Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Weekly Goals

Last week summary:

  • I finally have a hair appointment. My lady was booked up until next week. :( That's what I get for waiting so long.
  • I fit in writing in-between classes on Thursday. Yay! Nothing on Friday, I was helping my husband study.
  • Started reading a James Patterson book.
  • Had fun at game night Friday night. Girls vs. Boys at Pictionary Man. We kicked ass. They thought they were winning then we snuck up and took the pictionary man crown!

(Grammar Gurus: In-between or in between? I always type inbetween and get the red line of badness.)

This week is pretty simple:

  1. Go to school Tues/Thurs without snow interruption. (Apparently it's supposed to snow again this Tuesday)
  2. Finishing reading James Patterson's 1st to Die Pick next book (either continue with the series or buy a new book)
  3. Start a packing plan. (I do have mild OCD, we're not moving for a month, but I'm starting now.)
  4. And now since a prank war has broken out between my husband and my friend's husband, I have to figure out how to help without helping. They put honey on his windshield. HONEY. And it's like 40 degrees out. We don't have a cozy garage like they do. Ever tried carrying a bowl of hot soapy water outside down steps without spilling it? Not fun.
Any ideas? Non-damaging pranks for the outside of a car.

This week is really about my husband. The first half of it anyways. He's going to the E5 promotion board on Wednesday. Big deal, passing would be the desired outcome, failing would be bad. Not career-ending bad, just a set-back.

Have a good week!

Friday, February 26, 2010

100th Post!


Made it all the way to 100 posts! Woohoo!

Crazy week for me. Trying to find a house to rent with non-psycho landlords, trying to get my husband as prepped as possible for the promotion board on Wednesday, at least I'm done with exams until the end of March.

That was the longest sentence ever.


I started reading James Patterson's 1st to Die. My husband loves that series, I picked it up and put it right back down. First person. I dislike first person, but surprisingly I picked it up again (only book in the car stuck waiting) and I'm actually liking it.

He jumps between the main character and the psycho bad guy in first person which is kinda cool. I'd probably have stopped reading if it was just the main character.


My goal for the month is to find the time and the extra cash to go get my hair done. It's getting to the point where all I do is put it up in a ponytail. That's when I know it's getting too long and the layers are all funky.

What makes you put a book down?

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snow Day!

Not official, as my university isn't canceling classes. I'm choosing to stay home as I am very concerned about driving home this afternoon when the snow is supposed to have melted into ice. Yes. It's supposed to melt, and then freeze. Our high was at 5am.

I know I can drive on ice and slush in my little car, it's the rest of the people on the interstate I worry about. I've seen too many accidents down here from dumb mistakes on ice. Like driving at 85, on ice, then slamming on your brakes. Smart move.

I will be spending my snow day catching up on my coupon/free sample hunting. I will get fully caught up on 2YN, and I will work on Ivory a bit.

It's freeing to have an unexpected day off. I normally spend about 9 hours at school on Tuesday/Thursday. I can get so much done in 9 hours...

If the picture outside gets more snowy, I'll take another and update here at the bottom. I do miss seeing the world outside my window blanketed in snow.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Manic Monday

What started out as a day dedicated to studying for my second exam turned into house hunting.

We may have found a house! (We're still just renting, but we need more space and want a dog.)

I, will finally have an OFFICE!

I'm about to run out the door to go take a look at it. So exciting.

I did manage to fit some writing in on Friday, not much. But enough to remind me how much I miss it and need to fit it in more. :D

Study break reward maybe?

I hope you all are having good Mondays!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday's Baking - Chocolate Chex Caramel Crunch

(Yes - this is Chex's recipe.)

8 cups Chocolate Chex® cereal
¾ cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup white vanilla baking chips (I used white chocolate)

Into large microwavable bowl, measure cereal; set aside. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.

In 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, microwave brown sugar, butter and corn syrup uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until melted and smooth. Stir in baking soda until dissolved. Pour over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Microwave on High 3 minutes, stirring every minute. Spread on cookie sheet. Cool 10 minutes. Break into bite-size pieces. (I don’t break it yet.)

In small microwavable bowl, microwave vanilla baking chips uncovered on High about 1 minute 30 seconds or until chips can be stirred smooth. (That’s what they suggest. I, however, have horrible microwaving skills. My husband jumped in and took over with the double boiler method and it worked.)

Drizzle over snack. ( I’ve found, in order to drizzle it well, you have to sit and stir it with a fork off the heat for a bit until it gets to the consistency that you can shake the fork back and forth over the chex and it does the thin lines. You can see in my photos I eventually managed that. The thick clumps are from when I didn’t stir it enough.)

Refrigerate until set (we let it sit overnight on the cookie sheet, I think an hour or two would be plenty. Then we break it up. Just easier for us). Store in tightly covered container. (Or a zip bag.)


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday's Woes

Okay, woes is a bit melodramatic. But it feels true at the moment.

I've been studying hard for my exam tomorrow. I lost 3 hours of study time to the lovely randomness of the Army, and the fact that my husband's shoulders widened out quite a bit during this last deployment.

End result, $200 on a jacket and sewing/alterations, 1hr 30min total extra driving time, and a headache. If traffic around here wasn't so bad, could have done all that drive in like 30 minutes. 45 max.

I have 5 main things I need to know for my exam. I have two of the five down. One is fairly simple and common sense should aid me there. The other two aren't so simple.

Time for me to shut up and get back to studying. I have been studying this whole past week. My time just kept getting chipped away.

Must work on time management skills.

Any melodramatic woes in your week?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Quick post today.

I'm very excited to be getting back to work on Ivory, I hope this break did the trick. Friday is looking like the first chance I'll get to dive back in. Even though it will be fit in between grocery shopping and having friends over for dinner. I go early enough so I should have all afternoon. Thankfully I manage to keep our apartment clean enough that a 15 minute dash makes it sparkle.

Okay. Not sparkle, but good enough. :)

I'm semi-behind on 2YN, nothing thirty minutes won't cure. Thirty minutes of uninterrupted silence that is. Headphones will have to do. Whoever suggested the gamer headphones that block out all noise, props to you! It's like magic.

Wish me good luck! (I still haven't bought a book. I've been rereading Mercedes Lackey's The Black Swan for the ten millionth time.)

Monday, February 15, 2010

To-Do Day (And Banana Bread Photos!)

Pretty simple this week.

Pass my (now one!) exam, read a book, fit Ivory back into my schedule and keep up with 2YN over at Forward Motion.

Add in all the normal day-to-day life stuff, it gets complicated. But it works. If I stick to my routines, it all works and it all fits.

Pictures from my mini banana bread loaves I made Friday. Feel free to skip if uninterested in baking, I won't be offended. ;)

And yes, they were delicious! We gave a few away and frozen a few. They unfreeze very well. We pulled one out at bedtime, it was thawed by breakfast. If I were up in New Hampshire, I'd probably pull one out around dinner time to be thawed for breakfast, but it's not that cold here.

I didn't post the recipe with my original post, here it is now. This is my dad-in-law's banana bread recipe.

2 Cups Sugar
4 Eggs
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
2/3 Cup Water
2 1/4 Mashed Banana
1 Cup Chopped Nuts (I use walnuts, pecans work wonderfully as well.)
3 1/2 Cups Flour
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix in a large bowl sugar, eggs, oil and water with electric mixer.
Sift dry ingredients together then add to the wet mixture. Mix/beat/combine. I love using my new kitchen aid mixture, I’ve used at hand mixer, it works, but with carpal tunnel it sucks. :) Using a spoon…never tired, don’t want to.
Add nuts and mashed bananas and mix with spoon. (I cheat and use the mixer to mix in the bananas, just on the lowest setting and only for a moment.)

Pour into your greased pans. This batter will make 3 decent sized normal loaf pans, or 8 mini loaf pans. You can also do muffins, I believe it makes about 25 normal sized muffins. I may be wrong, it might be double that. I haven’t done the muffins in a while.

I’ll be sticking with the mini loaves because they are perfect. :)

With the normal sized loaves, it should take about an hour. With the mini loaves I checked it at 30 minutes, not quite done, baked for 15 more and they were done. Probably would have been done at 10 minutes more too. Muffins…I want to say 20-25 minutes, but again, I’m not sure.

Toothpicks are your best friend with this recipe!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday's Baking - Banana Bread


(I know this is posting Saturday, need time to organize all the pictures to be oh so pretty...)

My husband and I decided to use the little tinfoil loaf pans this time around. I believe this recipe is his father's, it may originally be his Gigi's. It makes three normal size loaves. Normally. I usually turn them into muffins, otherwise I end up with too much banana bread.

We figured the mini loaves will make good little gifts and they should freeze rather well. When he gets a random craving for banana bread, we'll have some!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Whiny Monday

What can I say? Whiny post. Carpal tunnel sucks.

I have to chose between typing, handwriting, video games or baking.

So not fair. But life never is fair.

I'm 23, have pretty bad asthma, dyslexia, nasty knee problems, and (officially) carpal tunnel.

I'm going to start working on Ivory again next week. I'm going to try slipping it in slowly, I don't want to push my schoolwork out of the way. The delicate balance continues.

Goals this week:

Actually buy a book this week.
Start studying for my exams on the 18th.
Take at least one bubble bath.

That's all folks!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday's Baking - Cupcakes!

These are my first attempts at decorating cupcakes this year.

I totally 'cheated' and used a Betty Crocker cake mix for the cupcakes. I also used Betty Crocker frosting...

Please remember, I don't do this for a living, I barely do it as a hobby.

I'll get there!

First Attempt - Traditional (in my mind) Swirl

Second Attempt

Third Attempt - Smilie Face! (I was getting frustrated at this point.)

Fourth & Fifth Attempts - I call them, "Alien Cupcakes!"

Number 5 is my favorite. I did pretty well with the sideways swirls too I think.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thinking Thursdays - Moving Fun

We don't move for about 2 months. Yet the process has already begun for me.

We need more boxes. And tape.

I'm thinking about investing in a label maker.

Do we really need that? (In other words, 'Do I really have to pack that? Then unpack it, and find a home for it in the new house?)

What can we live without that I can start packing early? If I can pack it so early, do we really need it?

Yay! Friends with trucks. (Yay! Having one of our own, finally!) So far it's looking like we'll have three trucks going and two sedans. Woot. I figure I'll take our little car over with the TV and some kitchen stuff and direct traffic at the new house.

Me taking the TV in the car, not my idea. My husband's 'request'. He's petrified of putting that TV in a truck. He wants it safe and sound in the car with me.

We aren't moving all that far, just out of our small apartment into a comparably big house. Still renting, not ready to buy. But I'll have an office! We'll have a guest room!

Maybe even a separate dining room! This is of course all dependent upon us finding the right house, in the right neighborhood, near the right gate.

We've done some preliminary and know they are out there. Now we get to start seriously looking. I want to know where we are moving by March 1st. (We'd be moving end of March, as that's when our current lease ends.)

I'm know the March 1st know-where-we're-going deadline is pretty optimistic, but it's worth shooting for.

This will be only the second time we've moved as a couple, my 5th time moving overall. Such fun.

An office! I will catch myself daydreaming about it. Right now, my office is our apartment. I'm typing this up in bed. Sometimes I'll work on the sofa, other times I'll sit at the barely used dining table. Or outside on our little patio. I'm not a huge fan of not having a specific place for me to work. (Work = Writing + Homework)

Any moving horror stories to share? (Or funny ones, I love funny stories!)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wacky Wednesdays

I loved that book as a child. Dr. Seuss was big in my childhood and I fully intend to expose any kids I have to his works.

Wednesday is the weird day in my week. It's the only day sandwiched between two superbly busy days. Tuesday and Thursdays I have class. All day long. By Tuesday morning, Wednesday always seems to be packed full of things to do before I even remember I'll have homework to do to.

On my plate today:

Make shopping list/Coupon hunt
Laundry - Bedding and towels
Oil Change for the sedan, and remember to fill the gas tank.
Lunch with 'the girls' (and last minute Superbowl party planning)
Grocery Shopping (Might have my husband with me for this, depends if he gets out of work early or not.)
Homework (a.k.a. lots of reading and a quiz)
File tax return. May get pushed to this weekend.
Call to make a doctor's appointment, as my doctor hasn't returned my call. I need to know if he wants to push for surgery or wait and see if the carpal tunnel gets worse. I am a fan of surgery over nerve damage.

I'm forgetting something. I'll probably remember it at 9pm tonight. I need to stop at the bookstore and pick up a couple books too. That's not list worthy. That list is long enough!

Anything wacky about your Wednesday?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tranquil Tuesday - New Truck!

Well, new to us. It's a 2004 Ford F150.

My husband and I have been sharing our little sedan for the last four years. (Less than two really, with his deployments.) But finally! A second vehicle!

Yesterday evening we succeeded in finding and purchasing him a truck. I'm happy because we didn't pay more than I wanted to. He's happy because it's actually a pretty decent truck. He had wanted to spend more to get something 'better'. Well, in our price range, better was double the price. Sorry honey!

This morning I got to sleep until about 8am. I was still in my pjs when he got home from PT and that's just fine. I didn't have to rush out the door with him to drive him to work so I could drive to school.

I fed him breakfast and got him out the door on time. Then had over an hour before I had to be out the door. So relaxing. When I had to drive him in, my options were: get to school about 45 minutes early, or drive home, hang around for maybe 30 minutes then drive to school. 30-45 minute round trip to take him to work. After I drop him off, it takes me about 10-15 to get home. It's getting on post at 8:30 in the morning that takes forever.

So calm. I love starting my days calm. I'm doing my best to ignore the fact that I know today is going to be a very long day. I'm content in the knowledge that one of our friends is buying us dinner and I won't have to lift a finger.

Have I mentioned I drive about an hour each way for school? I'm insane. I'm planning to transfer somewhere closer for the fall semester. I am happy I stuck it out and started this semester rather than waiting. I actually like school. ^_^ How did that happen?


Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a great day.