Dumb Cake

Okay, I feel like Chicago has made its point. Yes, we get that you can get cold. Good job. Now can we go back to bearable temperatures? Pretty please?

Despite the cold, I managed to get out on Friday night to celebrate Tia’s birthday! We started out with a drink at Hub 51 before meeting Maya for dinner at Ramen-san.

Oh man. I know the photo doesn’t look appetizing, but those noodles are pretty darn good. I’m not super into the whole gourmet ramen thing (I’m pretty partial to the cheap instant noodles I can make at home, packed with MSG), but I can make an exception for birthdays and for this place’s kim chi and fried chicken ramen. Just the thing to warm me up.

Afterward, the gals and I stopped by my adult dormitory/apartment for a brief wine nightcap. It was definitely great to catch up in the middle of a lot of craziness for all of us (wedding planning, interviews, school, those little things).

Unfortunately (or not), that was the last time I was outside my building as the temperatures quickly dipped below what I consider acceptable for direct Christina exposure. So, to make up for my lack of fun things to write about, my unappealing food photo above, and because Chris and I have been fantasizing about dessert, here are some pics and the recipe for a dump cake I made over the holidays with my family:

Super easy to make! I remember reading about these on the Fitnessista’s blog, and Chris’s mom actually made one for my birthday during one of our recent visits to Michigan. I took it as a sign that I should give it a try, too, and I was not disappointed.

It’s literally just combining a can of cherry pie filling and a can of crushed pineapple in a baking dish, pouring a box of yellow cake mix on top, and drizzling a stick of melted butter on top of that. Bake it at 350F for about 50 minutes. When I told my dad what it was called, he thought I said it was a DUMB cake because it’s so easy that even the dumbest baker wouldn’t mess it up (hence, today’s blog title – Chris suggested “Taking a Dump”). Works either way, I suppose. My 4-year-old nephew was also a fan and wanted to sit in front of the oven until it finished baking so he wouldn’t miss getting a piece. Then I distracted him with Legos.

Anyway, hope that helped kick off your week in style! Mmm…now I want some cake.


Late Update

Ah! Where has the week gone? Wasn’t it just the weekend?

I feel like the last few days flew by extra fast for me, being jam-packed with one thing or another. Take Thursday night, when I went out with my roommates to this quarter’s first big bar rager and ended up taking many shots and then drunkenly eating instant noodles upon our return home.

Friday, I was generally useless and unproductive. Man, my recovery time is extra slow these days.

So, one thing and then another ūüôā

I got myself back together in time for the weekend, when my Saturday was unceremoniously stolen from me by an all-day interview workshop event put on by my school. I do appreciate the opportunities to practice interviewing, but I wish it could have been scheduled for during the week. I had to console myself with this treat table:


Okay, no hard feelings as long as the scones keep coming!

To get in one leisurely activity before Monday, Chris and I went to see The Big Short¬†at AMC’s new dine-in movie theatre at Block 37. The movie has a great cast, was entertaining, and does a great job at making a lot of finance-y concepts digestible (although, I still needed some parts explained to me – this is why I’m in business school). But let’s talk about this theatre…


Comfy, reclining seats! So cool!¬†I’ve always wanted to go to one of these “fancy” theatres, and it was everything I dreamed of. I had just eaten before the movie, or else I would have ordered food too. Next time!

It’s been back to the school grind ever since, with lots of interview preparation, freezing my tush off, and¬†homework keeping me busy.¬†Working for the weekend, yet again!

A Good Start

Happy hump day! How’s everyone’s week going?

I got dinner with the roomies on Monday night, which was a nice way to officially cap off my break. We went to Dove’s Luncheonette in Wicker Park, where I had a delicious burger. Forgot to get a pic, so just trust me that it was meaty and satisfying (That’s what she said). It was nice to catch up a bit before the hurricane of busyness starts for all of us again. We mostly complained about school.


Then it was back to the whole class thang yesterday¬†morning. To try and get off to a good start, I woke up at 6am¬†to get some miles in on the treadmill before heading out. I’ve been watching Making a Murderer while I run, which is one of the few shows that Chris won’t watch with me, so it’s a good way to get me to the gym. If you’ve gotten caught up in the Serial/Jinx/true crime fad, this Netflix documentary series is right up your alley. I find it so fascinating…more thoughts to come once I finish.


First class and first class group meeting both done now and so far, so good. Another class and an interview prep workshop are on deck for¬†me today. Keepin’ the good times rollin’!


First Quarter Review

And…Monday has returned. Back to the real world, people. I hope the shock is not too bad.

I mainly spent the weekend recovering from NYE and nursing a runny nose ūüė¶ ¬†However, I did remember one major thing I forgot to mention in my catching up¬†post: I completed my first quarter of business school!

It’s hard to believe, but I start my second quarter tomorrow (No Monday or Friday classes for this girl)! With that in mind, here are some reflections¬†on what I’ve learned about a few things (of course, bearing in mind that every school and every student is different), with one sixth of my MBA complete:

  • Classes, part 1 – They mean everything!: Maybe it was the shock of having to study and do homework again after 5 years of…not doing those things. Maybe higher-degree classes are, as one would expect, extra challenging. Either way, class-related stuff felt the most overwhelming to me. Not that I was slaving away on classwork all the time, but it was probably the majority of my anxiety over the past few months. I constantly felt like I was working on a problem set or a project¬†or a reading or otherwise preparing for my next class. This went a zillion times more during midterm and final exams. Brutal.


  • Classes, part 2 – They mean nothing!: Despite how overwhelming classroom stuff felt, I was shocked by how little they seemed to really matter in terms of most students’ priorities. It seemed like everyone placed¬†more importance on networking in order to land a summer internship. Most of my time spent on campus was at recruitment events, rather than in a lecture. I had so many company functions to attend during my midterm week, when asked about one of my exams afterward, I had actually forgotten that I had taken it. Is this a good or bad thing? I haven’t really decided.


  • Socializing: I kept making the same mistake over and over this past quarter. I would happily¬†accept¬†invites to social events (parties, pre-games, etc.) days or weeks ahead of time, but by the night of the event, I always wanted to bail. I have never been more aware of my introversion than when I started this program, that’s for sure. I’m not totally sure what it was, because I always knew that at some point, I thought each event would be fun or else I wouldn’t have accepted the invite in the first place. I think that this is the first time that I have felt really forced to socialize (for recruiting reasons), that given the choice to do it voluntarily, I preferred to opt out.


I will be honest – Overall, I¬†felt a bit meh about the start of business school. In my head, I know how good this will all be for me, both personally and professionally. It is forcing me to meet new people and friends, learn a little bit, and leave my comfort zone. My career goals as I see them now wouldn’t be attainable in a reasonable amount of time without this degree. But the lifestyle shift has affected me more than I thought it would, which made it difficult to stay enthusiastic about everything during the past few weeks.

But new year! New attitude! I expect things will improve naturally over the next quarter as I begin taking classes I’m actually interested in, now that my requirements are out of the way. And I actually have a good grasp¬†for what my new life is like now, which definitely helps. Mainly, I know that there are lots of¬†free food opportunities, so this can’t be all bad.

free food

Great motivator for staying positive ūüôā

Party Like It’s 2016

Happy, happy new year! May this one be your best yet!

year mistake

I hope everyone’s evenings were spent with loved ones in whatever manner you enjoy celebrating the most.

For me, I actually feel like I kickstarted the good times early. As part of my birthday present, which was in November, Chris took me to see Potted Potter¬†on Wednesday night. I had heard about this parody show of the Harry Potter books a while back and as a big fan of the franchise (I even have a wand! Wingardium leviosa!!!), I was really excited to attend. It’s basically a 2-man comedy act and the performers were really funny. I’d definitely recommend it if you like Harry Potter and are down for some laughs. The show is more family-friendly (vs. adult-oriented) than we expected, but still enjoyable!

Of course, you can’t go out to a show without getting some good eats in first, amirite?

We had coupons for free tacos from Qdoba and a gift card for Cheesecake Factory, so dinner and dessert were taken care of easily.

For the main NYE event, after a fun catch-up lunch with Tia and Maya at Blackfinn, homemade enchiladas were on the menu for dinnah:


Finally, we eventually made our way to Tia’s fiance’s former coworker’s place (what a mouthful!) to ring in 2016. There was much wine, champagne, cheese, and charcuterie…

My glass says “Christina is better than mustache,” a throwback reference to a time we had to mark our plastic beer steins at a bar and I wrote “Christina is better than Chris” on mine. Also, a gentle reminder to my boyfriend that he should look into shaving his newly acquired goatee.

Not a bad few days at all, even though I now have a runny nose to show for it. A small price to pay for some seriously good times. Cheers!