Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What I learned...February Edition

February was quite a busy month for me. This was most evident by my lack of blogging for pretty much the entire month! I was still trying to be engaged in other forms of social media, Twitter, Instagram and all of that. But I just didn't get around to blogging much. I think that might have something to do with my still not having mastered the "scheduled post" yet. 

Well thank goodness for Snow Days!! I've tried to write out at least a few posts for the coming week, just in case things get too hectic again and I find myself drained of all energy in the evenings to even read a blog, let alone write in one!

Today's post is part of a series that I've been wanting to try out, called "What I'm Learning." Every Tuesday I want to post a list of things that I've been learning, studying or just figuring out about anything and everything. And I would really love it if you guys joined in too! I always love hearing about what other people are reading and studying and learning about, so I think this might be a fun prompt/exercise. Especially if it might also lead to teaching someone something new!

So here's what I learned in February:

1. I signed up for a Skillshare membership, and started taking two classes in Hand Lettering and Calligraphy. Have you heard of Skillshare? It's pretty boss awesome and if you haven't checked it out yet, you totally should! I hope that I can eventually get my projects to a place where I feel comfortable sharing them, but for now my sketchbook is covered in the Alphabet and random words and phrases trying to figure out the best way to finish my projects.

2. I'm currently finishing up two college classes. One on Advanced Writing for Business which has been incredibly interesting and eye opening, particularly with regard to persuasive writing and with sending out memos, professional bad news messages and the like. It has definitely been a change of pace from my normal "free-flow" creative writing style. The other class is one that I had to retake (yeesh, yeah not proud of that one), on an introduction to Programming Basics, particularly the Python programming language. The class also covers information on databasing, scripting versus programming languages, user design, etc.

I never thought I'd be interested in programming, and I'm definitely not the next Bill Gates or Guido van Rossum (Python's creator), but I have to say that writing out seemingly silly lines of code and then seeing a WORKING calculator or program pop up in another window is mind-blowingly awesome! Though in all honesty, I actually learned more of the tips and tricks to coding from Youtube... :/

3. I roasted a chicken, for the first time. From scratch. And you guys...it's CRAZY EASY!! Seriously, do you have an oven? Do you have spices, oil (and/or butter), something to stuff the chicken with (apples, onions, garlic, orange...get creative!) and oh yeah, a chicken and a roasting pan? Then bam, you can roast a chicken too! Set the oven to 450, remember to remove the gizzards (if you have a good recipe for these, I'd love to hear it!), stuff the chicken. I used an apple and a red onion, quartered both and shoved 'em in. And then I didn't have any fresh herbs so I just combined some thyme, basil, paprika, ancho chile powder, garlic powder and whatever else I had in the cabinet that sounded yummy in a bowl with some olive oil. Stir. Toss some salt and pepper on the bird and then just kind of coat the bird in the oil mixture, and then roast at 450 for about 1.5 hours. I think I had to go a little longer than this, but the skin was this amazingly crispy and delicious golden brown and the bird was tender and juicy.

Check out the skin on this beauty!

Roasting a chicken on Sunday is also a good way to have a ton of yummy meat leftover throughout the week for sandwiches, soup, tacos and even chili.

4. I also learned that snow days are only fun if you don't have to make up the time later. Seriously, working 10-15 hour days (yeah that happened) for one extra day off is NO BUENO!! I love snow, but yeesh.

5. Lastly, I learned that I still really love learning, it all just depends on the topic and how much I'm willing to devote to the process. The knowledge and the skills are all there for the taking, it's just a matter of putting in the effort and a little bit of time. Life-long learning is a process and it takes, well a lifetime. So I'm also learning to try and slow it down, that I don't need to be an expert in a minute, and to just enjoy the process of practice and discovery.

So what have you been learning lately? I'd love for you to share in the comments below!

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