Eating, Experimenting, Tasting, Testing, Mixing, Rolling

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on April 9, 2009

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Coming from someone who used to be called the ‘Professional Student’ by my family (PS), it may seem strange that I would have trouble doing what I used to do as a career.


Actually it was research that I mostly did in school, but we will just pretend it was studying for now.

Seven long years of university, 5 for my undergraduate degree and 2 for my Master’s degree, has sucked every last ounce of studying out of me. It almost seems like a blur when I look back on those years now. So many pointless assignments, so many pointless exams, so many pointless papers. But they have to be done! And I became very efficient at cranking them out.

Fast forward to today. I sit down to try and study for my Food Handler Certification exam. And I can’t get past the 1st page of chapter 3. Granted, the first two chapters were a breeze and about 2 pages long. So they don’t really count. It’s not that the material is difficult because compared to my advanced statistics courses, this stuff is a breeze. It is just that I am not in the habit of studying anymore.

I have study ADD!

Of course, it doesn’t help when the TV is on, my GMAIL is on, and the OVEN is on. Oh, I didn’t mention I am baking for a big order this weekend? Obviously I had priorities and they didn’t include studying!

I am writing about this as a cry for help. I was never great at studying. I never pulled one studying all nighter in my 7 years of university. I just preferred sleep, that’s all. :)

My cry for help is to ask all of you students for studying tips and tricks. I need to snap back into school-mode for the time being so I can learn this manual!

So what was I doing instead you ask? Eating, experimenting, tasting, testing, icing, cleaning, mixing, rolling, and baking of course!


First, I needed some baking marathon fuel.

A delicious wrap!


Did I mention this was delicious?


The contents:

  • 3 small carrots chopped lengthwise into strips
  • 1/3 sweet onion
  • 1 handful baby organic spinach
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Black pepper

I sauteed everything above except the ‘cado.

These wraps are so tasty!


(Click to enlarge)

And a huge orange:


A Bird’s eye view:


Dessert #1:


Might I just say I thought this Cherry Jocolat bar was disgusting!?!?! BLECH! There was something about it that just didn’t jive right. I think it was the tartness of the cherries. Actually the only two flavours of Jocolat bars I have liked are the Chocolate Mint and the Chocolate Coffee ones. I also hated the Chocolate Orange too! I thought I would like these much more than I actually did.

Sugar Cookies: Part 1

Want to see how the type of flour affects how your dough will turn out?


I made the mistake of using Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (for cakes and pastries mostly) for my sugar cookies today (right hand glop). I tried to save the sticky batter by turning it into blueberry muffins but it was a huge flop- the muffins were much too crumby (pun intended).

Fast forward to the beautiful White Whole Wheat Sugar cookie dough on the left. This was my second attempt and it turned out perfect!

Note to self: Don’t ever use WWPF in sugar cookies again!

Especially after a couple hours chilling in the fridge.

Then it was time to roll and cut and make super cool shapes:


Part 1 of the decorating. Glazing the base!

Aren’t those carrots CUTE!?


I was in the kitchen doing these from 2:30-5:30pm. I didn’t take one break. I get in the ‘baking zone’ as Eric calls it.


Part 2 tomorrow is piping the cookies with icing! That is the fun (and difficult) part!

I know I promised that I would tell you what the big adventurous surprise is that Eric and I are doing tomorrow, but you will have to wait patiently, on pins and needles, until tomorrow morning! :) This post just got much too long! lol. I will also be showing you my new tea stuff tomorrow AM.

Oh and what was dessert #2 you ask? A cake shaped sugar cookie (sans icing). YUM! I will try to post my recipe tomorrow.



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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna April 9, 2009 at 7:49 pm

I don’t like the Jocolats much either! They’re sort of bitter and really hard. The regular laras are where it’s at.


Rebeca April 9, 2009 at 7:49 pm

1. Hmmm, I could really go for a carrot right about now!

2. I know I should say close gmail, turn off the tv… but that’s not really going to work now is it? Well not for me at least. Focusing on studying is so hard, take it from a full time teacher who also is a full time student… I have to reward myself constantly- not like for an hour of studying but I make mini deals with myself the entire time- 10 pages = I get to read one email (or blog post) or some such craziness… I really love my reward system… and when I finish a chapter (or a section of one on a bad day) I get up and stretch or do a few soothing yoga poses so I’m not stuck in one spot… and I move around everywhere bed, chair, floor, dining table, desk, kitchen floor, hallway… just to make it less monotonous

3. Taking the time to read this post was a reward for me just now… back to the grindddddd


steph April 9, 2009 at 7:52 pm

1. Library isolation

2. Get into a study routine. I will hunker down with a coffee/tea and a bottle of water, turn the blackberry to quiet, turn off my wireless, get out my highlighters and my mind knows its “business time”


Marian April 9, 2009 at 7:57 pm

When I find I can’t concentrate, I head to the gym with my notes and read them while walking on the treadmill. I’m forced to read them to keep myself entertained. The ladies at my gym must know it’s exam time when I start showing up 2-3 times a day with piles of notes.


Haleigh April 9, 2009 at 8:03 pm

I have to get myself out of the house when I study, otherwise I can’t focus.

Mmmm. Glo Bakery sugar cookies!! They look delicious!


Allison April 9, 2009 at 8:13 pm

Hi Angela. I’m 2 months away from finishing my undergrad and I completely understand you struggles with studying (major senioritis right now). My first suggestion would be to put away 1hr a day for studying and ONLY studying. 1hr doesn’t seem too daunting and its plenty of time to get a lot done if you work efficiently. This method works if you don’t procrastinate and if you get in the habit/honor the 1hr ritual of studying.

Also, I’m not sure if the material you are studying would work for this, but perhaps you could make a large bunch of flashcards that you could focus on while you are baking. That would give you some “extra” studying while not feeling like you are actually studying.

Good luck!


Red Head, Yellow Dog April 9, 2009 at 8:13 pm

eek! after being out of undergrad for 1.5 years, I’m hoping transitioning back into a study machine for law school won’t be too difficult!!

good job with the sugar cookies! those shapes came out great!


Christina April 9, 2009 at 8:19 pm

I’m finishing my last undergrad year at college and I haven’t ever just sat down with a textbook and read. That kind of studying just bores me to death and I end up not concentrating anyways!

My tactic is just to make study guides. I skim through the chapter and write down all the important stuff. I don’t even end up studying from the guide, usually just making it is enough!


Kudret April 9, 2009 at 8:24 pm

OMFG–I can so relate to you right now. My studying stamina is COMPLETELY gone. Last semester being depressed+this semester being at home=not a good study-ier. So this morning I decided I needed to get out of the house to start studying–So I walked to the local coffee shop and made myself sit in a corner seat studying until I got 6 chapters done. I wouldn’t let me come home until that was done. And I packed tons of snacks so I couldn’t use any excuse. I would just recommend to get out of your house WITHOUT your computer. I swear it’s really hard and you think you need it–but it ends up distracting you more than anything. That’s my advice :D


Kayzilla April 9, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Weeell, I’m a student too. I’m a homeschooler. I’m in charge of what I’m teaching myself. It took me 2-3 years to finally get into the groove of finding things to study and putting forth the effort to do it. The thing I learned the most is.. a lot like exercising. You burn more calories when you can run as hard as you can, even if it’s for a short period of time. In that time period, your only focus is on running, right? Of course, running at a slower steady state for longer periods of time is good too, but it’s not quiiite as effeciant as running quicker and harder.

In the same way, find an hour to study. Isolate yourself, and go at your studying as hard as you can. If you’ve only got what’s infront of you to focus on, you’ll end up doing it. If you can do two days work in one day, you’ll have the next day off! That’s what I do.

But, if you can’t do that, work at it through out the day.. when there’s nothing else to distract you. So if you can get a couple of pages in the morning before a workout, a couple of pages after lunch before you start baking, and maybe a couple of pages before bed, that’d be pretty effeciant too. Taking notes will keep you feeling active, even if your notes say something like “blah blah blah this is kind of boring. Here’s what I learned:” because it keeps your mind active and helps you remember your material. If I didn’t take notes or doodle when I study, I’d give up really quicky in total boredom. As well, if you’re going to spread it out throughout the day, being able to review your notes after each session will help you remember your material better.

But isolation is defiantly key. Keep trying! :D If you’re consistent with your attempts, you’ll eventually find something that works… atleast that’s how it is for me. -shrug-

(Also: pass one of those big tortillas my way. They look scrumptious.)


Susan April 9, 2009 at 8:38 pm

My number one study tip is to limit the distractions! Turn the TV off, turn off your computer monitor, put your cell phone away! It can be way to easy to “just check your email” and then spend half an hour lurking the internet. In college when I really needed to get down to business, I would find an empty study room and take ONLY what I needed to study. Book, notes, scratch paper, pencils. Done. Don’t tempt yourself with anything else! Studying will take less time without all the distractions, and you’ll learn everything so much better. Ever heard horror stories about people taking organic chemistry? I rocked it with my study habits. You’ll be done with this before you know it!


Run Sarah April 9, 2009 at 8:58 pm

Going to the library or a coffee shop with only your study material is great for me…a coffee or tea can keep you awake and help you focus too! Those cookies look great – perfect for spring!


Shelby April 9, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Those little carrot cookies are adorable!


Priyanka April 9, 2009 at 9:09 pm

My biggest problem is that I have a short attention span, hence sitting with one thing for over 30 minutes makes me crazy!

All I do is, before I start studying I divide my work into mini sections that would last me upto 30 to 40 minutes and then try finishing them! Now when I study, the mind races onto Gmail,tmail( My school email),facebook and blogs so I have this simple trick. I just take a scratch paper and note down the distraction on the paper the moment it pops into my head. Seriously it helps for example when I see that I have got an email, I just write ” Got an email” and that helps in taming the impulse to open it and seriously it works. I say that cuz if it works for me then it works for anybody!

Hope this helps..Oh the joys of studying!!

Those sugar cookies look yummy!


brandi April 9, 2009 at 9:10 pm

turn off the distractions for a set amount of time and set a timer for how long you want to study for right then. Do that, then take a break and do something else. then, repeat. I can’t just sit for 3 hours and study, but I can do it over 3 hours if I break it up and make sure I don’t have anything else to focus on.

those carrot cookies are super cute!


Greta April 9, 2009 at 9:17 pm

I psych myself out – convince my mind that what I REALLY WANT is to study this stuff. Sounds tricky, but it really works. Taking a work out break helps, and so does setting small goals. But the best motivator: a rapidly approaching deadline ;)


Suzanne April 9, 2009 at 9:36 pm

I try taking notes as I’m studying. You learn the material as you decipher what’s important to remember. Then I go through those notes and highlight the important parts of those. Then you have a great study sheet that’s also portable so you can study on the run!


haya (living and learning) April 9, 2009 at 9:41 pm

i am exactly the same when it comes to studying! i’ve had several work exams to write in the last couple months and it was SO HARD for me to buckle down and do serious work. i just can’t anymore.

i’ve heard a lot of bad things about the jocolat bars. i wonder why they suck! chocolate and cherry is an awesome combination. you should work on making it better.


Wiggs (The Beholder) April 9, 2009 at 11:06 pm

OMG Sunkist 4012 oranges are my FAVORITE! When I used to be on swim team, they were the only thing I was willing to eat in between races. If someone brought me a 4013, I would turn my nose up at them and tell them to shove it. :)


Valerie April 9, 2009 at 11:37 pm

I can relate to studying issues right now. I have a final in a week and I haven’t looked at anything for it! I think my issues are 1) it’s my 4th year of undergrad and 2) this semester has been craaazy busy and I want nothing more than to be finished with it.

What works best for me is similar to others – setting aside 1-2 hours where it’s study time and nothing else, and taking away the distractions by either going to the library or a place in the house away from computers, TV, etc.

Also allow yourself study breaks, especially if you’re just not getting into it at all after a while. For me, there’s no sense studying if I just really can’t get into it and settle down – I spend half the time convincing myself to do it rather than actually learning anything! I almost always have to be in the right frame of mind to study, write a paper, etc or I find it a struggle. If you’re just not getting into it, go do something else for a half hour and then come back and try again rather than sitting there half-studying for that half hour.

Good luck!


Becky April 10, 2009 at 12:30 am

Those carrot cookies are super cute!


Susan April 10, 2009 at 6:58 am

I tried the cherry Larabar for the first time the other day and had the same thought – too sour!

As for studying tips, I write notes out as I read, and then re-write those notes when I study them :) I have to be actively doing something other than staring at pages or a computer screen, otherwise I’ll last about 2 minutes!


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