It’s Friday! And it’s finally a Happy Hour Friday again! I have been very sporadic with my blogging lately, but here’s a twist – I am actually happy about that! Not because I am noncommittal or because I don’t enjoy blogging anymore. I am committed, and I do enjoy it! (I don’t enjoy that eating apples at my desk has left some sticky residue under the “J” key making it stick every time….)
I am happy because life is a whirlwind, but it’s full of kodack moments, big laughs, bigger hugs, growing pains, happy accidents, and so many more everyday adventures.
Lately, Will and I haven’t had to look too hard to see them. Especially since it’s Will’s birthday month! I say birthday month, because I didn’t know whether or not birthday week is the 7 days leading up to a person’s birthday, or the calendar week of some one’s birthday. So since Will’s birthday was on Monday the 7th he got the first week of April leading up to his birthday and the week after it. that’s two weeks of celebrating him, which he is definitely worthy of =). The reason we’re stretching it to birthday month though is because we will celebrate again with my parents when they come in town for Easter! The good times keep on coming!
I thought about posting yet another blog about how great I think my husband is, but why be redundant? Obviously I think that he is great or I wouldn’t have married him. Crazy, I know. So instead I will just fill you in on some of our adventures in celebrating his birthday. And if you want to know what to look for in a man then click on the links to some of my previous posts about Will at the bottom of the page.
Our birthday festivities kicked off with a trip up to Cincinnati to see the Reds’ Opening Night game. There was a 3 hour rain delay… but luckily my boss had given us tickets to seats that had access to an indoor area so we were able to stay warm and dry!
Will loves the Reds! As you may recall from a previous Manly Date Night post, baseball is his favorite sport. One of my favorite ways to spend time with him is going to a baseball game (because I find it much more interesting in person). Since baseball is such a huge part of our relationship with so many memories and jokes attached to it, I made Will some framed collages of our baseball adventures together since over the last 3 years.
Will’s Grandma’s birthday is the day after his, so the fam jam came down to our house to celebrate both Will and Gram. AND since UK was playing in the Final Four that night, we had a UK themed birthday party/watch party.
For our personal celebration, I invited Will out for a Manly Date Night. Actually I invited him on 4 and let him choose. The one he picked was the “Space Jam” themed Manly Date Night; that was the sci-fi date night. We went to dinner at The Pub (that doesn’t really have anything to do with sci-fi…. except I feel like anything titled “Bangers & Mash” ought to qualify lol). The sci-fi portion was indulging in some “Ice Cream of the Future” and going to see Divergent.
Who knows what kind of everyday adventures this next week will bring?! I am sure it will be full of them!
Posts About Will’s Awesomeness:
Today is my Hubster’s birthday! So for Munchie Monday I am going to share the recipe for his birthday cake.
He is a special guy, so I made him a special cake. Per his request he wanted funfetti with lemon frosting. I made a funfetti cake from scratch using a recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, the Wilton Buttercream Frosting recipe using lemon juice instead of milk, lemon curd filling which you can find in the post from his birthday cake last year (just don’t look at the horrible pictures of the equally horribly decorated cake… #newwifefails), and I snuck some blackberry crack in with the filling as well.
I followed Sally’s recipe pretty closely. I doubled it to make a 9 x 13 cake. I used sour cream instead of yogurt, almond milk, and all white sugar because I didn’t want the cake to be darkened by my dark brown sugar. Also I substitute about a teaspoon of the vanilla for coconut to deepen the flavor of the cake a little.
I was really nervous about making this cake. I have attempted funfetti before. Evidently I used the wrong kind of sprinkles (nonpareils, the little colorful balls). The color bled off of them leaving my cupcakes looking like an art closet vomited in my oven. So if you want to turn a cake into a confetti cake by the oblong sprinkles. Trust me.
This cake took a long time. I am not going to keep that a secret about that. BUT it wasn’t the cake itself, it was the decorating. The cake itself is super easy and quick. So simple actually that I was able to make it at 5 am. Yes, I was baking a cake and doing dishes at 5 in the morning. I am totally normal, right? In my defense Will had to get up at 4 for an early shift at Home Depot so I was already up.
I baked the cake on Thursday morning because I was nervous I would have the tie-dye project throw up problem again. I wanted to leave myself time to redo it if necessary. BUT I didn’t have to! Praise the Lord! I wish everyone could have eaten the cake fresh out of the oven. It was amazing! (I may have snuck a contraband chunk of glutinous cake that was stuck to the pan when I flipped it out…)
Thursday night, I made the small, gluten-free top layer (this lemon cake recipe, with sprinkles added to make if confetti cake like the bottom layer). Thankfully, my friend Emma came over to hang out, and thanks to her engineering prowess we were able to split, fill, assemble the cake layers. We made the frosting and applied a crumb coat to the cake. We also made this crazy skillet cookie concoction that we proceeded to eat nearly all of… Will was lucky that there was some left for him. Cinnamon, chocolate, and butterscotch…. Gooey… warm…. I want some more now!
I covered the cake in plastic wrap and let the crumb coat harden. Then Friday night I applied the top coat of frosting and did the rest of the decorating.
For the Home Depot logo looking part I had made a template in Word using the Stencil font. Then I cut the letters out with a xacto knife to make a stencil. I set my stencil on top of the cake and traced with a toothpick little lines to follow. Then I piped along those lines with orange frosting. I wanted to fill the whole thing in orange like the actual Home Depot logo, but I accidentally made my frosting too stiff. Those letters took me 2 hours… 2 hours of hand cramps. If I get carpal tunnel from this cake, it was worth it.
For the garden, the dirt is crushed Oreos. The carrots and lettuces are just frosting. I used an open star tip for the lettuce. For the broccoli I used Laffy Taffy. I cut the Taffies into strips the split one end of each strip into two, piped some frosting on, and dipped them into green sprinkles. I didn’t think this up on my own; I followed this picture I found on Pinterest:
Sorry for the length of this post…. Without further wordiness, here’s the recipe:
Funfetti From Scratch
- 3 1/3 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 11 cup (2 sticks) Margarine, melted
- 2 cups Sugar
- 2 large Eggs
- 1/24 cup Sour Cream
- 1 1/2 cups Almond Milk
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Coconut Extract (Almond Extract would be awesome! But I didn’t have any)
- 1 1/3 cup sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Generously spray a 9 x 13 baking pan.
- You will need two bowls and a mixing bowl. In a cereal sized bowl, melt your butter/margarine in the microwave and set aside.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (except for sugar): flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Pour your melted butter into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the sugars. You want to whisk it really well making sure that all the sugar gets incorporated well. To that add the eggs, sour cream, milk, and vanilla and coconut extracts until combined.
- Slowly add in dry ingredients whisking gently until no lumps remain.
- Add the sprinkles and gently stir them in so that their colors don’t start bleeding. Trust me- you want to avoid the tie-dye throw up affect.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and the cake springs back when lightly touched.
- Remove from oven. Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes. Then loosen the sides and turn your cake out. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Lemon Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup Crisco
- 1 cup Butter (the real stuff)
- 1 1lb. bag of powdered sugar (more or less as needed)
- 4 tablespoons Lemon juice (it will probably take more than that)
- Cream the Crisco and butter and then add the lemon juice.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar.
- Add more lemon juice and sugar till you reach your desired taste and consistency. Buttercream icing is a play it by ear type recipe not a science.