Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bring it on '11

So I've had a super busy, crazy day. We finally bought a new couch and comfy chair and they scheduled delivery for today. As you all might remember, we had started a bunch of work on our apartment when Not-So-Ex was laid off and then he ended up going back to work pretty quickly. Well, in my head, I was gonna be able to finish all the painting and trim work in time for the delivery of the furniture.

Let's just say that's not humanly possible. It all started Tues when my daughter and I decided to start by painting a bookshelf. Should've taken a chunk of one day. Instead it took two.

So today I just focused on giving the room a really good cleaning, now that the old furniture is out. Plus we needed to get rid of all the Christmas, renovation, and other various kinds of clutter. The kids and I woke up pretty early (for a vacation day) and got started and worked hardcore all day.

But, now it's all delivered and gorgeous and my house smells slightly bleachy. So all is right with the world! And tomorrow, we're going to relax and hit the movies!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Over already?

It's Monday so it was back to work for me today. I had a hard time getting myself up and moving this morning, guess I was just that worn out after all the fun of Christmas. Once I did get there, it was fun to get back to my regular schedule of cupcaking and visiting with all the friends that come in the bakery. That's always the best part about work.

But, now that Christmas is over, it's time for New Years. Normally I love New Years. There's something about that whole leaving the past behind and starting fresh thing that I love. But, this year, I don't want it to end.

I've had an incredible year. I don't want to leave it behind and start fresh. It's probably been the happiest year of my life. If 2011 can be nearly as good, I'll feel incredibly blessed!

Anyway, now that I'm done with work for the day, I'm pretty psyched to go couch shopping (again) after we get Not-So-Ex after work. We have GOT to get places for all of us to sit! And, then, we've got to teach the dogs to NOT sit there. LOL. I'm sure that'll be a breeze. Oh well, here's hoping!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A few Christmas suggestions

So it's Christmas morning and the awesome chaos that is the holidays when you live within 15 minutes of your entire family will commence momentarily. But, in this brief moment of calm I wanted to share some suggestions that I know I will definitely remember after this year.

1. When buying the kids an awesome new tech toy, read the computer specs required. Even if you have a decent computer that runs all your other similar tech toys without issue. Check. Seriously.

2. When buying the kids presents from Santa, diversify. For example, even though you spent a small fortune on the new tech toy, the headphones and case to go with it, and planned to spend a smaller fortune adding music and games, have other little gifts that don't relate in any way to the new gadget. Or else they end up with a stocking full of gifts from Santa that can't be used. In our case, it was a stocking full of toys that are unplayable until we can purchase a new operating system for our 2 yr old computer. And that may take a couple days.

3. When everything backfires, take it easy on yourself. The kids are always way, way easier on you than you are on yourself. Even though they can't use their toys immediately, they know they can eventually and are still thankful.

4. Have a couple of boxes of candy hanging around, just in case. Yes, maybe you meant to have them for when you went to the movies, but, in a pinch, it's better to have them there to throw in the stocking as a little consolation.

Anyway, despite the Santa drama, we're having a wonderful Christmas. I had a blast watching everyone open presents, since I had several presents that I was really psyched to give. And we received some incredibly generous gifts, one of which we will be very excited to put to use tomorrow so that we can head home with a nice, new couch!

Merry Christmas folks! Enjoy it!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Full on Christmas mode...

So tomorrow is Christmas Eve (Duh) and I feel like I'm going in a dozen different directions. There are so many things to do and I want to do them all at once.

And, of course, when I do get started on something, I then realize I don't have everything I need. I spent a couple hours rolling out and baking Christmas cookies, only to realize that I don't have any confectioners' sugar to make the frosting. *sigh*

But anyway, I keep adding to Not-So-Ex's shopping list for on his way home. Hopefully he can get it all without it being a big deal. And hopefully everything will fall into place here in a bit. And hopefully I'll be able to focus. You know it's bad when your lack of focus is so bad that you annoy yourself. LOL

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sorry!

I have been soooooo busy!

So, to try and do a quick catch up, I got really worn down the end of last week/beginning of this one. I totally stopped looking forward to the holidays and was super Grinchy (at least for me).

Then we found out yesterday that Not-So-Ex, who has been working an insane amount of hours at work, will be working part of the day on Christmas Eve and then will be off till Monday. And everything got all sunshiny and full of twinkle lights.

I had a long day at work today but with it came some great treats! I made Eggnog Cupcakes, which turned out gorgeous, and a whole slew of Christmas cookies (again). Tomorrow, I'll go in and finish my cookies, which should only take a few hours, and then it will be holiday time. And, now that I'm back to my normal, festive self, I can NOT wait!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Perfectly Imperfect

Today is the kind of day I've needed for a while. It snowed like mad yesterday but, since it started well after our day got started at 4 am, I still had the car and had work. So poor Hunt got dragged to the bakery at 7:30. He really liked decorating cookies with me but, once that was done, he started getting bored. But he pulled through like a trooper.

But today, another snow day, will be just how snow days should be. And, like many good things, it started with bacon! Right now, we're just finishing up on a snow day brunch of eggs, bacon, and toast. Soon there will be movies, present wrapping, a little of the requisite cleaning up, and then some dinner prep and maybe even some baking.

There's a down side though. As we get to play around and snuggle and feast, Not-So-Ex is stuck working and driving in this snowy mess. And he also just got word that his weekend will consist of nothing but 12-16 hr shifts at work. I hate that he has to work so much but I love him for being willing to.

Well I better get back to my stressful schedule of jellying toast and watching movies!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Some thoughts on Pittsburgh...


So we just walked in the door from our little trip to Pittsburgh. Everyone was worried about the bad weather that was forecasted for this weekend but, with the exception of the cold temps, we pretty much missed it. There was a little snow in Pittsburgh this morning when we left and we ran into a little snow in WV on our way back but never had any actual trouble.

As you know, this is our second short trip to Pitt since we went almost a month ago for our first Steelers' game. I didn't write a whole lot about it here because that was right around the same time I went to LA and it was such an incredibly busy and overwhelming time. So I thought I'd write about both of them now.

1. The games
The first game was in November and I had bought tickets the second they went on sale back in July. I had no clue what to get so I just got cheap seats. The weather was perfect, the seats were less so. This time, we bought tickets off StubHub. It was nerve-wracking, since the tickets were late shipping and we were concerned we would get screwed, but they ended up not only getting us the tix in time but even upgrading them. So, this time, the weather was crappy but the seats were perfect!

2. The hotel
The first time, we stayed at the Residence Inn, which just happens to be between the Steelers' and the Pirates' stadiums. We got a two bedroom suite and it was spectacular, but expensive. The people were awesome, but the pool was small (important to my heatherns), so we decided to try the hotel next door this time, Springhill Suites. This time the room had two Queens and a couch bed. It was cheaper, but for a very good reason. In the end, we decided to just deal with the price and head back to the Residence Inn next time. The guys can walk to the game easily and Sis and I can lounge without being on top of each other.

3. The food
I'm a foodie. Not-So-Ex is a foodie. We even have smaller foodies in our kids (more so with Hunt than Sis), so food is a big part of our trips. The first trip, our big find was Pittsburgh BBQ Co. It's a tiny place but their BBQ is incredible (and their fried apples are to DIE for). It's not a restaurant per se, since there are no seats, but we had a nice little kitchen and eating area in our suite so it was absolutely perfect for us. It was so good that I was absolutely craving it this time BUT they were closed for the season! I was devastated. We also ate at Dor-Stop the next morning, which is a DDD restaurant, and, while the pancakes and french toast were awesome, Not-So-Ex wasn't really impressed with his steak and eggs. On this trip, the food was mostly meh. And sometimes just ugh. But I did have one major find. I found some truly exceptional cupcakes. Probably the only famous cupcakes I've ever tried have been Magnolia, but the ones from Vanilla Pastry Studio trumped them easily. Easily. I don't normally gush, but their chocolate peanut butter were as good as mine. Their Red Velvet was nice, although it had a lighter frosting than I use and I'm not sure that I liked it better. Their Key Lime actually had flavor to it! And I liked their decorating style. It was very clean and simple. If you're ever in the area, go. That's all there is to it.
The beauties themselves...

I guess that's pretty much it. Now that our mini-vacay is over, it's time to get back to Christmas prep. I really gotta get my butt to wrapping!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A slow day...

Today is blissfully quiet. The holidays get pretty busy between all the school stuff going on at the kiddos' school, the craziness of working in a bakery (and being the chick in charge of those seriously cute cookies), doing all the shopping since Not-So-Ex is so busy working, and, eventually, all the baking at home. But today there is nothing on my agenda.

So, of course, I have to fill the day myself. And I have plans of making Puppy Chow, doing the dishes, cleaning the floor, wrapping a few presents, and doing a bit more online shopping. For now, I'm rewatching Glee and babying my doggers for a bit.

Hope everyone else has an awesome day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Fun

So yesterday was the best day I've had in ages. Not-So-Ex had been working for two weeks straight and yesterday was his first day off. So we decided to have a family day and just hole up, eat good meals, and enjoy our time together. And that's exactly what we did.

We got up and had a huge breakfast, watched movies (both Christmas and not), decorated our Christmas Tree, and finished off the day with a huge supper and milk and cookies before bed. It was such a wonderful time.

Here is a pic of our tree, they don't do it justice, but you'll get the idea.
And, of course, there just HAD to be cupcakes on my tree.
So now I just gotta get the house in order, make some Chex mix for Not-So-Ex, and try to get myself ready for a super busy, super long day at the bakery tomorrow. I'm sure a big chuck of my day will be devoted to making more of these,
and these.

Seems Charleston just can't get enough of them!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Secrets and Snow

So it's a snowy day here at home. Since it's the first snow of the season, it's all beauty and excitement. In a few months, it will be old hat and all gray and sad, but, for now, it's all awesome. It made me want to do nothing but pile all the covers on the bed and snuggle in under them.

But, clearly, I DID get out of bed. And now I'm chilling out, planning my day, and rewatching last night's Glee. It wasn't a stellar episode as far as storylines go, but their version of Florence and the Machine's Dog Days Are Over makes me happy. It's just a really killer song.
Also, Santana covers Amy Winehouse's awesome Valerie!
Once Glee is over, there's the finale for Sons of Anarchy. This season has been a tough one since fans have had to watch their anti-heroes go from power players to pawns. But hopefully the finale will tie everything up nicely so that the next season will start fresh.

And now to the secrets part. Last night I got Rex his Christmas present, tickets to another Steelers game in a little over a week. This time, we're gonna keep it a secret from Hunt. We're gonna load up the car and head out without telling him where we're going and just enjoy it when he freaks out and realizes where we are.

And while Rex got the tickets as his gift, my gift is a sweet hotel room where we can crash that night. On our last trip, the room was one of the best parts and, while this one won't be as extravagant as the last one, it will be awesome. And have a better pool area for Sis.

For this trip, we're gonna try to plan a bit better and be more prepared. And I'm already working on something special for Sis to do while the boys go to the game. But it is definitely gonna be an awesome time!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Just a quick pic...

A friend posted a better pic from our DVD party the other day so I wanted to go ahead and post it. The one I used before was tiny!

Friday, November 26, 2010

And so it begins...

Yesterday was a wonderful thanksgiving. We had two dinners; one at my mother-in-law's and one at my grandmother's. Food was excellent, company was even better, and I came home with a whole cooler full of leftovers for Not-So-Ex.

And the reason for the cooler was because Not-So-Ex was working yesterday. Yep, he worked a 10 hr day on Thanksgiving. And he's working today. And tomorrow. And he won't have a day off till next weekend. Now this will mean an incredible paycheck next week, and a very painless Christmas season. But I really feel for him too. It can't possibly be fun.

But now begins the Christmas season. The kids will be easy to buy for this year. Easy but expensive. Everyone else will probably be pretty simple too. It's amazing how much less stress there is when you know you have money in the bank.

While the shopping is getting geared up, the baking will be too. At home, I always bake tons of cookies and cupcakes for gifts. This year, I'll be doing it at home and at the bakery. This Sunday I'll actually start cookie production. It'll be fun but stressful. I've gotta get quicker at it so that it won't overwhelm me when we start really selling them.

Most of all though, I just want to make sure this season is fun. It's too easy to get caught up in everything and just let it all pass you by in a big blur. I wanna see all the little moments.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Getting ready for some serious thanks giving...

This morning started seriously early cause I had to get into the bakery first thing and finish up an order. But the plus side of that is that it's 9 am and I'm already done working for the day and home to chill out. Plus I got home just as the kiddos were waking up, so my timing was perfect.

So the plan for today is to spend some time with my kids. There's a Psych marathon today, which makes all of us happy. And I'm also hoping to get some cleaning done.

Yesterday, in a stroke of brilliance, I found a wide dog gate that we can put up between our living and dining room. This is awesome for us cause it means we can actually have a normal Christmas Tree this year. So I definitely need to get in there today and start getting it cleaned up and get all the stuff out of there.

Well I guess that's it for today. I'll post some about our weekend trip to Pittsburgh! I'm still just a bit worn out from it all.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A timeline of awesomeness...


I'm having trouble putting all of this week's incredible events into a narrative form right now so I'm gonna try to give a quick blow by blow and maybe stories will come later.

Wed:
11:30 am - I pick up a quiet but nervous Jesco in Boone County to take him to the airport to head to LA.

12:30 - Jesco and I have our luggage checked and all our stuff together so we stop for a bite to eat in the airport before flying out. In the process, he is asked for 3 autographs and two photos. I'm also asked if I'm his wife. Yeah. Great.

1:50 - Plane leaves. Everything is on schedule. Jesco's mood is good. All is well.

Around 3 - Stop in ATL where we change planes. Layover is so short we rush to get to the gate and find they've just started boarding. Timing is good, but Jesco didn't get any time for a smoke or some coffee.

3 (our time) -6 ish (LA time) - On the big plane, you can watch tv on a monitor in the headrest which Jesco enjoys immensely. You can also watch the flight progress, which he was fascinated by. He also wanted to know all about the vampire book I was reading. I may make him a Sookie fan eventually.

7 - We get off the plane and head to get our luggage and we find our driver who is holding up a sign like in the movies.

8 - We get to the hotel and meet up with the producer, his wife, and the director and head out to get Jesco's hair cut at one of the director's friend's houses. When we arrive, she has a friend there who is pretty intoxicated and gives Jesco some Fernet, which he didn't like. He was trying to be nice so he took a few drinks but tried to get away from her. We decide that, instead of the haircut, we need to hurry up and get dinner and a show.

9 - We get dinner at a mexican place where there was also a show featuring Troy Walker. It was an experience. Jesco loved him but, for whatever reason, continually referred to him as "the little leprechaun" or, occasionally, "the magic leprechaun." I was sitting beside Jeff Feuerzeig, who directed The Devil and Daniel Johnston and I didn't realize it. I was sitting across from Art Fein who, among a million other really interesting things, managed The Cramps at one point. Interesting side note, I was introduced to The Cramps by a truly terrible boyfriend, but I still love them. Of course, I didn't know who he was either, although his mention of Phil Spector at least let me know I was wayyyyyy out of my league.

*Note to self - When Julien mentions a person that's going to be hanging with us, google them immediately. Then I could have actually held a conversation.

10-ish - Drunk girl from earlier in the evening came to the show. And she hit on Jesco. Hard.

*Note to others - One thing I never want to hear again in my life... "I totally just had my tongue in Jesco's mouth."

12 - Realize that said drunk girl actually scared Jesco by hitting on him so hard. He began to refer to her as "the black widow" and became convinced that she had actually been trying to poison him by sharing her drink with him earlier in the evening.

1ish - Head home, make rough plans to go to Universal the next day, then turn in. Side note, our hotel rooms were all suites and had fireplaces in them. They were brutally awesome.

Thursday:
7 am - I wake up and decide to hurry and head out to Magnolia Bakery for cupcakes.

8 - Walk to Magnolia, which turns out to be much further than I expected but meant I got to check out some of the area. On the way back, meet up with the producer and his wife (who is awesome, which I think is because she was born on the exact same day I was) for breakfast at a nice diner. Find out that Jesco is feeling crappy.

10 - Get Jesco some medicine and head back to hotel. Find out that Jesco is now convinced that he's sick because of "the black widow" and is now scared of her. We give him a dose of tummy meds and let him rest for a bit.

10:30 - Julien arrives and starts getting Jesco in a better mood.

11:30 - Julien has gotten Jesco out of his room and his mood has done a 180. We head out to get his hair cut and dyed in Echo Park.

3 - Jesco's hair is did and we head to Home for food. They offered Red Velvet pancakes and I still regret not getting them. After about 15 minutes of trying to figure out what we could order for Jesco, who wanted fried shrimp, we finally got everyone good stuff and had a great lunch.

4 - Julien takes us back to the hotel to get ready for the party. In the process, I experience a truly surreal moment as we're rolling through Hollywood in Julien's old Caprice listening to old country music in German. Yes, in German. Very, very strange but not surprising.

5-7 - Getting ready for the party. I did two things I haven't done in AGES; I used a curling iron AND ironed my shirt. Go fig.
7 - The black Benz picks us up and takes us to The Smog Shoppe where the party is being held. The place is straight up awesome. It starts out with us and the American Express and Tribeca folks but soon others start rolling in.

8-ish - The money people introduce the "filmmakers" responsible for the movie. At this point, I'm sitting on the couch joking around with Jesco cause he had started getting really nervous. I wasn't expecting to be introduced. So they say Julien, then Johnny Knoxville, then Storm, then me. And I'm on the other side of the crowd. I hear a few "Where's Paige"s and holler that I'm coming. They pass a mic down to each of us and, again, I didn't expect to be handed the mic. But, they did, right after introducing me as the chick that saved their ass. It was really cool to be treated as a real and valuable part of the film, even though I'm a nobody.

9-ish - Deke Dickerson, who did most of the music for the film, began playing and Jesco would go and dance every now and then. Sometimes he'd sing. Sometimes he knew the words. Sometimes none of us actually cared if he didn't. There's something about watching him perform... something about seeing him so incredibly happy and receiving attention and just receiving kindness from the audience... I could just feel myself beaming at his level of excitement. And I looked over and saw the same look on Johnny Knoxville's face. And I knew for sure that he really did get Jesco. It made me really feel good.

10 - Celebrities everywhere. Most of them cool. I got pics with a couple and tried to sneak pics of some others. I was really impressed with Knoxville. He was funny as hell and could talk to just about anyone. Kid Rock was REALLY calm. The Situation was less obnoxious than I woulda thought. Angela from Bones was there and I was in awe (love that show) but I tried not to stare. And one of the Jackass boys had the same color hair as me. *sigh*


11 - The party ended and we were loosed on the streets of LA. We ended up at a gay bar called FUBAR. It was entirely too gay for me.

12 - We finally leave FUBAR, which is when I realized my phone (which happened to be the only place to find the number to call our driver to pick us up) was completely dead. And I mean not turning on dead. And chaos ensued. To try to avoid all the crappy parts, we eventually ended up getting back to the hotel.

1- An irritated Paige gets into her pjs and into bed. Then comes a text from Julien asking me to come hang out with everybody. I agree, but only if I can hang in my pjs (which matched my hair coincidentally).

3 - I am the first to give it up and call it a night.

6 - Jesco finally goes to sleep.

Friday:

Actually, Friday is kinda a sleepy blur. But, obviously, we caught our flight and made it home. By the time I delivered Jesco to Boone Co, it was actually Saturday morning.

And, just for the record, I'm still seriously tired!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Is that turquoise hair? Why yes, yes it is.


Tomorrow I get on a plane headed for glitzy Los Angeles. I just couldn't do that without some crazy change and this seemed just right.

Honestly, I figure that there are very few times in your life when you can look however you want to. In the past, I've always had to "look professional" or some such thing. But, for the time being, I can look any way I want. And I kinda dig it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Things I never thought I'd hear...

So Mondays generally come with bad news, cranky moods, and exhaustion. But, like I mentioned earlier, I wasn't having too bad of a day. And then came 3 pm.

I was at the kids' school doing the pick up thing plus, since it was Mom's b-day, I was visiting her and taking her a whole slew of cupcakes. I hung out a bit longer than intended and, when I got back to the car, checked my phone and saw messages. When I checked the message, it was a very intense sounding Julien, my director from the White movie, so I called him back immediately.

To get to the good part, Julien asked if I could fly out. On Wednesday. So, in less than 48 hrs, I will be in LA getting ready to hang with folks like Johnny Knoxville. They're having a big BBQ to celebrate the DVD release of the film.

I was totally shocked. And super excited. Of course, when he asked, I told him I thought we could pull it off but I'd have to talk to Not-So-Ex. I gotta say, Not-So-Ex is so awesome that he didn't even hesitate. Even though his wife just asked to jet off to the other side of the country with 2 days notice.

To be honest though, I'm glad I had so little notice. No time to obsess. No time to worry or plan (the two are synonymous for me). I just gotta get my act together and get my butt on the plane.

Ahhhhhh... the joys of Monday...

So today hasn't been my standard Monday. There has been no watching the DVR, in fact I don't think I've had the tv on all day. How bizarro.

Anyway, the reason for the lack of viewing pleasure is because I simply had too much important stuff to do today. You see, today is my Momma's birthday! So I decided she should celebrate with all of her employees and coworkers. I have been either shopping or baking since I dropped the kids off at school around 8 this morning.

My baking situation has been total win today. I made Strawberry Lemonade, Vanilla Bean, Cherry Vanilla, and a special Chocolate Cupcake. All turned out perfectly (or at least so far... my frosting for the Choc is still cooling) and got them all baked, frosted, and boxed with no issue.

However, my shopping situation has been total fail. I went to Krogers first thing and thought I got enough stuff to handle all the cupcakes. But, once I got back home and got started, realized that I would be out of eggs within one batch and that I was out of piping bags.

Still, I thought it wasn't a biggie. There's a nasty little convenience store on the corner and I figured eggs from there would be fine. And there's a little party store about 5-10 min from here for the piping bags. So I hit the little store. They had eggs, but they went out of date Nov 4. So I tried two more small stores, neither of which had eggs. And then I just gave up and went to a real grocery store. They had eggs all right, but no piping bags. So I still had to stop at the party store for them. What I thought would take about 15 min took an hour.

But none of that matters now. All that matters is that I can get these beauties to my Mom so she can celebrate! Plus Not-So-Ex is pretty psyched cause he gets to take the leftovers to work with him. So everyone wins!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day Thoughts

Today was Veterans' Day and I got to attend a special program at the kids' school. I sat in the crowd with my daughter, aunt, uncle, and papaw and watched the slideshow of veterans. I always love seeing all that papaws and dads up their in their uniforms, most of them looking like little more than kids.

But then comes the picture of Ben. And it hits so incredibly hard.

Ben was the same age as me, even though he was a year behind me in school. He and his family had been missionaries in the Philippines when he was young so the first time I remember his family was when they were home on furlough and it was a really big deal.

I'm sure I've said this before, but Ben was my first crush. I never told him. And I never did anything about it. All my friends crushed on his older brother. But I just liked quiet, shy, smiling Ben.

There have been a lot of church families I've known that couldn't live up to the expectations that come with titles like "missionary" or "pastor." But this family wasn't one of them. Many years later, his mom would help me carry my infant to my car after church... help me get all of the baby stuff into my mess of a car. Never judging the young, chaotic mom. Never looking down. Offering nothing but kindness.

Just over three years ago, Ben was killed by an IED in Baghdad. He was 31. He never got to get married... never got to have kids and watch them grow... never got to grow old.

When he died, I was angry. It wasn't fair. His family gave up so much. Why did he have to be taken as well? As has happened many times in my life, I questioned my beliefs. It didn't make sense. It still doesn't make sense to me. But I have found some peace. At some point, I just had to realize that a person who had dedicated so much of his life to God would be horrified that his death brought up these kinds of questions. So, instead, I've tried to remember to be thankful that he was willing to sacrifice his life for people like me... And, more importantly, for people like my children.

So, this year, when his picture came up on the slideshow, I'll admit that I gasped and teared up. But then I put my arm around my daughter and told her all about this boy named Ben.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Working on a mood swing...

So I'm not in the best of moods this morning. I got the kiddos to school, came home and settled in to start my Monday routine, which generally starts with watching Dexter and Boardwalk Empire from DVR. However, Suddenlink changed all our channels last week so Boardwalk Empire didn't get recorded. I caught Dexter, but no BE, which makes for a sad chicklet.

But I don't wanna stay in a crappy mood so, in order to swing that mood on over, here are some of the things that make me happy.

1. Having a borrowed car of my own for the week (my parents are on vacay) so that the kids and I don't have to be up before the sun to take Not-So-Ex to work.

2. Having remembered that I got paid over the weekend, picking up the check on time, and knowing that I can get it to the bank today with no problem.

3. Knowing that said check means I can get groceries, help out a friend in need, and maybe even get a start on Christmas shopping with no worries.

4. Bills being paid, rent being paid, a warm home, filled with well fed family.

5. A hubs that works extra hours to support a family that loves him. He even worked two 12-hr shifts this week! That's a whole lotta exhaustion.

6. Two ornery doggers that I love just as much as I fuss at them. Or, in the case of Lucy the Asthmatic Demon Dog, almost as much. LOL

7. Kids that love to spend time with their Momma.

8. A living room full of dwarf trees and plants so they'll be in good shape in the spring.

9. Seed catalogues. LOL

10. Mornings spent washing dishes, cleaning floors, doing laundry, and painting walls. They often suck when you're in the middle of it, but it makes the house so much more homey.

Alright, I have tons of work to get down too. My mood is getting better already!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A brief glimpse into the mind of a nine year old goofball

These are the conversations my son and I had on the way to school this morning. And, yes, the drive to school is only 15 minutes.

1. H: Why do dogs get a winter coat?
Me: Cause they need it to keep warm.
H: But why don't I get one? I mean, come on, I get cold too. It's just not fair.

2. H: Know what I love about my Steelers sweatshirt?
Me: That it says Steelers?
H: Well yeah, but what I love most is the hood. Walked to the car in the rain and not the least bit wet!
Me: Your winter coat has a hood too.
H: Yeah but the sweatshirt doesn't make me feel all "poofy" like my coat does.

3. H: What do you like better, goat cheese or steak? (I should mention here that he is obsessed with goat cheese. I blame Lola's incredible pan-seared goat cheese salad.)
Me: I don't know. Why?
H: I just wondered.
Me: Which do you like?
H: I like goat cheese AND steak.

4. H: When is Christmas?
Me: December 25th.
H: What's today?
Me: November 4th.
H: Ok. I think I can wait that long.

5. Me: What are you wanting for Christmas?
H: From you?
Me: No. From Santa.
H: So you mean from you?
Me: No. I mean from Santa.
H: So you mean from you?
Me: NO. I mean from Santa.
H: So you mean from you. And, yes, I'm gonna keep saying that till you admit they're from you. I promise I won't tell Sissy. (Sissy is 13 1/2)


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

As the numbers pour in...

So it's election day. And, around these parts, it's been an exceptionally ugly, brutal, and, to rather liberal types like myself, useless campaign. On one hand, there was Manchin, a republican in democrat's clothing. And then there was Raese, who woulda been scary in any party.

And I'm sooooooo glad it's over. I did my part. I went into the booth and colored in the bubble by the lesser evil and hoped for the best.

Other than the whole voting thing, I had a pretty killer day, despite the fact that the majority of my family was feeling pretty crappy. I got the kids to school and the hubs to work, then I headed in myself. I knew we just needed to get through today and then I could keep the sickie kids (and mom) home tomorrow for some soup, snuggling, and healing time.

Once I got to work, thing went pretty well. It was a calm day in the bakery and I managed to make some new cupcakes and sell quite a few too, which always makes me happy. I made my Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes for the first time and, since they were filled and had a special organic peanut butter cup on top, they were just slightly more expensive than my standard cupcake. And they were flying out of there. My favorite comment of the day was when one of my facebook friends came in and said "I saw the pic on facebook and knew I needed some of those in my life."

I got out of work at just the right time, handled some medication issues for my daughter, picked up the kiddos from school, and then got Not-So-Ex. We went to vote and then wrapped up the day with dinner at Lola's, which always makes for an excellent evening.

I'm looking forward to being home with the kids tomorrow, even if it is cause we're all under the weather. I see lots of Psych watching in our future. And probably lots of soup. And sneezing. My daughter and I have really been bonding recently. I know it sounds silly, but I'm really, really enjoying her company. And that feels so awesome. Since she's 13, I know the days of us actually enjoying each other may be numbered, so I'm really, really holding tight to these times.

Anyway, hope everyone has a good post election day. Hey, if nothing else, at least we can all celebrate the end of all those awful election ads!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nothin' but treats!

My two kids and my cousin heading out to Trick or Treat! We had a blast!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Media Blitz

So my movie, The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, was released on DVD yesterday. That means you can buy it now, or even watch it instantly on Netflix. That will be really, really cool if I ever find my DVD remote (my dvd streams netflix). There's also a bunch of free extra footage on iTunes. One of the extras on iTunes is called Do the White Thing and, if you only watch one, it should be this one. It includes the original footage shot of Jesco back when Julien discovered him. It's the footage that led to The Dancing Outlaw and it is brutally awesome.

Along with all the video coming out, there's been new publicity too. Here's an awesome article from the UK where you'll see your favorite local chicklet mentioned. And here's an interview with Julien about the film.

Anyway, it's completely awesome and so very, very surreal to see something that I put so much time and energy and heart into turn into something that people enjoy and talk about (or, in some cases hate, which is cool too). I guess the surreal part comes in because I get the emails about all this publicity and then I get my kids up as normal, get everyone to work, and head to the bakery to work myself. The world of the film is just so far removed from my life.

I do have to say that I'm over the top thrilled that Julien, the director, is getting such great publicity. He was really, really good to me and he deserves nothing but good. I hope his career blows up from here. And, if he ever needs a personal assistant, I'm there!

I guess it's time for me to shake off the movie world and get busy. I have a crazy day today. One kid is already home (today was a makeup day at their school) and the other will have to be picked up later, once she gets caught up. Not-So-Ex is getting sicker, but can't get out of work long enough to go to the doc. I've been called in at the bakery for whenever my schedule permits me to get there. And last, but definitely not least, my house is a total disaster (shocker). But at least I got a little extra sleep and, despite a sore throat that does not bode well for the future, I'm in a good mood. And, of course, there's Trick or Treat tomorrow!!!! Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Amped up


I'm not sure why, but I am super duper amped up today. It feels like I've consumed massive amounts of caffeine but, in fact, I've only had a little bit of pop so far today.

Part of it is cause I was baking last night. No matter how often I bake, I still have nerves about getting things done in time. Like what if the cupcakes fall... will I have enough time to make more... will the frosting be the right color... will everything taste right...
The Halloween Velvet Cupcakes I made for Hunt's class

I basically got almost no sleep. The fact that Sis had a field trip this morning, which meant I had to have her there way early, didn't help either. But everything went like clockwork this morning. We were up on time, out the door early, had breakfast as a family, then got Not-So-Ex to work, Sis to school, and Hunt and I headed home for a bit before I have to take him back to school.

But the biggest news for today is that it is our first re-anniversary!!!!!! That's right, it's been one whole year since we headed to the courthouse and he made an honest woman out of me. Again. In ways it feels like it couldn't possibly have been a whole year. In other ways it feels like we've always been together, there were just brief periods of technical difficulties.

Anyway, I'm as happy today as I was a year ago. Maybe even more so. Our life together has just re-started, but I'm sure it will only get sweeter with time.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Not quite a Monday...

So I am home today with two sick kiddos. I've got a touch of the crud, but not anywhere near what they have. Not-So-Ex is feeling crappy too, but he went to work anyway. I was off today anyway, so it wasn't any big deal to keep them home. And they have a short school week (due to a teacher conference) so at least I can send them tomorrow and know they'll have plenty of time to shed that last little bit of crud without worrying about school.

Since it's Monday, I'm clearing out my DVR. Mad Men is done for the season, but I still have Boardwalk Empire and Dexter to watch. BE is some brilliant tv. Margaret is suffering the consequences of being sucked into Nucky's lifestyle. While it is all to be expected, it still seemed to get harsh in a hurry. Normally, as the newest acquisition, a chick gets at least a honeymoon period before the taking for granted starts in. But Nucky moves fast I guess. As far as Dexter, I'm still watching it. But I do like the direction they're going in. Or, I should say, as long as they aren't turning Quinn into Doakes II, then I like it.

Besides tv, I've got dishes to do and cupcakes to bake. Hunt needs a batch for school tomorrow so I gotta get crackin. Plus I got a catalogue of cupcakes supplies which needs to be thoroughly investigated. So I guess I'll see you all later!

Friday, October 22, 2010

You'll never believe what I'm doing today...

I'm making cupcakes. Shocking, I know.

Someone who has given me more hours of his time than most (as a volunteer back when I ran the Hip-Hop Boot Camp) is going to be a daddy! So I volunteered cupcakes for the baby shower, which is this weekend. That means today is baking day, but at the house instead of the bakery. And I'm pretty psyched. Or at least I will be once I get the dishes done and the kitchen cleaned up so that I can get started.

I really wish I could go back to bed. Last night, being the rocket scientist that I am, I accidentally took some day time cold meds, which had me bouncing well into the night. I did eventually get to sleep, but I couldn't tell you when. I had thoughts of going back to bed after getting the guys dropped off but I know that, if I tried to go back to bed, I'd just be fixating on cupcakes anyway. So I'm guessing I'm up for the day.
My dotty bats

Anyway, this week at the bakery has been all about the Halloween cookies. Our area does a big Halloween celebration called HallowEast and, as part of that, we're offering our special cookies.

Now I LOVE doing sugar cookies. These have pushed my decorating abilities (polka dots can be rough when you have a shake) but I have sooooooo loved doing them. But here are some pics. The cookie recipe can be found here, and the icing is here, and the ghosts can be found here, and they're just covered in white chocolate.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bouncing all over the place...

So it's a very scattered Wednesday morning around these parts. Not sure what's behind it, but my mind has just been bouncing all over the place. I have a sneaking suspicion that, despite my good intentions of getting stuff done today, I will only manage to start a million things and finish none.

In fact, I'm still trying to finish watching an episode of Sons of Anarchy that I started around 9:30 (about 2 hrs ago). In the course of that 2 hrs, I have let the dogs in and out 3 times, answered the door so that local religious types could give me a tract (even though they saw me dragging the dogs in), established dinner plans with Not-So-Ex, made my daughter's next drs appointment, made arrangements for my son to start piano lessons, made arrangements for a cupcake pickup this weekend, watered my plants... ok I think that's it.

I wanted to post about some of the things I've made at the bakery this week. But I'm far too scattered to deal with posting pics and recipes and such, so I guess that will have to wait.

Hell... time to let the dogs out again. *sigh*

Friday, October 15, 2010

So, seriously, have you looked outside?

It's really, really nasty out there!

So I'm in a better mood today. Part of that is because today is payday for Not-So-Ex and, when you consider how much he has been working, his paycheck is HUGE! I mean he seriously brings home more in one week than I do in months. Even when I worked for the state and had a good salary, this week woulda be almost a month for me. And that's even after money was taken out for our savings.

That means that today will include a bank visit, some bill paying, and probably a visit to the store to look for Halloween costumes for the kiddos. I'll probably need to hit the grocery store too since I'd really like to have a nice, warm dinner at home tonight.

Speaking of dinner, we went to Bluegrass Kitchen last night to celebrate the big paycheck and it was just a perfect dinner. Even the notoriously picky Hunt was thrilled with his dinner and the fact that we all got to share some Key Lime Pie (one of our faves). It made for a really nice, relaxing evening.

But back to today... Unfortunately, today is the Walk-a-Thon fundraiser for the kids so they're gonna be out walking in this nasty weather. But, not to worry, Mommy will make it awesome. Due to the Walk-a-Thon, they can get out early today. So I'll be there to cheer them on and then I'll steal them away, get a quick lunch, and head home to goof around with my favorite homies. I think we're all looking forward to it.

I'm also looking forward to putting my head together with Sis to plan some special cupcakes for her Spanish class on Monday. But I'm sure we'll talk more about that later! Have a good weekend folks!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blah

I should really have something interesting or amusing or even mundane to say today. But I got nothing. I'm feeling very blah... very bored and boring. It's a very hide under the covers sort of day but, unfortunately, there are things I'm expected to accomplish. So hopefully I will.

Hope everyone else's day contains less blah than mine!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Just another day

It's a Monday morning, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite days, and I am just waking up from my morning nap, checking out my DVR full of treasures, and planning my day. I'm in a spectacular mood, in part because I'm getting into a nice schedule. And, in part, because, for once, I actually was really smart this morning. I had a half hour between when I dropped Not-So-Ex off and when I could drop the kiddos off, so I went to Krogers and got my shopping done. That makes the rest of my day easier since I don't have to run out for anything.

And the rest of my day will be quite busy (once I get through Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men anyway). I have paint to get on the walls, edging to do, trim work to finish up, and probably some sanding to do to get the next section ready to paint. But as much trouble as it is, I have to say the red paint is just gorgeous! But MAN I hate sanding!

I'm also really psyched to get back to the bakery tomorrow. Yesterday I started making some sugar cookies for Halloween. At home, it's rare that I get to decorate cookies, even though I have a ball with them. And it's soooo much fun! I was really pleased with how they turned out. And apparently my boss and the chef were both really pleased too! But I am glad I started working on them yesterday. Sundays the kitchen is mine alone, so I got the chance to really work on the cookies and figure out the best way to handle the dough in a super warm kitchen. So hopefully I can make them more quickly and smoothly tomorrow.

Anyway, I better get going. Those walls won't paint themselves!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Morning Musings

It's another day off. I got up at the standard 5 am, got the boys delivered, came home, and totally crashed immediately. Now I've had a few extra hours of sleep and I feel like a brand new chick.

So I guess I should start getting my day going. I have tons to do today but I also wanna have a little down time too.

I had a super, SUPER busy day yesterday. The mornings are always a bit rushed and I had just enough time to get everyone to their places, get home, have about an hour to chill, then get to work. At work, I knew I had an order for 2 1/2 doz cupcakes for the next day and a big order for the weekend to prep, but I didn't know there was a wedding cake that I would be mixing and baking in order to help our decorator. So, by the end of the day, I had made the equivalent of about 24 dozen cupcakes. I'm very lucky to have some great co-workers since I was mixing and baking right up to the very moment that I HAD to leave to get to the kiddos, so I definitely owe my co-worker some clean up time! Once I got the guys, it slowed down some, thank goodness!

Today I need to get the house in order. The sink is full of dishes is screaming at me. I have some home cupcaking to do for a dear friends b-day so that mess must be tamed. I need to get to the grocery store. I need to clean up the dogger mess. Both Not-So-Ex and I got paid, so there's banking to do and then bills to pay. And, as always, there's laundry, the bane of my existence. I did more painting on the living room the other day so maybe I can get to a touchup coat tomorrow and get my Snoopys back on the walls.

Well I guess I should get busy and stop talking about everything I need to do and start actually doing something. Fun, fun, fun!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I've only got a minute...

Ok, so actually I've got tons of minutes cause I'm off work today. But it's cold, rainy, and grey outside so my bed, and all the lovely blankets on it, is calling me back to snuggle for a little bit.

And, from experience, I know that once I head back to that warm comfy place, I probably won't make it back to the blog later in the day. Once I get my snuggling done, I tend to be struck by allllll the stuff I need to get done and then it's off to make up for my early morning decadence. But it's all lovely, even if the weather isn't.

So here's some things I'm happy about, in no particular order, because I'm in a squishy mood!

1. A hubs that drags me out of bed before dawn but lets me go back.
2. Fuzzy blankets and big comforters.
3. Pumpkin Cupcakes (which will be at the bakery starting later this week).
4. Doggers snuggled beside me.
5. DVR and OnDemand.
6. Mops and wood floors (even though I cuss them sometimes).
7. Warm, oversized, soft sweatshirts.
8. Overtime checks.
9. The Hobart mixer (on work days).
10. A daughter that lets me borrow her Super Mario hat when my work hat is dirty.
11. Yoga pants and Old Navy tees.
12. PJs.
13. The bathroom heater.
14. The book fair at the kids' school (where I picked up some for myself too).
15. That you can buy cheap uniform pants at Wal-Mart at 6 am.
16. Fresh apples and pears.
17. A mom and mom-in-law that have my back with the kiddos.
18. An anniversary in a couple weeks.
19. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes.
20. Facebook, blogs, and emails.

And now I'm running to my covers! Later!

Friday, October 1, 2010

As I'm waiting for the syrup...

So I've been feeling icky. But today I'm feeling extra crappy. So I came home from getting the boys to their places (and getting Hunt's cupcakes where they need to go) and dosed myself quite liberally with cough syrup. And this is what I'm doing while I wait for it to kick in and knock me out cold. Well this and watching Community.
Poor Not-So-Ex is off working his butt off. And, today, he said the words all of us dread. Seven, twelve hour shifts. Now they haven't started yet - he's working six tens right now - but he's expecting them sooner or later. And, while that means no worrying about money for a while, it also means we probably won't get away anytime soon. But, don't worry, when we do get away, it'll be extra awesome.

Well, Community is ending and I'm getting hazy. Hope everyone is feeling better than I am. And, to whomever created NyQuil (can't forget the big freaking Q), I love you.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Brought to you by huge doses of cold meds...

Well I've got the crud. It started on Sunday with a throat that was a little sore, yesterday it was sore all day, then the congestion really hit, and this morning I was miserable. But, since today is my day off, I took a dose of cold meds after I got the boys to their respective places and slept an extra two hours and now I'm feeling decent. Still kinda cruddy, but not miserable at least.

But, even with the crud, I'm less miserable than poor Not-So-Ex right now. He had been used to running a bunch of small electrical jobs but now he's stuck on a big job at a chemical plant. A very dangerous chemical plant. And now, as the big jobs tend to do, the overtime has begun. He will work 60 hours this week. It would suck at any point but, coming off the vasectomy, it's extra tough on him.

During our first marriage, he always used to say that, every time he mentioned overtime, he could see me mentally adding up his paycheck. And it is true that, when he's on overtime, he makes more per hour than I make in a day. But it puts so much stress on him and on me too. He's exhausted and in pain. I feel guilty for being home when he would give anything to be here. I feel guilty for not being exhausted... for not being in pain. And, on days when I do work, I feel guilty for how little I can contribute financially.

And, more than anything, I just miss him. We only have the very early mornings (and I should point out here that neither of us is at our best in those early morning hours) and the evenings together. I miss just being with him.

And I also realize just how much I depend on him. It seems like I can never get anything really done without him, which makes me feel useless. I'm trying to do better since the overtime has started, so hopefully I can start taking care of more stuff, whether it's normally his department or not. In the long run, there's no reason I can't continue the house renovation work on my own. He's shown me what to do and how to use some of the tools I'm not familiar with. I lived for three years on my own, I should be able to handle everything now too. I've just gotta get used to it.

At the end of the day, it will all be worth it. The extra money will help ensure that we can get away for our anniversary. And that down time, with absolutely no responsibilities, should feel extra sweet after all the constant work. And, of course, there are other things too. A vacation further down the road, a trip to Pittsburg in Nov, a new couch that is desperately needed, and, of course, saving for a house. We've been feeling so pulled towards buying an old house and slowly renovating it. And God knows that will require serious money.

But we'll see what happens. Right now, getting through each day is accomplishment enough!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday mornings

You know, Mondays sure are different these days. It used to mean dragging myself out of bed and going to a job that was ok - not horrible, but not anything special. Now it means helping my loves get out of bed and get to places they'd rather not go and then I return home to recover from busy weekends.

And this weekend was a doozy. Rena had a big assignment due in Spanish that required her to do a weather report completely in Spanish and film it. Now this should have been easy since I've been a film student for, like, EVER. But the only camcorder I have is a non-working one. So I panicked for a bit but then realized my iPhone could handle it.

The Sunday morning was spent slaving away at the bakery (LOL) and the afternoon was spent filming Rena. While I was worried about using the iPhone, it turned out to be a breeze. In a moment of silliness, we even edited this commercial in! I was pretty pleased with the end result. And it also reminded me how much I love editing. That's something I hadn't gotten to do in forever.

We also received a wonderful gift from a family member yesterday, which hopefully means our little family will get to take another mini vacation (one that hopefully will not involve an ER visit) at the end of Oct. Why the end of Oct, you might ask? Because Not-So-Ex and I will be celebrating our anniversary. It will be our First Anniversary (take two) and it will be delightful to just run away for the weekend with every one of our wedding guests (our two kids). We're hoping for a nice hotel, beautiful weather, and no worries for a weekend. And no Jake the Wonder Mutt or Lucy the Asthmatic Demon Dog to make messes for us! Hopefully it'll be awesome.

So, anyway, now I am catching up on all the DVR stuff from last night. There are just too many good things to watch on Sunday night. Dexter premiered last night and I'm excited to see what's coming up this season with my favorite serial killer. Right now I'm watching Boardwalk Empire for the second time. I have to watch the episodes twice to try to catch everything. I do believe Boardwalk Empire may take the award for the most beautiful show on television. It has a richness and scope that is unheard of. Really, really beautiful stuff. And last, but never, EVER least is a previous most beautiful show winner, Mad Men. This year's not so pretty, but I don't mean that in a bad way. Don Draper's world is caving in. The most beautiful woman in the world, Joan, is having another abortion because she got pregnant by the wrong guy. And Roger Sterling, who has the best grey hair in the entire world, loses everything via Lucky Strikes. But, on the plus side, Peggy (the one I've always identified most with) is coming into her own. With all of these deep, incredible shows occurring the same night, Monday morning is like my second chance!

Well I better get back to my DVR and then the real world!

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's about to get spooky around here!

So I'm getting ready to head to the bakery and I'm starting to get excited about all the fun stuff I can do there next month, since it will mean the start of the Halloween season. I have visions of ghosts, witches, zombies, and their favorite brains floating through my noggin.

And, on the Halloween tip, Jacque Jo, ETW, and I have been throughly enjoying planning what would be the best costumes ever. We've decided we should be the three backup singers from our mutual favorite song (NSFW). Although we are still missing one crucial piece; we still need our Cee Lo. But I guess, if that plan falls, I could go as an XBox... or am I an Atari? Hmmmmm... Who are we kidding... I'm an Atari.

Oh well... time to stop daydreaming and start getting ready. Later!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Now that I'm all napped up...

So everyone in the house overslept today. And, while I hate that it messes up Not-So-Ex's schedule, I was thrilled to not have to run all over the place doing everyone's drop offs and pick ups. Then, once everyone got headed out, I went back to bed for a bit.

But now I'm back up and all rested and stuff, so I should get to work. I'm already working on dishes, then there's some picking up to do and I'm gonna try to get some work done on cleaning these floors. And, if I can get the nerve to venture into the super scary basement, I might get some laundry done too. But, no matter what I'm doing, I have a feeling Arrested Development will continuously be playing in the background!

Tomorrow I get to hit the bakery for a bit. Hopefully they've sold tons and I'll be swamped with lots of baking. If not, at least I know I have a special order to do.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hmmmmmmm...

In an incredibly rare turn of events, I have today off and I'm actually feeling pretty darn good. Not exhausted. Not frustrated. Just chilled and in a good mood.

So what shall I do today? Well I'm starting off watching the new Sons of Anarchy that I DVRed last night. And doing some web window shopping since I have some birthday money to spend (WOOT)! But, longer term, my plan is to clean up the kitchen, plan a nice dinner, do a little shopping (grocery and shoe mainly), plus a little dog snuggling time.

Actually I think I'll start with that last item first since Jake the Wonder Mutt just jumped up and snuggled in on the couch with me. God I love my big ole West Virginia Brown Dog! And Lucy's not even being too obnoxious right now. Go fig.

I'm gonna go enjoy it while it lasts!

Update: Just gotta say, Stephen King on Sons of Anarchy... genius!!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A little smile...

So I had a frustrating day at the bakery cause things are really slow these days. Hopefully, since the bakery itself is still kinda new and having my cupcakes there is new too, it'll pick up a lot in the next few months. If not, I'll have to get another job, which I would rather not do. LOL

Anyway, I've heard this song (both the edited version below and the unedited) several times lately but today it really made me smile. So I just had to post it.
Now that you're grinning, go get some cupcakes!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What a day!

So I turned 34 today. That's right, I cop to my age too! But anyway, it was a truly wonderful day.

I spent the morning in the bakery. Now, yes, it did suck to be up at the crack of dawn on my b-day, but I loved spending the early hours cupcaking. I overdid it just a bit though. Several hours and about 8 dozen cupcakes later, I left with aching feet, back and wrists.

Now at this point I think I should point out whose fault it is that I was in pain. Mine. Completely. My boss gives me a starting time and I leave when I'm done. But Sundays offer me a very special opportunity. I have the day and the kitchen to myself. No one messing with the ovens while I'm baking. No one needing the Kitchenaid. So I try to bake as much as I can and save them for later in the week when both time and space will be lacking. And I should also say that its mostly an enjoyable exhaustion.

So I came home from the bakery to find a husband that had been working like mad while I was gone. He fixed me a huge dinner (fixed my favorite even) and even made homemade Double Doozies for me. How could that be anything less than perfection? And did he top it? Yep. He gave me a gift of a cupcake apron, cupcakes oven mitts, and cupcake kitchen towels. It was wonderful.

Now I'm sitting here watching Boardwalk Empire (finally!) and trying to calm down from my amazing day. Here's hoping I'll be able to slow down (even if its due to benadryl) and get some sleep!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Things that are frustrating me right this second...

1. Pain sucks. When someone you love is in pain, even though you both knew it would hurt for a while, and you can't fix anything, it sucks. 12 hours ago Not-So-Ex had his surgery and he's been hurting progressively worse the last few hours. Now he's in bed and hopefully either asleep or soon to be. Times like these make me wish I was a better nurse.

2. Not understanding sucks. My 3rd grade son started Spanish this year and I tried to help him with his homework the past two nights and couldn't. Now, while I would never say that I know Spanish, I know enough to help a third grader. But the way the material is presented just doesn't make any sense to me. How do I know whether a black and white picture of a person standing in front of a window through which you can see a sun is referring to "Good Morning" or "Good Afternoon?" And is a picture of two people shaking hands supposed to mean "Hello" or "Goodbye?" My choice would have been "Nice to meet you," but that wasn't an option. And my frustration transferred right over to my son who came up to me, well over an hour after we quit studying, and asked if I would really be upset if he didn't do well. It broke my heart that he was worried about passing a test in third grade.

3. Blockbuster sucks. I'm a netflix chick but, when they don't have what I want available instantly, I will run to Blockbuster rather than wait for them to mail it. And so it went with the second season of Sons of Anarchy. They had disc 1, 3, and 4. WTF.

4. Cable sucks (sometimes). This is the time of year when there is sooooooo much going on in tv land, but why is it never happening when I'm in need of entertainment? Like today. I knew that Not-So-Ex and I would be sitting here most of today (although I thought I would be working tomorrow, which turns out to not be the case) but, while there are a slew of new shows I'm into starting up in the next week, not a thing is going on now. So I'm on my second viewing of a Sons of Anarchy disc. While I don't mind, I'd rather have a new Chuck or something like Boardwalk Empire (both of which I am DYING for) to fill my time. But I guess I should be glad that the blueray is hooked up again so at least Veronica Mars can fill some of tomorrow's down time.

Ok... gonna quit whining now.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oops... here's an update...

So I haven't written in several days cause it's just been sooooooooo busy!

I worked today (and Frutcake has Berry Lemonade, Fresh Apple and Peanut Butter, and Peanut Butter Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes to show for it) after I slept through most of my Monday off. That always makes for a busy day.

But, tomorrow, I have another day off. And Not-So-Ex has the rest of the week off. Cause he's having a certain surgical procedure. Which means I'll spend the rest of the week babying him. Or at least trying.

So wish us both luck! LOL

Friday, September 10, 2010

Random thoughts on my day off...

So I've been home for less than a half hour and my day off is already in effect. I immediately found Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid on cable. How did I miss this movie? I love, love, love noir and silly noir is even better. Plus, black and white young Steve Martin in period clothing is kinda cute. Who knew?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Seussy Goodness and Stuff

Sorry for the blurry pics! Shaky hands!

So tonight there was a fund raiser for the local Read Aloud program and it was Dr. Seuss themed. And they ordered sugary goodness from the bakery where I work. And I cranked out 150+ mini cupcakes. And it was a blast!

Tomorrow is my day off but I have to stop in for a few minutes to frost some cupcakes for the case that didn't get frosted today. After that, it is totally my intention to spend the rest of the day watching tv that I've missed out on during the week. Cause, you know, that's my idea of heaven on earth.

Since I mentioned tv, I have to personally thank FX for replacing my crush on Tommy Gavin, which was sooooooo two years ago, with a new, growing fascination with Jax. He's young, rough, incredibly idealistic, and conflicted. Plus he really, really looks like he needs someone to take care of him. And I'm such a sucker for a needy bunch of trouble. But, anyway, if you aren't all up on SAMCRO, you totally should be. And, since the new season just started last Tues, you won't be too far behind. And you can get the past two seasons on Netflix too (like I did).

There ya go. I've just provided you with many, many hours of entertainment. You can thank me later!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day Off!

So I have a day off from the bakery. And it seems that won't be such a rare thing since they are now slowing me down to three days a week, which was the original plan. It's a good thing, especially today, since my back was bothering me again after work and this morning too. Not serious pain like the other day, just annoyance.

But I'm sitting here obsessing, as is my habit. I need a new chocolate cupcake recipe. All the ones I've tried fail as often as they turn out, which is seriously irritating. I would never have guessed how much of an effect the change in baking venues would have on my cupcakes. Recipes that have worked time and again at home turn out differently, or not at all, in the bakery. It makes for frustrating early days, but I know I'll figure out what works and what doesn't and then it will be easier going.

Outside of the bakery, things are going mostly smoothly. The renovations are going slower now, which is nice cause it means I get some slow days without guilt! And working less will mean I can cook more, which is also good news. We're starting to save up for our big cruise in Feb, plus we have a short trip to Pittsburg in Nov, so lots to look forward to.

But, for now, I mainly look forward to getting dinner started and having a big meal for the fam this evening! So I guess I should get started!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

It's not a vacation till I'm in the ER...

So we had a short vacay over the weekend and, as has happened on more than one occasion, I ended up in the ER. This time it was simple, but painful.

I woke up in serious back pain. We had already had a vacation chock full of fail, so I didn't want to make the kids leave in a hurry (we had promised them more swimming time). So I got ready and went to the ER to see if I could get some pain medication that would allow me to sleep some while the kids swam and then make it through the ride home. And they were more than happy to help me out.

When I was in and out of the ER so quickly, I thought my day was headed in the right direction but, alas, it wasn't quite so simple. I got back to the hotel, took my medicine, and then ate breakfast with the fam. My back started feeling some better but, around the time we got in the car, I started feeling really, really queasy. And exhausted.

The drive home couldn't have been much fun for poor Not-So-Ex. He was warned that he may have to pull over at any time. And, when I wasn't busy feeling gross, I was semi-catatonic. But he had a stroke of genius about an hour from home and stopped to get me some stomach medicine which I sipped (picture the bottle of Benadryl from the movie Hitch) the rest of the way. So, by the time we got home, I was less sick and more exhausted.

Now I've been home long enough to sleep it off and I'm feeling much better. And I'm so glad we have tomorrow off again so we can all rest after so much craziness.

Friday, September 3, 2010

One of my favorite words ever

So I have a few minutes before I have to head to the bakery. I'm all fresh and clean and sitting here in my comfy kitchen pants and a thin, bright green tee ready to whip eggs and take names... or something like that anyway.

I'll admit that the schedule change has been a bit tough on me. While I'm glad there aren't any more 4 ams (at least during the school week), the procedure for getting everyone delivered to their work and school has worn me out. But it's just going to be a matter of getting used to it.

But I have a three day weekend! And my weariness from the schedule change made one of my favorite words sound just a wee bit sweeter when Not-So-Ex said it yesterday.

Vacation. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

So we'll be taking a mini-break this weekend for some good food, a hotel pool, and some time with no doggers to clean up after, no dishes piling up, and no laundry to do. Could it be any better?

But to get to the mini-break, I have one more day of cupcaking to do. It's funny how quickly they've caught on. Yesterday I went to put out a fresh batch of cupcakes only to have a guy buy every single one we had. It was pretty awesome till I realized it meant I had to hurry up and make more.

Anyway, hope all of you get your own mini-break this weekend! Even if it's at home.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Awesome things about my job (pt 1)

So I love the bakery. I love the baking, obviously, but I love the environment even more. I work in a small, organic bakery is a medium sized (and that's being generous) city. The owners of the bakery own two other locavore restaurants in this small, historic area.

And yesterday I had zombies in the bakery. And they liked my cupcakes. LOL

Well ok, it was just for a photo shoot for HallowEast. But it made for a really fun afternoon.

On a side note, my cupcakes are catching on really well. I had a slow start due to testing out my recipes in a new place and new oven. Plus that fact that my ingredients are all organic now. But the amount of freedom I've been given is amazing. The chef was going over my duties and telling me what needed made and, after going through some of the store's standard offerings that I've begun making, I asked about cupcake flavors. He told me I was a cupcake artist and he wanted me to use my creativity and create whatever I wanted. It felt good. And it felt even better when he walked in today and saw the arrangement of cupcakes in the display and immediately came back to tell me how gorgeous they were.

So I'll go back tomorrow and make some new, exciting experiments. Soooooo much fun.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Crib notes for new bakers...

So I walked into Frutcake, the bakery where I have worked for a whole two weeks, as a 33 year old home baker who had worked in one commercial kitchen in my life, and that was at a Krogers. I hadn't had a food-related job in about 15 years. I knew how to bake my cupcakes (and a few other things) my way and I knew that other people liked them. And that was about all I knew.

In my two weeks I've learned and observed a lot. And, just in case anyone else ever is in a similar place, I thought I'd make a list of the things I've picked up.

1. Cute shoes are useless. Now cute shoes, in my eyes, covers a lot of ground. So while some shoes, like cute flats and heels and boots, would obviously be a bad idea in a kitchen, other shoes, like my dearest chucks, are also a no no. You need support, cause you're gonna be standing a LOT, and you also need traction, cause doing dishes as part of your job sucks enough without falling while you're doing them.

2. In addition to shoes, all other fashion goes out the window too. I'm starting to understand why so many chefs have tattoos an their forearms and calves. If you're working, everything else is covered by plain white or black aprons so it's pretty much the only way to add some personality (except through your food). While all your cute shirts and jeans may not be practical, if you have thin loose tees and comfy cotton pants, you're golden. Heat is a major issue in a kitchen and, while Frutcake is cooler than at least one of her sister restaurants, if you don't plan your wardrobe around this heat you'll be miserable.

3. The hair situation is no better than the clothing one. You have to wear something over your hair in the kitchen. Some people wear bandanas, which isn't really my style, so I just wear a hat. Again, this is practical, but doesn't do much for style. And my current haircut (roughly shoulder-length with bangs) is completely unpractical. It's too short to be able to put it in a ponytail and pull through the cap, plus the bangs just have to be pushed back and, after working for a bit, I have sweaty hair stuck to my neck and hat head. Not cute. Plus you can't even see whatever random color my hair may be that day. *sigh*

4. Say "behind you," not excuse me. You never know when someone's gonna go the other way so you announce your location in the kitchen. Even if it appears they're not gonna be moving. And if you're holding something hot, announce that too. No one wants to back into someone holding a boiling pot.

4. Speed is the key. While quality is obviously important in a bakery, speed is the thing everyone is aiming for. Being a person who has never been particularly speedy, that's tough. Add lack of knowledge and my ever present nerves, it gets way, way worse.

5. If you can't be speedy, at least be nice. And apologetic. I apologize a LOT. And, when needed, I'm always willing to help. And that's what has saved me so far. I know I have a lot to learn and I don't even try to pretend differently. Hopefully I'll pick everything up pretty quickly, so I can stop apologizing so much.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Frustration

Today was a crappy day. It started out awesome but, at some point, flour and sugar (more likely it was baking soda and baking powder) decided to conspire against me. I got to work excited to do some baking, only to have everything I made turn out crappy. I made three dozen cupcakes and had one dozen turn out. I even made chocolate chip cookies that failed. Chocolate. Chip. Cookies. I asked the owner if I could come in for a little while tomorrow - just long enough to make another batch of cupcakes and rescue my rep.

And, as if my rotten baking luck wasn't enough, the family came home to find that Lucy the Asthmatic Demon Dog had found, and destroyed, a box that contained a lot of family pics. *sigh*

On the plus side, the evening's been a considerable improvement. There was pizza and Psych with sis and then a lot of couch time with Veronica Mars on Netflix. The theme song has been running through my mind on loop lately.
Of course that's probably because the show's been streaming on my tv almost non-stop for days. But it really is awesome.

Baking is afoot

So today is lining up to be an awesome day. It is almost 8 am and I am not knee deep in flour and dishes. Instead I am watching more Veronica Mars and trying to keep my dogs from driving the neighborhood insane.

The morning started with Not-So-Ex handling getting Hunt ready and to school. He also managed to get some cupcakes that needed delivered (and I didn't even have to remind him) and get them to their intended target. LOL

In about an hour, I'll be getting ready to head to the bakery. Today is cupcake day! And I LOVE cupcake days. It's looking like my job at the bakery is gonna simplify to me being the chick with the high sugar content. And that is totally awesome. Plus it means far less 5 ams. And that's always good!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sleepy day off...

So I have the day off. I am so psyched because, while I have a million little things to do, I may not do any of them. Cause that's just how I'm feeling right now.

I'm tired, cause days of getting up at 4 am will do that to you, but I still woke up early. I had left bread dough defrosting so that I could make pepperoni rolls for the guys for lunch. So got those done, got everyone delivered to where they need to go, and now I'm back home where it is completely calm and quiet. And it's sooooooo nice.

For now, I'm gonna finish up the last few pepperoni rolls (which, by the way, turn out perfectly if you bake them in cupcake pans) and maybe lay down for just a bit. Then I've got plenty of housework, work in the garden (if there's no rain), and lots of episodes of Veronica Mars to watch. Bliss!