Sunday, June 24, 2012

Puppies and Promotions

Say hi to the newest member of our household, Lizzie!!!

Lizzie is our new little puppy.  We've had her for about 4 weeks now and she's right around 5 months old at this point.  She's a mix between a rat terrier and an italian greyhound, and is a big bundle of excitement and fun.

In other news, both Kayla and I have been promoted in the last month or so.  I was moved up (along with my coworker Joe) to assistant manager in my department.  Kayla, on the other hand, was moved up to the assistant pastry chef at E-Leaven.  We're both loving our lives here, loving our jobs, and loving our brand new puppy (as well as the kitten) =D

The wedding is coming closer.  Just barely over 3 months.  Get psyched!!!  (seriously, be excited for us to make up for the stress that is beginning to creep up in large waves)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Apartment Pictures...Finally

Yes Yes we are well aware that we've lived in our new apartment for about 3 months without posting pictures...well here they are.

My birthday present!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I'm bad at keeping up with social media-Nick

As the title states, and as my lack of keeping up with both facebook and our blog clearly shows...I'm no good at keeping up with social media.

So a lot has been going on in our lives the past few months, thus relating in much hectic craziness.  It's really the fun paradox of being busy.  There's so much to talk about, but when all is said and done, I have a hard time sitting down and taking the time to type it all out when I could otherwise...not.

Most people probably know by now that we have moved to a new apartment.  It's a condo that Kayla's dad bought and is renting to us.  We've actually been here for two months (hard to believe it's been that long.)  It was a big step up from the first place.  To refresh, our old apartment was a studio, a big studio, but still a studio.  That means, while we had a separate kitchen and  bathroom, we had no separated living and sleeping space.  It's hard to really feel "at home" as a couple in a place where the bed and living room couch are mere feet away from each other.  The new place is, well we'll call it a 1 1/2 bedroom.  It's got one full size master bedroom that is almost as big as the main living space of the old place.  Then it's got a second "bedroom" that you'd be hard pressed to comfortably fit anything other than a twin bed, 2 bathrooms (one with a large jacuzzi bath and the other with a shower), and a large living space that has both the kitchen (with a full wrap around bar) and living room.

My parents and Kayla's dad and sister were awesome enough to drive all the way to Chicago in the middle of February to help us move.  During the move we even managed to score some discount price furniture off of the building owners.  They have their last few units packed full of show furniture from the units they've sold (like ours).  Obviously they find it hard to show these last few units while they're packed full of furniture, so they were eager to unload it at discount price aka half price.  We got a nice matching couch and chair, matching glass panel coffee table and 2 end tables, 2 bar stools, and a hanging mirror for under $500.

In other news, Kayla's in her last actual class at Le Cordon Bleu.  After this she'll have 12 weeks of externship...which translates to her working at the place she's already working, but without classes to worry about.  Obviously she is worn out from the double shift of work and school (she does start her day at 4am after all) and very excited for the idea of just work.  If you look down at her post you can see some of her creations.  I had a large hand in eating most of what you see, so I can attest to the fact that they tasted as good as they looked.  I tend to take the cakes in to work and the speed with which my coworkers devoured them attests to their tastiness too.  Most of the cakes and such that I took in were gone within 2 hours of getting there.

Speaking of my work, things have been going very well there.  We're crazy busy, but I've been moving up a bit and taking on more responsibility.  It's awesome to work for a place that expects hard work and recognizes the people who fulfill these expectations.  I loved working for MU, but looking back on it, the university did not always do this.  Granted they are a school, meaning technically they're not there for profit (cough cough) so you can't exactly expect them to be handing out promotions and raises left and right (particularly if you look at their sports budget)  But still, I like where I am now much more.  For those back home I can attempt to summarize what I do, but it's one of those things where if I explained in too much detail, you'd probably say "I'm still not entirely sure what it is he does."  I work in the shipping department of Guaranteed Rate, which is the department responsible for getting loans to their final investor on the secondary market.  We're a part of the "post closing department" which like it sounds, encompasses everybody who works with loans post...closing.  I jump around between a lot of different tasks making sure the loans we sell to our investors get where they need to go when they need to get there while also working to get all corrections made to it before it gets there.  I'm enjoying the increased responsibility I have even if it means more stress as well.

Then of course there is the wedding.  Plans for the wedding are actually going quite well and I really feel that we are getting there.  Anybody coming should have gotten a save the date by now and we are going to try to get moving on the actual invitations now.  So far we've got the location booked (which also includes food, but we haven't chosen the menu yet.)  We've got an officiant.  We've got our weddings bands.  We've met with a florist and worked out the flowers.  We've found our cake decorater.  We've got a photographer.  We've got my tux booked (and my groomsmen if they would get to a Men's Warehouse and get measured you lazy punks!)  and we've booked our honeymoon.  We still need to figure out what we're doing for music, and we need to get the invitations done.  Oh, and Kayla's had her dress for quite a long time we're pretty well along the way to having this whole shindig planned and put together.  That's right, I said shindig.

So that's pretty much our lives right now summed up in a nutshell.  It's a pretty large nutshell without any pretty pictures to accompany it...but you know, people don't read enough today, so...yea.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Well, in spite of the fact that we haven't posted anything in a loooooong time, I thought you might all like to see pictures from school.

Carrot cake with hand-made marzipan carrots

This photo looks fake... but I swear I made it and it's Sacher cake (pronounced soccer).

Layered mousse cake

Black forest cake

Opera cake; one of my favorites.  Nothing beats the flavor of coffee in a cake.

 Creme brulee

Creme brulee



Apple tart tatin 

Apple purse

Apple phyllo stack

Chocolate mousse in a chocolate cup

Chocolate mousse in a chocolate cup

Apple tart tatin

Poached pear

Poached pear

Completely hand-made chocolate show piece

These are all the things I've done in class.  Now I'm working on a Winnie the Pooh themed birthday cake.  This will be followed by a wedding cake and then a sugar show piece.  

On the front of work, I'm loving my job and looking at a potential promotion to assistant pastry chef.  Baller.  

We are loving our new apartment and the elbow room with which it provides us.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Too much to put into one title- Kayla

So, it’s been forever since our last entry, but that means that so much has happened in the past ____ months.  First of all, as many of you already know, I have a new job.  It’s a bakery and restaurant called E.leaven and it’s located downtown, just north of the loop.  It’s not a dream job, but it’s a lot better than my last one, meaning I actually get to bake.  I started out mostly baking bagels, which is a lot less glamorous than I thought it would be.  Imagine how hot you think hell is, and then add at least 10 degrees; that is how hot the bagel room at my work is.  Now I’ve been doing more actual baking: muffins, cakes, etc.  I work 5 days a week 5-11am.  It’s really hard to get up at 4 am 5 days in a row, but it’s going to be worth it.  This will look fantastic on my resume and gives me some great industry experience.  Unfortunately, my supervisor (who is my age) is quitting in a week and a half.  This will leave just me and one other woman there, so things will get very hectic very quickly.  I’ve been there for over a month, but I still don’t know a lot about our product there. 

Second announcement, again many of you know about, is that we set a wedding date.  It’s officially set for September 28 of this year.  It’s a Friday, but we get a $1000 discount as well as several upgrades to the supplies given to us.  We’ve found an officient as well.  We are currently working on our photographer.  We only really need to find a florist and a bakery now.  I also need to get my bridesmaids’ information about their dresses.  Other than that, things are going very well with the wedding planning.  Save the dates will be on their way soon!

Third announcement, we are moving again.  We were lucky enough to get things to line up with my dad, who is buying a condo and leasing it to us.  The place is fantastic.  It’s about 6 blocks from where we live now and still in the Ravenswood area.  It is a brand new unit in an apartment building that has been completely gutted.  Everything is brand new: hardwood floors, granite counter tops, gorgeous light fixtures.  It is the perfect mixture of modern and classy.  The set part: we are getting a very good deal on rent since we are technically paying for the mortgage.  We would be living in a much smaller place and less decent place for the price we are paying for the new place.  The closing date is February 13 and we will be moving the following weekend.  We will post pictures soon! 

Wen it’s all put into words, it doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s been incredibly stressful starting a new job, planning a wedding, and getting ready to move.  The stress of it all is pretty incredible, but it’s exciting as well.  Well, until we get the chance to blog in the future…

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Holiday Season Has Arrived-Nick

So things are slowing down...a bit.  We're both still pretty busy but I feel like we're beginning to have a bit more free time, and during that free time we're a little less worn out because our schedules are less hectic.

This weekend we went ahead and decorated the apartment for Christmas.  We didn't have room for a tree in the usual sense, so we had to improvise.  Some may look at our "tree" and think it is sad, but it's ok, we were actually able to do more than we had thought.  Here's our apartment.

I may stick some ornaments to the tree as well.

In keeping with the holiday spirit, we also took time to go see the holiday train.  Some of you may be asking yourselves "what's a holiday train."  It may be self explanatory, but we of course have pictures.

Now, for the record, we didn't pay $2.25 to get up onto the train platform to see this.  We did, however, plan our trip to go to dinner so that we would be on the platform when it went by on the other side.  We may or may not have passed the chance to get on 3 trains while we waited for the holiday train...but that's really beside the point.

In other news, we possibly have found the wedding venue for us.  It's still in the works while we await further information from the place that runs it, but here's a pretty good picture of the place.

You can find more at

Well, that's all for now.  We should have more later!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Finally, time to breathe- Kayla

     As I'm sure you've noticed, it's been a considerably long time since I've posted.  This is due to the 12 hour days and ungodly pressure of being an actual, real-life adult.  Yes, things have been CRAZY busy, and to all of you who I have neglected to call in the past month or so, I'm sorry!  So, here I am, sitting in bed with the wonderful microfiber sheets that my mom so thoughtfully got for us (thank you, momma).  I think that this is the first time in two months that I've had time just to sit at home and completely veg out.  There is laundry going, and there are dishes to be done, but for the most part, I am a vegetable.
     School has been going well.  I really enjoyed my last class, which was an intro to pastry class.  I've taken a TON of pictures, so I'll sort through the best ones and put them on here for your viewing pleasure.

 Madeleine cookies

 Strausburger cookies with raspberry filling and chocolate deco.

 Practicing piping :)

 Pretty good for my first time writing in chocolate, no?

 Blueberry pie with lattice crust

 The BEST blueberry muffins I've ever had in my life.  Seriously, Berry Crocker is no comparison

 Chocolate eclairs

 Cream puffs with caramel halos

 The infamous creme brulee.  SO good.

Creme caramel, more commonly known as flan.  Not so good.

I've recently started a breads class, which is fun, but as much as I love bread, it has gotten a little repetitive.  Seriously, bread is pretty much all the same, with different frills (cinnamon, raisins, pumpkin).  It gets pretty old.  We are going to start laminated dough, though; puff pastry for croissants and danishes and the like, so that is going to be a good time.  We've made some really beautiful bread, but I lost my camera, so no more pictures :(  Although I love school, and I am learning a lot, I am very excited for the three week break I have coming around the bend.  
     On the job front, I am still employed, but looking for another job.  My current one has turned out to be less than ideal.  I suppose the job in itself isn't so bad, but it's not what was advertised to me.  I do not get to bake; if I do, it is very seldom and with no regularity.  Mostly because my boss can't seem to drag himself out of bed, or plan correctly, to get there so I can bake while he runs the counter.  He tells me that I will bake Thursdays and Friday, that he will be there by 10, so I can bake 10-1, but then comes strolling in at 12:30.  Keep in mind, I have to leave at 1 and there is no way I can run the counter, cook food, barista, AND bake all at the same time; I MUST have someone else there to run things while I do some baking.  It's a very long story involving the fact that Ross comes into work high, or not at all, or leaves early, or doesn't order things; this all culminates in the simple truth that I am far more responsible than my boss, which is unacceptable to me.  The chef I stage for has told me many times that she would hire me in a heart beat, but she doesn't have enough business to justify it, or afford it.  I love being there and the work is great, but there is a slight problem in that I don't get paid for being there.  Needness to say, my stage there is probably coming to an end as well.  At least I have a paying job, though, so I can't complain too much.  
     Nick pretty much summed up Thanksgiving, so no need to elaborate there.  I feel like we will have a little more free time to come.  I have weekends off now, and we don't have anyone coming into town for a while, so things should be a little less hectic.  We miss you all!