Archive for June, 2011

I am beginning to get the back-to-school jitters 🙂

This past week, I had a great meeting with my advisor to discuss the upcoming year. It is going to be INSANELY busy, but a lot of fun.

First of all, she recommended that I go ahead and finish up the BCBA stuff.  Which, I hope, means I just have to sit for the board exams. Of course, that means hours of studying, but it will be worth it when I can say I am a board certified behavior analyst. I just emailed the person I need to discuss my application with, so hopefully I should know more about this soon.

I’ve slowly been registering for fall classes.  In grad school you have to email the professors to ask for add-codes in order to be able to register for any class.  It turns out that PhD student have to take classes outside of their specialty area, so it’s been a little bit more difficult to get the add codes. 

So far, my schedule looks like this:

Educational Inquiry- EDLPS 525 – Wednesday- 4:30-6:50

General survey of epistemological issues underlying the several schools of thought or families of inquiry. Overview of various methods used in conduct of educational inquiry, examples of ways those methods are typically used, and exploration of strengths and weaknesses of those methods. Discussion throughout is in terms of assumptions regarding the nature of knowledge and purposes of inquiry.

Evidence Based Parenting Interventions- PSYCH 543- Thursday- 2:00-4:50

This three-credit, interdisciplinary course will provide students with an in-depth, hands-on understanding of the practical, cultural, and cross-systems applications of evidence-based parenting interventions. The course is grounded in teaching students to use Helping the Noncompliant Child (HNC; McMahon and Forehand, 2003), an evidence-based parenting intervention for children ages 3 through 8 who are exhibiting acting-out behaviors. This course will include an integration of theory and practice. A significant proportion of the class will involve modeling and practice of HNC, and students will be expected to learn and exhibit competency in the HNC intervention strategies.  Other course components include strategies for linking assessment with the selection and implementation of appropriate evidence-based parenting interventions for children and families and considerations for use of different interventions based on client presentation, ethnicity/culture, socioeconomic status, and system settings (e.g., child welfare, juvenile justice, education). 

Seminar in Special Education Research- EDSPE 518- Friday- 8:30-11:00

No summary available online. All I know is that I have to take 3 quarters of this course, so it should be pretty interesting 🙂

That brings me up to 9 credits and I will need 10 to be a full time student. I am looking into a seminar on the implementation of evidence based practices in schools.  Sounds really interesting!

A part of me wishes I could go out and buy an awesome new back pack and lunch box for the first day of school 🙂

Anson’s 10 year work anniversary is on the 18th, so I wanted to make something special.  He had taken the left-over bell choir cake pops into work and they were a big hit. He mentioned that he would like to have cake pops for his 10 year, but not just any cake pops—gourmet cake pops.  Gourmet?!  It was my fault. He had walked in on me looking at bakerella’s website, which has a ton of awesome cake pop pics on it.  Now I know that I should immediately close all my tabs when Anson walks in the room so he can’t see what I’m up to 🙂

I decided to make <edited for content> cake pops. I found a few pics of them on the internet (but no step-by-step directions).  They looked pretty straight forward and a lot of amateurs seemed to have success with them.  I did not.  Let’s just say that they ended up looking like zombies. Which is not what they were meant to look like. Not even a little bit. So, I’m going to let everyone call them zombies and not ruin it by telling them what they were supposed to be.

So, how do you make cake pops?

Step 1: Make a cake

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Step 2: Destroy the cake and stir in some icing

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Step 3: Shape the cake

Circles are definitely easier to make and cleaner looking. I tried to make squares and they ended up pretty uneven.  I’d probably recommend making circles to anyone out there. Or, getting a mold if you want to do a different shape 🙂

 

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Step 4: Chill in the freezer and then stick the lollipop sticks in

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Step 5: Dip in melted candy

This is where my <edited for content> cake pops started to go down hill. The squares did not want to stay on the sticks, so I had to put them on the styrofoam to dry pretty quickly. I didn’t get a chance to let the excess drip off, so I’m sure people noticed the drips of candy down the sides of the sticks.  I tried to rip some of it off after it dried, but it turned out not to be worth the effort.

 

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Step 6:  Let the candy shell dry.  I was awesome at this. I don’t want to brag, but I’m pretty confident I completed this step perfectly.

 

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Step 7: Decorate.  Utter disaster.  Unless you think they’re zombies. In which case, they’re kinda cute 🙂

 

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The great thing about cake pops is that, even if the decorating doesn’t go as planned, they still taste super yummy!  So, I hope everyone at Anson’s work enjoys celebrating with him and his army of zombie cake pops 🙂

And, just because I’m super impressed, I’m going to share my sister Angie’s SUCCESSFUL cake pop story!

I had recommended to her that she do a “practice batch” to get used to working with the candy melts.  So, she made chocolate cake with peanut butter candy shell pops:

 

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Success!  So, she decided to make Sesame Street cake pops for Mia’s 1st birthday.  She found the instructions on bakerella’s site (seriously people, you should check this site out if you’re interested in baking). 

At this point, I’m going to suggest that you sit down before looking at these pictures. They are going to knock your socks off!

 

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How awesome is she?  SUPER awesome! 🙂

As most of you know, I am not a great cook. I avoid it as much as possible.  I make the following items in a way that people seem to enjoy:

1. Grilled chicken breast (it’s disaster if I try to “bake” the chicken breast—just ask Anson).

2. Pasta

3. Turkey

That’s it folks!  I’ve been working hard recently at trying to prepare healthier meals. Which, of course, means that I am attempting to make more food myself instead of buying pre-packaged or take-out items. Mostly, I’m trying to avoid foods that I know are highly processed.

Today I stopped by Trader Joe’s to explore.  I had briefly been in there a couple of times, but never really bought anything.  However, Fiona and Jane speak so highly of it, I figured it was worth an hour or so of my time. 🙂

I found a couple items worth trying out. The first is a chicken and bean burrito (about 350 calories). I don’t often make Mexican food because Anson won’t eat it, but this seemed pretty safe. Plus, I could pronounce all of the ingredients. They were things like “chicken” and “green peppers.”   I also got some pre-cooked chicken patties (about 140 calories).  They had a lot of good veggies/seasonings mixed in (again, all things I could pronounce) and sounded super yummy. I had one of the burritos tonight—super yummy!  I’m excited to go to Trader Joe’s next time I’m in need of produce.  It looks like they have a pretty good selection.

Now, my plea for help:

I am trying to fill up my dinner plate with fruits/veggies.  I’ve been exploring different kinds of produce in order to expand my interests. I now have a rather large group of veggies that I enjoy, but only ever eat them raw or steamed. I’m looking for some good, healthy recipes for veggies (as a side). In particular, I’d like to be able to serve them hot (steamed, baked, etc). I haven’t explored any seasonings yet, so any advice is appreciated. 

Veggies I’d love to learn to cook:  broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, spinach, onion, brussel sprouts, peas, zucchini, celery and peppers. Most veggies actually! The only ones that I still avoid are tomatoes and most varieties of squash. Aside from that, I’m willing to try anything!

Please email me your recipes 🙂

Today, Sheri and I took an impromptu road trip to Roslyn, WA.  For those of you who don’t know, this is where all of the outdoor scenes for Northern Exposure were filmed. Anson bought me the first few seasons of the show a couple of years ago and I LOVED IT!  So, upon discovering that the town is a mere 90 minutes away, I decided it might be fun to go explore 🙂

Side note:  Sheri and I are wearing matching outfits. It wasn’t planned. It was fate!

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Everyone in the town was so nice! It’s such an old fashioned looking place to visit. Lots of fun stuff to see:

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One of our first stops was to the Gift Shop.  AKA—Dr. Fleischman’s office 🙂

 

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There, we got a tour map of the town. We skipped a lot of the homes because I couldn’t remember what the homes looked like on the show. I’ll have to watch the show again and drag Anson to Roslyn. Out next stop was The Brick bar where we had lunch.  Can you believe it? We actually ate at the Brick!

 

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Of course, we stopped by the radio station, KBHR. It’s still set up! So cool!

 

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Had to get some ice cream from Café Cicely!

 

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We did discover a couple of AWESOME spots that had nothing to do with the show.  For example, we found a gnome!

 

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And, this was probably the most wonderful surprise I could imagine:

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It’s like this town was made just for my enjoyment 🙂

And, lastly, we got some pictures with the painted wall.

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It was such a great trip! I can’t wait to find a new adventure! Or maybe just repeat this one 🙂

Well, it took some time but I think I’m finally getting back into my routine.  I don’t seem to adjust well to time changes any more.  I’m taking it as a sign that I’m getting old. I never thought I would be the kind of person who would dread turning the big 3-0, but I am.  My birthday isn’t until January. I know this. Really, I do.  Doesn’t mean I have to like it.  It’s the little things that really bug me. For example, every day when I’m doing my hair, I keep doing a double take because I think I see a gray hair.  I asked Anson if he could see any grays and, without looking, he responded “Yes.”  No worries.  When he comes home from work on January 6, 2012 and finds me crying over a giant chocolate cake and singing Alphaville’s “Forever Young” between sobs, he’ll pay for that comment 🙂

I suppose part of the problem is that we already live like the cartoonish-ly old married couple we are ever-so-quickly on our way to becoming. I realized this today when I was playing on the internet.  I decided to research dogs. I wanted to look at characteristics of different breeds and try to determine which breeds would fit in with our lifestyle (note—we’re not actually getting a dog. I just wanted to know what kinds of breeds we could  look at if we ever decided to get one).  So, naturally I searched for some pre-made quizzes that would help me narrow my choices.  One quiz asked me about my lifestyle. My choices were a) single and loving it—going out and meeting new people all the time.  Not us.  b) A house full of kids with people over visiting all the time.  Still not us. or c) Your kids are all off at college and you and your spouse like just spending time at home alone.  Sound like anyone you know? 😛

On a happy note, I found a couple of great dog breeds!  Of course, golden retrievers are always on my list. Even though they never came up on any of the quizzes for me (I must have tried 8 or 9 quizzes), I would be willing to change my lifestyle for a golden.  More likely, we would like a Bernese Mountain Dog or Great Swiss Mountain Dog.  The only real change we’d need to make for those dogs is brushing—I think either of those dogs would need more grooming than both of us combined. 

Anson doesn’t actually like big dogs though.  So, I looked at some smaller dogs and I discovered a breed I had never heard of before.  It’s called a Puggle (part Pug, part Beagle). It’s the cutest darn dog I’ve seen in a long time! I’d be willing to get a small dog if it was a Puggle.  Plus, they match our old-person lifestyle!

I’ve also been on a baking kick recently.  I was asked to make a treat for our final bell choir rehearsal of the year.  One of our members is leaving to go to college in Cleveland, so we wanted to celebrate.  I decided to try making cake pops in her school colors.

Cake pops are actually pretty easy to make!  I thought I had messed up the recipe for a while there.  It just seemed too gooey and messy to be good.  So, naturally, I made a 2nd batch as back-up.  Still gooey and messy, but it was a different flavor.  I don’t know why this made sense to me, but because it was technically different ingredients, I thought it might turn out differently.  I tried both the vanilla and the chocolate cake pops at lunch the next day. They were super yummy!  Anson brought the leftovers into work and they were a huge hit 🙂

I’ve already picked out the treat I will be making for Anson’s 10 year work-iversary (and Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas….the list goes on). The problem is that I keep finding new and interesting recipes that I want to try making.  I actually found a homemade baklava recipe that I’d really like to try out, but I have no good reason to make it.  None. If only someone out there could come up with a good reason to have baklava. <hint hint>

I’ve been a little slow getting back into my work out routine.  Jane is my inspiration though. She started blogging about her running schedule (she is training for a marathon). Now, if I don’t at least jog for 30 minutes I feel like such a slacker!  Good thing she’s there for me!

This weekend should be pretty fun. I have an idea for a mischievous little adventure tomorrow.  he he he 🙂

On Sunday, there is the last bell performance before the summer starts.  We’re playing Soon and Very Soon and (hopefully) Call to Celebration at both services.  I *love* Call to Celebration. It sounds like an ‘80s theme song. So much so that Dave has created some lyrics for it.  Now, whenever we play it, I sing to myself “who’s that young doctor running down the hall there? Saving lives as he ruuuuuuns.”  At some point, I think we should write lyrics for the whole thing. Bell choir is so much fun 🙂

Anson and I are going to try to go see the new X-Men movie this weekend. Both of us are pretty excited about it. 

Anybody else have fun weekend plans? Excited about any of the summer movies?