Happy Cake Week!

Last night I finally got to watch the very first episode of 2021’s Great British Bake-Off. 😍😍 As someone who fell in love with and binged the whole show last year, it’s truly a delight to get to watch it in semi-realtime.

I’m already in love with this year’s batch of bakers, and I could only wish to make mini rolls as precisely and beautifully as Giuseppe’s. Honestly, I want to try all the recipes now.

It’s too early on for me to have opinions on who’s going to win, but I’m excited to watch this unfold.

The only reason I watched it so late (just two days *cough*) was because I was having a cake week of my own.

This crazy, crazy week of mine, with a ton of support from my family and Joshua, I baked, stacked, frosted, packaged up, and sold mini cupcakes and small cakes at a ladies’ event our church hosted.

Behold…

My booth in action. My mom and sisters brought decorating supplies and an enormous pumpkin and helped me set up this table. We kept some stock inside the building but stacked a lot on my table.

Aren’t the boxes adorable?!

Some of my favorite cakes. 🀀 Chocolate, vanilla, and chocolate coffee. I also had some spiced coffee ones there too.

My sister Perry made the labels, and I totally felt like a real professional. πŸ˜‰

It was a ton of fun, and people were so generous and excited for me. ❀️

Now, what week comes next? 😁

Dear Barnes and Noble

Dear Barnes and Noble,

Thank you for the mail. The postcard is adorable, and I’m so glad your new location is finally open, but I must confess something…

I already knew.

The moment I saw your distinctive sign go up on the husk of a former bookstore, I waited impatiently.

Your moving sale previously had been both crushing and a delight. A delight because I could finally afford to splurge on the beautiful volumes I’d much admired, but crushing because you were yet another bookstore to leave me.

And now you are back.

I visited with my fiance just a few days before your postcard. The shelves are a different shade of brown, everything is smaller and more open, but the magic is there.

So many books, surrounding me, beckoning, their bright covers turned out to face the room.

Wider pathways where I can shop in an empty bubble and focus solely on the books.

Special tables of books to take my notice, either with their sales or recommendations.

A wider selection with a lower quantity of each individual book, showing you’ve learned to adapt and compete in this brave new book world.

I’m glad you are back, and I will be too. Soon.

Love,

Kate

All About You Around the Blogosphere Tag

Kristianne Hassman made this tag look so fun, I stole it with her permission. πŸ˜‚ Thanks, Kristianne!

The Rules:
1. Answer the questions below on your blog.
2. Tag at least a couple other bloggers.
3. Have them answer these questions.

Question time!

1. What’s your favorite book/book series and why?

That’s a really hard one, since I’ve read a lot and loved most of it. It’s a pretty good problem to have. πŸ˜‰

I’d say right now, it’s The Mysterious Benedict Society series, especially books 1 and 3. They are just so engrossing, full of truth and whimsy together, and entirely too brilliant to boot. I was recently reminded of how good they are when I watched the Disney+ show of the first book.

2. Who is your favorite author?

Also a hard question. *rubs hands together* Sarah Holman is an old favorite in the indie world, Toni Shiloh is a new favorite (also indie, though she’ll be hybrid next year!), Ally Condie a favorite mainstream, and C.S. Lewis for nostalgia purposes. That was four, oops.

3. What is your favorite food?

I have two modes–avocado, cashews, and fruit when I’m feeling healthy or goooood, creamy, HEAVENLY mac and cheese. 🀀

4. What gives you inspiration for your books?

Honestly? Everything… My observations of my family and friends and random strangers, my own anxieties funneled into something manageable and solvable in a fictional realm, my inner wondering and wanderings, and Biblical teachings I’ve run across.

I’m also inspired by the fiction I read and the media I watch, especially if it’s an annoying TV show plotline I feel the need to fix.

5. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Somewhere UK-ish, and by that I mean foggy, rainy, perfect for growing vegetables, and with a sense of long history to it.

6. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Introvert, to the max. Before the pandemic, I’d say I could see myself becoming more outgoing (which isn’t the same as extroversion) but the past several months have really turned me back into a Hobbit for better and worse. πŸ˜‰

7. If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

“The emotions are strong with this one.”

A.k.a. a Star Wars reference warning you I am a Nerd and also explaining my emotional state. πŸ˜‰


This was such a fun tag! I hope you all enjoyed reading my answers. πŸ˜‰

I nominate . . .

Katja at Little Blossoms for Jesus
Jana T at Reviews from the Stacks

Liberty H. at Gone in a Dream

Feel free to answer these questions down in the comments as well!

Three Kids in a Trench Coat

There are so many big changes happening so fast right now.

Our first wedding gift arrived, boxes of belongings and wedding decorations swamp me, apartment hunting = stress, and I’m trying to keep up on homework for my church’s recovery group (more on that later πŸ˜‰) and a ginormously boring work project.

There’s even been some gray in my hair, but only because I tried cornstarch as dry shampoo and used way too much and couldn’t get it all out in time before dinner with one of our pastor’s families. πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ #truestory #doyouthinkanyonenoticed

It’s all good things, and the fulfillment of some of my best dreams, but some days it’s just a lot to deal with.

This weekend, I had one day where I felt particular emotionally overwhelmed and really needing some encouragement.

Into my notifications walked the new Pixar short, Twenty Something.

With amazing 2d animation, this short explores the idea of feeling like three kids in a trench coat faking your way through life–and doing terribly at it. πŸ˜‚

It brought (more) tears to my eyes and a sweet reminder that I am not alone and everyone’s had to deal with figuring life out. πŸ˜‰

Go watch it, and be sure to measure your cornstarch moderately!

I’m a Little Short

I chose this title because it cracks me up because anyone who knows me knows I’m just 5′ 4″ and my super tall fiance sometimes makes me feel even shorter.

I meant to talk about something completely different, but since I got on the subject and then searched for memes (as you do) here are some to enjoy/groan over.

And I live in the desert Southwest. πŸ˜­πŸ˜­πŸ˜‚

πŸ˜¬πŸ˜¬πŸ˜‚

That last bit hurt, lol.

Kate McNugget, at your service. πŸ––

This one literally hurts. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I like being short most of the time, but not when this happens. πŸ˜‚

Okay, but back to what I was actually talking about.

Maybe it’s the case for all of you, I’m not really sure since I’ve been out of the loop for so long, but I’m a little short on blogs to read.

I enjoy ones with semi-regular content of a creative, cheerful, and clean nature. Got any recs? I’d so love it if you’d drop your favorites in the comments.

Update: You all have given me some amazing blogs to follow, and I’m so encouraged by the community. (Also, the short girl solidarity. πŸ˜‚) Keep em coming! And thanks so much!

The Masked Baker

Last year brought about a lot of changes, and one of my favorites (besides my relationship status πŸ˜‰) is the shift in my creativity.

I don’t just have to be a writer, y’all, and though that hurts a little to recognize, it’s also been fun and incredibly healthy to explore other areas of creativity.

The main one I’ve been focusing on is…

Baking! πŸ‘©β€πŸ³

I’ve always loved to bake and was already trying my hand at a few recipes when I began the wondrous show Great British Bake-Off. (Raise your hand if you’re eagerly waiting the next season!) It started off as my peaceful “comfort show” perfect for ending some pretty strange days, but the more I watched, the more inspired I was and it has grown exponentially from there. Just look at my pan collection. πŸ˜‚

I find inspiration in so many places–pretty Pinterest pictures, tempting Google suggestions, my longtime favorite YouTube channel Chelsweets… Even watching YouTube baking fails with Joshua. πŸ˜‚ Right now it’s mainly two shows in the theme of GBBO, and I couldn’t be happier.

Dame Mary Berry says it best. ❀️

Back to my pan collection… It’s getting happily out of hand. I’ve picked up a few at thrift stores (Joshua is a supportive and great fun shopping buddy), bought seconds and thirds of favorites to make baking large quantities easier. You might even say the pans that started it all are my doughnut tins I recieved for my pandemic birthday.

This past birthday, my supportive family bought me some icing bags and cake boards (essentials I run out of quickly!), an adorable yellow cake plate, delightful sprinkles, and a rotating cake plate which is a LIFESAVER.

Besides my cake cabinet, I also have drawers full of supplies and tools and a cabinet of cake stands/plates. πŸ˜‰

One of my favorite tools–my KitchenAid flex edge beater–gets the job done.

I’m a researcher by nature (or nurture?? I was homeschooled… πŸ€”πŸ˜‰), so one of my absolute favorite things has been watching copious amounts of YouTube videos and reading recipes. It’s seriously good fun.

I can research as much as I want to, but there’s still nothing that beats the trial and error of hands on practice. My example below just shocks me when I realize how far I’ve come.

My first ever attempt at pink lemonade mini drip cakes, October 2020. 😬😬🀭 They, um, at least tasted good.

February 2021, same idea with much more skills gained. Also, raspberries make everything prettier. 😍😎 (And my sister is the sweetest!)

Quite a few cakes in, and I’ve finally discovered my favorite way to transport cake. No melting or sliding! Phew. (And please admire the tiny chocolate bars. The mold for them was an impulse buy I do not regret. 😁)

I laugh every time someone on a baking show says “food brings people together”, but it really does. Some of my favorite things I’ve done these past 17 months were baking related.

My long-distance friend Mikayla is so good at coming up with things for us to do together, and video calling while baking the same thing might be my favorite. ❀️

We made mint chocolate chip cupcakes. πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

One of my highlights last Christmas was decorating cookies with this Favorite of Mine. ❀️

I baked with my nephews while they were staying with us for a visit, and I loved their creativity! Candy eyeballs for the win!

Sharing what I bake is a huge percentage of the fun. (Especially the peppering my family with questions about the flavors part. I just tested a frosting experiment on them last night, mwaha.)

I’ve baked mainly for my church’s college group, masked up and sanitizing of course, though I have shared some with my ladies group at church and shipped some off to Joshua while we were long distance. ❀️

I don’t just make cakes, as much as I’m obsessed with them. πŸ˜‚

Lemon frosting is 🀀🀀.

It’s always a sheer delight when I revisit a favorite or try something new and it turns out just as I’d imagined.

Like this Mexican chocolate cheesecake for date night.

Or these darling truffles for a Valentine’s Day party.

Of course, I didn’t show you the cheese colored cake or the MASSIVELY oversized truffles or my very first attempt at bread just recently that ended up looking like the Sydney Opera House.

I’ll keep those mistakes to help me try again better next time. πŸ˜‰

Now what should I make next? πŸ€”πŸ‘©β€πŸ³