Food, Photography

i heart chocolate

National Chocolate Day

Happy National Chocolate Day! In honor of today’s chocolate celebration, I’m sharing a recipe and photos of a delicious chocolate cake I baked this weekend for a special birthday.  I have never baked a cake before, but I found that making a cake is just like making a very large cupcake (and cupcakes I know!). The cake I baked is called Beatty’s Chocolate Cake. The only thing I added was a layer caramel between the two tiers and also at the top before the frosting. What I do know is that quality ingredients are important – a must! I was so pleased on how the cake turned out and tasted. Here is a glimpse of my first cake…

National Chocolate DayNational Chocolate DayNational Chocolate Day

Architecture, Art, Fashion, Food, Instalove, New York, Photography

#Instaloves <3

We all know what Instagram is.  At this moment, it is my favorite social media outlet. People love Instagram for various reasons – seeing pics of their loved ones, discovering new photographers/bloggers, travel,  posting party pics, the selfie,  hashtags, visual stimulation, etc. I love Instagram for all of the above and more.  Lately, I’ve been following so many Instragrammers and I thought I would share my new findings with my own audience.  I love taking photos and sharing my own point of view – feel free to follow me on Instagram @sadv.  We will see if this is a weekly thing I can share with you, but for now I wanted to share 3 of my new Instaloves…

Chrissy Teigen {@chrissyteigen}


Supermodel and wife of John Legend – Chrissy Teigen is a fun one to follow. She has such a vibrant and playful personality and you can see that through her photos.  This is a girl who likes to have fun and doesn’t take life so seriously. #adorable

The Dogist {@thedogist}


Love this one. The Dogist is a photo-documentary series dedicated to to capturing the beauty of dogs. I seem to be liking every photo that gets posted by this Instagrammer. Love how the amazing personalities of these dogs get captured. #LOVE

West Villave Life {@westvillagelife}


One of my favorite cities New York and one of my favorite neighborhoods Greenwich Village – West Village.  Love the architecture and screenshots of the city. Love the beauty of city life. #iheartny


for the love of bras.

for the love of bras

Every girl should have pretty bras in their lingerie drawer.  I believe in the philosophy that girls should wear pretty things underneath (even when no one else will see it).  With Valentine’s Day coming, maybe it’s time to add a few pretty bras to your own lingerie collection.  Think hues of pinks, touches of lace and bow accents. Feel Pretty.

for the love of brasone. Raindrop Lace Bra Bazsarozsatwo. Balconette Bra Top Shop| three. Delirious Triangle Bralet Eberjay | four. C Chic Sexy Demi Bra Chantelle  | five. Eyelash Lacy Trim Balcony Bra Top Shop |six. Medina Contour Balconnet Bra Elle Mcpherson | seven. Cherie Sneezing Crepe Balconette Bra Stella McCartney | eight. Convertible Balconnet Free People | nine. Bra Laia mit Polka-Dots L’Agent by Agent Provocateur

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Art, Design, Fashion, Food, Seattle

I heart Seattle

I heart Seattle

{Image via Pinterest}

I recently took a quiz (you know one of those that come up on your Facebook Feed?) and the result told me that I should be living in Los Angeles.  My current city is Seattle and it’s been my city for a few decades. Who knows where my next city could possibly be. There is so much love in Seattle right now.  Seattle loves Seattle. I think our football team has something to do with it…wink wink. Lately, I’ve been thinking…I love Seattle and this is why…

1.  Seattle knows coffee.  My bi-coastal friend told me that the very best barista in Los Angeles doesn’t even compare to the worst barista in Seattle. Our coffee is the real deal. Hello Vivace.

2.  The Sounders.  We love our Seattle sports when they do well, and we also hate them when they do bad. Sounders Soccer is different. Seattle has shown the whole country how to be true soccer fans.

Seattle Sounders. I heart Seattle

3.  Seattle supports love and marriage for all.

4. Seattle is beautiful with the mountains, forests, lakes…beauty. I can see Mount Rainier from my back yard and the view never gets old.

5. There is money in Seattle and the wealthy dress like any other hipster on Capital hill.  People are real and less flashy here. We do look really good on paper.

6. And of course, Seattle knows music. Some of the most influential bands have come from Seattle.  Seattle has many venues, labels, talent, and music geeks. Seattle is an indie-rock paradise. Our rockstars never forget where they came from. Speaking of music,  did you see the video of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis surprising a bus full of New Yorkers? Watch. You’ll love it. I love it.

7.  Art is really about art.

8.  Many complain about Seattle gray, but gray weather is perfect nap weather.

9.  Oh….did I mention that we have the best bartender in America? Murray Stenson. He’s famous.

10.  Seattle design is authentic. We embrace reclaimed and natural materials.  We see restaurants in Las Vegas and New York emulating Seattle Restaurant Design.

I heart Seattle

{Ballard neighborhood. Source}

11.  August in Seattle.

12.  Seattle loves brunch. I heart brunch. It’s such a treat and you also get to enjoy your wonderful coffee (see #1) too. We have amazing breakfast brunch spots in Seattle and they are worth the wait.



13.  We take downward dog literally. There is such thing called doga. Look in West Seattle. Seattleites take yoga seriously and canines do too. Namaste. Speaking of the other dog, we have a signature hot dog style – just go to any late night food cart for the Seattle signature all-beef dog or brat, cream cheese, and grilled onions.

14.  Seattle is very techy. We are defined as a highly technological trend setting town. The big major corporations are from Seattle. Tech is everywhere. It’s funny how someone is 3 feet away and we communicate via technology.

15.  KEXP

These are a few reasons why I love my city.  Every neighborhood is an area to explore and discover more of Seattle’s charm.  It’s definitely a bonus having my friends and family close by.  Seattle is a trend setting city with its own unique appeal. There are many things people criticize about Seattle. The rain is one of them. Honestly, it doesn’t rain as much as people think. I don’t even remember the last time it rained this winter. I’m sure it was weeks ago. When it doesn’t rain for a long time, people actually say the miss the rain. People also call Seattle cold and use the term Seattle Freeze – It’s not that people here are unfriendly, we are just giving each other space.  I heart Seattle and go Seahawks!



The 2013 Polaroid Project

In 2013 I started The Polaroid Project.  I wanted to document a moment of my day – everyday – for an entire year.  See how it all began by visiting the original post. I heart Polaroids and love capturing moments in life.  Thank you to all who supported my project. My friend {Shun-Pin} comes to mind, I know he hated having his photo taken – Thank you {Shun-Pin}. Here is the video capturing life in 2013.  In 2014, I’ll have another project that will be highlighted each Sunday. The 2013 Polaroid Project is officially over. Please listen with sound. It’s a must!  Thank you. xoxo – SADV


Week in Polaroids (Week 50)

Birthday Cupcakes

The 2013 Polaroid Project continues.  For those new to the Sparkle blog,  I did this same project in 2010.  I absolutely love taking pictures and so I decided to do the project again for 2013. Here is the original blog post from earlier this year that describes more about my project. It’s pretty simple though, I take a photo of a daily moment and share it with you through Polaroids. Here is a glimpse of my week…

Polaroid | Dec 9Polariod | Dec 10Polaroid | Dec 11Polaroid | Dec 12Polaroid | Dec 13Polaroid | Dec 14Polaroid | Dec 15