Dec 23, 2009

Toffee shmoffee

I am seriously struggling here! Remember how I said I was going to kick that procrastination habit? Well, I'm still working on that and I have a long way to go.

I had meant to finish up my baking on Monday and for some reason that never happened. I guess I did bake, I ended up making monster cookies for Jeff to bring to work. I finished the caramel pecan treasure cookies last night. Or this morning rather, I can't believe I was up that late. And today I'm still making toffee. This is the first time I even attempted to make it and I was planning on sending that in with Jeff as well. What was I thinking? The first batch was too well done, it tastes okay but not good enough to give to someone. I made another batch after talking to my mom for a few tips. She said to turn the heat down at the very end so it wouldn't burn and I turned it too low so now it's too soft. Not SOFT but not as brittle as it should be. *sigh* Guess I'll try again.

I should also be packing and cleaning our apartment before we head downstate but the computer was calling my name. Plus, I'm waiting to see if Adrian is going to fall asleep before I bother starting something. Which is a pretty lame excuse because he pretty much lets me do what I need to do and is perfectly content to play on the floor so long as I'm not out of his sight for too long.

And he's still babbling, guess I'll get him out and get moving!

Dec 20, 2009

pictureless baking day results

I'm fighting to keep my eyes focused as I type this, it was a long day. In a good way.

As it turns out, Jeff did actually work today. He was trying to explain his schedule to me the other night but I wasn't getting it for some reason. When he takes time off from his regular workweek, he is required to go in on his scheduled days off to make up for it. This works out really well for us because he still gets a full paycheck. He does this stuff all the time so you'd think I would get it by now but there was something about his supervisor wanting him to work this day rather than that day to make up for our time downstate. In the end I just said, I don't get it, what days are you off? Apparently I forgot to listen. So here I am thinking we have all day to shop, I wasn't worried about lunch, I'd figure it out later. I was taking my time looking over my grocery list one more time and then Jeff informs me that he has to work today. Well, that threw off my day! I had been planning on buying a few gifts but I suppose that will have to wait until Tuesday which is the day he really has off.

I did some of my baking done. I made the dough for the oatmeal chocolate chips cookies in the morning and stuck it in the fridge so they would be ready to go when we returned home. I had wanted to have dough rising for bread or cardamom rolls while we were out but I wasn't sure how long we'd be gone. I didn't plan very well for how much I was making. I always knead my dough in my Kitchenaid mixer but the bowl was full of cookie dough so I couldn't do anything else while I was making cookies. Once those were done, I made the dough for bread and the cardamom rolls so they could raise while I made the other cookies. While the dough was rising I started on the caramel pecan treasures but I never finished them. I ended up using the last of the oil for banana bread so I didn't have enough for the chocolate that goes on the outside of the cookies. It got too late to make toffee and I completely forgot about making caramel corn until I was cleaning up. That worked out fine considering I still need to finish the cookies. I'll just do another (not too demanding) baking day on Monday!

I'd show you pictures but I didn't actually take any. You probably wouldn't see picture of the banana bread anyways because I kind of mutilated it trying to get it out of the pan. I do that sometimes.

Dec 18, 2009

Baking myself silly (or fat, or maybe both)

I'm planning on doing a baking day tomorrow, here is my list:

Cardamom rolls
Banana bread
Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
Butter toffee
Caramel corn
Caramel pecan treasures

I was planning on doing this today but I never made it to the grocery store so tomorrow we are going to do some last minute Christmas gift shopping and I'll do my grocery run as well. Jeff has the day off so I decided it would be easier to do a baking day when he is home! I'm still revising my grocery list so I'm not sure I'll be doing all of this but we'll see! I'll let you know what I make!

Oh yeah, I've never made toffee before so wish me luck! Any and all tips are welcome! I don't have a candy thermometer and I'm debating whether or not I really need one.

Dec 17, 2009

Unsleepless nights and a yellow coat

So, it's only been a week since I posted. It's been on my mind for, oh, about a week, to do so. It's been keeping me up at night. For about five minutes. But seriously, when I lay my head on my pillow my brain seems to go into overdrive. I keep thinking about everything and anything. Not bad things, or anything that's bothering me (not much is bothering me at this time). I just think of, well, everything. And for some reason I keep thinking about my blog. Probably due to the fact that I've seriously been neglecting it. I keep thinking that I need to tell the world (er, all 16 people that read this) what I do to try to fall asleep at night. It doesn't usually take much, I'm generally pretty exhausted by the time my head hits the pillow. I think I've had one truly sleepless night in my life. That I can remember anyway. I was in high school, it was so brutal. Luckily, I haven't experienced that since. But lately, I've had so much on my mind (again, nothing bad). The biggest one is that we're going downstate for Christmas! I'm not sure if I've mentioned that. We were supposed to stay here but Jeff was able to get the time off, I can't even explain in words how exciting that is!! Anyway, back to the subject at hand; I put myself to sleep by focusing on my breathing. It's funny how such a simple thing is SO HARD. My mind is so busy that to think of nothing but my breathing seems nearly impossible. It's goes a little something like this: inhale, exha--blogsREADgroceriesMONEYcouponsINKjeffSNOWroadsADRIANsweetCHILD--inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale--CHRISTMASfamilyPRESENTSshoppingFRIENDSvisitJEFFadrianFAMILY--inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, in--christmasFAMILYexcitementTALKINGfoodPARTYshoppingBLOGcookingRECIPEcoupons--inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, ex...zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
(I never realized how difficult it is to type out your thoughts. Now just think of lots of colors and swirls and people's faces and houses while you read that and that's about how it is.)
In reality, in only takes me about five minutes to fall asleep but when my mind is going a mile a minute, it starts to feel like a long time. Somehow, through all those thoughts, I do fall asleep.

I wonder if I'll fall asleep that much faster tonight now that I've blogged...

On a completely unrelated note, I bought a coat the other day and now I don't know what to do with it. I realized I've had the same dress coat for five years and it is so thin it can't really be considered a winter coat but that's when I use it. The one I bought was described as a "wool coat" and further explained as a wool and polyester blend. I was so excited to get it delivered only to find that it is only 50% wool. Now I don't know what to do! I love it but it's even lighter than my current coat. Such a disappointment. Is there such thing as a fashionable AND functional coat?? Because if there is, I have yet to find it. I'm planning on looking around online some more but I'm feeling defeated before I even start. I looked at every online store I could think of before buying this particular coat and didn't find one that I liked. Any suggestions? I'm stumped here. I mean, the obvious thing is to return it because it isn't warm but, well that's just too obvious isn't it?! I'm just wondering if I'm going to regret keeping it when I was specifically looking for a warmer coat. Guess I'll keep looking!

Dec 9, 2009

As Promised

Here is that garland!

And a little closer:

I love this garland, it's so fun and it's so easy to make! It just takes a little time. And it takes me even longer. I don't have a circle punch. Don't worry, I don't cut them all with scissors! I do have a circle cutter but my blade is getting a little dull so I have to push really hard and I just about get blister on my fingers by the time I'm done! There are around 1,000 circles on this garland.

I can't take all the credit for the idea though. My sister Jennifer pointed me in the direction of another blog that had a garland like this. Thanks Jen! I love it!

Dec 8, 2009

And here it is...almost

I'm a little late getting my garland posted, these past few days have been a little busier than I had planned! I'm not sure why I decided to do something like this during the busiest time of the year. Adrian is clearly stealing my brain cells. Speaking of Adrian, he has discovered his thumb. And his fingers. To be honest, he's not really picky but he's been doing this quite often:

He was laughing away today, it was so fun to hear! I was throwing him in the air and doing "oopsy daisy." He just loved it!

Anyways, my excuse for the garland. I had been behind on it by the end of the week but I figured I'd be able to get most of it sewn on Saturday. I went to a craft show in the morning with a few of the girls. I left around 1:00 maybe, I can't really remember, and went to do my grocery shopping like I had planned. Then of course, I was lured in by all the Christmas cheer so I decided to look around. I needed a gift for a party on Monday night either way. I also had gift cards for Adrian so I figured I'd spend some of that too. 4 hours later I finally headed home. I have discovered that I am NOT a shopper. Shopping is for the birds if you ask me! I cut out the last few circles for the garland when I got home and started sewing on it that night. Then Sunday came and I observed that day of rest. Now, if you recall, I said I had a Christmas party to go to on Monday night. So all of Monday was spent baking (for the party), making supper (homemade pizza and breadsticks), doing laundry, wrapping my one whole present, taking care of Adrian while I tried to do everything because Jeff ran out for a few hours...well the point is, I didn't get around to working on my garland.

I finally finished it today (Tuesday)! I didn't get a picture of the completed project yet, I'll be sure to show you tomorrow. For now, here's a little peek:

I'm not much for traditional Christmas colors. In fact, this really doesn't look Christmas-y all on it's own. I hung it between the kitchen and living room because we decided not to get a tree this year (mostly due to the fact that we don't have a vehicle to haul it away with after the holiday). I don't really love where it is though, I think it would look a lot better on a tree. Guess I'll just have to wait until next year!

On another note, I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...just like the ones I didn'tusedtoknow. We have a blizzard warning in affect until Wednesday night. Or technically Thursday morning. It's been snowing on and off for the last 6 hours or so. We have a couple inches already. Jeff went to get snow tires put on just in time! We didn't have them last year and it was pretty brutal. I sort of feared for my life every time we went up or down a hill. Now we may actually be able to make it to our friend's house on the first try rather than the 21st. (I'm hardly exaggerating.)

Dec 2, 2009

Circle Boutique Etc.

I have had so many projects and ideas floating around in my little head lately so I have decided to do a challenge of sorts. For myself. I am going to make one "fun" project a week until I run out of a ideas. And I don't think that will happen anytime soon! I'll be sure to show you each one along the way! This week I'm working on a paper circle garland, check back in a few days to see the completed project!

I think I may be crazy for doing this considering I should also be working on items for Circle Boutique. I guess I'm hoping I'll give myself some more ideas. As if I need any more, I already have a ton of ideas for that as well!

Speaking of Circle Boutique, a few new items have been added since the last time I mentioned it. If you've got a minute, be sure to check it out!