Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the stars

Shooting for the Moon

“Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” Many believe that this is an overused and somewhat cheesy quote, and perhaps they are right. Yet, it remains as one of my favorites for the truth that is conveyed in it. No one ever found their true potential by aiming for eye level. Feeling the need to explore and push further is what breeds new discovers and capabilities. It is that drive that propelled me into grad school. I would have been fine if I had continued to move forward in my career without pursuing my MBA. There is a good chance that I would have led a successful and hopefully fulfilling career without the added stress of getting a post graduate degree, but that isn’t what I wanted. I have high ambitions for my career, and while a MBA may not be necessary to reach my goals or guarantee success, I believe that it increases the likelihood. I will leave Wayne State with a deeper understanding of the areas of business that I do not regularly operate in and how their functions impact mine. I will have also gained valuable lessons in time management and balancing a career with the demands of life. Finally, I will have accomplished the goal I set for myself when I first graduated from undergrad. I did not choose to rest on my laurels, accept where I was heading as good enough, and forget what I had set out to do. I accepted the challenge head on, knowing that it would be a lot of work and lead to less sleep than I probably should be getting. I know that it will help me become better at what I do and even teach me more about how I can expand my interests and expertise.

Reaching the top is something that I think about everyday, and I am not necessarily talking about the top of the corporate ladder. Yes, that would be nice and I have goals to climb high, but my focus is more on being at the top of my proverbial game. I have an ever present desire to absorb information and utilize it in a way that makes me better, whether that be better at my job or better in that it challenges me to think and evaluate the world around me. This drive comes with some caveats though. In some ways, my desire to do well is a source of stress, something that I have had to work on as I have progressed through work and school. It is very easy to get tunnel vision and become so focused on the end goal that it makes it difficult to unwind and enjoy the ride. I have to remind myself that I do not have to accomplish everything in one day, and that bumps in the road are merely that, bumps. If I have learned anything through my adventures, it is that things do not always go according to plan. Some of my greatest challenges in life have arisen from being thrown a curve ball on a play that seemed straight forward.

As I said, the quote may be a little cheesy and overused, but the message is strong. There is nothing wrong with missing your target, as long as you keep moving forward. Sometimes, the target you were aiming for is only the catalyst that steers you in the direction you were meant to take.





Monday Highlights

Sleep: 9 Hours woohoo!

Work: 8.5 Hours

Workout: 30 minutes of POP Pilates, 20 minute walk at lunch

Study: 1 Hour plus 3 Hours of class tonight (Project Management)

Soundtrack: Sigala Pandora station


Meal Prep - salads, quinoa bowls, cut veggies

Sunday Shenanigans 5/15/16

“I’ve got Grad School Problems but my food ain’t one”

Happy Sunday everyone, I hope you had a wonderful weekend and were not treated to the same “spring” weather that I woke up to. Someone please tell Mother Nature that it is May and there is no reason for snow. Luckily, none of it stuck, but Sunday brunch is much more enjoyable when I don’t have to bundle to get in and out of the restaurant.

Food was a large focus of my day. I had a quick breakfast this morning before I knew I was going to brunch but at least it was healthy. Avocado toast has been a regular part of my breakfast rotation for a while, but I’ve now added the option of not just toast, but english avocado english muffinmuffins. This may not seem like anything special, but english muffins  were a staple that my mom always had around when I was growing up since she liked them. Specifically, we had the Thomas brand. While delicious, I generally do not keep english muffins at my house because the regular kind is made with refined flour and I try to stick with whole wheat. Come to find out, Thomas makes a 100% whole wheat version! These have probably been around forever but they are a new discovery to me. So breakfast this morning was avocado on an english muffin.


The rest of the day was occupied by cleaning, my workout, and meal prep! The last couple weeks have been up and down on the healthy eating scale for me. I am participating in the Tone It Up Bikini Series with a couple friends and the last couple day have been less than compliant, so this week is a reset. I also really enjoy prepping food for the week. It is a nice time for just me to cook, create dishes, and enjoy healthy food. Today’s creations included a couple salads, asian inspired quinoa bowls and one Mexican “burrito” bowl, lots of chopped veggies for snacking, and Honey Vanilla granola. My house currently smells delicious. I also made a tweak to my regular granola recipe. In the past I’ve added some cinnamon on top of my granola and yogurt if I was craving a little something extra. This time, I decided to test and see how it would turn out if I added cinnamon to the honey mixture before I mixed in the oats and baked. I have to say, it came out quite nicely. It is a subtle change, but I really enjoy the baked in cinnamon. It reminds me of the cinnamon maple granola I made, without all the sugar from the maple syrup. It may become the regualr recipe instead  of an add on.

With all of that productivity in the kitchen complete, it is time for me to knock out some homework. My Project Management class has been interesting so far but it moves at a quick pace. We started class last week and our first test is Wednesday. Tonight’s task will be reading Chapter 3 for tomorrow’s class and starting to think about what I want on my cheat sheet for the test. Wish me luck!




Sunday Highlights

Sleep: 8 Hours

Work: No

Study: 1 Hour, Project Management reading

Workout: Tone It Up Bikini Series Mermaid Workour plus Daily 5, 2 mile run, and POP Pilates Total Body calendar workout

Healthy Snack, Apple

Brain Food – 5 Healthy Snacks for Students on the Go

Life on the go can be a hectic ride, leaving little time to finish homework, let alone squeeze in a healthy meal or snack. It is all too easy to grab a candy bar or a bag of chips when you’re on the move and hungry. However, eating on the go does not have to undo your healthy eating habits. There are plenty of snacks that are healthy, satisfying, and portable. These are a few of my favorites.

  1. Apples – Fruit in general is a great snack to have, but many fruits can be difficult to efficiently travel with. Bananas are a favorite of mine but often get squished or bruised in transit.Berries are another favorite but have to be carried in a container that  I am then stuck with for the rest of the day. Apples on the other hand, are hearty enough to survive a ride in a bag and offer all the benefits of other fruits, plus the ability to wake you up without a 2:30pm dose of caffeine due to the natural sugars they carry.
  2. Nuts – I used to hate nuts, there was something about the texture that I couldn’t Nuts, Healthy Snacks, Almonds, Cashews, Peanutshandle. Recently though, they have become not only an option but a favorite in my snack rotation. While they come in with a higher calorie count than other options, nuts are a great source of protein and fiber as well as the good fats your body needs. A serving of nuts will also keep you feeling fuller for longer than that bag of chips you are eying. Grab the snack sized packages or add pre-portioning nuts from a larger container to your meal prep days to have a portable, filling, and healthy snack with you at all times. Make sure to go for the plain or lightly salted and avoid the candied variety to get the nutrition without the extra calories. My current favorite are cashews, though almonds and pistachios also hit the spot.
  3. Granola – Another food that used to be a no for me, granola has become a regular staple. The healthy factor for granola is dependent on making or choosing types that don’t have a lot of extra sugar, but once you find varieties that fit your tastes they are great for munching on the go. Throw a serving into a ziplock bag and snack at your leisure. Another added bonus, small bags of granola take up very little space in bags already loaded down with books and laptops. If you prefer bars to loose granola, options like KIND or homemade recipes (I plan on trying this one) work too.
  4. Fresh Veggies – Getting your veggies is an important part of a healthy diet and many of us struggle with getting enough. Veggies don’t just have to be side dishes or salads though; carrots, cucumbers, green beans, and even broccoli or cauliflower (if you can eat them dry) are easy to pre-cut and keep in small containers or bags for on the go snacking. If you need more flavor for your veggies, hummus is a great dip or spread, just be sure to watch your serving size. Odd sounding, but surprisingly delicious is carrots and peanut butter. I thought it sounded weird when I saw it on Blogilates, but it is now a regular post workout snack for me. If you try it, be sure to let me know what you think.
  5. Popcorn – Not the movie theater type, but air popped and even some brands popped in better for you oils are portable alternatives to vending machine fare. You can pop at home (here’s a recipe for homemade olive oil and parmesan popcorn)  or buy at the store. Before you buy, check out the nutritional labels to make sure you aren’t picking up varieties loaded with sugar and extra sodium. I like SkinnyPop (popped in sunflower oil) but will likely try popping at home sometime soon. Stay tuned for the results of that.

What are you favorite on the go snacks? Do you have any good recipes to share?


Happy snacking!




*I am not a nutritionist by trade, these are my suggestions based on experience and basic healthy eating knowledge.

Colleen's graduation

Sunday Shenanigans 5/8/16

Oh what a weekend. My baby sister is officially a college graduate. It is a weird feeling to be sure. Even though she will be starting law school in the fall and is not completely done with school, she is ending a major period of her life. Sitting in that graduation ceremony, I couldn’t help but think back on my graduation. Its’s hard to believe that is has been 5 years since I was sitting where Colleen was yesterday. There are times that I miss SLU and that period in my life, but I also appreciate how I have grown since graduating and I am excited about where I am heading now. It won’t be long before I am once again a graduate. That light of the end of the tunnel is what will keep me going, especially over the next few months. Work has been steadily picking up and there are big plans for projects that will increase my work load as well as the amount of traveling I do. I have no doubt that there will be some late nights and extra early mornings between now and August. It may be a bit of a struggle to take my own advice and make sure I get enough sleep and keep work, school, and a healthy life in balance. Luckily, I have a strong support system that will keep me in line and call me out if they see me pushing too hard for my own good. Accomplishing my goals is only worth something if I am happy and healthy and able to enjoy the spoils of reaching the end.

Speaking of healthy, this weekend was not exactly my best in terms of healthy choices, but I was much better than I expected. My sugar count was waaayyy above where it should be on normal days, but everyone deserves times where they indulge. My drink of choice this weekend was hard cider. A combination of favorites like Stella and Strongbow and some local brands like Loon Juice and Ace Pear. The Ace Pear was sweeter than my other choices but crisp and refreshing while sitting by Lake Superior in the sun. Loon Juice was also really good, and it was served to me in a Founder’s Grand Rapids glass which I thought was funny. The weekend wasn’t void of healthy habits though, we did plenty of walking along the lakeshore, skipped stones, and did some lifting to get my sister moved out of her apartment. I also took the time for a quick workout this morning. All in all, I’d say it was pretty close to a wash on health benefits.

After such a fun weekend it’s hard to head back to the real world, but work and school await me. My flight home doesn’t land until 8:40 tonight so I’m sure the rest of my evening will consist of a few cuddles with Tuckerfluff and then collapsing into bed.





Sunday Highlights

Sleep: 10 Hours – amazing how easy it is to pass out after not sleeping well for two nights

Work: No

Study: No

Workout: 3 Mile Run, Daily 5 from Tone It Up

Soundtrack: Shuffle on my iPod to get me through Dultuh-Detroit travels, currently Colbie Caillat selection



Class Act

Oh the joys of grad school, among them, choosing and scheduling classes. After choosing my summer and fall classes back in February I thought that this was something that I wouldn’t have to worry about until November. Alas, that was not the case. I was scheduled to take one of my core classes, Managing Organizational Behavior, starting in May, which made me eligible to take a seminar hosted by a professor that I have heard really good things about in August. She also hosted the seminar on persuasion that I wanted to take back in January but couldn’t. I had to get permission to register for the seminar since my transcript didn’t show the prerequisite core class I was taking in May, but the grad office worked with me and I was all set. Fast forward to this past Tuesday. I received my final grade for Accounting (yay 4.0!) and went to check the materials for my class that starts next week. First glance at the syllabus, man this class will be a pain. Not hard from a materials standpoint, but very heavy on reading and requiring class debates via Blackboard. At first, this seemed fine, but as I read through and thought about the structure of the class, I realized that this was really not a class I wanted to take online. Now what? If I drop the class there are limited classes that still have openings and not taking that class technically made me ineligible for the August seminar. I scheduled a call with the advising office but I also wanted an opinion from someone closer to the class. I decided to email the professor from the seminar since my biggest hang up about dropping the class was the fact that I wouldn’t be able to take her class. Much to my excitement, she contacted the head of the program to get permission for me to remain in the seminar even if I dropped the Organizational Behavior class. Success! Cue happy dance. I realize that being that excited about being able to take a Management seminar makes me a nerd, but it’s a two weekend class with a good professor  and an interesting topic that gets me a full 3 credits. As a MBA student, I think that is worth geeking out about. So, now to find a new class to keep me on schedule with class progress. Several of my required classes aren’t offered in the summer and others I am already registered for in the fall. I remember reading though, that my Consumer Behavior professor from last fall is teaching a class on Global Automotive Marketing. Perfect. I enjoyed her as a teacher and I know she is knowledgable and experienced in the industry. Registered, check. Now I have a break until the end of June. Except, there is aProject Management class I can get into that I had considered that starts next week. Taking that would put me slightly ahead of schedule while only taking one class at a time. It would also mean that by the end of summer all of my elective requirements would be fulfilled. Great from a scheduling standpoint, but it means I couldn’t study abroad for credit. It also means I owe WSU tuition for an additional class as I had only paid for the original two I was scheduled to take. This is where the headaches of grad school scheduling lays. There are both benefits and drawbacks to having a variety of choices and the freedom to design your program. You have the ability to choose classes that most interest you, but you also have to balance meeting requirements, narrowing down your choices, and making sure your school/work/life balance is maintained. For me, I could get into Project Mangement and drop the Marketing class, stay in Marketing, or take both. Taking both meant fulfilling my electives but paying more tuition earlier than planned, but only taking one passed up an opportunity to take classes I knew I was interested in. Taking both also meant passing up study abroad. After some hmming and hawing and a close look at my financials, I decided that the extra class is the right choice. I am at a point in my career where balancing work and school is tough but not impossible and I cannot guarantee that that will remain true over the next year. As for study abroad, as much as I want to go I know my motivation stems more from my desire to travel than the curriculum included in the trip. I still plan to travel and I plan on making it to Italy (the WSU program I was interested in), but I will do it as a vacation instead of for school.

The lesson from this week is this; even when you think you have everything planned, one small thing can completely change your path. In this case, the change was a few classes, but it impacts how the rest of my grad school journey will progress. I am excited for these new classes though. I think they will be interesting, challenging, and valuable to my growth.

Now, onto the fun stuff. I am heading to Duluth this weekend to see my little sister graduate from college! Ahh, I can’t believe she’s done and will be starting law school! Maybe I’ll have her create a law school  version or grad school survival tips. For now, it’s wheels up and peace out Detroit for me.





Friday Highlights:

Sleep: 2 Hours (ugh 5am wake up)

Work: Not today, Duluth bound

Workout: Rest Day, Pop Pilates stretches

Study: Not until next week

Soundtrack: Lindsey Stirling additions to my iPod