june in pictures

here are 10 random cell phone photos of june with captions.



sierra lei


a day at the dallas arboretum with my friends. we like to color-coordinate when we go out. this photo was thought of by our friend, alexis (in the hat). it was hot as HELL that day but it was a blast!

a day at the dallas arboretum with my friends. we like to color-coordinate when we go out. this photo was thought of by our friend, alexis (in the hat). it was hot as HELL that day but it was a blast!

oh. just a photo at 3 a.m. after i took my hair down.

oh. just a photo at 3 a.m. after i took my hair down.

i bumped into a mustache necklace at forever 21 one day. dang that store, they have so many impulse buys there! but i do love my mustache necklace. i'm not into the mustache craze by any means, but i had to have that necklace. and i even wear it to work.

i bumped into a mustache necklace at forever 21 one day. dang that store, they have so many impulse buys there! but i do love my mustache necklace. i’m not into the mustache craze by any means, but i had to have that necklace. and i even wear it to work.

my nephew will love taking photos when he grows up. i am to blame. when we are sitting around, we will take a thousand pictures of ourselves...and this is one of a series of photos taken while we were waiting for my sister to finally come out of hobby lobby. my nephew has the best faces, i could make an entire blog post on all my favorites.

my nephew will love taking photos when he grows up. i am to blame. when we are sitting around, we will take a thousand pictures of ourselves…and this is one of a series of photos taken while we were waiting for my sister to finally come out of hobby lobby. my nephew has the best faces, i could make an entire blog post on all my favorites.

my friend/co-worker, christine, had a baby boy at the end of july. her diaper drive was so adorable. the cupcakes were so cute. i did not make them. haha.

my friend/co-worker, christine, had a baby boy at the end of july. her diaper drive was so adorable. the cupcakes were so cute. i did not make them. haha.

my new neighbor across the hall at work. the bigger and better version of apple northpark. i get to stare at apple boys every day! how cool is that! the girls are pretty nice, too. haha.

my new neighbor across the hall at work. the bigger and better version of apple northpark. i get to stare at apple boys every day! how cool is that! the girls are pretty nice, too. haha.

i write to a little russian girl back home. she spends her summers with her grandmother in russia. her grandmother did the silver design on the plate BY HAND. it is one of the most amazing gifts i have ever received.

i write to a little russian girl back home. she spends her summers with her grandmother in russia. her grandmother did the silver design on the plate BY HAND. it is one of the most amazing gifts i have ever received.

my new favorite card line, old tom foolery. this is a card from their footnote collection. they're hilarious. and fun. and i love all their collections. and i follow the owner on instagram. and i met her mother at my work a few weeks ago. i'm a big fan. the cards are so awesome.

my new favorite card line, old tom foolery. this is a card from their footnote collection. they’re hilarious. and fun. and i love all their collections. and i follow the owner on instagram. and i met her mother at my work a few weeks ago. i’m a big fan. the cards are so awesome.

i was my friend's guest at a wedding. it was such a fun wedding. the dress was beautiful, the ceremony was sweet, the food was awesome, the cake was amazing. it was a very sweet wedding, i enjoyed it very much. and i got to capture this funny photo.

i was my friend’s guest at a wedding. it was such a fun wedding. the dress was beautiful, the ceremony was sweet, the food was awesome, the cake was amazing. it was a very sweet wedding, i enjoyed it very much. and i got to capture this funny photo.

um, yeah. this is self-explanatory. representin' my texas rangers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

um, yeah. this is self-explanatory. representin’ my texas rangers!!!!!!!!!!!!!







taste of addison 2013

yesterday, i posted about my friend’s wedding on may 18, 2013.

that wasn’t the only event that happened that day-but my friend’s wedding deserved her own blog. just like my friend’s birthday, which was on the same day. which was also the taste of addison weekend. YUM.

i have attended the taste of addison for probably 5 years now. i will admit that years ago, i was always excited for the food…but now i’m usually excited for everything else but the food. different restaurants set up booths to serve smaller portions of what they usually serve at their establishments, which is good, but it’s just the usual chain restaurant food, really. i prefer fine dining and chasing down food trucks that i see once a year. that’s more my thing.

the craft/art booths are my favorite things to see at the taste of addison. the atmosphere is what i enjoy there, as well. i like touristy, upbeat, exciting events like this. on top of it all, blue october performed. i was so stoked. i love watching blue october perform live.

i have decided to post only 10 photos of the evening. here are my 10 random photos from the taste of addison.



sierra lei


Camera 360 Camera 360 Camera 360 Camera 360 Camera 360 Camera 360 20130518_210245 20130518_213356 20130518_214059 20130518_220227

may 18, 2013

this post has been long overdue, so i apologize. i left my camera in my friend’s car for a while, and then when i got it back over a month later, i had been busy with so many things….so now i am going to start from may and work my way to the present!

on may 18, i had attended a friend’s wedding. she was a former co-worker of mine. she started working with me when she had started dating her now-husband. i feel so old now that i look back at their younger years together.  my, how time flies! i was very flattered that she wanted to work with me on her wedding invitations, and was very excited to be invited to both her bridal shower and her wedding.

the wedding was held at ashton gardens in corinth, texas. a venue i have always wanted to visit, ashton gardens has a chapel that is 3 walls of glass so you can see the trees all around you. it is voted one of the best wedding venues by the knot, 5 years in a row. it is definitely worth the drive, being that you can’t get a venue like this within the city of dallas. the reception area is in the same building and is already beautiful before any alterations are done. the chandeliers, the tables, the chairs-i don’t even think the bride made any changes to the reception area since everything looked gorgeous as is.

my friend, tony, and i got there as the doors had closed because the bride was about to walk in to the chapel. at first i was sad that i had missed getting a seat before the ceremony started, but being able to see my friend outside before she walked in made me glad i was late. i totally almost bawled when i saw her outside the chapel. her dress was beautiful, she looked fantastic, and it felt like i was in big sister mode. “my little baby is all grown up!!!”  it was so sappy, haha.  she walked down the aisle to christina perri’s “a thousand years” which was very fitting for their ceremony. the ceremony was beautiful, it was exactly as i had expected.

while the bridal party was off taking their photos, i was in charge of making sure the “guest book” was signed. their “guest book” was a huge graphic of a tree that guests had to thumb print leaves on. it was real cute. the bride and groom’s engagement photos hung off tree branches in the lobby area for guests to admire while they got their escort cards (which were in mini frames that guests could later use to put their own photos in).

lunch was fantastic. i know that bride’s aren’t always too fond of having the venue serve their food because they might not enjoy the selection, but ashton gardens has quite a big selection of foods to choose from. and that prime rib…oh, boy. everyone knows that i will try everything in a wedding-and of course i spot the prime rib and am definitely curious to try it. a prime rib at a wedding-it could be good and it could be a downright disaster. i love steak, and i love prime rib. i think i watch too many four weddings episodes (that show in which four brides critique each other’s weddings and rate the food, venue, dress, and overall experience) because every time the brides rate the food, it’s always “bland” and “under seasoned” and “dry.” i was very excited to see the prime rib (i don’t think the other guests were as excited as i was because i noticed them walking by the station of bloody meat) but i didn’t know what to expect. shoot…………i should have just had an entire plate of that thing. it was SO DANG GOOD. now, who would have thought that a fantastic cut of prime rib would be served at a wedding reception! let’s say i was hoping it would be good, but it ended up exceeding my expectations. ashton gardens, you did VERY WELL. that was definitely one of the best dishes i have had at a wedding (automatically into the top 3). it looks pretty obvious, since i just typed up an entire paragraph on it.

i believe the cake was from the cake guys, and some people know i’m a big fan of the cake guys. i don’t even remember what flavor her cake was (she told me once, but i forgot) but it was fantastic. the cake guys are known for their beautiful, over-the-top cake designs, delicious-tasting cakes, and reasonable prices for the price-conscious brides who don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for their wedding cakes.  last year, the cake guys participated in the annual platinum wedding cake competition and took first place. you can read about it and see their amazing cake display HERE in my previous blog, i tasted cakes.

after lunch and cake, we danced and hung out and took pictures, and it was all great. it’s always so amazing to be a part of someone’s big day, especially when you have been there since the beginning. i remember jessica buying steven gifts every month anniversary during their first year of dating and steven singing songs to her on his guitar. i always love hearing relationship stories and theirs were always sweet. now, years later, they’re grown up, married, and living together. i swear, i feel so old now. but very happy.

here are some photos of the wedding. cheers to jessica and steven on your marriage. may you celebrate MANY, MANY years of happiness together and may GOD bless you with the happiness that you both deserve. come and see me for baby shower invitations when the time comes. haha!!! love you both!


sierra lei

























































throwback thursday 05/02/13

i love planning events and throwing parties.

well, i love planning and coordinating and working with color schemes and making party favors and executing perfect displays and finding great food and gathering big crowds and making sure people have a good time.

but i don’t like the whole “burning the midnight oil” part. that’s the part that kills me the most.

i decided to do throwback thursday posts. earlier this evening, i was looking through some old photos and bumped into the pictures of the baby shower i threw for my sister. oh, the memories…..

it was back in 2006. during the first part of my sister’s pregnancy, we didn’t quite get along. we were doing our thing, going our ways…but of course, i had to throw her a baby shower. i’ve never really planned anything ON MY OWN before, so i had no idea what i was doing, but i knew that a baby shower had to go down, and i was the one to make it happen.

i did my research. what elements are involved in a baby shower? food. check. cake. check. decorations. check. party favors. woohoo! check. diaper cake. diaper what?

my sister and i were working for a department store, and we were close to a lot of our co workers, so invited almost all of them. i threw out baby shower invites, but being from saipan, i did not have anyone RSVP. because i did not know how many people were really coming, i just made sure there was enough of everything for everyone-food, cake, snacks, and party favors.

the bath and body works semi-annual sale was going on and i spotted votive holders for $1. a dollar! what a steal! i bought every single clear, frosted white, and blue votive holder in the entire dallas DISTRICT. i drove to malls that i STILL do not know how to get to today. their votive candles were 2/$1. i bought enough vanilla and cotton blossom votive candles to match each holder. i found mini baby confetti, white and blue tulle, and ribbons at different stores and had an assembly team of 4 people assembling the party favors for 2 nights straight-me, my boyfriend at the time, my brother, and his girlfriend at the time. we were like santa’s elves in the workshop, cutting tulle, sprinkling confetti, and tying little bows-and then hiding them in huge tupperware bins under the bed so my sister wouldn’t bump into them if she came over.

i heard that a particular bakery sold THE best tres leches cake in dallas. i don’t even remember who the bakery was but i knew i had to have that cake. all i knew about the bakery was that it was in a bad part of town, so i had my brother go get it. the baby shower had 2 cakes. “more is better than less (do you watch those at&t commercials? you’ll get that quote, haha).”

the diaper cake situation. i discovered that it wasn’t edible-darn. but it was creative-yay! so i made one. you roll up diapers and form them into a wedding cake. easy. i don’t think my first one turned out bad at all.

six years ago was such a blur, especially when i had no idea what i was doing. i remember being so dang tired the day of the baby shower. there was only one picture taken of me from that day and i refuse to post it. i was holding a BUNCH of helium balloons and i wanted to cover my face with them because i looked and felt so terrible. i thought i had thrown a successful baby shower, but looking back at it, i think to myself, “oooh, knowing what i know now, i could really have made it 10 times better….” i would have made party favor tags. i would have done RSVPs. i would have made the cutest little cupcakes. i didn’t bake back then. i don’t think i started baking until about 4-5 years ago. but i could have made some killer cupcakes.

here are some photos i found online of the baby shower. they might not be much, but i thought they were pretty cool!






















it was fun.

i hope i find other good throwback thursday ideas moving forward!


random photos from saipan…august 27-september 28…

august 27, date of arrival. meet cupcake. she was given to me by my friend, tiffany, to keep me company during my stay here on saipan. here, she is sitting next to the first book of the worst trilogy ever made. #bigpurchaseregret


august 28. one of my favorite drinks on island.


august 28. my mom fried this fish for me for dinner, served with breadfruit. i totally threw it up half an hour later. i felt so bad. it was good but i guess my stomach was still being picky from all the nerves i had before leaving texas. i had trouble eating back then…


august 30. while on saipan, i would never suggest getting a steak for dinner. i stick to what the location is known for, and that’s raw fish and island food. i hope that prime rib i had the night before i left texas is enough to hold me over for a year…


august 31. it’s a road. by the beach. conveniently called BEACH ROAD.


august 31. cupcake and my BFF, 2 ball, hanging out at a japanese restaurant.


september 3. first time seeing dragon fruit at my dad’s rotary club meeting.


september 3. holy #@$%!!! a case of soda! on SALE!


september 5. look at those ships!!


september 6. a nicer photo of beach road.


september 7. represent.


september 7. i stalked a cupcakery called sweet escape one night…


september 8. the spa.


september 10. cupcakes from sweet escape. peanut butter chocolate chip was obviously my favorite.


september 11. my dad’s rotary club celebrated the september birthdays. look at that cake!


september 11. my dad blowing out the “candle.”


september 12. my dad and i at a ribbon cutting event for the expansion of one of the elementary schools.


september 24. got to tour the USS Cowpens, the cruiser. the USS McCampbell is the destroyer next to it.


september 28. the MMA fight.


that is all for now. or at least for this blog.










the world’s most expensive cupcake

of course i’ve read about it.

i’ve seen the youtube clip featuring the making of it.

baked with premium amedei porcelana chocolate (a very rich chocolate made from cacao made from a very exclusive part of venezuela) and premium ugandan vanilla beans, the cupcake is covered in 23-carat edible gold sheets. the chocolate icing and chocolate decor is dusted and covered in gold dust. the cupcake is served with organic strawberries and served with a gold spoon. those are some of the details.

the founder of bloomsbury’s cupcakes in the dubai mall spent 5 weeks creating this cupcake. she wanted to make something expensive. of course, she got quite a bit of negative feedback after she unveiled the creation. i’m not gonna lie, i thought negative things, too. what’s $1,000 about it? i’m not spending $1,000 to eat gold. i wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between amedei porcelana chocolate and belgian chocolate…or maybe even godiva chocolate. i probably couldn’t even tell the difference between a regular strawberry and an organic strawberry, shoot. am i paying $1,000 for the 24-carat gold cake stand that this cupcake is presented on? do i get to keep the cake stand? i don’t want to spend $1,000 on a cake stand. what exactly is $1,000, again? i’m just not sure.

other things that are under “the world’s most expensive” are (with their articles linked):

world’s most expensive hot dog at $1,500

world’s most expensive coffee at $700/lb. (and…it’s processed through a cat??? what?)

world’s most expensive burger at $666

and then you’ve got the forbes list of most expensive comfort foods from last year which included a baked potato, ice cream sundae, pizza, and a bagel. a $1,000 bagel? really?

if you could, FREE OF CHARGE, try THE ABSOLUTE BEST of something, what would it be? it doesn’t matter whether it would be the most expensive, i mean the FINEST. the finest of something. made from the finest ingredients. what would it be? it has got me thinking now. the first thing i thought of was a dessert. do i want to try the BEST red velvet cake out there because it’s the most disappointing flavor i have had in the past few years? do i want to try the best slices of raw tuna because that is one of my most favorite things in the world? do i want to try THE BEST MEDIUM RARE RIBEYE ever made? those are probably my top 3 right there. i would have said coffee but to be honest, i put ridiculous amounts of coffee creamer and sugar in my coffee that it would totally kill the true flavor.

if you could own the most expensive of one thing, what would it be? i would own the most expensive car. not the house-apparently the most expensive house, if i am not mistaken, is about $1 billion and is almost 30 floors high. i would definitely own the most expensive car out of everything available out there. i even have a pinterest board of dream cars.

enough babbling. if you haven’t already seen the making of the golden phoenix (yeah, this cupcake has a name), click here.

what do you think?

all this food talk is really making me hungry…


sierra lei


the taste of dallas 2012

i had been waiting for the taste of dallas for 2 months.


i have been going to the taste of addison for a few years now. i love it. food vendors, crafts, games, rides, music, all rolled into one weekend out of the year. well, i heard of the taste of dallas back in may, when the taste of addison was going on…and i thought, “hmm…wouldn’t it be BIGGER?” so i researched it, and it sure enough was. it was double to triple the size of taste of addison…and it was going to be held at fair park, which is where the annual state fair of texas is held. for anyone who isn’t familiar with the state fair of texas, it happens to be the biggest state fair in the US. open for a one month period, it attracts over 3 million visitors per year. it’s 80 acres of insane fun and lots of walking.

for your visual pleasure, here is a map of the state fair of texas…and i’ve pretty much walked EVERYWHERE:

anyways, i obviously wasn’t expecting the taste of dallas to be THIS BIG. i mean, i WISH it was, but it was actually held around the automobile building and the centenniel building, which are the two long buildings on each side of the esplanade (the strip of water on the left of the map). the funny thing is that i didn’t even expect anything to be indoors, but i was very glad it was, because i’m sure it was well over 100 degrees yesterday. when i’m having fun i don’t really care if it’s 120 degrees. nothing is going to stop me from eating food.

i went to the taste of dallas with my friends, jennifer and duncan. none of us have been to it before, so it was VERY exciting that we all got to experience it together for the first time. the following pictures i will be posting will have a description or introduction to them because i don’t think those “photo caption” sections will be enough for me to explain my thoughts on each vendor…

so here we go…

on friday, i posted a facebook status about the taste of dallas selling ORANGE MIMOSA and GRAPE SANGRIA winesicles. i even mentioned that i wanted to try them. i don’t drink, i hate wine, and i just can’t take the taste of alcohol, period…but winesicles? they just sound cool! it happened to be the first booth we saw. and duncan had to try an orange mimosa popsicle.

he enjoyed it. and it looked promising.

we couldn’t figure out where the food was because the area was huge, so we went into the automobile building. inside was the wine and spirits event (you basically stand in the longest line ever to show your ID to a guy before you taste a ton of booze in a closed off section), some dallas observer show that required a $20 entrance fee (supposedly you got to taste test foods and vendors in a closed off section, no ID required), some cooking shows open to the public, and a ton of taste-testing vendors that sold anything from fudge to bbq sauces to dips and candy. and doggy treats.

duncan’s first choice of purchase was the chocolate covered bacon.

i didn’t get to try it but i knew that i would have enjoyed it if the bacon was almost burnt. if it was crunchy and dipped in bacon…AND FRESH…it would have tasted great. i like my bacon almost burnt. i even request it like that when i eat out and order it. it wasn’t the best thing duncan tried, but at least he tried it! i like the bacon chocolate from neiman marcus. if you haven’t tried it, do so. i think it’s about $6 a bar and it’s delicious.

we passed a booth of artwork and i wanted the first thing i spotted. a piece with a cardboard robot. it was adorable.

it’s the piece on the top left. i fell in love with it. it was the only picture i took of it, and when we came back around a few hours later, it had been purchased for $80 (“what a steal!” one of the guys said). the artists of this booth are having an art gallery at the end of the month. i will be attending it with my friends. we have our flyers as reminders.

my first purchase was at sugar box. i was about to walk by it until i saw “FRENCH MACARONS.” i have never had a macaron. i have a friend, melina, who posts macaron pictures like crazy on her facebook. that’s how i got interested in them. and then i started reading blogs about them. mostly blogs about having disasters trying to make macarons, which then made me scared to attempt them. but i’ve never even seen macarons in a bakery here in dallas, so i HAD to try them. duncan and i chose pistachio and jennifer had a salted caramel.

okay. a few thoughts. first of all, i’m a little picky with my baked goods. i like to have them how they are normally served. these macarons, along with the cake balls and the mini cupcakes, were stored in a fridge before being served…they’re not normally served out of a fridge in a bakery. so that was already a strike against it. second of all, pistachio is such a tricky flavor and i shouldn’t have had it as my first choice. my sister makes a pistachio cake that’s to die for. every time she makes it, i eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner…until it is gone. this pistachio macaron tasted like…i don’t know…sugar. BUT….in the bakery’s defense, this was the taste of dallas…and they weren’t in their kitchen…and i know that this pistachio macaron would taste a thousand times better in their bakery than from a booth, so as my first time having one, i am pleased…and yes, i will be visiting the actually bakery to try their fresh ones. =) of course i got their business card! they have 2 locations in dallas.

remember the dallas observer event that had a $20 admission which i mentioned earlier on? well, we were walking out of the building and i spotted CAKES……………………..

stay tuned.

going back outside, we stopped by the beverage express, where duncan and jennifer grabbed their beverages before we started the real food walk.

here is a view of the booths outside, near the esplanade:

our first booth stop was at the taste of cuba. duncan had never tried fried plantains before. my favorite ones are from the el salvadorian chain of restaurants called glorias. their bananas are sweet and whatever batter they fry them in is awesome because it leaves some crispy, sweet shells around the bananas. back home in saipan, our fried bananas are called MADOYA. they taste almost exactly just like these fried plantains except the bananas are different. they’re both good. i’m not sure how duncan liked these plantains, but to me they were ON POINT. i stole one.

my first food booth was the steak kabob booth. all i read was “winner of…” and i went right to it. if it wins an award or is the first of something or if it’s known for something, i’ll have to try it. at first i didn’t want to try it because i didn’t want the veggies on my kabob stick…but then jennifer pointed out that it was just a stick of meat and i was so there. it was awesome. and the kabobs came right off the grill-i wish all things were THAT FRESH.

my next stop was the cake ball company. the cake ball company has only one location in dallas. i have never heard of them but i always have to try every cake ball that comes my way, so i got their “one of each” bag, which had a margarita lime, red velvet, and brownie cake ball. duncan and jennifer both wanted the margarita lime and i wanted the red velvet, so we each took a bite of something and passed it on. i think we were all looking forward to trying the margarita lime the most…and i think we were all equally disappointed in the flavor the most out of all of them. the cake ball was sprinkled with what has to be sea salt and DANG, was it POTENT. i mean, it was the FIRST thing you tasted when you bit into the cake ball. pure salt. i don’t even know if the cake ball would have been good if the salt wasn’t on it, it was that powerful. the brownie cake ball was just a standard chocolate cake ball…or a fudgy one. it was good for what it was. but the red velvet. yes. that was my favorite. now, red velvet is one of the LEAST favorite of my cake flavors. i mean, red cocoa cake? there’s nothing amazing about that. but there are so many different variations of the flavor, some way more amazing than others. and the funny thing is that of all red velvet flavors i enjoy, they’re mostly in cake balls and cheesecakes. besides, based on the bazillion blogs i’ve read lately, red velvet is so last year. blue velvet is in!

as we reached the end of one part of the strip, we found another winesicle booth…so it was time to try the grape sangria winesicle. i have never had sangria before, but i love grape popsicles…well…i love anything that is grape flavored..

…and i hated the winesicle. big surprise. i loved the popsicle idea and i loved the grape flavor…but it tasted like i chugged a few gulps of wine. so duncan got a grape sangria winesicle and got to compare it to the orange sangria that he had earlier. he said he liked the grape more.

as we were hanging out in the shade and finishing up the winesicles, we noticed dogs everywhere…..which brought us to the centenniel building. i took a picture of the pink sign because that’s my last name. haha. inside the centenniel building was not anything i expected. there were dogs everywhere for the first section, and then there were kids rides and inflated bounce houses and slides and even a rock climbing wall. my nephew would have had a ball in there! and it’s a dang good thing we walked further down because at the end was THE SWEET FACTORY!

so here we have an amazing 9 layered topsy turvy cake made of sweets. i think i gain 1,000 calories every time i look at the picture. and then on the sign i notice it is a “home of…” so obviously i bought a “sweet potato thang.”

it was delicious. i guess i could describe it as a sweet potato square with some crust made out of amazingness. it actually looked like there was a layer in between the sweet potato and the crust, but who cares, it was just more yumminess. i loved it. as far as the bakery name, absolutely edible, i’m not sure. absolutely edible cakes. who’d want a cake that wasn’t? i don’t get it.

a bakery called sugar and frosting had 2 display cakes:

when we got out of the centenniel building, WE FOUND THE FOOD TRUCKSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the dallas food trucks were what i was looking forward to visiting at the taste of dallas. i have heard many good things about them and i have never been able to try them when they are in the arts district downtown. there is a website that lists which trucks are available at the food truck court during the week and of course they are not available on the weekends. i was looking for a korean bbq truck and i found it.

ssahm bbq, pretty much the only truck i wanted to go to. i didn’t even look at the cup cakin’ truck. it didn’t matter anymore. jennifer and i wanted the kimchee fries but i let her get it and i got a korean beef taco. duncan got a beef taco and a chicken taco. i just wanted to TRY IT. and boy, were we in for something. KIMCHEE FRIES. who would have thought that the kimchee fries would be the best thing in the taste of dallas. or one of the best things i have tried this year. as i was ordering the tacos, the guy noticed me taking a picture of their taste of dallas menu.

him: “why don’t you take a picture of the real menu off on the side?”

me: “um, because it’s covered up with the taste of dallas menu.”

him: “dangit.” *reaches under him, grabs a menu, hands it to me*

me: “thanks!….*takes a picture*…………….can i have this?”

him: “of course!”


after all the food samples and desserts and meats and this korean goodness, we were stuffed. STUFFED…so we kinda hung out for a bit until i saw……..the statue of liberty.

and more pictures before i jump to another major part of the day….

that strawberry lemonade yogurt was amazing and perfect to finish off our foodathon. we didn’t even put any toppings on it, it was perfect the way it was. i want more. right now.

so…..because it was hot out, we did a small walk-through back inside the automobile building, the first building we walked through. we noticed that the dallas observer section was emptied out…..EXCEPT FOR THE CAKES. jennifer kept telling me to ask if i could go in and take pictures of the cakes but she ended up asking a security guard. one of the cakes looked familiar, but i could only see a little portion of it…….and i was right. when the security guard KINDLY let us come in to take pictures of the cakes, it was THE CAKE GUYS!!!!!!! back in march, i attended a wedding cake competition and got to taste test cakes. in my blog, i tasted cakes, the cake guys were one of the competitors…and FIRST PLACE WINNERS…of the night. in fact, their winning cake was present!

behold…..more cakes from THE CAKE GUYS……













amazing cakes, once again. i love the cake guys. i told one of my friends to get her november wedding cake from them and she is. awesome!


and that was my sweet ending to the taste of dallas. i took 200 pictures, but if i posted all the pictures i want to, i’d never sleep tonight. it’s already 3:30 a.m. and i’m tired as heck.

the taste of dallas was awesome. i’m glad i could take that off my list of “things to do for the first time in 2012.” i had a BLAST with jennifer and duncan. i hope they did, too. the only thing i regret is not eating more kimchee fries. i don’t think that would have been possible unless i would have stayed there for another 2 hours. i would have, but there was actually a birthday party going on at my house and i couldn’t miss it. i have to post those pictures another day because there are enough in this blog alone.

on our way out, we took more pictures.




hope y’all had a fun weekend!


sierra lei

i’m alive.

boy, has it been a long week…..

for those of you who just walked in, i work for papyrus, a stationery boutique. since last year, we have been doing creative projects and window displays. my first project was making a wedding dress out of custom printed invitations, paper dresses and inspirations (click there to see the dress in a previous blog). another project i did was cut out hundreds of butterflies to have them flutter all over the window. i’ve also done huge cascading flowers down the window. some were fun, some made me want to scream. but nothing was like what i did this past week. i will post pictures of the behind-the-scenes process of doing my latest project. i gave my facebook page the final product of the project, but more pictures will be posted on my work blog. i will link it to my blog when they get posted this week.

i decided to break down all the happenings of the past week into separate blogs. since the pictures for my project are in the process of being thrown up this week, i have decided to blog about the bakery i visited last week. a bride ordered a cake topper for her wedding on march 30th, and we had to expedite her order so she could get it in time. as i was working on my project, i had to deliver the bride’s cake topper to her bakery, romano’s bakery. i have been wanting to go to that bakery forever, so i was super excited to deliver my bride’s cake topper. while picking up my jaw off the ground every 2 seconds, i got to chat with the baker who created last year’s cake for the 2011 platinum cake competition. i even got to take a picture of it, among others. they didn’t compete in this year’s cake competition (i tasted cakes blog) because they were too busy. that’s a great excuse not to join a cake competition. they had a cake showroom which made me so hungry. i just wanted to eat everything in there. just sit and eat cakes…they were so beautiful. the baker was just the nicest man ever. he asked me what i did, he talked about working for delicious cakes (one of this year’s platinum cake competition competitors) for almost a decade, he told me about some of the wedding cakes he was in the process of working on for upcoming weddings. he was such a great guy, and he’s so extremely talented. he handed me a stack of their company business cards/flyers. i just wanted to sit and talk and tour the kitchen, but i know that would have gone too far. i had a project on my own that i needed to get to, so i thanked him and went on my merry way. here are some pictures of my visit to the award-winning romano’s bakery…












a few of my favorites were the cake with the 3 bows that is also featured on that magazine page in front of it. it’s gorgeous! i obviously loved the white cake with the fuchsia ribbon around it because i love pink. i love the “slathered icing” look so i liked that white cake with the pink flowers on it. the ombre cake was adorable, i loved it! it also could have been used as my inspiration for the project i worked on this week, which was ombre.

which was your favorite?


i tasted cakes…

i got sick eating cakes last night. and i loved it.

last night was the 3rd annual platinum wedding cake competition held in dallas, texas. eight bakeries were chosen to compete for “best taste” and “best in show.” the former was chosen by a panel of judges and the latter was chosen by the crowd.

first of all, i really hope i get to attend more of these events. heck, i’ll even attend an elementary school’s cupcake competition if they had one. anything to eat pastries for free! there were also free appetizers and an open bar!  i don’t drink so i sipped on some coca cola classic.

as far as the cakes went…they were all beautiful. gorgeous. now, the flavors…some were a total HIT and some were a complete (dry) MISS. if there is something i absolutely can’t stand, it’s dry cake.

before each cake, i will introduce the bakery and flavor of the cake…and what my taste buds thought of each one.

contestant #1, OPULENT CAKES

Orange Grand Marnier Cake. delicious, and i loved the icing, whatever it was. i had the chance to taste their cake last year at the dallas bridal show i attended in october…they had a 4-layered slice sample that had a different flavor for each layer. might i say that i went nuts. it was one of the most amazing slices of wedding cake i have ever tasted. and i know that wedding cakes don’t usually come with 4-layered slices…but each of those flavors were just amazing. so i was excited that i got to taste test their cake again…and pleased that it was just as delicious. as far as the design goes, i thought it was gorgeous. if you stood in the far back of the room, away from the cakes, your eyes would most likely catch this cake first because of the pop of color. i posted some pictures of some of the cakes that opulent cakes did for the dallas bridal show in october, and if you want to see them, click here to be directed to that blog. i wore a dress made out of PAPER that day! it was fun!

contestant #2, THE CAKE GUYS

White Cake with White Chocolate Mousse and Raspberry Fruit Filling. mmmm, delicious…that raspberry was amazing, that icing was amazing…mmmm….and just to let y’all know, the cake was on a generator that spun it around so you could see the cake from front to back, because it was so highly ornate! i also posted a picture of what the cake looked like as i was putting it in my belly. standing in front of the cake is chef chad fitzgerald of the cake guys, who is on TLC’s Next Great Baker. this cake…or shall i say “cake dress”….DUH, TOOK FIRST PLACE FOR BEST IN SHOW! as they did last year, too…i asked chef chad how long it took to decorate the cake and it took about 14 hours non-stop. amazing! each fondant “flower” with the feathers were applied individually to the bottom part of the cake. craziness!!!


White and Black Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Raspberry Filling with Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting. unfortunately, i don’t remember how this cake tasted…hm. i feel bad, but then again, in a competition that requires you to stand out, i think it should be important to come out with a flavor that makes a statement. as far as the design goes, i love a white on white presentation, but i could have done without about a quarter or a third of the flowers. my co-worker said that they should have added an extra tier and i agree. this cake was definitely the shortest and smallest out of all the competitors. then again…it was the shortest, smallest, and plainest out of all the competitors. but it was still cute.

contestant #4, SUGAR BEE SWEETS

Vanilla Cake with Honey Banana Jam and Cream Cheese Filling. what a DELICIOUS cake!!!! what a very unexpected burst of flavor! talk about a party in my mouth!!! as far as the design, i loved how clean the cake looked. i also enjoyed how it was the only cake i noticed that i thought of using for other occasions-think of a gentleman having his 50th birthday party. it was very simple, yet very elegant. this design took 3rd place for BEST IN SHOW. 

contestant #5, DELICIOUS CAKES

Vanilla Cake with a mix of Buttercream and Cream Cheese topping, then Raspberry Mouse over Raspberry Liquor Cake with Butter Sauce. umm…there was A LOT going on with this cake flavor…it was an overload of icing. it felt as if i ate a tub of buttercream icing. i looked at the open bar and thought, “i really could use a gallon of water right now to wash this down…” as far as the design goes, i loved the colors of the cake. i thought this was the “busiest” looking cake out of all of them. i didn’t like the tiers that had the covered pearls, especially the bottom tier. it looked unfinished. i loved how “spring” the cake looked, though. 

contestant #6, LEGACY CAKES

White Chocolate Cake with a White Chocolate Ganache and Chambord Buttercream. yummy cake, the white chocolate ganache was on point. i was really enjoying all the white chocolates! it’s not too overwhelming as a flavor. the design was absolutely gorgeous. i especially loved the fondant gathered tiers. in case you don’t notice, this is an 8-tier cake. the base is also a tier! the piping on the gray tiers were just amazing. i don’t know how these chefs do it. i just don’t know. this design took 2nd place for BEST IN SHOW.

contestant #7, CAKE CAROUSEL

Amaretto Cake with Lemon Mousse Filling. this cake was divine. i was very, very upset that chef kelli duffy did not take a win for flavor this evening, i thought this cake flavor was so light and refreshing, definitely something i would have loved to have a HUGE piece of after any type of dinner because it’s not heavy. the cake texture was perfect and the lemon mousse filling was delicious that if i had to eat them separately, i would have really enjoyed each alone. did i mention i was upset that they didn’t take a spot for best flavor? ugh…i loved the design of the cake. i love how clean it looks and how simple it is. the pop of color was pretty and the tiniest details on the cake were flawless.

contestant #8, ESSENCE CAKERY

Cassata Cake with French Mousseline, Raspberry Jam and Cream Cheese Frosting. umm…my co-worker said it best…”it’s like i’m eating cornbread.”  it definitely was the most unusual cake texture out of all the cakes i tasted, but i’m not sure if that was in a good way or in a bad way. i googled “cassata” and based on what i read, i didn’t get that from the cake i had. in fact, i didn’t eat the entire piece. it just didn’t do anything for me, unfortunately. as far as the design went, i loved the blue, quilted tiers. i loved how the design faded into a nice, smooth fondant. i think if the columns were removed, i would have enjoyed the cake design more.

i had a blast tasting all these cakes. i have a blast anywhere there is food, really. haha! but they are usually never pastries! i thought the designs were all very gorgeous, and i commend anyone who does cake because i don’t know if i’d have the patience to do it. i don’t know if i’d be able to work with fondant in large pieces, and i don’t even have a big kitchen to work in, so that would frustrate me. the night was definitely inspiring as far as design and flavor went.

what a yummy night!