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.