Friday Five

Friday Five Love #H54F
Our 2012 Christmas Tree. No fancy themes. We have a tradition of buying an ornament when we go to new places together for our souvenir. Decorating our tree is always my favorite because it reminds me of all the wonderful memories we have made together so far. #ChristmasSpirit
The newest addition to our Xmas decor from our trip to Valley View Farms. Have you been? It's kinda amazing there. Now I just need a UMD one! #GoRavens
I saw this A Christmas Story theme light while driving through Hampden. I can not wait to do the Christmas Lights tour with the Hubby when he is done finals! #Wifeofa2L 
I finally used a great stocking stuffer from the Hubby last year - a Warm Cream Manicure at Red Door Spa. I chose Essie's Head Mistress and I love it! #StockingStufferIdeas
And last but certainly not least - I went to the YHL Living Social Event in DC with Sarah from Happily Ever After: The Next Chapter. I totally geeked out in front of John and Sherry talking to them about how they inspired me to buy a Karl of my own and ORB his feet. More detailed post to come! #NerdAlert #YHLFan
What's your Friday Five? Link up here.


The Hubby's Birthday Cake

We had a lovely family birthday dinner for the Hubby this year hosted by his sister and her husband.  I was asked to bring a birthday cake. Usually the entire family relies on Graul's for birthday cakes since they're always amazing but I wanted to try my hand at baking my own. I have never baked a cake before so it was definitely on my bucket list. What can I say - my our new Kitchenaid makes me want to bake - all.the.time.  So I was really excited for another excuse to use it. 
I asked the Hubby what kind of cake he wanted and his response was a classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Not too daunting, right? I searched online for a recipe and decided on this birthday cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen and it did not disappoint. I used this easy chocolate fudge for the icing and it was the perfect amount of sweet.

I had a slight mishap when I took one of the layers out of the pan to cool...it totally broke in half. But it worked out fine. I just made it the bottom layer and the icing held everything together so no one could tell. I iced this cake maybe five minutes before we left our house. Next time I would cut the top off both layers to make them lie flat. It looked a little topsy turvy but that's okay for a first attempt. #AliceInWonderland. What's important is that the Hubby loved it and said he wants it again next year! Yay!

Now I just need to invest in a large cake stand with a dome and a cake carrier (like this or this)! #ChristmasHints


 (Side Note: I've made a ridiculous amount of cookies with our Kitchenaid including these and these. I highly recommend both.)