Let’s Be Pen Pals

Hello Lovelies,

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to spend a few minutes with me. I am so happy you are here. It has certainly been a long time.  My last blog post was in December 2018 and it feels like an age has passed since then.  I cannot tell you how excited I am to be back.  As with all of life, the journey has been long and winding with many twists and turns.  

A lot has changed in our lives and family over the past two years and I want to give you a good catch up while also sharing my vision for Mama Bear’s Kitchen in this new season.  I promise you this post won’t be long and tedious, but you might want to make a hot pot of tea and get comfy.  Sit back and enjoy looking at some of my favourite cupcakes while I share my heart with you.

As some of you may know, for almost twenty years we have been pastoring a local church and homeschooling our large brood of eight children (plus one heavenly son). You may correctly suspect that such an intense lifestyle doesn’t leave a lot of time for indulgences like blogging. Two and a half years ago I decided to put this creative outlet aside to focus on my family. While still enjoying making a few cakes, cupcakes and styling parties here and there, I ceased my weekly blog posts. In 2019 the tide turned somewhat and two major shifts took place in our lives. The church closed down and our homeschooling journey came to an end. While these were difficult decisions to make, I look back now at the hand of God in it all and see His tender care in looking after one very weary Mama bear (Can I hear an Amen!?)

While it has taken many months of adjustment and trying to figure out our new normal, I now I find myself in the joyous and privileged position of experiencing life as a full time school mum. Woo Hoo! We have four children in school, two adult children still living with us and the best news by far is that our oldest son, his wife and two grandchildren also live in a cottage on our property. The only one who has flown the coop is our eldest daughter in Sydney. I realise all this still sounds crazy busy, but at least I get those oh so glorious hours during the day where I can be alone and breathe. So here I am, after 26 years of motherhood so far, with another decade to go, for the first time knowing what it is to put my wee kiddies on the bus and come home to an (albeit crazy messy), empty house.  Forgive me while I pick myself up off the floor! Oh what bliss! 

I can hear the birds singing outside, watch the wind rustle in the trees and sit for more than thirty seconds without being interrupted. Somehow though, without even realising what has happened, I look up now and see someone I hardly recognise. I have emerged as a 51 year old menopausal mother of mostly teenage girls (!) and grown up children,  with no nappy or pram in sight. Instead of books and art supplies we are now dealing with boyfriends and attitude.  Learner drivers and hot flushes are the new normal. Vegan, Keto, no sugar and vegetarian diets battle it out over the family meal table and long gone are the days when tiny faces light up over mama bear’s not so legendary bangers and mash for dinner.

Oh my.  How the times have changed. It takes courage to face these new challenges. Courage and a whole lot of faith. Wisdom to know when to lean in, when to step back, when to loosen the grip and most poignantly, how to accept the inevitable invisibility with grace and maturity.

Through it all, I am moving forward with anticipation of wonderful things to come. New freedoms, reignited dreams, privacy (well, I’m still working on that one. Trying to have a bath last night I was literally interrupted five times) and grand creative ventures.            

The Lord has shown me that I am now entering a season of renewal. Renewal of my health, of time, energy, healing, and renewal of my heart and mind. I am now able to stop running, slow down and change pace.  Most excitedly, there will also be renewal of my dreams….and I have oh so many dreams.  

We are now the proud owners of an adorable 1960’s vintage Bondwood caravan, affectionately called Dorothy. She is currently getting refurbished and when she’s done she will be incredible. I am so in love! My heart is to combine my love of cakes, pretty vintage treasures, photography and styling and do the most fabulous photo shoots, pop up appearances and create the cutest vintage tea parties, baby showers and small celebrations with her. 

Rumbling through my brain are other long term visions and dreams, including writing a book on themed vintage dessert tables with delicious cupcake recipes and party styling inspiration. I have my sight set on collaborative photo shoots with some fabulous hippy brands I love and even one day selling my boutique cupcakes from a local creative studio. Oh glory be!

Anyway, best to keep my head out of the clouds and feet on the ground for now.

The long and the short of it is that I’m back. Back here in blog land with much to share  about life, cake and creative passions.  I’m enjoying my time in the kitchen again and experimenting with delicious cupcake flavour combinations  (Pina Colada cupcake anyone!?) I will share some beautiful cupcake and cake photos along with recipes, stories of my journey and glorious news about magazine features, collaborations, photo shoots and cute vintage parties to inspire you.  Additionally, I aim to recreate some of my favourite baker’s recipes to share the cake love.  As before, I will post weekly on Saturday mornings. Keep an eye out on Instagram (@mamabears_kitchen), my preferred social media hangout for updates. 

Finally, a few words about these pink vintage sweeties. Don’t you just love the colours? And aren’t the roses a match made in heaven?! These are femininity in cupcake form. Dulche de leche cupcakes with caramel Swiss meringue buttercream decorated with buttercream roses and dried flowers. Keep an eye out for the recipe. Incidentally, who else is loving the dried flower trend at the moment? I can’t get enough of it and I hope it lasts a good long while yet. 

This week I had fun in the kitchen perfecting and photographing my Pina Colada cupcakes which I’ll share with you soon.  Next week however, I’ve got the best ever lemon and blueberry muffin recipe which is being zealously guarded by the naughtiest puppet around. 

Thanks so much for hanging out with me today. I really appreciate every single person who reads my humble posts. If you have made it this far, I’d love to hear your thoughts and any suggestions for cupcake flavours you’d like me to try, so please leave a comment below. 

Take care and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Lots of love,

Anna xx



  • Kathryn Farrell

    Hi Anna,
    What a beautifully written post. THANK YOU for opening up your heart and bringing beauty to the world. I’m so excited for you as you courageously go forwards dreaming and creating! You are always inspiring Xxxx
    PS any Paleo cupcakes? ?

    • A
      Anna Hogbin

      Thank you my darling friend. Really appreciate your encouragement. Oh, and sorry, no, Paleo cupcakes just aint gonna happen!HA ha! xxx

  • Suzanne Holland

    I was so excited to read of your return to the blog, I will definitely have it as my number one place to visit each week. Thank you so much for sharing with us and I look forward to seeing what wonderful creations you come up with.
    Regards Suzanne x

    • A
      Anna Hogbin

      Thanks so much for your kind comments and encouragement Suzanne. I am so happy you like my blog. xx

  • Laura Yelseth

    Congratulations Anna for writing such a beautiful first blog! Absolutely enjoyed every minute of reading it! You are such a gifted and talented writer as well as such an incredibly creative and skilled cake decorator and party stager. Love your transparency and humour! Not to mention .. inspirational ?
    Keep going!! Looking forward to your next blog! Go you!! ♥️♥️

    • A
      Anna Hogbin

      Thank you my friend. I really treasure your kind words and encouragement, and I’m stoked you loved my blog post! xx

  • Such an exciting new season for you Anna! You are so gifted and talented!!! Xo

    • Great to see you blogging again Anna.I loved reading about your dreams and goals and look forward to that muffin recipe. Much love xxx

      • A
        Anna Hogbin

        Thank you Tracey. I’m so happy you enjoyed reading my blog. xxx

    • A
      Anna Hogbin

      Thank you so much Haley. I’m so happy to be creating again. Lots of love xx

  • Miranda Kronenberg

    It is so lovely to read your blog and I am excited about what is to come next. I would love to see a sticky date and butterscotch cupcake.

    • A
      Anna Hogbin

      Thank you for your kind comment Miranda. I am literally right now about to bake some sticky date cupcakes with butterscotch sauce!! So let’s consider that a sign and I’ll do a lovely wintery sticky date recipe very soon!xx

  • Lisa Thomas

    Oh Anna, you are an amazing inspiration loved reading your blog! X

    • A
      Anna Hogbin

      Thank you so much for your kind words Lisa. I’m so happy you enjoyed reading my blog. xx

  • Suzy Surman

    Loved, loved, loved it Anna, so nice to hear your exciting new dreams and plans, can’t wait to see them unfold, and they will.
    Looking forward to more, GLAD YOUR BACK ?

    • A
      Anna Hogbin

      Thanks Suzy!! So happy you read my post and could dream with me for a few minutes!Thanks for your encouragement. Lots of love xx

  • So good to read an update Anna. You have many interesting plans and dreams, your beautiful creative life journey continues.

    • A
      Anna Hogbin

      Thanks Karen. Yes, I am very inspired about walking into a new season. xx

  • Kathie Tanttari

    anything you make is delicious Anna (and gorgeous to boot!)

    • A
      Anna Hogbin

      Thanks so much Kathie. Back at you oh you amazing legendary cook! xx

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