Birthday Shindig Part II

If there was ever an age that was insignificant, I would argue that turning 22 could be that age. After turning the life changing age of 21 😉 just a year ago; 22 seems incredibly lame. Though my 21st birthday was pretty lame but, I like to think I made up for it throughout the year. However for most, turning 21 is the all important age, and after that nothing is ever as exciting…

I refuse to believe that my birthday this year was just another day wasted. I instead used it as a day to reflect on all the great things in the past year. I also had plenty of time to do so, as I was sitting in class for a huge portion of my day, and everyone knows that the first day of classes are ABSOLUTELY WORTHLESS! So instead of being read the syllabus for the third time that day, I decided to truly think about how fortunate I am in the ‘life’ department, specifically in the last year.

Most notable things that have happened to me in the last year:

~Studying abroad in Ireland where I met lifelong friends that I’m even closer with today than I was when I left Ireland.
~Being able to travel to any country I wanted in Europe! Shoutout to Copenhagen for stealing my heart (after Ireland, of course).
~Coming back from Ireland and moving in with a great couple of girls that made me realize that roommates aren’t always the enemy (which was pretty evident in the past).
~Landing a super cool internship at LeMond bikes where I’m surrounded by people with incredible connections around the world.
~And now moving into the best apartment ever. With the most incredible view. With the sweetest girls that I had never even met before!
~Most importantly, having the best family that always has my back and supports me in all my weird endeavors!

I love everyone who has come into my life in the last year, and cherish the memories I made with some people that are now gone… I’m lovin the single life 😉

Here’s to starting 22 with a great mindset, and to hoping I can top last year 🙂

Before I go, I HAVE to share this absolutely amazing paleo dessert recipe with you. I made it for my birthday dinner AND no one knew it was free of most food allergens AND everyone raved about how great it was even after finding out. I think I made some believers in my paleo life!


Paleo Carrot Cake (recipe adapted from Primal Palate)

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup arrowroot flour (I used tapioca flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp allspice
1/2 cup palm shortening or unsalted butter for dairy version
6 large eggs
3/4 cup Grade B maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup carrots, grated
1 cup pecans, chopped

//Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 inch spring form cake pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients, and add the softened palm shortening to the bowl and set aside.
In a smaller bowl, combine the eggs, syrup and vanilla.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed.
Fold in the carrots and pecans.
Pour into the baking dish and bake for 30-45 min or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.

Dairy-free frosting (recipe adapted from Real Food RN)

1 cup palm shortening (I used Red Palm Shortening, hence the orange colored frosting)
1/2 cup raw honey
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 tsp sea salt

// Combine all ingredients except the coconut oil in a mixer and whip until well combined.
Slowly drizzle in coconut oil and continue whipping until combined.

Frost cake (liberally, according to my lovely mother) and top with some chopped pecans!


This is a carrot cake sure to please even the most traditional eater (my 93 year-old grandpa was a huge fan!!) The twin ate 3 pieces and that’s saying something too 🙂




  1. Kate · September 18, 2015

    Hey Rachel,

    Just wanted to shoot you an message saying thanks for linking to my Paleo Frosting recipe in your post:

    I always appreciate link backs. I got to looking around your blog, of course. I really like it! How long have you been blogging? We seem to have a lot in common with our blog content! Plus, you are from MN too! I am in the west metro!

    I was also wondering if you have ever considered adding Essential Oils to your blogging? People who follow our type of blogs LOVE oils, I have found! I am totally not trying to spam you!!! I hate spammers. I am just curious. I joined Young Living almost 2 years ago and it has more than doubled my income as a blogger and allowed me to actually (finally!) quit my day job at the hospital. I am part of a team of bloggers who all share the oils on their blogs and we are all pals now. It’s really nice to have a blogger community to work with for the oil business. We all understand how it all works blogging. We are all food and health bloggers too, so that’s why I wanted to reach out to you. You would fit right in with the bunch.

    No spam, no worries, just wanted to ask. 🙂

    Here is my landing page, if you wanted to look around:

    Thanks again for the linkback!

    You can email me at kate [at] realfoodrn [dot] come

    ~ Kate


  2. Rachel Leigh · September 20, 2015

    Hi Kate,

    I’m so glad you enjoyed some of my blog posts, as I also enjoy reading your blog. I believe I found yours through a family friend of mine, Meghan Birt. I think you might know her?
    I started blogging at the beginning of the year, as a way to both entertain myself and chronicle my food journey studying abroad and back at the University of Minnesota.
    As for the oil world, I’m familiar with it but haven’t given it a whole lot of thought yet, but I’ve always been kind of curious about it’s affects. I would love to get some blogging tips from you and learn more some time!

    Thanks again!


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