Vegan Chocolate Layer Cake

One of the items on my summer bucket list was to make a vegan cake, and I surprisingly did it. I’ve had this recipe on a word doc for a while so I don’t have the website where it originated. I also may have adjusted a family recipe to make it vegan, I really can’t remember. Anyway, the cake was delicious, and even my sister, who isn’t vegan, really enjoyed it. Note I didn’t make the frosting (we used store bought) but I have made the frosting for cupcakes I once made and the frosting is delicious as well.

As a kid, I always loved chocolate cake, and I’ve always been a sucker at parties for cake. However, since going vegan, cake has been something I haven’t been able to enjoy. For my birthday I didn’t get a cake (because my family doesn’t really know anything about vegan baking) and just ended up eating grapes after my grandma put candles in a few of them.

With this recipe, I was quite surprised it turned out as good as it did. With a few of my other vegan baking experiences, I’ve ended up with underdone banana bread, dry chocolate chip cookies, and the most disgusting oily frosting I’ve ever eaten (not this recipe’s). So naturally, I was a little bit nervous about making this recipe. Not only did I have to please myself, but my sister was also going to enjoy this cake as well, and I don’t think I would live it down if this recipe turned out less than perfect. However, it did, and after she added some flower sprinkles, the cake was to her liking.

How I made this delicious vegan cake:

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After preheating my oven to 350F, I gathered all of my ingredients (listed at the end of this post)

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Next, in a large bowl (as large as you have) put all of the dry ingredients in that bowl ,and whisk together.

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Now, in a medium sized bowl, add all of the wet ingredients and whisk those together as well.
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Using a mixer, gradually mix the wet ingredients with the dry, making sure not to over mix.
Next, grease two 8″ round pans and divide the batter into the two pans.
Note: When baking my cakes, there was some cake hat stuck to the pan, not too much and the cakes were not difficult to remove, however, to make the residue as minimal as possible and removing the cakes simple, you can place parchment in the pans before pouring the batter.
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Bake  until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (40 minutes) Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.

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Once the cakes are cooled, run a knife around the edge of both cake pans, and flip the pans over to remove each cake.
Once the first cake is set on the plate, cover the entire top of that cake with frosting. Then place the second cake on top of that. Frost the entire top of that cake and around the sides of the entire cake. Decorate if needed desired. Serve.
Ingredients
Dry Ingredients:
  • 2½ Cups  Flour
  • 2½ Cups  Sugar
  • 1 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2⅔ Cups Non-Dairy Milk of Choice (I used almond)
  • ⅔ Cups Vegetable Oil (Canola can be used as well)
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1.  Preheat your oven to 350F (180C).
  2. Prepare two 8″ round baking pans by lightly greasing them.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients, then put aside.
  4. In a medium bowl whisk together all of the wet ingredients.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix.
  6. Divide the batter into the prepared pans, then bake for about 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
  7. To Assemble the Cake: Run a knife around the edges of the cake pans, and flip the pans over to remove the cakes.
  8. Set the first cake on your cake plate, and frost the top. Place the second cake on top of the frosted cake, and spread the remaining frosting on top of that cake.
I hope all of my vegans (and non-vegans) try this recipe and let me know how it goes. Also, if anyone has any other fool proof vegan recipes I should try, let me know.
Alicia
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Summer Bucket List UPDATE

Hey everyone, so at the beginning of the summer I made a post depicting my Summer Bucket List, I decided to give you all an update on the things on the list. Let’s get started…

1.Use no Social Media for the entire summer.

I did this for about 2 and a half months. June 3rd- August 22nd (I think but don’t quote me on this). It honestly wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Not using social media has taught me that there is more to life than constantly checking my phone for updates and seeing how many likes each of my posts gets. Funny thing… I still haven’t redownloaded the Facebook and Twitter app. I did redownload Snapchat and Instagram, but really only check Instagram once a day or less. I do however use snapchat a lot, but I used it wayyy more frequently before I gave it up for the summer.

2. Meet my Fitbit step goal 6 days per week. (goal is 12,000 steps)

Funny story… not actually that funny. I lost my Fitbit (end of July/early August) and just found it the other day, so during the past 3-4 weeks I haven’t been keeping track, however when I did know where it was (my wrist) I was meeting the 12000 step goal at least 5 days a week and almost always 6 days.

3. Take a photo a day (I may start another page on here documenting it)

This failed. I mean I was working constantly and didn’t have much time for other things… I did take at least a few pictures a day and may be putting up a page on my blog for them so keep an eye out…

4. Make a vegan cake.

Okay, I actually did this one last night. I was sitting at home with my sister and we were like “let’s bake something.” While she pushed me to make cookies, I told her that I HAD to make a cake because it was on my summer bucket list. So I found a recipe and we made it. I’m going to make a full post for it because I have a lot to say about it and actually took a few step by step pictures, so once again, keep an eye out for that.

5. Explore Chicago.

Well, I wouldn’t say I explored Chicago, but I definitely did go downtown more times than I normally would have. I went to a lot of new places… restaurants, museums, parks,etc, which is exploring enough for me

6.Spend a weekend in Wisconsin by myself

7.Go to my local farmer’s market.

8.Start doing yoga

9.Complete the one-month makeover

10. Get my passport.

7-10 did not happen… oops

11. Reorganize my room, throw out old things, get rid of clothes I don’t wear, etc.

I did a lot of going through old things and throwing out things I don’t use/need. I organized but since I’m moving into my basement within the month, I wouldn’t say everything is exactly to my liking but it will be once I’m out of this room and in the basement.

12. Make nicecream

nope

13. Go thrifting

I actually did this quite a bit and got some super cool articles of clothing

14. Read 3 books

Working on my third as we speak

15. Run, I want to be able to run a 10k but we’ll see. My knees hate running

16.Write down every good thing that happens to me and put it in  jar or here

17. Get another piercing

18. Get another tattoo

15-18 didn’t happen, unless you count my piercing that closed up and I had to re pierce myself

All for now,

Alicia

hey fam i’ve been gone for a month and here’s why

Hi friends, sorry for changing my URL once again… haha I suck and am very indecisive. But I like this one and it might (hopefully) stay fro more than a month. Anyway, I decided to blog, mainly because I’ve been in the writing mood lately, yet I haven’t had much to say. Despite this, I wanted to get some words down on paper, or word doc. I had only posted once in August, if you can even call that pitiful post a legitimate post. So I decided to talk about my life a little and what I’m doing with my life, or what I’m not doing with it.

For starters, I’m not going to school. And let me tell you, playing the role of college dropout (not really but that’s what my dad called me) who drives her sister to school in fleece penguin pajama pants and then naps until noon is not all it’s made out to be.

As much as I thought I would love not going to school, not learning, being freed of homework and deadlines, I miss it. I miss school. I miss San Diego more than anything. All of my friends back there are having the times of their lives and I’m here, alone. I mean I do have friends who also stayed home but it’s still not the same. All of my friends and even my sister tell me they’re jealous of a life without homework, but I’d long to do something of the nature. I sleep a lot, I drive my sister to school, and I babysit. That’s it. I play with my dog too sometimes, when she’s not sleeping. Really that’s it.

I’ve been a bad vegan. I ate milk chocolate and a few other things. Not only morally do I regret doing that, but physically as well. My stomach is throwing me the bird for putting those toxins in my body and I feel like I’m dying.

Babysitting has been the highlight of the time I’ve been gone, so let’s discuss that. I started nannying for a family 6 days a week about 15 minutes from my house. They’re a cute Indian family and the whole family is very sweet. The girls are kind, far too hyper, but kind nonetheless. They call me “Miss Alicia” which is the sweetest and most polite thing I’ve ever heard. Aadya is 8 and Dhiti is 6. Aadya loves reading and you have to tell her to put a book down so she can do other things, such as eat and shower. Dhiti can’t stand reading and would rather play restaurant than anything else. They are always eager for me to try their Indian sweets too, which are always delicious, I am ecstatic I found them because they are such a genuine family. They also pay well which is a plus any day.
That’s really it though, I haven’t been doing much. I hope to be blogging more but at the rate I’m at, and the sheer writer’s block I have right now, I won’t be making any promises.
I feel like my blog has become a clutter of random writings, sadness, and life updates and I hope to sort of make a theme for my blog (i guess all of those fit into the lifestyle category… a chaotic lifestyle I suppose) but we’ll see.

So, until I find something to write about or I get my life together
Alicia

383:Algebra Teacher

642 things to write about prompt: Write down everything you can remember about your algebra teacher

Geoff Geltner. He let us call him Gee-off even though his name was pronounced Jeff.  2nd-hour algebra, right after gym. During the swim unit of gym, he would always ask my friends and I if we were given swirlies and we mirrored wet dogs.  Freshman year of highschool. Every day he donned far too large khakis of either brown, beige, or olive. On top he wore polo shirts and every Friday wore jeans and a blue and white t-shirt (Spirit day). It was his first year using the smart board. One day I remarked how poor his handwriting was on the board (jokingly) and then he made me use the smart board for the entire day. My handwriting was worse. He has 2 kids, a boy and a girl I think and he talked about them a lot. He never said the word shit. He used the phrase shiitake mushrooms instead. I didn’t know what a shiitake mushroom was then… I do now. He had glasses and brown hair and was always smiling. I don’t think I ever saw him upset about anything. He would run down the halls and we never really knew why. He still remembered me, and waved and said hello even in my senior year. He called my mom on the last day of school to tell her I was the 4th best student he had out of 100+ students. He loved the phrase “and it blew away like a fart in the wind.” He gave an award for the student with the most perfect pages (pages on a test with 0 mistakes). He told us it was a “Toyota” but he really meant “Toy yoda.” he was always kind and never wanted to embarrass students or make them do things they didn’t want to. We switched seats once a quarter and for the entire week after switching, he would look around the room at least 5 times before finding the student he was in need of. He was my favorite teacher I’ve ever had.

Alicia

P.S. I have run out of goodbye gifs and that’s sad but maybe I’ll start with quotes or some other garbage. Give me ideas. ty

June Reflection

From turning 19, to starting my new job, June has been quite an intense and busy month. Not only has it been busy, tiring, and all around hectic, it has been quite eye opening. I’ve learned a lot, done a lot, and slept a lot :/. All in all, I loved June.

Starting my first big girl job, technically began on May 31st… but that’s basically June. It has been tortuous and hard but I have learned a lot about hard work and met a lot of wonderful people. So, despite it being rough and my body still aching every day after work, I do like my job. I do not think, however, that I could do this longer than a summer.

This month I made the decision to give up social media. And my oh my was that the best decision of the summer. I am happier, more social, and while not up to date on everything, I have been able to focus more on myself which is something I typically don’t do.

Speaking of focusing on myself, I was finally able to pinpoint aspects of my life I was not content with. Not only that, but I also had the courage to discuss these things. Yes, I am talking about my college conundrum.

I typically am able to speak up for myself when I’m not happy with something, however, when it’s your family who wants you to do something and is paying the vast majority of tuition to do that something, you tend to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. My whole life I had excelled at everything math and science. Out of over 100 students my freshman year, I was ranked #4 for my algebra class. It’s a pretty solid accomplishment, especially since I was adapting to a new environment and still managed to get almost a 100% in the class. Anyways, it’s something I am naturally good at. Naturally, my family assumed I would do something in the math and science field and wanted me to do so in order to get a high paying job. It took every ounce of courage and bravery to stand up to my family and tell them I wanted to do something completely out of that ballpark and I’m so proud of myself for doing that and overcoming this obstacle in my life.

Finally, I turned 19. A pretty insignificant year if you ask me. One year closer to 21, but also one year closer to adulthood. Nonetheless, I turned 19 and had the delight of sleeping in and eating some very cute, and very yummy vegan and gluten free cupcakes.

I am in a really good place right now and loving life. Farewell June, bring it on July.

Alicia

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73 Things that Make Me Happy

This summer has been a sort of making myself into who I want to be, in a sense. Ever since I have been making my own decisions and doing things that I want and love to do, I have been exuding happiness and smiling more. So, I have seen quite a few of these sorts of lists and wanted to make one for myself.

  1. The smell after it rains
  2. Freshly washed sheets
  3. Getting into bed right after a shower, with shaven legs and a big t-shirt
  4. The smell of the flower section at Trader Joe’s
  5. Freshly brewed coffee
  6. The feeling of the sun on your skin when you’ve been inside for a while.
  7. Crossing things off of checklists
  8. Drinking lemonade in the summer
  9. Not having to get out of the bed in the morning
  10. Getting complimented
  11. When I reach my Fitbit step goal for the day
  12. Taking a nap after a long day at work
  13. Pay Day
  14. Reorganizing something that desperately needed it
  15. Finally finishing cleaning my room
  16. Cooking
  17. When I get home from somewhere and my dog is the first one to greet me
  18. Fresh fruit and vegetables
  19. Walking barefoot in the grass
  20. Singing along to a song in the car
  21. Sunrises
  22. Sunsets
  23. The sound of the Ocean
  24. The smell of the Ocean
  25. Baby goats
  26. Baby pigs
  27. Really any animal let’s be honest
  28. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  29. The cold side of the pillow
  30. Wearing a new outfit
  31. The sound of an ice cream truck
  32. Feeling confident
  33. Having an all around good day
  34. Getting a text from someone you haven’t talked to in a while
  35. Dairy-free ice cream
  36. Getting a day off of work
  37. Printed photographs
  38. Scrapbooks
  39. Getting new shoes
  40. Getting my nails done
  41. Getting a haircut… that I actually don’t hate
  42. Hanging out with friends for the first time in a while
  43. Writing
  44. Museums
  45. Getting flashed a smile from a stranger
  46. Listening to a band’s new album for the first time
  47. Early morning when all you hear are birds chirping
  48. The color blue
  49. Bookstores
  50. Volunteering
  51. Small towns
  52. Crunchy leaves
  53. My favorite pair of jeans
  54. When people use the correct form of ‘your’
  55. Taking my shoes/bra off after a long day
  56. Candles
  57. No dirty dishes in the sink
  58. Making lists
  59. Playing cards with a big group of people
  60. Coloring Books
  61. Watching Dr. Pimple Popper videos
  62. Disney movies
  63. Seeing pictures people took of me doing things when I didn’t know I was being photographed
  64. My smooth skin after shaving my legs
  65. The smell of my shampoo
  66. Office supply stores
  67. Notebooks
  68. Stargazer Lilies
  69. Murals
  70. Potatoes
  71. Cobblestones streets
  72. Rainbows
  73. Stickers

Alicia

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Giddy but Inconclusive

Alrighty-o fam. Here we are, still giddy and such despite having worked a full shift on my feet today and wanting to pass out.

Now, we have made it this far with my college choice and major decision, here comes the hard part: choosing a school. I can recall quite vividly crying on my couch as I scrolled over every college website I possibly could, without having a major in mind. Never in my life did I think I would have to complete this process all over again unless of course, I would be attending graduate school (besides the point). However, at this point, I have a solid major and minor combo (Spanish major with photojournalism minor)  and need to find a school containing both, being cheap, and probably closer to home. I didn’t really miss home but it’s a request of my family. Also,  my training I have to go to is based out of the midwest so it helps that I’ll be closer. Also, I sort of want a smaller school because I felt like I knew like 2 people at SDSU because of how big it is.

Funny isn’t it, how when choosing my first college I wanted as far from home as I could get, big school, warm weather, and a school with a football team. After me realizing that my parents weren’t just going to sneak up on me any random time, attending one football game, and realizing I hated the big school atmosphere, I want the complete opposite from a school. I’m still on boat with the school being as cheap as possible, but honestly, who isn’t?

We have a variety of schools to choose from, not too large of a variety but enough wiggle room to have a few good schools that I’ll be sure to find at least one I love.

The school choices (so far) are…

  1. Cardinal Stritch University (Wisconsin)
  2. Otterbein University (Ohio)
  3. University of Indianapolis (Indiana)
  4. University of Tennessee-Martin (Tennessee)
  5. Andrews Universty (Michigan)
  6. Murray State University (Kentucky)
  7. Ashland University (Ohio)
  8. Winona State University (Minnesota)
  9. The University of Findlay (Ohio)
  10. Xavier University (Ohio)

I’m sort of partial to Xavier University in Cincinnati because that was actually my top choice behind SDSU but I didn’t choose it because they have no football team, it was small, and religious (I know you don’t have to be of that religion to attend but still, Theology 101… really?!)

So, who knows. Might end up at Xavier, might end up at one of the others I mentioned. Or I may even end up elsewhere.

Update on my current schooling situation. I will not be attending ASU in the fall and will most likely be staying here and working or babysitting and whatnot. However, my aunt is in town from Phoenix and still wants me to live with her. So I might go live with my aunt for the fall semester and work but honestly. who knows? Not me.

I have a lot on my plate for the next few weeks and a lot of tough decisions to make. However, I’m happy (and tired) as can be.

Alicia

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Giddy

Giddy. I am giddy.

Ever since starting this blog almost 9 months ago, I have blogged about being vegan, college, and every other aspect of my life as I saw fit. I have gone on and on about not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, where I wanted to go to college, and why people do things they hate just to make an extra buck or two.

Since a little while before my birthday (when my neighbor was flabbergasted at my major choice)  I have been having constant mental breakdowns about college because I do not/ never did want to become an engineer and I was pressured into doing so by my family.

Last week at work, one of the ladies in the front office told me a very important piece of information. “I have sat at this desk 40 hours a week for the past 30 years. I hate it. And I can’t stress this enough. Do something you love and for god’s sake don’t get a desk job”

So, after having all of these mental breakdowns, cry sessions with my dog, and my parents trying to wrap their heads around what was going on inside of mine, I am a few steps closer to having a future to be proud of and happy with,

I told my dad that if all else fails I’m going to Spain to teach English to kids, I would finish college at some unbeknownst location, get my visa and move to Spain to start my job search, Yes, it’s a bit more complicated than that but I was brainstorming. Apparently this brainstorming led to my father telling my mother and she,  due to a friend from high school, was able to find the perfect job for me.

Something I have also had a longing to do has been to travel. I also love Spanish and even though I don’t want kids of my own, children love me and through my last 9 years of babysitting I think kids and I get along rather well.

There is a thing called TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and my mom’s friend started the International TEFL Academy where you can become certified in teaching English in other countries. She is going to talk with him and find out exactly what I need to major in to be suited for that program so I, like many other lucky individuals, can travel the world and get paid for doing something we love. Ever since that night that we discussed that option, I have been looking at schools across the country with spanish, ESL, and journalism (just because) majors so that I can be on the next step to doing something I love.

It’s only been a few days since this and already a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, I am happier, smiling more, and just overall enjoying life.  At dinner tonight my mom asked if I had taken some energy drink because I literally couldn’t sit still. Was it because of my delicious kombucha and black bean burger? Quite possibly. But, is the more likely option the fact that I am finally going to be doing something that I love and my parents are on board? Absolutely.

Until my next post I will be looking for a university that I can finish up at and prepare me for an amazing chapter of my life that I cannot wait to embark on

Also, I will continue to be giddy, because for the first time in a very long time, things are looking up for me.

Alicia

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Blogger Recognition Award

Hi all! I’ve been pretty distant for the past week. Haven’t really been in the writing mood and haven’t even opened my laptop in over a week. Well, I did today and realized that I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by lifeofaninspiredteen. So first, a huge thank you to her. PS everyone check her out. Cool blog, cool person.

So, basically, there are some rules, some fun stuff and then I get to paste this super cute image at the bottom of my blog for everyone to see. Let’s get started.

Rules:

1. Write a post to show your award.
2. Acknowledge the blogger that nominated you.
3. Give a brief story about how you got started blogging.
4. Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
5. Nominate 15 bloggers for the award.

Write a post to show your award (you’re reading it ;))

Acknowledge the blogger that nominated you. ONCE AGAIN SHOUT OUT TO lifeofaninspiredteen

How I started Blogging:

Well, I really don’t know. I mean I do, I just also don’t. I never liked reading and writing despite being relatively decent at it. I would always compare my work to other people and would really beat myself up about not being good enough. When I was 14 I started my weight loss blog to document what I was eating and my exercise schedule and other fun stuff like that. I also started a summer bucket list blog with my then best friend because we were bored and I had stumbled upon another blogger (doesn’t blog anymore or I’d link and shout her out) who had  a summer bucket list blog. And then I guess that sparked my love for writing and I started my personal blog and then another weight loss blog and then this blog here and I got to where I am today.

Advice for new Bloggers:

  1. Post often. The more you post, the more likely it will be that people will end up on your blog and follow you. I really need to work on it, but then again, don’t we all.
  2. Don’t be afraid to comment, like, follow, or chat with other bloggers. When people comment on my blog I head over to their blog and read their posts. like a few, and even give a follow. This is how I have met a ton of cool bloggers and even discovered the blog that nominated me for this award. I love meeting new people and I’m sure I’m not the only one. So put yourself out there, you never know who you might meet. 🙂

Super Cool People I am Nominating:

  1. A Girl’s Voyage
  2. Jay
  3. Adventures of Lightning
  4. Andrea
  5. Kate
  6. Harriet
  7. Sigh this life
  8. Alex
  9. Elm
  10. 6 afraid of 7
  11. Audra
  12. Jay Colby
  13. Alora and Hannah
  14. Marisa
  15. Jen

So, that’s it. Once again thank you to lifeofaninspiredteen for the nom and I hope everyone I nominated follows the rules to keep spreading this awesome award!

Alicia

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The Real World

Achy. I am achy. Standing for 8 hours moving cardboard and building cardboard and moving product and stocking product, with 3 hours in between breaks. It’s only been 2 days and already the pain courses through my entire body with every step I take. The short walk to the break room is still far too long and I barely make it before collapsing on the plastic chair.I am achy.

Exhausted. I am exhausted. Waking up at 530 every morning and being out the door by 6 was never something I imagined I would have to do. Alas, here I am, doing just that. Waking up before the birds, and working until my droopy eyes struggle to stay open. Barely making my way to the car before passing out in the passenger seat. I am exhausted.

Stiff. I am stiff. Continuously standing for hours on end, not being able to move around because the task at hand requires no movement whatsoever. When I finally am able to walk around, my knees can hardly bend and my back tries desperately to budge from the 45-degree angle it was in for the past 8 hours. I am stiff.
Opulent. I am opulent. Not quite, but my wallet is squealing with excitement every hour that passes and every piece of cardboard that I touch. It hasn’t even been a week but it feels like a lifetime. I am (not quite) opulent.

 

Alicia

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