Today was a somewhat atypical Saturday for me. On Saturdays, usually I run errands and have a relatively busy day. Don’t get me wrong – I love my typical Saturdays, but doing something a tad different today was an interesting proposition. Today, I just baked. Multiple recipes. And I plan on baking another recipe tomorrow. Being the avid baker I am, yes, I most definitely have baked on Saturdays before (especially practicing for the wedding cake!), but there was something so low-key about this baking. So therapeutic.
And tonight I went to see a movie with a friend I haven’t seen in a while. It’s been a good Saturday.
It may be hard to exactly pinpoint as to the reason why, but I’m just happy today – more so than I’ve felt in a little while. I feel alive. I feel like conquering the world and making my dreams a reality. And it’s a good feeling! 🙂
You see, I’m having a friendly little competition with a friend to see who can come up with the best red velvet cake (there are even judges involved!). As far as I know at this point, appearance/decorating does not matter; it’s purely based on taste.
Now normally, I wouldn’t hesitate one bit if someone asked me to make them a red velvet cake…I do have an old standby that is quite good. But, this is a competition! I need the best of the best, the creme de la creme of red velvet cakes!
Here’s where you come in…would you mind sharing with me your absolute favorite red velvet cake recipes? I will be doing trials…so chances are, if you suggest it, I’ll try it.
I know, I know…I’m quite intense with my so-called “friendly competition!” But can you blame me? I want to win! Is that so wrong? 😉
When I mentioned to you guys that I recently made a wedding cake, I was met with the hunger to hear more about it from some of you. So naturally, I’d love to tell you a bit more about it!
Besides fashion, baking is another passion of mine (although fashion most definitely comes first). I’m always craving sweets and thus baking…trust me, at my house, you almost always have baked goods! Baking also proves to be quite therapeutic for me – honestly, the best kind of therapy (although not so much for the waistline….!).
Anyway, a bit over a month ago, my aunt and uncle were telling me how my cousin had yet to select a wedding cake for her then in-just-a-month-wedding. She wasn’t finding what she wanted at a reasonable price. A joke was thrown out that I should make the cake, and actually, that sounded like an amazingly fun type of challenge for me. Fast forward to a week later, and I was officially making the cake!
Suffice to say, my mind was on the cake nearly 24-7. I tested recipes every weekend (sometimes weekdays too) and did much research.
I ended up doing two different flavors, both as collaborations with what my cousin, the bride, wanted. The cake was three tiers, with the top and bottom tiers being vanilla cake with a chocolate mousse filling, and the middle tier being a chocolate cake with a chocolate hazelnut mousse filling. The entire cake was iced in an off-white buttercream (no fondant!!!). Around the bottom of each tier was a ribbon matching the color scheme of the wedding. On the top of the cake was a monogram with the bride and groom’s initials that the bride picked out.
Oh, and have I neglected to mention that I wasn’t even baking this cake in my own kitchen? Ya, it’s true. I baked it in my cousin’s (the bride’s) kitchen, and it was actually the first time I had ever even seen her kitchen, let alone baked in it (we live in different states). Regardless of this and the fact that I am in reality a novice to the wedding cake industry, I am proud – and relieved(!!!) – to say that the cake turned out! Not only did it taste great (if I may toot my own horn!), but it also did not collapse, something which always worried me a bit!
A few fun, random facts:
10 pounds of butter used in the entire cake
approximately 16 or so hours to make the cake (not including the hour transportation to the venue and the set-up time)
84 ounces chocolate used (bittersweet and semisweet)
4 dozen eggs used
bottom tier alone weighed 35 pounds
And yes, the question you’re all asking, “Would I do it all again?”
Yes, I’d do it all again. In. A. Heartbeat.
*I know you may all be disappointed about this, but I, unfortunately, am not going to share pictures. This is simply to protect the privacy of the bride and groom.
Styling request time! Alli emailed me in regards to the Tupelo Dress (Anthro). She said that she’d love some suggestions for styling the dress more casually, as she wants to get some great mileage out of the dress. She also gave me the green light to look at pretty much any store I wanted to compile the stylings, so needless to say, I was ready to get started immediately!
First, let’s talk color palette. The dress is composed primarily of blue with a considerable quantity of yellow added in. It’s important to note that blue and yellow are nearly opposite on the wheel, meaning that when paired together, the two colors will really intensify each other. This obviously makes for some great contrast!
If you pair green with the dress, you’ll notice that you’ll be using the bottom third or so of the color wheel above. Because blue, yellow, and green are all together, you’ll lessen the contrast of the blue and the yellow on the dress. This will probably make for a soothing color palette.
Another direction you could go is pairing red with the dress. This will make for a nice evenly spaced triad on the color wheel. In turn, this will create an interesting sort of visual harmony, although that harmony will consist of contrasting colors.
Believe it or not, going with a purple or orange will create two similar (but different) effects. Consider this: purple is next to blue, a color of the dress, on the color wheel, and orange is next to yellow, a color of the dress, on the color wheel. Purple and yellow are complementary (meaning exact opposites), so by adding purple you’ll theoretically be intensifying both the purple and yellow. But, because blue is still next to purple on the color wheel, the purple will get toned down a bit, and so, the yellow will actually be the more predominant color of the three (although the purple and blue will not completely fade away!). Likewise, if you pair orange to the dress, theoretically the orange and blue will be intensified. However, because the orange is next to yellow on the color wheel, the yellow will tone the orange down a bit, resulting in the blue standing out. But, the blue is not an electric/neon blue, but instead a navy blue – a color I and many others consider a neutral, so it’s hard to say whether the blue would really stand out that much (it may very well just depend on the person).
Have I lost you? I hope not! But anyway, to recap, basically any color will work with the dress. It really comes down to personal preference.
Because the neckline of the dress isn’t too high, you can easily layer tops on in order to make the dress function more as a skirt! My general advice for this technique is to go for something looser on top (so it doesn’t show the lines of the dress underneath it), but then belt at the waist to give more shape, considering the skirt is fuller (if the skirt was more of a pencil skirt, belting wouldn’t necessarily be as needed). In this case, I love the asymmetrical bottom of the top, as well as this great belt. Every piece is understated, but definitely not boring. If you wanted, you could amp up the look more, if it so suits your tastes, with a different pair of tights…yellow, perhaps, or a not-too-busy patterned pair (or even these green ones!?)?
Here are some other great tops for layering for the dress to morph the dress into a skirt:
This is the perfect no-fuss look that can be easily altered for the changing weather and/or personal tastes. As is, it’s perfect for those days with just a bit of chill in the air. But as the temperatures cool, throwing on a pair of tights will keep you warm and only add further opportunity for fun pattern mixing (or you could just stick with a solid pair of tights too!). Also, as the look is now, the red pop from the shoes really adds some pizzazz. Not your thing? Switch out the shoes…for something more neutral, for boots, for wedges, etc! The possibilities are endless!
Here are some more possible cardis/jackets/sweaters:
I love the idea of layering on a graphic tee and then throwing on a cardigan or jacket. It makes for such an effortless yet polished, yet still somewhat casual look. The key is to not let the tee get too, too busy…after all, the “skirt” (the dress) is patterned too!
Just a note: yes, the jacket listed above is pricey…I really like the graphicness of the black/white contrast, but I’m sure you could find a great alternative for much less money…maybe on ASOS?
Here is another graphic tee that might be lovely with the dress:
Another route to go would be with a button-down, but tied into a knot in the bottom (buttons left unbuttoned). This way, the top of the dress still peaks through. The tying of the shirt is still quite casual too. You could always throw on a jacket/sweater on top of the button down too though, for extra warmth and even more visual interest through layering.
This is definitely a slightly funkier look, considering that I chose a plaid button-down. If you choose to go with a plaid like this, I’d actually suggest you steer clear of boots in general, because you run this risk of looking a bit too country-dress-up. By pairing the look with wedges, the look feels modern and youthful.
Of course, you could always do a solid button-down too. It’s up to you!
Well, that wraps up this request! Hopefully Alli has gotten a few ideas, and hey…I know this was a popular dress, so perhaps others of you who own the dress got some ideas too!
Uhhh…hi! It’s me! Yes, I am alive! Obviously, I have some major explaining to do, considering it’s been a bit over a month since my last post (yikes!)! Honestly though, I’ve got no other explanation for you other than the simple and probably overused answer of, “I’ve been busy.” This statement does hold some merit for me though, truth be told. I mean, guess what? I made a wedding cake (and started practicing for it – the minute I found out I was getting the green light to make it – just five short weeks before the big day).
Suffice to say, life’s been busy but amazing in many ways lately. Of course, there have been a few bumps in the road too, but it’s all about keeping perspective.
On to some fabulous, exciting news…I have a styling request coming up for you very, very soon! Stay tuned!