Hello Lovelies, how has your week been? Another topsy turvy one with Covid wreaking havoc once again. We had our daughter’s 18th planned for today, but needed to cancel as most of her friends were coming from Sydney. As it turns out, we are enjoying glorious rain this weekend anyway, so in a word phew! Not the best weekend for a party as it turns out.
I hope you have all had a great week. Is anyone else looooving the cooler change in the weather? FINALLY!! Let’s hope it settles in and gives me a good reason to get out some winter clothes. Walking around in the cool, crisp air really makes me feel alive. My energy is always revitalised with the absence of sweating (ugh) and the life sucking lethargy of summer. Yep, I’m a winter girl through and through. But that’s just me. I realise most of you humans prefer stinking rotten heat. (I’ve got my eyezzz on you Suzy!! )
Speaking of feeling alive, at the beginning of the year I paid a little visit to my lovely doctor to talk about the big M and she gave me some great advice. When dealing with a dramatic life change like menopause, it’s imperative to pave a pathway for yourself through it. You must incorporate self care into your life. Especially as mothers, I think it is easy for us to continue to put everyone else’s needs first and risk running ourselves into the ground, eventually having nothing healthy to offer our loved ones.
My doctor’s words were a wake up call to me. To survive menopause I would need to make some changes. I need to carve out time and be intentional about doing whatever I need to do to fill up my tank. This looks different for everyone, but for me, fueling my creativity and having an outlet for the billion ideas that continually swirl around in my overactive imagination is my number one tank filler. No matter how small the project, or how limited my free time is, I am choosing to walk forward and give myself permission to create. This decision has been quite liberating.
While I have those big dreams like writing a book, selling faaaabulous cupcakes from my divine 1960’s Danish glove counter that is waiting ohh so patiently for the right time, for now I am roping in those starbursts (or more accurately, flinging them heavenward towards Jesus for safe keeping), and looking around to see what is in my hands now.
In this season with so many bodies still in the house, my time and attention is still pretty much taken up with caring for my family, but what I can do, is bake and photograph cupcakes each week and write letters to all my friends here in my happy place. For that, I have all I need at my fingertips. By turning up each week and practicing baking, photography, styling and storytelling, my skills are developing and I begin to flourish in my divine God given design. This is who I am created to be. As I give those interests, ideas, passions and desires room to breathe, I am coming more fully into alignment with my unique purpose and destiny.
I heard a quote the other day, which jumped straight into my heart.
“Dreams are God’s way of showing us His plans”
The things that we are naturally passionate about, that burn deep inside us and make our heart skip a beat are there for a reason. We need to pay attention to what it is that fuels our soul and makes us want to burst. (Unless of course you are one of those unexcitable, steady people who never burst, kinda like the lovely man I am married to. If that’s the case, then sorry, I have no idea how your brains works.)
As we stop and notice the things that make us feel fully alive, we are aligning ourselves with our own individual, personally crafted, God given design. These are clues which often hold the keys to our identity and purpose. As we embrace that uniqueness, instead of pushing it aside or even feeling ashamed of those aspects of our character, we are able to move forward with more confidence into who God created us to be.
I mentioned last week that I was hoping to write a post about our heavenly son Noah. As you can imagine, it was a tough week remembering his birthday and I wasn’t quite up to diving into the open wound. Sometimes distraction and tender self care are the best methods to ride out the pain. However, as baking and photography fill up my creative tank, I made the cutest memorial cupcakes and did a sweet little photo shoot that I will post next week. You may have had a sneak peak of these on my social media. They were just sooo pretty! I can’t wait to show you.
So, thanks again for joining me today. I cannot tell you how loved up I feel with all of your kind comments and virtual head nods in agreement with my last post about the dilemmas of the school run. Phew! It looks like I’m not the only mama out there dealing with shoe and sock trauma. As one dear reader commented…’motherhood sure isn’t boring’. I would like to add to that statement…life isn’t boring. It’s a tremendous gift and we all have a part to play in making it fabulous! So, find out what makes your heart soar, what makes you beautifully unique, embrace it and start walking towards it. You never know where those wings will take you.
See you next week.
Don’t forget to leave a comment, introduce yourself and say hello. I’d love to hear from you.
Lots of love,
Hello Lovelies. How was your week? Mine was full of the usual ups and downs… a few high points, which I will tell you about in a moment, and more than a few episodes that left me shaking my head in disbelief, wondering if this is normal motherhood. Let me explain.
Have you ever had one of those mornings getting kids ready for school when out of the blue all hell breaks loose and suddenly you find yourself in a war zone all before 8:00am? I am relatively new to the whole school routine, but have heard mums talking about the before school stress and always thought ‘oh how hard could it be?!’ OK. well, now I know! This week we had such a hoo haa that I almost had a breakdown before breakfast and it took me all day to recover. After dropping the sweet treasures to school, I headed to the gym, parked out the front, stared into space for fifteen minutes, then drove home, made a pot of tea and rebelliously, ate a corned beef sandwich.
Oh glory. I think that sandwich was the best thing I have eaten in months. Don’t you miss the days when eating a sandwich was normal. No guilt, no carb-oh-phobia (carbs! nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things, make you fat), no judgement, just soft fresh bread with a slab of meat, cheese and relish and not a scrap of salad in sight. Pure 80’s school lunch box bliss. Sigh. Ahh, they were the good old days.
As I sat shell shocked munching on my divine comfort food, I was wondering how mothers survive doing the whole school routine for years and years. Or maybe I am the only mother whose household erupts into manic mayhem with no apparent trigger greater than being unable to find socks, or a child wearing a sibling’s shoes.
Speaking of shoes, the morning after I lost my way eating carbs, we were getting ready for a school sports carnival, when meltdown number 65 exploded over unsuitable footwear. Being the attentive mother I am, I didn’t even realise they had a carnival on till that morning. All of a sudden she who shall not be named decided that there was literally no way she could run in her (perfectly acceptable) sport shoes. WELL! After tears and fruitless negotiations, we finally convinced you know who that it was all going to be ok and managed to get four young females into the car.
Driving into town I started to relax, feeling a bit pleased with myself for the shoe victory and was looking forward to going to the gym (actually no, that’s an exaggeration, I never look forward to it… I was really having an internal dialogue that went something like this “just go, don’t think about it, just get out of the car and go..you can do it, then you can reward yourself with a coffee.”).
We were almost at the school, and lining up behind the millionth car in the usual morning traffic jam that now dictates the crawl into our town, when someone noticed that she who shall not be named was barefoot!! How did I miss this!? WHERE ARE YOUR SHOES!? I whisper quietly with my usual impeccable self control, before realising that you know who didn’t bring them! You’ve got to be kidding me. So, I drop the other three at school, turn the car around, say farewell to the gym again and drive back home with little miss singing sweetly in the back seat.
Seriously mamas, is this normal?! Or is there some divine plot to send all mamas crazy in the head with the slow drip, drip, drip of tiny incident after medium meltdown after colossal catastrophe, all in the same week and usually over the big issues in life, like shoes, lunch box options, missing socks and my personal favourite, trying to catch the bus on time.
Ahhhh…ANYWAY! Ha! Best to keep it all in perspective hey!?
Despite my uptake of carbs, low take on the gym and intake of too much kiddie stress, my week wasn’t a total disaster. The best news of all is that we finally brought our vintage caravan Dorothy home from getting her final reno touches done. Oh my beating heart! (Boom! BOOM!) She is a dream! So now the fun part begins where I unpack all the vintage treasures I have set aside for her and play doll house. Keep an eye on her very own instagram account (@mydarling_dorothy) for styling updates and all the creative goss. The first plan is to get baking and set up a little photo shoot (yippee!)
And now a word about these little vintage sweeties. I was given the colour scheme by my client and the more pretty ruffles I piped the more they reminded me of Marie Antoinette and her opulent court. Frills, ruffles and feathers adorn the cupcakes with complementary dried flowers, macarons and pearls. What’s not to love? Oui!
So, thanks again for calling in for our weekly catch up. I hope you have enjoyed my pretty cupcakes and at the very least, can go away feeling like a better mum than me because I know you would never have such unruliness in your household.
Next week I hope to share a heartfelt post (with more pretty cupcakes ) as we remember what would have been our dear heavenly son Noah’s 19th birthday on Monday. I look forward to seeing you here.
As always, I’d really love to hear from you, so say hello and leave a comment below.
Until next week,
Love Anna xx
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,
Good Morning friends. It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow and I have the perfect cupcakes to spoil your lovely Mum with. A light vanilla cupcake made with lavender infused milk and French earl Grey tea. Just pour your Mum a nice hot cup of tea and serve her one of these sweeties and she will love you forever.
Oh that’s right, she already does.
Good morning Lovelies,
How has your week been? We were blessed to have big sister home this week, which brings much delight to our household. The younger girls all squibble to sit next to her at meals, go places in her car and get as much attention as they can. She has true celebrity status. It’s really nice watching the sisterhood develop as the years go by and true friendship emerges. This encourages me through the years of sister sass!
Hello dear ones and thank you for joining me here in my happy place for my final blog post of 2017. It’s been such a great year and I want to thank all of you for popping in to visit my kitchen, my family, my home and my heart. I am honoured to have you come and sit with me a while and share in my fanciful creations.
Hello Lovelies. How’s your week been? I’ve had a few broken nights sleep this week. A few more than normal really. Our five year old still prefers Mum and Dad’s bed to her own and tends to be a bit of a wriggly worm. I secretly love snuggling up to my little darling, but sometimes I do wake up feeling more like a grizzly bear than a loving Mama bear.
Hello there dear friends. I have been sitting on this recipe for a while, as real life cranks up a notch and time for my little hobby baking seems to vaporise in front of me. Somehow I managed to whip up these treats and photograph them on my favourite new / old rustic cake tin. They were delicious and give a bit of a WOW with the cute mini caramel apples on top.