Busy-ness

I haven’t been posting a lot of meal recipes lately…and honestly that’s because I can’t remember the last time I was home before 9pm. A combination of late nights in the office, evening runs with CPTC teammates, and after work events have made cooking dinner mission impossible. Some nights I eat in the office, other nights I piece together a meal (last night was wine + cupcakes). Certainly not ideal, but I hope to return to the kitchen once the crazyness subsides.

But as much as I complain about being too busy to pee (seriously, that was the case on Tuesday), I really thrive when my days are full. While my job isn’t something I want to do forever, the project I’ve been working on lately is engaging and I find myself losing track of time instead of staring down the clock. And when my work day is jam packed – it gives structure to the rest of my life (running included!). Monday was a packed day and I didn’t *really* have time to take a lunch hour, but I knew a mid-day break would be good for my sanity. 5 miles later, I was able to conquer (or at least survive…) the rest of the afternoon.

I knew that if a run was going to happen on Tuesday and Wednesday, it needed to happen in the morning. So while setting the alarm early wasn’t much fun, I still fit in some miles both of those days (5 and 7 miles, respectively). Being busy spurs me into action – there is no pushing off runs till later, wasting time on the interwebs, or pushing the snooze button. I am definitely happier and more productive when I’m busy. Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m immune to needing a glass (or bottle) of wine after work!

Tuesday was one of those days when I had to steamroll through my to-do list so that I could leave work by 6:30pm. Leslie and I had plans for a Butterlane cupcake baking class by 7pm. Three Leslie dates in a week? You bet. I promise we hang out with other people (sometimes) and No, we’re not dating each other (yet). Haha, I kid.

Anyway, while I’m not exactly a novice baker, I still enjoyed the baking class. There’s something so therapeutic about creaming together butter and sugar, adding in eggs and flour, and creating delicious. No matter how bad your day has been, no matter what’s on your to-do list for tomorrow, a cupcake can make things just a little better.

  

I did my share of tasting during class and am pretty sure I could eat a bowl of straight chocolate cupcake batter. Organic eggs and butter, 92% dark chocolate – that’s a balanced meal if I ever saw one.

Meanwhile,  Leslie mastered the art of frosting a cupcake.

We each left the class with a dozen freshly baked cupcakes (a combination of vanilla/chocolate/banana cake with raspberry, cinnamon, cream cheese, vanilla, chocolate, or peanut butter frosting!) and made our way to a nearby bar. Before we reached the door of the lounge, I popped the remainder of my chocolate-peanut butter cupcake into my mouth (dinner!) and wiped the crumbs from my face. I suppose my night wasn’t entirely made up of responsible decisions – I could have had protein for dinner and chosen an early bedtime over wine. But sometimes fun needs to come before responsibility. Busy days and busier nights are defining my life right now, the life of a 20-something living in New York City. I’m sure I’ll be itching for homecooked food and quiet nights soon enough – until then, you can find me with the cupcakes.

We learned a bunch of things during the class, but my favorite take-away was this: If you add a bit of cream cheese to your frosting, you can substantially cut down on the sugar. The cream cheese fluffs up the frosting, adds to a smooth texture, and prevents it from being overly sweet.

Butterlane Cupcake Frosting (for about 3-4 dozen cupcakes)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • seeds from one vanilla bean
  • 7 cups powdered sugar
  • splash of vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Cream together butter and cream cheese for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla bean and mix until combined.
  • On a low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar until incorporated. Finish off with a splash of vanilla extract and mix for about ~3 minutes or until smooth.
  • If you want to make flavored frosting, now’s the time to add raspberry jam, cinnamon, etc.

Do you prefer your schedule to be jam-packed? Or more low key?

  • Maren

    I like being busy…but doing things I actually like doing! 🙂 Those cupcakes look delicious! I love that you are so hardcore about getting your runs in, but don’t stress if you miss one…and always make time for friends and fun! You really know how to balance it all!!

  • claire

    Your hair looks really cute! Have you always had bangs? Either way, I like you ‘do.

  • Those cupcakes look amazing! Baking definitely isn’t relaxing for me (all the measuring wigs me out) but EATING a cupcake? Now that I could get behind. I love being busy at work, too. Makes the time go so much faster!

  • Hey, sometimes in life you just need a cupcake and wine kind of night 🙂 I think I prefer something in between a jam packed schedule and having no structure at all – I also thrive when I have a lot going on, because it forces me to wake up early to workout and get done what I can when I have free blocks, instead of procrastinating all day. But when I’m overly busy and don’t have time to spend with friends, watch a little junk TV, and just relax a little, I am not a happy camper. Glad you are thriving on your busy-ness right now!! A stimulating, rewarding work environment makes a huge difference.

  • I’m with you! The busier I am, the happier I am!

  • wine and cupcakes sounds close to my wine and cookies 🙂

    i like being really busy but after a few months of it i just need nothing on the docket for a few days.

  • I totally agree – I love having a structured & busy schedule! If I’m tempted with spare time you know I’ll wind up asleep on the couch or with my fist in a cream cheese frosting jar…

  • I like a jam-packed schedule with some occasional low-key nights. Nothing forces you outta bed for an AM run like a full schedule!

  • I’ve always wanted to take a class at butterlane! Looks awesome!

  • I know what you mean. I hate being busy while I’m busy but I think I hate being bored even worse. Good job getting out there for your runs and for making time for dates with friends.

  • Meggie

    I enjoy being very busy and then prob at least once/week need a day with nothing planned except maybe a run. I have to recharge the battery so to speak! As long as there is time to work a run or something similar in, I don’t mind how busy the rest of my day is. I get very cranky/ancy if I don’t run, unless its a planned “day off.”

    How early do you get up to run?

    Best cupcake I’ve had in the city — banana cake cupcake, Billy’s Bakery

  • Good for you! Love being busy too – but not too busy. I have been getting up at 4:30 to hit the gym before work lately and it has definitely been getting to me!
    Last night I was planning on getting to the gym after work since I snoozed way too long – but I drove directly PAST the gym, went home, had 2 glasses of chardonnay, and some fro yo.
    Just one of those nights – and I loved it.

  • Katherine

    I love being busy, but I hate feeling out of control. When I’m on top of my to-do list and I’m fitting in workouts, sleep, schoolwork, time with my husband, and, most of all, sleep, I’m the happiest person on the block. The hectic feeling of juggling too much is one I can’t stand, though. It’s definitely a delicate balance. Those cupcakes look amazing, by the way 🙂

  • I love reading about all your adventures! When it comes to being busy and jam-packed, I take it in cycles. I like to be super busy for a week and then for laid-back for a week… when it gets cyclical like that I tend to appreciate both the busy-ness and the laid-back time so much more.

  • Love Butter Lane’s raspberry and espresso frosting flavors. Totally trumps Crumbs and Magnolia, IMO!

  • mmm, I want to take one of those classes! Sounds like a perfect evening, and I’m super jealous of all your Leslie time 🙂

    Even though sometimes I hate being busy and stressed all the time, I definitely thrive on it. If I ever have free time, I almost don’t know what to do with it!

  • I always thrive on being busy.. As much as I may stress and complain when I have a huge workload, I get a bit shack-wacky if I have nothing immediate on the ‘to-do’ list and find myself constantly taking on new projects!

    Plus, who doesn’t love the ‘excuse’ to have wine and chocolate for supper? 😉

  • Mary

    You wrote how I feel so much of the time. Right down to the “my job isn’t something I want to do forever.” This is why I read your blog!

    I love to be busy, especially at work…I am also a big fan of mid-day workouts!

  • So fun! I want to take a cupcake class! Butterlane sets up a little stand on the High Line during the summer. It’s the perfect treat on a warm (or cold, or rainy, or whatever) day. Yum!

    As for my schedule, bring it on. I thrive when I’m busy, stressed and living a jam-packed life. I don’t handle free time well.

  • Kelly

    I like both. Jam-packed days make me feel more productive and inspire me to be more productive but I am also not above low-key weekends in which the most I move is from the couch to the kitchen and back again.

  • What on earth is to your left in that second pic? It looks like a massive moose mounted to the wall!

  • @Shelby – haha, it’s wall art of a giant cow.

  • bahaha “not dating (yet).” watch out manfriends. watch out. let’s make those yoga plans for next week!

    i thrive on a packed schedule, as you know – i realized yesterday morning (while being fancy at equinox) that i don’t have a free night until march 23rd, and honestly, that probably means i”ll go to go to yoga that night, which makes my schedule booked again. i also have the same kind of autopilot mentality when i’m really busy and tend to be more productive because of it. objects in motion stay in motion, right?

    also, lolol to shelby. i think it was someone’s jacket? a moose would be infinitely better.

  • I LOVE for my schedule to be packed! I figure this is the time of my life to do everything I want, when I want and not have to worry about cooking dinner for a husband or spending time with kids. Like today after work (I get off at 3) I am volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club, going to a core for runners class, volunteering at books for prisoners project and then heading downtown to hear a band. Hopefully, I ‘ll be in bed around midnight!

  • yesss, so glad you guys had fun at the class and now have a billion cupcakes in your fridge. between BT and I, we had like twentysomething, and I ate a cupcake a day for two weeks. it was awesome/ gross. yep.

    i love being busy, and i love planning like a slightly OD personal assistant… for myself. i’m good at it. keeps me on my toes, too.

  • A girl at my office took that class at Butterlane, too, and brought in some leftovers…so good! Did you use the Groupon for it?

    I also thrive on an action-packed schedule, makes it easy for me to slot in different activities instead of wasting away time being unproductive because I have no deadlines or no plan. Happy to hear your work project is making you happy, even if it’s leading to some later nights. And there is always time to squeeze in wine 🙂

  • I LOVE being busy, mostly because when I’m not it is easy for me to procrastinate and get lazy…

  • I love cream cheese in my frosting. It makes it so tasty! I didn’t know that it helped keep it smoother though.

    A mix of busy days and relaxed days works best for me. I like the busy structure during the workweek but then more free time on the weekends.

    Sounds like a super fun time at the class!

  • I like being busy to a point… when I’m squeezing in runs and yoga classes due to work, etc. it starts to get annoying though. Lately I’ve been getting home around 8 every night, which is really hurting my running schedule! I prefer to be home at a more normal time and be able to cook dinner a few times a week.

  • I’m going to this class the first week in april, and I’m so excited!!

  • holly

    two of my favorite ladies in a cupcake class? only wish i could have been there 🙂