Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bloomin' Peonies

Is there anything more beautiful or romantic than peonies beginning to bloom?? I think not...absolute lovelies.

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Wedding Cake + Dancing

Are any of you guys out there OCD?
A little obsessive compulsive about things needing to be perfectly perfect...?
Am I a lone soldier in this category.... [doubtful]. I'm sure we all have the OCD tendency in us. Choosing to admit it to ourselves and others is a whole 'nother enchilada. 

Anywho, what's that little [OCD] build up about, you ask.
Well, I had a wedding cake I did for a friend today... and my need for perfection got the better of me.
It was a warm day in sunny California, and my buttercream knew it too well.
The cakes didn't want to stand perfectly.
The frosting had a mind of it's own... and, cherry on top, the flowers were supposed to picked up by ___blank___, but ___blank___ didn't make it before the shop closed... aye chihuahua.
So...... level-headed me began to cry.
I was a little 5 year old girl in that moment. 

After shedding a few [necessary] tears, I prayed that my Jesus would take care of me, cuz I had hit my stress limit.
Within a few minutes of praying, my mom called to say our office family was scrambling to find out where I could go to buy white peonies.
I love that the people I work with are not just co-workers, they are my family. And family takes care of it's own.
My sweet El Salvadorian mama found a Trader Joe's that had 6 bunches of white peonies, and had them put on hold for me.
Praise Jesus! Crisis averted.
But here's the hard part for me: being a perfectionist, my cakes NEVER turn out perfect in my eyes.
I try my very best - use all my knowledge from school, bakery experience, and natural instinct... yet, I can never get a perfect cake. I struggle with the inability to reach perfection.
But, when it's all said and done, the couple was blessed and loved the cake... and the guests all raved about how delicious it was.
So was the stress and hardship worth it??
Yes, yes it was.


My mom and I drove to the Newland house, where the wedding was taking place. I set up the cake and then got in position to serve the food.
Yes... not only did I make the cake, but I was also going to be "the help", so to speak.
We were serving the food, clearing the tables of plates and glasses/bottles.
And, to make things just a tad awkward (at first), a handful of the guests were people I had gone to high school with.... yay, awkward moments for me!

In all honesty though, I loved serving the Baked Ziti to all the guests.
I love to interact with people; to spend a moment making an impression that I hope will last a lifetime. A sliver of kindness, and a huge smile to boot, always seem to brighten a persons day... and there's nothing I love more than making people smile and laugh (although, typing isn't the best platform for jokes, or an easy way for you all to really see how silly/crazy I am).
The only downside to helping was a lady who knew nothing about weddings, yet she somehow was in charge of bossing us around. Mind you, "us" was just four coworkers helping the bride out (we work with her brother-in-law).
Every time this lady told us what to do, all I could think is, "Who the heck is this woman??!!"
She was nice when we first met, but after knocking back a few glasses of bubbly, "nice-lady" went out the window. 
Seriously, who wants to listen to a lady boss you around, when the lady doesn't even know anything about weddings or how to get things done efficiently. Honestly, I wanted to flick her on the nose so many times. But I know how to control myself... sort of.

As the night went on, the dancing started. And the DJ hired for this wedding was AHH-MAZ-ING!! The dude put together a fantastic mix.
Since dancing and rhythm runs in the family, I couldn't help myself. The rhythm got to me.
I was just being silly and dancing in the kitchen, thinking no one would notice "the help"... but to my surprise, I had an audience.
Icing on the cake, a sweet little granny told me I had rhythm and could really dance. She kept coming back to me throughout the night, giving me the thumbs up and telling me she was jealous of my moves! She was stinking precious!
Right before she left, she told me and my mom that since we were the best dancers there, we should go teach everyone on the dance floor how to REALLY dance.... hahaha, with age comes wisdom... just saying.
Goodness gracious, I wouldn't want to make everyone else feel awful for being cruddy dancers... that's not nice ;)
But next thing you know, you'll be seeing this girl hitting the streets... cuz I'm straight up legit (hahaha, yes I know, I'm weird).

All in all, it was a fun night. I met some sweet people and had lots of fun. I laughed a lot. I danced like no one was watching. It was a good night. 

So, goodnight blogger-verse... sweet dreams.


p.s. If my writing ever seems back and forth, tangent-filled, or scattered... it's probably because it is. Simply put, that's how my brain works.... just wanted to explain that :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Year + Straight-up Apple[sauce] Recipe

It's been a little over a year since I last blogged here. Kind of crazy and sad. So what's happened in Kylie's life in the past year...? Well, you asked for it. Here's a super short synopsis of my life in 365 days: 

I got my 3rd (and I'm pretty sure my last) tattoo. 

Ventured to the beach A LOT...

Went to England for nearly a whole month, 8 days for Creation Fest and about 2 weeks to visit my uncle.

I've done plenty of cooking/baking to feed an entire army several times over... but what can I say, food is my passion. 

 My mom, uncle, and I all worked at the Operation Christmas Child warehouse, packing the shoeboxes into the containers to be shipped all over the world - to all the sweet little children who have absolutely nothing. We packed about 700,000 shoeboxes in 3 weeks. It was the most amazing, fun, blessed time, and I hope to be able to do it again this year!

My family and I had an absolutely blessed Christmas (and for anyone who knows me, you know I'm a Christmas fanatic... seriously, I start to get excited for Christmas on Dec. 26th... and I can even handle listening to Christmas songs in June... yup, I'm that girl - don't judge me). And had a Gingerbread house party with my 2 best friends.

I've gone through trials, felt as though God had abandoned me, fell and failed time and time again... but still was forgiven and covered by God's grace and mercy. I'm so amazed that His love is unending and unconditional, because if it weren't so, I would be lost and without hope - my failures and shortcomings would make an unending list. But thankfully, His blood has covered all of those [failures], so my list is nil. I have grown, changed in my faith; softened, hardened, and softened again. My heart is completely enraptured by the love of my faithful King. I am nothing without my Jesus - I am proud to say that He is my crutch. I love Him wholeheartedly. 

I've loved and hated my job - 50% because of spiritual warfare, 25% because I'm confined to an office (as a creative, free spirited person, being confined is like hell for me), and 25% because of people being... well, plainly put, turds (that's the nicest, cleanest word I can come up with). But I've mostly loved [my job] because I am serving the Lord daily, not an easy task, but a rewarding one. And lately, my boss has been giving my artistic projects where I can create.

I did a cute, blush Ruffle cake for Mother's Day

And a co-ed Bridal Shower cake for a good friend and his fiancĂ© 

I've also really gotten into cooking and baking healthier versions of my fav foods. And one of my favs that I wanted to share here is my "Straight-up Apple[sauce]". It's the most basic version of Applesauce, as it only has 6 ingredients. And being a bit on the broke side pretty much 24/7, this recipe is super affordable - which warrants extra brownie points :D I make this applesauce whenever I get the craving, since I'm not sure how long it will hold up... so the recipe is for an individual one-serving. 

1 apple (I prefer Gala's), cut into small chunks/bits
1 teaspoon water
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Cocoa powder
2 pkts Stevia (or flavored drops if you have those)
1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon

Place all the above ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. When the mixture begins to boil a little, turn heat to low, place lid on saucepan and let simmer until apples are soft - about 5-8 mins (I think, I'm not always so good with timing things... I tend to just know when my food is finished cooking...). 

Mash the apples straight away till you reach your desired texture/consistency... I tend to like my applesauce chunky. 

If you really dislike the apple skin and bits in your applesauce, just place cooked apple concoction into a food processor and puree until you have your perfectly smooth applesauce. Then... ENJOY the deliciousness of clean, pure, vegan applesauce!! It's soooo stinking good, I promise! So... go on, get up and make some of this yumminess... you'll thank me :)