Thursday, 3 March 2011

Fundraising with Folksy!

This year I am trying to raise as much money as possible for the British Heart Foundation here's why - 12 and 1/2 years ago our world changed forever when our beautiful baby girl was born with Down's Syndrome and an associated major heart defect. Our baby had life-saving major open heart surgery at 16 weeks old. She is now 12 and well, although she may still need further surgery in the future. If it were not for the pioneering work the BHF carry out each year Gaby’s complex surgery would not have even been attempted. 
Every year the BHF funds vital research which enables pioneering surgery to be developed and carried out. This in turn gives babies like Gaby a much higher chance of surviving and going on to lead long lives. This is a charity that I really do care passionately about and with that in mind I set out on my fundraising crusade! 
First stop London! My lovely hubby and I were both thrilled to be accepted in the ballot for this year's London Marathon! We joined the BHF Heart Runners Team and have both been training hard....until disaster struck! A few weeks ago Justin injured his back at work and after several weeks rest he cannot run a single step without pain! We have therefore taken the decision to defer our places and run together in the 2012 London Marathon giving Justin the chance to fully recover. This has been really disappointing for us both and was a hard decision to make. The only good thing to come out of our disappointment is the fact that we now have a whole year to fundraise! :D
Next stop Folksy! I joined this wonderful community in Jan 2010 and have really enjoyed my time there so far. Not only have I had great success with sales in both of my shops, I have made some wonderful 'online' friends, made some fantastic purchases and received great advice, help and support in all areas of developing my business and also on a personal level. I recently posted my story and asked if anyone could help me in my fundraising efforts. As anyone who raises money for charity knows, it can be an uphill struggle in today's economic climate so I need all the help I can gather! 
The response to my post was nothing short of Amazing! 
No less than 39 fellow Folksters offered donations of money or their crafts or both! I was totally overwhelmed with the wonderful donations and messages of support and yesterday I held a sale at my house selling my jewellery, Phoenix cards, cupcakes and crafts from the 29 Folksters who sent me items! It was a great success and to date the total is just over £200! 

I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to the following Ladies for either donations to my justgiving site or for sending me wonderful handcrafted items, many of which were made especially for the sale with a heart theme!
And finally not forgetting the Sales Fairy herself....Michelle aka MISH73!!

Each and every item that I received was fantastic, great quality and well made! The shops listed are all brimming with wonderful items and every one is worth a peek! The ladies above have re-enforced the whole Folksy ethos to me, they love to craft and make, they do it well with care and attention and they are ready to help and support each other when they can! I am proud to be a part of this fantastic community!
My heartfelt Thanks to you all!!! 
Mimi x x x 

Such a wonderful array of gorgeous items! My friends couldn't wait to part with their cash!!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

School holidays are so exhausting!!!!

3 days in, the house is a complete mess and I am exhausted! The children seem to have endless energy from dawn til dusk and I cannot keep up. It seems to be a never ending cycle of feeding and watering with snacks in between! Baking has gone out of the window. There are just not enough hours in the day, although I did manage a sneaky batch of 12 vanilla cupcakes this morning! These have been devoured already so I have promised myself a proper 'bake up' tomorrow. I guess full on school holidays are to be expected with 4 children and despite my overwhelming tiredness, messy house and empty food cupboards, I wouldn't have it any other way!!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Exciting news!

I now have 3 Farmer's markets secured! First one on Sat (eek!) Hope the weather warms up, it's freezing today. I am busily sourcing and buying supplies, my house is rapidly filling up with cake boxes and bags! I'm hoping that my family don't notice ;) Sacha (puppy) is enjoying playing with the empty boxes bless her.

I made these little fellas yesterday.....

 Cheeky Choccy Monkeys!

Modelled on my children of course!

Monday, 14 February 2011

My sweet Valentine!

My hubby and I are celebrating our 27th Valentine's Day together! We met at 13 and have been married nearly 20 years! :) 4 kids and a mortgage later neither of us has the desire to go out for a 'special' Valentine's meal. We are gonna just 'cosy' up on the sofa with a movie and enjoy an eve without the internet! Don't get me wrong I Love the internet, my businesses all run from there. But it is sooooo hard to turn it off and in doing so switch off and relax for the evening. I drive myself and everyone else in the house nuts by only ever having my Macbook a maximum of about 3 feet away from me! Well tonight is the night! I am gonna take the plunge and turn it off until (bright and early) tom morning! I am going to give my lovely hubby the undivided attention that he deserves.

Valentine's Day needn't be about an astronomically priced bouquet of flowers, a garish card brought in a rush and some naff chocs........ours is going to be filled with some good food, good wine, good company and lots of love! I truly love my hubby and I tell him every day so for us today is just another day!
Happy Valentines Day to you all x x 

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Spring is in the air!

Along with the mass of Valentines cakes I have baked and decorated this weekend I have started work on my spring and Mother's Day designs. As always my children have been my tasters and critics with Maxwell as chief taster! He always manages to get to the biggest cake first! The more buttercream and decorations the better for my boy! Tomorrow will be spent baking and delivering my Valentine orders and then I will be getting ready (and slightly panicking) for my first Farmer's Market on Sat! How many cupcakes to make? What flavours? What packaging? how to decorate my stall? How much? All of this is keeping me awake at night so hopefully as the week goes on these things will become clearer and I will relax!

The fruits of my labour this weekend....

Friday, 11 February 2011

Let the baking commence!

Today I start a marathon bake-up for this Valentines weekend! I have lots of lovely orders to work through and I'm looking forward to creating some beautiful edible treats! I have been busy with the sugarpaste again making roses, posies, hearts and butterflies all in a passionate red! I will post some piccies later , no harm in looking, the calories don't count! :)

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Hearts, Roses and Butterflies...........

After an afternoon spent making decorations for my Valentines orders, I am now up to my ears in Hearts, Roses and Butterflies! All in a gorgeous shade of ravishing red! My hands took a while to return to their normal colour, but it was worth it, the decorations are lovely and I'm really pleased with them! 
I also made a couple of monsters today one of which my youngest son polished off almost as soon as it was finished. I only just managed to get a pic!

A cookie monster!

Monday, 7 February 2011

Sharing the love!!

Here is an absolutely, gorgeously, moist, indulgent chocolate cupcake recipe!

You will need 24 muffin cases and a muffin tin. Fairy cake cases will be too small.

3 medium eggs
175g caster sugar
115g self-raising flour
6tbsp good quality cocoa powder e.g Green & Blacks Organic
1.5tsp baking powder
1tsp natural vanilla extract
175g slightly salted butter

I try to buy the best quality ingredients possible especially the cocoa and vanilla in this recipe. It really does make a difference to the finished cakes.

Pre-heat the oven to 170C/338F Gas 3-4
Place baking cases in the muffin tin.

If using a processor, put the sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla in and blitz on full power for 2-3 minutes.
Or using a hand whisk ( I prefer this method) these ingredients and mix well.

Sieve flour, baking powder and cocoa, gradually add to wet mix.

Spoon the mixture into the cases and place in the centre of the oven for 16-18 mins. This may vary according to your oven.
The cakes are cooked when a skewer comes out clean or the tops spring back when lightly touched.

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

At this point they will smell and look divine and it's hard not to snuffle one!
STOP!!! Try to resist these naked little lovelies..... you can make your little cakes look even more beautiful with a little more effort by topping them with luxurious chocolate buttercream.

Pure Indulgence
175g sifted icing sugar
50g sifted good quality cocoa powder
3tbsp cold water
115g softened unsalted butter

Add cocoa to icing sugar.
Beat the butter to a cream in a processor or with a handheld whisk.
Add the sugar-cocoa mix gradually with the water beating with each addition.

The buttercream is now ready to top your cupcakes, stop dipping your finger in and get decorating! The sky is the limit with these cakes! You can add marshmallows, sweets, sprinkles, grated chocolate, sugarcraft decorations whatever takes your fancy!

Good Luck and be warned these are wickedly addictive little fellas!!

Chocolate Heaven!

Clouds of icing sugar have been wafting around my kitchen today as I made up a batch of double chocolate cupcakes! Using Green and Blacks organic cocoa I whipped up these little lovelies and the kids are making their way through them at a great rate of knots! I haven't even tasted one! I have created lots of Valentine designs and I am now working on Mother's Day cupcakes! :)

Naughty but nice!!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

What a priviledge!

Yesterday I baked up an order of cupcakes for a lady's 90th Birthday! I felt really priviledged to be asked to create some cakes for this lady and I hope they were well received! No cupcakes today, just bread and sticky rice krispie bars!

These are the 90th Birthday cupcakes!

Friday, 4 February 2011

Phew made it!!

Well I have finally set my blog up and here I go! I have had a really exciting week! My business The Cupcake Kitchen has finally got off the ground after many months of planning and deliberation! I have finally taken the plunge and wish I had done it sooner!
I have had a great week with lots of positive feedback and comments and most importantly ....orders! Starting up just over a week before Valentines day has seen me jump straight in at the deep end with orders coming thick and fast. Long may it continue.
Tomorrow is another exciting day as I'm off to visit a potential Farmer's Market who have a Cupcake-sized stall available!
I also put the finishing touches to my website today so a busy week all round :)
You can visit me at: there is a guestbook so please leave a comment.

A selection of my Valentines designs.......

Mimi x