Yes! My daughter got married to her partner of almost 9 years at the end of July ❤️ The wedding was postponed from last year, so we were so happy that it went ahead without a hitch.
Katie and Josh met while at university doing their teaching degrees in 2013. When they qualified, they lived and worked in and around Liverpool for 4 years, a city that became very dear to them. So, even though they are now located in Bucharest, when it came to a wedding venue, it had to be in Liverpool!
It was an absolutely wonderful day and evening, with both ceremony and reception held at The Racquet Club, who went out of the way to make sure everything went to plan. Even down to washing the fresh fruit so I could place it on the cakes at the last minute!
Katie wore a custom made 50’s style dress in Ivory silk and lace, with a maroon sash, underskirt and lacy tights. Doc Marten boots with red roses on them completed this non traditional, but very ‘Katie’ look. The bridesmaids were also 50’s themed in black and red, with the same boots.
They all had bouquets made of silk flowers 🌺
Hubby was a little wobbly walking her down the aisle, but recovered enough to make a beautiful speech at the reception. Our son, James was best man and his speech was a little more raucous!
At the end of the day, although exhausted, I was happy to have been able to enjoy it fully, without having to disappear back to our room and miss anything. I did have to rest for about 3 days afterwards though!
I’ll leave you with a few more images from the happy day ❤️
I know I know it’s been a while, two months to be exact, and for that I apologise but the positivity of that last post didn’t last, and I didn’t want to lower the mood!
So I’ve left it a while, but now feel able to catch you up on what’s been happening.
If you’ve been following for a while, you know that I have a spinal cord stimulator that helps mask the pain caused by OPLL. The spinal cord stimulator was fitted in 2014 and the battery powered leads were placed according to where my pain was worse at the time.
Recently however, the pain has spread, most embarrassingly to my buttocks. Any pressure in that area has become unbearable, meaning that I can’t sit down for any length of time. Because of pain in my legs, I also can’t stand or walk for long either! A no win situation 😔
I had hoped that the device could be reprogrammed to cover the new areas, but my neuro appointment turned out to be a dis-appointment! They tried their very best, but it wasn’t to be. So I’ve been left having a review of my pain meds instead, which has so far been unsuccessful.
And I’m spending more time in bed lying flat or on my side, which isn’t ideal from a social perspective! Although I am usually joined by the dog so I do have some company 😆
Then about 6 weeks ago, I started getting very acute pain in my neck whenever I tried to turn it from side to side. I’ve been referred to MSK as I’ve had trouble with a disc in that area in the past, but because of Covid, NHS appointments have long waiting lists at the moment.
I won’t lie, it’s really been getting me down, and I haven’t felt like doing much at all.
Then, my daughter’s hen party plans began which lifted my spirits a lot. We also had a ‘zoom’ wedding fitting session which was exciting, and I began to feel better, emotionally at least!
My family keep reminding me how strong I am, even when I don’t always feel it. Surprise visits from my niece and nephew, followed by my brother and sister in law helped enormously too. And I couldn’t do anything without my lovely hubby who bears the brunt of my ups and downs on a daily basis 💗
My Sugar and Crumbs family have kept me distracted with Facebook lives and classes, and a few cake requests have got me up off my backside and actually putting some of my cakey skills into practice. And of course, recent events in Afghanistan have reminded me that there are a lot of people going through much worse.
So, I have lots to think about, to look forward to, and to be grateful for, and I’m now in the right frame of mind to appreciate that.
I’ll end by showing you some photos of cake, because it wouldn’t be a Baking for Therapy post without them would it? And if my friends didn’t keep trusting me with their requests, I wouldn’t have the therapeutic value that creating them gives me!
I have to admit, I don’t get asked for Valentine’s treats so much, which is a shame as there are so many great ideas out there ❤️
I love the idea of these cake filled chocolate geometric hearts ♥️ They could be given as they are in some pretty packaging, or as part of a treat box with other items, like decorated cookies, cupcakes, fudge, marshmallow, brownies, home made truffles etc
A lovely soft Fudge can be made in the microwave, coloured red or pink and cut with a heart shaped cutter. You could even make it more decadent by covering it in chocolate! Make sure you use a chocolate friendly colouring medium though!
Home made marshmallow is nothing like shop bought, and can also be cut into a heart shape! See tutorial below for recipes for home made fudge AND marshmallow 😋
For cookies you can’t go wrong with a delicious shortbread recipe, which you can then decorate with royal icing, sugarpaste, glacé icing and sprinkles! If you’re good at piping you could even write a message!
Or what about melt in the mouth Viennese Whirls? The following tutorial uses moulds but there’s no reason you can’t use a heart shaped cutter ☺️
Macarons can be made in any shape you like and are always a favourite. Pretty them up with some edible lustre dust for extra bling!
Chocolate lollipops are easy to make if you follow the next tutorial from ‘Oli the Choc’
As are meringue lollipops, as shown here
How about delicious, squidgy in the middle chocolate brownies? Rich and decadent and oh so easy to make 😀
And we can’t leave out the humble cupcake can we? So easy to make and decorate with a Valentine’s themed sprinkle mix, or if your piping skills allow, give as a beautiful cupcake bouquet 💐
I learned how to make and put together cupcake bouquets in this class, which is still ongoing so amazing value! The next class starts on 17th February and is the first of this year’s series
A simple ganache truffle is absolutely delicious on its own, but can also be dipped in chocolate and decorated 😋
And did you know you can make boozy ganache? Check out Oli again below for vodka truffles, how to make a chocolate ‘Holy Grail’ bark, and some great tips on tempering your chocolate easily, just using the microwave!
Of course, you can always make your loved one a Valentine’s cake all for themselves. There are some lovely examples below ❤️
And if you have leftover cake, don’t let it go to waste, it can still be made into delicious treats!
So, there’s plenty here to give individually or to make up a delicious treat box. And I think we all need a treat don’t we? The option for a romantic evening out may not be there this year, so bring the romance to you!
I hope I’ve given you plenty to think about and that you’ll try a few of the ideas for yourself. If you do, please tag me on Facebook and Instagram, I’d love to see the results ❤️
It’s been a strange 2020, and so far 2021 isn’t looking much different!
Despite that, my friend’s daughter Freya decided to get married on New Year’s Eve, and her mum, Elaine asked me for some cupcakes for a very cosy family hen party just before Christmas. It was so lovely to find some joy in the middle of the COVID-19 chaos, and I wish the happy couple a long and happy life together ❤️
At the same time, Freya requested 40 macarons. I’d previously used some as decorations on her birthday cake ‘Pretty in Pink’. I’d used Sugar and Crumbs cherry flavour Whipping it Up to make them, and she liked them so much, she wanted more!
As I said, I used Sugar and Crumbs Whipping it Up to make the macarons. It’s basically flavoured icing sugar with pasteurised egg white powder added, and is a multi use product that makes Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Mousse, Pavlova, Meringue, Shortbread, Macarons, Marshmallow fluff, Roulade and lots of other yummy recipes! It comes in lots of different flavours too! Much easier than separating eggs, then having to find a use for the yolks! Here’s the recipe for the macarons I used half the 500g bag and got about 50 macarons! Coloursplash pink was used to colour them ❤️
This was almost my last request of 2020, almost! There’s just one more cute cake to tell you about in my next post!
How are you all coping with the restrictions currently placed on our lives?
Here in the uk, we are into our 4th week of the special measures put into place to try and halt this terrible virus. Covid-19 has turned the world into a very strange place hasn’t it?
Because some of my medication lowers my immune system, I am in social isolation. My husband who has asthma also falls into this category. He is also my carer, so we are being very careful.
Food is being delivered to us, either by the supermarket (when we can get a delivery slot!) or by our son and daughter in law. Modern technology has been a boon for keeping in touch with family and friends, especially our daughter and her fiancé who live and work in Romania. They are currently teaching virtual classes to their pupils from their home!
What are you doing to fill your time? Are you working from home? Or are you part of the army of people on the frontline working to keep us all safe?
If you are, then I applaud you. You are all heroes in my eyes. I really hope that when this is all over, the world has a new found and lasting respect for all that you do. And that the community spirit that has arisen stays within us all.
Checking in on our neighbours should be something that we all do, virus or not, and speaking to the older generation, it’s how it used to be. When did we stop? When did most of us become so self absorbed that we forgot the simple actions that make us a community?
If anything positive has come out of this crazy situation, it is that while we have had to become more distant from each other physically, we’ve become much closer emotionally.
At this time of year, I would normally be baking up a storm, as our family has lots of celebrations between March and May. Starting with my daughter in law Abi’s birthday at the beginning of March, there’s also my brother in law, myself, mother in law, husband (60th!) and son. In amongst that there has been Mother’s Day, a 65th wedding anniversary and Easter, all times when we would have been together as a family. A young couple I was making a wedding cake for have had to cancel their plans, as have my brother and his partner.
But these are small sacrifices in order to stay as safe as possible.
My birthday wasn’t a complete wash out though 😃
Back in February, my lovely hubby bought both Abi and I a cake decorating experience at the Sugar and Crumbs kitchen with the wonderful Molly Robbins. It took place on Sunday 15th March, and I did wonder whether to go I must admit. At the time, the government were advising us not to go anywhere there was likely to be a lot of people in close proximity to each other. I had already backed out of attending the Awards Evening for the Pantomime Society after taking advice from my GP, but the cake class was small, and I was reassured by the precautionary measures that were being taken, so off we went.
I’m so glad we did! It turned out to be the last time I went anywhere other than the doctors!
Abi and I had a brilliant day decorating 3D cake doggies under the expert guidance of Molly. It was our first time in the Sugar and Crumbs kitchen, and a fantastic experience. Carol McFarland and her husband John made everyone feel very welcome in what is essentially their home, and the other ladies in the class were all really friendly. It’s definitely an experience I would like to repeat once things get back to ‘normal’
We decorated cakes baked in Molly’s amazing Creature Creator mould, with the addition of her new product, the ‘standing legs’
I have previously used the mould to make a laying down Unicorn cake (see below) so was already a fan, and was very excited to try something new.
What we all achieved on the day is testament to Molly’s expert tuition! The innovative design of her Creature Creator moulds and now the Creature Feet, are truly a game changer for making 3D cakes. Look what I made! Isn’t he adorable?
Here’s Molly to explain what we got up to!
Molly’s moulds come either as ‘laying down’ style, which you can then add the four leg Creature Feet to, or the ‘standing’ style with two legs!
However, mine and Abi’s cakey creations pale into insignificance compared to what my eldest niece produced just before that on March 8th! My first great nephew 🥰
Unfortunately, because of the lockdown, I haven’t been able to go for a cuddle yet, but Amy is sending daily photos to our family chat group, so I’m building up quite an album! And as a bonus, I can tease my brother Mark about being a Grandad!
On my actual birthday, I was going to bake myself a cake, but was persuaded not to by my hubby. He had a good reason though, as that evening my son and daughter in law arrived and sang happy birthday to me from the end of our drive, complete with a gorgeous cake baked by Abi 💕
I also set up a fundraiser on Facebook for my birthday, and thanks to my generous friends and family, raised £150 for the NHS in my area 😀
Well, I think that’s all for now
I know I always say it, but more than ever, please stay safe and healthy!