Fun in the Santa Monica Sun (and a new cupcake review!)

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This past weekend, we spent some time in Santa Monica.  I heard about Books and Cookies, a bookshop/cafe for kids, from their booth at the Boobie-Palooza.  They hosted a local author event I thought would be cool check-out.  A bunch of other families were also there to enjoy the festivities – book readings and sing-a-longs. 

Zoe was pretty mesmerized staring at everyone, and it was precious to watch.  They even had music time for all the kids to bang on drums and shake the musical eggs.  Zoe preferred sticking the eggs in her mouth, of course.

Since we got there fairly early, we got a great parking spot by the beach.  So after the event, we went for a walk over-looking the ocean.  The breeze and the views were refreshing.

Higher, Daddy!

California girls

Luckily, we found a great spot for lunch – and kind of by accident.  Brick + Mortar is tucked away, but we noticed, from afar, people sitting on the patio.  We already had an early breakfast at our favorite brunch spot, but decided to get eggs and french toast anyway.  Both of us are huge breakfast fans.  I had the brioche french toast with REAL maple syrup, berries, and bacon.  I hope to visit Brick + Mortar again at some point.

Vanilla Bake Shop – a cupcake review

I made sure to find a new cupcake bakery in Santa Monica.  I keep going back to Sprinkles because I love their cupcakes so much.  I have been wanting to try Vanilla Bake Shop cupcakes.  One of my co-workers told me about them; plus, I keep passing their new store at the mall.  I knew they also had a shop in Santa Monica, so off we went.

It’s a cute little place that also offers miniature cupcakes.  But honestly, mini-cupcakes don’t appeal to me.  It’s only one bite…and what if I want more?

We got a Red Velvet, of course.  And a Mom’s Birthday Cake – vanilla cake with chocolate frosting.  We usually buy 4, but I couldn’t find another flavor that I wanted to try.  They have different flavors on different days.  I did see a few on the menu that sounded good, so maybe I’ll stop next time I’m at the mall.

The Red Velvet was okay.  Too much food dye.  I only had a small bite – but my hands turned all red.  I probably stained my shirt when I dropped a few crumbs on it.  Zubair thought it was just okay too.  I heard that you can judge a bakery by their Red Velvet… and so far that’s turning out to be true since Sprinkles has the best Red Velvet cupcakes ever.

The Mom’s Birthday Cake was nothing special – and too sweet.  The frosting was tasty, but I wouldn’t order it again.  I don’t like when cupcakes are bland in flavor, and just pure sugar.

However, I also ordered two french macarons – which were fantastic!  Now, I don’t have much to compare them to because I actually think this was my first time having them.  I got a vanilla and a salted caramel – I would go back to this place just for these delicious bits of heaven.  A little crunchy on the outside, and perfectly creamy on the inside.  I am in love.

PS. I just realized I probably should be taking pictures of all these treats.  Unfortunately, this means I can’t eat them as soon as I get in the car.  I don’t know if this is possible to avoid.  But I will try to save them and take pictures next time!

 

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