Raising Money for Christmas {Last Three Months of the Year}

It’s no surprise that I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I do. I can’t hide that fact. Some people ask why I like it so much. This is kind of hard to put into words but I’ll try. There is something so magical around the time of year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is something in the air. The air is crisp, which it is also known I hate cold weather, but that time of year you know you need snow so that Santa can deliver his presents. Duh!

But there is a spirit among people. Yes, a lot of people are stressed out by Christmas and they say that the suicide rate is up around this time of year, but there are a lot of happy people around this time of year. They are out and about shopping for just the perfect present for their loved ones and friends. There is Christmas lights and Christmas music and little kids getting so excited that Santa will visit.

That is the thing though… Little kids get extremely excited about the thought of Santa visiting. Some little kids though are sad at this time of the year. Their family is going through some struggle and the thought of Christmas is far from their mind. That’s where Santa’s helpers come in to play.

There are organizations that are working year round to make sure that every little kid knows what Christmas is and knows that they aren’t forgotten. Santa’s helpers run fundraisers and ring bells, and everything else to raise money for presents for those deserving little kids.

I’m sure we all know this, right? So why am I discussing this? Well, because the last few years I have been working with one of those organizations. I have been volunteering my time to help raise money. To help raise awareness. All little kids are deserving all year round, but I want them to know my favorite time of year and have fond memories of it just like I have.

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7th Anniversary

Hello. We’ve now been married 7 years. Some days it feels just like yesterday that we were dating and other days it feels like much longer. But the thing is…. we still kind of like each other. (haha)

This year our anniversary fell on Labor Day Monday. It does that from time to time. I guess that’s what happens when you get married Labor Day Weekend. Chances are your anniversary will fall on Labor Day Weekend. Totally cool with that, because that meant we got to spend our Anniversary together. Score.

Our morning started off with breakfast at Jimmy’s Egg. Ever eaten at one of them? You should. They specialize in Breakfast and lunch. This… this is good and totally worth every last calorie laden bite. This is the Carnitas Skillet. I’ve tried and tried to find the description and I’m afraid if I tell you I’ll forget something…. so be prepared…. It’s hash browns, eggs, cheese (Monterey Jack), pulled pork, sausage, bacon (maybe, I can’t remember), topped with tomatoes and onions and just all around YUM!

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My 34th Birthday

 

Here we are, halfway through the next month and I still haven’t recapped/talked about my birthday.

I should tell you I hate birthdays. Not because I don’t like getting older. No, I’m fine with that. That means I’m still alive. I just hate the day. In more recent years I haven’t had good birthdays. It’s been forgotten by family and friends (not all, please don’t take offense if you remembered!!!). It gets treated like another day. It’s just not a big deal. And I guess I feel like it should be a big deal? I don’t know. Maybe I’m full of myself… ha.

When hubby and I got together, it seems like he gets week long birthday’s and I barely get a day. I guess I was a bit jealous of that. The reason he gets that is that if his birthday falls during the week, we’re supposed to get Tbug to celebrate, but that doesn’t always happen. So we celebrate on his birthday. I’ve thrown him surprise birthdays. Plus we’ve celebrated his real birthday on a weekend we had Tbug. Multiple times all of this has happened.

This year, my hubby decided to give me a week long birthday. This morning I saw a quote on Facebook:

I know good men still exist because I am lucky enough to have one.

A friend from college commented that she couldn’t help but think back to our Memoirs class and how much she learned about him. Maybe this is something I should have written about in class… Although I’m not far enough removed from it to use for a memoir.

Anyway, let’s quit procrastinating and let’s discuss

my birthday.

My birthday started out the weekend before my birthday, if you ask hubby. I had been wanting to eat at the Japanese Steakhouse for a while. He decided we were eating there and that was the start of my birthday.

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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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Eetza Birthday Partaey

For about a month leading up to Abug’s birthday she begged and pleaded (okay, that’s a bit of an extreme but we are referring to a toddler here….) that she wanted cookies and a cake and cupcakes for her birthday. I promised her I would take care of her. Now, she was back and forth between cupcakes and cake, but the cookies… they were definitely a want.

She chose Princess Elena of Avalor theme for her party so the cookies were Princess Elena’s dress. I was quite pleased with how they turned out. At first, I wasn’t so sure but once they were done, I was pleased. This year I took cookies to the lake for her “lake birthday.”

A couple days before her birthday I decided on cupcakes in the shape of a Princess Elena dress to go along with the theme of the cookies. She prefers chocolate cake over vanilla although she isn’t really picky, so I went with chocolate cake into cupcakes. I made the yellow sash with a piece of ribbon. It was easier than trying to do it with icing and I was afraid a red sash wouldn’t stand out.

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Memorial Day Weekend 2017

Memorial Day Weekend was spent at Beaver Lake. The night before we left to go down there, Deb and Grady said they were having difficulty getting all the trailers down so we volunteered to pull the dive trailer down for them. When we got to the lake, I had to giggle at the “big” truck pulling the little trailer. It’s a bathroom cleaner thing for campers but that sight just made me giggle so hard.

These 3 are back together again. Wow, did they make quite the team… they are the next round of shenanigan makers!

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Easter 2017

One tradition I really wanted to keep is getting pictures with Santa and the Easter Bunny at the respective holidays. So far Abug still hates the Easter Bunny. This year Tbug happened to be with us when we went to see the Easter Bunny. She’s old enough I wasn’t going to make her get in the picture, as you may notice from how she’s dressed (just regular clothes) but Abug threw such a fit that we conned Tbug to be in the photo to keep Abug happy. We never did get Abug to smile, but this isn’t bad I guess….

Mom bought Easter cookie cutters and asked that I make her some Sugar Cookies to take to work. This is what she got. Not bad I guess, right? Please tell me they’re good 😀.

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My Little Pony Cookies

I mentioned once upon a time that I’ve started decorating sugar cookies. It’s been quite the learning curve, but it’s always good to learn something new. I kept getting asked, what do you charge, what do you charge. Sadly, I live in the midwest where you don’t have this type of cookie done at a bakery so I could even decide if I was in the right ballpark. I’m still not sure I am. I think with experience I can get a little more, I’m not really sure. Someone needs to help me here, please!

Anyway a couple weeks ago I was hit up by a girl I went to high school with on Facebook. She asked if I’d be able to do cookies for her daughter’s birthday. She wanted My Little Pony.

Ooooo… I’ve never done My Little Pony. I didn’t have a cookie cutter in that shape. I wasn’t real sure how to answer. I was worried, really worried! I kept asking questions and kind of putting off an answer for as long as I could, then I really had to give her an answer. My friend YouTube came in to play and I found a video telling me how to do it. Later I found an easier one but I already decided I could do the video I found so I shot her a price and said yes. I did a test run and was okay with it. Now it’s missing a leg, details, and I didn’t wait between different icing applications, but I knew I could do it….

Sunday I began the process. Time to make the sugar cookie dough, let it chill in the fridge, cut it out, and place it in the freezer. That’s just my process.

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