Staff Bonding

I was up with the sun this morning, despite having been up until 1:30 a.m. because I was on-call and then waking up at 3 a.m. to yell at my residents to quiet down (if any of you are reading this, get some sleep!)

But alas, at 7 a.m. I was awake. Then I went back to sleep. And woke up again. Back to sleep. And finally up at 8:45. I figured this was my body saying “Wake up!” so that’s exactly what I did.

I knew we had our staff retreat today, so I had a small breakfast since the first thing we were doing was eating lunch.

Breakfast was two pieces of whole-wheat toast, Whole Foods peanut butter, a drizzle of honey, and a banana. I LOVE Whole Foods peanut butter…it’s not too sweet (no added sugar) so I can control how sweet it is when I use it. Today, I wanted a hint of sweet and the honey was perfect!

Side note: Toast may be my favorite thing to eat for breakfast. It’s fast, simple, easy to clean up and can be made in lots of different ways! I can’t believe how much I was missing last year without a toaster. 

To go along with my breakfast, I had a cup of coffee. Green Mountain Golden French Toast K-cup. Yum!

I take my coffee with skim milk and sugar. Not too sweet, and not too heavy. Perfect!

After breakfast, I had some time to kill, so I watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie. This is one of my all-time favorite shows, and I’m currently reading Melissa Sue Anderson’s (or did she drop the Sue?) book The Way I See It. It’s gotten me on a Little House kick, and this morning I watched The Pride of Walnut Grove.

I’m right there crying with you, Mary.

After that, it was time for the staff retreat! It was pretty much a surprise for everyone on staff, so I didn’t really know what to expect. We walked to Dobbs Pavilion to eat lunch as a staff, which was actually my first time ever there! I had an omelet with veggies and cheese, plus some pineapple. AND another cup of coffee…probably not my best idea, but more on that later.

For the staff retreat, we went to another residence hall and spent the afternoon in an apartment Res Life keeps for campus visitors. As a staff, we created collages by finding words, phrases and photos in old magazines that we thought represented our other 15 staff members. The final result, at least for me, was really awesome. My staff knows me really well and came up with some great phrases!

My awesome collage! All of these phrases and photos had a special meaning from someone on staff, and it’s really special to me.

During the retreat, one of our staff members told us she would not be returning next semester. I am really sad to see Hillary go because she’s been a great friend to me during this semester, but I know we’ll get to spend time together next semester…in fact, I’ll make SURE of it!

Hillary (right) and I with our collages. She added glitter to hers because she’s a natural crafter.

At some point during the retreat, I started feeling a little jittery. I was drinking water throughout the afternoon, but I think drinking 2-3 cups of coffee really hit me hard. I don’t normally drink that much caffeine, and by the end of the retreat I was really feeling it!

So, for dinner, I knew I had to replenish some nutrients and hydrate. I had some crackers and Laughing Cow cheese, and made some white rice in my rice cooker. I also drank some watered-down Powerade (ever since high school cross-country I can’t drink regular-strength sports drinks. Thanks, Coach Kern!) By the time I was done with all this, I was feeling a TON better, but still a tad hungry, which I expected. So, I made oatmeal!

I’m a HUGE fan of Kath Eats Real Food, and am obsessed with her whipped banana oats. I make them at home all the time. But in my room at school, I don’t have a stove, so I have to improvise and cook them in the microwave. Here’s my adapted recipe:

Microwave Whipped Banana Oats


  • 1/3 cup rolled or quick-cooking oats
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup milk (I often use soy or almond milk here)
  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 1 tsp chia seeds

Mix the oats, water and milk together in a bowl. If using rolled oats, let soak for at least 30 minutes. If using quick-cooking oats, add the chia seeds and slices of banana.

Microwave for 2 minutes, then remove from the microwave and stir vigorously. This is the “whipped” step of the process. Stir until oats start to thicken to desired thickness. I like my oats really thick, so I often put them back in the microwave for another minute. The oats are done when you can’t pick out pieces of banana from the mixture.

At this point, feel free to add toppings such as pumpkin, nut butters, spices, coconut, jam, Biscoff spread, or, in my case, berries!

Purple oats. My favorite color!

I just defrosted 1/2 cup of berries in the microwave. They were still cold but no longer frozen, which helped cool down my REALLY hot oats.

I don’t have any plans for the rest of the evening, but I think I’m going to practice my flute and then go to bed early. I need to run 40 minutes tomorrow and it’s supposed to rain starting at 9 a.m., so I’ve got to get an early start!


4 thoughts on “Staff Bonding

  1. Pingback: Back to the Grind | Expeditions of Elise

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