January 12, 2016

The Worth of a Master's Degree

Every time I've graduated from an academic institution - I have this nightmare.-

 I imagine a huge auction being held. I stand there. My degree is held up. The auctioneer holds up a high school diploma starting the bid, employers in the crowd shout numbers attaching the worth of that degree to what they think should be offered

$10,000! $10, 500!

The next time I had this dream was when I got my bachelor's degree

$15,000! $18,000?

Again, when I got my Masters degree

18,500? 20,000?

I'm guessing the figures offered in my dream have had tax-deducted, and have been adjusted for inflation since they were so damn low.

But that's not the worst part of the dream. It's what's behind me.  My student loans. A glaring number in red pushing me to stand out, to work harder, to obtain the highest bid.

I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place. But mostly, it's helplessness. A sense of dread that I cannot escape. Unable to move forward, unable to go back. I'm stuck.

And then, I wake up. The auction is over. I realize that it was just a dream.

I think,  Don't be silly, there isn't a worth attached to degrees

Or is there?

Shouldn't the worth of the degree in the market place be equivalent to the cost of it?

There is a parallel relationship between the auction numbers, and the loan numbers. They both go up as I progress in degree collection. However, the loan grows larger-  unable to keep up with auction offerings. Herein lies my problem

So I ask myself again and again-

Is the worth of the degree measured by what we achieve because of it, or the actual cost ?

Doesn't seem like either right now. I am not employed now, but when I was,  I certainly wasn't being paid what the cost of degree was. The world of employment doesn't work that way. In a way, I understand why it can't. They say that more people now obtain a bachelors degree than have ever before. There are just too many people out there vying for the same positions.

Coolio got it right in Gangstas paradise...

 Too much television watching has got me chasing dreams {that were possibly unattainable.} Now, I feel like an educated fool with money on my mind.

I am disillusioned. Perhaps.

I may be in the minority here, but I still believe in the power of education. For yourself. The knowledge you obtain can never be taken from you. Well, unless you got a lobotomy. But I think that's rare these days. This is why I continue to go back. I feel I am investing in myself. I am more confident in decision making, rational thinking, and writing because of what I have learned. 

Does going to school and obtaining a degree entitle us to more money, prestige, or social position? Certainly not. Although it may feel like it, it does not.

Now, I am not saying that you shouldn't feel proud but just don't expect magical things to happen as soon as you graduate, or hope that compensation will come close to what you had in mind.

Is it a cold, bleak world out there? Yes and No

Yes, because it will seem hard at first. Initially, I completed 200 job applications in a month to only get 3 replies back. I kid you not. 200 applications in which I entered my education, work history, interests, etc. I felt upset that no one wanted to employ me... until I realized I was going about it the wrong way. I wasn't applying to jobs suited to my interests.

No, because in going through these applications, I really figured out what might be a good fit. I started getting better by applying to jobs I wanted to, and thought I would genuinely like. I wasn't just throwing a line out there, hoping something, anything would bite.

Is my master's degree worth a million dollars? Sure... but only to me. Right now. Maybe no one else is seeing what I am seeing.

This may be the case or it may be that I haven't gotten into the right position to get me there. I need an employer to take a chance on me even If I don't have the most extensive of experience. I can develop those skills if offered a chance! {PS, Call me}

March 25, 2015

Taqueria Style- Chili-Rubbed Chicken Super Burritos

This post is dedicated for my love of burritos. I crave them from this wonderful Taqueria down the street from us. The other day I asked them for calorie counts on my meal, and the man behind the counter looked at me quizzically and shook his head. Meaning no calculation.  That gave me a sense that all the deliciousness that goes in that wonderful burrito is unaccounted for.  Once in a while it would be okay to indulge, but tell that to my cravings!

I thought of an alternate way to enjoy my beloved burrito with a healthier twist.  Since, I have made this commitment to myself to eat better- I took it upon myself to make a copy-cat burrito to save a few calories, and a few dollars. 
The result was so, so yummy. I could eat this everyday... but I don't 


Per Burrito:
1 Large tortilla- I used a brown-rice tortilla
1/2 cup of Mexican rice
1/2 Small avocado cut
1/2 cup of Chili rubbed chicken
1/4 cup of canned pinto beans- mashed or refried beans
1/2 tablespoon low-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon salsa (your pick)

Chili-Rubbed Chicken-

  • Prepare 2 chicken breasts on a plate or bowl
  • Create a rub with 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, and coarse salt to taste. Mix together with 2 tablespoons of lime juice- rub onto chicken breast pieces. 
  • Let marinate for a few hours in the refrigerator or cook immediately
  • I pan-fried chicken breasts 5-7 minutes per side or until no longer pink inside. Cut into pieces

Mexican Rice-

  • Puree in a blender one medium tomato, half yellow onion, and 1 jalapeno deseeded with 1 cup of water. 
  • Place mixture in saucepan
  • Add 1 cup of rice (I used long-grain) and 1 cup of water to the saucepan as well- stir 
  • Let it come to a boil
  • Simmer for 15-20 minutes

Directions- Assemble burrito, fold into shape and enjoy!

Calories- 650 calories per burrito ( Can vary depending on your ingredient quantities)

December 14, 2014

Last minute beauty gifts!

Okay, so there are sooo many great deals this year! I missed out on a few I really wanted on black friday, but that's ok. I am in the market for make-up this year. I haven't bought any great new products in long time. Lucky for you, I've found some awesome deals on Amazon, I have prime so it's my one of my main shopping choices. Free 2 day shipping!

Check these out if you're still looking to find that perfect gift for yourself or someone else!

On to the list...

December 10, 2014

Herbed Spinach and Tomato Rice

In an effort to sneak vegetables into our diet, I concocted this dish. I was pleasantly surprised with the result. It takes a bit more effort than just plain rice, but the result is yummy and flavorful. In the end, you can't even tell there is spinach in the rice. Approvals were abound!


2 cups of basmati or long-grain rice
1 cup of spinach leaves
1 roma tomato
1 half de-seeded jalapeno
1/2 cup of fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic
4 cups broth or water
2 tbs oil


In a blender combine 1 cup of broth with spinach, tomato, parsley, garlic and blend until smooth. 

In a medium saucepan, heat oil and stir fry rice for 3ish minutes. Add blended mixture and broth into the pan. Add salt to taste. 

Bring to a boil. Place lid on and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Fluff as needed

Serve with entree or as is


December 5, 2014

Getting Back into the Groove

Or... It can be child birth.

It isn't a fall, but it certainly set me back a few months. My baby boy made his arrival as he planned, on his due date, October 23.

I waited for so long, and now it feels like it just came and went, and here he is about to turn 6 weeks in a day. It was a pretty uneventful birth. We went to the hospital, he was born a few hours later, and we were released the next day. So, that all in all I was happy with that experience.

The real trouble began with my toddler and newborn combined. They create this super power that's tough to tackle alone. I was glad to have the help I did. Things are finally starting to come into focus.

So, now I am slowly turning it back to me, and focusing on getting my health in order.

First off, I have about 20lbs I need to shed through diet and exercise. I am not ready to reduce food intake, but am going to slowly incorporate in an easy workout.

Today is the first day they both have napped at the SAME time! By some sort of cosmic connection. The stars aligned, and their nap times collided allowing me to get in a blog post! Yay!

Let's get back into the swing of things, and get going!

Above photos-

September 27, 2014

Social Media Mixer- Week 18

Welcome to the 18th week of the Social Media Mixer!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Week 17 - we had 126 blogs and numerous social media link-ups!

Social Media Mixer-2

The Social Media Mixer is all about networking and making connections. Also, you can gain exposure and increase your social media following! Link up your blog posts and social media accounts and mix it up with some of the other linkers. Each week, the Weekday Mixer will start on Saturday nights at 8:00pm and go on until Wednesday nights at 11:59pm. A blog post will be chosen each week by each of the hosts and guest hosts and featured in the following week’s link-up! If chosen, a brief summary about yourself and your blog/website and all of your social media accounts will be featured. It’s a great way to stand out among the crowd!  One blogger will be chosen for 2 weeks of free ad space on Epic Mommy Adventures!

Welcome your hosts!

SMM Hosts Aug 2014 (1)
 Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Angel from Sew Crafty Angel | Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise | Julia from Minivan Dreams | | Liz from Look by Liz Lewis | Kaitlyn from Three Sisters and Us | Shana from Technotini | Anni from Grapefruit Princess | Tiffany from Mrs Tee Love Life LaughterCe Ce from A Chicago Mom |  Jillian from Baby Doodah | Holly from Southern Mom Loves

And welcome your guest hosts for September!

Avie from All Things Avie | Cyndi from The Decorating Chica | Danielle from Dancing with my Daughter | Emily from The Unextreme | Jennifer from Mommy Life After Ph.D. | Lauren from Life in the Wilde | Lori from Lori's Culinary Creations | Mila from Mila's Little Things | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Soro from Mom Swaddles All | Tara from Anything & Everything | Melissa from The Coupon Chronicles

And here are the Featured bloggers from last week's Social Media Mixer...

Holly chose...

Slow Cooker Beef Chile Verde Nachos from Lou Lou Girls

chile verde nachos_thumb[8]
My cute hubby called me from work and told me that he had just signed up to bring a main dish for the company pot luck dinner. Main dishes can be so hard because you have to get the dish to the party without falling apart and then finding something that will feed so many people! I love challenges! We decided on these incredible nachos. They were a big hit at the party! Mike told me that everyone was trying to get the last piece of meat out of the slow cooker because the meat was so tender. The great thing about nachos are that everyone can make their own the way they like.


Cathy and Avie chose...

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Brown Sugar Icing from Mayhem in the Kitchen!

Last year I bought the Costco pack of organic pumpkin puree, and based on how September has gone thus far, I’m going to need to stock up again this year. I know a lot of folks think this whole pumpkin spice thing is overrated, overdone, overblown, but I just can’t help myself. As soon as the air gets crisp and the leaves start to crunch, the pumpkin obsession stirs within me and there’s nothing I can do about it. …OK maybe it’s not quite that bad. But it’s close. I knew I was ready for fall when I went through and sniffed the entire autumn themed line of wax melt air fresheners at the hardware store. Twice. Three times on the Pumpkin Pie and Spiced Cider varieties. Lucky for me, one of my coworkers shares my pumpkin love, and requested a pumpkin spice treat for her birthday, so I didn’t even have to think of an excuse to make these.

Mila chose...

Therapeutic Blogging from The Realist Optimist

Our culture revolves around the idea of self-sufficiency and independence. We don’t want our survival to be dependent on anyone besides ourselves. But I’m pretty sure our culture has it wrong. Community is important. It always has ben and it always will be. We’re born into families, we play on teams, and we’re assigned to work in groups. We’re designed and engineered to function not in isolation, but in relationship with other humans. Even us introverts. After writing my most recent post on physical, emotional, and spiritual therapy, I realized that something was missing. I threw out a whole lot of information about the various forms of therapy and I neglected to talk about one of the best forms of therapy I have ever found: BLOGGING! I realize that some of you might not believe this fact, so I decided to make a list of the…5 Reasons Blogging Counts as Therapy

Cyndi chose...

Project: Pallet Shed- Finishing touches! from Scrapality

It’s been a long journey and a learning lesson from the first pallet to the last. My pallet shed is finally complete and I am very pleased how it turned out.

Ce Ce chose...

Crockpot Lasagna from 4 Sons 'R' Us

On top of it being an all-out yummy classic comfort food, lasagna is a busy mom’s secret dinner weapon. It’s such a great option, especially when we’re talking about a crockpot, not oven, version because it’s so easy to throw together and it’s really filling, so a little goes a long way. Plus, this recipe usually makes enough for leftovers, which is a bonus because lasagna is one of those foods that almost always tastes even better the next day.

Natasha and Silvie chose...

10 Reasons Why I Am No Better Than My Kids. from Domain of the Mad Mommy

Am I supposed to hold myself to a higher standard? I mean, I am their mother after all. Yet, somehow, I am no better than my kids.

Lori chose...

The Latest in Cat Pumpkins and More from Oh My Heartsie Girl

Welcome To Weekend Fun Party Halloween Pumpkin Preview I could not wait to start sharing these cute creations I found while searching on All You and Good Housekeeping websites.

Jillian chose...

Fall Handbag Essentials with U by Kotex from Warrior Queen

It's the first day of fall and California spent the morning pretending it was going to actually have cold weather for once. It's quickly thrown a JK in our faces, but I took advantage and wore my favorite Sevenly sweatshirt as I dashed to Walmart to get the best deal ever...which totally inspired today's post. It does help that my mom's best friend gave me a Kate Spade handbag this past week...Paulina's so proud of me!

Tiffany chose...

The Phone Call That Left Us Speechless from How Do the Jones Do It?

It was a school night and we were just getting ready to crawl in bed when the phone call came. ‘Jenny and her young daughter, Grace, don’t have a place to stay tonight. The hotel won’t take credit over the phone … can you go to the hotel in the next town over and pay for two nights?’

And the winner is...

Therapeutic Blogging from The Realist Optimist

Congratulations!! You have won 2 weeks of free ad space on Epic Mommy Adventures! Please e-mail Natasha at 1EpicMommy@gmail.com for more information on your free ad space.

Stop by and follow our featured bloggers! We're sure you'll love them as much as we do!
If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!
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