Posted in Personal

Hummingbird Cake

For the cake:

3 cups self-rising flour, 2 cups sugar, 3 eggs, 1 and 1/2 cups oil, 1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1 cup crushed pineapple with juice, 3 bananas , 1 cup pecans, 1 tsp. cinnamon.

For the frosting:

1 (8oz.) package of cream cheese , 1 stick margarine, 1 pound powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 cup pecans.

Mix together the flour, sugar, eggs and oil. Add the vanilla, pineapple, bananas (smashed), 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 cup pecans. Bake in three greased cake pans at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes. (Check to see if it is done after 25 minutes.)

Mix the ingredients for the frosting together, and when the cake has cooled, frost away!

Posted in Personal

Things We All Can Agree On

I think in this world of uncertainty, it is hard for people to agree on things. However, I feel that there are particular things that we can all agree on.

I feel that everyone can agree:

  1. Aerosmith’s “Walk this way” will make you want to bob your head.
  2. Freddie Mercury was pretty dang good at what he done.
  3. The Beatles must never, ever be compared to One Direction.
Posted in Personal

Mirko’s

O la la Valentine’s Day!heart-clip-art-9i4py94ie Who doesn’t love Valentine’s Day? I mean yeah, to some people it’s a normal day, but hello? Discount candy the day after!

Tyler and I went out after my last class to Mirko Pasta for our Valentine’s dinner. I could carry on about how we celebrated one year together, but I won’t do that to ya. I will, however, rave about the food! My goodness, I could eat there every day! I love Italian, shoot, I live for Italian. Mirko’s specialty is pasta, and it is heavenly. The dinner menu essentially has three parts: pasta selection, sauce selection, and entrees already paired . I had the ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese with Mare sauce, which has mixed seafood and shellfish in a spicy tomato sauce. Tyler had ravioli stuffed with four Italian cheeses and Funghi sauce, which has wild mushroom, cream and parmesan. We also had AH-mazing desserts. I had butterfingers gelato and he had raspberry cheesecake.

So, if you are going out for dinner soon and can’t decide where to go, definitely give Mirko’s a try!

Posted in Personal

Randazzo’s

Some people celebrate Mardi  Gras and some people don’t, but I think we all can celebrate king cake!

I can’t imagine a person not enjoying that cake. Yeah, sometimes it isn’t so great, but that could depend on where you buy it. I’ll just say this, you are not allowed to write it off until you have tried Randazzo’s king cake!

I haven’t had the pleasure of tasting it until this year. In fact, I had never even heard of it until Tyler asked me if I wanted to go with him and his family to Slidell, Louisiana, to get some! People, this king cake is amazing! If you are going to the area any time soon, please call ahead, and order one of these cakes. I got the cream cheese, lemon, and traditional. The cream cheese is my favorite!

It has become a yearly tradition for Tyler and his family to go get cake, eat lunch, and go thrift store shopping. I’m so glad they invited me this year and I am really excited about going next year!

IMG_9619[1].JPG
Tyler and I in front of Randazzo’s. Photo credit: Jessie Newton Photography
Posted in Module

Access and Accessibility

It is becoming more obvious to me that there are people on the internet who cannot view web pages the way others might. Accessibility of a web page has grown in importance and necessity. People with disabilities or poor service needs a website to cater to their needs.

I plan to include certain functions in my website like those mentioned in the video, “Tips to Make your Website Accessible.” This video explained the importance of checking the website to see if it works without images and using supportive text with images. Simple navigation for those who use keyboards only are also important. Sometimes a video cannot be viewed, therefore it is good to include captions in the video content. For those who use screen readers, it is good to avoid audio playing automatically when entering the web page. It is also a good rule of thumb to avoid using “jargon” that the average reader might not understand.

Another great article I read gave some very helpful tips. It expanded on the fact that not all who use these features are disabled. In this day and age, everyone has a mobile device and not every web page is compatible with smaller devices. When creating a website, it is good to keep this in mind, especially if considered from a business standpoint. There have been times when I want to possibly purchase something from my phone, but the web page I am on won’t allow me. In those cases, I have to put it off until I’m at a desktop or skip the deal all together. It is better all around if the website can adjust to the different formats. In fact, according to the article, it is so much better that the accessible websites gain more audiences, have reduced maintenance costs, and have better search results.

Posted in Module

Website Customization

When organizing a website, you want to make the most of the content you have. It is best to break the content down into categories and pages. This allows the reader to find all that is needed without wasting time sorting though a pile of information.

According to Videospot Online Marketing, your homepage should be a table of content for the rest of your website. This was helpful information to me because I was having a hard time deciding what I wanted on my homepage. I now know that I need to draw my reader in with an idea of what can be found on my site. I need to display what I can offer to my viewers and convince them that I have what they want if they keep exploring my website. I should involve the readers by having links to blogs and social media. Once links to other websites are posted to the main page, the user becomes instantly connected to all of the many facets that they desire.

The article “Organizing Website Content” was also helpful in knowing how my website should be laid out. The writer said that a website should be like a restaurant menu. My content should be categorized and each category should have its own page. Each page should be easy to navigate to from the home page. My website should cater to a specific audience and the audience should find the information that they need easily. Ultimately, my website should display an easily navigational layout that is user friendly to all audiences.

 

 

 

Posted in Module

Weebly

Setting up a weebly account is easy-peasy. The video provided in the module was very helpful, and I dare say I enjoyed watching it. The creators and editors of weebly have simplified the web design process so well that even I can do it. I went through a very easy sign up process and before I knew it, I was setting up my web page. I have not published it yet, because I’m not sure if I can continuously edit like I can my blog page. I like the fact that they give you themes to choose from. I sort of wish there were more to choose from, but then again, too many options and I would be overwhelmed. Another thing that I like is, once you have chosen a theme, your next step is choosing what you want and in what spot you want it. The whole process is broken down very nicely.

The theme I chose was a very friendly and cozy theme. I cannot remember the name of it, but I hope to use it to share my writing. People should feel comfortable and at home when reading. I want to provide my readers with that experience, and that is why I chose the theme that I have. I am a little bit of a perfectionist, but I know if I have the content, the website will do what I need it to do.

Posted in Personal

Congo Bars!

I was sitting on my bed in the middle of the day and mulling over what in the world do I want to blog about. Then it hit me like a truck full of caffeine! What kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t write about a recipe? Unfortunately, I do not have pictures, because I did not just make this recipe. Maybe one day I will edit this post and include some pictures (but don’t hold your breath).

This recipe has been in my family my entire life and I haven’t met an actual human being that doesn’t like this! So blow off that diet and grab a jug of milk because you will DEVOUR the WHOLE pan!!

Congo Bars! They are similar to blondies, but I just looked up a recipe for blondies and they aren’t quite the same.

The recipe for Congo bars calls for:

1 stick margarine

1 box brown sugar

2 and 3/4 cups self-rising flour

3 eggs

1 cup pecans

1 cup chocolate chips or butterscotch chips

Directions:

Melt butter and brown sugar; then add the rest of the ingredients. Bake in oblong dish at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Do not over cook.

Now I like to change it up a bit. I like to go ahead and melt the butter and brown sugar together (by the way, a box of brown sugar is a pound) but then put it on low heat so it can begin to cool just a bit. While that is happening, I mix together the eggs and the flour. It gets pretty thick, so it is best to do this with a big mixer instead of a hand mixer and heaven forbid you try to use a whisk. Just don’t do it! After that is well stirred, turn your mixer down to a lower speed (if you are already there, congratulations), then begin to add the butter and brown sugar goop. Let’s back up two steps, I want to clarify, your butter and brown sugar mixture needs to still be runny. You did not turn off the stove, you just turned it down to low. So give it a good stir, then begin to spoon it into the flour and egg mixture. This is important because you don’t want to fry your eggs by dumping it all in at one time. Once the flour stuff has warmed up with those 3 heaping spoonfuls, then you can dump it all in. After all of this is mixed into one big happy mess, take your bowl out from under the mixer and whip out your handy-dandy mega-sized spoon and fold in a cup of pecans (or walnuts or almonds or whatever you like) and chocolate chips or butterscotch chips. Warning: you will burn calories stirring this stuff because it is thick, but fear not, for you will surely put them back on in about 30 minutes. Now rake that gooey goodness into a 9×13 glass or metal pan and toss it in the oven! However, be mindful that cooking time varies based on the type of dish you use. If you use glass, try cooking it for 25 minutes, then check it. You want it to be slightly gooey in the middle, but not so gooey that you have to eat it with a spoon. Over cook it and it will be cakey. Find perfect balance in the force, you must.

After it is finished, grab about 12 slices and that jug of milk we talked about and hit the couch for a Netflix movie marathon!

Posted in Module

Introduction to Blogging

I recently read an article called “The 12 Do’s and Don’ts of Writing a Blog” by Brian A. Klems. I highly suggest reading it if you are new or old to blogging! It was a very helpful article. I even wrote down the points on a very large index card and I will keep it close as I continue to blog. As I read articles such as this, I like to skim over it again and see if the writer applied the very tips he/she just mentioned and see if it actually works. In this case, it did.

The first thing Klems mentioned in his article was “Find your focus” and I will not be afraid to admit, I have a hard time doing just that. I have an even harder time STAYING focused. I still have a great deal to learn such as, using links in my posts and using tags. I hope to learn these things, and continue to learn about writing and attracting readers because these things would be very useful in journalism.

I read another great blog written by Dan Shewan called, “How to Write an Awesome Blog Post in Five Steps.” He gave so many great tips and points about the writing process and I can certainly tell that I have a distance to go in my writing. I want to write about interesting things and draw readers in. In order to do that, I will strive to write about everyday things that people DO relate to. I want my readers to say, “I’m not alone!” or “Finally someone said it!” I want to be approachable and these articles were very helpful.

Posted in Personal

A Girl Needs Her Coffee!

I am the type of person that rolls out of bed and immediately needs coffee. I could compare the necessity of it to air. I’m not going to act like I know all about it. I don’t know how coffee is made or what great person introduced it to the free world. The only thing I know is, I can’t function without it!

I can tell you though who has the best coffee in the world! It’s not Starbucks. I know I just shocked every makeup-wearing, Michael Kors-bag-toting, coffee-loving girl in the United States, and I’m sorry to offend you. I’ll admit, that place has some good coffee, but I just don’t feel like I NEED it. It doesn’t appeal to me.

This coffee though, I think I need it.

img_9508
My butter pecan latte on the dash of my Jeep

Yes! Yellow Hammer Coffee! This is the best coffee I have tried so far. I follow them on Instagram and they post their locations for the week, but I just haven’t had time to stop by until Thursday. They generally stay in the West Mobile area, so after class, Tyler and I FINALLY stopped by to check them out.

Yellow Hammer is actually a mobile coffee and espresso bar.You can sort of see the truck in the background of the picture. If you are in the area, you should definitely stop by and get some coffee! I got a butter pecan latte and Tyler got a chai tea frappuccino. My gosh, that latte was to die for. I almost always burn my tongue the first sip, but it was the perfect blend of hot coffee and cool foam. The chai tea (no lie) was like a Christmas candle in a cup. I’ve had some disappointing chai in my life, but with one sip, I was in a winter wonderland.

I could go on and on about it, but I won’t. I will say though, go check them out on Instagram @yelhamcoffee, see where they are, and then get some coffee!