Spring Break / LA Recap

I made it back to school in New England just in time for a nor’easter.  I didn’t even know what that was until last week! I miss home but the snow day I’m 97% positive I’ll be having tomorrow makes me feel a hint better. 😉


It wouldn’t be a trip to LA w/o a good wall.  Its so corny, basic, whatever.. I like a good wall. This one was on 3rd across the street from Vanderpump Dogs, down the street from the Grove! Hope that helps hahah. Its a #lovewall and they’re all over LA.

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I love a good shelfie!! I wish this was all mine but I got my mom hooked on Drunk Elephant so some of this is hers.


Its not LA without avocado toast and I got the BEST avocado toast at Jon & Vinnys on Fairfax.  Its a bitch to get too location wise and there is no parking except on the street and if you know Melrose/Fairfax, thats impossible.  The food is AMAZING. I drove around looking for a parking spot for 45 mins and it was 10000% worth it.  It was some of the best food I’ve had in LA in a while. I recommend the avocado toast, the meatballs and the spicy vodka fusilli.


Every time I make a trip somewhere I have to go to Sephora! I never need an excuse to go to that store. I have some new faves. My Nars soft matte concealer – its awesome. My Nudestix rock n roll liner in bronze patina – the color is gorgeous, its super hard to use the roller ball. ABH Amrezy highlighter – if you like smooth highlighters this is for you, though its not as intense as I expected!

The Essence mascaras are an Ulta buy and I’m really liking them! They’re only $5 and so impressive.


The best sign on the wall at Doheny Room in Weho.

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The prettiest window in Weho!

Boston for the weekend!

My mom came to visit me this weekend and it’s exactly what I needed!! I have three weeks left in the semester and I have just reached the point where I am just ready to be done and home! Moms make everything truly better and I got the little boost I needed to power through the rest of the semester.  I have one week, Thanksgiving 😍, another week, finals and I am home.  I just want to see my dog and be in warm weather!

I go to school a little bit outside of Boston so for the weekend we decided to go to Boston and explore.  It reminds me of a much tamer New York which I don’t mind at all. My mom and I did some shopping on and ate good food which is truly the way to my heart!  We stuck to Newbury Street and Prudential Center which are both great. The Sephora at Prudential is TO DIE FOR; it’s massive and has everything!  It was SO cold this weekend, like in the 30s which is just brutally miserable to be outside in…and super hard to look cute in!  My mom froze her tush off so we did our best to stay indoors. With the exception of pictures and donuts lol! 😉

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HM Hat / Blank NYC jacket / Nordstrom Sweater / Paige Jeans / Steve Madden shoes 

I was actually freezing in these photos but I’ll sacrifice cold for a picture and an outfit.  A cute outfit is only so cute under a big puffer coat.

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Blackbird doughnuts for the win! The blackbird original cake doughnut is the best one!


New Year, New Cake.

Happy New Year!!! 2016!!! Today marks the first day of 2016 and while all y’all got your resolutions to get your gym on and eat better I got a cake recipe to share! Butter cake! It’s super easy and cooks for an hour so you can go workout while it bakes! 😉 I suggest make it to share because its big. Maybe a party.  You’ll be the belle of the ball if you show up with this cake!

Butter Cake
1 cup of cubed butter at room temp
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk – *I used a cup of heavy cream and squeezed in half a lemon and it worked just fine.
1/3 butter
3/4 cups of white sugar
2 tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 vanilla bean extract
1. Start oven at 325.
2. Grease bundt pan with butter liberally, dust with flour and set aside. (use lots of butter!!)  This is important because you don’t want part of your cake to stick to the pan.
3. Place all cake ingredients in bowl and mix for 2 minutes.
4. Pour batter in bowl and place in oven for 65-70 minutes, or until knife comes out clean. (It’s okay to use a knife for this one because were gonna poke holes in the bottom of the cake for the glaze.)
5. Once cake is done, remove from the oven in order to cool.  Place the ingredients for the glaze in a sauce pan. Combine at low heat, stir until butter and sugar are melted, don’t bring to a boil.
6.  Poke holes in cake. More holes = more glaze = moister cake.  Lots of holes!  After you’re done pour the glaze on the cake.
8.  Let cake cool, put cake on plate, then serve and enjoy!


Cookies of NYC!

When I was in NYC over Thanksgiving break I burdened myself with the task of finding the best cookie in NY!  I’m a total chocolate chip cookie girl.  They’re my favorite food and I’m happily obliged.
Insomnia Cookies – Chocolate chip, Chocolate M&M, Sugar.
  These are a 10 when it comes to convenience.  They can be delivered hot & fresh right to your door!  These weren’t my favorite… I was counting on these to be a hit, especially since they’re hot.  These are crunchy on the edges and chewy in the middle.  They’re good but not great I would say… Although I did prefer them the morning after rather then the night of delivery… which sorta defeats their purpose of a hot delivery.. I give them 3 stars.
By Woops Chocolate Chip Walnut.
I think this cookie is a stab at the Levain famous chocolate chip walnut… I’ve never had the Levain ones..(shame on me I know) This one was good, again not great… but I don’t love walnuts.  It did taste super fresh and was huge.  You can make a meal out of this cookie. Its has crunchy edges and a soft, chewy inside.  I give it 3.5 stars.  If you do find yourself at By Woops, try the peanut butter oatmeal cookie! (pictured below) Its a big and thick one which I loveeeeeee…. So good!!!!!
Maison Kayser – Chocolate chocolate cookie.
This cookie is for someone who lovessssss themselves some chocolate.  They have weird cookie combos like orange chocolate chip. This French restaurant is not a good choice to eat at…combo of bad service, small meal, lack of choices = still hungry and irritated.  The cookie wasn’t bad… I’d give it a 3.7.  Its a chewy chocolate cookie.
City Bakery – Chocolate Chip cookie
I’ve heard good things about City Bakery.  This cookie was delicious with great flavor.  It almost had the taste of pretzels on it’s crunchy outside paired with its chewy middle.  I give it 4.5 stars.  Next time, try the melted chocolate chocolate chip cookie… I’ve heard good things about that one.  I actually thought that was the only chocolate chip cookie they had.  But they’re two different kinds.  Below is the melted chocolate chocolate chip!
Rubyzaar Classic Rock cookie.
I got this cookie at a booth at the Craft Square in Union Fair and I was pleasantly surprised!  I love a cookie with some shopping! 😉 Makes for a hella happy me.  This cookie was chewy.  It had a buttery taste and I looovveeee butta. I give it 4.3 stars.
Penelope (on Lexington and 30th) – Chocolate chip cookie
This is a cute little place to get brunch!  Perfect to hop in, grab a cookie and go.  They have peanut butter blondies that smelt awesome.  This, too was a soft cookie.  I give it a 4!
And there we have it!  City Bakery looks like the winner. I know Levain and Momofuku are popular choices in NY.  I didn’t include the Levain cookies because everyone raves about how great they are, so you don’t need to read yet another review on them.  I’ve had Momofuku cookies before and they aren’t my thing. I don’t like the flavor.  I love soft and chewy cookies, everyone I tried mostly fell into that category.  The City Bakery cookie was great.. the one I got in Union Square is a good second.
I do have an honorable mention to report that isn’t a cookie…. Dun dun dun…
Dough Chocolate Cocoa Nib donut.
This donut was INSANE.  Like drop everything and go get one insane.  I was strolling through the Flatiron district looking for a place to eat brunch and happened to turn down a random street and found this gem.  I follow Eva Chen on instagram and she’s always posting pictures of Dough Donuts.   I was a little Starstruck when I found this place.  The dough tastes incredible and is so fresh.  And the chocolate.  Ahhh, can’t go wrong with a classic!  I give this 5 out of 5 stars.  SO GOOD.

Wine n Dine

It’s no secret I loveeeee food.  Making it, eating it… I’m a fan either way.  I recently discovered the Wine n Dine app! It’s like instagram for food/wine. I love it because personally, I love food pictures on instagram.  Though I keep mine to a minimum (to avoid being a total fatty) this app fully supports all your food pictures and welcomes them! It also allows you to like pictures and add them to a list of foods you wanna try. Super helpful when trying to pick a restaurant with friends/family.  Is that not the hardest thing in the world?! I read in an article a little while ago that said Gigi Hadid loves the app.  Now I totally see why.  Follow me @reeceyberry!
PS try the banana cupcake at Sprinkles. (the one with the blue and yellow circle) It’s to die for. Just make sure you go on the right day!


Meet the Naked Cake

Boo-yah, bam bam, HELLO!  It’s been a while since I’ve shared a recipe on the blog so I whipped up a 4th of July themed cake this weekend!  I really love making and frosting cakes.  It’s something I’m totally gonna miss when I’m in college living in a tiny dorm, so I’m trying to enjoy it while I can!
This here is a naked cake!! What makes it naked is the lack of frosting on the sides.  I like cake better than the frosting so this was perfect. This is a yellow cake with vanilla frosting. The inside has sliced strawberries in it and it was SOOOOOO good.  Hey, maybe I’m biased but I’ve eaten like half of it.  (aye carumba)  Time to get my ass to a treadmill and turn on a baseball game while I run for an hour.  (hey theres fruit on it!) I so wanted to add blackberries on it too because I’m the blackberry princess and why the hell not?!  Well, because the ones I had were mushy.  So that’s the hell why. 


Yellow sugar cookie cake – adapted from this recipe
2 sticks of room temperature salted butter. + more to grease the pans. 
2 cups of sugar 
2 1/1 cups of all purpose flour 
1 tablespoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon salt 
4 eggs at room temperature 
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 
1 cup of milk **
2 big dollops of mayo.  
Preheat over @ 350
1) Grease and flour pans.**   Line bottoms with parchment paper. (I traced and cut mine, super annoying but worth it!)
2) Combine sugar, flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.  Add in a section of butter and mix on medium.  I did it in 4 sections. (i.e 1/2 of a butter stick at a time.)  Mix for about 2-3 minutes.  Texture should resemble cornmeal. 
3) In another bowl combine milk, eggs, vanilla and mayo.  Add to flour/sugar mixture in 2 groups.  Beat till smooth. 
4) Distribute the batter between two pans.  Bake for 35 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 
5) Let cake cool for 30 minutes before frosting.  Use a cooling rack to speed up the process. 
** If you’re making a naked cake, make sure to grease and flour the pan really well as the sides will be visible. 
** I’ve heard that Sprite makes cake really moist when switched out for a liquid like milk.  I was out but I’ll try it next time.  The mayo makes it moist too. (moist = yucky word but what else is there?!) 
Butter Cream frosting adapted from Sprinkles 
2 sticks of softened, salted butter. 
3 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar 
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 
pinch of salt. 
1) Combine butter, sugar and salt.  Beat till evenly mixed. 
2) Add in vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes. 


Frost your little heart away! 
Tips for frosting the cake! 
Whenever I frost a cake, I put the frosting in a frosting bag with the pipe tip I want in regards to the design of the cake.  (Theres different pipe tips like stars, roses, etc.)  I then put the frosting in the fridge for 15 -30 minutes so it’s easier to frost the cake.  This makes a huge difference as it’s firmer and more manageable.
Cakes out of the oven have a rounded top shape.  When I layer a cake, I trim the top to make it flat. This gives it a more even shape and makes it easier to layer.  
For this cake I just used a frosting knife to apply the frosting.  I used frosting in a bag to do the sides. 
When you put fruit on a cake, make sure to buy a fruit preserve.  They have it at the grocery store in the baking aisle.  This will help the fruit to not get mushy and wilt on the cake. 

Levain Cookies Copies!!!



Levain cookies; the big, thick, chocolate chip cookies floating around instagram and pinterest.  My latest and most greatest feat.  I’ve been searching for a thick chocolate chip cookie to make for a while and I finally found it! These cookies are so thick, dense, bursting with flavor and oozing with chocolate chips.  {Theirs have walnuts in them also, but Ew I don’t like walnuts.} I must say when you eat 4 of them in a row, it quite resembles a meal….and that I need to go run 5 miles. 


recipe adapted from Broma Bakery 

3 cups + 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of salted butter, cold, cut in cubes
3/4 cups + 3 teaspoons of brown sugar
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
2 cold eggs, beaten lightly in a different bowl.
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup of milk chocolate chips [I use ghirardelli because I like their bigger size.]

Measure out the flour, salt, baking soda {I got BAKING SODA} and baking power in a bowl.

Beat the butter with a mixer on high for about a minute.  {paddle attachment, ideally} or until the butter forms one big ball.

Then add the sugars and beat for about 2 more minutes or until the butter mixes with the sugar.

Then mix in the vanilla and eggs on medium/low.  The dough will be lumpy and that is OKAY!

Then gradually add the flour. And lastly, fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

Divide dough into 12 chunks.  Don’t roll them. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Here comes that sad part. 😦  The cookies will need to be in the freezer for up to 3O minutes. {feels like the equivalent of a treadmill minute x 3O, ughhhh} They can stay in there for up to 12 hours.

Ten years later, you can put them in the oven @ 375 F for 18-22 minutes.  Mine were in for 18-19 minutes.  You don’t want to over cook them because that will ruin it!!!!  And once you take take them out of the oven, they still continue to cook.  So you can take them out to early and pop em back in need it be, but you can’t undo it if you over cook. 

Enjoy your Levain copycat cookies, take lots of pictures, eat them for dinner, don’t share, or share all of them!