Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cake Balls!

I'm just as guilty as the rest of society by being obsessed with "cute." It has nothing to do with being a mom, it's just a fact. I love cutesy things like puppies and kitties and cupcakes. Even better than cupcakes are what seem to be a fairly recent food craze: cake pops.
I'd never even heard of a cake pop until Starbucks started carrying them. Now I can't get enough of them.
I got a wild hair and decided to make some. I envisioned falling in love with the process and serving them to my friends so they love them (and me) right back. I could almost hear, "You should quit your job and make these full time!" But alas, this is me we're talking about and the dream has all but died.
I got some cool photos, even though I spaced documenting the first few steps.
I used this recipe from Bakerella who wrote a whole cake pop cookbook. Before I go any further, let me clarify the difference between cake pops and cake balls: cake pops have a stick; cake balls do not. I made both.
Freshly rolled balls!

I cannot stress this enough: Use chocolate specifically for candy, not baking chocolate. I made the mistake of using Ghiradelli and I over-heated it. Suffice to say the only liquid in my kitchen that could have coated my red velvet balls were my tears after a massive cake pop-induced meltdown. You can find all of the candy-making accoutrements at your favorite craft store. Google it if you're like me and craft-challenged. (Who knew there was one right down the street?)

And then BAM! Solid chocolate with a side of hysterical crying.

I now have over 50 cake balls and pops. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them. I could take them to work but I haven't figured out if my new job is like my old job, where food is consumed no matter what it is or how long it sat out. At the old place, I once took in a pecan pie that was waaaaaay past its prime and it was gone before lunch. 

Aren't they cute?

What the recipe doesn't tell you is that these are really time-consuming. Trying to dip cake into melted chocolate is really tedious, especially when you have a teething toddler literally clawing your legs for attention. I can't see turning this into my full-time dream career anytime least until L.E. is old enough to make herself useful and help with the dipping.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Comfort Zone

How often do you step out of your comfort zone? Are you more content with the way things are or do you prefer a shake-up every so often? I find myself in the latter category more and more these days.
Two years ago, I enjoyed my life as part of a DINK (Dual Income, No Kids) household. We would go out for drinks, go on spur-of-the-moment road trips and go out to dinner at least 3 times a week. I'm pretty sure we were in seven different wine clubs at one point. It was easy and carefree then. But I started to feel as though something was missing and that something became my little L.E. My comfort zone vanished completely.
Fast forward another year. I've decided to leave my job at the same company I've been with for seven years. The time  has come to move on. Yet I have to ask myself, why leave my comfort zone? I have a nice niche here with amazing co-workers, daycare onsite, flexible hours...but I still have that antsy feeling that something needs to change. And I've never been one for little changes. Some people will tell you that if your life is feeling stagnant, you should move your garbage can. Or if you're in desperate need of a vacation, you should just go to a different grocery store. You'll feel like a tourist in no time!
 I prefer the chaos of total the time I got married, moved to a different state and quit smoking all at the same time.
Change is what makes life interesting. We live in a time where people don't work the same jobs for decades anymore. If someone even maintains the same career for longer than ten years, that's a feat in of itself.. Comfort zones are meant for stepping out of. And no matter what terms you leave a job, chances are there was some divine reason you worked there in the first place.
So this is my last day. And I'm spending it updating my blog. I think I might take a nap on my desk now.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Promises

To commemorate my second "official" Mother's Day, I would like to make a list of promises to both my daughter and to anyone who's reading this. If you ever find me breaking said promises, I will buy you a Double-Double Animal Style from In & Out Burger with a Neapolitan shake.

I promise to never talk about my kid's bodily fluids in my social network. This includes, but is not limited to, poop in any consistency, pee, blood, vomit, ear wax, snot or spit. Potty training in the general sense may be mentioned occasionally but usually just to brag. I may occasionally talk about my own bodily fluids but I promise I will do it tastefully i.e. I went to a wedding. I drank too much champagne. Yadda yadda yadda, I had to buy a new rug in L.E.'s room.

I promise not to pick up the car-pool kids in my bathrobe or painting clothes unless I'm actually painting.

I promise not to belt out any songs from "back in my day" while driving said car-pool. The only exception is Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like A Hole"

I promise to always wash my hands or use whatever hand-sanitizer is lying around after using the bathroom and/or changing diapers. Also while baking, cooking, playing in a pretend-kitchen and before & after feeding L.E.

I promise to stop doing things the way my grandmother did. But doing things the way my grandfather did them is still fair game.

I promise that I'll eventually stop laughing at L.E. eating things off the floor and actually try to teach her what's food and what isn't.

I promise not to judge you to your face for your parenting decisions. But while out with other moms at happy hour, all bets are off.

I promise to stop patting L.E. on the head like she's my dog.

I promise to stop calling my dog my kid.

I promise to always shower. I've been pretty good at sticking with that one. L.E. may be a screaming mess on the floor of the bathroom but I will at least be clean.

I promise to bake more. Really.

I promise to over-tip the servers in restaurants since we will surely be leaving behind a gigantic mess. I will also be polite and say please and thank you. I will instruct my daughter to do the same.

I promise to never take L.E.'s laughter for granted.

I promise to tell my mom I love her every time I talk to her. I will also thank her on occasion for what she's done for me in my life.

I promise I will be a better wife to T. He deserves the best and I sometimes come up short.

I promise to always love my daughter unconditionally. To me, she is the smartest, cutest, funniest, prettiest, most loving, friendliest, all-around best kid ever.

I promise to keep writing if you promise to keep reading.

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!