Train Birthday Cake

Train Birthday Cake

As promised in a previous post, here is the train birthday cake I made for my baby’s first birthday party. It actually turned out to be pretty cute and in better than I had expected!

To start, I baked two 9×13 inch funfetti cakes. I wasn’t sure initially how much cake I would need for the train, and I thought one would be enough but I didn’t want to make a mistake with a cut or shape and run out of cake. That is why I baked two sheet cakes the day before his birthday party. I didn’t want to bake them any earlier because I didn’t want to serve dry cake at his party.

My mom was a huge help in creating the cake and she traced out several of the train parts onto paper as a template and then I cut the cake pieces based on that. We crafted the cake from the train image that was on the plates, napkins and decor to keep the theme and decor colors consistent throughout. IMG_2667IMG_2652As I cut the pieces out of the cake, we started to assembly them on a simple tray. This made it much easier to transport to the park for the party. Luckily we were able to use just one of the 9×13 inch cakes for the cutting up of the train so we brought the other cake in case guests wanted more cake. Once all the pieces were placed I started to frost the cake. I had been searching for the specific colors for a while and finally found the black frosting at Hobby Lobby. You can also use food coloring as well with white frosting to develop the colors you need.IMG_2659IMG_2658I did use some frosting in between the pieces to help glue the cake together. I also filled some small bags with frosting and cut a hole in the corner to draw in some of the finer details on the train. The only other items I used to finish off the cake were sprinkles, a Mike and Ike for the front headlight and Twizzlers for the train track below.  IMG_2663IMG_2661IMG_2666And there you have it! The whole train cake creation process took us probably three hours total, including baking the cakes, but now that I’ve made one I feel like it would be much faster the next time. At least I have a full year now to start planning the theme and cake for the next birthday party!



Train Themed Birthday Party

Train Themed Birthday Party


Yes, you read that correctly, I have a one year old! It’s so crazy to think that he is already that old but he is and we had so much fun recently celebrating his first birthday with family and friends.

I decided after much deliberation on a train theme for his birthday. I know I’ve mentioned on my blog before how much I love event planning and this was no exception. Planning and prepping for his birthday was almost as fun as the party itself. Let me know if you would like for me to do a separate blog post that focused on event planning tips in the comments below!

We held his party at a park since his birthday is in August and in Seattle most days are sunny and warm if not hot around this time of year. Not hosting it at our home meant for some extra planning and car trips back and forth hauling tables, food and chairs, but it was worth the effort to have the space and be outdoors.

Leading up to the party I planned out our menu, cake, decorations and what I wanted the event space layout to be. Having this all set before really helped the day of since we didn’t have a ton of time to get set up. I also pre-ordered the balloons to match with the purchased train themed items (plates, napkins, tablecloth) and made the food, cake and cupcakes the day before. I will be doing a separate blog post of the train cake that I made so check back soon for that.

For decorations I purchased a few train themed items and then did a few DIY projects as well. I made the two Railroad Crossing signs and they were super easy and inexpensive! I bought poster board from Hobby Lobby and then just had my husband use an exacto knife and cut the board into equal smaller pieces. I layered two pieces in an “X” shape to figure out how the lettering would work and then used a sharpie and wrote out Railroad Crossing on the two separate pieces. Once that was finished I used a hot glue gun to seal the two pieces together and that’s all it consisted of!


I also took pictures of Carter each month showing his growth progression over his first year. It’s amazing to see how much he has changed in such a short period of time. I hung the photos just from some black ribbon in the tent so it was on display for everyone to see.


The menu included: make-your-own pretzel bun sandwiches from the meat and cheese tray, fruit tray, veggie tray, pesto pasta salad, potato chips and train cake. I wanted items that were picnic focused but also easy to transport and eat.


We had such a lovely time with our friends and family celebrating Carter. Happy Birthday!



On My 30th Birthday

On My 30th Birthday


Today is my 30th birthday! It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was just graduating from high school and then college, but I guess it has been a while. Part of me is excited about the milestone and the other half of me is mildly panicking. Life is going by way too fast! But either way I guess I’m turning thirty.

My twenties were full of major accomplishments, learning from mistakes, growth and lots of love. In honor of my 30th birthday, I thought that I would recap some of my past life events and share things that I have learned in the past couple of decades. There are a few random facts about myself thrown in as well. And to stick with the theme of the day, I’m including a total of 30 items!

  1. When I was seventeen I competed in a Junior Miss Pageant. I quickly learned that pageants weren’t for me but it taught me a lot about stage presence and I didn’t trip!
  2. I graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a BA degree in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism in less than four years.
  3. I have been waterskiing for as long as I can remember in Puget Sound (which is on average 50*F in the summer).
  4. My husband and I knew each other years before we started dating and actually went on several mission trips together through our church when we were teenagers. 309752_10100546154868168_2295814_n
  5. We started dating after college in 2009 and I married him in 2012. Our wedding colors were pink and more pink!
  6. My professional career started at a radio station, moved to a race track, then to a marketing company where I was laid off after two years. Shortly after I was hired at a digital marketing company and I worked there for three and a half years.
  7. Dogs pretty much terrify me. I am a cat person through and through.
  8. Not properly cutting open an avocado will result in you slicing your hand open, even if you’re on vacation in Hawaii. ‘Avocado hand’ is a real thing and unfortunately I know from experience.
  9. I am right-handed but can only deal cards and cart-wheel left-handed.
  10. I eat chocolate every day without fail. Usually before Noon…
  11. Saving money from a very young age is key. I’m so glad my parents instilled this in me when I was a child and it’s been so helpful as an adult. IMG_1965
  12. I bought my first car when I was 20, a 2003 Mini Cooper. It was amazing and my dream car. Sadly I had to sell it this year as our family grew in size and it wouldn’t easily accommodate a car seat. It also was a manual and I bought it without knowing how to use a stick.
  13. As a child and a teenager I was a total bookworm. I read more than I watched TV. However, I think I got burnt out in college with having to read so many textbooks and now I”m a total reality TV show junkie! I love the Bachelor/Bachelorette series, some of the Real Housewives shows, and food/baking competition shows. I do still read, just not nearly as much as I did earlier on in my life.
  14. If I hear someone use incorrect grammar, I most likely edit and correct it in my head.
  15. Next to a mirror in my house, I have a framed print that reads “Enjoy Today!” I think it’s nice to keep that in mind every day as life is hard and can be challenging, so finding enjoyment in each day is very important.
  16. My first CD ever was The Beach Boys. Now that makes me feel old.17971976_1290982797651479_7098622674707265874_o (1)
  17. We had our first baby this past year in 2016 and he is just the sweetest little guy. I love being able to stay at home with him.
  18. I am not a happy camper while camping. Although, I think that has to do with the several camping trips I had been on as a child in the rain. But I guess that’s what camping is like most often in the Pacific Northwest. I’m definitely a condo camper.
  19. In elementary school I started playing the cello and actually played it all the way through school into my senior year of college. It really taught me not just perseverance but also really developed my appreciation for classical music.
  20. I have been a Christ follower ever since I was a young child and am so thankful for my faith.
  21. My dad taught me how to play tennis when I was in eighth grade and I’m so grateful for that. It’s such a fun sport that I have and will continue to play for the rest of my life.
  22. I don’t know how people survived without Google or some form of GPS or cell phones! I love technology and how much easier it makes life.
  23. Being organized is so important and I think it leads to a more successful life.400156_655116724100_1040132315_n
  24. My girlfriends keep me grounded and I love the unique relationships that I have with each of them.
  25. Traveling helps to expand your horizons and also put your own life into perspective. I am lucky enough to have been to several different countries, but feel like there is still so much out theret that I want to explore.
  26. Beaches are my happy place.
  27. My career ended up going in a direction that I had never anticipated. I enjoyed my career but found that I wasn’t getting to write enough so I started this blog. Five years later it has provided me with a creative outlet I have really enjoyed. It has also inspired me to become a better cook and photographer.
  28. Being married (five years in a few weeks!) has really helped me to become a more thoughtful and considerate. I love my husband and appreciate that he puts up with me. 🙂292494_722002768930_226491506_n
  29. Becoming a mom has helped me handle situations in a much more calm manner and has really instilled a level of patience in me that I never knew I had.
  30. And finally, Happy Birthday to my dad as well! We have the same birthday, which is pretty special and I’m lucky to share the day with him.

That was a lot! I feel like my thirties have a lot to live up to. I’m looking forward to taking all that I have learned in the past and applying it as I move forward into my thirties. May it be my best decade yet!