Friday, March 22, 2019

What I Got For My Golden Birthday

Hello everyone!
I celebrated my golden birthday a few weeks ago.
I received so many wonderful gifts that I wanted to do a little haul. 
Your girl loves a theme and a theme was delivered.

My parents gave me the cutest golden card with a gift certificate to Target inside.

90% of the things in my house are from Target so I was stoked to spend it.
I had my eye on these curtains for our kitchen and while we were out shopping they just happened to be on sale for 50% off!
The gift card covered both curtains and now my kitchen looks more put together.

My sister Heather surprised me with tickets to see our boy Andrew McMahon.
Since everything is digital nowadays she didn't have physical tickets so, she gave me this.

It's a picture of Andrew McMahon surrounded by gold balloons!
My sister April gave me gold measuring cups and spoons.
You know I love to bake and the more measuring cups and spoons I have the better!

She also gave me a pair of furry pink bunny slippers.
I love things to be a little extra and they are the perfect slippers to take me into spring!

Erik gave me a new sports bra.

It's black with gold flecks.
I love it! 
It reminds me of a mermaid and I love me some mermaids...

Erik gave me a gold magazine holder and a gold pencil cup for my office as well.

I have been wanting some gold accessories to pull my office together.
These will be the perfect touch.

He also gave me this gorgeous white faux fur ottoman I have had my eyes on for months.

It has gold legs to stay in the gold theme.

Erik usually gets me one or two gifts so I have something to open on my birthday and then we go shopping and I pick out a few more.

Every year I treat myself to some Lush.
This year I got a dragon egg bath bomb.
It has confetti in it and I thought that was super festive for my birthday.

 I also got a sunnyside bubble bar because, gold...

I have had my eye on this cute Luna Lovegood makeup bag for awhile.

It was on sale while we were shopping and Erik convinced me to buy it because it was rose gold!
Rose gold definitely counts for a gold birthday.
I can't wait to take it with us to Harry Potter World this fall.

We also stopped by Sephora to get my free birthday gift.
I went with the Drunk Elephant skin care set because my skin has been freaking out on me lately and I would love to help it get together.

Erik's mama was so nice to buy me the new Little Mermaid in 4K.
Ariel has been my favorite Disney princess since I was born and I have to have every copy they release.
I love mermaids, remember?
And this was released on my actual birthday.
It was obviously meant to be!
It came with a book full of behind the scenes and I fully geeked out reading it. 

I love how creative people were when thinking of golden gifts to give me.
Every gift was so thoughtful and full of love.
My golden birthday was definitely the best birthday I have ever had.
I can't wait to see what else this year has in store.

All my love,

Monday, March 18, 2019

Reflecting With Andrew McMahon

Hello everyone!
Last Tuesday my sister Heather and I went to our 4th Andrew McMahon concert together.

I was around seven or eight years old when she first introduced me to his music.
At that time he was in the band Something Corporate and I remember hanging out at her apartment and begging her to play the song Hurricane.
Since then we have seen him four times.
Once with Something Corporate, once with Jack's Mannequin and twice as a solo artist.

Two years ago we saw him at the same venue we did last week.
We were jamming and having a good time when I started to cry.
At first I thought it was because I was so happy and then it turned into full on hard ugly crying and I was so confused...
I was honestly happy and enjoying myself.
Nothing should have been making me sad.
"What is wrong with me?" I thought.
The first response that came into my mind was "I don't want to be miserable anymore..."
I realized that was the first time I had been happy in awhile and it affected me in such a weird way.
I was doing what I thought I needed to do to be happy at the time.
I was working hard and making the most money I had ever made.
I was able to support my family.
We finally had a house.
We were able to afford things we never could before.
We were "successful."
But man was I sad.
I think that was the first time I was honest with myself about my feelings.
It led me to acknowledge that I needed to take care of myself.
It led to a conversation with Erik of putting more than half of my earnings into savings so that I could quit my job.
It led to the realization that I was suppressing a lot of things.
It led to some major changes.
Last Tuesday as we were standing in the same same spot seeing him again,  I reflected on that moment and how far I had come.
The last month or so I have been the happiest I have been in a long time.
I cried on the way home from the concert but this time they were happy tears.
I am so grateful to be where I am now.
And I am so excited to see where I will be the next time we go and see him.

All my love,

Saturday, March 16, 2019

How To Make A Rainbow Piñata Cake

Hello everyone!
St. Patrick's Day is this weekend and I have the perfect cake to help you celebrate.
A rainbow piñata cake!
A piñata cake is a cake that is filled with a surprise center.
And what do you find at the end of the rainbow?
A pot of gold!
So, I decided to fill mine with chocolate gold coins.

I wanted to make a white cake recipe so that the colors would be nice and vibrant..
Who wants a dull rainbow?
Not me...
My favorite white cake recipe is from Rosanna Pansino's Cookbook.
It has a touch of almond in it and it might be my favorite thing ever...

You will need:
2 Cups Of Flour
2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
1/8 a Teaspoon of Salt
1 Stick of Salted Butter, Room Temperature
1/4 a Cup of Vegetable Shortening
1 and 1/2 Cups of Sugar
2 Teaspoons of Vanilla
1/4 a Teaspoon of Almond Extract
5 Egg Whites
3/4 a Cup of Whole Milk
White Buttercream Frosting
Food Dye 
Gold Coins

Preheat oven to 350o.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and shortening until soft.
Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Mix in the vanilla and almond extract.
Add the egg whites one at a time beating well after each addition.
Alternate adding in your dry mixture and milk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and mixing until just combined after each addition.
Divide your white cake batter evenly into six bowls.
Color the frosting in each bowl a different color of the rainbow.
One red, one orange, one yellow, one green, one blue, one purple.

Layer the bottom of 6, 6 inch round cake pans with parchment paper and grease.
Pour each batter into a separate pan.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Let cakes cool.
With a 2 inch round cookie cutter cut a circle in the middle of the orange, yellow, green and blue cake layers.
Leave the red (top) layer and purple (bottom) layer solid. 
Place a small dot of buttercream frosting in the middle of your serving tray.
Place the solid purple cake layer on top of the dot of frosting.
This will help the cake stay in place.
Add a thin layer of frosting around the edge of the purple cake and smooth.
Place the blue hallow layer on top.
Add a thin layer of frosting around the edges of the cake and smooth.
Place the green hallow layer on top and repeat till you reach the orange layer.

Before you place your red (top) layer on the cake fill the hallow cake center with your gold coins.

Once the center is nice and full add your top layer.

Complete frosting the entire cake.
I wanted to add some festive decorations to the outside of the cake as a preview of what was inside.

I added a dot border around the top of the cake.
Then I added some round rainbow sprinkles on top of the border and around the bottom of the cake.

Serve and enjoy your rainbow surprise!

This cake was so fun to make!
I love that it appears a little plain on the outside but then turns into not only a rainbow cake but a rainbow cake with a golden surprise.

This is the perfect cake to make and enjoy this St. Patricks Day (or any) weekend.
What would you put inside your rainbow piñata cake?

All my love,

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Leading Ladies In My Life + A Golden Giveaway!

Hello everyone!
As you probably know International Women's day was last Friday.
I love International Women's Day and the chance it gives us to celebrate one another.
I feel that we are at such an exciting age for women.
We are finally getting recognition for all we have done and we get to do some pretty amazing things because of it.

Growing up I never felt like being a girl was a disadvantage.
Not because I was told or shown differently, but because I had so many amazing women showing me that was untrue. 
My three older sisters, my mom, my grandmothers, my aunts, my teachers.
I am so grateful for the women who paved the way and fought for our rights.
And I am so grateful to have the opportunity to fight for a brighter future for the little ladies in my life.
My nieces hold such a special place in my heart.
Don't get me wrong, I love my nephews.
My nieces are just interested in things I can relate to.
Music, photography, fashion.
While my nephews favorites pass time is pretending to urinate on me...

My niece Stella is the gentlest, purest soul I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
She is so sweet she gives me a toothache.
For Christmas last year she asked Santa for a "real life violin "
What six year old has an interest in the violin?!
I know I didn't...
She loves to bake and create new foods. 
She wants to own her own bakery when she grows up.
She found out that I also love to bake and asked to come over and bake at my house.
On a Saturday night all she wanted to do was bake with me.
It made me so happy!

My niece Baylee loves life more than anyone I have ever known.
She loves to celebrate and is always looking forward to the next event.
She likes YouTube and is interested in videography and filmography.
Santa brought her a Polaroid camera and she takes better pictures at six than I do now...
She has always had an interest in becoming a doctor.
I recently asked her what kind of doctor she wants to be.
She said a baby doctor.
I asked "So you are going to take care of the babies?"
Her response.
"Nope. I'm going to bring them into the world."
Mic drop!

My niece Bella is eighteen months old and can only say a few words but, she is the most independent and feisty little thing.
She knows what she wants and I would advise you not to go against her wishes.
She is persistent and will do what it takes to get it. 
I think she will be a little fashionista.
She loves to spend the day trying on clothes.
She will bring me outfit after outfit to put on.
She loves to wear items from her big sister's closet and always makes sure to accessorize.
She also loves my phone.

I am completely inspired by my nieces.
I love how creative they are and that they dream big.
My goal in life is to encourage them to be whatever they want to be.
To try new things and explore all their opportunities.
I truly believe that they will change the world. 

All my love,

P.S. I am holding another giveaway on my Instagram.
It is a gorgeous gold Made By Mary necklace.
Head over here to enter!