Monday, August 27, 2012

Just a basic BLT

Sometimes I crave a BLT. This happened to me recently. So I did what anyone in my situation would do. I made a BLT.

Nothing fancy. It was delightful though.

Follow these simple steps and you'll be on your way to Deliciousville:

1. Get yourself some thick bacon. Start frying it up.

2.  While the bacon sizzles, slice up some fresh tomatoes and a few leaves of lettuce. Don't forget to wash them... salmonella is a friend to no one.

3. Check on the bacon. I love love love crispy bacon. I won't eat it any other way.

4. Put bread into the toaster. Using Texas Toast will separate your BLT from the average run of the mill BLT. Trust me.

5. This step is huge, listen very carefully. Taste test a strip of bacon. Repeat this step as many times as necessary.

6. Once the toast and bacon are done, you are ready to assemble the sandwich. I don't know if placement is extremely important. My BLT is toast with a smear of mayo, add lettuce, add tomato, add bacon. Some folks add salt and pepper and other spices. Not me. These 5 simple ingredients are quite satisfying for my taste buds.

7. Prepare for goodness. 

 My picture kind of sucks. You understand I didn't have time to set up a pretty little background and get my fancy camera out, right? I was hungry. I wanted to eat.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cruel Summer

The end of summer 'tis here, my friends.  Whether it is marked by the first day of school for your kids, for yourself, or by the cooling temps, it is coming.  Some of you may have already experienced it and I send my condolences (or congratulations depending on your situation).  As a kid, summer seemed so long and easy.  My biggest worry was whether I could go to the pool or not.  I actually did look forward to school starting so I could see my friends and have fun.  Yes, school was fun for me.  I was a nerd.

Summers get more complicated as you age.  Most adults don't get a break from their regular jobs but strive to fit in as many fun things in the limited warm, summer weekends (we have a short summer here in the Midwest where Mel and I live).  When you become a parent, your goal becomes providing enriching, fun experiences for your kids and making memories.  I am a mom of two girls - Drama, age 6, and Moody, age 3 1/2 (and no, those are not their real names).   I am my own boss so that means I work as much as I want/need.  Unfortunately the need usually outweighs the want.  I wish I could just take the whole summer off but that is not how my business works.

This summer, the girls have gone to daycare 4 days a week so we have at least 1 "mom" day or an extra day we can easily take off for a long weekend.  Drama is going into first grade so she now has a "summer break."  She's a nerd like her momma so the thought of no school for three months really didn't jazz her.  She went to a summer program which kept her physically active but I know she's excited to go back to school.

We are facing the last week of summer now and I am pondering how we are going to spend it.  Both girls will be home with me.  I am hoping to have some good summer (and ideally cheap) fun with them.  The State Fair is on our list for sure since Studmuffin (my husband) has to work a booth one evening.  What else should we make sure we do to complete our summer?  What events or activities are on your "must do" summer lists?  

Friday, August 24, 2012

Meet Co-Author Mel

It's finally happened! Cara and I have finally got our blog of awesome up and running. Thanks for checking in and we hope you like what you see.

As Cara mentioned, we have been best buds since high school. There have been many laughs and fun adventures along the way. She makes this world a little bit brighter. My heart holds a special spot just for her. Oh and she's an attorney. Never know when you might need one, am I right?

While Cara was studying her butt off and living the college life, I worked and became a mom at a young age. Cara and I would go months and months without talking. This was before Facebook and texting. Our friendship was never really damaged from this. It's a true, meant to be forever friendship.

So who am I today? I'm a wife and a mom. I have 1 daughter and 3 sons. Life is crazy! I am always tired. My house is always messy. My hair is almost always in a ponytail. I have flip flop tan lines. My writing skills suck. My life belongs to the 4 little people in my life. Sometimes it's hard and sometimes it's so good. Being a parent is hard. Being a wife is hard. Being an adult is hard. I wouldn't change it for anything though.

Thank goodness for outlets. Like friends, wine, reading, baking, wine, crocheting, coffee, photography, wine. Those are my hobbies, my favorite past times, my outlets.

As Cara said, we really hope you like our blog and can find inspiration in our words. We don't exactly know where this blog thing will go but our goal is to find some sort of fulfillment within it. From our baking to our crafts to a review of a good (or bad) book to our parenting adventures, we'll share it with you.

Please take a moment to "follow" us. We promise not to suck.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

About Co-Author Cara

So we somehow got you to venture on over to our new little blog, eh?  I like you already…and I hope you like our blog, too.  It’s brand spankin’ new so there isn’t much to look at just yet but we hope to fill it with a bunch of awesomeness.  

I am Cara.  My best friend and co-author is Mel.  We have been best friends since around 10th grade.  Not often do we make it a point of remembering exact dates that wonderful things start because it isn’t always obvious.  Our friendship is one of my favorite things.  We have known each other since grade school.  We are now in our…er…middish-30s.  That’s a long time to be in someone’s life and not be related.  I sure feel lucky she’s in my life and hope she never goes away.

We both have taken different paths in life but we are both wives and mothers.  I do not know what caused us to ponder where we were at in life a few years ago but we have been doing some deep soul searching as to what “happiness” means to each of us.  I love being a wife and mother.  I have a great husband and two amazing daughters, ages 6 and 3.  As far as career, that is where one of my main perplexities lies.  I made the decision to go to law school in 2001 and was admitted to the Bar in 2004.  I felt at the time that it was a good decision for my family’s future but now I am not so sure.  Being a laywer kind of sucks.  It is stressful.  People get themselves in the dumbest situations and think you have a magic wand to make it all better.  I am way too empathetic and trusting.  I could go on and on.  I am a solo practitioner and on the positive side, I love being my own boss.  I am really not a good employee, I do not like people telling me what to do and being all up in my biz.  If I need to take one of my kids to the doctor at 10am in the morning, I do not want to feel guilty about that.  If I would rather work at 9pm than 9am, let’s do it.  I’d rather be productive than just put in my time.  But being a solo comes with many other complications and since this train of thought has become boring even to myself, I’ll just leave it at that.  I am trying desperately to find my calling.  Pretty sure representing people in divorces is not it.  What do I love?  I love kids…especially my kids.  I love to cook and bake (and take pictures of things I cook and bake).  I am trying to get healthy and I do actually enjoy exercising, especially yoga, pilates, kickboxing, and Zumba.   I love to create beautiful things but have neglected that side of me.  Being a working mom does not leave much time for creative outlets.  

That is where Caramel comes in.  Mel and I need to be creative.  We so want to be creative.  We each have different interests and talents but wanted to work together and cheer each other on so we can achieve this goal.  We would love to maybe sell our creations someday.  But the main objective was to just do/make things we love.  We hope to share our creations, whether it be a blow-your-mind cheesecake or uber adorable baby hat.  We have a lot of ideas in our pretty little heads (ok, I kind of have a big head) and want this to be our inspiration to make those ideas come to reality.  Please share in our inspiration.  Comment.  Share suggestions.  Praise.  Ixnay on the idiculesray (please be nice).  In addition to our creations, we both enjoy writing and may just ramble on a bit about a topic related to our lives – such as parenting and dieting.  We would love to hear from you.  Be creative, my friends!  Be happy!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Welcome to the Caramel Living blog.  We are excited to begin this new venture together. We are childhood best friends with a mission to create the perfect life for ourselves.  Each of us has taken different paths in life but both have a goal of being happy, healthy and fulfilled.  We are both wives and mothers.  We share some hobbies and also have our own unique interests.  We are both pretty awesome.  We created Caramel in order to have a creative outlet in our lives and have many ideas and dreams of what it could become for us.  We hope you have fun following us on our mission and are working on making your own life happy, healthy and fulfilled.  

Expect to see our personal insights on various topics such as dieting, cooking, crafting, parenting and marriage.  We hope to post pictures of things we are busy creating and maybe someday will sell.  Caramel Living is all about experimenting to discover your talents and passions and pursuing them.  It’s also about having fun in life.  Because, really, we only have one life…we need to enjoy it!!!