Friday, February 25, 2011

It's Friday!!! Lets make a cake!!!

If you read the “about me” section you would have learned that I love to cook, key word cook!  If you were to ask me bake something you would find me cowering in the corner. 
I’ve never been one to bake.  In the past I’ve managed to do ruin everything, cakes, brownies, cookies (even the ones that come in a tube), etc.  I just learned to avoid the whole baking experience and leave it up to my baking sister (who, mind you can cook but I’m better!).
But recently I’ve gotten the baking bug.  Who the heck knows where that came from but I’ve been making muffins, cookies and just recently a Red Velvet Cake.
Oh yeah, Red Velvet Cake!
Not one of the easiest cakes to ease your way into the baking world. 
But I did it, with a little advice from my favorite cake lady Alice, and now I would love to share this tasty cake recipe and share my journey of this daunting cake making task with you!
The recipe for this Red Velvet Cake came from one of my favorite blogs, Bakerella.
She can whip up some yummy stuff!!! 
So here's the recipe. 
Red Velvet Cake:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz. red food coloring

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans.
  • Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Add remaining liquid ingredients and stir together with whisk until blended. Set aside.
  • Place all the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and stir together really good with another wire whisk.
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined.
  • Pour into cake pans and then drop the pans on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (Using a toothpick is key!  With the amount of oil that is in the cake might make it look "wet" and I learned some people have a tendency to over bake because of this.  Keep an eye on it and test, test, test!)   
  • After about ten minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. I also cover in plastic wrap while the cakes cool.
  • Then make the frosting.

So I mixed!

And I poured!

And I baked!

The oven, yes the oven, managed to burn a little spot.  I just cut it off and then gave my oven a good talking too!!!

I made frosting too, and I learned that you have to beat the living day lights out of it in order to get the right consistancy!  (See, I'm learning!!!)

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups confectioners’ sugar

  • Sift sugar and set aside.
  • Beat cream cheese and butter on high until creamy. Add vanilla.
  • Then, add the sugar in batches. Scrape down the sides in between each addition.   
  • And frost away.

And I attempted to frost...

And then I had P take over. 

We both learned it's not easy to frost a cake!

(Sorry my photos are dark and yellow.  I was anti-flash at the time for some reason!)

And the finished product, ready for a trip to Cleveland and a family dinner this weekend!


So that's my frist attempt at a cake.  I think it turned out okay! 

Now on to the next project!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Proud? Sort of the Opposite...

Ever been really proud of yourself? Someone been proud really of you? Easy to remember those moments, right? But, what about those that we'd rather forget...

So back in my younger days (which seem farther and farther away all the time) I attended a yearly sailing school during the summer in Annapolis, MD. Sailing capital of the world. Outside all day for two weeks straight. Nothing but sailing. With a bunch of teenage boys. Pretty sweet deal as a 15 year old girl, right?

By the end of the two weeks, the instructors and leaders of the camp handed out awards to all the campers. Some for winning races, tying a series of knots the fastest - you know...sailing stuff. Not only were all the campers in attendance, all of our parents, siblings, and friends came too. Pretty fun deal!

Well, the last year I attended, I won three different awards - two of which I was excited about and the third, not so much. I was crowned Ms. MRSA (Magothy River Sailing Association) - basically the queen of the camp. Score! Second was an award for being undefeated in the races we held for our age group. Bigger score!! Third, and this pains me to admit (but at least you'll laugh), was...drum roll...the worst Sailor's Mouth award. I was given a bar of soap. A bar of Irish Spring. I'll never forget it. Getting on the water did something to me. I was competing against 10 guys...and I wasn't about to lose. Little, innocent, 15 year old, me...

Mr. and Ms. MRSA 1996 - we were cool!

Reluctantly accepting my, ahem, award. Ahhhh, my parents have probably never been more proud!

It's Someone's Birthday At Life After Sorority!!

Happy Birthday Beth!!
...and happy 4 year wedding anniversary
tomorrow to you and Tim!!

We hope you have a wonderful day!!
Jenn & Erin

The Nesting Instinct

The Nesting Instinct:
Around the fifth month of pregnancy, the "nesting" instinct can set in.
This is an uncontrollable urge to clean one's house brought on by a desire to prepare a nest for the new baby, to tie up loose ends of old projects and to organize your world.
So I understand that every pregnant woman goes through some form of "nesting" before the baby arrives. I thought my time was starting in early January when I made goals to organize every room in the house.

Some where between the working full time and running a small business out of the house, the place fell apart! It looked like we just moved in again! Boxes, trash, clothes, and random mail was everywhere. This put me into a constant stage of stress and panic. I worked so hard in the beginning of January to get things in order. I had the energy, time, and somewhat smaller belly to work with. I just couldn't believe it was all destroyed and there was no way this baby could come into a house like this! My Mom and Jon, said that they would help me and somehow I would be organized.

Well, the “nesting” officially set in this past weekend!
All day Sunday and Monday, and about an hour or two each night I have been cleaning and organizing a room in the house.
Sometimes, our house seems so BIG and overwhelming and it just sucks me in, and I have no idea where to begin. I still didn't think it would get done, but by some act of God (or just plain luck) this past weekend, between my mom, Jon, and I we finished the baby’s room, organized & cleaned the loft, formal living room, living room, and I steam vacuumed the carpets!

Now, I still have the kitchen, dinning room, guest room, laundry room, master bedroom, 2 bathrooms, the 1/2 bath, and the basement to clean & organize, but I honestly feel like I will be able to finish them within the next few weeks!! Then its, installing a fence for the dogs and a new back door!!
So much to do in the next 20 weeks!!

You can see the nursery progress... HERE!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Good Old Days!

I came across some old pictures from our BG days!
I cannot beleive that some of these are over 10 years ago!
Man, does time fly by!
Summer 2002 -Heidi's 21st Birthday!
Jenn wearing glasses with a blue cup & Beth in the front with a pink shirt!

Spring 2000 Pledge Class

Fall 2000 Bid Day!!
@ Steph's Wedding
Beth is in the 2nd row on the left, pregnant with her first baby (Grant)!!
Jenn is in the front row in the middle ...I miss my long hair!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Finding My Balance

Like many, I struggle with finding a balance in my life. I have spent the last year trying t find it among working full time as a caseworker, family time, growing my wine light business, struggling through infertility (and concurring it!!), maintaining friendships and giving back to others and the community. As many of you know it isn’t easy! Even when trying to focus on one task you are less then 100% because you are concerned about dropping one of the other balls you are trying to juggle. We all do it in one way or another.

While trying to organize and get the house ready for baby girl Sommer who arrives in just 21 weeks (OMG!!), I realized that in the past year or so, I completely let my house go! It was a mess, nothing was where it is suppose to be! So, now with the help of my mom and husband we are slowly going through every room, closet,  drawer, nook and cranny and donating what we don’t use anymore, organizing, simplifying, and putting some items aside for a garage sale in May. It is a huge task, but I think once it is completed our home life will be balanced!
If any of you have found the secret to finding balance, please share! The only answer that seems to come to me, is ‘forgiveness’. Forgiving yourself for not being perfect and for not being able to do it all seems to me to be the only way to survive the balance struggle.

What are your thoughts on finding balance?

Let's Talk New Years Resolutions!

It’s mid-February and I have a feeling that most people’s New Years Resolutions have been put the way-side.

Am I right?

Come on, be honest!

I’ll admit that I’m not 100% on track either, or have ever been 100% on track.  My New Year just so happened to started out with having a horrible case of the stomach/intestinal flu.  Seriously, I got it on New Years Eve and it lasted till the first week of 2011.  By the time I got better classes had started and my motivation to start new goals had been thrown out the window. 

Some of my goals were to lose the 10 pounds I gained over the fall/winter, volunteer more and to not get so stressed out (basically work on controlling my stress in a more positive way). 

Well with the flu I lost 5 pounds but managed to gain those back within a week. 

Wonderful right!?

I don’t seem to have any time to volunteer since school gets in the way all the time! 

Stupid school!

And my stress level has been heightened since I recently quit my job to go to school part-time and take on a nurse’s aid position at a local hospital working twelve’s!

Even though the first month and a half of 2011 has kicked my butt I’ve decided to kick it back.  I mean there are so many changes going on in my life right now that eventually they all have to work themselves out and adding a couple more things to the mix won’t hurt right?

So for the 10 pounds I want to lose I’ve decided to join Weight Watchers.  So far I’ve lost 5 pounds and have learned a lot about eating right.  But WW has its challenges like tracking, trying to find healthy snacks that fill you up, etc.  In time I will be sharing some of the recipes I’ve tried, some are phenomenal!  You would never guess they were WW.

Oh, and we bought an elliptical.  That should help out too right?!?  Just need to get my butt on the thing!

Now the volunteering thing is going to have to be put aside until I can see if I can work it into my schedule. 

And for my stress level I’ve turned to yoga!  I can’t say enough great things about yoga.  It relaxes me and it’s a great workout.  My arms are starting to look great! 

So how have your New Years Resolutions gone?  Are you still on track?  What keeps you motivated?  I’d love to know!!!


Monday, February 14, 2011


Welcome To...
Life After Sorority
From Rituals To Responsibility!!

Beth, Erin, and I decided to create
a "threesome" blog together
where we could talk about
Marriage, Motherhood, Cooking, Crafts, and Life After Sorority!!

A little background...
We all met at Bowling Green State University (in Ohio)
where we all became Kappa Delta's!!
More about the threesome's story soon...
The site is currently under construction,
but we hope that you will come back and visit us soon!!