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Whilst it’s no big secret, I don’t think it’s common knowledge either, that over the last year or so I’ve been having a few mental health problems and that life, at times, has been just a little too much to cope with. As I’ve struggled to find my way through, one idea kept coming back to me which was to write a book. Not a book about my mental health issues or recovery (there are enough of those out there already) but one which would be practical, reminiscent, humorous and very much me!

So, for the past few weeks, I’ve been busily scribbling away trying to write down my Queenie’s Cupcakery recipes in order to share them with you. I’ve found writing the recipe book very cathartic. It’s made me laugh and made me cry, it’s made me worry and be happy, but mostly it has made me realise I still have a value and a purpose. And the idea, the support and the ability to achieve this has all come from some rather amazing friends.

Queenies bought me so many things over its 10-year life (mainly grey hair and worry lines), but one of the best things was that 7 years ago I had the pleasure of making cakes for a wonderful local artist. Hazel McNab was launching her ‘366 Heart’ series, where she painted a heart a day for a year, (which actually turned into a heart a day for 5 years). And, I don’t mind telling you, she is incredible. An extremely talented artist and a true friend. I’m so lucky to have her in my life and to have her work her magic by illustrating my little book and making the cakes look even more delicious than they do in real life.

Amongst the many other friends that Queenies brought me is Debra Harris, whose boutique B&B in North Wales featured alongside Queenies in a luxury magazine article over 5 years ago (although we didn’t know it or each other until this year). She has encouraged me and supported me in putting this all together and made me feel I am still worth something.

I cannot thank them both enough xx

Throughout the years, the one consistent thing about Queenies was that it never felt like it just my business. It always felt like it belonged to everyone who enjoyed coming there; from the fabulous staff who helped me, to all the smiling faces who came through the door. I was just the ringmaster, honoured to bake wedding cakes, christening cakes, birthday cakes and to watch families grow. It was a true blessing to do a job where you are part of peoples’ good days and memories, whether that be just a simple day out, a long overdue catch-up, or a life-changing event never to be forgotten. I always felt honoured to be part of that with you.

So, now it’s my turn to hand it all back – to give you the knowledge to share with the people you love and care for.

Enjoy baking your Queenies cakes and don’t forget to show me what you’ve created


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