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.

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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!

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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.

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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?

Thoughts….

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.

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Cinnamon Browned Butter Icing (for Spiced Sugar Cookies)

Rolling out fall spiced sugar cookie dough

The other day I ran across a recipe for spiced cookies. I thought… mmmmm those sound good. Problem was, they called for 3/4 of a cup of butter. I hate when recipes make me cut a stick of butter up like that and don’t finish it off. Silly I know, but true no less.

So I continued on my day and ran across another recipe for spiced cookies, this time it used 3 sticks of butter (1 1/2 cups). Okay, so that’s better. But truth be told, I prefer to use my butter in even numbers. I’m totally weird.

All day for 2 days I’d randomly look back at these recipes thinking, boy they sound good but the butter amounts are bugging me. Finally, I decided to make the batch that used 1-1/2 cups butter, but possibly use the seasonings in the smaller batch. They were different after all. So I pulled 3 sticks of butter out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature. Then I went back to staring at the recipes at hand. Both of them. That’s when it hit me… It’s just a sugar cookie recipe that they are doctoring up with spices… why not use the sugar cookie recipe that is my own unique one?

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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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