I can’t believe it, but I’m done with school!!

First off: WOOOOO!!!! This finals week was rough with a final last night at 7pm a 10 page paper due this morning and another paper due later today. BUT, it is all done and turned in! It still hasn’t sunk in that I am done with my undergrad and I’m not sure if it will until next fall when everyone else starts back with school and I will just keep working.

I have started packing up some of my stuff and in these next few days I am packing up most of my other stuff over the next few days. Gavin flies in Saturday and will help me move out the big furniture. Sunday then we are going to see Cirque Du Soleil! I am so excited because I have never seen anything like Cirque Du Soleil before!! Then Monday I GRADUATE!!! Gavin flies back south Tuesday and after that I have to be out of my apartment by midnight on Wednesday! It is going to be a crazy whirlwind of a week, but it should be a really great one!

On the job front I got hired with a catering company for working on the weekends, and actually worked 8 hours over Memorial Day Weekend! So I can start working weekends catering once I move down in July! Also there are quite job openings, such an answer to prayers! PTL!!¬†I have applied for a posting from Cuesta that had 2 positions open at half and three-quarters time at the North County campus in student services. If I get an interview I will hear from them in the next week. There are also 3 other positions that are either part time or full time and Cuesta that I *think* I am qualified for. Also there is a part time receptionist position open at Costal Christian Elementary School. Now I just need to fill out and submit applications for all of the positions! I am really hoping that one of these positions ends up working out!! I would appreciate any prayers for wisdom and discernment regarding God’s plan for me and where He would have me ūüôā

Also I wanted to share a site with you all that has become a slight obsession of mine: food gawker¬†It is basically a site that composes a bunch of different peoples blog posts about food and there are new ones posted throughout the day most days of the week! It is always so fun to go on and see what other people have made. I hardly ever have time to make them right away, but I have a fantastic bookmark folder of recipes that I can’t wait to try later!!

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Popping in to say Hello!

I have been super busy with school and visiting home this quarter! It is week 6 now and I am getting really excited about the thought of the quarter being over and then GRADUATION! Wooooo!! The weekend of graduation a Cirque Du Soleil is going to be in Eugene and we are going! I am pretty darn excited about it! This is the promo for the one that we are going to see and I can’t wait!

Also I rented the movie Country Strong a few weeks ago and I loooooooved it! I thought the music was so great and was surprised by how well the actors sang. This is one of my favorite songs from the move, his voice is so deep and fits country music so well.

Another one of my favorite songs is Give Into Me along with many of the other songs off the soundtracks.

Lastly, there is a job that opened up on campus at Cal Poly and I am applying for it! I am really excited about it and hoping to get an interview. I would really appreciate any prayers and good thoughts concerning that ¬†ūüôā

Thats all for now! I’m hoping to be able to write more this quarter, but it doesn’t seem like school will be slowing down anytime soon. Also I am really excited to be heading down to San Luis Obispo for Memorial Day Weekend! 24 days!!

Crafts Part 2: T-Shirt Yarn

I was browsing craft gawker (which btw is addictive) and found a post on making a headband out of a t-shirt. I started looking around and found a few tutorials on how to make t-shirt yarn and other projects to make with them including coasters, rugs, a placemat, a necklace and other headbands. Also you can crochet with t-shirt yarn! I don’t know how to crochet, but I would love to learn and then be able to have free recycled yarn!!

By now you may be wanting to try your hand at t-shirt yarn, so onto a tutorial!

What you will need:

  • A t-shirt that has little or no graphics (above the arm pits is ok) and that doesn’t have seams up the sides.
  • Scissors
  • A ruler
  • A pencil or pen to mark on the t-shirt
First lay your t-shirt flat and then cut of the bottom seam and at the arm pits.
Second fold the t-shirt leaving an inch not doubled at the top.
Next, mark out 1-inch sections and cut strips, but (THIS IS CRUCIAL) don not cut the top 1-inch that is not doubled over.
Once you have cut all the strips open up the t-shirt and have the uncut section on top.

Now you are going to cut the t-shirt so that it makes one long continuous piece of yarn. Do this by cutting diagonally from strip to strip. It is easier to start with the bottom of the first strip and cut to the top of the second. Just don’t cut straight across, well you can but you will end up with shorter lengths of t-shirt yarn. Also don’t worry about it if the cuts are straight or if they have little bumps in them because it won’t matter in the end!

Last step! Now that you have one long continuous piece of t-shirt you simply pull on the fabric and it will curl up to make the t-shirt yarn! I couldn’t pull the fabric and take a picture at the same time, but you can see the part that I have pulled and what I still need to pull.

You end up with a pretty good length of t-shirt yarn to work with!

As I said at the beginning of the post there are a lot of different things you can do with this now, which is really great! Plus you could say this is a “green” craft that is recycling something that you already have! Here are a few of the things that I have made with t-shirts and t-shirt yarn.

I think this is a craft that anyone¬†can do because who doesn’t have an old t-shirt laying around and a pair of scissors?! I hope you give this one a try!!

Crafts Part 1: Cards

I have been meaning to put up posts on the crafts I have been doing and I am finally getting around to it! I think there will be three installments of craft posts. So if you like crafts check back here the next few days and if don’t like crafts well then check back next week sometime!! To start off the series on crafts I am doing a post on cards!

I decided not to do a tutorial or instructions simply because there are so many different cards with different techniques and whatnot. BUT, let me know if you want to know how to make them or any specific part of the cards that you would like to recreate let me know and I can write a post about them ūüôā

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So what is your favorite card? What other kinds of cards would you like to see?

Invisible Children: 25

The first time I learned about Invisible Children was in high school when a club I was involved in talked about participating in the Schools for Schools program. We ended up deciding to fundraise for Nothing But Nets and having an awareness night about Darfur. But I was exposed to Invisible Children and all that they were doing. Also, I had some friends that were passionate and involved in events Invisible Children put on. In college Gavin and I participated in The Rescue. As a result of The Rescue and rallies in Washington a bill was passed to apprehend Joseph Kony. Now Invisible Children is putting on their next event The 25 Campaign.

History of Invisible Children and The War

The story of Invisible Children is pretty inspiring. In 2003 ¬†three young guys from Southern California went to Africa in search of a story to tell through a film. What they found was the story of the tragedy in northern Uganda of night commuters and child soldiers. They created the documentary “Invisible Children: Rough Cut” which has now been seen by millions of people. Since then they have held the Global Night Commute, Displace Me, The Rescue and started The Legacy Scholarship Program, Schools for Schools, The Bracelet Campaign and Mend among other programs.

The war in Uganda has been going on long before Invisible Children was founded. Joseph Kony took over a rebel army that was started by Alice Lakwena in the 1980s. Since then Kony has resorted to abducting children to be indoctrinated into the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). It is estimated that 90% of the LRA is made up of abducted children. Millions of people have been displaced because of the LRA. There have been multiple sessions of peace talks, but Joseph Kony has failed to sign peace agreements on multiple occasions. Currently the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued warrants for Kony and four other LRA leaders.¬†The war has been going on for 25 years now in Uganda. If I had been born in northern Uganda I would know nothing but war. I can not even comprehend what that would be like. You can read more about the history of the war on the Invisible Children website.

The 25 Campaign

When I watch videos about what is going on over in the Congo and other affected areas sometimes I feel helpless and like there is nothing I can do to change what is happening. But, there is something I can do: participate in The 25 Campaign that Invisible Children is putting on. For 25 hours, from April 24th at 7pm until April 25th at 8pm I will be going silent and standing in solidarity with thousands of people around the world for the children that have been silenced by the LRA. As a part of The 25 Campaign each participant is asked to raise at least $25. One dollar for every hour of going silent and for every year of the war. The $25 goes to fund The Protection Plan, which will provide services to LRA affected areas. Direct outcomes of The Protection Plan include:

  • Building a communication network¬†and facilitating a 24-hour early¬†warning network.
  • Providing humanitarians with up-to-date information to better deploy services.
  • Guaranteeing no massacre goes unseen.
  • Encouraging the continued defection of LRA rank and file combatants.
  • Providing every child rescued from the LRA access to rehabilitation.
  • Making total rehabilitation feasible upon the dismantling of LRA leadership.

So by now you may be asking yourself “What can I do?” For starters if what you have read and watched has inspired you, touched your heart, or motivated you to act I would encourage you to sign up for The 25 Campaign yourself, start your own fundraising page, and stay silent April 25th for the children who have been silenced by the LRA. If you can’t do that (which is perfectly ok) you can support me by donating to my fundraising page. If every person who reads this donated $1 then I would reach my goal of raising $25 (or at least a lot closer). In the grand scheme of things $1 is not that much money: less than a cup of coffee, a soda, a candy bar, bag of chips, and a bunch of other things. If you decide to donate to my fundraising page you can either give me your donation the next time you see me before April 24th or you can go to my fundraising page to donate.

Thank you in advance for your support and donations. Feel free to call or email me if you would like to talk more about 25 or Invisible Children and what they are doing, I would love to talk with you about it. I truly appreciate all of your support!

p.s. I’m kicking in the first $5 because I truly believe in what Invisible Children are doing! So now only 20 people would need to donate $1 for me to reach my goal! Thanks again for your support!

Longing for some sun

While Gavin was up here we were listening to Tyrone Well’s newest CD “Metal and Wood”. It is so good! Seriously SO GOOD! But it is making me long for some of the sunny weather that he sings about in his songs.

Thankfully I will be getting to enjoy some (hopefully) beautiful weather in San Luis Obispo over spring break!! I am really excited. But, before I make my way down to sunny San Luis Obispo, I am going to be heading down to Tahoe to hang out with some amazing people who I am so so so looking forward to spending time with!!

Then the first weekend of spring quarter I am going to be down in SLO again! My parents are road tripping down with a few other family friends for another family friend’s wedding in Santa Barbara so they are going to drop me off on the way down! We are going to leave early Thursday morning so that we will be in SLO in time for farmers and then line dancing!!! I can hardly hold my excitement for spring break and the beginning of spring quarter in!!

On top of that I might be able to come down for memorial day weekend and possibly for stagecoach (if Gavin and I go, which by the way babe we need to decide ūüôā )! Overall I am really excited to be able to visit so much in the months coming up!!

I can’t wait to be back in SLO even if it is for a few short visits! I’m also looking forward to being able to hang out with friends that I haven’t seen in almost 6 months!! Oh my goodness I can’t believe it has been that long! Time sure does fly!

Yummmy Chocolate Cheesecake

Gavin came up this last weekend and we celebrated Valentine’s day late. I knew I wanted to bake him something really special. I was searching around the food network website for something to make and found a recipe for new york style chocolate cheesecake.

Yummy right?

The recipe was surprisingly straight forward and easy to follow, which was a big relief compared to the cake pops! Also Gavin and I made it together so that made it 100 times better! The cheesecake came out really rich, but SO GOOD! To garnish it besides the strawberries I made some fresh whipped cream and I will put the recipe for that after the cheesecake recipe.

 

New York Style Chocolate Cheesecake

Original recipe found here

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs (I used chocolate graham crackers)
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake

  • 20 ounces of cream cheese (2 1/2 packages), softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from inside of pod and reserved
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 8 ounces melted semisweet chocolate, cooled slightly
  • 3 eggs

Garnishes

  • Fresh strawberries
  • Whipped cream
  • Fresh mint sprigs
  • Whatever else you can think of!

Directions

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees F for silver spring-form pan, or 325 degrees F for dark nonstick spring-form pan
  2. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the chocolate wafer crumbs, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, and the butter and mix well. Press onto the bottom of springform pan and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, remaining cup of sugar, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds and beat until light and creamy.
  5. Add the flour to the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth.
  6. Add the melted chocolate and sour cream and mix well.
  7. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition until just blended.
  8. Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the center is almost set.
  9. Run a sharp knife around the rim of the pan and allow cake to cool on a wire rack before removing rim of pan.
  10. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving. Cheesecake may be made up to 2 days in advance before serving and will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Note on the baking: Emeril’s recipe didn’t say to use a water bath to bake the cheesecake, but all of the other recipes I looked at and the comments said to use a water bath so the cheesecake won’t crack and have a nice looking top. ¬†I found another recipe from the food network, this one from Nigella Lawson. Here are her directions for a water bath:

  1. Line the outside of the tin with a good layer of cling wrap, and then another layer of strong foil over that. This will protect it from the water bath.
  2. Sit the springform tin in a roasting pan and pour in the cheesecake filling. Fill the roasting pan with just boiled water to come about half way up the cake tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

The water bath worked really well and I was so happy with how the cheesecake turned out!

Whipped Cream!

Whipped cream is so yummy! And so easy to make!! And delicious on top of the cheesecake!

Basically for every cup of whipped cream add 2 tablespoons of sugar and then whip! BUT, don’t whip too much otherwise you could end up with butter!

 

This was such a good cheesecake and I think I will be making it again in the future! I’m also thinking about trying another yummy sounding cheesecake! I hope some of you give this cheesecake or another cheesecake a try! Let me know how it turns out!

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