O N E Y E A R | M Y B I R T H D A Y

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Why, hello, dear readers!

It feels strange to think that I’ve been typing that phrase almost every week for a year.

Then again, my poor little brain is also having difficulty with the fact that I’m now thirteen years old. Like, woah.

There’s two parts to this post, because today is a double celebration, which means double the party and double the cake.

Part One//My Birthday

Let me just be completely unreserved for a second;


Heck, if you think about it, it’s a wonder I’m still alive. From all the stupid, crazy, and dangerous things I did when I was younger (riding down a steep hill in a rusty wagon, anybody?), it’s a bit of a statistical miracle I didn’t end up with a traumatic brain injury or something.

My wry morbidity aside, yesterday was great. Fabulous. Wonderful. Fantastic, Grand, Marvelous, Terrific, Tremendous, Wondrous. Take your linguistic pick.

I baked a cake (and yelled at anyone who dared set foot in the kitchen), went shopping with my mom, walked the dog (don’t get excited, we’re dogsitting), got my hair cut (I have bangs now!), showed off my pastry expertise (if you can call binge-watching Tasty videos ‘expertise’), and then called my cousin and laughed about video games and song lyrics.

I chose not to have a party because a) A good chunk of my friends live hundreds or thousands of miles away, and b) I don’t like being the center of attention. Seriously, when my family sang ”happy birthday” to me at dinner, I just wanted to go all Opal Koboi and yell, ”’Don’t look at me, it’s bad for my skin!!”.

But, y’know, cake was next, and I wasn’t about to miss that.

Ah, yes, the cake! It was chocolate-chocolate fudge, with vanilla icing decorations.


Yep, I made those flowers, and they were delicious.

As I piped the flowers, I realized I was singing a snippet of a song without even thinking about it. I smiled when I heard the words.

I’d rather pick flowers
Instead of fights
And rather than flaunt my style, I’d flash you a smile
Of clean pearly whites

It’s some Owl City song I like, I don’t remember which.It fit the moment perfectly, though!

As for gifts, I received an a-m-a-z-i-n-g new Nikon camera as a joint Christmas/Birthday present, and that’s what I took the pictures with. My mom also surprised me with the fabulous jacket I’d been eyeing at Old Navy, plus a shopping trip there. (I got some new tops and the COOLEST shoes) And of course, bangs, which I’m SO pleased with, and (the best part) they hide most of my skin problems (See, I told you looking at me was bad for my skin).

Yep, it was an awesome day, especially because I got so many incredibly sweet birthday wishes from so many people. My lovely IRL friend Joy sent me a birthday text, Bayance left me the best-ever birthday comment that literally made me choke up, and both my Grandmas sent me emails and cards.

I’ve decided that thirteen is pretty great, guys.

Part 2//Blogiversary

Onto the second and slightly more relevant part, TTC’s first blogiversary!

And now, it’s story time, so gather ’round, and I’ll tell you the previously untold tale of how Taking the Cake became an actual reality.

When I launched TTC, it was after planning and tweaking. The idea had floated through my head for a while, but it only really ‘stuck’, so to speak, during a long, late ballet class, during my least favorite combination (I really hate rond de jambes, guys).  Of course, the first thing I had to figure out was a name. However, because it was 7:53 (yep, I clearly remember what time it was), half my brain was focused on my rond de jambe en l’air, all I could come up with was….wait for it…..

Mugfuls of Mayonnaise.

I can see you all staring at those words and reevaluating whether or not you think Natalie is actually sane.

Fortunately, the smarter part of me realized that a name like that is about as unappetizing as you can get, so I frittered the idea away for another time.

Then a few days later, sitting on the couch, the perfect name came to me; Taking the Cake.

Don’t ask where I got the idea. I just remember that eureka moment on the couch. Which was also when I decided I’d release it on my birthday, only a a week away.

The very first header for TTC

Due to an unplanned rescheduling because of  a snowstorm, I was in Philadelphia when TTC went live. I woke up in the hotel, and my mom came in and said ”Happy birthday!”
I blinked. ”Birthday? Who’s birthday-Oh, right, mine!”

Yep, I was so excited about TTC that I actually forgot my own birthday. No joke, people.

The hotel had a pool, and I remember smiling ear to ear with my hair dripping wet because of all the insanely sweet comments people left.

Seriously, getting birthday wishes from people across the country and world takes your day to a whole new level. On TTC’s first 24 hours on the internet, I hit 25 followers…how flipping amazing is that?

And now for stats:


1,029 Visitors



Most Popular Day: Monday

Most Popular Time: 11 pm

Top Commenter: AGsInAlaska



I owe every single one of you a huge thank-you. This blog has meant so much to me since the day I started it, and you are the ones who made it a reality. It’s so amazing to be able to have a place to talk about life, the universe, and everything, plus have amazing supportive friends to support you.

It’s been an amazing year. I started TTC, had my lifelong dream come true (POINTE SHOES!), got a new cat, and a new fictional obsession. You guys patiently listened to me ramble on about shank sizing and the blue eyed Irish geniuses, and didn’t brush me off as nuts.

This year certainly hasn’t been all fun and games, though. And you were there through it all, listening to me lament about dance drama and blue-eyed Irish geniuses. And you were so funny and supportive and amazing, just asdfghjkl.

So thank you. From the bottom of my heart.

Sappiness is now over. We now resume normal emotive states.

Part 3//Giveaway!

Haha, tricked you all! I made you think that sappiness and cake photos were all I was doing! Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Well,  okay, I guess declaring that red is now green and pine trees now sing opera is farther from the truth, but at any rate….

I really wanted to do a giveaway, but I wasn’t sure what to give away. I have so many different people with so many different interests reading my blog that nothing seemed like it would appeal to everyone.

Until I realized that everyone likes candy!

At least, the vast, vast majority of people like copious amounts sugar, so I figured it was a safe bet.

So, how would YOU like to win a mystery box full of 1.57 pounds of delicious, all-natural candy?


I’m giving away this lovely plastic box. Aren’t you just jumping up and down with excitement?


I forgot to mention that there’s stuff inside. My bad! Inside is some pretty blue tissue paper and 1.57 lbs. of awesome, high-quality candy. (selected by yours truly)


The box includes a bag of caramel truffle hearts and brownie fudge squares….


A bag of the longest sour gummy snakes I’ve ever seen (7.5 inches, guys, I measured)


A bag of cherry vanilla gummies and candy eggs…


A bag of strawberry gummies (and these are the best strawberry gummies you’ll ever taste. As in, they taste like real strawberries) and jellybeans…


A bag of mint chocolate malt disks…..


A bag of crispy chocolate drops….


And last, but not least, a milk chocolate bar! Now, for any of you who are gawking because it’s from IKEA, let me tell you that IKEA has amazing chocolate bars, along with flat-packed furniture. So trust me here.

Would you care to enter? Just fill out the form below!

{Note: For some reason the form doesn’t show up in the reader, so you may have to go to my actual site to enter}

The deadline to enter is January 17th, and the winner will be announced on the 18th.

Thank you again for an amazing year, and here’s to many more (btw, spoiler alert-I’m not ever leaving the blogiverse  because Bayance threatened to steal all my AF books, and I need those for relative sanity so…)

Cheers, cupcakes!


So Long, January: Hello February!

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Hello, peeps! It’s the last day of January! WHERE DID IT GO?? ONLY 11 MONTHS OF 2018 LEFT! I thought today would be a good day to wrap things up and too let you know what I’m doing next month.

Looking Back

This month,  I;

  • Started TTC! *fireworks*
  • Had my birthday
  • Realized a lot of important things about blogging (Do you want a post on that?)
  • Posted 8 times on TTC
  • Crocheted adorable little amigurumi octopi! They were so cute!
  • Hit 63 followers on my doll blog, and hit 21 followers here

Wowza! That’s a lot! January was pretty darn great, and I’m looking forward to February.

Peeking Ahead

In February I’ll;

  • Be posting some great stuff including a review, a Valentine’s Day survival guide, and an awesome collab with the amazing Zella
  • Losing a bunch of teeth. I have like, 3 that are loose right now, and I need to lose them so I can get braces. Yay! (Sarcasm, I’m not really looking forward to a mouthful of wires).
  • Obsessively waiting every week for it to be 9 pm on Thursday so I can watch The Flash…because I am shamelessly obsessed with that show.
  • Making all-natural gummy fruit snacks! I tried once before, but I didn’t strain the mixture enough, so I had jellies rather than gummies. I’ll do a post/video on how that goes.
  • Be celebrating Valentine’s Day on the 13th because unfortunately it falls on Ash Wednesday this year, and I have to fast…any other Catholics here relate?
  • Might make an insta or Facebook! Still considering this one.

How was your January? What are looking forward to doing in February?




Blogging Expectations vs Reality (In Honor of 20+ Followers)


I HIT 20+ FOLLOWERS! *Does happy dance to awesome music* C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-I-O-N! WHOOP-WHOOP!

I need to calm down, sorry.

Anyway, thanks SO MUCH for 20+ followers! It’s amazing to think that more than 20 real, living, breathing people think my blog is awesome enough to bother reading the ramblings of a not-quite-sane 12-year-old photography queen.

So-o-o-o-o-o in honor of that incredible fact, I’m doing a Blogging Expectation vs Reality Bonanza post!  YAY! still not calm

I don’t know why everyone loves these posts, probably because as you read them you’re just like ”Oh my head, so true” So hopefully you will find these funny, and I’m not saying blogging isn’t fun-it can just be a little frustrating at times, so don’t be turned off by my exaggerations.

I’ve been talking for way too long 

Let’s PARTY!

1. Starting a Blog

Expectation; *sits down at computer* This will be easy, just like WP said it would be! I’ll just do this and this, and this, a-a-a-nd voila! My new blog is so awesome looking, and it was a piece of cake.

Now then, my first post is published! Oop! Look, I’ve got 5 likes already!

Reality; *sits down at computer* This shouldn’t be hard…no, that’s not how it’s supposed to look, hmm…WHAT? Nobody told me you had to pay $40 a year, c’mon! Ugh, my header picture looks weird…aw, man, I made it too small, and I didn’t save it!

FINALLY! I got my first post up! Now I just wait for the likes to come a-rollin’ in!

1 hour later

Still no likes? COME ON, PEOPLE!

2. Making a Post

Expectation; Oop, it’s Tuesday! Good thing my awesome, 100% planned and correctly spelled post is already scheduled to post in 10 minutes.

Reality; AHHHHH IT’S TUESDAY WHERE DID MONDAY GO I NEED TO POST AAHHHH! *googles ‘blog post ideas’* *furiously types post*

3. Your Blog Confidence

Expectation; Oh no! I forgot to post on Friday! Well, that’s okay. My readers will understand, and I’ll just get back on my normal schedule on Tuesday. No biggie!

Reality; OH NO!! OH TRAGEDY!! I didn’t post on Friday! I’ll lose all my followers and become a forgotten blogger, noooooooooo! What if people get mad at me because I haven’t replied to emails? WHAT AM I GONNA DO???

*I’d just like to note that I know none of you would ever leave me,  and that I’m not saying you would*

4. Your Blog’s Originality

Expectation; My blog is so awesome and unique! It’s the only one like it on the internet! All my posts are fresh and original!

Reality #1; I designed my blog to look like this blogger I admire….

Reality #2; I did all these awesome unique things and now everyone copies me…

5. How Many Readers You Have

Expectation; Only 5 people read my blog, it’s so sad…

Reality; WH-A-T? 20 followers?? WOWZA!!


I hope you guys enjoyed my rather exaggerated insights into the life of a blogger, and that I didn’t scare you too much! I love you guys so much, and you continually make my day!




Thank You So Much!

animated-thank-you-image-0164I checked my notifications bar today, and WHAT? I have 31 amazing, wonderful followers! That’s insane!


TTC has only been on the web for just under two weeks! That means that an average of two people followed PER DAY. It’s nuts, I’m telling you.

That’s not to say I’m arguing!

Thank you all SO much, you make my day!