short update

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a bunch of my friends raved about how much they loved this photo when i posted it on instagram. i took it at 3 a.m. after shooting pool for 7 hours. all i did was throw my hair down (to measure my bangs, because they’re in bad need of a trim) and add a filter. boom. done.

my sister recently got engaged. it has taken precedence over shooting pool now, and sometimes sleeping. i have realized how much of a perfectionist i am when i found myself spending weeks trying to decide on paper colors (wedding invitations) and ribbon shades. roll your eyes if you must but this is my only sister and the closest i will ever get to being this involved in someone’s wedding (excluding mine, which i do not have a plan for when the time comes). i want it to be PERFECT. i want it to be so perfect that my sister can’t stand it. save the dates, wedding invites, menu cards, escort cards, programs, napkins, you name it, i’m doing it all. some will be a surprise for the couple. i will ask my sister if i can share any information on the wedding, but for now, my instagram will only show abstract images of planning and preparation. it’s very exciting. i can’t wait to see my parents!!!!!!!

next week is restaurant week and I AM EXCITED! i will be dining at 3 restaurants i have never been to, so i am stoked. i will also be attending my sister’s wedding venue tasting and going to NOLA for my brother’s birthday weekend. there will be lots of food for the next week and a half. lots of new food. lots of good food.

for now, i will get back to sister-wedding stuff.

hope you all have a wonderful week!

xoxo

cruise food

last month i went on a 5 day cruise with my friend, dave. i couldn’t figure out how to post my photos, so i decided to start with posting my dinner food photos. just dinner over the course of 5 days. the rest of the photos will be posted soon, but for now, i keep gravitating towards looking at my food photos….because obviously, i love food!!! we ate dinner in the dining restaurant every night and i took photos of everything i ate. it started with one starter, one entree, and one dessert, then turned into 2 starters, 2 entrees, and 2 desserts. hey, i couldn’t help it-might as well eat it while i can!

more on the cruise and its details later. but for now, time to get hungry.

 

duck.

duck.

 

pot roast.

pot roast.

 

molten chocolate cake and i always had butter pecan ice cream with all my desserts.

molten chocolate cake and i always had butter pecan ice cream with all my desserts.

 

alligator!

alligator!

 

shrimp cocktail.

shrimp cocktail.

 

now that's a piece of meat.

now that’s a piece of meat.

 

some damn good banana cake.

some damn good banana cake.

 

shrimp. with a fantastic marinated cucumber side dish.

shrimp. with a fantastic marinated cucumber side dish.

 

salmon.

salmon.

 

pork tenderloin.

pork tenderloin.

 

coconut cake.

coconut cake.

 

tiramisu, even though i don't like tiramisu.

tiramisu, even though i don’t like tiramisu.

 

lobster bisque.

lobster bisque.

 

frog legs.

frog legs.

 

chateaubriand.

chateaubriand.

 

fish and shrimp.

fish and shrimp.

 

coffee pie? i forgot already. but i'm sure it's a coffee pie.

coffee pie? i forgot already. but i’m sure it’s a coffee pie.

 

tomato mozzarella salad. obviously.

tomato mozzarella salad. obviously.

 

mahi mahi.

mahi mahi.

 

baked alaskan.

baked alaskan.

 

chocolate cake.

chocolate cake.

 

i can’t believe this is the first post i’ve made since the year started. there has been a lot going on since my last post and i have a lot of catching up to do. my instagram is much more up to date than anything else, so follow me and find out what’s been going on!

 

xoxo,

sierralei

cliff’s “practically-annual” visit to texas

my cousin (cliff) came to texas for a weekend 2 months ago. i should blog these under “throwback thursdays” since i blog so late (you can view more recent photos on my instagram: @sierralei and then read about my experiences 2 months later, haha).

it was my brother’s birthday weekend, which also fell on restaurant week (as usual). cliff usually visits without me being able to plan ahead and take days off from work, but in this case, i managed to plan accordingly. we had a pretty jam-packed weekend.

on friday, my brother and i picked up cliff at midnight and went to IHOP for a late grubbing session. we probably slept at 3-5 a.m. and woke up in the afternoon to take my brother out for a birthday lunch at a sushi buffet restaurant, japan house. cliff had to work for a few hours during the day and at night (my brother had to work on his birthday), a small group of us went to our first restaurant week spot, THE MERCURY. wonderful restaurant in dallas, by the way. after dinner, we met up with more friends and bar-hopped. i was VERY glad that cliff got to meet my close friends. he had been visiting dallas since 9 years ago but i was never able to introduce him to a lot of my friends. friday was just an absolute blast.

saturday was pretty fun. cliff, clint, and i woke up early to head out to waco for lunch. my brother was determined to take us to vitek’s for their gut pak (yes, there will be photos), which blew his mind. we drove over 2 hours for lunch, yes. hey, we will go where there is good food! on the drive, my cousin educated me on the navigation app called WAZE. if you don’t have it, get it. moving along. we got to vitek’s and i thought it was a VERY COOL place. it was definitely worth the drive. after lunch, we went to the dr. pepper museum and that was fun. it was a first for all of us so it was pretty exciting. we took some superfun pictures there. we had to drive back to dallas because we had our second restaurant for restaurant week later that night at BIJOUX. oh, bijoux……oh, bijoux. if any of you live in dallas and have not gone to this restaurant, YOU MUST GO. in fact, i think i will make an entirely separate blog on just this restaurant, it was that amazing. saturday was such a great day.

sunday was still packed with fun! we took cliff to a rangers game! and oh, boy, did the weather turn up-it was nice and cool the past 2 days and then it turned into a furnace on sunday. cliff is an island boy and former marine-i think 70 degrees makes him sweat. poor thing. we tailgated with raising cane’s and beer before the game, which was fun since i have never tailgated before. after the game, we had to go straight home to get ready for dinner with cliff’s former marine friend. we had dinner at a korean bbq restaurant (ah-mazing korean food) with cliff’s friend and his beautiful girlfriend. i can’t believe i had never known of this korean restaurant in carrollton, it was so good! we had yogurt after dinner and it was amazing.

and then cliff left at about 5 a.m. on monday morning. and all the fun was over. but it was such a FUN FUN FUN WEEKEND. it was such a fun weekend, it was ridiculous. i took hundreds and hundreds of photos but there were some that just stood out over the others.

here are the fun photos from cliff’s recent visit. enjoy.

xoxo,

sierra lei

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the most fun that taxes will ever get

i have a co-worker named kim.

kim is fantastic. she’s funny, she’s beautiful, and she’s super awesome-you know, the perfect co-worker. i like to write her notes at work.

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kim is so sweet. she always brings snacks to work (she got us girls into gluten-free pretzels. have you tried them? they’re FLIPPIN’ AMAZING! all $7 of the bag!!) and would get me drinks while i worked my gift wrap station during the holidays (i was so busy that i pretty much never had time to even get myself a drink or a snack) or on any day, really. she brings me little gifts. for my birthday this year, she gave me flowers and a balloon!!!!!!

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kim is my mom’s age and what’s great about working with her or knowing her is that she is definitely more wise. she has dated, she has been married, she has kids, she has grandkids, she owned companies, she travels, she has had her shares of ups and downs, and she gives great advice. she’s great to talk to and confide in, and she’s non-judgemental. she’s very caring and kind. like i said, “the perfect co-worker.”

well, now we go to her husband. he’s pretty perfect, too. talk about a power couple. you want to hear a good love story? you talk to kim. kim and her husband are just a fantastic couple. the couple you look at and think, “i want THAT.” you can also look at them and want to cry and eat a 10 pound tub of ice cream because you don’t have that, but it depends on how you look at it-so think positive. haha. they are very loving and fun and romantic and sweet. they are so great together, i really could hear kim tell me stories all day. well, i’m not going to dive into their personal history (she really could write a book about her life, let me tell you), but kim’s husband’s birthday had passed a few weeks ago and i had the pleasure of being a part of it.

kim asked if i could make her husband some cupcakes for his work (and if so, she would cancel her cake order at a bakery). he loves white cake with white frosting. it can’t get any more simple than that. he’s a CPA. she thought it would be cute to put mini pencils on the cupcake. i suggested writing his name on the icing in front of the pencils. white cake, white icing, a pencil, his name. done?

nope.

the night before i was to make the cupcakes, i decided to google images to think of other ideas for the cupcakes and i came across this:

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of course, i took a look at it and thought, “hm, i can make that better.” i like to look at cupcake decoration photos and try to make mine better, yes. i mean, who doesn’t try to be better? now, whether my decorations were good or not is up to you. i made a few “tax-themed” cupcake decorations until 4:30 a.m…i made mini 1040 forms. mini 1040 forms!!! try piping THAT! a ziplock bag was needed to pipe the finest lines i’ve ever piped. i also made another basic calculator and a monthly calendar of april, circling april 15, tax day.

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of course i did the 1040 form wrong when i put “2013” but that’s okay. i knew i was going to do something wrong somewhere. the office still loved the cupcakes.

i thought it was funny that i was planning on making simple cupcakes but ended up doing what i always do-staying up late with an exacto knife. it was fun-it was surely something i wanted to put on my blog (and duh, it was on instagram the day i made them-so i know i’m way late!) because i notice how rare these cupcake decorations are. i thought they were fun to make and i’m surprised not many people made accountant-themed cupcakes. i hope i impressed some of my accountant friends, and of course, my co-worker’s husband.

i made vanilla cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream icing. i decided to dye the icing pink because it’s kep’s favorite color-and mine. i couldn’t find my wider piping tips, so i had to improvise. i really need to invest in 2 of every wilton piping tip, i swear. and a case to put them all in.

well, here is my final result. what do you think? =) thanks, kim, for liking my last-minute designs for the cupcakes!

xoxo,

sierra lei

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happy terrific two

today is my 2 year anniversary of blogging. 

first of all, i want to say thank you for reading my blog. and all of its randomness. 

i have enjoyed meeting as many of you as i can (via blog comments, emails, facebook, instagram, etc…). i have enjoyed reading your blogs. i have enjoyed trying your recipes and experiencing your life through your stories. i have enjoyed reading about ingredients i don’t even like, and have not “enjoyed” reading about your dating woes and disasters. but you are all fantastic writers, and that’s what keeps me reading. 

there’s nothing sophisticated or themed about my blog. it’s just a bunch of random experiences that i want to share. 

and with that said, stay tuned for more random experiences that i will still be sharing!

may you all have a fantastic week. =)

xoxo,

sierra lei

 

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june in pictures

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

enjoy!

xoxo,

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.

enjoy!

xoxo,

sierra lei

 

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butterflies and princesses

last year i blogged about the baby shower of baby showers. click HERE to see the baby shower madness.

today we celebrated ashton’s 1st birthday.

the theme was butterfly princess. the colors were lime green, purple, and hot pink.

it was so cute. and it was a blast.

ashton’s grandparents own a mexican restaurant in colleyville, costa vida. there was a taco bar at the birthday. last year, for the baby shower, it was a fajita station. the food just keeps getting better and better. i ate 3 plates today. veggies and ranch dressing, crackers and cheese (the cheese was in the shape of a CROWN. a crown!), fruits, and chips with salsa, guacamole, and queso.

and then there’s the dessert table. oh, boy.

ashton’s grandmother made the cutest butterfly cake. she has never worked with fondant before. you would have never guessed, the cake was sooooooo cute. i gained 5,000 calories just looking at the dessert table. there were cookies and chocolates and marshmallow lollipops. i made pink and purple rice krispy treats and butterfly cupcakes. i was going to make crown-shaped sugar cookies using the same crown cookie cutter from the baby shower, but i was piping grass on the cupcakes until 5 am, so i didn’t get to the cookies.

the decorations around the house were amazing. the entrance had a sketch of baby ashton that one of her relatives did for her. the staircase had all the gifts. there was a table for the guests to sign in and take party favors. balloons and tulle and butterflies everywhere. it was just so cute and fun and bright.

it looked like a million bucks and costed next to nothing. it’s all about shopping sales and finding great bargains.

the party was awesome. my friend’s family is amazing. they’re so easy to talk to and so much fun to be around.

here are a ton of photos from the party. i had a long day today (after the party, i had a work dinner to attend…and it was at a mexican restaurant-haha) and i am exhausted.

i hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

xoxo

 

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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!

 

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it was fun.

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

xoxo