this is my desk

I was thinking today, as I was writing at my desk, about the idea that you can tell a lot about a person based on how they keep their desk or work bench.

I guess you can tell a lot about a person based on how they handle almost anything.

Back to desks. Mine’s a little messy. My mom can attest, for much of my childhood my room was the messiest around. Sure, sometimes I tidy up my desk, organize and reorganize everything. And that always feels nice, like any tidying tends to. But it generally looks like this.

I have been sitting at this desk – and around a bunch of other places in the living room that hurt my back such as the couch, and the other couch – for several days in a row now, writing, writing, writing. It’s been a lot of fun because I love to write. My hips hurt, but I’ve been doing some yoga to make up for it. Luckily, it’s been rainy, so I haven’t felt badly about cooping myself up. I don’t think I left the house today.

This a picture Otto, now 5, drew for me while were on the bus a few weeks ago, a few weeks before he turned 5. It’s an orange cat. Underneath, it says “Manrd,” which is supposed to be “Maynard.” Pretty damn good. Maynard was, I believe, a cat his grandma used to have or maybe still has. This hangs on the wall above my desk by a piece of tape.¬† I told Otto, “One of our cats is orange, my cat Chawser is orange.” He pointed out, “He doesn’t have a green face, though.” True.

This is a cat calendar my mom gave me for Christmas. I love it. I turn the page over every week and find the cat or cats in a new cartoon doing hilarious things. Here is this week’s.

And this is a wacky corner of my desk that currently contains an early Easter card from Grandma, two pairs of sunglasses (one pair is Kevin’s), an empty bottle of expensive vanilla extract that I just had to keep because it cost FIFTY DOLLARS, a frame my friend Sara made for me which holds a picture of my late cat Floyd who died a year ago, and a cat figurine that my mom gave me for Christmas.

Conclusion: I AM A CAT LADY.

Yikes.

the brooklyn bakery examiner

I did not take this adorable photo, nor did I make this adorable cookie. This is the Pumpkin Whoopie Pie from One Girl Cookies, a Brooklyn bakery. And the photo was taken by Kathy YL Chan, and posted on her site, Serious Eats NY, The Dessert Files. (Yum.)

So, speaking of One Girl Cookies, I want to share with you guys my first published article as the Brooklyn Bakery Examiner (!!) over at Examiner.com. My short piece is called “The Story of One Girl Cookies – a Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Bakery.” Click here to read it.

I am so excited to continue to write this column. As you’re all well aware, I love all things sweets. I also love many things Brooklyn. So this is a match. I already have a bazillion ideas in mind for places to write about and explore. I’ll probably even have to revisit some of my favorites from daily dessert. Do you remember the trip I took to Baked in Red Hook, Brooklyn? That was one of the best days of my life.

(July. Coming soon to a city near you.)

Yeaaah, so this isn’t gonna be too bad at all, this new gig. In fact, I can’t think of many other things I’d rather be doing.

p.s. I’ve heard rumors that it’s going to be almost 80 degrees in NYC this weekend. We’re going to the beach, right? (I’m kidding…Am I?)

daily dessert + an overdue update

This melty mess of a cupcake was, without question, the best thing I’ve eaten in the last week. It’s a chocolate peanut butter omg you would die cupcake. My best friend, Daniel, who is also my former roommate from before I moved in with Kevin, went home to Tampa last week to see his family. And he brought back with him what he knows perfectly well is one of my greatest weaknesses, a dessert item from Wright’s in Tampa.

Wright’s is the best sandwich shop ever. Period. And they also make the most amazing cake I’ve ever had in my life. Ever. Period. They just recently started making cupcakes. HOLY COW. This was incredible. And I am forever indebted to Daniel for carrying it all the way back to NYC with him on the plane. He got one for me, one for himself, and one for his current roommate, who didn’t happen to be home when we broke them out to eat them. So Daniel ate his, I ate mine. And then. Like two fat kids hiding in the basement eating twinkies WE ATE THE OTHER ONE. Awful. Awful, awful. I said, “What are you going to tell your roommate?” He said, “I’ll just go get him something from the store.” Ugh. It was worth it, though. Also, we didn’t have a choice. The cupcakes were stronger than we were.

Speaking of cupcakes…

You all remember my dear friend, Elizabeth Blue, don’t you? Well, the above photo was taken by Blue herself. But more importantly, the above cupcakes were MADE by Blue herself. Aren’t they awesome?

Blue is a very captivating young woman with dozens of interests and strengths, including enviable cupcake-making skills. I’m excited to see what she has up her sleeve for this year of her life. She quit her waiting tables job last year, just a couple months before I quit my job. Her gut-decision actually inspired me to get the heck on with my own quit-my-job plan instead of just talking about it. She’s been through a lot of transition in the last few months, but transition is always exciting because out of transition grows your next chapter!

All cupcakes aside, it’s been a busy few days around here. We had a hectic weekend, complete with a friend’s (lovely) wedding and several meetings, a fundraiser show, and lots of odds and ends.

And last week was no different. Here’s one unbelievable thing that happened. My good friend Billy called me up and asked me if I wanted to go with him the very next morning to one of the leading advertising agencies in the country, and – more or less – help them brainstorm for a few hours for one of their current projects. What?! And! They were going to be paying us a significant sum of money for the short time we were asked to lend our brainstorming services. WHAT?!

Of course, so grateful to Billy, I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve been collecting any and all odd ways to make money lately – from babysitting, to a couple new writing gigs I’ve got (more on that in a moment), to coaching improv teams – anything that can help make ends meet. So I would have been foolish to have turned this down. Not only because of the money, but also because of the fascinating experience it promised to be. I’ve never been part of a real-life advertising brainstorm session before. It’s a subculture of the world I was very intrigued to learn more about.

So why did they want three comedians, Billy, me, and another comedian friend of ours, to come help them with their campaign? Good question. I asked myself the same question a dozen times that morning. Ultimately, it turns out that the guy who was sort of running the session was a very open-minded person. He clearly spent his time thinking mostly outside the box, and evidently it works for him, because he’s got a big, important job, doing big, important things, making big, important money. And he was wearing a t-shirt. So he probably gets to do what he pleases. Not bad.

Once we arrived, we learned that the gentleman in charge had also asked musicians, graphic designers, sound people, even a famous anthropologist (!) – professionals from all aspects of creating an advertisement, to be part of the brainstorming process. Traditionally, it doesn’t work that way. Traditionally, the actors, musicians, etc. show up after the fact and simply implement the plan that the ad agency has come up with. But this guy wanted everyone to be part of the process from the beginning. Pretty smart, I think. Seems like a solid way to figure out the best possible ad campaign.

It was a fun, weird, wacky morning of my life, but one I will never forget. And my bank account is also eternally grateful.

The only other thing I’m excited to share with you is that I’ve been writing over at Gather.com. Here is my profile. Basically, I’ve been hired as one of their “socialwriters,” which are people who write short articles on the hot topics of the day. I can actually write about anything that interests me, but because we get paid based on how many people view a certain article, so far I’ve only stuck to the stuff that’s popular right now. I definitely plan to branch out and write about more of my personal interests and less about what’s in the news right now, but since I only started writing for them this past Friday, I’m still getting my feet wet. I’ve written articles on everything from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, to Passover Recipes, to the story of Palm Sunday – I’ve even covered some celebrity news stories like Bethenny Frankel’s wedding. So far, I’m having a blast. I’m perfecting my quick writing and editing skills with every article. And I’m making some spending money!

Besides Gather, I was also asked last week to be a writer for a website called the Examiner.com. They’ve asked me to become their “Brooklyn Bakery Examiner,” which is obviously perfect and obviously right up my alley. I haven’t written anything for them yet, but I’ll let you know as soon as my first Brooklyn Bakery article comes out. So exciting!

Perfect timing for both of these gigs, for sure. I am absolutely adoring that I can write and earn money. That’s always been a dream.

Fanny & Jane is chugging along too. We had a fantastic meeting over the weekend with some very trusted friends and advisers and we devised a plan for the next few months of the business. I’m so excited about what’s possible with this little bakery, and I’m so happy with how far we’ve come. It’s a labor of love, for sure, but I wouldn’t change it.

So, that’s the update! Thanks for bearing with me while I try to carve out time in each day to write for Gather and the Examiner, and also to write the stuff I love writing the most which is for y’all on this blog, and also while I still (still) try to balance growing and expanding the bakery with all the rest of it. I hope my posts here won’t be too intermittent, but if they become so for a few days, you’ll know why!

Oh yes, and one more thing. The magnolia tree next door to our house has started to blossom.

Progress! Hope! Spring!

not enough time

I cannot tell you how much it irks me that the phrase “there’s not enough time in the day” still has an opportunity to rattle around in my brain now that it’s been over six months since I quit my desk job and took my days back. I quit my full-time, for-someone-else’s-dream, one-hour-commute-both-ways job so that I’d have those days to myself. I wanted more time to focus on my own stuff, more time to grow and shape my own goals.

And yes, I absolutely do have more time to do that stuff now. My days are busy – sure – but they are busy with things that are all for my future and toward my goals. Hooray! It worked!

I’m just always baffled when an entire day still passes by in a seeming blink of an eye and I only got one third of my To Do list accomplished, despite having been going non-stop since I woke up. Maybe I need to make shorter To Do lists. Or maybe I just need to trust that things will get done when they will and get off my back, Brain.

The point of this rant is here: If you ever quit your full-time job, the one where you work for someone else doing stuff that doesn’t make you happy, and you are thrilled to be walking into the sunrise of your new life, daydreaming of the days to come, days that will include luxurious jogs through the park, long hours spent with your notebook and pen, planning your new business, new career or new project, days where you’ll lose yourself in thought and you’ll meet friends for lunch and you’ll find yourself happier than ever, as the captain of your own ship, director of your own musical comedy, don’t assume that you’ll have time to do all that fun stuff AND clean your house, buy cat food, shop for new running shoes, renew your passport and organize your file cabinet. Because you won’t. And then you might get all grouchy about it. Because you are still an American human person who thinks she has to pack a whole lotta whatever-the-heck into one measly day in order to feel like she’s getting anything done.

I am, at least.

I’m going to work on correcting this melodrama.

daily dessert – van leeuwen ice cream

A daily dessert?! WHAT?!?! It’s been ages.

I was just telling Kevin the other day how ridiculous it is that I’ve barely posted a daily dessert since I quit my job six months ago, despite the fact that I have more free time than I did when I was working at that desk. It certainly speaks to the big adjustment this new lifestyle has been – trying to figure out how to negotiate it all, to keep doing the things I love, to pull back on the things that don’t need my focus right now – it’s a juggle for sure.

So, it’s time to start featuring some of my favorite dessert experiences again. And what better place to start than with the brand new store front location of NYC’s beloved artisan ice cream truck, Van Leeuwen. If you live in New York, you’ve seen the pale yellow truck frequenting the streets of the city, offering fresh, straight forward, delicious ice cream in a fantastic variety of flavors. They’ve got the standards like chocolate and vanilla, but they also have more exotic flavors like red currant, earl grey, and ginger. Despite walking by their truck dozens of times, I’d never stopped to partake.

Then, while in Greenpoint a few days ago, on a beautiful, warm, sunny spring day no less, I walked by their new store front location and I decided I had no choice but to stop in.

I forgot how awkward it can be to start snapping photos after you place an order with someone behind a counter. I never know if they mind or not, but I always feel super weird about it, so I try to take my shots as quickly and slyly as possible. I don’t think he noticed…eh who am I kidding, he probably noticed.

He recommended the earl grey flavor, but I’ve always been a big fan of strawberry ice cream, especially if it’s made with only a handful of high-quality ingredients.

I almost ordered a coffee too, but I couldn’t afford it.

I love the ambiance of this little shop. Even though it’s a small space, it feels very airy thanks to soft lighting and a big picture window in the front that opens up onto the street. And I really like the colors and textures they’ve chosen – they’re relaxing.

The strawberry ice cream was very good. I wish there had been more strawberry chunks, but that’s just a personal preference. It was otherwise delightfully tangy and sweet, and tasted very clean and simple. And I always like knowing I’m eating ingredients that are farmed or grown locally.

I have a feeling Van Leeuwen’s new store front is gonna be jumpin’ once the spring and summer weather is here to stay. I’m so glad I stopped in – I just adore new sweet treat shops because I know how much love and care has gone into them. I’m sure that’s true for any new business, but – for obvious reasons – shops that offer sweet stuff have a special place in my heart.

new sweet treat packaging!

I’ve been playing around with some new packaging ideas for our wholesale accounts! I’m currently obsessed with finding the best way to represent the sweets. I want something that we can kind of standardize, so that it works with any treat we’re selling.

In theory, I really liked the idea of this shape, but now that I actually see how it looks, I’m not totally sold. They’re pretty cute but I’m not sure they represent the sweets very well.

The stickers with the product names on them are just temporary. I’m going to be getting fancier ones done as soon as I decide on the new packaging.

So now we’re thinking the standing-up version, pictured below, might be a bit more consumer friendly than the flatter package. If I were the customer, I think I’d be more likely to reach for one of these cute little baggies, since you can kind of see the sweets better.

What do you guys think? Does anyone else care? Ha. No worries, I won’t be offended if you don’t! But I’d love some feedback about what you might be most likely to pick up at a store counter if you were hungry for a yummy treat! (Thanks!!)

six months later

I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t immediately start snapping shots of the adorable little flowers that are blooming in the front yards on our street. I squealed when I realized that colorful things were already popping out of the ground – it’s always one of my favorite sights of the year. It means we’re moving forward.

As anyone who doesn’t live under a rock probably knows, much of the country has had stunning spring weather this week. God bless it. It is supposed to be 72 degrees here today, and it’s been in the high 60’s all week long. Kevin and I sat in the park yesterday morning chatting and bickering over coffee and breakfast sandwiches from the deli and I accidentally got a little sunburn on my shoulder and arm! Guess it’s time to break out the sunblock. I am so ready.

This past week has been one of the most interesting and influential weeks I’ve experienced since I quit my job, which was just over six months ago (!). Here’s what happened. I started freelance-baking (sure, that’s a thing) on Sunday morning with a fantastic little catering company in the West Village. Better Being has been around for over 15 years, is owned by two amazing women and run by a wonderful team of talented people, and they’ve carved out an interesting niche for themselves – they cater almost all the big name fashion photo shoots in the city and have been successfully doing so for as long as they’ve been in business. They’ve never even had to advertise – they’re beloved in their community.

They recently decided to open a little take-out lunch shop as an addition to their catering business. The shop, which they’ve built out right in front of their kitchen facility, will offer organic fair trade coffee, delicious paninis and sandwiches, soups made from scratch, hot lunches, salads, and, of course, desserts. And they use some incredibly fresh, high-quality ingredients. Mmm! They had a very soft opening of the new cafe this past Monday, meaning they just opened their doors to friends and family and tried to troubleshoot while learning what to put on the shelves and how to serve the customers before officially announcing anything.

And that’s where I came in. They’ve never exactly had a formal baking department, as a company, and when I met with one of the owners this past Sunday, she explained to me that they were really hoping for someone to take over their bakery and sort of build it from the ground up – to create some signature sweets for the place and to head up the operation. She wanted to know if I was her gal.

It was an unbelievable opportunity, to say the least. I couldn’t believe it had landed in my lap. As I stood in their facility, with an entire separate kitchen dedicated just to the bakery, I imagined the possibilities and was shocked at my good fortune. This could be a great experience, I thought. I’d already told her about my own bakery, in fact it’s what attracted her to me as a prospective employee – she’d been to our website and was impressed. I’d explained to her that if I were to take on the job, I’d also still be running my own bakery and would want her to be comfortable with that. She told me she would be. We agreed to give it a try for a few days. I’d stick around and help out with the soft launch, prepping various sweets and treats for their fashion shoot lunches and for the new cafe, and after a few days, we’d both tell each other how we were feeling and if we wanted to move forward with official employment.

I was excited, but also a little nervous. I knew I could complete almost any recipe you put in front of me, but not having had any formal baking training, I was worried about what I didn’t know that I didn’t know. For a few days at least, I was going to be running this whole bakery! It was all up to me! I crossed my fingers that my skills were up to the task and that I’d be able to learn what I couldn’t already do.

More than any of that, though, I was also worried about whether or not this was the right move for my LIFE, for my bakery, for what I want for my future and the things I can see happening for Fanny & Jane. Lots of bakers and bakery owners have second jobs consulting for other restaurants or cafes. It’s not unusual for someone to own or have created their own restaurant or bakery and to be helping out another one at the same time. In fact, when she asked me for my Red Velvet Cake Bite recipe, I told her I’d be happy to offer them to her as a Fanny & Jane wholesale account, but that those were our signature item and I wasn’t comfortable taking our name off the product. She understood and agreed.

The hours at this gig, although varied, would mostly be mornings (I’d show up sometime between 7am-10am) until early afternoons (we’d finish up sometime between 2pm-5pm) and it seemed like I might have plenty of free time left over to still work on Fanny & Jane stuff too. I knew that I’d know after just a few mornings of showing up for work as Head Baker at a successful NYC restaurant, if it was the right job for me.

Turns out, it wasn’t. And before I explain why, I’ll tell you that discovering I had the ability to recognize that it wasn’t, to make that decision, and to be honest with the owners about it was incredibly reaffirming.

The job itself wasn’t bad at all. The early mornings weren’t ideal, but I got by, and the people at Better Being were fantastic. They were kind, helpful, funny, relaxed, easy to work with and very good at their jobs. The facility itself was great too. It was very clean, very well organized, and ran like a well-oiled machine, despite the addition of the cafe, which had everyone a little on edge as they tried to navigate this brand new aspect of their business. And I absolutely LOVED doing the baking. I made a chocolate sour cream cake, an olive oil cake (that turned out perfectly, if I may brag for a moment), dozens of cookies, biscotti, a range of different fancy cupcakes – a key-lime cupcake with a meringue topping and a lime curd center, a Guinness cupcake with champagne frosting, which was rather complicated to make – I even learned how to use a blow torch, something I’d never done as a baker before. I learned a ton in a few short days and got to know a lovely group of people with whom I would have never otherwise come into contact.

But it wasn’t long before I realized this was not the right fit. I was glad that the owners and I agreed to take it one day at at time before either of us committed formally. Already, after just a few days of working for someone else, I felt stifled, like I wasn’t able to do things creatively that were exciting to me, like there were certain rules I needed to follow and certain tasks I had to perform that weren’t what I wanted to be doing with my skills. And there was a lot of pressure to succeed the first time, every time.

Listen, I know that’s how having a JOB works. And I know that we don’t always get to love everything we do all the time. And, I certainly don’t want to sound ungrateful – a job opportunity is a blessing . But I don’t NEED this job in order to get by right now. And I really don’t want to settle with something like this. I wanted to see if it would be the right fit for me and for my current lifestyle, which happens to include owning and running my own bakery. And it turns out that it wasn’t. I left there every day completely exhausted and feeling almost incapable of spending more time baking for Fanny & Jane. I didn’t want to talk to anyone or do anything once I got home, and what’s worse is that I’d missed whole days of beautiful spring weather, the time of year I’ve been waiting for and daydreaming about since I left my desk job in the fall. Of course, there are days when I don’t get to do exactly what I want because I’m busy with my own work too, but in that situation, I’m my own boss, so if I decide an hour-long walk in the park will be good for productivity, that’s what I do. Understandably, working for someone else doesn’t exactly allow me that. Not to mention, I was missing working all day long on my OWN thing, creating stuff for my success and my future, rather than for someone else’s dream. On paper, this opportunity could have been the perfect fit for me right now, but in practice, it wasn’t what I was looking for.

And rather than be disappointed in myself that I didn’t love it, rather than be disappointed in fact that the experience didn’t match my pre-conceived idea of the experience, I decided to take the cues my body and brain were giving me and to tell the owners, “I’ve loved working here for the last few days, but this isn’t a long term fit.”

They were incredibly understanding and sweet about it and I left there on very good terms. One of the owners kept thanking me for being honest about what I was feeling, and for communicating it to her. The good news is, Fanny & Jane landed a wholesale account of the whole shebang because she loves our Red Velvet Cake Bites and wants to keep them as an item on their shelves. Hooray!

And speaking of Red Velvet, here are some cupcakes I made for their soft launch on Monday. They were pretty delicious, if I may say so.

I cannot tell you how rewarding it was to communicate my true and honest feelings to those people, and to not be ashamed of having those feelings! I was 100% myself at this job from the moment I walked in the door, which is not something I can say about every job I’ve ever had. I was honest with them about who I am and what my skills are, what I’m looking for and what I thought I could contribute. And my skills were certainly stretched. (I had to make something called a Pate A Bombe one day, a term I’d never heard before, which has something to do with how fast and at what temperature you whisk a sugar syrup into an egg mixture. Not that hard to do, but I definitely had to google it to find out.)

More importantly, I was honest with myself. The first moment I started to feel like this wasn’t the right move for the next year of my life, I spoke up. I don’t intend to quit every job I have from now until forever (although I am getting pretty good at giving the speech – har har), but I think I’m learning about myself that being my own boss is right up my alley. I’m also re-learning that I refuse to settle.

I could not stop myself from thinking, while winding down my last few hours at Better Being, You know, I spent a whole year writing a blog about trying to quit my desk job, trying to find the courage and the means to do so. I felt stifled and uncreative there. So I cannot get myself right back into another full time job if it’s not what I want for myself, just because it’s a little bit more aligned with my interests. A little bit more aligned does not a happy career make, necessarily. If I’m not happy right now, if this is not the right fit, I need to get out now. I don’t need to start another blog a year from now about getting up the guts to quit THIS job. (Can you tell I’ve had to give myself a lot of pep talks throughout this experience?)

Don’t get me wrong, the whole thing was fantastic, overall. I loved the people I met and worked with and I’m thrilled to supply F&J sweets to their little shop. I will definitely be going back there for coffee and lunch because every single thing I sampled was absolutely delicious.

And oh my gosh, did I ever feel like I was walkin’ on sunshine, with a huge grin spread across my face, the moment I stepped off the subway to head home on Wednesday afternoon. I’d clocked out for the last time at Better Being, just a few short days after I clocked in. And I was headed back to my fully self-employed lifestyle, to my own bakery, to my own palette and my own creative designs and to being my own boss.

We learn new stuff about ourselves and the world all the time. And this week I learned a boatload of new stuff. The most monumental of which is that I’m right where I belong.

the journey continues…

My last saved blog draft is from Saturday night and it begins with my complaints about the horrible monsoon we were having. It moves on to note the yummy breakfast sandwich and blueberry meal I made for myself that afternoon. And then the entry stops abruptly because our cable and internet got knocked off and didn’t come back on for three days! I mean, no big deal I can get by, right? RIGHT?

Interestingly, a bunch of surprising stuff started happening that night, and has since continued, and it’s left me entirely out of the house and off the grid anyway. So I’ve barely noticed the technology outage. I’ve been working for someone else for the last few days. Doing what? Some baking! It’s not the gig from my earlier post, it’s something different entirely. The universe answered my job request like a pie to the face. And I’ve been working long hours in a new place doing new stuff and it’s craaazaaay! A little too crazy, maybe.

I’m not gonna write about it specifically yet because I’m not sure what the future holds for this employment situation. There’s a likely chance it’s a very temporary thing, I’m feeling like it might not be the right fit. And the owners and I agreed when I started working on Sunday morning that we would play it very much by ear anyway.

Mostly, I’d like to tell you that it’s been a pretty fantastic learning experience. I’ve had to be there at 7am for the last two days, meaning I have to leave¬† the house at 6am, meaning I have to get up before that, meaning: scary. Being up early can be tough for me. But I’ve done it. And tomorrow I don’t have to be there until 9. Sleepin in, y’all!

Even though I don’t necessarily see myself continuing this gig for much longer, I’ve certainly been enriched for having had it for even a few days. I’ve discovered things about myself in a rush and a flurry since Sunday morning when I started. The opportunity to work for this place landed in my lap and I stood around staring at my life with my mouth agape while I accepted the chance to see how it might flow.

This whirlwind has taught me a lot about my own bakery, a lot about myself and my work ethic, and more still about what I want out of my life. When I quit my desk job back in October, I was making a declarative statement, in a sense, about what I wanted for my life. But just because I made that choice last year doesn’t mean that I now get to stop defining what I want and need. So this job opportunity has given me another chance to define and redefine what I’m doing here.

This is a shot of some yummy biscotti I made at this gig. I was very proud of these. Sometimes I like biscotti and sometimes I don’t, and I don’t see myself adding any to the F&J menu any time soon. But it was fun to practice the recipe. I’ve gotten to practice making lots of things in the last couple days.

What a wild ride this remains to be.

If anything, this experience has shaken me out of a little winter rut I was in. If I’m being honest, for a few weeks there I was feeling bored, uninspired, confused, worried and unmotivated. That was scary, because those were also feelings I was having when I was working in an office and dreading my weekdays. So why on earth should I be feeling that when I’m happily running my own business and enjoying a flexible schedule? Well, we are not our circumstances and we make our own happiness. That’s why. I’m reminded of that every day.

I’m excited to have woken up, literally and figuratively, over the last couple days and enjoyed a gentle reminder of who I am and what I want.

p.s. CATS

new shoes?

I miss having money!

The bakery did very well over the holidays so my income didn’t change much at all in the months after I left my job. The bakery is still doing well, but it’s not the holiday season right now, which is always the most lucrative time of year for a bakery. So I’m now trying to make ends meet. And I miss having expendable income! Having a salary was fun. I didn’t care for everything that came with it, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to missing it now that it’s gone. I was marveling the other day that there was once a time when I was receiving regular and relatively large sums of money (a paycheck) with complete predictability. That was nice.

Opening a business is a different animal than working at a job that gives you a salary.

I wouldn’t change anything, don’t get me wrong. I’m still loving running Fanny & Jane. I enjoy the baking very much, I enjoy all the aspects of it, really. But I’ve decided to get another job in addition to operating the bakery so that making ends meet is even easier. I wanna have fun with money again! I wanna buy shoes sometimes! Right now, a splurge feels irresponsible. If I had additional income, a splurge might feel deserved. I also wouldn’t feel so guilty about eating dinner out sometimes, or taking a few trips this year.

So, tonight, I went on an interview! The reason it was at night is because it was for a late night shift of – what else – baking! I interviewed and had a trial-run to be a part-time batter maker for another bakery. I had fun! Should they call to offer me the job, I don’t plan to take it because the pay is just not enough, the hours are a little nutty and it involves coming home very very late at night from a kind of sketchy section of Brooklyn, something I’m just not comfortable doing.

So the search for the part time job continues. But having the interview itself was a blast. I got to bake for an hour in a big kitchen, making gigantic batches of cake – batches much larger than we ever make for Fanny & Jane. I loved it and it reaffirmed for me how much I enjoy baking and also how much I enjoy being active while I’m working.

I’ve decided that the key to my getting this job is lifestyle compatibility. How compatible will the job be with my current lifestyle. It’s important to me that I don’t make any rushed choices and end up with a job I dislike, with hours that aren’t good for me, in a neighborhood that’s far away. That’s exactly the job I just came from last fall. So I’m focusing on interviewing for stuff that I can really see myself enjoying, doing well and something that will fit into the life I’m still building. The bakery remains a huge priority, obviously.

So let’s see what comes my way! My interview tonight was an exciting reminder of the possibilities available to me right now. Including the possibility of new pants or a new scarf.