Archive for the ‘A Mixed Bag’ Category

Where has the time gone?

I haven’t posted in 4 months, and I truly have missed it. I’ve been fairly prolific on Instagram lately, which works for me, but I miss the words. I’ll try to be better.

As usual after a blogging hiatus, I’ll start off with some baking, knitting, and books talk.

I actually haven’t been baking as much as I was. I’ve been counting calories and using my Fitbit (which I love) and, believe it or not, I haven’t really *wanted* the baked goods as much. Last night, though, I did do a little baking. I made a lemon gooey butter cake, modifying Paula Deen’s recipe by adding some lemon zest and about 1/4 cup lemon juice. It turned out very good!




The last post I made was about my Vintage Cakes project. I’ve actually done several recipes now, but have only posted pictures on Facebook or possibly Instagram. Looking at the table of contents, I’ve made (in addition to the ones in the previous post): Texas Sheet Cake (which was a fail as far as the actual recipe went (baker error), but still tasted delicious), Lemon and Almond Streamliner Cake (this was amazing!), Malted Milk Chocolate Cupcakes (pretty good), and The Pink Cake (which was a chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream – These cakes tend to be a little time intensive, which is part of the reason I haven’t been baking them regularly. I tend to wait for an occasion, of which there haven’t been many lately. I can’t remember which cake I was planning to make next just by looking at the table of contents, but it involves strawberries and ricotta cheese. Maybe that will be a “yay for the end of school cake” in a couple of weeks!

On to knitting. I’ve been knitting a ton lately, but finishing little. Wow, I just looked at my projects page on Ravelry and got a little persective. I’ve actually finished 10 projects in 2013 so far. I have several things on the needles but am actively working on 3 right now:

And reading. I’ve only finished a handful of books this year – well, according to Goodreads I’ve read 12, which isn’t too shabby, but it feels like I haven’t read much. The only “wow” book I’ve read this year has been The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker, which was *this* close to getting 5 stars. It lacked some little spark that would have put it over the 4-star edge, but it was a damn good book. I highly recommend this one, especially if you are a fan of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.

In other news , or just rambling-ness, life is crazy. Work is crazy, and I will be very glad when July 1 has come and gone. My daughter was going and is now not going to Japan, all in the course of less than a week. Disappointing (and expensive, since we had to get an expedited passport) to say the least. We’re planning a trip to Big Bend in early July, and I absolutely can’t wait. I just wish we could stay longer. My husband is in Atlanta for the weekend with his school’s Academic Challenge (aka Quiz Bowl) team for Nationals, and we’re planning to go to the Mississippi coast in a couple of weekends. And that’s about it. I miss writing and hope to be back soon.


Turning 40

I had a milestone birthday this week. Maybe it’s because I could pass for 25 (or younger) most days, but turning 40 wasn’t traumatic for me. What I find weird about turning 40 is that when I was 15 and my mom turned 40, I thought she was old. Ok, maybe not old. But older than I feel. And I truly don’t think I feel as old to my kids as my parents felt to me. Maybe it’s because I live such a different life than my parents lived – I’m a pretty free spirit and don’t feel the same societal constraints that my mom felt. It’s ok for me to act young and silly, and I don’t think it was ok for my mom and dad to act that way in Mississippi in the 70s and 80s. They were supposed to act, well, old. Or at least that’s how they acted around us kids. I wonder if they acted that way around each other. My other theory is that the internet keeps us more in touch with pop culture than our parents were.

I wish I could say I had a great birthday week. I certainly can’t complain. I was utterly spoiled by my friends and family and celebrated for over a week. Jimmy thinks maybe that was it – drawing it out over a week was maybe too much. I had a girls’ night out at Chuy’s last Friday, got Apple-spoiled over the weekend (a new phone and a Macbook Air), had my actual birthday on Wednesday, and had another party with some couple-friends last night. Actually, the party last night completely redeemed my week – it was so much fun! But overall, I just felt down in the dumps most of the week. And little stupid things kept happening (like having to go into work on my day off and getting there to find out I couldn’t do what I had come in to do after all).

Today has been nice and relaxing. I finally finished a sock I had been working on, and I’ve cast on the second sock. I finally found time to photograph the yummy yarn I got for my birthday, and I read 8 chapters of a new book. Not a bad kick-off to my first full week of 40. 🙂

Here’s the yarn I got. Eye candy!

My friend Katie gave me 2 skeins of Madeline Tosh and 1 skein of Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock. Thanks again, Katie!

Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock in Secret Recipe

tosh sock in malachite

Madeline Tosh tosh sock in Malachite

tosh vintage in hollyhock

Madeline Tosh tosh vintage in holly hock

And my family gave me 2 more skeins of Madeline Tosh and a skein of Dream in Color Starry.

dream in color starry in purple rain

Dream in Color Starry in Purple Rain

tosh dk in magnolia leaf

Madeline Tosh tosh dk in Magnolia Leaf

tosh sock in terrarium

Madeline Tosh tosh sock in Terrarium

I bought even more yarn today with a Knit Picks gift certificate from my friends Darcy & Geoff – Sugarbunny (a merino/angora blend) and Capretta (a merino, cashmere, nylon blend). *And* my friend Jennifer gifted me a pattern on Ravelry, the Library of Congress hat. Now just to decide which  yarn to use!

No pictures of baking this week, though lord knows I ate enough. I made Paula Deen’s Double Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake for my actual birthday. For my party last night I didn’t bake anything sweet, but I did bake cheese straws and sausage balls, two of my all-time favorite finger foods. No pictures, sorry!

On another baking note, I was gifted two bundt pans – one from my friend Saima and one from my friends Denise & Mike. Denise & Mike also shared a family recipe for a Harvey Wallbanger cake that I can’t wait to try! And my friend Lisa got me a gift card to Sur la Table, which I’m dying to use!

To end this post, I’ll share Jimmy’s and my artwork from last night’s party. We had my party at Painting with a Twist, and it couldn’t have been more fun. Our instructor, Xandra, was fabulous! We lucked out and got an instructor just as nerdy as we are, and I’d like to think Xandra had as much fun teaching us as we had painting. I highly recommend this place if you’re looking for a fun party spot!