My Gratitude Journal

A morning filled with gratitude at Cafe Gratitude

My friends and I recently had a day of fun at Downtown LA. One of our stops was at Cafe Gratitude for breakfast. This wasn’t planned and was more of a spontanous decision being that we had a list of places that we wanted to hit that day. It ended up being one of my favorite stops of the day.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day after all. I’m such a hypocrite of that because I usually skip breakfast and ironically, breakfast is my favorite meal. So you can imagine my excitement when we chose this cafe for breakfast.

Cafe Gratitude serves up many great dishes, bakery items and drinks for breakfast. Everything is 100% organic and plant based.

We started off with drinks. We were told by the server that when we order, we can order (only if we wanted to) by saying “I am…” and stating the name of the drink or meal.

All of the meals and drinks are named after positive affirmations. I wanted an iced hibiscus tea which was called “love”. So I said to the waitress, “I am love”. One of my friends ordered the turmeric pepper tea and my other friend ordered the matcha green tea (both hot drinks). I can’t remember the name of their drinks but I tried a sip of each of them and they tasted so healthy. Yes, that’s my way of being positive because both of these drinks weren’t my cup of tea (haha, punny…)

We decided to get a couple of dishes and share them family style. We decided on the “I am open-hearted” buckwheat flax pancakes and they were good. We ordered cashew coconut whipped butter on the side and that was even better than the maple syrup it came with. We also ordered the breakfast toast which was named “I am peaceful”. I love toast for breakfast or anytime of the day. I wanted to try one of each so we got a breakfast toast sampler which was called “peaceful flight”. It had a smashed avocado toast, a chickpea frittata toast and a sliced banana toast. My favorite was the chickpea frittata toast. Just writing about it is making me hungry! Those spicy pickled vegetables were delicious and savory. It was a perfect compliment to our pancakes.

After we ordered the waitress left us with a question or thought of the day. Ours was “what are you looking forward to?” I was very excited to share my answer with my friends so I answered first. I said “today” which meant our day trip in DTLA.

We chit chatted while waiting for our food. When it arrived, our server put the food and drinks down in front of us and said “you are love”, “you are open hearted” and “you are peaceful”. Our server then went back to get us some plates since we were sharing and on the plates it stated “what are you grateful for?” We took turns answering. I loved hearing everyone’s answers.

What a great breakfast and such a great way to start off the day.Starting off your day with gratitude is the fastest path to happiness. I do it every morning. I list 3 things I am grateful for. I try to pick three different things but I admit that some mornings are a little harder than others and my list ends up being the same three things. Then there are some mornings when I can just go on and on. Those are the days that start off the best. I feel abundant which leads me to more happiness and gratitude.

I am happy and grateful for my friends and our fun adventures. I look forward to more adventures together.

Happy Friday,

Sweet Monday

baking

2017 L.A. Cookie Con

We attended the L.A. Cookie Con and Sweets Show which was held at the L.A. Convention Center in Downtown L.A. This event took place on February 18th and 19th. We went to the Saturday session on February 18th. The Cookie Con and Sweets Show is a great convention to attend if you are a baker or a sweets and baked goods lover (and who doesn’t love sweets ?!?)

At this convention, you have a chance to buy and sample baked goods and sweets, learn baking techniques, participate in classes and meet celebrity guests. This year, the celebrity guests included Food Network star Duff Goldman from “Cakemasters” and “Ace of Cakes”, online personality Elise Strachan of “My Cupcake Addiction” and Youtuber Rosanna Pansino of “Nerdy Nummies”.

We had a VIP Saturday pass admission. This VIP ticket allows you to be admitted at 9 a.m. before General Admission. It also includes an official tote bag and access to 2 VIP rooms. We arrived at around 8:45 and there was already a long line of VIPs waiting to enter the Cookie Con. They were all lined up along the wall and the line looked pretty long. We had to walk all the way to the registration booths first to get our tote bag and VIP wristband. In the tote bag was a unicorn cookie cutter and a go-go squeeze. Then we had to fall back in line with the other VIPs. By this time, the VIP line had grown a great deal. We had to wait a long time. By the time we got in, it was already 10:00 a.m. I don’t know how this compares to the general admission tickets, but I feel that waiting for almost an hour to get in is way too long. I didn’t feel like a VIP, I felt like an RIP (Regular Important Person). I think what happened is that they sold ALOT of VIP tickets, so there were just too many of us. More people, longer line, longer wait. And really, I don’t mind waiting, I think it is expected. However, if you buy a VIP ticket, there is probably an expectation that you get to breeze right in, not wait for almost an hour to get in. General admission is actually fine with me. But we were given the VIP tickets, so we were fortunate to have that experience. I am still grateful and it was totally worth the wait.

The entrance in went pretty fast once they opened the doors to us. Once in, we were handed a box to put all our sweets and goodies in. The first place we walked to was the Decorator’s Showcase Competition. The Dessert Table Championships theme was Sci-Fi and there were 3 categories: superhero, bizarre and wedding. The competition was hosted by Duff Goldman, Food Network star of “Ace of Cakes” and creator and executive chef of “Charm City Cakes”.

There were entries by Shelbys Cookie Art (Instagram @Shelbyscookieart), Torrance Bakery, and Elegant and Modern Design, LLC. (Instagram: @elegantandmodern)

After that, we headed over to the Kids Zone. Mad Cap Balloons had a booth so my son got a chef hat made from balloons.

Then we met Miss Melissa of Baking with Melissa. She is super nice! I was so excited to meet her because I’ve been following her on Instagram and I love what she does. She does in home baking parties for kids and teens. I love seeing her photos of happy kids baking, being creative and decorating cookies and cupcakes. At the convention, she had a cookie decorating booth for kids. Check out her Instagram @bakingwithmelissa.

Also at the Kids Zone, there was a Num Noms booth and giveaway!

My son, Josh and I spun the wheel and won some really cool prizes.I won a Num Noms starter pack and my son won a mystery pack!

Josh said that his favorite part about the convention was spinning the wheels at different booths and winning prizes. My favorite part was walking around and seeing what each booth had to offer.

I will definitely be back next year.

 

Favorite Things, My Gratitude Journal

Halloween party food ideas

If you are in need of some ideas on how to decorate Halloween food and tables,  here are some examples of our award winning Halloween food and decorating contests from years back:

We made a Jell-o “brain” and put candy eyeballs on cupcakes. 

We made spaghetti, put candy eyeballs and used a hot dog cut in half lengthwise for a tongue.

We took some wire to string cheese cubes, salami, beef jerky and tomato. We used this to decorate a witch hat. It was alot of work to string all that food. But it was also alot of fun creating with friends. 

We took some mini saugsages, wrapped them in tortilla “bandages” and dipped them in ketchup to resemble bloody fingers. We made more fingers using string cheese. We scored the cheese to create knuckles and then put the skin of a pepper for a fingernail.

We made cupcakes and to decorate them to look like a witch fell through it, we used a peppermint patty, a hersey’s kiss and some fondant for the witch’s hat. For the witch’s legs, we used a chocolate covered pretzel stick and more fondant for feet and stripes on her stockings.

For a cornucopia theme, we used tablecloths in fall colors, fake fall leaves, baskets, and pumpkins to decorate our table. 

For a darker theme, use black cloth, skulls, lights, candlesticks and necklaces to decorate the table.