were coming into the room."- I have stopped looking in the mirror and thinking "Yuck, I have a big nose." This is a big step. I also haven't complained about my nose, which used to happen frequently. Not being self deprecating has been very re-freshing.
18. Make at least 1 more quilt, and experiment with new quilting techniques. (But let's be honest, this will probably turn into about 3 quilts.)- Yep! I love it!
19. Be more giving with my sewing projects, who really needs 43 purses?- I just gave a purse away to my Mum, and Sammy's apron.It's hard to give things away but when I know they are going to a good home and someone I really like it's a lot easier.
20. Have confidence in the things I do, say, and wear. -Well... sort of.
21. Organize and simplify. -Eek. Not so much. I cleaned out my winter clothes but then just replaced all the empty space with my summer clothes. Hopefully moving will reduce a lot of my junk.
22. Learn more about having good credit, saving money, stocks, just money in general, since sometime soon I will have some.- Not so much. Why learn about it before I have any money anyways?
23. Watch less TV.- This goal varies depending on the week. Last week we watched no TV, then for about 2 days I was a TV zombie. I have (almost) convinced Charlie that we should not have a TV when we move, although we might realize we don't actually like each other without TV shows to distract us.
24. Find something enjoyable to do, and something to be happy about everyday.- I am pretty easily amused, it just takes an added effort to think about the things I did that made me happy. Sometimes just working with the little kids at my placement and seeing their little successes makes me really happy, and makes my "slave" labor worth it.

Seems like I am half way there. It's always good to check your progress and see where you need to try harder.

What goals are you working on?



I want to scream it from a mountain top. And luckily the job is near the White Mountains so I will be able to!

For those inquiring minds the job is in the Newfound School District, in New Hampshire. I'll be working part time in an elementary school and the other part in a middle school. Both are within walking distance of each other. I am so excited.

The interview was the most interesting and best one I went on (of the three). I basically walked in and the superintendent said "tell me about yourself" and then offered me the job, then took me on a tour, then offered me the job again. It was very confidence boosting to say the least.

Charlie had the day off so we go to go together and after the interview we drove around the area and let me tell you it is beautiful there. It might have been the fact that I was happy to be offered a job and it was 75 degrees, sunny and there was not a cloud to be seen. But it was amazing. I could really see myself living there (in the middle of no where) for quite some time. It was also good to see Charlie feel so at home and happy. He has always said that he feels more at home in/ near the White Mountains than anywhere else. His enthusiasm about the job was really the icing on the cake.

Now we are looking for apartments, and I am dreaming about a second bedroom that I can turn into a guestroom/sewing room.

Hope all of your wishes come true!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Couscous Recipe

I know what you're thinking, "Why would I ever check Lauren's blog for a recipe? She's constantly complaining about cooking, and frequently blogging about how bad she is at cooking."

Well this recipe only involves boiling water, cooking couscous for 5 minutes and chopping vegetables. Even I can do that, well with practice; I should probably not tell you that I once burned couscous, I know I thought it was impossible too! I swear despite all my cooking mishaps that this is a good recipe , Charlie even commented; "This is the best thing you've ever made."

I made it up the recipe the other day when it was extremely hot and I wanted something like pasta salad but without the pasta, I also loosely based it on this recipe, but had next to none of those ingredients.

If you've stuck with me this long then here we go:

- Cook couscous and put into a bowl in the fridge to chill.
- Chop vegetables you like, here are the ones I used:
  • zucchini
  • summer squash
  • onion
  • green pepper
  • corn (you don't need to chop that, just cook it and drain out the water)
-Add veggies to your cooled couscous and add olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette dressing, sea salt, pepper, and feta cheese to your liking.
-Chill in your fridge (or if you are a rare mix of impatience, impulsiveness, and forgetfulness like me, you can put it in your freezer to chill faster and then forget about it in the freezer while you write this blog post and then have really cold, slightly frozen summer couscous for dinner.)

See I told you it was easy. But you wouldn't think so based on the state of our kitchen after making it:
Hope you trust me enough to try this out, it's really good, I promise!


**Edit: the bowl that I used was my Christmas present from Mary Lou, and I finally made something to put inside of it! Thanks Mary Lou!**
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