Sophie’s Cake Smash

I had the pleasure of working with a little girl named Sophie, who just turned one!

A friend of mine asked me to take some family shots and birthday pictures for their little girl. How could I say no to one of the most adorable little humans? Mom wanted some cake smash pictures to celebrate her big birthday. We set a date, a location, and you get the rest.

Enough reading. Let’s get onto these pictures!

Collage

We actually found out she doesn’t like cake. She didn’t like the stickiness; she didn’t like the taste too much. We couldn’t get too many cake smash pictures. But I did get some of her being a little bit curious! We basically stuck her hands into the cake… We thought it wouldn’t be very nice to stick her face into it. Haha! Instead we dabbed her with some icing, which she didn’t seem to mind.

Outfit

Cutie

Sophie

Booty
^^^ Oh gosh! I loveeee this pic

Eyelashes

Arm

1

2

3
^^^ I love these three action shots. Sophie is showered with so much love from her parents.

And this is my all time favorite shot. Mommy & Baby!

Kate & Sophie

It was my first photo session ever. So honored to have Kate and Eric ask me to photograph and trust me for this huge moment in their little one’s life. I thought that the cake smash part would be the best, but my favorite part of the session was photographing the intimate settings between mom and baby/dad and baby.

It’s definitely not easy being a photographer. Much respect! I’ve been trying to figure out my photography “style.” Any suggestions? It’s my biggest struggle right now. Do I like the pop of colors? A bit desaturated for the vintage feel? Brightness to wash out some of the background? Photographers, please give me some advice. How did you find your style?

Go eat cake!
Jay

  

MG turns 36!

This past Sunday was MG’s 36th birthday!

He came back from Los Angeles after a weeklong work trip on Friday. After a one night rest at home, we set out to go camping on Saturday morning. My sister Katie and her boyfriend, Baldwin, are in town. They’ve been camping in Texas once before and didn’t love it, but it’s nothing like NorCal California camping! Amirite NorCal people?

We drove to a new campsite called Bootjack Campgrounds at Mount Tamalpais State Park in Marin County. This campsite was established in 1920s and closed 1969 because of overuse. But it’s been reopened as of this year! It’s a first come, first serve site, and it was available for us! Thankfully most of the sites were actually empty. We decided to set up shop right next to a running creek so we could hear the stream when sleeping. With some lunch in our stomach, we went hiking on Old Mine Trail, which was a 1 mile hike to a scenic spot called The Bench. It overlooks the Bay and Stinson Beach, and in the far distance, my beloved city of San Francisco.

Tent

After the view, we hiked back, finished setting up our sleeping bags, and took a well-needed nap. I have the most comfortable naps when I camp – maybe it’s the fresh air. But they are awesome!

Mg Hiking

Hiking

Selfie

Scene

Scenic

After waking, it was time to build the fire, which I think is still the best part of camping. The firewood made me a hungry girl so I started dinner around 5:30 (I’m such a g-ma!). Camping always means eating well. Don’t ever tell me that food isn’t part of camping. As MG says, “food makes every situation better.” And camping is no different. Garlic fries, mushrooms, grilled corn, and steak for dinner. Can’t ask for a better meal! And obviously smores is on the dessert menu. Wouldn’t have it any other way!

Flowers
Katie picked some flowers for our dinner table!

Lams

Cooking

Steak
Uh huh! ^^^

Chef Ming
Thanks Chef Ming ^^^

Dinner

Eating

Magical Fountain
After meals, we washed our cookware in the “magical fountain”

Smores
My infamous inside out smores!

We stayed up poking at the fire until 11pm. And there was this huge slug hanging out with us by the fire. We named her Daisy. Say hi!

Daisy

MG and I woke up in the morning and watched the sunrise then made breakfast. Another epic meal – corned beef hash, toasted english muffin, sunny side up eggs, bacon, and tangerine juice. Yum! And this breakfast concluded the camping trip.

Sunrise
Beautiful view to wake up to!

Breakfast

Corned Beef

Bacon

It was another successful trip (though I forgot my wine opener, darn)! And I’m pretty sure Katie and Baldwin enjoy camping too now!

I love camping! Few reasons:

1. I love waking up to fresh air. It makes every sleep a well-rested sleep. Even if I wake up a few times in the night, I still wake up feeling refreshed.
2. I love peeing in the woods. I feel like a free woman! TMI? Never on this blog!
3. Campfires. No details needed.

Happy birthday

Happy birthday my love. I hope you enjoyed your birthday celebration (even though I love to camp and you don’t, and that’s my favorite cake and not yours).

Cake
Seriously, best cake – Berry Chantilly from Whole Foods ^^^

What do you do to celebrate your birthday? Do you have some recommended camping spots? Please share!

What did you do this weekend?
Jay

  

Brunch at Home

March means Spring is here. March also means it’s Mg’s birthday month! One of my best girlfriends also shares this birthday month too!  As you can imagine there’s tons of eating and splurging that goes on in March.

This past Saturday, I decided to cook brunch for the birthday boy and girl. Such a fun thing to do! Brunch in an intimate environment, save some money, and eat home cooked food. On the menu was crab cakes benedict, apple smoked bacon (from TJ’s, best bacon evarrr!), hash browns, fruit, and mimosas. Delicious and oh-so-filling!

Centerpiece
^^^ My sweet centerpiece. Holly’s present in the middle, with a gorgeous daffodil. Perfect for Spring!

Holly & David
Holly and David

MG&J
The Lams

Birthday girl
Birthday girl ^^^ Happy birthday Holly!

Birthday boy
My sweet Mingus ^^^

Here’s my crab cake recipe so that you can have your own brunch at home. It’s a classic recipe, without any fluff, just a lot of sweet, pure crab meat.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz jumbo lump crab meat (You can purchase for $15 at Costco)
  • 1  egg
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs (I used my homemade breadcrumbs, instructions here)
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions for crab cake:
1. In a large bowl, mix together the crab meat, mayo, mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs, onions, and pepper. Beat the egg and pour it into the crab mixture. Combine well. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place into the fridge for 20 minutes.
2. High heat to heat up a large pan and add butter. Once the butter is melted, turn the heat down to medium, and place 1/3 cup of crab mix onto the pan. Shape each patty to your liking.
3. This next part is all about patience. Leave the crab cake on the pan for 5-6 minutes, until golden brown. Then very carefully flip each crab cake and cook the other side for 5-6 minutes. Set the cakes aside and let it cool for 1 minute. It’s ready to eat!

Crab Cakes

Pan Frying

Gorgeous

Done

Directions for crab cake benedict:

1.To make hollandaise, whisk 4 egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice together until light in color and fluffy. Mixture should thicken and double in volume. Use a mixer if you have one! It’ll make it easier. Melt half a cup of butter and let it cool but not solidify. Prepare a double boiler, pour in the egg yolks and continue whisking rapidly. You do not want your eggs to cook. Then slowly pour in the butter to the egg yolks – do not stop whisking! Add a pinch of cayenne and a pinch of salt. Once the hollandaise sauce is thickened and warm, it’s ready!
2. Toast an english muffin, then spread butter onto the muffin.
3. Now combine your ingredients – first the muffin, then the crab cake, add a poached egg, and a spoonful of hollandaise sauce. Brunch away!

Brunch

So much food! As you can imagine, we had food comas afterwards. We tried to fight it by walking to the local farmer’s market, but once it hit 3pm, it was nap time.

What’s your favorite brunch item? And also tell me your favorite brunch restaurant (because I may need to go check it out).

What did you do this weekend?
Jay
—–
Original hollandaise sauce recipe

  

26: Officially Late 20’s

Happy Birthday to me! Happy birthday to me!
Cheers to me with butter beer! Get that in my belly!

Butter beer
Double fisting a frozen and a cold butter beer ^^^

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for my birthday. Is there any better way to celebrate?!?

Hogwarts
^^^ Hogwarts with the gang ^^^

Hogwarts
MG, thank you for this epic birthday!

Dumbledore's Office
Visiting Dumbledore ^^^

Why are we in Orlando? My sister and her boyfriend, Baldwin, signed up for the Disney half marathon. So this year instead of going to Vegas during CES for my birthday, I’m going to Disney – total 180 right? MG and I decided to come support their marathon, and we made a birthday trip out of it.

First two days, we went to Universal Studios. The second day we went to Islands of Adventures, where Harry Potter World is located. By far the best theme park ride I’ve ever been on was Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey  (the Hogwarts castle ride). I told myself I wouldn’t have high expectations of this park, but in my heart, I did. And this theme park met my expectations and beyond! Every detail is magnificent!

We walked down Hogsmead:

Hogsmead

Olivander’s Wand Shop is a must. I was totally confused why it was a 30 minute wait to get into the gift shop, but it’s not just a shop. There’s a show! This was the most epic part of the theme park because Olivander chose Katie and I to test out wands!!! As Olivander was talking to us and looking into our eyes, I really felt like a wizard. Best experience yet!

Olivander's

Olivander's
This image was taken in the dark so it’s blurry, but you can see me testing out a wand! “Wingardium Leviosa”

Wands
We didn’t chose the wands… the wands chose us!

Wands
Boxes and boxes of wands

The Monster Book of Monsters
The Monster Book of Monsters was also in the wand shop!

Next stop – Honeydukes for candy!

Honeydukes

Honeydukes
Got a sweet tooth?

Honeydukes
Chocolate frog, Fizzing Whizzbees (magic in my mouth), and Every Flavour Beans ^^^

And for my birthday dinner, we went to the Three Broomsticks!!!

Three Broomsticks

Dinner FeastAmazing theme park food, a serious feast!

Birthday Trifle
My birthday chocolate trifle – eating this at Hog’s Head

Are you jealous now? This truly was an epic birthday, even for a 26 year old. I’m officially in my late twenties – another year older and another year wiser.

Oh and if you’re wondering, “Why are you so bundled up in Florida?” It was 37° F, all day. I wore leggings under my jeans, my skiing baselayer, two jackets including an Omni-Heat jacket, hat, scarf, and gloves. Gloves was the best idea because as you’re gripping the roller coaster, your fingers are warm.

Buckbeak

Buckbeak says bye

HP love,
Jay

  

Rafting Weekend

This weekend was amazing and so much fun!!! Pictures won’t do it justice but at least you’ll get the idea.

We went lazy river rafting on Saturday. Floating down the river is always so relaxing (not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand). Life is good (know the song anyone, anyone?).

Good friends? Check.
Sweet tan? Check.
HAWKward moments? Check.

Have a looksie:

RaftingThis is the gang!

Rafting close-upsApply and reapply sunscreen. Scary face and dorky face!

RaftingBroski koala-ing is a yearly tradition. You know you wanna!

Lazy Rafting
Cannonball!

Rafting
A beautiful pic of me and the hubs!

This was my first time on a rope swing and damn, it was fun.

On Sunday, I went on a shopping spree and treated myself (I’ll always be forever 21!) Look at my damage:

Loot

Pillage
Essential t-shirts are SO necessary. And my cat is never camera shy… He seriously tries to get all up in there!

Today is boo boo’s birthday. Happy birthday crazy Chylee Seng, I love you dearly.

Chy's B-day

Random plugin: We found out that Chubs loves to eat spinach this weekend – what a health nut!

Chubs

What did you do this weekend?

Love, Jay
—-
Info on the rafting company