Thursday, 18 October 2012

Sugar Cookies

One of my Instagram friends thislakshmi, asked me the other day whether I did decorated cookies as she doesn't see pictures of them on my feed. The answer to that was no, not because I don't want to, but because I'm intimidated by piping icing! 

It sounds silly but I see loads of really cool cookie treats that I want to make but then I wimp out because I don't think it will look any good.

When she asked me about it, I realised that I'd let that fear stop me from actually improving my skills because I didn't even start! 

How often do we do that, become so paralysed by a fear of failure that we don't end up doing, creating or having the things that we desire?

Armed with the revelation that fear was holding me back from making beautiful cookies, I turned to my new baking bible - Amy Atlas's Sweet Designs and made some sugar cookies (recipe above). Then I made myself some royal icing,  (homemade royal icing by the way,  is so much more delicious than shop bought or ready-made stuff) and got to piping. I was so excited that I didn't even use any piping nozzles!

It's not the neatest but it's a start and I have now conquered that (irrational) fear of royal icing! I've got loads of ideas for what I want to do next so watch this space!

We gain strength and courage and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot. Eleanor Roosevelt

What will you do today?

Peace & Love


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Sunday, 30 September 2012

Cakes For Little Girls

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails
That's what little boys are made of!

What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice and everything nice
That's what little girls are made of...

What a sexist nursery rhyme!!! People always say that it's much more fun buying for little girls than for little boys (women do anyway). I am lucky enough to have two little boys and I've also never really subscribed to that theory. Granted, I don't really understand their toys but I guess you get used to what you have. When it comes to making cakes though, I do have a lot of fun baking for little girls.

I don't always share the cakes I make so I thought I would post a few of my recent endeavours... Enjoy! 

Princess and The Frog

Hello Kitty!

Parcels and Polka Dots

Peppa Pig
This last one is from a jungle cake that I did for a little boy last year, this was a LOT of fun so the boys get a look in too! Check out the blog post for more pics.

Cool cakes for boys!
Have a great week!

Peace & Love

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Monday, 24 September 2012

Thank You

Victoria Sponge Cupcakes
A few weeks ago I was in a lovely cafe in Bow called Muxima and a customer noticed me reading a book by Haruki Marakami. We started chatting about his writing style and she said that she had some of his books and was looking to give them a new home. She then left the cafe to go back to her flat & returned with a hardback set of his 3 part novel 1Q84. 

Murakami 1Q84 Books One, Two & Three

I was quite taken aback as I was expecting some tattered paperbacks and I felt a bit embarrassed to take something like this from a complete stranger. I LOVE books so this was a really special treat for me, plus I am a big fan of his work.

Thank you cupcakes

I decided to make her some cupcakes to say thank you. I figured she'd be going back to the cafe at some point (she is a regular), so if I didn't see her again, I could just leave them there for her. As it turns out, she was there when I went in and I think she was equally embarrassed by my gesture!

I found it quite interesting and funny that we both felt awkward when we were shown a kindness. It's a bit like when you get a compliment and you don't really know what to do with yourself, so you just brush it off.

And on to the cakes... These cuties are vanilla cupcakes with a tiny spread of jam, a layer of strawberries and then a generous topping of vanilla buttercream. Delish!

Victoria Sponge Cupcakes
May your days be filled with the giving and receiving of random acts of kindness :)

Peace & Love


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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Unicorn

One sunny morning, I heard what sounded like the silent song of a Unicorn. Intrigued, I followed the melody to the meadows at the bottom of my garden.

And there she stood; a Unicorn, powerful and beautiful and majestic with a big golden horn and a body that glittered with moon dust.

"Could this be really be a unicorn?" I thought.

I was transfixed. I knew it would be dangerous but I just had to be sure. So I stepped a bit closer and shouted, 


"Hello" she said and smiled.

With my heart racing, I smiled back. Slowly, I took another step. 

"May I stroke your mane?" I asked.
"No, but you can touch my tail" she replied as she flicked her tail out far behind her towards me. 

My heart jumped again. I stretched out and touched her tail. Sprinkles of moon dust danced around my eyes and there and then I fell in love. I wanted to get closer, maybe stroke it again, but the Unicorn sensed my thoughts and pulled her tail away with a powerful movement that hurt my hand. 

"Sorry" she said," but I can only be friends with a fair virgin maiden and I will hurt anyone that tries to come near. My maiden has gone away but will be back to be with me soon."

A sharp pain filled my heart for I am not a fair virgin maiden and the Unicorn already had a friend. I went away sad with a scar on my hand. 

Time passed but the moon dust still sparkled on my fingers and my ears rang with the silent calling song of the Unicorn. 

So sunrise after sunrise, I followed the melody down to the meadow at the bottom of my garden. Sometimes the Unicorn was there and sometimes she wasn't. Sometimes we would laugh and sing and dance, and sometimes, for what felt like an eternity, the Unicorn would turn her head and pretend not to notice me while she wept for her fair virgin maiden. Everyday I would leave with a new scar, each one deeper and more painful than the last. Often, I vowed never to go back, but the calling song would grow louder and stronger until I was weak and had to return. The moon dust was spreading around me, it sparkled brightly, urging me to go on. 

I had read that befriending a Unicorn was no easy task. I read that unless you were a fair virgin maiden, if you got too close, they would use their tails to toss you high into the sky & then pierce you in the heart with their horns as you came crashing down.

But my Unicorn never did this to me, instead she sang her silent calling song, and let me stroke her tail.  

"No-one can befriend a Unicorn better than me" I thought. "I'll be the best friend she's ever had".

Things were going well & there was no sign of the fair virgin maiden. The Unicorn stopped weeping & even promised to try not to hurt me when we played. I saw my scars as the price I'd have to pay to get my Unicorn and accepted them without complaining. Besides, the moon dust, (that now covered my whole body), and her silent song seemed to soothe the pain. 

Then one day, when I went as usual to the meadow at the bottom of the garden, the Unicorn wasn't there. And I knew that the fair virgin maiden had come back. 

I sat in the meadow and waited, maybe I was wrong and the Unicorn was in danger? Frightened, I called out to the Unicorn and I heard her gentle silent song call back, so I waited some more. Twenty moons passed like this and then she came.

'It is true' she said, 'my fair virgin maiden has come back and I no longer have time to laugh and sing and dance with you. I am sorry but you can never be my friend for you are not a fair virgin maiden.' 

With those last words I tried to run away, but she turned and flicked her tail to get me to stop. It lashed me so hard that I spun around and as she bent her head to look at me, she pierced my heart with her horn. 

I could see she was sad, but she said nothing for that is what Unicorns do. 

Her fair virgin called out so she quickly galloped off to laugh and sing and dance with her. The moon dust flittered away like the butterflies leaving me with only my scars and a pain in my heart.

Sometimes, I still hear the silent calling song of the Unicorn and my scars start to ache, especially the one on my heart. But this time I know to stay away. You cannot be friends with a Unicorn, unless you are a fair virgin maiden.

Peace & Love
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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Lady Loves Cake

This is one of the pictures from my latest photo shoot with the beautiful and talented Marie Dahlstrøm, an up and coming soul singer from Denmark, currently based in London.

Me hard at work!

We had a lot of fun on the day and I managed to grab a sneaky picture of her eating one of the red velvet cupcakes that I bought along to keep our sugar levels up. I have no idea how she manages to make eating look quite like that, maybe one day when I grow up I'll discover the secret!

I'll be posting more pictures of this shoot and other on my Tumblr blog over the coming week so keep an eye out.

Peace & Love

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Saturday, 8 September 2012

Budding Love

A couple of weeks ago, I went down to Selfridges on Oxford Street to see the latest window display which is a collaboration between the Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama (aka The Princess of Polka Dots) and Louis Vuitton.  

The display is based on a Kusama poem called Love Forever. If you are unfamiliar with it (like I was) here it is in full;

Stars, the earth, I and you: we are but one polka dot
To a shining future
Budding love
All about my great happiness
Fashionably dressed up
Let’s go and see our boyfriends in high heels
I, in high heels
Love Forever

And so on to my interpretation of polka dots, budding love and shining futures.;polka dotted red velvet cake pops with mini white chocolate buttons inside to keep the whole red and white thing going. I forgot to take pictures of the inside though so you'll have to take my word for it!

May we all have Love Forever (and Louis Vuitton bags).

Peace & Love

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Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Tea and Cake London - Violet

In June I did my first review from the Tea and Cake London book by Zena Alkayat, at Ms Cupcake in Brixton. Since then I have cherry picked the places that I am most excited about, one of which is Violet in Hackney London. 

There are many things about this place that makes me happy;

1. It's in Hackney, East London aka the place of my birth and my spiritual home.
2. The founder Claire Ptak is beyond talented and I love the work that she does.
3. The cakes look amazing! Claire (we're pretty much on first name terms in my head) is all about fresh, wholesome ingredients and that is something so very close to my heart.

So one sunny afternoon, I slipped away from my desk at work and made my way down to Violet. I've got to be honest, I was excited -like it was Christmas Day or something as I sat on the bus and when I got there I wasn't disappointed. I bought one of every mini cupcake that I could and sat down to enjoy a chocolate cupcake with a well needed coffee.

The anticipation was worth it! The cakes were moist and tasty and delicious and the cafe is cute and friendly and welcoming. When I grow up I want to have a little cafe like Violet. Unassuming yet awesome!

Peace & Love

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Monday, 27 August 2012

Princess Cakies

Baking for little girls is such fun! This was a birthday cake for my beautiful niece Ellie who turned 3 not too long ago. I'd been dying to try out the ruffle buttercream effect and figured that this was as good a time as any :).

The birthday girl
The cake was made using the Amy Atlas vanilla cake recipe as it's currently my favourite. I've been searching the net to find the recipe online but without success so far, and I'm not sure if it would be wrong for me to put it up myself. So for now you will need to get her book, Sweet Designs for the details (it's definitely worth it!)

My son & Ellie

Happy Birthday to yooooooou!

Watching the children around me grow up makes me realise just how much time is flying. I still can't get my head around the fact that I have two of my own! Just the other day I was a little girl running around eating cake and now I'm a mum with responsibilities! I reckon that your brain stops maturing at around 20 and then you spend the rest of your life watching events unfolding, wondering 'How did that happen?!' 

My niece and nephew
I am making it my goal to savour every day and to embrace this thing called 'getting old'. I love it in fact. As I get older, I get wiser and more in control. I also get to relive my childhood and make beautiful Princess cakies :)

Peace & Love


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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

London 2012!!!

You'd have to be living under a cloud to not know that the greatest show on earth is going down right here in London! I have always loved the Olympic games and was ecstatic when I learned it was coming to our city. Since then we've had terrorist attacks, riots, cynics and skeptics but despite it all, we have produced something amazing.

Going to the boxing!

Sport is one of the great unifiers; something that brings people together and lifts our spirits in a way that defies words and logic. You can't help but wish that the good vibes stay, and that the legacy of the games will be the community spirit and not the economy or new buildings.

Two young Japanese spectators enjoying the Mexico vs Japan football game

Enjoying Bolt's victory at the Puma Yard

I've been lucky enough to go to see two events & the atmosphere at both was electric. Even if you haven't managed to get tickets though there is so much going on in the capital, it's borderline overwhelming! I would encourage everyone and anyone to get down to London & get in the Olympic spirit :)

One last thing, if you weren't able to get tickets then I would recommend getting some for the Paralympics I've got mine and I can't wait!

Peace & Love

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Thursday, 26 July 2012

Happy Birthday Bailey!

My oldest and youngest niece 
It's amazing how time flies! This time last year I was celebrating the birth of my baby niece Bailey and just a few weeks ago we celebrated her 1st birthday! It was a beautiful day with family and friends coming from near and wide to show her love. We even had a surprise appearance from my Grandma all the way from the Caribbean!

The proud parents

Aunty Whitney

Grandma and Jacey
Aunty Ayeda and Hana
And so to the cake... I recently bought the new book by Amy Atlas called Sweet Designs. Amy Atlas is an events designer extraordinaire and Queen of the dessert table. I wanted to have a sweets themed table and with help from Hilda we created a mountain of sugar delights!

The spread

Rum cake
Gooey marshmallow chocolate brownies
Vanilla Cake with vanilla buttercream and skittles
More sweets 
Dessert tables are definitely the way to go but as you can imagine with all of those E numbers readily available, the energy in the room was ridiculous. By the end of the day we were all exhausted! I think this next picture sums it up best :)


What a beautiful day :) 

Happy Birthday Bailey, we love you!!!

Dancing Queen in the making :)

Peace & Love

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