28 February, 2015

Reflecting back on February

Monthly Reflections
So you might remember that last month I did a very similar post at the end of January to reflect back on my month. (If not, you can see it here!) I really feel that as I'm still a beginner in baking and cake decorating it's a good idea to reflect back on my month and think about the good stuff and the bad stuff! I've also decided to include little things that have perhaps happened to me this month as well, so it's more of a lifestyle kind of post. :)

The "Not So Great" Stuff

Still can't think of a better word. :/

  • My Fondant Teddy Bear- He wasn't that bad, but he also wasn't great and I never felt truly happy with him. Poor fella, he was still cute though! Sometimes I find that if I'm not 100% in the mood to make something, it just won't go right because I'm not fully concentrating and putting in as much effort as I should be.
  • Sian, where art thou?- I really wanted to take part in lots of twitter chats, get to know other bloggers and basically immerse myself in the blogging community. However, life got in the way and I didn't do that. So that's definitely something I will be trying hard to do in March, so if anyone knows of any good twitter chats leave them in the comments below! I've already added lots to my calendar so that I can keep up to date and try to join in as best I can.

The Good Stuff!

  • Reaching 1000 views- It might seem small to some people but to me this is huge! I never thought that in two months I would reach 1000 views so the day I logged in and saw that just made me so happy. Thank you to everyone that's helped me reach that goal! :D
  • My first Cake order- My friend asked me to bake a cake for his mum's birthday, which you can see here! Now it kinda doesn't count as a cake order because it was just my friend ordering it and there was no pressure, but I still wanted it to be perfect and I put a lot of effort into it. He seemed to really like it, so this is definitely an achievement! :)
  • I have decided to start running!- So this isn't cake related... or even really a real achievement, but I basically have always hated exercise or any sports so for me to actually want to go running is an achievement in itself. I'll keep you posted on my progress!

Thank you to everyone who reads my blog, follows me whether on Bloglovin, Twitter, Instagram- wherever. I'm really grateful to everyone I have met via this blog and everyone is SO nice. I can't wait to see what March brings and I'm really enjoying reflecting back on my months, it'll be awesome to read at the end of 2015!
What have you achieved in February? Is there anything you want to work on? Let me know in the comments below! Also if you're not following me yet, see the links below, I'd love you to come and join us! :)
Love, Sian xo

24 February, 2015

Robin Cake

Hi Everyone!

So, you may remember that a little while ago, I made this little guy in preparation for a cake I was to make for my friend. Well, here is the finished product!

My friend asked me to make a birthday cake for his mum and he told me that she likes Robins. Robins are normally very much associated with Christmas, so it was really difficult to think of something to do for a birthday cake. In the end I decided to go for a very simple theme (as I'm still not overly experienced I don't like to push myself too much if the cake is for someone else and I don't know them!) and I think it came out pretty well! If you haven't guessed from my other blog posts, I am always really hard on myself and this is definitely something I'm trying to work on and slowly I'm easing up on myself!

I like the Robin (this is a NEW robin, just so you don't worry that I'm giving people month-old icing!) and I like the tree design. It's just a sweet cake, it's nothing too fancy but sometimes you just don't need anything overly fancy, do you?

Another note, I did wipe away the Buttercream icing under the Robin as it kinda looks like he's pooped himself doesn't it? Hahaha.

Let me know what you think in the comments below! :) I've got a lot of new posts coming up helping you to decorate your cakes, so they will be coming up over the next few weeks!
Sian xo

19 February, 2015

Fondant Teddy Bear

I'm so glad you all seem to be enjoying my fondant experiments- it's definitely inspiring me to keep going and trying new things!

So this week I made a teddy bear out of fondant. Now... I am a perfectionist and it's difficult for me when I feel a project hasn't gone very well, which is how I feel about this teddy. He's okay but he's not great. I had a problem with the fondant drying out on me (no I'm not blaming my tools, don't worry!) but by the end I had figured out how to get around that.

I'm not overly unhappy with him, he still looks cute but he's slightly out of proportion and I dunno, I just haven't warmed to him like my previous creations. I guess I was just having one of those days when I made him where nothing seems to go right!

What do you think of him? Let me know in the comments below!

Fondant Teddy Bear

17 February, 2015

A Goofy Birthday Cake

Hi everyone!

Recently it was my best friend's birthday and I wanted to make her a birthday cake. The thing is, I like to put in a lot of effort to birthday gifts and I like to get people something that means something to them and is also a thoughtful gift.

Just to give you a bit of an insight, my friend LOVES Goofy. He's her favourite Disney character and she's always loved him. I've bought her a fair few Goofy-related gifts in the past and thought I would carry on that theme with her birthday cake.

Goofy Birthday Cake

The other thing I wanted to do was attempt a stacked cake. I hadn't tried this before and was REALLY nervous. In fact on the day I knew I had to make the cake, I put it off for as long as possible simply because I was really nervous. Now that I look back, I'm not sure why as it was fairly easy to do, but it seems daunting!

My idea originally was to do a three tier cake but I decided on just a two tier so that it wasn't too daunting for my first attempt. I think what I love about this cake is that it's a Disney themed cake but it's fairly subtle... you probably wouldn't realise what it represented if you didn't know the character. I think that stops it from being a childish cake and helps it to be a bit more mature... Although there's nothing wrong with being childish once in a while! :)

Goofy Birthday Cake
In case you don't know Goofy, I will explain- the baseboard is blue to represent his trousers, the bottom tier is orange to represent his top, and the top tier is green with a black ribbon to represent his little hat. It was a really fun cake to make although it took a REALLY long time to make, although I don't mind that. It was totally worth it, and my friend seemed to really love it which makes it all worthwhile :) Also I'm really sorry for the picture quality- I was in a rush to take photos before I took it to my friend's house!!

So what do you think? Let me know in the comments below! I'm proud of this cake and I'm hoping to do more stacked cakes in the future. I'm also hoping to do a tutorial on how to stack cakes to hopefully make it seem less daunting for others!

Love, Sian xo

13 February, 2015

Baking for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day Baking
Love it or loathe it, it's coming guys. You can't fight it any longer- Valentine's Day is around the corner.

I used to be a bit of a Scrooge when it came to Valentine's Day, thinking it was just card shops trying to find a way to get us to spend more money but the past couple of years I've warmed to it. Which may have something to do with getting a boyfriend... Haha.

In all seriousness, I'm honestly not fussed at all about Valentine's Day anymore. I don't hate it but I'm also not going to go crazy over it. In fact, Dan and I aren't even going to do anything for it this year, we're just choosing to stay in and I'll cook us a nice dinner and we can enjoy each other's company.
Because really, isn't that what it's all about?! It's not about buying the most fancy presents or about going to the fanciest restaurants, it's about showing the person you love how much you love them- every day, not just Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day Baking
So anyway, this week I created a cake that was definitely Valentine's Day themed. I also decided to make it a bit Princessy and feminine as well. I like the way it turned out!

I made a simple sponge cake (sometimes when I know I'm going to put a lot of effort into the decorating, I prefer to keep the cake simple. As I'm only making them for fun and it's only me and my friends and family eating the cake, I know it doesn't need to be over the top extravagant) and then crumbcoated with buttercream icing and decorated with fondant.

I had a slight mishap in that I had a very tiny hole in my pink fondant towards the bottom, so I thought I would use the skill I learnt in this post and add a ribbon around the bottom to hide it... But then I made the ribbon too short as you can see in the picture below! But all in all, I'm pretty pleased with it. I then piped buttercream icing (because I'd made waaaaay too much) around to give it an elegant feel and added two white and pink fondant hearts on top. It didn't go completely to plan but I still really loved making this cake and I had excellent feedback from my colleagues at work who got to be my taste testers!

What are you doing for Valentine's Day? Let me know in the comments below! :)

09 February, 2015

The Liebster Award

Recently I have been nominated for The Liebster Award by Emily at Little Food Goose, which was a lovely surprise and one I am very excited about! It's so nice that in the Blogging community we have things like this to help blogs feel recognised- especially as we all put in so much hard work and effort into our blogs!

The Liebster Award was created by bloggers and is a great way for you to nominate up and coming blogs that have less than 200 followers- giving your and their blogs a boost and building a bigger and better blogging community!
The rules for The Liebster Award are:

  1. Link the person that has nominated you
  2. Answer all the questions that have been given by the nominator
  3. Nominate 11 other blogs that you feel deserve the award
  4. Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer
  5. Notify all nominees through their blog or social media.

My answer's to Emily's Questions

When did you start your blog and why?
I started my blog in December 2014. I went through a rough time at the end of 2014 and found cake decorating as a way to take my mind off of things. As I tried to improve, I found that it was difficult to find information on how to start- I could find so many videos on how to roll fondant but what tools did I need, what was important to buy and what wasn't? It was all these questions that then spurred me on to deciding to make my own blog to help other beginners, but also as a place that I could talk to other cake decorators and get tips and showcase my creations!

Which is your favourite food magazine?
I really love Cake Decoration Heaven, it has lots of beautiful designs in it and I love reading it. It only seems to come out each season though which is a shame, as I've now got to wait ages for the next issue! :(

If you could go on a foodie holiday, where would you go?
I would love to go somewhere in America- simply because all the bakeries I have seen there look gorgeous. I'm a really fussy eater, so although some people might answer with really exotic places, I'll just choose a place with a pretty bakery. :)

What’s your go-to last minute meal?
Hmm, this is a tricky one! I do love tuna pasta bake, so maybe that? It's pretty quick and easy for last minute!

Which food do you find yourself craving the most?
Chocolate. Or cake. Or chocolate cake.

Where is your favourite place and why?
Walt Disney World/Disneyland Paris- it's just so magical. There's something about being in a place where people can (and do) just burst into song and it's normal, or being in a place where there's always music playing. I'm going back to WDW in June and I cannot wait, even if it has meant that I have been very poor for months while I pay for it!

At what time of day do you find yourself blogging and why?
Mainly the evenings, I like to sit down after work with a cup of coffee and write my blog posts. Occasionally I will also do some work for my blog in my lunch breaks at work, mainly writing ideas for posts and that sort of thing.

What’s your favourite crisp flavour?
I'm not a big fan of crisps, I actually find that halfway through the (small) packet I get bored and stop eating them. But I do love skips, and they are prawn cocktail flavour, so let's go with that!

Name a blog that inspires you and why?
I really love Sweetapolita. Rosie's blog was the first cake blog I found and I automatically fell in love. Her blog is so beautiful and her recipes are delish. Check her out if you haven't seen her already!

Do you prefer sweet or savoury?
Sweet, 100%. I've always had a sweet tooth, which doesn't agree with my figure :( haha!

Where do you see your blog in 3 years time?
I would hope to have a sustained readership and hopefully I'll be showcasing a lot more of my creations and interacting with a lot more followers! I think for me, this blog is all about interacting with others, whether that be cake decorators or just other bloggers!

Thanks to Emily again for nominating me! My nominees are a bit of a mixed bunch, I really enjoy reading beauty and lifestyle blogs as well as food related blogs, so I've included a few of those in my list too. Do check out the blogs below because they're all fab!

The blogs I am nominating are:
DK's Cakes and Bakes
Jessica Louise Indge
Stephh Jayne
What Laura Blogged Next
Bake Then Eat
Jenna Loves Beauty
Amie Becca
Carlys Bakes
Take Two Treats
2 Careless Bloggers
Gleam Girl

My questions are:

  1. What inspired you to start blogging?
  2. Which blog do you read religiously?
  3. What is your favourite thing about being a blogger?
  4. Where do you blog the most?
  5. What is your favourite type of cake?
  6. What is your favourite type of baked good? (e.g. cakes, cookies, pastries etc.)
  7. What do you prefer- snow or sun?
  8. What is your favourite film?
  9. If you could choose your favourite "belonging", what would that be?
  10. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would that meal be?
  11. What is your main blogging goal for 2015?

07 February, 2015

Big Hero 6- Baymax (from Fondant)

If you didn't know by now, I'm a huge Disney fan. I have well over 100 Disney DVDs, I collect Disney ornaments, the majority of my belongings have something Disney on them... it's bad. But it's who I am so I'm cool with it and people who know me expect no less. However, I had purposely held back from making any Disney characters out of fondant because I knew once I started I wouldn't be able to stop, plus it was nice to do something that had no relation to Disney. Surprise people a bit, you know.

Then I went to see Disney's Big Hero 6 at the cinema. For those of you who don't know this movie, it's basically a Marvel Comic Book that Disney have turned into a movie and added their own Disney flourishes to it. I've been excited to see it but also a bit worried- after the huge success of Frozen, would they be able to make a film that was just as good or maybe even, better?! Luckily, my worries were put to rest because let me tell you- it is amazing. I wouldn't say it is better than Frozen, but I am a Disney Princess at heart so it's difficult for a film aimed more at boys to capture my heart as much as a Princess film would. But even so, I loved it. Just to give you a brief synopsis without giving anything away- it's about a really smart teenage boy and his gang of friends who become superheroes to defeat a mysterious masked villain, with the help of their friendly robot sidekick, Baymax.

So now I've got that out of the way- let me introduce my fondant Baymax! He was by far the best and my favourite character and all I could think about on the way home was "I wonder if I could make him out of fondant?!". Yeah, my life has become like that now... Haha!

Fondant Baymax from Disney's Big Hero 6
But I did it! It didn't take me very long and I did just kind of throw him together to see if I could, so he's not the best creation but I still love him. I had to leave him overnight to harden him up so he would actually stand up rather than falling- and you can see in this picture he is drooping slightly so that is something I will need to work on, but overall not bad!

I'm going to try to NOT make too many Disney characters because I'll get obsessed, but I also know that this resolve probably won't last long- especially as I'm off to Walt Disney World in 134 days. Not that I'm counting...

Let me know what you think of my Baymax in the comments below- and also if you've seen the film what you thought! *no spoilers please*. P.S if anyone is smart enough to build me a robot Baymax, I will love you forever.

04 February, 2015

Breville Pick & Mix Hand and Stand Mixer- Review

Breville Pick & Mix Mixer Review
For ages since I first started baking properly, I’ve wanted a mixer. They look so cool and it makes it SO much easier to mix cakes- I feel like my arm is constantly aching haha!

This Christmas, my lovely Mum bought me this Breville Pick & Mix Stand Mixer to help me make much better cakes. (Not that they were bad before!)

For a beginner, this is an absolutely amazing mixer. Yes, you could spend nearly £400 on a Kitchen Aid (I’ve seen their Rose Gold one, I’m feeling you don’t worry), but if you’re just starting out and you’re not ready for a big fancy mixer like that then this is perfect!

This mixer doubles between a stand and a hand mixer- so whether you just want a quick mix with a hand mixer or a more intense mix with the stand, it’s got you covered!

It also comes with whisks and dough mixers- so it’s pretty much perfect for anything you want to bake!

Breville Pick & Mix Mixer Review

There’s plenty of speed settings so you can completely control how fast or slow you want it to mix. I’ve never gone over the second or third setting because I’m too afraid but I’m sure it’s very powerful!

The mixer also comes in cream or green, but as a Pink lover this colour was perfect for me- it’s SO cute (It will be perfect in my future pastel pink & pastel blue kitchen that Dan refuses to give into)!

If you’re thinking of getting a mixer, would you consider this one? Let me know in the comments- or let me know if you already have it! 

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