Wednesday, January 26, 2011

the dream is over...and a giveaway

well, sort of.  but in a lot of ways, not really.  i'm rambling.

okay, so yesterday, i put in my notice at dots.  i knew i was going to have to do it soon, with the ILs slated to move permanently to texas within weeks.  and i've been both looking forward to and dreading it at the same time.  you already know how much i love working there - i like everyone on staff, my boss is awesome, the customers are pretty chill for the most part.  plus, well, duh - i'm working with cupcakes!

but it'll also be really lovely not to have to deal with that awful traffic every day.  i'll burn a lot less gas without a 35-mile round-trip commute every day.  i won't eat as many freaking cupcakes.  not to mention, it'll be fantabulous to be able to pick up the bean from school every day and be available for her, the teen, and the hub for errands and whatnot in the mornings.  it's been a looooong time since i got to do the SAHM thing, and it'll be pretty sweet.

the only other major downside is the loss of my own fun money.  although he's never given me a hard time about it, i really hate hitting up the hub for spending cash.  so i'm really scrambling trying to figure out something that i can do from home so that i can still have a bit of an income for myself. i was really hoping to do the cookie thing, even have a few pending orders from friends, but as it turns out, good ol' cali ain't exactly home-based bakery business-friendly.  not at all, actually - i can't legally advertise and sell baked goods without all sorts of crap - a food handler's permit, liability insurance, a commercially licensed kitchen.

i can, however, still do orders for friends and family.  wink wink, nudge nudge.  heh.

and so i've been perusing all sorts of awesome blogs from cookiers (yeah, that's a word) all across the country.  i've found a whole bunch of cookie heroes, like sugarbelle and bake at 350.  plus, i've been watching the videos at university of cookie, and i'm learning so much by watching the pros.  the work they do is really beautiful and detailed - little edible works of art.  i decided that i needed to get a little practice in, and dug out my last remaining disk of frozen sugar cookie dough.  i'd also bought a bunch of fun new cookie cutters on sale, so i thought it'd be fun to put 'em to the test.

of course, there are only so many hours in the day.  i had just enough time one afternoon to roll the dough out, cut the cookies, bake them, and get them cooled completely.  just for fun, i put a couple of them on sticks.


to preserve the freshness as much as possible, i put them into an airtight container and then into the freezer.  i'd read that this was a good way to handle baked cookies that i wasn't ready to decorate yet.

then the next day, i carved out just enough time to make the royal icing from bake at 350's blog, divide it, and tint it into the colors i needed.  i busted out the new meringue powder i'd bought at my cake supply store - i'd read that the wilton powder i was using wasn't the greatest stuff out there, and you know me.  i'm always willing to try something new and exciting.




then yesterday, i took the cookies out, started putting icing into piping bags, and got to work.  first, i outlined and then flooded the two circles in a fleshtone color.  the color did double duty as i used it for the ice cream cones, too.



then i tried out the pink icing on my onesie cookie.  wanting to try the wet-on-wet technique, i ran into the kitchen and grabbed a bit of white icing, watered it down to match the consistency of the pink flooding icing, and dropped some dots.  i was stupidly excited to see it work perfectly.


plus, i got to try out my new squeeze bottles - they have built-in couplers for attaching decorating tips.  yippee!



time flew by as i worked, and although it time consuming, the longest part was preparing the icing bags - i needed a thicker one for piping, and then a second one for flooding.  i'm finding that i need to buy more of the metal decorating tips to save time.  but by the time i was done, i was pretty proud of what i'd accomplished (even though these are far from perfect):






these little baby cookies would be so cute on a stick.  thanks, sugarbelle, for the idea.


i decided to wing it with a couple of characters from the bean's current favorite tv show, wow! wow! wubbzy.  dumb name, but super easy to draw.


they looked a little bare, so i added some background.


can you tell that these are supposed to be lipsticks?  i know, i know - they look more like birthday candles.  i need to work on the design a bit.


plus, i need to figure out what i'm doing wrong that's causing the little air bubbles to appear in my flood icing.


so yeah, i have a long way to go.  but it sure is fun playing and practicing!

and now, for the giveaway i promised last week.  since i can still do cookies for friends and family (wink wink, nudge nudge), i need to test myself and see how well i can package and ship these things.  i've got to be able to pack them just right, so that there's no breakage in transit.  except that i haven't figured out yet how to pack macarons for shipping, so i hope you like sugar cookies.  i want to try out a few new flavors, anyway - lemon poppy seed, mini chocolate chip, chocolate.  your choice.

here's what you do - just leave me a comment and tell me what's going on in your life that we can commemorate in cookie form.  pregnant?  you need some cute little onesie/baby face cookies.  getting married?  maybe some engagement ring-shaped treats.  you get the idea.

and if you're on twitter, tweet a link to this post, mention me (@luvbabyb) in the tweet, and i'll give you a bonus entry into the giveaway.  i'll pick a winner using my buddy random.org on monday (january 31st), so post your comment and your tweet by 8:00 PM, PST.

sound like fun?  now, go forth and increase my traffic!

edited to add:  i'm gonna have to limit this to US/canada, unless you want to help me with shipping costs.  remember, i just quit my job.  heh.  and, if you don't have any major milestones coming up, that's okay - we can get creative and do something fun!  oh, and i'll be shipping you a dozen cookies.  haha, i forgot to mention that.  anyway, spread the word!  this will be fun.

75 comments:

  1. My son (who loves all things electronic, robots, computers, etc) is turning 10- have any cookies for tween boys?!

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  2. I've been reading your blog forever but never commented before. I am an amateur baker too and just started making these same kinds of cookies. I have no big events coming up but I am working on a Masters Thesis so I have no time to bake for myself. I will have graduation coming up so I guess thats a big event.

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  3. My mother is turning fifty in approximately six weeks! I'm flying back into town and throwing her a birthday party. Black damask is the "theme" and some favor cookies for the guests would be awesome.

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  4. we are celebrating my son's 4th bday at disneyland next month. its a big deal to us and i know he's excited to see mickey.

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  5. Love giveaways!

    I have a few events that we could pick from:

    1.) Wedding Anniversary
    2.) Just started a new job and would love to bring corporate branded cookies for my coworkers.
    3.) Cookies for our after church social hour.

    Pretty small work place and church membership, so I'm not talking a lot of cookies for these.

    Good luck on going back to SAHM/WAHM.

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  6. You know me: just law school all day, every day.

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  7. I am busy working hard on my grad school program. Thanks for the offer!

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  8. Its my 5th year wedding anniversary in March!!!

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  9. Our first married Valentine's Day! (Yes, I'm lame.)

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  10. I have twin boys, and every day we make it through with the house in one piece and no one screaming their face off is cause for celebration!

    Love the cookies too. Very adorable.

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  11. Your cookies look fabulous! I love the purse! More design suggestions: tiara, poodle skirt, edible photos (?), flower basket... Will think of more...

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  12. to quote someone above, "you know me: just [architecture school] all day, every day."

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  13. I <3 the cookies, they look fabulous! We found out Monday that we're having a baby boy in July. So excited :-)

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  14. My husband's birthday is over the weekend (but we're celebrating a few days later) - he's the biggest cookie monster EVER - and he had a big FAIL in choosing a wife that can't bake. At. All. At least nothing you'd want to eat anyway.

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  15. My hubs & I are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this year!

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  16. I'm KTFU and we heard the heartbeat today. If that doesn't call for cookies, I don't know what does ;)

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  17. We have a new baby girl through the gift of adoption! Upcoming events...
    1- We'll be celebrating her first 100 days. (She's Korean-American; we are not but we want her to be proud of her Korean heritage).
    2- She'll be baptized soon!
    3- Her adoption should be final in a few months.... hopefully sooner rather than later :)

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  18. Not sure if you are aware but Pasadena has a professional kitchen that you can rent stations by the hour so you can sell goodies at street fairs, etc. I can't remember the name of it... and there's a good chance I read about it on your blog... but if you aren't aware, it might be worth checking out to sidestep some of the cookie redtape.

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  19. I want cookies! To commemorate my move to CA. :-D

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  20. Like you, I have been baking for family and friends and would love to do it professionally some day. I have a degree in fine art and no baking background so the decorating comes much easier that the baking (soooo many failed attempts at cookies.) I have to say yours look fantastic! I love seeing your new creations, and reading about your failed attempts, too (just to make myself feel a little better.) :) Anyway, my birthday is on February 8th and I would love to not have to make my own birthday treats. Heh.

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  21. Meee!!! Although I don't really have any milestones coming up. The only thing I can think of is Valentine's Day. LOL. Maybe some Nick Jr cookies will do. :) YAY!

    Off to tweet!

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  22. My event? Presley's 1st Birthday Party is coming up! Weeee!! I absolutely love the Ice Cream Cones & Cupcakes! Adorable!!:)
    Great job girl!!

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  23. oooh, you know i am ALL over this. i really think you did a good job on the lipstick cookies..when i first saw them i knew they were lipsticks :)

    AND i loved all those cookies you designed..loved!

    as for anything going on for me..umm, guess nothing major. but my kiddo - she loves: unicorns, music(justin bieber duh!) anything colorful. i'm sure you'd think of something awesome :)

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  24. Oh yum! Well, let's see...we just celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary, DD is turning 3 in a little over a month and well, there's always Valentine's day! I want cookies! :)

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  25. I also tweeted it.

    http://twitter.com/#!/mama2addie/status/30322574550376448

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  26. Hi! Hello! My name is Mae and I am a Food Truck chasing addict...that's my milestone...hehehe. And I recognized the lipstick cookies from a mile away. Love those and the purse--Too Cute and perfect for ummmm...Mae :)

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  27. Cookies!! YUM! Nothing super special going on yet. Valentine's Day? I'm going to a baby shower for a baby girl in a few weeks. I could bring some there?

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  28. those cookies are rad - you did such an awesome job! and the baby has been kicking me for cookies lately...just sayin'. ;)

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  29. These are awesome! You are a very talented baker. My brother-in-law bakes and decorates similar cookies for my girls' birthday parties. He always said it's so easy. Don't think so after I read this. I think I have to quit my job too to find time to do it! Great job!

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  30. I just started graduate school this week!

    Your cookie skills are impressive!

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  31. Hi! I'm a loyal lurker posting a comment :) My son's 2nd birthday party is March 5 and I'd love to have cookies in the shape of a dump truck!!

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  32. OOh! My brother's wedding reception is being held next month. It's a smaller affair at a family home, so it's not like you'd need to make a ton. Rings, wedding dresses, mini cakes-- possibilities are endless! Weee! Hope I win!

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  33. My son is learning to drive--I'd love to surprise him with car cookies!

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  34. The cookies look awesome. I love reading your tips and links. I just bought 2 cans of the WIlton Meringue powder, UGH!!! Lol. I'm working on cookie favors for my 3 year old's birthday party on the 13th. Day before Valentine's Baby and we're having a Valentine-sy birthday party. I was thinking assorted heart sugar cookies for partial favors. Your cookies would be awesome to share ;).

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  35. I turned 30 yesterday and we're going to China in March.

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  36. does valentines day count?!!? I do have a wedding shower on April 3rd or maybe a good "welcome home" gift for a friend who is closing on her house on 3/24-- lots of possibilities for me!

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  37. I'm pregnant, and cookies would be such a cute way to announce it to friends and family! :)

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  38. I just presented at a company event and didn't fall off the stage. That's worth celebrating, right?

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  39. My son just turned 18!! Wow can't believe it. It's such a memorable birthday as he is now an adult (or so he thinks)

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  40. yummy. cookies are perfect for ANY occasion. I've got nothing going on really... so make me whatever you fancy! :)

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  41. I want in! I like the purse cookies. I have nothing going on in my life but my purse holds my money and I like to spend it.

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  42. Well there are a few things going on. We're trying to re-build a rat rod (cookie forms: silhouette of a rat rod car, wheels. etc.), and I'm trying to get pregnant (cookie forms: pregnancy tests, storks, stick figures w/belly bump, unicorns w/baby dust lol).

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  43. I'm pregnant...so anything baby related would be great!!

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  44. I'm on a diet...so I'm definitely hungry for your gorgeous cookies!! LMAO...I have my birthday in Feb coming up, too.

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  45. I think the cookies are fab! The onesies are a-freakin-dorable! My husband and I are going on a trip to Egypt in a little over a month for my birthday trip/last big trip before we TTC.

    Good luck! I really do think your cookies look fantastic and I drool every time I see your macaroon posts.

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  46. I want these! They are so pretty! Not much going on in my life right now except for I'm sick of being a lawyer and tired of being fat. What kind of cookies can you make on that? lol. xoxo

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  47. We just welcomed our beautiful baby girl to the world last Tuesday (1/18)! Some cute baby girl themed cookies would be awesome. Btw-I love the cupcake cookies. I heart anything cupcakes. :)

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  48. We just welcomed our beautiful baby girl to the world last Tuesday (1/18)! Some cute baby girl themed cookies would be awesome. Btw-I love the cupcake cookies. I heart anything cupcakes. :)

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  49. I wanna play! I'm busy teaching hs math and going back for my masters... Some cookies to munch on would be awesome while I study/lesson plan!!!

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  50. This is my first winter living where it's cold!

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  51. Sweet! Can't I just use your cookies to celebrate the fact that I'm on #teamfatass? I'd love to win!

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  52. What's going on in my life? About to have two high school daughters, one sweet-16 and driving, working, and learning to cut back and all the extras :) -- is there a cookie for that?

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  53. OKAY soooo i've tasted your sugar cookies and they are The Bomb ( yes i just went 80's on you) and they are sooo freaking adorable. Check your message - call me when you get a minute. :)

    Also i was going to mention about finding a licensed catering kitchen and also look into event permits or day permits - they allow you to sell at events, tc

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  54. Daughter's birthday is Feb 15th. I saw candy molds to make tiaras, scepters, etc. I wonder how hard it is to do the same in cookie form?? *wink wink*

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  55. My birthday is February 7th. :) And Valentine's Day is one of my favorite days of the year!

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  56. well, i AM pregnant but really? i'd just like some cookies. i moved realllllllly far from home, have no friends here, and could use some cheering up. simple as that. please send whoopie pies, lol.

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  57. My daughter (who looks very similar to the Bean) is turning 2 in March. I'd love to test out your cookies. (Even if I don't win, send me an email about pricing.)

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  58. I am 25 weeks pregnant and would like some baby cookies! PS - I enjoy your blog!

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  59. I am pregnant with my first (a girl!) and due in 11 days. I'd love some adorable, delicious cookies :)

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  60. holy crapozolie! 60+ comments, and only 1 is a guy. (Not entering, but saying "herro").

    sucks about the change, no more check-ins at 210/605! O noes!

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  61. My daughter just turned 15 months. My milestone is "I survived the first year!". Plus your cookies always look delish.

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  62. If I won, I think I'd have you send my cookies to a long-distance friend...just 'cuz. :)

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  63. I'm 8 months pregnant with baby #2 ...so any pregnancy related cookies would be great! I also have a 2 year old that LOVES cookies in general :)

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  64. I'm turning the big 4-0 in May. I've got two kids under 5, and getting a minivan soon. Any cookie for that? :-/

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  65. I just like cookies. Although, my butt doesn't need them. Can you make them in the shape of a scale? :)
    I'd love to try some of your cookies!

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  66. What a fun idea for a giveaway! If I am chosen, I'd love a bunch of girly cookies like your lipstick and purse cookies. How about throwing a compact and heels into the mix? I love fashion and beauty!

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  67. I am about to have my 9th surgery, and think you should practice some "get well" cookies, or "congratulations you did it" cookies, lol. I think that the lipsticks turned out great! So happy you are enjoying this so much.

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  68. Cool giveaway! I can't think of anything exciting going on except Valentine's Day is coming up and it's been snowing a heck of a lot here on the East Coast.

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  69. I have a few things...my grandma's 90th birthday is coming up, and I have my bff's b-party and shower. :-)

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  70. another lurker commenting for the first time.
    I have my IL's 30th wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day to celebrate. Other than that...we're huge St. Patty's Day fans. Nothing else worth celebrating for the next few months, unfortunately.

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  71. Long time reader, (I think) first time commenter.

    I just had a baby girl! I LOVE the onesie cookie, especially the outlining - I think it makes the design pop.

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  72. we're (hopefully) going under contract tomorrow and selling our house!!

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