Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I hate school

Warning...this is a bitchfest....I would be amazed if anyone reads this all the way through. 

At the last minute I decided to try to do a couple classes to finish up my degree.  I sat down this summer and realized I could graduate in 3 semesters going very part time with the new baby.  So this semester I looked for the easiest classes I could take.  My school now requires this stupid basic math class for the core requirements.  It doesn't matter how much math you've had, as in 2 semesters of calculus sure doesn't prove you can do math...no, you need another class on basic math with stupid crap like logic problems and how to fill out an income tax form.  Clearly, the rest of the world sees the frivolousness of this stupidity, right?  Maybe it's just my school's way of making an extra $800 out of you....not to mention the $126 textbook that you can't sell back. 

Apparently I signed up for the class with the teacher who's never taught an internet course before, because first of all, she posted the wrong syllabus - the syllabus she posted was the one she uses for the class she teaches on campus.  This is supposed to be a self paced easy peasy math course.  I have been blessed with my father's math abilities, so it comes very easy to me.  I assumed  I do the problems, take the tests, and geez, I'd be finished by October just looking at it.

I was wrong....this teacher has grand plans to make us do a "group project" (can you hear the groaning).  Don't you love those?  What person in their right mind allows 4 to 6 idiots to determine 20% of their ENTIRE GRADE?  Not only that, this is an online course, where I cannot determine the stupidity of the people in my assigned group nor can I followup on their progress of the group project....and not least of all, my having to work this group project get together crap around my new baby.  Can you see the fumes coming off my head yet?  I'm so f'ing pissed over this assignment. I think this stupid group project is fine for a class that actually meets in real life...not a self paced course. 

And it gets even better.  Oh yes.  So I email the teacher and ask if she posted the wrong syllabus since it talks about an oral presentation for this stupid group project and going to class and absences, blah, blah, blah... which she writes back and says yes she did post the wrong one.  Well guess what the right one is?  The same exact syllabus, but she puts in a little blurb that the group project is simply a power point presentation...no explanation of what it entails, just email it to her by December 17th...and she's putting us in groups of 5-7 people.  WTF?  She keeps all the same crap in the syllabus...coming to class, absences, etc, but just adds a couple sentences about this power point presentation.  I'm ready to beat this woman over the head with her syllabus. 

So now I have emailed her again to please clarify this stupid ass project.  God...the things I want to say to this teacher....I have had to erase quite a few paragraphs in my emails.  I know why she wants this dumb ass group project...a) she doesn't realize you cannot just turn an on campus class that you teach all the time into an internet class, it doesn't work that way, you can't do the same things....and b)she doesn't want to have to grade 60 individual powerpoint presentations, she'd rather only do 10-12.  Geez, like she has to do anything else in this class, a program grades all of our other work and quizzes and tests. 

Deep breaths....going to go nurse my sweetie and read this really good book called An American Wife...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I have this theory...

that Great Wolf Lodge is much like Chuck E Cheese or a McDonald's playground because we all came home with some nasty respiratory infection.  My poor little baby is the sickest probably compounded by her well baby visit and vax's, complete with puking on mommy a few times (at least it's only breastmilk coming back up).  I've been running a fever, hubby came home early a couple days ago and expired on the bed (lol), and Em seems to have the mildest case of it.  Whatever it is, it makes you extremely tired.

Today I made the yummiest pumpkin muffins...evah. I love to bake, and it's hubby's turn to bring food for a meeting at work.  I made a knockoff of some pumpkin cream cheese muffins from Starbucks.  I found a recipe online and changed a few things to my liking (i.e. I did not want to go to the store to buy the missing ingredients and my version sounded better).  They were so moist, and the cream cheese center was so good, better than icing. 

I forgot to take a picture, but they are so damn good, melt in your mouth with a little bit o'cheesecake in the middle.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

Cream Cheese Filling
8 oz cream cheese - softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

With mixer, whip cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar til well mixed.  Take a sheet of wax paper and roll it into a log, wrap ends closed, and freeze for 2-3 hours.

Pumpkin Muffins
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 1/4 cups oil
1 can of pumpkin
3 cups flour
nuts (whole walnuts or pecans) optional

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix eggs and sugar, add oil, pumpkin, salt, soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice until well mixed.  Add flour gradually while mixing until all is mixed well.  Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.  Take frozen log of cream cheese mixture and cut into squares about 3/4 inch x 3/4 inch.  Insert a square of cream cheese mixture into the middle of each muffin batter.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted into muffin comes out clean (do not insert into cheesecake mixture).  Let sit in muffin tins for approximately 5 minutes before removing. 

Yields 24 muffins

Monday, August 23, 2010

Great Wolf Lodge

We just returned from a long weekend at Great Wolf Lodge.  It was a gift from grandma to celebrate Miss Em's birthday.  We had never been there before, and it was lots of fun.  It's very "disney like" - very clean, friendly, and just about anything available you wanted.  The customer service was just perfect.  The food buffet was expensive, but really really good. 

The kids and hubby are Harry Potter freaks (technically hubby is the biggest Harry Potter freak I know, but he has indoctrinated the children well, lol), and there is a questing game called Magiquest.  It involves a wand and running through 8 floors of the hotel casting spells and finding runes and pixies and fighting a dragon, so you can imagine how exciting that was.  They loved it, and Mr E slept with his wand every night, lol.  

The waterpark was lots of fun too.  The baby and I spent most of our time nursing and sitting at the edge of the wave pool.  The kids spent most of their time swimming in the wave pool and riding slides.  Hubby...well, he spent most of his time filling these buckets of water on top of the lazy river and dumping it on people. I cannot figure out how he could stand there for 2 hours just dumping water, but it was quite thrilling for him, lol. 

My only complaint was the elevators...you would think 8 elevators would get people moving, but we waited sometimes 15 minutes for the darn elevator and with a stroller, the stairs was never an option.  All in all I definitely want to go back, and if you get the chance, it's a really nice little vacation that has everything all in one place. 

I got a good picture of the kids and hubby coming out of one of the slides, so hopefully I can find my camera cord and post it in a day or so.  Off to bed, tomorrow is the first day in a new school for both kids, and poor Miss Em is just terrified because she doesn't know a single person...cross your fingers 6th grade is wonderful for her and she makes lots of new friends. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Country Style Steak

I like to cook southern foods as I'm in Texas. I had some cube steak and usually I cut it into strips and make chicken fried steak fingers, but I decided to do something new tonight and everyone loved it.

Country Style Steak

4-6 cube steaks
1 pkg of Lipton Golden Onion Soup mix
corn starch
garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350. Cover bottom of skillet in canola oil. Dredge steaks in flour and cook in skillet for just a minute until brown (I turned them once). Transfer steaks to casserole dish. Mix 2 cups of water with 1 heaping tablespoon of corn starch, a couple shakes of garlic powder, and the packet of onion soup mix. Pour soup mix over steaks, cover with foil, and bake for about an hour.

Turns out tender, yummy and the soup mixed with cornstarch makes a perfect gravy for potatoes.

Who likes Land's End?

So this year for school I've been buying clothes for the kids online at Land's End...god, I love their fabrics, so nice. Anyway, this past week it was 25% off and free shipping and I stocked up for Miss Em. Well...I got another email today for 40% off with free shipping, so I couldn't pass it up and bought more stuff for Mr E and now I'm sharing.

Here is the code: Promo: SELECT40
PIN: 1031

I was able to get my son climber pants and shorts that are perfect for active little boys who split the knees of their pants at recess. I got 3 pairs for less than $50 and free shipping. Woohoo!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Still Here

I'm still here. Reconnecting with my adorable hubby after feeling like a single mom for 3 months. Since May, he has studied, studied, studied, and it definitely paid off, but I've been forgoing the computer to be with him and the kids and spend family time. Tonight was a very cheap dinner at Burger King and the $1 movie seeing Marmaduke (cute for babies toddlers and for not paying full price, lol, not for the average thinking human). It had some cute parts and my 3 month old loved the ending, hubby and I were not impressed.

I'm working on this new pattern, I hope to have a sneak peek picture up by the end of the week. I'm really liking how it's turning out so far, no hitches yet, lol.

I just finished this book last week, and it's a really good read. I just wish it had about 500 more pages, I want a continuation of the story. It's about reincarnation. Most everyone forgets their past lives, but this man, Daniel, remembers them all, remembers everything, languages, places, his past livelihoods, and his love. He first saw Sophia in 500 A.D., and in nearly every life he lives he sees her soul again and again. Each time it is as if they almost get to each other, but something always hinders it, a brother, a death, vastly wrong ages, every time. And finally, in present day life, they are at the right time and ages to fall in love and be together.

It's suspenseful while they find each other again in this life, but then you're wanting more and more. I do hope there is a sequel to this book. I really enjoyed it.

Friday, August 06, 2010

And he passed...again!

Today my husband took his series 63 licensing exam, the last exam he currently needs for being a stockbroker, and he passed it as well.  I am so proud of him!!  He has just amazed me with this new job, and I'm so glad he loves his job and the people there.  He has studied so hard...and he can finally rejoin our family again.  It has been since May that he has been studying for these exams every single day, night, weekends.  We've tried our best to stay out of his hair doing things without him, so he had lots of opportunity to study in the quiet without a baby and kids and wife making too much noise.  And now he's done and can go do all the fun stuff with us again.  Yay!!

So for passing his tests, I got him a surprise.  Well....he's gotten a few surprises for passing his tests ;) but I had to think long and hard for something just for him.  He loves music and plays the guitar, and he subscribes to some musicians on YouTube who play the ukulele, so I did some research and found out it's very easy to play one, so it arrived a few minutes ago.  I even researched the best beginning one with the right strings.  I hope he enjoys it, and I have a feeling we're going to get a 5 hour concert series tonight with his new toy. 

Thursday, August 05, 2010

This is Where We Live

I picked this book up at the library last week.  It was a very quick read for me.  It's about a mid 30s couple who are trying to follow their dreams.  The wife is on a journey to become a successful director while the husband is in a band who is working to finish an album.  Then real life hits and her movie bombs at the box office, and he hasn't been paying the adjustable rate mortgage (gotta love those!) because it adjusted, lol, and he was waiting for her huge deal with a movie company to pay it off.  It just goes downhill from there as the husband begins a midlife crisis.  This book was painful to read.  The turn of the story happens when the husbands ex-girlfriend, a successful artist, contacts him to just "see" him while she's in town.  The ex-girlfriend is the antithesis of his wife, not to mention completely nuts.  He has built her up in his head, and when she offers him the option of coming with her to Paris, he leaves his wife. WTF?  For me the ending was a bit to quick and didn't seem to flow, but the rest of the story was good. 

It was a definite page turner,  and I enjoyed reading it.  But this type of story is usually very emotional to read for me.  I feel the characters' pain so strongly I have to get through it as fast as I can to get those feelings away from me.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Let's Face It, I'm a Mess

I'm just curious if I'm the only accident prone idiot in the kitchen? I apparently am incapable of making anything without A) getting it all over the front of my shirt and said shirt becomes permanently stained; B) getting it all over the counter and/or stove top; and C) dropping at least 3 things on the floor, be it utensils full of whatever I'm making or the actual food itself, where without a doubt, it usually bounces about 3 times spreading the mess in all sorts of crevices around my kitchen.  This is seriously cutting into my wardrobe as I cook every day.  Argh!!

I'm not sure how to prevent my klutziness, but I've decided to fix part of this problem by making myself some aprons. I think I've settled on this one for my first one or I just might whip something up off the top of my head, not sure yet.  But this is my task for this week between dentist appointments and registering kidlets for school. Here are a few more free apron patterns/tutorials I found from a list on The Apronista. Pictures to follow in the next few days.

I made Raspberry Lemon Muffins on Sunday morning.  They were not a kid favorite, but my husband really liked them.  I don't know if I've ever made something with flavors that hit your taste buds like these do. First, you taste a hint of vanilla yogurt, then the raspberries, and then this sudden zing of lemon hits your tongue and you feel like..."wow!"  I liked them, too, especially topped with a bit of cream cheese.  This is the recipe I used:

Raspberry Lemon Muffins

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
2 egg whites
3 tbs oil
1 tbs fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon peel
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup frozen raspberries

2 tbs flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix yogurt, oil, egg whites, and lemon juice together.  In separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon peel.  Add yogurt mixture to dry ingredients and mix just until moistened.  Then gently mix in berries.  Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Mix together topping and sprinkle on each muffin before baking.  Bake for 16-20 minutes.  Immediately remove from muffin tins and serve warm.

This recipe yields 12 muffins.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Peasant Top Tutorial

Check out this peasant top tutorial to make yourself without a pattern from Joann.com.  I see definite nursing shirt potential in this one.  If my dear cranky baby gives me sometime this week, I think I'm going to try this one.

Peasant Top Tutorial

Sewing Pattern Sale - up to 30% OFF

While I work on 2 new patterns, I thought I'd have a sale for the current patterns. All sewing patterns are on sale and it will go through the entire month of August.  Below are the coupon codes, please enter the correct one in the shopping cart.

Take 20% off orders up to $14.99!!  Coupon Code:  TPN100801072004

Take 30% off orders $15.00 or more!! Coupon Code:  KST100801071930

The patterns are listed to the lower left under "Sewing Patterns" or a direct link can be found by clicking here.