Summer Learnin’

Summer Learnin'

This summer has been an interesting one for me. For the past 6 weeks, I haven’t had WiFi. It’s one of those things you don’t realize that you miss until it’s gone. I have a WiFI stick but with 5GB per month, you have to be tricky on how you use it.  Needless to say, I have been spending countless hours in Starbucks and other cafes hording the WiFi. I have had to get creative with how I consume the internet and how I spend my spare time. I have always been an avid reader (well since 4th grade) but I got bored of just plain reading after the few days. At the same point, I have realized I love learning and I miss it during my summer break. Not that I am not thankful for the time off from crazy grad school! Here is how I have been getting my summer learnin’ on:

Podcasts:

You can see my favorite ones here, but seriously, these are the best for commutes or running errands or in general just lazing about.

Coursera:

This summer, I decided I was interested in some subjects but wanted to start learning them now! Enter Coursera, they have tons of free courses (or you can pay for a certificate  to show completion). I am currently enrolled in three, one has a schedule but the other two are go-at-your-own-pace, which is a nice break. There are tons of courses out there!

Lynda:

So I get access to Lynda for free from my university , check and see if you do too! This is almost similar to Coursera but it has just tons of helpful videos on subjects from how to take a better photo (something I struggle with) to excel tips (no fun, but needed!)

Ted Talks:

This is my favorite TED talk of all time. I make all my friends/family/random strangers I meet at parties watch it. I always feel so inspired to go do something better for the world after watching it. Did you know you can download TED talks? Just use your normal podcast player (ie the podcast app for iphones/ipads). I play them while I get dressed in the morning, they definitely pump up my morning.

Codacademy:

I lied, Codacamedy requires the internet while in use, but its super interesting. I have decided in additional to the 1000x other things on my plate to learn Python because a programmer friend of mine recommended it to start. I am almost 25% through (they have a status bar – love it! easy goal tracking)!

Summer Podcasts

A few weeks ago, I posted my favorite books of the summer. Today, I am sharing my favorite summer podcasts. Podcasts are great because you can listen to them while running errands, waiting for the bus, or when getting ready for bed. Personally, I tend to listen to them on my commute to work.


Serial – If you are new to podcasts, I recommend you start here. This is a gripping story about a cold case murder of a 17 year old girl. Right from the beginning, you will be hooked! My mother listened to the entire first season in less than three days. She couldn’t stop listening.

Stuff You Should Know – Ever wonder where Tupperware came from or how landfills work? Well worry no more, Josh and Chuck are here to explain to you how things work. Be the hit at your next party with fun facts like the  name Tupperware comes from the inventor Earl Tupper. But seriously, they are highly entertaining and I love learning!

What’s The Point – This is new podcast from fivethirtyeight and its fascinating. Each week, the hosts talk with a different professional to see how data influences their field. Okay, that sounds really boring but I swear it’s not! Start with this one.

Song of the Summer: “All About The Bass”

I love music videos. My friends joke that I am the only person who still watches VH1 in the morning. I wish I could say I watch the news, or even the Today show (like my mother), while getting ready but I don’t. I watch music videos and dance around my room. Sometimes, I even sing off key. It’s great because they even show the time in the corner! Music videos just perk me up in the morning, especially good ones. I love music videos that tell a story and have a plot. Or at least cute costumes!

Currently, I am obsessed with this song. It’s my song of the summer. My friends joked I could live in this music video. Apparently, it’s very me:  hair bows, & a fun pop-y beat with a tough strong undertone. I must have watched this video like 10x already. Everything about it is great! I also may have it on repeat right now. oops. What is your song of the summer?

A Summer Spritzer: Berries + Brut

ImageSummer is to be enjoyed with sand between your toes and cool drinks in your hands. Summer plans always seem so spur of the moment to me. Perhaps it is because the Floridian weather is so fickle, you have to quickly dash to capture the sun before the rain clouds strikes.  Or perhaps it is because everyone seems to be more relaxed, plans are not as concrete as in other seasons. In winter, you want to escape the elements. In summer, you want to embrace the elements.

Here is a fast summer spritzer, perfect any impromptu gathering. I whipped this up about 3 hours prior to making a mad dash to soak up the setting sun. I mixed it (took 5 minutes) and then just let it chill in the refrigerator till I left. We missed the showers by 15 minutes (see? Fickle!).

It was the perfect finishing touch to delightful picnic at the beach. Picnics are perhaps my favorite way to dine, there is something so refined yet so casual about them. Whether it be a picnic for two or twenty, formal or informal, picnics are always a good time. I like to serve drinks in Mason jars at picnics because they are easy to transport, have lids (a must when outside or traveling with portioned drinks!) and are easy to set anywhere (sand does not like champagne flutes!)

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On to the good part: Recipe

1 Bottle Rose Brut

1 Generous handful of berries (like 1 1/2 cups, but in honesty, the more the merrier)

1 Orange if you are feeling risky (Sliced)

1 Lime to balance the sweetness of the berries (Sliced)

Pour in pitcher, add berries and citrus. Refrigerate for a minimum 2.5 hours. Enjoy!

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