Monday, February 28, 2011

Sweet Happenings this week March 1st-5th

Hello Extended SweetArt Family!

That's right, we said March 1st. We are resuming Tuesday hours which we scheduled for March thinking the weather would finally be a bit warmer, but forgetting that we are in St. Louis. But come on out any way! We really want to see you.

We have finally comprised our official "cupcake menu". It's long--longer than we thought, but hopefully helpful to those of you wanting to place custom orders for your events. It will be in-house and coming to our website soon, so come by and check it out.

This week's specials are Curried Lentil Soup. This is a favorite of staff and awesome customers and as soup season draws to a close, you shouldn't miss it. Believe me, the moment it gets warm consistently, it's so long soup! Like all of our soups, this one is vegan, has coconut milk (that's an inside joke...can we even make a soup without coconut milk in this place! we're addicted to it!!), and is delicious!

Our lunch special is also vegan this week, Barbecue Chipotle Tofu Tacos. We love tacos and were inspired to welcome back Tuesdays with a taco! Chunks of marinated bbqed tofu, cojita or vegan cheese, lettuce, cilantro, onions, avocado creama (vegan) and salsa on the side. Sounds like my lunch all this week.

Look for the sweet treats to be extra fantastic this week. I know what you're thinking, aren't they always. True. But this week they will be so awesome. And what's even more awesome: Tuesday, March 1st we're giving away a free petite cupcake with every purchase (while supplies last).

A little story before I go: We have a customer who works across the street at the church. Her son owns a tattoo parlor and she has a granddaughter(s) and one day she came into the shop and said, "Have my prayers been working? I've been praying for you guys since you opened." If you know me, you know I 'bout fell out onto the floor in tears, but held it together and simply said, "Thank you so much for that." It filled my heart that someone who doesn't really know me is praying for my success. That's the community supporting the community by supporting local businesses. But more importantly, that's human decency and kindness. We've not always been welcomed with opened arms here. I never discuss that because my focus must remain on those who do support us and what we are trying to do. Pray for somebody this week. Make it someone you don't really know...and watch your life change for the better.

I pray that you all receive great blessings in life and health, deep happiness and grand prosperity.

We thank each and every one of you for the support (and prayers!). We could not do this without you.

grace & peace,


Congratulations Chris & Angela!

We were honored to celebrate Chris & Angela's wedded bliss this past Sunday. We wish them loads of good lovin', longevity, and deep happiness for years to come.

grace & peace,

Reine & the SweetArt Crew!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sweet Happenings this week (February 23rd- 26th)

Hello Extended SweetArt Family!

We have been working so hard lately wanting to be better. Fingers crossed that it's working. We are so grateful to have you all visit us and tell a friend. It really is keeping us in business.

Here are some of our fantastic specials (and news) this week!

On the art front: Cbabi's Birds of Wisdom show has been scheduled for March 5th 7pm-10pm. His work has gotten brighter and more creative in the last year, and I am so excited for St. Louis to view it. Please join us that eveing for art, sweets and good energy! You won't want to miss this.

Specials are back. Come enjoy our Spicy Peanut Soup (vegan) as soup season draws to a close for SweetArt. And this week we will have a glorious Eggplant-Fontina Panini with a zippy artichoke/garlic spread. Delishhhhhhhhhhh!! Spontaneity has visited and our salad has changed its tune. Welcome back the Vegan Caesar w/garlicky house croutons. And we promise, that Black Magic Burger will have the best guacamole ever on it this week! Try it if you haven't just yet!

We've include a permanent Savory Pie to the everyday lunch menu. This past week we celebrated spinach with our Spinach-Feta Pie in our buttery crust but topped with funky filo ruffles. It is my favorite seasonal pie to date. Mouth is watering now thinking of it! Try the savory pie (it will be great!) It's only $5.95 and comes with fruit.

Sometimes I come to put cupcakes in the case, and I see a line, and I get all weirdly anti-social because I am holding back the it's not's my emotional meter being put into check. Thank you guys. We love and appreciate the support.

grace & peace,

Reine, Cbabi & the entire SweetArt Crew

In my free time...

Below is an excerpt from my food memoir that I've been working on in my free time (my, I should be sleeping but let's see if I can work on that book-in-progress time) Enjoy.

You Are So Much Smarter Than This

Every now and then, my girlfriends and I tiptoe toward one another like groomed witches working on a secret spell. We tuck our children in (or ask our husbands to do so), sprinkle love dust on our beloveds (promises of returning in sexy-kitten mode), grab our wands (house keys) and various potions from the kitchen (wine, tarts, guacamole--if it's serious) and hop onto the designated driver's broom to gather in union.

Regardless of what you believe, women are such magical creatures. Admit it or not, you've either worked some juju or had some juju worked on you by a woman. We can walk into a room and make heads turn involuntarily. We can let our laughter spill out of our mouths like Brazilian jazz love songs, and you want to know--must find out--what is so funny. We can whisper sweet somethings in your ear, and no matter what your plans were--they were.

And when a loyal friend needs rescuing, we show up in the nick of time with potions of food and wine, tactfully telling you what you need to hear out loud, "You are smarter than this and you need to dump his ass."

Ahh, yes, the you-need-to-dump-his-ass talk. I've said it more than I've heard it, but I have heard it.

As I sit happily married and comfortably in my 30s, I (and my friends) don't rush into this talk as we would have in our college years. No, we let the friend simmer in her own self-created hot madness. Allowing the drama to soak into her pores, re-seasoning her make up long enough to become part of her memory, is what it takes to avoid this bullshit in the future. Then, as if on cue, my friends and I look into our crystal balls (cell phones) and conjure up a rescue. Alcohol is mandatory (one's voice speaks freer). Food has to be easily accessible by hand or single utensil (no fork and knife simultaneously working together--too much!). And room must be made so that Truth has center stage.

During the last rescue gathering for N, I brought a creamy lemon-blueberry tart. J brought the wine and her no-nonsense sensibility, "Look, you know this screams some dumb shit." We are half-way through our second glass of wine. Deep charcoal skies peek curiously through the curtains of N's living room, and I want a second slice of tart but I resist my stomach's self-absorption tendencies and chime in with some wisdom, "You are smarter than this--too smart for this."

Words settle. Glasses are finished off. Forks pierce final bites of tart. Our laughter loops through sessions of seriousness. Together, our friendship floats into the realm of sisterhood, which, when paired with good wine and a fine (if I do say so myself) lemon-bluebery tart, is magic.

Lemon-Blueberry Tart Recipe (to be published when book's published (sorry...)

--by Reine Keis Bayoc

Wedding Season 2011

Here is our first cake of this wedding season. A vegan goody for Heidi and her beloved. Congratulations you two. May you live a long, happy & healthy life together.

grace & peace,

Reine & the SweetArt Crew

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes...

Yesterday evening I was having a moment. You know--a moment. My moments usually swirl around topics of money, finances, bills, debt, and occasionally family. So you see where I tend to keep my focus.

Cbabi and I were in the kitchen. He listened patiently to my looped version of, "I wish we started the business with more money because it feels like we can never get ahead...I've been praying; I'm praying everyday...I realize that I wasn't born to be poor; I'm clear, God! I don't know what to do. I am so tired of this conversation..."

And as if on cue, my littlest one enters the kitchen. In his hand is a little figurine he built out of legos. He has a name. He says the name, but I'm so "woe is me" I barely hear him...until he says, "And he prays to God."


"He prays to God."

Now, my children are familiar with God, but they don't mention Him/Her most days. Around Christmas time, God and Santa are in heavy rotation, but a February evening before dinner-- ehh, not so much. So when he says this, my ears perk up and I whip myself out of "woe is me" and listen to my baby boy.

"What does he pray about to God?" I ask.

And as he begins to shrug his shoulders I assume he's going to say I don't know, but he doesn't.

He says, "That God will take care of us."

I could not make this up if I had to! Cbabi smiles because he knows I'm going to cry, and I do, of course. And I lift up my little boy and hug him and tell him he is my angel from God. And he is so over this by this point but goes along with the overwhelming hugs and kisses.

So why do I tell you this story? I'm sure I'm not the only person in the world who prays and prays and prays so much that it feels like begging or like I'm talking to air. Life is beautiful, but when you are consumed with constant concerns about money, the beauty plays peek-a-boo--and more boo than peek. But God hears you. Keep praying. Keep asking. And keep being grateful for all that is there because God really wants us to know the beauty of life.

Just when I was thinking, "Dear God, it's me, Reine! Hello?!?!?! Do you see me or hear me?", my beautiful little boy who rarely mentions God, does so perfectly. Right on time. Just to remind me that I'm not on my own.

Neither are you.

grace & peace,