Generation X

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The past few, I’ve been participating in a convergent media workshop at McCallum High School in Austin, Texas.
That means I’ve been learning lots of things about making podcasts and audio slideshows, websites and video.
The first day, we walked into the classroom to get started. 
When we emerged three hours later to go to lunch, a construction crew had started building a mock radio station in the hallway.
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Turns out, a crew is filming scenes from a new show for ABC called My Generation in the school this week.
Doesn’t it look interesting? I’m excited to see it!
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The window in the DJ booth is covered with cool bumper stickers like this one.
It looks so real!
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And there are class officer advertisements all over the walls.
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It looks like you’d see this in any high school across America.
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My friend, Morgan, and I decided we should have our photo taken with part of the set, so that when we see it on TV, we can say we were there!
Maybe when you see it, you’ll remember us, too!
Isn’t that cool?
Thanks for looking!

Two Heads Are Better Than One

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It’s always fun when The Nerd and my brother get together.
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Andy, my brother, is a computer geek in his own right.
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He decided that he needed a new fan, or motherboard, or whatever, in his computer while we were visiting one night.
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And so the dissection began.
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Andy went straight for the guts of the computer.
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While James had to read the instructions.
Is it just me, or is it weird to anyone else that men can just whip together a working computer in their spare time?
I remember when computers were a mystery.
Well, for me they still are.
I guess that’s why I married a Nerd — constant tech support, hehe.
Thanks for looking!
When two computer geeks get together, heads (and computer parts!) start to roll.

Maggie Stiefvater Signing

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Last Thursday, The Nerd and I packed up and headed south to Austin to meet Maggie Stiefvater.
I’ve waxed poetic about my love for her and her books many, many times on this blog.
So, you’ll forgive me for one more post about her total awesomeness.
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The event was at Book People, an independent bookstore in Austin.
It was my birthday, so I was super-stoked to get to meet one of my favorite authors on my birthday.
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One of the best things about being a book blogger is the huge community that you join and the friends you make.
This is me with the Girls in the Stacks, another group of DFW book bloggers.
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Stacy’s husband made an origami crane out of a subway paper to give to Maggie.
If you’ve read Linger, you know that’s the perfect gift for her.
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I also met Michelle from Windowpane Memoirs.
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Here’s the group of book bloggers: Girls in the Stacks, Mundie Moms, Stephanie and Jennifer.
Soon, it was time for the signing!
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Here’s Maggie hanging out behind the curtain before she was announced.
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She read from Linger and answered some questions from the audience.
She is *so* funny and even made a Monty Python joke.
I was able to capture most of it on video, and will be posting that soon.
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It didn’t take long for me to get through the line.
We chatted about how it was my birthday, and she recognized me from Twitter.
I was pretty excited!
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She personalized my books and even drew a wolf in my copy of Shiver!
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It was a great day!
I got to meet one of my favorite authors, Maggie Stiefvater, on my birthday! Happy birthday to me!

A Weekend At The River

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Last weekend, we went camping with some friends from college.
We rented a cabin in New Braunfels, Texas, and played games, barbecued and floated the river.
It was so much fun.
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April and Ryan danced to a few country tunes.
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Eric grilled up some chicken fajitas.
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It was hot (and uber-sunny!) but we didn’t let that dampen our spirits!
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Ryan can always be counted on for a good time.
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Here’s everybody right before we headed out to float the river: James, Me, Ryan, Kelly, Eric and April.
We had some fun adventures during our six-hour float.
Remember those old school disposable waterproof cameras? Yeah, I brought one. I haven’t had time to get it developed, but I hope some of the photos turned out!
I’ll have to share my River Stories (no, not my niece, River) when I have photos to back them up.
Let’s just say that we made it out alive.
Oh, and I’m not sunburned!!
Woohoo!!
It was a fun end to my birthday weekend.
Thanks for looking!

Friends make life fun — especially when you get a group together to go camp, barbecue and float the river!

Bailey’s White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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A while back, I made Irish Carbomb Cupcakes with Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting. The frosting was the best part of the cupcakes.
So, I wanted to make some more baked goods that incorporated the rich, smooth taste of Bailey’s Irish Cream.
But what could I make that wouldn’t completely melt in this Texas heat?
When I found this recipe, I knew these cookies would be divine.
They are chewy and sweet. They smell (and taste!) like Bailey’s.
So rich. So smooth. So yummy.
Bailey’s White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from: Slash Food
Ingredients:
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1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/4 cup Bailey’s Original liqueur
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
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Cream the butter and brown sugar on high, until light and fluffy.
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In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
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Add the egg, vanilla and Bailey’s to the butter and sugar mixture and mix well.
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Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until smooth.
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Stir in the white chocolate chips, making sure no pockets of flour remain.
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Drop the cookies in 1-inch balls onto prepared baking sheets.
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Bake for 10-15 minutes, until all the edges are golden.
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Enjoy!
White chocolate chips and Bailey’s Irish Cream combine for a rich, chewy cookie that you can’t stop eating!

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by The Story Siren.
It’s a chance for book bloggers to display the books they purchased or received for review each week.
This week, I decided to do my first ever vlog to show you the goodies I got:
Featured Books:Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
Matched by Ally Condie
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Nightshade by Andrea CremerI think it was a good haul.

I know the video is kind of dark and bad quality, but hopefully I can use my Flip video camera from now on to make better videos.

So, what was in your mailbox this week?

Chasing Rainbows

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The other day, The Nerd and I were coming home from grocery shopping and there was the most beautiful rainbow I’d ever seen in the sky.
It went *all the way* across the sky. The perfect rainbow.
Of course, I didn’t have my camera with me.
So, we rushed home and my obliging husband patiently waiting in the car as I bolted inside and grabbed it.
Then, we took off down the highway in search of the perfect rainbow.
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Isn’t he a cutie? He’s had a haircut since this was taken.
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You can just *barely* see the rainbow out the window.
You know what I learned? Our eyes can see the rainbow just fine.
A camera lens on the other hand, does not pick it up so well.
I wonder what I was doing wrong…
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We finally found at least part of the rainbow.
The Nerd pulled over on the side of the road so I could snap some photos.
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It was such a beautiful sight.
I’m still working on making my photos reflect the beauty of the world around me.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this work in progress.
At least it wasn’t a *double* rainbow.
I may have flipped out if that happened. Kind of like this guy:
Well, except for the fact that I’m not on acid. Stay clean, kids!

Thanks for looking!

Sometimes, I take The Nerd on wild goose chases. Like the time we searched for the perfect rainbow. See the results here.

Life

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I had a *great* day yesterday.
The Nerd and I headed south to Austin for the Maggie Stiefvater book signing.
Maggie sent me a tweet in Hungarian.
It was really cool.
And THANK YOU all for the wonderful birthday wishes. I have the best readers ever.
I also found out that I’m not *going* home on Sunday.
There is a workshop that I need to attend in Austin next week for my job, so The Nerd is just dropping me off there on his way back north.I’m going to get to learn about convergent media and online newspapers.

As a former journalist, this is going to be a very interesting workshop, and I think I’ll learn lots.

I’m really looking forward to it.
So now, I’m sitting in the New Braunfels Public Library writing posts I’d put off so they can automatically run next week.
I apologize in advance for the lack of variety. For right now, we’re going with one post a day. Keep things simple.
I just wanted to give you all a heads up that I will try my darndest to post about the Maggie signing (she was so cool!) and our river adventure and the books I’m reading in a timely manner.
Maybe next month?
Haha.
Anyway, thanks for looking and thanks for supporting me.
This blog means more to me that any of you know. It’s truly my place to “get away.”
Happy Friday!

Mixed Berry Granola

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This weekend, we’re going camping.
So, I wanted to make something fun to snack on while we’re out in the hot sun. What better than granola?
It’s healthy and this version is very flavorful. I love the nuts and dried fruit in it.
It’s the perfect camping snack!
Mixed Berry Granola
Adapted from: The New York Times
Ingredients:
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3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups of sliced almonds
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped, dry mixed berries
Directions:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
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Mix together the oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon.
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Be sure to crumble any clumps of brown sugar.
Spread the mixture in an even layer on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 45 minutes at 300 degrees, stirring every 10 minutes.
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The granola will be golden when it’s done.
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Stir in the mixed berries.
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Doesn’t it look yummy?
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You can put it in Mason jars for storage. Or in a large Ziploc bag to take camping.
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Enjoy!
Need a light, healthy snack this summer? Try homemade mixed berry granola. So yummy!


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