poop cupcakes always overthinking it

poop cupcakes

They’re not really poop cupcakes. So if that’s how you found yourself here because you googled that because you’re going to hide poop in your cupcakes or the frosting, a la “The Help,” you’ve come to the wrong place. And you’re probably an asshole.

marble cupcake always overthinking it

B wanted marble cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting for his birthday (Happy Birthday B!), but it turns out piping chocolate buttercream frosting onto said cupcake is a bad idea. It took me one or two before I realized just how grossly accurate those frosting piles looked. I was half tempted to just do them all that way, but B was supposed to take them to work and I couldn’t be the wife that made cupcakes that literally looked like shit. (I say supposed to because B decided they were too delicious and he kept them all at home. After eating five).

I used this recipe for the cupcakes and this for the frosting in case you’re curious. (I halved the frosting recipe because four cups of frosting is a lot. I still have a ton of leftover frosting that I have no idea what to do with. Besides eat.) But maybe use vanilla frosting if you feel like you need to pipe something. At first I was like, “Hmm maybe I really do need to take a piping class, because why do these look awful?!” I still probably need (and definitely want!) to take a piping class. Anyway, I smooshed them down with a spoon and they looked more appetizing:

marble cupcakes chocolate buttercream frosting always overthinking it

I also made homemade ravioli and it was amazing. I’d never made homemade pasta and it wasn’t nearly as scary/awful/hard as I thought it’d be. I used this recipe for the dough because I think the fact that pasta can be made with just flour and water is amazing. For the filling, I used ricotta, basil, pepper, an egg and pecorino-romano cheese. B’s birthday is today so I made it for his birthday dinner last night. Which hopefully will make up for the fact that I haven’t gotten him a birthday present yet. Not because I didn’t want to, but because all the ideas I had fell through and fine, I’m an awful wife. Whatever, at least I made him poop cupcakes.

my to-do list is never ending

I don’t know if it’s the fact that we’re having six guests over for Christmas Eve dinner (and we haven’t even planned what we’re having) or that it’s almost Christmas or what, but I’ve been feeling really spastic lately — more than usual. Every day I make a new to-do list, most of which gets filled from the leftovers that I didn’t feel like doing — and haven’t done for the past month. Isn’t it weird how there are always a few things on a to-do list that you don’t feel like doing? Even if it’s relatively easy, for whatever reason you don’t want to do. For instance, I’ve had “dry cleaning” on my list for a month. I don’t know why, but I just don’t feel like dropping it off. It sounds like such a pain. A few weeks ago, my excuse was that I didn’t have a car and so I had no practical way to lug dry cleaning to the store. But now that I have a car… I don’t have such a good excuse.

At night when B and I go to bed, I lie there and feel like I should just get up and do the 8,000 things on my list. Yesterday, I drove all over town stopping at the fabric store, Target and the grocery store to try to get prepared for this week. I felt like I was on a deadline and thought once I was done shopping, I’d feel better. Instead, I wanted to go run sprints in the street to try to calm down. But it was raining and late and we hadn’t eaten dinner.

My brain feels all over the place. I have so many projects I want to work on and things I want to do. It’s exciting because I haven’t felt inspired to actually make anything in awhile. Note to self: Go on Pinterest next time I feel stuck in a creative rut. Anyway, the problem lately has been that every time I think about starting a project, I feel like it’s too late in the morning to start something and I’ll have to leave and go to work. So instead I bury myself in a book. Which is fine (it’s great! I love reading!) except I feel like I’m trying to escape or something. Although, I have read a gigantic pile of books.

Tonight when I get home I have two different kinds of Christmas ornaments to craft, a tree skirt to make/sew and presents to wrap. Hopefully. The presents have to get delivered first. Which is also stressing me out. Online shopping is great, except for when you wait until the last possible minute and then you have to keep track of all the gifts and all the destinations. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get started on some projects I’ve had in my brain for awhile with my free time this week. Except we’re also hosting Christmas for our family… hmmm… hopefully they like crafting?

christmas tree fireplace alwaysoverthinkingit

it’s friday and christmas is coming so get ready

IT’S FRIDAY!!

Which is awesome except for if you haven’t bought your presents for people yet that live far away. I’m almost done Christmas shopping and every website I looked at was all “Order today for your present to arrive the day before Christmas, you fucking lame person who sucks at life.” Or something like that.

Ugh. Can we just talk for a second about how Christmas is awesome but also sucks? I love Christmas. I love snow and trees and Christmas lights and egg nog and eating junk and feeling like a fatty but being able to say “it’s only for a few more weeks (and FUCK those people who try to give you advice on how to diet through the holidays. NOPE.)” But also? Buying presents for people who I love when I have no idea what to get them is like the stressiest thing ever. Stressiest is now a word. So there. And while I love looking at people’s holiday gift guides, is it just me, or are they for people that don’t exist in your family? It’s like oh, what a cute and quirky t-shirt, but no way in hell would my dad actually wear that. Or like oh, yeah, I wish my dad were a “beer guy” and needed an expensive bottle opener but NOPE. And if he did need that, he’d probably end up buying it for himself the day before Christmas like he does EVERY YEAR. Is it lame that I just want to buy everyone in my family gift cards? I’d love gift cards, as long as it wasn’t some place lame.

Some parents at my work bought all the teachers in our classroom gift cards to Target. Like, for $50 each. HOW NICE IS THAT? They were so nice about it, too. They’re like, “well you watch after our most precious cargo” and I’m like “I get to play with your adorable baby all day.” Anyway, so thoughtful of them. I was really touched.

I took a pregnancy test the other day. It was negative and I cried and was totally caught if guard because I never even considered it could be negative. But then I researched (aka googled) how long you’re supposed to wait before taking a test and apparently you’re not supposed to take it 5-6 days after the day you got it on. Huh. So fingers crossed. Obviously, pregnancy is on my brain and I swear everywhere I look are babies and people who are pregnant and also this post is a way better discussion of miscarriages and not talking about being pregnant. It’s like if you took all of my thoughts and made them good, it would be this post.

What plans do you have this holiday season? My MIL is coming tomorrow and B and I have to run to IKEA to buy more chairs because we don’t have enough. Also, B and I bought these salt and pepper shakers as a couple present to each other. Is a couple present a thing? I’m trying to make it a thing.

Go buy yourself something. It’s almost Christmas. And other holidays that are equally (if not more) awesome.

frankentree always overthinking it

frankentree

Lesson of the day: When buying a used car, make sure the previous owner has smogged it first before you actually buy the car. Today B and I spent all morning trying to get my new (to me) car smogged. But the check engine light came on this week, which apparently means it won’t pass the smog inspection.  So we drove the car to the only mechanic place open on a Saturday, where the guy tightened the gas cap and cleared the check engine light. Then we drove back to the smog place, only to be told we had to drive the car 100 miles before we can re-smog the car. Luckily, B and I were planning on taking a mini road trip to a little area 40 miles away where we saw some cool property for sale.

The area is surrounded by farms and fields, mostly with bare trees and alfalfa for cover crops. I love alfalfa. It’s so green! A lot of the farms had these weird frankentrees. Basically, one tree is grafted onto another for whatever reason. It could be for a number of things, but the ones we saw today B thought looked like the roots were really strong. The top portion of the tree was grafted onto the bottom because the bottom had better roots. All the trees looked like they were half-naked or wearing shoes or something. I thought they were kind of beautiful. On the way back, we also saw these weird yak looking animals. Or sheep with huge antlers. Maybe it was a frankenyak.

Hopefully tomorrow we can actually get the car smogged. Then registered. Being an adult is overrated.

(Fun fact: My computer keeps trying to change frankentree to frank entree. I wonder what a frank entree would be. Steak and potatoes?)

a storm?

I think California’s definition of a storm is different from most people’s. Or maybe the storm just ended up being way less mild than anticipated. Earlier this week, my boss at school warned everyone about the upcoming storm. We got emails with storm preparation help like having a flashlight with batteries and extra water. Schedules at work were rearranged so the people who lived the closest would get to work first. Everybody was obsessed with the storm.

It rained all day long here and there were some heavy winds, but otherwise it was pretty… disappointing. Apparently our power went out this morning, but I wouldn’t have noticed if B hadn’t gotten up at the butt crack of dawn like he usually does. I rolled over and went back to sleep.

I never really appreciated being able to go outside like I do now that I work in a daycare center. This past week has been wet and cold, so for the most part we haven’t gotten to go outside. The kids are stir crazy and restless, so we try to find other things for them to do. Today, we taped butcher paper on the floor, took off the kid’s clothes and let them go crazy with paint. I’ve never seen such happy kids!

Right now I’m listening to the rain outside the window, watching the fire and about to read a book. Also, is it just me or has this week been insane? I’m so glad tomorrow’s Friday!

madrigal winery sky always overthinking it

some photos and stuff

tara and b always overthinking it golden gate bridge always overthinking it madrigal winery always overthinking itsunset at madrigal winery always overthinking itI feel like it’s been so long since I posted consistently. A quick update and apologies if I’ve already mentioned anything:

  • I’ve been working at a daycare center in the infant room and it’s AWESOME! I was nervous going into the job that I wouldn’t enjoy working with kids as much as I thought I did, but that’s luckily not the case. (The preschool room is another matter.)
  • I finally have a car! We only needed one in LA, so my dad bought my old car from me. Lately, I’ve been riding my bike to work because it’s close to our house. After getting completely rained on a few times, though, I was ready for a new car. Also, car hunting is worse than job hunting in my opinion. I’m always worried I’m going to buy a used car and then it’s going to break on me. Still not sure that won’t happen with the one we bought, but… oh well.
  • Our house has a fireplace and we’ve been having some awesome fires. I kind of want to get a bearskin rug to lie on. Just kidding (not kidding).
  • B works for a company that delivers boxes of produce to your front door. Every week, we get a box full of fruits and vegetables and I never realized how amazing this would be. I love cooking dinner, but hate coming up with what to cook. Having a box of produce helps narrow it down because now I can come up with something based on what we got in our box. We’ve been having butternut squash soup, this chicken and leek dish, smoothies and roasted vegetables practically every week. If you live in an area that has CSA boxes, I highly recommend getting one. Or if you live in the California area, check out Farm Fresh To You! That’s the company B works for. They’re awesome, and even have options to take out produce you don’t want before it gets delivered so you don’t have to throw away something you don’t like.
  • Living across the street from the library is the best thing ever.
  • Some friends came to visit a few weeks ago and we went to San Francisco to go sightseeing. While eating at this awesome fresh seafood place in Sausalito called Fish, we saw Jason Segel! I almost went and took a photo of him, but refrained. Barely. The next day we went wine tasting in Napa and later we played a really outdated version of Outburst. I think I could play games every night of my life and be happy.

who wants to talk about miscarriages?!

When I first started blogging, I never really imagined that I’d get to a point where there was something I didn’t want to write about. I’m a chronic oversharer, constantly saying things and then realizing — too late — that I shouldn’t have said that. As B says, I have no filter.

But then I had a miscarriage. At first, I wanted to talk about it, but decided to wait just in case I changed my mind. Then I didn’t want to talk about it. So I thought I’d blog about other things, but it felt like a lie. How could I be writing about going shopping when inside I was totally and completely heartbroken? I considered emailing some of my blog friends (who happen to be moms) so I could talk to someone privately. You know what’s annoying? Finding out that miscarriages are apparently super common ONLY AFTER I HAD ONE. Why isn’t this talked about more often? I mean, I get it, it’s not exactly a topic people want to discuss. But what the fuck? I felt like something was wrong with me and am still not convinced something isn’t wrong with me and all these people tell me that they’re super common and I didn’t get to know about this beforehand? Because instead of being able to reassure myself that miscarriages are common, I felt horrible about myself, convinced I’d done something wrong and caused the miscarriage, or maybe it was a sign from god that I don’t deserve to have a baby because I’m going to be a horrible mother. Which could still totally be the case, who knows.

The day I found out I was pregnant I’d made an appointment at the gynecologist because I thought I had a cyst on my ovary (I’ve had them before). Right before I went to the doctor’s, I took a pregnancy test because I hadn’t had my period in awhile and maybe I’m pregnant? (Also, am I the only one who takes pregnancy tests even when I couldn’t possibly be pregnant? I have this weird fascination with taking pregnancy tests). Anyway. So it turns out the cyst I was feeling was a tiny baby I guess. But I also found out that I had hypothyroidism. Apparently, it’s really dangerous to have unmedicated hypothyroidism while pregnant. So the day I found out I was pregnant I also went on thyroid medication. And maybe that caused the miscarriage? My OBGYN wasn’t sure. She said it could’ve just happened because miscarriages are common. But now I’m terrified I’m going to have miscarriages forever and I’m freaked.

Two days before my checkup to hear the baby’s heartbeat, I had a really bad feeling I was having a miscarriage. I’d been spotting (which doesn’t necessarily mean a miscarriage, I tried to tell myself) and just had a bad feeling. I get weird feelings about things that usually end up being true, which isn’t really comforting considering the horrible things I think about. For instance, I’ll have a bad feeling I’m about to get a speeding ticket and right when I slow down I pass a cop. Sometimes I won’t believe myself because I always get “bad feelings” about everything but the ones that actually happen feel different. Like when my mom told us she had cancer, the first thought that popped in my head was “oh my god, my mom’s going to die.” I obviously pushed that thought out of my head and told myself I was wrong, but I knew I wasn’t even though I didn’t want to admit it to myself. She passed away a year later. So when B and I went to the checkup, I was really nervous and hoping I was wrong. I wanted the doctor to be able to say “everything’s fine, you’re just being a crazy paranoid pregnant lady.” But that didn’t happen. Instead she said “you’re right. Something’s wrong and I can’t find a heartbeat and the sac around the baby doesn’t look right.” Well fuck. To add insult to injury, I had to take medication to complete the miscarriage (because I had a dead baby inside me) and that was miserable and painful. On top of already being miserable and painful.

This happened a few weeks ago. I finally got my period a few days ago so I can get pregnant again. Which is awesome. And terrifying. Because now I’m going to be a legitimate nervous pregnant lady — and I’ll be holding my breath for 10 weeks until I see the baby’s heartbeat. And then after that for the rest of my life. Which is probably what it’s like to be a parent anyway, but thanks for the mindfuck, life. I’m freaked out and also want to be pregnant so badly. It’s a weird feeling. I’m terrified to be pregnant but also terrified to not be pregnant, if that makes sense.

Blah.

shopping at the outlet mall and i’m a jerk

Tara walked up to the counter, her arms loaded with a pair of grey skinny jeans and underwear. Off to the side, two older women were arguing over a bottle of perfume.

“Are you in line, or?”… Tara trailed off.

“Yes, we are,” they said and placed their belongings on the counter, chatting to the salesman for what seemed like an unnecessary amount of time, at least to Tara.

While Tara stood there with her husband, she looked around at all the horrible-looking purses. “Okay, which one do you think is the ugliest?” Tara asked her husband. “They’re all the same,” he said. “Yeah, but they’re all awful,” Tara laughed. “I mean, look at this one. It looks like a tiny dog should be popping his head out of it. God. They’re so ugly.”

Finally, the women at the counter were finishing up. As they slid their bags over their shoulders, they cooed at the salesman saying, “Oh, we wish you could come shopping with us all day!”

He laughed politely.

Tara waited until the two women were out of the front door before she rolled her eyes and walked up to the counter, waving her hand in front of her face at the cloud of perfume that the women left in the trail. “Ugh,” she said to the salesman. “That perfume smells awful.” Tara thought the salesman would agree with her, seeing that he had to sit there and smell it all day, but this wasn’t the case.

A saleslady behind the counter snapped her head up and glared at Tara.

“Yeah, some people really don’t like the Obsession line,” he said politely.

“I just hate all perfume in general,” Tara said. Feeling guilty, she tried to make small talk about the perfume.

“Is it some famous celebrity’s line?” Tara asked, drawing the word “celebrity” out like she had never heard of — or seen one — in her whole life. Which, after living in Los Angeles for two years, was not the case.

The saleslady behind the counter walked away.

Tara’s husband laughed.

Tara looked from her husband back to the salesman. “What? You know, like Obsession by Jay-Z or something?”

“I’m pretty sure Calvin Klein just has their own label,” Tara’s husband said, as if she were a complete moron for not knowing this insignificant (to her) fact.

“Oh,” Tara said, feeling stupid and annoyed at her husband. “Well excuse me for being stupid and asking a question,” she retorted. Tara finished paying for her clothes. The salesman printed off three coupons for other stores in the outlet mall and the third one ripped. Tara bit her tongue — she’d been about to say, “Don’t worry, I don’t shop there,” but realized at the last second how rude she sounded. Instead, she reached forward and helped hold the receipt down so the salesman could tape the coupon back together.

———————————

I’m trying to get rid of my clothes I don’t wear. One of my favorite parts about living on the road was the fact that I had such a limited wardrobe to choose from. It made getting dressed a lot easier. Now that we’ve unpacked everything and I have a full closet and dresser, I’m overwhelmed in the morning when it’s time to get dressed. So I’ve printed off pictures of my favorite outfits from Pinterest and am trying to recreate them using what I have in my closet. All the other clothes (unless I actually wear them on a regular basis) are going into the donation pile. If you know how much of a hoarder I am, you’d be impressed that I’m attempting to part with so many clothes. It’s a battle. I have tank tops that I bought when I was in college that I’m having a hard time parting with.

Last weekend, B and I went shopping at the outlet mall because B needed some new jeans and a couple of nicer shirts. I had a list of things I was looking for to finalize my Pinterest outfits. I actually had fun going clothes shopping and for once I didn’t buy anything I didn’t really like. I brought my pictures along with me and at one point I had them spread out on the floor while I was trying on three different chambray shirts (I didn’t know what a chambray shirt was until recently, just FYI) because I couldn’t decide on the right color (I didn’t like any of them, so I put them all back). Shopping with a list is a lot easier. Huh.

Now I just need to get rid of some more clothes.

chicken soup risotto always overthinking it

“chicken soup” risotto

Maybe that title is misleading. The cookbook I got this from, “Plenty” by Diana Henry (oddly enough, there is another cookbook with the same name by a different author. I know this because I have one of them — and still checked the other one out by the library out of curiosity. Luckily for me, they were different cookbooks), calls this recipe “Restorative chicken and parsley risotto” which I think is just about the best title ever. It was restorative, especially because to me it kind of reminded me of if you’d made chicken soup and let all the noodles (in this case, risotto) get absorbed by all the broth.

My favorite part of this cookbook is an entire section devoted to chicken leftovers. I happened to roast a chicken the night before because I’d never done it before and felt like I should cross it off my life list. Plus, I wanted to make this recipe. (If you’re curious, I used the “Engagement Chicken” recipe to see if it was really that good. I joked with B that we could call it a “New Puppy Chicken” since we’re already married. Still waiting on the puppy…).

This recipe is so delicious, filling and comforting. Also, considering all the ingredients, it isn’t as rich as you’d think. I asked B, who is anti-rich-tasting foods (weirdo) and he approved this recipe.

I changed the recipe only to convert portion sizes. In the original recipe, it calls for 1/3 cup butter and most butter sticks come in tablespoons, so I had to do some converting mid-coooking which was annoying. Also, I would highly recommend having all of your ingredients handy so you aren’t running around throwing stuff on the counter while trying to stir the risotto. Not that I’d know what that’s like…I reversed the directions in here so that’s what the recipe makes you do anyway, because I’m helpful.

Chicken Soup Risotto
Serves 4

Ingredients

5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
5 tbsp butter, divided
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups risotto
1/2 lemon
1 3/4 cups leftover cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
1 egg yolk
5 tbsp fresh Parmesan, plus more for serving
2 tbsp finely-chopped parsley
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper

Directions

1. In a small bowl, squeeze the juice from the lemon half (remove seeds) and mix it with the egg yolk, Parmesan, parsley, cream, salt and pepper. Set aside to use later.

2. Heat the stock to a simmer and keep it simmering while you cook everything else. Heat half the butter (so 2.5 tbsp) and all the olive oil in a heavy saucepan and add the onion. Cook over medium heat until the onion is soft but not colored. Add the rice and stir to coat in the butter and onion mixture.

3. Add the stock a ladle at a time, stirring continuously. Add more stock only once the last ladleful has been absorbed.

4. Finely grate the lemon zest and stir it in about two-thirds of the way through cooking the risotto. Add the chicken in the last 5-10 minutes.

5. When the risotto is done cooking, remove from heat and pour in the egg/lemon juice mixture from step one. Add in the rest of the butter (2.5 tbsp) and stir gently but thoroughly. Taste to see if you need more salt or pepper. Cover and let rest for two minutes, then serve immediately, with more Parmesan if desired.

moving boxes in the garage always overthinking it

umm… hi?

We’ve finished moving in and are mostly unpacked and finally have wifi! I’m officially annoyed at Comcast for sucking at customer service. I spent the last week unpacking and washing dishes and clothes and I think we have one more box of mason jars (so many mason jars) to wash and then we’re done. Booyah! OK, fine, I still have to sort through the massive pile of clothes on the dresser and give stuff away.

b in a box always overthinking it

Since living on the road, I’ve come to appreciate not having so much STUFF. I’m a hoarder, so this is kind of a revelation. I told B I was going to find my favorite outfits on Pinterest, make 15 of my favorite with what I have and give the rest away. We’ll see if that actually happens. Also since living on the road, I’ve come to appreciate having a kitchen to cook in. With our dishes! I think we managed to eat four dinners in a row at home, which hasn’t happened in months. It was amazing. We also found a bed on sale so we have a guest room (come visit!) and we’re waiting for a couch to get delivered. B and I have been talking and dreaming about getting a new couch for years. The one we have right now is broken and really small and sucks (Crappy Pictures had a pretty funny post about crappy couches). We found a sectional that was pretty much exactly what we wanted. Unfortunately, it won’t get here until November. We’re counting down the days.

Other than that, I’m just sitting here looking for work and having a crisis about what to do with my life. Every time I look for work and can’t find anything, I start to think going back to school is a good idea. I envy people who went to school, got a degree in something they’d wanted to get a degree in and have a career in that field. Or even just have a career in something they enjoy. I’m constantly kicking myself for not getting a degree in English or Psychology. How do people decide what job they want? I want to apprentice so I can figure out what job I’d actually like… before I make a commitment like going back to school and spending lots of money.

I feel like this post was kind of a downer. It wasn’t meant to be. I love our new place and I’m so excited to have a home and one with so much room (there’s a garage! And a washer and dryer you guys!). OK, the next post is going to be a really delicious risotto recipe. Or banana bread whoopie pies. Yeah, I’ve made both this week. AND a roast chicken. I’m pretty much Betty Crocker.