The Year Flew by in an Instagram

So imagine this: Mrs. always-has-to-be-on-the-go, always-baking, always-productive (that’d be me) has been stuck in bed sick for almost 5 days. Yep. The bad news is that I haven’t been able to bake in many days. The good news is that I’ve been able to spend a lot of time on my iPhone and laptop organizing my digital life and going through photos from the past year. I, like many others, have been loving the Instagram app on my iPhone, which is really a fun way to share what you do and see in your day with friends and other Instagram followers, but all through photos (with fun filters and such). Here’s a snippet (and by “snippet” I mean the longest post ever) of my year in review by way of my iPhone’s camera (*Warning: This post is a tad long, so if you decided to go clean your pantry, bake a cake or hand-count your sprinkles right about now, I wouldn’t be offended. Pinkie swear.):

I took a lot of country drives with my two cakelets, Reese and Neve. I mean a lot. Like a whole lot. Turns out that little Neve will only nap in the car (parenting gurus look away, just look away), and so, since I love country drives, off the three of us (or two, if Reese was at school) would go everyday after lunch (with the exception of a few days with grandparents). Yep. In 2011, I took over 350 country drives. That’s a lotta cows.


And a lot of grass.

And the occasional storm.


Oh, and one enchanting and mysterious pie-selling establishment.


I bought and read a whole lot of baking books. Actually, I added 29 baking books to my collection in 2011. Is that normal?


I baked copious amounts of cupcakes (among other things) throughout the year–double chocolate, campfire delight, strawberry, vanilla, lemon, marzipan & pear–you name it.


Oh, and double chocolate & gingerbread cupcakes–one of my favourites of the year. I would give you a how-many-cupcakes-I-baked-in-2011 total, but then I would have to do the math on how many I actually ate… And we’re moving on…


Okay, that one I definitely ate. So I ate one cupcake in 2011, give or take.


I baked this cake (my current favourite), and a few other cakes while I was at it.


Well, I baked a whole bunch of cakes, come to think of it. In 2011, I used approximately 450 eggs, 200 pounds of butter and 100 pounds of sugar for the blog treats (and experimental blog treats) alone. Turns out I like to bake. A lot. I’m glad you do too, or else I’d have a hard time explaining to Mr. Sweetapolita where all of that butter goes.


But, of course I had a pretty cute baker’s assistant.

Or two.


And the best part was sharing most of our treats with our enthusiastic friends and family, because that’s what baking is all about.


I spent many hours watching little ballerinas and princesses embody innocence and inner peace in a way only children can.


Even when they’re sick.


Or hurt. There were definitely some hard times.


And some welcomed silly times.

Plus a few more silly times.


And too many belly-aching-giggle times to count, but never too many to be part of.


Heck, there were even some downright kooky times, such as, you know, spotting these goats balancing on wooden planks. Or, the un-instagram’ed moment when Pee-wee Herman tweeted and facebook shared my Asparagus Cake to his million+ fans. Or the time an elephant crossed a busy street directly in the path of my car as I was driving to the grocery store (turns out it was Limba the elephant getting some cardio with her trainer from Bowmanville Zoo for a winter show). 2011, you kept me on my toes.


In unrelated news, I also attempted to take an acceptable token iPhone self-portrait in the mirror, however I would never actually look into the camera.


Okay, I got a bit better at it as the year went on. Luckily that was the day I had makeup on and my hair done. Vain much?


There were many random catch-a-cute-kid-in-action shots, probably more than my girls had the patience for.


But they’re great sports.


Plus, I bribe them with peanut butter pie and stuff.


I bought many pretty things to bake and cake with. Some new…


Some old (and serious bargains).


And some very old.


And I always stopped to admire a few lovely baked goods along the way.


I took several drives to the peaceful farm in Prince Edward County (Ontario), to visit my in-laws, you know, to escape the hustle-and-bustle of our 4,000 people-filled town.


Where I happily photographed this Mad(ish) Tea Party and enjoyed the sounds of, well, silence.


Grant and I both had a busy work year, but we made sure to make as many cottage trips as we could with the kids, to take a break from chiropracting and baking.


Where, naturally, I baked more cake…


And soaked 3,600 Krispy Kreme calories in one bowl for the life-altering purpose of this bread pudding.


The year was also filled with many a cookie. Some simple, some fancy.


And a few cakelet-inspired ones along the way.


There were many brownies, chocolate-dipped and not, and there were sprinkles.


A lifetime of sprinkles.


There were many wedding cake projects on the go, big and small.


There was even a reason to make more fondant asparagus. Like you can ever have too many fondant asparagus.


Little 4-year-old Reese unleashed her inner artist, and managed to make one unnamed mommy teary, with her spirited and inspiring painting of these cakes.


I think I hit my yearly glitter quota (‘cuz we all have one, you know) when I created a few sparkly cakes for Wedding Bells.


But there’s always room for a little more sparkle, especially in the festive winter months.


Finally, we ended the year with a POP!

So that was my year (with a few more details in between). Bye bye, 2011–you were good to us.

Oh, and if you’re an Instagram lover like me, or if you just like cute-as-pie treats, check out these genius Instagrahams crackers from Bakerella.


Share the Sweetness!


  1. says

    I just love your photos Rosie, you always capture the moment so perfectly. Just beautiful. Also, you have amazing hair, I’m so totally jealous of it.

  2. says

    A year of fabulous! thanks for sharing. I’m stuck in bed too. Not fun. I hope you feel better soon!!

    p.s. I made your Fluffy Vanilla cake and frosting for a friends 65th bday and there were rave reviews. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. says

    I resisted hand counting my sprinkles and made it to the end of this post, it wasn’t that long! Your girls are too gorgeous…and how is it possible that even all your instagram pics are perfectly styled and awesome? you are officially my no.1 favourite baking blog photographer of the year. Every one of your treats is always styled and photographed to perfection!
    My mom sent me a greeting card this week that had this awesome quote on, when you said about sharing being what baking is all about it made me think you would like it too:
    The delight is in the creating: the baking, but most of all the sharing!
    Isn’t it great!
    p.s adding 29 baking books to your collection this year isn’t normal – it’s awesome!

  4. says

    What a wonderful selction of photos. This is my New Year resolution to take mroe photos as life has ran away with me. Hope you feel better soon but what a great record of the year – inspired so thank u.

  5. says

    Yes Rose, it very definitely was a very beautiful year and thank you for sharing it with us. Your wrap-up was wonderful. I’m sorry that you had to start off 2012 being sick and hope that you are feeling more like yourself very soon. Looking forward to another stunning and spectacularly creative year here on Sweetapolita. Take good care.

  6. says

    Sweetapolita Rosie! Did I read ‘take a break from chiropracting and baking’? My hubs is a chiropractor and I am the baker! Well, I just baked again even though I told myself I was taking some time off because my second baby girl is due like today! I love your instagram post and getting to know more about you- I admire you and your baking so much! You and all of your things pretty are truly one of my favorite inspirations! I hope 2012 brings you another glittery, sprinkley, cupcake filled year!!

    • says

      Hi Jessie! Yep, you did read that correctly–a baker and a chiropractor :) That’s so neat that you and your husband are too. I appreciate all of your super kind words and wishes–thank you! All the best to you in 2012!

  7. says

    This was a great recap, and you take such lovely photos. I just got the iphone 4 today as an 18th birthday present, so I’m going to have to get the instagram app and try out some pictures. Your photos look amazing!

  8. says

    Gran resumen fotografico, desde luego eres una gran profesional… encanta todo lo que haces…sigue igual.
    Feliz año

  9. says

    Awesome! It’s amazing how quickly you forget what happened yesterday. These are a great way to remember! I wish I had an iPhone! Happy New Year and please feel better!

  10. says

    Happy New Year Rosie! i drool every single time i come to this space but have to say that i have sooooo enjoyed seeing your year through instagram – am completely addicted too!! i love that you took more than 350 drives, captured goats on planks and stopped for a bite or two of pie . . . cannot wait to see what 2012 brings! (((hugs)))

  11. says

    Fun post Rosie!!

    When I fly, I spend the time on the plane (with no internet) organizing my iphone pics and videos! lol

    Here’s to a fabulous 2012

  12. Janette Parsons says

    Thanks for the inspiration Rosie!! I always come to your site when I need some ideas!! Which I need a lot of because I’m 17 and have just recently become obsessed with cake decorating!! lol I even printed out your 50 baking tips, which I often consult!! And by the way your fluffy vanilla cake is awesome! I recently used it to make a ship cake for an school project and the class and teacher loved it!! Look forward to more of your posts!!! And have a wonderful 2012!!

  13. says

    Dear Rosie,

    I feel so lucky to have found you first on your blog than on instagram. It’s really festive to watch you and your girls on everyday life as well as on your baking life. It’s a pleasure to know u :) hope to meet u someday.

    Love from Istanbul,
    @mutludukkan on instagram >_<

  14. says

    Rosie- you inspire me so much, just looking at all your beautiful pictures makes me feel good inside. I am signing up for instagram right now, I have a friend who’s been bugging me to do it and you convinced me w/ this post, they are so lovely!
    So glad I found you this past year, I have tried a couple of your recipes and they were amazing, thank you!

  15. says

    Wow, you made me dizzy with those pictures! Your kids are absolutely stunning, as are you. And your cakes. How *do* you manage to do it all? No, seriously. As a mother of two little ones myself, I do not know how you manage to get all that lovely baking done! Hope you feel better!

  16. Alison says

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful 2012! I am so happy I found your blog. You have introduced me to new ideas and techniques and have made me a better baker. Thank you!

  17. Corina says

    Hope you feel better super soon and wishing blessings for the upcoming 2012…thx for sharing I’m always looking forward to your newsletters :@)

  18. Naily says

    Amazing recap of gorgeous moments! Hope this year will be full of more great memories and good baking.
    Thanks for sharing!

  19. Queen Gwynnie says

    I hope you’re feeling better soon!! Your blog makes me so happy and your cakelets are adorable!! I enjoy baking as much as you do and I love to share my baked goods!!! Wishing you a sweet and wonderful 2012!!!

  20. says

    What a fabulous 2011 you’ve had! The pictures are just beautiful especially of your children, and the one of the goats is hilarious! 2011 is the year I found your blog and I’m oh so glad I did!

  21. Eram Khan says

    Hi, I am in Nairobi, Kenya. Just wanted to say that you and your angels are very beautiful and your work is marvelous, amazing, worth every praise……….you are truly talented and blessed.
    Thank you for sharing the lovely recipes.
    Have a great and fulfilling 2012.
    Take care

  22. says

    I am in awe of your beautiful family! I bake all the time too for my home biz. I am also in awe of how you stay so thin!!!!! Secret? I am having to fight it hard this year! Anyway, you’re a talented and gorgeous inspiration!

    • says

      Thanks so much, Tammy! What a kind comment :) Well, resisting the sweets is a bit of a challenge for me, but I do try my best to balance it out with healthy meals (lucky for me my husband eats very “clean”). Wishing you a wonderful 2012!

  23. says

    What a wonderful collection of captures. Your shots are always striking when I’m scrolling through Instagram. I need more sugar shots I do believe. ; ) Happy New Year too!

  24. says

    I love all of your work, but I think this is my most favorite post of yours, ever. You know I’m a bit of an instagram freak & capturing the moments that way is so special. Thanks for sharing!!

  25. says

    Thank you for such an adorable post.Your girls are so cute I’d like to chuck their cheeks. Just as well I live on the other side of the world! I also have two daughters, but they are such big girls now; childhood has whipped by in a blur. And yes, it’s perfectly normal to buy that many baking books, in fact we seem to have purchased almost identical titles. Except for the whoopie pie book. I’m yet to be won over to whoopies. Maybe this is the year that you can convince me otherwise. Cheers from the South Seas, Karen

    • says

      Thanks so much, Karen! I know what you mean about whoopie pies–I do like them, but haven’t necessarily been won over. I love that book, though, because it has a ton of really interesting flavour pairings, which I sometimes use as cake inspiration!

  26. says

    These are lovely. I love, love, love my cell phone for capturing all those quick moments. They always turn into my favorite photos. So glad to have found your blog–very sweet, indeed. Happy New Year!

  27. Mary says

    I love your blog. When I want to bake to impress, this is the first place I go. I hope that when I have children, I will have as many fun times as you do! Thank you for sharing your life and wonderful recipes!

  28. says

    It looks like you had a fabulous year! I love your blog and your cakes are so inspiring. And I see that you visited our Island at least once this year- I recognize those goats :) May 2012 be just as good.

  29. says

    I hope you feel better soon! I did not mind all these pics, your year was filled with so much deliciousness! I just got an iPhone and downloaded Instagram myself. I am a bit addicted to it, it’s a great way to keep a visual diary.

  30. Dalia says

    Hi Rosie,

    Hope you’re feeling better! What a great post! loved every single word, every single picture and can never get enough of your great photography. You are so talented and such a big inspiration. Every one of your recipes that I made this year was a hit with friends and family. Your girls are so precious, you are surrounded by sweetness!!! Thank you for all the wonderful posts and looking forward to all that 2012 has in store. All the best to you and your family.

  31. says

    Hi Rosie,

    I don’t think I’ve commented before but I came across your blog when someone showed me your asparagus cake, and I was hooked. I’m so glad you dipped your toe in the blogging pool. You have inspired me to make much prettier cakes, which, now that I think about it, is kind of important when you take photos of food for your blog (even if it is in a totally half-arsed way)!!! So far I’ve tried the Rich & Ruffled cake, with plans to make the rainbow cake.

    I’m sorry you’ve been sick – it seems to be the time of year for it. Bloggers seem to drop like flies in the new year, myself included. Maybe it’s because we use up all our energy baking before Christmas :)

  32. Gwyn says

    Rosie, what a beautiful year! You always amaze and inspire me with your creations! And I absolutely adore your sweet cakelettes :) Precious. Will you be sharing a post on that divine looking wedding cake with the frosting reminiscent of pearls? I gasped when I saw it!

    Looking forward to another year of Sweetapolita!

  33. says

    An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who has been conducting a little homework
    on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it
    for him… lol. So allow me to reword this….
    Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this subject here
    on your website.

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