About marymargaretripley

I am a professional Bakery Manager at a privately owned grocery store. I also owned my own bakery for over four years. I have been baking for 15+ years professionally. I also teach canning and preserving classes and have been gardening since I was 5 years old. I live in Western, NY with my husband, teenage son, Bernie the Cat and Muffins the Hamster.

Doing Cakes Again

I have been baking and decorating cakes professionally for almost 20 years!

The trends have changed over the years and continue to change. Some I have embraced and some I would rather not do lol!

I stopped offering cakes for about a year because honestly I was burned out. I needed to take a step back.

Slowly I have added them back into my schedule and I have really been enjoying them again.

I try to keep my cake ideas page here on WordPress as up to date as I can. It includes many ideas for children’s themes, anniversary, wedding, adult birthdays and of course dessert cakes too.

Please enjoy looking through them by clicking on the link below.

Hopefully you will find some inspiring designs. 😊

https://marymargaretripley.com/cake-ideas/

To-Do Lists

Along with my Blog “The Professional Domestic” I also have Facebook and Instagram pages under the same name.

I picked the name The Professional Domestic because I wanted to share my life as a professional Baker and a “professional domestic” at home.

Believe it or not I would have preferred not to have a career but rather stay home and take care of my family. I find that people tend to view a stay-at home wife and mother to be rather a lazy job choice though. To that I say they have never met me!

I think people must envision stay-at homes as watching soap operas and making dinner and chasing after toddlers all day and that’s about it.

But toddlers grow up and well…there’s just a little more to staying home than that lol!

I posted one of my to-do lists for the day up on my Facebook and Instagram account one time and the response was enormous. People kept asking me questions about the things I do each day and how I got so much done.

Since then I have posted my daily to-do lists and am continually surprised how many people care what the heck I do each day.

I like to write to-do lists not only to help me stay on track but also as a bit of a glimpse of what I do. It’s kind of a journal for me. I suck at journaling but this at least will be a recorded account of what I do and maybe my grandchildren will care. (If I ever get any).

Here is my to-do for today.

If you would like to find me on Instagram you can click on my page which should be in the sidebar here along with my Goodreads. A link to my Facebook is here The Professional Domestic

Enjoy this beautiful day! -MM

Bathroom Painting Update

I have been wanting to paint our bathroom ever since we moved in. The room was lacking a ceiling exhaust fan which wasn’t an issue when this was my grandmother’s home because she didn’t take 20 minute steaming hot showers three times a day. But with the three of us living here it quickly warped the ceiling and caused mold and peeling paint. Yikes!

About two years ago we had the ceiling repaired and an exhaust fan installed which solved our problem with the mold and moisture. But the ceiling was still never primed and painted. So I got my fancy, feel good, painting clothes on one day (See my last blog post about dressing for success) and set to work getting the room painted,

The room had dark wide solid wood paneling. This was real wood and actually beautiful but sorry, just too dark. Here are before photos:

 

After a coat of primer and two coats of white paint here are a few shots of the after:

Now consider this a temporary fix until we can rip the whole bathroom out. Our tub is virtually uncleanble, having to use an industrial cleaner just to get it relatively clean because the glaze on the porcelain is shot. (No I don’t want to reglaze it) And that 1960s tiny tile on the vanity is not a color that goes with anything in my style book and don’t get me started on the floor but those things are tolerable now because WOW does the room look so much cleaner and brighter!

Couple of notes: while painting such a tiny room obviously use the exhaust fan to help with fumes but ALSO open the window because the fan alone did not help. And if you want your husband’s help painting the room just know that in order to get that help expect him to get paint everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE. The hubbs had it all over himself, the tile, the floor, the mirror, the back of the door and even somehow on the tension rod for the shower curtain.

I’ll be scraping random spots of paint for months but hey, I appreciated the help and we had fun singing at the tops of our lungs to Funky Cold Medina and Livin’ La Vida Loca.

After a few more decorative touches which I’ll show you later, this project can be crossed off the list.

On to staining the deck! -MM

How to Get Out of Your Creative Block or Any Mental Block at All

There is a lot to block us from feeling normal right now which the experts say is understandable.

But we can’t feel this way forever right? It damages our emotional state to constantly feel unmotivated and unproductive. It does me at least.

Even before this world Pandemic I practiced something that whenever I felt a creative block coming on or I felt unmotivated to get moving I would do this one simple thing.

I changed my clothes. Wait a minute…that’s it? Just change your clothes?

Yes, change what you are wearing. I always feel better and more motivated (and creative) when I change into something cool. I put on my coolest jeans, a ruffly, colorful top, a vintage necklace and even put on my best sneakers, and I swipe on some lipstick. I don’t care if the only person that sees me is me. If I look better, I feel better. Then I go take some photos of dishes and of course I look awesome doing it.

Changing into something that isn’t sweats or pajamas is what makes you feel better. It sets you up to succeed. You might feel comfy in your PJ’s but let me tell you in the long run it hurts you. It keeps you unmotivated, trust me.

I want to paint my bathroom and I have been putting it off all day. I am going to put on my cool ripped jeans, a cool graphic t-shirt, a pair of my awesome vintage earrings and put some Metallica on my ipod and started painting.

Try it. Change your clothes πŸ˜‰. – MM

Meal Prep Week 1 of 4

With the shut down of NY from COVID-19 I have been laid off from my job at the law office.

But if you know me at all a little thing like being laid off is not going to slow me down from earning the money we need to survive AND still getting our debt paid down.

Before this shutdown, on top of working two days at the law office, I had also started working the closing shift at the grocery store two nights a week and I had resurrected my bakery home delivery service again. And of course I was still rocking the Etsy sales selling my vintage dishware, dress patterns, linens, flatware and other odd trinkets like cat calendars from the 1970’s and 1980s.

When all of this hit I had to stop the two days at the office and now have shifted to working two nights and two days at the store plus home delivery and Etsy.

My 18 year old son also works at the store as a cashier and with his senior year of high school pretty much over with the pandemic he is working more hours than ever before.

My husband is also working his normal hours because his company sells medical oxygen and welding supplies and gases.

I know we are very fortunate to be working but it does put us in harms way. It’s a classic Catch-22 with no good answer.

Now that I have all of that background out of the way I have to admit I have been struggling with getting food ready for all of us. I am so tired after doing home deliveries on Wednesdays and working opposite shifts from my guys that I just don’t want to cook and I am REALLY tired of pizza.

I came up with an idea to have certain grab and go items ready for all of us without having to stand there and cook every night.

It’s not a new concept by any means but it made me feel better just thinking about it.

I made a list up of food ideas and here it is:

Homemade Salsa

Apples with carmel dip – Yum right!?

Homemade Mac and Cheese – Great for a leftover too

Pepperoni and moz cheese, sauce and bagels – Make mini pizzas when you don’t have time to cook a big meal

Cut up fruit – easy to snack on

Taco Meat for Nachos – I also keep a can of black beans on hand for the protein if I don’t have taco meat available.

Deviled and Boiled Eggs – The boiled eggs can go on salads!

Grilled Veggies – warm up with grilled chicken and add to a flour tortilla for a great quick dinner!

Salad Fixings – Always good to have on hand

Cabbage for slaw – making slaw is easy and can be used for over a week in the fridge

Grilled Chicken Breast – so many uses. Salads anyone?

Veggies and Dip – perfect snack! And if I don’t use them all by the end of a week I’ll toss them into a stir-fry or steam them for a side. It’s handy to have them washed, cut up and ready to go.

Pckles/Olives – We love munching on these

I spent about a day working with all of these ideas. Made my list and shopped, chopped, minced and prepared everything. I even cleaned out my fridge. I mean REALLY cleaned it. Took all the shelves out and everything!

Let me tell you…what a huge help this all was for me. The homemade salsa alone saved my butt more than once. You see the salsa has many of the starting ingredients that I would use in other dishes. The onions, peppers, tomatoes and garlic all ready to go meant I could just use it on the fly for pot roasts and even as a base for spaghetti sauce.

I also organized my spice and ingredient cabinet which was a big mess. It is much easier to find things now!

These are all suggestions and I hope it helps give you some inspiration. I’ll get some more ideas together and get back to you with more next week.

Stay safe everyone! – MM

SAL Update-Fraktur Hex #7

I am so sorry! I completely forgot to post 3 weeks ago. I do have a good report for this update though.

I have finished the border!

Here is where I was last time I updated:

And here is where I am now:

Glad that’s over lol! Now on to a different color.

Hope you are all doing well. Yes I live in New York but we are in Western NY near Lake Ontario and Erie thankfully no where near NY City. My heart breaks for our city but hopefully in the next few weeks the cases of COVID will decrease.

I can’t wait to see what everyone is up to with their projects. Please visit the other members of our Stitch-A-Long by clicking on the links below.

See you in three weeks! -MM

Hello Again!

I have been absent for a long time and for that I apologize.

I amΒ  fine and my family is well. I just haven’t felt like posting because frankly I felt that anything I had to say would be a bit frivolous considering the situation we are all in.

But after many weeks and months of not posting because of busyness and now this horrible virus shutting all of us in, I figured I better get my thoughts out somehow so I decided to get back at blogging and updating my website.

I feel a bit guilty because while many of my friends are having to shut their businesses’s doors or are losing their jobs my family is managing because we are all essential workers. It does make it scary for us though. Do we risk ourselves to work or risk not having a paycheck? I don’t really know what the answer is for that.

Meanwhile life is keeping on. Here is a small update:

Debt: before all of this happened I paid off the medical bills and our Town/County tax bill so yeehaw two less bills! Last update we were at $992 for the medical and I was able to pay it off a month early. The Town/County taxes were about $1200 and I paid them at the beginning of this month. So almost $2200 worth of debt gone. The next thing I am going to tackle is the Bank of America Credit Card which is $1300. But I do have some reservations about paying it off completely in one month. With the virus in full swing here in NYS do I just pay the minimum and save some money aside just in case or do I go for it? I am still thinking about that.

20 for 20 Update: I’ll do this in another post

Gardening/Food storage: We still have many items in our pantry from canning this last summer for which I am grateful for. I have planted radishes, lettuce and spring onions so far but the weather has not been very nice yet. Still too cold most days and very windy others. We will get there though.

There is so much I want to say but I think I will let certain things come out on here as time goes on. I have so many ideas, dreams, goals, sorrows, fears, thoughts and triumphant revelations but there is just too much to post about right now.

How are you all doing? I hope all are well. The world has a job to do and we will get it done. Until next time…

-MM

SAL-Fraktur Hex #6

It’s been a cold miserable week here but I have been getting a lot done inside!

The last three weeks have flown by and admittedly I haven’t worked much on Fraktur Hex. Here is where I left off last time:

And here is where I am now:

Just got around the corner on the border. That’s it. I’ll get more done next time.

I have also been working on Modern Folk Embroidery’s year long SAL which has been taking most of my time.

I have been stitching it upside down because it’s easier for me to hold lol.

That’s what I have been up to stitching wise. πŸ™‚

Please check out the other bloggers in our SAL by clicking on the links below. Can’t wait to see what they are up to πŸ˜‰ Welcome back Jenny!! -MM

Not Impressed with Our Debt January 2020 Update

Originally I had a good solid “plan” when I started this journey of paying off our debt. Unfortunately that plan is in need of a change.

The momentum that I started with has changed because I am not working 55+ hours a week anymore. I have decided to adjust and take a different approach to this whole debt thing, which is exactly what we should do if things are not working out, right?

From this point on I am just going to concentrate on one debt or “goal” at a time and do one monthly update at the end of the month. I might update you on things that strike me in between but other than that, it will be a monthly update.

Last update I was paying on that pesky medical bill which was at $2,500 and I am very happy to say that it is now at $992.00! I have paid off about $1500. Two more months and we will be done with it!

I do have some great news to share on the money front! I have been offered a job with the 2020 Census where I will be the Field Operation Supervisor for my county and will be able to do both my regular job and this position. It means back to 55+ hours a week but I hope to get at least 2 to 3 debts paid in full during this period. Very exciting! I start the Census job in a couple of weeks.

We will see where I am at the end of February which even with the extra day makes it a short month.

Until next update…. -MM

computer desk laptop stethoscope

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

 

SAL -Project Fraktur Hex #2

I spent so much time the last three weeks working on Fraktur Hex and I was so excited to show my progress but I realized late last night that I had made a mistake that had devastating consequences.

That may seem overly dramatic but as many of you know having to rip out two weeks worth of work is definitely devastating. And a real pain in the ass for lack of a better phrase.

Here is where I left off last time:

And here is where I got all the way up to:

I looked at the pattern wrong on the scroll work in the border which set the center part off by about 6 stitches.

My husband said just go with it and not rip it out but that would throw the entire project off because it is symmetrical. I can’t hide that big of a mistake.

I am so upset! Ugh…

I may not get a whole lot of progress done for next time but it will be correct and that’s the most important thing.

Please do go and check out the other bloggers and see what their projects look like. Hopefully they did better than I did this time! -MM