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When Tara Met Blog
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Vanilla Bake Shop

Vanilla Bake Shop recently premiered in Santa Monica just near the Promenade.  I had been eagerly waiting for it to open its doors since I first noticed it during my commute to work. I had known that it was going to be a cupcake shop just by the name and cutesy design that read "coming soon." Since the shop opened it has been publicized in a New York Times article and featured on Daily Candy LA.

In regards to the decor, LA Cakecake MeetUp member Evan of said that the place "can be best described as the bastard lovechild of David Bowie from Labyrinth and Barbie." With cotton candy pink walls, damask wallpaper, white chandeliers, and dark wood floors, he had a point. I especially liked that they had shelves of old fashioned clear jars filled with fine baby blue, green and yellow sprinkles. 

It's trendy and their offering of baby cupcakes 3 for $5 are uber-cute and just the right size to allow you to try some of their many flavors. Using Belgian chocolates and farmers market ingredients; they make cupcakes like Meyer lemon raspberry and banana chocolate chip in regular and baby sizes (some even come stuffed with filling!). I had ordered six cupcake babies and a glass of low fat milk to wash them down with. The group consensus was the Old Fashioned, Red Velvet and Mocha were among the favorites.  

Baker/owner Amy Berman kindly and enthusiastically came out to speak with our group. She shared her story of how she went from catering to opening her own shop. Originally though she worked in entertainment as a PA on the hit show Will & Grace. Apparently she baked cupcakes for the cast and crew as a Christmas gift for everyone and later decided to quit her job and pursue what she loved—baking! It's a cute story and she seemed to charm the group as much as her shop did. 

For more photos from the event click here, otherwise we're off to try Dainties next and will report back.

PS: I was recently in my office's elevator with Bobby Brown and I had no idea, I even chatted with him in the elevator lobby. My coworker was the one to enlighten me, he also snapped a photo. My bad, call me Captain Oblivious. Meanwhile when I think of Bobby Brown I think of this.

Posted by Tara at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Friday, August 10, 2007 8:54 AM PDT
Sunday, August 5, 2007
The road to recovery...

is filled with flowers.

Well, I can't say I'm not loved. Between the flowers, calls and blog love, it feels good to be me, even if I’m a bit sore. 

I photographed the flowers I've so kindly received since my surgery. I have them throughout our place (on our coffee table, cupboard and dining table).

It looks and smells like I live in a nursery. I keep going by and smelling them and smiling at their bright presence. I also feel that they keep me positive, ah the power of bouquets.

Posted by Tara at 5:25 PM PDT
Updated: Sunday, August 5, 2007 9:18 PM PDT
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Hope continued

It's all behind me now, I hope. I went to the outpatient part of Cedars-Sinai hospital yesterday and had a LEEP performed to remove parts of my cervix that contained high pre-cancerous cells. You know you're in Beverly Hills when the outpatient center has a valet, though. Luckily, that's how I roll ;)

I couldn't eat or drink from midnight the night before and I was so thirsty, not even hungry just thirsty. I was a little freaked out by the idea of anesthesia, since I've never been under with it, even when I had my wisdom teeth pulled they just used gas. It didn't help that the day before the hospital called to ask if I had a living will or if I was allergic to anesthesia. I told them I didn't think so, but of course didn't know for sure having never had it.  

I had to go an hour and a half ahead of time. They led me in the back where i had to don a robe that opened in the back, put my hair up in one of those hair nets, remove my shoes and put on booties. I looked scary when I saw myself in the mirror. Oh and they had me remove even my toe ring since they would be using electricity inside me. Again, scary. 

Then it was time for the IV and luckily I didn't faint, but it did hurt and caused a heart throb like beat on my hand. They had nice warm blankets for me though which was nice.

Next the anesthesiologist came in followed by a resident who he said would be following him and asking me questions. It reminded me of Grey's Anatomy. The guy even looked like the character George and was awkward like him. Whenever I was more conversational in my responses he'd tense up and just say "yeah."  It was cute until I remembered that George didn't pass his exams and who knew about this George-wannabe. 

He asked if I was feeling woozy, but at the time the bed that I was on was being spun around a corner and oxygen was being put over my face, so it was hard to tell or answer. I then was awake enough to help them move myself to the gurney, I saw them put some sticky things under my robe and had enough time to look around the large surgery room to see tubes hanging from the ceiling, big lights, stirrups being put up and then I was out. 

When I woke I had thought I had fainted and started mumbling as such and then Raphael was there and my surgeon and then I was lucid again. Despite being weak, my hunger was more prevalent so we stopped at my favorite - Sizzler. They even had my fav chicken noodle soup available, which I'm going to take as a sign, lol. Now I'm on Percocet so everything is just peachy, I don't even care about the cramps and other inconveniences.

News: Cat predicts deaths at nursing home. Freaky!

Posted by Tara at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Saturday, August 4, 2007 10:29 AM PDT
Friday, August 3, 2007
Tara's wedding part 2

The wedding itself was the next day at Branford Mansion in Groton, CT and continued with Tara and Andrew's diverse backgrounds.

First there was a tradional Indian ceremony with a cushioned altar area and a sandalwood filled fire buring as the witness to the marriage. Per custom, Tara circled her husband seven times in an act that seals their vows sevenfold. They were both dressed in red and gold wedding sherwani and saree, but 20 minutes later they change into a suit and white dress for the non-traditional or denominational service. So, it was like two weddings in one.


The mansion where this took place overlooked the Long Island Sound and was gorgeous. 

Oh and look at their cake. It was so smooth that it looked fake as if I could knock on it. Apparently the icing is made with marshmallow to achieve this effect.

green, brown wedding cake

Posted by Tara at 10:23 AM PDT
Updated: Monday, August 6, 2007 6:34 PM PDT
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Tara's wedding part 1

Don't freak out, I don't mean my wedding!

I'm referring to my friend Tara R (now Tara T) from high school, whose wedding I went to this weekend in Connecticut. Not only do we share the same circle of friends and first name, but also the same birthday--Dec. 9th. Crazy, no? We also both drove Honda Accords in school and dated an Andrew, but she just married hers--Andrew not her Honda. Andrew was her Junior Prom date and now, eight years later they were wed.

They didn't have just any plain ole' wedding either, but a very cultural one, combining both of their backgrounds, her Indian roots and his Chinese heritage.  The wedding festivities started the day before the wedding with a Chinese Tea Ceremony, where Tara donned outfit #1--a black Chinese silk dress.  

The tea was followed by a Sangeet a few hours later, where all the female guests were given jeweled bindis to put on our foreheads and colorful bangles to wear on our arms.

Tara's two younger sisters and her cousins performed Bollywood-like dances for the couple. My other high school friends, Laura, Vicky and Carolyn surprised the pair (and me) further by learning over the last few Sundays a routine to perform as well and let me say it kicked ass. It had a hip-hop Hindi choreography and they danced to three different songs. I threatened them that it would appear on my blog and as promised I YouTubed it.

While at the dinner table Raphael announced that he was going to get me and my friends some Samosas. Being ignorant to Indian food and thinking he meant mimosas, I eagerly awaited his return and was momentarily dissapointed when he came back to the table with several plates of potato/meat ball snacks. Everyone liked them though, but we had selected too many and soon kept passing the remaining cocktail plate of these meat pastries around the table. Each time one of us would go to the bathroom, go get a drink or hit the dancefloor, the plate would be laying at our place setting when we returned. It was like a game of hot potato, literally.

Tara and Andrew's outfit change #2:


Part two with Tara's 3rd and 4th wardrobe change will be posted tomorrow. 

Posted by Tara at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Monday, August 6, 2007 10:18 AM PDT

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