First Driving Lesson!

Yesterday morning I had the hardest time getting out of bed, but it wasn’t my fault! Santo decided we were going to cuddle and he lay fully on top of my chest and started pawing me any time I tried to get up. I managed to escape his clutches in time to make it to class, but he’s been so extra clingy lately! I wonder if he can somehow sense that I’ll be leaving soon…I am going to miss that little weirdo!



After all the usual goings-on of the day (class, walk Santo, work in the lab, go to the gym) it was time for dinner and a driving lesson! David and I headed to the Mustard Seed for a regular feast.

Edamame, lettuce wraps, pork short ribs, and mushroom beef. It was delicious and we have more than enough leftovers for another dinner! The family I nanny for gave me a gift card to the Mustard Seed and a bottle of wine for coming over to work so early on Friday and Monday. They are seriously the best, most generous people ever! I’m trying to convince them to move to Portland so I can work for them forever and ever and ever.

Once our bellies were full, we headed to the parking lot for my driving lesson. Right now I kick around in a 1998 Subaru Forester, which is slowly coming to the end of its days. The horn doesn’t work, I get about 10-12 miles to the gallon, the acceleration is shot, and basically it is not a car that I feel confident driving around on the Portland freeways.



I have been saving up for the down payment on a new car, but since my plans for the immediate future have changed recently, I need to use that money to pay for a CNA training class. A few months ago David bought a Toyota FJ Cruiser to replace his Audi TT, but he hadn’t sold the Audi yet. We decided it would make financial sense for me to learn stick, sell my car, and drive the Audi until I have saved up enough for my Toyota Four Runner. So lesson one was last night!


David was sooooooo incredibly patient with me and walked me through each step a few times before we actually got moving. I drove around the parking lot, switching from first to second gear over and over. I stalled the car twice and David helped me get going again through my fits of nervous laughter. Overall, I think I’ll be able to get this down and I’m pumped to have a fun new little sports car! Santo and I will look so cool cruising around.

Do you know how to drive a manual? How the heck are you supposed to start the car if you’re on a hill? That is freaking me out!!! 

New Hair + Killer Workout

After we caught up yesterday I headed to Bella Sauvage, a salon downtown, to get my hair done! I wanted something fresh and new for spring, and Amanda (my stylist) definitely delivered.



And after!


I am really in love with the results. It’s the blondest I have ever been and she threw some red in there too in order to add dimension. Just what the doctor ordered!

Two and a half hours later (getting your hair done is a long process) I got home to a very antsy Santo who wanted his walk NOW. We went all over campus and luckily made it home in time to beat the rain.


His arthritis is getting better as it gets warmer outside, but he still limps a lot at the beginning of our walks and after he’s been lying down for a while. I give him glucosamine chondroitin every day, but if anyone has any experience with older dogs and has some advice for me I’m all ears!

Once Santo and I got home, I headed to the lab to get some work done. I listened to NPR on my wireless headphones while I did so since I didn’t get a chance to listen in the morning while I was working.

David stopped by around 6 and we were off to the gym! He led me through his mountain-climbing training workout. It’s a weighted leg routine that you do wearing leg bands to add extra resistance, and it HURTS!!!


We came home and had spaghetti and hung out in the kitchen and that was the end of my 19-hour day! I crashed hard last night and slept for almost 10 hours. I’m feeling back to normal and ready to go teach homeschool and crush today!

Happy Tuesday everybody!

Sunday + Monday Craziness

I’ve been awake since 3:30am so if there are a bunch of typos in here please forgive me! Yesterday was a super productive day for me. I cleaned my house, grocery shopped, got a bunch of homework done, and then meal-prepped for the week.

When I don’t have a ton of time or cash, this is the best meal prep I’ve found. Lean turkey, giant bag of frozen vegetables, pre-made sauce. Cook the meat, add the veggies until they’re not frozen, then heat up the sauce. I prepare whole wheat pasta throughout the week and throw a huge scoop of this on top. Viola! A healthy meal.

Around four it was time to go see David! Yay! We made pesto baked chicken breast, roasted veggies, and orzo pasta.


Then we got caught up on “This Is Us” since David was gone last Tuesday.



That show gets me EVERY TIME. I’m so happy to have my other old man home again.

This morning, as I’ve already mentioned, started WAY too early. I didn’t want to fall back asleep since I needed to be to work at 6am, so I just got out of bed and studied some more for my test this morning.


Oh yeah, speaking of tests, I got an A on my lab practical that was last week! Yay! At 5:45 I left my house to go get the girls ready and take them to school. Santo was not pleased with the early morning wake up call.


That’s the face I have to leave every morning, so it truly is a miracle that I ever leave my house. Be impressed. Also, yes I do tuck him in like that every day and make sure he has friends to snuggle.

Once I had gotten the girls to school, picked up the oldest from her commercial shoot (so exciting!!!) I rushed back home to let Santo out and get to my test. Thanks to the peanut m&m’s I shoved in my mouth thirty seconds before it started, I was on my game and I finished in about 15 minutes.

Oh yeah, random side note. Thanks to taking 25,000 steps on Saturday and wearing dumb shoes to waitress in, my feet have all kinds of cuts and blisters on them. It hurts to wear real shoes but it’s too cold for sandals so I’m rocking the hottest look known to man.


I’m about to go get my hair done so I hope those super stylish ladies let me through the door. Fingers crossed.

The rest of my day includes walking Santo, work in the lab, and a gym session with David tonight! Happy Monday!!

St. Patty’s Day 5k + Plonk + Making Dreams Come True

On Friday morning I was awake bright and early to go help the girls I nanny get ready and take them to school. Surprisingly, I had tons of energy and even woke up before my alarm! Gotta love when that happens.

Once the girls were safely delivered to their destination, it was time to go pick up Vuronica! Vuronica is my little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters and she “shadowed” me on Friday to get a feel for what my life is like as a college student.



I think she had a good time! Our first lecturer was a guest, and bless his heart, I could not understand a WORD he was saying. Vuronica colored through that class and I hoped it would get better from there. Luckily, it did. The peak of the day was anatomy where we had another guest lecture from a dentist. She was very charismatic and showed pictures of what happens to your teeth and oral cavity when you don’t brush,  or you drink a ton of soda, or do meth.



Once I’d taken Vuronica home, it was time to walk the old man! We did our usual 40 minute loop and he met quite a few people who wanted to pet him. His heaven.

I picked up the girls from school in the afternoon, drove them to all their respective activities, took them to a playground, and then we grabbed dinner and went back to their house to chill! They were all wiped out from the week and needed a movie night. Their dad got home at 8 and I met up with some friends at Plonk, my home away from home.


Chandler, the girl right in front of me, was visiting from Alaska so we all wanted to see her. These people are the best and I miss seeing them every week, even if it was just to study! We had an amazing time getting all caught up while sipping delicious drinks and munching on a dessert board.

Saturday morning I rolled out of bed and got ready for the ‘Run for the Luck of It’ 5k! I signed me and my roommate up for this a couple weeks ago because I’ve always wanted to do it. I don’t run regularly for exercise because it tends to flare up my nerve pain, but I love doing the occasional 5k fun run because the energy is just so great.


The sun was shining, the music was loud, there were tons of cute puppies to pet, and it was such a blast! I finished in under thirty minutes without any walking breaks so I was really happy! Nic, my best friend and roomie, won the race! She’s a badass. Afterward they were serving pasties and Bayern Irish Red Ale.


It was deeeeeeelicious. Once Nic had collected her prize, we walked home and I leashed up the old man for his exercise. We ended up walking downtown during the St. Patty’s day parade. It was awesome to see, even though Santo was very disgruntled that he couldn’t go after the candy they were throwing.


So sad. Every little baby that saw Santo just pointed and shrieked. It reminded me a lot of how I feel internally every time I see a dog.

Once I’d gotten home, showered, and gotten dressed, Nic and I headed BACK to Plonk! haha. I do not usually go there quite so frequently, I promise. I had a piece of quiche and a glass of wine and we chatted about life and what our plans are.

At 4:30 I walked to the Wilma to fulfill my lifelong goal of being a waitress. Seriously, I have always wanted to be one! The Zootown Arts Community Center needed volunteer servers for their big fundraiser so I signed up.


It was HARD work and I absolutely loved it. I carried tray after tray of food to tables, bussed, filled waters, grabbed extra napkins, took photos of people, and made friends with my fellow servers. We snuck up to the photo booth during a lull in the festivities.


After a pretty intense day (I took 25,000 steps yesterday!) I came home and crashed hard. David gets back today and I cannot wait to see him.

Now it’s time for my Sunday Goals!! 

  1. Spend extra quality time with David and Santo since I’ll be leaving for Mexico next Saturday.
  2. Get all caught up on my work in the lab.
  3. Ace my psych test
  4. Workout every day.

Weird Mood Wednesday

Yesterday was an odd day. One of those strange occurrences when everyone you know in the universe is feeling a touch melancholy. The alarm surprised both Santo and me, and from that moment on I rolled out of the wrong side of the bed.


His ears go all wonky when he gets surprised. It’s quite cute. Despite my dark mood, there were places to go and things to see so I charged ahead and got ready for school. All throughout my classes I was STARVING, which I’m sure did not make me feel better, and all I could think about was the bagel sandwich I was going to have for lunch.


Bagels on Broadway whole wheat bagel, cheddar cheese, a fried egg, and pesto. Heaven! I tried using the lid of a mason jar to keep my egg from sliding all over the place on my uneven stove, but that failed.


One day, if I work hard enough, I can once again be the proud owner of a level stovetop. Keeps me going. It was raining and gray and slushy, so Santo refused his usual lunchtime walk. I took him out twice, the first time he made it down to the sidewalk and then froze. The second time he wouldn’t even budge from the porch. Despite his protestations, he still shot me dirty looks for the rest of the afternoon and groaned loudly about his unfair treatment. That he chose. Sigh.

Not walking the old man freed up an hour or so, so I  finished a book called “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead. I LOVED IT. It tells the story of slavery in the south, with some brilliant reimagining such as the underground railroad being literal train car.

Then it was time for work! John (the same guy who bought the original hedgehog) had a parting gift for all of us as he is packing up and moving to Florida!


I could not stop laughing. I threw this  baby on my keychain. Now whenever someone is insisting they’re “good to drive” I can make them put their money where their mouth is!

After work it was time to head to Zumba Strong. My irritated mood had turned into a glum state and I could feel tears in the back of my eyes, just waiting to fall for no reason. I absolutely did not want to go workout, but I told myself that I could just show up and take it easy and then I’d feel better.


So much for that! I got in a killer workout, dominated the planks and burpees and squat jumps and push-ups and left feeling about a million times better. When I got home, I sipped a Faceplant beer while I heated up my veggies and lasagna. BAC twenty minutes later was 0.04. haha!

Santo played with hedgehog and continued to protest his lack of exercise the entire time I was cooking. He also refused to go in the back yard because of the rain. YOUR LOGIC IS FLAWED OLD MAN.


A few hours after getting home and eating, it was time to shower and head over to one of my favorite places to nanny. It was an easy night as the girls were already asleep or ready for bed, and the oldest was at the Elton John Concert with her grandpa. After cleaning the kitchen, I relaxed on the couch with “The Denial of Death”


So far this book is not my favorite…I thought it would be a more unique psychological evaluation of the human condition, but so far it’s mostly about Freud. He really lost me when he started explaining that Type A people are so uptight because their sexually-repressed mothers did not let them play with their buttholes enough as children. Hence the term used to describe them, “anal.”


Mmm-hmm. Okay, yeah sure Freud. Let me just jump off the wagon right here. I’ll still finish it, but I hope it gets a little less Freud-y.

I got home and read until around 1am, and now I’m up bright and early to go teach homeschool! I hope you have a lovely day!


Ever had a day when you’ve been in a bad mood for no reason? Have you noticed they seem to happen to large groups of people on the same day? What is that? 




What’s with the name?

Santo and Hedgehog. Huh? That’s a pretty strange name for a blog, so I figured I better share the story behind it. By now you probably know that Santo is my old man (aka my dog). He’s eight years old, so incredibly sweet, and I got him from the Humane Society this summer.

A few weeks after I had gotten him, my friend John got me a stuffed hedgehog that he saw at Walmart. He knew I’d just gotten a pup and thought Santo might like having his very own toy.


And so began the love affair between one old dog and one stuffed hedgehog. Santo LOVES his little buddy.


They frolic in the leaves together, enjoying the warm sun on their bald bellies.


When it was really cold and I had the space heater out, Santo would bring his friends over to make sure they got warm too. (he’s gotten a few more hedgehogs since the original).


They snuggle up together under the down comforter and always want to sleep in. Santo has a few more little stuffed buddies now that he adores, including a moose and a puppy, but the original bond between dog and hedgehog will never fade or be forgotten.


So, that’s where Santo and Hedgehog came from. I plan to write a children’s book with the same title someday. I thought I could do it this semester, but between school and work and wedding planning and figuring out post-graduation life and trying to enjoy my last few months in Missoula, I just plain ran out of time.

Santo and Hedgehog always reminds me to take good care of my friends.

Productive Monday and Senioritis

My Monday morning started bright and early with a Jillian Michael’s workout video. I do her ‘Trouble Zones’ DVD every Monday, which is why she and I are virtually indistinguishable from the neck down.



Santo woke up in time to help me out with the stretching portion of my workout.

Once I’d gotten my exercise in, eaten, showered, and gotten ready, it was time for school! I only have class from 9-12 three days a week, which is wonderful because it gives me time to walk the old man before work.

Before I knew it, noon had rolled around and Santo and I were heading to the dog park!


We met a dog while we were there who had such an incredible, heartbreaking story. He came from an abusive home where the ex-husband would often beat the dog and his then-wife. One day, while the woman was being abused, the dog decided he had enough. He took a huge chunk out of the man’s calf and gave the woman time to call the police and get out. The dog, Deuce, was rescued, the man is now in jail, and I loved seeing Deuce tromping around the park with his toy duck after all he’d been through.

We got caught in a sudden hail flurry on our way home and by the time we made it back I was absolutely freezing. I warmed up with a “mocha” (microwaved coffee + a swiss miss packet) and some popcorn while I got some scheduling and administrative “life work” done.

Then it was time for work! I headed into the lab and it was an extremely productive afternoon. I think I made up for all my laziness on Sunday with quite the work-ethic yesterday.

When I got home from work, I reheated some vegetables and lasagna, and got to studying. My motivation to study has been at a record-low lately. Senioritis? Possibly. I just don’t feel the level of stress I need to get my butt in gear without a fight. Only two more months to go!

I finished my weird, sad ice cream while I studied anatomy. Something is better than nothing I suppose.


And there you have it folks, another thrilling Monday in the life of Georgia-Mae. Here’s to hoping Tuesday is just as productive. Wish me luck on my lab practical!


Have you ever struggled with motivation? How did you get it back? 

Lazy Sunday and Monday Motivation

When the alarm went off yesterday morning, the last thing I wanted to do was to crawl out of my warm  bed, leaving behind my cuddly puppy, and emerge into the drizzly, cold morning. Even though I had gotten plenty of sleep, I felt exhausted. But David, my fiancé, left yesterday for his Spring break down in Utah. He had a long drive ahead of him so I wanted to get him some energy drinks and road snacks. So, I sucked it up and got out of bed.

And walked into the SNOW.


Somewhere between complaining about getting up and actually getting up, the rain turned into a torrent of fluffy, white snow. It was so pretty. I’m also so over it. Spring? You there? You can come out now!

After delivering my care package to David and saying goodbye, it was time to go pick up my little sister! I volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Montana and this is Vuronica’s and my fourth year together. I plan to do a full post later on of what this experience has meant to me. When I got to her house she was still literally asleep and I was still mentally asleep, so once she got ready it was time to brunch it out.


Burns St. Bistro to the rescue! I felt a little funny ordering two “hangover burgers” with my little sister in tow, but she didn’t seem to notice. After we devoured our meals, we headed to Barnes and Noble. Vuronica loves all things YouTube and they have a huge section there dedicated to the various books written by YouTube stars. I picked up my new book club book while we were there, called “The Denial of Death” by Ernest Becker.


I’m sure it’s going to be a bundle of laughs.

The rest of my afternoon was a balance of chores and relaxing Sunday laziness. I prepped veggies for the week and baked a Good Food Store lasagna to eat for dinners.

After doing the bare minimum amount of homework for the day, all I really wanted to do was take some time to relax. I started and finished the sixth Harry Potter snuggled up on the couch. While I did so, Santo completed a thorough investigation of the left corner of the living room.


All seems to be in order. I’m still waiting on his full report. As I dove into “The Denial of Death” I started craving something sweet. I went to the freezer and dug out the Halo Top Ice Cream I bought on Saturday. It’s supposed to be all natural, super light and low calorie ice cream. It’s made with things like “milk protein” and “xanthan gum”. It’s also 17 thousand dollars.


Verdict? Not my favorite. You can’t expect something that’s 200 calories a pint to contain the full gloriousness of Haagen Dazs, but this mostly just tasted like air and had a funny aftertaste. I’d rather save my money and have real ice cream once in a while, but I’m glad I tried it out.

I called it a night really early so that I could be well-rested for this busy week.

Monday Motivation (aka Goals for this Week)

  1. Study after work today and early tomorrow morning for my lab practical. I’ve got all the cadaver concepts down, so now it’s just powerpoints. This is easy but I still have to DO it.
  2. Stick to my workout plan.
  3. Don’t eat out.
  4. Schedule all the random appointments I’ve been meaning to schedule: teeth cleaning, Santo’s vet checkup, meet with my advisor, etc.

What are your goals for the week?? 


Back Again

I miss having writing as an outlet, so I’ll start working on this blog again and see what comes of it!

A few exciting things have happened since we last spoke! Most notably, David and I are engaged and the wedding is in August. I am so happy and excited!


I also have another man in my life!! After my sister moved away and Elsa went with her, it didn’t take me long to realize I absolutely needed another dog. I had my eyes on him for months, and I finally brought my sweet old man Santo home in late July.


He is anxious and sweet and cuddly and stubborn and makes every day so much better.

I am still nannying, working in the lab, and volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters. I also teach homeschool two days a week and make it to as many exercise classes as I can! I’m only a part-time student this semester so the lack of frantic 16 hour days, while lovely, has me feeling like I should do something more productive in my downtime. I don’t know if I can call a blog productive but, hey, writing is good for you and I have to start somewhere.

If you like dog pictures, recipes, some occasional life advice that should be taken with a mountain of salt, random workouts, book and restaurant recommendations, and the ruminations of a 23 year old college student, then come along. If that all sounds absolutely awful then I’ll just be typing away into the void and to my parents. Either is ok with me!





Get with the program

One of the lovely ladies I follow on Instagram has been doing an Ashley Horner workout series over the past few months. I had no idea who Ashley Horner was, but I kept seeing my friend post updates and I was blown away! Then a few days ago she let everyone know that Ashley Horner was having a HUGE sale so I bit the bullet and downloaded one of her training programs after doing 5 minutes of internet research.



That’s Ashley Horner. She’s in OK shape I guess (SARCASM ALERT) so I figured she probably knows a thing or two about weightlifting. The plan I bought is called “becoming extraordinary” and it is a 12 week plan split up into 4 different phases. 12 weeks. 3 months!



Now I’m not necessarily doing the ENTIRE program balls to the wall. I am going to do the workouts she gives me and I’ve already recruited on of my best friends, Kyle, to join me and that’ll help hold me accountable. However, I won’t be following the diet plan because it is VERY specific and while I am planning on eating healthfully, I’m still going to have a beer on the weekends and such. I am really excited to see my progress and how much stronger I can get! Gotta get those Michelle Obama arms.



I’m doing the first workout Monday morning at 7! It’s set up so you workout for 2 days and then take a rest day. Mostly free weights and I’ll make whatever modifications I need to avoid nerve pain, but reading through everything I should be able to follow them almost exactly. Woohoo!

I’ll keep you updated as I work my way through this. I haven’t been working out in the mornings for a while now so that will be an interesting adjustment! I’ll also keep going to Zumba classes instead of doing the running portions of these workouts…but I’ll still be looking mighty fine for Mexico this spring break and feeling very lovely and strong. Here’s to health!