cake cake cake

We’ve been on a bit of a cake roll as there is a wedding in front of us and I’ve been asked to bake the cake for the sweet nuptials. Never mind that the cake baking will take place in an unknown kitchen in the south of France, and, never mind that the ingredient shopping and conversion rates can sometimes make my head spin, kind of like a rotating cake platter, ever evolving always trying to get things smooth and straight.

The betrothed couple have requested my Olive Oil Cake, a simple concoction of several room temperature ingredients, all easy pantry staples. Who doesn’t really have sugar, eggs, olive oil, milk, and a lemon or two? Sure you need the powder and soda agents, and a microplane and a springform pan, other than that and you’re good to go. As I’m trying to really make this a success I’ve invested in baking strips, strips of silver insulation type material you soak in water and then paper clip them around the perimeter of the cake pan to keep the batter baking at an even level and from having a domed and awkward top. Who knew?

Anyway, I kind of got stressed, again, and on impetus enrolled in a professional cake baking and decorating class run by French pastry chefs that requires at a minimum 2,175 eggs to complete, no kidding. With good eggs running at about $9 a dozen, that’s roughly 182 dozen eggs, or a $1,632 investment in eggs to simply brush the surface of the cake baking and decorating class.

My sister in San Fran told me rightly I was being ridiculous, that they didn’t want any kind of fancy cake and that while in France I could bake an Olive Oil Cake with my eyes closed after five vodka drinks. I should just let the Olive Oil Cake be, point well taken.

As we’re all getting older and all the experts say you should always strive to learn new things and rework the firing in the brain circuits, I’ll proceed on to learn how to make buttercream roses, fondant, and edible glue, whatever. It’s all about the ongoing climb.


Cake is always usually pretty good. Cake for breakfast is always good. Carry on, cake, cake, cake.

I’m posting from my iPhone as I left my laptop in a hotel room in Montreal. I left it sitting on the small desk and it just kind of blended in with the rest of the room and I just didn’t see it sitting there when trying to do the quick getaway. I think whenever you try and do something quick it ends up costing you more time and money and effort in the long run. Therefore I go spending money on shipping fees and trying to write which I promised myself I would do during this seventh month of the year from a very small iPhone screen and keypad. Oh, well.

Happy and safe 4th of July weekend to all!

The Barbie disco princess cake was baked in Boston MA for Peyton’s 4th birthday. It was delicious even though the buttercream was a weird shade of teal blue and I kind of just let go with the pastry bag. It was all real honest love and the best ingredients I could get my hands on.

On the Road

the gondola on the way down

Here it is the half-way point of the year and I’m not quite sure how we got here so fast. We’ve been on the road.

the athletes before team open water swim practice
the bike stage
the early morning sky from our bedroom deck

Sixteen of us gathered in Mont Tremblant to cheer on second son Maxwell while he competed in the 70.3 Ironman. It was an achievement on so many levels: he doing the triple athletic crown, us doing the summit get together.

the arrival of London girl and Boston girl. They met up at the Montreal airport. There were so many moving pieces to get us all in one place.
tank tops and denim were on full rotation
cross-body bags too for walking all over
Rory and BaPa in matching fits; unplanned
Gang’s all here
race day cheer squad

There were times husband and I couldn’t string together a full sentence or think a clear thought, we were organizing and hosting all of it. Every moment as they say priceless.

precious and handsome
all in for Peyton
we all love pasta 🙂
we all love beer too
Ethan grilling for the crew
Apricot and plumb
oysters are always a good idea
beautiful and handsome
denim rules
every day is a new day

Anyway, back in the USA now and trying to prep the country house for 4th of July activities. Went to two nurseries and almost all plant materials are gone, picked up what I could and decided I was just going to go for it. We have the full property to get ready for guests by the coming weekend, it’s full tilt go time. I know I do most of it for my own satisfaction, I also know that when family and friends arrive they expect the full experience, again, my total doing.

Back in the USA and came home to this fine display
yay hydrangeas, husband and I planted these seven seasons ago
gathered these annuals to fill our pots, it feels late in the season yet doing it anyway
the potting area
Flat lay of the neutral wardrobe with a very good book, thank you Diana 🙂


Here’s my thought: go with your gut and gather supplies in a color palette you know and love. When time is of the essence it’s hard to try new things. I chose red, blue, yellow, and chartreuse, all colors I wear on my body when not wearing neutrals. I chose the best plants they had on hand and leaned into making good things happen when I was deep down feeling anxious and stressed.

Anxiety and stress won’t get those plants in their pots. Head down, and dug in.

Home or away, it seems we’re always on the road.

root bound, but it’s okay. I teased them about before planting
while boating, she decided she was done so she simply got her binkey and put herself horizontal on the floor, love that

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