Jun 27, 2014

Lemon Cake with Blueberry Frosting

For my mother-in-law's birthday every year we go out for Chinese food and then come back to my place for cake and ice cream. (And by every year I mean for the last two years.) This year I decided I wanted to do something a little fancier so I spent some time scouring Pinterest for something that didn't sound too difficult, but looked pretty.

I eventually stumbled on this Betty Crocker recipe for Lemon Cake with Raspberry Mousse that I thought I could handle. Layer cakes make me nervous - when J and I were first married I attempted to make a layer cake for his birthday and it ended up being the ugliest cake ever - but I decided it was time to face my fears.

And I'm glad I did! I went with blueberry instead of raspberry which worked really well with the lemon cake. The cake ended up looking good (okay, good is a stretch, but it didn't look too bad!) and it was tasty.

In case you want to try it yourself, here's the recipe:

Lemon Cake with Blueberry Mousse
Adapted from this Betty Crocker recipe.

  • 1 box of lemon cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups blueberry pie filling (I used Compliments by Sobeys)
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350°F (Or 325° for dark or non-stick pans)
  2. Spray (or grease) two 8-inch round cake pans
  3. In large bowl beat cake mix, buttermilk, oil, lemon peel and eggs with electric mixer. Beat on low for about 30 seconds then on medium for 1-2 minutes. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  4. Pour cake evenly into pans and bake as directed on the box.
  5. Cool cakes in pans for 10 to 15 minutes then remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool cakes completely before frosting. (This is super important.)
  6. Place one cake layer (rounded side down) on a serving plate then spread 3/4 cup of the pie filling over cake layer to within 1/4 inch of edge. Top with the second layer, rounded side up this time.
  7. In chilled medium bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. (I worried I wouldn't be able to tell when it was the right consistency, but it was pretty obvious.) Beat in the remaining 1 1/4 cups pie filling on low speed just until blended. (I actually used a bit more of the pie filling since there was some left in the can, just to give it more of a blueberry flavour.)
  8. Frost side and top of cake with blueberry mousse.
If you're not sure how to frost the cake (and I wasn't) check out this Youtube video:
Let me know if you try it out!
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Jun 25, 2014

Wife 2 Wife; All in the Details

I decided it would be fun to link up with Kelly and Cheltee for their Wife 2 Wife link-up this month. Today's topic is our favourite detail from our wedding. I couldn't pick just one, so I picked two.

The first detail I picked was my flowers. We used a lady who worked out of her home for our flowers. (She no longers does wedding flowers or I would definitely be sharing her website with you!) I told her I loved gerbera daisies, the colour pink, and gave her ribbon that matched our colours. Dad picked up the flowers and brought them to my aunt's house where I was getting ready with my bridesmaids. When I opened the boxes I was absolutely blown away. I was so impressed with the flowers. Flowers weren't that important to me, but looking back now they are definitely one of my favourite details.

My other favourite detail was my veil. It was actually my mom's veil that she altered herself to be more like what I was looking for. I loved knowing I was wearing the same veil she had, and I loved how beautiful it was. And it was so different from what I was seeing in all the bridal shops. Originally I hadn't been planning on wearing mom's veil because it had kind of a weird hair piece attached but when she offered to alter it I was thrilled.

I can't believe I'll have been married for 5 years next month!

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NHL Awards - My Thoughts

If you had told me a year ago that I would be writing a post about the NHL Awards I would have thought you were crazy. And not just because I didn't have this blog a year ago. This past season I found myself getting more into hockey than I ever have. I don't know if it's because I'm older, or because J followed things a little more closely since his Avs were having an awesome season but whatever the case we watched a good chunk of the show last night.

Just a couple (pretty random and not necessarily hockey-related) thoughts on the show:

- I was really excited that Nathan MacKinnon won the Calder Memorial Trophy. He had a fantastic rookie year, plus he's a local kid. I definitely cheered when his name was called.

Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado)
{ Zimbio/Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America }

- I thought David Boreanaz did a really good job presenting. I follow him on Twitter and he's definitely a real hockey fan.

David Boreanaz with Jaime Bergman
{ Zimbio/Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America }

- He may not have won the Vezina Trophy (and I do think Tukka Rask deserved it) but Semyon Varlamov was definitely the best-dressed nominee, and one of the best dressed players there.

Semyon Varlamov (Colarado)
 { Zimbio/Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America }

- I loved seeing the clips about the nominees for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, King Clancy Memorial Trophy, and the Mark Messier Leadership Award. It's wonderful to see these guys giving back.

Did anyone else watch? How did your favourites do?

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Jun 24, 2014

Book Review; The One by Kiera Cass

The One by Kiera Cass (May 2014)

Goodreads says...

For the four girls who remain at the palace, the friendships they’ve formed, rivalries they’ve struggled with and dangers they’ve faced have bound them to each other for the rest of their lives.

Now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown – or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realises just how much she stands to lose – and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

The breathtaking finale to THE SELECTION trilogy will make you swoon!

My thoughts...

The One was the final installment in Kiera Cass' "The Selection" trilogy. I re-read the first two books prior to starting this one because that's what I like to do with series. (Is that weird?) As a whole, I enjoyed the trilogy. I mean, who doesn't want the chance to be a princess? I really liked the America's character and her relationship with Maxon, and I felt like Cass did a lot with some of the other characters as well.

I cried more than once reading The One, but it definitely wasn't my favourite book of the three. There were a few things at the end that felt like they were added in for more drama as opposed to be relevant to the plot line. (I wish I could explain that further, but I still think it was a great book and I want you to read it so spoilers would be kind of rude.)

I think one of the true marks of a good book is wanting to know what happens after you finish the last page. I don't think that tying up every single loose end is always the right way to finish a series. I want to know what happens next. This book left me with questions at the end, and I like that.

If you're not burnt out from all the other YA trilogies floating around, I definitely recommend giving this series a try.

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Jun 23, 2014

Grateful for In-Laws

Ember Grey.

This week J and I spent a lot of time with his family since his sister was home visiting for the first time in over a year. My relationship with my mother-in-law got off to a rocky start, but this week reminded me of how thankful I am that we have a good relationship now. I don't think I'll ever be as close with her as I am with my own mother, but I think that's pretty normal.

I am very fortunate to have married into this family. J's brothers and sister are all really wonderful (and really different!) people. There is so much laughter when the whole family gets together, and hours pass without anyone realizing it because the conversation flows so easily.

I have friends who don't speak to their spouse's parents or siblings, or who have very strained relationships with them. You hear so many "in-law" horror stories, but that hasn't been my experience at all. I am so grateful that it's as easy to spend time with J's family as it is to spend time with my family. (Though the conversations are pretty different!)

{ Photo by Tammy Orr }
For both mom's this year we arranged family portraits as a mother's day gift. On Friday night we did our shoot with J's family. Four of his six siblings were able to be here, along with their significant others. (Two married couples and two engaged couples.) We used the photographer J and I always use and we had a fantastic time. It was probably one of the best parts of our vacation.

Have a great week, and remember to take a moment to remember something you're grateful for. :-)

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PS: Live in the Halifax area and need some pictures done? Tammy is very easy to work with and she does an amazing job. You can check her website out here, or check her out on Facebook.

Jun 22, 2014

Silent Sunday

Why does the week go so much faster when you're on vacation?

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