Friday, September 28, 2012

D.C. or Bust!

The Bearcat Bands are on their way to tomorrow's football match-up of the University of Cincinnati VS. Virginia Tech.  The last match-up of these schools was January 1, 2009 at the beloved Florida Orange Bowl.

In terms of travel arrangements, this means 5 full charter busses, 250 band members and staff members, and one very large (and full) semi truck is on the move.

Am I excited for the trip?  You betcha!  Traveling approximately 1000 miles in just over two days with 250 of my closest friends in a whirlwind weekend performance is always a great time for an alumni band member!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

UC Band: Recruitment Mode!

There are exciting things happening today in the world of UC Bearcat Bands Recruitment!  The UC Bearcat Bands are performing at a BOA (Bands of America) marching band competition in Kentucky, and I just finished a new version of the UC Band recruitment DVD!  Take a sample look:
With the exception of the physical creation of the DVD menu template and the C-Paw (which is being used in accordance with the branding specifications set by the University of Cincinnati), everything is my original creation.  I took each of the four pictures visible within the scrolling DVD menu at last season's 2011 Liberty Bowl with my DSLR.  I shot and edited each of the three short Band videos using a combination of my DSLR and through the use of a friends Canon XL1/Canon XHA1 video camcorders.
This video, the TUCBIDG Recruitment Info listing above, is the newest of the three videos.  By new, what I really intend to say is the most recent edit of an existing video.  I repurposed a previous video I made last year to better work as a recruitment tool by making it exist in more of a slideshow format that can easily be repeated on loop.

Personally, I think the whole project looks pretty spiffy.  What do you think?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Guten Tag!

One of my more touristy moments while visiting
Salzburg Austria--Mozart's birthplace!
It has already been over three years since my summer studying abroad in Munich Germany.  I had a great time and visited Berlin, Paris, Prague, Deggelsdorf, Salzberg, and hiked in the Austrian Alps.

Oh Germany, how I miss thee...

Luckily, I live in Cincinnati and Cincinnati is a 'sister city' to Munich.  I have already visited one of the several Oktoberfest festivals in the vicinity and have easy access to Hofburhaus--just across the river.  Since I flew home on my 21st birthday, I have not missed out on any of the delicious beverages (Radler  beir excluded) that you can drink at age 16 in Germany.

Nepolitaner bars!
While in Germany, I found it hilarious that I could buy dozens of flavors of fruit spreads, but grape was not an option!  Some of the items that I cannot seem to find in the US however include Apfel Saft (an apple juice soda), Mezzo Mix (Coke mixed with Orange Fanta), Radler Beir (Lager Beer and Fizzy Lemonade-it is much better than it sounds), and Original Nepolitaner.  One item, much to my delight, has recently found its way to the shelfs of my local Walgreens!

My beloved Original Nepolitaner, or in the US labeled as Hazelnut Cream Filled Wafers, are currently in stock at my local Walgreens as part of a small effort to promote Oktoberfest (which doesn't make complete sense since Manner Bars are a product of Vienna Austria).  As you can see from the picture above, I delightfully bought several of both the Hazelnut option (pictured) and the sweet Lemon variety.  For the moment, I am happily delighted to have found one of my favorite German treats :)


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's not that I am dieting...

...but I decided to track what I was eating for a few days and really surprised myself with how often I consume multiple servings without intending to do so!  I know that most restaurant meals are larger than they 'need' to be, but it had never really occured to me that I was preparing the same size meals at home too!  My day one clocked in at over 2300 calories with no exercise.

This is how the above meal counts itself calorie wise!
The weekend experiment has left me deciding that I should be a little bit more conscious of what I am eating, for health's sake.  To the right you can see a dish I made for dinner.

This yummy meal, including baked tilapia and cheesy broccoli, is much lower in calories than what I was eating before, clocking in at a total of 342 calories.  Plus the tilapia is high in protein, I skipped butter and used the 'healthy fat' olive oil instead, and was still able to allow for cheesy broccoli!  Everything was baked in my oven for 425 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Because I am trying to show myself what individual servings should look like, I took the time to measure out the recommended serving sizes for this meal, for the first time in a really long time.  I surprised myself when I realized what one cup of broccoli looks like and that adding 1/4 cup of mild cheddar cheese (one serving) really seemed like too much cheese!

I should also mention that the meal also looks jumbo sized in the picture, but it is actually sitting on a small salad plate.

Today, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two small snacks will clock in at 1329 calories--> 267 calories 'under budget' in respect to the suggestions that gives me based on my height, age, activity levels, and fitness goals.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Coffee Cappuccino?

It all started because I have the day off work.  After a yummy lunch out, I returned home desiring a tasty sweet treat.  Usually, I fulfill this craving with ice cream.  Deciding to seek a lower calorie option today, I hit the web for a homemade cappuccino treat.

I don't own anything too fancy when it comes to my kitchen utensils.  I do not have an expresso machine or a milk steamer or even a simple blender for that matter.  My Mr. Coffee is a Keurig wanna-be and suits my needs for a much lower upfront cost.  I continue to save money by using refillable K-Cups too.
"Reusable Filter for Keurig Single Cup Brewers" (Google Affiliate Ad)

After reading a dozen or so recipes, I decided to take a stab at my own by combining the ideas I found online with the items my kitchen has to offer.

How I made a Coffee Cappuccino!

Step 1: Brew some strong, tasty coffee.  I made two 5 ounce cups.

Step 2: Microwave milk and sugar in a microwaveable container.  I used one-third cup of 1% milk, about two to three teaspoons of sugar, and a pyrex glass measuring cup.
Step 3: After microwaving the milk and sugar, froth it with a wire whisk.  I microwaved in :30 second increments, whisking furiously to grow frothy bubbles.  I repeated this until the milk volume doubled to around two-thirds cup.
Step 3

Step 4

Step 4: Add the milk (but not froth) to the coffee.  Use a spoon to keep the froth so it can be added slowly.  Step 5:  Add the milk froth and top with a dash of cinnamon!
Step 6: Enjoy to the last drop! Sisters 

Thursday, September 6, 2012


UC Bearcat Bands at their last marching performance:
December 31, 2011 Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee!
You don't want to be late!  Make sure you get to your seats at least 20 minutes before the start of the game so you can see the UC Bearcat Bands CHARGE DOWN THE STADIUM STEPS!!!

For all my Bearcat fans out there, you know what this means!  Today is the University of Cincinnati Bearcat Football opening game and the Bearcat Bands are a huge part of gameday traditions!!!!  All this said, it means I have the pleasure of resuming to my post as the Bearcat Bands Videographer, complete with my season press-box credentials for Nippert Stadium :)

I am a very lucky person to get to work with the awesome people that I get to see each time I help out with the UC Bearcat Bands.  It is an organization that I loved being a part of for the four years I was on the field, and I love that I have been able to continue working with the organization in another role that better suits my skills.  If you're lucky, I might have another band video update soon!

If you want to check out some awesome updates about the band, please visit the UC Bearcat Bands website or the UC Drum Major Society Blog.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How I Saved 30% with Snapshot

You may remember way back to the end of March when I found out how much I was going to save as my preliminary discount with Progressive for participation in the Snapshot Driving Discount program.

No?  Well, fear not, for I have the hyperlink here: <>

The little device was kept in my car for a total of 5 months.  I recently mailed it back and was awarded the full 30% savings on my Progressive car insurance plan based on my driving habits.  This is a savings that I will get to keep as long as I choose Progressive as my insurer!  The grading rubric, as you could call it, is a savings based on how much I drive (miles), when I drive (time of day), and how aggressive I drive (i.e. hard breaking: a decrease of at least 7 mph per second).

This is a sample of what I saw online.  It defined the areas of
judgement regarding my driving, as well as updating me daily
regarding my mileage and number of hard breaks, which made it
easy for me to mentally keep track of my driving habits. 
Before I signed up for the discount, I read about other people's not so positive experiences posted on other blogs.  I don't know all the details about how they drive, but I do know that I signed up anyway because of how little I drive.  I live in an urban environment and I walk to work almost every day.  I bought my car at the end of September last year and have yet to drive 4,500 miles.  My car will last forever at this rate!

You can ask my friends about my experience though, and they will tell you the only reason I stuck it out was because of the possibility of saving money.  I don't have the greatest driving with two tickets and an at fault accident, this means that my 30% savings was almost $300 for a 6 month plan!  However, knowing that someone would be judging my potential discount based on the little info the device sent to Progressive made me a very paranoid driver.  I avoided driving at almost all costs and was very extremely passive when I did drive.

Overall, all frustrations put aside, it was well worth my energy to have participated in Progressive's Snapshot driving discount, because I will save $600 this year alone!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

One reason I love going Home... Maggie.

This little girl thinks she is a Queen.  She is in the exact same spot on my bed as when we left two hours ago.  And if the food in her dish isn't up to her standards, she will sit next to it until someone puts some fresher food out for her.  Like I said, Miss Maggie is a Queen!