I’m Jennifer (Jenny, Jen, Jenni, and/or Jenny-From-The-Block) and welcome to Flour & Floral! I’m the girl behind the blog; the baker, writer, photographer, and creator. I’m head-over-heels for homemade, baked with quality ingredients, made-with-love desserts that TASTE as beautiful as they look.
I’m a born and raised Canadian farm girl who’s moved over 6 times around the world; either I really love to travel or just simply can’t sit still. I ended up living on the United States east coast in Maryland for 4 years, after marrying my first-love, Jarryd; he’s my extroverted, athletically-inclined soccer-coaching ruggedly handsome American guy. And apart from being my favourite person ever, he’s also my designated recipe taste-tester because his palate is outta-this-world incredible! Lucky me.
This summer of 2018 we made the plunge and moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA! We now live in a little dirt-road traffic-light-less farming-community town surrounded by a ton of family and friends. It’s the town I grew up in and we both just love it SO much.
Why “Flour & Floral”?
I wanted a name that gave at least some indication as to what this blog was all about, and “flour” immediately points to baking. Flour is an essential ingredient to practically ALL of my favourite desserts: cakes, cupcakes, buttery pie crusts, macarons, muffins and more! Flour is what I’m left covered in after baking because I’m a champion apron-neglector. Also, flour is both a pretty word aesthetically and phonetically (I like pretty) because it sounds like “flower”.
And speaking of flowers, I wanted a name that sounded like me as well, and anyone who knows me knows that I could live in a sea of floral print anything and everything. My love for florals has definitely illustrated itself into my own personal baking style—piping buttercream flowers and delicately placing them onto cakes of all shapes and heights is just pure magic to me.
The Journey to Baking…
The story of finding my second-love that is, baking, isn’t the typical heartfelt rolling-sugar-cookies-in-the-kitchen-with-grandma tale that gives us all the warm and fuzzies; rather it’s one that’s completely unpredictable, as in nobody saw it coming. During my growing up years the kitchen was the last room you’d ever find me in; this wasn’t due to resentment, but truly because the thought never crossed my mind. Instead, I was running around outside playing with our farm animals and pouring my creativity into writing, drawing, and music. (I guess because I’ve always used my hands to create beauty this was a foreshadowing to cake decorating.) The moment I graduated high school I set off across the country to pursue a journalism degree in BC, Canada. I was going to be a writer; hehe…that is, until I stepped into my first journalism class and left with a deep, deep pit in my stomach. It wasn’t the right career path for me.
SO, I decided that a year of studying abroad, whilst indulging in mouthwatering European chocolate and pastries would do me some good. I spent six incredible months at Bible college in Germany. Not only did I gain an extra 15 pounds (thanks to those delicious Berliners), it was there where I fell in love with my charming seat-mate and we began our long distance relationship. (Yeah, I’m Canadian and he’s American–cue all the fun and struggles that come with our high-maintenance international love!)
The following year in Canada while I was reaching the completion of my Social Sciences degree, I was living in a dorm that had its own kitchen. For the first time in my life I had space to cook and bake without any corrective stares or hovering (you know I love you, Mom 😀 ). I began pinning recipes on Pinterest and just…kinda fell in love with the whole thing. I knew right then and there that I needed to pursue a career where I was working with my hands and using my natural artistic skill to create something beautiful and BONUS: edible.
Marriage & Culinary School
Shortly after Jarryd asked me to marry him, I took off to the Canadian Food & Wine Institute and it was amazing. It was the most hands-on learning I’d ever experienced and I graduated with more culinary knowledge than I ever thought possible. Out of everything I’d learned, baking and pastry arts is the specialty that stole my heart. After our beautiful wedding in Canada, Jarryd and I chose to begin our marriage in Maryland which is when my baking journey really began to soar.
After much saving, I invested in a gorgeous pink KitchenAid stand mixer (it’s practically my child), a flawless cast-iron revolving cake stand, along with a huge set of piping tips and got to practicing. After posting my first photos of buttercream piped floral cakes and cupcakes the bespoke orders from friends and family just kept rollin’ in continuously.
From adorable little smash-cakes, baby shower cupcakes, birthday layer cakes, cookies, muffins, hand-pies, and even WEDDING cakes–they’ve all been such a JOY to create. My heart totally flutters when I give someone one of my baked goods and see their smiles; I guess you could say that sharing dessert is my love language.
(Are you local and want something beautiful for your special event? Let’s talk!)
Falling in Love with Food Photography
I never send off a baked-good without giving it a well-deserved photoshoot. Cue my third-but-almost-a-tie-for-second love: food styling and food photography. I could spend HOURS behind my little Canon camera capturing images of my creations–in the best natural lighting possible, of course–and not even realize the time pass. I just lose myself in everything that comes along with it. Check out my portfolio for a visual taste of my work!
Besides having culinary school and several years of chef jobs under my belt, the majority of my baking and decorating skills have been built right here in my very own kitchen. With that said, my hope is to encourage others that we don’t have to be professionally trained bakers to make gorgeous and absolutely delicious creations. With the right tools, quality ingredients, unique creativity and lots of determination (to pick ourselves up when we fail), we can make beautiful desserts AND take beautiful photos too! Please send me a “hello” because I’m all about building community over recipe sharing, testing, and most importantly, cake eating; let’s be friends and learn from each other!
Fun Facts About Me.
Travel bucket list? My list is an eternity-long, but at the top is Norway, New Zealand, Iceland, Greece, and the South of France.
Favourite Movies? The Holiday (anything produced by Nancy Meyers), My Best Friends’ Wedding, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Harry Potter, LOTR, and Star Wars…to name a few.
Personality Quirks? A proud INFJ! I’m an introvert who often gets confused for an extrovert because I try to challenge myself to be more outgoing conversation-wise and stretch myself out of my safe little bubble. I loathe small-talk to the point that it makes me sweat and gives me social anxiety–let’s just get straight to the real talk please! I’m a homebody and am perfectly content spending an entire day in my little apartment because I thrive creatively and recharge when I’m alone (alone-time is SO good for building my baking skills)!
Any Baking No-No’s? Red velvet cake and all-fondant cakes turn me off. Also, you won’t be seeing me decorating any Halloween themed desserts on my own time; they’re very much outside of my personal baking style.
Dream pet? I would LOVE to have a Bengal cat. It’s so adorable how “talkative” and chirpy they are.
Weird Eating Quirks? I’m crazy about salt–I add it to practically everything. My excuse is that it enhances the flavours of the ingredients. Also, my sweet tooth can be pretty invasive; I tend to drizzle maple syrup on my own plate of savoury foods (this drives my husband nuts). Thirdly, I’m totally a woman of routine; I could eat alot of the same things for months on end.
Favourite thing to bake? Probably cupcakes with a floral piped buttercream frosting.
Favourite Singer/Songwriter? Taylor Swift (goin’ strong since 2006). This will never change, by the way.
Dream job? Food blogger who travels to bakeries around the world, taste-testing, photographing, and writing about desserts. (Traveling, writing, and eating sweets all in one!)
Favourite Foods? Any roasted veggie (sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, asparagus, cauliflower, ect.) french fries, sweet chili chicken, avocados, and of course MCDONALDS.
Hobbies besides baking and blogging? Traveling the world (when I can), interior decorating, exploring cute little towns, coffee and lunch dates with friends, gaming (I’m an XBOX girl), getting take-out with Jarryd and snuggling up to our favourite shows.
Places I’ve Lived? Manitoba (Canada), British Columbia (Canada), Germany, Saskatchewan (Canada), Ontario (Canada), and last but not least, Maryland, (USA)! Phew.
Favourite Potato Chip Flavour? Hands down, Spicy Sweet Chili by Doritos. (Oh my word they make my nose run like crazy but I’m totally addicted!)
Favourite City? Charleston, SC…AND because I’m incapable of choosing just one, New York City. They’re both so gorgeous!
Languages? English and German (I’m a little more on the rusty side with my Deutsch though).
Favourite cake flavour? It’s a close tie between lemon blueberry with cream cheese frosting, or a classic chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.
Random Fact? My Dad has 14 siblings, and my Mom has 4. Add together all of the married-in-spouses, their children, and now grandchildren and conclusion: I have a HUGE family with ALOT of cousins! (It’s the best!!)
Favourite TV shows? Gilmore Girls, This Is Us, The Office, and Parks & Rec.