cake, chocolate, chocolate: cake, cookies

Oreo Cake

August 13, 2015
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I have a handful of dear friends that are pregnant (most of them are expecting around the same time frame). Which means yay for more babies! Most of them are first time mommy’s (like me!) and a few have asked about any suggestions or advice I might have. I started drafting an email to send to those few that have asked, then thought about sending it to the ones who didn’t ask for it, and decided to blog about it instead that way the ones who didn’t necessarily ask for any of this info could still have access to it, without me feeling like I was giving the unsolicited advice I didn’t care for while I was pregnant.

Although in all honesty, I was one of those people that crowd sourced as much info as I could. I read all the reviews for every product I was considering, and as many books as possible. But at the same time, I totally get that what works or doesn’t work for me, isn’t the case for everyone. So here are some of the resources I found helpful, with the disclaimer that these are just the ones that I found helpful but they may not be your thing.
Useful Websites:
  • Weespring: has all of my ratings for products and you can check out what other moms have to say, it basically has reviews for everything baby related but you can see what your friends say if you login with Facebook.
  • Mint Arrow: she posts about deals on high end stuff, and she had her 2nd daughter around the same time I had Aiyla and posts baby deals pretty often.
  • Kelly Mom: great for breastfeeding questions, I probably read through all of it in the first weeks after Aiyla was born (you know, when you’re up a lot and need some reading info anyway and need to crowdsource if how your baby is acting is normal because you’re super paranoid about everything). Or maybe that was just me.
  • Lucies List: she’s a mom of two and has really honest reviews of all the top products and talks about her experiences with everything.
  • Pregnant Chicken: kind of similar to Lucie’s List, but she’s super funny and is more about the experiences during pregnancy and early motherhood vs. products. I love the emails from both websites based on how far along you are/how old your baby is.
  • Baby List: my choice for a site to register on, just because I loved being able to register for anything from any store, and having the ability to add nifty things like help with laundry, or a homemade meal.

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Books:
If I had to choose just one book to read, it would be this one:
  • The Happiest Baby on the Block: the 5 S’s definitely helped us in the beginning (she doesn’t care to be on her side anymore now that she’s older). We also watched the DVD in one of the pre-baby classes we took at our hospital.
Don’t bother reading ‘What to Expect’. It’s just full of scary possibilities of everything that could possibly be wrong when its nothing at all. I wrote whether or not I liked some of the other books out there on wee spring as well. You can see my full reviews for parenting books on Good Reads.
Products:
Favorites
  • Babies4Babies swaddle: I like these so much better than the A&A ones because they have less stretch for baby to get out of. But I have to give the disclaimer that part of the reason I love them is 1) they provide life saving treatment for babies in developing countries 2) my college roommate and dear friend started the company.
  • Puj infant tub: makes bath time so much easier. We’re still using ours and haven’t switched over to the bigger tub yet.
  • Rock N Play: so convenient to take places, and just to keep around the house too.
  • Solly WrapGranola babies has classes on baby wearing and I’d suggest checking out so-cal baby wearers who hold events where you can try on the different types before you purchase one. I LOVE the solly but in hindsight I would have maybe gotten a ring sling which will last longer apparently, but I have a hand me down ergo from Sophie so I figured this would be for earlier and that will be for when she’s bigger. Still debating a ring sling, will let you know if I get one and how I like it.
  • White Noise App: if you read Happiest Baby you’ll get why this was so helpful. Helps her sleep better and for longer.
Things I could have done without
  • The dishwashing basket for the Dr. Browns bottles. Haven’t used ours at all, but we don’t use bottles very often and just wash them as we use them (at most its once a day).
  • Disposable nursing pads. I used them for a bit, but my milk supply regulated pretty quickly so I didn’t have too much leakage to deal with thankfully.
  • Sterilizer bags: I just boiled everything in water. The bags are kind of small if you’re just sterilizing everything at once.
  • This white noise toy thing. Its cute, but not worth the white noise function. Unless you want it to turn off at some point without you having to get up. We just run the free app on an old phone we have plugged in near her crib.
  • Baby mittens. They fall off and you’re better off getting the onesies with the built in hand covers.
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Other suggestions: 
  • A doula. I LOVED ours (unfortunately she just moved to Portland to go to midwifery school otherwise I’d recommend her) but the OC Doula Collective is pretty awesome. Ours was amazing both before and after. And she was amazing at massages which helps an insane amount during labor.
  • If you’re planning on breastfeeding, see a lactation consultant as soon as possible! Our hospital thankfully had one do rounds so we got to see her once a day after Aiyla was born, and I booked an appointment with her a couple of times after she was born and it helped SO much. Breastfeeding is hard in the beginning, but I promise if you stick through it, after a couple of weeks it not only gets better, it actually gets easy. But its totally ok to need help figuring it out in the beginning. The only way to build up your supply is with demand (as in letting your baby nurse). So don’t supplement with formula because you think you’re not producing enough. If you want to give formula because you don’t want to nurse, or can’t or anything else, that’s totally different. But if you want to exclusively nurse, then my advice stands.

For now, I think that is a ton of information. I will keep reviewing products on weespring, and books on GoodReads so if you’re more interested in either of those, feel free to keep checking back there.

Although this post is SUPER long, I have to include this recipe, because it was AMAZING. I made it for my father-in-laws birthday while he was in town, and everyone loved it. I actually made half the recipe because normally when I make cake, its for less people and doesn’t get finished. But this one was gone the next day. Every last bit. I felt bad because I could tell people were taking smaller bits because there wasn’t enough. So I highly suggest just making the full recipe (included), depending on how many people you’re making it for. It is super moist and the fact that its just whipped cream means it is still pretty light without a thick frosting layered over it. It has the perfect amount of oreo flavor in it, which I wasn’t expecting since it was only in the filling. LOVE this recipe.

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Oreo Cake
 
Author:
Ingredients
Cake:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder (I use Ghirardelli's but I also love TCHO cocoa)
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
Filling:
  • 2 cups heavy cream, COLD
  • ½ cup powdered sugar (I actually used some swerve I had on hand)
  • 2 packets (about 25) oreos, crushed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour two (8 or 9 inch) round cake pans and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tops of cake spring back when lightly touched in the center. Let cool in pans for about 5 minutes, then remove to cool completely on wire racks. Once cakes are room temperature, wrap and chill (preferably overnight).
  4. Prepare filling:
  5. Place the metal bowl of your mixer, along with whisk attachment, in the freezer for 5 minutes. Remove from freezer and add heavy cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Beat on high until you have whipped cream that forms stiff peaks. Fold in crushed cookies.
  6. Level your chilled cakes, then split each layer in half. Fill each layer generously with cookies and cream filling. Add top layer of filling and chill in fridge until serving.

 

 

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