Monday, January 31, 2011

You will definitely want s'more.

These cupcakes are seriously awesome.  My favourite part is the graham crumble! They're messy to eat- but it's because they're oozing with yummy chocolate, so it's ok.
S’more Cupcakes (by bakerella, but with some modifications by me)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup cocoa
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup oil
A bunch of mini marshmallows
Graham Cracker Crumb topping
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Put paper liners in a cupcake tin, then spray the surface of the tin reaaaal good. These babies stick.
In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda together with a wire whisk.
Separate the mixture in half into two bowls.
Stir cocoa into one bowl and the graham cracker crumbs into the other.
Add 1/2 cup milk, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 cup oil to the cocoa mixture and beat on medium until combined.
Repeat adding the same ingredients to the graham cracker crumb flour mixture.
Prepare the graham cracker crumb topping.
Add the brown sugar and crumbs in a small bowl and pour on the melted butter. Stir until combined.
Pour a little graham cracker cake batter into the bottom of your baking cups and then sprinkle the topping mixture on the surface.
Place a few  marshmallows on top and then cover the marshmallows with the chocolate cake batter until it is about 3/4 full.
Sprinkle with more topping mixture.
Bake cupcakes for about 15 minutes. Place a cookie sheet underneath when you bake just in case. They tend to overflow.
When done baking, let sit in the pan for a few minutes and then use a knife to unstick the cupcake tops from the tin (if they overflowed). If you don't, they'll probably get all messed up when you take them out.  Remove from tin once they seem cool/firm enough to handle the transfer.
Once cool, top with ganache:
Heat the butter and cream on the stove. Heat until just before it boils. Remove and pour over chocolate. Stir until completely melted and smooth.
Pour over cupcakes and add more marshmallows to make it look precious. If you're hardcore, toast the marshmallow first.
(Sometimes they get these craters in them from the marshmallows melting funny, so you have a nice little hole to put more marshmallows and some chocolate it. Perfect.

Another thought I had was using marshmallow fluff to make a frosting and then toasting it and garnishing with a piece of Hershey chocolate and graham cracker... That would be precious. 



Something that really isn't helping with the stressful fact that I have 18 credit hours and I work 20 hours a week (complain, complain) is that I still don't have my laptop back. It has been almost three weeks of not having it. Now I know that a lot of people make it by without having a laptop in college- but my entire study method revolves around putting my reading notes into onenote, taking paper notes in class, then reworking my notes all into onenote along with reading notes. It's really all quite beautiful once I have finished, and makes studying fabulous. And I like having all of my stuff all organized and in one place- not having to do some on Sam's laptop, some on the desktop, some at the library, then having to email everything to myself and send it off and remember where it got saved... Not to mention putting pictures somewhere and updating my iPod and being able to do homework in between classes and all that jazz.  It has just been very inconvenient.
just lovin' the laptop problems
My laptop has been a pain in the butt. the whole time that I've had it. I won't even get in to how it totally died a week before finals one semester, deleting all of my final papers and notes and everything (oh wait, I just got into it... Well, it sucked).  There are plenty of other joyously awful things about it, like the blue screen of death, the battery not charging,  shutting off without warning, not operating programs that it should operate, etc...  Customer service hasn't always been all that great either.  One time, after Sam waited on the phone for hours to talk to somebody, the guy was extremely rude and basically said 'Just deal with it' to our problem and said he couldn't help us and was very condescending.  So Sam asked to speak to his manager, and instead the guy just cut off our call. I know, right? However, when we called back the other lady was really helpful.
Anyway, we had to extend the warranty. When my screen started whacking out, this month we took it to the BYU bookstore to get them to fix it- but then they said they couldn't find the warranty. So Sam called HP again. After a looong wait they finally figured it all out. So BYU got their act together and were supposed to fix it- but then HP said that we had to send it in to them to fix it. So we went ahead with that. This was like 3 weeks ago.  Then just last week we were checking the order status, and oh look, HP forgot to send the shipping label so it's been sitting in the loading bay for two weeks. IT'S STILL IN PROVO.

If you've actually read this far- thanks for listening to my complainy ways.  Summary: HP and BYU Bookstore computer section=unimpressive. Probably won't be doing any business with them in the future. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Slightly a slacker?

So I skipped one of my classes today... But hear me out! I finished my sewing lab an hour early (Also sewed through my finger in that one. Neat), so it was 5pm and my next class didn't start until 6pm, so I had an hour that would be wasted. This was also the 6-8:30pm class that I can pretty much learn everything from by looking at the powerpoints. There was a huge basketball game (BYU won, ps) so there would probably be a ton of people missing anyway. Plus, I had a TON of homework.  I'm at the middle school all day tomorrow and then have to go to an American Heritage thing  for a few hours, so I also had to get most of Friday's homework done.  Anyway, I just think that sometimes it's a lot more productive to spend time out of class getting things done than in class wasting away and falling asleep. 

Speaking of falling asleep- the American Heritage lecture room is SO hot and stinky and gross when I get there. Then they turn out the lights. And I'm sleepy from eating lunch. Long story short, didn't make it through that one today. Or last time. Maybe next week?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

more than it's cracked up to be

For one of my classes we get to attend both middle and high schools to observe, teach, and get the 'FACS ed experience'.  This week and last I'm been going to Timberline Middle School- and let me tell you, it has been a blast.  I never thought I would have any interest in teaching middle school- but it will be interesting to compare this to when I go to a high school. Granted, most of the students are higher class white kids so it's quite a bit different from many middle schools- but it really is a lot different (and better) than I expected.  On Thursday I get to teach about goal making.  The teacher also said I could do whatever I want with it. So thank you CASC for preparing me for this moment in my 'student teaching' career.  I'm actually way excited about it. I'm also doing a demo on melting chocolate in a double boiler. Nifty.
I also have an assignment due in Advanced Writing that is supposed to be a resume/cover letter that I might send once I'm graduated or applying for an internship.  I am always shocked at how much I have actually accomplished, and how qualified I actually am for different positions.  Again, thank you CASC for extending my formal job experience beyond pea harvesting and delis. People, seriously, if you haven't done any 'real' work stuff, at least do some relevant volunteer things. The stuff I've done for the Canadian Cancer Society basically got me my current job.
Anywho, I had better get to work if I want to make it to the gym tonight.  Sam has to get up crazy early tomorrow for the BY Career Fair, and if I don't get up with him, I would probably not wake up to an alarm.  I would not be able to do what I do without him (talking specifically about making sure I wake up in the morning- but also all that good stuff like keeping me sane and happy. He's the bomb.).

PS: I made some homemade red velvet cake the other day.  Pretty happy about how it turned out. I should make cake from scratch more often (and give it away. Who wants it?).
not a picture of mine, but I didn't take a picture. Deal.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I wish google actually had the answers.

don't cry over it.
I don't want to be a downer. So I won't. Instead I will just go to bed and be happy that I am done doing homework for the night, and not complain about other things.  It's usually not as bad as you think it is in the moment.  I have a lot more to be happy about than to be annoyed about!
But seriously, I really shouldn't listen to such indie-emotional-crazy person music sometimes.  It does weird things.
Anywho... good night!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

98 weeks to go

Not going to lie, I'm a bit worried about burning out before March.  But here's the thing- it will be my own fault.  Maybe I'm spreading myself too thin.  I might just be setting myself up for failure.  Somehow I turn my 'want-to-do's into 'have-to-do's, and it may end up biting me in the butt.  When I fall short I'm really hard on myself.  Well, here comes another week. Wish me luck. One day at a time.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Three Day Weekend!

It's unfortunate that we get our holiday right at the beginning of the semester!  I'm not even burnt out yet! Oh well, I shouldn't complain- long weekend is a long weekend!

I just spent much of my afternoon running 13.1 miles. Oh yeah. I haven't done it in nearly a year and a half, so it was pretty satisfying- even though it's a lot easier than running a legit half marathon outside.  It wasn't my best time by any means, and I'm pretty sure I'm about to die, but now I'm all ready to go eat some burritos with some friends!

The gym can be a funny place. There are some definite 'types' who go. Examples follow:
Why do girls do their hair and makeup, wear a dressy tank top, and SHEER booty shorts to the gym? Ladies, your cheeks are hanging out the back. For reals. And they're slightly see through. Maybe that's the look you were going for... Then there's me- I guess I'm a type too- the sweaty-adidas shorted-old tshirt-ugly ponytail sort of girl.  People possibly avoid being on the treadmill next to me because I'm so gross. Not 'my hair is a mess!' gross, but legitimately gross. TMI? Whatever. I'm sure you all expected it of me. 
Then today I met Nazi treadmill lady... She comes up to me while I'm running and the following conversation occurs:
Lady: How much longer are you going to be?
Me: Another two miles, about
Lady getting super angry and almost yelling: YOU WERE ON IT FOR AN HOUR THEN YOU LEFT AND CAME BACK AGAIN
Me: I had to go to the bathroom, sorry There are like 7 other treadmills open
Guy next to me, watching big old angry lady walk away: Big girl...

If all of the other treadmills were taken, I would definitely not stay on the same one for so long. I know it's annoying to have to wait. But there were plenty of other ones available. For reals. I'm super non-confrontational so I didn't say anything to her about how ridiculous she was being. 

Then there are the boys who (and I am seriously not exaggerating) check themselves out ALL THE TIME.  I look in the mirror too while I'm working out- particularly if I'm using free weights- but I for reals saw a couple guys that would actually be doing some arm thing or whatever, and then lift up their shirts in between sets to flex and look at their abs.  I don't think 8 bicep curls has drastically changed what your abs look like. I'm just sayin'. 

Then of course there are other types- but I'll save further analysis for another day. Maybe I'll try to be slightly more humorous(ehh...) and slightly less annoyed about it.  I'm going to go lie down now.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I think that New Years resolutions can be great.  It gives people a set time to make a change in their life.  However, I also have some beef with them.
First off, you don't have to make goals only on big occasions like New Years or your birthday.  You can make a goal to change something ANY time! Don't be sitting there in November thinking that you had might as well just wait until January.
The other thing I don't like about a lot of New Years resolutions (and other goals in general) is that there is a tendency to set yourself up for failure.  For those of you who don't know, at my job I teach workshops that encourage academic (or social, career, personal, etc) success.  In a lot of the workshops we teach about making SMART goals.
First, think of a general goal.  It might be 'getting in better shape' or 'getting better grades'.  That's fine and dandy, but you need to do a bit more to actually be able to achieve these things.

S- specific.  You need to know what you want to accomplish.  Vague goals=vague results.  Just saying that you want better grades isn't specific enough! You could turn it into 'get a 3.6 GPA' or 'be on the honour roll'.

M- measurable.  You want to be able to see your progress!  The number one motivator for a continued change in habit is being able to recognize success.  For example, saying that you just want to be in better shape is pretty hard to measure.  Instead, you could say that you want to run 40 miles every week, work up to running a marathon, or lose ten pounds.

A- attainable.  Be realistic!  Of course you want to actually aim high and not make it too easy, but don't set yourself up for failure.  Don't make a goal to lose 20 pounds in a week. That's just silly.  Instead, aim for something like '1lb/week until April' or something like that.  You also need to take into account your current situation.  For example, I originally had a goal to run a marathon by April.  However, given my situation with work, school, and other commitments, it's not realistic so I have adjusted my goal to be more attainable.

R- relevant.  Do something that matters to you.  If it's important to you and is going to be significant to you in the long run, you'll be way more likely to care.  If you don't really care and it doesn't matter if you get a 4.0 or not, don't make that goal.  If you hate running, don't make a goal to run a marathon.  Make it meaningful!

T- time sensitive.  Set a deadline!  Have a specific time frame in which to complete your goal.  I don't know about you guys, but when I have a big ol' paper due at a very vague time way later in the semester I'm not going to worry about it too much. But if I know exactly when it's due I'm going to want to get it done.  Have a specific running event in mind, save up money for a trip that is happening a set date, finish your paper by 8pm on Thursday, etc.

A few other tips:

  • tell somebody- especially somebody that is very motivating or you are around a lot.  I give the people I tell about my goals permission to nag me so that I keep on track :)
  • set a reward-  if you finish that race you get to buy new running shorts.  If you get a 3.6 and thus get to go on that study abroad, get a new raincoat.  Don't be counter-productive though- don't pledge to eat 2 pies and a tub of cool whip once you lose 10lbs.
  • write it down- post it in a place you see all of the time! 
  • set sub-goals if you need to. For example, losing weight isn't just going to magically happen. Make goals about what you eat or how you'll exercise.  (ps: for a good way to track your caloric intake/expenditure, use Livestrong MyPlate)
  • make goals often- don't just wait for New Year's to come along!

Hopefully that will help.  It might seem like a lot of work, but trust me- it will definitely help you succeed if you make a SMART goal from the beginning!

PS: Did you make any New Year's Resolutions?