It seems crazy and not quite real to me, but in a week from tomorrow I’ll be flying out of Tallahassee – er, make that moving of Tallahassee, for the first time in my life. Having opted to stay here for college, so as to not graduate with a gajillion dollars worth of student debts, I’m officially an adult who has never been out of their hometown for more than a month. Seems weird when I say it like that, but that’s the gist of it.

Obviously, Eliza and I will be a bit more than an inch apart, which, as our blog name, is not only a comment on our (very insubstantial) height difference, and tight-knit relationship, but also a pretty literal comment on how spatially close we’ve been for most of our lives. Seems pretty bizarre that I won’t be able to just holler down the hall when I want to tell her something, or sneak into her Martha-esque craft station whenever I need some aquamarine glitter or baker’s twine (both of which, yes, she actually keeps a supply of.) Suffice it to say, I’m feeling equal parts stoked at the idea of three months in Philly, and a little bit odd at the idea of it…

Onto happier things though, because it’s going to be a fabulous adventure, and Skype is a very real thing, and a week full of pilates, pool side parties, and cookouts still lies ahead of me.

Happiness, exhibit A:

My search for the perfect chambray dress has been successful! I couldn’t find a good picture of the exact dress I bought, but it’s from Gap and it’s gorgeous and I fully plan on having it very heavy rotation this summer. Something about traveling and shirt dresses go hand in hand, no?

My shirtdress inspiration for this summer. Being a supermodel is probably a nice added bonus, but I’ll take what I can get.

…and exhibit B: This cake.

Carrot cake is a birthday cake staple around here, but for my mom’s birthday this year it was decided we would branch out to a Hummingbird cake, which is my favorite cupcake flavor but not something I had ever baked myself. It was a very wise decision, and with everyone sneaking seconds (and I suspect thirds,) this cake only lasted about 2 days I think.

Classic Southern Hummingbird Cake with Vegan Buttercream Frosting

From Southern Living

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten $
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups chopped banana

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not beat.) Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup pecans, and bananas.
Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Vegan Buttercream Frosting

Super easy – super adaptable, and no one missed the called-for cream cheese icing a bit (even me, the vegan-skeptic of the household!)

1 package powdered sugar (16 ounces)
6 tablespoons Earthbalance (room temperature)
3 tablespoons plain soymilk, more or less
1 teaspoon vanilla

Using a beater, mix the sugar, butter, and vanilla. Add the milk a little at a time until it’s the right consistency for spreading. You can add a little more (or less) if you need to. I ended up having to double, and I think eventually triple this recipe since the cake turned out to be three, ginormous layers. It’s easy to whip up a second and third batch though in a minute or two, midway through the icing process.

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