life in chicago

Where have I been?

It all started in January. I signed up for a 12 week session with my personal trainer. He had a plan to guide his clients through a 12 week program to collectively lose weight. Our goal was 100lbs between the 14 of us. Or was it 8. I can’t remember. Either way, I was excited.


I have been putting on weight for a year or two now, it happened slowly, and wasn’t exactly ruining my health- or anything like that. But it sure was playing on my mind. Blame whatever you want, societies expectations for looks blah blah- I don’t really care to be honest. I wasn’t happy with my body shape; so this was my chance to change it.

Somehow, in the midst of this, I managed to nab a place on the Chicago marathon- and training commenced in February beginning with a basic 5k. I have done a marathon before, the Edinburgh Marathon in 2013, took me 4 hours and 12 ish minutes (approx). My goal this time is to be under 4 hours. Achievable.


With this, my new program and my new job. Oh yes, I also got a job in the coffee shop in my building. I had very little time for baking. I was still making short videos for Tik Tok- because it doesn’t involve as much editing or setting up of cameras etc and I will be releasing a lovely video compilation of those soon. Also because I seem to have just under 100k followers on there, much more than Youtube (by around… 98k) so I figured this would be my better option to see if I can become the glorified influencer. (update: no dice as yet, though they sent me a cool winter hat, which came in handy when it was the polar vortex).

I have also found that baking ingredients are just slightly more expensive in the USA. Which is nice. I could get a COSTCO membership and get stuff from there, but I don’t have a car to get to the nearest one, and also money for a membership.

What I am trying to say is that, this year, 2019, my priorities changed slightly. Baking and youtube went to the side, and I am focusing on becoming a healthy me for a while. I have not given up on baking (see above with Tik Tok, and also Instagram… gotta do it for the gram) and nor will I, because I love it. For now, it is just my hobby.

My plans to start my own business barely took hold as I found out I would need around $500 to have a good base. That would pay for my business licence, food safety course, insurance and allow me to pay for a shared kitchen for a month to sell from. I can, until then, sell from home- but still need business licence and food safety…. oh and insurance. Im happy to wait until I have savings again and go from there.

Sad to have my dream put on hold straight away, but I would rather go into it with money, than struggle from the start and not actually enjoy anything.

It’s now April (well, May as I didnt publish this till now), I have moved on from the Coffee Shop and now work back in my old haunt- Lush cosmetics. It’s wonderful to be back coated in essential oils and glitter.

So that’s me just now. Lots has happened- and I have filmed it, I just haven’t found the desire to clip it all together for a video. Yet. But there are plans in motion. Ooooh there are plans. Which I hope you will all enjoy when they are released.

Thanks for reading.

Speak soon

Colin x


Time to Learn

Back to Bake-sics!


Starting this week, I am doing more research into what makes a good bake. I am taking apart ingredients and recipes, to see how the essential components work. I know that plenty of people have done this, and there are many courses you can go on that explains them. I am not here to reinvent the wheel, I want to learn for my own self. I will be looking through countless articles, blogs and recipe books in my quest- so please email me if you have any fantastic tips and tricks.

My objective from this, is to be able to create consistent recipes so that, in the future, I might be able to sell them either at a market stall, or as commission pieces, or events- with the ultimate goal to be to open up my own Tea Room. I would love to be able to have a (small, to start with) place where people can come and have afternoon teas, complete with fancy teas and little teapots. I won’t go into too much detail about what would make my idea a bit different, as I am far away from that end point, but I am excited to have a path.

This means that when I get my work visa I have to figure out how Illinois Law works. Already I am confused by their system for home-made cakes to sell, how to become self employed, and how to start a business. But that is okay, the information is out there, somewhere. Please email me if you have any helpful tips and tricks to starting your own business. I will be consulting She Who Bakes fabulously informative book on beginners cake business. (Buy it here) I will have to navigate my own way through the US Health and Safety Laws, as well as the others mentioned above- but this book will help greatly.

There is a lot I still have to learn about how to bake, and this week’s Time to Bake video has me tinkering around with my vegan cake recipe. I knew that what I was doing wasn’t quite right; though the crumb and flavour worked fine, it was just a bit too fragile and each bake was inconsistent. While I work on any recipes of my own, I may end up taking down some of my videos that were once considered successful- in favour of the new evolved recipe.
Here is to the future of my baking life, wish me luck!

See you soon



Video for the cake recipe