Monday, February 18, 2013


Last weekend presented the official shift in my life for the next two months.  The tides are shifting and it's now time to get serious about studying for the PE in April.  I figured I may as well go all in from the get-go, rather than trying to catch up later as the exam dates approaches.

In order to feel like I'm making progress and on a schedule, I've decided to dedicate a minimum of 20 hours a week to studying.  10 during the week, which includes my 3 hour online classes on Monday and an two hours/night on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Originally I was going to try to do more on Tu/Th, but I decided that I need to give myself time to workout/run immediately after work (and an attempt to lower my stress level, but also so that I don't get all Fatty-McGoo by barely working out).

That leaves the goal of 10 hrs (ideally plus) during the weekends.  I figure I can split this amongst the three days and alter as needed depending on any must-do weekend events. 

So, this weekend was my first attempt.  Friday night Ben and I decided to go to Schubas (aka Harmony Grill) for dinner, only because we have a Groupon worth $30. I ordered the Cilantro-Lime Steak salad for the first time and it was the perfect mix of light and airy with flavor and substance.  The only bad part is that it left me thinking of summer and it was a whomping 20 degrees F outside.
After dinner, we parted ways. This honestly is going to be the largest challenge of the next two months, feeling distant from Ben as he enjoys the weekend and as I know I need to dedicate myself to brushing up on my engineering. Hopefully it will get easier as the weeks go on, but my biggest hurdle of Friday night was the fact that I was staying in to study and Ben was out enjoying an unlimited drink event with our friends, sucked. There's no other way to put it.
My Friday night, woohoo!
I devoted myself to 3.5 hours of studying before deciding to call it a night.  At this point, I briefly contemplated going to meet everyone, but given the fact that it was 11p and they'd already enjoyed three hours of drinking, I opted to treat myself instead. It'd been a while since I made a skillet cookie. It tasted sooo good! It was the perfect pick me up to end my night.

I'd asked Ben earlier in the week if I could take him out to breakfast to Bongo Room on Saturday as a Valentine's treat.  The original plan was to be there at 8:50am (they open at 9am), but instead we arrived at 9:30, which meant we had a 35 minute wait for two.  I know what you're thinking, that's nuts!  And yes, it is, but is it so worth it!  There are three locations in the city and my understanding is that they are all equally as busy.  I reaped the benefits of the much anticipated trip: white chocolate caramel pretzel pancakes.
Ben had made fun of me for ordering "something so sweet that it should be considered a dessert, not breakfast". Well, he was highly disappointed in his bacon and egg croissant after trying a bite of my 'cakes.  Lesson learned: always order something sweet when visiting Bongo Room (and also be prepared for a wait).
The time of breakfast worked out perfectly.  I had volunteered to pick up a foster dog for an event with the bulldog rescue, so we grabbed him on our way home.  Initially we thought it'd be easiest for Oscar if we just didn't introduce him to the dog.  We thought it was only 30 minutes he'd be in our apartment and it'd be too confusing.  That was short lived.  Oscar was going crazy whining and scratching at the guest bedroom door.  We realized he thought it was Tiny Tim. As soon as we opened the door, Oscar took on look sniff and walked away disappointed.  The poor guy!
The event itself was a Meet and Greet, a chance for fans to come meet our current dogs in foster.  It was at the local Mini-Cooper dealer (whose mascot is apparently a bulldog) and went over with a hitch! I mean, how ridiculous is this mess of bulldogs?!
Following all of that fun, it was time to get back to the books. Trying to recall items I learned 4-9 years ago can be daunting. However, once I get in the groove of a chapter and problems, I am generally surprised how well it's going.

Saturday night we went to Northdown Cafe for some drinks and dinner with friends. Although we've been here numerous times (great craft beer), we have only eaten an entree one other time (typically we get their cheese plate. Yum!).  I opted for the Tomato Grinder, which is a vegetarian sandwich consisting of provolone and mozzarella cheese, tomato, red onion, garlic mayo and arugula. It was fantastic!
Sunday morning was a bit lazy.  Just as I was headed out to study, some girl friends asked if I was interested in a mani-pedi.  Having not seen one of the girls since December (whoa!), I agreed and pushed studying off until later.

It's important to have pretty nails when I'm looking down at them studying so much, right?

Main color: Essie Don't Sweater It
Accent nail: Essie A Cut Above

PS- See what I mean about becoming a fatty?  I NEED to be sure I continue to exercise so I can continue to eat :O)

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