Here are a few more photos, snapped by Faryn, of the gorgeous cake we made for our friend Jonathan’s birthday party on Wednesday night. The finished product was adorned on top with chocolate-covered cake bites! I thought the cake was pretty good, although I think we can probably come up with something even better. Not bad at all for our first attempt. Those cake bites, though…I could eat them by the pound. They’re delicious.
And! One of Faryn’s boyfriend’s friends (did you follow that?) came to the party after we’d left, tasted the cake, loved it, and wants to place an order with us for another one! Excellent. (Thanks, Claire!)
I find that living in New York tends to make one a busy person. Everyone’s always saying, “I’m so busy.” “Yesterday was really busy.” “I was too busy to write you back.” “I’m sorry I didn’t get to it, I’ve been so busy.” And it’s true. We’re all busy. It’s probably the case for most cities in the world, not just this one. Being busy has become a global theme. I wonder if our grandparents ever talked about how busy they were when they were young. Frankly, they were probably busier.
So, yesterday was a particularly busy day for me.
Adding Fanny & Jane into the mix of my already full life has been a juggling act at times. We’ve had to sneak baking days into already full weekends, find time late at night to discuss website plans and label concerns, use our friends as sounding boards for business ideas when they least expect it. Not to mention, we’ve lost sleep for sure.
Before Faryn and I started this business, I was already feeling spread very thin with a full time job, two comedy groups, two shows each week, plus general life maintenance – exercising, cleaning the house, ever seeing my boyfriend, blah blah BLAH, right?
I’m sure there are single moms or even non-single moms out there who would laugh at my naivety. “That’s not busy, honey.”
Maybe not. But sometimes it feels like a lot. I love it – semi colon – sometimes I want to take a lifetime nap.
Yesterday, it all piled up in a big kinda mess. I was supposed to spend a full 9 hours at work, exercise, meet up with my friend Blue for a little discussion, perform in my improv show, go home to Brooklyn, finish decorating a cake, transport the cake to its final destination, AND then attend the party where the cake would be eaten. That might not sound like as much activity as it seemed to be, but it was a lot of different bits and pieces of all at once. And I’d had, oh, maybe 7 hours of sleep total between the two days prior because we were cake baking at midnight. Oof. I’m so happy to be spending my time doing something I love like this, but I don’t do well on not-enough-sleep, so I was a little worried. All I could think yesterday morning as I stared down the day ahead of me was that I wanted to be able to tend to every single of one those obligations with my full focus. And also, I wanted to cancel everything and go back to sleep.
Thank God for business partners. Kevin, who is a darling, dropped our apartment keys off to Faryn after work, who then dutifully went to my house, finished decorating the cake, photographed it and recruited a friend to help her carry it and its trimmings to the party. I don’t know what I would have done if she wasn’t able to do all that alone. I would have had to cancel my entire evening. So while Faryn dealt with our first official order, I left work, met up with Blue, performed in my show, found some spare moments to eat dinner on the subway (gross) and made my way to the party.
It was around midnight when I was finally leaving Jonathan’s birthday party that I became almost overcome with the realization that I’d had an incredibly full day. I’d tended to several different key areas of my life, given them each a lot of energy and focus. And I was exhausted. I wonder how I’m going to keep doing all this, I thought. Something in my life is probably gonna end up suffering.
This morning, I woke up and knew I couldn’t get out of bed at the normal time. I’m great about being on time to my desk job and rarely call in sick or come in late. If I do, I’m always responsible and respectful and I make sure to alert the appropriate parties. And this morning, as I lay in bed cringing at the thought of spending yet another day completely sleep deprived, I realized that one of the blessings of having a salaried job where I do a good job every day is that I can sometimes (ab)use my privileges to TAKE THE MORNING OFF. What an ingenious plan.
I emailed a coworker that I’d be late because of a “doctor’s” “appointment,” climbed back into my bed, and fell fast asleep for another two hours. Those two hours were just…heaven. It was the right decision because I woke up feeling so much better about my whole world. I took my time getting ready and when I eventually made my way out the door, I was greeted to a most beautifully perfect blue-skies day. Warm, sunny spring.
So today, the desk job is what ended up suffering. And it didn’t really suffer at all. No one cared that I came in late, no one was upset, it was just standard office-ness. People come in late every day. I’m so lucky to have a job where that’s possible.
And so the juggling act continues…I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I love the challenge.
Check out Faryn’s account of Fanny & Jane’s very first official order! It was a Red Velvet Cake. Oh yes.
We’re technically not open for business yet, but we were asked to make this cake for a good friend’s birthday party. We surprised him with it last night and it was a hit. We’ll put up some better photos soon…
I love it.
A huge thank you to our designer, Julien Fyhrie.
Oh and check out what Faryn has to say about one of our new recipes – Chocolate Dipped Cake Bites.
We baked last night. It was fun, but tiring. We made a few mistakes, which is always good for some laughs. We’re learning!
Anyway, remember when I wrote about this list?
I suppose it’s time to tell you what the whited-out secret item on the list is – it says “figure brownie recipe / sell brownies.” That was actually the beginning of Fanny & Jane!
I had an idea one night to bake and try to sell really yummy brownies. I was laying on the living room floor, dreading going to the desk job the next morning and I thought, “Okay, so if I didn’t have to go to work tomorrow, what would I do all day to still be productive? Well, after exercising and relaxing for a little while, I’d probably bake something!” And so the seed was planted. It’s obviously morphed into an entirely different animal since then – it’s now a partnership with a good friend. It’s also a full-fledged budding sweets company complete with an adorable logo (I’ll show you soon!), a substantial list of yummy sweets, a mission statement and requests to bake things for parties before we’re even open for business!
It’s almost too cliche to point out, but when I wrote that brownie item on my list, I could not have imagined it would turn into this, especially not in such a short period of time. It’s bringing me (and Faryn too!) a lot of happiness.
As much as I’m enjoying Fanny & Jane, and I am enjoying it so very much, it doesn’t make the other things I love any less important to me.
Anyone who’s been along for the ride with me since I started writing follow my bliss knows that I’ve been through a few different phases in trying to decide which bliss, to so speak, to actually follow. There were the yoga teacher weeks and the nutritionist and fitness trainer weeks – I might have even talked briefly about opening up a small business in my neighborhood.
I’ve found myself wondering lately whether or not anyone who reads this blog ever thinks “Whatever happened to THAT stuff, lady?”
All that stuff is still a huge part of my life. I certainly don’t feel as thought I’m done searching, nor do I think I ever will be, for what makes me feel happy and fulfilled.
The list is still sitting on the mirror in my bedroom and I still actively reread at least twice a day. I knew when I wrote it that the things on the list that were most important to me would reveal themselves with time, as would the things that would ultimately fall to the wayside, making room for new things.
And that’s exactly what’s happened. So here’s a little update:
Shortly after I made that list I realized that my desire to “get more blog readers” exists because I want to write. I’ve always written. And I’ve always hoped that I would write for a living someday, in some way. I even surprised myself by slipping it into a recent daydream of my life a year from now (when we’re running Fanny & Jane full time). So writing bliss is a really fulfilling way to regularly flex that writers’ muscle. And I actually have been getting more blog readers lately! Welcome, everyone.
I’m regularly contributing to my little savings account, which makes me feel really good. It’s practically pocket change right now and I’m not sure what I’ll use it for, but I have to start somewhere. Not only am I able to put a little bit of cash away each month, but I’ve also come across a few instances when extra money has unexpectedly entered my life. I know those are Go signs, green lights, and I feel blessed by them.
I’d love to be a yoga teacher someday. It’s not logistically in the cards for me right now, but I still practice my yoga several times a week. I find a great deal of comfort, peace and strength in it. Some people gravitate toward the lifestyle and philosophy of religion or team sports or foodie culture or investment banking – I gravitate toward the lifestyle and philosophy of yoga. It’s just what’s true for me.
The vision board hasn’t been in my focus since I wrote the list. I still keep all the magazine clippings I made when I first decided to make a vision board and every once in a while I’ll leaf through a magazine with it in mind. Either I haven’t had the time, am not interested in the task, or I have some mental block about it, but for whatever reason, it’s only in my periphery right now. I think I’ll leave it on the list because I do want to continue to work on it.
Then there are the cerifications I wanted to research – I’ve considered becoming certified to be a nutrition consultant and/or fitness trainer. Interestingly, when I wrote the list that’s the item I was sure I would begin working toward first and with the most excitement. It seemed like such a brilliant idea. On paper. And it seemed like the perfect marriage of my desire to leave my desk job and do something that I love. On paper. But like I said, I knew the stuff on the list would shift around and re-prioritize itself. And it did.
I didn’t touch those certifications. I didn’t research them online, I didn’t find people to ask about the professions, I didn’t even really write much about fitness here. I did spend some time daydreaming about how I’d go about helping a heavy person become healthy – what advice I’d regularly give, how my approach would be similar to or different from other approaches. But for whatever reason – again, either lack of time, disinterest, or a mental block – I haven’t really worked toward this at all.
I still love to exercise and do so all the time. I still love to eat wisely, and to use portion control and quality control as my top two criteria for every meal. I guess the idea of spending more time and energy learning about those things doesn’t excite me anymore. After having been extremely heavy in my early 20′s, I changed my habits and I’ve now been an exerciser and healthy-eater for six and a half years. I’ve spent days upon days learning and practicing skills and methods to help me be a healthier person. In fact, my weight loss efforts probably were my truest bliss for a long time. It was a part time job, something I cared about deeply, and it took priority over almost everything else.
Now, it’s more naturally part of who I am. I don’t think about it as often as I once did, I don’t work hard on it as often as I once did. I’ve essentially maintained my 115 pound weight loss for 5 years. Maybe that’s why my interest in making a career out of it has waned for now – it doesn’t seem like a new challenge to me anymore.
If I’ve learned anything since I began writing this blog and more specifically, since Faryn and I started working on the sweets business, it’s that I actively seek out ways to be challenged. I’ve been relatively unconscious of it until recently, but it’s true. I like to set my goals slightly higher than I think I can achieve, just to see if maybe I can still reach them. When I look back at my life so far, it’s something I’ve always done. It means I’m occasionally met with disappointment, but it also means I’m occasionally met with an incredible sense of accomplishment and surprise.
I don’t mind being at the desk job quite as much lately. Don’t get me wrong, I know for certain that I can’t do it long term; it doesn’t make me feel happy or fulfilled and it can’t be good for my body. But right now, I welcome the time and space each day to sit quietly and focus on completing tasks.
How’s that for a nice, long, narcissistic update.
Anyway, until I do finally leave this desk job, I will happily make due with today’s circumstances. I am still discovering what my life will look like a year from now – aren’t we all?
Read what Faryn has to say about the power of setting an intention, here on her blog.
Things with Fanny & Jane are really moving along. It’s so exciting terrifying rewarding. We’re not officially open for business yet, but we’ve already gotten a couple orders to serve sweets at family parties! I love it.
So tonight, we bake.
The funny guy at my desk job who inspired this post just emailed me and said:
“(Some Lawyer) is going to call in a few. Please let him know I’m having a full neck and head transplant and will return his call tomorrow. “