Blog Tours: Viewing Brekkin’s Blog

As I first opened Brekkin’s blog, I immediately got excited to see that it was a blog based on places that Brekkin either has visited or wants to visit. My family never traveled growing up or went on vacation, but we are currently trying to plan a trip, yet we don’t know where to go. Reading into Brekkin’s blog gives you many amazing ideas on places to travel, and includes information about the location, including food, environment, things to see, and what time of people are most suited for a vacation in that area. Brekkin’s blog posts includes detailed information about California, Fiji, the Dominican Republic, Florida, Hawaii, the Bahamas,South Carolina, Jamaica, and Conrad Bora Bora. The posts that I specifically want to look at are about Conrad Bora Bora, the Bahamas, and Jamaica.

Brekkin never went to Conrad Bora Bora, but viewed a blog about the vacation destination. In Conrad Bora Bora, Brekkin discusses how there are activities there that include paddle boarding, snorkeling, kayaking, and using bicycle boats. Even though there are all these activities, the blog suggests that it isn’t the best place to take a family, but instead more of a honeymoon destination.  Brekkin also points out the beautiful waters of Conrad Bora Bora that first catches the eye, with clear blue water and perfect beaches to just relax in. As long as there’s a beach, I would love to visit Conrad Bora Bora.

I actually do know someone that went to the Bahamas for a vacation, and they had nothing but good things to say about it, and Brekkin is the same way. Brekkin didn’t personally go to the Bahamas, but it’s a destination on the bucket list. Brekkin describes how the Bahamas is a huge cruise destination that many people love to take to visit all the islands. Brekkin describes how the wildlife, beaches, and underwater activities are all amazing and need to be seen. Some specific activities that Brekkin mentions are swimming with dolphins, snorkeling, and even pigs that paddle in the water! Some of the amazing food that Brekkin discusses includes rice, seafood, lobster, and crab because it come right from the sea next to the beautiful beaches. Brekkin does mention again that the vacation spot isn’t really focused on kid-related activities, but it would be a great place to go to with friends.

The last place that Brekkin discusses is her trips to Jamaica. Brekkin goes into detail about the resort she stays at, driving in Jamaica, the language and what the people are like. She stays at a resort called Cocolapalm, which is located in Negril. The resort sits right on a beach, yet there is still a pool right in the middle of the resort. Interesting facts that she included is how the driver sits on the right side of the car and drives on the left side of the road, and even how the emergency number is 119 instead of 911, which is the number in the United States. Brekkin mentions how they have a family friend in Jamaica, which seems kinda crazy to me. I’d love to have a relative to visit in a vacation destination, I mean I need some excuse to go! She talks about how people in Jamaica speak Patois, and apparently they love hearing about Minnesota snow.

I would love to visit any of the places that Brekkin mentions, and I wish I could talk about all of the other beautiful vacation destinations. This blog makes me slightly jealous of Brekkin, I mean she’s gone to Jamaica, California, Florida, and South Carolina, all places that would get me out of Minnesota for a while. Maybe one day I’ll take a vacation, and I can use Brekkin’s blog to guide me through.

Blog Tours: Stepping into Bahja’s Blog

Recently, I looked into other individual’s blog and one of them included Bahja’s blog post on relationships. Her post, “Healthy Relationship Tips!,”  gave tips on what good relationships contain, including why respecting individuality is important, having the ability to express yourself to the other without fear, taking interest in each other’s favorite activities, and why communication is key. While reading through these tips, I connected these same points to my current relationship with my boyfriend, and wanted to discuss why doing these same tips helps my relationship.

Bahja discussed in her blog that respecting individuality is very important for relationships and even for if that relationship goes away. Bahja states that, “…its important to spend time with your friends and do your own things.” This aspect is probably one that, in my relationship, we struggle with the most. Even when one of us needs to go to work for an eight hour shift and went to classes the same day, we still seem to find time to see each other, even just for a small amount of time. I know this is not the healthiest, so we try to at least spend time in groups to where we can spend time with each other and our friends. Bahja does express that, “…couples need to understand that have a sense of Individuality is healthy because everyone needs time to spend alone, and get to know themselves.” I completely agree with this tip, and know that I need to bring it into my own relationship more.

Personally, I have always struggled with the next tip, which is being able to express feelings to one another. My personality is the type that tries to be reliant on only myself and honestly, I’m very self conscience. I usually blame myself when things go wrong, and I push people away because I don’t want to hurt anyone. Although, throughout my current relationship I’ve felt like I have made changes and been more open about my feelings. Before my boyfriend and I made things official, we spent hours talking about what our relationship expectations were and any concerns we had. Overall, I think this helped our relationship to be where it’s at today.

In a previous relationship that I have had, I seemed to have been the only one reaching out and trying to participate in my partner’s interests. I was always trying to get my partner to do things that I liked, yet he either wouldn’t want to, or just complain the entire time. In my current relationship, I feel so much happier because I like taking interest in what my boyfriend likes and he willingly wants to try things that make me happy so that we can do them together. Taking interest in your partner’s activities makes the relationship feel equal, and both partner’s get the satisfaction of other’s trying out their favorite things.

It’s repeated over and over again how communication is key to a relationship, and it’s repeated because it’s completely true. The first step to any of the other tips is communication. Many couples fail to realize how much they lack communication, because it’s easy to just shut people out, which is what I’ve done before. All of Bahja’s tips truly are essential for relationship’s, because her tips show up in my relationship all the time, and they make a huge impact based on if I practice her tips or not. These tips help romantic and non-romantic relationships, and shouldn’t be taken lightly if you are trying to build a solid relationship.

How Not To Cook: My Romantic and Undercooked Valentine’s Day

heart shape multicolored stand
Photo by Simon Matzinger on

How Not To Cook: Post 4

Valentine’s Day. The day where everyone tries to come up with the cutest idea for a date to rub into their friend’s faces, that and the day to show someone how much you love them I guess. I honestly didn’t know what I was thinking when I thought that cooking together for Valentine’s Day would be a good idea (probably why I’m not still dating that person, whoops). It was 2016, the year I was just starting to cook/bake and try new recipes. I wanted to make something different, and I was slightly disappointed I wasn’t going to Olive Garden, so I wanted to make some type of pasta (my weakness). Of course, I went into my saved Facebook videos, where all my dream recipes go to die, and found the perfect recipe to try. Healthy Easy Baked Lasagna Rolls. They even looked like a perfect fancy meal for Valentine’s Day, so me and my unfortunate partner put on our nice outfits and started the chaos.

One of the first steps to creating the lasagna rolls is to cook the lasagna noodles. Essential, this meal is a spinach mixture rolled up into a lasagna noodle and covered with tomato sauce and cheese. So I threw six lasagna sheets into a large pot and began to cook them while I grabbed a bowl for the spinach mixture. The mixture was pretty simple, no problems there, yet the real problem was the noodles. I had no idea what “al dente” was, and was too lazy to bother to look it up at the time. I didn’t want to overcook the noodles, because then they create a weird and unpleasant texture (this is an observation I’ve made based on every time I try to cook pasta). So, assuming the noodles would continue to cook while they were also baking, I decided to take the lasagna noodles out when they weren’t quite done yet. Apparently, I was technically right because the definition of al dente (I’m just finding this out) is slightly undercooked pasta. So I forked out a noodle, felt it, them figured they would be alright to take out. This part frustrated me the absolute most. The lasagna noodles were tearing apart while I was taking them out, and most all of them came out with some deformation. I wasn’t very satisfied, but they were still edible (well at the time I thought they were) so I wasn’t going to try and redo the noodles. I laid out the noodles and cut them in half, which some noodles had already done themselves, and spooned the mixture onto the noodles. I should have known to throw the noodles back in then, because they weren’t just slightly undercooked, they were barely cooked. Yet, I kept shrugging it off and continued to struggle with the mixture, which kept spilling out during the rolling process.

Finally, I had finished rolling up the lasagna noodles and threw them in the oven. In my fridge, I found Pillsbury crescent rolls (like, the best roll of all time) and decided they would be a perfect side for lasagna. To this day although, I still don’t know how to probably roll the triangles, and make the weirdest “crescent” rolls of all time. I attempted to make them look as decent as possible, then threw those in a convention toaster oven.

After the timer went off for the lasagna, I pulled the pan out of the oven, drooling over the smell of what I thought was perfection. Then looking over at the rolls, I took those out too, because I hate how I always burn crescent rolls and ruin my favorite thing in the world. I served up my plate and sat down to eat, so excited because of how perfect everything seemed to have turned out. Then, I bit into the lasagna noodle, and it was like I took a bite of a raw noodle with sauce. The noodles tasted like I threw them in the pot just to cook them until they could bend. They were still okay, but the weird crunch-but-not-crunchy threw the whole roll off. At least I still had my amazing crescent rolls, which when I was only one bite in seemed okay, yet the next bite I literally tasted the raw DOUGH. I had undercooked the entire meal. I couldn’t be too disappointed with myself, because I knew I would probably goof something up, but I still felt bad as my then-boyfriend struggled through the meal. So, don’t end up like me. This should be a lesson that even if you have a history of burning anything you touch, it doesn’t mean that purposing undercooking the food will make it turn out perfect.

How Not To Cook: Healthy Mac and Cheese?

In my family, my mom is always at work basically 12 hours a day, so when she goes grocery shopping she usually returns with frozen and boxed meals. One of my brother’s and my favorite boxed meal became kraft mac and cheese. Not the healthiest decision in the world, but we didn’t really care we were just really hungry.    One day, I was feeling really crafty, and decided to make my own homemade mac and cheese (we were just out of kraft mac and cheese). I didn’t bother looking up a recipe, because how could I mess up making mac and cheese? So I threw in some elbow pasta, then when that was done and drained I tossed in about two to three cups of cheese (the more the merrier) and probably way too much butter. Then I had realized I needed to improvise, considering we had no milk at our house. Of course, our weird family doesn’t have normal milk, but we have canned coconut milk in our cabinets. I used only a small amount of coconut milk, hoping that I didn’t just turn my mac and cheese into a pina colada. In the end, this was probably the most amazing creation I have ever made, yet I felt like I had just gained ten pounds in one sitting. So, when I was scrolling through a Pinch of Yum and discovered that Lindsay created a healthy mac and cheese, I had to read into it.

Honestly, the only change I really expected to make mac and cheese healthy would be to use wheat noodles, but Lindsay is more creative than that. Apparently, she previously made healthy mac and cheese with toasted walnuts and using other methods that I can’t even imagine. With this healthy mac and cheese although, she describes creating a pureed sauce to cover her somewhat healthy elbow pasta (use whole wheat or gluten-free, something). Unlike my homemade mac and cheese, where I relied on my creamy sauce to all be based off of cheese, Lindsay had other ideas. In her sauce, she included butternut squash, caramelized yellow onions, and even chicken/vegetable broth. Luckily, she still throws in cheese, but only a small amount, unlike my made-up recipe. After caramelizing the onions, Lindsay purees all the ingredients together for her sauce and pours it over her pasta. I have yet to try and attempt her recipe, but her innovation for mac and cheese proves there really isn’t an excuse to not eat at least a little bit healthier. There are so many ways to substitute foods, like the currently popular technique of using cauliflower as mashed potatoes. Sadly, I love potatoes too much to replace them, so I don’t think I will be attempting a recipe like that. Lindsay’s healthy mac and cheese only adds up to 350 calories in the end, which is almost unbelievable. By adding butternut squash, broth, and her caramelized onions, there’s less need for butter, cheese, and flour to be included in the recipe. Of course, it’s still included, but not overused and overpowering the recipe. Honestly, I’m slightly intimidated by the recipe, but anything to get that bikini body, right?


How Not To Cook: Chocolate Chip Cookies Hate Me…maybe?



How Not To Cook: Post 3

I wasn’t joking when I mentioned in a previous post that I am banned from making cookies in my house (I should just say banned from chocolate chip cookies because those are my favorite). I’ve tried recipe after recipe, attempting to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie and thinking the problem was the recipe not me, but it all ends with either one big-thin-mega-pan-sized-cookie or with cookies that are just too crispy and burnt for my taste. Although, there was a time when I thought that I would be guaranteed perfect chocolate chip cookies.

When I scroll through Facebook, I always come across cooking/baking videos, and I had recently discovered the handy feature of “saved videos” that Facebook has. So, of course when I came across a video of the ultimate chocolate chip cookies, I saved the video and knew I had to try it. Sadly, they still weren’t the ultimate cookie for me, but it’s not the recipe’s fault that I curse every batter of cookies I make. Although, recently I remade this recipe after closer examination of the recipe and compared what I did and didn’t do previously.

When I had previously made the batch of cookies (trial one), I mostly paid attention to the video instructions, only using the written instructions to get the measurements. I realized during my second attempt that this had been my first mistake. As I read the instructions, I realized that there were specific instructions on how the flour should be measured. There’s a technique called the “spoon-and-level” method, where you’re supposed to use a spoon to stir the flour then spoon it into the measuring cup. Previously, I had just packed the flour in and completely missed the technique (honestly, I probably would have thought it didn’t matter anyway). Another step that I didn’t think could have made that much of a difference was how the batter was mixed. The recipe suggested just using a whisk instead of an electric mixer, and during my first time making these cookies I still just used the electric mixer. As I was recently making these cookies (trial two), I did notice that it was better mixed and even gave the batter a slightly different texture. Continuing the recipe, I noticed another subtle mistake during trial one, which was the butter. I wasn’t sure how much of a difference it made, but the recipe asked for the butter to be melted, yet cooled at room temperature. I had just dumped the melted butter straight from the microwave into the brown sugar. Maybe I’m not bad at baking, just bad at reading instructions all the way.

One of the last “whoops” that I had made while just mixing the ingredients was putting the eggs in. The instructions said to put one egg in at a time, but during trial one I thought that was dumb and just threw both eggs in at once. Finally, the time came to actually bake the cookies. During trial two, I made sure to closely watch the cookies, and pull them out of the oven when they just began to brown around the edges. Making sure the cookies are pulled out at the right time is essential, it’s the difference between a soft cookie and a hard cookie.Now, at the time all of these differences wouldn’t seem to make that much of a difference, but after tasting trial two, it had made all the difference. After making these cookies again and actually paying attention to detail, I had finally made the perfect cookies. Even after the cookies were a couple days old, they were still soft to eat. No matter how dumb the instructions may be, comparing the results of the same recipe with just simple changes teaches just how important paying attention to detail is. Plus, paying attention to detail is just so much sweeter in the end. IMG_5960

How Not To Cook: Getting Advice

I am actually banned from making cookies in my house, especially chocolate chip cookies. Quick back story. My mom always, ALWAYS makes the same monster cookies, even though I always ask for chocolate chip because they’re my favorite. Of course, she never makes them, so I take matters into my own hands. Now this has happened several times, because I crave chocolate chip cookies 24/7 and the results usually end up like one of the following: burnt, expanded to the point of filling the entire pan, powdery, or on the floor. I really don’t understand what I do wrong. Every. Single. Time. So, I decided to follow up on a cooking blog, pinch of yum, to see what I was maybe doing wrong.

As I first viewed Lindsay’s recipe, I realized my first mistake. When I make cookies, or really any type of food, I never really pay attention to what kind of butter I’m using. No, not comparing real butter to fake butter, but if the butter is salted or non-salted. If a recipe requires salt and unsalted butter, it could affect how the cookies bake, and I never paid attention to it. I had actually had a conversation with my mom about baking and being exact. One day, she had walked into the kitchen as I was dumped peanut butter into my batter and she asked if I was making peanut butter cookies. Shaking my head no, I proudly announced that I was just adding peanut butter to a chocolate chip cookies recipe to make peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. She was not as impressed as I thought she would be, and yelled at me for not following the recipe. She exclaimed how with cooking, you can be a lot more flexible with the recipes, but with baking you need to be a lot more exact. When you bake, the ingredients have to be able to come together just right so that everything bakes even. With baked goods like bread, the ingredients need to be just right, or the bread won’t rise like it’s supposed to.

Not only does Lindsey  point out why it’s so important to pay attention to detail in ingredients, but also keep order of how ingredients are added. I used to always just dump everything in at once, thinking that, “Well in the end it’s all getting mixed together, why should it matter that much?” Yet, to get the right consistency and to ensure that you get the right texture, certain ingredients are mixed for longer and separate for a certain period of time. Just like how certain ingredients in cooking are cooked before others and before everything is made together, certain ingredients are mixed before others and before everything else is added. Not only have I ignored this simple step before, but I ALWAYS ignore the, “Refrigerate for 2 hours or more,” step (Lindsey). I didn’t consider the step to be that important, I mean I’m about to heat the dough either way, why would I cool it only to heat it up? Also, when I make cookies, I want to eat them as soon as possible, I can’t wait two hours! Or even worse, wait till the next day! By reading through Lindsey’s, “Perfect chocolate chip cookies,” I realized my main issue to why I am so terrible at cooking/baking is because I’m impatient, so hopefully I can aim to just relax while I’m cooking, but not too relaxed, because that’s how my house gets burned down.

How Not To Cook: Congo Bars

495C9321-6DB6-4C50-AC3A-079AF552F90D.jpegHow Not to Cook: Post 2

So, small disclosure before I humiliate myself by describing how badly I messed up this dessert. I don’t purposely try to make dumb cooking mistakes, but I rely   on my posts to be based off my stupidity because no matter how hard I try, 99.99% of the time I’m still saying, “Whoops.” Just had to put that out there considering that at some point you’ll be saying to yourself, “Okay she had to have done that on purpose.” Nope, not even close.

So this recipe is actually my mother’s recipe, and congo bars are literally just a chocolate chip cookie in the form of a brownie, aka delicious and fattening. Luckily, I had a support system/in charge of fire extinguisher/guest star with me while making these bars, and that was my boyfriend, Ken. Along the way, he also gave me cooking tips, because he’s been cooking probably since he could walk. Due to this, he was not allowed to help me unless it was an emergency.

To start off, we had to pick a pan style, and I pulled out a metal pan and a glass pan. Even though the glass pan was the perfect size, Ken informed me that apparently you are not supposed to use glass pans unless it’s for things like casseroles because metal holds heat better. I considered to just ignore him, but I still wanted these to taste good so I went with the metal pan. The first step was to mix the butter and the brown sugar together, so I dumped both ingredients into my electric mixer and turned it on low. Now, if you can picture putting two sticks of butter straight out of the fridge and putting sugar on top, it doesn’t necessarily mix. Which is exactly what happened, and brown sugar flew out of the bowl and attacked me. Of course, instead of taking out the bowl and mixing by hand, I struggled to use a spatula and go back and forth between shoving down the butter with a spatula and timidly start the mixer again. From there, adding the rest of the ingredients was going pretty smooth, except apparently I’m too violent with cracking my eggs considering as I did this, Ken exclaimed, “Wow, you really murdered those eggs.” I had sprayed the pan, started the oven, and things were actually going surprisingly well. Of course, I spoke too soon. I read the recipe and saw that I needed a tablespoon of baking powder. So I measured, threw it in, and did a double take. The recipe asked for a teaspoon of baking powder, and I just put in a tablespoon. Luckily, the mixer wasn’t running, so I found myself struggling to scoop out baking powder, trying to visual see if I was leaving a teaspoon in or not. Crossing my fingers and hoping that I didn’t just ruin my dessert, I finished mixing and dumped the batter onto the pan, spreading it evenly and popped it into the oven.

Overall, the bars actually turned out really good, and they didn’t even stick to the pan. The edges weren’t burnt or too crispy, and the center baked perfectly. Yet, I did learn to always double check the recipe and the measurements, and that butter straight from the fridge is probably not going to mix that well. This experience went a lot better than previous ones, probably because I had someone breathing down my neck and correcting me, but I’m surprised and happy about the results. Honestly, I’m just grateful I didn’t get food poisoning, or give it to the rest of my family.




How Not To Cook: It Started With an Egg

How Not to Cook: Post 1

Throughout my middle school years, I had many insecurities about myself. I was constantly pushing my mother to buy me makeup, always worried about what to wear, but my biggest insecurity that I had was my weight. I hated how I big my thighs looked in leggings, and I hated being able to ask my friends if I could borrow clothes due to the fear of them not fitting. Motivated my skinny peers, I became determined to start working out and eating right and thinking, “How hard can this be?” I went to a gym with my mom, and one morning I woke up, determined to make breakfast. This was the morning that I discovered my hidden talent of being able to burn everything and anything.

Over-easy eggs, toast, and bacon. Should be pretty simple and easy to handle on my own. My mindset had always been that cooking is just one of those things anyone can do, I mean just follow the recipe and it’s all smooth sailing. I had never cooked bacon or eggs before, but I had watched my mom cook this simple breakfast before, so how bad could I really do? I grabbed a large pan and cranked the heat to “high,” setting the bacon strips along side each other. I figured that I would cook the bacon on one side first, then cook the other side. With bacon taken care of, I moved onto the eggs. I’d been wanting to cook eggs for the longest time, because I was sick of my mom making scrambled 24/7. As I cracked open my two eggs onto the pan (also set to high), I realized that my eggs were about to be very crunchy, considering that I over-broke (if that’s a thing) the shell and shells had fallen into the eggs. Turning my back for only a split second to retrieve a fork, I noticed that the shells were already cooking into the egg. Quickly, I assassinated my over-easy egg as I dug out shells, then went to flip the eggs. It was at this moment that I realized how badly I screwed up, considering that I didn’t spray the pan or anything to prevent the eggs from sticking. As I scrapped away at my egg, I popped open the yoke, and began to frantically attempt to stop the yoke from getting everywhere. I finally managed to stop the yoke, and proceeded to flip my eggs. I was attempting to make over-easy eggs, and because of this I needed toast with my eggs. First checking in on my phone, I then grabbed two slices and popped them in the toast, suddenly smelling something burning. My bacon was literally up in smoke. I grabbed the pan and tossed it onto the counter, because not only was my bacon smoking, but my eggs looked like they could be compared to charcoal. As if my breakfast wasn’t already going fantastic, the smoke detector sounded off, as if it had just been waiting for that peek moment. I felt defeated as used the door to my basement to fan out my smoke-filled kitchen, trying to get the alarm to turn off. I had burned everything, the bacon, the eggs, and… wait, where’s the toast? I sprinted over to my toaster and hit cancel, and I was welcomed by two of the most burnt pieces of toast I had ever seen, so toasted that I was scared to grab them and have them turn to ashes. At this point, things couldn’t go worse. Everything I cooked was burnt to practically ashes, and my house almost had been too. Apparently, I spoke too soon and sunk to the kitchen floor in tears after I realized that I hadn’t put the pan of bacon just on the counter. I had thrown the pan onto of a plastic cutting board, which had melted to the pan of extra-crispy bacon and melted a hole in the board. From this experience, I learned several important basic cooking facts. One, also spray your pans that you’re using, and I later learned that butter works the best to keep eggs from sticking. Two, you’re more than likely not supposed to cook whatever you’re cooking right away on high, especially eggs and bacon. Three, flip bacon throughout cooking on a pan, using on medium heat. Four, have a timer on your toast, and try not to forget what you’re making in the first place. Finally, always have oven mitts to set pans on, don’t just throw them on the counter. Even though I learned a lot from this experience, I didn’t know at that moment that those first few victims of my cooking skills were not my last, hence the beginning of, “How Not to Cook.”

“Annoying Ways People Use Sources” Reflection

I believe that everyone knows someone in their life who is way too overdramatic and overemotional about a certain topic or subject. If you’ve ever seen the show American Horror Story, in season 7 (Cult) episode 1 (Election Night), the character Ally and her neighbors are perfect examples of over-emotional and over-dramatic as  Trump wins the election and they begin to cry and yell at each other for not voting. This attitude and tone is what Stedman uses throughout his entire article, “Annoying Ways People Use Sources.” Due to this, it’s very difficult to take Stedman’s opinion seriously, but pushing past this, there are some topics that he mentions that I find interesting. When he discusses the effects of too many quotations and too little self-observation and about how to correct grammar when integrating a quote, I was able to pull some usefulness out of his opinions.

Plagiarism-especially in college-is a major issue and for me personally, I’m terrified that one day I will forget to cite a source and get caught plagiarizing, when in reality I didn’t mean to. For reasons like this, I believe that it leads students to do just what Stedman is so annoyed about: listing a bunch of quotations and never put an input or expansion on those ideas. Essays have been compromised because students are just writing papers that basically just end up promoting other author’s ideas. The whole purpose of essays is to explore a small idea already exists and expand it, rethink it, and redesign it. If every essay that students wrote only consisted of what Stedman describes as, “diving boards,” no one would be interested and ideas would just recycle over and over. Yet, many students aren’t necessarily taught how to achieve this. Yes, in the many years of education, english teachers and professors are always assigning essay’s that are designed to pull the student’s own ideas out onto paper, but many struggle with this aspect. Students get frustrated because they aren’t sure of how to come up with a new, inventive idea of their own because they don’t know where to start. Just when they do begin to come up with something, they hit delete because they think, “No, this person already said something along those lines.”     Why not take the easy route then and quote those ideas over and over. Stedman would agree that people would rather set up diving board after diving board, because it’s easier than digging the pool.

A common incorrect stereotype is the phrase,”Dumb blonde.” As a joke, I often think of myself as a “dumb blonde” during certain moments, and I experienced another one of these moments while reading Stedman’s article. In the past, i’ve read quotations in other papers and gotten confused because there are random square brackets around different words. I’ve never realized or known what they were for until after I read the section, “Am I in the Right Movie? failing to integrate a quotation into the grammar of the preceding sentence” (Stedman 249). Overall, Stedman’s article is slightly ridiculous, because I find it hard to relate to his angry over incorrect sourcing and if anything it’s just humorous. Yet, setting his emotions aside, there are a few helpful ideas like avoiding adding too many quotations and how to correct grammar that make Stedman’s article worth giving a glance.

“Election Night.” American Horror Story, season 7, episode 1, Netflix, 19 Sep. 2018. Netflix,

“Annoying Ways People Use Sources” Notes


Being completely honestly, I think Kyle Stedman is the only person in the world who has this many emotions towards sources. This article, “Annoying Ways People Use Sources,” is so hard to take seriously, because of how dramatic Stedman’s tone is and he’s so overly emotional invested that it makes me wonder if the whole thing is a joke. As a college student and an average civilian, I can’t relate to any of Stedman’s pet peeves, and he assumes everyone thinks how he does. One example of Stedman making this type of assumption is when he compares driving to writing standards. He suggests, “…writers can forget that their readers are sometimes just as annoyed at writing that fails to follow conventions as drivers are when stuck behind a car that fails to move over. In other words, there’s something similar between these two people: the knowledgeable driver who thinks, “I thought all drivers knew that the left lane is for the fastest cars,” and the reader who thinks, “I thought all writers knew that outside sources should be introduced, punctuated, and cited according to a set of standards”(Stedman 242-243). Stedman makes these types of comparisons throughout the entire article, and the only thing that comes to mind is, “No I don’t think that, and it doesn’t come close to comparison.” If anything, his article is a perfect example of how being overly emotional can ruin a paper by making the main topic a big joke.

Making Connections: “Toner’s response to the Obama video is like a diving board that Jessica bounces off of before she gets to the really interesting stuff: the pool (her own observations). A bunch of diving boards lined up without a pool (tons of quotes with no analysis) wouldn’t please anyone…”(Stedman 249).

As I first began this blog for my college english class, I was almost afraid that I was putting too much of my own ideas and too little quotations or references from the articles that we are required to analyze for our posts. As I read my peers work, I became even more concerned, because the majority of their blog posts consisted of ideas from the articles. Luckily, I was quite wrong. My professor later addressed how she wanted the class to direct their papers with their own thoughts and ideas, not to just repeat the entire article. As I read different papers, I realized how right Stedman is with his analogy of the diving boards. I would read a paper and get excited about all the quotes and information that my peer had pulled, and it was like they would line a dozen diving boards off, but they would only lead to a kiddy pool. Many papers had idea after idea from the article, but would only make a small comment of their own, then move on. This was frustrating, because I was more interested in their ideas, and I wouldn’t get enough.



In the article, “Annoying Ways People Use Sources,” Kyle Stedman states several of his frustrations around the area of sources and using the proper writing standards. Stedman claims how ineffectively siting sources can be harmful for your writings, because readers will get frustrated, confused, or not accept the supporting material. With each of Stedman’s topic areas, he compares what his annoyance is to an analogy or more common everyday annoyance. Stedman does this with the topics of dropping in quotations without introducing them, starting/ending a paragraph with a quotation, using too many quotations, failing to integrate a quotation with the grammar of the preceding sentence, incorrectly listing the works cited and dropping in a citation without making clear what information is from the source. After he discusses the annoyance, he also states how to fix the improper usage.

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