Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring Festival

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Japan's gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees to Washington, DC. Boston is having its own celebration on April 29th to honor this event and I am so happy to announce that I am selected to be there as a vendor. I will have wonderful photos of Japan and of cherry blossoms available for sale and 20% of all sales will be donated to the Japanese Disaster Relief Fund Boston for the continued tsunami relief efforts. Click here for more information about this event. I'm so excited!

♥ Thank you Carrie for letting me know about this fun celebration ♥

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Birthday Cupcakes

The pink sprinkles were so cute but they added too much of a crunch to the frosting. I felt that it took away from the frosting's wonderful smoothness...just in case my friends are wondering why theirs didn't have any sprinkles lol
Made these cupcakes to celebrate my good friend's 30th birthday. They were so yummy. I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe (with boiling water and not coffee this time) and Joanne Chang's Crispy Magic Frosting. This cake recipe never disappoints. It's so moist and rich. Joanne's frosting was perfect for it too. James actually likes this frosting better than the chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream that I usually pair it with (he's so spoiled!). The frosting is called Crispy Magic because it develops a thin sugary crust as it sets. Wish I have one to snack on right now...

Btw, you must get Joanne's baking book if you haven't already. The recipes are clear and everything I've made from it has been delicious. I can't recommend it enough! I love Joanne and her bakery :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Must Be Spring

These beautiful flowers are blooming everywhere around Boston. I love seeing them every springtime. Btw, does anyone know what they're called? :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Little Faces

My sister showed me this Finger Faces App on her iPhone and I love it so much! I've been wanting to do it the old school way after seeing these pictures floating around the internet but haven't gotten to it yet (my list of crafty things to do is quite long!). It's a lot easier with this app. I made James get it for me on his iPad and we took a picture of our fingers. This was what we came up with. Isn't it so sweet? I still want to draw them using a real pen one of these days but until then I'll have this to play around with :) Happy weekend!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

Yummy macarons from Pierre Herme. Go get your free macarons if you are lucky enough to live near a bakery that's participating in Macaron Day :)
Happy Macaron Day everyone! I'm so excited to announce the winner of my 1st blog giveaway!


 *Thank you all for participating. I will have more giveaways throughout the year so stay tuned :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Last Day for Giveaway!

One of the photos you can win :)
Today is the last day to enter my first giveaway! Click here and follow the rules to enter. Good luck! I can't wait to announce the winner tomorrow!

Friday, March 16, 2012


This exquisite golden gate is a replica of the original that was demolished during the French Revolution. It is 87-yard-long and is decorated with 100,000 gold leaves!
For me, a trip to Paris isn't complete without a visit to Versailles. Marie Antoinette always comes to my mind when I think of France and its history. It's amazing that we're still able to see and experience such an important place today. Everything about the palace is just so breathtaking. I loved walking around and imagining how they once lived. The Palace of Versailles is full of luxury, grandeur, and extravagance.

The original courtyard of the palace.
They're doing a wonderful job of restoring the palace. I can't imagine all the detail work!
(left) The Royal Chapel; (right) It's hard to believe that this is a stone statue. His clothing have so much movement to it that it looks soft.

No spot is left unadorned.

Looking up at the ceiling.
The famous Hall of Mirrors.

The King's Chamber

(left) Gorgeous details of the Queen's Bedroom; (right) Beautiful ceiling painting

I love the ring patterns of these wooden "tiles" outside of the palace.

I can't get over how beautiful and grand the palace gardens are. There are fountains and statues everywhere.

The Musical Fountains Show is only available on certain dates and times. Check their website first before going :)
(left) Another view of the gate. It glimmers so beautifully in the sunlight; (right) There's a Laduree on site. Btw, Laduree supplied all the desserts for the movie "Marie Antoinette" (I love the costumes and set of this movie!)

These topiaries are so cute!
Outside of the pink marble Grand Trianon

Marie Antoinette's Hamlet. She retreated here to get away from the palace. It's one of my favorite place on the estate. It's so charming and rustic and is quite refreshing after seeing so much extravagance.

Pretty hydrangeas outside of her farm
(left) Painting of Marie Antoinette; (right) Wooden spiral stairwell outside of her cottage

Another view of her Hamlet. It's so peaceful there. You get a different sense of who she really was as a person. I think Marie Antoinette was very misunderstood and it ultimately lead to her tragic demise.
Beautiful wisteria outside of her cottage

I love how each statue has their own concave hedge.
How perfect are these rectangular hedges?

More beautiful hedges
I hope you enjoyed these photos! Happy Friday! :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Edible Works of Art

They're each like a little piece of art. I love the tiny macaron shells surrounding the strawberry desserts :)
For me, the best part about Galeries Lafayette is their gourmet food store known as Lafayette Gourmet. There are tasting bars if you need a bite of food after all the shopping, pastry counters for a sweet treat, and deli counters and groceries if you want to pick up a few things for a picnic. It's also a great place to buy food gifts to bring home if you didn't have a lot of time to shop around. We bought jars of mustard, bags of fleur de sel, teas, and candies when we were there :)

Mini chocolate bars that come in every color of the rainbow
All of these desserts were from Sadaharu Aoki's counter in Lafayette Gourmet. He is a famous Japanese pastry chef and his creations are not only beautiful to look at; they taste amazing as well. I love that he combines Japanese flavors like matcha, yuzu, and sesame with classic French pastries. If only I can get my hands on one right now! Oh Paree, I miss you...

Spun sugar with slices of candied pretty. 

Chocolate-covered macarons!
Which one would you pick?

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Shopper's Dream

Would you expect anything less from a department store in Paris? Galeries Lafayette is so beautiful and grand. I'm having such a good time looking back at these photos from my trip to Paris a couple of years ago. To celebrate my first giveaway, I'll be posting Paris photos up until I announce the winner next week :) So please enter for a chance to win if you haven't done so already!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Feeling Blue

Bought a jar of blueberry preserves last weekend and couldn't resist making blueberry macarons :) Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Notre Dame de Paris

Beautiful view from the top (after 387 steps!)
You are absolutely right if you guessed Notre Dame for Monday's post :) You can find that small wooden replica inside of the cathedral. I actually didn't see that amazing replica until my second visit to Paris. (I love it when I re-visit a place and discover new things about it!) I love Paris and the Notre Dame is a must-see for all visitors. It's so beautiful with all of its intricate stone carvings and stained-glass windows. The gargoyles are so cool too. I definitely had moments when I thought,"Oh my goodness! That is exactly how Disney drew it in The Hunchback of Notre Dame!" :)