Manic Monday

(via)

Six o’clock already
I was just in the middle of a dream
I was kissin’ Valentino
By a crystal blue Italian stream
But I can’t be late
‘Cause then I guess I just won’t get paid
These are the days
When you wish your bed was already made

It’s just another manic Monday
I wish it was Sunday
‘Cause that’s my funday
My I don’t have to runday
It’s just another manic Monday

My commentary on the Bangles’ hit, Manic Monday:

1. My alarm doesn’t go off until 7:30am. I am so lucky!

2. I have never dreamed about kissing Valentino. I would love to know who has…

3. I make my bed every day (unless Matt is still in it when I leave and in that case, he makes it).

4. I love Sunday because there is so much good tv on: Game of Thrones, Mad Men and the new HBO show, Girls. As Matt said last night, “it is unfair that all of the good tv is on the same night.”  Thank goodness for DVR.

5. Yesterday was my “runday” (13.1 miles in Central Park as a matter of fact!) It wasn’t pretty, but I made it!

 6. Today has definitely been a manic Monday. Crazy meetings at work, 78 degree outside (but I am inside) and allergy sneezing all day long!

It’s just another manic Monday…

How’s your Monday going?

Food Network Challenge

While Matt and I both enjoy some of the same tv shows, like Boardwalk Empire, Gossip Girl, The Sing-Off and Mad Men, there are a few shows we disagree on. I can’t even be in the same room as Matt when he is watching True Blood, and he doesn’t fully appreciate Glee in the same vein that I do. One of the biggest tv disagreements is over “Challenge” on the Food Network. Every time I put this show on, Matt feels the need to tell me that he doesn’t understand the point of it, and quickly grabs the remote. If only there were a lock feature on the tv that would prevent him from changing the channel on me.

Last night, our apartment turned into the set from this very show. After coming home from work, spending some much-needed time in the gym and a quick shower, I spent the rest of the evening making holiday treats. I worked quickly to make as many different things as I could before my 11pm bedtime! I made fudge, peppermint bark, puppy chow and chocolate peanut butter bark. Only after I spent hours in the kitchen did I check my mailbox and see that I had received a package from my grandma containing nearly the same exact treats! Great minds really do think alike.

While the puppy chow is certainly my favorite treat to eat, the chocolate peanut butter bark is my favorite to look at. It looks like art – I had a hard time breaking it apart into smaller pieces because I didn’t want to ruin the overall design.

Happy Holiday Baking!

Lazy, yet productive, Sundays

Yesterday Matt and I had an extremely lazy, although very productive, Sunday.

It started off with breakfast sandwiches and coffee, like many weekend mornings. We sat around for a while, watching various things on tv. Then I decided that it was time to get some stuff done.

I cleaned our apartment, while gimpy Matt sat on the couch. Occasionally he would offer to help, although I am not sure how sincere his offers were. What was I going to have him do, use the vacuum as a crutch? It didn’t really seem possible to task him with physically strenuous chores. And let’s be honest, cleaning is hard! I was working up a serious sweat as I scrubbed the kitchen counters and cleaned the bathtub.

So while I cleaned, I tasked Matt with a more stationary chore: working on our wedding website. This sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. Basically, we just need to come up with some of the text to put into the awesome template we found. I wrote 75% of the text in one day but really needed Matt to do some of the entries that are from his view-point. He has been putting this off for a while now, because writing is not his strong suit. So, by the time I finished cleaning the kitchen, bathroom, living room and doing a load of laundry, Matt has successfully written 3 paragraphs for the website. I guess I am marrying the tortoise and not the hare.

Afterwards, I decided that I should put my craft table to use, since I hadn’t for a while. I had ordered some cool fabric off Etsy a while back but never used it for anything. I had also totally disassembled an old apron so that I could use the pieces to recreate one myself. What a perfect activity for a lazy sunday. I started working on the apron at 4pm and by 6pm, I had completed 3/4s of the apron. It is just missing a pocket and a tie. Unfortunately I lost my motivation and put it on hold until later. The good news is, it looks pretty sweet so far.

While I was motivated to be a good fiance, I used to make Matt and I dinner on Sundays. Unfortunately, our tradition has changed from cooking to ordering take out. Last night we changed up our normal pizza take-out order to BBQ. It was a great decision and left my belly in a very happy state.

After dinner, we settled in for an evening of Mad Men and some more crafting. Matt even got in on the action and helped me sort colored beads for an upcoming project. Pretty soon I will come home and find him sitting at the craft table making decorations for our apartment.

The day was great. We crossed a few things off our “to do list”, went to bed in a clean apartment, ready to start the week.  Honestly, to me there is nothing better than that.

From Scratch

As a result of my new-found love of blogging, I’ve started to follow various blogs, mostly about DIY type projects, wedding ideas, and cooking. It is impressive to see how many fellow bloggers there are out there, most of whom have very interesting things to say or talent to share with the world. With each new blog I come across, they have at least 5 or 6 more blogs listed on their site, of places they like to visit when they aren’t busy blogging. It is a vicious cycle that eats away at my day… which isn’t really a bad thing since I have been spending most of my work day sitting at my desk feeling uninspired to actually do work. It is quite perfect that my new obsessions with blogs has come along just as I’ve run out of things to google (you know you are bored when you start googling, “google” just to see what comes up!)

Once of the blogs that I check periodically has inspired today’s post. The blog, “From Scratch” posts a few times a week about various recipes that the blogger has made. The recipes are usually unique and fun and it has inspired me to spend a little more time in my kitchen (I plan to make the tomato sauce tonight!) I really do like to cook and I LOVE to bake, but finding the time, inspiration and energy to do these things isn’t always easy. However, last night I decided that I would spend a little time getting in touch with my 1950/60s housewife-self, pearls and all!

Matt and I have been watching a lot of “Mad Men” lately and I have fallen in love with Betty (Bets) Draper. So last night, I channeled my inner Betty. While Matt  loves Don Draper (what guy doesn’t) let’s hope he doesn’t start channeling him!

Matt informed me that he would probably be able to leave work at a decent hour and that we could eat dinner together. He offered to take me out, but I decided to treat him (although he would argue that isn’t always a treat!) to a home cooked meal since he has done so much work around the apartment for me lately, and to make up for that whole 1:30am fire alarm incident thing.

I prepared a delicious meal of steak, potatoes and asparagus. It turned out great and I am happy to report that the smoke alarm didn’t go off! I felt like such a good fiance, making a meal for my hard-working man. I know my feminist mother would be proud!

I capped off my domestic diva evening by baking a cake, from scratch. This is something that I used to do often, back when I decided that I was going to move to Baltimore and work with Duffy at Ace of Cakes; however, I haven’t made one in a very long time. I made a vanilla cake with buttercream frosting, following a recipe that is apparently what New York’s Magnolia bakery uses for their cakes and cupcakes. The recipe wasn’t very difficult, but I did substitute the “self rising flour” with cake flour, salt and baking powder.

The cake turned out a little denser than I would have liked. I blame this on my oven – I have convection oven settings which always seem to screw things up for me (clearly I accept no blame for this). I have officially swore them off and promise to use the regular temperature settings from here on out! I finished the cake off with the frosting and pink fondant flowers. I can never get the frosting to be as smooth as they do on Ace of Cakes or Food Network Challenge, even when I attempt to do a crumb coating.

 While the cake looks good, my hands are now covered in pink food dye (note to self, use gloves when handling food dye).

I brought the cake into work today and it just happened to be someone’s birthday in my office – how perfect! Now all I need is for my co-workers to post comments about how delicious the cake is. Stay tuned…