This time of year is challenging on a 'normal' year, without being in lockdown, so I am making a point to feel grateful for things in my life.
This week I am super grateful for...
1. Coming back to baking after two weeks recovering from having my appendix removed. I had so many orders waiting for me, it was a busy weekend! I feel so thankful for my lil' business and my lovely customers, it really makes me happy when I can bake, but also make people smile.
2. Finding a new supplier for dried rose petals - now I can get these beautiful cake embellishments in 100g bags instead of 20g bags, much better, I hate running out!
3. My husband has said will be baking me a birthday cake next week! He's only missed one year, I think, since we've been together, and it's a big deal. He doesn't bake, like, ever!
4. I am finding lots of time to read in the evenings, enforcing a 'no chores, no work' mantra from 8pm. This makes me happy.
5. And, of course, I'm extremely grateful for this little creation of mine (ours). She is the most adorable baby ever - yes, every mum says that, but really, she is!! - and the true love of my life. She's really impressed me lately with how comfortable she was being taken to nursery by someone else while I was sick, and how she laughed off repeated well-meaning pokes in the face by another 18 month old yesterday!
Yes, February is wet, windy and cold, but I'm feeling good - even a little lighter with than b*gger of a giant appendix gone!
Hope you're having a good week too,
-- A personal blog today, and I'm attaching a trigger warning right here. --
We've had a lot of great news lately in our family - three of us getting new jobs, El Husbandio's residence being confirmed, our house move progressing... But a tragic event knocked me a bit sideways last week: a very good friend of mine's partner passed away unexpectedly.
Cake isn't the answer to everything, but baking for her, my customers, and my other friends and family managed to take my my mind off such horrible circumstances for a short while.
There's something cathartic about mixing, baking and decorating a cake; I've always baked when I feel sad or low. It helps me stay productive, it's a great way to find a 'flow' state of mind (a recognised tactic in mental health - Very Well Mind explains it better than I can), and I can share the cake with friends and family. I remember saying to my housemate several years ago, when a boyfriend had broken up with me, that I was going to bake my way through the shock and pain. And since it's World Mental Health Day today, I thought it was time I posted about my therapeutic kitchen fun.
Distraction tactics are very useful sometimes, and my lil' business certainly provides that, for which I am grateful. So if you need some cake, don't be shy, drop me a line, I need to keep busy!
Does anyone else bake to keep the dark away?
P.S. No part of me is using a tragic event to capitalise on here, that would never be my intention. I'm simply sharing how important baking is to me and how it's helped my mental wellbeing. I'm a supporter of mental health awareness - I guess you may be sick of me talking about it if you know me!
A, you've left broken hearts behind you in wonderfully caring and loving people. You'll be missed.
We'll be at a local event this week, serving hotdogs and home baked cake!
David Buck's blog is also worth looking at - he's very open and honest, and it's a great blog if you want to understand the person behind a challenging mental health issue.
Sometimes, all that's needed is a chat. A cuppa and a slice of cake is an open doorway to gentle, meaningful discussion about how you or your friend/colleague/relative is feeling - just like what the Environment Agency in Bristol did today! They held a 'coffee and cake' (with our delicious Victoria Sponge - thanks guys!) natter to help spread the word that 'mental health' is not a dirty word.
Why not post this image on the left on your Facebook today? We love it because the arrow cleverly points to your profile picture when you post it. Show you're listening!
Remember, it's ok NOT to be ok. Have some self-compassion and continue to breathe.
The Team @ 280 Bakes
We all know avocados are delicious, and they work wonderfully in our vegan chocolate cake, but what are the real benefits of this wonder fruit?
2. An avocado is a fruit especially high in fibre. This is digestible plant material which can help weight loss and reduce blood sugar levels.
3. Not all fat is bad, and avocados are an example of a source of 'good fat'. Some of the antioxidants in the fruit are even 'fat soluable', meaning they need fat to be able to dissolve and actually do some good to your body.
4. Eating avocados can lower your cholesterol, as well as increasing the 'good cholesterol' (HDL).
5. Some antioxidants found in avocados, Lutein and Zeaxanthin, are essential for eye health and eye sight.
It's settled. We love avocados and they love us back.
The Team @ 280 Bakes
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