Hey guys! I hope you are having a great start to the weekend 🙂 I’ve skipped a week or two of this series because by the time we get to Friday night, I am wiped out from my week. 

But I have one loyal reader/fan of Beyond the Oven who is always on my case. My dear friend, Trista, who you have met a few times (here and here). She asked me yesterday on our coffee date what I was doing for Saturday post and of course I was not planning a post after the week I’ve had (the tutorial for the minion cake is coming!!!). She gladly volunteered to share something with you guys and here she is! Hope you enjoy meeting her 🙂


Z and T

August 2009

My Girl in the Yellow Dress

Hello and Happy Saturday Morning everyone! I don’t know about anyone else, but I am a BIG fan of Zainab’s Saturday Series – Beyond the Oven. So much in fact, that every Friday she receives a text from me “I can’t wait to read ‘Beyond the Oven’ first thing when I wake up tomorrow!” to which she usually responds, “I told you that series is biweekly, sorry lovey, not till next week”. Then the whining and pleading for her to just “write a post real quick, you have time!” commences. It’s a cruel, cruel world people. Needless to say, the reason I love this series is that Zainab always reveals something new about herself and opens up during these posts. So keeping with that theme, I wanted to write a post about my great friend and share how we met (surely to be a shorter story describing how two people met than the much talked about show that just came to an end on Monday – thoughts on that How I Met Your Mothers finale??).

The first time I remember meeting my girl in the yellow dress was on one of the first days that I arrived at graduate school. I’m not sure if it was during recruitment or during orientation, but I do remember there was a fancy dinner dance that we all attended. It came time to bust a move out on the dance floor, which in my case means stand in place while locking and unlocking my knees, and there she was – dancing and grooving and flowing and owning that dance floor – in her bright yellow dress. She had her beautiful smile on display and confidence radiated from her. That is when I decided I had to be friends with that girl in the yellow dress. Well the night ended without us even talking and we went our separate ways. So as soon as the next event came around I thought to myself “I must find that girl with the yellow dress and be her friend!” (not creepy at all right?) So I began scanning the combined crowd of graduate and medical students for a bright yellow dress. Yes, that’s right. Days later, somewhere in my mind it was imprinted that this girl only existed in a yellow dress. And sure enough, there she was, standing amongst other first year students wearing a bright yellow top. Perfect! I had found her!

z and t 2

March 2012

So there it is – Zainab and I became friends simply because her favorite fashion color that summer was yellow. Later on when I told her the story it just became more and more absurd how I had looked around for her in yellow. Clearly it doesn’t make logical sense. But years later, I’m sure glad that I did. I’m glad that I recognized her self-confidence, love for fashion and skillful dancing because my fixation on the girl in the yellow dress led to a great friendship. We spent those first years of graduate school toiling night after night at different cafes throughout the city. A small town girl from a graduating class of eighty white people, I can remember the day I asked Zainab where she was from, her response being “Really?? You can’t even guess where I’m from?” (At least I knew enough not to compliment her English-speaking skills right?). Exam after exam and late nights in the laboratory we maintained coffee dates and she exposed me to the marvelous world of Indian food, and much to my chagrin, the tortures of spicy food. I drank my weight in Caribou Coffee and marveled at the Mall of America when she took me home with her to Minnesota for a friend’s wedding. She was the paparazzi at my mother’s bridal shower and quickly volunteered to bake for my sister’s bridal shower a couple of years later. I was honored to stand with her at her wedding and even more touched to be able to witness her more traditional African style wedding, complete with African cuisine and extended family. Her selfless planning has even resulted in at least two surprise parties held on my behalf. I am pretty sure her and my mother secretly text each other daily and she has attended numerous family functions, sends treats home with me for my family on a regular basis and even stood in my sister’s wedding. Lastly, perhaps most pertinent to all you readers, I have watched Zainab’s entire journey from novice baker to Blahnik Baker. Starting with a beginner’s class in cake baking all the way to creating aesthetically pleasing gourmet treats, I have watched Zainab transform into a scientist by day, baker/blogger by night and aunt/friend/socialite by weekend. But of course, no matter what, to me she will always be the girl in the yellow dress.


Thanks lovey for the post!! The girl in the yellow dress story does not stop being creepy AT ALL lol! But I still can’t believe I proceeded to wear a yellow top the next day. So funny! On another note, dude do you see that we stopped dressing up with the progression of grad school? Oh my gosh!! Grad school is bad for the soul and fashion!!! Look at us all dressed up and made up in 2009. Three years later, not a sign of make-up, nice tops or fancy earrings. Yikes! Thanks for these photos, I don’t think I had them. 

I hope you guys enjoyed reading a little about our history. Have a great weekend everyone!!