Friday, March 30, 2012

Return to Sender

I pride myself on being on of those  really "on top of it" people. Between my extensive list making and my calendar, nothing gets past me, unless I let it. Yesterday, at approximately 4:00 in the afternoon, the unthinkable occurred. Completely unbidden, the thought rushed into my mind that I'd never renewed my parking sticker which expires today. And thanks to my hyper vigilant friendly neighborhood ticketers, there seemed little chance I could sqeak by an extra day with an old pass.

Thankfully, we have a parking space, which I'm using to avoid said ticket, but I set two alarms on my phone to make sure to bring all the paperwork I need to get my pass today (luckily I work right next to the city hall).

This morning, I get up, get ready, grab my registraion and head to work. Just as I get on the T and settle into a window seat, I'm hit with another bolt of lightening. I don't have a piece of mail proving I really live at my address (which I needed last time)! I panic for a brief moment and then force myself to relax. This is a problem; I love to solve problems. I'll figure it out.

All the way to work, I devise a sneaky little plan. I'll write myself a bogus letter on company letter head, including my mailing address of course. I'll use a window envelope. The only problem? To make it legitimate, there needs to be a stamp on it. So how can I use our mail machine to mail and stamp my envelope without drawing attention to myself? There would never be a reason for me to be mailling anything in the first place, let alone at 9:00 AM in the morning on a Friday. I brainstorm how to do it without being conspicious. And then realize, to make it even more believable, I can reopen the letter I just sealed with a letter opener, and maybe crinkle the envelope a little to make it look like it's been through the USPS ringer. I'm getting really into it now!

I arrive to work in high spirits ( these kinds of crazy endevours always get my blood pumping!) and see a friend in the kitchen. Before anything else, I tell her all about my plan and, ask her advice about the best way to execute the mail machine portion.

"Katy," she responds, "you can just print out a statement from Comcast or other online account, that's what I do. It has your address on it."


{post script: shortly after writing this post, I  used my lunch break to head down to city hall to renew my pass. The woman helping me never asked to see my piece of mail. She didn't even look at anything besides my registration. . .}

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March wrap up

photo courtesy KaitBrinkArt

There are too many birthday's to keep up with around here. What is it with all you spring babies?? 

. . .you're stealing my thunder! 

Honorable birthday mentions to:
The fabulous Miss B (let's do the Regal Beagle again, soon, shall we?)
Swickster, I loved dancing the night away with you
My darling Emily, who is turning 20 tomorrow (oh my gosh. I feel so old. When did my baby sister join me in my twenties? (should anyone ever feel old in their twenties? (no.))). You're my favorite little sister and I hope you have the best day.

Catching my breath now for the next round of birthday which start up next month, the best month (specifically, April 30th). 

In conclusion Happy Birthday to all you wonderful March babies. And thanks, reader friends for abiding my extensive use of parentheses. There was no other way.  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Visitor & Nutella Stuffed Cookies

A week ago today, a dear friend Sarah, who now lives in Colorado with her husband, came to visit. We met  up with two of our other great friends for dinner and had such fun catching up. Getting the four of us together basically reduces us to non stop inside jokes and constant laughter. The poor souls who had to sit on either side of us at the restaurant probably wanted to kill us all, but we were having such a good time we didn't care. Laughter with old friends is one of my favorite things!

Here we are all together, for the first time in ages!

As a little present for Sarah and her husband I made some nutella stuffed peanut butter cookies. Another gal pal, V, shared this recipe she found on another blog, and I've been simply dying to make them for something, and this was the perfect excuse!
Because I'm the worst at math, there may or may not have been some miscounting on my part and thus slightly larger than planned cookies, but boy, oh boy, were they divine (how could anything stuffed with nutella not be)!

My only advice, add way more nutella than she mentions and, really, than seems safe. Trust me, you won't regret one hazelnut-y minute of it

I didn't add as much nutella to this batch. I won't make the same mistake twice!

A little bonus. I'm the stunner on the right.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hot Tub Time Machine

Do you ever have those surreal moments where you realize you've become the person you were intimidated by and in awe of  when you were a teenager?

This weekend these stunning girls and I went on a little trip to NH.
We were staying at a major ski destination but, as is the theme of my life, weren't actually doing any winter sports (well, one of us was running a hockey tournament, but obviously not me. . .)

One of the nights we were there we decided to take advantage of the not so frigid temps and have a lounge in the hot tub on the grounds of our hotel. 

Upon our arrival, only one older man and his kids were outside and before long we had the hot tub all to ourselves and settled down for a relaxing soak. Enter: a hoard of screaming, cannonballing, lively 11-15 year olds. We were staying in a condo hotel, so people go there for winter weekends. . .and bring along their kids. As the ladies and I chilled out in the water, we were soon joined by a scantily clad group of 14ish year old looking girls. Perhaps we should have welcomed them with open arms, asked about their weekends and generally been sweet but. . .we sort of just went about our conversation.

Frankly, we were a little surprised by their boldness. When I was 14, no way would I have hopped into a hot tub with a bunch of twenty something women. I would have been too scared.

The girls didn't do much talking, and based on their heads ping ponging back and forth were mostly listening intently to our conversation (duh, we're so cool). Then, shortly after climbing, in they quickly made their way back out.

It's just so funny to think back to the times I'd be on vacation with my family. I'd see these older girls on vacation talking and laughing together. They seemed so old and cool. I wanted to be like them so badly I could taste it; yet, it seemed like I would always be an insecure, pimply teen. Here we are a decade or so later, and it seems I've arrived. At least, I think that's what it means when you scare of a bunch tweens from the hot tub. Right??

I'll take that as a yes.

Although. . .shortly after the girls departed, we were joined by an even more fearless gaggle of tween boys. Not sure where I've arrived to in that scenario. . . 

Thursday, March 8, 2012


"I have this theory that Alex didn't actually die"

"Ummmm, I still haven't finished the book. Alex dies????"

This is the moment this morning where I put my foot in my mouth (first 223243421 time for everything. . .) while texting a friend about a sequel to a book I read, and she is still reading. apparently.

My response was to just say it like it was. "There's no way to recover from this. I'm sorry" (paraphrased)

Ruining surprises (endings, parties, engagements) is like asking someone when she's "due" only to find out she's not even pregnant(never EVER do this. I wait for the confirmation facebook post that the child has been birthed before mentioning pregnancy to the mother.) or telling someone there little daughter is so cute, only to find out it's their son.

There really is no way to make up for it.  I've found the best approach is the aforementioned acknowledgement of nonrecovery. That is, just say it. "This is teribble, I'm sorry, and I know nothing I saw will make this better."
Then-Stop talking. Don't try and explain away your faux paux. You can't take it back. They can't be unsurprised and you might further ruining things if you keep blabbing about it.

Blessedly (as far as I can remember) I've yet to ruin a surprise party which I think must be the worst.
"See you next Saturday at your party" (Your voice drops off on that last word as you realize what you've done)
"What party? Saturday's my birthd. . ." (Bing. lightbulb on. surprise ruined)

Even if you manage to throw them off the scent by insisting they really are going to see a highschool production of RENT with their grandmother, the seed was planted .  You've robbed them of that moment of pure, unadulterated surprise.

Thankfully the closest I've ever gotten to ruining a birthday surprises was at my grandmother's 80th when I referenced the next leg of the surprise to her. Thankfully, her hearing isn't what it once was and so she completely missed it (I think). Phew.

If you've ever had a book ending, surprise party, or other big surprise ruined for you by a Chatty McChatt like myself, take comfort in the fact that it was worse for us than it was for you. . .

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Today was one of those days. I was stepping on the T this morning and realized that my phone was sitting on my nightstand where I'd left it to charge a little earlier.

Upon arriving phone-less at work, I got an upsetting (work related) e-mail. Determined not to let the day go completely down hill, I headed down stairs  to toast my morning bagel thin. Our office provides us with bagels and toppings everday but I mostly try to eat these thin little wheat ones from home. Whilst jawing with a coworker about the annoying e-mail situation I burned my bagel thin to a smoking, smoldering crisp in our constantly malfunctioning toaster. It was over. Day done.

Except not, because I still had another nine hours of work and travel until I could get my phone back. Have you ever left your phone somewhere for a day? It's excruciating. I kept reaching for it only to have my hand fall empty onto my post its. I thought of a million things I needed to look up RIGHT THEN, and e-mailed a few people in case they'd tried to text or alert me of an emergency and I didn't reply.

No facebook, no words with friends, no googling how old Will Smith's son is. It was a dark day. But it did get me thinking. How insane that only six or seven years ago I didn't have a cell phone. I borrowed my mom's when I was driving my (then) new car farther than down the road. And when I did get one, I couldn't fathom I would one day be googling what the time limit for boil-cleaning a toothbrush is at work while pretending to be documenting medical records (this never actually happened so I don't know the answer. I always just use the dishwasher). Here we are, however, and as much as I loathe the way people are all glued to their phones, it seems I am too.

Not today, though. And if I'd had my phone, I could have researched how to get the smell of burned whole wheat bagel thin out of my hair.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Katy in the Kitchen: Pizza

Sunday nights are possibly one of the saddest nights. The looming cloud of another week at the office weighs down my shoulders. Quelle Horreur! 

I mean, I'm just being dramatic. In all seriousness, though there's definitely a tone to Sunday nights; just the slightest taste of melancholy.

Luckily, once a month some lovely friends and I get together on a Sunday night to make dinner, catch up, and generally enjoy each others company (and some wine. Don't forget the wine!) which makes the evening just a teense more bearable. This week was one of our dinners and we were making one of my favorite foods. Pizza. Every nine year old on the planet and I get a little shiver up our spine at that word. 

Thankfully, my tastes have expended beyond my nine year old self, and I love trying all different wild combinations of pizza. Boston is shamefully lacking in good pizza, in my experienced opinion, but I really enjoy making my own pizza (especially on the grill!) so it's not really a loss.

The pizza we made last night?

A delightful white pizza (no gross alfredo sauce) topped with carmlized onions, butternut squash, spinach, and goat cheese. It was devine. My only tweek might be to cut the squash into a little bit smaller chunks for next time. Only because while I like squash, we're not super tight, and I can only handle it in small doses, you know?

I'd also like to throw out that goat cheese (much like chocolate)  when combined with anything, basically makes it a thousand times better, even if it was already good to begin with.

Email me for the recipe if you'd like: katydidwhatblog{at}gmail{dot}com

Also, for all you foodies, a new little feature on my blog {look up}! There is now a "KatyInTheKitchen" page where all my various an asunder baking/cooking/decorating posts will be collected-should you want to focus solely on some culinary delights now and again. Enjoy!