Orlando : Day 1 – Universal Studios

Last week I was getting in touch with my inner-child in Orlando, Florida. Like I mentioned here, I haven’t been there since I was a child and I couldn’t wait to go back – especially with 3 people who had never been to any of the theme parks before. We started our adventure at Universal Studios. I was a little disappointed that a few of the rides I was looking forward to like Jaws and Back to the Future were removed since the last time I was there, but I don’t know why this actually surprised me because that was over 15 years ago.

Being at Universal Studios is literally like being on the set and behind the scenes of some of your favorite Universal movies. All of the rides are interactive and half of them have a little “show” before hand. I loved Universal, but I’m a kind of a thrill seeker so I was looking for the big rides, which they didn’t have much of. Even though it started raining half way though the day, nothing was going to ruin our fun [plus, luckily most of the rides at Universal are indoors ;)] We had an awesome day and stayed until the closing light show and fireworks display  – despite the downpour.

My favorite rides: The Mummy & The Simpson’s // BaDing’s favorite’s: The Mummy & the turkey legs

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Marshmallow Fondant

I love whipping up some fondant to add some extra oomph to my cake creations. Fondant always intimidated me until I found out how easy it was to make. I like marshmallow fondant better than regular fondant because I think it tastes better.

I have always loved shark week [Jaws was my favorite movie as a child], but I was away for the majority of it this year and there were only a few day in between Cali and Florida for me to watch. I made these in one of the few days I was home and brought them over to my parents house for our shark week party [and by party I mean me and my dad and BaDing watching all the shark week episodes my dad recorded for me while I was away].

For these shark week cupcakes that were inspired by this post, I decided to make a tiny bit of homemade fondant to make these shark fins. All you do is take equal parts marshmallow and powdered sugar [I used one cup of each since I only needed a little] and a tiny bit of water. Take the marshmallows and dump them in a bowl. Add a tiny bit of water- I used 1/2 teaspoon. Microwave in 30 second intervals, removing the bowl each time to stir. Continue until it is all melted. Remove from the microwave and add the powdered sugar and mix. Once it’s gets really sticky and difficult, lay a little more powdered sugar on a clean surface. Put the fondant mix down and knead  until it becomes smooth and loses its stickyness. If it’s too sticky add little bits of powdered sugar until you get the right consistency. If it’s too dry add a few drops of water.

Voila! Fondant. Add the food coloring of your choice and knead in until you get the perfect shade. I made classic vanilla cupcakes and blue frosting and cut the fondant into the dorsal fin shape. These were the perfect addition to our party. Add fondant to any of your cakes for a smooth looking finish, and it’s always fun to get creative with it. 🙂

 

Throwback Thursday

Right now I’m at the amazing Disney World! I haven’t been to Disney since I was little. I have the best memories of being there with my family and I am seriously looking forward to experiencing it all as an adult. I am pretty much certain that my parents’ memories of Disney aren’t as joyful… My brother and I [although we were cute haha] were complete terrors on all of our trips to Disney, it’s truly a miracle that my parents ever took us back for multiple rounds. It was probably a mix of the fact that we were normally pretty bratty, with the addition of candy and excitement. We were looking through old albums and telling each other hilarious stories and we stumbled across so many funny Disney pictures. Here are a few to hold you over until I return with current ones!

Meet Me in Los Angeles

Our last day in Cali we headed over to the Los Angeles area. My friends who had never been there had quite the agenda mapped out for us…  we were such tourists! We spent the day hopping around from Beverly Hills to Hollywood Blvd. Part of the morning we even started following around a Starline tour bus to try to figure out what interesting sites they were showing their paying customers… until the driver yelled at us. I love the palm tree-lined streets that surround this area.

We went to the Chinese Theatre, where so many stars of the past and present have stood. It was just as stunning as all the other times I have been there, but the history of this place always amazes me. We walked down the Walk of Fame, and I found my favorite star, Mickey Mouse. We had the perfect ending to our day grabbing some local food and taking a hike up to the closest spot you can view the Hollywood Sign… The view up there was amazing.

A Week in Pictures

[Shopping on Rodeo Drive // And by shopping I mean buying ice cream because I can’t afford anything in any of the stores]

[Seagull + Pelicans = whatever these birds were]

[Palm trees just make my days better :)]

[Enjoying some west coast burgers at In & Out]

[Beachy books that decorated a nook in our hotel]
[A pink dog strolling down Rodeo Drive]

Meet Me in Santa Monica

For our second two nights in Cali we stayed in Santa Monica at the Huntley Hotel. Everyone, do yourselves a favor and go there! This place was amazing. It’s one block away from the beach and right by the pier. There is a rooftop restaurant that has 360 views of Santa Monica from above, including an insane view of the sunset. We spent our short time here drinking at the rooftop bar,  going on rides at the pier and catching up with old west coast college friends.

[view from our hotel!]

The Beaches of Southern California

This past weekend I was lucky enough to take an impromptu mini-vacation over to Southern California. My best friend and I flew into San Diego to meet a friend who was out there for work and then decided to make our way up the coast and be super-tourists. I have been to California a handful of times, but for my two friends it was a first. They wanted to see everything. We were literally not even there for three days, but with the little time we had, we made the best of it. In two days we managed to see seven beaches. I think that’s my all time record! The beaches on the west coast are so different from the beaches around here, between the cool breeze, palm trees and some of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen, I can’t wait for my next trip out there.

[San Diego]

[Capo Beach]

[Aliso Beach]

[Laguna Beach]

[Seal Beach]

[Malibu]

[Santa Monica]

Stay tuned later this week for more of our So. Cal. adventures 🙂

Grand Central Market

For those of you that aren’t from New York, you might not know about the madness that is Grand Central Station. Grand Central is a mix of angry commuters and happy tourists getting in their way. Usually, I avoid places like this at all costs.

On top of being architecturally gorgeous and the center of NYC and where all trains meet, GC is also a food court, mall, news-stand, and grocery store.. not to mention you can get a hell of a shoe shine around any corner. You can pretty much find the majority of what you need there. Every once in a while if I miss my train, I wander around and see what I can find. The other day for the first time ever I went into the Grand Central Market. It’s basically I little supermarket that only has the really fancy stuff [and is wildly overpriced.] I picked up a few items here, and while I wouldn’t regularly do my grocery shopping here, it was super convenient and very nice to look at.

Can you believe this is in a train station??

Baked French Toast

The other day I saw this post on Cupcakes and Cashmere, and the second I saw the words “french toast” I knew I needed to make this. Besides the fact that I am a total breakfast groupie, I am obsessed with french toast. I decided to make this with challah and I could barely leave this in the over while the cinnamon smell was filling my apartment.  I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome. This is going to become a regular thing at my apartment.