HUGE changes for Sugar Push

Since returning from my whirlwind overseas adventure, things have been quiet around here. Very quiet. Of course behind the scenes I’ve been running around like a chook with its head cut off! It has been nearly 2 months since I landed back in Australia and I have barely stopped.

Airports are my second home. Flights are the only time I get a break!

Priority #1 has been looking for the best opportunity for progressing my career. I originally began searching for something local – patisseries, cake stores, chocolate stores. Alas, there aren’t a huge amount of opportunities available in little old Adelaide. I began contemplating the option of attempting to operate Sugar Push full time, but decided it wasn’t financially viable at this point in time. This brought me to my final conclusion: when all else fails, take a risk on your dream job.

I have been following & admiring SWEETNESS The Patisserie for the majority of this year, and regarded it as a workplace I would love to be part of in the future once I had more experience with confectionery. An introduction on LinkedIn later, I was discussing with founder Gena Karpf the possibility of making my dream a reality far sooner than expected. A Skype meeting & 3 day work trial (in Sydney) later, it’s official: I have been offered and accepted a full time Chef position with SWEETNESS The Patisserie.

So what does this mean for myself & Sugar Push?

1. I am moving interstate to Sydney this weekend.
2. Sugar Push will no longer be operated as a business. No products will be sold.
3. Sugar Push will however, continue in the form of this blog. I am still not 100% sure on what exact direction this blog will take, however it will be mostly cake related. Cake decorating will still be my hobby and I plan to keep it up and share my creations with you all via this platform. The blog will not relate to my work at SWEETNESS, or any confectionery that the Patisserie produces.

I am so very excited to continue sharing with you all where my career, and this blog, is heading!


Northern California Seaside Adventures

Did you know that I’m back in California?
If you didn’t… well, I am! The day after I finished up at Bonnie Gordon College I hopped on a plane and flew straight back to Northern California.  I’ve been soaking up the blue skies and warm weather, and just unwinding after a very full on and stressful four months of study. 
The good thing about being back here is the time to relax. The bad thing? Minimal internet access again! It’s really not good for maintaining regular blog posts – gosh darn it!
I’ve been here for 2 weeks now, and while I admit I’ve spent a lot of it reading books and obsessively playing Roller Coaster Tycoon, I have been on a few small adventures.
A week and a half ago we spent a weekend doing ‘beachy’ things. I’m definitely not your typical ‘Aussie Beach Bum’, but I must admit I have been missing the beach during my time away from home. Once upon a time back in my Tumblr blogging days, I’d seen a post about a place called “Glass Beach” where instead of sand, the beach was covered in smooth glass pebbles. I wanted to see it desperately! 
I have someone who follows me around and takes photos when I’m not looking – true story!
We packed some snacks and headed North in an old pick up truck, with me bouncing excitedly in my seat. Four hours later the excitement had lessened slightly… I didn’t realise it was such a long drive!
The drive itself was beautiful though, with so many trees giving us a much needed break from the heat of the sun. 
Eventually we made it and… well, I guess I was a little disappointed. It was nice, and there was some glass… but I think my imagination had built it up to be something it really wasn’t. Oh well – we still had loads of fun climbing rocks!
The glass pebbles at Glass Beach – much smaller than expected!
On Sunday to continue with our ‘beach vibes’, we took a much shorter drive to Half Moon Bay. What a cute little tourist town!
On the way back we stopped to take in the sights, and get some fish & chips for lunch! As always, the wind around these parts makes it a bit chilly but thankfully the California sun was shining down on us kindly! 
Fish & Chips at Half Moon Bay
My beach cravings haven’t quite been solved, but this will get me by until I get home in October and can go walking on the beach every day if I want to! Although, I’ll probably not want to the second that I have the ability to. You know how it is… you always want what you can’t have! 

Toronto Tourist Travels – A recap!

I’ve been out of Toronto for over a fortnight now. Do I miss it? Absolutely.  
It’s definitely difficult to leave a place when you’ve just grown accustomed to it. The strange unpredictable weather. The amazing public transport. The college. The friends. 
I think it is definitely a city that will hold a place in my heart. I don’t think I’d be able to live there permanently (I never even experienced winter!), but what I did experience was incredible.
During the last few weeks of my Diploma Programme at Bonnie Gordon College, I realised that I’d been so busy studying that I’d hardly seen the usual “tourist spots” of the city. I quickly purchased a “CityPASS” and off I went, adventuring around the city on buses, subways and street cars to reach each destination. 
The first stop on my list was the zoo. I ventured to the Toronto Zoo on a Monday public holiday and spent most of the day there. It was definitely my favourite of all the sights, and I couldn’t wait to see a Polar Bear! Unfortunately, neither could anyone else so I wasn’t able to get any photos. 
Unsurprisingly, the flamingos were one of my favourites. There were just so many of them! 

Flamingos at the Toronto Zoo
I had a lot of fun that day, even though it took me two buses, the subway & almost 2 hours to travel each way!
The following weekend I came down rather ill, but I pushed through to visit the CN Tower and Casa Loma!

The base of the CN Tower, Toronto, Canada

The CN Tower was very busy, despite my getting there rather early in the morning! I think this must have been a ‘slow’ time however, since the trip to the top was a rather quick process. The amount of security before going to the top was slightly alarming, although I suppose when I thought about it, I probably felt safer having it there. I guess this ‘small town gal’ isn’t used to such heavy security as what they have in North America. 
CN Tower, Toronto, Canada

The trip back down to the bottom of the tower was surprisingly the part that took the longest! It was an attraction that I rather enjoyed, but not one you can spend a lot of time at.

Casa Loma on the other hand – you could spend hours there! I wish I hadn’t been so ill so that I could have spent more time exploring through this old castle, and then through the beautiful gardens.

At Casa Loma, Toronto, Canada

My favourite part was definitely the stunning grounds, which I wish I’d had more time to explore. Coming in a close second however, was the underground tunnel. Dark, creepy, and so full of history!

Underground Tunnel at Casa Loma, Toronto, Canada

With only 2 locations left on my “CityPASS”, my next point of interest was the Royal Ontario Museum, or ‘ROM’ as it’s called by the locals. I rushed down there after college and spent a couple of hours in the museum before it closed for the evening.

This is another tourist attraction that I wish I’d had more time to spend at. I admit I was surprised by the high entry fee, having been used to the museum back home in Adelaide being free, but when I discovered the size of the museum it made a bit more sense.

At the Royal Ontario Museum

There was actually so many exhibits, with so much to learn, that I could really only skim the surface of it all. If I’d had the time, I would have loved to return and spend a whole day there.

My favourite part though? Definitely the dinosaurs!

Rawr! T-Rex at the Royal Ontario Museum

The last tourist attraction on my “CityPASS” was the Ontario Science Centre. I’m sure it is probably a great place to see but I felt like science centres are the sort of thing you need to do with friends. Interacting with displays alone? Probably not so much fun…

I gave it a miss and called it a day for my Toronto tourist adventures!

Montage: June 2014

It’s a week late, but my latest video montage is up on YouTube!

This month found me settling into a bit of a ‘rut’ as I get used to living in this strange new environment (get used to? Psh, I’ll never be used to this crazy weather!), and being wrapped up in my studies and swing dancing classes.

With mid terms coming up in a couple of weeks and this term being more about baking and specialty skills rather than cake decorating (my strength), I am throwing myself into an intense study regime.

Wish me luck! This Diploma Programme seems like it will only get more and more intense until the end!

Just feelin’ a little homesick

I have been in Toronto for 2 months now, away from home for 3, and I am not ashamed to say I’m a little homesick.

While I am having a blast here, there are times when you feel awfully alone in a big city by yourself. Sometimes it’s when people don’t understand me because of my accent. Sometimes it’s because I’m the only person alone at an event. Sometimes it’s because I see photos of my beautiful nieces who are growing up so far away from me!

Can you hear my heart breaking?

Okay – enough of all that feeling sorry for myself. After two months, here’s a run down of what I’m missing the most about home and what I’m liking the most about this fine city of Toronto!

Things I am missing about Australia…

Expensive but soooooo worth it!

  • Vegemite easily accessible and at a normal price – $8.50 for a tiny jar?! C’mon! 
  • Chocolate frogs – No Canadians, they’re not just some magical thing from Harry Potter. 
  • Crispy M&M’s – seriously, what is up with that?! 
  • Beaches – why, oh why did I always take them for granted?
  • Cheddar cheese that isn’t bright orange – enough said.
  • Dry heat & not so cold cold- humidity is forever the enemy. 
  • All product labels being in english – French, why must you confuse me so? No, I didn’t want low fat cheese. No, I didn’t want gluten free pasta. I wish you would make your labels clearer!
Things I am liking about Toronto…
  • Not being considered ridiculously fair skinned – hello normality! 
  • Public transport – oh, the TTC is far from perfect but it’s a sure lot better than Adelaide Metro.
  • The Lindy Hop scene – all the swing dancing, all the time!
  • The  beautiful old buildings and cute houses – they’re just plain adorable. 
  • Self serve ticket machines at the cinemas – because when you go to a movie alone there’s a very high chance you do not wish to speak to anyone.
  • Anonymity – walking down a main road with the back of your pants completely undone and your underwear on display for all to see becomes slightly less embarrassing when nobody knows who you are. Slightly…
  • Peameal Bacon Sandwiches – the holy grail of bacon sandwiches!
Peameal Bacon Sandwich from St Lawrence Market
Of course, I have left out of this list the people I’m missing because clearly, my family, friends and that fluffy fur baby of mine are obvious. Cue more heartbreak.

This trip is halfway over – only 2 months left of the BGC Diploma Programme, and 3 months until I’ll be back knocking on Australia’s door begging them to let me back in. This time is flying by!

Look out Australia, I’ll be back before you know it!