The Prettiest Cake I’ve Ever Made

I LOVE to bake! It’s no secret. All my friends and family know this about me. I’m always the first to volunteer to bring dessert to a potluck, bring cookies to a movie night, and so on. I even prefer to make my own desserts for my birthday! I knew that I was going to a good friend’s birthday dinner this past weekend and I was dying to bake her a birthday cake! SO I DID!!!

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It ended up being a 4-layer cake (chocolate, white, chocolate, white) with an almond buttercream frosting. The cake was just from a box (I know, not from scratch…) but the frosting… Oh man… this stuff was GOOD!!! It was the first time I’d ever made a buttercream frosting and I’ll definitely be making it again! (I obviously used almond extract for the flavoring, but I bet vanilla would be delicious, too!)

I also tried a new “recipe” for getting the cakes to easily come out of the pan and it was fantastic! I’ve never had a cake come out of the pan just like that before! The only downside was that the edges of the cake got a little crispier than normal, but definitely not too crispy. Still edible. Still delicious!

This was my first attempt at a *fancy* cake and I’m pretty proud of how it turned out! It was very… bright… but I like bright things so there ya go! I don’t have one of those fancy cake spinner stands, so I plopped the cardboard cake board onto a lazy Susan and it worked out very well!

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The birthday dinner was a lot of fun and everyone said that the cake (but mostly the frosting) was delicious – which is always great to hear! Now if only I had some leftovers…🙂

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Five for Friday #30

Hello and happy Friday! Here we are in December already and it’s time for more of my favorite things.

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1 – Speaking of my favorite things… this rendition from Leslie Odom Jr. (he plays Aaron Burr in Hamilton!!!!!!!!) is amazing and I listened to it about 19 times at work the day it came out. His entire Christmas cd is incredible, and you should give it a listen.

2 – I made a pie entirely from scratch for the first time (it was delicious!) and I tried to make a lattice crust on top. Mine didn’t look nearly as good, but here’s an easy way to do it.

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3 – GILMORE GIRLS GILMORE GIRLS GILMORE GIRLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have you watched A Year In The Life yet?!?!?!? I watched it all in 1 day (it’s 6 hours so totally doable for a weekend… I just couldn’t wait to finish it!) and I LOVED IT!!! I made notes while I watched, so I’ll post those later I’m sure… but ugh it made my heart so happy to have the gang back together!

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4 – This is the best popcorn ever. I’m obsessed. And it’s always sold out, so I guess the secret is out. Try it. Trust me.

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5 – I stumbled across this movie on Netflix and watched it on a whim- and I loved it. A simple story, really just 2 characters, and an ending that maybe some people won’t like (it’s an indie movie, so watch accordingly) but I really did. AND the couple in the movie is married in real life, so that made me smile!

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I’m glad the weekend is finally almost here! I am going to a birthday dinner for a friend, I’m going to finish decorating for Christmas, and yeah, I might just re-watch Gilmore Girls A Year In The Life (or have it on in the background.) I want to get my tree up ASAP so I can put all my gifts underneath! I finished Christmas shopping this week and now I just need to wrap everything and put it all under the tree until the 25th!

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Recent Reads

Hello, hello! I’m back!! And man, I have been reading up a storm in the last few months! Some of the books I’ve loved… some of the books I’ve hated a little bit… and now I wanted to share a few of them with you!

Northanger Abbey – Val McDermid

This is a modern retelling of the classic by the same name (originally by Jane Austen). This one is filled with teenagers and teen drama and I have to say… I kinda liked it! I’ve never actually read the original, so I’m not sure how closely it follows, but this modern version definitely kept my interest the whole way through.

northanger-abbey

Luckiest Girl Alive – Jessica Knoll

OK, I know this was THE popular book for a long time, but… honestly… I did not love this one. I didn’t even really like it. Didn’t like the main character. Didn’t like the main action part of the plot. Just… nope. Moving on.

luckiest-girl-alive

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J.K. Rowling

Yes yes yes yes I was so excited to read this book of the script for the play and yes yes yes I loved it! It was so much fun to be back in the magical world of Harry Potter once again and I just thought that she did a fantastic job with this one. It gave enough new and and enough familiar and I had to ration it because it went by so fast!

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The Dinner – Herman Koch

This one had been on my ‘to-be-read’ list for a few years, and I’m glad I finally got around to it. It was… kind of boring, but also kind of very intense! It will definitely make you think of the situation from everyone’s point of view and wonder how you would act…

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Have you guys read any of these?!? Let me know what you thought! I’ll have another recent reads post coming up pretty soon… Like I said, I have been a reading machine! Hope y’all are having a great day!

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Gone With the Wind (2016 Book Bingo Review)

Oh my goodness, you guys, guess what….? This is my FINAL BOOK for my 2016 book bingo! I’m DONE! (Although that doesn’t mean that I’m done reading- I could never stop that!) So to take the final spot of a book more than 10 years old, I read Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

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This is another one that I actually listened to as an audio book. A 49 hour audio book. Y’all. This was a time investment FOR SURE. But I’m glad that I listened- it’s a classic for a reason and ooooh so much drama! For those of you who don’t know what it’s about, this story follows Southern belle Scarlett O’Hara as she lives in the great South, the Civil war, reconstruction, marriages, beaus, children, fires, family drama, and more. Scarlett is a heroine you love to hate, who does everything for the wrong reasons, and is the living epitome of the phrase “too little too late.”

I’ve never seen the move (I know that it is super long, too) but now I can’t wait to watch it! I know that the movie is also a huge classic and I’m really interested to see how it holds up compared to the book!

Now that I’ve finished my book bingo for the year, I’ve just started reading WHATEVER THE HECK I WANT!!!!!! I’ll probably make another book bingo list for 2017, but for now it’s kind of fun just reading whatever I find in the library that looks interesting! If you have any good book recommendations, send them my way!

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Have you checked out these posts?
Spell It Out (2016 Book Bingo Review)
The Bell Jar (2016 Book Bingo Review)
The Phantom of the Opera (2016 Book Bingo Review)

 

More Desktop Backgrounds!

I’ve been feeling like I’ve been in a writing rut (probably because I’ve been doing a LOT more typing than usual at work so my fingers instinctively don’t want to type once I get home…) so today’s post is just going to be for fun!

I’ve been finding a lot of great images to use as my desktop backgrounds at work, and I wanted to share some more with you! A few for fall, and some just because they’re pretty.🙂

hello, autumn

colorful pumpkins

pool flowers

giraffe at the pool

pretty stripes

How fun are those colorful pumpkins! I totally want to do something like that in the fireplace at my apartment… but I’m a bit of a lazy decorator for all things not Christmas and I’m just very realistic that it’s not gunna happen… maybe next year.

Have you used any of these for your desktop background before? Which one is your favorite?!?

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Have you checked out these posts?
Summer Desktop Backgrounds
Background Check
Desktop Backgrounds (A Few More Favorites)