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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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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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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Southern Oklahoma – Part 2

And we’re finally back for the rest of the story… aka AC & UB’s part 2. Let’s just start off by saying we had so much fun that I kind of hated to leave. But, let’s look more in depth at the fun we had…

Wednesday

Aloha (that’s the horse) is one of the best, kid friendliest horses but she had one flaw… she’s a PITA (pain in the @$$) when it comes to saddling her. She’s extremely frustrating. UB & Tbug worked on that all week to the point that by mid week Tbug was saddling Aloha by herself. Now that may not sound like much, but that’s HUGE!

AC had Wednesday off. She had a hair appointment while we were working horses. When she was done, we were just finishing up with riding. Remember, southern Oklahoma in July=try to beat the heat working horses. When it gets hot, the horses and cows get tired, hey do you blame them? The summer I spent with AC & UB, we worked horses at midnight so that it wasn’t so darn hot. At least 6am is better than midnight… I think….

Anyway, as we were getting done riding for the day, AC pulled into the driveway. UB decided we needed to run in to town and eat at Scout. This restaurant was interesting, but the food was excellent. This early morning stuff got to Abug and she slept all through lunch.

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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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A Week in Southern Oklahoma – Part 1

Over a year ago, my aunt and uncle made Tbug a deal that she could come down and spend a week with them at their house, riding horses. Last summer, hubby and I couldn’t get her there. At Thanksgiving they made the offer again. Hubby and I knew we were going to get her there this year, No. Matter. What.

They extended this offer to me when I was a teenager and I actually got to spend a couple different weeks with them. I’m telling you, other than it’s hot in Southern Oklahoma in July, it was an excellent experience and when I told hubby, we knew it would be a good thing for Tbug. Spending an entire week with UB and working on her horsemanship skills. What better way to spend a week than riding horses…

Earlier this spring Tbug’s mom said that she had 3 weeks this entire summer that she had nothing going on. The first was the week of the 4th of July, the other 2 were the first 2 weeks of August. I finally got it worked out between all of our schedules that we were going down the week of 4th of July. Tbug got home from Cheer camp Friday June 30th at 11something at night and we made arrangements to meet up with her mom around 4 something July 1st to head to AC & UB’s.

Friday Night

Friday evening after hubby got off work, we spent the evening checking the running lights/break lights on the trailer. We figured if we were going to be driving at 4 something in the morning and beating the sun awake, we better have lights on and working. Out of like 30 lights, at least half were burned out (or so we thought). We ran to Walmart to buy new light bulbs, when we got home hubby went to replacing lights. Out of all those lightbulbs that “didn’t work” only 2 had to be replaced. The rest were just a loose connection that hubby tightened up. Not bad for a 23 year old trailer.

Saturday

I wasn’t kidding when I said we got up and left before the sun even rose. Who knew 3 something existed? Hubby and I had a pile of stuff to load up first thing, then we loaded horses, ourselves, and headed out to meet up with Tbug and her mom. They were on their way to North Carolina. I guess we’re all crazy… getting up early to drive somewhere, right? Serious, crazy… lol.

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