Saturday, August 29, 2020

Putting Down my Phone, Signing Off & Making a Quiche

Well the summer flew by, and like the rest of 2020 it kind of just felt very blah compared to normal.  There were certainly some highs, but I felt very stuck in my head for most of it.  With the fall coming and because I am taking a leadership class this semester, I am going to aim to try something new.  I am going to try to get out of my head, I am going to try to be more mindful about what is going on around me, where I want to go and what I want to get out of the rest of this year.  I am going to put my phone down, logout of social media and pay attention to what is going on in life.  I am going to spend some time here sharing what it feels like.  I am going to spend time thinking about the future and what I want out of it for myself and with my husband.  

Last fall I started an evening MBA program and honestly wasn't sure why, other than I thought it was something I should maybe do, and something that would make my mom proud.  But my real purpose was to do something for myself.  I am a nerd at my heart, let's be real, I still take notes in a spiral notebook, and I am hoping through these classes, semesters, years I can better myself, while maybe learning how to better take in the world.  I want to stop caring about what people I don't even really know are doing and start focusing on my friends through actual connections.  I don't know if I will epically fail at this, but I have to give it try, and I will start with giving myself a moment to breath and start with a pep talk.

(I had the opportunity to start this semester by writing "welcome to a new school year notes" to 10 school-age kids.  Little did I know, I was really giving myself a pep talk for the rest of the year.)

Monday, August 10, 2020

Summer & Chocolate Chip Sea Salt Oreo Cookie Sandwiches

Hey peeps, it's summer, and although it's a weird one, I am excited to be taking a few days off this week to hang out with my mom.  What have you been up to this summer?  I hate to say the most summer thing I have done thus far is spending the day on a boat over July 4th.  That and a few too many trips to a winery nearby where there have been picnics and relaxing.  (If you are ever near Richmond, I do highly recommend grabbing some lunch and wine at Upper Shirley.)  Next week though there will be wine, food and hopefully just relaxing at an Airbnb.  I feel like such a weirdo, but I love baking/cooking in other people's kitchens, especially at rental houses.  I will never forget baking in this kitchen in Glasgow, Scotland.  I mean how cute is this apartment and kitchen?!  I just wanted to move in for a month and hangout a while.  Also, I really just wanted to move to Glasgow and live there a while.  Yeah, yeah it rains a lot, but if you have never been to Scotland you are missing out, especially if you haven't been in the summer when the days are amazingly long.  With the summer heat that has been pounding Virginia for the past month, I really miss a slightly misty run in Scotland.

Any who I digress...last weekend with the charity bake sale I baked more treats in 24 hours, than I have at one time in my life.  More than I have done for any of the weddings I have provided desserts for.  And while it was crazy tiring, it felt absolutely amazing, and made me feel so blessed.  When it was all done you might have thought I would be done for a bit, but why stop now.  Plus, I had leftover cookie dough, buttercream and Oreos.  Which one more morning while showering made me think up these.  (Does anyone else have their best ideas while showering or even doing their hair...or is it just me?)  

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Dreams & S'mores Blondies

Good morning!  Hi!  This morning I was left thinking about dreams.  Not the ones that you have at night or during that mid-afternoon nap (anyone else love a good nap?), but the ones you daydream about.  The ones that you think I wish I could do this or in the future someday maybe...  Spending loads of time at home looking up quotes to write on the sidewalk in front of my house and baking over the past nearly 5 months has left me dreaming of the future.  Dreaming not only about travel, seeing large groups of friends all at once, or even finally planning an event like normal again, but the future I thought I wanted years ago and think I might still want. 

You see about a year or two out of college, actually about the time I started this blog, I started saving money for my dream.  Not for a rainy day, not for travel to faraway places, not for a house (although this is where that money ended up going), but to open a bakery.  I just find such pure JOY in baking for others.  Even when I have been on my feet for hours; even when I have forgotten to eat, and Charles has to get me to sit down and take a break; I just love the look on someone’s face when they take a bite and think this is delicious!  It’s the same high I get when I get to do wedding planning.  I might have been on my feet for hours on end but seeing a bride and groom truly happy is like no other feeling.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Alright Let's Do This! Birthday Bake Sale for Charity

Hi there!  So, my birthday is coming up and this year I was trying to figure out what to do.  With everything, and I mean everything going on in the world right now, and especially the U.S.  I have been trying to find my voice, especially on social media and nothing has really felt right.  I kept trying to figure out if I could take part in the Baker's Against Racism movement(?), but felt weird about it since I am just an at home baker.  Any who, I came up with the idea to do a birthday bake sale for charity, put it out there on Instagram to see what people thought and enough people said "Yas!" so let's do this!  Here's the scoop:

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Lemon Blueberry Crumble Muffins & A Question...

Do you ever dream of living in another city for even just a year?  Like where in the world would you live if you knew you could find a job, live comfortably and have your family with you? (Now I should add...if Covid weren't a thing.) In an imaginary world where it wouldn’t shake up family life, but you could explore a new place, have adventures in a new city, experience new things.  Maybe it's for two years and not just one.  I personally think about this often, especially now with the world the way it is, but then can never take the jump.  Like for years I have dreamed about living in New York.  People have said it would eat me alive or I would hate it, but it has never been those things that have scared me.  It’s more that I have never wanted to shake things up.  I live for a schedule, I never want to do something my family might seriously question, but maybe someday…

(Studying for an event the last time I was in NYC...
enjoying the space and this blueberry muffin at Magnolia bakery.)

Blueberry muffins make me think of two things: making blueberry muffins from a box as a kid at home and trips to New York when you grab a muffin and a coffee for breakfast (especially if you happen to be near the Magnolia Bakery on the Upper West side).  Muffins as a kid were a special treat, made even more special when they were served at dinner time.  Now though I only take the time to make them for breakfast, and these blueberry muffins I made two weekends in a row when my sister-in-law stopped through Richmond and then my dad the following weekend.  (Side note: I must admit I LOVE cooking breakfast for people.  It is my favorite meal of the day, and I don't tend to go all out just for myself.)  These muffins are a take on Joy the Baker's browned butter blueberry muffins and easy to throw together.  I love that they call for melted butter, which is such a simple thing, but can make life so much easier sometimes.  So, if you are having guests in town, or you just want some muffins, give these a try this summer when blueberries are at their best!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Life, Friends & Sweet Potato Ginger Granola

My best guy friend recently (well you know in the past two months) said I should start this again, but I wasn’t even sure where to begin.  I didn’t want to talk about Covid and being quarantined that’s for sure.  I also didn’t want to talk about all the cake and blondies I have eaten since March.  So, instead I started to think back on past posts.  To when I was truly loving this, and it was when I was just being straight up myself; getting the thoughts out of my head that sometimes just get stuck.  So, let’s start here with summer.

This summer is a little different, and a lot strange, but summer always makes me think about friends and acquaintances past and present.  I am a summer child, a Leo, and even as a child I never really minded that my birthday wasn’t in the middle of the school year because I just tried to see as many friends as possible over the summer.  In my 20’s, and probably even now, I have always felt like summer was my time to come out of my shell and have a little more fun.  As a child, it was also when I spent more time messing around in the kitchen baking.  Now however it always leaves me thinking in the quiet moments about the past.  About the people that come in and out of our lives and those that stay a little while or a lifetime.  

I am one of those people that still has friends from daycare, and I truly mean pre-kindergarten daycare.  While we may not see each other nearly as much as we want to, I still very much care about them. (Even now my very closest girlfriends are from middle school and high school, and I don’t know what I would do without them.)  As I grow up though, I think more over the summer about how friends have had an impact on my life.  Like if it weren’t for a couple of people, I definitely never would have dreamed of running a marathon, or three, and if it weren’t for James, who was the one who encouraged me to start this again, I definitely would never have gotten on a road bike, ever clipped in, or even attempted to ride 100 miles in a day.  There are other friends though, who later became just acquaintances, who pop up on LinkedIn or Facebook or wherever, that sometimes I wish I just had the guts to reach out to after all these years.  To say the things, I wish I had always said, to keep up with them and remain friends or just actually let them know I am thinking about them without just liking an Instagram post.  And I get it, there are people who come into our lives and aren’t meant to stay in them, but do you ever truly wish or dream about closure, or even about becoming friends with some of them again.  I literally, on multiple occasions, have dreamt about running into an old friend and finally being able to say the things that went unsaid, but I am not sure I will ever say F*** It and actually reach out to them.