The 27 year old undergrad.

It has been a busy, stressful summer.  I started classes the day after moving into our new apartment and we still aren’t completely unpacked and set up.  We have been frequently thrift shops looking for furniture, but haven’t had any luck.  Things are slowly coming together back up in the great white north!

My summer semester was definitely hard, it is such a shock going from the working world back into school full time.  But I made it, and with decent grades.  The biggest shock of all, however, was the fact that I am at a completely different life stage them most of my classmates.  Being a 27 year old in undergrad classes, I am 8 years older then some of my peers.  Although that really isn’t much when you consider one’s lifespan, it is quite a difference in what “phase” of life is happening.

I am 27, will be celebrating my 6th wedding anniversary with the Artist at the end of this month, I have lived on my own and with the Artist for many years and in turn have many bills to pay, and my favourite pass times include reading, watching films, listening to CBC radio, cooking (well, I am the assistant- the Artist is the actual cook!), relaxing while listening to our record collection, getting crafty, and powerlifting.  Through conversation with other students around campus, it seems, as it should when you are 19, that going to bars and hanging out with friends are what the kids are doing these days.  I wish I was saying that I was declining invitations to go out to the bar because I just wanted to go home and relax, but it must be obvious that I am an old lady.  Either that, or I come across as an unapproachable person.  Its probably both.  Chandler from Friends articulates it perfectly…

Chandler Bing

I also feel like I am one of the last people to be fit the “starving student” archetype.  I feel like I am surrounded by people who can afford all kinds of travelling and vacations, Mac laptops to bring to class for note taking, take-out food whenever they want, and no problems paying tuition or rent.  Meanwhile, I am doing my laundry in my bathtub, using the campus food bank, sharing a laptop with the Artist (we need a computer equally for our own livelihoods) as well as a cell phone, and taking notes in class with a notebook that my parents bought for me and a pen I took from their  house.  I filled that notebook completely, so lets hope they buy me a new one for the upcoming term, LOL.  I also have no idea how I will be paying my tuition that is due at then end of this month, not to mention bills, and I continuously sew together the same few clothing items that keep gaining new holes or tears.

It is all very weird, being in undergrad classes at 27.  When I was 19, I thought for sure that at 27 I would have the best job that ever existed and been done school with a prestigious degree(s) and have my dream home and life all figured out.  Well, I have come to the conclusion that you never really figure life out.  It is an ongoing journey with changing goals and aspirations along the way- so you might as well enjoy things, one day at a time.

Today I enjoyed bacon, egg and veggie scramble, and hash browns for lunch.  I enjoyed grocery shopping and still having about $10 left over for any other food needs that might arise this week.  I am going to workout later with the Artist, and despite my current sciatic pain, I will enjoy that too.  I will enjoy watching the Olympics tonight snuggled up with my love, and I will enjoy how beautifully gloomy and rainy it is this afternoon.

To see more photos of me enjoying the simple things in life, check me out on instagram @capitaineflash

As much as I would LOVE to travel and take a vacation, not have to worry about how I will pay tuition, or go shopping for new clothes and shoes whenever I feel like, I am sharing my life with someone who makes me smile and laugh every day, who shows me unconditional love, supports me, and inspires me….and that is more important than anything.

Suddenly, the mangled and torn insoles of my shoes seem so insignificant ❤

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Moving Food.

Recently, we were talking about food experiences that have moved us.  I am not just talking about super delicious foods, or what our favourite foods are, I am talking about being so moved, there are no words to describe the level of deliciousness going on, that it is life changing.  My life changing food experiences?  Eating at Mission Taco- everything on the menu.  Buttermilk cake donut from World’s Fair Donuts.  Discovering how much I love banana peppers on a wrap or sandwich.  And the sauce the Artist made for our chicken last night, which was his take on a General Tso’s.  The Artist’s food moving experiencing included; a kabob he had on the beach in Spain with this mystery sauce, anything at Mission Taco, and this parmesan cheese from a wine show in Toronto.

Before I move on, I would like to take a moment and talk about why Mission Taco is so amazing.  I have never had a good restaurant experience with Mexican food, other then at Mission Taco.  Other places are so salty I get a stomach ache afterwards, or are so bland I could have made it better myself at home, or are greasy, etc.  And chopping up vegetables and putting them in the same bowl, does not equal pico de gallo- they need to be dressed in something and have some flavour.

At Mission Taco, the menu has so many options, from tacos, to burritos, to tortas, churros, side dishes, starters, and house made salsas.  I have tried a few of the tacos and the flautas, and the Artist has tried most of the tacos.  We have also been recommended by others that the guacamole and side corn is amazing, and the tortas are a must-have.

The flautas are fried, but somehow, they aren’t heavy.  I was a little sceptical about the corn inside, but it compliments the flavours SO well.  The chihuahua cheese also married well with the rest of the ingredients, and the ancho BBQ sauce was utter perfection.  And the flautas were rolled nice and tight, which made for easier eating and they didn’t fall apart.

All of the tacos we have tried all have the same things in common: lots of meat, perfect flavour combinations, light and tasty.  Each taco is topped with different things in order to best serve the protein, rather then top every taco with  cheddar, lettuce, and sour cream.  And I don’t like it when someone puts insane amounts of lettuce on something.  One time, the Artist got a fast food taco, and it was basically a smidgen of ground beef, unseasoned, and copious amounts of lettuce.  Nothing else.  But mission taco uses other flavour profiles like arugula, cabbage, avocado, pickled onions, different salsas and sauces, and instead of overloading the meat with twenty thousand toppings, they select a few that best go together, and create flavour combinations that just blow my mind away.  So.  Good.  The thought that goes into each and every dish, and specially choosing each ingredient so they all add something to the dish, is just amazing.  If you are in St. Louis, check out Mission Taco!!!  I cannot wait to go there again!!!

Then the Artist starts talking about his favourite foods, like burgers, and basically any meat.

Artist: There is nothing better then a freshly caught lobster and big bowl of butter.

Me: (laughing)

Speaking of food…

Artist: I need to eat more.

Me: (is he being sarcastic because he is holding his stomach saying that?) Actually, ya!  I ate normally yesterday and it was still more then you ate.

Artist: Ugh.

Me: And you need a lot more food, you are a bigger person and have tons of muscle that needs to be fed.

Artist: I need to eat more.

Me: I think it is because of who you are.  You are a romantic artist, obsessed with your craft that eating and other daily activities are not priorities.  Or do I need to feed you more?

Artist: Both.

Me: (laughing)

Artist: You know I’m kidding, right?  Yes because I am an artist, and no you don’t have to feed me.  But when you do, I love it.

Me: I will feed you lunch after I do the dishes, it is a pig sty in there.

Artist: (face beaming with excitement)

I think these thoughts he had stemmed from the delicious breakfast I made for him.  We did a hard workout last night, and I was feeling loving and generous so I offered to make him any breakfast he wanted.  It ended up being 3 scrambled eggs, a plain bagel with butter, and coffee- I even freshly ground the beans.  He isn’t a big fan of eggs, but eats them often for their nutritional value and protein, especially after a workout.  But for some reason today, he loved them!  He gobbled them up so fast, making “Mmmmm” noises as he ate.

He is so funny.  He was so grateful for such a nice breakfast, I was showered with gratitude and cuddles ❤  I think if he was any sweeter, he would melt.

He makes me laugh so often, that I have realized how much smiling and laughter can really have a positive effect on even the worst of moods.  He came home from a long day of working, all hot and sweaty from walking in the warm weather, and clearly, the best place to flop down as soon as you walk in the door after a hard day is the floor (right beside the soft, comfy couch) 😀

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And clearly, the best place to paint is in the kitchen, on the floor, in the muddy entry way 😀

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How can I not be so in love with him? ❤