Chocolate Depression Cake with Cream Cheese Nutella Frosting

I recently discovered the joy that is Nutella. I’ve heard about it for years, but I’ve never been tempted to try it until Steak ‘n Shake released their Nutella shake. I love the chocolatey hazlenutty goodness. I’m not sure what the correlation is, but after I had my heart surgery I started craving all things chocolate. I remember when my Dad was staying with me during my recovery I would have him drive me to McDonald’s for chocolate shakes. Then, once I was recovering on my own, I found a particular chocolate cake that I would get from the supermarket that I bought nearly every time I went grocery shopping. Once Magoo was born I started wanting to eat healthfully, so I curbed the chocolate cake and ice cream habit. As she got older and started having fun helping me in the kitchen, it’s slowly started emerging again. How can you resist a sweet 3 year-old who asks to bake a cake with you? I’m not particular about the way my cake looks; the only thing I care about is whether or not it makes my belly happy, so it doesn’t matter much to me if my 3 year-old helps and it gets messy. Believe me, it gets plenty messy when you have a 3 year-old helping in the kitchen.

My favorite chocolate cake is a depression cake, which is also sometimes referred to as a crazy cake. It’s so simple and oh so moist. I know, I know. People hate the word “moist,” but that’s the only way to describe this cake. I’ve made it a few different ways; with store bought cream cheese frosting, home made cream cheese frosting, homemade buttercream icing, and now with my favorite…Cream Cheese Nutella Frosting!

Cast of Characters

  • 3 cups all-purpose flourimage1-5
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbs distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cold water
  1. Mix sugar, flour, salt, cocoa, and baking soda together into a 9 x 13 inch ungreased cake pan. Make three wells. Pour oil into first well, vinegar into second, and vanilla into third. Pour cold water over all, and stir well with fork.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  3. Place a towel in your freezer and put the cake in the freezer immediately after baking. This helps lock in the moisture and also speeds the cooling process so you can frost the cake sooner.

Frosting

  • 1/2 container store bought cream cheese frostingimage2-5
  • 3 heaping tbs of Nutella
  1. Heat the Nutella in a microwave-safe dish for 30 seconds
  2. Place both the cream cheese frosting and the Nutella in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Frost the cake once the cake is completely cool
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New Home & New Shop

The blog hasn’t seen any new content recently because we were finally able to close on our house on July 1 and since then it has been a whirlwind of packing, moving, and unpacking. When we took possession of the house, we decided that we wanted to paint the main living spaces; the dining room, living room, family room, and bedrooms. We chose to hold off on the kitchen and the two bathrooms. It didn’t seem like such a big undertaking at the time, but once we were in the midst of it we were slapped with just how overwhelming it is. It didn’t help matters that we started out using Dutch Boy paint, which I would never recommend to anyone. The paint went on unevenly and was runny. Apparently this is a complaint that is so often heard that when I called Dutch Boy the woman just asked for the paint information, our pertinent information, and then told us to send our receipt to them and they would reimburse us. We are still awaiting our reimbursement check. For me, the colors in a house can really be what makes it feel like home to me. The house started out a nice, neutral color in all rooms, but I really wanted something that would personalize the home and make it ours.

Dining room before

Dining room before

Dining room after

Dining room after

On the left you can see what the living room/dining room looked like before, and on the right you see the after.

We ultimately hired one of my husband’s co-workers to finish the painting for us because it was driving us mad. He did a wonderful job and it saved us from pulling our hair out. At present, the only thing left to do are a few trim pieces in Magoo’s room, which should not take me long at all. Unpacking and finding a place for everything has been slow-going, but I keep reminding myself that I have two little ones to care for. I’m not able to pull all-nighters and get a house set up in a matter of a day or two like I used to. Plus, we own this home. This is truly ours. I want everything to have a place and I’m being super particular about where I’m placing items. I want the house to flow and for things to be easily accessible when we need them. This all takes time and planning. It is a tiresome process, but it will be so worth it in the end.

One thing I’ve found that I love is personalizing our home – especially our bedrooms. I have so many ideas of quotes and prints that I want for the children’s rooms, but some of them are difficult to find, or if I am able to find them they are very expensive. I’m all about doing things on a budget, so I started trying to figure out how to do some of it on my own. I used to have a pretty good background in graphic design, but I haven’t done any graphic design in quite some time. Were my abilities rusty? I started tinkering around and surprised myself that it all came flooding back. I’ve had a blast making printables lately and I’ve even started an Etsy Shop. I’d like to introduce Ankey Glo Printables to everyone. I think my favorite printable, thus far, is the one for Heart Warriors. Our son, who we lovingly refer to as Birdie, is a heart warrior. He was born with an ASD and a cleft mitral valve. That particular printable has great meaning to me. Below you will find a sampling of what Ankey Glo Printables offers, but I am also able to do custom items.
Anchor Hope Birth Announcement Print Pray Hope Dont Worry Why Fit In CHD warrior

Madame Alexander sale!

I haven’t been able to post anything recently because we finally closed on our house! We are currently in the process of turning a house into a home and it’s been exhausting, but fun. I did want to take the time out to share an awesome deal that I scored this evening.

I have been thinking of getting Magoo a nice doll to play with. She already has a couple of dolls, but they are looking pretty ratty from play. People have recommended American Girl, but there was no way I was going to shell out that kind of money when Magoo is only 3.5 years-old. Someone else mentioned Madame Alexander dolls, so I started perusing their website and signed up for their mailing list. I received an e-mail today that stated they currently have a sale on some of their 18″ dolls. They are marked down from $59.99 to $34.99. In addition to the markdown I also used the coupon code Lovelyday to receive 25% off and free shipping! My grand total was $27.99. I’m putting this special doll away until Christmas. Magoo will be so exited to open her on Christmas morning.

You can check out the sale dolls here. Be sure to add the coupon code LOVELYDAY in the checkout. 

I ordered the Isaac Mizrahi Cutie Girl doll. It’s the one I had picked out for Magoo, but I second guessed myself before ordering. I showed Magoo the dolls that were on sale and asked her which would looked like it would be fun to play with. Sure enough, she chose Cutie Girl! Comment and share which Madame Alexander doll you ordered. 

 

$40 Fashion Challenge

Before Magoo was born I had a vast collection of makeup and a wardrobe full of skirts, dresses, nice blouses, and heels. I traded those things in when I became a mother, partly due to my clothes no longer fitting the way they once did, but also because I found that those things were no longer practical for my lifestyle. I became increasingly concerned about the chemicals in makeup and chose to only use organic makeup, which meant that any makeup I used was hard to come by and much pricier than any makeup I was used to purchasing.

Fast forward. Birdie is now almost 5 months-old and while I still prefer clothing that I feel is practical for caring for an infant and running after a preschooler, I’m also starting to miss feeling confident and attractive when I get dressed in the morning. I know beauty is within, but there’s also something to be said for putting on an outfit that makes you feel good. I also enjoy looking nice for my husband. He goes to work for us every day and it feels a little disappointing on the days that he returns home and I’m in a pair of yoga pants and an oversized t-shirt. I decided to make a change in how I dress myself, but I would have to do so on a budget. I am an admitted cheapskate when it comes to clothes, shoes, and accessories since I became a mother. I feel “Mom Guilt” whenever I buy something for myself because I think that it’s money that could be going to benefit my family in some way. I recently realized that it also benefits my family if their mom and wife feels good about herself and I’m sure my husband appreciates the added effort of making myself presentable.

Last Friday Magoo, Birdie, and myself met my aunt, who is the queen of accessorizing, and we spent the afternoon shopping. I figured that if I were to purchase anything a $40 limit would be reasonable. The first store we stopped at was H&M and we found tons of cute things at super cheap prices because of their 60% off sale. I found a dress that was cute on the hanger and was only $10. When I went to the dressing room I was disappointed that the dress had no shape to it, but my aunt suggested I accessorize with a wide belt and a necklace. My suggestion was that I also needed to try it on with heels since I am short. The belt, heels, and necklace made all the difference in the world!

Below is a breakdown of the outfit I purchased:

A-line Dress in Orange $10 in store, $15 on the website.

Multi-strand Necklace in natural white. $14.95 in store, $10 on the website.

Christian Siriano for Payless perforated black heels – $10 in stores at Payless (no longer available online)

Wide stretch belt with gold accent (similar to this one found at Kohls.com for $26)- $3.95 in stores at H&M (no longer available online)

Overall, I spent a total of $20.28 because I did not purchase the necklace while we were shopping (my aunt went back the next day and purchased it for me) and the heels at Payless were part of their BOGO 1/2 off deal, so I got them for $5 since my aunt was purchasing a pair of tennis shoes for herself. Once I reimburse my aunt for the necklace, I’ll have spent a grand total of $36.28. I achieved my goal! I was able to get a complete outfit that was cute, stylish, affordable, and feminine for less than $40!

I challenge my readers to take the $40 fashion challenge. $40 can go a long way, depending on where you shop for your clothes and accessories and how creative you are. I love thrift stores and I know that $40 could have probably gone even further in a thrift store. If you take the challenge, comment and let me know how you did!

Since some of these items were on clearance and some of them are no  longer available online, it may be difficult to re-create the exact outfit, but if you were to purchase the dress on the H&M website for $15 it would be very easy to create a complete outfit on the $40 budget by pairing black pumps with a slim heel, a necklace in a coordinating color (although I found when searching for a necklace that some that contain black seem to blend into the dress too much), and a wide stretchy belt in either black or cream. Some of these accessories may already be in your closet, as they were once in mine, but since I no l longer had these fashion staples I had to include them into the $40 challenge.

I can’t wait to see what you all come up with! Share this post on Facebook and use #$40FashionChallenge to show us your finds!

H&M multi-strand necklace in off white.

H&M multi-strand necklace in off white.

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Christian Siriano for Payless perforated heel

H&M A-line dress

H&M A-line dress