Baking for Therapy, Birthday, Cake decorating, Celebration, Christmas, Church Coffee Morning, Craft Fair, Family, Friends, Fundraising, Health, Pantomime, Therapy

And breathe…….

Hi everyone

I can’t believe that it’s been a month since I posted!

Preparations for the Christmas Fair went much slower than I anticipated, as my helper (Mum) ended up being ill for 2 weeks, so I just had to soldier on as best as I could.

Up to the week before, I concentrated on things that could be prepared in advance, and just took it slowly which was fine.

Of the things I had planned to make fresh…fudge, gingerbread, shortbread etc…..only the fudge got made and packaged. As I also had a Children in need cake to make, I just couldn’t find time for the others without making myself physically ill!

I had Mum to help package and label from a few days before when she had recovered, and Glen (hubby) to do the delivery and set up with me.

However, 2 days afterwards I received a call from the organiser asking for more fudge and Christmas cakes! This meant buying more supplies, making the fudge, allowing it to set, and packaging up another 6 batches to take over! And decorating another half dozen Christmas cakes!

In the end, I brought very little back home with me, which was a great result. However, it did mean making yet more fudge and reindeer hot chocolate cones for my local church Christmas fair last Saturday!

In amongst all this I also ‘tested’ 2 versions of a new Sugar and Crumbs flavoured icing (cream cheese, mmmm yummy, more on that next time) made 2 birthday cakes, and cupcakes and scones for the Ladies fellowship Christmas lunch! And had an early ‘Christmas’ celebration with my son and daughter in law as they are away in New Zealand and Australia for most of December. Add Panto rehearsals into the mix, and my time management almost went out of the window!….almost.

I managed by scaling back and doing only what was essential. As mentioned earlier, that meant not taking some of the things I’d planned to take, but it was the only way I could make it work.

All was going to the ‘new’ plan, when more spanners were thrown into the works last week, with my poor hubby copping for it. Firstly by having a cluster of three migraines, and then by seriously hurting his back. Luckily family and friends rallied round to help, God bless them, but he is still in a lot of pain ☹️

My son and Mum helped set up and clear away at the Church Christmas Fair, and friends have been giving me lifts as hubby can’t even get into the car let alone drive it! My son also came to take the dog out for a proper walk, and picked up what was left of my Christmas fair stock to take to work.

I’m really hoping that Glen is well enough to attend the Panto Christmas meal on Friday evening, but will have to play that one by ear. At the moment it’s looking unlikely ☹️

Anyway, here are a few pictures of what I managed to do over the last few weeks. Unfortunately, there aren’t many of the Christmas fair goodies, as the priority was just getting stuff done!

Harley Quinn birthday cake
Pudsey Bear cake for Children in Need Panto fundraising
Christmas cake for our early Christmas celebration
Made using the fabulous Patchwork Cutters ‘Igloo set’
Small selection of Christmas cakes
Cupcakes and mini scones for Ladies Fellowship
Fortnite Cake

That’s all for now folks

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

Products used in this post:

Patchwork cutters Igloo Set

Renshaw premium cover paste

Select Ireland Supreme Silk sugarpaste

Renshaw emerald green sugarpaste

Renshaw red sugarpaste

Renshaw black sugarpaste

Renshaw purple sugarpaste

Renshaw Belgian chocolate white modelling paste

Renshaw flower and modelling paste

Sugarflair holly green airbrush colour

Wilton blue, pink, yellow, ivory food colour gels

Cakestar plunger cutters mini alphabet set

Sugarflair finishing sparkle silver

Sugarflair finishing sparkle gold

Faye Cahill lustre dust signature gold

Sugarflair lustre dust satin silver

Snowflake plunger cutter set

Baking for Therapy, Christmas, Craft Fair, Family, Health, Therapy

Time management!

Hi everyone,

For the next two weeks or so, I’m going to be micro managing my time as I prepare some of my goodies for a craft fair. Learning from my first experience last year, I am starting early, and have roped in my Mum to help.

Last year, I did way too much and made myself ill and exhausted. It was my first time at an event that ran over 9 – 10 days and basically, I had no idea what to take! This year, I’ve cut down my ‘menu’, concentrating on just a few items that are easy to prepare in advance. And of course I have the advantage of knowing what was popular last time too!

Using my usual ‘Pros and Cons’ list to decide whether the ‘consequences’ are worth the effort, I decided way back in May when I was invited back, that yes, it is.

One of the biggest things in its favour, is that it is manned by the organisers, who take a percentage, which in my case is completely worth it, as there’s no way I could do it otherwise! You take your stock, set up your area, and leave them to it! I’ll have my hubby to help with this, and collecting any remaining stock afterwards. During the week, the staff may contact you if anything needs restocking, but other than that, you leave them to it. Perfect for me 😀

So that just leaves the preparation beforehand. I’m taking lots of Christmas cakes, which were baked over the last few weeks and will be finished off over the next two weeks.

As for my other stuff, as a general rule, we start after lunch, and as Mum has osteo arthritis, it suits us both to ‘do a bit, rest a bit’……otherwise known as stop for a cuppa every 5 minutes! We do like our tea ☕️ I set everything up so that we can sit at the table, and if either of us needs to change position or get up and stretch, we just do it! Using my hands for more than a few minutes at a time is painful for me, and I don’t do well with anything ‘fiddly’, so we swap tasks out accordingly. Mum helped me package up my reindeer poop and snowman poop! (Kids find anything remotely poo related absolutely hilarious 😂) Chocolate raisins and mint imperials if you’re wondering 🤔

Today we’ve had a production line of ‘Cookies in a jar’ mix on the go

Tomorrow, we’re going to make a start on some Rudolph hot chocolate cones! And the day after, (if we’ve finished the cones!) Gifts in a Christmas mug! (Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Pud in a Mug!)

Wish me luck!

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️

Update: I forgot to post this last week, it was still sitting in my drafts! Oops! Anyway, as is apt to happen, a spanner hit the works ☹️ My poor Mum has been ill with a cold, so we actually got nothing done last week! (Apart from me designing and printing some labels)

You see? This is why I start early 😂 Hopefully, we’ll have better luck this week, 🤞

Baby Cakes, Birthday, Cake decorating, Cakes, Bakes, and Me, Celebration, Craft Fair, Family, Halloween, Health

Where have I been?

Hello lovelies,

Apologies for the absence of posts this last 2 months, it’s been a very difficult time.

Last time I told you about my mother in law being ill. Since then, she’s been back in hospital, and then a local Community rehabilitation hospital, before we finally got her home last Friday.

After countless tests which revealed some minor concerns, but nothing which explained the severity of her symptoms, she gradually started to improve after they began feeding her through a nasal tube. She’s now eating and drinking small amounts on her own, and although she’s still very weak physically, she’s now ‘back with us’ in that she’s mentally aware again. I’ve never been so glad to hear her start complaining!

She can’t actually remember most of the past two months, so had no idea how worried we’ve all been. Of course she’s misbehaving already. Tiring herself out by trying to get herself washed and dressed before the carer arrives to help her, but she’s 85 and has always been fiercely independent, so it’s going to take time to adjust. I know from personal experience how difficult it is to accept that you need help with things you used to take for granted. It’s not easy, but she’ll get there. As you can imagine, my husband and his sister are keeping a close eye on her, and she’s being monitored by Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy for her mobility issues.

As for me, earlier in the year I applied to exhibit at a local Craft Fair which takes place over 9 days. At the time it was to be a joint venture with my friend, but her circumstances changed in the meantime, so she wasn’t able to help as much as she’d originally planned to. As the arrangement was to take our goodies, set up the table and then leave it to be stewarded by the organisers, I decided to go ahead anyway, with the help of my Mum instead. Luckily most of my items were non perishable, so I was able to get them ready in my own time, but 2 weeks before we were due to deliver them, I pulled a muscle in my lower back, so still ended up behind preparation wise! In the end, Mum came to finish the packaging and labelling for me, and Hubby took time out from hospital visiting to do the lifting and carrying to the venue.

However, over the two weeks, I ended up sleeping in my specialist reclining chair as it was too painful to get in and out of bed. I was just beginning to worry that it might be a worsening of my OPLL, when it finally began to improve…..phew!

So….baking wise, I did manage to make a cake for Halloween 👻 A vampire hedgehog of all things….

A two headed unicorn cake for my friend’s twin nieces…..

And a cute elephant themed baptism cake and cupcakes for one of my daughter’s best friends….well, for her son William, who is absolutely gorgeous 💕

As you can see, she displayed it beautifully in pride of place at the venue after the Church ceremony.

I will hopefully be able to get back to posting a bit more regularly now, but belated Happy Halloween, Thanksgiving and any other events I may have missed!

Until next time

Stay safe and healthy

Debbie ❤️