Last night Lisa was annoying me really really bad, bugging me, demanding attention etc. She was yelling at me that I lost her guitar capo and I’m now banned from using her guitar (although she is the one who left the capo in the guitar case)... then I was scrolling on Instagram, she reaches onto my screen very quickly and swipe up super fast, causing the posts to fly by at the speed of light, losing my place in the timeline, very frustrating... then our cat Holder is lying on my stomach, she covertly squeezes his hind paw which causes him to aggressively bite my hand as I’m petting him… (DM for full list) but I realized… wow, she hasn’t done this shit for probably one year… and... I missed it. 

She hasn’t had time to prank me because she was working so hard day and night to fight her way out of debt that we were both in... and I am very very proud of her and realize that Lisa can do anything she decides to do and nothing will stop her. Many many nights I was worried about her health as she pulled all-nighters baking everybody’s orders, only to begin snoring in the car the next morning as we would drive around the entire lower mainland delivering everything… jolting awake with an abrupt gasp, puts a big smile on her face to hand-deliver the items to their door, then BAAM, out like a light once she’s back in the car… 

Then we get home around 1pm Saturday, she slams a couple RedBulls to bake a bunch more orders for people to pick up from the front porch later that night... repeat every week, Thursday/Friday all nighters, pass out Sunday on the couch... I sprinkle cold water on her face to shoo her from the couch and go sleep in the bed so her back doesn't seize up, back to her 12-14hr dayjob M-F... dunno how she did it for 7months... She is more dangerous than a Terminator, she is The Phaminator, she will be back. Once again I am very very proud of you Lisa I love you and you can rest now. (TL:DR Lisa paid off over $34,000+ in 7 months with her beautiful side hustle business @binkybunnybuttercream )

The next part is written by Lisa Pham Flowers:


Can't believe I'm announcing this and honestly still in disbelief....but on Tuesday Oct 5, I became officially DEBT FREE! In 7 months, by working very hard, I paid off just over $34,000. YES you read that right. I was in a deep MF hole with cc debt & student loans etc.. It brought a lot of shame and guilt into my life which I tried to fix as quietly as possible - as many in massive debt would understand. Honestly it was @ajadang 's public journey in paying off her debt that made me feel like as a professional working woman, I definitely could do this. There's no reason I can't apply the same determination and tenacity I give to everyone else, to myself.

If you have never been in massive debt or something similar like having to lose a ton of weight etc, you will never understand the amount of extreme resolve it takes to make yourself climb out from BELOW ZERO. "Oh just make reg payments... just eat small healthy meals" -- FUCK OFF. Just fuck right off. Being so far under a mountain of shit paralyzes you - For years I hardly accomplished anything at all that made me happy, that's what it felt like at least.. We had enough reg income to live on and get married and take trips, but behind the scenes I was yo-yo-ing up and down constantly. I would pay off some debt, then immediately it would climb back up as I took time off to work on Jimbo or time off to 'just chill'. It was a difficult time and the interest compounded month to month was made worse by me only working FT 4-6 months per year, most years...

This March with my return to work in film, I made a snap decision to tackle this problem head on - energized to do so because I now had a surprise side hustle baking business lighting a fire under my ass with orders. The original goal was 8 months, which I surpassed because I somehow signed on to work 3 tv shows in a row... we had also laid down the foundation for Binky Bunny Buttercream last year which paid off immensely this spring/summer....


I've learned a lot - Binky Bunny only contributed 1/4 of the repayment, however caking got me in the mind set to HUSTLE and believe me I busted my ass and didn't stop - not when friends and family urged me take care of myself, or when neighbours complained re the stand mixer noise and belittled my newfound 'hobby', or when I was falling asleep sitting upright at work because I was averaging 3 hrs of sleep a night (I just accepted that Fridays and or Saturdays would be no-sleep nights) - NONE of this discomfort compared to the thought of carrying this fucking debt even a month longer...

I owe a lot to Ryan for his support. The truth: it wasn't easy for either of us, having me pass the baton to Ryan re Jimbo... It felt like I was giving up on our dreams to essentially bake little cakes and cupcakes. It shook our core foundation as a couple, and it took some therapy to realize our marriage was based on more than our identity as filmschool sweethearts. I could not have conquered this massive debt without my husband. Ryan relieved me of so many household duties, animal duties, and ALL the pressure from finishing our film - he logged and catalogued our entire documentary footage (over 128 scenes) and prepped it for the edit. That was a HUGE undertaking, and it was amazing to see him reclaim his voice and his agency in life as well. Ryan and I will always move a little slower than everybody else around us, but in other ways we've blown past a decade of guilt and paralyses and I cherish the place we've come to.

I will be taking November & December off from baking to recharge and do some pastry professional development on my own, edit our movie which I'm finally so looking forward to, and re-evaluate where to take Binky Bunny Buttercream from here! Obviously I'm still working FT but compared to what I was doing before, this will be a breeze.


PICTURED ABOVE: My ridiculous mind map / tracker of every single payment made. I didn't wait for large or reg payments, every sale was immediately transfered to my debt. I didn't focus on how much was being paid either, rather how much the debt actually went down (baking inventory is hella expensive).

Baking Timeline below (it was not overnight):

MAR-MAY 2020 - Recipe development. Failed lots. Buttercream piping is hard 😬... No plans for a business, yet...

JUN-JUL 2020 - Practicing, friends and family cake tests, tweaking recipes..

AUG 2020 - 1st paid orders, what a fiasco... buttercream kept melting or curdling. Back to the drawing board while pretending I knew what I was doing.

SEPT-DEC 2020 - Orders roll in. Crash course on business management, social media marketing etc, hanging on by a thread, barely making rent, debt payments non existent & cc interest is out of control, literally just scraping by.

JAN 2021 - Launch schedule for sample sales, finesse custom order intake & introduce cake subscription to expand my skills with round cakes. NO debt payments still.

FEB 2021 - Return to film work, exponential expansion of client list via word of mouth... I let myself catch my breath as the 1st cheques from work roll in.

MAR 2021 - Realize it will be HARD but possible to work FT & continue baking. Baking is now a real additional income.. ok to tackle debt while my film work supports me.. Start making repayments (finally).

APR-SEPT 2021 - HUSTLE. Accept almost every custom order possible. Time was literally money, which meant I had to stop seeing friends & family, and Ryan. ❤️ Very very sorry for ignoring everyone for over a year. I just had to put myself first and get er done. Looking forward to getting back to our normal goofy life 🥺.

OCT 5 2021 - Last payment of $977 made to student loan. $34,000 debt is cleared. I can't believe it.

Maybe I've overshared.. but only to convey that I've had my share of fuck ups...and no matter what hole you're in, it's possible to get out. Thank you to everyone for eating cake & supporting me - buttercream has ignited my motivation and determination to succeed again.