Cake Fail + Spring Racing?

Hi guys! I hope your weekends were great. We had a fun one over here!

One of the big weekend highlights? 

Practicing my cake baking skills for next weekend! 

What’s next weekend, you ask? 

My future sister-in-law Roxanne’s bachelorette weekend! 

Roxanne and my brother both love watching the Great British Baking Show, so as part of the bachelorette weekend we are actually going to be having our own baking competition – so fun and creative, right?!

For those who know the show, we are skipping the Signature, doing a surprise technical (eek!), and then for our Showstopper we have been tasked with making a wedding cake themed for Roxanne and my brother. Everything has to be homemade (no props or box mixes or pre-made icing or anything), and the cake has to be at least two tiers. 

Now, considering I have a food blog you’d think I’d be all over this, right? 

Ummmm, yeah.

I have only baked a cake once in my life. (You can actually read about it in this super super old post with terrible photos where Matt and I look like babies – ah, gotta love having a blog for nearly 10 years!)

If this was a muffin challenge, I’d be ALL over it. (See also: the bazillion muffin recipes on my recipe page.)

But, cake?


Luckily, my mom happens to be an excellent baker, so she invited me (and Matt and Riese!) over for a fun afternoon cake baking practice sesh yesterday. 

I had an idea in my head I wanted to test out, and as you may have seen on my Instagram stories, at first things were going really well…

great british bake off practice

And then things very quickly went south when I tried to get super creative and artsy. Lol!

I’m not sharing any more details right now because that would reveal my Extremely Top Secret Plan, so you will have to wait until after next weekend to see my final masterpiece. But I’m pretty sure I figured out a way to carry out my creation that will actually work!

Fingers crossed.

Either way, I’m really glad I practiced this first given how the above photo looks. ;)

Thanks for your help in plotting my masterpiece, mom! 

Other highlights from the weekend included a beautiful walk while the cakes were in the oven (my mom didn’t mind staying back to tend to the cakes!)…

Plus not one but two runs – what a treat! 

The first one was with my buddy Heather

We hadn’t run together in FOREVER (the last time we remember running together I was early in my pregnancy, before she was pregnant – now we both have over 1 year old babes!) and it was so fun to get back out there with her. 

Despite the fact that we did a really hilly route, I felt good on this run and the miles flew by!

Good convo always makes the miles fly by, doesn’t it?

arlington va running

We ended up covering 4 miles:

My second run was yesterday morning with my college friends Sarah and Kathleen! 

We met up at Roosevelt Island and did a casual jog/walk for 4 miles – it was really nice to catch up with them, too, and I was glad we kept things super casual because my quads were def sore from the hilly 4 miler the day before. 

I’ve been starting to get the itch to get back into running more consistently and training for something again… the only race I’ve done since Riese was born was the Marine Corps 10k in October, and I really miss lacing up my shoes more often and feeling like I have a goal/something specific I’m working towards. 

Now that spring is kind of around the corner and we will have warmer and less dark early mornings, it might be time to get back into the swing of things more again with running!

I’m currently eyeing the GW Parkway Classic 10 miler in late April.

Matt and I ran it back in 2015 (recap) and enjoyed it, and I like the 10 mile distance – long and challenging but not insane… feels much more doable than a half marathon right now. 

It’s a little sooner than I’d like, but I think with muscle memory on my side, and if I just go into it with the goal of completion vs. a time goal, it seems doable. We’ll see – I’ll keep you guys updated!

Anyway! Apparently I have lots to say today! 

Let’s try to wrap this long post up with a little less chatter, shall we? 

We did a lot of eating leftovers and random odds and ends (and more Make-Ahead Breakfast Burritos, of course) this weekend, and had a couple meals out, but one of the home-cooked meals we enjoyed was a simple stir fry on Friday night.

easy stir fry recipes

If you want some stir fry ideas, check out my Mix + Match Stir Fry Recipes post!

We also had oatmeal a few times (the recipe from my microwave banana oatmeal post, but made on the stovetop since I was making more than one serving) – my tiny sous chef assisted: 

As for the best meal out, these bacon, egg, and cheese mini biscuit sandwiches from Evening Star Cafe were sooo good. 

evening star cafe biscuit egg sandwiches

Aaaaaaaaand I think that’s it for this super random and all over the place post. 

I hope you guys have a fabulous day, and I’ll be back on Wednesday with a new easy recipe – stay tuned!

p.s. By popular demand, I switched my RSS feed back to the full feed as you guys have probably noticed (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry about it). If you read my blog in a feed reader and have the ability to click through on occasion, it would help me out a ton. Thank you for being here!


  1. 1

    As a thank you for switching it back to full feed, I clicked through after I read the post and will keep doing so :) Just don’t be afraid to put the reminder out every once in a while

  2. 3

    Love the random post, it’s so fun :).

  3. 4

    That cake challenge sounds so fun! I love baking, but am terrible at decorating so definitely wouldn’t win…I would enjoy eating all the cake though :)

  4. 6

    Thank you from a feedly reader! :-) The full post makes me so happy!

  5. 8

    Ooh the cake challenge sounds super fun! I like that you guys are doing something different for her party! I also had an untraditional bach party. My sister and friend called it “girls gone mild.” Everyone came over to our house for Mexican food and games. It was super fun and more my style that going out to bars (which is something I haven’t done in many many years and have never really enjoyed). I can’t wait to see your creation! You’ll have to share pictures!!

    I love to bake but I rarely bake since I have a gluten intolerance and GF baking is not always super delicious. But I have an America’s Test Kitchen GF cookbook and so far all the sweets I’ve made from there have turned out great. It’s our son’s bday next weekend so I’m making chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. He’ll get a cupcake but I kind of doubt he’ll do much with it. But hopefully our guests enjoy the cupcakes and the other food we are making! My mom is the ultimate baker so I am glad she will be here to help. The frosting recipe seems a little complicated as you have to use a double boiler and bring it to a certain temperature. But she’s a pro at tricky recipes like that so hopefully it will turn out well!

    I’m envious of your snow-less landscape. We have sooooo much snow. My sister is flying in from Tucson, AZ for the party. She’s training for Boston and I told her she probably won’t be able to get a long run in while she’s here as the temps will be in the high single digits and likely below zero with the windchill. It’s been such a rough winter here. :( It was in about 30 on Saturday which felt SO NICE. We pulled our son around on a sled in our neighborhood and he really liked it. I had to come up with something fun to do that involved snow!

  6. 10

    Love the concept for the cake challenge and look forward to seeing your creation! And go for the 10-Miler! That is a great goal to establish. Good luck next weekend! 😉

  7. 12

    Thanks so much for switching! BTW I love the GBBS and my best advice is making sure to COOL the cakes before frosting! Such a fun party idea though, looking forward to pics

    • 13

      Excellent advice – I definitely didn’t wait quite long enough on Sunday! I think I might put them in the fridge briefly to help speed that process up…

  8. 14

    Does that change up how it shows up on email too? I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t read the whole post in the email (I don’t know why I don’t like having to click through! First world problems!). But if it helps you out, of course we don’t mind. Just curious! Thanks!

    • 15

      The email feed is separate – I’ve changed that one permanently because running the newsletter is pretty expensive and I needed to justify the cost by having it help drive some traffic to my blog. I really appreciate you clicking through – thank you!

  9. 16

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Totally was planning on clicking over today to comment on the bachelorette party idea and let me say I am in love. Sounds like you are in for some FUN! I would definitely recommend fully cooling or freezing the cakes if possible before trying to ice them. If that’s not possible I would make sure that at all costs the frosting is not cold so that it goes on smoothly!

    Good luck and hopefully you win! :)

  10. 18

    LOL re: the cake – that is HILARIOUS! Can’t wait to see your Top Secret Plan!

    LMK if you end up doing GW 10 Miler – I’m really on the fence about spring race plans right now and could definitely be interested. :-)

  11. 20

    This post cracks me up. I had no idea you practically have never baked a cake!! Are we friends?! I am no pro but I have baked my fair share of cakes… at least 50 or 100 by now it feel like! I have definitely made at least 20 cheesecakes. But then again, muffin newbie, no patience for those.. You got this, good luck with your bake-off ;) My advice is the less artistry the better, let the cake speak for itself ;) Simple but delicious always wins hearts and stomachs ;)

    • 21

      Wait seriously?! I had no idea you were such a baker! Might have to fly you in for some back up… ;) I am totally getting artsy against my mom’s advice as well lol – we will see how it goes!

  12. 22

    Clicking through to drop a note. I think it’s totally fine to do a truncated post in your feed. Your peeps will take the extra step to click through!

    Okay, about that cake…. what happened to the first floor? Lol

  13. 24

    I LOVE this idea for a bachelorette weekend. So fun!! Good luck with your cake.

    I was in Washington DC for business last week and stayed for a tourist weekend. I had so much fun doing a run at the national mall on Sunday morning. It’s such a great way to sightsee. I’m envious that it’s a regular route for you.

    • 25

      Thanks!! And that’s so fun that you were here – I def feel spoiled to be able to run the National Mall frequently… it’s so cool!


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