Snapshots: Cake Tasting

Cake Tasting

We are finally in less than one year stretch and still doing things ridiculously ahead of time.  We headed down to Orange County this past weekend to visit a friend who just moved back from Hawaii, and conveniently, she lives 15 minutes from our wedding venue.  We decided to take the opportunity to schedule not one but two cake tastings while we were in the area.

Note to brides to be, don’t schedule two tastings back to back. I’m pretty sure I had a sugar hangover when I woke up Sunday morning.  Although the sugar overload wasn’t my favorite, it was nice to try both places in a short period of time because we could remember the things we liked about each place and make a more informed decision.

Cake Tasting

Our first tasting was at Sweet & Saucey Shop in Newport.  Before we arrived for our tasting, we were giving a huge sheet of flavor options and made selections based on what we wanted to try.  For the frosting we chose: cream cheese based: regular, espresso, coconut, peanut butter, and Oreo, buttercream: vanilla, salted caramel, and Nutella, chocolate ganache, strawberries, raspberries, hazelnut crunch, Valrhona chocolate pearls, toffee bits and salted caramel drizzle.

Cake Tasting

We opted for the chocolate, vanilla almond and strawberry cake flavors.  And if you thought the frostings and toppings above were enough, think again – we also tried a few creamy fillings – whipped cream, vanilla Bavarian cream, lemon cheesecake mousse and chocolate mousse.

Cake Tasting

And those were just the cake options… We also tried a few mini desserts- traditional cheesecake with fresh fruit, cappuccino cheesecake, chocolate salted caramel tarts.  Last but not least, we sampled some mini cupcakes: candy bar, chocolate espresso, chocolate peanut butter, carrot cake, coconut, strawberry cream and nutella hazelnut.

After reading all of that, you probably are asking yourself how we didn’t get sick or need to roll each other to the car afterward… Patience my friends, it’s all about small bites.  Just enough to get the flavor combination and not enough to get yourself sick.  It also helped that we preferred the cream cheese frostings, which are less kick you in the stomach sweet compared to their buttercream cousins.  When it came to testing the mini desserts, we only ate a quarter of the tarts and one small fork full of each mini cupcake.  It was the perfect amount to taste the cake, frosting and any fillings, but no need to overload the tummy.

The entire experience at Sweet and Saucey Shop was super enjoyable.  Their décor is very cute and the fact that they have Styrofoam sample cakes all over the shop, helps you get an in person idea of the size of your cake.  We wanted a very simple textured design, so the pricing was extremely reasonable when it came time to talk numbers.  In our discussions with our consultant, we opted for a smaller cake, a simple two tiered style with two different flavors, which we will probably top with fresh flowers and a simple topper.  If cake is not our guests’ thing, we will have 4 different mini dessert options to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.   Our consultant was very knowledgeable and didn’t feel pushy.  She gave her opinion and was very helpful when it came to pointing out different sized cakes featured in the store to help us picture the cake in person.

I won’t spoil the surprise of what we ended up choosing for our wedding, but just know this – my sweet tooth will be more than satisfied 😉

Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes

Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes

Almost immediately after I got engaged, I knew I wanted to do something just as special for my bridesmaids as Bill had done for me with our picture perfect proposal. I began by searching high and low for ideas of what kind of goodies to include in bridesmaid proposal boxes and let me tell you there are LOTS of ideas out there of how to compile the perfect bridesmaid box. But none seemed perfect for my gals… I mean mini champagne bottles are super cute, but are you really going to sip on that by yourself?

Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes

I decided full size bottles of sparkling wine were the way to go! That way they could choose to save it for a special occasion and break it out for themselves when the timing was just right. Next, I knew I wanted to add something unique and fun. Originally, I thought of including flower crowns, but once I started researching, nothing seemed high enough quality for what I was willing to spend. That’s when I stumbled upon Compartes Chocolatier and OMG, I am glad that I did. All their chocolate bar flavors are super interesting and everything I tried was beyond this world, yum! Some of my picks were Apple Pie, Cereal Bowl, and Donuts & Coffee!

Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes

To finish the whole package off, I went over to my local Whole Foods to use their floral geniuses to create individual mini bouquets for each of my fabulous ladies. For less than $50 in flowers, they created six gorgeous arrangements that really took my box proposals from cute to FAB! If you’ve never gone to Whole Foods to buy flowers before, you’re doing it all wrong. They are my dirty little secret for any and all floral gifts. Not only are the flowers super fresh, but they will always rewrap your picks in kraft paper and tie it all up with twine for that picture perfect Instagram.

Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes

Once the boxes were complete I hand delivered them to my six besties, complete with adorable Super Paper LA cards and lucky for me they all accepted my proposal.

Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes

#TBT Snapshots

Today’s post is a little more personal than my typical recipe posts.  I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve been a little slow to post over the past month and it’s for a good reason I promise!  So let’s get right to it, shall we?

Long story short, Bill and I are engaged!

Now onto the deets – Bill has always been very interested in nature and landscape photography, so when he proposed a trip to Yosemite to take some photographs of the park with the snow covered trees, I didn’t think anything of it.  I’ve only been to Yosemite one other time in January two years ago but there was no snow, so I was excited to see what exactly the park looks like with a dusting of white fluffy snow.

Well we definitely got a little less than we bargained for when it came to the snow.  We ended up driving up Saturday afternoon and got to the park by 5pm, with only a tiny base layer of ice on the ground.  Needless to say we were mildly disappointed with the existing snowfall, but it was supposed to snow overnight, so we kept our hopes high.  We ended up going to a delicious dinner at the Ahwahnee Lodge – if you ever find yourself in Yosemite, do yourself a favor and get the onion soup – seriously it’s the and then some!  The short rib wasn’t too bad either.

We returned back to our lodge after our dinner and overnight the weather did a serious 180.  We woke up to a gorgeous scene of picturesque landscape covered in snow.  And it was still coming down!  We hiked around a bit after grabbing a quick bite to eat and got a couple of beautiful pictures of Yosemite Falls and the valley covered in white.  The whole time we were hiking through the valley, the snow was falling and it was definitely under 30 degrees !  It was truly an amazing view but as a southern California girl, it was a wee bit cold.  So when Bill suggested we drive around a bit, I jumped at the thought of sitting in a warm car.

We drove around the park for another 45 minutes looking for a scenic spot to take a few more pictures, but the snowfall was definitely making things more difficult.  We ended up back at our first picture taking site, Yosemite Falls and Bill set up his tripod with the perfect angle to capture the entire falls.  The lighting had improved and the snowfall had lessened, so we decided to get a picture of the two of us.  BUT of course, the remote was out of range, so Bill wasn’t able to get our picture the first time around.

Luckily, there was one man hanging out near the falls, Bill approached him and ask if he could take our picture.  Bill made sure I was perfectly positioned on an invisible mark and then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  And of course I said yes!  Luckily, our new found friend was able to capture the most beautiful image of Bill’s proposal.

Some people say they blackout during proposals, luckily I didn’t blackout, but I felt like time was passing soo slowly, like I was outside of my body watching everything happen in front of me.  Whether it actually lasted 10 minutes or just 60 seconds, it was a beautiful moment between Bill and I, and I am so glad that we have an image to remember it by.

The best part of where the proposal happened was that we couldn’t call anyone for at least an hour after it happened, since cell service is almost nonexistent in Yosemite National Park.  We were able to enjoy the moment together, knowing that we were the only two people in the world {plus our photog} who knew what happened just minutes before.

Proposal at Yosemite Falls


Koh Samui

Please excuse my brief gap in posting, 2014 has already proven to be an exciting year.  One week into the new year, I headed halfway across the globe to meet Bill in Thailand- yes, me, headed to the unknown solo.  Luckily, his flight from Vietnam and my flight from Tai Pei arrived at the perfect moment for our paths to cross in the line for customs!  And so began our weeklong adventure in paradise.  Due to unrest in Bangkok, we ended up changing our plans and spending almost the entire duration of our trip in Koh Samui- I’m not complaining.  Check out some pictures below.

Koh Samui Hotel

I won’t bore you with the details of our trip- just know that it involved daily trips to the beach, delicious food and tasty drinks.  It was the perfect place to explore via moped and I only hope we are lucky enough to visit again one day.

Koh Samui Beach

2013 was the year I set out to try a new recipe each week and I did it!  This is probably the first time I’ve ever kept a new years resolution down to the very last week.  Look at me turning over a new leaf!  So what can you expect in the new year?  Well I’ll still be posting recipes, but I’ll be trying to mix it up a bit with more entertaining ideas and my latest obsessions, whether home goods related, restaurant related or just me related.  Look out for that section- obsessed much- coming soon!

Koh Samui Flight

Thanksgiving Snapshots

I Am Thankful For

Today is one of the least selfish holidays– it’s a day that we can actually stop and give thanks for all of the gifts we have been given this year and in life.  I’ve always had great manners and remember to say please and thank you, but today is much bigger than all of that- it’s about being appreciative for the bigger things- your family, your job, your home, your friends, the list goes on and on…  2013 has been such a great year and I am beyond thankful for so many things this year, and I want to share a few with you:


Being able to ring in my 24th with the best friends a girl could ask for.

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Traveling the best companion- who even forgives me when I act like a “grumpy pants.”

photo 1

Having the opportunity to work at a fun and successful company– and the getting to go on my first business trip.