In the back of my mind, I took a note of the many Instagram posts encouraging new mothers and wives and otherwise busy women to not stress out about their unfolded laundry. Although I lead a very busy life, I simply couldn’t relate and quickly passed by their pleas to slow down and enjoy the moment. I travel a lot for work, but one to two days a week I work from my home office where I can throw a load or two of laundry in the washer between sending emails.
I have a knack of asking any married person what their top marital advice is. Only been married a year? Meeting you on the plane for the first time? In the middle of a messy marriage? Doesn’t matter, I’m curious to hear what your life has taught you. (side note: I plan on writing down all my favorites in a post for you to read!)
There are a few “golden nuggets” that circulate around and get repeated from newlys to veterans alike. One being spend time with your spouse. The millennials throw around the word “intentionality” while the older folks simply state “put down the remote control and talk.”
Oh my word, does laundry pile up when you’re married. Did you know that men don’t double everything – they most definitely triple it. Your grocery budget? How in the world do we go through two loaves of bread per week for just the two of us?! The number of dirty socks in a given week? You may just be adding two more feet to your household, but expect to pair up three times as many socks.
Now, not all newlyweds will experience the same things – everyone’s circumstances are unique, and we sure aren’t the exception. I’m gone for business travel about 40% of the month; I spend weekends preparing my husband for a few nights on his own, and the weeknights I’m home I jump right back in where I left off.
Somehow the laundry always comes in last place.
I’ll get very motivated to knock it out of the way. In the morning I’ll gather a load to put in the washer. I’ll wait to run it until after my shower – which is delayed due to answering customer calls or emails. I’ll remember at lunchtime and finally get it running. Before I can blink twice it’s time to prepare supper, and I’m washing vegetables and chopping them up (tomatoes for pico, probably) – and I remember I’ve got to put that load in the dryer. Never mind doing two loads today. One can wait for tomorrow. My husband walks in the door twenty minutes before I’m expecting him – and I’m rushing to plate dinner like those contestants on Food Network with 9, 8, 7 seconds left.
After dinner, it’s time to wash dishes – I’m so thankful for my dear sweet husband who doesn’t leave me in the dishwasher-less misery of doing it alone. I look at the clock and he gazes outside. He takes my hand as I turn towards the dryer – and urges me to lace up my running shoes. There are just a few moments of daylight left and he would like to spend them with me, on a walk to the neighborhood park.
I’m afraid that without my husband I would have a closet full of folded laundry and an empty marriage.
I’ve had to let go of my desire to only relax when everything on my checklist is done. There will be days where you have to choose between marking off that last box or letting it spill into tomorrow in order to love those God has placed around you. And friend, let me tell you it is always worth it to forget about the things that can wait in order to focus on what God’s giving you to do right now. Your checklist probably includes many different tasks you perform in order to love your family, but sometimes the number one thing they need isn’t folded clothes: it’s time spent reading together, laughing at dumb jokes, or an evening stroll.
Although I’m not a food blogger, I want to share this recipe that so sweetly ties in with this marriage lesson I’m slowly improving on. We have dear friends who are recently engaged, and we got to host them at our home to celebrate all the excitement.
Unfortunately, I completely didn’t calculate my time correctly (or realize we were out of eggs until I was ready to add them into the Kitchen Aid – typical) but we got to share fun half-finished Cannoli Cupcakes with our sweet friends! This recipe is seriously not difficult, but I am going to be making a goal of focusing on fewer things I place on my to-do list in a day in order to not frazzle myself out. (Apparently sleeping in, shopping, looking through wedding photos, hiking, fixing pork carnitas street tacos AND expecting to make a brand new cupcake recipe with a chocolate shell is a little too much to pack into one Saturday. . .)
Cannoli Cupcakes (with Time-Conscious Chocolate Shell)
For the Cupcakes:
- 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 TSP salt
- 2.5 TSP baking powder
- 1 stick unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups 1 3/4 granulated sugar
- 1 eggs large
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 2 1/4 TSP vanilla
For the Cannoli Cream Frosting:
- 16 oz ricotta cheese
- 8 oz marscapone cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 TSP vanilla
- mini chocolate chips as many as you'd like!
- melting chocolate
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees and line 2 muffin tins with liners
In a small bowl sift together Group 1 Ingredients
In your Kitchen Aid cream Group 2 Ingredients (I used mine for the first time! You can use a hand mixer if you have that. Or – if you’re really in a crunch, your husband’s cordless drill attached to a spoon can get it done . . . I do speak from experience)
Add the eggs in one at a time (This is why they don’t belong to a group)
In another small bowl, mix Group 3 Ingredients
Alternate adding in Group 1 and Group 3 (“dry” and “wet” ingredients) to Group 2 in the Kitchen Aid. Mix until well combined
Bake for 22ish minutes. If they don’t pass your toothpick test, add a minute and keep checking until they’re cooked well
Set cupcakes aside to cool completely
Clean your Kitchen Aid bowl and combine Group 4 ingredients in it. Mix until nice and fluffy. Fold in the chocolate chips until you get the desired cream-to-chocolate ratio you desire (keep in mind we’ll top this with more chocolate though!)
Use a pastry bag with a large tip – if you have one. I simply use a ziplock and cut the tip off, just like mother taught me. Use what you got! Or go get yourself proper baking supplies if you’d prefer prettier piping than I can offer!
Core the cupcakes (not all the way through – about 1/3 of the way) if you don’t have a pastry bag-and-tip setup. Frost the cupcake how you desire
Carefully place your cupcakes in the freezer for 15-20 minutes
Melt your chocolate, and let it cool for a few minutes before dipping the top of the cupcakes in!
Let the chocolate set in the fridge for about an hour – and keep them in a container in the fridge
Pro Tip: I saved all the cake from coring out the little cupcakes, and mixed it with the leftover frosting, and rolled it into balls. I froze the mini “cake pops” and later dipped them in the melting chocolate. Maybe it’s just the magical, equal cake-to-frosting ratio, but I think these tasted even better than the cupcakes!
I try to follow a recipe completely the first time I try it before changing things to fit my creative style. I found this recipe from Mangia Michelle. I will be trying out a few different things the next time – using Tiramisu Marscapone (coffee flavored) will probably be the first thing I try!