Week 4! BAke, Off. Challenge Complete.

Well folks, here we are at the end of another successful challenge! What a ride this has been. Who even was I a month ago? I was lost, I was a bad cook.

Noooowwwwww – I am a much better cook! This has easily been one of my favorite challenges. I think my other top two are 1) 30 days of Bikram and 2) 30 days of vegan. When I started the Bikram challenge, I had never done it before. I got an offer for a month of Bikram classes for $29 on Groupon and just showed up one day – and the following 29 days. Actually it wasn’t consecutive because I think I missed 2 days (due to scheduling I believe) because I remember having to do DOUBLES. Woof.

I did 30 days of vegan eating, while living in the outback of Australia. I just happened to do start 30 days before my 30th birthday, so all around that was an interesting challenge. Try finding tofu in the outback of Australia. Biggest take away from veganism: oreos. Who knew?

30 days of cooking and baking though, this was a completely different type of challenge. It was draining in a different way. I literally got sick of sweets (for a minute, I’m back on that sweet train now, don’t worry) but whoever would have thought I’d get sick of sweets!

The last week of this challenge sort of fell apart though. Completely randomly I came home from an appointment and went to make my coffee and breakfast and boom, the electricity in the kitchen went out. I could still use the stove/oven and the fridge stayed on. But, all the outlets, lights, everything else was a no go. This happened Wednesday morning and was fixed by Sunday night.

I managed to bake 3 things this week, just in a desperate attempt to not fail my challenge, but I did not make the patisserie sweets I had hoped to. I was really looking forward to the challenge of patisserie, because it’s all things I’m not – precise, detailed oriented, patient, neat, alluring. But I threw together 3 things, 2 of which I’ve never made before and 1 of which I was in search of perfection.

Bake #1: Coconut Macaroons. NOT marcrons, I hate macrons. Macrons taste like the wafers you get at communion, ask me how I know that because I’ve never taken communion. I’m not sure, I may be imagining but either way ick. Coconut maracroons on the other hand – Mmm-mmm-mm-mm-mmm. I love coconut and had been craving coconut. I saw someone “whip some up” on an episode of the bake off once so I looked up a recipe. OMG – SO EASY! So I threw some together and yes, yes, yes, delicious. So good.

Bake #2: The quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I know everyone thinks this but I assure you – MY Grandmother’s chocchipcooks were the absolute best thing, ever. So I tried to replicate them. I did not nail my Grandma’s cookies BUT I made the absolute best chocchipcooks that I have ever eaten in my entire life. Like, I think they were better than Subway’s cookies and if you’ve ever had a cookie from Subway, then you already know.

Bake #3: Blueberry Muffins! I may have made blubemuffs from scratch before, but I don’t remember and they certainly weren’t this good! These are delicious. Like, cafe quality. Also very easy. I bought berries for the tarts I was going to make but since I couldn’t use my mixer I was discouraged. I ate the other berries but the blueberries were starting to get mushy and I can’t really eat them by the handful if they’re mushy. I also remember growing up, every now and then on a weekend morning I would awaken to my mom making blueberry muffins. Unfortunately growing up I didn’t love blueberries, or muffins, but I loved the smell and I usually had at least one anyway. Now, on the days I’m feeling lazy, I ask my dogs when we wake up whose turn it is to make breakfast. So far I’ve made breakfast everyday, but I’m hoping one day I’ll awaken to Freya baking blueberry muffins in the kitchen.

Now that my official challenge is over, I fully intend to keep baking and cooking as much as possible. This past week I made my 3rd loaf of bread and made pizza dough again, had two this week and froze the 3rd dough. That was really a lifesaver this week because I was stressed about my kitchen and it was easy to throw together and sooooo satisfying in a junk food way. I made a new sauce and that was amazing. My bread was amazing. I had avocado toast almost every morning.

One morning I even grilled peaches (well sauteed them) and put those on my avo toast with bacon and a runny egg *chefs kiss.* Actually, I just did ALL the dishes AND put them all away, it’s 10pm now, I may actually just throw together a quick dough so I can bake it tomorrow afternoon. I have breakfast planned tomorrow – I bought ham at the store, like a ham steak I guess it’s called? So I’m going to make an omelette tomorrow with the ham and leftover mozzarella from the ‘zah.

I woke up this morning, hungry but the only thing I had on hand were eggs. That was not what I wanted to eat. I hadn’t planned groceries or gone shopping. Sunday was very shitty for me. I couldn’t get access to the Steelers game for some reason, even after signing up all I could get was the radio version, but it didn’t matter because as the game was starting the electricians came and turned off all my power, wifi, AC, fans, lights – for FOUR hours.

I don’t think they knew how long it was going to be, I certainly didn’t and I didn’t want to just leave them in my house, so I just sat on my bed with my dogs and tried to scroll my phone without weefee. I don’t get great service here, so it’s very difficult to browse the internet when every page takes 11 minutes to load.

Sunday was the official end of my challenge, in my heart because after they left I was starving and annoyed. My whole day was gone, I was super hot, it was just uncomfortable. I went and got a sandwich and then later, I went to Sonic and got mozzarella sticks and a cherry coke. That was another thing I gave up for the challenge – soda. I don’t really like the food from Sonic anymore, when I first moved to Texas it was fun because I’d never had it before. Now that I’ve had it plenty, I don’t ever need it again. But everyone who knows Sonics knows that their sodas are good, and cheap and you can flavor them however and they have that cool ice. Also, where was I supposed to get mozzarella sticks at 9pm on a Sunday night? Ooooh…. maybe I’ll try making some next time.

I’ve been in a funk the past few weeks, a mental one. Thank goodness but I’ve finally got some clarity and feel a lot better about everything. Monday I actually got in my car to go to the grocery store and ended up going to the movies instead. I saw the movie Bros, which I had been looking forward too because sometimes you just need a good old romantic comedy.

Today when I woke up, I didn’t want to get out of bed, which has been a theme the past two weeks. I’ve been thinking long and hard about why I don’t want to get out of bed. I thought about my whole entire life how basically every single day of it, I’ve gotten out of bed for either an obligation or because I was so hungry I was going to start eating the bed. That was, until I got Freya. Then I got out of bed for her. Then she started waking me up at 5 am and we QUICKLY put a stop to that. Then I got Emmett. We’re still negotiating a wake up time.

The problem is when he wakes me up, lately at 8:14 am promptly, I also want to go back to sleep. So I get up, let the dogs out then lay back down form 10 mins while they potty and play a bit. Then let them back in and usually even put Emmett back in his crate and go back to sleep for 2-3 more hours. When I wake up at 11, I’m just as *blows a raspberry* and still not wanting to get up because, as always what’s the point of getting up.

You could tell me that there’s a million dollars in a box on my porch and all I have to do it open the door at some point in the day to grab it and I would probably still stay in bed til 10, or noon. So I’ve been thinking long a hard about this since I don’t HAVE to be on a scheudle, I’m not on a scheudle. This was one of my original concerns about not having a job anymore. Because even if I get out of bed at 12, I do the same things I would do at 8am, they’re just later.

But I decided to get up and stay up at least for the next week. I want to see how that goes. I’m hoping I’ll just start falling asleep earlier because that’s part of the issue. On the days when I do get into bed between 11pm and midnight (which is when I try crate Emmett) I usually don’t fall asleep until about 2-3a. So then waking up at 8am I’m like where am I, who am I and what am I doing in my house?

I like my brain better at night, I like the thoughts I have better at night. The problem is that at night, I just don’t feel like starting projects, or writing. So I watch TV. So my thinking is that if I try this earlier schedule maybe I can force the writing and art in the daytime, then read or watch TV at night. Which was sort of the schedule I had when I started this 3 month residency. I just stopped at 6pm and moved to the couch, so now I need to work on not doing that.

OH RIGHT! I forgot to talk about the no TV portion of my challenge – FAILED. Miserably. Lol. Actually I don’t think it was a horrible fail, but I did continue watching Tv, but I don’t think I watched for 6-7 hours a day. And this last week I actually deleted Instagram, which was taking so much of my time and attention, so I kind of swapped it for TV. Because at least the TV doesn’t conjure up all these crazy things and feeling sorry for myself, or like I’m not good enough, thin enough, rich enough, creative enough, blah blah fuck that blah.

I have noticed that I haven’t really gotten a lot of texts from people this week. Sending memes was a primary form of communication for me and a way to stay in touch with people. Whelp, that’s gone, oh well. I would really like to figure out a way to have some sort of social/human interaction. No more of this screen shit, I say typing into a screen. Actually, I do want to sign Emmett up for training classes so we can get some outside help with it. He’s gonna be a big boy and I need him to be an obedient big boy.

So the plan for tomorrow is to wake up at 8:14 and when the dogs go out to potty and chase squirrels, I’m gonna take a moderately cold, but also a little warm shower to wake up. Then. I’m going to STAY UP. Then I’m going to make a cup of coffee and sit and drink it at my kitchen table and not do anything else, but wake up. I may journal a little bit. This is the new routine that I want to start, where I just start my morning with me time and calm, quiet time, instead of being in bed, scrolling my phone, bargaining for more sleep, I’m just gonna set my brain for the day. I’m pretty excited.

I’ve been making headway on some of the things I’ve been writing, and that is also exciting and I can’t wait to work on that more. I am looking forward to this week and seeing how things go. So far, I’m planning on eating at home the whole time. My tummy did not enjoy eating out the past few times. So this habit should stick! Couldn’t be happier.

Ok friends, until next time!

Loaf #3!
Look at these babies. Man they were good.
These are also way better than Dunkin’s!
Frey was not happy Emmett was touching her, but I like to pretend I said “say cheese.”
This basically sums up their relationship, and also all sibling relationships/

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