Sugar Cookie Challenge

I’ve been issued a Sugar Cookie Challenge. Let me explain…

When we were in Cozumel this year, Deb and I were talking to one of the owners of Cozumel Marine World. On his shirt was the logo for Underwater Digital Fiesta Expeditions. I asked Alex and Deb what that was. Turns out it is a yearly get together where you learn to take better underwater photos while learning about and testing out the latest and greatest in digital underwater photography equipment. WHAT!?!?!?

If there’s one thing you should know about me by now, I LOVE photography. My underwater photography skills lack quite a bit, but I’ve only been diving for 4 years. In those 4 years, I was off limits in diving for a year because of my cute little three-year-old. So I’ve been diving 3 years. Yes, I have 100 dives in under my belt… but….. They highly suggest you don’t start carrying a camera underwater with you until you’ve at least dove 50 times. Well, I didn’t totally listen to those words of advice, but I always made sure I was comfortable enough diving before I took a camera with me. It’s an added responsibility.

I immediately started talking about how I wanted to go to this photo fiesta. Hubby laughed and issued me a challenge. If I could sell 300 dozen cookies, I could go. Holy cow! That’s not 300 cookies… that’s 300 dozen cookies. That equals math I can’t easily do in my head. That is 3,600 cookies.

Challenge Accepted….

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Baking Challenge – Checkerboard Cake

I’ve mentioned a few times that I challenged myself to the “cupcake” challenge this year. You know… the Food Network January/February 2017 cupcake for every month challenge. Then a couple weeks ago I was talking to the hubs and told him that I needed a challenge for next year. He laughed at me saying, “But Nicole, you still have the rest of this year. We’re only at July.” I know, I know, but I’m thinking ahead. My idea was to do a pie for every month. Come on… who doesn’t like pie. And I may still persue that… who knows…

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Cupcake Diaries

Wow, it seems like here lately I’ve been obsessed with cupcakes. Especially thought with the title of this post. But… I have news for you… I might be. So what’s going on? Well… If I put this out there, 1) I’m afraid I’ll be judged. 2) I might actually have to follow through. 3) I feel like I sound stupid. I keep telling myself I shouldn’t care what other people think. What does it matter anyway. I saw a quote once that said, It’s none of your business what other people think.

Okay, I’m getting a little off track. I think I’m having to give myself a pep talk. Here we go… I’m going to tell you what my plans are. Now help me follow through and please by all means, HELP ME! My plans:

I’m going to write a cookbook.

Over the weekend I focused on a cake recipe. Not just any cake recipe… My cake recipe. We made it from scratch. Totally from scratch. Wow! I researched. And I read. Then I researched. Followed by reading some more.

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Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Every so often I wind up looking up National holidays. Not the big ones that we all know like Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc… I’m talking the little ones… Like the one that hapepned on Sunday. What was Sunday? I’m so glad you asked. August 6th is National Root Beer Float Day. Nothing big, but still kind of fun to acknowledge.

Last week I wound up on a blog while doing some research and saw a recipe for Root Beer Float Cupcakes. I got it stuck in my head I needed to make those on National Root Beer Float Day. It combined 2 things in to 1. Root Beer Floats and cupcakes. And since I’ve been trying to teach myself how to make cupcakes, what better thing than to put my new fangled knowledge to work, right?

So nothing unusual about the beginning of these cupcakes… mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Easy peasy… But then comes an interesting part… Place the liquid ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat and melt together. Oh, and some of the liquid… none other than Root Beer because hellow, these are Root Beer Float Cupcakes, right? All of this was done in a bowl with a whisk… as in no electric mixer required for this step. This step=the making of the cupcakes.

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Piña Colada Cupcakes

Were you afraid I forgot to make the July cupcake from the challenge? Never fear, here is the Piña Colada Cupcake. I really think this was one of the cupcakes everyone was looking forward too, that and last months. February’s was good too. I think May’s was the worst IMO. I have a feeling May’s will always be the worst IMO… So the way to start this cupcake was to boil my Pineapple juice. Can I tell you a secret? I had to boil it twice and I forgot about it both times. Whoops.

The first time I forgot to shake my juice together. So it really didn’t boil down to a thick syrup, which made me decide to start again. The second time I walked away and forgot again that I put it on to boil. Nothing happened either time except I came back to the above picture. No big deal.

The boiled juice was actually for the icing but I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget because it needed to be completely cool before I could use it. A few hours later I started back in on the cupcakes. This time I mixed the dry ingredients together in a bowl. It says medium bowl but seriously, I could have used a small bowl for the dry ingredients.

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10 Reasons to Visit Cozumel, Mexico

I keep mentioning Cozumel and our trip. Are you sick of hearing about it yet without hearing about it? Yeah, me too! haha. So here is 1 of a couple posts on Cozumel… But this one is Why You Should Visit Cozumel!

1. The SCUBA Diving! Oh my gosh, the SCUBA diving in Cozumel is amazing. The water temperature is like 80-84 degrees F year round (26-29˚C). The sealife is out of this world. There are reef and nurse sharks, turtles galore, fish of all shapes, sizes, and colors, and so much more, including if you’re lucky a potential Hammer Head Shark AND Seahorses. No, the sharks aren’t scary. At first I thought they would be, but they aren’t. When people yell or give the Shark sign, others go running, camera in hand. The visibility seems endless. You could be at the surface, see the ocean floor, take off for it and it’s sitting at 80-100 feet down. I mean the visibility is a dream.

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Did You Make It?!?!

You see this pier right here? I have a fun story about this pier…. Hold on….

So in May, I’ve mentioned in passing a few times, we went to Cozumel, Mexico. When you board a dive boat, right there under that roof is usually where people enter the dive boat they are going out on.. that and a little bit to this side even. You know, those big pillars are to tie boats off to to keep them at the dock.

I’m not sure exactly how deep it is right there at the end of the peer, but it’s deep enough that dive boats can get in easily. I’ve heard around 20 feet… I now my friend Grady accidentally had his gear dropped off a boat and they had to free dive down to get it.

Okay, so now that you have a little back ground history…. Let’s proceed with today’s story.

The last night we were in Cozumel, around dinner time I ran out to get sunset pictures (the above photo is from the first night….). There were 3 people, appeared to be a mother and 2 kids possibly. The girl I assume was daughter was probably early 20’s and the guy I assume to be son was late teens. So guesstimate mom’s age by those numbers… if she was near 20 when she had said daughter, we’re looking at least at age 40.

They were getting ready to go out and do a night dive. They didn’t seem real confident in their diving abilities based off their conversations of, how do I put this on, where does this go, did I set this up correctly, etc. Hey, as a new diver I was there too. It happens to everyone until you get some dives in under your belt.

Now, those things on your feet, they’re called fins, not flipper. In our group if you call them flipper’s someone starts singing “Flipper, Flipper, Faster than Lightning”… you know the theme song from the show Flipper form the 70’s…. <crickets>

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Sundae Cupcakes

I’m really hoping that one thing I will gain from this Cupcake Challenge I put on myself is to learn to make the most perfect, most consistent cupcakes. So far…. It hasn’t happened, but I am getting closer…. maybe…

I truly think that out of all of these cupcakes, this is one that most everyone was looking forward to. I know I was kind of dreaming about them. And they definitely top the cake over last months. maybe top the cupcake? Would that be icing… like the icing on the cake. Okay, I’ll stop now!

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Technology Hates Me

These last few days have been extremely stressful. I’m ready to crawl in a hole and not come back for a while. Ugh! So my iCloud account was shut down because apparently it had been hacked. I had to change my password. Once I did, I run a Mac and had to update everything on my laptop as well…. BUT… there’s always a but… it’s not working totally right. Oh… and I can’t remember what I changed my password to.

So then let’s move on to this blog. I’ve been trying to move it over to WordPress. Yes I jumped on the WordPress bandwagon, or at least I have tried. {beats head on wall} It’s a nice thought… but the stupid program won’t import my previous blog. I’ve been trying for 2 weeks. I keep getting error messages.

I went on line trying to find help. All it sent me to was forums that didn’t help. So I tried to contact them. Well even though I have a WordPress account, I can’t figure out how to log in to anything but my wordpress site and so I can’t contact WordPress people because they don’t believe I have an account. Either A) they want me to start one, which I already have or B) use the forums which don’t help.

So I googled contact WordPress and wound up on some 24/7 WordPress help site. They got my password and login information for both Blogger and WordPress and logged in. Then said they could help me. I said great and that’s when they said, but it’ll cost you. Wait what? If you knew it was going to cost me, why the hell did you get my login information. sigh! And it shows that they are located in California but the people helping me were from India.

I hate technology. I can just hand move 2200 posts over if I wanted… but then A) that takes a lot of time. B) I lose all comments from everyone. Etc. I’m so frustrated.

Then add trying to find a job. Technology hates me right now. Kind of like the stoplights. I swear, if I go through a stoplight I’ll hit it on red no matter what. Anyway, I want to cry now… but it won’t do any good so I guess I’ll get back to something… I’m not really sure what. Wish me luck!

11 Quotes to Remember About Life

The other night as I was lying awake at 2:30am I was thinking about a lot of things… mainly life. I got tired of thinking about life so I jumped on Facebook. Isn’t it funny how sometimes when you least likely expect it you see just what you need?

Life is an interesting thing. I wake up some mornings and feel like I should be 20 because I feel like in life I’m where a 20 year old is, yet in a little over a month I’ll be 34 (does someone want to please verify my math….). What does that sentence mean? Well obviously, I don’t know my age but I know my birthday. Okay okay, seriously, that sentence means, I have an almost three year old. A lot of my friends had that in their early 20’s. In my early 20’s I wasn’t responsible enough. I knew that then. There was no question in my mind of that.

When I got out of college I had a pretty new degree that said I was qualified to teach high school students 9-12. I was 22 years old. If I were to teach a senior in high school, I was looking at 17 and 18 year olds. That made me 4-5 years older than they were. Would they have listened to me? Probably not. I didn’t get a job right out of college as an agriculture teacher. I spent that first year out of college as a substitute teacher and a part time server. Wow did I learn a lot that year, including how to do proofs (you know those things in Geometry that I failed in high school… No, I didn’t fail Geometry, just the proofs unit….).

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