Sunday, December 14, 2014

We Could...We Could Belong Together ARTPOP!

Ello Baykahs.
Christmas time is here...and what did Santa bring me a little early??? A BAKER. Cesar joined our crew after a week trial run on Tuesday. He's 20 years old and full of energy...exactly what I need because I am NEITHER OF THOSE THINGS LATELY....

But what DO I have time for??? Creating my favorite list of the year! The best gifts to GET OR GIVE for 2014!!! We still have time to online shop, so maybe this list will start or finish your Christmas shopping this year...

Let's start small...

Cotton Candy Christmas ornament from Sur la Table:

I love food Christmas ornaments, and this one is quite possibly the SWEETEST I have ever seen.

Booze Decanter from CB2:

Ya gotta love a good decanter! They change your cheap liquor into something a little more CLASSY.

Popcorn and snackware from Macys:


I am a SERIOUS snacker, and this collection is adorable and ON SALE...two of my favorite things.

WTF bag from Bluefly.com:
If there is one thing I'm good at it is COMPARTMENTALIZING, and nothing makes it cuter than little zipper bags to hold all my SH*T.



I've been a little obsessed with talking clothing, and these are just a few of my favorites.
Humbug sweatshirt from WestElm.com:


I'm Not Sorry sweater from Macy's:

If You're Waiting for a Sign THIS IS IT from Old Navy.com:

Sometimes I just can't find the right words, so I have to let my clothes talk for me.

Initial ring from Saturday.com:

I'm not a jewelry girl, but I ADORE letter jewelry. This is just too cute to pass up, and it's ONLY $12!?!

Tic Tac Socks from ShopJeen.com:



Orange Tic Tacs and sprinkles for my feet???? LOVE.

And the FINALE gift of ALL gifts of 2014 is......the gift of POP ART.

Love Gun by Maxwell Dickson on Overstock.com:

Pop art always makes me happy...and Overstock.com always offers great deals and usually free shipping.

That's it, Baykahs...I've shopped 'til I've DROPPED all for you. I know. I know. It's for me.

Laytah




Thursday, November 20, 2014

It Won't Get Better Now. When Will This End?

Ello Baykahs-
Ya know...you tell yourself that it's ok to take a break on blogging because you just CANNOT think of one more thing to write about that is DIFFERENT...and then you realize you haven't blogged since August...

A U G U S T?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Truth be told, I have written a couple of posts that were just CRAP...so, I just never pushed PUBLISH. I pushed SAVE. I pushed DELETE. I pushed FORGET IT I QUIT.

The TRUTH truth is I have been going through some pretty tough times recently...and, I kinda hid in the kitchen baking the time away...hoping that if I just stay there then everything will be fine. But it isn't...

We lost our Head Baker, Chris Snazzy, exactly one week ago.

CALM DOWN, HE ISN'T DEAD.

BUT, we did lose him to The Strip. And, quite frankly, once someone goes to work on The Strip they NEVER COME BACK. Mom and Pops can't compete with $16 an hour, 8-hour work days, and full benefits. SO....I can't blame him for going. It is a GREAT opportunity for him....

BUT IT HIT ME HARD.

I have known Snazzy since he came to work for us as an intern five years ago. He quickly became our Head Baker and a LITERAL member of my family. I worked with him 10 hours a day...AT LEAST. He wasn't just our baker. He was the guy who made me forget the drudgery of baking the SAME THING EVERY DAY ALL DAY. He made me laugh. He told great stories. He was the KING OF BULLSHITTING. He made the entire crew smile. As Lucy put it, "Without Snazzy, Retro is DULL."

Lucy is right. Without Snazzy, Retro IS dull....but I know that will change. It's just a week into our "new normal" as I call it. We haven't found a baker yet (Brian and I have been taking on the duties), but when we do find THAT PERSON it will feel a little LESS stressful....and HOPEFULLY a little happier.

BUT DO NOT GET ME WRONG. It will NOT be the same. It is a true END OF AN ERA. Our CORE of FOUR (Kim Chew, Brian, Me, and Snazz) isn't there anymore. We are trying to find a our footing with two less feet.

TO SNAZZ- I am so proud of you for wanting more for your life and walking your own path to get there. You are such a beam of light in everyone's lives. And I know whatever you choose to do, you will be successful because you have a crowd of people who would never let you fall. Whatever you need we are here for you.

Full disclosure: I've been trying to write this post for TWO WEEKS. I have stopped and started about nine times....and I think this is the one I'm ACTUALLY going to publish...

So, RETRO BAKERY IS HIRING! HEAD BAKER WANTED. Must be willing to work hard, bake hard, and put up with my BULLSHIT ALL DAY. Email your resume retrobakery@hotmail.com.

I guess this post means I'm back to bloggin' again. I don't know how often it will be, BUT I will do my best to bring you the cakes we've done....and keep you up to date on other stuff I want to bitch about.

Laytah.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Vacation! All I Ever Wanted...

Ello Baykahs-
I'm writing you feeling totally RELAXED....really!! I'm fresh off one week in Oregon. We took our family vacation this week and drove to Oregon...it was only 17 hours of driving each way.

*FULL DISCLOSURE: I have an INTENSE fear of flying, and given the recent plane issues around the world I just couldn't do it...SO, we decided to drive.

I'm really glad we DID drive, because it made it feel like a REAL vacation. We stopped in Reno as our place to sleep each way. And the girls had a blast in the arcades the casinos they have there (Vegas doesn't really cater to families like Reno does). We also had a chance to eat at some cute places and visit a cupcake shop called BATCH that I have been following for quite awhile.

*FULL DISCLOSURE: Batch is a really cute place, and their cupcakes were quite delicious. However, it was a little weird to see one of their cupcakes DIPPED IN BUTTERSCOTCH....and that's all I'm gonna say about THAT (except it was delicious).

Our destination was Oregon because that is my home state, and we wanted to go and wish my Grammy a VERY HAPPY 90th birthday. She turns 90 on August 29.
We stayed in my old room in her basement where I lived while I went to my first year of college at Portland Community College (long story short I commuted two hours every day to go to school). It was so amazing to be in that room...20 years later...surrounded by a few of my high school memories. The girls had a blast looking at my prom picture and my high school graduation tassel. They also enjoyed playing outside unsupervised and not locking doors. They blew bubbles. They rolled around in GRASS.
They went to a REAL farmer's market.


My hometown of McMinnville, Oregon, has changed a LOT from when I was there 20 years ago.
It has turned into a wine mecca which has really invigorated the downtown. There are restaurants and little shops, and cool places to just stop and relax and eat on a rooftop. It has really become a place where time stands still for just a bit...I seriously watched a woman place her freshly baked bread from her bakery INTO A RED WAGON and roll it down the street to distribute to the restaurants to make their sandwiches with. SERIOUSLY...a RED WAGON.

McMinnville wasn't like that when I was growing up...or maybe it was, but I was just too young to see it. I remember just wanting to leave...all I wanted to do was go to California. It was ALL I thought about...bigger and better..and FASTER. And here I am sitting in Las Vegas...

I don't know if I miss the Northwest or I just miss my family. My grandmother is there...my dad is there...my sister...my aunts and uncles...most of my cousins....I really miss all of them. I was lucky enough to spend a day with my dad at the beach while we were there. He had a really tough year, and it was very hard being in Vegas while he was in a hospital bed. But, he pulled through...and I was SO happy to be with him even if it was just for a couple of hours.

The beach is where I feel most at home in Oregon. The girls?? Not so much. Abbi isn't a fan of the sand, so she spent a lot of time on the dock. BUT Lucy did have a blast making the sand castle that she has been talking about making for about a year...complete with feathers found on the sand (which I don't have a picture of simply because the ocean got to it first).

We spent three entire days in Oregon. It was relaxing. It was inspiring. It made me want to BAKE....so, I think I'm ready to go back to work...and maybe bake a few new things to feed to Las Vegas. I plan to test bake some new stuff over the next month to see if I can add to our menu for FALL and WINTER because THAT is prime EATING SEASON!!

I get back in my kitchen this afternoon...I'm actually excited to be back to work....which is pretty stupid considering I have been BITCHING about working for the past six months. But honestly? I'm at my BEST in the kitchen....

So...VACATION IS OVAH. I am rested. I am relaxed. I am READY to undo those two things.


Laytah

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sisters are Doin' it for THEMSELVES!

Ello Baykahs-
Here we are in another Sunday. Believe it or not THIS week was faster than ALL OF THEM. It was one of those weeks where it was Monday...then I was waking up on Saturday morning SURE it must be Sunday....which leads to the inevitable PANIC of "NO, KARI. IT IS SATURDAY, AND YOU NEED TO GET UP AND WORK YOUR A$$ OFF."

The bright side to all of this CRAZY BUSYNESS?? Summer break is almost over, and the kids get their LIVES back! Yeah...let's talk about my kids. The number ONE asked question of the month of May is "What are you doing with the kids all summer in the bakery?"

THEY'LL BE IN THE BAKERY.

That's the answer when you run your own business. LUCKILY, Abbi is 15 (ALMOST 16), and can stay home with Lucy for most of the mornings...AND there is $1 movie day on Wednesdays that they've been enjoying...but they have been "trapped" at the bakery like most every summer. But...this summer has been slightly different. Our daughters have started their own businesses!!

Out of pure boredom and watching COUNTLESS YouTube tutorials STICKY FINGERS duct tape wallets and FUNGIRL ACCESSORIES (no website for Lucy's biz...a little too young for that) were born.

Abbi has created a pretty successful duct tape wallet business (sold exclusively at RETRO BAKERY) that has ignited the entrepreneurial spirit naturally in her BLOOD. She has inspired Lucy to create a loom key chain and accessories business...because the little sister MUST be exactly like the big sister...especially the Haskell sisters. They are two peas in a pod. They are the best of friends. They are ying and yang.

How did I get so lucky??? Even I don't know...they just love each other...barely fight...and spend EVERY MINUTE TOGETHER. My girls are so close that we spent all this money getting a new house, so they could have bigger bedrooms, and guess what happened? They share a bedroom....because they WANT to.

KEEP IN MIND THEY ARE ALMOST SEVEN YEARS APART!



I know exactly how lucky I am...and I hope it keeps up...so far so good...so adorable.

Speaking of adorable: HERE ARE THE CAKES/CUPCAKES O' THE WEEK!

Bow tie and Blocks cake:
with cute matching cupcakes:




The Lorax-inspired birthday cake:

Crazy for Daisies birthday cake:


Ready to Pop buttercream baby shower cake:

Edible golf balls cupcakes:

and the BIG DADDY OF THE WEEK! The dragon birthday cake!!!!!

The summer is almost over...so, I'm gonna enjoy every second I can with my girls. Even though the bakery still rules our lives, it kinda makes the time we have together THAT much more important...and necessary.

Laytah

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lovin' ...is What I GOT

Ello Baykahs!
We started off the week thinking we would be very very slow.

Maybe we can go to the movies! Maybe we can go out to lunch! Maybe we can take some half days off!

And then the phone started ringing...and ringing...and ringing....

So, we ended UP having an EXTREMELY busy week...so busy I BARELY go pictures of cakes.

SO busy I slept until 7 am today (UNHEARD OF)...
So busy I can barely type of these keys...so I won't.

ENJOY THE CAKES O' THE WEEK!

Hawaiian-inspired birthday cake (with edible image song lyrics on top):


 Lego Block birthday cake:


British flag birthday cake:

Black with blue swirls wedding cake (topper provided by customer):

Minecraft-inspired birthday cake (toy provided by customer):

And THE MOST INCREDIBLE BIG DADDY CAKE OF THE WEEK EVER...The TURTLE CAKE:


I'm gonna just take my time this Sunday...because it's all I got. 

Laytah

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Say Something I'm Giving Up on You....

Ello Baykahs-
This week seemed to be a repeat of last week...minus the holiday. Summer business plummets when it gets hot, and lately, it's been VERY VERY hot in Vegas...and stormy. But those monsoon storms bring RAIN...and that rain? It brought in customers!
You would think people would want to stay inside when it rains...but in VEGAS it never rains...so, when it does people leave and ENJOY IT! They come to Retro and get cupcakes...and My Pies...and breath in the humidity.

OMG.
Did I just do another post about the WEATHER?

Yes...

Oh.
I'm losing my touch. I know...I'm not really feelin' the blog lately. I feel like I'm letting you down, but frankly, NOTHING HAS CHANGED. I do the same damn thing every damn day. I don't even know what to say anymore...and THAT is the truth. So...maybe I'll get a BURST of energy and inspiration soon...or maybe not. Either way I will STILL do my best to keep you updated on CAKES.

So here they are...The Cakes O' the WEEK!


Our new "sample" cake at the bakery...I designed this. I LOVE how simple it is.


Spiral Rustic buttercream cake with real roses and little fondant love birds:


Baby Boy Owl cake:

Handpainted fondant unicorn cake with watercolor background:

Rainbow dots baby shower cake:

Pinwheel birthday cake:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4th birthday cake for a kid we have none since he was STILL IN THE BELLY: 

And the BIG DADDY OF THE WEEK! The Suitcase and Chocolate Box birthday cake:

Well...it's hot again here in Las Vegas...
NO. NO MORE WEATHER.

Next week I should have something to say...RIGHT?
Who knows....

Laytah

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I Wonder How's it Gonna Be...When You Don't Know Me

Ello Baykahs-
We made it through another holiday! July 4th is probably our 5th busiest holiday...not too busy...not too slow...but FULL of people buying dozens of cupcakes for their BBQs. THIS year it was ONLY 112 degrees outside....AND the monsoon rolled in....AND IT RAINED. In fact, we had a lightening storm as the backdrop to our fireworks show, so it was pretty incredible.
I love this time of year. Yes, it's hot as hell, but when that rain rolls in and drenches you for about five minutes, suddenly it doesn't seem so bad. It all dries up and blows away....leaving everything clean and dust-free...until the next wind storm.
Now, there aren't as many weddings this time of year BECAUSE of the heat...but, we still had some cool cakes....

HERE ARE THE CAKES O' THE WEEK:

LOVE this beach birthday cake (customer provided the topper):

Light grey and pink wedding cake (buttercream with fondant pieces):
 Little tea pot birthday cake:

 Quilted fondant clothesline baby shower cake:
 Legos-inspired birthday cake:

and the CUTEST cake of the week: The B birthday cake! This cakes just SCREAMS Summer birthday:

I'm pretty sure I just did a blog post about the weather....THIS IS GETTING PATHETIC, right?? The thing is we just don't have much change going on at the bakery: we bake, we make, we bake, we make. THAT IS IT. BUT, I may have some things to talk about very very very soon....just in time for when Retro starts to get busy again. I may have a little more ROOM to fill up with cakes.....but, I don't really KNOW anything yet. I need a little more time...and a few more meetings before I can make any kind of announcement. Of course, it could just be more of nothing...'CAUSE that is usually what happens.

Are my hopes up? No....BUT, if we're gonna do something, it better be now because a bored baykah makes for a very boring blog.



LAYTAH