Tag Archives: food

#StudiousSeptember: Satisfying Study Sessions

19 Sep

Now that the semester is underway and the homework is rolling in, it’s time to study! While we usually meet this challenge without much enthusiasm, it is possible to make it an event to look forward to.

Spoil Thyself!

Have a well-deserved treat when you put your study time in! Small rewards like this will give you a little boost in your day.

Having a little caffeine can help your brain along. Try curling up in a café to do your assigned readings in caffeinated comfort. Even taking yourself out for a long lunch can make a thankless homework task into the highlight of your day.

Make Peace, Not Grief

Find a spot that evokes a sense of peace so you can study longer without struggling to sit still. The summer is almost over and the lawns are cool and green. There are tons of hidden benches and shady trees to give you a seat with sitting in, they’re the perfect places to have a meditative study session.

Having a regular study space set up at home can really help. Once you’ve established a spot that puts you in study mode, your brain will automatically know what you’re up to when you sit down. Since the hardest part is getting started, this will make things much easier in the long run.

If you find yourself getting distracted, try putting your headphones on and listening to some music. This is almost like putting the blinders on a horse so that he focuses on the road ahead.

That being said, limit your access to text messages, Netflix, and social media while you work. Maybe make a post letting your friends know that you’re getting ready to bear down for an hour or two. They’ll totally understand.

Organize to Limit Suffering

Have you ever looked at all of your papers, folders, books and handouts in a pile and felt like your head was going to explode? Getting overwhelmed is a good thing to avoid and a simple problem to solve.

If you know what’s on your syllabus, you can break things into steps and prioritize. Is it more important to study for a quiz that’s worth 15% or and exam that’s worth 40%? Making lists, writing your syllabus dates and deadlines on a calendar, or using the library’s assignment scheduler can help you. Not only will you know what to do with your study session, but you’ll be able to look ahead. Check out Think Tank’s “Semester on a Page” for a cool organizational tool.

Once you have your to-do list made, it’s time to knock it out. If you’re taking your studies out for a night on the town, be sure to pack your chargers, writing utensils, scratch paper and all of your materials for the classes you’re working on. The last thing you want to do is to get settled in only to find that you’ve brought the wrong book.

If you know you’ll be struggling with the material from a class as you study it, go where the help is! Getting stuck or stumped can be an important part of the learning process, but you want to connect to the resources around you before you get frustrated. Study near your professor’s office during their office hours, bring your work to Think Tank, or make a study group to give yourself a support network.

By spoiling yourself, seeking out your study oasis and breaking big tasks into small steps, you’ll set yourself up for success this semester.

Keep calm and study happily!



#AdventurousApril: Adventure is What You Make of It!

20 Apr

As it may be apparent by this point this month was about adventure! But what adventure can come out of April?? All there is is school, school, and more school! Unlike other peer mentors, I wasn’t the star of a show nor did I roller skate my way to epicness… I simply lived and that’s an adventure we sometimes forget to have.

What do I mean adventure in living? We all are alive, breathing, and going. Think about it. A lot of us go day-by-day just performing our daily routine in hopes of getting through without much mental effort. Most days consists of just routine. How often do you stop and appreciate a beautiful flower or stroll through the grass with no shoes on just for pleasure?

If you’re anything like me, a senior with 100+ commitments and little time for anything, you usually just get things done and don’t do much for personal pleasure until the weekend. But why live like that?

So my personal adventure for the month of April was to do things that I loved to do and not because I have to do them.

1. Pictures of the beautiful flowers blooming. Seriously, take a second and just look at them!

PicMonkey Collage

2. Walking on the grass barefoot. Best, most relaxing feeling ever!



3. Diamondbacks game. What more can I say?

PicMonkey Collage


4. Crafts! This was both a personal as well as an RA-related task. Either way, very invigorating!

PicMonkey Collage

5. Tucson Botanical Gardens! I walked through a room filled with butterflies 🙂

PicMonkey Collage

6. Nature walks with my favorite boy, Keeno.

PicMonkey Collage

7. Spring Fling 😀 All that food and the rides were definitely a great break from routine!

PicMonkey Collage

Yes, these are subtle things to do that don’t necessarily induce fear or excitement, but the importance in adventure is not the extremity, but how you alive you feel! All these activities rejuvenated my being and made me realize the beauty of being alive, breathing the wild air. These adventures help me conquer routine. Find whatever adventure suits you, whether it’s big or small… and just live!

– Lucero


#MiddlingMarch: Breathe in the Wild Air

10 Apr

Let’s be real. By spring break, the majority of us were mentally fried. Just ready for a break. Personally, the week before spring break I couldn’t even think straight.


All I cared about was a week away from classes, homework, work, research, and even campus (which is kind of sad considering the fact I live on campus).

So in my desire to get away from all of it I fled to the one place that has never let me down: nature.

My plan, originally, had been to behold the beauty of our very own Niagara-style falls here in Arizona: Grand Falls or Chocolate Falls. However, my lack of planning for this journey resulted in a fail as we couldn’t go. Apparently, they require a permit to go visit them and well, I didn’t get one. Should have listened to my girlfriend earlier in the month when she was nagging me about looking into the visit more in-depth.


So me being the brilliant planner that I am, paired with the fact that we were already up in Flagstaff and probably shouldn’t waste the opportunity, I mustered a Plan B. Don’t want to toot my own horn, but let me just say this plan was genius!

We ended up going to Oak Creek Canyon, halfway between Sedona and Flagstaff. So the trip down to the actual trail we were undertaking was a beautiful, winding drive down. The scenery was beyond breathtaking! See for yourself:


We started off strong! I had my new hiking boots on and was ready to take on the world (or this trail)!



At the very beginning we crossed a lovely bridge. I was obsessed with the bridge and this one tree at the end of it, so I took a picture on the way back.


There were also some ruins of a lodge that had been there in the past. Pretty sweet pictures came from that.


As we got closer to the actual starting point, we encountered this sign:

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 8.58.50 AM

I don’t know about you, but I ain’t about to fight a bear.

So we went on and on, crossing the creek several times (we did 9 out of the 13 crossings in total). Remember those new boots I mentioned earlier? Well, they were waterproof and that made me ever so happy! My girlfriend, on the other hand, wasn’t so stoked about crossing the creek in her sneakers. Sucks to suck.

About 3 miles in, we decided maybe completing the hike that day wouldn’t happen. It was already 4:30pm and the sun would start setting soon making it dark and cold. So we turned back. We finished around 6:00pm as the sun set. On the way back, I took a million more pictures.

PicMonkey Collage

After leaving the trail, we decided to hit up Sedona. I LOVE SEDONA! The beautiful rocks, the artsy environment, and the awesome food! I am determined to retire there when I am older.


That same day we drove to Phoenix, where we managed to meet up with my best friend, and explore some fun places there.

PicMonkey Collage

Later on in the week, I went to the Catalina Mountains for some good ole camping and some restoration volunteer work. This was part of the Honors College Alternative Spring Break, so this was a great experience to learn about nature, help it out, and bond with a great group of friends!

PicMonkey Collage

So as you can see nature is my form of rejuvenation. I am absolutely happiest when immersed in nature and I am more than okay with that! Find your passion and happy travels 🙂



– Lucero

Wildcat Tradition: Spring Fling!

3 Apr

The sun is shining bright, the flowers are blooming, and the sweet smell of summertime is in the air. All this change can only mean one thing: SPRING FLING IS HERE!

For all you new kitties out there and even more mature cats who have not yet experienced this, Spring Fling is 3 days filled with rides, food, excitement, and pure Wildcat awesomeness! Whether you’re there for the rides and thrills or to get your grub on, we guarantee you’ll have an epic time!


But how did a carnival end up on Wildcat turf?

It all started in 1974. The Associated Students of the University of Arizona (aka ASUA) decided that the UA needed a creative way for clubs to fundraise! Thanks to that brilliant thinking, Spring Fling has developed as a prime fundraising opportunity for clubs and organizations on campus. Talk about combining fun and business!

Now, Spring Fling is the largest student-run carnival in the nation and 7th largest event in Tucson. Over 25,000 people attend it!


All this magic just doesn’t happen over night. Nine student directors are hard at work year-round to plan all the details. Talk about commitment! There are also numerous volunteers who help before, during, and after the event. So all Wildcats are on board with this one!

If you’re looking for some fun right on campus, don’t miss out on Spring Fling! With over 35 rides, 20 different food booths, and awesome music from the band Small Pools… this event is one you won’t want to miss!

Spring Fling Hours of Operation:

April 10: 4-11pm*

April 11: 11a-11pm*

April 12: 11a-6pm*

* Admission closes 1 hour prior to carnival closure.

– Lucero

Fununteer: Is that a thing?

19 Feb

Think about volunteering and giving back to the community. What do you picture? Maybe a hot Tucson day picking out weeds at a local park or cleansing the streets of Tucson from the littering habits of careless individuals. Yes, these are very common volunteer options, but what if these ‘typical’ volunteer activities weren’t the only way? What if there were fun ways to volunteer? Call me crazy, but having fun while still giving back to the community doesn’t sound like a bad thing at all!

So what are some of these magic ways to volunteer? Well, they’re endless – but here’s  a few ideas to get you started.

1. Hospitals

Volunteering at hospitals can be a fun experience! If you’re into the healthcare scene, this is a great opportunity for you to get hands-on experience with all the intricacies of hospital settings. Maybe the hospital system isn’t what you’re into and you’re looking for more interactive volunteering. This is still a great environment for that too! Some volunteering may include direct interaction with the patients. Whether you chat it up with patients, read to them, or put on a program for their entertainment, you can still have those meaningful interactions in a hospital! If you want more information from a local hospital check out: Diamond Children’s or The University of Arizona Medical Center as both are conveniently located close to campus. 

2. Animal Shelters

So maybe people aren’t your number one choice for species. How about animals? Animal shelters are great places to volunteer if you’re an animal lover! This opportunity might involve a bit more preparation than other volunteering since you might undergo some training, but at the end of the day you could catch the attention of the cutest pup at the shelter! I don’t know about you, but playing with the animals sounds way better than cleaning streets! Keep in mind you’ll likely also help out with cleaning kennels, so trash might sound better after all…

Check out the Humane Society of Southern Arizona or Pima Animal Care Center for more information about volunteering.

3. Community Gardens

Let’s say by this point you discover a moving, breathing thing might not be your cup of tea. Maybe something less active to interact with is for you… how about plants? Tucson has a few community gardens which allow you to plant and care for your very own plants. This is a great way not only to lead a more  sustainable and green-friendly life, but you can actually donate the food you grow to community food banks or other organizations that give back to those in need. The UA actually has its own community garden around campus and the city of Tucson provides many opportunities for community gardening.

4. Working with Children

When looking for real fun look no further than the experts in fun: KIDS! What better volunteer work than playing and interacting with little ones? Tucson has a multitude of programs and organizations that are looking for volunteers to help out with children! From Casa de los Niños to Big Brothers Big Sisters, volunteering with children is a fun learning experience that allows you to build interpersonal skills, expand your creativity levels, and let your imagination run wild and free as a kid’s!

The number of volunteer opportunities that aren’t your typical clean-up style options are endless! The beauty about volunteering is that there are so many ways you can make a difference in someone’s life. As with most things, it’s about having an open mind and seeking those opportunities! Here are some good websites to check out to find volunteer options: VolunteerUA or VolunteerMatch.

Happy volunteering!

– Lucero

#FearlessFebruary: Spinach Style

17 Feb

I get made fun of for this, but the main categories of foods I consumed for a long time were chicken, cheese, breads, and potatoes. I limited myself because I was afraid to try new things, afraid to experiment with food and learn ways to be a healthier adult. However, the past few months have been eye-opening for me.

For one, I ate salad for the first time in 15 years. I had this extreme hatred of lettuce. When sandwich party platters are served, I can’t eat them. I order my tacos from restaurants without the lettuce and tomato. The smell of ranch is not a pleasant one to me. So, I had a bit of a “YOLO” moment, as I thought to myself “What the heck? Everyone eats it, it can’t be that bad.” That happened at a family dinner at Buca di Beppo with a chicken Caesar salad. I discovered I like balsamic vinaigrette, a healthier alternative. I now buy salad every other week. It’s a step. It’s a big step for vegetable-less Sarah.

My next thought was horrifying: I should try spinach. Ew. Spinach was something I had definitely never consumed in my life. But, I went for it. And to do so, I would need to stuff it into one of my favorite foods. I got all of the ingredients listed in a magazine full of recipes for a spinach-stuffed chicken entree. I bought frozen spinach, 3 chicken breasts, tomato paste, and couscous. This was also my first time eating couscous. I felt so adventurous.


It took awhile for the chicken to cook because I had it in the freezer. I had to saute it on the stove for a couple of minutes, cut a slit down the middle of each breast, and stuff the spinach (after being heated up in the microwave) into each breast. I lined the baking pan with the tomato paste mixed with oregano, salt, and pepper. I placed each spinach-stuffed chicken breast in the pan, and let it cook.


I got to enjoy my lovely meal while watching Parenthood. I felt proud of myself and am excited for my next vegetable endeavor…Brussels sprouts. Well OK, I am not so excited for that one. Brussels sprouts are a vegetable that people notoriously complain about. Wish me luck!


#StudiousSeptember: Making Healthy Habits

3 Oct

Coming to college can be such a big change. I felt so free, I could go anywhere, eat anything, and go to bed whenever I wanted. When I was dropped off by my mom, I was left with a big box of ramen and endless possibilities. But when school started to get harder and my ramen ran out, I started to go eat at the Student Union a lot. I remember not having a car and no money besides my meal plan, and no way to go make my own food. Soon my overwhelming course schedule created a habit where I hardly got out of my dorm, and getting food at the Union turned into getting snacks at U-Mart. At the end of my freshman year I realized that I had become victim of the freshman 15 by not being as active as I could have been and not eating healthy meals. I had created some very unhealthy habits for myself. This prompted me to learn better habits for myself and created a new Sophomore year resolution.


Better Habit Part 1: Being more active

When I was in high school, I was in the Marching band and took Aerobics for PE.. but college doesn’t have PE and I didn’t join the Pride Marching Band. With all of my classes, I prioritized my study habits and social life over going to work out. I decided to learn a new exercise technique and joined a Zumba class at the Rec Center. The first class that I went to, I almost passed out and I realized then that I really had to become more active. Because I paid for the class, I told myself I was going to go everyday, but as my classes became more hectic I found myself not going as much I had planned. I felt too tired to go to my 8:15pm Zumba class after a day of work and classes. I knew that I couldn’t slip back into my old habits, so I started to plan ahead, only go work out on certain days and do homework in advance. This proved to be the best system for me, not only was I not procrastinating, but I was able to start being more active. Zumba has turned out to be challenging, but very fun and definitely worth my time.


Better Habit Part 2: Eating Healthy in the Dorm

While there are a lot of healthy options are offered at the Student Union, the long lines and similar food can get old fast. I found that I was eating out more, spending more money, and buying more snacks than I was actually making myself food. Dorms are hard – there’s no full refrigerator or pantry, and you find yourself eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ramen for every meal. Taking SafeRide or the CatTran to get groceries seemed like a hassle, and then the groceries never seemed to last anyway. I had to really refine my techniques if I was going to start eating healthier my Sophomore year. I learned not to buy a lot of bread, because it seemed that I could never finish a loaf before it went bad. I would buy fruits and vegetables once a week, that way it wasn’t as much to lug on the CatTran. I stopped eating out and saved my money for grocery trips, as well as stopped snacking when I study.  I also started to drink a lot more water to curb my appetite and stay alive in this heat. While all of these things sometimes are a struggle, I find myself falling into better habits. To stay interested in the healthy food that I eat, I look for healthy recipes whenever I am on Pintrest. I recently made a healthy version of chicken broccoli fettuccine alfredo.


Eating healthy and working out can be a challenge, trust me I know, but this year I have started to feel so much better. I’m not getting sick or feeling tired, like I was at the end of Freshman year. I truly am happy about learning better habits and breaking old ones to make my Sophomore year and the rest of my college career healthy and enjoyable.


Resource Connection: UA Campus Pantry

1 Feb

Okay, so technically this is an ASUA recognized club more than a resource, but it will really help UA students out! Today, Daniel and I headed over to the Grand Launch of the UA Campus Pantry. This project has been in the works for over a year now, according to coordinators of the event. Through donations from Whole Foods and organizations on campus, this club is able to help UA students who might not know where their next meal is coming from eat!

Campus PantryStudents are able to head over to the Pantry on the first Friday of the month (today, March 1, and April 5 for the remainder of this semester) from 3-6 at El Portal. There, students present their CatCard. (Don’t worry – this service is completely anonymous. They will not write down your information, they just want to make sure you’re a UA student). Depending on the amount of donated items available that day, point maximums are assigned. For example, today students could “spend” up to 9 points. Each of the tables hold either 1, 2, or 3 point items. Points are assigned to items based on their nutritional value and how many meals they will provide.  So, a student could get two 1 point items, two 2 point items, and one 3 point item.

It’s still in the beginning phases. In the future, UA Campus Pantry hopes to have the ability to host more frequent events (their goal is for once or twice a week) and access to perishable items.

If you’re part of an organization or group who would like to donate non-perishable food items to Campus Pantry, visit their Facebook page to set it up. It’s a new organization, so I’m sure they will appreciate any help they can get!

Happy Friday, Wildcats!