Holy moley you guys. Can you believe that Anna Elizabeth Events is THREE years old? I truly can't. I mean, how did this happen? It's practically talking back to me, sneaking out at night, and wearing mini skirts already. Phew. Three years. So much has changed - the blog has gotten a number of face lifts, we've partnered with some fantastic companies, and our number of readers has grown by the day. I feel that I've changed tremendously along with AEE as well and it's crazy to go back and reread some of my very first blog posts to see how greatly my writing style, photography, and personality has changed in just 3, short years.
I know I told this story last year when I did my big, 2-year anniversary photo session but, in case you are one of our newer readers, it's only fair that I share with you how AEE come to fruition. Anna Elizabeth Events was launched on a whim in the middle of my mother's living room on February 24th 2013. My life was changing practically by the minute at the time and I found myself interested in a number of new things like cooking, crafting, style, and party planning. I worked at a mortgage company (still do!) and, not that the mortgage industry isn't exciting. but I needed a creative outlet to focus on after sitting in a cubicle for 8 hours a day.
My independent event planning business was launched on that day and, shortly after, the blog became inevitable. Looking back, I never would have thought that this blog would become such a huge part of my everyday life. It seemed like a small thing to do at the time, almost an afterthought, to start a blog. However, in the past three years, it has made me a significantly more open and happy person, I've met so many fantastic bloggers, and tried recipes and projects that I would never have even attempted before.
That being said, I can't thank you all enough for supporting AEE, reading each week and testing out my recipes, DIY tutorials, beauty regimens, and more. You have become such a huge part of my life, whether you realize it or not. I am excited to see this lifestyle brand grow and expand in the future and I have no doubt that looking back in another 3 years, my heart will be just as full and proud.
And, since we're all in agreement that no celebration is truly complete without a slice (or two) of cake, I made this super over-the-top, fresh strawberry layer cake this past weekend to celebrate the milestone. I've seen so many desserts on Pinterest that incorporate florals and greenery into their designs and I've wanted to try out the technique myself for awhile now. So, I figured, what better way to celebrate our 3-year blog anniversary than to step outside of my comfort zone and try something totally new? Isn't that what this is all about, anyway?
I have to tell you guys the truth though; this cake didn't start out all that great. I can't remember the last time that I actually baked a layer cake but, since I got this new Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas from my hubs (faaaancy, I know), it's all I've been wanting to do. The recipe that I adapted for this dessert called for a fragile, delicate cake and a soft, creamy frosting which made it very difficult to work with in the beginning. I was actually in the kitchen deliriously laughing at my own misfortune and shouting the lyrics to Adele's "Hello" at one point. A startling vision, I know.
However, after pulling it together and reminding myself that even the contestants on my favorite baking shows start out with an ugly looking cake at times, I decided to strut on with the most false-confidence that I could summon. I froze the cake layers, refrigerated the icing, and decorated the cake stand with every feminine prop that I could uncover in my office (ribbon, gold cake toppers, roses). And after taking a step back at the end, I had such an overwhelming feeling of happiness with how the cake turned out.
It was the perfect metaphor for when I come across an obstacle with the blog and begin to feel overwhelmed or frustrated with the progress I am making. I have to remind myself to take a step back and appreciate all of the successes rather than the failures and to focus on the positive. That constant feeling of motivation is what drives me forward and reminds me of the love that I have for this industry.
Wait, did I mention how amazing this cake tastes, by the way? That's probably important too, right? I swear I actually tasted Spring when I took my first bite. After cutting slices for each of our neighbors, Sam and I practically licked the cake stand with a "no crumb left behind" mentality. So, yes, it's that good and you should definitely make it. Even if the only thing your celebrating is a cold bottle of wine in the fridge ready to be devoured. What the hell, right? That's a worthy accomplishment in my book.
Fresh Strawberry Cake
(Makes three 8-inch layers)
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
How to Assemble Floral Layer Cake
Recipe adapted from Nicole Hill Gerulat.
Welcome to Anna Elizabeth, my creative space for fashion, recipes, styling, tutorials, figuring out how to run a successful business... and all of the little moments in between!
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