30 April 2013

School Cake Bake

This week I was asked to bake a cake for a school charity cake stand.  9 times out of 10 I always try to send something in.  Normally my charity cakes of choice are cupcakes or brownies, so that can be sold idividually, which has potential to raise more money.  I was a little up against it time wise, so I opted for a lemon cake, which I had all the ingredients (bar the lemons!).   This receipe is one of my favourites and is by Rachel Allen.  I have most of her books and find them really easy to follow.  I love watching her on TV, she really does come across as a mum who cooks.

The recipe is a simple Lemon Maderia cake, you can find the orange version HERE and all I did was switch the oranges for lemons.  Rather than making an icing, I mixed caster sugar, with the juice of the lemons and it drizzeled over the warm cake, which I had pricked first.  When cold the drizzle sets and has a nice crunch to it.  As you can see from the pictures, I use precut cake tin liners, a definate time saver, mine came from HERE

 The fabulous thing with this cake is that it keeps extremely well for a good couple of days and improves with age, although I must confess cakes are normally eaten pretty quickly in our house!


28 April 2013

My new home

Welcome to my new home, what I hope will be, a little happy place.

I lead a pretty busy life, firstly and most importantly to my family as a mum and an extremely proud forces wife. This as we all know is a full time job in itself, however with the current economic situation, like many stay at homes mum, in 2010 I decided to set up a kitchen table business. I founded Little Kitten Homemade with a small amount of fabric from my personal stash and started making Bunting, Banners and Pretty Things. My little business grew beyond all I could I hope for and my strings of flags have travelled to new happy homes worldwide, featured in magazines, decorated photo shoots and even made it on to UK TV. Last year, I teamed up with my fabulous Mum and together we launched Pretty Fabrics and Trims, an online market place filled to brimming with the prettiest fabrics, ribbons, buttons and lace you could possibly hope to find.

It sounds wonderful and whilst I am extremely proud of what I have achieved, to say all is jolly however wouldn't be true.  The reality is, that juggling all the balls and running two businesses, at times with my husband away for weeks on end, has meant some of the most important things in life, like spending precious time with my family and eating home cooked meals has taken second place and that is not good and it has made me question my priorities. So, I've made the huge decision to start afresh, how scary and ever so slightly mad is that, but can I tell you I am very excited and I'm raring to go.

This is my grand plan, not a business plan as such, more my dreams and my aspirations:
  • I'm going to spend quality time with my family, walking, talking and watching them grow.
  • I'm going to cook homemade meals (most of the time!) and spend time eating together.
  • I'm not going to work on Sundays. (This one is going to be hard, because that is exactly what I am doing as I write this!)
  • I'm going to share my passion for sewing with tutorials and giving helpful hints.
  • I shall still make bunting, banners and pretty things, but as ready to go collection rather than custom and made to order. *see update Nov 2013 below
  • Finally, I'm going to be creating some lovely kits and patterns for you to sew at home, these will feature lots of hand embroidery and appliques.  Lots more about this over the next few weeks, but I can tell you they're designed so that you can spend many a happy a happy hour stitching, sat in comfy chair, sewing something with lots of love for someone you love, after all isn't that what's most important?
Well that's it for now, but I do hope that you pop back often and see how the Grand Plan pans out. I don't think it’s going to be easy and it may take a while to achieve, but as you know, nothing in life is handed to you on a plate is it? If, however hard work and determination is called for, then I can confidently say I have that in buckets loads!

If you like to read my old blogs, take a look HERE and HERE.

*UPDATE Nov 2013 After much deliberation, I decided the time had come to say goodbye to Little Kitten Homemade, you can read more HERE.

*UPDATE 2018 Things has gone full circle and in the Summer of 2018, I found myself spending more and more time designing lovely quilts and projects, which is something that I absolutely LOVE to do and yet again not enough hours in the day to also run a supplies website! In July 2018, mum and I relaunched the Pretty Fabrics and Trims website, with our primary focus now being our Block of the Month Clubs and our own 'in house' range of Kits, Patterns and Templates, all designed in house by me.

*UPDATE March 2021 It's been a busy 'nearly' three years since we switched to selling our own range of kits and subscription clubs. We are very grateful for all the support and enthusiasm for our family business!  In April '21 Andy officially joins mum and I in the business as we try to find that elusive home/work balance. Exciting times ahead!  

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