birthday, cake, chocolate, dessert, recipe, vegan

Leave room for cake


Often we are left speechless by a moment that truly amazes us. Whether that be an emotion, a taste, an experience, a sight, they can each be unique in there own way and leave a lasting expression in our minds and heart.
By this, I mean Chocolate Cake. Vegan Chocolate Cake that my dear Mother made me for my birthday last week. A cake that is good enough to eat any time of day, including breakfast, and not let a single crumb go to waste.


Moist, dense, chocolaty, cakey goodness. My mom totally rocked this cake. I made a vegan cake a while back and it came out dry and more along the lines of “meh”. But this cake topped all chocolate cakes. Vegan or not!


I have had a slice of Birthday cake everyday since Sunday. It’s my way of keeping the celebration going. 27 years is a long time… ya know. Not only that but this cake was also for Jordan’s second birthday, too!

I need my mom to forward me the recipe of the frosting she used. Tasted just like butter cream and was delightful!



Vegan Suzy Q Cake
Original Recipe by Namely Marly

3 cups flour
¾ cup cocoa
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
½ cup margarine (dairy free), (softened to room temp)
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 cups cold water (I know what you’re thinking here, but trust me, water is best in this recipe.)
2 teaspoons vanilla

Heat your oven to 350° F. Next, prepare your baking pan (I used vegetable spray but you could also grease the pan with shortening if you prefer). For this recipe I used 2 round cake pans, but you can also use a 9 x 13 cake pan as well.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a mixing bowl, combine the margarine, oil and sugar and mix on medium speed until smooth. Add remaining wet ingredients and mix again until well combined.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix again until well combined.Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

If using 2 round cake pans then bake for 20 – 25 minutes or if you’re using a 9 X 13 cake pan, bake for approximately 40 minutes. A good rule of thumb is to insert a piece of uncooked spaghetti or a toothpick into the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean (no batter on it), then the cake is ready to come out of the oven.

birthday, breakfast, dinner, family, lunch, Seattle, sewing

Weekend treats + eats

Hello hello!

This may be the longest post in the history of TCEM but I hope you enjoy!

I had a fabulous weekend – finally some decent weather in Seattle!

Saturday I woke up and ate a piece of toast +PB and consumed a cup of coffee.


I knew Seattle was going to get pretty warm, in the 80’s in some areas (!!!) so I went on an early run. I ran 6.40 miles in 58.37. I was pretty hot and sweaty after that!

I was craving something cool and semi sweet and I knew just thing to ease my post run craving.

DSC05740Shredded wheat, kashi Go Lean, almond milk, strawberries, cranberries and toasted coconut!


I was still hungry after my shower, this time for something savory. Beans, rice, salsa and cilantro. Simple is always good!


Let me ask you this: what does one do on a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon? Get ice cream, of course!

Everyone in the car!


And if you are wondering, J is still way to young and small to be without a car seat. I had to put it in and the little monkey beat me to it! I think he feels like a big boy sitting in the car. =)


YAY for ice cream!


 DSC05751 DSC05752 DSC05753 DSC05754

I choose a soy Cinnamon Swirl – my favorite! I absolutely love cinnamon!


Now to walk off that ice cream – what a beautiful day!

DSC05759 DSC05760

DSC05762 DSC05763 


Even though we live in the suburbs, nature is in arms length. This is also my running trail as I love looking at green while I run.

 DSC05766 DSC05770



We also found several families of duck and geese. You should have seen J! He was so excited, he ran right up to them and wanted to touch them. Of course I was right there making sure he didn’t get to close, but they seemed friendly. Of course I am sure they were just looking for hand outs – I don’t feed wild animals, period.

       DSC05774  DSC05776  DSC05778 DSC05779DSC05780

Let me just say that J zonked out as soon as he took his bath and was all snuggly in his jammies. He was one tired boy from all of the running around.

I was still a little full from ice cream so I ended up eating late, like 9 – crazy for me. I made a home made vegetable ragu with whole wheat noodles and sweet peas.


I sautéed yellow onions, kalamata olives, garlic, fresh basil and parsley, mushrooms, red bell pepper and a little of jarred sauce. It was so fresh tasting with the herbs and I love the addition of kalamata olives to my sauce – delish!


Today is my Mom’s Birthday!


There were a TON of good eats, vegan of course 😉


 DSC05786 DSC05787

My plate consisted of a veggie burger with the trimmings (lettuce, pickle, tomato, mustard, ketchup, onion) green salad with homemade garlic-lemon dressing, orzo Mediterranean salad that my Grandma bought for me =),  and raw veggies!


After lunch, there was some play time!

DSC05810DSC05791 DSC05792

I know my mom is going to shoot me for putting this up, but I think J’s face is effing hilarious!!!


And of course there were presents – many presents!

  DSC05798 DSC05799 DSC05800 DSC05801

My beautiful Mama!


She loves grapes and has grape decor in her kitchen and dining area. A few years ago I had made her a set of placemats, but over the years they have started to look a little… meh. I surprised her with a brand new set of placemats. She loved them!


They are made out of batik fabric. I appliquéd a grape motif on the front of each one, then quilted the entire top. They turned out great!


DSC05812 DSC05813 DSC05814 DSC05815 

Happy Birthday again, Mom! I hope you enjoyed your special day!

Phew… well that’s a wrap!


birthday, jordan


Happy Birthday, Marc!


Today is Mr. Clean Eating Mama’s Birthday! I decided to make his favorite pie – chocolate cream. Do not be fooled by this blog – it is not clean eating nor is it vegan, but it is 100% delicious!

I wrote the letters in chocolate chips. Clever, huh!?


I know there will be people asking for the recipe, but I didn’t need one and you don’t either. I totally cheated and took the easy road: instant pudding, ready bake pie crust and just whipped up some whipping cream. Easy peasy!

I also made him a new frame with some pictures of Jordan in it for him. And of course there were cards.


We are having dinner tonight here at the house. Real simple and quiet.


Sorry I haven’t been posting my eats lately. Let’s just say there has been a lot of this:


And these:


I have been roasting my raw almonds and I am ADDICTED!!! YUM!! Super simple, too. Pre heat oven on 375, spread on cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool and then devour!

Some of you may be wondering what I do with J while I am slaving away in the kitchen. Well…. this sums it up pretty accurately!




birthday, give away, jordan

It’s a Party!

Good evening everyone!
I am enjoying a nice cup of hot coffee because I am EXHAUSTED from this crazy, but wonderful weekend!
I actually have 2 blog post’s in draft but blogger is having some problems with uplaoding my pictures! GRRR!!!
Let me see if there is still a problem…

Yup – still cannot upload anything!

I have so many cute pictures from his birthday, too!
Wait a sec – let me try a different route.

It Worked! Thanks Flikr!

This is one of my favorite shots of the party! We were all singing Happy Birthday but Jordan was more interested in the candle. 🙂

His party was a HUGE success! Just enough guests, great food, memorable moments and to-die-for cake!

I contacted Stephanie at Cake Fixation and asked her to create a football cake. I had some examples that I sent her and told her the dimensions – it turned out WONDERFULLY! Everyone was ooing and awing over it!
How did it taste?
Like I died and went to heaven! Dense and moist chocolate cake with creamy layers of vanilla butter cream frosting. I ate a huge slice of it, even the fondant! It actually tasted pretty darn good – I kind of dug the texture and the flavor was really light. Stephanie, you are AMAZING! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

I also had her make a dozen football cupcakes in case the kiddos wanted them.

They were just as good!

He received a lot of attention and a lot of new toys! My mom bought him a wagon that he and the other kids played in!

Jordan is definitely loved and spoiled, in a good way ;).
I was so busy talking, refilling food, laughing, greeting that I wasn’t able to take a lot of pictures but between my mom and friends I should have a bunch to remember by!
~ Thank you all for your kindness and sharing this special day with our family. ~

AND remember to sign up for my Oikos giveaway that ends tomorrow, October 19th at 12 pm Pacific time!

birthday, jordan

From Baby to Toddler!

I am exhausted! But in a great way!

I am going to let the pictures do the talking for now:

10.12.08 – my last pregnancy picture. Miserable, huge, swollen and ready for this baby to get out of me!

On 10.15.08 at 6:06 pm, Baby J was born! 6 pounds, 6oz and 18 inches long. Very healthy and no complications! He also scored a 9 on the Apgar test!

1 day old

You can read about my entire birth here.

Creating life is a feeling you can never imagine or explain. It is the single most rewarding feeling I have ever felt. The intense gush of love, pain, change, hope, dreams, all come out at one time – leaving you feeling hopeless for a split second then completely charged right after that.

Being a mother has been the single most hardest experience I have ever endured. Sleep deprived, exhausted, over worked, under fed, stressed… yet I LOVE it. Although it is 100 times easier now than it was in the beginning of my journey into motherhood.

I get asked over and over how did I know the time was right. I didn’t. You never really do. Sure you plan and prep until your blue in the face, but once you read that pregnancy test and it says POSITIVE, all of the planning kind of gets pushed aside. You can never prepare for what is in store for you, your body, your significant other and your family. You take it one day at a time and some how, some way, it works out!

I love you, my precious baby boy. You are all that I could have asked for or wanted, and then some. I pray every day that I can be the mom you need and provide you with the life you deserve. You are my joy, my heart, my breath, my life.


Tomorrow Marc and I are busy prepping for his big celebration on Saturday! Off to bed to get some shut eye!

And remember to check back in the morning for the big winner of my give away!

birthday, house, jordan, product review, Project Feed Me

Happy (almost) Birthday, my son!

This time last year (11:09pm Pacific time) I was moaning on the couch. WITH CONTRACTIONS! I had been having contractions off and on for a few hours but the later it got, the harder why came. Little did I know that a few house later I would whisked away to the hospital by my night in shining armor, Marc, admitted and about to be a mom for the first time! Amazing how life changes in an instant!

More about that later… this week is nuts. First my birthday – it was amazing! Of course Marc spoiled me rotten, like always. After a nice relaxing morning with some surprises, my mom and I went out to a nice lunch at a Mongolian Grill. My kind of place!

At a Mongolian grill you take a bowl and load it up with any kind of veggie, noodle, meat and sauce you love.

Once your bowl is loaded and practically over flowing, they cook it on a big flat top right in front of you. I think it looks like a Bunsen burner from science class! lol

I got the works: green onions, broccoli, baby corn, spinach leaves, pineapple, carrots, water chestnuts, ginger, sesame oil, sesame seeds, peanuts, bok choy, and I am sure there is more! No meat, tough – just didn’t feel like it. I did get a side of terriyaki for a little dipping.


One of my favorite stores is World Market. They have a lot of imported furniture, funky colored decor, rare food items and an AMAZING wine selection! My mom had never been so to kill some time we went to check it out. If I was single and had my own place I would buy most, if not all, of my decor from this store! Big throw pillows, simple couches and chairs and did I mention WINE?!
I ended up eying some hot chocolate, green tea soap and a can of pumpkin – very random but it worked!

We had a lovely dinner! Marc cooked up some lobster tails, garlic-parm mashed potatoes, bbq tenderloin (rare for me) and I whipped up a caesar salad. It was amazing! The funny thing is is that I totally spaced and didn’t take a picture! Ooops!

After dinner I went to put the baby down and while I was doing that my mom and Marc were in the kitchen prepping my cake AND taking pictures for me! 🙂

Marc bought a pumpkin ice cream cake – HOLY YUM!

It had little shortbread cookies on the top and in the middle and the pumpkin ice cream was sooo addicting! I had a large piece, immediately following a trip upstairs to put on my sweats and a comfy sweatshirt! I was incredibly stuffed!

We wished my mom good by, cleaned up and relaxed on the couch. Marc had also surprised me with the new Alice in Chains CD and my mom gave me some new workout clothes, a pepper plant and some seeds for my garden next year!

Here is one of the jackets that Marc bought me:

It is so comfy and warm! He also bought me a black one but that one is better worn with dresses.
I had a blast – surrounded with the ones that I love! Thank you for those that made my Birthday special – I love you.


In house news: Our wine cellar is completed!

From the very first day we were in our new house we thought about turning out back closet into a cellar. We have cases of wine that has been moved, shaken, drastic temperature changes… anything that you are NOT supposed to do to wine it happened. We found the wine rack through Williams Sonoma and my uncle did the transformation. The door was costumed made by a local company, too. It’s beautiful and we are so happy that our wine finally has a permanent and SAFE home!


Project Feed Me
– the first week.
This weeks theme was two can of chili. I have yet to go and pick up my cans but I did add these articles to my bag to donate.

I FINALLY organized our pantry and found these lonely jars. They are still good and we enjoy them, but I felt these were items that we could give up. It’s one thing to go buy items but to part with them once they are in your home is a different feeling; it’s a deeper, more giving feeling. I love any aspect to giving to those in need and encourage all of you that have not signed up to please do so!


Product review – R.W. Knudsen Pomegranate juice
I know most of you have tried POM and loved it; including myself. Marc was on the hunt for a larger pomegranate juice bottle and I happened to spot one down low on a shelf.

It’s wonderful! A little strong in taste but it’s pure pomegranate juice which we all love. AND it’s actually less money, much less, than those cute bottles of POM. I definitely suggest you try to find this and try it!

Wow, it’s already after midnight and my eyes are getting heavy. Hopefully the weather will hold as we are hoping to go to a pumpkin farm for Jordan’s Birthday and pick our pumpkins for Halloween.
Hope everyone had a great day and don’t forget to sign up for my give away!