Vegas 2012

Vegas 2012
Standing in The Paris. My favorite hotel!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bring it on November!

Okay. Well. It has been over a week since I have posted, all thanks to the wonderful perks, and downfalls of technology. (Sigh).
The Christmas we moved into my parents house (2 1/2 years ago), my sweet husband bought me a new laptop (as my current laptop was going on 6 years old, and was limping along on its last leg.) We bought the laptop refurbished from Overstock, it was a great deal for a laptop that was only 2 years old. When the new laptop arrived, I felt like a grown-up; with my shiny new macbook laptop I was ready to finish tackling my undergraduate program, and prepare for my graduate program. A year in with my new laptop, and I came home to the most disturbing sight of my life... I had left the house to go to work, leaving my computer on the back of the couch, under the cat's pedestal. In a fit of rage (I forgot to fill her water dish before leaving for my 4 hour shift at work) Sugarplum had decided to knock her water dish off the pedestal therefore dashing the remaining water all over my laptop. I rushed to my laptop, all the while shaking my fist at the cat, who, wearing a cheshire cat smile did NOT care about her actions; I was praying that it would still work, turn on, function, etc. After an overnight stint in a large bag of rice, the laptop decided to not give up on me, and Sugarplum and I were able to be back on speaking terms.
Over the last few months I have watched as my computer has slowly started its downward descent into oblivion. Only functioning if plugged into the wall; taking MANY power button pushes (and probably some curse words) before even turning on, and slowly, ever so slowly the computer screen has begun to fail. Finally.... after much coaxing (and backing up) the computer has given up the ghost. I am thankful the computer stuck around for so long. I wonder if, like my dear sweet Sugarplum, the computer hung around to help get me through the suffering, and painstaking trial of somehow successfully making it through my graduate program; keeping me sane and functioning.
NOW however, my handsome husband and I are left to share one laptop, which, over the last 2 months has not been so bad... But now, it is beginning to take its toll. Computer hogs (which my husband and I both are) were never meant to share a computer. Thankfully a new computer will be on its way in a matter of weeks (I have graduated from a laptop to a desktop, I feel so adult) and yes, I am SUPER excited to be a (future) new owner of an iMac. Now I just hope and pray that the wonderfully smart techie nerds at Apple will be able to pull all of my stuff off of my old laptop....Because if they can't, well, no one wants to know what will happen, and what that will look like. :)
My 20 days of pinterest projects has been going swell, that is until the computer incident. Several of the projects I have lying around the house waiting to be completed require pictures, of which I cannot get due to the fact that they are all on my broken computer. I thought that I would have been able to pull them off of the backup... But thanks to my dogs, that's broken too. (Clearly my pets have personal vendettas against technology.) All this means, is that I have been reduced to several baking and cooking pins. Which, to be honest, I am not complaining about.
The applesauce turned out AMAZING, we still have leftovers in the fridge. For dinner last week I made crockpot chicken in a hurry courtesy of The Crockin' Girls. Super easy recipe, you just dump chicken drumsticks in the crockpot, add some ketchup, onion soup etc, and TA-DA 4 hours later you have delicious chicken. Later in the week I also made loaded baked potato bake, which was crazy delicious, especially since it was made with cauliflower and not potatoes at all. The recipe can be found here thanks to Dashing Dish.

 I attempted to make Pumpkin Pie Rice Krispy treats... but thanks to the pumpkin... the rice krispies got soggy. So it unfortunately is NOT a do again, until/unless I can figure out how to keep the the krispies, crispy... I'll have to go back over the recipe. I was, however, successful in making several other calorie heavy treats :) Old fashioned glazed donut muffins were a big hit, especially with my mom's dogs, and Daniel's PSU classmates. These muffins were a great way to start our day... And to remind us to go harder inour workouts. Definitely one of my new favorite blog finds, Sweet Pea's Kitchen also has delcious recipes for homemade funfetti cupcakes... Which just happens to be Daniels favorite kind of cake.

On Sunday I tried my hand at a crockpot macaroni and cheese... It was pretty much to die for. Since macaroni and cheese is one of my most favorite dishes, I am always looking for fun, new, and exciting takes on this classic dish. This one was definitely a winner; once again, the The Crockin' Girls had a hit recipe. I'm beginning to think I just can't go wrong there. Some night this week (clearly the week days are beginning to blur together...) I made Bourbon Street Chicken, which Big Oven kindly supplied the recipe for. Not only did it make my neighborhood smell good, but also my house too. It was super good, a little on the spicey side, but still yummy.

Lastly, to round out the week... I made pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies, aka crack cookies, aka my new most favorite cookies ever, aka it has taken A TON of restraint not to eat all of them in one sitting. I will admit, snickerdoodle cookies are my all time favorite cookie, and really, you just can't go wrong with anything pumpkin; however I was skeptical of combining the two... Pretty much, I will make this cookie at least once a month, if not more, HUGE thank you to A Bitchin' Kitchen :) They were awesome! Last night for our ward Trunk-or-Treat I tried my hand at cornbread.. I think that if I had not been doing like 9 other things while the muffins were in the oven, they would've turned out awesome. Unfortunately I was doing 9 other things at one time, and the muffins came out... a little crispy. Oops. Maybe next time...

In other news... Nothing exciting has happened within the McMaster household. Daniel and I cannot believe that it is almost November. (YIKES!) Almost less than a month to go before we start hearing back from dental schools Daniel has interviewed at. (Which currently is only Utah and New York). We are hoping this month that we here from more dental schools about interviews, we are waiting to hear from Nevada especially. Daniel also has an interview this upcoming month in Florida (woohoo!)
Our goal this next month is to finish moving in to our house. We basically unpacked the bedroom, kitchen, living room, and only half the bathroom. Everything else is still in boxes... And the boxes are beginning to stress me out a little. We just have way too many piles of things that need to be taken care of, and too many boxes of things stacked around the house. (AHHHH!!!!!)
We have yet to carve pumpkins this year... Which at this point, looks like it won't be happening. Oh well... maybe for Novemember we'll carve pilgrims, Indians, cornecopias, and Thanksgiving dishes into pumpkins... it can be a new thing. HA!
SOOOO sorry that this post is so long. Hopefully I will be able to post sooner on next weeks adventures.

Monday, October 15, 2012


SOOOOO........ Now that I have all this free time, I thought I would give some attention to our blog. I was embarrassed to find out that I haven't written a post on here in almost a year. YIKES! Clearly it's been too long.

Really... there is nothing new to report. Daniel, my family, and I just returned from a marvelous trip to Disneyland last week. (I was excited to leave and come home, but now looking out my window... I wouldn't mind going back.) Pictures will be coming soon. We were able to meet up with my Uncle Craig and spend quality time standing in line, eating delicious food, riding great rides, standing in more lines, seeing great shows, and spending time with one another. Did I mention we stood a lot in lines? :) It was great to come home though, I missed my dogs. However, not only is the weather here in Oregon rapidly turning fall like (AHHH my house is not yet completely decorated for Halloween!) But I have a long list of unfinished house projects that I now need to attempt to complete. (Ugh.) I suppose that I should get to them sooner rather than later as the holidays are coming up, which means guests, and parties, and people in my unfinished house. (Thinking about having people over in my unfinished house actually stresses me out more than staring at the long list of things I need to complete.)

I have decided on my new life project (which will encourage me to blog, and craft, and complete house projects ALL at the same time!) I have titled the project, "Twenty Days of Pinterest" which, is my new obsession. The idea is that I will either craft, bake, or do one of my many other pins on pinterest, with the hopes of posting pictures and actually completing things I find interesting. Since moving back into the house there has been much baking and cooking, all thanks to pinterest. (All of the pictures can be located on my instagram account at mrsmixmasta).My problem is, I LOVE to pin... But clearly, I don't follow through on my pins. So now I am forcing myself to make use of the pinboard website and get some things done! I gave myself 20 days, because lets be real, I need 10 days for excuses... :)

I did officially turn down Las Vegas school district for this year. It just didn't feel like the right time. However, they are holding my application and will contact me in March to see where I'm at. Hopefully by then Daniel will have an interview, or acceptance from UNLV and we can move there and I can teach, and life will be great. If not.... Well.... Thankfully his interviews are going well. Every time he goes to a new interview, he comes home telling me that it's his favorite school. I am convinced that by the end of all the interviewing, they will ALL have been his favorite schools at one point. I have accepted a monthly teaching job at Sellwood Elementary teaching TAG students. I am very excited to be doing something with my $30,00 degree. :) I am also volunteering, teaching Art Literacy at Greenway, and just trying not to disappear from school districts. Thankfully Daniel's new job has made it possible to move into the house, and to be here comfortably. He took a full time, salaried/commissioned job doing door to door sales for Comcast. As hard as the job can be sometimes, we are grateful for it, and are glad to be getting out of debt.

In light of my Twenty days of Pinterest project, I decided I would start today...
Today's pin was a recipe from the Mommy Makes it Better blog, it's crockpot applesauce. I recently went out and purchased my first apple corer/peeler, and WAY too many apples so I figured I better make good use of my new purchase and get rid of the apples. The recipe on her blog calls for 8 apples.... I had a LITTLE too much fun using my apple corer/peeler and ended up doubling the recipe. ( I just kept right on coring and peeling those apples.... before I knew it, I had gone through 16! apples .... :) The recipe is really quite easy, all you need is apples (any assortment will do) peeled, cored, and sliced; a crock pot, brown sugar, a lemon, cinnamon sticks and viola! You have delicious crockpot applesauce. (Actually I'm not quite sure how it tastes yet, as it's still in the crockpot with 3 more hours to go.)

I'm super excited to see how this turns out.