Monday, November 7, 2016

And I'm back in the game...

In 2008, a movie was released about a girl who was a bridesmaid in 27 weddings. I was 22 at the time and when I watched the film I didn’t realize how similar my life would be 8 years later. For the last 4 years, I’ve watched my friends and clients get engaged, married and have babies; sometimes not in that exact order, but you get it. I’ve been apart of so many exciting days in their lives and it’s been an honor to be chosen to create desserts for such special events. I’ve spent thousands of hours hand making displays (if you were ever at Michael’s and couldn’t find glitter, it was because I bought it all), searching high and low for the perfect cupcake liners and cake toppers and buying butter in quantities that drew some interesting facial expressions from people at Costco.

About a month ago, I announced that I had made the incredibly difficult decision to close my baking business. A business that I single handedly took from 1 client to hundreds, a business that I poured my heart and soul into for 4 years. Spending nights baking until 4am, taking my lunch breaks from work to finish decorating cupcakes or deliver an order (yes, I work 40 hours a week, I’ve become very accustomed to eating regularly), spending countless dollars on cake stands or butter or sprinkles or candy molds so I could stay competitive with the other incredibly talented bakers that share this town we call home.

In the past year I had lost site of why I started all of this in the first place. I had a moment when I lost my drive, I was exhausted, I over worked myself and decided I just couldn’t do it anymore. I wanted my weekends to catch up on sleep, to spend time with my family or to just sit in one place for longer than 7 minutes. But it wasn’t just about being tired, I was sad. Sad that I haven’t found my fairytale, sad that I’m always making cakes for other people’s weddings and wondering if and when I’ll have my own.

This past weekend I made a cake for a bridal shower, gluten free donuts for a Pinterest party that my adorable friend Heather hosted and cupcakes for a baby shower. It reminded me how much I truly love to bake. I love seeing the designs I have in my head come to life, the reactions I get from my clients, but most importantly I just love to bake.

A few very important people in my life, my amazing family and my friends, Lind Allred, Lindsey Moll, Ashley Khawsy (Owner of SmashBakes), Cyndi Mitchell (Owner of SweetFest), Carrie Buchanan (Owner of Bombshell Cupcakes) and countless others helped remind me why I started all of this 4 years ago. When I was just a girl with one Kitchen Aid mixer that called to OC Fair to tell them they must have made a mistake when they emailed me that I had won the cake division in 2013 because there was no way an amateur baker could possibly have won. To those people, THANK YOU. Thank you for helping me remember what this was all about in the beginning, bringing smiles to peoples faces one cupcake at a time.

I am extremely happy to say that Maegs Bakes Cakes will be officially reopening at the beginning of the new year. Until then I will continue to take orders but come the new year, you’ll see new designs, new desserts and how to’s so we can all call bring smiles to peoples faces with a little something sweet.

I can’t wait to see what the new year brings and again, thank you for everything. It’s because of you that I get to continue to do what I love.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Shit just got real...

With the 2016 presidential election in full swing, there’s one topic of conversation that I can’t seem to get out of my head. As a woman I’m sure it’s no surprise that the topic I’m referring to is “Abortion”. It’s a very controversial topic and one that I believe some politicians use as a tool to earn votes. I’m not trying to start a conversation with people that is going to engage any arguing or verbal bullying. This isn’t a place for that; I simply want more people to understand why abortion clinics are a necessity. Of course this is my own personal opinion and I am in no way trying to persuade anyone to be for or against it, I just want to share my story.

Since you’re here, reading my blog, you already know a little bit about me. I’m an award-winning baker based in Orange County, CA, who has baked and delivered thousands of cupcakes, hundreds of cakes and multiple dessert bars. My business has given me a platform to be able to speak to hundreds of elementary school children on career day and I’ve been lucky enough to help teenage girls all of the country on their road to baking success. You also know that I have a sister who I absolutely adore, a mom who has given everything she has to make sure her daughters have the best lives possible, a father who decided to make me his when I was 6 years old and a family that is literally the definition of “Ride or Die”. I spend my weekdays working at a plastic surgeon’s office full time and my weekends dreaming up and creating cakes, cupcakes and dessert bars for my clients.

This all sounds pretty amazing if you’re on the outside looking in, right? Don't get me wrong, I feel truly blessed to wake up every day and live such a wonderful life. All that aside, there’s something you don’t know about me; I, the cupcake making, hardworking girl who never lets anyone see me without a smile, has had an abortion. Now, before you are quick to judge or click the little X on the right hand part of your screen, I beg you to read on and please do so with an open mind.

Years ago, on Mother’s Day morning, I had complications that forced me to terminate my pregnancy. Any woman that has gone through this knows that there really aren’t any words that can properly describe the feeling when you’re told your body isn’t doing what it was built to do, something that women everywhere do with no complications. I felt broken. It took a long time before I felt “normal” again.

Fast forward a few years and I was in what I thought was a healthy, stable relationship with a man 7 years older than me. I was taking my birth control as prescribed, but one day something just felt off so I decided to buy a pregnancy test. You should know that I have struggled with Endometriosis for years and when I had my miscarriage I was told it would be incredibly difficult to conceive again. I took the pregnancy test and to my utter shock, the little stick said I was pregnant. Like most other women I decided to take 4 more tests, you know, just in case. Each of them confirmed what I thought was never possible.

I was happy and scared to death all at the same time. How would my boyfriend react? How would my family react? Will this end the same way as my first pregnancy? I had no less than 8 million tabs open in my head at one time. The first person I called was my sister, who was amazing and talked me down and assured me that she would be there for me any way she could. Then the time came to tell my boyfriend and all I could think was “holy shit, what is he going to say?”. What started out as a heartwarming moment, thinking that I could actually conceive and that I would do everything to make sure this baby grew to term, was quickly destroyed by my boyfriend’s immediate reaction to the news. The man I fell in love with, who told me he would always be there for me, went from loving to mean and hateful in mere moments. I thought that after a few days he might change his attitude; since we’re both grown-ups, I felt like we got ourselves in to this situation and it only made sense to see it through and do what we could to make things right for this life we created together.

Boy was I wrong, a few days later he made it very clear that this was not something he wanted or needed in his life and if I were to continue on with the pregnancy I would be doing it on my own. To say I was “disappointed” would be an understatement. I’m the daughter of a woman who had to do it on her own for most of my life and I know how hard it was for her and how much she wishes she could have provided the “perfect” family for my sister and I. What she doesn’t realize is that she’s given us everything we’ve ever needed and more. Unfortunately, I’m not as strong as my mom and I knew if I had to do it on my own I would never be able to provide a life that I would have wanted for my child.

Walking into that clinic and choosing to end my pregnancy was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It wasn’t the outcome I wanted. Do I regret my decision? Some days. Am I happy now? Yes, because I was able to turn my life and my career into one that gives me the ability to give back to young adults and children.

So I beg of you, before you decide that women who choose to get abortions should be “punished”, “bullied” or “judged”, remember that everyone is fighting their own battles. A woman having the right to choose what they want to do with their bodies is part of what makes this country so amazing. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman, we should all have the right to choose what we do and don’t do with our bodies. I let a man tell me what to do once and I can assure you I will never make that mistake again.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Emotionally stable as an IKEA table.

Last weekend, me and my dad drove to Dana Point to pick up a bed for my new apartment. We were going over what was left to move and he was asking if there’s any furniture that I didn’t want to take with me. Let me try and paint you a mental picture…

Location: Cruisin down the street in our…1 ton moving van.
Annnnnd, ACTION….

Dad: “So Maegs, is there any furniture you don’t want to take with you? It’s better to decide now instead of moving it and then realizing you don’t want it”

Maegs: “I mean, I guess I don’t need multiple dressers and side tables…”

D: “What about that big gray dresser? Do you really want to move that thing again?”

M: <slowly turns head to the left, similar to the little girl in the exorcist> “Oh hell no, do you know where I bought that stupid dresser and what it took to put it together? Nope, it’s comin, it will literally be in every house I move into for the rest of my life”

D: “You seem pretty attached to this dresser Maegs…”

M: “Dad, have you ever bought and put together furniture from IKEA? HAVE YOU, HUH HUH?”

D: “No, I’m smart and don’t buy furniture from IKEA”

<This fucking guys got jokes now>

M: “Well let me tell you a little something…Don’t ever put IKEA furniture together with someone you love…your relationship will never be the same. For starters, there’s no less than 6,000 pieces to assemble this piece of shit, cardboard, real wood wannabe, dresser from hell.

As if the 6,000 pieces of plastic in 100 little bags wasn’t enough to send you over the edge, they include some bull shit, sorry excuse for a screwdriver, little metal stick thing that’s supposed to “help” put together this monstrosity.”

D: “From your mild sweating and amount of cursing in the last 2 minutes, I can only assume this dresser wasn’t a treat to put together”

M: “Look Dad, I’m not proud of what I’m about to tell you but it happened, I said it, hell I pretty much yelled it over a loud speaker…I was really pissed the hell off.  

We were about 2 hours into this shitty activity when I looked at my now Ex-Boyfriend square in the eyes and said “if you don’t shut the hell up right now, literally this second, I’m going to take this bull shit screw driver and stab you in the neck with it! I’ll do it, you think I’m joking but I’m not.”

Needless to say, we didn’t speak for the rest of the afternoon.

IKEA – 1
Maegan and Ex Boyfriend – 0

So here’s my advice, you can take it or leave it. Before picking up those stupidly heavy boxes full of small pieces to ruin your life one screw at a time; think about if it’s a good idea to purchase an item FROM IKEA, the land of words we can’t pronounce and meatballs we can’t eat enough of, that says BOX 1 0F 4 when you get the aisle/bin. 

And if it is over 3 boxes, just pay the guys in the bright yellow shirts to put it together for you.