According to my blog dashboard, this is my 100th post. I don’t feel like it’s been that many but the dashboard doesn’t lie. I’m happy to be celebrating 100 happy posts with all of you.
In honor of the 100th post, I thought I would celebrate by sharing some of my favorite cakes along with some updates about my life. I’ll pair my favorite cakes with the areas of my life according to how I see fit. There really should be a cake for every situation. I hope you enjoy the pairings I’ve made.
Topic #1: Favorite Things: Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing
For starters, I thought I would list a few of my recent favorite things. This cake would not really be my favorite (the Pink Lady Cake below is probably my choice), but this cake definitely won in terms of favorites over the past year or two. This cake has been made at least 5 times, and considering the number of other cakes that have also been made that is quite a few times. It is definitely a crowd-pleaser, and that makes it a true favorite.
Some of my favorite things:
1. Playing with Hurley- Pretty self explanatory I think. He’s just so cute.
2. Reading - Lately I’ve been re-reading the Harry Potter series. I’m currently on Chapter 6 of The Order of The Phoenix. If you haven’t read the books but you like the movies you are really missing a great deal of amazing additions to the story until you read the books. I recently read the Hunger Games series too. Any suggestions for exciting and fantastical or science fiction novels are appreciated.
3. Pinterest- if you haven’t joined Pinterest yet I don’t know if I want to encourage you to start. It’s a little bit addicting. Pinterest is a website where you can create “pinboards” on various topics. I have several boards like “home decorating”, “food I want to make”, “favorite outfits”, etc. When you’re browsing the internet you can click on pictures you see and “pin” them to your boards. So when you are logged into Pinterest, you are constantly seeing only super cute and fun ideas and things that other people have “pinned”, and you get caught up in everyone’s wonderful ideas and inspired to create. Pinterest is covered with ideas for using chalkboard paint, and recently I was inspired to turn a few picture frames into chalkboards, which are now hanging happily in my house. Since I started using Pinterest I have also bought and made a plan to use furniture stripper to refinish some old furniture I have. See, Pinterest is inspiring. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do the project as well as the picture I saw, but at least I feel crafty. I think that might be the point of Pinterest.
Proceed to Pinterest with caution, but if you do proceed look me up and follow my pinboards :)
4. Music- Lately I’ve been choosing Mumford and Sons over and over when I turn on music. I must love them. I also recently found a classical radio station (yes I use the radio in my car) and have been listening to that a lot lately as well. I played piano growing up and have always loved old classical stuff. I love Rachmaninoff, Vivaldi, and Brahams. I promise, I’m not at all pretentious. I by no means think I am cooler than you because I like Classical music. I really just genuinely love it. I also love Missy Higgins. She’s my best friend I think.
5. Movies- Lately Netflix has been my absolute favorite thing. Instead of canceling when they raised their prices a few months ago, I looked at all my options and ended up bumping up my contract to 2 DVDs/Blu-rays at a time instead of 1, and I haven’t looked back. I love movies, and I don’t know if I really have a favorite except my childhood favorite, Princess Bride (I think that’s everyone’s favorite movie who was born before 1985). Instead of sharing my favorite movie I think I’ll tell you what’s at the top of my queue. 1. The Soloist 2. The Darjeeling Limited 3. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe 4. The Chronicles of Narnia: Price Caspian 5. Pride and Prejudice. Please let me know if I’ll be wasting my time with any of these.
Enough favorites, on to more cakes.
Topic #2: My Wonderful Bible Study Friends: Pink Lady Cake
I think it is fitting that the Pink Lady cake be used to represent the Bible Study that I’ve been going to for the past 4 years. The simple fact that it’s pink is fitting because there are 11 girls that attend (no boys allowed!). There are other reasons the Pink Lady Cake is the perfect fit for us.
Over the past 4 years we have grown in numbers a lot. We started off as just 4 girls who got together every Wednesday night to read the Bible, but we mainly just enjoyed being together and drinking coffee, and if a little Bible got thrown into the mix every week then all the better. We didn’t have a real plan or goal, just to get together with some girls that we could pray with and count on in the tough times as well as the happy times. Over the years we have added more girls and have gotten into a better routine and reading through the Bible every week.
I started dating Brian almost immediately after the Bible study first started. When that happened, I stopped hanging out with a bunch of my “guy” friends. I think that happens to a lot of girls when they finally start dating “the one”. Those other relationships just seemed in the way, so they were over pretty quickly. I started to crave friendships with girls, and the Bible Study provided me with exactly what I needed. The word I want to use to describe both the Bible Study and the cake is “dense”. That is one dense cake in the best way possible. It’s hefty, and if you cut into it cold you better be able to bench at least 150. The Bible Study is dense too. The love we have for each other is thick and hard to cut through. I know I’m risking being extremely corny here, but it’s true. The weight of our individual problems are nothing against the strength that the group holds together. Right now in my life, my Bible Study is a tower of Pink Lady Cake.
Topic #3: Family: Sweet and Light Coconut Cake
Brian doesn’t read my blog so I say that gives me license to talk about him as much as I want.
About 2 years ago the company Brian started working for out of college shut down, and he lost his job. He was one of those people searching for work in a terrible job market right at the start, and he was lucky to find one about 5 months later. We have known since he got that job that it wasn’t his dream job, but we were thankful that he had something when so many other people didn’t. I’m grateful to the company he worked for, because that job gave us everything we needed while he looked for something that was actually in his field. A few weeks ago he got a new job doing something he’s good at, and he started last week. The change in his attitude is night and day. He seems so happy, and I feel like he’s almost a different person. He blames it on football season, but I am so thankful that he has a job he actually likes (so far). The hopeful outlook I have on his life and our relationship is light and happy like this cake. The cake is fluffy and soft like a good dream. That’s how I feel right now at home.
Topic #4: Work: Sour Cream Coffee Cake with 4-way Streusel
In May I was given a promotion and moved into a position that is in charge of fundraising, our volunteer program, and community relations in general. I love my job. Working for an organization that I care a lot about gives me the energy to get up and go to work every day with enthusiasm. It has been different though since I moved into my new position. If I thought I was busy before as the Events Coordinator, it was nothing compared to the place I am now. I don’t mind though. My focus is constantly on the children and getting them the services they need, and everything I do is worthwhile because of them. Working in a place that prays daily and asks for God’s guidance before making decisions is a really comforting thing, and I’m glad I that get to work at a place where He’s the boss.
As it relates to the cake, my job is a jumble of flavors, like the 4 way streusel. This streusel is made with 4 different main ingredients and each guest gets to pick and choose which flavor they want. It has a lot of variety and surprise, when sometimes the flavors unexpectedly overlap. Oops. The cake is also heavy, which the job can sometimes be. But, at the end of the meal you can lay on the couch and sigh as the heaviness settles into a very restful sleep. If I didn’t feel the heavy, the down time wouldn’t be as sweet.
Topic #5: Future Plans: Maple Gingerbread Layer Cake with Salted Maple Caramel Sauce
I love planning for the future and looking forward with lots of hope for good things to come. This cake makes me feel that hope. Maybe one of the reasons I feel this cake points to the future is that it a “gingerbread” cake, and that makes me excited about the holidays.
So what are the future plans? Well for now it’s moving into our new house that we signed a contract for this weekend. At the beginning of the year I said that one of my goals was to buy a house this year, and I’m kind of amazed that it’s actually happening. We will be living in a space that we won’t be planning to leave any time soon. That is the first time that has happened to me or Brian in about 10 years. College happened, and then after college it was a string of apartment living, getting married and moving in together, another apartment, 2 rent houses, and now we are finally moving into a space of our own. I can paint the walls any color I want. I can plant a garden and know I’m not leaving it in a year. I’m really excited.
Other than that, the plan is to stay happy. Brian and I both have jobs we love, and we have a dog that we couldn’t imagine life without. Maybe someday we will have kids but right now that isn’t part of the immediately plan. I’m open and excited about where life is going to take us.
So that’s it for the update. I hope you enjoy the cake pictures, and that you pick one out and make it for yourself. They are all amazing.