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    173 posts categorized "Too much going on"

    February 24, 2015

    Out of Office Message

    Hey Internet! I felt like I should tell you I'm headed out of town in the morning. EARLY in the morning. My friend and I are road tripping to Redding, CA for a church conference and while I love my friend, I am strongly doubting her claim that she will be here at 5am. Nonetheless I shall be up and ready to go because WHAT IF SHE IS?

    Don't ask me what the church conference is about. I actually don't know. I honestly have no idea what sort of thing I'll be attending for 3 days. All I know is that my friend has been before, raaaaaaaved about it, and told me I should go. And now I am! I am easily swayed. 

    But I feel like the amount of work it's taken to enable me to be away from my house for 4 days was INSANE. Maybe I didn't have to make a freezer meal and do all the laundry in addition to figuring out every single logistical detail, but I did and it has lessened the guilt somewhat. What is this guilt about? I guess it's because I don't HAVE to go to a church conference for four days? 

    This morning I'm telling the kids what's happening and what to expect and how Aunt Katie is going to pick them up from school and Jack said, "Things don't work very well without you!" If he hadn't been all the way in the back of the van I would have smothered him with kisses. Things WILL work well without me, and even though I'm sure he doesn't really know what he meant, I felt his meaning and I loved it. Then he said something about how Daddy should just not work while I'm away because who is going to take care of everything? And THAT'S ABOUT RIGHT, KIDS. I take care of EVERYTHING. 

    I'm so tired. I still have to eat dinner and pack my shampoo and make sure I don't forget my contact solution like I do on every other trip and OH I should probably call my mother. But I felt like I should say HEY, I'LL BE AWAY I don't know. You = whatevs. 

    P.S. The bakery had a great February. Without us doing a Dang Thing. I absolutely cannot wait until this presentation to other catering managers (in April) LOOK OUT! WORLD DOMINATION!

    February 09, 2015

    In which I tell my own self how fast it goes

    I forgot about our big trip there for a second. Then yesterday I realized we have no tickets for Venice to London and I should probably get on that and then I got frustrated with my options (suuuuuper cheap for an 11pm flight, nearly 3x as much for a daytime flight) and now I'm done again. My dad keeps asking me about cars and car seat regulations and of COURSE I haven't figured that out because that's got to be the most boring part of our trip to research. But we booked the London apartment. We have tickets to cross the Atlantic there and back. The Paris flights are purchased. Big stuff accomplished. 

    (Except for the packing. Oh my God, the packing. Every time I start to think about what suitcases or what kind of carryon bag or how many pairs of underwear or if I need to buy the kids new things because maybe they've grown out of their summer clothes I MAYBE start to cry. A little bit. Paging Emily Cassee.)

    I was thinking February was going to be a nice drifting back into routine, but NO, have you heard of Valentine's Day coupled with 100 Day and (imagine Jack motormouthing excitedly) PAJAMA DAY TOO! I did not think about Valentine anything (except for bakery stuff, I suppose, and barely even that since I took our store down and we're not shipping anymore SORRY), until maybe yesterday. Oh right! I have to get the kids valentines! (See how I didn't even CONSIDER helping them MAKE valentines?) 

    Also 100 Day. Yippee. And Pajama Day is stupid. There. I said it.

    Also there are LOTS of February birthdays I 1) have already forgotten and 2) am bound to forget. And did I tell you I'm going on a little road trip with a friend at the END of February? Which is actually not that far away? I did plan out the whole thing and everyone's been notified and I know what's going on, but still, whoa. That's coming up quick. (Church conference. Redding, CA. DRIVING. God help us.)

    My parents took Emma overnight last week and it was freakishly quiet for almost 48 hours in my house. I could THINK! I started to wonder if this is what it will be like when she goes to kindergarten. Preschool, when she starts, will just make everything worse. I want very much for HER to go, but it's not a convenient schedule and will involve lots and lots of driving back and forth for pick ups and drop offs. But it can't be worse than the year I had a kindergartner and a preschooler and a BABY, so chin up, Maggie. No, the rest of this year (we're attempting to start her in preschool at the end of February, early March, just until we go on the trip) and all of next will be all about the Annoying Schedules. MAYBE the following year, if we decide not to test her for early entrance to kindergarten (born 3 weeks past the cut off). But the year she DOES go? Whatever shall I do with myself? 

    MAYBE the bakery will be ready for world domination and I'll be very busy indeed. Even if it isn't, our hope is that we get busy THIS year and will need a sort of on-call additional baker. That's the goal. So it's entirely possible that even a regular baby bakery will keep me busy. 

    But what if it doesn't? Or what if we don't HAVE the bakery then? 

    See how I was all whiny about being busy at the start of this post and now I'm freaking out about NOT being busy? I must be excruciatingly difficult to live with. 

    My big kids are getting SO. BIG. and my little kid is getting big too - she wanted me to hold her in church and my arms wanted to die. I keep thinking about how when JACK was 3 he was a BIG BOY and I sent him to preschool and he had to be nice to his little sister. And now his littlest sister is 3 but she's still my BABY. Junior high me is severely unimpressed with my lack of attention and care for birth order unfairnesses. 

    I was telling my mom how it suddenly got hard staying home with just Emma. I think that has MUCH to do with the fact that she stopped napping, if not EVERYTHING. But also the not being potty trained, the not having a preschool or class or regular outing we do (besides, ah, coffee and pink cake pops.) I've been thinking so much about preschool and mother's helpers and childcare at gyms and stuff like that, but I know from having the older two, once it starts it just keeps going. No more little kids at home with me. 

    It hasn't even happened yet and I'm still marveling at how fast it went. 

     

    January 03, 2015

    A bullet list without the bullets

    I think I've found an apartment rental in London. It's walkable from Phillip's office. Walking distance of 2 tube stations, several grocery stores, several parks. An acceptable amount of pounds, meaning Phillip's company will foot the bill for MOST of it. I am ELATED. I mean, I'm going to have to do some mental work and character growth re: not getting to do everything *I* want to do in London, but I feel confident that I'll work it out. 

    We've decided EJ Cheung needs to go to preschool. Like yesterday. Staying home with mommy does not seem to be cutting it anymore. Just feeling like SHE could be getting more out of the world than going shopping and eating cookies at 9am with her mom, you know? But I've been looking for preschools happy to accept a young 3 in the 3s class who is also [insert shameface emoji] not potty trained. This preschool has yet to appear on my google search. 

    I bought this cardigan/sweater/fleece thingy at the Nordstrom clearance sale today and it is made of teddy bear snuggles and Christmas pajamas. Not terribly efficient at butt covering, but excels at muffin top disguising and keeping one toasty in one's poorly heated house. 

    I've talked to a few people (sisters, friends) about better-observing the liturgical year, and what it would be like to switch the party from a Christmas shindig to a Twelfth Night something or other. Problem is, Twelfth Night is pretty specific and it'd be lame to have your Twelfth Night Party on the Eighth Night because Twelfth Night is a school night. You might think I'm worrying about this a bit too far in advance, but then you must not know me at all. 

    After careful study of both products, I prefer my Naked 2 palette to my Lorac Pro 2 palette, though because of formula and the way Urban Decay eyeshadow goes on as opposed to colors. I love the Lorac 2 colors, they're just... powdery? Fly away? And dark ones are super dark and the light ones are too light? I was thinking today I might go for Naked 1, but are there too many pinky browns? Pinky browns are my least favorite. I need a palette full of grays and taupes and and lavenders and smoky blues and sparkly white-pinks, with a few shades of greens and golds. Does this exist? Possibly called The Black Eye Palette.

    The Seahawks are not playing this weekend. Which is great, except for Phillip just casually mentioning he'd need to watch anyway (DAMN FANTASY FOOTBALL). Remember when Phillip didn't want ANY sort of ball? Also I am for real apprehensive about this upcoming week of football because seriously, the whole city seems to need a Xanax and everyone wears their blue and green gear and they exchange knowing looks and UGH THE PRESSURE. It's like I somehow internalize the playoff anxiety - the PERCEIVED playoff anxiety! - of perfect strangers. STAY AWAY, AM DELICATE FLOWER!

    I am suuuuuper happy about the kids going back to school this week and everything going back to normalish, except for the part where getting out of bed and pouring cereal and making lunches is normalish. I still think Thumbprints should market bags of savory filled buns and whatnot to put in freezers for kid lunches. Not that my kids would eat those. Maybe filled with peanut butter. 

    I am super into a song called 'Dangerous' by Big Data right now. But then I finally got Phillip to watch the Veronica Mars movie last night and this song is playing in the bar scene! This movie came out last year! AM I THAT BEHIND? (But in my hunt for lyrics I read a bit about the music video and hmmm, it sounds icky. At least the lyrics themselves aren't noticeably icky, like, for example, 'Habits (Stay High)' and 'Take Me To Church', which is so disappointing because I like the MUSIC.) (I don't think I'm a HUGE prude about song lyrics, but dude, that High song is gross. AND SO CATCHY.)

    While we're complaining about music, that song Rude? DRIVES ME CRAZY. First of all, it's not RUDE so much as debatably CRUEL, and what is this girl, cattle? Also I hate reggae. I SAID IT.

    I'm just sitting here writing this as I refresh Twitter every two minutes and click on Cillian Murphy gifs. Thinking I am nearing the end of my blogging career. Maybe. I need to do a Reads & Recommends pretty soon if only to wax rhapsodic about my string of WWII spy novels and Benedict Cummersnitch in The Imitation Game. GOOD NIGHT

    November 10, 2014

    HALP, people who work from home

    There's no school tomorrow. Something about veterans or whatever. FINE. I'll just suffer through an entire day at home alone with these hooligans. 

    (I'M JOKING. About the veterans. I *am* on my ninety-third WWII book. But I was not joking about the hooligan part.) 

    ANYWAY. I am a teeeeeeny bit freaking out because even though I brought my computer on the retreat I volunteered at this weekend, I didn't crack it open at all (SHOCKER) and I feel BEHIND. I am behind on personal things, like responding to emails and evites and updating my calendar so Phillip knows what the heck is going on around here and figuring out when we're going to see grandparents and what's going on at school ETCETERA ETCETERA. And I'm terribly behind on WORK stuff, which is super not good. I am terrified of the day I forget about an order that's due because I just didn't update the calendar or bother to tell Katie or something else completely stupid. And also I really want to get that online store up and running before it gets much closer to Thanksgiving and I just don't know how it's going to happen. I can get SOME stuff done in the gaps when the kids are in bed or Phillip is doing stuff with them, but what I really need is some good several-hours-long chunks of time when I can concentrate and test things and THINK. I'm finding that I can DO stuff with kids around (package things, print out postage, tie ribbons) but the THINKING and PLANNING with kids around is beyond me. And if I don't think and plan, we don't grow. Blargh. 

    And tomorrow everyone is home. Plus my sister-in-law and her three kids will be here most of the day since they live a few hours away and are in town so my brother can go to a nearby interview. So they can maybe move closer. I love having people around, but it's not like I'm going to get any work done. I need to get work done. Ack ack ack. 

    I also see that I am making two meals this week for a friend who just left the hospital, I have a birthday get together, I have a cookie delivery, and possibly meeting up with a brand new friend so I have to put a little more effort into Having My @&%$ Together that day. CAN I DOOOO THAAAAAAT?

    When Phillip and I created this joint desk thing in a very public area of our house I made a big stink about how I was going to insist that he keep it clean and looking nice and picked up and now I'M the one with a giant unopened pile of mail, a bajillion bakery Post-It notes, scattered pens, hand sanitizer, nail polish, all the fancy camera paraphernalia, printed out spreadsheets, receipts, cards, magazines, and for some reason the tongs to the cocktail ice bucket. I don't know. Now accepting applications for Personal Assistant. 

    I'm going to sit down and do the thing that is probably least important, which is stamp and address my Christmas party invitations, not that I have any idea when I will have time to actually think about what we're going to have for the party this year (do you want to come?)

    Wait. First. People who work from home. Do you use daycare? Family? Mother's helpers? Babysitters? My mother-in-law retired this summer and seems to be more than willing to come up whenever I ask and watch Emma. I think this is my first and easiest option, though I can't make it a regular thing. I mean, even if it turned out that she came up one day every week, I'm not going to ask her to COMMIT to that. (No. Don't tell me I should just ask, because no.) So while I have that option, it's not something I can necessarily plan around. Other options are: finding a daytime sitter and then escaping to a coffee shop? Once a week? I'd rather not work with someone else in my house watching the kids. My sister could? Sometimes? But definitely not something I'd ask her to commit to doing either, just on an as-needed basis. There's preschool too, but that seems even more expensive than a sitter, only a few hours, I'm not excited about the for-sure unpleasant adjustment to going somewhere without me, and also the going back and forth in the car is my least favorite thing ever. HOW DO YOU DO THIS? WHAT IS YOUR PLAN? 

    When we were trick or treating I found out there's a CHINESE DAYCARE down the street from me. Like, I can walk there. They would feed my kid good food and teach her Chinese. I should do this, right?! Maybe? Ack. 

    Maybe my biggest hurdle is admitting to myself (rather than the blog) that I really do need one or two days a week to do Work, on my own, no kids, get it done, focus, then close the computer and let it go. I answer email all the time, I talk to Katie all the time, I update the calendar all the time, but I'm talking website and marketing and planning stuff. Just a few hours a week. I need to commit to finding that time and making it happen. Right? (ACK)

    October 29, 2014

    This post includes the phrase "self absorbed and obsessed with appearances" so, same old same old

    The bakery gears are churning again. October was not a spectacular month for us, order-wise, but after weeks and weeks of not feeling sure, I feel very much up and running. I keep reading things, talking to people, snagging advice and connections and ideas. The kids had friends over this afternoon and when the mom (who I didn't know) came to get them, we ended up on the couch talking out our fledgling businesses for another hour. I feel like there is encouragement everywhere. 

    Also discouragement. We've decided to set up an online store and it is taking me FOREVER. And I have a million questions about every step and uncertainty about the whole endeavor and bah. We've been prodded to open an online store (as opposed to our current website and order-via-email-conversation system) by more than a few people, but it never felt DOABLE. The biggest thing was just not knowing if we'd be able to FULFILL those orders. When someone orders something online and pays for it right then, they sort of, you know, expect it fairly soon. Our current system allows us to schedule things the way we need them scheduled. Also the shipping charge element is overwhelming to me, I don't know what boxes to check on a lot of these inventory questions, we don't know how to best list our products or even writing the copy BLARGH. 

    BUT. This seemed like a DUH kind of thing to do, and we talked over the schedules and availability thing and what kind of language we'd need to include in the listings to make all of that manageable. Some of those questions I'm still working on (shipping! UGH I HATE SHIPPING) but if this all works out? Anyone who's ever visited our site and didn't order something because emailing back and forth seemed like a giant pain in the ass for just sending a box of cookies to Grandma might be more inclined to order. ALSO we're putting together what we hope are irresistible holiday boxes and Christmas is gonna need to pay January's rent. Right? So. That's what I've been working on. (We're using Storenvy by the way, instead of Etsy or whatever else. Maybe more on that later. Thumbs up so far.)

    And just in general I feel a little like... like things COULD be spinning fast, but not yet? And the only reason they're not spinning YET is because I haven't got up the nerve to make them spin. Lots of people are offering help and advice and connections and I have yet to really GO there. I should. At some point. Sometimes it feels like we can barely handle what we're doing NOW. But, you know, I like to move forward, always, and we'll eventually take the next step. Whatever that is. 

    I think things are going well. Phillip seems really happy at work right now and I'm feeling like a good mom lately. I don't know if it's because they're getting older or if I just have more brain space or I'm not STARTING a bakery anymore or it's a full moon, I don't know, but I'm really ENJOYING the kids in a way I haven't experienced yet as a mom. Of course I've always enjoyed my kids. I mean, I love babies like nothing else and we think ours are the best kids on the planet, like any other self-respecting mom and dad. But they are really FUN right now! The reading, the curiosity about the world, the wanting to play with other kids but still being little and calling me mommy - it's just awesome. Before my grandma got too deep into the Alzheimer's, she and I would still chat a bit and sometimes I could get her talking about HER kids and she'd always say that the days when her kids were little were the best days. I'm sure that's different for different people, but these days when my kids are big but still little and still wanting to spend so much time with their mom and dad are really super great. For me. I'm a fan. 

    I ordered Christmas party invitations because OBVS we need to have one. I picked the one day it's possible that ALL my siblings can attend, even my Colorado brother because they're coming out for the holidays. Any ideas for fancy-ish, no-utensils, not TOTALLY bankruptable catering would be very welcome. 

    I'm not sure what to do with the blond. I'm not sure why I feel like I need to know what to do with the blond, but it's something I think about on a fairly regular basis, because I am self-absorbed and obsessed with appearances. Keep blonding? Dye it back? Cut it short? Grow it out? I need a plan. PLANS ARE GOOD. Even for hair. 

    I've bought over half of my Christmas presents. Katie told me Christmas is a soul crushing time of year for bakeries and I should get as much done ahead of time as possible. So. Oh, I know what I wanted to ask you. If you wanted to float a Secret Santa exchange amongst your siblings who won't all be in the same place until Christmas, how would you suggest picking names? 

    There's a whole bunch of stuff I can think of to write about or ask you about or whatever, but I'm soooooo tired. Do not recommend Pumpkin Carving as a playdate activity, especially if the playdaters are finicky mess-avoiders. Weirdos. 

     

     

    October 07, 2014

    The only thing that really matters in this post is that I placed my first Boden order YAY

    I bought a Rainy Day Mac, you ENABLERS!!! I have never ordered anything from Boden, but it helps that 1) I've always wanted to order something from Boden and 2) they were having a sale. I mean, it's still a pricey rain coat, but I LIVE IN SEATTLE. Right? Right. Sad part is that I bought the plain black one because: cheapest. But still. Black goes with everything! AND I ordered two clearance dresses. I told myself that this is my Does Boden Work For Me order, since that's what has always held me up before. 

    (You know, like J Crew? J Crew does not make clothes for people with my body shape. I mean sometimes? If I get really lucky? But otherwise, they're a big nope. I strongly suspect Boden requires a JCrewish body, but WE SHALL SEE!) 

    It's been a weird day. I took a very long nap. Even though I didn't really NEED to nap or WANT to nap, it just sort of HAPPENED. And then there was the whole "what huh smrph" jolted wake up when my alarm went off. (I have an alarm now. Remember when I slept through school pick up? I told you about that, right? GAH) And then Emma has been Constipated (and yes, with her it is a capital C) meaning that the phrase "I mixed her prune juice with Miralax" was uttered at dinnertime. The kids are on a big string game kick and ate dinner an hour later than usual because they were busy making videos of themselves demonstrating Cup and Saucer and Cat's Whiskers. Dorks. 

    I had a weird cake order today too, with an out of state customer wanting it delivered to someone who just happens to live in my neighborhood and the phone kept cutting out and I was toeing the line between Cheery Positive No Problem! and OMG GET THIS OVER WITH. Also I continue to feel like I pull information out of my ass. How much? What flavors? UHHHHH. I need to make myself some sort of cheat sheet and tape it directly to the wall above my desk. It's embarrassing. 

    Katie and I met up yesterday to talk about Halloween treats. We're pretty sure no one will order them, but we need some new fun pictures for the website. I don't think anyone's ordered cupcakes from us (are we coming off the cupcake trend?) but we're going to do a bunch of Halloweeny ones and they're going to be SO CUTE. We also thinked up the menu for a tasting we're doing for another catering company this month and staaaarted talking about Christmas. Right now we are just ASSUMING Christmas will be nutballs, but as soon as we start talking about how busy we'll be, we're both like, "Oh, but maybe no one will order anything from us and we'll feel REALLY STUPID." So. Super professional over here, making all the right businessy decisions, totally prepared, extra chipper. That's us!

    Oh, I wanted to tell you that we went to the Home Show over the weekend because (VERY EXCITING) we are probably going to remodel the kitchen in the next two years (okay, maybe that isn't that exciting, two years is kind of a long time, EXCEPT I CAN COUNT IT ON ONE HAND I DIDN'T THINK I'D EVER GET TO DO THAT) and Phillip was curious. The Home Show was not half as fun as I thought it would be, more boring convention than crazy people state fair, but we did pick up a whole bunch of flyers and business cards and got some good advice. Like no one would think we're crazy if we called them 6 to 9 months before we wanted to start our project. And also that we should probably start thinking NOW about what we want. I mean, beyond a Pinterest board. So. Right now all I've got are solid slab of something countertops and an undermount sink. Did you remodel? Is there a feature you cannot live without? Like one of those hidden mixer cupboards with the shelf that moves up to counterheight? SO COOL. 

    August 21, 2014

    An inelegant attempt at moving the plot forward

    What's happening with the new bedroom?!

    Nothing! The bed arrived - though it was delivered to a different house in our neighborhood, whose address is not at ALL similar to ours, BUT the house belonging to neighbors we know the best, TOTALLY RANDOM - and we put it together and it's not the BEST quality, but it's cute and it will do. But! But! When we put the full mattress on, it didn't fit! LIKE DOESN'T FIT AT ALLLLLLL. The mattress is too long. We smashed it in anyway, which was stupid because now the not-great-quality wood is dented and paint worn off in some places - and then I took it off the next day because I couldn't tuck sheets around it anywhere. So! Annoying! Yesterday I ordered a cheap-yet-super-high-rated mattress (with a shorter length! did you know full size mattresses can be different sizes? does this make sense? no! it does not!) and it should get here tomorrow. In the meantime, there is no cutely made up bed in the girls' new room, nor is there any other furniture moved in on account of not having anywhere to put the OTHER mattress OMG THIS PROJECT. 

    I am hoping that we can do most of the rest of the work this weekend. Each day this week I've been moving and sorting things from Emma's closet upstairs and the huge walk in closet in the new bedroom, where we've stored things like computer cables and Phillip's musical instruments and all my party stuff (not the Christmas stuff - that has its OWN storage closet) and old journals and out of season coats and UGH, so much stuff. Moving a lot of that upstairs or into Goodwill piles, and all of Emma's things downstairs or into Goodwill piles. Yesterday I took an entire back-of-my-van-full of baby things to Goodwill. It was actually pretty hard. I finally got to the point where I could say: it is better for a family who NEEDS these things to have them, rather than me hoarding them for the slight possibility we have another baby OR foster a baby OR adopt a baby, right? WHO KNOWS ABOUT THOSE THINGS. But for SURE another family could use our double stroller during the time it is gathering cobwebs in my garage. If I ever need a double stroller again (PLEASE GOD NO) I have the resources to buy or borrow one myself. STOP HOARDING STUFF, ME. 

    So Emma's room is currently a giant mess of empty Rubbermaid tubs (bye bye baby girl clothes, SOB) and stuff that is too heavy for me to move by myself. The downstairs room is a giant mess of one massive bunk bed frame, one delinquent mattress, and heaps of things that need to be moved elsewhere, but can't quite yet because their future places are not cleared out. Did I mention I have houseguests next weekend? THIS HAS TO GET DONE ASAP. 

    In the meantime I have conned my mother into making curtains out of the elephant fabric - she's going to add some solid navy fabric to the tops and bottoms to make them long enough. I'm eyeing the white and navy polka dot duvet covers from Garnet Hill, though I'm not totally convinced, also $$$ (at least, it's $$$ when I already have things I can use at home.) There are a lot of accessory things I want to buy, but I'm telling myself not to, not just because I shouldn't spend the money, but because I have a habit of buying house things in advance of actually being able to use them, and then changing my mind once I have everything ready. (I bought some canvas prints at Ross a few months ago in anticipation of the New Girl Room, but now they are sort of the wrong pink. WE CAN'T HAVE THE WRONG PINK!) 

    How are those kids doing anyway?!

    They are great! I want to say that we've had the sort of perfect lazy weeks you're supposed to have during summer, except that I hate lazy weeks and I'm mega anxious and I'm constantly feeling rotten about all the sitting around and MInecraft playing. That said, Jack did an entire week of soccer camp, Molly and Emma got a spectacular grandparent weekend to themselves, we've done the spray park and the science museum and crafts and puzzles and making houses out of cardboard freezer boxes and yesterday we spent absolutely forever at our friends' house with the backyard trampoline. We are reading a lot of boxes and grudgingly liking it, we are watching movies while we eat pizza dinners, we are picking out our own horrifically hideous backpacks at Target and talking excitedly about when school starts. SO YOU KNOW, it's summer and we go to bed too late and everyone is filthy and FINE THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS. 

    And don't you have a baking business? 

    I do! Right! Things have been, for me, mercifully slow this month. This is, of course, not good for the business, but I do feel like I've gotten my breath back from July and now when I think about the big food and gift show in September I don't want to dig a hole and hide. Katie's husband is in the catering business and his new employer wants samples, so that's good, right? (They tried some of Katie's brownies a while back and HECK YEAH those brownies are FUDGY NIRVANA. They have requested more, and different. We'll see what happens.) Also we're doing an open house tasting thing for a catering company where a former rec league volleyball teammate of mine happens to work. They're big on brides so that may get us some possibilities too. For that one I think we're going to do a spread of tiny desserts instead of Wedding Cake. I feel like there are a lot of Wedding Cake people in town and we can CERTAINLY do wedding cakes, but we can ALSO make a gajillion teeny little super cute tarts and treats and favor boxes. So. And then the food and gift show, which has me a little confused. I am just not sure who our customer is. It's NOT a holiday show - end of September, too early - but we sell PERISHABLE COOKIES and who is going to be buying a box of fancy cookies at a food and gift show (for which you must pay admission!) in late September?! Usually Katie is the one who can't believe people are buying/paying for what we're selling, but this time it's me. I think I need to sit down with a catalog of Fancy Gift Boxes to get some inspiration. (For this show we'll be selling three or four different sizes of cookie assortment boxes - I think a 3 dozen, a 2 dozen, and a mini box with just one type of treat inside... but how it should look, what to display, etc., I'm not sure.) 

    So school starts in...

    TWO ETERNALLY LONG WEEKS, PRAY I MAKE IT THAT FAR.

    August 11, 2014

    'Julie' reminds me of 'Hey Julie' which is a terrific Fountains of Wayne song FYI

    Tomorrow morning Miss Julie is coming over and the Cheung Children are exCIIIIIIIIIted! Miss Julie is Jack's first grade teacher, soon to be Molly's first grade teacher, and possibly our whole family has a crush on her. I didn't make much headway on getting to know the other parents last year, but in true Maggie Form, I succeeded in getting the teachers to like me. Glad to know I've still got it!

    So she's coming over and it's been decided we're making scones, even though it is a million degrees, and I think I'm going to use the occasion to coerce some help out of the kids. As in, "Hey Jack, you don't want Miss Julie to see all the bits of AstroTurf that's still in our entry way from your week of soccer camp, do you?! Better sweep that up!" And, "Oh Molly, I bet Miss Julie will want to see your room! Are all your toys put away?!" I mean, no one cares if MOMMY wants things to look nice, but MISS JULIE? HECK YEAH we'll spiff up for Miss JULIE.

    When Miss Julie has had enough of us, we'll have some lunch and put Emma down for her nap and then I will go stare at the empty guest room and Decide What To Do. Over the weekend we took the guest bed apart and moved everything out (into the playroom, poor playroom) because Phillip had a bee in his bonnet about shampooing the carpets. I don't know why, but that carpet HAD TO BE CLEANED. Sometimes Phillip gets bees, you know? And then stand back. So we cleared it out and he rented a Rug Doctor from Home Depot and now the former guest room and office/future Molly and Emma's room is the cleanest room in our house. HOW NICE FOR IT. And because Phillip and I can't leave well enough alone, we joint decided (key word: JOINT) that we should paint. Not just because it's got the same sickly yellow green paint that I've been slowly painting over since we moved in, but because it's our BABIES' ROOM and it needs to be FRESH and CLEAN and NEW. Today we collected some paint chips (mainly to hang out in an air conditioned store instead of our house) and I'm deciding between several shades of Pale Pink and possibly Pale Spring Green, But Probably Not. Molly has suddenly decided that her favorite color is Turquoisey Aqua Greeny Elizabeth And Jessica Wakefield Blue Green Eyes and desperately wants a room THAT color. I am thinking no. Mainly because it's not the lightest room and I want to keep the wall color light. But also because I've ALREADY picked the signature Aqua Blue color for this house and THAT IS THE ONLY AQUA BLUE. (Also the bedding wouldn't match. Obvs most important consideration.)

    SO ANYWAY. That's the next already-started project. Moving the girls in together. And for right now I'm still going with my Ikea Brimnes day-bed-with-trundle for Molly, so that it could still be a guest room if we wanted. But I'm not sure how to position EMMA'S bed, if we want to make it so we could pull out Molly's bed whenever, and now I'm having the whole Why Are You Planning Your BABIES' ROOM Around A Situation That Happens Once Or Twice A Year And Besides Your Guests Could Stay In the ACTUAL Empty Bedroom Upstairs. I won't drag you through all of that again, just thought I'd give you the update. Update: Still impossible to live with. 

    Today was Package and Ship Our Cookie Subscription Boxes Day so I am... sweaty. I swear, the two weekends we've done this so far have been the HOTTEST WEEKENDS. I feel like this was a super bad idea to start in the summer, not just for us but for the cookies! I own a giant freezer now, though, so that's good. Wish I could have climbed inside it. 

    It was a restful week, lots of Cake Boss on Netflix (Katie wants me to watch it for market research, also so that I won't always be totally clueless when she references it), lots of not doing much. I saw my naturopath on Friday and came up with a Plan. I'm feeling better now, which I suspected might be the case, but it feels very comforting to have a Plan. (And to have her say, "Oh yeah, I always need a Plan, YOU NEED A PLAN" and not, you know, shrug and tell me I'm up a creek or something.) We have a few more weeks of summer and those weeks are blissfully empty. I feel like I've POWERED THROUGH and now I get to REST (if possible). I've even cranked up the "the bakery needs to do THIS!" part of my brain again, which is a very good sign. (This part was woefully broken last week.) And MISS JULIE is coming over tomorrow! Everything is looking up. Tomorrow is basically Rex Manning Day. 

    July 20, 2014

    Life Fails and other quick thoughts I must dash off so I can think about something else

    I owe you a huge, no really, HUUUUUUGE, cruise review post. And I have a LOT to say. 

    But! Right now! I am feeling so overwhelmed and upset-ish and wondering if there's anything I can do... see, since I started a business

    my hopes for a deck container garden have crashed and burned, as in nearly all the plants are dead or on their way to dead

    my yard is more overgrown and hideous than when we moved in

    the laundry room has become a I Really Need To Throw This Out room

    Emma's room is half kid room, half playroom disaster, half bakery storage (that totally adds up to a whole)

    I never clean my kitchen anymore, beyond doing the dishes, and it NEEDS it, even with professional housecleaning every other week

    I haven't done a single house project and my house NEEDS ME

    It's the yard stuff that's getting to me this week. I came home from the cruise and looked outside into the backyard and with an extremely sinking feeling I realized it's the middle of JULY - another year I don't fix up the yard and make it decent. 

    My excuses in previous years were 1) pregnant 2) immobile baby 3) I planted a garden but the damn raccoons ate all my seedlings AND we redid the deck creating backyard havoc for months. This year it's the bakery. My top priorities are Handing Out Snacks and Keeping A Baby Bakery Business Running. Everything else is TOTALLY COMPLETELY HORRIBLY falling by the wayside. 

    Even seeing my friends. And I am normally extra super good at making time for friends. 

    I just... it's OKAY that my yard is a mess. It is. I am not a bad person for having a disaster yard. I am not even an IRRESPONSIBLE person for having a disaster yard. Or dead plants. Or nothing pretty by my front door. Or only a handful of green beans to show for the $$$ I spent on plants and containers for the deck this summer. Or the fact that I don't feel we have properly USED our outdoor space this summer. THINGS HAVE BEEN BUSY AND I CAN'T DO EVERYTHING RIGHT? RIGHT.

     

    July 07, 2014

    Really REALLY quick takes

    This was the first anniversary I didn't write about on my website. Number eleven. I feel... fine about it, actually. I think my first anniversary post was Two. That's a lot of anniversary posts. And his birthday comes up so quickly afterwards! So: on June 28 we celebrated 11 years of marriage by hanging out with my family at the beach and hosing sand off our three children. 

    Here is a quick Phillip story. He just told me that he has this fear that he's going to get sick right before the cruise and they won't let him on the boat. He is not even the slightest bit sniffly. What is the word for someone who is terrified of getting sick, but not like CANCER sick, just "I have a tickle in my throat and now I have to lay in bed for a week" sick? 

    Anyone bought anything from an ecommerce site called Storenvy? Heard of it? It looks pretty cool - it's a free alternative to Etsy. I'm hunting for a way to sell some of our super standard stuff online without putting people through that whole email process. I can't get rid of the email process - we ARE special order! 

    Storenvy also uses Square, which I muchly prefer to PayPal. 

    Thumbprints shipped 23 cookie subscription boxes this weekend. This afternoon, actually. We spent the whole weekend baking and packaging and preparing and boom, they're out. 23 doesn't actually sound like very many, but 1) I thought we'd get MAYBE 5 subscriptions and 2) there are only 2 of us. With small children. And husbands with full time jobs. So. 

    Sometimes I think it's wildly inappropriate to share Insider Bakery Info with you. But isn't that what blogs are for? Who's going to fire me?

    I keep remembering I am going to Edel and getting excited. How sad is it when you keep FORGETTING that you are going on a big time out of town ladies' weekend? 

    I keep forgetting because first I am going on a CRUISE. Which I have actually become quite excited about. This is due to a number of Fancy Dresses I have acquired and we all know how much I love THOSE. I was telling my MIL about the clothes I bought for the kids for "formal night" and she rolls her eyes and tells me not to worry about Formal Nights, they are maybe not as formal as I think. BUT GUESS WHAT, Royal Carribbean, I am going to wear my beaded dress ANYWAY and my kid is going to WEAR THAT TIE. 

    I have yet to talk to anyone who did not like the Alaska cruise. But I still need to buy those seasickness bands. 

    I really really really want to go get a pedicure, but all the places I know close at seven. And it's six fifty six. BAH.

     

     

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