Yay for teachers!!!

Aaaah… I’m a little nervous about putting it out there on here that I frequent Reddit. And who knows, I may create a separate account after posting this just to protect my own privacy there… However, I had to post this.

It all started last year before Christmas. I’d heard about Reddit’s Secret Santa gift exchange. I knew people who had participated in past gift exchanges, so I decided to give it a shot. I signed up for Secret Santa 2011.

I got a match, I sent my gifts, and got a very enthusiastic response. Dude was pretty stoked about the stuff I sent. I also did a re-match, sent to another person, I can’t recall exactly, but I think they were pretty excited too. I also received a really awesome package from my Secret Santa in Poland that included a pack of my absolute favourite pencil crayons from Lyra which I cannot seem to find in Canada :(. So I was pretty stoked.

That was just the beginning…

I participated in Book Exchange this year, and that was awesome. I sent a book my giftee had been wanting to read and some tea and she seemed quite pleased with all of it as well.

More recently I participated in Arbitrary Day. Arbitrary Day is June 25th, and its Reddit’s Summertime Secret Santa where we just give because we feel like giving.

My giftee’s response wasn’t quite as enthusiastic for Arbitrary day, but I still think he was stoked, I thoroughly enjoyed myself during the searching and purchasing part.

Most recently I participated in Gifts for Teachers. This is a bit different than most Reddit Gift Exchanges because it was mostly one sided.
It came up on reddit that a huge majority of teachers, most of whom are notoriously underpaid, spend a significant amount of their personal money on school supplies for their classroom every year. This happens for a variety of reasons, from students not having the financial resources to purchase what they need, to teachers not having the funding resources to supply their classrooms. I think there are tons of teachers who feel like they just can’t make class into a truly positive learning environment with the limited resources they are given. Teachers are some dedicated, passionate people yo, they are like, really amazing people. So in the end, teachers end up spending what they can out of their own pockets to improve their classroom environment however they can.

So Reddit Teacher exchange matched up all us “other” people with teachers who needed stuff. So I signed up for this. My cousin over at Mrs. W’s Non-Fiction Diction is a new teacher, I have friends with kids in school, I have friends who work in classrooms as aides, and I remember how difficult school was for me (although this may have been due to attitude problems on my part). So I am kind of attached to the idea of giving students a good school experience.

In school, my least favourite, and most difficult subject was always Math… SURPRISE! Reddit gifts matched me up with a grade 7 Math/Science teacher. Thats Karma for ya. Anyway, this teacher has been teaching for a long time (34 yrs), and from the digging I did it seems like she is still crazy passionate about her job. Just this year, she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer!!!! And she has been through all her treatments, pronounced healthy again, and is right back in the classroom teaching grade 7 again this fall! That is dedication!

I wanted to make sure that I got my gift sent out early for this exchange since I know school has started already, or is starting soon in a lot of places. So this time I went straight to her Amazon.com wishlist, ordered it all and had it shipped off as a gift. I felt a little bad that I didn’t make it more personal, because usually I hunt around a bit and try to find something really special to send. But I didn’t want to waste time on this one.

Yesterday, my teacher posted about receiving the gifts. This is the most enthusiastic response I’ve received yet in reddit gifts, and I was soooooooo happy to see the pictures. Even for little stuff that I thought was impersonal, her students were stoked to get and you can see the excitement in their faces. And, she also mentioned that they asked why I sent the stuff and she was able to explain to them that its just because I care. So she was able to show them another little life lesson about caring for other people which is awesome :).

So needless to say, Reddit Gifts has truly been an awesome experience for me, and I’m now a little bit addicted. I can’t wait for Secret Santa 2012.

So here is a link to the post my teacher put up with pictures of her class with the stuff I sent. Enjoy! And please consider participating in Reddit Gift exchanges yourself!\

Cheers,
Bri

Also PS, Reddit Gifts actually set a Guiness Record with Secret Santa 2011. Yah, we rock! 😀

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Muffins!

OK… so this blog is supposed to be about HTML….

 

umm…

 

 

 

So…

 

 

uh…

 

 

I cooked some things tonight! I saw this recipe on Pinterest awhile ago, (I know, effing Pinterest eh?) and repinned it, and I was actually intrigued enough to actually try it out!

So tonight I went and bought me some eggs (2 dozen! about 21 too many since I still had 3 eggs at home… Don’t ask, I’m always overestimate food amounts), and some Cilantro (i LOOOOOOOOVEEEE CILANTRO), a red pepper, and some CHEEEEEEESSSEEEEE!

Ok, enough with the freaking out eh?

Anyway, so then I went and found this recipe again, from my pin, on Kalyn’s Kitchen. I haven’t checked out the rest of her site, but she looks pretty cool.

So I kinda followed her recipe. In that I read the recipe once.  Thats about how well I usually follow instructions… (Plus, I was feeling very defiant today and I didn’t get to be defiant to anyone, so I decided to be defiant to the recipe.)

So I stuck about one sprig of Cilantro into each muffin spot in my borrowed-from-my-roommate sillicone muffin pan.
And then I cut up a few chunks of red pepper into each muffin spot. (I don’t know what they’re called, do you?!)
And then a couple of little cheese chunks into each muffin spot.
And then I whisked the hell out of my eggs, I think I used 5 eggs? Maybe 6? Anyway… One too many probably, as per above, I overestimate foods!

And then I dumped the eggs into the MUFFIN SPOTS on top of all my other things. And I definitely filled them too full. I filled them until they were about an 1/8th of an inch below the top. DON’T DO IT THAT WAY. They overflow themselves a bit when they bake.

Anyway.

I very carefully slid my silicone muffin pan onto a cookie sheet. Because silicone is bloody flexi and wiggly and thats just stupid when you have it full of LIQUID EGG MESSES.

And then I stuck them in the oven. Which was preheated to about 300.
I stuck them in there for about 15 minutes, and then I checked Kalyn’s Kitchen again… And she said 25-35 minutes at 375… So I naturally turned my oven up to 400. I also realized I had not seasoned them at all, so desperately shook some seasoning salt over them while the oven was open.

Total oven time, 34 minutes, 15 seconds.
PERFECT!

except the part where they seeped out onto the top of the muffin pan so I had to cut them apart and they are kind of ugly. But they taste DELICIOUS. And even if I had forgotten seasoning/salt completely they would still be wicked good. I made six, but I’m only showing you two. Because I ate one, and the other 3 are in another container to cool in the fridge.

So here is a picture for you. To make up for not doing any HTML homework this week. This counts right?

SQUIRREL!!!

So since I’m hoping to write this book for my friend about a squirrel getting ready for christmas/winter, I’ve been doing a little bit of research about Squirrels: AKA: Last night I read the wiki on American Red Squirrels.

So last night I read this on Wiki, and it kinda creeped me out a bit:

The hind limbs are generally longer than the fore limbs, and they have four or five toes on each foot. Their paws on their fore feet include a thumb, although this is often poorly developed. –WIKIPEDIA

Squirrels sort of have opposable thumbs!?!?! No wonder they’re taking over our cities!

Normal little American Red Squirrels are cute. My mom usually has a few in her backyard during the year. Last year we had a pair nest in the big spruce tree in our backyard and raise their babies. So we had like 5 squirrels running around the yard all year. This year I think we only had 1 or 2. They are kind of annoying because they make a bit of a mess under the bird feeder, but they’re still pretty cute.

We have two decks, one on the main level, and then one off the master bedroom on the upper floor, and they are connected with stairs. So my Mom puts peanuts out on the stairs for them a couple of times a week, and then they sit there and eat them/cart them off to stash, while my Mom sits out there and eats breakfast. They chatter at her the whole time. 

They run along the railing of the deck to the big bird feeder and jump into it and sit there and eat and chatter, its pretty cute. 

The squirrels we have in Calgary, not quite so cute. They’re twice the size, black and scraggly and not as friendly looking. I know we have pictures of the squirrels at my Mom’s house so I’ll have to find them and post some.

And heres an obligatory google images pic of a red squirrel, just you know, for kicks 😀

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If you click on the picture it should take you to the WAZA site where I borrowed the picture from 🙂

 

Cheers!

Bri

 

Books

This idea of writing/illustrating children’s books keeps coming up in my life. 

I’ve always been a decent story writer. In grade 7 (I think) I was attending a really tiny school. By really tiny I mean really tiny, 3 classrooms, a kitchen, a gym, bathrooms and an office. The school covered kindergarten to Grade 9. We had a total of 30 students. Kindergarten to grade 4 in one room, Grade 5 to 9 in the other. We’d split the 7-9’s out into another classroom for Math and Science period. So we had like 2.5 teachers basically. 

Anyway, the teacher of the Kindergarten to grade 4’s asked me to write children’s stories. I think I did a few for her.

My favourite english teacher in high school told me when I graduated that she someday wanted to read a book I’d written.

So… lots of people have told me to write books. And I keep feeling like I should. 

A friend of mine had a baby last year, and she is having a first birthday party for her daughter at the end of September. She has requested that instead of a card, if people are going to bring a gift, bring a favourite book and write something inside of it so Brooklyn (baby) can keep them forever. 

So… I kind of feel like I should actually get down to business and write/illustrate a little story for her. End of September is pretty close, so who knows if I will actually get it done, but its an idea that is swirling around in my head all day today.

Wish me luck! Leave me any ideas you have as well!

Portrait Photography

In a few weeks I’m doing some family photography for my cousin her adorable girls. 
I’m excited, but I’m also a little nervous. I haven’t shot people in a long time. I think I need to do some studying. 

My favourite site for tips is DPS

DPS has tons of real life experience tips from all kinds of photographers.

Also, Scott Kelby. He has these books, The Digital Photography Books, they are awesome. They are super helpful. 

So I’ve definitely got some studying to do, and some practising to do.

INCIDENTAL COMICS: Stray Books

INCIDENTAL COMICS: Stray Books.

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This comic THOROUGHLY amused me this morning. I came across it on my tumblr and I had to post it here.

Me and my sister are notoriously bad for shopping at bookstores and constantly buying books. We actually have this habit, where every weekend that I go home to visit, if she is around we go to Red Deer on Saturday morning, get Starbucks, and browse through Chapters/Indigo. We don’t always buy more books, but its not uncommon for us to find something really cool on one of the discount tables and take it home.

My mother is constantly getting after us for buying books. Right now I wish that I was in at home so that I could take a picture of all my sisters bookcases and show it to you. She has sooooo many books. Its actually pretty impressive.

We are big fans of children’s books too. I love childrens books, half of me still wants to write and illustrate them. Someday maybe I will. 🙂

We usually make a quick stop in at Petland across the parking lot from Indigo to look at cute kittens. I DO NOT endorse buying pets from pet stores like that, but it is nice to go in and look at the cute animals. I would definitely go rescue from a shelter or the SPCA if I was going to adopt an animal. 🙂

Please click on the title of this post, or on the comic itself to view more of Grant Snider’s work, he does awesome stuff!

Cheers!

Bri