Boredom busting tricks for your dog

It’s inevitable no matter how much energy and time we put up in with our dog Pippa, she’s going to get bored at some point. Unfortunately she has a nasty habit of ignoring her chew toys and stealing herself some new ones…

Pip with her 'new' jandal

Image courtesy of Stuff.co.nz

Save your sanity with these tips for keeping your dog busy and get that much needed break.

King Kong

The Kong is a well loved toy by owners and dogs alike.  The chew-able, rubber toy not only bounces off in strange directions when thrown, but is hollow allowing it to be filled with tasty treats.

There are Kong recipes galore from honey and jam through to banana,  carrots and blueberries that can keep your dog and their tongue very happy.

Puzzle toys

You don’t have to spend heaps of money on some fancy fetch machine if you don’t want to. Many puzzle toys have been made to keep Pippa’s brain buzzing from things we found around the house. Here’s a couple to get you started:

  • Placing treats in a muffin tin and covering a the tops with tennis balls creates a great scent game.
  • Wrapping treats inside fabric strips and hiding in a rubber cage ball for a harder version.

For those of you who are handy with a hammer, try making a spin the bottle puzzle game for your dog.

Spin the bottle dog toy

Image Courtesy of Kelley’s Dog Blog

Your dog will have to figure out that to get a treat, they’ve gotta spin the bottle first. And of course, you get the amusement of watching them try…

Ice lick

Keep your dog entertained and hydrated by freezing a bunch of toys and treats in a cake pan filled with water and stock. Freeze solid and tip out onto a shady patch of grass and enjoy the peace.

Doggy Ice Lick

Image Courtesy of springsadvertiser.co.za

Keep in mind, if it’s super hot outside, broth or stock may not be the best idea due to it’s salt content. For those who know her, it comes as no surprise that Pip’s favourite ice lick recipe involves peanut butter.

Switch up his toys

While we all have our favorites, alternating dog toys helps keep them interesting. Even better are new toys! Again this doesn’t mean you have to go or and buy Fido an expensive new toy each week. Try upcycling old shirts into chews ropes and balls or revive an old toy by spraying it with catnip tea.

Give your dog a bone

The age old wonder- the bone. In moderation bones can keep your dog occupied for quite a while, especially if still on the frozen side – doggy popsicle anyone? Ensure that you only give your dog bones which are safe to eat.

Have you got a tried and true method of entertaining your dog? Share your ideas below.

The 4 Fundamental Rules of Clicker Training for Dogs

It has been scientifically proven that when used correctly, a clicker is one of the fastest methods of training animals.  Today we will look at some of the fundamentals you need to understand when training your dog with a clicker.

clickertraining

Image courtesy of clickertraining.com

Oh so delicious, positive reinforcement.

Using a clicker helps to identify the correct behaviour for your dog. By marking the exact action for your pooch and rewarding with a tasty with treat your dog will quickly begin to understand what exactly it is you want from him and associate it with a tasty treat.

Attitude is everything

It is important to recognise when your dog is in a learning state. Simply put this is when his attention is on you, he is relaxed and happy. If your dog is hyperactive or simply disinterested and is not the time for a training session. Try working off the excess energy with a walk or a game before attempting a training session.

Keep it short and sweet

It is important to take a structured approach to training sessions. You need to have a clear goal of what you expect, what behaviour you will reward and what you wish to accomplish. Training sessions should be quite short, around 5-10 minutes to ensure your dogs attention doesn’t wander as this will weaken your commands. Shorter sessions, regularly are more effective than spending a whole day teaching Jess 12 commands.I guarantee she’ll find something more interesting. Try including informal training into games and everyday activities. Try improve your next walk by playing these games.

Pick the right space

It is important to start training new commands in a space that has no distractions. As I mentioned earlier, keeping your dog’s attention is critical to success. Slowly graduate to more distracting environments to help your dog transition to the real world. You want to remain at the center of their attention no matter where you are.

Have you tried clicker training with your dog? How did it go? Let us know what worked you below.

How to Get the Look: Ruffles

Hi everyone, Colleen here for another How to get the Look.

In order to keep at the forefront of the cake decorating industry, I am constantly trying to up skill, learn new things and master techniques.

This week I’ve been working on mastering the ruffle look. Ruffles are huge at the moment, especially on wedding cakes. They look absolutely fantastic when using different shades of icing for that on trend ombre effect. It adds such an airy and delicate element to any cake.

There are many different techniques that can be used to create a ruffled look such as piping buttercream icing. For this tutorial, we will be focusing on a fondant ribbon method as I believe it creates the most delicate effect.

Here’s a how to get the look

Tools of the Trade:

Image courtesy of Rosebakes.com

Image courtesy of Rosebakes.com

  • Fondant
  • Non-stick rolling pin
  • Ribbon cutter
  • Ball Tool
  • Foam Pad
  • Sugar Glue
  • Food only paint brush

Step 1: Rolling Ribbons

Roll out a thin layer of fondant. You don’t want it too thick or the weight won’t hold the ruffle shape. Next take your ribbon cutter and cut a series of strips roughly 1.5 inches.

Rolling and cutting fondant ribbons

Image courtesy of CakeWhiz.com

Step 2: Ruffling Ribbons

Gently lie a ribbon over the foam pad. Using your Ball tool, apply pressure to one edge of the ribbon, rolling it down onto the fondant and pulling away. This will make it thinner and it will also begin to curl at the edges.

Continue ruffing your ribbons until you have more than enough to cover the section of the cake you wish to decorate.

Image courtesy of Rosebakes.com

Image courtesy of Rosebakes.com

Step 3: Applying the Ruffles

Taking your sugar glue and paint brush, apply a layer of sugar glue to the top inch or so of the cake. If you want your ruffles to point down, simply start at the bottom.

Start attaching your ribbon the glue ensuring that the ruffled edge is left free.

Keep working your way around, adding sections as needed. Simply pinch the ruffle together to disguise a join.

Image courtesy of Rosebakes.com

Image courtesy of Rosebakes.com

Step 4: Layer it

Once your first ruffle is firmly attached, overlap the second so that the base of the ruffle is well hidden. That’s really all there is to it. Continue until the entire section is covered in ruffles.

Image Courtesy of bubbleandsweet.blogspot.co.nz

Image Courtesy of bubbleandsweet.blogspot.co.nz

If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment. What techniques would you like to see covered in our weekly How to get the look segment? Make sure to leave your ideas, questions and of course, links to your creations below!

Happy baking, Colleen

The Hottest Wedding Cake Trends for 2017

It’s 2017 and it seems like everyone is stepping away from the traditional. Nowadays wedding cakes can be as complicated or simple as you desire, themed or even substituted. It’s not necessary to stick to traditional and this years hottest trends are anything but. Whether you modern or classical, edgy or whimsical, there’s an amazing design to suit you, your partner and of course your budget.

Ombre Wedding Cakes

It’s only February but already we are seeing the ombre trend everywhere. From hair to nails, clothes and even lipstick, everyone and everything is going ombre. The subtle gradient tone changes lend themselves to so many different settings.

Bright and bold or subdued pastels, if you choose to go ombre you won’t be disappointed.

Naked Wedding Cakes

Don’t worry it’s not as risque as you might think and yes, you did read it right. Naked cakes are simply cakes without the icing. Instead fruit, berries, greenery and flowers are used as decorations giving the cakes a very fresh, earthy, bohemian look. The naked layers allow for the filings to show through giving it a decadent, absolutely enticing look without the need for heavy icing.

This trend is perfect for if you are having an outdoor wedding or even a backyard wedding.

Non-traditional Wedding Cakes

You have more choice and freedom of expression than ever before when it comes to choosing a cake. I’ve seen everything from cupcakes to cake pops to donuts used in place of a traditional wedding cake. This can be a fun way to cut costs while still offering your guests a fun and delicious treat.

Often arrays of goodies are teamed with a small wedding cake for the cutting ceremony and bridal party.

Geode Cakes

There’s no reason why your wedding cake can’t shine shine as brightly as that ring on your finger. Geode cakes are the rising trend for those wanting something really dramatic and show stopping. Carved veins of coloured, edible crystals create a hidden jewel effect. Paired with a simple coloured frosting, these cakes are simply stunning.

 

No matter what cake you and your partner choose, so long as it reflects you as a couple, you are guaranteed to love it. To get more ideas  be sure to check out our Cake Gallery or get in touch to discuss.

Let us know your favourite trend in the comments below. Seen something amazing you think we’ve missed? We love looking at new ideas, so please post a link below.