Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lemon Poppy-Seed & Strawberry Cake - Half Homemade

I just spent the better part of a gorgeous morning hanging out in the driveway with my familia! It was wonderful! Due to the fact that both little boys, as well as I have been super sick over the past couple of weeks, we thought we'd host Mikey's 5th Birthday party OUTSIDE in the fresh air (with easily accessible bottles of hand sanitizer at the ready!)

And honestly, sickness or no sickness, that was the best decision EVER! It was SO very gorgeous out this morning...and being outdoors gave Mikey ample time to ride his new BIKE!! :)

Anyway...back to the point! Mikey was sitting next to me one day while I was leafing through a magazine and he saw a Lemon Poppy-Seed and Strawberry layer cake. He wanted THAT cake for his birthday. I looked up the recipe online and found some not great reviews, which is scary. AND it would've been a very pricey cake...cake and frosting from scratch. I do not keep cake flour in the house. I don't want to deal with whipping heavy cream. I'm all for the yum-factor, but between the kids and the pregnancy (plus now I'm sick) I just don't have the patience, time or energy!

SO...I figured, "Well...I can pretty much copy that idea and do it myself!" And folks...that is just what I did. Results from ALL who tried it?!?!?! BIG THUMBS UP!!

I wish I had a mom probably does. (If so, I'll share later) But here it is...

Half-Homemade Lemon Poppy-Seed & Strawberry Cake

1 Lemon Cake Box Mix (and ingredients required per box directions)
3 Tbsp. (give or take) Poppy Seeds
2 Cans White "Whipped" frosting
1 lb. Strawberries (fresh)
1 cup (Approx.) Strawberry Preserves

1. Mix cake mix according to box directions, adding poppy seeds prior to baking. Follow directions for two 8-inch round pans, which you have greased with shortening and floured. Bake per box directions, invert shortly after removing from oven, and cool on a cooling rack.
2. Cut each cake round in half, horizontally, using a serrated you four separate layers.
3. Two assemble cake, place one layer on a plate, cut side up. Spread 1/3 of strawberry preserves over cake, followed by approximately 1/3th of a can of frosting. Top this with a layer of cut strawberries.
4. Repeat with remaining layers. When you reach the fourth cake layer, be sure to place it cut side down. Do not add preserves or berries to the top of this layer.
5. Frost the cake with desired amount of frosting on top and sides. Garnish with extra berries.
6. Refrigerate until ready to serve!

This cake was truly delicious and looks (and tastes) impressive for how simple it really is!

Like I said... I will share a photo later if my mom has one available!! (Can you believe I did not take a single picture today?? I've been so sick and so tired, I spent most of the party just RESTING!

Hope everyone has a fabulous Memorial Day Weekend!!


Saturday, May 22, 2010


Time to get real. I had a REALLY stressful week (illness, work, misbehavior, loneliness, financial issues, and the list goes on)...and that along with pregnancy hormones really threw me into a funk the past few days. After a morning of relaxing and reading I am feeling more like myself (minus the pink eye I contracted from my Luc) so I have decided to remind myself of all the LITTLE THINGS I am thankful for in life. I should do this weekly. It would be a good exercise for me I think.

So here goes...five things I am thankful for today.

1. As I mentioned, Luc had pink eye all week, and is now feeling better...DEFINITELY thankful for that! But also, I am thankful my boys have Grandma Dori. (Don't get me wrong...I am thankful for every single one of my boys grandparents...they are all amazing in their own way and all deeply loved by my sons.) Today, however, I want to focus on the woman that is "Grandma Dori". She is the master of all things "natural healing" and brewed up an eye wash (some kind of tea) that has worked wonderfully, even with this particularly resistant bout of pink eye. I catch a lot of flack from a lot of people for not running straight to the doctor the second we see pink eye, but hey...if I can avoid antibiotics, we're doing it! Grandma Dori has often come to the rescue with her "eye tea", and for several other ailments with several other essential oils and natural cures. Today, I am thankful for that.

2. My Mikey turns FIVE this week (OMG) and is having his birthday party at his dad's today. The excitement in his little voice was INSANE this morning! I am thankful for having gotten to talk to him this morning from his dad's house. His excitement was completely contagious and got me started on the right foot today. He will have his party here next weekend complete with a lemon poppy-seed and strawberry cake (his lie! LOL!) Can't wait!

3. Despite all of the stressful happenings this week, we got to spend a wonderful afternoon/evening at the track this week!! It was our last Thursday off before we start our 4 days of soccer per week so I took some pictures of the men riding as the little boys watched in awe. <3

4. I am thankful for the GORGEOUS weather we've had the past week. Winter seemed SO long to me this year, and I know that I am prone to seasonal depression, so I anticipate chirping birds and green grass like you wouldn't believe!! I cannot wait for a long and beautiful summer filled with grilled corn on the cob, lawnmowers moving, bubbles and sidewalk chalk, popsicles and lemonade, BBQ's and hot nights. I just love it!

5. I am thankful for these two adorable and in love people...(who are waiting ever so patiently for my webhost and I to figure out WHAT THE HECK is wrong with my website so I can upload their gallery!!) I will be REALLY thankful when that is fixed!! But until then, I am thankful for the opportunity to photograph people in love...especially when they're this photogenic. Look at this girl work it...fabulous.

So there you have it! Even when I am stressed, tired and cranky, I love and am thankful for my life, family and friends. <3

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pregnancy Update - 28 Weeks

Third I come!! I am 28 weeks today! Wow! Time is flying! Only a few weeks until our BaByQ (Baby BBQ/Co-Ed Shower...details on that soon!) and then a few more weeks and little man will be here! I cannot believe it!

I'm feeling "meh" most days. The SPD is very draining...hard to walk and move. I'm still on half days at work, which is stressful, but we're hanging in there. Baby is growing and squirming and moving. Lots of Braxton Hicks contractions this pregnancy. I have my Gestational Diabetes test and 29 week appt. next week, so I will be sure to update with results from that!

The physical therapy for the SPD doesn't seem to's actually quite painful sometimes, but I'm keeping at it, in hopes that the second this little guy is born this pain and discomfort will be a distant memory!

We have SO much to do to the house and yard before baby gets here (not to mention we need to agree on a name for the little mister!!) but with me under the weather, it's been slow going as of late. We're trying though!

I've got TONS of big's just implementing them that is the problem! Especially from the couch where I seem to spend most of my time.

That's about it on the pregnancy and home front.

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