Bug’s Seventeenth Birthday Vanilla Chocolate Matcha Raspberry Cake!


I made a cake like this for Bug last year and she loved it. Apparently, I didn’t blog about it. But Bug loved it so much she special requested I make another one for her this year. So I did! Because that’s the kind of overworked and underpaid (but thankfully appreciated) haggard mom I am. So this year I’ll blog it.

How did I make it? Well, I googled a vanilla cake. Found this one.  I think we discovered this recipe for Joon’s baking party and it was reasonably easy to make. It involved a lot of mixing and timing…It’s a little backwards from how I usually make cakes but it works.  You know what doesn’t work? Expired baking powder. The recipe even says to check the expiration dates in the generous notes provided by the author but I read right over that like it wasn’t there. My baking soda expired in 2019. We stocked up for Joon’s bake-off party and I guess I never used it up. I thought I baked more than that.

The result of using expired baking powder was two very thing cakes. But I didn’t panic. I did what any experienced overworked underpaid haggard mother would do. I made another cake. Four very thin cakes makes one just right cake!


Then I spread dark chocolate fudge frosting between each layer, smushed some fresh raspberries on top of the chocolate and then stacked all the cakes on top of each other and frosted the top. Not the sides! No, that would be too much. Just on the top of each layer. Then I decorated the top with more fresh raspberries and sprinkled it with match powder. That’s it!


And everybody loved it! Knowing Bug this will probably be the required cake until the end of time. Which is fine because I’m an underpaid, overworked haggard mother.

But you know what? My overworked underpaid luck is about to change. Big things are in my future. I can’t share yet but I will when I can. I’ve vvvvvvvvvvvery excited. That is if things work out. There’s still a chance they might not which is fine. I’ll just keep on keeping on!

Tah tah!

I left my heart in San Francisco. Stop rolling your eyes.


I went to San Francisco this last weekend to attend Matt’s company holiday party and had the best time in the city. I’ve always loved San Francisco but this trip was extra. Partly because I’m adventuring with my old college boyfriend (who I’m crazy about) and partly because I love the city life in the rain! Cities are so photogenic with a sheen of water over them. Add some holiday lights and they get even better!


Of course, I love a party so when Matt invited me to be his plus one, you know I was all over that. Time to dress up and dance! Woot Woot!  I’ve been wearing this black dress to every single event lately. I’m done with buying something new over and over. I will wear this LBD until it pills up and falls apart. Just think of all the money I’ll save! It’s perfect for just about every occasion. I can dress it up with heels or down with converse or dance the night away in some shiny patent leather Mary Janes!


The next day we visited The Mission. I love the gritty color of this neighborhood. It’s everything that Irvine is not and what my inner city-girl craves. Color, grit, funky old architecture, paintings on the ground, graffiti everywhere!


I can see myself living there. You are probably all wondering why I don’t just move up there already.  Believe me; I want to. But I also want Bug to finish high school in her hometown with all her friends. So time will tell.


It started raining pretty hard, so after dinner (at an amazing vegan sushi restaurant), we ducked into the coziest little bar for a real treat. We had no idea what we were in for.


It wasn’t very crowded because it was pretty early in the evening (morning people problems), and apparently, it just opened and is not really on anyone’s radar yet. Don’t you love finding a cool place before it blows up on Instagram, and you can appreciate it without waiting in line with everyone and their cousin?  I’m so over places getting too hyped. I shouldn’t even blog about this because I’ll only contribute to the problem but I’m counting on not many people reading this.

We met the general manager, Nick, and he gave us the royal treatment. It started because I asked him if he had anything close to a Paloma on his menu. Instead of brushing me off and telling me to stick to the menu his eyes twinkled and the next thing I knew he was creating a sixteen-step concoction with grapefruit juice, rosemary tinctures, lychee juice, a half rim of black salt, and the prettiest cut orange peel you ever did see for a garnish. I was delighted! We called it the “Brendarita.” Though between you and me this was the Princess of all Brendaritas. If you go there and Nick is working, you’ll have to tell him I sent you and special request it.


It was the best time and it was over too quick! Before I knew it I was back on the plane and flying home. Wah-waaaah.


Good thing I have these fools to come home to.


But yes, I am missing San Francisco!