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:

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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’!

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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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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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.

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Great motivator for staying positive ūüôā

Party Like It’s 2016

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

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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:

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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!