how to take great notes and pass a really hard class with flying colors.

The last few weeks of summer have been spent with me working and trying to enjoy my time away from the books before Fall semester aka my last semester begins.

I successfully completed my Anatomy & Physiology I class with an A. (Which I couldn’t be prouder, since this was a retake to bring my grade up from a D.)

During this 8-weeks crash course, I developed a few strategies which I would like to share. Some of these are no secret. But, just helpful tips for anyone taking a difficult course. I am an auditory and visual learner. Auditory to the degree I can remember weird inflections in voices that help me remember information. I like to doodle, so I claim the visual learner title as well. Maybe, I am just weird, and this is way more information anyone needs to know before they read my tips. Okay, I’ll cut to the chase.

Tip #1- Read the text.

Yeah, that’s no secret. This semester I discovered my tolerance level to classmates that ask me questions or straight up ask for answers and they have not read the text or even opened their book for that matter. One girl even said, “I can’t find the answer and I didn’t want to read through 400 slides to find it.” I’m not going to lie, I somehow made my made through high school and most of my marketing/communications degree without reading many textbooks. But, for a complicated subject, reading the material (prior to class) is key. This is even more important during a shortened semester. Instructors expect you to be prepared before class, and quite honestly, it’s frustrating for them, as well as your classmates, when you ask questions which clearly tells you didn’t read any of the material.


Tip #2- Take notes.

When following Tip #1, take notes while you’re reading. I found it very useful to use 2 pens (one black and one blue) and 2 highlighters (I use blue and green). While reading on my own, I take notes in black ink and highlight in green. During lecture and lab, I would only take notes in blue ink and highlight in blue. For me, this helped me remember things that were discussed in class as opposed to on my own. This also helped with clarifying topics. For instance, there was a typo in our textbook which stated the chemical formula for glucose was C6H12O2 instead of C6H12O6. I brought this typo up in lecture and marked this in blue ink. For me, it helped to know this was corrected and addressed by the professor, so I should remember it now. I also used the same method when correcting my test.


20150711_144544Tip #3- Read your notes!!!

Notes are your condensed version of the main points and topics in the text. Read them! Review them!!!

Tip #4- Go to office hours, study groups, and labs.

Your tuition essentially funds lab tutors/mentors, office hours, and materials. GO TO THEM!!! I learned so much more than I needed to know for A&PI by going to our campus’ science lab. Each time I went, I had a one-on-one tutor helping me with the material, they even prepared me for topics before we went over them in my lecture. You’re already paying for these services, so go!


Tip #5- Communicate with your instructor.

Do not wait until the end of the semester when your grade is at stake. Come a few minutes early to class, stay a few minutes late. Ask questions, even if you know the answer. Email them when you have questions or concerns. On every test day, I got to campus at least an hour early to review. I was the only person there, but my instructor saw me every test day waiting in the hallway studying. Not saying this is why I passed this class, but instructors see students taking initiative.

Have a great semester!

well, well, well. part 3.

Every so often I like to let you all in on some little known facts about me. Some are interesting and intriguing while others are just a little embarrassing. But, here it is, enjoy:

1) I am an Irish twin. That’s right. I only became familiar with this term a couple of years ago, but my older brother and I are indeed 11 months apart- to the day. Everytime I look at this picture, the lyrics to Mary-Kate and Ashley’s “Brother For Sale,” come rushing in my head. But, I love this guy! He really is the best big brother.


2) When I was in middle school, I won an Oreo Stacking contest at the grocery store. Of course, I found out about this contest through extensive dial-up internet research. Life goals, ya’ll, life goals.

3) I absolutely love wearing dresses. No explanation needed.






megan+oliver's wedding

megan+oliver’s wedding


not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

When I’m driving, it’s fun to look over and see couples arguing. Okay, maybe it’s not so much fun, but entertaining to say the least. I can only imagine how heated a conversation can get from the time people get in the car to their destinations, what has called so much turmoil to cause these “carguments.” Back seat drivers? Hard breakers? Who knows? It’s entertaining to watch. And this is why I drive alone.

This past week, I’ve been studying my booty off for A&P. Quite frankly, it’s easier the second time around. I found myself studying one afternoon at Starbucks when an elderly lady sat next to me. She noticed the huge book on my table and began asking me questions about school. She introduced herself as Dr. Harriette O’Connor, and boy has she overcome some adversity to call herself a doctor.

When she completed her undergraduate studies, over 50 years ago, she applied to 7 medical schools and was turned down from EVERY ONE strictly because she was a female. After choosing to take to broader route, she found herself married with children. Never losing sight of one day becoming a doctor, at the prime age of 40 she decided to go back to school after encouragement from a close family friend. And that’s what she did. She was the oldest one in her class, and admits to not being the “brightest bulb in the chandelier,” but she worked hard. She asked questions. She did the work. She showed up.

There’s my encouragement for you today. SHOW UP! DO WORK! ASK QUESTIONS! Maybe, not necessarily in that order. But, really, what’s your excuse at this point?

I also attended my 10 year high school reunion and had a blast. I’m amazed of what my former classmates have accomplished in the last 10 years. Some have proudly served in our military, others are starting charities, and others own businesses. It’s nice to get pretty for one day and pretend like “I woke up like this.

Photos Courtesy of Lance Adams, Fort Worth, Texas

Have a fantastic week.

<3 Krystal

you’re not boring, you’re bored. is that right?

Recently, I heard a fellow blogger mention that they have nothing to write about anymore, so they quit blogging. I’m sure many bloggers or writers, for that matter, fall into the whole writer’s block dilemma at some point or another. A lot of the time I have so many things to write about, but it’s difficult to put my words into posts that are concise and to the point. I ramble. I’d admit that proudly.

I love reading blogs. I’m sorry, but even if you are the most boring person in the world, you are interesting (to someone). I say this while knowing there are dozens of YouTube channels dedicated to watching people play video games. Let that soak in. You can type in “people playing video games” and watch, for hours, if you can tolerate, someone playing a video game. Why? I don’t know why. But, you can. To me, that is boring. But, someone else is willing to sit there and watch. I won’t even get into the Vlogger (Mom, that means video + blogger) that plays with kids toys, that’s just creepy.

My point is, you’re not boring. Just write, I mean it you want to. Write about your husband (to remind me not to get one, I kid) or about your dogs (to remind me not to get one). Write about a new recipe you nailed or failed. Write about your interaction with a stranger or how you learned to take awesome pictures without a photographer. See!


Write about how to organize your dresser. Believe me, I would read that, and that’s one of the reasons my socks are folded like little sushi rolls, and they seem to be happy now.

And then there was Priscilla, from one of my favorite blogs, Priscilla Loves to Run. Because dang it, she really does love to run. She’s definitely not boring (yeah, I need to work on my blog titles). She loves to run and swim and bike to point that, like me, she pushes past limits and no matter what a doctor says sometimes, she does what shes loves to do. But, that’s besides that point.

Priscilla and I have an interesting connection. She graduated from the same DTR program in Texas that I am currently enrolled in. We were both in the Student Dietetic Organization (at different times) and have had most of the same classmates and instructors. I literally just missed formally meeting Priscilla by a semester. It wasn’t until recently we both kept seeing each others names on Fit Approach sites and #Sweatpink that we realized how small our worlds really are. How crazy is that? Priscilla is an ace. For her recent birthday, her only request was for everyone to do a random act of kindness in her honor. How awesome is that? 

So, besides the plug for you to check out >>> Priscilla Loves to Run <<<, Priscilla has also challenged me and a few other pink sweating ladies, because everyone knows ladies only sweat pink and sometimes glitter along with left over Bath & Body Works body mist, to join in on #1MillionMInutes.

“The whole Sweat Pink community is coming together to achieve one million minutes of activity this summer! As always, our goal is to inspire and encourage everyone to get moving so help us in getting your friends, family, co-workers, and everyone in between working with us this summer to achieve one million minutes of movement!”


So, all my wonderful readers I challenge you to join in. Send me your minutes. Our goal is one million minutes of moving your body. From anything to Zumba to Crossfit to running to lifting. I need you (well, your minutes)! Message me, tweet me, any way you can reach me. We are running this until August 21, so you gots time, but don’t wait until the end. That, my friend, would be brutal.

<3 Krystal

10 Things Women Need to Stop Doing Before They Turn 30

We, women, are so hard on ourselves. We are also so hard on others. In this day and age of wireless internet, I decided to hook a sister up with a few pointers. I’m only telling you this because these are all things I am working on as well, but letsbehonest, it’s hard. There’s hope. Every avalanche starts with a snowball, unless it started with an aftershock of an earthquake. But, in most instances, it’s a snowball. What I am trying to say is, change doesn’t happen overnight, but it starts with small initiatives that become habit. I’ll be 30 years old in 610 days, so I need to get to it. So, here we go.

1) Stop hating on yourself and others. Do you always wanna be a hater? Yeah, maybe she just posted a picture of her chiseled 12-pack on Instagram with #girlswholift and got 87 likes. Who cares? Are you really going to throw a pity party and not like her photo. Wow, payback! Feel better? Too many questions, I know. Also, stop hating on yourself. Especially, in front of others. You post a selfie in return with #prettierwithmakeup. Now, you’re just fishing for compliments, and no one is really taking that bait. It just makes your followers uncomfortable.

2) Stop being petty. Some of my friends know this about me, but here’s the story. A guy I once dated also dated another girl prior to me. I don’t like her. The end. How does this make sense? I don’t like her because she dated my ex-boyfriend. If this says anything, I should like her, since we probably have more in common with each other than we do him. Whatever. Women are petty, just stop.

3) Stop hating your job. You’re not 15 years-old at your first job that your parents forced to get to pay for a speeding ticket or because you need to learn responsibilities. You’re an adult. If you hate your job find another one. You are annoying EVERYONE you work with complaining about your job or calling in sick once a week. No one feels sorry for you. They feel sorry for themselves when they are trapped alone with you. If you can’t find a way to quit, screw up as much as you can so your boss will fire you. Because believe it or not, your boss knows you hate your job, too. They just don’t have enough in writing to let you go.

4) Stop responding to all phone calls with text messages. You were born in the 80s. We all know your parents owned a landline for some portion of your existence. I bet they even taught you how to properly answer the phone when you were old enough. You seemed excited to talk on the phone then. Pick up the phone and return a call.

5) Speaking of phones. Change your voicemail to something other than, “Thank you for calling Movie Phone, just kidding this is so-and-so.” Are you joking? First off, no one believes they actually called Movie Phone. Secondly, no one calls to ask about movies anymore, they go online and look up listings. So, at the end of the day, your voicemail is outdated. Even without the explanation, change it to something more suitable, such as your name and probably your phone number.

6) Stop talking about your significant other (or lack of one) in EVERY. SINGLE. CONVERSATION. If you’re like me, you probably have an assortment of friends that are either married, engaged, divorced, single, widowed – the list goes on. If you’re like me, most of your taken and maybe single friends have had this “status” for awhile. If they are your friends, they know your love life, no need to remind them every time you’re together. I don’t want my conversation about how I updated my light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs turning into how your bae never lets you touch light bulbs anymore or I wish I had someone to change all my light bulbs, instead I am ALLLLLL alone (in the dark), or I had lots of light bulbs until I packed all my stuff and left that piece of crap and all the bulbs. Really? We’ve digressed, ladies.

7) Stop flaking on plans. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you can’t do it, don’t say you will. Simple. We all know a friend (or maybe you are the ‘friend’) that ALWAYS flakes on plans. You’ve got the flakage countdown calculated to the exact second. 41 minutes and 17 seconds before said plans, flaky friend is calling or texting they won’t be able to make it. Just say “yes” or “no” and mean it.

8) Stop swearing excessively. I’m running out of examples. Enough said.

9) Stop showing up to potlucks or BYOBs empty handed. One time is excusable, maybe. But, if this is always you, no one believes you just came from the gym or that you were running late from work. Plan ahead. There’s that.

10) Stop giving your opinion on everything. It’s an opinion, we all get it. Every heard the sayings, “jack of all trades, master of none” or “wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” Your opinion about everything is a mixture of these two sayings. Everyone, except you (of course), knows you don’t know what you’re talking about, but sometimes the stupidity brewing in your vocal chords is so humorous, no one asks you to stop. Until today.

<3 Krystal


Today, I had a blog view from Brazil. That’s pretty awesome. I hope that they weren’t lost on the internet and actually intentionally found me. I know if I found a Brazilian blog, I would be lost. Which happens quite a bit for me. Including today. I started my summer class, good ol’ Anatomy and Physiology I. This is actually my second attempt at this subject. Well, I got lost going to class. I’ve been to this campus over a dozen times, but it was over a year ago. But, still. It’s embarrassing. My lack of direction and whereabouts is atrocious. 

Have you ever had a really great invention idea and some stole it? I have. I mean, it’s not like I ever put the idea into fruition. But, when I was about six years old, I thought it was a grand idea to create a retractable sunshade for the car. Living as a Californian girl (for three years of my life), I always wondered why my parents had to always put their cardboard accordion folded sunshade with the tropical sunglasses on the dash each and every time we got out of the car. I thought to my six year old Krystal self, “why can’t they build that in?” I even verbalized it to my parents one time, without knowing the word “retractable,” and was brushed off with something like, “that’s just not how things are.” Do me a favor, and do not Google “Retractable Auto Sun Shade.” SkyMall, baby!

This week I lifted. A lot. With my work schedule being crazy, as ush, I found made time to lift after work, with a few of my workouts crossing over until the next day. I am doing my best to rewire my routines. If I make the effort and take the time to pack a gym bag, I am making sure I go to the gym. In my mind, part of rewiring is taking pride and appreciation in the time it takes to plan ahead, which should make it harder for me to give into anything other than that. And even if that isn’t the case, it usually challenges me to consider the time I put into planning.



June 2, 2015 Workout Sets x Reps
WU: Treadmill 1. 00 mile
DB Step Ups 3 x 15
Romanian DL 3 x 15
Leg Press 3 x 15
Stiff Leg DB DL 3 x 15
Leg Ext. 3 x 15
Leg Curls 3 x 15
DB Lunges 3 x 15
Standing Calf Raises 3 x 15
Seated Calf Raises 3 x 15
June 3, 2015
WU: Treadmill 1.00 mile
Bench Med Grip 1 x 15
2 x 15
Incline Med Grip 3 x 15
Dips with Plate 3 x 15
Incline DB Flyes 3 x 15
June 4, 2015
WU: HIIT- Treadmill 15 minutes
DB Rows 1 x 15
1 x 10
2 x 10
Bent Over Rows 3 x 15
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown 1 x 15
2 x 15
Iso Row 3 x 15
BO Two DB Row 1 x 15
2 x 15
DB Shrugs 3 x 15
Back Ext 3 x 15
June 8, 2015
WU: HIIT- Treadmill
DB Shoulder Press 3 x 15
Side Lat Raises 1 x 15
2 x 10
Seated BO Delts 3 x 15
Arnold DB Press 3 x 15
BO Rows with Plate 3 x 15
Standing Calf Raises 3 x 15
Seated Calf Raises 1 x 15
2 x 15

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

<3 Krystal

year of transition.

Do you have a familiar face? Every few months I meet a person who either knows someone who looks like me, talks like me, or both. I for one like to think of myself as a one-of-a-kind gem or precious stone, such as a crystal. See what I did there? But, ever since I was 13 or 14, I’ve been told I have a “twin”. Her name may be Kendra and she seems to follow me from coast to coast. This year, I found out she previously worked for the rehab facility I interned at and today, I found out she used to workout at my gym. I have no clue if she’s the same person, but it’s amusing to think I could have a look alike out there. So, Kendra or whoever you are, I would like meet you (and possibly judge if we really look alike). I personally like to credit Atong for being my long lost twin. A woman can dream, right? image IMG_6212 Any who! My calves hurt. And, so do my arms. My everything hurts. In the spirit of getting back on track with my workouts, I decided to hire a personal trainer. I’ve always been a person to rely on my feelings on whether to workout and eat right. The quality (and quantity, for that matter) of my training and dieting often times lands in the the in control of my moods. You heard me, a women can have M-O-O-D-S. Plural not singular. Take notes.

Here’s a few things I learned about being a “feeler” when it comes to working out (adapted from 1) Easily discouraged.  *I want results sooner rather than later. If I don’t see changes after a couple workouts, I am usually on to the next best thing.

2) Eat or drink for comfort. No limits. *Beer, cookies, cookies, cookies, and cookies. 

3) Self-conscious in the weight room. *I think everyone is watching me do something wrong, I mean isn’t that the reason for all those mirrors?

4) Extremely enthusiastic, so I train hard—maybe too hard. When I’m not enthusiastic, I struggle to get to the gym at all. *Many times my competitiveness and enthusiasm lead to injury because I push myself beyond what I am truly capable of doing and the cycle of pity begins.

Maybe, you’re like me. If you are, there is hope. Just like every other aspect of life: MAKE. A. PLAN. That has been the biggest hurdle for me. But, even one step pass that- Be proud of yourself. EACH. STEP. OF. THE. WAY. For myself, I think a lot of my discouragement comes from comparing my current self to what I was at my “best” self. I forget to compare all the training, sweat, blood, tears, sore muscles, aches, and pains. I need to remember to be proud of myself for each step in reaching my goals.

Limits. I need to learn that indulging is not a bad thing. But, it should not control my life. Excessive anything is usually not a good thing.

Be myself. Who cares if I am doing it wrong? I’m trying. There are so many resources on how to do things right. But, how will I ever learn if I don’t make a few mistakes along the way. I’ve heard that one the your worse enemy is reading about the world, and not going out to see for yourself. I, for one was guilty of reading and hoarding knowledge about how to do something, but never making the initial step into actually doing it. Seriously, I read about yoga for years, but it wasn’t until this past semester I finally took a class.

Don’t take on the world (too quickly). Yeah, I wanna look good by my 10-year reunion and all, but be smart. By default, I typically end up as the “team leader” among my friends. For example, in January two of my girlfriends and I decided we wanted to run a half marathon in April. You can imagine my enthusiasm when by January 24th I had already calculated about 50 miles and by January 31, I could barely walk. Really?! And from February to May I sat on the couch and ate cookies. Pace yourself, girl!

So, short story long. This is my year of transition. 28 years old will be a good year (even though I spent two months thinking I was 29), and it begins with the steps I decide to make each and everyday. Today is a good day for a good day. Today is also a good day to decide to have a good year! image