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    170 posts categorized "Too much going on"

    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.

     

     

    June 30, 2014

    Pls to advise re: cruise ships (with children) (and irrational Titanic fears)

    We don't have a ton of orders lined up for July - actually, if it weren't for the subscription boxes I'd be worried. But because subscription boxes are starting we are scheduled to make over 500 cookies in our rental kitchen this weekend. Katie says this is possible. I... am not sure. 

    Between the subscription boxes and preparing for the street fair the first weekend in August, the bakery is giving me hives. Good hives! But oh man, SO MUCH to prepare for and think about. With the additional stress of knowing that EVEN THOUGH we are doing better each month, the thought of being able to pay ourselves seems light years away. My whiteboard displays six different bullet lists noting everything from renting a canopy to printing labels to noting the subscription box that needs to be sent two weeks late to "buy blue sprinkles" to "try sealing bags with flat iron?" Wait, let's ignore that last one as I'm sure some food inspector person will take issue AHEM.

    WE ARE DOING WELL. But the rest of life has to happen too, and I can't focus my entire brain on the bakery, and I think this is what's been hard lately. I've also had to think about the end of the school year, having the kids home, family vacations, moving bedrooms, who's grown out of what, etc. etc. I've been short and snotty with everyone in my family because of it. One of my STRENGTHS is to sit down and zero in on something and get it done, but one of my enormous FLAWS is the inability to un-focus when something else needs my attention. This is why I have flown into fifteen rages over someone requesting a drink of water. 

    It's also why I have been cranky about something WONDERFUL and FUN and EXPENSES-PAID in my life, that being a week-long Alaska cruise with Phillip's side of the family to celebrate his mom's retirement. I am ASHAMED of my crankiness while also not really trying to un-crankify myself. My issues are: 

    • I have been and forever will be terrified of Massive Bodies of Water and potential Titanic Scenarios. I just am. Drowning is my thing. I have never wanted to go on a cruise and I truly am anxious about the Out In The Middle Of The Ocean-ness, no matter how many times my dad snorts in reply and tells me that we're "only" going up the Inside Passage and I need to get over myself. 
    • You cannot check your email on a boat. At least not as many times as I prefer to check my email. And when I'm able to do so it will be $$$. Did you hear I have started a new business? And am the main point of contact for all potential customers? 
    • I just LOOK at a boat and get seasick.
    • We're going on a cruise to ALASKA, where it will most likely be Not Warm, in the middle of July which is one part of the year in which my city is reliably warm. As a Warm Weather Hoarder, this also makes me anxious. 
    • How much weight am I going to gain a cruise? No really, HOW MUCH. OMG.

    Okay, so those are the major cranky factors. I am doing my DARNDEST to focus on the following:

    • When the Babysitters Club went on a Bahama cruise it was super fun and they met lots of exciting people and also Intriguing Love Interests and my inner 12-year-old awaits the many possibilities for At Sea Adventure.
    • The opportunity to bring a bunch of cute dresses and wear all of them. 
    • The opportunity to go out every night. I am TOTALLY the person who will love a cheesy song-and-dance cruise ship show and I TOTALLY intend to watch at least fourteen. 
    • A connecting room with my in-laws means I CAN watch fourteen shows. 
    • The kids will love it. 
    • Phillip has always wanted to go on a cruise. 
    • Katie will take care of everything at home. 
    • DESSERT TABLES. There will be dessert tables, right? 
    • I don't HAVE to get off the ship and sightsee in Alaska. My MIL totally has my back if I just want to hang off the deck, gaze at an iceberg or glacier for a few minutes, and then go find the on ship spa. I don't have to go PAN FOR GOLD or whatever crazy excursions we've looked at over the last few weeks. I CAN BE A HORRIBLE UNINTERESTED IN SIGHTS PERSON. 
    • MIL also tells me there are lectures on the boat! Lectures! I love lectures! I hope they are not ALL about the history of Alaska. Do you think there will be a WW2 expert on board?
    • I am also STRONGLY considering blondness in honor of my 35th birthday (well, as far as my colorist will take me, which will maybe be 3 strands of blond mixed in with proper grown up hair) and I QUITE like the idea of being a BLOND lady with CUTE DRESSES on a SHIP in the EVENINGS with a DEVASTATINGLY HANDSOME CHINESE MAN on my arm and my CHILDREN in BED. Right? That sounds FUN.

    Okay, so, now it's your turn. Hit me with your best cruising tips, people. Seriously. I have never done this before and have waited until now to give it more than two seconds' thought. Pretty sure my SIL has every detail imaginable under control, but JUST IN CASE! TELL ME EVERYTHING.

    June 05, 2014

    #maggiekatenachodate

    I am going out of town tomorrow! I LOOOOOVE going out of town. Ever since EBJ (and my mother) talked me into spending more than one night in Sacramento for the event that turned into the Blathering, I have been Going Out Of Town's biggest fan. 

    This isn't an escape quite up to Blathering level, but I'm RAWTHER EXCITED regardless. I am even bringing my big kids! Crazy! Except for the part where we land at 10pm and I have to rent a car and do all that annoying paperwork (and then drive a strange car) with two sleepy children. But! It shall be done! And if it really truly can't be done I can always call my brother to pick us up. HA.

    So my brother and SIL and their three boys live in Colorado and I visited once, after my first nephew was born, before I had my own kids. Things are very different now! THREE boys plus one extra adorable new niece, for whom this whole trip is planned. She was officially adopted a few weeks back and my brother and SIL are throwing a party and as you know, if there is a party, I must be there. 

    I'm super excited to bring the big kids (Jack and Molly and my two older nephews are kind of The Older Cousins in our family). Even though my brother apparently has to work all weekend and my SIL's whole family is coming and WHO KNOWS if and when we'll see anyone, but guess what, I have made plans for THAT as well. 

    Because! The first thing we do when we wake up on Sunday is drive an hour and a half to my 9th grade BFF's house. And guess what I haven't SEEN her since 9th grade. No wait, she had a flight layover at the base I moved to after 9th grade, so I did see her one night when we were in 10th grade. BUT SINCE THEN? NOT EVER! And we haven't even kept in great touch or anything! I *could* be really nervous or whatever, but I am so not. Well, I might be once I start driving to her house. But even so, 9th Grade BFF is sort of the first person I identified as My Kind Of Person and I have every reason to think she still is. I am BEYOND excited to sit on her couch and talk for hours. I have no idea what we're going to do with our kids. Lock them outside? That'll work! (What *should* be making me nervous: that I am not HER person. EH! We'll work around that.) 

    AND THEN AND THEN! On SUNDAY I get to hang out with @kate_welsh!!!! Hence the hashtag title, which, has anyone ever been hashtagged in a blog title in such a beautifully rhyming way? I THINK NOT. I think the only thing we have planned is 1) nachos, but really, what more do you need? YAY!

    Oh, and Sunday afternoon is the Party. I've been told, though I'm not sure if this is still the case, that the family of New Baby should wear mint. Mint! So! LUCKILY the Easter outfits I bought the kids are pretty minty AND coordinate well with each other, so Jack and Molly are all set. But while mint (a version of aqua?) is one of my favorite colors, I felt sort of silly hunting for an appropriately Minty outfit. Instead I'm going to wear ORANGE. Ooooh, rebellious. But I found a minty scarf? And minty earrings? I feel like they'll still let me into the party? 

    (Just watch, the whole Wear Mint thing will be so over and my kids will be the weirdos wearing the coordinated matchy minty outfits FINE, I SEE YOUR PLOY, SIL.)

    Long long LONG ago I used to write more about my brother and I would refer to him as The Captain, since he was, indeed, an Air Force captain. But he has recently informed me that he should now be referred to as MAJOR. Even though we don't really REFER to him anymore, do we. His first name is Matthew and from now on I think we will call him Major Matthew. Isn't that adorable? I love it. Almost as good as a hashtag. 

    Even though this was a crazypants week (I didn't even tell you about how the cleaning ladies ruined my oven!) (And I own a BAKING BUSINESS!) (GAH!) I feel pretty organized and settled and ready to jet off tomorrow evening. I have a giant in-Sharpie list of stuff to do, but I don't have to get the kids out of school until about 1 tomorrow and that's HEAPS of time, right? 

    OH AND THEY CUT MY TREE DOWN TODAY OMG THAT WAS WILD! Darn it! I think I have TONS to say about my tree! Starting with: people who cut down trees for a living are PRETTY FUN. But anyway. I'm about to turn into a pumpkin. Please think good thoughts for the whole being-able-to-sit-with-your-small-children-on-an-airplane thing, thanks.

    June 02, 2014

    Party update! Life update! Fairly boring! With mimosas!

    THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our little buy-jewelry-raise-money shindig this weekend. I had a great time at my own party, as per usual, and I continue to think my friends are the best in the world. I know the total from the party itself, but not combined with online orders (from you! thank you!) and the direct contributions to the adoption fund. When I know all of that I will let you know too. This was super fun and I now see myself in a new role: Socialite Philanthropist. I mean, doesn't that lady always wear furs and diamonds and carry a martini glass? Wouldn't I do REALLY WELL at that? 

    It's June already and June and July are going to be pretty killer around here. The bakery for one thing but then I'm headed to Colorado this weekend for my new niece's adoption party. Next weekend is the only free weekend I have for the following 8 weeks. ISN'T THAT SUPER? Baby showers, friends in town, family vacations, the Edel Conference and did I tell you that we are probably going to be "culinary arts" vendors at my neighborhood summer street fair? I KNOW. It was one of those things you just run across and then think, "Might as well!" and then it actually HAPPENS. Technically we are supposed to be waiting for acceptance of our application, but the woman I was emailing kept saying, "We are so happy to have you in our festival!" that, you know, kinda seems like we're in. 

    That is going to be a crazy crazy week/weekend. I am already tired just thinking about it. 

    Ugh, I have nothing interesting to say tonight. (WHAT IS NEW, you are wondering.) I had a [single] [childless] [with a weird job] friend over today and she stayed aaaaall day, until I had to pick up the big kids at school, and I COULD feel frustrated tonight at my lack of accomplishments, but it was actually really good to do nothing. And I didn't really do NOTHING, I got a lot cleaned up in the kitchen and I worked on a little marketing flyer we're going to put out at an event this weekend. But mostly I sat on my deck with a triple-sized mimosa, basking in the sunshine with a friend, talking about Big Life Stuff. I mean, that's my favorite thing to do! Not a shabby day, by far. 

     

     

    May 29, 2014

    Help me and my IRL buddies raise money for adoption

    Friday night I'm hosting a party where the main events are: 

    1. trying on Noonday Collection accessories
    2. nibbling from the very first Thumbprints dessert table (or gobbling, that's ok too)
    3. hanging out with super fun ladies, and 
    4. RAISING MONEY FOR ADOPTION

    Internet, you KNOW that if you lived anywhere near me I would invite you and you could ogle necklaces, eat macarons, and meet all my awesome real life friends. I would LOVE that! But since you probably don't want to shell out for the plane ticket, you can still participate by checking out the Noonday goodies HERE and making a purchase BECAUSE 10% of all sales go towards the last chunk of fees for a new adoptive family.

    You know I would never ask you to consider something NOT AWESOME or to raise money for ME. Usually at these buy-something-at-a-party parties, the hostess gets that 10% or some percentage to get herself some free stuff. I AM NOT GETTING FREE STUFF. I mean, if you thought I was hitting you up so that I could get more jewelry, then that's pretty lame. But I am hitting you up because I want to be able to hand this family the biggest check we can provide. (I don't know them! That means I'm even more shameless!) 

    SO! Gawk at pretty necklaces and earrings and bracelets HERE and if something strikes your fancy and you want to make an order, please choose 'Tarah Voss' as the "ambassador" and indicate 'MaggieCheung' as the trunk show name. 

    I JUST LOOKED AND THEY'RE HAVING A SALE

    I am super excited to post pictures of the dessert table, but first I have to finish my dessert table assignments (strawberry mascarpone filling? yes?) Do not fear, I will be hounding you via Twitter periodically tomorrow. HELP US OUT, INTERNET! GO TEAM!

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