I've been going through a fit of sadness lately and it's been difficult to shake it. I had an especially bad day on Monday where Bella ate two bags of Easter chocolate and puked all over our new rug (she's fine now and has finally stopped puking) and I stabbed myself accidentally with a knife while cutting potatoes for dinner. The next day I was extremely klutzy and dropped bowls, broke picture frames, ran into still objects, the works. The Hubby has been so sweet to me and I haven't even been working so awful students aren't bringing me down.
But I think what really has been bothering me is hearing some nasty comments about a company party I am planning as a FRG Leader. I've been stressing about it for months and have basically done all the planning on my own. It's basically a celebration for the families and Soldiers after a long deployment with free food, Easter egg hunts, door raffle prizes, and I even hired a photographer so families can take portraits together.
It was all going great until people started complaining about how they are being forced to go to a party.
A) It's not mandatory and you don't have to go if you don't want to.
B) I don't know why you wouldn't want to go and get free food.
C) I didn't even have to plan anything, but I wanted to show my appreciation for you.
D) I worked damn hard.
E) Please, take this title away from me if you think you can do a better job. I don't want it.
Being a FRG Leader is really thankless sometimes. I enjoy helping others in any way that I can, but such horrible attitude that I encounter every now and then really ruins it. There is so much behind the scenes work that I do that most people are unaware of. I'm talking hours and hours of work. I'm sure that no one will think to thank me or the other hard working ladies at the party. All they will be thinking about is how they are being "forced" to have "mandatory fun."
In this unpaid job, you can never please everyone. You're always doing too much or too little. The thing is, I've always tried really hard to get everyone to like me.
So that's why I haven't been posting lately. I've had the time, but haven't been in the mood. I'm working today for the first time in a week. I'm hoping these high schoolers choose to behave today...or that I choose to care less in order to save myself emotionally.
I have a problem. I'm attracted to absolutely everything Martha Stewart is associated with, but I'm sure you knew that already. I'm especially drawn to that classic Martha blue. It's similar to Tiffany's blue, and us women are automatically drawn to those little boxes, aren't we? The Hubby constantly reminds me that she was sent to prison and I shouldn't idolize her. While he is definitely right, I have chosen to ignore this little tidbit about Ms. Stewart.
I've been slowly collecting Martha goods. I am proud to say that I have never paid anything at full price though because that lovely blue color allows the MS company to up their prices. In my kitchen I have Martha's 3-piece blue kitchen towels and 16-piece food storage container set thanks to my thankful mother-in-law. I also have her springform pan and an especially handy silicone tuner (no more cooked on egg whites!).
Our bedroom bedding is also from the Martha collection. The blanket is the perfect weight, but it's dry clean only so Bella is banned from our bed when we use it.
I added something else to my Martha collection today: A one-year subscription to Everyday Food Magazine and Martha Stewart Living Magazine. It was only $19 through Living Social! I just had to get it. I NEEDED IT, OKAY? (If I can get two more Martha fans to buy through this link, I can get my subscription for free.)
I've been eyeing this stand mixer for ages. The Hubby wanted to buy me a Coach purse. I told him I would rather have this stand mixer. I'm blunt when I need to be.
Did you know Avery and Martha have teamed up and are now selling home organization goodies at Staples? I want EVERYTHING. I have the sudden need to label everything.
Martha, you are draining my bank account...I still love you, anyway.
The Hubby asked for a smaller cake for his birthday because he had a PT test scheduled for the end of the week and has little self control when it comes to sweets. I decided to create individual ice cream cakes for us to help with portion control. I had never made an ice cream cake before so I basically winged it, but it worked!
The process itself is fairly easy although it was extremely time consuming. The procedure can be easily adapted for larger cakes as well. We're just waiting for the next big occasion so that we can celebrate with delicious ice cream cake once again.
I poured the batter about half way. It is important to pound the pan on your counter to release any air bubbles so that you can achieve a more even cake...or something like that. Just do it.
I baked my cakes for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees. I would check on it every now and then to see if it is cooked thoroughly by sticking a toothpick in the center and seeing if it comes out clean. Cool the cakes completely on a rack. Cut the cakes in half. You can decide if you want to trim the tops so that they're flat. Crooked cakes = more cake in my opinion, although you can always sneak the excess trimmings yourself.
I used about three generous scoops of ice cream for each cake. Use the same springform pans as molds. You should probably line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper as well. I didn't and it resulted in a very messy Step 7. Cover and freeze until hardened.
I snuck in an extra chocolate chip cookie as one of the layers to The Hubby's cake. You can always put frosting all around the cake, but I chose to just put some on top.
And what should you do with all that extra cake batter? May I suggest making cupcakes and sending them with your husband to work like you would your 2nd grader to school? Glorious Treats has the best and most straightforward tutorial I've seen on how to pipe frosting on cupcakes. (P.S. One tub of store bought frosting is just enough for one dozen perfectly frosted cupcakes)
Bella and I prepared for days to give The Hubby a proper birthday celebration.
While I was preparing dinner, The Hubby opened up all of his gifts and cards from his family.
One of my gifts to my husband was a stack of postcards from his closest friends and family members, an idea I discovered from Inchmark blog. I had mailed them out two weeks before his birthday, asking people to write down their favorite memories of The Hubby. Unfortunately, I was missing a few (from men!), but he still enjoyed reading all of them. He had no idea I did this for him.
Some of the postcards were funny, others were emotional, but all of them brought a smile to our faces. Many people noted our wedding and how The Hubby made everyone cry because he was crying.
Note: If you would like me to email you the template I used, please leave a comment and I'll be more than happy to send it your way.
I made him a delicious birthday meal. Just thinking about it makes my stomach growl.
After giving Bella a bath in our backyard on a rare beautiful Texas afternoon, we both sunbathed for a bit to get dry. Suddenly, I heard meowing nearby. I turned my head towards the sound and saw a fat orange cat staring at us in the corner of our yard. It was comfortably lying on the dirt and meowing away, taunting us.
Bella darted for the cat, which quickly scampered away and balanced itself on top of the fence. Poor Bella tried to reach the feline pest by jumping full force on the fence, doing a backflip, and falling hard on her butt.
It reminded me of when The Office cast tried to do parkour: