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Fall TV: Now that we’re a few weeks in…

28 Oct

Now that all my shows are back on, I’m doing the standard culling – this girl only has time for so much TV, in between Junior League and Gilda’s Club and work and family and trying to have a social life.

So, here’s what has made the cut for me this year.

  1. Scandal – I can’t say how disappointed I was when I met the “real” Olivia earlier this year, but I’m still addicted to this show. It’s seriously West Wing meets Grey’s Anatomy. But better. And did I mention that one of my managing partners watches this? And he’s a dude. It’s that good.
  2. Law & Order: SVU – I have a cat named Benson. Need I say more? Oh, and the fact that there are countless old episodes are hulu doesn’t hurt either.
  3. Grey’s Anatomy – Watching Grey’s is like wearing leggings. It’s just comfortable. But I can’t say how much longer I can hang in there after the key characters leave. Sandra Oh is out after this season. Sad.

I’ve also picked up House of Cards and Orange is the New Black on Netflix. I know these aren’t anything new, but they are new to me. Plus, Netflix just makes it easy. Kevin Spacey so far in HOC is amaze-balls.

What’s not making the cut this year? Anything on CBS. The network makes it way too difficult to watch shows. I can’t watch on my iPad, and it doesn’t interface with my appleTV. So by default, these ones are OUT. Unless I get desperate, and run out of new episodes of my other favorite shows. Not having cable or a DVR really adjusts the TV plan…but is cost-efficient.

What are you all watching this year?


Friday Find: CakeryPapery in the wild!

21 Jun

So I had a fairly life-changing moment the other day when I was seriously stalking casually perusing the Pinterest wedding category board.

(And no, I do not approve of your judgement on the fact that I was on the wedding board and am no where close to married. A girl’s got to day dream about something!)

Back to my life-changing moment.

I saw my glitter mason jars! Pinned by a random pinner that I don’t even know! My photo and my mason jars – randomly on pinterest!

I found cakerypapery on pinterest!


Follow that up with the fact that one of Home Depot’s official pinners (yes, the Home Depot) commented on my glitter jar post and then pinned it to the official Home Depot DIY Wedding Pinterest board!


And then cp-bf reminded me that back in March, OXO (yes, the makers of all things good in kitchen utensil-dom) had created a facebook collage of my lemon chiffon cake recipe! Freaking 1,326 likes and 105 shares!

OXO Facebook cakerypapery image


Let’s just say it was a pretty cool moment. It’s been just over a year since I started this blog as an outlet for my creative life, my mess of a dating life, and just a way to share the daily hilarity that is cakerypapery – and never did I think I would still be at it a year later. So thanks to all of you who follow this blog, pin my posts, read my random musings, and make me enjoy this whole cakerypapery alter-ego thing.


DIY Tiffany Blue Cake Stand

4 Mar

So I love cake. Like, literally love cake.

And Tiffany’s. And cake plates. And any sort of project that involves hot glue.

Saving the world, one hot glue gun burn at a time? I like to think so.

When my bff was in town this weekend, we whipped up this DIY tiffany blue cake stand.

Tiffany Blue Cake Stand

The base is a candle holder, and the top is a dinner plate. I was a “maxinista” (#shamerattle) and procured both of these items for less than $10.

Blue Cake Stand Plate

Candle Holder Cake Stand Base

Add a little hot glue, and you have a cake stand.

DIY Tiffany Blue Cake Stand

Seriously, I could give the chick who made the ‘redneck wine glasses’ a run for her money with these.

Tiffany Blue Cake Stand


Now, all I need is some cake.

In Pursuit. Of a Suit. And Margaritas.

30 Aug

I need a new suit. And not the interview kind. The swimsuit kind.

You see, I’m going on this trip. To Mexico. With my dad. To scuba dive.

Sounds pretty awesome, right?

Or so I thought. Until I put on my BC (the vest part of scuba gear) in my bikini and basically flashed my immediate family in our backyard.

Not. Cool.

Also not cool? Stripping off a full body covering of wet neoprene after a dive and flashing the ENTIRE DIVE BOAT. I’d like to avoid that, please and thank you.

Apparently, my “tanning” swimsuits are not, um, actually meant for swimming. (Perfect for lounging, drinking margaritas, and ensuring minimal tan lines though.)

So now I’m on the hunt for a swimsuit that has enough coverage that I don’t risk exposing myself to Jorge the dive guy, and lacks enough coverage so I can still get a tan. And…my current willingness to pay for said swimsuit is max $40 as I will ruin it with a week of saltwater, sunscreen, and Mexican sun. Easy, right? Riiiiiiiiiiight.

Given how challenging this sounds…when I thought about it this past Sunday…we decided to make frozen margaritas instead. Yum.

And by “we” I mean Big Kev and by “decided” I mean that I mentioned margaritas incessantly until one appeared.

And then we broke the blender. But that’s a story for another day.

Luckily, my margarita was already mixed. Yeah, luckily…

Big Kev’s Frozen Margarita Recipe:

  • 1 can frozen Bacardi margarita mix
  • Tequila
  • Triple sec
  • Superfine sugar
  • Key Lime juice
  • Ice

Pour the frozen Bacardi mix into a blender. Use the mix container to measure 1 can of tequila and 1/2 can of triple sec. Add both to the blender. Add in some superfine sugar and lime juice to test. Blend together with ice.

The Bucket List Check-in.

15 Aug

So I started the summer off with a pretty big bucket list of “to-do’s,” since summer lasts about five minutes in Rochester.

So far, I’ve been doing…okay. Here’s where I stand:

  • Refresh and reorganize my porch: In progress. Deck scrubbed (goodbye beer pong stains), glider chair assembled, new chairs purchased on sale at Chez Target. I even ate dinner out there on Sunday night. Now, I just need to get some good lighting and outdoor candles.
  • Run a half-marathon: Completed. Ran the Shoreline Half Marathon on July 21.
  • Train for a full marathon: In progress. Officially signed up to run the Corning Wineglass on September 30.
  • Take my niece to the zoo: Planned. Hoping to take my niece and my beautiful goddaughter to the zoo at the end of August.
  • Get a really nice tan: Ehhh…it’s been raining and cloudy on Sunday for the past month. Hoping for better luck this weekend.
  • Spend one full Sunday each month doing nothing: In progress. It’s hard to do. Honest.
  • Visit my college roommate: Just returned from a visit with my grad school roommate. Does this count?
  • Become really good at piping frosting: Haven’t piped frosting in weeks. Shame rattle.
  • Make a twelve-layer cake: I still have time, right?
  • Figure out how to use my SLR camera: Um. Yeah…about that
  • Host a cocktail party: Check.
  • Clean out my closet: Who am I kidding with this? I’m a hoarder.
  • Craft one item per month off my “DIY Wow List” pinterest board: Just file this with the twelve-layer cake.
  • Lose ten pounds (and hopefully never find them again!): Not going so well. I’ve been eating lots of cake. And boozing like a fish. Must work harder at marathon training.
  • Write on my blog at least three times a week: I am such a blog slacker. And I was doing so good for a while there! There is a reason I’ve been slacking, and it’s not work, I swear! It’s that now I’m cakerypapery, girlfriend. Yes, you read that correctly…it’s a bit scary but really exciting and new and fresh.

So, the first day of Fall is September 22. Which leaves me just about 40 days to finish up the list. Here’s to having fun trying!

Birchbox: Yes, I’m smitten.

16 Jul

Soooooo many who know cakerypapery in real life know that I am smitten with Birchbox. As we all know, I’m a sample fiend, so Birchbox is perfect for me.

At this point, you’re probably saying…”WTF is a freaking Birchbox?” and if you’re not saying that, you already know.

Birchbox is a monthly beauty sample subscription. (This is not as lame as it sounds.)

For $10/month, you get a delightful box of high-end beauty samples delivered to you. And not just the small pillow-pack samples. Legit regular size ones. Each box has five different things, and (with the exception of June) it’s always really good stuff. I’ve gotten everything from nail polish to headbands to the most amazing smelling perfumes.

Take this month. The Birchbox was sponsored by Glamour, which meant it was super amazing. (Sponsored BB’s always have  awesome stuff inside).

In my box, I have:

  • Hair UV protector oil: Might not use this right away, but planning to save it for the next time I get my hair ombre’d.
  • Stila lip gloss, full size: I already have this in a different color, so super stoked to try the darker one.
  • BB cream: Need I say more?
  • Granola bar: Yea..this is a bit weird, but go with the flow, right?
  • Mini-skin care sample pack: There are far too many steps in this, but I’ll give it a try.
  • Hot pink and blue headphones: LOVE.

The two products I am most excited for are the BB cream and the Stila lip gloss.

I’ve been wanting to test out a BB cream for a while, and I love Stila products, plus I know I love the gloss already. Given that the gloss retails for $22, I’ve definitely gotten my $10 worth out of this Birchbox.

If you want to check out Birchbox, or want to join, click here. BB is roughly the price of two lattes—and its way better than a latte.

And for the men out there, Birchbox Man is in beta–it’s $20/month, and has everything from shave creams to cashmere socks.

Diplomacy: College Collage Style

28 Jun

So I’ve got these college diplomas. Yes, diplomas. As in more than one. I’ve always wanted to showcase them, but like any mature adult, my diplomas lived in a safe place, you know, like the tube in which they were mailed to me.

Everyone said I should hang them up at work, but since I’m a cube-rat, that didn’t strike me as a smashingly good idea.

And then a glorious thing happened. I repainted my downstairs hallway. AND I took everything off the walls and patched the nail marks. (read: I hired a drywall man and a painter and it was ambrosia.)

So I had a lot of wall space to fill. Which brings me to this delightful frame collage. Of college diplomas.

Making things look purposefully yet not purposely arranged is actually quite hard. Technically, I believe its called making a “gallery wall.” And yes, I have multiple degrees but still find things like hanging pictures difficult.

First, I had to actually find frames that fit everything. And then wait for said frames to go on sale and/or have a coupon. Because I refuse to buy anything without a coupon.

Next, I laid them all out on the floor and arranged until I had the frames just so. Then, I called in back-up for a second opinion.

So, how do you get the photos from the floor arrangement to the wall without messing up the arrangement?

Simple. Look it up on Pinterestbecause Pinterest tells you how to do everything in life.

You flip the photos over, lay out wax paper, mark where the picture hangers are, then put the wax paper up on the wall and nail in the wall picture hangers. You can see the pin where I first saw how to do it here.


Hazelnut Chocolate Brownies, the Old-Fashioned Way

5 Jun

And by old-fashioned way, I mean “from scratch.” Not from a box or from Wegmans. And, contrary to what everyone may say or think, a box of brownie mix is not equivalent to chocolate-filled brownies made with white sugar and butter. But it’s just the same ingredients, pre-mixed.

Erroneous. It’s not the same. It’s not like these.

White sugar and butter, people. It’s amazing.

Start by melting two sticks of butter. Yes, two. This is where it’s super handy to have a glass bowl for your mixer. Add in the sugar, vanilla and then the eggs. Butter + sugar + vanilla + eggs = yellow goodness.

Next, add in the chocolate.

Then flour, salt and baking powder.


As if this mix didn’t look good enough, I decided to be especially gluttonous delicious and top the brownies with a hazelnut spread before baking. It helps to have a friend who works for a peanut butter company…who gives you things like hazelnut chocolate spread. Mix up with butter and confectioner’s sugar, and you’re good to go.

Serious chocolate goodness. And way better than anything out of the box.

Hazelnut-Topped Brownie Recipe

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the topping:
  • 1 cup hazelnut spread
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

Heat the oven to 350F. Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Add in the sugar, and stir until well-dissolved. Mix in the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the cocoa and mix until the ingredients are throughly combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add to the chocolate mixture, until just blended. Pour into a greased 13 x 9 pan.

To make the topping, melt the butter and then mix in the hazelnut spread. Add in the vanilla and confectioner’s sugar. Evenly spread pour over the brownies and swirl a knife through the batter/topping to combine slightly.

Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes.

I am a YES.

30 May

There is a saying in yoga, “I am a yes.” Not a no, not a maybe, not a possibly, not a perhaps.

Just a firm, definitive yes.

Over the last 40 days, I have been a yes.

And it’s a big deal.

Six weeks ago, I signed on for a 40 Days of Yoga challenge. The commitment was five 75-minute yoga classes a week, plus one 60-minute workshop. Which, when you work full-time and want to have something that resembles a social life, can be challenging.

I was trapped in “maybes” for a good two weeks before signing up. Maybe I’ll do 40 days. Maybe I won’t. 

But I hate grey areas, which means “maybe” doesn’t work for me. So I signed up. I decided to be a YES. If I can commit to shoes, I can commit to yoga.

Being a yes is hard. It meant I went to yoga at 3:30 p.m. on the first nice Sunday of the year. It meant that I went to yoga instead of going out with my friends. It meant that I went to yoga at 5:45 a.m. before work and that I went to yoga on a Saturday with a raging hangover when I would have rather been at home watching (and being) Bridget Jones.

The hardest part of being a yes, of making a commitment and sticking to it, was that I was making a commitment to myself. The only person I would be flaking out on if I dropped out of 40 days would be myself. This time, I needed to STICK TO IT. It’s easy to start out as a yes and then fade into a maybe and then slowly fade into a no, when the only person you report to is you.

For me, 40 Days was not about working out five times a week—it was about the commitment, about being a yes, about prioritizing and avoiding lame excuses like “not enough time” or “I have to do this other less important thing.” Sure, the workouts were great and my yoga practice has improved (bird of paradise anyone?). But more importantly, for the last 40 days, I was a yes.

So I challenge you—what do you need to commit to for 40 days? Where in your life do you need to be a yes?

If you’re interested in learning more, you can read about 40 Days to Personal Revolution, started by Baron Baptiste, here.

And if you think yoga isn’t an amazing workout for mind and body, you’re at the wrong yoga studio.

Pitcher-Perfect Margaritas

17 May

Do you ever have those moments where you just crave a good margarita? And not the kind that comes out of a giant bucket and guarantees you heartburn and a terrible hangover and not one of those watered down ones from TGIFridays…and no, I don’t need 37 pieces of flair either.

Just a good margarita. One like this.

I had one of these moments last night. It was awesome.

And because I am a firm believer that everyone needs a good margo recipe (especially now that it’s outdoor & day-drinking season), I’m willing to share.

CakeryPapery’s Pitcher Perfect Margaritas:

  • 1 part tequila
  • 1 part triple sec
  • 1 part orange juice
  • 1 part sour mix
  • Splash of lime juice

Mix everything together and pour over ice. It’s really that simple.

If you are like my Aunt Marie and are thinking stop watering down my booze with all this ice you can shake with ice and serve it up too. Or refrigerate beforehand and then you don’t need ice. Or if you like it frozen, blend with ice and then serve. Or add strawberry puree to make strawberry margaritas. These are great for day-drinking parties because you can whip up a pitcher and then just pour over ice when your guests arrive. The possibilities are endless. Word to the wise—drink these someplace where you can walk home.

How did I get so good at margaritas? Let’s just say…I have lots of practice making (let’s be honest—drinking) margaritas. And it helps to have a good margarita spot where you can chat up the bartender and learn some tricks.

And it doesn’t hurt to get a fancy pitcher and glasses to serve them in. It makes them look impressive. Mine are from Crate and Barrel. Love Crate and Barrel. I’m on the hunt for an antique martini pitcher, but until then, this one will do.