2022 Net Worth and Monthly Spending Update

Here are some charts I made to compare my monthly spending over 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018. I included taxes and my HSA withholdings in my most recent 2021 chart as well as my Roth IRA contributions. The purpose of these charts is to show changes in spending over time (across different categories).

Here are a few more fun numbers:

  1. I increased my spending 12% from 2020 to 2021, while increasing my income 2.5% (I increased my spending 4% from 2019 to 2020 while increasing my income 3%)
  2. I bought a house in May of 2021, which became 13% of my monthly spending as averaged by 12 months of the year, effectively doubling my ‘housing’ spending category to 26% of my earnings
  3. The house I bought increased in value 20% since I bought it according to Zillow/Redfin
  4. My credit score increased by 3.8% (28 points)
  5. My investment portfolio changed because I had to sell some general investment stocks to have enough cash to afford my house purchase
  6. Notable increases in spending from 2020 to 2021 include:
    1. Fitness – 736% because I switched studios and was paying cash for classes instead of using trade money
    2. Eating out – 128% increase (my partner and I decided to switch to me paying for groceries and him paying for eating out midway through the year)
    3. Groceries – 25% increase (see eating out above point)
    4. Bills-housing – 8% increase when we moved
  7. Notable decreases in spending from 2020 to 2021 include:
    1. Health – 37% decrease since I am more crafty with my supplement purchases
    2. Household and clothing – 32% decrease as I’ve been able to use Amazon gift cards for a lot of these items
    3. Bills-Transportation – 19% decrease since our car is between mileage maintenance milestones
  8. I met my LLC goal of earning $5,000 and will be putting everything except taxes and expenses and $1000 for 2022 expenses into my 401k when I get the go-ahead from my accountant
  9. I had to gather almost all of my cash, savings, emergency fund, and stocks that weren’t retirement-allocated in order to come up with the cash necessary to buy my house so my emergency fund is now below $10,000 and I’m building it back up.
  10. My emergency fund is only worth 2 months’ spending since my spending increased with the additional house expenses and I decreased my emergency/savings fund to buy the house

The next two charts show my net worth split categories:

To note: I had a 53% increase in my assets from 2019 to 2020 and a 76% increase in my assets from 2020 to 2021.

To note: My investment portfolio increased 52% from 2019 to 2020 and 10% (without the real estate value) from 2020 to 2021 (or 323% if you add in the value of the real estate but don’t subtract the mortgage)

2021 Asset breakdown

2021 Reading Challenge Books in Review and Recommended Reads

I spent $21.91 on kindle books this year

My favorite books I read this year:

  • Spinning Silver by Noami Novik
  • Alive (The Generations Trilogy, #1) by Scott Sigler
  • Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1) by Marie Lu
  • Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers, #1) by Penny Reid
  • With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon
  • The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1) by Mary E. Pearson
  • Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

My favorite Indie books that I read this year:

  1. Please Fall for Me by M. W. Mckinley
  2. A Cemetery for Zoe by Ashe Woodward
  3. The Finest Lies by David J. Naiman
  4. The Apotheon Awakening (Apotheon Trials #1) by Arya White
  5. Highland Games (Kinloch Series, #1) by Evie Alexander
  6. Miss Cast and the Headhamster (Miss Cast! Book 1) by LJ Pickles
  7. Sex & Sours by Dani McLean
  8. Pip and Kitten and the End of the World by David Congreave
  9. Killing Dragons (Order of the Dolphin, #1) by Kristie Clark
  10. Dragon Gold (Order of the Dolphin, #2) by Kristie Clark
  11. I Think the World Owes Me An Apology by Fike Daodu
  12. These Violent Nights by Rebecca Crunden
  13. Love & Rum by Dani McLean
  14. Please Stay for Me (The Brotherhood Series, #1) by M.W. McKinley
  15. At the Cabin by Claudia Blood
  16. Coming in from the Outfield by Carrie Wiegman
  17. Rebuilding Alexandra Small by Mo Fanning
  18. Flicker of the Flame by Evelyn Puerto
  19. The Anti-Relationship Year by Katie Wismer
  20. Horizon Found (Relic Trilogy #2) by Claudia Blood
  21. Company Assassin (Relic Trilogy #1) by Claudia Blood

Out of the 95 books that I read:

38 Indie Books

6 Nonfiction Books

 

Other reading stats:

I read 11 books for book club

I read both Michelle Obama’s Becoming and Barack Obama’s A Promised Land

I reviewed 46 books this year for a total of 403

I made reviewer of the month in July and September on Reedsy

 

The books I read this year:

I think I will make my challenge for next year a conservative 75 books!

2019 Reading Challenge Blog Post

2019 Reading Challenge Blog Post

2018 Reading Challenge Blog Post

2017 Reading Challenge Blog Post

2016 Reading Challenge Blog Post

2015 Reading Challenge Blog Post

Goals and Accomplishments from 2021 and Future Goals for 2022

Goals list of 2014
Goals list of 2015
Goals list of 2016
Goals list of 2017
Goals list of 2018
Goals list of 2019
Goals list of 2020


2022 Goals!!!

  • 2022 Describe yourself in 3 words: Self, Partner, New
    • 2022 Describe what you want more of in 3 words: Success, Happy Moments, Learning
    • Theme for 2022: Realize
  • 2021 Describe yourself in 3 words: Driven, Busy, Challenged
    • 2021 Describe what you want more of in 3 words: Vacation, Attentive, Patience
    • Theme for 2021: Plan
  • 2020 Describe yourself in 3 words: Anxious, Quick, Analytic
    • 2020 Describe what you want more of in 3 words: Patience, Deliberate, Calm
    • Theme for 202: Hygge
  • 2019 Describe yourself in 3 words: Driven, Efficient, Restless
    • 2019 Describe what you want more of in 3 words: Calm, Accomplished, Considerate
    • Theme for 2019: Minimize

 

Fitness goals 2021:

  • Freestanding handstand
    • I took two handstand classes and felt like I was getting a better form but not at all close to freestanding and I still have wrist fatigue.
  • Take floorwork intermediate series
    • Check!
  • Pass intermediate inversions into advanced inversions at Divine Movement Dance
    • We moved mid-year and I switched studios so pushing this goal to next year when we move back closer or I start taking classes again
  • Get to 12 pullups of any kind in a row
    • Stuck at 9 chin-ups. Changing this to 10 and moving to next year.
  • Bike 1000 total on my ebike (already 390 from 2020)
    • We moved mid-year and I didn’t bike as much during the summer months so only eked out another 260 miles.
  • 500 lifetime aerial classes
    • Check! I’m at 508 for the year

Fitness goals 2022:

  • Take 4 handstand classes
  • Take floorwork advanced series
  • Pass intermediate inversions into advanced inversions at Divine Movement Dance
  • 10 chin-ups/pull-ups
  • 1-handed pull-up
  • Handspring Ayesha
  • 1000 miles total on my ebike
  • Floor limbo just because

 

 

Finances Goals 2021:

  • Max out my Roth IRA, 401k and HSA contributions
    • Check!
  • Save 50% of my income
    • I increased my bills when I bought a house so this goal wasn’t practical and I tabled it mid-year

Finances Goals 2022:

  • Build back up to $10,000 in my emergency fund
  • Make $5000 from my LLC

 

 

Writing Goals 2021

  • Deplete my physical book inventory
    • Check!
  • Go to a conference/workshop for writing
    • Tabled – not interested in writing at this time
  • Revamp website
    • Tabled
  • Finish outlining Two for Tiny
    • Tabled
  • Finish the first draft of Two for Tiny
    • Tabled

 

Personal Goals 2021

  • Take a bookkeeping class
    • Tabled
  • Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification
    • Passed my test but didn’t finish my project
  • Build a seed library and/or trellis
    • Tabled
  • Grow loofah
    • Tabled
  • Take a doughnut-making class
    • Check! I had so much fun at all my cooking classes in December including latte art and a class at Salty’s with my housemate
  • Take goat/bunny yoga class
    • Tabled. But I did take a stretch class with a cat I was watching
  • Face time with friends/family every month
    • I’ve been calling my family more – not necessarily FaceTime

Personal Goals 2022:

  • Career Development training
  • Career development find a mentor
  • Take 2 cooking/baking classes
  • Pole Expo/Convention/Corgi Con
  • Take ASL classes along with my Duolingo daily Turkish studies

2021 Physical Activity – Dance, Health, and Fitness

How do you work out?

Pole Dancing Highlights for 2021
2. I took 63 aerial classes total
3. I spent $852.46 total (I have some credit as an ambassador that I used towards some classes)
4. I spent 89.25 hours in class
5. I worked with 14 different instructors

Lifetime money spent (just for aerial classes): $7992.41
2014 – $90
2015 – $422.21
2016 – $1777
2017 – $2594
2018 – $1465.74
2019 – $566
2020 – $225
2021 – $852.46

Lifetime total pole classes: 508
2014 – 6
2015 – 19
2016 – 109
2017 – 139
2018 – 92
2019 – 37
2020 – 35
2021 – 63

Total time spent poling: 792.5 hours (33 days)
2014 – 10.5 hours
2015 – 37.5 hours
2016 – 173.5 hours
2017 – 226 hours
2018 – 144.5 hours
2019 – 55.5 hours
2020 – 55.75 hours
2021 – 89.25 hours

Class Breakdown at different studios for 2021
Divine – 32/63 = 51%
Ascendance – 30/63= 48%
Pole Fitness Seattle – 1/63= 1%

 

In other fitness accomplishments:

  • I biked 260.2 (bringing the total miles biked on my e-bike to 650)
  • I went to 3 pole jams
  • I took 13 stretch and flexibility classes
  • I took 3 conditioning classes
  • Of my classes – 23 were VOD or online/Live
  • I started taking Lyra (aerial hoop) classes again at Ascendance and have really loved the challenge of this new aerial apparatus
  • I’ve done some rowing on my partner’s Water Rower

My favorite fitness photos from the year!

 

2020 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2019 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2018 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2017 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2016 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2015 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2021: AMC A-List – Watched and Recommended Movies for the Year

Total cost paid for movies watched in 2021 in theatres: $253.55… total value for movies watched =$1,019.57 ; Favorite movie of the year: CODA

Total cost paid for movies watched in 2020 in theatres and VOD: $112.7… total value for movies watched =$327.34 + VOD ; Favorite movie of the year: Soul

Total cost paid for movies watched in 2019 in theatres: $278.15… total value for movies watched = $1,281.67

Total cost paid for movies watched in 2018 in theatres: $297.42… total value for movies watched = $839.45

“*” indicates a movie I particularly enjoyed and would recommend.

 

January: $0 value… paid $0

February: $85.93 value… paid $23.05

  • *Nomadland ($18.99)
  • *The Little Things ($19.99)
  • Monster Hunter ($13.49)
  • *News of the World ($13.49)
  • Tom & Jerry ($19.99)

March: $80.45 value… paid $23.05

  • Raya and the Last Dragon ($19.99)
  • Chaos Walking ($13.49)
  • The Father ($13.49)
  • Boogie ($13.49)
  • Nobody ($19.99)

April: $80.45 value… paid $23.05

  • Godzilla Vs. Kong ($19.99)
  • Voyagers ($13.49)
  • Mortal Kombat ($18.99)
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World ($19.99)

May: $72.46 value… paid $23.05

  • Wrath Of Man ($19.99)
  • Top Gun ($19.99)
  • Spiral ($13.49)

June: $100.44 value… paid $23.05

  • *Cruella ($13.49)
  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It ($19.99)
  • A Quiet Place Part II ($13.49)
  • The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard ($17.49)
  • F9 The Fast Saga ($18.49)
  • *In The Heights ($17.49)

July: $104.44 value… paid $23.05

  • The Forever Purge ($13.49)
  • The Boss Baby: Family Business ($17.49)
  • *Black Widow ($19.99)
  • Space Jam: A New Legacy ($13.49)
  • Snake Eyes ($18.49)
  • Old ($18.49)
  • Escape Room: Tournament of Champions ($3)
  • *Jungle Cruise ($14.39)

August: $120.82 value… paid $23.05

  • The Suicide Squad ($17.49)
  • The Green Knight ($13.49)
  • *Free Guy ($18.49)
  • *Stillwater ($13.49)
  • Don’t Breathe 2 ($9.39)
  • Reminiscence ($17.49)
  • Candyman ($17.49)
  • The Protege ($13.49)

September: $90.94 value… paid $23.05

  • *Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ($18.49)
  • Malignant ($13.49)
  • The Card Counter ($13.49)
  • *Cry Macho ($13.49)
  • *Blue Bayou ($13.49)
  • Venom: Let There Be Carnage ($18.49)

October: $111.24 value… paid $23.05

  • Casino Royale ($5)
  • Skyfall ($5)
  • Halloween Kills ($19.29)
  • No Time To Die ($14.49)
  • *The Last Duel ($14.29)
  • *Last Night In Soho ($19.59)
  • Ron’s Gone Wrong ($14.29)
  • Dune ($19.29)

November: $99.54 value… paid $23.05

  • Eternals ($18.69)
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife ($19.29)
  • *The French Dispatch ($13.69)
  • Antlers ($14.29)
  • Spencer ($14.29)
  • *House Of Gucci ($19.29)

December: $53.57 value… paid $23.05

  • Encanto ($19.29)
  • *West Side Story ($19.29)
  • The Matrix Resurrections ($14.99)
  • *Spider-Man: No Way Home ($72.86)

2021 Q3 Spending and Goals Progress

After moving in June I’m finally building up a new list of local cat-sitting clients. I’m settling in at my dance studio. I’m applying to all the usability studies possible. I’m no longer saving much money – but I’m still investing every month. I finished two challenges in September – reading and reviewing books as well as celebrating the National Day Calendar through Instagram.

2021 Goals Progress Update:

Goals for 2021

Q3 progress

Notes and Q4

Take floorwork advanced series

Not on the calendar for 2021

Keep checking the schedule

12 chin-ups

8 chin-ups

5 pull-ups

Started doing 3x2x1 sets 3 times per day and varying types of pullups

Look into different types of training. Get advice from a professional?

1 handed pullup

Take that Dad!

Tried once and just swung in a circle – will research technique

Freestanding Handstand

Took 1 handstand (arm balancing) class at Ascendance

Schedule 1 handstand focused class

 Donut making class  Only online  Continue to check back for classes
 Mochi making class  Didn’t see any  I could try this via an online tutorial…

Handspring Ayesha

Took 2-hour workshop with Divine – learned good techniques

Schedule my 1-1 private as handspring, pullup technique, etc for 60 minutes

1000 lifetime ebike miles

390 miles in 2020

63 miles in Q1, 133 miles in Q2, 64.2 miles in Q3

July – 2.6

August – 39.8

September – 21.8

Bike at least 4 times this quarter (winter is coming!)

Take 500-lifetime pole classes

April – 463

May – 469

June – 475

July – 480

August – 483

September – 490

October – 4

November – 4

December – 4

Learn to walk in pole heels

I own a pair. 

Take 2 classes in Q4 – Ascendance offers basic heels fundamentals

Floor Limbo?

Saw this at the Pokemon party

Research technique and bodily ability requirements

Take goat/bunny yoga class

No classes on schedule yet – table until the spring/summer

Still interested and will keep checking

Pole Expo/Convention

No local in-person events yet

 Possible Divine retreat summer 2022 (figure out budgeting)

Corgi Con 2022

Postponed until 2022

Sad but the scheduling seems to conflict with other events

Build up $10k in my emergency fund

$7900

Automatic savings of $250/month – need 8 more months unless having an influx of extra cash.

Make $5000 side hustle funds

~$3428 so far

I can asily make $500 in December for holiday animal sitting. Reduce goal to more manageable $4000 for the year?

Career development – MDR training, RAPS2022

Watched some online webinars

RAPS 2022 is in Arizona 9/10 – 9/13 – in the budget? Value add?

In other news…

Painted Pokemon specific rocks

Put together R2-D2 and an At-At Lego model

Said goodbye to this cutie we boarded over the summer!

Went to downtown Seattle for Pokemon Go Fest

Harvested some giant cucumbers from the garden

Made it to the last level I’ll probably ever attain in Pokemon Go

Bought a second-hand stage pole for home practice (yay virtual classes and conditioning)

Crashed a cake tasting (I was invited) like I’ve always wanted to

Harvested multiple handfuls of tomatoes (there’s still green ones on the vine today)

I’ve been taking Lyra classes with my new studio Ascendance and I absolutely love them!

Joined in the fun at a Pokemon picnic party


What are your goals and how are you meeting them?

2021 Q2 House, Goals, and Progress

I bought a house! I spent all of my cash monies and now I have to build my emergency fund and savings funds back up so I’ve added that goal to my list. 

2021 Goals Progress Update:

Goals for 2021

Time frame

Q2 progress goal

Finish outlining Two for Tiny

6/15

Tabling this goal until I am back into writing

Take floorwork intermediate series

7/15

Completed intermediate series

Signup for advanced when offered

12 chin-ups

8/1

8 chin-ups

5 pull-ups

Book inventory gone

7/15

Completed

First draft for Two for Tiny

12/31

Wrote two chapters, not interested in continuing at this time

Freestanding Handstand

12/31

No progress

Pass intermediate inversions at Divine!

12/31

Moved to Renton and tabling this goal as I will be taking the majority of classes at Ascendance

1000 lifetime ebike miles

12/31

390 miles in 2020

63 miles in Q1, 133 Q2

April – 46.7

May – 86.5

June – 0

Take 500 lifetime pole classes

12/31

April – 463

May – 469

June – 475

Writing conference or workshop

12/31

Pick or defer for the year. ECWC is virtual this year. PNWA 9/15 – 9/19

Take a doughnut making class

12/31

No classes on schedule yet https://www.raiseddoughnuts.com/classes

Take goat/bunny yoga class

12/31

No classes on schedule yet

Take a mochi making class

12/31

No classes on schedule yet

https://www.surlatable.com/cooking-classes/in-store-cooking-classes/

emergency/disaster/community preparedness

12/31

Listed 3-day workshop was too expensive, check for other options

Tiny house show

12/31

No local shows yet

Pole Expo/Convention

12/31

No local in-person events yet

Corgi Con

12/31

Date announced 10/16 from 10AM – 2PM

Build up $10k in my emergency fund

12/31

$6500

Make $5000 side hustle funds

12/31

~$2800 so far

In other news…

My partner and I completed two housesits, caring for 5 cats and one dog in total

I watched some more cats for Rover/Meowtel

I tried out some new donuts from The Flour Box. They were good but overhyped.

I bought my first house!

I wasn’t planning to but I ended up planting five tomato plants and several cucumbers in my garden this year. They are growing like bonkers with this heat!

Reached the next level in Pokemon Go

I’m boarding a lovely cat for the next 6 weeks

It reached records temps in the area! 115 at the highest…

 


What are your goals and how are you meeting them?

2021 Q1 Giveaway, Goals, and Progress

2021 Book Giveaway*

Print Books available
1. At One’s Beast (YA)
2. Vanessa’s Book of Awesome Things (Misc Lists)
3. Book of poetry
4. Donuts in an Empty Field (For the Love of Donuts Book 1)

*mailed anywhere in the USA
*books to be mailed in upcycled packaging
*20 copies available
*1 lucky and random recipient will receive a $20 bookmark

2021 Goals Progress Update:

Goals for 2021

Time frame/deadline

Q1 Progress

New time frame/deadline

Take a bookkeeping class

4/15

Not currently interested in pursuing this goal

Tabled

Finish outlining Two for Tiny

3/15

Worked on outline at Emberville class circle

Chapter by chapter outline not fully fleshed out

6/15

Take floorwork intermediate series

7/15

Signed up for classes May 12 – June 16

Advanced series 8/18 – 9/22 signup if I can later this year after moving/not moving

7/15

Get to 12 pullups of any kind in a row

8/1

Have to build up my strength first – currently can do 5 in a row

8/1

Build a seed library and/or trellis

8/1

Not currently interested in pursuing this goal

Tabled

Sell/Give all physical book inventory

12/25

12 books gone in Q1, 66 remaining

Inventory at FVP – donated

7/15

First draft for Two for Tiny

12/31

Outline not ready. Started chapter one to get the tone/feel and have 1500 words so far

Would like to write 1000+ words/week on Sundays as I continue to flesh out my outline, characters, and settings

12/31

Handstand

12/31

Haven’t worked on, need to build back up my strength and balance

Would like to sign up for a 4-6 week dedicated course like the Fit & Bendy offering online

12/31

Pass intermediate inversions into advanced inversions at Divine!

12/31

Have to build up my strength first – not even close to ready

12/31

Get to 1000 miles on my ebike

12/31

390 miles in 2020

63 miles in Q1, 547 miles remaining

12/31

Take 500 lifetime pole classes

12/31

458/500 – 42 remaining 39 weeks left in the year at 1 class/week to make this goal

12/31

Go to conference/workshop for writing

12/31

Conferences are online so far this year – not sure of the value

Emerald City Writer’s Conference 10/15-10/17

PNWA 9/15 – 9/19

12/31

Save up 6 months of emergency savings

12/31

Met this goal!

12/31

Grow loofah

12/31

Not currently interested in pursuing this goal

Tabled

Take a doughnut making class

12/31

No classes on schedule yet https://www.raiseddoughnuts.com/classes

12/31

Take goat/bunny yoga class

12/31

No classes on schedule yet

12/31

Take a mochi making class

12/31

No classes on schedule yet

12/31

emergency/disaster/community preparedness

12/31

No classes on schedule yet

12/31

Tiny house show

12/31

No dates yet

12/31

Pole Expo/Convention

12/31

Not ready to travel yet

12/31

Corgi Con

12/31

Not currently scheduled for 2021, not ready to travel yet anyway

12/31

IMG_1342 (1)
St Patrick’s Day fun with leftover cake food coloring
IMG_0680
Pokemon Go level milestone!
IMG_0821
Corgi butt sweet bread with chocolate center
IMG_0865
Mochi donut from Mochinut!

What are your goals and how are you meeting them?

February Book Special! $5 Print Book Sale.

At cost book special for the rest of the month! At One’s Beast is only $5 – includes sales tax and shipping! Just send me a message (rachel.author.barnard@gmail.com) and I’ll send you an invoice via Paypal. This special runs until the end of the month or until I run out of copies.

Every month I’ve planned a print book surprise sale/giveaway. I’m planning to move at the end of the summer and want to finish off the rest of my physical inventory. I’m moving away from book writing/selling and more towards cat sitting and personal development.

Baking a Birthday Cake – By the Numbers

Kim Joy’s Lemon cake recipe from her book
The Spruce Eats Fluffy Homemade Vanilla Cake recipe

Ingredients for both cakes, Italian buttercream frosting (Kim Joy recipe), ruby chocolate ganache drips, and pink fondant donut topping: $63.75
– 13 sticks of Unsalted butter ($9.75)
– 1 box of caster baking sugar ($5.79)
– Self-Rising Flour ($4.49)
– All-Purpose White Flour ($2.49)
– Cream of tartar from our spice cabinet
– Baking Powder from our spice cabinet
– 15 large eggs ($3.49)
– 6 lemons ($4.99)
– 2 cartons of fresh raspberries ($10.98)
– Heavy cream from our fridge supplies
– Vanilla extract from our spice cabinet
– 4.4oz Pink fondant ($3.19)
– Gel-Based food color 12-count pack ($13)
– Almost 2 bars of ruby chocolate ($5.58)

Baking Supplies (not consumable) bought specially for this cake project: $29.47
– 7″ ring mold pan from Fat Daddio’s ($13.49)
– 7″ Round cheesecake pan from Fat Daddio’s ($11.99)
-11 Piece round cookie cutter set doughnut cutters ($3.99)

New Techniques that I’ve never done before/Lessons learned:

  1. Making my own cake board using cardboard and tin foil
  2. Making buttercream that isn’t just powdered sugar icing
  3. Fixing the buttercream when it isn’t the correct texture
  4. Using a Kitchen-Aid mixer
  5. Weighing and Coloring the batter for even layers
  6. Putting parchment paper in the baking pan after greasing the pan (and cutting out the circle to fit the pan)
  7. Baking each layer separately because I only had one 9″ pan
  8. Making a chocolate ganache
  9. Using Ruby Chocolate
  10. Creating ganache drips using a spoon and ganache at the correct temperature
  11. Stacking the layers in a cake
  12. Crumb coating a cake
  13. Frosting a cake with a spatula and my grandparent’s turntable
  14. Putting a second tier on top of a 5-layer cake bottom tier
  15. Working with fondant
  16. Cutting a cake that is 9.5″ tall and not dropping the top tier onto the floor when plating the slice

The evolution of my first cake-from-scratch: