Baking, Celtic Thunder

Chaos and Insanity

My first week of the semester wasn’t quite what I expected. For starters, I didn’t think it would only entail two days of classes. You have to hand it to Mother Nature for making my school close down on the day I have three classes. Kudos to her, but missing classes means the course work has to be made up somehow, which brings me to my main complaint. I just had to rework the days that I would hand in assignments in one class, and it did not make me happy one bit, especially the fact that a paper due date was moved to the same day as for another paper. This semester is going to test my abilities to stay on task more than ever before, which means I need to learn how to NOT PROCRASTINATE. I have so many assignments in all of my classes that there is absolutely no wiggle room whatsoever. If I don’t stay on top of everything, it’s going to be disastrous, and I wish that was just an exaggeration.

In preparation of this week, I decided to not honor my decision to avoid baking for a little while and made some blueberry muffins to eat for breakfast as I’m going out the door in the morning. I made the To Die For Blueberry Muffins on Allrecipes.com, and I must say that they really are “to die for.” This also marked the inaugural use of my new muffin tin.

I made some of my own alterations to the recipe, and they turned out wonderfully. I did not use the cinnamon/sugar/butter topping the recipe suggested, but I did sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar on top before I put them in the oven. I also subbed in a half cup of whole wheat flour, and I couldn’t even notice that I did that. Next time around I will probably use half all purpose flour and half whole wheat flour, just to make them a bit healthier and more filling. I didn’t have it at the time, but I’ll also use applesauce in place of the vegetable oil, just because.

Unfortunately, the recipe only yielded 11 muffins, probably because I tried to fill the cups too high. I also wish they could have had a more golden coloring, but I didn’t want to leave them in the oven, for fear of drying out. I’m not sure how long I left them in, but any longer and I would not have been happy because they would have been dried out. I took them out at the perfect time to obtain maximum moisture, so in the end the coloring is just an aesthetic thing.

This snow day also yielded additional unfortunate news, beyond the changing due dates. I went to check on Fishy this afternoon to find him floating immobile on his side. He had a good long life, for a little fish, but I will miss him swimming around in his bowl on my desk, blowing bubbles up at the surface along the sides and then popping them. RIP Fishy, May 2010-January 2011.

After today, I really want nothing more than to listen to some Celtic Thunder and bake up some Best Cocoa Brownies, which I think I’ll do as soon as my suitemates clear out.

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Crafting, Uncategorized

Oh Look!

And so ends another stay at home. My break here has ended, and I’m getting back to the city to work for a couple days and then begin classes the week after. All I can say is, I’m not sorry to be leaving. Three weeks here is more than enough, but I think I’ll miss certain materialistic things about being home, ie having a couch to lounge on while watching tv, having lots of counter space on which to make messes while baking, sleeping in a queen size bed, being able to have lots of sun coming through ample windows, having a light and airy atmosphere because of the sunlight, and the general cozy feeling I’ve been experiencing here. All in all, I want to get back to school and resume my hectic life, albeit I could do with a little less hectic and a little more calmness, but where’s the fun in that, may I ask? I still have some time before classes are in full swing, but work will keep me busy in the days leading up to it. I look forward to Tuesday when I go back; I haven’t seen those kiddies in five weeks, and I can’t help but think that maybe they miss me? Maybe I’m thinking too highly of myself, but if I miss them, who’s to say they don’t miss me as well.

I took a trip to my local Michael’s today in order to spend a gift card before leaving, but I have to say that I actually had a hard time spending money there. I went with the intention of procuring adorable fabric, fleece, and a matching button, but I was sorely disappointed. I found out that they no longer carry fabric squares or fleece. What kind of craft store is that? On a whim I looked for some Sharpies in assorted pretty colors, but oh look, those were no where to be seen either. I didn’t want a large set for $30, but just a couple of pretty colors sold by themselves. After wandering around for nearly 45 minutes, I ended up with only some new sewing needles in their own little case, two pieces of felt in a gorgeous shade of pink, a shamrock cookie cutter, some shamrock muffin tin liners, and a calendar on clearance for $0.50 (for my parents). It all came to a grand total of $6.35 . . . and I still have $18.65 to spend who knows when, because to the best of my knowledge, the closest Michael’s is up on Columbus Ave in the 90’s, and I’m not spending $4.50 in subway fare to get there and back. I wish they had an online store, but I guess that’s too much to ask, seeing as how they can’t even stock fabric anymore. I must give them some credit for their assortment of stickers though, it was very amusing to look at all of the adorable sets.

But I guess today was at least a minor success. I managed to spend (with the help of a friend) a Panera gift card that had been sitting in my wallet for three or four years. I also found two pairs of flats at Payless; they don’t stand a chance if I wear them outside to walk to work/home/class, but I can wear them inside while I’m at work or in class. There’s no way I would last the day wearing my big heavy boots, so until I get some all-purpose, sturdy as heck, miracle shoes, this is the best solution I have.

While I was packing up my things tonight, I looked at my clarinet case sitting at the foot of my bed, and for the first time since the end of senior year, I opened it and put the two center barrels together. I want to bring it back to school with me and try to play. I realized during my Celtic music course that I really miss it. Band was a part of my life from fifth grade, right through high school, and I can’t believe I just cast it aside once I got to college. Something that meant so much to me shouldn’t have been so easy to let go and to allow to fade away. I don’t want to let this go on any longer; I won’t be playing on a strict, daily schedule, but if I could at least get my clarinet out once I week I think I could get my abilities back soon enough. I probably won’t be playing some of the more extreme pieces I encountered in high school anytime soon, but just to play some scales and simple tunes would be wonderful. I used to get so much enjoyment out of it, and I want a bit of that old part of me back. It won’t be the same, but it will be something, at least.

Oh look! I’m using this entry as a means to procrastinate. I’m no where near done packing, and I leave at 8:30am. . . . It’s not even worth it to sleep now. I can sleep in the car, and that way I’ll hopefully avoid the sick to my stomach feeling I’ve lately been getting on buses when I travel. I’ll pop in my ear buds, listen to some good music, and sleep the hours away, like I *should* be doing right now. Instead, I’m blogging and watching the first season of Merlin–not a bad alternative, but not the best thing to be doing at the moment.