End of the Year

So the end of the year has come and I’ve decided to sum it up here (with a little twist):

With hours left of before the New Year
I invite you all to come and look here
This year was great better then last,
for many reasons I cannot explain
but all the rest I mustn’t contain.

The year stared off,
you see I met this guy
who just happened to put a sparkle in my eye

Got into an accident
not fun at all,
my poor little car
it’s been through it all

I graduated you see
and received my associates degree,
then there was Texas
that place is huge
there for a week yet so much to do.

There was hiking
and camping too,
something different that I wasn’t used to

Right after that I moved into school
a two hour drive for such a fool,
had an empty room,
dull and dreary
that was until some colors, quite so cheery.

My first day of school wasn’t a blast,
got lost as I was walking to class
up three flights,
then down them again
I was just scared, a shiver of fright.

Day one was over
I was ready for the next
although eventually
that meant there would be tests
I studied, and studied, and studied my best
trying to beat out all of the rest.

Met some new people
lets call them my friends
and then I met you
who reads each post from start to end.

I registered for classes,
spring here I come
I’ll surely be smart, no one to call dumb

Now Christmas has passed
I got presents galore,
just kidding just a little more
lots of family and friends
almost wishing it wouldn’t end.

I now count down the hours,
till the year is over
hoping that next would be even better.

Okay that didn’t rhyme at all, but I’m sure you get my point. Happy New Years Everyone!! I’ll see you next year. ūüėČ

Sleep? That’s outrageous!

My first week back wasn’t as enjoyable as I wish it was. ¬†I think Friday may have been the first time I actually got to sleep in at all. ¬†Monday was my last final, I had a dentist appointment Tuesday, Wednesday I had to take my grandma to the doctors, and Thursday was jury duty or taking grandma to the dentist. ¬†Lucky for me and grandma, I had no jury duty. ¬†Although bad for me that all of these appointments were before or at ten o’clock so each morning I tried to grab a coffee or something to help me jump start the day. ¬†I was on break after all and going to bed at a reasonable hour is just out of the question. ¬†Although every morning I was kicking myself a little because I should have gone to bed just a little earlier. ¬† I will admit I took a nap one day just because I was running low on energy and my eyes gave out on me.

Then there was Friday. ¬†I don’t know why, but I think my body was just used to waking up early so it thought I wanted to be up early on Friday as well. It wasn’t 7 o’clock early, but it was before ten, and I couldn’t fall back asleep, which is no fun. ¬†It also hit me Friday night, when my friends and I were going to have an “End of the world” party (it being 12/21/12 and all) but decided to stay dry and go see the Hobbit instead; much better idea although the darkened lights made me more prone to falling asleep. ¬†I tried, closed my eyes a couple times but never fell asleep, which was a good thing. ¬†The Hobbit was a pretty good movie and I might have been sad to have fallen asleep while watching it.

Saturday and Sunday weren’t that bad either. ¬†They gave me the sleep I was looking for, but they were a little busy packed with last minute shopping and running errands. ¬†Did I mention that with 5 days until Christmas I had about zip¬†worth¬†of presents, I had a little more then nothing, but it wasn’t much compared to what needed to be done. ¬†And with stores/shops closing early and it pouring rain outside it wasn’t a lot of fun.

I’ve now had a few days to sleep in or at least get a little better sleep and tomorrow I am back to waking up early and driving grandma around. ¬†I don’t mind it; I just wish I could have just an hour more of sleep.

Finals and Baking

Okay, so I wouldn’t say that finals are anything easy, because lets face it they are end of the semester pains. The last two weeks of the semester were a little bit of a pain for me. ¬†Lets see, I had two quizzes in my math class along with a group project, a final test (before the final) in chemistry lecture, two more homework assignments (that made me want to scream), I had to finish up my¬†lab notebook (which I had been somewhat neglecting), ¬†do a lab practical, there was also a potential rewrite of a paper in my Economic class, but since everything else was overwhelming me, that got pushed to the side for a maybe that never happen.

And then there were finals.  Oh the joy of finals.  You could say I had one about every other day.  Math Mathematical Modeling Wednesday the 12th, Economic History Friday the 14th, and General Chemistry I Monday the 17th.  The nice thing about finals was that I only had one per day; the bad thing was that I had to get up earlier then I had been for two of my finals.

Now for the fun and less stressful part of my blog: baking.  Have I mentioned how much I love baking, or that my family does a ton of it during the holidays.  Half the time they are given out as gifts, the other half is for holiday snacks and dessert.  I love baking for many reasons, and one is that they seem to take the stress of life away, and some how clear my head.  I know it sounds strange, but when I bake it just lightens the load off of my shoulder and makes me feel 10x happier.  This year I decided to make little goody bags for my roommates and a few other people.

First there was pine bark, which my parents found one morning when they were Food Network-aholics.  They would spend hours watching Food Network finding new recipes.  This bark recipe is courtesy of Ms. Paula Dean, and can be found here:  Pine Bark .

In my baking spirit I also wanted to make something simple, that I could explain to people what it was. ¬†I wanted what most would consider a “normal” treat that everyone knows. ¬†So I made chocolate chip cookies as well.

Included in these goodies were also “worlds best cookies” ¬†which I had actually helped my mom make. ¬†Yes I cheated a little, but can you blame me with finals and all? ¬†I’m not exactly sure why they are called “worlds best” but they have to be pretty darn good to get that name. ¬†I want to say it is an old recipe my family has had for ages, but you can also find recipes similar to it online.

The¬†peanut butter¬†cookies previously mentioned would have been included if my dad hadn’t taken the wrong box of cookies on a trip, and my mom knew where she hid the cookies. ¬†Yes she hides them, and in very strange places so that my dad can’t find them and eat them all.

Now according to my dad, all of the above mentioned baked goods (since I would quite count bark as a cookie) are delicious with coffee.  Enjoy all.

Pancakes in the Dorms

So if I haven’t mentioned I live in the dorms which comes with a meal plan of sorts. ¬†My meal plan is flex dollars only, which means that unless I want to pay about $8.00 for a meal on the weekends (unless I am mistaken), I have to make my own food.¬† Most of the times I have no problems with it, unless it comes to something I don’t know how to make or something I am not quite use to making in my current living conditions.

Not to say living in the dorms¬†isn’t¬†good, but living at home I had an open space in which my cooking/baking dreams could come to life. ¬†My parents cooked dinner just about every night, so you could say that my sisters and I were spoiled in that way. ¬†We had different size pans, pots, mixers, any sort of baking supplies, spices,¬†utensils, if you wanted it, in my house you could most likely find it. ¬†Here at the dorms is just slightly a different story, and that came quite apparent when a few weeks ago I wanted to make pancakes, and realized that I did not have a griddle. ¬†I was so used to making them with a griddle that I was stumped for a few minutes. ¬†How do people who don’t own a griddle make pancakes? ¬†The easy answer was a frying pan. ¬†The thing was, something actually went wrong during the creation of these pancakes. ¬†They wilted, were a little too¬†flaky¬†and kind of stuck to the pan.

My first time making pancakes at school, not a success.  And that might be putting it lightly.   They looked wrong.  I hated them.  I ate them, but I hated them.

First Round

There were many things that would have made them gone wrong. ¬†The fact that they were instant pancakes (the just add water type), the fact that I was using a small frying pan, barely fit for a single pancake, or because the thought of greasing up the pan before using it didn’t exactly hit me. ¬†Any or all of these factors could have contributed to my pancakes not looking right. ¬†This also kept me from wanting to finish off the mix any time soon.

About two weeks later I wanted pancakes. ¬†I had thought of a few solutions to the problem that didn’t require buying a griddle: a bigger frying pan, buttering the pan before using it, or using two stove tops and a baking sheet. ¬†I was ready to tackle these pancakes again, just so I can get rid of the stupid mix, already having bought¬†Bisquick¬†(my normal pancake mix).

I fought this mix, and won the second and final round. ¬†Bigger frying pan, and buttering the bottom of the pan helped me. ¬†Also adding in slightly more water then required might have done the trick. ¬†Thank goodness for that or I might have always hated and never returned to instant pancake mix. ¬†I’m still sticking to my normal pancake mix just so I’m not fighting with the pancakes and getting¬†agitated¬†that they weren’t looking right again.

The second time making instant pancakes was a success! ¬†They looked more like pancakes, I wasn’t fighting with them, and they tasted just a little better.

Round two.
About two weeks later

My Check List

So besides studying for finals (which I somewhat should be right now) for me there is also packing. Why packing? ¬†Well, because being in the dorms I happened to bring about 95% of the clothes I own with me to school, and since I’m not planning to be back on campus until a day before the spring semester starts I need all of those clothes to come with me. ¬†I’d really like to figure out what clothes I’m going to wear the next few days and pack the rest in a suitcase that has been sitting in my closet since Thanksgiving. ¬†The Housing office had also sent out an email stating what I may also want to take with me, because lets face it I’m sure with all of this chaos I’m going to forget something.

And why take this time to pack when studying is more important? ¬†Well, I haven’t really seen anyone from my family since Thanksgiving, with that being said I plan on finishing my final Monday morning, packing my car and hitting the road as soon as possible. I miss my friends and family back home so much, and not even seeing their faces for this long is almost killing me. (okay not really) I’ve taken two finals, and have one more to go. ¬†I don’t plan on studying the entire weekend (but I should) and I realized that packing is a good way of taking a mental break that won’t completely turn my mind off. ¬†I actually started a little bit last night and it helped quite a lot. ¬†Actually I was studying and packing, but it got me up and moving and made the stress of finals let go a little bit. ¬†I call packing a good break and it keeps me from turning on my TV and getting distracted for hours (because that does seem to happen sometimes).

Here is my to do list:

  • take out trash
  • Pack bags
  • clean up room
  • sleep
  • Pack car (last minute)
  • finish last Blackboard Homework
  • Return rented books (Monday)
Maybe not in that exact order, but those things must get done at some point during this weekend.

Here’s my list of packing:

  • Clothes
  • Food that may be dead by the time I return
  • Electronics and chargers (can’t forget those)
  • Hygiene¬†products
  • Any super valuable things
  • A few blankets/bed things I can’t be without (I know I might be to old for this)
  • KEYS ¬†*Very important. ¬†1 for travel, and 2 so that I can get back in my dorm when I return
  • Dirty Laundry.
  • Medicine of sorts
  • Laptop (last minute)

Now I hope that’s everything. ¬†Lock the door, and Monday I’ll be on my way. ¬†Back home, back to my mom’s cooking instead of the pasta, Mac and cheese, and the food the school offers, back to my cats whose furry faces I miss a lot, and back to my bed which is slightly more comfortable then the one the school offers.

Baking Season

The start of the holiday season has pretty much started, and in my family that also means the season of a lot of baking. ¬†And I do mean a lot. ¬†Over the years we have found different¬†recipes¬†to try and test out, there are some that are tradition, and some that are still in the testing stage but we’ve done for a few years. ¬†The start of our baking madness started Thanksgiving weekend. ¬†My mom may have been starting this baking to share with friends while she and my dad fly to Hawaii, but it is just the start.

First up was our traditional peanut butter cookies.  One of those recipes we have been using for years, and it is obvious based on the condition of the paper the recipe is on.

In previous years we have actually used a slightly different recipe which you then turn the cookies that come out of the oven into little reindeer. ¬†And in that case, they don’t need the little “fork¬†flattening”¬†that these specific cookies have. ¬†You keep the cookies looking like cookies, and add little M&Ms for the red noses, and broken pretzel pieces for the antlers.

Before going in the oven

If we end up making the reindeer cookies, I’ll let you see the final result. ¬†They are actually really cute, you almost don’t want to eat them, almost. ¬† Mmmm cookies, I can’t wait to continue on this baking season which also includes pine bark, biscotti, and Chex Mix. ¬†Sorry, I’m a little bit of a snob, store bought Chex mix or cookies just aren’t the same as home made, sorry they just aren’t.

Final Product

Visiting Stanislaus

I guess I can tell you this little story about how I came in¬†choosing¬†to attend CSU Stanislaus. ¬†You know, you hear teachers and professors tell you that before you choose the school you want to attend, that you should look at the campus first. ¬†I thought that was a little funny when I heard it in High School. ¬†It was almost like in one ear and out the other, but I still remember them saying that. ¬† I didn’t really think much of it, until I came to visit Stanislaus last year.

I was thrilled at the time to actually have a day off since at the time I was both going to school and working on the weekends, so to schedule in a day to go visit schools was just about a miracle.  It was the first Saturday in December last year and my boss was doing some sort of holiday fair so the business was closed.

About a month before, I went online and scheduled a tour at the school. ¬†It’s one thing to see the school by yourself, but it’s a little better to get a guided tour by someone who knows the school, and who can answer any questions you may have. ¬†The morning of the tour my mom and I woke up, hopped in our car with coffee and directions in hand, and hit the road. ¬†It was the first time either of us had driven there and obviously not the last.

Surprisingly we got there about 30 minutes early drove in found the campus, and then went to munch on something while we waited. ¬†Also to get a better feeling of the town know what shops were there and seeing that gas is at least 20 cents cheaper! ¬†Who wouldn’t be excited about that?

I had signed up for an individual tour or a tour that was under 20 people. ¬†So we got there, waited for other families to get there, talked with them a little bit and also with the two tour guides. ¬†Our tour started at about 10:30 ¬†AM. ¬†The strange thing is I don’t quite remember everything from the tour, walking around in the quad, walking past tons of geese, entering Naraghi Hall of Science and hearing the amazing story of how it is designed and will close off one sector if there is a fire so it doesn’t spread. ¬†I remember walking by the school radio station, and just loving the view, and the fact that we were given the tour of the housing area, we just weren’t allowed to see what the inside of the dorms look liked.

It was the first school I had gotten a decent tour of and I just loved it. ¬†I had visited San Jose State in high school, but it just wasn’t the same, and I wasn’t exactly in the mind set of picking out a college just yet.

Now I did visit another school, because I did apply to both Stanislaus and Chico State. ¬†The one thing about Chico was that it just didn’t seem to be me. ¬†Stanislaus was quiet and peaceful and just seemed to connect to nature and me a little more. ¬†Chico was loud, noisy and built in the middle of a town, there are shops all around it, but it was just to busy for me.

So for any potential students out there remember to see the schools you want to go to, or you just might pick one that doesn’t fit you right. ¬†Also remember to schedule for a tour, trying to tour yourself is no fun, and you don‚Äôt really learn anything by yourself.