Sunday, 22 June 2014

The Great Outdoors

I thought that attending university in a city would mean that I'd miss out on spending time amongst trees, grass, and the general awesomness of what is often called, "the great outdoors". Sufficed to say, I was wrong.

These are just a few pictures from the vast expanse that is the Common. An absolutely beautiful area of greenery stretching for a few miles, full of beautiful views and places to just sit and enjoy nature in all its glory.

Seriously though, get outdoors, and explore. Sitting inside glued to Netflix is fun, but once your favourite series is over and you have square eyes, you'll be wishing you'd looked at something a little more pleasing to the eye than your laptop screen!

After watching the Mindy Project (yes I know I just told you all to go outside not sit indoors and watch things), which by the way is hilarious and awesome and brilliant, I discovered a band called 'The National'. They are incredible! I love how chilled out their music is, perfect for summer, and chilled out days lying in the sun on the green grass! Below is one of my favourite songs by them so far, enjoy!

Until next time...

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

A Labour of Love

Can I just say it, sound cheesy and be okay with is GREAT!

No really, for the first time in a while, everything is just, well great! I have incredible friends and family, just completed a fantastic second year of university and now have a great summer of fun with some of my favourite people (plus a holiday for the first time in about 3 years) to look forward to! What more could I want?!

Thats why I've been MIA as of late! I've been busy living life (although I've been documenting it a lot, if you follow me on instagram you'll have noticed) rather than writing about it all the time! Now though, I am back home for the summer and I've got time to catch you up on what's been going on in my life.

Essentially, I've just been having way too much fun for one person, and I've been loving it. I've been eating out more than Charles Saatchi, lying in the sun longer than any sane black person should, partying (but not like 1999 because I would have been four and thats weird) a very little a moderate amount, which is so much better, I've been making new friends left and right, saving money (yeah you read that right, a student who is saving money) and just enjoying everything and everyone around me!

One of the things I've been enjoying most though? Celebrating other people! This past term at university had three birthdays. My friends Joel, Holly and Grace. Of course, I made each of them a cake! One of my favourite things about baking birthday cakes, especially for people who you know well and love, is that it is a labour of love. Its not just sugar and flour that you put into the cake, its pure love! It makes me happier than anything to see the look on someone's face when you bring out their favourite cake with their name written on it, and see the look of pure euphoria on their faces. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my friends happy, and whilst that is by far one of the cheesiest and thus grossest things I have ever said, its very much true.

I'm at a point in my life when I feel like I've surrounded myself with the best possible people I know, who build me up and make me want to be the best version of myself, and sometimes I don't get how I'm friends with such incredible people, but I am nonetheless and I'm grateful for them everyday! Here are just a few of the birthday cakes I've made during my second year of University.

Note: I'd like to be applauded for the lack of editing that has been done to the following pictures because normally I rely a lot on filters, contrast and brightness etc to make my baking creations look particularly delicious...just sayin!

A carrot cake creation for my housemate Dan's birthday in February.

A beautiful Batman bake for one my best friends and one of the funniest people I know, Jack, for his 20th birthday, also in February.

A sweet but simple slice for my beautiful Mum's birthday in March. (try to ignore the fact that the cake is cracked in the middle. When I flipped it out of the pan it decided not to cooperate and there is no such thing as cake glue sooooo...don't judge me yeah?)

A multicoloured masculine masterpiece for my good friend Joel's birthday in May. Also that gif thing...blogger created it for me, I don't know how, but thanks!

This was a real labour of love in both senses of the word! A very complex recipe was required for to make this perfectly pink piece for one of my best friends Holly for her 20th birthday in May. Ombre inside and out was a whole new territory for me, but I was very happy with the result, and so was she!

This last cake that I've made most recently for a birthday was one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had baking a cake for a long time. Don't get me wrong, I love baking, but sometimes it can get hot and frustrating and time consuming in ways that seem quite ridiculous! This cake was particularly enjoyable to make, for two reasons: one, because it was the recipe of the very first cake I baked on my own. A tried, trusted and tested (multiple times) recipe that I can bake with ease and now its just a case of making sure its perfect everytime. Two, because it was for someone who I treasure like a sister. My friend Grace is more than just a kind person. She is selfless, humble, caring, appreciative, supportive and patient in ways that I often fail to understand. She is more talented than she cares to admit, and she's a beautiful person both inside and out. Making this cake for her was so much fun because with every whisk and twist of my piping bag, I felt like I was giving her something that was truly from my heart. Something that whilst it doesn't even begin to match what she deserves, is something that I could give to her full of love. Her birthday was only last week and we had so much fun at her birthday BBQ just laughing and being ridiculous as we always do.

Anyway, soppiness aside, I loved the way the cake came out, and I'm so glad I was able to share it with her. Oh and I've included a few pictures of the icing process for those of you interested! For more detail though go to and check out my posts on decorating cakes! (hint hint wink wink nudge nudge)

Sooooo yeah, that last cake was made approximately one week ago today! Madness! Anyway I'm back home for summer so hopefully I'll be able to experiment with new recipes and I'll post a little more regularly! I hope todays post was able to make up for the lack of posting recently!

In terms of music I've be listening to all sorts recently, particularly Coldplay's latest release (come on you must've known I was going to talk about it eventually!). However since its not on Spotify yet, you'll have to youtube my favourite song from the album 'Ink'. I'm a little obsessed with it. Whilst I've been writing this post I've been listening to Kasabian's latest album and I love me some violin in a song so of course I'm a bit obsessed with the song 'stevie'. Listen below and enjoy!

Until next time...