Cheap & Easy

9 Mar

Living on your own has its perks but there are also a few challenges, like cooking for yourself. My mom always made me help cook when I lived at home so I am comfortable cooking a lot of things, but it’s different now that my sister and I have to cook for just ourselves all the time. When I lived at home the rest of my family would always help and take turns cooking, and when I lived in the dorms I had a meal plan at the dining hall. In my apartment now, sometimes it is difficult to take the time to cook an entire meal on a busy day. Other times, it is hard to find a good variety of things to cook that are still affordable. If you are living on your own now or will be soon, I thought you might like this recipe that I make sometimes. It is really quick to make and pretty cheap, too!


Yummy Black Beans & Rice

1 tbsp. Olive Oil

2 (15 oz) Cans Black Beans (drained)

1 (15 oz) Can Diced Tomatoes

2-3 Cloves Chopped Fresh Garlic

1/2 Diced Onion

1 tsp. Curry Powder



Sautee the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they are clear and soft. Add the curry power, black beans, and tomatoes. Stir until everything is mixed evenly and then let it simmer until it is heated thoroughly. Serve with rice and enjoy! Note: the curry powder makes this recipe a little spicy. This should make enough for ~4 people to have a full meal.


24 Feb

Only one week until Spring Break! Somehow, midterm always sneaks up on me. I must say, I am really looking forward to the break. My 18 credit hours is starting to take its toll–my classes this semester are all pretty challenging. But the thing I am most excited about is flying to see my family! I haven’t seen them since they moved in the beginning of January, so it is going to be wonderful to spend time with them over break. My family just got a puppy–they are raising a guiding eyes dog–so I will get to meet him for the first time, too!

Something else exciting is that my younger sister is getting ready to go to college soon, and she might be coming to Meredith! Today I went with her to the President’s Reception. If any of you are in the area and considering Meredith, I hope you got the chance to go, too. It was really nice, my sister got to talk to several people about her different interests, and there was some yummy food, too. 🙂  Hopefully there will be another Meredith Angel in my family soon!

This weekend I have tons of assignments, projects, and papers to finish up before break. In Interactive Design we are working on an animated song video (which I will post after it’s finished!) and in 3D Design we are making light reliefs with reed and paper (it’s a lot trickier than I thought it would be). In Astronomy I have a paper to write about exoplanets, and in my Don Juan class I’m giving a presentation on a play I read for our midterm project. And then of course I have to pack and get ready for my trip next week. By the end of the week, I am sure I will be ready for some relaxation!



17 Feb

I can now say that I have completed my Junior Seminar Review! What is a Junior Seminar Review, you may ask? It is simply a day when all of the art department faculty critique and evaluate all of the junior art students’ work. We’ve been preparing for it since the beginning of the semester by doing writing assignments to practice discussing our work, and by sorting through all of the projects we’ve made in school so far and weeding out the best ones. And for the past two weeks, all we’ve worked on for class is hanging and arranging our work in the hall. (It is much harder than I thought at first!) We had to consider what our strongest work is, but also what work looks nice together and feels like your own artwork and not just a project.


Before the review, I was definitely nervous. After all, this was the first time that anyone has ever looked at a body of my work and evaluated it as a whole. In classes, we mainly just look at individual projects, so I had no way of knowing if my artwork went together or how it looked overall. But even though I was a little nervous, the review wasn’t terrible. Being evaluated by the entire faculty was a little intimidating at first, but the more I though about it, the more I realized that I already know almost all of the faculty and am used to discussing my work with them. Remembering this made presenting my work much easier.


Overall, the review was much more helpful than it was intimidating. The faculty’s questions and insights helped me to discover things about my work I never thought of. It also helped me discover things about my work that I think I knew all along, but I didn’t know I knew. They gave me some really helpful advice, and I came away with a definite direction to head in with my future work!



7 Feb

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 20/20 Conference at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. Basically, it is a conference for college students and has worship time, speakers, and breakout sessions. Although I just went with my sister and two friends, a group of students from Campus Crusade at Meredith and NC State went, as well. Southeastern is a fabulous college and seminary with lots of great teaching and scholarship, and it was really wonderful to spend a day and a half there, learning and studying the Bible. There were some student groups there who came from pretty far away–Clemson, West Virginia, and Florida, if I remember correctly–so we are lucky to have it so close (only a 45 minute drive!). I used to live a few miles away from it and my fiance is a graduate student there, so it was nice to be on campus; it sort of feels like home.

There were a few different speakers, including Dr. Akin and D.A. Carson, and all of them were wonderful. The main sessions were recorded and you can watch them here (I highly recommend it!). There were also tons of break out sessions to chose from, but you could only go to three. I think the one I went to called “How to Read the Prophets” was my favorite. I took pages and pages of note the whole weekend, and afterward I bought a couple of books that were recommended in one of the sessions I went to. It was so informative and thought provoking, and I am hoping to go back next year. I think it is on the first weekend of February again, if you are interested!

What Land Will Take

31 Jan

In Junior Seminar, our teacher encourages us to reach out to our community and be involved with other artists in the area. Last week at ArtSpace, an installation artist, Jarod Charzweski came with a new exhibition, What Land Will Take. If you don’t know much about installation art, it is basically a temporary exhibition that is created and taken down at the location where it is displayed. You can read about Jarod’s concept here. Our Junior Seminar teacher wanted us to go and volunteer to help create the piece the week before the gallery opened.

When I went to volunteer, at first my job was to drill screws through rolls of fabric and onto a wood and cardboard frame that was already built. I only lasted a few minutes at this job, because I discovered that I don’t know how to drill (It’s harder than it looks! Note: do not touch the screw when it is being drilled!).  After my unsuccessful attempts with power tools, I moved on to placing folded clothes on top of the structure. It was pretty tall, and a good part of it required climbing up on a ladder and poking through holes in the top in order to reach all of the surfaces.

Jarod and many other volunteers had collected hundreds and hundreds of used clothes, separated them by color, and then rolled them long ways. These rolled clothes went on the sides of the piece, and folded neutral colored clothes went on top. The end result was a massive structure with beautiful fabric textures swirling all around it, in patterned colored blocks. It drew attention to man’s effect on the earth. Even the structure itself looked like some kind of landscape with rolling hills.

It was a lot of fun to be apart of this art installation, and it felt good to help a fellow artist with his work. It was a nice insight to the life of a professional artist and let me catch a glimpse of what it is like to have a real exhibition in a gallery and all of the work that goes into it.


24 Jan

You probably know by now that Meredith has a lot of traditions. Some of them are new, some old, some sentimental, some downright wacky. There is one tradition that I’ve been looking forward to ever since I started at Meredith, one that only happens every four years. That tradition is Alice in Wonderland. Once every college generation, the faculty and staff perform the story on stage for students only. It is a complete production with an elaborate set, costumes, even dances and songs! The identities of the cast is a closely guarded secret, so I can’t tell you much more about the actual play itself.

However, I can tell you the fascinating story about how this strange tradition started. Way back when, there was a flu epidemic and Meredith was quarantined–no one could go in or out. Needless to say, everyone started getting restless after a while. Eventually, the faculty decided to act out Alice in Wonderland in order to entertain the students. It must have worked, because they still do it today!

Waiting in Line for Alice!

Waiting in Line for Alice!

The first night of the performance was pretty intense. On Friday, a few of my friends and I lined up outside the auditorium at 2:30, even though the play didn’t start until 8:00! Believe it or not, we were not the first in line. We waited, and waited, and waited, for 5 hours! It was drizzling the whole time, but once it began to rain harder, we were allowed to move our line to the music building. Every inch of the hallways were filled with students waiting for Alice. We talked, listened to music, and some people played card games or even ordered pizza. By the time the doors of the theater opened, everyone was pumped! Hanging out with friends while waiting in line was fun, but actually seeing the production was even better than I had anticipated! Alice definitely goes on my list of favorite traditions!

16 Jan

The first week of school has come and gone, and although I am excited about all of my classes, after receiving my syllabi I am a little nervous, too. This semester I’m taking 3D Design, Advanced Interactive Design, Junior Seminar, the Colton Review, an honors colloquia about Don Juan and one about Astronomy, and Bowling. In 3D our first project is making reliefs out of clay, which should be messy, but fun. The honors colloquias seem very interesting but also pretty difficult. I can tell it is going to be hard to keep up with all of the reading! Bowling is, of course, the most fun. After all, I get to go to class in a bowling alley and bowl for an hour and 20 minutes, twice a week!


Interactive Design seems like it’s going to be fabulous! We are learning how to use Flash and will create movies with moving type and graphics. I also know almost all of the girls in my class and they are a lot of fun. This week we had to research movie title credits and find inspiration for future projects. My favorite that I watched is this from the movie Enchanted:

Enchanted Titles

I just love the way the ornate letters grow and entwine with other letters and objects so elegantly. I think the movie has good transitions moving from one person’s name to another, too. It also takes the viewer through a scene that gives a good preview of the movie’s story. I’m excited to learn to create things like this!