Sunday, 4 October 2015

The Power Of Girl

If you have been following my work, you will know that I love art and that my baking is more than just about making sweet things. It is an expression of creativity and a chance to spread love.

I decided to start a project to bake cakes that have been inspired by creative people, people whose work or essence I respect and admire. I asked each of the artists a series of questions about their tastes and inspirations and designed and created something especially for them. This is the first of the series and I hope that you enjoy it as much I have.

Introducing Lakwena;

A few years ago I was introduced to the work of the London based artist Lakwena Maciver by my sister and I instantly fell in love with the boldness, colour and simplicity of her style.

Lakwena on inspiration and motivation

Do you pursue your creative passion full time?

What do you want the world to know about you/themselves? And is that expressed in your work/creativity?
That everything beautiful and electric is a reflection of God - blossom, glitter, sunsets, stars, pink, gold etc. That black is beautiful and strong. Yes I hope it's expressed in my work.

What is the best thing & the worst thing about social media for you personally?
Best - business potential. Worst - looking at an edited version of other people's lives and feeling jealous

Name 2 people that inspire you and why?
My husband Slidercuts. He's a business, man (in the words of Jay Z). He's got so much capacity and he's so positive and generous and he's really taught me a lot about community. My mum. She is an incredibly bold woman. Unafraid of just being herself, even though she is unconventional. She's got guts. And she embraces confrontation.

Do you consider yourself to be a role model?
Yes I think I am a role model to some people.

How many hours do you sleep on average each night?
It depends on what jobs I've got on, but I do always make a priority of sleeping! I couldn't live on 4hours a night. If I'm near a crazy deadline it might be 6. If I'm on a rest time I might have even 9! I have never had a problem sleeping and I'm very grateful for that. 

What do you tell yourself when things get hard?
Lots of things. That God is holding everything together and I am hidden in him.

What makes you smile and/or calms you down when things get tough?
Music. My family, my friends. Falling asleep lol!

Are you your best creatively when things are good/you're feeling happy & if not what emotional state brings out the best in you creatively & why do you believe that?
It is strange and I've heard other people say the same thing about themselves, that creatively I'm sometimes at my best when I'm a bit depressed. I think my art becomes an outlet for me.  A voice. And I am more hungry to make my voice heard when I'm feeling low.

My thoughts
I was really excited to be able to meet and bake for Lakwena as I am a big fan of her work. I was struck by how humble and peaceful her energy is and yet how big her heart is. This is reflected in her work - the scale and size of many of her pieces is in my opinion, a testament to her drive and passion and energy. Sometimes we mistake noise for impact but this woman is making a big impact without all of the noise!

The Cake
The cake was 6 layers of vanilla and red velvet cake covered in vanilla buttercream and coloured fondant shapes. I experimented with covering the top with Persian Fairy Floss, but like all candy floss it ended up absorbing the moisture from the air! I have also been working with Miss Cake who designs and makes cool cake toppers. 

The design is based on my favourite piece of her work, the installation in East London called the Power of Girl (perhaps by me, I'm not sure what it's actually called as pictured above!)

I wasn't able to take great pictures of the finished cake due to the reduced daylight hours but you can see a video of the making! Enjoy :)

Peace & Love
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Sunday, 12 April 2015


A couple of weeks ago I visited Morocco for the second time. The first time I went was in 2001, in the aftermath of car accident that took the life of my sister and my mum's best friend. As you can imagine it was a traumatic experience and I never expected to ever go there again.

Some months ago, I felt ready. Ready to face my demons and ready to heal. 2014 was a year that my stress levels were at their maximum. I've had more heart wrenching years, but this was one where I knew that I had to make some serious changes in order to truly move forward. Going around the same mountain for years and years is not my portion in life. I want to live life and live it to the fullest.

It's so easy to fill your life with distractions and things that keep you from going to the places that you need to go. Taking that long hard look in the mirror and addressing what you see. It's not just about me. When you go through life refusing to face up to the truth, you don't just hurt yourself, you hurt the people around you, the people you love and care for.

So as part of this journey, I decided to go back to Morocco. It was a powerful and emotional time. I cried and remembered her and I said goodbye.

It wasn't a heavy trip though. I had a lot of fun travelling with my friend who is studying in Morocco for a while. We laughed, drank mint tea, ate bread and haggled! 

All in all it was a beautiful trip and a real step towards healing.

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Saturday, 21 March 2015

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring!

My morning face!

Yesterday was the official start of Spring, there was a New Moon and there was also a a solar eclipse; unfortunately the clouds came out just in time to obscure everything so I didn't see it! I hear it was pretty cool.

Yesterday was also the day that I did something that I've been talking about doing for the last 5-7 years. I couldn't sleep the night before and when I finally did it I had a sense of relief, happiness, and a sadness for how long it had taken me.

I'm excited about this new phase in my life and the possibilities,so this morning, I woke up and made glitter lollipops with edible flowers (as you do!).



(makes 6 large lollipops in a mould)

250g granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
100ml water
1 tsp strawberry flavouring
6 edible flowers (I got mine from eat my flowers this time but you can use violas, pansies or roses. They can be found at a garden centre or B&Q)
Lollipop moulds
6 lollipop sticks (you may have to cut them in half to fit the moulds)
Sugar thermometer 
Edible glitter, for decorating

Prepare the moulds by liberally greasing with vegetable oil and then lightly dusting with icing sugar.

Put the sugar and cream of tartar into a saucepan with the water. Gently stir and heat until the sugar has completely melted. Stop stirring & put the sugar thermometer into the pan (if you haven't done so already), and increase the heat, boiling the mixture until it reaches the ‘hard crack’ stage, or a small spoonful dropped into cold water sets hard.  You will  also need to watch it closely so that it doesn't burn or turn into caramel. It will be helpful to have a small cup of cold water nearby to keep testing the mixture.

Remove from heat immediately and swirl in strawberry flavouring. It is best to add the glitter to the warm mixture so that it spreads evenly, rather than once it is in the mould.

One mould at a time, carefully fill to halfway then place a flower in. Fill to the top, covering the flower with the warm mixture and place a lollipop stick in. Leave to cool for approximately 15 minutes until the lollipop comes out of the mould easily!

Clean your utensils and pots by soaking them in warm water.

This is relatively easy but you will need to keep an eye on the sugar so that it doesn't burn. You also don't need a mould or the sugar thermometer, but they do make things a little easier!

Here's to love, lollipops & Spring.

Peace & Love
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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Curate Your Space

verb: curate; 3rd person present: curates; past tense: curated; past participle: curated; gerund or present participle: curating
  1. select, organize, and look after the items in (a collection or exhibition).
    "both exhibitions are curated by the Centre's director"
    • select the performers or performances that will feature in (an arts event or programme).
      "in past years the festival has been curated by the likes of David Bowie"
    • select, organize, and present (online content, merchandise, information, etc.), typically using professional or expert knowledge.

This week I had an enlightening conversation with a university friend. We were catching up on life, self-discovery and "curating your space". I thought it was a brilliant concept. Each of us, taking the time to select, organise & look after the items in our space. And by space I don't just mean our physical space. We also need to select what we let into our minds and who we let into our hearts.

As for me, I am working to surround myself with books, beautiful energies & art. One of the artists that I'm currently in love with is Michelle Robinson from CREATE.TURE. I'm not sure how I stumbled across her on Instagram, but I now have a wall covered with her prints and am hoping one day to have an original piece of her work. 

I love the detailed backgrounds, the colours and the strength and sensuality of the women that she paints. 

Dai by Michelle Robinson

I was inspired to make a cake, using the two images above. The cake itself has two layers of white chocolate sponge (click here for the recipe) and one red velvet layer (click here for a recipe), with caramel buttercream icing (click here for a recipe).

I recreated the painting using fondant shapes, cut individually. To say it took a while would be an understatement, but it was worth it to have the woman herself show her appreciation on Instagram. Maybe one day I'll get to bake for her in person!

Take the time to surround yourself with beautiful things that you love and that inspire you - curate your space;

Peace & Love

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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Just chilling...

This weekend I had the luxury of staying at home, baking and generally pottering around enjoying my new surroundings. 

I'm not sure if it's the fact that I'm getting kinda old but staying in is the new going out!

I promised that I would fill you in on my new adventures for 2015 & decorating my home is one of them. I got a pet cat last year & after realising that I am not a danger to living things, I decided to try my hands at plants. Now I'm not one to do anything by half so I probably have about 14 & I intend to get many more.

I'm going for a bohemian meets eclectic meets Scandinavia type look. Basically I'm making it up as I go along, taking everything that I like along with me!

Have a look at some of my pics, let me know what you think....

Peace & love

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Wednesday, 4 February 2015

5 Ingredients for a Contented Life

If you're anything like me, you would have clicked through to this post looking for some easy answers. I'm pretty sure that every day I read some article promising happiness in a few short steps. I think I have tried most types of therapies, spiritual practices and philosophies and yet still haven't mastered the art of sustained  happiness (and by sustained, I mean longer than say, my menstrual cycle).

That being said, along the way, I have picked up a few nuggets of wisdom that I will graciously share with you. 

Here are my 5 ingredients for a contented life;

1. Peanut butter cake & forgiveness

"Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness." Marianne Williamson.

Learning how to forgive has to be my number one step for contentment. From the day you are born till the day you leave this earth, you will have cause to forgive someone. But even more than that, forgiving yourself is crucial. A wise friend once encouraged me to be kind to myself and to treat myself the way I treat others. That was a life changing moment for me and something I could go on about forever. Say nice things to, & about yourself, no matter what you've said or done or what anyone thinks of you. 

Forgiving yourself may be a new concept for you, as making peanut butter cake was for me. Providing you don't have a nut allergy, this cake is delicious and moist and a new favourite. Click here for the recipe link. 

2. Chocolate buttercream & gratitude

"Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognise how good things really are." Marianne Williamson

It's almost a cliche to speak about gratitude so I'll share 3 (of the many) things I'm grateful for;

1. Life. In January I lost my nephew (aged 12 months) & my great grandmother (aged 93 years). I am grateful for my life and my health. 

2. My children. I'm blessed to have two healthy beautiful boys that fill my heart. I am also an Aunty to many more beautiful souls that I get to see and love on regularly.

3. My access to knowledge. I love to learn and I'm so fortunate to be able to feed my insatiable appetite with the many types of learning that are within my grasp. 

With that in mind, I'm always on the look out for new chocolate recipes & I found another Joy the Baker special with her chocolate buttercream recipe (link here). It's literally everything. 

3. Chocolate Fudge & the dirty word 'should'

Should is my least favourite word. In fact, I find it offensive. Should is the cause of resentments, anxieties, disappointments, arguments, the list goes on. "I should have achieved x by the time I turned 30", "She should be like y." "He should do z." All rubbish. Do yourself a favour, banish the word and make chocolate fudge. Trust me. 

4. Golden Meringues & focus

"We can always choose to perceive things differently. You can focus on what's wrong in your life, or you can focus on what's right." Marianne Williamson

Have some fun & change your focus. I'm not talking about avoidance because we have to feel what we feel. But staying in your funk is not the way. Do something that breaks the cycle of negative self talk, this weekend I made cookies with my nieces & nephews. It was hectic & exhausting & it made me smile. Watch comedies or hang out with friends or paint meringues with golden glitter. It's not the answer to your problems but it will give you some welcome respite whilst you wait for time to heal. 

5. Ferrero Rochers & giving back 

A note I received at work this week :)

"We are not held back by the love we didn't receive in the past, but by the love we're not extending in the present." Marianne Williamson

Last but by no means least, do something for someone else. It doesn't have to be something big; a smile, a compliment, a cake topped with Ferrero Rochers. You get so much more by giving than receiving and you never know what people are going through. I've practically bought the affection of my niece with this cake, it was a small price to pay!

So there it is, sugar and contentment in 5 steps. Don't say I don't give you anything :)

Peace & Love

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