Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Iron Cupcake: Great British Summer

This post is long, long overdue and I contemplated not posting it since it was a few Sundays back now but I didn't want to deprive you lovely people of cake! As I mentioned last month, my friend Charlie has recently taken over running Iron Cupcake: Leeds and this month was her first challenge.

This month's theme was Great British Summer, very fitting for the heatwave we were experiencing at the time (although the current weather is probably more what we've come to expect from a British 'Summer' in recent years!), and the bakers managed to conquer the heat and still make some beautiful cakes. This month was one of my all time favourites as there were so many yummy flavours and gorgeous designs. If I had to choose just one favourite from the 13 different entries I'd definitely have to say that Jess's Doughnut Cupcakes took the crown- she'd put so much effort into the design and presentation but also had INCREDIBLE doughnut flavoured cakes with homemade doughnuts making up part of the cakes and a display which even included cake 'chips'. Wow. The actual winner of the competition was also incredibly tasty- toffee cake batter ice cream cupcakes decorated to look like beaches- there wasn't a single crumb of those cakes left at the end as word had spread so quickly about how lovely they were!

The eagle-eyed amongst you might have noticed that my pictures are the same as some of the ones from the Iron Cupcake website. I've not been stealing their pictures- I've taken over as the photographer at the events which is proving to be so much fun as I get a nice chance to be really nosy at all of the cakes close up before the eaters start tucking in! Works great for you guys too as it means I'll always have lots of pretty pictures of cake to show you!

If you're ever in Leeds and fancy your hand at baking then the competitions are once a month and the theme is always posted on the website (next month's theme is Disney... I might actually bake again if you're lucky!). Failing that, if you ever fancy coming along as an eater then I'd highly recommend it- who wouldn't enjoy testing loads of cupcakes?!

Also, just wanted to say a huge thank you to Amy for organising the Manchester Blogger Meet-Up on Saturday- I had a great time and met loads of lovely people!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Every time I see you, I wanna sail away

You may have read in my last few posts that I moved into a new house a few weeks ago. I always love making new homes feel mine, and although progress was slower than usual with unpacking (I blame the vast amount of floor space around my room which meant that my bags and boxes weren't causing too much inconvenience as I could navigate my way around them pretty easily!) I really feel like my new room is home now. Its amazing what a bit of Cath Kidston, a lot of Sass and Belle owls and a few too many moustaches can do to a place! Plus the new house itself is a jolly little place- its worked out brilliantly with the two girls I'm living with and I love coming home from work and spending evenings laughing like a crazy person with them.

I'm off for a weekend in Manchester now, first of all to see my Mum for a day of shopping in the sunshine and then the Manchester Blogger Meet tomorrow afternoon which I'm very excited about as I've never been to any blogging events before. Looking forward to maybe meeting some of you lovely people there! 

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

She may contain the urge to run away so hold her down with soggy clothes and breezeblocks

Hello lovely people! It feels like its been forever since I last posted. I've had a pretty hectic month with moving house and everything else that's been going on (big thank you for your kind comments on my last blog post too- it really meant a lot to read them), and all of that teamed with no internet in my new house didn't exactly mean prime conditions for giving my blog some attention.

My first post was going to be a little tour of my new room now that its finally all sorted out, but it might have to wait a little while as I got back from an incredible weekend at Latitude Festival yesterday so my bedroom is currently buried under a huge pile of dirty clothes, wellies and camping equipment. Instead, it seems very fitting to share a few photos from my weekend (I don't trust myself with even my decent compact camera at festivals so apologies for the rubbish quality of a lot of the pictures but at least you get the idea!).


I'd been to Leeds Festival a few times already so was really looking forward to going somewhere a bit different, and was definitely not disappointed. Latitude is such a pretty festival and they really put in an incredible amount of effort to make it a unique and exciting experience with a lovely atmosphere, unlike Leeds where there generally isn't a great deal to see other than the bands and the nightlife.

We spent hours wandering around the site catching glimpses of so many unexpected things from a hot air balloon moon floating above us to multicoloured sheep grazing down by the lake aswell as floating around on a gondola and a strange experience of witnessing a huge crowd waving reeds that they'd pulled from the lakeside at a 2am DJ set, meaning that there was never a dull moment in between watching loads of brilliant performances. Alt- J, Foals and Daughter were some of my absolute highlights, I can't believe I hadn't seen Alt-J live before- I'll definitely be jumping at the chance next time they're playing in Leeds. 

We also got to see so many hilarious things in the comedy tent (another thing that makes Latitude so unique as they had some really big names from the comedy world) largely due to the crazy heatwave that we experienced for most of the weekend. I don't tend to watch much stand up on telly as I find it easier to get into when its live, I found myself crying with laughter on a few occasions across the weekend because everything seemed so much funnier when I was surrounded by hundreds of other people all laughing hysterically!

Anyway, I'm off to get dressed now (and yes, it is now 2pm. A whole day of travelling yesterday in horrendous heat whilst feeling sorry for myself after a night of dancing, running around the festival site and drinking too much vodka meant that a lazy day today was very much deserved and highly essential for my survival).

(My festival buddy and I had this song in our heads for the rest of the weekend after seeing them on Saturday night). 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

You know we'll float forever in the tide

This last week or so has been a rollercoaster and a half. On the one hand I had one of the best weekends I've had all year with three of my favourite people when we took a little trip to Birmingham for a change of scenery and a trip to Cadbury World. On the other I waved goodbye to my city centre flat and moved into a new little home which (despite being a complete mess of half unpacked boxes and no internet) I'm absolutely loving so far. Meanwhile, alongside all of this, I've had one of the worst weeks I could have ever imagined as my lovely Auntie Jackie died completely unexpectedly last Friday. Through all of the brilliant moments I've had this week, I keep catching myself off-guard and suddenly remembering that a huge piece of my life is missing but in a way I'm so grateful that I've had such a jam-packed week as its given me something good to focus on for the most part. Exactly what I needed to keep myself going at such a horrible time.

After everything that's happened, there was one positive in that I've been able to spend a sunny weekend at home (complete with the luxury of being able to use the internet to write this and re-enter the 21st century!). We've been making the most of having an unexpected weekend together by spending a good bit of family time wandering around Liverpool and a few different spots over on our side of the Mersey to clear out the cobwebs and take our minds off the sadness we're all feeling at the moment.