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Colored Eggs

18 Apr

This is the time of the year that all the Easter eggs come out!  Each year we color wayy to many of them and that is the best part.  By the end of the week you are so sick of egg dishes but as of right now I am craving the hard boiled egg! I should make 1 disclaimer – I will only really eat hard boiled eggs, I very much dislike them any other way or most things that have eggs in them, such as french toast.

Colored EggsAnyway, on to the fun part!  Every year we get an explosion of colored tablets that are just dropped into vinegar and water.  This has to be one of the cheapest crafts that you can make and really not a whole lot is wasted since you will be eating the eggs afterwards.  Eggs run about $1.50 a dozen and they are usually on sale around this time of year.  Those color kits are about $2 and the vinegar is about $1.  For less than a footlong from Subway you can create little edible masterpieces.

My favorite thing to do with hard boiled eggs is of course to make deviled eggs.  Every time I make these I just basically dump things together into a bowl and keep tasting it until I think it is delicious.  If you asked me how to make egg salad it would be this same combination of random ingredients except with the egg whites mixed in as well.

Here is the recipe for Nicole’s Deviled Eggs – pick and choose which ingredients you like:

For sweet choose sweet ingredients/Hot and Spicy – Use all the peppers

Hard boiled eggs with the yolks removedDeviled Eggs
Yellow mustard, dijon mustard or honey mustard
Hot sauce or buffalo wing sauce
Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip (if you like it)
Red pepper flakes
Cayenne Pepper
Dill pickle relish, Sweet pickle relish and pickle juice
Vinegar – any kind
Sugar
Salt and pepper
Garlic
Bacon
Cheddar Cheese (more for egg salad)

Add everything in a big bowl and wet it with the vinegar until it is a paste consistency and then put it in a plastic bag, cut the corner off the bag and squeeze it into the empty egg white shells.  You will end up with delicious deviled eggs and they will never be the same twice!

Spilling the Fruit

17 Apr

FruitI often hang out with my neighbor and many time we get on the topic of fresh fruit (he is a nutrition major).  More than once he has tried to explain to me that the food group that most college students miss out on daily is fruit.  I tried to explain to him that fruit is expensive and I don’t really like it.

After he told me that I started to really watch to see how much fruit I did eat.  Turns out I eat alot of fruit flavored candy but not much actual fresh fruit.  I just don’t love it.  Then, I came up with a solution.  I started making smoothies.

It turns out this is a great way to get a serving of fruit, yogurt and milk with minimal effort.  Fresh fruit is the most expensive to buy and I usually steer clear of it – I only really eat apples and every once in a while a green banana or two.  However, I went to a larger grocery store and found a huge frozen fruit section!  You can get all kinds of berries, mangos, pineapple pieces and even some exotic fruits that are frozen and you can literally just dump them into your blender and there you go.  Or in some cases just eat them frozen – I brought frozen raspberries with me to class every morning for like a month….

The other thing is the price of fruit. The frozen stuff isn’t as bad, while it will still run you more than the typical pizza and it is not necessarily a meal, you won’t be missing out on all the nutritional stuff – like vitamins and minerals (or whatever healthy stuff is in there.)

So next time that you are in the store, check out the frozen fruit section and see if there is something that you might be willing to give up and extra Tony’s pizza for but if not then head over to the canned fruits and check out the peaches and pears usually 10/$1 or better!

On the Tweeter or Twitter

1 Apr

TwitterI have a twitter, I have had one for many years now and every once in a while I will post a random thought.  But I do not use twitter, I really don’t tweet and any tweet that I might have on there probably came from either this blog or my Instagram or some other service that I have pushed the post to.

Let’s face it.  I just don’t understand.  I use Twitter to follow important games when I am not close to a TV or am just not that interested in the actual game or if some major drama is going on – such as a gmail fluke.  Other than that I feel like Twitter is mostly used for starting drama between celebrities and posts about things I don’t care about.

Overall, most of the internet is that way and I get sucked into site that just lead me from one article to the next and I end up spending so many hours on their site.  HuffPost Weird News section, is one of these, Imgur is another.  I could spend my entire day on those sites but Twitter, I can’t spend more than 5 minutes on there.

I follow all kinds of people on Twitter and all kinds of people follow me, but I have nothing to say and nothing to share with this strange group of anonymous followers.  With the ability to look up everyone’s first tweet, that I heard about a few weeks ago I really started thinking, why do I care about any of this?  The answer is that I don’t.  I am on Twitter because it was the “cool” thing to do at one point and here I am, being “cool.”

Random Bank Interest Charges

31 Mar

Recently, I have been watching my credit card statement more closely as I have had weird random “interest charges” that will show up on my account.  The funny thing about this is that fact that when I asked about one charge I had like that the lady at the bank just brushed it off and said that it was a charger from the time that I got my statement until the time that they received my payment that I had been charged.

Balancing The Account By HandThis was not something that could be even remotely true since I do all my banking online and I simply transfer money from my checking account to my credit card, since they are through the same institution.  Then, she said it was nothing to worry about and asked if I would like her to clear that up.  I said yes, thinking that she was going to make the charge go away but later when I checked my account, I noticed that she had just transfer the $1, I had been charged from my checking to my credit card!

I have been watching for these and you should too, if you pay your credit card off each time you put a charge on it or if you have debt but you make your payments each month and you start seeing new charges that pop up, ask about them.  Clear them up immediately and make sure that you don’t get duped into someone just “taking care of that” for you with your money.

Student Loans

30 Mar

Now that I have graduated from college, I have been thrown into the world of debt.  I suddenly have this large amount of money that at the time when I was borrowing it the small loans seemed reasonable and easy to take.  I have always struggled with saving money without having a goal – I saved for summer camp when I was young, study abroad, rent and spring break while I was in college and I only saved for that specific occasion.

I never thought ahead enough to save you know what I am going to need money from somewhere to pay all these off.  Now I am in that boat.  I am also in a position where it is the easiest for me to be saving money, as I no longer pay for books and tuition each semester (even with loans tuition is crazy!).  In fact, I am trying to save for two things at a time.  I am saving up to move to Madrid in the fall and I am saving up for all those loans that I will need to start paying back in 3 months.

Something that I am very please about was the fact that I have paid off my first student loan.  I have been working on in since September, while I was still in college but I finally made the last payment this past week.  I feel so free!  Well, almost.  I have a long way to go but it is an accomplishment that I am proud of.

I decided that instead of making just payment after payment and paying down the total bill, I am going to try to pay off one loan at a time.  So I will start with my loan to UK and pay that one off (since it is my smallest) and then I will pay off each one of my federal loans, one at a time.  I also am going to try to pay them off in three years instead of the 10 which is where my plan has me set at now!

If you want to see how many people graduate with debt in your state check out this cool map.

Map of US

Changes

29 Mar

I recently had been tasked with finding cool giveaway items for 10th graders which at first I thought would be a simple task and then I can to realize how out of touch I am with the “youths” (a term that people used to refer to me as).  I sat with my co-workers for over an hour trying to come up with things that sophomores in high school would receive to entice them to participate in a study.

While thinking back on all the cool stuff that happened while I was a sophomore, I could really think of nothing.  I had a cell phone but it could barely access the internet and what it could do was limited to seeing how many minutes I had used, texts I had sent and browsing the provider’s website.

What do kinds do these days?  I enjoyed sports and playing cards but both of those were shot down quickly because of the smart phone.  There are endless apps available for both of those things.  Then we moved on to ideas that would relate to cars, but then as I thought about it, I couldn’t drive as a sophomore and most kids at that age can’t afford a car anyway.

The other issue is that I work with mostly hipsters, college students and academics.  It is hard to think outside of our world, I know I have seen the fad of high white socks on kids but that idea was shot down because someone else suggested that kids would not wear them but if they had a funky argile pattern that might be more likely….

…..basically I am back to square 1, flashdrives and cool stickers.  I did learn something about myself though, while I feel like I might be able to speak for the masses at most times, this was not one of them and I need to read up more on what “the kids these days are doing.”

 

Painted Wine Bottles – Update

27 Mar

It has been 4 months since I made this post and while I may be slow I actually did end up making these with my friends and they turned out wonderful.

While I am not very artistic I do enjoying drawing geometric shapes and so my bottle is nothing but these same shapes over and over again and it looks very ornate.  Can you guess which one is mine?  (Hint:  I love blue).

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Update

26 Mar
graduation

My mom and I at graduation.
Photo Credit: Ray Sand

Things have recently been very busy for me.  I became really stressed out at the end of November after I realized I was graduating college with a lot of uncertainty.  What would I do?  Where would I go?  The other thing, I was about to lose my job.

I had worked all through college at a wonderful creative and technical services place called the Hive, which was on campus.  The trick was though I was a student worker and after graduating, I would no longer be a student.  Therefore, I could no longer be working as a student.

Finally, in a moment of panic I freaked out and talked to my boss and it turned out that they did not really want to get rid of me either.  Instead, they offered me a temporary position so that I could pull myself together and figure out my next step.  This was immensely helpful and I took on a position with new leadership demands.

While feeling more secure for at least another semester and summer (I still think in academic terms), I looked into different options as to what I will do next.  I found a program that would allow me to move to Spain and work there as a teacher of English.  I applied and was accepted and I will be moving to Madrid in the fall.

I plan on keeping this blog although I might be changing the focus of it some as my life progresses and goes off in different ways.

Stolen Bikes

15 Nov

So there was a point in my life were I thought biking was nerdy, and then after a few years in college, I really came to terms with the fact that I am a nerd and that I really needed a bike.

Bikes are funny little things, because they can get you somewhere extremely quickly and efficiently and it is not polluting the environment. They also help you to burn calories and build up some leg muscle.  Bikes are also funny because here at UK everyone in the world wants to steal them.  In fact they are stolen so often that Lexington Police has an online crime report form that you have to fill out that is just specific to bikes.

I have also been a target to this type of theft, sadly.  I bought a pretty crappy bike from someone off Craigslist (Yes! Always go with another person if you are buying something off of there and if you feel like it is the least bit sketchy DO NOT go!), anyway it had terrible brakes and the more that I rode it the more the brakes did not work.  Finally it came to the point that I had to start dragging my feet in order to get the bike to come to a complete stop.  Then, as I was crossing a street on my bike a car ran a stop sign and hit me on my bike, breaking my pedal (the guy was a jerk in his massive car and I kicked the front grill really hard – he didn’t apologize or roll down his window or anything he just made an obscence gesture at me and drove off).  Nevertheless, I now had an extremely crappy bike, one with a flat tire, no brakes and without a pedal and had stopped riding it so much until I got it fixed.

About a week later I went to my parking lot only to find that my car had been badly damaged from someone that hit it starting at the back bumper and dragging up the entire side of the car until they finally were able to stop on my driver side door.  Thanks, jerk!  So since I was unable to drive it, I went to unchain my poor little bike only to find that, the bike and the chain was completely gone.  The only thing that I can think, is that serves you right person that stole my bike I hope you crashed because your foot slipped off of the missing pedal and when you tried to slow down you realized the brakes did not work either.  A poor college student can only hope that in some way karma got both of those people.

I sadly got over my stolen property (although if I ever see that bike on campus, I will take it back, the second that I see it) but was unable to buy another one because of my financial situation.  So I learned to do something less fun but still energy efficient and walk everywhere that I would have rode my bike to.  This past semester I found out about a program that UK does which “rents” bikes to students for free.  That is right for free!

bikeYou have to win the lottery in order to get this privileged and the first time that I entered the lotto I did not win a bike.  The second time, however, I did! It was very exciting, the first thing that I did was to take it on a spin around campus just to see how much faster I could get around on it.  I know that bikes can be expensive and finding a cheap, nice, used bike is something that is very hard to do.  With this program I was able to get back on the road (well, bike lane) and I was able to save my money.  There might be this sort of program around you as well, it just takes a little digging to find it.

Also, if you have every had your bike stolen, I am very sorry for you.  We can hope together that we find our bikes or that karma comes back to those people and every time they go for a ride on our bikes, they hit a rock and fall off.  I can only hope.

Rain and Snow

14 Nov

So I have snow on the brain and here in Kentucky you never know what you are going to get.  I could be 70 degrees and sunny one day and then the next day it could be 30 degrees and snowing and then back up to 60 degrees on the third.  The weather patterns here are very unpredictable.  Just yesterday I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt and today I am wearing boots, a coat, a scarf and gloves. Ugh Weather!

The one thing that we can count on this year is going to be the ice that is definitely going to happen.  I am not excited at all for this because I have a car and scraping ice off a car is extremely miserable.  There are a few things to remember this winter before you get stuck in the ice.  The first thing would be to make sure that you have at least two ice scrapers.  I have actually found that the short little ones work the best when scraping ice off but you have to be careful that you watch your paint.  The other thing that is important is to make sure that you have a good warm pair of crappy gloves that you don’t mind getting dirty and wet.  These are essential for scraping and making sure that your hands do not freeze.

The other thing that is  important is to make sure that you leave enough time to scrape your car in the morning.  If you just rush out and then notice your car, you will not make it to where you need to be in time.  This is a long process.  It helps if you can get your door open and then turn your car on and turn the defroster on and let it run like that for a few minutes before going back out to scrape.

The other thing is that here in Kentucky it likes to snow and then it likes to rain and then freeze so your whole car will turn into an ice ball.  This is not good at all for scraping.  My advice is that you scrape at least your drivers side door the first time that it ices and then after that just keep up with all the ice.

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