Thursday, October 9, 2014

Super Simple Cakey Cookies!

Hi! Long time no see! LoL. I'll update you all in the next post, but first I wanted to share these super simple cookies that I made for a meeting tonight.

I know this isn't the most awesome picture, but I almost forgot to take a picture of the finished product before I packed them up and went to bed. I'm making these again probably this weekend sometime so I'll post a new picture when that happens.

So! Here's what you'll need:

1 box of cake mix (any kind you want. I have French Vanilla in this picture but chocolate is super yummy too!)
1/3 c. oil
2 eggs

And that's it! Ignore the peanut butter in the background. I didn't clean off my counter before taking pictures. LoL. 

First of all, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. 

Next comes the hard part...are you ready? sure?...

Dump everything into a bowl. 

Everybody in the pool!

Then you mix it all together until it looks like cookie batter. 


Scoop the batter onto your cookie sheets. I use a cookie scoop, but the instructions I followed said that you can just use two spoons. 

Cookie scoop.

I placed them about an inch apart. They don't spread much, just a little. But I wanted to give them room to get comfy. :)

Slide the cookie sheets into the oven and bake for about 7 - 9 minutes, just until they turn brown on the edges. I left mine in for about 9 minutes and I think it might have been slightly too long. 7 or 8 may have done the trick. 

When they're done, just let them cool on a paper towel.

Using my cookie scoop, I was able to get about 24 cookies out of one recipe. And then one accidentally fell into my mouth. So now I have 23 to take to my meeting tonight. Oops. I wonder if anyone will notice. 

In total, it took less than half an hour from start to finish. 

If you're using chocolate cake or any dark colored cake, you can also roll your little cookie dough balls in powdered sugar before baking. Then they get this crackly looking top to them. I tried making those before but I didn't get a picture. Maybe this weekend...

I love making these when I'm pressed for time because they were so quick and so yummy. And because you only need 3 ingredients, and those are ingredients I almost always have on hand, it's a great recipe to keep on file for those times where you need to make something for a potluck or another event and you just don't have any idea what to make and are too lazy to go to the store. (Yay! That's me all the time!)

I don't remember where I originally got this recipe unfortunately. It was in my recipe book that I brought from home and I had written it in. :/ But I think you can find variations by just Google-ing 3 ingredient cake cookies or something like that. 

Okay bye!!!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

My Introduction to the Academic World...Sorta

You know, I should probably change the name of this blog. Not the post, the entire blog. :) I haven't posted anything crafty in forever. But I am posting something. And not just a throw-it-all-in-there update post.

This past weekend, I presented at the Far West Popular Culture and American Culture Associations Conference here in Las Vegas. It's an academic conference for a different sort than the traditional ones I've heard about. For one, it's a lot more laid back. The sessions were relatively small, and more informal than I've heard about from friends. But maybe I should start from the beginning....

Back in October or so, one of my professors started telling us about this conference and how it would be a good experience for us to submit abstracts of papers we've written or would like to work on, and possibly present at the conference. So, right before the deadline in December, after much prodding and reminding from said professor, I submitted two individual paper abstracts (one on the First Amendment and Virtual Worlds and the other on Social Media in Higher Education (I'm thinking of writing my thesis on the second one since I've already done almost the first three chapters for various classes last semester)) and one panel (I did a foodporn panel with three classmates...yes, foodporn. But I looked at the Got Milk? ads and there wasn't much foodporn-ish stuff to look at.) Little did I know, as long as you submit an abstract, you get accepted to present. I didn't find this out until I came back to Vegas after Christmas break. And by then I was kind of stuck.

If you know me, I'm not too good at public speaking. Sure, I'm okay with one-on-one or maybe a few people, but put me in front of a group, I get flustered and ramble. And talk with my hands. A lot. I have no Potagee blood in me, but the hands start flying anyway. But since I had to do all three presentations because my professor wouldn't let me out of it, I resigned myself to doing them. 15 minutes each isn't bad, right? WRONG!!

I realized that I had three papers, but had no idea how to present them. Should I be "academic" and all serious and professional (which I'm not, by nature,) or could I be a little goofy and more casual? I decided in the end to do a little of both. (And cramming a 40+ page paper into a 15 minute presentation is not easy.)

After weeks of freaking out and indecisiveness about how to go about the presentations and what handouts should I give the people who come (do I give the whole paper so I can get feedback? do I just give an abstract so they know vaguely what I'm talking about? do I give a copy of the presentation? do I give nothing? what?!?!) it finally came to this past Friday. I took the day off from work so I could make sure my presentations were ready and it's a good thing I did. By Friday morning, I was still scrambling to finish the presentation for Saturday (I had one on Saturday and two on Sunday). Not the best thing. So I worked all day on two of the presentations and then went to the reception that night.

Food at the reception. Mostly appetizer stuff. But there were mini desserts. And a MASHED POTATO MARTINI BAR!!! So yummy.

So the next day I was at the conference from 7:30 in the morning, even if I didn't present until 4:30 that afternoon. It was a long day. I ended up giving the people who attended my presentation the abstract for the paper. There was no way I was going to print out 10 copies of a 12 page paper if I didn't know how many people were actually going to show up. And it's a good thing I didn't. There were only like 6 people, and most of them were from my program. But the presentation went well. I think. I was myself and talked with my hands, and got flustered, and read a little too much from the powerpoint and my notes, but I think it went okay for my first academic conference presentation. I got some pretty good feedback from not only the people who attended but also the professor who moderated the session and I knew what to work on. Unfortunately there are no pictures because I forgot to give someone my camera to take any for me. But I did take one of the screen before the session started:

Oh, and my nametag:
because you just have to, right? So you know who you are. And prove that you were there. LoL.

Sunday was an early day. I got to the conference at 8:15 even if the session didn't start until 9. I didn't expect anyone to be there because Hello? There were only two sessions that day anyway and oh yeah, it's Las Vegas. But, the first panel was the foodporn panel. The room ended up being full. And the conversation afterwards lasted almost the entire hour we had after the presentations. (Well, when you're talking about sex and food, what do you expect?)

 The sign in front of the room for both my panels. Yes, the first one was called Eat Me. 

 Our panel.

 Getting ready to present. No one told me they were taking a picture. LoL

Presenting. And people walked in late.

The final presentation I did went well too. By that time I was so glad it was almost over, I wasn't very nervous. Still, I talked with my hands, but I wasn't as flustered. And I knew the material because I had rewritten and edited the paper more than 5 times last semester. The room wasn't as full, but there was still a decent amount of people there. More than I expected.

 Presenting. Yep. 

I'm done! Time to let down my hair!!

And so ends my introduction to the academic world. I presented my first three papers at a conference as a graduate student and got pretty good feedback for all of them. One conference attendee even stopped me on my way out of the conference on Sunday (I was heading to Johnny Rocket's to get a hamburger, fries, and a milkshake to celebrate with some classmates) and told me that she enjoyed my presentation the day before and that it was well-done and I spoke well. That made me happy, that someone liked it. I don't know if I'll do the conference again next year, but we'll see. But it was a good experience and I'm actually glad I did it. (But shhhhhh....don't tell my professor. I still like to grumble about being tricked into presenting three papers.)

If you want to read about the conference, you can visit the UNLV online newspaper, the Virtual Rebel,  here. Yes, I know they got my name mixed up with someone else in the photo caption. I'm having that fixed. :) I was quoted!

See you later!!


Monday, February 17, 2014'm Alive?

Yep. I'm really bad at keeping up with this thing. LoL. I can't believe the entire semester passed before I realized that I didn't post anything since just after I got here.

I survived my first semester of graduate school (and did a lot better grade-wise than I thought I ever would do. If we're FB friends then you'll know.) We're about a month into the Spring semester and it's going pretty well. I'm only taking three classes this time, but two of them are a lot of work. Lots of reading and making sense of what the professors are trying to teach us. LoL.
I'm currently putting together three presentations for an academic conference that I'm presenting at this weekend (AHHHH!!!!). One of the presentations is almost complete (because I already presented this paper during the class and just need to make a few changes to the presentation to shorten it), one is half complete (I just need to reorganize a little and add the images), and the third I haven't started yet. Oops. But I have until Friday to get them put together and finalized since I don't present until Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Mom says that this is a good experience and I should take advantage of it. All I can tell is that I have to present these papers in front of large groups of academic people. Freakout will commence on Thursday, I'm telling you that.

I did go home for the Winter break. I was home for about a month but didn't get any crafting done whatsoever. Pretty much the entire break was spent being a bum around the house and making my way through my bookshelf. LoL. But I did make sure to pack two boxes of craft stuff this time and one already came. My mom is going to mail the other one eventually, but this one has all of my tape in it so I'm good. (You can't find any of the Merikan d/s tape here. I looked EVERYWHERE!) Once the other box with my stamps and other stuff arrives, I'll be able to start working on stuff.

Let's see...what else is there to tell you? Oh, I got a job. It's an on campus job at the enrollment services center so I only work three days a week for a total of 20 hours. When we're busy, we're busy, and the rest of the time we're talking or online. LoL. But the people there are awesome and I'm having a great time.

I guess there really isn't anything else to write about. If anyone's coming to Vegas any time soon, let me know. I love seeing people I haven't seen in forever.

I'll post again soon when there's finally something to post about. LoL.

Take care!!