Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Sugar Llama

Hey, party people! It's been a while! I need to get back into the groove of regular blog posts.

A lot of good stuff, a lot of bad stuff, a lot of meh stuff has happened this week. Just a lot of stuff..


One of the big, good stuffs was that I got my baking website, The Sugar Llama, up! Yippee! I am so so pumped, you guys. 


"Hey now, hey now. This is what dreams are made of."

If you haven't checked it out yet, here you go! I also have an Instagram account and a Facebook page if you feel like following! 



Now, to clear up any confusion: I still plan on posting my recipes on The Sugar Llama page on this blog, but if you want to get updates on baking and events that I do, head over to my website and pop your email into the subscription box at the bottom of the page. I'd love you forever. For reals.

I took the idea of having a website portfolio for my baking from my incredible friend Kanako. She is one of my best friends, my baking sensei, and the best pastry chef that I know. I miss her dearly (I hope you're reading this and that your new house is the bomb!) Also, do me a favor and check out her work here: Cake By Kanako 


She made our wedding cake and it was absolutely delicious! It's the red, turquoise, and polka dot one, if you couldn't guess. 


Back to my baking site, because I'm being a little selfish right now and that's what this post is about. My cute friend Nikole asked me once to share on my blog how I got to wanting to start a baking business (because I want to do that!), so here's the post that I wrote on my website:





My Life Story. Kind of.
Hi, I'm Melissa! I'm a Utah native turned Texan. I have a hot husband, two darling daughters, and I absolutely love to bake!

One of the earliest memories I have of food was a watching little show called Great Chefs on Discovery Channel. I was always mesmerized when they did some amazing chocolate work or used a blow torch to caramelize sugar on top of a creme brûlée. Besides learning about how fun it was to play with fire, I was also learning fancy vocabulary words. Imagine a five-year-old whipping out the word "shallot" in a conversation. I was hooked.
My mom further indulged me by checking out kids' cooking VHS tapes (what are those?) from the library (what is that?) and letting me make Jiffy blueberry muffins (what are those?) with her. All you needed was the mix, a crack of egg, and a splash of milk.
A crack of egg, a splash of milk. These were common units of measurement in our kitchen growing up.

Both of my parents are honest-to-goodness great cooks. My mouth is watering just thinking about my dad's steaks and my mom's pie crust. As far as I can recall they allowed me to experiment in the kitchen to my heart's desire. Thanks for that, Mombie and D-Dawg. Because of you, not only was I pro at making Hamburger Helper (again, what is that?), but I could also make a tasty brown bag apple pie, from scratch, by the age of 11. 
Time went on, as time does, and a lot of things changed--but not my love of baking. Apparently I've always wanted to be a pastry chef. Pretty much every career-day report I've written since kindergarten says so. With that kind of a rap sheet it would only make sense to go to culinary school, right? It was my dream. I decided to go to college first (my practical side won out), then do the whole culinary school thing. 

I went to Utah State University and started working retail in a bakery. Then I got married. Then I finished my degree. Then I started having babies and quit my job. Yay for that (seriously! I love it!).
Culinary school was put on hold, but I kept cooking and baking for family and close friends. Then came May of 2016. That's when things got... a little intense.
My older sister was getting married! Yay! And we were getting ready to move to Texas! Yay! And she asked me to make her wedding cupcakes! Um, excuse me. What?

I thought she was cray-cray. Much to my surprise, she was serious-serious.
So I said yes. I worked and reworked my plan for those wedding cupcakes over and over. I baked and researched and triple-checked to make sure my sister knew what she was getting into.

About the cupcakes, I mean. Her husband is great.
The day of the wedding came, everything was super beautiful, and I was super nervous. With shaking hands, I set up the dang cupcakes and made it my mission to keep those dang trays looking dang stocked and dang beautiful and that was it, dangit.
Then people found out that I had made the cupcakes. Double dangit. Except here's the thing: I was getting really nice compliments! Like, a lot of them. I was not prepared for that. Is it possible to be both floored and shocked at the same time? Because I was.
I left that wedding feeling like I could burst with happiness and float out the door. I was even asked, on the spot, to bake for another wedding (except we  were moving)! It was one of the best and most humbling moments of my life. I thanked my sister profusely for letting me bake for her wedding. She had reignited my passion for baking and gave me the push I needed. She helped me realize that I could actually start a business.
Since then, we have moved to Houston and I've started a blog, The Frolics of Mama Llama. I've been baking every chance I get. My sister's in-laws flew me back to Utah to bake for another wedding! If I never bake another day in my life, I will be satisfied. I can say someone liked my cupcakes enough to fly me in an airplane so they could eat them.
I could never stop baking, though. It's too fun.

Plus, what can I say? I'm really just in it for the dessert.

Behind The Name
I came up with the name "The Sugar Llama" because I love llamas. Spouse Unit took me to a llama farm the day he proposed and I cried. About the llamas. The proposal was cool, too, though. 
It's also a play on words because I'm the money maker while my man's in school. Get it? Hilarious.



And there you have it, Nikole and everyone else. I'm sure there's more to the story but I think that ought to do it for a while until I write a cook book ("No no no no no no WAY Jose! ...Unless you want to..."). 

If you're interested in ordering any goodies, want to see anything else on my website (like your favorite dessert), or if you just plain hate it (please don't hate it), go ahead and let me know! Send me a message! 

I honestly want to know what you guys all think and how I can improve it! Obviously the web domain is redundant, long, and annoying, but if I end up rolling in the big bucks from this venture I promise that my first order of business will be to bite the bullet and pay WIX for a monthly subscription of a more reasonable domain name. 

Also, I'll replace my Prisoner of Askaban headshot which I have been using a little too profusely if you ask me. 


Question time! What did you want to be when you grew up? Let me know in the comments!


Thanks for reading, and I'll see you on the flip-flop,

Melissa/The Mama Llama/The Sugar Llama (I don't know who I am anymore)

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