31 December, 2015

Reflecting back on 2015

Reflecting back on 2015


Everyone has been saying this and I'm sorry to do it too but- HOW QUICKLY HAS 2015 GONE?!

It's utter madness, it feels like it was March a few months ago.

I've done 12 of these Reflecting back posts now and it's been really fun to go back and read through them all. So I thought in this post I'd reflect back on my highs and lows of 2015!

The Top Moments of 2015


I got engaged!- This had to be top of the list didn't it? In case you don't know, Dan proposed to me at the Be Our Guest restaurant in Walt Disney World and I of course said yes. We're saving for a house now so we won't be getting married anytime soon, but to be engaged is wonderful!

My Baking improving SO much- Without meaning to sound big headed, I've improved an incredible amount. For Christmas 2014, I covered a cake in white fondant and badly piped "Merry Christmas" onto it. This year, I made a Santa Sack!

My blog has grown a LOT- I never would have expected this blog to be as big as it is now. Don't get me wrong, it's still teeny tiny compared to a lot of other blogs, but even at the size it is now, I'm still hugely proud of it. I'm so grateful for all my opportunities!

Revisiting Walt Disney World- I'm so sad to not be going on a Disney holiday next year due to saving for a house, but I WILL go back one day- and I also need to return to Disneyland Paris, I can't believe it's been 5 years since my last trip!

Getting into Fitness!- This is something I've always hoped for but never achieved, so to finally be a fitness lover is definitely on my list of top moments! I just hope I can keep it up and achieve more in 2016!

What are your top moments of 2015? I'm going to be writing a post on my goals for 2016 over the next few days, so keep an eye out for that!

And HAPPY NEW YEAR! <3


29 December, 2015

15 Blogs I've Loved This Year

Back in June, I wrote a list of a few blogs that I loved and I felt like 6 months later, it was probably time to update that list. Some of the blogs on here are repeated from last time, but I've also added in a LOT of new blogs.

Writing this list also made me realise how bad I've been with catching up on my favourite blogs, so there's a lovely New Year's Resolution for me!

I also didn't want to just write their blog names, because why should that convince you to try out their blogs? So, I've written WHY I love their blog. Buckle in!

(In no particular order)

Cake Crumbs and Pages
I've loved Jess's blog for months, she featured in my last post on blogs I love. You also might recognise her from her recent guest post on my blog. Cake Crumbs and Pages features baking posts and tips, book reviews and lifestyle posts, so if you like any of that you're bound to love her blog!

Underland to Wonderland
Danielle's blog also featured on my last post on blogs I love, I've been a fan of her blog for as long as I can remember! She has written some of the BEST posts on how to make your trip to Disneyland Paris amazing but also has a range of other posts, from cruelty free brands to showing you some beautiful places to visit.
She also has an Etsy which you can see here!

Jessica's Journey
Jess used to have a blog about beauty and lifestyle which featured on my last "Blogs I Love" post, but her new blog is all about her dealing with some big life changes (She's recently come out to her friends and family). It's full of witty and hilarious stories about her Tinder dates but also has some amazing thought provoking blog posts about how LGBT people are viewed in terms of the cliches and stereotypes. Her blog is super interesting and I love it!

Kirsty Talks
Kirsty's blog featured in my last blogs I love post too and nothing has changed. Her blog is still funny and relatable. What I love about Kirsty's blog is that her writing is in a style that when I read one of her posts, I feel like she's just chatting to me over a glass of wine or something! I definitely think we'd be great friends! Kirsty posts about fashion, beauty and lifestyle- I defy you to not be able to find at least one post you'll love!

Amy Elizabeth
Amy has been out of the blogging "loop" for a while but is now back and in the swing of things with her new blog Amy Elizabeth! Amy blogs about beauty, fashion and lifestyle and now that she's newly engaged, she'll be posting all about her wedding planning, so look out for that!

Becster.com
Becster's blog is a new addition to this list as I think I discovered it halfway through the year. It features all about her life in general with her two girls and also lots of different lifestyle posts. I love that there's always something I can find to enjoy reading and she's not afraid to write posts about topics that could be controversial or not be taken very well, for example her post on how she was thinking about hiring a cleaner. She's also one of my top commenters, so she's a friend of Cakey Dreamer indeed!

Skinned Cartree
Corinne's blog also featured last time, I love her style of writing. She is another blogger who is so relatable and funny, she writes pretty much what everyone else is thinking and I love that. Corinne posts about fashion, beauty, lifestyle and more, so you're bound to find something you love!
She also has a fitness blog and created the blogger challenge #Fitmas! 

The Disney Chef
If you're a Disney fan and you HAVEN'T visited Jerusha's blog yet then I'm not quite sure what you're doing with your life. Jerusha takes amazing recipes from Walt Disney World and Disneyland and recreates them at home- then shares the recipes so we can do it too! I spend a lot of time looking over her blog!

Lottie Does Disney
Lottie is extremely lucky to go on a lot of Disney trips and you can follow along with her in her blog! She also posts other fab Disney related posts- a must read for any fan! 

Bake then Eat
Emma's blog is always filled with gorgeous treats that never fail to make me hungry! Her blog was one of the first that I found and one of the blogs that inspired me to create my own. She's also a really lovely lady, so go and give her some love!

Sweet Phi
Phi is another lovely lady from the US who writes one of my absolute favourite food blogs. Her Five Ingredient post series are so much fun and she's even got her own cookbook in the making which I really hope they sell in the UK! Phi's blog features all sorts of recipes, from breakfast to dinners to desserts and even some gluten free recipes too!

Loved by Laura
Laura blogs about a bit of everything, from food to beauty to lifestyle, you can find it all! She's a very sweet girl and this comes across in her writing. Her photography is incredible and I always find something fab to read whenever I visit her blog!

Queen Beady
I've enjoyed Bee's blog for months now! While she mainly blogs about fashion, she also blogs about lifestyle stuff too and I love her photography. I'm not really a fashion blogger fan, I'm just not really that into fashion BUT, I could easily read all of Bee's fashion posts because they're so well written.

She Who Bakes
If you're a baking fan, Britt's blog is another must read for you! A few years ago, Britt couldn't bake to save her life but through watching a lot of YouTube videos and self teaching, she's managed to teach herself to create some incredible bakes and now teaches classes etc., as well as sharing her knowledge on her blog!

It's Lizi!
Lizi is another Disney fan and writes posts all about Disneyland Paris amongst other things. She's recently changed from Wordpress to Blogger so her blog looks fairly new, but I know she'll have plenty of amazing posts in store!

What are your favourite blogs? Let me know in the comments so I can find some new favourites!

28 December, 2015

Top Baking Posts of 2015

I actually cannot believe that 2015 is nearly over, it feels like we're only half way through!

This year I've posted a LOT of baking posts which I hope you've enjoyed and I thought I would share for you some of my Top Baking Posts from 2015.

These are my most viewed/commented on/shared baking posts from 2015:

How to cover a cake in fondant









Let me know what your favourites have been, I'd love to know! I can't wait to bring more baking posts in 2016! 

27 December, 2015

Staying at Marwell Hotel

Marwell Hotel

So you might be aware that it was my birthday last Tuesday! (Yay!) As a treat, Dan and I decided that we wanted to go away for a night. Both Dan and I have a background working in hotels so sometimes it's nice to be on the OTHER side of it all, actually getting to enjoy the hotel.

We didn't want to go too far away because we both had to work so we chose Marwell Hotel in Winchester, about a half an hour drive away from us.

Marwell Hotel is located opposite Marwell Zoo and is a 3* hotel, which I think is much lower than they deserve!

Staying at Marwell Hotel

It's not the biggest hotel, but the rooms are spacious and we thought our room looked lovely! It had all the usual amenities and Sky TV WHICH MEANT I COULD WATCH THE DISNEY CHANNEL. Dan was not so happy about this.

Staying at Marwell Hotel
Staying at Marwell Hotel


You can definitely tell there is a theming to represent the fact that they are next to a zoo with the wooden elements everywhere, although it's not in your face Rainforest Cafe style decor!

It was dinner that surprised both of us the most- the menu was extremely fancy which terrified me because I'm such a fussy eater, but I loved everything I ate! Our server was extremely attentive without being too pushy and it was such a lovely & relaxing meal.

We had a 3 course meal included in our package, but what we didn't realise is that included in that three course meal is a pre-starter and pre-dessert, making it more of a 5 course meal! I wish I could tell you what they were but I really have no idea- but they were delicious!

The next morning, I mentioned to our server at breakfast that it was my birthday (I'd just ordered pancakes for breakfast and felt like I should explain why I was eating pancakes... I don't know why!) and the next thing I knew he was bringing me out a creme brulee with a chocolate "Happy Birthday" sign! It was so unexpected and sweet of them to do so and it really made my morning.


Overall, we had a really lovely stay and I would definitely recommend Marwell Hotel if you're ever near Winchester- we'll definitely be returning!

You can also book a package that includes zoo tickets, which we did but because of the awful weather we didn't end up going- but our tickets last for a year so we'll be heading back in the Spring or Summer time to enjoy those and we will hopefully go back to Marwell Hotel!

Have you ever stayed at Marwell Hotel or would you want to? Let me know in the comments!

24 December, 2015

Christmas To Do List Recap

Christmas To Do List Recap
At the beginning of every December, I've always written a list of things I want to do during the festive season. By that, I mean fun and festive things that you can only really do at Christmas!

This year was no different, except that I posted it on my blog which I'd never been able to do before! So I thought as a nice recap, I'd let you know what I managed to tick off my list!

Go to Winter Wonderland
Unfortunately, I didn't do this one- not a great start huh?! I was meant to but unfortunately it didn't happen. There's always next year though! We did however go to Winchester Christmas Market and Southampton Christmas market, so I feel like we definitely did a lot!

Visit Reading's Winter on Ice
As you can see from this post, I did visit Winter on Ice! Actually, I visited it a lot on my lunch breaks. It wasn't fantastic but it was good and also they sold doughnuts. So... y'know, I pretty much HAD to go.

Make some Christmas Decorations!
I made some Decoration stockings this year.. I really wanted to make more but funds restricted me :( Maybe I'll buy some stuff in the sales and save it for next year!

Make my own Christmas Cards
I did this too! Luckily this wasn't affected by funds as most of the stuff I bought last year, so I just needed to buy a couple of packs of paper and that was it. They've gone down really well. The best part about home made Christmas cards is that it doesn't really matter if they're not amazing because it's the thought that counts!

Watch Christmas films snuggled up with hot chocolate and a blanket
Dan and I did this a LOT. Not always with hot chocolate and a blanket but every evening we had together when he didn't have to work, we watched another Christmas film. We ended up watching loads of them! And we did have one very christmassy night snuggled in bed with a blanket, hot chocolate, snacks and a Yankee Candle burning. (Because it HAD to be Yankee right?!)

Do all my Christmas shopping
I'd done all of this by the beginning of December which felt amazing. I love getting it all over and done with so all I have to do is relax and enjoy the festive period!

Visit Santa/Father Christmas
Apparently I'm "too old" to do this one. *crying* I don't see why at 23 years old I can't visit Santa, how will he know what I want for Christmas?!

Write some Christmas themed blog posts
Do you think I've done this? I definitely think I have! In fact, I don't think a single post this month has been about anything other than Christmas- sorry about that! I do love this time of year though and I hope you've enjoyed them!

Bake lots of Christmas themed treats
I've definitely done this and I've loved it! My Recipe Roundup will show you all of the cakes and bakes I've made this month, I hope you've enjoyed them and if you've tried any of them, please show me! You can tweet me @cakeydreamer or use the Instagram hashtag #cakeydreamerbakes!

So as you can see, I've done pretty well! I'm quite proud of myself, I don't think I've ever done as much as this before, so it's been a pretty successful month! 

Let me know what you've done to celebrate the Christmas period! 

There won't be new posts for the next few days so let me wish you the merriest Christmas, I hope you all have a wonderful day and I can't wait to hear what you all have been doing! I will be back with a new post on the 27th :) 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

23 December, 2015

Christmas Recipe Roundup!

This month, I've shown you a few different recipes and ideas for some Christmas themed bakes! I've tried to keep them all as simple as possible with a couple of harder ones for anyone who wants a challenge, so please let me know if you try them out for Christmas Day!

I'm in charge of making all of the desserts and sweet treats for Christmas now, so my family will definitely be enjoying some Christmas cookies and cupcakes in the evening while we settle down to watch TV!

What was your favourite bake this month? Let me know in the comments, and if you do make any of these, tweet me @cakeydreamer or use the Instagram hashtag #cakeydreamerbakes





















And from last year...




22 December, 2015

Why having a December birthday is fun!

Why having a December birthday is fun!

So today is my 23rd birthday! Happy Birthday to me!

Having a birthday in December gets a lot of bad press- whenever I tell people my birthday is in December I usually get replies like "oh, do you get a joint birthday and Christmas present?" and "oh that must be horrible!"

Actually... it's not. I went through a stage where I thought it was because everyone kept telling me it was, but the more I thought about it, the more I realise that I love it!

So here's my reasons why having a December Birthday isn't as bad as you think:

You get MORE presents- It's very rare that I get a joint birthday and Christmas present... Unless it's a present that costs a lot or something, in which case that's completely fair enough! But usually, I get at least one birthday present and one Christmas present from everyone.

No feeling sad when your birthday is over- when I was younger, I used to start to feel sad at the end of my birthday. No more presents, no more celebrating, back to normal. But wait- only for 2 days, then it's CHRISTMAS and I get to celebrate more and there are more presents and happiness and yay!

Everyone wants to celebrate- Want to go out and get a bit tipsy? EVERYONE is okay with that. It's silly season, so everyone is up for anything. You want to eat an entire birthday cake? No one cares, it's Christmas. You want to drink an entire bottle of wine? Um, hello. Christmas. Everyone is down for everything. I feel sorry for people who's birthday is on the 1st or 2nd January. NO ONE wants to celebrate then.

People are more generous- Especially if you're celebrating. Expect lots of free drinks/food.

So for those of you who think having a December birthday is awful, you're wrong. It's pretty cool actually. Although it can suck only getting to celebrate one time of the year- half birthdays should definitely be a thing.

Now I'm off to go and celebrate my birthday, feel free to leave me birthday messages! ;)

21 December, 2015

Santa's Sack Cake | Christmas Baking!

Making a Santa's Sack from Cake

So when I decided to make a cake for Christmas Day, it should have been something simple. Maybe a cute little white cake with "Merry Christmas!" written on it.

Maybe a cute little Santa Claus with a reindeer and a Christmas tree.

But nope, I think we all know by now that that's not how I work- I like to be adventurous and challenge myself.

I decided to make a Santa's sack- but not just any old Santa's sack. I wanted to make a Santa's sack with the presents falling into it, a defying gravity cake as they're called.

And I'm very pleased to say that I did it!!!!!

Making a Santa's Sack from Cake
I baked two 8 inch round cakes and sandwiched them together with buttercream and jam to create a huge Victoria's sandwich (I only recently discovered they're named after Queen Victoria, am I late to that party?). 

Then I covered the cake with red fondant and added a strip of white fondant around the top to create the sack effect.

After that, I baked a 10 inch square cake and cut it into small squares and covered them in fondant for the presents (yep, those presents are also tiny cakes!). 

To make the cake "defy gravity" (which always makes me think of Wicked), I used the Cake Frame I bought at the Cake and Bake Show. I was expecting it to be super hard to attach my cake to the frame but it was so easy, I definitely recommend the Cake Frame if you want to try to make a cake like this.

Please let me know what you think, I'd love to hear your thoughts! I definitely don't think it's perfect but I'm pretty proud of this cake!


20 December, 2015

#Fitmas: Week 5

Five weeks ago, I began the #Fitmas challenge created by Corinne. I've been writing weekly posts detailing my progress with the challenge which you can view here!

So #Fitmas ends tomorrow! I'm posting this today because I'm celebrating my birthday (which is on Tuesday by the way...) this week, so I'm probably not going to be doing any fitness or healthy eating. Sorry, but also not sorry.

Here's what Week 5 looked like:

Workout 1: Ab Day and 45 minutes of cardio
Workout 2: Leg Day
Workout 3: Arm Day
Workout 4: Optional

Like last week, I started my workouts a bit later on in the week so that I can feel less guilty for all the birthday cake I'm going to be eating this week haha!

I did Leg Day on Thursday, Ab Day and my 45 minutes of cardio (which was a super fun Dance workout) on Friday and then did Arm Day on Saturday. I'm hoping to do another workout today as well just to give it a final boost!

I've genuinely loved this whole challenge and I want to say a big thanks to Corinne for creating it!

My goal was to get myself back into fitness and to be on my way to running 10k. I'm definitely not close to running a 10k but I am back into fitness and running and to me, that's all I really wanted, so SUCCESS!

The only rule of this challenge was that your goal couldn't be weight related and honestly, that's been really refreshing. When I think back to last February when I first started running and getting into fitness, although my main goal was to lose weight for my holiday, I also had other goals like I wanted to be able to run 5k or lift heavier weights. It was those goals that kept me going rather than the weight loss, although that was a great added bonus and it's been really nice to get back into that instead rather than constantly worrying about whether or not I've lost weight. If you're eating healthy and exercising regularly, you will be losing weight without having to worry about it anyway!

I'll definitely be sticking with fitness again, so my monthly fitness updates will definitely be back- I know a lot of you enjoy reading those! I'm genuinely so pleased that I did this challenge and I might even stick with Corinne's plan to keep me going for a while!

If you want to see how everyone else has done, visit Corinne's blog for the link up or search the hashtag on Twitter!

17 December, 2015

How to make a Fondant Santa Claus | Christmas Baking!



I've been so excited to share this post with you! You might have already seen my tutorials on how to make a Fondant Snowman and a Fondant Reindeer, (you should definitely check those out too!) and today I'm going to show you how to make a Santa Claus.

I'm pretty proud of this because this was the first time I'd ever attempted a human being (you might have seen my fondant Panda tutorial at the beginning of the year)- and I think he went pretty well!

You will need:

  • Red Fondant
  • Black Fondant
  • White Fondant
  • Skin coloured Fondant
  • Yellow Fondant
  • Cocktail Sticks
  • Flower Leaf Tool
  • Ball Tool
  • Edible Glue (Optional)

Method:

1. Roll a large ball of red fondant and then mould into a pyramid shape, making sure the bottom still stays "rounded".

2. Roll large "sausages" of red fondant for his legs and mould to his body.

3. Roll small circles of black fondant and attach to the ends of his legs for his shoes as below:

How to make a Santa Claus from fondant

4. Roll two more large "sausages" of red fondant for his arms and mould to his body. (You can use edible glue to attach his arms if needed).

How to make a Santa Claus from fondant icing

5. Roll a small "sausage" of white fondant for the white fur of his coat and attach to his body (again, you can use edible glue if needed but if your fondant is moist enough you won't need to!)

How to make a fondant Santa Claus

6. Roll two small balls of white fondant and flatten to make his hands. Using your flower leaf cutter, cut the circle to make an indent where his thumb would be to create mittens!

How to make a Santa Claus from fondant icing
How to make a Santa Claus from fondant icing

(Cute right?!)

How to make a Santa Claus from fondant icing
7. Roll a thin strip of black fondant and attach to his body for his belt. Then make a belt buckle out of four strips of yellow fondant.

8. Roll a small ball of skin coloured fondant for his head. Using a ball tool, indent two circles for his eye "sockets".

How to make a Santa Claus from fondant icing

9. Roll two small balls of white fondant and place into the holes you made for his eyes. Then add two dots of black fondant on top.

10. Using your flower leaf tool, indent a smile onto his face and add a small ball of fondant onto his face for his nose.

How to make a Santa Claus from fondant icing

11. Roll a ball of red fondant and then using your hands mould into a cone to make into a Santa hat.

12. Mould onto his head- make sure you mould it round the back of his head as well as the top- this will help to support the weight of the hat!

How to make a Santa Claus from fondant icing
13. Add a small ball of white fondant to the end of the hat and add a strip of white fondant around the brim of the hat.

14. Then add strips of white fondant to his face for his beard and moustache!

How to make a Santa Claus from fondant icing

15. Put a cocktail stick into the top of Santa's body and measure his head against it to see how much of it you need- you want the cocktail stick to go about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way into his head. Too short and the head won't have enough stability but too long and it will stick out of the top of his head!

How to make a Santa Claus from fondant icing

16. Once your cocktail stick is the correct length, slide his head onto the stick.

How to make a Santa Claus from fondant icing

What do you think?! Let me know if you make my Santa, I'd love to see your versions! You can tweet me @CakeyDreamer on Twitter or use the hashtag #cakeydreamerbakes on Instagram!

16 December, 2015

Happy 1st Birthday Cakey Dreamer!

Happy 1st Birthday, Cakey Dreamer!

Today marks 1 whole year of Cakey Dreamer. I can't actually believe it because in a weird sense, it feels like I'm still a complete "newbie" to this whole blogging world so to think I've been doing this for an entire year is just crazy!

You can read my first ever post here, my Christmas Tree Cupcakes!

Since that day, I have had SO many great experiences, I've gotten to know some amazing bloggers who I can now call friends, I've been given some amazing opportunities, I really feel like I've gained new skills and what's more- I've been able to entertain YOU!

To think that a year ago, there were so many of you that I didn't even know and look at us now!

I really, really hope that you've enjoyed the past year of Cakey Dreamer, I know I've really enjoyed every moment of writing this blog. Hopefully I can continue to write blog posts you will all enjoy!

If I keep talking I'm going to turn this into a rambly & soppy post so I will finish by sharing with you some of my favourite posts from this past year.

If you have any favourite posts of mine that you don't see on the list, please let me know in the comments so I know what to create more of!

Magic Kingdom: Be our Guest Review (and engagement story!)
10 Things I'm Trying to do more of in 2015
The Disney Tag
What a Disney Parks visit means to me
I've Got a Dream...
Cheeseburger Cupcakes
Happy Birthday Lady!
Beauty and the Beast Cake

It's super hard to choose only a few haha!

So, let me just say a big thank you to everyone who reads my blog, whether you've been here for the full year or whether you've recently joined us, it really means so much to me and I'm grateful for every view, every comment, every message, so thank you!

Hope to see you on my next birthday! (P.S, it's MY birthday next Tuesday. Just sayin'.)

15 December, 2015

How to make a Reindeer out of Fondant | Christmas Baking!



If you're making a Christmas themed cake or even cupcakes, you might be wanting to make yourself some fondant toppers to go on top- well look no further, here I am to teach you how to make one of Santa's Reindeers from fondant icing!

You will need:
  • Brown fondant icing
  • Light brown fondant icing
  • Red fondant icing
  • White fondant icing
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Flower Leaf tool
  • Edible Glue (optional)

1. Start with two balls of brown fondant- a larger ball for the body and a smaller ball for the head.

How to make a reindeer from fondant

2. Using your hands, mould the body into a "Pyramid" shape.

How to make a reindeer from fondant

3. Using your fingers, mould four legs out of fondant. Roll balls of fondant into sausages and then shape to look like legs. Wrap two around the bottom of his body and stick with edible glue (unless your fondant is moist, then you should be able to mould them together without glue)

4. With the other two legs, using edible glue if needed, mould them to the front of his body to look like below.

How to make a Reindeer from fondant

5. Using your flower leaf tool, indent the reindeer's hooves.

How to make a Reindeer from fondant

6. Then we'll move on to his head! Take a tiny piece of red fondant and mould into a little nose (you can use black if you don't want a Rudolph!). Apply to his face with edible glue, if needed.

How to make a Reindeer from fondant

7. Using your flower leaf cutter, indent a line from his nose downwards to create a little mouth for him.

How to make a Reindeer from fondant
8. Make two eyes out of black fondant, then apply two small dots of white fondant to give them a bit more character!

9. Make two small teardrop shapes out of your lighter brown fondant. These will be his antlers! 

How to make a Reindeer from fondant!

10. Using a small knife, cut the edges into three and spread them apart to look like below:

How to make a Reindeer from fondant icing

11. Do for both, then apply to your reindeer's head using broken up cocktail sticks.

How to make a reindeer from fondant?

12. Push a cocktail stick into the body to support the head as below. Measure how big the head is and cut the cocktail stick to size. You want the cocktail stick to go roughly 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through the head. Too small and the head will collapse, too big and it will stick out of the top!

How to make a Reindeer from fondant

13. Apply to head to the body and make sure it sits steadily. For some extra hold, you could apply some edible glue to the bottom of his head so that it will glue to his body.

How to make a Reindeer from fondant

What do you think?! Let me know if you make my little Rudolph, I'd love to see your versions! You can tweet me @CakeyDreamer on Twitter or use the hashtag #cakeydreamerbakes on Instagram!

Blog design by aleelilydesigns