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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Strawberry Birthday Cake

A slice of Strawberry cake sitting on a plate with the rest of the cake sitting on the cake plate behind it.

Today is my daddy’s birthday! Happy Birthday, daddy! I’m not sure though, that a birthday on a Monday is much fun. First off, I’m not sure of many people who like Monday’s… and secondly… read the first statement. Poor Monday does get a pretty bad rap… I wonder if people who Monday is their Saturday/Sunday hate Monday as bad as the rest of most of the world… Just a thought that has absolutely NOTHING to do with my daddy’s birthday.

Eggs

Abug and I have spent a lot of the summer learning (her not me, I’ve been teaching) how to bake. I’ve kind of created a monster really. Whoops. She wakes up a lot of mornings and asks what we are going to bake today. Haha. So I knew that she needed to bake Papa a birthday cake. I set out to decide what kind of birthday cake we were going to bake him. Little did I know, she had her own agenda. I finally decided upon a Cinnamon Roll Cake, but she changed my plans.

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Milk and Cookies Cupcakes

So I have created a little bit of a monster at my house… a baking monster that is. My little one absolutely LOVES to bake. Every morning she wakes up, looks at me, and asks, what are we going to bake today mommy? Can I let you in on a little secret? I absolutely LOVE it. I always hope she wants to continue to bake/cook with mommy!

These cupcakes… I didn’t really have high hopes for them to be honest. I wasn’t sure about the milk on top (look at the last picture). I wasn’t sure about the cookie. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure about the sweetened condensed milk in the cupcake and icing. A lot of people would probably think these would be the best, but I was quite worried…

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Peaches and Cream Cupcakes

Okay guys, first off, I need to mention… I have an odd number of photos. Yes, there are 11 photos. For some reason I hate odd numbers. I think it is because I prefer symmetry instead of asymmetrical things. Sigh! Two… wait for the rest of this post because seriously. I’m still shaking my head! Finally, happy September. Now that it’s September, can I put my Christmas tree up yet?!?! You think I’m kidding? I’m really not…. Sadly…

Truth… Prior to a couple years ago, I’d never used farm fresh eggs. Yes, I grew up on a farm. No, we didn’t raise chickens. No one I knew raised chickens. We used store bought eggs. And truthfully… farm fresh eggs kind of freaked me out. I don’t know why? I can’t explain it. It is/was just a weird quirk with me. I say was because….. Those eggs above, are farm fresh. Yes, y’all I’ve been using Farm Fresh eggs. Truth number 2 right here… I hardly ever say y’all when speaking, but I will type it. Another thing I can’t explain.

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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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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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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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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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