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


About breestanfill

Ciao! I'm Bree, a self-taught amateur baker and cake decorator currently living in beautiful Italia with my military husband and our 3 dogs! I also love cooking, reading, traveling, and DIY crafts. Follow along as I try to navigate through the Sweet Adventures of Life :)
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2 Responses to Leading up to now

  1. You are amazing, Bree! Thank for sharing your journey to knowing what it is you want to do in life.

    We were living in Phoenix at the same time. I wish we would have met back then, but I am sure glad to know you now! I can totally see you being Cake Boss one day. You have the passion for cakes and that’s what sets you apart.

  2. breestanfill says:

    It’s so crazy the way people are connected in life! I appreciate you taking the time to read and for supporting the cakes 🙂

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