31 May, 2015

The Creative Blogger Award

The lovely Becky has nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award, so a huge thank you to her for that!

The Rules:
1. Thank and post the link to the blogger who nominated you.
2. Share five facts about yourself with your own blog readers.
3. Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify all nominees.
4. Pass these rules onto your nominees.
So five facts about myself, where to start?! I've put so many facts on different posts that I'm running out of them!

  1. I can't drink a full drink- Inspired by Becky's fact, I thought I'd make a similar confession. So, you know in Hercules, Hades gives him a potion that turns him mortal but because he doesn't drink the last drop he still retains his god-like strength? Ever since I saw that, I cannot drink the last drop of a drink. I don't know why, it's just a thing and I cannot get over it. I try but I can't!
  2. I'm really afraid of clowns- Ugh, and there's a horrible poster on loads of buses at the moment for that Poltergeist film and it has a clown... it makes me want to cry!
  3. I have Vertigo- or a form of it, according to the doctors. It means I can't go on rollercoasters or anything like that because they make me too dizzy and I feel poorly for weeks. Luckily, I don't think I like them anyway!
  4. I really want to own my own cake decorating business! I mean, you probably guessed that but I don't think I've ever fully admitted it on here yet. Yeah, I'd love to work from home and make and decorate cakes all day!
  5. My friend nicknamed me "Biscuit hands" at school- Because my palm is the size of a digestive biscuit and my fingers are roughly the size of chocolate fingers. :( It's nice to have small and dainty hands though!

So, I'm pretty late to this and most of the blogs I follow and love either don't do the awards or have already been nominated for this one, so therefore... I'm going to be naughty and not nominate people, but instead I will say- if you want to do this award, then I nominate YOU! (Sorry to any strict people who may feel I've been a bad nominee, but I'm trying to be a nice person!)

29 May, 2015

Cake Pops by Lakeland (Book) | Review

Cake Pops by Lakeland Book Review
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll have seen my last two reviews on baking/cake decorating related books. This time I chose to review a book on Cake Pops by Lakeland, a book I bought simply because I wanted to try making Cake Pops but didn't really know where to start. They can be a little bit intimidating I think, so it's nice to have something to help!

One of the things I like about this book is that it starts off by telling you what you will need, which is helpful and it gives you almost like a shopping list so you can easily go and find those items to get you started.

Another thing I like about this book is the ideas it gives you. The majority of the book is made up of different ideas for decorating your cake pops for all sorts of occasions, birthdays, christmas, easter, weddings and even just to entertain kids. They would be helpful even for the more experienced cake pop maker... or at least I think that they would!

Cake Pops by Lakeland Book Review

As well as all of this, it really does help you to learn how to make cake pops. I still haven't made perfect ones yet so I may not be the best example, but I know I will! I definitely have more of a knowledge of how to make them since buying this book so would definitely recommend to anyone who isn't sure how to make cake pops.

The one thing that amuses me about the book is the amount Lakeland promotes itself, it's almost as if everything they write about is followed by the sentence, "which you can buy at Lakeland!". I totally get that it's their book and OF COURSE they are going to self promote but when you read the entire book it can really grate on you by the end. I wouldn't let that put me off buying it again though.

In terms of price, the book is only £5.99 which I think is a good price for the amount of information inside.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book. It probably isn't worth it for anyone who is already experienced in cake pop making unless you want some new ideas for decorating them, but for anyone who like me is unsure of where to begin when you want to start making cake pops, it really is a useful book to have on hand.

Does anyone else have this book and want to say what they think in the comments below? Or are you thinking of buying it? Let me know in the comments below!

26 May, 2015

My Journey to Fitness... The Final Countdown

Update on fitness journey
This will probably be the last fitness journey post I do... Not because I'm going to stop doing the fitness, but just because I feel like I'm running out of things to say each month! Thanks to everyone for their kind words and encouragement, it means a lot to me and you've been really helpful! I will still talk about fitness, I just won't do the monthly updates :) [NOTE: A LOT of people asked me to continue my fitness posts & updates, so you can now find them all here!]

At the beginning of this month, I found a picture of myself at my work's Red Nose Day Bake Sale, on the 13th March. I honestly couldn't see if there was much of a difference between now and then, so I took a picture of myself and put them together. There was a HUGE difference- in less than two months! I'd been struggling for a while with motivation, but that boosted me right back up and I was ready to boost my efforts. If you are trying to lose weight, I really recommend that you take before & during pictures, it helps so much!

I also weighed myself and found that I've lost nearly a stone which I'm VERY pleased with, especially as I'm putting on muscle too! My motivation is sky high again right now, FINALLY!

Before and After- Fitness Journey

These are some of the main things I've been doing this month:

  • Doing longer runs- In my last update, I'd just finished Couch to 5k and was running for 30 minutes. I decided to stay doing 30 minutes for a while so that I would get used to the runs and build up my speed and stamina etc. However, after doing 3 weeks of 30 minutes, I've started doing longer runs, starting with 35 minutes and upping to 40 minutes. I'm hoping to keep going and going!
  • Starting the 30 Day Abs & Squat Challenge- And then forgetting to do it. But I still do the squats and sit ups a lot, just not every day- which means I'm definitely not as good as I should be!
  • Made an exercise plan- I thought it would be helpful if I made a plan of what exercise I will do each day and where I'm hoping to target (i.e., leg day or whatever). As I was losing motivation, I figured if I mixed it up then it would be easier to stay interested for longer!
  • Cutting down on my sugar intake- I don't think I realised how much sugar I was eating, so I've been trying to cut down on this. It's been hard, but I definitely think it will be worth it in the long run! I've been doing great with my exercise, I just need my food habits to match!

What have you been doing this month? Let me know in the comments below, and please feel free to keep your encouragement coming, I'm going to need it for these last 3 weeks before my holiday! (Although I'm definitely continuing after, don't worry!)

22 May, 2015

Big Hero 6- Baymax Cake

Big Hero 6 Baymax Cake
Last weekend, I could *not* figure out what kind of cake to make. I've been in a bit of a cakey slump I guess you could say, I just haven't been able to come up with any ideas or even with the motivation to bake. I think it's because I'm trying so hard to lose weight for the holiday and I don't want to ruin my hard work by eating cake!

Eventually I just made a cake and then covered it in white icing and tried to figure out what to do next. Then, it hit me. Big Hero 6 comes out on DVD on Monday and I've been looking forward to getting my hands on it for ages, so I made a Baymax cake! So simple and easy, cover a cake with white fondant and add on two eyes and a line between them. Done!

Big Hero 6 Baymax Cake
What do you think? I like the simplicity of it, but it's also very effective. A good idea for any little boy's birthday parties this summer! Also, if you liked this, I think you'll like the little Baymax I made out of fondant (I love Baymax, can you tell?)

So, in order to help me with my slump, I'd like YOU to suggest what I should make next! Leave a comment below and I'll see what I can rustle up for the blog over the next few weeks before I go away on holiday!

19 May, 2015

Matcha May with Teapigs | Review

Teapig's Matcha tea review
As you will probably know if you've been reading my blog for a while, in preparation for my holiday which is in 29 days (eeeek!), I have been trying to improve my fitness and health in order to try and lose weight- but also just because it's nice to feel healthy! So when I was asked by Teapigs if I wanted to try out their Matcha tea for 2 weeks to support their Matcha May campaign, I jumped at the chance!

The Matcha green tea comes in powder form, which means you get more nutrients than you would from drinking normal green tea. It's also great because you can add it to anything- I loved having it with orange juice as well as in hot water! It doesn't have a strong taste, but it definitely has a subtle sweetness to it which is nice. It smells very natural and I definitely felt like I was drinking something that was going to be good for me!

I'd read and heard all about the benefits of drinking Matcha green tea but I don't think I was prepared for how much of a difference I would see! I often have a problem with my tummy bloating, but after a few days of drinking Matcha the bloating had gone and my tummy felt SO much better. This is a BIG deal to me because it's something I've suffered with for years... Exercise has really helped but hasn't completely gotten rid of it, but drinking Matcha and exercising as well seems to have done the trick! (Obviously that's just a personal thing and I can't guarantee it'll be the same for anyone else!)

It was also really great to drink it in the afternoons after my lunch breaks. I often go running on my lunch breaks and in the late afternoons after the adrenaline and endorphins have worn off I can get a bit sleepy and I used to drink coffee to wake myself up a bit. The past two weeks I've been drinking Matcha instead and it made me feel so much more energized which was great!

Overall, I definitely enjoyed the two weeks of trying Matcha and I will definitely keep using it, I've had fantastic results! Have any of you ever tried Matcha tea? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

The Matcha Tea Starter Pack was sent to me for review by Teapigs, however all opinions are my own!

15 May, 2015

Disney Trip Adventures- My top tips on Meeting Characters

If you read my previous post in this mini-series, The Princess Challenge, you will know that my good friend Jess asked if I would consider doing some posts on my Disney trips in the past. It really doesn't take much to get me to talk about Disney, so I agreed!
Top Tips for meeting Disney characters!

One of my favourite parts of going to Walt Disney World or Disneyland Paris is meeting the characters. It's so much fun to fully immerse yourself in the magic of Disney and pretend that everything is real. Sometimes I genuinely DO forget that these are just actors playing the parts, especially with characters like Mickey Mouse. I know for some people, especially if you're not a Disney fanatic, it might be hard to let yourself go but it really does create some magical memories.

So, here are MY top tips for meeting the characters:
  • Look up the timetables of the characters- You can either use the apps that each Disney Resort has or use the leaflets that you can pick up at the park entrances. They're really useful for letting you know when and where your favourite characters will be around!
  • Try and get there early- But be aware that a lot of people will have the same idea as you, so you might still have to queue.
  • Or use Fastpass!- I'm not sure if this is an option in Disneyland Paris because I haven't been there in 5 years (*heartbroken*), but definitely for Walt Disney World you can use your fastpasses to skip the queues at character meet and greet locations!
  • Try and think of fun questions for them- They will be more than happy to answer them! Part of the fun is having a conversation with your favourite character. For example, ask Belle how the Beast is, or even what her favourite book is. Ask Cinderella's step sisters if they've ever been invited to Cinderella's Castle. These little things will definitely add some more fun- especially if you're taking children with you!
  • Don't try to catch them out- Woody, Jessie and Buzz DO NOT drop to the ground if you yell Andy's coming. It just annoys them and the cast member looking after them. Similarly, don't try and make the actor "trip up" so that they say something out of character. You wouldn't like it if someone made YOU mess up at work for their own entertainment.
  • Don't be embarrassed, no matter how young/old you are- This is something I am very guilty of, I often queue up to meet characters and feel like everyone is looking at me because I'm an adult. They're really not. I must say that in Walt Disney World, the amount of couples we saw without children was a LOT, compared to when I've been to Disneyland Paris. But no matter where I've been, there have always been other adults queuing to meet the characters. Don't worry about what other people may or may not think, and just have fun!

If you have any tips, feel free to leave them in the comments below! I hope you've found them helpful, especially if like me you will be visiting a Disney park soon!

12 May, 2015

My Cakey Wishlist

I really love reading other blogger's wishlists, so I thought I'd try doing my own. It's a bit of a different take on it, mine is all to do with cake decorating!
My Cakey Wishlist

My Cakey Wishlist

  1. Amore Iron Cookbook Stand- I really want a cookbook stand, for when I'm using books to help me bake or decorate cakes. It would be so much easier than trying to keep the book open with any miscellaneous object I can lay my hands on!
  2. Wilton Fondant Letter & Number cutters- SO much easier for making letters or numbers in fondant, and Wilton are an amazing brand to use for cake decorating supplies.
  3. Little Venice Cake Company Rolling Pin (English Rose)- These rolling pins are great for making subtle yet beautifully designed cakes.
  4. Wilton Candy Melts- I really want to start making Cake Pops, and these are fab for decorating them!
  5. 5 Piece Dusting Brush Set- Great for shading and dusting over stencils. Plus eventually I'd like to start looking at painting cakes!

What's on your wishlist?

08 May, 2015

Why Running is good for you

Why Running is Good For You
So the last couple of months I have become really into fitness. It started off as being a way to lose weight for my holiday and in many ways that is still the driving force behind my efforts. But recently it has changed into something else, it's actually becoming another hobby. Obviously running or any type of exercise is good for you, but these are the reasons why I think running is definitely a type of fitness to consider:

  1. IT'S A FAB MOOD BOOSTER

  2. One day I was at work and I was in a FOUL mood. It doesn't happen very often, but occasionally I will get in a grump and it's so hard to get myself out of it. However, I went for a run and I felt better immediately. Usually I would eat my problems away, but this time it was different and I felt a million times better!
  3. IT'S GREAT FOR CREATIVITY

  4. I read this somewhere and didn't believe it, but honestly I have had SO many ideas about this blog or my cake decorating while running. I tend to try and think about anything other than running while I run so I don't realise when I'm tired, so my mind is free to wander. That's when some of my best ideas have come to me!
  5. IT'S INEXPENSIVE

  6. All you really need is a decent pair of running shoes and sensible clothes to wear. Of course you can then go onto get things like the holders for your phone/iPod, bumbags (because where will you put your keys?!) etc., but the main expenses are really just what you will wear. If you get decent ones they will last you a long time!
  7. IT'S MOTIVATING

  8. I do genuinely believe this- when I first started the couch to 5k, I could not run at all. I could barely even complete the first part of the programme. Now I can run for half an hour, and that's only in 2 months! (Seriously, if you are looking to start running, I cannot recommend the couch to 5k programme enough!) The part I found the most motivating was seeing the difference in my body but also in my stamina. It's the little goals, being able to run for 1 minute, then 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes etc. that really helps you to stay on track with your weightloss or getting fitter. It really helped me to start eating healthier as well, because I didn't want to ruin all my hard work by eating a pack of biscuits!

If running doesn't work for you, then that's fine too! I honestly believe that you should never push yourself to do something you don't enjoy. If you try it and you love it like me, then that's fantastic! But if you don't, try something else that will work for you. There's nothing worse than hauling yourself out of bed to do exercise you hate. Find whatever you enjoy and do it as much or as little as you want.
If you'd like to chat to me about running (because I love to chat about it), feel free to leave me a comment or tweet me @Cakeydreamer! :)

05 May, 2015

Disney On Ice!

Disney on Ice
Yes, sorry, this is another Disney post! My boyfriend and I were given tickets to see Disney on Ice for a Christmas present and it finally came around! I haven't been to Disney on Ice for years, but I used to go a lot as a child with my family so it holds a lot of memories for me. Disney On Ice, in case you've never been, is a lovely entertainment show which features your favourite Disney characters skating on ice to tell the stories and sing the songs you know and love.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take pictures as the skaters went so fast that all my pictures came out blurry. This was REALLY bugging me and eventually I just gave up and enjoyed the show without worrying about taking photos, so sorry that I can't share those with you! I still want to tell you how amazing it was though because it really is a wonderful experience.

Disney on Ice

The stories told in this show were The Little Mermaid, Tangled, Beauty and the Beast and Frozen. The stories are shorter (the show only lasts about 2 hours so they just include the best bits and the best songs) but you can still get the gist of what's happening and it's the songs that are the best parts anyway. The atmosphere is fantastic, there are so many kids excited to see their favourite characters! (And big kids like me...)

Disney on Ice

If you haven't been living under a rock for the past year and a half, you would know about the phenomenon that is Frozen. This show only showcased how much of a big deal Frozen is. There were SO many little girls dressed up as either Anna or Elsa (mainly Elsa), there was SO much Frozen merchandise, and when Anna and Elsa came onto the ice, the children went crazy. You actually could have mistaken it for a One Direction concert, that's how loud the screams were.

If you haven't been to see Disney on Ice, I really recommend it- but please be aware that it is tailored for kids, it is very childish. There was a couple next to me who didn't seem to know this beforehand and hated that the kids were singing along, hated that the audience clapped along to the songs and just really spoilt it for everyone around them. But if you're fine with all that, you'll have an amazing time.

Oh, and if Mickey and Minnie ice skating to "Oh Mickey, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind..." doesn't win your heart, then I don't know what will.

Also- they were selling plastic Beauty and the Beast swords in the foyer and I suggested to Dan that we buy two and have pretend sword fights. Dan pretended that he was too grown up and mature to want to play with swords but I could tell from the twinkle in his eye that he definitely wanted to. Comment below if you agree that we should have bought toy swords- I want to prove him wrong. :)

All pictures belong to Disney on Ice and not to me!

01 May, 2015

Reflecting back on April

Monthly Reflections
If you've been reading my blog for a while you will know that at the end of each month, I reflect back on the good and bad things that happened. If you haven't seen the previous reflections, you can read them here. They always seem to be popular with you guys, so I'm glad you're enjoying them!
April's Accomplishments:

  • Writing another cake decorating tutorial! When I first started making this blog, my original aim was to make a blog that would help others learn how to cake decorate. My goals have changed now, I don't want to be stuck in a niche, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to make tutorials and I'm glad that they seem to be going down so well! This month I wrote a tutorial on how to make a Panda Bear out of fondant and you seem to have liked it!
  • A huge boost in page views! In February I had 700+ pageviews that month. In March that doubled and I remember thinking how crazy it was that my little blog had achieved so many views. This month, I had 3000+ pageviews. I know that that's nothing compared to other bloggers out there but for me that feels INCREDIBLE and I am so, so grateful to each and every one of you that reads my blog, so a huge thank you to you all!
  • Working on my social media Which was a goal from last month's reflection, I've spent ages on my Pinterest account and I'm working harder on my Instagram account! Let me know what you think!

May's Goals

  • Get back to baking! I've been SO bad this month with baking. I think it's mainly to do with the fact that I'm trying so hard to lose weight and get fit, so I don't want to ruin my hard work by eating cake. I also don't have many people to make cakes for lately, so if I'm not eating them they're going to waste! Hopefully this month I can do more baking and I'll take it to work or something to get it eaten. They won't mind!
  • Continue with the fitness I've only got just under 7 weeks left, so I need to really up my game and keep going!

If you have any goals or achievements you want to share with me, leave me a comment! :)

Blog design by aleelilydesigns