Baking Has Taught Me To Never Say Never

The first celebration cake I baked was for my daughter’s fourth birthday. It was a disaster. Bless her heart, she thought it was the best cake ever and still does. I look at that and think what the heck is that????? If I showed you that cake and said I wanted to start a cake business, chances are that you would laugh me out of your presence. Never mind any dreams of having a café, I just didn’t have the talent.

I baked this cake in September 2012

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Six months later
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A year later

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And this one in December 2013
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In 15 months of practice (not even regularly) and no formal training, I have begun to turn out better looking cakes. There have been days when I’ve been so down on myself and thought there is no chance on earth or in heaven that I could ever ever do this. Who would want a cake that looked like a mudslide? However, A little over a year, I am really proud of what I’ve done. Not because they are the best but simply because I have improved and some people actually want to pay for my cakes.

So I’ve developed some ‘never rules’ to always remember when I’m embarking on a new journey:

      Never judge a book by it’s cover, including yourself

 

      Never be afraid to learn something new

 

      Never stop learning

 

      Never say you can’t until you’ve tried

 

      Never give up because something is too hard for you

 

      Nerve judge your future by a moment of hardship

 

      Never compare yourself to someone else and decide you’ll never be good enough

 

      Never let tears (or disappointment) stop you from getting up the next day and trying again

 

      Never stop trying whilst you still have breath in you

 

      Never lose patience with yourself

 

      Never let imperfection stop you from presenting your work

 

      Never be in a hurry to be a master at what you do

 

    Never fail to assess where you are and determine a course of action to get you to where you want to be.

All this from baking you ask. What can I say? The kitchen is a jungle. 🙂

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It Was Love at First Sight 

I never believed in love at first sight until I met Peggy.

I walked through the school gate and there she was. Her golden mane blowing in the wind. She had me at woof! 

I’m not a pet person at all. The only animal I like are dogs but the licking puts me off. The day I met Peggy all that changed. As soon as I saw her, I just went all mushy and weak. I grabbed her from her owner and started nose nozzling, stroking and kissing her. All things that would have got me arrested has I accosted a human being for the first time this way.

So now I’m broody. I want my own Peggy 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

And as I was cooing and ahhing someone said, they are cute until they pee on you. There is always one isn’t there?😐😐😐😐 

If Peggy ever goes missing, well …. That’s all I’m saying.

5 Reasons to Forgive Yourself

​I’ve come across a lot of people who dwell on the past not necessarily due to a specific experience but because they can’t forgive themselves for actions they took.

They can’t forgive themselves for making bad choices or letting themselves get into the situation, or trusting that person or letting go of that relationship or hurting those people or letting those people get away with hurting them. 

They relive those moments again and again and again, giving the past more power than it actually has. It’s a really unhealthy place to be.

You probably started reading this post about a minute ago. That is now in the past. Of course you can go back and read the opening paragraph over and over in a bid to gain some undestanding of what I meant but you’ll never get to the end of my story.

This is what living in the past does. It traps a person in a moment in time that is exalted far above the hope of a better tomorrow – moreso a better now.

There are probably more than five reasons in support of forgiving ourselves but here are five I came up with.

  1. To Move on: There are certain laws that are proven. The Law of Gravity, Relativity, Diminishing Returns and, even, Attraction have all been tried and tested over time. Sadly Time Travel into the past is not one of them. We can’t fix the past but we certainly can determine our reactions today and tomorrow. It might take a while but we must be determined to move one. This is the paramount reason for me as I never want to feel stuck, like I have no choice.
  2. To be Honest: It’s important to acknowledge what you did or what happened to you. Sometimes we hold on to something without sorting out what really happened. Were you deceived, robbed, exploited, hurt, etc. Or maybe you hurt someone. Pause for a moment to articulate what happened. It really helps to write it down. There may be tears or anger but honesty is paramount. Part of that honest assessment might be to acknowledge you can’t do this on your own and seek the support of a professional who can help you come to terms with the past. There is never any shame in getting help. It’s a sign of strength and a willingness to change.
  3. To Take Action: The only way to move from where you are is to take positive steps forward. Sometimes a little change is all you need to move on. What little steps can you take to help you move on? Read a book on the subject? Pick up the phone and call someone? Make amends? Doing something good for yourself instead of beating yourself up? However little it may be, just doing something different is good enough. A starting point is to have an uplifting thought or text to visualise or recite whenever you find yourself thinking the same old way. If you do this often enough and consistently, you’ll retrain your brain.
  4. To Release Toxic Feelings: This is simply self-care. To keep going over a matter over and over again in your mind is not good for your mental health. It induces worry, anxiety, perpetual regret, self-loathing – which aren’t great recipes for a peaceful mind. Truth be told, there are enough toxic issues going on in our world so we don’t really need them inhabiting our minds as well. It’s just common sense.
  5. To Hope Again: Hope is an essential ingredient for survival. Without hope we give up. Living in the past robs us of our future and makes us feel helpless. To let joy into our hearts, we need to stop letting the past drag us back into the abyss of despair.

It is a frightful thought to know that life moves on with or without our consent or engagement. It is a shame that we sometimes sleepwalk through life rather than being fully awake to it. We are humans and we all make mistakes. That is just life. We can hold ourselves to ransom over it or live. There are only two choices.

This Girl Can 

This is my daughter. She is seven years old and in five weeks, she will be eight.

I have always joked that she came to earth with a princess syndrome but part of that is knowing what she wants and not stopping till she gets it.

She is confident and, above all else, brave. She keeps stretching herself to do everything her older brother can. There are no barriers for her. Her only competition is her nine year old brother. I have tried and failed miserably at explaining that at this age, there will always be things he can do better than her. This means absolutely nothing to her. She keeps pushing and pushing herself.

My constant struggle, particularly as she is my last born, is to keep her safe and curb her risk taking. I am trying with all my might not to let my protectiveness restrict her or inadvertently send the message that girls shouldn’t be doing this or that. It’s a daily struggle to allow her to be herself.

Today, she wants to be an astronaut, fashion designer, scientist, prime minister, doctor and athlete. All are within her grasp so watch out world!