Thoughts Over Coffee

This last week, on the first rainy day of the new school year, my boyfriend and I went to this little cafe downtown Pullman called Café Moro. I got a sweet Chai Latte, While he got a Flyboy (dirty Chai. not my fave).

It was so nice to sit down and talk about nothingness, getting away from the non-stop momentum of life.

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Apps used for Photo: Instagram, A Beautiful Mess

We started talking about ‘life after college’ and what our options were separate, and as a couple.

He has plans to become a police officer in Washington State, and is following through with those plans. I am so proud 🙂
Aaaaaaand then there’s me. Referencing my first, post, I have no clue what I want to do with my life. When I was little, I wanted to be a combination of a singer, artist, and animal life saver. Although those dreams have basically died, I still have passions for all three.

My boyfriend asked me, ‘ok, when you daydream, what do you daydream about?’

My answer: Crafting and Baking.

Ha!

I just don’t understand why there is so much pressure to decide what you want to be when you grow up. There a great handful of people who don’t even go into the field that they graduated in. And I want to work to live, not live to work!

I feel as though my life doesn’t depend on what i do for a career. Growing up, i have learned my values by watching my parents and older siblings. Be a great friend, a loving companion, and live life to the fullest! No where in there does it say make a million bucks. Although that wouldn’t hurt.

I am not in any way demeaning those who have gone through years of schooling for a profession, because that’s incredible! I’m just different. My passions are things that you may or may not be able to make a living off of. Granted, i may not have found my passion in the business world yet. But I will take life as it comes!

To be continued…

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Book I Want to Write

“I’m ninety. Or ninety-three. One or the other.”

This is the first line in the book, Water for Elephants written by Sara Gruen. Followed by:

“When you’re five, you know your age down to the month. Even in your twenties you know how old you are. I’m twenty-three, you say, or maybe twenty-seven. But then in your thirties something strange starts to happen. It’s a mere hiccup at first, an instant of hesitation. How old are you? Oh I’m — you start confidently, but then you stop. You were going to say thirty-three, but you’re not. You’re thirty-five. And then you’re bothered, because you wonder if this is the beginning of the end. It is, of course, but it’s decades before you admit it.”

I LOVED this book. Absolutely one of my favorites. I had seen the movie first, not knowing it was a novel, and of course the book was better than the movie!

I have always been a reader. I’m pretty sure I taught myself, in preschool. I was so excited that I read the same book over and over and over again. It was called The Goodnight Gecko by Gill McBarnet. But once I reached middle school I became obsessed with the cheesy romance novels, and eventually moved onto Sarah Dessen, and then Nicholas Sparks. The most recent book I read was The Other Boelyn Girl-Amazing!! Every year, I keep a book log of all the books I’ve read. I believe it was back in middle school that I read 27 books in one summer! but of course I had no life, so there’s that. I love the books that you become attached to, emotionally. I’ve cried from many books. No shame!

I have so many favorite books I can’t choose just one. And although I do consider myself a great writer, I don’t think I could ever write my own novel. There’s nothing like that feeling of getting a good book and not being able to put it down for days. My grandma had given me a book called The Outliers and at first glance I said heck no!! So after a couple years of it being in my garage, I read it. It was incredible and fascinating. I had just taken my first communication class at WSU, and I was able to recognize a lot of references that were made in the book, to historical figures in communication. While I am a sucker for the romance novels, I do branch out every now and then! But it has been too long since I’ve read a good book for pleasure. But with my busy schedule I can’t find the time. Although I am excited to start research my next adventure! Any recommendations would be appreciated 🙂

Digital Photography: A Basic Manual

Within this last year, I took my second college class on photography. My professor assigned the book Digital Photography: A Basic Model, by Henry Horenstein. I had just learned how to actually use my camera without always having it on the automatic settings. And for an amateur photographer who is till open and willing to learn any kind of new information, this book was my life saver when it came to the different elements and aspects of digital photography. However, this book-like it says in the title-is a manual, teaching you how to use your camera.

I got this book locally at the BookPeople of Moscow for about $30. This book got me through the semester and helped me produce photos like this one! I learned all about lighting from this book.

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This second class, was the first time I had ever worked with flash. I’ll admit, I was really hesitant about buying one. I can take great pictures without it,Ii thought. But the flash opens up another world of lighting when it comes to photography. This book helps in learning about the characteristics of light and how the direction of light, can change the textural quality of a photo.

But of course this book isn’t just on lighting. There are chapters discussing digital capture, camera lenses, the shutter, camera exposure, scanning, image editing, and printing. All you need to know to start out! The author gives great examples and is really thorough with each step of the process. This is the only textbook for photography that I’ve ever been assigned, and purchased, and I’m never letting it go!

Posted in Art

Yummy Trends

If you haven’t noticed already, fall is my all-time favorite season, with winter in a close second. The first rainy day always gets me excited for big knitted blankets, fires, warm drinks, yummy spices, and someone to cuddle!

Pullman knows all about the cold, so it’s literally summer one day and fall the next. My sweaters and Uggs could feel the chill in the air and were itching to get out of my closet!!

You especially know fall is around the corner when football starts (Go Cougs!), and Starbucks releases their Pumpkin Spice Lattes!! Eek!!

Pumpkin spice and apple are my favorite flavors for fall. Especially when I’m scrolling through Food Gawker looking for delicious new dinners and deserts to make!

I mean doesn’t your mouth water when looking at this beauty?? YUMM-O.
The photos are phenomenal, first off, illustrating the fluffiness of those cupcakes…excuse me…drooling. The blog Some Kitchen Stories is produced by Nicole who is a photographer, and Judi who is a writer. They put together their talents to bring you a beautiful collection of photos and recipes and stories!! But seriously every post makes my jaw drop in the beauty of food. I love these women and I know from now on I’ll be visiting their blog frequently!

ME WANT COOKIES, said my stomach. I would eat these so quick!! Pumpkin and honey sound like an amazing combination. The blog is called Averie Cooks and her color scheme is adorable with the pastel pink! She uses her own recipe for this batch and I can’t wait to try it!! The pictures emphasize the warm colors of fall with the golden honey, and worn cutting board and those delectable, fluffy, cookies. Miss Averie Sunshine even has her own cookbook that I definitely wouldn’t mind having in my kitchen!!

By the way, this post is making me really hungry and my fingers are antsy to bake….
My boyfriend is not a  fan of cake. So for his birthday last year I made him apple crisp. while it was indeed yummy, it was not pretty whatsoever and did not look like the picture from the recipe. But with ice cream it was delicious! This apple crumble, looks promising. Or maybe I’m just craving fall desserts really bad by this point!! This recipe also combines two flavors using almond flour, which with apple, I think would add that extra little something! Soni’s Food is a blog that is inspired by Global Cuisine, and this particular blog post is gluten free! My nephew was just put on a gluten free diet and I’m interested in learning more about gluten, and finding recipes for desserts we can all enjoy!

What is fall without a hot drink to warm your chilled hands? I recently joined the world of legal drinkers, and I am always willing to try something new! And might I say, this looks delightfully delicious. This lovely drink is posted on the blog Cocktail Remedy, by Nick. And he’s from Portland, Oregon, wha whaa!!! His posts are absolutely amazing. Looks like I came to the right place when i said I liked trying new drinks!! Amazing!!

I hope you all are enjoying you new season full of drinks and baked goods. I know I am!

Leaves Turning Crimson Red….

One more week until Fall officially starts!!

Pumpkin Spice Lattes re already here, this weekend was the first home football game for the COUGARS!!!! We beat Southern Utah University 48 to 10. I also put up my fall wreath that has fake wheat and pumpkins on it.

My roommates and I want to carve pumpkins soon so I have to think of something awesome to carve. Which means Halloween is right around the corner!!! I have been planning my costume since November 1st of last year: a strawberry.
Last year, I was a Lion:
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The tall grass in my backyard was a perfect backdrop, no?

I hand-made the entire costume myself!! First time using a hand-held sewing machine, or any type of sewing machine in a LONG time. It was AWESOME, if I do say so myself. I know I won’t be able to beat it this year, mostly because I’ll just be wearing a red dress with some green felt. I still have my Lion costume and hopefully I’ll get to wear it in the future!

I had never made my costume until my freshman year of college, when I was a peacock!

I guess you could say I like being animals for Halloween. When I was little, I’m pretty sure I was a black cat for about five years in a row.

Sophomore year I was a “nerd,” which I did not make myself. While I did look a-dork-able, that costume was too mainstream for someone who was raised across the river from Portland.

A fun fact about this photo: in my photography class, we has to become our Halloween costume. I admit, I cheated and took this a couple days after Halloween. I had my roommate take the picture, and unfortunately as I was making my way through the grass in my gray TOMS, I stepped in dog poop. And not just any dog poop, a-dog-with-an-upset-stomach dog poop. No wonder I was making that face in the photo!! GROSS.

Someone Has to Say It

Fashion trends are always interesting to watch come and go. My favorites this year have bee maxi skirts, although I have yet to own one. Being barely 5’2″ it’s hard to find one that doesn’t swallow me up!

But the one I am not a fan of, is girl’s shorts that are SO INCREDIBLY SHORT. I can literally see their butt cheeks. One, it looks like they have a bad wedgie, and two, I DEFINITELY do not want to see that!

But enough about college clothing trends. This post is about something that should be common sense: respect.

When it comes to the classroom, and students are talking throughout the WHOLE class, not only are you blatantly disrespecting the teach/professor, but you’re disrespecting me!! I am actually trying to learn here.

Unfortunately, I’ve noticed this across all aspects of life, and not just in school. But I was particularly inspired to write about this issue, when I went to a panel discussion put on by the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication: ‘The Challenging Role of Women in Broadcasting.’ Even though I attended the meeting for extra credit, the panel was full of great women who are role models across the Communication spectrum. One being Kay Wight, who was asked by Edward R. Murrow himself to come to New York, along with many, many other achievements. I was really excited for the discussion, but was distracted by the texts messages coming through on the phone next to me. The girl in the seat to my left, was on Twitter, Facebook, refreshing her Instagram feed, and checking her e-mail throughout the whole meeting. And while I tried to ignore it, every buzz or swipe of the thumb made me more and more upset.

I find the disrespect against teachers, professors or authority figures by college students abundant and appalling.

Didn’t Aretha teach us anything? ‘All I’m asking, is for a little respect!’

You may not be interested in what they have to say, but you WILL learn something. Even if that is that what they have to say has no relevance to your life!

While I just went for extra credit, I learned much about the broadcasting industry and even got to know a news anchor from my own local news station. Most of the discussion was about broadcasting and while I’m a Public Relations major, these women had some very profound things to say. For example, Kay Wight said “it’s important that you know who you are, believe in yourself, and you maintain your integrity.” AWESOME!!

Quite frankly, I pity the girl who was distracted and/or uninterested. She missed out on a great discussion! I just wish students would realize how close they are to the real world, how they’re not in high school anymore and respect is extremely important for any relationship!

Smartphone Camera Lenses

Ever since I got a barbie Kodak camera for Christmas when I was about 7 years old, photography has been a passionate hobby of mine. I have taken a couple photography classes since high school and eventually minored in photography in college. But I still have a lot to learn!
No matter my amount of talent, every time my family or friends and I, would leave for an event, it was always “Kate, do you have your camera?”

I was really big into Instagram for a bit. I was famous on IG with close to 500 followers. But unfortunately, taking so many photo classes, and everything on IG turning ridiculous, I was burnt out. Thankfully not anymore!!

My brother takes amazing pictures with his iPhone. He bought a macro lens from apple and his feed on Instagram are incredible!! (Username: kelloggmaster if you’re interested. Which you should be) So when I saw this article I immediately thought of him.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2013/09/04/reviewed-sony-smartphone-cameras/2762907/?sf16830761=

I remember walking into a best buy not too long ago and seeing digital cameras with removable lenses. Not Canon, or Nikon cameras, but like dinky fit-in-your-pocket cameras with the automatic lens. Now they’re DSLR (Digital single-lens reflex)!!

Technology is constantly changing. And I know I just posted about how it’s ruining society, but when it comes to cameras i love it!! Always new toys to discover and experiment with.

You can see my Instagram pictures at the bottom of my blog. I have two accounts. One is personal and private, and the other is strictly dslr taken (ok fine, mostly dslr).

Grab a camera and go photograph the world!

5 Clever Uses for Baking Soda

It amazes me how much you can do with baking soda!! I only used baking soda for baking, before I got TOMS shoes.

I was so excited that I wore my shoes all day every day! With no socks. Gross. After that my feet and my shoes stunk!!

I asked everyone I knew, what I should do to remove the stench. Many said it was hopeless, and that I should have worn socks! So of course I invested in “no show” socks, but that didn’t help much. So after researching online, I discovered the magical powers of baking soda. I read that by pouring baking soda into an old rag, tying it up and sticking it on your shoe, it dries up all the moisture and bacteria, thus removing the smell of stinky feet! Needless to say I still have my TOMS 🙂 However, the baking soda can crack the sole of your TOMS if the two make contact.

After this shoe-saving discovery, I found more great uses for baking soda!

Number two is a refreshing facial or body scrub-not very surprising but still great! Create a simple paste of three parts baking soda and one part water. Exfoliate away! Rinse clean and be sure to avoid your eyes! Your skin will be so soft…and for so cheap!

Number three is toothpaste. Growing up I remember my family buying Toms toothpaste (baking soda and Toms are apparently a good mix!) Being so young, I thought it was disgusting. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve learned that a lot of toothpastes include baking soda as one of their ingredients! Certain kinds of Crest and Colgate toothpaste include baking soda for teeth cleaning and whitening.

Bug bites are so incredibly obnoxious. The other night something decided to munch on my leg! The bite was large, but I was able to conquer the itch with baking soda. That’s where use number four comes in. I made a paste with baking soda and water, and applied it to the bite. The swelling went down and my itch was gone!

Baking soda goes a long way when it comes to odor. If you’ve got furry cuddling kitties this ones for you! I love my cats. I have two of them. And sometimes the litter box goes too long without cleaning. So gross.  Cover the bottom of the pan with baking soda, then top off with cat litter. To keep it fresh between cleanings, sprinkle a little on top once you’ve removed all those almond rocas!! 🙂 A lot of cat litter is now made with baking soda to reduce the strong odor, but it’s a lot cheaper to buy baking soda on your own!

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Nala and Petrie

I hope you’ve learned something new, and continue to make wonderful baking soda discoveries on your own!

Change

When you’re standing in a line, and the person behind you doesn’t know what personal space is. That frustrates me.

When you’re not eating, but someone else is, and smacking their lips away. THAT is my nails on a chalkboard. I cringe! I just cannot stand it.

But today I’m going to talk about something a little bit different than pet peeves. Technology.

Technology has immensely changed society as we know it. Most of us have grown up with it. It has become our go-to whether it be updating our Facebook status, Tweeting at our favorite celebrity, Instagramming our dinner, or even looking up Spark Notes on a book we were supposed to read for class. But how obsessed have we become?

I got my first cell phone when I was a Freshman in High School. Even that was late for me! All my friends had one. I had gotten the first iPod a year earlier. But today, I see eight-year-olds with iPhones. Thankfully, I am still part of the generation who remembers playing outside when there was no such thing as internet-or at least we were too young to know what it was-when there was plenty of climbing trees, hide-and-seek, and playing tag. Just being active instead of exercising our fingers to the point of cramping. My four-year-old nephew was playing with a water hose, and I had turned it off without him noticing. He said “Auntie, the battery is dead!” I told him the water hose doesn’t have a battery. He replied “Ok, then it needs to be charged.” While I laughed at the time, this incident saddened me. How dependent will the young ones of today be on technology?

It’s not even the young ones though. My brother who is three years younger than me gets so frustrated when his camera doesn’t automatically focus, or something doesn’t load. It’s a computer!! We cannot depend on these things. When students complain that their internet crashed so they couldn’t do their homework, or their computer froze so they couldn’t print their paper. Is the computer in too much control of our lives? And how much to we allow it to be?

Students spend more time on Pinterest than they do actually paying attention in class and taking notes (I am not a part of this ratio because I refuse to get a Pinterest. One because I don’t see the point, and two because I know I would not get anything done). Has our attention span lessened because of all the games and social media apps we have at our fingertips? If there’s nothing on Facebook, we move onto the next one, and the next one, and the next one.

Don’t get me wrong. Technology can be AMAZING. Like Adobe Lightroom for example. LOVE IT. WordPress even!! Great!! But how much technology does it take for it to be detrimental to our learning and health?

Personally, I have taken Facebook off my phone and I barely use twitter. But being that Photography is a major hobby of mine, I’ve kept Instagram. I am an active Spachatter, but I also frequently write and send letters through ‘snail mail’. If I can go on the internet or do something for myself, I’ll participate in the latter (for the most part). I have not read US magazine or People magazine since God knows when, but I always read the newspaper and stay up to date with current events. I make an active effort to pull away from the dependency of technology while still keeping an eye on current topics.

I feel like this post would be an amazing paper if I could back it up with statistics. But for right now it’s just a rant. Society’s dependency on Technology frustrates me and I would love to see some sort of change in how we raise our children so that they learn to be independent and problem-solvers. Thanks for listening!

How to make Hanging Lanters

Dyed Mason Jars- DIY WSU Style!

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Disclaimer: These jars are not for drinking out of, or are in any way water-resistant.

You Will Need:

Modge Podge

Mason Jars, or Jar of your choice (I used Pint sized jars)

Food Coloring

Fake Tea Candles (This is important! Real candles will melt Modge Podge)

Industrial Wire (Durable)

Wire Cutters

Foil

Cookie Sheet

An Oven

How To:

To start, get two Tupperware containers and pour about 1/3 cup Modge Podge into each.

Put in as much food coloring as necessary-or as much as desired. I wanted a rich red color, so I used about half the food coloring bottle. To achieve the grey color, I used two drops of yellow, and seven drops of red, blue and green. Now unfortunately, once the grey jars came out of the oven (later in the process) they look more brown than grey….
Add a splash of water. Just a little bit!! The more water, the more transparent your finished product will be. Be sure to mix all the food coloring and water together. Any streaks will show up at the end!

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Prepare a sheet of foil for the first step of the drying process.

Starting with whichever color you prefer, pour about three tablespoons of Modge Podge into your Pint jar and turn the jar until the paste has covered every inch. Then set the jar upside down to dry for about an hour, on a sheet of foil. Continue with every jar.

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During this drying process, go ahead and preheat the oven to about 175.

Pull out your cookie sheet and grab another piece of foil to put on top of the sheet. Peel off each jar of the original foil, and be sure to clean up the outer lip where any glue may have tried or clumped-I haven’t quite figured out how to not get any clumps without adding too much water-place the jars on the cookie sheet the same way as before, top down. Bake all, like so, for an hour or so. This part is important because if you flip them too early, you’ll receive drip marks on your jars.

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After the first hour in the oven, pull the tray out. The jars should look partially clean, and partially wet, like the photo above. Prepare another piece of foil on a cookie sheet. Careful, these jars are super hot! Peel each of the jars off and place them on the fresh piece of foil right side up. Be sure to clean off any excess Modge Podge strings that are attached, with a wet paper towel.

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Bake them right side up for about 30 mins. or until all wet spots are dry! Let them cool before you handle them. It shouldn’t take too long.

Taking your industrial wire, measure a piece to go under the lip of the jar, all the way around. This is important because if it is not tight enough, the jar will fall. Include extra wire towards the end, for twisting. Twist the ends together once, and then point each end in the opposite direction for fastening. This will keep the soon-to-be-made handle, secure!

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I cut a 17.5 inch long piece of industrial wire for my handle. Depending on where you want to hang it from, choose the length of your wire accordingly. Place each end underneath the wire that’s already on the jar, down about an inch. Twist up both ends. Make sure each twist is an inch or longer otherwise it won’t be very secure!

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The final touch is the fake tea light!

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Yay!!

They look pretty dang good if I do say so myself!

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And against that beautiful Pullman sky…

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Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy your crafting!

All Pictures were taken by yours truly, with an iPhone 4 and a Canon Rebel Xti

Posted in Art