Leading up to now


This whole blogging thing is not as easy as it looks!  I scroll through countless blogs all the time looking for recipes, home decor projects, beauty advice, whatever – and they all look so pretty with their perfect font styles, amazing photography, and witty posts.  I can talk to any one about any thing all day long, but typing  it all out and hoping you can still feel my personality is a challenge.  So here’s a little lot more about me so we can make that connection. You might grab some coffee or something, this could take a while!

What I’m the most passionate about is CAKES! All cakes, sizes, flavors, designs, buttercream, fondant….I could go on forever. Over the past two years I have finally discovered what I am meant to do. I was like so many others watching all the shows like Cake Boss, Amazing Wedding Cakes, Cupcake Wars, all of them. Couldn’t get enough! I’ve always enjoyed cooking and baking, but never ever even considered it as a career choice.


image from google

In fact, I chose fashion. At first I wanted to design wedding gowns. Monique Lhuillier and Vera Wang were my inspiration!  I even applied and got accepted into FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) in Los Angeles and you would have thought I won the lottery!  Monique Lhuillier and Lauren Conrad attended that school so it has to be good, right?! I thought there could be nothing better than making the most important piece of clothing a girl would ever wear. Well, I was convinced into staying closer to home where I received a full tuition scholarship to attend Henderson State University. I got on board with the Fashion Merchandising program they have, moved into an apartment there, and even had a few friends going to the school too. I lived it up that first semester while still making good grades. I had everything and was having fun, but something was missing.


Monique Lhullier (center) poses with models at the Monique Lhullier Bridal Collection presentation in 2008. Will Ragozzino, Getty Images

I was a small town girl with big city dreams that just wouldn’t go away. One of my best friends, Crystal, had moved out to Tempe, AZ to attend Arizona State University. We hated being so far apart especially since we thought I was going to be in LA.  So what did I do? Of course I started looking into any fashion related school close to her and found the Art Institute of Phoenix. Perfect!  I called the school to talk to counselors, got the application process going and soon enough was accepted. Now the hard part….I had to try again to convince my Papaw (that’s grandpa in the south!) that me moving across the country was a great idea. It was easier this time because 1) Crystal was already there and 2) she has family there that she was living with. He realized I was going to do what I wanted and helped me every step of the way. Fast forward a few months later and Papaw and I drove everything I owned to AZ for Crystal and I to live together! It was a crappy, over-priced, 2-bedroom, tiny place that we immediately spruced up and made home.


one of my favorite photos ever of my papaw and I


(top left) one of the many concerts we attended, (right) 3D m&m movie in Vegas, (bottom) sleepover celebrating Crystal’s birthday

I started classes at AI and wanted to focus more on owning a small boutique instead of designing gowns.  Not sure exactly what happened, but one day it’s like I just woke up and knew the fashion industry was not for me. I know I know…..all that effort, time, money basically wasted so I could figure out I didn’t want that. I still wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. I have wonderful memories and life lessons that made me stronger and even more determined to figure out what the heck I was going to do with my life! That’s where Kory comes in.

We met my freshman and his junior year of high school and dated until my senior year. He attempted college twice and decided that wasn’t for him. He was working, but I just wanted more. We decided to part ways. We were broken up for about a year and a half. In that time he saw that he needed to make decisions and do something with his life so he joined the Air Force. Never would have seen that one coming!  He was finishing tech school in Texas about the time I was moving to AZ. We had kept in touch and remained friends because we still cared about each other. Some how or another we decided that it was a good time to pick back up on our relationship. What were we thinking? He was moving to South Carolina to be stationed at Shaw AFB and I was in AZ. We weren’t thinking, we just knew we eventually wanted to be together.


being silly as usual

So now we are back to where I’ve realized the fashion thing wasn’t happening. I was working and still enjoying my life with Crystal. Kory and I were trying to figure out how to make a long distance relationship work. All was good in my little bubble.  One of our other girlfriends, Delaine, even decided she wanted to “move” out there with us. I say “move” because that only lasted about 3 weeks before she changed her mind, packed up her car, and went back home! ha  One of those memories we look back on and laugh about now!


Delaine, myself, & Crystal

It’s April of 2009 and Kory was going on TDY (short trip to do his job at another base) to Nellis AFB in Las Vegas. Yeah I know, tough gig right!  He was going to be there for two weeks and wanted me to come visit since it’s only a couple of hours from Phoenix.  I went for the weekend, he proposed, the end!  haha Not quite, but basically that’s it. I got to work on Monday, gave my two-week notice, and packed up to move back home to plan the wedding. We were married July 18, 2009 ❤  Went on a fantastic Caribbean cruise and then moved my stuff to SC to join him. We knew we would only be there for a year before he was getting deployed to Korea for a year ugh! So we decided that I wouldn’t work to make the most of our time. He ended up deploying to Afghanistan at Christmas for a couple of months. Then in July, we packed it all back up so I could move home yet again while he had to go to Korea.


one of our engagement photos. Kory had the photo session set up on the Vegas strip to take place about two hours after he proposed!


we have this photo from the wedding hanging in the house































on a caribbean cruise for our honeymoon


By now you’re probably wondering “What does all of this have to do with cakes??”  The year I was back home is when the cakes started.  I made one for my sisters graduation, then for my brother’s birthday, then for my other sisters birthday, and before I knew it word spread and I had people asking for them.  I guess that’s one of the benefits of living in a small town! I took in more orders than I could handle, spent hours and hours online trying to figure how to do all the different things the tv shows made look so easy, and I was exhausted. Then, just when I would think that’s it! I can’t do any more!  I would deliver a cake to someone and their face would just light up! The really great reactions make me want to run back to the kitchen to try even harder.  Once that year was up, we got stationed here in Italy yay! and I hit the ground running. As soon as we were unpacked and I had what I needed, I slowly let other spouses around here know that I would love to keep making them. The response has been phenomenal!  I know I’m not Cake Boss – I have a long way to go, and tons of things to still learn. I can’t imagine doing anything else though and am thrilled to share the journey with you!  So there you have it. The basics about me that have led to this point in my life. I’m so happy and excited for the future. Ciao for now!

lauren cake

first cake ever as graduation gift for my sister, Lauren. had no clue what I was doing!

aiden cake

first cake in Italy for Jennifer’s son, Aiden

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Italian Anniversary Celebration Weekend

Celebrating our 1 year anniversary for living in Italia seemed a good a time as any to finally get this blog up and running. It’s definitely still a work in progress so don’t judge!  My friend, Tessa Tauschek of Ciao, Blogga, has been on me for months about starting this and I honestly haven’t had the time. I still don’t, so I’ll just get even less sleep now! ha  Another friend, Anastasia Radloff, also has a blog titled Stampin’ Blondie and has been persuading me as well.  They both write about life here in Italy and all the little things going on and I realized it’s a great way for friends and family back home to better keep up with our life. I personally want it to look back and remember everything.

That being said….our life = Me + Husband (Kory) + 3 boys Tucker, Bradley, & Cooper (ok, ok…yes they are technically dogs)


Tucker & Bradley (yorkies, half brothers) Cooper (maltese) All 2 years old

For 2 years I have been trying to figure out the crazy, exciting, exhausting world of cakes and I LOVE IT!!  Right now I’m an at home, hobby baker hoping to someday turn my dream of owning a custom cake/dessert/party planning shop into a reality. If you want to check out what I’ve done so far, hop over to my Facebook page, Bree’s Bakes.

breesbakes banner

Bree’s Bakes cover photo

Kory serves in the Air Force and was lucky enough to get stationed in fabulous Italy! Aviano Air Base in (you guessed it) Aviano, Italy to be exact. Yesterday marked our first year of living here with (at least) two more to go. It has been exciting, stressful, confusing, gorgeous, wonderful, and so much more. I hope to eventually catch you all up on the past year while continuing to move forward.

This weekend we attended our first Air Force ball!   Jennifer Daigle (along with her husband and son) arrived here the same time as us last year and is the first person I became friends with. She was so sweet to offer to take some photos of us before we went over to the ball and soooo glad she did! Of course, we had to shoot in a vineyard to really have that Italian feeling 🙂    Jennifer isn’t a pro photographer, but we think she did a great job!  I even ordered the first print on a canvas to hang in our house!


showing a little personality!

Afball 2

our favorite ❤

AFball kory

tall, dark, & handsome man in uniform…doesn’t get much better!

Military life means that you aren’t always together especially for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, or any other important events. Kory and I have been together about 9 years and married for 3 of those. This past year we finally got to celebrate all of that and it was a wonderful feeling! As I mentioned, this was our first time being together to attend the ball and he complained and tried to talk me out of it because he didn’t want to wear his uniform  we enjoyed it. I loved playing dress up and meeting up with other couples we know and just doing something different from everyday life. We had a nice dinner, listened to a guest speaker, and watched as few people really worked it on the dance floor to the live Air Force band after a few drinks! By the end of the night, even Kory was happy we went.

Afball car

thank goodness Jennifer took photos or this is all we would have ended up with!

Melissa and Anastasia are both still pretty new to Aviano. Their husbands also happen to work with Kory. They are so sweet and I’ve just clicked with both of them.  Melissa has a 2-year-old son and Anastasia is a doggy mom like me!  A couple of weeks ago the 3 of us roomed together after a Ladies Night dinner (I’ll share that in another post) and it was a great time getting to really talk and know each other.

AFball girls

Melissa, myself, & Anastasia enjoying the ball!

AFball radloff

Andy & Anastasia ready to party!

AFball boys

which one doesn’t belong….Kory of course!

After the fun at the ball on Friday night, we went to Andrew’s house on Saturday evening for dinner to keep the Italian anniversary celebration rolling!  Andrew and Jazz are more friends that arrived the same time last year.  Andrew whipped up some steaks and veggies to go with some sweet red wine from a local winery. I cheated and bought dessert from the store instead of making something. gasp!  If you know me, and you soon will, I love to make everything myself.  In my defense, I was tired from Friday night fun!  Needless to say, the guys still enjoyed it.

ann. dinner

Andrew, Kory, & Jazz excited to celebrate 1 year!

The weather is also pretty amazing for us right now and I am definitely getting in the mood for fall!  If you actually read this, Thank You and I hope you return for more!  I’ll leave you with some of the pretty views around our house. Ciao for now!


the boys love the open space and cooler weather


these fields stretch all around the house. last year was corn, this year some type of bean.


driveway leading to the house.

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