03 November 2012

Life flies by

It has been a while since I've posted here, I'll admit it.  But life has been pretty crazy, because apparently being a PhD student is challenging.

A lot has been going on though:

--> I'm excited to announce that I am currently writing my first scientific article!  It has always been a major goal, I just didn't think that it would be happening this early in my career.

--> I've been spending a lot of time with this enormous textbook (~1300 pages):

As a graduate student I didn't think that I would have textbooks anymore, that I would be learning from the literature rather than books that are obsolete the moment they are printed.  Nevertheless, I've been learning a lot and am constantly amazed that we don't all just fall apart with all of the amazingly complex systems of things happening in our cells!  That's not even taking into account the fact that we are more bacterial than human.

--> I've been baking because it makes the perfect study break.  My most recent experiment was crock pot chocolate lava cake, it was pretty darn good but not very photogenic as you can probably imagine.

--> A little bit of knitting has been going on in the form of this hot mess:

It has been getting cooler here in North Carolina and my back door is really drafty!  I've discovered that just because my apartment is a "green building" doesn't mean that it is efficient.  I don't like turning on the heating system unless I really have to, so I'm making a draft blocker using scrap yarn.  

--> The most exciting development in my life has been that there is now a Trader Joe's five minutes away from me rather than an hour and a half away in Charlotte.  My family came for a visit last weekend and we actually dared to go the day after opening.  The entire parking lot was packed and police officers were present just in case a fight broke out over the black licorice scotty dogs.  I'm not sure how we made it out alive.

Here is my latest haul of deliciousness, but they are also my go-to place for oats, nuts, cheese, frozen berries because it is all so much less expensive there.  Needless to say, if you haven't been to one, you have no idea what you are missing.

That's all for now, I'll try and check in more often in the future!


  1. OMGosh; big props to ya for being a Ph.D student and having to read that enormous text.
    That choc lava cake looked amazing and so darn delicious!
    I <3 TJs. I check in every week w/my prepared list. Our weekly must haves besides 2 loaves of 100% whole grain fiber bread, oatmeal, organic eggs, meat, cheese, and bananas...the organic Squirters (5 year old loves these), the organic Pro-Biotic smoothies, frozen shrimp Thai gyoza, and the frozen potstickers. We also like the vegetarian chili, frozen polenta mixed w/spinach & carrots, frozen polenta balls in the spicy cream sauce which is good w/rice or noodles, the frozen party meatballs, and recently, we're hooked on the granola bars, esp the ones w/chocolate chips.

  2. I really do have no idea what I am missing, but it sounds GOOD! Glad to see you are still around, I'm not surprised you are busy with that big mama text book, hope it is going well. And great idea on the draft stopper!

  3. I would imagine that being a PhD student would be challenging but it sounds like your up for the challenge if you are already writing scientific articles. What an accomplishment!! Good for you!! All this hard work is going to be so rewarding in the end. Keep up the good work and thanks for the yummy link for the crock pot chocolate lava cake! Can't wait to try it. :-)

  4. I know how insanely hard grad school must be but you make me so wish I was already there. I'm so happy for you that you are starting to write your first article! The draft protector is a great idea, if you were to felt it it would make it the much stronger (but that much more work), but since you are knitting it and not buying plastic you are being super Eco-friendly! Your picture makes me miss mochi ice cream so much :/ darn lactose intolerance but even if I didn't have that I am vegan, oh well. Hope you are well! P.s. the cowl is looking great, getting the hang of the pattern still.

  5. I know the crazy feeling! But seriously the fact you are a PhD student is amazing and so is the whole article. I love Trader Joe's so so much.

  6. Only a knitter thinks of a way to solve a draft problem by knitting! I am sorry you have such a heavy text book, but really, it's great you are learning so much and (somewhat) enjoying it!

  7. Oh yeah, the lava cake would be a mighty tasty treat for studying!

    You have found the perfect solution for using your scrap yarn and for stopping those chilly drafts.

    Sadly, Trader Joes in my area. Enjoy your TJ treats.

  8. Good luck with your article! It's such a great feeling to see your name in print.

  9. It's so good to hear from you again: your posts are some of my very favorites! :) That's so awesome that you're working on your first article. Your draft blocker is so clever and super-cute, and I'm very intrigued with the idea of crock pot lava cake! *plots excitedly*

    Also, YAY for Trader Joe's! Enjoy all the goodies! :)

  10. Trader Joe's is THE. BEST. I wait all year for their refrigerated gingerbread molasses cookies - it's finally time! yay!

  11. The lava cake sounds yummy!! Trader Joe's is great! We love their little multigrain crackers (I can't think of what they're called). They are perfect with hummus.
    I love your draft blocker!

  12. I'm always amazed that you are able to do anything other than study! So that you've eeked out any time for hobbies is awesome! I totally understand the baking breaks. It's relaxing and you have a yummy reward to sustain you through more studying!
    As for Trader Joes - my favorite are the sesame honey cashews. I always buy two bags. One for me and the other for me and the family to share!!
    Be well, stay warm and good luck on your article. I'm sure you'll do great!

  13. that cake looks amazing, may just have to try one. Draft excluders brilliant, we have several. Rufus pretends they are snakes attacking him.

    Your reading material doesn't look very "light", good luck

  14. Keep plugging away at it. I am so pumped for your first article. I want to read it! Seriously, its amazing how fast they get you on the track to publish something. Great job!

  15. Nice to see you blogging again and I know only too well how much effort, time, and dedication it takes to be a Ph.D student. Lucky you to have a TJs so close -- it's one of my all-time favorites! xo

  16. Mmmm! Molten lava cake! I bet that was way better than my cake for sure! I'm glad to see you're hanging in there. That is one hell of a book! Good luck on your article! That really is a big deal!

  17. So great to see your update! Congrats on jumping straight into the thick of it with your first article! I don't know if you plan to stay within academia after you graduate, but I can tell you that the whole getting published thing takes sooo much longer than I would've dreamed as a grad student. You are sooo smart to be starting early! I am so jealous of your proximity to TJ!! Oh, how I miss TJ....

  18. I'm happy you have Trader Joe's! Lots of good stuff at reasonable prices.

    I like your draft dodger idea. I have lots of scrap yarn that could be used to make one of these. A cute gift idea, too.

    The bookkeeper at my school just ordered a bunch of toy wagon wheels and dowels for my club to use to make drop spindles. I've found some online sites with instructions, but if you know a good source, let me know.

  19. Lava cake sounds amazing. I don't care how un-photogenic it looked. I'll bet it was amazing.

    And congrats on starting an article. It's wonderful to have a chance to work on life goals.

  20. I have a new crock pot - - - - now I know why ! ! !

    Food and knitting is a good flip side of studying

    You're in your element


  21. Nothing quite as satisfying as being published! Sounds like you are doing very well, and I'm a huge fan of draft excluders. Of course, we live in a drafty old house so I have several. None are knitted though, I'm intrigued!


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