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Goodbye 2016

December 31, 2016

It’s officially New Year’s Eve and I’m counting down to the end of 2016.  If you’ve been following my journey on social media, a lot has happened! Between leaving my job, seeing my brother get married, planning my own wedding and creating some really cool cakes, I’m so ready to welcome the new year!

Back in January, I left my job to pursue my baking career.  I had no idea what to expect but I was lucky enough that I at least had a year contract to create recipes, photograph and write for Splenda via Crowdtap! It was really such an amazing opportunity and I am so grateful to have had the chance to work on some really cool content to keep my creativity going.  It was also a chance for me to hone my photography skills which is something I am becoming more passionate about.  Go figure! Here’s some of my favorite shots!

RosemaryLemonadeSparkler-16Rosemary Lemonade SparklerNo-Bake-Cheesecake-Cups-8No Bake Cheesecake Cupsgluten-free-pumpkin-pie-baked-oats-9Gluten Free Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmealcoquito-8Coquito

Aside from working for Splenda, I found myself really struggling trying to figure out what route I wanted to take.  I am the type of person who is open to doing anything.  I love to try new techniques, am open to criticism despite getting angry sometimes (I am human and a Taurus), and really give everything I do 1000%.  However, being your own boss and figuring out how to make your career work isn’t something that happens overnight.  I found myself constantly trying to reinvent the wheel instead of just listening to my heart.  Baking started to feel like a job and I could not allow that to ruin my motivation.  

After several months in a bit of a rut, I was excited to welcome Spring by witnessing my bestie Bryan marry the love of his life Ivan.  I was so honored to bake their wedding cake and cupcakes and saw first hand reactions from his guests who tried my desserts.  It was the exact positive reassurance I needed to help me get out of the slump I was in.  After taking several photos and sharing them on social media, I was really grateful for all of the likes and comments I was getting.  That’s when I knew I couldn’t stop.  Baking and sharing my work was my calling.Bryan-Ivan-Wedding-Cupcakes-5

Bryan-Ivan-Wedding-Cupcakes-1Bryan and Ivan’s Wedding Cake

Another fun Spring memory, turning 30!!! Naturally I made my own cake and threw myself a fabulous party! 30th-Birthday-Cake

8Hello 30! Nice to meet you!

Once the Summer arrived, I was beyond honored to bake my brother and my best friend Tatyana their wedding cakes! Both of these cakes were abstract which was a style that was totally new for me.  I was happy that they both trusted me and gave me complete creative freedom to execute one of the most important cakes of their life.  No pressure, haha! 

Abstract-Wedding-Cake-5My brother’s Abstract Wedding CakeWhite-Abstract-Drip-Wedding-Cake-5Tatyana’s Modern Wedding Cake

I’m happy to report they both LOVED what I came up with.  Nothing feels better than knowing you gave someone a small memory that will last a life time!

I also had an opportunity to work with Ashley Holt from Sugar Monster Sweets! Ashley really gave me a reason to fall in love with baking all over again.  She is incredibly talented and I was really fortunate to have worked with her.  I totally give her credit for teaching me how to properly bake, torte, stack and ice cakes.  I really appreciated her trust in me and she really helped me believe in myself again.  I also met her partner Marisol from Tiny Kitchen Treats who taught me how to perfectly ice sugar cookies! That was something I always wanted to learn and I’m so glad I learned from the master herself! She is truly a cookie artist.  Thank you both for the amazing experience!drake-birthday-cake-1

holiday-cookies-1This summer also opened another door to work with my friend Joanna! Joanna is one of the most talented illustrators I know and we both collaborated on DIY wedding shoots to help inspire brides with affordable ideas.  She really is the ying to my yang when it comes to creativity.  I love that I don’t even have to say much and she already is on the same page with the ideas I have in mind.  We both had so much fun creating these set ups to highlight her beautiful illustrations and my pretty desserts.  I can’t wait for more shoots in 2017!

DIY Wedding InspirationDIY-Wedding-Inspiration-9

DIY-Wedding-Inspiration-8

DIY-Wedding-Inspiration-2 DIY Fall Weddingdiy-fall-wedding-2

diy-fall-wedding-8Once the fall got closer, I was getting ready to say “I do” to my now husband Jeff!  Joanna created all of the illustrations for the invitations, thank you cards, favor tags, guest book and table numbers.  I even had a chance to relive my wedding during our shoot!diy-fall-wedding-12My friends and family also threw me the most AMAZING bachelorette party and bridal shower! With my grandma and cousin from Ecuador here to help me celebrate, I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more.  I felt so much love that till this day, I tear up at how special each and every person made me feel.  These are memories I will hold on to forever!bridal-shower-cake-4

pic4Here comes the bride! All dressed in…RED?! Yep! I opted for a gorgeous red dress for my Chinese wedding with gold accessories! I really wanted to preserve the Chinese tradition by using these colors and having a tea ceremony.  pic3

wedding-cakeMy cake also had these gorgeous red spray roses that I dusted with gold luster dust.  It was the perfect cake for the most perfect day of my life.  Saying “I do” to the man I am so lucky to call my husband was the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to me.  I never thought I could love someone so much and I am really fortunate to have married a man that loves me so unconditionally, who supports me and who always makes sure I have everything I need to make my career happen.  Jeff, you really are my everything!pic2Despite feeling so lost in the beginning of the year, I am really thankful to have experienced every single moment.  Every challenge has taught me a new lesson.  Every upset has made me stronger.  Every disappointment has made me so much more positive.  These are all things I really would relive again because in the end I’ve learned that I’m going to be okay.  My career is slowly blossoming into what I envision it to be and I know that no matter what, I can’t and won’t give up.  Making your passion into a reality is possible.  It takes time, patience and a lot of determination.  Even though there will be more changes coming up, I am ready to embrace them all and let each day lead me to where I am meant to go. 

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you everyone on social media for your likes and comments, thank you friends and family, and thank you 2016 for the lessons I’ve learned.  I am ready for 2017!pic1I wish you all a prosperous, happy, and successful new year and remember to never give up on yourself! Everything you envision can be made possible!

xo,

Daniella

 

 

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