Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hello Spring!

Happy Spring!

What's the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word spring? Sundresses! Too bad the clouds decided to play games and rain on So Cal today. And to top it off, my boyfriend just texted me about crazy thunder. Come on...

One thing I love about working in a school is that I can wear cute, tasteful sundresses. I always like to browse new dresses online for ideas. Usually my first stop is anthropologie, even though I have no plans of actually purchasing clothing from there.

Here's one that I love!

Of course with every dress, a girl needs the perfect pair of shoes. These would be my pick, minus the $178 price tag.

After browsing at anthropologie, I normally find myself back at forever 21, Old Navy, and Macy's. So many people I know have had such horrible luck with Forever 21.....clothes fall apart and all this other crazy stuff. Somehow I've been lucky enough for that to never happen to me. My faith in Forever 21 hasn't faltered yet. Unfortunately, I don't find much clothing there I'd wear anymore. However, when I do find something cute, I'm super duper happy.

For example, I absolutely love my forever 21 sundresses. Why pay $150+ for a dress....when I can buy one under $30? It's called being smart. Also, most of the dresses I buy tend to be classic, so I wouldn't get rid of them after a season, unless my closet was bursting...which pretty much always seems to be the case.

Here's one I found that I'd definitely wear!

And even though it seems short for work, since I'm short, the length is always perfect! At $19.80...this dress wins. That's an 87% savings compared to the dress from anthropologie.

Now you have a taste of what goes through my head when I go dress shopping :)

The past few weeks have been so exhausting with work and school. Even though I'm a part time aide at school, sometimes I feel like I work the entire day. I even bring work home! And I'm only going to class twice a week. I have a paper due in one of my classes this Wednesday. Luckily, I'm basically done with it already. Having to work on a paper on a day I have work and class would be so difficult. By the time I get home from class, I'm ready to go to bed and start all over again the next day! Some days I wish school would just be over....but then I think about the choice I made to go back to school to help children who need it the most! My motivation in the morning is knowing I'll make some children smile and they'll definitely make me smile.

Every day during lunch I walk around the table and ask how the kids day's are. Now, there's a certain student who asks me, "Are you having a good day, Ms. Toyos?" He'll even ask me how my weekend was, and if I did anything fun. On Friday, he asked me if I was doing anything fun this weekend! Those moments make me so happy and motivated to continue working so hard. Children have such big hearts and deserve the best!

Cody and I went to Disneyland on Friday! We also picked up our Angel tickets for a game in August. They were part of his Christmas present from me this year. I used to watch him play softball over the summer. Baseball was such a large part of his life, since he was young. Seeing him in his element made me so happy! I'm super excited to be with him at an Angels game.

Here are some recent pictures from random events :)

My little sis, Erica, picked up TWO little sisters! I have 2 new grand-littles!

Despite my granny-ness(which I'm not really ashamed of!), I went to DT fullerton with my girl friends!

For my V-Day Surprise for Cody, I took him to the OC Zoo!

He surprised me on V-day with a romantic, home-cooked meal! I am so thankful for Cody <3>
Need some inspiration for the day?

Here are 9 Mindfulness Rituals to Make Your Day Better :)

And to end on a feel-good note...and in spirit of St. Patrick's Day

"May you always walk in sunshine. May you never want for more.
May Irish angels rest their wings right beside your door."
Irish Blessing

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's been way too long!

I'm back!!  Even though I should be reading or doing something else very studious, I always happen to have my greatest spurts of creative energy during these times.   Today after class, I became determined to be Queen Organization.   About an hour ago, I was contemplating the idea of starting up my own personal organization service for mothers who need the help organizing their duties as not only a mother and  wife, but a friend and perhaps a working professional.   I think organizing my life is tough, but I like doing it and I don't think I would mind organizing other people's lives.    Anyways, back to today's dream of being Queen Organization.  I went to Office Depot (after online investigating in class...) and bought 100 file folders and these super cool clear, plastic hanging wall files.  On top of that, I bought basic Avery labels that I could print on with pretty fonts and colors :)    Since the hanging files came in a pack of 3, I hung two in my room and I put the other one by the kitchen of the apartment.  I put 4 files in it (3 for us girls in the apartment and 1 labeled "Super cool coupons!")  

I have this great idea of using puffy paint on the clear hanging wall files to decorate them!I think it would such a cute homemade gifts for organizational purposes.  So that's my new project on the to-accomplish list! I'll make sure to post pics whenever I finally decorate one.

Besides today's eventfulness, living in an apartment since August, I thought I would have made WAY more chef-worthy meals by now.  However, I feel like there's just never enough time in the day.  I did manage to make one noteworthy dish last month!   It was a baked ziti that I found on   It turned out awesome!!  

The preparation...the meat sauce and all the noodles.  The load of cheese had not been brought out yet.

Prior to going into the oven.

The finished product!  Lots of cheese - my favorite!!!

As I'm sure you know, Valentine's Day was just the other day.  Of course, my life wouldn't be complete if I didn't do some baking.   SO early in the morning,  I made little heart cakes for my boyfriend and he planned out a pretty special day for us.  The day was absolutely beautiful and he took me to Laguna Beach!   

That little cupcake coaster I bought at an Irvine Craft fair this past December.  Isn't it ADORABLE?!?! And those are my little heart cakes on the bottom :)

This is my attempt at being artistic :)


Somehow today wins in the cooking area too - and it's a win because of ease, affordability, and deliciousness.  A long time ago my mom made these little pizzas out of english muffins, and I had the bright idea of trying to do the same thing last week.  I'm sure a lot of people have heard of it before, but if you haven't then this is for you!!   It's SO easy, SO tasty, and SO affordable in my opinion.  It's definitely a "piece of cake" for those people who want legit, personal pizzas without spending the time or the money.

English Muffin Mini Pizzas

The ingredients
- 1 english muffin (I use Thomas English muffins - Better Start Light Multigrain.  Only 100 calories, for those calorie conscious readers!)
-pizza sauce (I could only find Mama Mary's Pizza Sauce - so that's what I used!)
-shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Sargento Classic)
- pepperonis (I used Hormel)

Step 1.   Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.   Toast the english muffin on medium heat (I used a pop up toaster)

Step 2.  Tear off a small sheet of parchment paper and lay it on a cookie sheet. This will allow for super easy clean up! Place both halves of the english muffin on top of the parchment paper with the inside facing up.   Put 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce on each piece, and smooth around.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese onto your pizzas, and place a couple of pepperonis on top!

Step 3.  Place pizzas in the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes!

I know this sounds the most simple recipe in the world - but if you're like me, it's sometimes hard to think of something simple! 


That's all for tonight!  It's so great to be back!  


Monday, August 17, 2009

Lionel Richie - the ultimate entertainer for your next party

My newest obsession in the music arena is Lionel Richie.   I can't believe how talented this man is, I could see his music being played in both an elegant indoor reception, and outdoor reception.   He will definitely make it on my DJ list for any party I'll be having.

I've always been a fan of "All Night Long".   If you've never heard this song, I urge you to click here.  I would totally recommend this song to anyone who wants to get a party started.  Personally, whenever I hear this song I see grande gathering on a beach, decked out with tiki torches and all-you-can-drink mai tais!  But really, you don't even need a beach to throw a caribbean-themed party.   You'd be surprised how easily you can transform your backyard into a beach-getaway - and at an affordable price!  You can find really cheap and authentic looking tiki torches and string lights practically anywhere.  Yesterday I was a CVS, and all of the outdoor summer decor was 50% off!  I was tempted to buy the string of colored lights - it would have been PERFECT for a party of this kind. I get excited just thinking about it! 

"Piece" of Advice: Especially if you have older guests at your gathering, make sure you play a wide variety of music that cover the decades.  This will make your guests feel included at your event and ready to P-A-R-T-Y!  Trust me, if your next event will be including guests of all ages, it's really hard to get everyone dancing with only today's current main-stream dance music.  As lovely and fun as they may truly be, guests of years 50+ will not be in the mood to groove to songs like Lady Gaga's "Love Game" all night.   I'm sure you have at least 1 or 2 songs that you enjoy from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.  Perhaps even the 60's! All these songs compiled together will create a playlist everyone will be sure to love! 

Back to Lionel Richie... His new CD,  Just Go, has some amazing party music as well.   For those of you who would like a mix of a little old and new, there are even a few duets with Akon!   This cd is one that I can listen to from start to finish - which is very rare for me! However, for a party, I'd definitely recommend "Nothing Left to Give" and "Forever" from this CD.

You say you're planning a wedding?  Perfect!! Richie has a way with love songs too. It's sad, but I don't feel any new songs these days are really worthy enough for the First Dance or Father/Daughter dance.   The instrumentality of the music from the 80's has so much more quality, and the emotions of  the songs are really embedded in every single note.  If you listen closely, a few of Richie's songs incorporate brass instruments which add so much richness and flair.  If you're struggling with finding  a song for that First Dance or Father/Daughter Dance - take a look of some of these songs.

First Dance Songs:
Stuck On You
Endless Love (a duet with Diana Ross)
Three Times A Lady (actually by The Commodores, Richie's band)
Ballerina Girl
You Are (This song is a little more upbeat  for those of you who don't an incredibly slow song)

Father/Daughter Dance
Ballerina Girl  (<---- I just heard this yesterday and I am in LOVE with it)
Three Times A Lady

Bottom line. The music you choose to play at your event creates the mood for the guests.  You have to make sure whatever music you're playing is appropriate for the occasion - whether you decide to play Lionel Richie or Kanye West.  Of course, you need to make sure you enjoy the music that is played at your event, but if you want to have happy and active guests, you need to make sure to consider their tastes as well!

I love  hearing about everyone's music playlists for their parties - so let me know if you have found any artists or songs to be a perfect compliment to your party!  Or even if you've dreamed of songs for your future wedding day....let me know what you have planned!  :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What's in a color?

For what seems like the past year, I've been lucky enough to be involved in the process of remodeling and redecorating my parent's house.  If any of you have ever been through the process of remodeling a kitchen, refinishing cabinets, picking new blinds and draperies, and deciding what colors to paint the interior, you know that it is so much work!!

I am so happy to know that my parent's value my opinion so dearly, but much of the time I feel like I don't know anymore than they do!  It's been such a big learning experience, and it's really made me interested in interior design.   I never realized how much work goes into picking the right draperies and blinds for a room, especially when accounting for the amount of light that is let into a room.  The lady that has been helping my family with our selections is so knowledgeable in the area of colors and fabrics - she inspires me to learn so much more!   I just need to graduate with current, so I can then go to design school or at least take some design classes.  

Today I went to Dunn-Edwards to find paint chips for pretty much every room in the house.  My mom and I had already picked the draperies and blinds for the rooms, so we had to pick colors that would match.   When it comes to colors, I am a fan of warmer tones for sure.  I absolutely love pictures of living rooms with undeniably rich color.  Golden and reddish tones definitely will be seen in whatever dwelling I may have in the future :)  I found the color for my bedroom - it's called Bronzed Orange.   Tell me what you think :)  I'm so excited for my room to not have that litte-girl feel to it anymore!  My goal is to make it a real retreat :)  We'll see what happens ....  

Now how does all of this pertain to entertaining or decor sense?  It's not rocket science, but different colors create different ambiances for any occasion.   These colors could come from the wall in one's house, the table cloths, the centerpieces, the flowers, anything!   If you're planning to move into a new place, and entertaining guests is something you think you'll be doing frequently, think about painting your living room walls with a warmer color - golden or mocha tones do wonders.  And they're so popular right now!   If you're super daring, you could try a dark purple or earthy brown as well.    These warm colors don't just an energetic and dramatic feel to the room, but they also create a glow in a a room that compliments people's faces!   Now who would have thought that?   Here are some examples of what I'm talking about.  

Now, painting walls is definitely not an easy task - especially if one is already settled in.   As I mentioned before, there are many other ways to bring in color and evoke certain moods.   Thanks to Linnea Johansson, a famous New York party planner, and her book Perfect Parties, I have become so much more familiar with colors and what they symbolize.   

This is adapted from her book!

What does white symbolize?  Purity, childhood, and virginity.  This color can make any room feel really big.  If you'd like a classy look, combine white with any pastel color.

This is a picture from Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon's baby shower.  This is a perfect picture that illustrated the white decor.

How about pink?  It symbolizes sensitivity, affection, elegance, and sentimentality.  While this color is very inviting and will keep your guests at your party, you should be careful in how much pink you use.   If you use too much of it, your party could come off with a Barbie-theme.   However, if that's your goal - bring on the pink!!

This table setting by Linda from In The Making has beautifully utilized the pink colors.

Yellow?  This color symbolizes delight, happiness, independence, wisdom, and creativity.   I've seen pictures of many baby showers with this color theme.   One amazing aspect of this color is that it works year round and it makes your venue look way bigger than it actually is.  

Found on 

These are just a few colors of the colors discussed in the book!  Hope you learned a little something new :)    I know I have!  

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Just lovely!

A beautiful centerpiece like this one I found on Country Living is SO simple and can easily be altered for any occassion!  I love the fact the glass vase is something that can be used over and over again.  And who could complain about having to browse through ALL KINDS of ribbons? Online-ribbons shops are an amazing source to find that perfect vase wrapper.

I absolutely love this ribbon found here.  If you're ever thinking of buying fairly long pieces of specialty ribbon(more than a yard or two), your best bet is to shop online.  Especially if you're planning to create your own centerpieces or chair ribbons that require a decent amount.  The prices tend to be much better, especially when buying in bulk. 

Another idea? If you're throwing an early evening baby/bridal shower or even a simple gathering with a few friends, replace the flowers for a single tea candle! Wrap the bottom of the vase with a single layer of sheer ribbon and the glow of the candle through the ribbon will create a serene and elegant ambiance for your party.  

Now wouldn't a few of these look adorable with a candle and some ribbon? Perfect for that garden party, not only are these flower-pot shaped vases super affordable and versatile, but they will last you forever! 

Now that's what I call a Piece of Cake!  

A New Beginning

First off, thank you so much to everyone who will take the chance to stop by Piece of Cake!  This is my first blog of this kind and I'm doing my best to learn all I can to make the most of it.  My inspiration for Piece of Cake came to me this morning while out on a run, and since then my mind hasn't gone anywhere since.  

Why Piece of Cake?

First off, I love cake!  And I love simplicity - hence Piece of Cake. A cake can be such a simple dessert, but with a few touches a yummy cake can easily transform into a decadent AND delicious piece of art. Also, cake is served at parties, and planning parties is one of my favorite things to do!  Everything from the invitations to the decor to the table linens to the food menu to the party favors - I love it all.  

           Two jumbo cupcakes that I frosted and sprinkled!  I absolutely love larger than normal cupakes. These cupcakes make fabulous treats and they fit perfectly in chinese take-out boxes.  

    This is a picture of a few of the centerpieces I made for an event.  I filled glass fluted bowls with faux rose petals and placed a carnation right on top.  Carnations are wonderful flowers because you can leave them out of water, and they last forever! 

That's me! I have the cutest Wilton holiday shaped mini-cake pan.  Once again, the cakes make perfect treats to take to any party!'s getting late and it has been such a long day!

Ta ta for now!