Green With Envy?

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe
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I think I have said before that I love this colour. I find it calming, serene and dreamy. I like to accompany it with grey. Well, I like to accomapny everything with grey. Have you noticed that? And perhaps ivory. Or gold? 





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Laduree of course

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I am getting an iPad. See how I tied that in to the title? 

Currently Loving…

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe
It’s the little things in life that make me smile. Last night Michael asked me what three things make me happy. At the time I could only come up with puppies (he wasn’t surprised either). Although most of my happiness stems from making other people happy, if I were going to be totally materialistic about it then the following things are bringing a lot of happiness into my life right now. And, they can all be bought. Win. 
Bought for me by my best friend (The Independent seal of approval)


The Goddess Experience – Gisele Scanlon

Lily of the Valley and Tulips from Miss P

The smell of spring in the air

A cup of tea

So what’s currently making you happy? And it has to be something that can be bought. Lets live in the shallow end for a while. 

I Once Knew A Pig Called…

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

Blossom. Sometimes wedding inspiration can come in all forms. Today I was wishing for spring and the blooms that accompany it. This delicate pink compliments a variety of colours from sultry greys and browns to vivacious lime green and sky blue. All you need to do is look for it…not long now




Perfect for this grey friday.

If I were having a party…

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

…this is where I would want it. Civilised and what not. This song would be playing and we would all have a wonderful time. Flights to America anyone?



This fabulous shoot was put together by the very talented Kevin Milz PhotographyErin McLean EventsTre Bella Flowers, and was held at The Stock Room event venue in Raleigh, North Carolina. Rentals by CE Rental

Going Grey

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe




Grey is an odd colour, but can be so elegant and beautiful. I wasn’t sure whether to have taupe or grey at my own wedding, so I had both. Greedy indeed. Accompany this portentous colour with blush pink, mint green or pale violet for utter wedding elegance.

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Cake Week Results

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe
A massive thank you to everyone who participated in Cake Week. It was an absolute pleasure blogging about some of the most fantastic cakes I have ever seen! 
Something that you may not know about me is that I come from a history of bakers. My uncles took over my grandfather’s bakery business after he died. They now have bakeries across east Lincolnshire. They in fact made my wedding cake for me. So you’d think it may come naturally? Well, I have learnt that although it looks easy, it most certainly is not. I reckon I would need at least four to five more attempts to get the icing right (I also need to find a larger nozzle). So would I make my own wedding cupcakes? No.

The rigmarole of practicing, failing, practising some more then actually making the cupcakes that would adorn my wedding is not only time consuming, but costly. I’d most definitely leave it to the professionals. I think this is something that you can’t DIY. It’s something that deserves love and affection to be poured over it, and that could only come from someone with the experience and the passion.

The cupcakes tasted delicious, the sponge was delectable and the icing wasn’t too bad. But looks wise, its no piece of art.
(no matter how many roses I put near it)

So are you still thinking of doing your own wedding cake?

Afternoon Delight

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

I know, cake week is over. But just one more. There is always room for more!

Name: Samia Mazhar

Bit of a background on you:
I have been married to my wonderful husband Arfan for 4 years and love him hopelessly.  We reside in lovely Surrey for over 3 years, however we are northerners at heart !
My home town is in Harrogate North Yorkshire I am very close to my family and call them everyday! My brother resides in sunny California and my sister lives in Halifax she has 2 little girls, I adore my two nieces Alisha and Deeyanah to bits and they are always my little helpers when it comes to cupcakes!
I graduated doing Graphics Art and Design and worked as a graphic designer for some time before I set up Vanilla Cake Shop. With a lot of support from my family and friends, I now have a successful business and am loving every minute of being a cake decorator!

Background on your business, costs, style etc:
I am a big perfectionist and take a lot of pride in my work, ensuring all my cakes are looking perfect before they are delivered and set up at the venue. My ultimate goal is to make sure my clients are happy with the service being provided to them.
My cake designs are couture and very elegant, in keeping with current wedding fashion and trends, many have been featured in many popular wedding magazines and blogs.
Clients are invited to a cake tasting consultation, which also involves going through all of their ideas and requirements. A lot of time is spent understanding what my clients are looking for in their dream wedding cake.
There are a variety of choice, such as classical and contemporary tiered cakes, miniature cakes and cupcakes. Offering intricate piping, exquisite handcrafted flowers and all finished with close attention to detail. 
Cakes are baked fresh, using quality ingredients such as Free-range eggs, Madagascar vanilla extract and rich Belgian chocolates. Organic ingredients are also used where possible.
Prices start from £350 for a 3 tier cake.
Favourite flavour of cake/cupcake/pastry:
For cakes I am a die hard chocaholic! It has to be our Rich chocolate torte cake with chocolate Belgian ganache filling.
For cupcakes I love our Red velvet with cream cheese frosting.
Most memorable wedding creation you have done:
My first red velvet 3 tier cake. What made is memorable was the bride Carolanne. she was so open to suggestions and really lovely. She made a beautiful bride and loved the cake. I also got a lovely thank you note from her, it was simply precious.
Every time I think about her I smile J
Advice to brides about selecting their cake, any tips or things to remember?
The wedding cake is an extremely important component in your special day and therefore must not be overlooked. All of my cakes have been put center stage in the reception hall and they therefore become a focal point. Guests approach it, have their pictures taken next to it, the bride and groom also have their memorable pictures of cutting the cake.
You must decide on a budget and the theme of your cake and then find a cake decorator who will meet your requirements.  You will be able to tell a lot about a cake decorator by doing your research and visiting their website. Also remember that you should always book a consultation to taste your favourite flavours and discuss your ideas.
Good cake decorators will have display cakes showcased to inspire you during your consultation. Be sure to ask home based cake decorators if they have passed a health and hygiene course and had their kitchen inspected, they should show you paperwork.
I must stress that making a wedding cake takes a lot of time and effort which is sometimes reflected on the price.
If you are looking for that amazing wedding cake, you have to put aside at least £500 aside for it.
Yes some high street shops do beautiful, cheap wedding cakes. But if you are looking for something unique and a design which has not been used and recognised by everyone, you must see a cake specialist.
Do you have any advice you are willing to share for budding bakers?
You have to be very pro-active, grab every opportunity which comes your way and enjoy every moment of it.
This business is not a 9 to 5 job with weekends off. As a matter of fact, weekends are usually the busiest! I am working 10 hours a day doing administrative duties, promoting and marketing the business networking with wedding suppliers the list is endless. I love doing it!
You must persevere, practice all the time be open to learn new things and don’t ever be afraid to ask anyone for help or advice. I have met some lovely people in this industry who have helped and supported me.
Most of all you must be passionate about baking and cake making, it is so much fun you will love it!

A Quick Q & A
Favourite Colours: Plum tones, Ivory and White
Favourite Film: Tough choice between Serendipity and Sweet Home Alabama
Favourite Song:  She will be loved (Maroon 5 )
Favourite Month: July
Favourite Drink: Pepsi
Favourite Food: Chinese (Hot and sour soup)
Favourite Word: Gosh!
 Favourite Perfume: Clinique Happy and Anna Sui
Favourite Book: Anything cake related
Favourite Quote from a Film: ——– Don’t know any L

Rich Romance with VR Wedding Design

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

Todays blog brings you the work of VR Wedding Design, they have submitted a wonderful valentines themed mood board along with a competition to win your very own inspiration board. Read on!

So who are VR Wedding Design?

Having both planned our very own dream BIG days, we realised we both shared the same passion for weddings; from fab photographers to scrummy cakes, gorgeous stationery to beautiful blooms, you name it we love it. We really do ♥ everything wedding related and thought what better way to spend our days than doing a job we both adore.

As well as us both loving all the fluffy elements of weddings, we also have separate attributes which combine to make a hell of a team – well we think so anyway. Vicki is one mean organiser making lists about lists, whereas Rachel revels in the task of searching for all those unique ideas. Being Midlands based we are able to cover quite a vast area; from Derby to Oxford, Northampton to Worcester and all those little places in between.

To check out the packages we offer and how we work with you, head over to our website www.vrweddingdesign.co.uk

Valentine Love…….

As it’s the month of LOVE we thought what better way to get you in the mood than to devise an inspiration board based upon the little four letter word, with an added pinch of glamour for good measure. Whether you’re planning a special Valentine’s winter wedding or just love the idea of your BIG day being based on a lip smacking glossy red theme, then hopefully you’ll enjoy and find some inspiring ideas from our mood board.

And so here it is – Rich Romance……

Images courtesy of; Style Me Pretty, Project Wedding, GQ Magazine, Anna Tyler Cakes, Lazaro, Stewart
Parvin & Not On The High Street.

♥ As red is such a bold and vibrant colour, we believe it best to keep some of the details quitesimple. For example, a classic white iced tiered wedding cake with just a single red bloom will look timeless and elegant, to add a touch more colour you could maybe opt for a red cake stand or table cloth.

♥ If you’re venue has quite a blank canvas and high ceilings, tall centre pieces on the tables will look fab, to create a romantic atmosphere scatter a few tea light candles around the arrangement. For the bride we opted for a simple yet quite full gown in a beautiful rich silk duchesse satin.

♥ For instant glamour add a sparkly pair of chandelier earrings and hair clip. Red lips are a must and a bird cage veil compliments the whole outfit perfectly.

♥ And not forgetting the gorgeous groom and his gang, we’ve gone for a very stylish black dinner suit teamed with an on trend dickie bow to complete the look – (hopefully they’ll all turn up looking as sexy hot as the GQ model too!).

♥ Lastly, as a little thank you to your guests why not go for the favourite French biscuit macaroons, they come in every colour imaginable, taste great and look very sophisticated. And who says you need to go to Ladurée for them, most decent bakeries or even your cake supplier could provide them for you at a fraction of the cost.

If you have a theme, colour, lots of ideas and not sure how to bring it all together or none of those things, then get in touch with us here at VR Wedding Design as we’d love to help to give your wedding planning a kick start.

Competition…..

We are also offering 2 lucky brides (and grooms) the chance to win a free inspiration board courtesy of us here at VR Wedding Design.

To be in with a chance of winning, complete your details via our enquiry form at www.vrweddingdesign.co.uk and quote VRWD0211. Once the 2 lucky winners have been selected, we will forward you a quick questionnaire to complete and devise the inspiration board based on your answers.

Good Luck!!

Lots of Valentine LOVE

Thank you very much to Rachel and Vicki, you can tell that they are very passionate about what they do. Visit www.vrweddingdesign.co.uk  for their wedding packages.

Coming up on the blog…Cake Week Results.

Cake Week…Friday – Part Two

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe
Before I venture off to the supermarket to buy my baking materials, I have the penultimate baker. I had a hard time narrowing down what images to use, far too many wonderful creations to choose from. I sincerely hope that these posts have been helpful to you brides, even if its deciding between cupcake towers or tiered cakes, colours or flavours. Let me know!
For a soundtrack to Julie’s post click the video and read on! 
Name: Julie Gibson
Twitter: @icemaidencakes
Bit of a background on you:
I first developed a love of baking aged around 5 when I started spending time with my Nan in the kitchen. She was always singing that old song ‘If I knew you were coming I’d have baked a cake….’ and the song still makes me smile now. She always had something fresh from the oven ready for us when we visited every weekend. The love of baking that she instilled in me has stayed with me. It wasn’t until I had my son though that I discovered I had a natural flair for cake decorating, especially for carved cakes.
Background on your business:
Having spent several years making cakes for family and friends and friends of friends I finally decided to get serious about cake in 2009 and that is when Ice Maiden Cakes was born! I now specialise in fun, contemporary cakes and am particularly known for my carved novelty cakes. Having said that, the customer is king and I am happy to turn my hand to any style you take a fancy to!
My wedding cakes are elegant and contemporary with bold shapes and colours and large single bloom flowers. I also love to create bespoke bride and groom models which are personalised to the happy couple’s outfits, hair and eye colour, flowers and accessories.
Favourite flavour of cake/cupcake/pastry:
I am a complete cake snob and NEVER eat cake from supermarkets or branded bakeries. My favourite cake would be a toss-up between a simple lemon sponge filled with a thick layer of lemon curd and my cherry bakewell sponge.
Most memorable wedding creation you have done:
Last August I made a cake for a lovely couple where the groom was in the REMEs. They came to me with a fantastic idea of having a tank wedding cake. The bottom tier was a large fruit cake iced in a golden colour and dusted with sugar ‘sand’ and the top tier was a Challenger II tank carved from chocolate cake. To top it off I modelled the bride and groom riding in the tank. A truly unique wedding cake!
Advice to brides about selecting their cake, any tips or things to remember?
Have fun with your wedding cake! When I was married *ahem* years ago wedding cakes were white with sugar flowers on – nowadays anything is possible so let your imagination run wild. A fun hobby, a favourite film, a job you are proud of or an exciting honeymoon destination can all provide inspiration for your wedding cake. Your baker will be able to get around any practical difficulties such as serving the right number of portions so don’t let those small details get in the way of your big ideas. And don’t worry about what anyone else thinks – it’s your day so do it your way!
Do you have a recipe you are willing to share for budding bakers?
Here is the world’s easiest cupcake recipe for when you are really up against it – with the help of my KitchenAid I can have a batch of these in the oven in 15 minutes!
225g Butter
225g Caster Sugar
225g Self Raising Flour
4 Eggs
5ml Vanilla
Put the butter, sugar and flour into the bowl of your mixer and mix on medium until combined. With the mixer still running crack the eggs into the bowl one at a time, mixing well between additions. Add the vanilla.
Spoon generous dessert spoons into paper cases and bake at Gas Mark 4 for 20 – 22 minutes. Cool on a wire rack then top with your choice of icing or make in to butterfly buns.
A Quick Q & A
Favourite Colour: Blue
Favourite Film: Schindler’s List
Favourite Song: If I Knew You Were Coming, I’d Have Baked a Cake
Favourite Month: September
Favourite Drink: Cherry Coke
Favourite Food: Homemade sponge cake
Favourite Word: Bimble – I like the way it sounds like the action it describes!
Favourite Perfume: Opium
Favourite Book: Difficult – I’m a big book worm and own about 3000 titles! My favourite kids book would be The Water Babies by Charles Kingsleigh and I’m also a big Tolkein and Roald Dahl fan. I have too many grown up favourites to name but my favourite baking book at the minute is the Bake-a-Boo Baking Cookbook.

Cake Week…Friday – Part One

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe
Another day, another fantastic baker. I don’t think I shall ever tire of uploading photos of cakes, they have all been deliciously different and today is no exception…finger licking good!
Name: Viv Ferguson
Twitter: @crazybakinglady
Website: www.thereforthebaking.com
Bit of a background on you:
Originally from Yorkshire, but now live in Manchester with my long-suffering other half. Studied English Lit and French at Manchester University before deciding to go in a completely different direction and make beautiful and tasty cakes and baked goods for a living. Currently work from home but dream of one day opening a lovely cafe or tea rooms. Cups of tea and cake genuinely make me happy!
Background on your business:
Started in early 2010, based on a lifelong sweet tooth and love of baking. After graduating in 2008, I spent a couple of years wondering what on earth I wanted to do with my life. Several people had joked over the years ‘you should do this professionally’ when I produced my latest cake or biscuit creation and, encouraged by the fact that no one protested that it was a ridiculous idea, I took the plunge, sorted out the legalities and founded There for the Baking.
I’m not sure I really have a ‘style’ as such; I’m always experimenting with new recipes and designs whenever I have the chance and enjoy developing new products and ideas. I like to try and provide whatever it is that my customers want or need, and I love a challenge – if it’s something I’ve not done before, I’m all the more eager to give it a go!
I must confess it’s hard work being a one-woman cake baking and decorating machine, and it involves insanely long days and early mornings/late nights from time to time, but I genuinely love what I’m doing so I really don’t mind at all; plus the delighted looks on customers’ faces when they see (and taste!) the finished product definitely makes it all worth it. Spreading joy through the North West via cake!
Favourite flavour of cake/cupcake/pastry:
My personal favourites would have to be carrot cake and lemon drizzle cake.
Most memorable wedding creation you have done:
This three-tier black and white tired cake, as it differs a little from the traditional feminine/pretty/floral wedding designs. The bride knew she wanted a black and white theme, but with a splash of colour thrown in somewhere, and she wanted to include a particular piping design she’d seen, but didn’t want it on every tier. She was also under strict instructions from her fiance that it wasn’t to be too girly or feminine! At her consultation we bounced some ideas around and between us eventually came up with this design. When it came to making the cake, it came out exactly as I’d pictured it and I was very pleased. I think the end result is a really striking and beautiful cake.
Advice to brides about selecting their cake, any tips or things to remember?
Don’t feel hemmed in by tradition. Can’t stand fruit cake? Ivory fondant and sugar roses not really your thing? Then opt for something else! Whether it’s bright colours, bizarre flavours or quirky decorations, the only limit on what your cake can be like is your own imagination – it’s a custom creation that can be used to reflect your own and your partner’s tastes and interests.
Do you have a recipe you are willing to share for budding bakers?
Try our yummy Cookies and Cream Cupcake recipe:
Ingredients
150g Unsalted butter, softened
150g Caster sugar
100g Self-raising flour
50g Cocoa
1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
3 Eggs
1-2 Tablespoons milk
A few drops vanilla extract
1 pack Oreo cookies
For the icing:
200g Unsalted butter
250g Icing sugar
A few drops vanilla extract
Makes 12
Method
Pre-heat oven to 180C.  Prepare a 12-hole muffin/deep bun tray with muffin-size cases. Open the pack of Oreos, and twist away the tops on 12 of them, so that you are left with just one half of the cookie and the creamy filling. Place these, filling side up, in the bottom of the muffin cases.  Put the discarded biscuit tops and any unused Oreos to one side for now.
Cream together the butter and sugar with a drop or two of vanilla extract. Add the eggs and sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Mix together until thoroughly combined. Add 1-2 tbsp milk as necessary (you don’t want the mixture too thick and dry, but equally it shouldn’t be too runny).
Place the remaining Oreo biscuit halves into a medium size plastic food bag, seal, then batter briefly with a rolling pin or similar, until the cookies are in fairly large crumbs. Pour just under half into the cake batter and mix in with a spoon. Divide the mixture between the 12 muffin cases and bake for about 20 mins until the cakes spring back when pressed lightly in the centre. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
While the cakes are cooling, you can make up your buttercream icing.  Beat the butter briefly until soft and creamy, then sift in the icing sugar and mix in thoroughly. Add a few drops of vanilla extract for flavour, and you can also add a little milk if the mixture seems a bit too thick and stiff. Take the bag with the remaining cookie crumbs and bash them up a bit more with the rolling pin, until the crumbs are very fine. Add these to the buttercream and stir in with a spoon until evenly distributed.
When the cakes are completely cool, spread the buttercream on the top of them, or, for a more professional look, try piping it on with a large round piping tip.
A Quick Q & A
Favourite Colour: Black
Favourite Film:Breakfast at Tiffany’s – I loooove Audrey!
Favourite Song: Iron Maiden ‘Fear of the Dark’ – never fails to send a tingle down my spine when I hear it live
Favourite Month: April –  the beginning of warmth and sunshine, and all the gorgeous spring flowers are out and about
Favourite Drink: A nice cup of tea
Favourite Food: A good old-fashioned roast dinner
Favourite Word: Beautiful
 Favourite Perfume: I don’t use any
Favourite Book: I’m a librarian’s daughter and an ex English Lit student – not sure I could ever pick just one favourite! 
Favourite Quote from a Film: Recently, “Dobby did not mean to kill. Only maim or seriously injure…” It set me off in a fit of giggles at the cinema.