After all the ingredients, necessary tools and the recipe at hand are ready on the counter, I find my way into a baking trance.

This post was originally written for Buttoned Up where I was a Guest Guru in April.

Oh, Organization! We play a little game of cat and mouse, the two of us. Organization is my spirited toddler who is always one step ahead of me, out of reach and causing a little trouble. However, I will never stop chasing him. Somehow, I seem to stay the most organized when I am in constant pursuit of organization.

Let me explain…

I like to keep my life packed and if I ever get too close to being under control, I scheme up a new project to tip the load. I manage my own marketing consulting business, write a food blog, have a 2-year old, a dog and a new house. In the past months, I started my first-ever vegetable garden, took a family trip to Mexico, made plans for a trip abroad this summer, took on two new clients and ensured that my daughter had a homemade, sprinkle-topped four layer cake for her birthday.

sprinkles2

The old me used to beat myself up if one of the 20 balls I am juggling dropped. The new mommy-me has come to feel proud that only 2-3 balls drop now and then in my pursuit to “have it all.” Running a business, being a mommy, growing my own vegetables, entertaining friends… I want it all. And, though I now firmly believe that you can’t have it all, all of the time, I am happier if I keep trying. And so, my juggling continues…

Naturally, I am cluttered. If you saw my desk or peeked in my cupboards, you would likely think I am a disaster. But, hiding under the piles is a binder system and in the kitchen is a lined pad to make lists and notes. A month later, the binder turns to sticky notes and the pad gives way to a chalkboard wall. By continually thinking about and trying to hone my organizational systems, I revisit my to-dos and somehow keep my head above water.

Baking is one of my favorite hobbies. I love food and sweets and strive for the best, most deliciously perfect baked goods. Achieving that requires exactness and organization. I tend to choose complex recipes so I get a chance to measure, sift, whisk, melt, beat, level, layer and frost. After all the ingredients and the recipe at hand are ready on the counter, I find my way into a baking trance.

Though I love teaching my toddler how to cook, I find true pleasure in working alone in the kitchen. There is no option when baking but to be organized. The best cakes and cookies require careful measuring cups, proper temperatures, even scoops and perfectly level cake layers. As I place the cookies on the cooling rack or apply the sprinkles atop a layer cake, I always find myself more relaxed than when I started. The scattered, multi-tasking me has taken a break while the meticulous, organized baker has meditated her way to another beautiful, delicious cake.

Want to try your hand at some baking meditation? Treat someone to these wonderful yellow buttermilk cupcakes, roll some rugalech or layer a banana cake with cream cheese frosting. If you REALLY need some serious therapy tackle this chocolate cake or the carrot cake.  Happy Baking.  Ommm…..