I know, I know…it’s been a while. Every time I thought I was going to sit down and have a chance to write I always got sidetracked by something else. That’s just been life lately. 

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum Take 3

In July I talked some friends into going to TALA. They’ve never been, I’ve been there twice already and I just love the place. Since the last time I went they’ve added a lot to the normal tour I’ve taken, so I was excited to see those new places. We also ended up going on another tour – which was totally new to me.

I highly suggest anyone take a tour of this place if they ever are in the area. As I said before, I completely love the building.

You can see more of the pictures I took during the tours, you can see them here.

Liz Weekend

I oddly had a Friday and Saturday off last month. I knew my brother had my niece for his “summer vacation” with her, so I asked if I could have her for a couple days. She came up Thursday night and stayed with us until Saturday afternoon. These days off were during the Hall Of Fame week – actually it was at the end of that week. So she was here for the grand parade that closes out the week of events. We did take her to that – which was a lot of fun. I’ve only lived in Canton for 1 year as of the end of July, and last year I worked during all the HOF events. It was nice to be able to attend them this year.

The Friday she was here I had a work meeting. So she thought she was super special since she had to sit in on a meeting and listen to a bunch of kitchen talk and specials. After the meeting was over we went to the mall. I finally broke down and told her that I was taking her to Build-A-Bear. I knew she had never been to one before. She did tell me an interesting and odd story that her mom wanted to go, but none of the kids were going to get anything just her mom because it was her birthday. Let’s just say, I don’t get along with her mom and that kind of proves why I don’t. Anyways, I knew it wasn’t going to be a cheap trip, but it was fun. She bought an outfit and I bought everything else. Which included another outfit, pajamas, slippers, a sleeping bag, a brush and shoes.

As I said before we ended the weekend with her by going to the grand parade.

Kentucky

Last weekend we were in Kentucky for a wedding. If you’ve been reading my blog very long, you know we went to Louisville a few years ago and had fun. Well the wedding was in Bowling Green, which is around 1 hour south of Louisville. The wedding was Saturday. So we left Ohio at around 1am Saturday morning. We got into Bowling Green at around 8am. We helped them set up a little and went to check in at our hotel. That was followed by a short nap. We met up with one of our friends to check out downtown Bowling Green before the wedding. So we stayed in Bowling Green Saturday night and we got up Sunday morning and drove to Louisville, where we had a hotel for Sunday night. Sunday we pretty much looked around downtown at closing stores, which was sad but I still enjoyed the time away. Monday we headed home, but we stopped at Jungle Jim’s on the way back. This is seriously one of the best places to ever visit. We were there for nearly 4 hours. It ended in a bill of $300. It was well worth it though. We stocked up on soy sauce and rice. We bought 25lbs of rice for $16.00.

As always…I have pictures of the trip.


My boyfriend was in the wedding, I was just kind of there.


Finally had a White Castle veggie. It was well worth it!


I finally bought my Lisa frank shoes. It takes me back to childhood.


Sunday night we got dressed up and went to on a nice dinner date. The food was amazing.


I took this during the drive home.

Work “Trip”

Many of you know I work as Lead Prep and dessert maker at Fat Head’s Brewpub. Well they have a new location opening today (8/20) in Middleburg Heights (Ohio). Well Saturday was the little soften open for the location, at this soft open it was visited by employees from the other locations to give them a taste of the new restaurant and beer hall. This location is also where they’ll be making all the beer for distribution. So this location is HUGE. The one thing you’ll notice is the menu is different at each location – to meet with what the locals would like to eat. A lot of fast food places do the same thing. I don’t think many of you are planning a vacation to Ohio – I personally wouldn’t, haha – but if you ever find yourself in northeast Ohio you should drop by the location to at least look through the windows at them making or bottling the beer.

Tuesday I start a new dessert at work. We’re going to have a Bubmbleberry peach crisp layered in a mug. What I’m super excited about is the milk and cookie special we’ll be running in 2 weeks. I think it’s fun and just in time with all the kids going back to school. Even adults need milk and cookies.

A Work In Progress

There are some things you just know you’ll never be finished with and they’ll forever be a work in progress. That’s how I’m feeling like now about my little craft/computer room. There’s still so much I want to do to it. The major thing is finding a loveseat of some kind so I can get rid of the bed that’s just sitting there. The idea of putting a loveseat (or coach) is for the kids when they come and stay. Plus I kind of hang out in the room when I’m by myself. So I finally have pictures of what it’s like so far – but none of the floor because there’s still stuff on the floor that needs homes.


This is my pin board. I’m ordering a new pin board. I started enjoying pins in the late teens and still have a lot of those. I also signed up for Brat Box – which I am LOVING.

Dinners

So with having to travel to the wedding, it has kind of thrown me out of the every night dinner thing we were doing. There are some basic things I have to go to the grocery store for and I just don’t want to really.


I’ve thought about writing a post all about how I plan for dinners and keep everything in order. I’ve thrown that idea around a while ago and just didn’t do it because I don’t know if anyone would really want to read my ramblings about what I do to plan dinner when I work a 40+ hour job. Since I have a new printer and can actually print calendars out and everything, that may finally be that push I needed to write that blog. My sister-in-law asked me about how I do it and I explained it to her and made her a binder like the one I use to plan.


Big Mac Tater Tots


Sweet Potato & Quinoa burrito bowl


“Chicken” Taco Alfrado


Asian “Duck” with veggies


(vegan) Ruben

Horror, Ice Cream & Nails


So if you know anything about it, you know my love for Jason Voorhees. Not just my love for him, but my love for the guy who has played him the most – Kane Hodder. I knew about this documentary last year and was so excited to find out more about him, as well as support him even more. I’ve loved the fact that he has been given speaking roles and roles beyond ones based on heavy stunts – I do totally understand that’s where he started and love that. Anyways my order of the documentary finally came and I watched it the night I bought it. Yes, I did end up crying while I watched it.

This documentary is something every horror fan should watch.

While I’m talking about horror, I subscribed to the Coffin Box. In each box you get a shirt and movie, along with some other items. Well I received the second box…

And I am beyond happy with the box this time. The shirt is perfect and I can’t wait to wear it to see the new Halloween film! I’m still trying to find the perfect place for my little blade.

And Saturday I adopted a new Jason.

So, a new weeks ago my sister-in-law came up to have a girls day. We all know I don’t really do girlie things. Don’t ask me anything about eye shadow or…*insert make-up term here*… because I don’t know any of that. As close to make-up as I get is the fact that I own some nail polish.

Since I work in a kitchen I can’t paint my nails at home because we all know how bad they chip and it would just be a waste of time. So when she came up I paid for us to go get our nails done. First time for both of us and it was fun. I have kitchen nails – short nails that are usually stained by some kind of juice.

I suggested my middle finger be fun because I use it a lot.


Yesterday my DNA kit came and I did it was soon as I got home so it could be in the mail today. I’ll be waiting 6-8 weeks for any kind of feedback from them. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. They’re around $59 on Amazon right now, so I just went ahead and bought it. I’m just wondering if there will be any surprises. Like, am I really as much German as everyone says? I’ve been told we’re German and Irish. Secretly, I am hoping for a surprise that no one else in my family knew about.


And I leave you with Ash and his pickle.

Work

I’ll get the gross work talk out of the way first. A lot has been happening at work. If you’re friends on facebook with me or even just follow my instagram you already know.

Christine asked a question on a blog post and I feel bad for not answering it, but I’m finally going to answer it.

As a vegan, do you mind cooking meat for others?

I haven’t had meat in YEARS. I mean, I don’t want to say how many years because that just makes me feel old. To me there’s a smell to meat, especially chicken. I know I get a lot of shit from vegans due to the fact that I work in a restaurant where I have to handle and deal with meat. I do not taste any of the dishes which contain products I do not eat at home. I’ve learned what the meat should feel like and smell like when it’s ready after whatever we’re doing to it. We smoke all of our meat in house – including bacon. It’s not an easy job for me to do, but I’m doing it to prove to myself I’m cut out to work my dream job. I would never go to a costumer and tell them how they shouldn’t be eating that chicken wing because of the horrid conditions that chicken died in. In the end I want to make food for people and for them to enjoy it. With my current happenings at work I’m hoping to be able to include some things I can eat – even if it’s just on the menu for a week.

Last week was crazy, I worked over 40 hours – yippie for that overtime!

First major thing was that we did our first catering order. It was kind of exciting to have to make all this food and have everything portioned and ready to leave for the location. I even came in for 4 hours on my day off to help and make sure everything looked good. I’m excited to see what our catering menu is going to be and help out more with that side of the business. At one point in time I thought about doing catering. While the head chef was gone with the catering set up I was left in charge and up on expo.

That leads me to the big news…

I’m currently doing training to become kitchen supervisor! My main duty will still be handling prep, but making sure those who are on prep are doing what they should me. I was included with the kitchen management meeting Tuesday. The meeting honestly made me feel like I am actually becoming part of a management TEAM. At my last job the management wasn’t a team, it was deeply fractured and causing the business to suffer. I have high hopes for my new job and for the team I’m part of.

Tuesday (05/08) we’re having another meeting. At this meeting I’ll have beer brownies with whiskey caramel for the other kitchen managers to try. I’m hoping they turn out great so they can be a dessert special next week. I’ve never made them before, and the last time I made caramel sauce it didn’t end so well. haha. Next week I’ll also be making a vegan soup. It’s a light springtime soup, and I’m excited to be given the chance to add something vegan to the menu – even if it’s only for a week.

This week is also veggie burger week at home. Okay, so our veggie burger at work is…not awesome. Also, it has eggs in it. I have a few ideas of how to make it so much better. Just by adding some carrots, corn and well removing the egg. I’m trying to work off of what we already order due to the fact that we don’t go through that many veggie burgers.

I’m not dreading this next step. I’m actually excited and can’t wait to see what we can do at this business.

Finally Spring

The weather has finally made the turn to spring! I’m happy for it, but my allergies on the other hand…yeah. I have a zipper pouch in my work bag that’s full of allergy pills and I have to take at least a couple just while I’m at work. I work by the back door, which is where everyone goes out for smoke breaks and where the trucks come in. This means that door is used all day long and there’s a small area of trees behind us…so I’m dead by noon if I’m not taking anything.

This is Ash’s first spring/summer since we moved up here and he has loads of windows to sit in. Plus there’s so many birds and squirrels. It’s driving him nuts that he can’t go outside to chase after them. We did find out the neighbor has a cat because Wednesday morning Ash refused to eat. I found him sitting in the window in my craft room watching the cat next door. He was also just sitting in the window. They have some kind of weird friendship now, I think.

And since it’s warm weather, finally, I got a hair cut. Really, my boyfriend shaved my head. Since we’re all still learning about each other at work I’ve gotten a few questions as to why I did it. Society still says that hair defines a woman’s appeal. That’s so false. Hair is a way to express yourself and make yourself happy. Well, I’m beyond happy.

Birthdays, Mother’s Day

It seems May is ‘spending money on other people month’. Honestly that doesn’t make it any different than any other month for me. I mean, I pay my bills and never really buy myself much of anything. I buy the kids (nieces & nephews) stuff.

My boyfriend’s birthday is this week. I did give him the brewers almanac book I ordered him. It has recipe ideas to use what’s in season. I thought it would be very helpful and he’ll be able to get a few ideas of beers he can make that will be very seasonal.

Mother’s day is also coming up, fast. The major thing my younger brother and I split the cost of I already have. I’ve been trying to think of something else to get her. I mean what we got her is going to be a huge surprise and she’s going to love it, but I just want to include something that hits that theme.

Last of all, my niece is turning 7! So I’m buying her a Fujifilm Instax Mini 9. I know, I know, it sounds crazy to get a 7 year old that camera. She’s going to love it though, and it’s not that hard to use at all. I’ve been reading a lot about it and I’ve talked to my mom about it as well and she’s on the same page as I am. I’m going to order it as a kit though. In the kit you get the camera, case, 2 packs of film, and a mini photo album too. I’m going to buy her a few packs of film that have printed boarders as well. My brother just moved so they’re still working on getting the kids rooms together, the girls are going to share a room (and the boys are going to share a room), so I found a string of lights that are photo holders. I bought them because I think they’re going to be perfect. I’m going to have her open those first though because I know she’s going to be upset – little kids are funny like that. I’m going to open the camera when I get it though and take a picture. I’m going to tape the picture to the package. Now what I’m going to take a picture of…I don’t know. I’m thinking of taking a picture of Ash maybe.

My birthday is at the end of June, but I kind of already bought myself something. I bought this bundle. When I get it I’ll have the same shirt in a long sleeve style and a short sleeve style. The only thing is the long sleeve shirt is around 15 years old or so.

FOOD

The last thing I wanted to talk about is really the first thing I talked about, food.

So I know I haven’t added any recipes to my blog at all, I am just wanting to add the best recipes first and add filler recipes later on. The first recipe I’m hoping to add will be the beer brownies I’m making. Well, that is as long as they turn out like they should. Fingers crossed!

I’m trying not to add recipes for the random stuff we’ve been eating lately. Which is a lot of salads. I haven’t been getting home before he gets home, so it’s kind of been finding things to throw together. I usually get a chance to eat around 10:30am before we open and I don’t eat again until I get home – which is between 4:30 – 5:30, it all depends on what time I clock out honestly.

I promise, I’m going to get better at blogging soon.

This isn’t going to be an exciting post, it’s just one of those “hey, I’m alive and this is what I’ve been doing” posts. Considering I’m doing this post, this also means pictures!

First off, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is my current go to. When I only had Netflix they had a few seasons, but they were all newer seasons. Well we signed up for Hulu and they have ALL the seasons, including the current season. I love that they add new episodes weekly, but I seriously need them to stop so I can at least make it to the half way point. The good thing is, I have around 290 episodes left. That means I’ve watched over 100 so far. It’s just going to take me so long to get caught up.

I’m not going to lie, when I’m getting a bubble bath I found a way to sit my tablet so I can even watch it in the bath. When I’m getting ready for dinner though, that’s when I’m not watching.

last week my boyfriend & I bought my mom a new phone. Her phone was the one I had before I bought the S8. That phone I had was…crap. You couldn’t do anything on it due to the OS taking up nearly 80% of the memory. We found the Moto X4 on Amazon for a good price, so we just figured it was a lot better and bought it for her. We dropped it off to her last Saturday, helped her set it up and everything. I ordered her a case for it this week and it came yesterday. She’s talking about coming up to see me sometime this week, so she’ll finally get the case. I didn’t really play on the phone once it was set up, but it looks like a nice phone. She really just uses it to text and take pictures of the kids. 

If you follow me in Instagram or have me as a friend on Facebook, you’ll know that I started my new job. 

The new job I started is a Prep Cook at the Fat Heads Brewery in my town. We were suppose to open on Monday (March 5th), but they pushed the opening back to the 12th. The reason for the push back is actually amazing reasons & I can tell they really care about the employees as well as the people who will be coming through the doors. When I started training this week (February 26th) we were limited on what we could do in the kitchen. We were waiting for products as well as more kitchen items to come in. I can’t say how training was up front, but I know we were waiting on some of the items they needed as well – which I totally understand because we’re starting from scratch in a new building. I just love that they were willing to push the opening back so that we can all be trained and not be as nervous – I’m sure we were all nervous with the opening coming so quickly. 

With the pressure of the opening off of all of us when it comes to not opening the 5th, I think we can all relax a little and really take our time when it comes to taking in all the training we’re going through. I’m all the way in the back of the building making everything the line needs. From sauces to smoking meats. Yes, I know, I’m a horrible vegan for handling meat. When you’ve been dying to get into a real kitchen, you’ll do almost anything. For the past two days that we had training they were going over doing a prep sheet, which is old news to me because that’s what I did everyday at my old job. I walked in, did the prep sheet, made the list of what we needed and got to work. As of right now I’m on the AM shift, which honestly I think I may request to be stuck to that shift because it seems to work out so much better for me. I can get a ride from my boyfriend in the morning and I just catch the bus when I’m done. 

As of right now, I think I’m going to really enjoy this new work environment. I’m also not going to lie, I’m scared as hell to open because I know it’s going to be lines out the door for the first few months of us being open. I also made a goal for myself, I’m going to be on the line by the end of this year. That’s my personal goal – to be the only female on that line. 

As I said I get a ride to work from my boyfriend in the morning. He drops me off at the shopping -plaza at around 8:10am and I don’t start until 9am. So I go to Earth Fare and grab a smoothie for my breakfast & read. I’m currently reading this amazing book! I’ve read both of his other books, so I was super excited when I found out he was going to be doing a new book. I pre-ordered it but with how I used to work, I didn’t want to do anything after work besides veg out. I’m only about a chapter in, but I’m loving it. 

Since I know I’ll be able to have time to read, I went ahead and ordered my next book to read. I’m not a stranger to Clive Barker and knowing he writes novels as well. I picked this one as my first read because I love Pinhead. 

One amazing thing about my current work schedule is the fact that I actually feel like cooking dinner and don’t have to go to bed as soon as I eat!

So now my weekly routine is to get my recipe binder and go through the list of recipes and pick for each day of the week. I made a list out of some of my books of recipes we want to try and we’re just working out way through that list. Some days I don’t cook, like today I was going to make a breakfast casserole but we’re just going to do leftovers – and since the casserole was made from frozen items it’s something I can make another time. 

Next week our little menu is:
Monday (3-5): Broccoli & Potato Soup
Tuesday (3-6): Mongolian “Beef” Ramen
Wednesday (3-7): Thai Pizza
Thursday (3-8): Portobello Cheesesteak 
Friday (3-9): Hashbrown Casserole

I even write the menu on the calendar we have hanging in the kitchen. I like having this set routine for dinner. 

Last week we had Taco fries – an awesome cheap dinner! 

Friday we had green beans, mashed potatoes and “duck” in orange sauce. 

Since I’m able to cook and enjoy the food, I’m sure I’ll finally get around to fixing my recipe section. I know it’s going to take a long time to get that done though. 

And the last thing I wanted to talk about – well more like show you guys – is Ash. I mean, who doesn’t like a black cat named after Bruce Campbell’s character in the amazing Evil Dead films?!

My first post on Cats And Cakes! Kind of scary, but excited at the same time. 

I started blogging at my old domain – stupid-eyed.net – when I was around 18 years old. I’m 30 now, and a lot has changed. I thought it was time for my domain to catch up with me and go through a change as well. That’s where CatsAndCakes.Net comes in. 

The name of my new site is simple – I’m a cat lady and I love baking. It’s totally me. I have to say I have a thank you to give to Christine for helping narrow down my choices. Once I had them narrowed down, I asked a few more people. Basically I took a poll to see which domain sounded more like me. Doing that works – but make sure all the ideas you’re using, you love. I had to stay away from using anything horror related in the name…I mean bloody cats…that sounds bad. 

I’ve quietly spent the past few days building the site, narrowing down what things I want to keep, and getting ready to add more things. I know it’s kind of bare right now, but that will change in the coming weeks.

I’m rebuilding my recipes from scratch – just starting over with all the recipes I have. This should make my boyfriend happy because it means I’ll be cooking dinner every night during the week. This also means trying new things – which sometimes isn’t that great. 

I’m still working on the travel main page, but I do have all the pictures uploaded. This also means I finally have all my Florida vacation pictures up! You can see my pictures from Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Universal Studios! I look forward to my next trip: Chicago E2E2 in April!

When it comes to posts on here, I’m going to have one day a month that’s a photo post. Meaning, I just blast you guys with pictures I’ve taken over the past month. It should be fun to do! I’ll also have one day that’s a movie day – pretty much the same idea as the photo post. This will leave me a lot of room to be able to post more personal things during the weeks. I have a list of ideas for posts I want to do and honestly I could sit down and write at least three posts today! That shows you how happy I am to start over with this new blog. 

If you have my link on your sites, please update it! Don’t worry, this will be the only update of my link you’ll have to do for the next 10 years. 


Now that I have all of the info about the new domain finished, I can talk a little about what’s been going on lately. 

As I said before I’ve been cooking at least 4 nights a week. This month I already have the dishes wrote on our kitchen calendar. Tonight we’re going to have a quinoa bowl with roasted chickpeas. What can I say, food makes me happy. And I’m going to make two little berry cobblers to celebrate something – which I’ll get in to soon. This week we’ll be eating a lot of Mexican spiced foods. This is very unusual for me, but not for my boyfriends. He loves Mexican food. I’m already trying to get some ideas together for next weeks menu – one of them being soup because of the weather. 

Do you have a suggestion for a recipe I should try?

The weather has been…annoying. Today from 4am to around 11am it snowed at least 3 inches – I’m sure it snowed more than that. I was at work – I got there at 4:30am. We were so dead I was watching people pull into the parking lot – the few people who came in. One car turned totally around because he was flying while he was trying to turn in. I was so worried he was going to hit the handicap parking sign. To my surprise, he didn’t hit anything. I left work a little after 11am and it took me nearly an hour to walk home – the walk usually takes me around a half hour. No was was out to shovel their sidewalks, so I was walking in snow that was up over my boots. When I got home and took my boots off there was snow stuck to my socks. We’re suppose to go to Cleveland tomorrow night for a concert and I’ve been watching to see if it gets canceled. 

I finally have my permit! Yeah, I know I’m weird. I’m 30 and haven’t drove – but I’m working on it. So far I’ve drove the car once and it was at night. The road we live on isn’t really busy, but there are a few people who park on the road. I think I did pretty well. I’m so scared to drive in an area where I’ll be around other moving cars. That’s what scares me the most. I guess the good thing about trying to get all of this done around this time of year is the fact of filing taxes and having that money back when I need to buy a car. That’s the idea for my tax return – but since my insurance was cut off I have to use some of it to get an eye exam and new glasses.

As I mentioned before we’re celebrating something tonight! We’re celebrating the fact that I’ll be putting in my 2 weeks notice at work tomorrow morning!! I’ve been working at the same place since 2014. I moved up to become a shirt supervisor and turned down the offer to become an assistant manager. I’m leaving all of that – but I’m also leaving a restaurant manager who doesn’t pull his weight. On February 14th I’ll be going through orientation to become a prep cook for Fat Heads Brewery! I don’t know anything about beer and well I don’t like beer, but hey I like to cook! A few of you may know I’ve been trying to leave my current job and get into an actual kitchen. Well, I finally made it! I’m so excited to make this huge move. There are a few coworks I’m going to miss so much too, but I need to do this for myself. The chef I’ll be working with was a lot of fun to interview with and he was just so easy to talk to – I look forward to working with him. 

I’m excited for this new chapter in my blogging life! So much is changing at the same time and it feels amazing!