With Sweet Dreams and Even Sweeter Days

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Lemon Crumb Cake

"If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?"

Needed words.  Words that change my perspective, which often times seems to fall on the wrong side of where it can and should be.

Once in awhile I tend to lose my focus and get caught up in outward appearances.  Do I look the "right" way, do I speak the "right" way, do I come off in the "right" way?  Putting too much power in others perceptions of myself, losing out on chances to be genuinely happy regardless of what someone else thinks.

Don't get me wrong, I do believe that taking pride in how you look and who you are outwardly is important, but I also don't think it should be the meat of life, and I know from experience it's far too easy to get caught up in it.

The way I see it, outward appearance should be the icing on the cake.  Important and something to be taken care of an celebrated for sure, but alone nothing.

I feel outward appearance is nothing without the cake of who you are within.  So take a step back and love yourself.  You whole self.  Even on the bad days.  Even on the days you feel like that ugly cake that decorating wise was a total flop.  Odds are if you take the chance to try it, it's still really good.

There's always a chance to wipe the slate clean and try again.  That's the beauty of it.

Every day you have a chance to decide who you'd like to be, both inside and out.

Every day can be something new and something good.

And remember, even the most beautifully decorated cakes can taste awful and the most simple can be divine.

Be both.
You always have the chance to be both.

Lemon Crumb Cake
Printer Friendly Version
Servings: 16-20

- 4 cups flour
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- Gratzed zest of 4-5 small lemons
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cups vanilla greek yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Butter and flour a 9x13 inch baking dish.  In a medium bowl, add flour, sugars, lemon zest, and cinnamon.  Stir until combined.  Add oil and lemon juice and mix until clumps form and flour is incorporated.  Set aside 2 cups of mixture.  Add remaining mixture to the bowl of  stand mixer.  In another small bowl whisk together yogurt, egg, vanilla, baking powder, and baking soda.  Add mixer to crumb mixture in stand mixer and beat over low speed until smooth.  Spread into prepared dish and top with reserved crumb topping.  Bake for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Once cooled, store in an airtight container at room temperature.  Only gets better as days pass.

Recipe adapted from: Blogging Over Thyme

Monday, October 14, 2013

Birthday Thoughts - On 23 and 24

Every year, in the days preceding my birthday, something seems to come over me.

I feel compelled to live more out loud. Love deeper. Laugh harder. Have less inhibitions. Do more. 
Although it's a week pretty close to any other, all of a sudden time feels more real. More finite.

Suddenly I'm hit with the fact that this is the last time ever I'll be able to be this age, whatever that age may be, which right now is 23.

I urgently feel like I have to cram as much life as possible in, so as to not miss a minute of it.  Hoping somehow to hold on to familiarity as I dive into brand new.  Wondering if I'm ready.  Knowing that it's coming regardless.

It happens every year, and every year it still sneaks up on me.

A similar phenomenon happens around the turn of the new year, but really it's not the same. New Year's is everyone's new time. October 13-18th feels solely mine.

23 has been incredible, awesome, heart warming, and heart wrenching. 

Going into 24, I hope I remember that life is too short not to love something every day. Whether that something is someone, what you do, or just yourself.

Mostly importantly yourself.

Cheers to reveling in the last few days of 23 and welcoming in 24.

And to living every week like it's birthday week.