Sunday, March 27, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Yesterday we hosted my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary! We celebrated this joyous occasion with about 90 of their closest friends. It was a beautiful event and it was so wonderful to be a part of something so incredibly special. We laughed, we cried, we danced and we ate. My husband did most of the work along with his amazing mens team. My small part was to make cookies for the event. I made 112 golden anniversary cookies for the party and I individually wrapped each cookie with a matching gift tag.
This is what the cookies looked like as decorations on the tables.
I was very happy with how the cookies turned out and everyone seemed to really enjoy them. 
I made a "50" which was more fragile than you might think. I can't tell you how many of them I decorated and then placed them in the bag and they broke in my fingers. Argh! Notice the gold "50" cookie tag on the bag.
and wedding cakes with a matching gold cake gift tag on the bag
I also made engagement rings and after I decorated them with gold icing, I painted gold luster dust on the ring band part and used disco dust on the diamond part. They came out so sparkly and fun. Notice the rings on the gift tag of the cookie bag too. Can you tell I had a lot of fun with these cookie tags? I created a copy of one of the documents I used to create the cookie gift tags, so that you can use them too. Just grab it here: Anniversary Cookie Gift Tags
and wedding dresses with a golden sash
and presents with a gold present on the gift tag. I just love the present cookies. I think they are so fun.
and lots of gold hearts with matching gift tags
and churches with golden windows and a matching church gift tag
and then there were "LOVE" decorated in gold and white with a LOVE gift tag. It would have been nice if the clipart of "LOVE" was in gold, but I was seriously running out of time and this cute red one would just have to do...
And lastly doves with a matching dove gift tag. My Mother-In-Law bought me this Dove cookies cutter so how perfect was it that I got to use it for their very special wedding anniversary celebration.
So there were 9 different cookie designs. I hadn't planned it that way, but I just kept coming up with more ideas of what I wanted to bake for my in-laws and it grew. It worked out nicely though because then at each table there was never the same design of cookie. 
 I also bought this amazing handmade banner from Scrapbooking Stuff on Etsy. Christine did a great job in designing it and getting it out to me in time for the celebration. You can find her beautiful work here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ScrapbookingStuff
and the party starts...
My 27-year old daughter, Mellissa, my 17-year old son, Nick, me, my hubby, Dave, and my 25-year old step-daughter, Sarah. You can tell we had too many cameras pointed at us because we're all looking at different cameras. Oh well. The professional photos will be much better. This was with my little camera and the fluorescent lights of the community center. Bottom line, you can see how much fun we're having. The second photo shows my daughter's fiance, Irik and Sarah's boyfriend, Vinnie.
These are my incredible in-laws. Seriously the best mother-in-law and father-in-law a gal could EVER possibly hope and pray for.
And the absolutely AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING mens team that dedicated their time and worked this event like pros. They were so incredibly impressive! 
You guys ROCK!
Great job Sohmie! I was so incredibly impressed at how Dave pulled this whole event together. He had every single detail down and handled and when someone didn't handle their part quickly enough, he took that over too. Nothing was left out and everything was perfect.
Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary to Fred & Judy!







Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Check Out My New Present

Look at what I ordered the other day... what do you think it is?
 It is from a little company called Sweet Apronz N Cupcakes

Here is my adorable present to myself:
Jennifer at Sweet Apronz N Cupcakes made this for me. I asked her to add on a pink sprinkles pocket too. It is so adorable that I haven't even used it yet. I don't want to get it covered in flour because it's just too cute!
Jennifer has a great etsy shop and makes specialized aprons and ships very quickly. You can even get matching mother/daughter aprons. There are tons of different designs to choose from. Check out her etsy shop here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/sweetapronzncupcakes

As of today, it has been exactly two months since I started blogging on January 23rd. In those two months there have been 2,000 visits to my Cristin's Cookies blog! I'm so honored. Thanks for all your support! If you haven't done so yet, join Cristin's Cookies on Facebook since I finally started a business page:

Okay I have to get back to working on 50th Wedding Anniversary cookies. Make it a great day all!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Caramel Cake - Delicious!

I am definitely a "cookier", not a cake baker, but when my cute little local Girl Scouts sold me some yummy Samoas cookies, I decided to make a special cake with them. I must have been on a caramel kick because this is a caramel cake with caramel frosting and caramel cookies chopped up on top and in the middle frosting layer and we had caramel ice cream with it! Wow! Sugar RUSH!
This is what I used to make our special dessert. Duncan Hines Caramel Cake, Duncan Hines Caramel Frosting, Denali MooseTracks Caramel Caribou Ice Cream and Girl Scouts of America Samoas Caramel Cookies. In all honesty, I think it's about the best cake I've ever had. It turned out to be delicious!

It turned out to be quite an adventure to get all the ingredients. I went to three different stores and couldn't find the caramel cake or the caramel frosting. I looked on Ebay and found that I could buy the cake mix and frosting, but after searching on Amazon, I found that I could buy the same product in a case of 8 packages with free shipping for about the same price as it would cost for 1 package on Ebay! So I now am the owner of 8 boxes of caramel cake mix and 8 jars of caramel frosting... or so you would think...
Unfortunately when the frosting arrived, 3 of the 8 jars exploded in shipment. I contacted Amazon (who is FANTASTIC by the way) and before I could even respond to them, they had sent out 8 more jars of frosting that arrived the NEXT DAY. I threw away the 3 jars that had exploded and now had 13 jars of frosting! Wow that's going to be a lot of cake baking for a cookie gal ;-)
Today I baked 8 batches of cookie dough for an upcoming 50th Wedding Anniversary party for my in-laws. 112 cookies to decorate. I will be a busy gal.
Tomorrow I'm going to show you a present I received - yes I bought it for myself, but it still counts as a present... :-)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rainbow Cookies

I made a whole bunch of St. Patrick's Day cookies a few weeks ago and when my son saw them, he said "now you just need a rainbow"! 
The very next day, my cookier friend, Sweet SugarBelle made a fun tutorial on how to make rainbows with clouds and a pot of gold, so I had to give them a try. My friend, Joanne, needed cookies for a last-minute party, so I decided to add a black outline to save on drying time otherwise I would have to wait for each color to dry and I didn't have time for that and didn't want the colors to bleed. I also like that the outline makes the design "pop", but next time I'd like to try the rainbows without the black outline too.

I used my large circle cookie cutter and I bought a small flower cookie cutter and a small oval cookie cutter. I used needle-nose pliers and bent the oval into a pot of gold and smushed the flower into a cloud. I mixed up the 9 colors that I chose for the rainbow cookies (red, yellow, green, dark blue, purple, light blue, gold, white & black) and got busy decorating. I finished all the cookies in 2 days and was able to fit in one 43-mile bike ride, but I stayed up til 3am finishing the detailing. They were actually a pretty big project with so many colors, but I was excited to give the rainbows a try.
I made fun little cookie tags with a rainbow and I posted them to my share site so that others can use it too. Located here. Tomorrow's post will be a yummy cake and then onto 50th Wedding Anniversary cookies.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Winner of Cookie Give-Away!

And the winner is...... drum roll please...


True Random Number Generator  2Powered by RANDOM.ORG


Congratulations to #2




Haniela said... Best Blogger Tips2










I follow your blog too.:-))

hanielas@yahoo.com

I am super excited to announce that the winner of 12 cowboy cookies goes to Haniela! I will send an email out today and ask for your shipping address and get the cookies out to you via USPS Monday morning. Thanks everyone for participating and liking my new Cristin's Cookies Facebook page!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Cookie GIVE-AWAY!


What a week. I got my new beautiful pink Kitchen-Aid mixer. I hit the 1,000 visitors mark on my blog and decided it was time for a give-away. While thinking about what fun thing to do, 300 more people stopped by my blog and I finally started a Cristin's Cookies Facebook page after a lot of prompting from friends. I was going to give away PINK cookies in honor of my pretty pink mixer, but then CopperGifts.com came up with this really cute Cowboy cookie cutter (item #5194) and I just couldn't pass it up. 
The cowboy cookie cutter is named "Cowboy Clyde" like my cycling friend, Clyde. Clyde has been an angel to me. We did a bike ride last October that was supposed to be 200-miles long, but I got a crazy idea of making it longer. I started the afternoon before the actual event start and made it into a 400-mile ride in about 30 hours. Clyde saved me on that ride. When we were climbing the monster hill of Powerhouse in the direct sun, I was getting more and more tired. Then I got stung by a bee down my cycling jersey. People were dropping out from the ride because of the heat and the hills. If it weren't for Clyde, I don't know if I would have made it. He talked me through it and even quoted scripture for me while I concentrated on making the pedals go around. Once the sun went away and we rode into the night, I got my second wind and the ride got easier. Clyde was really an angel to help keep me going through the rough parts. So I'm shipping some Cowboy Clyde cookies to my friend Clyde. 
But wait - you can get some too...
Here's how to enter my first ever Cookie Give-Away!
3 WAYS TO ENTER
Cookie Give-Away ends on Friday, March 18th at midnight

1) Click LIKE on my new Cristin's Cookies Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cristins-Cookies/169474139771210 and come back here and post that you did. If you've already clicked Like and became a fan of Cristin's Cookies Facebook page, just come back here and add a comment that you did. Make sure to add your email address so I can contact you if you've won.

2) SHARE a link of my Cristin's Cookies Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cristins-Cookies/169474139771210 on your Facebook page and then come back here and leave a comment telling me you did including a link to your post and leave your email address so I can contact you if you've won.

3) Become a follower of my blog. On the right side of the blog, you will see "become a Pinkie fan". Click on that and let me know that you've become a follower and leave your email address so I can contact you if you've won.

Maximum of 3 entries per person. Winner will receive 1 box of 12 Cowboy Clyde and western theme cookies. I will ship the cookies this Saturday anywhere in the UNITED STATES only please. I will use random.org generator to choose one winner.

I'm excited... are you? :-)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Courage - When the world says, "Give up", Hope whispers, "Try one more time"

A "cookier" friend of mine did an amazing post on her blog the other day Glorious Treats and I haven't been able to get my mind off it. She pointed out that we generally show pictures of our best cookies and hide the ones with mistakes and don't show that our kitchen looks like a bomb went off after spending a lot of time decorating cookies. She went on to say that women in particular have negative voices in our heads about ourselves and compare ourselves to others. Everything she said was dead-on.

I find inspiration from friends. Their cookie projects, their bike rides, their accomplishments, their lessons learned. I don't have the jealousy gene. I never have. I think we are here on earth specifically to learn and better ourselves and we are MEANT to make mistakes. I admire others to a fault. Yes, to a fault. For instance, at a karate tournament one time, I was kicked in the neck by a gal about 20 years younger than me. Guess what I said... "wow, amazing kick, great job!" Then I spent the next 3 weeks going to a chiropractor 3 times a week trying to walk upright. Yes, I admire others and their accomplishments to a fault ;-)

So although I don't have the jealousy gene, I have the other parts like the negative self-image in my head. Not good enough, not strong enough, not thin enough, not fast enough, not pretty enough... we could go on for days here. We are our own worst critics aren't we! The funny thing is that I REALLY believe other women don't have this issue nearly as bad as I do. For one thing I ride with guys. They don't have pear shaped bodies. They glide easily up the hills while I huff and puff ready to blow out a lung climbing a mountain. They are built differently and no matter how hard I might try, it's just not the same. Let me give you a for instance into my twisted little mind... I got horribly sick before my bike ride this morning. My stomach was in knots with the "I can't do it, I won't be able to keep up, it's going to be too hard for me, I'm not strong enough..." The ridiculous thing is this was just a normal weekend bike ride with FRIENDS. This was not a competing event - you won't catch me in one of those. I do this to myself on a normal long bike ride all the time. Pathetic right? The bike ride was great by the way! Oh except for the one part where I was riding 15.7 mph and the guy in front of me came back and said "are you okaaay?" Of course I heard that as "what's wrong with you, why are you so slow"? argh.
It gets worse... I threw up multiple times before my advanced WHITE belt test in karate. Yep, WHITE belt test. Then again made myself hugely sick for my yellow belt test. The Senseis figured out that I was turning myself into knots over these tests, so they didn't tell me when I was testing for my advanced yellow belt test. Instead I showed up at the dojo and saw the numerous cars and about had a panic attack in my car! I did a little bit better with less time to get stuck in my head with negative thoughts of self-doubt, but my stomach was in knots. This went on through the years with green and brown belt testing. The only time I did not make myself sick and flip out was my Black Belt test. More on that in a bit.
I'm proud of most of my decorated cookies, but I can't even tell you how many that my son and his friends have eaten because they were not good enough in my overly self-critical mind.  It's pretty frustrating when you spend days making beautiful cookies and then you mess up on a line in the decoration and they don't look pretty anymore. It happens. I'm grateful to still have a teenager in the house to "take care of" my mistake cookies. I think he's pretty grateful too ;-) I would love to input some pictures of my failed attempts, but I made sure to have Nick eat them quickly before anyone could see them ;-)

I'd love to say I've found a way for us to have nicer voices to ourselves, but I haven't figured that out. I hope to one day. What I have figured out is that every day that I push myself to do something that I didn't think I could do, God uses it as an opportunity to help me grow and become a better me. Just like my email signature says "Courage - When the world says, "Give up", Hope whispers, "Try one more time". I also take comfort in knowing that my father was proud of me every single day, pink hair and all. I don't think I can ever do much better than that.

My Black Belt test was the only time that I can think of that I did NOT get in my head. I don't recall worrying about what other people thought of me throughout the 9+ hour test. I don't think I even talked negatively to myself. For once, I really just enjoyed the process. There were probably 15-20 Senseis there to judge us and a full audience. I didn't want to test for that reason. Then I developed a tumor in my throat the size of a golf ball. I had trouble eating and then even trouble breathing. My doctors said I couldn't test. They were certain I had Cancer because of the fast-growing tumor. They put 16 needles in my neck for a biopsy and then lost the results. They did it all again. It was torture waiting 19 days for the results, but each day that something went wrong and held up my surgery, brought me closer to the test date. Instead of being afraid out of my mind, I was thankful for the opportunity to particpate in the test. I think that was the only time that I've been able to get the voices in my head to subside.


Tomorrow I will be back to posting cookies. I have some fun Cowboy cookies that should be done tomorrow. Today I just wanted to share some thoughts. Lets all try to clear those voices in our head. Be kinder with our words about ourselves. I'm in awe of all of you and I hope and pray that you will see what I see in you!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunflower Cookies

My friend, Burcu, celebrated her 40th birthday yesterday (this picture is from last summer) 
so I made her some special Sunflower Cookies to celebrate her special day.
I've never made sunflowers cookies before, so they were a fun new project for me. I found these cute buckets at Target and I added a decorative birthday ribbon to the bucket. The sunflower cookies are on sticks, but instead of baking them with the sticks which I really don't like doing, I used the idea from Pam of CookieCrazie to simply tape the cookie stick onto the back of the cookie bag using big shipping tape.
I used extra long cookie sticks that I found at Michaels to test them out.
Since I finished my baking, I was able to participate in a nice bike ride yesterday. We did 67 miles with 6,100 feet of climbing. There was snow at the top of the mountain so that was pretty exciting to see out here in California. The climb up to the top was really enjoyable, but coming down the mountain was cold and very bumpy. The fast descent with all those bumpy roads hurt my back and hands from the rough road vibration. Once we got to the smoother part of the road, it was perfect and we went whipping around the corners like we were skiing. It was a fun day and a great work-out.
This picture wasn't from yesterday's ride, but gives you an idea of the gorgeous view at the top of Mt. Hamilton. Now just imagine it with snow along the sides ;-)

I was hoping that my first cookies with my new pink mixer would be Fairytale cookies with castles and crowns and cutesie pink items, but one of the cookie cutters hasn't arrived yet so that will have to wait a little longer. Next will be Cowboy Cookies after I get caught up on a little bit of paperwork and scheduling for family events. Have a good week everyone!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Baptism Cookies

I received a couple new cookie cutters yesterday, but I had to finish up a Baptism cookie request for a friend before I could play with the new cookie cutters. I haven't done baptism cookies before so I had to come up with some new ideas of what to bake and decorate. I had a busy week with meetings and volunteering, so I had to stay up very late to work on the cookies since I was only given a 4-day lead time with an already busy week. Thankfully I was happy with how they turned out.
I turned the "fancy dress" by CopperGifts.com into a baptism dresses:
and churches also from CopperGifts.com with a request of no cross:
and I made these HUGE Angels (8x 5.5) as a bonus:
I also made a few roses:
and some presents:
and lastly I made some tulip cookies in a cute container:
Pam from Cookie Crazie shared a fantastic idea of taping the sticks onto the cookie bag instead of inserting them into the cookie before baking which I always find to be a hassle. They were so easy to make! Thanks Pam for always sharing your wisdom!

All the baking supplies have been washed and put away and the house cleaned spotless, so I get to go play tomorrow. I have a nice long bike ride planned and afterward, I'll show you some cookies I made for a friend's birthday. Then I can start on the NEW cookie cutters.... Have a fantastic weekend everyone!





Thursday, March 3, 2011

New PINK Present From Hubby Arrives!

Don't you just LOVE getting presents!!!! What could it be? Something special from hubby...
I'm so excited and I've waited SOOOO long... 
what color is it?
drooling now, ripping open the box... 
can hardly contain myself...
aaaahhhhh it's soooooo pretty!
yay! I'm so happy!
and it fits!!! and matches the Kitchen-Aid bowls underneath
and it's not too heavy for the spring-loaded cupboard shelf. Feeling very excited now!
everyone together now... ooohhhh and aaahhhh!
Okay now that it's here... time to bake. I have to finish some Baptism cookies ordered for Saturday, but after that, definitely some PLAY time with the new mixer! I also have some ideas rolling around. I started my Cristin's Cookies blog on January 23rd and as of today, in less than 6 weeks, have had 999 visitors! I think it's time for a give-away or a guest post or a tutorial or something fun. Any suggestions?