Friday, 4 November 2011

Dancing for the Kids!

In my madness I have agreed to a week of Zumba classes. This seems more daunting than my run! I have never even tried it before. Actually to the point I think I may have been avoiding it!

So what do they say face your fears? Grab the bull by the horns? Whatever, my name is down and I am coming in! Thanks to Martin at GTI Fitness this will be my schedule for the week commencing 5th December...

Monday 2000 - Chapel Leisure Centre

Tuesday 2000 -  Disley Methodist Church
Wednesday 930 - New Mills Youth Centre
Thursday 2000 Buxton - St Thomas More School

Saturday...... 1730-2100 Xmas Zumba Party @ Entourage Printworks Manchester

Oh and just to say I have every intention of keeping up my running training that week too!  So come on sponsor me or better still come and join me! The party looks like great fun and would be great to celebrate at the end with a few of my supporters. So get your dancing shoes on and say it's for the kids! 

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


I've got lots of things in the pipeline to tell you about in the future but in the meantime I thought I'd tell you about some support I will be getting during my run. Richard Thomas owner of Colemore Farm has volunteered to come and run a full day with me! How wonderful is that!!! I'm really looking forward to it as, by the second week, it may be just what my motivation needs. Thank you, it means a lot to me.

And if anyone else fancies pulling on their trainers over Easter and happens to be up my way I'll be posting the route soon so you can come and join me too. Even if you only wave as I go by it will make me smile and I can tell you that's almost as good as an energy drink!

My local veg shop today also offered sponsorship and a big basket of fruit to keep me going! how great are they. There's a lot to be said for community spirit and shopping locally. So if you live near Whaley Bridge pop into Country Basket and pick up some excellent, seasonal veg.

Thank you to all again that have sponsored me so far. I hope you are following my Facebook Page too now

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Gloucester Marathon

Well that's gone and done it, just signed myself up for the Gloucester Marathon in January! Timing right as part of my training for the Coast to Coast. If I can't run that distance by then....! 

Please sponsor me! It's all raising money for Children's Adventure Farm Trust

oh and before I forget I've set up a Coast to Coast Facebook page, well it did seem to be taking on a life of it's own! Please come and like it, your words of encouragement really are what keep me going!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Happy Birthday!

Helping NOTHS celebrate their birthday too!
It's official. We made it! This month marks two years that we have been in the business of fulfilling you cake needs! Come and celebrate with us. We have launched our new website now and will have so many things following to keep you amused it is unbelievable! This new site is about rewarding you more now. Coming very soon you will see our members section and this is all about you. You will be able to get your hands on some scrummy things just for you! 

Buxton Advertiser
So what has our first two years been like? A rollercoaster! If anyone had told us that we would be posting slices of cake nationally all year round, we would have thought they were having a laugh! If anyone had said we would be shortlisted for Not On The High Street's Make Awards, we would have been amazed. And if you had told me that I would be running 180 Miles for Children's Adventure Farm Trust I personally would have been dumbfounded! 

The biggest is thing is you our customers. Thank you for all the lovely feedback we receive. Without you we would truly be nothing

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Buxton Advertiser

Ooooo here it is, my interview with Buxton Advertiser! What do you think?

We still need help finding a campervan for the time we are away. If you can help please get in touch 
01663 750447

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

High Peak Radio

Today has been the day that I've been on the news every hour! Have a click through to hear what i've been saying. As I've said before I really need your help. If you can contribute in any way it would be warmly received even if it's just a few words of encouragement when you see me out training! Talking of which I've just been paying far too much attention to my training plan and am starting to wonder why I'm concerned by 180 miles. My training over the next 6 months will take me over 800 miles. That'll make it around 1000 miles in total! Again if you have any suggested routes around the High Peak area let me know, don't want to be getting bored!

Don't forget you can sponsor me at


Sunday, 18 September 2011

Coast to Coast

This blog is a little different. As many of you know my charity of the year is The Children's Adventure Farm Trust. They provide holidays and activities for terminally ill, chronically sick, disabled and disadvantaged children from all over the Northwest. I chose them because they are a smaller charity, that many of you will not have heard of and because they are local to me. I try to do my bit for charity as much as I can and last year together with Mr Cake we raised £1400 for Action Medical Research, another fantastic charity.

This year has been a roller coaster of a year. The Cake Nest is growing fast but everyone knows that comes at a price, generally time and money. So I thought it was time to take a step back and reevaluate life. I made a promise to CAFT that they would be my charity of the year. When I said this I never meant it as a token gesture, I really wanted to help. They survive purely on donations as they get no statutory funding and play a vital role in many children's lives. So let's help offer this to more.

Ok, enough putting it off, you want to know what I'm going to do right? Well you have heard of a popular route called the Reivers Way? No? Ok the coast to coast cycle? Ah yes that's the one! 180 miles from Newcastle Upon Tyne to Whitehaven - before you correct me yes that's the wrong way round! However, I haven't said yet what I'm doing.... I'm running! Over the course of 2 weeks during Easter 2012 I will be accompanied by Mr Cake only on his bike. There to keep my spirit up and refuel me. The plan is to run 10-15 miles a day with the odd rest day but I will write again to let you know the details.

The catch is I still need support...! Do you know any b&bs along the way or great campsites that might want to put up with me (will probably be sleeping)? Do you live nearby or just fancy a run over to give me the lift of running beside me? Spread the word, let everyone know who CAFT are. Lastly do you have any spare change to donate? This is obviously important but isn't about donating your life savings, more like the pound you found down the back of the sofa. You know on twitter we have over 1500 followers, if you all just donated a pound what a difference that would make! Collectively we can bring a smile to another child's face.

So 2012 will be the year of the Olympics, bring it on, let's start it with a bang and show the world what we are made of!

thank you

Friday, 26 August 2011

Just So Festival

Hope you are all having a wonderful summer (even if it's a bit damp). We thought it was about time we told you what we had been up to! Last weekend was Just So Festival

time. A wonderful children's festival, where we enjoyed a weekend of fun and games in a beautiful wood near Leek, Staffordshire.

Our stall brought a selection of things to the masses including our new push pop cakes which went down a storm and our individually iced cupcakes. The kids loved this as not surprisingly most of them went for a mixture of coloured stars and popping candy on top.

Possibly the most exciting part of the weekend though were our cake eating competitions! We thought the children looked determined in the morning but that was nothing in comparison to the adults! The winners each won a months membership to our weekly cake slice club.

Have a look through their website to see all the delights the weekend brought and maybe even book your tickets for next year. We especially enjoyed the circus skills tent and the puppet shows.

And so you can enjoy a taste of the festival too we bring you push pops through the post! These are delicious cakes layered with buttercream and filled to the max for your enjoyment! Better still order anything from our website this weekend and we'll send you a box of cake balls free! See we think of you too! Don't forget you can order things for the future and we'll schedule them in so you can get a slice of the action now.


If you would like to see the rest of our photos from the weekend we have loaded some on to Facebook

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Food for thought

This week has been National Coeliac Awareness Week. This is something I feel is very misunderstood and sometimes seen as a fad. I am not going to go into what happens to someone who suffers when they ingest it but rather talk about how hard it is to avoid.

When you think gluten-free what springs to mind? Bread? Pasta? Pastry? Of course these all contain gluten normally but what you might have missed are sausages, soy sauce, stock cubes or cakes! Flour is put into so many things to stabilise, add thickness or simple bulk it up. The challenge set by National Coeliac Awareness Week has been to try for a day to go gluten-free and see how difficult it is. You will have to start with reading the labels on everything of course so watch out for your cereals and of course your toast is out of the question.  To help you though I will offer you a couple of recipes. They aren't mine but are well worth trying - lemon drizzle cake  and sundried tomato bread courtesy of BBC Good Food. Good luck!

Remember I do make gluten free cake just ask!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Film Premier!

Actual film poster

Last week I did something that was an entire first for me... I attended a film premier! What made this even more unique was that it was combined with a chance to network. And what fun we had. I have to say if you get the chance to go then you really must. We had an absolute ball! 

The film was called Shelf Stackers. A well done comedy both in script and filming. You can read all about it on Light Film's own website so I won't go on. Suffice to say this was not a piece of rubbish tagged on the evening. What I will explain more is about the whole event.

I have been to other networking events and found them sometimes a bit stuffy and filled with similar things (if you have ever been you know what I am trying to say!) but this had everything from schools and universities to marketing to utilities to cakes!  Oh yes you thought I might have sneaked something in there I know. This was my version of the film poster.

Shelf Stackers Cake

There was lots of mingling and chatting but nothing pretentious and there was a raffle for charity. I really don't think I've ever laughed so much. Between them, Jordan and Ed had their work cut out as they were close to being out witted by the school children who picked the winning tickets. Myself and my partner in crime for the night (my sister Sally, pictured below) found it hilarious. Every raffle should be done that way! Well done!

Our Stall
The best part about the whole thing is the people I truly networked with. I have had a few orders myself but more importantly I have a few meetings lined up that could launch all sorts of new things for The Cake Nest. Our cake balls seem to go down a storm (oh yes well really do give out freebies at events like these!), our cake cards were given a great response and our tea maybe off on it's own adventure! So watch this space.. like any great film there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes! 

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The simplest things in life...

Recently I've discussing the joys of baking with children with some of my friends. It's when that magical moment comes when you are told to go away and they create something amazing by themselves.

My children are only small and so these magical moments work in a different way for me. They are just as creative and sometimes inspiring. So today I give you a recipe for a humble bread dough. The twist with this is i'm not going to tell you what shape to make it that's up to you. Don't be frightened, get your hands in. Break all the taboos and take a rolling pin to it and cut your favourite shapes out with cutters. It really doesn't matter so long as you give time to rise again after. 

Bread Dough

500g Strong White Flour
1tsp Instant Yeast
1tsp Salt
1tsp Sugar
300ml Warm Water (this should be hand warm not boiling!)

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6
  • Put all the dry ingredients into a bowl and make a hole in the centre.
  • Pour the water into the middle and begin to mix the dry ingredients in
  • Once it has started to come together take out of bowl and start to kneed. This is not so hard and can take some of a bad day away! The trick is to do it for about 10 minutes (If you have a mixer put it all in with a dough hook and mix for 5 minutes). It should be well mixed and not too sticky in the end.
  • Shape into a ball and place back in the bowl with a tea towel over the top
  • Leave for 1 hour to allow to double in size
  • Take out, kneed briefly and play! Once you have made your shapes put them on to a baking tray and cover again with towel. After 30 mins place in oven. This is the only bit you will have to watch yourself! If you have made small shapes 15 minutes should be long enough but a whole big loaf could take up to 45 minutes! Don't panic, just keep an eye on it. Once the bread is golden brown it should be ready. Large loaves should be tapped underneath to make sure they are cooked (they should sounds hollow).

I really hope this helps you. I know there is the time element which can be tedious with youngsters so with the very small I tend to make the dough and allow it to rise first before getting them involved. And my surprise...? A lovely caterpillar! Clever thing put lots of balls together for her long creation!

Happy Baking!!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Resession? Cut The Waste - Spoil Yourself

Today I have the pleasure of giving you our first guest blog wonderfully put be @Inheritance_Adv. Check out his website too. Enjoy...! 
An acquaintance of mine changed jobs in the City of London – so just by way of making conversation, I said ‘so I trust you’re getting a decent bonus then’ to which her broad grinning reply was ‘I should be thankful that I have a job at all – that is a big bonus in itself’.
These days, it is  nigh on impossible to open the newspaper or fire up the wireless without being assaulted by stories of how much the cost of living is rising – as if anyone who does the weekly household shopping needs to be reminded the extent to which prices have risen and how much less the same amount of cash buys.  
However, the rising cost of food is no reason to eat badly.  Simply ditch the ready meals and the processed foods – not only are they cheaper, they are much healthier for you – you know what’s in it.  You don’t have to be as skilled as Delia Smith or be capable of winning Masterchef, all you need is the desire to eat properly. 
Here’s a simple experiment – if you’re the sort who buys sandwiches [as opposed to making them], personally, every time I buy a sandwich, I end up at best feeling hard done by at worst robbed – the ingredients are far from the best, there’s so little of it, and the whole lot is very expensive. If you made exactly the same sandwich yourself it’ll cost you no more than 20% of what you’d pay in the shops – yes the retailer has a living to make, but I fail to recall any act of parliament that says that has to be at your expense.  If you bought sandwiches at work every day, just think how much cash you’d save – it’ll only take 5 minutes of your time to make your packed lunch – and if you get bored of bread with a bit of filling, mix it up a bit – just make an extra portion for supper the evening before.
And the reward – one can really feel good when ‘splashing out’ and buy a wonderfully delightfully scrumptious gift even to one’s self like a cake card – I’m told these things are best shared.
Thanks Ade! Couldn't have put it better myself! A little thought is all it takes and that boring cheese sandwich can be a delight, become the envy of the office. Give me 5 minutes please I'm off to make a butty!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Cake Britain 2!

Need cake but can't find someone local that produces yummy scrummy delights to order? Or want to send a friend or relative cake but don't know anyone where they live? Look no further! About four months ago I started putting together Cake Britain, a simple map filled, with wonderful cake makers across Britain. All you have to do is zoom into your area and see what cakes are hovering there!

View Cake Britain in a larger map

You may be wondering why you can't find these people yourself. Here is the simple answer we are baking from home mostly. We don't have beautiful high street shops but then I also think that's not what you are looking for. My guess is you are looking for that personal touch, someone who makes things only to order and that come with a heap of personal recommendations. Word of mouth is now collated for you! Bookmark it and save it for the future too, although you will always be able to find it on my website. 

I'm sorry if your area is lacking but it is growing all the time. If you are a cake maker yourself join in! Just contact me and I will add you for a small admin charge of £5. Simple click here to pay and then email with your postcode, brief description and contact details.  We have had over 27,000 viewings so far as testament to cake power and put people in touch with everything from a box of cupcakes to wedding cakes to a deal with a soft play centre. I look forward to meeting you! 


Monday, 7 February 2011

The Fun We Had

I wanted to share something with you. It's something that has been bugging me for a while and nothing to do with cake...

Like many other people I love my family and so take lots of photos and video when we are out and about. This is great and the kids love it the problem comes with what to do next. Do you develop your photos and put them in an album or just leave them in the envelope they came in? Do you add them to Facebook or Flicr maybe? And then what, press delete? Maybe you put them all on to CDs to cherish forever? There are problems with whatever you choose. Technology is changing all the time and CDs are becoming a thing of the past. What if your chosen website is no longer your favourite and you start to use something else. Your pictures will be scattered everywhere and no where at the same time! How will you show your children what they looked like when they were babies? You can't leave it all on your computer indefinitely.

So now what? I don't have the answer, only questions! And the reason i'm asking? Well isn't it obvious? My memory is filling up, my babies are growing up and I don't want to lose it all.

My mum and mother in law have beautiful albums all neatly written up. Something we really can cherish forever (well unless the house burns down!) However, I have to admit I do not have the time or if i'm honest the patience to do this, although i did start with our eldest - eldest always privileged right? More time and in awe of the tiny thing we have made? I also made DVDs of all the little video clips, you could see her every development. Sorry number two I love you just as much, but time just doesn't seem as abdunant now.

This is what I have done... I have found out that our iMac is amazing and can do the work for me. I have made slide shows of everything and loaded them on to iTunes. Now the children are watching, in amazement, themselves 12 months ago. I am feeling all teary eyed at how much they have changed. Am happy now, at least for the moment we can remember the fun we had!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Chocadores Hot Chocolate Cubes

As you are all aware, I don't do reviews very often but there are some things that are close to my heart and for these I will always save a space on my blog. Today it is Chocadores Hot Chocolate Cubes. These fascinate me. I love the idea of something that looks like a piece of chocolate and dissolves perfectly into a cup of hot milk. Now to make this a bit different I would like to borrow two minutes of your time...! Promise it's painless and the best bit is you can see the results!

Thank you Chocadores. A lovely indulgent drinking chocolate that truly dissolves to nothing in the cup!

If you would like to try some yourself they cost £5.95 for 150g bag

And excitement! order before 17th January and get a 10% discount! Just add the code HCC10