Time Passes Anyway

Have you ever started something new and maybe your first try wasn’t a success? Yeah, me too! We’ve all been there…..we get super excited about trying this new thing and then when failure strikes we question what to do next or if we should even keep going. I’m here to tell you, keep going….you’ll thank yourself later!

This picture of a unicorn cake I tried popped up from THREE years ago. Let’s all take a moment and observe the precision and beauty… or the lack thereof, I should say. When I started decorating cakes three years ago, the first few were hideous. I didn’t have smooth sides, there were crumbs in the icing, the cake was crooked, the layers slid, you name it. But I refused to give up. I was determined not to let my failures effect my level of success. 

It didn’t come easy and I am still a work in progress when it comes to decorating cakes. What I do know is that the more time and effort you put into it, the better the outcome is going to be. At first, you’ll want to quit and you’ll think every negative thought possible. Those are learning moments. Failure will never overtake you if your determination to succeed is strong enough. Keep pressing on. Here we are three years later and this is a cake that I recently finished. 

Now, I know not everyone is a cake decorator, I get that, but all of us have something inside of us we’ve wanted to do for a long time but maybe you weren’t good at it or you’ve been discouraged. Tell those thoughts to get the heck out and just simply get started; in three years you may be thinking the same thing….look how far I’ve come from where I started! Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever could. The time is going to pass anyway, use it to go after what you want. Remember, the best is always yet to come!

Tennessee Tastings: My Favorite Eats In Nashville

I recently visited Nashville, TN and while much wasn’t open, that didn’t stop us from eating good food and taking too many pictures! I thought I would share my food experiences from the places we visited while there and of course, drool-worthy pictures!

Whiskey Kitchen- 118 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203

  • Fried Green Tomatoes appetizer: absolutely fantastic, thick and juicy tomato with just the right amount of coating, the balsamic glaze was the cherry on top.
  • Seared Salmon: This salmon was cooked to perfection, super moist and tender. It was seasoned well and it didn’t distract from the flavor of the salmon.
  • Fried Green Tomatoes BLT: Like a regular BLT but 100x better!

Tavern- 1904 Broadway Nashville, TN 37203

  • Pain Perdu- The frosted flake crust on this challah bread alongside the rocky road sauce made for a heavenly combination in your mouth.
  • Maple Fondu- Plenty enough to share! The sausage was super spicy. The red velvet waffle dunked in maple syrup was the best part of the maple fondu.
  • Eggrolls- The Philly cheesesteak filling side this crispy egg roll crust was perfect with each bite!
  • Tuscan Fries- The roasted red pepper was the perfect little hint of heat to these fries!
  • Belgian Fries- I couldn’t get enough of these fries dunked(literally) in their roasted garlic aioli.
  • White Trash Hash- Not your typical corn beef hash, but it was much better in my opinion! It had a sticky type texture where it held itself together and the corn beef flavoring wasn’t overwhelming, which I enjoyed!
  • Monkey Bowl- Such a flavorful yogurt parfait with fresh berries and an orange blossom honey!

Husk- 37 Rutledge St, Nashville, TN 37210

  • Shrimp and Grits- I am a huge fan of shrimp and grits and these did not disappoint. Never would I have thought that egg yolk in this dish would be good, but once you break the yoke and mixed everything together it created such a creamy dish of shrimp and grits. Also, these shrimp were the most tender I have ever ate, it was almost like they melted in your mouth!
  • Sorbet Flight- what gets better than a flight of frozen sweet treats?! The flavors for the day were cantaloupe, peach, and watermelon. All of which were phenomenal. The cantaloupe sorbet was surprisingly my favorite of the three; the flavor wasn’t overwhelming, but just enough. The watermelon sorbet didn’t have an artificial watermelon taste at all which was shocking; I was pleasantly surprised with the flavor. The peach, despite its super intense flavor, was really good!

Folk- 823 Meridian St, Nashville, TN 37207

  • Margherita Pizza- I am a huge fan of Margherita pizza and this one did not disappoint. The ratio of tomato to mozzarella in addition to the basil and parmesan was the perfect mixture!
  • Sourdough Ice Cream- yep, I was just as skeptical as you, but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. There was an underlying bread taste and it wasn’t an overly sweet ice cream. It leaned more toward sour notes. Overall, it was tasty and certainly a flavor worth experiencing. 

Mas Tacos Por Favor- 732 Mcferrin Ave, Nashville, TN 37206

  • Tilapia tacos- These tacos were a hit! The fried tilapia was tasty and the sauce was as well; it added the perfect amount of spice to the tacos.
  • Elote- The grilled corn was super flavorful and super spicy; you’ll need lots of water for this one!
  • Sweet Plantains- I am not a huge fan of plantains, but my sister said they took her straight back to Honduras!

Puckett’s-500 Church St, Nashville, TN 37219

  • Cinnamon Roll- We grabbed breakfast to go from here on the last day and it didn’t disappoint! This whiskey-glazed cinnamon roll was light and fluffy on the inside and had a crisp outer ring and the perfect amount of cinnamon sugar mixture inside. The only thing that would have made this better would have been homemade cream cheese icing on top!

Biscuit Love- 316 11th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203

  • East Nasty Biscuit- It’s probable a good thing I don’t live anywhere near a Biscuit Love because I could eat breakfast there every single day. This flaky buttered biscuit had a perfectly moist piece of fried chicken with cheddar cheese and lathered with flavorful sausage gravy; it was truly a hit for breakfast!

The Cake Project- 1006 Fatherland St Suite 207, Nashville, TN 37206

  • Cheesecake- We stumbled upon this place by accident and I was so glad we did. I am an avid cheesecake fan so we tried 4 different flavors; mango key lime, red velvet, banana pudding, and white chocolate peanut butter. Each flavor was really tasty. The cheesecake was smooth, rich, and creamy. Surprisingly the mango key lime was my favorite one!

Olive and Sinclair- 1628 Fatherland St, Nashville, TN 37206

  • Duck Fat Caramels- Yet another one of those skeptical things, but don’t knock it till you try it! I am convinced these are the best caramels ever made. Prove me wrong, I’ll wait….haha! They are savory caramels that have a unique spice taste to them. They melt in your mouth and leave you craving another one.

Baked On 8th- 1512 8th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203

  • Carrot Cake- I love to try carrot cake because it’s one of my top desserts, but this one didn’t quite live up to my expectations. It was flavorful with the your traditional carrot cake spices and coconut, but lacked the flavor and moistness the presence of pineapple brings to the cake. The cream cheese frosting was excellent! They also have a super “sweet” mural outside….too bad the customer service wasn’t as sweet on the inside! 

Donut Distillery- 311 Gallatin Ave, Nashville, TN 37206 

  • Mini Donuts- You know when you pick up your donut and its soft and warm and covered in peanut butter and chocolate, it’s about to be a little party in your belly. These donuts were super fresh and little bites of joy in your mouth, I could’ve eaten way more than one. The cinnamon sugar and the orange creamsicle had rave reviews as well from my sisters. 

Almost A Quitter

As I head back to school in the next few days, I can’t help but be at peace with my decision to keep going. 

As you’ve probably noticed over quarantine, I slowly became absent on The Boardwalk Baker page. I was slowly losing my drive and my passion for this career. I was frustrated with closed doors and caught up in the “more” there is to life and while I had several opportunities before me, it seemed like every single door slammed shut right almost as quick as it opened. I began to wonder if there was a different purpose for my life and I had gotten it wrong up until this point. I was in a state of confusion and disarray with my passion slowly crumbling much like the resemblance of normalcy in 2020. I wasn’t quite sure what to do. 

While I was parked a this roadblock, I decided I would meet with a mentor that I have admired for a very long time.  One that I knew would tell me not what I wanted to hear, but what I needed to hear. Each time we talked I took away more and more information to process, most of which moved me closer to clarity. As the weeks went on, I learned so much about myself and this life I’ve been given. 

  1. When we focus more on what we want for our lives, it only intensifies the pain when life changes or falls short. 
  2. God has given us specific talents and interests for a divine reason that frustration can not overcome because your plan may not be His plan. 
  3. Those frustrations can be eye-opening opportunities to realize you’re chasing the wrong things, but the best is yet to come if you’ll trust the process. 
  4. I realized the passion didn’t fade, it just took on a new form, one that was molded more towards my purpose in life. One that I resisted initially. 

It’s crazy how life works and how everything lines up. When I headed back to school for bread class, I wasn’t really looking forward to it that much. When I stepped back into the kitchen on the first day there was so much peace and a feeling that I was exactly where I am supposed to be. It’s hard to fathom how passion can take a new form.  Without this process I wouldn’t have understood that there is so much more to life than knocking on closed doors….there are friends to make, people to impact, and lives to change. I am determined I was put on Earth to bake this world a better place… one pastry at a time. 

Much Kneaded….

Three weeks ago I stepped back into the kitchen at ICIMB for the first time since March. I walked in thinking I would perfect the craft of baking artisan breads, but truth be told, I learned so much more. 

Learning the craft of bread making has been nothing short of amazing. Many days everything went as planned… and even more days we made mistakes and learned from them. Having relatively little experience with artisan breads prior to this class, I knew there was going to be a wealth of information to process. What I did not expect were the relationships built, the laughs shared, and the encouragement from my instructor and peers. Kitchen lessons translate to life lessons 99% of the time and it always comes unexpectedly. 

Many instances were frustrating because the process and I didn’t see eye to eye. I had made many of the breads before while working in Layers last fall and admittedly, I felt I should have been better at it than I was. Luckily for me, I was surrounded by a community of learners and a teacher who quickly reassured me that it was okay. I was also fortunate to have a teammate who wasn’t scared to bring me back down to earth and remind me that I am just a student and the extra pressure I put on myself isn’t necessary. As a perfectionist, that is a hard pill to swallow, but as the three weeks progressed I found myself truly believing that it’s okay to not shape the perfect baguette or make the perfect croissants…..it’ll come with time. As I’ve talked with my classmates in and outside of the kitchen, they have shown me that we are all on this journey together and the struggles we have are often shared and we will continue improving….together!

Over the past three week we’ve made so much bread that my family has permanently given up on counting carbs. We’ve made sweet breads, savory breads, and baguettes pretty much every day. My personal favorite item we made were croissants because of their challenging yet satisfying nature when you see the finished product! Oddly enough, it’s super relaxing and a great stress reliever for this year we call 2020!

The City of Dreams…

10 months ago I had a huge decision to make and I’ve had the privilege of having you beside me along the journey. Here we are 10 months later and everything has drastically changed. I didn’t know it then, but I know now it was for the better. 

As life has continued to stir amongst COVID-19, I’ve gotten the question over and over again, are you in New York? People have even messaged my mom to check on me! If you had talked to me 10 months ago, and my coworkers at the time can attest to this, I was heartbroken. I wasn’t going to my “dream” school, I wasn’t going to live in the big city, and my hopes had been shattered. I recently decided I would start pursuing an internship in the city for the summer as I was desperately longing for a second chance at life in NYC. I was supposed to fly up on March 12th… yes… the same week COVID-19 made its grand entrance into the USA. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to go. Heartbroken, yet again. 

Both times of heartbreak were all for my protection even though I had no idea at the time. If I had attended ICC, I would’ve just finished my program and hopefully landed a job in the city right before a pandemic struck that would devastate my industry. This would most likely have rendered me unemployed and financially incapacitated. If I had flown to NYC in March, my chances of getting COVID-19 and bringing it back to Reidsville would have been extremely high. Thankfully, yet again, it didn’t work out. While I was struggling to accept the fact that I would not be able to study at ICC, I would catch myself thinking, I just don’t understand, why isn’t this working out? Little did I know everything was falling into place. 

My situation right now isn’t ideal, but man oh man is it better than where I would have been had my plan A worked. Transitioning to online classes has been difficult, but I can’t help but be grateful for where I am in this journey. I may not have the in class experience I was hoping for this semester, but I am able to learn and form relationships with my peers and chef as we all tread these “new” waters together. 

Though every aspect of life has changed, you’re not alone. I hope we can all take a few moments and reflect not on the circumstances but rather on what positives the circumstances are yielding. We don’t understand now, but soon we will. Enjoy the time with your loved ones and if anyone needs me, I’ll be in the kitchen, of course! 

The Dream

“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts.” – Albert Einstein


A conversation was sparked the other day with a young lady who I had never met before, but was uniquely fascinated with what I was doing with this life I’ve been given. She was telling me about her close friend who had wished to go to school for baking and pastry arts, but didn’t see it as a reality due to a number of reasons. Then, she said something that stuck with me. She told me I was living a dream that so many longed to live. I honestly didn’t think much of it at the moment, but later it sank in.


I don’t always view my journey through school as something I dream of, rather I dream of the destination after school. I realized that this is all part of the dream, it’s not necessarily where you’re going, it is about how you get there.  To be such a cliche statement, it has given me an entirely new perspective on this small season of life that I am currently hiking through.


Maybe you’re like me and you’re working towards your dream job or a huge goal. If that is you, don’t forget to bask in the steps you are taking to get to that dream. After all, if it weren’t for the steps along the way, we would never reach the finish line. Maybe you’re someone who is just enjoying every day as best as they can. If that’s you, KEEP DOING IT- what you are accomplishing is no small task. These moments are the mile markers to signify that you are going in the right direction. You are living your dream (and if you’re not, stop what you’re doing right now and take the leap)- try to remember that the journey is half the adventure.

Farewell 2019

What a year it has been, we started our journey together back in June when I returned from NYC for the second time this year and had chosen my housing for school at the International Culinary Center. Fast forward 6 months and I’ve been “bumming” it at the beach for 5 months. Needless to say, 2019 has been a year of change. 

This year has been exciting, nerve wracking, and stressful- all wrapped into one beautiful whirlwind of chaos. The first few months of the year were pretty chill, my best friend and I visited the beach a few times, took a few trips, and worked… a lot. 

March rolled around and before I knew it I was planning my trip to visit my top three schools. (Shoutout to having the best boss ever at RCC who supports and encourages me to chase my dreams and for allowing me to have time off on such short notice). I had considered going to school prior to this, but wasn’t serious until this point in time. I learned that I can either stay here and continue to do this forever (not that I didn’t love Aspen) or go after the “more” I desperately needed in life. At the time I thought the “more” was big city living and education at the finest school. Boy was I wrong. 

As summer approached, I had to prioritize; tuition, housing arrangements, flights, etc. This meant more trips to NYC. In between those trips, I spent the summer soaking up the luxuries and comforts of home. I went to concerts every weekend, traveled to Mexico, road tripped to Nashville, and had the most amazing summer. As summer came to a close, some other things did too…..Aspen.

Another change…..selling Aspen was a whirlwind of emotions, but knowing Rachel was going to take good care of my baby eased the pain a little. I knew that this was the next step in achieving my goals and I knew I couldn’t let the community down by closing it- Rachel was an answer to so many prayers. No other experience thus far in life that has taught me as much as Aspen did.  For that, I am forever grateful. 

Also, my RCC job came to a close. I can truly say that if it weren’t for that job and those people, I probably wouldn’t be typing this post to you because I wouldn’t have moved and went to school. I worked with the most incredible people who helped me see that baking and pastry was my true passion in life and that I wasn’t getting any younger. Therefore, I needed to do something about it!

So here we are, living at the beach, learning every day, and slowly learning to own this new life of mine. Despite the chaos, I am thankful for this course of events because they’ve taught me valuable lessons:

  1. Plans change and we might get frustrated, angry, and ill, but what we don’t see is the big picture; everything works out in the end. 
  2. What you think you want is not always what you need, learning the difference can be difficult, but worth it. 
  3. People change and that’s okay. 
  4. You have the option to control the controllable, don’t underestimate that power in your hands. 
  5. Never miss the opportunity to drive home or spend time with family and friends. 
  6. Choose to kill people with kindness. One of my favorite waitresses at the beach actually told me that she is always so nice because she never knows what her customers may be going through. Such good advice. 
  7. Tell people how you feel. Don’t go to bed angry; tomorrow is never promised. 
  8. Be thankful for the good times and the bad, they all lead to right where you’re supposed to be. 

I hope you go into 2020 relishing the good moments of 2019 and remembering the lessons you learned in the bad moments. I hope 2020 brings you joy. Remember that, every day is truly a gift. You get to wake up. You get to work. You get to go to school. Things that we often take for granted, I hope you’ll cherish them a little more. That’s my 2020 goal. 

Picky….. Not me!!

I’m sure most people don’t think of themselves as picky eaters, neither did I. 

Since I worked in Layers we were given a trip to Asheville for a few days. We toured the kitchens at The Omni Grove Park Inn, visited a chocolate shop, a few great bakeries, and ate some really amazing (and weird) food. 

I never thought of myself as a picky eater, but boy was I in for a treat on this trip. Our first dinner at Aux Bar in downtown Asheville and was full of foods I had either never tried or I didn’t really want to. We had pork Rhines, turkey butt, duck wings and more. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t “hate” anything. While these are not items I would eat everyday, if it was all I had to eat I wouldn’t starve. The next day, I tried lamb and it was so tender and it had grits with it so automatic win!

The bakeries we visited had so many much to offer! Old Europe Desserts in Greenville SC, had a very interesting vanilla cheesecake. It wasn’t made like traditional cheesecake, it was flaky, but had great flavor! Another of my favorite was McFarland’s in Hendersonville. If you’re in the area it is a must try.

Don’t be afraid to step out of the box. Sometimes you’ll find that you never learn anything if you don’t. 

Old Europe Desserts- Greenville SC

McFarlands Bakery- Hendersonville NC

Grove Park Inn- Asheville NC

Aux Bar- Downtown Asheville

Buxton Hall Barbecue- Asheville NC

Van’s Chocolates- Hendersonville NC

That’s A Wrap

Semester 1 is finished. It seems like yesterday I was counting down the number of days I had left in Layers. Looking back, I am thankful for my experience in Layers and the way my life has unfolded over the last six months. It has taught me an incredible amount about the type of student I want to be, the peer I want to be, and the worker I want to be. 

I have realized is that there is something to learn from every person you encounter. Though it may be positive, negative, or somewhere in between- there is a way to apply it to your life. While working with my classmates this semester I have learned several things; focusing on yourself is always best, going the extra mile is always worth it, if you want to go up you must show up, and don’t sweat the small things. 

There were times this semester where I was frustrated with what other people were doing, but that got me nowhere. Once I decided to focus more on what I was doing and why I was there, (and less on the others around me) working in Layers became less dreadful. I am a strong believer that going the extra mile is what will distinguish you from the rest of the group. While sometimes going the extra mile doesn’t take effort, it does take a willingness to spend the extra time. As I have observed from my classmates and others, if you want the best opportunities, the best letters of recommendation, etc. you must show up early and stay late. Being in the kitchen can be frustrating at times and some days are completely dreadful. I used to be one who would sweat the small things, but I have learned that “shit happens” and you just have to roll with the punches or stop rolling all together.

This semester has come with a lot of changes- from being back in school, to being in a kitchen with a lot of people, to not being my own boss, etc. You often hear people talk about hind site being 20/20, but this now has an entirely new meaning to me. I can’t wait for what’s to come!!

A Little Spice In Life

About halfway through this semester, we shifted to the kitchen to start learning some basic skills and cooking real food, not desserts. New discovery: I LOVE cooking. I mean, I always knew I enjoyed being in the kitchen, fixing desserts or real food, but this class has opened a whole new world for me. For instance, if you mix eggs and sugar together, the sugar will begin to cook your eggs if you let it sit. Bet ya didn’t know that? (free of charge folks).

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I have recently been thinking about how life would be different if I had chosen to go to ICC rather than HGTC; I would be almost halfway finished with the program, I would be living in the city….and spending lots of money, haha. I chose HGTC for the more personal experience, the amazing facility, and the beach is nice, right?! My only wish is that I could get to where I wanted to be faster than the pace at which I am currently moving. I am excited for the future and to get back into the industry, but friends and family constantly remind me that I am where I am for a reason. I am working on shifting my mindset to one of gratitude, instead of questioning. I should be thankful for the simple fact that I get to go to school here, and I get to go to work, instead of I have to do this or that. Less dread- more anticipation.

As you can tell, I am all over the place. Sometimes, I still can’t believe that I sold the bakery and moved away. It seems surreal. I couldn’t have done it without my family, friends, and customers who constantly encouraged me to chase my dream. I remember back to when my old work pal told me I was brave for chasing my dreams. At that point I didn’t understand why she thought this way- now I see it clearly. I never really realized how much you have to sacrifice to do what you love and how brave it actually is. I know this is just the beginning and the sacrifices I make now are small compared to what the future holds, but I look forward with anticipation- ready to ask how far when the world says go.