1 Cakes & Louie: April 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

On The Everygirl

Today is a favorite for me over on The Everygirl - there's a feature about one of my all-time favorite bloggers, Kendi, and a blogwatch that I did is also posted, starring Jane of Jane Reaction!

Kendi is an awesome inspiration for me with fashion and truth be told, I've had a bit of a girl crush on her for awhile now, as evidenced by this blog post I wrote back in 2010. These days, Kendi's living out her dream and running a little boutique shop in Texas. I just googled the location and realized I was a mere 20 minutes from it when we were visiting Dallas a couple weeks ago, and I'm officially bummed that I didn't realize it and take a little trip to check out her shop and meet her. Regardless, if you're looking for a little inspiration, it's definitely worth it to read Kendi's interview on The Everygirl today!

source unknown

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I'm in a weird funk lately and while I'm not entirely sure how to get out of it completely, I am fairly well certain that if I took a cue from the lovely Sydney I would feel better instantly.

"Because sometimes the best cure for anything
is grabbing a handful of confetti,
throwing it in the air and yelling."

Friday, April 20, 2012


I am so relieved that it's Friday. It's been a long week, and it's going to be a long weekend, but there's lots of fun to be had so I'm not complaining - I'm just exhausted. I'm looking forward to Sunday evening when Dan and I have big plans to lay on the couch watching TV and just spending some quiet time together.

Bridget and I went to Target last night in search of the infamous Domino Quick Fixes magazine that I have otherwise not been able to find anywhere, and I think I actually squealed when I spotted it on the shelf. I absolutely cannot wait to curl up somewhere cozy with a snack and this magazine.

Thanks to needing a bunch of skincare stuff, Dan requesting a big bottle of wine, buying a new organizing tray for my makeup and deciding to splurge on this new brush that swears it will help my hair dry up to 30% faster, I managed to spend WAY more money at Target than I set out too. Who's surprised? Oops.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I have had the busiest week ever, and it's barely half over!

Monday, I pushed aside my extreme fear of broken glass and attended a mosaic class with Bridget. I attempted to make the universal sign for "hurricane" out of itty bitty pieces of glass as a nod to the Hurricane Relief Service Trip where I fell head over heels for Dan.

I'm no artist, but I kinda love how it turned out. I even managed to get a couple of pieces to break with a rounded edge exactly how I wanted them too thanks to a few tricks they taught us!

Last night, Bridget and I sat 3rd row at Jersey Boys and we giggled when we realized the guy playing Frankie Valli was checking her out BIG TIME during the last few numbers :). Given how sitting so close to the stage made me feel like I was really "in" the experience, I think I'm officially over buying just any ticket I can get my hands on for shows. Uh oh.

Tonight we're headed to a dinner in preparation for the Goombay Bash. Mary invited us because we're creative and willing to talk to just about anyone (sounds about right), and I get to break in one of my new Banana Republic dresses that I got on super sale at the outlet last week.

Tomorrow night I have a few things to crank out for The Everygirl, and a TON of laundry to put away. Maybe I'll even get bold and eat a meal at home. Crazy.

Friday night we're attending our good friend Jeff's annual auction for Catholic Charities. Another excuse to wear another new dress, and lots of fun auction items to pretend we have money to bid on. ;)

Sunday morning I'm tagging along on an Everygirl photoshoot, which I am quite literally slaphappy giddy about, given what it's for. 

Oh, and this is all happening coming off of a whirlwind 4 days in Dallas last week! I'd hinted at a birthday surprise for Dan earlier, and I shockingly managed to pull it off. We woke up bright and early on his birthday Thursday and he opened his gift right away... a new backpack with plane tickets to Dallas for that night in one of the pockets!

We've been saying for years that we needed to get down to Dallas as two of Dan's brothers have moved out that way, but we've just never found the time or the money to make it happen. So, I just decided to go for it and thanks to a ton of texts, emails and phone calls between myself and my awesome brothers (and father)-in-law, the trip went off without a hitch and I got to show Dan how special he is to me. I usually feel like I fall short on celebrating him on his birthdays, but he is just so darned laid back and hard to shop for it's tough to plan something really good!  

My favorite shot from the weekend - the ferris wheel at Fair Park + an Instagram filter:

Cheers to a crazy fun week, friends!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I have an insanely exciting week ahead of me starting today. I can't spill the details just yet since many of the things I have planned are for Dan's birthday, which is all a surprise to him. I can, however, talk about next week, where I'll be taking a mosaic class Monday, sitting in the 3rd row for Jersey Boys on Tuesday, and attending a "Dinner of Dreams" Wednesday in support of a friend that I am super proud of that's running it.

I have just a couple of hours in the office this morning before all of the excitement begins. Have a fabulous Wednesday!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Over the last several years, I've battled ongoing anxiety that has resulted in panic attacks, a need for a xanax prescription, and several full-on meltdowns that my lucky husband typically gets to witness. My doctor asked me awhile back if I had a traumatic experience as a child that may be affecting me now, and I quickly answered "no". Then I realized that I had experienced something traumatic - in 5th grade, my best friend's mom was held up at gunpoint in her garage when us kids were with her. All 3 of us kids ran different directions and there was a point where I didn't know where my brother was and we were unsure of if the guy that robbed us had taken him.

My brother, BFF, and me. I was super cool in 5th grade.

Ultimately, all of us were fine, but while my brother and friend were shaken by the experience, I was absolutely distraught and afraid to go outside for nearly a year. I eventually ended up going to several therapy sessions, and slowly "got better", with my panic calming majorly when we got a letter that the man who had robbed my neighbor had been caught and was sentenced to 17 years in jail.

Realizing that something I experienced 20 years ago is still affecting me today has been tough to grasp and accept. It's a little embarrassing that of us 3 kids, I was the oldest, and also the most impacted by the situation. To this day, I hate alleys, and if Dan opens the garage door before I am all the way in the car I freak out. I will not park the car by myself at night, I do everything in my power to not have to walk the 4 blocks home alone, most everyone I see on the street scares me in some way, I often end up in complete hysterics if Dan is gone for the night, and if someone even so much as glances in my direction on the train I quickly spiral into extremely irrational thoughts about who they might be or what they might to do me that often results in my being short of breath and having a full-fledged panic attack.

Overall, I manage to keep my anxiety fairly well controlled, admittedly by avoiding "trigger situations" in absolutely every way possible. If I don't have a ride home from train after work I either go to my parent's house or waste $5 on a cab to drive me a quarter mile. I leave the car in front of the house if it's dark when I get home, and beg Dan to park it for me later. I almost always have someone spend the night with me if Dan is out of town, and although he is technically allergic to him, Dan got me Louie for my birthday a couple years ago as an added security "blanket".

Yesterday, my sister from another mister, Lauren, sent me a link to this book with a note that she heard about it on the Today Show and thought of me -

Some quick reading has taught me that The Gift of Fear has been around for over a decade, and has gained the attention of Oprah, The New York Times bestseller list and Larry King Live, among others. It is currently ranked on Amazon as the #1 bestselling self defense book in the world, and reviews of the book are absolutely glowing. I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I quickly purchased the Kindle version for immediate reading. There's a small part of me that thinks this book will absolutely terrify me, but I'm hoping that it also provides the sense of safety and empowerment that other readers rave about.

Has anyone ever heard of or read this book? Anyone else struggle with anxiety? I've found that it's generally more understood and accepted these days, which is comforting in a sense!

Monday, April 9, 2012


As with most holiday weekends, this one was extra full. I kicked if off bright and early Saturday morning with a 7am trip to Chick-fil-a with Bridget for breakfast. By 7:30 we were at church decorating over 100 lamb cakes with the teens - it's one of our many fundraisers and despite being way too early in the morning, it's a good time.

Post-decorating, Bridget, Manda and I hit up our 3rd Target of the weekend (we went to 2 Friday night) to celebrate Bridget's return to our holy grail after a long 40 days of Lent. I did a decent job of not buying everything I saw, although I did treat myself to an AMAZING coral diecut metal tray that was on clearance for $12 and came down to $8 thanks to a coupon I had for a Target Home item. Following Target, Rachel, Manda and I indulged in some serious girl time with manis, pedis, and eyebrow waxing at our favorite local spot. Manda and I decided to get the same bright color on our nails - Essie's "coral reef".

The hubs and I got bold and made our return to yoga with a free community class. I felt gross and out of shape watching the cute pregnant girl in front of me do better at every chaturanga than I could. Thankfully, things like that also motivate me, and I'm anxious to continue exercising in the months of beautiful weather ahead. 

We threw together some shrimp, pasta, fresh basil and tomatoes for dinner and it was DELICIOUS, and finished off the evening with a couple hours of Easter egg dyeing. Manda's bird egg wins my vote for most creative.

What's Easter without an egg totally covered in glitter?

Dan almost literally dragged me out of bed for church yesterday morning, and I'm glad he did because it's always such a beautiful service. We ran into one of his favorite teens who I've known since she was a toddler, so the 3 of us sat together for church, sold some lamb cakes, and then grabbed brunch at a favorite diner.

Our Easter time with my family later in the afternoon was frustrating thanks to my younger cousins, a slingshot, and a bunch of water balloons, but I got to see my gramma that I haven't seen in way too long, and the water balloons were the perfect excuse to leave for our dinner with some of my favorite in-laws. Playing with our nieces and listening to my brother-in-law's stories from his recent service trip reminded me of how blessed I am to have this amazing second family, and before long I was back to relaxed and enjoying the holiday.

How was everyone else's weekend? Anyone try any creative egg dyeing techniques? This is a short week for me (details to come later), and I couldn't be more excited about it. Happy Monday!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Color Block

I figured if coral and denim work well together, then a different shade of each would naturally work well together, too. I also figured the worst thing that could happen was that the outfit didn't work, and I could change before running out the door this morning. Thankfully, I think it worked, and I'm donning a completely new color-combo (for me) which is an indication that if I try hard enough, my closet is likely already full of all kinds of outfit possibilities by mixing and matching different colors.

gray cardigan + blush pink jeans + royal blue tee

Now if only the weather would warm up to match my springy colors...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Takes the Cake

I had a slight infatuation with my ice cream maker right after our wedding, and then it sat in the freezer untouched for a few months while we were breezing through the easiest Chicago winter I can remember. Last week, my sister pointed out that we hadn't made ice cream in awhile, and I had to agree. Although I planned on making a plain old vanilla bean recipe (we've made it before and it was delicious), she thought we should try something different and came up with the idea of making cake batter ice cream. After a quick Pinterest search we decided to go with directions from my favorite food blogger - Annie's Eats.

Annie does have a cake batter ice cream recipe, but I'm weird about using eggs in ice cream, so we used her standard vanilla recipe that is without eggs and just added in yellow cake mix instead of a vanilla bean. We forced ourselves to follow the directions to let the mixture chill in the fridge for an hour before putting it in the ice cream maker, and I'm glad we did. Eventually, we had delicious cake batter soft serve, which we scooped into glasses and topped with whipped cream and sprinkles for an AMAZING cake batter milkshake dessert with Bridget and Rachel.

I put the leftovers in a tupperware and stirred some extra sprinkles in before popping it in the freezer, and we finished it off in "normal" ice cream form last night. None of us could decide if we liked the milkshakes or ice cream better, but seeing as I still have heavy cream and an open box of cake mix laying around, I'm thinking another batch of this will be in my near future!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What I Wore

I'm not quite willing to do a typical outfit post where I have my guy take pictures of me in different "natural" poses outside while I try not to look at the camera and casually tuck my hair behind my ear... and let's be honest, nobody else wants to see that either! Thankfully, there's Pinterest, and all I have to do is search for a couple of keywords and find a cute photo of someone else with a similar outfit. Done and done.

Today's outfit - my super bright, super fun Old Navy coral skinny jeans; my super comfy, super versatile chambray shirt (also from Old Navy); a lightweight navy jacket that I scored at Loft for literally $4 last year; and brown flats from the Gap outlet. In other words - almost exactly the outfit below, only this girl looks way cuter :) -

I of course got to thinking about how else I can wear my coral jeans, and Kendi gave me all sorts of ideas -

And then I found these on Pinterest -

My colored jeans are quite literally my favorite clothing items these days. Anyone else also hooked on this trend?

Monday, April 2, 2012

On The Everygirl

The Everygirl feature that I assisted on is today's posted feature!

Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of tagging along with Danielle to Sam Saifer-Berngard's stunning condo for her feature photoshoot, and it was a blast. I loved seeing Danielle in action with her camera, considering I barely know how to take mine off of auto mode and every photo she takes is incredible. Sam and I hit it off right away when we learned that we shared a wedding date, and it was fun to reminisce about waking up to rain on our big day and being greeted with perfect temperatures and sunshine by the time our ceremonies rolled around. Now that her feature is up, I had the chance to read more about her this morning and I am nothing short of impressed. This girl is IMPRESSIVE. I absolutely cannot believe everything Sam has done in her career so far, and I have no doubts that there is much more to come from her in the future. I love her overall outlook on success - illustrated beautifully here by The Everygirl -

Head on over to The Everygirl and read Sam's full feature
It's perfect inspiration for a Monday!