Wednesday, December 29, 2010


We had a calm and happy Christmas! Didn't do much... just took a day and a half off, and enjoyed spending time with each other at home.

And what did we cook up for Christmas? Sukiyaki! I found a brand new cast iron sukiyaki pot (with a wood lid) for a really good price a few months ago, and was glad to finally start using it. I shall post some pictures of the pot and the dinner later.

John got me a net book. My laptop had been acting up lately, so I was quite happy about the new computer. I am, however, still trying to get used to it.

My friend Daena drew a picture of Ginger for me. It was amazing.

My parents were generous and gave me a generous gift. They are so nice to me. Did I mention they were generous?

And apparently *someone* will give me a late Christmas gift some time soon. :D

I love how people around me are happy and content this time of the year. Yay for holidays!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

jasper and the cone

Jasper went under a surgery yesterday to have his glands removed. In order to prevent him from licking himself too much, the vet had us put a little cone on him.

He was not quite sure why the cone was on him, and he didn't really like it over his head, so he tried to get it off a few times.

He was still groggy in these photos (taken right after we came home from the vet's office, so his eyes were slightly "dreamy") but he's acting pretty like his usual self by the time we went to bed.

The dogs have been nice to him, especially a-gui. a-gui was really curious about Jasper wearing the cone, but he knew not to bother him too much.

Jasper will have his stitches out in two weeks.

Monday, December 06, 2010

first coffee tasting - basic class at caffe d'bolla

We had our first Coffee Tasting Class (Basic) last Thursday the 2nd. John had been working on structuring and preparing for the class for a while, and he just had to pick a day to start a class. Despite the short notice, 5 of the 6 seats were filled, and it was truly a fun and information-packed session.

We will have more classes coming up, and each class will cover something different. I may also even (help) teach a class or two. It's going to be a lot of fun!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

dress up the piece of cake

I've been making different cakes for the shop. While I do use the techniques I learned from my cake decorating classes to "dress up" a cake, there are times when I just want to keep it light simple.

This is what I've been doing, to keep the piece of cake simple, but still sorta cute.

And I'm really loving the strawberry and chocolate cakes these days.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

thanksgiving nom nom

We had a quiet and happy Thanksgiving this year. Didn't do much, but just chilled with the dogs and watched Jasper pretend he was a dog.

We had my sister over, and made a simple dinner.

Of course we had to start with some wine when we began cooking.


Maple ham, corn bread stuffing with cranberry sausages, sweet potatoes with glazed pecans and marshmallows, and green beans with bacon.

And homemade bread.

After dinner we had some yummy dessert wine, along with some matcha-azuki cake rolls I made.

Nom nom nom.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

daena got a tattoo on her calf

My friend Daena has been getting tattoos for a while. She's a tiny girl, and she's having her back covered! It's still work in progress on her back, but she recently had Jake at Cathedral (next to our shop) give her a tattoo on her calf, and I thought I'd take a couple pictures of the little event and share with my dad, who has been pretty interested in knowing more about our tattoo shop neighbor.

Jake (the tattoo-er) put the stencil on Daena, and made sure she liked where he had placed it.

Tattoo in progress.

Jake was so focused... it was awesome to watch him work.

And yes Daena's tattoo turned out great!

Monday, November 29, 2010


I know I may be a bit too old for this, but I got a 25th anniversary Super Mario special edition Nintendo DSi XL for my birthday (from a nice someone, and the name shall remain a secret) and I've been enjoying playing games on it.

I'm not a super serious gamer, and the games I enjoy are kinda silly to most, but boy, I'm loving the DSi, and of course, Mario, and all his buddies.

Friday, November 05, 2010


This was on the sealer machine at the caffe this morning! This also meant we had made about 77,777 cold drinks so far!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

ganny in a skeleton custume

Ganny visiting the shop with Stan and Lisa.

The only "person" I saw at the shop who dressed up for Halloween was Ganny the pit bull!

I like seeing Ganny at the shop. He's always so nice and cuddly! a-gui met Ganny once, and he really liked him, too! :D

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

the toyota rav4

As of October 30th...

Goodbye Rav4.


Hello Rav4!


Saturday, October 30, 2010

halloween ghost cookies

I made some ghost cookies for my friends this year.

These are simple sugar cookies with royal icing.

I even made some vegan ones for my vegan friends this year!

OK I sort of cheated when I was making the vegan ones... my friend Andrew got me a vegan sugar cookie mix and vegan butter, so I made it according to the box. I didn't have regular soy milk around the house, so I used the peanut rice milk drink we had in the fridge. The cookies turned our really well! I found a vegan royal icing recipe online, which was pretty much powdered sugar, corn syrup, and water and vanilla all stirred together. The finished icing worked very well, too.

Hope everyone is having a safe and happy Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

tall bike joe

I've seen guys on tall bikes around the city, and always wondered how exactly they do it.

The other day Joergen came into the shop, and right before that I noticed he was locking up his ride that day... a tall bike!

After he had his siphon coffee and we chatted, I asked how he got onto his tall bike, and how he stops at lights and such, and he said he'd show me. Of course I had to grab my camera and catch him in action!

Don't think I'll ever try to ride on a tall bike myself, but Joe looks super cool when he does it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

a small little fondant cake

For the last "Fondant and Gum Paste" class I made a small little cake for the class project.

This past week had been slightly hectic, so I wasn't able to dedicate some time to making flowers for my cake. I only had the flowers made during class time, which weren't many.

As I was about to bake a cake for the class, I thought, maybe I should just bake a small one, so I don't have to use too many flowers to decorate it.

The cake was just over 4 inches in diameter, and about 1.5 inches tall.

I covered it with green fondant, and cut out circles of brown fondant, along with rolled green, brown, and white fondant balls to decorate the side and bottom of the cake.

I tried to place ALL of my flowers on the cake, but it just didn't look right, so I only used a pink rose and a small leaf I made in class last week.

I really like how this cake turned out. Now that all three cake decorating courses are finished, I am ready to utilize what I've learned and hopefully make cute cakes all the time! :D

Monday, October 25, 2010

goodbye, the tiny little love of mine.

We said goodbye to Ginger, our tiny little Siamese mix last Monday the 18th.

Ginger was really small as a kitten.

How small was she?

Really small!

She was really small as a full-grown cat, too.

I will miss her dearly, but I was glad she was not in pain when we let her go.

I will miss having her sitting by me when I surf online late at night.

I will think back at the time when she liked the bread I made.

She really liked the bread I made.

I will also remember how, the day before she said goodbye to us, she came out in the front room and enjoyed the bright sun coming through the window.

Friday, October 15, 2010

gift box cake

For the second "Gum Paste and Fondant" class the instructor had us bring a squared cake. She was going to teach us how to cover it with fondant.

We had made a bow the week before with a gum paste and fondant mixture. Since I had a white bow, I figured I'd just make my gift box white, too.

I didn't have enough fondant to make ribbons or decorations for the four sides of the gift box, but I thought the cake turned out pretty cute anyhow. :D

At least Yama thought so.

Details on the bow.

Yay for fondant-covered gift box cake!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

yamaha music tin

I saw this Yamaha tin at the secondhand store. I had one that looked exactly like this when I was little and attending the Yamaha music classes.

There were magnetic music notes and such, and you'd "compose" on it, or work on little music projects with it when the teacher asked you to do so. You'd also store your small music sheet notebooks and crayons in them.

Of course I had to buy it.

There are only two each of the Flat Key Signature and Sharp Key Signature symbols left in the box, but I was still really excited to have a cute tin that reminds me of my childhood beginning piano lessons.

Now I store my little colorful and patterned/decorative tapes in it.

I love this tin!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

square sugar cookies with pink and white icing

My first batch of decorated sugar cookies for the shop!

I think they are really cute in pink and white, and they are tasty, too! :D

Monday, October 11, 2010

birthday at Bambara

It was John's birthday last Saturday, and we went to one of his favorite restaurants in town - Bambara, to celebrate.

It was a happy happy birthday dinner! :D

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

baked pork

These days John likes to bake marinated pork in the oven with spices rubbed into and/or sprinkled on it.

I don't even ask what he marinates the meat in, or what spices he uses anymore, because it always turns out super tasty!

Monday, October 04, 2010


We've had a few different neighbors in our (caffe d'bolla) building since we opened. There was a skate shop, and a couple record shops along the way, but no one had stayed around for long.

Our new neighbor is Cathedral Tattoo. The tattooers/artists there are all so talented and cool. I think it's a great location for them!

A couple weeks ago they had their grand opening, and we stopped by after work to check out the shop.

There were beautiful vintage artwork on the walls.

And the vibe is really chill and cool.

There were a lot of people at the opening night, so I didn't snap too many shots around the shop, but it's a really nice shop! The guys are super nice and the artwork is amazing. I say you go and check it out some time.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

flower basket

For the last session of my Flowers and Cake Design class, I made a flower basket cake!

Each of us baked a cake at home, and brought it to class to decorate for the final project during class. I only baked half a batch of my cake batter because I didn't want to make a tall and layered cake. The thing was, as I was removing the cake from the pan, the bottom of the cake stuck on the pan and I lost a thin layer of cake, and that resulted in my cake being really short.

And because the cake was already short, I didn't even level the top of the cake before I iced it and brought it to class.

The main technique the instructor taught us to do was to make basket-weave patterns on the side of cakes. The idea was that we would make the side of our cakes look like a basket with buttercream icing, and then decorate the top of the "basket" with flowers we made with royal icing.

Since my cake was so short and round-topped, I couldn't make a more conventional flower basket cake. Instead, I made my version of flower basket cake...

My basket is on the bottom half of the top of the cake, and there's a handle on the top rim, and then flowers in between. A very rounded and puffy flower basket on the top of the cake if you may. I actually kinda like it!

The colored flowers were the ones I made in advance with royal icing.

And I added a few buttercream icing white roses when I was finishing up the cake.

Overall the cake turned out fine! Yay!

Monday, September 27, 2010

afternoon wall

Guess where this is.

It's the black wall across from the roasting room at the caffe. I like how the thick ribbon "curtains" I made for the window filter the afternoon sunlight and make these keyboard-like images!