today and tomorrow

filed under: Surprise Inside Cakes on April 7, 2014

I just need a moment to breath.

And I have a feeling you do too.

These last two months have been a whirlwind.  I have laughed and cried.  I have been humbled beyond words and I have felt so disappointed that I am ashamed it rocked me to my core.

The highest of highs and lowest of lows, so to speak.

For example, I worked my butt off on a cake.  From conception to completion, every detail was meticulously thought out.  I worked for DAYS to make sure this cake was perfect. TODAY Show CakeI am not kidding you when I say I put my heart into it.  As I placed the final coat of frosting and added the final details, I just knew this cake was going to be amazing.

I could just see it… the TODAY Show producers would see it and mouths would drop.  People would hover around computers to look at the pictures.

The call would be made, “Pack your bags, you are coming to NYC!” TODAY Show Surprise Inside Cake!It turned out beautifully.  Every painstaking detail!

I sat on pins and needles for days.

And days.

And days.

And never heard a word.  Not only were they not impressed, but there was no call.  I would not be making a morning show appearance.

I can’t say for certain why it hit me so hard, but I can’t help but feel like it had something to do with the expectations I had unwittingly placed on that silly little cake.  Its like my entire career as an author and baker was resting delicately on clouds of white buttercream. When reality set it, it was a crushing and embarrassing defeat.

Surprise Inside Cakes Cover

There is just something different about publishing a book.  I know people equate it to childbirth, and I can definitely understand why,  but for me it was very different.

Concerning my children, once they are in the world they are perfect and loved and there is no convincing me otherwise.  They, in their unquestionable perfection, are the greatest thing I have ever had a hand in creating.  And their perfection and amazingness truth is independent of me.  In that, there is no doubt.

With the book, the failure is a direct result of me.  My efforts.  Will someone hold it and understand my heart?  Will they look over the less-than-refined cakes and see the memories I hope will be made or the inspiration I desperately want to share?   Will they understand that I have never in my life been so vulnerable publically and that it’s absolutely terrifying?


Well no, of course not.  It would be silly to expect people to read that deeply into my words and hear my heart.  It’s a book about cake.

The truth is, I am not a New York Times best selling author as badly as I wanted to say those words.

And that’s ok.

There have been interviews and reviews and thankfully, the amazing and supportive blogging community has stepped forward and shared some of the most kind and humbling posts I could ever imagine.  Every single one of those posts and a treasure to me! (See them here)

I heard a quote once that has really stuck with me as a blogger, and now author.  (It was said by Ellen DeGeneres and I can’t remember it exactly, so this is a paraphrase.)

“Never believe the worst of what people say about you.  Never believe the best either.”

As much as I want to believe the best of what others say, it holds no more truth than the worst.

What I am learning is that it is important to trust and value the opinions of those close to you.

Flowers from my Husband


That when my husband surprises me with flowers and says, “I am so proud of you,” that is something I can let fill my soul.  

So instead of never sharing my cakes with the world and acting like everything is fine and dandy and that rejection and hurt don’t come ’round here, I choose to be real.

NBC Surprise Inside Cake

(I had started with the NBC Peacock logo but it was not as sharp and clean and I wanted so I discarded it and kept working.)

TODAY Show Surprise Inside Cake!

I made a surprise inside cake for the TODAY show.  And they didn’t care about it one way or another.

But that doesn’t it make it any less valuable or significant to me.  


If you would like to support this sometimes maker of pretty cakes and accidental writer, you can get my book HERE.

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  • Dinaz says:

    Everyday is a Today. You define who you are, not some television show. I bought your book, I lovingly turn the pages. Know what a difference you have made in my life. And so many countless others. You inspire me, and you didnt have to be on the Today show or any other to do that. You did it becauuse of who you are and all that you share! Inspite of them you made it!! CONGRATULATIONS!!

  • Stef says:

    Awww.. that cake is amazing and that call may still come. Don’t give up. 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks girl! Hope you had an easy and safe flight back. 🙂

  • Theresaf says:

    Good morning! You are in Long Island Newsday today! Great article and photos of your new book! Congrats

    • Amanda says:

      Oh really??? I need to check that out! 🙂 Thank you!

  • Lisa Groves says:

    Thank you for being Real here. When I saw your picture of the flowers given by your husband, it reminded me of a quote from a sweet woman of God. Now, let me preface, I have this thing I do when I attend a funeral, I take notes. Yup, when I’m sitting in a service of a woman who has dedicated her life to Gods work, standing alongside her husband for over 50 years as a pastors wife, I believe I could learn something.

    Here it is;
    “I refuse to let relationships I don’t have ruin the relationships I DO have!”

    Amanda, be Blessed TODAY and every day knowing you are surrounded with LOVE!

    • Amanda says:

      WOW! That is POWERFUL!!! Thank you for sharing that Lisa. My day has just been changed (for the better!) by YOU! 🙂

  • Megan says:

    I am so excited! Your book arrived yesterday and it’s so FUN!!!! Now, I don’t think I’m ready to tackle that chevron cake (WOW-WEE!!!), but I am thinking of the bunny cake or cross cake for Easter!! It’ll depend on my time this week, but those are definitely do-able!!!

    It’s a gorgeous book and I am so happy to support a Mom with a passion I happen to share 🙂

    Today, may you know the peace of God and the purpose for your day…for that’s all we need to worry about: today 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you sweet Megan!! I am SO excited to see what you will make… you are so talented! 🙂 May your day be blessed too sweet friend!

  • Meg Wittman says:

    Absolutely beautiful cake and I applaud your bravery in showing it to the world. If they didn’t appreciate it at the Today show, we certainly do. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kelly says:

    I’m so glad I stumbled on this today… I want to tell you that you are incredibly talented! Without knowing what it feels like to be down, we can’t truly appreciate the feelings of being ecstatic (I know you know this). The neatest thing is that you were offered the opportunity! That in itself is a massive accomplishment! I just signed a book deal (sweating) so I read your words very carefully. I admire your success and accomplishments, as I’m positive so many others do. Hold your head high, you owe it to yourself:)

    • Amanda says:

      So exciting Kelly!!! Your book is going to be amazing!

  • Rachel @ casamarcelli says:

    This cake is beautiful. And your story is so touching. Thank you for sharing the hurt. The fear. The feelings of “not good enough.” Are you familiar with Brené Brown’s work? Its all about exactly this – that even when what we do isn’t “enough” for someone else, that WE are enough. Your line reminded me exactly of that – “But that doesn’t it make it any less valuable or significant to me.”

    Amen! Because life isn’t about the critics or winning the approval of others. It’s about being brave, putting yourself out there, living your passion and enjoying what you do. And when you are doing those things, even when others don’t notice or seemingly care, you are living a good life. And those who are closest to you and love you will always appreciate it.

    Keep it up. You rock!

    • Amanda says:

      Such wise words Rachel. Life ISN’T about ciritics or winning approval. I love how you put that. Thank you!!

  • lyndsay // coco cake land says:

    amanda!! you are so talented, and your book has only just come out… i feel so positive it’s going to do really really well, today show or not! and beautiful flowers and sweet kind words from your husband, and the support of so many fellow cake makers and bloggers – let that lift your spirits! and i really love the quote that rachel mentioned above from brene brown. you’re an inspiration to many! xo

  • Helen Allen says:

    Tried to download your heart cake from the parade web page but all I get are advertisements about cardiovascular. How can I get the recipe?

  • Lauren says:

    It’s been forever since I’ve commented on a blog, but this post really stood out to me. I recently started following you on Instagram- to drool over your cakes and laugh at your witty captions. Deep down inside I want to be a cake master, but I’ve been too nervous to try. Your post really opened my eyes to the magic curtain that can cloud our views on social media. On social media we are all rich, have well behaved kids, we’re successful, never forgot a tampon when leaving the house and never shed a tear over our sweatpants getting a little tight. Social media sometimes makes us envious of others and we forgot that they are real people too, but just aren’t airing it out in a daily Facebook status update. This post really helped me remember the people online are real and relatable to me. Thanks for being real and giving me a little bit of baker courage.