28 March 2014

Saying goodbye is never easy.

Well, the time has come. Sunday I fly out of here, and say goodbye to home for 6 months.

Today was my last day working at Ray White Grange. Over four years ago I began this position as a nervous 20 year old in my first job outside of the world of fast food. It has had it's ups and downs, but as a whole it's mainly been ups.

While I'm not cut out for the real estate industry, I had the luck to find a real estate office with the most generous and kind bosses. Despite all the bad things that people say about real estate agents, I have met some of the most wonderful people. It really has been my home away from home.

Out with the old (me!) and in with the new (my 'apprentice' all 'grown up'!) 

When I began taking an interest in cake decorating my bosses were always happy for me to take a few hours off work to attend a short class, or a couple of days, or even a couple of weeks! As long as I brought them back some cake to eat of course!

Over six months ago I told them that I would be applying for college, and if I were accepted I would be leaving. Not once did that make me feel guilty for my decision. They have never been anything but supportive of my dreams, even though they knew it meant having to hire a replacement.

To be completely honest, for most part they have acted like second parents to me and that is why it breaks my heart to leave them.

Today was a very strange day full of mixed emotions. Saying goodbye to a workplace that has been the biggest part of my life for the past 4 years, and saying goodbye to friends who I've probably spent more time with than I have my family is extremely difficult. At the same time, I was completely spoiled and made feel so special which turned it into a happy occasion.

The hilarious & unique card the team made for me - sorry some people got cut out! 

Part of me still feels like I'll be back at work on Monday. I'm not sure how long it will take before it sinks in. All I can say is thank you to those at Ray White Grange who have made the past 4 years so special.

Now I must focus on bigger and better things! Adventures ahoy!

25 March 2014

The Liebster Blog Award

So apparently there's a new version of chain mail for blogs. It's called the Liebster Award!

I was nominated for this award by the lovely Jaime from Hard Crimson and I had no idea what it was. I did some research, but came to inconclusive results. Basically, you get nominated, you answer 11 questions, post 11 facts about yourself, and tag some new nominees and write 11 questions for them to answer.

Simple. Normally I don't buy into these chain mail type things - reminds me of those texts or emails you used to get saying 'if you don't send this to 10 friends you will get pickles in your burger next time you ask for no pickles' or something equally as horrible.

Alas, here I am answering some silly questions because... well, I feel like I'm back on myspace in the early 2000's answering those silly quizzes that were so popular! Ahh, nostalgia!

17 March 2014

Sugar Push Celebrates 1 Year (and goodbye!)

Today is the official 1 year anniversary of Sugar Push being an official business. Wowww!

What a year it's been! When I began cake decorating, I was putting all of my income into my hobby and it just became too expensive to justify 'practice cakes'. What a bummer!

I went through the process of organising council registration, an ABN, insurance, etc. so that I could continue to practice my skills and learn new ones, and hopefully at the same time make a tiny amount of profit to go towards my savings for College. I am so thankful to every single person who has ordered a cake, or cupcakes from me during the past 12 months. Without each and every single one of you, I would not be about to head on this once in a lifetime opportunity. I don't think I'll ever be able to put into words just how much your trust means to me. You all trusted me to create something beautiful for your special occasion - despite my lack of experience! Thank you. I hope I lived up to your expectations.

Due to my other full time work commitments, I was not able to take on as many orders as I would have liked. Each and every order has been a memorable one though, and I am so proud of what I achieved during my first year.

This weekend we celebrated the year with a casual get together at the Ed Castle Hotel in Adelaide. It was the most wonderful afternoon full of great friends, family and delicious cupcakes!

Here's a bit of a snap shot of the day.

A huge thank you to everyone who helped out on the day or stopped by for a cupcake.

Thank you to my parents who put up with me hogging the kitchen, and my bad moods when I'm stressed over a cake.
Thank you to my friends who have stood by me despite me always being too busy to see them.
Thank you to every single person who has ordered a cake, or at least enquired or asked for a quote.
Thank you to every single person who has liked the Sugar Push Facebook, or followed me on Instagram.
Thank you to you, whoever you are that is reading this.

Without all of you, I wouldn't be able to achieve the things I have, or the things I will in the future. Your support, whether big or small, has all impacted on me greatly.

Finally, this shin-dig was not just to celebrate 12 months of Sugar Push. It was also to say goodbye to me! It was so wonderful to see so many people before I leave Australia. It was honestly the best afternoon and I am feeling just so chuffed to have so much support behind me. Even if you just came for the free cake - hehe!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Now I'll stop being all mushy and get back to packing. Less than two weeks until I'm out of here! Yikes!

13 March 2014

The Fear.

Yes, I just stole a title from a Lily Allen song. Nope, I don't care.

I have been planning to attend Bonnie Gordon College for well over a year now. I have saved every spare dollar, worked 5 days a week in my day job, on top of nearly 7 days a week on cakes most of the time, and said goodbye to my social life so that this could be achieved. I wanted it more than anything. I've been looking forward to this for so long, I was feeling nothing but excitement.

Then someone said to me, "You're going on your own? Wow... that's brave!'.

Brave? Really? This thought never occurred to me. I brushed it aside.

Then someone said to me, "I wouldn't be able to do what you're doing. It's way too scary.'

Scary? What? I just didn't understand.

Maybe it's a generational thing. If I looked up people I went to high school with I'm sure I'd find a number of them are now living overseas. Over twelve months ago my best friend packed a suitcase and moved 8000 miles away for his career. For me, this seems normal.

However, now that these thoughts have been put in my head I've been dwelling on it. I'm not sure if scared is the right word to describe how I'm feeling. There's definitely something there, maybe a feeling somewhere between unsure and concerned.

I'm not letting this unknown feeling ruin my excitement, but there is still the fact that I'll be alone. For four months. In a new country. Alone. So very alone.

That's a lot of flying!


There's one thing I must remember though. My mum once said something to me about trying new things if you want new results. I can't remember her exact words but I think Thomas Jefferson worded it quite well when he said If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done.”. At least, I think it was Thomas Jefferson. I'm really bad at remembering who says things. Heck, it could be a line from The Simpsons for all I know!

Either way, no matter who said it, I like to live with this thought in mind. So far it has treated me very well, and has been entirely accurate. Trying new things, and living outside your comfort zone is the only way to change and grow as a person. 

No matter how unsure I am, this trip will be worth it. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity that I have worked so hard for and I will not allow the uncertainty to ruin it for me.

So next time time someone says to me 'You're so brave!' or 'How scary!', instead of ignoring it I will say 'Yes! You're right! I am brave, and it is scary - but it will be worth it!' because like any other compliment you receive, it should not be brushed aside.

What do you think? Could you leave your entire life behind for half a year and journey 10,000 km's away on your own?

(Answer: Yes! You could!)

9 March 2014

ASMT: Introducing the team

If you're a regular reader of this blog or you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you would be aware by now that this year I am contributing to Australia's Sweetest Morning Tea (ASMT). Yippee!

ASMT is brought to us by four big forces being The Cupcake Lady, Blissfully Sweet, Darling Details and Pretty & Print. 2013 was the first year, and the results were fantastic. If you missed ASMT 2013, the magazine is still available for view online here. Definitely take a look if you're interested in cakes, desserts, parties or just pretty pictures. I look at my hard copy of the magazine all the time - it's just so beautiful!

So what is ASMT? It is an E-vent that showcases the talents of Australia, which will be taking place this year on Thursday 22nd of May. The entire E-vent will be published online via Australia's Sweetest Morning Tea Blog and Facebook page, as well as on each contributors page. Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, dessert tables - all sorts of beautiful events photographed and published online and in a magazine, raising awareness and funds for cancer research.

This is a topic that is very close to my heart after watching my mothers battle with cancer (a battle which she was lucky enough to win, thankfully), so I am thrilled to be involved this year.

I assembled an amazing team to work with me on this project and I am so happy to introduce them to you. Due to me leaving so soon, we didn't have a lot of time to pull together our ideas and yet these two wonderful women have worked so hard to make this happen. Our photo shoot took place yesterday and I am so proud of what we have created as a team within such a small time frame.

In fact, I got a little too excited...


But back to the serious stuff!

Firstly, the always lovely and exceptionally talented Kate from Vanilla Rose Cakery. I don't think I've ever met anyone as kind and selfless as this lovely lady, plus her caking skills are incredible. We met via the online cake scene on Facebook, and then later in person in a cake class when I discovered that she is just about the funniest person ever. She is so generous with her knowledge and always willing to lend a hand. Take a look at her Facebook page for some beautiful cakes! Give her a 'like' - she deserves it!

Kate from Vanilla Rose Cakery and Natalia Chippillo Photographer

Secondly, probably the coolest person I have ever met: Natalia from Natalia Chippillo Photography. Not only is she a wonderful photographer, Natalia even flew in from Melbourne just for our photo shoot. That's what I call dedication! She is also the person who inspired my monthly videos. She's just an all round creative genius. While Kate and I flailed around with our never ending ideas for cakes and desserts, Natalia stepped up and became our creative director, stylist, and photographer all in one! Phew! Natalia's photography work can be seen on her Facebook page - make sure you give her a 'like' too, especially if styled shoots and fashion are of interest to you.

So, our photo shoot has wrapped up and now Natalia is hard at work editing away preparing for our submission. I can't tell you much more at this stage as everything is under wraps until the 22nd of May but make sure you at the very least like one of our Facebook pages, Sugar Push, Vanilla Rose Cakery or Natalia Chippillo Photography - and the ASMT Facebook page as well so that you can see all the beautiful creations on the day!

This is an E-vent not to be missed!

5 March 2014

Pity parties are the worst parties

The other morning I was feeling pretty down in the dumps. It all started because for Christmas, I bought myself (and my guy) a fitbit zip.

If you don’t know what a fitbit is, it’s basically a fancy pedometer that connects to an app so you can make it a social thing and keep a leader board with your friends. I thought it was a great idea at the time, knowing how much he liked keeping fit and how it could be something we could do together, a little friendly competition.

This is what the little Fitbit Zip looks like - it's actually teeny tiny!

Alas, now we have 3 people in our leader boards and on this particular morning I was about 10,000+ steps behind both of them. BOTH of them. I was downright miserable about it. I threw a pretty enormous pity party. It was the pity party to end all pity parties. The type where I wanted to throw the damn device in the trash and never look at it again for making me feel so horrible.

So what did I do next? I walked. I offered to go drop flyers for work and walked and walked. I did some photocopying at work, and instead of waiting by the photocopier for everything to finish and then heading back to put the copies away… I took each pile individually, and walked and walked and walked. Then after work, I went to swing dancing class. 

By the end of the day I had kicked butt. Not just kicked butt, but kicked ALL the butts! I’d walked so much that not only had I caught up to the others, I’d gotten in front of them! Yippee!

(My fitbit results so far today - still kicking butt!)

Now, don’t freak out and think I’m turning this into a fitness blog. I am not a fitness freak in the slightest. I love being lazy. The reason I’m sharing this story, is because it applies to basically every single activity in life.

If I were to think about cakes, I could throw some pretty big pity parties because other cake decorators are better than me. Maybe their edges are sharper. Maybe they have amazing piping skills that I don’t have. Maybe they can make beautiful sugar flowers that I’m yet to find the patience for. Maybe they have 10 years experience where I only have two. Definitely time for some sulking.  

Or alternatively, I could work hard and persevere until I reach my goals!

Throughout our lives we’re always going to be in situations where we’re not the best. Not the fastest. Not the fittest. Not the most talented. Not the most creative. Not the most successful. However, that should not stop us from fighting to be the very best that we can. Maybe the accomplishment is simple like walking 12,000 steps and catching up to your friends, or maybe the accomplishment is huge like getting the hang of sugar blowing (this is on my to do list). It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you keep at it!

Although... I think pity parties can be good for your soul too sometimes. So maybe we’re all allowed to throw a small pity party every now and then, as long as we then pick ourselves up off the floor and walk until our legs can barely move, or work until our heads can barely keep off the table, or read until our eyes can barely focus. 

What do you think? Are you a pity party type of person or a kick ALL the butts type of person?

I think I live somewhere in the middle.

1 March 2014

Montage: February 2014

Holy guacamole!

February is over. I think I'll probably continue to say this at the end of every month, but where is the time going?!

I knew this year would go quickly, but the added fact that I've been unbelievably busy has not been helping the situation. Christmas feels like it was just yesterday, but now it's only one month to go before my adventure of a life time! Eeek!

The decision was made this month to not take on any more cake orders. Aside from the obvious 'getting ready to leave the country for half a year' things that are keeping me occupied, I've also been busy organising a collaborative photoshoot with the lovely Kate from Vanilla Rose Cakery and the always creative Natalia from Natalia Chippillo Photographer for the upcoming Australia's Sweetest Morning Tea (ASMT).

The ASMT e-vent isn't actually until May, however since I am jetting off on the 30th of March we have had to throw together our ideas as quickly as possible. I am so thankful to be working with the most wonderful team who are not only incredibly talented in their own rights, but are being so helpful and working great as a team - and totally last minute as well!

I honestly cannot wait to share what we create with everyone in May, and see all of the other collaborations too. It really will be an e-vent not to be missed! If you have never heard of ASMT before, you must check out the website and look at last years magazine. It is so beautiful.

Aside from cake related things, I have been trying to squeeze in as much time as possible with family and friends - especially my two beautiful nieces. I am going to miss them so much when I'm away!

Enough of my ramblings, here's my February video recap...

This month flew by, and parts I couldn't film due to being sworn to secrecy for ASMT (the first rule of ASMT club is...), and other parts simply because I was too busy working the whole time!

Oh, and incidentally how amazing are those pineapple glasses from Ikea?! I think I want them!

Goodbye February! You were full of babies, cupcakes, dogs, and exercise!

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