One Lovely Blog Award and Real Neat Blog Award

So I’ve been nominated for a couple of blogger awards just recently!  I can’t explain how happy this made me 🙂 It is a show of the wonderful nature of the blogging community.  I was so apprehensive about starting a blog and I have been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement that everyone in the blogging world gives to each other.  These awards are further examples of the great community I’ve joined and been into welcomed with open arms.

So the first nomination came from Evgenia who has a lovely blog called Living On Annette (make sure you go check it out!).  Evegina nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award 🙂 A massive thank you for thinking of and nominating my blog!

wpid-blog-award

As with all blogger community awards, there are certain rules that apply to the One Lovely Blog Award:-

  • You have to thank the person who nominated you for the award
  • You add the logo to your post
  • Share 7 things about yourself
  • Nominate other bloggers

I was so excited to receive this nomination and I then I thought…what on earth could I tell you about myself!  So I’ve had a little think about things (hence the delay!) and I’ve opted for the following:-

1. I am incredibly close with my wonderful family.  There is a saying that “you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family”; well I’d choose my family as my friends every time! Love you all.

Mum,Dad,Si

My wonderful dad, mum and brother!

2. My first ever ‘proper’ roller coaster was The Hulk in Islands of Adventure (Florida).  Inspired by my white knuckle coaster junky mum and uncle and a desire not to be outdone by my brother, I finally plucked up the courage to ride.  I started screaming the minute the harness came down and didn’t stop until it lifted up again at the end but I’ve not looked back since 🙂

3. I’ve been given the honour of being a bridesmaid and wedding cake maker for one of my closet friend’s wedding next year.  I cannot wait to spend the day celebrating her big day!

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The bride to be celebrating with me and another bridesmaid, Laura 🙂

4. I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos (EDS) Type III in 2013.  This is a syndrome which affects the connective tissue in my body.  The problem is cause by a collagen problem meaning my joints are loose and bend further than they are supposed to.  To help control the affects of this, I have spent the last year trying to improve my health and I’ve even joined a triathlon swim club.

5. My brother nicknamed me ‘Gunter’ after the fat German exchange student in the Simpsons and its stuck! My 21st birthday watch even has the name engraved on the side.

Gunter

6. For my first birthday with my boyfriend Dave (back in 2008) he bought me Despicable Me on DVD and frozen chicken pies 🙂 Yep, frozen pies as a birthday present is a little unorthodox but I thought it was great.

And finally…

7. My nan used to tell me she was a witch and I believed her.  She even planted a broom in the garage whenever she would visit so I thought she arrived by flight. 

Me and nan

Me and my nan at Christmas this year.

The second nomination has come from Plan B Chronicles.  Again, be sure to check out the site and a great big thank you for the nomination.  Plan B Chronicles nominated me for the Real Neat Blog Award.

real-neat-blog-award

Again, this award comes with certain rules:-

  • Put the Award Logo in your post.
  • Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you (my nominee snuck in an extra question just for a bonus 🙂 ).
  • Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.
  • Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.
  • Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog)

The questions I’ve been asked:-

1. What are you hobbies?

My biggest hobby will probably come as a great surprise to you all! Only kidding, its cooking and baking! 🙂 Other than that, I love to read, swim, watch films with Dave and spend time with my friends and family. 

2. What is your favorite vacation spot?

Florida! More specifically Walt Disney World and Universal Studios 🙂 Each visit has been the best holiday and it is definitely my happy place.

3. Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?

There isn’t just one, it has to be both my mum and my dad.  They have influenced me in different ways but most importantly they have shown me the importance of having a good work ethic, never letting anything stop you from achieving your goals, always pushing yourself, enjoying everything life has to offer and the understanding that happiness and laughter are vital to having a long and happy relationship. Thank you for everything you have taught me and for all that you have done and continue to do for me. Love you!

4. Where did you grow up?

A city called Peterborough in Cambridgeshire, UK.  I lived in a village which had the city on one side and the countryside on another.  There wasn’t always a lot to do but it was home. My parents and brother still live there and I have a handful of close friends who I try to visit on a semi regular basis.

5. If you could change one thing about your appearance, what would it be? 

With my love of all things food, it would be nice to loose a little weight.   I’ve always struggled a bit with my weight and ever since I was diagnosed with EDS, my health and fitness has become very important.  About a year ago, I started to eat healthier and exercise more regularly.  I’m 20lbs lighter than when I started and in such a better place but I still have a few more to go before I reach my goal weight.  Life is however short and I don’t believe in denying myself the things I love.  The last year has been about taking control and it has become clear that everything in moderation leads to a more beautiful and happy life.    

6. Do you have any pets? 

I don’t have any personally but my mum and dad got a dog when I was 15.  A beautiful golden cocker spaniel called Casey and I absolutely love him to bits.  He’s getting old now but he’s still as full of energy and love as he was the day my parents brought him home.  His wagging tail and floppy years are enough to soften even the hardest of days!   

Casey

Casey on his annual holiday to Cornwall.

7. What do you usually do on Sundays?

In my house, Sundays are officially a chill day.  Dave will usually spend the day playing his xbox or watching films.   Whilst he’s doing this, I’ll spend the day in my favourite room of the house… the kitchen!  The great thing about our flat is that the kitchen and living room are together so at least we aren’t in separate rooms 🙂

8. What is your favorite food to cook?  Recipe?

There isn’t really one type of food that I enjoy cooking more than others.  There is one which I enjoy eating the most and that is definitely a roast dinner! My favourite dinner of the year is definitely Christmas dinner which is the ultimate roast.  I’ve not hosted Christmas yet and the closest I get is the occasional sunday roast.  Coming shortly in Challenge 52, I’ll be sharing the recipe for a cola, maple-glazed roast ham.  Be sure to come back to check out the recipe.

I now nominate:-

Your 7 questions are:-

  1. What are you most looking forward to in the next 12 months?
  2. What is your favourite book and why?
  3. How did you get involved in blogging?
  4. If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
  5. If you had a dinner party and you could invite any 5 guests, dead or alive, who would you invite?
  6. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
  7. What is your best piece of advice for a new blogger?

I look forward to learning more about you all 🙂

xxx

Mickey Mouse Giant Cupcake

This post isn’t part of Challenge 52 and I haven’t taken photo’s of me making it, but I wanted to share this bake with you 🙂

It was recently my mum’s birthday and she came to stay for the weekend with my dad.  My mum is a huge Disney fan (as am I) and we are currently on countdown to a family trip to Florida this year.  With her birthday approaching my cousin sent me a picture of a Mickey Mouse themed giant cupcake and suggested I make it for my mum.  It looked amazing and so I thought I would give it a go.

I did a bit of research and decided the cake would look best with a red chocolate cupcake case for the base (rather than using red icing to decorate).  I made this using red candy melts which I simply melted and painted onto the inside of the base of my giant cupcake tin.  I did three layers and once it had set, the chocolate came out of the tin and created a perfect giant cupcake case.

The cake itself was filled with buttercream and my homemade strawberry jam. I then finished it off with buttercream roses on top and ears and buttons made from sugar paste.

I’ve never piped buttercream roses before and a few of them didn’t come out right but the overall effect worked really well.  Plus my mum loved it!

Trying to work out how make the ears stay stood up - toothpicks was the answer!

Trying to work out how make the ears stay stood up – toothpicks was the answer!

Mickey and Minnie together again ;)

Mickey and Minnie together again 😉

Look how happy my mum is :)

Look how happy my mum is 🙂 If you look carefully you’ll see the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World sitting on the sofa too!

The inside, filled with yummy buttercream and jam.

The inside, filled with yummy buttercream and jam.