Treat(s) of the Week(s)

I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say… I think I’m a bit behind.

And… I think I probably always will be. I guess if you like my blog enough you’ll put up with my inconsistent posting.

I figured I would just share my recipes from the past several weeks in one post to make up for my tardiness.

Enjoy.

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Treat of the Week: Pumpkin Spice Acorn Bites

So, I skipped a week. Can you forgive me?

Baking wasn’t exactly a priority for me last week. I had two big tests, two big projects and plenty of smaller tasks to tackle. Very little sleep was had and by Friday, I was all out of energy.

But I’ve been planning this treat for several days. So here it is.

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Let’s have a cliche moment, shall we?

Fall is in the air.

For many people, that seems to mean pumpkin-flavored stuff. Yes, I said stuff. Coffee, cookies… I’m not really into it but it’s quite the trend.

I decided to go with it, and I’m happy I did. They were a hit in the newsroom this week (and they’re kinda cute, too)!

I’m feeling kinda crafty this week. Suggestions?

Can I win you back… with food?

Yep, summer’s over. If it wasn’t so hot outside and the leaves weren’t so green, I’d think fall was in full swing. Things around here are CHANGING. Big time.

A new semester, some new people, a new job… Granted, most of the changes I’m facing are good, but some of them aren’t as easy to swallow.

HOWEVER, there are a few things that are mostly the same. Now that I’m back in the swing of working for the newspaper, I’m also back into the swing of making and sharing treats with my fellow students/staff members.

Where was I going with that…? Oh, yeah! Here’s a recipe for something that is easy to swallow.

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I know I haven’t been posting regularly… Can you forgive me?

What will I make next week?…

Truth & Fiction

I’ve been away from my blog(s) for a while, but I’ve still been a busy girl!

I’ve been working on stuff I have to, but also some stuff I want to.

On top of my internship, I’ve taken some time to dig in and do a bit of writing and some design.

When those devastating tornadoes swept through Oklahoma at the end of May, I realized I had the tools to help others, but not the money. I’m a poor college student who also has to scrape something together for a wedding in April. At any rate, I decided to use my love for graphic design to create something for my state.

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I uploaded my design to CafePress, where it can be put on shirts, magnets, mugs and more. The best part?

I’M DONATING 100% OF THE COMMISSION I EARN TO RELIEF EFFORTS.

These tragedies happened a few months ago, but families are still hurting. And unfortunately, more tornadoes will come eventually. So, I’m trying to do my part.

You can visit my shop if you’d like to take a look around and make a purchase. Thank you in advance!

There’s my truth for today.

 

 

 

And now, for the fiction…

I have always enjoyed writing. It’s a way to escape from reality, explore my own mind and build something from the ground up.

The other day, this little piece of fiction just kind of… happened. Enjoy.

 

Blood Money

“Marry me,” he said, smiling.

“What?” The words didn’t make sense to her.

“Come on, you heard me. Marry me.”

“But why?” She was half smiling, half crying now.

He looked deep into her eyes.

“So you can do the dishes for the rest of our lives.”

He chuckled then, and it was contagious. She giggled at first, and then burst into bubbly laughter.

“Yeah, right, I don’t do the dishes now,” she said between breaths.

“Exactly,” he said. “I just want to spend the rest of my life with you, even if it means I’m stuck with the dishes forever. Marry me!” He ended his plea with a whine.

“But what about the money?” She was no longer laughing; her smile had faded and her eyes were glassy with tears.

He looked away now, afraid to show her the expression on his face.

“Well?” She waited, afraid of his answer.

“It’s gone,” he whispered.

She choked on her tears.

“What?”

“I said it’s gone. All of it.” He started laughing, the kind of laughter that only the madly insane can conjure.

“No,” she backed away. “No, you didn’t do it. Tell me you didn’t do it!” She held a hand over her mouth, anticipating the sobs.

“I did. I did and I have no regrets. I had to do it. For us.” He tried to approach her, slowly, cautiously, offering a hand to wipe her tears.

“How could you think that?” She sobbed and again backed away.

“Baby, come on. I thought you’d be happy.” His face showed confusion and fear.

“Happy?” She snorted. “I’m supposed to be happy that you destroyed one-point-four million dollars?”

“Baby, it was blood money. I didn’t want to be traced. I’d surely rot in prison if anyone ever found out where I got that kind of cash.” He took yet another step toward her.

“Maybe you should,” she said under her breath.

“Baby,” he began.

“No,” she said defiantly, wiping away her tears.

“Baby, we can leave all this behind now. It’s just you and me now,” he urged. “We can go wherever we want, we can get married and we can start over.”

She turned around, feigning grief, and in one smooth motion, removed the revolver from her purse.

“Blood money,” she huffed. “How ironic.”

“Baby?” He couldn’t see her face or her hands. “Baby, what’s ironic?”

She turned to him, the revolver pointed right at his nose.

He stumbled back.

“Baby, why?” He couldn’t think of anything else to say.

She kept the gun pointed at him. “You weren’t supposed to fall for me. This is your fault.”

“But,” he began.

“No,” she snapped. “We were just working together. You were supposed to kill him, get your cut and be on your way. Now you’ve destroyed not only your money but mine, too. I’m just supposed to let that go? To ride off into the sunset with you?”

“I’m trying to start over. I want a clean slate,” his eyes were pleading.

“There’s no such thing.” Her fingers were aching to pull the trigger.

He swallowed. “There could be,” he said softly. “I’ll take care of you.”

“I don’t need you,” she began to shake and her lips quivered. She blinked away tears.

“But I need you,” he said as he reached for the gun.

*click*

He winced and backed away.

“You… You were really going to kill me?” He choked out.

She let out a sharp breath and frantically searched the chamber for bullets.

He chuckled.

“You…” She trailed off, her eyes slowly meeting his, which suddenly seemed to be smoldering.

She dropped the gun. She had caught a glimpse of something shiny and silver at his hip and her eyes went there. He smiled, pointing his own gun straight at her heart.

“The money isn’t gone,” he smiled slyly. “But you’ll never see it again.”

“Lies,” she sniffed, “all of it.”

“No,” he said. “I did fall for you, but money talks. And if I don’t take care of this situation we’re in now, so will you.”

“Blood money…” she whispered.

“What was that you were saying about irony earlier?” he asked as he pulled the trigger.

 

 

It’s rather dark, I know. 

Design and writing are both in my blood, and I use them for different purposes. In this case, I used design as a way to help others, and my writing as a creative outlet.

I think I might have another short story in the works……………………..

Stay tuned.

 

Where’d I Go?

July 7, 2013

As you may have noticed, I’ve sort of been on a bit of a hiatus. It’s summertime, which of course means a break from the normal routine.

I’m still around!

I am currently working on my internship at The Homestead Retirement Community, where I’m managing some communications efforts. I’ve already helped redesign some of the dietary operations, recreated certain forms and documents, and I’m trying to correct and update a lot of information. One step closer to graduation…

I’ve been working, but I’ve also been playing.

It’s been nice to spend some time with my fiance, either playing video games, lighting fireworks, watching TV (we’re really into Archer right now), reading, or whatever trouble we can get ourselves into.

Also, it’s nice to have a close friend with which to get into summer shenanigans. I’ve been to the pool a few times, out to lunch, to the movies, and a bit of shopping with my friend Courtney.

Sadly, it kind of seems like summer is slipping through my fingers. Work and play are both great (and necessary), but I haven’t been on top of my game health-wise lately. I’ve had quite a few headaches, too many restless nights to count and a general feeling of blah on most days. I guess I’m falling apart.

At any rate, I just want to say… I haven’t forgotten about my award-winning blog. I’m still here!

I may just have something to report on in the next few weeks. I’m sure there’s some Misfit News out there, and some opinions to share.

In the meantime, follow me!

Twitter: @Kylea.Copeland

Instagram: agentok

Stay tuned!

You’re reading an award-winning blog!

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Check it out!

Every year, the communications department at my college holds the Best of Northwestern Media Contest.

Students can submit work such as photography, writing, graphic design, and also… BLOGS!

The entries are reviewed by various professionals in the communication fields, and are awarded only if the professionals believe the work is deserving.

This year, I received first place plaques for photography, feature writing, graphic design, and blog! This blog in particular!

I’m so proud.

I love what I do, so getting recognized for my work is icing on the cake!

Oklahoma is in my heart

It’s in my blood! I’ve lived in Oklahoma my whole life. I’m only 21, but I think I’ll be here awhile longer.

If you’ve watched TV, listened to the radio, been on the internet or just talked to someone who has done one of these things, you know my state has been hit hard by devastation. Tornadoes are nasty, folks.

I am so thankful to be alive and well, to have a home and a job… But I don’t have a lot of extra money or belongings to give. However, I create art. So it only makes sense that I use my art to help others.

As you may know, one of my communications-related fortes is graphic design.

I created a few designs to be put on products from Cafe Press. Here’s my favorite:

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I have my own little shop on Cafe Press, and if you purchase an item with my design on it, I will donate any profits to disaster relief funds!

There are clothing items, clocks, jewelry, magnets… you name it!

We can make a difference. If you’d like to purchase a product with my design, please visit my shop HERE!

Feel free to share, share, share my links!

Thank you, thank you, thank you in advance.

The Student Center Dining Services Part II

Last semester (November 2012) I completed a multimedia project based on observation and investigative reporting on the conditions of Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s student center dining services.

You can find the first project here or on RangerPulse.

Once I completed that project, I had no desire to dine in the student center any longer. In fact, I rarely entered the building after that. My personal health standards weren’t really being met.

This semester, I have actually heard some positive comments about changes that have been made regarding cleanliness and efficiency following my project. That’s great news to someone like me looking to make a difference!

Katy Hart, a Northwestern sophomore and fellow mass communication major, came to me earlier this semester and mentioned that she had seen some improvements.

I decided for my final media convergence project, I should follow up on my previous investigation and see just what has changed.

The video below is my interview with Katy Hart about her observations.

Personally, I still have no real desire to dine in the student center since I have other options. Because I do not live on campus, I’m not required to have a meal plan.

Last time around, I bought lunch from the student center for five consecutive days and documented my observations. This time, I ate there once and talked to two of my friends who dine there frequently.

Sarah Sauceda and Danna Bickford are both mass communication students, and they choose to dine in the student center nearly every weekday. Sarah lives in the dorms and has a meal plan, while Danna lives off campus and chooses to pay for her meals with cash.

The three of us discussed changes they were witnessing and made comparisons between the conditions of the student center last semester and this semester.

“I can see them making an effort,” Sarah said.

Last semester, one of the most pressing issues involved the tables. Trash could be found covering most tables at any given time, and it seemed as if they were only sanitized once per day. This time around, my friends had better things to say.

“”They actually wipe off the tables,” Danna said.

I didn’t spend as much time personally observing the conditions of the student center this time, but I did do some research and I tried to make a few appearances to document some occurrences.

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It’s obvious that there are still problems that need solutions. However, I’ll take little progress over no progress any day.

The bottom line:

The student center dining services at Northwestern are improving.

It’s How We Cope

If you have ever had a traumatic experience, lost a loved one or witnessed some kind of atrocity, you know it’s not easy to let pain go.

Every day there are awful events that take place. History books are filled with stories of bloodshed and accounts of injustice.

These experiences have the ability to resonate with us, striking a nerve even years later.

When someone makes a joke about death or violence, we often cringe and get offended. But I think everyone should consider the idea that perhaps, as vulnerable human beings, we use humor to heal ourselves.

We only have so many defense mechanisms to offset the emotional stress caused by painful experiences. We can cry, we can go to therapy, we can get angry, become reclusive, resort to drugs or alcohol, or just try to block it out completely.

Have you ever heard the expression, “laughter is the best medicine?”

In some ways, I think that’s true.

It’s how we cope. The situation may be far from funny, but it’s reality and the only way to counteract the negativity is to laugh at it.

I’m not saying you should never be offended by a tasteless joke. Once again, we’re only human. You can’t help how you feel. However, you can choose the attitude with which you approach a situation.

 

The Boston Marathon Bombings were a terrible tragedy. And someday (if there aren’t any already), there will be jokes.

Slavery was a shameful part of history, but it happened. And now, there are jokes.

 

The opposite of pain is pleasure, so it only seems natural that we would desire to reverse our sadness, to see the lighter side.

We have to laugh at our mistakes, laugh at the absurdity of our ways, of the world, and move forward.

The world doesn’t stop turning when someone dies, when people suffer or face injustice…

Life goes on.

Just remember; if someone is laughing or joking about adversity, they may just be trying to heal.

 

 

I’m a Small Town Girl

The arboretum, aquarium, and zoo aren’t the only places we visited on our vacation.

My fiance, Brad

My fiance, Brad

For our first evening in Dallas, we had a great dinner at TGI Friday’s. Neither of us had ever eaten at one of the chain’s many restaurants, so we thought we’d give it a try. The appetizers were delicious and the entrées were fantastic.

Where we live, there aren’t quite so many dining options. In my hometown, there sits one tiny café. Where I live now, there are certainly more choices, but nothing like what can be found in the big city.

After filling up on chicken strips, fries, a Jack Daniel’s burger and plenty of soda, we headed across the street to Ellen’s Southern Kitchen. We had a few drinks made by a very cool bartender, and finally, the night could begin. We had planned a ghost tour of the West End Historic District in Dallas, and our guide had arrived. We were the only tourists on that night’s rounds, so the tour was very relaxed and we were able to discuss the history of Dallas and the spooky stories in greater detail. We learned about the city’s beginnings and notable people. We walked the streets and visited buildings known to be inhabited by the paranormal.

We took photos, trying to capture the rare manifestation of a spirit, but we had no luck. It was fun, though! At least we were able to get a few photos of the city lights.

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I was prepared for another history lesson on our trip, because before we hit the aquarium, we made our way to the Dallas Holocaust Museum.

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We picked a great (but busy) day to visit the museum, because we were able to sit in on a presentation by a true Holocaust survivor. A large group of high school students was visiting the museum and were scheduled to hear a presentation by Max Glauben, and the museum staff was nice enough to allow us to sit in as well. Mr. Glauben’s story was moving and sad, but also inspirational.

In addition to hearing the speaker, we were able to view a private collection of Anne Frank’s family photos. Most people are familiar with Anne’s story, but it was a privilege to learn about the family’s life outside the Holocaust. It’s a sobering reminder that people are people, no matter what they believe or how they look.

The museum provides the opportunity for a self-guided tour, using handheld remotes with speakers that you can hold to your ear and hear information corresponding to the exhibits you view. All the exhibits at the Dallas Holocaust Museum are very powerful and emotionally taxing.

One case holds dozens of eyeglasses. It seems trivial, but these items were confiscated from Jews as they were being loaded into train cars like cattle to be directed to hard labor and death. Other cases hold bone fragments, gold teeth, and human ashes. Some exhibits include photos, letters, or articles of clothing. The museum was an amazing place to visit, and I’d gladly go again if given the chance.

Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take any photos. Regardless, it was a must-see for me, but I didn’t want the whole trip to be sad.

We went out for some fun one evening, with a visit to TopGolf, an expansive recreational area with amazing games and awesome scenery. We didn’t get to try all the attractions, but we stayed plenty busy playing a very inexpensive round of mini golf on three separate 18-hole courses.

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Waterfalls, tunnels, hills and rivers can be found on this playing field, making it a fantastic place to relax and enjoy some time together.

Where I live, the entertainment options available mainly consist of bowling, a 3-screen movie theater, a few bars, and Walmart. Mini golf was a blast! We played at night, the course was lit and we had the place mostly to ourselves.

After all that excitement, it was hard not to work up an appetite. We tried Jack in the Box for the first time, another restaurant that just isn’t an option in our little corner of Northwest Oklahoma, and then grabbed some ice cream from the nearby convenience store.

TGI Friday’s and Jack in the Box were good, but we also had the chance to try Five Guys Burgers and Fries at Galleria Dallas.

We had heard of the restaurant’s sterling reputation, so we decided it was time to give it a taste. It was delicious! IMG_1244 IMG_4678

We didn’t go to Galleria Dallas just for the food, though.

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We roamed around the 4-level mall, checking out stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Hot Topic. The prices at Saks are laughable. I wouldn’t buy anything from there if I did live in the city!

Before we headed home from our vacation, we had one more item on our list. Galleria Dallas is built around a large ice skating rink. Neither of us had ever been ice skating before, so we knew we had to lace up while we had the chance.  It certainly wasn’t easy the first time, and the skates were hurting my feet, but I can proudly say I didn’t fall. My fiancé did.

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We skated for an hour or so and decided it was time to hit the road.

We stopped to eat at an IHOP, a familiar restaurant (but it’s not available where I live), filled up and headed home.

I really enjoyed my trip to the big city, with great food, interesting people and so much to see and do, but I definitely don’t belong there. It was nice to get back to the quieter, more slow-paced town of Alva.

After all, I’m a small town girl.

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