Nicole & Julia Project

Haha… that title doesn’t really have the same meaning as Julie and Julia. Oh well… it sounds good, right? Please tell me it sounds good. Don’t worry though, I’ll never be able to cook my way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Why? Because that book totally intimidates me!

They say that you should do things that scare you every once in a while. Well, I can tell you, this book scares the ever-loving crap out of me. I wish that I was a chef. I want to be one so bad. In fact, I want to write a cookbook. Although recently someone told me that cookbooks are becoming a thing of the past. I guess I would agree with that, but at the same time, look at all the cookbooks on the market. If you walk through a bookstore (which also seem to be becoming extinct) there is usually at least one row if not 2 or 3 filled with cookbooks. Every shape, size, cuisine, and more.

I own more cookbooks than I can recall right now. Some are still packed up from our move over a year ago. That makes me sad. Someday that will change but for now, that move was still a good thing for us…. even though it has been faced with its own challenges. Truthfully I should go through my cookbooks and scale back a little maybe. Maybe not. I haven’t fully decided on that thought either.

But that cookbook.


The Original PW Cookbook

Yesterday’s post got really long, really fast… so I thought I’d discuss the cookbook incident today. You know, in a separate post.

When the initial cookbook came out, it was back in 2010 (technically late 2009, but I went to the signing in 2010). I remember because I drove to Stillwater, Oklahoma to get it signed and meet her. My husband and I were due to get married that year. Oddly enough I had to tell her all about that. Like she cared. haha. But this, this is how I remember 2010. (more…)

This is What It’s All About

Earlier this fall… yes, it’s still fall… you know tomorrow starts the Winter Solstice, that’s the shortest day of the whole year. From there we’re going to be gaining light!! Anyway… back to the fall… We had our annual Chili cookoff to raise money for deserving Children whose families have fallen on hard times for whatever reason.

I always refer to those who help with this project as Santa’s Helpers because who couldn’t use a helper? So, Santa’s helpers have been busy at work, getting applications, reviewing them, and trying their darndest to make sure kids have a fabulous Christmas no matter what the circumstances their family faces are. But here’s the thing…

They needed a place to store the presents bought, wrap the presents, and have a pickup point for parents. But the other day someone broke into that warehouse and stole at least $300 worth of gifts. WHAT? Sad, but true. (more…)

Hallmark Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving table

I saw a friend posted on Facebook yesterday (I think it was) a question asking if everyone had that perfect, Hallmark Thanksgiving Dinner. Then she asked what about those who had no one. I am paraphrasing. I guess I never really thought about it truthfully. We have Thanksgiving whether it’s my extended family or just my close family, either way, we celebrate it. In 2011, hubby and I made our first Thanksgiving meal. Prior to that we just attended Thanksgiving at family’s house.

I always had a goal to make a turkey. In 2012 we made our first Bacon Wrapped turkey. Yum! I think having a turkey is the only “traditional thing” we do. We play with sides. We play with turkey recipes. We’re not traditionalists. I remember one year at my aunt’s house she said we were having a “grown-up” Thanksgiving meal. It was good, but the only traditional part was having a turkey. I wish I was into taking pictures that Thanksgiving (as I am now) so I had a memory of what we actually had… I remember steamed green beans, roasted potato chunks, and that’s about my recollection of that menu.

But… do we have that Hallmark Thanksgiving Dinner? Good question. Here’s what Thanksgiving looks like at our house, give or take….


Talking/Feeling like an Idiot

DEMA entrance at the Orange County Convention Center

While we were in Orlando, gosh 2 weeks ago, I had an opportunity to speak with a lot of professionals in the SCUBA diving industry. Not only did we stop and have a visit with our SCUBAPRO Rep, Scott, but we spoke with guys from SDI, the SCUBA diving group that we are certified through.

Plus, Deb paid a little extra for the two of us to be able to sit in on any and all session conferences. Let’s just say, I spoke with diving professionals from all over the world. I remember Australia, Denmark, Fiji, Mexico, and some places I can’t even remember.

Deb and I played a game for the opportunity to win a trip to Fiji. I doubt I won that… especially because it’s been two weeks and they haven’t notified me. They did contact me through email to tell me about some really great packages they offer. We’ll add that to my bucket list along with Greece. I want to go to Greece, so why not dive while I’m there.

I hit up the dive master’s that we dive with in Cozumel for pictures (he’s owed me since May), a recipe (which he rattled off but I couldn’t write down so he said he’d email… still waiting), and told him I wanted a sponsor for the underwater photography festival in April (worth a shot, right?).

But the one thing that really bothers me is… When I was talking to one of the guys from SDI, I felt like a complete moron. When I walked away from the conversation I felt like I was trying to impress him with my blog/SEO/etc knowledge that I probably don’t have.


Quick Update on Last Week

Prepared for learning with donuts, muffins, coffee, and notebooks.

Hey guys! I just got back from an incredible week in Orlando Florida. Why was I there? Well, for a big SCUBA diving convention called DEMA. Wow, this place was extremely overwhelming. We flew out Monday morning from Kansas City Monday. It was a direct flight from Kansas City to Orlando. Getting a rental car in Orlando is extremely easy! Almost as easy as when we got it in Las Vegas a few years ago.

That night we were just there for fun. Deb and Grady had a SCUBAPRO Platinum meeting to go to on Tuesday, so hubby and I just bummed around Orlando. Wednesday through Friday we attended DEMA, classes, and ate excellent food. Wow, the food!


Camo Sugar Cookies

The same day I had Where the Wild Things Are Sugar cookies due, I also had an order for Camo Sugar cookies. 2 dozen to be exact. They were for a joint birthday party. We discussed how to do them. At first, Jody wanted pink and then green and then suggested doing something in green with names in orange and pink. She really wasn’t sure and let me kind of have free reign.


Where the Wild Things Are Sugar Cookies

The next round of cookies are made. One minute I think I’m totally happy and the next minute I feel like I totally screwed them up. Gosh. I may be hard on myself, I don’t know… We’ll see. Oh wait, they’ve already been delivered and eaten. These were made in the middle of the month for a friend’s daughter’s baby shower.

Today I was walking through TJ Maxx and saw this book. Then I realized I actually knew this book. When I was initially hit up about doing these cookies I had no clue what the book was. Isn’t that funny how things like that work out?

Earlier this year I made up my own sugar cookie recipe. So far, I’m still digging it. They hold their shape, they are sweet but not too sweet, and truthfully I love them. I sure hope other people do…

And this blog post is all over the place. How many did I make? 2 dozen. Where does that put me on the challenge? Good question…. 26 out of 300 dozen… Slow and steady wins the race, right?


Over the weekend we had our 5th Annual Chili Cookoff and silent auction to raise money for less fortunate kids for Christmas. I always hate to say it that way… I’m just not sure the best way to say it (politically correct), so for now, we’ll leave it that way.

Going into Saturday I was nervous. I was nervous about a lot of things. Worried people wouldn’t show up. Maybe that we wouldn’t raise much money at all. Who knows. All these different thoughts flew through my head.

Part of the reason I was worried people wouldn’t come was that bad weather was predicted to hit Saturday evening. Of course. A week before there was nothing but clear skies in the forecast, then it changed to severe weather predictions. Luckily it held off until the event was over and cleaned up. We sat and chatted and relaxed for maybe 30 minutes, then the wind blew. Jared asked if we felt that cold chill, and he said that meant hail was coming. I quickly said I’m outta here trying to outrun the storm and get home only to get to set under an overpass for 10 minutes waiting out the hail.