Thursday, August 29, 2013

postheadericon How To Bee The Center of Attention

Obvious - Bee A Cookie!

These are a 3.5 inch round cookie with a smaller 1 inch heart cookie on a pop stick.  The wedding had a black and white theme and if you look closely, the pint glasses have 2 hearts, which was the reason for the heart on the cookie pop.

To make these cookie pops I did not actually bake them on the stick.  I put them on the baking sheet and then using a pop stick made an impression where I wanted the stick to go, removing the stick after making the impression. 

Then I placed the cookies in the oven.  After they came out of the oven, and while they were still hot, I put the stick in the impression and used a fondant smoother to press the hot cookie to get a flat piping surface and deepen the impression for the stick.  I then removed the stick and let the cookies cool. 

When the cookies were cooled I used some fondant to glue the sticks into the impression and let this dry.  After drying I then flooded and decorated the cookies.  The stick was basically cemented in place with the flood icing.

If anyone is interested, the next time I do cookie pops I will gladly do a video to demonstrate my process for making cookie pops. 




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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

postheadericon When Dreams Send You Running For Cover

Why Do I Fear My Dreams?

My dream?  To have my cookie business be the source of my income = my dream job replacing my day job.  

My fear?  
►I'm not talented enough.
►Everyone is going to see I don't know what I'm doing. 
►I won't make enough money to support myself. 
►I'll go out of business.
►I'll embarrass myself and my family. 

I could go on, but then I'd sound crazy...what?  Too late?  

You're right, it is crazy...crazy to let my overinflated fears keep me from success when they are not even true!  Self doubt is just another word for fear.  Fear is not fact, but we listen to it like it is fact, confusing it with the supportive inner voice because it talks louder.  

Fear is all our past experiences, mostly the negative ones, that hurt us in some way.  Our mind, in all its glory, has devised a way to try to protect us from getting hurt or making mistakes again.  It tells us not to do things by saying "remember the last time you tried that?" 

You want to counteract fear.  When it says something negative just say "thank you for your opinion" and keep going.  When you realize fear is stepping in and voicing its opinion, ask yourself why.  Have you done this task before with a bad outcome?  Then stop and think what you can change to get a different outcome.  Use fear to your advantage and start to build your problem-solving skills. 

Remind Yourself

When fear does start whispering in your ear you aren't talented or good enough, prove it wrong.  I recently did cookies for a bride.  When she picked up her cookies she gushed about how happy she was with them.  And then later she text me again to say how happy she was with the cookies.  This helped me to fight my fear and motivated me to keep moving forward to my goal.  

Dream - 1 / Fear - 0 


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Friday, August 16, 2013

postheadericon Why Inspirations Are The Secret Ingredient

How to Stay Motivated

Most of us "cookiers" do what we do because it's what we love to do.  But there are those times when love is just not enough to keep the momentum going.  The path to success for most people is a long haul and hard work.  It is tough to stay enthusiastic during the time the work is being done but the fruits of the labor have yet to make an appearance. 

I have committed myself to a Year of Quitting with the end goal being a flourishing cookie business and little to no day job.  My day job currently is actually jobs, yep plural.  I work as a police dispatcher AND as a medical editor.  Takes a lot of dough (pun  intended) to run a household and feed the tribe (did I mention I have 5 daughters?).  I love my job as a dispatcher, so I imagine I will continue to do that part time for the experience of doing it.  Medical editing is just a job...I'm counting the days until I can be done with that! 

I had big ambitions of writing a blog post every day Monday through Friday...well, with 2 other jobs and cookie orders, it became obvious that was an unrealistic goal.  But I have found a way to keep motivated to get back to the keyboard at least once a week...and to stay motivated to keep cookies a top priority. 

Write it down

List your goals, then under the goal list small steps to get to that goal.  Do not focus on the end goal, focus on one small step at a time.  When you reach the small step celebrate it.  Enjoy the little things.

Inspire

I am a cookie artist, so I inspire myself by looking at other cookie artist's work.  Do not confuse this with comparing.  Never do I compare my ability to someone else's work, or I would be a sobbing depressed blob on the floor!  I look at their work and tell myself that I can do that...someday, and then I set it as a goal.  Find what I need to learn to reach that goal such as a technique, and that set about learning it. 

Here are some very good sources for inspiration - 

These are just a tiny fraction of the fabulous work that is out there, but are some of my favorites to go to.  For me it is like trolling through an art museum...hey, there's an idea...why don't we have any cookie museums yet?! 

Define Success Realisically

Big dreams are great to have, but when it feels like you are not making progress that can be frustrating and anything but motivating.  Set your sites on something quickly attainable to see immediate progress and gain your motivation back.  This is the idea behind creating small steps to a big goal.  

Power Through

Sometimes you just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other until you get through the Lack of Motivation forest to the sweet open fields of Inspiration/Motivation! 

Never accept Defeat

Do not give up!  Many very famous folks such as my all time favorite - Oprah Winfrey, and many just as fabulous folks such as Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, Walt Disney, JK Rowling, and many more, the one thing in common, they did not give up!  

Share how you keep your motivation by leaving a comment below.  Share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.  Leave a comment that you shared and be entered to win a dozen cookies! 

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

postheadericon 3 Ways Challenges are Cooler Than Justin Bieber

Seriously, Challenges ARE Cooler Than JB! 

Some challenges are thrown at us and we have no choice but to deal with them.  These are not the challenges I am talking about.  A few weeks ago someone asked me to make cookies for him, BUT with NO icing.  WTH?!

Me:  "Okay, I can do that.  What shape would you like."
Him:  "Oh, anything you'd like to do is fine with me."

So, for days (okay, it was actually weeks) I was constantly thinking about what to do for these cookies.  I'm a cookie decorator...this was like asking an artist to make you a plain canvas, and then charge you for it!  I would stare at my cookie cutters blankly, not even able to grasp the idea of not decorating the resultant cookie.

I procrastinated.  I know...gasp!  Did you know the #1 reason people procrastinate is because we think the task will be harder than it actually turns out to be?  Well, this was actually hard because I could not come up with an idea...I was drawing a blank.

Out of nowhere an idea hit me...color the cookie dough!  I started doing research (aka googling) for ideas for colored cookie dough and pinwheel cookies are what I decided on.  I really enjoyed making these cookies.  I got my 13-year-old daughter involved by having her weigh out the 5 colors of dough and rolling them into small balls.  I then put the 5 colored balls together and rolled them out into long ropes to make the pinwheels.  What a time-saver she turned out to be!  We whipped these cookies out in no time!


The recipient of the cookies loved them.  Everyone who saw them was impressed, which made me feel great.  Who does not love it when people ooohhh and ahhhh over your work?

What I learned from this experience  

Allow yourself to sit with a challenge and think.  Do not pressure yourself.  Sometimes procrastinating is actually part of the work-in-progress process!  Just do not give up on the challenge, keep working it.  Have confidence in yourself, you will conquer this challenge!  Do not doubt your ability to think outside the box.  It can be learned for those of us who do not naturally think that way.

What's The Biebs Got To Do With It?

Justin Bieber challenges me to be tolerant of celebrity antics that only confirm that fame is not for the immature.  Cookie challenges are much cooler, they 

  1. Exercises Your Problem-Solving Muscles,
  2. Build Confidence, And
  3. Grow Your Skills.


I'd love to hear how you have grown from a challenge...I know we all have experiences to share!  

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

postheadericon Quit Listening!

I can't Hear YOU!

Today's mission, should you chose to accept, is....

Stop listening to your inner critic.  I am my worst enemy.  I have come to learn that inner voice that I had been listening to and allowing to stop me from being productive and happy, is lying to me!  It is not "me" I hear in my head, but all those years of people who may have said, "oh, honey, that's not the right color for you weight" or "hmmm, that cookie is nice, but I don't know...it's just...nice."  You know what I mean.  All those little not so nice, but well intended (at least I like to believe they were well intended) comments you hear over the years of a lifetime that get stored in your psyche and added to that inner critic's stock pile.  

My inner critic has a lot of ammunition to use against my self esteem.  For the longest time I listened, and even believed those insecure thoughts.  One day I happened to read something about a book that sounded interesting, so I downloaded it to my Kindle.  Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant. 

This book has helped me to quiet my inner critic and love myself.  I know it's cliche, but you have to love yourself first before anything or anyone good can come into your life.  

This year my blog is about quitting...quitting my day job and living my dream job.  You can't have your dream job if you are letting your inner critic have free reign.  My inner critic was telling me I wasn't talented enough, creative enough or deserving enough.  I decided to quit listening...I am ENOUGH.  

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