Trying to Keep it Together

 

I’m sitting here having what can only be termed as anxiety or panic attacks. It’s already back to school time. No, no, I’m not going back to school. Whew, for now, that’s over… I mean I could always get my Ph.D. but I truly don’t see that happening anytime soon. I’m having these feelings because I’m going to have a pre-schooler and a 10th grader.

Gosh, just typing that makes me want to go crawl in a hole, curl up in the fetal position, and cry. Last year Tbug had a t-shirt on that said class of 2021. What. the. heck!?!? That’s exactly 20 years after I graduated. I was class of 2001 which there was a huge debate if we were the first class of the new millennium or if the class of 2000 was. But that’s another debate for another day.

Exactly 20 years. Gosh, am I that old? I’ll be having my 20th class reunion the same year she’ll be graduating. {rocking back and forth in that fetal position… breathe, just breathe}

At my 10-year class reunion, hubby and I had been married a year. We had just gotten back from our 1 year Anniversary in Hawaii in fact. I had a former classmate ask me what it felt like to do things in the right order. Her definition of the right order was graduate high school, graduate college, get married, and then potentially have a kid. Remember, I didn’t have a kid until 3 years after that reunion. I laughed. Apparently, she did it in a different order. She did the graduate high school first. (more…)

Chuy’s – Rogers, AR

What is the significance of this picture? To prove that hubby was HOME! Wait, what?

Let’s back up… So 2 weeks ago hubby was in Boston for work. He was supposed to be home Friday, August 3, 2018. I state “was” because his flight got canceled as did every flight Delta had that night within a 150-mile radius of Boston. There was some storm and instead of postponing like Southwest Airlines did, Delta just canceled and apparently that’s what they always do. UGH!

Why did I really care? Well because Sunday, August 5th we were supposed to be leaving on vacation. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, right? So hubby and his co-worker who were traveling together looked into multiple routes to get home and both didn’t get home until Sunday. Hubby left out of KCI (Kansas City) and finally found a flight into XNA (Northwest Arkansas) at noon on Sunday. His co-worker got home Sunday at 4 pm into KCI.

Hubby was looking for every route to get home on Saturday and couldn’t do it. Our plans included us leaving between 5 and 6 on Sunday evening. It was a fuster cluck. With him rerouted through XNA, my parents and I drove up to KCI to get his truck because that’s a 2ish hour trip. Then Sunday morning we headed to XNA to pick him up and bring him home, quickly do laundry, finish packing him, and leave here on time. It was stressful! But we accomplished it, even with eating lunch at Chuy’s Tex-Mex.

Chuy’s Tex-Mex – Rogers AR

Chuy’s actually originated in the early 80’s in Austin, Texas. For what feels like months, our friend Jared has been telling us we needed to try this restaurant. A week earlier my parents tried this restaurant and raved about it too. So when they found out we were going to XNA, he suggested going with us and we could try Chuy’s. They raved about it so much they said we needed to find one in San Antonio (which there are like 3 or 4 locations). (more…)

Caramel Apple Cake

It’s no secret, I love Christmas. The last few years they haven’t been quite up to par like normal, but I still love Christmas none the less. Now… I am a true summer girl. But… I love Christmas. I’ve posted quite a few times on Facebook about X number of days until Christmas or X number Monday’s or better yet, It’s August, can I put up my tree yet? I’m only partially joking. In previous years I listened to Christmas music all year long… I’ve kind of broken that habit.

Then I saw another post I shared on Facebook last week that said, does anyone else feel like June and July flew by in like 5 seconds, or something like that… That’s basically the gist of it anyway. And then… I got accused of wishing them away because I love Christmas. Touché… We are none-the-less in August. The commercials are going CRAZY about back to school shopping. CRAZY right? Didn’t the kiddos just get out of school? Tbug starts back the 15th and Abug starts pre-school after Labor Day. Holy crap! Let’s not think about the pre-school thing. It makes me want to burst out crying.

Anyway… Another thing that comes with August is apples. Okay, okay, that’s a fall thing but hello, you give teacher’s apples, right? So for Dive Club Meeting last week I made a Caramel Apple Cake (and German Chocolate Cake Cookies, yum!). Yum! By the way, do you pronounce it Care-a-mel or carmal? I typically go the latter. (more…)

German Chocolate Cake Cookies

If anyone knows me, they know I’m a huge Friends… freak? Fanatic. That’s a better word for sure. But lately, I’ve been watching one of my hubby’s favorite shows… Gilmore Girls. I kid you not. I had watched episodes here and there, but he made me watch it start to finish. I’m now watching it a second time. Catching bits and pieces I missed the first time around.

One of which caught me off guard this morning and I laughed. It is in Season 5 Episode 2, I think (maybe episode 1… but I think 2), Luke was off helping his sister and brother-in-law at a renaissance fair. Lorelei called him, stating he was supposed to already be home. Then she started saying you’ll be home when this happens or that happens or this happens. Those this and that’s were things that may or may not happen but the time frame kept getting pushed further out. Then she said, “See you when Hilary is president.” Now, this episode aired in 2004. Hilary actually ran in 2016 presidential election.

Now, the whole world knows she didn’t win, but I still couldn’t help but giggle when Lorelei said that. I guess because prior to the 2016 election there was always speculation she may run for president, but she never had. So it was funny to me that had Luke not come back until she at least ran, that would have been 12 years he was away.

Oy, such trivial stuff… haha. That has nothing to do with anything. And to add to that… November 2016 is when Netflix released the Gilmore Girls: Year in the Life. Hey… Luke came back then… obviously, he came back from the renaissance fair long before that but still. Okay, I’ll get off the coinkidinks for now… At least I’m not quoting Friends… yet… but…..

With that thought, here’s another one. Lately, I’ve either been channeling my inner Monica or my inner Suki. Baking makes me happy. I mentioned that yesterday I think. I think I want to be Suki or Monica but dress like Lorelei because heck, that woman can dress. I know, I know, it’s all tv, but still… she can dress. (more…)

Strawberry Basil Cupcakes

Guys, I have the BEST family and friends. They spoiled me like I can’t even begin to tell you for my birthday! I think I mentioned the other day that if there weren’t tears involved in my birthday, it probably wasn’t my birthday. Well, I’m here to tell you, it was probably Christmas or something like that. I was a little sad because hubby had to leave town on my Birthday, but he even made me feel special, especially since he wouldn’t be here on my actual birthday.

I’m telling you… THE. BEST. family and friends. Last year for my birthday, Deb got me a cupcake carrier (seen in these photos). Remember all those cupcakes I did last year? Anyway, this year since I’ve been really into cakes, she got me a cake stand and cake server. I laughed and joked, “what will it be next year? haha. Pies maybe?” Who knows, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

My aunt fed my cookbook addiction. More good yummies to come. I soooooooooo badly want to write a cookbook. You have no idea. I’d also love to be a YouTube personality, but I don’t see the later one happening probably, but nothing says I can’t aspire to that one day. My aunt said she expects some good yummies. You betcha! First up for me to make for her though are Strawberry Lemonade French Macarons. That was a promise!!

That’s not to say all my other presents weren’t great, because I’m not joking, I. GOT. SPOILED. Thank you thank you! (more…)

Strawberry Lemonade Cake and Birthday Wishes

Hey Guys! Today is my birthday. I am 29 with 6 years experience. Well, technically I won’t be that until 1:51 pm, but close enough at this point, right?

I was back and forth on if I was actually going to make my birthday cake or not. Truthfully… it wasn’t because I didn’t know if I wanted to make my own cake, there were other factors involved. In the end, I decided… make the cake… screw everything else. So I went to the store in search of strawberries and lemons.

Look at everything I came home with. Yes, I did get the strawberries. But the lemons… Earlier this year I went to the store in search of limes and they didn’t have any. Not one. All they had was the bottled juice. Shucks… but I went with it. Now… when I’m in search of lemons, they don’t have any. Grrr…. why does it seem like everyone wants what I want when I want it? Oh, and if you were wondering, the store had a crapton of limes. haha. Touché. Nicely played store, nicely played.

Anyway, do you see what else I came home with? Seriously. I also meant to get the deodorant. I was out. I don’t like stinking. Just saying. But I also got iced coffee, birthday candles, chocolate chips, a cake pan, purple food coloring, 4 cheap pillowcases, and shoes for the little one that she picked out.

So now it’s time for the reveal of my birthday cake. I decided on Strawberry Lemonade. It felt summery. I also wanted French Buttercream on it. I’m kind of in love with French Buttercream these days. Next up on my list of things to try… Swiss Meringue Buttercream. (more…)

Chocolate Chip Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Mmmmm, chocolate chip cookies, straight out of the oven. Oh yum! And then… add coconut and oatmeal. And if you say, I’m not a fan of coconut, I’m telling you… you don’t taste it. It just tastes amazing!

My dad sends me recipes quite often. This particular email really jumped out at me. But I kept forgetting to make them. Until… I got my Birthday present early. What?!?! Well… My birthday is Monday (next week). I’ll be 35. Holy cow… when did I get so old? When I wake up every morning I feel about 80. But we’re really not focusing on that aspect right now.

So why did I get my birthday present early? Well, because my darling sweet husband has to be out of town for work on my birthday. I’m not saying this to make him feel bad, although truth be told, he does. I understand. I really do. I’m not really a fan of birthdays anyway. I like having them because it means I’m still on this side of the ground, but otherwise, my birthdays usually suck. I hate to say that, but if tears aren’t involved at least once, it’s probably not my birthday.

One year I got put down by a family member on my birthday. Yes, those are the types of birthdays I have. One year my whole family except my mom and dad (pre-hubby days) forgot about my birthday including my grandma who shares my birthday. Sadly, birthdays just aren’t fun for me. They are just another day if not worse. But… again, let’s not focus on that.

Let’s focus on my Birthday present!!

(more…)

Strawberry Champagne Birthday Cake

I woke up this morning to clouds and the potential chance of rain. I heard the other day we’re like 18″ behind in rain for our area this time of year. I don’t know if that’s true or not, I haven’t verified that, but I can tell you we’re in a huge drought. We need rain. This last week has been hot, but not humid like it was. I know, people find it hard to believe humid in Missouri, but I’m telling you… You walk outside and you feel like you’re either in a sauna or you just took a shower.

Last month I talked to a guy from Southern Oklahoma about a trip he once took to Columbia, Missouri. He said he had relatives that live in Kansas and this time of year, Kansas is just hot. He figured that’s how Missouri was. He said boy was he sorely mistaken. I love when people from coastal areas talk about humidity like we don’t know what it is… and we’re landlocked so where the humidity comes from I have no idea. (Oh and he was from Southern Oklahoma… I know that’s not a coastal state, just saying.)

But, it’s summer none-the-less in the Midwest. That makes it hot and dry. Especially since we’re at the end of July quickly approaching August. August is a hot dry month anyway for us… but dang, we need rain. Come on 80% chance! But they said on the tv last night that we have this hot climate without the humidity right now which feels nice but is making the rain coming from Witchita, Kansas area dissipate before it gets to us. Eventually, enough rain chances will come and break through that and we’ll get rain plus our humidity back, but until then… less humid weather (even though it’s hot) is what we’ll have. By the way, today’s high is 81˚. I think it’s time to break out that Parka!

Anyway… Summer = birthdays! Well, some anyway. My youngest daughters birthday is in June, mine is in July, my grandmas is the same day as mine (or is mine the same day as hers??)… And a friend of mine has a summer birthday also! Oh, I know there are way more, but today, we’re focusing on Jody’s birthday. Hello! :). (more…)

Chocolate Orange Cake Bars

I hate to say this, but I had a rough night. I don’t want to talk about it. No one is physically hurt, other than my feelings. Don’t worry, my hubby isn’t to blame :). He’s great! Don’t be fooled, we have our moments! Everyone does. It’s okay to admit! But my feelings were hurt none the less. So, to brighten the mood, I want to tell you three things.

  1. Today is my date-i-versary with the hubs. 9 Years ago today we went on our first date.
  2. Today is a new day.
  3. Chocolate Orange Cake Bars will always brighten your day, right?

Chocolate Orange Cake Bars

What’s the deal with the Chocolate Orange Cake Bars? Well… I saw them on Tatyana’s Everyday Food YouTube Channel. They looked good. I also needed something to take to our PEO Meeting so… Plus, I love chocolate and orange together. Does anyone remember those Chocolate Orange flavored oranges you get usually at Christmas time? You Wack it, Crack it, and Unwrap it. They are sooooooooo good and addicting. Hubby said he’s never had one. I guess I’ll have to find him one and introduce him to it. (more…)

Neapolitan Mousse Cake

Guys, it’s time to start thinking about my birthday cake. Yes, I’m making my own birthday cake. I chose to. Yup, that’s right, I want to. Remember, pretty cakes make me happy. You see that one above? That one is gorgeous and made me happy!! In fact, I’m debating if I want that one for my birthday or not. There are sooooooo many cakes to make, I just can’t decide what I want.

Neapolitan Mousse Cake

I must admit, the cake rounds are finally getting their act together. That little punch out in the middle is GREAT when you are trying to do a huge tall stacked cake when you need to put a dowel in the middle to help stabilize them. Used to, you had to try and hammer them through the cardboard and hope it worked. Now… you just have to find the middle and you have extra help. (more…)