Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas {and a sneak peek}

Hello all! I've missed you! James and I have been working hard renovating our new place for the past few months and we're so excited that we're finally moved in...just in time for the holidays :) Here's a little sneak peek of our labor of love. I can't wait to share more! Wishing you a wonderful holiday season with your loved ones. See you in 2014!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Minion Macarons

Minions! I had the pleasure of making these cuties for a special birthday last week :) 

I piped small circles of macaron batter for the eyeballs once the macaron rounds have set. It gives it a nice raised texture once they are baked. I painted the outer edges with edible Pearl Dust mixed with a little lemon extract and filled them in with white chocolate. I then dotted each eyeball with milk chocolate. I drew the rest of the details with edible marker :)

The minions have such fun personalities. I had fun drawing all the different expressions :)

The birthday girl loved her minion macarons so I was very happy!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Pretty Cake

Just wanted to pop in and share this fun birthday cake I made last week :) It's a rich devil's food cake topped with chocolate ganache and raspberry macarons. I love that each serving has it's own macaron! 

Btw, these pictures were taken with my iPhone after a late night of baking so the lighting isn't ideal...hehe

Friday, July 26, 2013

Playing Dress Up

I love traditional Asian outfits and one of my favorites has to be the kimono. I've always wanted to wear one and was excited when my friends recommended Okamoto, a kimono rental shop, in Kyoto. There were numerous kimonos, obi, hair accessories, etc. to choose from. I went with Plan 3 which gave me the most selection. It costs around $60 to rent it for the day and getting my hair done was only an extra $5! I really love the whole process. It was interesting to see the amount of work that goes into wearing a kimono. It was beautiful to watch how they put the kimono on me layer by layer. There were many layers and each had to be folded and tied in different ways. It really is an art in itself. 

Btw, I love that my obi has the same pattern as the bottom layer of our wedding cake! I may or may not have chosen it because of this reason ;)

James was my photographer for the day and he did an amazing job! I'm usually the one behind the lens so it was strange to be in front of the camera for that long. It was a nice treat though :) Kyoto is beautiful and so picturesque. I'm happy to have these fun photos to remember our wonderful time there.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Nara, like many places in Japan, is very magical. As we walked around, I can't help but feel like we were in a mythical place. Walkways are lined with hundreds of moss-covered lantern structures. The temple and shrines are grand yet understated. Friendly deers roam freely around the city. They are loved by the locals because they are believed to be messengers to the gods. It is definitely one of my favorite places in Japan. 

I was in awe as we approached Todaiji. It is beautiful and serene. I especially love the golden horns on the rooftop. 

The deers are used to people petting and feeding them. This one followed me for a while :)
Large ornaments on the temple's door.

Todaiji's main hall is the largest wooden building in the world. (This picture is the view of the ceiling.)

(left) One of Japan's largest bronze statues of Buddha (Daibutsu) sits in Todaiji's main hall; 
(right) Lantern structures outside of Kasuga Taisha.

I felt like I was transported to a different magical. 
Hanging lanterns' silhouettes
(left) Taking a small break from all the walking; (right) Deers going shopping ;)

Friday, July 19, 2013


We saw cute signs, logos, and displays everywhere we went in Japan. Looking at them makes me feel so happy. Here are just some of the photos. Aren't they cute? Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Heavenly Parfait

We're having quite the heat wave here in Boston. It's going to remain in the mid 90s for the rest of the week. Hot days like these make me yearn for the cool fall weather. I find myself daydreaming about my favorite season and the wonderful honeymoon we had last year. I'm very late in sharing these pictures but I hope you'll enjoy these upcoming posts about the Japan portion of our trip :)

The hot weather is making me think of ice cream so I'll start our Japan recap with our trip to Gion Kinana :) Michael aka Kyoto Foodie wrote a great post about it. I knew we had to make a stop there. We got the seasonal chestnut autumn parfait and it was amazing! There was a beautiful balance of textures and flavors from all of the components of the parfait - the candied chestnut, the chestnut mousse, the biscotti, the cake pieces, the ice cream, and the mochi. Only twenty of these are made daily. James and I went to the shop right when they opened at 11am and all of the seats were filled within 30 minutes. (So remember to get there early if you want one of their seasonal parfaits!)

I love the presentation with the teacup and simple and pretty. 

We also ordered the highly recommended kinako (roasted soybean flour) dekitate ice cream. Dekitate ice cream are ice cream that are just made. Since they haven't been frozen yet, they are very creamy and super smooth. The flavor is delicate and unlike anything I've tasted before. Oh what I would give to eat it again!

The shop is easy to miss if you're not looking for it ;)
Thank you Michael for the wonderful recommendation. I agree that it's definitely a "do not miss" if you are in Kyoto :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Happy Friday!

We have a birthday potluck at work today and I'm bringing chocolate and raspberry macarons. I can't wait to taste all the goodies :) Happy weekend everyone!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Elegant Wedding Macarons

I wanted to make something special for our one year anniversary and thought that a mini macaron wedding cake would be really cute. I was so excited when I came up with the idea. I couldn't wait to make it and take photos of it! :) The sugar pearls and pearl dust make the macarons look very elegant. I love it so much! 

The top macaron is only about 1 inch in diameter and the bottom is 2.5 inches so this little cake is tiny! I filled them with an orange Grand Marnier ganache since our wedding cake was also an orange Grand Marnier cake. It's so cute that I couldn't eat it yet. It's still sitting in my freezer right now lol. Good thing I made extra macarons without the pearls so that James and I can enjoy them :)

Btw, the tiny rose is made out of clay. I bought a small bouquet of them years ago at a flower show. Maybe one day I can try to make sugar flowers! 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Anniversary Bouquet

James surprised me with this gorgeous bouquet for our anniversary. It is extra special because it has all the flowers that I picked for my wedding bouquet. I am so impressed that he remembered their names! The flowers are breathtakingly beautiful and they smell so wonderful. I have the best husband ever 

The peonies bloomed more the next day :)

Love Story

The Public Garden is a really special place for us. James and I love it there. We used to go there a lot when we were in high school. That's why we took our wedding pictures there last year. On our anniversary, we stopped by the garden before dinner and saw this magical scene. Romeo* and Juliet, Boston's famous swans, were tending to their nest. It was beautiful to watch them. They've been a couple for over 10 years! I love the fact that swans do tend to mate for life. That's really special.

*Read some interesting facts about our swan couple here and here. Romeo has a not-so-secret secret :)

Happy One Year to us!

This guy made me smile. He was standing there like that for a while. He looked right at me when I approached him. I guess he was ready for his picture (just like these guys).

I really love our Public Garden. Do you have a favorite spot in your city?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

First Anniversary

I can't believe this past Sunday was our one year wedding anniversary. The year flew by! One of the things we did to celebrate was eating the top tier of our wedding cake that has been in the freezer this whole time. I love fun wedding traditions so this was a must! (You can read more about this tradition here.)

Eating a one year old cake sounds scary but James and I couldn't believe how good our cake still tasted! The cake was moist and the flavors were still there. One bite and it brought us right back to our wedding day.

We had a wonderful time reminiscing our special day. I have more photos to share of our simple celebration so please excuse all the lovey dovey posts this week :)

Did you save your wedding cake? How did it taste?