Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day! Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

Being between projects for the most part right now, I pulled out this knitting which is something I keep on hand when I have nothing else to knit. It is a basket weave hand towel, and it already has a finished twin that lives in Chicago that would love to have a mate. So every once in a while, I pick it back up again and work a few rows. The pattern is really simple, so it doesn't really involve any thought, so it makes a great distraction during busy weeks such as this one. Final exams are next week, and I've entered full-fledged study mode. It's important to take breaks every now and again too though.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Basic Deviled Eggs // The Pioneer Woman Cooks

This month, since Easter was yesterday, I figured there was no better time to make my monthly recipe from my Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays cookbook. Conveniently, there is a whole section for Easter foods.  There is a recipe in the cookbook for potato salad, and this was what I had originally planned to make, but my sister, Colleen, laid claim to the potato salad first, so I decided to make deviled eggs instead.  The cookbook includes recipes for four different types of deviled eggs, but having never made them before, I decided to just make the Basic Deviled Eggs—I figured there wasn’t too much to mess up and that most people would like them.

Because it is easier to peel eggs that aren’t fresh, I bought my eggs the weekend before Easter, hard boiled them on Wednesday night, and peeled them Saturday night when I was preparing them.  I had relatively no difficulty in peeling them, and the recipe ended up being so easy that peeling them was honestly the hardest part—that and filling the egg whites with the yolk deviled egg mixture.

In general, I stuck to the recipe.  The only thing that I left out was the white vinegar because honestly, when it came down to it, I couldn’t get the bottle open.  Pathetic, I know, but I just added a little extra pickle juice instead.  It has enough vinegar in it, right?

The deviled eggs ended up being such a good success!  Everyone that tried them ate several and said that they were really good.  By the end of the lunch, there were none left, so I guess that is truly the best sign that they were well-received.  The Pioneer Woman does it again :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Web Searches: A-Z

I like to use Google Chrome as my browser of choice because the more you use it, the better it works for you.  Does it creepily keep track of everything I have searched for ever?  Yes.  But sometimes that can provide really strange insight into one's interests and life.  So when I type each letter of the alphabet into the search bar, these are my first choices:

J: (I find it funny that this was what came up because I'm pretty sure I've only been on this site once.)
N: (no specific link for this letter, but rather a search for normed vector spaces... math major problems)
Q: (there wasn't a specific link for Q either but rather a Google search option for the quotient rule... again, math major problems.)
X: (Google didn't come up with anything for this letter, which isn't really surprising.)

Things I didn't need the internet to tell me: I'm a math geek, I like to craft and look at other people's crafty creations, I love reading and music, and I waste too much time on social media.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day! Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

I'm almost done with the Daphne scarf!  I just have one more pattern repeat left before I will bind off, and I can't wait to block it--I'm just itching to see how well the leaves and branches look.

This week, I'm finishing up reading my Lenten read just in time for Easter.  I've been reading Deep and Simple by Bo Lozoff, and I've been loving it.  It's a simple read but very fulfilling and enriching.  I hope I can carry over some of what I'm learning from it into my everyday life.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday Tea: 5 of My Favorite Poems

Since April is National Poetry Month, I indulged myself by taking a trip down memory lane and picking out old, favorite poems of mine that I wanted to share here.

My relationship with poetry has been a long one.  My love of poems started, like most people, with Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein.  What I didn't know for the longest time, however, was that poems don't necessarily have to rhyme.  It was when I started to learn this that my own writing started to improve (mostly because I didn't feel I was forced into a contrived and cheesy rhyming scheme--I've never been good at writing "serious" poems that rhyme), and from then on, my repertoire of poems began to grow, and I have garnered quite a list of poems that I would call favorites.

1. Sonnet 116 - William Shakespeare.  Let's be real: my love for this poem probably originally stemmed from my love of the Sense and Sensibility movie, but in all actuality, this poem is undeniably beautiful and sweet.

2. He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven - William Butler Yeats.  The last three lines are utter perfection.

3. i thank you God for most this amazing - e.e. cummings.  I read this poem at some point during my high school years, but I don't think I fell in love with it until I performed Eric Whitacre's musical composition of this piece with my high school's chamber choir.  The music combined with the words gives me goosebumps.

4. If You Forgot Me - Pablo Neruda.  All of Neruda's poems are haunting.  I almost bought a beautiful cloth-bound copy of his poems once, and I don't know why I didn't.

5. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - Robert Frost.  If I could write not cliche poems that rhymed, I would want them to be like Robert Frost's, lyrical and simple, yet multi-layered.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Daily Numbers

5757. The number of steps I have taken so far according to my FitBit.

136. The number of stitches I knitted today.

19. Days until I graduate.

10. P.M., the time I hope to be done with homework and headed to bed.

7. Mumford & Sons song listened to.

3. The number of take-home questions on my abstract algebra test today.

2. Purchased cups of tea.

1.5. The number of solutions I feel confident about on my analysis homework.

1. Chocolate croissant eaten.

Friday, April 11, 2014

April 11th Haiku

Spider on the frame
Of my windowsill, I watch.
Time ticks slowly here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day! Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

I finally finished up this scarf just in time for the weather to start getting warm (of course!), but I am glad to have it done and to have finally mailed it to David who has been so patient in waiting for me to finish it, even if he does just end up wrapping it up and putting it away for next winter :)

This pattern was originally a monotone infinity scarf knit in the round, but I loved the pattern and felt that the texture would make a great scarf for a guy, so I adapted the pattern to be knit just back and forth across the needles. After a KnitPicks yarn sale last year, I had this City Tweed Aran yarn in two colors, Tahitian Pearl and Toad, so I also added stripes, and eventually crocheted a simple single crochet boarder around the edges. I love adapting patterns to fit my needs; it makes me feel like I'm continuing to progress my knitting skills :)

The original pattern is here, and  my Ravelry notes are here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday Tea: Finding Ways to Relax

Sometimes when I get stressed out, I do the exact opposite of trying to de-stress.  I don't do it intentionally, but sometimes, like a lot of people, when I get overwhelmed, I usually gravitate to trying to do more in an attempt to make up for whatever is bothering me, as if I don't deserve a break.  They say the first step is owning up to your issue, so being cognizant of my stress tendencies, I try to make time on a regular basis to be more proactive in finding ways to relax.

1. Drink a cup of tea.  This is usually my solution to every problem ;) Tea is good for the body, and I also think it's good for the soul.  Making tea is ritualistic, and so just as the actual cup of tea is good for stress levels, the actual act of preparing the tea can be beneficial.  It can also make a great five minute break from studying.

2. Journal: Journaling is one of my favorite things to do because it can help me to organize my thoughts and think more clearly. It also has the added benefit of making it really easy to go back and re-read things from the past.

3. Make a list. When I'm overwhelmed by things to do, I usually start by making a list to help me organize and prioritize my agenda. This way, I know exactly where things stand, what I need to do, and how soon I need to do it.

4. Take a walk. Besides the April showers yesterday, the weather has been pretty darn lovely. Convening with nature can be relaxing and exhilarating at the same time, and it's the perfect time to step back and examine your life on the scale of the whole universe.

5. Figure out what your body needs.  If you're too tired to focus, consider taking a 20 minute catnap.  If watching an episode of TV on Netflix is something you like to do in your free time, then don't beat yourself up over taking a half hour break to catch up on How I Met Your Mother.  Call your parents.  Practice a hobby.  Do some stretches.  You name it. Your body knows what it needs.

P.S. What do you think of the text overlay in the picture? I figured I would try something new, and if I liked it enough, then I would pay for the app to remove the watermark.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Georgia Tech Bucket List

When I first came to Georgia Tech as a freshman, I had a small list of things I wanted to do during my four years here. As the years have passed, this list has morphed into a bucket list of sorts.

High on the list is to actually graduate (less than one month!!), one is to get a picture with Buzz (fulfilled this past December), and another thing on the list is actually something that was fulfilled on Friday. Being extremely involved in my high school's literary magazine, I made it a personal goal to be published in Georgia Tech's literary magazine, Erato, every year. The magazine comes out every April before the end of the Spring semester, and I've submitted one poem every year for the past three years, and I've been absolutely thrilled that all three poems were chosen to be published.

With the help and inspiration of my creative writing class last year, I went on a poem writing bender and, in an effort to have some new work to submit for this year, I sat down and edited my work and have some poems that I'm actually really proud of. I found out on Friday that two of my poems are going to be printed this year, and I am so honored. And I'm so thrilled to be able to check this small accomplishment off of my Georgia Tech bucket list. It's been quite a four years, that's for sure :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

On My Bookshelf: April

Sparing you my usual spiel about how fast time seems to be flying by, I'm excited for some new reads this month.

Last month, I had planned to read J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy, but when I went to go read it, it wasn't quite the flavor of book that I was really in the mood for at the time.  That's not to say that I'm not going to read it, but in the interest of full disclosure, I figured I should own up to the fact that I didn't quite stick to my reading plan last month.  It happens.

Instead, I did finish reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman which I had started too many months ago and put down because I'll be honest and say that this book didn't really blow my mind.  I love the movie adaptation, and this will have to be one of the few instances where I have to admit that I found the movie to be better than the book.

This month, I have plans to read some new books, and I also have plans to finish some books that I have already started.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
I've heard some amazing things about this memoir about a dysfunctional but still oddly loving family, and I'm interested to read it because this isn't really the kind of book that I usually find myself going for.  I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

My Antonia by Willa Cather
The is the book I have chosen as the book I will read this month in my attempt to read more classic novels.  Back when I was in high school, and I was still debating where to go to college, I spent the night at Agnes Scott during one of their programs to get to know the campus better and to do interviews to earn scholarship money.  The next day, we were assigned to random classes to attend, and the class I went to was an English class that focused on classic novels written by women.  My Antonia was the book they were reading at the time, and the professor, anticipating us high schoolers, had printed out a chapter from the novel for us to follow along.  Reading the chapter, and listening to their conversations about what they were reading, I told myself that I had to finish reading it one day.  Now that I'm wrapping up college at a completely different school, it somehow seemed appropriate.

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
I have mentioned this book many times on this blog, and I still have yet to finish it.  I have the last bit of it on audiobook though, so I'll be able to hopefully finish it up while walking to class and other places.

Deep and Simple by Bo Lozoff
I started reading this book last month as a book to read during the Lenten season.  With Easter in just a couple weeks, I'm eager to finish it up.  I'm really getting a lot out of it so far, and I know that the rest of the book will be just as good.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day! Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

Itching for something new on the needles, I cast on the Daphne scarf last night, having fallen in love with the pattern online a couple weeks ago. I'm using some of the yarn that my sister Colleen gave me for being one of her bridesmaids, and this particular yarn is KnitPicks Shine Worsted in the color wisteria. This is just one pattern repeat of the scarf (12 repeats to go), but I'm loving the delicacy of the leaves. I've never knitted a pattern like this (I've already had to look up how to do one of the stitches!), but I'm an eager learner, and so far things seem to be progressing well!

I also just started reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I like it so far. I think the author does a wonderful job of telling stories, and unlike many memoirs, it doesn't feel cliché or overly-contrived. The stories truly speak for themselves.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tuesday Tea: Poetry Month

Happy National Poetry Month! April is always an interesting month for me because it always means that the end of the semester is near, and this year in particular, it means that the end of my undergraduate life at Georgia Tech is also ending--I still can't wrap my head around that!

Because this is likely to be such an emotional month--one of excitement but also sadness--this is the perfect time to spend my last few weeks of college reading and, hopefully, writing more poetry. I'm already subscribed via email to get a new poem in my inbox every morning (I've found some favorite poems this way!), and perhaps I'll finally take advantage of the Georgia Tech library for something other than class work. It has to have more than just textbooks and manuals and scholarly articles, right? To be determined.

I know I'm most creative when I have a clean and organized space to work in, so I spent some time today dusting and putting things away in my room. Hopefully I'm on track to creating a space that feels conducive to writing some poems of my own to add to my collection. Hopefully I'll be satisfied enough with at least one thing that I write that I'll be willing to share it here :)

I've had a headache for the better part of the afternoon, so I'm drinking some extra dark Irish breakfast tea in the hopes that the caffeine will lessen some of the throbbing. What are you drinking today?